Archive for the Hobby Category

Well, I lied.

Posted in Hobby, Update on September 21, 2010 by Devo

I definitely did not put up my Threadcakes entry, did I? I apologize. I did not win but I really wasn’t expecting it to happen. I really just like entering for the fun of it. My entry can still be seen here. I think I am slowly getting better with the designs each year (even though I’ve only done it twice).

I am currently in another contest! This time for Instructables. Voting ends tomorrow (Sept. 22nd) so if you are reading this before or during that day I would very much appreciate if you would vote for this. I would like the grand prize so badly but even if I don’t get it I made myself a great little chalkboard that I love. And it really is very easy and fun to make.

I am still getting used to this whole living alone thing. It takes quite a lot of adjustment. Especially when it comes to cooking for one. I have only gotten to bake one thing: banana bread. It was really good but could have totally been better. I am currently hoping and praying that the new bakery that is coming into town will hire me. That way I can gain more experience and hopefully start incorporating that into my own desserts.

I will try to keep this around now that I am no longer mooching Internet from my school’s library or my sister’s dorm. It’s time to get my kitchen into shape.

Key Lime Pie, Halloween, and Windows 7

Posted in Dessert, Hobby with tags , , , , , , , , on November 2, 2009 by Devo

Well, I managed to fall behind on this blog very quickly with the new school year and I apologize. I’ve actually been making quite a few things… I just haven’t posted any of them. Slice of pie

This treat was actually made back in September, I believe. Which makes me feel a little more terrible about not updating this through the entire month of October. But it is worth it: key lime pie.

Since we (Jeremy and I) made this a while back, what we did exactly with the recipe is a little fuzzy. But I remember it for the most part.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 cups sweetened condensed milk
  • 8 large egg yolks
  • 3/4 fresh squeezed key lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons key lime zest

Browned Pie Crust1. Heat oven to 375°F. Combine graham crackers crumbs, butter, and sugar in a bowl; mix well. Press into a pie pan (the deeper the better*). Bake until lightly browned, between 10-12 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.

2. Lower over to 325°F. Combine condensed milk and egg yolks together in a bowl and gently mix together. Add key lime juice and zest** and mix until mixture is smooth. Poor into the cooled pie crusts.

Right out of the Oven

3. Bake pie for about 15-17 minutes, or until the center is set but it still wiggles if the pan is nudged. Let cool completely.

4. Chill before serving. Top it with whipped cream, if desired.

*We didn’t have very deep pie tins so we just made two pies from this recipe.

**Jeremy and I just had a whole bag of key limes and we just squeezed and zested all of them, by hand. We didn’t measure any of it out. It was a ton of work but well worth it.

I apologize again for this entry being so late. There has just been a lot going on in the past month. Especially with this past weekend being Halloween and working on some of the coolest Halloween costumes.

Our Group
Three-Hole Punch Jim, Bill and Zoey from Left 4 Dead, No Face, and Tinkerbell

First Windows 7 DesktopAlso, a couple of weeks ago I updated to Windows 7. I have to say that I am very pleased with it. I like it more than Vista and I enjoyed Vista quite a bit.  It has a lot of neat features introduced with it and it runs a lot smoother than Vista. The taskbar is now incredibly useful unlike in the past. I would suggest owning this OS.

This post got a bit scatterbrained but I was just trying to catch up on what I missed in the last month. But I do have another entry waiting to get posted and I hope to do that soon.

Peanut Butter Lego Cookies!

Posted in Dessert, Hobby on September 13, 2009 by Devo

First batchOne day, back in August, I received an instant message. This message was full of excitement and caps lock. Jeremy had found a Lego rolling cookie cutter. It was the best thing that had happened that night. He bought it even after reading the reviews of how it really wasn’t the best but was determined to make it work. We only had to wait until we got back to school to test this awesome invention out.

It took a lot of effort but we did it.

So maybe peanut butter cookies weren’t the best choice in trying it out but they sounded really good. I followed a simple peanut butter cookie recipe and we decided to dye it red. It turned out to be a really light red but it still had more Lego charm to it than the brown color of peanut butter.

Rolling out the LegosRolling out the cookie dough took a lot of flour so they wouldn’t stick but we got it eventually. If you are using the cookie cutter of Legos then make sure you get the dough thin enough that it can cut and shape the dough enough to make the right shape. Getting it off the counter onto the cookie sheet was the most difficult part though. We didn’t really flour the counter enough so it was kind of sticking to the surface. I spent a lot of time hunched over with a knife getting them off the counter. I started with the less than attractive ones and was a pro by the time I got to the best looking ones of the bunch.

Second BatchThe cookies turned out really tasty. We had a bit of extra dough and made a few funny shaped cookies (Jeremy made a cookie man; he melted in the oven just like I said he would). It was just a fun thing to do on our first full weekend back at school. And it seems like everyone else around us enjoys having delicious cookies to eat; including the two of us.

