Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Allergy free Chinese chicken pearl balls recipe


Ingredients
  • 1 cup white rice, preferably medium grain
  • 500g chicken mince
  • ¼ cup allergy free soy sauce replacer
  • 2 tbsps cornflour
  • 40g button mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 110g sliced water chestnuts, drained, rinsed, finely chopped
  • 3 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 1 small carrot, peeled, finely grated
  • ½ tsp salt
  • Chilli sauce, to serve

Method

  • Place the rice in a bowl.
  • Cover with cold water.
  •  Soak for 30 minutes and then drain.
  • Using your hands, combine the mince, salt, soy sauce replacer, cornflour, mushrooms, water chestnuts, shallots and carrot in a large bowl.
  • Cover with cling wrap and refrigerate for at least half an hour.
  • Place the rice in a shallow dish.
  • Using heaped tablespoons of mince mixture, roll the mince into balls.
  • Roll the mince balls in the rice to coat.
  • Place the balls on a tray.
  • Place a large bamboo or metal steamer lined with lettuce leaves over a wok or large saucepan of simmering water.
  • Cook, covered, in batches, for 20 minutes or until cooked through.
  • Transfer to a plate.
  • Cover to keep warm.
  • Serve with chilli sauce.

Allergy free lemon and poppy seed pancake recipe


Ingredients
  • 2 cups Orgran self-raising flour
  • 2 tsp Orgran No Egg
  • 1-2 tbsps poppy seeds
  • ¼ cup sugar (optional)
  • 2 tsps lemon zest, to taste
  • 1-2 tbsps lemon juice, to taste
  • 40g Nuttlex, melted, cooled
  • 2¼ cups goat’s milk

Method
  • Sift the flour and No Egg into a bowl.
  • Add the sugar and poppy seeds and stir well.
  • Combine the Nuttlex, lemon zest, lemon juice and goat’s milk.
  • Add the goat’s milk mixture to the flour mixture and whisk to combine.
  • Allow the batter to rest for 10 minutes.
  • Lightly grease a small frying pan and heat to medium.
  • Cook ⅓ cup portions of the batter for 2-3 minutes then turn the pancake and cook on the other side.
  • Repeat with the remaining mixture.
  • Serve with caster sugar and lemon juice, Nuttlex, maple syrup, fresh fruit, or jam.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Rosy's scrawled book recommendation: The Undead series by Mary Janice Davidson

The Undead series
Mary Janice Davidson


Titles (so far)
Undead and Unwed (Book 1)
Undead and Unemployed (Book 2)
Undead and Unappreciated (Book 3)
Undead and Unreturnable (Book 4)
Undead and Unpopular (Book 5)
Undead and Uneasy (Book 6)
Undead and Unworthy (Book 7)
Undead and Unwelcome (Book 8)
Undead and Unfinished (Book 9)
Undead and Undermined (Book 10)
Undead and Unstable (Book 11)

Blurb (for the first book)

Betsy Taylor turns 30, gets laid off, is killed by an SUV and wakes up dead all in the same week. The vampire community is convinced she's their prophesied Queen. But she's not having any of it—she's got shoes to buy! And now the undead world is being turned upside-down by a Bela Lugosi throwback and her subjects expect her to take care of it! Why didn't she read the handbook? But her would-be consort, Eric Sinclair, is (annoyingly) ever-present. If only he wasn't so tall, dark, gorgeous...and undead.

Publisher

Berkley

ISBN (for the first book)

