aldersprig: drawing of the author (LynLyn)


If I had been made to make a list, back in the times Before, of people I would most like to be stranded on a desert island with, he would not have been on the list…

Open to all Patreon Patrons!

Originally posted January 2013


“There’s a problem with the second restriction.”

The country of Foros had a lot of gods, and, like any good nation with a lot of gods, it had a lot of priests.

Read On!

This is another recipe that is more than half technique, modified from an online recipe.


Sometimes you want a few pancakes, sometimes you want a lot. Sometimes you want a Just Right Amount, right in the middle.

Open to all “Recipe box” Patreons!

aldersprig: (Cooking)

So we tried a thing last night and it actually turned out well!

We had ground beef to eat and it was way too hot for eating spaghetti or hamburgers or anything too hot.
Available for all "Recipe Box" patrons!

Originally posted June 16, 2011.
The sushi bar had a mermaid in its fish tank.

I was new in town, having just recently parlayed my experience with the Agency into a cushy consulting gig and my hazard pay into a nice little house...

Read on!

These are walking onions. They make bulbs on the top of their stalks, which make another stalk with another bulb, which makes… you guessed it, another stalk with another bulb!!

Take a Peek!
aldersprig: (Pania)

When I posted The Gardener I was asked (and now I can’t find where, sigh) about Damkina and the apocalypse. So here is Damkina and the apocalypse, considerably longer than I’d intended. :-)

The sky was black and red, and in the distance an unearthly howl echoed through the city. But the squash would not forgive her skipping their bug treatment and the weeds in the pepper garden were unseemly.

Damkina muttered wards against bugs as she slammed her hoe into the ground with more force than was strictly necessary.

Free for all Patrons!

Originally posted on 2012. If you sense a theme, it’s likely because “Wine and/or roses” was the Giraffe Call theme in Feb. 2012.

It was, as fairy gifts went, rather strange.

As wedding gifts go, it was even odder.

Read On!

It was hot so the ganache frosting melted and my food photography really needs work, sorry!

When baking chocolate things in my household, there are two things that we almost always do to up the chocolate flavor, and two more we do as we remember to:

Free for all "Recipe Box" Patrons!
aldersprig: (Cooking)


I've mentioned a couple times that my parents are going vegan. For my mom, this isn't all that much of a stretch - she's been lackadaisically vegetarian my whole life - but for Dad, well, this is all new.

So I've been trying out vegan recipes for them. For the last three, four years we've been making Mom a jar of soup (I don't know why Dad doesn't like soup, I really don't, but soup is for Mom & cake is for Dad), and then a dessert for Dad as part of our Christmas presents to them. Part of the gift is perfecting a recipe so Mom can make it later, if she likes it.

Available for all $7-and-up Patrons!

Originally posted February 16, 2014. Set in my Faerie Apocalypse setting.


“I don’t think we can, exactly, call him ‘Old Man Winter.’”

Giselle was feeling argumentative. Of course, Giselle was often feeling argumentative.

read on...
aldersprig: (Cooking)

So yep. That was my weekend: possum frosting.

(Turns out, if you google possum and chocolate, what you get isn’t a whole lot of good information on if possums are able to eat chocolate. You get mostly possum recipes. Oops.)

We were testing vegan frosting to go on a vegan cake for a vegan Christmas present for my vegan father (help I can’t vegan stop). The cake turned out great, actually — a Depression-era “crazy cake” recipe with no eggs and no butter or milk (“no eggs no butter, no flour no sugar” says the woman on the bus whose parents probably remembered the Depression). And the frosting — once we scraped off the top where the possum had gotten his nose into it — that turned out surprisingly tasty.

This week is all the vegan food-testing and making: soups for mom, cake for dad, and the bread might not be vegan but it’ll be tasty too. It’s the time of year where I’m making a lot of bread, trying new recipes or just throwing stuff in the mixer and seeing what happens (“either not enough molasses or too much” last week; this week turned out pretty good). Bonus of all the baking: it heats up the far end of the house, where the wood stove’s heat doesn’t really reach. Bonus of making soup in the winter: cooking it on the wood stove and making the whole house smell like soup.

The weather outside is frightful — by turns freezing and raining, snowing and blowing — but the fire is burning hot and the candles are lit in the windows. I’ve got silk poinsettias for my vases and bandanna-patterned wrapping paper for my presents, cookies for the baking and fresh bread hiding in the microwave (Otherwise the cat eats it).

Happy Holidays, my friends. It’s a wonderful life here in West Nowhere, NY.
aldersprig: (Cooking)
It's too hot to bake! But I have a microwave!!

