Yes, it has been over a month since my last post. For that, I am very, truly sorry. However, the way I see it...if I have nothing of substance to right about there is no way in hell I am going to post it to the world. Quality over quantity, you see? Of course, this post is bound to have very little substance, but hey, it's my freaking blog and I'll rant about nonsense if I wanna. So there.
I miss France. And London. And Wales. And Kilarney. And certain areas of Dublin. But mostly France...Arles and Marseille specifically. I have finally completely paid off my Disney cruise which is what I should be the most excited for...but instead, my enthusiasm is being channeled into something that hasn't even been looked at yet. Typical me. Putting the cart before the frickin' horse. I can't help it, though...Europe is my "place." Not like "ohh look at me...I was born in the wrong time/country/body/gender/species/planet" way...in the way where I constantly want to explore it and understand it and so on and so forth. With some people it's their own state or country. With some it's specifically Asia or South America or Africa...but for me it's Europe. Believe me, I am so thrilled to be going to the Carribean in a month, but that's vacation. To me, travelling Europe isn't about vacation and relaxation; it's about adventure and discovery and constantly being challenged.
When I was in France I hated that no one understood me. I hated how hard it was to do anything. However, ever since I've returned I have been trying harder to learn French and other languages. Now I know how hard it is to get by...but I still want to be there. I want to pack a single bag, fly over there, and walk until I no longer can. And I will one day.
I don't see the point in paying for 3rd party apps on the iPhone. I don't care if they're only $0.99....I'm not doing it. That is $0.99 that can go in my gas tank, or to groceries, or to rent...to me, games and other "media outlets" on my cellular device are not the priority. However, that does not mean that I spend my fair share of time playing games. First of all, apps don't cost money all the time. For example, I got Peter Und Vlad for free (normally $1.99) because there was one day where it was free until midnight. Umm..hello? Why ever pay for a game when you can just wait for it to go on "sale." Because sure, it might only be $0.99...but how much money does that mean you're spending when you have say 10...15 apps? That's lunch at a nice restaurant. What if you have a couple pages of apps? Like..25..50...that's half your monthly phone bill! So don't dismiss the free games, because they aren't always as lame as you might think.
Okay, deep dark secret time...(although I've probably already spilled the beans on this one) I was a very, very avid Neopets member for a great number of years. I have an account that still has 175,000NP, and every once in awhile I sign back i
n for a little Meerca Chase or Dubloon Disaster. They are fun games, and no one in their right mind can deny that. Line-up is basically the equivalent of Neopet's "Destruct-o Match." Basically, lines of blocks emerge from the bottom of the screen, and as like colors gather together you blast them away by tapping them. The catch to Line-Up is that you only have 100 taps before your game is over...so you have to tap wisely to accumulate a higher amount of points...BUT! Once you reach 1,000 your taps reset back to 100 and you can keep going. This game is so addicting and although it doesn't earn me Neopoints or achievements, it's still a blast.
Flood-It Flood-It is actually made by the same people as Line-Up and is more of a brain puzzle. You start with a cube filled with different colored blocks. Beginning with the top-left corner, you switch the color of the blocks to try and make the whole cube one solid color. Again, they love their catches, you have to complete the transformation in 22 moves. Although quite addicting, this game can get frustrating when you lose like 15 times in a row.
Katamari Lite That's right folks, Katamari has come to the iPhone! While the full game does cost money, the Lite version is available for free. Not much explaining needed...the Tiny Prince is at it again, rolling up everything in sight. However, even though there isn't much complexity to Katamari anyways, the Lite version only allows you to explore 1 level...so playing it's not really a game that I'd like to sit and play over and over.
Scramboni Word puzzles at their finest right here. Not only is this game free, but it also allows you to play online with other players! It's literally a word scramble. You are provided with a series of letters, and you are allotted a specific amount of time to solve the puzzle (which hopefully takes less time than the people you're playing). It's really fun, and also keeps you on your toes (or on your fingers? idk.).
