Magical Winter Solstice Brew :: A Recipe for Holiday Yule Wine

Magical Winter Solstice + Yule Brew Recipe

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“I heard a bird sing
In the dark of December
A magical thing
And sweet to remember.

We are nearer to Spring
Than we were in September.
I heard a bird sing
In the dark of December.”
-Oliver Herford

Late dawn.

Early sunset.

Shortest day. Longest night.

For us in the Northern Hemisphere, the Winter Solstice marks the longest night and shortest day of the year.

No matter where you live on this Earth, it’s our signal to celebrate the rebirth of the sun! For us on the northern part of Earth, the shortest day is here! After the Winter Solstice, the days get longer, and the nights shorter.

The solstice happens in a universal instant — one that all of us, everywhere on Earth share. According to my Deluxe Moon app…this year, the Winter Solstice comes on December 21 at 3:59 p.m. here in Arizona. It’s when the tilt of the Earth away from the sun produces — in the Northern Hemisphere — its shortest day and longest night of the year.

Yule is the celebration that honors this glorious seasonal shift!

And during a time with so many reasons to celebrate — and so many gatherings to attend — I am preparing a yummy treat!

My Magical Winter Solstice Brew!

Over the next few days, I will be gathering the herbs and ingredients needed for the recipe.

You may begin tincturing this brew at anytime leading up to the Solstice. However, I encourage you to join me this Saturday November 22, 2014 — on the day of the New Moon — in setting the Solstice brew in glass mason jars!

This allows a beautiful + complete New Moon to New Moon tincturing cycle — as the 2014 Winter Solstice falls on the New Moon.

What a truly magical + blessed gift to bring to any holiday party and/or family get-together!

How to Make Winter Solstice + Yule Brew with the magic of the moon.

Winter Solstice Brew + Yule Wine Recipe

Yield :: 1 quart-size glass jar

*Use organic ingredients if at all possible. I have linked to my favorites as examples. 


  1. Combine all ingredients in a quart-size glass jar.
  2. Shake well to combine.
  3. Allow mixture to sit up to 4 weeks, if possible. Note :: Set mixture on the New Moon just prior to the Winter Solstice just in time to use on the New Moon of the Solstice. Quick Brew Tips :: Setting the mixture anytime prior to the Solstice is just as magical:) 1 week, 2 weeks, 3 weeks prior…DO IT!!!

To Serve 

On the day of the Winter Solstice (Yule or Christmas…really whatever holiday celebration is at hand), add entire contents of the jar to a saucepan or slow cooker. Add 1/4-1/2 cup of raw, organic honey (sweeten to taste). Warm on very low heat setting, heating mixture throughout.

Serve warm.


Happy Solstice, everyone!

A Homemade Super Effective Healing Cream for Eczema

How to make your own homemade SUPER effective skin healing eczema + psoriasis cream

Never loose this recipe :: Pin It 

Searching for a truly effective remedy for eczema is often exhausting and can seem at times down right…debilitating.

However, moving away from the steroidal treatments of conventional medicine toward the plant-based, anti-inflammatory solutions of herbs + aromatherapy demonstrates the successful revival of nearly forgotten wisdom.

We know that eczema, by and large, is an external symptom of internal imbalance + disharmony.

While the journey of correcting the underlying cause — diet + lifestyle + autoimmunity + metabolism — could take years…creating all-natural topical creams, lotions, and/or salves can provide symptomatic relief along the often difficult road.

I’ve designed this herbal — totally chemical-free, all-natural, plant-based — formula to help soothe and ease extremely dry, bumpy, itchy, eczema-prone skin.

All of the ingredients — the herbs, the butter, the oils — were chosen for their ability to ::

  • regenerate + repair + normalize the skin
  • hydrate extremely dry patches
  • soothe sensitive skin
  • reduce the occurrence of itchy, red inflammatory breakouts
  • heal

Ready for relief!

Healing Eczema Cream

*Use only pure, organic, additive-free ingredients. I have linked to the only products I recommend.

Learn more :: Click here to learn how to make your own calendula herbal oil at home.

