Welcome back friends! With the release of Hogwarts Legacy, I am in a Harry Potter kind of mood, and craving some Harry Potter food!
Wowee, Butterbeer is sweet! It best enjoyed with something salty to counteract just how sweet it is! Another way to counteract the sweetness is to leave the whipped cream plain, no added sugar or sweetener, just the whipped cream. If you mix the whipped cream and the butterbeer it creates a perfectly balanced bite! Not too sweet!
Let’s make some!
1⁄2 cup of butterscotch syrup
1⁄2 tablespoon of butter, melted
1 cup of cream soda
Heavy whipping cream
Measure and pour the butterscotch syrup into a bowl.
Add the melted butter to the butterscotch syrup and whisk gently until combined.
Measure and pour the cream soda into the butter, butterscotch mixture and whisk gently again until combined, then set aside.
In a separate mixing bowl, whip the heavy cream until it forms stiff peaks.
Pour the butterbeer into mugs of your choosing, leaving room for the whipped cream topping.
Top the butterbeer with a few dollops of whipped cream and enjoy!
My little girl hasn’t quite reached the age of exchanging multitudes of valentines amongst her classmates and/or friends so I thought we would create a few fun pieces of artwork instead! These heart handprint paintings are the perfect Valentine for moms, dads, grandmas, grandpas, aunts and uncles; the sky is the limit!
Let’s have some fun and get painting!
Small mounted canvas (large enough for a handprint)
Foam paint brushes
Heart shaped paper, small
Select the colors you would like for a background, this can be one or more dependent on your preference.
Squeeze dots of the background paint color(s) you selected on the canvas in any pattern you prefer. I was going for a gradient look so I arranged my dots from light to dark.
Using a a foam paint brush, you and your little one can spread and blend the paint over the canvas in back and forth strokes.
For a completed look, paint the edges of the canvas if you have not already done so, then set it aside and allow it to fully dry.
Print and cut a heart out of paper and use sticky tape to attach it to the dry canvas.
Select the colors you would like to use to create the handprint, this could be one color or more, we did six, one for each finger and another color for the palm!
Using a different foam paint brush for each color, brush the colors onto your little one’s hand. Gently press the painted hand down on the canvas, aligning the heart under their palm.
Gently pull the hand away, then peel away the heart if it did not come off onto the hand.
If needed, use a small paint brush to touch up the edges of the heart, then allow the painting to dry.
Welcome back friends! Who would like to celebrate love and create some bittersweet fudge, sprinkled with a little salt this Valentine’s day? Usually I crave a sweeter chocolate, but this fudge has just enough sweet to cut through the bitter dark chocolate taste and if you add a little salt on top? Pure delicious!
Let’s make some!
16 ounces of Baker’s unsweetened chocolate
14 ounce can of sweetened condensed milk
2 teaspoons of vanilla
Kosher salt (optional)
Line an 8 or 9 inch square pan with foil.
Break the chocolate down in to smaller pieces and place it and the sweetened condensed milk into a double boiler.
Melt the chocolate into the sweetened condensed milk, stirring to incorporate.
Once the chocolate is melted, add the vanilla.
Remove from the heat and spread the fudge on the bottom of the prepared pan. Sprinkle Kosher salt over the top of the fudge if desired.
Refrigerate for two hours or until firm.
Use foil to lift fudge from pan before cutting into pieces. I used a heart cookie cutter to create heart shaped fudge pieces for my Valentine(s).
Welcome back friends! Who would like some rich and savory carrot and tomato soup on a cold afternoon or evening? I know I do! This soup is tangy and delicious, pairing well with toasted bread or grilled cheese sandwiches!
Let’s make some!
3 tablespoons of olive oil
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 large yellow onion, diced
1 1/2 lb. of carrots, peeled and cut into medallions
1/4 teaspoon of black pepper
1 teaspoon of ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons of kosher salt
2 cans of whole peeled tomatoes (28 ounces each)
1 teaspoon of dried basil
1/2 cup of plain greek yogurt
Warm the 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a dutch oven or large soup pan over medium heat.
Add the garlic and onion and cook for about 5 minutes or until the onions begin to turn translucent.
Stir in the carrots, black pepper, ground cumin and kosher salt and cook covered for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
After about 10 minutes have passed, add the the whole peeled tomatoes with their juices and the dried basil, stirring well to incorporate.
Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cover for about 20 minutes or until the carrots are soft. This may vary per oven, so keep an eye on them!
Once the carrots are soft, remove the soup from the heat and use an immersion blender to carefully blend the soup until smooth.
Stir in the greek yogurt and then use the immersion blender again to smooth it in.
