Sunday, 8 August 2010


Well I feel very sad about doing this because for a couple of years Blogger was my home but, well, I think I've pretty much officially moved my two sites together into one on Wordpress.

This is my new site:

I hope all of you find that it's great, because I think it's a lot better than here on Blogger but that's just my personal opinion.

Bye bye Blogger....


Saturday, 15 May 2010

Baking: Lemon Drizzle Cake

Difficulty: Easy

■2 unwaxed lemons
■175g of unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
■200g of self-raising flour
■1/2 teaspoon baking powder
■3 large free range eggs
■175g of granulated sugar (for the sponge)
■100g of granulated sugar (for the icing)

1.Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas Mark 4 and grease a 900g loaf tin with some butter before lining with baking paper
2.Grate the zest of the two lemons
3.Put the butter, flour, 175g of sugar, baking powder, eggs, and the lemon zest into a large mixing bowl and mix until thick and smooth
4.Spoon the mixture into the loaf tin and level off with a pallette knife
5.Bake until golden brown, and the cake bounces back when you press it (this may or may not take more than 35 minutes)
6.Remove the cake from the oven and leave to cool for 5 minutes before placing on to a wire rack and turning it the right way around
7.Squeeze out three tablespoons of lemon juice and mix this with the remaining 100g of granulated sugar to make the crunchy glaze
8.Spoon half of the glaze over the cake and let it dribble down the sides before leaving for 5 minutes. Repeat the process again after this time has passed
9.Leave the cake to set for an hour, until the icing has crystallised

Suggestion: The cake is classically made with lemons, but to give it a twist, why not use oranges or limes instead? You could even make a lemon and lime cake by adding lime zest to the sponge mixture and having a lemon topping!

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Erasing David: Common Sense Doesn't Prevail

A couple of nights ago More4 showed "Erasing David" as part of its ever-insightful True Stories strand (for those of you who don't know, True Stories are feature-length documentaries focusing on issues and stories that never make it on to the news).

The idea was that David Bond, the film-maker, would make himself disappear for a month while private investigators did everything they could to find him and catch him before the month was up.

Now, it may seem as if that would be quite easy: just go to another country, mooch around for a bit and then return triumphant. Er, no. The private investigators were able to find out everything about David's family and the man himself, enabling them to track and pre-empt his every move. They knew he was in Brussels, they knew he went to Berlin. They also knew he was in Paris, and so waited patiently for him to arrive at St. Pancras station, although he never materialised (because he took the ferry).

The action was intercut with scenes from the months leading up to David's disappearance, including a visit to a psychologist, an insight into CCTV, a training session with the man who wrote "How To Disappear" and David's piles of information that he'd gathered from private companies and the government. All about him. And his two year old daughter. The piles were shockingly large - Amazon knew that he was feeling angry on a particular day in 2006. Scary. These parts, along with the efforts of the private investigators, were the most illuminating parts of the film.

What was frustrating was the complete incompetence of David - it was like he actually wanted to be found. When he went to Brussels he let a blogger film him and paste the results on the internet for all to see, he visited his father's house, he planned to go to his mother's house and used the internet and his Blackberry on numerous occassions. In my opinion the only thing he did right was to go to Pembrokeshire and hide in a wood hut for a couple of days. He eventually went to a London hospital to keep an ante-natal appointment with his pregnant, and very ill, wife. This is where he was eventually caught after eighteen days - the NHS had given out details of their appointment to the investigators simply because they knew his name and his wife's date of birth. I was surprised it took them that long considering some of David's silly moves.

Still, I guess the actual chase bit wasn't the real point of the documentary - the real purpose was obviously to get us to think more about how we use our data and who's watching it. It was sort of pessimistic but for me it wasn't anything I didn't know anyway. Perhaps David was naive to think that there wasn't a whole boatload of data on him out there, but if you do want some insight on how our private data is used then you should check the film out.