Essential Oil Blend
*Use only pure, organic and/or wildharvested oils. I have linked to the superior oils made available by Mountain Rose Herbs


  1. Combine all ingredients and essential oils — in their natural state, without the use of heat — in a stainless steel or glass bowl.
  2. Using a stand mixer or hand mixer, whip for approximately 3-4 minutes — or until well combined.
  3. Transfer cream to glass jars (I love these) for storage. Store in a cool, dark place.

For Best Results

Apply a generous dose of this cream to the skin immediately after a bath or shower. Gently towel wet skin by patting dry just prior to application. Likewise, apply anytime to clean, dry skin whenever relief is needed throughout the day.

Please Remember

Making remedies such as these in your kitchen requires the utmost in cleanliness in order to inhibit bacterial growth. Be sure to use thoroughly cleaned utensils, bowls, and counter surfaces throughout the process.


This cream should last 6+ months on the counter. There is no need for refrigeration.

Note: Naturally the results will be different for everyone. This is by no means a cure-all. I’m just happy to share with you my experience with these plants and/or oils. Please use conventional wisdom and consult with your medical professional prior to using this or any other herbal remedy. And as we know all too well the FDA doesn’t like any type of claim…therefore, take it for what it is, and remember, this information is purely educational in its purpose.

DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my knowledge-sharing/writing/blogging activities, I occasionally may receive monetary compensation for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this article. However, I only recommend products or services I have personally used myself and trust.

Potato Garlic Soup Recipe

The yummiest Potato Garlic Soup recipe EVER!

Nothing says winter like a warm + cozy bowl of delicious goodness!

I love soups…

…and I love them even more during the coldest, darkest season of the year.

This soup in particular, begs for a comfy couch, a crackling fire, and slippers.

Not to mention, if you have a hint of a cold…this will surely aid in healing.

Potato Garlic Soup

Yield :: 4 servings

*Use local organic, non-GMO ingredients whenever possible.

  • 4 cups red potatoes, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons real salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons grass-fed, ghee (ghee is my favorite, but you can use coconut oil or olive oil in substitution)
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 to 2 1/2 cups vegetable broth (water, milk, or chicken broth may be used in substitution)
  • 8-10 cloves fresh garlic, peeled
  • 3-4 tablespoons grass-fed butter
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • fresh cracked pepper
  • shredded cheddar cheese, optional


  1. Combine the potatoes, water, and salt in a saucepan. Cook until tender (approx. 20 minutes). Note :: Do not drain.
  2. Heat the ghee, or oil, in a skillet. Saute chopped onions until translucent (approx. 10 minutes).
  3. Using a food processor or blender, puree undrained potatoes, sauteed onions, fresh garlic, butter, and 1/8 cup fresh parsley until smooth.
  4. Pour puree back into saucepan, add vegetable broth to the desired consistency, and cook over medium heat for 5-10 minutes or until heated through.
  5. Serve in warm bowl. Top with shredded cheese (optional), fresh parsley, and pepper.


Learn more :: Follow my “Soups” Pinterest board for continued inspiration!

How to Make Winter Solstice Incense Cones

How to make winter solstice incense cones

Making incense is a very intentional and beautiful form of creative art.

It’s super fun to make and such a blessing to use.

Incense may take the form of ::

  • loose ingredients to be burned on outdoors fire or indoors on a charcoal disc
  • hand-shaped cones, cylinders, or sticks

All forms of incense — except that of loose incense — consist of four foundational ingredients: a burnable base, an aromatic substance, a bonding element, and a liquid to bring it all together.

The beautiful thing about making incense at home…you set the intention for the incense…you choose the ingredients.

I created this incense to be enjoyed for the next few weeks leading up to the Winter Solstice. The aromatics used in the recipe I am sharing with you include herbs + oils strongly associated with the season. Basically…it smells like a Christmas tree explosion in my kitchen right now!

*The aromatics/herbs used for incense are best gathered from the wild. The next best option, is to purchase wildcrafted or organic herbs.

