1 shell 2 shell

Maces and talons post

I could not stop wondering how this game works, how many pieces it has, how it is supposed to be played and if it is related to chess in any way.

So without further ado, a very long post about all its appearances and possible pieces.

Viggo uses it as a metaphor (despite him disliking metaphors) for his battle with Hiccup. Its first appearance was during Viggo’s introduction, in which he held a dramatic little speech about how he came to love the game.

He shows us the first piece, the Viking chief which he speaks of as “honorable” although he could have also been talking about the player being honorable in his or her strategy. I’ll just call the piece the Viking chief, as honorable is not used as an important part of the piece’s portrayal.

Next we get a close up of the board, left we see a dragon, in the middle stands the Viking chief and just behind it lies a longship. On the right there is a figure facing the camera, holding a sword in his hands, I’ll call it the swordsman for now. The figure seen from the back looks like he is holding a shield in his hand. And lastly Viggo holds a spare miniature mace.

In the next episode Viggo leaves Hiccup a maces and talons board with three pieces. Hiccup pointed at the left one and said it was supposed to represent him, the Viking chief. On the right stood the chief of the Marauders, the leading piece of the other party. The two chiefs start sound like the black and white kings on a chess board. Both pieces carry the same title, namely the title of chief, and are clearly of opposing teams.

In the middle stands the impostor, or the traitor as Hiccup calls it. Viggo later confirms that the piece is named the impostor, but also goes by the name of the traitor, possibly because of its role in the game. Hiccup stated that the traitor always dies in the end, which bears some resemblance to the role of the spy in Stratego. (The spy can take out the highest ranking piece of Stratego if he attacks first, but dies by the hand of any other piece). It also suggests that the traitor is a much anticipated piece. Players use it a lot and as a result it dies so often it ends up dead during most of the played games. Both the impostor and the spy die most of the time, but are still pretty important pieces to a player.

Fishlegs comments that “the game was designed to test the abilities and decision making expertise of future chiefs in the heat of battle”, telling us that it is a game stimulating a war where the player is the leader of their force, not unlike popular real-life games such as chess and Risk.

By now we can also identify the figure from Viggo’s board that was seen from the back. It is probably the chief of the Marauders. Both pieces carry a shield in their left hands and both have a helmet with a shorter horn on one side. The impostor (as seen on the right below) also carries a shield, but lacks the belt that both figures on the left have. Its shield appears to be more ornate amd the sides of its mouth point downwards. Another difference is the sword in the right hand of the impostor. The chief of the Marauders does not hold anything in his hand.

The impostor is also spoken of as singular. It’s other known name and role as the traitor could very well mean that there is only one of these in the game, flip-flopping from the Vikings’ side to the Marauders’ and back.

Next we get a scene where Viggo and Dagur play the game using real life people as pieces. They speak of “my longship” and “your kingship”, implying that both players own one of each of these ships. Any of these four could be the ship seen on Viggo’s board, but my money is on the longship. I would expect something a little more impressive from a piece called the kingship.

There are also eight hunters, addressed with possessives as well, making the total sixteen, just like pawns in a chess game. The word “hunters” used to address their pieces could both be the official name of the figures, or the name given to them because they are played by dragon hunters.

At the end of their game one of Viggo’s hunters/pawns holds a mace to Dagur’s Viking king’s head. This mace could very well be the miniature mace he used to knock over a figure during his introduction, making that mace one of multiple. If there was only one mace in the game, it would have been THE mace to Dagur’s Viking king ’s head.

Dagur has the figure of the Viking king, which I believe is the same as the Viking chief. Taking out Dagur’s viking king made Viggo the winner, in resemblance of taking out the king on a chess board. As seen on the board Viggo left Hiccup, the Marauder chief and the Viking chief are the leaders of their respective parties and probably the most important pieces as well. Having another king on each side would not make a lot of sense, so I’m just going to assume the Marauder king/Marauder chief and the Viking king/Viking chief are the same piece.

It is also worth noting that if Dagur plays the Viking chief, Viggo is the Marauder chief, just like he was on the board he left Hiccup. Apparently Viggo prefers playing the Marauders’ side. Maybe because it gives some sort of advantage in the way the player playing the white chess pieces starts the game? Or maybe he identifies with the Marauders more, seeing as the said himself playing the “honorable Viking chief” was what got him to lose from his grandfather.

