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1  Craft Swaps / ACTIVE SWAPS WHERE SIGN-UP PERIOD HAS CLOSED / Re: Necklace Swap 2017 (Signups thru July 21; Sendouts Aug. 14) on: July 24, 2017 07:58:10 AM
2 up and 2 down. 
One I wasn't happy with, so restarted.  Another I finished completely and it broke as I was adjusting the chain.  No fixing him.  Restart!    Undecided 
2  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Craftalongs / Re: ~*Harry Potter Craftalong - Midsummer Term 2017*~ Join anytime! on: July 23, 2017 06:53:01 PM
Class/Challenge/House Pride: Alchemy
SPEW: --
House: Hufflepuff
Project Name: Vinyl Fun
Project Page Link: -
Brief Description: I saw a cute idea like this pinned and knew my mundane laundry room needed something to turn it Potter Precious.  And because creating something for the cutting machine is usually quick, I also added a touch of Snape to my mixer.  My Gryffindor says I should now name the mixer Snape. 
Project Picture:

Class/Challenge/House Pride:  Apparition
SPEW: --
House: Hufflepuff
Project Name: Trading Cards
Project Page Link: -
Brief Description: I have a whole stack of these Potter trading cards.  I keep them in my church bag to color during meetings.  Shh!  At least coloring is better than falling asleep!
Project Picture:

Class/Challenge/House Pride: Arithmancy
SPEW: --
House: Hufflepuff
Project Name: Potter Thank You Cards
Project Page Link: -
Brief Description: These thank you cards feature the Harry Potter golden trio.  It features two skills of hand drawing and computer coloring.
Project Picture:

Class/Challenge/House Pride: Astronomy
SPEW: --
House: Hufflepuff
Project Name: Strawberry and Raspberry Jam
Project Page Link: -
Brief Description: The berries are doing great this year.  Needed some bright jam!  I kept all the seeds in this time.  They look like cute little astroids hanging out in the galaxy of red jam. The recipe is the basic one that comes with the pectin box. 
1 box pectin
5 cups pureed berries
1/2 tsp butter
7 cups of sugar
Add pectin, berries, and butter to a pot and bring to a boil.  Stir in sugar and boil again for 1 minute.  Spoon into prepared jars and use water bath canner for 10+ minutes.  ~read up on canning and follow the pectin recipe for more precise instructions. 
Project Picture:

Class/Challenge/House Pride: Divinations
SPEW: -- given to a church, but sadly not for them to sell.
House: Hufflepuff
Project Name: Smores Bars
Project Page Link: https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=452800.msg5453434#msg5453434 - Recipe on Link
Brief Description: Mmm... my favorite bars.  These transform from a gooey marshmallowy-chocolatey liquid goo, to a crunchy sweet solid. These indoor smores bars were made for a youth conference.  I've had teen boys tell their mothers "would you ask [pattyo] to make those for my scout night?" LOL, so when I got asked to make some treats, knew these were what I was going to do.  And because it's a four day campout, the treats needed to be big!  This is three batches.  I needed to make 2 doz, but the box was bigger, so I made a 3rd batch, so it fit better. 
Project Picture:

Class/Challenge/House Pride: Floo -- Muggle Excuses
2013- Kitchen Duty Anniversary Challenge
SPEW: --
House: Hufflepuff
Project Name: SunOven Cobbler
Project Page Link: https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=452801.0  Recipe on Link
Brief Description: Sorry about the late work Professor!  I procrastinated long enough that by the time I wanted to do this project, a large thunderbird was hanging around.  I couldnt use my sunoven with him blocking the sun every day.  However his lovely work has made my garden flourish and my blackberry patch look great!  So I wasnt trying to be mean and shoo him away.  In honor of the great thunderbird that stuck around the last of prompt time, I made a blackberry cobbler with nothing but the suns rays for heat.  This is a new recipe and whoa is it yum.  Even my hubs who hates cooked fruit had two servings and kept saying how great it was.  I've made it twice in the last week.  And it is as basic of a recipe as they come!  Thanks thunderbird for the inspiration, hope I wont get too much detention for the lateness.
Project Picture:

Class/Challenge/House Pride:  Muggle Studies
SPEW: --
House: Hufflepuff
Project Name: Healthy Gummies
Project Page Link: -
Brief Description: These gummies have a secret!  They look like deliciously sugary gummy bears and worms, but that's a disguise.  Its true nature is pretty healthy, uses no calorie sweetener and pure fruit! Dont tell the little wizards, because these are still just as jiggly and fun to eat. 
Natural Gummy Bears
 1 C. Fruit Juice
2 C. Fresh Mixed Berries (Raspberries, Strawberries, Blackberries.)
1 TBSP Natural Sweetener or to taste (I'll add more next time)
5 Tbsp. (5 Pkgs.) Unflavored Gelatin
Combine juice and berries in a pot and boil for 5 minutes or until soft enough to break with a spoon.  Put in a blender and mix until smooth.  Pour through a strainer and press to get out all the juice.  Put back in blender with gelatin and mix until smooth.  Spoon into molds and refrigerate until set.
Project Picture:

