Sunday, 30 September 2018

I'm Cuckoo for Cocoa

Hello lovelies! As a member of the Do-It-Yourself Beauty Brigade, I wanted to share some of my homemade beauty secrets. The best bit about them is the all revolve around CHOCOLATE.

Yeah, you heard me correctly. Chocolate. Cocoa. The baking stuff. So not only is this good for your skin and hair, it is edible. Bonus.
Tesco Low Fat Cocoa Powder 100 g

I use cocoa in a variety of beauty treatments and I'll tell you why.

It is natural.
It smells amazing.
It s cheap.
It really works.

The website BEAUTY MUNSTA has this to say about the benefits of cocoa powder (with a few notes from me):

Skin repair: Yes, cocoa powder helps repair skin cells! That’s because it is packed with antioxidants that fight off free radicals. Free radicals are unstable molecules that steal oxygen from skin cells to balance themselves. In the process, they make skin cells lose oxygen and become lifeless. This causes a variety of skin problems like blemishes, dull looking skin and more. So, make a cocoa powder face mask to repair your skin cells and rejuvenate your face!

 Improves Skin’s Hydration:  Did you know that cocoa powder can actually improve its natural hydration? This works when you consume cocoa powder or apply it on your skin!  

Exfoliates Dead Cells: Cocoa powder has a gentle exfoliating texture that helps slough off dead cells on skin. It is good for carefully exfoliating sensitive or acne prone skin without irritating it. Personal note:  This really works. I have been making a face mask and applying it every “Self -Care Saturday” and have seen my skin be brighter and softer.

Face mask: In a little dish mix 1 TB unsweetened cocoa powder with 1 tsp sugar and 1 tsp oil of your choice. I like sunflower oil as in is non comedogenic (won’t break me out) and is high in vitamin e. I have very combination skin, so my skin is can’t decide if it wants to be an oily teenager or a mature adult. Wet your skin with warm water then mix all those ingredients into a paste and carefully rub all over your face avoiding the eye area. It is ok to put it on your lips because it can help exfoliate dry lips and if it gets in your mouth it’s fine because it is edible. Leave on while relaxing (preferably while resting with closed eyes on a yoga mat while listening to Enya) then using wet hand carefully scrub your face letting the sugar exfoliate and rinse off with warm water.

 Fights Acne & Pimples: This cacao face mask for acne works wonders in reducing the appearance of acne and pimples. Cocoa lessens redness and inflammation caused by acne. Find the cacao face mask recipe here: DIY Cacao Face Mask for Acne

 Prevents Sun Damage: You know when they say ‘eat your sunscreen.’ Well add cocoa powder to your list of sunscreen foods because it helps prevent sun damage! A study published in the Journal of Nutrition in 2006 showed that a group of women given a flavanol rich cocoa drink showed 15% less reddening of the skin when exposed to UV light. This is due to its high antioxidant content which fights off free radicals generated when UV light hits the skin.

 Improves Skin Complexion: Cocoa can improve your skin complexion, making it brighter and clearer! The flavanols in it nourish the skin, boost its elasticity and help reduce blemishes that make skin dull.

 Firms Skin: The caffeine and theobromine found in cocoa powder make skin firm, taut and toned. That’s because they help break down fats and eliminate excess fluid retention. So, if you have sagging skin, puffy skin and even under eye bags, try making a mask out of cocoa powder and applying it to your face for a few minutes.

Makes Hair Shiny & Soft: Cocoa powder isn’t just good for skin, it’s great for hair too! It contains a significant amount of sulphur, which is one of the most important minerals for hair health. Consuming cocoa powder makes your hair shiny and soft naturally.

 Darkens Hair Naturally: This delicious powder doesn’t just stop at making hair soft and shiny! It also gradually darkens hair and helps cover up greys. So, if you’re a brunette, try making a cocoa hair mask or even mixing cocoa powder in warm water and using it as a hair rinse. Personal note: This really works. I have stopped dyeing my hair and have successfully darkened my light brown hair to a lovely medium brown shade by doing this.

Hair darkener: Mix equal quantities of unsweetened cocoa powder and your favourite shampoo. It will be the texture of that ready to spread canned frosting you can buy in a shop. Store it in a jar. With dry hands scoop a little out and rub your palms together until they are evenly coated. Rub into your hair and really massage it in. Then rinse, but don’t over rinse. I have crazy oily hair like a teenager and this has actually helped to dry it out a bit. If you do not have teenage hair, then feel free to mix equal parts of the cocoa powder with your favourite conditioner as well

Slows Down Ageing of Skin: Cocoa powder is rich in antioxidants called flavanols. The powerful 
antioxidant properties of flavanols help fight free radicals, hence making skin youthful for longer. Consume cocoa powder and also use it externally to plump your skin cells and fight premature wrinkles!

 Reduces Cellulite: Enjoy the cellulite clearing powers of cocoa powder! Because of its caffeine and theobromine content, cocoa powder helps drain fatty cells, promote flow of excess fluids out of the body which helps clear off cellulite by firming and tightening the skin. Drink cocoa powder and also make a cocoa coffee scrub to help you with this!

Cocoa Coffee Cellulite Scrub: In a large bowl, add ¼ cup cocoa powder, ½ cup ground coffee and ¼ cup liquid coconut oil. Now add 1 tsp cinnamon powder. Mix everything well to form a soft scrub. Transfer the scrub into an air tight container. To use, place 1 tbsp in a bowl and take the bowl to the shower with you. Scoop up a little and rub in circular motions over wet skin that has cellulite. Leave it on for a couple of minutes then rinse off and wash your body as usual. Use every other day in the shower.

Personal note: if you'd like a body scrub, but like me don't drink coffee so don't have any coffee grounds just hanging around try this body scrub. It makes you smell like a York Peppermint Patty (US Version) Fry's Peppermint Cream (UK version.) 

Chocolate Peppermint Body Scrub: In a jar mix 1 cup sugar, 2 TB liquid soap (helps it to wash away easier), 3 TB cocoa powder, a few TB oil to make it a paste, 10 drops peppermint essential oil. With dry hands (water can aid in breeding bacteria) scoop out and bit and scrub your body in the bath or shower. Your body will be soft and smell amazing. 

Add to your Dry Shampoo: DIY dry shampoo is all the rage these days and what’s more is that it’s so easy to make! Cocoa powder is one of the main ingredients for brunette or dark hair types. Here’s how to make dry shampoo with cocoa powder:

Amazing DIY Dry Shampoo: In a bowl, mix up 1 tbsp arrow root powder, 1 tbsp baking soda, ½ tbsp cocoa powder and 3-5 drops lavender essential oil. Dip a brush into the bowl and dab it on your hair roots starting from one side going to the other. Let it sit for a couple of minutes then brush your hair and voila! Your hair will be soft, fluffy and look and feel clean!

So, that's the wonders of cocoa! Let me know if you have a go at any of these beauty tips.

Friday, 28 September 2018

Fairy Tale Friday--Hoodwinked (2005)

Hello and welcome to Fairy Tale Friday. Are you sitting comfortably? Good. Then I'll begin.

For the last few weeks we have looked at short animated film versions of Little Red Riding Hood. We have had comically sex crazed wolves (and Grandmothers) as well as a sensual cat and mouse game of kiss chase between our heroine and the wolf. This week we look at a clever full length animated film. 
 Image result for hoodwinked
Hoodwinked was produced independently by Blue Yonder films and the story of Little Red Riding Hood is retold as a police investigation using flashbacks to show multiple character's point of view. It was inspired by non-linear crime dramas such as Pulp Fiction. 

It begins in the traditional way that this tale is often told: Little Red discovers the wolf disguised as her grandmother. Her grandmother jumps out of the closet all tied up just as a woodsman bursts through the window startling everyone.  The police quickly arrive and are Red, the Wolf, Grandma and the Woodcutter are all questioned by Detective Nicky Flippers.

Here's where things get interesting. According to Wikipedia:

Red explains that she was delivering goodies for her grandmother when she discovered a threat from the mysterious Goody Bandit. Hoping to save her Granny's recipes, she embarked upon a journey to take them to the top of a nearby mountain where her Granny lives. On her way, she encountered the Wolf, who asked her a series of suspicious questions. She managed to escape and eventually reached her Granny's house; however, she found the Wolf already waiting in ambush.

