Things I have been cooking lately#89: Tikka chicken salad

This is another recipe from Jamie’s 15 Minute Meals. This chicken salad is quick, packed with flavour and makes a great next day lunch if you can’t finish it all in one go.

Tikka chicken salad

For the chicken

2 chicken breasts
2 heaped tablespoons of tikka paste
4 chestnut mushrooms, roughly chopped

For the salad

4 spring onions
1 fresh red chili
1 heaped teaspoon of mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
olive oil
1 x 250g pack of ready to eat Puy lentils
1 ripe tomato
red wine vinegar
1 big bunch of fresh coriander
2 lemons
4 tablespoons of fat-free natural yoghurt
2 tablespoons cashew nuts
1 heaped tablespoon mango chutney
1 teaspoon turmeric
2 small or 1 large naan breads
200g baby spinach
1/2 cucumber
1 carrot, peeled and trimmed
50g feta cheese

Put a griddle pan (if you have one, a normal frying pan is fine) over a high heat and a medium frying pan or saucepan over a medium low heat.

Over a large sheet of greaseproof paper, toss the chicken with salt, pepper and tikka paste. Fold over the paper and then bash the chicken with something heavy until it’s about 1.5cm thick. I used a bottle of olive oil. Place in the hot griddle pan with the mushrooms, turning after 3 or 4 minutes until cooked through.

Trim and finely slice the spring onions and half the chili.

Put the mustard and cumin seeds and two tablespoons of olive oil into the medium frying pan/saucepan, followed by the sliced spring onion and chili. Add the lentils to the pan, squash in the tomato, add a pinch of salt and pepper and a splash of red wine vinegar. Stir occasionally for a couple of minutes and then turn off the heat.

Rip the leaves off the coriander and then put the stalks in your food processor. Add the juice of the lemon, the yoghurt, cashews, mango chutney and turmeric and whizz until smooth.

Removed the cooked chicken and mushrooms from the pan and add the naan to it. Tip the baby spinach onto a serving platter. Scatter over the lentils. Use a speed peeler to finely slice the carrot and cucumber over the top. Spread over the mushrooms. Slice the chicken, remaining chili and naans and spread over the salad. Crumble over the feta and dot the yoghurt dressing over  the top. Finish with coriander leaves and serve with lemon wedges.

Serves 4


Outfit of the week #59

London weather is once again all over the shop and it’s hard to know if the sun is going to shine or it’s going to pour with rain from one moment to the next. Mr O and I went on a movie date on Sunday and I decided to mix and match a few patterns and colours to prepare for every eventuality.

In this outfit I am wearing stone-washed, high waisted jeans from New Look with a striped printed vest from H&M, floral patterned canvas Vans trainers and a red and black flannel check shirt also from New Look.









My top 10 Robin Williams performances

I know I was supposed to be doing villainous TV couples this week but the untimely passing of comedy legend, Robin Williams made me take a different tack. Although Williams probably never counted as one of my favourite actors, he is a powerful presence in movies I loved from my childhood and more recently and hearing he had passed hit me really hard. He just had a way of stealing the show even in the smallest of cameos. His loss is surely one that will be felt throughout the film industry for years to come. If anything positive can come from such a terrible loss I hope it will be that people start having more honest conversations about the devastating impact of  depression. Rest in Peace, you wonderful man. We will never forget you.

970jumanji1995hdtv720pengAlan Parrish
Film: Jumanji (1995)
“Alan Parrish: You think that mosquitoes, monkeys, and lions are bad? That is just the beginning. I’ve seen things you’ve only seen in your nightmares. Things you can’t even imagine. Things you can’t even see. There are things that hunt you in the night. Then something screams. Then you hear them eating, and you hope to God that you’re not dessert. Afraid? You don’t even know what afraid is. You would not last five minutes without me.”

birdcageArmand Goldman
Film: The Birdcage (1996)
“Armand: Yes, I wear foundation. Yes, I live with a man. Yes, I’m a middle- aged fag. But I know who I am, Val. It took me twenty years to get here, and I’m not gonna let some idiot senator destroy that. Fuck the senator, I don’t give a damn what he thinks.”


