Friday, 19 December 2014

grapefruit jam!~ (&lemon)

     i have not posted in so long!  & i have a few things i have been meaning to make posts about before i totally forget about them!  BUT!  the other day i made some grapefruit jam, so i thought i would get that in & perhaps fit in the rest of my past jam making adventures.  (i have had a few because i am planning on giving jams out for christmas!)  I had previously made a whole bunch of pomegranate jam to give as gifts & then was intregued by a recipe for lemon jam that was in a book i had taken out from the library.
     So here it goes.

Grapefruit Jam.
      This batch i totally made up on my own, no recipe, no real research, i just went for it.  I originally was going to follow the steps that i took in making the lemon jelly i had previously made but decided that i did not like that idea.  I did something super simple instead!
#1.  I supremed some grapefruit, i did 4.  I actually have never supremed citrus before & it was a lot easier than i thought it would be, i think the key was using a sharp knife.  Pretty much you just slice off the top & bottom (this also helps it sit nicely) & then you start slicing off the peel from top to bottom.

Then, once all the peel is off, you cut out the little sections of fruit.  I also made sure to save all the juices & squeeze out any remaining stuff i could from the juicy parts that were left on the peel.  From 4 grapefruits i got 2.5cups of fruit/juice.

Next step, i put the fruit in a pot & added sugar & put it on med-high heat to cook away!

Originally i had added only 2 cups of sugar, but that was not enough & i added another 0.5 cup.  I had done an initial plate test & it was not quite done & it also did not taste quite sweet enough.  I think if you want a really really sweet jam then you need to add even more sugar.
     I was surprised at how much the fruit broke down while cooking, i had left it in big chunks at the beginning and with just light stirring the large pieces totally broke down.  (but this jam still has lots of pulp)
     After putting the pot back on the burner after the initial plate test it started bubbling up a lot more, this happened when i made my lemon jam as well, in fact my lemon jam ended up bubbling up so much it boiled over the pot!  I had read some where that jelly tends to boil up quite a bit, so i assume this is normal?  but both times this did not happen until after i had taken it off the burner to test it & then put it back on?  Just making a note.
     The next 4 photos are what the mix looked like at the start, how much it had broken down, the bubbling up after putting it back on the burner & the finished jam!

     After it was done i filled the jars.  This amount of jam only filled 5 little jars & about half of a 6th (these are 125mL jars), so it was a small batch.  I boiled them in a hot water bath for 15min & then turned off the heat & left it uncovered for an additional 5min.  I do not know if that extra step is needed or not or even if i should be doing it, but it allowed me to finish up with some other stuff i was doing at the same time, so it all worked out!  This jam was super pretty!  It was night time & the little bit of light from the stove just made it glow, so lovely!  I have not opened a jar yet but i did eat some of the left over bits from the pot & it was yummy! 

& super simply, equal parts grapefruit/juice & sugar, cook till it passes the plate test & you are good to go!

Lemon Jam
     The lemon jam i made i followed the instructions & recipe from this book: The Art of Preserving by Lisa Atwood,except that i shrunk it down to, i think, 1/3 of a batch.  A teeny tiny batch that only made 4.5 little jars.  This jam, or well, i guess it is actually jelly, took 2 days because it kinda makes a citrus pectin out of the peel.  You have to first thinly slice some fruit (2/3lb), with peel & boil it & allow it to drain overnight.

You are then left with some thick yellow liquid.  I actually got a little less then i was supposed to according to the recipe, but oh well.  You also then need to add some lemon juice (2/3c)!

mix this all together with 2c of sugar & ta-da! After i did the plate test & put it back on the burner it started boiling up&up&up&up & so i had to pour it into the GIANT pot in the second picture. I managed to clean things up pretty good it looks like, but there was lemon jam all over the burner & smoke everywhere, plus the jam was starting to set up quite quickly, it was not fun times.

This jam was very fast! From start to finish the cooking only took a bit over 15min & without the boil over disaster it would have taken less.  After the cooking i filled the jars & did the water bath thing.  This jam, like the grapefruit, was also very pretty!

     I was thinking that i should have made mandarin orange jelly for christmas time, since it is such a christmas fruit, but i think that lemon & grapefruit will do fine for now.  I also have the pomegranate, i have lots of that (& i will do a post about it later) & i think 4? jars of nectarine jam (since 3 of them did not seal and are in the freezer & i ate one) to give as gifts as well.  It will be a very jam-y christmas!

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

hi, how are you?

     ok!  I have created a brand new little mini zine/artbook/photo project of sorts!  & since it is mid-november already & i made these in october it is probably time i posted about them!!!  They are titled: hi, how are you?  & they are teeny tiny (1x1.5") envelopes with some teeny tiny photos inside!
     They look like so:

     & i will be making new ones every couple months or so.  (Or at least that is the plan).  If you want one, then let me know!  I would really really love to trade stuff with you!  Anything really, your own projects, mailart, zines, lofi art books, hand made magnets, photos?  I have other stuff i can send you too!  (Or you could just ask?)
     You can mail me:  
PO Box 20083
RPO Beverly
Edmonton, AB
T5W 5E6

     If you are reading this & you make lofi artbooks & would be interested in doing an exchange of sort, please contact me ( dystatic AT gmail DOT com ).  I have not been making artbooks for awhile & would like the push to get into doing more of it again & your help would be much appreciated!

     If you are reading this & you want to exchange photos (prints).  Especially photos of lights!  Then send some my way at the address above & let me know.  Thanks!

