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Summerday in Val Royeaux

All of Thedas welcomes the kind weather of summer and its many delicious fruits and vegetables, but Orlais takes the celebration to extremes with grand tournaments and elaborate outdoor banquets. A typical Orlesian feast menu might feature as many as two dozen different dishes per course, but the typical Orlesian noble’s kitchen has an extensive staff. This menu is simplified to allow the cook to enjoy the occasion , as well.


  • White Leeks (C16)
  • Cumberland Pies (C50)
  • Roast Lamb with Green Sauce (MP)
  • Sorrel in Verjuice (MP)
  • Peas and Onions (MP)


  • Rissoles (C51 and MP)
  • Strawberries


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Old-Time Fudge


Senior Sweeney, the Circle Tower’s archivist, is a traditionalist and holds deep respect for the old ways. He is also in possession of a ferocious sweet tooth. Fortunately, he can wheedle or brow-beat apprentices into helping him with the stirring. A thick-handled wooden spoon is a must.

From Better Homes & Gardens Cookbook - cover and title page gone, but confirmed against website.

Have a buddy handy to help you with the beating step because that’s the critical part in making perfect traditional fudge.

2 cups sugar

3/4 cup milk

2 oz. unsweetened chocolate, cut up

1 tsp. light corn syrup

2 Tbsp. butter

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)

1.  Line a 9 x 5 x 3 loaf pan with foil, extending foil over edges of pan.  Butter foil; set pan aside.

2.  Butter the sides of a heavy 2-qt. saucepan.  In saucepan combine sugar, milk, chocolate, and corn syrup.  Cook and stir over medium-high heat till mixture boils.  Clip a candy thermometer to side of pan.  Reduce heat to medium -low; continue boiling at a moderate, steady rate, stirring frequently, till termometer registers 234 deg, soft-ball stage (20-25 min.)

3.  Remove saucepan from heat.  Add butter and vanilla, but do not stir.  Cool, without stirring, to 110 deg. (about 55 min.)

4.  Remove thermometer from saucepan.  Beat mixture vigorously with a wooden spoon till fudge just begins to thicken.  If desired, add nuts.  Continue beating till the fudge be omes very thick and just starts to lose its gloss (about 10 minutes.)

5.  Immediately spread fudge in the prepared pan.  Score into squares while warm.  When fudge is firm, use foil to lift it out of pan.  Cut into squares.  Store tightly covered.  

Makes about 1 1/4 lb. (32 pieces)

Nutrition per piece:  67 cal, 2 g total fat (1g sat.), 2mg chol., 11mg Na, 14 g carb., 0g fiber, 0 g protein.  1% vit. A, 0% vit. C, calcium and iron

Submitted by magdalenatan!

Mod note: This recipe is identical to our paternal grandfather’s recipe, except that Grandpa’s fudge used 1 cup of milk and did not call for corn syrup. (I found the recipe when digging through a 10+ year old archive from my first computer, along with a rather suspect recipe for what claims to be spice cake but would probably result in pancakes - no idea what relative was responsible for that one, but there’s only 1/2 tsp baking powder for 2 cups of flour, so not likely to try it anytime soon). The corn syrup is there because like honey, it inhibits crystal formation. If I were going to make it, I’d use Grandpa’s recipe and I’d relish the tiny, nostalgic crunch, but those who like creamy fudge and don’t want to taste a memory should use magdalenatan’s submission instead.

If your fudge winds up gritty despite precautions, it’s because you started beating it too soon. One would think that agitation would help prevent crystals from forming, but that is not the case. The syrup part is very rich in sugar, and it wants to precipitate out. Agitation facilitates precipitation. Wait until it’s barely lukewarm before you start to stir.

Keili’s Wood Polish

Not all mages in the Ferelden’s Circle of Magi consider their talents a gift. Keili, a particularly troubled apprentice, holds quite the opposite view. Her mentor tries to keep her mind focused on constructive pursuits that might one day ease her suffering, but for now, she is only truly at peace when she is praying, or otherwise working in the tower’s chantry. In her free time, she likes to work in the chapel, scouring the floors and polishing the woodwork.

The recipe is simple: 1/2 cup boiled linseed oil - the kind artists use - mixed with 1/4 tsp lemon oil. Rub it in with a soft cloth, wipe off the excess, and buff, repeating as necessary. This works best on oil-finished wood, not varnished or alchemically sealed surfaces. As this treatment is food safe, it may be used on hardwood countertops, but apply sparingly and be sure to rub it in well and wipe off the excess. Linseed oil is extracted from flax seeds and is therefore not toxic, but neither it nor lemon oil are subtle.

Do not be tempted to substitute mineral oil for the linseed oil. Linseed oil dries to a hard, protective surface, as do most plant-based oils, but mineral oil never will.

Amalia’s Strawberry Cupcakes

If you have no means of drying strawberries yourself, this will be an expensive dessert to prepare, but the flavor is intense, innocent, and decadent, all at the same time. They’re perfect for spring, and perfect for sharing with someone who appreciates subtlety. You can use freeze-dried, air-dried or oven-dried strawberries in the batter, but you cannot use fresh. They’re just too dilute. Some high-end markets carry freeze-dried strawberries, but expect them to be pricey. The frosting works just as well with either fresh or frozen strawberries, but if you use the latter, defrost them first. A food processor or blender is required.