I squished together 2 recipes: and

This is what I got:
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp. (6T) all-purpose flour
3 tbsp. granulated sugar
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. milk
1 egg
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
2 tbsp. butter, melted

Mix dry ingredients together*, mix wet ingredients separately, combine.
Split evenly into 2 ramekins.
Microwave approx. 1.5 minutes.

*If I do this again, I will do like Alton Brown and call the sugar a wet ingredient, mixing hot butter-sugar-egg-milk in that order (avoids clumping, risking cooking the egg, sad solid bits of butter).

Taste and texture to come later.

Edited to add: it was overcooked and tough. Not sure if it was JUST the overcookieness or if it was too something as well. Tasty, though. Shall try again and report back.

Mug Cakes!

Dec. 2nd, 2015 08:18 pm
aldersprig: (Cooking)
We have been experimenting with mug cakes. Have you encountered these? They're essentially tiny, single-serving cakes cooked in the microwave - theoretically in a mug.

Last night we made this one, an applesauce cinnamon cake. I added in 1/2 T of wheat bran for fiber, but it really did then need a little extra liquid. I think my homemade applesauce is cooked down more than store-bought, as well.

That being said, while a bit dense, it was super tasty. After a veggie-heavy dinner, one serving was easily split between the two of us.

Tonight we did this one, chocolate on top of chocolate.
I swapped out 1/2T of the flour for more cocoa, subbed out 1/2T of milk with egg whites, and did my standard chocolate-plus-one of subbing out some of the vanilla with Patron XO Cafe and adding in a 1/4 teas of espresso powder. When we do it again, I'll add in 1/8 teas of salt, too, but with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, this was ~delicious~.
aldersprig: (LynConstruction)
Today, so far, I/we (T & I) have:

* Pulled the chest freezer out from the garage, thawed it, and cleaned up the exploded apple goo from the bottom (Cider jugs have a variable amount of headspace. Sometimes it's not enough.)

* Run a batch of tiny apples from the Spare Trees through the squeezo set up on the mixer (T. chopped 'em and put 'em to boil a couple days ago)

* Boiled down the last of the pico de gallo from the company picnic into a passable tomato sauce & froze that

* Picked more tiny apples

(* took a nap)

(* Had a very tasty fried egg & jowl bacon w/ pico de gallo & chives for breakfast and very nice not-at-all-traditional latkes w/ more chives and sour cream for lunch)

* cut new supports for the mailbox front out of plastic wood

* Made a sour cream apple coffee cake (it's currently in the oven) (this recipe) with sour cream from the company picnic

(The company picnic was catered by Moe's. Next up are fried cinnamon-and-sugar tortilla chips...)

* Wrote an Aunt Family Piece for [personal profile] kelkyag/Patreon & created a Canva picture for it, though it's not my favorite design.

Next up:

* Pick more apples, take a walk, write the last kitty Patreon piece for the month, do some Day Job, maybe do some Edally & This Other Project Thing writing. Have dinner, hang out with husband, pet cats.

* Clean up the kitchen, put the freezer back in the barn
aldersprig: (Cooking)
So, we bought "PBFit," powdered peanut butter, because we had a coupon at BJ's club (A big-box/buy-in-quantity style-store) and wanted to try it.

And I was craving peanut butter cookies, so I did some googling, and found this:

If you scroll down, there's a recipe for "Easy chocolate chip peanut butter cookies recipe."

It's a bare modification to the (halved) Tollhouse recipe - 1/8 c less flour, 1/4teas less salt, and then add powdered PB (yes, I have the Tollhouse recipe memorized).

It tasted... good. Not peanutty enough, although replacing the chocolate chips with pb chips might have helped. Not quite the right mouthfeel for peanut butter cookies, though adding a bit more pb fit might help.

Short sum: tasty, will cook again, but will modify next time to be tastier.
aldersprig: (Aldersprig Leaves Raining)
The Kitchn: Advice for Eating on a Very Tight Budget

(we ate lots of rice and beans, and "splurged" on condiments when they were on sale. To this day you can see that echoed in our condiment selection, which is, ah, extensive).

Via M.C.A. Hogarth: Russian Scientists Build Monument To Honor Lab Rats

Now I want to read Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH again...

And FROM MCA Hogarth: Now Available: Not in Need of Quests, a Men in Fantasy Coloring Book!

You have GOT to look at this! It's beautiful!
aldersprig: (LynConstruction)
This is my favorite time of year for garden-eating, because I get to eat Tomato Everything.

