Is it still ice cream if it’s vegan? I don’t know. What I do know is that it’s mighty tasty!
Two rough recipes for you.
Vegan Berry Ice Cream
- half an avocado
- one banana
- a cup of berries of your choice (I used frozen blueberries)
Vegan Nut Ice Cream
- cup of nuts (I used pecans)
- 2 cups of dates
In both cases throw all the ingredients in a food processor (I used a vitamix) with a little water. Blend together, adding water when required. You want a thick consistent paste. Pour into container, put container in freezer.
If you want soft scoop it’ll take about 2-4 hours of freezing, and you might want to take it out occasionally and mix to ensure even an freeze. If you want a harder ice cream leave over night, it’s not obvious you need to take it out to mix.
These proportions make about 2 portions of ice cream each.
The interview has Carrie Mae discussing her past, present and future projects, interspersed with music of a variety of bands.
Art Uncovered is hosted on Break Thru Radio, which seems like an awesome online radio site.
Continuing on from my last post. Not an error this time, just linux specific instructions not given in Michael Hartl’s Ruby on Rails Tutorial.
So to use Autotest you need the following commands:
$ sudo apt-get install libnotify-bin
$ gem install autotest-notification
Done. If you would like to change the icons used they can be found at:
~/.rvm/gems/ruby-<your rails version>@<your project>/gems/autotest-notification-2.2.1/images
Thanks to Fred Schoeneman for the handy hints on his blog.
So I’m finally learning Ruby on Rails (RoR). I’m using the wonderful Ruby On Rails Tutorial book by Michale Hartl. Which is available for free online or you can buy a print version. He also offers screencasts and a DRM-free pdf version, so there’s lots to choose from.
The book is written really well, very easy to follow along. However I have had some problems arise and that’s the reason for this post.
The first was when I tried the command:
$ heroku keys:add
which gave me the following error:
`rescue in <top (required)>': no such file to load -- net/https. Try running apt-get install libopenssl-ruby (LoadError)
The following code got me back on track (though the recompiling takes a while):
$ rvm remove 1.9.2
$ rvm package install openssl
$ rvm install 1.9.2 -C --with-openssl-dir=$HOME/.rvm/usr
Unfortunately it also lead me straight to another error:
`require': no such file to load -- readline (LoadError)
$ sudo apt-get install libreadline-dev
$ cd ~/.rvm/src/ruby-<your ruby version>/ext/readline
$ ruby extconf.rb
$ make install
And SHAZAM! Heroku now works.
Kudos to Sathya and Stefan for posting the solutions so I could find them.
12km ~ 980m ascent ~ 920m descent ~ 6hrs 30mins
After being dropped off by my dad, and leaving a note of my route with the ranger station I began my 7 day trek at 3pm. WooHA!
I made my way up the side of the ski slope which with it being July was completely free of snow. 200m up I was surprised at how much my backpack was taking out of me, but figured I’d settle into it. 400m up I’d already drunk over 1.5l of water as my body tried to work out what the hell I was doing to it. Haha! I must admit it’s a bit of a kick in the nuts to have the vernicular railway running alongside me as I carried my 23kg bag.
From the top of the railway there’s a proper well made path with a hand rope and everything. I reached the top around 5pm. My first munro of the trip, Cairn Gorm, fittingly the one final one of my last attempt. Quick break for text update, photo and something to munch. Then off towards munro 2, Bynack More. I headed roughly north east towards a path on the map that heads towards The Saddle.
I wasn’t looking forward to this first descent. My memories of ascending it last time round were not pretty. It had been day 7 of trekking through the snow, my knees were sore, the route was steep and the weather was starting to warm meaning that almost ever step was going knee deep into the snow. It was hard, we were all tired, it was just an endless last push on a failed attempt at bagging all 18 munros of the Cairngorms.
As I approached and started down two things became apparent. Firstly there was no path, no matter what the map said, or at least I couldn’t see it. However secondly despite it being pretty steep it wasn’t as bad as I’d thought. The sun was shining, I was really happy to be on my way, the views were spectacular and the wildlife was beautiful.
As I descended it became increasingly apparent that despite me thinking I had made fairly conservative time estimates I was behind time. My initial plan had been to go to The Saddle drop my pack, go bag Bynack More, come back collect my pack and head to the Fords of Avon Refuge. However at my current pace, things weren’t looking good and I had read online that sunset was at 9pm. I really didn’t want to be out here in the dark, not on my first night.
As much as I had put up the tent during the week to remind myself how, I knew I wasn’t really trek ready. I hadn’t been on a trek in a long time, so was pretty sure that my first few days would include a bit of adjustment of kit position and packing etc.