  • pine needles…these I gathered from a tree near my home. We use pine needles in incense to cleanse a space of negativity, for protection + purification, and to ward off illness.
  • red cedar tips…these I purchase online here. Medicinally, cedar is an herb of protection. We burn cedar to bring peace…to cleanse our home and to protect against unwanted influences.
  • juniper berries…I purchase juniper berries online here or here. Burn juniper berries for the purpose of cleansing and purifying the air indoors. Juniper berries are also used for protection and illness prevention.

I’ve made plenty of these cones — enough for my own personal use…

…and I’ve set a whole bunch to cure/dry.

They’ll make very meaningful gifts to give to my friends + family for the holidays.

How to make winter solstice incense cones at home

So, are you ready for some fun!?!

Let make incense!

Learn more :: Incense: Crafting & Use of Magickal Scents

Winter Solstice Incense Cones

Yield :: 6-8 cones


Optional Add-ins


  1. Measure the herbs (equal parts of pine needles, juniper berries, red cedar tips) into electric grinder or mortar+ pestle.
  2. Grind herbs until fine.
  3. Transfer powdered herbs to a glass bowl — add sandalwood powder, clove powder, and guar gum — use a small wire whisk or wooden stick (a chopstick is perfect) to blend until well combined.
  4. Very slowly add the liquid just a little bit at a time. Carefully mix the liquid in. Mix with a wooden stick for several minutes. Please note :: The mixture may look too dry at first, but keep mixing. As you mix, use your fingers to press the mixture together to help completely combine.  
  5. After several minutes, gather the incense “dough” into your hands and begin to knead. If the incense is too dry and won’t form a dough ball, add a few more drops of water. You want a smooth dough, without any cracks.
  6. Add essential oils if using. Knead dough 30 more seconds to combine.
  7. Pinch off 1/4 teaspoon of dough. Using your thumb and index fingers on both hands, form a tall, thin cone.
  8. Repeat until all dough is used. This recipe should make 6-8 cones.
  9. Allow incense to cure/dry on a clean, flat surface for 5-7 days. Be sure to keep incense away from drafts, direct sunlight, and heat. Please note :: A long, slow drying process is what we are after here. Drying incense to quickly will lead to cracks and burning issues.
  10. Store incense in a glass container, in a cool, dark place.

To Burn

  1. Place a layer of sand in a heat-proof dish. Note: This is the sand I use, and the brass incense burner I have in my home.
  2. Light the tip of the incense cone and burn as you would commercially prepared incense cones.
  3. Enjoy the best smelling house on the block!

Read more :: Follow my “Sacramental Smoke” Pinterest Board for continued inspiration along your incense creating journey!

What type of incense are you making and enjoying these days?

Homemade Moisturizing Winter Lotion

Homemade Moisturizing Winter Lotion

I have a jar of herb-infused olive oil I made this past summer sitting on my counter in the kitchen.

It’s been beckoning me in the recent days…telling me it’s ready.

So, I’ve decided to set half of the oil in freshly, dried herbs with the addition of organically cultivated goldenseal root for a new batch of anti-microbial ointment I’ll make when my current stock is out.

With the other half of the oil, I am in the kitchen whipping up a quick batch of lotion!

For this lotion, I’ve set out with the intention of creating a richer formula to give our skin extra protection and moisture for winter.

Made with the absolute best organic olive oil (this is the only olive oil I’ll ever use), in combination with the following skin-loving herbs ::

  • calendula flowers and comfrey leaves + roots from my home garden
  • plantain harvested along a stream while visiting my sister in Colorado
  • organically cultivated St. John’s wort + olive leaf I purchased from Mountain Rose Herbs

Moisturizing Winter Lotion

*Choose only organic ingredients. I have linked directly to the ingredients I personally use and recommend.

Essential Oil Blend
*For the highest medicinal value available choose dōTERRA™ essential oils or the organic oils from Mountain Rose Herbs…these are the brands I trust to provide the ultimate in health + safety for myself, my family, and my friends. 

