Cooking Through The Rona…

Soba Noodle Salad with Spicy Peanut Sauce

Greetings, Mystic Meows! 

It sure has been a mighty long time since I’ve written anything here, and I hope that wherever you are, and whenever you read this, that you and yours are healthy, safe, and doing as well as can be. The world sure has changed quite a bit, huh? We’ve all been going through so much emotional upheaval and strife, to put it mildly. Yet in the midst of all of this madness, there is still the need to persevere, adapt, and adjust, so that we can create our own sense of stability and certainty, at least within the safety and comfort of our homes. Even in the most desperate of circumstances, there still lies the opportunities to find our inner power through being creative and finding those therapeutic and uplifting capabilities that we may have forgotten that we possess.

Caldo de Pollo/ Spanish Style Chicken Soup

For meow, as you all know, cooking and food itself is beyond therapy for me. It is my life. My passion. My happy place. The kitchen is where I am most in my element and where I (almost 😜) always know what I’m doing without question. My chosen profession and industry has taken quite a hit throughout the course of The Rona, and I, along with my friends, family, and colleagues have had to literally redefine how we choose to identify ourselves in the culinary world. Carve a new path so to speak… (pun intended… get It? Carve??) Anymeow, this of course applies to every single one of us. Not only are Chefs like myself finding new ways to cook, but so are you, right? I mean, meows went straight to the comfort food zone and started cooking like they may never have before. And It. Is. AWESOME!!!

Spaghetti with Meatballs

Deep Dish Pizza

I’ve never seen so many meows flock to their kitchens and begin the process of attempting to try their hand at cooking and creating things they’ve never made before, in particular, baking! So much so that for a minute, like toilet paper, yeast was hard to find on store shelves, to the dismay of many of my culinary brethren… At least that’s how it was when all of this first started and we had to shelter in place. The emphasis on cooking at home and finding new, interesting, and creative ways to nourish ourselves has brought back a sense of simplicity and purity to the craft that I welcome wholeheartedly. And The Rona has forced meows to REALLY take a long hard look at their own eating habits from top to bottom because now more than ever, nourishment is key, as it always has been, to our health and well being.

Chicken and Cheese Enchiladas 

 

As for meow, I’ve been keeping things rather simple in the kitchen, or as simple as it seems to me… and have found myself cooking and craving a lot of dishes that remind me of childhood. Is that happening to anyone else? Or are you being a fancy pants cooking up those hard to pronounce meals? 😛 Or trying foods you’ve always wanted to try like the Beyond Meats or switching things up from maybe eating less meat and more vegetable based and meatless meals? Have you tried gardening and growing your own fruits, veggies, and herbs? Are you crafting more? Making your own clothes, masks, soaps, etc? I WANNA KNOW! If nothing else, I hope that you meows are at least attempting to try something new and different to keep things moving forward and interesting to help keep your minds occupied and in a positive frame.

Sweet Chili Shrimp

And keep on cooking!! Take those food pics and post them! Inspire other meows to go to the store and whip up something new and tasty! Share those precious recipes, too! Your mom’s meatloaf, your dad’s killer kick ass chili, your grandma’s pie dough or cookies, salsa, pastas, rice, soups, potatoes, jams, jellies, pickled veggies, salad dressings, fried chicken, tofu, dumplings, homemade nut milks, gluten free, vegan, plant based, meat based, home based!!! Whatever it may be, share it with the world. You never know how that one little pic or recipe might make someone’s next meal a game changer. I mean, we all still gotta eat! Until our next mystic meal… Take good care of yourselves and Happy Cooking!

Cheers, hugs, and meows!

xo Nikki 🥰✨🔮💕

Follow meow on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Tiktok @siknik13 and @mysticmeals

All photos are MINE!!! 🤣😛😉

‘‘Tis the season!

Season’s Greetings, dear meows!

Wow! I can’t believe it’s December already! Where did the year go? One more month and then on to 2018! I don’t know about you meows, but 2017 was quite an interesting year for me. Lots of ups and downs, unexpected surprises, a lot of hard work and sacrifice, and a whole bunch of memories! Speaking of memories…

The holiday season is where eating, cooking, and food in general take center stage, at least for me 😉 This year for Thanksgiving, the roasted Turkey I made turned out exceptionally good. Literally picture perfect. See? 😉 ( pat’s self on the back… )

My secret? I dry brined the bird. It’s a great way to impart maximum flavor and ensuring crispy browned skin, while keeping the meat tender and juicy! Here’s a simple and easy dry brine rub that works wonders on Chicken & Turkey! For me, roasting low and slow, then turning up the oven temp towards the end really helps with the end results…

Dry Salt Brine Rub :

3 tablespoons kosher salt 

1 1/2 teaspoons dried herbs, such as thyme, sage, and rosemary, or blend

3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 (14- to 16-pound) thawed whole turkey (not kosher or pre-salted)

The reason for not using a kosher bird is that they typically have a salted solution added to them. Try to find a bird that has no pre seasoning or solutions injected into it. Use half the amount of rub if you’re using a whole chicken instead of a turkey. Pat your bird dry before adding the rub. They key here is get the dry rub under the skin as best as you can, and using the rest all over the outside of the bird. Then let it rest in the fridge, uncovered for at least 24 hours and up to 3 days max. The process of osmosis will draw out the natural juices from the bird, and then miraculously the meat then reabsorbs them, basically seasoning itself from the outside in. So worth it!

