Tuesday Tune – My Dance Hero’s Special

I wrote in my guest post on Janet’s blog about how I feel a little too old and self conscious when dancing these days. Or at least I do when I am sober.

Well, yet again there was murder on the dance floor last Saturday night. By dance floor I mean friends kitchen at the Halloween party that I attended dressed as a witch at a zombie party. The kitchen had disco lights and a smoke machine – that counts right? BTW Rob told me it was a zombie themed party after I bought my witches hat and wig!

My proudest moment was my drunken solo dance to Kris Kros’s Jump. I busted out all my hip-hop dance moves in my repertoire (about 2, and only Rob and I find them funny!)

But never mind me. Lets talk about the three ladies I admire for their dancing skills. These girls are the anti Britney’s and Cheryl Cole’s of the dance world. They are un-choreographed and just lose them selves in their own music with such style and grace. Plus they look like they are having a great time!

Right, drumroll please. Number 1 of my dance heroes is Ninja from The Go Team. Rob and I have seen this band live 3 or 4 times at various festivals over the years. You really have to see them live to get the full experience of Ninja’s dancing, this lady has mad skills! I tried to find a decent live video on YouTube, this was the best I could manage for this post. But please, again, you must see them in action for yourself! If you are lucky Ninja will demonstrate her dance moves of the world!

Second place is Ms Roisin Murphy formally of Moloko. Her solo album Overpowered is one of my faves and I love this video of her dancing in a greasy spoon. If only I could look that cool shimmying and hand clapping my way around a cafe wearing a cape, a dinner plate on my head and over-sized fingerless marigolds. Respect.


Third place is  a new contender to the title – Grimes. This lady is a multi talented producer, musician and artist. And she can bust out some serious moves. She has a slightly bonkers air to her which I love, and can dance with a hot dog and make it seem like a normal thing to do. Check out her live videos on YouTube to see more of her in action.

Special mentions go out to Robyn, Janelle Monáe and not forgetting the king of maraca’s Bez!


Slow Cooking Sunday – Meatballs

I have been wanting to try out making meatballs in my slowcooker for a while. A few weeks ago I finally got round to trying it out.

My verdict? They were OK. Well, the meatballs were fine, but the sauce was very thin and runny. Next time I will try using a tin of tomatoes instead of passata, to see if it makes any difference with the consistency of the sauce.

Whats that I hear you say? Did it make things any easier by making meatballs in a slow cooker? Well not really, as it is a little time consuming and fiddly preparing the meatballs. So after going to all that bother you may as well cook them on the stove top and have dinner ready 20-30 odd minutes later…

But the beauty of using a slowcooker for this meal, is as always, that once you have done the prep work and bunged everything in the slow cooker and switched it on (very important – do not forget that part!) You can then go about your day with the knowledge that your dinner dilemma is solved for the evening. So for that reason I would make this meal again. It’s perfect for, say – if I was working in the afternoon only (which I do on a Thursday) and I want my dinner ready and waiting when I get home.

750g Mince (I used pork)
Handful of parsley chopped
Few basil leaves chopped
1 egg
1 slice of slightly stale bread whizzed into breadcrumbs
Half tsp black pepper
As much grated parmesan as you want
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp garlic granules
1 carton passata
1 dried bay leave
1 tbs balsamic vinegar

With the first nine ingredients – put them all in a bowl and mix together then shape into ping-pong or golf sized balls. Put them straight into your slow cooker bowl (raw!) and pour tomatoes (passata, tinned, a jar of spaghetti sauce what ever is your preference) over them. Add the bay leaf and vinegar if you fancy doing so. Then cook on high for 4-6 odd hours or low 6-8 odd hours depending on your quantities and fierceness of your slow cooker.

Sorry about my great big whooping shadow on the plate! What can I say, I was hungry so took a very quick picture!

This meal serves 3-4 people. Rob had the left overs the next day as I was out and left him them to fend for his self with. He added some cornflour to the sauce to thicken it when he reheated them on the stove and said they were very nice. Job done!

