Odysseus’ Candy Fleece: How to Make Handmade Cotton Candy (WITHOUT Chopping Up Your Whisk!)

Posted 27 August, 2015 by Alison's Wonderland Recipes in The Odyssey (Aug 2015) / 0 Comments

Cotton candy, candy floss, fairy floss: whatever you call it, it’s the perfect dessert for our Odyssey menu. I thought of it immediately when I read about Odysseus’ clever use of sheep to escape the cyclops, Polyphemus. But homemade cotton candy can be intimidating when you don’t have a machine, especially when every recipe you come across requires you to cut the end off your balloon whisk. I knew I didn’t want to go chopping up perfectly good utensils, so I did some experimenting…and I’m proud to announce that no whisks were harmed in the making of this recipe! I recommend buying a special kind of whisk called a ball whisk with silicone ends (available here). You get the same results as a trimmed balloon whisk, and you can use it like you would a regular whisk in most other situations.

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I’m a Yummly Publisher!

Posted 24 August, 2015 by Alison's Wonderland Recipes in Uncategorized / 0 Comments

 

Howdy, Wonderlanders! Many of you have probably heard of Yummly, the online recipe database where you can share, save, and ask questions about recipes. I heard lots of good things about it, so I went to check it out…and now I’m becoming one of their publishers! HUZZAH!

Thanks to Yummly, I’ll now have awesome recipe printables available for each new recipe I publish (I’ll be adding printables to my old posts gradually over the next couple months). I’ve also got a new Yummly sharing button with my other share buttons at the bottom of each post, so you can save my recipes to your Yummly recipe box straight from my blog. MORE HUZZAHS!

 

You can check out my personal Yummly profile here. My publisher profile will be up soon too, and I’ll add the link to that here when it’s available.
Not a Yummly user but want to become one? Don’t worry, you can fix that here.

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My First Comic Con: Wizard World Chicago!

Posted 23 August, 2015 by Alison's Wonderland Recipes in Pop Culture Corner, Teas / 2 Comments

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The first thing I saw when I walked through the door. Shout out to all the other Supernatural fans out there! :D

For years, my reason for not attending comic book conventions was simple: I don’t read comic books. No better reason than that, right? Well, a month ago the Mister (a big video game and comic book fan) asked me if I was interested in going to our local comic con, Wizard World Chicago. I thought, why not? With him working full time and attending grad school, it’s not often we get to spend a whole day together. Plus, my geeky horizons have widened considerably over the past couple years. I still love my books and tea, but now I’ve added things like Star Trek and Firefly to the mix. I still don’t have much interest in comic books, but I figured the convention might still be fun anyway. Turns out I TOTALLY wasn’t giving it enough credit.

 

When we got to the convention hall yesterday, it was PACKED. There were hundreds of people in the main lobby alone. Our first stop was the vendor hall, and I was floored by the huge variety of things there. We’re talking Hogwarts house bathrobes, hobbit hole watercolor paintings, leather Celtic journals, steampunk coffee presses, Star Trek oven mitts, and of course all things superhero. We stopped by a gaming room where the Mister played Super Smash Bros, and there were even Q&A panels with Youtube stars, comic book creators, and famous actors. We went to the Firefly panel and saw Nathan Fillion, Adam Baldwin, and Summer Glau! * insert fangirl squeal here *

 

 Like cars? They had three famous ones on display. This is the car from Knight Rider, but there was also a Mystery Machine and Iron Man's 1965 Shelby Cobra.

Like cars? They had three famous ones on display. This is the car from Knight Rider, but there was also a Mystery Machine and Iron Man’s 1965 Shelby Cobra.

 

And these are the spoils of my lovely trip to the vendor hall: a custom quote pillow, handmade stoneware Totoro mug, and two custom teas (Red Queen and Irish Whiskey Cream).

 

 

Now as I sit sipping my delicious new tea out of my Totoro mug, I’m exhausted but happy. And I’m DEFINITELY planning on going back next year! 😀

 

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Lotus Root Chips

Posted 20 August, 2015 by Alison's Wonderland Recipes in The Odyssey (Aug 2015) / 5 Comments

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This weekend my sister gave me something I’ve wanted forever: one of those slate cheese boards you can write on with chalk! You can bet I was determined to use it in this week’s recipe pictures. Luckily, lotus chips look awesome on a black background! :)


I never even knew you could eat lotus roots until I went hunting for this week’s Odyssey recipe, a tribute to the Lotus Eaters. Turns out I was missing out on an awesome snack! These lotus root chips are crispy, delicately salted, and super satisfying (I found the recipe here). Hellooo, healthy potato chip alternative!
The best part is that you don’t wind up with a perfumy, floral-tasting chip, even though it’s from a flower. The lotus root actually has a really mild flavor, familiar enough to remind you of a potato chip while still a little unique. You can find fresh or packaged lotus roots in the produce or refrigerated sections of most Asian grocery stores. I found mine at my local Hmart (the kind I used were peeled, boiled slices packed in water).