With that in mind I changed my game plan. I decided I’d cut up towards Bynack More without going as far as The Saddle, head west towards a bit of a plateau, drop my pack, take Bynack, back to my pack, and down the southern slope towards the path leading to the Fords of Avon Refuge.
That’s exactly what I did. It gave me a chance to settle into the feeling of 23kg on my back, brush up on my navigation skills, check out some of the terrain in the distance that I’d be hiking in the coming days and try to get a better sense of my pacing.
I got to the top of Bynack More around 8pm and literally as I stood there the weather turned. My great scenic views disappeared as the clouds came in around me, a gentle welcoming from the Cairngorms as I made my way deeper into the mountain range.
On my way back to my bag I spotted the silhouette of another walker on the crest of the hill I was heading for, but by the time I got there whoever it had been was long gone.
The descent was steep, really steep! There were points where I rather unflatteringly chose to slide down on my bottom, the thick heather giving quite a cushioned descent. By the time I reached the path below, 9pm had come and gone, but the sun had not. The website I had looked had obviously given a sunset time for somewhere further south.
On my descent I had spotted someone on the path below so as I approached the Fords of Avon Refuge I started whistling so as not to startle them. Turns out it was a guy called Ben. He was doing a weekend trek, and was most likely the silhouette I’d seen earlier. He was planning on heading over to Ben Avon the next day, camping by a lochan just past it, and walking out on the Sunday. We chatted for a while as I put up my tent, which for some reason didn’t look right. He kindly pointed out that I’d put the outer cover on back-to-front. Cheers Ben! Can’t help but feel that saved me a lot of hassle later.
Gradually darkness descended and by the time I made dinner, ate, cleaned up and settled in I realised in was midnight! Sleep soon followed.
Let me just start by saying an Ironman is a triathlon event consisting of a 2.4 mile swim, followed by a 112 mile cycle with a finishing run of 26.2 miles, for a grand total of 140.2 miles. The best of the best can do it in 8 hours the cut-off time is 17 hours.
DAY 1 – Saturday
At around 830am I joined my team in the Transition area. As the name would suggest the transition area is where the athletes make the transition from Swim to Bike, Bike to Run. As a whole there were about 5 marques, a massive bike rack, 5 food stands, maybe 50-60 port-a-loos and one very muddy field. At 9am the athletes started bringing their gear consisting of their bike and two transition bags. It was up to us, the volunteers to make sure that each participant was checked off, that their gear had the correct race number on it, and that all the gear was placed in the correct place. That doesn’t sound hard, but there were 1500+ of them and maybe 20 of us. I spent the first couple of hours checking numbers as the athletes arrived, then a huge chuck of time making sure their run bags were placed on the correct hook in a way that was both secure and easy to remove. I got back to my hostel, with just enough time to grab a quick shower, go out for some food, and catch an hours sleep.
DAY 2 – Sunday
The sunday morning I was back at the transition area by 330am having got the first shuttle bus from the Reebok Stadium in Horwich. There was a distinct buzz in the air. We setup the body marking area, put on some head torches and at 4am we started one by one writing on each triathlete’s left arm and right calf their race number and category. It took almost 2 hours.
The race started just after 6 but I unfortunately didn’t get the chance to see it, at the transition are we had roughly an hour to reset in preparation for transition 1. For me this mainly consisted helping to make it as mud free as possible rolling out huge carpets over the muddiest areas and setting up the transition from field to road.
Finally an hour or so later I got to see some of the race. Or more specifically I got to see and cheer every athlete as well as warn them of the speed bump as they made their way up the initial hill on the cycle. That speed bump still claimed a silly amount of water bottles and food as the bikes jolted over it.
After sorting out all the blue transition bags, then all the white/dry bags in the town hall, and then set up the finish line, it came to what I had been looking forward to for weeks. Finish Line Catching!
The first person over the line was Graves with a time of 8 hours 45 minutes. The last person over the line did it in a time of 16 hours 59 minutes, the cut off is 17 hours. He did it with less than 25 seconds to spare. I LOVED being at the finish line! For just over 8 hours I clapped and cheered as athlete after athlete became Ironman after Ironman. Leave nothing to doubt, it was emotional! People were crossing the line who until that point were not sure they could do it. Yet here they were. Some people exploded with excitement and accomplishment, others fell to the ground their bodies and minds no longer able to keep them on their feet. Some people cried, some laughed, at least one vomitted. Haha! But they all had one thing in common, young or old, male or female, first timer or pro, they are all IRONMEN!
