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.How's My Driving?.

Okay so I've been meaning to make one of these things :D This is a post where you all can leave comments on how you think I am playing our little resident House founder. Comments are screened, and anonymous comments are allowed. Please feel free to comment here with:

1) Telling me ways I can improve/fix my portrayal of Helga Hufflepuff. Constructive crit is nice.
2) Love her? I always do love me some compliments. It also lets me know that I'm doing her justice :D
3) Plot ideas! I love plotting things with others~ Especially if she doesn't interact with you in canon (because, well, she really DOESN'T interact with any of you hello she's been dead for how long?). You can leave them here, or just IM me



This is sticky'd so it'll be at the top of my posts. Feel free to keep leaving comments/suggestions/praise/what have you.

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.011 - Fortunes

Just a quick note before I run out, I'll be sitting by the Great Lake for the remainder of the afternoon if anyone would like to stop by. I'll be doing my Divination homework, so if you'd like to help me practice I'll be reading fortunes with playing cards!

If not, stop by to say 'hi' and snag a cupcake and chat :)

Ta!

.010 - Chocolate Kisses!

I always thought that National Kiss Day was in July, but I've heard some girls in the halls mentioning that it was today? Well, I suppose I can go along with that.

So if anyone would like a ~surprise kiss~ from me today, just find me and say so!

;)

....

....

....

OF COURSE! By Surprise Kiss I mean one of these:

* 1 cup softened butter (No Substitutes)
* 1/2 cup granulated sugar
* 1 teaspoon vanilla
* 2 1/2 cups flour
* 3/4 cup chopped pecan pieces
* 1 bag Hershey's chocolate kiss (Foil Taken Off)
* 1 box powdered sugar

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Cream together butter, sugar and vanilla in a large bowl until fluffy.
3. Gradually add in the flour and chopped pecans.
4. Take about 1 Tbs. of the dough and roll into a ball.
5. Press the dough down in the palm of your hand.
6. Take a Hershey's Kiss and place it in the middle of your dough.
7. Bring the sides of the dough up and around the Hershey's Kiss.
8. Once the candy is completely surrounded by the dough, roll it again in the palm of your hands until a ball forms.
9. Repeat this step until you use all of your candy or until all of your dough is gone.
10. Place cookies on an un-greased cookie sheet and bake for only 10-11 minutes.
11. Once cookies are completely cooled, roll them in the powdered sugar and ENJOY!


See you around!

.009 - New School Year!

Fourth year has officially begun! Once again looking forward to classes. Herbology will be easy, and so will Diviniation, but that's always good to have a few easy classes in my schedule! But I must make sure that I keep up the good work in Charms and Potions.

I got a letter from Mother, and she said that the wedding was a lovely ceremony. She sent me a few pictures -- everything turned out so well! I wish I could have been around to see the completed decorations for myself after I put in so much time to help out.

Maybe if my bakery plan doesn't go through, I can just help decorate for weddings haha just kidding! I don't know if I'd be able to do that other than on occasion.

Anyways I better start working on some Transfiguration! I'm a bit out of practice after not being able to do it all summer.

PS It is really lovely outside. I think I shall go down to the Great Lake after lunch when I have a free period~

.008 - Cupcakes! (And a recipe)

Ohdearme I had nearly forgotten that it was about time to go back to school! I was so caught up in helping Mom with a rather fancy floral arrangement for a wedding that will be taking place here in a few days! Ah, I love weddings! I'm a bit sad that I will miss this one, as I had wanted to help out more with decorating. The arrangements look so lovely so far~ I'm hoping my parents will take pictures (I'm sure Dad will~)

But, of course, tomorrow is the last day of summer break. Eeee so excited to be going back to school. I had to make sure I had finished all my assignments before I got too excited though ;) But cupcakes will be made tomorrow. I only hope that I make enough. I would hate to run out before everyone had a chance to get one...

Oh, and in case you were interested, here's my recipe! I'm not above sharing my kitchen secrets ;) as the best recipes are the ones you get from others, right?

Ingredients:

Batter:


1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup milk

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

1 cup granulated sugar

2 large eggs


Vanilla Buttercream Frosting:

1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

2 cups confectioner’s (powdered) sugar

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2 to 3 tablespoons milk or half and half cream


Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare one standard 12-cup muffin pan; line with paper cupcake liners.

