Harry Potter Holiday Feast

A while ago I had bought myself The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook. My family and I are big Harry Potter fans so this purchase was an easy win. We went through a very long process of deciding what we wanted to make. As we were flipping through the book I noticed that all the recipes in this book contain no exotic ingredients. As in I don’t have to travel to a weird off the beaten path shop to find 1 required ingredient to complete any of the dishes found in this book. Everything needed for each recipe can be easily found at any local supermarket. After much deliberation, we decided to make Beef Stew with Herb Dumplings(pg 64-65) and a Custard Tart (pg 190-191). The recipes we chose were a little more labor intensive than my normal recipes, stew from scratch and 2 different dough from scratch, so I had to enlisted the help of my fiance to get everything done within a reasonable amount of time. First thing we did was sit down and plan out a time table of about how long it was going to take to make each dish. We calculated that it would take a minimum of 3 hours to make both recipes. Our game plan was to make this on a weekend so that we weren’t rushed trying to make everything in less than 3 hours.

We began by making the Tart dough the night before. You can make the dough the day of but once the dough is made it can get refrigerated for up to 3 days.

We started by adding flour, sugar, and salt into our mixing bowl and mixing these ingredients around a little to combine. Then we added in the small pieces of cold butter. Since we do not own a food processor we made due with a manual dough kneader. Knead the dough mixture until the butters is kneaded into a corn meal consistency (grainy instead of powdery).Then we added an egg yolk, heavy cream, and vanilla extract and began mixing with a  spatula to make the dough come together, It was a tiny bit dry we we added another splash of heavy cream wot make things a little easier. Once the dough has fully come together we transferred it to a piece of plastic wrap and wrapped it up. The dough can remain refrigerated for up to 3 days.

When we were ready to get the crust baked we pulled the dough ball out of the refrigerator, unwrapped it and placed in on a lightly floured table space. We also turned on the oven to preheat to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Using as rolling pin and flour to prevent sticking we rolled out the dough from a ball to a roughly 11 inch circle. If its too difficult to roll out the dough, let it set out for a few minutes. This allows the dough to thaw out a little bit and to  be more cooperative about being rolled out. Once the dough is rolled out to an 11 inch circle carefully pick it up and lay it over the un-greased tart tin. then carefully begin pressing the dough into the ridges and bottom of the tin, cutting off the excess at the top. Keep the excess pieces in case there is some holes you can press in the excess dough to fill the holes. Once you tart dough is fully pressed into the tin, we placed a sheet of aluminum foil over the top and filled with uncooked rice to use as weight to prevent the dough from puffing up during the blind bake. The recipe in the book suggests freezing the tart shell for 10 minutes before adding the foil and weights. This is to make make sure the butter is frozen before the baking process begins, If you don’t touch to dough too much and have it extra chilled this freeze step isn’t necessary. We placed the tin into the oven and allowed to bake until the dough looked dry( approximately 20 minutes). Once dry, reduce the heat to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and bake until golden (approximately 8 minutes). Once the tin goes into the oven you need to begin preparing the Custard.

Begin by adding milk and cream into a saucepan  over medium heat. Gently bring to a simmer do not bring to a boil. While waiting for the dairy to warm up,  add egg yolk, sugar, and corn starch into a bowl and whisk together until smooth. This next part is difficult. If done incorrectly you will end up with scrambled eggs and goop instead of creamy custard. Using a glass measuring cup, scoop out at least a 1/2 cup of warmed dairy mixture from the saucepan. Slowly pour the warm dairy mixture and whisk into the yolk mixture to temper the liquids. Once both mixtures have been successfully combined pour the tempered mixture into the saucepan and reduce the heat to low. Continue gently warming the custard stirring continuously with a wooden spoon allowing the custard to thicken up.  You can tell the custard is thick enough when you pull the wooden spoon out of the mixture and swipe your finger across the back. A cooked custard will still be liquid but will hold the swipe line in place. Remove the saucepan from the heat and add butter and vanilla extract and stir until combined. Once the custard is ready, immediately begin pouring the custard into the  tart shell. Fill close to the top but leave a little breathing room at the top. Carefully put the tart into the oven. Raise the oven temperature to 375 degree Fahrenheit and bake until the custard puffs up and is jiggly, about 15 minutes. Remove from oven and set on a wire cooling rack or a thick towel on an open table space because I have no idea where the wire cooling racks have disappeared to. Allow to cool completely before serving.

