Month: August 2016

So Long Summer: August in Review and a New Book of the Month!

Posted August 31, 2016 by Alison's Wonderland Recipes in Hints / 5 Comments

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So far the weather has teased us with a few deliciously crisp days, but mostly it’s been muggy and rainy. Words cannot express how ready I am to be done with this ungodly heat! Plus, autumn is my favorite time of year (changing leaves! Oktoberfest! Pumpkin stuff! Halloween!), so I’m impatient for it to get started. Luckily, I’ve already started work on my September menu, which is making it easier to wait. But first let’s take a look back at what we did in August!

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Introducing THREE Studio Ghibli Teas!

Posted August 30, 2016 by Alison's Wonderland Recipes in Teas / 2 Comments

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Considering I couldn’t choose just one Studio Ghibli movie for my menu this month, it’s not that surprising that I couldn’t make just one tea either. I mean, I felt I HAD to make a Totoro tea since Totoro is so awesome, but I also couldn’t stop thinking of how fun it would be to make a tropical Ponyo tea…or a tea based on the cake from Kiki’s Delivery Service! But which one to choose?

All of them. I chose all of them. And I’m not even a little bit sorry. 😉

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Kiki’s Chocolate Cake

Posted August 25, 2016 by Alison's Wonderland Recipes in Book of the Month Recipes / 4 Comments

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I love Kiki’s Delivery Service so much! Granted, I can’t exactly relate to the part about being a witch, but I can definitely relate to being a young working girl out on her own for the first time. I remember my heart going out to Kiki as I watched her struggle to find a job and carve out a niche for herself in her new city home. It was great to see her grow and overcome bouts of self-doubt and failure to become a very happy little witch.

I think one of the best thing’s about Kiki’s Delivery Service is the emphasis it puts on developing relationships. At first, Kiki tries to do everything alone and struggles to make due, but as she makes new friends, their goodwill and helpfulness play a huge role in helping her on the way to success. A great example is the baker lady Osono, who is impressed by Kiki’s helpfulness to a stranger and offers her a place to stay and a job. And at the end of the movie, Kiki’s friend Madame bakes her a cake as a show of appreciation—and that’s the cake we’re making today!

This rich double chocolate cake is an exact replica of the one in the movie, and I had so much fun making it! The recipe was originally developed by Katerina at Diethood (and it was aptly named “Black Magic Cake”). The food in every Hayao Miyazaki movie looks delicious, and this cake is one of the Miyazaki dishes I’ve been dreaming about eating for years! Now I just need to find a plucky young witch to share it with! 🙂

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I WENT TO THE WIZARDING WORLD OF HARRY POTTER AT UNIVERSAL STUDIOS!

Posted August 23, 2016 by Alison's Wonderland Recipes in Uncategorized / 5 Comments

 

 

Back in July, the Mister and I attended a wedding in Orlando and used a free day to visit Universal Studios. We explored a good chunk of the park, but for me the crown jewel was the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

It’s been on my bucket list for AGES, and now that I’ve been there, I can confidently say it was well worth the wait! 🙂 Here’s a rundown of my experience:

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Calcifer’s Sweet and Spicy Candied Bacon: An AWR Original Recipe!

Posted August 18, 2016 by Alison's Wonderland Recipes in Book of the Month Recipes / 3 Comments

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Howl’s Moving Castle was actually the first Studio Ghibli movie I ever saw, and it’s main comic relief (the fire demon Calcifer) is still one of my all-time favorite Miyazaki characters. Though he can be a bit salty and sassy, Cal’s got a good heart underneath it all, so I wanted to pay tribute to him with a dish in our Ghibli menu.

When forced into making breakfast with the new cleaning lady, Calicifer famously curses her by saying, “May all your bacon burn!” So in honor of Cal (and the delicious, non-burned bacon he made with Sophie that day), I decided to make some sweet and spicy bacon!

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This recipe features crisp center cut bacon rubbed with cinnamon and cayenne for spice and coated with honey and brown sugar for sweetness. The perfect snack to share with your favorite fire demon!

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A Studio Ghibli Marathon Kit

Posted August 16, 2016 by Alison's Wonderland Recipes in Reading Kits / 5 Comments

 

 

Oh, Studio Ghibli. Not only are your stories amazing, but your characters are such a perfect combo of magic and true human spirit that they’ve become synonymous with childhood itself for many of us.

Making a marathon kit for Studio Ghibli movies was simultaneously one of the most difficult and most rewarding kits I’ve ever made. On the one hand, there are SO MANY options for what to include that it was downright intimidating. But all the Ghibli movies are so awesome, how can you possibly go wrong? 🙂

In the end, this kit turned out a little bit longer than some of my others, but I’m satisfied that I managed to include the very best. Enjoy! 🙂

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Ponyo’s Ramen

Posted August 11, 2016 by Alison's Wonderland Recipes in Book of the Month Recipes / 2 Comments

 

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Our entree today comes from Hayao Miyazaki’s
Ponyo, a retelling of The Little Mermaid. I love Ponyo’s preoccupation with food in the film, especially ham! Her reaction when Sosuke’s mom serves pork ramen soup is adorable!

This ramen soup recipe is a recreation of the one in the movie, featuring classic ramen noodles, hard boiled eggs, green onions, and of course ham! It’s a savory, salty, satisfying dish—sure to make you feel nice and cozy on a stormy night. 🙂

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TTT: Top Ten Super Intimidating Books I’m Still Determined to Read

Posted August 9, 2016 by Alison's Wonderland Recipes in Link Up / 2 Comments

Intimidating books. No matter how deeply rooted our love of books may be, we’ve all encountered a daunting book at some point. Sometimes it’s a book big enough to rival the dictionary, or maybe the language is so complicated as to be overwhelming. Sometimes it’s just a genre we’re not sure we’ll like!

But all books were made to be read, even the intimidating ones, so I’ve resolved to read the ten books that intimidate me most. Here they are! 🙂

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Chihiro’s Onigiri: Japanese Rice Balls from Spirited Away

Posted August 4, 2016 by Alison's Wonderland Recipes in Book of the Month Recipes / 4 Comments

 

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I’m proud to announce the start of a menu I’ve been looking forward to for ages: A STUDIO GHIBLI MENU! For those who are unfamiliar, Japanese director Hayao Miyazaki worked with Studio Ghibli to make films like My Neighbor Totoro, Spirited Away, and Ponyo. I’ve been a huge Hayao Miyazaki fan for years, so I thought it would be fun to make a menu for his movies! Since it would be impossible to choose just one film, I decided to base each dish after a different movie. Today’s recipe is from Spirited Away!

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TTT: Ten Books I’d Buy with an Unlimited Book Budget

Posted August 2, 2016 by Alison's Wonderland Recipes in Link Up / 9 Comments

Unlimited money for books. It’s what every book lover dreams about, right? Just last month I published a post describing my dream library, so I was all set to continue fantasizing about more books when this Top Ten Tuesday prompt came up. In fact, I’ve been saving books on my Amazon wishlist for ages, so I just had to pop over and see which ones I wanted most. Here’s my dream book haul master list!

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