  • 1 1/2 ounces dried strawberries
  • 1 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp strawberry extract (or vanilla)
  • 3/4 cup milk

  • 1 cup strawberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 cup butter
  • 3 cups confectioners’ sugar, divided
  • 1 tsp strawberry extract (or vanilla)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line your cupcake pans with paper liners. The recipe makes 48 mini cupcakes or 24 standard.

Grind the dried strawberries to powder in a blender or food processor and transfer to a medium bowl. Combine with the cake flour, baking powder, and salt, and stir to mix. Set aside.

Cream the butter with the sugar and beat in the eggs and extract until fluffy.

Alternate between mixing in the flour and the milk, then beat vigorously until the batter is smooth and forms ribbons when you lift the spoon or beaters. The batter will be thick.

Fill each cupcake liner 2/3 of the way and half-fill any unused cups with water. This prevents the empty cups from getting too hot and burning the cupcakes next to them and it prevents the pan from warping. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 15- 20 minutes for minis, 20-25 minutes for standard. Remove the cupcakes from the pan and cool on wire racks to avoid sogginess.

Make a puree of the fresh or (thawed) frozen strawberries in a blender or food processor and beat with the butter and 1 cup confectioners’ sugar until light. Blend in the extract (and food color, if you feel that you must), then add up to 2 cups of confectioners’ sugar until the frosting reaches the desired consistency.

The easiest way to frost cupcakes is to fill a piping bag or resealable bag with the corner cut off and pipe the frosting on, but I’m told dunking the tops of the cupcakes directly into the frosting bowl works, too. Sliced strawberries, jelly beans or tiny candies make an attractive garnish.

Matthias’s Molasses Baked Beans

Life is slow in Honnleath, with plenty of time to enjoy the quiet, rural goings-on and watch the birds hop between fence posts. Now that their favorite perch is gone, where else would they go? It’s a good place to put a pot on the fire and leave it for a few hours as you carefully remove the wards from your father’s cellar.

There was a joke in here somewhere about erecting a barrier, but in truth, bean jokes really are not all that funny. You get the idea. The important thing is that it’s as good a way as any to use up leftover baked ham. Traditional recipes call for bacon in place of the ham, but this one is marginally healthier. The mustard powder is absolutely essential. You may use canned beans in place of the dry if you wish, but if you do that, omit the step where you boil them and shorten the cooking time by several hours.

  • 1 pound small white beans
  • water
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup diced ham (or more!)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp oil or dripping
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 6-ounce can tomato paste
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp ground mustard powder
  • pinch black pepper
  • salt to taste

Put the beans in an oven-safe dutch oven and add water until they are submerged by at least 1 inch. Allow to stand overnight, then drain and rinse.

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.

Put the rinsed beans back in the dutch oven with the vegetable broth and bring to a rolling boil. Boil for 10 minutes, then stir in the remaining ingredients, cover, and bake until the beans are very tender, about 4 hours.

The flavors will only intensify over time, so if you are busy doing something else, merely reduce the heat once the beans are cooked to your oven’s lowest setting and leave them alone, adding water as necessary if they start to look dry. If you have a slow-cooker, you could do it that way instead. Just set the temperature to low and let them cook for 8-10 hours.

This Week on Dragon Age Recipes - week of 20 April 2014

DLC Specials: Matthias keeps the darkspawn at bay while Amalia holds a tea party for her… friend.

Tuesday in Kinloch Hold: Keili’s devotion takes many shapes and Senior Enchanter Sweeney shows us the proper way to do things.

Thursday in Viscount’s Keep: Unlike gentle, questioning Seamus Dumar, Ginnis of the Winters leaves nothing to chance.

Charade’s Cupcake Surprise

We don’t know much about the family where Gamlen’s unexpected daughter grew up, but it produced a fine, well-adjusted daughter. Charade Amelle defies expectations, adapting to changing circumstances with humor and grace. She must have learned it somewhere. Why not in a family that knew how to laugh?

At any rate, her “cupcakes” aren’t quite what most people expect at the mention of the word.

  • 1 small onion, chopped fine
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, chopped fine
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3/4 cup saltines, broken up
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 3 cups hot, seasoned mashed potatoes
  • 6 cherry tomatoes

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Saute the onion and the green pepper in the olive oil until they are soft. Meanwhile, combine the saltines with the milk and the egg in a 2-quart bowl and stir. Add the ground beef, onion mixture, Worcestershire sauce and salt and mix to combine. Divide among 6 muffin cups. Mix the ketchup with the brown sugar and spread over the meat.

Bake until the cupcakes are cooked all the way through (a meat thermometer inserted into the middle of one should read at least 160 degrees Fahrenheit), about 30 minutes.

Remove the pan from the oven and run a knife around the outside of each “cupcake.” Turn them out onto a plate (the topping will get all over the plate, but that won’t matter, as no one will see it.

Spoon the hot mashed potatoes into a piping bag and frost the cupcakes with it. Go ahead and use instant mashed potatoes if you’re feeling lazy. The quality of instant has improved dramatically in the last few years, and this recipe isn’t really the epitome of haute cuisine anyway. Top each with a cherry tomato.

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