Sunday, November 1, 2015

Mabo Curry Buns - Tales of Zestiria

I’ve been playing through Tales of Zestiria and they make Mabo Curry Buns look soooo good that I had to try and make them. I decided to bake them but they could be steamed (more traditional) just as easily.

What you need:
Plastic wrap
Cookie sheet
Cooking spray
Mabo Tofu Sauce
S&B Curry Bricks
10 ounces Ground Pork
10 ounces Firm Tofu
Dinner Roll Dough (I found it in the frozen section)
Water




So first things first, if your roll dough is frozen you need to de-thaw it. I put it on cookie sheets covered for about two hours.



Once they are thawed, brown the meat and chop the tofu.




Dissolve two sections of the curry brick into ¾ a cup of water. (Put the other three sections away to make curry rice later. Curry rice? Dissolve them in 1 ½ cups of water and pour over rice.)



Stir until smooth.


Add Mabo Tofu sauce to the meat. Stir.


Add the curry sauce to the meat. Add ¼ cup of water. Stir.


Let simmer for 5 minutes. Add Tofu. (If you try it at this point and think it seems salty, don’t worry. The bread balances it out)




Simmer for three minutes then take off the heat.

Now to make the buns. Use a rolling pen to flatten a roll on some plastic wrap. My rolls were tiny, so I combined two for each bun.

Put in a couple of spoonfuls of the mabo curry.

Pull up the sides and pinch at the top.



Place on a greased cookie sheet. I made 5 buns and put the rest of the filling in the fridge to make more tomorrow. Also good with rice.



Once all the buns are filled, let them rest for about 5 minutes. Repinch in any areas that have come undone. Now place them in a 375 degree oven for 12-14 minutes.


Done! Mabo Curry buns! I recommend making these during the water trial because you are going to need something to make you love the game again.



Friday, September 11, 2015

It's as Good a Year as Any for a Quarter Life Crisis





In March I turned 25. I've been grappling with that number all year. 25 seems old to me. Not elderly, or middle age. Just old enough. Old enough to know better. Old enough to have your stuff together. Old enough to be an complete adult in all facets and old enough to be judged for mistakes and shortcoming. This freaks me out because inside I still feel so immature. I've been wrestling with the whole "inner me who is still a child" while trying to be a grown up responsible adult since I had my daughter. Turning 25 has just compounded it.

I read when I was a teenager that people hit their physical apex at 25. You continue to grow and get stronger, but after 25 you slowly become weaker. That's always scared me and might explain why hitting this number has had such a profound effect on my life. As a result I've had a weird, nuanced quarter life crisis this year that's permeated everything I do. What am I doing? What have I accomplished? Am I in the right place? 

For example the physical apex thing... It got me really into fitness over the summer. In my head it kept repeating "I have to get fit now because it only gets harder from here! This is the most in shape I'll ever be able to be, I can't waste this!" and visions of Sylvester Stallone from Rocky 6 flash in my head. 

In some ways this has been a fulfilling year. I've accomplished a lot, more than the last three combined, though a lot of that is that my daughter is no longer a baby and my time has freed up slightly. (And the postpartum depression has lifted which kept me down longer than I'd like to admit.)

I built a new database for work. from scratch! I'd never made a database or programmed before. I knew nothing about Access when I started but after flailing about with instruction books and internet tutorials for a few months a working, stable database emerged. That felt awesome. 

I helped Matt build a desktop computer. I thought I'd feel more accomplished on that one but now that I've done it I see how easy it is... I lost a bunch of weight this year, but I'm not sure I can claim that as a accomplishment because what started as a healthy weight loss strategy quickly devolved into a slight eating disorder. I'm still working on that one. 

Since high school I've had a dream of writing a webcomic. I never did it because I feel like I'm not good enough. But this year I sucked it up and decided to give it a real try. It's not up yet and I won't be announcing it when it is. But it's been fulfilling to work on.

Amidst all this I've also been thinking a lot about my mental health. I've finally accepted that I have social anxiety and it's time to do something about it. I'm going to stop wondering why I'm so broken and just work on getting better. A major part of the anxiety is being fearful of being judged and it paralyzes me in many social situations.

Anyway at the beginning of September I got into a book kick. (probably because Matt went back to school and I get jealous) But all I want to do it learn and devour books with interesting topics. I've been reading my old social psychology textbook, The Drunkards Walk, Incognito, Immediate Fiction and I have a few more I'm waiting to arrive. If you have any suggestions of books that had profound impacts on your life, let me know in the comments.

