Welcome back to the Foodie Adventures Power Hour, or however long this list of songs lasts. Like half an hour? I don’t really know.
For the benefit of those just tuning in (seriously, why do I keep adopting these personas?) this is where I tell you the songs I sing and dance to while making my delicious, healthy meals that don’t even take the length of one playlist to make.
Just so you know, I’m trying not to put the same songs on these lists week after week but some songs just stick with you. I still own an Ipod with Avril Lavigne’s first album on. Wait, forget that. I’m trying to make you think I know about music… I meant… The Pixies first EP. That’s it, that’s the one…. (don’t pretend that Complicated didn’t make you feel things).
Before I embarrass myself further, let’s hit play and get this show on the road…
Just round the corner from my ladyfriend’s flat is a small, unassuming shop face. Sometimes there’s a sign outside advertising that they’re open but, being in Scotland, more often than not it is blown face down on the floor.
On our way into town, we walked past the dark windows and the closest I came to bearing it any mind is that I sang “I love it when you call me Bluerapa” to the tune of Notorious B.I.G’s Big Poppa (and now you will too).
It wasn’t until we were looking for somewhere to eat that we found out that it was actually a restaurant. Not only that, it is a Thai restaurant. Noodle’s favourite food is Thai food and we had been looking for somewhere nearby that we could grab a meal from. So we decided to give it a go.
Holy mother of the lord, we are glad that we did.
One of my favourite foods has got to be sushi (and burgers, don’t ever underestimate how much I love burgers). It’s one of those meals that you can eat so much of it, yet you never feel guilty. It just tastes so clean and delicious.
My problem is that I live in an industrial town towards the North of England. The best I can do to satisfy my fish and rice craving is the little packets you get in the sandwich section of supermarkets. They hardly scream authenticity and they can be quite bland.
I had never really considered making my own until I started this blog. Watching videos on YouTube and reading articles about master sushi chefs made the whole thing seem quite daunting. It wasn’t until I started to experiment a bit more with my cooking that I realised that
a) Even those chefs had to start somewhere
b) I’m the one eating it, who actually cares if I’m not a grand master?
So I threw caution to the wind and decided to make myself some sushi. Then I realised I didn’t have any nori (the seaweed wrapping stuff) so I settled for a rice bowl with pickled vegetables.
Every time you cook chicken, do you find it ends up being dry and tasteless?
After you’ve fried or grilled it, does have a consistency on par with a shoe?
Fear not! I am here to help… I have no idea why I’m talking like a carnival ringleader from the 1900s but I’m going with it.
So, ROUND UP! ROUND UP! Here is how to cook chicken that stays incredibly juicy, tender and delicious!
If you’re going to batter your chicken (as in with eggs and flour and stuff, not a bare-knuckle throwdown) then I insist that you follow my instructions and you will never buy fast food chicken again! Well… you will, because it’s not like you can fry/bake your chicken in your car on the motorway. But you won’t do it out of choice again, which is more reasonable!
So HEAR YEE! HEAR YEE… ok, this is getting tiresome. I’m going back to normal.
We are going brine your chicken into next week!
After my post about the importance of music in the kitchen (if you didn’t see it, just click here) I thought I would let you all know what I’ve been grooving to while whipping up a storm.
- Midway – Bad Bad Hats: I’m pretty sure that I first heard this on my Discovery Playlist. It’s one of those songs that as soon as the vocals kick in you have to immediately find out who is singing. A slow, lingering verse with a thumping chorus is everything you need to get the party started.
- She Burns – Foy Vance: Imagine if early Bruce Springsteen and Van Morrison had a baby. Then the baby was left to fend for himself in Ireland with nothing but a guitar and a fantastic moustache. That, my friends, is Foy Vance. She Burns is a slow number about being incredibly attracted to someone, if you’re looking for a more upbeat tune, just hit Shuffle Play on his profile and one will turn up.
- An Evening I Will Not Forget – Dermot Kennedy: Just ridiculously good. Dermot Kennedy has one of those voices that sounds like it is always performing live. You can hear tiny imperfections which enhance the subject and delivery of the few songs of his currently available on Spotify. I am very much looking forward to hearing more of his music and, if I get the chance, seeing him live.
- Devil Like Me – Rainbow Kitten Surprise: Don’t let the name fool you… actually let it fool you. You know when you go into a film and expect it to be crap and it turns out to be amazing. In fact, your pessimism made you enjoy it more? That’s what I had with this band. A sort of acoustic/blues Miike Snow mixed with The Flaming Lips, I now think the name is amazing and the music is even better.
- Chocolate – Jesse Mann: A cover of The 1975’s song that somehow manages to completely change the tone of the entire song. Stripped of all instruments except one guitar and a fantastic voice, it goes from a jaunty tune about the folly of youth and becomes almost like a love song.
