My first recipe

Who goes to a food festival and doesn’t eat anything?

Well, these guys, apparently…

I spent yesterday afternoon with Marley at Wimbledon Park at the Fantastic Food Festival, and someone forgot to take any cash along. So we had to endure being teased by an array of delicious food on the stands without being able to taste any of it!

Actually, we did try a few bits and bobs. There were some freebies on offer; pieces of artisan chocolate, a gin & tonic from Copper Rivet, souvlaki from the Greek wraps stand and a few others. 

Plus Marley stole a block of cheese that was about to be cut in to smaller pieces for tasting from the French cheese stand. 

As luck would have it, the Harvey’s Brewery bar was one of the few places that accepted card payments so I was at least able to get a beer. And I think Marley was a bit jealous….

But since we weren’t able to try any of the Thai food, or the Lebanese, or the fried chicken, or the burgers, we went home feeling incredibly hungry, and in the mood to eat. 

By the time I got home, I really fancied a curry so I had a look at a couple of recipes, blended a few of the ideas together and came up with this little gem of a Korma which could barely be easier to make. 

So here you have it, the very unique Chicken Korma Performa. 

Give it a go and let me know what you think! 

CHICKEN KORMA PERFORMA

WHAT YOU NEED: 

650g diced chicken breast
2 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2tbsp curry powder (Korma flavour)
500ml chicken stock (OR 400ml coconut milk and 100ml chicken stock)
1 tbsp tomato puree 
1/2 tsp sugar
3 tbsp Greek yoghurt
Salt and black pepper
Chopped fresh coriander to garnish

METHOD:

1) Season the chicken with salt & pepper.

2) Heat the oil in a deep frying pan. Add the onion & garlic and cook for 5mins or until golden brown, stirring regularly. 

3) Add the chicken and brown on all sides (6-8mins). Stir in the curry powder and cook for 1 minute

4) Add the stock, tomato puree and sugar. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 45mins, stirring occasionally.

5) Take off the heat and stir in the Greek yoghurt. Heat the sauce again for 3-4mins and season to taste. 

6) Serve with long grain rice (Naan bread on the side), sprinkle some chopped coriander on top and enjoy!


Top 10 Dance Tunes for Toddlers

God, I used to love listening to the UK Top 40 on a Sunday night!


Trying to hit the ‘Record’ button on my Hi-Fi cassette recorder at the exact moment the Number 1 track started – but never getting it quite right.

Dancing around my room, praying neither of my brothers would walk in and catch me. 

Just kidding….do I look like the kind of person that would dance round the room?


But come on, who doesn’t love a boogie to a good tune? 

Marley has certainly been twisting away lately, so I thought it was time we compiled a list of some of his favourites.

Here you go then, Marley’s Top 10 Dance Tunes for Toddlers

(And apologies in advance for getting No.1 stuck in your head…)

10) Bare Necessities (Bill Murray version

9) Mr Blue Skye (by Electric Light Orchestra)

We discovered that Daddy and Marley share a mutual love for this one during a road trip in Ireland last month. 
8) I Wanna Be Like You (from The Jungle Book)


7) Try Everything (by Shakira, from the movie Zootropolis*)


*Zootropolis is the best animated movie I have seen in absolutely AGES!!

6) You’re Welcome (by The Rock, from Moana*)


*Moana is also absolutely brilliant! 

For Marley I mean….not just for me….I promise….

5) Hakuna Matata (from The Lion King)

4) Can’t Stop The Feeling (by Justin Timberlake from Trolls)


3) I’ll Be There For You (theme from FRIENDS)


2) Another Day of Sun (from La La Land)


1) Baby Shark (I have no idea who is responsible for this) 


Sorry, I did warn you! 

And I feel it would be remiss of me not to mention his least favourite. So unless you want to terrify your two year old, you should never EVER play him the Phantom of the Opera soundtrack on full volume. 

Sorry about that one Marley.


Standing room only

You may recall a previous post from when Marley was super tiny, about why a train journey to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival is seldom a dull affair. 

But despite recently creating a five point plan for how to handle such a journey with a toddler, we were not quite prepared for this one. 

Upon our morning arrival at King’s Cross, the gates to the platform were open which never happens; an early clue that our train may be rammed. 

And rammed it was. 

Oh yeah, this is where I need to tell you that I only booked our tickets a week or so in advance of travel, and that they didn’t come with a seat reservation.  

In all my naive glory, I had clicked ‘BUY’ under the assumption that we’d (probably) be able to simply push Marley’s buggy through the busy carriage, talking loudly about how “if we could only find three seats together we’d be fine”. At that point, a smiling, friendly fellow passenger would (maybe) offer up his or her comfy seats in order for us to (perhaps) sit down and begin our journey in unbridled joy and happiness. 

The reality was rather different. 

We could barely even get Marley’s buggy IN to a carriage. In fact, we could hardly get on the train at all. As we scurried along the platform, every entrance we passed seemed to be packed full of more humans than the last, pushing and squeezing their way on board. 

Eventually, as we neared the last of the train’s carriages (and my wife neared near-full-on-panic-attack mode) we decided just to force Marley’s buggy in to a doorway and accept the fact that this wasn’t going to be the comfortable journey we’d hoped for.

As the last few remaining seats filled up, we were left standing more or less where we had got on, accompanied by two guys heading to Edinburgh for a stag party, and a solo Geordie travelling north to watch his beloved Magpies play Spurs in the season opener. 


My wife calmed down (helped immeasurably by one of the stag guys lending her his suitcase to sit on) and we left King’s Cross heading for Edinburgh with our plans for keeping Marley entertained essentially in tatters.

He was great, though. At first he wanted to be held long enough to look out of the window as the city became the countryside, but eventually he was willing to sit back down in his buggy, eat his snacks, watch his iPad and then fall asleep for a couple of hours. 

We stood and chatted to the stags and the Geordie as they filled up on Kronenbourg, and soon enough we got to Newcastle where the Geordie departed. 


His place was immediately filled by two young lads who seemed excited….but that excitement soon turned to horror when the voice over the tannoy made them  realise they’d got on the wrong train.

“Where are you going?” one of the stags asked the panicking pair. 


“London King’s Cross” came the nervy response.

“No you’re not” the stag replied, with a grin. 

The next 15 minutes were by far the most entertaining of the journey, as the merry stags revelled in the young lads’ misfortune. 

They taunted with lines such as “you’re going to have a great weekend in Edinburgh” and “oh, was that Inverness we just passed?” before their excitement reached fever pitch when the train guard approached. 

“THEY DON’T HAVE THE RIGHT TICKETS” the stags barked, pointing at the two terrified young faces. I probably enjoyed this part more than the bizarre
 John-Luke Roberts show  I went to later that evening – a surreal adaptation of the iTunes terms and conditions that included a dead Bill Gates, a brief cameo from Mark Watson and a man literally talking out of his arse.

Anyway, the young lads couldn’t get off the train fast enough when we pulled in to Berwick, and we weren’t too much later getting in to Edinburgh to begin our weekend. 

And for the return trip, I made sure we had reserved seats!