042519485X

Rosy's scrawlings on The Undead series
This series has been described as "chic lit meets the undead" and it isn't far from the truth. There's some major fluff going on in the characterisation and the plot starts of mostly concerning Betsy's romantic status, which happens to be on the N/A side of things. But for all the fluff about shoes and romance there's quite a bit of darkness included. Betsy is in the unenviable position of being the Queen of the vampires, despite her protestations. On top of that she has to deal with letting go of her family who think her dead, of being forced into marrying a King whom she's likely to despise and of trying to retain even the smallest segments of her old life. On top of that she faces the worst side of vampirism, complete with mass murder, kidnapping, slavery and an all round general debasement of humanity.
The tone of the books, starting with these problems, only becomes darker and sillier at the same time. Betsy continues to be a light of cultural idiocy while being street wise-ish, obsessed with shoes and generally rebellious to all things vampire rules. And she often gets away with the maddest behaviour all because she is the Queen. Meanwhile, the challenges she faces become darker, more twisted and intense. Enough that Betsy's own personality and identity as the bouncy, happy shoe-loving idiot comes under threat. And from the most unlikely source. To achieve this the events of the books continue to spiral out of control, keeping the pace flowing quickly and the reader guessing just what is going to happen next.
The Undead series is bright and brilliant and a good choice for segueing from chic lit to paranormal fantasy. It bridges the gap beautifully and provides a little of the light chic lit genre trends with the darker paranormal fantasy trends. It is also a quick and easy read, meaning it can fill the place of chic lit for those lazy days or be great books to take travelling. While they are almost completely aimed at female readers they can be read by anyone, as long as the reader can put up with a ditzy but aggressive female protagonist. Nearly everything is seen through Betsy's eyes so be prepared for a major serving of girliness. On the other hand, due to the darkness in the plot and action there's not that much to put of the less girly readers or those not interested in chic lit. Especially when all the twists and turns become deeply psychological.

I'd recommend this series to: females who love romance, shoes, paranormal characters and light hearted stories with a dark edge.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Allergy free green apple, rhubarb and cinnamon pie recipe


Ingredients
Pastry
  • 1½ cup Orgran all purpose flour
  • ¾ cup Orgran self-raising flour
  • ¾ cup cornflour
  • ½ cup Orgran gluten free gluten
  • ⅓ cup caster sugar (optional)
  • 190g Nuttlex
  • 2 tsp Orgran No Egg whisked with 40mls water until thick
  • ⅓-½ cup cold water
  • Goat’s milk, for brushing
  • 2 tbsps granulated sugar
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon, extra
Filling
  • 1 kg Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and chopped
  • 6 stalks rhubarb, trimmed and chopped
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • ½ cup caster sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 2 tbsps cornflour
  • 2 tbsps water

Method
  • Combine the flours, gluten free gluten, Nuttlex and ¼ cup sugar in a large bowl and rub the Nuttlex through until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  • Add the No egg mixture and ¼ cup cold water.
  • Combine until the pastry just comes together.
  • Roll and press the pastry together until smooth.
  • Wrap in plastic wrap.
  • Refrigerate for 30 minutes or until firm.
  • Grease a 20cm round pie dish.
  • Place ⅔ of the pastry between 2 sheets of cling wrap or baking paper.
  • Roll out into a 30cm round.
  • Line base and sides of prepared dish with pastry.
  • Trim the edges.
  • Place the apple, rhubarb, lemon juice, sugar, cinnamon and vanilla in a bowl and toss to combine.
  • Pour the mixture into a large frying pan or wok with a heatproof handle and cover with aluminium foil.
  • Place over a medium heat and cook for 6–8 minutes or until just tender.
  • Remove the mixture from the heat.
  • Combine the cornflour and water in a small bowl.
  • Stir the cornflour mixture through the apple mixture.
  • Pour the filling into the pastry base.
  • Preheat oven to 200°C.
  • Place remaining pastry between 2 sheets of cling wrap or baking paper.
  • Roll out until large enough to cover the dish plus a little bit.
  • Cover filling with pastry.
  • Press the edges together with a fork, allowing the pastry to curl in a little and take up the excess, which should overhang.
  • Trim the excess.
  • Apply goat’s milk to top of the pie using a pastry brush.
  • Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon.
  • Cut small holes in the top to let steam escape.
  • Bake for 35-40 minutes or until bubbly.
  • Cool on a rack.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Allergy free Mexican chilli and coriander sausages recipe


Ingredients
  • 450g chicken sausages, plain or chilli (homemade or bought)
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 1 green or red capsicum, diced
  • 400g red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 400g chopped tomatoes
  • 300ml water
  • Small squeeze of lemon (optional)
  • 125g long grain rice
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
Spice mix
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp mustard powder
  • ½-1 tsp cayenne pepper, to taste
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • ½ tsp oregano
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground coriander seeds
  • ½ tsp coriander leaves

