The Week in Recipes: I swear this isn’t a food blog

I am in fact working on a blog along the lines of: ‘what would a matriarchal society actually look like’ based on my frustration with the game franchise Mass Effect and their lazy alien race the asari. But Life has been busy, full of late night trips on the motorway with ballet tickets won in a raffle, loooooong chats with my agent about my novel, internal crying over my bank account, and trying to do things that are Fun so cracks don’t appear. (The ballet was fun, driving the motorway for the first time ever in the dark on a very windy night was not.)

And basically the easiest thing to talk about is food, because sadly I have to eat to survive and so do you. This week, we themed it with mostly Japanese cuisine, as we have a lot of sauces in the cupboard, making the shop relatively cheap. Here’s some lush dinners:

Tuesday

tuna

Every mouthful had us saying ‘mmmmmmm!’

Soy Tuna and Wasabi Mash

This was a luxury dinner for us, as two tuna steaks cost £13 ($16). But, sweet stars above, it was worth it. I even made the mashed potato from scratch, which I never do, I buy Aunt Bessie’s frozen mash because, sue me, it tastes great. But actually, it was easier than I thought and I added a bit of butter to the mash and maaaybe just a little bit more milk. Nothing is worst than lumpy, dry mashed potato. *shiver* When I cooked the edame pods, I also added salt and mild chilly, which really boosted their flavor. Not a spicy meal, despite the involvement of typically burning ingredients.

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The Week in Recipes: gosh I eat out of bowls a lot

Welcome back to cooking with two lazy cheapskates, where cooking can be easy as sneezing, tasty as gourmet, and within budget of a sinking economy. We still haven’t quite grasped a “theme” week, where we taste culinary delights from mostly one part of the world, but we used up everything in the fridge again and had no waste, which is our aim. Not only does waste suck for the environment but also your wallet, both things I want to protect.

SO, let’s get on with it!

Tuesday

Nana’s “Magic” Soup

My soup did not turn out as smooth and creamy as the picture promised, but I think I know why. I make all my soup in a soup maker – the best kitchen appliance I have ever bought – and for the first time I didn’t boil my stock cube before setting it off, which I think definitely makes the vegetables mushy (easy to blend into smoothness) and makes the soup properly piping hot at the end. I also think I’ll use normal coconut milk next time and not ‘light’ coconut milk as instructed, because there will be a next time! Despite not turning out as expected, I still really enjoyed this. A mouthful of tasty flavours that really compliment each other.

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All Female Japanese Ghostbusters

Meet Japan’s plus-size model: Naomi Watanabe. She looks like the first person you should take to a party and the one person who’d maybe cheer you up during the apocalypse. Her mission: to break Japanese stereotypes about women being slim and demure.

lipstick model

In fact, she’s done a hell of a lot. Not only is she a model but also a comedian, best known for her Beyoncé impressions (also know as the “Beyoncé of Japan”), she’s a cast member on Japan’s “SNL,” was named one of Vogue Japan’s “women of the year 2016,” and is a judge on X Factor Japan. Finally, she has the most followers on instagram in all of Japan.

But that’s not enough. No. Watanabe has her own clothing line called “Punyus,” which means “chubby” in Japanese.

I’M STILL NOT DONE. She’s also been in an official music collab with Pentatonix. Just for the record: I adore Pentatonix, holy banana peel. She cracks me up.

To top it all off, Watanabe has made a Ghostbusters music video. This lady is on fire and flaming hot.

If you’re in need of cheering up this weekend, I highly recommend checking out her instagram. She looks like so much fun and has certainly brought a smile to my evening.

The Week in Recipes 

Cooking has always been a marathon to me. That hurdle run in sports class where I hit the barrier over and could honestly be doing something more productive with my time. But then I discovered Japanese cuisine in my own kitchen, and suddenly, cooking didn’t seem so painful anymore… In fact, it was fast, hilariously easy, and not just tasty but different tasty.

Now, I don’t mind cooking. But only because I share the cooking with my partner and I’m not cooking for myself, otherwise I’d just make a bowl of rice and mix in basil pesto/eat beans on toast forever.

We’re trying to plan our weekly meals, we literally make a basic menu every Tuesday now and shop for the whole week. Whilst I know this isn’t revolutionary, it’s a big leap for me. Cooking is becoming way more adult than I would have believed a couple of years ago. So, I’d like to share those recipes with you.

Welcome to cooking with a student and a poor writer, neither of whom can be arsed with recipes that have more than four steps. Maybe we can help those of you who resonate with that feel. So, here’s what we tried last week:

TUESDAY

smokey bacon

Super Smoky Bacon & Tomato Spaghetti

I didn’t take my own picture of this one, but this is one of Aaron’s favourites. Easy, quick, cheap, and full of flavour. We also make the full quantity as suggested in the recipe – for every recipe, actually – so we can eat the leftovers for lunch the next day.

