Author Archives: steelewendy

About steelewendy

I'm author, wise woman and goddess, inspiring women to dance and creating magical writing with novels and short stories. To enter the world of Wendy Woo, check out my website www.wendysteele.com.

The Riverbank Witch is here!

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The Riverbank Witch is here! You can find her on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/The-Riverbank-Witch-107997124171331/

There are new crafted items for sale on a weekly basis including cotton cloths, jewellery and books.

You can also visit the new page on this website https://wendysteele.com/the-riverbank-witch/

This week’s new products are Everlasting Scrunchies. Postage to the UK is FREE on all orders placed this week, so why not pop over for yourself, a gift for a friend or for ideas for presents for parties and hen nights. If you can’t see what you’re looking for, message me and I’ll do my best to help.

Thank you to everyone who has supported The Riverbank Witch. Full moon blessings to you all xx

Second of TFFFM, Wrath of Angels – tea break listen!

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The Muse is staying. It’s lovely having her here, but she will keep going for wanders around the land when she’s supposed to be helping. I’ll not admonish her though….she knows what she needs, and I’m sure she’ll be back to get me to the half way point of my new novel very soon.

Enjoy the short video of The First Fabulous Five Minutes of my second novel, Wrath of Angels. I love this book! Exploring the magical pathways with Angel Parsons, the main protagonist, was enlightening, so I can’t wait to share it with you. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HDilcHd58w0&t=66s

Purchase your copy here https://www.amazon.co.uk/Wrath-Angels-Lilith-Trilogy-Book-ebook/dp/B00KTH2E4Y

or for my friends across the water https://www.amazon.com/Wrath-Angels-Lilith-Trilogy-Book-ebook/dp/B00KTH2E4Y

Today in the UK, you can purchase this paperback for just £2.58! https://www.amazon.co.uk/Wrath-Angels-Second-Lilith-Trilogy/dp/1500136662

Join me next time for the first book in the Standing Stone Series, Home for Christmas.

 

 

Plant based recipe of the week – Week 15 – Ikarian Stew

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Apologies for my lack of recipe posting, but the writing muse has put her slippers under the bed and my new novel is taking most of my time at the moment.

I discovered the Ikarian Stew recipe on The Happy Pear Youtube page, and now it is one of our weekly staples. Packed full of anti-oxidants, vitamins and minerals, it’s a real whole food plant based super stew. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_AXpf3YiuIU&t=165s

I’m thrilled to say, the last batch I made had chickpeas, lentils and black beans that I’d cooked myself from scratch,rather than using tins. You can find out how here https://wendysteele.com/2020/04/23/how-to-cook-dried-beans-and-legumes/

In the next few weeks, I’ll also be able to use my own home grown kale, which is starting to get going in one of my raised vegetable beds.

This stew is simple, hearty and delicious. As long as you keep the basic recipe, variants are fine. Our last one was abundant in carrots but lacking a leek, but still tasted scrumptious.

Ikarian Stew

 2 medium onions

2 cloves garlic

2 carrots 150g

2 leeks 400g

½ teaspoon salt (I left this out)

1 tin black beans -240g drained

1 tin chick peas

1 tin cooked lentils

150g dry wholewheat pasta (or brown rice)

200g broccoli (I use 1 head)

100g kale

1 tin chopped tomatoes

100g tomato paste

2 tablespoons tamari (or soya sauce)

2.5 litres vegetable stock

½ teaspoon black pepper

 

1 Chop and sweat onions and garlic in a large pan without oil – add 2 tablespoons, or more if necessary. of the veg stock to stop it sticking

 

2 Add carrots, leeks, broccoli and kale stalks and salt and 50ml stock. Put lid on and sweat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

 

3 Add rest of ingredients. Lid on, simmer for 10 minutes. Taste, adjust seasoning and add chilli flakes if you like. I then simmered for another 15 minutes, again with the lid on, then turned off the pot and left it. It thickens up beautifully.

Depending how big your portions are, this feeds 6-8 people, and it freezes well. Enjoy!

Check out other tried and tested plant based recipes by typing ‘plant based’ into the search box on the Home page.

