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Thanksgiving and the Least Baking Fails Ever

The only picture of the apple pie.  Also, I can’t crimp so I don’t crimp.

This year I went a little overboard.  All in all I made eight things for Thanksgiving.  Yup, you read that right.  EIGHT.  And I would give myself a good 6 out of 8.  Not bad if I do say so myself.

Every year I make pre meal appetizers.  They are mostly sweet with a savory one slipped in for good measure.  Usually I don’t get to make the main desserts.  It is mostly because my family always has millions of people over and it is easier for the ones that don’t know what to bring to pick up a pie.  Last year I was responsible for rolls and they turned out quite wonderful.  I have made them again since but still never gotten around to blogging about them.

The bane of my existence on “baking day”.

Anyways, this year for some wonderful reason, I got to do the desserts!  I made apple pie, pumpkin pie, and cheesecake (for my Aunt’s birthday) for the big “end of the meal” desserts.  This was the first time using Joy the Baker’s recipe for apple pie and I liked it immensely.  If you make the crust the day before, it is really not that much work.  Also, macerating the apples allows you to put it aside and do other things.  It is a very friendly recipe for Thanksgiving day baking.  I usually make a Dutch apple with a pressed in crust.  I also used Joy’s crust for the pumpkin pie.  The recipe I use for the pumpkin pie I have used for a good 3 or 4 years now.  I fall in love with it more and more every year.  The same goes for the cheesecake.  This year was probably my best cheesecake in awhile.  I need to branch out more, though, with cheesecake flavors but my Aunt likes a big plain cheesecake.  She will go for the berry topping that goes with it, though.

The recipe I use makes about one and 2/3 of a pumpkin pie so I always have one for me! Also, the only semblance of a picture of the cheesecake is the pan on the upper left that at that point only has the crust in it.

With all that fruit and cheese, something was missing.  I could see my sister in the corner whining about not liking anything.  Chocolate was in order.  Now, while I would love to find the best chocolate cream pie recipe out there, time was of the essence as was ability.  I have tried it before and failed (multiple times) so I thought I would go simpler.  Nutella brownies and cheesecake brownie bites to the rescue!  The Nutella brownies were OK but I think I over baked them.  I made them mini sized and there was advice in the comments on the time to bake if making minis but I still think it was a bit too long.  They looked beautiful though, especially with the chopped hazelnuts on top.  The cheesecake brownie bites, however, came out better than anticipated and I made minis and about half a dozen cupcake sized brownies (which I put on the main dessert table) and all came out beautifully.

Just before going in the oven. Sadly no pictures of the finished ones and no pictures of the chocolate cheesecake brownies.

Onto the bread!  First off, two days before Thanksgiving I made my crusts and another batch of Vegan Pumpkin Pecan Bread.  That turned out to be a great decision because I now have a whole extra loaf in my freezer!  My aunt couldn’t believe it was vegan.  I also made a variation of my Ham and Cheese Pull Apart Party Bread.  I basically cut them like you would a cinnamon roll and baked it in two 8 inch cake pans.  Simple, easy, and yummy.  My biggest baking fail came from my sourdough.  First off, I just gotta say, this year’s starter is a VERY happy starter.  Happy starters make me happy, SERIOUSLY.  When I start mixing ingredients into the sponge and it is still bubbling at me saying hi with every turn of the spatula, I am one happy baker.  Anyways, it was late.  The sourdough was the last thing I made and it wasn’t going to be served on Thanksgiving but rather given to family that wanted some.  I may have shut off the alarm on my phone instead of snoozing it.  Also, the last thing my husband said to me was to make sure the oven was off (and it WAS, when he left and then I turned it back on).  So the sourdough was baked a good 30 minutes or so longer than it should have been.  There were no alarms or smoke, nothing happened (luckily) except I over baked it.  I still gave them away but I don’t know if anybody ate them.  I wouldn’t blame them if they didn’t.  It still would’ve made great toast.

Pull Apart Party Bread

Today I don’t really have a GeekyLink just a little story.  Today I went to our local comic book store to look for something specific for a Christmas gift*.  I wrote down all the information I needed so I could get what I wanted or get it ordered if they didn’t have it.  My husband wanted to come with me.  He took our son so I could talk to the sales guy.  I asked the guy questions.  I answered some questions.  I didn’t get what I wanted because it turns out it is exclusive to Midtown Comics and I’d have to order it from them.  When we left, my husband asked me ” So you know all the lingo?”  but what I heard was, “How much of a nerd ARE you?”

