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1  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Craftalongs / Re: HP Craftalong ~ Spring Semester Mar 1-May 31, 2015 ~ JOIN ANYTIME! on: April 24, 2015 02:21:10 PM
I'm finally ready to turn in my first assignment. Biology and chemistry are turning out to be rather difficult this week.

Class: Herbology
SPEW: N/A
House: SLYTHERIN
Project Name: Strawberry Cheesecake
Project Page Link: Here's a link to the original recipe that I modified: LINK
Brief Description: Since my grandma died, I've become the default dessert maker for family gatherings. Usually I make pies but this year the hostess requested that I bring a cheesecake to Easter dinner. Easter is in and of itself a holiday that is about rebirth and the recipe also requires eggs which have also been considered symbols of rebirth.

The recipe was originally for a raspberry swirl cheesecake but I was told that someone else was bringing a raspberry cheesecake, so I use strawberries instead. I used farm fresh eggs and they yielded a really soft cheesecake so next time I think I'll bake it a bit longer and resign myself to covering up a cracked top. I made a strawberry and blueberry topping for it as well.

The Recipes - Strawberry Swirl Cheesecake

for the crust:
1 c. finely ground graham crackers
2 T. unsalted butter, melted
2 T.  sugar

for the strawberry puree:
6 oz. strawberries
2 T. sugar
red food coloring

for the cream cheese filling:
32 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
1-1/2 c. sugar
pinch of salt
1 tsp. vanilla
4 large eggs, at room temperature

also needed:
boiling water for the hot water bath

Preheat oven to 350. Wrap the exterior of a 9″ springform pan, including the base, with a double layer of foil. Set aside.

For the crust, stir together cracker crumbs, melted butter, and 2 tablespoons sugar in a medium bowl. Press crumb mixture firmly onto bottom of pan. Bake until set, about 10 minutes. Let cool in pan on a wire rack. Reduce oven temperature to 325.

Heat water for the hot water bath (to prevent cracking). Set a medium pot of water on the stove to boil.

Prepare the strawberry puree by processing strawberries in a food processor until smooth, about 30 seconds. Pass puree through a fine sieve into a small bowl, to remove most of the seeds. Discard the solids. Whisk in the 2 tablespoons sugar and a few drops of food coloring, set aside.


Berry Topping

Strawberries
Blueberries
Sugar

Cut your strawberries into bite-sized pieces. Toss with blueberries and sprinkle with sugar (to taste, I don't use very much). Refrigerate overnight, shake topping before using.
Project Picture:
 
2  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Craftalongs / Re: HPCraftalong - Careers Record Office on: March 15, 2015 10:26:11 AM
DragonChilde's Resume
Noodle-bug and I came up with the folowing carreer path for becoming a Creature Healer
Quote
7comc, 6 herbology, 2 charms, 2 potions, 3 projects inspired by specific magical creatures, 3 projects inspired by healing methods, 3 projects inspired by plants, 1 SPEW project, herbology owl, comc newt

CoMC (7)
Herbology (6)
Charms (2)
Potions (2)
projects inspired by specific magical creatures (3)
projects inspired by healing methods (3)
projects inspired by plants (3)
SPEW project (1)
Herbology OWL (1)
CoMC NEWT (1)
Employability Challenges (7)
3  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Craftalongs / Re: HP Craftalong ~ Spring Semester Mar 1-May 31, 2015 ~ JOIN ANYTIME! on: March 06, 2015 09:15:08 PM
@Naantje I am very sorry for your loss. I hope that the funeral offers a measure of closure and isn't overshadowed by other familial difficulties.

A few thoughts on what it means to be a Slytherin. We are known for our ambition and cunning and to a certain extent, a willingness to do whatever it takes to get what we want. While these things are true our other qualities are oft forgotten. We protect our own. It might take some time to gain our trust but Merlin protect those that cross the ones we consider 'ours'. Slytherin means doing your best while also taking care of yourself. If that means skiving off charms every once in a while, that's fine. You're housemates will cover for you. Slytherin means knowing silence. Knowing yourself. Sometimes we can seem a little sarcastic or cold but once you get to know us, you'll see when we want to put the effort into a relationship, we do.
4  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Craftalongs / Re: HP Craftalong ~Winter Semester 2014/2015~ JOIN ANYTIME! on: February 25, 2015 03:36:59 PM
Wow, this term has been really lacking on crafts... I'm embarrassed to say this is the first assignment I am turning in.

