Archive for December, 2010

21st December
2010
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I was watching tv last night and saw Cupcake Wars in HD. The cupcakes looked soooo delicious and it made me want to make cupcakes myself. So off to the store I went, got some supplies and started to bake away.

The first thing I wanted to do was make cupcakes that were fluffy and moist. My least favorite cupcakes are ones that are super thick and dry. I found this recipe. Mixing the butter and sugar looked like it was going to be difficult, but it turned out not to be so bad. You just have to give it a few minutes and keep at it and the softened butter will turn into this sugar/butter “dough” (I think it kinda looks like mashed potatoes). After that, it was really simple to add the eggs and vanilla. Finally, one just needs to alternate adding the dry ingredients with the milk. Last step was to pour the batter into a cupcake tin.

I used the time the cupcakes were in the oven and then cooling to prepare the frosting. While the link above included a recipe for buttercream, I wanted to make one that was a little more festive, which is how I came up with this. But have a few changes I wanted to make for this recipe. Getting the butter at room temperature seemed to work ok, but even lightly softening the butter with a microwave might be useful. I would not recommend putting it in the microwave so long that it melts though. This recipe calls for 7 crushed peppermint sticks. Instead of peppermint sticks which turned out to be extremely difficult to crush I used peppermint soft candies. These are the ones that are used sometimes as mints at restaurants. As for the peppermint liquid, I used extract instead of schnapps.

Out of this part of the recipe, the part that took the longest was crushing the candy. I used a mortar and pestle. And eventually, I had half a cup.


After gathering all the ingredients the directions simply call for them to be mixed together. However the change I would make here is to not add in the crushed peppermint candy if you want the frosting to be white. If you don’t mind the colors of the candy mixing into the frosting then go ahead and mix it in. Mine turned out pretty straight forward. Except that it turned pink because of the crushed peppermint candy. If it’s not mixing well add a little milk at a time. If you add too much milk, add more powdered sugar to fix the consistency of the frosting. After you get the consistency right, hand stir in the crushed peppermint candy.

And after a little time to decorate, we have the results!

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20th December
2010
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Being on my first real vacation since the holidays of 2009, it’s gotten me seriously thinking of places I want to visit. So I’m starting a list right here to start tracking where I want to go. The vacations can be smaller ski trips to Whistler or multi-week vacations across oceans. I just want this record so I can start figuring out how I’m going to make this happen. The list appears in no particular order, this is closer to a stream of consciousness really.

  1. Whistler, Canada (ski trip!)
  2. Alaska – it always looks simply beautiful in pictures. I’ve also always thought the aurora borealis had a kind of magical quality to it and Alaska is the best place to view it from the US. Not to forget the glaciers, the wildlife, the mountains, everything really.
  3. Kyoto/Osaka, Japan – I’ve always wanted to visit the old castles and temples in these cities. All the history that these cities hold is amazing. Anytime I see pictures of these places, I’m reminded of why I want to visit.
  4. New Zealand – I mostly want to visit New Zealand because I think it’s amazing that there are so many different types of terrains in such a small amount of space. I think it would be awesome to go hiking in New Zealand and just treat the trip like a photography expedition.
  5. Almafi Coast – Most people who know me know that I kind of became a little obsessed with Italy after playing Assassin’s Creed II (which takes place in renaissance Italy). However, at about the same time I was finishing that game, I also started a subscription with National Geographic Traveler magazine. The first issue I received was about a cooking vacation on the Amalfi Coast and it sounded like the most peaceful perfect experience anyone could ask for. I soon also learned how ridiculously tourist-y many cities in Italy are. I want to go to Italy to witness that old world charm that Europe has. I don’t want to walk past souvenir peddlers on the tourist-crowded cobblestone streets that also have cars trying to squeeze through. But the Amalfi Coast sounds perfect, fewer crowds, fewer cars, just some cute little seaside towns  that have lots of little secrets waiting to be uncovered.

So this is the start of my list, I will try to add to it as I think of places I want to visit. But this is definitely a good start.

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14th December
2010
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I thought this was pretty amazing. It a visualization of about 10 million friendship connections over Facebook.
See visualization here.

10th December
2010
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For the longest time I’ve been trying to learn how to do vibrato on the flute. I found a couple really interesting videos on how to do this. Both videos express that vibrato comes from the throat and not the diaphragm like many claim. I have to say, even from just practicing it for a couple days, I agree vibrato must come from the throat.

This first video explains the method of how to practice and develop vibrato:

This next video is vibrato as explained by James Galway. It basically confirms the method described in the first video:

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10th December
2010
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I think I’m going to have to try this…

Canon Pixma: Bringing colour to life from Dentsu London on Vimeo.

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10th December
2010
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I absolutely love this video. My sister showed it to me years ago and I just felt the need to look it up again.

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10th December
2010
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Just got back from seeing Dr. Horrible at the Balagan in Cap Hill. It was really awesome. The theater was actually this basement area is some random building, and it was only big enough for maybe 25-30 people. It was really fun! We sat right in the front row and Alpha and his friend even became part of the show! The group also put a little of of their own twist on the show, adding their own little soundtrack to the musical at the beginning of each half.  I would definitely see another show of theirs. :)

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10th December
2010
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So this is the third time I’m restarting my wordpress blog. But I’m tired of how slow Godaddy is. So I’m going to copy over my posts manually. sigh…

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9th December
2010
written by admin

Welcome to WordPress. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start blogging!

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