Friday, April 27, 2012

Backyard Visitor

I stepped out on the deck the other morning, soaking in a little bit of the bright morning sunshine we've had recently.  Then, I looked down, ready to survey the overgrown ivy I'd need to pull on the weekend.

What?! A deer!
I ran inside and yelled at everyone to wake up.  Morgan's spirit animal had blessed our backyard!
After an intense staring session through the downstairs window, we eventually became too noisy and the little guy ran off.  I don't know where though.  It's not like we live in the forest.  We live on a hill. With houses and streets.  How he even got here is kind of a mystery to me.  Maybe he came from the nearby park?  I like his antler nubs.

Anyway, it was pretty cool to see a deer in the backyard! Usually we only get squirrels.  Or whatever was eating oranges on my fence.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Edible Pokemon Poffins

Usually I'm the one scheduling the crafts and experiments when Penga-Sis comes over, but this time she had her own plan.  Baby sis is all grown up and wanting to make her own projects, sniffle sniffle! I can't believe she's thirteen now.  At least she still wants to hang out with me sometimes, haha!

Anyway, she showed me this Youtube channel she really likes called Feast of Fiction.  They have recipes for all sorts of fictional food, from Hunger Games to Skyrim, it's pretty neat!

She wanted to make the Pokemon poffin recipe.  Poffins are pretty much like Pokemon macarons or something.  There are different colors and flavors that help alter your Pokemon's contest stats.
(source) Swinub!
Green for smarts, red for coolness, pink for cuteness, blue for beauty, and yellow for toughness!
We followed the recipe pretty exact, though we used liquid food coloring since I didn't have the gel kind.
Rise, rise, my pretties!
The recipe is a pretty simple sweet bread, filled char siu bao style with jam.
Yes, it's a lot of strawberry jam.  Penga-Sis' wish.
Topped with sesame seeds, they really expanded in the oven!
They definitely don't seem poffin sized to me.  Perhaps if I cut the dough portions down into eight pieces instead of four, they would have been smaller and cuter. Oh well.
diy pokemon poffin recipe
The bread was good, though I wasn't a big fan of the jam inside.  Even using reduced sugar jam, it was ridiculously sweet.  Penga-Sis liked it however, even though her gigantic pink bun didn't set quite right due to it's massive size.

In any case, she picked a good experiment, it was fun to make! I ate the green one, for smarts! I could always use some of that. BIL had the beauty bun, and Sak had the toughness bun.  So manly man.

Have you tried any fictional food? I know Carol recently posted about fictional food from Game of Thrones, pretty fun stuff!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

DIY Zelda Rupee Soap

Penga-Sis was over for the weekend..and we made a lot of soap (including some brown carbonite Han Solos, which are now updated in my previous post).

Specifically, we used some of my digit silicone molds to make rupees, the colorful gem currency from Zelda!
zelda soap rupees link
Link.  He's in your house, stealin' your rupees.
Using the same double-boiling method we used for Han, once the soap was melted we added a drop of essential oil and food coloring for color.

Red is vanilla pomegranite scent, blue is jasmine scent, and green is cucumber green tea!
zelda rupee soap
We also bought a fourth scent, "fresh linen" that should really be called "teenage boy".  It's like a super strong Axe scent!  Penga-Sis used it on one of her soaps, and the kitchen STILL smells like it! :P
Anyway, while buying the man-scented oil, Penga-Sis thought we should try the clear glycerin soap for even more realistic gems.  Brilliant!
Uh.  Soap making may just be my new favorite hobby.  Don't tell my sewing machine.
diy zelda rupee soap
Penga-Sis says we should go into business.  The red soap would cost $20, the blue one $5, and the green soap $1.  HAHA, get it? Totally kidding though.

Anyway, I totally have Zelda cravings now.  I still haven't played Skyward Sword.  Someone lend my cheap self a copy. >.>"

Monday, April 23, 2012

DIY Candy Lei

In Hawaii they sell cute, decorated plastic sleeves for making candy lei.   Since I'm not in Hawaii (laments), I thought I'd make my own, not quite as cute version. We've got at least three graduations to attend soon, so I've got a lot of lei-making to do!

