Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Embellish Magazine Challenge - Stitching

This challenge was to use one of my absolute favorite techniques which is stitching. I love the look that stitching gives cards. It adds interest without going too over the top. Well, sometimes I go over the top but nevermind that.

To be honest, I actually had a hard time deciding what I wanted to do. I had a couple ideas in mind which didn't turn out the way I liked when I assembled the card so I scrapped them. If you really really wanna see what one of them looks like, I'll post it.. but only if you ask.

Yesterday I came across a really cute print on The Scoop (http://www.orangebeautiful.com/blog/post.php?post_id=1364) which was the inspiration behind this card. After handwriting the sentiment, I thought it looked a little bare so I added the stitched flower to it. Yes, that flower is all handmade. If you guys want a tutorial on how I did that, let me know in the comments and I'll make a video.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Review: Bacon Marmalade

Last week I saw a video on seriouseats.com (http://newyork.seriouseats.com/2010/03/video-bacon-marmalade.html) that featured a chef that makes bacon marmalade. You heard right... BACON... MARMALADE. I was instantly intruiged and the video featuring the chef was so inspiring. He basically made a business out of a mistake. Personally, I hate making mistakes so to see him turn one into something awesome was really cool.

Anyway, to order this stuff you gotta email them. Their email address is listed on their website: http://baconmarmalade.com/. I contacted them immediatly after watching the video. They paypal'ed me an invoice for $9 which is for a 4oz. bottle. It's a little pricey but once you taste this stuff... it's well worth it.

I broke it out this morning to have a taste. Damn, it's good. Probably not the healthiest thing to eat but I HAD to try it. I'll probably bring the remainder to a party and share it with everyone soon. Upon smelling it, you get a nice smokey aroma from the bacon with the sweetness from the onion. I would almost describe it as what you'd get in a Chinese BBQ pork bun. Justyn says it tastes like a strong taste of mashed bacon, onion and a sweet aftertaste.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Justyn "Cooking": UnMexican Tacos

Justyn has been telling me he wants to try to make tacos. Not your regular kinda El Pastor, nor Carne Asada not even Lengua tacos. What kind then?

Japanese tacos. You know just by those two words that they're going to be unusual right?

He started out with corn tortillas which were nuked just to heat them through. Here's where things get weird. He put chopped kimchee as the base, then natto (yeah!), canned Japanese fish, green onions & Sriracha. Suprisingly good! The natto is what makes the taco good so don't skip it if you decide to make this.

Monday, March 22, 2010

NAC: Finally Friday Homework - Lifting(?)

I didn't really know what to call this homework assignment but the basic idea was to take Kristina Werner's Finally Friday card and use it as a starting point. I really love her layouts and this was the perfect opportunity to use one of hers.

I changed some things such as not tying the embroidery thread around the card.. instead I, of course, had to stitch. I'm always finding new ways to create flower embellishments on youtube and I love the way this particular flower looks. Unfortunately, it's really bulky since you're using 10 pieces of distressed cardstock to make it. The patterned paper is from Sassafras Nerdy Bird collection (out of their 6x6 paper pad) which I just got today. The dot stamp is from Papertrey ink and the yellow cardstock is from Stampin Up. This card turned into something that is really unlike my style. I rarely use patterned paper and I'm glad I got the opportunity to do so. :)

Cards Blog Challenge: 8 Colors

I had this card pretty much planned out because it'd be easy to make a card using the colors of the rainbow, black and white. Boom.. 8 colors. Then when I started making the card, it looked wonky. I didn't want to have blue and purple flowers cuz it looked weird so I used an apricot colored ribbon as my 7th color. The pink flowers were the 8th color. It like really simple cards so this challenge was quite a challenge for me. You don't really think about it until you try and make a card with more than 4 colors. I might make another card for this challenge but we'll see.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Cooking: Honey Ginger Chicken Skewers

I should probably label these "Cooking Fail" because that's exactly what they are. I started marinating the chicken in oyster sauce, soy sauce, grated ginger, minced garlic, orange juice and pepper. I thought they'd be fine overnight. Boy, was I wrong.

They look good right? Well, they are. Except for the texture. These turned out with the texture of liver. Yeah, talk about overmarination. Oh well. Lesson learned.. when the recipe says to marinate something for 3-4 hours, that's exactly what they mean.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Cards Blog Challenge: Birds

This week's challenge was to make cards with birds in it. There was a strict rule where we couldn't use owls which was kinda good because I only really have one owl stamp that I can think of. I thought about Kristina Werner's technique on her MACM this week and how I could use that on this card. Ah-ha! You guessed it.. another light bulb went off in my head. I used my craft knife to cut out two half circles to use as the bird's body and then popped off some Making Memories Just Chillin' patterned paper with some dimensionals. From the same line, I cut out a couple wings, beaks & punched a heart out. And if you couldn't already tell, tons of faux stitching. I really like doing faux stitching on black cardstock, probably because the white gel pen is so vibrant against the black.

**EDIT: HOLY CRAP!! My card just landed on the Cards Blog selections! Check it out!! http://northridgemedia.net/blogs/cards/?p=1808**

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St. Patty's Day!

[backspace] [backspace] [backspace] *deep breath*

I really don't have much to say except to wish you guys a happy and safe St. Patty's Day.

Just a brief description of this card.

