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11  Homemade Gummy Candy - Two Ingredients! :D (img heavy!) in Dessert by astrangeone on: April 26, 2013 12:45:45 PM
Homemade Gummy Candy - Unhealthy Version!

Ingredients:
-  jelly crystals (jello powder) 85 grams/1 box
-  four tablespoons unflavoured gelatin (about four envelopes Knox)



Hardware:
-  candy moulds (the blue one is terrible as an ice cube tray, but makes a great little candy tray!)
-  1/2 cup measure
-  1 tablespoon measure
-  metal bowl
-  measuring cup (actually, you could just use the measuring cup!)





1)  Measure out four tablespoons of unflavoured gelatin, and mix with the flavoured stuff in a big metal bowl.



2)  Dump in a half cup of cold water and mix to combine.





3)  Leave for ten minutes at room temperature to bloom or rehydrate the gelatin!  (It will turn into a gross, solid mess.)



4)  Set up a double boiler - heat water in a saucepan, and toss your bowl of gummy batter onto the top!



5)  Melt your gummy batter into a liquid form with no lumps or remaining bumps in it.

From this:


To this:


6)  Pour it into your measuring cup or anything with a spout!  And carefully fill your molds with this stuff!



7)  Put the filled tray into the freezer - they are set when the feel firm to the touch.

Cool  Peel them out of the tray by wiggling them in their moulds!

9)  Dust 'em with cornstarch - and present them on a tray!

 
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Homemade Gummy Candy - Cleaner Eating Version

Ingredients:
-  1 cup of juice of your choice  (Here I used a blend of guava, mango and passionfruit.)
-  4 tablespoons unflavoured gelatin (I found the cheaper stuff in Chinatown - $9.99 for 500 grams of the stuff)

Hardware:
-  candy moulds
-  big metal bowl
-  1 tablespoon measure
-  1 cup measure

1)  Boil down your 1 cup of juice into a half cup of juice. It's ready when the damn thing spits at you on high.



2)  Let cool, and chuck in four tablespoons of gelatin.  In your metal bowl.



3)  Leave it alone for ten minutes!  (Mine solidified into a giant lump on the bottom of the bowl...)

4)  Chuck it on a boiling saucepan of water.

5)  Let the mixture melt...Smiley  Until it's liquid...



6)  Pour into the measuring cup or anything with a spout.

7)  Carefully pour into the candy moulds.



Cool  Set in the freezer for about five minutes.

9)  Peel 'em out of the moulds, and eat!





The clear one is made with coconut water.  The light yellow one is made with mango juice.  Make sure that you reduce your liquid by half or make a syrup with it - the coconut water ones are kind of repulsive - not enough sugar in there to balance the grossness of it.
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12  Homemade Taste 5. Umami Paste (Or adventures in foodie heaven...) in Recipes and Cooking Tips by astrangeone on: January 30, 2013 04:36:48 PM
So, the USA and Canada was a little late in getting on the umami bandwagon.  This is a great little recipe to duplicate the famous Taste Number 5 Umami Paste.  Basically, one lady chef found a way to combine all glutamate rich foods and turn them into a delicious, rich and more-ish paste.  I've made a few more tweaks, adding two kinds of mushrooms, toasted walnuts and a whole lot more garlic!  It looks highly unappetizing, but hide a glob of it in pot-roast and pasta, and pizza, and hoo boy!  (It's basically natural MSG.)

Also, making your own is extremely cheap than to actually buy it.  I bought (and am waiting for) one tube off of a UK based seller on ebay, and I paid a total of $15 for a 70 gram tube.  The ingredients I have can make a ton more at a much lower cost - I paid about $20 for my ingredients....and I didn't use it all!  (I created 2 cups of this stuff - while the actual commercial stuff is just under a third of a cup!)

Stuff You'd Need:
The Main Players:



-  stick blender or another blender
-  non-stick pan or skillet
-  black olives (I like the stuff in the olive bar, because it tastes much more savoury!)
-  a package of clean and sliced fresh mushrooms (I like using shittake...but these are bloody expensive!)
-  some olive oil
-  garlic
-  tomato paste
-  freshly grated Parmesan
-  2 or 3 anchovy filets
-  optional:  toasted walnuts
-  optional:  balsamic vinegar (the real stuff!)

*  makes two cups - I doubled the recipe...