So overall it's been a really interesting year of uncertainty and self discovery. But with a year so self-focused I feel like a horrible and selfish person. 

So an update on the blog content: I started this blog for crochet stuff mostly but lately I can't crochet. I sit down to work on stuff and I stop after 5 minutes. Crochet used to be a major part of my life but lately it doesn't hold my interest. I've decided to put it on the back burner, take a break. Focus on other things for awhile. Keep finding myself. Keep trying to grow up. We'll see where I end up.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Etsy Store is Back Up

Just want to announce that the Etsy VAT tax thing has been taken care of and all my patterns are back up. I also updated all the patterns again based on some feedback I got recently and they should be more beginner friendly. Enjoy :)

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Etsy on Temporary Hiatus Due to VAT



Happy almost new year everyone! I hope you all have a good start to 2015 tonight. 

I want to annouce that I have temporarily deactivated my Etsy listings for pattern downloads. There is a new law for EU buyers that require a special tax on digital downloads. Etsy has informed the sellers that we are responsible for this tax. They promise some tools to help handle this in January 2015. I have pulled my digital downloads in the meantime to ensure I don't find myself in international tax trouble while we figure this out. There are two finished physical loveys (Totoro and Link) still available to buy in the shop.








If you are looking to buy my patterns before I get Etsy running smooth again you can find them on Ravelry, who have provided tools to handle these new taxes. Big shout out to the Ravelry team for working something out for us digital pattern sellers :)

If you are from the states and don't want to go through Ravelry you can email directly and we will work a deal out there. ktstevens90@gmail.com

I promised more blog updates before the end of the year but somehow it is already the 31st! As an act of penance I will give you a sideways preview of my newest lovey. Should be up soon.


Finn the human

2.10.15 Update: Etsy has agreed to collect the VAT tax for sellers. The shop is back up with all the regular patterns. Finn lovey should be up soon as well.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The Great Pattern Update 2014

Hello again everyone! I took a long break due to family responsibilities and I am excited to be back :) 

First order of business, I have updated all the patterns in my store to include more detail and better descriptions. Going over them with fresh eyes has helped me clarify the trickier parts. They should be even easier to follow now.



Second, I have updated the Wind Waker Morth pattern and I think it's a lot better. I added more spikes and changed some of the construction aspects. Check it out and make a few for your friends.

Third, I have written yet another pikachu pattern! I made this one for a friend and she turned out so cute I had to share. Hope you enjoy.

Lastly, I have two finished loveys available in my shop for $35 each. It is very rare for me to sell finished items. Don't miss your chance.




















I have many more things in the works for the coming days and weeks. Keep a look out :)

Another Pikachu Pattern

I've written yet another Pikachu pattern for you all. Enjoy :)


Please note that this pattern has not been tested. If you find any mistakes or oddities please let me know so I can update. If you find yourself stuck and needing help don’t hesitate to email me, we can work through it together. Ktstevens90@gmail.com

Materials
Yellow Worsted Yarn
Brown Worsted Yarn
Red Sock Yarn
Black Worsted Yarn
F Hook
10 mm Safety Eyes
Fiberfill

Instructions between * * are to be repeated until the end of the row.

Ears – Make 2
Start with Black Yarn
R1: Magic Circle 6
R2: *2 sc, sc 1* around (9)
R3: Sc around
R4: 2 sc, sc 2 (12)
Change color to yellow
R5 -11: Sc around (12)
R12: *Dec 1, Sc 4* around (10)
Finish off, stuff with fiberfill leave long end for sewing

Head
Yellow Yarn
R1: Magic Circle 6
R2: 2 sc in each st around (12)
R3: *2 sc, sc 1* around (18)
R4: *2 sc, sc 2* around (24)
R5: *2 sc, sc 3* around (30)
R6: *2 sc, sc 4* around (36)
R7: *2 sc, sc 5* around (40)
R8-12: Sc around (40)
R13: *Dec 1, sc 5* around (36)
R14: *Dec 1, sc 4* around (30)
R15: *Dec 1, sc 3* around (24)
Stuff with fiberfill
R16: *Dec 1, sc 2* around (18)
R17: *Dec 1, sc 1* around (12)
Finish off. I left the bottom open to sew onto the body. You can close it if you prefer by decreasing around until it’s closed.

