Taste The Air

How the hell did half term come around so quickly? I am totally tripping over children in my home. Its just not right. They should be in school 49 weeks of the year. I think three weeks holiday is ample. I had a long conversation with a friend of mine. We were wondering why no one has set up a kiddy hotel. You know kind of like a dog hotel but for kids. Just check em in and pick them up at the end of the week. How cool would that be? Hmmm…..

Well I have the joy of seeing the adorable creatures everyday of the week. The weather is not helping the situation much either. In the spirit of peace and harmony I decided to embrace the long weekend and try not to loose the will to live. I succeeded. It was the perfect weekend to teach the kids how to make me breakfast..What? Look there has to be some perks having 6 other hands in the house…Ok Rufus is kind of excluded, although he does clean skirting boards really really well. Oh and he loves to Hettie!

Lola eager and bossy..(hmm wonder where she gets that from) Took charge after I gave her a lesson on how to fire up the Bialetti. She was brilliant, although I have to light the stove which kind of negates the whole purpose of my plan but still its a start. They are great at doing toast and jam! I don’t really eat toast…Oh but Tilda does a mean scrambled egg. She is really good at it. Although cracking the eggs is proving to be a little bit tricksy, I told her to “Take control of the egg, you are in charge, do it like you mean it” She does the best egg cracking warm up I have ever witnessed….Still manages to get the entire shell in the frying pan though..

Having had a unbelievably horrible bug…(I will not go  into details but you can kind of guess one of two things happened or both)! I haven’t really been the most prolific cook this week. Although I would have to be in a coma for me not to cook anything.. It was The Ru’s birthday so at his bequest I made fried chicken..I will give you the recipe. I also baked this cake. It was divine. Seriously really good and light and amazing and easy.

Again I don’t want to go into detail but the reason there are no photos of said party food is that at the exact precise moment the food was ready and as I was about to hit the click button on the camera, Tilda presented herself as the carrier to the bug which ripped through my household like wildfire. Enough said..

I leave you with some random photos of stuff and a recipe for fried chicken.

Rachelle x

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Yummy Fried Chicken

For the love of god don’t go to KFC. This is sooo much better and healthier and yummier and all of the rest.  Great cold as well, but it never hangs around long enough in my house to go cold. I figure 2/3 pieces of chicken per person. Always better to make more. More is more after all..

Ingredients

  • 2 or 3 pieces of chicken. (free range legs and thighs)
  • 2 tubs of buttermilk (enough to cover the chicken in a saucepan)
  • Sunflower oil (enough to fill a deep pan one third of the way up)
  • 200g plain flour
  • 3 eggs beaten
  • 2tsp garlic salt
  • 2tsp celery salt
  • 1tsp black pepper
  • 3tsp cayenne pepper

Directions

Get a saucepan big enough to fit all the chicken in snugly. Trim off the excess fat from the thighs. Put the chicken pieces in the pan and cover with the buttermilk. If there is not enough to cover then add some milk. On a medium heat gently cook until the meat looks like it is beginning to pull away from the bones and is not pink at all by the bone. Turn off the heat.

Grab a wire cooling rack and some paper towel. Take out the pieces of chicken and place them on the rack to cool. Pat them down to get some of the buttermilk gunk off, (that sounds attractive)!  Right so now wash and dry out your big pan and fill one third with vegetable oil. Turn on the heat.

Put all the spices into the flour and mix throughly..Look you can judge how much flour you need add more if you have a lot of chicken pieces, you are going to double dip everything in the flour so always best to have more then you think. Add more spices if you add more flour. I mix it and taste the flour. You want it to taste more spicy and more salty then you think as frying will dull some of the flavour.

Put your flour in one bowl. Beaten eggs in another. Using on hand and one hand only (you will thank me) dip each piece in the flour, egg and then flour again.

Shake a piece of the gloopy egg flour off you fingers into the oil. If it sizzles gently on the surface it is ready for the chicken. Add the chicken in batches of 3 or 4. Not too much or you will cool down the oil too much and have soggy chicken.  Cook for a few minutes until the flour coating is bronze and crispy. Decant and season with a little sea salt. EAT NOW!

