Category Archives: Random

I very well may be a baking genius

I love to cook, but I don’t often bake. I think it’s the precision that seems to be required in baking that turns me off.  You always need to measure your ingredients to the T and pay so much attention to which ingredients go into the mix in what order, and for how long you stir it, with what kitchen implement, etc. It’s somewhat akin to Potions Class in Harry Potter’s world. Snape would have been a baker, and probably an excellent one at that.

Having said that, I do have my staple recipes like shortbread cookies, chocolate chip cookies, cornbread (which I haven’t made in a zillion years) and fudge, although you don’t actually bake that, so it doesn’t really count.  That’s about it in terms of my baked goods repertoire.  But lately I’ve been branching out,  partly thanks to this lemon cupcake recipe I found via Pinterest. (Ahh Pinterest, you’re like crack, I tell ya! Crack!)

I baked them about a month ago and they were delicious, so, I baked some more this week and decorated them with Easter coloured icing, then brought them in to work. Gone in 60 seconds, I kid you not. Anyway, I’m having some people over for Easter dinner this weekend and have decided to make more of them.  I also had some bananas that I had put in my freezer once they became over-ripe, so I decided to make my first attempt at Banana Bread.  I found two recipes that were tempting, but couldn’t decide between them, so I did a bit of a combination and this is what came out of it:

IMG_2496

Delicious! Give it a try. You won’t regret it. My modified version of the recipe is below.

Ingredients

  • cooking spray
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup room-temperature butter
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 5 mashed overripe bananas
  • 1 tablespoon water (for the topping)
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar (for the topping)

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C).
  2. Spray cooking spray in two 8 x 3.75 inch loaf pans.
  3. Mash bananas in a bowl with a potato masher.
  4. Whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda in another bowl.
  5. Blend butter and sugar with a spatula in a large bowl until smooth.
  6. Stir in mashed bananas. The mixture will look lumpy/granular. That’s okay.
  7. Add eggs to the butter mixture one at a time. Using a whisk, fully blend in each egg before adding the next.
  8. Stir in vanilla extract and milk.
  9. Switching back from the whisk to the spatula, stir in flour mixture until just incorporated. Even if there are some bits where the flour is visible, this is okay. You don’t want to over-stir it.
  10. Pour batter into the prepared loaf pans. Tap pan on the counter to release any air pockets.
  11. Mix the the water and 3 tablespoons of brown sugar, then brush over the top of your batter with a silicone basting brush.
  12. Bake in preheated oven for about 1 hour 10 minutes, or until an inserted wooden skewer comes out clean.
  13. Let the bread rest in the pan for 10-15 minutes. Remove from pan and let it continue to cool on a wire rack. Slice and serve.

And thus, my first attempt at banana bread was a rousing success.  Well at least to me. I’ll let you know what others think once they’ve tried it. 🙂

Advertisements

Something great to do in the city this month

I’m very excited about the festival happening at the TIFF Bell Lightbox from now until April 13: Spirited Away: The Films of Studio Ghibli.

Yes, Miyazaki’s Studio Ghibli! OMG how awesome is that.  They’ve got Totoro, Nausicaa, Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke, and so many others! Seriously, the king of anime on the big screen! And, and, AND!!!! They’re even showing them in Japanese with English subtitles!  I don’t have to watch the dubbed versions! How friggin’ amazing is that?!?!

Unfortunately, I don’t think they sell passes to the fest, just individual film tickets, but I am going to call tomorrow and check, otherwise, I’ll have to narrow my list down a bit, cuz at $12 a pop, going to all of them is a bit costly!

Ebay will be the death of me

I’m a bit of a walking contradiction. I love to buy things, yet I absolutely abhor shopping malls. I’m not sure when it happened, because I was a total mall rat just like every other suburban teen in the GTA, but somehow, somewhere along the way, I began to hate malls with a passion. I also don’t particularly like the hassle of shopping for clothing, except for shoes, but even then, I prefer to go to shoe stores that are outside of malls so that I don’t have to experience the torture of being inside one. Same thing with anything else I need/want to buy. If I can get it somewhere else, I’m totally there.

It is for this exact reason that the ability to shop online is both a godsend and pure, unadulterated evil for me. You see, I really, really like to buy things, and when you partner that up with my fangirlish tendencies, havoc will ensue. Take this weekend, for example: I purchased 4, yes, 4 JYJ CDs; a JYJ cell phone charm; 2 JYJ pillow cases; a JYJ wall calendar; and a new case (miraculously not JYJ) for my iPhone. Did I need all that stuff? Well, I did need the case, as mine has broken, and a new case does dictate the need for a new cell phone charm. But the CDs? Maaaaybe kind of, sort of, but, not really. I already have most of the songs on the CDs I bought, but the reason I say ‘sort of’ is that I’m a firm believer in supporting the artists I love by buying their products and going to their concerts. So even if I download something for free, eventually I will buy it, or buy enough of their other products to restore my musical karmic balance. Also, the CDs come with posters and photo books, so, there’s another reason to buy them. But again, not enough to dictate need, really.

The calendar was completely frivolous, since I already have two calendars at home – one of them from another fandom: Bleach – yet I absolutely had to have the JYJ one. (Really, I was thiiiiiis close to buying it back in November, but I changed my mind, so really, all I’m doing is changing my mind back again.) And let’s not even discuss the pillow cases, because frivolous is not a frivolous enough word to describe that particular purchase. But OMG they’re so adorable! Ahem. Yeah. Frivolous to the Nth degree.

Anyway, this is just a long-winded way for me to document the fact that I really need to stay away from eBay. And YesAsia.com, and J-list, and all the other e-commerce sites that suck me in so efficiently. Truly I do, because I’m supposed to be saving money for Japan, not buying things that I can probably get cheaper there anyway!

On the up side, I have been a good girl when it comes to concerts. I’ve made a rule that I’m not allowed to buy concert tickets for any band/artist I’ve seen before, though what I’m actually aiming for is to spend no money on any band unless JYJ return to North America like the rumours say they will. Now that I’ve written that down, I think it means I’m obligated to adhere to it…

Ugh, wish me luck!

This looks like, purple line. Gotta introduce myself

Music lover, sci-fi and anime nerd, Kpop fangirl. Born and raised in Toronto. Living in South Korea.

I’m not particularly diligent about updating this blog. From time to time I try to dust it off and make a go of posting regularly, but eventually laziness wins. Read at your own risk. Haha!

I tend to fangirl things, especially Kpop (Korean Pop), so you may notice that in my posts. If you don’t like Kpop, just scroll on past those ones.

Check out the about tab for a more detailed description of me (and then tell me about yourself!) 🙂