Extras
 

New year, new start? Us too. Daisy Wyatt rounds up the best healthy snacks from popcorn and seeds to dried fruit

Sea bass en papillote with carrot, leek and ginger

Ingredients to serve 2

Hit & Run: Red hair? It's so this season

As a child I used to get called "Duracell", "copper-coloured top", "ginger-nut" and "Orangina", admits Jordan Adams. "When I was a teenager groups of boys used to hang out of their car windows and yell at me, 'gingaaaaaaaaaaaaaaar!'"

Grouse snacks

Serves 4

Howard Jacobson: Ginger zingers, banana nirvanas and all my other juicy nightmares

One point stands out: lime juice stings a cut finger beyond endurance

Gingerbread

Serves 8

New Year sweet dumplings

Makes 24

Feast days: Mark Hix celebrates Chinese New Year in style

Unlike traditional British end-of-year celebrations, where the food plays second fiddle to a festive booze-up, the Chinese celebrate in a different fashion. In communities all round the world the Chinese mark their new year with two weeks of celebrations, in which everybody visits family and friends and they share meals together. Most celebrate with a big banquet that consists of 10-15 courses and delicacies that you wouldn't find in your average Chinese restaurant.

Minor British Institutions: Ginger beer

For some reason ginger beer is regarded as a kid's drink, and a particular kind of middle-class 1950s Famous Five type of kid as well – thirsty for "lashings of ginger beer" after catching the smugglers of Kirrin Island, or whatever. (Actually, that phrase more likely comes from an Enid Blyton spoof made by the Comic Strip in the 1980s, but the point stands.)

Mushroom hot-pot with tofu

Serves 4

<a href="http://blogs.independent.co.uk/independent/2008/10/games-master-ga.html">Games Master: Gaming - the 'ginger relation' of the creative industries?</a>

Why are games subject to ridicule by people of power? It seems convenient that Boris Johnson has changed his mind on computer games in time for this year's London Games Festival, but why the general lack of recognition for what is now such an important industry for the UK economy, especially in these troubled economic times?

<a href="http://blogs.independent.co.uk/independent/2008/10/mixtape-recessi.html">MixTape: Recession - The Musical</a>

I never thought I'd say this, but maybe raging ginger nut Mick Hucknall was right for, as we are frequently reminded, 'money's too tight to mention'.

Ginger & Black, Pleasance Dome, Edinburgh

The great problem with this show is there's no connection between the two performers, Eri Jackson (Ginger, on account of her hair colour) and Daniel Taylor (Black, on account of his skin colour), or between them and the audience.

Cloudy Lane puts McCains on right road for another National

Nicholls' Mr Pointment likely to miss Liverpool but stable land feature race at Newbury

Black beluga lentil soup

Serves 4-6

Smashing Pumpkins, SECC, Glasgow

Superficially, the sci-fi gothica of one of the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre's lesser halls should have blended perfectly with the Smashing Pumpkins' music. As bruise-coloured lights picked out flashes of steel ventilation ducts amidst the darkened ceiling hollows, the excesses of the band's more grinding, industrial moments could have turned the place into a cathedral built in praise of sleek functionality.

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Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker