Archive for the ‘Site Updates’ Category

Medicinal Monday – Yoga (Self Healing Techniques)

Monday, August 12th, 2013

Yoga

Have you ever taken a few brief moments to breathe deeply or gently stretch your body? Then you actually practiced some natural yoga. Yoga originates from ancient East Indian philosophies and is more than 6000 years old. It can alter consciousness in its pure form. Originally, the goals of yoga were the liberation of the body from earthly desires, as well as cleansing and quieting of the mind. Yoga is a primary source of all mind body fitness programs, it’s a discipline unifying mind, body and spirit.  Hatha yoga (yoga for strength) is most commonly practiced today. It consists of a combination of body postures, gentle stretching, breathing exercises, meditation and relaxation techniques. This helps to balance and attune opposing energy forces in the body generating improved health, well being and inner peace.

The eight paths:
The body, mind, and soul gradually transforms and generates a new strength. The consistent practice of yoga is said to give you greater health and wisdom. Yoga follows 8 guidelines summarized in the 8 paths:

  • Yama – correct moral code, ethical standards and sense of integrity
  • Niyama – self discipline and spiritual observances
  • Asana – postures
  • Pranayama – breathing, connection between the breath, the mind, and the emotions
  • Pratahara – moving inward toward the self, direct attention internally
  • Dharana – concentration
  • Dhyana – meditation, a state of stillness
  • Samadhi – being one with the universe, fulfillment, bliss, ecstasy

The treatment:

  • Begin postures with proper breathing and relaxation techniques.
  • There are more than 80 basic postures, which are held from a few seconds to several minutes.
  • Begin the exercises cautiously and consistently, stretch until you reach a comfortable limit.

Effect:

  • You will notice surprising changes in yourself if you practice yoga regularly, even after a short period of time.
  • Yoga strengthens mental and spiritual balance.
  • You will become more content and composed.
  • It will help you to cope better with daily demands, stress, and worries will recede.

Yogic breathing:

  • Regular, relaxed deep breathing plays an important role in the effectiveness of yoga postures. Life energy is taken into the body along with the breath, according to ancient yoga texts. This energy reaches all regions of the body, giving them strength. Life energy flows through the body of a well composed, healthy human. You may feel sick if this flow is obstructed. Yoga postures remove obstructions, enhancing energy, well being, and inner peace are restored.
  • The best time to practice yoga are in the morning before breakfast and in the evening before dinner.
  • Yoga is effective for alleviating muscle tension, joint problems, chronic pain, nervousness, anxiety and sleep disorders, as well as strengthening the body, mind and spirit, and promoting spiritual balance and focus.

Types of Yoga:

  • The best type of yoga can be determined with the help of a certified instructor. Classes can generally be found in fitness centers or schools.

Hatha Yoga:

  • Hatha yoga is great for beginners. It is slow-paced, gentle, and focused on postures, breathing, and meditation. Some teachers of this technique focus on physical poses while others concentrate more on relaxation, breathing and meditation. It relieves stress, provides physical exercise, and improves breathing.

Vinyasa:

  • Vinyasa is much like Hatha, it covers basic poses and breath-synchronized movement. This variety of Hatha yoga emphasizes on the Sun Salutation, a series of 12 poses where movement is matched to the breath. It helps improve strength and flexibility, tones the abdominal muscles, and reduces the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes

Raja Yoga:

  • Raja is more meditative, focusing less on strength. Its objective is to further one’s acquaintance with reality, and achieve awakening, and eventually enlightenment

Ashtanga yoga:

  • Ashtanga is a form of yoga combines both the physical and cognitive elements. It’s fast-paced and intense with lunges and push-ups, and considered a form of power yoga. Great for relieving stress, improves coordination, and helps with weight loss.

Bikram:

  • Bikram, also known as hot yoga, is practiced in a 95 to 100 degree room. It’s typically a series of 26 poses that allows for a loosening of tight muscles and sweating. It speeds up recovery from an injury, enhances flexibility, and cleanses the body.

Kundalini and Tantra Yoga:

  • Kundalini and Tantra yoga focus on activating the energy centers of the body called chakras.