Batter:
2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt; whisk together to mix. Set aside.

3. In a small mixing bowl, stir the milk and vanilla together. Set aside.

4. In a large bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

Tip: To cream, start by placing the butter in the bowl, with an electric mixer on medium speed begin by beating the butter about 1 minute until it is smooth and light in color. If creaming by hand with a wooden spoon, use the backside of the spoon and move your arm in a circular motion to spread the butter over the bottom and up the side of the bowl. Move your arm quickly to beat or “whip” the butter.

With the mixer still on medium speed, slowly add the sugar to the butter, either one tablespoon at a time, or in a very slow steady stream, taking from 4 to 8 minutes to add all of the sugar, and beating until the butter and sugar are fully incorporated and the mixture is a light, or pale yellow color, with a fluffy texture. While adding the sugar, stop the mixer occasionally to scrape the mixture off the paddle and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula so the mixture blends evenly.

5. Add eggs one at a time, beating until thoroughly mixed.

Tip: For each egg, crack the egg into a small bowl and whisk with a fork to thoroughly break up the egg before adding to the creamed mixture. Start with the mixer on low speed so the liquid from the egg doesn’t splatter, once the egg is partially mixed increase the speed to medium. Each egg should be fully incorporated into the mixture before adding the next egg, taking about one minute to blend in each egg.

6. With the mixer on low speed, add about one third of the flour mixture, mix just until the flour is almost completely blended. Scrape the bowl down, and add about one half of the milk mixture, blending just until mixed. Scrape the bowl down again and continue alternating with the flour mixture and milk mixture, ending with the last portion of the flour, and stirring just until blended.

7. Spoon the batter into the cupcake liners. Fill about 2/3 full, using about 1/4 cup of batter per cup.

Tip: Avoid over-filling the liners which may cause the batter to run-over the sides when baking. It is better to bake any remaining batter separately after the first pan of cupcakes has finished baking.

Bake:

8. Bake 18 to 20 minutes, rotating pan halfway through, or until the cakes are just firm and spring back when gently pressed, and a toothpick, wooden skewer, or cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool slightly in cupcake pan, and turn out of pan when cool enough to handle. Repeat process with any remaining batter. Cool cupcakes completely on a wire cooling rack before frosting.

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting:
9. In a medium bowl and using an electric hand mixer or wooden spoon beat the butter until fluffy. Add vanilla and 2 tablespoons milk or half and half cream; beat until frosting is smooth and creamy. Add additional milk if necessary to make a good spreading consistency.


Follow the smell of cupcakes on the 1st and you'll find me ;)

.007 - New Year!

Ohmygosh I think it has finally hit me that I am going to be a fourth year! I mean, sure, I got my letter a few weeks ago detailing all that I need to get but, as we started to gather some of the things this weekend, it finally hit me.

Not to mention I'll turn 14 in a few months! Shake off the last of the young age and start moving into the full-on teen mode.

I'm looking forward to seeing everyone again that I haven't during the summer. I planned on bringing some cupcakes to the first day, so come and find me on the Hogwarts Express if you would like one!
Calling all students with a cold!!
(Or students who would just like to help~)

I have just finished up a successful batch of pepper-up soup!
If you're willing, please come down to the kitchens today any time after three!
I'll be there from then until dinner with some of my new chicken noodle soup mixed with pepper-up potion!

Sick or not, there are always wonderful benefits for a boost to your system and a delicious bowl of chicken noodle soup~

PS! if you need help finding the kitchens, let me know~
I'll have my journal with me and so I can help you along ;)

.006 - Progress!

At least, I think I'm making progress! It doesn't taste overwhelmingly like ~MINT~ now, at least! haha~

Oh, as to what I mean! Poppy and I were discussing how good chicken noodle soup and a pepper-up potion can be for a common cold. I got the idea of "hey why not combine them" and so I've been trying! Got to make sure all the flavors harmonize perfectly, though, because who wants to eat something that tastes kind of funky when they're already feeling sick?

But! Once I get a finished product (or at least a decent tasting one) is there anyone out there with a cold that would be willing to help me test it? So far I haven't had any serious side effects (the worst was when it ended up feeling like I took two Pepper-up potions at once--boy did my sinuses clear up after that burst of steam! haha). I'd just be interested to see how well they actually work to curing a cold--since that can't be tested on healthy people. All I can tell is if it tastes good!

