Archive | April 2015

What I Took From After The Dark

A while back I watched a film called After The Dark aka The Philosophers. For me personally, it could have been better executed and the ending disappointed me, but the concept behind it was really interesting regardless. The start of the film was perhaps far more interesting than the final conclusion. It was about a philosophy teacher challenging his class to make decisions in the event that the human race is nearing extinction. He did this by getting them to choose random cards, assigning them jobs and traits, and then having them choose who they would take into an underground shelter to save – there are limited resources. Throughout the film they go through a number of different scenarios. If you want to avoid spoilers then stop reading now.

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Experimental Jägermeister Buns

jagermeister bunsI only got into baking on a more regular basis this year; before I would just follow the odd recipe every so often. I’ve come to really enjoy experimenting with different flavours and making up my own recipes. I don’t yet understand enough about the process to know how different ingredients affect the final bake, but even for an amateur it’s a really fun and creative process. Sometimes you just have to experiment to learn how the different ingredients work together. Baking is also an enjoyable and relaxing way to spend our time that i would recommend,

My boyfriend’s birthday is coming up and so I’m planning to bake him a cake this week. I like to try and incorporate some of his favourite flavours, while also attempting to decorate it in a way that’ll appeal to him. One of his favourite drinks is Jägermeister and so I wondered if I could somehow use it in the cake. I’m slightly wary of the fact that alcohol burns off when baked, plus I’ve never attempted to incorporate alcohol into a cake before. From what I’ve gathered while researching this, substituting alcohol into a cake is usually done by replacing some of the water or other liquid ingredient, but too much can result in a drier texture. I also read that Jägermeister works quite well with honey. I made a small experimental batch of buns today to see what would happen.

Ingredients

1 egg, 42g Caster Sugar, 100g Self Raising Flour, 63g margarine, ½ tsp Baking Powder, 1.5 tbsp honey (around 25g-30g), 1 tsp water, 1.5 tbsp Jägermeister

Method

I set the oven to gas mark 5 and prepared a muffin tin with bun cases. Then I measured out the margarine (63g), caster sugar (42g) and honey (25g-30g) and blended them together.

I measured out 100g of self raising flour into a separate bowl. I then broke one egg into a mug along with 1.5 tbsp of Jagermeister and beat it. I gradually added the egg mixture and spoonfuls of flour while blending. Once the eggs/Jägermeister had ran out the entire mixture was then added to the remaining flour along with ½ tsp baking powder and 1 tsp water. I folded it all together.

The final mixture was smooth with a slightly runny consistency. I divided it between the bun cases – this recipe made 6 buns in total – and placed in the oven for 20 minutes.

Verdict

The texture and rise in the buns was pretty good and they were a lovely colour too, but the flavour didn’t come through. I might not have added enough Jägermeister to the mixture (in other examples I’ve seen they use quite a lot,) but as it’s quite an expensive drink to purchase over here I was a little coy about it I have to admit. I’ve also read that alcohol can be added to a bake by creating a syrup/glaze and brushing over, letting the cake soak it up by sitting in it or mixing it into the butter-cream/icing. I think I might just make a basic honey cake with a glaze – that way there might also be more left over for him to enjoy afterwards. See the final cake.

Other Jägermeister Recipes

Celebrate The Small Things: 24 April

  • f5f01-vik-smallthings2I’m feeling a lot better this week. I also took some hayfever and allergy relief tablets and my cough seems to have improved so that must be the cause. I’m really bad for getting stuck with coughs you see.
  • I did some art and programming this week. Finally got around to adding a new ‘save recipe’ feature to my website; Just need to do a bit of testing and tweaking before uploading it.
  • My friend Drake gave me a mention on his blog – https://wecreatetheatremagic.wordpress.com/2015/04/20/up-and-coming-e-business-and-its-delicious/. I think it’s great when creative people help each other out. He’s also on his own business venture and needs the support and feedback, so check out his blog Fireside Chats if you’re interested in theatre, cosplay, comics or manga.
  • Finished Bloodborne, including the optional bosses. I’ll probably play again soon on new game plus as there will still be a lot that I missed. Started deprived on Dark Souls II Scholar Of The First Sin and it’s going pretty well.
  • Got a lot of baking planned for the rest of the day. Have a few birthdays coming up and I’m looking forward to surprising people with cakes. They’ll eat it and they’ll like it. 😛

The Intention Behind The Words

I previously wrote a post called ‘Use Your Words (With Care)‘ where I mentioned that saying nothing at all can sometimes be more damaging than what could have been said. I also stated that I believe we have an emotional connection to words. I got this idea from ‘The Chimp Paradox‘ by Steve Peters, where we learn to associate certain feelings with certain words. There is then a chance of triggering those feelings upon hearing them. For example, words like severe, vile and grotesque may cause us to have a negative reaction because that is how we associate them. A well written novel may use the connection we have with certain words to bring the scene alive to the reader.

It is also the difference between saying something is rubbish to saying it’s not very good. The first could potentially invoke a far more negative reaction in us because the word usage is harsher despite the meaning being the same. As the book ‘The Chimp Paradox‘ suggests, using the wrong words in the wrong situations can invoke the anger in the other person’s chimp.

Another interesting example is the use of swearing. I’ve read about this in a few books and also saw it on ‘Fry’s Planet Word’ – Episode 3 ‘Uses and Abuses.’ Swear words cause the brain to light up. On placing a hand in a bucket of ice water it is suppose to be bearable for longer if we swear during the experience – I actually did try this and found it to be the case. However, the more we are subjected to such words the less they affect us.

