Deku Link – Amigurumi #25

Happy Saturday! I think I’ll buy a box of funnel cake sticks today.

This plushie started as a request from Shoony’s friend, who requested the Navi plush way back when. It is one of three things. And it just so happened that Huggie Buddy’s belated birthday was coming up, so I decided to make one for her, too. And then this happened…

And yes, I am of legal drinking age in both Canada and US. n_n

And yes, I am of legal drinking age in both Canada and US. n_n

Deku Link! Or “Harold,” as she called it. :3 As you can tell, I glued the felt instead of sewed. Oh yeah, I also drew the blueprints. All those years of drawing have finally paid off! ^_^; Here are the reference images used, in case anyone wanted to vouch for my ability to work visually:

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Here’s a question: What do you do when you want to make a plushie present for your friend’s belated birthday the next day, but you also have Fire Emblem: Awakening and just figured how marriages work in game? If you said, “keep playing Fire Emblem, we can finish the plushie in a night” then congrats, you and I share the same mind. Yes, I was working on it at her place, too. Fortunately they played a card game I didn’t like, so I sat out working. At least Deku Link was finished in time for pizza.

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It ain’t easy staying light enough to bounce on water.

I liked how this request came right after I finished Majora’s Mask 3D. This time, I didn’t use a walkthrough at all! Hey, I was young, still getting into gaming, and didn’t really have the logic/puzzle solving skills I have today. What else is there to say about this game, other than it’s short, sweet, and very, very sad.

As I was playing through the water level on the Moon, I kept missing the jump and was getting frustrated. Do you know what you have to do in this place? You have to LAUNCH yourself up at the right time in order to land in front of the doorway. If you miss, guess what? You have to start ALL over from the beginning! I looked up, thinking, “are you laughing at me right now, sensei?” (As a prospective game developer, I felt obliged to refer to the late CEO of one of gaming’s biggest companies as such)

I wonder what it would’ve been like to meet Iwata-sensei. Though at least my dream of one day meeting Miyamoto may yet be attainable. XP Meanwhile, I found this image buzzing around the internet, and figured it would be relevant. (Not sure of the original creator) RIP Iwata-sensei. To us, they aren’t just games. They’re inspirations.

rip

In fact, did you know that Majora’s Mask is entirely about death? Huggie Buddy and Andrew the new guy explained that each of the five main environments represented the five stages of grief. I knew death was a common theme in the game, since all your transformation masks were the embodied souls of a dead Deku, Goron, and Zora, but I never thought of how deep this really was. Especially coming from one of Nintendo’s most popular series. Again, I’ll come back to it with examples in another submission. Meanwhile, let’s be happy and enjoy Deku Link with his sheep friends:

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For now, he’s just gonna chill on the TV. Like all my plushies, Deku Link can also be… a hat.

Huggie Buddy! :D

Deku Link and Huggie Buddy!

What are your summer plans with friends? Have you played Majora’s Mask? Which release was your first: original N64, collector’s edition, or the 3DS remake? Comment below!

Pika, so happy~

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Sadaharu (Gintama) – Amigurumi #24

Boo! Did you miss the plushie posts? Of course you did. And so, here is Sadaharu from Gintama.

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The yarn used for this project was actually recycled from an old project: the Hello Kitty scarf. Which in turn was made from yarn I originally bought for a Hello Kitty plush that never got made. So much history in this one little plushie! This fluffy yarn is great, because you can’t see the seams and/or mistakes. On the other hand it sheds a lot, like a real doggy. Face is all felt, and the collar is a red ribbon.

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I love the way his bright red collar stands out against his snow white fur. He is very small, so he can’t eat your head. Maybe this isn’t Sadaharu; it’s the small doggy. I can’t say much else about Gintama because I haven’t watched it yet. Although I would like to know the story behind that white penguin thing…

Surely I’m not the only one who can’t crochet with textured yarn. Converting a crochet prototype to knitting proved to be more of an ordeal than expected, and the end result wasn’t as great as expected. But I think it’ll be worth it to see Tay happy.

And of course, don’t forget to top off with a kiss on the forehead so Tay will be blessed.

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Sadaharu kinda looks like Doge, don’t you think?

 

So compare. Much attempt. Wow.

So compare. Much attempt. Wow.

 

Sadaharu is a present for Tay. You may remember him from the whale tissue box.

I asked Tay if he wanted anything from Anime North, and he said, “if you find a Sadaharu plushie, let me know!” I went looking for a Sadaharu plushie, but couldn’t find one. And I’m not just saying that because of the crafter syndrome; Gintama seems quite popular, but apparently not enough to be at Toronto’s biggest anime convention. :\ Humph. Well you know the drill by now. The original plan was to finish Sadaharu and give it to Tay as thanks for hanging out post-birthday.

Twin poses.

Twin poses.

For my post-birthday, he and I drove to the town centre… and had quite a journey doing so. Ask anyone who’s driven with me about my direction-giving skills. >_<; We went to the candy store and bought a box of Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans. Final verdict: good ones are good, bad ones are AWFUL.

