Sunday, 17 June 2018

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone 'Scots Edition'

Hey everyone,

Hope you are all doing well? I have been rather quiet during May - not sure why which is annoying but I'm back with a book post :)


Dave picked this up on Amazon when he saw it and thought it would be a great little present for me and I absolutely love it! I mean I am Scottish and even some of the phrases in this book I'm finding hard to understand ... truth be told Dave thought it was another language completely.

It would make a great little present for anyone Scottish and who loves Harry Potter aha!

Let me know if you have picked it up or read it?


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Wednesday, 6 June 2018

Pokemon Quest on Nintendo Switch

Hi everyone :)


Hope you are all doing well? I started writing this post on the weekend and then got distracted playing the game I was supposed to be writing a post about.

As you can probably tell this post is about Pokemon Quest - a new free to play game on Nintendo Switch. My view on the game is that its a mix between Minecraft and Pokemon and I absolutely love it. They also announced another new Pokemon game due out in November which looks AMAZING! I'll probably do another post nearer the time!

The idea of Pokemon Quest is based on collecting ingredients and making recipes which attract new Pokemon that will join your party. You collect ingredients by completing main quests and challenge quests and by going on expeditions on the island. There are different biomes on the island and each has a different type of Pokemon for you to fight. There are a few levels in each biome and then a boss battle at the end. You have to be certain levels to win so you do this by levelling up your Pokemon and affixing them with strength and health power charms which again you collect like the ingredients.

The game is very addicting but like most mobile games you have a energy bar so you can't do it all in one go. You get 1 energy back every 30 minutes. There is also things you can buy if you don't mind spending money - you can get extra cooking pots, some decorations that increase the amount of Pokemon that come when you make a recipe or the amount of ingredients you get when you are doing an expedition.

The game is really fun and I already have a friend at work playing it - if you enjoy Pokemon you will enjoy this game! There is also a Reddit for it now which is really helpful (some might say its cheating - as all the recipes are on there) and a Discord channel too if you want to chat to other people.

Let me know if you are playing and what your best Pokemon are?!



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Thursday, 10 May 2018

30 Questions About Me That Never Get Asked?!

Hey everyone :)


I do love a good question tag ...

1. Are you named after anyone?
I don't think so ... my mum did tell me that I was nearly called Jonathon but they thought I'd get teased so they settled on John.

2. When was the last time you cried?
I can't actually remember - I watch Grey's Anatomy and their episodes are quite emotional sometimes so probably when I was watching one of those.

3. Do you have kids?
Haaaa, no! Haven't decided on that yet!

4. If you were another person, would you be friend of yourself?
Probably not ... I am quite odd!

5. Do you use sarcasm a lot?
Yes ... all the time.

6. What's the first thing you notice about people?
Their appearance normally ... or their accent.

7. What is your eye colour?
They are blue.

8. Scary movie or happy endings?
Happy endings defo!

9. Favourite smells?
Cut grass and apple pie!

10. What's the furthest you've ever been from home?
Canada on holiday

11. Do you have any special talents?
I don't think so ... spending money? Is that a talent?

12. Where were you born?
Scotland

13. What are your hobbies?
They vary ... I enjoy swimming, TV, PS4, gaming, baking ...

14. Do you have any pets?
I had a cat when I was young, and I got some kittens twice then had to get rid of them due to house rules.

15. Do you have any siblings?
Yes, 1 brother.

16. What do you want to be when you grow up?
When I was at school - my idea was a chef ... or something with computers.

17. Who was your first best friend?
I actually don't know - I had a few friends when I was at school.

18. How tall are you?
5ft something

19. Funniest moment throughout school?
I got interviewed by the school radio because I was the smallest in the school

20. How many countries have you visited?
3 - Spain, Italy and Canada

21. What was your favourite/worst subject in high school?
Favourite had to be Administration or Home Economics and worst - had to be Physics or PE.

