Category: Podcasts

Peter Piper Picked a Peck of Podcasts + A Giveaway

Hey people of the internet..I know, it’s been a while… it’s been a pretty shitty start to the year. 

My step father passed away a couple of weeks ago and it’s been a horrible, weird, grief filled couple of weeks.  Maybe I’ll talk about it more in time but at the moment….it’s still all a bit too raw. I had written most of this post on the Peter Piper cocktail before all the shit got real.  So, here it is, pretty much unedited because I just want to get something out to resume some semblance of normality….

Don’tcha just love it when two three of your favorite things come together in a perfect storm of awesomeness?  Of course you do!  Which is how I came to find the Peter Piper cocktail. 

Peter Piper2The original Peter Piper Cocktail comes from a recipe by Georgia Hardstark and Alie Ward.  So, here are some things you need to know about Georgia Hardstark.

  1. She can make a mean cocktail
  2. She loves vintage clothes
  3. Along with Karen Kilgariff she is the host of one of my favorite new podcasts, My Favourite Murder

One of which would be reason enough to like her.  All three combined? OMG….massive girl crush!

Peter Piper 5

Also, here are some things you need to know about the Peter Piper cocktail.  Actually, no just one.

The original recipe requires dry vermouth.  Do not assume that just because you had dry vermouth the last time you made a cocktail, that you will still have dry vermouth.  More specifically, do not wait until you have your vodka on ice in the damn cocktail shaker to realise that the dry vermouth has either disappeared into some Bermuda Trianglesque worm hole surrounding your bar cart or you drank a damn sight more of those Lord Suffolk cocktails on NYE than your memory has so far allowed you to admit. My money’s on the worm hole.  Because you know, a lot of things go missing from that area of the dining room.  And the stuff that is left?  The levels also mysteriously change.  Spooky..

Also, the girls used pepper vodka, I made my own chilli infused vodka and used that.  That is super easy to make – I just chopped up a Bird’s Eye Chilli and put it into a 100ml jar filled with vodka and left it for about a week.  And  there you have it.  Spicy vodka, perfect for mixing with pickle juice, and because you have no dry vermouth, a splash of Fino sherry.   With a kick of heat from the vodka, briny sour from the pickle juice, a hint of sweet and nuttiness from the sherry….the Peter Piper is truly a thing of beauty!  Perfect to drink with some salty chips whilst listening to your favourite podcast!

Peter Piper4As far as I am concerned one of the best things to come out of 2016 for me was a new found love for the podcast.  I have always been a big pod listener but l feel that last year raised the bar.  So, whilst we sip our Peter Piper’s I’m going to take you through my Top 5 of the pods I discovered and loved in 2016. 

These are vaguely in order of my discovery of them and not necessarily my love of them.  Except the first three are probably also my top three in terms of love too.

1. The Black Tapes

It’s kinda X Files with loads of creepy children, music that will make you die within a year of hearing it, missing wives, and villain who looks like a Sexy James Bond.  Not to mention evil monasteries and people having their faces ripped off.

Start with:  You really need to listen to these in order.  Start with S1, Episode1. 

Standout Episode:  The creepy knocking on Alex’s sleep tape gave me chills

2. Tanis

What have I not already said about my love for Tanis.  (Brought to you by Pacific North West Stories who also produce The Black Tapes?).

Oh yeah – Both The Black Tapes and Tanis have been on  hiatus for a while but The Sandy Island episodes which are for Patreon subscribers only?  Totally amazing and made me fall in love with Tanis all over again.  Also see my Tanis inspired cocktail posts:

Here for The Black and Tanis

Here for the Eld Fen Martini

Here for the Navigator

Here for the Sex on The Breach

Start With: As with The Black Tapes you need to listen to this in order

Standout Episode: I really liked S1 E3, The Girl in The High Tower which touched on the death of Elisa Lam.  And anything with Geoff Van Sant.  Or MK.  So all of them.

3 My Favourite Murder

Who thought a podcast about murder could be hilarious?  Well, let Georgia Hardstark and Karen Kilgariff change your mind. And just in case you are wondering, never disrespectful about the victims.  They may not be the best researched of all the true crime pods that I will list but they are by far my favourite.  I love these gals!

