Bon Voyage, Shark Week 2019!

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Shark napkins and the most Jawsome salsa dish in all the land! πŸ™‚

Well, Shark Week has come and gone yet again, but what a great reign it had. ❀ My favorite new fact I learned this year was that basking sharks (the 2nd largest shark in the world) can actually breach the water! It blew my mind.

The week had the perfect sendoff with my amazing chum (you bet your sweet ass that’s a pun. A bloody good one, too!) πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜› I’m sorry, I’ll stop! Anyway, my amazing chums Cupcakes & Machetes and Mr. C&M came to town for a proper showstopper to bring the week to a close. We had delicious Caribbean food and took on the mighty Rum Raid!

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We did a few more things out on the town and then returned home for Shark Week and cake! C&M rocked her Jawsome shark week socks and I rocked my new shark jammies that featured a bunch of great whites with water floaties on their pectoral fins. πŸ˜›

Now that Shark Week is over, my focus can snap back to drawing and writing. I’ve got a lot to work on and am looking forward to digging back into things on the creative front. πŸ™‚

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IgnitedMoth has fluttered onto Instagram

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Hey, guys! ❀ I just wanted to pop in real quick to share with you that I finally joined the Cool Kid Party and started an Instagram account! Took me long enough, right? πŸ˜‰ I guess that’s what getting a new phone and a wicked case of Cabin Fever will do to a girl, huh?

Anyhow, I’m still figuring it all out but it seems pretty straight forward so far, thankfully. I’ve posted a couple things (including 2 new drawings) if any of you lovely people are interested. I go by ignitedmoth on Instagram as well, so I should be pretty easy to find. If you have an Instagram account gimme your user name in the comments so I can creep at you in a sufficient manner. πŸ˜›

I think I’ll pretty much be sharing photos related to the stuff I babble about here on my blog, so books/comics, my drawings, some of the stuff I’ve cooked, and pet/outdoor photos, mostly. πŸ™‚ Who knows, I may throw in the occasional wildcard here and there.

Well, I hope everyone has a fun weekend in store. I’m finally going back to work today, so I should probably go get ready for that, but knowing me I’ll probably wait until the last minute and be rushing all around the house. πŸ˜›

Pineapple Coconut Rum Cake

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Deciding to try out a new recipe is always kind of exciting. Will it turn out like you’re hoping? . . . Or will it turn into a radioactive pile of mush even your pets turn their noses up at? Being as sick of winter as I currently am, I decided to go for one of the more tropical kinds of recipes I found online. So here we are, with this delicious pineapple coconut rum cake. I tweaked the recipe I linked above just a smidge since I didn’t have any actual rum extract or pound cake mix. I was also lacking crushed pineapple, but it turned out pretty well even with the “chunks” style. (Which, by the way, who in the hell in marketing decided “chunks” sounded appetizing to begin with??)

Here’s the ingredients I used:

  • 1 box vanilla cake mix.
  • 1 20 oz. can of pineapple (chunks) in 100% pineapple juice.
  • 1/2 Cup shredded sweetened coconut.
  • 1 tsp. Malibu coconut rum.

Following the recipes directions, I mixed it all up, poured it into a lightly sprayed pan, and popped it in the oven for 35 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. It certainly doesn’t rise quite as much as your typical cake might, but it was a good, light cake with a pleasant flavor. Especially when there is whipped cream added on top, as pictured above! πŸ˜‰ And for those of you who despise coconut, one of my testers who also loathes coconut said that it wasn’t even really noticeable, and also enjoyed the cake. So, all in all, I chalk this one up as a pretty decent success. πŸ™‚ The flavor was good, but I don’t think it will really win many points for overall presentation any time soon. But if you’re just looking for an easy tropical dessert to enjoy at home, it does the trick quite nicely!

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Getting Festive

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Happy Holidayyyys! ❀ Today is Christmas Eve and with all the recent and upcoming festivities I wanted to squeeze some time in to pop in and say Merry Christmas since I don’t know if I’ll get a chance to tomorrow. πŸ™‚

Last night we met up with my boyfriend’s family’s for their annual bake-a-thon, where we baked and decorated an arsenal of Christmas cookies. Shapes ranged from reindeer to unicorns and everything in between. Seriously, I mean everything in between. We also had an armadillo-shaped cookie and a penis-shaped cookie because inappropriate baked goods are funny. His mom also made these delicious pastries called Rugelach.

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We’re celebrating tonight’s Christmas Eve at my boyfriend’s parents’ house, and Christmas over with my family so I’m pretty excited. I feel like I did a lot of holiday stuff this year. More than I think I usually do, so while all the running around can be stressful and tiring at times, it did make for a particularly festive holiday season so far. πŸ™‚

Some of the holiday highlights included:

Visiting a historical village’s Holiday Nights event. It was really cool walking around after dark, learning some interesting stuff and seeing the rambunctious β€œmurmurers” in action. I didn’t know anything about this old β€œmurmuring” holiday tradition, but apparently it involves revelers of the season dressing up in disguises to go house-to-house for food and drink and partying it up. So, it’s kind of like Halloween at Christmas for adults, except you get booze instead of candy. Not too shabby, in my opinion. Why the heck did we do away with this awesome tradition?

