ground walnuts

Enrichment for sand boas!

So Sand Boas are probably my very favorite snake, and too often I see sand boa enclosures that are very minimalist or just plain harmful. People think that because these snakes spend most of their time underground, they don’t need as much enrichment as other snakes. This definitely isn’t true! It is possible and quite easy to enrich a KSB environment in a way that keeps them happy and engaged. Disclaimer: All of this information comes from my own personal experience, tons of research, and the work of two small-time sand boa breeders I know personally, so do with this information what you will!

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HEY WHO WANTS A COOL SERBIAN RECIPE?

You do, because I just spent several hours translating my favorite recipe (among others) into English with my mom.

Okay, here we go:

Bajadere (bah-yah-deh-reh, with an alveolar tap r, not rhotic).

Ingredients
Bottom two layers:
600g sugar
15 tbsp. water
250g butter
350g ground walnuts
250g ground Petite Beurre (or similar biscuits, but this is the brand we prefer)
2 tbsp. cacao powder

Top layer:
150g chocolate chips
Several tbsp. of coconut oil


Instructions: 

Simmer water and sugar until viscous, then add butter. When this has melted into the mixture, add the ground biscuits. Mix well, add the ground walnuts, and mix until even. Split the dough into two equal sections.

Mix cacao into one of the dough halves.

Take two pieces of parchment paper and set them on cutting boards. Pour each mixture onto one of the papers until it’s about one centimeter thick, and they are more or less the same shape. Hold the two cutting boards next to each other, and then close them like a book to join the masses into a single two-layered sheet. Cool in the fridge for 1 hour, white side up, until firm.

To prepare the third layer, melt the chocolate and coconut oil into a cream that is capable of being poured, but will hold firm enough to cut once cooled (you may need to experiment with the amount of oil). Pour the mixture on top of the white layer, thinner than the two below, and cool in the fridge. Cut into pieces 2 in x ¾ in.

If you use an American brand of biscuit, you will need to use less sugar and adjust the amount of water, as they are sweeter than Petite Beurre.

Unfortunately, I do not have any pictures on hand, but you can find some images with a quick google search of “bajadere.” The final texture should be a little firmer than marzipan. Have fun!

Maple-Candied Walnuts

INGREDIENTS

1 tablespoon unsalted butter
½ cup pure maple syrup
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Coarse salt
2 cups walnuts (6 ounces)

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Melt butter in large skillet over medium heat. Stir in maple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon, and ¾ teaspoon salt. Bring to a simmer (mixture should be frothy), about 3 minutes. Add walnuts, and toss to coat using a rubber spatula. Cook, stirring, until sauce is syrupy and bubbly, about 3 minutes.
Transfer walnut mixture to a parchment-lined baking sheet, and spread into a single layer. Bake until walnuts are caramelized, about 10 minutes. Transfer sheet to a wire rack. Stir, and let stand until cool and hardened, about 30 minutes.

Potica is a Slovene national treasure, as omnipotent as it is omnipresent. It is served at any special occasion, but otherwise as well, because, well, why not. Its filling may be made of walnuts, poppy seeds, carob seeds, tarragon (with quark/curd cheese) and many others. The name potica comes from older povitica – a roll, which indicates the way it’s prepared. A particular variety of potica, so named even though rolling is not involved in the process, is potratna potica (potratna meaning wasteful) and I will give you recipes for both kinds.

Orehova potica (with walnuts)

Ingredients:

     dough

  • 40 g of yeast
  • 80 g of sugar
  • 600 g of flour (white)
  • 3.5 dL of milk
  • 40 g of butter
  • 1 dL of oil
  • 3 packages of vanilla sugar
  • lemon peel
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons of rum
  • a bit of salt

     filling

  • 600 g of walnuts
  • 200 g of sugar
  • 2 packages of vanilla sugar
  • lemon shell
  • 3 tablespoons of rum
  • 2.5 dL of whipping cream
  • a bit of salt
  • 3 egg whites

     finish

  • 1 egg
  • powdered sugar

{dough} Crumble the yeast into a pot, add a teaspoon of sugar, a tablespoon of flour and 0.5 dL of lukewarm milk. Mix and put it in a warm place so that sourdough forms. Sift the flour and stir in the sourdough. Melt the butter, add the rest of milk and sugar, oil, vanilla sugar, lemon peel (grated), the egg yolks and rum. Mix it all together and add to the flour. Knead well so that smooth dough forms. Flour the dough, cover it, put it in a warm place and let it rise. Knead it once again once it rises and let it rise again. After that, on a floured surface, roll it into a rectangle (1 cm thickness).

