Shannon Fennell's Blog

My life, art, travel, make-up, cooking and the occasional rant!


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And Spamalot is a wrap!

Last night was closing night for Spamalot, a GPLT/GPRC co-production.16730162_10210365810035857_2774274503412802183_n

I was the Make-Up/Hair Designer (it says so on the poster!) and lead, and also built the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch and the Holy Grail, as well as making costume pieces and accessorizing the Lady of the Lake.  I also provide other pieces of costume to some of the Knights (when one once wore a Knight’s costume in horse shows one has stuff in the tickle trunk!)

The show has three dress rehearsals and ten performances and I was there for over five hours for each one of them.  There were eight make-up/hair crew which rotated with usually five or six at each performance.

I made pox for the Not Dead Yet number out of latex – we used toupee tape for the cast to stick them on.  It worked VERY well!  For those with latex allergies we had red face paint and a sea sponge.

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These were actually very effective – and looked quite gross from the audience!

I have hundreds left over… all ready for Halloween – smallpox anyone?

I was asked to build props on very short notice – less than a week before dress rehearsal. I used cloth mache for both the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch and the Holy Grail.  The hand grenade was thrown each time and had to stay together, so I used a wooden dowel right through the structure and wired plastic mesh and foam… it held up fantastically.  I can’t find a dent on it.

The Grail was a rush job as I only had four days to make it which really wasn’t enough time to make it pretty, but it did the job.

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I made headpieces for the Lady of the Lake – she had no accessories or jewellery with the costumes that she was given so I got creative.  I built crowns using pipe cleaners, ribbon, wire, beads, shells, etc.  She had seven costumes and I had different accessories for each (one of the costumes I provided – the first greek goddess one, and one was her own old grad dress – the royal blue with spaghetti straps.)  I raided my jewellery stash and outfitted her with my personal items, and created a bustle for one dress and arm drapes for another.

Here are some close-ups to show detail on the five crowns I made for the show:

Two headpieces were things I had on-hand – the beaded fringed cap I had bought in Paris years ago and the other was a simple beaded headband that matched the robe.

Here are King Arthur and the Lady of the Lake.

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The blushing brides – Lady of the Lake and Prince Herbert.

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And these are all taken during the performances:

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We all received a framed image with our role in the production on it which is pretty nice. The little Polaroid is when “I” found the grail and won the “Arthur” award as Best Peasant in Grande Prairie… long story… LOL.  In the group photo I am below the ‘n’ in Finland in the pink sweater.

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It was a fun show and very funny!  We spent a lot of time in the wings watching what we could as it was so good!  Most of the crew watched it from the front at least once (some more than once.)  The next big musical will be in 2019 – we do the “big ones” every two years.  We all need to rest up between them!


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Pancakes!

While I would have to say I miss potatoes the most, I get the occasional craving for pancakes.  We used to have them every Sunday for breakfast and sometimes for dinner.

I tried three or four different LCHF/Paleo/Keto recipes for pancakes and was NOT happy with any of them.  They had to be teensy cause they wouldn’t flip, fell apart, were greasy because of the amount of fat that had to be in the pan to stop them from sticking, the mouth texture was unpleasant, etc.  I ended up throwing all those attempts out.

A couple of weeks back I was thinking about pancakes, again, and had an epiphany.  What if I BAKED them?  They should dry out and not need flipping… and  I could come up with my own recipe.

So I sat and wrote out a recipe from scratch, using what I have learned from trial and error, and personal preference.

The first time I didn’t photograph it as it was a test run but they were great!  But just a tad on the dry side.  This morning I made them again – adding an additional ingredient and a little more of another and they are perfect!  Light, fluffy, the texture of “normal” pancakes.  I would put money on people not being able to tell they aren’t “normal” pancakes actually.

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Here’s my recipe.

LCHF/Gluten Free Baked Pancakes

Preheat oven to 400F

2 ounces of butter

4 ounces of cream cheese

4 large eggs

1 cup almond flour

2 tablespoons of coconut flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder

2 tablespoons of water

  1. Mix dry ingredients together in a small bowl.
  2. In another bowl, using an electric hand mixer, beat the butter and cream cheese until fluffy.
  3. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating at medium speed until well incorporated.
  4. While the mixer is running add the dry ingredients a bit at a time until all combined.
  5. Add the water and beat on high speed for about a minute.  If the mix appears to be too stiff add a bit more water – it should look like normal pancake batter at this stage.
  6. Let the batter rest for about five minutes – at this point it will thicken up a bit which is fine.
  7. While the batter is resting, cover a large baking sheet with baking parchment.
  8. Scoop out batter with a spoon/cup, etc. onto the cookie sheet and spread out to your desired size.  I made mine (this time) about 6 inches across like regular pancakes!
  9. Place on the centre rack in a pre-heated 400F oven for 10 minutes.
  10. Remove from oven and serve with your desired toppings.

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This recipe made five pancakes. They did spread a bit when baked and ran into each other, so the edges had to be cut, but that is easily fixed next time!  And… first time I used parchment, this time I didn’t… USE THE PARCHMENT PAPER!  Or silicone pad, etc.

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I drench my pancakes in butter.

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I like mine with peanut butter or cheese – I couldn’t finish though.  I did eat the left over stack later for lunch, and the remaining two are in the fridge for tomorrow.

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These keep in the fridge and you can freeze and reheat in the toaster for a quick breakfast too.  Or even use for a sandwich or pizza crust, etc.