Coconut Ice Cream

I love making ice cream.

I don’t have an ice cream maker (still), but even churning it by hand is fun and often yields great results. I had a REALLY GOOD coconut ice cream (with coconut flakes that I didn’t put in mine) while I was in Vancouver, but that place, Kitanoya Guu at Gastown, was seriously expensive. By the way, I digress, but does anyone know how to make Taiwanese shaved ice? I had a RIDDDIIICULOUSLY good mango one at Aberdeen at Richmond, but I dunno where I can find a recipe for shaved ice. I think I have a really old school ice shaver that has Mickey Mouse and Pluto and all them good old cartoons on it, but that’s meant for kids. Probably. I’M A KID TOO :( I have this other one, that’s pink and white with Hello Kitties on them, but again, I dun think that’s gonna work. OK OK BACK TO THE TOPIC

So though the prices at Guu look reasonable at first, it’s a tapas bar so the portions are tiny. We ordered about 8, but we were only about half full…and the bill was like, what, $70? Then again, my brother and my dad did order a pitcher of beer…yea. This place was hilariously loud, with waiters and waitresses YELLING at the top of their lungs orders in Japanese, which was fun. It wouldn’t sound nearly as cool in Canto though, I presume…(WEI! YUU DAN LAI MEEN AH! LOL, oh Canto. Say that out loud if you don’t get it, haha. It’s a ref to McDull, who is made of awesome, no? :D!) Anyways, it’s really good if you like that kind of thing — Japanese bar food, essentially. I didn’t like it too much since most of the food was unlike what I’ve ever had before, but the coconut ice cream we had for dessert was AMAZING.

So when I went home, I made my own :)

The original recipe called for saffron as well, but since I don’t have anything ever in my kitchen, and couldn’t be bothered to buy things that I’d only use once, I omitted it. This ice cream was really fragrant all the same, which is awesome, since I love coconut to death. Despite being super creamy, it was light and refreshing, even though there’s, well, a lot of heavy cream in there. While the green tea ice cream I made several times last year was rich and creamy, this one was more on the light side, since it doesn’t contain any eggs and has less heavy cream.

This was unbelievably difficult to photograph — honestly, frig, how do you photograph something that’s melting before you can plate, style, and set up your camera? I ended up chucking the scooped ice cream in the fridge while I was doing all of that, but you can probably see it melting progressively as you read this LOL. FML

Those two leaves, by the way, aren’t mint leaves (no really? pfft). I never have things like mint around but I wanted a tad of colour so I just went outside and plucked two random leaves and stuck it in there. Actually, the leaves wouldn’t go in at first because I’d frozen the whole scoop solid by then, so I actually took a paring knife and carved two slits where I wanted them to go. IMPROV, YES! They’re not as light as I wanted them to be, but eh.

Coconut Ice Cream

(HEAVILY adapted from David Lebovitz, who adapted it from Delicious Days)

Makes: 1L

Ingredients:

  • 1-1/3 cups (320 mL) heavy cream
  • 2 cups coconut milk (I used only 400 mL instead of 500 mL, because my cans come in 400 mL sizes and I didn’t want to open up another can for the sole purpose of using 100 mL — it was coconutty enough)
  • 1/2 cup white sugar (I did use a little more than 1/2 cup since I was worried it wouldn’t be sweet enough when I compared it to my other ice cream ratios, although it isn’t necessary to increase it. Next time, I’d keep the 1/2 cup as is)

Directions:

  1. In a saucepan, bring all ingredients to a boil.
  2. Reduce the heat and gently simmer for ten minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and chill the mixture thoroughly in fridge.
  3. Once chilled, put in freezer. As ice crystals start to form (45 minutes), remove, and mix well with a whisk, spatula, or hand mixer to vigorously break them up. Return to freezer. Continue to check the mixture every 30 minutes thereafter, beating with a hand mixer. Keep checking periodically and stirring while it freezes until the ice cream is frozen. It will likely take 2-3 hours to be ready.

Spoonful of melted awesome :)

AHH BLUE SPOON

wut

Also, I have another can of coconut milk about to expire…eheheh, I know what I’ll be making next!

