Sensuality Archive

Starting Over – Finding Your Passion

Posted December 8, 2016 By Nancy Burns

Roasted Pumpkin Soup

Posted October 14, 2016 By Cherryll Sevy
Photographer: Greg Dupree, Food Stylist: Kat Steele  Prop Styist: Claire Spollen

Photographer: Greg Dupree, Food Stylist: Kat Steele Prop Styist: Claire Spollen

Pumpkins, carrots, onions–this is as close as you’ll get to serving fall in a bowl. Roasting the pumpkin gives it a deep caramelized flavor that’s delicious.

Serves 6 (serving size: about 1 1/3 cups soup, about 1 tbsp. sour cream mixture)
Total time: 1 Hour, 40 Minutes
1 (3-lb.) sugar pumpkin, butternut squash, or kabocha squash
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onion (about 1 large onion)
1 1/2 cups chopped celery (about 3 stalks)
1/2 cup chopped carrots (about 2 medium carrots)
6 garlic cloves, crushed
4 thyme sprigs, plus more for topping
1 sage sprig
1 oregano sprig
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
6 cups chicken broth
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
4 tablespoons sour cream
3 tablespoons whole milk
Pomegranate seeds for topping (optional)
Pumpkin seeds for topping (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Cut pumpkin into quarters; discard seeds. Place on a baking sheet, and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Bake in preheated oven until tender, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Cool until easy to handle. Remove skin, and discard. Set aside 1 1/2 cups (about 15 ounces) cooked pumpkin; reserve remaining pumpkin for another use.
2. Heat remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large saucepan over medium. Add onion, celery, carrots, garlic, thyme, sage, and oregano; cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are very tender, 8 to 10 minutes. (Do not brown.) Add salt and turmeric; cook, stirring often, 1 minute. Stir in chicken broth and 1 1/2 cups cooked pumpkin; bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer 15 minutes. Remove and discard herb sprigs.
3. Place half of pumpkin mixture in a blender. Remove center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape); secure lid on blender, and place a clean towel over opening in lid. Process until mixture is very smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl. Repeat procedure with remaining pumpkin mixture. Stir in the apple cider vinegar.
4. Whisk together sour cream and milk in a small bowl. Divide soup evenly among 6 shallow bowls; drizzle with sour cream mixture, and sprinkle with pomegranate seeds and pumpkin seeds, if desired.
Southern Living/OCTOBER 2016




5 Minute Video: New Year Resolutions–Do You Make Them?

Posted January 21, 2016 By Nancy Burns

5 Minute Video: Clearing Out for Something New and Great

Posted September 6, 2015 By Nancy Burns


Flowers for Dinner?

Posted April 7, 2015 By Cherryll Sevy

Flowers are such gifts of nature. Any time of year in California you can find something in bloom. Even in our severe drought, nature finds a way of adding some beauty and color to the world. I love flowers in my yard, as well as cut flowers in my home. They brighten my mood and always seem to calm me and make me happy.  What I’d never quite embraced was the idea of flowers in my food.

A couple of days ago, I have a wonderful lunch at a friend’s home and she had made a salad with a variety of home grown flowers on top.  Edible FlowersShe is an incredible gardener and beautiful cook, so I readily enjoyed both the beauty of the salad and flavors of these flowers.

I did some reading about edible flowers and here are a few things I learned and suggestions. First, be very careful if you have asthma or other allergies. Also, proceed with caution with purchased flowers due to the use of pesticides and herbicides. And they should be used sparingly, too much of a pretty blossom can cause digestive problems.

Here’s a few ideas to use the petals of the flowers in your meals.

For salads or desserts…..