Saturday, 8 May 2010

Baking: Chocolate Chip Cookies

Difficulty: Easy

Makes 18-24 depending on the size of the cookies you make


■125g of softened butter plus extra for greasing
■125g of soft brown sugar (or demerara which gives the cookies extra richness)
■1 beaten egg
■200g of self-raising flour
■Pinch of salt
■125g of chocolate chips (drops)
■50g of brazil nuts (optional)


1.Grease a couple of baking trays with a little butter. If you have greaseproof paper, you could line the trays with this – it works wonders!
2.In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy
3.Gradually add the beaten egg to the mixture, beating well after each addition
4.Sift the flour into the creamed mixture and blend well
5.Stir in the chocolate and, if you’re using them, the brazil nuts
6.Place heaped teaspoons of the mixture on to the baking trays – do not put more than six cookies to a tray, and make sure there’s plenty of space between the cookies or they will run into each other!
7.Bake in a preheated oven at 190C/375F/Gas Mark 5 for 10-12 or until golden brown (you might have to place the cookies on the top shelf to make them cook quickly
8.When cooked, place the cookies on to a wire rack and wait until completely cooked to enjoy!
Suggestions: Once you’re confident with cooking the choc chip cookies, why not try different flavours? Try making double chocolate by adding cocoa powder to the uncooked mixture, or you could add mixed spice and sultanas for a luxurious taste? If you can cook it in a cookie, try it!

Friday, 7 May 2010

Heston's Feasts: Mostly Gastronomical!

For the past five weeks I've been following Channel 4's series "Heston's Feasts" in which science-minded gastronut Heston Blumenthal picks a theme or era for a banquet for six celebs and redesigns the food associated with the topic. So far he's tackled Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory (i.e. the 60s), the Titanic, Gothic Fairy Tales and the 70s and has yet to tackle the 80s.

Every week Heston himself is the star of the show, getting up to strange antics in all sorts of locations as he tries to suss out what recipes are good and bad by testing them on the British public - not all the results are that great. The joy of this part of the program is that he actually sticks entirely to the original recipes, so he's eaten brains and raw blood, the vile stamina-foods of Sir Walter Scott and has eaten a traditional Moroccan camel recipe just like Lawrence of Arabia (that was the bit of the true story obviously left out of David Lean's film!)

Heston then re-imagines these original recipes to make something more exciting and extraordinary... as well as edible - we've been given the delights of the Humpy Meal (camel meat redifined as Happy-Meal-style fast food), the Pot Heston (a non-processed, fun Pot Noodle that's high on nutrition, low on those pesky E-Numbers) and blood risotto (really not as gruesome as it sounds, it's just a posh risotto with a small amount of concentrated blood, or purer black pudding, with some red beetroot dye to make it look devillishly evil).

Heston's ideas are nearly always inventive but sometimes they fall just that little bit short of the mark. In the weakest episode of the series so far, "Heston's Titanic Feast", Blumenthal swaps invention for the notion that he wants to serve the actual meal that the people on the Titanic never got to experience. As a result, his dishes were flat and uninspired and while all of his food must taste phenomenal, it's hard to get the impression of magic just by watching some celebrities fawn over a plate. Basically, when the fun and games aren't there Heston's Feasts turns into a posturing, high-brow show that could easily be found on inferior cooking shows like Masterchef, or even The Restaurant.

Luckily though, that hasn't happened in most of the episodes in this series. While that single episode was tedious to watch, Heston's charm and intelligence are there for all to see - if you can stand some of the slightly sycophantic celebrities and their comments, the gastronomy on the show is brilliant. If you haven't already seen any of Heston's Feasts, please try and see an episode (er, just not the Titanic one!)

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Prince of Persia: Already A Letdown?

Coming soon to a large multiplex cinema near you: Jerry Bruckheimer's take on Prince of Persia:

I have to apologize for the slightly dodgy picture quality here; what I was trying to pull off didn't quite work I'm afraid. Anyway, any film by Jerry Bruckheimer will no doubt have its share of thrills and spills and also a large spoonful of wooden dialogue (including clangers, plus some explanations that we're frankly patronised by) but his films always make for a good night out, right?

