Sunday, April 29, 2012

Top 7 Websites to Help with Homework

These websites will be the homework companions you've always wanted.

Make this school year your most successful ever with these helpful online resources.

1. Spark Notes

This should be the secret weapon for all English and English literature students. This online treasure is filled with detailed summaries and analyses of all types of literature. All you need to do is click on the SparkNotes tab and you'll be on your way to understanding novels and plays that you have been wrestling with for far too long.

2. Bon Patron

Not achieving the marks you had hoped for in French class? Well, you'll have your grade heading in the right direction with the help of this handy website. If you're working on a writing assignment and are unsure about whether a sentence or even an entire paragraph is written correctly, go to bonpatron.com, type or paste your text into the field and click on "Check Text." What this site does ishighlight areas that aren't correct, explains what you did wrong and gives you the information you need to make the corrections. It plays the role of an online tutor and is a wonderful teaching tool!
Boasting practice equations, tutorials, math games and various calculators, Math.com offers help for all levels of math and covers everything from geometry to calculus to trigonometry. The site is constantly being updated to stay current with new math curricula.

4. Rhyme Zone

Sufferers from writer’s block can now rejoice! This rhyming dictionary goes above and beyond to help you find that elusive word. Choose from the many categories that range from basic rhyme to antonyms to only matching specific consonants!Poetry will become a breeze now that you'll be able to rhyme with more ease!
Whether you’re studying Spanish, Italian, Korean or Greek, this online translator has everything you'll need for your writing assignments! Equipped with 15 different languages, simply choose the language you desire, type in the word you are struggling with and your problem will be solved in a matter of seconds. Wordreference.com can also conjugate verbs and will be a helpful resource to get you through assignments much quicker, and improve your marks at the same time.

6. Wordle

Want to add a little colour and creativity to a class assignment? Wordle takes any block of text that you enter into the site and arranges the keywords to create a word image. These word images are great ways to spice up a cover page for an essay or project and can even be a nice little visual to include in a PowerPoint presentation. You can also tailor the word image to your liking by changing elements such as colour, font and layout.

7. Skype

Although not really a website, after you download this software you’ll never look back. With its video-calling feature, Skype will make meeting up for group projects a breeze! Instead of having to pack up all the things you’d need for the project and finding a time and place that works for everyone in the group, just get everyone on Skype, have a video conference and all the hassle is taken away. What's better than consulting with your team members from the comfort of your own home? And the best part about Skype is that it’s FREE!!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Pop Martini Jelly Shot

Blow Pop Martini Jelly Shots, watermelon and sour apple flavors

I blame my current candy-inspired cocktail obsession on Three Olives Bubble Gum Flavored vodka, 100%. Although it is unusual for me to steer towards sweet cocktails, I find myself completely overcome with infatuation for this spirit. I concocted these Blow Pop Martini Jelly Shots for JSTK's TV debut on Twin Cities Live (here's the link to the segment if you would like to watch . . .),
and am eagerly searching for more Bazooka-flavor friendly drinks - if you have any inspiration in this regard, please comment or send me an email!

Have a happy and safe New Years Eve, everyone!

Cheers and XOXOX,


Blow Pop Martini Jelly Shot

Difficulty:  Easy

Recommended Pan:  flexible silicone mold, small oval savarin shape (24 cavity, I used this one) OR a standard 1 lb loaf glass or non-reactive metal loaf pan (approximately 8" x 4")

  • 1/3 cup frozen lemonade concentrate (thawed and strained to remove solids)
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 2 1/2  envelopes Knox gelatin (if not using a mold, decrease to 2 envelopes!)
  • 3/4 cup bubble flavor vodka (we used Three Olives brand)
  • 1 tbsp Watermelon Pucker liqueur
  • 1 tbsp Sour Apple Pucker liqueur
  • Lollipop sticks and mini cupcake wrappers for serving, if desired

Prepare the mold by spraying lightly with cooking spray, then wiping the mold cavities clean with a paper towel.  (This will leave a very slight residue which will help unmold the jelly shots, without affecting their taste or appearance.)  No preparation is needed if the jelly shots will be set in a loaf pan.  

Pour lemonade concentrate and water into a small saucepan. Sprinkle with gelatin and allow to soak for a minute or two.  Heat over very low heat, stirring constantly, until gelatin is fully dissolved (approximately 5 minutes). Stir in the vodka. 

Divide the mixture into two bowls. To one bowl add the Watermelon Pucker, to the other, the Sour Apple Pucker.  Pour into molds and chill until fully set, several hours or overnight. 

To serve, unmold.  Cut the lollipop sticks into approximately 1 1/2 inch segments.  Immediately before serving, insert one into each jelly shot and place each jelly shot in a mini cupcake wrapper. 

Yield: 24 jelly shots.