Month: January 2016

A Whole Month of King Arthur…and a New Menu of the Month!

Posted January 31, 2016 by Alison's Wonderland Recipes in Blogging, Hints / 2 Comments

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January is just about over, folks. What a month it has been! I was nominated for the Creative Blogger Award, took part in my first Top Ten Tuesday linkup, and continued taking part in the Beautiful Books/Beautiful People post series. Plus, I started two new types of posts here on AWR: reading kits and tea premieres! My plan is to post a new reading kit and custom tea blend for every Book of the Month from here on out.

But my favorite part about this month was how our King Arthur menu gave me an excuse to obsess over King Arthur for an ENTIRE MONTH. I marathoned the first three seasons of Merlin, read articles analyzing Arthurian myth (including an awesome one about the sophisticated humor in Monty Python and the Holy Grail), and posted my favorite modern King Arthur retellings. As you can imagine, I’ve been one happy Alison! 🙂

In a way, that just makes it all the harder to move on to our next menu. My one comfort is that the new menu I have in mind involves something I love just as much as King Arthur! Ready for your photo hint? Here it is!

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Our new menu is going to be a Pop Culture Corner contribution: our very first TV Series of the Month! Though I don’t plan on doing many TV menus (I don’t want to depart TOO far from classic books), I just HAD to make a menu for this particular show. And once you see what it is, I think you’ll agree that it definitely falls into the “classic” category. 🙂

ANY GUESSES AT WHAT OUR NEXT MENU OF THE MONTH WILL BE?

 

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Pendragon Cake

Posted January 28, 2016 by Alison's Wonderland Recipes in King Arthur (Jan. 2016) / 5 Comments

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Full disclosure: this cake pan was the whole reason I got the idea to do a King Arthur menu to begin with. I saw it on ThinkGeek several months ago, and it immediately went on my Christmas list. I’m pretty sure it was designed to appeal to the Game of Thrones crowd, but I couldn’t help thinking it’d be just right for a King Arthur dessert. The cake recipe itself is a chocolate pound cake from BHG. It was perfect for getting the pan’s little details to stand out! I decorated mine with raspberries, mint, and whipped cream, but you can decorate yours however you want. You’re king (or queen) of your kitchen! 😉

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The Once and Future Tea: Our King Arthur Custom Tea Blend

Posted January 26, 2016 by Alison's Wonderland Recipes in Teas / 4 Comments

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Our King Arthur tea is here at last! I’ve been itching to introduce it all month, and now it’s FINALLY time! Last year I introduced new teas at the end of each month as part of my hint post, but writing the posts got more difficult as I struggled to tie in tea with my otherwise unrelated monthly news. I decided to remedy this by giving each new tea its own premiere post. Huzzah!

 

The Once and Future Tea

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Inspired by the misty island of Avalon, the Isle of the Apples, this light, ethereal blend features delicate White Eternal Spring and Snowbud tea with fresh apple flavors. Sip while you wait for the Once and Future King to rise from his ancient sleep.

I love this blend! It’s simple and light, with the faintest hint of fruit and flowers. I’ve had my eye on Adagio’s eternal spring tea for ages, and an ancient king borne away to an ageless isle seemed like the perfect opportunity to include it in a blend. Eternal spring uses a white tea base with all kinds of dried fruit: mango, pineapple, apple, cranberry, and blueberry, plus some rose petals and hibiscus for good measure. The scent is intensely fruity, but since it’s a white tea, all the flavors are more airy and subdued. I mixed in snowbud, another white tea. Snowbud is made with the newest leaves and buds harvested in early spring, which results in the gentlest flavor. The mix of the two is a delicate tea with a mystical, ethereal effect. It definitely reminds me of Avalon!

You can order it here!

 

Wanna check out my other blends? Visit our Alison’s Wonderland Tea Gallery!

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Medieval Avalon Apple Tart

Posted January 21, 2016 by Alison's Wonderland Recipes in King Arthur (Jan. 2016) / 0 Comments

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Avalon, the Isle of Apples, is said to be King Arthur’s final resting place. It’s described as a beautiful, ethereal, magical place…so of course I wanted to include it in our King Arthur menu! This savory tribute to Avalon’s namesake fruit is filled with sweet gala apples, butternut squash, and pearl onions topped with blue cheese. The rustic style and hearty flavors combine to make a side dish reminiscent of Arthur’s grand medieval feasts.

P.S. The original recipe can be found at foodnetwork.com.

