Ice Planets: Toasted Marshmallow Ice Cream Balls with Shredded Coconut

Posted March 23, 2017 by Alison's Wonderland Recipes in Book of the Month Recipes / 3 Comments

 

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Dessert in the Firefly universe is an interesting affair, to say the least. As intergalactic smugglers, the crew of Serenity is used to simple, tinned food, so when they get a chance for something sweet, they go all-out.

In the episode “The Message” we see River eating an “ice planet”—a large ball of what appears to be ice cream extended on a string attached to a stick. It’s problematic to eat, but it sure looks delicious! I knew I wanted it to be my Firefly dessert.

Since we’re never given a description of the ingredients, I had to get inventive. Since the surface of the ball is coarse instead of smooth, I figured it had been coated in something, and shredded coconut sounded like a delicious pairing. And since the balls were white, I figured they were probably made with vanilla ice cream. I didn’t want plain vanilla for the center, though, so I thought it would be fun to toast some marshmallows and mix them in.

Voila! Dessert is served. 🙂

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You Can’t Take the Sky from Me: A Firefly Marathon Kit

Posted March 21, 2017 by Alison's Wonderland Recipes in Reading Kits / 2 Comments

 

astronomy, constellation, cosmos

 

We’re back with another kit, and boy am I excited about this one! As you may have guessed by the fact that I’m doing an entire recipe menu based around the show Firefly, I’m a pretty big fan of the Firefly/Serenity universe. The Mister and I may or may not have the theme song among our repertoire of lullabies for our baby. #BabyBrowncoat ^.^

So when I started putting this kit together, it was hard not to go overboard. I mean, c’mon, ThinkGeek has a WHOLE SECTION OF THEIR SITE devoted to Firefly paraphernalia. Still, I managed to restrain myself and only selected the Internet’s best Firefly goodies.

Fly on, fellow Browncoats!

 

 

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Fruity Oaty Bars

Posted March 16, 2017 by Alison's Wonderland Recipes in Book of the Month Recipes / 2 Comments

 

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In the movie Serenity, Fruity Oaty Bars are a snack food advertised in a bar the characters visit while on the run from the Alliance. Unfortunately, big bad evil government guys plant a subliminal message in the Oaty Bar ad, causing River Tam—a fugitive from an Alliance research facility—to go completely beserk and attack everyone in the bar.

As such, the Fruity Oaty Bar has become an iconic Serenity/Firefly foodstuff. But what exactly is it?

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5 Pies for Pi Day!

Posted March 14, 2017 by Alison's Wonderland Recipes in Holidays / 3 Comments

 

Strawberry and Raspberry Pie Near White Ceramic Pitcher

 

Happy Pi Day, everybody! I wish I could say I had another St. Patrick/Pi Day mashup party in the works this year, but unfortunately it was not to be. The Little Mister has been experiencing a growth spurt, so he’s spent all his waking hours for the past several days eating. Even though it’s difficult to cook anything right now, I can’t seem to feel resentful. He’s just too darn cute! I’m seriously so proud. He’s only 5 weeks old and can already lift his head, roll from side to side, and even smile! We like to joke that someone forgot to tell him he’s a baby. 😉

Still, just because my life’s a little crazy right now doesn’t mean everyone else can’t bake up some Pi Day goodness, right? Here’s a roundup of all the pies I’ve ever made here on AWR, if you’re looking for some inspiration. Almost all of them are savory, which surprised me…but that just means I should make sure to add some sweet pies to future menus this year!

In the mean time, maybe I can convince my husband to swing by a bakery and pick me up a slice of lemon meringue on his way home from work today. Fingers crossed! 🙂

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Wash’s Dino Nuggets with Homemade Ketchup

Posted March 9, 2017 by Alison's Wonderland Recipes in Book of the Month Recipes / 1 Comment

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Of all the characters in Firefly, Hoban Washburne is my all-time favorite. “Wash”—as he’s known by the crew of Serenity—is the ship’s pilot and resident goofball. There’s lots to love about Wash, but I think the best thing about him is how different he is from the rest of the crew, who’re all hard-bitten warriors (including his wife, Zoe). 

When we first meet Wash, he’s playing with dinosaur toys at the helm of Serenity, acting out a narrative in which a T-Rex horribly betrays a kind-hearted stegosaurus. Like many people, this was the moment when I knew I was going to love his character, so I decided to make a dish in honor of his dinos!

These homemade dino nuggets are made from thin-cut chicken breast cut into shape with dinosaur cookie cutters, coated in bread crumbs, and baked. The ketchup recipe is one I found in a Zagat video, and I LOVE it! It’s more tomato-y than storebought ketchup and super easy to make!