Hatha yoga positions:

Diamond sitting position:

  • This position may be used for meditation exercises, it also improves poor circulation in the feet and lower legs, stimulates digestion and combats tension and sleep problems.
  • Kneel on the floor with knees close together, slowly sit back on your heels.
  • Stretch your upper body erect and place your hands on your knees and close your eyes.
  • Holding the posture, slowly take several deep breaths in and out, focusing on the steady rise and fall of your abdomen.

Tree position

  • The tree position loosens shoulders and promotes balance.
  • Stand with feet slightly apart and facing forward.
  • Breathe in, place the flat of your right foot against your left inner thigh. Breathe naturally.
  • Slowly raise your arms over your head, palms together, and stretch them straight up.
  • Hold the stretch as you breathe in. As you breathe out, lower arms and leg. Repeat on the other side.

References:

  • The Complete Guide To Natural Healing
Note: Consult with a Physician or certified yoga instructor before trying the above exercises. The information is not intended as medical advice. PagansWorld.org is not liable for the misuse of the activities listed above.

Thanks for stopping by!

Lisa

Friday’s Food For Thought – Hummus

Friday, August 9th, 2013

Hummus


Photo by Creative Commons

Ingredients:

  • One 15-ounce can (425 grams) chickpeas, also called garbanzo beans
  • 1/4 cup (59 ml) fresh lemon juice, about 1 large lemon
  • 1/4 cup (59 ml) tahini (we used Krinos)
  • Half of a large garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for serving
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon kosher salt, depending on taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons water
  • Dash of ground paprika for serving

Preparation:

  • In a bowl or a food processor, combine tahini and lemon juice. Process for 1 minute. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl, then turn on and process for 30 seconds. This extra time helps “whip” or “cream” the tahini, making smooth and creamy hummus possible.
  • Add the olive oil, minced garlic, cumin and the salt to whipped tahini and lemon juice. Process for 30 seconds, scrape sides and bottom of bowl, then process another 30 seconds.
  • Open can of chickpeas, drain liquid, then rinse well with water. Add half of the chickpeas to the food processor, then process for 1 minute. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl, add remaining chickpeas and process for 1 to 2 minutes, or until thick and quite smooth.
  • Most likely the hummus will be too thick or still have tiny bits of chickpea. To fix this, with the food processor turned on, slowly add 2 to 3 tablespoons of water until the consistency is perfect.
  • Scrape the hummus into a bowl and drizzle about 1 tablespoon of olive oil over the top and sprinkle with paprika.
  • Store homemade hummus in an airtight container and refrigerate up to one week.

Thanks for stopping by, have a great weekend!

Lisa

Medicinal Monday – Nutmeg

Monday, August 5th, 2013

Nutmeg


Photo by yumievriwan

Nutmeg is indigenous to the Banda Islands in the Moluccas (or Spice Islands) of Indonesia and the tree can grow up to 66 feet tall.  The peach-shaped fruit is known as the nutmeg apple, which is discarded in favor of the aromatic seed inside. The fruit splits when ripe to expose a pecan sized nut wrapped in a bright red “netting” called an aril. The nut and aril are then separated and dried. The nut is nutmeg, the aril (which turns a yellow as it dries) yields the spice mace. Both spices have a long history of use in both Chinese and Indian medicine, nutmeg is more commonly used. Health benefits include; a calming effect, helps to lower blood pressure and soothes digestive upset. It can be mixed with a neutral oil (for use in a massage) to ease joint pain and inflammation.

Components:

  • Nutmeg is a fragrant spice.
  • Active ingredients in the essential oil are myristicin, elincin, camphene, geraniol and borneol.
  • It also contains fatty substances, starch, protein and some potassium and calcium.

A warming spice oil:

  • Nutmeg can be found as a whole nut, a ground powder and an essential oil.
  • Its healing properties act on both physical and psychological level.
  • Nutmeg oil strengthens the heart and circulation, stimulates digestion, warms the body and banishes fatigue.
  • For joint pain, add a blend of nutmeg, clove and rosemary essential oils to a diffuser.

Therapeutic Effect:

  • Regular use as a seasoning stimulates the cardiovascular system, promotes concentration, acts as an expectorant, reduces joint inflammation and helps the liver remove toxins.
  • It has a warming effect on the digestive system, reduces indigestion, nausea and vomiting and calms diarrhea.

Nutmeg for diarrhea and upset stomach:

  • Fast relief for diarrhea: dissolve 3 pinches of ground nutmeg in a glass of warm milk. Sip slowly.
  • For stomach upset, add a pinch of nutmeg to peppermint tea or sprinkle nutmeg over 1 tsp. of honey.

For joint inflammation:

  • Regular consumption can relieve joint pain and gout.
  • Put 5-6 drops on a sugar cube, or in 1 tsp of honey.
  • Add the sugar to a cup of warm milk and sip throughout the day.

For toothache:

  • place 1 drop of nutmeg oil on a cotton swab.
  • Apply to the gum area around the tooth.
  • Repeat several times a day.

Kitchen Hints:

  • Pre-packaged ground nutmeg can quickly lose its aroma. It’s best to buy whole nuts and use the fine side of a cheese grater to grind to a powder yourself. Do this shortly before using. Whole nuts keep indefinitely.
  • The nuts dipped in lime milk is a sign of high quality.
  • Nutmeg is an excellent seasoning for cooked vegetables, especially cauliflower, potatoes, spinach and winter squash.
  • It’s also an excellent addition to creamy white sauce, pasta fillings and meat dishes. A familiar flavor in pumpkin pie and eggnog.
  • Nutmeg loses its flavor when heated. Add freshly grated nutmeg toward the end of the cooking process.
  • Limit your alcohol intake when eating foods with a good amount of the spice, The effects of alcohol are intensified by nutmeg.
  • Nutmeg is often used in winter drinks, such as tea and hot apple cider. Sprinkle the spice over the hot drink, it adds flavor and helps soothe colds and bronchitis.
  • Nutmeg works well with cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, ginger and black pepper.

Nutmeg cookies:

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 oz. candled lemon peel
  • 9 oz. ground almonds
  • 1-2 tsp. cornstarch
  • ¼ tsp. grated nutmeg
  • 1 small package graham crackers
  • Lemon cake frosting
  • 2-3 oz. chopped pistachios
  • Preheat the oven to 350 deg F
  • Beat the eggs and sugar until frothy
  • Chop the lemon peel. Stir the peel and almonds into the egg mixture. Add some cornstarch to thicken. Fold the nutmeg into the egg mixture.
  • Shape the dough into walnut sized balls and place each ball on a graham cracker.
  • Bake the cookies for 12-15 mins after they have cooled, spread frosting on them and sprinkle with pistachios

Warning:

  • The myristicin and elicin in nutmeg can be toxic in large doses. It may hallucinations or cause miscarriages.
  • Don’t use more than 2 tbsp. of ground spice or 10 drops of essential oil per day.

References:

  • The Complete Guide To Natural Healing
Note: Consult with a Physician or certified herbologist if you are seeking medical remedies. The information is not intended as medical advice. PagansWorld.org is not liable for the misuse of the herb listed above.

Thanks for stopping by!

Lisa

Medicinal Monday – Sandalwood Oil (Aromatherapy)

Monday, March 18th, 2013

Sandalwood Oil


Photo by  Cinnamon Vogue

In India, Tibet and China, Sandalwood is used to protect religious carvings in temples. The best quality and most expensive comes from India. These trees are are endangered and protected by the government in one province. The oils from Australia and West India are less effective. True Sandalwood oil is complicated to make and becoming rare. The tree should be 40 years old before the oil can be extracted, and it requires up to 55 pounds of wood chips for 1 quart of oil, then distilled for six months.

Therapeutic Effect:

Sandalwood oil is excellent for treating respiratory and minor urinary tract infections. It also counteracts restlessness, anxiety and depression, and is believed to heighten eroticism. The essential oil, has a sweet, balsamic aroma that also repels insects.

In a diffuser, combine sandalwood oil with rose oil for a calming effect:

  • 5 drops sandalwood
  • 3 drops rose absolute

For skin irritations:
The oil helps heal cuts, rashes and eczema.

  • As a massage oil, mix 2 teaspoons of jojoba oil with 5 drops of sandalwood oil.

To release sexual energy:
In a diffuser combine:

  • 2 teaspoons of jojoba oil
  • 2 drops of sandalwood
  • 2 drops of jasmine absolute
  • 2 drops of rosemary oil.

To comfort the the grief stricken:
As a massage oil.