- XO – Eden Project: I think these guys changed their name to just “Eden” but you can still find this song under this name. Starting off with a very 90’s acoustic guitar riff over a very English sounding voice (think Bastille) it soon delves into more of an electronic sound which actually brings a lot to the song. It’s used sparingly to emphasise the lyrics instead of trying to sound like an EDM song (thank God!).
- Ready 2 Wear – Geographer: This band has not made enough music, as far as I’m concerned. They have 2 EPs and, quite frankly, I want more. Mike Deni’s voice is the stuff that dreams are made of and the way he describes emotions is free from hyperbole. It’s honest, simple and bloody gorgeous.
- Run Away With Me – Carly Rae Jepson: What? Don’t look at me like that! This is an amazing song. It’s upbeat, fun and doesn’t take itself too seriously. It’s not like I said “Call Me Maybe”. Although that song is pretty awesome too.
- Without You – Oh Wonder: Good Lord this band is amazing. I’m very excited about seeing them at Latitude Festival with the Noodle. I could have chosen any of the songs from their self-titled album, but this one just seems to crop up the most.
- Lou Lou – Albin Lee Meldau: Honestly, the only thing wrong with this song is that it’s too short. While it does accomplish everything it needs to in just over 2 minutes, when a song is this good it should last about 10 minutes. Albin Lee Meldau sounds like Hozier covering a Nina Simone song and it’s as good as that too. Speaking of Nina Simone
- Sinnerman – Nina Simone: If I have to explain who Nina Simone is or why I would listen to this song, we need a long conversation about life.
There are more, but if I were to produce an exhaustive list I would be here all day and I wouldn’t have another blog post to offer further down the line.
If I get the chance/figure it out I will start including Spotify playlists with these posts. For now, find the songs and enjoy.
After I used the spices in my Spicery Delivery (Noodle and I made a Lebanese Mezze, remember) I noticed there was another full packet of spices left in the box.
At first, I obviously panicked. I was convinced that I’d completely forgotten to add it into one of the dishes and I was going to be left with flatbread that tasted like cardboard, or worse! Cauliflower that actually tasted like just cauliflower. Can you imagine what I was going through?
I decided to act like a mature adult and lie on the floor breathing heavily until Anna pointed out that I could just read the instructions. Because she’s the sensible one and I have a minor tendency to overreact to the slightest provocation I read the instructions and it turns out that The Spicery adds in an extra packet of spice mix to the delivery, just because they can. Which is awesome.
Yes, that is my Batman wall. I’ll need to find a new place for it I suppose.
Dear reader, the next time you hear from me, I will be in my new house. Blogging from a new kitchen with more cupboard space and plenty of natural light so I can start my herb garden.
The thought of this fills me with a mixture of maudlin sentimentality and optimistic promise.
This is the second of my recipe/reviews which utilises the Christmas gift from Joseph and Leah (my brother and sister-in-law, respectively).
In case you missed the first one (it’s the Sri Lankan beef one), here’s a quick rundown.
For Christmas, Joseph and his darling wife, who chose the gift (there you go Leah, I have now credited you), got me a subscription to The Spicery, which is an online company which sends globally inspired recipes and the requisite spices for the dishes in the post once a month. I would definitely recommend it, it’s been perfect for a little inspiration as well as forming the basis for a lovely food evening on a couple of occasions so far.
Anyway, this month the pack was for a Lebanese Mezze platter. I actually chose this one because I wasn’t 100% sure what it entailed. I was planning on Googling it, but I didn’t want to ruin the surprise.
I love burgers. Anyone who has ever eaten food at my house, or instigated a conversation about burgers with me, can attest to this fact.
I love simple burgers, pub burgers, gourmet burgers and I’m even willing to tolerate a well made vegetarian burger (even though I don’t think you should call it a burger unless it uses mince; e.g. the so-called “chicken breast burger”). I don’t like pre-made supermarket burgers though, they tend to use too much white pepper and, because of this, I now hate white pepper.
In my years of eating and making burgers, I am not too proud to admit that I have made many many mistakes. From each one, I have learned, I have grown and I have conquered.
So, follow me fellow burger lovers! I will lead you to the promised land of juicy, delicious homemade burgers!
Today, I thought I would go for something a little different to the sporadic barrage of recipes you’re used to from me. I thought I would write something whimsical but fairly profound. I thought I would offer my own piece of advice.
When I cook, I sing. I don’t mean I hum to myself or sing the odd word. I mean, I set up playlists full of songs I know the words to with a variety of tempos and moods, set the burner going, press play and sing like I’m auditioning for some sort of emo musical. If I get the right song (looking at you Brandon Flowers or Future Islands) I may even throw in some dance moves.
You know what I’ve realised from my kitchen performances? Singing and cooking are a perfect combination of activities. And here are my 5 ideas as to why: