Music: Metric and Adele

Every two or three weeks, I would like to share some of my current favorite tunes and artists with you. This week, Metric and Adele.

Metric are an indie rock band from Canada which I only recently discovered. Gimme Sympathy is a really fun song and very catchy too. Their music varies but this song stands out. Another one to check out on YouTube is Sick Muse.

You might not have heard of Metric before but you have probably heard of the English singer-songwriter Adele. Her second album, 21, has reached the top of album charts across the world and her songs are getting a lot of radio airtime at the moment. I own her first album, 19, which I bought when it was released in 2008 but I prefer her latest album because, in my opinion, there is more depth to her voice and to the lyrics. I also like the variety of songs and the way each one shows off her vocal ability. Set Fire to the Rain is possibly my favorite Adele song at the moment but Rolling in the Deep is not far behind.

Videos from YouTube.

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Food: eggplant feta bake


I love Mediterranean food and this simple dish of fried eggplant, baked in the oven with tomato sauce and crumbly feta cheese is great!  My method of cooking this is to fry the eggplant slices in olive oil until they are soft and golden.

I arrange them in a baking dish while I saute onion and garlic with a can of chopped tomatoes and shredded basil for about five minutes, until the onion is soft. Pour the tomato sauce evenly over the eggplant slices, crumble feta cheese over the top and bake in a medium oven for approx. 25 – 30 minutes.

It’s a very easy meal to make and there are a bunch of different recipes for it on the web so if you’d prefer a different recipe, try searching for “eggplant feta bake” and you’ll find a few different variations.  Enjoy!

Audio: My favorite podcasts

I started listening to podcasts last year and I have become hooked on a few specific podcasts which I often listen to.

The #1 position has to go to This American Life (http://www.thisamericanlife.org). You might have heard of TAL before as they have a TV show as well and their podcast is often in the number 1 spot on the iTunes popularity list. If you haven’t, This American Life is a 60 minute podcast with a different theme each week and stories (usually non-fiction) are presented, which relate to that theme. Some weeks are more interesting than others but I always love downloading the latest TAL podcast every Monday.

Not long after I started listening to TAL, they aired a fascinating program called The Invention of Money. I remember I was washing dishes while listening and it probably took me twice as long as it normally would, because I was so enthralled by the program! It revolved around a central premise that ‘money is fiction’. Yeah, it sounds crazy, but listen to the podcast and see….

Here’s a link to that particular episode in their archives: http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/423/the-invention-of-money

#2 Freakonomics (http://www.freakonomics.com/). A podcast with the tagline “the hidden side of everything”. I enjoy the Freakonomics podcast because you’re never sure what they are going to talk about each week and because of the range of subjects they cover.

#3 The New York Times Front Page podcast. Basically, this podcast presents the top news stories in a quick podcast: perfect for getting the day’s news in a short space of time.

These are the podcasts which I frequently listen to and they are my current favorites. If you have any favorite podcasts, let me know by leaving a comment on this post as I always like to hear about different podcasts.

Food: tomato coulis recipe

This is a very simple tomato sauce recipe which is delicious as an accompaniment to potato wedges. I also like it as a sauce with basmati rice.  To make it, you will need:

 

Olive oil

Hot smoked paprika (or substitute this for mild chili powder)

Tomatoes

Sugar

 

1: Mix the olive oil (approx. 1 tablespoonful of oil) and the hot smoked paprika in a saucepan and bring to a gentle heat. If you can’t source smoked paprika, mild chili powder would be an ok alternative. When making this for two people, I use about half a teaspoon of smoked paprika but adjust the quantities according to taste and how much you are making.

2: Wash and dice the tomatoes into approx. ½ cm cubes. Again, quantities depend on how much you are making. For two people, I use 2 – 3 medium/large tomatoes. Tip them into the saucepan and gently stir them together with the oil and spice. Cook them for 5 minutes and then add a pinch or two of sugar.

3: Let the tomatoes bubble gently for 30 – 40 minutes. The sauce should start to thicken slightly.

4: Check the seasoning – you might want to add salt and pepper or more smoked paprika/mild chili powder.

5: Serve and enjoy.