The last we see of the game in season 2 is Hiccup holding the viking chief.

By now we know that the game is well known because every member of the gang seems to remember this game. Hiccup feels the need to point out which figure is which and what their roles are, so the gang’s knowledge of it might be a bit shady. This does not seem illogical, after all not everyone can recite the rules of a real-life strategy game at the drop of a hat. Only those who play it often (in this case Hiccup) may.

It has the following pieces: The viking chief, the Marauder chief, one or more impostors, two kingships, two longships, eight viking pawns, and eight marauder pawns. Figures not identified yet are a swordsman and a dragon, both of which could belong to any of the two parties.

All those pieces can never fit on the board together without making it impossible to move them. Every time we see a Maces and talons board there are only a few pieces on the board itself. Either they have been removed, or as Dagur said “have been taken out” or they are yet to be added as the game progresses. A third option would be that a player is able to trade pieces on the board for pieces not used at that moment in the way a pawn can become a rook or queen. I’d personally prefer the second theory, making the board pieces similar to the troops used in Risk that a player can add at the start of each turn.

Lastly we know it is played by strategists to test their intelligence.

So far so good, now it gets confusing~>

The game makes its reappearance in the season finale as Hiccup meets Viggo and hands him a piece that is most likely the impostor. the confusing part is that he was seen holding the Viking chief back in season 2.

We also get a view of the board, with the longship from Viggo’s board back in Maces and talons Part 1, the dragon and the figure that looks like the Marauder chief, but with a sword. I’ll call it a pawn. (My explanation will follow later, keep reading).

We get two more shots of the board, both from roughly the same angle. They show the longship on the left, the swordsman in the back, two impostors in the middle, the dragon and on the far right the Marauder chief.

I don’t know if this was a mistake, intentional or just Hiccup messing with Viggo by returning him another piece. Viggo does not comment on this, rendering the last theory unlikely, unless he chose to keep quiet to frustrate Hiccup.

Next we see Ruff, Tuff and Fishlegs playing the game. On the screencap above stand the Viking chief and the swordsman and on the screencap below Fishlegs looks at the dragon, a longship and the impostor.

On Tuffnut’s side we have a pawn, the Viking chief (so far the Viking chief is the only figure with bent horns) and the swordsman. The Viking chief and the swordsman are likely to be the same as the ones two screencaps up. Not much new information is given.

On the contrary, the game’s last appearance is VERY interesting. Fishlegs and Snotlout play against Heather and Astrid and their game is in full progress when the camera hovers over the board.

There are two ships on the board and two beside it: the longships and the kingships. It looks like the animators used the same model, so we can’t tell the difference between the two kind of ships, but I am sure the characters can.

The two pictures above show that there are multiple pieces of the figure with the sword in one hand and a shield in the other, pretty much confirming that these are the pawns.

Below I have marked every piece I could identify. Circled in green are the four ships, two kingships and two longships. There are eight pawns in red, one impostor in blue and three dragons in orange. Unidentified are three objects in the top left corner.

All figures marked with orange have a tail and wings, making the total of dragons three while the Marauder chief and the Viking chief are nowhere to be seen.

There are three pieces left unidentified. On the side lies a figure without bent horns, with a belt and without a sword in his right hand. If I have to guess I’d say it is the swordsman. The swordsman has so far only been seen once per game and was not on the board itself. The little piece on the right looks like a spare mace to me. In the middle lies something I cannot identify AT ALL, but given that it was hinted at that there were multiple maces in the game, I’d pin this object as a second mace.

My conclusions~>

Except for two little errors, I’d say maces and talons is a very detailed and logical game with many elements from real life war-simulator board games.

The first error is that Hiccup gives Viggo a second impostor in Defenders of the wing Part 1, despite holding a Viking chief at the end of Maces and talons Part 2. For the conclusion, let’s assume this was a mistake and Hiccup actually handed Viggo the viking chief. This would turn the impostor into an unique piece, matching Heather and Fishlegs’ game where I marked only one figure in blue.