What at first seems to be an open-and-shut case becomes confused though, once it is learned that the Wolf is an investigative reporter. He reveals that he was searching for a lead on the identity of the Goody Bandit and had reason to believe that Red and Granny were the culprits. Locating Red, he questioned her, hoping to get to the bottom of the mystery. When Red escaped, he headed for her Granny's house and arriving first, went undercover, hoping to trick her into giving him the evidence he needed.

When questioned, the Woodsman, Kirk, reveals that he is in fact an aspiring actor who was only trying out for the part of a woodsman in a commercial. After his schnitzel truck was robbed by the Goody Bandit, he went out into the woods to get in character for his role and spent the rest of the day chopping trees. A large tree rolled after him and pushed him through the window of Granny's home. The investigation then turns to Granny, who reveals that, unbeknownst to her family, she is an extreme sports enthusiast. During a ski race earlier that day, she was attacked by the opposing team, but got away safely after learning that they were hired by the Goody Bandit.

Here is how some of those scenes play out. It is very interesting to see how the same actions look different from another’s point of view. Oh, and if you want to to know the identity of the Goody Bandit you'll have to watch the film.

 Red meets the Wolf.

The Wolf meets Red. (and by the way...Twitchy the squirrel is totally me on caffeine. So please don't ever offer me coffee.) 

Granny's secret passion (extreme sports and snickerdoodles)

Our method acting Woodsman.

That's all for this week. Stay tuned next week for a more potty mouthed heroine.

Wednesday, 26 September 2018

What We Ate Wednesday--Roasted Chickpeas and Vegetables with a Miso Ginger Dressing

Hello lovelies! This was a recipe inspired by one I saw in a cookbook at the library. It had roasted carrots and parsnips. It had roasted broccoli and I was like "Hey! I love roasting those vegetables in my oven, I just never thought of roasting them together!"

It was like those commercials for Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. But healthy.

Person 1: Hey, you got your carrots and parsnips in my broccoli!
Person 2: You got your broccoli in my carrots and parsnips!
Both people: Wow! it's delicious!

I decided to add some chickpeas as roasted chickpeas are also one of of favourites. This recipe was just full of roasted goodness.

Basically, you need to start the carrots and parsnips first and then add the chickpeas and broccoli later. It takes about 40 minutes in the oven, but it is worth it.

Roasted Chickpeas and Vegetables with a Miso Ginger Dressing

Preheat your oven to 220C/425F. put your roasting pan in the oven as it heats so it will be really hot.

2 carrots, scrubbed and cut into batons
2 parsnips, scrubbed and cut into batons
1 tin of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
half a small head of broccoli, cut into florets, then each floret cut in half. 
1.5 TB oil, divided
salt and pepper to taste 

1. In a large bowl add the carrots and parsnips and add 1 TB oil and stir to coat then season with salt and pepper. When the oven is ready, carefully take the hot pan out and dump the carrots and parsnips in (hear them sizzle!) and spread into an even layer. Roast in the oven for 20 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, put the broccoli and chickpeas  in the same bowl and add the .5 TB oil and rub around the sides of the bowl to get it all lightly coated.
3. Take the carrots and parsnips out of the oven and stir, then add the chickpeas and the broccoli. Try to get everything in an even layer. Roast for 20 more minutes.
4. Now make the dressing.

The dressing
2 TB tamari or soy sauce
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
2-3 cloves chopped garlic
1 TB finely chopped ginger root
1-2 TB apple juice
1 tsp miso paste

Blend everything well in a small grinder or do what I do. Put everything in a tall skinny jar and blend with my immersion (stick blender).

5. When the timer goes off the broccoli should be roasted and slightly charred on the florets. Take the pan out of the oven and pour over the dressing and stir to coat. Serve over rice.

This is time intensive, not labour intensive. I read a book and painted my toenails while i was waiting for the oven to do its thing. It was full of healthy vegetable goodness.

