Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Links Loved: July edition

Coffee order generator, 18 ways to say awesome, what's for dinner & what to read next.
Coffee order generator, 18 ways to say awesome, what's for dinner & what to read next. 

1. Get even with the smug hipster barista when you order your morning cuppa, introducing the most annoying coffee order generator ever.

2. So you've just finished reading a book and you don't know what to read next? Or you love a certain book and want to read more of the same? Look no further than The Book Seeker.

3. What the F*&k should I make for dinner? It's pretty self explanatory. 

4. Finally 18 awesome ways to say awesome.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Easy White Chocolate & Cranberry Cookie Recipe

The weekend is here and the living is easy. Time to unwind, relax and enjoy some good old soul food. This recipe is adapted from my friend's super famous and delicious Choc Chip Recipe. I decided to change it up with some white chocolate and cranberries.

White chocolate and cranberry cookies. Yum.

125g butter or marg * 1 cup white sugar * 1 cup brown sugar *
3 eggs * 1 tspn vanilla essence
3 cups flour * 1 tspn bicarbonate soda * pinch of salt
white chocolate  * dried cranberries

 1. Combine the 125g butter or marg and sugar. 

 2. Add the eggs and vanilla essence.

 3. Add the flour, bicarb and salt. 

 4. Add your chopped up cranberries and bit sized chunks of white chocolate. 

 5. Now for the fun part. Use your hands and mix it all up into a giant doughy ball of deliciousness.

 6. Grease your trays and set the over to 180C. Roll the dough up into tiny little balls, place on your tray and smash with a fork. Voila. 

7. Bake at 180C for 10 minutes. Allow to cool. Note that depending on how crunchy you like your cookies, you can add more (crunchier) or less (softer) bicarb. 

Feed your face. These cookies are best shared with friends. They make quite a lot, so you can freeze half of the dough and use it later. 

PS: Tim Noakes does NOT approve this recipe.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Fun with Taxidermy

I saw someone retweet something with the twitter handle @CrapTaxidermy and knew that they had me when I read Crap Taxidermy. As the name suggests, it is a feed that showcases the worst (read best) of the taxidermy world. 

crap taxidermy
For some of the images I really wonder what people are thinking. Words fail me. You can follow Crap Taxidermy here.

Then there is this guy, who spent 13 days inside a taxidermy bear. 

13 days inside a taxidermy bear
Thanks Hello Charlotte for making me aware of such art.
PS: as a kid we would go on school trips to some camp where we would be forced to eat in a dining hall while stuffed wild animals glared us. It was creepy and to this day I still can't eat food around taxidermied animals.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Chocolate Cupcakes - an easy recipe

Like my wise sibling always tells me baking is an exact science, unlike cooking, where you can throw a few ingredients together and get something really good. As such here is a simple fail proof chocolate cupcake recipe that is quick and easy to make. 

Chocolate Cupcake Recipe

100g flour
20g cocoa
140g castor sugar
1.5 tspn baking powder
1 pinch of salt
40g unsalted butter (at room temp)

1 egg
120ml milk
1/4 tspn vanilla essence 

1. Mix all the dry ingredients with the butter. 
2. In a separate bowl whisk the milk, egg and vanilla essence. 
3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, bit by bit, mixing after each addition. 
4. Make sure you don't over mix it.  
5. Fill up cupcake holders 3/4 of the way. I love the silicone ones. 
6. Bake for 20-25 minutes at 180C. 

Allow to cool before icing them. Add whatever icing you would like. I love butter icing, so all I do is cream some butter, add some cocoa, a lot of icing sugar and if need be a few drops of milk. Making icing is clearly not an exact science.

These are great to share with friends. I took some over to my sibling's place and like a good guest I forgot the tupperware and silicone cups there, which she had to clean. No such thing as a free lunch. :P

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Read this: The Fault in our Stars

Every so often a book comes around that you totally judge by its cover. The first time I saw the blue and black cover I grabbed the book from the shelf and read the back. Another. Cancer. Story. Not quite the head space I wanted to find myself in. 

A few weeks ago a good friend told me to read this book as it was totally my kind of book. I was not having a good week, and said I really did  not want to cry. She assured me it was a happy story. I took the book home with me and forgot about it. After messing around on my iPad for way too long one evening, I decided to start reading a book before bed instead of Twitter. I started with The Fault in our Stars.

The Fault in our Stars

I read the first chapter and smiled. It was a great story. After each chapter you want to read more and more. I took this book with me to read while away in the bush for the weekend. At times I became so engrossed in the story I was the rude kid in the braai area trying to have a conversation while finishing the book. I don't want to give anything away but this is not a typical love story, it is a story that will make you think, laugh, cry and at the end be pleasant to remember. 

After I finished the book I found out it was being made into a movie. Check out the trailer below.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Postcrossing - it's not what it sounds like

My roommate first introduced me to Ideas magazine, and since then it's been on my must buy list. Last month, the cover caught my eye as did the freebies. Each mag came with six beautifully illustrated postcards.

ideas magazine march 2014
The idea is that you sign up on postcrossing and get given a profile of a person to write to. The joy of a postcard is that you have to keep the message short and the type of postcard you send is part of the message. I signed up and got given a teenager living in Russia. I kept my message short and sweet and of course had to draw my signature sk8erg8er. I shall continue to do this.

sk8er g8er
This is a sk8er g8er and was invented during my days at university. This particular specimen was drawn in Hong Kong outside the panda enclosure. Everyone was writing messages to save the panda, I decided not to. Such a rebel like that.

I sent my new Russian postcrossing friend a postcard from the Ideas magazine. I got to experience the South AFfican postal service and the inefficiency of the lunch time service. Two people stormed out, one dropped the f bomb and another kept on repeating the same story over and over. She had stood in the wrong queue for over an hour and was making it everyone's problem. 

Keen to add to my postcard collection, I headed to Exclusive Books and they had a sale. I collect books and am constantly buying them even when I reach the end of the month Salty Crack stage. I found a Where's Wally postcard book for only R40. 

I got a response today that my postcard had arrived. It reached its destination in 27 days after traveling 8,581 km! Now I wait in anticipation for mine. 

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Watch this: The Lego Movie

Last weekend, after a games night that got rather out of hand, I was meeting up with my buddy Les. I was super slow but functioning. Up until Les mentioned the movie, I hadn't really heard much about it or seen much coverage. Don't get me wrong I love Lego (who doesn't) and even have a Lego Snape keyring. 

We had pre booked tickets and the only queue we had to endure was for our popcorn and coke. Recently I have been plagued by undisciplined kids and their parents who do nothing. I was pleasantly surprised when a grandmother returned the small Slushy because "That's a small? You know how much sugar is in that and I've got to let these kids sit still. They'll be begging me to go to the loo". I nodded approvingly. Although I don't have any offspring of my own, I did teach children from the ages of 2 to 16 for four years and know a thing or two about discipline. 

The movie is brilliant. We caught a 16.45 show and although we were surrounded by children, you could see the adults were enjoying the movie too. There are so many one-liners and different layers to appeal to all. If you would like a laugh this long weekend then pre book your tickets and go watch The Lego Movie.