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1  COOKING / Vegetarian / Vegan / A Woodlander's Vegetable Pasty on: June 26, 2011 08:52:33 PM
This is the second post in a series. See this http://freethoseradicals.blogspot.com/2011/05/redwall-inspired-blackberry-apple.html link for an explanation behind these recipes.

A pasty is made up of a filling of meat and/or vegetables, enclosed in a case of pastry. They are a good way to make food more portable, but are also quite delicious as a feature of a sit-down meal. Pasties also are mentioned often in the Redwall books.

From The Outcast of Redwall:

I'd like a beaker of strawberry cordial and a big pastie, a mushroom, potato, and onion one; after that I think I'd go for some hot apple-and-blackberry crumble, with sweet white arrowroot sauce poured all over it.

Vegetable pasties also make frequent appearances at feasts, or in heroes' haversacks when going on quests.

This is what I think a Woodlander's vegetable pasty might be like.

Woodland Vegetable Pasties

c lentils
1 chopped yellow onion
2 minced garlic cloves
2 Tbs olive oil
1 chopped carrot
1 chopped stalk of celery
1 chopped portabella mushroom
tsp salt
2 Tbs water
2 tsp flour or cornstarch
sprig of parsley, minced
sprig of rosemary, minced

Pie dough (can purchase, but I used of thishttp://smittenkitchen.com/2008/11/pie-crust-102-all-butter-really-flaky-pie-dough/recipe, and Deb's recipe and methods are foolproof)
Cook lentils in about cup of water for 25-30 minutes.
Meanwhile, fry the chopped onion and minced garlic in 2 Tbs of olive oil, until the onions are translucent.
Chop the carrot and celery in the meantime. Add these to the frying pan and sautee for 5-10 minutes. Add the chopped mushroom and salt to the pan. Sautee for another five minutes, then turn off the heat.

Combine the lentils and vegetable mix into a bowl. Once the mixture has cooled somewhat, add 2 Tbs water, 2 tsp flour, parsley and rosemary and mix together thoroughly.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Roll the pie dough into four or six circles, depending on how large you want your pasty. Place the filling on one side of the circle (2-4 Tbs of filling), then fold the dough over the filling, pressing the edges together. Flatten the edges of the pasty with the tines of a fork to seal. Prick the dough several times with fork tines in order to allow steam to escape.

Cook the pasties for 20-25 minutes, the crust should be golden brown.

I had enough dough for four pasties, but enough leftover filling that I probably could have made six. One of these with salad was enough for my dinner.

There are making-of pictures at this link: http://freethoseradicals.blogspot.com/2011/05/woodlanders-vegetable-pasty.html
2  COOKING / Dessert / Redwall-inspired blackberry-apple crumble on: May 17, 2011 10:03:06 PM

Ever since hearing the sad news that Brian Jacques, author of the wonderful children's series Redwall, had passed away, I have been wanting to do a series of commemorative recipes based on his books. Unfortunately, I have been very busy with school, so I am just now getting to it. But I loved these books as a child, and still love them, and wanted to do something in Mr. Jacques' honor, however small.

It seemed like every time someone I knew talked about the Redwall books, they would invariably tell me how hungry the books made them, as they are full of wonderful feast descriptions. So what better way to remember then by making food inspired by the books?

The first recipe I did was blackberry-apple crumble. It is delicious, whether you have read these books or not.

For more pictures and the (longer) story behind this project, see my blog post here: http://freethoseradicals.blogspot.com/2011/05/redwall-inspired-blackberry-apple.html

Blackberry-Apple Crumble
Crumb topping:
c wheat flour
c rolled oats
c brown sugar
1 stick of butter

3 chopped apples
12 oz blackberries
2 tsp cornstarch
2 tsp granulated sugar

Toss together the chopped apples, cornstarch, and granulated sugar. Let the mixture sit for 15 minutes. Put apples into a baking dish, and mix in blackberries. (Alternatively, if you don't care if your berries get somewhat squished, mix apples and berries together at the beginning of this step.)

Meanwhile, blend together oats, flour, sugar, and cold butter with a pastry blender until the mixture forms pea-sized crumbs. Chill in the fridge for ~10 minutes.
Spread the topping evenly over the fruit. Bake at 375 for ~45 minutes

This is almost everything you will need.

Crumbles are humble-looking. But tasty.
3  POTTERY, CERAMICS, POLYMER CLAY / Polymer Clay: Completed Projects / Animal cell model, pic heavy on: December 27, 2010 04:05:52 PM

I had to make a eukaryotic cell in my Cell Biology class, so I decided to go all out with polymer clay and resin! We also had to read an article and build the findings of the article. So in my case, I read about a protein channel found within the mitochondria, and constructed that.