The second error are the three dragons on Heather and Fishlegs’ board and the lack of the two opposing chiefs. My guess is that there is only one dragon and that two of these dragons were supposed to be the chiefs instead. This is a guess, as the dragon has so far only been seen once per board. It has never been addressed, nor hinted at, so anything about it would remain a mere shot in the dark.

With those errors fixed… Let’s move on to the real conclusion

The game features two parties at war with each other, the Marauders and the vikings. The parties are led by their chiefs, and taking out the opposing chief will win you the game, like the king on a chess board. Each party consists of a longship, a kingship, a mace and eight pawns. Furthermore the game houses one dragon and one swordsman, both without known designated roles, and one impostor who does not belong to either side an usually pays for this with its life.

Furthermore, the Viking chief holds two axes while the Marauder chief holds up his hand without holding something in it. A spare piece of the game is the Marauders’ mace, which I think could fit into the empty hand of the Marauder chief. If the Marauder chief wins, the player can take out the mace and knock the Viking chief over in a chessmate kind of style.

Not all pieces are on the board at the same time, usually only a few are seen on the battlefield, tying into the strategy-part of the game. Picking the right pieces to play with at the right time could be a huge intelligence test for the player, reminiscent of how a player picks a card to play during various card games.

There seem to be rules on how the pieces are supposed to move across the board as well, yet I do know them, nor could I figure them out.

All in all Maces and talons seems inspired by turn-based strategy games like Risk and Stratego to some degree, while keeping Chess as its main influence.

So what do you guys think? Feel free to add your theories! ^^



BONUS:

Dash is dead + need new people to follow!!!

Hi hi hi so my dash is dead and I only see posts from the same 10 peeps so if you blog the following PLEASE REBLOG! I need to follow more people…

-Akira
-Big Windup!
-Sailor Moon (original + crystal)
-Studio Ghibli
-K Project
-gangsta
-Flowers of Evil
-Maison ikkoku
-KNB (kuroko no basket)
-Cowboy Bebop
-Death Note
-Shin Chan
-Osomatsu San
-Yu Yu Hakusho
-Gundam (Wig + Mobile Suit + entire series)
-Ghost in the Shell
-Manga caps
-Black Jack
-Tsuritama
-Bungou Stray Dogs
-Bleach
-One Piece
-Ranma ½
-Princess Jellyfish
-Guro Manga
-Kuroshitsuji
-FMA
-Monochrome animanga blogs as well~
-retro anime
-sports anime
-code geass
-durarara
-angel beats!
-love live! series
-samurai champloo

🌙🐚How to cleanse your home before  bed 🐚🌙

Originally posted by lady-necro-hoffmann

So I’ve seen many spells and rituals made by many witches about how to cleanse, but none have been quite as effective as I would want. So I thought I would make my own using some sea inspired tools! 

you will need:

🕯  2 white candles

🕯  amethyst (for psyche healing, evokes deep sleep)

🕯 black tourmaline (for grounding and purifying, protective, clears energy blockages)

🕯 sea salt

🕯 sea shells (2) 

what to do:

1) take your sea shell(s) and put a little sea salt in them

2) place one shell (with salt inside) nearest your front door

3) place the black tourmaline in the shell on top of the salt

4) take your other shell (with salt inside) and place it at your back door

5) place an amethyst on either side of the shell

6) light your candles as you enchant them with warm, cozy energy and place them in front of or behind your shells. Feel the warmth of the flame, and let it soak into you until you are all warm and cozy inside!

💖 blow out your candle, cozy up into your blankets, and sleep well! wait until the morning to clean up your ritual 💖

(optional) before you start, light some amber and cedar incense (:

Hiccup has PTSD after Shell Shocked Part 2 (RTTE S5 Theory)

Okay, so this is a really interesting theory I’ve developed with my most recent re-watch of RTTE Season 4. I’m going to go ahead and apologize because I have no idea how to do that “Keep Reading” thing, and this is going to be long.

So the last two episodes of RTTE Season 4 was named Shell Shocked Parts 1 and 2. Shell Shock was actually the word for PTSD before science declared it a disorder. For those of you who don’t know, PTSD is a mental disorder that is “triggered after either witnessing or experiencing a terrifying event.” 

