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Thursday, 29 October 2009

Meat Hand

I made something gruesome and delicious.

No, really, it was good.

This is meatloaf.

Meatloaf with cheese on top.

And some ketchup.

The nails are made of onion.

The wrist bones are onion too.

Where are you going?

This is how I made it:

Since August I've had a post it note over my desk that simply said "meat hand". I mulled over how to make it for a while. I realized that the old formed inside a plastic glove thing wouldn't work since the fingers would cook so much faster than the rest of the hand. It wasn't until I saw this hand gelatin mold that I had my plan:

I shot several angles to show how it has a base built in, meaning I could probably use it to mold meatloaf.

I made the basic meatloaf recipe from How to Cook Everything using a food processor to chop the onions and carrot to a very fine mince so I could fill in the details of the mold without trouble. One meatloaf recipe using 2 pounds of meat will make two hands.

I sprayed the inside of the mold with cooking oil spray and it came out fairly easily. I put it on top of a rack to allow the fat to run off as it cooked.

I did a few versions, learning as I went along.

Version #1

The first one was straight meatloaf. I surrounded it with mashed potatoes and kale (or brain matter and swamp greens if you have kids, or just act like kids). It looked ok, sort of creepy:

Version #2

The next time I tried adding fingernails made of onion, which were just like press on nails:

To make the fingernails I sliced a thin round off of a single layer of an onion, then used kitchen scissors to trim it into a nail shape keeping the lines in the onion running the length of the nail. I kept the thinnest end of the onion slice at the tip of the nail. (Shown here using a red onion as it's easier to see details.)

I also covered it with ketchup before cooking:

It turned out gross:

This time to better define the fingers I piped mashed potatoes around the hand to define the shape. I just used a ziploc bag with a small corner snipped off to do the detail inbetween fingers, then I snipped off a larger corner to pipe around the hand. I smoothed down the mashed potatoes with a silicone spatula. The results where pretty creepy.

Version #3

The ketchup covered hand made me pretty happy but... I had this idea. My mom used to throw a slice of cheese on top of her meatloaf before cooking it and the cheese always turned out browned and crispy. I wondered how that would work with my relatively delicate hand. I also had the idea to use the smaller inner layers of the onion to create a cartoon-y wrist bone sticking out.

I made two versions. The first used white onion and was simply covered in cheese. The second used red onion and was covered with ketchup and then cheese. I used slices of provolone cheese because I knew it wouldn't slide off completely as it melted. (Maggi suggested it, thanks Maggi!) This time I used the version of meatloaf with spinach, again from How to Cook Everything. Here are some pre-cooked pictures:

I peeled an onion until I got to the smaller inner layers and simply pressed it into the wrist:

I trimmed the cheese to fit around the fingernails:

If I were to do it again I would have put less cheese around the fingers, or rather, I would have put narrower pieces. The cheese pooled inbetween the fingers and made it more difficult to diguise later on.

This cheese thing, it worked a bit too well. We couldn't bring ourselves to actually eat either of them (though, we had been eating a lot of meatloaf lately). Here is a picture showing them side by side. They were cooked at the same time and the one with the ketchup beneath the cheese (white fingernails) browned a bit more. You can also see that piping the detail more carefully can make a difference:

The wrist bone of the white onion was pushed out a bit as the meatloaf cooked:

The smaller onion piece of the red onion write bone wasn't as impressive:

The red onion fingernails were creepier, but the white onion fingernails might get the point across more quickly:

Here is a cute pumpkin pancake chaser:

Just in case you need it.

Halloween pancakes from notmartha.org

categories: food, halloween

Posted by: AT 12:48 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, 19 October 2009
1 Stop Florists

 

Giving flowers as a gift is wonderful and easy way to brighten someone's day and let them know that you are thinking of them. Flowers can also be used as an apology, a birthday surprise, an expression of love, and a get well present. One issue that can arise if you are considering giving a person flowers as a gift is how to get them there. If you are away when you want to give the gift or your loved ones are overseas, then it might be quite hard to have send the flowers if you do not know how. An easy way to do this is to send the flowers online or use a city flower delivery services. These wonderful businesses can help you to send a gift almost anywhere in the world.

