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Otherwise known as a Chocolate Orange Hazelnut Tart.

DSC_0072Yeah, you read that right. I made it over the holidays, and it was flipping amazing, let me tell you. It didn’t last long enough, as per usual in our household, but it was really amazing with the pumpkin pie liqueur we had…

DSC_0077And since it was the beautiful holidays, I had access to a perfect little setting for my gorgeous tart pictures.

DSC_0080So, what we’re looking at here, is a basic tart crust, a layer of orange custard, a massive layer of orange/chocolate ganache, and finally chopped hazelnuts on top (which unfortunately I forgot to toast before putting on)

DSC_0085But it was amazing anyways. So there. I would make it again in a heartbeat, and really should some day.

This has been another Food Blog.
Peace out, homies.

-A

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Three delightful foods I made over the holidays!

1. Peppermint Muffins w/Fudge Frosting.

DSC_0006I used my trusty muffin recipe, and added a bag of peppermint tea to the batter, then made my favorite fudge frosting. They were delightful.

2. More muffins! What a surprise!

DSC_0050These ones were all lovely orange. Orangey muffins, orangey frosting, they were wonderful. And when you add teeny orange wedges to anything, it automatically becomes better. This is fact.

3. This. THIS. THING. RIGHT. HERE.

DSC_0068Maybe it doesn’t look like much. It was amazing. Gourmet tuna, I guess you could call it. We had just watched a t.v. show about the best sandwiches in the USA, and we were all starving, and all I could think about was sandwiches. And this was born.
I can’t remember all the details, but I know that I mixed canned tuna with some egg, possibly some mayonnaise, sweet onion mustard, parsley, dill, and maybe a couple other things. I then formed it carefully into a patty, and fried it in an already heated cast iron pan with olive oil.
In the meantime, I toasted to pieces of sourdough bread, and mixed up a little spread of mayonnaise, lemon juice, dill, and parsley. I put that goodness on the bread, and melted some cheddar cheese on the tuna patty, and put it all together and OH MY ACTUAL GOODNESS.

It was beautiful. Just… beautiful.

I think I love food too much.

That’s all I have for now.

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Berry Tea Muffins with Lime Frosting

Muffins-
1 1/2 cups flour (I used Namaste gluten-free)
1/3 cup natural sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 bag berry flavored tea (I used acai berry)
2 eggs
1/3 cup melted & cooled butter
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup buttermilk

Frosting-
1/2 stick butter, softened
lime juice (I used all the juice from one half a lime)
3/4-1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350, and line or grease standard size muffin tin.

Measure flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and contents of tea bag into a bowl with high sides and whisk to combine. Make a well in the center.

Lightly whisk eggs with butter and vanilla, then pour the mixture into the well. Evenly distribute the buttermilk around the outside edges of the dry ingredients.

Mix until just incorporated, using your hands or a wooden spoon (gently), and scoop or spoon the batter into the muffin tin. (I have fairly small muffin tins, so making them rather large I ended up with nine muffins.)

Bake for fifteen minutes, rotate the pan, and let go for another ten or so minutes. My oven cooks hot, so I have to watch them carefully. Take note of whether your oven cooks hotter than usual or not, and adjust time accordingly.

In the meantime, combine your butter, lime juice, and 3/4 cup powdered sugar in small bowl, stirring with a small spoon until smooth. Continue adding more powdered sugar and juice as needed, or until your frosting is the desired consistency.

Let muffins cool approx. 5 minutes before frosting, and garnish as desired. (I used tiny wedges of lime)

Note: In my experience, muffins made with gluten-free flour tend to take slightly longer to cook.

Also, I suppose any tea that you like would be fabulous, and also any frosting flavor! I definitely plan on experimenting with more combinations in the future.

———

So. Those muffins, let me tell you, were gosh darn delicious. Considering they were purely experimental, I was super impressed with how they turned out, and I would definitely make them again! I am usually not at all a fan of lime anything, but let me tell you, paired with that mild berry tea flavor, it was just superb.

