So I’ve been pretty busy on the cupcake front. A few weeks ago I did some fun peanut butter and chocolate cupcakes.
More recently trying a new lemon-cranberry recipe (using fresh lemon and cranberries) which were pretty yummy I think.
I have also opened an Etsy shop, mainly because I’ve been making homemade lip balms, tote bags etc…which I want to sell but I thought I would start with a series of photographs to raise money for the relief efforts in Japan. So far I’ve raised over $100 and I’m hoping that selling more photos will bring me closer to raising much more money for the Red Cross.
This weekend I had a lot of fun making my niece Grace’s birthday cake. She and my other niece LOVE Mickey Mouse. I was inspired by the Mousketere hat and made this cake for her.
I recently got a copy of my grand-mother’s chocolate cake recipe (in full disclosure this is the second time I’ve received it because I accidentally lost it the first time). This has become my favorite chocolate cake recipe as it turns out moist and is great for shaped cakes (like the hat). I used some Manner chocolate ganache and then covered it with a new home-made fondant recipe that uses white chocolate.
Every day I think about what is happening in Japan. If you are able please donate to the Red Cross – they have dispatched 80 medical teams to the effected area and our friend in Tokyo has seen first hand the good works they are doing. I hope that if you are able you will donate here. Visiting Japan was amazing – the people were so welcoming and helpful, the cities and sites extraordinary and just generally lovely. Please help!
How do you write a love letter to a country? It’s hard to believe this beautiful country, that I visited this past November, is now being effected by this major natural disaster.
When I was in Japan I quickly fell in love with it’s beauty, the people and culture. People were friendly and helpful and the atmosphere exquisite.
I will never forget the friendly deer on Miyajima Island, fulfilling my dream of being up close to my spirit animal.
Visiting the iconic Tokyo Tower and seeing Tokyo for miles on that beautiful day. It’s hard to imagine that many of the sights we saw from the tower have been serious damaged by the earthquake.
Seeing the Golden Temple, visited by thousands every year. I met many fabulous people there and really enjoyed the beauty of the surrounding parks and learning about their spiritual practices.
Seeing children dressed in their traditional clothing celebrating the 7-5-3 festival.
So thank you Japan for what was a life changing experience for me and giving me 3 weeks of happiness and joy – taking photos, meeting people and experiencing the food, culture and traditions.
Please consider support the relief efforts for the Japan earthquake and Asia Pacific tsunami. Currently I’m aware of the Red Cross’ work in Japan but if I discover other good charities I will post them. You can give to the Red Cross here.
On one of our last nights in Tokyo we went to this great cafe in Ginza, Cafe de Ginza, where I ate this amazing dessert – the name slipped my mind until very recently. But this sweet dessert is known as Mont Blanc. Now that I’m back in Canada and can’t go to the local bakery to find this delicacy I decided to hunt for a recipe that I can try at home sometime. Although I have not been able to find a recipe that matches what I had exactly, I have found an excellent subsitute on No Recipes which I can’t wait to try.
Who knows when I will make it back to Japan but hopefully it’s soon.
This dessert was also very close to the Mont Blanc but without the puree chestnut on top.
When people think of Japan they often have the iconic image of the cherry trees in full bloom. I know that I have always wanted to go to Japan in May to be showered with cherry blossom petals as they fall to the ground. What a lot of people don’t know is that there is a second blossoming in November and we were fortunate enough to be there to see it. Not all the trees will blossom this second time but the ones that did were beautiful.
By far one of the most moving parts of our trip was our visit to Hiroshima and the Peace Park. Miyajima island is only a 45 minute train ride to Hiroshima so one morning we hopped the train to go and visit the Peace Park. I had no idea what to expect but one of the first things we saw when we arrived was a building that survived the bombing. The A Bomb Dome was shocking to see but I can appreciate that it is a reminder of what took place in Hiroshima.
I was really looking forward to seeing the Children’s Peace monument as I love the story of Sadako and the 1000 paper cranes. (Since returning from Japan I have finally finished stringing my own 1000 paper cranes.) The monument is beautiful and I enjoyed looking at all the paper cranes that surround the monument.
While we were there many students were having short ceremonies to present thie own paper cranes.
Several students stopped us to ask if we would write messages of peace or would ask us questions. I loved that they gave us little tokens like origami they had made or bookmarks.
Before my trip my friend’s from work gave me some gifties to take with me on my trip to Japan. One of them included a small Hammie which traveled with me and I photographed in several places. Here is the results of this project.
Shorting and editing my photos has been an on going process – mostly because I’ve got over 1200 still that I am considering to print but I really need to cut that down to about 500.
All that to say here are a few photos for your viewing pleasure…I have an idea that I’m working on about my trip to Japan and of course, some of my toy camera images will be in the next issue of Light Leaks magazine.
The Nagoya Aquarium was really nice our host, A, took us around. It was very interesting and had sea life from Japan and the artificial surroundings they’ve create for the sea life in the aquarium.
So I’ve been saying for weeks that I’ve been organizing my photos and it’s true. I have been whittled away and have gotten them down to my top “2000″ so I’m working on it. But I have finished sorting my toy camera images. While I was away I did take many rolls of photos and using a golden half meant that a roll of 36 – 35mm film was getting 72 images!
I am in love with my Golden Half! The camera was really reliable and I was able to slip it in my pocket when I wanted to use a different camera.
Hopefully over the next few weeks I will be posting photos and some information about the various cities and sites we visited. I will also be writing an article for the next issue of Light Leaks about Japan and there you will be able to see more of my toy camera images. Until then…