Critter Crunch Lite Oh. My. Tasty Critter Goodness. This game takes everything horrible about a Lite game and completely abolishes it. For real. While Katamari Lite was fun until you reached the cap....Critter-Crunch Lite has no foreseeable cap on the game, and as you keep playing it unlocks different play-modes. AND I saw on Kotaku the other day that they are also releasing this game for the PS3! I am really excited about it, and also quite happy that a game has finally come along and broken the mold for Lite games.
The period of time between summer and winter is clearly dictated by one thing: apple season. No, no, not fall. Because fall is all pumpkins and corn and turkeys and so forth. Apples have their own season. They are too delicious not to. I had bought a tote of apples to kick off the season...didn't really know what I wanted to do with them but c'mon, I couldn't just leave the store without them! It would be cruel!
Then, a couple of days ago, I was giving away a free sample of my Vegan Triple Chocolate Ice Cream and received a bag of organic apples in return. Hello!? Awesome! With two totes of apples in my fridge, I clearly needed a plan. Obviously pie had to happen, but what the heck else could I do? It is that dilemma that inspired this entry. Four absolutely fantastic things to do with apples. I'm not saying they are the best things, just some recipes that make me wish that apple season was year 'round. (Yes, I know I can buy apples anytime, but you can only go local apple picking in apple season, duh!)
Apple Pie For this you need a killer crust recipe. I never follow a recipe for the guts of the pie because honestly? As long as you have apples, sugar, and cinnamon you're pretty much set. Sometimes I throw in some ginger or allspice or nutmeg. Maybe put some butter under the crust or try my grandma's new trick: marichino cherries. The point is, if the vessel (aka the crust) is nasty, no one really cares about what is inside.
2 1/4 c. AP flour 2/3 c. shortening 8-10 T. water 1/2 t. salt
Combine the dry ingredients, cut the shortening into the flour, add water. Roll on generously floured surface. Makes top and bottom crust.
Quite simple, but it melts my heart every time. No joke.
Apple Cider Jelly Alright, so this one will be more difficult to make if you don't press your own cider (I mean really, why don't you? Geez). My grandmother used to always have homemade cider kicking around so this jelly was a regular part of my existence. You can go by some cider at the store if you must, butmake sure it's real apple cider and not just apple juice.
Waldorf Salad Alright, not everyone is a salad nut, but this one is really to die for. We sell one at Whole Foods that has wheat berry in it (the little kernels of wheat) and it is phenomenal. Waldorf salad traditionally consists of apple, walnuts, celery, and dried fruit. It can have either a creamy or vinagraitte dressing, and is great over salad, grains like wheat berry or farro, or just by itself.
Caramel Apples After you enjoy a beautiful, healthy salad, why not indulge? Or...why not skip the salad and go right for the best part of any meal.......dessert ;) They actually make sheets of caramel now that you just wrap around the apple and bake until it melts. I call that cheating, personally. Heat up a sauce pot of 2c. sugar mixed with a few tablespoons of sugar (you want it to be the consistency of sand) and use a pastry brush dipped in cold water to brush the sugar crystals from the sides of the pot. Continue to cook (DO NOT STIR OR TOUCH THE SUGAR!) until it starts to change color. Once it is a deep..you guessed it...caramel color, turn off the heat and immediately throw in a few tablespoons of butter. NOW you can stir! Once the butter is incorporated, dip in your beautiful washed apples (make sure you use a utinsil and don't burn your hands! Caramel is hotter than boiling water! Place them on some parchment to cool and enjoy once the caramel has hardened completely.
Wow. So I was quite excited for the new Katamari game Katamari Forever, so you can only imagine the heartbreak when I played the demo for the first time today. I was quite pleased that I could switch from the Tiny Prince to any of the other little guys from We <3 Katamari (I always play as the one who looks like a strawberry ^_^) , and that the noises were still the same. Then I was perplexed...where the hell do I go? How do I actually play the game? Well, apparently you are supposed to go up and select the RoboKing...which brings you to a swirly world of doom. Again...wtf do I do? How do I play? So I went up to the question mark above me where I am thrown into a room with my Katamari and told to do my thing. No mention of how big I need to get, what to collect, anything. They refreshed me on what the controls were, but still didn't really help much because the only thing I wanted to know (how the hell I pan out) is no longer a function.
