Monday, April 30, 2012

Banana Crêpe Cake

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You guys, I made my very first crepe cake. I've first become aware of the crepe cake through Julia Child's cookbook. I swiftly filed it away as something far out of reach for me. Then I watched as Deb made this gorgeous crepe-layered-toasted-sugar-cap-wearing cake. I continued to sit on the sidelines. A couple of weeks ago she made yet another crepe beauty and I decided to give it a try.

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I followed her, may I note, original recipe. This lady is just amazing. I would not dare to make up any recipe, let alone a crêpe cake recipe. I mean, the name of this recipe has a weird e-hat (ê) letter. How do you do it, Deb?

I made the crepe batter on Saturday (it has to rest overnight), but got sick the following morning. Ugh. I felt better by Monday and told myself that there was no way I was letting go of my crepe dream. I was soooo close.

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The crepe making was a blast! I thought it would take forever, but it was surprisingly fast. I turned on some tunes to dance around in the kitchen to. Backup singer lip-syncing to You're the Inspiration made me mess up a crepe. You have to close your eyes when you're singing, people!

Of course, I was cooking at night, so the pictures came out less than optimal. I really wanted to take a picture of Moos overseeing the cake-making process. She weaves through my feet and meows when I'm in the kitchen until I put up a step ladder for her to jump on and watch from. Her tail was dangerously close to the stove a couple of times, but she was intent on staying and watching.

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The filling came together quickly, even though I didn't read the instructions all the way through, and just dumped all of the filling ingredients in the bowl instead of whipping the yogurt separately. And I was able to start filling the cake soon after I finished making the crepes. I just made sure to flip the stack of crepes and start from the crepe that was finished first. You know, [geeky joke warning] the basic FIFO (first in first out) structure, also known as queue!

I decided I'd make the butterscotch topping in the morning, and almost burned my apartment down. I put the nuts in to toast in the toaster oven (MISTAKE!) and went to wash up in the bathroom (MISTAKE!). They were burnt to a crisp. So, I omitted the nuts in the topping. It was nevertheless delicious, but not as sweet as I expected it a crepe cake to be. It's definitely breakfast-sweet level, not dessert-sweet (at least on my scale of sweet).

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I'm definitely looking forward to making another crepe cake (a dessert one) soon! I don't know what took me so long. Probably because my mama is so damn good at making crepes. She would gasp at how thick these are and how much batter I'm pouring into the pan to make one crepe. Her crepes are practically see-through.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Sick :-(

I got sick. And so did both of the other programmers on my team! We all showed up with tissues and decongestant in hand on Monday.

Sick. Moos keeping me company.

This picture was taken on Sunday morning. I barely slept, and once the sun came up I moved to the couch (for the change of scenery, I guess). Moos moved with me. I like to think she was really sorry that I felt so bad, but who am I kidding? Moos is a cat!

The last time I felt so bad was in 2009. I remember walking to the campus health center all weak. I was crying because I usually weave through the crowds walking on Bruin Walk to get to my destination the fastest, but that day I was just shuffling along on the side of the walkway feeling sorry for myself.

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Thankfully most of the weekend chores were done the day before. I spent my Sunday just lounging around, perfecting Pink Floyd on the guitar, learning how to play Skinny Love on the piano, and responding to dove calls on the balcony. I tried to take a walk in the afternoon (it was a gorgeous day), and I had to sit down on the side of the road at one point. Sad.

I'm still recovering, but definitely can't complain. I feel much, much better than I did on Sunday.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

5-Toed Shoes

Yup, yup. I've been wanting to get a pair of these for a while now.

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REI had their used-gear sale last weekend, and M-fish and I decided to go. These turned out to be pretty rad. My toes are kind of weird (my second toe is longer than the big toe, especially on my left foot), and these fit pretty well. It feels kind of like you're always walking around in soft ballet slippers. (I can't stop doing relevé, elevés, échappés, and just generally breaking out into an old ballet combination in these.)

Also, you get to change your pants/shorts without taking off your shoes. WIN!

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Made Me Laugh

bitter coffee

Ha! This coffee sure is bitter. I like my coffee the way I like my sugar - undiluted. (And I love Gemma Correll and her many funny drawings.)

