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Very Good Things

Recommendations on podcasts, movies, TV, books, recipes, restaurants, technology, travel, shopping and more. Things that make life more interesting or satisfying.

Invisibilia Podcast Season 3 Is All About Emotions

NPR‘s Invisibilia podcast is back with a third season and so far, it’s as clever and well researched as previous seasons. Invisibilia is about the invisible forces that shape human behaviour – things like ideas, beliefs, assumptions, and emotions. The first two episodes in the new season challenge the way we think about how emotions are made. They haven’t given much more away about what the rest of the season will contain, except to say that all the episodes are connected to this central idea. The hosts are calling it a ‘concept album.’ If you haven’t listened to previous seasons, I urge you to do so. Be prepared to be engrossed from the start.

Listen to the season 3 trailer.
Listen to the new season.
See previous post on Invisibilia.

Winter Warming Chestnut, Porcini Mushroom & Potato Soup Recipe

This rich and delicious soup recipe from Skye Gyngell is on high rotation in my house during winter. Serve with crusty bread and a glass of wine, preferably by a fire. The following serves 4 and you will need:

  • 60g dried porcini mushrooms
  • 150ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 eschalot, finely chopped
  • 4 rosemary sprigs, leaves picked, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1.5kg small potatoes (such as desiree), quartered, chopped
  • 1.5L (6 cups) chicken or vegetable stock
  • 10 roasted, peeled chestnuts, quartered (see how)
  • 1 1/4 cups (100g) freshly grated parmesan
  • Finely chopped parsley, to garnish

View full recipe.

Get Through More Books With Audible

I don’t read as many books as I’d like. The intention is there but the leisure time is not and the ability to focus seems to have dwindled over the years. It takes longer to get through a book than it used to.

One way I’ve tried to overcome this is with Audible. It lets you listen to audiobooks wherever you are – running, in the car or doing mundane tasks. It has the world’s largest selection of audiobooks and many are narrated by the author, which can add to the experience.

Get a 30 day free trial then pay $14.95 per month. With that comes a free audiobook each month and Audible can be used across multiple devices so you can share your library. Tip: the children’s titles are a great tactic to get silence in the car.

You won’t finish with a hard copy on your shelf but the contents will still be in your head. Here’s a recommended audiobook to start you off. More about AudibleGet the app.

Podcast: Tim Ferriss Talks To Esther Perel About Relationships

In the latest episode of The Tim Ferris Show podcast, Tim talks about relationships with influential psychotherapist, Esther Perel, whose popular TED talks on desire and infidelity have had more than 17 million views. Esther and Tim cover provocative and important ground relating to sex, love, polyamory, marriage and more in the two-hour episode. Some of the most interesting parts are:

  • What comes first: trust or vulnerability?
  • In a relationship, is there such a thing as too much honesty?
  • Does honesty — or one-hundred percent sharing — equal caring for the other person in a relationship?
  • The value of innovation and flexibility over rigid ideology in a relationship.
  • Every relationship is a power dynamic.
  • Is there an argument for marriage these days?

Listen if: you are in a relationship.

Listen to the podcast.

War On Waste – A Shocking And Important Documentary

In Australia, waste is growing at double the rate of our population with 52 mega tonnes generated a year. Australia is ranked 5th highest for generating the most municipal waste in the world. In this three-part series ‘War on Waste‘, Craig Reucassel is on a mission to see if we, as a nation, can all do a little bit better. The scene with the ridiculous banana specifications imposed by supermarkets is sickening. It seems we’re all aware that we can be doing better but after seeing this shocking and eye-opening documentary, shame on us if we carry on with our ignorant ways. Watch the trailer. Watch the series on ABC iView (the three episodes around an hour each).

Aziz Ansari’s Master Of None Season Two On Netflix

The second season of Aziz Ansari and Alan Yang‘s Master of None kicks off the first two episodes with Dev (Ansari) undertaking an apprenticeship in a pasta shop in Modena, Italy, trying hard to make perfect pasta and hilariously overusing the word “Allora” because he just loves saying it. There’s a trip to the world’s second best restaurant, Osteria Francescana, a wedding in Tuscany and much pasta and cheese is consumed. Dev then returns home to New York in episode three to try and elevate his dating game and jump-start his acting career. He is, as always, warm, likable, silly at times and very funny. It’s worth watching the award-winning first season as this new season follows on from it. Fun fact: his parents are played by his real-life parents. Watch both seasons of Master of None on Netflix. If you like his style, Aziz Ansari also has some witty stand-up comedy shows on Netflix.

Seven Types Of Ambiguity TV Series – A Gripping Psychological Thriller

Based on the critically acclaimed novel ‘Seven Types of Ambiguity’ by award-winning author Elliot Perlman, this six-part TV series is a gripping psychological thriller told from the shifting perspective of six characters following a complicated chain of events triggered when a child is taken and relationships are thrown into crisis. The Australian cast is impressive on paper and on screen with Hugo Weaving, Alex Dimitriades, Xavier Samuel, Leeanna Walsman, Andrea Demetriades, Anthony Hayes and Susie Porter. I read the book years ago when it came out (2005), loved it, and wondered how long before someone would adapt it for the screen. Read more about Seven Types of Ambiguity. See what SMH has to say about it. Watch the trailer. Watch the series on ABC iView (until 1st June) or on iTunes.

Lamb and Haloumi Sausage Rolls – A Party Pleasing Recipe

I’ve been asked a couple of times for this party-pleasing recipe so here it is. The lamb and haloumi make a nice departure from traditional sausage rolls and given mint jelly is not something I usually have on hand, I grate some zucchini and/or carrot through instead. They are best served hot from the oven. The following makes 24 and you will need:

  • 500g lamb mince
  • 1 cup (70g) fresh breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup mint jelly
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped mint
  • 200g haloumi, grated
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tbs nigella seeds or black sesame seeds
  • Sliced red onion, mint leaves and tomato to serve (optional)

View the full recipe (recipe from Delicious Love To Cook

 

Fargo Season 3 – Crime/Drama/Thriller TV Series Starring Ewan McGregor

Fargo is a crime/drama/thriller anthology TV series that is inspired by the Coen brothers’ 1996 film of the same name. Set in 2010, the third season centres on “Emmit” (Ewan McGregor) and his brother “Ray Stussy” (also played by an almost unrecognisable McGregor). Emmit sees himself as an American success story, whereas Ray is more of a cautionary tale. Forever living in his more successful brother’s shadow, Ray has a huge chip on his shoulder about the hand he’s been dealt. He blames his brother and their sibling rivalry follows a twisted path. I’ve only seen the first episode and it’s excellent (and again, perfectly cast). You don’t need to have watched seasons 1 and 2 to enjoy this but they are worth seeing (available on iTunes and Stan). Watch the season 3 trailer. Fargo premieres in Australia on SBS 17 May or catch episode 1 on SBS On Demand from 10 May. It’s also currently airing on FX.

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