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26 Jul 21:24

Amazing Baked Goods Made In the Shape of an Adorable Pug, an Elaborate Unicorn and a Cat with a Litter of Kittens

by Lori Dorn

Pug Loaf

Miss Insomnia Tulip of Lou Lou P’s Delights continues her amazing streak of creative baked goods with the brand new Pug Loaf, a loaf of bread shaped just like the wheezy, brachycephalic dog, which she created in answer to a challenge. Miss Insomnia has also created an elaborately decorated unicorn bun with long eyelashes and a colorful tail and mane, in addition to the sumptuous cat loaf that she created in 2013.

Unicorn Bun

Cat Loaf

Cat and Kittens

Sliced Pugloaf

images via Lou Lou P’s Delights

via Foodiggity

26 Jul 06:34


14 Jun 14:55

Grilled Rainbow Peppers with Herb Cream Cheese

by Skinnytaste Gina
Grilled Rainbow Peppers with Herb Cream Cheese – an easy summer appetizer!

These mini peppers are grilled until slightly charred and filled with an herb cream cheese. A great appetizer to make for the summer!

The peppers only take about 2 minutes on each side to cook, and they smell incredible as they begin to char. You can make them ahead and keep them chilled until ready to serve.

The herb cream cheese is so flavorful, with all my favorite garden herbs. You can use any combination you wish. Here I used dill, chives and basil with a little lemon zest to brighten it.

Click Here To See The Full Recipe...
24 Jul 22:38

Car show coming soon to Lakewood Center

The Chamber of Commerce’s summer tradition is nearly here. It's set for Sunday, August 16 at 9:00 a.m. at a new location.

17 Jul 15:16

Black Pepper and Strawberry Jam Doughnuts

by joythebaker

Strawberry Black Pepper Doughnuts (10)

Remember my Summer Bucket List?  (How is your list coming along, BTW?)  

Well… I’m ticking them off.  I’m super close to meeting my running goal of 7 miles AND to celebrate, I’ve decided to cross another goal off my list:  making jelly filled doughnuts!  

To-do lists that include making and eating doughnuts… pretty smart on my part.  Life goals that include making and eating doughnuts… I feel like I’m doing a pretty great job at life.  Get in on this with me.   Strawberry Black Pepper Doughnuts

Doughnuts, luscious and buttery dough from scratch.  Sweet strawberry jam and spicy black pepper for flair.  Why not show off a little?    

Strawberry Black Pepper Doughnuts

We’re making doughnuts!  

I think this recipe is most successfully made with a stand mixer and dough hook.  The dough is soft, wet, and a bit sticky so it’s a little tough to wrestle by hand.  

Into the bowl with flour, very soft butter, egg yolks, a sugar/salt/cinnamon mixture, milk, and yeast mixture.  It may seem strange to just toss it all together, but this is the way of the doughnut.  

Strawberry Black Pepper Doughnuts

I used a spatula to first incorporate the ingredients by hand, just to roughly bring them together.  Once the ingredients form a shaggy ball, I place the bowl on the stand mixer and fit it with the dough hook for many minutes of kneading.  

Strawberry Black Pepper Doughnuts

Doughnut dough is supposed to be soft and loose.  The trick is finding the balance between soft and loosely structured.  I found that I needed to add an additional 1/2 cup of flour to the dough.  It was still soft and stuck to the bowl a bit during kneading, but had enough structure to still relax into a dough ball.  

After about 10 minutes of kneading on the machine, the dough is dusted with flour, the bowl covered in plastic wrap, and left to rest for a few good hours to rise and reflect.  

Strawberry Black Pepper Doughnuts

The risen dough… it really does get big and poofy, in dumped onto a clean counter and kneaded, just slightly, into a taut ball.  

Next:  rolling.  

Well-floured counter.  Well-floured rolling pin.  We’re rolling the dough into a 1/3-inch thickness for slicing and rising.  

Strawberry Black Pepper Doughnuts

A round, about 2-inch, biscuit cutter to make doughnut rounds.  No hole this time around.  We’re going to keep the dough and fill these puppies with jam.  

Strawberry Black Pepper Doughnuts

Deep frying takes some preparation.  We don’t go into this without planning.  

•  Doughnut rounds are placed on a lightly floured, lined baking sheet.  Towel draped over the rounds and left to rest and rise for 30 minutes.  

•  Oil is heated to a hot hot 350 degrees F.  We need a fry/candy thermometer to ensure we’re maintaining 350 degrees.  If the oil is too hot, the doughnuts will brown too quickly and not cook through.  If the oil is not hot enough, the dough will absorb oil as it cooks and that’s pretty gross.  

•  On a rimmed baking sheet we’ll mix our sugar topping:  lots of granulated sugar, a little salt, and a good dose of fresh cracked black pepper.  If you have a pepper grinder, now is the time to use it.  If you don’t have a pepper grinder, you gotta treat yourself.

•  Strawberry jam for filling.  I placed mine in a thick, freezer-safe ziplock bag, cut off a small piece of a corner, and placed a wide pastry top through the small corner hole.  Ready for filling! 

