Spicy Aubergine Stew with Coriander and Mint

After the stunning let down that was ‘Low Calorie Tandoori Chicken’ I decided to try something else. Which is a stupid thing to write because I’m hardly going to try the same thing again.

Eggplant, or aubergine (that’s ‘o’ver-gene with a soft ‘g’, or ‘Or’-bergine as the wife says) is a main-stay for those of the herbivorous persausion, with a sort of chunky substantiality (is that a word?) that doesn’t turn to mush, unless you overcook it, which I nearly always do.

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So a quick online search led me yet again to the BBC Good Food website and Spicy Aubergine Stew with Coriander and Mint. ‘Interesting’ combination but I assumed the liberal application of chilli would drown out any conflicting flavours, and all for a purported 178 calories (really? Not 179?).

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Satay Sirloin Steak – delicious and that is a fact.

Now you hear a lot of ‘facts’ on TV, radio, the internet. ‘Experts’, with ‘opinions’, about ‘things’. For example:

It’s an absolute fact that if everyone in China jumped up and down at the same time, the orbit of the Earth would alter sufficiently for us to be put on a collision course with the Sun. Why? Well because the Chinese just get on and do what they are told.

If the population of Europe tried to do it everyone would start arguing; the Germans would want to tell everyone else what to do, which would cause the French to sulk, and the Italians would put two fingers up and go sleep with each other, whilst the Spanish would be too busy having a siesta anyway and would miss the whole debacle.

What about the English I hear you yawn. Well, we aren’t European are we?

Of course the Americans might be able to do it, but the Japanese would probably do it better. And cheaper. Probably more reliable as well. Now, where was I? Oh yes, facts.

If a butterfly in the Amazon farts, a dog gets a bad case of the shits in Hyde Park, London. (I put the London bit in there because there is a Hyde Park in NY State apparently, and I don’t want anyone there thinking their dog might take a random dump on the lounge carpet because of a butterfly; it won’t, he will do it deliberately to piss you off). Anyway, small changes having big consequences is called the ‘Butterfly Effect’. I think that’s it.

So I can handle being told all these interesting facts. Useful information even. I mean if I ever end up as head of the Chinese State and then go mad with power, I will just shout ‘jump’!

But being told what is good for you and what isn’t frankly gets on my tits. Red wine causes cancer, but it’s good for your circulatory system.

Red meat causes cancer, heart disease and bowel obstructions. But it’s got iron and protein, and they are good things.

Quinoa is an excellent healthy food, but looks like desiccated fish spawn.

So when is he going to get to some food you might well ask, if you’ve got this far. Well right now. Today’s offering on the culinary merry-go-round is ‘Satay Beef with Noodles’.

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The combination of sirloin steak and peanut sauce was a new one for me, but it worked well (if memory serves).

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Classic Banoffee Pie

One of the most searched-for recipes that leads people to Happiness Stan is ‘banana-less banoffee pie’. If you took a look at the link you can see this is not really anything to do with banoffee pie, I just like playing with words and peoples’ heads (and taste buds).

But who would look for such a thing as banana-less banoffee pie? What kind of tortured soul is even thinking about, let alone seriously considering, such a thing? Maybe they are distant relatives of the Spanish Conquistadors, who’s search for the Lost City of Gold ended as fruitlessly as their modern descendants looking for a recipe that cannot exist. Mind you the conquistadors may well have tripped over some bananas as they explored the virgin rainforests desperate for a first glimpse of Eldorado.

More likely they are conflicted. On the one hand the thought of cream, biscuit, caramel and chocolate seems like a no-brainer. However countering this is the thought of sticking bits of slimy, pale yellow fruit into an otherwise perfect creation.

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This is the Eldorado of Banoffee Pies

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Herbal tea – how much is too much…

So we were doing one of our regular online grocery shops the other day. When I say ‘we’ I mean ‘the wife’. My job is to stick my head in cupboards to look for things we already have to make sure we don’t end up with fifty tins of beans.

I’m not very good though. Hence when it came to herbal tea, I happened upon…

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How Lamb Kofta Kebabs Helped Me Get Over Amazon.com

Rant time. It’s been a while. Do any of you shop on Amazon?

Is the Pope Catholic, I hear you think.

Or does a bear, so the saying goes, shit in the woods?

Well, my take on Amazon is that it’s great. Until it’s not.

I know many bloggers do not watch TV. But I do. Love TV. Sat through 180 episodes of ‘Lost’*. Watched all of Star Trek.

So when Amazon started ‘streaming’ (what a great word that is) TV and films from it’s website I said to myself ‘I’ll have me some of that!.

Now American TV is the best. A series on American TV goes on for ever. Episode after epidode. Not like British TV. Four episodes of ‘Sherlock’ and that’s it for a year. With American TV you got 24 episodes of ‘24’ (canny that) and it seems to take over your (some might say sad) life.

So I settled in to watch a TV show called ‘Once Upon a Time’. The premise is simple. Fairytale characters (you know, Snow White, Hanzel and Gretel, Red Riding Hood etc) get transported to the real world by the Wicked Queen and live in a small town in Maine, unaware of who they really are until someone comes along and messes with their heads.

And I was getting into it. Episode 10 (of about 40). Then suddenly Amazon tells me I will have to start paying extra for it. Well that got me on the customer complaints page quicker than you can say ‘Rip off’.

I got an automated reply ‘We love you and we are totally committed to everything…but tough luck buddy’.

So I cancelled my subscription. And tried Netflix. Which of course doesn’t have ‘Once Upon a Time’. But I showed Amazon. Amazon is quaking in it’s boots. Right now.

*turned out they were all dead after all.

And so I turned off the TV and went and did something less boring instead (I’m paraphrasing an old children’s TV show; see? TV on the brain) by making Lamb Koftas with Cheesy Stuffed Potatoes.

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