Monday, October 24, 2011

Death by Chocolate...or not

So instead of death by chocolate, why not try a red velvet cupcake. It may look odd, the colour, but tastes so good!

Below are the instructions:

Cook Time: 22 minutes
Total Time: 22 minutes
Yield: 20 to 24 Cupcakes
·         2 cups all-purpose flour
·         1 teaspoon baking soda
·         1 teaspoon salt
·         2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
·         1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
·         1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
·         2 large eggs
·         1 teaspoon vanilla extract
·         1 cup plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk
·         1/2 ounce red food coloring gel
·         2 teaspoons white vinegar
·         Cream Cheese Frosting
·         1 package light cream cheese, softened
·         4 tablespoons butter, softened
·         1 teaspoon vanilla extract
·         1 cup confectioners' sugar

·         Line muffin pans with cupcake papers. Heat oven to 350°.
·         In a bowl combine the flour, baking soda, salt, and cocoa.
·         In a mixing bowl with electric mixer, cream the sugar and butter until light. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat well. Slowly beat in about one third of the flour mixture and about half of the buttermilk until well blended. Beat in another third of the flour mixture and the remaining buttermilk. Slowly beat in the remaining flour mixture. Beat in the food coloring and vinegar and continue beating until well blended.
·         Fill lined cupcake tins about 2/3 full. Bake for about 20 to 22 minutes, or until the cakes bounce back when lightly touched with a finger.
·         Makes about 20 to 24 cupcakes. Cool on racks before frosting.
·         For the frosting, combine frosting ingredients and beat with an electric mixer until smooth and fluffy.

Be Bold and Mighty Things will come to your Aid

So with this random topic we were given I decided to look up if there was a way we could become ‘bold’. This after looking, this is what Wikianswers gave when I asked how do you become bold? Apparently there are six steps...

1.    Pretend you're already bold. If you were to switch places with somebody who is as bold as bold can be, what would they do in your shoes? If you already know someone who's bold, imagine how they'd act. If you don't know anyone like that, think of a character from a movie or book who's daring and brave. Spend one hour a day or one day a week pretending to be them. When you do this, go somewhere that people don't know you and won't act surprised when you do things that are out of character. Go through the motions and see what happens--you might discover that amazing things happen when you're bold, and you might be convinced to carry this bold behavior into your everyday life.

2.    Make the first move. Whenever you're feeling hesitant--especially in your interactions with others--swallow your pride and make the first move. Ask your acquaintance if they'd like to go to the bar down the street for drinks after work. Tell the person you fancy that you've got two tickets to a concert and you'd like them to come with you. Give your significant other a big hug and apologize for that time you overreacted a few months ago. Smile and wink at the attractive cashier.

3.    Do something unpredictable. What could you do that would completely surprise the people who know you? Wear high heels?Skydive? Take a dance class? Bold people aren't afraid of trying new things, and one of the reasons they're so exciting to be around is that they keep you guessing. You can start small, perhaps by wearing a color or style of clothing that you don't normally wear, or visiting a place you normally wouldn't visit. Eventually, you may get to the point where you entertain ideas that make other people's eyes widen when you mention them ("Are you serious? White water rafting?" or "You're kidding me. You want to buy that restauranton 3rd Street?")

4.    Ask for what you want. Rather than wait to be recognized for your efforts, or expect someone to consider your needs, step right up to the plate and ask. Some people feel that asking for things is greedy, selfish, and rude--and it is, if you're asking for something you don't deserve. But if someone is withholding something that you've rightfully earned, they're the ones being greedy, selfish, and rude. Besides, what's the worst that could happen? They say no. Life goes on.

o   Ask for that promotion or pay raise you've been waiting (and working) for.
o    Ask for a discount. A little haggling can go a long way. The phrase "What can you do for me?" is an easy and powerful way to save money.
o    Ask to have your credit card's annual fee waived.
o    Ask a relative, friend, or even a complete stranger for help or advice.
o    Ask for clarification if you're not sure what is expected of you.

5.    Take risks. There's a difference between being reckless and accepting risks. Reckless people don't accept risks...they don't even think about them. A bold person, on the other hand, is well aware of the risks, and has decided to go through with the decision anyway, ready and willing to accept the consequences if things don't work out. Think of an athlete who takes risks every day. Are they reckless? No. It's a measured risk. You might make a mistake; we all do. But inaction can be a mistake as well, one that leads to emptiness and regret. For many people, having taken risks and fallen flat on their faces was far more fulfilling than having done nothing at all.