I’m not only a passionate eater and advocate of delicious plant based food, but a writer, healer and crafter. Check out my Youtube channel Phoenix and the Dragon for free stories and updates on my riverbank. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCw3ee9CuNdek9ZC1Im8I_iA?view_as=subscriber

 

 

The Writing Muse has unpacked her suitcase!

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The Writing Muse has moved into the spare room. She’s unpacked her case and greets me on my return from my morning walk, with ideas, thoughts and perfect words. I’m spending as much time as I can attempting to take her perfect words, and create a novel with them. ‘Lowri’s Forest’ is appearing on my screen, still in first draft, but 43k words to the good.

I’m struggling to write anything else, so I’ve started TFFFM – The First Fabulous Five Minutes. Join me on my riverbank to hear five minutes from the beginning of all my novels, in the order I wrote them.

The first one is Destiny of Angels, the first book in the Lilith Trilogy.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZaYuNYOG8YY

Here’s a few reviews to give you a taste of what to expect….

Engrossing – “I loved this book. I don’t want to spoil the plot but I’ll just say that it’s totally different from anything else I’ve read. The character descriptions are so good, I could totally imagine what they all looked like and I particularly liked Jenny and her family. I couldn’t put this down and read it in two days. Hope we don’t have to wait too long for the next one:-)”

 

Unusual story, excellent read – “I really enjoyed this book. I wasn’t sure what to expect but without giving too much away, it’s a revenge/ redemption story with a spiritual twist, where the mundane and the mystical intertwine. Looking forward to the sequel.”

 

Fantastic! – “Angel meets up with old friends and acquaintances at a school reunion, she’s changed since school and not only is she stunningly beautiful, her success stands out!
Wendy Steele’s characters are wonderful, her tale gripping as she takes you to a world of ritual and suspense, the best revenge is to succeed against all odds. I bought this book on Kindle and in paperback IT’S THAT GOOD!”

 

Magnificent, fantastic, enlightening – “I loved Destiny of Angels. It was a captivating read from page 1. Touches on friendship, love, struggle, power, control, achievement issues. Wonderful read for someone going through a life-changing experience. I was absorbed by the plot and the pace of the story was spot-on. Great balance of suspense and romance. Wendy Steele has a refreshing style of writing and I will be definitely reading the next instalment in the Lilith trilogy. Recommended read!”

Check out all my novels and stories on my Amazon author page https://www.amazon.co.uk/Wendy-Steele/e/B007VZ1P06

and for my friends and readers across the pond https://www.amazon.com/Wendy-Steele/e/B007VZ1P06

I do hope you enjoy my videos. Please like and subscribe to my channel and ding the bell to be notified of new content. Stay safe out there. Sending new moon blessings to you all

How to cook dried beans and legumes

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Where we live in Wales, we have no mains gas, so I do my cooking with calor. I experimented once with dried chickpeas. I soaked them overnight and set them boiling the next day in my Great Aunt’s marmalade making saucepan. I topped up the pan with boiling water on numerous occasions, and it bubbled away for five hours before I forgot it and boiled the pan dry. The aluminium pan cleaned up fine, but I was shocked to find that the chick peas inside were still hard. I tried a second time, even managed to boil them for more than eight hours, but they were still slightly crunchy. I gave up. What was the point of using so much time, effort, gas and electricity when the chickpeas I was aiming to produce (2 tins worth), I could purchase for 70pence?

And then we went into lockdown in the UK, and chickpeas were no longer abundant on the supermarket shelves. Our health food shop had plenty of dried ones though, so I bought some, having come across a photo I’d kept that I’d seen on Facebook last year.

I apologise that I can’t credit whoever posted it, as I didn’t keep a note, but I’ve been using this list and my slow cooker, and finding the best way to cook my beans and legumes, here in the UK.

Firstly, I soak everything, even the lentils, and I soak for 24 hours. Start at midday, say, and use twice the water to the dried bean. (I’m going to say bean from now on, but you know I mean legume too!) Before you go to bed, tip out the water and add fresh. The beans will already have begun to swell, so make sure they are covered in plenty of water.