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Mark Update

School’s ended for quite awhile, but I was on vacation and didn’t get the chance to update my marks here. Carol picked up my report card for me while I was on vacation, thanks :3

Really happy with my marks again — I know I have easy courses, but I did try harder. Functions…wow. I had a high 70 something in that last year, but now it’s gotten 10% higher. I did put a lot more effort into that this year, and I think my tutor helped me out a lot. I wanted to get a 90 in Functions, but I’m still really happy with this, considering how much I improved. Media — frankly, this was a mindlessly easy course, but it was quite thought provoking all the same. I didn’t take that course so that I could get an easy 90+, but I did it so that I would be more aware of what I read, saw, or heard. As for Design…honestly, I’m kind of disappointed in myself. If this is what I want to do as a career, I really need to push myself even harder. I don’t know why my mark dropped. I possibly put in more effort this half of the course than in the first, especially since the projects were much more demanding and time consuming. But all the same, I need to bring up that mark. Marketing, well, what can I say? I think this might be my highest mark EVER, and of course I’m happy with it. Despite the fact that the course was full of memorizing and tedious work, not to mention a lot of tests, it honestly wasn’t that bad. I don’t particularly like business, but I do want to keep it as a back up just in case my goal to get into design doesn’t work out.

All in all, if you went tl;dr, I’m happy with this round of marks. :D

Functions: 87
Media Studies: 96
Design: 88
Marketing: 99

Average: 92.5

!!

I be happy cheylde.

West Coast 2010!

ITINERARY:

June 23 – July 1: Vancouver [by myself]
July 1 (night) – July 5: Seattle
July 6 – July 8: Victoria
July 9 – July 11: Vancouver

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON:

HELLO SEATTLE I AM AN ALBATROOOOSSSSS

The Space Needle! This is one of their telecommunications towers, and this one was built for Expo…something. LOL. It isn’t nearly as tall as the CN Tower, but it’s still iconic for Seattle.

For once, Seattle has BLUE SKIES with CLOUDS O.O

A typical view of Seattle – with the Space Needle on the left and Mount Rainier on the right. And yea, this is what it’s like most of the time in Seattle if it’s not raining. FML

This is the VERY FIRST STARBUCKS EVER. EVERRR.

It’s in Pike Place Market, which is a famous farmer’s market in Seattle. We had some really good clam chowder here as well as some fresh peaches, mm. Below the market, there’s a place called the gum wall, which is, well, exactly what that sounds like. NASTY. I didn’t take any pictures because I was about to throw up (lol) so http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gum_Wall.

Near the Space Needle, we went to a museum called the Experience Music Project. The building was constructed by Frank Gehry (the same architect who did the AGO — Art Gallery of Ontario — in downtown Toronto, as well as the insanity that is the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, as well as a ton of other crazy things).

Yes.

And there’s a frigging Monorail that goes through this thing. I went on it. It was fun :)

Inside the museum, things are equally crazy. For example:

WTF

O.O

Yeah, Seattle’s the birthplace of a lot of famous musicians and bands, such as Jimi Hendrix (they had a special exhibit on him when I was there), Owl City (!!), and a bunch of rock bands that I could care less about. Cough.

Anyways, on one of the days we drove out of the city and went to Mount Rainier, which is the tallest mountain in Washington. It is GORGEOUS. SRS. It’s an unactive volcano with snow on top, which makes for all sorts of awesome.

So pretty.

We drove up really really far. It was pretty damn cold up there, considering I didn’t pack for weather that was 10- degrees Celsius.

We saw some wildlife by the road too, including this ridiculously cute “pika” — that’s what the guide booklet said — and it was FAT and FLUFFY.

[EDIT]: Nevermind, this was probably a marmot. Pikas are tiny and mouselike, but this one was about the size of a beaver.

The haze covering most of the mountain area when we were there. CRY. It only started clearing up when we were leaving. Ah well, still gorgeous.

*_*

Before we left to go to Victoria, BC by two ferries, we went to Olympic National Park, which was also full of gorgeous mountains :)

It wasn’t nearly as cold here — I was in a T-shirt the whole time up here.

Looking back onto the car park.

By the way, Olympic National Park is also home to Forks. As in, the one in Twilight. FORREALS. It was quite lols.

How many Twilight places can you see? I lol’d.

This was also on that kiosk model. I swear. I need to go here. LOL.

We saw a lot of deer there, at least 15 just all over the grass. They’re not at all scared of humans, and one even came up to me for a photo! :D!

But yeah…

This place was beautiful.

VICTORIA, BRITISH COLUMBIA:

When we arrived in Victoria by ferry the same day we were at Olympic National Park, it was about sunset. And it was gorgeous.