6.    Rediscover who you are. Ultimately, boldness has to do with coming from your center, what you believe. It is not about what you do, it is about who you are. If you do not know who you are, you can never be truly bold. Start really appreciating your uniqueness. Discover what makes you different and then parade it around for all to see. Put flags on it,call attention to it and love yourself for it no matter what others think. That is the heart of boldness.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Try this Yummy Recipe out!

Peppermint Crisp Tart (serves 8 - 10)

A typical South African dessert the Peppermint Crisp Fridge Tart is incredibly rich and decadent, but hugely popular all the same. It must also be one of the easiest pudding recipes on the planet – you can whip this pudding up in 10 minutes! Follow this easy recipe and create a dessert that’s always a winner – in no time at all.
2 packets of Tennis biscuits
2 sachets of Orley Whip or 500ml cream
1 tin caramel
peppermint crisp chocolate
  1. Beat the Orley Whip / cream.
  2. Mix in the caramel.
  3. Layer the Tennis biscuits and the Orley Whip mixture.
  4. Sprinkle peppermint crisp on top.
  5. Place in fridge to set.

Only bad things happen quickly

Below is a rather random poem I found about bad things that happen.

There are too much gun and knife crimes on the streets,
There are too much parents giving children beats,
There is too much cereal without no wheat,
So tell me what im gonna sposta eat,
There’s too many gangs hanging round on roadside,
On the way back they fall on der backside,
There’s too many people carrying knives,
Just walking round taking lives,
A young boy just in year 9 dropping out from
Thinks he cool but really he’s just playing the fool,
He thinks he’s got it all jus coz he’s got a
 swimming pool
Now off the streets he’s cleaning poo
Now he’s a full grown man wishing he’d gone to school
Another boy being bullied for colour of his skin
Every day they’ll just boot him in the shin
Then after that they’ll just put him in the bin
He couldn’t fight back he was way too thin
So he killed himself with a giant pin
Stupid young boys smoking weed
Den when they to school the they don’t succeed
When they walked home they started to feel dizee
They fall on the floor hit they head and start to bleed
Man u v arsenal the match they never got to see
All because of smoking weed

Chizom Okpara

Saturday, October 8, 2011

The Last Lecture

The Last Lecture is a New York Times best seller book co-authored by Randy Pausch, a professor of computer science and design at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Jeffery Zaslow of the Wall Street Journal. The book was based on a lecture Pausch gave in September 2007.
Pausch delivered his "Last Lecture", titled Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams, at Carnegie Mellon on September 18, 2007. This talk was modelled after an ongoing series of lectures where top academics are asked to think deeply about what matters to them, and then give a hypothetical "final talk," i.e., "what wisdom would you try to impart to the world if you knew it was your last chance?"
A month before giving the lecture, Pausch had received news that the pancreatic cancer he had been diagnosed with a year earlier was now terminal. Before speaking, Pausch received a long standing ovation from a large crowd of over 400 colleagues and students. When he motioned them to sit down, saying, "Make me earn it." During the lecture Pausch was upbeat and humorous, shrugging off the pity often given to those diagnosed with terminal illness. At one point, to prove his own vitality, Pausch dropped down and did push-ups on stage.
The Last Lecture speaks about Pausch's lecture and discusses everything he wanted his children to know after the cancer took his life. It includes stories of his childhood, lessons he wants his children to learn, and things he wants his children to know about him. He repeatedly stresses that one should have fun in everything one does, that one should live life to its fullest because one never knows when it might be taken (Wikipedia, 2011).

Cupcake Love

So as you know I love food and have found yet another great recipe to share with you. This time it is a cupcake of my favourites! If you love cupcakes you have to try this.
It goes something like this:

6 tablespoons Margarine
12 tablespoons Flour
¼ cup Milk
6 tablespoons Sugar
2 Eggs
1 ¼ teaspoon Baking Powder
1 teaspoon Vanilla Essence

·         Mix sugar and margarine together
·         Add eggs one at a time
·         Add baking powder and vanilla essence with a little milk
·         Add flour mixing well with the rest of the milk
So it is that easy. What I like to do though is instead of baking the cupcakes in the normal paper cups I like to use those edible cups to put the cupcakes in.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Rich Rubbish

So while looking on the internet (you sometimes find the craziest stuff) I found a list of 10 ways to make yourself appear rich. I found this quite amusing but it made me think that there are people out there that might just try these 10 steps on how to appear rich. So have a look and see if you think it will work.

