31 March, 2010

Dish #4 British

I cooked this last week at some point but since I've been so busy ju
ggling two jobs I've had no time to write it up! This is one of three dishes I've cooked over the last couple of weeks I haven't had time to share with you and it's one of my favourites. When I was growing up my mother always made her own fish and chips because of the fact she was always on a diet however since moving in with my other half we always just buy it, especially at our old flat as there was a shop just along the street. Fish and Chips always brings back memories of going to my grandparents for tea after school when both my parents were working. My grandparents always provided fish and chips but from a chippy opposed to my grandmother making them. It wasn't just a tradition for my sister and me but for all my cousins when they visited my grandparents. Growing up in a seaside town meant fish and chips was a popular tea meal when I visited friends too, chippy dinners were never in shortage.

Fish and Chips is a popular British take away meal that orginates from the 1800's. It started out a cheap workmans meal when men started trawling for fish in the North Sea. The meal usually consists of fried fish, usually either haddock, cod or flounder in batter or breadcrumbs and chips. The first fish and chip shop was opened in London and there is a plaque to commerate this.

My version of fish and chips was something I would of been proud to
serve any inlaws. It consisted of fish fried in bread crumbs, home made chips and mint mushy peas, it was delicious and I cannot wait to make it again. The most surprising thing of all is it wasn't half as hard to make as my mother used to make it look! Enjoy!

Dish number number 4, posh fish & chips with minty mushy peas!

Looking at the pictures is making me so hungry! I was a bit dubious when it came to doing a dish from my home land for Around the World in 80 Dishes, but I've found lots of dishes I'd like to try, I may even get the boy to make his Shepards Pie! The flavours of this dish go so well together, I urge everyone to try and make their own take aways, much healthier!

The ingredients that are needed are enough potatoes to make chips for however many people are eating. Frozen peas (cheaper and nicer than tinned), 2 eggs, breadcrumbs, mint and stock. You can really use whatever fish you like for this. I went for Seabass because we had some in the freezer (it came with orange butter but I didn't fancy that). It is better to use already skinned fish but again it doesn't really matter, the seabass I used still had the skin on it. You'll of course need seasoning, salt, pepper, garlic. If you want to add a kick to the fish or chips I recommend adding some cumin and paprika to either the bread crumbs or on the chips before cooking.You'll also need some butter to go in with the peas and whatever oil or fat you like best for the chips. I always use fry light, it's healthy and if makes the chips nice and crispy.

First peel the potatoes and chop into chip shaped oblongs.

Pop in a pan, season and cover with hot water. Pot on the hob and cook until soft. Test they're soft enough with a knife then drain.

Cover a cooking tray with tin foil (or grease paper like I did because I ran out of tin foil), cover the tray in a little oil then put the chips on. Then cover the chips in some oil so both sides are coated. Put in a pre heated oven until cooked.

In the mean time, put the frozen peas in a pan and cover with water. Add the stock and butter, stir until both have disolved into the water then cook until the peas are soft.

Next take the peas off the heat and drain them. Add in 10 leaves of mint and blend in a blender or using a hand blender like I did. Or if you had neither you could mash them and I'm sure it would have the same effect. Return them to a low heat and cover so they don't go cold while preperaring the fish. Remember to stir them once in a while so they don't stick to the bottom of the pan.

Place breadcrumbs in one bowl and two beaten eggs into another. Season the breadcrumbs with garlic salt and pepper.
Cover the fish both sides in the egg mixture then place in the bread crumbs. Make sure both sides are coated well.

Heat a little bit of oil in a frying pan and cook the fish on both sides.

Put everything on a plate with a slice of lemon for the fish and serve.

I don't really like peas but the peas mixed with mint went so well with the lemon and freshness of the fish. Even though I have enjoyed all my other dishes this was probably my favourite.

If you'd like to offer a country for me to create a recipe from or even a recipe you think I should try, please feel free on my project page for Around the World in 80 Dishes. Everything I plan on cooking has elements of authentic and traditional recipes with my own personal twist.

29 March, 2010

Give Away #1

What could be in the bag? Hmm? It is finally time for the first ever Seventy Seven Give Away!

I'm sorry I have been absent for most of the week. I've been so busy and so tired! I got a new job finally which means I will be busier but it hopefully means I'll have more evenings off work and can finally get into a routine. The best part of all I will finally have some more money! Today is my first shift but it's al
l paper work. The boy has also text me to tell me has been offered night shift which is more hours and more money. It's only for six months too so it hopefully means we will soon have a bit of money behind us! This give away is to celebrate not only reaching 25 follows (however we're now up to 35+!) but also to celebrate the fact that hopefully my life is starting to improve. We can be hopeful.