Next up, homemade herb biscuits to go with the beef stew. Begin by adding flour, salt, baking powder, black pepper, and all the herbs into a bowl. The recipe uses ground sage, ground thyme, dried marjoram, and chopped fresh parsley as the herbs mix. Whisk by hand or set on low in a stand mixer with a whisk attachment and whisk mixture together to combine the ingredients. Add in pieces of butter to the mixture and rub it with your fingertips in the mix until it resembles a coarse meal.  I have shoulder problems, which means that sometimes mixing the butter in by hand is a difficult task. One shortcut I use to at least cut down on the amount of time needed to hand mix is cut the butter into smaller than normal pieces and whisk at a 10 second burst of high speed mix with my fingertips for a little bit and then another 10 second burst if needed. Generally a coarse meal is a mixture that is grainy instead of powdery. Once you have achieved a coarse meal texture, add eggs and milk and mix with a rubber spatula to bring the dough together. Once you have 1 large clump of dough wrap it in plastic wrap and put in refrigerator until needed.

My fiancee and I decided that it would be easier for us to use the electric skillet to make the beef stew because the skillet has a really nice lid to use for the dumpling part. To begin making the stew we add some oil to the skillet and turn on the heat to medium-high. Sear all the beef pieces in batches if necessary, remove from skillet to a plate to rest. Once the beef has been removed add a little bit more oil and toss in the chopped onion and reduce to medium-low heat. stir the onions to prevent from sticking to the skillet until onion are softened. Once softened, add in flour and stir until combined. Pour in the chicken stock and stir to combine the flour and onion. Then add in the seared beef and its accumulated juices, salt and black pepper and return the heat to medium-high. The stew will need to be stirred occasionally until chicken stock has thickened and is bubbling. Reduce heat to low and allow to simmer for one hour. After one hour has passed add the chopped carrots, celery, and potatoes into the skillet. Allow to simmer for one hour stirring occasionally. After one hour has passed give the stew a good mix before adding in the dumplings. Remove the dumpling dough from the fridge and begin pinching off 1 inch dough balls into the stew. It is important that your hands are a little wet otherwise the dough will stick to your fingers instead of fall into the stew. Cover with a lid and let the dumplings steam for 30 minutes.

Dishing up and serving our meal is definitely the best part of this delicious meal. There was no leftovers.

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Custard Tart:

  • Tart Crust
    • 1 1/4 Cup All-Purpose Flour
    • 1/4 Cup Granulated Sugar
    • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
    • 1 stick  cold butter, cut in small pieces
    • 1 large egg yolk
    • 2 tablespoons Heavy Cream
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Add flour, sugar, and salt into a bowl a mix to combine. Add butter pieces and mix until the mixture is a coarse meal. Stir in egg yolk, heavy cream, and vanilla extract and keep stirring until well combined. Remove from bowl and form a disk then wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate.

preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. remove dough from fridge. Unwrap and roll out dough on a floured surface. Roll out at to approximately an 11 inch circle.  Carefully transfer to tart tin. Gently press the dough into the corners of the pan and remove any excess.

Freeze tart shell for 10 minutes. Line the pan with aluminum foil and fill will pie weights/uncooked rice. Bake until the dough is dry and set, approximately 20 minutes. Once in the oven begin the first step of the custard recipe. Reduce heat to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and continue baking until crust is golden brown, approximately 8 minutes.

