Articles by " Athena Flint"
26 Apr
2015

Cooking with Kards: A Feast of Ice and Fire

In honor of the new season of Game of Thrones, I decided it was the perfect time to cook something from the GOT cookbook: A feast of Ice and Fire. Long story short, this cook book is amazeballs. Like I recommend it 100%. Let me tell you why!

Let me talk about just the cookbook itself for a minute. (don't worry, I'll get to testing a recipe, but you HAVE to know these awesome things).

Look at that spread.

Look at that spread.

This cook book has some amazing features. It's got beautiful pictures and well written recipes. But my favorite two things about this cook book are these:

First of all, it pairs each recipe with a quote from the GOT books mentioning the food. Each of these recipes is something that a character from GOT encountered. How wicked cool is that? You really CAN dine like a Lannister.

But here's the BEST thing. You might be thinking right now, anyone can make a recipe and call it by a name that sounds like it would fit in the Game of Thrones universe, right? It doesn't mean that food is going to TASTE like it belongs in Game of Thrones. It could be newfangled hokey pokey, right?
WRONG. Most of these recipies, and there are a LOT of them, offer a 'modern recipie' and an actual medieval or historical recipe. Like, these things are made to taste just like they would in ye olden days with castles. You can ACTUALLY eat the dense and rich wonderful foods of Medieval times. Like the delisious types of food that would be covering a long table in the great hall, that a room full of cooks laboured over for hours to impress the nobility. THAT IS THE FOOD YOU CAN COOK.

So are you excited yet? BECAUSE YOU FREAKING SHOULD BE.

Granted, none of this so far guaruntees that the food is going to be good, right? Well, that's what I'm here for. Your own personal recipe tester TO the RESCUE!

Finished Product!

Finished Product!

I decided to test the medieval Pork Pie recipe. because that sounds delicious. Things that are called for by this recipe include saffron (just a pinch), dates, currants and lots of honey. So it is meant to be a sweet and dense hot pie to warm your belly in the cold winter, but also satisfy the sweet tooth that nobility could afford to have.

The pork pie was really quite easy to make. it took a little bit of time, but I didn't have anything but fun while making it. And the best part is that it was SO FREAKING YUMMY. Seriously. It was so good.

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This pie was not light and fluffy. It was dense and sweet and wonderful. It was the type of pie that you could take with you on a long trip without worry of it collapsing. It was a solid, beautiful piece of food. It was very clear that it was in fact a medieval type recipe. There was nothing made up about it. it was solid.

If this one recipe is ANY indication of what the rest of the book is like, YOU NEED TO BUY IT NOW. Seriously. I'm going to buy it. And I'm going to make Roman peaches with a honey and cumin sauce. It's happening.

 

 

LOOK HOW STURDY THIS THING IS I CAN EAT IT WITH MY HANDS

LOOK HOW STURDY THIS THING IS I CAN EAT IT WITH MY HANDS

Medieval Pie crust

Pinch of saffron
½ cup water
½ cup unsalted butter
3 cups flour
2 egg yolks, slightly beaten

Dissolve the saffron in the water. Meanwhile, rub the butter into the flour with your fingers until there are only crumb-sized pieces of butter left, then add the egg yolks and the saffron water. Stir until entirely incorporates, adding more water very gradually if needed, until everything just sticks together.

 

Medieval pork pie

1 ½ pounds ground pork
½ teaspoon salt
4 egg yolks
2 teaspoons ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
1/3 cup honey
½ cup dried currants
½ cup chopped dates
1 batch of medieval pastry crust unbaked

Preheat oven to 375

Brown the pork in a skillet over medium heat. Let cool slightly and mix well with the salt, egg yolks, spices, honey and fruits. (the filling should be very moist.) place the mixture in the pie shell and add the lid. Fold the top dough under the edge of the bottom crust and pinch the edges shut. Cut decorative steam holes in the top of the pastry, and bake for 45 min to an hour, or until golden brown.

15 Apr
2015

Emma Watson turns 25!

emma-watson

Pretty AND Powerful. That's how you do it.

 

HP and the Philosopher's Stone

HP and the Philosopher's Stone

Just for perspective, Emma Watson was 11 when the first HP movie came out in 2001.

She was 21 when the final HP movie came out in 2011.

It has now been 4 years since then end of the Harry Potter Movie magic.

And Emma Watson is now 25.

(Dear HP fans, do you feel old? I know I do.)

Personally, Emma Watson is kind of my hero. We all know that she's a fantastic actor. And we all know that she never let fame go to her head. But Emma Watson has gone on to prove that she is actually an amazing and empowered woman who wants to make the world better for everyone! YAY!