So what IS in the bag?
My first give away consists of a beautiful photo frame I bought from Serendipity in Eldon Square. It's one of my favourite shops and somewhere I frequent once a week. At the moment I'm currently trying to make our flat look more like our home and this shop sells some of the most beautiful house hold things. It also sells very unique cards. It is also excellent value for money. I bought very cute signs for different rooms at £1.99 each!

I'm also throwing in one of Lush's new bath bombs, Ikle Baby Bot. I think it is supposed to be for children but it smells gorgeous and the one I've used made my skin really soft (again reasons why I think it's probably a childrens one).

To enter, all you have to do is leave your name, your email & your blog link if you have one.
The winner will be selected by a random number generator. Closing date for this is 5th April. Good luck everyone!

24 March, 2010

Product Review #2 'Urban Decay Alice in Wonderland Book of Shadows'

A few weeks back I was simply browsing in the new Debenhams in town when the girl on Urban Decay invited me over to take a look at their new products, one was the highly sort after Alice in Wonderland Book of Shadows. I'd seen it going on ebay for £50+ and I had promised myself I wouldn't buy it as I had a MAC shadow pallet already. However when I saw the beautiful colours I couldn't resist. I vowed when I got home I'd sell the MAC colours I didn't use much to pay for the pallet. I've recently been severely disappointed by MAC and I've moved from there to Nars and Benefit instead so it wasn't too much of a push to sell enough eyeshadows to make by the £28 I was paying for the Urban Decay pallet and now after 3 or 4 weeks I am so glad I did!

Since buying the pallet myself I've read some mixed reviews about it but personally I love it. It's completely converted my to Urban Decay colours and I know I'll be buying Book of Shadows Volume Two as soon as I have some spare cash. The eyeshadows last on my eyes all day, including nights out and a long day at work. My old MAC ones always rubbed off half way through the day, especially any bright colours I wore leaving my eyes looking dull and tired. I don't particularly like the glitter based ones for the only reason that if you're not careful while applying some of the glitter can fall on your face. Luckily I found it pretty easy to dab the spare bits of glitter up but I can understand that it is a nusence. My favourite colours are Drink Me, Eat Me, Vorpal, Jabberwocky, Mushroom & Mad Hatter. Jabberwocky teamed with Vorpal gives a delicious smokey effect but it also looks great in the creases with any number of colours, my favourite so far has been with Queen and can just be seen in yesterdays post on my third outfit down. My other favourite combination is Mushroom with Wonderland over the top, it makes a beautiful antique gold colour.

I was pleasantly surprised by the 24/7 eye pencils. For some reason I've never experimented with Urban Decay eye pencils even though I am on the hunt for the perfect long lasting eyeliner. I always always wear black eyeliner on my water line, I think my eyes look awful without the definition of it the 24/7 pencil last quite a long time, I only needed to apply it once while at work for 10 hours which is pretty impressive. It's excellent for smudging on the lid for the smokey eye effect. The only problem is it does go down fast I've h
ad to sharpen it once already, I'm sure this is only because it's a gel liner as this seems to be the case with most other gel liners (such as Bad Gals Waterproof Eyeliner). I loved the blue colour you get with it. It looks excellent around the whole eye and really brightens the blue in my eyes. Both pencils also go on smoothly which is a good in my book.

My least favourite product in the Book of Shadows is the eye shadow primer. I had heard people rave about this stuff but I just can't get away with it. I find it really watery and it takes forever to dry which is useless if you're in a hurry. It's also really hard to get it on evenly. I much prefer my MAC painterly paint pot as a base.

Over all, I love it and I do think it was worth getting since it is a bit of a collectors item. And like I've said many many times I'm a sucker for all things Alice.

Product: Urban Decay;'s Alice in Wonderland Book of Shadows
Price: £28
From: Debenhams
Buy it again? I would if I could

23 March, 2010

"Style is an expression of individualism mixed with charisma. Fashion is something that comes after style.” - John Fairchild

32 followers, wow! Thank you guys, I really appreciate all your comments and enjoy reading them so keep them coming! I'm almost done collecting bits for my first give away, I'll be posting about it later this week so watch out for that.

& now for something different, what have I been buying in February & March! I know I've been saving for the holiday of dreams (hoping to pass the £500 mark this weekend!) but it was my birthday and I had a few good pay days so of course treats were in order! I'm finally comfortable in my own style and I'm not really a trend follower because I just don't have the money to re do my wardrobe every season, but if I was Spring would be my favourite season. I live in dresses, tights and cardigans, even in the middle of winter so I look forward to when all the shops start to stock their beautiful floral dresses and I have to practice the most amazing restraint not to spend a fortune. I do of course buy a few, just to stock up for the coming year. Luckily for me, with my immense mountain of savings to do, Primark has had the cutest pieces so I haven't even had to go into my overdraft this year (for the first time in about 5 years!).

I'm a little bit nervous about this post and I've been putting off doing one for the past six weeks, but since I want to incorporate fashion into my blog I feel it has to be done. This is all because it's my style photos, as modelled by me. I have very little self confidence that's why there haven't been any of yet. There are no full body shots because my flat doesn't get very good light in anywhere that had somewhere to stand my camera on, I will need to invest in a tripod if i'm going to carry on doing this. There was no way I'm going to ask the boy to take pictures of me for two reasons really, one he always makes me laugh and two he takes them from odd angles so I always look like a giant with ten chins. Portrates aren't his photography forte.

I'm going to apologize now for all creases and any shots where it will seem like I'm posing because lets face it I am (who would want photos of themselves looking like a whale on their blog?). I'm not doing it for attention just to show of some outfits i've been wearing lately and if the reception of these photos is mostly good, then I'm hoping to start a Weekly Wardrobe project.

Clothes Buys for Feb/March 2010
L-R Polkadot Playsuit, Primark, £13 // Cream Lace Dress, Primark, £15 // Floral Playsuit, Primark, £13 // Blue Bow Dress, Miss Selfridge, £35 // Lace Leggings, New Look, £10 // Cream Long Cardigan, H&M, £10

Close up of patterns and details on the lace dress, floral playsuit & bow dress.

The cream lace dress from Primark is one of my favourite ever dresses, it's so flattering and it fits perfectly. I've worn it a lot but for some reason I don't have any outfit photos of it as of yet. I saw the other day Primark are now stocking other colours of it and I'm hoping to get the pale yellow version too. I used my birthday vouchers to buy the blue bow dress for the boys grandparents 60th Anniversary dinner. The collar and bows on it are so cute and the shape is very flattering, I am slightly disappointed with this because of how easily it creases. I have only worn it once to the dinner and we were in such a hurry I didn't get a chance to take an outfit photo.

Accessory Buys Feb/March 2010
Flower Hairclip, Accessorize, 80p // OPI Off With Her Red Varnish, Fenwicks, £9 // Diamond Ring, Miss Selfridge, 50p // Bow Necklace, Bit of Skirt, £7 // Love Bracelet, Accessorize, £4

I did receive more jewellery for my birthday but they're not really buys and I have already mentioned those. The flower hair clip was a bargin find in Accessorize, reduced to 80p because the pin had come off it, I love the colour. The gold ring is because I have a silver ring on my middle finger on my left hand that I used to take off when wearing gold jewellery but I felt so naked without it. The red of Off With Her Red is so perfect, I thought it would be more orange but it's not, I just really had to have one of the Alice in Wonderland OPI collaborations. The necklace is actually from Elsie Belle but I bought it in Bit of Skirt in Lincoln. I also bought the item below in Bit of Skirt

Vintage Tea Cup, Bit of Skirt, £1.75

It's beautiful and marked on the bottom as bone china. It's perfect for keeping my hair bobbles and curby grips in because I always lose them. It also looks really cute on my dressing table.

Snow White Loungefly Wallet, Ebay, £22-£23 ish

I asked the boy for this for my birthday, but since then we booked our holiday and he went on holiday leaving him short for my birthday so I used some money on ebay to buy this myself. It came all the way from America and it's beautiful. Best ever purse as it fits everything in and still stays slim.

Small Straw Bag, Primark, £2.50 // Cream Slouch Oversized Bag, Topshop Originally Thrifted for £12

I used to have the last seasons large straw bag from Primark but it was too bulky and hurt the back of my legs, I still loved it and reluctantly sold it on. So obviously I was delighted to find this cutie in blue in Primark for £2.50. It's half the size and will be perfect for summer trips to the pub. The cream bag was love at first sight and is current Topshop stock. It's gorgeous buttery fake leather and fits loads in. I get so many compliments on it and the best part is I got it for £12 on livejournal!