I used this recipe as a baseline:
http://foodfrenzy.ocregister.com/2011/08/25/savory-recipe-of-the-week-umami-paste/45891/

If going vegan vegetarian (cheese is an animal product, silly), toss the anchovy and up the toasted walnuts!

How to Combine:
1)  Toast the walnuts, peel the garlic, slice the olives.



Pretty parmesan cheese...


2)  Heat your pan until it's blazingly hot.
3)  Add some olive oil to lubricate and add your mushrooms.  If using straw mushrooms, make sure that you poke them a few times to let them off their liquid.
4)  Cook until reduced by half - straw mushrooms have an amazing amount of H20!



5)  Add your garlic, olives and continue cooking for several minutes, or until fully heated through.
6)  Dump your tomato paste into the mixture, add your parmesan, and your anchovy filets.  If using your balsamic vinegar, add it now!  (I'm not a big fan of it...)



7)  Cook until your parmesan melts into the mixture and stir everything together.
Cool  Finally add your walnuts.

9)  Toss your entire mixture into the blender.  Whiz until smooth.  (Add a little bit more olive oil, if you feel like the mixture's too thick.)  The consistency should look like pesto.



Eat!  Spread it on bread (chill it if using it as a spread!), use it as a wet rub on meat (CHICKEN!), stir it into soups, and basically have fun with it!  (Also, you can mix it with vinegar to create a salad dressing.)  It is very smoky, does not taste of mushrooms, and very salty - you can probably pair it with fresh greens for a great tasting mixture.

*  Update:  It was a disappointment on some beef steak today.  I slathered the stuff onto the steak, let it sit for 15 minutes, and then seared it.  (It didn't taste that...beefy...)  I think my usual way of prepping it is better - sear it quickly and dump some soy sauce on it.
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13  Gluten Free Brownie Bites - Yum! in Dessert by astrangeone on: January 25, 2013 11:47:55 AM
I'm not allergic or sensitive to gluten, but I enjoy trying new and simple recipes.  This is a modified recipe from Onepotchef on youtube.

Ingredients:
-  1 1/4 cups of caster/super fine sugar
-  1/2 cup cocoa powder (I use the ruddy dark stuff - it's higher fat and it tastes much better)
-  125 grams of butter (0.55 cups of butter)
-  4 eggs
-  1 cup almond/pecan/nut meal  (I actually like pecan meal...as it is cheaper and tastier...)
-  1.5 oz vanilla essence (I ended up with homemade stuff from christmas...very tasty...)
-  optional:  one aero chocolate bar, chopped and melted into the butter (add more almond meal to thicken the batter!)
Makes 13 smallish brownie "cupcakes".

Throw all the dry powders into a bowl.  Toss the four eggs together, and add vanilla essence to them.  Mix this mixture together.  Stir it into the dry powder.  Melt your butter in the microwave (if adding the chocolate bar, add it here...the heat of the butter will melt it).  Mix your butter into the mix.

Bake at 405/200 degree celius for 20 minutes.









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14  My Own Nerdy Nummies - Star Wars/Pokemon sugar cookies! in Dessert by astrangeone on: January 03, 2013 09:03:05 AM






Recipe Courtesy of:  yoyomax12 on youtube.

It's pretty tasty, although not recommended for doing by hand!

Ingredients:
- 4 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt (leave out if using salted butter)
- 1 cup softened butter
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla extract (use the gourmet stuff - the normal stuff has corn syrup in it!  I used my homemade vanilla for it...tasty!)

1) Stir together flour, baking powder, and salt, set aside.
2) Cream (mix until incorporated) sugar and butter, add eggs and vanilla and mix 'til fluffy. Gradually add flour a little at a time, until completely finished. Divide dough in half, flattening into disks. Wrap in plastic or bags, and toss into the fridge. (Overnight is best, but an hour can be good too!)
3) Heat oven for 350F. Roll out dough between parchment paper and cut out shapes. The thinner the shapes, the crunchier they get. (The cutting out is interesting, and you can use these cutters that have an impression plate in them for details.)
4) Toss those cookies onto a silicone mat or cover a cookie sheet with more parchment paper. Toss the pan into the fridge for about 15 minutes for more definition and details to show up later.
5) Bake at 350F for about 10-15 minutes and check on them if they are brown around the edges. (I actually did mine in a toaster oven - still very successful - also, they get much more brown on the bottom.)
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15  Why didn't I buy bread when I was at the supermarket? Pantry Ready Quick Bread in Recipes and Cooking Tips by astrangeone on: November 25, 2012 02:44:08 PM


All You Need Is:
-  flour
-  baking powder
-  salt  (choose anything - I bet it would be interesting with speciality salt!)
-  herbs of your choice (these have a little bit of garlic and onion powder in!)
-  water!  (cold would be a great choice)
-  silicone muffin/cupcake pan (IMPORTANT - otherwise will stick badly!)

