Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The Fridge Door- Jam Drops

Jam Drops...
Beware... May cause personal injury!
I don't know why, but for some reason yesterday I felt inspired to cook some jam drops for the first time. After a short amount of research I found a recipe I wanted to tackle and set about preparing them. With the mixture done, I rolled what I thought was the suitable amount of biscuit batter for a normal sized jam drop, added the jam and placed them in the oven. 15 minutes later when I pulled them out I was shocked to see the results. They didn't resemble a jam drop at all and were pretty much one giant weird looking biscuit with lots of little shallow jam smears.

Oh dear, so I had a second attempt! This time I made them so small that (if I didn't know better by this point) I would have thought they would end up being an appropriate sized biscuit for a small doll and tried my luck at this baking gamble. After a short time, I crossed my fingers and opened the door to see two trays of perfect (compared to the last batch) little jam drops.

I took one tray out for a further inspection. The jam still bubbling, I found them to be satisfactory so I continued to pull the second try out when one slippery little bugger slid off the tray and in slow motion headed for my foot, of course landing jam side down on my toe! The biscuit continued to roll off onto the floor and jam still glued to my toes, the time continuing to go in slow motion. I shuffled to find a place to put the tray safely down and hesitated to put my foot in the kitchen sink but decided it was the fastest way to get my foot to some cold running water and to wash the still scalding jam away.
After a few moments of running water I applied some Burn Aid, which if you don't already have some in your first aid kit, it is highly recommended! And the next day was left with a nice batch of jam drops to present to the girls at "Messy Day" play group and a blister on my toe.

125g butter, softened
100g (1/2 cup) caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 egg
190g (1 1/4 cups) self-raising flour
Plain flour, to dust
115g (1/3 cup) strawberry or raspberry jam

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Line 2 baking trays with non-stick baking paper. Use an electric beater to beat the butter, sugar and vanilla essence in a medium bowl until pale and creamy. Add the egg and beat until combined. Sift flour over the butter mixture and stir until combined.
  2. Use lightly floured hands to roll teaspoonfuls of mixture into balls. Place on the prepared trays, about 5cm apart. Use a lightly floured finger to make an indentation in the centre of each ball. Spoon 1/2 tsp of jam into the centre of each biscuit.
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes, swapping trays halfway through cooking, or until the biscuits are cooked through and light golden. Remove biscuits from the oven. Set aside on trays for 30 minutes to cool completely.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Veronica Mars Fan... Pffft... That's an understatement!!!

Veronica Mars aired way back in September 2004, when after only a few episodes they got me hook, line and sinker! (Very recommended addictive series if you haven't seen it yet) Much to my disappointment the network started to air the episodes later and later every week making it almost impossible to sit up and watch. This lead me to buy the DVD sets which I must say I have gotten my moneys worth as I have watched them so many times!

After the third season the show was prematurely dropped and do you think they wrapped everything up in a nice little bow for the loyal viewers? Nope not a chance. No answers, no conclusion and no closure! Leading us to take to the Internet for any information about anything to get our fix. All I could find was a disappointing script of a proposal for season 4 which I'm not even sure if it was official or just a fan made product. Then nothing... and just as I thought I was starting to get over it and move on...

The whole world moved when a friend of mine posted a status update on Facebook saying how excited she was to hear they are releasing a Veronica Mars Movie.... Can it be?!?! After a short amount of research I found, yes it can be and many of the old cast is set to return!

The creator Rob Thomas took to the fans for funding to create the movie and raised $5.7 Million in just 30 days, demonstrating the level of dedication from the viewers. The movie is said to be released in early 2014.

Today I came across this YouTube clip which wraps up all of my feelings.

Early 2014 can not come soon enough! Might have to look into getting some gold class movie tickets for this one ;-)

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Re-acquainting With Your Camera- TV & AV

Today we continue to learn all the functions of our camera. We have already looked at the pre-set modes in Getting Re-acquainted With Your Camera and the Program AE mode in Getting Re-aquainted With Your Camera- Program AE. So to follow on from these in this post we are focusing on the TV and AV modes on the camera.

TV Action shots, TV= Time value. You can either freeze the action or create motion blur with the <TV> (Shutter-priority AE) mode on the Mode Dial.

Set the desired shutter speed by turning the dial to the right setting a faster shutter speed, and turning it to the left sets a slower one. To freeze the action or moving subject use  fast shutter speed such as 1/500 to 1/4000 sec. Or to blur an active child giving the impression of fast movement use a medium shutter speed such as 1/60 to 1/250 sec and follow the moving subject through the view finder. If you use the telephoto lens, hold it steady to prevent camera shake. To blur running water use a slow shutter speed such as 1/5 to 1/15 and using a tripod will prevent camera shake.

(Unfortunately my tripod is still in storage,
so there is a little camera shake but I just had to make do.)

*If you exceed the adjustable aperture range, the aperture display will blink to indicate that the standard exposure cannot be obtained. If the exposure will be too dark, the lowest aperture value will blink. Turn the dial to the left to set a slower shutter speed or increase the ISO speed and vise verse.

(My Dad will be impressed that his "prized" mandarin tree made the blog.)

AV Aperture-priority AE: Changing the depth of field, AV = Aperture Value which is the size of the diaphragm hole inside the lens. To obtain a blurry background or to make everything near and far look sharp, set the mode dial to <AV>.

The higher the aperture value, the sharper the picture will look with a wider depth of field. Use the dial to adjust the value. The larger the f/number, the smaller the opening will be. A higher aperture value will make the shutter speed slower. Under low light, the shutter speed can be as long as 30 sec. In such cases, increase the ISO speed and hold the camera steady or use a tripod.

The depth of field depends not only on the aperture, but also the lens and subject distance. Since wide-angled lenses have a wide depth of field, you need not set a high aperture value to obtain a sharp picture from foreground to the background. On the other hand, a telephoto lens has a narrow depth of field and the closer the subject, the narrower the depth if field. A further subject will have a wider depth of field. If you exceed the adjustable shutter speed range, the shutter speed display will blink to indicate that the standard exposure cannot be obtained. If the picture will be too dark, the 30sec shutter speed display will blink. If this happens, turn the dial to the left to set a lower aperture value or increase the ISO speed and vise verse.