Saturday, January 30, 2010

The trouble with blogging

So I said way back in my first post that I was partly inspired to start a blog from reading Cake Wrecks and Pioneer Woman. The problem is, though, that bloggers like to read other blogs. And they tell you about those blogs. And you gradually end up reading a never ending series of blogs and websites... Sometimes about topics that you have very little interest in, but read anyway. It's not good...

It all started with Cake Wrecks. My obsession with Cake Wrecks is all Rathicca's fault. At work one day, she said something along the lines of "Have you seen that website, Cake Wrecks?? It's HILARIOUS!! I'll send you the link." And when she did, I'm pretty sure I did hardly any work for the rest of the day. Instead, I spent the afternoon trying not to shake with laughter. Check it out. I dare you.

Then, one week last year, Jen who runs Cake Wrecks did a Virtual Tour of a whole lot of other websites. One of those was Pioneer Woman. Well, that opened a whole new kettle of fish. Not only does Ree tell hilarious stories about her life with her husband and four kids on a cattle ranch in the middle of Oklahoma, but she provides awesome recipes, photography tips for eejits like me, and Kitchenaid mixer give-aways. And who doesn't love the possibility of a free Kitchenaid??? The only problem is this: that the more you read Pioneer Woman, the more you want to read more. Which is how I find myself reading her Home and Garden section, and her Homeschooling section. Of absolutely no use to me, and yet I still read them. Go figure...

Anyway, the list has expanded from those two, but I won't bore you with all the details. The list of blogs/websites I now check regularly has expanded to include the following:

Sleep Talkin' Man: An absolute riot. A woman with insomnia decided to start recording the bizarre things her sleep talking husband says. Completely random, but utterly hilarious.

Fail Blog: Who doesn't love epic fails?? If you're having a crappy day, you can always rely on Fail Blog to remind you that there's a world of stupid people out there, and at least you're not one of them... Hopefully...

Lame Book: Aaaaaah, Lame Book. Lame Book consists solely of idiotic things people have said on Facebook. We've all had a friend who's posted a completely ridiculous status update or a totally inappropriate photo. Lame Book captures these and presents them for your amusement.

People of Walmart: Oh dear God. America might be a world superpower, but holy heck. It's disturbing what some people wear to Walmart. Runs the full gambit from PJs and ugh boots to men in cocktail dresses and stilettos. Makes me glad to shop at Safeway...

XKCD: How can you not love a comic that combines physics and maths jokes with a love of Firefly/Serenity and a fear of velociraptors?? The mouseover text is the best bit...

The Oatmeal: Source of randomness and hilarity, the Oatmeal provides you with helpful quizzes like "How long would you survive chained to a bunk bed with a velociraptor?" and comics like "How to tell if your cat is trying to kill you" along with useful documents like "How to use a semicolon" and "How Twilight works". Pure awesome.

The "Blog" of "Unnecessary" Quotation Marks: We've all seen those signs where instead of using italics to emphasise a point, a person or company has used inverted commas? This site captures them. Hours of amusement to be had.

Awful Library Books: This one appeals to me for two reasons. 1. It's home to posts about appallingly bad books found in public libraries. 2. It's all about collection management and the importance of deaccessioning. And in the museum world, this is important. Unless, you know, you're the British Museum and you can never deaccession anything because the act that created you says once something enters the collection, it has to be there forever... Nice idea in like 1765. Not so practical 245 years later...

Oddly Specific Signs: This is just plain funny. And slightly worrying - clearly if they need to be that specific, someone's tried to do it in the past...

Engrish: Home to all random and confusing translations of English, like "Have good day to cook" and literal translations that just sound bad, like "Deep fried cock". It's chicken. Obviously... Mostly from Japan and China, but with a smattering of others. I haven't yet seen the "Jesus Loves You" tattoo parlour that we saw in Phuket featured, but give it time...

And, sure. There's a ton of blogs out there about serious matters. But I figure I have enough serious matters in my life already. Why the hell do I need to read about the serious matters of people I've never met before?? So I stick to the funny. We all need a little more humour in our lives!!

Enjoy!!! I'm off to make butter cream frosting...

K :) xx

Monday, January 25, 2010

Caramelised apple tarts

This weekend, I decided that I was sick of recipes that start with "Melt butter and chocolate together in a double boiler". And I was in the mood for some kind of apple-y thing. I thought about making apple pie, but then realised I don't own a pie plate. Somewhat problematic in the making of pie... So I trawled through my recipe books, and came up with caramelised apple tarts.

Here's the cast:

Start with the apples:

Peel them:
Quarter them:

Core them:

And slice them thinly:

Then melt the butter in a frying pan:

Add the brown sugar:

And the cinnamon. And marvel at the delicious buttery sugary bokeh in the background:

Then mix it all together until the sugar has dissolved:

Strictly speaking, I dumped the apples in a little too early. But I'm impatient, and it didn't really matter in the long run. And because my awesome new toy has continuous shutter mode, I now present a series called 'Tumbling Apples'. Course, it would have been better if the focus has been the apples rather than the caramel, but it's kind of hard to shoot one handed with an SLR while trying to tip apples into a pan, dammit!!!:

Then stir the apples into the caramel (which is now the right consistency...):
And cook until soft:

When the apples are soft, take this awesome new mixing bowl that Nessa gave me for Christmas:

(Ain't it purdy???)

Stick a strainer in it:

And dump the apple/caramel mixture into it. This lets the caramel sauce drain off so that you can put it on top of the cooked tarts later:

When you've done that, grab the pecans (technically, the recipe calls for ROASTED pecans. But I couldn't find any, and couldn't be bothered roasting them myself. They still worked fine) and chuck them in the food processor:

Add the apple puree:

And the lemon juice:

It's there - trust me!!:

And puree until smooth. Well, smooth-ish. I kind of liked the texture of it. But it does look a bit icky...

Then take two sheets of butter puff pastry. And make a note that the SLR is FAR more sensitive to the downlights in the kitchen than the point and shoot, hence half the photo being really dark:

Cut four rounds from one sheet and place them on a tray. And please pretend that the one on the top right isn't slightly deformed... I didn't have cookie cutters and had to make do with a mug and a knife. It was less than ideal...:

Cut four rounds from the second sheet:

Then cut out the middles to form nice rings. And again, please pretend that one in the top left isn't deformed. I'd half peeled it off the backing before I realised I hadn't taken a photo...

Then brush the rounds with egg:

Then place the rings on top and brush those with egg too:

Fill the centres with the nut mixture:

Then artistically (ha!) place the cooked apple slices on top:

Awww, ain't it fancy lookin'? Actually, it reminds me of potato wedges...
And then stick 'em in the oven. Look! The pastry is starting to puff!! It's great when things do what they claim to on the packet...:
And here they are fresh out of the oven:
Then you take the caramel sauce (that stuff around the edge of the bowl is cinnamon, not anything grody):

And cover the apple slices in caramel sauce:

Sooooo good. It's like pie, but without having to make pastry or own a pie plate!!! And with the addition of cinnamon-y caramel sauce. How is this a bad thing???
K xx :)
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...