 

And OMG, the memes that have come out of this.  From the catch cry “Stay sexy, don’t get murdered” to “You’re in a cult, call your dad” to “Here’s the thing, fuck everyone”

Don’t Start With: The Canadian Greyhound Bus Cannibal.  This one scared the crap out of me.  I was almost too scared to go on public transport for weeks after listening to this one!

Start With:The Alphabet Killer.   This is absolutely what fascinates me about these things.  No spoilers but how did that thing become his thing?  Also the one on Israel Keyes.  He looks like a guy you would see at a beachside pub wearing a polo shirt and boat shoes and talking too loudly to his bros.  Not a serial killer, rapist, bank robber and arsonist.   The Israel Keyes episode also spawned the now famous rules of hiking:

  • Go in packs of five
  • With knives
  • With fucking Rottweilers
  • With knives taped to your hands
  • And knives taped to your Rottweilers
  • And then just tons of guns
  • And just start shooting at any sound you hear
  • Anyone who fucking approaches you – shoot them

Other: They also have the best fan made merch. I  just ordered one of these “Stay sexy, don’t get murdered rings” off Etsy. I feel it’s my version of the WWJD bangle.

4. Casefile

This is also true crime but from Australia.  And if  MFM is  entirely personality driven, Casefile is the facts ma’am just the facts. The host is even anonymous.  This is not exclusively Australian content but there is a lot of it on here, proving that when it comes to nutters and psychopaths, we can certainly hold our own with the rest of the world!

 

Start With: Peter Falconio. I remember this case so well.  I also remember how they demonised his poor girlfriend in the media.  

Standout Episode: Snowtown.  OMG.  Find out what happens when a group of people who individually were only ever going to be losers and fuck ups meet up.  Spoiler – it ends with bodies in barrels.

In Adelaide. 

Of course.

5. The Sofa King Podcast

These guys started following me on Insta so I gave their pod a listen and have not stopped.  It’s a mix of true crime, cults, conspiracies, mysteries, and things that go bump in the night. 

 

Start with: Their take on Dahmer.  Because no one else will tell you that they found a painted preserved penis in his work locker.  For real.

Standout Episode:  The 411.  This is about people going missing in National Parks.  I laughed so hard whilst listening to this that I had to pull my car over to the side of the road because I was no longer capable of driving.  Believe me, you will never see Gary Coleman in the same light!  

Peter Piper2

Peter Piper Cocktail
A delicious savoury cocktail
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Ingredients
  1. 125ml chilli / pepper vodka
  2. 60ml pickle brine
  3. Splash fino sherry or dry vermouth
  4. Cornichons, pickled jalapenos, green olive to garnish
Instructions
  1. Add the vodka, pickle brine and sherry to a shaker filled with ice.
  2. Shake it like a polaroid picture.
  3. Pour into 2 glasses and garnish with a sliced cornichon, a green olive and a pickled jalapeno.
  4. Enjoy!
Adapted from Georgia Hardstark and Alie Ward
Retro Food For Modern Times http://www.retrofoodformoderntimes.com/
 Okay so I have a couple of 1990’s magazines and a 1990’s cookbook on pasta and risotto, all from my personal collection to share with readers.  Point me in the way of your favourite podcasts or let me know if you share my faves and these can be yours!  Leave a comment here, on facebook or instagram or tweet me.

Have a wonderful week! And give someone you love a big hug….

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The Dishiest Halloween Dish – Black and Blue Salsa

Wow!  It’s been sooooo very long since I have done one of these posts.  I think this is worth the wait though. Ever since I found the recipe in Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s River Cottage Light & Easy, the Black and Blue Salsa, as I have come to call it, has been on high rotation in my kitchen! And it’s a perfect meal for a Halloween dinner, given it’s dark and spooky colour!

black-and-blue-salsa2You can see it top of the photo here as part of the salmon burrito bowl (except it was on a plate) that i had for dinner the other night. The main ingredients of the salsa are black beans and blueberries hence the black and blue name. 