 

 


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Just The Way You Are

We no longer vacuum in our house. We “Hettie”. Our new vacuum cleaner is pink and girly and is called Hettie. Best £100 or so I have spent in a very long time. I now have three willing participants to help with house work. “Mum Hettie is hungry can I feed her?”

Hettie is not the only hungry one, I spent the better part of last week detoxing…The kids were horrified. “Are you going to make us drink that?”  Lola asked me pointing with disgust at my lemon juice, cayenne pepper concoction. My self imposed purdah meant that baking a ton of goodies just was not going to happen this week. I did however discover a masochistic side of me that I didn’t know existed. I watched even more food programmes and then mainlined 14 episodes of Masterchef on Iplayer!

I re-toxed at the weekend and now all is how is should be again. Wine, coffee, carbs are back in my life with a vengeance. Much to the relief of not only my kids, I am back to cooking ‘proper’ food again, but also I had a play day booked with my friend Uju who has a fabulous blog showcasing activities for kids and families in London Babes About Town. Check it out, I do regularly when cabin fever sets in.

Westfield  London invited us to a day out with the kids. Armed with my three children and steely resolve to conquer the tube and overground closures due to repairs. We set on our journey west.  You can tell I don’t really do public transport at the weekends!

We made it and the weather was on our side too. Met Uju and the boys, picked up tickets and two very much appreciated by Rufus and Jed Kiddy Cars. The girls pushed the boys and off we went to lunch at Penang. My kids of course mainlined the fried squid and we ordered pad thai and a ton of spring rolls too. Rufus decided to wait between courses in his parked Kiddy Car.

Next The Croods. Brilliant film I totally loved it. Uju and I decided we had the loudest laughs in the Cinema. Ru was transfixed (his first visit to the movies). Literally on the edge of his seat. Go see this movie it has the best mother in law joke ever. So brilliant I am laughing as I write this.

Our final stop was via Joe Delucci’s  for two scoops of delicious gelato.  Happy happy kids and mums.

So you would think with all this detoxing and running around Westfield I would not have cooked a sausage this week.  Well actually even in my malnourished state, I did think I should throw a few morsels at the children..

I roasted more cauliflower then was probably legal this week. Its so delicious (not that I had any). Olive oil, salt, pepper, and curry powder. In the oven 180C for about 40 mins until the cauliflower is browning at the edges. My kids eat it like candy!

I also made a massaman chicken dish. Left over curry paste, threw it on some chicken thighs and drumsticks with some chopped up plums, bit of honey and olive oil. Deevine!

I leave you with a few photos of our Westfield day out and the recipe for Massaman Chicken.

Have a wonderful week!

Rachelle X

Please note: I was invited  on a free day out, with meal/dessert and cinema trip included but obviously all opinions are my own!

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Ice Cream

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masamanplum

Massaman and Plum Roast Chicken

(Serves 4/6 people)

I will give you the recipe for Massaman curry paste. It is very easy to make and keeps for a week or so in the fridge. Or just freeze it in 2 tablespoon quantities then when you want to throw a quick curry together you can just throw in the paste straight from the freezer.

Massaman Curry Paste

This sounds like a long list, it really is so easy just put it all in a small processor and whizz. Or if you are feeling up to it, mortar and pestle the ingredients in the order they are listed.

Ingredients

  • 1 pinch salt
  • 6-8 large dried chilis (dry roasted and deseeded)
  • 1 inch of galangal
  • 2 stalks of lemongrass (chopped roughly)
  • 6 kaffir lime leaves
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • Quarter of a small white onion
  • 10 almonds
  • 2 cloves
  • a large grating of nutmeg
  • 2 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp cinnamon powder

Method

Put all the ingredients in a mini processor. Add a little flavourless oil to bind if need be.

Ingredients

  • 8 chicken legs/thighs
  • 2/3 tablespoons of massaman curry paste
  • 1 tablespoon of runny honey or dark brown sugar
  • 4 red plums cut into quarters
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Method

Turn the oven onto 180C. Put the chicken pieces into a medium size roasting dish. Add the rest of the ingredients and thoroughly massage into the chicken.

Place in the oven and cook for 40mins or until chicken is cooked through and the plums are soft and sweet and yielding. Serve with rice or couscous. X

 

 

 

 

 


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