Fresh Tomatoes on Pizza.

Grilled Cheese & Tomato Sammiches.

And homemade Tomato Soup.

We made this the other day - it's one of my favorite non-recipes.

More or less: cook a hot sausage (we used chorizo) in a deepish pan. Once it's rendered some fat and is cooked, pull out the sausage and put it aside. Toss in two onions and plenty of garlic, chopped roughly. Cook until tender, then add a bunch of fresh tomatoes.

Add some fluid - usually water - and maybe a bit of bouillon - or just stock, but we have bouillon around, not stock, so.

Let cook until the tomatoes are stewy and the soup is red all the way through. Add the sausage back in, and add fish sauce & molasses to round out the flavor.

Stir a little cream in at the table & enjoy.

Aah, summer.

(bonus? It's so cold this summer, we can actually enjoy soup).
aldersprig: (Cooking)
So, we made - - this recipe, although i pulled generously from other recipes and my own experience

Their recipe first, my notes second:
1 cup unsweetened almond milk - 1/2 c whole milk
2 ripe avocados, peeled and pitted - 2-1/3 avocados
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder - 1/3 dutched chocolate, 2 T dark Hershey
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup - 1/2 scant maple syrup, ~1T Brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract - 3-4 teas vanilla
1/4 teaspoon almond extract (I didn't add this) - (me neither)
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon - 1 teas
Pinch of sea salt - large pinch
Raspberries, for garnish - (nope)
- 1/2 teas espresso powder

It was delicious. It didn't taste like avocado, and it had a texture similar to almost-set pudding, but it had a very nice rich chocolate flavor and a lot of good cinnamon nose to it.

Will do again.
aldersprig: (Cooking)
I made this: as a test recipe:

* I subbed out hot dogs for small sausages (the size of breakfast sausages).
* I subbed out shorting, put in butter.
* I DID put in sugar (1-1/2 T for the half recipe)
* I did a half recipe but used a whole egg.


Notes -

* might add creamed corn next time, as per our normal Jiffy doctored recipe.
* cool sausage before adding.
* Better second day
aldersprig: (Cooking)
We made these yesterday:

Notes on the cakes:
The recipe means 2 cups of completed spuds, not two cups of flakes.

They need to be a bit more fishy, even with that - maybe a couple anchovies pasted?
Don't bother with seasoned breadcrumbs, use plain and spice it yourself. Tarragon, horseradish?

Very tasty and good reheated the next day (30 seconds microwave).
aldersprig: (Cooking)
We made this - - tonight for the first test run.

* probably replace the oil with browned butter
* should probably replace half the milk with sour cream.
* needs a little more salt
* if making for home, make 1/2 with walnuts, 1/2 with chips. (Maybe use white chips for game)

* I used 4T of cocoa instead of 2T, white sugar instead of superfine, and 1/2c chips (probably up to 3/4 in next run). I added 1/2 teas espresso powder, as per normal.

Tasty as is, could be a lot more tasty with a bit more work.
aldersprig: (Cooking)
On weekends when we're feeling like taking the time, we like to eat steel cut oats. They're chewier and earthier tasting than rolled oats, but they can be very time-consuming (and really irritating to do in the microwave. Boil-overs everywhere!)

This is one of our go-to recipes, modified from The Kitchn's Baked Pumpkin Steel-Cut Oats.

The recipe claims to serve 4 to 6. This is a heavy breakfast for 3 to 4 for us.

1 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
1 1/2 cups steel cut oats
1 cup unsweetened applesauce or apple butter
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon allspice
(we use fresh ground spices for all but the ginger)
4 cups warm water
(Sometimes I use apple cider for part of it, or I put in 1/4c powdered milk.)
1/2 teaspoon salt

Pre-heat oven to 375F

Use an oven-safe pot on the stovetop on medium to medium-high.

Melt half the butter.

Add the oats, and toast them, stirring frequently, until they change color and smell toasty.

Move the oats to one side of the pan. Melt the second half of the butter, then add the applesauce and cook until it starts to stick to the bottom.

Add spices and water/milk/cider, and stir until everything is combined. Lid your pan, and put it in the oven.

Cook for 35 minutes. Let sit on the stove for approx. 5 minutes to thicken and cool to edibility.

Garnish with chopped walnuts, if you wish, drizzle on a bit of milk, and sweeten to taste. It doesn't take much!

And now you, too, can enjoy a Thorne Family Saturday morning!


aldersprig: an egyptian sandcat looking out of a terra-cotta pipe (Default)

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