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Mudder’s Milk: A Firefly Tea

Posted March 7, 2017 by Alison's Wonderland Recipes in Teas / 2 Comments

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Oh, Firefly. How could I possibly design a tea for you that wasn’t based off mudder’s milk? It’s the most iconic beverage in the show! 😉

Described as “all the protein, vitamins, and carbs of your grandma’s best turkey dinner, plus 15 percent alcohol,” mudder’s milk is a pretty tough beverage to replicate in tea form. I knew I wanted it to be something you could add milk to (so that it would have a little substance). I also knew that, in place of alcohol, I wanted to add spice to give it some kick. I created a Masala chai/vanilla/cinnamon mix that goes great with milk, and I added cardamon to amp up the spice just a teeny bit. Let’s have a toast to the Hero of Canton! 🙂

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Shepherd Book’s Goat Cheese & Basil Stuffed Strawberries: An AWR Original Recipe!

Posted March 2, 2017 by Alison's Wonderland Recipes in Book of the Month Recipes / 0 Comments

      firefly-shepherd-book-stuffed-strawberries-ap-pinterest   

Howdy, folks! Today’s recipe marks the start of our first TV show menu of the year. It’s themed after one of my favorite shows: Firefly!

The show is set in a dystopian future when mankind leaves Earth to terraform the universe. The arm of the law doesn’t really reach the outer systems, which have taken on an attitude toward law and justice reminiscent of the Wild West. The show follows the travels of the crew and passengers of the spaceship Serenity.

In the first episode, the ship’s mechanic convinces a preacher named Shepherd Book to travel with them, and he pays for his passage with something unusual: a small box of strawberries.

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More Exciting News: I’m Writing a Cookbook! :D

Posted February 28, 2017 by Alison's Wonderland Recipes in Blogging, Teas, Uncategorized / 12 Comments

 

 

February is drawing to a close, and I’m happy to say we’re settling in well with our new baby, and it looks like I’ll be able to be more active on the blog in the coming weeks. That in mind, I think the time is right for another big announcement that I’ve been waiting on for a long while:

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Say Hello to the Little Mister!

Posted February 24, 2017 by Alison's Wonderland Recipes in Uncategorized / 15 Comments

 

 

Howdy, folks! Those of you who follow me on social media have probably seen some posts about my new baby over the past couple weeks. The Little Mister came into the world at 7:52 pm on 2/2/17, weighing in at 7 lbs 9 oz. And now after some R&R, I’m finally announcing his birth here on the blog! I’ve included his birth story below. We’re both doing well, if very tired, and enjoying getting to know each other…though I will admit, getting to know him involves WAY more extra laundry than I anticipated. 😉

 

The Birth Story

The Labor

I was 10 days overdue when my labor was induced, so we were more than ready for things to get underway. I was doing everything I could to kick start labor, but this kid was determined to stay put!

I went in for a scheduled induction at midnight on the morning of Wednesday, February 1st. Labor went slowly, with many interventions. I was on Cervidil for 10 hours, which ultimately started my contractions. Then they hooked me up to IV fluids and put me on Pitocin in an attempt to regulate the contractions. Even with the Pitocin, the contractions never reached a consistent pattern. I had times when they were 3-5 minutes apart but very mild, then constant and more intense for 5-10 minutes.

Because the contractions were inconsistent, they never actually got that bad (I never rated my pain above a 7). More than anything, it was just tedious to be in pain for so long, unable to sleep or sit comfortably. By far, the hardest part was being tethered to the bed. I had an IV in the back of my hand, two monitors strapped around my stomach, a blood pressure cuff on my left arm, and eventually an epidural in my back (mostly so I could sleep). I got so desperate to walk around, I would buzz the nurse to detach my monitors so I could hobble around with my IV every once in a while.

The Delivery

After about 30 hours of that, I was only 6 cm dilated. The baby’s heart rate was gradually beginning to drop, so the doctor recommended a c-section. I was a little sad about this, since I really wanted to deliver on my own, but the Mister and I agreed that it was the safest thing.

Then in a snap, I was prepped, wheeled into surgery, and numbed from the neck down. I remember the jovial tone in the surgical room. The doctors and nurses talked about baseball, and the anesthesiologist showed me pictures of his little girl on his phone. They hung a curtain past my neck, so I wouldn’t see the procedure (though the Mister was with me and could see everything, and he said the incision made him pretty queasy).

Through most of the procedure, I was terrified that something would go wrong—that for whatever reason, my baby would never have a first cry. So when the doctor happily shouted “it’s a boy!” and I heard that first squalling wail, I laugh-cried for three full minutes. I think the fact that the baby was a boy is extra special because I had vivid dreams all through my pregnancy about having a boy. Even though I didn’t really care what kind of baby I had, it’s neat to think that I might’ve somehow known who he was all along.

