happy new year!

(the grounds of) Versailles, France. June 2010.
Sadly, the fountains weren't in operation that day.

Happy 2011, my lovelies! ♥

Here's wishing everyone an absolutely spiffing year ahead!

Alternatively, have a picture of a departing cat instead, if that"ll better suit your fancy.Collapse )


Sorry, guys. Have literally just come back from the hospital I'd been stuck at since Monday morning. I'm more or less fine now, but I still have a billionty things to start/finish and deadlines to meet, both from my stay and the weekend before, so it'll be a while before I begin to play catch-up instead. Please just text me if there's something particularly urgent and you're in the UK. Thanks!

Daring Cooks: Souffle (November 2010)

Possibly the most terrifying challenge ever, methinks. I was freaking out on Twitter the day the challenge was released. The souffle. The souffle. Cue much panic on my part. It didn't help that I don't own an electric mixer of any sort, and would as such have to whisk any egg whites by hand.

Somehow, I ended up doing two kinds of souffles, both of which were successful. I'm still in shock, actually. Though I may have overcome my fear of souffles, which is yay-worthy. *g*

Left: Blackberry Souffle
Right: Cheese, Smoked Salmon & Dill Souffle

souffle talk, hurrah.Collapse )

Blog-checking lines: Blog-checking lines: Dave and Linda from Monkeyshines in the Kitchen chose Soufflés as our November 2010 Daring Cooks’ Challenge! Dave and Linda provided two of their own delicious recipes plus a sinfully decadent chocolate soufflé recipe adapted from Gordon Ramsay’s recipe found at the BBC Good Food website.

i take no responsibility for this.

In fact, I blame this entirely on kimboosan.

There I was innocently remarking on Twitter how much this picture of Sam and Dean (taken from here) reminded me of a trashy m/m romance cover.

She had to wonder if the m/m equivalent of a 'bodice ripper' was a 'codpiece yanker'.

And so, here you have it:

The Hunter's Tale [947 words, PG13, crack, AU, Sam/Dean, one-sided and/or future Dean/Cas]
A medieval tale of Sam, Dean, and a voyeuristic angel. In which codpieces also feature, and the yanking thereof.

There was once a Hunter yclept Dean, and oh, what a hunter was he.Collapse )

And now I must return to working on a moot submission. I must write a Good Omens version too. chairman_wow, I'm looking at you.


As some of the f-list probably already know, yesterday found me lunching at Heston Blumenthal's The Fat Duck. I'm still a bit stunned that I have actually (and finally!) eaten there (3 Michelin stars, best restaurant in the UK, currently the third best in the world etc), but ah well. Exciting eating experiences, hurrah!


Here"s the detailed report I promised some of you, complete with (a lot of) pictures.Collapse )

I'll just round up by saying that eating there was one of the most incredible experiences in my life. And totally worth my bank accounting hating me, and possibly my eating cheaply for the next month or so too. I've been grinning all day since the meal, and making entirely random noises of glee.

With many a thanks to J for being willing to join me in my madness!

a special thank you, and cookies

A little belated, but I really wish to say a massive, massive thank you to all the wonderful, wonderful people who wished me a happy birthday over the weekend just gone. Thank you for your wishes on LJ, FB, Twitter, by e-mail, over the phone, in person; for your wonderful presents; and for being the fantastic people I know you guys are.

I also particularly want to thank the fabulous ladies who were with me at Winster over the weekend. I ♥ you ladies, I really do. *hugs everyone very, very hard*

Here, have some chocolate chip, rum and raisin cookie/shortbread things:


Thank you! ♥

And for the interested, my epic baking misadventure.Collapse )


Daring Cooks: Stuffed Leaves (October 2010)

Seeing as how it's past midnight on the 14th and all...

Stuffed Leaves Served Two Ways

food talk, pictures etc.Collapse )

Blog-checking lines: Our October 2010 hostess, Lori of Lori’s Lipsmacking Goodness, has challenged The Daring Cooks to stuff grape leaves. Lori chose a recipe from Aromas of Aleppo and a recipe from The New Book of Middle Eastern Food.

Daring Cooks: Pierogi (August 2010)

Another Daring Cooks post, hurrah. Which I appear to be doing once every two months now, instead of monthly. Ah well. *headdesk*

Anyway! This month's was pierogi. I'd never heard of pierogi before prior to this challenge, and was as such rather eager to try my hand at it.

Pierogi 1/6

food talk, not-good pictures etcCollapse )

Blog-checking lines: The August 2010 Daring Cooks’ Challenge was hosted by LizG of Bits n’ Bites and Anula of Anula’s Kitchen. They chose to challenge Daring Cooks to make pierogi from scratch and an optional challenge to provide one filling that best represents their locale.

two things to do with taro

Or yam, if you're Singaporean. The different uses of the term 'yam' confuzzle me. Just so we're clear - THIS is what I mean by taro/yam.

For Celeste, who wanted the recipes. I'm so sorry I kept forgetting, hon. I'll try to get the cupcake pictures done over the next few days.

They're both recipes I developed, so the usual might-not-be-of-cookbook-certainty disclaimer applies. However, I think I've made them often enough that I can guarantee that they should in all likelihood work, and I have it on good authority from the people I've fed it too that they're good, so hopefully that'll be reassurance enough.

#1. Baked Yam RingCollapse )

#2. Abacus SeedsCollapse )

And, if you like, here's a third thing you can do with taro.


opinion needed!

Making this a quick one, because I kinda need to make a decision of sorts in about 7 hours.

Poll #1596613 cameras!

Which do you think is better for dSLRs?


To get a bigger camera if possible, or save for a smaller one?


And to those who answered the dSLR question - why?

The general impression I get is that Nikons have better amateur lenses (18-200mm VR, anyone?), and personally, I like their chunkier bodies, because I like my cameras chunky, even if it makes it a pain to cart around/hold up without shaking for pro-longed periods. However, Canon does have better image quality, and I believe most of my friends in Singapore use Canon dSLRs (but those I know in the UK use Nikon dSLRs - perhaps it's partly a geographical trend?), so hm!

And there's also whether I want to get a bigger and better camera, as I've always wanted, or to get a smaller (but still better) camera (Olympus PEN EP-1! So, so much love!), that I've often toyed with the idea of having too, because heavy cameras can be terribly inconvenient and painful on the neck/shoulders at times. Though it'd mean a lot more saving. Hm.

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