*I can’t say what it is before Christmas, duh!

Pesto Bread with Sun Dried Tomatoes and Some Halloween Goodies

Happy Halloween folks!  I figured today is as good as any for my first midweek post in two weeks.  I’m bringing you my Pesto Bread that I made awhile back plus a few goodies I made for a party that my oldest had at her school the other day.  They were fall/Halloween goodies but the party was more of a celebration than a Halloween party.  It was for her class from last year. That class did the best in the school on their state test including three girls that got perfect math scores (one may have been related to me).

The best thing about the Candy Corn Cookies are the scraps, ugly but still tasty! Chocolate Chip cookies and Eyeball Oreo Truffles.

Apparently the entire class remembered the eyeball Oreo truffles I made last year and they were requested.  I figured that the Candy Corn Cookies were easy and kept the theme so I made a batch of those.  Lastly, I made a chocolate chip cookie that I added fall M&Ms to at my husband’s suggestion.  When he came home he was floored that I actually listened to him and had some left over just for him.

Making recipes…

I don’t really like making the Oreo truffles (I am the WORST at dipping things in chocolate) but the kids requested it so I did it.  I didn’t get to chill the chocolate chip cookie dough as long as I’d have liked but it’s kinda hard to screw up a chocolate chip cookie.  The Candy Corn Cookies were just as easy as I remembered except next time I am lining my baking pan with parchment (for when the dough chills) because the plastic wrap just wasn’t cutting it.  The dough ended up being really difficult to get out of the pan.

Soft dough, warm dough, little ball of flour…

Onto the bread, I just did the opposite of my Tomato Basil bread (seeing the pesto paste on the shelf at the store gave me the idea).  It was an experiment that worked and I LOVE it when that happens on the first try.  This also was another bread like that one that screamed, “Make me a grilled cheese out of me!”  So I did!  If you like bread that is bursting with flavor than this is the one for you.

My GeekyLink for this week is going to have to be for next year, like last year when I posted the Candy Corn Cookies after Halloween.  Just click the link and save it or pin it so you don’t forget.  A Plethora of Pumpkin Patterns from GeekMom.  My favorite link that they had there and where I got all my pumpkin patterns for this year came from ThinkGeek.  And for any family members (whenever we pick names) this is where you need to shop for me, k?  Once I get a better picture of all our pumpkins I will post them on my Facebook page.  Everyone have a safe and fun Halloween!

So pretty on the inside too!

Recipe Follows

Justin’s Sandwich Rolls, First Attempt

My husband is very particular about his food.  I wouldn’t say picky, he will pretty much eat anything, but when he is in control of what he is eating (instead of me), things have to be just so.  I couldn’t get him to eat a brown rice and mushroom soup the other day, though, even though two of the three kids sitting at the table didn’t really want to eat it either and I was telling them they had to.  He said, “It just doesn’t look like something I would eat.”  Gee, thanks.  So instead of eating something healthy for dinner, he went to work hungry.  Whatever, it is his prerogative.

Risen, brushed with egg wash, ready for the oven!

For his lunch though, he needs my help and he takes it.  I tend not to make it very often and I sometimes feel bad about that but I do make sure that he has everything he needs. This consists of his granola bars, fruit snacks, some kind of fruit, the kind of pickles he likes, pudding (I like to make this at home and put it into a container but I have been slacking off), chips, and cheese, plus I got him to stop drinking soda during his lunch and just drink water.  Then there is his sandwich.  We have gone through all kinds of incarnations of his sandwich:  bologna, roast beef, turkey, ham, and he will even take a tuna or egg salad if I have made some.  We have gone through different condiments like mustard, mayo, brown mustard, and italian dressing and cheeses like American (I can’t get him to stop eating it), cheddar, swiss, provolone, and pepper-jack.  So after about two years of switching it up every few months, he decided his favorite and his standard would be ham and salami with provolone and italian dressing on a roll (God forbid he puts any sort of veggie on his sandwich).

His sandwich, we were out of provolone.