This sheet tells you to cook the beans on the low setting on your slow cooker. I have a Crockpot and it doesn’t cook on the low setting. On the high setting, it works brilliantly! So far I’ve cooked chick peas, black beans (turtle beans when buying dry in UK) and brown lentils.

Without anywhere to go while we’re on lockdown, it’s been fun developing a routine of soaking and then slow cooking beans, ready for the dishes I want to cook. Check out all my plant based recipes by typing ‘plant based’ into the search bar on the home page.

Day 2 of lockdown on our little Welsh hillside, my cooker broke. My partner dismantled it. We managed with a couple of camping stoves for three days. My partner put it back together, giving us four cooking rings, but disconnecting the oven as it needed a part. It’s been over four weeks since we had an oven. Most lunchtimes we have lentil loaf https://wendysteele.com/2019/04/12/life-begins-at-fifty-healthy-life-11-hch-lentil-loaf/

We ran out of supplies of lentil loaf in the freezer in a week, so I began experimenting with burgers….I love burgers for lunch or dinner! Burgers have been my saviour without an oven. Because they freeze so well, when we come in after digging and pulling brambles on the riverbank, all I have to do is grab a bag of burgers and a box of special rice (I’ll post this recipe soon!) from the freezer and with a handful of salad leaves, a few walnuts and sunflower seeds, dinner can be assembled in minutes on the top of the stove.

Keep popping in for more recipes, health and fitness and musings from the riverbank. Stay home and stay safe xx

Plant based recipe of the week – week 14- Bean Burgers

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I enjoy discovering new channels on Youtube with recipes, thoughts and ideas on plant based eating. At the end of last year I discovered Brian Turner. Yes, he is handsome and ripped, and his approach to eating is to complement his fitness regime, but his recipes are simple and nutritious, and definitely worth a look.  He’s been incredibly honest about his battle with acne too, which has helped a lot of people. This is his channel https://www.youtube.com/user/HumerusFitness/featured

Today, I’m sharing his recipe for bean burgers.

Brian Turner’s Bean Burgers

Sauté in a pan:

1 onion, diced

3 cloves garlic

6-10 oz (170-280g) mushrooms

(You could soften these without oil if you wish, add a tiny drop of water if it begins to stick)

In food processor, blend 1½ cups of oats.

Add mixture from the pan.

Rinse 30 oz of beans from a tin (½ black, ½ pinto) and add.

(If you’re struggling to get pinto beans, buy a cheap tin of baked beans, tip into a seive and rinse off all the sauce. If you’re struggling to get black beans, use any beans!)

Add ½ cup of barbeque sauce

Blend all.

Dollop scoops onto two lined baking sheets and bake in hot oven for 40 minutes.

(We have no working oven at the moment, so these can be cooked in a frying pan if necessary)

I make my own barbeque sauce, but you could buy it ready made if you like:

3 tablespoons brown sugar

3 tablespoons tomato purée

3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

2 tablespoons of tamari (or if you can manage wheat, you can use ordinary soy sauce)

These freeze really well, so they’re perfect for lunch or dinner.

I know you’ll enjoy this recipe, so pop back for more, and some tips about cooking beans and legumes from dried, at this time when we’re relying on staples from our pantries. Have a wonderful weekend…stay home, stay safe xx

 

 

 

Plant based recipe of the week – week 13 – Chickpea Korma

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I was looking to share a recipe that works every time. This is another ‘Happy Pear’ recipe, and one I seem to be making on a weekly basis, it’s so good. It makes masses, so plenty to freeze too. You can watch Stephen and David make there’s on Youtube here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l4x4zz15kZE&t=236s

This recipe requires a blender or food processor to make the sauce.

Ingredients

2 bell peppers, eighths

2 large carrots, eighths

2 medium onions, chopped

3 cloves garlic, chopped

½ thumb size piece of ginger, chopped

1 tin tomatoes

1 teaspoon garam masala

3 tablespoons curry powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon coriander

½ teaspoon turmeric (I use 1 teaspoon)

1 teaspoon cumin

1 tin coconut milk

3 tablespoons dessicated coconut

2 tablespoons ground almonds

2 tablespoons maple syrup (depending on the sharpness of the tomatoes, I used 1 tablespoon)

2 tins drained chick peas

60g washed baby spinach

Method

In a pan, boil peppers and carrots until soft.