The name for Viggo’s operation was “Operation Shell-Fire” not “Operation Shell-Shock” It would make no sense from a writing perspective to name these episodes “Shell Shocked” unless they were planning to give a character Shell Shock.

But what event would give Hiccup Shell Shock? A lot of very stressful events occurred during both Shell Shocked parts 1 and 2, but I think we can all agree that the most stressful event for Hiccup was when Viggo held Astrid at Axe - point and demanded Hiccup choose between her and his future or the Dragon Eye. Hiccup, not wanting Viggo to have the Dragon Eye back but also not wanting to loose Astrid, threw the Dragon Eye into the volcano nearby. Viggo chased after it and fell into the volcano, screaming Hiccup’s name once he started to fall. Soon after Viggo’s death (Since we now know Viggo survived we can’t deny how traumatic an experience that must have been for Hiccup just seeing it) we see the volcano on the Edge explode, more than likely taking Hiccup’s home away from home and burning it to the ground. And if the Edge survived, several dragons must have gotten hurt. 

I don’t have a link or anything (Sorry about that, and because I don’t have a link I don’t expect anyone to take my word on it) but I remember an interview where Douglas Sloan and Art Brown - the head writers of the show - said that the last 3 episodes would have the most emotional tests for Hiccup. That is something worth noting.

The show has increasingly been getting darker anyway. Remember Enemy of My Enemy? The Snotlout Anxiety Episode? Midnight Scrum? Berk nearly dying of starvation in Dire Straights?

Now, we all know that Viggo had plenty of deep quotes from Maces and Talons Parts 1 and 2 that foreshadowed future events, the most popular being the one where Viggo says “Black and white can become gray so easily.” However, there is one quote from Viggo that never seemed to connect to anything, until now. In Maces and Talons Part 1, Viggo takes Heather to an edge in his camp and he tells her “A man will never know how far he’s willing to go until he steps to the edge and looks down.” There hasn’t been any other moment in the show that I can recall where a character symbolically does this, except in Shell Shocked Part 2, where Hiccup runs - or you could even say “races” - to the edge of the volcano, looks down and says, “It didn’t have to end this way.” That was Hiccup’s moment where he realized how far he really went, and how far he was willing to go.

The Shell Shocked person might have been Viggo since we know he survived. Falling into the volcano must have been traumatic for him too.

But I don’t think so.

It does make sense for it to be Hiccup because it would 100% explain why he is so anti-violence in HTTYD2. From what I have been seeing around the fandom, all theories on how Hiccup became the strong supporter of peace in HTTYD2 revolves around Hiccup realizing that he can change anyone’s mind about dragons by giving them a flight. It worked with Astrid, Stoick, kind of Dagur, Mala, and the other teens in Hiccup’s gang. But what if the real reason he is so anti-violence is for a much darker reason? Part of the definition of PTSD or Shell Shock, is to “avoid situations that bring back the trauma”. If Hiccup never goes into another conflict with violence, then what happened to Viggo won’t ever happen again. No one has to die (or nearly die) from any decision Hiccup made. 

Also: The show is no stranger to giving a character a mental problem, for lack of a better word. In one episode, Snotlout was super paranoid about not being important enough for the gang, thanks to his father’s words. In that episode, Snotlout had some extreme anxiety and was very insecure. And after seeing Midnight Scrum (let’s talk about how violent that episode was), I wouldn’t be shocked if they continued along such a dark path for Hiccup. Especially remembering that Hiccup jumped at Grump’s explosion at the beginning of How to Train Your Dragon 2. Maybe the sound of the explosion took him somewhere in his past.

But that is just my theory and while I’m not sure I like this route that the show has the opportunity to take right now, I can’t deny that it is completely possible and probable.

Also, I am certainly no expert on PTSD and if I mentioned anything in the above that is inaccurate to the diagnosis, please tell me so that I may remove or edit that section.

If you read this far, thank you! I know my thoughts were all over the place, so you might not have understood a word. But thank you for your time! 

Chipotle Lime Edamame

This was about 50% of my diet all winter. It’s gluten free, nut free, vegan, easy to make, high in protein, and keeps in the fridge for forever. It’s best served cold, so no need to heat it up!