Well maybe not if, like me, you're a disgruntled fan of the original Prince of Persia games. First of all, the Prince never had a name, secondly, he wasn't so wooden in the way he talked. No doubt Jake Gyllenhaal can wield a sword very well (he'll have to, otherwise it'll be "Prince of Persia: The Laughable Rogue") and Gemma Arterton as his love-interest Tamina will prove to be a good sidekick. Plus we'll be able to tell who the bad guy is because he'll be the one wearing the most eye-liner. We've got all that, but none of this:

That's right: BEAST BASHING! In Bruckheimer's version, the Prince will not slay a single zombie or kick a demon into the pits of oblivion - all of the enemies are human. To my mind this defies one of the points of Prince of Persia: it's a platformer where you get to kill some inhuman beasties using some flashy swashbuckling moves. It would have been better if, like in the video game, the Prince used the Dagger of Time to stop a zombie or demon from jumping on him. Surely the film needs to have an element of the supernatural in it? Even if the villain eventually turns into that devil-god monster from the fourth installment in the end, at least it'll keep the purists happy.

I suppose if you're not familiar with the game, then you'll enjoy the film as a piece of escapism. If not, well, at least they've got the Prince's clothes right!

Monday, 3 May 2010

My Bank Holiday

I put an excalamtion mark at the end of the post title to make this seem a lot more interesting than it probably has been: basically Bank Holidays are always the same. You've got football on the telly, rubbish TV programmes, the weather's terrible and everyone thinks that it's a good idea to rush to the seaside because, er, that's what you do on a Bank Holiday.

Well, it's been pretty much the same for me. Today was the seaside day, and even though I didn't see much of the beach (because it's absolutely freezing cold out there) I did get my mitts on fish and chips:

Well it's actually a fish cake, which is why it's so round! I have to say that these paticular variety of fish and chips are very delicious - it's a good job that I don't live nearer to where these are made otherwise I'd be the size of a house! I had ice cream too, but I'll have you know that I was good and only opted for a small tub: I'm not the pig I may seem to be!

In other Bank Holiday news, I was so desperate for a game that takes longer than 10 hours to complete (including min-games, collectibles, side-quests and all the rest of it) that I resorted to getting my ancient Nintendo 64 working again:

I decided to start with Donkey Kong, since it's a game I haven't played for ages - I think this game actually holds the record for the amount of collectible items in a single game (including bananas, golden bananas, fairies, battle crowns, blueprints, banana medals, boss keys, oranges, ammunition crates, two special tokens, banana coins, headphones and camera film. That's quite a long list!) Also on the cards to play is the first two Banjo-Kazooie games (Banjo-Tooie is hilarious and also takes an age to complete 100%) and Zelda: Majora's Mask, for me the most criminally underrated in the franchise.

So other than this and blogging it's been a pretty mundane Bank Holiday really. I'll sign off with Beck's "Youthless" a song that's been on repeat for me over the weekend and also has a very simple yet oddly ingenious video:

Sunday, 2 May 2010

30 Rock Season 4: Let The Hilarity Commence!

Last week the first episode of the hilarious fourth series of 30 Rock started and it hasn't lost any of its charm and sparkle: actually, I think it might have gained a little something. Already this season we've seen less popular-culture gags and more focus on the characters (Kenneth not wanting to be a liar, Liz coping with the fact that she's a rude New-Yorker...) That's always good of course: characters who were pushed into the background in Series 3 and pretty much only had the odd cemeo appearance are given the major roles they once had.

Of course, we still get a lot of the strange Tracy Jordan (an alias of Tracy Morgan. I say alias because he's pretty much just playing himself but with a different name), the one-liners of Liz (the ever-funny Tina Fey) and the unashamed, uncaring businesslike mannerisms of Jack (Alec Baldwin, who sparkles in the role. No wonder he's won so many Emmys).

After seeing the first two episodes (I still have the third one taped) I can safely say that it could be a bonanza season for a show that's never really dipped in form at any time: the ongoing storyline of trying to get a new cast member should prove to be comedy gold.

If you haven't already seen it, then check it out: hopefully you won't be disappointed!

Saturday, 1 May 2010

SCG: Branching Out!

Hey guys! You can now become a fan of my personal page on Facebook! Exciting times! If you want to do so, just click on my badge to the right of this and if you do become a fan then I'll respect you forever - seriously, at the minute I don't have any fans so I'll really appreciate your support in this new endeavour. Hopefully you'll get your friends to follow me as well so we can have an even bigger community here on SCG.

