I dreamed a dream: the Egg Celise

This is a dream I had a while back, to the best of my memory.

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It has been several years since the mysterious extra-terrestrial virus turned over half the population into mindless zombies. While the harsh winters have killed off the majority of the monsters, the major threat now is surviving raids from those still human who have rejected all attempts at re-civilization. 

I am the leader of a ragtag bunch of human survivors, traveling in a caravan across the country in the hopes of finding peace. So far, it has been a long, dark road.

Then one day we rescue an old man from a band of raiders and he tells me that I am destined to save the world. The Egg Celise will save us all, and I am the only one who can call it back to Earth.

The Egg Celise? “That sounds like a sandwich,” I said.

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“It does sound like a sandwich,” replied the old man, “but it is actually a spaceship, hidden in the asteroid belt, and protected from the virus that has plagued humanity.”

Somehow I figure out that the amulet I carry is actually the Egg Celise’s beacon and I manage to summon the ship. The amulet glows and text appears:

EGG CELISE HAS BEEN CALLED.

Then, not too long later, 

EGG CELISE HAS LANDED.

We had to drive for what felt like forever before we found the ship, canted on an angle in a forest. It was HUGE: a giant flattened cylinder of white and orange, with the requisite flashing lights and windows and weird chimneys one would expect of a spaceship.

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“This is amazing! Who will be the captain?” The old man glanced my way and said one, terrifying word:

“You.”

I stepped aboard my new vessel and discovered decks upon decks of survivors already on board, settling in to a life of peace. They all greeted me by name as I made my way to the bridge.

Unfortunately I woke up before I reached the bridge so I don’t know what happened nextBut then I had another dream, in which I was telling someone all about the dream that I just had. My listener also thought that “Egg Celise” sounded like a sandwich.

So the point of this is that I need to make this sandwich. Any ideas as to what it should be made of?

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Fast Tip Friday: Microwave Pizza Trick

Pizza Crust Hack 1

I’m sure you’ve seen those “life hacks” all over the internet, and you have realized that most of them are bullpucky. If you look closely, though, you’ll find some gems, and here’s one of them.

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The Pie and I will often make (or buy) a pizza and have the leftovers for lunch the next day. And we have a microwave, so we use it to heat up the slices. The problem is that microwaves are terrible at heating up bread products – they turn the crust all weird and wrinkly and chewy.

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The way to avoid this is to place the pizza slice – uncovered – in the microwave together with a heatproof cup of water and reheat to your heart’s content.

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Tada, no more tough wrinkly crust!

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Old-Fashioned Peanut Butter Cookies

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The Pie LOVES peanut butter, but is not a huge fan of peanut butter cookies. I maintain that this is because he has not yet found the perfect recipe.  This one comes courtesy of Fake Food Free’s sojourn into a summer cookbook and I like the looks of it. I took these babies camping with us (with some Oatmeal-Raisin Scotchies) and they were perfect for the outdoors.

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Start by creaming together 1/2 cup softened butter, 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter, 1/2 cup brown sugar, and 1/2 cup granulated sugar.

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This picture is blurry because I was so excited about peanut butter cookies.

Then add in 1 egg, 1 tablespoon half and half (or light cream), and 1 teaspoon vanilla and beat until combined.

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Sift in 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour and 3/4 teaspoon baking soda and stir to combine completely, until you get a nice dough (TRUTHBOMB: I forgot the baking soda. Until like, wayyy later. You should always use a leavening agent when you make cookies – to avoid hard, terrible hockey puck cookies – so if you forget, sprinkle the soda evenly over the whole surface of your dough and then stir it in like crazy).

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Then tumble in like a full cup of peanut butter chips.  Or half a cup, which is what the recipe says. Or whatever. There are no Ingredient Police in my kitchen.

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Chill the dough for at least half an hour.

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Preheat your oven to 375°F and line some baking sheets with parchment paper.

Drop the cookies onto the baking sheet in little balls. Flatten them with the palm of your hand and use a fork to make that peanut-butter-cookie-crosshatch on the surface.

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Bake for 9-10 minutes, until the edges are starting to brown. The cookies will look underbaked but that’s totally fine, as they’ll continue to bake on the baking sheet once you take it out of the oven. That’s why you leave the cookies on the sheet for at least five minutes. Remove to a rack to cool completely and then scarf those babies down.

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I gave some to my parents in these super cute treat bags because they babysat Princess Gren for the weekend.

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Chipotle Beans and Sausage: In the Woods

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This was our final hot meal on our camping trip, and the only one that involved the purchase of a pre-prepared element: baked beans (though if I’d had some of mine in the freezer you can bet all you own that I would have used them).  I did adapt it from The Camping Cookbook in that I used sausages, not hot dogs, as the meat addition.