Using a city flower delivery service comes with many wonderful advantages leading to a fully customisable gift from your heart. You can choose what flowers your want and in what type of arrangement you want them sent. There is also the option to send a mixture of different flowers if you know the tastes of the recipient and you can even include a little gift with the flowers such as chocolates if you please. Using a city flower delivery company that you have found online will usually cost quite a bit less than an offline business and it is also a lot less hassle. You can send the gift from the comfort of your own home anytime you please.

All that you normally have to do to send flowers online is fill out a small form giving the information of the person you want the flowers to and then make a payment using your credit card or other forms such as PayPal if they are offered. Another great bonus is that you will have access to a lot more variety when using online stores as you can easily get quotes from ten's of stores in minutes compared to the amount of time it takes to even find a flower delivery shop offline. So if you are thinking of sending your loved one a special gift from the heart then consider using an online flower delivery service. This will help you to find the cheapest flower delivery service that you can and will also save time.

Flowers Delivered Same Day
Posted by: Gourmet Grocery Online AT 10:25 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, 14 October 2009
Are you looking for a perfect baby shower gift for a family member or friend who is expecting a baby? The answer is a baby gift basket. Baby gift baskets are one of the most thoughtful presents you can give to an expectant recipient, allowing you to provide bunch of practical items she can use for her baby and giving a way for your creativity to shine through.

When it comes to baby shower gifts, there are many creative ideas to choose from. You can find gift baskets in various themes, ranging from simple and frugal to sophisticated and lavish gift baskets. Baby gift baskets may show of a sporty, fairytale, cartoons and other clever themes. Whether you want your gift basket frugal or lavish, there's always a joy when making and giving baby gift baskets.

A baby basket could be made of any good container other than a traditional wicker basket. You can use baby bath tub, laundry basket or even a bucket as your alternatives. Whichever container you want to use, it should be big enough to accommodate numerous gift items that will be filled in. Decorate your chosen container with matching colors and other embellishment. You can use a spray paint with a color palette that match to the gender of the baby.

Choosing fillers is the most fun part when making a baby gift basket. Remember that there are so many essential items a new mom will need for her baby, so you most likely have plenty of gift items to put into the basket. If the gender of the baby is not yet determined, it is safe to think about gender-neutral gifts. Consider items in neutral colors such as white, green and yellow.

For the fillers, you can have anything that both the mom and baby will enjoy using. Popular gift items that are usually included in a baby gift basket are newborn clothing, baby blankets, burp cloths, bibs, baby bottles, baby dishes, bathing supplies, booties, socks, hats, diapers, diaper bags, baby books, rattles, stuffed animals and the likes. Of course, you can always add anything you wish to include in your gift basket.

Finish your baby basket by wrapping it with cellophane; transparent or colored cellophane will do. You can then put a bow on the top of the package and then add a note tag. Various decorative materials are usually available at your local crafts store.

Today, you can find a wide variety of baby gift baskets both in local and online gift stores. There are thousands of online specialty stores these days that carry different types of baby gifts - from baby shower gifts, christening gifts to baby birthday gifts. Online specialty stores also offer personalized baby gift baskets and other personalized baby items, such as embroidered baby outfits and baby blankets; engraved baby picture frames; personalized toys; personalized nursery furnitures, embroidered diaper bags and etc. You can personalize your choice by either including the baby's name, initials, date of birth, or a personal message.
Posted by: Gourmet Grocery Online AT 07:56 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, 08 October 2009

yield: Makes 12 servings (as part of tapas buffet)

active time: 30 min

total time: 30 min

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 3/4 cup raw green (hulled) pumpkin seeds (not toasted; 4 ounces)

  • Special equipment: parchment paper; a candy thermometer
print a shopping list for this recipe

Preparation

Put a 24- by 12-inch sheet of parchment on a work surface and anchor corners with pieces of tape. Bring sugar, water, and sea salt to a boil in a 2-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Cook mixture, without stirring, washing down any sugar crystals from side of pan with a pastry brush dipped in cold water, until syrup registers 238°F (soft-ball stage) on thermometer, 10 to 12 minutes (sugar syrup will be colorless). Remove from heat and stir in seeds with a wooden spoon, then continue stirring until syrup crystallizes, 3 to 4 minutes.