It was actually a lot of fun combining craftiness with science.

I had some issues at first with how I would make the plasma membrane, but found this lovely oval bowl that was the perfect size and shape.

So I built the membrane onto the bowl.

And then baked it at a low heat so it would be rigid, but still tacky.

I added some vesicles and then baked the polymer clay until it was hardened enough, then sanded out the rough spots.

And I made some organelles! This is a mitochondria.

I wanted to make the organelles look like they were floating in cytosol, so after painting the membrane, I poured a layer of resin in.

This is a close up of the nucleus with chromatin; the beads are supposed to be genes that code for the protein of interest from the paper I read. The green around the blue nucleus is rough and smooth endoplasmic reticulum. The little blue beads are ribosomes.

This is a large view of the channel in the mitochondria, the arrows are showing how products get moved in and out of the mitochondria.

I wanted to fill it with resin, so I taped off the open end and then poured the resin in.

like so!

Here is the completed structure.

Here is the article I based this on, if you like that sort of thing: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2849464/?tool=pmcentrez

And this is one of the pictures I based my model on: http://millville.sps.edu/allaccess/divisions/science/jdonnelly/Cell%20Page_files/04-05A-AnimalCell-L.jpg

Thanks for looking!
4  Halloween / Halloween Costumes / Jareth (from The Labyrinth) costume on: November 01, 2010 09:07:09 PM
Last year I was trying to dress as a victorian-era Englishman, and I ended up looking like Hours-era Bowie.

So this year, I dressed as David Bowie on purpose-- Jareth from the movie The Labyrinth!

It's more of an "inspired by" costume rather than trying to exactly copy any of the outfits from the movie.

Also, I would have submitted this to this year's contest, but I didn't actually make anything... I already owned most of this (Don't judge me!)

It was fun to try and figure out how to do a mullet without buying a wig, though. Lots of bobby pins.

Trying to brood like a goblin King. Instead I just look tired. This was after the party I went to, so my "mullet" had deflated.

I had a lot of fun wearing this!
5  COOKING / Dessert / Chocolate Guinness Cupcakes! on: August 16, 2010 06:49:44 PM
I made dessert out of beer!! You can use any stout, though, not just Guinness.

Chocolate Guinness Cupcakes

1 cup of stout
2 sticks of butter
3/4 cup of cocoa powder

2 cups flour
1 3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 tablespoon baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

2 eggs
Rounded 1/2 cup of cream cheese

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Melt the butter in a saucepan. Whisk in the cocoa powder, and add stout. Let the mixture cool.

Blend flour, sugar, baking soda, salt together and blend.

In a large bowl, beat eggs and cream cheese together. (an electric mixer would have made this step much easier!) When blended, add the stout/ chocolate mixture to the eggs about a quarter cup at a time, and blend, continuing this step until the eggs are tempered.
Add the flour mixture and stir until well-mixed.

Fill cupcake liners about 2/3 full. Bake about 13-18 minutes. ( I suspect my old oven runs hotter than most, as most cupcake recipes recommend 350 for 22-25 minutes. Experiment with timing).

Yields approx. 18 cupcakes.

I mixed up a quick buttercream icing, which was good, but not amazing, use your favorite icing recipe.

I posted my comments and a link to the recipe this is adapted from on my blog, here: http://freethoseradicals.blogspot.com/2010/08/chocolate-guinness-cupcakes.html
6  COOKING / Dessert / marzipan cake! on: May 25, 2010 02:09:35 PM
I love almonds, so it stands to reason that I also love marzipan. So, I made cake with it!

The recipe for the cake is here http://smittenkitchen.com/2008/04/almond-cake-with-strawberry-rhubarb-compote/.

Plain cake!

But I sort of winged my own fruit compote, so here is what I did:

Cut up 3-4 strawberries (frozen works too)

Combine in a saucepan with 1/3 cup of blueberries (I used frozen) and 1/3 cup of peaches (frozen).

Heat over medium, stirring, and add a dash of ginger, a tablespoon of sugar, and a tablespoon of honey. Heat for 10-15 minutes until the mixture is thickened slightly, then mash until smooth (ish)

Pour over cake and enjoy!

For more photos and commentary, check out the original post on my blog! http://freethoseradicals.blogspot.com/2010/05/almond-cake-and-fruit-compote.html
7  COOKING / Dessert / Mostly-vegan rice pudding with mango puree on: May 02, 2010 08:10:31 PM
I say "mostly-vegan" because it would have been vegan if I'd had another can of coconut milk in the house.

What better way to spend the last day before summer classes than cooking while singing along to Iron Maiden? If you said "nothing" then congrats, you're probably as nerdy as myself.