Strawberry Black Pepper Doughnuts

The trick to generously sugar-coated doughnuts?  Straight from the fryer to the pan of sugar.  The hot oil will help the sugar and pepper stick! 

Strawberry Black Pepper Doughnuts

Fresh fried.  Sugar dredged.  Ready for strawberry. 

I used a small knife to make a 1/2-inch slice in the top center of each doughnut.  This is where our jam will go.  Rocket science… I know.  
Strawberry Black Pepper Doughnuts (9)

Get that makeshift, jam-filled plastic bag going and fill these darlings.

Each doughnut will get about 1 heaping tablespoon of jam.  

Strawberry Black Pepper Doughnuts (13)

Sweet and doughy.  I mean… these doughnuts are perfectly doughy.  The egg yolk and butter make for the most luscious, bouncy, delicious doughnut dough.  

The sweetness of strawberry jam is highlighted by the tiny bite-y spice of black pepper.  

They’re doughnut perfection and totally crossed off the list (until the next time I need a doughnut fix… likely Sunday morning).  

Black Pepper and Strawberry Jam Doughnuts
2015-07-16 15:46:28
Write a review
Prep Time
3 hr
Cook Time
2 min
Prep Time
3 hr
Cook Time
2 min
  1. 1 (1/4-oz) package active dry yeast (2 1/2 teaspoons)
  2. 2 tablespoons warm water (105–115°F)
  3. pinch of sugar
  4. 3 1/4 to 3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour plus additional for sprinkling and rolling out dough
  5. 1 cup whole milk, at room temperature
  6. 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
  7. 3 large egg yolks
  8. 3 tablespoons sugar
  9. 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  10. 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  11. About 10 cups vegetable oil for deep frying
For Topping
  1. 2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  2. large pinch of salt
  3. 1 heaping tablespoons freshly cracked black pepper
  4. 1 cup strawberry jam
  1. Stir together yeast, warm water, and pinch of sugar in a small bowl until yeast is dissolved. Let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. (If yeast doesn’t foam, discard and start over with new yeast.)
  2. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer with a dough hook attachment, combie flour (3 1/4 cups), milk, butter, yolks, sugar, salt, cinnamon, and yeast mixture. I like to stir the mixture by hand, with a spatula, to loosely incorporate before transferring to the stand mixer to beat with the dough hook.
  3. Beat at low speed on the mixer with the dough hook until a soft dough forms, about 3 minutes. Add a bit more flour if the dough seems too wet. It will tend to stick to the sides of the bowl a bit, but add flour it it seems overly wet and soft. Increase speed to medium and beat 5 minutes more.
  4. Scrape dough down side of bowl (all around) into center, then sprinkle lightly with flour (to keep a crust from forming). Cover bowl with plastic wrap and a clean kitchen towel (not terry cloth) and let dough rise in a draft-free place at warm room temperature until doubled in bulk, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. (Alternatively, let dough rise in bowl in refrigerator 8 to 12 hours and make fresh doughnuts in the morning.)
  5. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and roll out with a lightly floured rolling pin into a roughly 12-inch round (1/3 inch thick). Cut out as many rounds as possible with 2-inch cutter and transfer doughnuts to a lightly floured large baking sheet. Cover doughnuts with a clean kitchen towel and let rise in a draft-free place at warm room temperature until slightly puffed, about 30 minutes (45 minutes if dough was cold when cutting out doughnuts). Do not reroll scraps. They tend to get tough.
  6. While the doughnut rounds rise, prepare your frying ingredients. Begin to heat your oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Spread sugar, salt and black pepper onto a rimmed baking sheet and stir together. Place jam in a durable plastic bag, fitted with a thick pastry tip. Have a cooling rack or clean pan ready for the sugar dipped doughnuts.
  7. Heat 2 1/2 inches oil in a deep 4-quart heavy pot until it registers 350°F on thermometer. A thermometer is key for this recipe. You need to know just how hot your oil is before the doughnuts fry. Fry doughnuts, 3 at a time, turning occasionally with a wire or mesh skimmer or a slotted spoon, until puffed and golden brown, about 2 minutes per batch (1 minute per side). Transfer the freshly fried, hot doughnuts to the sugar mixture and immediately toss to coat. Coating the doughnuts in sugar works best just out of the fryer so the sugar can stick to the hot oil. Remove from the sugar and allow to rest on a cooling rack before filling.
  8. Return oil to 350°F between batches.
  9. Once the doughnuts are all fried and cooled slightly, use a small knife to cut 1/2-inch slits into the top/center of each doughnut. Use your plastic bag filled with strawberry jam and a pastry tip to squeeze about 1 tablespoon of jam into each doughnut. You can also use a spoon to ad the jam, it just might be a bit messier.
  10. Doughnuts are best enjoy the day they're fried.
By Joy the Baker
Adapted from Gourmet Magazine December 2006
Adapted from Gourmet Magazine December 2006
Joy the Baker
16 Jul 16:20

Sweet Potato Tacos with Lime Crema

by Beth M

Tacos are one of my favorite summer quick fixes. They don’t have to be complicated and they’re not too heavy. Fresh toppings keep the meal light and summery, and allow for personalization. For these tacos I made a quick sweet potato and black bean hash, then topped the tacos with an insanely good lime crema. Okay, so it’s not actually Mexican crema, but it’s a lime flavored sour cream that you can substitute for real crema if your grocery store doesn’t carry a large selection of Hispanic ingredients. At any rate, the lime crema is what really makes these tacos special and I found it so irresistible that I had a hard time not licking it off the spoon. It’s so goooood.