The Empress Hotel, which is a high class, SRSLY OLD hotel overlooking Victoria Harbour.

Carriage rides in front of British Columbia’s provincial government building.

I’m so touristy. <3

OH AND…

This is the government building by day…

This is the government building by night…

ROFL DISNEYLAND

The day after, we went to The Butchart Gardens.

My brother and I were going to ask someone there how it was pronounced. We didn’t.

So we kept calling the place “butt chart gardens” or faux-French “bouchard gardens”. Fun stuff 8D

This place was really pretty, though. I can’t believe someone had the patience to plant and maintain all of this.

This one and the previous one were part of the Hanging Gardens.

These are the Sunken Gardens, which were literally created from an old, abandoned limestone quarry. CRAZY.

It was like, 32+ degrees Celsius when we went. Pretty, but REALLY, REALLY, REALLY SWELTERINGLY HOT.

These flowers are seriously bright. I actually had to desaturate these quite a bit because they were naturally SO BRIGHT. RIDONCULOUS.

There were a lot of flowers.

Srs.

But my favourite part of the gardens were the Japanese Gardens, which had pretty much no flowers in them.

It was pretty much just green, with touches of brown.

But I loved it; they were unbelievably pretty.

And I don’t even like going to gardens.

I’m not doing justice, but I’m trying. :)

For dinner that night, we went to a place called Earl’s.

They had really good food :D photographed crappily by yours truly, since my family was mad at me for making them wait. 8D

Seafood pasta.

Mystery meat with potatoes, beets, and carrots. MMM

It wasn’t actually mystery meat, I just can’t be bothered to remember what it was.

And because we like to fool ourselves that we’re eating healthy, we’ve got celery sticks on top of that.

You didn’t see the chicken wings behind that.

Heh.

My brother and my dad had beer. I SWEAR I DIDN’T. The smell of beer makes me cringe.

OOH OOH and the bathroom of this place was GORGEOUS.

You have no idea.

I didn’t take the time to take better pictures cause I didn’t want to risk someone walking in and find me…taking photos of a washroom…

Double sinks, double the pretty :D

Anyways, so after dinner, we went out to Victoria Harbour to take more pictures. It was sunset again :D!

West Coast people are really chillax. Everyone just bikes around or plays music or watches the sunset like me :)

More photos from the Harbour.

LOOK WHAT I FOUND

HI JEN

But yeah, this place was gorgeous.

After the sun went down completely, we drove over to the other side of Victoria Harbour, and took photos from there.

There were some REALLY nice condos on this side of the Harbour. JEALOUS

On the last day we stayed in Victoria, we went to the Royal BC Museum, which I have no pictures of because it’s kind of boring (lol) but the Provincial Government building was really nice. So since you’ve seen the outside, here’s a bit of the inside :)

*______________*

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA:

When we got to Vancouver, we had to check in right away.

OUR HOTEL WAS PRETTY :) It was the Empire Landmark Hotel, and we only went cause the price was reduced A LOT when we went.

Before we went for dinner, we went to visit Lions Gate Bridge, which connects North Vancouver with what I assume is South Vancouver. OR SOMETHING. LOL

IT’S KINDA LIKE THE GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE. But green. Yea…

Nature around the bridge.

CREEPY LOOKING BUT YEA I SWEAR IT WAS THERE


LOL

“Le Rage”

We went for a bike ride all around Stanley Park the day before we left, too. I don’t have pictures of that, but it was more of Lions Gate Bridge and the beaches and shores underneath. Really nice there :)

LOOK I WAS AT THE OLYMPIC TORCH. This is kind of out of order, cause this was during Canada Day. BUT IT WAS EPIC

We were at Cypress Mountain too, where they held skiing and snowboarding events.

VANCOUVER AT NIGHT :) I think this is Robson Street on the left. Or right. >_>

These are from our hotel room’s balcony :)

We also went to Whistler, which was about 2 hrs away from Vancouver.

:D

Rapids at Whistler. The water is that colour cause it rushes past and picks up silt. NERD

OH OH AND RANDOM PHOTO:

This was some RANDOM CRAZY PIANO we saw when we drove up to Richmond. It was in Aberdeen Mall (Centre?)…and Richmond is mad Asian. More Asians than Toronto and possibly Markham. O_O

Yeah.

The morning of our plane back to Toronto, we were at a bar watching the Fifa World Cup Final. WIN. YEE.