Friday, 21 September 2018

Fairy Tale Friday--Little Red Riding Hood based on The False Grandmother (art film, 1997)

Hello and welcome to Fairy Tale Friday. Are you sitting comfortably? Good. Then I’ll begin.
For the last few weeks we have been looking at animated film versions of our tale. Many have featured sex starved wolves (and occasionally sex starved grandmothers) and last week we had a heroine with a bit of spunk who didn’t need to be rescued and outsmarted the wolf on her own.
See the source image

This week we look at an unusual version. A 1997 black and white art film with no dialogue, just a slightly sinister narration by Quentin Crisp. The film is a version of THE FALSE GRANDMOTHER which we discussed early on in Fairy Tale Friday.  This is another version where our clever protagonist outsmarts the wolf on her own through the use of her own bodily functions without the need to be rescued by the woodcutter.
It was directed by David Kaplan, a writer/director of several films based on fairy tales and folklore such as Little Suck-a-Thumb from Struwwelpeter (Shock-Headed Peter) and the Year of the Fish a modern retelling based on a ninth century tale of Ye Xian which is believed to be the oldest version of Cinderella. The film that we are looking at today stars Christina Ricci in the title role, dancer Timour Bourtasenkov as the anthropomorphised wolf and Evelyn Solann as the grandmother. Solann also starred in his version of Little Suck-a-Thumb as the mother.
It is a strange, stylised film full of symbols and symbolic behaviour. The contortions of the dancer cum wolf are frighteningly OTT as well as unintentionally hilarious. The sexiness of Ricci as Little Red cannot be denied and this is a perfect example of the earlier meaning of this tale. She is a young nubile female, seduced into bed by a wolfish man and told to take off her clothes and throw them on the fire as she won’t be needing them anymore. This version alone is worth it just to hear Quentin Crisp’s slightly creepy narration say the words pee-pee and ca-ca. This version ends with a bizarre form of "kiss chase"  which makes it more akin to Angela Carter's The Company of Wolves.  
Watch it Kere:

That’s all for this week. Stay tuned next week for a tale where no one is as they seem and everyone seems to be trying to Hoodwink everyone else.

Wednesday, 19 September 2018

What We Ate Wednesday--Tuscan Chickpeas Mac and Cheese

Hello lovelies! This was a recipe I saw....not sure where...somewhere on Facebook. It had a recipe video and I was looking at it and thought, "I could totally veganise that!"

The original recipe used chickens, but I used my trusted chickpeas (I mean, they both start with CH!) and let me say, it came out GORGEOUS.

You can view the original recipe here from CAFE DELITES. Their recipe was a one pot dish because she seared the chickens in the same pan as she cooked the mac and cheese. I decided to roast my chickpeas in the oven  because roasted chickpeas=major yum. They go all crispy and crazy delicious when roasted. Like chickpea croutons.

 Her recipe used 3 kinds of cheese, however I cut the fat, but not the deliciousness.

Tuscan Chickpeas Mac and Cheese

Preheat your oven to 200C/400F
In a large roasting pan add the following:
1 tin of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 TB oil (you can use the oil from a jar of sun dried tomatoes to make it even yummier)
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp dried parsley

Coat with oil then the spices. Set aside while the oven heats. Meanwhile make your Parmesan. You can totally cheat and use something like Good Carma if you don't want to make your own.

in a food processor or spice grinder blend up the following:
3 TB nutritional yeast flakes
3 TB ground almonds (almond meal)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder

Set aside.

For the pasta in cream sauce:
1 white onion, diced small
6 cloves of garlic, crushed
1/4 cup plus 2 tsp white wine  (or do what I did--1/4 cup cloudy apple juice plus 2 tsp apple cider vinegar. Could use white grape juice instead of apple.)
5 oil packed sun dried tomatoes, blotted and snipped into small pieces
1.5 TB flour (I used rice flour)
1 tsp mixed herbs
1 cup vegetable broth
1 cup non dairy milk (I used soya milk)
1/2 cup + 1 TB coconut milk or Soya cream or Oatly cream (I used this little tin of 165ml coconut milk we buy from B&M Bargains 4 for £1.)
2 cups dry (GF) pasta
100g curly kale, de-stemmed and torn into bits (4-5 cups?)
salt and pepper to taste

