Cherry Tart – Amigurumi #40

Happy Pi Day!


This cherry tart was made out of boredom. It was going to be a cupcake, but then I failed. The cherries look like literal bombs. If you give this to someone, are you saying that you’re their ch ch ch ch ch ch ch ch cherry bomb?!

Here is the tart beside a cupcake, which was going to be a slice of pie, but it failed:



It turns out that the tart is scaled to real life!


I made mini quiches for the first time today. They contain cheese and green onion. I skimped on the bacon bits, because they were expensive and I’m already on a tight budget. [/collegeLife] I substituted with flaked ham, which didn’t have the same smokey taste. And I should’ve used a less overwhelming cheese besides cheddar, so they wouldn’t have turned out as salty. Regardless, my roommate, Juefei, ate a third of them!

Mmmmm fresh out of the oven… Though I probably should have baked the crust separately. I theorize that my college city has a pie ban; we went to two different grocery stores to find cream pies, and came up short. Instead, we have a McCain cake.

What do you mean “cupcakes don’t count as pies?!”

What kinds of pies did you eat today? Or did you use pi in your equations at school? Comment below!

Pika, so happy~


So I’ve missed last week, and the week before the last post.

You: “What does that mean??”

It means we’re doing extra fun stuff this weekend!

Now that it’s September, we’ve succumbed to the dreaded bipolar weather patterns. This week has been comfortable, but last night was freezing cold! And just last weekend was cold and rainy. Either way, it’s time to bust out the layered outfits. If you don’t go out much, chances are you have stuff in your closet that no longer fits, but it stayed in said closet because you forgot it existed. This became the inspiration behind the dress I wore yesterday.

I don’t remember where this dress came from, but I do remember how old I was the last time it was worn: 12 years old. Imagine all the other girls your age dressing in sexy spaghetti strap and halter dresses, yet there you are looking like your favourite doll from when you were 6. I stowed this dress in my closet and never wore it again. As for why I still haven’t given it away? See above.

I like the light, airy fabric of the skirt, but could do without the huge collar and puffed sleeves. And I wanted a new outfit for a date with M yesterday, so figured why not. Let’s help this dress grow from a self-conscious tweenager to a self-confident twenty-something!

Before vs After

Before vs After

Let’s assess what we have to work with here: the dress looks like it has two layers, but it’s actually sewn in one layer. The dress has a zipper at the back to account for the closed collar, and ties at the back to make the dress more fitted. It also has a nylon cord in the front, to lace up the bodice. While it will waste less fabric, it will also require a lot more time to detach the white parts of the dress.


We begin by turning the dress inside out to find the seams. Then we’ll take out our lovely eye goug–er, I mean seam ripper, and rip out the sleeves. As always, you can simply cut them with scissors. I like to seam rip, so as to waste as little fabric as possible. Seam ripping also leaves the bent edge, so you only need to fold over once more to create the perfect, fresh seam. Once that’s done, repeat the ripping process for the collar. I wanted to keep some lining underneath, so I marked the part of the white body piece that will be covered by the floral dress. We’re not going to seam rip anything below this line.

I saved the collar to make a necklace. This will add interest to a baggy, plain sweater. Just in time for fall!

Halfway done! Hem and iron out the edges.

Finally, I tried on the dress. It feels a bit long, but I’ll let M decide what he thinks of this length.

Ne-ne~ Simply by removing the sleeves and collar, we have a comfortable sleeveless dress! Pair this with solid coloured accessories, and you’ve got the perfect end-of-summer date night outfit. 12 year old Pika is very happy.

Part 2: Delicious Eats with M

This next part is a great date idea: cooking lunch together! M loves cheese, I love chilli, and so we made chilli mac n cheese. He has stories about his grandma using a whole block of cheese in her homemade mac, but for my tummy’s sake we’re going to use a small bag of shredded cheddar. Click here for the recipe we used.

M cut the onions, while I stirred the meat. We used the whole box of macaroni, because M started eating the noodles raw. XD I’ll admit it doesn’t taste bad, but it feels weird to eat uncooked macaroni. It feels like a cross between a corn nut, and a plastic tube breaking in your mouth.

*A tip on cooking mac n cheese from scratch: if you make the noodles seperately, don’t add all the cheese right away. As you take servings, add cheese accordingly. If you add all the cheese right away, leftover mac will become dry and gross.


You drooling yet?