We stopped into the pet store next door to look at the small animals. Two hamsters were running on a wheel. A third hamster came, shoved one of them off, and took his place. What a mean hamster! X3 Kind of a shame they no longer sell dogs anymore, but considering how they used to acquire those poor puppies, this is for the best.

Sadaharu and Leo are looking at each other.

Sadaharu and Leo are looking at each other.

We went to Boston Pizza for dinner, and Tay introduced me to cactus chips. They’re basically potato chip-cut fries served with “cactus dip.” (Whatever that is; I think it’s blue cheese or ranch) I had steak. Yay, two steaks in one week! Sadly, this steak wasn’t as great, since it had a huge chunk of fat on one end. Tay taught me something: the tough, inedible, rubbery-yet-bone-like part of the meat is called the gristle. Gristle is nasty.

Finally, we watched Tomorrowland. It was all right; the effects were incredible, but the movie fell into that sci-fi trap of spending too much time focused on the scenery effects, rather than giving us an actual conflict/story. We got 20 – 30 minutes into the movie and I wasn’t sure what was happening, or why. The sad thing about movie nights is that once the movie ends, so does the night. Our ride home was much smoother, despite not getting our bubble tea and/or cinnamon rolls.

This is how I want my birthday to be every year: good friends, good food, good times.

 

By the time this blog is posted, Tay will have moved away. It probably won’t be so bad; I’ve gone almost a year without seeing my two closest friends, so surely I can go a while without seeing Tay. Until then, I’m not letting his number and Skype name out of my sight. I’m going to watch lots of anime, make lots of fan plushies, and save up lots of money so he can join us next year at Anime North! >: O Meanwhile, this picture is here as a reminder:

Just so we don't forget!

Just so we don’t forget!

*Bonus: I am going to enter Sadaharu in this month’s Knitting and Crochet contest! The theme is Cartoons and Anime. I’m thinking of adding more entries; a Bulbasaur plushie is long overdue.

 

Are you a fellow dog lover? Have you watched Gintama? What cool things have you discovered thanks to your friends? Comment below!

Very pika. Such happy. Wow.

Japanese Style Curry

Warning: diet blog incoming. And by diet, I mean reduced pictures. It’s not easy to take pictures and cook at the same time!

As you probably know, I’ve been on a cooking kick lately. You may also recall the time I found Pokemon themed box curry, and thought it looked kinda gross. Well, Ochikeron had a homemade recipe that looked way tastier, so I gave it a watch. Unfortunately, the recipe called for curry roux blocks. These blocks are harder to come by than I thought. That’s why I was glad Ochi also had a recipe completely from scratch, using all natural ingredients. And so today, I finally made this Japanese style curry, with a bit of my own technique mixed in. My suggestions are written in bold. Video recipe here:

The first bit of the recipe was easy; cut and prepare your meat and veggies. (I used beef instead of pork) I only decided today that I wanted to make curry, so the poor meat didn’t get to marinate overnight.

Eww… these potatoes were mushy. Let this be a lesson to anyone else out there: use fresh ingredients. I was trying to finish up whatever we had left, so that’s the only excuse I have for using these sad, hard-to-peel potatoes. Aside from the onions, carrot, and potatoes, I also threw in a single chopped celery stick.

Making the broth went well, until I realized I’m hopeless at opening corked bottles. (The wine bottle) It seems that cranberry, pomegranate, or unsweetened grape juice also work in a pinch. I used pomegranate; we will add Worcestershire sauce, which contains malt vinegar. I theorize that this balances out the taste of the juice.

Because so many Japanese curry recipes suggest the use of honey and apple, I envisioned this curry to be sweet. But so far it was vinegary! This is because we’re adding in a lot of salty (chicken stock, salt and pepper) and vinegar-based ingredients. (Ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce) If it’s too vinegary or salty, add a little bit of sugar to balance the taste. Oh! I just got it after typing that sentence: sweet honey and apple helps balance the vinegar taste! GENIUS! XD;

The recipe called for a grated potato. The idea is that the starch from this potato will help thicken the curry. Not sure if it was because these potatoes were mushy or I just have bad luck, but it didn’t work. So instead, I sprinkled a little bit of flour at a time, until the sauce was thick enough that some of it held onto the spoon. Here’s why I knew it would work:

Curry roux is meant to be used as a thickening agent. Roux is a flour and butter mixture used to give sauces and stews their thick consistency. Ever wonder why Kraft Dinner cheese comes in powder form? At least that’s my theory. Hey, flour is safe to eat. Not like I’m suggesting it’s made from bugs. Ha ha ha ha…. <_<

Joaks. I do loves me some boxed mac and cheese from time to time. Anyway, let’s finish this curry.

After liquid reduced and the curry thickened, it was time to serve! Unlike our Indian curries where we dunk it on top of the rice, this curry is more appealing when served beside the rice.