Sean Maguire
Film: Good Will Hunting (1997)
“Sean: So if I asked you about art, you’d probably give me the skinny on every art book ever written. Michelangelo, you know a lot about him. Life’s work, political aspirations, him and the pope, sexual orientations, the whole works, right? But I’ll bet you can’t tell me what it smells like in the Sistine Chapel. You’ve never actually stood there and looked up at that beautiful ceiling; seen that. If I ask you about women, you’d probably give me a syllabus about your personal favorites. You may have even been laid a few times. But you can’t tell me what it feels like to wake up next to a woman and feel truly happy. You’re a tough kid. And I’d ask you about war, you’d probably throw Shakespeare at me, right, “once more unto the breach dear friends.” But you’ve never been near one. You’ve never held your best friend’s head in your lap, watch him gasp his last breath looking to you for help. I’d ask you about love, you’d probably quote me a sonnet. But you’ve never looked at a woman and been totally vulnerable. Known someone that could level you with her eyes, feeling like God put an angel on earth just for you. Who could rescue you from the depths of hell. And you wouldn’t know what it’s like to be her angel, to have that love for her, be there forever, through anything, through cancer. And you wouldn’t know about sleeping sitting up in the hospital room for two months, holding her hand, because the doctors could see in your eyes, that the terms “visiting hours” don’t apply to you. You don’t know about real loss, ’cause it only occurs when you’ve loved something more than you love yourself. And I doubt you’ve ever dared to love anybody that much. And look at you… I don’t see an intelligent, confident man… I see a cocky, scared shitless kid. But you’re a genius Will. No one denies that. No one could possibly understand the depths of you. But you presume to know everything about me because you saw a painting of mine, and you ripped my fucking life apart.”

0011774.JPGJohn Keating
Film: Dead Poet’s Society (1989)
“John Keating: We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for. To quote from Whitman, “O me! O life!… of the questions of these recurring; of the endless trains of the faithless… of cities filled with the foolish; what good amid these, O me, O life?” Answer. That you are here – that life exists, and identity; that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. That the powerful play *goes on* and you may contribute a verse. What will your verse be?”

good morning vietnam

Adrian Cronauer
Film: Good Morning Vietnam (1987)
“Adrian Cronauer: Goooooooood morning Vietnam! It’s 0600 hours. What does the “O” stand for? O my God, it’s early! Speaking of early, let’s hear it for that Marty Lee Drywitz. Silky smooth sounds, making me sound like Peggy Lee…”

Hook-robin-williams2Peter Banning
Hook (1991)
Peter Banning: You’re a… you’re a complex Freudian hallucination having something to do with my mother and I don’t know why you have wings, but you have very lovely legs and you’re a very nice tiny person and what am I saying, I don’t know who my mother was; I’m an orphan and I’ve never taken drugs because I missed the sixties, I was an accountant.
“Tinkerbell: Guess again.
[Tinkerbell takes the sheet which makes Peter trip on the floor]
Peter Banning: [disoriented] Oh, look, stars.
Tinkerbell: That’s right, Peter, second star to the right and straight on till morning.
[Tinkerbell takes Peter by the strings of the sheet]
Tinkerbell: Neverland!”

Aladdin (1992)
“Genie: But oh, to be free. Not to have to go “Poof! What do you need, “Poof! What do you need, Poof! What do you need?”. To be my own master. Such a thing would be greater than all the magic and all the treasures in all the world. But what am I talking about? Let’s get real here, that’s never gonna happen. Genie, wake up and smell the hummus.”

l_119109_438f89faDale Putley
Father’s Day (1997)
“Jack Lawrence: What happened?
Dale Putley: He poured hot coffee all over my penis. Took my clothes and he ran away.
Jack Lawrence: Don’t cry! Now where is he?
Dale Putley: I don’t know.
Jack Lawrence: I don’t like you.”

mrsdoubtfire-splshDaniel Hillard / Mrs. Doubtfire
Mrs. Doubtfire (1993)
Mrs. Doubtfire: Can you help me with something, I found this outside.
[holds up Mercedes hood ornament]
Stu: Uh, yes, this is off my, uh, Mercedes.
“Mrs. Doubtfire: Off your Mercedes, dear, you own that big expensive car out there? Oh, dear. Well, they say a man who has to buy a big car like that is trying to compensate for smaller genitals.”


Lance Clayton
World’s Greatest Dad (2009)
“Lance Clayton: I used to think the worst thing in life was to end up all alone. It’s not. The worst thing in life is ending up with people who make you feel all alone.”