1. When the oven is hot, put the roasting tin with the chickpeas in and bake for 15 minutes. then remove and stir the chickpeas and cook for a further 15 minutes.
2. About five minutes after you start the chickpeas start your pasta in a big pot.
3. Cook the onion and garlic and sun dried tomatoes in a splash of oil or water (or knob of vegan butter) until softened. Add your white wine (or ersatz juice wine) and simmer for a few minutes until it reduces a little bit.
3. Add the flour and mixed herbs and stir to make sure all is thickened. Add the veg stock, the milk and the coconut milk (or cream). Bring to the boil.
4. When boiling, reduce heat to a high simmer and add your dried pasta and kale and cook STIRRING NEARLY CONSTANTLY  until your pasta is cooked. The pasta will clump and stick to the bottom if you do not stir. Heed the warning my friend. My GF pasta cooks in 8 minutes. After this time the pasta was al dente (it will continue to cook in the sauce, so don't overcook) so I took it off the heat and it had a thick creamy sauce.
5. Stir in the Parmesan cheese. Taste for salt and add pepper.
6.Top with roasted chickpeas.

I took a picture with half of the chickpeas to make it aesthetically pleasing then loaded them up so thick you couldn't see the pasta underneath. This made 2 huge bowls. You could serve it for company by keeping the chickpea bit the same and doubling the pasta and sauce bit.

It was soooo creamy and cheesy and felt really rich and indulgent but without the cruelty or the fat. And no, it didn't taste like coconut. It just had a fatty mouth feel--the same that dairy gives you but without all the gunk like pus and hormones or the heartbreak of a baby taken from its mother.

We will definitely have this again.

Friday, 14 September 2018

Fairy Tale Friday--Fixed Fairy Tales

Hello and welcome to Fairy Tale Friday. Are you sitting comfortably? Good. Then I'll begin.

For the last few weeks we have been looking at animated versions of Little Red Riding Hood. They have all featured an over-sexualised heroine and either an oversexed wolf, grandmother or both.

This week makes a pleasant departure from that degrading style of work. I stumbled on this version quite by accident when looking for new versions of our tale. It is part of a series entitled Fixed Fairy Tales made by HISHE KIDS.  HISHE stands for How It Should Have Ended
Image result for hishe kids red riding
This delightful tale is narrated by a wise but slightly sarcastic owl named Vincent Featherbottom, the story changing owl. He begins with:

Every knows the tale of Little Red Riding Hood. We know how she met the wolf in the woods. We know how the wolf got to grandma's house first and disguised himself as grandma. "What big eyes you have!" and "What big teeth you have!" Blah blah blah, rescued by the woodcutter at the last minute, etc, etc. But here's how Little Red Riding Hood should have ended.

I liked this film from the start as it was a fresh approach and we do often tire of hearing the same story over and over. I was curious to see how the alternate ending would play out and I was not disappointed. 

I got my first laugh as the wolf finishes picking his nose and declares not only can he smell a little girl, but he can smell her hooded cape and the Red Dye Number 40 used to make it red. Little Red, knowing how crafty wolves can be comes up with a clever plan on her own to outsmart the wolf that ties into another fairy tale. She completely spins a tale, exaggerating the feebleness of her poorly grandmother, which only makes the ending funnier. She then proceeds to use a variety of puns as she talks to the unsuspecting wolf which completely build to a huge crescendo and she spells out her plans right in front of him in the form of a joke and he is too thick to get it. She cleverly sends him away in the wrong direction (towards the house of the Three Bears) and safely arrives at her destination.

It ends with our narrator the owl saying :

And Little Red Riding Hood happily enjoyed muffins with her grandmother, who got well soon after.  All because Red Riding Hood was a smart and practical girl who knew that wolves were dangerous and can't be trusted. The moral? Always give wolves bad directions. Always. The end. 

I liked this version because our protagonist is witty and clever. She outsmarts the wolf on her own and doesn't need to be rescued by a male woodcutter. She reminds me of Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz. In the books Dorothy is a child of around seven years old and is brave and clever and resourceful and just gets on with things. She's out there killing the witch and saving her male friends not a sobbing teenager who is waiting for a man to come and save her as she's portrayed in the 1939 film.

I thoroughly enjoyed this Fixed Fairy Tale, as well as others on their channel. 