Final verdict: amazing! This is the perfect comfort food, all right. Too bad we didn’t have any garden salad on the side. I filled up a huge plastic container for M to take home.

I got two phone calls during this date, both from people I actually care about. It may not seem like a big deal, but when you typically text instead of call, this is quite a treat. M talked to both of them. XP Until it was time for dinner, M and I cuddled and watched Rick and Morty. It reminds me of a cross between Doctor Who, Adventure Time, and South Park. I should finish watching Archer… Man, it’s hard living with your parents. It’s annoying when you just get comfortable while watching a great show, and then all of a sudden you hear, “don’t sit like that, it’s bad for your back! You’ll walk with a hunch!” “Why you’re watching this? This is not a good show!” “Instead of watching TV with your guest, come help me!”

( – _ – );

We went to dinner with Kitty that evening. When he saw M, Kitty’s like, “HOMG, M!!! HI!!! NICE TO FINALLY MEET YOU!!! <3” They were bros. It’s blurry, but this is an immortalization of my favouirte memory from yesterday: walking to dinner with my BF and BGF. (Best guy friend) Peck Peck asked, “why does that guy on the right (M) look like he’s from Brokeback Mountain? XDDDD” (- _ -); Humph. M if you’re reading this, don’t worry, I still think you look handsome. :3


Kitty and M

I tried Steak and Kidney pie for the first time. It was pretty good, albeit very salty. Think of a chicken pot pie, but instead of chicken it’s beef. And no, the “kidney” doesn’t mean kidney beans. If you know what liver tastes like, kidney tastes the same. I for one am not a huge fan of either, but I give it 7/10. The pie came with mashed potatoes, but the waitress forgot to bring the potatoes, so I got free dessert! Wot wot~ I felt awful for undertipping; to the waitress at the Black Dog Pub, I promise you’ll get a better tip next time! Here is the free key lime pie, a perfect end to a perfect day.


Sometimes, you come across a person who just makes you feel great. Sure you felt great before you met them, but this “greatness” is different. You want to improve for them, you want to make them happy, and in return they make you happy. You want to share the most important parts of your life with them, whether it’s going out to your favorite restaurant or introducing them to close family and friends. I know it hasn’t been a long time, but I’m looking forward to many more memories with M. I can’t wait to cook new dishes with him, go on new adventures, and cuddle with him again. ❤

How’s September starting out for you? Any cool new changes this year? Have you repurposed or upcycled any of your old clothes into new outfits for this year? What do you like in your mac n cheese? (If you say “green peas,” we can’t be friends) Comment below!

Pika, so happy~

Pika’s Soba Noodle Soup!

“Hey Pika, where have you been all month?” – Nobody

Regardless of the length of summer vacation, everybody seems to wait until August to do the really fun things. Maybe it’s because the weather evens out by then, maybe it’s because they spent July saving up money for August frolicks, but whatever the reason, August is the time of all the fun things. Case in point: I just got back from Washington, DC. I saw the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial, two landmarks that I’d only seen in movies and TV shows. On the way back, we did some shopping in Grove City. Shoonie got a little green bow. BOW!!! |>o<|

And today… just feeling bleh. How to describe the feeling… it’s when you have more on your plate than you thought. Or when you take work with you on a trip thinking you’ll get it done, but you don’t because it’s a vacation. Or when you miss somebody. Or you remember the red Navi is coming soon. Whatever it is, it can be temporarily healed with comfort food!

Guess what I bought today? Soba noodles! These are Japanese noodles made from buckwheat. The ones I bought come in a pack of 6 individually wrapped bundles. Each bundle makes one serving of noodles. Genius! Why can’t we package spaghetti like this? In Harvest Moon: Tree of Tranquility, you can cook buckwheat noodles with egg. That was the inspiration behind this improvised recipe, along with my Naruto-esque love for ramen. So, without further ado, let’s get comfort cooking!



IMG_20150829_2013115901 bundle Soba (buckwheat) noodles

2 cups water

1 chicken flavoured bouillon cube

1 egg

2 sticks of imitation crab

Chopped chives for garnish

First thing’s first, boil the water and dissolve the cube to make your soup stock.

IMG_20150829_201710Crack the egg into a bowl and beat lightly. Set aside.

IMG_20150829_203043Then, take a bundle of soba noodles and pop them in the pot. Do not break the noodles! These are soba noodles, not spaghetti. They may look like cardboard, but they cook in about 5 minutes.