{filling} Grind the walnuts well and mix in sugar, vanilla sugar, lemon shell (grated), rum, whipping cream, salt and hard whipped egg white. Spread the filling evenly onto the rolled out dough, then roll it into a roll.

Grease the (high-sided) baking tray and put the roll in. It should only reach about ¾ of the height of the tray.

{finish} Whip an egg, spread it over the roll and pierce it with a wooden stick or a large needle (in one place). Put it in a warm place and let it rise slowly. Once it reaches the edge of the tray, bake it in a medium-hot (~180°C) oven for 1 hour. Finish it off by covering it with powdered sugar (optional).

Before the recipe for the “wasteful” variety, a visual comparison:

Top row is normal potica, bottom is potratna potica.

the recipe is under the cut because it’s (even) longer than the one above

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7

**LONG POST**
easy method for fluffy, organic, photoreal clouds! 

 1. grid your rendering and string-grid your drop. no worries if you don’t have a rendering - you get to make up your clouds! 

 2. mix colors. sometimes you can get away with only using grey, building up darkness with each spray pass. often, though, clouds will have some color to them. for these, I initially mixed 6 cloud colors: very light blue, lavender, medium grey, dark grey, medium purple, dark purple. 

 3. following the rendering (or your imagination), sprinkle sawdust, kitty litter, ground walnut shells, or other granulated material onto the drop in the places where the clouds are the lightest. you can push the granules around with a chip brush on a bamboo if they didn’t land where you want them to be. don’t go too heavy with the coverage at this step - big chunks of white are not desirable. *note*: not all clouds have white tops and grey bottoms. depending on their position in relation to the sun, most clouds actually have a white center and a slightly darker top edge. only when they are somewhat backlit by the sun will they have a white top edge. think of them like you would a sphere - after all, fluffy clouds are made of rounded shapes. PICK UP THE STRING GRID before you apply any paint! once the string grid is gone, check for and repair any grid marks it may have left in your “drawing”. 

 4. mist the drop with your lightest color. if you need your blue sky to be translucent, consider using a small spray tool like a preval, small HVLP*, or airbrush to contain the spray to just the clouds. if your sky is not translucent, you can just make a wide pass over the whole drop with a Hudson-style sprayer, P-50, large HVLP*, or garden sprayer. 
*HVLPs may blow around a lightweight material like sawdust, but test it with something heavier like kitty litter. I almost got a blister on my palm from pumping P-50s, so if pneumatic sprayers are an option for you, it’s worth a try.

 5. sprinkle more granules onto your clouds, covering the next-lightest valued areas (aka whatever areas you wish to remain the color you just sprayed). using that chip brush, shuffle around any patches where you didn’t add new granules. don’t sweep it all away, just poke it a bit to break up edges. it is especially important to break up edges where clouds overlap. you don’t want the white top of a cloud to have a solid, harsh edge where it comes in front of the dark base of another cloud - it’s nice to have a little fuzz there. spray your next layer. 

 6. repeat step 5 until you’ve sprayed on your darkest cloud color, making sure to shuffle those edges between each pass. as you approach your darker values, consider minimizing your spray pattern so you don’t get super dark paint in your sky. even if the sky is not translucent, it will be hard to cover that super dark paint with sky colors. when you’ve finished spraying your cloud colors, cover the entirety of each cloud with granules. make sure the bottoms of the clouds match the crispness you see in the rendering. you may want to sweep the sky at this point - after many passes of sprinkling granules, you probably have a fine layer of dust settled on your once-clean sky.