Nautical Flip Flops, Primark, £2

Gladiator Sandals, Primark, £4

Summer footwear from Primark is a must. With the amount of summer weather we get in England I begrude completely buying expensive sandals and the best part is the pair I had from Primark last year were the pair I walked all over Manhattan in and they were so comfortable. They're still wareable for this year so I'm saving them for Florida. They're identical to the tan pair I've bought this year except my old ones are in gold. The cute nautical flip flops are a bargin at £2. They come in blue and red and have a little fold anchor hanging on the toe post, they're also basket bottom which are my favourite kind since the foam bottom ones make my feet sweat.

& now, some outfits
while wearing my new buys

Black Cardigan, H&M, £10 // Blue Tunic, Primark, £?? // Lace Leggings, New Look, £10 // Bow Necklace, Bit of Skirt, £7.50

The blue tunic I stole from my little sister, it's a size 8 but fits perfectly and it's a lovely colour of blue. The H&M cardigans are a staple of mine, I'm trying to get one with every pay cheque as they are so comfy and go with everything. And I love the second picture because it shows my layers in my hair perfectly.

Long Length Cream Cardigan, H&M, £10 // Floral Playsuit, Primark, £13 // 100 Denier Tights, Sock Shop, £5.99 // Cinderella Carriage Necklace, Elsie Belle, £14.95

I love how lovely my hair looks in this photo, but it's not about hair, no, it's about how amazing this playsuit is. The material reminds me of a floral dress my mum had when I was a child, she wore it to my sisters christening, it even had shoulder pads like this playsuit but I removed them because I hate the big shoulders trend. This playsuit fits perfect for me, I struggled to find one that fitted my odd shaped body and I was so surprised that it was in Primark I found it (as many people always say how shapeless Primark clothes are). The cardigan was on offer for £10 in H&M, I wish I'd bought more colours because the offers finished now and I live in this one, I guess i'll just have to pay £15 for another couple. The necklace was of course my Valentines gift from the boy.

Pussy Bow Top, Uniqlo, £4.99 // Tutu Skirt, Topshop, £28 // Heart Print Tights, Topshop, £8 // Tom Binns for Disney Couture Pocket Watch Necklace, Treasure Box, £40 // Bow Hairband, Primark, £??

Three photos this time to try and show the heart pattern on my tights. I have these in black too and although £8 is a ridic amount to pay for some tights especially Topshop tights that ladder so easily (although I've been so careful that mine are still going strong after about three wears) I just love them. I have a polka dot version from Primark for a meer £2 but they're just not half as cute as the heart print ones. The skirt and top are both very old but I love them, the top is insanely bobbled down but it's so flattering. The necklace was a birthday gift from the boy, I was a bit gutted to find it's not a working pocket watch but it still hangs in the perfect place.

Cashmere Blend Cardigan, Urban Outfitters, £9.99 // Polkadot Playsuit, Primark, £13 // 100 Denier Black Tights, Sock Shop, £5.99 // Princess Disney Couture Necklace, Truffleshuffle, £18

When I saw Primark were doing a polka dot version of my beloved playsuit in grey or black I had to have it. Black with white spots is a classic so that's the one I chose. I don't like it as much as the floral one but it's still a cutie. The pink cardigan is so ballerina esq and comfy due to it being a cashmere blend, it was supposed to be about £50 but I was lucky enough to get it in one of Urban Outfitters fantastic sales. It's supposed to be cropped but because I'm so short it fits me like a normal cardigan.

I'm really hoping the feedback from this post isn't too negative meaning you all want to see some more. Should I keep posting outfits? & What are your best buys from Feb or March? I think mine is def that cream lace dress, I just adore it.

Hope you're all having a nice Tuesday, I'm off to the Post Office then returning to do a LOT of house work. Sad times for a day off.

21 March, 2010

Sunday Self Secrets Week Six 'The Flat'

Goodness, this week I'm doing Sunday Self Secrets on time for a change! It must be because Spring is in the air or it could be that for once I'm not doing anything until work at 5 today (not that I have too much interest in going after yesterdays disaster of a day!). I could be washing up or doing laundry but there isn't anything I like better at the moment that doing a blog post, mainly because I love reading your comments, they always make me smile. I have a huge list of blog post ideas I'm working through so keep a look out for those.