  • Custard
    • 1 Cup Whole Milk
    • 1/2 Cup Heavy Cream
    • 3 Large Egg Yolks
    • 1/4 Cup Granulated Sugar
    • 2 teaspoons Cornstarch
    • 1 tablespoon butter
    • 1teaspoon Vanilla Extract

Heat milk and cream in a saucepan until it is hot but not simmering (do not boil). While waiting for the dairy to heat up whisk together egg yolks, sugar, and cornstarch until smooth. Scoop out and slowly pour 1/2 cup of the hot dairy mixture into the egg mixture whisking vigorously to prevent the eggs from becoming scrambled. Once well combined add the tempered egg mixture into the hot dairy mixture int he saucepan. increase to medium high heat stirring constantly until the mixture thickens up.Do not let the mixture come to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in butter and vanilla extract.

Raise the oven temperature to 375 degree Fahrenheit. Remove the tart shell from the oven and pour the custard filling into the crust.  Carefully put the custard tart into the oven to back until the custard has puffed up and is still slightly jiggly, approximately 15 minutes. Remove form oven and allow to cool completely before releasing the tart from the tin and serving


 

Beef Stew with Herb Dumplings:

  • Herb Dumplings
    • 1 cup flour
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground sage
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground thyme
    • 1/4 teaspoon dried marjoram
    • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
    • 1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
    • 2 tablespoons milk
    • 1 egg

Whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, black pepper, and all herbs. Add pieces of butter and rub through mixture with your fingertips until it is a coarse meal.

Whisk milk and egg together and add to the coarse meal mixture.Mix with a rubber spatula until a clump forms.Form into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until needed for the beef stew.

  • Beef Stew
    • 3 tablespoon vegetable oil
    • 1 1/2 pounds chuck steak, trimmed and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
    • 1 onion, chopped
    • 1 tablespoon flour
    • 1 14 ounce can chicken broth
    • salt and black pepper to taste
    • 2 carrots, cuts into 1 inch pieces
    • 2 ribs of celery, cut into 1 inch pieces
    • 4 potatoes, cut into 1 inch pieces

Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a wide skillet. Add the meat in batches to sear on all sides. Then transfer to a plate. Add remaining 2 tablespoons of oil to the skillet. Add the chopped onion and cook over medium-high heat until until softened.

Add the flour to the skillet and stir to combine. Pour in chicken broth, browned meat and its juices, and salt and black pepper to taste stir to combine. Increase heat to medium-high and stir occasionally until thickened and bubbling.Reduce heat to a simmer and let the stew simmer for one and a half hours.

Add carrots,  celery, and potatoes to the skillet. Stir to combine. Let the stew simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Wet hands and pinch off 1 inch of  the dumpling dough at a time and drop into the stew.Cover the skillet and let simmer for 30 minutes until the dumplings are cooked.

 

Homemade Ketchup

Since my post about making tomato paste, I felt I needed to show at least one of the cool uses of tomato paste. The most common and, in my opinion the easiest use, is home made ketchup.

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I start off with measuring out my dry spices and dumping them into a bowl. I find that 1/2 tsp of each is more than enough. For this recipe I used salt, black pepper, cumin, ground mustard and ground oregano. Feel free to mix and match different spices for different flavored ketchup.

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next I add 1/4 a cup of apple cider vinegar and mix everything well. If you need to use less vinegar, compensate by adding water. This 1/4 cup of liquids is what helps give the ketchup the right consistency.

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Using a whisk I add in a couple of spoonful of tomato paste into the bowl and mix well. And repeat until I have used enough tomato paste to achieve a nice consistency.

This time though I had made just enough tomato paste to fill this little mason jar so I added a little at a time until I ran out of tomato paste. Once you are done mixing you can use the ketchup right away or store in a container and refrigerate.

Inktober 2019

I decided to participate in Inktober this year. For those of you that don’t know what Inktober is, its a 31 days drawing challenge set in the month of October. There are several different prompts and themes from different place on the internet but I decided to go with this one. Instead of posting each individual picture I decided it would be easiest to just do the whole month as one mega post. Hope you all enjoy these Kreations!