7. now that your clouds are completely masked, spray in your sky color. If your sky is translucent, consider using dyes for this step - they are less opaque than paint, and will “glow” more nicely when lit from behind. spraying the sky will probably take multiple passes, so break up the top edges of your clouds with your brush in between sprays. 

8. the big reveal! once the sky is dry, sweep away your granules. I just used a big ol’ push broom. if you find that you have glued any granules to your drop with paint, use a stiff broom or brush to scrub them away. kitty litter comes up nicely with just a broom, but sawdust is so fine that it also needs to be vacuumed - I quickly cleaned up my drops using a Shop-Vac with a brush head. 

9. use a small tool for touch-ups to avoid overspray where you don’t want it. you can see that I beefed up the purple parts of my clouds, as well as the sky ombre. 

done! I really recommend this method for anyone who wants to create realistic clouds, especially if they’re inexperienced with painting clouds, and ESPECIALLY especially if a drop needs to be translucent. it’s tricky because you can’t see what your drop looks like as you’re painting it, but if it really bothers you, you can sweep off a patch to check, then replace the granules. but if you’re patient, if you work in thin, gradual layers, and if you trust yourself, you’ll do fine!

Imbolc Moon Cookies

Ingredients:
1 cup (2 sticks/220 grams) butter or margarine, softened
1 1/4 cups (250 grams) granulated sugar
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
¼ teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cups (185 grams) flour
1 1/2 cups (340 grams) ground walnuts
1 teaspoon vanilla or peppermint extract

Icing
2 cups (445 grams) sifted confectioner’s sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 tablespoons water

Preheat the oven to 375ºF (190ºC). In a large bowl, cream the butter, sugar, and vanilla extract until fluffy and light. Mix the lemon peel, salt, flour, and walnuts in a bowl. In increments, add the flour mixture to the butter and sugar. Mix until well blended. Cover and chill thoroughly for at least 2 hours.

When the dough is chilled, roll it to a thickness of 1/8 inch (.25 centimeters), and cut with a crescent moon cookie cutter. If you can’t find a crescent moon cookie cutter, you can use a circular cookie cutter and cut a curved line in the middle, then roll the excess dough from the cookies and repeat.

Place the cookies ½ inch (1.25 centimeters) apart on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes.

After baking, allow the cookies to stand for 5 minutes. Spread the icing over tops of cookies while they are warm.

To make the icing, combine the confectioner’s sugar, vanilla, and water, mixing until well blended. Thin the icing with additional drops of water if the glaze is too thick.

Makes about 5 dozen cookies

Back to Imbolc-Candlemas

anonymous asked:

I'm wanting to cut meat out of my diet and eventually all animal products as a whole, but I don't want to not be getting essential vitamins and minerals that are found in meat.. I don't even know the nutrients that's found in meat can you help me out? :)

Hi there! :) Every single nutrient found in meat is in plant based foods, this are the ones that you need to pay special attention:

