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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Tandoori Chicken with less than 300 Calories

Currently HappinessStan is not quite so happy. Because HappinessStan is on a diet. Regular readers will know this happens with tedious frequency. But it’s not surprising given some of the creations that appear on this blog. Regular dieting is the only thing that prevents him ending up looking like a a cut-price Marlon Brando (during his later years).

Take a look at the ‘Most viewed’ posts to the right. It’s not a sea of quinoa and green smoothies is it. Sometimes there is a pic of a Roman shield that fretful fathers have searched for at specific times in the school year, but generally its cake and meat & pastry combinations people want to look at. And that is what I tend to cook, and tend to eat.

So with a heavy heart (and even heavier backside) I have decided to spend a period in abstinence. But unlike with previous dietary cycles (where I basically live off boiled chicken) this time I thought I’d have a go at preparing genuine ‘low calorie’ recipes (Brrrr… even writing that sends shivers down my spine)

So here we go. A new series of recipes with less than 300 calories a serving. But worry not. I will intersperse with proper food, which I prepare whilst other, more fortuitous souls, eat.

We shall kick off with Tandoori Chicken. Now how can you make anything remotely approaching something that is even getting close to Tandoori Chicken with a) less than 300 calories and b) no tandoor?

Good questions.

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Millionaire’s Chocolate Tart

(Ed. note: Eagle-eyed readers might notice that I posted this a few days ago. But I only posted the preamble rambling; I got over-excited and pressed ‘publish’ instead of ‘save’ before including the bit about the chocolately creation, which is now included)

I’m a fully connected individual.

I Lync (sic), I Skype (sic not needed as this name is some crumby attempt at a portmanteau, I suspect, something like Sky-Type. Rubbish).

I can Webex, GlobalMeet and joinme.com and I generally can think of nothing more fun than sharing my desktop with people I do not know and will more than likely never actually meet.

I have a head set than enables me to go hands-free whilst on a call and I have been told by colleagues that said headset reminds them of Rosemary, the telephone operator from Hong Kong Phooey:

Hong Kong Phooey

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