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  2. Mindless——————————————————————————————————————img_20191003_185009_6435864556873711203781.jpg
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  15. Legend———————————————————————————————————————20191015_163449.jpg
  16. Wild————————————————————————————————————————-20191023_202304.jpg
  17. Ornament—————————————————————————————————————-20191023_202510.jpg
  18. Misfit———————————————————————————————————————–20191023_202643.jpg
  19. Sling————————————————————————————————————————20191023_202826.jpg
  20. Tread———————————————————————————————————————–20191023_203115.jpg
  21. Treasure——————————————————————————————————————20191023_203323.jpg
  22. Ghost———————————————————————————————————————–20191023_203542.jpg
  23. Ancient——————————————————————————————————————–IMG_20191023_203938_698.jpg
  24. Dizzy————————————————————————————————————————20191029_202533.jpg
  25. Tasty————————————————————————————————————————20191029_202612.jpg
  26. Dark————————————————————————————————————————20191029_202635.jpg
  27. Coat————————————————————————————————————————-20191029_202655.jpg
  28. Ride————————————————————————————————————————-20191031_171045.jpg
  29. Injured——————————————————————————————————————–20191031_171124.jpg
  30. Catch———————————————————————————————————————–20191031_171154.jpg
  31. Ripe————————————————————————————————————————-20191031_171227.jpg

Tomato Paste

This year’s garden didn’t do so great. Mostly due to not great weather. We lost our zucchini to being over watered by the amount of rain we got. The green bean barely had a chance to produce a few beans before the plants died for the season. Luckily though the tomato plant is one that was definitely a late bloomer but definitely got a good harvest out of it! This year I grew heirloom roma tomatoes which are perfect for turning into homemade tomato paste!

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Here is my first batch of freshly picked tomatoes for the season! To get started with this recipe the tomatoes need to be thoroughly rinsed to remove any debris from the skins. I do not peel my tomatoes before cooking so it is important to clean the skins well.

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Next I remove the stems if there are any and slice each tomato in half and remove the seeds. Once each tomato has been prepared, it goes into the pot on medium heat.

I allow the tomatoes to break down into a nice tomato sauce consistency before I carefully ladle everything through a mesh strainer and into a heat resistance bowl.  This gets all the tomato skins and any stray seeds out of the tomato sauce.

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Once all the tomato skins have been removed, the tomato sauce goes back into the pot to cook some more. At this point you want to evaporate as much water as you can out of the tomatoes.It should have a soft paste-like consistency, typically it takes about 30 minutes to achieve this consistency. If you want to season this tomato sauce with anything now is the time to do it. Normally I add a little bit of ground black pepper, salt , and oregano. But feel free to add or omit any seasonings.20190929_2004573372372794616261983.jpg

After 30 minutes, remove the tomato paste from the pot and spared evenly on the bottom of a shallow pan. I used a squared glass Pyrex for this and it worked out really well. You want to spread out as evenly as possible because this will be going into the oven. Uneven layer will cause thinner spots to burn and thicker spots to hold onto more moisture. Once you have the tomato paste spread out as evenly as possible place it into a preheated 200 degree oven. This will slowly evaporate more of the liquid out of the tomatoes and concentrate the tomato flavor. Check and mix every 15 minutes so that the tomato paste does not burn. Typically this takes about an hour and a half until you achieve a paste consistency. Remove from oven and allow it to cool down before putting the tomato paste into a storage container. Tomato paste has many different applications in cooking. Stick around for part 2, Homemade Ketchup!

 

 

 

Totoro Puzzle Planter

A few weeks ago my fiance and I celebrated our anniversary! He got me this awesome Totoro puzzle planter. Since the first time I saw it at the store, I’ve wanted this puzzle planter. I’ve seen the completed display piece at the store but I’ve never seen a work in progress. I open the box and see 2 bags, 1 with all the puzzle pieces and 1 with the planter pieces, and a card of instructions that have no English what-so-ever.

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I begin by opening the puzzle bag and dumping it out on my table. First thing I notice is that every piece has a number on the back. Unlike a normal puzzle where you look at the picture while you are putting the pieces together, you have to assemble the pieces in numerical order without looking at the final picture. 80 pieces shouldn’t be this difficult right?