  • Calcium helps build and maintain strong teeth and bones. Dark green vegetables, such as turnip and collard greens, kale and broccoli, are good plant sources when eaten in sufficient quantities. Calcium-enriched and fortified products, including juices, cereals, soy milk, soy yogurt and tofu, are other options.
  • Iodine is a component in thyroid hormones, which help regulate metabolism, growth and function of key organs. Vegans may not get enough iodine and be at risk of deficiency and possibly even a goiter. In addition, foods such as soybeans, cruciferous vegetables and sweet potatoes may promote a goiter. However, just ¼ teaspoon of iodized salt provides a significant amount of iodine.
  • Iron is a crucial component of red blood cells. Dried beans and peas, lentils, enriched cereals, whole-grain products, dark leafy green vegetables and dried fruit are good sources of iron. Because iron isn’t as easily absorbed from plant sources, the recommended intake of iron for vegans is almost double that recommended for non vegans. To help your body absorb iron, eat foods rich in vitamin C, such as strawberries, citrus fruits, tomatoes, cabbage and broccoli, at the same time as you’re eating iron-containing foods.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids areimportant for heart health. Diets that do not include fish and eggs are generally low in active forms of omega-3 fatty acids. Canola oil, soy oil, walnuts, ground flaxseed and soybeans are good sources of essential fatty acids. When it comes to the amount of omega-3 oil in various seed oils, the chia seed has the highest content, just above kiwi seeds, perilla and flax.
  • Protein helps maintain healthy skin, bones, muscles and organs. Eggs and dairy products are good sources, You can also get sufficient protein from plant-based foods if you eat a variety of them throughout the day. Plant sources include soy products and meat substitutes, legumes, lentils, nuts, seeds and whole grains.
  • Vitamin B-12 is necessary to produce red blood cells and prevent anemia. Vitamin B-12 deficiency may go undetected in people who eat a vegan diet. This is because the vegan diet is rich in a vitamin called folate, which may mask deficiency in vitamin B-12 until severe problems occur. For this reason, it’s important for vegans to consider vitamin supplements, vitamin-enriched cereals and fortified soy products. Also if you own a garden eat unwashed veggies or fruits once in a while, B-12 comes from the earth, but only if it’s a reliable source!
  • Vitamin D plays an important role in bone health.Vitamin D is added to some brands of soy and rice milk, and some cereals and margarines. Be sure to check food labels. If you don’t eat enough fortified foods and have limited sun exposure, you may need a vitamin D supplement (one derived from plants).
  • Zinc is an essential component of many enzymes and plays a role in cell division and in formation of proteins. Plant sources of zinc include whole grains, soy products, legumes, nuts and wheat germ.

Also you can check out Vegan Health, their nutrition guides are the best I found so far!

2

Blueberry flax wildway hot cereal 🍇🍲

This taste like coconut oatmeal with a hint of blueberry. It taste good sprinkled on top of fruit/oatmeal, and also cooked with hot water (which makes the flavor stronger)

The texture is both chewy and flour-y, perfect for sprinkling. With hot water, it becomes thinner and smoother.

Overall I enjoy this unique combination of flavor, but I wish the blueberry is stronger. The ingredients are also all non processed- ground flaxseed, walnuts, cashews, coconut flour, dried dates, freeze-dried blueberries, and vanilla bean!

anonymous asked:

What litter do you use? What do you recommend?

i am a huge advocate of natural litters!!! 

i really cannot stand clay litters, like Tidy Cats, Fresh Step you know, the ones that come in those big cardboard boxes for like. 9 dollars for a ton of litter.

nope. not a fan. i used clay litter for years. i think most cat parents do at first, it’s so cheap and convenient and it really does disguise the odor of cat urine + feces. but at what cost? dusty litterbox walls? dusty kitty paws? that nasty faux-clean perfume-y odor that makes your nose wrinkle up? if YOUR nose is affected by that scent, you better believe that your cats nose is more offended than you could ever be. Most clay litters also have silica in them, which is harmful to cats when inhaled. AND if that’s not enough, clay litter wreaks havoc on the environment- it’s non biodegradable. 

Natural litters however, get the job done well, aren’t terribly expensive, and aren’t dangerous to your cats. (and it does help that some smell great)

i’ve tried out three different cat litters before i made the commitment to one type. 

first off was Blue Buffalo 

it comes in different formulas, i used multi cat because i have multiple cats. it’s made from ground up walnut shells, doesn’t have much of a scent. i decided against it because it’s darker pigmented, and was very dense, almost like a moist-dirt-like texture. but i know a few people who have stuck with it and loved it.

next I tried Purina’s natural brand of natural litter

it smelled great, it’s made from corn, cedar, and pine. it smells like a forest. i found it at my local target, it wasn’t too terribly expensive, but i ultimately decided against it because it’s very light (which is ideal for declawed kitties), which means your kitties will drag it around when they step outside the box. i found this litter EVERYWHERE, even in rooms where i don’t keep liter boxes. 

the brand i’ve ultimately stuck with is The World’s Best Cat Litter  

i currently use the advanced natural formula, in a pine blend for a multi cat household, and i love it. it’s made from corn, it’s light and fluffy, and it smells great. my cats also seem to like it, it’s dust free, and it clumps well and handles the odor of urine & feces naturally, which is what i aim for. it’s not terribly expensive in stores (i just bought a bag for 5 dollars a week ago), but i like to order 25 lb bags off of amazon so i have plenty to add each time i scoop the boxes.

