Friday, 30 September 2011

# 130 Fridays recipes: Chicken in tomato sauce with rice and red kidney beans

This is pure comfort food and one of my family favourite dishes.

Here's the recipe.

Chicken in tomato sauce with rice and red kidney beans

5 chicken drumsticks (you can also use chicken legs or a whole chicken cut into small pieces)
1 small onion, finely chopped
A few slices of chorizo
Smoked pork belly, cut into cubes
1/2 can of chopped tomatoes
1 chicken stock cube
Olive oil
Paprika or Mild chili powder
1 can of red kidney beans, drained
Fresh coriander or dried basil and oregano
1 bay leaf
Rice (I usually use half a cup of rice for the 3 of us)

Pour a little olive oil into a pan and soften the chopped onion. Add the chorizo and the smoked pork belly and cook for about 5 minutes.

Add the chicken and cook until golden on all sides. Add the chopped tomatoes, the red kidney beans, the stock cube, the fresh coriander or the dried herbs, the bay leaf and a pinch of paprika or chili powder. Add boiling water enough to make the stock, cover with the lid and cook for 20-30 minutes stirring occasionaly.

Remove the chicken to a plate and set aside. Add a little more boiling water if needed and add the rice. Let it cook for a few minutes and then add the chicken again. Serve once the rice is cooked.

Note: This is a very versatile dish that lends itself to a lot of alterations depending on the ingredients you have. You can add chopped carrots at the same time as the tomatoes and beans. Or you can add frozen vegetables when you add the rice. You can even leave out the beans or use a different type instead of red kidney beans. 

Enjoy :-)


Thursday, 29 September 2011

# 129 September photo scavenger hunt

A while back I was reading someone's blog (sorry, can't remember whose it was) and a photo scavenger hunt was mentioned, this sounded like fun and this time I decided to join in. This photo challenge is hosted by Kathy from Postcards from the P.P. If you don't know what a scavenger hunt is there's more info here.

These are my photos for September according to the list given by Kathy.

Right now I have some apple jam gently bubbling away in the slow cooker. The smell of apple, cinnamon and brown sugar is oh so good!

Someone's idea of a good joke and quite funny actually.

Husband and son relaxing on a hot Summer day.

My desk also serves as a filing cabinet.

Travelling light.

A few lovely, warm blankets.


Wednesday, 28 September 2011

# 128 This n' That

Wow, can you believe this weather? The thermometer in our car read 24ยบ C ealier this afternoon, there's the bluest of blue skies, no clouds (believe it or not) and a lovely warm sunshine. I can't help feeling this is the Summer we should've had and apparently, if the weather forecast on the BBC website is anything to go by, it's going to last for a few weeks well into October. Brilliant :-)

When the weather's like this I always try to fit in some walking time in between cooking, cleaning, tidying, baking and constantly reminding my son of the homework he needs to do. Not only that but I actually need to be sat next to him to make sure it gets done!

By the way, I almost forgot to show you what I received for my birthday.

2 books I wanted,

and a table cloth my mum bought back in July when the 2 of us went shopping, she then added the pretty crochet edging. Isn't it beautiful?

Below are a few photos taken while walking sometime last week.

This probably happened due to the very strong winds we had a couple of weeks ago.

A. spotted this giant mushroom among the grass, the biggest I ever saw.


Friday, 23 September 2011

# 127 Fridays recipes: Saffron's brownies

It was my son's birthday yesterday, 12 years that have gone by so fast I don't know whether I'm coming or going!

When asked what he wanted to do for his birthday his answer was stay home and have a especial meal only for the 3 of us and so I spent most of yesterday in the kitchen cooking chicken curry, meatballs in spicy tomato sauce, basmati rice, flat breads and of course the dessert.

Instead of a traditional birthday cake I made brownies which I then cut into small circles with a cookie cutter and made the mini towers you see below.

