Saturday, December 31, 2011

Preterm Activities Summary

Here's what you might have missed around the Den this week:

Spinners: The spinners have discussed a possible spinning challenge, shown off yarn and talked about spinning requirements for classes and owls.

Library: In addition to all the books we’ve been reading, the Library also held discussions of e-readers,
and Shawn started a spreadsheet of all the mentioned books.

Sweedish Chef: The chefs have been quiet recently, although there was some cookie chatter and this week they’re looking for gluten-free recipes.

Cleaners: The Hufflecleaners are teaming up with HECK for a washcloth-along
and have been talking about a cleaning calendar.

Sock-along: The Sockers have been discussing plans for 12 Socks in 2012 and have been sharing all their favorite sock patterns!

Pets: We’ve been seeing adorable photos of cats, dogs and even a Tree Octopus!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A Badgertastic Sorting

Knitry stands in his Hufflepuff robes and raises wand to neck and states "Sonorus" and prepares to proceed with his first Firstie Perspective as he welcomes all new and returning Badgers.

Wow folks! It's time to get ready for a new Term, Winter 2012!

Sir SortingHat has finally spoken, read it here!

So thus begins the first Firstie Perspective blog of the soon to be Winter 2012 Term!

My views on sorting is that I've never been so nerve-wracked to date in my life! After filling out the sorting form and probably bugging Sir SortingHat to no end (for which I am sorry, Sir SortingHat, have a chocolate muffin!) I was sorted after several days of checking and waiting impatiently.

It feels great to be a Badger and a First Year! And to think I had only found out about HP Knitting/Crochet House Cup (HPKCHC) within the past week! I'm loving it and the excitement is awesome. It's amazing to see how everyone can get so close knit even when you're a Not-Quite-First-Year (NQFY). I was nervous about which house I would be sorted in (if I was sorted) and was guided by Sir SortingHat to Hufflepuff based on my personality, boy he's never wrong!

Over the past few days I have learned to be a Hufflepuff at heart from my fellow Badgers because I feel at home in Hufflepuff. So I want to say thank you to all of you (especially those of you who have taken me under your wings as a Not-Quite-Hufflepuff, you know who you are) for allowing me to become a part of the Den and to feel at home.

So what are some plans for the Firstie Perspective?

I'm so excited! On top of classes (don't forget one class a month is mandatory, everything else is optional, but get more active if you can), Ordinary Wizarding Levels (OWLs), Nastily Exhausting Wizarding Test (NEWTs), Quidditch, etc., the Firstie Perspective section of the Huffle-blog will be to give Firstie opinions, ideas, my views (as well as other Firsties) on classes and the Ravelry-sanctioned crafts and projects, and so on.

Come on, Hufflepuffs, we can do this! I've done the math and I've counted a total of 162 Badgers!

Let's take Winter 2012 by our Badgertastic abilities and personalities and have fun at the HPKCHC!

I Wanna be a Hufflepuff!

Sorting's closed, so I hope you've put in your requests to be in Hufflepuff House. If not, we're always happy to have you join us as a Student-on-sabatical or a Not-quite-first-year.

Speaking of NQFY's -

Knitry is a firsty hopeful who has clearly joined the Hogwarts Poets Society with his sorting hat request. You all need to sing his new song loud and clear!

Oh, I Wanna be a Hufflepuff
(Tune of ”I’ve Been Working on the Railroad”)

Oh, I wanna be a Hufflepuff,
A Hufflepuff, I wanna be.
A Hufflepuff, with black and yellow,
Badgertastic, and a Cete.

SortingHat, I hope you hear me,
Grant me this, my only plea,
As we proceed with the sorting,
Let me be a Hufflepuff, please!

Sort me, will you please,
Sort me, will you please,
Sort me, will you please, to Hufflepuff?
Sort me, will you please,
Sort me, will you please,
Sort me, will you please, to Hufflepuff?

Hanging in the Den with the Badgers,
Hanging in the Den, I’ll be.
Hanging in the Den with the Badgers,
With all the Staff and Cetes.

