Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Mike's Carbonara

Like most things I do in life I should start this with an apology. I know that a proper authentic carbonara is simply pasta, pancetta and carbonara sauce, however I fully believe recipes are meant to be changed to personal tastes. So this is my take on a carbonara, the great thing about making a carbonara is that you can put nearly anything into it, its great for leftovers or using up older ingredients in your fridge. This has always been a hit for me and has converted quite a few people into pasta eaters. My go to meal to impress.

Ingredients (Serves 2)
225g Spaghetti (You can use other pasta's I just prefer spaghetti)
100g Diced Chorizo
100g Cut up Bacon
100g Cut up Mushrooms
3 Eggs
Handful of Spinach
A Drizzle of Olive Oil
Lots of Grated Parmasan
1 Clove of Crushed Garlic

Method

  • Put pasta onto cook. Also, heat oil in a large frying pan.
  • Add chorizo first for a few minutes.
  • Then add bacon and mushrooms to frying pan.
  • While waiting for other ingredients to cook beat eggs, then add grated Parmesan and mix.
  • If chorizo, bacon and mushroom mix is ready before your pasta set aside and keep warm.
  • When ready, drain pasta. Tip back into warm pasta pot and add the spinach, then chorizo, bacon, mushroom mix, the crushed garlic and finally the egg mix.
  • Sit pan back on very low heat and stir constantly until pasta is completely coated. Important here that you don't let it scramble, keep it moving. 
  • Serve with more grated Parmesan on top
You can add homemade croutons, just use one slice of bread and fry up before starting the first step. When I add them I always set aside to cool, while I'm doing the rest of the meal.

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Basil Avocado Dip

INGREDIENTS
* 1 7-ounce container Greek yogurt
* 1 ripe avocado, pitted and peeled
* ½ teaspoon honey, or to taste
* 1 to 2 teaspoons lime juice, or to taste
* handful chopped fresh basil
* 1 garlic clove, chopped
* 1 tablespoon olive oil
*  Pinch of fine sea salt, more to taste
PREPARATION

Place all ingredients in bowl of a food processor. Process until smooth, about 1 to 1 1/2 minutes, scraping down sides of bowl as necessary. Taste for seasoning.

Monday, 4 April 2016

Wrestlemania 32 Review

US Title Match - Ryback vs Kalisto
There was a time when Ryback was a main event heel. Now here he is putting over new Rey Mysterio.I enjoyed this match dispite the ending not being to my liking. There were not 'Wrestlemania moments' but why waste those on a pre-show match?
Rating - 3/5

The Total Diva's vs Team B.A.D. and Blonde
While this match wasn't as bad as I'd expected it was still nowhere near being referred to as good. Eva Marie was unexpectedly good for the short while she was in the ring but overall there were a lot of botched spots and missed cues. Not the kind of match that promotes the divas division and it shows even the better divas still need some work
Rating - 2/5

The Uso's vs The Dudleys
So the point of this math was the tables spot at the end. I get it, but the match itself was worth a watch. Good, not great, lets not go crazy here.
Rating - 3/5

6 Way Intercontinental Title Ladder Match
How could I see that coming? How could anyone see that coming? I could have made a case for nearly anyone winning this but never Zack Ryder. Again this was enjoyable enough, The two Sin Cara spots being highlights along with Stardust's Dusty inspired ladder. However this isn't going to be anyones WrestleMania highlight.
Rating - 3/5

Chris Jericho vs AJ Styles
We all knew both guys would have an amazing match. That was never my issue with this one. I just felt it needed to mean something more. I would have made it a 2 out of 3 falls match. We know both men could pull it off, big time. That is me nitpicking to be fair and apart from that small issue it was an excellent match, and well worthy of WrestleMania.
Rating - 5/5

New Day vs The League of Nations
Before I get started, I just want to say that New Days entrance was the best ever in WrestleMania history. Don't @ me, I don't even care. Now let me get my moaning out of the way first. In my preview I said the League of Nations wasn't working and I still believe that so I don't understand the logic behind giving them the win here. I don't want to focus too much on that though, because the rest of this was gold. The match was great, watching New Day struggling against the odds like that, everyone played their part to perfection. It was great to see Xavier Woods get some decent ring time because he can do so much more than he's been allowed to show until now. On top of that seeing Michaels, Foley and Austin walk about like that take out the League of Nations was a proper WrestleMania moment.
Rating - 5/5