  • 5 drops of sandalwood oil
  • 3 drops of rose-otto oil
  • 2 teaspoons of jojoba oil

In a relaxing and uplifting bath:

  • Add 3 drops of the oil to your bathwater.
  • Relax in the warm water for at least 30 minutes.

To keep tissues elastic:

  • A massage with sandalwood oil mixed into sweet almond oil can help keep the tissues elastic and prevent stretch marks.
  • Be sure to check with a health care practitioner before using during pregnancy.

External application

  • For bronchitis: Add 3 drops of sandalwood oil to 1 gal. of hot water, place a towel over your head and inhale the vapor deeply through your nose and mouth.
  • For bladder inflammation: Mix 8 drops of Sandalwood oil with 4tbsp. of sweet cream, add to a bathtub half filled with water. Stay in sitz bath for 15 minutes. Be sure to rest for 30 minutes after.
  • For a hair dressing: Mix 2 drops of sandalwood oil with 2 tsp. of sweet almond or jojoba oil, you can also add both jasmine and rosemary oils.

Warning: Most essential oils are made up of alcohols, esters, ketones, hydrocarbons, phenols and acids. Sandalwood oil can be toxic if taken internally and in high doses. It can also cause inflammation of the skin and damage to kidney tissue.

References:

  • The Complete Guide To Natural Healing
Note: Consult with a Physician or certified herbologist if you are seeking medical remedies. The information is not intended as medical advice. PagansWorld.org is not liable for the misuse of the oil listed above.

Thanks for Stopping by!

Lisa

Friday’s Food For Thought – DRUNKEN PORK

Friday, March 1st, 2013

DRUNKEN PORK

MflEKPH MEZE
Bekri meze

Ingredients:

  • 1 Ib 2 oz boneless pork loin, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 1 cup tomato juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • Salt and pepper
  • Sour or Sweet trahana

Preparation:

  • Place pork in a bowl with mustard until coated on all sides.
  • Heat the oil in a heavy skillet or frying pan. Add garlic and pork, cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, for approximately 10 minutes, and the meat is lightly browned.
  • Stir in the wine, a little at a time, cook over high heat until it has evaporated.
  • Add the tomato juice, cayenne pepper, oregano, allspice and season with salt and pepper.
  • Simmer for about 10 minutes, until meat is tender and the sauce has thickened.
  • Serve with red wine and Sweet or Sour trahana. (See directions below for Trahana)

SWEET  TRAHANA

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cups milk
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 8 1/4 cups of semolina, or 1/2 semolina and 1/2 bulgar wheat

Preparation:

  • Bring the milk to a boil in a pan, stirring constantly.
  • Add the salt, reduce the heat, and gradually add the semolina and bulgur wheat mixture, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon for 10-15 minutes, until very thick.
  • Remove from heat, cover with a thick cotton towel, and let cool.
  • Break the dough into small, rough pieces and put them on a thick cotton cloth in a single layer.
  • Let stand in a dark, well-ventilated place for about 2 hours, until dry and crumbly.
  • Rub the pieces through a coarse strainer, then spread out on a thick cotton cloth, and leave in a cool place for 4-5 days, until completely dry.
  • Store in a cotton bag hanging in a cool place or in the refrigerator.

SOUR TRAHANA

  • 3  cups sheep’s milk
  • 1/2 cup Plain yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 8 1/2 cups semolina, or 1/2 bulgur wheat and 1/2 semolina

Preparation:

  • Pour milk in a large ceramic bowl, add the yogurt and salt, mix well with a wooden spoon.
  • Place a thick dish towel on top, cover with a thick blanket, let stand in a warm place, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, for 18 hours.
  • Gradually stir in the semolina or bulgur wheat mixture to form a thick dough.
  • Break the dough into rough walnut-sized pieces and put them on a thick cotton cloth in a single layer.
  • Let stand in a dark, well-ventilated place for 2-6 hours, or until dry and crumbly.
  • Rub through a coarse strainer, then spread out on a thick cotton cloth, and leave in a cool place for 4-5 days, until completely dry.
  • Store in a cotton bag hanging in a cool place or in the refrigerator.

Thanks for stopping by!

Lisa

Hump Day Herbal Magic – Acacia

Wednesday, February 27th, 2013

ACACIA (Acacia Senegal)

Folk Names: Cape Gum, Gum Arabic, Egyption Thorn, Kikwata, Mgunga, Mkwatia, Mokala

Powers: Cleansing, Contact the dead, Protection, Psychic Powers


Photo by Tim Waters

Acacia is native to the Sudan region in Africa, as well as Oman, Pakistan, and northwestern India. It grows to a height of 5-12m, with a trunk up to 30 cm in diameter.