Also, I think I might be making some baked goods some time in the near future. Sort of as "get better" tokens, but not for your physical health. Because what is more of a mental pick-me-up than delicious cupcakes?! Anyone who is willing to help me gets first dibs on the treats ;)

PS! Oh I nearly forgot! Valentines is coming up really fast. That means I get to make fudge for all my friends! :) I wonder what I should put in it...

.005 - White Elephant + Holiday Party

Oh, dear, I just realised that I went ahead and used the term 'white elephant' in my last journal entry without really describing what it is. I got the term from my family in the States, and come to think of it I don't think it is all that popular of a term elsewhere. So for those of you who were interested in a little gift exchange at the end-of-term holiday party, here is how it would work!

+ Everyone who is interested in playing will bring a gift. The point of this is just if you have some trivial little thing that you've been meaning to get rid of but have never had the chance but you think someone else might enjoy. Gag gifts are fine (and welcomed -- I once got a ceramic salmon!).
+ Gifts should be wrapped and without a name tag on them.
+ When you arrive, just put your gift under the trees that will be there (if I can find a way to get some there...) (if not they will be in a pile in the corner ;))
+ Around 8PM (since the party will be over at 9), everyone who brought a gift will form a circle and all the presents will be put in the middle.
+ Everyone will be assigned a number, and that will be the order you go in to grab a gift!

+ Person #1 will (obviously) go first. They will pick a gift from the pile, unwrap it and then show it off to everyone!
+ Person #2 then has the option of either taking a gift from the middle, unwrapping it and showing it off, OR they can steal #1's gift! If #1's gift is stolen, they have to pick another gift from the middle and unwrap that.
+ Person #3 can either take a gift from the middle or steal #1's or #2's gift, and the process repeats until all of the gifts are open!



As a reminder: This little party will take place the NIGHT BEFORE THE TRAIN LEAVES! 6PM-9PM It will be going on during dinner, but there will be plenty of good food that is normally served during the Christmas feast! So even if you are going home for break, you can still participate! This will give you one last chance to hang out with everyone once finals are over before the winter hols start ;)

While you're here reading this (if you haven't left in the middle of the description of how to play White Elephant!), then I'd like to ask for a bit of help!

+ Is there anyone who knows how to get me some Christmas trees? Just a few that can fit into one of the classrooms on the first floor :)
+ Anyone willing to help me decorate? I've got a few made already, but I'll need help putting them up (and I'll need help if we get Christmas trees!) The more, the merrier :) I'd probably like you to come help out before the party actually starts. I'd probably ask someone to lead it for me as I go down to the kitchens to help with the food~
+ On that point, anyone willing to help me with the food is more than willing! We'd meet up in the classroom and then just go down to the kitchen once I'm sure that enough people will be able to handle the decorating~ While the House Elves will be helping make most of the food, I always like to throw my hand in every now and then!

I do believe that covers it! So if there is anyone willing to help out in any of those above three points, let me know!




PS There may or may not be some mistletoe ;)

.004 - Winter Hols

Wow this term seems to be going by so quickly. And, well, so much is happening, isn't it? At least, what I can tell from the journals and all. Sometime next week or so, people that will be staying at Hogwarts over winter break will be signing the list, and we'll all be starting to worry about finals.

So, what with the winter hols coming up, I thought it might be a fun idea to have a little end-of-term party! Not quite at the same level that the Gryffindor's Halloween party was, but I was just thinking in an empty classroom after finals or some such. It would only go until 9, cause that's when curfew is, but still a chance to relax and eat delicious holiday food that you wouldn't get unless you were staying over break for the Christmas feast ;) Anyways, it would be in place of an end of term feast that we don't get for the end of first term!

Anyone is welcome to come, even if it's just to pop in for a bit and steal a cookie or two :) Drop me a comment if you're interested or would want to help set up or anything like that :D And if people are interested, we could try a white elephant gift exchange.




On the same thread of this: I'm pretty sure I'll be staying at Hogwarts over winter break. The parents are thinking about going to the States to visit some extended family and those sort of gatherings normally involve lots of old aunts' sloppy kisses and cheek pinching. And telling the same story over and over again about how school is going. Is anyone else planning on staying?