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Winter Solstice, Yule & Full Cold Moon

Winter Solstice & Yule & Full Cold Moon

By Tara Sutphen

The Full Moon at 0* Cancer is mixed with Winter Solstice. With the illumination of the moon, you are seen in the world. The light is even brighter and our camaraderie with family and friends will be a clearer picture throughout the holidays and the month.
Dec 21: The Winter Solstice is a celebration of the heart, vessel of our dreams. Through the darkest time on the planet we are to find solace once again, returning to our inner resting place. Gallantly gazing upon our life’s daily uncertainty and unknowing future. May the earth fold us in comfort away from any harshness. As the light dims we are to harmonize and begin to sincerely replenish our hearts and minds. 

The pagans called this holiday Yule, where the people of Europe and Scandinavia made festive. It is not considered religious. The pagans were naturalists, such as the Native Americans and other indigenous communities around the world. They followed the course of the sun, the moon and cycles of the seasons for planting food and generally planning survival strategy. As winter comes we recognize our need to rest our minds, hearts and bodies while warming at the hearth. And as we come back out of the darkest day-night of the year and begin to gain more minutes of sunlight and replenishment each day. We linger for a glimmer of light to awaken, reconnecting our spark to life, to the sun and the conviviality of our own beating heart.

Recipes for Winter Solstice & Yule

Hot Apple Cider

Juice Apples or Buy Apple Cider
6 cups Apple Cider
½ tsp whole cloves
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
3 cinnamon sticks
Heat ingredients, simmer, strain & serve hot

SunKing Soup 

3 Tbs butter (use real butter)
1 small onion, diced
2 1/2 C. tomatoes, diced
1 C. vegetable broth
3/4 Orange juice, no pulp
A few sprigs rosemary
Saute the onion in the butter over low heat. Chop tomatoes and add to the onions. Allow to cook until tomatoes become soft, just a few minutes. Add broth, and allow the whole thing to simmer over low heat for 30 minutes.
Transfer the entire mixture into a blender and puree, adding the orange juice. Return to stovetop, add rosemary, and simmer for about 5 - 10 more minutes. Add paprika to taste. Serve in warm bowls with a nice loaf of soft bread, or as part of a larger feast.

Rustic Vegetable Tart 

With Balsamic Glaze and Herbed Cheese
Serves: 4

1/2 acorn squash
1/2 green pepper, large dice
small bunch of broccoli, florets only
2 Portobello mushrooms, sliced and cut into bite sized chunks 1/2″ thick
1/2 red onion, cut into thin wedges
1 carrot, sliced on diagonal 1/4″ thick
3 small garlic cloves sliced thin
2 tablespoons plus ½ teaspoon olive oil, divided
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon brown sugar


1 tablespoon cornmeal
1 whole wheat pizza dough
1/2 cup Italian shredded (bagged) mixed cheese
sprinkle of dried basil
sprinkle of dried oregano
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Lightly spray baking dish with oil and place acorn squash cut side down. In a large bowl, combine garlic and the other vegetables and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of oil, salt and black pepper; toss to coat. Place vegetables in an ungreased 9″x13″pan.
Bake squash and mixed veggies for 25 to 30 minutes or until tender and moisture has evaporated. Stir halfway through.
Prepare balsamic glaze by mixing balsamic vinegar and brown sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly until sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer until glaze thickens, about 5 to 8 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
Remove roasted vegetables from the oven. Peel acorn squash, cut into bite sized chunks and add to the other vegetables. Drizzle vegetables with balsamic glaze and gently toss to coat.
Sprinkle cornmeal over a pizza pie pan or large baking sheet to prevent dough from sticking. Press pizza dough into a 13-inch circle. Allow dough to rest briefly if it becomes too elastic to work with.
Combine cheeses, basil and oregano and spread 1/4 cup over dough within 1-1/2″ of edge all around. Spoon glazed vegetables over cheese. Sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup cheese mix on top of vegetables.
Fold up edges of dough over filling, leaving center uncovered. Brush exposed folded dough with remaining ½ teaspoon oil and sprinkle dough with coarse salt.
Bake at 450 degrees until the crust is golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes.