Today's Sunday Self Secrets is a bit of a cheat. My camera is currently on charge so I can take pictures for ebay (free listing days are today) for tomorrow so I'm using pictures I already have in my iphoto. These pictures are of the flat, which is good in the way because the flat is a completely mess at the moment since my day off isn't until Tuesday and the boys isn't until Friday! Our flat is lovely it's perfect for two twenty one year olds, oops I mean one twenty one year old and one twenty two year old! We both know the next time we move it'll be into a house and then we'll start settling down into marriage and children. This is our second home together, we moved in last year on the 18th July. It's proper professional lettings and not some grotty student flat like we had the previous year. It's big, bright and full of Ikea furniture. It's as close to home we can get without being able t
o decorate or replace the pictures on the walls.

So here is a guided tour of our own little world.

When we were looking for a new flat, one of the most important things was a nice kitchen with lots of storage this one was the best. Beautiful marble like tops, gas hob, big sink everything I wanted. The kitchen is my favourite room in the house (when the sink isn't piled high with dishes, next house much have a dishwasher!). It looks small in this picture but infact it's really spacious. From the sink the counter continues on with the washer underneath and more cupboards above. On the other side is the fridge freezer and a place to stand the brush, mop and hoover. There is also a gap for the bin. It's not huge but since i'm the only person who is ever in the kitchen it's big enough for me. One of my favourite features is the fact the sink has a seperate little bit that I can drain water from pans even if I'm washing up in the other sink already!

Along from the kitchen and down a small step is a our tiny dinning room but after not even having a table last year this was a dream come true! Even though it is only a small round table with four chair at Christmas I squeezed another chair in for my sister. I'm not a huge fan of the glass table, it's really hard to keep clean but I haven't found a table cloth yet that doesn't make it look like it should be in a old ladies house. I'm still hopeful though! It's usually the warmest place in the house due to the french doors hence the clothes drying in there. I love the french doors and mini balcony and can't wait for watching the sunset in the summer with a bottle of pear Kopperberg and a nice salad like we did last year.

Our lounge is so big that I needed four photos to show all the features of it! I love our lounge, all of it, well almost. I hate that the fire is old fashioned and that its wood like flooring. I'm a firm believer of carpet for sitting rooms, it makes the room quite cold in winter otherwise and the sitting room should be the warmest room of all. The sofa is hideous, its small and so uncomfortable, I wish we could replace it. It's my least favourite thing in the whole place. The two bookcases either side of the TV are ours as is the lamp beside the chair & the table the gerbil cage is on (I think you can just make it out). I guess the good thing about everything being from Ikea is that everything matches. The TV is ours too. The walls and curtains are lovely, I'd probably of picked them out myself. The boy lives in this room, so much so when the boiler was broken we have been known to bring the matress into the sitting room and sleep there since the bedroom faces North and the North Wind is the worst.

I always have to have a house with a bath, I much prefer to have a bath than a shower and this bath is HUGE! Even the boy at 6ft 3" fits in this bath! I also love having storage in the bathroom so I do love the little ledge behind the toilet, the cupboard under the sink and the mirror cupboard. We stupidly went for black in the bathroom so the mats and towels are all black, I do not recommend this to anyone as once you get out the bath you get covered in black fluff and yes I have washed the towels, about a million times and they're still covering us in black fluff! Disaster. The other problem about the bathroom is the shower is not powerful enough for my liking but I think that has something to do with the fact it's an over the bath shower rather than a stand in shower like I would one day love.

We do have two bedrooms but one is the boys office (or junk room), I'm not even bothering to show that one off as it's always a mess. The only time we tidy it is if someone is coming to stay as it has another double bed in it.

Finally, our bedroom. The bed is a comfy divan that you can just make out in the bottom of the picture. We have cream and plum bedding on it and the blanket that was a gift from an American friend, I believe it even appears in an episode of Friends! We have a wardrobe each mine is the one with the soft toys on top. Finally after twenty one years I have a make shift dressing table seen on the right. The mirror is also from Ikea. Next to the drawers is my own bookcase. We also each have a bedside table for our individual junk. I love how simple and uncrowded the room is, I always shared with my sister so our bedroom was always full of stuff. This is just perfect for me and again like with the sitting room the colours are perfect. My only nag is the sun hits our window so early in the summer months that I rarely get a lie in but at least the room is lovely and warm.