I love the look. The cell-shaded levels are so beautiful. But holy shit, the camera angles are like mental rape, and I literally have to quick-turn every three seconds to do anything. I decided to do the rehydration level next. Basically, you roll around the level, watering the barren wasteland you were forced into. Cool idea, right? I totally agree...it's a new concept that steers clear of the repetitive nature found in the other Katamari games. What's my problem then? Well, I'll tell you. The screen is so effing cramped that you get lost. SO lost, mind you, that there is no way for you to figure out how to get back to the watering hole without spinning in circles a couple times first. AND since they neglected to include the pan-out control, there is no way to zoom out and see where the hell you are in relation to your goal. Screw that. It's like being given a loaf of bread and being asked to make cheese.
My hope is that since it is a mere demo, Namco gets their shit together and makes this game less stressful and more enjoyable. If not, I will be sticking to my loving Katamari Damacy and treat all the others like the Star Wars prequels....I swear they haven't happened yet.
This is not about video games, food, or technology. If you read this blog for those themes only, you should probably stop here. At this sentence. Or this one.....are you still reading?
I don't really remember where I was at the exact time. I remember that I had been in Math class before the lunch period in eighth grade...I only know this because I wondered why they didn't turn on the television we had in there. I was at lunch, basically being an eighth grade girl, when my mom entered the cafeteria. She sat down at the table, hugged me, and told me that the of the Twin Towers had fallen. I didn't really know what she meant, I had no idea what the World Trade Center was, what it meant, and why they would just fall. She explained to the other girls at my table and I that two planes had flown into the buildings, and that I would be going home for the rest of the day.
On the car ride to her work, we listened to more reports of the Towers, the Pentagon, and the plane in Pennsylvania. Once there, I watched the news and saw for myself what had happened. I still distinctly remember seeing a man jump from the window of one of the buildings, and wondering why the hell they would show that on television. Until that day, I didn't really have any sense of Patriotism. Outside of Girl Scouts and the Pledge of Allegiance, I was pretty in the dark about country, loyalty, and community. My best friend at the time and I began a fundraiser for the Widows and Children of Lost Firefighters Fund at our school. We decorated a jar for students and teachers to put money in at the end of the lunch line, and raised over a hundred dollars. Sure, that may not sound like much, but the school only let us do it for two weeks, and I wouldn't say that's half bad for a couple of middle schoolers.
Everyone was connected for awhile. Everyone remembered the importance of helping each other, and that in the end we are all Americans. Freedom. Woohoo. But after a couple of years? It kind of died down. People didn't "forget" per se...but it seemed that they neglected to remember. I agree that Patriotism isn't something that should only be displayed once a year...but it is still something I think that people should make note of.
Saturday night, for the first time in...well, quite awhile, I meandered over to the stack of video games, picked one, and began playing. I knew nothing about this game except that it was called Beyond Good and Evil and that it's for the PS2. I probably would not have played it if Jake hadn't recently purchased a wireless control for the console. Not because I'm some gaming snob, but simply because the wired control doesn't reach the couch. And sitting on the hardwood floor isn't exactly the way to start a new game...a sore ass will inevitably alter the initial opinion of the video game.
With that said, I don't really know if I like the game so far. I don't like how backwards the controls are when taking a picture with the camera...makes it take just that much longer to focus. I also think that the amount of dialog would be fine if it were even remotely interesting. Overall, it's a pretty basic game...x is attack and action and o is eat, heal, fix, etc. It is pretty simple, which is appealing in some ways but also pretty boring in others. Maybe I have yet to find the deep meaning behind this game, but so far I don't really even understand what's going on or what my purpose is. I know I'm supposed to take pictures of Earth worms....but why? What does this have to do with the whole "war" theme? Why is my BFF a pig-man with jet boots?