I mean, if any of you DON'T know about #HeForShe by now..... well, you might want to consider catching up.

emmaGolden

Golden Globes 2015

Here are some super rad facts about Emma that will make you love her even more than you probably do right now. 

-Early on in her role as Hermione, Emma was so determined to rock it that she may.... have also memorized Harry and Ron's lines. You can see her mouthing along with them in this (adorable but awkward) clip on youtube.

-Emma is a certified Yoga instructor. CAN YOU EVEN IMAGINE.

-She journals every night.

-Both of her parents are lawyers. Which is probably why she is SO dang smart. You need a good brain on your head to get out of doing the dishes with two lawyers in the house. Not that she would really try and do that.

-She has a degree in English Literature.

-She named her pet cats Bubbles and Domino.

-Emma once missed an Oscars after-party because she fell asleep in her hotel room. When she woke up she decided to just order a pizza. No, this was not when she was 11. This was in 2014.

 

She's super the best, right? Happy Birthday, Emma! We're so glad you're you!

 

13 Apr
2015

National Library Week 2015

I don't know if you know this, but we love libraries. I mean, we love books, so of course we love giant buildings that are dedicated to public access to said books.

Now if you're like me, you are in love with ALL librarians. My dream job, once upon a time, was to work in a library. And then I found a website called Librarian Problems, where they basically explain all the horrible gross things that they have to deal with. That was the end of that dream. I super prefer to work here at this little bookstore where I don't need to tell people how to use a computer every five minutes and deal with returned books that have unidentified sticky on them...

But seriously, whether or not you yourself are a Librarian, you should check out Librarian Problems. Here are some gems from the website:

A potty training book comes back with water damage.

waterdamage

Someone tries to enter the Rare Book room with a pen. withapen

A patron asks for help with the computer and then tells me I'm doing it wrong. NeverWrong

After handling a sticky book.stickybook

When someone makes a fellow Librarian cry.
vomitOnYou

When I see someone dog-earring a page.

dogEar

Check out even more amazing Librarian Problem posts HERE!

5 Apr
2015

Happy Easter!

spring sunrise

Don't you feel all warm and lovely just looking at it?

This time of year always makes me so HYPER. .... and I swear to Glob, it is not the chocolate or the jelly beans.
It's the feeling of life flowing back into the earth, the warmth creeping back into the day, the sun shining, the birds chirping, the frosty mornings that melt with the sunshine.

When I was really little, (before I became a heathen) my family used to go to a sunrise Easter service every year. We would put on these amazing lacy frilly, pink, blue and purple dresses, and these adorable big floppy hats. You know, the quintessential Easter outfit. And we would wake up ridiculously early and head out into the chilly air to go to church.

I don't remember much about the services, but I do remember the feel of the air on those mornings. There was always something magical about the way the cool air met the dawn light, and the sky lit up with rainbow colors, that faded into a light blue sky. Sure, finding the Easter basket was highly anticipated, but that morning sky was actually my favorite.

So maybe you don't celebrate Easter, or maybe you do. Regardless, I hope you have a moment to enjoy the warm spring air creeping back into your heart. Winter is over. The time of death and sleep and cold and dark has finally come to an end for the year. Embrace the new spring! Treat yourself to a cleansing shower and a new spring outfit, and make sure to wake up and see the beautiful sunrise this Easter Spring Season.

But also. Enjoy the chocolate bunnies. But not too much. Veggie Tales will tell you all about it.

 

1 Apr
2015

Happy Birthday to the Mother of Pern

Anne-McCaffrey-007

The word-smith herself.

When I was young, I spent a very large portion of my life living in Pern.
Clearly, I mean that I read Anne McCaffrey books a lot. I do not mean that I actually owned dragons. You would be reading that from a Newspaper, not our blog, if that were the case.

My first ever Pern book was Dragonsong. I remember finding it on a dark corner shelf in my school library. There were dragons, and there was music, so I was sold just based on the title. What I didn't realize at the time was that I was about to dive head and heart first into my very favorite imaginary world.

Anne McCaffrey set quite a bold path for women writers in Science Fiction. She was the first woman to win the Hugo award as well as the Nebula Award. And just as she was a strong woman in her field, her female characters had the same strength. When she wrote Restoree, a book that features an amazing woman who is hell bent on surviving being abducted by an alien race, McCaffrey explained: "I was so tired of all the weak women screaming eicher001ain the corner while their boyfriends were beating off the aliens. I wouldn't have been—I'd've been in there swinging with something or kicking them as hard as I could."

