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1  Re: HP Craftalong ~Summer Semester 2014~ *JOIN ANYTIME* in Craftalongs by FiberAlchemist on: July 31, 2014 12:26:19 PM
~Memo from the House Elves~

From an inside pocket of his black overcoat he pulled a slightly squashed box.  Harry opened it with trembling fingers.  Inside was a large, sticky chocolate cake with Happy Birthday Harry written in it in green icing.
     -The Sorcerers Stone, Chapter 4

Since today is July 31 we should all have some cake to celebrate the boy wizard (and his creator) that has brought out little community together.  Happy Birthday Harry and Jo!!

Class/Challenge/House Pride: History of Magic
House: Ravenclaw
Project Name: A Cake for Harry
Project Page Link:
Brief Description: Baking was one of the first things I remember doing with my mom.  Im not sure how old I was (probably under 4) but she would always give the scrap edges when she made pie crust.  I would take those scraps and make little pies, usually filled with some sugary 80s cereal and she would bake them for me; and after they were cooled we would eat them.  Even though in hindsight they were probably awful.  This is where my love of baking started and it continues to this day.  Here is a chocolate cake I made to celebrate Harrys birthday.  This recipe makes two 6 inch cakes, which is a much more reasonable amount of cake when there are only two people eating it.
Project Picture:

For the chocolate cake
1 cup sugar

3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all purpose flour

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 egg

1/2 cup milk

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup boiling water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease and flour two 6-inch round pans.

Combine dry ingredients in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla. Beat by hand or use a mixer until fully blended, about two minutes. Stir in boiling water. Note that the batter will be thin. Pour the batter equally into the pans and bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Place the pan on a cooling rack for ten minutes. Remove from the pans and allow the cake to cool completely on a cooling rack. Frost with chocolate buttercream frosting.

For the chocolate buttercream frosting
1/2 cup butter, melted

2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

3 cups powdered sugar

1/3 cup milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

Combine butter and cocoa in a medium bowl. Blend by hand or use a mixer. Alternately add powdered sugar and milk and beat gently until smooth and spreadable. Stir in vanilla.
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2  Re: HP Craftalong ~Summer Semester 2014~ *JOIN ANYTIME* in Craftalongs by FiberAlchemist on: July 16, 2014 01:44:06 PM
Class/Challenge/House Pride: Apparition
House: Ravenclaw
Project Name: Summer Skimmer Socks
Project Page Link (if available):
Brief Description: For this project I was inspired by feet.  I decided to thank my feet for all the hard work they do by knitting them some socks.  I have a difficult time finding skimmer socks in stores, (or at least ones that are not made of pantyhose material) so these were a no brainer.  The pattern I used can be found on Ravelry.  I used about half a skien of Lion Brand Sock-ese in the colorway Rock Candy.
Project Picture:

Class/Challenge/House Pride: Arithmancy
House: Ravenclaw
Project Name: Nine Patch Mugrug
Project Page Link (if available):
Brief Description: I made this mugrug for Mistress Jennie for the Dreamcatcher Swap last month and it features a nine patch block on one side and on the other there are nine stripes (only 8 are visible because of the binding, but if you took the binding off I swear it's there).  The fabric used is Sewing Box by Moda.
Project Picture:

Class/Challenge/House Pride: Quidditch - Set your Portkey
House: Ravenclaw
Project Name: Clay Owl
Project Page Link (if available):
Brief Description:I made a cute brown and pink polymer clay owl to be enchanted into my portkey.  Since owls are fairly common where I live, muggles should leave her be.  I placed her in a large bush near my home if anyone is still in need of transit the the World Cup.
Project Picture:

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3  Re: HP Craftalong ~Summer Semester 2014~ *JOIN ANYTIME* in Craftalongs by FiberAlchemist on: July 09, 2014 01:53:48 PM
~Memo from the House Elves~

Ron: "Oh c'mon, 'Er-my-knee'. Oops sorry, 'Arry You won't get the Hogwarts house-elves sick leave by starving yourself!"
Hermione: "Slave labour. That's what made this dinner. Slave labour."
Ronald: "Treacle tart, Hermione! Spotted dick, look! Chocolate gateau!"

-The Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 11

Treacle tart is Harrys favorite dessert.  He enjoys it so much that he can even smell its aroma when in the presence of the Amortentia potion.  Treacle tart is a traditional dessert prepared using a pastry shell with a filling made of light treacle (which is similar to light corn syrup), breadcrumbs and lemon.