P, Q, B’s - I know.
O, W, L’s - Too.
N, E, W, T’s - Oh, no.
With all the Staff and Cetes.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Movie Weekend #13 July 29, 30, 31

Wow! The last movie weekend of the term, already! There is sure to be much urgent OWL-finishing up happening, as well as the general end of month/end of term rush to complete! So this weekend, just for something special, there are THREE movies to choose from! And two of them are pretty long! So you can pull up your chair, grab whichever project needs finishing, and tell yourself: I have to watch all these movies! It's the last weekend of the term! Ignore the flower beds, or the lawn-watering, or any other chores and distractions that threaten to pull you away from your end-of-term-crafting, order a pizza and watch some movies!

Besides being the last week of term, this week also has an important holiday that probably usually goes unobserved. "Aunt and Uncle Day" is the 26th, so let's have some movies with Aunts, Uncles, or both:

Wizard of Oz

Gone with the Wind (who could ever forget Aunt Pitty?)

Secondhand Lions (with my favorite eccentric uncles of all time!)

Good luck with your crafting!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Movie Weekend #12 July 22, 23, 24

Moon Day is July 20th - who knew? And does it seem odd to anyone else that there is a holiday called "Moon DAY"? Wouldn't it be more correct if it were called "Moon Night"?. Oh well...I always wonder who thinks this stuff up.

To celebrate Moon Day, here are the movies of the week:


Twilight: New Moon

Personally however, I think my celebration of Moon Day will be at night. After dark. It just seems more right that way.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Movie Weekend #11 July 15, 16, 17

I love the holiday we're celebrating this week: it's "Embrace Your Geekness Day" on the 13th. Of course I know that many of us Puffs are way to cool to admit to any geekness...but personally, it's a trait I possess in great quantities, so I want to celebrate it. Somewhere online I found a list of best movies for geeks, or something like that, and here are a couple of them:

Loser (with Jason Biggs, available to view instantly from Netflix)

Serenity (also available to view instantly)

I don't know anything about Serenity, but I know I've seen it discussed in a few threads from time to time. It appeared on a list here:

And in case you're trying to decide if you're a geek or not, here's a quote from the listverse site: "If you have not seen at least 15 of these movies, you can hand in your geek membership card right now." So go check out their list, and decide for yourself: geek, or not?

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Movie Weekend #10 July 8, 9, 10

National Country Music Day was July 4th, and I'm sure it was rather overlooked, since most people in the US were celebrating Independence Day, instead. Did anyone light any sparklers in honor of country music?

To make up for the lack of attention we paid to this important day, we'll watch movies this week with some country-style music:

Walk the Line

O Brother, Where Art Thou?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

June Movie Weekend Recipes

Movie Weekend #8 Movies:  The Sandlot and Dirty Dancing
For this weekend I went looking for the sort of things my grandmother made in the 1950s and '60s.

*Seafood Salad:
*Spiced Applesauce Cake:
*Olive Salad Sandwich:
*Bunko Punch:
*Crepes Florentine:
*Popcorn Snack Mix:
*Soft Pretzels:

 Movie Weekend #7 Movies:  Ever After and Avatar
The following recipe links were originally posted in the Hufflepuff thread forum to go along with the June Movie Weekend Movies..
*Chicken Marsala:
*Best Ever Chocolate Chip Cookie:
*Desert menu from The Barefoot Contessa:
*,1-0,blue_food,FF.html (over 700 blue food recipes!!)

