Bread and Drink

I’ve been doing some things I have been meaning to try for a while this time.

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Homemade Cocoa Powder – There are quite a few versions of this one out there. The one I wanted to try uses powdered milk. But I don’t keep that around in my kitchen often so I opted to try a different recipe that didn’t call for it. I originally made a jar for a gift for my dad but I hadn’t made one for myself.
It’s super simple and really good! This is a Martha Stewart recipe. I halved the recipe so it fits in a mason jar. It’s also very customizable. I put a little sprinkle of cinnamon in the mix and it gives the cocoa just a little Mexican flavor. I also tossed my granulated sugar in the blender for a couple seconds so it got powdered. That way it mixes with the cocoa much better. DO NOT use powdered sugar in this. Powdered sugar has a couple additives that will not taste very good in the cocoa.

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Soft Pretzels – This is an Alton Brown recipe I saw posted a lot during the Superbowl. It’s a bit involved if you don’t make bread. But not too bad if you are used to making bread once in a while. Pretty much the only different step is having to boil the pretzel forms in baking soda water for 30 secs. Everything else is pretty much what you do when baking bread. I enjoyed it and even though I made 8 big pretzels we ate them all.
I substituted active yeast for bread machine yeast and half my flour was bread flour instead of all purpose because of what I had on hand and they still turned out tasting really nice.  I’ll have to try making pretzel bites at some point.

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Savory Cheese Biscuit – This one came out of pure necessity because we had run out of bread to go with our eggs & sausage. I made a basic Bisquick biscuit dough with cream and milk instead of just milk. Then I added in 3/4 cup of shredded cheddar cheese, a handful of chopped onion, tablespoon each of rosemary, dried onion, parsley, basil, and salt. Baked them at 350° for 15 minutes.  They were really tasty! Probably go really well with dinner too.

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Onesies

If you know me then you know how cold natured I am. Winter is basically a fight between my hands and my feet for which one feels more like a lump of ice. I just have the hardest time holding on to body heat and it makes me kinda miserable for the duration of the winter chill.

Recently I have started fighting back by just wrapping myself up in as many layers as I can and then creating a giant robe of legend which is double layered in fleece and fur. I also have a pair of USB heated slippers. I was warmer but wrapping up impeded my movement and I would end up huddled around my chair or desk not moving at all and thus not getting anything done.

Enter the onesie.
Now I had a 2 piece footie PJ set my parents gave me years and years ago. I liked it but ever the contrary my feet would love it at first and then sweat from being confined. It’s like I couldn’t win. I had wanted a footless onesie for years just for the fun of having kiddie PJs again. But now I wanted one for potential body heat saving properties. Problem is where would I find one to fit my 6’0″ frame. Anytime I attempt to buy a body fitting item it comes up short on the length somewhere. I didn’t want to get all excited for a onesie only to have it not cover me properly and thus negate any warmth it might give me.

I thought of sewing one but wasn’t looking forward to that process. Then, Coolirpa, seamstress I follow on youtube happened to have a onesie tutorial that was stupid simple. CraftyAmy also had one that followed a lot of the same steps but hers was footless. I took the two of theirs and smushed them together to make what I wanted.

Lo and behold JoAnn Fabric was doing a a Black Friday sale which I skipped the first day of because I actually hate BF with a passion. I hit up the 2nd day because Fleece was a wonderful 75% OFF. Wham bam and I have 3 yds for $9 bucks and some change.

I did as they did and used our clothing as a pattern. I went ahead and transferred my pattern to paper because I knew I would be using it again.

In progress:

It worked. It actually flippin worked. As it was coming together I was just floored that it was working out. I went ahead and finished all my edges to make sure they last a good long while. I finished Peter’s first and tried it on. It was evident this was a winner. I couldn’t wait to finish mine. When I was done we used them for our annual Nog Day Holiday photo.

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As you can see I went on to make one more out of some leopard fabric I had in my stash. I added a tail, ears, and hood this time and lined it in more material from my stash. The hood and tail are detachable for normal wear. I think I’ll be wearing this to cons for late night shenanigans so I am comfortable but cute.

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Cooking Storm Continues

More recipes have come across my dash and here they are with a review.

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Loaded Potato Soup – Saw this recipe on Facebook. This uses hashbrowns as its base. It’s basically made from stuff you keep in your pantry which makes it nice not to have to shop from specific things. It’s delicious and filling. Also customizable to what you like on your potatoes. If you like broccoli you can steam some and add it in the last 20 mins. You totally want to try this one.  Fling it all in your crockpot and leave for the day.

 

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Pork Ramen Bowl – I had pork loin and wanted to do something different with it. So I cooked it in the crockpot until it fell apart and then I made some traditional ramen based on pictures: Egg, seaweed, carrots, corn, and the loin.  Very filling and flavorful. Next time I’d like to try a beef bowl like this. Peter devoured his.

 

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Cherry Shortbread Cookie– I follow YoyoMax12 on youtube. She makes such delicious looking deserts. These are such a simple recipe and looked nice so I headed to the store to pick up red glace cherries cause it was the only thing I needed. They were out of red each time I went so I settled for green. These are really melt in your mouth good. Perfect for gifts or for cookie day at the office. Plus it takes maybe 15 minutes to make them.

 

CZZHMxIW0AAZAWGLemon and Pecan Shortbread Cookie – Speaking of the cookies above as gifts that’s exactly what I did. If you take the cherries out you are left with a simple shortbread dough. You can flavor it any way you like. I tried lemon cause it sounded nice. I did pecan because my mom really likes pecans. Only difference with these really is adding a tablespoon of lemon extract and a couple drops of yellow food coloring. The pecan ones have a half cup of chopped nuts and a half tablespoon of almond extract.  Both are rolled into balls and then rolled in a little sugar and baked just like the ones above.

 

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