Class/Challenge/House Pride: Transfiguration
House: Ravenclaw
Project Name: Treacle Tart
Project Page Link: Saveurs Treacle Tart
Brief Description: I used the Gemino Curse to replicate an existing recipe found online.  I think my finished product looks nearly identical to the photo used with the original recipe.
Project Picture:

1 cups flour
8 tbsp. unsalted butter, cubed and chilled
tsp. kosher salt
1 cup Lyle's golden syrup or molasses
6 tbsp. bread crumbs
3 tbsp. heavy cream
1 egg, lightly beaten
Zest of 1 lemon
Whipped cream, for serving

1. Place flour, 6 tbsp. butter, and tsp. salt in a bowl; rub flour and butter together until pea-size crumbles form. Add cup ice-cold water; stir until dough forms. Transfer to a work surface; form into a flat disk. Wrap in plastic wrap; chill for 1 hour. Meanwhile, heat syrup in a 2-qt. saucepan over medium heat until loose. Remove from heat; stir in remaining butter and salt, bread crumbs, cream, egg, and zest. Set filling aside.

2. Heat oven to 375. Using a rolling pin, roll dough into an 11″ circle; transfer to a 9″ fluted tart pan with a removable bottom. Trim excess dough; chill for 30 minutes. Prick bottom with a fork; cover with a sheet of parchment paper. Fill with dried beans; bake until crust is set, about 20 minutes. Remove paper and beans; bake until light brown, about 10 minutes. Pour filling into tart shell; bake until filling is just set, about 30 minutes.
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4  Re: Dreamcatcher Swap in The Swap Gallery by FiberAlchemist on: July 09, 2014 01:28:50 PM
Hi everyone!

I received an amazing package today from Mistress Jennie.  She spoiled me greatly this swap and everything she sent is beautiful.

She sent me two dreamcatchers.  This first is a red and turquoise dreamcatcher which matches the decor in my crafting space perfectly.

and here is a close up of the lacing

And the second is a Doctor Who themed dreamcatcher.

and a close up

I love the little star beads and the tiny police box at the center of the lacing.

She also sent a dreamcatcher bookmark, some homemade chive salt and some strawberry socks (they make me think of Kaylee from Firefly).

and here is a closeup of the bookmark

Jennie thank you so much!! I love everything!  Kiss
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5  Re: HP Craftalong ~Summer Semester 2014~ *JOIN ANYTIME* in Craftalongs by FiberAlchemist on: June 30, 2014 12:36:05 PM
Class/Challenge/House Pride: June Quidditch - Choose Your Champions!
House: Ra Ra Ravenclaw
Project Name: Sakura Pattern Weights
Project Page Link (if available):
Brief Description: For this years quidditch semi-finals I am throwing my support behind TEAM JAPAN!  I was inspired by the beautiful, ever blooming cherry blossoms that surround the stadium.  I used white, baby pink, and dark pink to make a set of pattern weights.  They are made of 1.5 inch fender washers and I have single crocheted all the way around them.  They remind me of springtime in Tokyo!
Project Picture:
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6  Re: HP Craftalong ~Summer Semester 2014~ *JOIN ANYTIME* in Craftalongs by FiberAlchemist on: June 30, 2014 12:34:05 PM
~Memo from the Kitchen Elves~

Harry snorted into his plate of goulash. Percy frowned, but Harry could have sworn Dumbledore had given him a very small wink.
The Goblet of Fire, Chapter 23

One of the many things the students of Hogwarts, Beauxbatons, and Durmstrang eat at the Yule Ball feast is Goulash.  Goulash is a stew of meat, vegetables, and noodle that originated in Hungry and is popular in Central and Southern Europe.  Id like to think this dish was served in honor of Viktor Krum.

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 1/4 lb ground sirloin
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp tomato paste
2 tsp Italian seasoning
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
1 cloves garlic, minced
1 large red onion, chopped
1 medium red pepper, chopped
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper
One 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
1 cups cooked whole-grain elbow macaroni
1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley, for topping

Add the olive oil to a medium Dutch oven over medium-high heat. When hot, add the ground sirloin, soy sauce, tomato paste, Italian seasoning and crushed red pepper and cook for about 4 minutes, breaking up the meat with a spoon. Add the garlic, red onions, red pepper and bay leaf and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Saute until the vegetables have softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, lower the heat to medium-low and cook, covered, for another 20 minutes.
Add the elbow macaroni and stir well. Top with parsley and serve immediately.

** I was not overly impressed with this recipe.  I found it to be lacking in flavor.  In the end I added additional salt and pepper, red pepper flakes, garlic and onion powders, Worcestershire Sauce and a glug of steak sauce before I thought it was right. **
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7  Re: HP Craftalong ~Summer Semester 2014~ *JOIN ANYTIME* in Craftalongs by FiberAlchemist on: June 18, 2014 12:29:20 PM
~Memo from the House Elves~

He had never had any money for candy with the Dursleys, and now that he had pockets rattling with gold and silver he was ready to buy as many Mars Bars as he could carry-- but the woman didnt have Mars Bars.  What she did have were Bertie Botts Every Flavor Beans, Droobles Best Blowing Gum, Chocolate Frogs, Pumpkin Pasties, Cauldron Cakes, Licorice Wands, and a number of other strange things Harry had never seen in his life.  Not wanting to miss anything, he got some of everything and paid the woman eleven silver Sickles and seven bronze Knuts.
The Sorcerers Stone, Chapter 6

These are where it all began.  Harry and Ron shared some of these treat during their first train ride to Hogwarts, and thus began a friendship that would last a lifetime.  Harry also first saw Cho Chang at the food trolly ordering pasties and this is probably where his crush began.