 

If this combination appears strange to you, don’t worry it did to me as well. But trust me, it works!  It also looks quite lovely on a plate because the dark colours contrast nicely with against greens, chicken, fish etc.  Hugh describes it as “dark and devillishly well flavoured, ,this is hot sharp, sweet and smoky all at the same time”  He’s right, it is also totally delicious and highly addictive as well as being jam-packed with healthful ingredients!

black-and-blue-salsaI like this with some coriander added.  The original recipe does not have it. 

Black and Blue Salsa
A delicious and healthy salsa, perfect with chicken, fish or any grilled meat
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Ingredients
  1. For The Salsa
  2. 400g can of black beans, rinsed and drained
  3. 200g blueberries
  4. 1 small red onion, chopped
  5. 2 medium hot red chillies, deseeded and finely chopped
  6. Handful of coriander leaves, chopped
For The Dressing
  1. 1 garlic clove, smashed
  2. juice of 1 lime
  3. 1 tsp sweet smoked paprika
  4. 1 tsp sugar
  5. 2 tsp cider vinegar
  6. 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  7. Salt and Pepper
For The Dressing
  1. Combine the garlic, lime juice, paprika, sugar, cider vinegar and oil in a jar. Shake well to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste. Let sit for around half an hour to let the flavours develop.
For the Salsa
  1. Combine the blackbeans, blue berries, onion an chilli in a bowl
  2. Strain the dressing to remove the garlic and pour over.
  3. Mix well.
  4. If possible, let stand for half an hour before serving.
  5. Just before serving sprinkle the chopped coriander over the top.
  6. Enoy!
Notes
  1. You can also add diced avocado into this. I left it out this time because I already had avocado on my plate.
Adapted from slightly from River Cottage Light and Easy by Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall
Adapted from slightly from River Cottage Light and Easy by Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall
Retro Food For Modern Times http://www.retrofoodformoderntimes.com/
 Elsewhere in life….

Watching

I am mid way through S2 of Narcos and thoroughly enjoying it.  Ditto Stranger Things

Narcos

Reading

My  current read is Truly, Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty.  I loved one of her previous books, Big Little Lies but I am struggling with this one. 

Tasty Reads

The October Choice was Preserving.  I chose The Modern Preserver by Kylee Newton. I loved this book and it is likely to be my Tasty Reads book of the year.  I have made so many things from it and every one of them has been great! 

The only book likely to beat it from top position at the end of the year is the November / December choice  – Free Choice.  On the back of some very high review praise, I have chosen Stirring Slowly by Georgina Hayden.

Described as a “new modern classic” by none other than Jamie Oliver, I am looking forward to picking this up and getting stuck in!

Podcasts

Seeing as my favorites Tanis and The Black Tapes are both on between season hiatus, I have started listening to My Favorite Murder.  It’s a comedy true crime podcast and I love it.  I think the two hosts are brilliant and I am so glad I still have 30+ episodes to go before I am caught up!

http://www.feralaudio.com/show/my-favorite-murder/

 Other

OMG.  I have started running.  Well, I have started staggering around the back streets and local track in a facsimile of running.  But it’s a start.  I am doing the Couch to 5k program and am midway through week 4. 

My aim is to be able to do a full 5k by Christmas.  We’ll see.  It really starts to ramp up after this week, I am a little nervous. And the thing is,  I totally hate doing it when I am doing it.  My chest aches, my legs ache, I am slow and ungainly and huff and puff like a pack a day smoker.  But everytime I do it, I get a little bit better.  And that feels marvellous!

This week I am looking forward to cooking the Cherry Flapjack Granola from Stirring Slowly and a Tom Yum soup from another Tasty Reads favourite, Adam Liaw’s Big Pot

What are you reading / watching  / listening to?

What are you looking forward to cooking?

Have a Happy Hallloween, a fab week and to borrow a catch phrase from my new favorite podcast, “Stay sexy; don’t get murdered”

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Tanis Inspired Cocktails #4 – Sex on The Breach

With my love of puns, there was no way I could resist this.  The Sex on the Breach is my Tanis inspired version of a variation of the classic Sex on The Beach. sex-on-the-breach

And now for the PSA. If you are in the PNW and you are contemplating having sex in the breach? 

