Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Candied Plums (& Plum Syrup) | A Darker Shade of Magic

          Tucked amongst the soups, stews, pints, and unknown amber liquids, a certain food stood out to me in Victoria Schwab's A Darker Shade of Magic; candied plums. Mentioned in passing to paint the picture of rich and lively Red London, these sugary delights wouldn't leave my mind after I put the book down and pondered what food to make to celebrate such a fantastic read. When I asked Victoria what A Darker Shade of Magic would be if it was a food (my go-to question for authors), she gave an awesomely specific answer instead for what each (well, 3 out of 4) London would be if it was a food–and she said Red London would be candied plums! (Grey London would be steak-and-ale pie, and White London, vodka).

"The subtle scent of flowers was lost beneath the aroma of cooking meat and freshly cut fruit, heavy spices and mulled wine. A man in dark robes offered candied plums beside a woman selling scrying stones. A vendor poured steaming tea into short glass goblets across from another vibrant stall displaying masks and a third offering tiny vials of water drawn from the Isle, the contents still glowing faintly with its light. Every night of the year, the market lived and breathed and thrived."

–Chap. 11, A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Food Goo, 2 Ways | Voltron: Legendary Defender

"Ahoy, young paladins! I've whipped up a big batch of focusing food. After this meal, you'll be forming Voltron six times a movement and twice on the astral conflux." 

– Coran, S1 EP2, "Voltron: Legendary Defender"

          The paladins quickly dub this green fare "food goo", and it's featured heavily in the series, as it's the primary source of food in the castle-ship. We're not really sure how it's survived 10,000 years or what its makeup is, but it's supposedly very healthy, and very monotonous.

          Below I give you two tasty options for this wonderful food goo! One is a quick blend with beautiful green avocado (so healthy!), and the other is a simple pudding that gets it's natural coloring from saffron and spirulina (both also very healthy ingredients! You could also use matcha green tea powder in place of both of them). Whichever version you decide to try, be sure to eat it with a spork, because all advanced societies use sporks. 😉

Saffron & Spirulina Pudding Food Goo

3 Egg Yolks
1 Tbsp. + 1 tsp. Cornstarch
2 Cups Whole Milk
1/4 Cup Sugar
1/4 tsp. Crumbled Saffron Threads
3/4 tsp. Spirulina Powder
Pinch Salt
1/2 tsp. Vanilla Extract

1. In a pot on medium low, pour 1 3/4 cup of the milk & whisk in the sugar, crumbled saffron, spirulina, & pinch of salt. Let it heat through until the sugar is melted & you've got a nice light green color (this can be heating while you do the next step).

2. In a mixing bowl, whisk the egg yolks by hand or with a handheld mixer (mixer works great), until light and creamy, about 1 minute. Whisk in the cornstarch until smooth, & then whisk in the remaining 1/4 cup of the milk until fully combined.

3. While whisking, slowly pour the warm, green milk mixture into the yolk mixture. Once combined, pour the whole mixture into the pot & cook on medium high, whisking often. The mixture will bubble & begin to thicken after several minutes. Make sure you're whisking constantly at this point. Remove from the heat & pour into small serving dishes (3 little custard cups work well).

4. Lay plastic wrap directly onto the pudding & wrap each dish, & then place them in the fridge to chill for a few hours.

"Oh, I'm hungry again. I hope some food goo comes oozing out of these walls."
– Hunk, S1 EP9, "Voltron: Legendary Defender"
Avocado "Pudding" Food Goo

1 Avocado
1 Kiwi, no seeds (peel it & then cut the sides off around the seedy center)
1 Tbsp. Honey
1 Tbsp. Coconut Cream (from can of coconut milk)
Coconut Milk, till you reach desired consistency, starting at 1 tsp.

1. Simply blend everything together in a food processor, adjusting the amounts to your taste, & voila! Feel free to add in other stuff, like Greek yogurt, protein powder, what have you, but make sure it stays a vibrant green (& you can totally sub things in for the honey & coconut if you need to). Don't let this sit around, as exposed avocado doesn't last long.

* For more Voltron food try Pidge's Peanut Butter Rovers, Lance's Garlic Knots,

Friday, January 20, 2017

Garlic Knots | Voltron: Legendary Defender

"Well, there's only one planet with Veradero Beach, pizza shack looking over the water and the garlic knots and my mom's hugs...(sniffles) I'm sorry. I think this Nunvill is getting to me. I gotta go."
– Lance, S1 EP4, "Voltron: Legendary Defender"

          This mention of Varadero Beach was allusion to the fact that Lance is Cuban, but if anyone had any doubts, Jeremy Shada, Lance's voice actor, confirmed it in an interview (you can watch it here. 2:25 is when Cuba is talked about)! And it sounds like we'll learn more about Lance being Cuban in season 2. 

          So, because Lance is Cuban and mentioned garlic knots, I wanted to give these garlic knots a Cuban flair! There's a popular Cuban condiment called mojo de ajo, or simply mojo, which is hecka garlic-y, so I went that route, but I also thought adding cheese would be yummy, so I incorporated manchego, which is a distinct, oft-used cheese in Cuba. Also, he mentioned the pizza shack, so these knots are made from homemade pizza dough.

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