Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Great Holiday Cookie List

Hi all!
I am jumping the gun a bit here, talking about holiday cookies before the holiday starts (to me, officially it can all start Nov 30, the day after my birthday. I never had a tree up for my b-day and I never will. Its pumpkin harvest pilgrim decor time still!)

Forming my cookie list to keep my baking on track, and to make sure my loved ones receive the very best variety of tasty holiday treats!

So far, on deck we have:

Oatmeal Choco Chip

Peppermint Candy Cookies
Peppermint Swirl Cookies
Chocolate kissed pretzel squares
Fudge (?) for the first time in many years
A Gingerbread, hopefully g-free

For home, the treats that do not ship with care:

Lemon Poppyseed Shortbread
Lemon Curd
Julia's 'Brackle'

Suggestions? Leave a comment! Send me a message! Tie it to a pigeon and fly over!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Dinnertime with Felt

Here are my latest shots of the dinner felt items
 Deluxe dinner with steak, roast chicken, baked potato, carrots and green beans

For the veggie eaters, a double backed potato veggie dinner

You can also place orders on At Last Crafts on Facebook
Most food items are $3 each.The carrots and green beans which are sold 6 at a time: 3 carrots + 3 beans = 3 bucks.
The roast chicken is $5. Trays not included.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Shout out to Poland!

Hello readers!

I would like to take a minute to thank the country that has visited Swiss Army Artist the most. No, it is not the USA or Canada, or even South K (which I appreciate you all hanging in there)
Thank you POLAND!!! You rock!! I'm Polish too so that means I rock too! Yayyyy!

Thank you and goodnight!
dziękuję i dobranoc

Saturday, November 24, 2012

SS of the Week: South Park for N64

Shoot the crazy turkeys!
Happy Thanksgiving, readers! Thank you for stopping by!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thanksgiving 2012 - Apple Pie

Apple Pie

combine ingredients in chilled dough on cold pan 

 cover with pie crust, fork fold edges, cut inserts for steam

Old Fashioned Apple Pie -Full Recipe courtesy of
Photos courtesy of Paula Mazzoli, the Swiss Army Artist


  • 2 pie crusts 
  • 5 to 6 good baking apples, such as McIntosh
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice (*and I also added 1 tbsp of O.J.)
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 - 2 Tbsp. flour, cornstarch, or instant tapioca to thicken the juices (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1/16 tsp. ground cloves (optional)
  • 1/16 tsp. ground all-spice (optional)
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  1. Roll out crusts, if necessary. Wrap one crust in plastic wrap and chill. Line pie pan bottom with one crust, cover with plastic wrap, and chill until apples are ready.
  2. Quarter, core, peel, and chop apples. Put apples in a large bowl with the lemon juice and toss thoroughly. Sprinkle apples with sugars, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, cloves, and all-spice. Toss until apples are thoroughly and evenly coated with the syrupy sauce that forms as you toss them.
  3. Preheat oven to 450°F. Pour apples into the crust-pined pie pan and dot with butter. Place second crust on top, trim edges, and crimp edges as you like. Cut several vents in the top crust and decorate with crust cut-outs, if you like.
  4. Place pie pan on a large rimmed baking sheet. Bake for ten minutes. Reduce heat to 350°F and bake until pie is well browned and bubbling inside, about 50 more minutes. Let cool thoroughly (at least 1 hour) before cutting.

Pre -Thanksgiving 2012 time to brine

So how do we make a turkey in our house? Brinin and dinin!
In progress right now

Buying a turkey is easy, pick out a frozen one since they are cheaper and make sure you get the right size bird for your dinner. I judge mine based on the size of my brining bucket. Our turkey is 14 pounds.

Brine in a bucket:

Ok, it's Wednesday.
Get a big bucket. Mine is 2.75 Gallons. which is just big enough to submerge a 14 lb turkey, no bigger.
I brine in the refrigerator. If you DONT live in LA county, you are probably in chilly temps. Back home in Philly, Mom brines in a big cooler on the back deck, where it stays really cool and she does not take up fridge space and she can brine a bigger bird. So these things should be considered before buying your bird.

Ingredients used:
3 cups of salt: I used a combo of coarse kosher salt and iodized regular salt because that is what I had on hand.
1 pack of poultry herbs: fresh springs of rosemary, thyme and sage
6 carrots
4-6 celery stalks
tbsps of chopped garlic
1 chopped onion
plus a couple pinches of dry herbs like rosemary
1-2 apples
and water

Add ingredients to water, mix, add some ingredients inside the turkey, fill to the top with water, submerge entire bird and then brine for 24 hours. Put bucket in cold area, or refrigerator. (Remove your crisper bins to make space.)

