Monday, July 28, 2008

Gingerbread Doodles

Self Portrait

Gingerbread Ninjas

Group Meanderings

Late night doodles with my siblings in a corner of Tim Horton's fueled by ninja turtle gingerbread men! The last one was a group effort, and my personal favourite.

Orange and Red Currant Cake

With my overwhelming red currant bounty I had to make a cake. I just, was not able not to make a cake. I found this recipe on recipezaar or or something and make a few adjustments and additions. It turned out so delicious! Its so silly we haven't been making this every year from our currants! We will now! Just the right amount of sweet and tart, you could probably substitute the red currants for cranberries. It's super, ultra moist.

Kristy's only qualm was that she didn't like the random currant seeds making little crunches while she ate. I didn't even notice them but if you want to hide that you could probably add some poppyseeds to the cake. That would work really well with the taste of this cake, make it pretty with the red and black, and it would hide the wee crunchies. If you find yourself with an unnecessary amount of red currants and don't feel like making a million jars of jam, try this cake!

We enjoyed it outside on the deck this morning with tea. Mm. Hmm.

Orange and Red Currant Cake
with orange glaze

3 cups fresh red currants
Zest of 2 oranges
The juice of one of those orange
4 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar, packed down
¼ cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 tbsp baking powder
3 cups all purpose or cake flour
1 cup milk
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract

Set oven to 350 degrees.

Pull the currants gently off their stems. Rinse and sort them out very well and set aside.

Zest the oranges into small bowl and squeeze out the juice of one orange.

Butter the sides and bottom of a 10-inch springform pan. Dust with flour or sugar.

Using an electric mixer cream the butter and sugar until light. Mix in the oil. Add the eggs and mix until smooth. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl. With the mixer on low speed, add the baking powder and 1 cup of flour. When well combined, add half the milk, another cup of flour, the rest of the milk, and the rest of the flour, mixing well after each addition. Stop to scrape the bowl as necessary.

Remove the bowl from the mixer and gently fold in the currants, orange zest and juice. Pour

the batter into the prepared pan and bake until golden brown and firm on top, about 1 hour. Cool on a rack to room temperature. Glaze or serve with whipped cream.

Orange Cake Glaze

1 cup icing sugar
Zest of one orange
4-5 tbsp of the orange juice

Mix all ingredients until a smooth consistency is reached. Pour over top of cake and let harden completely (about 10-15 minutes) before serving.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Ruby Red All Over

At home. Pot of chili on the stove. Sitting on the grass picking berries as the sun goes down. Red Currants. Lifting their green arms up and plucking the strands of ruby reds from the underneath. Spiders everywhere but I don't seem to mind them when they are in their own environment. Its me in their house now, if I get bit I'm deserving of it. Ruby the red hound dog next door is for once calm and gentle. She watches me with caramel eyes and nothing behind them. She paces. Red fingers. Meditative work. Finally I can hear my own thoughts. They are calm and gentle too. The only sound in my ears is the hum of distant lawnmowers, a plane somewhere overhead in the blue and the murmur of my cousin making my mom laugh with his stories. Blackfly got me. Red itch spreading across my stomach. Picking berries makes me appreciate the skill of my hands. Makes me feel like a monkey, those most dexterous digits, pokers and sorters. Dad shouts down from deck above, "Hey! What are YOU doing?" "Pickin' berries." as a matter of fact. Feels good.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Happy Birthday Amanda!

Last night was Amanda's birthday party. We ate dinner at Veni Vidi Vici, which was mediocre but the company was excellent and the private room was awesome. I drank a glass of Riesling in 6.2 seconds and said awkward things to people I dont know very well. Amanda looked happy. On the walk home a man going to opposite way brushed against me and had a long sniff of my hair. Everyone in this city is on drugs or a probable sex offender. Bleaugh. Her arm in that picture says "Tu Est Stupide", a poetic truth written in French one night in a day of yore by a drunken Irish bard. It was a startling moment of clarity on his behalf and a moment of weakness by Amanda. She has to learn to hold on to her permanent markers more tightly. I like that picture.

Happy 23rd Amandarling!

Life Crisis #47

This evening has been spent in my usual late night pursuit of having a drink and a life crisis. The drink is usually beer and the crisis is usually concerning one career path or another and tonight is no exception. Every week, every hour actually, I make bold declarations, promises, covenants and commitments concerning my scholarly ambitions only to reverse back on myself the next minute. Exhausting. I need to just pick a fucking horse and stay on'er.