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Goings to an outdoor Kringle Market and shopping around for lots of goodies, including my new favorite dessert, The Christmas Kronut. This was my second year going, and although the crowd can be a bit much, I plan on going again next year. It was a lot of fun. πŸ™‚

Christmas shopping for my loved ones is always a fun thing to do. I love when you find someone the perfect gift and then seeing the look on their face when they open it. I will say, though: I normally quite dislike wrapping the presents. It’s just tedious. lol My attention span has never been in it. I moaned and groaned the whole way through it, but I think I actually did a decent job wrapping gifts this year. I’m not known for my wrapping skills, in fact, I’m known for purposely wrapping the gifts in a manner that makes it look like a toddler did it. Or a drunk uncle. One or the other.

The work holiday party was also a lot of fun. I’ve mentioned before that I work as a program instructor at a day program for adults with special needs. I love my job every day, but seeing all their faces light up when they got to meet Santa Clause and taking our room caroling around the entire building was just so nice. We sang fun, upbeat songs like Jingle Bell Rock, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, etc. and had a bunch of fun instruments for everyone to play. We did a big potluck and since I baked a bunch of stuff for the last couple work parties I decided to take it easy on myself for this one and brought in rolls and made a some delicious Garlic Parmesan Butter to go with them.

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Minus some stressful family medical issues that have luckily since been improving, the last month of 2017 has been a pretty good one. πŸ™‚ I’m excited to see what the new year will bring. I hope you guys all enjoy what’s left of the holiday season and have plenty of festivities of your own! ❀

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Christmas Kronut: Holiday Dessert Review

I don’t usually do dessert reviews, but when you find a new sweet that “takes the cake” as your favorite dessert ever, well, that warrants a post . . . and a bad pun. Allow me to introduce you to the Christmas Kronut!

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Picture from Home Bakery’s website. (I didn’t think to photograph my actual kronut before devouring it in pure bliss.)

I found this delectable treat in downtown Rochester in my home state of Michigan. This was my second year attending the Kringle Market there, a big event with Christmas lights, as well as tons of vendors and entertainment to kick off the month of December. It was a lot of fun and there were plenty of neat vendors, but this Christmas Kronut was the #1 thing I was excited about purchasing.

The vendor selling these bad boys actually has a gorgeous bakery located right downtown called Home Bakery. They describe the dessert as “deep-fried croissant dough, filled with vanilla bean pastry cream, tossed in cinnamon-sugar, dipped in a vanilla bean glaze, and finished with white nonpareils, and red and green holiday-themed sprinkles.”

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It was utterly amazing. Every single part of it brought something special to the dessert, from the cinnamon-sugar kronut itself to the oh-so-delicious vanilla bean cream that it was stuffed to the brim with. The different elements of this holiday themed sweet manage to shine on their own but also blend together perfectly as you eat it. It’s also adorably festive-looking, so it makes for a wonderful seasonal treat.

I’d easily give it 5 out of 5 stars, though I think it deserves some extra credit for being what I personally deem to be the best dessert I’ve ever had. πŸ™‚

What’s you’re favorite holiday treat to enjoy this time of year? Or just your favorite dessert in general?

Calvatia Gigantea: The Giant Puffball!

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Behold! The giant puffball (and my shoes).

I’ve stumbled across a few giant puffball mushrooms before, but had never bothered picking one since you often hear the warnings about those poisonous look-alikes and I’ve grown slightly fond of breathing over the years. πŸ˜‰

Well, after reading some helpful info on properly identifying edible giant puffball mushrooms, we decided to chance it by plucking up this bad boy we found on my mom and dad’s property. Here’s my mom plucking it up. Say “Hi” Mama Moth! πŸ˜›

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After my mom picked it out of the ground we brought it inside and prepared to cut it open. The guides we read said you wanted a pure white center in the mushroom, and no gills and whatnot, so we were pretty pleased to cut it up and see that snowy center. πŸ™‚

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We’ve still gotta cook it up, but we’re excited to try it. If I suddenly stop posting after this, well, I guess our mushroom identifying skills were not quite as up to snuff as we’d hoped. Wish us luck!

Do you ever hunt/cook mushrooms? Any experience with puffballs? Lemme know! I’d love to hear about it. πŸ™‚

Banana Blueberry Bread + Spring Photos

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Hey, guys! ❀ Just sharing some baking and outdoors photos. This weekend was pretty busy but I managed to squeeze in some yard work and baking. The weather’s been so nice that I even did the little reading I could get in outdoors. (I’m loving Six of Crows so far!!)

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Banana Blueberry Bread
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Fresh From The Oven!
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Lilacs Out Back.
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Cute Little Winged Buddy.
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The Rhubarb is getting HUGE! Hoping to try some new rhubarb recipes this year.
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Firewood.