Just posting to apologize for the lack of posts and updates lately . . . lot of school and family stuff has been going on.
We spent all of last week in Utah saying farewell to Chris’ mom. She passed away on Wednesday and her funeral was on Saturday. Earlier today I was thinking that I should share some of my favorite recipes from her . . . but I need to sort through my files to find them. (I have 5 or 6 binders full of recipes, but I think most of hers are all in one, or maybe two of them). A project for later this weekend.
We will be at Berserk Con in Duluth in a few weeks. Next up after that is SoDak Con and them AniMinneapolis.
Here’s version 2.0 of Miren’s sticker art. These will be available at No Brand Con next week- as buttons and stickers.
While I’m killing some time, here’s something I made last week. (While I was
dinking around doing my part to be green and upcycle).
I made bento boxes out of some empty Goldfish cartons.
Spent the morning wading through front entry and the living room. You wouldn’t know it by looking at it now, but it is cleaner than it was before. Now it’s sorted piles of stuff waiting to be carried to where it all belongs. Making room again for some creativity. Two cons in two weekends left the house in a bit of a shambles. We have a few weeks until No Brand con. I’m hoping to get some cleaning and sorting finished up this week- if I’m going to work on some new designs I need to sort and organize a lot of fabric and notions. All the mess is bringing me down- bad feng shui.
Here’s some new stuff.
Miren added some new art that are available as stickers. Once Daddy-O has a chance to re-size the images, we will have some or all of them available as buttons.
Here’s the newest hat- Hambo.
I played around with the pattern and now the band is more of an earflap style. I can still cut them out the same way, and just “sew out” the face line. I chose to avoid that style in the past because it was extra work to cut out and sew and seemed like it would waste a lot of fabric. I’m pleased with how it’s turned out and may switch over and make all new hats that way.
Time to hit the playlist to shuffle and get busy again.
Totally craving chocolate cake, but having to wait to mix it up because I need soft butter. So while I’m waiting for that to happen, I will share two chocolate cake recipes. The decadent and awesomely delicious family recipe and another awesome and delicious slightly more healthy version.
Technically speaking this isn’t either version, but is Miren’s birthday cake from a few years ago. You have to have a picture of cake when you are sharing cake recipes, right? This glorious four layer beauty was made from rounds I got at Sam’s Club. Miren said she wanted a HUGE cake for her birthday and so I obliged even though I didn’t have time to bake the cake myself. Which I prefer to do.
Anyway, on to the recipes.
Buttermilk Chocolate Cake
preheat oven to 350*
Cream together 1/2 cup shortening (I always use soft butter) and 2 cups sugar. Add 2 eggs, 1tsp vanilla, and 1 cup buttermilk. (mix these in well- beat for several minutes).
Sift or whisk together 1/2 cup cocoa, 2 cups flour, 2 tsp baking soda, 1/2 tsp salt. Stir this into the egg mixture. Now Pour in 1 cup boiling water, mix well. Pour immediately into greased and floured 9X13 pan and bake for 30-35 minutes. (If you want to do layers, use 9 inch pans and don’t use all the batter- if you do it will spill over when baking. Or 10 inch pans might work, if you have them).
This is the chocolate from scratch cake I grew up eating and it is the best chocolate cake in the history of history. It is especially tasty when you frost it with this recipe:
Omi’s best ever Chocolate frosting (I don’t know where she got the recipe- I don’t care- it’s her’s now)
Place in a heavy skillet- 1 1/2 cups sugar, 1/4 cup cocoa, 4 T butter, and 6T milk. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Boil for one minute, stirring constantly,remove from heat. Stir in 1 tsp vanilla. optional-add 1T peanut butter. Beat by hand until thick- this could take 5 -10 minutes. It may seem like a lot of work, but let me tell you friend, it is worth it. Plus you will burn some calories, right? Once it’s the right “thick” pour it out over the cake. The cake can still be warm, but not hot. If you are doing layers, you have to be more careful- you can’t really spread this frosting well. Treat it like a ganache and pour it and let it run over the sides. You may need a helper if you want it between the layers.