I hope you all enjoyed seeing where we live, the problem in renting is you can't make it as personal as you like and that's what I do look forward to when the time comes that we can buy (which at this moment wont be for another million years) but home is where your heart is no matter what it looks like and since the boy lives here too this is where my heart really is.

18 March, 2010

Dish #3 Mexican

I am a huge sucker for Mexican food, I think it's because it uses a lot of cheese, tomato and sour cream which is some of my favourite ingredients in cooking (which is probably the reason I cannot l
oose weight!). The first cook book I ever personally owned was a Mexican one that my mother gave me my Birthday before I left home from uni. I'm sure it was how I taught myself to cook as for a long time I could only make quesadillas, fajitas, enchilladas, chili and corn soup along with other simple Mexican recipes. So when I was looking at my cupboards trying to decide what to make this week and I saw we had some tortillas I thought it would be fun to go back to my cookery roots. Since we're trying to save money and I didn't really want to use some of our meat I decided on cheese quesadillas and to turn it from a street snack to a main meal I looked up a good recipe for Mexican rice.

Quesadillas are a mexican snack food usually made of cheese in a flou
r tortilla cooked until the cheese has melted, quesadilla in spanish literally translates as cheese tortilla or cheesecake. The agreed way to make a Mexican quesadilla is for the tortilla to be folded however in the past I've always just sandwiched two together but for a more authentic take (and I found it's also a lot less messy when flipping) I folded one in half. I was unable to find when they were first created but I'm sure the quesadilla has been around as long as tortillas have which is a long time!

Presenting, dish number 3 in Around the World in 80 Dishes, Quesadillas with Mexican Rice

Quesadilla's themselves are very quick and easy to make but since I was also making rice, this dish took a little longer but it was all worth it, without the rice the boy would of wanted popcorn in the cinema and we just have no money for that sort of thing, ha!

Ingredients wise the only thing I had to go out and buy was the sour cream and salsa, as everything else we just always have in our cupboards making it very simple and cheap to make. Long grain rice is a must in Mexican cooking, in all the recipes I've seen for a rice dish it always asks for this, luckily it's usually the cheapest in the store. Flour tortillas, it's up to you whether you use wholegrain or white. Cheese, something that melts good, I opted for mozzarella. Stock, I used these stock pots that my mum gave me but you can use old fashioned powder stock. Fresh ingredients I have tomatoes, a pepper, an onion, some spring onions and a clove of garlic. The pepper, onion & garlic are for the Mexican rice but the spring onions, tomatoes and the rest of the pepper is to go in the quesadilla with the cheese. You can choose anything really to go in your quesadilla, I think chicken and chorizo is a nice filling, either together or seperately.

First thing to do is make the rice because that takes the longest. Heat some oil in a pan then add as much rice as you need for the amount your cooking for. I never measure exactly only by sight. Continue to stir until the rice begins to brown and puff out as it absorbs the oil. You have to keep stiring otherwise it burns.

When the rice has started to brown add in the stock (of course if you have powdered stock, make it up as instructed and add to the rice) an stir until it's completely dissolved. Season with salt.

Sorry for the blurry photo, was rushing at this point! Next add in half an onion, half a red pepper and 2 table spoons of tomato puree. Now season with paprika, chili powder, tumeric, cumin & a little bit of cayenne pepper. Stir until everything is completely mixed in and turn down the heat by half.

Add water, just enough so the rice is covered and put a lid on. Leave on low heat to cook.

Next chop the rest of the pepper, three or four spring onions depending on how much you want and a few tomatoes. I used cherry tomatoes and chopped four of them into thin slices.

Heat each tortilla individually as needed for 30 seconds in the microwave. Reasons for this is you want them to stay warm so they're easier to fold and since like pancakes you can only make them one at a time in the frying pan there is no sense heating them all at once.

Next make up your quesadilla. I always put salsa in mine, even if it's just salsa and cheese because otherwise I think it's a bit too dry. Spread the salsa over the whole of the tortilla then add the cheese and whatever topping your having onto only one side. This way it makes the tortilla so much easier to fold over. Add a little oil to the frying pan and cook on both sides until the cheese is melted.

Serve with the quesadillas halved with some rice. I also filled two glass ramikins with some sour cream and guacamole to add as we pleased.

After clearing his plate I asked the boy which was his favorite dish so far and he said this, I agree completely especially with the rice because in the past my rice has never been perfect, it's either been bland or still water logged but this time it was just right. I even ate the left over rice yesterday as a burrito and it was still just as good.