If you'd like to watch it, click here:

That's all for this week. Stay tuned next week for a strange black and white art film starring Christina Ricci that harks back to one of our earliest versions of Little Red Riding Hood.

Wednesday, 12 September 2018

What We Ate Wednesday--Rice, Corn and Ginger Soup

Hello lovelies! I had the pleasure to make this soup yesterday for a dear friend. We had a fab day where she came for lunch, watched a film (the musical RENT if you are curious) and then stayed for dinner.

It's all about eatin' in the Spider household.

Dinner was followed by HOMEMADE PEANUT BUTTER CUP BARS. It was meant to be cake but there was a cakecident (a cake accident) where my cake didn't go as planned. *Something happened* and the cake collapsed and didn't cook properly in the middle. Not sure why it failed, but Spiderman and I hoovered up the edible bits. Waste not, want not and all that cliche rot. But it was not nice enough to serve for company.

But I digress.

Back to the soup. This is a lovely Asian inspired soup that is light and perfect to feed  people for lunch. If you want it for a dinner, you'll need to add some bread.

Normally, I make this soup with onion. But as my friend can't do onions (several of my friends have onion issues, so I always have recipes that can be adapted on hand) I made it with a yellow pepper instead. Either way is good.

This soup contains quite a lot of lemon juice and so is really bright and cheerful feeling. It goes well with the ginger and garlic. Add a pinch of cayenne pepper and it is a perfect meal to eat when you have a cold.

Rice, Corn and Ginger Soup
1.5 cups frozen sweetcorn, defrosted in boiling water and then drained
1 onion, finely diced (or a pepper if you are lucky enough to have an onion averse friend coming over)
3-4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 heaping TB fresh ginger root, peeled and chopped really small
1/4 tsp turmeric (optional)
600ml  hot vegetable stock (2.5 cups)
1/3 cup white rice
juice and zest of one lemon (or scant 1/4 cup bottled lemon juice)
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
salt and pepper to taste

1. Cook your onion or pepper in a splash of oil or water until softened. Add in your garlic and ginger and cook until fragrant.
2. Add your sweetcorn and rice. Add your turmeric and stir to coat.
3. Add the hot stock and bring to the boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes until the rice is done.
4. Add in the lemon and zest (if using) and the sesame oil.
5. Taste for salt and add a generous grinding of pepper.

That's it. A nice, light satisfying lunch made in about 15 minutes.

Perfect for sharing with a friend.

Thanks friend!

Friday, 7 September 2018

Fairy Tale Friday--Little Rural Riding Hood (Tex Avery, 1949)

Hello and welcome to Fairy Tale Friday. Are you sitting comfortably? Good. Then I'll begin.

Last week we looked at a cartoon by Tex Avery with a sexy Red Riding Hood and an oversexed Wolf and Grandma. This week we look at a similar tale modelled after The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse. 
Image result for little rural riding hood country
Our tale begins with a stereotypical hillbilly version of Little Red Riding Hood (complete with jug of moonshine) going to visit her sick grandmother who lives on a country farm. We then see the wolf at the farmhouse who confesses to the audience that he doesn’t want to eat Red, just “chase her and catch her and kiss her and hug her.” Again, harking back to earlier versions of the tale where the wolf wants to “consume” her sexually, not physically.

Red Riding Hood is a comical, gawky bucked-toothed figure with enormous feet and prehensile toes (she uses her bare feet to open and close the doors.) The wolf chases her around the farm trying to steal a kiss and all the time she cleverly avoids him—opening the door with her foot so he runs outside and kisses a cow and then slamming the door (again with her foot) so he crashes into it and flattens himself. At first you think she is rebuffing his advances, but right at the end she finally lets herself be “caught” and puckers up for a kiss. I really hate the idea of “playing hard to get” as I feel it sends the message that no really means yes.
Image result for little rural riding hood
Anyway, she is just about to receive her big kiss when the wolf receives a telegram. He drops her flat on the floor and reads the telegram from his sophisticated city wolf cousin who offers him a chance to come to the big city and includes a photo of Red Hot Riding Hood (from the film we looked at last week). The wolf behaves much as the wolf in Red Hot Riding Hood did—panting and howling as his tongue spools out if his mouth like ribbonthen drives straight to the big city.