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Gardein -- BBQ Pocket Meals -- Pulled Porkless

     I went grocery shopping the other day (first tuesday of the month = 15% off = yay!) & was super excited to find a brand new gardein product!!!!  gardein = the best fake meat product ever.  I had already picked up some crispy tenders & was looking at the other frozen foods, when i spotted the familiar logo.  (oddly this new stuff was in a different location than the other gardein stuff, it was with the pizza pockets)  I found:

     gardein pocket meals!  -- now, there were 2 different types of pocket meals & i chose the pulled porkless.  Unfortunately I don't remember what the other flavour was? & at this time these are not listed on the website?  There was also another type of new gardein product!  It was also a pocket-type thing but they were larger, individually wrapped ones.  There was also 2 different kinds of those, all I remember is that one had kale.  I was not really paying much attention because I was thinking I was going to look these new products up online, ugh.
     Anyway, back to the pulled porkless pocket meals!  Each box contains 4 little pockets!  & they are pretty little, but I found it to be rather filling as a snack or part of a meal.  I should also mention that each one contains 230 calories.

     I cooked mine, as directed, in the toaster oven, for 25min, flipping halfway.  I was not paying too much attention & it kinda exploded a bit!

     But i just shoved the insides back in & ate it up.  The crust was crisp & flaky, pretty tasty.  The BBQ sauce was tangy, with a tiny bit of heat, it was very similar to the BBQ sauce that comes with the sweet & tangy barbecue wings (which are just listed as bbq wings on the canadian site now & have not been available here for a little bit).  The meat pieces were small, but it's supposed to be shredded pork & their texture was good, as to be expected from gardein products!

     Overall it was a tasty bit of food & I plan on giving the other variety a try!  Also I think next time i am going to attempt to just microwave it, though not the top recommended method of preparation, having these in the freezer on hand as just a quick snack/meal that you can zap & go would be super duper convenient!  Yay gardein!~ 

more lights!~

2 light posts in a row.
     SO!  I got this cheepo plastic light from banggood the other day.  They call it a "Color Changing LED Flashing Fiber Optic Nightlight For Party" but when i opened it up i thought 'cheap plastic piece of crap' was a better description.  It is a little round plastic base that was pretty much falling apart & some plastic fiber optic thingies that come out the top, thats the neat part!  It did not come with batteries, 3AA, & when i went to put them in the little diagram instructions on the base were trying to tell me to put them in backwards, oops.
     But the thing has lights!!!  It has 3 coloured lights, blue, green & red.  There is a little press button on the bottom to turn it on & it has several different 'modes.'  Press once, you get just red, press again it turns off, press again you get green, etc...  It goes -- RED -- GREEN -- BLUE -- RED+GREEN -- RED+BLUE -- BLUE+GREEN -- RED+BLUE+GREEN -- Alternating RED-BLUE-GREEN.  It's actually pretty neat!
     So, what i do with all new light toys (especially flashy colour light toys!), picture time!  This thing was amazing for pictures!
Still pictures of the fiber optic thingies look like fireworks!

Moving things around look like strange otherworldly space underwater amazing who knows what!

And i really really liked the way these ones worked out!

This is what the light itself looks like:

     & that is about it.  There are a few different photos on my Flickr page.  have a happy day!~

Thursday, 30 October 2014


hello hello!
     SO! We were out & about & traveling between cities, so on the drive home i got to do one of my favourite things! take pictures of lights!  I am linking these suckers from my flickr account, behold:


     Once we got further into the dark there was a bit more chance for experimentation!

     And I really like these ones!

Fun stuff! see ya!

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Happy Halloween!!! ~trick or treat~ cupcakes!

     I love halloween!  such a fun holiday.  I am hoping to go out trick-or-treating with my nieces this year & even bought a snazzy blue wig for the occasion.  I am really hoping it is not snowy & cold.  I am taking pottery class & this has given me an excuse reason to make halloween cupcakes! for people!  Yay!
     So, i am a sucker for cupcake liners & as soon as dollarama started putting out their halloween stuff i have been eying their halloween cupcake liners!  I already have quite a bit of large liners so i just bought some small ones.  I got some with spooky eyes! & these silly skeletons:

     But i guess i was using my thinking brain 100% because i decided to make chocolate cupcakes & while chocolate cupcakes are super delicious they make most fancy cupcake liners essentially useless.  Ooooh well.  You can sorta see the design when you take the wrapper off!
     This did not spoil my plans however because my main inspiration for my halloween cupcakes was... pop rocks!  oh yes. Or, well, popping candies that i got from dollarama for $2.

The cupcakes i made were the dark chocolate cupcakes from Comfort Cooking's Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Meringue Ghosts (super cute!) & a super basic cream cheese icing (4oz cream cheese - 1c icing sugar - 1tbsp butter - 1tsp vanilla, mix mix, ta-da).

     And then, top with the popping candy!~ 

      I call them trick-or-treat cupcakes because if you dont tell folks that the little sprinkles on top are pop rocks they will get a little surprise when they start to eat eat their cupcake!  However!  You can't make them too far in advance or else the candy will just melt into the icing & ruin all the fun!  So try to put the candies on as close to when you are planning to eat them as possible.

     I discovered kinda later that there were 2 different colours, there are actually more, these candies come in 4 flavours: cherry, grape, strawberry & apple.  Cherry, grape & strawberry are all various red shades while apple is green!  I think green is a more halloween-ish colour & the 2 together are kinda christmas-y, so for pottery tomorrow i am going to bring all green!