Words Crush Wednesday – Julia Child Edition 2

I sometimes don’t feel like cooking a meal that will take four hours. Oh, the shame! I push myself and enjoy learning new recipes, coming up with new creations, and thus spending several long, hot hours in the kitchen. However, there are days when I don’t feel like missioning, when the schlep is unappealing. Am I right, fellow cooks? There is nothing wrong with salad and seared fish for dinner. (Unless the salad contains radishes, in which case there is a lot wrong with it. But you get my gist, yes?) I enjoy the simplicity of throwing together fresh veggies, crumbling feta and calling it a meal. What do you cook for dinner when you’re not in the mood, or when you’re pressed for time?

Julia Child 2

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Words Crush Wednesday – Xavier Marcel Boulestin Edition

Food is fun! Eating, for most, is the best part (obvs), but for people like me, the cooking aspect is as much fun (if not more). Play around with recipes, add your own twist, and remember, if you mess it up, your guests probably won’t notice! I’ve done that before. Uh… yeah… it’s totally meant to look like this, promise! But what I’m trying to say is that it should be fun, interesting, challenging and rewarding. It shouldn’t be a mission. Try a new recipe, make it your own, spice it up, and enjoy it!

Boulestin

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Words Crush Wednesday – Auguste Escoffier Edition

Oui, Monsieur Auguste! How right you are. This is my favourite part of Christmas, or any other get-together, whether it’s a relaxed meal with friends, birthday celebrations with family or annual special occasions like Christmas and Easter. Food is what brings us together in that moment. Gathering around the dining room table, chatting and laughing, is undoubtedly my happiest place… my own private Disneyland.

Auguste Escoffier 2

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Words Crush Wednesday – Helen Keller Edition

This means I can eat all of the cupcakes because I made them, right? No? Oh, I think I’m missing the message.

There are people in life, who, unfortunately, selfishly take everything they can, without giving back. They don’t contribute to one’s general happiness, rather the opposite. We all know at least one. There is so much power in spreading happiness, love and joy. It doesn’t have to be a grand gesture – a smile, a shoulder to lean on, someone to laugh with, anything that promotes a happy moment. My happy moment this December is going to be sitting around the dinner table, cooking for my loved ones, sharing their enjoyment and being grateful that I have them.

To the joy thieves of the world, you will only ever know loneliness and I definitely won’t share my cupcakes with you.

Helen Keller

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Monthly Mystery Munchies #8: Chicken Pilaf

Chicken pilaf 5This month’s Monthly Mystery Munchies theme was chosen by Ann – an interesting rice dish. What fun! My favourite kind of rice is savoury rice, but I wanted to do something a bit more interesting. I love saffron, but it’s ludicrously expensive. Sell a kidney, anyone? Okay, that’s a bit extreme! The reason saffron is so expensive is because it takes 225,000 stigmas (seriously?!) to make just one kilo, and it’s an intensive labour process. The cashews add a sweetness to the dish, and the coriander adds a fragrant freshness.

Ann has done an aromatic spiced saffron rice dish, using wonderful, fragrant ingredients and I wholly love her recipe, so please check it out! Speaking of recipes, here’s mine.

Chicken Pilaf

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 15 minutes
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Supplies:

Chicken pilaf 6500g chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
½ teaspoon saffron threads
1 onion, chopped
1 red pepper, sliced
1 green pepper, sliced
1 yellow pepper, sliced
2 teaspoons ground cumin
3 teaspoons ground coriander
1 litre chicken stock
1 cup basmati rice
2 tablespoons lemon juice
50g cashews, toasted
1 tablespoon olive oil + more if necessary
Fresh coriander to serve
Salt and freshly cracked black pepper

Making it happen:

Chicken pilaf 11. Soak the saffron in chicken stock for 20 minutes. In 2 tablespoons of oil, fry the onion and peppers on medium heat for 5 minutes.

 

 

 

Chicken pilaf 22. Add the chicken and fry until it starts changing colour, about 5 minutes, then add the ground cumin and coriander, and fry for another 30 seconds. Add the rice and saffron-infused chicken stock.

 

Chicken pilaf 33. Boil on medium heat 15-20 minutes until the basmati is cooked. Meanwhile, toast the cashews in a pan for 3 minutes until golden brown.

 

 

Chicken pilaf 44. Once the rice is cooked, season with salt and pepper. Squeeze lemon juice over, sprinkle the toasted cashews and garnish with coriander.

Words Crush Wednesday – Anna Quindlen Edition

With the year drawing to a close, I’ve been doing some introspection and taking stock, if you will. I know what I’ve learnt this year, what I want to carry with me in to 2016, and what I want to leave behind. A valuable lesson I’m carrying forward is that perfection is subjective, and an illusion. (Except when it comes to cupcakes. They are always perfection.) I’ve learnt to put to rest that which is out of my control. Buh bye. It’s okay to not be perfect, it’s okay to be yourself, because really, perfect is boring. Real people with jagged edges are far more realistic, more relatable and infinitely more interesting!

Credit: Google Images

Credit: Google Images

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