Here’s that cake from a better angle and with out all the candles. Isn’t it magnificent? Miren was very pleased with her cake that year.
This next recipe is a carob cake that I experimented with the year we cut out (white) flour and sugar. It tastes great and is very filling. It takes a little planning ahead- you need to soak the batter for a few hours because of the whole wheat flour. I would grind the flour fresh, so I don’t know what difference it might make to use store bought whole wheat, if any. This cake isn’t low calorie by any stretch, but it is a healthier choice than regular. I made this cake with carob at the time, because it has no caffeine. I was cooking and baking with coconut oil almost exclusively then too. Real UNREFINED coconut oil is amazing. It’s also pricey, and worth it in things like this. You can substitute butter or oil, for this, I think, I’m not sure that I ever did.
Carob Cake #4
Beat together 1 cup coconut oil, 1-1 1/2 cups honey, 1 tsp vanilla and 2 eggs. Sift together 3 cups whole wheat flour, 2/3c carob and 1 t salt. Stir this in alternately with 2 cups milk. Cover and let this sit on the counter for 3 -7 hours. When you are ready to bake sprinkle 2 tsp baking soda over the top and stir it in well. Pour into a greased and floured 9X13 pan and bake at 375* for about 30 minutes.
Looking at this recipe now, I would use 1 1/2 cups milk and then at the end I would dissolve the baking soda into a 1/2 cup hot or boiling water and then stir that into the batter. (Like the chocolate cake recipe above, the hot water activates the soda and get’s it bubbling away. It will also disperse the soda more evenly).
There isn’t a “healthy” frosting recipe for this.
This recipe came up in a FB conversation the other day, so I thought I’d share it here. I know siblings have it. Or did at one point. I have a tendency to lose recipes lately and I’ve started pinning them on a Pinterest board. I know it’s wearisome when I have to ask for the recipe every time I want to make that one frosting . . .
The original recipe is for corn muffins – I make it as one big round and have tweaked some of the ingredients. You can make this more or less healthy, which ever you prefer or with what you’ve got on hand. I really like this recipe for how it tastes, but also because it has very little sugar and oil (compared to most muffins and quick breads).
Jen’s Awesome Corn Bread
1 c flour- whole wheat or all purpose.
1 c cornmeal
1/2 c sugar
2 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
Opt- you can add canned (drained) or frozen corn kernels.
1 c buttermilk (you can use plain yogurt, but it completely changes the flavor)
2 eggs, lightly beaten (or 3 egg whites- I’m too lazy and don’t like wasting yolks, so I always use whole eggs)
Preheat oven to 500* (yes, really. 500) You also need to preheat a cast iron skillet (mine is probably a 10 inch pan, I’m guessing). I put the skillet in the oven when I start preheating.
Stir or sift dry ingredients together in a large bowl. In another bowl whisk or beat together the wet ingredients- if you are adding corn, it goes with the wet stuff. Add the wet to the dry and mix together gently, just til moist.
Now, CAREFULLY remove the pan from the oven. ( I have the fading remnants of potholder failure, an oven mitt is the only thing I use for this now). Drizzle in some oil- take your pick, I usually use olive, but any vegetable oil will do- a TBSP or two. Gently swirl the oil around the pan. Quickly add the batter- if you did it right you should hear it sizzle. Return pan to the oven and reduce the heat to 400*. Bake about 30 minutes, but I would check at 20. It’s done when a toothpick or skewer comes out clean. Don’t over bake this or it gets very dry.
Again, very CAREFULLY, remove from the oven and tip out onto a cooling rack or plate. This is best if you can eat it immediately . . . the crust will lose it’s crunch as it cools down. I usually plan this to come out of the oven about 5 minutes before we sit down to eat.
Everyone here is getting ready to head to Naka-Kon. The house is in a shambles right now, last minute stuff for the booth- making more bracelets and buttons. (Miren should have some Hetalia art ready). Plus the usual last minute cosplay crunch- Paige is working on two new ones. I may or may not have time to work on mine. The sample wig was a great experiment, and now I know how I want to make it. Also need a captain’s coat. So we’ll see how much of it gets done with a week to go.
