Sunday, September 25, 2011

The SV Times Presents - Cooking with Kacyn

Hi, I'm Kacyn McPherson-Hill and as one of the top chefs in the city, I've been asked to write a cooking column.

I've agreed to use my lovely home kitchen for the column. You need some free counter space and a stove to cook most meals. A variety of cooking utensils and pots will make it easier though you can improvise that sometimes.

Today's recipe is Ratatouille - a french classic

Now my first cooking tip is always buy in season produce and the best quality ingredients that you can afford.
Ratatouille requires tomato paste, onion, a small eggplant, small zucchini and 1 largish red bell pepper.

My second cooking tip is to buy kitchen appliances that will save you time and make cooking a more enjoyable experience. I know that some chefs insist that all you need is a sharp knife; that you should chop and mix all ingredients yourself. If that puts you off the idea of cooking, then use an appropriate gadget. Cooking at home is healthier and cheaper than your average restaurant.

Of course, The Bistro where I work is not an average restaurant. Our food is very healthy, but it's not at all cheap.

I place each of the vegetables into this food processor which I've set to fine slice. It's important to keep the vegetables separate at this stage.

Once the vegetables are sliced, I put the tomato paste into a dish and carefully consecutively lay each type the vegetables on top, making sure that they overlap. See how I've made a pretty pattern with the assembled layers.

I recommend starting in the center and working your way outwards. Drizzle with olive oil, add a dash of salt and pepper.

Place the dish in a hot oven and bake for about 40 minutes.

You want the vegetables are releasing their juices but not completely limp.

Remove from the oven and serve on a plate with some good crusty French bread. Suitable for lunch or a light dinner.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Family Bios from Sunset Valley - Harkness and Landgraab Families

The Harkness Family

Jack Harkness

Sim Origins: me
Age: Adult
Occupation: Business - Vice President
Characteristics: Flirty, Brave, Charismatic, Adventurous, Great Kisser
Brief biography: Jack is not only one of the top business men in SV, he's also a well-paid gigolo. His magnetic personality can overwhelm either friend or foe, especially when he turns the charm on. He and Ollie were two of the first in town to take advantage of a new technique for a gay couple to have biological children.

Ollie Harkness

Sim Origins: by Chrysame
Age: Adult
Occupation: Military - Grunt
Characteristics: Flirty, Absent-Minded, Genius, Excitable, Kleptomanic
Brief biography: Ollie is well aware that Jack isn't the most faithful of spouses. He forgives Jack because Jack always remembers who is first and foremost in his life, both his best friend and his spouse. Ollie drifts from career to career, none of them have been his true calling. While he has been in the military for some time, his low rank shows his lack of interest.

Stuart Harkness

Son of Jack and Ollie Harkness
Age: Child
Characteristics: Excitable, Genuis, Hot-Headed
Brief biography:Hot-headed Stuart has always been a handful. His fathers have been getting reports of him bullying the smaller kids at school. Everyone hopes it's just a phase that the boy will grow out of but Stuart's teens years are about to begin. Will his behaviour improve or grow worse.

Lizette Harkness

Daughter of Jack and Ollie Harkness
Age: Child
Characteristics: Brave, Technophobe, Light Sleeper
Brief biography:While not as inclined to start trouble as her twin brother, Lizette will always jump in to his defense. Whether or not he needs or deserves any help. Her fear of technology makes her slower in many of the school subjects then some of her classmates. Not one of her classmates dare call her names, her brother has made it clear what would happen to them if they did.

Tyrone Harkness

Son of Jack and Ollie Harkness
Age: Toddler
Characteristics: Genius, Friendly
Brief biography: The much loved youngest child of the Harkness family. Will this spoilt toddler still grow up well?

The Landgraab Family

Nancy Landgraab

Sim Origins: EA Games
Age:deceased (age)

Geoffrey Landgraab

Sim Origins:EA Games
Age: Elder
Occupation: Medicine - World Renowned Surgeon
Characteristics:Good Sense of Humor, Loves the Outdoors, Family-Oriented, Hopeless Romantic, Charasmatic
Brief biography: Geoffrey's first wife was Nancy Landgraab famous heiress of the Landgraab family. Geoffrey stuck with medicine in spite of his wish to be an author because ambitious Nancy would not settle for less then a doctor. Very much a family man, he did as much with their sons as his busy career would allow. After Nancy died, Geoff has married a much younger woman, Mindi.

Mindy Landgraab

Age: Adult
Characteristics: Couch Potato, Perfectionist, Excitable, Neat, Friendly
Brief biography: The second wife of Geoffrey. Rumours have it that Mindy is a gold-digger, latching on to one of the town's richest families and a husband much older than herself.

Brendon Landgraab

Son of Nancy and Geoffrey Landgraab
Age: Teen
Characteristics: Loves the Outdoors, Perfectionist, Light Sleeper, Mooch
Brief biography: The much younger son of Geoffrey and Nancy, he shares his passion for the outdoors with his dad. It remains to be seen if Brendon will follow his heart or follow the money like his parents did. Since the passing of Nancy, Brendon may feel less pressure to live up to the family reputation.

The Landgraab Family (1)

Malcolm Landgraab

Sim Origins: Ea Games
Age: Young Adult
Occupation: Politics - Local Representative
Characteristics: Technophobe, Good, Bookworm, Photographer's Eye, Ambitious.
Brief biography:Malcolm successfully resisted the pressure of his mother to be a leading business man or doctor. He decided to go into politics and be the voice of good in a career loaded with corrupt politicians. He recently moved his family to a new home away from his father and his new step mother.

Bella (Bachelor) Landgraab

Sim Origins: Ea Games
Age: Young Adult
Occupation: Music - Band Manager
Characteristics: Workaholic, Brave, Party Animal, Good, Lucky.
Brief biography:As a teen, Bella was interested in both Mortimer Goth and Malcolm Landgraab. Malcolm won her heart by his good nature and not being as grumpy as Mort. Between her music and three children, she is quite the busy person.

Destiny Landgraab

Daughter of Malcolm and Bella Landgraab
Age: Child
Characteristics: Loves the Outdoors, Loser, Friendly
Brief biography: Destiny is being raised in a house of love, without the pressure her dad had to withstand. She is a friendly soul, but the kids in school mostly don't see beyond that loser trait that makes her last in every game she tries.  The birth of twin siblings has meant that her parents have little time they can dedicate to the problems and questions of their oldest child.

Douglas Landgraab

Son of Malcolm and Bella Landgraab
Age: Baby
Characteristics: Loves the Outdoors, Genius
Brief biography: Twin brother of Melodie.

Melodie Landgraab

Daughter of Malcolm and Bella Landgraab
Age: Baby
Characteristics: Clumsy, friendly
Brief biography: Twin sister of Douglas.

Friday, September 2, 2011

The two year anniversary of this blog

On the second of September 2009, I declared myself sick of trying to have any meaning conversations or do storytelling on the forums. And so this blog was begun.

It's always had guest Sims.
It's always been about following Sims around and seeing what they make of their lives in free will.

It's kind of hard to follow because of that, though the newspaper format does help make sense of it.

So happy anniversary to my oldest Sims blog.