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Reading Kits: Easy DIY Gifts for the Reader in Your Life – Real Life at Home

Posted 19 August, 2015 by Alison's Wonderland Recipes in Uncategorized / 0 Comments

Reading kits are an easy, cost effective way to make one-of-a-kind gifts for readers. Here are 3 kits based off of classic books, links to items included!

Source: Reading Kits: Easy DIY Gifts for the Reader in Your Life – Real Life at Home

 

I’ve just published my next guest post for Real Life at Home! In the post, I show how to make reading kits for three classic books: Little Women, Treasure Island, and Peter Pan. They make awesome gifts…or special treats for yourself! 😉

Click here to view the post at Real Life at Home.

 

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Charybdis Whirlpools: Greek Spiral Sandwiches

Posted 13 August, 2015 by Alison's Wonderland Recipes in The Odyssey (Aug 2015) / 1 Comment

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In
The Odyssey, Odysseus must choose between facing the man-eating monster Scylla or the ship-destroying whirlpool Charybdis. A tough choice no matter how you slice it, but these Greek pinwheel sandwiches are an easy choice: truly delicious and easy to make! Inspired by a recipe from Hello Healthy, they’ve got all the flavors you’d expect in a classic Greek salad (feta, cucumbers, peppers), plus some surprises (like herbed cream cheese). I love the way the feta incorporates into the cream cheese, and the roasted peppers add just the right touch of crunch.

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It’s All Comin’ Up Roses: New Theme, New Nephew, New Tea, and a New Book of the Month Hint!

Posted 1 August, 2015 by Alison's Wonderland Recipes in Hints, Teas / 3 Comments

 

As you can see, we’ve got a new look around here! You may recall my special post a few days ago, where I explained that some unexpected problems with my previous blog theme had me hunting for a new one. This gorgeous new theme (courtesy of Nose Graze) caught my eye right away, since it’s so customizable. Unfortunately, it took me almost three whole days to get it set up, but I promise I have a good reason:

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I wish I could show you what a cutie he is when his eyes are open, but he’s a VERY hungry man when he’s awake. I seriously doubt he’d have much patience for a photo op if it meant he had to wait for food…he takes after his auntie! ;)

 

This awesome little guy is my brand new nephew (and soon to be godson!). I’ve been staying at my sister’s place the last couple days to help out with the new baby, which hasn’t left much time for blogging…but it HAS left lots of time for baby cuddles and playing pretend with my 3-year-old niece. The toddler and I even colored some leftover sugar cookies (from my Candied Flower Cookie recipe) with some special food markers I had on hand.

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Secret Garden Bonus Post: Candied Flower Cookies

Posted 30 July, 2015 by Alison's Wonderland Recipes in The Secret Garden (July 2015) / 1 Comment


Since July is extra long, we get to do a Secret Garden bonus post!
Garden-themed menus leave so many great options for dessert, so I decided to make a companion dessert to go with our Lavender Lemon Eclairs. I’ve been DYING to make candied flowers for this menu, so sugar cookies with lemon icing and candied violets sounded ideal. Like most of our bonus recipes, I’m keeping this one simple, so we’ll mostly just cover how to make the candied flowers (in the ingredients list, I’ve included links to the cookie and icing recipes I used). You can make your own cookies and icing, but if time is of the essence you can totally go with store bought. That’s what I love about this recipe—it can be as involved or as easy as you want!

P.S. The recipe I use for candied flowers was originally published on Food.com.

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Please Pardon Our…Blankness

Posted 28 July, 2015 by Alison's Wonderland Recipes in Uncategorized / 4 Comments

As you can probably tell, things are looking awfully monochromatic around here. Up until today, I was using a Mojo Marketplace blog theme called Writer. The theme creator sent out an update today that changed the whole theme to something much more “minimalistic”…and much less customizable. It got rid of header menus, backgrounds, pretty much everything. As you can imagine, I was not a happy camper. So I disabled it, and we’re currently sporting a free WordPress.org theme until I find a replacement (still pretty minimalistic, but at lease this one shows menus! Yay!).

Hopefully, I’ll have something strikingly gorgeous ready for you by tomorrow. For now, I’m settling in for a long night of unexpected theme browsing. Three cheers for the caffeine that’s going to get me through it all!

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