24 Apr 2016

Nutella Brownies

Nutella Brownies

My sweet tooth is going a bit nuts right now. I don't know whether it's because I've been a tad stressed recently which means chocolate has been essential and now, lol, can't stop eating rolos.

You see the words 'nutella' and 'brownies' and naturally you want to drop everything and run to the kitchen in a frenzy but I have been just about resisting the urge because we all know I'd make the big pile of brownies and theeeeeen eat the big pile of brownies. All of them. On my own. And I couldn't. I've got to draw the line somewhere guys...

But then this weekend, I headed to Oxfordshire for a weekend with my girls and that was all the excuse I needed. This is why you have friends.

This Nigella recipe is so, soooo easy that it's pretty darn likely you've already got all the ingredients in already (if you always have a jar of nutella in the cupboard which I assume all normal people do right?)

I wasn't as pleased as I thought I might be when I first tasted these brownies, just after they'd cooled, so I'd heartily recommend leaving until the next day before eating where the subtle hazelnut taste creeps out. Even the next day, they didn't taste as nutella-like as I imagined, but the nutella does create a lovely, calmer chocolate flavour than a normal brownie meaning it's less sickly which I sometimes struggle with.

So, basically, I think these guys are a treat. They're silky soft, hazlenutty, cakey, browniey (these are all technical terms) and so. bloody. easy.

So off we go!

Nutella Brownies
For nutella brownies, you will need (makes 8 brownies):

270g nutella
4 eggs
Pinch of salt
Teaspoon of icing sugar

Pre-heat the oven to 180c. In a mixing bowl, whisk your eggs and salt together with an electric whisk.

Nutella Brownies

Keep whisking the eggs for around five minutes, until they are bubbly and mousse-like.

Nutella Brownies

Put the nutella in the microwave for approximately one minute.

Nutella Brownies

Nutella Brownies

Pour the nutella into the eggs continuously, whisking as you go, until the eggs and nutella are combined. Pour into a square cake tin.

Nutella Brownies

Bake for 19 minutes. The top will be dry (it may crack a little!) and the middle soft. Leave to cool completely in the tin before cutting into rectangles, transferring to a plate and lightly dust with icing sugar.

Nutella Brownies


15 Apr 2016

Five BBC dramas you need to be catching up on

Five BBC dramas you need to be catching up on

On BBC iPlayer or Netflix or illegally streamed. Either way.

The Night Manager: BBC 1 
Five BBC dramas you need to be catching up on

Just in case you missed the hype on this one; and it got a lot of hype. Okay, not as much as Making a Murderer but it should have done cos it is WAY better than Making a Murderer. Little secret, I gave up on that show after three episodes cos I don’t get the hype. Seriously guys, what was with that one?!

Anyway, a hotel night manager is recruited by a government agent to infiltrate the inner circle of Richard Roper, an arms dealer.

That makes it seem simple. It’s really not. So, soooo more complex than that. Think James Bond, but more intelligent, more thrilling and more addictive. 

In fact, I got so addicted to this that I watched the final four episodes all in one go. And I haven’t
done that since I started working full time cos no one will pay me to watch awesome TV shows.

Tom Hiddleston is sexy and mysterious and a little bit more sexy, Olivia Coleman kicks ass whilst  pregnant, Hugh Laurie is a particularly brilliant bad guy and the whole thing is pretty darn glamorous.

Happy Valley: BBC 1
Five BBC dramas you need to be catching up on

I find the northernness of this show very comforting. Which is strange, cos this is not what you’d call a relaxing viewing.

I mean, within the first episode of the first series, there’s been rape, unwanted pregnancies, suicide, kidnap, cancer... and don’t worry, brutal murder follows on shortly afterwards.

Anyhoo, series 2 recently aired and was just as gripping as series 1 so go catch up asap.

Based in the Calder Valley (nicknamed ‘Happy Valley’ because of the heavy drug use), the programme follows strong-willed police sergeant Catherine Cawood whose personal life becomes entwined with work life when the man she believes is responsible for the brutal rape of her daughter (leading to the birth of her grandson and eventual suicide of her daughter) is released from jail and immediately becomes involved in a kidnapping.

Gripping, slightly stressful viewing, with brilliant black humour in places. 

Oh and Sarah Lancashire is just incredible.

The People Vs OJ Simpson: American Crime Story: BBC 2
Five BBC dramas you need to be catching up on

Ten-part series based on the insanely famous trial of OJ Simpson. I’m just over half way through and it’s hotting up big time.

You do spend a lot of time wanting to shout at David Schwimmer “BUT YOU’RE ROSS FROM FRIENDS” but when you separate yourself from that (I know it’s hard), I think he’s putting in a pretty good performance as Robert Kardashian; favourite moment so far is when he’s telling his children that seeking out fame is shallow... Ahem.

Witty, sleek and with some great tunes.

Oh and you will be transfixed by John Travolta’s eyebrows. 

