Tag Archives: japan

First Bento!

23 Feb
This will be a short short short entry. Its midterms, and I’ve got a paper due :(. BUT good news! My bento box that I ordered off of iloveobento.com came in the mail today!
So this means that I just prepared my first bento. Its not too cute. And I have to learn how to best utilize space.
The bottom tier has about 5 potato perogies that I sauteed with a frozen veggie mix. The top tier (with the spill-proof lid) has vanilla yogurt and frozen red raspberries.  I figure I’ve got protein, veggies, fruits, and carbs. Seems good to me, we’ll see how it goes 🙂

Experiment on Cream Puffs

12 Feb
I’ve been trying to make cream puffs, which a friend introduced me to. She saw them in this Japanese drama that was based on a manga, “Absolute Boyfriend.” She got me hooked on the show and wanting to try to make cream puffs (which were featured in the show).  I’ve never made pastries before this. Turns out, they’re actually a bit complicated to make and pretty sensitive (DO NOT open the oven while these are baking!). My first batch was on Wednesday night. They didn’t rise, I suspect because there was too much butter/egg in the recipe. So they ended up looking like small, flat cookie disks. Fail. I also made custard filling on Wednesday, which I wasn’t a fan of.
On Thursday, I resiliently bought more butter and looked up another, more complex recipe. It worked! They rose! I was seriously pumped. They were darling little puffballs. I did have a few technical mistakes and preferences that I hope to correct in my next batch. I think that the dough could’ve used more sugar, and more time in the oven drying out. (After they finish baking, you cut a small hole in the bottom of each one and put them back in the oven for about 20 minutes to dry out the inside of the pastry.) I would really really like a pastry bag to make filling these little pastries simpler. I had to cut my darling little puffballs in half to get the custard inside. And lastly, I really don’t think I am a fan of custard, and neither is my picky eater. I looked up another recipe Thursday night, and I tried it. And I’m not a fan of custard that other people make… I don’t know why I thought I’d be a fan of custard that I made. For a pastry, it seems like it’s just too heavy. I’d like to try folding in some homemade whipped cream into the second recipe that I tried, or even just making a vanilla cream filling.
Click Me! <- This is the blog that I took the second recipe from, both for the dough and the custard.
Overall, I am pretty proud of myself, knowing that I am capable of making awesome pastries (even if it’s only one kind as of now). And I am proud that I didn’t get frustrated with myself and quit after my first night of trying.

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The Eco-chic thing you need to try: Furoshiki

15 Jan
I want to talk about furoshiki.  Furoshiki is essentially tying and folding a square scarf to create eco-friendly bags (for groceries, a purse, etc.) or gift wrapping. Type “furoshiki” into a YouTube search and watch some of the videos, they’re pretty cool.
YouTube how-to Video
^ that’s the link to the “how to” video of the bag that I’m currently using.
This is the scarf that has replaced my lost lunchbox. I already had it in my closet, so you don’t need a special kind of scarf, just square. It’s much smaller than the one in the video, but it has a lot of space. If you plan on trying this out, use a silk or nylon scarf. The knots come out really easily in silk or nylon, but still look good and support a surprising amount of weight. I’ve seen websites that sell cotton ones though. (furoshiki.com).
These bags (and gift wrappings- there is a pretty awesome way to wrap bottles like this) are extremely convenient and eco-friendly as well. I’m using mine as a lunch box, and I will try this technique out on the next gift I wrap. If nothing else, you just learned how to make an extremely chic beach bag ;). After a trying a few different styles of bags it is easy to get the hang of it and make a bag that suits your needs; you will be able to control the style and length of the handles, choose if it stays open or can close, and how much space is inside the bag.
I’m going to visit Florence soon, and I’m thinking that this might be the substitute I use for my over-weight purse.