Movie Weekend #6 Movies: City Slickers and The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants
*Spanish-Style Nougat Candy:
*Candied Flowers
*Potato Candy:

Movie Weekend #5 Movies: Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory and Chocolat
*Gobstopper Drink Recipe: 
*Gobstopper's Candy:,177,152177-253199,00.html
*Slow Cooker Chicken Mole:
*Chocolate Caramel Candy:
*No Bake Chocolate Candy:

Non-Recipe Protection Post

Worried about data mining? The following website gives help when it comes to deleting your online information(I am not in any way connected to this site, I just like it.):

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Movie Weekend #9 July 1, 2, 3

Fourth of July is rapidly approaching, and it's a great celebration of some big-time disobedience. So in keeping with that theme, let's also observe "Disobedience Day", July 3rd, by watching one of these movies:

Ferris Bueller's Day Off

Raising Arizona

After all, disobedience can be a great thing (although of course I'm not endorsing skipping school or kidnapping)!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Movie Weekend #8 June 24, 25, 26

Finally Summer Day is June 21st - yay! What a great day to celebrate! When you're not outside celebrating, come inside for one (or two) of our movies of the week:

The Sandlot

Dirty Dancing

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

May Movie Weekend Recipes

The following recipe links were originally posted in the Hufflepuff thread forum to go along with the May Movie Weekend Movies...

Movie Weekend #4 Movies: Singin' In The Rain and Chicago
* ( The menu consists of  *Magical coffee, Asparagus with Pancetta, Soft Scrambled Eggs, an dPistachio Meringue Stack with Rose Cream and Strawberries).
*Chicago Style Pan Pizza:
*Chicago Style Hot Dog:

Movie Weekend #3 Movies:  How to Steal a Million and Oceans 11
The following recipe links were originally posted in the Hufflepuff thread forum to go along with the May Movie Weekend Movies..

*Millionaire's Cake:
*Millionaire's Chicken:
*Millionaire's Mousse:
*Millionaire Pie: 
*Millionaire's Shortbread Bars:
*Millionaire's Casserole:

 Movie Weekend #2 Movies: Throw Mama From the Train and Unstoppable
The following recipe links were originally posted in the Hufflepuff thread forum to go along with the May Movie Weekend Movies..

*Cho-Choo Train (cake):
*Tijuana Train Wreck Salad:
*Train Wreck Casserole:,168,156169-241194,00.html
*Train Wreck Recipe (breakfast):

 Movie Weekend #1 Movies: Romeo+Juliet (the Baz Lurhmann version) and The Mask of Zorro

*Romeo & Juliet Dumplings:,1713,152165-253200,00.html
*Banana Romeo & Juliet Cake:,176,157182-236200,00.html
*Mexican Pizza:
*Mexican Salmon:

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Movie Weekend #7 June 17, 18, 19

Occasionally I come up blank when looking for an obscure holiday to observe, and can't even find the inspiration to make one up. On those occasions, I resort to my trusty random number generator, and let it just select two movies from the Hufflepuff Favorite Movie List. This week, it's chosen for us:

Ever After


So, watch a fairy tale, or a movie about blue beings. Or try to imagine what would happen if the two were combined into one film: Avatar Ever After. Post your thoughts on the movie thread!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Avocado Tzatziki

Avocado Tzatziki
by: Cat Cora from

1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp minced garlic (about 1 large clove)
1 tsp kosher salt
2 cups plain nonfat Greek yogurt
1 cup peeled, seeded and grated cucumber (about 1 medium cucumber)
1 whole peeled avocado, diced small

Add lemon juice, olive oil, garlic and salt to the yogurt. Add grated cucumber, diced avocado and mix well. Chill for at least one hour.

Serve on top of Greek Slider burgers, or with fresh sliced veggies!

Make 2 1/2 cups
Notes from the House-Elf Liason:  this yummy.  It can be used in different types of sandwiches, as a dip, we have even used it as a marinate for chicken.  

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Movie Weekend #6 June 10, 11, 12

June 8th is Best Friends Day. I couldn't find any movies specifically related to Hufflepuff best friends, so these will have to do:

City Slickers

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Movie Weekend #5 June 3, 4, 5

Did you know that June is National Candy Month? To start such an important month off correctly, let's watch one of these movies:

Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory (I prefer the Gene Wilder version, but feel free to substitute the newer one if you like it better - we can have some interesting discussions comparing the versions!


Saturday, May 14, 2011

Movie Weekend #4 May 27, 28, 29

Okay, dust off your tap shoes, because we need to celebrate Tap Dance Day (May 25).