We’re probably going to try sugar cookies next time with that roller though.

Pineapple Mini Pies

Posted in Dessert, Hobby with tags , , on September 6, 2009 by Devo

With pineapple goodness inside!

I decided that making one last thing before I left home to go back to school was very important. Mini pies just seemed like the right way to go. I made them the night before I would see Jeremy for the first time in over a month so I decided to try a different kind of pie filling: pineapple. I had subtly asked him what his favorite pie flavor was but his response (pumpkin) wasn’t really an option for these tiny pies or the time of the year. So I just went with one of his favorite fruit. It turns out they were really good.

I am just going to post the recipe for the pineapple pie filling.

Ingredients:

  • 1 large pineapple
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 large lemon zest
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  1. Cut pineapple into bite size chunks. (If you are making mini pies like me I suggest them to be even smaller than that.)
  2. Combine sugar, cornstarch, zest, nutmeg, and water in a large saucepan. Stir until the sauce becomes thickened. Take it off the heat and add pineapple chunks. Stir and let it cool.

Pineapple fillingThat’s basically it. It’s really simple but this was the first time I had ever cut a pineapple so it was new to me.

I just used a recipe I found on the Internet for the pie crust. You can even use store bought pie crust if you please. Just roll the dough out and cut into circles to make them into mini pies. Otherwise, just continue making a pie like you normally would if you want to be more traditional.

I liked the fact that these could be pies-on-the-go. They weren’t messy to eat and the ratio of filling to pie crust was really nice. It wasn’t overwhelming at all. This was a new thing for me though so it is not a surprise they turned out to be a little on the ugly side.

So, I’m back at school now. I know I didn’t bake as much as I would have liked to over the summer but now that my friends’ house has a full size kitchen I can probably bake over there for all of them to enjoy.

What I did accomplish this summer was getting my license… finally.

My Threadcakes Entry

Posted in Dessert, Hobby with tags , , , on August 2, 2009 by Devo

Finished CakeI spent all of yesterday working on my Threadcakes entry. It was the first time I had ever seriously decorated a cake with fondant and all. It was hard work. Although I really like how fondant makes cakes look, it’s something I don’t enjoy eating too much but I will not expel it completely from working with it ever again. Maybe just not use it so often. I am a harsh critic towards anything artsy that I do so I feel my cake could look better but I am still happy with the results.

Glowing!I did my design based off the “Things That Glow…” t-shirt design. The whole wow effect of the cake was it’s ability to glow in the dark orrrrr it my case, under a black light. And it did just that. But who knew the black fondant would look red? I should have for seen it coming with my hands being a shade of red after washing off the black dye.

I will later share in another post how I made the fondant. It’s very simple and made from marshmallows, powedered sugar, and water. But for now you can check out my entry and all the other awesome entries on the site.

Harry Potter Madness (Literally)

Posted in Dessert, Hobby with tags , , , on July 15, 2009 by Devo

[Warning: This is such a long entry]

The past two days have been full of Harry Potter for me. I tried to plow my way through Half-Blood Prince before midnight last night and it ended unsuccessfully. But that hardly matters as that this is the third time of me reading it. I am all for HP. It’s my favorite series of books because I am just able to fall into that world. So the movie that premiered last night had me excited even if that was soon changed. What I did to celebrate the event (besides reading through the book again) was my own attempt at making butterbeer.

ButterbeerGuess what. Butterbeer is delicious. And it’s very simple to make. I got my recipe from here but there are plenty of other out ones out there on the Internet. I used the hot one as I am not old enough to buy alcohol (although I wouldn’t mind trying the cold one). I did my own alterations since I didn’t have cream and I am very fond of Werther’s Originals… I maybe added four more than the recipe calls for. What is very important to know about this butterbeer: you must drink it while it’s hot. I’m not even kidding, it’s the most delicious thing while hot but so terrible when cold. And the best part about making this stuff: it makes you feel like you are cooking up a potion. It doesn’t get more HP than that.

Hooray!Now this is what I have done; I took the liberty of writing out all of my feelings about the movie as soon as I got home from it. So the rest of this entry are my highly unorganized thoughts about the movie. Let me get this straight though: I know the movies cannot fit everything in from the book. And I know the movies are supposed to entertain the people who haven’t even read the books. So do not complain to me in anyway about these two situations.

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As I am writing this right now, it has almost been an hour since I got out of the movie theater of the midnight premiere of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. I am currently fuming over this movie because they destroyed a crucial book in the series. I should warn you that I am so upset at this movie right now that there will be very few positive things that I will say about it and that means:

Do not even read this if you are not in the mood to listen to a crazy HP fan who expects only the best of the movies.