Thank guys!

Thursday, 29 April 2010

Faux Fur Feelings

It's been a bit of a bonanza week for me (yes, yes, I'm well aware it's only Tuesday but I'm counting back to last week)! Among my many CD purchases I've actually gone out and bought some clothes - it has to be said at this point that I don't go out and buy clothes every week like some people. My reasons for this are that a.) I don't have the money to spend lavishly like that and b.) my wardrobe wouldn't be able to handle the bulge if I did. But alongside some much nedded jeggings (you know, those jean-look leggings that are ultra comfortable and cheap), I picked up this little number:

It's not real fur, obviously! I'm not like that but for some reason this hip-length three-quarter sleeved leopard print jacket really appealed to me. After wearing it to work yesterday I found an extra use for it too: it keeps you really, really warm. Sweltering at one point actually but maybe that was because I was pegging it to actually get to work after a business-related detour. Oh, and it feels lovely. And it was half-price! Bargain! So I guess the big question really is if you really want to wear this coat like me or is it just that little bit too... OTT? Of course, I think it's fabulous - what about you?

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Salad: Let the Boredom Commence!

So yesterday I decided to be good and try and slightly healthier dinner than normal. I'm not going around eating subs and having fast food every lunchtime (actually it's completely the opposite, I normally just have cheese and biscuits) but yesterday I had the niggling feeling that I wasn't getting enough greens. This resulted in me making this:

It's a cheese, lettuce and red pepper sandwich,with all the goodness probably taken out of it by the fact that I've put it on a white crusty roll. Anyway, I have absolutely nothing against lettuce in a sandwich - this actually turned out to be quite yummy with the cheese. The thing I struggled with here was the peppers. Now, I love peppers when they're cooked: they're succulent, juicy and not boring at all. But that awful crunchiness and rawness just didn't do it for me here: it wasn't anywhere near as bad as raw tomatoes but.... ergh. Conclusion: lettuce good, raw peppers baaad. Now I have been trying to get some extra vitamins in by drinking pure fruit juice:

Don't kill me: that really is crisps behind that glass of cranberry juice. Well, I did say I was trying, and not necessarily succeeding! The cranberry juice is actually a lot less bitter with every glass you have altough this variety is particularly weak. My favourite type at the minute is apple and raspberry juice, and if I could get all my daily vitamins and minerals just from drinking that it would really save me the trouble of trying to choke down various bits of boring salad... But that's not going to happen. At least I didn't have the sugar-fest that is coronation chicken though:

This was my mam's creation. After a comment from myself that my sandwich looked a bit like Pacman, she decided it would be a good idea to go one better and put button mushrooms on the top of the bun to give it googly eyes. Well, maybe the sweetness of that chicken will cancel out the goodness of the mushrooms...

Saturday, 27 March 2010

Whip It: Pre Release Speculation

On April 7th, Drew Barrymore's directorial debut, Whip It, will be released in the UK. Unlike what it might suggest, Whip It is actually the tale of Bliss (Ellen Page), a teenager who pleases her mother (Marcia Gay Harden) by entering beauty pageants. She takes up roller derby and takes on the name Babe Ruthless. Thanks to her skating skills, the Hurl Scouts - who always come last - turn their fortunes around and steadily climb up the league. However, her mother eventually finds out about her new-found passion.

Now, all of this sounds strangely predictable - you might think that this is just going to be one of those films where a teenage girl finds her place in the world, hits a little bump in the road and then it all turns out just fine in the end. Well, maybe not. According to some reports, it's not going to be as straightforward as it sounds. Well, any film that combines a teenage drama, a romance and full-contact sport has to has some twists in it right? Right? Well, we'll just have to wait and see.

Barrymore's directorial skill is apparently a highlight of the film, as she always knows the best place to put the camera and the most effective way to shoot the high-speed roller-derby scenes. Ellen Page is also likely to put in another great performance - she lights up pretty much every film she's in (okay, I'm a bit of a fan, then). Plus it features the talents of Kristen Wiig, a very funny woman who livened up Saturday Night Live and was oddly hilarious in Adventureland (even though she was only in it now and then!). All in all, Whip It looks like it could be a great night out - watch this space.