Thirteen: BBC 3 
Five BBC dramas you need to be catching up on

Not gonna lie, you’ll be singing the theme tune from this for daaaaays afterwards. Probably weeks. It’s just as addictive as the show.

The opening sequence of this starts with Ivy Moxam, who has been held captive for thirteen years, escaping the cellar she has been kept in since she was thirteen and phoning the police.

And then shit kicks off. Can’t say more cos you’ll be annoyed I gave you spoilers. So go watch
babes. This was an online-only programme so will be on BBC iPlayer for a while yet.

Undercover: BBC 1 

This is the latest Sunday night drama; 9pm. So far we’re two episodes in and I’m definitely hooked big time. There is A LOT going in. Like, blink and you’ll have missed something important. So don’t be getting up for chocolate biscuits half way through.

So a defence lawyer will go to any lengths to finally uncover the truth about a case she has been working on for twenty years which somehow involves a guy on death row in America (the botched death chamber scene is grim, FYI), whilst her husband seems to have a secret identity and may or may not be spying on her... I’ll say no more cos I’m confused. Guess we’ll have to keep watching!

**All programme pictures property of the BBC. 

8 Apr 2016

And that was when I cried cos the zip on my sleeping bag was broken

And that was when I cried cos the zip on my sleeping bag was broken

So. Grandma’s birthday. The entire extended family is crammed into one house so my sister and I have been downgraded to the living room floor with sleeping bags and sofa cushions.

Hashtag glam life.
I am being a moody bitch for no reason whatsoever. I’m exhausted and stressed over dull life things but that doesn't really excuse it. My sister is handling it like a total pro cos she’s a babe and owes me a few remaining-calm-when-the-other-is-being-an-unreasonable-cow moments.

Getting to bed was a total faff. There are three loos in that house but all of them were taken up and I seriously needed a wee (goddamn you prosecco). There was a clock in the living room, aka my bedroom for the night, that had a tick louder than London traffic and my phone charger broke so I couldn’t look at instagram cat pictures.

None of these are major life-is-over issues but I was not handling them well AT ALL. When I finally made it to my sleeping bag and sofa cushions I had used the word ‘fuck’ more times than was really appropriate given there were cousins in the house who are under the age of 10.

I lay down, slotted my feet into the end of the sleeping bag and pulled the zip to zip myself in and be a snug little bug. 

And that, my friends, was when I cried cos the zip on my sleeping bag was broken.

Let’s talk about hormones.

Us gals will know that on a semi-regular basis (and actually, not just at that funfun time of ze month), our hormones do batshit crazy things and we suddenly discover we are capable of feeling approximately 825 million emotions ALL AT THE SAME TIME. None of which have any correlation with our non-hormonal mood or with events currently taking place in our life.

Fun, no?

Only, we can’t mention it. Every girl that I know has experienced this yet I still feel like I have to fabricate an excuse for my bad mood when it happens to me. Basically inventing fake reasons as to why I’m crying... when actually there is NO REASON for my tears (song lyric?).

No, I’m not having a rough time. 
No, I’m not upset over something. 
No, I’m not mentally ill. 

I’m crying because my hormones have decided it’s time to have a fucking party and all I want to do is eat 242 bags of maltesers and wrap myself in a duvet until I resemble an obese caterpillar.

Trust me, my non-hormonal self (the one you were chilling with yesterday, who was laughing and acting, well, normal) is currently floating above my head going  “Um, what are you doing weird weepy woman?” but I can’t hear her right now and she probably won’t be back for a while.

You’ve all been there.

And I’m mentioning it because it frustrates me that I’m not supposed to.  That it’s not the ‘done’ thing.

A couple of weeks ago, I spent a solid few days in a weird funk. I went to visit family for my Grandma's birthday and ended up crying cos I couldn't zip my sleeping bag up. The hormones were out to play and they were worse than usual. Don’t ask me why, like I have time to examine the ins and outs of my emotional state; girl gotta go to work. But I was so much more aware than usual that my hormones were making me feel a certain way and that this did not correlate to how I actually felt about things. I was actually pretty darn happy and excited about life at that point but hormonal me was stressed about everything, from cleaning her teeth to the likely occurrence of a terrorist attack taking place on my route to work (non-hormonal me kinda worries about this too, she’s just more rational about it). I could float above myself and scream omg cheer the fuck up as loud as I wanted, it made no difference. I just had to ride out the storm.

Which I did.

The weight lifted and I cracked on with life like a happy chappy again (mostly... I’m not so chipper on a Thameslink train on a Monday morning for example). But it was a lot worse than usual which I think is why I suddenly had an urge to write about it.

So yeah, just wanted to tell ya that I cried cos the zip on my sleeping bag was broken, even though it was actually comfier to sleep with it strewn over me, I’d have died of heatstroke if I’d slept with it zipped up. Still cried though. And walked around in a grumpy, emotional haze for the next week.

And if you've been doing the same; well, I feel ya girl. 

So this is me mentioning that hormones are a bit shit sometimes because they are and, hey look, I said it out loud and the the world didn’t implode.