Welcome back friends! Do you have or have you heard of knit looms? They are fantastic! Whether you’re a beginner or not, it is cozy and comforting, sitting and creating items for yourself and/or loved ones!
I have a set of knit looms with four different sizes. I’ve recently been experimenting with different hat knits and patterns! Let’s create one of my favorites!
This pattern is pretty straight forward and easy to handle for any beginner! If you have any questions, please let me know!
Extra Large Knit loom XL gauge (41 pegs)
Bulky yarn (weight #5)
Create a slip-knot and cast it over the first vertical peg to the left of the horizontal anchor peg, with the tail of yarn draped within the loom.
Working counter-clockwise, wrap the next peg twice, then use the loom hook to pull the bottom loop over the top loop and off the peg. Do this for each peg until you’ve completed the “cast-on” round.
Now we’ll work on the brim! Continuing to work counter-clockwise, e-wrap each peg once and pull the bottom loops from the previous row over the new top loops and off the pegs. Repeat this step for at least 18 rounds.
Once you’ve completed 18 rounds, find your original slip-knot and place its loop back on the first peg. Continue replacing the loops of the “cast-on” round back on to the loom, then tuck the tail of yarn from the knot into the folded brim.
To anchor the brim, pull the loops from the previous round over the top “cast-on” round loops and off the pegs.
Now we will work on the main part of the hat! Begin with a round of e-wrapping each peg once and pulling the bottom loops from the previous round over the new top loops and off the pegs.
The next round will consist of alternating e-wrap pegs and purl pegs all the way around. To purl, stick your pick underneath the center of yarn on a peg, use it to grab ahold of the new yarn and pull it up under the existing yarn to make a loop. Carefully take the whole stitch off of the peg and loop this new loop of yarn on to the peg and pull it tight.
Repeat steps 6 and 7 for as many times as you’d like the hat to be long. I did 14 e-wrap rounds and 14 e-wrap and purl rounds for a total of 28.
When finished, take your yarn and wrap it around the outside edge of the loom until it touches back on itself and cut it here for extra yarn.
Thread the extra yarn on to the yarn needle and stitch it upward through each loop, then you can remove that loop off of its peg. Once all of the loops have been stitched through with the needle, you can pull the string to begin forming the top of the hat.
Turn the hat inside out and pull the needle and extra yarn through the still existing hole at the top of the hat, then pull the drawstring as tight as possible to close the hole completely.
Stitch around the edges of where the hole was and tie it in knots to secure it. Then stitch the rest of the end into the inner stitches of the hat to hide it.
Turn the hat right side out and if you have a patch (like my nifty Super Mario star) stitch that patch onto the brim.
Welcome back friends! This week we’ll be cooking Remy’s Ratatouille from one of my favorite Disney and Pixar films, Ratatouille!
This recipe is featured near the end of the film when Remy is preparing a meal for the food critic, Anton Ego. It is referred to briefly as a “peasant’s dish”, but Remy’s version ignores all labels and boils down to good food that comforts the soul.
Ratatouille is warm and comforting; the perfect main or side dish for a cool or cold day. The arrangement of vegetables within the baking dish is creative and fun to do, although give yourself enough time to mise en place before beginning! Anyone can cook, bon appetit!
2 eggplant, trimmed and very thinly sliced
6-8 Roma tomatoes, trimmed and very thinly sliced
2 yellow squash, trimmed and very thinly sliced
2 zucchini, trimmed and very thinly sliced
2 tablespoons of olive oil
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 yellow bell pepper, diced
Pepper, to taste
Salt, to taste
28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes
2 tablespoons of fresh basil, chopped
4 tablespoons of olive oil
2 tablespoons of fresh basil, chopped
1 teaspoon of garlic, minced
2 tablespoons of parsley, chopped
2 teaspoons of fresh thyme
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
Slice the eggplant, tomatoes, squash, and zucchini into approximately 1-mm rounds (I used a mandolin when possible), then set aside.
To make the sauce, heat the olive oil in an oven-safe pan over medium-high heat.
Sauté the onion, garlic, and bell peppers until soft (about 10 minutes), then season with salt and pepper.
Add the crushed tomatoes and stir until the ingredients are fully incorporated, then remove from heat, add the basil and stir again.
Pre-heat the oven for 375 F.
Arrange the sliced veggies in a repeating pattern (squash, zucchini, eggplant, tomato) on top of the sauce from the outer edge to the middle of the pan, then season with salt and pepper.
To prepare the herb seasoning, mix together the basil, garlic, parsley, thyme, salt, pepper, and olive oil in a small bowl.
Brush the herb seasoning over the arranged vegetables.
Cut a circle of parchment paper and place it over the vegetables in the pan, then bake for 40 minutes.
