Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Slimming World Scotch Eggs

When I joined Slimming World, the first thing I did was to examine the book to learn how to exploit the system for maximum gain. When I heard about the Gamble & Hollis sausages the first thing that came to mind was that they would be ideal for making scotch eggs, one of my favorite savoury snacks, which at 10.5 syns each were previously very much off the menu; now down to 1 syn each I can literally have more than I could stomach.

Ingredients:

100g Gamble & Hollis sausage meat (approx 2 x thin sausage)
2 x Medium egg
10g Wholemeal bread

Makes 2 scotch eggs, 1 syn per egg

First I set the eggs boiling, as they will be cooked a second time in the oven I give them 8 minutes to make sure they don't over cook later. When they are done, drop them straight in a bowl of cold water to stop them cooking, this also helps when it comes to peeling them.


At the same time, I prepare the breadcrumbs. I take a slice of brown bread and if it isn't already stale enough crumble it as far as I can and put it on a baking tray in the oven for a couple of minutes, crumble it a bit more then back in if necessary (Remember that although chunky breadcrumbs are nice, they are 0.1 syns per gram, so they need to be fairly fine if you only want to use 5g per egg). When they're done put them in a bowl ready for dusting the eggs.


Extract the sausage meat from the skins and make a dish in the palm of your hand which is thicker around the rim, place the egg in the middle then pinch the meat from the rim until the egg is covered.



Then dip in the breadcrumb bowl until covered (the sausage meat is very sticky so you won't need any kind of binding agent) and place on a baking tray.



Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes, cut and eat. If you can stand not to eat them straight away, then leave to cool before refrigerating as it will stop them going too soggy from condensing steam, even better if you can store in paper bags.

Friday, 6 April 2012

Milky Creme Surprise

Seeing as it's Easter I thought I'd post up this recipe for my Milky Creme Surprise. The idea came from reading about Turducken, or multi-bird roasts; I (along with every other child in Britain probably) had always wanted a solid chocolate Easter egg, why not try to make one.


Essentially it's a combination of a Milkybar, Creme Egg and a Kinder Surprise, it is possible (and I have done in the past) to carry on from here and nest the MCS inside a small Easter egg  then nest that one inside a bigger one etc, but unfortunately it is very expensive (as you might imagine), and I'm pretty skint at the moment so I'll stick to the basics. As a side note though if you do decide to expand the egg I strongly recommend putting Toffee Poppets in the packing mix, the toffee melts and goes all stringy leaving chewy streaks which are delicious.

Anyway time to move on to the recipe, get the insulin ready, this abomination is going to be sweet.


First unwrap the Milkybar and melt it; I do this by boiling some water and putting it in a bowl, then putting the (broken up) chocolate in a smaller bowl (or mug) inside this.


While the Milkybar is melting, unwrap the kinder egg and *carefully* cut it open along the seam using a scalpel/very sharp knife; the idea is to cut it into two even halves.


*Optional* While the Milkybar is melting, if you have time feel free to construct the Kinder Surprise toy.


Once the Milkybar is melted, remove it from the bowl and let it cool slightly, keep stirring intermittently to make sure it doesn't go lumpy. In the meantime prepare the eggs by lining the outside of them with multiple layers of foil; if the melted Milkybar is too hot it will start to melt the Kinder Surprise, this will give it some support in case this happens.


Once the melted Milkybar is ready (doesn't feel so hot it would melt chocolate), pour about 1-2 teaspoons into one half of the Kinder Surprise, then place the Creme Egg in.


Then put the the same amount of the Meltybar in the other half and use whats left to fill out around the sides of the Creme Egg making sure there are no gaps.


Then put both halves together and wrap the foil around the completed MCS. Place this in the fridge for a couple of hours for it to set.


Once set take it out, and if you're so inclined trim off any excess chocolate.


And again, if you're so inclined cut it to see the lovely layers. If you aren't so inclined then I assume you've already eaten it, if this is the case you may skip the following step.


Now it's done all you have to do is eat it, so bon appetit, and Happy Easter!

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Skie


Here's some more RPG character art, did this for a friend in the Metaverse game I'm currently GMing. Having a Wacom tablet is great, much easier to use than my phone. Did this using ArtRage 3, works really well on a small screen (12.1"), Photoshop and Gimp both have very cluttered GUIs when working on such a small screen, although I am missing some of the functionality.