Denim, Denim and Even More Denim

Fashion industry insiders have predicted that one of the big trends coming up in the next season will be denim (but I guess you've already worked that out). But come on, do we really need another coming of denim?

Remember when everyone seemed to go around in denim jackets and jeans (oversized too, I might add) and it was all really tacky and awful? Well I think that's what some insiders are aiming for with this re-emergence people. I'm already seeing some poor souls walking around in denim jackets that are at least two sizes too big for them, frankly making them look closer to a beer barrel than a human being. I dread to thin what might happen if this is combined with a re-emergence of stonewashed jeans in the (hopefully not) near future.
Of course we will ge a lot more denim dresses too, as shown in my pic above - this will range from shapeless balloons like item E above, to more classic designs with a denim "look" rather than using the actual material. Topshop have already had a few dresses of this nature in over the past few months, the best of which (this is, the best if I really had to choose one) being a short dress with shaped cups around the breast area, giving it a more structured, fashionable shape.
But I don't think I'll be going in for any of this denim nonsense - it could all go horribly wrong, and I don't think anyone should be subjected to that. Be careful if you want to follow this trend.

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Baking: Cornish Pasties

Makes about 8

Difficulty: Medium


For the pastry:

  • 450g of plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 120g of unsalted butter
  • 2 free-range egg yolks
  • Water
  • 1 beaten egg for glazing
For the filling:

  • 50g of swede, finely chopped
  • 150g of potato, peeled and cut into cubes
  • 50g of carrots, peeled and cut into cubes
  • 50g of onion, finely chopped
  • 100g of lean beef mince
  • 1 tablespoon of parsley (or more, depending on how herby you want the nix to be)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. For the pastry, rub the flour, baking powder, salt and butter together with your fingers until it looks like breadcrumbs
  2. Add the egg yolks and mix in until it looks like breadcumbs again
  3. Gradually mix in the water, a tablespoon at a time, until the ingredients come together in a dough
  4. Roll the dough into a ball, put cling film over the top of the bowl and then place in the fridge for an hour
  5. Meanwhile, for the filling, bring a pan of salted water to the boil (the pan might need to be a decent size to get all of the vegetables in it)
  6. When it is boiling, add the swede, potato and carrot and cook for 4-5 minutes until tender
  7. Drain the pan well
  8. In a separate pan, brown the beef mince and then mix in the onions
  9. Add the tender vegetables and stir around again
  10. Season well with salt and pepper and add as much parsley as you want
  11. Take the mix off the heat
  12. Pre-heat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4
  13. If an hour has passed, roll out the pastry on a clean, floured work surface
  14. Cut medium sized discs out of the pastry - using a saucer as a guide is the easiest way to do this
  15. Place some of the filling in the middle of the discs - don't go overboard or you won't be able to close up the pastry!
  16. Brush the edge of the discs with some of the beaten egg
  17. Draw the edges of the pastry together and then crimp them with your fingers to seal it up (see the photo above to get the idea of the effect this gives)
  18. After doing this, brush the pastry with the beaten egg to give it a golden glaze
  19. Place on to a baking tray and bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until golden-brown

Baking: Coffee Streusel Cake

Difficulty: Medium

For the Sponge:
  • Butter, for greasing
  • 275g of plain flour
  • 1 tablespoon of baking powder
  • 75g of caster sugar (this isn't a lot and the cake isn't sweet, so if you want to add more to suit your sweet tooth then go ahead!)
  • 150ml of milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 100g of butter, melted and cooled (it's very important that the butter has properly cooled!)
  • 2 tablespoons of instant coffee mixed with one tablespoon of boiling water (or add more coffee if you want the taste to be stronger)
  • 50g of almonds, chopped
  • Icing sugar for dusting