Then there's the faerie who randomly talks to me, and is annoying as shit. The Latin nerd in me likes that he calls her "Yade" instead of "Jade," but I'm pretty sure that the reasoning has nothing to do with the pronounciations of Ancient Rome. I think that the game has me curious enough that I may finish it. I have also heard that it's an incredibly short game, so hopefully I only have a few more days playing it. I feel like a failure to the gaming world because I generally dislike a lot of the games that are said to be "amazing." My bad.
Sometimes (mostly around the time the bills are due..) I wish that we didn't have to use money to pay for things. I wish I had lived in a time where people would trade their goods for the things that they needed. For example, some guy gives me fuel to burn in my apartment, and I give him a sheep that I raised...because obviously he could use the sheep in many different capacities (clothes, food, milk, etc) and we both leave happily. It would keep people semi-productive, for they'd HAVE to develop an important skill or talent in order to live. You set my broken leg? I give you a pie every week for a year! Sounds great to me.
Which is why when I heard that Chris from work had beautiful vegetables growing in his garden, I simply HAD to work out a trade with him. Obviously I wouldn't be able to pay him in plastic money, so I would have to be a bit more creative...pie. Who doesn't love pie? I mean, really. I proposed the trade to him, and he excitedly accepted. That Sunday, we traded an apple pie for this beautiful bounty:
(left-right: squash, green beans, Swiss chard, hot pepper, heirloom tomato, green heirlooms, arugula)Not to mention the hefty amount of herbs I was given as well! Fresh mint, basil, thyme, chives, and green onions a-pleanty! I obviously want to make this all last as long as I possible can, but you can't fault me for being tempted by the lusciousness of this produce. First on the menu?
Sauteed Squash & Green Tomato Sandwich with Garlic-Dill Cheese Sauce
2 slices potato bread - toasted 1/2 c. chopped fresh squash 2T green onion - chiffonade 3T butter 1 large green heirloom tomato - sliced & seasoned 1/8 c. milk 1/2 oz. Cabot Garlic & Dill Cheese
Sautee the squash in 1 T of butter. Once squash begins to caramelize, add green onion and season with salt and pepper. Remove from pan and set aside. In the same frying pan, add the remaining butter, milk, and cheese. stir constantly on low heat to keep the milk from scorching. Heat until cheese is fully melted. Place the tomato slices on the toast, followed by the sauteed squash, and topped with the cheese sauce. Voila! Deliciousness. The tomatoes have a nice crunch to them that offsets the warm, softness of the squash and cheese.
Since it's been difficult for Jake and I to get back into the healthy eating routine while being on a tight budget, we have been incorporating leftovers into the equation. It's awesome, because we haven't had to spend ANY money the past few days. There are times that it really helps to work in the restaurant industry, and most of those times revolve around food.
Two days ago we were running a fish special at the inn that had a piquillo Hollandaise sauce. Piquillos are a Spanish red pepper that we get for specific dishes because they are certainly not cheap. I like to think of it as the saffron of peppers. I also like to think that maybe that wasn't the most absurd statement I've made in a long time. Anyways, the sauce was left over and used in staff meal. Since it was about to be thrown out at the end of staff meal, I decided to take it home. That same day, one of the servers had brought in fresh veggies from his garden. He offered me some of them, so I gratefully snagged some Swiss Chard and a squash. The next morning I poached some eggs, and served them over the sauteed chard and topped it with Hollandaise.
I then used the leftover chicken and tomatoes I had brought home from Back Bay Grill on Monday, some pasta, the squash, and some fresh herbs to make a hearty lunch pasta (no Hollandaise on that one!). It was SO good and so incredibly easy.
I'm more proud of this morning though. We were getting rid of old mashed potatoes at the end of the night, so I packed them up to bring home. I already knew my mission, but I only fear was that I would forget about it the next day. Luckily, I woke up this morning rearing to go, and spent the next two hours making potato bread. I loosely followed a recipe, but had to change a few things to make it turn out right. First, I gathered my ingredients:
1 pkg. (7g) Dry Yeast 6oz. Lukewarm Water 2c. Mashed Potatoes (I used leftovers, but you can make some if you want!) 2 T. Butter 4 1/2 c. King Arthur All-Purpose Flour 3/4 c. King Arthur Whole Wheat Flour 2t. Salt
I bloomed my yeast in the lukewarm water (make sure the water is not hot enough to kill the yeast, but not so cold that it doesn't react). Then I added the potatoes, butter, flour, and lastly salt. Salt should always be added last because it kills yeast. You want your bread to rise, no? I let it go in the mixer for about 3-4min. My KitchenAid is incredibly old, and practically falls apart whenever I demand more of it than it's daily display of antiquity, so it wasn't horrible efficient in terms of dough creation.
