EASY WILD ALASKA BERRY RECIPES

This is a handmade wooden puzzle made my Peaceful Wooden Puzzles. Makes an awesome and memorable gift!

Seeing this beautiful picture of our wooden Alaska Wild Berries puzzle, I was curious: what kinds of delicious foods could I be prevailed on to make with these, as I am in the beginning stages of learning to cook at all? Here are some fun, easy recipes for Alaska Wild Berries, and some interesting information about the berries as well!

Juicy – 1000 piece summer berry puzzle is sure to inspire some tasty treats!

Wild berries that found in Alaska are an excellent source of antioxidants, those helpful substances that fight other substances which roam around and deplete healthy cells of oxygen and contribute to aging, heart disease, cancer, and other illnesses. Basically antioxidants counteract other bad things going on in your body, so they’re very good for you.

Some of Alaska’s berries, like lingonberries, have just over eight times the amount of antioxidants as blueberries found in the contiguous U.S.

So you can use that excuse when you treat yourself to these sweeter indulgences offered below.

ESKIMO ICE CREAM
Eskimo ice cream, or Akutaq-Alaskan, is a light and fluffy dessert that can vary quite a bit as to its ingredients. Some recipes call for moose, caribou, or fish fat and oils. The recipe holds quite a bit of history: Native women traditionally made Akutaq after the first polar bear or seal catch, and the dessert was shared with the community members as part of special ceremonies. The modern recipe, which omits the animal fats, is as follows:

Ingredients

  • 1 cup vegetable shortening (Crisco)
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • 1/2 cup sugar (more is optional)
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 4 cups of berries (salmonberries, blueberries, raspberries, or strawberries)

Directions

  • Soak raisins in hot water
  • Whip Crisco and water in a bowl until smooth/creamy
  • Add in 1/2 cup sugar; mix well
  • Add berries and soaked raisins; mix well
  • Chill before serving

NAGOONBERRY SYRUP
Nagoonberry syrup is a delightful recipe to put over the classic waffles and pancakes, but also tastes delicious over ice cream or hot biscuits. After it is prepared, it will keep up to six months in the refrigerator without sugaring.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups nagoonberries
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

Directions

  • Extract juice by combining 4 cups of nagoonberries with 1 cup water in a bowl
  • Crush berries
  • On stove, bring mix to a simmer in a covered pot for 10 minutes
  • Place mix in a jellybag OR layers of cheesecloth in a colander
  • Let juice drip into a bowl (do not twist or press jellybag/cheesecloth)
  • Combine nagoonberry and lemon juices and sugar in saucepan
  • Heat to 160 degrees; do not boil

ALASKA WILD BERRIES MUFFINS

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 cups Wild Alaska berries (1 cup each of blueberries, cranberries preferred)
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar (more is optional)
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup butter-flavored Crisco
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (more is optional)

Directions:

  • Mix together flour, salt and baking powder in large bowl
  • In SEPARATE bowl mix Crisco, vanilla, sugar, eggs
  • Combine both mixtures together
  • Add milk
  • Fold in wild berries
  • Pour batter into lightly greased muffin tins
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes

WILD BERRY STUFFED FRENCH TOAST

This is a recipe which could be used with any berries of your preference, but would also be great with the syrup you made from the noganberry recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1 loaf Italian bread, unsliced
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 2 cup wild berries (blueberries or raspberries preferred)
  • 12 eggs
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Maple syrup

Directions

  • Slice end off bread (save for another use)
  • Cut next slice part way through so that it has a pocket and is thick, but to your preference
  • Cut next slice all the way through
  • Continue until all bread is sliced (6-7 pieces preferred)
  • Place slices of cream cheese in each pocket
  • Add spoonfulls of berries
  • Place bread on cookie sheets
  • In large/shallow bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, vanilla, cinnamon, maple syrup, and melted butter
  • Dip each slice stuffed bread in egg mixture; coat well
  • Place on greased griddle over medium heat
  • Cook until lightly browned (about 3 min. per side, turning once)
  • Remove from griddle, sprinkle with powdered sugar (optional)

NASA releases new photos of Mars from Curiosity Rover

On November 26, 2011, the rover called Curiosity was launched into space from Cape Canaveral. Nine months later, after a 350 million mile journey, it landed safely on Aeolis Palus in Gale Crater on the planet Mars to much celebration and cheering from Nasa. NASA released new photos of the planet on Tuesday.