22. What is your favourite drink?
Right now I'm in love with Tenzing Natural Energy drink.

23. What would you (or have you) named your children?
Haven't really thought about it if honest

24. What sports do you play/have you played?
Not really into sports - I did the majority of them in school - football, rugby, hockey etc

25. Who are some of your favourite YouTubers?
Helen Anderson, Tom Daley, iJustine, her sister too, Trisha Paytas, Shane Dawson

26. How many girlfriends/boyfriends have you had?
If you count the "girlfriends" I had in school when I was 14 - then 3 girlfriends and when I got older 2 boyfriends (including the relationship I'm in now).

27. Favourite memory from childhood
Waking up at my granny/grampas and going to get freshly laid eggs from the chickens. We would go to the shed and open a big chest freezer full of bird seed and then we'd feed them and get their eggs and then granny would fry them :)

28. How would you describe your fashion sense?
Normal I think ... I'm not too out there!

29. What phone do you have?
iPhone all the way ... since I was 18

30. Tell us one of your bad habits?
I chew my nails till they bleed! Need to stop though!!

That is 30 questions ... if feels like a lot more ... probably because I typed all this and didn't copy and paste anything ...




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Thursday, 26 April 2018

Netflix 'Lost in Space'

Hey everyone :)


I have been trying not to watch anything new because I'm currently watching so many different shows but I saw the promo for Lost in Space and just had to watch it when it came out. When Netflix released the show - they released all episodes at once so the binge watch began!!

I managed 7 episodes in one day and then the last 3 the next morning!

I only ever knew about the film Lost in Space which has Joey from Friends (Matt Le Blanc) but apparently there was also a very old tv series that ran on CBS back in 1965. The Netflix series is set 30 years in the future where space colonisation is a reality and the Robinson family are off in search of a new planet that can support life ... until something crazy happens (I don't want to spoil it for anyone lol).

The ratings have recently been released and in the first three days after the episodes were released on Netflix it drew in 6.3 million US viewers and 1.2 million watched the finale in that period too. Apparently a second season has been green lit but we shouldn't expect it until 2019, maybe even 2020 but I am so excited already!

Let me know if you watch it as I need to talk to someone about it :) :)





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Saturday, 21 April 2018

Pots & Co.

Hey everyone :)

I had a busy week covering shifts while a colleague went on holiday to Japan so my blog has been quiet however that did not stop me discovering a yummy new company!!


As I mentioned - I only just recently came across this company via my work and as I can't just go around eating the product at work - I went straight to Tesco and bought every flavour I could get my hands on :)







My current favourite of the pots that I bought has to be the mango, lime and coconut - the flavours compliment each other so well and the flavours were not too overpowering.





Another favourite - close second - was the salted caramel and chocolate pot. I do enjoy the whole salted caramel train that everyone hopped on ... and the sweet and salty-ness really makes me swoon :)

Let me know in the comments below if you have picked any of these wonderful pots up?!



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Friday, 13 April 2018

Salted Caramel & Salted Pretzel Tiffin

Hey everyone :)


Someone I work with has recently been bring in some kind of salted pretzel tiffin made by Tesco - it's those little bitesize party ones you get in a party bag and it's amazing! It got me thinking that I could make something like it - so after searching on Google for half an hour - I came across this amazing recipe - which I have tweaked a little:

Ingredients (for base):
200g dark chocolate
2 tablespoons golden syrup
100g butter
125g digestive biscuits
135g salted pretzels

salted caramel (either make your own or Tesco do a jar/bottle of it)

Ingredients (for topping):
200g milk chocolate
2 teaspoons golden syrup
25g butter
2 tablespoons whole milk

Method:
1. Line a 20 x 20 baking tin (like a brownie tin, preferably non-stick) with baking parchment. I also spray the sides with that oil spray or non-stick baking spray if you have it.
2. Either in the microwave (but do short bursts) or over a pan of simmering hot water melt the dark chocolate, golden syrup and butter.
3. While the chocolate is melting - use a food processor or a bag and rolling pin and smash up the digestive biscuits.
4. Similarly with the pretzels bash them up too but leave some chunky bits.
5. Once the chocolate is melted, dump in the digestive crumbs and the pretzel crumbs and mix until all coated in the chocolate.
6. Tip into the baking tin and smooth out so even.
7. This step is purely optional but I got a jar of salted caramel and a teaspoon and took big dollops and just plopped it into random places and pushed it down into the mix. I think I did about 9 blobs.
8. Set aside to start cooling down.

