Salted Dark Chocolate Almond Toffee

Posted May 25, 2017 by Alison's Wonderland Recipes in Book of the Month Recipes / 0 Comments

        

I loooove toffee. Sweet, nutty, and satisfyingly crunchy—it’s all I’ve ever wanted in a dessert. So when I saw that the main character in the book Sabriel eats some homemade toffee while traveling through the Old Kingdom, I decided this was going to be my dessert recipe no matter what.

I adapted this English toffee recipe by Ghirardelli to get my recipe, which I completely scarfed down over the span of a few days (no joke—I barely left any for the Mister). This toffee is the perfect combo of salted dark chocolate, toasted almonds, and crunchy caramel candy. And it’s super easy to make!

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Sign of Three Lemons: Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

Posted May 18, 2017 by Alison's Wonderland Recipes in Book of the Month Recipes / 1 Comment

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In the book Sabriel, the main character and her companions stop at an inn called “The Sign of Three Lemons,” which is named for the lemon trees in the middle of the town square. The innkeepers use these lemons to make scented soaps and a variety of delicious dishes. I wanted to make a lemon dish in honor of the inn for my menu, and lemon poppy seed muffins seemed quite fitting. ^.^

This recipe was originally developed by Creme de la Crumb. I love how tender and lightly sweet the muffins are, with just the right amount of lemon and poppy. Enjoy! 🙂

P.S. These are great for freezing. I froze mine in a ziplock bag to save for post-baby breakfasts!

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A Sabriel Reading Kit

Posted May 16, 2017 by Alison's Wonderland Recipes in Reading Kits / 2 Comments

 

Photography of Black Hanging Bells during Daytime

 

At first I thought I’d have a hard time coming up with items for a Sabriel reading kit, but when I sat down to brainstorm, I couldn’t stop the flow of ideas! Charter marks! Mogget! Swords! So much more! Though Google searches turned out to be comically tricky…since “Sabriel” is also the name of a character from Supernatural. Uh-oh! 😛

But after some digging, I managed to find a lot of fun stuff! I’m especially proud of the amigurumi Mogget I found on Etsy. Enjoy! ^.^

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Grilled Tilapia with Tomato Basil Cream Sauce

Posted May 11, 2017 by Alison's Wonderland Recipes in Book of the Month Recipes / 4 Comments

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While reading Sabriel, one of the dishes that stood out most to me was the grilled fish Sabriel eats when she arrives at her father’s house. The fish itself is described as “small and almost circular,” and it’s served with a delicious-sounding sauce of tomato, basil, and garlic. As soon as I read those words, I knew I’d found the entree for my Sabriel menu!

Though the sauce’s base isn’t described, it sounded to me like it was most likely a cream sauce (I’ve seen similar sauces served with fish before). The fish had me stumped at first. The closest comparison I could think of was tilapia, since it’s silver and on the smallish side. I grilled some up, whipped up a cream base I adapted from this recipe, and roasted some grape tomatoes. This has become one of my favorite ways to prepare fish!

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Sabriel’s Toffee Tea

Posted May 9, 2017 by Alison's Wonderland Recipes in Teas / 5 Comments

 

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In the book Sabriel, toffee and dried fruit are the snacks that help Sabriel make it through her trek through the wintery Old Kingdom. I was intrigued by the idea of making a toffee tea, so I took a look at some of the custom blends other people had made on Adagio.com to get a sense of how they achieved the right balance of flavors for toffee tea. Chocolate and caramel seemed to be the two standbys, usually paired with a nut flavor (almost always almond). I developed my own chocolate/caramel ratio to get the right balance of flavors and added in some hazelnut to make it unique. Enjoy!

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Sabriel’s Dried Fruit

Posted May 4, 2017 by Alison's Wonderland Recipes in Book of the Month Recipes / 11 Comments

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Welcome to our latest Book of the Month: Sabriel, the first installment in Garth Nix’s Old Kingdom trilogy! Sabriel was on my TBR for years before I FINALLY got around to borrowing the audiobook from my library last September. It was sooo good! I love Sabriel as a main character, and did I mention that the audiobook is narrated by Tim Curry? So yeah, there’s that awesomeness too. Plus, some of the foods in the book sound SO delicious that I knew I wanted to make a menu for Sabriel here on blog. So here we go!

When Sabriel first visits the Old Kingdom, she must trek through the snowy, treacherous countryside to her father’s house. Her only sustenance: dried fruit and homemade toffee.

I’ve made fruit chips from apples before, but I’d never tried making more traditional dried fruit. Now seemed like as good a time as any to try! Plus, with a new baby taking up pretty much all my time, I could use some healthy, ready-made snacks to save for emergency munchies! 🙂

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Honey Glazed Grilled Peaches with Cinnamon Ice Cream

Posted April 27, 2017 by Alison's Wonderland Recipes in Book of the Month Recipes / 5 Comments

 

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What would a James and the Giant Peach menu be without peaches? A travesty, that’s what. Of course, not just ANY peach recipe will do. I wanted to make something special but simple at the same time. After all, this is a kid’s book we’re talking about! Grilled peaches with ice cream came to mind, and I dressed them up just a little by glazing the peaches with honey and making homemade ice cream with the most glorious of all the spices: CINNAMON. The end result was sweet, refreshing, and delightfully simple. The perfect snack after flying across the ocean on a giant peach!

P.S. The cinnamon ice cream recipe included below is for a Cuisinart ice cream maker and is a slight variation on the vanilla ice cream recipe that comes with the machine.

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A Very Bookish Baby Room: Our Hobbit Nursery

Posted April 25, 2017 by Alison's Wonderland Recipes in Uncategorized / 6 Comments


I mentioned a few months back that I would post pictures of our book-themed baby room once we got it all set up. And now it’s FINALLY finished! It took ages, but we’re very pleased with the outcome. Three cheers for postpartum productivity! 😀

As you can see from the pictures, we’ve got a bit of a hobbit theme going on. We had a hobbit baby shower and asked guests to bring a favorite childhood book instead of a card, so it seemed perfect to style the Little Mister’s room after Middle Earth. Plus, we wanted something gender neutral, since we didn’t know if we’d be having a boy or a girl. I love how it turned out, and I’m toying with the idea of theme-ing our future children’s rooms after other favorite books (Chronicles of Narnia, Harry Potter, etc.).

As you can also see from the pictures, there’s no crib. We’re co-sleeping, so the Little Mister currently sleeps in a Pack ‘n Play right next to our bed. As such, his “bedroom” acts more as a nursing and changing room, which we’ll gradually phase into a bedroom as he gets older.

 

But let’s take a look at some of these awesome accents!

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Fried Snowballs: Deep Fried Mashed Potato Balls with Bacon and Cheese (an AWR Original Recipe!)

Posted April 20, 2017 by Alison's Wonderland Recipes in Book of the Month Recipes / 4 Comments

 

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One group of characters often forgotten from James and the Giant Peach is the Cloud Men (perhaps since they were left out of the movie). In the book, the Cloud Men are responsible for creating such atmospheric phenomenon as rainbows, storms, and snow. When James and companions float past a Cloud Man city in their flying peach, they see Cloud families preparing dinners of fried snowballs.

These sounded delicious, so of course I wanted to make them for the blog! And I knew exactly how I wanted to create my own interpretation: mashed potato balls mixed with bacon and cheese, rolled in panko crumbs, and deep fried. Utterly delicious and fun to make!

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A James and the Giant Peach Reading Kit

Posted April 18, 2017 by Alison's Wonderland Recipes in Reading Kits / 3 Comments

 

Great view of the New York City (NYC) skyline with a few high buildings and sun in the background.

 

Time for another reading kit! It’s been a while since I’ve done a children’s book, so I had a good bit of fun throwing this kit together. I’ll admit, it was tempting to make everything peach-themed, but I’m proud to say I branched out and managed to include a lot of other iconic things from the book as well. Enjoy! 🙂

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