Measure out 1 1/2 cups of flour, 1 tsp. baking powder, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1 1/2 tsp. of your herbs/spices of your choice.  Measure out 1 cup of ice cold water.  Mix both the dry and wet completely, making a foamy seeming mixture.   Spoon mixture into your silicone muffin/cupcake pan, filling about halfway.   Bake in a pre-heated 400 degree oven for about twenty minutes, or until risen and golden brown and delicious.  Makes about five of these buggers.

What do they taste like?
Top and bottom gets all golden brown and crusty, while the inside remains moist.  Best part is these don't contain egg or milk products, so people who are sensitive can eat this!

Adapted from the recipe here:
http://thisweekfordinner.com/2010/11/04/skillet-biscuit-bread/

* I didn't have a seasoned cast iron skillet at the dorms, but I have a decent silicone muffin pan...Cheesy
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16  Vegetarian Lunch Bento! in Vegetarian / Vegan by astrangeone on: September 04, 2012 05:12:51 PM


Minutes to Prep:
45 - kept forgetting stuff and needing to retrieve it. Scatterbrain!

Carbohydrates:
slice of wheat wonder bread. (the bread punch I have is massive, I'd probably need to use a texas toast or a Hong Kong styled piece of bread to use it.)

Protein: bone shaped slice of cheese (freezing sliced cheese makes it easier to cut - and also, I bought a massive amount of cheese...48 slices!)

Fruit:
cherries, and two slices of oranges

Veggies:
broccoli florets and stems - the damn thing kept shedding!

Other: faux/no-name Nutella (hazelnut chocolate spread)

Decorative: two emoting food picks!
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17  Grocery Store Mead, 3 Ways! in Recipes and Cooking Tips by astrangeone on: August 03, 2012 09:23:37 AM
Mead is a basic, Viking alcoholic drink.  It is basically just fermented honey and water.  Can't get easier than that!  It's considered a "country wine", and thus, pretty hard to get a hold of.  Can you believe that it's easier to get true absinthe here in Canada than mead?   Shocked



My first taste of mead was at a RenFaire with my ex-girlfriend.  It was delicious!  It was flavoured with dark Bing cherries and basically didn't taste anything like honey.  Complex as heck.  I was love at first sip, but I couldn't find any retail meads for sale...which lead to me investigate home made wine...which lead to mead!

(Yes, I'm of age - 19 is the drinking age here in Canada.)
This is an effort to combat it, using ingredients that can be sourced from your local
supermarket!  The only thing that is different in all meads is the ingredients and how to treat them!

Styles of Mead:

Mead 1:  Burnt Mead
Mead 2:  Grocery Store Mead
Mead 3:  Maple Syrup as Mead

Tangent 1)  Honey is a great product, but is pretty much antiseptic in huge qualities.  (Dilute it with water to make mead!)  The stuff you can get in the local megamart is pretty tasteless, and blended for mass consumption.  Try not to get Billybee or anything else that is processed.  (You can see I failed, but I don't have a car or access to one!)  You can also try different gourmet honeys - I was tempted to break out my blueberry honey, but it's pretty expensive for a mead.

Empty BillyBee bottle:



Tangent 2)
 Wine yeast creates a higher alcohol content, as it survives longer in an
alcoholic environment.  It is also easier to clean up after, as it makes a more solid
sediment.  Wine yeast can be found online or in your local homebrew (brew it yourself) shops.  They even have some yeasts that are bred for meads!  Yeast are rated at different percentages - this means they can work in different alcoholic environments without dying!  

(Mine is a bulk yeast - it is good 'til 18% alcohol by volume.)

My yeast:



Tangent 3)
 Sanitize everything.  Making alcohol at home is pretty easy, but
remember...there is bacteria on everything - you don't want your yeast to be overwhelmed by bad bacteria - it just doesn't taste as good!  I like using vinegar, and rinsing like a madwoman, because it won't poison you if you ingest it!