For the pudding itself, you need the following:
1/3 cup white rice
1 can (14 oz) of coconut milk
1 cup of cow milk (I used 1%)

*note that you can make this vegan/dairy free by just using 1 and 1/2 cans of coconut milk*

a pinch of salt
1 cinnamon stick (optional)
2-3 tablespoons sugar (I used brown)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

Once again, in photo form!

Start by adding the salt and the milk (both kinds) to the rice in a saucepan. Heat over medium-high. Stir frequently until the mixture boils, at this point adding the cinnamon stick. After it reaches boiling, turn down low, putting a lid on the saucepan.

Stir often until rice becomes tender, about 25 minutes. Remove the cinnamon stick, and then add the sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon. At this point, turn off the burner and let the pudding sit at least ten minutes. This will allow it to thicken.

For the mango puree:

1 mango, cut into small pieces
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
some water
small splash of lemon juice (optional)

Put the chopped mango in a small saucepan and cover the pieces about halfway with water. Add the sugar and lemon juice, and boil for 5-7 minutes over high heat. When the water's volume has been reduced by about half, mash the fruit pieces with a potato masher. Alternatively, it could be blended smooth with an immersion blender.

There are more photos and details here: http://freethoseradicals.blogspot.com/2010/05/mostly-vegan-rice-pudding-with-mango.html
8  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Roasted yam spice bread on: April 02, 2010 03:42:04 PM
Because I made this pretty much on a whim, I didn't take any "making-of" photos, I'm afraid.

really good with butter on it!

But! My husband barbecued us dinner last night, and he likes to put yams or sweet potatoes in the coals after we are done with the grill, and roasted yams are really good. We ended up with more than we could eat. It occurred to me that we have carrot cake, pumpkin bread, and sweet potato pie, so why not yam cake or yam bread?

So here's the recipe I came up with. It tastes somewhere between spicy carrot cake and pumpkin bread, and I will totally make this during thanksgiving or Christmas next year, as it tastes rather "holiday"ish.

Cooking it in a Dutch oven gave it a bit of a crust, which is a little weird on a sweet bread, but now I want to try soda bread in this thing!

Adapted from this: http://www.cooksrecipes.com/bread/cranberry_yam_bread_recipe.html

Roasted Yam Spice Bread

"wet ingredients"
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons maple syrup (can use one kind of sugar and skip the syrup, but it makes the flavors more complex)
2 yams, mashed (I did this by taking roasted yams, pulling off the skin, and mashing, but you could just bake them at 400 F or so until soft, roasting does give it a more caramelized flavor, though)
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup canola oil
2 tablespoons melted butter

dry ingredients
3/4 cup white flour
3/4 cup wheat flour (could use 1 1/2 cup of white if you prefer)
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda

preheat the oven to 350 F

mix the "wet ingredients" together in a large bowl.

In another bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, and pour the yam mixture into it. Mix until all of the flour is incorporated.

Pour/spoon the dough into a greased bread pan (I used a dutch oven, you could also use a square or round glass pan, or a normal loaf pan)

Depending on the size and material of the pan you use will affect the cooking time. With a dutch oven or other thick metal pan, 25-30 minutes will do.

I imagine that a loaf pan would take 45 minutes to an hour.

Bread is done when a toothpick/fork inserted into the middle comes out clean.

Let cool a bit and enjoy! Or do what I did and wait until your significant other is halfway through eating to tell them it's made out of root vegetables.  He was only slightly surprised, I guess he's used to my baking experiments by now.

9  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / Who will love Aladdin Sane? on: January 11, 2010 07:49:52 PM
I had the idea to make a pendant shaped like the lightening bolt on the forehead of David Bowie's "Aladdin Sane" persona. My inspiration came from this, if you aren't familiar  http://i43.tinypic.com/22jate.jpg

Anyhoo, here is the end result!

I rolled some red sculpy and cut it to about the right shape, then made an eyepin out of wire and stuck it in the top.


I made two, but the other one didn't quite look right, so I may make that into a zipper charm or something. We will see.

I didn't want to recharge my dremel, so this got polished with one of those nail buffer blocks, then I used some sparkly enamel paint i have that is supposed to be for cars.

Have another photo for scale!

Shortly after these were baked, the heating element on my oven burned out (literally in a ball of flame) so I'm glad these finished baking first, or my oven's death would have been wasted!
10  MORE ART, LESS CRAFT / More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works / Braaaains on: October 12, 2009 07:16:10 PM

Ok, so I couldn't resist the title, what with Halloween approaching and I have noticed that zombies seem to be more popular these days, but I wasn't thinking about either when I drew it Tongue

The rough draft is in this post at the bottom:

I also drew a steampunk mechanic (at least I believe that's what she is) who has no background, any suggestions?

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