Food & Adventures

Monday 26 June 2017

Monday Munchies: Sushi Arancini

A few weeks ago I posted about using Sushi ingredients to give your BBQ Japanese Zing. Well I had some ingredients left over so decided to try and come up with something to use them. I had plenty rice and panko breadcrumbs as well as loads of sauces so decided to make Sushi Arancini with Teriyaki and Soy dipping sauces.

How to make Sushi Arancini


Sushi rice
Enough Panko breadcrumbs to coat however many rice balls make
1 beaten Egg
Plain flour
Vegetable oil
Rice vinegar
soy sauce

(You will also need a deep fat fryer)


1 - Wash the rice 3 or 4 times in cold water. drain the rice in a sieve and then add to a saucepan with 330 ml of water and bring to the boil, simmer for 10 mins with a lid on and the turn the heat off and leave for 30 mins.

2 - Once the rice has cooled mix the rice vinegar, sugar and salt and the fold this into the rice. The rice should be sticky by now but I still found it hard to form into balls so in the end I used a Nigiri mould. 

3 - Fill the fryer with vegetable oil and turn on the the required temp, leave it to heat up (but don't leave it unattended).
 In separate bowls put the flour, a beaten egg and the Panko breadcrumbs.

4 - Coat the rice first in the flour, then the egg and finally the breadcrumbs. Once the oil is hot enough put 2 or 3 rice balls in the oil and fry for a few minutes (occasionally turning them) until the  bread crumbs are golden. Remove from the oil and leave for a few mins on some kitchen roll.

How to make Sushi Arancini

I made far too much rice so I also knocked up some Maki rolls (as I also had some Nori sheets in my cupboard). I just marinaded some chicken mini fillets in Teriyaki sauce and then fried them. Spread some rice on the Nori sheet, add the chicken on top and roll up the sheet. Cut into 2cm segments. The dipping sauces I had were Teriyaki sauce and Soy sauce.

Find out how to make sushi at home with the kids here and don't forget to follow Big Stevie Cool on Instagram for lots of foodie pics. 

Follow Big Stevie Cool on Instagram here

Well, that's all for now.



Thursday 22 June 2017

Rockliffe Hall: A Spa day from a man's perspective

I like to think that I'm a pretty chilled out dude. But every now and then even I need time to relax and recently Mrs. Cool told me we were having a day at Rockliffe Hall, a five star luxury hotel, spa and golf course in Darlington, County Durham. Spa days are not what most blokes think of when looking for something to do to relax but I love them. Having three kids aged 10 and under there times when I just need some quiet time and a spa day if perfect for that.

We arrived at around 10am and I was immediately impressed by the grounds, we headed to reception and checked in. We were taken to the dining area as brunch was served before we went to the spa. I was expecting the brunch to be a buffet or continental style but boy was I wrong. The menu is extensive, with sausage or bacon sandwiches, full english and various egg dishes as well as a selection of pastries. I went for the Eggs Benedict (my favourite) and Mrs Cool had a Bacon Sandwich and we shared some Croissant and Pain aux Raisin and all were delicious.

When we were finished our Brunch we headed to the locker rooms to get changed. You enter the Spa from the locker room into the Pool. The Pool is a decent size and has several loungers around the edge, you can have complimentary water (and flavoured water, the choice on the day were were there was ginger and honey) there is also a bar here where you can buy other drinks.

I swam a few lengths of the pool while Mrs. Cool perused the latest copy of Cosmopolitan and then we decided to take advantage of the Garden as it was an unexpectedly sunny day. We sipped our water and I had a leaf through GQ (and obviously wanted to buy everything that was out of my price range) and then we had a dip in the hot tub.