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Martian Language is Already Being Developed!

Nagin Cox is a first-generation Martian. As a spacecraft engineer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Cox works on the team that manages the United States’ rovers on Mars. But working a 9-to-5 on another planet — whose day is 40 minutes longer than Earth’s — has particular, often comical challenges. | Ted Official

Who doesn’t love Ted videos? Not only does Cox have dulcet tones, but I love the way she describes her experience of living like a Martian whilst working on Earth. And yes, the team had to develop their own bits of language. I’m totally going to convince my co-writer that we should use it for Bloodshot Buck…

Body Positive Panda Feelings

As men and women of all ages suffer self-deprecating thoughts about their physical appearance, it’s easy to feel isolated within that self-hatred. Why? Because fat-shaming. We’ve become so used to idealising images of toned celebrities that we try to pretend such physiques don’t require a strict and active lifestyle to not only achieve but also maintain.

We feel isolated because even as some of our friends tell us “it doesn’t matter, love yourself,” a part of us still feels the pressure to be skinny and/or fit. Like we’ll be scorned for coming to terms with a non-super-fit lifestyle and looking chunky, especially when you have an ugly part of society with an internet connection shaming Lady Gaga at the Super Bowl for having a tummy that wobbles slightly. Never mind the fact that it takes a diaphragm of absolute STEEL to sing and dance at the same time.

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When a family member tells us we’ve put on weight, it tells us that even those we love the most can’t help but project a “better image” onto us. It shows that, deep down, too many people are hung up with achieving Hollywood bodies.

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Dragon Age: Inquisition – Worst Wedding Ever

First thing’s first: Dragon Age: Inquisition never happened. The entire plot that should have happened? All in their DLC Trespasser, and I will do a post about that another time. So anyway:

cullenwed

Screenshot from FluffyNinjaLlama’s video

In DLC Trespasser, the Inquisitor gets to marry Cullen Rutherford (or Sera) if he’s been a successful romance option in the “main game.” Not only is it boring and over in literally 30 seconds, but the secrecy was pointless and the whole set-up the worst wedding ever.

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Would YOU Fall For Lord Voldemort If…

So, first of all, this amazing fan-made Beauty and the Beast/Harry Potter trailer:

Anything with Emma Watson in will clearly always be a Hermione AU opportunity. I wish I’d never given up video editing as a hobby now, but moreover, it got me thinking about what a hideous relationship this would be.

Bare with.

First of all: no way do I take this video seriously. It just got me thinking, yeah?

What would Voldemort – a pretty 2D evil villain – have to do to be forgivable? Probably impossible, he sought genocide and tortured peeps for fun. If you watch the trailer again, those clips of Voldemort actually showed expressions of vulnerability. It made me think more about how some romance stories look at forgiving someone for terrible sins and helping them to be better.

So if Voldemort stopped killing people and learned the error of his ways, what would you say he’d have to do/change before you’d fall in love with him, despite his track record for murder and torture? Is it even possible for you? It must have happened somewhere in history…

What characters have you forgiven for heinous crimes? At what point could you never forgive a character, despite their depth?

One example from me: I could never forgive Cersei Lannister from Game of Thrones, who deserves whole posts to talk about why. Short version: even if Cersei suddenly felt truly remorseful for all the people she has murdered and betrayed – or for those her son Jeoffrey tortured and murdered and she pretended not to notice – her cruelty has ruined and obliterated the lives of literally hundreds of people. I feel sick whenever she’s on screen because she enjoys the suffering she’s caused.

She manipulates and abuses those around her, including her own children, her lover/brother, and family. Any flicker of remorse she seems to feel is only when she gets caught. Despite her fantastic depth of motivation and feeling, I don’t think I could forgive her. It would take an intense character shift and a lot of genuine acts of kindness and generosity for me to perhaps forgive Cersei Lannister.

On the flip side, I forgave Regina Mills from Once Upon A Time. Again, a cold, selfish, murderous, and extremely manipulative woman who I loved to despise. But eventually, she embarked on a difficult journey to reform her core self. She remains sarcastic, quick-to-judge, and wildly controlled by her emotions, but as a person, she grew capable of deep internal reflection and struggled hard to be better.

Both of these women share the same motivator: to love, protect, and keep hold of their children. Both are great characters, but one of them I really want dead.

Meet Marc: Creator of Fuzzballs

It’s no secret that cats are my patronus and anything cat-like tends to draw my undivided attention. Fuzzballs are no different. I first bumped into their stand at Comic Con last year and met creator Marc—a lovely individual with a great fluffy creature brand. Ranging from cats to tigers and bunnies, it’s hard to resist the allure of his art.

Eager to know more about his work and to share his talent with others, I’ve a sweet and short interview to give you. Let’s get to it!

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Getting published: part three

I’m procrastinating by writing this post, let me just put that out there. Click here to read part one and part two.