Sweet Potato Tacos with Lime Crema -

5.0 from 6 reviews
Sweet Potato Tacos with Lime Crema
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Total Cost: $6.86
Cost Per Serving: $1.72
Serves: 8 tacos (2 per serving)
Lime Crema
  • 8oz. tub sour cream or crema $1.59
  • 1 fresh lime $0.33
  • ¼ tsp salt $0.02
  • 1 clove garlic $0.08
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil $0.16
  • 2 cloves garlic $0.32
  • 1.25 lbs. sweet potato $1.59
  • 15oz. can black beans $1.19
  • 1 tsp cumin $0.10
  • Salt and Pepper to taste $0.05
  • 2 green onions $0.19
  • ¼ bunch fresh cilantro (optional) $0.25
  • 8 small (taco sized) tortillas $1.15
  1. Prepare the crema first to allow the flavors time to blend. Mince one clove of garlic and use a zester or small holed cheese grater to scrape the thin layer of green zest from the lime. Add the garlic and about 1 tsp of the zest to the sour cream, along with ¼ tsp salt and about 1 tsp of the lime juice. Stir the ingredients to combine then refrigerate until ready to use.
  2. Peel the sweet potatoes, then cut them into small cubes (about ¼ to ½ inch square). Heat a large skillet over medium flame, then add the olive oil and two cloves of minced garlic. Sauté the garlic for about a minute or just until it becomes fragrant. Add the diced sweet potato and a couple tablespoons of water. Sauté the sweet potato until they become soft and just begin to fall apart. Add another couple tablespoons of water during cooking if the skillet becomes dry.
  3. Meanwhile, drain and rinse the black beans. Once the sweet potatoes are soft, add the black beans to the skillet. Season with the cumin, and salt and pepper to taste. Sauté just until the beans are heated through.
  4. Slice the green onions and pull the cilantro leaves from the stems. Roughly chop the cilantro. Stir the sliced green onions into the skillet. Add the cilantro to the skillet if desired, or use it to top each taco.
  5. Prior to filling each tortilla, heat them in a dry skillet until slightly browned and crisp on each side. Smear a small amount of the lime crema down the center of the tortilla, then top with a scoop of the sweet potato and black bean hash. Add fresh cilantro if desired.

Sweet Potato Tacos with Lime Crema -


Step by Step Photos

Lime CremaMake the lime crema first so the flavors have time to blend. Mince one clove of garlic and use a zester or a small holed cheese grater to remove the thin layer of green zest from the lime. Add 1 tsp of the zest and about 1 tsp of the lime juice to the sour cream, along with the minced garlic and 1/4 tsp salt. Stir the ingredients to combine, then refrigerate the crema until you’re ready to use it.

Whole Sweet Potatoes I used two small sweet potatoes, which weighed about 1.25 lbs. total. You don’t have to get that exact weight, but anything within about 1/4 lb. should be fine.

Diced Sweet PotatoesPeel the sweet potatoes, then dice them into small cubes, about 1/4 to 1/2 inch wide. The small shape helps them cook faster and makes the tacos easier to eat.

Sauté GarlicHeat a large skillet over medium flame, then add 1 Tbsp olive oil and 2 cloves of minced garlic. Sauté for one minute or just until the garlic becomes nice and fragrant.

Sauté Sweet PotatoesAdd the diced sweet potatoes along with a couple tablespoons of water. Sauté the sweet potatoes until they become tender and just begin to fall apart a bit. Add a little water as you go if the skillet becomes dry. The water generates steam, which will help soften the potatoes. You really want to make sure the sweet potatoes are tender at this point because a crunchy sweet potato can kind of kill the taco. So, test a few cubes to make sure. It took me about 6-8 minutes to get them soft.

Add Beans and SeasonWhile the sweet potatoes are cooking, drain and rinse one 15oz. can of black beans. Once the potatoes are soft, add the black beans, 1 tsp of cumin, and salt and pepper to taste. Sauté the skillet for a few minutes more, or just until the beans are heated through.

Green onion and CilantroSlice two green onions and roughly chop 1/4 bunch of cilantro. Fold the green onions into the sweet potato has and sprinkle the cilantro on top, if desired.

Smear Lime CremaWhether you’re using flour or corn tortillas, I find that you get a lot more flavor and strength (to hold all those delicious fillings) if you toast the tortillas in a dry skillet first. Just enough to get a little brown color on each side. Smear a little lime crema down the center of the tortilla.

Fill TacoAdd a little scoop of the sweet potato hash and a sprinkle of the chopped cilantro. 

