Monday, January 30, 2012

Dessert suggestion

Or when you just want a snack...

Serve with several different types of beer.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Figure Friday: Luke Skywalker (again)

Luke Skywalker. Such a monumental (and underrated) character. People are always talking about Darth Vader, Han Solo, R2D2. But Luke is a magnificent protagonist and a hero in the truest meaning of the word! And recently, there have been made some nice action figures of him as well.

People weren't satisfied with my last article on Luke. Understandably. It was just some pictures I snapped on the go, while playing with my Star Wars Lego. But the fact is that I have both several toys of Luke... and strong opinions on the character and his role in the Star Wars Universe. I do have more to say.

So read on for a much longer article on the Hero of the Rebellion, the Balance of the Force, the Last of the Old, and the First of the New Jedi. Luke Skywalker.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Skyrim Sweet Rolls?

Update: Here's the recipe and process. 
The stuff right below is just a teaser.

You may have heard about the game called The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. At the very least you have heard some annoying memes (I can guarantee we who play Skyrim have not contributed to this).

Well Skyrim is a fantastic game. It's mindblowing actually. The graphic and gameplay is perfect, the storylines are intriguing and the size of the world, the way the world feels like it's co-existing with you - it's not just a place where you are.

I never expected a lot, because I didn't like the previous Elder Scrolls game, Oblivion. So even though the reviews were very good, it still came as a shock that I liked the game that much.

Well, for all the great stuff in the game, what I want to mention is a very small detail in the world of Skyrim. The Sweet Roll.
These cakes(?) are found all over the world, and they look tasty. They even restore lost health, which is the second most obvious effect of a cake. The first being that it's delicious.

The thing is that I have no idea what the Sweet Roll is. I see people elsewhere on the Internet making their effort to recreate these delicious things, with varying degree of success. Could be a s simple cake made in a cone-shaped pan. But as the name sounds, it could just as well be an actual roll of some sort. Which would explain the hole.

Even though I'm a bit late to the party now that Skyrim has been out for a couple of months, I'll give it a go myself. I have an idea of how to make it simple and good. And I will share the process and many pictures. But for today, I will simply tease you with a picture I took (along with what could possibly be a recipe for Sweet Rolls).

Monday, January 23, 2012

The Onion

I have mentioned the onion several times. It's easily one of my favorite ingredients, for the obvious reasons of course. But I also have this weird idea that the onion contains something unique, something so good for me that it will protect me in the case of danger.

Confused? Read on then!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Figure Friday: 5 Vintage Space Lego Sets (that I wish I owned)

I had a talk with a friend about the old space Lego, and we started looking up some of the old sets. Both of us were very impressed with how cool the old stuff was. We vaguely remembered most of them, either from friends owning them, seeing them in stores or in adverts. The purpose of this list is simply to have a trip down memory lane with some vintage Lego, much like last week's Figure Friday. But this list can also serve as a reminder to how little has changed in Lego since the late 80s, and how that fact really doesn't make any difference.

Read on for five absolutely awesome vintage Lego sets.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Two new ways of doing the steak (do you take the challenge?)

I write this for my sister mainly. I know she reads my blog, and I know she likes a good steak (who doesn't?). So here are two ways of doing the standard steak that may be slightly different than how we usually prepare it. One will have an impact on the taste, the other will affect the structure of the steak.

1. Marinade with citrus or other fruits. 
This one requires that you prepare the steak beforehand. Arrange the steak as you'd like it, cut it into the size you want to eat. Then simply make a marinade with citrus fruits or other sour tasting stuff, like Kiwi and grapes. I suggest not mixing too many different tastes, but one can't go wrong with the orange/lime combo.
Leave the steaks in the marinade for 3 hours. Make sure they are properly soaked, and make sure there are no carnivores lurking around.
This will in theory give the steak a slightly different taste, but realistically, it will still taste steak. Serve with a strong tasting sauce to contrast the faint taste of sour.

2. Submerge the steak in water 
Ok, this one is pushing the boundaries of what we think will work. But it also makes sense when you think about it. You don't want to have a well done steak. The taste disappears and it becomes difficult to chew. The good steak is rare, or at the very least medium rare. This doesn't mean it's raw inside, but it should be barely cooked, red, bloody, delicious.
The deal with this method is to encase the steak in something waterproof, like a vacuum packed plastic, then submerge it in water at 55° Celsius for a while. The time depends on the size of the steak, but since it's not boiling, you don't have to be that careful.
When you want, just fry the steak intensely on both sides for a few seconds, just to create a crust. The idea is that the entire steak will be rare/medium rare, and not just the center.


Sunday, January 15, 2012

On the question of burgers

I just felt like updating on a Sunday instead of a Monday. For you regular readers, don't be alarmed. There's nothing sinister going on. The sun will still rise, the Earth's axial tilt is still 23.44°, and Toys and Bacon will still continue to be updated Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

Most people are aware how simple it is to make their own burgers, and how to make them infinitely better than anything you'll get from the fast food chains. It cannot even be considered the same category. Luckily you can also get good burgers many places, but at a considerably higher price.