Class/Challenge/House Pride: Potions
SPEW: --
House: Hufflepuff
Project Name: HP Music Box
Project Page Link: -
Brief Description: For the latest HP swap I made my partner a music box.  Basic box, stained and then painted a starry night Hogwarts on top.  To the side is the real magic though!  I bought music box workings that play dear Hedwig's Theme.  Love it.  Was a bit hard to source though.  Had to come clear from China.  Worth it still.
Project Picture:

Class/Challenge/House Pride: Quidditch -- Pride of Portree 6
SPEW: --
House: Hufflepuff
Project Name: Blackberry Syrup & Lemonade
Project Page Link: -
Brief Description: More blackberries!  What to do this time?  A pretty purple simple blackberry syrup.  It's super easy, so I made some lemonade to use it in to eat up my whole 30 minutes as a project.  Yum!
Blackberry Simple Syrup
1 1/4 cup water
3/4 cups raw sugar
1 cup fresh blackberries

Heat the sugar, blackberries, and water in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.
Simmer for 10 minutes, reducing heat if mixture starts to boil.
Remove from heat and smash blackberries with a potato masher.
Allow to cool for 10 minutes, then pour through a mesh strainer into a bowl or cup.
Use a large spoon to push as much liquid through the strainer as possible.
Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator.

1 3/4 cups white sugar
8 cups water
 1 1/2 cups lemon juice
In a small saucepan, combine sugar and 1 cup water. Bring to boil and stir to dissolve sugar. Allow to cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate until chilled.
Remove seeds from lemon juice, but leave pulp. In pitcher, stir together chilled syrup, lemon juice and remaining 7 cups water.

I did a little less sugar in the lemonade and put the syrup in its place, but I like super sweet lemonade so I think I could have made the lemonade full blast and still added some blackberry syrup.

Project Picture:

Class/Challenge/House Pride: Quidditch -- Stonewall Stormers 7
SPEW: --
House: Hufflepuff
Project Name: Chocolate Frogs
Project Page Link: -
Brief Description: Needed to make up a batch of chocolate frogs for our Potter room.  Used a chocolate frog mold and my favorite compound chocolate: Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Melting Wafers.  Sure, you can get Wiltons in fun colors, but what good is that if it tastes like wax?  You'll want to use a wafer or compound chocolate or you're going to have to add some steps to temper regular chocolate....  Melt the chocolate and fill the mold, cool in the fridge and pop out of the mold.  Easy!  For these one I added marshmallows inside.  One is a white chocolate (of ghirardellis) and one is rice crispies.  Hubby says next time white chocolate needs to have oreo crumbs in it.  That would be good! Stripes are caramel ... My container is not full because I keep having wizard family members sneak off with them. 
Project Picture:

Class/Challenge/House Pride: Quidditch - Falmouth Falcons 10
SPEW: --
House: Hufflepuff
Project Name: Blackberry fruit leather
Project Page Link: -
Brief Description: I feel bad choosing against Ron's Cannons, but I've got some really dark colored blackberry fruit leather I'm bringing to the game, and it has to be for the Falcons!
1 blender full of blackberries.
1 blender full of chopped nectarines
2 cans of applesauce
1/2 cup sugar (because my kids won't eat it without sugar and it's more important to eat than take the time to prepare super healthy and throw them away!)
put on dehydrator trays and dehydrate for 12-18 hours or until not sticky.
Project Picture:

Class/Challenge/House Pride: Quidditch - Moose Jaw Meteorites 11
SPEW: --
House: Hufflepuff
Project Name: Sparkly Santa Cam Ornament
Project Page Link: -
Brief Description: Saw this ornament idea on pinterest and thought it would be cute for my ladies craft group to do, so made one up as an example.  So fun and sparkly!  Inside is all glittered, vinyl saying and Christmasy ribbons on top.
Project Picture:

Class/Challenge/House Pride: Quidditch - Caerphilly Catapults 13
SPEW: --
House: Hufflepuff
Project Name: Marshmallow Popcorn
Project Page Link: -
Brief Description: Got a new to me popcorn maker and have been nervous to use it.  Well went ahead and tried it for this recipe and when the smoke started I was wondering if it was risky to be using it, but pressed on... after telling the rest of the wizards if the fire alarm goes off it was just me....lol.  The fire alarm never went off and I continued on making a few batches of popcorn and then into marshmallow popcorn!  And three delicious bags went out to neighbors too.

1 bag popped popcorn (I used 8 cups fresh popped)
cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 TB light corn syrup
20 Large Marshmallows
Pop corn and place in a bowl making sure there are no unpopped kernels there.
Melt butter in a medium pot on the oven.
Add brown sugar and corn syrup until well blended.
Add marshmallows and stir continuously on low heat until all melted.
Pour mixture over popcorn and mix well.
Spread popcorn on parchment paper or put in greased baking sheet and cut into squares.
Project Picture:

3  COOKING / Dessert / Re: Blackberry Cobbler & Chantilly Cream on: July 22, 2017 08:53:56 PM
Hubby got his way. Made it again. This time conventional oven. You can see the difference in browning. Edges were crisper this time more cookie like than cake like. I might take five or ten minutes off bake time when I make it again in a regular oven. Was still super delicious!  Gone in one sitting.