For me there were a couple of highlights. The guy who proposed to his girlfriend was one, he’d obviously planned it as he had a ring. Another was the very last person to finish. By this point it was just passing 11pm, though the finish line crowd had thinned they were still there cheering their hearts out at what these athletes had achieved. At a minute and a half until the 17 hours cut-off we could see him running up the final stretch a few spectators and crew members running along side for support. By this point the last of the spectators at the finish line were over the barriers forming a tunnel of celebration, willing, cheering the last runner in. Turns out one of the people running beside him was his son. They crossed the line together, a moment shared with the roars of excitement held by the crowd.
My final group of highlights were the handful of people who crossed the finish line, got given their medal, I took them to the side to get their timing chip and would then ask them how they were feeling. With some you could just feel how big an event it had been for them, but that something hadn’t quite sunk in yet. So I’d congratulate them, tell them they were now an Ironman, and something in them would click. Something in them knew that they were more than they had originally thought they were. That they were capable of pushing themselves beyond their limits to achieve their goal. It was such a pleasure and an honour to be there and experience that with them. To share that humble moment of realisation.
I had a truely amazing weekend! I hardly had any sleep, by the end my voice had been shredded, I’d probably spent 22 of the final 24 hours on my feet, but it was all worth it to see the 1266 people finish to become Ironmen. Human endurance is phenomenal!
It was planned as a seven day trek through the Scottish Cairngorms to bag all 18 of their Munros. This was going to be my second attempt, but where my last attampt had been in a team of three and in full winter conditions, this time I was doing it solo in July.
The plan was to arrive in Aviemore on Thursday 9th July and begin my ascent from the Base Station of the Cairngorm ski resort. I’d then trek for seven days in which time I’d summit all 18 Munros and walk out on the following Thursday. However as I wasn’t being picked up until the Friday I’d have an additional day on the end just incase I needed it. I’d figure that I’d rather take an extra day and get all 18 than walk away having only got 15 or 16. Therefore that was me set, my route was planned, my bags were packed and my contingency plan was in place.
What I’m going to try and do next is write a collection of posts that walk you through my trip to the Cairngorms, my thoughts at the time, what happened, how it affected me and my state of mind, etc. You’ll be able to find it under the seperate category of ‘The Cairngorms’.
Just wrote a post elsewhere I decide I had to add it here.
Let’s start with a demo from Tan Le.
Was reading the developer section of the Emotiv website.
They offer developers access to 3 ‘Detection Suites’, called Affectiv, Cognitiv and Expressiv.
According to the site Affectiv can monitor the emotional state of the user, Cognitiv can monitor thoughts and Expressiv can read the users facial expressions.
Excuse me while I say… holy shit! That’s fucking impressive.
I must admit that as much as I love the idea of controlling a game/application by thought (Handled by the Cognitv Suite), the Affectiv and Expressiv Suites open up a whole other spectrum of possibilities. Which of course Emotiv (the company) are not blind to. They give examples for use of Affectiv such as adjusting game atmosphere or difficulty based on player mood. While Expressiv could be used to create more realistic avatar that can read your facial expressions.
An interesting thought… games like movies aim for particular emotional responses at particular times. That’s why they are entertaining, they illicit an emotional response from us. Now say you can measure in real-time a users emotional response (using Affectiv), you can now have a game that adjusts itself to increase those desired responses. There are games out there that require 100+ hours of game play. Imagine if in that period the game is learning what you respond to, so that as you get deeper into the game it becomes ‘your’ game delicately crafted to your emotional responses. Wow!
I’ll put my hat into the ring right know and say “this is where games are headed”. And if they’re not there in 5 years, I’ll make one myself.
So second recipe blog, this time Ginger Creme Brulee. The recipe can easily be adjusted to make different flavours, for example I also did a chai batch and an orange batch, but personally I think the ginger was the best. Only thing to note about this recipe is that you need little dishes (I used six 4 fl.oz dishes) to put the creme brulee in, it really needs to be made the day before you want to serve it, and a propane torch of some kind could help.
- 8 large egg yolks
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (or vanilla pod)
- peeled and sliced root ginger
Once you have your ingredients and you’ve separated out the egg yolks, combine the sugar with the yolks and beat until smooth.
Next place the cream and the ginger into a pan and gently bring to a simmer. If you are using vanilla pod scrape out the beans and add both to the cream. (If you want a different flavour other than ginger simply add it here. For example for orange I just used the peel of an orange. Whatever you use will be removed in the next step so you don’t have to worry about it being big or making the creme brulee lumpy).
