Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Popcorn Bunnies and Cheetos Carrots Craft Tutorial

With Easter just around the corner, establishments like hotels and malls are busy drumming up their respective Easter egg hunts and celebrations.  I don’t really celebrate Easter but I love the fact that it signals the beginning of spring.  While spring isn’t really an apparent season here in my neck of the woods (more like summer all year long), I am amused by the burst of pastel colors that fashion houses release and the vibrant blooms that dot the metro…and my Instagram feed.  If you’d rather spend your money on spring fashion (have you seen all those lovely little white dresses?!?!) and veer away from exorbitant Easter egg hunt fees, you can still spread the same cheer in your home with this lovely little spring craft.

Instead of eggs, how about having kids hunt for popcorn bunnies with matching Cheetos carrots?  I’m sure they will appreciate the adorable twist.

Popcorn bunnies

Since the treat bags are clear and since I’d like to show you very clearly how I adjusted them to look like bunny faces and carrots, I’m using a pink-colored sheet of construction paper to show the folds.

I simply taped the folds using clear sticky tape.

Once the bags were ready, I filled them up with popcorn.  I gathered the opening and used pipe cleaners to seal the bags.  I made sure there was an excess of pipe cleaner about 1 ½” tall on each side.  That’s where I will be attaching the ears.

For the ears, I drew a pair on white construction paper and cut them out.  You can tape or hot glue them onto the pipe cleaners.

For the face, I drew one on matte sticky paper so it was easier to place onto the treat bag.

Cheetos carrots

Cone-shaped plastic treat bags are hard to come by in my country so I settled for rectangular ones, about 5”x6”.

Here are the instructions for the folds.  Again, I simply taped them to keep the cone shape of the bag.

After filling the bags with Cheetos, I gathered the opening and sealed the bag using an elastic band and a green satin ribbon to mimic “carrot tops.”

Easy peasy, right?  In true Easter fashion, it’s like giving the old tired egg hunt a new lease on life. :)

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

The One About the Korokke

Korrokke is Japanese deep-fried meat and potato croquettes.  It’s a simple and relatively fast dish to whip up and is good eaten on its own or, as I just did when I served it for dinner recently, with mounds of hot rice.  Carb overload, I know.

Plate them in their golden brown glory and serve with katsu dipping sauce and you’ve got a meal that tastes like heaven!

Makes 6-8 flat patties

3 large potatoes (or 4 medium ones)
2 tablespoons butter (I don’t scrimp on butter!)
salt and pepper
300 grams ground beef (I used lean ground beef)
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 medium onion, chopped
1 egg
Panko breadcrumbs
Tonkatsu sauce


1. Peel potatoes and slice into small chunks.  Place potatoes in a pot of water and bring to a boil or until spuds are fork-tender.

2. Drain the potatoes and mash them with a fork.  While the mashed potatoes are hot, flavor them with butter, salt, and pepper.  Mix well.  Set aside to cool.

3.  Heat up a pan with oil.  Saute the onions and garlic.  When the onions are translucent and the heady aroma of garlic starts to fill the air (do not brown the garlic), add the ground beef and cook until brown.  Season with salt and pepper.  Set aside to cool.

4.  When both potatoes and beef are cool enough to handle, add the browned beef to the mashed potatoes and mix well.  At this point, you can add an egg to bind everything together.  I didn’t, though, because I found the mixture good enough to handle as it is.

5.  Prepare flour, beaten egg, and breadcrumbs in separate shallow bowls.  Form beef-potato mixture into flat patties.  Dredge the patties in the flour, dip in the egg, and cover with breadcrumbs.

6.  Deep-fry the korroke.

7.  Serve hot with tonkatsu sauce (easiest recipe:  3 parts ketchup and 1 part Worcestershire sauce).

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

100 Days of Calligraphy: Day 4

On Day 4 of my #100DaysofCalligraphy, I worked on the second variation of the pressure-and-release stroke.  It is actually a combination of the two previous strokes but it still can be tricky because of all the curving around needed and knowing when to put pressure and when to release.  Not to mention that the spaces between the three parallel lines need to be of the same amount.

I decided to practice the previous strokes prior to doing the new one as seen in the photos.  Doing so made the new stroke easier to do.

If you're new to this series, I'm challenging myself to master calligraphy.  Being a leftie has made this fine art seem difficult, frustrating, and overwhelming (although numerous sources in the internet say otherwise with some even declaring that lefties have all the advantage!) so I have decided to devote 100 days (probably even more) to practice, practice, practice until I attain proficiency.

If you'd like to take part in the challenge (open to non-lefties as well), here are links to previous drills:

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

On IG, use the hashtag #100daysofcalligraphy so I can see who's with me on this creative journey!