Don’t.

Cease.

Desist.

Stop. It. Now.

At best The Breach contains mutant cuttlefish, psycho squirrels, TARDIS like cabins, strange creatures lurking in the shadows, Eld Fen, and has sent more than person totally loopy….Lord only knows what kind of hellish offspring would result from any sort of hanky panky within those grey pancake walls.

sex-on-the-breach2

I found this version of a Sex on the Beach on Drinks Mixer and was really interested to see how the mix of Chambord, Midori and Pineapple juice would turn out.  In my head I wanted it to have a more murky tinge.  In reality, the lovely deep red was a lot more pleasant to the eye than the colour I had in mind!  Also, the original called for Cranberry juice.  I had Pomegranate juice in the house so I made it with that.  Feel free to sub in cranberry juice in your version if that’s how you roll. It is totally delicious too!

Here’s the  recipe:

Sex on The Breach
Celebrate the Season Finale of Tanis with this super tasty cocktail!
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Ingredients
  1. 1 part vodka
  2. 1/2 part Midori® melon liqueur
  3. 1/2 part Chambord® raspberry liqueur
  4. 2 parts pineapple juice
  5. 4 parts pomegranate juice
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients with ice.
  2. Stir gently, strain and serve.
Notes
  1. You can substitute cranberry juice for the pomegranate juice
Adapted from Drinksmixer.com
Adapted from Drinksmixer.com
Retro Food For Modern Times http://www.retrofoodformoderntimes.com/
With the Season 2 Finale of Tanis imminent (this week?), why not make one of these to sip on as you listen.  Unless, of course you listen in your car.  In which case, read my PSA above. 

There are so many questions that the finale may answer. 

  • Will Nic find Tanis?
  • And if he does….then what?
  • Who the fuck is Mike?   Solved.  See below.
  • Will Nic find Sam Reynolds and Morgan Miller?
  • Can Nic trust CameronEllis?  Will anyone ever be able to separate CameronEllis’ first and second names?
  • Should Nic trust Nathaniel Carter and Veronica Pillman?
  • Will they ever stop calling Karla or is it Patrcia Corrie, Marcus Corrie’s widow?  The dude is still alive.  Batshit crazy but alive and incarcerated at Tesla Nova.
  • Did Nic and MK do it in S2E10? (Yes, they totally did).

And the most burning question of all.

@TanisPodcast WHAT THE HELL HAVE YOU DONE TO MY IMAGINARY INTERNET BOYFRIEND GEOFF VAN SANT?

He better be boozing in a bar somewhere and not have been lured into the breach by someone/ something only to  end up eating his own arm or gouging out his eyes with a spooky Tanis rock like….Oh!  That’s who Mike is.

sex-on-the-breach-3OMG, I can’t wait for the S2 finale….so excited!  And whilst it is sometimes incredibly frustrating to have to wait for the next instalment, I actually kind of love that in a world where everything is on-demand this is something you have to wait for! 

I have had a fabulous time doing this series on Tanis and I hope that you have also enjoyed both it and the cocktails! 

I don’t think I have said this before but to the makers,writers, actors of Tanis, THANK YOU for making one of the best podcasts, actually the two best most original, creative, well produced podcasts around.  I could not love your work more and I hope you view this tribute as my way of saying thank you for the amazing work you do!   And thanks for the retweets!

Hmmmm…what next I wonder?  Maybe a Black Tapes series?  Who knows?

Stay tuned.

And keep looking.

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Tanis Inspired Cocktails #3 – The Navigator

The huge reveal of Tanis Episode 209 was that The Navigator is…

Yeah right, as if  I’m going to spoiler that! 

No way!  You have 21 fascinating  episodes of murder, madness, conspiracy and stray right feet washing up on beaches before you can get to that reveal.  Having said that, there’s no need to be daunted, the Tanis back catalogue is still small enough that you could binge listen to it all in a weekend. 

