MOVIE REVIEW: Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018)

Rebellious young Han Solo (Alden Ehrenreich) joins a band of outlaws stealing stuff on behalf of an organisation called Red Dawn (sounds like far right organisation). His plan is to get back to his beloved Qi’ra (Emilia Clarke) who he has been separated from by the Empire. Along the way he meets his lifelong companion, Chewbacca (Joonas Suotamo) and his favourite frenemy, Lando Calrissian (Donald Glover) who join him for the adventure.

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MOVIE REVIEW: Knock Down the House (2019)

In most countries around the world it feels like politics is in a worse place than it has been in a long time. On every side of the fence there are questions of corruption and pandering to the highest bidder meaning that the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. No country is more under the spotlight when it comes to this inequality than the USA. This documentary looks at four women involved in a grassroots movement trying to ensure that everyday people are represented by those like themselves, rather than a privileged elite.

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TV REVIEW: The Last Kingdom – Season 3

With Alfred’s (David Dawson) health failing he starts to prepare for his son Edward (Timothy Innes) to become king but Athelwold (Harry McEntire) continues to lurk in the shadows, convinced he should be king. Meanwhile wracked by grief, Uhtred (Alexander Dreymon) crosses a line that sees him banished from Wessex and returning to his Dane brothers. Things are not quite going to plan for the Danes though as no army has ever prospered with three conflicting leaders and Uhtred will be will be forced to question where his loyalties lie when he discovers that his beloved Aethelflaed (Mille Brady) is in danger. If that wasn’t enough, he’s been cursed by Skade (Thea Sofie Loch Næss), a powerful witch who wants Uhtred for her own.

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RECIPE: Giant Jam Tart

Mr O loves jam tarts so I’ve had my eye on this recipe for a while. I made it recently for lunch with his family and it was delicious.

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TV REVIEW: Narcos – Season 2

After his daring escape from prison, Pablo Escobar (Wagner Moura) is forced to go to ground, hiding from not only the DEA but also his former associate, Judy Moncada (Cristina Umaña). Of course Pablo has no intention of stopping his operations, leading to every craftier ways of moving his merchandise around but as the stakes get higher and higher will the price of success become to high?

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Universal Yums: April 2019 – Israel

This month’s snacks came from Israel. It’s not the first time I have tried Israeli snacks as a friend of mine who lives in Tel Aviv once sent me a personalised box. This time the snacks were the Universal Yums choice and it was a mixed bag. Some were great. Some were weird.

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TV REVIEW: Rick and Morty – Season 3

Season 3 of Rick and Morty sees Beth (Sarah Chalke) and Jerry (Chris Parnell) are getting a divorce and Morty (Justin Roiland) and Summer (Spencer Grammar) will have to adjust to a new way of life. Rick (also Justin Roiland) takes it on himself to try and keep all his family members functioning, but when you are a self-serving sociopath, acts of compassion don’t always go as planned.

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RECIPE: Sort of black forest cake

Mr O surprised me recently when we were on holiday at Centre Parcs by ordering a black forest waffle. He doesn’t normally like desserts much and especially not creamy ones but it turns out that black forest is one of his favourite combos. Recently when we had friends around for lunch I decided to do a take on a black forest cake for dessert because I knew he would enjoy it. It is made up of a flourless dark chocolate cake, topped with a layer of dark chocolate ganache and cherry compote and then whipped cream, more cherries and some decorative flake.

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TV REVIEW: Line of Duty – Season 5

AC-12 are back and this time they are dealing with an undercover operative who has gone rogue. John Corbett (Stephen Graham) has been out of contact with his handler for several months and seems to be involved in progressively more serious criminal acts with the Organised Crime Group he was tasked to infiltrate.

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MOVIE REVIEW: Black Panther (2018)

The citizens of African nation, Wakanda, have always kept themselves to themselves. With access to the powerful metal, vibranium they have been able to master massive technological advances, while hiding from the rest of the world and protecting their way of life.

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MOVIE REVIEW: Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)

After the events of Age of Ultron, Peter Parker AKA Spider-Man (Tom Holland) has returned to New York and been told to resume his “normal life” by Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr). Essentially he would like Peter to be a friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man, who stays out of trouble and doesn’t draw attention to himself.