For the topping:
  • 75g of self-raising flour
  • 75g of demerara sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 teaspoon of ground mixed spice
  • 1 tablespoon of water
  1. Grease a 23cm/9 inch loose-bottomed roud cake tin with a little butter and line the base with baking paper
  2. Pre-heat the oven to 190C/375F/Gas Mark 5
  3. Sift the flour and baking powder into a large mixing bowl and then stir in the caster sugar
  4. Whisk the milk, eggs, melted butter and coffee mixture together and pour into the dry ingredients
  5. Add the chopped almonds and mix lightly together until a cake mix is formed
  6. Spoon the mixture into the tin - don't put it into the oven yet!
  7. To make the topping, mix toether the SR flour and demerara sugar
  8. Add the butter and mix together with your fingers until the mix is crumbly
  9. Sprinkle in the ground mixed spice and the water
  10. Bring the mixture together into loose crumbs - this is the tricky bit, and you might have to use a knife. Don't worry if the mix is too stodgy, just keep adding small amounts of SR flour until the mix is less stodgy. Mine wasn't really dry, but as long as it's a little crumbly in texture it should be fine
  11. Sprinnkle the topping evenly over the surface of the cake mixture in the tin
  12. Bake the cake in the pre-heated oven for one hour - keep an eye on the topping and if it's browning too quickly, cover it loosely with tin foil
  13. After it is baked, leave to cool thoroughly in the tin, then turn out - don't forget to take the greaseproof paper off the bottom of the cake!
  14. Dust with icing sugar to finish

FF + iPod = Hours of Amazingness

About two weeks ago SquareEnix - the company behind the Final Fantasy series - made the first two games in the franchise available to buy in the iTunes store. This prompted a lot of comments like "I had no idea these were coming to iPod" and "this is the best game I've ever bought for my iPod". It also had some angry, rather ungrateful people saying "£5.49? What a rip off!" Well, consider that these games take hours - possibly 50+ hours - to complete, and then think about the amount of time it takes to complete any other games on the store. I think that might just be value for money, if you stick with it.

Anyways, it was a pleasant surprise: I bought them as soon as I could get my hands on a gift card (hey, you wouldn't dare let me loose on there, would you?) and neither of them have been a disappointment. Some people have complained about the controls but I think they're seamless - my only criticism is that some people might find the battle and menu text a little too small but it's definitely not unreadable. The improved save feature lets you save your progress whenever, wherever (except in battle) so you could even just have a quick battle or two when waiting somewhere and not lose any data. This is definitely not coming off my App List for a loooong time.

Sunday, 28 February 2010

Kick-Ass: The Pre-Release Speculation

A lot has been made of the upcoming release of comedic, ultraviolent comic-book flick Kick-Ass (particularly in Empire: subscribers have been bombarded with images of the eponymous hero - pictured above - for months now). But will it live up to the wacky premise when the film is released on April 2?
It stars Aaron Johnson as Dave Lizewski, a hapless teen who decides to try and be more of a man by fighting crime as a costumed vigilante named Kick-Ass. He becomes an internet phenomenon and quickly finds that being a superhero can get you into some serious bother when he gets on the wrong side of a ruthless mobster. Luckily, he meets two genuine superheroes, Big Daddy (played by Nicholas Cage) and his eleven-year-old daughter Hit-Girl (Chloe Moretz).
Just how hilarious and enjoyable it is remains to be seen but for those of us who have been battered with messages and advertising for Kick-Ass will be relieved when its release comes around - even if it's just so we can get around to the next big thing (Iron Man 2 or Clash of the Titans, anyone?)! Perhaps Kick-Ass will turn out to be Kill Bill with more laughs. You know, so OTT that it doesn't matter how violent the action is and so obviously a parody that it's oddly satisfying (even though it really is based on a real comic book). No doubt it will be one of those marmite films - true fans of the comic book genre will probably hate it for being so wildly different while others will love it for its bare-faced audacity. I hope I fall into the latter category, since I'm not overly convinced with the whole comic-book thing (it's a bit like the film versions of video games: will they ever make a good one?)

Stand by for more come April...

Saturday, 27 February 2010

Beige: Not the New Black?

Nude is back. Luckily this is nude shades and not the other more chilly kind. Nude can be described in many different ways: tan, sand, stone, camel, skin-tone, magnolia and, of course, beige. Yes, beige. How would've thought it? It's certainly not vibrant and it's certainly not, as they say in the fashion world, "editorial" (this means completely bonkers, in case you were wondering). It's really rather safe, as you can see above.

