Bananas in Coconut Milk

This is traditionally a Thai dessert (made with palm sugar, instead of honey), it may not sound like much but my oh my it is divine. It is so tasty, comforting and also pretty damn good for you! It is almost too good to be true. Imagine bananas in custard, well, this is better. There are days that just need dessert but one can’t have indulgent desserts all the time and this 100% hits the spot. A creamy, delicious, sweet, satisfying dessert that is good for you, say what?! THIS IS IT, IT IS HERE! Can I hear a hallelujah?

Banacoco

Anyway, it looks kinda nonplus and you might be wondering if I’ve lost the plot but seriously, just go make it and judge me once you’re eating a warming bowl of bananas in coconut milk, ok?

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Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Wild Garlic Pesto

I can claim absolutely no credit for this post but it is just too damn tasty not to share. I saw the recipe on ‘Top With Cinnamon‘ and knew I had to make it; I am definitely a member of the pesto fan club and James loves sweet potato. As it happens, I’m also a huge gnocchi fan and I have to say, perhaps disloyally to the versatile and delicious white potato, that sweet potato gnocchi is pretty damn fine. I very slightly altered the pesto recipe but nothing major. I also microwaved the potatoes until cooked, instead of baking them because I was short on time. It seemed to work fine!

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Top With Cinnamon is an amazing blog, with food photographs that make me want to cry with envy, you should definitely go and check it out!

Gnocchi is a great thing to make in bulk and freeze in portions to have on hand for a quick and easy meal. It cooks from frozen in a matter of minutes.

A note on wild garlic: IT IS DELICIOUS, it is beautifully peppery. Try it.

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2015 films, the first quarter:

The length of writing post on every film I went to the cinema to see in 2014, led me to thinking that cutting it down into quarterly editions might be a better idea; it also gives you time to go and watch them all. It is an eclectic bunch this quarter but it very much mirrors my film tastes. Have you seen any of these this year? Let me know what you think!

Taken 3

1) Taken 3

It ends here! The final of the Taken trio and it does not disappoint. Bryan Mills is accused of a murder he didn’t commit and one thing leads to another (as they always do in Taken) and, surprise surprise, his daughter’s life is in danger. Everything is against Bryan, but what’s new?! He’s got a very particular set of skills to deal with just that. There is a double crossing, betrayal and an almost switched on police force, with Forest Whitaker in charge; he’s great and so is Liam Neeson. I love a good action film and this is a solid 8/10.

Theory2) The Theory of Everything

A biopic about Stephen Hawking, incredibly executed. The acting was sublime and the story told in a beautifully sensitive way. Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones give a breath-taking performance and it deserves every single award it will undoubtedly receive (and has since writing this, received). Having a degree in physics, I’d like to have seen a little more emphasis on the physics but that’s just me. I would give this a 9/10 though, it was incredible. It might have been more, had I not seen The Imitation Game the month before I saw this.

Into the Woods (2014) Poster3) Into The Woods film version of the musical that twists together many a fairy tale. The cast looked great, the trailer looked great, even the film was visually great. That being said I didn’t love the film at all and I left the cinema disappointed. I took my younger sisters who did enjoy it. There were a few funny scenes, the princes’ scene definitely being my favourite, our local castle (Dover) being used as a set was great to see. I thought the twist at the end made the rest of the story invalid, which was a real shame. 5/10.

Selma (2014) Poster4) Selma. A biopic about Martin Luther King Jr but so much more than that. This film is important (as well as brilliant) because history must not forget that these struggles were happening 50 years ago and despite huge changes, these things still happen today. Racial discrimination is prevalent across the globe, including America. This film beautifully portrayed the belief, hope, faith, determination and bravery of a movement that changed history. This is a brief 3 month snapshot, goodness know what a long road had already been walked by King and his peers by the time they got to Selma. This film left me questioning what I would have done if I had been alive in 1965, how it would have felt to have walked across that bridge, decades upon decades of oppression hanging over you. These films are important because they show history’s scars on a big stage. I would like to think this means history won’t repeat itself and yet in the news at the moment it does so on a daily basis. An amazing cast and film, 9/10.