I was already so mad 30 seconds into the movie. I am not even kidding. Oh, sweet epic start with slow motion and everything but there was no mention of the new Minister of Magic, Scrimgeour. Not in the entire movie. People who are not reading the books are completely left out of that subject. Along with the fact that they made Fleur and Bill non-existent. I mean, bloody hell, they basically started the movie with Harry asking this waitress on a date. Something that never happend. The Durselys were not even mentioned. What basically happened was they changed everything before the kids went off to Hogwarts. The Burrow managed to become a gloomy place where it looked like none of them enjoyed being there and it just seems like they didn’t even try to stick with the book.

They didn’t stop there with this madness. Hogwarts was an all around gloomy place. Yeah, maybe there were trying to convey that it’s bad times and all but students are safe and have fun at Hogwarts still. Scenes from the book disappeared all together that are essential to Half-Blood Prince and that took away from its beauty even more. What happened was they decided they needed to change a scene completely or just make one up to replace what could have been good detail accurate to the book. THEY SET THE BURROW ON FIRE FOR NO REASON! A whole scene just out of the blue that had no relation to anything else. I could go on forever about how terrible that scene is.

The majority of the characters were even disappointing or how rarely some of them showed up. Dumbledore has always been the one character that has always upset me in the movies (except the first and second movies; Richard Harris was a wonderful Dumbledore). They portray him in such a serious light as opposed to Dumbledore in the books who is always humourous and light. Tonks showed up once in the movie to reveal something to viewers that they were not supposed to know at all during that part of the story (she called Lupin sweetheart for Christ’s sake!). Lavender became the biggest creep since Colin Creevy and exceeded his creepiness by twenty. Not to mention that is not at all how I pictured her to look. Narcissa Malfoy was also not how I pictured her. And her one scene was overshadowed by Bellatrix (although I do love Helena Bonham Carter). Neville had like two lines in the whole movie! That is just absurd. Then there is Professor Slughorn, the not fat enough or snobbish enough newbie. I don’t like the man in the book but the movie made him more sheepish and likable in a way which I feel is just not how Slughorn should be. Also, McLaggen was okay looking; not the fat, disgusting pig I had imagined him to be.

The three main characters remained true to their selves though. Harry being completely whiny and I guess he gets totally high when given a bunch of good luck, Ron the comic relief, and Hermione being completely flustered as usual. Hagrid was a delight although we only saw him twice in the entire three hours of the movie. Luna, always a joy. I really think they can do much to mess up Luna’s character.

I will give it to them that there were some pretty great scenes that were legitimately funny but most were made up. They did a very good job at capturing the awkward crushes that all the characters are suffering from currently (even if they did it wrong most of the time). But they did it well enough that I was able to laugh along and feel totally weird watching them.

Besides the whole setting the Burrow on fire for no good reason thing, the other that that irked me so badly was Dumbledore’s death. They did not do it justice at all. How it played out was not how it went in the book, there was no epic fight raging between people on the grounds but instead some exchanges of words in the bell tower. It still managed to be so sad (I mean, Dumbledore died) but it soon returned to anger when the film ended with no funeral. No. Funeral. What the hell?! Dumbledore was a great character and it just seems like the movie didn’t do a good enough job for his death.

All in all, the Order of the Phoenix gave me hope with its ability to mostly stick to the book. Half-Blood Prince did not follow suit.  Instead all I got was the disappointment all over again from Goblet of Fire . I truly could go on forever with this but I will refrain from it to the general population and that maybe a decent amount of sleep is in order.

Oh no. A failure.

Posted in Dessert, Hobby with tags , , , , on July 2, 2009 by Devo

What an unproductively productive week I have had this past week. One huge success and one huge failure. These things happen though.

FransiscoMy sister and I managed to pull together to create the most adorable thing either of us have ever created  and it was for our friend’s graduation party. Of course, she got most of the credit it for it because she did all of the sewing with her maching sewing skills. I have none of those. I did help with the design of the guy but I couldn’t really help with much else except saying that I paid for it. Our friend ending up naming him Fransisco and he is totally lovable.

It had such potential.

It had such potential.

Last Sunday was my big ol’ failure of a day. I think I learned my lesson that if I am just in a horrible mood then my baking is going to suffer for the worst. My flourless chocolate cake took the fall: literally. It was going to be delicious but then it just completely fell on me. I made it for a “mocktail” party that I was attending that night Failurebut it became too ugly for me to serve it there. It was going to have fresh raspberries placed on top that I would have picked from our bushes by our garage but it just ended up unsuccessful. We all have our bad days.

I have decided that I am going to enter the Threadcakes contest. I can’t tell you my awesome idea of what I will make for it right now. I will tell you that is a completely awesome idea. If you look at the entries though you can also see that many other people had such good ideas and have executed them wonderfully. As I haven’t had much cake decorating experience this will be quite a task to pull off what I want to do. Once finished I will probably post pictures of it up here as well as entering it into the contest.

The brightest part of the past week is that plans have been set for upcoming projects. Now I just have to carry them out.