My friend Brooke is a total craft nerd. A few weeks ago, I stayed with her while down in Los Angeles for a unexpected work visit. We. Geeked. Out.
Brooke recently helped me with an embroidery project at work. A bit before then, she told me about her latest impulse nerd buy – an embroidery machine complete with the muy expensive software. While I was in LA, she was even taking the accompanying class that came with purchase. Commitment, yo.
Well, after a hard night out on the town, we’d retire back at the house and… EMBROIDER! Alright, I’ll confess: I occasionally geek-out craft nerd style, too.
How to Make a MP3 Belt after the jump >>
It’s become quite the annual activity. It’s cheap (depending on how much you drink, I suppose). It’s fun. It’s a whole day’s worth of adventure. It can be done, somewhat, on the fly, even. Last week, June 3, 2012, was our first tubing venture this year: Weber River, Utah.
Photos and video of our Weber River Tubing float after the jump >>
Inspired by a sale at Target on organic heavy whipping cream, I decided to make some cream puffs this weekend. Um, yes, it was totally successful unlike my last cream puff blog.
Yum, yum, yum. Touch of Frangelico. The rest? Oky doke. Here’s a quick rundown of how the recipe went…
Flour, butter, water, sugar, salt, eggs – choux pastry.
Sift the flour (about 1 cup), sugar (about a teaspoon?), salt (just a pinch) into a mixing bowl. Heat the stick of butter with about a cup of water in a heavy saucepan until it boils. Remove from heat, add the dry ingredients and mix. Put it back onto the heat and mix until it started forming a ball. At this stage, remove from heat and place into a big mixing bowl (or your Kitchenaid mixer bowl). Beat it up to release the steam then add four eggs one at a time as you whip it into a thick pancake-like mixture. Spoonfuls into the oven at 400 degrees for about 10-15 minutes then lower to 350 degrees for about 20-30 minutes depending on how soft you like them. Brush on an eggwash before the oven for that shiny glossy look.
Heaving whipping cream, sugar, vanilla – whipped cream.
Whip it all together until soft peaks. I like more than just a little vanilla and not as much sugar in this. Put in fridge until ready.
Eggs, sugar, Frangelico, milk, flour and/or cornstarch – custard.
Egg and one egg yolk mixed into the sugar. Heat the milk with a touch of flour (and/or cornstarch) until it’s warmed over – feel free to add other flavors (cinnamon stick, cardamom pods, etc.) that work in here. When the milk is just nearing that boil, grab your whisk and slowly pour it into the egg mixture while you whisk a fine frenzy. This is so it doesn’t turn into scrambled eggs. Put it back into the heavy saucepan onto the heat and mad whisk until you can’t taste a starchy texture anymore. Add the Frangelico towards the end – whisk a bit more. Put it in the fridge until it’s cool.
When you’re ready, add the custard into the whipped cream. Whisk it until it blends together as one. Mix to taste. Cut the cream puff in half when it’s cooled and lather it up with the mixture. Or be fancy and pipe it in. Be even more fancy and dust with powdered sugar. There you go!
A couple of weeks ago, I traded Matt food for knowledge. After a cram session at Salt Lake Roasting Company, we walked over to Everest Tibetan Restaurant for a late dinner. It was good. Don’t get me wrong. But the cheap frugal person that I am, I balked at the $10.99 price for seven pan-fried momos. Momos = just like Chinese bao or a variation of the Japanese nikuman.
And plus, c’mon! Chinese food should not be that expensive (and hey, you can get delicious nikuman at a Japanese 7-Eleven for ~100 yen).
So, just the tiniest bit enraged (and very, very full from the still delicious dinner), I decided to make my own bao-tzi/bao-zi over the weekend.
Bao-fever after the jump >>
Diversity. Big city life. Liquor in grocery stores. And Neiman Marcus. These are just a few things that Utah lacks. However… the great outdoors is where Utah never ceases to flourish! That’s why… summertime is full of fun sun-bathing adventure. Last week’s adventure – river tubing down the Provo River. It was a great way to cool down in our near 100 degree weather.
