Urban dictionary or translator app?

I started using Twitter recently. In case you missed the revolution, Twitter is a micro-blogging platform. What that means is that you can send messages of 140 characters to other Twitter users. Messages are short, sweet, and often bewildering.

The idea is to “follow” a bunch of interesting people to hear what they have to say. It’s a bit like status updates in Facebook, except that you can follow thousands of people, and there is no need to know any of them personally. Where Facebook is for following friends, Twitter is for following celebrities (although with Facebook fan pages that’s not really true anymore). But perhaps I’m being too cynical. You can also use Twitter to connect with communities of people who share your interests.

I’m not a huge fan, yet. Things happen too quickly and I don’t understand the language, as you’ll see.

Today I was looking at the statistics for my professional blog. I noticed that someone had shared a link to one of my posts on Twitter. Curious to see who tweeted it and why (this is a rare but exciting occurrence for a new blogger), I searched Twitter, and I found the tweet. Very cool! I thought. And then I read the tweet. “Mooie review…” followed by a bunch of hashtags (which are like keywords) and a link to my post.

Mooie? What the heck does that mean? So I googled it. And the Urban Dictionary offered me three definitions. Go ahead, go read them – I’ll wait.

I was a little bummed. Obviously my post was absolute rubbish, and now the whole world knew.

But I kept wondering, why would someone tweet a link to my post just to announce that it was awful? So I dug a little deeper. I looked up the guy’s Twitter profile and read a few of his other tweets. Some of them were in another language…Dutch.

Mooie in Dutch is NICE!

I think next time I’ll use the translator app first.

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Chocolate nut truffles

Chocolate nut truffles

I seem to be on a food theme lately, but these are so good I had to share. I’ve made them a bunch of times, and each time they come out a little bit different.

Here’s the basic recipe to get you started. All the nuts are raw.

5 dates
1/3 c water
4 tbsp virgin coconut oil
1 c Walnuts
1/2 c Almonds
1/2 c Hazelnuts
1/2 c Coconut – shredded, unsweetened
3 heaped tsp cocoa powder (the best stuff you can find)
1 tsp ground coffee (or instant)

  1. Chop up the dates, put them in a microwave safe dish and add the water. Heat in the microwave for a minute, then mash the dates into the water to form a paste.
  2. Melt the coconut oil.
  3. Grind the nuts in a food processor.
  4. Mix all the ingredients together and form into balls.
  5. Chill before eating.

Really you can use any nuts you have on hand – unsalted cashews, pistachios, pecans, pumpkin seeds – and you can vary the quantities. If you’re like me and absolutely detest Walnuts, don’t worry, you can’t taste them in these truffles at all. Make sure you use virgin coconut oil. It has a delicious coconut flavor, which really enhances the truffles.

Snow day!

I’m like a three-year old in the snow. I admit it. I’ve been waiting all winter for this!

It’s so quiet – all I can hear is the squeaky snow under my boots and a single crow cawing from the top of the tallest tree. And the bushtits twittering on the feeder.

Gratuitous bike photo for Patrick
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Pumpkin Pie with a nut crust

Pumpkin Pie

I remember the first time mum made pumpkin pie. I thought she was nuts. Pudding made from a vegetable? That’s just weird!

But it was delicious, and now I can say it’s one of my favorites! Here’s a recipe with a twist. Instead of the traditional pastry crust, it has a nut crust, a bit like a crushed biscuit/graham cracker crust.

Crust
1/2 c hazelnuts
1 c pecans
4 tbsp coconut oil, melted
pinch of salt

Filling
1 14oz can of pumpkin puree (not pie filling, just plain pumpkin)
– or cook and puree your own pumpkin
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ginger
2 eggs
1/2 c raw honey
1/2 coconut milk

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  2. Grind the nuts in a food processor until they look like crushed biscuits/graham crackers.
  3. Mix the nuts with the coconut oil and salt.
  4. Press the nut mixture into a pie plate.
  5. Cook the crust in the oven for 10 minutes.
  6. While the crust is in the oven, whisk the filling ingredients together.
  7. Once the crust has cooked for 10 minutes, pour the filling into the crust.
  8. Return the pie to the oven and bake for an additional 45 minutes, or until the filling has set.

Give it a try. I think you’ll like it!

Photo via Flickr user satmandu

Creating a personal wiki

Kolapore Ski Trail Through the PinesWe’ve all heard of and probably used Wikipedia. But do you know what makes a wiki different than an ordinary website? And did you know you could create your own personal wiki?

1. What is a wiki?

A wiki is a web page that you can edit directly in the browser. That means that if you wanted to contribute to Wikipedia, you could sign up and start editing wiki pages. It’s pretty simple. Most wiki pages have an Edit button, you click that, and off you go, updating what someone else has written, or adding new content.

2. Why would I want my own wiki?

You could use it instead of a blog for keeping track of your favorite recipes, lists of books you’ve read or intend to read, club activities, to do lists, and packing lists.

But wikis are most useful when a group of people want to work on a project together. Say, for example, you’re planning a ski weekend. As a group you need to decide where to stay, who is going to cook and what, who is bringing the food, who has spare snowshoes, all that planning stuff that results in lots of emails back and forth. If you use a wiki instead, all the information is updated in one place where you can all see it.

Here’s a video that shows how to use a wiki for planning a camping trip:

If the video doesn’t work, try this link: http://www.commoncraft.com/video-wikis-plain-english

3. Where can I create my own wiki?

There are lots of places you can get a free wiki for personal use. The one I’ve used is PB Works. There’s no software to install. You just create a free account, and off you go.

When you create your wiki workspace, you can make it public for everyone to see, or you can make it private, so that only people you invite can see. Here’s the Settings tab where you do that:

That’s it in a nutshell. Give it a try and let me know how it goes. And if you get stuck, give me a yell – here in the Comments or by email.

Photo via Flickr user Bobcatnorth