Never Lie. You will just show your ignorance and embarrass yourself. For example, when you are offered a glass of wine or a delicacy you have never tasted before and then are asked what you thought of it, Just say "Very Good." and then smile sweetly.

Frequent bookstores and cafés, being seen reading a book shows a sign of class. Having a coffee or tea at hand also makes you look rich.

Always be nice to servants, waiters, drivers, etc. Being rude to them makes you look nouveau riche. But don't be overly friendly. Avoid acting like you feel more at home with the 'help' more than with your new friends.

Never be stingy when it comes to tips because this makes you look, well, stingy. But don't give out tips that are too large, either, or you will look embarrassingly nouveau riche or clueless.

Know what fine dining is. As cliched as it sounds, learn about wines and cheeses. Learn how to pronounce words like Béchamel and Beaujolais. And learn good table manners. Otherwise you will look like a complete fool at dinnertime. Read etiquette books.

When you buy clothes and accessories, never buy anything with a huge logo. For example, when you buy t-shirts from Christian Dior, do not buy those which say 'DIOR'. If it's the real deal, your well-heeled friends will be able to tell at a glance what brand the item is. It is also true that rich people are not so much concerned with brand names. Many of them wear Lands End or Gap clothing right along with high quality products from exclusive designers that most people have never heard about. If you want to look great,buy items with more subtle designs and steer towards European brands. Think classic clothes that fit you really well.

Do not wear too much jewelry nor wear anything flashy and big. If you do, you look desperate to show off. For a casual game of tennis, for example, don't wear bracelets and necklaces. Just wear a Franck Muller watch and a pair of 3-carat diamond earrings.

Never boast about your expensive new handbags, jewelry, watches, etc. Wear them. Most of your friends will notice your new trappings without having them pointed out. If they don't notice, most likely they don't care and wouldn't be impressed anyway. If complimented, smile and say "thank you."

Do not pretend you never eat fast food at all. In fact, a surprisingly large number of rich people like fast food. Fast food does taste good, no matter how unhealthy it is. However, don't eat fast food very often. Rich people can afford to eat at nicer places and usually they do. Also, show that you are indeed concerned with the unhealthy aspects of fast food. Most rich people put an emphasis on a healthy lifestyle, and it's a good idea to be health conscious for more reasons than one.

Don't pretend you are picky about every little aspect of everything. Rich people can afford to be picky (or 'selective' as they would probably say) but if you complain about every little thing you just seem pretentious and annoying. Choose a few items that you really are selective about. For example, most wealthy people don't mind wearing clothes from Gap because everyone knows they can afford designer clothes. However, for example, many rich girls will never use cheap make-up. Most wear very little makeup preferring the natural look. They will say it will ruin the skin and they are right. They also will not be stingy on the matter of footwear, because better quality footwear molds to the feet for the most comfort, and they are the higher quality. Be picky about things that matter.

Watch this Space

So the definition, if you can call it that, for the phrase ‘watch this space’ is, “If someone says watch this space, they mean that there will very soon be an exciting change in their situation.” This is according to the Cambridge dictionary.

So I guess if I say to someone ‘watch this space’ they going to expect an amazing change to take place in my life soon. Well at my age I don’t think there is anything really amazing that could change..soon. But if I could I would change a few things...

I would learn to ice skate and ballroom dance, be able to eat as many chocolates and sweets without getting fat, not be afraid of bugs and spiders, have permanent access to lots of money and of course shopping. I know these things aren’t possible but sometimes it is good to dream.

So watch this space to see all these exciting things that will happen in my life.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Chocolate Goodness

I have always loved baking and I love chocolate so the next recipe I have on my agenda is to make proper chocolaty chocolate brownies. I have had some amazing chocolate brownies in my time so now I guess it is my turn to give it a try. So below is the recipe I plan to use...wish me luck!

Preheat oven to 180 degrees C and place the rack in the centre of the oven. Butter (or spray with a non-stick cooking spray) a 20 cm square pan, and line the bottom of the pan with parchment or wax paper.

Melt the chocolate and butter in a large stainless steel bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water. Remove from heat and stir in the cocoa powder and sugar. Next, whisk in the vanilla extract and eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Finally, stir in the flour, salt and chocolate chips (if using).

Pour into the prepared pan and bake for about25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out with a little batter and a few moist clumps clinging to it. Do not over bake. Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack. Serve at room temperature or chilled. These freeze very well.

Makes 16 brownies.