A pasty is a filled pastry pocket.  It is made by placing a filling on a flat pastry shape, usually a circle, and folding it to wrap the filling, and crimping the edge to form a seal.  This recipe is for a sweet pasty, though a more traditional savory pasty could be made by omitting the sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, and ginger (from the filling); and using onion, garlic and herbs, such as thyme instead.  If you were making a savory version you would also omit the glaze, unless sweet and savory is your jam.

Class/Challenge/House Pride: Potions
House: Ravenclaw
Project Name: Pumpkin Pasties
Brief Description: These little treats take the shape of the half moon.  I like the half moon because it has two meanings depending on where it is in the moons cycle.  A first quarter moon can be a good time to face challenges and make decisions. A last quarter moon is a time to let go, forgive, and move on.

Recipe found at Chew Out Loud.

For the Dough:
2 cups all purpose flour
tsp table salt
1 cup salted butter, diced and chilled
cup very cold ice water
1 egg, beaten with 2 tsp water (egg wash)
coarse sugar for sprinkling
For the Filling:
1 cup 100% pure pumpkin puree, canned or homemade
cup brown sugar, packed
2 TB granulated sugar
tsp nutmeg
tsp cinnamon
tsp cloves
tsp ginger
For the Glaze/Drizzle:
cup powder sugar
1 TB whole milk
⅛ tsp cinnamon
⅛ tsp nutmeg
⅛ tsp ginger
⅛ tsp cloves

Make the Dough:
1. In a large bowl, whisk together flour and salt.
2. Using a pastry cutter, cut in the diced cold butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs, with small chunks of butter still visible.
3. One tablespoon at a time, add ice water to mixture until it holds together. It should stick together when pinched but not feel sticky. Work dough sparingly with cold fingers or pastry cutter, but do not overwork dough.
4. Form 2 dough balls, wrap in plastic, and chill at least 1 hour.
Make the Filling:
1. Combine all filling ingredients in a bowl and whisk together until well combined.
2. Preheat oven to 400F, with rack on middle position. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
3. Roll out one of the chilled dough balls, to ⅛ inch thick, on lightly floured surface. Use a 5-6 inch diameter bowl rim to cut out circles. Re-roll dough as needed to get as many circles out of it as you can.
4. Place 2 TB pumpkin filling in center of each circle. Moisten edges with water, fold dough over, and seal tightly. Use fork to crimp edges. Cut slits on top of each one, and brush with egg wash. Sprinkle with coarse sugar. Repeat with remaining dough ball and filling.
5. Bake on parchment lined baking sheet for 25 minutes or until golden brown.
6. Let cool on wire rack.
To make Drizzle:
Combine all glaze ingredients and whisk together until smooth. Place in ziplock bag, cut tiny hole at one corner, and drizzle onto pasties.
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8  Re: HP Craftalong ~Summer Semester 2014~ *JOIN ANYTIME* in Craftalongs by FiberAlchemist on: June 11, 2014 12:12:28 PM
~Memo from the Kitchen Elves~*

Lee passed Harry the egg, and Harry dug his fingernails into the groove that ran all the way around it and prised it open.
It was hollow and completely empty - but the moment Harry opened it, the most horrible noise, a loud screechy wailing, filled the room. 'What was that? said Seamus Finnigan, staring at the egg as Harry slammed it shut again. Sounded like a banshee" ... "It was someone being tortured! said Neville, who had some very white and spilled sausage rolls all over the floor.Youre going to have to fight the Cruciatus Curse!

-The Goblet of Fire, Chapter 21

What is a better snack for a champion, or at least a tri-wizard tournament competetor but sausage rolls.  A sausage roll is a savory pastry snack made by wrapping tubes of sausage meat in puff pastry and egg washed before baking.

Class/Challenge/House Pride: DADA
House: Ravenclaw
Project Name: Sausage Rolls
Brief Description:  What is a recipe other than a tutorial?  Here is a tutorial of how to make delicious sausage rolls
Project Picture:

The original recipe can be found at Jamie Olivers website.

olive oil
1 red onion, peeled and finely sliced
1 sprig fresh sage, leaves picked
1 handful breadcrumbs
fresh nutmeg, for grating
6 pork sausages (I used 1 lb of bulk sausage)
250 g ready-made puff pastry
1 egg
a little milk

1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas 4. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan and add the onions. Cook gently for about 20 minutes until soft and golden brown. Add the sage leaves, cook for a couple of minutes more and then spread out on a plate to cool.