After they cleaned him up and gave him his APGAR, the Mister cut the cord, and they brought the baby around the curtain so I could see him. Luckily, the anesthesiologist was totally on top of things and snapped this picture of the Little Mister and I getting our first look at each other:

In a matter of minutes, we were in the recovery room, and I got to feed him for the first time. I was worried that I might have trouble breastfeeding because of the IV fluids and epidural, but the Little Mister nursed like a champ. In a strange way, that first feeding stands out in my memory even more than our first look. Maybe it’s because everything was quiet and still in Recovery, and my husband was there with us. I just felt like, in that moment, our little family was exactly where it needed to be.

The Aftermath

When we were discharged, it was 1:30 in the afternoon, and the weather was beautiful. I’ll never forget the Little Mister’s first time outside. Just as the nurse wheeled us out the door, we saw a lady about to enter the hospital. She was crying. When she caught sight of the Little Mister wrapped up in my arms, she said “Oh!” and smiled at him. She then explained that she was going in to say goodbye to her father, who was dying. She smiled again at the Little Mister and said, “I really needed to see this today.”

Someday, I can’t wait to tell him how the first time he stepped outside, he made the day better for the very first person he saw. 🙂

Home Base

And now we’re finally home resting up and figuring out our new normal! Even though it’s only been a little over three weeks, life before the Little Mister already feels like a long time ago. It kinda reminds me of how it felt when I first got married. Even though life was entirely different, it very quickly started to feel like it’d always been that way.

For the most part, the Little Mister sleeps and eats very well, but getting back into a schedule after having a baby is pretty tough (as evidenced by the fact that I started writing this post while I was still in the hospital, and it’s JUST NOW going up). I already miss being able to sleep through the night, but I wouldn’t trade my new snuggle bug for all the sleep in the world! 🙂

Baby Love

His little personality is already shining through. He ADORES his hands—inspecting them close to his face, splaying his fingers, sucking his fists, and laying them against his face as he nurses. In fact, we’ve only been able to put him in a half swaddle to sleep, because he gets so upset when his hands are pinned down. We can’t even put a blanket over them when he naps in his swing, otherwise he wakes and fusses.

He also loves curling himself up as small as he can and sleeping on people’s chests (getting him to sleep anywhere else has been a challenge).

And he’s curious. So curious! He can already hold his head up, which he does whenever he wants to stare out windows or into mirrors, look around his room, or look for me and the Mister whenever he hears our voices. It’s fun to watch his brow furrow like a little professor as his eyes search over everything. You can practically see the wheels in his brain turning as he tries to take it all in.

I can’t wait until he can talk, so he can tell me what’s going on in that whirring brain of his! 🙂

…but now it’s time for me to get back to the very important job
of staring in awe at my new roomie!

You’ll all hear from me again soon. Regular recipe posts resume next week! 😀

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10 Book Themed Valentine’s Day Desserts

Posted February 14, 2017 by Alison's Wonderland Recipes in Holidays / 2 Comments

 

Yellow and Red Heart Knot on Black Labeled Book

 

What do you do on Valentine’s Day when the person you love is wild for books? Make them a dessert inspired by their favorite story…and then take them to the bookstore, of course! 😉

These are my top ten book-themed Valentine’s Day desserts. Stay sweet, Wonderlanders! 😉

 

The Queen of Hearts’ Painted Rose Cupcakes — Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

Give the king or queen of your heart a different kind of rose this Valentine’s Day! 🙂

 

Romeo’s Sighs and Juliet’s Kisses — Romeo and Juliet

These two-toned cookies are a sweet tribute to Verona’s most famous lovers.

 

French Hot Chocolate — The Three Musketeers

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No one knows love like the French…and nothing says “I Love You” like this French hot chocolate recipe from The Three Musketeers!

 

Cinnamon S’more Mini Baked Alaska — White Fang

These White Fang-inspired desserts make baked Alaska easy!

 

Dragon Scale Madeleines — The Hobbit

Want to show your favorite Hobbit fan you care? These red and gold madeleine cookies will do the trick!

 

Dauntless Chocolate Cake — Divergent

A love as dauntless as yours calls for the most intense chocolate cake! (Note: If you’re concerned it’ll be too sweet, swap out the bourbon frosting for whipped cream blended with a little cinnamon)

 

Brandy Snaps with Coffee Cream — Sherlock Holmes

This Sherlock Holmes-inspired dessert will make it easy for your sweety to deduce your feelings. 🙂

 

Butterbeer Trifle — Harry Potter

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No time to cook? These no-bake trifles are quick and easy to throw together…and they’re a fun make-together project!

 

Katniss Cakes — The Hunger Games

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You can choose between Girl on Fire, “Cinna”mon, and Nightlock…or make them all!

 

Little Belgian Truffles — Agatha Christie

Wanna try your hand at candy making? These truffle tributes to Hercule Poirot are the perfect gift for the Agatha Christie fan in your life.

 

What’s your favorite Valentine’s Day dessert?

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