If you're not much of a dancer, or can't find the shoes, grab your remote and honor the holiday by watching one of these movies:

Singin' In the Rain

Chicago (available to view instantly from Netflix)

Snickerdoodles? Or Cupcakes? Now you don't have to decide.

Snickerdoodle Cupcakes

I lifted this recipe (with permission) from a friends facebook page.

Bring wet ingredients to room temperature.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
(frosting & cinnamon-sugar to follow)

1 1/2 c. white flour
1 c. cake flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 1/2 c. sugar
2 sticks butter
3 eggs
1-1 1/4 c. buttermilk
2 tsp. vanilla

Cream the butter in the bowl of your stand-up mixer, or if you aren't lucky enough to have one, in a bowl with your hand mixer.  Add the sugar and cream it into the butter.  Scrape down the bowl when necessary, but at least once.

Add the vanilla.  Add the eggs one at a time, fully incorporating each egg before adding the next.  A good tip from Ina Garten is to break the egg into a small bowl in case of stray shell or in case the egg is bad it won't ruin the whole batter.

Have your buttermilk measured and ready.  Put all your other dry ingredients into a small bowl and mix them together with a fork.

In three additions, add in 1/3 of the dry mixture, incorporating it completely.  Add 1/3 of the buttermilk, incoporating it fully.  Lather, rinse, repeat til flour mixture and buttermilk are used up.

Fill baking cups about 3/4-ish with batter.  Bake for 25 minutes or until golden and springy, and the neighbor kids knock on the door because it smells so good.

Cool completely before frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting
Bring wet ingredients to room temp, otherwise the butter & cream cheese won't incorporate.

1 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese
1 stick butter
2 c. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

Again with the mixer, cream the butter and cream cheese.  Add the sugar & vanilla.  Taste it, add more sugar if you like. Spread on the cupcakes & top with cinnamon-sugar.


2 Tblsp. white sugar to 1 tsp. cinnamon

Make about double this and then sprinkle on top of cupcakes.
Save the rest for toast :)

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Hot Cocoa Mix

This recipe was taken from Ravlery's Hot Chocolate Group courtesy of

1 cup powered sugar (Irene uses 1 Cup Splenda.)
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (Irene uses Hersheys Dark Chocolate Baking Powder)
1 packet of dry milk powder (the one that says it makes 1 quart, they sell 5 pack boxes and 10 pack boxes at the supermarket).
1 teaspoon cornstarch (keeps everything from clumping)
1/8 teaspoon of salt (salt brings out chocolate flavor).
You sift it all twice, and store in a jar.
Very easy, and yummy!

*I tried the powdered sugar version and liked it.  I even brought some of this mix to a friend's house.  She was unable to try it though as her kids managed to make it disappear. 

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Movie Weekend #3 May 20, 21, 22

Did you know that May 20th is "Be a Millionaire Day"? I'd like to celebrate that by winning the lottery, but just in case I don't, I'll celebrate it with these movies:

How to Steal a Million, starring Audrey Hepburn and Peter O'Toole

Oceans 11 (add Oceans 12 and Oceans 13 also if you're in the mood for a marathon or possibly need some cheering up if you, too, fail to win the lottery!)

Movie Weekend #2 May 13, 14, 15

We should definitely celebrate National Train Day, which is May 9th, so let's do it by watching one of these movies:

Unstoppable, starring Denzel Washington

Throw Momma from the Train, which is available to view instantly.

Hufflepuff Movie Weekends - Spring 2011

We're going to try something different for Movie Weekends this term - TWO movies every week. Hopefully this way there will be something for everyone! Many of these movies were taken from the "Hufflepuff Favorite Movies" lists, so these movies
are chosen from among your, and your classmates', favorites

Watch the movie you like best! Watch them both! Then come chat about them on the current week's "movie weekend" thread. Tell us why your choice is the best movie, tell us all your favorite parts, tell us why we need to watch it if we haven't seen it already! Tell us about your favorite movie-watching treats, or a menu you'd choose for a movie night built around whichever movie (or movies!) you've chosen. Quote all your favorite lines. Make fun of any terrible lines. Tell us about bloopers, or parts you dislike. Tell us about an alternate ending you'd have chosen if you were in charge of the movie. Tell us why you love (or hate) the actors in it. Tell us who you'd have cast. Whatever. Just choose a movie, and come talk about it!

