Monthly Archives: May 2014

Vegetarian chili (adapted recipe)

It’s been a while since I posted a recipe, so I thought I would share this recipe that I have done a couple of times now. It was originally a recipe for “authentic chili”, although I’d argue that it’s probably still quite westernised. My version of the recipe came to divert quite a bit from the original anyway, for the simple reason that 1) I wanted it to be vegetarian. 2) The original required ingredients I simply did not have. It was a bit of a gamble but it turned out really yummy! I imagine it’s not that difficult to make this vegan if you’re so inclined. You’d have to switch the quorn for soy mince though.

Ingredients

300g Quorn mince

1 Tin of kidney beans (~400g)

2 Big red onions

7-10 Garlic cloves

2 Big carrots

3 Big bell peppers (assorted colours)

2 chilis

2 tsps of chipotle

1 tbsp of oregano

2 bay leaves

1-2 tbsps of garam masala

2 tbsps of ginger

1 tbsp of syrup or honey

800g crushed tomatoes

1 dl red wine vinegar

2½ dl vegetable stock

5 dl pale ale

Instructions

1. Heat a big pot with oil on the middle setting.

2. Cut the onions, garlic, carrot, chili and garlic finely and let them sizzle in the pot until they soften and have a nice colour.

3. Add the Quorn mince and the beans and fry for a few minutes.

4. Add the crushed tomatoes, beer, vinegar and vegetable stock. Stir.

5. Add the honey/syrup, oregano, garam masala, bay leaves and chipotle.

6. Let the stew simmer for an hour. Cut the bell peppers into medium-sized squares in the meanwhile.

7. Add the bell pepper to the stew. Allow the stew to simmer for a minimum of two hours. Enjoy!

I serve this with rice, but I imagine it would taste nice with corn bread or nacho chips as well. I’m a bit of a wuss so I eat the chili with some creme fraiché or yoghurt, even if it might be frowned upon by hardcore chili-lovers.

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I think I’m going nuts

After days and days of struggling to write my essay in neuroethics, I’m finally on a roll. I’ve spent the last two hours pretty much trashing the two philosophers who’s ideas I’m basing my text on. When I wrote “… I don’t mean to sound too critical, but it seems like Jaworska’s ideas about critical interests often come dangerously close to the idea of the immortal soul.” OH SNAP, GOING STRAIGHT FOR THE JUGULAR. The idea of an immortal soul is pretty much globally scoffed at in both neuroscience and philosophy, so making that comparison is probably just straight-up mean. Our teacher did tell us to be argumentative, hehehe.

During the last week I’ve been sleeping with socks on my hands to prevent myself from scratching myself and cracking my wrists in my sleep. But I keep waking up without them on. WHAT IS LIFE?

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Bad Inspirational Signs for Bad People

Some people might call me overly cynical, but I just can’t stand so called “inspirational signs”. Inspirational signs has really caught on in the last few years and as a result, most of the stuff you will find in any given interior design or bric-a-brac shop is cheap, mass-produced signs printed with lovey-dovey, special-snowflake quotes that often don’t even make any sense. The worst ones are the ones that praises one set of people (free-spirits, open-hearted or intellectuals) while subtly or not so subtly talking down the “mainstream”. Anyway, I came a cross a ridiculously bad and very expensive “inspirational sign” the other day. As a result, I started mocking the concept in my head and coming up with terrible and honest inspirational signs and took to Photoshop to put them together. This is just a teaser, due to technical problems with PS I gave up pretty quickly. I might recreate the first sign IRL and mount it on the wall in my new flat.

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As a bonus, here is the inspirational sign that “inspired” me. It’s like someone just puked words onto a canvas and put a ridiculous price tag on it! Even the doge memes make more sense than this. Sorry for the crappy cellphone picture.Image

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Gif-tastic

I just laughed out loud at this. That hesitating move of the black car closest to the hole and the other asshole cars not moving to let it get away. “Look, guys, I’m really sorry, but could you guys, like move a bit, so I don’t end up in the big sinkhole that is opening up next to me? No? Ok I guess I’ll just inch a bit closer to you…”

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QI recording

Last week, Tom and I went to a recording on QI. Last fall I had somewhat of a crush on Alan Davies (of all people!) and, who doesn’t love Stephen Fry? I had been wanting to go for ages, but they only film in April-May and there’s a lot of people applying for tickets. The show we went to had the theme “Long lost”, or maybe it was just “long”. The guests were an American comedy writer, who I think was named Claudia and was quite funny, an old musician from the band Madness (Suggs) and Jimmy Carr. I had hoped for Sandi Toksvig, Bill Bailey and Jo Brand, but sometimes the best episodes of QI is the ones with new people in them, plus Jimmy Carr is always funny on QI.