Sweet Potato Tacos with Lime Crema - BudgetBytes.comThat lime crema is the stuff dreams are made of.

I served these tacos with Cilantro Lime Rice and some fresh Pico de Gallo, which you can either serve on the side or add to the taco itself.

The post Sweet Potato Tacos with Lime Crema appeared first on Budget Bytes.

03 Jul 15:00

LEGO Adds New Female STEM Minifigs To Upcoming Sets

by Geek Girl Diva


Continuing a trend that started with the female scientist set, LEGO is adding more female STEM figures to their sets and branching out into other fields.

Check out some examples after the break…

There are female scientists/aerospace engineers and astronauts in the Space Port sets, which includes a Spaceport, Shuttle, and Space Starter Set.


pit crew 2



New Deep Sea Explorer sets have female figures, including a Deep Sea Submariner.

deep sea 2

deep sea


There’s even a female pit crew member in the McLaren Mercedes Pit Stop

pit crew

Over at the LEGO ideas site, there are more cool projects like the Scientists in History collection that that includes female STEM heroes like Marie Curie, Rosalind Franklin and others.




A Lovelace and Babbage set:


lovelace 3

lovelace and babbage

It’s great to see how many creative ideas are out there. I can’t wait to see more.

(Scientific American via The Mary Sue)

24 Jun 15:00

See What’s Inside Loot Crate’s “Cyber” Box For June 2015 [Review]

by Sean Fallon

cyber 6

The Terminator Genisys release is only days away and Loot Crate’s “Cyber” box for June 2015 definitely taps into the excitement. Let’s see what’s inside shall we?


cyber 4


The Terminator Genisys Endo Skull Replica is a Loot Crate exclusive. It smells like it was painted only hours before being put into the box.

There’s also something interesting that you can do with it, but more on that later.

cyber 2

The Terminator Genisys Brain Chip Keychain is another Loot Crate exclusive.

cyber 5

The Borderlands Zer0 Game Mat is pretty badass and big at 10″ x 12″. There’s also a glow-in-the-dark circuit gadget pouch and a Blade Runner Future Replicant Tyrell Corporation Logo Patch.


A Transformers/TRON-inspired shirt.

cyber 7

What’s this now?

cyber 3

Oooh, Battlestar Galactica Cylon target poster replicas. Perfect for Nerf gun target practice in my office.


As always, the Loot Crate boxes can be transformed into something fun. Using scissors, you can turn it into a display stand for your Endo Skull replica. Clever.


The “Cyber” crate was a winner. I love it when these boxes contain a mix of stuff that’s both useful and fun while touching on several of my favorite fandoms. This month’s crate was definitely well thought out.

If you would like to try out Loot Crate for yourself, signup for a subscription here and save 10% off your order with the code “NERDAPPROVED”.

Check out our past Loot Crate reviews to get a better idea of what a subscription is all about.

And don’t forget that one lucky looter will find an epic Mega Crate on their doorstep!

18 Jun 12:00

Lost Hobbes Stuffed Tiger Goes On An Airport Adventure

by Nicole Wakelin


Little 6-year-old Owen Lake accidentally left behind his Hobbes stuffed animal at Tampa International Airport before a flight to Houston. This might sound like the start to a very sad story, but the airport personnel took Hobbes on a grand adventure while waiting for Owen’s return to the airport. He got back his precious Hobbes, and he also received a photo album showing all all the awesome things Hobbes did while they were apart.

See more pictures after the break.







UPDATE: In case you were wondering, similar Hobbes dolls can be found on Etsy.

(Tampa Airport Facebook via Bored Panda)

22 Jun 02:51

Brownie Caramel Sandwich Cookies

by Bakerella

Brownie Caramel Sandwich Cookies

These brownie sandwich cookies are all kinds of yum.

Brownie Cookie Tops

And so tasty that I could have eaten them just like this.

Wait… I did do that.

I had to stop myself so I would have enough cookies left to take pictures of them doubled up for sweet little sandwiches.

Cookie Halves

That’s right, I decided to pipe circles of vanilla buttercream on half of them…

Caramel Filling

And fill the centers with caramel.

Caramel Flling

Because caramel is the right thing to do.

Piping Cookies

I used my pink decorating bags to pipe the buttercream and love them!

Sandwiching Cookies

Okay, time to make the sandwiches. Gently press the tops on to secure all that deliciousness in place.

Brownie Cookies

They stack up so sweet.

Brownie Cookie

And taste even sweeter with that hidden surprise of caramel inside. Soooo YUM!

Brownie Caramel Sandwich Cookies
Makes 12 sandwich cookies

12 oz dark chocolate (I used Guittard Bittersweet 74% Cacao)
7 tablespoons butter, salted
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
3 eggs

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees farenheit and line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Place butter and 10 ounces of the chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Position the bowl over a pot of simmering water. Stir occasionally until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Set aside to cool.
  • Chop remaining 2 ounces of chocolate into small pieces and set aside.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together flour and baking powder and set aside.
  • Mix sugar, eggs and vanilla in a stand mixer on medium high for about 8 minutes.
  • Add melted chocolate to the sugar mixture and fold until combined.
  • Then add flour and remaining chopped chocolate and stir until just combined and the flour has disappeared.
  • Let rest for about five minutes and then scoop dough onto prepared baking sheet about three inches apart.
  • Bake for 8 minutes.

