Friday, February 10, 2012

Daily Deals, Blogging, Books, Movie Animation.

Flash DriveI must confess that although I carry ads, I don’t often read them, however, there was a Daily Deal on Wednesday, a 32 gig flash drive for $22 and change. What a deal. I wish I hadn’t just bought one for $32. I was tempted to get another just because it was such a good price, but I resisted. The Daily Deals appear just above the header on this post. I am going to keep a better eye on the banner in future. sell such a lot of things, not just books and music. I wish carried such a variety but maybe they are not allowed to by law or something.

Been sorting out a few things in my computer room come office come library and Blogswas looking at the folders in which I keep the printed versions of my blogs. The amount of stuff I have written over the years absolutely staggers me. Who knew I would have so much to say. Admittedly my print outs are single sided because I cannot guarantee that the printer won’t pull more than one sheet of paper through at a time which would make a right mess of double sided printing, but even so, that’s one hell of a lot of verbiage. One of the folders isn’t labelled yet as it isn’t completely full, but the others carry between 7-800 pages each. Thanks to those of you who have been reading my yap ever since I started, and thanks to those who have joined me through the years. I always knew I wanted to write, I just thought I wanted to write a book, but I am not sure I had the discipline to do the research and I sure never came up with a brilliant idea for a story.

Somewhere I saw a request (I think from asking for photos of books in the bedroom. I never, but never read in bed. I hate it. When I am reading I am either sitting at the table eating lunch, or sitting in my armchair with a coffee at my side. Lately I have been doing a lot of Kindle reading. Before that I was reading some loaners which carried a lot of sex. I get tired of reading sex, its all the same, rarely anything different although having said that, I recently read one that was different and I was rather surprised, to say the least, to read what was written. I enjoy romance, but I really don’t want to read all this hot and steamy stuff. It doesn’t titillate me – does it you? I just think “Oh Gawd, not again”. I read one story recently where a couple were on a stakeout and had to hide, they are in a small closet and start making out, really!! For me, a good story doesn’t need all the intimate details, the best writers I know don’t add all this explicit stuff, they just tell a good story and if the characters fall in love, their sex life isn’t detailed right down to the last nubbin. I’ve had two good marriages and once upon a time lots of boyfriends, I don’t need this stuff. As for what I am now reading, I have been downloading lots of freebies from for my Kindle and enjoying them. A couple turned out to have detailed sex, guess what, I deleted them.

Matt tells me we are supposed to get 2 inches of snow this afternoon. Considering the whole of Europe is plastered with the stuff, I guess its about time we got some.

Last night I watched The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian, and wondered once again how they achieved the character of Aslan the lion. To me, he looks just like a real lioAslann, but obviously you can’t have young humans hugging real lions. I finally got round to Googling about it and it turns out it was all done with computer animation. I am very impressed. I didn’t know they could do that much these days. It never occurred to me, I thought somehow they had taken film of a lion and interwoven it with the characters, but I guess that wouldn’t be possible anyway. The mouse, Reepicheep, was done the same way, as were all the talking animals. I don’t usually want to know how these things are done, but I was particularly interested in how they did Aslan. The Guardian had a video showing some detail about how it was all done.

I am still not totally decided if I am going to try and bowl today, will let you know tomorrow how it goes.

It would be hard to say which I would choose if offered a chocolate cake or a carrot cake, ideally I would like a piece of each, even though obviously it wouldn’t be good for me. Today I got a carrot cake recipe in my mail and as it claims to be simple, I thought I would share it.

Simple Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Source: America's Test Kitchen
Cooking.comCarrot Cake

Makes one 13 by 9-inch cake

If you like nuts in your cake, stir 1 1/2 cups toasted chopped pecans or walnuts into the batter along with the carrots. Raisins are also a good addition; 1 cup can be added along with the carrots. If you add both nuts and raisins, the cake will need an additional 10 to 12 minutes in the oven.

For the Carrot Cake:
2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (12 1/2 ounces)
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1 pound medium carrots (6 to 7 carrots), peeled
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar (10 1/2 ounces)
1/2 cup light brown sugar packed
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil or safflower, or canola oil

For the Cream Cheese Frosting:
8 ounces cream cheese softerend but still cool
5 tablespoons unsalted butter softened, but still cool
1 tablespoon sour cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups confectioners' sugar (4 1/2 ounces)

Adjust oven rack to middle position; heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 13 by 9-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Line bottom of pan with parchment and spray parchment.
Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt in large bowl; set aside.

In food processor fitted with large shredding disk, shred carrots (you should have about 3 cups); transfer carrots to bowl and set aside. Wipe out food processor workbowl and fit with metal blade. Process granulated and brown sugars and eggs until frothy and thoroughly combined, about 20 seconds. With machine running, add oil through feed tube in steady stream. Process until mixture is light in color and well emulsified, about 20 seconds longer. Scrape mixture into medium bowl. Stir in carrots and dry ingredients until incorporated and no streaks of flour remain. Pour into prepared pan and bake until toothpick or skewer inserted into center of cake comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes, rotating pan halfway through baking time. Cool cake to room temperature in pan on wire rack, about 2 hours.

When cake is cool, process cream cheese, butter, sour cream, and vanilla in clean food processor workbowl until combined, about 5 seconds, scraping down bowl with rubber spatula as needed. Add confectioners' sugar and process until smooth, about 10 seconds.
Run paring knife around edge of cake to loosen from pan. Invert cake onto wire rack, peel off parchment, then invert again onto serving platter. Using icing spatula, spread frosting evenly over surface of cake. Cut into squares and serve. (Cover leftovers and refrigerate for up to 3 days.)

Have a great day

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