Stephen Fry did the warm-up for the show, which came as a surprise to me. He made a joke about how people think he knows everything, but he is actually just looking up things on his smartphone. I’m sure he tells it to every audience on the show, but I thought it was funny! Once the show started, I think my favourite moment was when a single confetti slowly descended in the middle of the stage and Jimmy said something along the lines of “that’s the saddest thing ever”. I really hope it makes it into the episode!

My second favourite moment was Alan telling a story about how his wife put salad on her nipples to alleviate soreness from breastfeeding and “unfortunately the salad doesn’t make the baby any less hungry”. He said something about his 2-year old son pretending to be a dog that I don’t think will make it into the episode, but it was really cute. He ended the story with softly saying “oh but I love him so” which made the female audience’s ovaries explode. He’s no George Clooney, but he definitely has the same charm of a puppy that is chasing it’s own tail, but with a bit of added naughtiness.

The third favourite moment that I know isn’t going to make it is when Stephen Fry misread a question, to which Jimmy gave a reply that set off the klaxon. When the producer or whatever realized that Stephen misread the question, it had to be re-shot, and Stephen kept trying to trick Jimmy into saying the same answer again, but Jimmy wouldn’t do it until Stephen basically asked him outright to give that answer.

I think the only question I knew the answer to was what was the oldest living organism or something. Bill Bryson taught me that it was lichen. It felt like they didn’t go through all that many questions, even though the filming must have taken 2 hours? And that’s going to be cut down to just one hour for television. It’s a shame because it was such a good show! There was a couple of times when they took a really long time to get to the answers of the questions though, and at one time Stephen Fry said “We really need to move on because I’m being told to fucking stop it!”. After seeing the recording, I’m guessing both Stephen and Alan take the opportunity to swear quite a lot when they know it’s going to be edited out. He also tried to use the audience quite a lot as Wikipedia, which worked to a varying degree, but he didn’t give us any points! Bad Stephen!

The ending was really funny to, but I won’t tell you because I’m sure TV will retell it much better than I ever could. All I will tell you is that it involves Jimmy Carr’s lap covered in water… 😉

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Mini metro – if you needed another reason to curse public transport

It’s half past eleven and I’m stuck playing minimetro. It’s so addictive but frustrating! The game is that you create a metro system that keeps getting bigger and bigger. You start off with a number of “stations” shaped as squares, triangles and circles. There’s smaller symbols next to these stations that are the “passengers” and the shape of their symbol indicates where they want to go. As the game goes on it gets harder and harder to get your trains to all the stations in time, before they become overcrowded. Once a certain number of of passengers are waiting at a station, it’s game over. It’s not a very realistic game in the sense that you can completely re-route your metro lines as many times as you like. Unfortunately, you can’t do an emergency re-route to pick up passengers at an overcrowded station, because the train will follow a ghost-track before it starts going on the new route. Super annoying, but a total time killer. I put on Darkbloom by Grimes and started playing and then suddenly the music stopped and the album was finished. I don’t know where that time went!

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Leaving London

Yup, tomorrow I’m leaving London “for good”, or at least the foreseeable future. I got two bags alá 20 kg ready to go.

I’m in general not a sentimental person. Terrified of change, yes, but not particularly sentimental. I won’t miss the flat we live in; it’s tiny and has an odd shape. I won’t miss the car alarm that goes off roughly 3-5 times a day, 24/7, outside our window. I won’t miss the pimps and their customers, or whatever they are, scaring the SHIT out of me by ringing our door bell everywhere between 8 pm – 4 am. Apparently there’s a travelling brothel in the neighbourhood, which is not quite like a travelling circus. If I had to stay here any longer I’d do a Sebastian Horsley and put up this sign:

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I will miss the copious amounts of ready-food, cheap and easily available just outside our door. We had Indian take-out from Sangri yesterday, which was fucking glorious, and we might go across the road tonight and get fancy ice-cream. The reason is that we have a jar of coins that we’ve been meaning to spend for ages and now that I’m leaving we need to get on it. Here’s some food porn for you from yesterday:

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The wine is called the Hedonist. We bought it because it had a pig on it and we had already tried the one with the cat on it.

 

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A trip to Edinburgh (Edin-burrah?)