IMG_20150829_203423Meanwhile, chop up your imitation crab into bite size pieces. I don’t care what people say; imitation crab is tasty and convenient. But if you would rather have stronger tasting protein, you can substitute the imitation crab for ham, hot dogs, bits of cooked chicken or beef, or tofu if you’re an alie—-er, I mean vegetarian. 😀 Whatever you decide to add, make sure it’s cooked. This way you can simply toss it in to thaw and warm up.

Pour the beaten egg into the noodle soup, stirring constantly to disperse the egg. Look familiar? If you frequent Asian restaurants, it should; you’ve just made egg drop soup!


Finally, add in your chopped crab meat. Turn off the heat and let the soup “rest” for about a minute before serving.

Pour into a bowl, top with a few chives, and you’re done!

Final Verdict

Tasty and comforting! This is a very versatile soup. Don’t like crab? Try ham. Think egg drop looks gross? Maybe poached is more your style. I think next time, I will try a meatless approach by substituting the crab for sautéed mushrooms, and instead of egg drop just hard boil and slice the egg.

Eww… these noodles turned out a bit slimy. I guess that’s why the package said to rinse the noodles after cooking. Basically, cook noodles separately, drain, rinse, and add to prepared broth. I wish I had read this blog post before hand. Also beware, egg drop soup does not keep well. It will leave a gritty feeling in your mouth when eaten cold, and congeals the next day. Bring a friend, or at least a large appetite!

I would definitely eat soba again, and in different ways. I said before that these are not spaghetti, but maybe I will try using these noodles instead of spaghetti sometime.

Have you tried soba? Do you eat your noodles with self-confidence? How do you prepare your soba? Comment below!

Pika, so happy~

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.


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!


3/4 cup milk

50g marshmallows (approx. 6 jumbo size)

1 tbsp. cocoa powder


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


Add in the rest of the milk and marshmallows.


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.


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.


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



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…



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~

Bubble Tea – Dessert Days #6

Quick edit: fixed the weird crowding in the first few paragraphs. WordPress editing is not mobile-friendly.

*This recipe is by no means “authentic.” It’s just how I like to make it.

Today is my birthday! But since this weekend was busy busy, we celebrated last weekend (long weekend for us here in Canada) with bubble bubble bubble tea~ Maybe I’m just getting older, but it’s gotten to a point where physical presents just aren’t satisfying anymore. I would rather have big experiences, and take home a small token to remember it by. And well, since we celebrated me birthday a week early, as promised there is a special guest! From all the way in Penguin-ton, heeeeeeeere’s….. Shoony!

Shoony is on the left.

Shoony is on the left.

Okay, you’re sitting down for this next part, right?


Hey, I see you standing!

Sit down somewhere, you’re holding up traffic!

Okay, good.

…Shoony has never had bubble tea before.

*wind blows the tumbleweed*

Here in Toronto, bubble tea is fairly easy to find. Most shopping malls around here have some kind of bubble tea/smoothie shop. A shop opened up near my school, and I went with Flash and Green Lantern after they had a big presentation. The shop also sells samosas. So really, it’s a matter of knowing which places sell bubble tea, since not every shop is “bubble tea only.” And no matter where you go, it always runs expensive. (Up to $5 for a small) For a few dollars more, you can swing by your local Asian supermarket, buy some instant tapioca pearls and flavour packets, and make many bubble teas the way YOU like!


Store Bought vs. Home Made

For those who have spent the past few years under a rock without internet, bubble tea is a popular drink originating from Asia. I’m not sure which country exactly, nor am I sure of the “true” recipe. But around here, bubble tea is distinguished by the big tapioca pearls (bubbles) settled at the bottom. The drink itself is made with coffee, tea, or simply flavored milk. The first time I made bubble tea, it was literally just cold hot chocolate with tapioca! Now that we’re moving into summer, this is the perfect treat. It’s also fun to make with friends! Instead of coffee dates, why not make it a bubble tea date?

You will need:

tapioca pearls

coffee, tea, or flavour powder of your choice




a jar, or any container with a tight lid

clear glass(es)

fat straws

IMG_20150524_142340754First, prepare your pearls. You can buy these at any Asian supermarket. (Look in the tea aisle) It doesn’t matter if you get the original black or coloured, because they taste the same. I recommend getting pearls that say “Ready in 5 minutes,” so that if you ever get a hankering, you don’t have to wait too long.