Ingredients:

  • One bag frozen, microwavable, shelled edamame
  • 1-2 limes, depending on how limey you like things
  • Shelled pumpkin or sunflower seeds
  • Chipotle powder
  • Salt and pepper

Instructions:

  • Cook edamame according to instructions on bag
  • Cut lime(s) into quarters and squeeze onto edamame
  • Add chipotle powder, salt, and pepper to taste
  • Sprinkle seeds on top

Protip: always add seeds immediately before serving, otherwise they will get soggy in the fridge. 

Congratulations, you just ate a green thing! 

About “Ghost in the Shell“

I really like all the stuff related to the “Ghost in the Shell” series. At the same time, I know it might be a little tricky to gather the correct order of all episodes and movies of this standout piece of art. So, I’m going to try to help bringing some light into this matter.

Therefore, according to the order of creation and emission (in Japan), it would be the following:

#1 Ghost in the Shell (1995) <– Film

#2 Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex (2002) <– 24-episode anime series

#3 Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, 2nd GIG (2004) <– 24-episode anime series

#4 Ghost in the Shell: Innocence (or simply ‘Innocence’) (2004) <– Film

#5 Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex - The Laughing Man (2005) <– OVA

#6 Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex 2nd GIG - Individual Eleven (2005) <– OVA

#7 Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex - Solid State Society (2006) <– Film

#8 Ghost in the Shell 2.0 (2008) <– Film

#9 Ghost in the Shell: Arise - Ghost Pain (2013) <– OVA

#10 Ghost in the Shell: Arise - Ghost Whispers (2013) <– OVA

#11 Ghost in the Shell: Arise - Ghost Tears (2014) <– OVA

#12 Ghost in the Shell: Arise - Ghost Stands Alone (2014) <– OVA

#13 Ghost in the Shell: The Movie (2015) <– Film

#14 Ghost in the Shell: Arise - Alternative Architecture (or simply “Ghost in the Shell AAA”) (2015) <– 10-episode anime series


On the other hand, according to the timeline of the plot, the correct order would be the following:


#1 Ghost in the Shell: Arise - Ghost Pain (2013)

#2 Ghost in the Shell: Arise - Ghost Whispers (2013)

#3 Ghost in the Shell: Arise - Ghost Tears (2014)

#4 Ghost in the Shell: Arise - Ghost Stands Alone (2014)

Instead of these four episodes, you can opt for watching “Ghost in the Shell: Arise - Alternative Architecture”. In any case, you’ll need to watch “Pyrophoric Cult” after these (which are the two last episodes of the so-called “Ghost in the Shell AAA”).

#5 Ghost in the Shell: The Movie (2015)

#6 Ghost in the Shell (1995) or Ghost in the Shell 2.0 (2008)

#7 Ghost in the Shell: Innocence (or simply ‘Innocence’) (2004)

#8 Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex (2002) or Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex - The Laughing Man (2005) <– I’d recommend to watch the whole anime season instead of the short OVA since the OVA focuses on the main plot leaving aside the rest.

#9 Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, 2nd GIG (2004) or Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex 2nd GIG - Individual Eleven (2005) <– What I previously said is valid for this one too.

#10 Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex - Solid State Society (2006) <– Film


Hints:

- “Ghost in the Shell 2.0″ is a remastered and enhanced version of the original film.

- “Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex - The Laughing Man” and “Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, 2nd GIG - Individual Eleven” are OVAs focused on the main plot of both seasons of the anime series. This means if you have already watched both seasons of “Stand Alone Complex” you won’t discover anything new.

- “Ghost in the Shell AAA” is a compilation of all the “Ghost in the Shell: Arise” OVAs split up in two parts including a new one called “Pyrophoric Cult”.


Finally, I strongly recommend all of you to enjoy with all of them and to immerse in their deep and awesome reflections.

*hides face* I’m sorry, I wrote a thing that wasn’t prompted, I couldn’t help myself!

Hope someone enjoys it, promise I’m getting through allll the prompts, no matter how long it takes me!

It’s just something I wrote because the whole, “Pliskin survived the explosion with help from a friend” thing was beckoning me to write something sappy. And I did. So here’s Otacon patching up Snake after he gets his ass knocked out. I like to imagine Snake is a big grouchy kitten about getting patched up. Set directly after Shell 2 blows up in MGS2.

