Month: November 2016

Clam Chowder from Moby Dick

Posted November 10, 2016 by Alison's Wonderland Recipes in Book of the Month Recipes / 3 Comments

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There’s no food more synonymous with Moby Dick than chowder. Melville devotes a whole chapter to describing Ishmael and Queequeg’s chowder feast at a little establishment called the Try Pots. The owner serves two varieties (clam and cod). I decided to make clam chowder, since this is the variety Ishmael and Queequeg try first (and I’m a bigger fan of clams than fish).

My chowder (adapted from a Taste of Home recipe) is altered just a bit from the one in the book to allow for more modern ingredients. The chowder in the book is described as containing crushed ship’s biscuits, which I imagine acted as a thickener, so I used flour to achieve the same effect. It also calls for salted pork, which I swapped for bacon, since they’re so similar. I then sauteed some onion and garlic in melted butter and threw in some red potatoes, corn, celery, and—of course—minced clams. The final result was creamy, savory, and salty—just the sort of stick-to-your-ribs meal you need before heading out on a long ocean voyage.

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White Whales: Spicy Firecracker Shrimp in Crispy Egg Roll Wraps

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

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I’ll admit, firecracker shrimp wasn’t the first thing that came to mind when I started planning my Moby Dick menu. But while I was hunting for good ocean-themed appetizers, I saw a firecracker shrimp recipe from Picture the Recipe and was immediately smitten. With Moby Dick on the brain, I couldn’t help but look at the little shrimp wrapped in egg roll wraps and think they looked like little white whales! 🙂

So I cooked some up, and I’m SO glad I did. They might look hard to make, but each step is pretty easy (even the wrapping!). And they’re even easier to eat! The shell is crispy on the outside, tender on the inside, and the perfectly cooked shrimp is gently spiced. Saving some to share with the Mister was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do.

So eat up! We’ve got an ocean voyage to start! 🙂

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October Month in Review and a New Book of the Month Hint!

Posted November 2, 2016 by Alison's Wonderland Recipes in Book of the Month Recipes / 1 Comment

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Wow! Maybe it’s because I’ve been cooking like a madwoman all month, but I feel like October just zipped by. One minute I’m just finishing up my London Fog Lattes for Sherlock at the end of September; the next I’m posting a Poe-themed cocktail for Halloween.

…but the zippiness may also have something to do with the fact that this month we had a wedding, Friendsgiving, the Mister’s grad school graduation party, and a friend stay the weekend. Busy as it was, it was SO GREAT to spend our weekends with family and friends, especially since schedule conflicts have made it hard for us to visit ANYONE the past few months.

But anyway, on to food! Let’s take a look back at our October menu before I share our next Book of the Month hint…

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The 5 Teas of NaNo Intro Post: Literary Teas to Get You Through National Novel Writing Month

Posted November 1, 2016 by Alison's Wonderland Recipes in Teas / 5 Comments

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National Novel Writing Month starts today!!! For those who haven’t heard of it, every November NaNoWriMo provides an online community for aspiring authors. The goal is for each writer to finish a 50,000-word novel by the end of the month. When I did it last year, it was a lot of hard work but super rewarding!

I decided not to do NaNo this year, but it was a REALLY tough decision. I’m already itching to take part, and it’s only day one! Still, I promise I have a good reason for tapping out. I’m actually working on a HUGE blog project right now (which I hope to be able to tell you more about soon!), and I knew I wouldn’t have the extra time to devote to NaNo.

Since I can’t participate this year, I thought I’d show support for the other participants by doing a NaNo-themed post series. Lots of NaNoers use tea and coffee as a reward for reaching their daily word counts, so I thought it would be fun to share a special book-themed tea each week of NaNo. Thus the 5 Teas of NaNo were born!

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