Sneek Halloween Peek – Dining Room

I was doing a little housework this morning (please emphasise the little part!) when I thought I saw a photo opportunity in my dining room, as I thought it was looking nice and bright and sunny, for late October anyway! And I mentioned in my last post how I daydream about decorating my house for Halloween, well here are some very dark photos of my half arsed efforts this year!

All I did was tie some plastic Poundland bunting to the curtain rail and plonk a bowl of sweets on the table ready for the trick or treaters. Talking of which, I do genuinely  like seeing the local kids in their costumes, its cute! But after the tenth or so time Rob and I get fed up keep getting up to answer the door and we are all “you go”, “no you go”, “I did it last time” etc!

Anyhoo, here is a sneek peek into my as yet unfinished dining room.

The walls are painted white and the room has big patio doors (please ignore the weeds on the patio!) so it is a nice bright room – honest! I bought the round extending table on Ebay for £10 not long after we moved here as our previous Argos table fell apart. It was fun collecting it and strapping to the roof of the Beetle! I also got the vintage yellow lampshade and the cheap reproduction Eames chairs from Ebay.

I did intend to keep the colour scheme for this room as black white and yellow, but I could not find any fabric or curtains I liked in that colourway, so I selected these and have not regretted it. They fit in with the period of the house (50’s) and I never tire of the pattern.

We still have a few DIY chores left to finish this room. Mainly hanging some prints and carpeting the room. As you can see, we currently have horrible grey-black paint splattered concrete floors!

Never mind! I just wanted to take a few snap’s and introduce my house on here, as after all I did intend this blog to be a record of my decorating adventures. Give me time readers, all good things come to those who wait, if you want a nosey!

Tuesday Tune Halloween Special

I love Halloween. Almost every year around late September time I start making plans for a big amazing Halloween party in my head. I plan what themed food to make and bake, what decorations to buy or craft, what costume I will wear, and I will compile play-lists in my daydreams.

Then a few weeks before Halloween, I start to realize the amount of effort involved to make this imaginary party happen. The amount of shopping, cooking, baking required, not to mention the cleaning that my house needs before and after said party is enough for the lazy part of my brain to say “nah, sod that” and then forget all about it!

I then will hope that one of my friends will invite me to a Halloween party they have gone to all the effort of organizing, so all I have to do is bring along a bottle and this CD I would have burnt of the following!

Ghostbusters – Ray Parker jr
Ghost Town – The Specials
Dusk Till Dawn – Ladyhawk
Hunting For Witches – Bloc Party
Satan Spawn – Orbital
Halloween – Siouxie and the Banshees
Tombstone – Peaches
Evil – Ladytron
Sukie in the graveyard – Belle and Sebastian
NYC’s like a graveyard – The Moldy Peaches
Devil’s Haircut – Beck
Little Ghost – The White Stripes
Lullaby – The Cure
Heavy Water – Foals
Soft Power – Ladytron
Internia creeps – Massive Attack
Is there a ghost – Band of horses
Last living souls – Gorillaz

Below is one of my favourite spooky themed videos.

At 2.06 mins is how I imagine my party will be in my house, but with a beautifully styled food table in the corner!

N.B I compiled this play-list in my iTunes around 4-5 years ago, that’s how long I have been planning the party that will never happen for! Please feel free to suggest more tunes in the comments for me to add to it. Oh and this year Rob and I have been invited to a friends party round their house!

Guest Post

I have wriiten my first ever guest post at Janet’s blog Words That Can Only Be Your Own!

You can read my rambling answers to her music Q&A here. Do take the time to read the rest of her blog if you have not done so already, she has great taste in music!

The Names I call my cat

I saw this post here and had to chuckle to myself when I thought of all the stupid nick-names I call my cat (and always in a high-pitched stupid baby voice as well!)

Her given name is Poppy Bernadette R-S (which is Rob and my surname’s hyphenated together that I have decided not to post publicly on here!*) The poor love, I bet she gets the mickey taken out of her by the other cats down our road with a name like that!