Once the ingredients were at least incorporated, I removed them from the bowl and kneaded the dough for about a minute. I then wrapped it in a plastic freezer bag to let it proof. Problem #1? I don't have a proof box. Problem #2? Despite it being AUGUST and hot as hell last week, my kitchen was freezing so I could not count on the humidity to assist me. Instead, I set my oven to what I could only guess was 75*. It was below 200* (the lowest number on the dial), but was definitely still producing heat. I then put a bowl of water in the oven to keep it moist and steamy in there.
Once the bread was about 2x it's original size, I rounded it and popped it in the oven. 375* for about 45 min. I lost my thermometer so I had to resort to Morse Code in order to figure out if it was done. Sure enough, knocking on the bottom made the same hollow noise that I had hoped for, so I melted some butter over the top, and let the loaf cool.
For lunch we used my bread and some leftover chicken to make chicken salad sandwiches. Free, natural, creative food has never tasted so good. For real.
This is probably the first time in months I have realized it was Thursday and thought, "Why not do a Thursday Tea?" As of late, I've been forcing myself to complete them...but not today! Today I am going to talk about Death's Daughter by Amber Benson (yes, "Tara" from Buffy the Vampire Slayer) and Homegrown's Blueberry Cooler.
Tell us what tea you are drinking (and if you like it). And then tell us what book are you reading (and if you like it). Finally, tell us if they go together.
Meeting Amber Benson at New York Comic Con was amazing. It wasn't until that point that I truly began to understood how diverse her talents are. Sure, acting and directing aren't quite the same cup of tea, but they're similar enough that one could say, "Huh...yeah, I could see that." Writing your own fictional trilogy? Well...let's just say I didn't have the same prior reaction.
The book wasn't at all expensive ($10 I believe), so Jake and I each purchased one for her to sign. We both began reading on the bus ride home, and it was a lot better than I expected (not that I, in any way, doubted her!). While I can still picture Amber Benson narrating the story, herself, Death's Daughter has a style that I have not quite experienced. I think what I enjoy most about the writing is that the main character, Calliope, speaks the same way I do. She uses weird sentence structure while kind of becoming consumed in her own rants, and making up words when none can accurately describe what she's trying to say.
I know a lot of people have been upset about her "destruction of English prose," but I think that every author has the right to creative license. If the character would use that particular wording or "slang," then I think it would be a shame if the reader weren't given the opportunity to experience that.
Calliope Reaper-Jones so just wanted a normal life: buying designer shoes on sale, dating guys from Craig’s List, web-surfing for organic dim-sum for her boss...But when her father—who happens to be Death himself—is kidnapped, and the Devil’s Protege embarks on a hostile takeover of the family business, Death, Inc., Callie returns home to assume the CEO mantle— only to discover she must complete three nearly impossible tasks in the realm of the afterlife first.
Not available on her website, Sarah of Homegrown Herb and Tea has a special summer blend called Blueberry Cooler. It is absolutely scrumptious. No joke. Steeped with mint, lemon verbena, cinnamon sticks, a hint of honey, and fresh blueberries, I am FAR from hell when sipping on this chilled beverage. It is absolutely perfect for these deathly hot summer days we've been having.
I think that these two are a perfect pairing. With the heat wave flashing through Amber Benson's tale, and chilly effects of the Blueberry Cooler, you are left with a very satisfying temperature. What better way to pass a nice summer day then to engulf yourself in an urban fantasy while cooling yourself down with a delicious, all-natural tea?