So get onto it. It is actually one of those things that is also worth a second (or third ) listen. 

You could have a Geoff Van Sant moment and grab a beer while you listen. Or, even better,  make this super dry, super citrussy cocktail called The Navigator. 

the-navigator3The Navigator & Clues to Tanis

The Navigator is to Eld Fen what the runner is to Tanis. Basically,  to get there you need one.  And you also need a map. 

the-navigator4But maybe not a map like this. 

Because even when you have a Navigator / Runner, you can only get to Eld Fen / Tanis when the stars don’t align.

As soon as I heard about the stars not aligning my first thought went to the line from  Space Oddity,  “And the stars look very different today”.   I don’t think it’s at all relevant but except maybe for the writers tipping their hat and giving a little nod to the late, great Mr David Bowie.  I hope it’s that and the twist about to come is not aliens. 

The Navigator Cocktail

I found this on the ever reliable, always excellent Difford’s Guide.

Dry Gin, Limoncello and Pink Grapefruit Juice…three of my favorite things!  I added some additional lemon juice to mine.  I figured that if I was going to cut open a lemon from the garnish, I may as well use some of it in the drink too!

the-navigatorThis is so good!  The stars all align with The Navigator.  It is:

  • Lipsmackingly dry from the gin
  • Sweet from  the limoncello
  • Sour from the lemon juice
  • Bright with a hint of bitter from the grapefruit.

It’s like a flavour explosion in your mouth. 

The Navigator could easily become one of my favorite cocktails!

The Navigator
A refreshing dry and tangy citrus cocktail
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Ingredients
  1. 2 shots dry gin
  2. 3/4 shot Limoncello
  3. 1 1/4 shot freshly squeezed pink grapefruit juice
  4. 1/2 shot freshly squeezed lemon juice
  5. Lemon wheel to garnish
Instructions
  1. Shake all the wet ingredients with ice.
  2. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
  3. Garnish with the lemon wheel.
  4. Enjoy!
Adapted from Difford's Guide
Adapted from Difford's Guide
Retro Food For Modern Times http://www.retrofoodformoderntimes.com/

Tanis Speculation

I have no doubt Nic is about to go into the forest again but with whom? Per the first series, you need four.  So, Nic, The Navigator and two others. 

If I was Nic, I’d take Geoff Van Sant and MK.  But then, given the choice, I’d probably take GVS and MK anywhere with me.  They’re the best.  I think GVS is my secret podcast crush.  What can I say, I happen to have a thing for guys with messy hair and alert eyes who like a drink or two.  And in my head he looks like Paul from Orphan Black.  And that is never a bad thing!

And MK is just the best.  She may also be my secret podcast crush!

I can’t wait…the series two final is fast approaching….I will try to align my fourth (and final) cocktail with that happening!  

Breaking News!

Ladies of the PNW who need a thrilling secret conspiracy to liven up their lives?  GVS is trying dating again.  Why not have a beer with him?

‘kay people of the internet, we’re done. 

Keep looking!

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Tanis Inspired Cocktails 2 – Eld Fen Martini

There are wondrous things….

I conjured up the Eld Fen Martini based on a Twitter suggestion by the Tanis Podcast.  And here it is:

Eld Fen MartiniBut first….

What Is Eld Fen?

 Eld Fen also known as Old Fen or King Wurm is a….presence.  And it’s seriously fucking creepy.  Eld Fen sleeps in the darkest part  of the deepest forest. But it’s waking up.  And it’s coming…..

Ever walk alone in the woods and all of a sudden the hairs on the back of your neck prick up and you know something else is there?  You can’t see it or hear it….yet…but it’s there?  Just waiting? Now imagine doing that in the dark.  And you walk into  a circle of birch trees and the crisp smells of the forest fade into something that is sweet and swampy and rotten all at the same time. 

You thought you would be safe in the circle but you’ve turned around a few times trying to find the thing that is out there and now you have no idea which direction is home.  Which is scary because you’re out there in the dark all alone. 

Now multiply that fear by a thousand.  Because the truly frightening thing is that you’re not alone.  Because you’ve woken it up. And it’s coming. 