Caramel Filling
1 cup sugar
6 tablespoons butter, salted
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

  • Heat sugar in a medium pot stirring constantly with a wire whisk. The sugar will turn clumpy and then melt before turning into a thick amber-colored liquid. As soon as this happens (Be careful not to allow the sugar to burn) immediately add butter, whisking until completely melted. Remove from heat and slowly add cream. Whisk until combined and smooth. Pour into a glass jar and set aside to cool and thicken. Note: This makes more than you’ll need for the cookies, but you can store in the refrigerator up to two weeks and then reheat to use over ice cream or other treats.

12 tablespoons butter, salted
2 cups confectioner’s sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon heavy whipping cream

  • Using a mixer, beat butter until smooth and creamy. Slowly add confectioners’ sugar and continue beating until combined. Add vanilla and heavy cream and mix until combined.
  • Pipe buttercream circles on half of the brownie cookies. Fill the centers with thickened caramel and gently press remaining brownie cookies on top to sandwich.


Brownie Sandwich Cookies

Note: This photo is of a second batch I made where the cookies came out a little more mounded. Just use a 1/2 cup of flour instead of 1/3 and 5 tablespoons of butter instead of 7 in the above recipe. They were good this way too, but the flatter cookies were tastier.

18 Jun 08:30

Veggie Tacos with Roasted Poblano, Zucchini and Corn

by Annie

I had every intention of sharing this recipe yesterday, but a little thing called Orange is the New Black had me thoroughly distracted. However, we have now completed the season so I can move on with my life until next June, and focus on other important things such as extremely excellent veggie tacos. (Feel free to start a spoiler thread in the comments to discuss if you have watched!) My man (in the “I adore his restaurants and wish we were great friends and neighbors” sense) Rick Bayless recently released a new cookbook and you better believe I bought it at the first opportunity. As expected, it is full of many recipes I can’t wait to try but when I saw these tacos there was no question that they would be the first thing we tried.

I have previously discussed my quest for good meatless taco options. These spicy black bean tacos are one of our favorites and they can hardly be beat for speed and convenience. This version is a different take, chock full of veggies including roasted poblanos. The mixture is filling and satisfying but not at all heavy. Topped with some guacamole and crumbled cotija and wrapped in homemade tortillas, these are definitely a new favorite of ours. In fact, we loved them so much that we made twice in three days! The leftovers have also made for numerous great work lunches for me. This recipe will be especially welcome later in the summer when our zucchini plants are flourishing and the farmers markets have a bounty of corn. Enjoy!

16 Jun 21:40

Elegantly Designed Laser-Engraved Embossing Rolling Pins for Adults and Kids

by Lori Dorn

Damask Damask2

Polish designer Zuzia Kozerska, who uses a laser engraver to carve custom designs into wooden embossing rolling pins, has created a number of new elegantly designed pins–including a set specifically made for kids. In addition to these new designs, Kozerska will also create customized pins to order.

These embossing rolling pins are made from solid beech, protected with oil, (have in mind that, being a natural material, it might present some small imperfections like changes in colour, small fissures etc… this however does not affect neither the quality of use nor the beauty of the rolling pins).

FlowersHearts FlowersHearts2

FolkloreTulips FolkloreTulips2

Labrynth Labyrinth2

Honeycomb Honeycomb

Kids Cats

images via Valek Rolling Pins

via Colossal

01 Jun 23:04

Government Office With a ‘Cat Library’ Where Workers Can Check Out Adoptable Felines for an Hour at a Time

by Lori Dorn

Cat Library

Redditor Loocylooo, a government employee somewhere southern New Mexico recently posted that her office has a “cat library” where workers can “check out” adoptable cats for an hour at a time. The project in order to get a little bit of kitty snuggle time during the workday. The system works both ways as stressed out employees can relax with a hour’s worth of kitty snuggle time and the cats get a little face time with different humans, which helps with socialization.

They work closely with the county animal shelter, and some kittens and cats are sent to us because we get so much traffic from the public, hopefully someone will see a kitty and adopt! In the meantime, they can socialize with the employees to get used to humans. So far over 100 cats have been adopted. The animal shelter is also government run. It is paid for through donations and small fundraisers.

image via Loocylooo

via Tastefully Offensive

29 May 21:07

This Little Mermaid Papercutting Lights Up! AND IT'S SO PRETTY.

by Jen
Remember my oh-so-crafty friend Renee, who made me all those resin rose petal gems?


♪ Look at this stuff! Isn't it neat? ♫

♪ Wouldn't you say this papercutting is sweet?

 I'm in awe, you guys.

And did you notice?

Little Epbot!

Not to mention all those fabulous seahorses. Squee!

 It's like she knows me.