Rolls can be expensive.  If I can’t find a good deal, I can pay up to $3 for a pack of only six rolls.  Usually, I can get a pack of four sub rolls which he cuts in half to make eight for about $2.  Sometimes he complains about those, though, because they can be too thin widthwise or don’t cut in half that well and you are left with a little nub or two that you can’t really use for anything.  So in order to avoid this whole ordeal, I have recently been trying to make him sandwich rolls.  First, I tried a recipe for sourdough rolls, which really were too dense for a sandwich but were awesome rolls to eat.  I would share the recipe with you if I could find it (and I’d better because my sister really liked them and I am sure she will be asking for them again).  This was my first attempt in awhile.  It started out as a Whole Wheat Burger Bun but my husband is a bit averse to wheat breads (he just won’t eat healthy!) so I took out the wheat flour and subbed in bread flour to help make them lighter and fluffier.  It worked!  Except that after a few days he was digging out the middle and saying they were getting kind of dense.  I tried to explain that it is harder for the fresh baked stuff to keep but he said that if the grocery store can do it, so can I.  (Not sure if he was being a smart ass or supportive.)  Overall he wants it “softer, but not too soft.”  Great.

So beautiful! How could he reject them?

Whatever, so next I am going to make the rolls I made for Thanksgiving but just bigger.  Those are very soft.  We shall see…  Plus I promised you the recipe anyway so stay tuned.  Also, stay tuned for Whole Wheat Sourdough as well.  I made one last week and it was very nice but I used a white flour sponge and I want to try it with a whole wheat one and see if it turns out just as well.

Whole Wheat Sourdough

I have two GeekyLinks this week both having to do with the upcoming 50th Anniversary of Doctor Who and both equally awesome 48 years of Doctor Who adventures in less than 10 minutes and Doctor Who: “The First Question” – 50th Anniversary Trailer.

Recipe Follows

What I have been doing lately? Baking, I mean it!

Happy Birthday to Jesus

I know, I know, “If you have been baking where are your posts?”, right?  It is just tough, I want everything to be perfect and I just need to get it through my thick head that nothing is or ever will be.  However, some things come close.  Close when you have three kids under 8 and a BIG extended family is just going to have to do.

Just stick an Oreo right in the middle and we are all done here.

Like the Cashew Toffee…I did make my Cashew Toffee for Christmas but o boy was that harder than anticipated and it was all my fault.  Instead of experimenting with a small batch of toffee to try and make it more P-Nuttle like, I did it with a double batch and ruined it.  So off to the store for more butter and cashews.  Then instead of making two double batches so I could more easily control everything, I put all my eggs in one basket so to speak and somehow missed my 300° mark and I could tell that I was losing it (I had added more sugar too, to try and make it less greasy. Perhaps that is why it maybe didn’t make it to 300° before breaking up).  It was starting to separate and I was starting to panic.  I don’t know what made me think to do it, perhaps all my attempts at caramel this year, but I added just a smidge or two of whipping cream and kept stirring till it looked nice again.  The effect made it more like an English Toffee, less buttery brittle like, which was fine by me and totally yummy.  However, just as I thought “crisis averted” as I was dumping my huge pot of toffee on my sheet pan, I got a sugar burn.  Did I have water standing by like they tell you when you are dealing with sugar, no.  Will I from now on?  Hopefully that question can be answered by the soon to be scar on my right wrist.

The bright spot that day, my sourdough!  My sourdough had been giving me problems all year.  I still never gave up on it.  The same day as the toffee, instead of throwing out some of my starter before feeding it again (I must’ve just had a feeling, really, because until earlier that week I hadn’t had a successful loaf in over a month) I put it into a separate container and fed them both.  Later that night, I went for three loaves and they all came out beautifully!  Christmas presents!  I did it again the next day for more Christmas presents.  The only thing I can think of that I did differently is that I used some unbleached flour to feed it.  I found a small bag at the 99¢ store.  I had seen some sourdough recipes call for it and I never needed to use it last year (I still miss that darn starter), I figured that for 99¢ I would give it a whirl and see if that would do the trick.  It sure seemed to.  I can’t wait till vacation is over because I am looking forward to making my weekly sourdough on Monday mornings again.

Three pretty sourdoughs for Christmas!

I did come out of the holidays with some great recipes.  For Angela’s school party, I made these really interesting cookies that I will share with you soon.  I actually didn’t think they would go over well, but I heard the kids couldn’t get enough of them and all of us sure liked them.  I made three cakes for Christmas because we were celebrating three birthdays: my brother, my cousin, and baby Jesus of course.  None of which I technically got to eat because we didn’t have dinner with my family but I mean, I baked them, I pretty much knew how they tasted.  For my brother it was a Cookies and Cream cake which I heard was a little on the sweet side and I probably should have made it with just chocolate cake instead of cookies and cream cake, that probably would have helped.  However, I came out of that with a whole new buttercream recipe and technique which I will share with you soon.  I loved it and have never had a more whipped creamier buttercream.  For my cousin, I made a chocolate cake with strawberry cream cheese frosting.  I have to be honest, I am not a fan of cream cheese frosting so I cut down on that a bit and switched it out for some whipped cream and there is a secret ingredient in this frosting which just boggled my mind.  I will make this frosting again and share.  The cake was awesome, so moist!  However for me as the baker of it, that made it a bit temperamental and I had to do it twice (it could be because the recipe was for a three layer 8 inch cake and I made some cupcakes and was going for just one 8 inch cake).  I am still searching for the perfect chocolate cake.  For Jesus, I just made a vanilla bundt with a chocolate glaze.  I heard this one was too sweet and that was my fault, I made the glaze more sweet than the recipe called for.  I was making it as if I was going to eat it, instead of how it was supposed to be and how I know my family would like it.  I also came upon a really good apple cake recipe that would have been great if I hadn’t added so many apples.  The recipe called for 3 apples.  Well, I had some BIG apples.  It just made it impossible for it to cook in the middle, although you could tell that the cake itself was lovely and the outsides looked AMAZING!  It was just a nice little cake.  I am going back to that one and will let you know the exact amount of apples, in cups.

Fan out a fresh strawberry on top and we are done here.

So no recipes today.  I just wanted to let you know that I haven’t been sitting on my hands.  I do have things I want to share I just want to do it in the best way possible.  Not perfect, but close.  My next post is my son’s 3rd birthday cake which will have that new buttercream technique I told you about.

Cupcakes for the kiddos!

My GeekyLink this week is in regards to Doctor Who.  The Christmas special was good.  Nothing too great but not awful that is for sure.  Perhaps they make us wait so long so no matter how it is, we think it is good.  My one qualm is that (“spoiler alert”) the dad lived.  I mean I know it is a Christmas special and all but lately there haven’t been many deaths on Doctor Who.  I mean there used to be so many references about how many deaths he was responsible for and some we would even see, some minor side character that was there for one episode or something.  Which is why this headline distresses me, Doctor Who’s Amy Pond set for “heartbreaking” exit.  I love Rory till the end of 2000 years and Amy is OK too.  I am ready to move on in companions, though.  In fact, I wouldn’t be sad if they left pretty much at the beginning of the new season.  However, I am wondering if the lack of peripheral deaths on Doctor Who will make them want to kill off one or both of the current companions and that distresses me.  I can deal with a parallel universe like Rose or just leaving like Martha (I thought they did but apparently not) but please no deaths or no Donna heartbreakers.  I hope the “heartbreaking” they are speaking of is just the fact that they are leaving and not the way they will leave, but I sincerely doubt it.

P.S. Happy New Year!

Tomato Basil Bread and OMG The Hunger Games!

This bread was probably the easiest bread I have made in awhile.  This bread was just OK.  I found the recipe on Food.com and they say to eat this bread with soup.  Soup wasn’t on my menu last week.

Then I decided to make a grilled cheese with it and to use my husband’s provolone as opposed to my usual cheddar.  Did I tell you that this was the BEST BREAD EVER?  I love this bread for that grilled cheese!  It probably would have been good for a soup too, especially if you are a dipper.  The flavor profile was that of a caprese sandwich but I didn’t have any mozzarella on hand so it was not a true caprese.  (Okay, I did have shredded but I didn’t realize it till I started writing this post, dangit!)  I challenge you to make this bread and make a grilled cheese with mozzarella plus put basil and tomatoes INSIDE!  I would have, but I used all the basil I had for the bread and haven’t had a new tomato growing for awhile.  The best thing about this bread was that my super duper picky Sarah, ate the grilled cheese without comment or pause.  This is the girl that can find the teeniest tiniest onion and pull it out of whatever she is eating with her pinky and give it to me because she isn’t willing to eat it.

I think, even though it is so simple, that it is a grilled cheese worthy of Closet Cooking.  The man can cook and he has TONS of great recipes.  However, he is the “go to guy” if you are looking to change up your grilled cheese.  The man is obsessed!  His pictures and variations on grilled cheese are pure magic for a lover of comfort food.

My GeekyLink for this week is the The Hunger Games trailer!  Ahhh!  I have watched it about three times so far and have teared up every time.  First of all, great book.  Read it!  Second of all, I love the way the trailer was done.  They show SO MUCH of the beginning and end it at the Cornicopia (the beginning of the Games themselves).  I thought it was just a great way to do it.  You might also want to check out the Entertainment Weekly breakdown of the trailer ‘Hunger Games’: Let’s Dissect the Trailer!

I was debating whether or not to have my eight year old read the books.  This, however, is no ordinary eight year old.  She finished all of the Harry Potter books in about nine months and that is including time off in the summer.  There is some hard stuff in those books.  However (Spoiler Alert!), I guess nothing like picking 24 young people to kill each other on TV.  I was going to take her to see it anyway, though.  Plus, if it is worth Scholastic Points, she will be willing (It is.  It is even in her book order, she is going to order them with the money she was awarded for having the most Scholastic Points for the first trimester).  I love that kid.

Recipe Follows

Pull Apart Cheesy Herb Bread

The weather was getting cold this week and I just really wanted some bread in the oven.  It was as simple as that.  I had several recipes on deck but this one cut in line simply for having yeast in it.  Also, I finally restarted my sourdough starter!  I cannot wait to have me some homemade sourdough.  If all goes well I will share the whole process, but if you cannot wait please check out where I learned on Joy the Baker.

Rolled out ball with herbs and cheese.

Otherwise, everything is the same.  The lights still aren’t fixed and my husband starts his work week again tonight so I guess that is another week I’ll be waiting unless I get frustrated enough and try to fix it myself.  It might happen but I am kinda busy this weekend.  I made a cake this week for a cakewalk that they are having at my nephews’ Family Fun Day at school and I am going to take my girls to enjoy the festivities later today.

Made into pockets!

That is if they don’t drive me crazy first.  It amazes me how renewed and energized I feel pretty much every morning or at least a good three times a week and how quickly the kids just suck it all out of me.  Really, I would be done and finished with this post over half an hour ago if my youngest daughter, Sarah, didn’t keep chasing the kitten around and if my youngest, Robert, didn’t keep screaming when I have to keep him quiet so daddy can sleep because he has to work later.  Angela, my oldest, is keeping to herself right now.  Did I mention she is really smart?

Shove those pockets in there and make them fit!

My husband always says that it is my baking and/or blogging that gets me all stressed out and frustrated but I point out that when I am home alone baking or baking late at night, I am as happy as a clam and baking is as cathartic for me as ever and totally relaxing.  I don’t even mind doing a mound of dishes if I get something really tasty and pretty out of it.  It is when life happens all around me and I just can’t keep up or keep it all straight, that is when I go a little batty.

All egg washed up, with extra cheese, ready for the oven.

Anyways, the kids have calmed down a bit so I’d better hurry up and tell you about this bread.  The original recipe calls for fresh dill and parsley but I didn’t have any so I used dry.  It is too expensive to buy herbs too often, especially when they go bad so soon (we are starting to grow some but I only have basil so far).  After baking, I still would have used a smidge less and I did adjust the amount in the recipe.  It wasn’t that easy to pull apart, so it is up to you if that is how you want to eat it.  It might have been easier if I hadn’t added the extra cheese on top, but I wanted the extra cheese on top so there.  Enjoy!

See, came right out!

GeekyLink this week I got was posted on the The Nerdist website the other day “Doctor Who” Series 6 in 89 Seconds.  Chris Hardwick wrote a book coming out soon called the The Nerdist Way and I enjoy the podcast and the site so much that I just might actually get it.

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Ham and Cheese Pull Apart Party Bread

Do you see this bread?  This is for real and I made it.  I have had two baking fails this week and looking at this beautiful and awesome bread makes it all worthwhile.  This bread tastes as good as it looks and it is just as fun to eat.  OK, I’ll admit it, it is a bit of work.

The funky butter mixture that you mix into your dough.

Mostly it just takes awhile, and it really isn’t that complicated if you take your time.  The first time I made this was last year for the Superbowl and I was under a time crunch, it was my first time, and I messed up but I still was able to finish it in time for the party.