  • 30 drops geranium essential oils
  • 15 drops frankincense essential oils
  • 25 drops cedarwood essential oils
  • 30 drops chamomile essential oils, (lavender is an excellent substitute)


  1. Using a kitchen scale, weigh all ingredients.
  2. In a small sauce pan, combine the kokum butter, herb oil, liquid of choice, glycerin (or honey), emulsifying wax, stearic acid, and citric acid.
  3. Heat mixture on the stove over low heat, until the mixture is well combined and completely melted. Stir frequently.
  4. Remove from stove.
  5. Using an immersion blender (or a wire whisk), stir intermittently until cool, creamy, and thick.
  6. Add in rosemary antioxidant (extract) and essential oils.
  7. Stir well.
  8. Pour into storage jars (I use these).

Please remember :: Making lotion at home in your kitchen requires the utmost in cleanliness in order to inhibit bacterial growth and prevent mold. This is why it is very important to use aloe vera gel, hydrosols, or purified/distilled water for the tea infusion in the recipe. Likewise, please be sure to use thoroughly cleaned utensils, pans, bowls, and counter surfaces throughout the process.

This lotion should last 4-6 month on the counter. There is no need for refrigeration. However, if you see mold growing, toss it out. Tip :: If you use more than one jar/container feel free to store them in the fridge until you’re ready to use them. And just so you know, I’ve never had any mold grow in mine — ever.

***I make this for my family and for my dear friend. Her daughter has eczema…and this is the only thing that helps!***

How to Make Herbal Sore Throat + Cough Drops

How to Make Herbal Sore Throat + Cough Drops


…it happened.

The dreaded morning wake-up call, “Mom, my throat hurts.”

After an assessment of symptoms and a thorough inspection of the back of the throat. It appears we’ve hit it at the early stages.

Everyone in the house knows to inform me at the very first sign — even hint — of deviation from health…this is when herbal medicine is at its’ finest!

I was able to get to work quickly in the kitchen, on a very simple herbal remedy.

Supported with some of my herbal cough syrup and homemade cold + flu tincture. I’m almost certain we’ve got a handle on it!

Herbs to Treat Sore Throat + Cough

Classic herbs used to treat a sore throat and cough include, yet are not limited to — rose petals, sage, goldenseal, marshmallow root, slippery elm, horehound, ginger, licorice root, elderberry, echinacea, and cayenne pepper.

For this recipe, I used the herbs I had on hand.

  • Slippery Elm. The soothing herb. Rachel Weaver, in her book Be Your Own Doctor: An Informative Guide to Herbal Home Health Care, defines slippery elm as, “mainly powdered for therapeutic use. It is a mucilaginous herb with properties similar to comfrey. It is gentle and soothing, yet it works extremely well. ‘Mucilaginous’ means sticky and with an ability to coat. Slippery elm does this very well, coating…and healing whatever it comes in contact with.”
  • Echinacea Angustifolia Root. One of the most popular herbs associated with immunity and health. Rosemary Gladstar in her book Medicinal Herbs: A Beginner’s Guide, says of echinacea, “Echinacea is always more effective if taken at the early signs of illness, before the illness has the opportunity to ‘settle in.’ Echinacea is particularly effective against bronchial and respiratory infections, sore throat, and oral infections, and in any situation where the immune system needs fortifying.”
  • Goldenseal. An extremely potent and highly effect herb, goldenseal is a must-have in all home wellness pantries. We’ll again look to Rosemary Gladstar who so wonderfully describes goldenseal to be, “a natural antibiotic, and it is often paired with echinacea to help fight off infections, colds, and flus. It is particularly effective in treating infections of the mucous membranes, found in the respiratory, digestive, skin, and reproductive systems.” Please note :: Due to it’s over-harvesting in the wild. Please only purchase goldenseal from reputable companies that buy from small organic cultivators of the herb. Be sure the goldenseal you use has been “organically grown,” “organically cultivated,” or grown yourself in the home garden — not “wildcrafted.” I ONLY recommend purchasing organically cultivated goldenseal here, from Mountain Rose Herbs.
  • Ginger Root. Ginger is a powerful antiseptic. A warming herb, functions effectively as a decongestant — used in the treatment of colds and flus, respiratory congestion, and sore throat.
  • Cinnamon (sweet). Cinnamon — used in combination with ginger — dispels colds and warms the chill of winter. It kills a wide variety of disease causing bacteria…a well-known treatment of colds, the flu, and fever. Please note :: For medicinal purposes, organic true cinnamon (sweet) is recommended.