His city cousin is much more suave and sophisticated and admonishes him for behaving in such an animalistic manner. He reprimands him and says, “But remember, here in the city we do not shout and whistle at the ladies.” That evening they go to the club and watch Red Hot Riding Hood sing and perform an erotic dance. Side note: The performance is actually cribbed from an earlier Tex Avery film called Swing Shift Cinderella where she had to be away by midnight because she was a Rosie the Riveter sort of gal and she was working the night shift.

Anyway, the song she sings is called “Oh, Wolfie” and is basically about how “all the chicks are crazy for a certain burly wolf” which just reinforces the idea that “girls love a bad guy.” Her dance is quite erotic (for a cartoon) and the country wolf is so overexcited that his eyes literally pop out of his head. His more sophisticated cousin tries to hold him back from such gross displays of affection. At the end when the country wolf rushes to the stage to grab her, he is hit over the head by his city cousin with a mallet that was conveniently just lying around and told that he is behaving inappropriately and that “this city life is just too much for you.”

When they arrive at the farmhouse, they find the country Red waiting for them. The city wolf, who up until this time has had impeccable manners, becomes wildly attracted to her. He begins to imitate the behaviour his country cousin showed in the city with his eyes literally popping out of his head while a horn goes AROO—GA! Just as he begins to chase after her, he is stopped by his country cousin with another conveniently placed mallet. The country wolf promptly decides to take his city cousin back home, exclaiming, “Sorry cousin, This country life’s too much for ya.” He then drives back to the big city where he can sexually harass the city Red again.

The conveniently placed mallet that wasn't there a minute ago is a trope used over and over in cartoons that really bugged me all my life, which is no doubt why I mention it twice here. It is just lazy animating to pull a mallet out of thin air when you need one character to clobber another character. /rant over/

There is a genuinely funny bit where after being hit by the pulled from thin air mallet each wolf gets wheeled around like a wheelbarrow with his head rotating like a squeaky wheel. This made me laugh. The rest, not so much.

Like all of these early cartoons they are filled with sex crazed characters who just harass their love interest like a sex pest. But they also contain messages about women playing “hard to get” and “no really means yes” which don’t sit well with me these days.

Watch it for yourself here.

Next week we look at a “how it should have ended” version of our tale.

Wednesday, 5 September 2018

What We Ate Wednesday--Nacho Bowl

Hello lovelies! It's a very belated What We Ate Wednesday. I seem to have gotten my days mixed up. Here I was thinking it was Tuesday and then Spiderman said " It's Wednesday." And I was all like "Ahhhhhhhhhhh!"

Literally. Like that. Running in a circle. Flapping my hands and shouting "Ahhhhhhh!"

Then I calmed down and got stuck into writing a post.

Better late than never, eh?

We just got season 3 and 4 of Inside Number 9 on DVD (squee!) and we were looking forward to watching a marathon of interesting episodes, all with shocking twist endings that make you go "What????" so I had planned a dinner that was quick and easy.

Nacho Bowl.

It's practically not a recipe.

But really delicious and done in about 20 minutes.

Let's get stuck in so I can watch more episodes.

Nacho Bowl
1 onion, diced
a few cloves of garlic, chopped
1 tin kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 jar salsa
1 cup frozen or tinned corn
1-2 tsp chilli powder (optional)

a bag of tortilla chips

some vegan sour cream of plain yogurt if you happen to have it.

Quick and Dirty Cheese sauce based on THIS RECIPE
I use rice flour instead of all purpose flour and add 1/4 tsp each paprika and turmeric for colour. But the rest is exactly as she does it in that recipe in the link above.

Basically, cook the onion and garlic in a little oil or water. Add everything else and simmer while you make the cheese sauce.
Throw some tortilla chips in a bowl, top with the beans and salsa mix, drizzle with cheese sauce and top with a blop of sour cream or yogurt if you have it. Eat. Watch episodes of a cool show. Repeat.

I have posted other recipes that are similar to this...variations on this theme...but this is the most streamlined quick and dirty way to make it.

Now excuse me...I have some more shocking I-didn't-see-that-coming-ending episodes to watch.