DIY: Sakura Crocheted Basketweave Möbius Cowl

DIY: Sakura Crocheted Basketweave Möbius CowlDIY Sakura Crocheted Basketweave Möbius CowlDIY: Sakura Crocheted Basketweave Möbius Cowl

This is a warm and fuzzy möbius cowl that is worked in a basketweave stitch. Basketweave looks woven, and you can alter it so that it looks like it has been woven with larger or smaller warps and wefts. The basketweave stitch looks fancy but it’s really easy once you figure out the front-post double crochet and back-post double crochet stitches. The post crochet stitches are worked on front and back, making the finished fabric quite thick and warm. This also means that the yarn is used up pretty quickly. This Debbie Bliss Andes yarn is a single ply blend of alpaca and silk, and the silk adds a lovely sheen to each strand while the alpaca lends warmth and softness.

The finished cowl is lovely and chic enough to wear indoors at work, or you can wear it on a brisk spring day.

DIY Sakura Crocheted Basketweave Möbius Cowl

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Toronto Eats: Dinner at Nana Thai Restaurant

Toronto Eats: Dinner at Nana Thai Restaurant

Nana is the new sister restaurant of the busy Thai restaurant Khao San Road. Due to my recent obsession with Pok Pok, trying a new Thai restaurant was high on my list.

Nana restaurant opens at 5pm for dinner, and Rafael and I were the first ones there, expecting a long line outside like at Khao San Road. The interior was decorated with a nod to simple streetside eateries in Thailand: metal tables, bright plastic stools, and simple plastic dishes.

To warn people about the heat of Thai food, the items on the menu are marked with level of spice. Rafael and I are not insane spice lovers, so we started cautiously with dishes that had spice levels of 1. And that was plenty.

To start, we ordered the King Oyster Mushroom Laab, a hot and sour salad of meaty king oyster mushrooms served with chopped chilis and onions. We shared the Thong Lo cocktail, a sweet and fragrant coconut milk cocktail served with a lemongrass swizzler.

As his main, Rafael ordered the Khao Soi with Chicken, a soup with soft noodles, crunchy noodles, bean sprouts and chicken in a sweet and sour coconut broth. It was delectable, with a great combination of flavours and textures.

As a noodle-lover, I had the Pad See Ew with Tofu and Vegetables, and it was to die for. Wide flat rice noodles, egg, tofu, and gai lan were coated with an inky dark sauce that was incredibly tasty. Unfortunately, the light was fading fast and Pad See Ew doesn’t photograph well.

For dessert, we split the “Special Roti,” a wheat roti filled with some secret filling that the server mysteriously and jokingly declined to share, fried and drizzled with sweetened condensed milk. Obviously intrigued, we had to order it! Rafael and I pride ourselves in having good taste buds and a good knowledge of food, so we guessed the roti was filled with Milo, a chocolate malt drink powder that is common in Southeast Asia, South America, and the Caribbean. The server was impressed with our guess, and said that the filling was a caramelized Ovaltine powder, basically a similar drink to Milo (and also available in chocolate flavour).

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DIY: Silky Fleece-Lined Triangle Scarf

Silky fleece-lined triangle scarf, Kiku Corner

Fleece is so warm and cozy, but it’s not always the most stylish. To add some glamour and warmth around my neck this winter, I paired a beautiful silky white and black scarf with some very practical fleece.

This is a triangle scarf, which I wear tied around my neck with a big knot at the back like a bandana. I’m sure there are plenty of other clever ways to wear it as well. What I really love about this project is that it is so easy! This could definitely be a beginner’s sewing project. One more thing- it can be thrown in the washing machine when necessary!

DIY Silky fleece-lined triangle scarf, Kiku Corner 20

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Japanese Design: Eiko Ceramics by Eiko Maeda

Little Pink Cup by Eiko Ceramics, Kiku Corner

Eiko Ceramics by Eiko Maeda is a collection of dainty, light, and beautiful pieces that are functional as well as stunning. Not only are the pieces lovely, but the styling and photography really showcase the ceramics themselves. Japanese meals often include a selection of small dishes that contain savoury items such as pickles, vegetables, a bit of fish, that are meant to complement a bowl of rice. The pieces can be used to hold some savoury nuts, a couple sweets, or even a bit of greenery. Most of Eiko’s pieces are rather neutral in colour but have wonderfully delicate shapes.

You can view the Eiko Ceramic pieces on Eiko Maeda’s website.

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Rafael’s Matcha Blondies with Chocolate Chips and Pecans

Rafael's Matcha Chocolate Chip Blondies with Pecans Rafael's Matcha Chocolate Chip Blondies with Pecans

In Japan, matcha is used to flavour so many foods, from soft-serve ice cream, Kit Kat bars, and Pocky to Swiss roll cakes and mochi. However, I’ve never had a matcha-flavoured blondie until Rafael whipped some up!

Rafael’s baking specialty is blondies, and recently he surprised us with one of our favourite flavours – matcha. Matcha is expensive, so when Rafael and I were up in North York at Han Ba Tang for dinner, we found a small tin of matcha at a great price. Of course he had to get it! The recipe needs a good amount of matcha to get the flavour and colour to come across.

Follow his droll recipe to get the most amazing matcha blondies ever.

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