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Top 10 Books I’ve Recently Added to My TBR

Posted January 19, 2016 by Alison's Wonderland Recipes in Link Up / 8 Comments

This past weekend before a tutoring session at the library, I completed a mission I’ve been looking forward to for weeks: getting out my giant 2016 To Be Read list and hunting down as many books as possible. And I was pretty proud of my efforts! Unfortunately, I’m a combo of slow reader and type-of-reader-who-can-only-read-one-book-at-a-time, so I had to pace myself and only get three. I just keep reminding myself I have all year to read them all, especially since my library has all the ones I want to read most…

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Beautiful People #14 ~ My Novel Writing Plans for 2016

Posted January 15, 2016 by Alison's Wonderland Recipes in Blogging, Link Up / 12 Comments

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Initially I wasn’t planning on continuing with Beautiful Books/Beautiful People posts after finishing last year’s NaNo challenge, but I liked the questions for this month’s prompt so much, I actually filled them out just for fun before I even considered making a linkup post! Maybe I’ll keep going with these linkups. Who knows? Let me know if you’re interested in seeing more! 🙂

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Roasted Questing Beast

Posted January 14, 2016 by Alison's Wonderland Recipes in King Arthur (Jan. 2016) / 5 Comments

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In the King Arthur legends, there are countless accounts of feasts and merriment, but descriptions of the specific dishes they ate are rare. We know from medieval history that these feasts probably involved a lot of savory pies, boiled vegetables, fruit, and roasted meat. I’ll admit I fantasized about roasting a whole pig for this recipe just like they would have done in the olden days, but whole animals are a little difficult to source these days (and I’m not exactly sure how I’d cook one if I found it). Still, large beef roasts were equally common, so I decided to use my go-to pot roast recipe to make a dish very similar to the sort of entrée you’d expect to see at a medieval feast, yet prepared in a way that fits a modern kitchen. Inspired by the Questing Beast which Sir Pellinore so valiantly pursued, this delicious roasted beast is fit for any king’s table.

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I’ve Been Nominated for the Creative Blogger Award!

Posted January 13, 2016 by Alison's Wonderland Recipes in Blogging / 7 Comments

 

Would you like to know how excited I was about getting this award? I was so excited that when I tried to title this post, I accidentally called it a “blooger” award. I’m not sure what a blooger is, but something tells me it’s like a blogger, just a lot more awkward…and probably hopped up on sugar. ^.^

 

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Here are the rules for the Creative Blogger Award:

  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you and post the link of said blog.
  2. Share five facts about yourself to your readers.
  3. Nominate 15 to 20 blogs and notify all nominees via their social media or blogs. (NOTE: I decided to only nominate 4. I follow about 35 blogs total and only wanted to nominate those that I thought truly fit the award, rather than working to come up with 15 names to meet the total.)

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My Favorite Modern Interpretations of King Arthur

Posted January 12, 2016 by Alison's Wonderland Recipes in Uncategorized / 8 Comments

Howdy, folks! As you know, King Arthur is our January Book of the Month, and I’m loving every minute of working on it. I didn’t pick one specific book version of the Arthurian legends, partially because there are so many…and also partially because I don’t know which is my favorite! I love that there are so many versions of the story. To me, our continued cultural draw to these legends is proof of just how timelessly awesome they are. But which modern versions are the best? In no particular order, here is my completely subjective list of favorite King Arthur retellings:

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Sword in the Stone Cheese Bites: An Alison’s Wonderland Original Recipe ©

Posted January 7, 2016 by Alison's Wonderland Recipes in King Arthur (Jan. 2016), Uncategorized / 3 Comments

We kicking off the New Year with the granddaddy of all classic stories: the legend of King Arthur! I’m a big fan of ancient myth and folklore (you should see my Irish myth collection), and the Arthurian legends are some of my favorites. What’s not to love about epic tales of grand quests, noble knights, and a brave king? In fact, the reason I waited so long to make a King Arthur menu was because I wanted to wait until I had enough blogging experience to do it justice. So here we go! 🙂

The appetizer for our King Arthur menu is inspired by the beginning of Arthur’s story: his retrieval of the sword from the stone. These easy, delicious cheese bites are just the right snack to kick off a long afternoon of knightly adventuring…or at least reading about knightly adventures! The perfectly British combo of Camembert and English cheddar is balanced with toasted nuts and sweet-tart dried cranberries—a truly kingly dish! 🙂

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