How do you like dem apples


I have always been anti-apple. Always Windows and usually the top of whatever I needed (Dad always knew which.)

That was until last year. I started to use Apple computers, albeit with Windows and they were so nice. I still don’t like the OS, but I can no longer deny the beauty of an apple computer.

That feeling has grown. I had never owned an Apple iPod until last year either. Having had many problems with other mp3 players I decided to go with what was thought of as the best brand.

Yeah… it lasted a good 12 months and then completely crapped itself.

However, I was still convinced to buy another. They do make one 0f the best mp3 players, even if they may not last that long.

As soon as I saw the new touch nano, I fell in love with it. I had to have one. So I did. This time investing in an extended warranty. So if it is to shit itself like my last one, I get a full replacement, basically no questions asked.

Now that is awesome.

So the new touch nano is so tiny. Barely bigger than a postage stamp, seriously. Whenever I stick it in my bag, I can never find it. I have taken to clipping it to my shirt now, because it is basically a massive clip. No more need for those pesky arm bands when you want to get out and do a bit of exercise with music. Whoever thought of doing that deserves a gold star. Or an apple… #seewhatIdidthere

The touch screen is exactly like an iPod touch or iPhone, so smooth and easy. But is it just the basics of an iPod. Strictly music, with the bells and whistles that now come with an mp3 player – radio, pedometer, clock…

The albums, songs, artists etc are now icons on the screen and during play, pause, repeat and shuffle are just merely a touch away. Sliding to the right takes you back, very handy.

There are only three buttons. The main button, which turns the pod on and off and the up and down volume buttons.

Another handy trick is when placing two fingers in opposite corners you can rotate the screen to whichever way you want/need to look at it.

You probably do need to see it to understand how awesome it is, but I would recommend it if you are in the market for a new mp3 player. Once again, apple has redesigned the mp3 market. Or, at least in my opinion they have.

Having just praised apple on their mp3 players, I will do it again with their phones.

My last phone was a Panasonic VS2. I had that puppy for four and a half years. It served me well.

Then it died.

It didn’t take much for me to decide on what phone I would get. I hadn’t liked any other phone that had come onto the market since I bought my trusty old Panasonic, but playing with Dad’s iPhone, I could see the benefits in having one for work purposes (I am now a journalist with an iPhone. Keeping that stereotype alive then, aren’t I?)

I was just going to get a 3GS, but then, when I finally had saved up enough money, the iPhone 4 was released. So I decided to just go for broke and get one. Despite some of the bad press it has had.

I have had no problems with it. It is just fantastic and a much needed upgrade from my previous phone. I honestly don’t know what I would do now if I did not have it.

Yes, it is now an extension of myself, I barely go anywhere without it. There have been jokes about me getting too attached to it. I know where to draw the line though, I hope.

I guess you could say I am now officially an “Apple fan girl”. Except I will not wait in a ridiculous line to get my hands on their newest product. I’d rather be patient and give it a couple weeks. It would just be a waste of my time otherwise. I got livin’ to do!

And if someone were to throw an iPhone 4 off a bridge. I would not jump off as well to save it. I might be an apple fan now, doesn’t mean I’m stupid.

The time for Brownie is upon us.

UPON US: Apple brownie with cinnamon, sprinkled with icing sugar – a great easy dessert
Brownies are easy and tasty. This recipe I came across at Brownie Recipes is very simple. I was wanting to use up some of the granny smith apples my Mum had given me so to Google I went. I played around with it a bit a second time, because I didn’t like it much the first time, but unfortunately I didn’t take any pictures of the second lot.

Brownies can be eaten as an afternoon snack or with coffee after dinner. But as the picture shows they can also be a quick easy dessert when you don’t have much time or when you just want to whip something up without having to go out and buy ingredients.

I find that I usually have all the ingredients in my cupboard/fridge at any given time and I only ever eat granny smith apples – so you’ll be sure to find them in the fruit bowl at my house.


125g margarine.

1 cup of sugar.

1 medium egg, beaten.

½ cup of chopped nuts. (optional)

2 medium apples, peeled, cored and finely chopped.

1 cup of flour.

½ teaspoon of baking powder.

½ teaspoon of baking soda.

½ teaspoon of salt.

½ teaspoon of cinnamon.

Preparation Instructions:

Cream the margarine, sugar and egg beating until smooth.

Stir in the chopped nuts and apples.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon; then fold into the batter using a spoon.

Turn the batter into a greased 20cm by 20cm baking pan.

Bake at 175°C for 40 minutes.

Allow to cool, then cut into squares.


The second time around I omitted the cinnamon and instead added 3/4 cup of cocoa. I liked the cocoa brownies better than the cinnamon – but that is probably because I’m a sucker for anything chocolate.

Because the apples are very moist once they are cut up it would be worthwhile letting them sit on paper towels for a bit or to try and squeeze some of the water out of them before you add them to the mixture. This is because the brownie comes out quite moist and turns very sticky after a day or so.

Instead of greasing the pan, lining the pan with baking paper means the brownie can just be lifted out of the tin with absolutely no sticking and easy clean up!

One of the most important things to do when baking is to have fun – if baking is not fun and turns into a chore, you’re doing it wrong. So when making these brownies I decided to have a little fun with peeling the apples – it’s much easier to show you:

SKILLS: I has them. One continuous peel from an apple. Impressive, if I do say so myself.

Re-inventing the pin-wheel

I love pin-wheels. I cannot describe why I love them so much, but I think it is a humour aspect. They sound funny and they look funny and you can pretty much put whatever you like in them.

These apple and honey ones were an experiment. I can make a basic scone recipe and it is easy to put whatever ingredient you want on the dough once it is rolled out. But the fun part is finding new exciting ingredients to make more tasty pin-wheels.

I usually make chilli and cheese pin-wheels. They are tasty and simple – you just spread some sweet chilli sauce and grate some cheese and you’re good to go. However, having just gotten back from Hawke’s Bay laden down with wonderous amounts of food courtesy of my mother, I now have about 15kgs worth of granny smith apples sitting in my kitchen/dinning room. Needless to say, something needed to be done with them – bring on ideas of baking with apples.


3 cups standard flour

6 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

75g butter

1-1/2 cups of milk

2 apples

1/4 cup of liquid honey


Sift flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Rub butter into dry ingredients with fingers until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add milk, small amounts at a time. Mix together by cutting the ingredients with a knife.

Knead dough on a flat, floured surface until smooth. Roll out until dough is about 5mm thick and you have a large rectangle.

Peel and grate both apples and combine with the honey. Spread filling evenly over the dough. Roll the dough to form a log. Cut the log into prefered size of pin-wheels.

Place pin-wheels on baking tray and place in the oven for about 10 minutes at 220°. Pin-wheels will puff up to about twice the size. Once they are golden brown remove them from the oven.

Best served warm, but still tasty cold.


This basic recipe for the dough is fool proof, you can use it for any type of scone or pin-wheel. Where I went wrong was in the filling.

By grating the apples I made them too moist and created difficulties when it came to rolling the dough into a log. By draining the moisture that came out of the apples it would have made better pin-wheels. You could also just make them into cubes or slices. By mixing the apple with the honey, it made the liquid come out of the apples also contributing to the wet mess I had to deal with.

You have to be careful with scone dough that you do not add too much milk. One problem I had while making these was I added too much milk. If you add it slowly and not necessarily the whole amount then the dough will be fine.

Other ideas for filling

Sweet chilli sauce and cheese

Marmite and cheese


Baked beans



Chicken and cranberries with camembert

Other fruits e.g. dates, crasins.

Really you can add whatever your imagination can think of. The possibilities are endless.