The standard ratio of pearls to water is 1:10. So for every 1 cup of pearls, boil 10 cups of water. Use your personal preferences when deciding how many pearls to make. There were only two of us and I wasn’t sure if Shoony would like them, so I only used 1/4 cup of pearls. (1/4) * 10 = 2 1/2 cups of water. Really, I just winged it boiling a small pot of water and dunking in the pearls.

If you’ve ever cooked gnocchi, this process should sound familiar. Bring the water to a boil, and then add your pearls. Stir gently for a few seconds to keep them from sticking together, and then let them simmer until they float to the top. (Timing will vary according to package directions) Scoop them out, (be careful not to overcook) and plop them into a bowl of syrup to let them cool, and to give them a bit of flavour. I used honey today, but we used a basic sugar + water syrup for Shoonie. She had a little too much fun mixin’, and a mixin’, and a mixin’…


Soak the pearls in the syrup for at least 15 minutes. We ate lunch at this point. By the time we came back, uh oh… they were kinda stuck together. >_<; No worries, it was nothing a light stir couldn’t handle. If stirring doesn’t help, microwave the pearls in 5 second bursts, or until they are separated again. Also, make sure there is enough syrup to cover all of the pearls.

Today, the pearls are soaking in honey.

Today, the pearls are soaking in honey.

Meanwhile, make your tea. This was Shoonie’s first bubble tea ever, so we kept things simple with green apple flavoured milk. For a single serving I usually use 1 cup milk + 2 teaspoons powder. (Don’t forget to account for the tapioca and foam) Today I’m making cold coffee with milk. If you brewed hot, let your tea chill in the fridge. Bubble tea is best served nice and cold. coffee

Did you know bubble tea is named for the bubbles (foam) on top? Most people think it’s because the tapioca look like bubbles. That’s why this recipe isn’t just bubble tea, it’s bubble bubble bubble tea! Get it, bubbles on top? Bubbles on the bottom? And you get all bubbly from drinking it? I used the word “bubble” 3 times!

*cheep… cheep… cheep…*

To get that nice, bubbly topping, we need to shake, shake, shake! Most instant bubble tea powders only require stirring, but what fun is that? Pour your tea ingredients directly into a shaker, and go to town!


Now it’s time to serve. Scoop out as many tapioca pearls as you want, and put them in a glass. (I recommend clear glasses) Then give your tea another quick shake, and pour it into the glass as well. Stick a fat straw inside, and enjoy!

Shoony likes her first bubble tea.

*If you can’t find fat straws, you can just drink the tea normally and use a spoon to scoop the pearls. Personally, it just doesn’t feel the same without a fat straw.

Verdict: Shoonie loved the bubble tea. :3 The tapioca pearls feel like gummi candies. Think I undercooked some of the pearls… nonetheless, they turned out tasty enough. To really make this a refreshing summer beverage, add crushed ice. Cubed is fine, too.

The beauty of bubble tea is that you can make it however you like. Maybe you like coffee, maybe you like tea, or maybe you just want a sweet treat. I’d like to think there’s no “right” or “wrong” way to enjoy bubble tea. Today, I made milk coffee bubble tea as a present to myself:


And of course, don’t forget to pair with Shoony’s homemade bunny bite donuts.


Nom nom nom *pom pom falls* BUNNY!!!!! DX

Anime North update: I went to Anime North yesterday, in my derpy Katara cosplay! Was too burned out to go back today. Didn’t buy anything except a candy kit for Shoony. *sigh* Such is life as a crafter: you see cute plushies and think, “I could make that myself…” Will blog about AN next weekend on the regular day, Saturday.

How do you like your bubble tea? Have you tried making it at home? What snacks do you like to eat for tea? Comment below!

Pika, so happy~

Panda Cotta! – Dessert Days #5

Those who follow my Instagram will know that I’ve been on a cooking kick lately. In other words, nobody knew that, because my account is private.

Anyway, what’s the point of cooking meals without dessert? I give you: panda cotta!

Yummy panda pudding

Yummy panda pudding

This dessert is called panna cotta. I don’t speak Italian, but I believe that means “cooked cream.” Indeed, this dessert is made using cream and milk. I’ve been meaning to try this for so long, but many lactose sensitivity tummy aches have kept it away. This is a quick and easy Mother’s Day treat as well; mi madre enjoyed it! She ate it without the chocolate sauce.

