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Posts Tagged ‘spices’

Everyone loves a good chicken dish. I know I certainly do. Roast chicken, chicken salad, fried chicken (ahem…) or chicken kebabs, I love all of them. My absolute favourite though, is a chicken casserole served with rice and a tomato and cucumber salad.

I like to combine *soft* spices with a mild curry powder to give it a bit of a zing and it certainly makes the cold days a bit more bearable on a Sunday afternoon around the table with your family or in front of the television watching a movie.

Here’s the recipe for a simple chicken casserole. Enjoy!

 Ingredients

4 chicken legs chopped into the drumstick and thigh (or diced chicken breast depending on preference)
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 tin chopped tomato
100g yellow split lentils (chana dal)
1 tsp mild curry powder
½ tsp turmeric
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp garlic salt
¼ tsp ground saffron
salt and pepper to taste

Method

Fry the onions in two tablespoons of oil for five minutes on a high heat then add the curry powder, turmeric, cinnamon, saffron, garlic salt and salt and pepper.

Fry for a further five minutes until soft, then add the chicken pieces. Make sure they are all covered with the onion and spice mix. Turn the heat down to medium and turn the pieces constantly for two minutes to prevent burning.

Add the tin of chopped tomato, cover with water, add the yellow split lentils, bring to the boil then simmer for one hour if using the chicken legs or thirty minutes if using the chicken breast.

Serve with fluffy rice and a chopped tomato and cucumber salad.

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In these horrible cold days we have, I like to kid myself that soon, it will be spring.  I take a moment of sunshine and hold onto it tight savouring the feeling that at some point, it will be light in the mornings and the air won’t bite and I can finally start my spring clean!!  There aren’t alot of these moments, but I have taken each one and ran with it even though we are still in the vice like grip of winter. 

YES folks, I have started my spring clean! A little decluttering here, a little organising there, things are starting to take shape and the house is shrugging off the cobwebs of winter and by March, I will have it all done and can sit back with the satisfaction that I haven’t run ragged trying to do it all in one week. Do I sound smug? You bet, because if I actually pull it off, it will be the FIRST time ever that I have actually done what I have said I will do!

Of course if you were to come to my house at this present moment, you would think I was clearly off my rocker because you can absolutely not tell that I have been doing anything at all.  Except three bin bags of old but still useful toys have been given to charity and the spice and cutlery draws are absolutely pristine! (I draw the line at putting my spices in alphabetical order…)

As we have 7 weeks left until Spring is officially here, here are some of my tips for a slow and relaxed spring clean that won’t get in the way of your regular clean!

  • Make a list of what you need to do in the house.
  • Declutter first so that you are not cleaning around stuff that you don’t want. Take individual rooms and make two piles of whatever you are decluttering (clothes, toys, etc).  One for the bin and one for charity and actually take it!  This should take the first two weeks around your own normal commitments.
  • Set yourself three 20 minute tasks per week and tick off the list once completed. 

This can include: 

  • Clearing out the food/kitchen cupboards or a couple of draws in the sideboard.
  • Cleaning out the crumb tray in the toaster, wiping the kettle and cleaning the microwave.
  • Clearing out the medicine cupboard and the upstairs hallway landing cupboard! 
  • Cleaning the porch or cupboard under the stairs.

Remember to dispose of old medicines safely and recycle bottles/plastics etc. where you can.

  • Take an hour out to sort out any paperwork. Put your important documents into one pile to file away and anything else (junk mail, old magazines, newspapers, the usual glut of paper that presents itself with children in the house) into another for recycling. REMEMBER to file the important documents away!
  • Leave the *gets dirty quickly* things until the last two weeks, such as vacuuming the skirting boards and ceiling corners, vacuuming under the sofas and inbetween the cushion-y things, washing the bedding and towels and cleaning the windows (on the inside).  I do the bedding and towels regularly but always time it so that I need to do it around the middle of March.

All of the above will hopefully allow me to have everything done by the time the blossoms are here so that I can sit back and enjoy the changing of the seasons with a glass of something fruity and a good book!  For now…I’m cold and I’m off to get a coffee to warm up!

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