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So. Sammiches are amazing, amirite?

They are a wonderful combination of bread, and anything delish you can think of to stuff inside them. Peoples always be like “yo lemme see what new ah-mazing things I can think of to put in this here sammich” and sometimes (alotta the time) that there sammich just turns out kinda weird.

Gotta say, sometimes peoples awesome ideas aren’t awesome. They’re just stupid.

Yeah. People have stupid ideas sometimes.

But I don’t, so we’re all good here.

SO! What happens when you take these here ingredients, and put them all together??

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See, we got ourselves some bread, some bacon, some apple slices, some cream cheese (food of the gods, I might add) and some good local honey (also food of the gods).

So what can you do with these?

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Well first you can do this… ^

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And then you can do this… ^

And then you can pop that puppy into a cast-iron pan and fry it up nice and hot and you get this:

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And yes, it is amazing. Hot and melty and bacony and a li’l bit sweet from that beautiful honey.

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~~~

To further concrete the amazing qualities of sammiches, here is a lovely video my boyfriend made several years ago. I still can’t watch it without laughing my head off!

Peace! -Al

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So. Cajeta. It is a magical substance, a cinch to make, and almost nobody knows what it is, especially when it’s called by name.

Goat’s milk caramel, people. That’s what we’re talking about here. It is wonderful. Smooth, creamy, so full of flavor.

I could eat this stuff with a spoon.

And do so. Frequently.

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It only calls for four ingredients, and one is water. So basically you take a full gallon of raw goat’s milk, 4 cups of natural sugar, a few tablespoons of water, and a teaspoon of baking soda, and roughly three hours later you have caramel.

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Also lots of foaming. And, if you get distracted, a little bit of overflowing. But as long as you don’t let it scorch, you’re totally good to go!

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And then you end up with something like the above. Nearly two quarts of thick, perfect caramel. (Correction- it’s actually more of a caramel sauce.) It is amazing on ice cream….

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In coffee….

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And in this magical experiment that I will FoodBlog about later. (:

~~~

I may possibly be selling my Cajeta and other mostly-natural baked goods at upcoming Farmer’s Markets, and if that is to be, I shall definitely announce it.

For the moment I shall be relegated to FoodBlogging and making anyone who reads this jealous.

Peace! -Al

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And the reason why, is because yesterday was such a very good day for a sock bun. Because when your hair is over two feet long and needs washed (again, for crying out loud), sometimes it’s just better to bundle it all up onto the very top of your head. And the sock bun is really such a clever little thing too, only here’s a little warning: it doesn’t exactly work like it ought to on hair so long as mine. I had to wrap the ends around about twice instead of tucking them. (Google “sock bun”, it’s actually pretty clever how they do them.)

But gosh, enough about socks and buns; there is a real reason why yesterday mattered! It was the 75th anniversary of The Hobbit today, which made the entire earth (the earth itself; not necessarily the people on it) nestle back further into its atmosphere armchair, and give a sigh so deep and happy, because “In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit,” is the start to one of the most beautiful things ever created by man.

Can’t tell I’m a Tolkien fan, can you?

In my opinion, such great literature ought to be celebrated every day, or at least once a week. But I suppose once a year will have to do… Since some people do have a life or something. Ah well. Such is the way of the world.

At any rate, the first order of the day was breakfast (always a good way to start). But it had to be a small affair… because the second order of the day was, of course, SECOND breakfast!

So breakfast (on the porch with a lovely setup)- sausage, fried eggs, toast with peach jam, and coffee.

And then second breakfast (on part of the lawn by the lilacs, with a candle, the proper book for the day, limited company, and extra teacups for the people we most wished could have been there with us)- loose-leaf pear tea with honey, and banana chocolate chip muffins.

So you’d think that would be some lovely little festivities for the day… But THAT was only the BEGINNING. And I’m starting to think every weekend should be like this.

So Ma left, and took the little sisters with her, and then we implemented the “divide and conquer” strategy for the little brothers for several hours. You wouldn’t think those little things would affect the day so much… but we’re talking 1) sudden and drastic peace and quiet, 2) no more arguing amongst younger siblings, 3) little brothers suddenly having sweet, manageable, pleasant attitudes towards life. And that is invaluable. INVALUABLE I TELL YOU.

So pictures were drawn, housework was sort of accomplished, and then all of a sudden it was Lunch Time. Which, given how the rest of the day had been, automatically turned into Picnic Time. Because what else would you do with the rest of a Hobbit Day??

So we broke out the picnic basket, the paper plates and cups, the special little foods that we don’t usually have…

We piled into the basket the following: apples, yogurt, chips, homemade sour pickles, peanut butter and peach jam sandwiches, cheese and turkey sandwiches with sweet onion mustard, more banana muffins.

We fetched a gingham sheet for the grass, mix up some brown (because of sucanat- the natural sugar) lemonade in the vintage thermos, and headed out to the yard.

And then we braved many stickers, some chickens, a few curios cats, a very rude pug, quite a few spills and almost spills, and had ourselves a picnic. And then a walk. And then a movie. And then little boy(s) that were splendid all day decided it would be cool to act like babies because the movie had to be turned off “early”. Before it was done. OH THE HORROR.

So Happy Hobbit Day yesterday, and also Happy Birthday today to Bilbo and Frodo Baggins!

“In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort.”

-The Hobbit, J.R.R. Tolkien.

