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3761  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Craftalongs / Re: HP Craftalong ~Winter Semester 2012~ *Join At Any Time* on: February 24, 2013 07:21:08 PM
@the-essence, the Owl necklace is yours! Just PM me your address.
3762  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Craftalongs / Re: HP Craftalong ~Winter Semester 2012~ *Join At Any Time* on: February 24, 2013 03:25:29 PM
Class: Charms
House: Gryffindor
Project Name: Jewelry Etching & Patina

Brief Description: I reported a few weeks ago that I had found a Vintaj BigKick Machine on clearance at Michael's.  Since then I've been collecting stamping blanks, etching folders, and patina paints to go with them.  I bought some supplies here in town, using lots of coupons, and ordered a lot of stuff online from various discount places.  But once I had assembled lots of things, I didn't know where to begin.  I definitely felt Confunded.  So yesterday I carved out some time to play with my new toys.  I spent much longer than I thought I would on it, and learned some good things and some bad things.  First off, this is way too much fun.  Second, the supplies are darned expensive, even on sale/clearance.  Third, I need a few more items in order to be able to actually turn any of the things I've made into actual jewelry.  Those little findings are so specific, and create that Vintaj look, that I can't seem to really use alternates from my stash.  So for now, here are my favorites from yesterday's creations.  I wish it had been brighter outside.  The patterns actually really shine where I sanded and buffed them, either in silver or brass.
Project Picture:

Class: Transfiguration
House: Gryffindor
Project Name: Owl Necklace

Brief Description: While I was trying out the patina paints yesterday, I decided to test them out on a non-Vintaj piece of metal.  I dug through my stash till I found this lovely owl pendant.  After painting, I roughed it up a bit with a sanding block, so some of the silver would show through.  I really like the effect it gives at the top, where it looks like feathers.  And since this little guy needs a home, I'm offering it up to the first person who asks for it.  
Project Picture:

Challenge: Horcrux Hunt - Harry Potter
House: Gryffindor
Project Name: Horcrux Stitch Markers

Brief Description: It feels awkward to say that I hunted down and "killed" this Horcrux, because it's Harry Potter.  I don't want to kill Harry Potter.  It feels wrong.  But, the Horcrux needed to go, so I did what I had to do.  For this item, I created Lord Voldemorte's Horcruxes, in stitch marker form.  I want to say, "Aren't they cute?"  But Horcruxes should never be cute.
Project Picture:

3763  Craft Swaps / ARCHIVE OF SWAPS THAT ARE TOTALLY FINISHED / Re: OAHPT aka One Awesome Harry Potter Thing ~Sendouts 3/20~ on: February 22, 2013 09:20:56 AM
Shipped out last night!
3764  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Craftalongs / Re: HP Craftalong ~Winter Semester 2012~ *Join At Any Time* on: February 22, 2013 07:18:00 AM
~*Advanced Studies Friday Update*~

OWL Project - Alchemy, Option 1: DONE & Shipped off to the lovely FiberAlchemist!
I spent Tuesday & Wednesday nights finishing last minute details on the Water & Earth components.  Then I brought all the components to work yesterday to take pictures, before packing it up.  Stopped at the post office on my way home in the pouring rain, and now it's on the way to its new home.  Scheduled to arrive Monday, so hopefully I'll be able to post pictures by Tuesday or Wednesday.

NEWT Project - Charms
Two Faithful Souls Afghan

I have begun crocheting my Two Faithful Souls Afghan for my friend's wedding.  The wedding is in May, so I do have plenty of time, but I am hoping to keep it to 4-5 weeks of crafting time.  I have completed the first 10 rounds, which is about 8% of the ghan.  Here is a picture I took just before bed last night.

3765  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Craftalongs / Re: HP Craftalong ~Winter Semester 2012~ *Join At Any Time* on: February 21, 2013 06:11:00 AM
Thanks indigo!
3766  COOKING / Vegetarian / Vegan / Re: Vegan Roasted Mushroom Soup & Sweet Potato Biscuits on: February 21, 2013 06:07:36 AM
Thanks ladies!
3767  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Craftalongs / Re: HP Craftalong ~Winter Semester 2012~ *Join At Any Time* on: February 20, 2013 05:34:13 PM
Challenge: Bertie Bott's - Grass
House: Gryffindor
Project Name: Vegan Roasted Mushroom Soup & Sweet Potato Biscuits

Project Page Link:  https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=420644.0
Brief Description: While I'm not actually vegetarian or vegan, I've been trying to eat more vegetarian meals lately.  Both for my health, and for the environmental impact.  Since I also happen to be lactose intolerant, that usually means using vegan recipes to avoid any dairy too.  Going vegetarian or vegan for even a few meals a week can have a huge impact on our planet and our natural resources.  Plus, there's just so much tasty food to try!   Cheesy  Since I already posted the recipe on the cooking board, I'm not going to repost it here.  Just follow the link above to make up your own delicious batch.
Project Picture:
3768  COOKING / Vegetarian / Vegan / Vegan Roasted Mushroom Soup & Sweet Potato Biscuits on: February 20, 2013 05:30:09 PM
While I'm not actually vegetarian or vegan, I've been trying to eat more vegetarian meals lately.  Both for my health, and for the environmental impact.  Since I also happen to be lactose intollerant, that usually means using vegan recipes to avoid any dairy too.  I love mushrooms, and so while DH was out on Monday night, I went and made myself a big batch of Roasted Mushroom Soup, and some Sweet Potato Biscuits to have with it.  I've been enjoying it for lunch all week!