After assembling 1 thru 16 completed the top ring of the planter. Overall it wasn’t too difficult to figure out. Everything snaps tight when its in the correct position. After completing this ring I opened up the bag of planter pieces. There are 4 pieces in this bag, the bottom base, the middle support, the planter insert, and the top support. I need the top support piece to attach to the ring I just created. The grooves on the ring of puzzle pieces fit into the slots on the support ring. Just like the puzzle pieces everything snaps tightly together when it is in the correct position. By attaching the top support now it helps to stabilize the the puzzle ring i have already assembled.

I continue working on the puzzle until I have snapped together the last piece. I now have a completed puzzle bowl. At this point I wish I could read the instructions about how to attach the remaining pieces, but a little trial and error eventually worked out fine. The middle insert, which is the one without the holes, slides into the bowl and sits on top of the top support ring, carefully flip upside down and put the base piece on which locks everything in place. The planter insert fit inside the middle insert and the puzzle planter is completed!

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Picking out a plant was difficult since it is currently fall in my area. There wasn’t too much of a selection of plants would even fit this small of a planter. Mums are nice and all but most of the time they grow into really large and sprawling plants. Eventually I found some smaller Heather plants that were meant to be indoor decor plants and thought that was perfect! It has made a nice addition to our growing Anime garden.

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This was my first ever 3-D puzzle attempt and a challenge for myself that I’ve wanted to try out for many years. After assembling mine all I can say is that this was very different from any sort of puzzle I’ve done before and I would love to try something a little larger next time.

Plastic Shopping Bag Holder

Tired of seeing piles of plastic shopping bags lying around the kitchen and/or cupboards? Then look nor further to the ultimate plastic shopping bag holder! I seriously don’t know anyone that doesn’t have at least 1 of these things. They really are a great way to use scrap fabric and to keep those plastic shopping bags from floating all over the house.

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Here is all that you need: some  1/4″ braided elastic, some twill tape, and a  piece of fabric roughly 19″ X 22″. I mostly use this method of making my plastic bag holders using a single sheet of fabric. There is also this method, which uses multiple pieces of fabric sewn together to make a single sheet of fabric. Either method looks great and holds your plastic shopping bags so the choice is yours as to which method you wish to use. I actually use a combination of the 2 methods to make mine because I am not hauling out my iron for a 3 second press just to put it away again.

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First thing I do with my fabric is trim up the frayed edges. I was lucky enough to find a cheap piece from the remnants bin at my local craft store so there wasn’t much trimming to do. Next is the tricky part, making a pocket (aka casings) for your elastic pieces to go into.

The casings go on both of the short (19″) sides of the fabric.There are a variety of different ways to go about making a casing, my preferred method for something like this is to fold the end up 1/2″, sew across the rough edge(left picture), fold over another 1/2″ up and sew along the top folded edge(right picture). And then repeat the process for the other side. Its a little nontraditional but I feel like this gives it a little bit more reinforcement.

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This is where an oops turned into an interesting opportunity for some ingenuity. Typically at this point you would use a safety pin to pin one end of the elastic and use it to wiggle the elastic through the casing. This is when I discovered that I had no safety pins in the house. I had no desire to go back out to the store so I came up with this trick that worked pretty well. I used one of my needles and a little bit of thread and I sewed through the middle near the top of one piece, made 1 overcast stitch and back really close to the knot. this made it secure enough to use the needle and thread to wiggle the elastic through the casing until the non stitched edge is in line with the edge of the fabric. make 1 stitch across the end to close this end of the casing and sew the end of the elastic in place. Continue to wiggle the needle and elastic through to the other end of the casing.

Once the needle is carefully wiggled through the casing and out the other end, you can gently pull the elastic through until edge of the elastic is at the edge of the fabric. In this instance I lined up the knot from the thread to be inside the casing but in line to also be stitched across. Once the elastic is lined up stitched across the open end closing the casing and securing the other end of the elastic in place. I give a quick tug on both ends to make sure the elastic is secure on both end before I the thread off the end of the elastic. I repeated this process for the other short side of the fabric.