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This is definitely my idea of campfire food.  This is something my dad would come up with over the fire – though if he made it, it would be slightly burnt coming out of his ancient frying pan. Now, this was *supposed* to be the last meal we ate at camp, but it ended up being the first meal we cooked at home after abandoning our damp post.

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Even the deer were getting the hell out.

Considering the downpour that occurred while I was cooking it in the safety of my warm and dry kitchen, I did not regret my choice to come home a day earlier.

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Drop about 1 tablespoon olive oil into a large frying pan and let that heat up.

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Add in 1 small onion, chopped finely, and sauté for a few minutes, until the onion pieces become translucent. Slice up 2 sausages (your choice, but spicy is probably better) into medallions and cook those with the onion until they’re done all the way through and slightly crispy at the edges.

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Sprinkle on as well as 1/2 teaspoon chipotle (or more if you prefer).

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Crack open a 400g can of baked beans (I chose maple, but chili style would add a kick) and add that to the mix.

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I love this can opener. It is literally the best $16 I ever spent.  I’m so miffed that Lee Valley doesn’t sell them anymore.

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Cook, stirring occasionally, until everything is hot and bubbly and nice and thick.

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Grate up some cheddar cheese (I used 1 cup grated cheddar because I am a greasy glutton) and sprinkle over top of the beans before serving.

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Cheesy Corn Fritters: In the Woods

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Seeing as most of our time camping is spent killing time between meals, it behoves me to put a bit of thought into them so they’re not a disappointment. And that means that all the lunches I made for our camping trip were hot ones. Granted, with everything mixed ahead of time, they were a snap to prepare, but I think the little bit of ceremony required in lighting the grill and getting everything ready made them a bit extra special.

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These quick fritters come from The Camping Cookbook – like most things we made for this trip – and are spectacular.

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Mix together 3/4 cup all-purpose flour and 1/2 teaspoon baking powder in a bowl.

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Beat in 1 large egg and 3/4 cup milk.

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Stir in 75g corn (fresh, frozen, canned, it’s your choice, but make sure it’s well-drained), 1/4 cup shredded cheese, and 1 teaspoon fresh chives).

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Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a frying pan and drop tablespoons of the batter onto the hot surface. Fry 1-2 minutes each side until crispy and golden brown. This recipe will make about 8-12 small fritters, and we served them with some carrots on the side. Tasty and quick!

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Apple and Spice Porridge: In the Woods

 

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This wolf spider and I had a disagreement about where I should tie my laundry line.

There’s nothing like a hot breakfast after crawling out of your warm sleeping bag on a crisp morning at the crack of dawn. While we abandoned our rainy campsite with dampened spirits and dampened everything else, I wanted to continue on with the camp menu, seeing as I had everything ready in any case.

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This creamy version of our traditional porridge is adapted from The Camping Cookbook and adds a nice bit of luxury to a morning spent in the woods. Even a super rainy one.

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Dump 1 1/4 cup milk into a saucepan and bring it to a low boil.

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Add in 1/2 teaspoon salt and 2/3 cup oats and cook, stirring, until the mixture starts to thicken.

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Sprinkle in 1/2 teaspoon allspice and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and reduce the heat a little bit.

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Grate up 1 large apple. I’ve never grated an apple before. It’s oddly satisfying.

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Tip that into the mix and stir until it’s heated through.

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Serve with honey drizzled over top. Perfect.

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Orange and Caramel Bananas: In the Woods

 

Happy Labour Day!Orange Caramel Bananas in the woods 8

I halved the recipe for this dessert from The Camping Cookbook, and it was so good I think I need to make it again from home. Like, all the time.  At this point we were sick of the rain and the damp and had pretty much determined that this would be our last camp meal, so I really hoped it didn’t disappoint. And it didn’t. This is good. And it was easy enough to construct in the dark, in the rain, under a flapping tarpaulin.

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Start by zesting and juicing one orange. Tip the juice and zest into a saucepan.

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Thickly slice up 2 large bananas and set those aside for a moment as well.

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Add 1/4 cup granulated sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla to the orange juice in the pan and cook over medium heat, stirring often, until it starts to caramelize.

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Tip in the banana slices and shake the pan to coat them in the glaze.

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Add in 1 tablespoon butter and cook that, stirring, for 3 minutes, until everything is thick and glossy.

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Rather than add extra dishes to our soggy lot we ate this straight from the pan, piping hot. Worth it.

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adventures in grown-up living

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