Vegan Sweet Potato Biscuits

Here's the link to the recipe I used: My Vegan Cookbook - Sweet Potato Biscuits

1 Small - Medium Sweet Potato (use exactly 1/2 cup mashed)
3/4 Cup Almond Milk
1 Teaspoon Apple Cider Vinegar
1 & 1/4 Cup Whole Wheat Flour
3/4 Cup All Purpose Flour
1 & 1/2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 Teaspoon Sea Salt
1 Teaspoon Sugar
1 Tablespoon Canola Oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cook your sweet potato, either by peeling, chopping & boiling, or by microwaving it, like a baked potato. Set aside to cool slightly.

In a small mixing bowl, mix together almond milk and vinegar and let set for a few minutes to curdle.

In a separate large mixing bowl mix together the flours, baking soda and powder, salt and sugar.

Whisk together the sweet potato with the almond milk mixture. Pour into the mixing bowl with the flour and mix together until almost incorporated. Then add the oil to the dough, put a few drops of oil on your hands, and start kneading the dough with your hands. Fold the dough over onto itself a couple times.

Next, spread the dough out about 3/4 inches thick on a floured surface, then sprinkle the top with flour. With a 2 & 1/2 inch biscuit cutter, cut the biscuits out and lay onto a greased cookie sheet. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden on top.  I actually hate rolling out & cutting biscuit dough, so I simply pulled off chunks, and patted them down smooth on the tray, like slightly smoothed drop-bidcuits.

Note: I used a 7 oz sweet potato, the kind that come pre-wrapped in plastic, and are meant to be microwaved.  It was a hair under the amount I needed of vegetable puree, so I ended up using an extra 1/2 Tablespoon of canola oil.  You could also use unsweetened apple sauce instead. I liked them, and they definitely weren't "sweet", despite the potato.  I think they might be nice to try making with pumpkin puree too.  

Roasted Mushroom Soup
For the soup, I referenced two different recipes  and still ended up altering it, based on what was in the house.  Here are the two original recipes that I based mine off of.

Epicurean Vegan - Roasted Mushroom & Garlic Soup with Caramelized Onions
Lunchbox.com - No Cream of Mushroom Soup

9 oz white mushrooms, sliced
9 oz baby bella mushrooms, sliced
6 oz shiitake mushrooms, sliced
cup frozen cauliflower
1 15 oz can whole new potatoes
1 cup almond milk
1 T. minced garlic, divided
1-2 Tbs olive oil + a drizzle
Salt and pepper, to taste
4 C vegetable stock

Caramelized onions:
1 large white or yellow onion, sliced into strips
1 Tbs olive oil
2 tsp sugar

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  (You can do this at 400 degrees while the biscuits cook if you wish.)

Toss the sliced mushrooms with the oil, 1 T. minced garlic, kosher salt & pepper. Lay them flat on a baking sheet and roast for about 20-30 minutes - or until they begin to caramelize around the edges. After roasting, they should still be moist, yet fully cooked and flavorful to eat on their own.

Start the onions while the mushrooms are roasting.  Combine the onions and olive oil in your soup pot.  Cover and cook on medium-low 15-20 minutes. Remove the cover, and stir in the sugar.  Turn the heat up to medium-high, and cook until golden.  About 10 more minutes.  Remove the onions from the pan, and set aside.  

Deglaze the pan with a bit of vegetable broth.  Use a wooden spoon to scrape up all the tasty brown bits.

Defrost your cauliflower in the microwave, then place in blender with 3 c vegetable broth, can of new potatoes, 1 cup almond milk, and of the mushrooms.  (My blender is huge.  You may need to do this in two batches.)  Pour the pureed veggies into the soup pot, on medium-high heat.  Stirring occasionally, heat until piping hot.

Pour into bowls, and top with the caramelized onions and remaining mushrooms.

Notes: I had been planning to use either the cauliflower or canned beans called for in the above mentioned recipes, only to discover that I was out of beans, and had only cup cauliflower, midway through cooking.  I substituted the potatoes instead, and they made for a creamy and satisfying soup.  

I would have liked more solid mushrooms in the soup.  When I do this again, I think I'd add another container of baby bellas to the mix, so Id have more to use as topping.  The flavor of the soup was amazing.  The potatoes made it velvety and satisfying.  And it came to 145 calories per serving.  

In future, I might add a teaspoon of Gravy Master next time for a more golden brown color, as the potatoes + mushrooms made a slightly grey-brown color.  I didnt mind it, but the Gravy Master might make it prettier for company or non-vegetarian/vegan folks who might be doubtful. (P.S. I checked, and Gravy Master is vegan friendly.  Smiley)
3769  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Re: (Legal) Egg Collection on: February 20, 2013 11:18:18 AM
Love it!
3770  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Easter / Re: Bird's Egg Decorations on: February 20, 2013 11:17:27 AM
This are adorable Phizzy!
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