*burrows back into trashcan*


Knocked Around

Otasune, PG-13

(Warnings for: Mild Violence, Blood, Bleeding, Injury, Etc.)

-

Snake hadn’t exactly told him to head towards the blast site. In fact, it would be reasonable to assume that, given an appropriate amount of time, he probably would have done that thing where he yelled at Otacon to stay put under any circumstances.

Keep reading

MH4U: Understanding Sharpness

I’ll be doing a YouTube video on this next week. Sharpness is one of those things we all know is important, but how does it work? How important is it? Let’s find out!

▪️Levels of Sharpness
The first thing you see is that each weapon has different colors (levels) of sharpness, the G rank purple being the highest. Green sharpness is considered Normal in the fact that you do 100% of your potential damage output for both raw and elemental (a little more for raw). Any lower and you do less damage, any higher and you do more.

  • Red: 0.50x attack, 0.25x element
  • Orange: 0.75x attack, 0.50x element
  • Yellow: 1.00x attack, 0.75x element
  • Green: 1.05x attack, 1.00x element
  • Blue: 1.20x attack, 1.06x element
  • White: 1.32x attack, 1.12x element
  • Purple: 1.45x attack, 1.20x element

There are also other benefits from high sharpness: your attacks are less likely to bounce off a hard part of a monster. Some weapons like GL have restrictions on some moves if you have low sharpness.

▪️How sharpness consumption works:
One hit (not attack) uses 1 unit of sharpness (except dual blades which use 0.5 per single blade hit due to the fact that a full single attack always takes two hits). Let’s take a look at the G rank Seregios weapons, they have what we often refer to as a ‘sliver’ of purple which is a value of 10.

This means that after 10 hits, your sharpness goes down a level. There are some special cases in which more than 1 unit of sharpness is used:

  • Gunlance shelling (long/normal): 2
  • Gunlance shelling (spread): 3
  • Gunlance Wyvern’s Fire: 10
  • Gunlance Fullburst: 2x shells (3 for spread)
  • Lance charge (per hit): 3
  • Charge Blade elements bursts: 2
  • Guarding with CB or GS: 2-10

*Any time your attack bounces you lose 2x the sharpness as normal.

*You do not lose sharpness when hitting a teammate with a normal attack

*Seregios melee weapons will restore 5 units of sharpness after 5 evades with the weapon drawn (9 evades if using Lance).

▪️Razor Sharp skill
Arguably one of the best skills in the game, it makes it so sharpness consumption is half. Additionally, if your attack didn’t bounce you have a 50% chance of not losing any sharpness at all. However the best way to think of it is double the sharpness.

That means that the 10 purple above would last 20 attacks instead of 10 (and Seregios weapons restore 5 units at a time which is equal to 10 hits instead of just 5!). That means a longer output of maximum damage, so stronger than fast sharpen. This is also why it’s a hard skill to get early on, and is very hard to pair with sharpness+1, but easy to pair with the end game skill honed blade.

While I have not verified it myself, many claim the because the game throws away decimals after 1, with Razor Sharp a Lance charge hit or spread Gunlance shell take only 1 sharpness.

▪️Hit Stops
A quick note, sometimes if your sharpness is high and you attack a very weak spot the game will appear to dip in framerate. What is happening is the game considers these a ‘deep cut’ and since in theory they do a lot of damage, to help balance dps a longer cutting effect is used.

▪️Closing
Sharpness is important so bring whetstones to a hunt and maintain high sharpness. Know the difference between white and purple etc so you can make better decisions when comparing weapons to understand which is the best to use.

Happy hunting!

Magickal Theory’s First Giveaway!

Soon I will be living out of my new car and I have some old witchcraft/magickal tools that I don’t really utilize in my practice anymore  that I know could definitely be put to better use by another practitioner, rather than just sitting in storage.  So I’ve decided to grow my blog a bit and host a giveaway! Please note that these tools have been used, but I will cleanse each item before shipping (and, unfortunately, due to the lack of money in my wallet, I will only be shipping within the United States).