I think about my future, I dream about it, the things I will do, the person I will become, what I'm going to name the llamas, and try to imagine the best way to get there. I'm so afraid of failing and wasting time and money it's crippling. Do I become a successful freelance illustrator? Do I open my own little tea and cake shop? Do I travel to Nepal and live in a hut with a family of 15 and teach kids art for free? Do I get a $25 an hour job stamping permits for the city, save up for a downpayment on a condo and buy thirty cats? Help!

And yeah its easy to say, oh fucking hell just suck it up and do something already but it just isn't working. I have friends who have just spent 4 years and thousands of dollars and cant seem to even find a job in a supermarket so that's not exactly inspiring either. Anyway, is it sad that Im happy where I am right now? Barely scraping by sharing a one bedroom apartment? I'm really happy. It probably won't be enough to satisfy me for long though. A girl can only shovel croissants into the ever open mouths of rich people with personality deficits for so long before coming into work one day with a fifteen hundred dollar handgun she bought off some guy named Taliban Tom in the park and taking a few of them out of commission....

Anyway, here are my simple life goals for the next 6 or so months. Maybe sharing them with you will make me do them for fear of being a big loser. These are just very basic and superficial ones, I have a bigger list but there is some weird stuff on there that I would look nutty for typing out here so I'll keep it secret and keep it safe. These are the important ones.

1. Blow the dust off my savings account and put $300 a month into it. Without Exception.

2. Lose 30 pounds. Realistically 20 will do but I want to push myself. I have to get rid of this man, when you look down your stomach shouldn't be smiling back up at you. Smirky fucking bastard! I'd be happy too if I ate cake all day long! OH WAIT I DO. FUCK.

3. Have a portfolio for Sheridans illustration program ready by november 1st. Apply to Sheridan and George Brown in AMPLE time this time around.

4. Bake atleast once a week, trip to the library atleast once a month, and do Illustration Friday every week, you lazy bitch.

5. Buy a dress and wear it.

6. Ride bike every day. If the bike is neglected pilates must be performed in the living room. Tickets are $10 at the door.

7. Explore Toronto.

8. Work on tattoos fo Hefty C.

9. Help Bobby and/or Kristy to become productive human beings in any way I can.

10. Pare my belongings down to a minimum.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Cookie Challenge: World Peace Cookies

Ladies and gents, I have found another contender in the cookie contest! This variation of French sable or "sandy" cookies are soft, crumbly and melt in your mouth delicious. They have lip licking and addictive saltiness to them. I used chocolate with fleur de sel in the actual chocolate and I dont think Ill do that next time.There was a strangeness to it. If youve ever had those President's Choice cookies that are chocolate with white chocolate chips, this is almost exactly like them only meltier. Next time I think I'll try white chocolate! These directions look like they span on forever but its pretty much just standard cookie making fare. Either way they are so easy yet extensive you cant possibly Eff It Up. Definitely, definitely, make these.

Korova Cookies
a.k.a World Peace Cookies
by Dorie Greenspan adapted from Pierre Hermé
Makes about 36

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 stick plus
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon fleur de sel, or 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped into small bits

1 . Sift the flour, cocoa, and baking soda together and keep close at hand. Put the butter in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on medium speed until the butter is soft and creamy. (Alternatively, you can do this and all subsequent steps by hand, working with a sturdy rubber spatula.) Add both sugars, the salt, and vanilla extract and beat for another minute or two. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the sifted dry ingredients. Mix only until the dry ingredients are incorporated — the dough will look crumbly, and that's just right. For the best texture, you want to work the dough as little as possible once the flour is added. Toss in the chocolate pieces and mix only to incorporate.

2. Turn the dough out onto a smooth work surface and squeeze it so that it sticks together in large clumps. Gather the dough into a ball, divide it in half, and working with one half at a time, shape the dough into logs that are 1 1/2 inches (4 cm) in diameter. (Cookie-dough logs have a way of ending up with hollow centers, so as you're shaping each log, flatten it once or twice and roll it up from one long side to the other, just to make certain you haven't got an air channel.) Wrap the logs in plastic wrap and chill them for at least 1 hour. (Wrapped airtight, the logs can be refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for I month.)

3. Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 325°F (165°C). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and keep them close at hand.

4. Working with a sharp thin-bladed knife, slice the logs into rounds that are 1/2 inch (1.5 cm) thick. (Don't be upset if the rounds break; just squeeze the broken-off bit back onto the cookie.) Place the cookies on the parchment-lined sheets, leaving about 1 inch (2.5 cm) spread space between them.

5. Bake only one sheet of cookies at a time, and bake each sheet for 12 minutes. The cookies will not look done, nor will they be firm, but that's just the way they should be. Transfer the baking sheet to a cooling rack and let the cookies stand until they are only just warm or until they reach room temperature — it's your call. Repeat with the second sheet of cookies.

NOTE: The dough can be made ahead and chilled or frozen. If you've frozen the dough, you needn't defrost it before baking — just slice the logs and bake the cookies 1 minute longer. Packed airtight, baked cookies will keep at room temperature for up to 3 days; they can be frozen for up to 1 month.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Sons of the Same Bitch!


After an entire day of shitting carrot juice you will all be happy to know that I can now fart without terror! I'm celebrating with some toast and tea.

This picture of some sort of carrot custard with walnuts pretty much sums up the last 24 hours.

Speaking of terror, however, I just had the scariest walk Ive ever had in broad daylight. I have this kind of thing, where, when Im walking around every crazy person in the area will come up and talk to me. Yeah I know, thus is the nature of the crazy. But this goes to extremes. They will cross streets, in front of oncoming traffic, and pick me out of a crowd of people. Its not just crazies, regular people who will be walking along completely sane and as they pass through my bubble of personal space they are for that time completely bonkers. Then they pass and they're normal again. Megan hypothesized that its because I am inadvertently making eye contact. So I tried NOT making any eye contact today and it was WORSE THAN EVER BEFORE. Not only did they hassle me but I couldnt even see them coming and make the proper adjustments to my path of travel to assure total avoidance. Bah! One guy literally jumped, out of an alley and said "Hey! Do you want to talk?" What the hell! Maybe they smell my little blonde girl fear...

And is it just me or do nutty people always have crazy eyes? With very small pupils? Like Husky dogs? And they don't blink.. eee

Now Im safe at home with my cat and my library books and I can be calm and alone. Ahhhhh, YEESSsss...

Anyway I got two books out of the library! The Road by Cormac McCarthy, if that is his real name, is about a father and his son and walking around and probably hobos and all sorts of stuff. The other one is The Cripple And His Talismans by Anosh Irani, which seems to be about a guy who wakes up in India and notices his arms gone and for it is it that he goes looking. Promising!

I had an excellent hippy girl day of long showers, doing pilates on the living room floor, folding laundry, looking at pictures of cute things, watching sundry animes, drinking tea, dancing around in my underpants and making use of free public resources. Yayyyy. Im so excitinggg, hip and cooool.

Aren't the Andes awesome?

Imagine a place with WILD llamas! Running free in their native habitat in their cute llama sweaters!

Can - Oh Yeah.mp3

Johnny Cash - The Mercy Seat.mp3

Metric - Stop Motion Traffic.mp3

Hieroglyphics - At The Helm.mp3

Bob Marley - Roots.mp3

작은 뚱뚱한 강아지

작은 뚱뚱한 강아지
English: The small fat pup
Cory: You have a sickness.

Ive been sitting here for ages watching puppies on YouTube muted and listening to music. Most adorable music videos ever. I have a simple soul.. and mind..

Thanks Marelly for causing this chubby puppy mania and me to neglect my household duties!

Summery Macaroni and Cheese


I love making macaroni and cheese almost as much as I love shoving it in my face. The other day across town, Cory was eating a pizza with artichoke hearts on it and at the EXACT HOUR I was in the apartment looking at a pizza menu thinking "mm artichoke would be delicious".


So I thought I would make something to quell the artichoke lust. And the cheese lust. And the urge for macaronies. And Cory cant eat macaroni and cheese without peas, so this greenified Mac'n Cheese was born. It was quite certainly delicious. This would be so nice with a salad, grilled veggies and a bit of ham for a nice summery meal. And maybe the salad will prevent the heart attack eating this would bring on.