The Top 10 Actresses That I’d See In Pretty Much Anything


Another great top actresses post. This time from Ten Stars or Less.

Originally posted on Ten Stars or Less:

I finally got the urge to do some creative writing and came up with couple of Top 10 lists I have seen other bloggers talk about. Thanks to Abbi over at Where the Wild Things Are for creating such a fun list for us to copy. Browse her site and comments section for other people’s Top 10 lists, they have been fun to read!

Before I tell you who the Top 10 Actresses I would watch in anything, I wanted to point out this was a tough list to make and could have definitely filled out a Top 25 list with such names like Lilly Collins, Diane Kruger, Ana Kendrick, Elizabeth Banks, Maggie Grace, Eva Green, Emma Stone, Olivia Wilde, Rachel McAdams, and Kate Beckinsale.

If you like or dislike the choices on the list feel free to leave me a comment and spark the debate on who should be…

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Film Friday #193

Midnight Cowboy (1969)

Small town short order cook, Joe Buck (Jon Voight) decides to leave his job and head for New York city where he intends to make his fortune as a gigolo. His unique selling point is that he is dresses as a cowboy believing that the posh women of the Upper East Side will love the idea of paying for a shag with a genuine cowboy. (Although Joe has never been anywhere near a cow in his life). Unfortunately for him he lacks almost any street smarts, isn’t sure where to find any punters and makes a bit of a hash of it when he does and it’s not before he is living in abject poverty. One night he meets, sickly hustler Rico Rizzo (Dustin Hoffman) nicknamed Ratso in a bar. After a rocky start, Joe and Ratso become firm friends – and possibly lovers – living together in various squats, scraping to survive. I have to admit that I found Midnight Cowboy to be quite a challenging watch. Both Joe and Ratso are infuriating at times in their behaviour and there were times where I wanted to shake them. Voight gives a great performance as the guileless Joe but Hoffman absolutely steals the show as nervy, twitchy Ratso. There isn’t really all that much of a storyline but the depth comes from nightmarish flashbacks and flashthroughs (I think I just made that up) which give some insight into Joe’s past and also his current experiences while representing the real grit and grime of New York in that era, which creates a disturbingly surreal atmosphere. Definitely one to watch but probably not one that I would watch again. 3.5/5

I'm sorry I can't hear you I'm having my ears cleaned

I’m sorry I can’t hear you I’m having my ears cleaned

Mission to Lars (2012)

Tom Spicer has Fragile X Syndrome, an inherited learning disability that means he doesn’t like any element of his routine to be disrupted and tends to get stuck on the same idea over and over again. As an adult he lives in a sheltered residential facility where he also works. One thing that Tom really loves is the music of Metallica with a particular fondness for drummer, Lars Ulrich. When his sister, Kate, decides that she has been neglecting spending time with Tom, she ropes their filmmaker brother, William, into joining her as she attempts to make Tom’s dream of meeting Lars a reality. It’s not going to be easy though because essentially Tom is resistant to anything out of his very limited comfort zone and Kate and Will want to take him on a transatlantic flight followed by a road trip in a mobile home and they’re not even sure if the band will actually be in anyway interested in their plans. As Tom constantly resists any of their plans and often becomes deeply distressed there are moments throughout this documentary where you wonder if Kate and Will have actually undertaken their mission for Tom’s benefit or their own. However at the point [SPOILER ALERT] that Tom actually does meet Lars, everything suddenly becomes totally worth it and I have to admit that I had a little tear in my eye. Very moving. 3.5/5

Tom was only one step from rocking out with his cock out

Tom was only one step from rocking out with his cock out

Son-in-Law (1993)

When Rebecca Warner (Carla Gugino) leaves the farm she grew up on to go to college in California she is initially baffled and alienated by her wild fellow students and their weird Californian ways but just at the point she is about to give up and go home she makes friends with Crawl (Pauly Shore). Crawl is her resident advisor and has been at college for rather a long time changing from one major to another. He introduces Rebecca to her new home, giving a complete makeover and the two become best friends, so when she realises he will be home alone for Thanksgiving she decides to take him back to the farm with her. Needless to say Crawl is a complete fish out water and Rebecca’s family aren’t thrilled with her transformation or her friend. Things get even crazier when Rebecca’s high school boyfriend (Dan Gauthier), who she was about to break up with, decides to propose and Crawl steps in to rescue her by claiming they’re already engaged. Now he must attempt to win over his new “in-laws” and keep the truth under wraps as he and Rebecca start to realise that they might actually fancy each other. There is no question that Son-in-Law is predictable and very, very silly and that neither Gaugino nor Shore are young enough here to look like college students even though Crawl is supposed to be  little older. However it’s also harmless and fun and great for if you just want to turn your brain off. As annoying as Shore can be Crawl’s enthusiasm and eagerness to try anything  actually really endearing. 3/5