(On a side note, I ordered a Ravenclaw Pride bracelet from our Headmistress Mistress Jennie for my little sister this past Christmas and she loves it! I do have to say that I was awed by her work up close. The charms have held up really well despite the fact that she wears it almost every day.)

Class/Challenge/House Pride: Muggle Studies
SPEW: n/a
House:Slytherin
Project Name: TBR Stars in a Jar
Project Page Link (if available): None
Brief Description: On long journeys, I like to pass the time reading. Only, I have a hard time picking the next book off the enormous list of things I want to read. So I made a TBR jar. Each of the stars in the cup is made from a strip of paper with the author and title of a bunch of books on my TBR list. The idea is that I can shake up the cup and draw out a star to pick my next book. Here's instructions on how to make the little stars: http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-make-Japanese-Lucky-Stars/?ALLSTEPS. I used strips of paper that were 11 in X 1/2 in. The cup contains 65 stars at the moment. Some of the stars are books I have on my nook, some are books on my bookshelf at home, and some are books I don't own (the ones I don't own are on suspend holds at the library, hopefully by the time I draw out the title I'll be first in line). The contents of the jar will be ever changing, as I add more stars and read more books. There is a pair of small clear vases at home that will probably end up being the permanent homes for the stars but since I'm at school, they're in this cup.
Project Picture:

Don't mind the poor quality of the picture, my little sister broke my camera and so I had to use my computer to take it.
5  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / The Swap Gallery / Re: Back to Hogwarts 5 Gallery on: October 21, 2014 10:22:13 AM
You guys have already seen the package I got from dinkime but as she mentioned, the fairy potion kit broke en route and so I had to recreate it. I had a lot of fun with it! The jar belonged to my great-great-grandmother and the clear faceted stones are my own addition. The clear stones belonged to my grandma and I added them because my jar is larger than the jar dinkime originally used.









Also, I don't think dinkime mentioned this but the Morsmodre hoop was her first try at embroidery. I think she did a fantastic job! I adore it! It is already hanging above my desk at home.
6  Craft Swaps / ARCHIVE OF SWAPS THAT ARE TOTALLY FINISHED / Re: Back to Hogwarts 5 - CLOSED; SENDOUTS OCT 10 on: October 05, 2014 03:19:57 PM
I was just about ready to finish my large but then I noticed that I made a mistake with the way that ___ _______ __ ________ _____ _______ which led to an error when _____ ________ it  Shocked. I should take care of that on Tuesday. I should finish the small today, though.
7  Craft Swaps / ARCHIVE OF SWAPS THAT ARE TOTALLY FINISHED / Re: Back to Hogwarts 5 - CLOSED; SENDOUTS OCT 10 on: October 01, 2014 10:00:34 PM
Starting to feel down to the wire. Rushed _____ today and ended up messing it up. I'll have to go and get a replacement ________ tomorrow. The part that I didn't completely mess up looks a little imperfect but imperfections make handmade things more valuable... right? I really hope that the end result is liked by the receiving party.
8  Craft Swaps / ARCHIVE OF SWAPS THAT ARE TOTALLY FINISHED / Re: Back to Hogwarts 5 - CLOSED; SENDOUTS OCT 10 on: September 30, 2014 11:21:59 AM
I had a dream... well it was more of a nightmare... last night... I dreamed that I had to send out late because I tried to go to ________ to get _______ _______ and they said they could but it didn't work so I had to scrap the project and start over.