This year for Christmas, I’m not sure what I’m going to make. I’m leaning towards cooking some of the ethnic dishes Colombians and Puerto Rican’s typically prepare around this time of year. Pernil, which is roasted pork shoulder, is always a crowd pleaser and perfect for feeding a ton of meows.

Accompanied by yellow saffron rice, beans, salad and a creamy flan for dessert? Yes, meow! I haven’t made a flan in a while and I hope I haven’t lost my touch!

What are some of your favorite Christmas foods to make? I’ll be back here soon with some more recipes that’ll be great for holidays and beyond! But before I go… Lest we forget to make a yummy cocktail for toasting to the season! I found this one on Pinterest and I’m definitely gonna make a batch of these!

Pomegranate Mules

2oz. Vodka

1oz. pomegranate juice

1 Tbls. pomegranate seeds

1 Tbls. lime juice

1 tsp. honey

1/2 cup ice

Ginger beer or ginger ale

sprig of rosemary

In a cocktail glass, stir together the vodka, pomegranate juice, seeds, lime juice, honey and ice. Top off with the ginger beer and add a sprig of rosemary to garnish.

Thank you meows for being here and I hope to hear from you! Happy Holidays and Happy Cooking!

Cheers, hugs & meows! Nikki 💖✨😻

Photo credits by Jay Luna, Google images, Micha Morton and Pinterest 😉

It’s Miss Misery, Dammit!! 

One of the many perks of doing my podcast, The Phantom Zone Radio Show was being able to meet amazing people who love all things dark and spooky just like I do. In spite of what most people think, folks in the horror community are some of the best people to know. Creative, resourceful, and just fun to be around, there’s always a willingness to share knowledge and pass it on, whether it be a movie, book, bloody special effects, a scary program, where to find killer clothes… there’s a certain comradery amongst horror lovers that is as genuine as it is unique. This woman you’re about to meet is helping to keep the torch lit and continuing to pave the way for horror hosts and anyone who has love of the genre to throw caution to the wind and listen to your rotting gut and do what you love no matter the odds. 


Reyna Gillette a.k.a Miss Misery is a very dear friend of mine and quite a powerful and creative woman. Her passion for the horror genre and her love of music and cinema can be seen in her awesome T.V. show,  Miss Misery’s Movie Massacre, which is one of her many productions. She’s a writer, actress, director, filmmaker,  musician and all around badass lady who goes beyond the definition of hard work and dedication to her craft. 


Her husband, John Gillette is not only her partner in crime with their company, Last Doorway Productions, but he’s also the guitarist and founding member of The San Francisco Bay Area based grunge/punk/metal band, Dammit! And let me tell you meows… If you don’t know, you need to find out QUICK! Their music is head banging good fun and makes you wanna turn it up to 11! 🤘🏻😝🤘🏻


When this dynamic duo is working on something, you know it’s going to be of epic proportions! Reyna and John are one hell of a match! Reyna took the time out of her busy schedule to answer some crazy questions for Mystic Meals and even provides a (very quick) and easy recipe for the ghoul on the go! Enjoy, kiddies! 😛

MM. Thanks a lot for taking the time to answer a few horrific questions! 😛 Here we go…

What was the very first horror film that you remember watching? How did it have an impact on you? Could you name a few of your all time favorite horror actors?
RG: The first film was John Carpenters Halloween, it wasn’t so much that I was scared of watching the film, it was more of having a thrill up my spine from watching it. I instantly became not just a fan but became obsessed with horror. Before that though my dad would wake me up Saturday nights to watch late night shows like Monsters and Tales from the Darkside. As for my favorite actors, Jamie Lee Curtis, Adrienne Barbeau, Vincent Price, there’s just so many I love…
MM: When did you know that you wanted to not only be a horror host and have your own show, but make and direct your own films? Can you tell us a bit about Last Doorway Productions and what we can expect from your show, Miss Misery’s Movie Massacre? Where can we all see it and check it out?
RG: I grew up watching Elvira so when I was younger I knew I wanted to do what she did. I grew up acting, doing commercials, and modeling for children’s clothes, extra in films, I did a lot of that but always wanted to be a writer and actress. It wasn’t until I hit my first year of college that I wanted to start directing when a boy told me girls can’t direct. Lol… 

Last Doorway Productions was born in 2003 when I started writing scripts and filming shorts. It wasn’t until I met my husband John that I started doing a lot more because he was also into film making. Movie Massacre right now is on Chabot Television out of Hayward, Ca and Roku, but recently been toying with the idea of doing YouTube…
MM: Wow! I think Youtube’s a great idea! I know I’d subscribe to your channel and it would certainly broaden your fanbase😉You’re also a published author. Tell us about what you’ve written and where you get your inspiration from. What are some of your favorite comic books? Who are your favorite artists and writers? Any recommendations? 
RG: I grew up reading Edgar Allan Poe, Stephen King, Goosebumps, anything horror basically with some exceptions like The Babysitters Club, lol. 😋

I have a series out called Monsters through Black Bed Sheet Books,  and it’s basically in the heart of Goosebumps. I’ve always wanted to have my own young adult book series and so I started this year and so far two books are out and you can get them on Amazon. I have a novel coming out soon Called When Night Falls which is through Fear Front Publishing. I just signed with them and super excited about it.