No ideas what a rover is? Scroll to the bottom of this post.

We have an awesome 1000 Piece Jigsaw Puzzle of Mars made by Euro Graphics. Who knows - maybe we will see some new puzzles pop up now that NASA has released new photos of the planet.

While on Mars, Curiosity will be investigating the planet’s geology and climate and we’ll begin to look at the big question of whether or not Mars could have ever supported life — looking into the role of water and the planet’s habitability.

So now is a pretty good time to review what we already know about Mars because we’re about to be learning a lot more about the fourth planet from the sun. If your interested in outer space and the great unknown – make sure to check out some of our educational and fun jigsaw puzzles about space.

Fun Facts about Mars

  • Mars is named after the Roman god of war because of its red color. Other civilizations also gave the planet names based on appearance—Egyptians called Mars “the red one” (“Her Desher”) and ancient Chinese astronomers referred to it as the “fire star.”
  • In reality, Mars’ color appearance is a result of the fact that Mars has a lot of iron in its soil.
  • Mars is the only planet whose surface can be seen in detail from Earth because it is our nearest planetary neighbor
  • The diameter of Mars is 4,200 miles—a little over half the diameter of Earth
  • Mars is home to the largest volcano in the solar system, Olympus Mons, which tops out at 15 miles high—three times the height of Mount Everest! Its diameter is even more impressive: it’s 370 miles, enough to cover the entire state of New Mexico
  • Mars also has the deepest, longest valley in the solar system, Valles Marineris, which can go as deep as 6 miles and runs east-to-west for about 2,500 miles (the distance from Phiadelphia to San Diego).
  • The Martian “day” is about a half hour longer than Earth’s day, and Mars orbits the sun every 687 Earth days.
  • At its brightest, Mars loses only to Venus, which outshines it
  • Mars is covered in valleys and canyons, so it’s very possibly Mars was once home to large amounts of surface water which now do not exist due to its cold, thin atmosphere
  • Scientists believe the climate of Mars used to be a lot like our climate on Earth—warm and wet.
  • Mars has seasons just like Earth because also just like Earth, Mars has an axis that tilts in relation to the sun.
  • Mars’ seasons are more extreme because its orbit is elliptical and more elongated than any other major planet’s orbits.
  • The average temperature on Mars is about -80°F, though it can drop to -191°F during the coldest periods and rise to 70°F during the hottest at the equator.
  • Mars has two moons, Phobos, meaning “fear,” and Deimos, meaning “rout.” In the Greek version, Mars is named Ares, and his sons are Phobos and Deimos. This is where astronomer Asaph Hall came up with the names.
  • Mars holds another record in the entire solar system: it has the largest dust storms. These can blanket the entire planet and last for months!

Soon we’ll be compiling an even larger list of things to know about the red planet. In the meantime, keep updated on the newest photos of Mars – we’ve never seen in this type of close up, high quality image.

What is a Rover, anyway?

From Wikipedia: A rover (or sometimes planetary rover) is a space exploration vehicle designed to move across the surface of a planet or other astronomical body. Some rovers have been designed to transport members of a human spaceflight crew; others have been partially or fully autonomous robots. Rovers usually arrive at the planetary surface on a lander-style spacecraft. Their advantages over orbiting spacecraft are that they can make observations to a microscopic level and can conduct physical experimentation. Disadvantages of rovers compared to orbiters are the higher chance of failure, due to landing and other risks, and that they are limited to a small area around a landing site which itself is only approximately anticipated.

Happy Birthday, Lucille Ball!

Today marks the 101st birthday of the late Hollywood star, Lucille Ball. Best known for her role in I Love Lucy, this lovely woman will always be remembered as the clumsy, crazy and lovable Lucy Ricardo.


According to IMDB, the “dizzy sitcom redhead was a show business powerhouse and television pioneer.” Here are some interesting facts about her:

  1. For many years during their marriage, Lucy and Desi Arnaz hid the fact that she was six years older than he by splitting the difference in their ages. She (born in 1911) said she was born in 1914 and he (born in 1917) also said he was born in 1914.
  2. She didn’t like any false form of a bird, she preferred to see them in person so she banned all pictures of birds from her house and any hotel room she was staying in.
  3. She was tutored in comedy by the great Buster Keaton.
  4. Ball appeared on a 44¢ USA commemorative postage stamp in the Early Television Memories issue with Vivian Vance, as Lucy Ricardo and Ethel Mertz, in a scene from “I Love Lucy: Job Switching (#2.1)” (1952). The stamp was issued 11 August 2009.
  5. A quote: “In life, all good things come hard, but wisdom is the hardest to come by.”