I bought a roll of clear cellophane from a party store, and a few bags of individually wrapped Hi-Chew.  I figure, if I don't have cute printed sleeves, I might as well have awesome, tasty candy!
First, cut roughly a 4" strip of cellophane. The length is a standard wrapping paper size, about 2.5'.
Add small strips of double stick tape to one edge, and roll the cellophane into a tube.
Close one end with another piece of tape, and add a couple candies.
Use some ribbon to segment between each candy piece.  Plastic curling giftbag ribbon is standard, but I only had regular ribbon on hand.
Continue until you fill up the whole tube!
Tape up the end of the tube, and punch two holes so you can connect them with another piece of ribbon.
diy graduation candy lei
Easy, edible, fun!
diy candy lei hi-chew

You can use any type of candy - I would have tried for school colored candies, but these particular ones are for a white and maroon school...Hi-Chew is just easier!

Need more lei tutorials?
Braided ribbon lei
Puffy ribbon lei
Spiral ribbon lei

Friday, April 20, 2012

Food Bandwagon

Yep, I'm hopping aboard! First, for fridge oats. I think this has been covered oh, by fifty billion bloggers and pinners, and when I saw it via Monica's blog and also on Sarah's blog I decided I should try it too.  Hey, I already eat oatmeal and yogurt for breakfast every morning, why not mix the two together?

The only weird part is that it contains chia seeds! Like, a chia pet? Hehe.  Supposedly they are really good for you.

By the way, when I buy grains/granola/spices/etc. from the Whole Foods "serve yourself" aisle, I like to pretend I'm in an apothecary buying things for my alchemy lab or something.  Seriously, they keep stuff in jars, and you can even get honey and olive oil out of a giant vat. So much fun.

Anyway, I used the recipe found at The Yummy Life, and didn't tweak anything other than fruit flavors.
pre-mixed, with maple syrup and frozen TJ's berries.
The only downside to using big pasta jars makes the overall result pretty un-cute, and hard to eat out of with a short spoon.
But they are pretty good, like a mixed-up parfait.  The swelled up chia seed remind me of boba!
Not at all attractive, but certainly tasty!
And now to switch tracks to a most definitely attractive bandwagon food #2: Indian pizza!
 This one in particular is butter chicken pizza from Tasty Subs & Pizza in Sunnyvale.  Some fusion food can definitely get a little weird, but this one makes so much sense! It's flavorful and fantastic.  I ate half of it in one sitting, and refused to feel guilty about it.

We've also had a tandoori chicken pizza from Bombay Pizza House in Union City, which was also good, but the butter chicken is my favorite so far! I'd love to try a saag paneer pizza though, that sounds heavenly. Curry pizza is also really popular.
Yum yum yum.

What food bandwagon are you currently riding?

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Belmont's Water Dog Lake

As part of my weekend post-test therapy, Sak and I went to nearby the hidden gem of Water Dog Lake Park.
It's kind of sad..we've lived here for five years and I didn't even know Belmont had little trails.  It's fairly hidden - nestled secretly in between housing.
When you first start, there's a fork in the road! Pick the easy upper route, or risk your life amongst the bikers on the hilly route.
Obviously, we chose the easy route. We had lox bagels to leisurely enjoy, after all.
It was a really beautiful day, and just what I needed to get out of my funk!

It is kinda funny how the "nature zone" is flanked on both sides by houses though. Expensive, beautiful houses with stellar views, I'm sure.
Along the path were lizards out sunning themselves too, so fun!
It's a short trek, and eventually we get to Water Dog Lake!
Ehh. Not much, huh? I don't know if it's brown all the time, or just because it recently rained. The ducks didn't seem to mind though, cute little couple!
"Honey, would you please STOP mooning me?!"
The spillways on the side of the lake were super eerie.  I kind of wanted to go inside the tube.

I'm glad we found this place. It's closer than going to Crystal Spring's trail, and it's the perfect "difficulty" for an afternoon weekend stroll.

And along the way there we saw some of these Belmont fire hydrant fellows!
I want to paint the one outside our house now. Do you need a permit for that? :P

What kind of nature trails do you have near your home? I wish ours had more open space for star gazing, there's too much light pollution where we are. :P