*My turkey came with a gravy bag, which I removed and combined all ingredients in the bucket and some up the turkey too. Brine for 24 hours!*

Saturday, November 17, 2012

SS of the Week: CABAL for NES

The point of Cabal is to to defeat D.R.A.T (the Dreaded Republic of Allied Terrorists). 
Mission:? Destroy everything while checking out a great view of your own backside
The plot: ?  I never knew what it was. I dont think there is one.

So, how did you get your copy of Cabal? For me and my little sister, our Mom let us pick out a game from the bargain bin at Woolworths
Cabal was in the arcades and pretty popular, so that is why we probably were reassured this was a good pick, because we played it or saw it at the arcade at the local mall. First off, this was not an easy game. Not like any of the shooters on the NES were easy. You team up with your partner (who wears red as Player 2) to shoot out war enemies. Shoot your way through levels using power ups as they drop, to beat a boss nobody probably has seen, or even remotely remembers. Beating this game was hardly a goal for me, or any other gamer I know. But they all played, at least once. 

dun dun dun dun dundun! the best background music...

So you start out on a board like this. Enemies coming out from sides of buildings, tanks driving by, etc. Grenades, which you get as items, are best held for the boss fights. Anyway, in the board, you shoot your enemies until the little power bar at the bottom of the screen empties out and you win. You can also shoot out walls, buildings, and other things to cause the enemy bar to shrink. Sometimes its best to just shoot left to right, and then right back across again. Keep hidden behind the walls so you can avoid bullets being shot at you. Hold the B button and let 'er rip!

It was so much fun to shoot at the buildings, closing gates, moving tanks, Jeeps, and more. It was more fun than shooting another guy because you got to watch the explosions. Everything is a target. Best bet is to save the walls right in front of you, so you can dodge bullets. 

5 levels with 4 boards in each level...gets ridiculously tough after these. I have only beat the last board on Level 2 once, (2-4) from what I remember of this game, and nobody else was around at the time. 
Then I died right away in 3-1.

could have walked around this pond instead in 2-1

I really cant emphasize how much fun this game is as a 2-player. Both sides are equal and its easy to work together, share items, and just have alot of laughs. It really is not as much fun solo. You have a finite amount of lives, only so many 'guys' you get to beat the game. That is a challenge in itself.
Finally, an ending shot, reminding me exactly how I played this game growing up.
This was always a 2-player game in our house. I still believe it should be.

Playing this game with my sister Julia. 

Pepper, Charcoal.

Pepper, charcoal. 

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Whole Lotta Pumpkin over here

Below: Spiced Pumpkin mini-cupcakes with chocolate candy topping

Spiced Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Allergy friendly no cinnamon pumpkin muffins

Nana's Pumpkin Pie, with storebought crust

Nana's Pumpkin Pie with my tart crust

Nana's Pumpkin Pie filling in a graham crumble crust almost looks like Pac-Man!
(This pie is best with her crust recipe. Home made is always best!)

SS of the Week: Star Fox 64

One of the best games EVER....

I rocked this game! Back in the late 90's when the video game wars were Nintendo 64 vs Playstation. I chose N64, which was awesome! I picked up Star Fox 64 years after it had been out, in a clearance section with a rumble pack. I had no idea how much fun was in store. First, the controls were pretty simple. I mean, the game sorta helps with Peppy chiming in on moves, like the infamous Barrel Roll!!
I also have it on 3DS which is also awesome, and on my Wii. I still prefer my N64 controller because well, it was made for that! I loved that trigger button. Anyway, to continue, I used to play so much, I would attempt to beat my high score and did so most of the time. I got over 1400 back in the 90's. Too bad I am not as good as I used to be at this..

Barrel Rollin within the first couple minutes of gameplay.

Lots to explore, all of them have medals to be won. You get a medal by achieving a certain number of points or completing the missions inside the level correctly to qualify. Im not going to list all of them. I got most of them, minus Solar, the big red bitchy one in the middle, which you dont even need to play to beat the game. You dont play alot of these, actually, to beat the game.

Map of route to take: Orange= the tough way, the way you should go
Yellow= my usual path if Zoness kicks my butt in switches
pink = wimpy wussy direction. thats why its a baby color. You dont fight Andross's brain, therefore you dont really beat the game. You do, but you dont.

I love Aquas. Its my favorite level. You get infinite flares, which are like missels or bombs or whatever. Also your laser, which should be the full one. 

Zoness. A bitch.