9. Get a fresh bowl and add the topping ingredients - so milk chocolate, golden syrup and butter and put back above the simmering water.
10. Once melted add the milk and it should go lovely and glossy.
11. Tip over the base mixture in the tin and shake the tin gently from side to side to help the mixture spread. If needed us a spatula/spoon to help it to the edges.
12. Cover with cling film loosely and pop in the fridge.

Note: If you feel uncomfortable about putting it in fridge still quite warm just leave out till its cooled down and then put it in. I never have much other food in the fridge so it doesn't bother me.






Let me know in the comments if you have made something similar or tried the Tesco variation.



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Tuesday, 10 April 2018

Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood

Hi everyone :)


Continuing on from my "gaming" posts - after completing A Realm Reborn and Heavensward - I had to buy Stormblood - mainly because I hit the level cap near the end of Heavensward and I didn't want to loose all the experience.

Stormblood takes players to both Ala Mhigo and Doma. The main focus is to regain control of Ala Mhigo from the Garlean Empire. 

Stormblood brought big changes to the FFXIV world including:

- Level cap is increased from 60 to 70
- New jobs - Red Mage (ranged DPS) and Samurai (melee DPS)
- End of PlayStation 3 support
- More actions for each job to go with the new level cap
- Overhaul of the battle system
- Additional skill system to be overhauled
- Reassessment of unused/ineffective actions, adjustment to "tiered" actions
- Adding new UI elements for jobs
- New areas introduced, comparable in size to Heavenswards areas
- Swimming and Diving added
- New Beatment Tribes
- New Primals
- New Dungeons
- New high-end raid
- The Forbidden Land of Eureka (similar to the Diadem)
- New gear and recipes
- Item inventory expansion

and lots lots more!
-

So far I have managed to complete the main story questions and the patches that are released at the moment. I have started on Eureka and levelling up other classes and my gathering classes too.

Let me know if you are on FFXIV - I'm on the Ragnorak server :)





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Sunday, 8 April 2018

27 Things I've Learnt Now That I'm 27!

Hey everyone :)


I turned 27 last year in December and I didn't do much for it as I was in the middle of moving and everything was a mess! I thought I'd do a quick little post on 27 things I've learn now that I'm 27.

1. I constantly complain about "how old I am".

2. People I know are getting married, having kids or getting mortgages.

3. I'm starting to realise I can't categorize myself as "early or mid-twenties".

4. I don't drink often but if I do my hangovers last up to 3 days.

5. I sometimes lie about my age.

6. Bills, Bills, Bills!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (enough said).

7. My friends talk about politics and I have no clue!

8. Some foods are my enemies but I don't want them to be!

9. I'm trying to watch what I eat (I don't, but I should).

10. I shouldn't worry so much about little things.

11. Paying of that year-old debt does lift that imaginary weight from my shoulders.

12. I have a savings account - that I use!

13. I've started "planning" for the future.

14. Admitting my mother was right (was difficult).

15. I try to not care what other people think.

16. I try (and fail) to drink more water each day.

17. Some friends come, and other go ...

18. I enjoy napping as an activity.

19. I understand that not everyone is going to like me.

20. Ah ... GAMING!

21. It's amazing to travel (if you have the money).

22. Learning to smile more, even on those sad days.

23. Waiting before clicking send on that angry email.

24. Learning as much as I can.

25. Being jealous is okay.

26. A good haircut changes everything.

27. Keeping in touch with those old friends!

Hope you enjoy it!