I've never been to San Diego Comic Con. Heck, I've never been to San Diego...EVEN HECKER...I've never been to California! With all the other adventures Jake and I have been planning, SDCC is probably the biggest and most desired (at least for me). The New York Comic Con left me craving more, and my expectations for San Diego are quite high.
Unfortunately, they have not announced any ticket information for next year, so I am clueless about how much to start saving or even what will be happening at the event. I'm sure everyone who attended 2009 SDCC is still trying to recover, but I have too many dreams about this! I decided that I would create my dream list. Probably the furthest from realistic, but it's my dream so STFU.
I'll tell ya what I want, what I really really want (and it's NOT a zigazig-ha)
#1: Buffy Cast Reunion Panel
This would include Sarah Michelle Gellar, Nicholas Brendan, Alyson Hannigan, Amber Benson, James Marsters, Anthony Stewart Head, Seth Green, and Emma Caulfield. There would be a meet and greet afterwards where I could talk with all of them.
No, I do not want David Boreanaz, Charisma Carpentar, or Michelle Trachtenberg to be there. kthx.
#2: Dollhouse Panel
Obviously this would include Joss Whedon Eliza Dushku, and the regulars. I would then get to meet Eliza.
#3: Firefly Panel
Everyone would discuss what they're doing now, as well as the future of Firefly. What's to come?
#4: Bioshock 2
Because we all know it will probably be bumped back to some obscure 2010 date, it should be a preview game at SDCC where Juliet Landau (voice of the Little Sisters aka Drusilla) would casually be observing to see how the game turned out.
#5: Jo Chen Signing
Who knows what future projects she has, but I want this girl to sign every copy of my Season 8 Buffy comics.
#6: Casually Bumping Into Dan Trachtenberg
TRS would be shooting their SDCC podcast, and I would casually bump into the three of them because I would be too busy being hysterical with excitement about the rest of the event. Then they would use the embarrassing footage in the episode, and Dan would accidently tweet his phone number again, and I could call him, and we would become great friends and he would help me with job placement for the rest of my life. (I said unrealistic, okay!? MY DREAMS! MINE!)
#7: Dr. Horrible Signing & Sing-Along
I could awkwardly introduce myself to Felicia Day, and we could awkwardly get out picture taken together, and then awkwardly fumble around as she signs whatever I have handy...awkwardly.She, and the rest of the cast would lead the group in a theatrical performance of Dr. Horrible's Sing Along Blog
#8: Joss Whedon signing
They would hold a lottery like they did at NYCC, except THIS TIME Jake or I would win. Well, hopefully in my dream I win...but I'd settle for it being Jake. If I won, I would be super excited and get like 17 things autographed, and show him my tattoo and ask to shake his hand and/or hug him.
#9: Free Sushi & Tea
Everyone who attends would receive free tea and bento box. Not some cheap, nasty crap either. It would be sponsered by a well-respected company. MMMmmm. Because starving all day sucks.
#10: Harrison Ford, IRL, as Han Solo...just trying to blend in.
So I am torn. The outrageous fangirl in me is all "omfg! I want ANYTHING with ANY kind of Bioshock reference IN MY HANDS NOW. Kay, thanks." But the slightly rational side of me is saying, "...really people?" I mean, I would probably considering purchasing one of the toys NECA displayed at Comic Con, but this seems kind of outrageous.
For those who don't already know, the release date for Bioshock 2 has been pushed into sometime next year. I'm not fretting much, because thanks to Twitter I know that my beloved Juliet Landau (Drusilla of BTVS) is doing the voices of the Little Sisters again. The one thing that bothered me about the Bioshock trailer was that the voice of the Little Sister in the end was NOT the same as the ones in the original Bioshock. I am very weird about stuff like that..if something I am used to is even an octave off of what it has always been, I have issues with it. Anyways, in my mind they had to push the release date because Juliet Landau is just now able to do the voice work for the project, and 2k cares so much about the quality of the game that they are willing to postpone in order to make it perfect. Whether that is true or not is a completely separate story, but that is what keeps me at bay.
