Tuesday, January 18, 2011

i try cloud spotting

In all seriousness clouds are pretty awesome. Part of me clings onto that childhood dream that they all taste like fairy floss and feel like cotton wool.
Technically, I didn't spot this cloud. Well, I did...in a magazine. I feel that still counts. Either way it was definitely worth sharing.
I saw it in Air Magazine as part of an article about the Cloud Appreciation Society. Oh yes, it exists! Below the picture was a quote from someone from the Society:

"An unusual cloud formation is good. A look-a-like cloud is great.
But, a cloud that looks like a six-legged pig, well..."

Pure natural genius.

(Taken from the bank of The River Trent in Gainsborough, Lincolnshire, UK. Copyright, Ian Loxley)

Thursday, January 13, 2011

i try making pomegranate and raspberry sorbet

So, I bought some pomegranates the other day...Not entirely sure why. I don't use them that often because they are fiddely and stain your clothes like no-one's business. They sat on my kitchen bench for a while and I wasn't really sure what to do about them. With the temperature hovering in the mid-thirties I decided on sorbet.


4 pomegranates
400g frozen raspberries
1 cup warm water
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggwhites, lightly whisked

Place sugar and water in a saucepan over a medium heat. Cook stirring for 5 minutes. Simmer gently, without stirring, for 10 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and cool completely.
Blend up the raspberries in a food processor until they are smooth. You can pass them through a sieve but I don't bother. Halve pomegranates and juice as you would a lemon. You only want the seeds and the juice. Pull out remaining seeds with your fingers. They will come away from the skin very easily. Push seeds and juice through a sieve (use a spoon or your fingers to ensure you get maximum juice off the seeds).
Combine raspberries, sugar water and pomegranate juice. Place in a 30cm x 20cm baking tray. Freeze for 1-2 hours till partially frozen.
Place mixture in a food processor with egg whites. Blend until slushy but not frozen. Put in a plastic container and freeze until set (2-3 hours or overnight).

Monday, January 10, 2011

i try making a piñata

I love pinatas. I really do. You get to take out your anger on some inanimate object that someone has spent hours, if not days, creating. And, for your outburst, you are rewarded with bulk lollies. Yep, pinatas are gold. Pure gold.

So when a friend of mine chose a hawaiian theme for her birthday...It. Was. On. Any excuse for a pinata will do. After much brainstorming we decided a pineapple would be suitable.

Bulk plain white flour
Bulk newspaper (cut into rough squares)
Round balloon
Green Cardboard
Acrylic paint (yellow, green and red)
Gold glitter glue
Double-sided tape (the thin stuff)
Paper fasteners (the gold ones that kind of look like a nail)
Gaffa tape
Hot glue gun or some form of super-glue
Bulk lollies and chocolates (make sure they're in wrappers)

Whisk together enough flour and water to create a smooth, semi-runny paste. Blow up your balloon to the desired size. Dip pieces of the newspaper in the flour and water and place on balloon. Cover the whole balloon, leaving a fist-sized gap at the top. Put extra layers at the top end so your pineapple isn't too pear-shaped. Let it dry and repeat the process 2 more times.

Pop the balloon and tip out the rubbish. Trim the top so it is all pretty and neat. Fill it up with as many lollies and chocies as you think it can take. Use a screwdriver to piece four holes evenly spaced (kinda in a square) near the top of the pinata. Pass two pieces of string from one side of the pinata to the other, so it ends up with four hanging ropes and a crossbar on the inside (see the pics, you will get what i'm on about!).

Put a couple of layers of yellow paint on your pinata. Then add a bit of red to the yellow and paint on the diamonds. Put a dot of gold glitter glue in the middle of each diamond. Put gaffa tape over the hole.

For the top, cut the green card board into strips one inch wide and various lengths. You will need about 20. Trim the ends so they are pointy. Paint the edges with green paint. Use the double sided tape to stick them together in the middle, in a star-like shape, from longest to shortest. Bend them up.

Cut two 3 inch squares out of the green cardboard. Paint the edges with green paint. Stick them together to form an eight-point star. Glue this to the gaffa tape. Glue the top to the squares and Bob is your uncle my friend.

Enjoy the spoils.
And with the remains...
...a pineapple helmet. Happy days.