Posts Tagged With: Kitchen

Chicken & Chorizo Stew – A Cold Nose Dish

Project4_Page000Yes, it’s that time of year again where the nights are getting darker, the bikini’s are firmly locked away in their summer drawer and we are all freezing are bottoms off when we open our front doors to head to work in the mornings.

It’s stew time!!! And I have the perfect one for those that want warmed-up cold noses and one-pot-wonders. I present to you, Chicken & Chorizo Stew!

This dish is good. And why wouldn’t it be? You’re pairing chicken with a fiery Spanish pig sausage for God’s sake! Definitely, a greater love story than Twilight… Match made.

Chorizo packs a great deal of flavour and it works really well with the delicate chicken. This stew has a slightly smoky, spicy flavour and the chicken ends up falling off the bone; moist and succulent!

It’s also super for winter dinner parties. I made this last year (yes; last year. Worst. Blogger. EVER) and it was for a dinner party with some friends. The dish was delicious and convenient because once you have done the prep and done the simple steps outlined below, there really is little else for you to prepare but maybe a green salad and opening a few bottles of red wine.

So warm up those noses, sit back and enjoy!

Difficulty: Easy

Prep and cooking time: 95 minutes

Price:  €16

Music I listened to: 

Instead of listening to music, I watched a few episodes of “Friends”. Ah, it never gets old.

Wine I drank: Pinot Noir

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

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  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 150g chorizo, cut into ½ cm slices
  • 850g-1kg chicken pieces
  • 1 large onion, peeled and sliced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced
  • 1 stick of celery, trimmed and diced
  • 200ml of white wine
  • 1 can of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 yellow pepper, deseeded and cut into 3cm pieces
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 4 potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • Sea salt  and black pepper

 

Method

Preheat the oven to 170˚C/330°F.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large ovenproof casserole dish over a medium heat. Gently fry the chorizo until it starts to brown and the oil has turned all lovely and red. Remove the chorizo from the casserole dish to a clean plate.

Turn the heat up to medium-high and add half of the chicken pieces. Brown them on all sides for about 3-4 minutes and then remove them to the plate with the chorizo. Brown the other half of the chicken in the same way and remove to the plate as well.

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Add the rest of the olive oil to the pan and then the onion, garlic and celery. Fry until soft. Add the wine to the pan and let it boil for a few minutes,

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Now add the tomatoes, chicken and chorizo.

While the casserole is coming to the boil, add the pepper pieces, paprika and the potatoes to the casserole and cover with a lid. Let it simmer for 5 minutes and then transfer to the oven for an hour.

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Remove the lid for the last 15 minutes to let the top brown.

Serve with a lovely green salad and a spicy Rioja Reserva to wet the pallet!

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Categories: Chicken, Main Course Dishes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The “Holy Cow” Rainbow Cake- A True Picture Baking Story

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So I mentioned in my previous post that my friend and I were going to make a rainbow cake for her daughter ‘Amelie’ who also goes under the status name of ‘My Goddaughter’. It was her first birthday and so, it needed to be especially epic.

And what can I say? Well we came, we baked, we pellet-gunned those bad boy Gummi Bears to the icing and we blew the socks off the party. There were “ooooooooooh”s and “woooooooooah”s and even the occasional “holy cow”* was featured.

*(The word “cow” may have actually been replaced with a swear word of the excrement variety)…

It is because of this that this post shall be a picture one, with few words. The awesomeness of our achievement speaks for itself.

We barely followed a recipe (coz we’re crazy and that’s just how we roll) and the link to such recipe is at the bottom of the page.

The colours are immense. Sunglasses please.

 

Suzy vs. Batter; A Test of Whips…

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Adding the colourants to the batter; First batch to bake!

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First set of sponges that I shall name “Spongii”…

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Next batch of batter to face the colourants and oven for a Spongii Round 2;

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Whipping and colouring the icing layers;

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Icing done and spread between the layers? Ok, now it’s time to stack; Lets do this…

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Look at those layers; those beautiful layers!!!

 

Icing on the cake? Get your pellet-gun (or fingers) and you go add those Gummi’s and candles;

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Now, cut into it. Be prepared. Be proud. Yes, you are now SUPER cool;

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http://www.woodlandbakeryblog.com/how-to-make-a-rainbow-cake/

Categories: Desserts | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

50 Best Tips For The Kitchen! (Part 2)

Continued… 

26. Baking soda is not as effective a deodorizer for the fridge as that baking soda company would like you to believe.  Activated charcoal is much better at absorbing fridge and freezer odours.