The Egyptians wove their funeral wreaths with Acacia leaves, their mummies wrappings were coated with the liquid made from Acacia. Christian belief is Christ’s crown of thorns was from Acacia, and possibly the crucifix. The Bible recounts the bush of Moses was also an Acacia as well as Noah’s Ark. In honor of a departed friend, the ancient Hebrews planted a sprig. Acacia is known to stand for immortality and initiation as well as a symbol of an eternal and pure soul. In ritual the leaves are burned as incense or used to sprinkle blessed water.

Deities: Astarte. Diana. Ishtar, Osiris, Ra

Element: Air (Mental Powers, Visions, Psychic Powers, Wisdom)

Gender: Masculine

Planet: Sun (Healing, Legal Matters, Protection)

Magical & Ritual Uses:

  • Burn for altar offerings or purification.
  • To ward off evil: Place a sprig over the bed.
  • To Open the Mind to Visions: Burn the leaves on charcoal to induce spiritual phenomena and develop psychic power,  add Frankincense and Myrrh to intensify the effect.
  • For Meditation & Inspiration: Burn the leaves on charcoal.
  • Acacia is also used in money and love spells.
  • It can be used as an emblem of immortality and initiation, as a sense of resurrection.
  • To Contact the Dead: Dip the leaves in holy water and sprinkle your altar with the water, or burn it as incense to communicate with or to memorialize the dead.
  • The wood  is ideal for a sacred chest to hold ritual tools. If you can’t obtain the wood, you can use the herb to consecrate your box and sacred tools.
  • To Cleanse a Sacred Space: Burn the dried gum as incense.  The leaves or wood can be infused to create sacred water for asperging.  Acacia may be used for blessing any sacred space. (A temple, Circle or storage area and magical possessions)

References:

  • Catherine Yronwode: Hoodoo Herb and Root Magic
  • Paul Beyerl: A Compendium of Herbal Magick
  • Paul Huson: Mastering Herbalism: A Practical Gude
  • Scott Cunningham: Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs
Note: Consult with a Physician or certified herbologist if you are seeking medical remedies. The information is not intended as medical advice. PagansWorld.org is not liable for the misuse of the herb listed above.

Thanks for stopping by! Well wishes to you all and have a great day!

Lisa

Medicinal Monday – Woodruff

Monday, February 25th, 2013

Woodruff (Galium odoratum)

Folk Names: Herb Walter, ladies in the hay, muge-de-boys,  sweet grass, waldmeister,  woodderowffe, wood-rovam, wood rowan, wuderove.

Woodruff Galium odoratum is a perennial plant from the Madder family. Native to Europe and the Middle East, it grows 4-8 inches tall.

Woodruff’s scent increases when wilting, once dried it can be used as potpourri. It used to be sewn into cotton bags and hung in closets as a moth deterrent. Mixed with white wine it is thought to strengthen the heart. (Only the above-ground portion of the plant is used) It contains coumarin glucosides that acts as an anticoagulants and can be used to counteract excessive blood clotting.

Uses:

Compress:

  • Grind herbs with a mortar and pestle, place in a warm, damp cloth, fold and apply to forehead. (Do Not let pulp touch the skin)

Healing Powder:
For Insomnia

  • Mix 1/2 tsp. of powdered Woodruff with honey or fruit puree 30 minutes before bedtime.

Tea:

  • Pour 1 cup of boiling water over 1 tsp. of dried Woodruff.
  • Steep 5 min; strain.
  • Drink 2-3 cups a day. (preferably unsweetened)

Tonic:
To strengthen the heart

  • Steep 2 tsp. of dried Woodruff in 1 cup of cold water for 8 hrs, strain.
  • Drink 1-2 cups every day.

Potpourri & Sachets

  • Make a Woodruff pillow to encourage sleep or sweeten a closet with an herb sack.
  • Display dried herbs in a bowl to add a fresh scent to a room.