Method
  • Cook the sausages in a deep frying pan until browned.
  • Drain any excess fat and slice the sausages, if desired.
  • Turn the heat to medium-high and add the onion and fry for 3-4 minutes until softened.
  • Add the capsicum and fry for 1 minute.
  • Add the spice mix to the pan and stir through until fragrant.
  • Add the remaining kidney beans, tomato, water, lemon juice and the rice.
  • Return the sausages to the pan.
  • Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Bring to the boil then reduce the heat to low.
  • Cover and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the rice is tender.

Rosy's scrawled manga recommendation: Ichi The Killer by Yamamoto Hideo

Ichi The Killer
Yamamoto Hideo


Blurb
In Shinjuku Kabuki-Cho, the biggest sin town in Japan, there are two crazy guys. Ichi is a coward and a wimp, but once he breaks into tears, he turns into a human weapon. With great martial arts skill and a blade hidden in his boots, he butchers a bunch of enemies into mincemeat in the blink of an eye. His arch enemy is Kakihara, a yakuza boss who's tired of everything, including himself. Only when he pierces, cuts, and burns his own and other people's bodies does he feel that he is alive. Warning: Very graphic content.

Alternative names

Koroshiya Ichi
Koroshiya 1

Status

Completed

Manga reader sites (free)

Manga Here, Manga Fox

Rosy's scrawlings on Ichi The Killer

This manga was one I approached with a touch of caution as I haven't seen the film but have heard a great many things about the high violence. On top of that the slit mouth of Kakihara had me wondering just how much I could sit through, even being a horror movie lover. So, while I have had it on my mind with regards to watching I hadn't gotten around to it by the time I discovered I could read the manga online. Seeing that I could though, I thought I'd give it a whirl in manga format as I could take it at my own pace rather than the director's. It might have been the right move for me but make your own as you wish. Either way, Ichi The Killer is a really engaging and enjoyable read for those who have the right frame of mind and appreciation. If you're at all squeamish about the perverted or gory then now's the time to turn away. If you aren't then you're in for a wild ride and a good laugh.
For those brave enough to continue on and read all the way through, here's the review bit of the recommendation:
Anywhere you look within Ichi The Killer there's some perversion or another or some madness or another. There isn't a protagonist to support but you do find yourself variously siding with one character over another. There's just one good-ish man and one good boy amongst them all, but neither stay that way. Despite all this, the manga pulls you in, so much so that by the time you've finished reading it I can almost guarantee you'll be having trouble finding a manga or book to top this one. Maybe because it leads you down a twisted path right to the end where few other accessible stories reach or maybe because it is just that intense a read. Whatever the reason, when you reach the end you're likely to stare about wondering what on Earth could follow it. Take a breather from stories. That's the only way not to be disappointed in the next one.
The plot of Ichi The Killer starts out as rather unnerving, largely because you begin trying to judge it against other stories and find little to no comparisons. Then it just becomes a world of its own, one you begin to navigate freely as is. No comparisons necessary. Blood and gore are aplenty but so are the sexual perversions. Ichi himself is a sadist while his 'enemy' Kakihara is a masochist. Both rather too purely so for their own good. The central story revolves around the mental (and I do mean nutso as neither is acting as or intending what you'd expect) confrontation between the two. No one sees eye to eye and everyone seems to be manipulating each other or falling victim. The story is, in essence, an exploration of all things dark and seedy without any relief to view the brighter side of reality or just a more balanced version.
The art of Ichi The Killer is dark for the most part, not only because a lot of the action takes place during the night but because there's a focus on shadows and black blood. The action is swift and the deaths and sex brutally depicted. The faces are wide ranging and focus on individuality, especially in Kakihara's case as his face is scarred, pierced and cut to the point where he is unmistakably himself. Kakihara's personality shows in every facet of his body while Ichi's doesn't at all. The illustrations also help keep the pace of the story both fast and steady all while being brutally explicit. And to be perfectly honest, having looked at some of the screenshots of the movie, I think I really do love the warped dark art more than the full colour gore. The darkness really does blend with both Kakihara's and Ichi's characters perfectly. Then again, I should probably watch the movie before I judge this completely. More  crazed Ichi The Killer for me.