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UP AND COMING E-BUSINESS and its DELICIOUS!

Fireside Chats

Some things just go together great: PB&J  Wings and BBQ Sauce Batman and Robin,

How about Art and Bake Goods – mmmmmm smells like my kinda business.

Jo WallCat  Has begun to forge these 2 awesome arts and you need to take a look at the sheer goodness

1

http://www.shareandbake.co.uk/.

2

Running Corgi Dog by wallcathttp://www.redbubble.com/people/wallcat/shop

So Check out these awesome sites I guarantee you’ll be impressed and hungry too!!!!

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Celebrate The Small Things: 17 April

f5f01-vik-smallthings2Last week I mentioned that I hadn’t been feeling too well and was starting to recover, but I think I spoke too soon and it hit me really hard the next day – I couldn’t even bring myself to turn on the PS4 :'(. In some ways it was a relief because up until that point I knew I wasn’t quite right in myself, I just wasn’t sure what it was exactly; This made me realize that I must have definitely picked up a bug from somewhere. There’s been a lot going around this year and a few of us have been ill on several occasions. I think this time I’m finally starting to feel better – well other than the fact that hayfever now seems to be emerging and I can’t stop coughing. So yeah, much of this week has been spent recovering from that and I’m hoping that I’ve now had my fair share of illness for the year. This weekend should be more enjoyable I hope.

Other than that I’ve been attempting to get back into things and did some art and programming along with a couple of gym sessions. I had some lovely feedback on my RedBubble gallery. I’m also going out tonight to have a few (non-alcoholic) drinks with my partner and his workmates, which should be interesting.

2D:- Not Just Retro

Like many new technologies, as 3D started to emerge during the 90’s it was believed to be a replacement to what came before. All of a sudden it felt like everything was being made with the new dimension, Tetris, Space Invaders, Mario, Sonic and Rayman just to name a few. While I enjoyed a lot of new 3D titles such as Tomb Raider and Crash Bandicoot, for some reason I never took to all of my favourite games being changed away from 2D – I was actually overjoyed to hear about Rayman Origins and hadn’t played one since the original released in 1995. There was just something that felt too different from what I loved about the originals, but I couldn’t put my finger on why.

I grew up playing a lot of 2D platformers on the Commodore Amiga such as Chuck Rock, Superfrog and Fire and Ice. These were the games that inspired me to want to have a go at building my own one day, only by the time I finally learnt the skills required the times had changed and what use to be popular was now considered to be retro. Over the past few years however, 2D games seem to have made a bit of a comeback, possibly thanks to Indie game developers and maybe the arrival of mobile/tablet gaming. While some of these games rely on nostalgia to sell, I don’t consider them all to be retro, but rather a revisit to genres that had previously gone out of fashion. While they might be 2D in appearance, they can still make use of newer game design techniques and technology. 3D does not have to be a replacement to 2D, just another way of doing things – both have their strengths and their weaknesses.

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Celebrate The Small Things: 10 April

  • Had a wonderful Easter. Ate lots of chocolate and spent time with the boyfriend.f5f01-vik-smallthings2
  • Treated myself to a new PS4 and a copy of Bloodborne, now I can play it whenever I want :P.
  • A new corset arrived, fits perfectly. My other one has also broken in now so it’s really comfortable to wear.
  • I haven’t been feeling too well this week – good excuse to sit around eating chcolate and playing games 😛 – , but I seem to be gradually on the mend.

Use Your Words (With Care)

I find the rants and opinions offered by other bloggers to be really interesting and entertaining. It’s a wonderful thing to see how others deal with the trials of their day to day lives. Knowing that well, I’m not alone in facing the challenges of each coming day.

One such post I came across was called ‘Use Your Words‘ on Silver Linings Daily. They’ve recently re-iterated the point in ‘Please Just Let Me Reiterate/ Talk Vs. Do.’ It’s very open and honest with a sense of frustration; It seems like an issue that Lucy is really passionate about and so I’m going to make my own mention of it here.

Despite my introversion, I’m actually a really chatty person, but there are many people in my life that aren’t. There have been times where a lack of communication has led to misunderstandings and disputes. While I understand that everybody has bad days or they don’t always feel like talking, there have been many heated moments that could have been avoided with a simple utterance of the words, ‘I’m having a bad day, but I’d rather not talk about it.’

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First Impressions Of Bloodborne

When I first heard that Bloodborne was going to be exclusive to PS4 I was a little distraught. I couldn’t see myself getting the console anytime soon, but as I loved Demon’s and Dark Souls so much I wanted to be able to continue playing these games. My boyfriend decided to take the plunge and bought a PS4 bundle with the game on the day of the launch and was kind enough to let me have a go. Well I found that I loved the game, so then he convinced me to take the plunge myself – probably to free up his own console :P.

On the surface Bloodborne looks like a Dark Souls game, but the pacing is very different. You no longer use a shield and can instead stagger enemies by shooting them at the start of an attack (a visceral attack.) Aggressiveness also pays off as you can regain HP by attacking an enemy quickly after receiving damage. That being said, you still have to pay attention to your surroundings and how your enemies behave. Even though I played a lot of Dark Souls prior to this, I still had to go through a bit of a learning curve to adjust to this new pacing (plus my muscle memory kept stumbling over the subtler differences.) I’ve since gone back to Dark Souls and with its higher focus on defence it now feels a lot slower by comparison. I really like this offensive take on the system as it livens up the gameplay. The four boss battles I have completed so far were pretty frantic and also really fun.

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