Archive for the ‘Random’ Category
Hi everyone, and Merry Christmas! I haven’t blogged in a while, sorry. But I’m in the process of making Pavlova Minis and I had to share. These little bites are delicious!
Pavlova is an Australian/New Zealand dessert, named after the ballerina, Anna Pavlova, who performed so beautifully for the government at the time, they had the head chef whip up a dessert in her honor. Usually Pavlova is a cake topped with whipped cream and various fruits, but these little diddys are far more manageable.
Here’s me using my neighbor’s retro-fabulous stand mixer (I borrowed it after my crappy $10 hand mixer broke mid-whip)…note the bowl is turning. Mesmerizing.
…And here’s me using a zippy to pipe out the Pavlova Minis – once these are baked and cooled, I’ll fill them with chopped up fruit and cool whip. YUMMO!
PAVLOVA MINIS RECIPE:
Protip: Ensure all your bowls and kitchen utensils are very clean and dry. This recipe is about purity, so you don’t want the remnants of last night’s cheddar scones screwing things up.
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1 1/2 tbsp cornstarch
pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups fine granulated sugar
3/4 cup egg whites (about 5-6 large eggs)
toppings: whipped cream, assorted fruits & berries
1. Preheat oven to 275 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. line baking tray with parchment paper.
3. In a small bowl stir cornstarch in with sugar.
4. In a large mixing bowl, whip egg whites with cream of tartar, vanilla and salt. Whip on low speed for 2-3 minutes until soft peaks form and bubbles are small and uniform.
5. Increase speed to medium & gradually add in sugar/cornstarch mix spoonful by spoonful.
6. Once all ingredients are mixed together increase whisk speed to high and whip for 4-5 minutes until mix is glossy and stiff peaks form.
7. Pipe or spoon mix into rounds (see picture above – I use a large zippy as a pipe and slice off a corner so the opening is about 1 centimeter in diameter). If you spoon the mixture into dollops on the parchment paper, use the back of a spoon to create an indent in the center of each dollop for toppings.
8. Reduce oven temp to 250 degrees Fahrenheit & add trays to oven.
9. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until Minis are crisp and completely dry to the touch. DO NOT OPEN THE OVEN AT ANY TIME DURING THE BAKE.
10. Remove from oven and carefully transfer to a cooling rack. Minis will break easily if you’re not careful. PROTIP: Use a wide spatula and check the underside of each Mini. If it’s squishy put it back in the oven for 5-10 minutes until it’s baked dry.
11. Minis will stay fresh in a sealed Tupperware container for up to 5 days at room temp. (don’t keep them in the fridge), so I find it easiest to bake these the day or 2 before I need them, then I just top them with whipped cream & fruit when it’s dessert time. NOM.
I hope your Christmas is filled with as much nomtastic food as mine will be!
The Rugby World Cup (#RWC on Twitter) is currently underway in New Zealand. Well, it’s almost over – the semi-finals are next week. Here in the USA, college football dominates the Saturday night sports channel lineups, so last night I forked out $29.99 to watch Australia take on South Africa in the quarter-finals. It was the most intense $29.99 I’ve ever spent, and I was up until 3:30am enjoying every cent.
A young Australian side narrowly defeated the older, defending champs from South Africa, 11-9, in a game riddled with with errors on both sides. Here’s a more in-depth review of the game from the BBC. Judging by the Bokkie fans who took to Twitter last night, you might easily get the impression the refs were biased and should be fired, but the NZ commentators I was listening to called it a fair match with good, solid refereeing. I guess it’s always agonizing to be on the losing end of such a gripping World Cup game. Although the Boks maintained more than 50% possession and territory for more than 3/4 of the game, the Wallabies scored an important try early on, and their defense, including some spectacular turnovers, kept the Boks from scoring a try of their own. Almost ever Wallabies player, especially scrum-half Will Genia, stepped up the game to make up for the team’s mistakes.
Although some superb kicking from Boks fly-half, Morne Steyn, put South Africa ahead by one point in the last quarter, it was a beautiful penalty kick from winger, James O’Connor, that sealed Australia’s victory in the end. Flanker, David Pocock, was well deserving in being named Man of the Match for his tireless tackling and tenacity on the field.
Wallabies def. Springboks 11-9 on Oct 9, 2011. Photo credit: Rugby World Cup
I don’t get to watch a lot of Rugby Union here in the States, but when I do, I’m reminded why I love this sport so much. It’s gruelling, fast-paced, incredibly tough, and the shirts the players wear are nice and tight. Seriously ladies, check out a game on the TV or your local YouTube channel, post haste.
So what’s next? The semi-finals – Australia vs. New Zealand and France vs. Wales. it’s going to be another epic round of matches, and I for one am hoping the Wallabies will prevail again!
This Doesn't Happen
I’ve been on hiatus from the blogging world for a while, huh. Sorry about that. I’ve been so busy doing insert meaningful-but-lame excuse, and I haven’t had the chance to make heartfelt apology here, but today I’m back! Maybe I’ll be back tomorrow as well too, I’m not sure. One day at a time. Alright kids, what we have here is Willie Nelson covering Coldplay. Check it, yo. After that, go grow some vegetables and also tell your mum I said hi.