My good friend Esther asked me for a birthday card today and because I didn't feel like any of my other cards would do, so I made a new one. This card was heavily inspired by the new 12x12 album by American Crafts. I simply loved the simplicity of it.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Cooking: Prime Rib

A while ago I saw an article on seriouseats.com which explained how to cook perfect prime rib. I decided to give it a shot tonight. I really should have read the recipe before I started because at around 2:00pm, I realized that I should've started prepping last night. If I had done that, I could've let the prime rib air dry overnight. Ah well... The other thing I realized was that I didn't have a v-rack to put the roast on.. nor did I have a roasting pan or a meat thermometer. So.. after I got all the groceries for dinner, I had to go to Bed Bath & Beyond. *sigh*

I was a little disappointed on how the prime rib turned out. It was slightly overcooked and far from perfect. Taste wise it was pretty damn good but it did not turn out the way I wanted it to. Justyn thoroughly enjoyed it though so that's always a plus.
I served it with roasted brussel sprouts & a root vegetable mash (carrots, parsnips, potato & butternut squash). One of my friends also gave me a fantastic recipe for horseradish dip. I'll post the recipe after the pics.

Horseradish Dip
1/4 cup bottled horse radish drained & squeezed dry in cheesecloth
1 Tbs white wine vinegar
1 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp dry English mustard
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp white pepper
1/2 cup chilled heavy cream

In a small bowl, stir together all but cream until well blended. Whip cream until stiff (the cream, not you). Pour mixture over cream and fold together with rubber spatula lightly but thoroughly. Taste for seasoning.

NAC: Finally Friday Homework - St Patty's Day Card

Just a card I made for Kristina Werner's Finally Friday homework. This week the challenge was to make a St. Patty's Day card. Not too difficult since I already had an idea in mind. I'm glad I finally got to use some thickers that I've had for a while now heh.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

A Couple of Cards

I decided to make a couple cards tonight since I've had a couple ideas floating around in my head. It's kinda weird how once you get an idea, you want to rush home and see how it turns out on in real life. I've been itching to make this particular card since being on the plane going to Japan. I was flipping through a Vogue magazine and saw this pretty Dior ad for a blush palette. I immediately thought of ways to recreate the pattern on paper.

Last Friday, Kristina Werner posted a Finally Friday video that had pennants in it. Coincidentally, I've been planning on doing a card with pennants but never got inspired enough to make one until I saw her video.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Justyn Cooking: Bacon Wrapped Hot Dogs

Yesterday at Lemons someone mentioned a roach coach that sold bacon wrapped hot dogs in Southern California. Why don't we have that stuff up here? Well, fret not... because as soon as it was mentioned, Justyn was craving it. He decided to make it for lunch. And yes.. it was as delicious as it you think it'd be. Warning: If you're trying to eat or be healthy, don't make this. Your loss though ;)

24 Hours of Lemons

On Saturday, we went drove to wine country not to do wine tasting but for a race. Yeah... in Sonoma there's a race track called Infineon which is also known as Sears Point. They had a race there called the 24 Hours of Lemons. What is it you ask? It's a race where the cars are valued at $500. However anything safety related does not count toward the $500 limit. The cars are raced until dusk or until the drivers are no longer able to see the track or what's in front of them. They do that for 2 days straight. So it's basically an endurance race. Really interesting to watch and especially so because the teams are allowed to make up random themes for their cars.

Anyway, I didn't get many car related pictures but here they are anyway. Breakfast was from Dino's in Fremont, lunch was at some very Americanized Chinese restaurant and was not so good. The only car related picture I took was where a team used tennis balls to stiffen their suspension. Pretty creative right?

Friday, March 5, 2010

Review: Clos LaChance

My friend, Erica, recently posted on her FB that she helped make a wine AND that it was available at Trader Joe's for $4.99! SWEET! She has a degree in wine making which she was telling us about a while back when we were still neighbors. When I heard that she helped make this wine, I HAD to try it.

The winery is called Clos LaChance and the wine that I tasted tonight is a 2006 Merlot. The label says it's violet-crowned but I have no idea what that means :) Maybe if Erica reads this, she can explain what it means.

Upon uncorking, I used my cheapo wine opener from Vegas and accidentally tore the cork in half. Woops! I ended up pouring some of the wine out to get rid of the cork bits that were floating on top. No big deal.. although I had to waste some wine :( Someone needs to give me back my rabbit!

I'm trying the wine out as I type this and I turned to Justyn to ask him what it smelled like. He had no idea and I currently have a cold. He says it's an easy drinking wine and that he could chug it. Haha... It really is easy to drink and very mild for a Merlot. It almost has a floral taste to it too which I enjoy. Justyn doesn't really enjoy wine as much as I do and for him to say that he could chug it is probably a good indication that it's good. I'm currently letting the rest of the wine breathe in the bottle so I'll make an edit to this post as more flavor develops.

In summary, it's a good and cheap wine if you're new to wine tasting. It might not stand out, but it's easy to drink which, from experience, is a good thing. Unlike most red wines, I would actually recommend that you pair this with fish. I think this would be a great summer wine.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Embellish Magazine Challenge - Borders

I played with the Embellish Magazine Challenge colors last night and this is what I came up with. Short post since I caught a cold while I was in Japan. *sniffles*

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Cards Blog Challenge: Eyelets

While I had some free time in Japan I looked at the Cards Blog and noticed a new challenge was up. The challenge was to use eyelets and so I started brainstorming ideas.. yeah... while I was on vacation. I actually came out with a completely different sketch than how this card turned out and I'm extremly happy with it. I always admired Kelly Purkey's (kellypurkey.typepad.com) use of J Crew catalogs. J Crew catalogs are known for using a plethora of color especially when showcasing their sweaters. I've had one of the catalogs sitting in my scrap cardstock box for a while and decided to use it today. I love how striking the colors are against black.. but enough about that... the eyelets. After I did the sentiment I thought of using the eyelets to accent it.. so I just did a line of them spaced apart by some white handdrawn dots.

Like it?

PS - This picture was super annoying to take since Justyn kept bugging me just as I was about to take the shot. Jeez...