While they are cooking, add to frying pan 2 tablespoons of oil, and gently soften onions, garlic and ginger. (I tried this recipe without oil and it’s okay, but onions aren’t as soft and succulent) Put pan to one side.

Into blender/food processor, add peppers and carrots, and ingredients down to maple syrup and blend.

Put pan back on heat and add contents of blender. Heat until bubbling.

Add chickpeas and spinach. (I used ordinary spinach)

Taste and add a little more salt if you wish. I added a little pepper. You can also add fresh coriander if you’re serving immediately.

This recipe is great freshly made, but it freezes well and once defrosted and reheated, the flavours are even more intense. Enjoy x

New beginnings at the Spring Equinox

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It all began at the full moon before the Winter Solstice last year, a few words of a conversation that gave me an idea. At that moment, The Riverbank Witch was born. My gorgeous, talented, magical friend Rhea Ruth Aitken, designed my logo for me from a doodle I showed her.

The Riverbank Witch already existed as the story teller on the riverbank, reading magical short stories and book extracts on YouTube, https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCw3ee9CuNdek9ZC1Im8I_iA?view_as=subscriber but at the end of last year, I saw the potential of combining magic and stories in a more practical sense. I created a chakra bracelet of semi-precious stones and lava beads to go with the Lizzie Martin series of books. I loved threading the beads, creating the magic on the thread.

Then the Australian bush fires got out of hand. Called upon to help, I knitted joey pouches and sewed cotton liners, collecting donations from others and taking them to a distribution point in Wales, ready to be shipped to Australia. Out of this random act came a renewed passion for knitting.

I learned to crochet last August, but hadn’t knitted for a while. At the next new moon, I asked the Goddess for advice, and she suggested The Witches Cwtch, a shop where witches could sell their magical crafts. We could knit, sew, crochet, write, sculpt, draw, paint, recycle and upcycle. I was concerned about taking on the project myself, but having spoken to my daughter and sister-in-law, between us we were confident we could make a shop work.

Together, we began working on the premise for the shop …

“The Witches Cwtch is where dreams become reality.

We’re modern witches who care about our world and the creatures that live on it.

At The Witches Cwtch we believe in sharing the love, giving back, passing forward and supporting the local community, as well as our world wide family.”

But there are many things to consider when opening a shop, not least creating the magical products to go in one. We were keen and determined, but the world has changed since we began. Storms here in Wales took down my internet connection for almost three weeks. Last week, all the book and craft fairs I had planned for this Spring and Summer to promote The Riverbank Witch and The Witches Cwtch were cancelled. In this climate of uncertainty, we decided to postpone the shop.

This Spring Exquinox morning, I woke to a bright sunny day. Sheep and lambs baaed in the fields and the birds were singing. On my riverbank it’s difficult to believe there’s a terrible virus raging through the population of this country and the world, taking the lives of the elderly and infirm, and spreading fear and dread in its path.

So I asked the Goddess how I could help, and she told me to share my magic. Today, I’m opening The Riverbank Witch facebook page.

https://www.facebook.com/The-Riverbank-Witch-107997124171331

My sister-in-law is The Hilltop Witch https://www.facebook.com/HilltopWitch

Liking the pages would be wonderful, and the first product I will list will be the chakra bracelets. The semi-precious stones are cleansed on my riverbank, beneath the full moon, and will help balance both mind and body, grounding the wearer to the earth. I’m working on listing them right now!

Is it the right time to launch something new? Probably not, but I am The Riverbank Witch and I want to share my healing magic with the world.

Ostara Blessings to you all xx

 

The Wheel Turns – approaching Imbolc

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It was a busy run up to the Winter Solstice. I shared a table with the fabulous Nicola Beechsquirrel at the Lunar Market in Llanfair Clydogau, and at the Carmarthen Book Fair.

If you look closely, I’ve a little extra something on my table that I was testing out with the public…watch this space! Something new is coming!

We had a fabulous Yule with our children, and the work we’d done in the lounge helped to make it look clean and sparkly, welcoming in the light.