Renee is one of the most creative crafters I know, and she's constantly trying new things. In fact, I think this is her first attempt at papercutting, which is just insaaaane.
She drew the art herself (!!), then used 3 different types of paper to achieve the different levels of translucency: watercolor paper, marker, and vellum. She even used a tiny piece of clear plastic to make the hourglass:

 AWE, I say!

Then Renee layered them all up in a shadowbox frame from Michaels:

Finally, she taped in one of those small LED strands (also from Michaels), cutting a square out of the frame's back to accommodate the battery pack:

 (The glittery stuff is glitter duct tape. :D)

Here it is without the lights on:

 Sorry about the glare! The back layer has a blue-gray cast, which is really pretty.

I'm completely in love with it, and now I want to try one of my own! Something simple, of course, like maybe a glowing Bat Symbol over Gotham's skyline? Oooh, or a Songbird silhouette with a light-up eye? SO MANY POSSIBILITIES. And they'd make great nightlights for a kid's room!

Off to brainstorm. Hope this inspires some craftiness out there!


And now, my two winners for May's Art Roundup ARE...

salamanda76, who wins "Tea Time With Wampa"
Jasry, who wins his/her choice from the Pinterest Give-Away Board!

Congrats, guys, and please e-mail me your mailing addresses!
14 May 07:22

Super(Girl) News!

by Jen
You guys, how did I not know there was a new Supergirl series coming out until CBS released the trailer yesterday?? I have failed as a geek girl.

Anyhoo, if you haven't seen it yet, check it out:

Yep, color me excited.

Even better than watching the trailer for myself was seeing John's reactions as he watched it for the first time. I think there was an actual cheer at one point.

In a way I'm glad we saw this in a vacuum, with no fan critiques to color our first impressions. Because, yes, now that I've read some reviews, I guess there are some areas for concern. The bumbling assistant to the Devil Wears Prada-esque boss is pretty cliché - and it *does* smack uncomfortably close to the recent SNL Black Widow sketch

But I'm only gonna let the fan communities rain on this parade so far, you guys, 'cuz let's face it: more female supers on the screen is an amazing thing.

I like to focus on the positive over here, so let's just take a moment to bask in the hope that this will be an amazing show, shall we? One that will inspire and empower a new generation of geek girls, and remind parents that superheroes aren't just "for boys." And hey, maybe it'll even convince toy manufacturers that female supers should get their own actions figures, dangit. (Harumph.)

I did notice a lot of folks calling out the "girly power ballad," which, ok, I actually liked. (WHAT.)  However, John found a fan's re-cut version scored with "real superhero music," and I gotta admit: VERY cool. Take a look - since you know you wanna watch those action sequences again anyway - and see what you think:

1:20 is where the chills start. AW YISS.

Plus, c'mon:

It's not a plane.
It's not a man.
It's Supergirl.


02 May 14:00

These Fantasy Journal Covers Are So Magnificent, There’s No Need To Actually Read What’s Inside

by Geek Girl Diva


These gorgeous journals by Aniko Koleshnikova of Mandarin Duck are created with polymer clay, imagination, and a great deal of talent. They tell a story all by themselves.

See more of her amazing work after the break.


beetle 2


elephant 2

flowers 2


footprint 2



seduction 2





If you’d like to learn more on how these covers are made, Koleshnikova has YouTube tutorials on journal cover design. You can also purchase her pieces on Etsy.

Makes lovely things and teaches others how to make them as well. I like it.

(via Bored Panda)

02 May 15:00

This AT-AT Boom Box Is All About That Base

by Rielly


On off days from shooting down rebel scum, this AT-AT Walker transforms into the AT-BT (All Terrain Beats Transport) Boombox. Etsy shop owner CalebPaullus knows that the dark side has got “phat beats” so he hand makes each boom box to order with tons of customization options.

“Every AT-BT is unique and built to order, you can pick a color, add a bluetooth module and even some LED accent lightning.”

The standard AT-BT comes with 4 speakers, rechargeable lithium battery (lasts 6 to 8 hours), A/C Adapter, AUX 3.5mm input, and 20watt output on AC, 5 on DC.

I think this boom box paired with the R2-D2 Pinball Coffee Table would complete the ultimate Star Wars super-fan living room. It will also totally wipe out your savings, but it might be worth it!

Product Page ($500.00)

21 Apr 16:00

Dog Love Tee from Alison Rose

by Capree Kimball

i want.

Dog Love Tee from Alison Rose

I’m always on the lookout for cool dog-themed clothing and one of these tees from Alison Rose is definitely on my wishlist! The “Dog Love” pattern is available in a unisex t-shirt, slouchy women’s pullover, and even a baby onesie. Heck, the whole family can show off their dog-loving pride.

Dog Love Tee from Alison Rose in for humans

Dog Love Tee from Alison Rose in for humans

Dog Love Tee from Alison Rose in for humans

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© 2015 Dog Milk | Posted by capree in For Humans | Permalink | 1 comment
21 Apr 20:34

A 10-Piece Set of Stackable Brain Specimen Coasters

by Rollin Bishop

Brain Sections

ThinkGeek has created a nifty set of brain specimen coasters. The 10-coaster set features brain prints that make them each appear like one section of a full brain like those that might be created by a microtome. Each section is labeled, so it shouldn’t be hard to recreate the brain.