I'd recommend this manga to: adults only and only those adults who possess a morbid sense of humour. Otherwise, those who like psychological horror, perverted and strange characters, extreme violence and black comedy in their stories.


Notes on manga reader sites
The quality of manga readers can vary. The uploads are often done cheaply or as a serious hobby by a collective. Be aware that sometimes licence hasn't been given but the sites noted above, Manga Fox in particular, are extremely careful about adding and pulling mangas according to license agreements. So you shouldn't have to worry too much about the material being pirated. There are also translated works and non-translated. Amongst the translated works you will find that the quality of translation may vary according to the skills of the translators. Usually the works are perfectly readable anyway, with only a few added or dropped words or a word in the incorrect tense or with/out plurals. But sometimes the text becomes gobbledygook. In which case, either seek another version or give up and buy an official copy once a printed translation comes out. The other issue of note is you may need to expand the screen to read the text easily as sometimes the scans are minimised a little.
I find that if a page doesn't download properly or some other issue occurs (too slow or someone ordered the pages incorrectly etc.) with one reader then skipping across to another reader and picking up where I was is quite easy and rarely annoying.
Otherwise, enjoy and watch out you don't get too addicted you forget about the necessary things in life.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Allergy free Anzac biscuits recipe


Ingredients
  • 1 cup Orgran all purpose flour
  • 1 cup rice flakes, soaked until slightly softened, strained
  • 1 cup desiccated coconut
  • ¾ cup caster sugar
  • 1 tsp lemon zest, finely grated
  • 125g Nuttlex
  • 2 tbsps golden syrup
  • 1 tsp bicarb soda
  • 1 tbsp boiling water

Method
  • Preheat oven to 160°C.
  • Line 2 baking trays with greased aluminium foil.
  • Sift the flour into a bowl.
  • Add the soaked rice flakes, coconut, sugar and lemon rind.
  • Stir to combine and then make a well in centre.
  • Place the Nuttlex and golden syrup in a small saucepan.
  • Heat over a medium-high heat until the Nuttlex has melted, stirring to combine.
  • Combine the bicarb soda and boiling water in a bowl.
  • Pour the bicarb mixture into the Nuttlex mixture, stirring to combine.
  • Add the Nuttlex mixture to the flour mixture and stir to combine.
  • Take tablespoons of the biscuit mixture, place on the trays and shape into rounds 3cm apart.
  • Flatten them with of a spatula or fork.
  • Bake for 13-15 minutes, swapping the trays halfway through cooking, until golden.
  • Allow the biscuits to stand on the trays for 5 minutes.
  • Transfer the biscuits to a wire rack to cool.
Note
  • These are soft but if you'd like hard biscuits then use less Nuttlex: approximately 100g.

Best Oscar Wilde quotes for tattooing



"True friends stab you in the front."

"Always forgive your enemies - nothing annoys them so much."

"I am so clever that sometimes I don't understand a single word of what I am saying."

"I regard the theatre as the greatest of all art forms, the most immediate way in which a human being can share with another the sense of what it is to be a human being."

"Women are made to be loved, not understood."



"Keep love in your heart. A life without it is like a sunless garden when the flowers are dead."

"Experience is simply the name we give our mistakes."

"The only way to get rid of temptation is to yield to it... I can resist everything but temptation."

"There is only one thing in life worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about."

"To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance."

"A work of art is the unique result of a unique temperament."

"I have the simplest tastes. I am always satisfied with the best."


"Experience is one thing you can't get for nothing."

"No great artist ever sees things as they really are. If he did, he would cease to be an artist."

"To expect the unexpected shows a thoroughly modern intellect."

"As long as war is regarded as wicked, it will always have its fascination. When it is looked upon as vulgar, it will cease to be popular."

"Everything popular is wrong."


"Art is the most intense mode of individualism that the world has known."

"If you are not too long, I will wait here for you all my life."

