Crafty resolutions

Digging through my baskets and bins, I have found some unfinished projects and stashes of crafty things. So, in response to “what are your crafty resolutions?”, in no particular order:

  1. Finish projects one at a time
  2. Find projects that use up some of my craft stash
  3. Work towards a “handmade” or “homemade” Christmas

So in keeping with the above, here’s the simple grey scarf that I started, I think, last year. It will go nicely with my new green down coat when completed.

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Spring

It’s starting to look and smell like spring! We saw some beautiful Sakura trees early this month in front of the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre. Thought I’d share a photo here!

Happy Spring!

Way too spicy!

I love spicy foods, but today I had ramen (a Japanese noodle dish) that was “way too spicy!” We decided that a nice bowl of ramen would be a comforting meal to end our week and made our way to a restaurant that served “Japanese fusion cuisine”.

My hubby ordered Akamiso Ramen (Red Miso Soup Ramen) with roll chashu, fishball, naruto maki, corn, mushroom, seaweed, green onion and dry seaweed. He enjoyed it.

I ordered Geki-Kara Ramen (Extreme Spicy Soup Ramen). This had shrimp tempura, crab meat, boiled egg, bean sprout, corn, mushroom, seaweed, green onion and sesame oil. The menu read “SPICY LEVEL: 1-5”. The waitress said that level 5 is extremely spicy and suggested that I order level 2 spiciness. Sounded rather safe being on the lower end of the scale – I even wondered, “will it be spicy enough for me?”

My order came. The soup was rather red… I took a couple of sips and instantly my lips began to burn! I continued to eat the noodles and the toppings, but it was way too spicy. My lips were red, my mouth was burning, I was getting teary eyed… and this is only a level 2!??!¬† Disappointingly, I couldn’t finish the ramen that I was looking forward to. Further, I was disappointed that the waitress, who made the suggestion in the first place, didn’t come back to check on us and our order ūüė¶

Here’s a photo of my ramen. It does look appetizing in the photo, but believe me this one was way too spicy!

Flop!

The baby shower cake I was planning to make this past weekend flopped! So, here’s the story… all of last week I was trying to decide whether to make cupcakes or a cake. While I had some ideas for the cupcakes, I couldn’t find the supplies I needed (wanted), plus I¬†had found the¬†photo and instructions for making a very cute baby shower cake that I had saved from a Canadian Living magazine (also on-line:¬†Baby Carriage Cake)¬†It was a¬†white buttermilk cake¬†cut into the shape of a baby carriage¬†(little¬†baby peeping out) covered with blue and green frosting and sporting¬†Joe Louis wheels. I’ve made the cake itself before and it’s delicious, but it was my first time using tinted¬†frosting and I wanted to get the colours just perfect.

So, the morning of the baby shower, I started by¬†getting the cake into the oven¬†and while it was baking¬†I prepared the buttercream¬†frosting – white, blue (using Wilton’s Royal Blue), green (using Wilton’s Moss Green) and chocolate.¬†I¬†carefully dabbed the gel colouring into the icing a little at a time,¬†then mixed¬†it, checked¬†the colour, and then repeated this process several times¬†until I reached the desired colour. I loved the colours! The cake took a long time to bake and¬†once it was out I had to wait for it to cool down completely. Time was ticking.

Finally, I decided it was time to shape the cake and start decorating. I put the cake onto a cutting board and made the first cut…. OH NO! The middle of cake looked too moist. I tasted a piece that I had cut out and the middle part had a raw batter taste – the cake wasn’t fully baked ūüė¶¬† FLOP!

I had to rush to the grocery store and hope that they had a cake appropriate for a baby shower. I found a white cake with a blue and purple border. It had clowns and balloons as cake toppers, which I replaced with some cute rubber ducky candles. The store-bought cake was yummy. Phew!

So, back at home, I still had this non-fully baked cake¬†and icing to deal with. The cake itself still tasted good, especially if you like cake batter (hubby, loved it!). I decided to finish cutting the cake into the shape of the¬†carriage, add the licorice and¬†Joe Louis wheels and outline it in white icing. I didn’t bother with the blue and green icing, which I’ve frozen for another day. What a sweet looking cake it would have been. Here’s the picture…

Christmas

Wow, another year is quickly coming to a close. I’m thankful for the time away from the city and being able to celebrate a white Christmas with a group of International Students¬†representing 15 countries. We enjoyed hearing and seeing the Christmas story during our Candlelight pageant, tasting foods from different countries and celebrating in song, dance, etc. our cultural diversity. All the SNOW was fun too!

Looking forward to the hopes, dreams and promises of a new year!