Posts Tagged ‘harry potter’

Butterbeer Cupcakes

butterbeer cupcake

Amybites concocted this wonderful recipe for Butterbeer cupcakes. For those of you not familiar with the term “butterbeer,” it is a fictitious (nonalcohloic) beverage in the Harry Potter stories. The cupcakes are really delicious; this is now my third batch, and I’ve probably gained two dress sizes because of them, but oh well.

You can click here to view the recipe, if you want some butterbeer cupcakes of your own (which, believe me, you really do). Without completely reproducing the recipe, I will tell you a few things.

  • At each spot where she says to beat the ingredients, whip the batter real good. The fluffier, the better.
  • You can shortcut the double boiler with store bought butterscotch ganache, but I like to make my own from scratch.
  • If you don’t have a squeeze bottle, you just need to get one- you can buy it for a buck, but it’s too important to skip. When you go to put the butterscotch ganache into the cupcakes, wait for them to cool a little. When it sinks into the cupcake, put more in until the cake stops absorbing the ganache. This usually takes several passes for me, but it’s worth it.
  • Do not skimp on special ingredients. I cheated on the immitation butter flavoring and they turned out mediocre and weren’t worth the effort.
  • Put a block of cream cheese in the frosting. It gives it less of a sugary confectioners’ sugar sweetness and brings more of a salty contrast to the cupcakes.

They make 18 cupcakes, and take about an hour from start to finish.

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Florean Fortescue’s Ice Cream Parlor

Lego has this really cool program you can download and play with called Digital Designer. It’s free and relatively easy to figure out and use, and I find it rather addictive. I am happy to say that after a lot of work, last night I finished a project I’d been making with that software: Florean Fortescue’s Ice Cream Parlor!
It is 908 pieces, although I could probably have economized on that a bit. I bet if I tried, I could have whittled it down to 850 or something, but working with virtual legos makes it kind of hard to tell which pieces are superfluous and which are necessary.


I made it to match the size of the other buildings in the Diagon Alley set. Hopefully, I will actually build it one day, although the bricks will cost a fortune. Probably the next project will be the Leaky Cauldron or perhaps Quality Quidditch Supplies.

If you’re so inclined, you can click here to see the lengthy and convoluted (because they are computer-generated) instructions for building it. I had briefly entertained thoughts of creating a shopping list of the different bricks needed to make this, but lost interest and scrapped the idea. Click here to download some sticker templates I made for the two signs.

Thinking mostly about The Prisoner of Azkaban -with Harry living at the inn and doing homework at the ice cream shop- I included a few accessories like books and extra foody looking things that I couldn’t place on the building itself. I also included a street lamp and a potted plant that I never found a place for just because Florean Fortescue seemed like the kind of guy who would like plants. Those are all on the left front side of the model.

The building itself includes a patio outside, a bar and two tables inside along with a few shelves and restaurant-like details. I included a shelf on a hinged back wall for the sole reason that the shop seemed to need a shelf full of dishes and I couldn’t find any other place to put it.


There is nothing specifically talking about how many floors are in the building in any of the books, so I took the liberty to design a second-story flat with the notion that Florean might have lived there. There is a trap door above the bar that folds downward, and a ladder that can rotate up into the flat or open down to the ice cream shop. That took me forever to design, and is a detail I’m pretty proud of.


Here are some screenshots of the two floors seperated so that the details are more visible.




I’m planning on taking over the world.

and I’ll have an awesome robot warrior to help me.

This is one of theKRE-O Transformers Bumblebee sets. I got it for Christmas from my mom

Here he is, transformed into a car, hanging out with the Weasley’s Ford Anglia. Hedwig and Norbert have taken it for a drive.

Harry Potter Album Cover Art

Nice. Iconic album covers with a little fan art touchup I found this here, and these are my favorites from this list:

but I couldn’t help thinking of a few others that would have fit well (I mean, Abby Road? That one was just screaming to be done.)

Diagon Road


The Dark Side of the Hallows


Robert Pattinson, I apologize for doing this to your face. I just couldn’t resist. Vampire weekend… hee hee.

Slytherin Arm Warmers

After finding this set on etsy or ebay or wherever it was, I made these. I have no idea where I will ever be able to wear them, but I just finished them a few hours ago and can’t stop putting them on and taking them off again. Maybe some nerdy convention where it’s okay to be an adult dressed up in comic book clothes? I don’t know… I need to find a neo-victorian crowd to hang out with so I can wear these things around. I am so giddy about this right now!

As for the specs, I used t-shirt knit for the gray fabric and cotton flannel for the green. The five strips of cloth are 12″ long and 2.5″ wide except for the upper-most stripe, which is 3.5″. I used 1/8″ brushed nickel eyelets from some scrapbooking store and the cord is cotton. There are 16 eyelets on each arm warmer, and the fold in which I embedded them is about 3/4″, but really I didn’t measure that- I put them on my arm and pinched them to a tightness that looked and felt right, pinned them there, and then ironed it before hammering in the eyelets with a setter that is pretty close to this one.