Happy Birthday, Lucy! You are missed! For more great Lucille Ball memorabilia, check out selection of I Love Lucy puzzles and our I Love Lucy Trivia Game.

Discount Jigsaw Puzzles – Why You Should Shop for Scratch and Dent Puzzles

It can be hard to pick out the perfect jigsaw puzzle. Since you are probably going to spend a lot of time working your puzzle – from clearing off a table in your kitchen or hobby room to putting that last piece in just the right spot to finish your masterpiece – you’ll want to make sure you pick just the right one. With so many choice to make, like the number of pieces, the puzzle image, the type of puzzle (ribbon cut or random cut pieces, panoramic or square, glow in the dark or 3D) and the brand, the last thing you should have to worry about is this: Am I paying too much for my puzzle? Cheap jigsaws are easy to find, but there is always quality to worry about. When you buy a puzzle, it should be something you want to keep forever, not just throw away when you’re finished! That’s why we have our Scratch and Dent section. Here, you can find a cheap puzzle that is still good as new on the inside – it might just have a ding on the outside of the box. These puzzles are from the same high-quality puzzles brands like Ravensburger, Springbok and Buffalo Games – but we sell them for less than retail prices. Let us explain.

Since we are a reseller, we get shipments every day from over 80 different brands. With hundreds of boxes coming off of trucks and into our warehouse, there are bound to be some damaged items. When we sell you a puzzle at full price – we always make sure it is only in perfect condition. If there is damage to the box at all, we mark it Scratch and Dent and give you a discount. In these cases, the bag of puzzles pieces inside is still intact and in perfect condition. Even though these puzzles are discounted, you won’t find missing pieces or damage to the actual jigsaw puzzle you are putting together. Take a look at the pictures below and you’ll see the best-case and worst-case scenarios for these discounted jigsaw puzzle boxes.

So, why not save a few extra bucks and buy the same high-quality puzzle for less? We have puzzles for adults and jigsaws for kids in this section, from 24 pieces up to some our largest puzzles like 3000 piece jigsaws. And since we get so many shipments every week, you’ll see new additions to this cheap puzzle selection almost every day.

Are you wondering what must be wrong with these cheap jigsaw puzzles? Let me give you an example to show you the puzzles themselves are in perfect condition!

This is an example of what the most minimal damage might be for a scratch and dent. Even if the box just has a slight tare like this, we will take a few dollars off the the full retail price and pass the savings onto you.

You'll see, the puzzle inside is just like new - still sealed in the bag with no loose pieces or any other damage. Just like new!

This is one of the worst types of Scratch and Dent Puzzles you will see - where the corner of the box might have been slightly crushed by a forklift of by other boxes.

Again, you'll find that the puzzle inside is just as good as new - with the pieces intact and the puzzle image still perfectly visible on the box!

So, next time you’re having trouble deciding if you should go for the expensive puzzle brands so that you can get the best quality jigsaw puzzle for your next project, try one of our great Scratch and Dent puzzles and save, without giving up on quality!

Happy 150th Birthday, Gustav Klimt

It was Gustav Klimt’s birthday on Sunday. The art nouveau icon was born on July 14, 1862 and died Feb. 6, 1918. Klimt’s work remains as some of the most expensive on the art market. In celebration of his birthday, Vienna’s museums offered an exhibit called “Klimt: Up Close and Personal” – where his artwork was given a new light – not just beautiful reproductions of his most famous golden work “The Kiss,” but also showing off the “worst of the worst” – some 100+ objects sent from around the world that Klimt’s work has been reproduced on – from toilet-seat covers, bejeweled eggs with rotating figured from “The Kiss” and Elvis music – to pictures of tattoos.

We think Gustav Klimt Jigsaw Puzzles are a much classier way to honor the intricate artwork of this great, late, artist. After all, only some of the highest quality puzzle brands have reproduced his work – Heye, Piatnik and Pomegranate to name a few of our favorites. Below, see some of the artwork that is available on jigsaw puzzles from Gustav Klimt. Puzzles are a great way to enjoy your favorite artwork time and time again because they can either be glued and framed to form a wonderful piece of wall decoration – or disassembled and put back together over the years.