This is the perfect brownie for chocoholics although personally next time I make this I'll use dark chocolate instead as I found the milk chocolate a little too sweet, I prefer slightly bitter chocolate.

If you want to try this brownie recipe you can find it here, I didn't make the topping and a good thing too as it really doesn't need it unless you're going for a chocolate overdose :-)


Tuesday, 20 September 2011

# 126 Craft stuff

My crochet hooks and knitting needles have been seeing quite a lot of action lately, no sooner a project is finished another is begun and I have a few more planned that I want to make soon, preferably before Christmas!

Today I want to show a scarf and a bunting, one knitted the other crocheted, one for myself the other for my beautiful 4-year old niece Mariana, one in pretty bright colours the other in beautiful dark tones.

Here they are (insert drumroll here)!

My pompom scarf and...

...Mariana's crochet bunting.

The scarf was knitted with leftover wool from 2 previous projects, the Eva's shawl I made for my mum and the keyhole scarf for myself (both posted here). The bunting was crocheted with cotton bought while on holiday.

I love them both, I can't wait to start wearing my fun scarf (I love the pompoms) and I wish I could see my niece's face when she receives her bunting.


Monday, 19 September 2011

# 125 Weekend outing: Dyrham Park

The days are getting shorter, greyer and noticeably colder, it's the last week of Summer and the Autumnal hues are starting to appear.

We revisited Dyrham Park yesterday after deciding against our 1st chosen destination (Shugborough Estate) on account of the weather.

Dyrham is a beautiful property but this time what caught my eye were the colours of the trees, they were simply beautiful. I love the Autumn with it's yellows, oranges, browns and reds.


Friday, 16 September 2011

# 124 Fridays recipes: Blackberry crumble cake

If you're not tired of blackeberries yet here's another recipe I tried recently and really liked. As the name suggests it's a cake with a layer of blackberries and a crumble topping. I think my cake needed a few more minutes in the oven as the middle seems uncooked but let me tell you it disappeared in the blink of an eye :-)

The recipe is from the Good Food Channel website and you can find it here.


Thursday, 15 September 2011

# 123 Turning 44

It's my birthday today and I've been going through my many photos trying to choose a pretty image to post here and then this arrived in the post only a few minutes ago and I knew I had the image I wanted.

The most adorable handmade birthday card and...

...the prettiest handmade necklace.
I received this from a school friend whom I haven't seen in about 20 or so years but somehow we always kept in touch. She's so talented and always makes the prettiest cards and necklaces among other things and takes the most beautiful photos which you can see here. Thank you Paula :-)


Tuesday, 13 September 2011

# 122 Summer walks in Berkeley

Only a few more days to go until Summer is over, officially anyway as it really wasn't much of a Summer in the first place was it?

For one reason or another I haven't been out walking much lately, it's either the weather or having to stay home waiting for a delivery so as not to miss the post.

Anyway looking through all the photos I took on our walks I realised there's still a few I haven't posted here yet and so here they are, the last photos of the Summer walks in Berkeley. Of course there'll be more walks and more pictures, weather permitting, but those will be in a brand new series of posts called... guessed it "Autumn walks in Berkeley" unless I come up with a more original title :-)

Berkeley Castle kennels and stables.

View over the River Severn from the Deer Park.



Monday, 12 September 2011

# 121 Weekend outing: Berrington Hall & Croft Castle Parkland

Hold on to your hats, it's windy today!

Did you have a nice wekend? I hope so. We followed our usual routine, grocery shopping on Saturday and then out most of the day on Sunday, fortunately the scattered showers didn't spoil it for us but it sure was windy, pretty much like today.

We revisited Berrington Hall and Croft Castle, both National Trust properties and both in Herefordshire.

Berrington Hall

Gate to the walled garden.
Display of different varieties of apples in the potting shed at Berrington Hall.

Dinner set. All pieces were individually handpainted and they are all different.

Croft Castle