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Friday, July 22, 2011


If you don't like this guy, go watch Visioneers. It will totally change your opinion of him.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Butterbeer Recipe

For starters, I want to give credit to the following site for this recipe as it is not mine in any way shape or form:
But this is the best Butterbeer recipe that I have come across without counting what they actually have at the wizarding world.  I hope that with only 1 week left until the big day that this will come in handy for at least a few people! Enjoy!

Our final result!
1 cup dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons water
6 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cider vinegar
3/4 cup heavy cream, divided
1/2 teaspoon rum extract
4 12oz. bottles cream soda

In a small sauce pan, over medium heat, combine the brown sugar and water.  Bring to a gentle boil and cook, stirring often, until the mixture reads 240 degrees F on a candy thermometer.

Stir in the butter, salt, cider vinegar, and 1/4 cup heavy cream. Set aside to cool to room temperature.

Once the mixture has cooled, stir in the rum extract.

In a medium bowl, combine 2 tablespoons of the brown sugar mixture and the remaining heavy cream. Use an electric mixer to beat until just thickened, but not completely whipped. About 2 to 3 minutes.

To serve, divide the brown sugar mixture between 4 tall glasses. (About 1/4 cup each)  Add 1/4 cup of cream soda to each glass, then stir to combine.  Fill each glass nearly to the top with additional cream soda, then spoon the whipped topping over each.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Pumpkin Juice Recipe

So in all of the rush of preparations for the eighth Harry Potter movie, I'm sure that some people are going to engage in some Hogwartian festivities.  And what better to do this with in the summer than with Pumpkin Juice?  For some people it may not be exactly "convenient" to drive to Orlando, Fl to buy a bottle from the Wizarding World, so I have the next best thing.  After a few failed attempts I think that I finally have a solid recipe for a drinkable pumpkin juice!  So here goes!

2 quarts apple cider, divided
1 piece fresh ginger, (2") sliced
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 teaspoon whole cloves
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 16oz. can pumpkin puree

Pour 3 cups of the apple cider into a saucepan; add the ginger slices, cinnamon stick, nutmeg, and cloves. Bring the mixture to a boil, turn down to a simmer, and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, add the honey and brown sugar, and stir to dissolve. Refrigerate the mixture until well-chilled, or up to a week.

When ready to serve, strain the apple cider mixture into a large pitcher. Add the remaining apple cider and the pumpkin puree; stir well.

Also, the pumpkin puree can probably be left out, but if it is used, be sure to use a good blender to cut it with.  And also be sure that you have a very good method of straining or else you will have bits and pieces everywhere!

I hope this works out for everyone and please tell me if it doesn't!! Oh yes, and tuck in!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Defending Our Castles

I was thinking about my friend the other day that has problems letting people in and I was thinking about how our hearts are like castles in a way.  We put huge walls and gates (sometimes with winged boars on each side) around them and we censor who we let in and keep out.  Then once we do let people into the castle grounds, there are still things outside the castle like the Forbidden Forest, Hagrid's Hut, and the Black Lake to deal with.  It's not until we allow someone into the Great Hall that we really start revealing ourselves to people.

Now, if you haven't figured it out quite yet, I am drawing a fair amount of parallels to the infamous Hogwarts castle from Harry Potter.  Whether or not this makes sense to do this, I don't quite know many other castles to make this analogy with.  So I am taking this paragraph to apologize for any disconnects that I have caused by this.  But for those of you who know about places such as the Room of Requirement and the Astronomy Tower, I think this may have some value.

Some people are perfectly willing to open up the gates to their castle and let in anyone who wants to join.  However, there is the opposite end of the spectrum to consider, the ones who let no one in whatsoever.  These are the people that are troubling to me, maybe not so much because they don't let people in, but rather because they allow people to see certain things about themselves without ever letting them in.  They let you look through the gates and gaze down from the mountains and you can get a good glimpse of what their "castle" is all about, but you don't actually know anything about it.

In a healthy relationship you would allow your closer friends into some of the more private rooms, such as Gryffindor Tower or the Room of Requirement.  And likewise, The person you marry, you would end up sharing your castle with, even allowing them access to the Headmaster's office.  Basically, the more intense relationships allow for more access inside of this "castle".

The goal is to have varying degrees of relationships on your life in order to have people to lean on when you need them.  Because at some point or another, in this crazy world we live in, our castle is going to be under attack.  It isn't pretty, it isn't fun, but it is the truth.  Granted, it may be feeble attacks, they are attacks nonetheless. And why it matters that we let people into our castle is this.  When we do undergo a large attack on our "castle", and make no mistake, we will, we have people backing us up.  We have people on our side, people to protect us.  Otherwise, we are left to fight the world by ourselves.  Otherwise, our castles will burn, and it becomes ever harder to let people in.  It becomes almost impossible to face our castles ourselves.  Then you are left wishing you just had a new castle, but that's the funny thing about it.  We only get one chance at a heart, so we have to value it more than anything.