As per usual with my sewing projects, I started this thinking it would be as easy as 1-2-3. It ended up taking several days, and this is now my fourth set, but I finally got them done and am quite pleased with the outcome.

Christmas Wish List!

Christmas is coming… the geese are getting fat;
Please put a penny in the old man’s hat.
If you haven’t got a penny, a half-penny will do.
If you haven’t got a half-penny, God bless you!

My mom used to sing that to us around Christmastime when we were kids, and I find myself singing it off and on all through the month of December. It’s almost here! Yay! My husband and I are exchanging wish lists, and this is a slightly edited version of mine. Edited in that some of these are things I don’t think really merit the cost- it isn’t a very realistic list- it’s more like a collection of things I think are cool/wouldn’t mind owning. But people can buy me this stuff if they want to.

This is not the image from the cover of their cd, but I can't find the real thing. Giraffe Attack is this amazing band in Maine with BNL kinda material with a Raconteurs kinda sound and... um... well they call themselves Giraffe Attack. I like all the stuff they've uploaded thus far and have every intention of aqcuiring this album one day. Hopefully for Christmas.

The Babylock Imagine! My sewing skills have not yet reached the point where I feel like I can justify purchasing a serger, but I waaaant one...

The Dansko Marcelle. I own a pair of these already and have been so happy with them that I want to get some new ones to replace them when they go. They're like a hundred and fifty dollars for a pair, but believe me- they're worth it.

Subtle enough that I could avoid the embarassment of blurting out that I'm a Harry Potter fan. I don't know why I should feel embarassed. There are plenty of respectable adults who like this. This tripe. Okay, it's official. I'm coming out of the closet and saying- I like Harry Potter. And I'd probably have ended up in Slytherin. The arm warmers were sold on EBay a while back. I think I would have to make my own to get another pair just like them, and I'm considering doing just that. They're sooo rad.

Footie pajamas! These have SOCK MONKEY FEET! Available in Target- I ask you, who wouldn't want them? Okay, it's probably a pain to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night, but still. Pajamas with sock monkey feet!

Some magazines I like. I've never been sure if I liked them enough to subscribe, though (especially when twelve issues runs $75...)

Reblogging- I still really want this. I am trying not to mention it too much to my husband, but this hat is making me drool on myself.

This little cutie has started showing up on Red Carpets everywhere; I kind of hope someone starts making a knock-off for non-rich people, and I also kind of want to make my own out of a beat up old book.

Somehow I now feel like this is a selfish post. Oh well… the stuff was cool… Hey, if Oprah can do her favorite things, why can’t I?

Good Craft Idea for Little Kids and Some Entertainers being Entertaining

Popsicle Stick Puzzle!

My boss passed this on at the beginning of the year and my kids loved it. It came from this article of Disney’s Family Fun magazine.

The supplies are easy- markers, tape, craft sticks… any kind or amount will do for all of these.
Put some tape over them to hold them together.
Flip them over and draw a picture! I made a giraffe.

This is a leopard with a tree full of monkeys.

*I would like to add two pieces of advice on this- if you plan to do this with a group of kids, have them write their names on the back of each stick before they make a picture. Then you don’t have loose popsicle sticks floating around homeless. The other thing is that you should guide the child to make sure the picture covers all the pieces and has some cohesive sense to it. Have them describe the picture they want to make first, and then when they go to draw, it will make a better puzzle.

Also, with Deathly Hallows’ coming to theaters today, this is hilarious and ought to be watched. Some of the cast trying to speak “American…” It is quite humorous.

Ya know, I’ve heard many Americans tell British people that their accent is beautiful, but I don’t think I’ve ever heard a person from the UK say that to a person from here. I wonder why…

Book Love

I really enjoy reading kids’ books, and here are a few I just got at a trip to the bookstore:

The one is called “Fever 1793” by Laura Halse Anderson, and follows the Philadelphia yellow fever outbreak of 1793 through the eyes of a teenaged girl. It’s a good, gripping disease novel; very exciting and easy to read. I got my first copy three or four years ago and have loaned it out to many kids, always to rave reviews. The copy in the picture was purchased to be part of a birthday gift.

The second book is “Princess Academy” by Shannon Hale and follows a mountain village girl from what I think is a fictional kingdom set up to look a little like Switzerland (although I could be wrong). A royal decree obliges all the young girls in her village to be trained to be presented to the prince so he can choose a wife from among them. The setting is appealing and the characters are likable; this book was recommended by a thirteen-year-old, and is quite enjoyable as such.

I also got this:

It’s a purse/bookbag made of woven recycled juice cartons! I couldn’t not get it!

What I didn’t get:

It was a sketchbook with the Undesireable No. 1 Poster on the cover! I didn’t get it. I am fifteen bucks richer and have that much more self respect, but it was totally cool. You can get one here, for a few bucks cheaper than the in-store price, but B&N’s doesn’t have a picture of it. The cover is just the poster.

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