Tube the Provo River with us after the jump >>
I recently re-registered my scoot: a Kymco People S200. It’s been a blast, but after almost a year of not riding it; I thought I should give it some fresh oil.
Being the lazy, 8-hour desk job type that I am… I tried to surf the internet for where the drain bolt was located. I remembered it was different than what the owner’s manual had down. After a few Google searches, I couldn’t find what I was looking for… so I just went for it! Luckily – it was the correct bolt! Oh, by the way… these instructions most likely work for a People S50 and S125 as well (as they all have the same owner’s manual instructions).
Learn how to change the oil in your Kymco scooter >>
Cinco de Mayo – Booze and chips and desserts. That’s how I like to celebrate. Okay, okay… maybe something more sustainable as well – tacos, taquitos, nachos, anything along that deliciousness. But dessert, that is the most precious…
So, flan and tres leches! Thanks to David Lebovitz, there were recipes in his book, Ready for Dessert: My Best Recipes, for both desserts that I could utilize.
*Butterscotch Flan (or in the closest online variation I found: Chocolate-Dulce de Leche Flan)
*Victorian Sponge Cake (which I could transform into tres leches)
How to adapt a Victoria Sponge Cake for Tres Leches >>
Recently, I went sledding down Neff’s Canyon with a few friends (old and new). It was a BLAST. **Thanks to Holly for organizing the event!**
Yes, this is me (**okay, I find out later that this is really Holly and it’s too hard to tell us apart since we had the same colors on… almost) with the constant flurry of snow jetting in my face because it was so fast and uncontrollable on the saucer sleds. I totally recommend it.
Anyway, on this trip, while resting post-sledding and lunching at the Vietnamese deli, my friend Skylar mentioned he had a blog! A blog where you could track his real-time bike path to work and follow him in his adventures to and fro.
He bikes in the freezing temps of Salt Lake City, around 10 miles and 45 minutes each way. He bought studded winter tires off the internet for his journey in the slush and snow.
He has a trailer. He can haul more on his bike + trailer than I can on my motorcycle.
Stalk him on his daily route as you follow him through his GPS. Karolina, his wife, admits she does (you know, to make sure he’s not wondering around off the usual path).
It’s pretty awesome. Check it out: http://obscurecycle.blogspot.com.
It’s that time… last-minute shopping. Gifts for the neighbor. Gifts for the best of friends. Gifts for the forgotten. Gifts for the office. Duhn duhn duhnnnnn!
Since joining up in the Salt Lake office, I’ve tried to get our crew to go green as much as possible. Finagling approval for a recycle service, bringing in my own silverware, using Tupperware for my sack lunch or playful scoldings when the folks don’t recycle… yeah, I do what I can… ha!
Well, it’s become very influential… my green. Their envy. Get it? Green. Envy. Ha. I’m on a roll. Most of them try to reuse their plastic utensils and we each have our own water bottle. Anyway, that is where I got my office gift idea – silverware kits for each of the office folk.
I needed to move fast though. It was slim pickin’s online for silverware kits. I wanted actual silverware, not the (I know, I know… greener) bamboo utensils such as the To-Go Ware kits.
The bamboo utensils are just clunky, not as easy to use… There were a few on Etsy — Blackberry Prairie, Stitchmates, FashionRemixTeam and TheStraightStitch to name a few. But time and frugality led me away from buying online.
Rather, I came upon Simple Savvy’s tutorial to make my own utensil set! It seemed easy enough. Right? I hope it seemed easy enough…
How to Sew Your Own Kit after the jump >>
Occasionally (although it may be weird), I like to go through my favorite food blogs when I eat. I came upon Seasaltwithfood‘s blog about spiral potatoes during lunch one day and was inspired for dinner. I had fond memories when I first experienced them in Taipei.
Friday, the (unsaid) sanctioned day for plans… I’m proud to announce, my friend Heather and I had some good ones. Staying green, Heather grabbed me from work for some thrifty home-cooked eatin’. Seeing the blog earlier that day, I suggested we make the potatoes. Brilliant (if I do say so myself).
Our spiral potato experience after the jump >>