I get my inspiration from all around me basically, my imagination never stops. Sometimes I have so much going on that I HAVE to write and I feel like my head is going to explode. I love comic books, I read anything that’s good, I use to be obsessed with Tales From The Crypt comics and still am, lol. 

One book I always recommend is The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson, I’m amazed sometimes that lots of people have not read it.

 MM: The Haunting of Hill House is a great read! You’re so right about that one. Your husband John is in a band called Dammit! You meows make such an awesome power couple! How did the two of you meet and what’s it like for the two of you to work together? What other bands are you both fans of? 
RG: We met when I was working at a grocery store and he was a delivery man, we were friends but attracted to each other. I was with someone at the time and he had a girlfriend but eventually he dumped her and I dumped my bf, after that we started going out on dates to rock shows and horror films and we clicked right away. We both love the same bands and bands I didn’t like he didn’t like either, so it was meant to be. We’ve been together for ten years now and still I get butterflies in my tummy over him… 💘 He’s amazing and we just get along so well. We work well together, we listen to each other and there’s nothing but love for all we do. Plus we both play guitar so it’s always fun to jam together. We both love Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Soundgarden, AC/DC and many more. I’m a 90’s girl so anything grunge I still am obsessed over. 

MM: If you and John could host the ultimate dinner party with any of your favorite horror or rock icons, living or dead, who would they be and what would be on the menu? 
RG:  Ahhhhhhhhh man I would serve Mexican food lol, and have a couple tables spread out of desserts, mmmmmmmm. We would have Bowie, Cobain, Joplin, Hendrix, so many great icons of the rock world would be there. Plus you can’t forget Vincent Price or Christopher Lee. It would be a huge jam session, man that would be something. 
MM: Do either of you like to cook? If so what are some of your favorite go to meals to make? Would you mind sharing a recipe with us? 

RG: John use to be a cook so he will whip stuff up and I cook a lot of Mexican food so we do split the dinners each week. We both like to cook so it’s no problem – sometimes we do get lazy when we work too much but I make chicken fajitas or enchiladas, he likes to make pastas or chicken with veggies. We try to mix things up, but I love fajitas so it’s easy. Here’s a quick recipe… 


Dammit! Those are killer Fajitas! 😝


 Cook and chop up your chicken, then put in some fajita mix, I get that at the market. 

Then slice and cook up two onions

two green bell peppers

 one red bell pepper 

heat up some flour tortillas and you’re done!  Pretty simple and quick.

MM: I love it! You guys don’t mess around! 😝 In your opinion, what are the top 5 underrated Horror Films? 

RG: 

Alice Sweet Alice

Beast From The Haunted Cave

Silver Bullet (I don’t feel it gets enough attention or any AirPlay during October)

Halloween 3

Mr Boogedy 
MM: Meow, you are so spot on about Silver Bullet! That’s one of my favs and it’s true… It’s almost never played or even talked about. What’s up with that? 😝If you could remake a classic horror film, which one would you choose and why? 
RG:  Lol I don’t like remakes. It if I had the chance to remake a film I would remake Alice Sweet Alice, I just love that film.. Although it would be fun to remake Creature from the Black Lagoon, but if I were to do it I would really wanna make sure I do it right and not let the studios rush me. Lol..  
MM: Name three places in the world that you’ve always wanted to either live or visit.
RG: I’ve always wanted to visit Paris, London, and Italy. I would want to live in London, plus it would be awesome to visit the haunted areas there.

MM: This one’s for both you and John…Describe yourselves as a drink, appetizer, entree and dessert and explain why? 
RG: A Shirley Temple (I don’t drink so it’s non alcoholic)

Guacamole with tortilla chips (we love our guac)

And for an entree I would say Burritos because I can’t can’t enough of them! 

For a dessert, I’d say ice cream because we do like to cuddle up to a good film and split a bowl of ice cream. 🍧🍨

That sounds like the perfect way to end an evening… Cuddling with your sweetmeow, watching a great flick and sharing a bowl of ice cream. Now that’s love, baby! Unless you start fighting over who gets the last bite… 😉 Thanks again to Reyna & John for being great sports and giving us a little peek into their lives. And thank you meows for hanging with me! Until next time… Cheers, hugs & meows! 

Nikki Meow ✨💖😻

Pictures courtesy of Reyna & John 

Fajita picture courtesy of Google 😋