Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Slow Cooking and Holiday Plans

I was lucky enough to receive a slow cooker a few months ago as a present. While I love it, I haven't really done much more in it than stews and soups- though don't get me wrong, I love my stews and soups. It has taken me all this time, however, to realise that many people call a slow cooker a Crock-Pot. This is all about branding, a specific type of slow cooker brand is Crock-Pot and, much like Xeroxing or Pritt-Stick, the name has stuck. I googled "Crock-Pot" instead of slow cooker one evening and wow! Loads of results for delicious, simple recipes.

Recently, I stumbled on to Stephanie O'Dea's wonderful blog. She tried out a slow cooker challenge: to use her Crock-Pot every day of the year, for an entire year. And she did it! I admire her because she not only created recipes of her own, but wasn't afraid to post about her failures from that experiment. From her collection, I have tried out the five-layer brownies (twice!) and the brown sugar chicken recipes. Both have turned out super delicious, and I'm looking forward to using the slow cooker a lot more.When I go across the country to visit my family, I'm hoping that my boyfriend will pick up where I've left off with the slow cooking and he'll be a crock-pot master by the time I return!

According to the Official Google Blog, they are planning on phasing out Google Friend Connect (which Blogger currently provides a plugin for) and instead expecting users to use G+ instead for their connectivity. I'm all for this, when I set up my blog I was rather confused about the Friend Connect feature and hope that merging that function with G+ will make things smoother for everyone.

I have now finished my final undergraduate exams and am enjoying the long-awaited downtime. I haven't heard any response from the Education Faculty about the status of my application to PGCE- everyone I know who has applied has heard something so it is pretty frustrating but I'm trying to stay positive. Skyrim has just released, along with Saint's Row 3, so mostly I am gaming. While I was expected to become hooked by Skyrim, Saint's Row 3 has really surprised me. I haven't played any of the previous Saint's Row titles, but I hear that this new release has removed (some of) the crudeness. Though I haven't put a lot of time into it yet, it feels like a worthy successor to GTA: Vice City, which I adored about 5/6 years ago.

I'll be with my family for almost a month, on holiday, so I'm starting to decide what forms of digital entertainment I'll be taking with me. Daggerfall (fully optimised for XP with all the patches added in) has been installed on my netbook, though I'm unsure how to actually play it. It's one of the mega-old Elder Scrolls games, Skyrim's great-grandfather. Rock, Paper, Shotgun recently did an article on it which intrigued me and so I thought I'd give it a go.

During the holiday I hope to:
  • Socialise with friends
  • Catch up with family
  • Have a birthday celebration that everyone enjoys (including me)
  • Get through the Early Years teaching videos that I have
  • Read many books/ebooks
  • Enjoy Christmas and assist in avoiding any personality frictions among those attending
  • Remember to blog here, just a little bit

Brown Sugar Chicken- yummy!

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

The Beginning.

So, here it is. Yikes. Just kicking the tires on this Blogger thing. I've tried a multitude of blogs before, all over the place, but none have really stuck. My old Livejournal survives only as a reader, using the friend feature to watch variety of other journals. A number of my fellow students at my university use Blogger (hi, Brendan and Karlien!) and I thought I'd follow suit, especially since Google now lets G+ users get going on Blogger without the hassle of creating yet another account.

I've decided to try again because I am at a transition point in my life. I'm about to write my final undergraduate exams and am soon to hear from the Education Faculty whether they want to offer me a position there next year as a PGCE candidate or not. If these plans fall into place then I'll become what other Education bloggers are calling a Student Teacher, though I'll be doing a lot more theory than actual practice. Very often, these courses require you to have a teaching journal (the University of Cape Town's PGCE website discusses this), chronicling your journey through the process. Having a 'professional' blog set up for this purpose already would be a benefit. Besides the possible official use, I like the idea of a permanent home for what I write besides Google+.

Here I go, then. Please bear with me while I learn how Blogger works, it looks simple enough for my purposes but you never can tell.