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TV REVIEW: Fleabag – Season 2

Season 2 kicks off with Fleabag (Phoebe Waller-Bridge) in a much better place than before. The cafe is thriving. She’s no longer using sex as a weapon. And since Claire (Sian Clifford) refused to believe that Martin (Brett Gelman) made a pass at Fleabag, she’s been avoiding both of them. Life is good… or is it?

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MOVIE REVIEW: Avengers – Infinity War (2018)

With the release of Endgame finally here Mr O and I decided to catch up on all the films leading up to the Avengers grand finale that we missed due to being the parents of a small human. So expect lots of Avengers based reviews… probably full of confusion because they often confuse the fuck out of me.

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MOVIE REVIEW: The Miseducation of Cameron Post (2018)

After being caught in a passionate embrace with her friend, Coley (Quinn Shepherd), Cameron Post’s (Chloe Grace Moretz) sends her to a reeducation camp for teenagers experiencing SSA (Same Sex Attraction).

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TV REVIEW: Stranger Things – Season 1

Stranger Things is one of the shows I tried to watch when Little O was a tiny baby and abandoned because I kept having to go an tend to him and I had the attention span of a gnat due to lack of sleep. I felt like I was missing out so recently I decided to revisit it and see if I was right.

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MOVIE REVIEW: Unicorn Store (2019)

After failing out of art college, Kit (Brie Larson) has returned home to live with her parents, Gladys (Joan Cusack) and Gene (Bradley Whitford). She’s depressed and aimless, despite the fact that she and everything she owns is spangled with glitter, rainbows and unicorns. Kit feels like a disappointment to her parents and that no one really understands her art.

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TV REVIEW: Fleabag – Season 1

Things are not really going according to plan in Fleabag’s (Phoebe Waller-Bridge) life. The cafe she opened with her best friend, Boo (Jenny Rainsford) is tanking since Boo died, she can’t get a loan, she’s having trouble connecting with her sister, Claire (Sian Clifford) and father (Bill Paterson) and she hates her Godmother (Olivia Coleman) – who has shacked up with her dad – with a fiery passion.

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TV REVIEW: Narcos – Season 1

Narcos follows the rise of notorious Colombian drug kingpin, Pablo Escobar (Wagner Moura) from a handful of jungle based labs to full blown war against the Colombian government. Exploring Escobar’s story from his perspective as well as the Colombian government and the US DEA, the series highlights the pervasiveness of the drug war and how it took over the whole country.

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RECIPE: Mini Egg millionaire’s shortbread

Millionaire’s shortbread is one of Mr O’s favourites so I decided to give this Jane’s Patisserie recipe a go for a Easter treat. It’s not a quick one as there are multiple steps and periods of chilling but it was worth it because it is honestly one of the nicest things I’ve ever made.

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Mini Egg millionaire’s shortbread

Adapted from Jane’s Patisserie

For the shortbread

200g butter at room temperature

100g caster sugar

275g flour

150g Mini Eggs smashed

For the caramel

200g butter

1 can condensed milk

3 tablespoons light brown sugar

4 tablespoons golden syrup

For the topping

300g milk chocolate

150g Mini Eggs, smashed

Preheat your oven to 180°C and line a 20cm square deep baking tin with greaseproof paper.

Beat together the butter and sugar with an electric beater until light and fluffy. Add the flour and beat until a dough comes together. You might have to get your hands involves. Mix in the smashed Mini Eggs.

Press the mixture evenly into the prepared tin and bake in the centre of the oven for about 25 minutes or until golden brown.

Remove the shortbread from the oven and set aside to cool in the tin.

To make the caramel place all the ingredients in a large heavy based saucepan. Stir continuously over a medium heat until everything is melted and the sugar has dissolved. Then bring up to the boil over a medium-high heat and stir continuously until it turns a deep golden brown. Mine took about 7 minutes. Be careful not to let it catch on the bottom and be warned it will be extremely hot. Pour over the shortbread, smooth with a spatula and then place in the fridge for an hour to set.

Once the caramel is set melt the chocolate for the topping in the microwave in a heatproof bowl in 1 minute bursts. Spread over the caramel and then scatter over the crushed Mini Eggs.

Return to the fridge to set for 2 – 3 hours before cutting into squares.

Makes 16 – 25 squares

MOVIE REVIEW: Ready Player One (2018)

In a dystopian future world human beings escape the drudge of their daily life by entering The Oasis via virtual reality. The Oasis is made up of endless different worlds where you can earn and spend “coins”, to live out your fantasies, upgrade your avatar and go on quests.

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