One thing I’ve never quite understood with big bloggers is this: To get interesting content, you need to go out and do interesting things. But when I’m out doing lots of interesting things, I don’t have time to blog, because I’m too busy doing interesting things!

So this is basically me assuring you that, despite the lack of activity on this blog recently, I actually go out and do things. Really. <_<

Well, I have managed to squeeze in a mini-holiday in Edinburgh, an evening at the theatre and a afternoon-evening recording of QI in under a week’s time. I’ve also bought a new phone. All that won’t fit in one post though, so let’s start with the trip to Edinburgh:

I got up at 4 am in the morning to go in to King’s Cross. I arrived something like 1 ½ hours early since I get hopelessly stressed about travelling and the only thing that soothes my nerves is to have plenty of time. I tried to stealthily take a photo of the Harry Potter-dedicated statue, but it didn’t turn out good.

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The train ride up to Edinburgh took roughly 4½ hours. My friends met me at the train station and we went to leave our bags at the guest house. The guest house was far better than anticipated! It’s called the Claymore Vegetarian Guest house. The room was big and nicely decorated and the lady who ran the place was incredibly helpful and kind. Plus, the breakfast rocked. I don’t think anyone could claim that there’s not enough to eat with a vegetarian diet after staying at that place.

So I won’t go through everything we did during our trip, but here are some highlights:

Camera Obscura. I loooved the floor with the mirror labyrinth and light tunnel. I spent a whole minute thinking I was talking and looking at my friend, only to realize I was talking to a mirror image straight in front of me and that she was actually standing to my right. She did the same thing. Loved it. The photo below is my new profile picture on Facebook.

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Walking up Arthur’s seat. I saw several parents going up and down with toddlers. Why do they do that to themselves? It sounds horrible. Or maybe I’m just unfit because I felt pretty sweaty and out of breath by the time I reached the top, and I can’t imagine doing it all over again with a toddler.

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Going for a hike. Everything went fine going up, but as we were heading down I decided to run down a part of a hill and somehow injured my elbow by waving my arms too violently. It was pretty painful for the rest of the day, but went away after a night. Strange!

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Bought this ridiculous fox sweater from Hoochie Coochie that I have fallen in love with. I think I might be subconsciously dorking it up to prepare myself for doing a ph.d.

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Went out clubbing. Not really my thing but I didn’t think the scene was particularly good. Café Voltaire was OK, but we made the mistake of leaving to check out Espionage. What a weird place! Not many people were there and there was like a 9/1 ratio of men/women. There was literally only men on the dance floor, desparetly trying to get our group of girls to join them as some guy was doing what looked like push-ups on the floor. What is it with guys thinking that shit like push-up, arm stands, boxing, flexing, stretching and jumping jacks is anything REMOTELY acceptable when dancing??! I think everyone that isn’t a trained professional looks perfectly ridiculous when dancing, but come on, those guys are doing their absolute most and the saddest/most hilarious part is how confident they must be to even think about doing it. I’ll repeat: Doing training exercises is not, I repeat NOT, a dance move!

We ordered a fishbowl which only tasted of pineapple juice. I hate pineapple 😦 Admittedly it was my own fault, since the ingredient list clearly said ‘pineapple’.

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The evening ended with me getting annoyed by some Scottish guy who made the most pathetic drunken move on me that I’ve ever experienced. First he made a dismissive hand gesture and half-shoved, half-wedged himself between where me an my friends were sitting. As he said down, I sarcastically greeted him with “Oh hi, I think you meant to say ‘Would you mind if I sat down, please?'” because I was already quite annoyed, to which he drunkenly replied with putting his arms around my shoulders. Greeeaaat. He then continued for something like 10 minutes to nag me to go dance with him, sort of in the same style as a three year-old asking for ice-cream, while slurring incomprehensibly. Eventually I more or less told him to fuck off, which was the highlight of the evening for me. I will give this advice to anyone: Don’t tolerate people who make you uncomfortable just because you think you need to be polite and nice. Just tell them to fuck off. Most people know they’re making you uncomfortable and are just using a façade of niceness and the fact that people “don’t want to be seen as rude” to get away with it.

We walked around the city. I love city walks, I could probably have spent an entire trip just walking around in Edinburgh. I thought the incorporation of the old and the new in Edinburgh fascinating. Most of the modern buildings really didn’t fit in. I thought this building was quite cool though:

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Phew! I have plenty more photos but I don’t really have the patience to upload them and I don’t think you have the patience to look through them. Keep posted for more stuff later in the week!

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