Wine Punch:

  • With 1 qt. of dry, sweet white wine add no more than 3/4 tsp. of fresh, slightly wilted Woodruff.
  • Let the punch sit for a few hours.
  • Strain and serve chilled. (Woodruff is more aromatic when slightly wilted)

Folklore & History:

  • Dating back to the 14th century, Woodruff has been used to sweeten the air.
  • Medieval soldiers carried it in their helmets, they believed it promoted success in battle.
  • It is carried to attract money and prosperity, bring victory to athletes and warriors.
  • When placed in a sachet of leather it is said to guard against harm.
  • In the middle ages, it was woven into wreaths and hung in churches.

Tip: Useful as a MILD sedative and antispasmodic.

Warning: May cause internal bleeding if taken in large doses. Do not use if pregnant or taking medication for circulatory problems.

References:

  • The Complete Guide To Natural Healing

Note: Consult with a Physician or certified herbologist if you are seeking medical remedies. The information is not intended as medical advice. PagansWorld.org is not liable for the misuse of the herb listed above.

Thanks for stopping by! Well wishes to you all and have a great day!

Lisa

Happy Imbolc!

Saturday, February 2nd, 2013

“I’d sit with the men, the women of God, there by the lake of beer, we’d be drinking good health forever, and every drop would be a prayer.” – Saint Brigid’s Prayer

Thanks for stopping by!

Lisa


Wassail Recipe

Friday, December 21st, 2012

Wassail

I make this every year and everyone loves it. There may have been a bit too much Brandy in it a couple years back, my Aunt’s first sip came straight out of her nose. LOL! Anyways, I’m looking forward to making it again this year, it makes the house smell yummy. If you get a chance to make it, let me know how it turns out.

Happy Yule!

Dead Soldiers

Cook Time: 2-4 hours
Ingredients:
  • Approxamitely 12 bottles of Woodchuck Hard Cider (1 gallon)
  • 2 C. cranberry juice
  • 1/2 C honey
  • 1/2 C sugar
  • 2 oranges
  • Whole cloves
  • 1 apple, peeled and diced
  • Allspice
  • Ginger
  • Nutmeg
  • 3 cinnamon sticks (or 3 Tbs. ground cinnamon)
  • 1/2 C – 1 C brandy (optional)
Preparation:

Set your crockpot to low, pour in apple cider, cranberry juice, honey and sugar, mix carefully. While it heats up, stir so the honey and sugar dissolve. Stud the oranges with the cloves, and place in the pot. Add the diced apple, allspice, ginger and nutmeg to taste — a couple of tablespoons of each is plenty. Snap the cinnamon sticks in half and add.

Cover and simmer 2 – 4 hours on low heat. About half an hour prior to serving, add the brandy, if desired.

Tip: For people with cinnamon allergies, add an extra 1 1/2 tbsp of both allspice and nutmeg! (Thanks to Natalie Pagan!)

Enjoy! Have a great weekend!

Lisa

Friday’s Food For Thought – Gratin Dauphinois

Friday, November 30th, 2012

Gratin Dauphinois

Gratin Dauphinois should be crispy on both the top and bottom. It should have a rich, cheesy taste. Look closely once you take it out of the oven, you will notice the cream has turned into a curdled, cheese-like substance. Don’t be alarmed, this is what makes gratin most desirable. As the potatoes absorb water, you get a concentration of fat and protein, exactly like fresh cheese curds.

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds starchy potatoes
  • 1/2 clove unpeeled garlic
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) grated Swiss cheese
  • 1 cup boiling milk or cream
  • 2 cups 1/4 inch sliced fully cooked ham (optional)

Preparation:

  • Preheat oven to 425F. Peel the potatoes and slice them 1/8 inch thick. Place in cold water. Drain when ready to use.
  • If you choose to use ham: Dice and heat in a skillet for 2-3 minutes, season with salt, pepper and garlic. Set aside until ready to use.
  • Rub baking dish with cut garlic, then with 1 tablespoon of butter.
  • Drain the potatoes and dry in a towel. Spread half of them in the bottom of the dish. Top with half the salt, pepper, cheese, and butter. (ham, if desired)
  • Place the remaining potatoes over the first layer and season. Spread on the rest of the cheese (ham) and divide the butter over it.  Pour on the boiling milk.
  • Set the baking dish on upper rack of preheated oven. Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender, the milk is absorbed, and the top is a golden brown.

Thanks for stopping by!

Lisa