It falls during spring break for us (Woohoo!) and we’ll be leaving a few days early for some touristy stuff. I’m so looking forward to some real Barbeque.
The week after Naka, a few of us will be heading to Kitsune con. (thank you, Angry Fox for sharing some table space with us).
Upcoming Con schedule so far:
Confirmed- No Brand, SoDak, AniMinneapolis, Meta-co
Getting ready for Anime Milwaukee this weekend. I don’t think I’ve been to Milwaukee since I was 3 or 4 years old. Looking forward to seeing the Lake. Sometimes I miss big water.
Here is the newest sample I need to tidy the braids and it’s good to go-
Here’s one of the new hats . . . I’m calling it JayneStuck. I make a lot of Jayne hats and the house is swimming in troll horns most days. It didn’t take long merge the themes.
This next lovely is what Paige has been making and selling in the shop. This is one of the new pictures she took, the old ones were less than stellar- quick! we need a picture, any picture, we just have to get this listing up.
Meet sexy Hambo
I made these last summer, but haven’t listed them yet. As you can see, I finally have pictures of them- a step in the right direction. Sgt Frog bags. I have one signed by Todd Haberkorn. I just found out that Chris Sabat will be a guest at an upcoming con and I hope I can get him to sign one, too. It would be great to have the whole set signed.
I may have posted this one before, but I’m hoping to have a useful sample for AMKE.
We will see you next month at Naka and Kitsune.
Happy New Year everybody!
The holidays have been awesome. Went to Anime Apocalypse, saw family, and ate great food. And I played a lot of video games and stayed up late and got to sleep in. Yay for vacations that you get to relax and not work.
In honor of the holiday, I will share a new recipe I made. Thinking about it now, I probably should have shared it yesterday . . . it would make a good brunch dish, for anyone having late and lazy breakfast today. I made a bread pudding the other day to use up some leftover rolls. Yesterday morning I found myself with the last of the rolls and some sausage. I decided to make a savory pudding based on the sweet one. I’m calling it Savory Bread Pudding instead of Cheesy Egg Bake, because there are tons of egg bake recipes out there already.
Savory Bread Pudding aka cheesy egg bake
2c hot milk
5-6c bread cubed (I used 3 largish hard rolls)
4 eggs, lightly beaten
5 sausage links, cooked and chopped (you could use ham or bacon or a combo. I would probably add more meat next time)
1c shredded cheese (I had colby jack, but would be good with just about any cheese. amount is approximate- it was a few handfuls until it looked like enough)
salt or seasoned salt, to taste (I used Herbamare seasoning)
In a large bowl pour milk over bread. Shake some seasoning over the bread mixture and add the rest to the eggs. (I’d guess a teaspoon or so?) Add meat and cheese to bread and carefully stir it. Pour eggs over it last and fold or stir gently. Now pour into a greased baking dish, the one I used is roughly 12×8 inches. Bake at 350* for about 40 minutes. Let it rest for 10 or 15 minutes before serving.
I know a lot of breakfast-type bakes tell you to make it the night before and bake it in the morning. You could try that with this recipe, but I probably won’t. Mostly because I never plan that far ahead, and it takes longer to bake if it goes into the oven cold.
As a break from the crazy busy, I took time to do one of those things that I wanted to do. As opposed to the stuff I have to do. (See last post).
I wasn’t sure how I was going to do the frosting. The box the cutter/stamper came in said royal frosting worked best, but I don’t like royal frosting on anything that will be eaten. So I went with a lemon glaze. That’s what I’m calling it anyway. A little bit of butter, some lemon juice and a whole lotta powdered sugar. It’s a little soft and thin, but it works well for filling in the lines.
Only a few more of these left and then I will get to work on this morning’s project- crochet corkscrew curls. I watched a video tutorial and this morning at church figured it out. They may end up in the shop and will definitely play a part in upcoming cosplays. *rubs hands together* Oh the possibilities.