Basic Ingredients:
-  honey/maple syrup (1 kilogram, 2.2 pounds makes a very sweet mead)
-  water
-  baker's yeast
-  wine yeast
-  2 liter soda bottle (empty!)
-  cotton wool
-  raisins
-  funnel
-  white vinegar

Fancy Ingredients:
-  fruit (anything is good, I like frozen items, because you kill bacteria!)
-  gelatin
-  tea
-  sieve

Basic Procedure 1 -->  Yeast Starter!
Brew a mug of tea a couple of days before your other procedures.  Add sugar or a little bit of honey while it's warm.  Stir well.  Let cool to room temperature and stir in a half-tablespoon of yeast.  Cover top with cheesecloth or a paper towel and elastic.  Let sit for a couple of days...until it is frothy!

Basic Procedure 2 -->  Homemade Yeast Nutrient
Take a cup of water and boil it.  Add a tablespoon of baker's yeast to the boiling water.  Hold it there for at least ten minutes to kill off the yeast.  Let cool, and set aside.

Basic Procedure 3  -->  Microwave Yeast Nutrient Method
Take a big microwave safe pot, add the tablespoon of baker's yeast, some fruit if you want, and enough water to cover all of it.  Make sure you have enough space for the stuff to foam up - it will want to do so.  Microwave for at least ten minutes to kill off the yeasties.  Let cool, and set aside

* Notes:  This creates a cooked fruit taste in the final product, but you can counter this stuff with raw fruit in the aging process.
* Notes:  You might need to use a chopstick or another poking device to ensure that you get your fruit into the bottle!

*  Burnt Mead:
Take your biggest pot, and cook the honey until it resembles dark maple syrup.  It will want to froth over, but keep stirring and make sure that the honey doesn't overflow!  Add a cup of boiling water, and dissolve any lumpy things.  (There will be thermal drama, so watch out!)  Cool mixture to room temperature and continue with the rest of your stuff!

Make the Must/Young wine!
Clean everything throughly.  Grab your honey bottle, and sit it in warm water.  Toss the funnel into the 2 liter bottle, and decant your honey into it.  Fill to where the label used to end with cold water.  Shake to combine.  Dump your homemade yeast nutrient into the bottle.  Add fruit puree of choice, if using.  Follow it up with the yeast starter, using the sieve to stop the tea leaves from getting in.  Add your raisins.  Shake gently to combine.

Fermenting!
Plug top with cotton wool, and let sit for 1 - 5 weeks in a cool, dark place.  Your wine should show signs of fermentation - fizzing and creating a head of foam.  (Fruit meads create more foam...traditional meads do not.)  If not, add more dry yeast, and hope that it restarts!

Fermenting Meads:
Left to Right (Blueberry maple mead, burnt mead, blueberry mead.)...oldest to youngest.  (The burnt mead is still fermenting strongly - I'd give it one more week in the bottle.  The blueberry mead is just starting fermentation, and is working slowly...)



Aging!
After fermentation finishes, make sure that you decant the mead off of the sediment.  (It can leave a bitter/bready taste in the wine.)  Wash out the empty bottle, and put your mead back in.  (Freeze overnight to kill the yeast!)  You can add a second dosage of your fruit puree of choice.  You are now ready to age your young mead!  Cap it off (make sure you have frozen your mead and thawed the bottle!), and let it rest for a couple more months.  It is ready to drink once it completely clears!

------------------------------------------------------------------------
*Optional:  Fining:*
Fining is a process where you add an additive in order to take out all the sediment in your wine.  Last time I made wine with fruit punch, I ended up with a ton of sediment that refused to come out of solution.

Gelatin or egg white can be used to bring your dead yeast out of solution and to hasten the process.

Gelatin - use a half packet of gelatin.  Dissolve in cold water for an hour.  Simmer the stuff until it completely dissolves.  Add to your bottle of mead when cool.  Shake gently.

Egg White
- use an egg white, beaten.  If you worry about the safety of your eggs, get pasteurized eggs.  Add to your bottle of mead and shake gently.

In a couple of days, you should see some particles at the bottom of your wine.  You must take these away, as they can affect the flavour of your wine.