I will post a link to the video recipe at the end, so I won’t repeat it here. It’s courtesy of the very talented Laura Vitale. I found this recipe while binge watching her videos, and in the suggested videos I saw runnyrunny999’s take on this dessert. He made chocolate panna cotta, and when he took it out of the mold, chocolate flowed beautifully over the panna cotta. Oh man it looked righteous.

I like both Laura and Runny, so I figured, “por que no los dos?” (Yeah, I don’t speak Spanish either…) Unfortunately, we didn’t have any chocolate, so chocolate panna cotta will be for another day. I’m also not a fan of frozen strawberries, because they’re so sour. And so this variation, combining plain panna cotta and chocolate syrup, was born. I call it, Panda Cotta.

Let the gelatin bloom in water.

Let the gelatin bloom in water.

First, make the panna cotta. This process reminds me of the coffee jello. And coffee jello reminds me of summer days, when we spent the day out and came home for dessert. I think I will inform K of this post.

Fair warning, plain gelatin smells gross. ;w;

I didn’t have half-and-half or whole milk, so I used thick cream throughout, with a hint of skim milk to thin it out. This feels closer to Runny’s recipe, in which he used milk and cream. With thick cream, you need to stir frequently, or else it forms a skin. Don’t worry if you notice a skin forming; it’s nothing a brisk whisking can’t fix.

stirMaking panna cotta reminds me of making custard pudding. You don’t need to boil the milk, you just need to simmer it until the sugar dissolves. And the bloomed gelatin may smell funny, but it pops out pretty nicely. Kind of like a gummy candy.

I filled two dessert bowls, in order to use up as much of the cream as possible. I refrigerated these overnight with plastic wrap pressed into the surface, to make sure they were properly set.


Both recipes called for strawberry sauce, but I don’t really like frozen strawberries. Besides, we didn’t have any strawberries. ^_^; I do however like chocolate syrup. We had Nesquick syrup on hand, so that’s what we’ll use.

unmoldNow, all that’s left to do is unmold!

It didn’t take much to unmold the panna cotta, though you can see the edges where the knife ruined the smooth texture. They don’t transfer very well either, so make sure they land in the right spot on your first try. As expected, they feel like custard pudding, or even jello.

Time to decorate! Hm… I should’ve used the flat-bottom bowls to mold. They would’ve turned out smoother, with a flat face to pour the syrup. These portions are a little too big for one person. Next time, I’ll use the smaller, flat ramekins.


Now just take a picture for Instagram, and we’re finished!

Final verdict:

Plain panna cotta is nice and creamy. It has the texture of jello but melts in your mouth, leaving you feeling like you just ate vanilla ice cream.As you can guess, adding the chocolate syrup tastes like vanilla ice cream with chocolate syrup. Maybe that’s why the madre ate it plain. (She prefers plain vanilla ice cream)

I think this is the Italian take on custard pudding, using gelatin instead of eggs. Again, I would make the portions smaller. This dessert is very creamy and fills you up. Not to mention I got lovely lactose sensitivity afterward. >_<

And that ends this blog. Here are the video links, as promised:

Laura Vitale’s (Laura in the Kitchen) Panna Cotta Recipe

Runny’s (runnyrunny999) Choco Panna Cotta

Anime North update: Looks like I’ll be cosplaying Katara after all. Have decided to cut my hair next year, so Oliver will come next year as well. Am going to try making an Appa plush bag to take necessities. Worst case scenario, I’ll just fit pockets on the inside of Katara’s dress. Don’t expect to spend a lot, since mainly looking for accessories and such. Heard there’s a Doll Market and was hoping to find ami eyes, but from the official site’s description it’s mainly for BJD dolls.

What other foods would you want to see “pandafied?” Comment below!

Pika, so happy~

Pi Day with Pudding Pies – Dessert Days #4

Today is March 14, 2015, and the time is 9:00 pm. Aka 3/14/15/9:00. Aka I meant to wait about 26 minutes more, but when you’re in a comp sci related field, 3.14159 is enough. Any more decimals, and you’re just being a douche.

Anyway, this post is dedicated to today’s most obvious pun: Pi Day!