4  COOKING / Dessert / Re: Blackberry Cobbler & Chantilly Cream on: July 22, 2017 04:31:53 PM
Love my SunOven!

I let it preheat for 30 minutes.  I probably would have put the cobbler right in without preheating but the berries needed to sit for 30 minutes anyway.  There is a temp gauge in it and it said it was about 375.  On good summer days it will get 350-400.  You could still bake it in the winter at 300 or less, just left in longer. 

As a general rule, seems like food needs about double the time as a conventional oven.  Since the cooker was pretty close to 375, I checked on the cobbler right at 45 minutes.  It looked done, but I left it in another 30 just to be sure.  Items won't brown like they will in the oven, so sometimes it's hard to tell.  You have to leave sugary things in a long time before it burns and savory dishes pretty much won't burn.   So leaving it in longer after it is done isn't a big deal in this solar cooker.
5  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General / Re: Harry Potter Starry Night Music Box on: July 21, 2017 04:05:12 PM
What tune does the music box play?

Hedwigs theme of course!   Cheesy
6  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General / Harry Potter Starry Night Music Box on: July 20, 2017 08:31:50 PM
Harry Potter Starry Night Music Box

Made for my partner in the Burrow Swap.  Bought a basic wood box at Hobby, stained it and painted the top.  Bought music box workings and counter-sink drilled the side hole so the mechanism wouldn't push out too far.  Super hard to let go of!  I'm going to need my own.  ...And filled it with cards too!  

Plays Hedwigs theme of course!

mechanism in corner

Music Box

7  COOKING / Dessert / Blackberry Cobbler & Chantilly Cream on: July 20, 2017 07:58:36 PM
Had toooo many blackberries from our bushes, so have been finding ways to use them like crazy.  Came across this cobbler recipe and whoa! Yum!  My hubby, who hates cooked fruit, gobbled it down and kept saying how great it was.  He had more than one serving and has asked for it again.  Told him go pick some more blackberries and I will.... he says "eh, maybe I don't want it that much."  LOL

Blackberry Cobbler
2 1/2 cup Fresh blackberries, washed
1 cup Sugar
1 cup Flour
2 teaspoons  Baking powder
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1 cup Milk
1/3 cup butter, melted

Stir together just the berries and sugar in a large bowl and let it sit for 25-30 minutes. This will bring the juices of the blackberries so that they can be sweetened up by the sugar, this process is called macerating.
Preheat the oven to 375.
Stir together the flour, baking powder, salt, and milk with a wooden spoon. Next, stir in the melted butter and hand-mix it until the ingredients are well incorporated and you have few clumps.
Use a 8"x8"x2" baking dish.   Lightly grease the pan.  Pour in the batter and smooth it out. Pour the macerated blackberries on top with all the sugar included and evenly distribute it over the batter.
Bake for 45 minutes or until golden. Let it set up for 15 minutes and then serve with ice cream or whipping cream.

Chantilly Cream (when you want to sound fancier than sweetened whipped cream)

1 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon granulated sugar

Put cream, vanilla, and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and beat until soft peaks begin to form. Cover and refrigerate until serving.

This was one hour's picking - 10 pounds!

And no need to get the house hot!  This is great baked with a SunOven.
8  COOKING / Dessert / Indoor Smores Bars on: July 20, 2017 07:47:39 PM
These are some of my favorite treats to bring when the audience is going to be teen boys.  They always get fabulous reviews, even from adults, but I usually like to take fancier treats to bigger kids lol.  I had a mom once call me and sheepishly asked "My son wants your bars for his treat at his eagle scout night... tonight.  Could you maybe...."  Needless to say I did make them and I always keep the ingredients on hand now! 

This batch in particular was made for a church's youth conference.  Three batches, made in big squares. 

Indoor Smores

8 cups Golden Grahams cereal
5 cups miniature marshmallows
1 1/2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup light corn syrup
5 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 extra cups miniature marshmallows, if desired

Measure cereal into large bowl. Butter rectangular pan, 13x9x2 inches. Heat butter in a large pot until melted.  Add 5 cups marshmallows and corn syrup until melted and smooth when stirred.  Add chocolate chips and mix until melted through. Stir in vanilla. Pour over cereal in bowl; quickly toss until completely coated. Stir in 1 cup marshmallows, saving 1 cup for the top. Press mixture evenly in pan, using buttered back of spoon. Let stand uncovered at least 1 hour, or refrigerate for a firmer bar. Cut into 2-inch squares. Store loosely covered at room temperature up to 2 days.

9  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / Re: Bad Ass B!t@# Necklace on: July 19, 2017 10:35:08 AM
Whoa.  Love the look.  Love the symbolism.  Rocks!
10  Craft Swaps / ACTIVE SWAPS WHERE SIGN-UP PERIOD HAS CLOSED / Re: Necklace Swap 2017 (Signups thru July 21; Sendouts Aug. 14) on: July 18, 2017 06:26:05 PM
Q Sent.   Grin
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