Cheeks
Red Sock Yarn
R1: Magic circle 6
R2: 2 sc in each stitch around (12)
*Note* If the increases leave large holes then do the first stitch of the increase in the back loop and the second stitch of the increase in the front loop.
R3: 2 sc, sc 1 around (18)
Finish off, leave long end for sewing

Body
Yellow Yarn
The body is worked from the bottom up. To get the oblong shape start with a chain.
R1: Ch 8, turn, sc back across. After the last stitch on the chain instead of turning back you will go around and start working the starting chain’s other loop. sc in the each loop of the other side of the starting chain. You should end up with 14 stitches around that looks something like this:



R2: *2 sc, sc 1* 4 times, sc 6 (18)
R3: *2 sc, sc 1* 5 times, sc 4, 2 sc, sc 3 (24)
R4: *2 sc, sc 1* 9 times, sc 5, 2 sc (34)
R5-8: sc around (34)
R9: Dec 1, sc 15, Dec 1, sc 15 (32)
R10: *Dec 1, sc 6* around (28)
R11: *Dec 1, sc 5* around (24)
R12: Sc around (24)
R13: *Dec 1, sc 4* around (20)
R14: *Dec 1, sc 3* around (16)
R15: Sc around (16)
R16: Sc around (16)


Arms – Make 2
Yellow yarn
R1: Mc 6
R2-3: Sc 6
Finish off, leave long end for sewing

Legs – make 2
Yellow yarn
R1: Mc 8
R2-5: sc 8
Finish off, leave long end for sewing

Tail – Make 2
Yellow Yarn
R1: Ch 8, turn
R2: Sc 7, ch 1, turn
R3: Sc 7, ch 1, turn
R4: Sc 7, ch 5, turn
R6: Sc 7, Ch 1, turn
R7: Sc 7
Change color to brown
R8: Turn the tail and put three stitches of brown right in the bottom. These aren’t worked in existing stitches. Just stitch 3 across the side of the previous three rows. Ch 1, turn. 
R9-10: Sc 3, ch 1, turn
Finish off, leave long end of yellow for sewing to the other tail for better structure. Leave long end of brown for sewing onto the body.

Stripes - Make 2
Brown yarn
Ch 10
Turn, sc across
Finish off, leaving yarn to sew to body


Assembly

Put safety eyes between rows 9 and 10, 8 sts apart. Sew ears on top of head, they should span between rows 4 and 7. With black yarn sew a nose on row 11 between eyes with the mouth below on row 12. Place the cheeks between row 11 and 15. About 11 stitches in between. On the body, attach arms between rows 11 and 14, 7 sts apart. Place feet at row 4, 7 sts in between. Sew two tails together to increase sturdiness. Sew tail on the back middle at the bottom. If your Pika is heaving trouble balancing the tail can help it steady. Sew stripes on back, above the tail at rows 10 and 12.



 


Saturday, May 3, 2014

New Pattern in Store, Link Lovey

Good morning everyone, I have a new pattern available in my shop. It's a Legend of Zelda Link lovey.
















Enjoy :)

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Tales Series Apple Gel Recipe



Anyone who really knows me knows that I LOVE the game Tales of Symphonia. I'm a fan of the Tales series in general but my heart lies with Symphonia. It has been my favorite game since I was 15. They recently re-released it for the PS3 with better graphics and added content. If you were wondering why I haven't posted lately that's why.

On the day it came out my friend and I made apple and orange gels. The orange gels were made by getting orange jello and following the directions for jigglers. Did you know that Jello doesn't make an apple flavor? We had to do it from scratch, it took three tries but was really fun.

This is what you need:

1 1/2 C Apple Juice
2 Packets Unflavored Gelatin (Found in the Jello section)
Red food coloring
Silicone molds - I got mine on Amazon here 





Put the apple juice in a sauce pan and simmer until it is reduced to 1 cup. This is necessary to enhance and amplify the apple flavor. You can add sugar but I didn't. Stir in 1 and half packets of the gelatin. It will clump up but turn the heat down and just keep stirring until it all dissolves. Put in 3-5 drops of food coloring until it is red like a real apple gel. 

Now you get to pour it into the molds. For this I put it in a ceramic tea pot so I could pour with more accuracy. Spray the molds with cooking spray.  Put the molds on a big tray or cookie sheet and make room in your fridge. Once you have filled each of the little mold cups put the tray in the fridge for an hour or two, until they are firm and pop out easily.  