Cheaper/Easier Alternative:  Cold-Crashing
(Make sure your mead is at the alcoholic point that you want...as you'd be removing a ton of yeast from your mixture!)  Cold crashing slows active yeast down to a crawl.  Stick your bottle in your fridge after freezing and thawing it.  You'd notice your mead getting lighter in colour and more sediment at the bottom of your mead.  Decant your mead off of it when there is a huge amount.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Finishing!
Let your mead age 3 months to 3 years.  When you judge the mead to be ready, decant it off of any potential sediment, and clean out the bottle once again.  If it is too dry, you can add some more honey or maple syrup to balance it out again.  You can bottle in old wine bottles or put it back into your 2 liter bottle.  Cap tightly.

Drink and be filled!  
(Mead is good ice cold or warm.  I've put half a shot of maple mead in my morning oatmeal in lieu of flavouring it - and it can also be used to marinate meat!)

Finished Tasting Notes:
Burnt Mead:
Tastes of vanilla, dark caramel.  A friend of mine tasted this one, and said...marshmallow. (Very weird!)  Not readily identified as honey.  Very much of a kick!  Probably a heavier, richer mead.  (Was made with store brand honey.)

Blueberrry Mead:
Cooked blueberry notes.  Lighter in taste.  (Made with billybee honey, frozen blueberries.) Also, kicks like a mule.

Blueberry Maple Syrup Mead:
Simplest mead, but very rich.  Still tastes of real maple syrup, very woodsy, very complex. Blueberries are hinted at.  (Made with dark maple syrup, frozen blueberries.)  Very strong, but sweet....will sneak up on you!  Blueberries were chucked in during the aging process.

Not Sure You Like Mead?  Try Faux Mead
-  Aging Time:  2 weeks
-  Ingredients:  1 pound of honey, 1 (750 mL) bottle of cheap dry white wine, 1 clove, 1 pinch of nutmeg, 1 pinch of cinnimin.
-  Simmer all ingredients on low.  Skim the scum off the top, and simmer it until it reduces back down to one quart.  Put it back in the bottle, and re-cork it.  Leave it to age for two weeks!
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18  TMNT Love - The Shredder! in Other Image Reproduction Techniques: Completed Projects by astrangeone on: July 17, 2012 02:53:54 PM
Okay, I admit to being a big nerd - I still love the TMNT franchise, even though it has officially jumped the shark.  (Turning The Shredder into a bloodthirsty alien/demon that spanned the ages...weird.)

Anyhow, this is a stamp (it was a colouring page) of the Shredder!



I made the decision not to cut out his imprint of his boot sole.  He kicks so much butt that his foot permanently smells of butt!

The imprint - I need to get a beyer or at least mount the thing temporarily.  Stupid me!

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19  Re: Hand-Carved Stamp Swap--Round 4 GALLERY! in The Swap Gallery by astrangeone on: July 17, 2012 02:42:37 PM
Pardon me, awesome stamps coming through!

I received a very tasty smelling package last week - it was from chibilightangel!  She's an angel, and she went with my nerdy side - old school video games.  Katamari, a heart, an Oddish (one of my favourite generation 1 Pokemon), and a Snitch!



Also, the most amazing extra ever!  (It smells so good, I've been using it in my drawer for a burst of scent!)



(Ignore the crappy photography - I've lost my camera cable and it means I was relying on my 3DS to do the job - turns out I need the stabilization mode VERY MUCH!)

Thank you, chibilightangel!  I've already used your stamps to mark up a package bound to Hong Kong!

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Last, but not least is WideEyedLife!

I dunno what happened, but the postal services have been extremely slow from either the USA to Canada or vice-versa.  But it was worth the wait!

Get your wisting fingers ready!



Psst....don't worry, WideEyedLife, I have a bunch of greeting cards that don't match my personality.  It's weird, although.

Thank you very much - I'm already planning a set of greeting cards with the words censored and my external female genitialia stamp mixed together!
Thank you very much - WideEyedLife! I'd be using these soon!  (And I love the packaging!)


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20  Re: OTHPT3 Gallery in The Swap Gallery by astrangeone on: July 05, 2012 12:40:24 PM
Oooooo...Whomping Willow!

Anyhow, let me you ready for wisting!


I love this photo of Bellatrix, and the earrings are gorgeous.

The back reads:

[astrangeone - Hope you think these Bellatrix inspired earrigs are as hot as she is.  Hope you get pierced soon so you can wear them!  Enjoy!  Abbeeroad]


A closer look at the earrings!

Thank you, Abbeeroad - I'm heading to Claires soon for my piercing!
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