I haven’t had much time over the past few weeks to post anything. I’m nearing the end of the summer semester, so I’ve been busy finishing up a monster of a project and working two jobs. Every few days I come up for air and browse the Internet for a few minutes to see what’s going on (and mostly to feel normal). The terrorist attack in Norway on July 22nd that killed 90 people and probably injured many more reminds me of 2 things.
1) Even though I think my class project is all consuming and the most important thing ever, the world still turns.
2) There are far larger problems out there than my stupid project.
Here’s a poignant photograph taken by Tommy Ellingsen for a Norwegian newspaper of Jens Stoltenberg embracing the leader of the AUF camp where so many people died. You can find more images and an article at that link too (good luck reading Norwegian).
This photo helps me realize that everything in my world is going pretty well, and I’m going to be fine. My project is going to get done. I’m sleeping well at night. I have great friends and family to talk to. Yep, things are okay.
Browsing Reddit today, I found this video, watched it five times in a row, then realized I had to share with you all, stat. That is all.
And also, Here’s a great article by Drew McWeeny for HitFlix about Jim Henson, the production world, and pretty much how to make the most of your dreams.
Love, kisses, and cookies,
Today is a very special day. Not only is it Friday, but it’s also the Friday before July 4th (translate: 4-day weekend for me), and is the day my iPad2 case arrived! To be exact, my “iPad Extreme Sleeve™ 2” arrived. It sounds high tech, because it is high tech. It’s made of a lightweight, foamy kind of material that, when impacted, hardens on a molecular level and protects what’s inside. Crazeballs. I’ve tested it out with my iPad2 and it fits
like a glove like an iPad2 case should fit: Perfectly snug.
Some quick back story: John “Champion Boyfriend” Kennedy got me an iPad2 for my birthday with the green Apple Smart Cover. I’m highly skilled at dropping things, so the next day I bought a protective film for the screen and a pink Speck Smartshell for the back. I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned it before, but I’m extremely talented at dropping things. So I also wanted to buy an iPad2 carrying case to be triple protected. Oh my gawd, there are a lot of iPad2 cases on the market. I put a lot of thought and research into it, but after watching this video from the team at G-Force, I just wasn’t going to be happy with any other product.
Here’s the thing: I guess G-Form only just started making these sleeves, so they weren’t ready to ship them out when the iPad2 came out. So they took pre-orders and kept in touch with customers through comments on their website. The sleeves were meant to ship out on June 15th, but due to a delay in shipping, G-Form wasn’t going to be able to send them out for about another week. To make up for this delay, G-Form sent out an email to me and other pre-ordering customers explaining the situation and offering a free additional item from their website up to $39.99 value. Whatever item I chose, they would ship with my iPad2 sleeve, so it would be like getting two presents at once!
G-Form has a whole product line devoted to skate boarders and bike riders, so the iPad2 sleeve was kind of a departure for them (although they also make a 1st generation iPad sleeve and laptop sleeves). So choosing a free gift was a bit difficult at first, but then I remembered that I ride a road bike! But nothing in the road bike product category was anywhere close to $39.99. I thought about it for a hot minute, and then sent G-Form this email (at about 12:45am, still wired on caffeine from the all-nighter I was pulling to get my project finished on time for class):
“Hello Awesome People of the G-Form Gift Team,
I’m ordering the iPad 2 sleeve, and got your free gift email. I would like my free gift to be a pair of your swanky Brake Hood Over-Grips.
But wait! That’s not all! Since you are offering a free gift up to $39.99, and the brake hood over-grips are only $9.99, would it also be possible to get a Saddle Gel Kit? Combined, that only makes $24.98! That’s a steal for both of us! It’s a win-win! Pretty please with a cherry on top? My bike pants could really use the extra company. They don’t really get along with my bike seat. Same story with my bike gloves and handlebars – all I want to do is go for a ride, you know? But instead, all I get is drama, drama, drama. Such a pain in my arse. Literally.
Can’t wait to see my iPad2 sleeve by the way, I am SUPER excited about it!
G-Form products #FTW
I never hear back from G-Form (They were doubtlessly too busy coming up with new awesome extreme products), but I’ve been wondering since that day what might turn up when UPS came to my door. Today I got the package, and check it out – I got the iPad2 sleeve, the brake hood over-grips, AND the saddle gel kit! What a sweet deal!
G-Form didn’t have to reward my greediness by sending me both free gifts, but they did, and I really appreciate it. And because of that, I’m already deciding what else I can buy from them (I have a snowboarding brother). Oh, did I mention that G-Form is also charitable in other ways too? Last month the company raised over $120,000 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Pretty cool stuff.
My iPad2 and its sleeve
iPad2 inside Extreme Sleeve
Snug as a bug - iPad2 fits perfectly!
So if you have an iPad2 or a laptop that needs protecting, I would seriously recommend checking out G-Form’s iPad Extreme Sleeve™ 2 (also their website has much better pictures). It’s an effective, innovative product, and now I can finally leave the house with my iPad2!