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2015) Poster5) The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. I LOVED THIS FILM, it was such a colourful and feel good film and I thought Dev Patel was completely fantastic! I hadn’t seen the first Exotic Marigold Hotel film until this year and I actually watched it just to watch the second one, the trailer was just so good. The cast is fantastic and the writer absolutely hit the nail on the head, it was perfection. If you want cheering up with a bit of travel, culture, comedy and romance, please please watch this film. 9/10 at least!

Banana Choconut Milkshake

This weekend I have been sick with a horrible cold/sore throat/sinus related barrel of fun. Confined to my bed I found myself wanting a treat, eating dairy when unwell isn’t overly advisable though and I wanted something a little more nutritious to help me on my road to recovery. I knocked this up for James and I (we both had the dreaded lurgy, our place has not been a healthy place this week, let’s leave it at that) and it hit the spot; before I promptly fell back into a semi-sleep state coupled with a head feeling like it was full of lead, downing cups of lemsip rotated with hot lemon, honey and ginger.

Chocshake

This definitely cheered me up, even if I still felt pretty terrible.

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Rhubarb & Ginger Roast Belly Pork

To me, belly pork is an absolute treat. It is completely delicious but quite fatty so I don’t have it too often. This mother’s day I wanted to cook dinner for my mum and family; I’ve already discussed the most important course, dessert, but this almost pipped it to the post by being so darn delicious. I will 100% be making this again, everyone talked about how tasty it was and my mouth waters slightly just thinking about it. I spotted the recipe on Food 52 and instantly knew it was the one. You know how they say thart when you know, you know; well, I knew. (Whilst we are on the subject of Food 52, can we just take a moment to appreciate the beauty that is this vintage copper bundt tin.) The rhubarb and ginger compote was almost as big of a hit as the belly pork itself. Whoever wrote this recipe (Canal House) is nothing short of a genius.

Belly

I wish there was a way to do it justice in a photograph but I just don’t have the skills. I also don’t have the words to explain how delicious the onions, baked beneath the pork, were. I served this pork with traditional roast potatoes & parsnips and steamed vegetables; but also with spiced winter vegetable cous cous, for the more adventurous Sunday dinner soul.

A word of warning, you need to prep the meat the night before (or at least 8 hours before if possible).

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Ridiculously Good Carrot Cake

So, despite being a total veg lover and always sneaking them into baked goods, it took me a while to be excited about carrot cake; then we had a bake sale at work and someone brought in a carrot cake they had made. Good lord it was hands down THE BEST carrot cake I’d ever eaten and up there as one of the most delicious slices of cake I’ve ever had. After enquiring about its brilliance, I was informed it was a Hummingbird Bakery recipe, but upon looking through the two Hummingbird books I own, could only find a carrot and ginger cake recipe. I trawled the internet and found the Hummingbird classic carrot cake recipe and waited for the right occasion to appear, to bake this triple layer monster (whilst adding the carrot and ginger cake to my ‘high priority to-bake’ list).

Carrot

The occasion presented itself in the form of pi day, pi day this year was a special one because the year made the date 3/14/15 and at 9:56:23 it made it 3.141595623, that’s pi to 9 decimal places!! Geeks like me get very excited about this. I’ve always been a big fan of pi and tend to get overly excited whenever it is mentioned. Much like cake.

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Spiced Winter Vegetable Cous Cous

I mentioned a little while back about cooking a birthday dinner for my friend Jenny, when I shared the dessert recipe ‘Chocolate Heartache Cake‘. Well here is part of the mains, we had grilled meat (steak or chicken) with this spiced winter vegetable cous cous, an Ottolenghi recipe (bound to be delicious) shared by one of my favourite blogs, Orangette. It was so good that I also made it as a side dish to accompany the rhubarb and ginger roast belly pork that I cooked for mother’s day; which I promise to share soon, it would be criminal not to (it was to die for). Don’t be put off by all the ingredients and stages in this recipe, once you’ve cooked it once, you’ll have it down. It isn’t complicated at all, there is just a few spices involved; it is worth it though, trust me.

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