Saturday, 9 August 2014

Homemade healthy bars

I've recently discovered that I love chocolate Nakd bars, but at £1 each they're a little expensive to eat every day. I looked at the ingredients on the back of the wrapper and saw how easy it would be to make my own.

Here's what I did.

Makes 18 small bars (approximately 33g each, and approximately 130 calories)

You will need:
200g dates
100g cashews
75g raisins
2 tblsp cocoa powder

Pop everything into a blender, and pulse until it all comes together (you may need to add a teaspoon of apple juice or water to get it to the right consistency - the right consistency is like playdough!)

Line a square cake tin with cling wrap, smoosh the mixture into the tin, cover with more cling wrap, and press down so it is in an even layer. Pop in the fridge for a few hours to firm up, then remove the cling wrap and turn on to a chopping board. It should be big enough to cut into 18 equal pieces that you should then wrap in squares of baking parchment.

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Ice cream loaf

I saw this online and had to try it. It's really easy, all you need is:

1 pint of ice cream (that's been left out of the freezer to melt)
210g of self raising flour

That's it! Mix them together and pour into a lined loaf tin, and bake at gas mark 4 / 180 degrees for about 45 minutes.

It's not bad, maybe a bit expensive - but definitely give it a go! :) I used Ben & Jerry's Phish Food, and I also threw in some chocolate chips.

Sunday, 1 June 2014

A night on bald mountain

I blogged about this in 2010, but then I forgot all about it! I wasn't on Soundcloud then either, so didn't have anywhere to host my sound experiments. Here's the original blog post:

Night on Bald Mountain is a fantasy for orchestra that was composed by Modest Mussorgsky; and based on a tone poem of his. The original tone poem was called St. John's Night on the Bare Mountain and had a Witches' Sabbath as its theme. He completed it on June the 23rd 1867; on St. John's Eve, and exactly a hundred and ten years before I was born. I've always been drawn to this piece of music, ever since I saw Disney's Fantasia when I was little. Now that I know more about its evolution and history, I love it even more.
I thought it was about time that Fflwcs had a go at making a version of Bald Mountain. I use all the original score, but have tried to emphasise the otherworldliness of the piece, and also the downright scariness of it. Wales has so many beautiful mountains, and lots of my childhood was spent climbing them, so I think that has inspired me and my love of this Mussorgsky work. There is a legend in Wales: if you sleep on the summit of Cader Idris, when you wake up you'll either be mad, or a poet. My Mam used to joke that if I slept up there I'd wake up exactly the same.

Saturday, 31 May 2014

Cinnamon drizzle cake

You will need: 

For the loaf
Loaf tin (and liner) 
150g caster sugar 
150g butter (or good margarine) 
3 large free range eggs 
2 vanilla pods, seeds scraped out (or table spoon of vanilla paste) 
150g self raising flour 
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon 
1 teaspoon ground ginger 

For the icing
30g icing sugar
good shake of cinnamon (about 1 level teaspoon)
table spoon or two of water (or lemon or orange juice)

Preheat oven to gas mark 4 (180 degrees)
Cream the sugar and butter
Beat in the eggs and vanilla
Sift in the flour, cinnamon and ginger, and fold gently in
Spoon into tin (greased and lined with baking parchment, if not using a liner)
Bake for 45-55 minutes - it's ready when a skewer inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean
Leave in the tin, on a cooling rack to cool

While still warm, poke a skewer a good few times all over the cake
Make up the icing by sifting the icing sugar and mixing everything together
Spoon over the cooling cake and leave to set

Monday, 7 April 2014

Fingerless gloves *free pattern*

You will need 

One ball of Sirdar Crofter DK, or 110m (120m, 145m) of DK yarn 
3.5mm needles 
4.5mm needles 
2 stitch markers 
Needle for seaming 

Sizes S, M, L 

Using 3.5mm needles CO 36 (40, 44) sts using cable CO. 
Rows 1-8: k2, p2 rib 
Row 9: change to 4.5mm needles, k33 (37, 41) kf&b, k2 [37, 41, 45 sts] 
Row 10: p Row 11-14: knit one row; purl one row; knit one row; purl one row 
Row 15: k17 (19, 21), m1r, k3, m1l, k to end [39, 43, 47 sts] 
Row 16: p 
Row 17: k17 (19, 21), m1r, k5, m1l, k to end [41, 45, 48 sts] 
Row 18: p (for large size gloves, knit an extra row, purl an extra row, continue as for small and medium) 
Row 19: k19 (21, 23) pm, m1r, k3, m1l, pm, k to end [43, 47, 51 sts] 
Row 20: p 
Row 21: k19 (21, 23) slm, m1r, k to marker, m1l, slm, k to end 
Row 22: p 
Repeat rows 21 and 22 until there are 15 sts between each marker, ending with a purl row [53, 57, 61 sts]. 
Row 31: k (remembering to slip markers) 
Row 32: p 
Row 33: k to marker, slm, p2, k2, p2, k2, p2, k2, p3, slm, k to end 
Row 34: p to marker, slm, k3, p2, k2, p2, k2, p2, k2, slm, p to end 
Repeat rows 33 and 34 twice (repeat three times for large size if needed). 
Row 39: k to marker, remove marker, BO in pattern to marker, remove marker, k to end 
Row 40: p18 (20, 22), p2tog, p to end [37, 41, 45 sts] 

Stockinette stitch for 8 (8, 10) rows, ending with a purl row (making sure you p2tog on last row to get back to an even number of sts). 

Change back to 3.5mm needles, k2, p2 rib for 7 rows, BO in pattern. 

Sew the side seam. Wear!

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Zombies in a row - EP

After the franticness of my Musical Advent Calendar in December last year, to raise money for Shelter Cymru; I've been doing some musical experimentation. I've made a few tracks and remixes using hann stretch techniques, and some of my selfmade VSTs. Drone, noise, experimental, ambient fuckery.

The tracks feel like they go together, so I made them into this little EP. Free to download, as always.
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