I’ve never been a huge fan of pie. Don’t get me wrong, I do love a good chicken pot pie. KFC used to make this amazing cookie dough pie, but I think people were getting too fat, so they discontinued it. Not to worry, it was promptly replaced by lava cakes and strawberry cheesecake. Mmmm, cheesecake… *drool*

Mini Shoonie and me, learning to make awesome pie

Mini Shoonie and I, learning to make apple pie

We made apple pie years ago, using apples we picked. Shoonie was only 7 years old at the time. *squishy squishy squishy squish* We brought the pie home, baked it (kitchen smelled amazing) and ate it with ice cream. It felt great to eat an apple pie that wasn’t just hot apple-flavoured jelly and apple bits wrapped in a flake pastry. (One of the big reasons I wasn’t a big pie fan) Here’s a picture of us making it, taken from my old deviantART account. No, you’re not getting the link. >:O Fun fact: that purple shirt went on to become this dress.

One of my favourite types of pie is Key Lime. I love the sweet and sour combination. Of course, when I suggested making it this week, mi madre was all, “who’s going to eat so much pie? Make it next week!” Oh well, we don’t have lime juice anyway. 😦 And then, I thought about Marzia’s Puga Puffs, and remembered the package of banana pudding we have sitting around. I said it last week, and I’ll say it again: thank goodness for small-portion recipes.


Mini Pudding Pies

You can look up the most basic pie recipe and you’ll notice that they have three main layers: the crunchy bottom crust, the flavorful middle filling, and the light topping. Just like the cupcakes, these pies whip up quick and are perfect to satisfy any sudden cravings. It’s unlikely to happen, but if you get stuck, please follow Marzia’s video above.

First, you will need to make the bottom crust. Get some plain biscuits (I used Maria biscuits) and crush them as finely as possible. Two biscuits gave me enough crumbs for two thin crusts. Then, melt a teaspoon of butter and mix it into the crumbs. Don’t soak the crumbs through. They just need to be wet enough so that they pack together, like this:


Next, you will need a pudding of your choice. You can make it from scratch or use a mix. I used banana, because that’s what we had on hand.


Finally, top it off with whipped cream and whatever else you want! Make sure the whipped cream is nice and thick. This will make it look prettier in see-through containers. It’s difficult to tell from the picture, but I put a bit of coconut on my pies.


Now I have a snack for these shark week cravings! Yay!

What’s your favourite type of pie? Are you going to do anything fun for St. Patrick’s Day? What DO you actually do on St. Patrick’s Day, if you haven’t reached the drinking age? Comment below!

Pika, so happy~

Christmas Crafts!

Whew… what a week. I almost forgot to post! Whoops. >_<

I think I got buzzed off brandy-filled chocolates. I couldn’t help it, they were dark chocolate! ( ; w ; )

Every year for Christmas, we make different types of sweets and give them out to friends and family. On Sunday, I made my specialty: marzipan shapes!

People really seem to look forward to these. They’re fun to make, but very time consuming and leave my shoulders sore from hunching over so long. Here are the shapes this year:


Clockwise from the yellow ones, this year’s recipients will get one of each: banana, strawberry, 1UP Mushroom, purple flower, blueberry, peach, cherries, bunch of grapes, candy cane.

The problem with marzipan is that it goes from soft and sticky to hard and crumbly in no time. I would mix colours and cross-contaminate them because some residue was left on my hands from other colours. Or I would return to a colour moments later, only to find out it was already hard and I had to knead it again. Sometimes I would snack on some of the marzipan, and it took a lot of willpower not to lick the butter knife after cutting the candy canes. (Bad habit that resulted from a childhood peanut butter craze) 2 hours and 2 sticky hands later, I was finished. THE STRUGGLE IS REAL! I ate the remaining marzipan.

Many hours and a sore neck/shoulders later, these are worth all the little details.

Sore neck/shoulders are a small price to pay

Cute little sweets make great gifts. Try them yourself! For inspiration, try looking up polymer clay tutorials. Instead of painting and sticking in a hanging loop, you’re going to make these to eat. Use your imagination; think of it as working with play dough!

*NOTE: Marzipan is made from almonds. Beware of giving these to people with nut allergies. I think you can also make sweeties with fondant, but am yet to try.


I haven’t planned any creative posts for next week, what with Christmas and New Year coming up. The blog will be back full swing in the new year, so party it up now and come back January 3 to read and relax! Who knows, maybe there WILL be a post next week. Or not. Hey, spontaneity is what makes life exciting!

Are you going to make anything this year? Do you also have a “snacking” habit while cooking? Comment below! And from all (one) of us here at Val’s Crafts, have a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2015!

Pika, so jolly~