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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.

Month

April 2017

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.

Terrible, Thanks For Asking Podcast – Explores Hard Things With Honest Answers

Terrible, Thanks For Asking is raw and intimate podcast that explores hard things people go through that are difficult to talk about and typically shied away from when the topic arises. The host and author of It’s Okay to Laugh (Crying Is Cool Too), Nora McInerny Purmort (who is a 30ish widow mother with her own grief), wants to explore what’s really going on when others ask ‘How are you?’ when clearly the answer is not ‘Fine’. She feels there is strength and value in being able to speak honestly about pain so each week she explores something heartbreaking and uncomfortable with her interviewees. There’s crying, laughing and awkwardness but you get the sense that Nora is a genuine comfort to the people she speaks with and that they benefit from being able to tell their stories to an empathetic listener. Listen to the podcast. Buy the book.

Broadchurch Season 3 – Suspenseful And Hard Hitting TV Crime Drama

Broadchurch is a British TV crime drama that is currently airing season 3 and one episode away from the finale. Hardy (David Tennant) and Miller (Olivia Colman, who is also in the excellent Fleabag) are investigating a sexual assault that takes place in the small town of Broadchurch and the impact it has on everyone that is connected to the victim. Whilst the whodunit component of the show is intensely suspenseful, the more moving and hard hitting parts are when the show explores themes of consent, teens with technology and porn, misogyny and sexism. The key cast have been present for all seasons and whilst there are story links to the first two seasons, you could watch without having seen them and still be enthralled. Watch the series on iTunes if you haven’t started yet or on iView or itv.

 

Veja – Ethical Sneakers That Look Good

Veja is an ecological and fair trade footwear and accessories brand that manages to hit the mark when it comes to being both ethical and fashionable. Their sneakers are made differently by using organic and fairly traded cotton; wild and fairly traded rubber; recycled plastic bottles and vegetable-tanned leather. Their products are also made in high standard factories in Brazil and their logistics network works with an association aiming to reintegrate people facing social exclusion into work. If you are one my friends reading this, stay away from the Taua white leather (pictured) as I don’t want us rocking up to the same place wearing the same shoes. Veja has shoes for men, women and kids. The kids‘ shoes rival the adult shoes in coolness. Buy Veja. Read more about the project.

 

Fleabag – A Dark, Hilarious And Heartbreaking Comedy TV Series

Fleabag is a six-part comedy series adapted from the award-winning play about a young woman trying to cope with life in London whilst coming to terms with a recent tragedy. Fleabag (the main character’s nickname who is played by Phoebe Waller-Bridge) describes herself pretty accurately in the first scene as having “a horrible feeling” she’s “a greedy, perverted, selfish, apathetic, cynical, depraved, morally bankrupt woman who can’t even call herself a feminist.” It is a comedy but it’s very dark, blunt, heartbreaking in parts and unlike any other comedy I’ve seen. Her godmother who she can’t stand (played by Olivia Colman) is hilarious. Season 2 begins filming this year. Watch some clips (start with the Obama one from episode one) and the trailer. Watch the series on Amazon Prime (7-day free trial) or BBC Three.

Spelt Salad With Squash & Fennel Recipe

This grainy and substantial autumn/winter salad recipe with roasted squash and fennel is from The River Cottage Veg Everyday cookbook by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. It is a complete meal in itself but also works well as a side dish. Fennel is high on my list of favourite vegetables so I find it hard to experiment too wildly with this recipe but you could easily use other vegetables based on the season. The recipe serves 4 and you will need:

  • Butternut squash
  • Olive oil
  • Fennel bulbs
  • Garlic
  • Walnuts
  • Pearled spelt (or pearl barley)
  • Lemon juice
  • Parmesan, hard goat’s cheese or other well-flavoured hard cheese
  • Parsley
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

View the full recipe.

S-Town – A New Podcast from This American Life and Serial

S-Town is a new podcast from Serial and This American Life, hosted by Brian Reed, about a man named John who despises his Alabama town and decides to do something about it. He asks Brian to investigate the son of a wealthy family who’s allegedly been bragging that he got away with murder. But then someone else ends up dead, and the search for the truth leads to a nasty feud, a hunt for hidden treasure, and an unearthing of the mysteries of one man’s life. I deliberately avoided reading or listening to anything about this podcast as it would have been easy to start comparing it to Serial even before it launched early this week. I’m glad I did as I’ve been captivated by the story, people and Brian Reed’s telling of the events and am equally annoyed and delighted that they released all seven chapters instead of stringing out the suspense over weeks. Five down, two to go. Addicted. Get into it.

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