Doctor Who?

Dr who weeping angel

A large group on my friends are big fans of Dr. Who (Dr. Who is a long running science fiction series on PBS). My husband recently became a fan. Since a new season with a new doctor was to begin last weekend, he decided he wanted to throw a Dr.Who premiere party at our house. I was reluctant to help plan the event but after seeing his excitement with planning the event I decided to help out.
My contribution started out as volunteering to make the Dalek cakes. I followed the linked recipe for the ingredients and searched online for inspiration for the decoration. After some research I decided I needed this pop up pan to make my cakes. It worked out well forming cupcakes with just the right slant. I just had to trim a bit off the bottoms to make the robot’s bottom flat. I substituted whole wheat flour for white flour and no one noticed.

The ingredients called for melted chocolate mixed with heavy cream. It was a liquidity mess pouring this over the cakes.

I tried to attach six-lets to the side but they kept falling off. When I tried to move some cakes around, they fell apart.

I pieced them back together and continued my decoration. I used pocky, signs, and food spray paint.

I was so disappointed with the way they turned out but the guests really loved them. Plus the cake was pretty good too. (Hint: Secret ingredient in cake mix was amaretto).

After I was done constructing cakes, I helped my husband with some of his decorations.

This was on the ceiling of the bathroom to creep out the guests as well as some eyeliner so you can remember that you saw him.

Angry weeping angel finds you when you close the door. Don’t blink!

After guests arrived, they could cut out their own mask.

Or make their own cute Adipose.

Our guests brought over some more fun treats as well.

Sonic Screwdrivers

Cybermites (rum balls)

Jelly babies

For non-sweets we had Silurian pods, bowtie pasta, green stuff was for the Radioactive-Spuds. We also had k-9 dogs (hot dogs) and fish fingers (not pictured).

And finally I tried my hand at food craft once more. I made marshmallow Adipose.

The night was fun for all. I even enjoyed watching the episode. Ssssh don’t tell my husband but I may be enjoying this Dr. Who more and more 😉

Stoemp

A girl from the Orlando Lady Crafters (a group I am a member of) has habit of planning wonderful gatherings. We recently met and she invited me to her most recent gathering – Belgium night.
Orlando Lady Crafters do not knit; we are a group of ladies who are interested in craft beer. The range of experiences in the group go from home brewers ready to start their own brewery to newbies who are just now venturing past ciders. It is a lovely group of ladies that I’m glad I know.
For Belgium night the idea is that you bring a Belgium beer to share for tasting and a Belgium dish. Not many of us were familiar with Belgium food past mussels with fries or Belgium waffles. I did some internet searches and came across this recipe for stoemp. Stoemp is a mashed potato dish mixed with some vegetable. It is supposed to be the quintessential comfort food. I chose it partly because it seemed simple to make and partly because I have never cooked with leeks before. I pretty much stayed on recipe except the addition of more garlic….I always add more garlic.

We always try to use organic ingredients whenever possible. Here is the bounty from whole foods.

Since it was my first time with leeks I did some internet searching for proper preparation. You are supposed to cut off the dark green leaves (I have saved them for soup stock later). I left too much green in my first cut so ended up cutting some more off later. Instructions on the web say to slice the leeks down middle and then 1/4 way from there to make it easier to clean the inside dirt. After cleaning I sliced it into small slivers.

While the potatoes boil I prepare the leeks.

Leeks are sauteed with onions, garlic and butter (butter yum).

Potatoes are fully mashed

After the leeks are translucent the broth and cream is added according to instructions. Once the liquid is cooked down it all mixed together and topped with nutmeg.

I really liked the recipe. I just wish I choose red potatoes instead of the boring light brown ones. I would have added more salt too, especially since I was making it for others (we salt much less at home). I did get some praises so I might keep this one in my recipe book for comfort food times (holidays, etc).

Source:
http://www.food.com/recipe/stoemp-aux-poireaux-stoemp-met-prei-belgian-mashed-potatoes-121428

Christmas Morning

Our social calendar has been way booked up lately so when I discovered no one in the family made plans for Christmas day I was excited. I had dreams of sitting at home in my pajamas all day. We would eat while watching sappy Christmas movies all day (Most years we record a bunch of lifetime or hallmark movies but this year we had a good share of Ion channel movies. They were perfectly corny for the day).
I started my day with an Amaretto iced coffee. I love the creaminess of soymilk in my coffee.

Pinterest has ton of recipe ideas that I say I am going to try but never do and when I do they look nothing like the beautiful photos that are taken. For breakfast I prepared pumpkin French toast the night before. All that needed to be done was throw it in the oven in the morning. Some substitutions I made was multi-grain bread for French baguette, 6 eggs instead of 8, wheat flour instead of white, and I added slightly less sugar in the topping (I am not a dessert for breakfast kind of girl). It was good but some of the toast was soggy; except the part that we reheated the next day. I love savory French toast (I am the girl who asks for no powder sugar and uses no syrup) so I probably won’t make this particular recipe again. My husband seemed to enjoy it though.

 
 
After the coffee was done, I treated myself to peach bellinis.
 

 
The day would have been perfectly lazy except we realized later we had no food prepared for dinner. We had to get dressed and luckily a great Vietnamese restaurant was opened for dinner.
I hope you had a happy holiday too!

Corn grits with collards and cheese

Many times I have an item or two that I want to make that I am not sure what to do with. In times like these a simple web search comes in handy. Some of the collards in the yard were ready to be picked before they went bad. The collards along with the corn grits that we purchased a while ago from our food co-op led  me to this recipe. I made it today with the collards from the yard. A few substitutions were made: grits were cooked with chicken broth instead of the whey or water, sauteed garlic was added to the mix, parmesan cheese was omitted, only a dash of cayenne was used, and butter was omitted from the polenta portion of the recipe. The result was good but my dish doesn’t look much like the original recipe.

Salmon Orzo Salad

This is another addition of lets make a salad of whatever we have in the refrigerator. Today is was a salmon orzo Salad.
I had some orzo I wanted to finish off so I threw together a few things.

All amounts are approximate.

1 cup of dried orzo cooked according to package
1/2  of 14.75 oz can of wild caught alaskan pink salmon (the one that has the bones and skin)
2 medium tomatoes chopped
1/2 cup black olives chopped
2 medium roasted red peppers (jar) chopped
Juice from 1/2 lemon
dash dried oregano
dash dried dill
salt & pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients. If at room temperature, chill before serving.
I also added some feta cheese mixed in.
Quite tasty mid-day meal.

Overnight Oats Failure

I make overnight oats one or two times a month. I usually make a batch that includes 1 cup of dry oats and it lasts me a few days. We have only been keeping Steel Cut Oats in the household lately. I had a craving for overnight oats so decided to give it a go with the steel cut oats. What I found is that the steel cut oats do not soak up the moisture like the rolled oats. The end result was a chewy mess. Recipes online say to heat up the oats before serving to make them smoother. I tried heating them but it still was not smooth as I like it and I prefer my oats cold. Additionally you lose the benefits from the active cultures in the yogurt when you heat them. Next time I will pre-cook the steel cut oat or use rolled oats again.