"Life is far too important a thing ever to talk seriously about."

"Whenever people agree with me I always feel I must be wrong."

"I am not young enough to know everything."

"A poet can survive everything but a misprint."

"A thing is not necessarily true because a man dies for it."

"The world is a stage, but the play is badly cast."

"Hatred is blind, as well as love."


"I want my food dead. Not sick, not dying, dead."

"I have nothing to declare except my genius."

"Moderation is a fatal thing. Nothing succeeds like excess."

"This suspense is terrible. I hope it will last."

"The good ended happily, and the bad unhappily. That is what fiction means."

"Alas, I am dying beyond my means."

"One of the many lessons that one learns in prison is, that things are what they are and will be what they will be."

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Creepiest disfigured humans in the movies

The results can be from birth defects, torture, mutations and scientific experiments but I've chosen the below more for when the looks match the personality, lending that extra edge of creepiness to the character. For this reason, those like The Phantom of the Opera, The Elephant Man and Frankenstein's monster have been left off the list as they were romantics, innocents and victims. Unfortunately for The Elephant Man, many a deformed maniac has been modelled after him.

The Chuds from C.H.U.D.S

The Morlocks from The Time Machine

Jason Voorhees from the Friday The 13th series



Mason Verger from Hannibal


Freddy Krueger from A Nightmare on Elm Street

Matt Cordell from Maniac Cop 2

Tamami from Tamami: The Baby's Curse

The Brundlefly from The Fly

Kakihara from Ichi The Killer


The cave dwellers in Descent

Moonface from Masters of Horror: Incident on and off a Mountain Road

Victor Crowley from Hatchet

The mutants from The Hills Have Eyes

Monday, April 22, 2013

Allergy free leek, potato and chicken mince bake recipe


Ingredients
  • Up to 1kg potatoes, peeled, cut into even discs roughly 1cm thick
  • 50g Nuttlex
  • 2-3 leeks, trimmed, halved and sliced
  • 1 small brown onion, diced
  • 500g chicken mince
  • 250ml chicken stock made from a Massel vegetarian chicken ultracube
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • ½ tsp dried thyme
  • ½ tsp powdered garlic (optional)



Method
  • Pre-heat the oven to 200° C.
  • Melt 35-40g of the Nuttlex in a large saucepan or casserole dish over a medium heat.
  • Sauté the sliced leeks until softened.
  • Add the chicken mince and cook, stirring, until the chicken is white and broken up.
  • Add the chicken stock and bring the mixture to the boil.
  • Reduce to a simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Remove the saucepan from the heat.
  • Spoon the chicken and leek into a large ceramic baking dish. 
  • Layer the potatoes on top, angling them slightly so they sink into the mince.
  • Dot the top of the potatoes with the remaining Nuttlex
  • Cover the dish with aluminium foil and bake for 40-45 minutes until the potatoes are soft.
  • Remove the bake from the oven and discard the foil.
  • Sprinkle the thyme and garlic on top.
  • Return the bake to the oven for 15 minutes to brown the potato top.

Rosy's scrawled manga recommendation: Ichi by Shimozawa Kan

Ichi
Shimozawa Kan

Blurb
Ichi is a lone goze (blind woman singer) who has become separated from her traveling entertainment troupe. Wondering how she will find her place in life, she carries only a shamisen (a traditional Japanese stringed instrument) and a walking stick with a hidden blade inside. When necessary, she uses her exceptional sword skills to fight off yakuza and other villains.