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Final verdict: kare oishii desu! [/weeaboo] I will mix a bit of honey into my next plate, see how that turns out. It is indeed pretty strong on its own. Also, beware telling your Japanese-savvy friends about this. They just may magically lose their clothes. (Will get a picture to prove this ASAP)

So… what is my excuse for not blogging last week? Slowness. Why do you ask?

*wind blows the tumbleweed* Oh, right, there’s no one here. But at least now you are aware of a delicious curry recipe! As for the big, complicated plushie, it has been shipped. It’s a surprise, and I don’t want to give it away before the person receives it. 😀

Round 2! Om nom nom

Round 2! Om nom nom

Do you like curry rice? How do you prepare it? What other curry recipes do you like? Comment below!

Pika, so happy~

Canada Day Pudding Party!

Edit: use only unsweetened milk for this recipe! Remember, marshmallows are just puffs of sugar. If you melt them into pre-flavoured milk (like chocolate milk) your pudding will turn out way too sweet. Use only unsweetened cocoa, or a tiny bit of your favourite flavour extracts.

Happy Canada Day!!!

I’ve been cooking up storms lately. And we can’t have food without dessert! Since today is Canada Day, here’s a light dessert to follow up your poutine, or provide a sweet complement your Tim Hortons’s coffee. (Man, our mainstream cuisine is unremarkable…)

Nailed it!

Nailed it!

One of my favourite types of dessert is pudding. (Custard, for people outside North America) Since I was a Pichu, I’ve tried all kinds of store-bought pudding brands, from the sugary sweet Snack Packs to the rich, $5 4-packs found in the dairy aisle. My favourite go-to homemade dessert is custard pudding, or creme caramel. I’ve made it for guests, and they always rave about it. Aunty Waggie makes it the best.

Let’s begin the summer with some super easy 3 ingredient pudding from ochikeron.

Matcha is green tea powder, and one of my favourite flavours when mixed with milk. Green tea mochi ice cream = yum num num. Sadly, I don’t have matcha powder, but I do have cocoa powder. Ergo, chocolate pudding, here I come!

IMG_20150630_215945244Ingredients:

3/4 cup milk

50g marshmallows (approx. 6 jumbo size)

1 tbsp. cocoa powder

Directions

Mix the powder with a bit of the milk. This will make it easier to incorporate.

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Add in the rest of the milk and marshmallows.

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Cook on medium-low heat, stirring constantly. The mixture doesn’t need to boil, it just needs to be hot enough to completely melt the marshmallows. You can help the marshmallows melt faster by cutting them into pieces.

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Taken while making vanilla pudding

When it looks like this, you've got it!

When it looks smooth like this, you’ve got it!

Once all the marshmallows are fully melted, pour mixture into molds.

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Chill in the fridge for at least 2 – 3 hours, and then dig in!

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Obby~

Makes 2 small servings.

Final Verdict

ASDFGHJKL;’ IT’S SO GOOD!!! The pudding is smooth, creamy, and not too sweet. According to the package, 4 marshmallows = 30 grams, so I used 6 marshmallows + 1 to make sure the pudding set. In the video, ochikeron added a lot of marshmallows and got very obvious foam on top. When you add more marshmallows, the foam is more likely to separate. The pudding also ends up thicker and less “jiggly.”

I wonder how this pudding would look in a glass dessert dish, topped with whipped cream. If I have to describe the taste and texture in relation to a store-bought pudding, this felt like a milkier version Danone’s dark chocolate “Danette” puddings. Taste wise, this chocolate pudding tastes exactly like a Fudgesicle. This gives me an idea for later in the month, when it REALLY gets hot out…

You have to be patient with this pudding: make sure it stays in the fridge for AT LEAST 2 hours. It won’t set if you keep poking at it! Due to its softness, the pudding separates from the mold fairly easily. That doesn’t mean it transfers well…

plop

Plop.

Serving sizes are very small, creating less than 1/2 cup servings after the mixture settles. This is the type of dessert to make when you have only one friend over, or you and the sweetheart don’t feel like going out. That would be a cute date idea: make these together, let them chill in the fridge while you eat dinner, watch a movie, and take them out after the movie to enjoy while chatting. You’re welcome, Internet.

*You can swap the cocoa and milk for any other flavours of your choice! The original recipe called for soy milk, but I used skim milk. If you want a creamier pudding, try heavier milk. How about strawberry flavoured milk? Use your imagination! I do not think this will work with condensed milk, because it is too sticky and heavy.

And of course, you can make plain vanilla pudding by simply omitting the flavour agent. Marshmallows are already vanilla flavoured, so there’s no need to add vanilla extract. Serve with fresh berries; who needs marshmallow dip?! I theorize that this white pudding would taste great if made with almond milk.

Nailed it!

Since it’s Canada Day, how about some maple syrup flavoured pudding? Skip the artificial stuff you use on pancakes and grab some 100% pure maple syrup. Or just buy some maple candies and decorate your pudding.

What other quick and easy recipes should we try? Did you make any cute patriotic snacks today? Comment below, and have a Happy Canada Day!

Pika, so happy, eh~