Remove the parchment paper, then bake for another 20 minutes, until the vegetables are softened.
If there’s one thing I do when I play a game (besides trying to relax and enjoy myself), it’s look up information. I get curious or stuck, and I find myself turning to the internet for answers. There are a lot of good guides out there that are super helpful, but what I don’t see are an abundance of simple and clean visual guides that lay out all the information in one place.
I’ve been playing Disney Dreamlight Valley and I cannot get enough! To be able to befriend my favorite Disney characters and design a village for them to live in fills me with immeasurable happiness! Definitely a favorite cozy game for anyone who loves Disney and life sims!
One of my favorite things to do in the game is cook with Remy, and there are a lot of recipes to discover! If you want to learn every existing recipe, I’ve created guides to help!
These visual or infographic guides are divided into Appetizers, Entrees and Desserts and then organized alphabetically by the name of the dish.
Please let me know if you would like me to work on a guides for anything else within Disney Dreamlight Valley or if there are any games you would like to see visual information or guides for in the future! I love helping people, discussing games and organizing information!
Welcome back friends! This week we are cooking Linguini’s soup from one of my favorite Disney and Pixar films, Ratatouille!
This is referred to as Linguini’s soup by the staff at Gusteau’s restaurant, but we all know Linguini made a mess of it and Remy couldn’t resist doctoring it up to make it more palatable before escaping from the kitchen.
It is never said what kind of soup this is, but judging by what Remy adds, we can conclude it is probably a variation of potato and leek soup! This soup is creamy and filling, the perfect cozy dinner on a cold night!
3 tablespoons of unsalted butter
3 cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed
4 large leeks, white and light green parts only, roughly chopped
1⁄4 teaspoon of ground black pepper
1 teaspoon of salt
2 lb. of potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped
6 cups of vegetable broth
2 bay leaves
3 sprigs of fresh thyme
1 cup of heavy cream
Chives, finely chopped, for serving
In a large soup pot or dutch oven, melt the butter over medium heat.
Add the garlic, leeks, black pepper and salt. Cook, stirring regularly, until soft and wilted (about 10 to 15 minutes).
Add the potatoes, broth, bay leaves and thyme to the pot, then bring to a boil.
Cover the soup and turn the heat down to medium / low.
Simmer for 45 minutes, or until the potatoes are very soft.
Remove from the heat, then remove the bay leaves and thyme sprigs. Purée the soup with an immersion blender until smooth.
Add the heavy cream, place back on the heat and bring to a simmer.
Taste and adjust the seasoning to your liking with salt and pepper.
“Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
Let’s be done with gossip.
Gossip is not beneficial, it is not positive, it is not kind; it’s damaging, it’s negative, it’s hateful.
There are members of my extended family (and I know it doesn’t stop there) who treat gossiping with all the seriousness of their life’s purpose and it is beyond disturbing. My hands are not clean either, I’ve gossiped and it is thrilling when you’re right in the middle of gleaning and spreading all the juicy details, but it’s bad behavior and a bad habit. Bad habits are best dropped before becoming bad character.
I love my daughter and I do not want her growing up judging or disparaging others. One of my resolutions is to stop gossiping and I invite anyone who’s reading this to join me.
Welcome back friends! Let’s get cozy and have a cup of tea!
I am fortunate enough to own a spearmint plant that has flourished in its container and I want to show you how to harvest, dry and brew your own spearmint tea!
Beyond being a warm and comforting beverage, spearmint tea has numerous proven and/or potential health benefits, including:
Fighting bacterial infections.
Relieving digestive upsets.
High in antioxidants.
May aid in balancing hormones.
May lower blood pressure.
May lower blood sugar.
May help reduce stress.
May help relieving arthritis pain.
May improve memory function.
Trim the mint back, then pluck the best leaves from the stems. If you do not want or need to trim the mint back, you could also pluck the best leaves directly from the plant.
Wash the leaves thoroughly with fresh water, then place them in a salad spinner to remove any excess water.
Line a baking sheet with with a baking mat or parchment paper and spread the mint leaves on the prepared baking sheet. Be careful not to crowd them.
Turn your oven on to it’s lowest setting (for many this will be 170F).
Place the mint leaves in the oven and bake them until dry. This could only take 10 to 15 minutes, but it varies by oven strength so keep an eye on them! They will be curled and make a dry rustling sound when nudged with a utensil.
Remove the tray from the oven and allow to cool.
You can store the leaves in an airtight container or brew some tea right away!
Use an infuser and keep the leaves whole or grind them up. If you do grind them up, smaller pieces will make their way out of the infuser and float around in your tea. This isn’t a bad thing, just personal preference!