27. However, baking soda is an extremely effective cleaner. Use it with vinegar to deodorize drains and clean stovetops and sinks.

28. A favourite tip from thousands of grandmothers: when you nick your finger while cutting veggies, wait until the bleeding stops and paint on a layer of clear nail polish. It will keep juices out of the wound and will not fall off into the spaghetti sauce like a bandage. Not a nice and tasty find when your guests are tucking into their meal.

29. The jury is still out on what to put in the bag of brown sugar to keep it from going hard: a slice of apple, a piece of bread, and a shard of a terra cotta pot have all been used.

30. Got a nasty invisible splinter from your kitchen tools? Put a piece of adhesive tape on the area and then pull it off to remove the splinter.

31.When you burn yourself in the kitchen, just spread mustard on the affected area. Leave it for a while and it will ease the pain and prevent blistering.

Put mustard on a burn

32. For aluminium pans that are looking dull, boil some apple peels in them. This will brighten up the aluminium and make your house smell yummy.

33. To keep cookies fresh, savvy grannies like to put some crumpled-up tissue paper in the bottom of the cookie jar.

34. If your salt is clumping up, put a few grains of rice in with it to absorb excess moisture.

35. To clean fruit stains off of your fingers, rub them with a fresh, peeled potato. White vinegar can also do the trick.

36. Keep iceberg lettuce fresh in the fridge by wrapping it in a clean, dry paper towel. Then store the lettuce and paper towel in a sealed baggie in the fridge.

37.If your loaf of bread is starting to go stale, put a piece of fresh celery in the bag and close it back up. For some

Aloe Vera Plant

reason, this restores a fresh taste and texture to the bread.

38. Always keep an aloe vera plant in your kitchen. It’s invaluable when you scrape your arm or burn your finger. All you need to do is break off a leaf and rub the gel from the inside on the injury.

39. When making a soup, gravy, sauce, or casserole that ends up too fatty or greasy, drop in an ice cube. The ice will attract the fat, which you can then scoop out.

40. To reuse cooking oil without tasting whatever was cooked in the oil previously, heat a 1/4″ piece of ginger in the oil. It will remove any remaining flavours and odours.

41. If your milk always goes bad before you can finish it, try adding a pinch of salt to the carton when you first open it. It will stay fresh days longer.

42. Water that has been boiled and allowed to cool will freeze faster than water from the tap. This comes in handy when you’re having a party and need ice pronto.

43. Remove tea or coffee stains from your fine china by mixing up a paste of baking soda, lemon juice, and cream of tartar. Rub it over the stains and they’ll come off easily.

44. If two drinking glasses become stuck together after stacking, it’s not impossible to separate them. Just put ice in the inner glass and dunk the outer glass in warm water. The warm glass will expand and the cold glass will contract, making the glasses separate easily. Ahhh science, you genius!

45. For splinters under the fingernail, soaking the affected finger in a bowl of milk with a piece of bread in it is said to draw out the splinter.

46. Did granddad ever give you a drink of Coke for an upset tummy? It turns out that this is actually a pretty effective remedy. The sugar and carbonation can soothe many tummy problems – but it can also exacerbate others. You’ve been warned it can go either way!

47. Drinking cranberry juice and eating blueberries regularly will help stave off urinary tract infections.

48. Putting salty bacon on a boil is said to ‘draw the poison out’ of boils.

49. To help old wooden drawers (without runners) open and close smoothly, rub a candle on the tracks.

50. A cotton ball soaked in white vinegar and applied to a fresh bruise will reduce the darkness of the bruise and help it disappear sooner. I bruise like a peach so I am tickled pink to discover this fact.

 

 

So there you go. Interesting and random facts which makes you look like a kitchen goddess and know-it-all genius!

Adapted from www.lifehackery.com

Categories: Loves, Life & Thoughts | Tags: | Leave a comment

50 Best Tips For The Kitchen! (Part 1)

Kitchen tips are always handy to have and make you look like a kitchen whizz and a know-it-all goddess! Below are the first 25 tips. I found these on a site called www.lifehackery.com but I have adapted it somewhat to my own experience and a few tips I have gathered myself!