+Because they work gently and effectively.
+Because you can grow many yourselves, right outside your front door or even in your kitchen.
+Because it’s our birthright to use the gifts of nature with respect and wisdom.
+Because up until relatively recently, at least in the western world, herbs were an integral part of taking care of ourselves.

Health doesn’t come from plastic bottles. Vitality grows naturally from the way you live your life. Deep down, people already know this.

If you want to learn more about herbs as medicine and as food, and if you’re just too busy to enroll in an in-person program, join the Herbal Academy of New England for a comprehensive and convenient online herbal course you can complete anywhere and anytime!

Learn what your great ancestors knew about the natural world and begin to build your own apothecary.

Start classes anytime! Click this link to learn more and register.

Homemade Herbal Sore Throat + Cough Drops

Yield :: Approx. 40 herbal drops.
*Adjust recipe to meet your needs.

*Choose only organically grown herbs. I have linked directly to the herbs + ingredients I personally use and recommend. 

Optional Add-Ins

Where to buy essential oils for ingestion?

For the highest medicinal value available choose dōTERRA™  essential oils or the organic oils from Mountain Rose Herbs…these are the brands I trust to provide the ultimate in health + safety for myself, my family, and my friends. 

How to make herbal sore throat + cough drops

*The method for the creation of these drops, I learned from the great herbalists Kiva Rose + Rosemary Gladstar.

  1. In a small bowl combine all ingredients.
  2. With a spoon, work mixture into a “bread dough” like consistency. Add cinnamon to thicken, if needed.
  3. Pinch off very small bits of dough and roll them in the palm of your hand to form a pea-size ball. Note :: I like to add a small amount of cinnamon to my palm while I roll. 
  4. Dry the balls/pills/drops in a dehydrator OR on a cookie sheet in the oven. Note :: If using an oven, set to lowest possible temperature and leave the door to the oven slightly open. 
  5. Once dried, store these drops in a small glass container. They will keep fresh in a cool, dark space for a year.


Adults and children, take 1-2 drops, 2-4 times a day as needed.

Where Can I Get This Stuff?

-Mountain Rose Herbsthey have everything you’ll need by way of Bulk Herbs and Natural Products for Healthy, Natural Living! It’s your one-stop-shop!

-For the ultimate all-natural healthcare alternatives choose dōTERRA™  Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade™ essential oils. Click here to learn more…

Homemade Chocolate Chews :: Pure, Raw Plant-Based Energy

Homemade Chocolate Chews :: Pure, Raw Plant-Based Energy

This weekend, I was more-than-usual, super busy in the kitchen!

I’ve been inching toward the low end on several of the homemade condiments and staples that I typically keep readily available.

And then I was reminded of my recipe for Chocolate Chews!

They had to be made!

These Chocolate Chews are 100% pure, raw plant-based energy and nutrition.

I love having one a few hours before — or a little after — I go hiking, practice yoga, or do any type of strenuous exercise. They are perfect to wrap up for those grab-n-go mornings. They satisfy my sweet chocolate cravings.

They’re pretty much the yummiest things ever!

Homemade Chocolate Chews

Homemade Chocolate Chews

*Use organic ingredients whenever possible. I have linked to examples of products I purchase and use in my home. 


  1. In a food processor, add all ingredients.
  2. Mix until well combined, 1-2 minutes.
  3. Transfer mixture to a 8×8 glass dish and press down using a spatula.
  4. Refrigerate for 4 hours to allow mixture to firm up.
  5. Cut into bars, size suitable for your needs.
  6. Wrap individual bars in unbleached parchment paper or plastic wrap. Store in refrigerator. Will keep for 2-3 weeks — if they last that long.