Sunday, 18 March 2012

Worrying time

Fabrice Muamba: a true battler who escaped civil war

This is Fabrice Muamba.  He collapsed playing football, for Bolton, yesterday, aged 23.  He is in intensive care fighting for his life.  Fabrice has overcome a lot in his life, being a political refugee and settling in London, making his home here.  He sounds like a very nice man and he used to play for Arsenal as a young player but that is not important.  I would like my friends, especially my football friends, but not just them, to leave the messages of support for Fabrice here.

We all hope for the best for your Fabrice and we know you will put up a big fight for life.

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Spicey pasta

Hi I have been cooking again and I decided to blog to introduce my new friend who helps me to make the food even tastier.  This is a Delia Smith recipe that I have adapted for two people.  It's a vegetarian recipe but it would also be useful if you have vegan friends to cook for, you would leave out one of the things I will do for vegans but it will still be a lovely dish and I can suggest an alternative.


for people with reasonable appetites I use:

8 oz pasta
2 peppers - different coloured ones are nice
3 largish tomatoes
1 or 2 red chillies depending on the size
2 cloves of garlic (here is where I differ from Delia who suggests 5 cloves of garlic for 4 people, I know it is shocking to disagree with Delia but I know I'm among friends).
1 teaspoon of cumin seeds
1.5 tablespoons of sundried tomato puree, the sort with herbs in is nice
1 dessert spoon of olive oil
AND this is where my new friend comes in - as much black pepper as you like, at baboon HQ we have lots


Cut up the red chillies into tiny pieces

(Baboon health warning: make sure you don't rub your eyes while you are handling them I know somebody who managed to make themselves cry with chillies in the eyes.  If your human is as clumsy as mine swimming goggles may be useful here).

Crush or chop the garlic we have a nice garlic crusher at baboon HQ but you might chop it. 

(Baboon suggestion: if you are a plushie like me get your human to do this they can wash the garlic smell off their hands, we can't).

Cut the peppers into small strips a bit like chips (aka french fries)

Heat up the sauce pan a little, then before you put any oil into the sauce pan, put a teaspoon full of cumin seeds into the saucepan and stir them for about a minute until they are fragrant.

Add the olive oil and heat it up, it won't take long.

Stir the chillies, crushed garlic and pepper strips into the sauce pan, put the lid on and turn the heat right down, leave them to soften for approximately 40 minutes, stiring occasionally.

You can practically leave this to its own devices apart from the occasional stiring.  In the meantime chop up your tomatoes.  You can discard the seeds and just chop up the rest, try and chop it really small.

At some point you will want to put your pasta on to cook.  From when you put the peppers in to cook you have about 50 minutes so you can work out when you need to put your pasta on.

You can also spend a bit of time at this point preparing your topping.  This is not essential as it is a great dish even without it.  Vegans go and amuse yourselves for a few minutes I'll call you when this bit is over.

OK don't mention this to the vegans but I put some grated cheese on top of mine.  Parmesan is ideal but any nice hard cheese is good.  Please note that is not my glass of wine behind me and I didn't knock it off the worktop with my tail, so I'm innocent all round really.

OK vegans you can come back.  You don't need to know what I was saying while you were gone, but if you want a topping on your dish pine nuts are always nice and when you toast them your house will smell beautiful, non vegans are allowed to have these too if they like.

OK back to the main dish.  Your pasta is boiling away nicely by now.

If your peppers have been cooking for about 40 minutes its time to add the chopped tomatoes and sundried tomato paste to the peppers and, this is where my new friend comes into his own, plenty of black pepper, as much as you want (not compulsory if you don't like it).

Now I would say that my new friend looks as though he enjoyed adding pepper to our dinner, I think he gets tremendous job satisfaction from making our dinner taste nice.

Leave this to cook, with the lid on, for about 7 to 10 minutes.

Now, again here I differ from Delia, you won't be shocked this time because you already know I'm an independent minded baboon.  That is the point really, I'm a baboon and Delia is a sophisticated lady.  Delia would drain the pasta and put it into bowls and then pile the vegetables (relish as she calls it) neatly on top.  As a baboon, I drain the pasta and mix it in with the relish and then serve it.  OK it all comes out the same, I think its a matter of presentation and Delia is the best at that.