If you'd like to offer a country for me to create a recipe from or even a recipe you think I should try, please feel free on my project page for Around the World in 80 Dishes. Everything I plan on cooking has elements of authentic and traditional recipes with my own personal twist.

17 March, 2010

Film Review #6 'I Love You Philip Morris'

"I Love You Phillip Morris is the improbable but true story of a spectacularly charismatic conman’s journey from small-town businessman to flamboyant white-collar criminal, who repeatedly finds himself in trouble with the law and on the lam, brilliantly escaping from the Texas prison system on four separate occasions – all in the name of love.

I Love You Phillip Morris stars Jim Carrey, Leslie Mann and Ewan McGregor. The film is co-written and co-directed by longtime writing partners Glenn Ficarra and John Requa (“Bad Santa”) from their adapted screenplay, based on the novel by former Houston Chronicle investigative reporter Steve McVicker. Andrew Lazar (“Get Smart”) and Far Shariat (“Confessions Of A Dangerous Mind“) produced the film, with renowned writer/director" - Plot taken from Movieweb

We weren't planning on going to the cinema last night even though we try and go all Wednesdays I'm off to take advantage of the Orange Wednesday offer but the boy received some bad news from home so at 8 we decided to go to take his mind off of things. We had seen the trailer for I Love You Phillip Morris and we thought it looked incredibly funny so we opted to see that. There were other films we wanted to see but nothing else we wanted to see together. Unfortunately I was disappointed.

Another film that in my opinion showed all the funniest bits in the trailer. Infact it wasn't even all that funny so I don't know how it was classed as a comedy, in my opinion it was more of a dark romance or a romance turned on its head. Either way it wasn't something I would of went to see had I known what it was like. It's sort of how I felt when I went to see Funny People, the title and trailer was very misleading and it was more of a dark humour that you don't know if you should or shouldn't laugh at it. Luckily Jim Carrey (Steven Russel) and Ewan Mcgregor (Phillip Morris) was enough to keep me in my seat and it was at them the only time I really laughed. They did make quite a funny gay couple and their acting as southern homosexuals was impecible. In some ways it was clever, witty and a brave attempt at dealing with a sensitive subject but that still didn't cut it for me probably because I was expecting the old style Jim Carrey comedy.

Since I've mentioned the only actually good points of the movie it's only fair that I explain why I didn't really like it. Apart from the fact it wasn't that funny, it was also quite graphic and I know quite a few people sitting in our row was uncomfortable about a couple of the scenes of gay sex and kissing. The boy and I weren't fazed by this since we have some gay friends but other people around us quite obviously were. The story line was both slow and fast. It seemed slow in places so much so that I found myself wishing for it to be over and then in others it seemed like things had been missed out. Then there was a whole scene where it skipped backwards and was quite uneeded. I can't really explain much more without giving the whole story away.

The saddest thing of all was how old Jim Carrey is and yet he's still trying to be Mr Elastic, he really is passed his best. I loved Jim Carrey in Ace Ventura, Liar Liar and even up to Bruce Almighty so I find it hard to watch him now in this and in Yes Man. Ewan Mcgregor on the other hand was still as beautiful as ever and this again just adds to his showcase of talents.

Best Moment: When Steven Russel has his crash and starts shouting that he's going to be gay.
Best Line: n/a (imdb doesn't have any quotes!)

Would Recommend For: Dark Rom Com lovers
Rating: 3/10

"I hate television. I hate it as much as peanuts. But I can't stop eating peanuts." - Orson Welles

We have two tvs in our house, one 32inch beast in the front room and a smaller 24inch in the bedroom, I have to admit I barely watch them but that doesn't mean I don't watch tv, because I do, I watch it, quite a lot actually. I'm impatient, I need to know whats happening now so all the shows I watch are on American time. We usually watch them the day after they're aired in the US. It's probably a little shallow to only like American TV shows but I just can't help it, I have in the past liked British TV shows, I loved the first two seasons of Skins and once upon a time I didn't mind reality tv and I do still occassionally watch Master Chef and anything with Gordon Ramsay in but on the whole there is nothing that can hold my attention like an American soap or Drama. At this time of the year all my favourite shows are on, so the boy and I have a busy week but soon everything will be over for the summer and we'll have to find something else to watch, so recommendations would be nice. We've kept Glee back so we can watch that when everything else ends, so here my recommendations for shows to watch, some you all might love already and some you might not care to watch even now.