Here are The Benefits of Natural Cat Litters

but regardless of anything i’ve said, a litter box is a litter box. it contains cat waste. it’s going to stink. and no litter is going to completely mask the odor, if you want to keep a stink free environment, you will have to religiously scoop multiple times a day, and clean the box with an antibacterial rinse at least weekly, maybe every two weeks depending on how many cats you have. cats are like people in that they like clean areas to relieve themselves. so keep the box clean. relying on litter to control the odor your cats emit is irresponsible. caring for a cat means having to clean up after them, and if you’re not entirely devoted to the hygiene and health and general cleanliness of your cat’s space, a cat may not be the companion for you. 

i went on a bit of a rant, but inappropriately set up litter boxes are 80% of the problems people have with their cats. litter is often overlooked, and people always assume that because a cat is pooping or peeing in this area, the type of box and litter used do not matter, and that’s just simply not the case.

- Sohane

60smom  asked:

I wanted to know what kind of vegan foods carry the same nutrients that meat and dairy have. I want to become a vegan but I have no idea what foods to eat. Sorry I sound ignorant.

The nutrients that meat and dairy gives you, you can find them in all the other foods you already eat: nuts, vegetables, seeds and fruits. I can’t make a list for now because it will take me some time, but here are the nutrients you need to pay attention when going vegan:

  • Calcium helps build and maintain strong teeth and bones. Dark green vegetables, such as turnip and collard greens, kale and broccoli, are good plant sources when eaten in sufficient quantities. Calcium-enriched and fortified products, including juices, cereals, soy milk, soy yogurt and tofu, are other options.
  • Iodine is a component in thyroid hormones, which help regulate metabolism, growth and function of key organs. Vegans may not get enough iodine and be at risk of deficiency and possibly even a goiter. In addition, foods such as soybeans, cruciferous vegetables and sweet potatoes may promote a goiter. However, just ¼ teaspoon of iodized salt provides a significant amount of iodine.
  • Iron is a crucial component of red blood cells. Dried beans and peas, lentils, enriched cereals, whole-grain products, dark leafy green vegetables and dried fruit are good sources of iron. Because iron isn’t as easily absorbed from plant sources, the recommended intake of iron for vegans is almost double that recommended for non vegans. To help your body absorb iron, eat foods rich in vitamin C, such as strawberries, citrus fruits, tomatoes, cabbage and broccoli, at the same time as you’re eating iron-containing foods.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids areimportant for heart health. Diets that do not include fish and eggs are generally low in active forms of omega-3 fatty acids. Canola oil, soy oil, walnuts, ground flaxseed and soybeans are good sources of essential fatty acids. When it comes to the amount of omega-3 oil in various seed oils, the chia seed has the highest content, just above kiwi seeds, perilla and flax.
  • Protein helps maintain healthy skin, bones, muscles and organs. Eggs and dairy products are good sources, You can also get sufficient protein from plant-based foods if you eat a variety of them throughout the day. Plant sources include soy products and meat substitutes, legumes, lentils, nuts, seeds and whole grains.
  • Vitamin B-12 is necessary to produce red blood cells and prevent anemia. Vitamin B-12 deficiency may go undetected in people who eat a vegan diet. This is because the vegan diet is rich in a vitamin called folate, which may mask deficiency in vitamin B-12 until severe problems occur. For this reason, it’s important for vegans to consider vitamin supplements, vitamin-enriched cereals and fortified soy products. Also if you own a garden eat unwashed veggies or fruits once in a while, B-12 comes from the earth, but only if it’s a reliable source!
  • Vitamin D plays an important role in bone health.Vitamin D is added to some brands of soy and rice milk, and some cereals and margarines. Be sure to check food labels. If you don’t eat enough fortified foods and have limited sun exposure, you may need a vitamin D supplement (one derived from plants).
  • Zinc is an essential component of many enzymes and plays a role in cell division and in formation of proteins. Plant sources of zinc include whole grains, soy products, legumes, nuts and wheat germ.