So this wine bottle. It's a Rapture related bottle containing promotional posters for Bioshock 2. Various amounts of bottles were found on ten beaches throughout the world (that part impresses me), and now someone is selling theirs on Ebay. Sure, if I were the lucky gal to stumble across one of them beauties I would probably pee myself, hell, I might even sell it myself, but there is no way in hell I would pay $70+ for a free advertisement. If I were going to purchase Bioshock related goodness, it would probably be this:
Because I have never seen anything so metal in my life.
Nirvana vs. Rick Astley This video is amazing. I have pretty much told everyone I know about this. It is the ultimate Rick-roll...
Chocolate Rain I sang this at work last week and was told by many that they had no idea what I was talking about. That is absolute blasphemy. Watch it.
Linkin Park Parody Jake actually just showed me this today, and it is actually so true that it hurts a little
Little Boy Singing "Hey Jude" I actually get this version of the song stuck in my head more often than the original
Sunday Afternoon I couldn't post this without a Jon Lajoie video...however, I wanted to make this entry appropriate for all so I figured "Show me your gentials" and "E=MC Vagina" were probably not the best ones to add.
Where are Episodes 1 and 2 you ask? Well, as with Star Wars, they just weren't up to par...but unlike the movie industry we know when to count our losses. Yeah, sure, episode 3 wasn't that great, but I'm pretty sure Anakin rolling around in molten whatsit was far more badass than anything that CG asshole Jar Jar Binks ever did. Just sayin'. Well...anyways...Episode 3! I finally came up with the most brilliant of plans, even if it was with a little guidance from all you folks out in the interwebs ;) . I took the .wmv file that the Flip HD editing program had created, dragged it into Windows Media Player, and compressed it to 500mb. BAM! Goes the la-dy...all complete, all gorgeous, all 100% FAVA-licious.
So to enjoy our third official, first completed episode...check out The Official FAVA Blogfor more!TELL US WHAT YOU THINK :) :) :)
Jake's cousin Nick is a pretty nice guy. He has hung out with us a lot, and we're going to miss him when he moves to Colorado. However, that's not exactly the reason I decided to make a four layer fondant cake...it was mostly for selfish reasons. It's weird because I will swear up and down that I DON'T want to be a baker, and yet the only things I ever make at home (or have any desire to make) are items in the baking and pastry field. I have always wanted to decorate a cake with fondant. Not because I think it would be tasty or fun, but because I want to learn.
I confided in my friend/coworker Renee about my plans for the cake. I have never worked with fondant before, and didn't exactly want to have an epic fail the day of the hootenanny (chock full of hoot just a lil' bit of nanny) so she decided to come over and give me a hand. This all began at 7am, mind you. We spent some time at Hannaford's getting groceries so that we wouldn't have any need to leave the apartment. In addition to regular cake ingredients, I purchased what I would need to make my fondant from scratch.
We baked off two 10" round pans of homemade yellow cake. After cooling and cutting both in half (horizontally) we slathered the inside with strawberry frosting...Not just any strawberry frosting! Frosting made with the Renee's mom's homemade strawberry jelly. After that we did a quick crumb coat with regular buttercream and began to make the fondant as the cake chilled.
The fondant was pretty easy to make. It's literally 1c. shortening 1c. corn syrup 2# powdered sugar. I threw it in the kitchen aid for about 3 minutes with a dough hook, and it was done! We rolled it all out, and draped it over the cake. FAIL. The humidity caused the fondant to sweat and pull apart, in addition to leaving ugly-ass lines all over the cake.
However, because we are badass, Renee and I made fondant shapes to go around the outside of the cake to cover up the messes! I made ocean with waves, mountains, and a bear while she worked on coloring the fondant and making trees and grass.
After we molded everything to the cake (Renee had to leave), I made a rough outline of the country on the top of the cake with a little road map leading from Maine to Colorado. Originally it was supposed to mark the map with a lobster and a snowboard, but the snowboard looked more like an evil olive monster/ flute. Therefore I settled with making a Colorado-shaped state and writing "CO" on it.
I know this entry is all so interesting, but I'm sure you're thinking, "Just show me the damn pictures already!!!1!!!1!1" Okay, fine.