And to make matters worse, to completely ruin any street cred that she might have left once the other cats find out that she has a hyphenated surname, I also call her any of these names which I have listed here for your amusement!

Poppy (occasionally)
Monkey Dust
Dusty Monkey
Baby Monkey
Chunky Monkey
Bunny Rabbit
Whinger Ninja
Sleepy cat
Sleepy monkey
The beast
Mucky pup
Cuddle monster

Poppy doing her page 3 pose. Showing a little raspberry ripple!

Yep, I know what you are thinking and I agree. I am a mad cat lady!

*Email me if you really want to know her surname. Not that there is anything wrong with hyphenated surname’s, its just hers is a little daft/a complete mouthful!

Tuesday Tune

I was listening to Zane Lowe’s radio1 show last Thursday. He was going on about the rumoured headliners for next years Glastonbury. Apparently this lot are contenders.

OMG! I would love to see Daft Punk live! How amazing would that be! With robot suit and those keytar things!!!

I almost saw Daft Punk at the V Festival in 1997, but my friends and I got a little muddled up with the times (I think we were drunk) and walked into an empty dance tent with Carl Cox playing. And still to this day, I am gutted that I missed them!

So will I finally be able to see the ones that got away 16 years later? I hope so, I really do!

Lately #2

  • I recently made this recipe and this recipe, but did not photograph them for future Slow Cooking Sunday posts. Both were very tasty meals BTW. Yep, Im a useless blogger.
  • I turned up to work last Tuesday morning when it was my week off. Yep, I’m a muppet.
  • I mentioned on here that I made a No-Knead bread the other week, it was OK. I have not made another attempt to practice the technique. Yep, Im a lazy bread maker.
  • I have found a couple of prints I want to purchase for the lounge. Yet more wall art to add to the growning collection of cardboard tubes containing prints waiting to be framed. Nothing gets done quick in our house. Or on my blog – House tour coming soon…..ish.
  • Rob managed to reserve two Glastonbury tickets for us both this morning! It will be our first trip back to the festival since 2005 (I think). We got fed up trying then failing to order tickets for 24 hours plus before they sold out etc, and felt that the festival was getting a little too commercial, so we gave up on it many years ago. I remember the good old days when no one bought a ticket, people would just jump the fence! We were persuaded (well Rob mainly, as I have wanted to go back again for years, as Glasto always has a special place in my heart!) by our VW club friends to give it another go. The plan was go with them in a big group and camp together in our camper vans. But they did not manage to get tickets. Dammit!
  • We now have eight months to get the camper van camping worthy! Plus it will be Rob’s birthday at the festival!
  • The camper van failed its MOT recently on 18 fails.
  • My new favorite blog is this one. I cannot stop reading it. I like the oldie’s stories of growing up in the east end best. Although I cannot say that any of my grandparents grew up that area (they are from Liverpool and Kingston/Surrey respectably) they grew up in similar circumstances and poverty. In a area where so much has changed over the years, its nice to remember how things used to be and to hear peoples stories.

Lime and Coconut Cupcakes

I made these cupcakes the other day to send to Rob’s work collegues at a place he freelances at. And I managed to remember to take pictures of them on my pointless purchase of the month this cute little cupcake stand from M&S. Which they call useful on the website BTW!

red and green should not be seen…….

I used this recipe below –

2oz dessicated coconut
1/4 pt milk
4oz butter or margarine
8oz caster sugar
2 eggs
Pinch of salt
8oz SR Flour

Soak coconut in milk for at least 2 hours. Cream the butter and sugar, beat in eggs, flour and salt, then stir in coconut and milk mixture. Bake at 180° for 25-30 minutes.

For the icing I used roughly –

140g/5ozbutter softened
280g/10oz icing sugar
1-2 tbsp hot water
few drops green gel food colouring
1-2 drops lime flavour oil

I did not have enough frosting to ice all 12 cakes though. I got the flavour oil from my trip to The Cake and Bake Show which I attended at Earl’s Court with my mum last month.

Yep, I bought loads of Jubilee cupcake cases in the sale