I'm still working away but I might actually have to send out a few days late, it turns out that panic attacks and PTSD flare-ups aren't conducive to getting things done... Really excited to hear about everyone else's progress.
9  Craft Swaps / ARCHIVE OF SWAPS THAT ARE TOTALLY FINISHED / Re: Back to Hogwarts 5 - CLOSED; SENDOUTS OCT 10 on: September 24, 2014 06:42:11 PM
I should be crafting again this weekend (I still need to get the supplies for the swap to my dorm room). It's so exciting to hear how things are coming along for people!
10  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Craftalongs / Re: HP Craftalong ~Fall Semester 2014~ *Join Anytime* on: September 22, 2014 11:14:23 PM
Finally getting a chance to post with some projects. I'm doing a bit better now. I've moved into my dorm room and so had there have only been two issues (but no roommate issues, thank Merlin). The Slytherin common room and Astronomy Tower should be updated soon (I think I finally figured out a good spreadsheet format for the Slytherin house points) but I'm too tired to deal with that now.

Class/Challenge/House Pride:Alchemy
SPEW: N/A
House: Slytherin
Project Name: Rose and pistachio shortbread
Project Page Link: None
Brief Description: Both Venus and Aphrodite are associated with love, as are rose petals and pistachios. I made some (delicious) shortbread that contains both of these ingredients and charmed the snacks for self love. They went to a friend in a swap that I organized on Tumblr.
Recipe: (The recipe comes from the book Cooking with Flowers by Miche Bacher which is a fantastic book, I can't wait to own a copy)
Ingredients
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flower
1/2 cup rice flower
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (two sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons finely ground pistachios
1 tablespoon rose water
1/4 cup rose petals

Procedure
1) Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a 9-inch square pan with foil and place a square of parchment over the bottom of the pan. Lining the pan with foil and parchment makes it easy to remove the shortbread form the pan while it's still hot.
2) Sift flours and salt together three times.
3) With a mire on medium-high speed, cream butter for 2 minutes or until smooth. Slowly beat in sugar until it is fully integrated. Mix in half the flour. Add pistachios, rose water, and rose petals. Turn mixer to low speed and beat in the remaining flour, being careful not to over mix.
4) Press dough into prepared pan, again very gently. Bake for about 50 minutes, until lightly golden brown on top. Remove shortbread form pan and cut it into 1 1/2 inch squares. Spread shortbread squares on a packing sheet and bake them for about 5 minutes more until the edges are a little golden. This shortbread can be stored for up to 10 days in a tin or foil-lined container.
Project Picture:






Class/Challenge/House Pride: Care of Magical Creatures
SPEW: N/A
House: Slytherin
Project Name: Herb flower shortbread
Project Page Link: None
Brief Description: This is another shortbread that I made for my friend on Tumblr. This one contains the unusual combination of savory and sweet and is also very delicious. My little brother loved it (he was very sad that I was going to ship out most of it).
Recipe: (This recipe also comes from the book Cooking with Flowers by Miche Bacher)
Ingredients
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flower
1/2 cup rice flower
1 cup (two sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon flaky sea salt
1 tablespoon lemon zest
4 tablespoon herb flowers (whatever you have on hand. I used borage, calendula, sage, and mint)
Procedure
1) Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a 9-inch square pan with foil and put a square of parchment on the bottom. It might seem redundant to use both foil and parchment to line the pan, but for this recipe it makes good sense if you want to 'double-bake' it in step 4.
2) Sift flours together twice. Beat butter with a mixer on medium speed for at least 3 minutes, until light and creamy. Slowly add sugar with the mixture on low speed. Scrape down the sides of the bowl to make sure it's all in.
3) Stir salt, lemon zest, and herb flowers into flour mixture. Gently work into flour mixture, being careful not to over mix. (This ensures a light, buttery shortbread.)
4) Press batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 50 minutes, or until the top is golden brown. At this point you can let it cool, slice it, and serve. Or, for a crisp, crunchy shortbread, let it cool for about 10 minutes, slice it into 1 1/2 by 2 inch rectangles (which leaves a little left over for the chef to nibble on), spread it out on a foil-lined baking sheet, and put it back in the oven for 10 minutes to brown the edges. (I chose to cut this shortbread into triangles.)
Project Picture:

This shortbread turned out to be a little flaky (probably because I didn't mix it well enough) but it was still very good.


Edit: I forgot to add that I have made some progress on my NEWT lately (I got all the way through writing out the Major Arcana of the tarot section). My NEWT is crossed out on the front page and I was wondering if that meant anything... Also, I would like to cancel my current transfiguration OWL. While I liked the idea at first, the project I proposed turned out not to be possible.
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