Alternative names

Status
Ongoing

Manga reader sites (free)
Manga Reader

Rosy's scrawlings on Ichi
I almost squealed with delight when I realised this manga was a reworking of the Zatoichi legend, one I adore. I'd first run across this story in one of the Zatoichi movies that had been made, only realising that there'd been a tv series before that and that the series hadn't been the first incarnation of this story either. As soon as I realised that this story wasn't one of those set in stone I began treating it much as I do the Hitchhiker's stories by Douglas Adams. If you're familiar with these then you know that there's no version exactly like any other and that's just how Adams liked it. To approach any Zatoichi story you have to be prepared to adopt and adapt the next time you run across it. And that's something else I love about Zatoichi.
In this story, named Ichi (of which I've heard there's a related movie named Ichi too - yes, it will be watched) Zatoichi appears as a blind female skilled in the art of the sword as well as more traditional female arts (music etc) and gambling. Skill at gambling and swordsmanship are a must for any Zatoichi portrayal as is the blindness, the ronin status and the wandering that gradually leads the character into becoming the centre of all the chaos. In this case, Ichi wanders in search of a strength she actually has already but believes she doesn't. Her past is traumatic, to say the least, and to survive a life where many other blind women suffered terrible fates she learns the art of sword fighting, her blindness lending her unexpected abilities. This time Ichi has a travelling companion, one she has become quite attached to but he has no idea that she is. While they have separate missions, they travel together for each other's sake and together become embroiled in the political upheaval surrounding the Black Ships and the arrival of the British in Japan.
When reading this version of Zatoichi, I became as engrossed as ever in the story. Ichi is a brilliant version of the character and the political drama that becomes entwined in her tale interesting. The arrival of the Black Ships begins a chain of events that threatens the samurai way of life, a life she is connected to despite being a unusual ronin. Ichi is a figure who keeps herself as separate as possible from most goings on but those around her recognise her skill and the possibility of her becoming an essential figure in the political world. And in order to protect her friends and companions Ichi's life does become increasingly entwined with the politics of the day.
The art of Ichi is by Shinohara Hana is subtle and carefully drawn, giving of an air of quietness that matches Ichi's personality while occasionally breaking out to reveal the bloody truths of her world in the fight scenes, the aggression of others and the attacks she endures. The expressions are wide ranging, just as the faces are, telling of an attention to detail. The fight scenes flow without interruption and are blended perfectly with the rest of the story. Effort has been put in to produce realism tinged with fantasy and the result is quite beautiful.

I'd recommend this manga to: those who love samurai stories, blind protagonists, the Zatoichi legend and sword fighting.

Notes on manga reader sites
The quality of manga readers can vary. The uploads are often done cheaply or as a serious hobby by a collective. Be aware that sometimes licence hasn't been given but the sites noted above, Manga Fox in particular, are extremely careful about adding and pulling mangas according to license agreements. So you shouldn't have to worry too much about the material being pirated. There are also translated works and non-translated. Amongst the translated works you will find that the quality of translation may vary according to the skills of the translators. Usually the works are perfectly readable anyway, with only a few added or dropped words or a word in the incorrect tense or with/out plurals. But sometimes the text becomes gobbledygook. In which case, either seek another version or give up and buy an official copy once a printed translation comes out. The other issue of note is you may need to expand the screen to read the text easily as sometimes the scans are minimised a little.
I find that if a page doesn't download properly or some other issue occurs (too slow or someone ordered the pages incorrectly etc.) with one reader then skipping across to another reader and picking up where I was is quite easy and rarely annoying.
Otherwise, enjoy and watch out you don't get too addicted you forget about the necessary things in life.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Rosy's scrawled manga recommendation: King Of Thorn by Iwahara Yuji

King Of Thorn
Iwahara Yuji


Blurb
Two twins, separated by fatal illness and a selective cure. Kasumi and her sister, Shizuku, were infected with the Medusa virus, which slowly turns the victim to stone. There is no cure, but of the two only Kasumi is selected to go into a sort of cryogenically frozen state along with 159 others until a cure is found. At some point in the undetermined future, Kasumi awakens to find herself and others who were in suspended animation in an unfamiliar world with violent monsters. Resolving to unlock the mysteries of her current situation and the fate of her twin sister, Kasumi struggles to survive in a treacherous world.