I didn’t make the November 1st deadline. Once I figured out how to fix the big problems of my story, I worked day and night, every day, to meet the target. But hey, I do also have a life. For some reason I’d agreed to host a food party on October 31st. November 1st was also my cousin’s hen party (for whom I was maid of honour). A day later was the wedding. I also had to write a poem to perform during the service of said wedding. A day after that I was going to Norway. EVERYTHING AT ONCE.

I burnt out. I hadn’t had a chance to stop and reread any of my novel, aside from a fresh scene before moving onto the next. Consequently, I felt like I no longer even knew my novel anymore.

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Getting Published: part two

Belatedly following on from my last publishing post, about how I met an agent willing to give me and my novel a chance, it’s time I updated on what happened next.

So, after our feedback meeting, Suresh gave me a couple of big plot points and changes to think about:

  • Maybe cut a character (I’m thinking: I already cut one, aaah!)
  • Act One could be shorter
  • Your antagonists are blatantly villains, develop their motives
  • The world state of affairs is interesting: give us more

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Getting Published: Part One

FIRST DATE WITH AN AGENT

I’ve done it. I’ve started the journey to publishing my novel, or at least come closer to the dream than ever before. I’ve studied publishing as an industry, I’ve been an editor for four years for a digital publisher, but I’ve not managed to publish my own work—yet.

So, I figure we can experience the journey together, because despite the publishing experience that I have, this is all new territory for me.

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1. How I triumphed the Hunger Games and won the agent 

Okay, so I wasn’t bulldozing through a queue of clients to get to my agent, but the process of getting your foot through any door of traditional publishing can feel like a battle. Just notice me! Give me a chance!

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Art I Couldn’t Resist From Artist Alley

MCM London Comic Con is already behind us, but as per, it’s Artist Alley I always loved the most. Fandom art and original beauties await! This year I took my partner along as a photographer, and both of us spent most of our money on art we can’t hang up yet because we don’t have a house. But here are some of our favourite creatives:

Wei Li Wonka

I was not only excited to discover Wei Li’s art but touched to meet such an excitable young lady. My eye was especially drawn to her tea collection – people bathing in teaware/wearing tea cups. I love tea and work in a tea house; I now wear Wei Li’s badges to work! Her style is soft and delicate, sometimes pastely, sometimes stark and bold. It has an air of innocence and wonder, much like the artist herself, and I will certainly be procuring more of her art.

 

Find Wei Li on her blog, Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.

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Weather Report: The Basilisk in Your Pasta

bring-it-gurrlpleez-better-get-your-hair-tigh-L-Yjd1NH

The South West of England will continue to see frequent and unpredictable bursts of heavy showers and crisp sunshine every day of this week, so don’t forget your rain repellent umbrellas no matter how deceivingly warm it seems.

Those in North London should be wary of lightning strikes today, since thirteen year old Annabella Hackhop reacted badly to getting drenched in water by a speeding muggle car. The young witch is not being charged for casting the spell, as she claims it was an instinctive magical reaction that she had not intended to happen, and the Ministry’s Accidental Magic Reversal Squad should have the lightning cleared away by this afternoon.

Due to an awful incident involving an elderly wizard and his experimentation in homemade dungbombs, the glorious sunshine in East Riding might not be so welcome after all. The stink is potent for miles and truly foul, not helped by the beautiful weather Yorkshire is due all week. Ahmer Laham is being treated for magical burns after his fifth batch of dungbombs exploded in his garden brazier. The Muggle-Worthy Excuse Committee are telling local muggles that a gas line combusted and hit a sewer system.

If you’ve been brewing any lunar dependant potions this month, don’t forget that tonight is the first day of the full moon.

And a quick traffic notification: no one else is permitted to apparate into Diagon Alley today due to a pile up of witches and wizards arriving at the same time for the touring performance of the French rock band ‘The Basilisk in Your Pasta’. The crush of folk is heavy and too many of the travellers were uncomfortable with apparition, resulting in a lot of vomit.

[A/N: Literally, honestly, tonight is a full moon in the UK.]

Meddling in Muggle Theatre

I applied to be a writer for Hogwarts is Here a couple of years ago, and my application was successful! But sadly, the acceptance email went to my junk folder, and I discovered it two weeks after they’d sent it, which was apparently deplorable. I never even got a ‘sorry, you replied too slow’. I liked the content I wrote for them, however, so my Quibbler articles shall have a home on my blog. Hello, 2016.

Meddling in Muggle Theatre

Beauty and the Beast

Wizarding theatre has been in decline, according to directors such as Plepbin Eggum, famous for his adaptation of Three Wizards and the Rolling Trolls, for the past fifty years. He stated that the same dusty fables had graced our stages for so long that even fairies would be tired of sweeping up the moral residue for their spells. Whatever that means. He went on about fairy dust for quite some time.

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