For future batches you can mess with the amount of gelatin to change the texture and make them firmer or softer.

On release day we had a whole tales themed spread including Panacea (which was Pom pomegranate juice and I painted the bottle brown) and we mixed that with sprite. We also made Lil Smokies-Bacon-Pretzel pow hammers with little cheese stars. I spent two days making the character chain. I actually might love this game too much. Whatevs, can't help it.



Saturday, February 1, 2014

My Sister-In-Law Opened a Shop!


Hey everyone! I want to let you all know that my sister-in-law has opened her own Etsy shop and it's full of cute, nerdy hats and amigurumi that she designs. Here are some of my personal favorites:







Totodile Hat













Rainbow Dash Hat












Baby Fox Hat








She has a good collection of cute things so you can check her shop out here and her Facebook page here.

Thanks!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Zelda Wind Waker Morth Pattern




Edit 11/25/14: This pattern has been improved and updated!

Our close friend is moving away this week. One of the things we did together was play Zelda Wind Waker on the Wii U. The forest temple has these sentient spiky burs that jump on you and weigh you down so you move slower. We spent an entertaining amount of time collecting them. He liked them so much I decided to make one for him as a going away present.

There is a 3.25" hard Styrofoam ball in the middle that has been painted black with paint so no white shows through the stitches. The spikes each have a piece of wooden dowel in them cut to 3.75" so they keep their shape.

Materials:
G Hook
F Hook
3.25" hard Styrofoam ball
Dowel (a bit less than the thickness of a wood pencil) Cut into 11 3.75" pieces. Sharpen one end with a pencil sharpener
Fiberfill
Black yarn - worsted
Orange yarn - worsted
Brown yarn - worsted
Red yarn – worsted
Yellow yarn – worsted
Blue yarn – worsted

Eye
Start with black, G hook
R1: 6 sc in magic circle
Switch to red
R2: In back loops only (BLO) 2 hdc in each st (12)
Switch to black
R3: BLO Sc 1, 2 sc around (18)
Switch to yellow
R4:  BLO Sc 2, 2 sc around (24)
Switch to blue
R5: BLO Hdc 3, 2 hdc around
Sl st, finish off leaving long end for sewing. With the red yarn, embroider two red dots between the black and yellow on the north and south end of the eye.

Body
Black yarn, G hook
R1: 6 sc in magic circle
R2: 2 sc in each st around (12)
R3: 2 sc, sc 1 around (18)
R4: 2 sc, sc 2 around (24)
R5: 2 sc, sc 3 (30)
R6: 2 sc, sc 4 (36)
R7: 2 sc, sc 5 (42)
R8-13: Sc around (42)
R14: Dec 1, sc 5 (36)
R15: Dec1, sc 4 (30)
Sew the eye on.
Place Styrofoam ball in the middle
R16: Dec 1, sc 3 (24)
R17: Sc around
R18: Dec 1, sc 2 (18)
R19: Dec 1, sc 1 (12)
R20: Dec around, sew hole closed

Spikes – Make 11
Start with orange, F hook
R1: 4 sc in magic circle
R2: Sc 4
R3: (2 sc, sc 1) around (6)
R4: Sc around (6)
R5: (2 sc, sc 2) around (8)
R6: Sc around (8)
R7: (2 sc, sc 3) around (10)
R8-9: Sc around (10)
Switch to brown
R10: (2 sc, sc 4) around (12)
R11: Sc around (12)
R12: (2 sc, sc 5) around (14)
R13: Sc around (14)
Sl st, finish off leaving long end for sewing

Construction:
Lightly stuff each spike.Try to stuff just enough to give the spike shape and stability without making it lumpy. The first five spikes will go on in a star shape. Start by deciding where the top is going to be. Take a sharpened dowel and push it through the crochet and into the Styrofoam ball. Deep enough that it's stable and the stuffed spike can fit completely over it. Sew the spike onto the body. Do this to four more spikes in this formation.




Now go to the back and put a dowel and spike there. If the eye points one way this spike will point the exact opposite way. You should have 6 spikes now on the doll. Turn it back over.

The next five spikes will be farther back and between the first five spikes. They should be equal distance from the two front spikes they are between and the back spike. They should be angled slightly back.



Enjoy and email me if you have any problems or questions ktstevens90@gmail.com






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