Nasturtiums–a peppery taste, similar to watercress
Johnny-Jump-Ups (miniature pansies)—a mild wintergreen taste
Gardenias—a light, sweet flavor
Carnations—a spicy, clove-like flavor
Marigolds–spicy to bitter flavor
Scented geraniums–flavors vary from lemon to mint
Roses–sweet, aromatic flavor (remove the bitter white portion of the petal)
Lavender and violets are sweet and pretty additions to ice cream and cakes

Do a little research, maybe starting at your local farmers market.
I’m eager to learn more, so please feel free to share your comments about other uses of flowers in foods you’ve tried and enjoyed.



4 Simple Ways to Nurture Your Spirit

Posted February 23, 2015 By Cherryll Sevy

flowersLast week my dear longtime friend, Carol, invited me to join her to hike a nearby trail which is part of the Mid-Peninsula Regional Open Space. I’d grown up nearby and never even knew it existed. It was a spectacular winter day in California, the air was clear and fresh, and I was outdoors with a good friend. Doesn’t get much better!

My senses felt so much keener. Without the continual sensory overload of urban living in Silicon Valley, I opened up fully to my surroundings. I felt the aliveness of the hillside around me and it energized me. The air was fresh and cool in my lungs, I heard the wind rustling in the trees above, and I saw several varieties of birds flying overhead. I noticed several early season wildflowers—bright purple blossoms and delicate yellow flowers were tucked in the greenery along side the path we walked.  Plus, being able to spend several hours with a good friend during a time when our lives often are so full of the busy-ness–was a real gift. I was reminded of several important things that day I thought I’d pass along.

….There are treasures in our own backyards. Find them.

….Exploring new places will awaken your senses and your sense of being.

…..Walking outdoors on a trail is a great, easy and fun way to get in exercise and fitness.

…..Sharing experiences are what weave friendships together through the years. Also,  an easy, non-rushed conversation over several hours makes me truly appreciate special those people in our lives.



Starting Over—-First Impressions (video)

Posted August 22, 2014 By Nancy Burns

Cool Summer Tip: Flower Tea

Posted August 8, 2014 By Nancy Burns

Drink chrysanthemum tea. Chinese Medical Practitioners say Chrysanthemum is a cooling herb which clears the head. It is commonly known as Ju Hua Cha and is consumed in mainland China as a refreshing and cooling beverage. You can buy dried Chrysanthemum flowers at Asian supermarkets. Add boiling water with a little honey and you have a drink that is not only cooling, it is soothing to the body. Chrysanthemum Tea is also good at the first sign of headache, fever or chills.

Making sense of it all…The high cost of workaholism

Posted August 1, 2014 By Cherryll Sevy

Single_RoseI am a recovering workaholic and busy-ness addict, which in Silicon Valley valley is not only encouraged, but lauded. To actually slow down, relax and receive the world in all its wonder at this time of my life (recent retirement from a long successful career) has been challenging to say the least. The seduction of this “disease” is powerful. But I’m learning and enjoying the process along the way.

I came across this quote from Virginia Wolff which says it all….

“If people are highly successful in their professions, they lose their senses. Sight goes. They have no time to look at pictures. Hearing goes. They have no time to listen to music. Speech goes. They have no time for conversation. They lose their sense of proportion and the relation between one thing and another. Humanity goes.”

One of the reasons I joined Nancy in our Hourglass Workshops adventure several years ago is because I wanted to regain full use of my senses—all 5 of them (plus better use of my women’s intuition). I want to share such experiences with a community of like-minded women, as well as learn to more fully appreciate and attend to the world around me. More importantly, I wanted to regain my sense of proportion, a stronger connectedness with life, family and friends, and the bigger community around me. I’m doing all those things and savoring the process.This blog and our Hourglass events reflect part of this journey, and I’m very interested in the experiences of other women during such transition points and what they’ve discovered for a book I’m writing.

Back when I was growing up, this was known as the Valley of the Heart’s Delight and I’d like to know it again as that. There is no better time than right now, today, this Summer and this lifetime to turn up your tunes and dance, try a new recipe, smell a beautiful summer rose, and really listen to the voices of those you love.