Visit the website Vegan Health, I highly recommend it because they offer very good explanations about vegan nutrition. :) 

anonymous asked:

I've only just gone vegan but I'm still unsure about what foods I can eat to still get the nutritional requirements needed. What do you eat to fulfil protein, iron, and omega 3 requirements? This would be a great help to me! Thankyou(:

Hi there! Congrats and thanks for making this awesome decision :)

If you’re eating a well-balanced diet with plenty of whole grains, fruits and vegetables, you are eating one of the healthiest diets on the planet. You do, however, need to make sure you get a few vital nutrients. 

  • Protein

The little known truth about protein is that most of us get too much, not too little of it. Women need about 45 grams per day and men need around 55 grams. One cup of tofu contains about 20 grams of protein, so women, eat some tofu and you’re almost halfway there! Lots of foods contain protein and if you’re eating a well-balanced diet, you’re probably consuming more than enough protein without even thinking about it. Even though it’s quite easy to get plenty of protein on a vegan diet, its a good idea to make sure you’re eating a variety of protein-rich foods. Here are some high protein vegan foods to include in your diet: tofu, seitan,veggie burgers, soy, lentils, chickpeas, nuts and seeds, brown rice and whole grains.

  • Calcium

If you’re a smoker, you will need to get more calcium, as your absorption and retention levels are lower. Strong bones throughout life come from both calcium in the diet and exercise, so for optimum health, be sure you get both. Here’s some calcium-rich foods to try: spinach, collard greens, kale, soy milk, fortified orange juice, sesame seeds,tahini, broccoli, almonds, carrots, and rice milk. Be sure to shake your soy milk and orange juice before drinking, as the calcium can settle to the bottom.

  • Iron

A study published in the British Journal of Nutrition found that iron levels in vegans in the UK were, on average, higher than those of the general population, showing that it’s possible to get more than enough iron on a vegan diet. Just like with protein, however, you should still be sure to eat a balanced diet to ensure you are getting enough iron. Drinking coffee and tea, particularly with meals, can limit your absorption and should be consumed at least three hours before a meal. For an iron boost, try eating tofu, lentils, spinach, soy, chickpeas and hummus. Vitamin C also increases the absorption of iron, so if you take an iron supplement, wash it down with some orange juice!

  • Omega-3 fatty acids 

Diets that do not include fish and eggs are generally low in active forms of omega-3 fatty acids. Canola oil, soy oil, walnuts, ground flaxseed and soybeans are good sources of essential fatty acids. When it comes to the amount of omega-3 oil in various seed oils, the chia seed has the highest content, just above kiwi seeds, perilla and flax.

  • B12

Many people disagree about whether or not vegans need a B12 supplement. I like to go with “better safe than sorry” on this one. B12 deficiency is extremely rare amongst both vegans and non-vegetarians alike, but is a serious issue when it does occur.

There are a few things vegans should know about B12.

  • Your body has the ability to store B12 for a number of years, so if you’re newly vegan, you may have sufficient reserves for another decade, but unless you have your B12 levels tested regularly there is no way of knowing.
  • Nutritional yeast is the best food source for B12.
  • Although nutritional yeast is a great source and an incredibly tasty addition to just about everything, some doctors suggest its best not to rely on a single source and recommend taking a vitamin supplement at least once a week, even if you regularly eat nutritional yeast. So if you’re vegan, please be better safe than sorry and take a supplement at least once a week.
  • Once again, if you’re a smoker, your body will lose nutrients, so you need extra B12.
  • Expectant mothers and infants have special B12 needs as well. If you’re vegan and expecting, take a supplement everyday.
  • I eat unwashed foods from my garden. Remember B12 comes from the earth. I don’t take any supplements of B12 for now and I don’t have any deficiency.
  • Many products comes fortified with B12 already, check the nutritional labels.

As a vegan, you will lower your cholesterol and have a greatly reduced risk for colon cancer, heart disease and high blood pressure. There is a big difference, however, between eating a vegan diet of french fries and soda, and a well-balanced plant-based diet. If you’re still exploring how to be vegetarian or vegan, its likely that you’re not as familiar with your body’s nutritional needs so its a good idea to take a multi-vitamin. 

And please visit this website for further reference :)