Squash Salad 

For the dressing:
• 2 tsp walnut, almond, or olive oil
• 1 tsp raw honey(or a pinch of stevia to make it vegan)
• 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar (dark or white both work)
• 2 tbsp pomegranate juice(you can make your own from a fresh pomegranate, or use a bottled pomegranate juice
• 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
For the rest:
• 1 firm and slightly tart apple (crispin or honeycrisp are ideal!)
• 1 delicata squash, seeded and cut into rings
• 1 tsp each dried thyme and oregano
• 1 tsp olive oil (or spray in a mister)
• 6 cups rainbow chard, chopped
• ¼ cup pumpkin seeds/pepitas, raw or roasted
• ½ cup pomegranate arils
• Preheat oven to 400F.
• Core the apple and chop it into bite-sized chunks. Slice the squash cross-wise into rings about 1cm thick, scraping out any seeds with a knife or spoon.
• Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil and scatter the apples and squash on top. Spray lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with thyme and oregano.
• Roast the apples and squash in the oven for 20 minutes, broiling for the last 1-2 minutes to crisp the edges.
• Meanwhile, whisk together the dressing and set aside.
• In a frying pan misted with olive oil, lightly sautee the greens until they just begin to wilt. They should be bright in colour and this should only take 1-2 minutes once the pan is hot.
• Divide the chard between two plates or bowls. When the apples and squash are finished cooking, divide them between the servings, as well as the pumpkin seeds and pomegranate arils.
• Serve with dressing (warm or cold) on the side.
Squash Casserole
6 c. diced yellow squash or zucchini
Butter or oil
Add into casserole dish
Bake 325* bake until squash is tender 20-45 mins
Alternative added ingredients into squash casserole
Crushed crackers
Sour cream

Yule Log Cake

10×15 inch jelly roll pan – line with parchment paper & butter the paper.
Pre-heat oven 400*
4 eggs room temperature
2/3 c. sugar — 7 minutes beat eggs while adding sugar 1 tbsp at a time
Add sifted flour ½ c, to batter – stir don’t beat
Add other ½ c. of flour – stir
Pour into pan – BAKE 10 min. Do not overcook
While hot- put cake into clean dish towel sprinkled with powdered sugar so it doesn’t stick.
Remove parchment paper, still warm – roll the cake with the dishtowel in. Let cake cake cool.
Unroll cake – spread desired filling, jam, or frosting onto cake and re-roll cake.
Frost outside & decorate, Refrigerate to set overnight

Lavender shortbread with fruits, flowers and berries

• 3 large egg whites*
• 4 cups powdered sugar
• ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
shortbread and assembly
• ⅓ cup rice flour
• 1½ teaspoon kosher salt
• 2½ cups all-purpose flour, plus more
• 1 cup (2 sticks) plus 6 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into pieces, room temperature
• ¾ cup granulated sugar
• 1 teaspoon coarsely ground dried lavender
• Freeze-dried and/or dried fruits, dried edible flowers, fresh and/or dried herbs (for decorating)
• *Raw egg is not recommended for the elderly, pregnant women, children under 4, and people with weakened immune systems.
special equipment
• One 3⅛”-diameter and one 1¼”-diameter fluted cutter
• Using a wooden spoon or rubber spatula, stir egg whites, powdered sugar, and cream of tartar in a medium bowl until a thick paste forms with no dry spots. Ideally, glaze should sit at least 12 hours for sugar to fully hydrate, but it can be used as soon as cookies have cooled. Or, you can cover and chill up to 1 week. Bring to room temperature before using.
Shortbread and assembly
• Whisk rice flour, salt, and 2½ cups all-purpose flour in a medium bowl. Using an electric mixer on medium-high, beat butter, sugar, and lavender in a medium bowl until very pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Mix in dry ingredients on low until fully combined. Wrap in plastic and chill at least 2 hours and up to 2 days.
• Preheat oven to 350°. Roll out dough between 2 sheets of lightly floured parchment to ⅛” thick. Using large cutter, cut out 16 rounds, rerolling scraps. Using small cutter, punch out centers. Bake on parchment-lined baking sheets until edges are golden, 12–14 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack.

Winter Solstice Spell

1 white candle
My Heart is the vessel of my dreams
I gaze inward to my inner glow
I look forward to my every need being met
I look forward to all my problems being solved
I look forward to what I seek will be found
I look forward to genuine people entering my life
I look forward to beautiful surprises
Miracles abound, I believe
In darkness I rest and dream
in the light I enjoy my life
behind me and before me
I ask it, beseech it, mark it & so it is………
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