Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Albino Chocolate Turtles

Christmas is fast approaching and this particular holiday always puts me in the mood to make cookies or sweets. tons and tons of cookies and sweets.

I've never made turtles before and normally i don't get to eat the commercial kind since they are typically made of chocolate only (something I am allergic to), but when I received this month's Everyday Food issue, I found a simple recipe for them that could easily be modified to include white chocolate as well and decided to give it a go.

Below is a picture of how mine turned out and the recipe (including the alteration notes) ->

Aren't they so cute? I had a few beefy legged ones, but still - adorable =o


48 roasted cashews**
12 toasted hazelnuts (skinless)**
12 soft caramels
4oz semisweet chocolate chips (or 2oz each chocolate chips and 2oz white chocolate chips)
12 pecan halves, toasted***

NOTES: **for the cashews and hazelnuts, I just bought a generic can of low salt mixed nuts that had both cashews and hazelnuts in them, then rinsed the salt off and pat dried them.
*** I used praline pecan halves for mine as per the pic above because I had a bag of them on hand, but you can also make sure the mixed nut can has pecan halves and rinse them too if you like. The praline pecan halves made the turtles taste awesome though, for fyi.
**** I used foil instead of the parchment asked for below because as it is with most electric stoves that I've found parchment burns and sets off the fire alarms. I don't like setting them off so I use the dull side of the foil now when recipes ask for parchment ~_~

1) Preheat oven to 375 (F, don't know what the C conversion is). On a parchment**** lined rimmed baking sheet, make 12 clusters by arranging 4 cashews and 1 hazelnut (the cashews will be the tortoises' legs and the hazelnuts are the heads). With your fingers, gently flatten caramels and place them on top of the clusters (you have to set them on top gently because the nuts like to scatter if you try to press them down).

2) Bake until caramels just begin to melt; 6-8 mins (it was 5 for me). Meanwhile, microwave chocolate in 10 second intervals (it took 20 second intervals for me), stirring in between each interval until melted. Dollop 1 ts chocolate on top of each caramel/nut cluster then top with a pecan, pressing in softly. Refrigerate until chocolate sets, about 30 mins (and up to 2 days).

Bring to room temp before eating (I highly suggest you do this otherwise it's like trying to eat a hard turtle toffee. It'll break your teeth xD)


Sunday, November 25, 2012

All That Glitters is Gold

Thanksgiving has come and gone, which means it's time for the holiday decorations to come out. I'm still a long way from being done with mine but I wanted to post up a preview of what's to come because as it stands, what I have so far is made of super bling bling xD

Can you guess what this year's theme colors are?

Friday, November 9, 2012

Newest Addition

Anyone who knows me, knows I collect (mostly out of print) Children's Fairy Tale books. I've been collecting them since I was young actually, but over the years I've had to restart my collection more than once due to move after move... after move. I lost the first collection I had when I moved out of the house for the first time at 14. The second was lost after a short stay back in that same house at 16 when I had gone back in an attempt to finish my schooling. Around the age of 21 or 22, when my Chibi was a baby, I managed to rescue two of my books from that second collection, but all the rest had been lost.

Since then I've been collecting again, though because of life, taking care of my family and my child, the rate that I was able to find books I liked for my 3rd (and hopefully final) collection of books has been very slow.

I adore the books though and even though this latest attempt to rebuild has been long years in the making, I'm happy with what I have now. This latest book is actually a book I remember having as a child. I was about 10 I think and I remember it for the beautiful costumes on the puppets. I was so enchanted with the way they'd set the photographs up that it stuck with me throughout all of these years. I didn't remember the same of the author or the artist, all I could remember was how pretty I thought Cinderella's outfits looked and how wonderful the Prince looked in his coats and breeches... it's been impossible for me to find though when all I had to base my search from was a vague memory of a puppet in Mozart era style clothing. After a while I simply gave up on finding it because I figured it was destined to remain a childhood memory and not be something I'd ever see in person again.

A while ago the thought of it just popped back into my head and I started searching again. But after a few google, ebay and yahoo searches came up empty (lol, not surprising since all I had to work with was "Cinderella" "Mozart" "Costume" and "Photograph"), I almost gave up on it again. Then out of the blue I thought "why not Etsy?" and decided to look see. In the end, punching in '3-d puppet' is what brought it up and after all these years, there it was staring back at me through the screen, a version of that book that I remember loving so much. I had to snap it up. The version I remember having was simply "Cinderella" and the version I got is a compilation but after learning there was more versions of this series representing different fairy tales, I couldn't resist.

It just arrived today and the pictures are exactly as I remember them. Looking at it now through an adult's eyes, I can say that even though I find the puppets a little creepier than I did when I was young, I still find the costumes enchanting and I'm so happy that I can add one of the few good memories I had as a child into my collection as an adult ^_^

This is the cover of the book itself.

The fairy tales covered in this compilation.

I adored the Prince's coat when I was 10 and I still adore it to this day. This era's mode of dress has always been one of my favorites which is probably why the memory of these pictures in this book stayed with me for so long.

And that glass slipper, I wanted a pair of these so badly when I was little =O

Oh how I longed to recreate Cinderella's dresses, you have no idea. I just loved them and thought they were so wonderful. It was such a unique take on the fairy tale for me and I still see them as beautiful even almost 28 years later.

As I flipped through the pages looking at the other fairy tales, I began remembering certain scenes...

This one from Sleeping Beauty,

This one from The Elves and the Shoemaker,

The wolf from Little Red Riding Hood that scared me...