Adjacent to the Pool is a hydro pool which has several massage stations and water jets, there was also a foot spa here where you can alternate soaking your feet in hot and cold water. Mrs. Cool enjoyed the Tepidarium which was a hot room with heated tile beds for you to lie on. Next was my favourite part of the day, at either side of the foot spa is the Igloo and the Sauna. The idea is to alternate between the two, we went into the Igloo first and it was as cold as you would expect, there is an ice fountain where you rub ice all over your body and then you head over to the sauna for 10 minutes and then repeat the process 2 more times. Alternating between hot and cold was very invigorating, Mrs. Cool doesn't really like the cold but I loved this part of the day. Next up was a steam room called the Caldarium and then we went back to the sauna one for time before it was time to leave.

After getting changed and collecting my things I was amazed by a handy little gadget in the locker room for drying your trunks. I just popped my wet trunks in the machine held down the lid and minute later my trunks were dry and ready to go straight in my bag. I love a little bit of tech.

Well, That's all for now.



Thursday 8 June 2017

Wonder Woman: A Review

I have long been a defender of the DC Cinematic Universe. I argued here that Batman Vs Superman was both the 3rd best Batman movie and the 3rd best Superman movie. I also stated here that although Suicide Squad wasn't going to win any awards, it was still the type of fun, stupid movie that you need every now and then. But it looked like I was alone in my praise for the DC franchise. That was until a raven haired Amazon from the Island of Themyscira stepped onto the scene in Wonder Woman. It's been a hit at the box office and critics and fans have agreed this film is a real winner (which DC have needed after the negative response to the last two films).

Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) is Diana, Princess of Themyscira, The film starts with Diana as a young girl living a blissful life on Thmyscira but dreaming of being a warrior like her mother Queen Hippolyta (Connie Nielsen) and aunt Antiope (Robin Wright). Her mother doesn't want her to train to be a warrior but her aunt secretly trains her anyway, eventually becoming the greatest warrior of all. But she's never faced a real enemy before so how can she really be a warrior? Well that all changes when a plane crashes into the sea. She rescues the pilot, Steve Trevor (Chris Pine), he is followed by German bad guys who proceed to storm the beach of Themyscira but are eventually defeated by Diana and the Amazons. Steve then explains (while being interrogated with a magic lasso thing) that he is a spy and that the whole world is at war so Diana decides to go back with him as she believes that Ares, The god of war, has returned and it is the Amazons sole purpose to defeat Ares.

Steve has nicked notebook of secret naughty shit from more German bad guys and needs to get it back to London. The main antagonists are Dr. Maru (with the supervillain nickname Dr. Poison) and General Ludendorff a German Officer who is working with Dr. Poison. If I'm honest the baddies are a bit of a let down in the film. They are pretty generic (although Dr. Poison does have a gnarly disfigured face/mask thing going on) their plan is to release a new type of mustard gas, like I said pretty generic.

Back in London Steve and Diana head to British Intelligence to drop of the notebook and they meet Sir Patrick Morgan (David Thewlis) who comes across as a pacifist and is trying to broker an armistice. They also meet up with Steve's secretary Etta (who I only just realised is played by Lucy Davis while I write this), Etta provides some comic relief as she tries to get Diana to fit in with the London dress code. They soon recruit some more help with Charlie (Ewan Bremner) who is a sharpshooter, The Chief (Eugene Brave Rock) is a smuggler and Sameer (Said Taghmaoui) is a conman/actor who also provides some lighter moments. The group head into German occupied Belgium to stop the baddies.

Diana is convinced that Ludendorff is Ares and is determined to confront him. While Steve wants to stop Dr. Poison and destroy the gas. The final act does lose it's way a bit and there is a twist that I saw coming a mile away but Mrs. Cool and the kids weren't expecting. The final battle is impressive and Wonder Woman will obviously play a pivotal role in Justice League.

As a Dad of a little girl I'm so happy that there are starting to be some female role models in film for her to look up to and feel empowered by, but it's not just for girls me and the boys both really enjoyed the film too, I'm looking forward to the future of DC. With more superheroines like Captain Marvel, The Wasp and Batgirl appearing as main characters or in their own movies over the next few years female characters are set to get a strong push for the first time ever and this is what we've needed for a long time.

Well, that's all for now.


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