Here is a new favourite of mine. I made one for Christmas dinner and another for Easter dinner and they were both a hit. The recipe comes from my cousin's grandmother.
- 1 tbsp. Butter
- 1 cup Sugar
- 2 Egg Yolks
- 2 tbsp Flour
- Juice & Rind of 1 Lemon (or lemon substitute)
- 1 cup Milk
- Cream together the butter and sugar
- Add other ingredients
- Beat together 2 egg whites till fluffy and blend with above
- Pour into unbaked pie shell - SMALL
- Bake at 350°F for 40 – 45 min until light brown
Here is an awesome recipe for Spinach Lasagna!
Cook 8 lasagna noodles or use 8 oven ready rice lasagna noodles (they can be used raw)
- 1,300 grams Frozen Spinach, thawed and drained
- 4 Eggs, beaten
- 1 tub Cottage Cheese
- 1 cup Cooked Carrots (optional)
- ¼ cup Onions, diced
- Some Garlic, Salt, Pepper
Slice or Grate 1,500 gram pkg. Mozzarella Cheese
- 1st layer: 4 Noodles
- 2nd layer: ½ Spinach Mixture
- 3rd layer: ½ Cheese
- Repeat layers
Top with White Sauce
- In a saucepan, melt ½ cup Butter
- Add ½ cup flour
- Cook for 1 minute
- Add 4 cups Milk
- Cook until Bubbly and Thick
Cover with Parmesan Cheese and Garlic
350°F for 45 minutes
It has been slightly more than three years since the Beta version of Windows 7 was released for testing. Since then Windows 7 has been sweeping up the Windows landscape, riding it of Vista. It is now 2012 and Microsoft has decided to step up to the plate again with an new release. Creatively named "Windows 8", Microsoft is trying something new and adventurous. They have overhauled the desktop environment and introduced a new one to the desktop computing world, they call it Metro.
Metro UI brings Microsoft's new design language and principles to Windows 8. Part of the design of Windows 8 is it being cross platform, having x86 (32-bit and 64-bit) versions and an ARM version, for tablet and mobile computing. The Metro design isn't new. In fact it has been used as the interface for Windows 7 Phone. It has won usability awards for its clean, easy to use design[Link]. Since Windows 8 is targeted at Tablet computing, putting Microsoft in competition with Apple's iOS and Google et al's Android OS, they are touting this as a flagship feature of Windows 8. Another useful environment, besides tablets, for Metro is on touchscreen desktops computers.
However, Metro has been forced to be the main UI in Windows 8. When you start the OS it is the first thing you see. When you want to launch a program, you have to switch to it. It is always in your face. The UI is great for Tablets, but is rather wasteful on full fledged Desktop and Notebook PCs. It is a jarring switch for something that used to be simple in all prior versions of Windows. Also, trying to find programs is not very intuitive, the user now has to right click in the open space to bring up a menu that has the option to show all the install programs. This causes the user to have to make a mental context switch and adjust to the new environment that is in front of them, then adjust to what they were doing previous. The experience gives you two different desktop paradigms, both of which are not used to their full potential.
The Desktop/Metro interfaces include hot corners that allow the user to access different features. The Bottom Left corner allows the user to access the "Start" screen, see the picture above. It is the screen that is presented to the user when they log in. The Upper Left corner allows for the user to quickly cycle through applications. It can also be accessed vis Win+Tab. The Upper and Lower Right corners allow for settings, search and the Start screen to be accessed.
Metro has it's own application style, they are designed to be clean and simple to use. This is really a matter of opinion, and environment. On my 1920 x 1080 screen, clean seems to mean lots of wasted space. On a 1024 x 600 screen clean means large, easy to read typography with a simple layout. This is one reason Metro shouldn't be forced upon the Desktop user, it breaks the idea of multi-tasking.
Windows, like all other current platforms, now has it's own store. This way a user can spend their hard earned money on Metro applications. I guess seeing the success of the Android Market and the Mac Store, Microsoft has decided to capitalize on that market. The store brings Metro apps of all genres to the end user.
Currently the applications there are free, but once the final release of Windows 8 comes out they will start monetizing this environment. There are some games available and they are essentially the same as the ones available for Android and iOS. They are primarily designed for touchscreen interfaces, but some work ok with a mouse.
Windows 8 also includes a desktop environment. It is very similar to that of Windows 7, except with many prominant features missing. The desktop contains the standard Windows 7 Taskbar, but it is missing the show desktop button in the bottom right corner and the Start Button in the Bottom left corner. Microsoft decided that users no longer use the Start Menu[Link 1, Link 2]. They deam the objects in the Start Menu are too small, thus harder to find and click. Metro solves this Fitts' Law problem, the icons are nice and big and easy to click. A primary issue, however, is that it breaks the users work flow. It switches their environment. The desktop becomes an empty place to run non-Metro applications, making them almost seem second rate.
There are improvements to some of the core Windows Applications. The Task Manager has been overhauled to provide the user with prettier graphs and more information. Also the file copy dialog provides a graph of the speed of the transfer over its lifetime.
This is only preliminary, more to come as I play with the Consumer Preview release.
To Be Continued...
So here we are again, the end of another year. What has changed? What hasn't? If I was to try and make a list I would be here a while. It has been another roller coaster year, from a Stephen Harper Majority, to the USA almost defaulting on their debt, to Hard Drive prices doubling from flooding in Thailand. Whatever has been your trip through the year 2011 I hope it was an eventful one.