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Hello, Depth of Field!

I got a camera! I just received it last night and I am so, so, so excited. I wish I could take an awesome picture of the camera, but (as my friend has noted) that would get recursive and result in an infinite loop. I got the camera body only, and purchased a 50mm f/1.8 lens separately. I do love that lens. It's super cheap (in the world of lenses), lots of people rave about it, and it'll be plenty to learn on I'm sure.

First Picture EVER!

I had to make cat food last night. It took all the will I had in my body to not open the box until I was all done. I had been waiting to make such a big purchase until I paid off my student loans. And this was the perfect reward. I upgraded my Flickr account to pro this morning to commemorate this occasion.

I know pretty much nothing about photography. I did take a physics class that was dedicated almost entirely to optics a couple of years ago, so hopefully I can apply what I already know and pick it up quickly. With a little bit of luck, I'll be able to use maybe 10% of this camera's functionality by next year (and finally capture cats in the pouncing action).

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The first picture in this post was the very first shot with the camera. Tig was really startled by the autofocus noise and the flash. Poor cats don't know what's about to hit them. I do apologize in advance for the absurd number of cat photos that are about to surface on this blog. I'm sorry. I just love cats.

In any case, I'm really excited to share my photos with you. And if you know anything about photography, or have any tips, please, please, please share!

Loan Free

Yay, yay, yay, yay, yay, yay!

'Cause I'm as free as a bird now. [EXPLORE #381]
Photo by katelyndowns

 I had almost $18K in student loans when I graduated UCLA last summer. I made my last payment March 30th. This morning I got an email from the lender I have paid off all my loans. It was a long and very frugal period of 6 months. I could not be more excited to be loan freeeeeee!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Nut Milk

I found this excellent video that tells you how to make nut milk!



I love almond milk. Making this tonight for sure. Did you know you could do this?

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Tigger & Floss

I've been meaning to share this story for a while, but kept going back and forth about whether it was too gross. If you're easily grossed out, don't read further. If you're like me (you find poo hilarious), read on!

Video by knitsnbits.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Tim Minchin at the Largo

Photo from: www.jla.co.uk
I got to see Tim Minchin perform live at the Largo tonight. It was amazing. He did about 5 songs I hadn't heard before, and he performed a lot of my favorites as well (including If I Didn't Have You and Storm!!) The dude is completely incredible at piano. It blows my mind. And the wordplay in his songs is awesome.

I was checking my email when I got home and Tig got up on the desk to give me some eskimo kisses.

Then I thought "in for a penny, in for a pound"! I better take a picture of myself looking nice. That's when Moos decided to grace me with her presence.


Thank you, Barry and Sue, for the tickets and to Mark for finding them.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Piano-Loving Cat

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I wanted to share this funny cat habit. I got an electric piano a few months ago. It came with a piano bench that the cats were strangely wary of at first. But recently Tigger has taken to dropping whatever she is doing and leaping onto the bench with me the moment I start playing.

I was really surprised when she first did it, so I started petting her, and she quickly got disinterested. When I started playing again, though, she jumped back up. Now I just continue playing and she happily sits there in the weekend sun with me listening to my interpretation of Chopin. Isn't she a cutie?

Moosya has no interest in the piano. But the moment she hears me get behind my computer desk, she runs right over and jumps up on my desk and then my lap. They probably just see me as captive audience when I sit down to play the piano/work on my computer, or maybe I'm reading too much into it and they're just cats with silly habits. Either way, they are my favorite.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Knish

Hey, there!
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I made a traditional potato knish a few weeks ago. I finally got around to making a gif out of it! It looks neat.



I followed this recipe from Joe Pastry. He is awesome!

And this is what the end result looked like:
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Mine turned out a lot different from Joe's, but that's probably because I decided to test my baking powder AFTER I made the dough, and it definitely was not very active. Poodle. You're supposed to get a new can of baking powder every 6 months! HA! Who knew?

It did not stop the knish from being awesome though!

P.S. You didn't honestly think I'd let a blog post go without a picture of a cat, did you?
Moos is lurking in the background

Sweet tunes: POLIÇA – Wandering Star