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When both pieces of elastic are securely in place it is time to make it a complete cylinder matching right sides together. Carefully make the long (22″) sides meet and carefully stitch together. I  stress on carefully because one of my elastics had broken at this point and I wasn’t going back to fix it. If you have a similar issue its best to use that end as the top part of the bag holder.

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Cut a 10″ piece of the twill tape. I carefully melted the end with a lighter to help prevent fraying. Fold in half matching edge together and then stitch it with the seam of the casing. Carefully flip the bag holder inside out and fill it up.

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Filling it was actually the fun part. This little plastic bag holder cleared up about a 2 weeks worth of plastic shopping bags that were hanging around on my kitchen floor plus it looks cuter than a mountain of plastic bags under the kitchen table.

 

Treasure X Kings Gold

My fiance and I were out on our vacation  a few weekends back and came across some new Treasure X dig kits. We got really excited and each got our own kit.20190818_1904486683922439555404844.jpg

First thing that you see after you ripping off the outer packaging is that you already know which ‘army’ your King is from by looking at the shields. So it looks like the one on the left(a.k.a mine) will be from the Shadow army and the one on the right (a.k.a my Fiance’s) will be from the Astral Army. I think is a really cool idea showing a sneak peek  of what you are getting but still leaving enough mystery to keep going. The kit continues with this sneak peek theme with a literal treasure map. Its the list of all the treasures you can find in this series as well as telling you “Your quest for Treasure begin in the…(insert your army’s homeland)”.  So at this point you have narrowed down which army and treasures you could possibly get.

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This kit features a new ‘magic rocks that only sticks to itself’. Because of the new ‘magic rocks’ there is some slightly different packaging. First off the dig tool has received quite a beefy upgrade from the last series. Its more like a multi-tool and unlike the last series you really do need it. Secondly you have a weird wax/rubber casing to break through. I’m certain this to help seal the magic rocks into the container but I like the neat feel of it.

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The multi-tool is required to break through the waxy part to get into the magic rocks. Its tough to describe what this waxy stuff is. It feels waxy but its quite durable so maybe a wax/plastic hybrid? Anyways, once you get a large enough hole you can grab and rip it off.

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Underneath is the magic rocks. This is also tough to describe. Its small gravel similar to fish tank gravel but its a weird sticky. Playing around with it kind of reminded me of when you make rice crispy treats. Pull it apart and see all these sticky strands and crumbing bits.  It does what the outer packaging says “stick only to itself” which made clean up really easy. After we were done playing around with the magic rocks it was pretty easy to dump everything into the trash can.

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all your creature pieces and treasure pieces are sealed in this baggie. Well 2 baggies are inside this 1 baggie. So much mystery!!!!  So I open up the first baggie and I have discovered my creature, his weapon, and a weird plastic piece.

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The second baggie contains a locked treasure chest. The weird piece of plastic is actually the key for the treasure chest. You just jam the little piece of plastic in and give it a wiggle and the chest flies open to reveal your treasure pieces! Mine literally flew out of my treasure chest.

Overall this was an awesome experience! I had a lot of fun opening this version compared to the previous Treasure X dig kits.

Cutetitos Babitos

While I was out and about shopping with my family I came across the next generations of Cutetitos. I saw the new Series 2 cutetitos, which were completely sold old at this particuliar walmart, but there were also these ones called Babitos! basically it looks like you get baby sized creature instead of the full sized ones.

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The little creature still comes wrapped up in a smaller tortilla shell, think more street taco sized. Unlike the bigger versions that you have to actually unwrap, babitos just need to be flipped over. It looks like I have opened up a Cheezito (Mouse).

20190818_1830554648116599774148747.jpgThe added bonus to the Babitos that is different from Cutetitos is that the babies can be either a boy or a girl! Basically pink Diaper for Girl or blue diaper for boy.  After further inspection I noticed that each boy and girl have a different name. For example my mouse could have been Mousito (boy) or Cheezito (girl).

