Thoughts of a geek

17 April 2010


Filed under: Recipes — Tags: , , , , — qwandor @ 10:37 pm

I have posted a number of recipes on this blog before, but as I have recently had a few people ask for copies of various recipes I thought it might be worth making a post with a number of my favourite recipes all together in one place. So, here are a few recipes which I make fairly often and recommend. I have provided each recipe in PDF format for easy viewing or Krecipes format for importing into that software. If you would like a copy in a different format just let me know by posting a comment below.

First up is a basic banana cake. It is fairly quick and easy to make, hard to go wrong with, and only needs one mixing bowl. Download: PDF, Krecipes

Apple Scotch is a dessert that I often make to take if I am invited to visit somebody for dinner, as it is fairly quick to prepare with a food processor, I can carry it without too much trouble, and it can sit in the fridge for a while then be cooked quickly in the microwave just before we are ready to eat it. It is especially nice served with vanilla or chocolate icecream. Download: PDF, Krecipes

Another dessert that I often take to people’s places is a microwave steamed pudding. It is also quick to prepare, and takes only 3 minutes to cook. When I am bringing it for dinner at someone’s place, I mix and microwave the wet ingredients in a large jam jar, mix the dry ingredients in a plastic pottle, then bring them, my ring tin and some golden syrup in my backpack. It then takes just a few minutes at my destination to finish the preparations by mixing the two and putting everything into the ring tin, then I can just microwave it and have it ready to eat in very little time. It is even better served with fresh hot custard. Download: PDF, Krecipes

Another good dessert, less portable but easily scaled up to feed lots of people (I made it for 40 once), is this chocolate fudge pudding I got from a chocolate cookbook I have. It is a little bit different to most chocolate self-saucing puddings, with a more fudgey texture that I prefer. Download: PDF, Krecipes

Moving on from desserts, I will leave you with a few favourite muffin recipes.
Orange muffins: PDF, Krecipes
Double chocolate muffins: PDF, Krecipes

I think that will do for now. Feedback is welcome, as always.


14 August 2009

Things I should do

Filed under: Lists, Me — Tags: , , , , , , — qwandor @ 10:59 pm

I have been a bit slack lately about getting much done. I keep thinking of things which I should do, but mostly do not get around to doing them. In the hope of improving this I list here some things which I should do:

  • Implement mDNS abstraction layer for stereo using Avahi DBUS bindings, sort out ant script, and get stereo head to a usable state on Linux. (Or, bug Stephen to do it.)
  • Write various blog posts I have been thinking about ( client, friends, childhood memories, more to life, questions).
  • Work on theQuotebook, maybe look into Facebook integration.
  • Do more baking.
  • Catch up with various people I have not seen for ages.
  • Work out what to do for a chassis for the robot I am building, add the remaining wires for the motor controller, and filter capacitors.
  • Talk more to people about conceptions of God (relationship, hearing from God, basis of faith…), and maybe blog some thoughts and questions.
  • Organise a group of people to do the Skyline Walkway some Saturday.
  • Work out what I am doing with my life, what I want to do and what God wants me to do, where I am going in the mid- to long-term, what to do next year…

Feel free to bug me about doing any of these things. Or maybe other things.

29 June 2009

Mug cake

Filed under: Recipes — Tags: , , , , , , — qwandor @ 8:33 pm

You may have eaten a cup cake, but have you tried a mug cake? One of my aunts, Kristine Hornblow, sent me this recipe recently, and I recommend it as it is particularly quick and easy to make. The whole thing is made in a mug, cooked in the microwave, and can be eaten straight out of the mug too, so no other dishes are required.

Anyway, have a look at the recipe (Krecipes format or PDF), try making it, and let me know how it goes.

1 June 2009


Filed under: Me — Tags: , , , , , , — qwandor @ 12:45 am

Sometimes I am happy, often I am fairly neural, and sometimes I am unhappy.

When I am happy I tend to be inspired to work on things (or start new projects), to make the effort to talk to people, and even to be somewhat sociable.

When I am unhappy I tend to be unmotivated, not do much, take long walks in the middle of the night or just sit or lie around feeling sorry for myself. I suppose I think more about myself and less about other people.

Anyway, I have given a little consideration to what tends to make me happy. One of the main things, I think, is making things which other people like and appreciate. Some examples of this are:

  • I have been doing some work lately on a robot which lorne and I want to make. Trying to get an IO expander working with a Meraki over I2C, programming a PIC to talk to the Meraki, getting parts to build H-bridges, that sort of thing. Having him appreciate how cool it is, and get excited at the little achievements along the way (I2C is working, I just needed to add pull-ups! The PIC is running fine off 3.3 V now, disabling BOREN did the trick!) helps me to keep motivated. Working on a project with smart people is fun!
  • It is nice that people are using and apparently liking theQuotebook. It took a lot of work to get it to the point where it now is, and there are still many more things to be fixed, added and improved. What I have really liked though is when friends have taken the time to try things out, think about it, say what they like and dislike, and sometimes offer suggestions. Thanks to shoeshine, Melanie, Josh, Valerie and anyone else who has made suggestions or comments.
  • I like it when I bake stuff and people like it. Be it muffins, or the steamed pudding (with custard) which I made tonight and my flatmates consumed, focaccia bread yesterday, the apple scotch I made for the pot-luck we had at my lifegroup quite a few weeks ago (though it got quite burnt; I should never have let myself be persuaded to put it into the oven).

I guess a big part of this comes from just wanting to feel appreciated, or at least acknowledged, by people about whom I care. For similar reasons I guess, I appreciate it when people make the effort to talk to me, email me, ask how I am, even spend time with me. Certainly, I tend to find that talking to people can make me happier, when I can manage it. Or when someone makes the effort to talk to me even though I am frustrated or irritated and unsociable and hard to talk to.

There is still a fair bit about what effects my mood that I do not understand though. Sometimes I am just unhappy or unmotivated for no particular reason that I can see; on the odd occasion I even find myself happy for no reason I can discern.

Oh, and I really enjoyed contradancing the weekend before last at the St. Michael’s fundraiser, once I got into it anyway. I am not sure how that fits in. Probably something to do with the combination of live music, positive social interaction and physical activity. Thanks, Stevie and Allan, for dragging me along.

1 March 2009

Pear and cinnamon muffins

Filed under: Me, Recipes — Tags: , , , — qwandor @ 9:51 pm

I decided this afternoon to make some muffins, did not have the ingredients for the flavours I normally make, but found a can of pears in the pantry. So I created these muffins, based vaguely on a recipe I have for orange muffins. They taste pretty good, so I recommend making them. Here is the recipe: Krecipes format, RecipeML or PDF.

As it happens, I have made a batch of muffins each day for the last 3 days. The first batch had frozen raspberries, raspberry jam, a little cinnamon and some dark chocolate (62%, I think), and was constructed based on a recipe for cheese muffins. The second was banana chocolate chip mostly according to a recipe I have, though without enough chocolate. Both could have done with more sugar, and both had to be made with UHT goat’s milk and olivani rather than normal milk and butter. They were alright, but I think this third batch today was the better.

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