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Wargaming News

Considering I started this blog to document my progress as I painted up my Skaven army, the number of posts concering that topic, or in fact any posts relating to wargaming have been woefully thin on the ground. So here's a post to correct that; it's not about Skaven though, rather predictably I've been distracted and have started a whole new project.

Fortunately it's not the usual massive army which needs months of work that I will inevitably not complete. The new game is called SAGA, and it's a skirmish game set in the Viking age. I've purchased a Welsh warband to play with which comprises 33 models, as it's a skirmish game this is all I will ever really need to paint; ideal for a notoriously lazy painter.

Another bit of incentive to get the whole lot finished is that I've entered a doubles tournament in mid April, so the force will have to be finished by then. or I won't get to play. And having pulled an all-nighter to paint an entire force in a day before now I can say with some certainty that I don't want to do it again.

So on to some pics; I've not really bothered about doing too much conversion or modelling really, pretty much just on the warlord, this is mainly because my goal is to just get the force finished for the tournament. As the weather has been so good today I've been focusing on getting everything modelled and undercoated.


Now they're all undercoated (the warlord will be done when I'm finished modelling him), I just want to get the base coats down for the main colours so I can take them down to a gaming club in Sheffield to get some practice games in. Below is an example of the basic standard I intend to have complete by a week on Thursday.


Not great admittedly but if I'm gonna get them finished I can't get too ambitious.

Monday, 20 February 2012

Shoe cleaning

I wasn't sure whether to post this or not because it really is pretty inane, but then I decided that by not posting it it would mean I had wasted my time writing it (I could have been playing Skyrim ffs) and I wasn't sure I could live with that.

So anyway we went out like a month ago, and I cleaned my shoes so I could wear them when I went out. I just thought that because they were so ditched when I started and they looked pretty good when I finished I would write a post about it. 


So here they are to begin with, all dirty and that. Basically I cleaned them first with a toothbrush and some all purpose cleaner, then used some white trainer polish to shine them up again. Add some new laces and they looked like this:


Now I realise that in the pictures they really didn't look that bad to begin with and they still look a little stained in the end but the difference in real life was much bigger Really it was huge. I promise. Fortunately thanks to some Photoshop magic I can show you how they looked to me when I'd done them so at least you can (hopefully) understand why I might think that it would be worth posting:

Before

After

 If you're still here then thank you for validating my efforts, here's a video to say thanks:




Thursday, 9 February 2012

Value Engineered Valentine's

I'm not a big fan of Valentine's day. As a concept it's fine, I just think that if you're going to have a day where you demonstrate to your partner how much you love them through the purchasing of gifts and such, surely your anniversary is a perfectly appropriate day? Why have another day where you do the exact same thing, but where it means less?

Anyway as a result I save my extravagant presents/displays of affection for the anniversary; but that doesn't mean I can get away with doing nothing for Valentine's day. Not unless I want to seem like a complete dick.

On the other hand thoughtlessly spending money on garish tat or the slightly more tasteful but uninspired flowers and chocolate seems to me to be a little pointless, especially when you can have a better gift for far less money, but admittedly with a little more work.

Value engineering is a bullshit term we use at work when we want to say something's cheaper but still does the same job. We use it because when you say something's cheaper the immediate reaction is that it must be also be crappier as a result.

So what is my great idea; basically it's just paper flowers. I know that was a long lead in for paper flowers, so here's a picture of a kitten to make it worth your while. If you're still interested in the flowers carry on reading after the kitten, full instructions are provided.



Origami paper is expensive(ish) so I use just normal cartridge paper, although origami paper can make them look much nicer. Follow the instructions link (yeah I was going to draw some of my own but I got carried away drawing kittens), and repeat 12 times. You now have a dozen roses ready to give your beloved for next to no money. Remember, it's not cheap it's value engineered.

Here's some I made earlier (sorry about the crap photos):





Alternatively if you don't like roses you could do lilies:


Or you could any number of other flowers, the internet is your oyster.

Thursday, 26 January 2012

If I could turn back time.....



I'd like to take back some McDonalds to medieval times and see how well it would go down at a royal banquet.