How I Met Your Mother
The boy introduced this to me when we first got together almost three years ago. We watched it religiously and everyone we told over here had never heard of it! Many people say it is like the new friends, five rather than six best friends all hooking up and breaking up in NYC and yes I see that but there is some more levels. I think there is more comedy, it's more up to date and in a way I enjoy it more. Like with Friends I can watch it over and over again and never really get bored. Yes Ted Mosby sometimes annoys me but it's saved by the fact Barney's jokes never get boring. It's a good show, it's easy to enjoy and easy to watch. It's up to season 5 now, and part of me does want him to hurry up and meet the mother, but I guess that would ruin the whole show!

Desperate Housewives
I have been watching Desperate Housewives since the very first episode was aired on Briti
sh TV. I had heard about it from a friend in America who was obsessed with it and I have to admit I've been hooked ever since. You'd think after 6 or 7 series of 24 episodes a show would be getting boring however when I did feel that way about Desperate Housewives they shook things up! And to be perfectly honest, since they did move forward three years I'm enjoying it more. The boy and I watched the latest episode last night and at the end we were still "OH MY GOD!?" and trying to guess what would be going on in the next episode! And that is after 6 years! I feel like even though the story lines are shocking and British soapesq they're not half as obnoxious and they're really entertaining. The characters are exaggerated characteristics of real people and while watching the show I can always see myself in each of the housewives and that's why I can't help but watch it. If you haven't sat and watched the show from the beginning I totally recommend that you do, and if you can't be bothered then at least watch it from season 5 when it moved forward three years.

Two and a Half Men
Oh Two and a Half Men, the show I love to hate. I put off and put off watching this show but the boy loved it and in the end I watched a few episodes and got into it. I sat and watched season one until the current season and I did enjoy the first few series, especially with Rose but since she left it wasn't as funny or quite the same. I still watch it through force of habit but now the characters do just grate on me. The old episodes however, they're still golden. When Jake is a little kid he's cute, lovable and innocent but now he's older, fat and stupid and I can't stand him. Charlie Sheen is still funny and I'm strangely attracted to him but Alan is just so incredibly annoying. Like I said the old ones are worth watching but the new ones, not so much. I still stand by my original thoughts that Two and a Half Men is mainly male humour, my boyfriend still howls at the episodes that I usually scrunch up my nose at, one for the boys I think.

Gossip Girl
My favourite tv show without a doubt. I didn't watch the first season because I didn't want to be
hooked but then I watched one episode and within the first week I'd see the whole season. I love the characters, I love the world they live in and I wish I lived there too. Blair is my favourite by far and I was so desperate for Blair and Chuck to get together. I don't dislike any of the main six, Dan and Nate occassionally annoy me, and even Serena to an extent. I love the story lines, no matter how unbelievable they are I think thats what makes me love them. I love the music, the clothes and fashion, and the fact it's in NYC. I feel sorry for anyone who doesn't watch Gossip Girl, even the boy loves it! It always leaves me happy or sad, I don't know it always provokes some emotion and that is the real reason I love it.

I know this show had very mixed reviews but I've really been intrigued from the start and was horrified that it was almost getting the axe. I'm still afraid that it might not make it to second series as I love the suspense in it which is almost as good as that in Lost. The characters and storyline is interesting and I was enjoying the way it was going until there was the break over Christmas. The boy and I always discuss how we would react to each individuals flashforwards. I love Agent No & Mark Benford, they make a good team and they're both awesome actors. I have a soft spot for Joseph Fiennes as it's my claim to fame meeting him in my teens!

Another show I've watched since the very beginning is Lost and even though there have been times when I have wanted to stop through complete frustration I know I never could and with the last nine episodes in sight I'm very glad I've stuck it out. I've watched favourite characters die, go crazy and the ones I hate are the ones I end up having a soft spot for! I know that when it ends I'll be so sad and desperate for more! There are some characters that I cannot stand that I'll be glad to see the back of but the story and show itself will leave a hole in our viewing times and in discussions on what will be happening next! Anyone who has never watched Lost I suggest you sit down and watch all six seasons, it is excellent watched all the way through!

As I mentioned before we sometimes watch cookery shows on the actual TV but on the computer we also watch The Simpsons & American Dad but I'm sure they don't really need a mention. I think once all these shows are finished we're going to settle down and watch V and Glee. A girl has got to have something to watch!