Sunday, April 29, 2012

Exams :(

I am currently studying for exams right now so everything is at a bit of a standstill. I'll get back with a double decker of Little Gems including a Eurovision special edition picking out some of the best examples from this year, remember that doesn't mean they are little gems at all...

I got my Visa back from the Tanzanian High Commision yesterday and I am officially sorted document-wise for Kilimanjaro! I just need to raise the final bits of cash...

Anyone got tips for where to stay cheaply in Bergen, Oslo, Gothenburg, Copenhagen or Amsterdam? Looking into planning a wee tour before I get back to the grind of uni...

However, until then have a look at what I have been making in the kitchen: (I love me a bit of the cross-process effect)

Monday, April 16, 2012

Multicultural Baking -Sconascas

Since I have not had a chance to go on holiday recently, I have found solice in making foods from places I'd rather be. However not following the recipe, I've been creating an amalgunation of two recipes from else where in the world. Also beware, I have grown up without weighing scales in the house so I have come to learn that measurements are for sissies. 

English Scones + Hungarian Podasca

The  outcome are these amazingly filling yet morish dollops of goodness.

This makes about 12

1.5kg bag of Self Raising flour(or plain flour with a teaspoon of baking powder)
250g Butter (real butter not Margarine)
Enough Sour cream or milk to make the above into a dough (sour cream makes them much more dense  and filling than milk but milk is cheaper)
About 10 rashers of bacon, realistically as much as you want.
About 200g grated Parmasan but again realistically as much as you want.
Caraway seeds - not essential but give it a wee edge.
Butter for greasing and an egg for glazing, both pretty optional really.

Set your oven to about 200C/400F/Gas mark 6 and grease a baking tray with butter

1. Cut the block of butter into cubes and add it to the flour (which you can sieve if you want to but it's definitely not essential)

2. Now you want to get your hands in and make the butter and flour into a mixture that resembles bread crumbs. I hate it when people say that because I never think it looks much like breadcrumbs... It looks like this essentially:

4. Chop your bacon into as small bits as you want and don't throw away the fatty bits as those and the extra crispy bits! Throw it into a hot frying pan either with a bit of butter or not, it barely makes a difference!

5. While that's crisping up nicely add your parmasan and some caraway seeds into your "breadcrumb" mixture and give it a wee stir.

6. When the bacon is really nice and crispy add it to the now pretty cheesy mix, mix it all around and the add in the milk/sour cream. The dough should be moist enough to form a ball but not wet enough that it sticks to everything. It's pretty much preference here, a dryer mix will produce crumblier scones where are a wetter one will be, well, wetter.

7. Form some scone shaped dollops onto a greased baking tray and slosh on some egg which you have whisked into a cup. You can artistically sprinkle on some caraway seeds before putting them into the preheated oven for about 20 minute or until golder brown.


Saturday, April 14, 2012

Little Gems VIII

Everytime I show people this track by Benjamin Francis Leftwich they love it and I can't believe I have forgotten to put it on here until now! Sit back, relax and enjoy...

Here are Orla Gartland and Hudson Taylor, both of whom I have discovered since doing these wee playlists, in a brilliant little collaboration. Who knew Bon Iver and Eminem worked so well together?!

Jared Holdy is mainly known for his collaborations with Mree, who has appeared on here before, but he is pretty good on his own. Reminds me of Joshua Radin which will always win points with me!

I had to bump a song I originally had on here so I could put this one on, its wonderful.  Unfortunately that bint from Twilight ruins the video a bit, but it's the singing that I am caring about. Marcus Foster also supported The Pierces on tour so he fits in my little playlists just perfectly!

Wolfgang have supported some big name such as Florence and The Machine, Naked and Famous and The Killers but they deserve some acclaim themselves! This is my favourite song of theirs but I would also recommend "The King And All Of His Men."

I just discovered Station Sessions on Youtube (subscribe to them, it'll be worth your while!) and it makes me wish I lived in London! The idea is that they get bands to play a wee set in St. Pancras station, I am pretty sure I walked past them last year actually... Anyway Eliza Shaddad stood out for me, she has a great voice and style :)

I loved the sound of this song, called "The Busker", by Sion Russell (pronounced like Shaun/Sean). I do kinda like the use of the duet microphone setting but I think it would be just as good without it as sometimes it sounds weirdly robotic and a bit like auto-tune. However it doesn't take away from the fact the song is great and Sion has a great and interesting voice.

Friday, April 06, 2012

Little Gems VII

Frohe Ostern! Here is some long weekend little gems for you :)

I've put Nina Nesbitt on here before but she is lovely and she has a new Ep coming out and this is the title track. The video also includes my favourite singer-songwriter Passenger as she toured with himself and Ed Sheeran in Europe. Many of their antics can be seen in the video too.

This song by Ben Kweller is one of those random songs that can transport you straight back to a certain time in my life. It was when I was 14/15 when there wasn't really a care in the world! The Beatles Love Album also takes me back to then too, as I remember having that on loop too.

Again this song takes me back to my first trip to Belladrum festival in Beauly, Scotland when I made a CD with my favourite songs of the bands who were playing there and this was one of my favourites. And since myspace I have struggled to find a good studio copy of this little sweet song by Slow Club.

Slow Moving Millie did the cover of The Smiths "Please, Please let me get what I want" for the Christmas John Lewis advert but she has done several other 80's covers. This is my favourite which is a Bananarama classic but remastered to banish all the 80's cheese.

I heard this song on Radio 2 the other day  by Thea Gilmore and Sandy Denny and I thought it was a nice wee song :) It's me right now as London is where my Summer starts! ( I couldn't get it on youtube so soundcloud will have to do!)

The Tender Box  supported the Goo Goo Dolls when I went for my first real gig outside T in the Park way back yonder. They are really good and I am surprised they never got big here. This video is horrendous quality but I recommend you listen about on Grooveshark and the like :)

Jamie Woon was played on the radio a good few times last year and I fell in love with this song as soon as I heard it. It's like an onomatopoeic song as it just sounds like night time. That probably doesn't make sense but it does to me and so you get what I mean you should walk around somewhere  at midnight with this blaring through your headphones and you'll get what I mean...

You know when you re-discover a song and wonder just why it went away? This happened to me with Tracy Chapman recently. This has been on repeat while I have been driving around in my fast car while I sing along at the top of my voice for the countryside to hear.  I have also learnt the riff on the guitar until I could do it blindfolded but when it came to combining the two I ended up making noises like a drunken 3 year old.
 I admire anyone who can sing and play and instrument at the same time. It's fricking hard.

Kilimanjaro Pub Quiz!

Just to keep you updated on the Kilimanjaro front:

I just had a Pub Quiz Fundraiser  back home in Orkney for my climb up Kilimanjaro and it was a great success! There were 10 teams(I think), other people were keen but there weren't enough tables! This was so much better than the 3 teams I thought there was going to be there...

 I made £175 which is so much more than I expected, it may only be a small bit of the way there but it's still a big boost! Plus everyone wanted me to do another one next week! I've emailed to ask to do another one next Thursday so fingers crossed!

I've made £300 from being home for 4 days just from the generosity of the locals. Nobody can doubt the importance of belonging in a community  for these types of things.

Thanks a million to everyone who gave me something!

High. As. A. Kite.

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Daily Battles...

                                      Win of the Day: 5 PPL textbooks for £2.30

Loss of the Day: Antimalarials set me back £73.53...

Monday, April 02, 2012

Home Comforts

Heading North
My Local Chippy (& a Patty Supper)

The Dog

My Dear Cleo
Expriencing all the seasons

Central heating ;)