You Go, Anne McCaffrey. You kick those Alien Butts. <3

In honor of Anne McCaffrey's Birthday, I suggest you take a trip to Pern and find your own dragon.

26 Mar
2015

Cooking with Kards: 50 Shades of Kale

IMG_20150324_122907

That's my "50 shades of what now?" face.

Well, since the world has just finished reeling from the whole 50 shades of Grey moving THING that happened, I figured now was the perfect time for me to review 50 shades of Kale. Kale is in now, guys. And this cookbook is all about teaching you how to treat it right.

Seriously. the first chapter, Submit to Her Charms, includes a section called "How to Treat Her Right". They weren't messing around with the whole 50 shades theme. This books is strangely.... sexual? about Kale. but like, not in a scary way.

For real though, if you know someone who is obsessed with Kale and has a sense of humor, this is like the perfect gift for them. because it's yeah. you love kale. You love her hard. and fresh. and wet. It's funny, guys.

So there are over 50 recipes in this book, and I was tempted by a lot of them. I mean, there's Kale omelets, energy drinks, ramen, bloody marys, sorbet, steak fajitas, SO MANY THINGS. with Kale.

I actually chose two recipes to try, but was only able to make one of them, do to a fruit incident. (The Kiwis were like rock hard for a week and then they were still rock hard and I gave up on them) So, for your reading pleasure, I have reviewed the wonderful yumtastic mushroom and kale risotto.

IMG_20150324_123020

mmmmm cooking.

So. I'm going to be honest, this recipe had one (pretty significant) flaw that I didn't notice until it was too late. The instructions call for 5 cups of thinly chopped Kale. because, you know it's a Kale recipe book. Problem is, after the ingredients list, kale is never mentioned again.

Yeah. That's right. In the KALE cookbook, they forgot to include the KALE.

So, I didn't figure this out until I was most of the way done making the risotto. My decision was to throw the kale in with the rice to cook down. and it was successful. but I have no idea what was ACTUALLY supposed to happen with it. whatevs.

IMG_20150324_123428

a somewhat fuzzy picture of the final product. I should have taken another one but then my food was gone. Because I ate it.

The risotto was SO YUMMY guys. it was a really nice earthy, filling, fantastic hot meal of goodness. The flavor of mushroom was not at all overwhelming, it was nice and subtle, and I mean, you couldn't really taste the kale at all. For those of you who think they don't like Kale, you should just pretend that there is no Kale and you will still love it. And get lots of vitamins and stuff because Kale is a superfood or something like that. Even Ellen says so.

Anyway, I seriously recommend this book, for multiple reasons.

1. The recipes look amazing, and the one that I tried was FOR SURE amazing.
2. Just think of all the people who will get a kick out of seeing this in your Kitchen. "50 shades of KALE? whaaaat?" And then you can be like, right? it's cray. *cue giggles*
3. Imagine how fun it will be to drink that Kalejito while reading the other recipes out loud in your sexy voice. Go ahead. try some of this quotes out. You know you want to: "melted cheese and golden onions in this omelette are guaranteed to induce lust, but it's the mushrooms that will bring you to your knees." Not convinced?  Stop by the store. I'll read some of it FOR you. in my sexy voice. And if you're lucky, I'll break out 50 shades of Chicken too.

 

Mushroom and Kale Risotto

4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ pound assorted mushrooms, chopped
1 small onion or 2 leeks, white part only, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme or rosemary
½ teaspoon sea salt
1 cup risotto rice, such as Arborio, Carnaroli, or Vialone Nano. (Or, just regular rice.)
1 cup dry white wine
5 ounces kale, trimmed and thinly sliced (about 5 cups)
½ cup grated or shaved parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
¼ teaspoon cracked lack pepper

Place the broth in a small saucepan over low heat. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add the olive oil. Add the mushrooms, onion, garlic, thyme and salt. Cook for 6 to 8 minutes, stirring often, until the mushrooms give off their liquid and the onion starts to soften. Add the rice and cook 1 minute more, stirring once or twice.

Add the wine and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring continuously, until the liquid is completely absorbed. Add the Kale! Continue to add ½-cup amounts of the broth as the rice cooks, for a total of about 30 minutes, until the rice is softened but still al dente. Stir in half of the cheese and the butter. Sprinkle with the black pepper. Serve immediately with the remaining cheese.