~~~~~~~~~

And also I carved this into an apple. Only most of you probably won’t get it. That’s okay. Not everyone can be a nerdly as I am.

-Al

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This:

It is amazing. Granted, it may look a bit scary, but I promise you it’s not. Here’s the recipe:
(I made it myself. The recipe)

2 tsp butter
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 an apple diced (Jonagold works best)
2 slices bacon
1/4 cup grated cheddar & mozzarella cheese -mixed
4 large eggs
Salt & pepper to taste

Instructions:

In cast iron skillet, sautee apples, butter and cinnamon until apples are soft, and then remove from pan. Fry bacon, and cut into bits.

Meanwhile, crack eggs into large mug (or small bowl), and whisk briskly with fork. Add apples, bacon bits, and cheese, and mix in.

Pour entire contents into skillet (helps to leave a bit of the bacon grease in the pan), season to taste w/salt and pepper, and cook on low-med heat until eggs are done to your liking.

Yield: 2 medium servings.

Note: I suppose this could be made in something other than cast iron, but that is what works best. The only warning I would have is that cast iron gets VERY hot, and stays hot for a long time. Therefore, I would recommend lowering the burner heat a few minutes before putting the eggs in the pan, to ensure that you aren’t going to end up flash frying. đŸ™‚

My sister swears by her daily cup of coffee, but I really think this is best with a good cuppa tea.


Now! Onto other things. Clearly, I tend to slack off on my posts from time to time, so I’m considering dedicating certain days of the week to certain types of posts…
I can in no way guarantee more than one post every week, but I’m thinking these day-dedicated posts would be more of a bi-monthly sort of thing.

Examples:

Things I love Thursday- in which I will borrow photos and maybe videos from the internet to give you a peek into the things that catch my interest.

What I Wore Wednesday- In which I could either show off pictures of my loverly day-to-day outfits, OR… and this might be better… examine some of my better costumes (like the ones in photoshoots).

Either way, I will be thinking about those (and I wouldn’t say no to some outside input…).

The following is a sneak-peek from a project I started on last week. I don’t know when it will be done, since I haven’t worked on it since then, but I do know that it will be a somewhat “slow-and-steady” sort of project.

And… that’s all you get to see!

NEXT POST: All the wondersome little presents I made by hand for Christmas! Must get pictures now… đŸ™‚

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