Now, talking about presentation, you might be thinking that it would be nice to garnish this dish with some fresh basil leaves.  Yes, you are right, it would wouldn't it and indeed I would have done that if my human assistant wasn't so forgetful that they didn't get added to the shopping list.

What is a baboon to do?  Anyway enough of my problems! Here is the finished dish served Kolo style.

Its very yummy so have a go and enjoy!

Saturday, 10 March 2012

Easter competition


Hello everyone its Lent and well done to anyone who is managing to give anything up.  Can't seem to be done at baboon HQ but I know some people are really good at giving up chocolate or puddings or even wine.  Well done to anyone who is managing that and good luck for the rest at Lent.  We at baboon HQ admire you.

Easter is time for treats so it makes sense for me to run an Easter competition.  Easter also brings bunnies so what would an Easter competition be without bunnies?  Obviously I'm a baboon so we couldn't have a competition without baboons either.  So here we are.

As usual there are three first prizes and they will be pretty familiar to all my friends who have entered competitions before, but I have changed the order to reflect the Easter bunnies.  Here they are:

1. A bunny T-shirt designed and sold to support, the bunny sanctuary supported by our dear friend Miriam @RettetKaninchen from Twitter, in Frankfurt.  Have a look at the lovely T-shirts at

2. Our Aussie/Liverpool pal @WallasEKatt has very generously asked me if he can change the 2nd prize to something close to his heart.  He has generously offered to donate an adoption of a Bilby at Taronga Zoo in Sydney Australia
The winner of this prize will get a bilby adoption and a stuffed kangaroo from Wallas.  This is a very important prize because, as those of you who go to #nipclub know, this animal is almost extinct in Australia and that is something that is close to Wallas's heart.  Thank you Wallas for your generous prize!  For more information about the bilby see

3. A baboon related mystery prizes straight from Baboon HQ at Kolo Towers.

The arrangements for drawing the prizes will be a little different this time.  I have invited are great friend and re-homed baboon, Monty, who lives with @Tim_Kirby and @MrsFiddlesticks, to draw the numbers.  Monty is a previous winner so he may bring you luck!

The draw will take place over the Easter weekend so entries will close at 6 pm (BST) on Good Friday 6 April.  This will give Monty a chance to draw the numbers in time for the winners announcement on Easter Sunday.

If you feel that one of the prizes won't suit you then please say on your entry, you will then be entered for the other prizes.

To enter you can do one of the following:

1. Leave a comment on this blog saying that you would like to enter.
2. Send me a direct message (DM) on Twitter.  If I do not follow you yet just send me a tweet to say you want me to and I will follow you so you can DM me.
3. For friends on Can Be Social please leave a message on my wall to say you would like to enter.

Good luck everyone, I hope you all win.

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Breakfast muffins for primates

As you all know by now we at Baboon HQ are very busy and our human primates to out to work to finance the Baboon HQ mission.  This means that we all need a healthy breakfast that will keep us going all morning.  Bananas are good but you can't really live on bananas alone.  Usually the humans have cereal or toast with their bananas but I thought we would try something new for all of us.

These muffins are supposed to be low in fat and give you energy till lunchtime.  What more could you want?


For 12 muffins:

170 g/ 6 oz dried apricots (or other dried fruit)
170 g/6 oz unsweetened museli (we mix our own at baboon HQ so we know its unsweetened and unsalted)
250 g/8 oz self-raising flour
1 teaspoon of baking powder
250 ml unsweetened apple juice
2 tablespoons vegetable oil (sunflower is fine is that is what you have)
100 ml honey
1 large egg


1 12 hole muffin tin (or 2 sixes)
12 paper muffin cases


Put the dried fruit, museli, flour and baking power in a large mixing bowl and stir.

Put the apple juice, oil, honey and egg into another bowl and mix.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ones and mix just enough to combine the ingredients but no more than necessary.

Spoon the mixture into the paper muffin cases inside the muffin tins.

Bake in a preheaded oven a 190 degrees C (375 degrees F, Gas 5) for 20 minutes until golden an drisen.

You could do the washing up now but I think its really important to watch them and make sure they are cooking.

You might need to tell them to hurry up and cook and make sure they rise.  I often find things won't do things unless you keep telling them to. Come on, come on, come on!!!

Ohhhhh nearly there, they are rising!  Yayayayaaa!!

After 20 minutes take them out of the oven.  Make sure you use oven gloves won't you.

Leave them to cool for a while and then enjoy!