Thursday, July 29, 2010

chiffon cake and raspberry jam

Remember the raspberry bush I mentioned a while back? I made a small batch of simple raspberry jam yesterday afternoon for some friends coming over for lunch today. The recipe itself is very simple, just use the same amount of sugar as you are using berries and a bit of lemon juice if you like a more tart flavor. To be honest I didn't bother to check how much of the raspberries I had and it turned out just fine; I'm thinking the ratio of ingredients is more important than how much you make at once.

家ではなるべくよけいな物を使わない料理をめざしています! まぁ、その方が意外と簡単に作れるんですけど。。。

For lunch we did a mini potluck. We had some tomato and basil pasta salad, grilled lamb, and a simple mussel dish simmered in white wine and various veggies. A friend brought some delicious breaded chicken and an Asian-style leek side-dish. For dessert my mom baked a chiffon cake which we had with fresh whipped cream and a spoonful of my raspberry jam. I must say, it was delicious with a nice cup of coffee.


Friday, July 23, 2010

It's storming outside like crazy right now, it was so sunny this afternoon though. Weather is not predictable these days. I do appreciate the rain though, it will help the plants in my garden but when it's stormy it gets so DARK in the house! My house gets a lot of natural light so we're not accustomed to turning on the lights until it's past 6PM. It was just fine while I was working at my desk, then it became visibly darker so I look up at the window and BOOM it's thundering. Crazy huh? I guess I'll be using my time tomorrow to pick up the fallen branches from my lawn from the giant willow tree by the edge of my yard...

I haven't accomplished much lately craft-wise, I've been busy making a plush roll-cake pincushion for my friend's 22nd birthday. I really want to get back into drawing soon though! :)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

felt sweets

I've been having issues with my laptop overheating too easily lately, so I've been doing more crafting than anything else. I've been on a donut craze recently and I've made a bunch of big donuts for purse charms and keychains as well as mini donuts for cellphones. The donuts themselves are brown fleece (personally I think they are stronger this way) with felt frosting and seed bead sprinkles. The mini donuts are the same size as those tiny powdered donuts like Hostess Donettes, and they really remind me of my childhood when I would save my lunch money to buy them in the cafeteria at school.

I think I'll attempt to make life-size macarons next! And maybe cakes too, but not too complicated ones.

Monday, July 12, 2010

summer bracelet!

I've been experimenting with hemp lately and here's one that I came up with. It's up in my Etsy shop now! I hand-dyed the hemp to be a smokey gray to match the gunmetal of the rhinestones. I saw some macrame bracelets with rhinestones at American Eagle but I wanted one with a more natural look, so I made my own. :) This one has small orange and pink rhinestones but I think I'll make more with different colors.


Monday, July 5, 2010

Fireworks and Hydrangeas

I went over to a friend's place for fireworks and barbeque last night! I met some friends that I haven't seen in a long time. It feels nice to do something simple with friends for once, no going to restaurants or whatever but instead hanging out over a grill and just talking and eating... and throwing water balloons lol. Hotdogs burgers and s'mores in the yard are all I need to have a good time with friends, I don't need to go to nice restaurants and go shopping to have a good time. :)

One thing I like about summer is watching the hydrangeas bloom in my yard. At least all that rain came in handy, although it kept me immobile for a while the water definitely helped the flowers. It's also interesting how the flowers change colors, last year the flowers were more green-ish and they made good dry flowers, but this year they are pink!

Thursday, July 1, 2010


I went to pick some raspberries from a bush in my garden (showed above! it's my favorite plant in our yard lol) while the weather was nice. It's so sunny today but with such a cool wind! It's very refreshing. I plan to get enough berries to make some jam soon. They are also very good if you freeze them and drop them into some pancake batter for a quick berry pancake breakfast. Also good for baking too! I guess they don't have to be from your garden, I freeze fresh fruit to use in cooking all the time. This method works great with blueberries. :)



I've heard before that if you don't pick the berries often, you get a smaller harvest. I did notice that the last few years I rarely picked the raspberries except for quick snacks, and the number of berries this year is saddening. I remember in my childhood how every summer the branches of the huge bush would sag from the weight of the fruit and my dad had to put wire supports under them. I'm trying to pick more and take better care of the plant to ensure bigger harvests! When I move out of the house I'm definitely taking a sapling of this bush with me. I don't know if this will produce good fruit but it's the memories that count.