I've posted a recipe similar to this on here before, a white sauce based macaroni and cheese recipe, so if you want just a nice base to throw your own stuff in, say some proscuitto, have a look for that.

Summery Macaroni and Cheese

White Sauce:

4 tbsp butter
4 tbsp all purpose flour
1 cup milk
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper

Macaroni and Cheese:

1 1/2 cups gruyere
1 cup cheddar cheese
1/2 onion, chopped finely
1/2 cup sweet peas
1/2 cup chopped artichoke hearts
2 green onions, chopped
1/4 tsp paprika (smoked or sweet)
1/2 tsp mustard powder
2 cups elbow macaroni

Set oven to 300 degrees.

Cook the 2 cups of elbow macaroni according to package directions while you work on the other parts of the recipe.

Melt the butter in medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Whisk flour in until well blended and smooth, about 2 minutes. Remove pan from heat and whisk in the milk a bit at a time.

Return to heat and bring to a simmer, whisking until the sauce is smooth and hot and has thickened, 2-3 minutes. Add the onion, bay leaf, paprika, nutmeg and mustard powder. Simmer gently, stirring often, 10-15 minutes.

Take out the bay leaf. Remove sauce from the heat, stir in two thirds of the cheese, reserving the rest. Season with salt and pepper. Add the artichoke hearts, peas and green onions.

Drain the noodles and keep them in their pot. Pour in cheese sauce and stir until well combined. Pour half of the mixture into baking dish, and sprinkle with half the remaining cheese. Pour in the rest of the noodles and sprinkle the rest of the cheese on top of that. I like to shred a bit of fresh Parmesan cheese on top, or you could put bread crumbs, whatever.

Bake until browned on top to your liking. About 30 minutes. Let stand a bit before eating.

I have just enough gruyere left to make a couple of bowls of homemade french onion soup. That shall be my next exciting kitchen adventure!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Pleasure Is The Carrot

It's 4 in the afternoon and Im just getting up out of bed now. No it's not overpowering malaise that has lead this to happen, its A TERRIBLE ILLNESS.

I came home from work, because I have had pretty severe stomach cramps since 9pm last night. My stomach swelled up like a beach balloon at an outdoor summer rock concert. Obviously something was horribly wrong with me. Some kind of irreversible itis has taken hold!


I'm Dying. I'm dying.

No Im just a fucking idiot and without noticing ate an ENTIRE bag of baby carrots while watching tv last night. Not the small bag either.

So apparently, if you eat an ENTIRE BAG of baby carrots in one sitting the little orange bastards suck up all the water and juicy juices of your stomach and do a good job of plugging the part where your stomach empties out its good deeds of the day into the small intestine.

It hurts like a bugger.

I learned this by googling it, apparently I'm not the only dobie bastard to do this to themselves. Anyway, its been twenty and a half hours and it feels like it's mostly cleared out.

Upside: Now I can see in the dark super well and my shit glows a stunning neon orange.

Lesson: Don't eat an entire bag of baby carrots in 20 minutes.

Neutral Milk Hotel - King of Carrot Flowers pt 1.mp3

Neutral Milk Hotel - King of Carrot Flowers pt 2 & 3.mp3

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Yes Sir, I Can Boogie

Oh Hello stinks, it's me, Kara!

What, you dont remember me? As it has been so long since I have made for you a blog? Well your brain fills up very easily then, doesn't


Anyway.. Yeah its been a while, Ive been a busy wee bee. Actually my life has been similar to that of a bee. I've been working all day like a good little drone, I've been taking good care of my flowers, I've been eating some delicious sweet things and I've been plunging my stinger into peoples flesh when I get in a temper. Like you don't have the same problem.

Stuffs been good, Ive been baking lots but have put fuckall up here on the ol' blog. Experimented with some meatloaf that turned
out very successful. I mean, experimented with cooking a meatloaf. Christ I keep typing meatload now, thanks mom. Obviously I have nothing really to say so here's some songs of boogietude, and Ill put some shit up here tomorrow!

Check out this AIDSs poster from France. Ha. I'm turned on by AIDs now, thanks a whackload, French!

Brother Ali - Uncle Sam Goddamn.mp3

King Kahn and the Shrines - Torture.mp3

Women - Black

Brother Jack MacDuff - Hunk of Funk.mp3

The Melvins - Nude with Boots.mp3

The Manly Vibe - Endless Boogie.mp3