1. Smelly hands after chopping onions or garlic? Well just rub them on a stainless steel spoon. The steel is supposed to absorb the odour!

2. Fresh coffee beans can also absorb nasty odours from your hands.

3. If you happen to over-salt a pot of soup (this used to be my biggest curse when cooking), just drop in a peeled potato. The potato will soak up the excess salt.

4.When boiling eggs, add a pinch of salt to keep the shells from cracking. There’s nothing worse than soggy boiled eggs because the water got into the cracks.

Soggy, cracked boiled egg

5. Never put citrus fruits or tomatoes in the fridge. The low temperatures degrade the aroma and flavour of these fussy fruits.

6. To clean cast iron cookware, don’t a use detergent. Just scrub them with salt and a clean, dry paper towel.

7. Ah the age-old wisdom of milking curdling if it’s allowed to boil; well, it isn’t true! Milk that has been boiled is perfectly safe to consume.

8. To clean an electric kettle which has calcium build-up on the heating element, boil a mixture of half white vinegar and half water, then empty. Ta-dah!

9. When storing empty airtight containers, throw in a pinch of salt to keep them from getting stinky.

10. If you are making gravy and accidentally burn it, pour it into a clean pan and continue cooking it. Add sugar a little at a time, tasting as you go to avoid over-sugaring it. The sugar will cancel out the burned taste.

11. Burned a pot of rice? Just place a piece of white bread on top of the rice for 5-10 minutes to draw out the burned flavour. Be careful not to scrape the burned pieces off of the bottom of the pan when serving the rice.

12. Before you chop chilli peppers, rub a little vegetable oil into your hands and your skin won’t absorb the spicy chilli oil. Fogrot to do this before you chopped the chilli? Well then, just pour some lemon juice on your fingers and the acidity will eliminate the spice. There has been a serious amount of times where I have chopped a chilli, carried on doing something else and then rubbed my eye… I do not recommend that experience to anyone.

13. If you are not sure how fresh your eggs are, place them in about four inches of water. Fresh eggs that stay at the bottom are fresh. If only one end tips up, the egg is less fresh. If it floats, it’s no longer fresh.

14. To banish ants from the kitchen, find out where they are coming in and cover the hole with petroleum jelly. Plug ‘em up! Ants won’t trek through the jelly. If they are coming under a door, draw a line on the floor with chalk. The little bugs also won’t cross a line of chalk. It makes the phrase ‘don’t cross the line’ a little more literal.

15. Before making popcorn on the stove or in an air popper, soak the kernels in water for 10 minutes. Drain the water, than pop as normal. The additional moisture helps the popcorn pop up quicker and fluffier with fewer ‘old maids’.

16.Don’t store your bananas in a bunch or in a fruit bowl with other fruits. Separate your bananas and place each in a different location. Bananas release gases which cause fruits (including other bananas) to ripen quickly. Separating them will keep them fresh longer.

Banana Ripening Chart

17. To keep potatoes from budding in the bag, put an apple in with them. They’re friends apparently…

18. If you manage to have some leftover wine at the end of the evening, freeze it in ice cube trays for easy addition to soups and sauces in the future.

19. To clean crevices and corners in vases and pitchers, fill with water and drop in two Alka-Seltzer tablets. The bubbles will do the scrubbing. Bit like when you take one for a hangover. Scrub away little tablets.

20. After boiling pasta or potatoes, cool the water and use it to water your house plants. The water contains nutrients that your plants will love. Obviously allow the water to cool first before you douse your poor plants in boiling hot liquid!

21. When you clean your fish tank, the water you drain can also be used to water your house plants. The nitrogen and phosphorus in fish droppings make aquarium water a great fertilizer. Basically fish faeces are loved by plants. Who knew!

22. When defrosting meat from the freezer, pour some vinegar over it. Not only does it tenderize the meat; it will also bring down the freezing temperature of the meat and cause it to thaw quicker.

23. The substance in onions that causes your eyes to water is located in the root cluster of the onion. Cut this part out in a cone shape, with the largest part of the cone around the exterior root section.

24. Taking the top layer off of an onion can also reduce the amount of eye-watering misery.

25. Toothpaste is a great silver cleaner.

Final 25 tips are to follow!

Categories: Loves, Life & Thoughts | Tags: | Leave a comment

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