Forget Algebra. THIS is a skill which will serve you well for the rest of your life: how to transform chocolate chip cookies into little cups that you can fill with milk. Here's a tutorial and recipe.
When it comes to illustration painting techniques, the sky is the limit. In fact, there are so many ways to tell your story in painted images that it can just about make your head spin. But we can help you manage the creative madness. Get ready to prep, sketch and paint: Here are the must-know techniques for amazing painted illustrations! Check out the full post here.
You probably shouldn't believe everything you read on the internet, but usually I do.
So when I came across a tutorial that told me that I could draw on a plain ceramic mug with permanent marker, pop it in the oven for a spell, and when it came out the ink would be baked in, I believed it enough to grab the closest sharpie. My friend, a unicorn named Creampuff, was eager to jump in and help.
By the way, as an aside, if you're wondering how Creampuff got her name, it had to do with this incident:
So together we drew all over the mug, then popped it in the oven for a while.
When it came out, it was too hot to touch, but after a half hour or so it had cooled. Lo and behold, that ink wasn't going anywhere! (For best results, hand wash). So I'm comfortable passing on this sweet trick I learned from the internet, to you, dear readers!
How to DIY Mugs Using a Sharpie and Not Much Else
- Plain ceramic mugs (colored or white is fine)
- A baking tray (we used a pie plate)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- While the oven preheats, get artistic. I had help from a unicorn, who whispered clever sayings in my ear, but you do the best you can if you don't have a unicorn around. Try not to smear anything--it's somewhat tough on the curved surface!
- Place the mug in the center of a baking sheet or pie plate and put in the preheated oven.
- "Bake" for 30 minutes. Remove the tray gently. Even though this looks like a mug that you want to touch, DO NOT. It is very hot. I know this sounds dumb but you just wait. You will be tempted to touch it.
- Once its' cooled, use as you normally would.So far, mine has proven dishwasher and sink-washing safe.
UPDATE: After four washings in the dish washer, the pen started to fade off. So for best results, hand wash.
As for the easter paper behind the mug in the pictures? What can I say, the unicorn chose it. They think it should always be jelly bean season.
Desserts That You Should Try During Your Sharm El Sheikh Vacation
If you're looking for a vacation where you can relax in perfect weather, while indulging your taste for good food, one place stands out. Sharm El Sheikh holidays are perfect if you like to soak up the sun, relax in a beach setting, enjoy sumptuous meals and delectable desserts, and basically enjoy your summer break. It has everything you could want.
Egyptian food includes influences from several countries such as Syria, Turkey, the Lebanon, Greece and France. Some desserts have a lot in common with similar dishes in the Levant, but the Egyptian ones have developed a little differently. They use natural ingredients, but have a high sugar content - but, then, you're on holiday, so why not?
Egyptian Sweet Couscous Dessert
You're probably familiar with couscous, even if you've never travelled to the Middle East or North Africa, but have you tried it in a dessert? Use this opportunity to get acquainted with the sweet variety. Expect to taste almonds and pistachios, rose water and fruit juice, butter, cinnamon, and of course, sugar. It will come to you garnished with fruit, candy-coated almonds (kufeta) and pomegranate seeds. Drink it with a glass of cold milk, or a small cup of Arabic coffee.
Ataif (Arab Filled Pancakes)
If you have a fondness for pancakes, try these! Stuffed with sweetened chopped walnuts, flavoured with cinnamon, and soaked in a sweet syrup of rose water and lemon juice, they are delicious hot or cold.
Ancient Egyptian Date Candy
Don't worry, this isn't a dish that's past its sell-by date, but one that dates from a time when dates, figs,pomegranates and grapes were all that could be grown in the heat - that would have been around 1600 BC. The current recipe was found on an ostraca, or piece of pottery. The sweets are formed from a mixture of dates, cinnamon, kardemon seeds, and ground walnuts. Each one is covered with warm honey and ground almonds.
Umm Ali (Egyptian Bread and Butter Pudding)
Also spelt as Omm Ali, which means Mother of Ali, this is nothing like the traditional Western version. A concoction of crumbled pastry, cream-enriched custard, chopped nuts, raisins and egg, it's served with more cream, and sprinkled with cinnamon.
Egyptian desserts will definitely tickle your taste buds and stimulate your sweet tooth, for this reason you shouldn’t forget to visit the top-notch cafes and restaurants when your Sharm El Sheikh pushes through. This is one of the best things that you can do!
You heard that right. You don't need an ice cream maker to make ice cream at all! It comes out creamy and delicious. Here's how to make ice cream at home without an ice cream maker!
Now, most of you know me through my writing about sweets. But as it turns out, I have valuable thoughts on illustration and art methodology as well! Check out this post with 7 stellar tips for making your pen and ink work sparkle.
When is the last time you thought about the bottom of your chocolate chip cookie?
People have debated for years, decades, close to a century about how to make already-good chocolate chip cookies even better. Toast the nuts. Don't toast the nuts. Forgo the nuts entirely. Rest the dough. Add more brown sugar.
While well-intentioned, I humbly have to submit that this is the easiest, least controversial, and most taste-pleasing to make your cookies better: coat the bottoms of the cookies with chocolate.
I know. But it is truly the gateway to chocolate delight.
You see, the brilliance behind this method is that from the top, it looks like just an everyday chocolate chip cookie, but then when you bite into it, you're greeted with a delightful taste surprise. If you ask me, it tastes even better because there is the aspect of joy of discovery: you bite into a cookie expecting, you know, awesome chocolate chip cookie, and then--OMIGOD! It is so chocolatey that your head may be tempted to spin.
It's an easy method to employ in your baking, and between you and me, it could be used for cookies other than chocolate chip. Some cookies such as chocolate dipped macaroons or sugar cookies are thinking along similar lines, but they lack the ninja-like stealth of the choco-bottom in terms of delightful taste surprise.
I've elected to call these cookies "Choco-belly chocolate chip cookies" because indeed, this method of preparing cookies does take the oft-overlooked underbelly of the cookie and raise it to a thing of celebrated beauty.
So how do you do it?
I could be totally snarky and tell you "simply melt chocolate and brush or spread it on the bottom of your cookies", but I won't do that, because I want to share the cookie recipe, which is quite good, too. It makes a nice cookie: crispy on the edges, chewy on the inside. I liked 'em. DO listen to the chilling part of the recipe, because if you don't your cookies will spread considerably.
So here goes. Prepare your taste buds for a deliciously wild ride.
Choco-belly chocolate chip cookies
adapted from a chocolate chip cookies recipe on Craftsy
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 cup walnuts or pecans, some coarsely and some quite finely chopped
- 2 cups chocolate morsels, divided
Cream the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add in both the brown and white sugar and mix to combine. Stir in the egg and egg yolk, one at a time, until fully incorporated. Stir in the vanilla.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, salt, baking soda and pecans. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet until just combined. Fold in 1 cup of the chocolate chips.
Refrigerate dough for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Remove dough from the fridge and scoop onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, about 2 inches apart. Bake for 12 minutes and remove from the oven. Cookies will look slightly underdone, but will continue baking on the hot cookie sheet. Once cooled, transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Once cooled, melt the remaining chocolate in the top of a double boiler.
Brush or spread a layer of chocolate (fairly thin, but enough to be opaque) on the bottoms of the cookies. Place them back on the wire rack, bottoms up. Let them cool until the chocolate has set.
Enjoy. Like you needed to be told.
Lose your fear of the crust! Increase your pie prowess with this easy, yet (importantly) impressive-looking lattice crust. Here's how to do it! I promise, it really is easy!