Monthly Archives: July 2011

27 Things: Watch all the Star Wars films back-to-back

Yep, that’s right, a whole fun-filled day of Star Wars! I decided it was high time that I saw the entirely saga back-to-back, so we did last Saturday! Adam had bought me The Star Wars Cookbook: Wookiee Cookies and Other Galactic Recipes, in anticipation of us doing a film marathon… we planned our meals for the day around this book.

We started at around 8am and watched Phantom Menace in bed, and not even Jar Jar Binks could put a dampener on my determination to watch all 6 films in a row, no sir-ee. We then got up, did a little bit of tidying around the house (Adam went out for bread for our brunch, too) and set up the second film. We paused it half way to enjoy some Tattouine Twin Sun Eggs, except, ours didn’t turn out like the photo… we had one sun eggs, and they didn’t cook very well.. Alas! it was only for fun :)

We were getting into our stride, the 3rd film went quickly & we set about doing a couple more chores in between. We got a phone call from my Dad just as I was making our Wookie Cookies, my Mum had somehow managed to get stuck in Tesco’s carpark (I had a bad feeling about this*, it was something to do with the automatic gears on their car getting jammed) so we had to drive my Dad over there to rescue her. When we got there she’d already fixed it! Typical.

After out brief outing we got back and I finished off the cookies and we started on ‘A New Hope’. Washed it down with some wookiee cookies, of course.

Yeah, they really were as good as they look. So, so amazing. I think we had about 5 each haha! oopsie. ‘A New Hope’ flew by, it’s such an easy film to watch.. infact, all the Star Wars films are! I lost count of the number of Wookiee impressions I did…  UAARRRGNNNHHH

Adam was tempted to have us watch his VHS copies of the un-digitally-remastered versions, but we don’t even own a VHS machine anymore. I kinda liked the remastered versions though, they tie in really well with the new films. Maybe I just made a few hardcore fans have a seizure, sorry.

Whilst we watched Empire we enjoyed some ‘Greedo’s Burritos’ & a couple more Wookiee Cookies, a-hem. We also sipped some of Adam’s home made ginger & whiskey mead.

We started watching the final film at 10pm, so we’d done pretty well! We were both falling asleep towards the end, watching films all day is TIRING. I’m not entirely sure whether I saw the Emperors demise! Anyway, it was fun :) Next up, Lords of the Rings????!

*an intentional pun, if you get it, you get it. If not, do a star wars marathon of your own!

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Recipe Wednesday: Smoked Haddock Pilaf

Not a recipe from me this week, instead, I wanted to share a recipe that I enjoyed cooking yesterday. It came from a new series on the BBC called ‘The Good Cook‘, where Simon Hopkinson delights with easy, impressive & tastey meals. When I saw him making a Smoked Haddock Pilaf I was intrigued, I don’t think I’ve ever made any sort of pilaf before.

Image from bbc food

The recipe is really easy, and makes use of a variety of store cupboard ingredients. In fact, I think the only thing that I bought especially for the recipe was the fish. It calls for un-dyed smoked haddock, but, well, the regular stuff was on offer so… I also used long grain rice, so sue me.

The addition of the egg was a bit strange, but it really works with the flavours! I er, couldn’t exactly remember how long to boil an egg so that it was hard boiled, I never boil eggs.. I think it was about 10 minutes?! Christ knows. Eggs is eggs, hurhur.

You should definitely try this out, and don’t be a wuss and de-pith your chilis, add some extra bad boys in there! :D

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Graduation Day

This past Friday Adam graduated as a Doctor of Astronomy & Astrophysics, neat huh?

He got to wear ridiculously fancy clothes, graduate alongside nobel prize winners, & eat pizza.. basically an amazing day. We’re all ridiculously proud of him, and I don’t usually get gushy on my blog, but he’s worked so hard to get to this point (and all while we bought and renovated our first house) so he deserves a giant big pat on the back! Well done Dr Adam! You done did good!

Adam on stage, apparently he was telling himself to slow down his walk so we could get photos!

With his Mum and Dad after the ceremony, yeah, he’s very tall.