Alternative names
いばらの王
Ibara no Oh
König der Dornen
King of Thorn
Ibara no Ou

Status
Completed

Manga readers sites (free)
Manga Here, Manga Fox

Rosy's scrawlings on King Of Thorn
This manga starts from a simple enough point of dividing two siblings, twins to be exact, and you'd expect it all to revolve around the twins finding each other once more. Well, this theme is included but there are so many obstacles in Kasumi's way that the manga becomes much more than just this. While Kasumi's past and her search for her twin are paramount in tying all the other themes together, this manga is also heavily invested in world domination, megalomaniacs with power, cults, the apocalypse (as such) and human evolution. Much that comes from dystopian literature is included and the result is an intense, action filled read with more twists and turns than you could possibly guess at from the blurb.
Kasumi is a character that appears quite weak at first while her quickly made friend and love Marco Owen appears overly rough and possibly a criminal. Still, the pair have an instant bond, one made on trust and distrust alike but a bond nonetheless. And it is because of this bond that both manage to act and to survive against great odds as they try to discover just what has happened within and without the building where they had been in cold sleep. Along with a slowly dwindling group of survivors they battle against the clock, with regards to the petrifying disease Medusa, and a horde of monsters and thorns. At first it appears they've been in cold sleep so long that such beings have had time to evolve but this is but the first of many truths to crumble to dust.
King Of Thorn is a dystopian sci-fi action story that will appeal to those who love just that. For those unfamiliar with any of these genres, aside from action, then it is a quick way to become at least partially acquainted. The maze of lies, secrets and deceit matches the monster filled maze of Kasumi's limited surrounds, making for a complex yet easy to read introduction into all things dystopian sci-fi.
The art of King Of Thorn is somewhat scratchy, free flowing and focused on the scenery and the creation of interesting rather than beautiful characters. There's also an awareness of physical form and posture that tells of attentive study. The action scenes flow smoothly despite the rapid changes between panels, assisting in making King Of Thorn a quick and easy read. Above all, the action does not impede the dialogue or the story's themes. 

I'd recommend this manga to: lovers of science fiction, fantasy, dystopian literature, action, end of the world themes and crazed bad guys.

Notes on manga reader sites
The quality of manga readers can vary. The uploads are often done cheaply or as a serious hobby by a collective. Be aware that sometimes licence hasn't been given but the sites noted above, Manga Fox in particular, are extremely careful about adding and pulling mangas according to license agreements. So you shouldn't have to worry too much about the material being pirated. There are also translated works and non-translated. Amongst the translated works you will find that the quality of translation may vary according to the skills of the translators. Usually the works are perfectly readable anyway, with only a few added or dropped words or a word in the incorrect tense or with/out plurals. But sometimes the text becomes gobbledygook. In which case, either seek another version or give up and buy an official copy once a printed translation comes out. The other issue of note is you may need to expand the screen to read the text easily as sometimes the scans are minimised a little.
I find that if a page doesn't download properly or some other issue occurs (too slow or someone ordered the pages incorrectly etc.) with one reader then skipping across to another reader and picking up where I was is quite easy and rarely annoying.
Otherwise, enjoy and watch out you don't get too addicted you forget about the necessary things in life.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Faces of the Master from Dr Who

First, the Master precursor, Edward Brayshaw as The Monk. He played opposite the 1st Doctor and shows all the signs of Masterdom. The Master, as a character, was created 2 years after his appearance. 

William Hughes acted as the eight-year-old Master in 2007 and 2010.

Roger Delgado acted as the Master from 1971-1973. Delgado is the first official Master, by appearance.

Peter Pratt acted as the Master in 1976.

Geoffrey Beevers acted as and voiced the Master in 1981 for both TV and BBC radio drama produced by Big Finish Productions.

From 1981-1989 Anthony Ainley acted as the Master on TV and was also the Master for the computer game Destiny of the Doctors

Gordon Tipple acted as the Master for a movie in 1996.

Eric Roberts acted as the Master in the 1996 movie.

Derek Jacobi acted as the Master in  2007.

John Simm acted as the Master from 2007-2010.

In 2003 an android version of the Master voiced by Derek Jacobi appeared in the animated webcast Scream of the Shalka.

The Master is the street preacher in the Doctor Who Magazine (DWM) comic strip The Fallen, as later revealed in The Glorious Dead (DWM 287–296)

In Character Assassin (DWM 311), a version of the Delgado Master visits the Land of Fiction.

From The Glen of Sleeping by Gerry Haylock and Dick O'Neill, appearing in TV Action 107–111.