*5th Place Winner will receive 2 Abalone Shells & 1 Small Conch Shell

*4th Place Winner will receive 1 Small, Metal Dragon Head Box

*3rd Place Winner will receive 1 Yellow Bottle and 6 randomly chosen Candle Dressing Oils

*2nd Place Winner will receive the Mortar & Pestle and 3 randomly chosen Candle Dressing Oils

*1st Place Winner will receive the Metal Cauldron with Claw Base 

(Candle Dressing Oils: Black Art, Cast Off Evil, Commanding, Controlling, Dragon’s Blood, Irresistible, Jinx Removing, Lady Luck, Prosperity.  These oils are not for consumption and should only be used in candle magick.)

To enter, you must be following magickaltheory and like + reblog this post.  You may reblog this post once a day for more entries until February 1st, 2015, when this giveaway will end at 11:59pm.  On February 2nd, I will use a random number generator to randomly select the winners and will publicly announce them on my blog.  Winners must contact me with their shipping info to claim their prize within 24 hours of the announcement or an new winner will be selected for that prize.

Cheese Filling/Spread & Suggestions for use

This cheese filling is fantastic in lasagna, manicotti, or stuffed shells. Or, it can be used as a cheese spread on pita, baguette, toast, etc. It can also be dotted onto homemade pizza or spread on pizza dough, rolled up, and baked for Spinach and Ricotta Stuffed Bread. It is a staple around my home. 

This is a moderate to high spoons recipe, mostly because of heavy stirring, but it makes a lot and can be frozen in small portions. Also, the manicotti and stuffed shells can be frozen with sauce in individual serving size containers and heated later in a microwave when you are short on time and need a hearty filling meal.

Items you need:

  • large bowl
  • stirring utensil
  • strainer
  • measuring spoons/cups (optional)
  • cheese grater (optional)
  • knife for mincing garlic (optional)

Ingredients:

  • 15 oz ricotta cheese OR small curd cottage cheese
  • 1 lb frozen chopped spinach (thawed and well drained)
  • ½ cup parmeasan cheese (freshly grated or from a can)
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella 
  • 1 tbsp dried minced onion
  • 2 tsp pizza or italian seasoning blend OR 1 tsp each oregano and basil
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic OR about 2-3 cloves, chopped fine (I buy the jarred stuff)
  • salt and pepper (about ¼-½ tsp each)

Mix all this together in a large bowl, initially it will be very stiff, until well blended. If you want to use this as a spread, cover and refrigerate for a few hours for the seasonings to blend. Or, portion into freezer containers, cover, and freeze for up to 1 month.

Suggested Uses:

Stuffed Shells/Lasagna/Manicotti (It’s all basically the same thing, just different shaped pasta)

Additional Items:

  • 9x13 baking dish and/or freezer containers 
  • large pot for cooking pasta (only for stuffed shells)
  • strainer (for the pasta, only for stuffed shells)
  • pasta (lasagna noodles, jumbo shells, or tube manicotti noodles)
  • 2 or 3 jars marinara or spaghetti sauce

For Stuffed Shells: cook the pasta according to directions on the box, strain and rinse in cold water until at a comfortable handling temperature. You can do this while you are mixing up the cheese filling.

For Shells and Manicotti: Pour a layer of sauce in your baking pan (at least 1 cup, I dump in a full jar). Fill the pasta with the cheese blend and place in the baking dish. Cover with more sauce. Cover with foil and bake at 350F for about 1 hour (1.5 hours for Manicotti).

For Individual Portions of Stuffed Shells or Manicotti: pour ½-¾ cup sauce in freezer container, add in stuffed pasta  (the containers I use hold 3 shells or 2 manicotti), top with 1 tbsp sauce per shell or 2 tbsp sauce per manicotti tube. cover and freeze for up to 1 month.(manicotti should sit in the fridge for a few hours before freezing). To reheat, microwave for 4-5 minutes until it’s hot.

For Lasagna: Pour a layer of sauce in your baking pan (same as above). Spread the cheese blend on 3 dry noodles and place in the pan, cover with sauce. repeat these layers until the pan is full. Cover with foil and bake at 350F for 1.5-2 hours.

Optional: you can layer in cooked and drained ground meat to the pasta dishes.