But "safe" does not necessarily translate in to meaning "wearable". Think about it: despite the many shades of beige that are on display above, the only model who doesn't look washed-out is the one second to the left. Now, models are classically a lot paler than average people because it's easier to work with a blank canvas, so you might say "so what?" Well, I think that beige will have the same problem as yellow - unless you've had more UV exposure than recommended, it's just going to make you look sallow and strange.

Beige trousers may be your best bet if you want to follow this trend - teaming it with something more colourful on the top will help to balance your complexion and not make you look like a ghost walking down the high-street. Unfortunately, I'm probably too pale to do this too! Shock!

Beige will not be the new black - everyone feels good in black, and anyone who says they don't must be lying so they don't look like they're following the crowd. Even pale little old me feels good in my black cocktail dress, whereas I'd just feel bare and need a bottle of fake tan to make me feel even half as good in beige, or magnolia, or sandstone.

Decide for yourself whether this trend is the best thing to ever happen: I know a lot of people hate bright colours with a vengeance so no doubt there'll be loads of peeps out there who'll feel comfortable wearing sand-coloured clothes. Just don't expect to see me stepping out in beige.

Saturday Cooking: Welsh Cakes

I've made these Welsh Cakes a few times now and they've always turned out perfectly. Sorry that this is on a Saturday: I made fish cakes yesterday but had no battery in my camera so couldn't take a photo to show that the recipe actually works! Don't worry, I'll post it in the near future when I make them again. In the mean time try these, they're absolutely gorgeous and the recipe makes around 15-18 for the thickness you can roughly see in the photo.


250g of plain flour
1.25 teaspoons of baking powder
125g of butter cut into small pieces
112.5g of caster sugar (I worked this out from a conversion but don't be exact, I never am and it's always okay!)
Sultanas - as many or as little as you want but don't go overboard or the mixture won't clump together
1 beaten egg
2-3 tablespoons of milk

  1. Sieve the flour, baking powder and caster sugar into a large mixing bowl
  2. Add the butter and rubb together with your fingers
  3. Add the sultanas
  4. Make a well in the dry ingredients
  5. Add the beaten egg and the milk and using a bread knife 'cut' the ingredients together
  6. Flour a cool, hard surface and place the mixture on to it
  7. Roll out to your desired thickness and cut out using a cutter. Keep repeating steps 6 and 7 until you can't get any more cakes out of the mixture (we don't want any waste!)
  8. Dry cook on heavy bottomed griddle with a low heat until nicely browned on both sides. If you're unsure of when they're cooked, split one open to see if they're cooked through. Also, don't worry if they look a little burnt on the top and bottom - it doesn't make an ounce of difference to the taste!
  9. If you want, you could add a little cinammon or nutmeg for an extra kick. It's more traditional to dust them with caster sugar though!
Well I hope you'll be successful with this recipe as I have been!

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Razzies: Time For the Anti-Oscars

The Razzies have been going for years now, "celebrating" the very worst of cinema, naming and shaming the worst offenders in many different categories. The Razzie Foundation has named 2009 "a banner year for terrible movies" and, judging by their nominations for worst film they're probably right. Here's their list, loving compiled. Have a bit of fun and see if you can guess just which one of these is truly the most awful film of the year.

Worst Film of 2009
  1. All About Steve
  2. GI Joe: Rise of the Cobra
  3. Land of the Lost
  4. Old Dogs
  5. Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen
Personally I would like to see Transformers "win" in this category - you don't even have to watch the movie to see that it's a shoddy attempt to get some explosions and rubbish jokes on screen. Of course, some people might really love Transformers and the first one isn't supposed to be that bad...

In a double-whammy of awfulness, Empire readers have also named Batman and Robin the worst movie of all time - it's strange how a film with such a lot of talent could turn out so... wrong. This is what Anthony Lane of The New Yorker said of the film:

"[The cast] is quite a line up, boasting a broad range of dramatic styles, and what lends the movie cohesion and intergrity is the fact that all those involved have come up with their worst imaginable performances... You sit there feeling brain-damaged and parying for the mayhem to cease."

Ooh, that's quite damning....