In your cerebral cortex right now, there are billions of neurons working like crazy so you exist. And the neat thing about these neurons is how we’ve hijacked a bunch of them into reading these words. Think of all the areas of your brain we are commandeering right now! Poop. We just made you read the word poop. We might also have caused memories and images of poop to plop through your brain. Whew, such power. To celebrate the power of our headiest of organs, we bring you these awesome Brain Specimen Coasters.

Brain Sections

Brain Sections

images via ThinkGeek

08 Apr 14:03

Wisdom Panel 3.0- the next gen DNA test has arrived

by Dr. V

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Mars Veterinary Wisdom 3.0 Panel. Opinions are those of the author.


So, if I showed you a picture of a dog, you may be able to tell me a little about him or her.


You would often be able to make some generalizations about temperament-


Or adult size-

Or medical concerns, such as whether or not a dog can tolerate ivermectin.

But what about when it’s not entirely obvious, as is the case with my friend Karen’s adorable dog Ramone?


He’s been labelled everything from shar-pei to Bernese Mountain Dog to pit bull. Karen doesn’t care, because she evaluated him on an individual basis before deciding he was just perfect, which is what groups with extensive adoption experience like the ASPCA recommend anyway.

On the other hand, there are some good reasons to know the genetic history of a dog beyond the simple novelty of it all. Shelters who have used DNA testing such as the Wisdom panel have found potential adopters really like having a bit of extra information in front of them. For example, my friend adopted a pup about a year ago with a projected weight of 30 pounds who looked pretty similar to these guys:


As of his first birthday, he just topped 50 strapping pounds and still growing.

Or what if you have a dog who might be part Australian shepherd but you’re not sure and he has Demodex? It would be nice to know if he has the MDR1 mutation before taking your chances on a course of ivermectin treatment.




When Mars Veterinary Wisdom panels first came out a while back, people (myself included) had mixed reactions. What started out as a novelty has grown to have some real use. As our knowledge of the canine genome has evolved, so too has the role of DNA testing in dogs, everything from keeping dogs in homes when a misinformed landlord says, “but he LOOKS like a pit bull!” to increasing shelter adoption rates to helping HOAs bust the person who isn’t picking up after their dog’s business in the common area.

The latest version, Wisdom Panel 3.0, has the added benefit of screening for the MDR1 mutation, a test licensed for home use for the first time to Mars Veterinary  by Washington State University. The MDR1 mutation is known to affect particular breeds and results in some very specific drug sensitivities.


Over the next six months, the Wisdom Panel Swab-a-thon Tour will be partnering with communities and shelters to swab the DNA of a number of their dogs, with the reports showcased to help match the pets to compatible homes. (I am really excited about the way this is helping shelter pets!) They will also be offering the product to consumers at the events.

The regular test runs $84.99, but the Swab-a-thons will offer discounts to pet owners during the events. On April 10, 11, & 12th Wisdom Panel will be hosting the first Swab-a-thon at the America’s Family Pet Expo in Costa Mesa, California. Visitors to the Wisdom Panel booth can take home a discounted kit for $49.99. 3 weeks later, you get a report and the results of the MDR1 test for you to discuss with your vet.

For more information about the Wisdom Panel or to see if there’s a Swab-a-thon coming to your area, you can check them out at: Wisdom Panel,  Facebook , Twitter, Pinterest, and on Instagram.

Happy sleuthing! Isn’t science neat?



31 Mar 16:02

wild mushroom pâté

by deb

wild mushroom pâté

Every spring, I promise I’m going to share a recipe for chopped liver. And every year I lose steam, perhaps because there are probably few more divisive foods than organs, or maybe because my instructions on the matter are quite short: just make Ina Garten’s. Ina can do no wrong, and I like to amuse myself by imagining that I’m only eight bestselling cookbooks and three homes in two countries away from basically being her when I grow up. (Sure Deb. Okay.)

... Read the rest of wild mushroom pâté on

© smitten kitchen 2006-2012. | permalink to wild mushroom pâté | 111 comments to date | see more: Appetizer, Passover, Photo, Vegetarian

16 Mar 17:00

Training Your Dogs, According to Tumblr


Submitted by: (via Mandylost)

Tagged: dogs , pets , tumblr , training
14 Mar 14:30

Watch The First Teaser For The Con Man Webseries From Alan Tudyk And Nathan Fillion

by Sean Fallon

con man top

I don’t think there was a doubt in anyone’s mind that an Indiegogo campaign for a webseries featuring Alan Tudyk and Nathan Fillion would be successful.

They’ve already quadrupled their funding goal with 28 days left to go.

Yes, Browncoats are the best—and these guys know it. As thank you to their fans, Alan and Nathan unveiled a teaser for Con Man. I think you’ll agree that this is money well spent.

