28 December 2011

Dear me, is that the time?!

I know. Time flies when you're having fun, so with that logic in mind it should still be November for me. I've had a weird December, and despite the fact that I did several blog-worthy things, I just haven't had the time nor the inspiration. Have no fear, readers dear, it wasn't you, it was me. Me and my short attention span.

I've spent this month getting used to the fact that I chose to be out of a regular job come next Monday. I will be a fulltime freelancer! It's so scary I might have another breakdown! I spent the past few weeks wondering if it really was the right decision, and I know it was, but it still feels weird. Who leaves their job to go do something that they don't even know will earn them enough to pay the bills?

But it is the right thing to do. I know this, because I might be nervous as hell and scared out of my mind of what might happen in the future, I'm also really excited and I can't wait to get started. But first... there's people to say goodbye to.

Tomorrow is my last day at work. I made apple pies for the occasion. Apple pies for everyone!

Okay, so they're just small ones. (and my sincerest apologies for the horrifying cellphone picture.. I forgot to take any pictures apart from this one!) I used this recipe from Zoom Yummy for the pastry, though I used my own 'recipe' for the filling: chopped Granny Smith apples, golden raisins, and tooooons of cinnamon and brown sugar. The pastry is good, though a bit.. crumbly for an apple pie, but they hold together well and they all came out of the tin without breaking. Yay! I still need to get some whipped cream and paper plates, but then they'll be all ready to serve to my wonderful coworkers whom I will miss very much.

I also crafted in the past month. I did! I made a shawlette that's quite squishy and still needs to be blocked (sigh) because I think it could use the few centimeters of extra length at the sides. They keep creeping upwards and falling out of my coat.

The only problem with it? It doesn't like having its picture taken.

No, I'm just joking, I haven't even tried taking its picture yet. I keep wanting to, and then putting it off because I still want to block it.

I did make some Christmas decorations for my presents this year. Just some simple snowflakes, I tied them onto my gifts with a crocheted chain. My mother was stoked because I told her I wasn't making any ornaments for them this year, and then I did! Heh. Crafty me. I used the image on the top of the blog as my Christmas card this year (that I only posted on Facebook, don't be mad if you didn't get a card from me, nobody did) because I thought that, even though it's still 10 degrees outside at the moment and this month has been the hottest December since 1971, we all deserve some snowflakes in our lives at this time of year, even if it is a small, yellow-ish, crocheted one. Just to set the mood for the season. Let's hope we get some flakes in January!

Knowing me, this is bound to be my last post of this year, so it might be a bit early, but I want to wish all of you a happy new year! And may 2012 be at least twice as good as 2011 has been. At least.

9 December 2011

The weirdest thing I have ever baked

Really, without a doubt. The strangest, weirdest, oddest of oddities that ever came out of my oven.


Japanese snacks, made from a rice cake cut up into squares and dusted with potato starch, or, if you like your snacks to be on the sweet side, powdered sugar. This weekend, I'm off to a friend's house to watch tons of anime with a bunch of people, and, as is somewhat traditional for these marathon weekends, we bring snacks. I thought that it would be a lovely idea to bake something Asian, and my eye fell on these brightly coloured little morsels. They look so cute! And bitesized! And since I always bake either cake or cookies and these count more as candy than cookies, they were perfect!

It's a very simple process to make these, really. All you do is sift rice flour into a mixing bowl...

Behold, Mount St. Rice Flour!


You mix in a bunch of other stuff, like lots of sugar, coconut milk, water, and food colouring if you want. Then you mix it all together until it's a smooth, pinkish liquid-looking substance...

Correction, a really, horribly pink-looking substance...

And then bake it in an oven for 1 hour. After that, you pull it out, let it cool for an hour at least, turn it out on a cutting board sprinkled with a bit of potato starch or powdered sugar...

Cut it up in 1-inch squares, and dust them with powdered sugar or potato starch.

Done! Mochi!

Now, trust me when I say that this is unlike anything you'd ever expect to come rolling out of an oven. When I cut the cake, I had to keep rubbing powdered sugar on my knife to ensure it wouldn't stick to the cake so bad that I couldn't move it at all. The texture, while described in the recipe as 'chewy and with a yummy rice flavour', reminded me an awful lot of cutting up raw meat or fish. It was kind of squishy and sticky. I dusted the pieces with powdered sugar but, perhaps because the cake hadn't cooled off completely, the first pieces were only covered on the top and bottom, and not on the cut sides, where it had melted a bit.

Eating one was a weird experience as well. I wasn't quite sure what to expect, but the texture reminded me the most of gummy bears, only with a weird taste to go with it.

I don't know whether they are supposed to turn out like this. This was the first time I have ever tried anything like it, and since I didn't even know what they would taste like, I simply chose to just go for it and see how they turn out. They look fairly similar to the ones in the pictures of the recipe so maybe I did it all okay, but because of the weird texture, I am somewhat unsure.

I did not change anything to the recipe apart from using powdered sugar to dust them with, so if you still want to give it a try after reading this, go! And report back here. I love to see if yours turned out as... unusual as mine!