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Monday, 2 April 2018

Mary Berry's Panna Cotta with Pineapple & Ginger

Hi everyone :)


I love the classic vanilla panna cotta, but adding the ginger and pineapple gives in a fresh punch. Smooth, creamy panna cotta with the perfect wobble.

Ingredients:
For the panna cotta:
- Sunflower oil, for greasing
- 6 sheets of gelatine
- 600ml single cream
- 300ml double cream
- 75g caster sugar
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract

For the sweet salsa:
- 200g pineapple (i used rings from a can, fresh works too)
- 4 stem ginger bulbs, diced
- 6 tbsp ginger syrup (from the jar)

Method:
1. You will need six metal pudding basins (timbale moulds). Oil the inside of each mould with sunflower oil, then leave upside down to drain on kitchen paper to remove any excess oil.

2. To make the panna cotta, soak the gelatine leaves in a small bowl of cold water for about 5 minutes or until soft.

3. Pour the single and double creams into a saucepan, add the sugar and gently bring to the boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar, until just scalding (about to boil). Immediately remove from the heat.

4. Remove the gelatine from the water and squeeze to get rid of any excess water. Add to the warm cream and stir until the gelatine has completely dissolved. Stir in the vanilla extract and pour into a jug. Divide the mixture among the oiled moulds, pouring almost to the top. Allow to coll a little, then cover with cling film and chill in the fridge for a minimum of 6 hours, or ideally overnight, until set and form to the touch.

5. To make the salsa, mix all the ingredients together in a bowl.

6. Carefully turn out each panna cotta and invert it into the centre of a small plate. Spoon the salsa on top and around the edges to serve.




Let me know in the comments if you have made this recipe - it was so good!




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Friday, 30 March 2018

Final Fantasy 15 (XV)

Hey everyone :)


I've been a big fan ever since I discovered Final Fantasy 7 on the PS store. I loved the game and it's not just a game where you complete it - there is so much end-game content it's unreal!

The same goes for most of the Final Fantasy games - or the ones I've played at least - which would be - I think 7 all the way to 15 now. I'm currently still on 14 - finished the game but still lots to do!

I bought 15 a few months ago but got distracted with work and left it for a bit. It's such a good story and I'm keen to get back into it.

It follows Prince Noctis and his fight (with his friends) to get his homeland back from the Empire.


Let me know in the comments if you have played/bought it?!



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Sunday, 25 March 2018

Posh Pancakes

Hi everyone :)


Sometimes I hate going into Tesco because I always end up in the book aisle and I always end up with one or two more books in my basket! Our bookshelf is full now - I think I need to buy another one.

I found this book just after I did my Mary Berry's Classic: Drop Scones post - I love a good pancake and when they are mini pancakes - it makes them even better.

There are so many different recipes - sweet and savoury which makes the book such a good investment. I always find that pancakes use minimal ingredients and for someone who bakes quite alot - I normally have all those ingredients (we're talking flour, sugar, egg and milk) in my cupboard.



The book has lots of great recipes and colour images which just make you want to make every recipe!!



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Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Mary Berry Classic: Celeriac & Watercress Soup

Hi everyone :)


I am a soup addict, my lunchtime staple all year round in fact. Avoid keeping the soup hot on the hob as the watercress will lose its vibrant green colour. If a little on the thick side, slacken with stock. Adding the celeriac to the watercress makes this lovely soup a bit more substantial and filling.

Ingredients:
2 tbsp sunflower oil
2 large onions, roughly chopped
750g peeled celeriac, diced
1 1/2 litres vegetable or chicken soup
200g watercress, reserve a few sprigs for garnish
About 4 tbsp crème fraîche or double cream
Salt and fresh ground black pepper

Method:
1. Heat the oil in a large deep saucepan. Add the onion and fry over a medium heat for 5 minutes until just starting to brown. Add the celeriac and fry for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until starting to colour. Pour in the stock and season with salt and pepper.

2. Cover with a lid and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes until completely tender.

3. Add the watercress and stir over the heat for 2-3 minutes until wilted. Blend until smooth, either with a hand blender or in a free-standing blender or food processor. Swirl through the crème fraîche or double cream and check the seasoning.

4. Serve piping got with the reserved watercress springs and a fresh muffin.









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Sunday, 18 March 2018

Mary Berry Classic: Apple Tart Tatin

Hi everyone :)


The classic 'upside down' French tart, usually served warm as a pudding. Do not butter the tin before pouring in the caramel otherwise the caramel will be cloudy and not clear.


Ingredients: 
175g granulated sugar
Butter, for greasing
200g peeled and cored Brambley apples
2 tbsp caster sugar
4 large easting apples
Plain flour, for dusting
1 x 375 block of all butter puff pastry

Method:
1. You will need a 23cm (9in) fixed-base cake tin with deep sides.

2. First make the caramel. Measure the granulated sugar and 6 tablespoons of water into a stainless-steel saucepan. Stir gently over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved, then remove the spoon and increase the heat. Boil until a golden straw colour and immediately pour into the cake tin, letting it spread evenly over the base, then set aside. Once the caramel has set (after about 30 minutes), butter the tin sides above the caramel line.

3. Meanwhile, place the Bramley apples, caster sugar and 2 tablespoons of water in another saucepan. Stir over a medium heat, then cover with a lid and simmer for about 5-10 minutes until the apples are soft. Remove from the heat, then use a fork to mash the apples to a purèe and leave to cool.

4. Preheat the oven to 220°/200°C fan, Gas 7.

5. Peel and core the eating apples, then thinly slice so they are above 5mm (1/4in) thick. Arrange a layer over the caramel in the tin in a circular pattern. Start from the outside of the tin and work inwards, using larger pieces for the outer edge of the circle, and smaller slices for the inner ring. Scatter the remaining apples on top and press down.

6. Add the cooled apple purèe in spoonfuls over the sliced apples and carefully spread out in an even layer.

7. On a work surface lightly dusted in flour, roll out the pastry into a circle 2-3cm bigger than the tin. Cover the apples with the pastry and tuck in the edges to make a downward lip. Make a small cross in the top of the pastry with a sharp knife, to let the steam out.

8. Bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes, with a baking tray on the shelf underneath to catch any sugary drips, until the pastry is crisp and golden and the apples are soft.

9. Carefully turn the tarte Tatin out on to a plate and spoon the syrup over the apples. Serve with cream or crème fraîche.




Let me know what you think - it was really good!



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Thursday, 15 March 2018

Mary Berry Classic: Lemon Syllabub

Hi everyone :)


A forgotten favourite, so easy to do, especially for entertaining - delicate and spoiling.

Ingredients: 
1 lemon (unwaxed)
100ml sweet white wine
75g caster sugar
300ml double cream

Method:
1. You will need six martini glasses or small ceramic pots.

2. Use a vegetable peeler to thinly peel the lemon rind into long, thick strips, taking care not to cut too much of the bitter white pith, and then halve the lemon to squeeze out the juice.

3. Put the wine, lemon rind and juice in a saucepan and add the sugar. Heat gently, stirring, until the sugar has dissolved, then remove from the heat and set aside to cool for a minimum of 1 hour to allow the flavours to infuse. Alternatively, leave to infuse overnight.

4. Strain the syrup into a bowl. Retain some of the lemon peel (now nicely candied from being infused in the syrup) and cut into fine strips.

5. Pour the cream into the same bowl and whisk until it has thickened and is just holding its shape. Divide among the martini glasses or small pots and chill in the fridge for a minimum of 2 hours. Decorate with the strips of candied lemon peel and serve chilled.




This was really easy to make and very extravagant :)


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