It was an eventful year for me, our latest family member was born, Isla Tuch (my niece). My nephew is now 3 and is a riot. I also started playing video games again, after a long hiatus since High School. Mostly PS3 games. I built myself a new desktop computer after my Asus Lamborghini notebook of 2.5 years decided it wasn't worth its time to display a picture to me. Met some great new people, finished University and more. It was also a good year for 3D movies.
Sadly, in early January we had to put down Gracie, our last of the cats we had over the last 20 years (since we got Smokey and Mischief in 1992). She had developed a cis like tumour in her chest which finally beat the medication. She, and all the others will be greatly missed. (Smokey, Mischief, Beatrice, Gracie and Shizu).
What has been your 2011 ride been like? Feel free to drop a line below.
I'm ready to take on 2012, find a job, pay back loans and have another eventful year. I will also be adding more recipes for you to try out and enjoy.
All the best in the coming year!
Here is a simple, yet tasty recipe for Meatballs.
- 1 lb Lean Ground Beef
- 1 Egg
- 10 Soda Crackers (Crushed) [Could also use breadcrumbs]
- Garlic Power
- Chopped Onions
- Crush up crackers (or Breadcrumbs)
- Work crushed crackers, garlic power, onions, and egg into ground beef
- Roll into balls and cook in a fry pan on low-medium to medium heat until brown
Tip: You can replace the Garlic Power and Onions with your favourite spices and other ingredients.
Uncharted 3, one of the most anticipated games of the year, has finally been released. I was quite eager to play it, but had an annoying thorn in my side, I hadn't beaten Uncharted 2 yet. This was my first priority. Within a few hours I had polished off Uncharted 2, and played the first chapter of Uncharted 3.
I was impressed. If time had lapsed between playing them things wouldn't be as noticeable, but with only a few minutes between the ending of one and the beginning of the next things were clear. Uncharted 2 was a huge improvement graphics wise from the original Uncharted. The Naughty Dog team increased the efficiency of their rendering engine which lead to an overall more realistic feel for the game. All the Uncharted games to date have been rendered in 720p. Some people feel this is detrimental to the quality of the picture, but, in fact, it increases the amount of items that can be displayed, better modelling of objects and characters, as well as better lighting, fog and other effects. Indeed, Naughty Dog has done it again. Not the huge leaps and bounds like from the original to two, but overall the graphics are stunning.
Not only has the rendering engine improved, but so has the character models. From the texturing on the models, to the lighting from the scene, to the motion capture accuracy. Uncharted 2 brought new live to the characters by employing motion capture by the voice actors. This not only allows more more accurate human movements, but helps bring together the characters in the story by making their interactions look more believable. The accuracy of this appears to be much higher in the latest instalment. The characters move much more eloquently, with subtle details making them more life like. From the movement of their eyes, to the positioning of their lips as they speak, everything is more refined and believable.
On the downside, there still exists heavy aliasing on many of the object models, which is slightly distracting from the stunning visuals. Also, in times of high fog, and other particle effects, the frame rate will lag a bit from its normal, smooth, rendering.
Graphics aren't the only thing that makes a game. Just like movies and TV shows, a game needs a good story. The Uncharted Series has never disappointed in this category. All have had strong story lines, that play for comedy, drama, love interests, and more. Uncharted 3 is no different. As you play through the game it takes you on a thrill ride, that once you're on, you are hooked. The transition from game play to cut scene and vice versa is exceptionally well done. You jump from a building and now you are in a mini movie, then you are back again to playing without hardly realizing that you went from in game rendered scenes to a cut scene. The character development is top notch, helping you sympathize with the good guys, and really dislike the bad guys. As with Uncharted 2, 3 brings back the previous main characters and adds some new ones, as well as a new villain.
Uncharted 3 is an awesome game. The guys, and gals, at Naughty Dog poured their heart and souls into making a well polished, technically advanced masterpiece. The characters and their voice actors, along with some pretty fancy graphics, a strong story, and some great game play all add up to one magnificent game!
- 1¾ cups Flour
- ¾ cup Sugar
- 1 cup Chocolate Chips
- 4 tsp. Baking Powder
- ½ cup Cocoa
- 2 – 3 tsp. Vanilla
- 1 Egg, lightly beaten
- 1 cup Milk
- ½ cup Butter, melted
- Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). Prepare 12 standard muffin tins with butter or oil.
- Sift(optional) the flower, baking powder and cocoa into a bowl and stir in the sugar and chocolate chips
- Mix the egg, vanilla, butter and milk in another bowl.
- Pour the egg mixture into the flour mix and fold with fork. Do not over mix!
- Spoon the mixture into the tins, filling them around ½ full.
- Bake for approximately 15 – 20 minutes. They are ready when a skewer comes out clean.
- Place muffins on a wire rack to cool.
Welcome one and all to the new home of scottibmorris.ca. Its been a while since I’ve done any blog postings, mainly because I’ve been so busy finishing up school and all. I have some big plans for this site now that it is up. Let's hope they follow though.
To give you a small preview of things to come:
Do you like food? If so, do you like home cooked food? What would you say to a Recipe Corner? That’s right folks, you’ve seen the pictures, you’ve drooled at the goodness, now you too can bake the Delicious goodies that you’ve come to see.
Are you a movie buff? Do you have 10,000 movies and can’t remember what you have? Well look no further. I have had the same problem for years and there is currently no good solution out there to satify the craving of know what films you have, what quality they are, etc. If you have friends (lets hope you do) then you can share your titles with them. Movies should be a social experience.
Over the next little while I will be customizing this space to fit my needs, come back soon to see if I have.
All this and more to come on the new scottibmorris.ca!