And when it does?  There will be blood. And madness.  And unspeakable horror. 

That’s Eld Fen.

There are magical things….

Sweet hopscotching Jesus!  I was trying to give you all the Tanis-y creepy chill and managed to scare myself!.  Good thing I’ve got a lovely martini to calm me down!

Eld Fen Martini5

What Is The Eld Fen Martini?

It’s an Eld(erflower) and Fen(nel) Martini with a splash of Chartreuse. So it’s sweet from the Elderflowers, anisey (Tanis – y?) from the fennel and herby from the Chartreuse. Delicious.  The perfect pick me up after a hard day’s work searching for a place that may or may not exist.  And may make people crazy when they find it. 

The hardest thing about making the Eld Fen Martini was trying to walk the line between making something that conveyed the swampy, sickly  aspects of Eld Fen without making it so disgusting that no one would ever want to drink it.  I felt my first attempt, which did not have the Chartreuse, was too pretty, this did not at all convey swampy, hint of pus look I wanted. 

Eld Fen Martini2Hmm….

I bet you never read that last sentence in a food blog before. And now you know why I chose Eld Fen over Hint Of Pus Martini. 

What do you mean you don’t want to have a drink with me?  It’s not real pus.  It’s Chartreuse. Made by Monks.  And not those spooky Order of Cenophus Monks from The Black Tapes.  These are proper French Monks who are far too busy tending their garden of 130 herbs so they can make lovely, delicious Chartreuse to:

  1. Kidnap an itinerant
  2. Rip someone else’s face off. 
  3. Sew said face onto itinerant
  4. Push itinerant off a monastery tower.

Oh FFS, as if I hadn’t already scared myself enough with Eld Fen.  Now I’m freaking out about murderous monks!

There are dangerous things….

Eld Fen Martini 7I wanted the garnish on the Eld Fen to maintain the dark edge.  My favorite maraschino cherry was just a little bit too perky for this.  So I went with a blueberry /blackberry garnish.  And OMG, if you give these a teeny squish?  They start to release little lines of juice which look like veins or splashes of blood! Perfect!

Eld FEn Martini 8

You Get What You Deserve

Here’s the recipe.

Eld Fen Martini
Serves 1
A delicious and refreshing cocktail inspired by the Tanis Podcast
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For The Fennel Syrup
  1. 1 cup sugar
  2. 1 cup water
  3. 1 tsp fennel seeds
  4. 1 medium bulb fresh fennel, roughly chopped
For The Eld Fen Martini
  1. 30ml Fennel Syrup
  2. 30ml Vodka
  3. 30ml St Germain Elderflower Liqueur
  4. Juice of 1/2 a lime
  5. Splash of Chartreuse
  6. Ice
For The Garnish
  1. 2 blueberries
  2. 1 blackberry
For The Fennel Simple Syrup
  1. Give the fennel seeds a few good whacks with a pestle or heavy rolling pin.
  2. Place the water, sugar, fennel seeds and chopped fennel in a small pan.
  3. Bring to a boil, then simmer for around 10 minutes.
  4. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
  5. Strain to remove the fennel and fennel seeds.
  6. Place in fridge until required.
For The Cocktail
  1. Chill your martini glass.
  2. Pour the vodka, St Germain, fennel simple syrup, lime juice and Chartreuse into a shaker filled with ice.
  3. Shake, baby, shake.
  4. Pour into your martini glass.
  5. Garnish with blueberries and blackberry that have been slightly bruised to release some juice.
  6. Enjoy!
Notes
  1. You will have enough Fennel Simple Syrup to make plenty of these!
Retro Food For Modern Times http://www.retrofoodformoderntimes.com/
 Eld Fen Martini9

To find Eld Fen, you need a Navigator. 

Why you would want to find Eld Fen is utterly beyond me.  Is your tv broken?  Play some Words With Friends, read a book, write a blog, take up yoga…there are so many things you could do with your life that do not entail pushing you to the brink of sanity and life itself.  But if you must find Eld Fen…you’ll need a navigator.  And that’s where we’ll go next time….

In the meantime, keep looking.

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