Brock Lesnar vs Dean Ambrose
This one went pretty much as I'd imagined. It was a good entertaining match. The Ambrose weapon sports were good, Heymans reaction when Ambrose puled out that chainsaw was classic. While I would have rather that Amrose had won, I understand that WWE see's Lesnar as the guy and want to protect him.
Rating - 3/5

Womens Title Match - Becky Lynch vs Sasha Banks vs Charlotte Flair
Titles are what this business is all about. Some and beautiful, like the old WCW/World Heaveyweight title, and some are awful, like the current Tag Team Titles. It's fair to say that the old Diva's Title was a monstrosity, however WWE have made up for that with the new Womens Championship. It is an absolutely stunning belt, the best currently in the WWE. So the question is will the match live up to the new title. Spoilers: yes. This was just ask good as the men could have put on. We saw proper wrestling moves, false finishes, a fast pace it was great.  I don't even care that Charlotte winning means I've only got 1 right out of  5 main show matches.
Rating - 4/5

Hell in the Cell - Shane McMahon vs The Undertaker
It's been a while since we had a please don't die chant. I don't even know how to rate this. The match in general was poor but it was always going to be. Undertaker is too old to put on 5 star matches and Shane is a business man. They did in general get the ring psychology spot on and I don't even know what to say about the spot. It's certainly a WrestleMania moment I guess.
Rating - 4/5

Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal
So I got the basics right in my preview. I said it would be the perfect place to debut a top NXT talent. I said Finn Baylor but in hindsight I think Baron Corbin was a better choice. Battle royals are battle royals and as I said in my preview the only one that ever does stand out is the Royal Rumble. I didn't care for the Shaq spot but I'm not a basketball fan and I don't live in the US so I guess I'm not the target audience with that one.
Rating - 3/5

The Rock vs Eric Rowen
Yes I'm reviewing this. Yes I know it was 6 seconds. This is literally all I have to say.
Rating - 2/5

Triple H vs Roman Reigns
I said it in my preview and I'll say it again. I like Roman Reigns but the way WWE has booked him is terrible. Let him the the monster heel he need to be. Don't try and make us feel sorry for a man who looks like that. It's just not going to happen. We can say that until we're blue in the face but that heel turn refuses to happen. Roman got the win here in a pretty poor match for it's place in he card, hopefully that's HHH's last time in the ring.
Rating - 2/5

All in all I quite enjoyed WrestleMania. Jericho/Styles, the New Day in general and the Womens Title match being particular highlights, however when the biggest matches on your wrestling card are such poor wrestling matches you should be worrying. Its obvious that the writing needs a shake up, some of the booking decisions were very worrying, it seems more and more that WWE think we have to like who we're told to like rather than who we actually like. That's the wrong way round.

Saturday, 2 April 2016

Wrestlemania 32 Preview

Everyone knows WWE's been going through some hard times recently. The writing has been poor and downright abysmal in places, and most of the bright spots in the roster are missing. However Wrestlemania will always manage to bring the cheer out of me. Last years event ended with a perfectly cultivated main event and the ending with Seth Rollins stealing the title is one of my favourite wrestling moments from recent memory. With that in mind, I'm going to try and be positive with my previews.

The Total Divas vs Team B.A.D. and Blonde
So maybe the wrong match to start off with? I like having a second diva's match on the card, however this is bad from start to finish. The story doesn't make sense, they've chucked Diva's in here with little or no wrestling experience.  I still think bringing in a Diva's Tag Title would help legitimize the Diva's division and give them a reason to have a second good diva's match on PPV cards, they have the depth coming up to make it work. Total Diva's to win because they have the women wrestlers that are actually important to the company and to say good bye to Brie Bella. 
I'd book: The Total Divas
Probable winners: The Total Divas

Kalisto vs Ryback
I like new Ryback. New Ryback is a bad arse and not just a dumb meat head. New Ryback is going to lose to New Rey Mysterio. I think this could be a good match if given enough time. Both men have the tools, I'd like to see Kalisto win and Ryback just flip. Start a new monster heel turn where he keeps taking out smaller guys until he's seen as a main event heel again. That's how he works best. No talky, more smashy. In truth He'll probably lose and then bitch and moan for a bit, staying in the lower midcard. 
I'd book: Kalisto
Probable winner: Kalisto

The Uso's vs The Dudley Boyz
I love the Dudley Boyz as heels, they're one of the most entertaining teams in the division but its the right move for them to do the job for The Uso's. They're younger, more popular and are going to be around for a long time. Only shame here is that its not a tables match.
I'd book: The Uso's
Probable winner: The Uso's

The Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal
What is there to say about a battle royal that isn't the rumble? I can't see any of the named participants winning it. It would be a great way to introduce an NXT talent to the WWE *nods in Finn Baylor's direction*.
I'd book: Finn Baylor
Probable winner: Santino Marella

The New Day vs The League of Nations
The New Day all day in this one. The League of Nations hasn't worked and needs to be taken apart, mainly for Rusev's sake. The New Day will make this entertaining as they always seem to manage to do.
I'd book: The New Day
Probable winners: The New Day

Intercontinental Title Ladder Match
It should be a rule that every Wrestlemania has a multi-man ladder match. Carnage in the best way possible. Some great ladder match talent is in this and its one matches I'm looking forward to most. I see this being between Kevin Owens and Dolph Ziggler for who wins it. I'd choose Owens and I think the WWE will as well. 
I'd book: Kevin Owens
Probable winner: Kevin Owens

AJ Styles vs Chris Jericho
I like the idea of this match-up, I just don't understand why a match that we've seen 3 times this year already is on a Wrestlemania card with no stipulations attached. At least make it a no-dq or something. AJ wins bacause he's the big name and Chris is all about putting over talent these days.
I'd book: AJ Styles
Probable winner: AJ Styles

Charlotte vs Becky Lynch vs Sasha Banks
Charlotte as champion is another concept that hasn't worked. She's a great worker and the angle where she won it was well done, if a little over done with the crying. The issue is she's just not charismatic enough to carry the main title in the division solo. She'd make a great Diva's Tag Team Champion though. I see the same problem happening with Becky Lynch, however this could be fixed over time as she fleshes her character out. Sasha wins and bins the Diva's title on Raw, bringing out the old Womens title AND a brand new Womens Tag Title. Well I can dream.
I'd book: Sasha Banks
Probable Winner: Sasha Banks

Dean Ambrose vs Brock Lesnar
Wouldn't it be great if Brock put Ambrose over here? I mean it won't happen, but it should. This match will ether be amazing or awful, its pretty much 50/50 but whats not 50/50 is that Brock will win when Ambrose should.
I'd book: Dean Ambrose
Probable Winner: Brock Lesnar

Hell in the Cell - Shane McMahon vs The Undertaker
I can't see this being a 5 star match however I fully trust both men make it Wrestlemania worthy. Only thing that's guaranteed is that The Undertaker will walk away with the win. I can't see Shane McMahon taking control of Raw, even with him being a much needed breath of freash air.
I'd book: Shane McMahon
Probable Winner: The Undertaker

WWE Title Match - Roman Reigns vs Triple H
I like Roman Reigns. I'm hiding so you can't beat me for admitting that. My issue is that I think they're going the wrong way with him. I fully believe you need to go with the crowd with gimmicks and its obvious that Reigns won't get over as a face. I would have had him side with The Authority and let the fans boo and moan all they want. Anyway Roman will win and he should. If only they can find a way to help him turn while doing it,
I'd book: Roman Reigns
Probable winner: Roman Reigns

Thursday, 5 November 2015

FIFA 16 Review

FIFA can be a difficult game to review. There's no story line to talk about, no new weapons and no new enemies to beat. So what can I say about the new FIFA? Well it looks beautiful to start with, this is maybe heightened by the fact this is my first Xbox One FIFA, but the game looks bright, attractive and well polished. The cut scene animations are realistic and well done with the 'ref spray' one still pleasing me every time I see it.

The control systems evolved too, a bit too floaty to start with but once you get used to it, it makes the game play feel much more realistic and far more satisfying when you nail and attacker with a nice heavy challenge. Not that I condone that sort of thing. No more blasting the ball into the back of the net ether.The goalkeepers have received an upgrade and have the reflexes to stop your brute force attempts. Subtly and guile are needed to score and that's something I'm still getting used too.

All in all there;s not much to moan about with this years FIFA but then again I'm yet to taste PES' revival.