Check out the video after the break…

Here’s a refresher on what Con Man is all about:

“It’s about the convention world,” says Tudyk, who is also the show’s creator, writer, and director. “My character, Wray Nerely, was on a science fiction show called Spectrum, that was canceled too soon, and now he goes to conventions, to sign head shots, and meet fans, and do panels. Nathan’s character, Jack Moore, who was the captain of the spaceship on Spectrum, has gone on to incredible action-hero stardom, like Matt Damon. My character is frustrated with his situation and frustrated by Jack’s stardom. We follow Wray’s story as he goes to the conventions and does video game voiceovers and we are going to populate it with sci-fi actors and people that you will find at conventions. Zany hi-jinks ensue!”

(Con Man Indiegogo via Nerdist)

13 Mar 20:22

Divers Capture Gorgeous Footage of Galápagos Sea Lions in Their Natural Environment

by Lori Dorn

They cannot be found anywhere else on the planet.

Divers Florian Fischer and Patricio Garcés have captured gorgeous GoPro footage of friendly Galápagos sea lions in their natural environment as they swam together, played around, teased each other, and lolled about lazily on the white sand beaches of South Plaza Island.

13 Mar 20:39

New Dissected Character Murals by Nychos

by E.D.W. Lynch

New Dissected Character Murals by Nychos

In his fantastic mural art, Austrian artist Nychos depicts animals, pop culture figures, and people in cartoonish yet gruesome exploded diagrams. We’ve previously posted about his murals–most recently in 2014. In the intervening months he has produced a wondrous array of new works, and has posted a sizable gallery of Nychos’ recent work.

Nychos is also a contributor to the 10-year anniversary show at Rabbit Eye Movement gallery in Vienna, March 14 to April 15, 2015. He can also be followed on Instagram.

New Dissected Character Murals by Nychos

New Dissected Character Murals by Nychos

New Dissected Character Murals by Nychos

New Dissected Character Murals by Nychos

photos via

via, DesignTAXI, Bored Panda

13 Mar 12:00

High Jump in Kenya

by coach Rick

With something like a hurdle technique. Pretty incredible.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

via Vadim Golub.

13 Mar 16:52

My Retro Game Box, A Monthly Subscription Service for Receiving Random Retro Video Games

by Rollin Bishop

Retro Game Box

My Retro Game Box is a monthly subscription service by Katy and Stu in Scotland that sends out a random assortment of retro video games to subscribers. Games are chosen based on cost and which consoles subscribers have, but the process is a little more complicated than that.

We have developed a system with full, emotional artificial intelligence, and named it Katy.* She will strike up a conversation with you via email after you subscribe, to find out what consoles you have, what games you already have in your collection, and what kind of games you detest. We want you to help us make good choices for you, but we draw the line at giving us a wish-list, otherwise it just isn’t a surprise.

image via Retro Game Box

via Scott Nichols

12 Mar 19:04

First ‘Star Wars’ Standalone Film to be Titled ‘Rogue One’, Rian Johnson to Write & Direct ‘Star Wars: Episode VIII’

by Justin Page

Star Wars
photo of Gareth Edwards, Felicity Jones, and Rian Johnson

During a recent shareholders meeting at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco, Disney chairman and CEO Bob Iger announced that Rogue One will be the title for a new Star Wars standalone film directed by Gareth Edwards (Godzilla, Monsters) and written by Chris Weitz (American Pie, Cinderella). Actress Felicity Jones (The Theory of Everything) has already been cast for the unique adventure film. According to the Star Wars blog, Rogue One will begin shooting this summer in London and is due to release on December 16, 2016.

‘Rogue One’ is the title for the first film in a unique series of big-screen adventures that explores the characters and events beyond the core ‘Star Wars’ saga. The idea for the story of ‘Rogue One’ came from John Knoll, an Academy Award-winning visual effects supervisor and chief creative officer at Industrial Light & Magic.

Iger also stated that Rian Johnson, the talented filmmaker who directed Looper as well as a few episodes of Breaking Bad, will be writing and directing Star Wars: Episode VIII. The film, which is currently set to release on May 26, 2017, will continue the events that take place during Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens.

Star Wars

images via Star Wars

via Star Wars

04 Mar 19:04

The New Trailer For Avengers: Age Of Ultron Gives Us A First Look At Vision

by Geek Girl Diva


The newest trailer for Avengers: Age of Ultron is here and giving us a lot more information on just how Ultron came to be and what that means for the team. There is also a hint at romance between Bruce and Natasha, and your first look at Paul Bettany as Vision.

Check it out after the break.

(via Twitter)

03 Mar 13:00

Movie Posters Need To Be More Like This

by Geek Girl Diva


Sometimes, you just have to stop and appreciate really amazing art, so take a minute and soak in these pieces by Orlando Arocena.

Arocena’s Vector Art Alien tribute poster was part of a recent collection celebrating the 35th anniversary of the film. It’s nice to see his take on some of our other favorite movies.

Head after the break to see some of his incredible work.


winter soldier


star wars



big hero 6


You can check out more of his work over on Behance or on his Facebook page.

(via Teepublic)