Crawl wasn’t sure how to tell Rebecca that he had just shit himself

Clue (1985)

I’m not sure who thought it would be a good idea to take the board game, Clue (or Cluedo as it’s known in South Africa) and make it into a film but that person was clearly a complete idiot but not as big of an idiot as me who decided to watch it. Nothing about this tedious pile of shit makes any sense. Basically six people are invited to a mysterious dinner by a stranger where they discover not only that they are trapped but that they have been brought together to confront the person who has been blackmailing all of them. Then the murders start. And they spend about an hour wandering around the house trying to figure out what happened. And then there are three alternative endings with different murderers. I think this was supposed to be a comedy but there wasn’t a single time that I laughed. It also had the most cringeworthy dialogue I have ever had to sit through in a film, ever. Avoid like the plague. 0/5

You have massive tits? I hadn't noticed.

You have massive tits? I hadn’t noticed.

Things I have been cooking lately #88: “Bounty” cupcakes

I am not sure if you get Bounties outside the UK but they are my favourite chocolate bar. They basically consist of a sweet coconut centre covered in either milk or dark chocolate. Mr O also loves them so as a special treat I tried to replicate them in cupcake form. It’s a coconut sponge base with a coconut and chocolate frosting and a little Bounty surprise in the middle.

For the cupcakes

120g plain flour
140g caster sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
A pinch of salt
40g butter at room temperature
120ml coconut milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
1 1/2 large Bounty bars (the ones that come with two portions to each bar)

For the frosting

200g icing sugar
30g cocoa
65g butter at room temperature
3 tablespoons coconut milk

Extra desiccated coconut to decorate.

Preheat the oven to 180 C. Line a 12 hole muffin tray with paper cases.

Put the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and butter in a large mixing bowl. Mix to a sandy consistency using the paddle attachment of your standing mixer… or if like me you don’t have one you can rub together with your fingertips because if you try to use a handheld mixer it goes everywhere.

Mix together the coconut milk and vanilla extract. Add to the flour mixture and beat with an electric mixer until well combined. Add the egg and beat well. Scrape down the sides to make sure there is no unmixed batter left behind.

Cut each Bounty segment into 4 pieces and place a piece in the bottom of each cupcake liner. You could also use the Bounty sweets from a packet of Celebrations if you haven’t already eaten all of them. Divide the cupcake mixture between the liners. Bake in the centre of the oven for 15 – 20 minutes until a skewer inserted into the centre of each cake comes out clean. Allow to cool in the tins for a couple of minutes before removing to a cooling rack to cool completely.

To make the frosting cream together the butter, cocoa and icing sugar. I cheat and do this step in the food processor to form a paste. Add the coconut milk and beat at a slow speed to get a creamy consistency. The turn up the mixer and beat well for 5 minutes. When the cakes are completely cooled spread the frosting over the top and then dip each one in desiccated coconut.

Makes 12


Desert Island Classics: Where The Wild Things Are


After a brief hiatus our ultimate community builder Mr Tyson Carter is back and sharing some classic editions of his famous desert island movie choices… including mine. If you’ve ever wondered which eight movies I’d take on a desert island with me, this is your chance!

Originally posted on Head In A Vice:


Whilst I eagerly await your blogathon entries (please feel free to join in, click HERE for details), I wanted to shine some light on my long running Desert Island Films series, and more importantly the people who joined in and made it so much fun to do. I am therefore randomly visiting the archives and re-posting a few of the lists with some added kind words. I present to you; Desert Island Classics…… You may have read all of the lists so far, but I hope you won’t mind seeing a few of them again, and who knows, you may even find some new blogs to read.

Today I think we should have another female castaway, so I want to welcome Abbi from Where The Wild Things AreYesterday she was proudly announced as the winner of my good friend Eric’s Shitfest Summer 2014 competition, and today…

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