I'm going to try to keep the blog updated so that you'll have plenty of time to locate any movies you want to watch. I'll update it on Sunday nights, so check back often!

Okay....Movie Weekend #1 May 6, 7, 8

Let's celebrate Cinco de Mayo by watching films shot in Mexico! Your choices for the week are:

Romeo + Juliet (from Baz Lurhmann), which is available to view instantly on Netflix.
The Mask of Zorro!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Pot Pie

I find pot pies to be the some of the very best kinds of comfort food.  This is the recipe as I learned it:

If you like your pot pie to actually look like a pie, then make your crust.  Pick the crust recipe you like best.  If you are not a fan of that sort of thing, you can always top the pot pie mixture with mashed potatoes.  

Thoroughly cook 2-3 chicken breasts.  If you don't have any use another meat. The amount of space that three full decks of cards take up - that is the amount of meat you want to use.  However, you do not HAVE to put in any type of meat at all - you can use tofu or just add more vegetables.

If you intend to use a mashed potato topping, this is the time to start the mash potato process.  Fill a pot with cold water and then toss in 5 potatoes.  Make according to the way you like them best.  Or shortcut with instant mashed potatoes. 

While the meat, if you are using it, is cooking, chop up 2-3 cups of vegetables.  Peas and carrots are traditional.  Set aside.  Chop up an onion - about 1/3 to 1/2 cup.  Set aside.  Make sure you have butter, flour, salt, pepper, garlic, one egg, chicken broth and milk.

Melt 1/2 stick of butter (1/4 cup) on stove top in the sort of pan that works best for you.   Add the onions and let them caramelize.  Then add 1/2 cup flour, 1 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper.  If you like pepper it's OK to add more.  Remove from heat when the mixture starts to bubble.  Add milk and chicken broth. Mix thoroughly and place back on burner until it starts to boil.  Add vegetables and chicken.  Mix thoroughly and place in cooking dish. 

If you made a crust, place the top crust on and brush egg (well-beaten) onto the top.  If you decide to take the mashed potato route mix the egg into the potatoes.  Top pot pie mixture with mashed potato and egg mixture.

Place the dish in the middle of a 350 degree oven for 40 minutes.  Crust should be brown/mashed potato topping should have some browned peaks.  Let pot pie stand about 10 minutes before serving.

Food substitutions that I have tried and liked:
Unflavored soy milk in place of milk,
Olive oil in place of butter,
Rice flour instead of regular flour,
Vegetable broth in place of chicken broth,
Sweet potatoes/yams in place of regular potatoes,
The egg can be skipped if necessary.

*Cross posted in my own blog CrochetedKitten.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Death by Jello

Not really, but made you look!  Maybe.  I found the Stringativity Blog and wanted to share it with my fellow 'Puffs.  The Blogger in question posts about her experiments with Jello on 12/09/2007.  She even posts a follow up pic in the post dated 12/14/2007 - so you can see what a jello swatch looks like once its been knitted up.

Jello in the microwave from

In a mixing bowl in the order listed:
5 cups water
1 tsp salt
1 pkg regular Jello Berry Blue (color used in the example)
1 cup vinegar.
81 grams of wool

 Add wool and swish it around a bit allowing the dye to soak in.  Stir with a utensil unless you like the look of colored hands. 

You will need a microwaveable bowl. Place jello soaked yarn in bowl and microwave for about 2 minutes on high heat.  Allow it rest a bit to cool.  Repeat 3 times. 

Their is a bit more - the rest of it can be found on the Stringativity blog.  A place I am pointing to as it is an amazing blog.