Remember my mention of switches? Well for this one, you have to hit em all here or else you dont get to proceed on the orange course I mapped out, now you have to go a lamer way. It really sucks so man up and hit all the switches. If you want to get a medal in this bad boy you need 250 points. ouchies. 

  Slippy. Also a bitch.

Eventually, your friends are going to agitate you. It's very likely you'll mock them right back. Slippy is notorious for being obnoxious and whiney. Especially in the Search for Slippy, if you take pink weenie route you will know what I am talking about. That is a rescue mission as you run in your tank. Tank is no fun. Submarine fun, tank no fun. Got that?

Macbeth - In the tank, ugh.

Hit this checkpoint so when you mess up on this level's switches you wont have to backtrack from the beginning. If you choose to go here, you face the forever train. The point is to flip 8 switches in enough time to change the rails and send the boss train to an untimely explosion. This also causes your rumble pak to go off like a firework too. You do, however, get a boo-ya score. I used to re-route this direction because I racked up points to beat my high score, which was the basis of playing SF over and over. Well, this board (like that? like my old school lingo there?)a pain in the ---. Let's go to Area 6, another friendly land. This place you really get alot of points, so its important to lock onto enemies, like the colorful spinny guys who kick the crap out of your Arwing.

Boss fight, exhausting.

Well, it seems like after Area 6 you go to fight Andross, right? I mean, it's in the bag!

Nope, not yet. Now you get to go against a pack of 4 enemies. Star Wolf. So its like your team, only the bad guy version. Their tag lines are priceless. Anyway here is an intro video to get your heart pumping for a battle thats sure to end with a controller through a window.

Click Video below

But eventually, you get it done. Alot of times, this is my breaking point. You die fighting these guys, and come back with no laser. Your crew sucks at shooing, and you now you are stuck with maybe the first upgrade laser, which is of very little help. I actually hate this board. I hate Star Wolf. I would have fought Andross like 50 more times in my life if they were not in the way, making me lose my laser and hating life.

But your crew sucks at shooting them down.

Final Fight: Andross

Finally, did you think you would get here? Well you should have thought so. Its not so hard.  Just take a look, you made it this far. Good. You have had about 25 minutes of heart pounding, finger smashing fun. So what do we do here? Shoot out Andross's big stupid hands with the big blocky sensors, of course! Until his face blows off though. Then you are in for a real treat.


Nope, this is the very end! Dont you love when video games make you believe you beat the game and then, didnt? Well that happens here too, as long as you didnt take the dainty ass pink route of wimpy woo. Here, you have to shoot out the eyes that follow you perfectly. Make sure you know your flips and rolls. youll need it. And dont fly into the brain tentacles. Its like immediate screw me over lose your laser and wing action. But, if I could beat this as a high school girl, you can do it too.

The end!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Screenshot of the week- Friday the 13th

Friday the 13th for NES ~ helllooooo 1989!!

Checking out the classics again, here is my scary favorite. The Friday the 13th game used to scare the crap outta me. I bought it at the flea market, played once alone, got scared and didnt play again for awhile. Seriously, it was a Saturday morning for crying out loud. I went into a cabin and I was looking for Jason, ready to kill with my beastly weapon. Rock! But when he comes out, the music abruptly changes and just about made me throw the controller in fear.

I could never stop purple Jason with my trusty rock. Ever.

Crap! Im screwed.

Well, that's what would happen normally. I would sacrifice a counselor to Jason every 4 minutes. Then I would feel even more daring and try to rescue the kids on the lake. They usually did not survive. I didnt even care. When I was little, I didnt even think saving the kids was really important. I mean, they dont even give you power ups! You must go way out of your way and prepare to take alot of damage by not defending yourself on a friggin rowboat.

Purple Jason swims like a shark right into my stupid little boat. Both Mark and the children have little time left...

Dont even get me started on the cave, the deep woods, the lack of good weapons, the constant zombies that have nothing to do with the F.13 series, and having slow moving counselors. I mean, what is that? How is that helpful to go slower when everything is constantly ramming you? Wolves? Flying heads? 

Nice doggy....good doggy? 

I never beat this game personally. I have watched others beat it. Mainly because it is really hard and I do not like games where stuff jumps out of nowhere and scares me! Nowadays you can just youtube the ending of any game if you really want to see the ending. This was stupid annoying because Jason comes back 2 more times so you have alot of work ahead of you if you want to beat it for real.  So save your fast runners. Try to get something other than the rock. Maybe you'll see Jason's mom before dinner! I hear she really loses her head in the kitchen!

hi Mom, what's for dinner?

 Anyway this game kind of blows but if you are a gamer kid, you had a love hate relationship with this title. Mostly hate...mostly.

Game Over! Goodnight.