But the weather was grey and dank. We managed to get to the beach for a walk though.

And then the children went home. We walked on Borth beach on Christmas Day and were back to work on Boxing Day. It was the time to get ideas and new plans underway….and then the call went out for help for the animals in Australia.

Alongside my new crafting and writing ideas, I’ve been knitting joey pouches, and collected knitted and sewn items from ladies of Tribal Unity Wales, a student at the Uni and a lady from her slimming club, and took them to Llanelli to be taken to the main hub in Swansea for sending.

Wool was given, donated, shared around. Cotton pillow slips, t shirts and sheets were recycled. It’s been a privilege to be part of a group of crafters, coming together to help a common cause. The UK hubs are doing a stock take this week, sending out boxes and liaising with the contacts in Australia to make sure the right help went to the right places, and will let us know if we need to knit on. Many people have contacted local wildlife sanctuaries, to see if they need similar items to help their animals, so the crafting continues to help animals in need.

I’ve enjoyed having a project on the go to help others. Though I welcome the light on 21st December, January is a dark month. It’s been wet and windy on my hillside. We’ve snatched moments at the beach, which has helped.

I’ve an exciting new project which I’m planning to launch on 20th March, and that is keeping me busy, and helping to keep me positively focussed.

Wednesday dawned bright, cold and dry, and out on the grass by the driveway, was a purple flame of hope.

Imbolc is almost here. I take my courage and strength from the natural world around me.

It is time for the maiden goddess to appear, full of sacred understanding from her time within the sleeping earth of winter.

Nature heralds her return – the springs and swelling streams are her attributes – the life giving water of soul and survival.

On the first of February, I will cast my three wishes…Catkins are appearing on the willow – it is time to make the most important wishes of the year – walk out to a willow, tie a bow or a love knot into a willow frond. Celebrate all joys and a rainbow good feeling – tie the 7 coloured ribbons of the spectrum into the pale green branches of the tree. As they flutter in the wind, they bring blessings to all you think about. Only 3 precise wishes during the year so, choose carefully.

Imbolc is the Festival of Lights. Circle of tea lights for higher inspiration from the goddess. Lunar sabbat – mysteries of the unknown. In this circle, meditate, sing, chant, ask questions of your inner soul that are troubling you. Answers will come after a night’s sleep.

Love rituals are prevalent at this time of year, for new love or to meet someone new. Imbolc maiden is innocent, but stirring. Shrine to love: lock of hair, ribbons and ornaments and a single vase holding a crocus or snowdrop – blessings under your roof. Plant one white flower for peace and prosperity from the maiden.

We honour the triple goddess Brigid – teacher, magical instructor. We honour her in her maiden aspect, though she is pregnant with the young seed of the Sun.
Activities include making corn dollies or just use one dried ear of corn and tie with a white ribbon, improvise.

Useful Correspondences

Herbs: heather, dried sage, lemon, honey, garlic, coriander seeds, rose hips, witch hazel, sunflower seeds, dried sunflower petals, vervain, violets, wheat, grains, myrrh, dragon’s blood, benzoin.

Stones: clear quartz, citrine, yellow tourmaline, green tourmaline, rose quartz, iron, hematite, ruby, garnet, red zircon.

 

Welcome Imbolc into your life. Know that all is dormant beneath the soil, ready to burst forth, fresh and new in the Spring.

 

 

IMBOLC SALE

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Let’s start the year by sharing the love!

Purchase ANY pixie coat, short or long length, for just £18! Check the page for availability, and I’ll happily measure any coat for you. https://wendysteele.com/pixie-coats/

Email me via Stay in Touch (Contact Me) and you’ll soon be snuggling up in your very own pixie coat. Or purchase one for a friend, they make lovely gifts.

And there’s more…

You can purchase all three Standing Stone books, Home for Christmas, Silence is Broken and The Gathering, for just £12. These books are about the characters’ relationships with each other and the land they live on. In the second book, there’s a beautiful, timeless Imbolc ritual that I know you’ll enjoy.

And finally….

If you purchase a pixie coat and the Standing Stone books, and you live in the UK, I’ll send them to you for FREE.

Imbolc Blessings to You