Monday, March 14, 2011

DIY Body Scrub

The employees at Essential Wholesale are encouraged to come up with recipes.  If approved, the recipe is made, blogged about ( and then distributed among any interested employees. (I used to work there.)  Here is the last employee recipe I was able to take home.  If I had been allowed to take more, I would have.  Even though I did not come up with this - it's very share-worthy.    If you decided to make body scrub, your skin will thank you.

Mediterranean Dream Scrub Creme

*All oz measurements are by weight  

Empty the Premium Concentrate Creme into a sterilized glass bowl.
Add walnut shell powder and mix thoroughly.
Add each of the next four ingredients.  Mix thoroughly.  
Transfer to the container(s) of your choice.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Yummy Website

If you like cooking and like reading cooking blogs then I would like to introduce:  This is an excellent cooking blog.  The recipe I most recently tried:  Mexican Hot Chocolate Corn Muffins.

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup cornmeal
3/4 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 + 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice
pinch of salt
2 eggs
1 + 1/4 cup milk
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup Mexican chocolate, chopped (1/4 - 1/2 inch pieces) tossed with 1 teaspoon flour
1/3 cup Mexican chocolate, rough chopped
1-2 tablespoons heavy cream or milk

1.Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a 12 cup muffin pan or line with paper liners.

2. In a large mixing bowl whisk together flour, cocoa, baking powder, cinnamon, allspice and a pinch of salt. In a separate mixing bowl whisk together eggs, milk, butter, sugar, sour cream and vanilla extract. Add the wet to the dry ingredients and mix just until combined, add chopped chocolate and mix in.

3. Use an ice cream scoop to fill the cups 7/8 of the way full. Bake for 18 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean from center.

4. Remove pan to a wire rack to cool. After ten minutes remove muffins from pan and cool completely on wire rack.

5. For topping melt the chocolate with 1 tablespoon of milk or heavy cream, whisk together adding more heavy cream if needed to make a smooth frosting. Add the frosting to a small plastic bag, cut off the corner and pipe over top of each muffin.

Makes 10-11 muffins

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Amazing Knittermittent and Awesome Pixieaep

When the opportunity arose to be House-Elf Liason I thought "Wow!", "How fun!"  and  imagined putting together a fun sort of cookbook that included a contest and prizes.  I (and also LadyPinky) put out the call for recipes. It didn't really get off the ground.

As I was crocheting the other day, I was thinking about putting out another blogpost and not really wanting to at that moment.  In order to do that I would need to stop crocheting.

This was my A-HA! moment.

If I would rather crochet rather than recipe swap; then that is most likely also true for the other yarn crocheters and the knitters out there.  Doubly so for those in groups like HPKCHC which are composed of yarn manipulators that like to create in a competitive setting. 

So without further delay I will post the recipes that were sent in by other Hufflepuffs. I would like to add both recipes have been tested by me and tasted by my family.  The verdict: Delicious!  (And House-Elf Approved)

Recipes were printed in the order they were sent in:

from Knittermittent
sent in on 01/09/2011

This recipe came from originally. I’ve tried it, and had bake sale success with it. The cookies are really large.
White Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies
1 cup butter
1 cup light brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
2 cups white chocolate chips
1 cup chopped pecans

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. This works better than greasing them.
  2. In a medium bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar and white sugar until smooth.
  3. Add in the eggs and vanilla.
  4. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir into the creamed mixture.
  5. Finally, stir in the rolled oats, white chocolate chips, and pecans.
  6. Drop by the tablespoonful onto prepared cookie sheets.
  7. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes in the preheated oven. Remove from baking sheets to cool on wire racks.

from pixieaep
sent in on 01/11/2011

I saw in the ‘Puff common room that you were asking for recipes, and since the weather’s been so cold here in Kentucky, it’s the perfect time for comfort food. So I thought I’d share the super-easy potato soup recipe I tried out this weekend.

I based my soup on the recipe here:
but made lots of alterations, some from the comments there and some just because.
This is the recipe I ended up with. It tasted great, and it was perfect for a cold day. I can’t wait to make another batch!