From Fogbound by Frank Langford, found in the Doctor Who Holiday Special 1973.

From The Time Thief by Steve Livesey, which appeared in the Doctor Who Annual 1974.

From The Man in the Ion Mask, which appeared in the Doctor Who Magazine Winter Special 1991.


The Master was played by Jonathan Pryce who deeply resembled the incarnation played by Roger Delgado in the Comic Relief sketch, Doctor Who and the Curse of Fatal Death.

Allergy free vanilla malt scones recipe


Ingredients
  • 2¼ cups Orgran self-raising flour
  • ⅓ cup Orgran gluten free gluten
  • 1 Orgran No Egg
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp sugar (optional)
  • 20g Nuttlex
  • 40-50mls Bickfords vanilla malt milk mix
  • ¾ cup goat’s milk
  • Extra goat’s milk for glazing

Method
  • Preheat oven to 220°C
  • Lightly grease baking tray.
  • Sift Orgran flour, Orgran gluten free gluten, baking soda, No Egg, salt and sugar into a large bowl
  • Rub in the Nuttlex, using fingertips until the mixture is fine and crumbly
  • Make a well in the centre of the mixture and pour the vanilla malt and goat’s milk into the well.
  • Mix lightly with spoon or spatula to form soft dough.
  • Slowly add small quantity of flour to prevent sticking, if needed.
  • Gather the dough together (do not knead) and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface.
  • Lightly press out the dough until it is 2.5 cm thick.
  • Cut out rounds with a floured 5 cm cutter.
  • Heat a baking tray in the oven for 5 minutes
  • Glaze with the extra goat's milk.
  • Bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown on the top.
  • If you are serving the scones warm, wrap them in a clean tea towel while still hot

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Chicken and cashew nut stir-fry recipe


Ingredients
  • 1 tsp No Egg whisked with 60mls water until thick
  • 1 tbsp cornflour
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 500g chicken breast, sliced
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 yellow capsicum, deseeded and sliced into strips
  • 1 red capsicum, deseeded and sliced into strips
  • 3 tbsps chicken stock from 2 tsps Massel salt reduced vegetarian powdered stock 
  • 2–3 tbsps allergy free soy sauce replacer
  • 2 large shallots, sliced
  • 4 tbsps roasted cashew nuts
  • Salt and white pepper, to taste

Method
  • Place the No Egg mixture into a bowl, add the cornflour and a pinch of salt and stir to combine.
  • Add the chicken to the mixture and coat the chicken well.
  • Heat a wok over a high heat and add the oil.
  • Fry the chicken, in batches, until golden brown and crispy.
  • Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on absorbent kitchen paper.
  • Pour off all the oil from the wok, reserving one tablespoon.
  • Reheat the remaining oil over a high heat.
  • Add the onion and stir-fry for a few seconds.
  • Add the yellow and red capsicum slices and stir-fry for one minute until they have softened a little.
  • Add the chicken pieces and stir-fry for one minute.
  • Add the stock, soy sauce replacer, salt and pepper.
  • Add the shallots and cashew nuts and give it a good stir.
  • Season the sauce with salt and pepper.

Allergy free coconut, lime and chilli chicken skewers recipe


Ingredients
  • ½ lime, juiced
  • ⅓ cup coconut milk
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 long red chilli, finely chopped, or 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp allergy free soy sauce replacer
  • 750g chicken, sliced 1cm thick or diced

Method
  • Using a vegetable peeler cut long strips of rind from the lime.
  • Combine the coconut milk, garlic, chilli, fish sauce, soy sauce replacer and lime juice in a shallow dish.
  • Reserve 2 tablespoons of the marinade.
  • Add the chicken to the remaining marinade and toss to coat.
  • Cover the chicken with cling wrap and refrigerate for 3-4 hours.
  • Cook on or under a medium-high heat, using a grill, bbq or griddle.
  • Thread the chicken onto some pre-soaked bamboo skewers, reserving the marinade.
  • Cook, brushing with the reserved coconut milk mixture, for 2-3 minutes each side or until lightly charred and cooked through.