I have to credit my father in law with the idea for the perfect condiment to go with this bread.  He thought it would be great to slice it open and spread mustard on it and really, that takes it to another level.  When I made it to watch the Emmys with my friend, we used the mustard as a dipping sauce and it was sooo good!  I highly recommend it.  Geez, I guess you could even make a sandwich with one of the rolls, which I hadn’t even thought of since I consider each roll as its own sandwich, but I bet that would be crazy awesome!

Doesn't it look like a pretty dough, waiting for its second rise?

I got this recipe from Cookingbread.com.  It is a really great site and you can even view some recipes as tutorials with step by step instructions that can be very helpful.  The only problem is that you can’t click on the pictures and make them bigger, which, when attempting a complicated recipe like this could be very useful.  They have some version of every kind of recipe for bread you could ever want.

Rolled out and sliced into sections with cheese spread on every other one.

This bread is flaky, buttery, and cheesy, what else is there?

For my next post, I hope to bring you something sweet but as I said before, that whole side of my baking hasn’t been going well for the past week.  We’ll see how it goes.

Rolled up and ready for eggwash, shredded cheese, and final rise.

Thrilled about my GeekyLink for this week and I actually have Kevin Smith to thank for it.  I follow him on Twitter and I am a big fan of his SModcast network.  Anyways, he tweeted something to this guy, basically saying that his daughter is a Whovian because of this guy’s album.  For anyone who doesn’t know or didn’t figure it out, a Whovian is a Dr. Who fan.  This guy, Charlie McDonnell, has a band called Chameleon Circuit and yes, oh yes, they make Dr. Who music!  It is decent music too!  I wasn’t expecting much.  I have heard sci-fi fan music before (yikes!) so their albums, that you can hear in their entirety on the website, were a real treat.  Some songs are better than others because all of the band members take turns writing and singing the songs.  I haven’t downloaded anything yet because I haven’t listened to them all but I am sure their song called “Mr. Pond” will be one of them.  Rory Williams is my hero!

One last picture before the recipe…

Just before it goes into the oven.

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Rosemary Olive Oil Bread

I haven’t shared yet one of the best things I love about baking.  I LOVE baking bread.

I love the smell of the yeast proofing, watching the dough rise, my mouth watering the entire time it is baking.  I have had a few bread fails but nothing so major as to turn me off to it completely.  The only problem I ever have with it is having the time to make it.  Even the first time I attempted a yeast dough, I didn’t think to read ahead in the directions (I was a teenager), I started it way late in the evening, oops.  My girls have activities in the afternoons so any recipe needs to be able to be risen and baked before we leave or I have to be willing to stay up late with it or (and I love these recipes, I don’t have enough) be able to be put in the fridge to rise overnight.  I have a sourdough recipe I like to make that I have timed perfectly from when I get home from taking my daughter to school to just before I pick her up, but that is another post (I killed my sourdough starter in the spring, I have to start another).  Regardless of how involved it can be, nothing can beat freshly baked bread.

This is a Rosemary Olive Oil bread from ahintofhoney.com.  It was awesome dipped in olive oil and balsamic.  My eight year old and I ate half of it all by ourselves in about ten minutes.  Do I have to tell you how much I love that she loves dipping her bread in the olive oil and balsamic?  Anyway, this is a fairly easy and quick bread to put together.  The only issues I had were that the recipe called for a pizza peel and a pizza stone.  Those problems were easily remedied with parchment paper and an upside down sheet pan.  Once I did use my cast iron skillet warmed in the oven but in trying to get my dough from the parchment paper to the skillet, I ended up deflating it.  I may try that again but next time I will turn the skillet upside down and just leave the dough on the parchment.

Plain fresh baked bread smells great but this one with the rosemary…you can’t even imagine!  Don’t imagine.  Do it.

I really recommend getting your hands on some fresh rosemary.  I have made this twice and the fresh rosemary makes SUCH a difference.

As far as my GeekyLink goes, where the heck is my frikin (yes, I said frikin!) Pottermore entrance email?  What is the point of winning early access if I only get a two week jump on the general public?  There are people that have been on the site for almost two months!  Plus, Twitter just keeps rubbing it in because it is house pride week and they are picking a house a day and people tweet about what is great about their houses.  Here I am all early access with no email and I have to read about all of these people that are so proud of their houses and I haven’t even been put into one yet!  My eight year old (actual and my inner one) is super bummed.

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