 

 

22 Mar
2015

Happy Birthday, Wonder Woman!

wwoman

Wonder Woman: As beautiful as Aphrodite, wise as Athena, stronger than Hercules, and swifter than Mercury

If there is one thing I have learned (YET AGAIN) from following the news on the upcoming Wonder Woman movie, it is this: DO NOT READ THE COMMENTS. *sigh*

So in case you don't know, Wonder Woman's first live action, solo film will be out in 2017.
I am already anxious. and excited. And the rest of the internet has all the other emotions in the world as well.

So let me be completely upfront with y'all. Yesterday I knew next to nothing about Wonder Woman. But I volunteered to write this blog because I wanted to learn some things about her. And I have!

wonder-woman

This lady will totes kick the bad guy's butt.

Here are some of the fun things I learned:

- Wonder Woman is FREAKING AWESOME. nuff said about that one.

- The creator of Wonder Woman was William Moulton Marston, the same guy who invented the polygraph! (Hence WW's Magic Lasso of Truth!) Marston's wife suggested that he make a female super hero, and he took that and ran with it. Fun fact, Marston and his wife were polyamorous, and he based Wonder Woman's character on the best features of his wife AND his girlfriend lover. Apparently they were super rad gals.

-  Marston created Wonder Woman partly because he thought women were way better at things than men. This apparently stemmed from his research for the polygraph he was inventing... In his experience, women were far less likely to lie.  I could tell you lots more about Marston and Wonder Woman's creation process because it's really really interesting, but you should probably go read things directly from experts that are not me.

But here is a really great quote from Marston: "Not even girls want to be girls so long as our feminine archetype lacks force, strength, and power. Not wanting to be girls, they don't want to be tender, submissive, peace-loving as good women are. Women's strong qualities have become despised because of their weakness. The obvious remedy is to create a feminine character with all the strength of Superman plus all the allure of a good and beautiful woman."

gal-gadot-wonder-woman-costume

Wonder Woman will be played by Gal Gadot, an Israeli actress who isn't known for much just yet, but hopefully they know what they're doing.

- Because DC did a number of reboots, Wonder Woman has multiple 'canon' backstories. (In one of them, she was made of clay and breathed to life, because she don't need no daddy) Her die-hard fans don't all agree on which one is the 'Real' backstory, which is partly why this upcoming movie is already causing drama. The movie makers have chosen to run with Wonder Woman's ties to Greek Gods, and some people reallllly don't like that. But maybe it will be okay. Maybe the movie will be so awesome that all the fans will be like, oh okay. that's cool. But who am I kidding. Everyone knows how popular rioting is. Sigh.

- Wonder woman has been around for about 80 years, but aside from like one or two comics,  it wasn't until recently that she had any female writers! Here is a fanTAStic article by Jodi Picoult, one of Wonder Woman's writers. 

So, I'm going to leave it at that. Hopefully, now you're all super interested about Wonder Woman and want to go read even more about her! I know I do. Seriously. I'm a fan now. Which makes sense because my name is Athena.

18 Mar
2015

Cue the Cringing! It’s Awkward Moments Day!

I am the queen of awkward moments.

The other day (Once upon a time) I was working at the store, and someone decided to make me use a ladder. All was going well until I decided that I would just.... step backwards off the ladder. From NOT the bottom step. CUE VERY LOUD FALLING NOISE!

So that's like a level one cringe. the part that made it a level five cringe is that as I'm there, laying on the floor in the silence that has dropped over the whole store, my gut instinct was NOT to laugh and be like, It's cool guys. I'm alive.

No. My gut instinct was to let out a guttural ROAR.

AUUUUUUUUUGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHGHHHGHGHGH!

GIF-scream-Donald-Glover-anger-angry-screaming-GIF

I'M SCREAMING

So just imagine, you're shopping at Kards. It's a lovely weekend day, and you're giggling to yourself about the instant underpants we sell (one of the TWO varieties we have in stock). And then you hear a large crash of doom. And then, a SCREAM THAT SOUNDS LIKE DEAMONS ARE COMING OUT OF SOMEONE'S THROAT.

casawkward

Cas thinks I'm a little crazy. But he'd never tell me. He's too nice.

Yeah. That's awkward. and possibly scary. But mostly awkward, because some girl just stopped the whole store in their tracks by Rage Roaring.

This is just one VERY SMALL instance of me being an awkward person. I have many MANY stories. In fact, sometimes, in my darkest moments I sit in a dark corner and think of all the very painfully awkward things I have done. The good news is that my life is not a Will Ferrell movie yet. But it might be a little Zoolander.... :/ Yeah. That's a little awkward.

But you know what? I'm okay with that.
We're all a little awkward, aren't we?
Right?
Guys. Right?
Oh. It's just me? Well..... that's awkward.

awkwardgif1