2.With a sharp knife, slit the skins of the sausages and pop the meat out. Put it in a mixing bowl with the cooled sage and onion mix and the breadcrumbs, then scrunch well with your clean hands to mix together.

3. On a floured work surface, roll the pastry out into a big rectangle as thick as a pound coin and cut it lengthways into two long, even rectangles. Roll the mixture into sausage shapes with your hands and lay along the centre of each rectangle.

4. Mix the egg and milk and brush the pastry with the mixture, then fold one side of the pastry over, wrapping the filling inside. Press down with your fingers or the edge of a spoon to seal the join.

5. Cut the long rolls into the sizes you want and space them out on a baking tray. Brush with the rest of the egg wash and bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes or until puffed, golden and cooked through. Serve with piccalilli and a cress salad.

*This will be on a weekly schedule from now on.  Last weeks recipe didn't get posted and that's why things are doubled up this week.
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9  Re: HP Craftalong ~Summer Semester 2014~ *JOIN ANYTIME* in Craftalongs by FiberAlchemist on: June 11, 2014 12:05:48 PM
~Memo from the Kitchen Elves~

Tom the innkeeper reappeared, wearing an apron over his nightshirt and bearing a tray of tea and crumpets.  He placed the tray on the table between Fudge and Harry and left the parlor, closing the door behind him. ...  Fudge butter himself a crumpet and pushed the plate toward Harry.
-The Prisoner of Azkaban, chapter 3.

This week I decided to tackle the humble, but delicious crumpet.  Crumpets are a circular griddle cake made with yeast.  They are often eaten with butter, jam or golden syrup.

Class/Challenge/House Pride: SoAR
House: Ravenclaw
Project Name: Crumpets
Brief Description:  My love of learning isn't limited to the classroom; but extends into the kitchen. I love learning new recipes especially recipes from other countries.
Project Picture:

The recipe I used is from the Cupcake Project.

2 1/2 cups warm milk, about 110 F
1 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1. Mix 1 cup of the warm milk and all of the sugar in a small bowl.

2. Sprinkle yeast on top of the milk and let sit for ten minutes.

3. While you are waiting, mix flour, salt, and baking soda in a medium-sized bowl.

4. Add the yeast mixture and the remaining 1 1/2 cups of warm milk to the flour mixture and stir to combine. If you've made bread before and are used to a thick dough that you can knead, don't expect that from this batter. This will be a thick liquid, almost like a milkshake.

5. Cover the batter and set in a warm place to rise for about an hour.

6. Heat a non-stick skillet or griddle to medium-low heat.

7. Butter the insides of your crumpet rings and place them on the skillet.

8. Fill each crumpet ring halfway.

9. After four minutes, you should be able to remove the rings using tongs. You can wait longer, but the longer I waited, the more the crumpets stuck to the rings.

10. Stare at the crumpets. It's fun! You'll notice bubbles forming and popping. It's like a trip to Yellowstone, but much cheaper. After about five minutes, you won't see any more bubbles forming or popping and you'll be able to tap the tops of the crumpets and hear a sound (meaning the tops have hardened a bit). It's now time to flip them!

11. Some people don't flip their crumpets at all, but I like to flip mine and cook for just a minute. It will give what will become the crumpets' tops an ever-so-slight browning.

12. Serve immediately with Lyle's golden syrup, clotted cream and jam, or honey and butter; or cool, cover, and toast before serving.
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10  Re: HP Craftalong ~Spring Semester 2014~ *JOIN ANYTIME* in Craftalongs by FiberAlchemist on: June 06, 2014 11:22:57 AM
Congratulations to all of my fellow Ravenclaws!!

And the end of term wrap-up!  We turned in over 140 combined homework assignments, OWLS and NEWTS giving us grand total of 2715 house points!  Enough to secure the house cup for the second semester in a row!!  This is amazing to me, and I am honored to serve as your Head of House.

Spring 2014 Participants: Audania1, BadWolf314, FiberAlchemist, jellybean89, Magpirate, natchez, noodle-bug, pottermouth and vincentvanbuck
Most Popular Class: Astronomy, with 9 homework assignments completed.
Least Popular Class: Muggle Studies, with 4 homework assignments completed.
SPEW Superstar: jellybean89, with 8 SPEW assignments.
Achievements in Advanced Studies: This spring we had 4 OWLS completed by - BadWolf314, Magpirate, noodle-bug, & pottermouth.  We also had 3 NEWTS completed, one by Audania1 and two by noodle-bug.  Way to go!!

And last but not least, in a very close race, our craftiest witch is. BadWolf314, who completed 25 projects plus an OWL!!

Congratulations BadWolf314, and wear your badge with pride!!
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