Wednesday, September 22, 2010

SPRING .. uh oh!

Down here in lil ol' NZ Spring is officially here (and has officially been here for nearly a month). I love that the cold of winter is over, I love new lambs, new calves and pretty fresh flowers. You may think this picture is pretty and love it - and I do actually like the picture but ...
...if I was looking at it in real life I would freak out because I get MAJOR hayfever :-( Which makes me kinda hate spring!! I have to stock up on these:
Although the hayfever starts with grass pollens, once I get it - everything else that usually doesn't set it off .. does! So Spring is also the time when I stop using perfumes and change my usual shampoo and conditioner from this delicious smelling Herbal Essences:
To these, eco friendly though not so luscious eco store shampoo and conditioner:

Also, I say goodbye to my Lux body wash that is fragrant and delish:
and say hello to my Living Nature nourishing body wash. Mine is from their old line of stock which you can't buy anymore. This may have to do with them changing from their old smell of weird minty smells to a new fragrant smell. I love the new smell, however, my hayfever does not. So, luckily I managed to stockpile a whole lot of old stock before it sold out *phew*.
Anyway, that's my exciting change of season for you. New, less fragrant and a lot more sneezy!
Sima J

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Easy Curry on Rice

Hey there peeps! Haven't been on here for a while so I thought I'd better post something! Here is one of my fav recipes that is unhealthy but easy (one of those packet dinners pretty much!) that we eat usually once a fortnight!!
I am NOT a big fan of curry - however, my tastes have evolved over time and I do enjoy a good butter chicken and even enjoy a mild curry (as long as it's not too 'curryish!').

SO here's what you need:

So far so good - although there are a few missing ingredients in this photo - oops. The meat was busy being defrosted - you need some chicken. You can also use lamb or probably even beef. If you don't like meat (WHY?!!) you could use veges (EWW) :-) Big ups to you for being healthy. I can't help it - I love meat.
Notice how I buy homebrand (saving $ here!!) - you don't have to, but why spend more than you need right?! ALSO NOTE: The type of coconut cream you buy DOES matter! (so I found out) I usually use the type in the picture - some weird one in a can with writing I can't understand which is found in the oriental section of my supermarket (Countdown).
I tried Trident the other day because it was cheaper - EWW. It smelt like that coconut butter lotion you put on as sunscreen. YUK it made the whole dinner taste gross!!
As you can see in the photo, I used Patak's Tikka Masala. Yum - you can also use this:

It's super yum - there are also others like Tandoori which is also yum and Rogan Josh. Go for gold. I found the pastes are cheaper than the pre-made sauces. (they also have this new packaging shown above which threw me a little!)
Chop up chicken (either breast or thigh - and don't get tricked into buying thigh with bone in!! AGH I have done this SO many times - I try to make a point of making sure it is not only skinless but boneless also.) Fry up the cubed chicken in some oil until it's browned and generally cooked through.

Below is a photo of a couple of the ingredients I missed - butter and garlic (and bread for the toast, not in the pic). Mmm mmm for making garlic toast to go with it.
While the chicken is cooking you can chop off a hunk of butter and soften it. Then use a garlic crusher to squish in a garlic clove (or two if you like it super garlicy)
Also, make your rice. I usually use 1 1/2 cups rice to 3 cups water and put it in the microwave, uncovered for 5 min. stir. then in for another 6 min or so and then maybe an extra min or two if it's not done yet. But you probably have a fancy rice cooker that does it for you right? :-)

Once the chicken is done you add your tin of chopped tomatoes (or real ones chopped if you are being healthy and have time or have a whole lot of tomatoes that need using!) and the can of coconut cream. - then take a blurry photo really quick for your blog before stirring it in:
Stir in and take a better non-blurry photo for your blog:
At this stage I usually fill the coconut tin with water and put that in too to make it nice and saucy.
That's about it. Leave it to simmer. You can put a lid on the pan if you want because it splatters everywhere although I found it overflows if you leave it totally covered, so I just sit the lid mostly on, but with a little space for the steam to escape :-)
Then I toast my bread and quickly steam some broccoli for my token healthy bit.
It should look like this:
My kids LOVE this (as you can see - K trying to get at it before it's ready to eat haha)
And a final shot with the toast, garlic butter, dinner and some juice. Yummo.
Quick, easy and delicious (and full of calories, but who cares - go for a run after haha!)
Here is the recipe in easy 'copy, paste, print' form:

Sima J

Chicken (breast or thigh) - cubed (I usually use about 500ish gm
Pataks paste (butter chicken, Tikka Masala etc. - you choose!)
Coconut Milk (nice stuff - not Trident!)
Can of chopped Tomatoes
Hunk of Butter (for garlic butter)
Clove of Garlic
Bread for toast

1 Brown cubed chicken in pan
2 Add paste, coconut milk, tomato and water (use empty coconut milk can)
3 Simmer.
4 Make rice (1 part rice to 2 parts water)
5 Make garlic butter (butter + garlic)
6 Make toast
7 Steam broccoli if you want to be healthy :-)

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Lemon goodness

So my friend Jess was kind enough to give me some lemons the other day :-) Which is nice since our lil tree (I love it) has produced 6 lemons so far - which is GREAT for the lil tree, but not enough for what I made .. Lemonade! :-)
It was made better by a bag full of lemonades from my parents :-)

My cute lil $2 shop juicer was doin it's thing. I was thinking I should have borrowed Mum's electric one. J said "that's a good way to make lemonade Mum" (is there another way?) I have to admit - the photos look nicer with the original juicer :-)
Plus my muscles got a lil work out :-)
Also, I made this lil baby ..
mmm yummo - Lemon Meringue Pie (love the lil light bling on the edge of the dish)
Mmm. Also I made some scones for lunch the other day and packed some up for taking down to my man - in a cute basket no less :-)

Not very lemon oriented I'll admit, but yummy none-the-less :-)
Hope you're inspired to do some food making yourself!

Sima J