But not usually this tall, I think his shoes were to blame for making me look like a tiny person!!

Oh yes, my shoes. My shitting bloody shoes. I ended up buying another pair from Primark when we got into the city centre, apparently these ones are an entire size too big.

He’s allowed to do poses like this now that he’s a Doctor. IT’S THE LAW!

Honestly don’t know what’s disgusted him so… the wine? the lesser beings in his Doctory company? Maybe the hat just went to his head…

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The problem of ‘work’

I’ve now been working for myself for a full 21 days, amazing. My system is just about getting used to making my own schedule, which is currently working-all-the-damn-time, but I’m happy with that.

I say all the damn time, but I can go out for a run when I please, pop to the shops, play a game or two of Plants vs. Zombies. Whatevs. The flexibility is amazing! And it’s entirely what I wanted needed.

There’s one concept that I’m finding it hard to adjust to, though, and that’s allowing myself time to develop new ideas. At the moment it doesn’t feel like work when I’m sat doodling in my sketch book, even though I know this will lead to new products for my store, new illustrations for my moleskines or new ideas for web design. It just doesn’t feel like I’m working when I’m doing it, which causes a bit of guilt.

It’s kinda crazy, I know deep down that it is actually work and will lead to renumeration in the long run, but my mind flicks to thinking that there must be other, more pressing things that need my attention. I sort of feel that if what I’m doing isn’t directly linked to making money then it’s not a worthy use of my time!

I’m hoping it’ll pass, and that I’m just going through the shock of this being my full time gig now.

I’m also struggling to come up with a full on schedule. I know I’m fitting enough stuff in each day, but there’s currently no real structure. I need to pin this down!

I’d love to know if anyone else feels this way about their work!

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Recipe Wednesday (On Thursday): Caramel Shortbread

Eek! A day late! I had every intention of posting this last night but then got so involved with eating the damn shortbread that I forgot to get a photo of the finished article! anyway, here it is :) A step-by-step guide to making a deliciously easy caramel shortbread, sure to strike delight into the hearts of all your friends and family. That’s if you want to share it, I mean, who wants to really?

This recipe makes a huge amount of caramel shortbread so you’ll be delighted to hear that you can freeze it for later. Nice.

You will need

For the Shortbread
225g Plain Flour
75g Caster Sugar
175g unsalted butter

For the topping
379g can of sweet condensed milk
80g unsalted butter/stork
150g soft dark brown sugar
250gish of dark chocolate, I ended up adding about another 50g of milk chocolate too!
this is basically the recipe from the back of the can!

Put your flour and caster sugar into a bowl, mix it together.

Add your butter in chunks.

Rub your flour and sugar with the butter, you’ll end up with a sort of wet sand looking mixture, just slightly wetter than a crumble topping. This probably won’t stick together in a ball, but that’s okay!

Press this into a lined brownie tin, it should be around 1cm thick when it’s in the tin. You’ll find that it all comes together and sticks together when you start pressing it down!

Nigella Lawson tells me to bake this in a preheated oven at 170ºc/Gas mark 3 for 5 minutes, then turn it down to 150ºc for a further 30-40minutes until it’s golden. Worked for me!

After your shortbread has cooled it’s time to mark the caramel. Put your butter and sugar into a pan, heat it until it’s melted together.

Then add your condensed milk, mix together until smooth.

Heat this until it’s just about to boil and then take off the heat.

Pour your caramel over your shortbread and leave to cool. This is where I got a little kinky, I sprinkled some rock salt over some of mine as an experiment. Thing is, we can’t figure out which part has the salt on it now.

After your caramel has cooled you can start to melt the chocolate. I did this the old fashioned way of using a pan of boiling water & a pyrex dish, microwaving chocolate scares me.. I always burn it.

When it’s all melty you can pour it on top of the caramel. I got my fancy lines by scraping out the bowl and kinda flicking it around on top. Neato! Now let it cool, I put mine in the fridge. When it’s cold you can cut it into bits!

Yumyum!

Shortbread recipe taken from How To Be A Domestic Goddess: Baking and the Art of Comfort Cooking by Nigella Lawson.

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