Making them yourself is neither difficult nor expensive, and I'll do a proper "how-to" soon. Probably during the G.I. Joe month. Yup, I just announced a full month of G.I. Joe themed articles. I'll sneak in quite a bit of food talk though, among profiles, top 10 lists, comparisons of G.I. Joe figures and vehicles. Still haven't decided what month this will be though. Could be March, could be June.

But back to the burger.

Here's the recipe:
400-500g minced beef of high quality
1 egg
1 tablespoon wheat flour
1-2 teaspoons salt
Lots of pepper
1/4 finely chopped onion
Optional: Tiny bits of feta cheese.
Optional: Finely chopped chili

Mix together, shape them as large and flat as you can.
In the pan on medium temperature. Use margarine or oil.

Throw on a slice of cheese when you turn the burgers. Serve with bread, or not.  Tomatoes, lettuce, pickles, onions, etc, if you want to make that stereotypical burger. And to be honest, you want to. Make it a monumental burger by throwing bacon into the mix.


Friday, January 13, 2012

Figure Friday: King's Castle

It's Friday, and it's time to look at some toys. Today I have a real gem, a toy I got back in the 80s, one that has seen a lot of play, yet is in surprisingly good shape today, 20 years later.
It's the Lego 6080 King's Castle from the year of our lord 1984.

Read on. Several pictures. Some nonsense.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

6 Quick Tips and Tricks in the Kitchen

Worry not! I'm here to save the day once more. Well, at least in the same way I did when I recommended you to have sharpened knives in the kitchen. These are fairly obvious tips. But that doesn't make them bad.

Read on. You may learn something new. 

Monday, January 9, 2012

Conan the Barbarian

I finally got around to see the new Conan movie. It wasn't the worst movie I have seen. The girl was cute, and Bob Sapp was playing a villain. And that's about the best I can say about it. I obviously made the right choice not using any money on it. In fact, I see no reason why they made this movie. They already made the perfect Conan movie, back in 1982. And I can say this, because I'm a Conan fan. The old comics Marvel made in the 70s is something I like to read, and re-read.
There has been made quite a handful great Conan statues, but a year ago, we finally got a great Conan action figure - all though in a slightly different format that we had expected.

Read on for more!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Figure Friday: MOTUC Weapon Rack

I think it's great when a toy line is big enough to support release of diorama pieces. Back in the day, every toy line had these kinds of small, weird sets. Containing neither figures or vehicles, just stuff that could be used while playing or displaying. Masters of the Universe Classics is a line that's mostly made for collectors, but I can confirm that they have more than enough play value too. This gorgeous diorama piece is obviously a re-imagination of the vintage weapon rack, but it's well made, it wasn't too expensive, and it definitely pleases both people who want to display their toys in a cool way, and those that wants to play with them.

Read on for a few more pictures.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Darjeeling 1st Flush

Admittedly, I know nothing about tea. Sure, I've made my own peppermint tea, and I'm a sucker for cute cups. But unlike with toys, baking, progressive rock, wrist watches and all the other useless knowledge I've accumulated, I've never really taken the time to seek knowledge about tea. And that's a weird thing. Because the last years, I've probably spent more time drinking tea than playing with toys.

Or is Grand Maximus the First Flush of transformable robots?
So my mother gave me a bag of something called Darjeeling First Flush. It's apparently the Grand Maximus or U.S.S Flagg of tea.
Darjeeling is a place in India. First flush is what they call the first harvest in the spring. That's all I know.

I can also tell you that it's totally worth it's ridiculous price (at least when I didn't pay for it myself).

The first flush is surprisingly light in color. Both before you steep it, and the color of the brewed tea. And as far as I know, it's supposed to be like that. I used quite a bit more than I would with the regular Ceylon black tea you can see to the left here. To the right is Japanese green tea. Darjeeling first flush in the middle, and as you can see it resembles green tea more, even though it's considered a black tea.

The taste is hard to describe, but I can try. It's fruity. But not unnecessarily so. I'd rather say it tastes a bit like flowers smell. It definitely doesn't taste like fruit tea, but rather like a sweeter and more interesting black tea. It has some tannin, and drinking more than one cup will leave you with a dry mouth. I think I enjoy it better at around 50 degrees Celsius than at higher temperatures, because it gets a certain texture I prefer. Almost like it feels a bit thicker, filling the mouth with great flavors.
I still haven't a clue what I'm doing, maybe I'm not using enough, maybe I'm steeping it the wrong way.
Either way, this is a step in the right direction. Expensive it may be, and even though many good things in life are free, truly great things also tend to cost a bit.

Monday, January 2, 2012

G.I. Joe collection

First of all, happy new year. 2012 looks just as promising as any previous year, and while I'm cautiously optimistic as usual, it did feel like a good start to the year. Just before Christmas, I got back my G.I. Joe collection. It has been at a local museum for the better part of two years. I will simply start the new year by letting you see how the exhibition looked like. I will also admit that I missed my toys. Most of them are connected to good memories spanning two decades. While those memories will be saved for Figure Fridays, I will tell a bit about how it was to make an exhibition at a museum.

Read on for many pictures.