Easy Creamy Potato Soup
Makes 5-6 servings
4-5 potatoes, cut into 1/2” cubes (I used 6 small Yukon Gold and 1 large Russet)
1 can condensed chicken broth
1 1/2 cups of water (or enough to just cover the potatoes in your soup pot, when added along with the chicken broth)
Onion, chopped (to taste; I used about 1/4 onion)
3/4 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup half and half
Onion powder
Garlic powder
Shredded cheddar cheese (optional)
Green onions, chopped (optional)
Bacon bits (optional)
1.) Add potatoes, chopped onions, chicken broth and enough water to just cover the potatoes to soup pot and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 45 minutes.
2.) Process soup in blender until soup is the consistency you want. (You can omit this step for a chunkier soup.)
3.) Transfer soup back to pot and add cream, half and half and onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste. I also added a little shredded cheese at this point because I LOVE cheese! Heat through.
4.) Top with cheese, green onions and bacon bits if desired, and enjoy!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Valentine Idea - Chocolate Snack Cake

I like to read cookbooks like regular books.  There is no plot, but the reading is compelling all the the same.  As I was reading through my Betty Crocker's Cookbook, I ran across a recipe I have not used in some time.  This cake is good, warm or cold, with and without frosting.  If you want to get a little fancy you can make your own fruit syrup to drizzle over it.  I cut up about 4 cups of frozen strawberries and placed them in a pan with 1 cup water and 1/2 cup sugar.  I let it simmer for a couple hours.  As a bonus the apartment smelled like strawberries all afternoon.

From page 95 of The Big Red Cookbook printed in 2000:
1 and 1/2 cups all purpose flour - *Do not use self-rising flour.
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup baking cocoa
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp white vinegar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup cold water

1.  Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease bottom and sides of cake pan with shortening, lightly flour.
2. Mix flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda and salt in medium bowl.  Mix oil, vinegar and vanilla.  Vigorously stir oil mixture and water into flour mixture about 1 minute or until well blended.  Immediately pour into pan.
3.  Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool 15 minutes.  Serve warm or cool with ice cream. 

Happy Valentine's Day from this terms house elves.

P.S.  Please note this recipe has no milk or eggs in it, so if you know who is a vegan/vegetarian or lactose intolerant AND they like chocolate -  this is a good cake for them. 

Friday, January 28, 2011

Twenty Five Years Ago Today....

I was a 16 yr old high school student who had a hard time showing up for class.  On that day I did.  First period was unremarkable.  I do not even remember what class that was.  Walking into 2nd period was like walking into a museum it was so quiet.  The radio was on and we just sat there; most of the day was spent moving from class to class and then listening to radio updates. Except of course for Algebra; the math teacher shocked everyone with continuing her scheduled lesson plan.  She acknowledged that the Challenger Disaster was tragedy for the families of the crew, but did not see why that should delay a pop quiz.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Hello from House Elf Liason Vilkasie

It only took two days (after being asked for my email address) to realize that -oh yes!- I need to log into my email and accept an invitation to post.  I would like to blame the itchiness of this towel but that would not be very elf-liason appropriate. (sigh)

This is the official blog call for recipes.  You can PM either myself or LadyPinky.  We are asking that you let us know if you have ever tried the recipe you have submitted; how it was received by those who ate it, and if you ever tried any variations of it.

If you have ever made your own lotions, cremes, shampoos, perfumes,  laundry detergent, or created your own dye - we would like to have those recipes too.  Please add any variations you have come up with and note how well your creation was received.  Submissions will be happily accepted until the end of the first week of March. There is a reason for that, but as we are not required to tell you - we won't!  You'll just have to wonder...

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

January Group Projects

Hi everyone! It's that time again. Group projects are live! I've updated the Group Projects Page with the current unity themes going on in January.

I'm not actively playing this term, so I may miss some projects in the house threads. If I don't have your project listed, send me a pm (volkat) with a short write up, and I'll get make sure it's posted.

Happy winter term, everyone!