Pour the cream through a fine sieve and slowly add it to the egg/sugar mix. You want to do this a little at a time so as to not cook your eggs (Alternatively you could let the cream cool before adding it, pop it in the fridge or place the bowl in ice water). Mix until smooth and them pour through a fine sieve for a second time, and if you’re using vanilla extract add it now.
Now distribute the mixture evenly between your dishes and place them in a baking pan (not tray). You now want to fill the pan with boiling water until the water is about half way up the dishes. This is meant to help cook the dishes evenly throughout and let them set properly. Place in a preheated oven (250°F/120°C) and check after an hour. You want the sides to be set but the centre still to be a little wobbly. If done remove and let cool to room temperature on a rack (this lets the mixture finish cooking).
Once cool cover in cling film and refrigerate. Now verdict is out on how long, some people say at least 3 hours, other say at least 8. My guess is longer the better. I left mine overnight and they were great, though I’m sure if you made them in the morning they’d be ready for dinner.
For serving you have two options, serve them warm or serve them cold. If warm, take out the fridge about 10 mins before serving, and create a thin layer of sugar on each dish. Now if you have a torch slowly heat the sugar until it starts to change colour and bubbles a bit. This’ll probably take a minute or so for each dish. If you don’t have a torch either place them under a grill or in an oven with a broil option, until like the torch the sugar bubbles and changes colour. Let them cool a little and serve. If you want to serve them cold, do same steps as above but do it an hour before serving and place them back in the fridge until you want to serve.
And you’re done! I really enjoyed these. I messed up my timings a little on my first attempt as the kitchen I was cooking in was really cold so the creme brulee I had put in deep thinner dishes didn’t finish cooking properly after I took them out the oven. However the shallow/wide dishes worked a charm! I’ve read that using a vanilla pod tastes way better than using extract so next time I’ll give it a shot.
Anyway, hope you enjoy it!
This is an awesome recipe that I did for Hogmanay. It was so good I’m making more tonight and then later this week I’m going to try for a vegan version. I call it Chocolatey Decadence in Brownie Cups.
Photograph thanks to my friend Carrie Mae Kreyche of Digital Deities
The recipe has three parts. The Brownie Cups, the Decadently Chocolatey filling, and Maple Syrup Whipped Cream topping. For this you’ll need a mini-muffin tray, though you could totally make it into one big Chocolatey Decadent, Brownie Cake (so I’ll add extra instructions for that in italics).
The Brownie Cups
- 100g plain chocolate chips
- 25g butter
- 75g caster sugar
- 1 egg
- 90g plain flour
Preheat the oven to 170°C/340°F
Melt the chocolate and butter together (I do a make shift Double Boiler by placing a pan filled with water to simmer, and then placing a bowl with the ingredients in on top. This way the chocolate is much less likely to scorch). Stir until smooth. Add sugar and egg to the bowl, again mix until smooth. Slowly add the flour, making sure your don’t end up with any pockets of flour.
You now want to butter/grease the muffin tray (or cake/torte pan), scoop in the brownie mixture and make level. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until edges are setting. (While you wait you can start on the filling below) When it’s done, remove from oven and let it cool for 2 minutes, then press down the tops of the brownies to create the cup indentations. Let them cool for another few minutes, then carefully remove from pan and let them cool. (For our brownie cake extravaganza you may need to weight down the mixture so it doesn’t rise so much)
Decadent Chocolate Filling
- 100g plain chocolate chips
- 100ml double cream
- 1/2 tsp orange extract (this is optional, and you could totally do another flavour. Mint or vanilla would be awesome)
Same as with the brownie cups, DIY Double Boiler to heat the cream. Once it’s hot add the chocolate chips and flavouring. Mix until smooth. Remove the bowl and place in freezer until mixture is cool and starting to thicken (probably 10-15 minutes). Whisk a couple of times so that the sides don’t completely freeze (while you wait you can start the whipped cream below). Once it’s cool, remove from freezer and whisk until thick. Now place into a food bag, secure the top, cut off one of the corners and pipe the filling into the brownie cups (for our cake version simply spoon on and spread).
Maple Syrup Whipped Cream
- 100ml double cream
- maple syrup (to taste)
Place cream and maple syrup into bowl and whisk (I’d recommend an electric one, because doing it by hand takes ages. Haha). Once it’s thickened up a bit, spoon (or pipe as done with filling) on to the filled brownie cups and serve.
UPDATE: I’ve still to tried the vegan option. I’m having trouble getting soy creamer, but I’ll get there eventually.