The bone finger scene from Hansel and Gretel,

The Evil Queen staring in her mirror from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,

And the mace club of the giant in Jack and the Beanstalk.

After looking through the entire compilation book, I realized that I must have owned the other fairy tales as well in this collection since the pictures seemed familiar enough for me to remember certain scenes, though I'm pretty sure each one had been a separate book since the memory that's stuck with me the longest has been that picture of Cinderella and her Prince in their wedding outfits with the title of "Cinderella" written above. One of these days I'd like to get a hold of each of those singular books, but for now I'm just happy to have found a compilation of something I treasured as a child, complete with a small message handwritten inside the front cover to a little girl who was not myself, dated 1984 <3

Friday, November 2, 2012

OOTD: Itsa Mario! aka Happy (late) Halloween

JSK - Handmade | Blouse - Vintage | Starman Purse - Handmade | Petticoat - F+F | Bloomers - Metamorphose | Tights - Target | Boots - Bodyline | Mitts - Vintage | Jewelry - Handmade, Etsy | Hat - Official Licensed Nintendo Gear

I meant to post Halloween wishes up on the day itself but the Chibi and I ended up playing Mario Party 6 (for ye olde Cube) until very late and I was simply too tired to sort all the pics by the end of the day. I managed to sort a good chunk of them today, but still have many more to go (I'm pretty sure that between myself and my daughter, we took about 200+ pics o_o;; Not all of them came out and in the end, I'll probably have about a good 50 usable shots, mostly similar, but it's still a larger folder to go through and I've only made it halfway so far...)

But at least I got enough sorted to make a post, and while this Halloween shoot is coming a little late, I still hope everyone had a wonderful time ^_^

Obviously I went as rori!Mario, the chibi went as Crossdresser!Luigi and little miss Mister went as Yoshi. I had a total of three days to get everything completed (ah, the joys of being a procrastinator) and almost didn't make it. I was making my jewelry early in the morning of the 31st and doing my nails at around 1p (because they were rushed, my Starmen nails ended up being a little gimpy -haha) but I did get it all done and the rush was worth it. My daughter was the best Luigi ever and Mister... well she didn't even have to be in the costume to be cute, but she so totally rocked her green and red look >.< <3

Here's a gratuitous amount of same!like shots from what I've sorted so far ->

Mister was yawning in this pic and I thought she looked so cute, as if she was doing a little Yoshi rawr or something.

And the Chibi as Luigi. She looked so adorable and between her looking like this and Mister in her Yoshi outfit, I spent a lot of time squeeing shamelessly over how cute my two girls were xD

Mario: Ay Luigi! Tookdakaa Potato!

Luigi: *runs away*

This was man!purse Luigi xD

Mister kisses made for a goofy faced me.

She was being such a good sport.

It was so cold on Halloween though that she had to wear one of her other normal shirts under the thick Yoshi one, and she was still shivery more often than not D:

We didn't skimp on her walks though, no matter how cold or warm it's been she has a thing about getting every one of her walks -haha

And finally (at least until I can sort through the rest of the pics), a bonus low light grainy pic of all three of us together (taken by the Rabbit<3)

I'm reminded as to why I tend not to smile for pics during times like these. I look so derpy when I do ~_~

I'll make a separate entry for the JSK and Starman purse crafty bits since this one is so picture heavy, but ah it was so much fun this year. Funner I think than I've had for a long while now as far as Halloweens have gone. It's also the first Halloween for the chibi and myself alone and without the ex (I'm not counting last year since the entire time spent after the divorce was almost a complete wash <_<), I definitely think the addition of Mister into our small family unit has been the best substitute for the space that used to be there and I'm looking forward to many more years of times like these <3

Friday, October 26, 2012

OOTD: The Minty Blues

JSK - Bodyline | Blouse, Petticoat - F+F | Bolero, Mitts - Vintage | Tights - F21 | Socks - Etsy | Shoes - Poetic License | Pantaloons - Handmade | Purse - ASOS | Jewelry - Etsy, Handmade, Silverworks | Hair Bobs - Handmade

The Chibi and I had some errands to run and this was my co'ord for that day. It was a little cooler so I thought I was dressing appropriately for it, but I ended up being a little too warm because of my blouse. I really need to find a nice sheer black blouse, because the one I have right now is too thick for the current weather, unfortunately.

I love these shoes, but after a few hours of walking around in them, I was so ready to get back home and don some nice comfy flats -haha

Monday, October 22, 2012

OOTD : Antique Clock

Blouse - Forever 21 | Skirt - Bodyline | Bolero - Vintage | Petticoat - F+F | Bloomers - Handmade | Tights - Target | Socks - Etsy | Mitts - Vintage | Shoes - Irregular Choice | jewelry - Silverworks, handmade, Etsy

Saturday was shopping day and this is what I wore. I know I've said this a few times, but after cleaning out my closet of most of that Sweet stuff, I'm sort of left with a limited wardrobe to co'ord with. I haven't worn this skirt for 8 months or so... I think I only wore it once after I got it actually, which is silly because I do like it.

I do need to start rebuilding though, some pieces are better than none at all, but still... my co'ords are all going to be a bit boring until I start adding new clothing to the closet to mix it up just a bit more.

All in time, all in time...

Anywho, so the Rabbit and I went out to get stuff done and after one store run, we decided to stop into Panera's to get something to eat (which was good because I was starving D:) - I picked up the macaroni and cheese (plus an onion soup to go for my Chibi ^o^ /) ->

And the Rabbit got herself the french onion soup and a salad.

It was so yummy and I wish I was eating it right now >.<