I haven’t really posted about my new apartment much, but I’m definitely going to once it starts looking better. It’s only been about two weeks now, but things are looking pretty great except for the living room, which is pretty barren. Anyhow, I made a decision when I moved that since I now had an oven, that I would start baking every weekend. I’ve never really been a baking kind of guy, but I have serious baking-envy because of my friend Frank who is the best cook that I know.
So I was going to bake chocolate chip cupcakes, but the power went out on my block for most of Saturday afternoon so it didn’t happen. But last weekend I made the awesome red velvet cupcakes you see above. I got the recipe off of FoodNetwork.com so it wasn’t very special, but it worked. The recipe was one of Paula Dean’s, and even though I think she’s the most annoying little troll on earth, they ended up being fairly easy to make. Overall they turned out okay, though I think I cooked them a little too long, but my roommate and best friend Garrett ate 4 of the 6 of them anyhow.
If anyone has any good recipes that I should try let me know! I want to bake all the time, it’s become my new addiction!
I’ve never personally been a fan of smoking, if that’s what you like then that’s great. But I think it’s interesting that designer Myan Duong has combined cigarettes with a common household item like salt and pepper shakers. The idea is titled Flavor Country, and it features the classic cigarette shape as a pair of miniature shakers. And what’s better to hold cigarette shaped shakers then a bowl shaped like an ashtray, just in case you spill any salt or pepper after you’re done flavoring your food.
I could imagine it being a pain in the ass having to refill these all the time, but the idea is totally clever and the metal ends give a classier touch. These are just a concept though, so if you’ll want anything like these you’ll have to make them yourself!
Two weekends ago I was out running errands and I stopped at the light at Franklin and Cahuenga which is pretty much the most northern end of Hollywood. I stop in the left hand turn lane, and dead ahead of me I see a billboard that shocked the crap out of me. It’s a Coca-Cola Zero ad with Evan Hecox-esque artwork. I studied it for as long as I could, and as I turned left I said to myself, “There’s no way Evan did that.”
So last night I went out to the corner of Franklin and Cahuenga, took the photo above, and sent it my friend Andy, who just happened to see Evan last weekend. Andy said to Evan, “Hey Evan, I saw the billboard you did for Coke”, but I guess Evan was bummed because he didn’t do the billboard. Evan said that the ad agency called him to do it, but he turned them down.
Yet again another big company is churning out their own shitty versions of awesome artwork just to make a buck. Some of you might remember the Sony Bravia commercial that ripped off Kozyndan? To me this is the very same thing, it’s totally shameless. I don’t drink soda, so I can’t exactly boycott them, but I’m definitely going to do my damndest to spread this post around to as many blogs as possible, and hopefully Coke will catch a clue that stealing someone’s artistic style isn’t going to sell more sodas, it’s going to get people upset.
Oh. My. God. These are probably the most amazing commercials I’ve seen in a long while. These creepy kewpie doll chile pepper things are the mascots of a pasta sauce created by a Japanese brand called Tarako. ‘Tarako’ is actually a cod roe, or fish eggs, which is also what the kewpies are supposed to be dressed as. I know, this makes no sense, but basically the Tarako babies come and invade our planet, then make our pasta taste delicious, it’s just that simple.
The art direction in these is absolutely fantastic as well, the little girl’s haircuts are inspired by the 50’s and the colors and tone of the kitchens they take place in is awesome. The girl in the first commercial actually reminds me of my friend Wendy’s daughter, although her daughter doesn’t have that crazy haircut.
The Japanese are always coming up with new and exciting ways of doing things, so seeing these instant green tea bottles by HW Styles, called Aojiru Tea (literally “green juice”), makes me want to move there and experience more stuff like this. Their idea is simple, you twist the top cap of the bottle and a 1.4 gram drop of Kyoto matcha green tea drops in. You shake it around until it dissolves and voila, instant green tea. But $2 for such a small serving seems kind of steep to me, no matter how fresh and instant the tea may be. Still though, a fun and interesting concept.
The folks over at Just One Plate have a great recipe up today for Amour Caramel Hearts, a recipe from Hasty Torres, owner of Madame Chocolat in Beverly Hills. They’re basically chocolate bonbons filled with caramel, which if that doesn’t say love, I don’t know what does!
I also don’t think there’s any way on earth that I could ever make these, but they look pretty delicious. Thankfully, these little beauties are for sale through her website, so if you still need to pick something up, be sure to stop by and grab a box.
Pepsi has decided to try and woo the health conscious people of the world with it’s newest Pepsi incarnation, Pepsi Raw. The fizzy caramel cola we all know is losing the artificial ingredients and are instead being replaced by apple extract, coffee leaf, cane sugar, and sparkling water. This change will also drop the drink anywhere from 10-30 calories, I’ve seen different figures floating around. As of now Pepsi Raw will only be served in certain bars and clubs in London, Manchester, Glasgow, Brighton, Birmingham, Leeds and Liverpool.
I know a whollleee lot of you folks reading this blog live in England, so what are the chances of one of you snagging a bottle and sending it to me? I don’t really drink soda all that much anymore, but I’m really interested in trying it. I mean, look at how sexy the shape of that bottle is! Those upward shaped rings that curve around it are totally sensual. And the minimalism of the font on the glass bottle with the brown liquid inside, it’s a dream!
Earlier today I came across Letters & Numbers, the portfolio site of Steve Rura, and was so excited by how creative his work is. Steve graduated from Cooper Union in 2002 and now does freelance design from Brooklyn, New York. His site is a breeze to go through, and it’s also kind of fun because you have to click on a project’s name in order to see it, otherwise there’s just a gray back there. He works in a ton of mediums, including package and graphic design, motion design, sound design… you name it and he has it on there.
My favorite of his projects are the cans and brand identity he did for Nestea, and the calender books he created. The Nestea campaign is absolutely stunning, with a ton of variation as well as making the brand something extremely hip. It’s too bad that Nestea didn’t take his advice, it’s this kind of direction they could really use.
The calender he created is made of blank moleskine books with bold photos on the fronts of each one. You have one for every month of the year, and you fill it as you go. I think this is such a great idea because you could totally keep these on your shelf forever! How cool would it be to look back 5 years ago and see all the stuff you were doing? It could potentially be bad, especially if you started dating someone new, but whatever.
Also be sure to check out the concept spots he did for a television channel that never came to be called The Rabbit Hole. Beautiful imagery and awesome sounds.
For as long as I can remember I’ve never had much of a sweet tooth. I like birthday cakes, and seasonal pies, ice cream every now and then, but that’s pretty much it. But when I saw the amazing Italian candies posted over on Ms. Adventures in Italy, it totally made me hungry for some sweets! She does a really cute post about caramelle’s, which in Italy are usually hard candies and are usually non-chocolate. Most of the candies she shows are made in Italy, and there are tons of different types of flavors like absinthe, green tea and coffee.
Definitely check out her wonderful post, and prepare to satisfy your cravings!
I’m a pretty big fan of sushi, I try to have it at least once a week if possible. But it can also be kind of expensive as well, so I was thinking it would be cool to start making my own. That way when I get a craving, I can open up my fridge and whip up a delicious roll. But I have no idea how to make sushi, and I’m not really sure where to start. I’ve looked for books online, but I’m not sure which one would be the best.
Can anyone recommend any good sushi cookbooks that would help a novice like me? Or maybe there are some good sushi websites online? I’d like to try my hand at making delicious Japanese food!