Return pan to moderate heat and cook, stirring constantly, until sugar melts completely (sugar will continue to dry and become grainy before melting) and turns a deep caramel color, 4 to 5 minutes more (seeds will be toasted). Carefully pour hot caramel mixture onto parchment and carefully cover with another sheet. Immediately roll out(between sheets of parchment) as thinly as possible with a rolling pin, pressing firmly. Remove top sheet of parchment and immediately cut brittle into pieces with a heavy knife or pizza wheel. Cool brittle completely, then peel paper from bottom. (Alternately, break brittle into pieces once cool.)

Cooks' note: Brittle can be made 2 weeks ahead and kept, layers separated by wax paper, in an airtight container.

Posted by: Gourmet Grocery Online AT 08:04 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Sunday, 04 October 2009

Unique gifts & gift baskets

Christmas Eve is the time to celebrate and have a great time with friends and family. The whole atmosphere is in a joyous mood and wants to triumph over evil. Though your life is full of tension and a point comes when you really want to get rid of the troubles and be at your best. End of December everyone is in a happy state of mind pondering over the same question, as in, what to buy and get something special for your special someone on the auspicious occasion.

Christmas gifts are a crucial part of Christmas Eve celebration to show your concern and to celebrate with beautiful gifts and mementos. It's the time when everyone wants to be with their near and dear ones and have a great time. Thus, nowadays you can see that even in the corporate sector, people celebrate in a grand way. But then the approach is a bit different and the gifts exchange also takes a different style.
Special Employee gifts in Christmas:

It is a fact that during Xmas everyone wants to be in their best mood and enjoy to the fullest. Similarly, though the working environment is quit different from the usual celebration but then it has been made a point that people will also celebrate in a formal way in their offices also.

With same enthusiasm Christmas is celebrated in their own organization and the management take care of celebration as well all other related aspects. On the other hand it is seen that even your work place is like a second home to you and your co-workers are like your family members. Thus, you will love to share the joy of Christmas with them too and make this special occasion more special and grandeur. Even in formal celebration in offices there is the ritual of exchanging Xmas gifts.

There are various kinds of Employee gifts like:

There are various ways to celebrate such occasion but then when it comes to give gifts you need to know as what will click the employees most and make them happy. The management should also keep in mind that the gift should look like corporate gift and for that reason they should be very particular and choosy about selection of gifts. There can be various options among them you can list below:

• It can be a gift basket, which will contain sweets and mementos
• You can also gift your employees with drink ware, bar ware and crystals
• Gifts set can be also a good option
• Nuts and candy can also be a good option for employee gifts
• Writing instruments, mugs, clocks etc are the various gift items can be a good option etc.

Thus, gifting this alluring items you can make you're employees feel content and it can be the best formal celebration with your colleagues.

For any help on Employee gifts, check out the info available online, these will help you learn to find the Employee gifts an instant go

Posted by: Gourmet Grocery Online AT 09:07 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, 01 October 2009
Halloween Candy Guide

T he dark, almost moonless night of October 31 is fast approaching, and as you feverishly attempt to find costumes, masks, wigs, stage makeup, and props, we thought we'd save you time by pinpointing this season's coolest chocolates and candies.

Halloween is traditionally a commercial candy holiday, and we wouldn't be caught dead without a good mix of new twists on drug-store favorites and hauntingly high-end bites. Like M&M's? Try new picture M&M's printed with Junior's most terrifying scowl. More of a jellybean fan? Tear into a box of freakishly flavored beans sure to bring out your inner daredevil. Feeling crafty? Assemble and decorate your very own haunted house. Among the macabre morsels gathered in this year's slideshow are miniature brownie beasts, ears of sweet caramel corn, cringe-worthy garlic mints, all-natural lollipops, gourmet pet treats, and bone-chillingly realistic chocolate skulls.

Whether you are throwing a party and need help scaring up the scene, or simply picking a personality and selecting your snacks of choice to bestow upon little monsters at your doorstep, our selection of devilishly unexpected loot will have you prepared to bewitch and bedazzle all who come knocking.

Posted by: Gourmet Grocery Online AT 02:15 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
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