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

WWE Hell in a Cell 2015

John Cena’s United States Title Open Challenge 
This match was solid if uninspiring however it was never going to be a classic. Everyone knew Cena was going to drop the title and take time off, the question was who was going to be answering. While my own personal favourite picks would have been James Storm or Carlito, Alberto Del Rio was still a great choice and completely unexpected one. 
(4/5)

Bray Wyatt vs Roman Reigns (Hell in the Cell)
I fully believe my own high expectations ruined this match more me. I’ve been desperate for the pay off for this feud for a long time. Wyatt and Reigns have amazing ring psychology. The match itself had some great spots and a part where I legitimately thought Wyatt was winning. We’ll see this match again in the future for the WWE title and it will be a classic.
(4/5)

The Dudleys vs New Day (World Tag Team Titles)
Two of my favourite tag teams of all time here and I really hope this isn’t the end of their feud. This match however won’t be on anyone’s DVDs. While there were a few decent spots, the match was cluttered and confusing. I just couldn’t get into it. I hope this isn’t the end but we need to see better.
(2/5)


Nicky Bella vs Charlotte Flair (Diva’s Title)
The problem with the title picture at the moment is it’s constantly occupied with Nicky Bella. I have nothing against Nicky. She’s a very good heel character and she can wrestle but she is a few steps from the standard of women wrestler we have coming onto the roster. She puts on decent matches but will never have the classic’s that Paige, Charlotte and Sasha are going to have. For me this was always about getting her out of the title picture so the next women can have a chance. As for the match it was the best mach that I’ve seen Nicky have. Charlottles flip/reversal from the top rope was, while a little awkward, an amazing feat and the apron Alabama Slamma was just devastating. The Diva’s Revolution is really picking up pace. 
(3/5)

Seth Rollins vs Demon Kane (WWE World Title)
This has been one of the more interesting storylines of late. Both Kane and Rollins have played their parts to a tee and while the match is never going to be a classic, both a solid dependable wrestlers who will still put on a great match. In the end it was pretty much as expected. Seth retaining in an entertaining match and there’s not much more to say about it.
(3/5)

Ryback vs Kevin Owens (InterContinental Title)
I couldn’t have been less interested in this match. It belongs on Raw, not a PPV.
(2/5)

Brock Lesner vs Undertaker
The build up to this has been interesting to say the least. Questions remain if both men are ready to put the physicality you need into a Hell in the Cell match. I’m keeping that line in. I need to accept I say/think/write/type stupid things. This was a stunning match. I sometimes forget just how good Brock really is. He played his role perfectly here. The spot where Brock ripped the ring apart was something I’ve never seen before and Brock managed to make it genuinely look like he made it up on the fly. I would class this as my favourite of the trilogy between these two. 
(5/5)

I just want to say a special word for JBL’s commentary when the Wyatt Family came out to attack Undertaker. Commentary makes and breaks great moments and he hit the tone perfectly. The Wyatt Family vs Undertaker and friends will be a great Survivor Series match.


Thursday, 8 May 2014

Chicken Kievs (Serves 2)

Ingredients
·         2 skinless, boneless chicken fillets
·         75g dried breadcrumbs
·         25g parmesan, grated
·         2 eggs, beaten
·         25g plain flour
·         1 tsp paprika
·         1 tbsp sunflower or vegetable oil (for frying)
For the garlic butter
·         10g Garlic Purée
·         1 tbsp finely chopped parsley
·         50g butter, softened
·         Dash lemon juice

This meal was based on a recipe I found online. It’s a great one to prepare on a day off and freeze until a day you don’t have the energy/time to cook. Prepare the garlic butter beforehand and give it time to set, don’t do what I did and make it up just before putting it into the chicken. You’ll make an awful mess and you won’t get the butter into the chicken properly.

First, Mix all the butter ingredients together in a bowl with a fork until well combined. Shape it so you can store and in the future slice easily and wrap with cling film. Put into fridge or freezer until set, then cut into two.

Make a deep pocket in both chicken breasts, my advice would be to cut from the fat end of the chicken into the middle. Make sure you don’t cut through the chicken or you’ll lose all your garlic butter during cooking and you’ll just be left with breaded chicken, and that would be fairly annoying given the amount of effort you've gone to. Insert each butter half into a chicken breast and press to re-seal the chicken.

Get three plates, one with flour and paprika, one with 2 beaten eggs and the third with breadcrumbs and parmesan. Coat each breast in flour, then egg and finally breadcrumbs, do this twice with each breast. That will make each kiev extra crispy and will help keep the butter inside. The original recipe recommends that you chill the kiev for at least an hour before cooking, however I cooked it straight away and I had no issues so the choice is up to you.

Pre-heat your oven to 180c/160 fan/gas 4. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over an medium-high heat. Fry the kievs for a few minutes each side until golden brown. Then place on to a baking tray and cook for 20-25 minutes. If cooking from frozen heat your oven to the same temperature but double the cooking time.


I served with a simple side salad and oven chips however a nice potato mash would go perfectly along with any number of vegetables, depending on personal taste and season.