If you are unsure about which one you got or what its name is you can flip over the rarity list and you can see all the information about your Babito. Overall I still think its a pretty adorable idea to have cute animals wrapped in a tortilla as a mystery street taco. I can’t wait to get my hands on a Series 2 Cutetitos!

Both Babitos series 1 and Cutetitos Series 2 are available for sale at any place you normally buy toys (I usally do well at walmart).  Or if you prefer using amazon you can go to Babitos or Cutetitos.

Grandma’s Biscotti

It took me many years of searching and begging but I was finally able to get my Grandma’s, highly in demand, biscotti recipe. My only regret is that grandma did not get to test out this version of her recipe before her passing. It was her rule that she did not like sharing the recipe with anyone. So to respect this decision I will give a basic recipe. That way you get to enjoy figuring out what the secret ingredients are!

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I begin by adding unsalted softened butter, eggs, granulated sugar into a mixing bowl. I let this mix until there is a lose liquid batter. At times the dough mixture will look a little weird. If at any point the mixture doesn’t look or feel right try mixing for another 30 seconds.

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I then add flour, salt, and baking powder and mix until there is a soft slightly sticky dough. At this point you can add in your flavor. Grandma’s recipe calls for anise extract, but you can use any flavor extract or add in baking pieces such as chocolate chips. Really any flavor that sounds good to you will work.

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Once the dough has been mixed enough to incorporate your flavoring, it needs to be split in half. Each dough ball needs to be rolled out to approximately a 2 inch thickness sheet. Extra flour is optional for handling the dough. I find that this optional amount of flour is based on what you choose for flavoring the cookies. Place the 2 dough sheets side by side on a baking sheet and place into a pre-heated 350 degree oven until slightly golden (about 20 minutes). This will turn the cookie sheets into cookie loaves.

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Once the cookie loaves are slightly golden, cut individual cookies into desired thickness. It is important to not allow the cookie loaves to cool too much during this process. Once cut, lay the pieces on the side.

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Once the cookies are spread out on the cookie sheet, place back in the over for a few minutes to make the top of the cookies golden brown (about 5 minutes). Then pull out the baking sheet and flip the cookies to the other side and then place back into the oven to allow the other side of the cookie to become golden brown (about 3 minutes). Take out the cookies and immediately transfer to a cooling rack or open table/counter space. Do not let the cookies cool on the baking sheet otherwise the cookies will become burnt.

Once the cookies have cooled down you can enjoy them. Most of my family though prefers to let these cookies sit for a day or two in a cookie jar. This make the cookies a little stale and in their opinion better for coffee dunking.


Ingredients

  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups flour, plus a little more if needed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Flavoring
    • 1 Tablespoon of extract or 3/4 cup of baking pieces

Directions

  1. Add butter, eggs, and sugar into a mixing bowl and mix until the ingredient are mostly integrated.Then add flour and salt and mix until a soft sticky dough has been achieved. Add in you flavoring and mix the dough to integrate your flavoring into the dough.
    • if using extract use mixer. If using baking chips use a spoon or spatula to mix
  2.  Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
  3. Divide dough in half and gently roll each dough section into a ball. If the dough is still a little bit to sticky to handle add a little sprinkle of flour. Roll out each dough sheet to approximately 2 inch thickness and place each sheet side by side on a baking sheet and place in the oven for 20 minutes
  4. After 20 minutes pull baking sheet out of the oven and quickly cut each cookie sheet into individual cookies of desired thickness and lay each cookie on its side. Put the baking sheet back int he oven for 5 minutes then flip the cookies to the other un-toasted side and place back into the oven for 3 minutes.
  5. Once the whole cookie is golden brown remove baking sheet from the oven and immediately place cookies on a cooling rack or open table/counter space to avoid burning the cookies. When the cookies are cooled enjoy immediately or allow them to go slightly stale and enjoy with coffee.