Plane home…

Bye, Vancouver, Victoria and Seattle!

Vancouver + Seattle!

I should get packing D8

</pointless post>

White Cupcakes with Meringue Frosting

I know what you’re thinking — ABOUT TIME YOU MADE SOMETHING NEW —  sorry m’bad! I’ve made stuff, but most of it either 1) wasn’t that good 2) couldn’t be photographed cause I was busy. So even though I REALLY should be studying for my exams…yea. :D! Today was a little bit cloudy, so I apologize for the slightly crap lighting that I attempted to fix. Ah well, good enough. 8D

Anyways, this time I made a small batch of yummy cupcakes. The cake is a combination of two really good white cake recipes (CI’s and Dorie’s PPC) — well, I’ve tried Dorie’s PPC and that one was kickass. This one is really REALLY good too, but in all honesty, I think it tastes about the same as Dorie’s Perfect Party Cake anyways. Love them both! The frosting was a little bit fail, since I halved the recipe and therefore didn’t have enough ingredients in my mixing bowl to properly whip up. Ah well. I’ll probably try it again and make the full batch instead next time. It tastes like melted marshmallows — almost identical to my Seven Minute Frosting recipe. I just decided to plop some sprinkles on top because Tuesday needs sprinkles. Wait what? LOL

I am such a kid. :D

No step by step photos this time, but a lot of random photos of the finished product. :)

White Cake

(adapted from here, who adapted it from Dorie’s Perfect Party Cake and Cook’s Illustrated…’s Classic White Layer Cake)

Makes: 1 9” round cake or 12 cupcakes or 24 mini cupcakes

Ingredients:

  • 1⅛ cups cake flour
  • ½ cup + 1 tbsp whole milk, at room temperature
  • 3 large egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1½ tsp vanilla extract
  • ¾ cups + 1 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter (¾ stick, or 85g), softened but still cool

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray cake pan with cooking spray; line the bottoms with parchment or waxed paper rounds. Spray paper rounds, dust pans with flour and remove excess. Alternatively, line cupcake pan with papers and spray.
  2. Pour milk, egg whites and extract into measuring cup and mix with fork until blended.
  3. Mix cake flour, sugar, baking powder and salt with a mixer. Add butter; continue beating at slow speed until mixture resembles moist crumbs, with no powdery streaks remaining.
  4. Add all but ¼ cup of milk mixture to crumbs and beat at high speed with handheld mixer for 1½ minutes. Add remaining ¼ cup milk to mixture and beat 30 seconds more. Stop mixing and scrape sides. Return mixer to high speed and beat 20 seconds longer.
  5. Pour batter into pan, or into cupcake pan. Smooth top.
  6. Bake until skewer or toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean, about 23-25 minutes for round cake, 17-20 minutes for cupcakes, and 12 minutes for mini cupcakes.

Fluffy White Frosting

(adapted from here — I made a HALF BATCH of this recipe below, but you’d probably want to make a full size batch to do it correctly, since mine was too runny and did not hold its shape.)

Makes: Enough to frost ~24 cupcakes

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar or salt
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. In a saucepan, stir together the sugar and water. Cook over medium high heat until sugar is dissolved and mixture is boiling with little bubbles appearing on the surface. Let boil for about 5 minutes before removing from heat.
  2. Place egg whites into mixing bowl and add pinch of salt and vanilla. Let sit before beating to soft peaks.
  3. Gradually add the still-hot sugar mixture to egg whites while whipping constantly until stiff peaks form, about 7-10 minutes. Tint icing as desired and frost cake.

I ate one when it was fresh out of the oven. And another two soon after.

Just saying.

:D

By the way, if you’re wondering why my cupcakes are all varying in size, well, that’s because I ran out of normal size cupcake liners and had to use 10 smaller sized ones. So they look a tad weird. Like in the photos above, the middle on and the one on the left are normal sized, but the one on the right is squat. And fat. In the wrong way. >_>

A shot of the delicious innards, because everyone likes innards. 8D

IN OTHER WORDS THEY WERE YUMMY.

SPRINKLES!

Cause they make me happy! :D!!!!! DUN JUDGE PLZ

I make a wish.

I have an aspiration.

I try.

I strive.

And then I leap.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

I fall.

And it repeats.

Y I DUN HAS APUL PIE(rate)

WHY IS THIS SO FRIGGIN BRILLIANT

D8
!!