Tag Archives: chicken

Its February .. the month of love and no sugar!

8 Feb


Dry January got off to a spectacular start and continued as such for exactly 14 days and 16 hours … then a rat strolled across our yard as nonchalant as you like, I could be mistaken but I think he was smoking a cigarette – YES he  was THAT CALM!

What followed was the freak out of all freak outs on my part and after a brief draining of blood from his face a very calm taking control of the situation by Dave! Rats are one of my biggest fears in life, second only to death and in joint place with falling and breaking all my teeth, so as you can imagine I wasn’t too happy seeing one in the middle of what had been a lovely afternoon. Mr Rat, as the neighbours have taken to calling it (they had been watching him for a while it seems .. no, I don’t understand this either) had eaten all our chillies and was probably heading for the capsicums which were starting to rot in the sun. Dave disposed of all our veggie plants in one swift movement, laid poison, set traps and poured me a glass of wine. There really was nothing else for it, the only way to stop me crying was to have me drinking!

The rest of January although not strictly dry was very restrained until Australia Day which became a 4 day weekend of immeasurable fun lubricated with various alcoholic beverages … Oh the fireworks! The laughing! The fun!


And shur then it was February ….

I started reading about going sugar free in earnest after Christmas, my main source was Sarah Wilson’s blog and e-books. Any fans of Masterchef Australia may remember Sarah presented the first series, she has an autoimmune disease as do I so this really interested me as she claims to have healed herself and lost weight by cutting fructose and wheat from her diet. It was something I had been thinking about for years so I decided it was finally time to give it a shot. So from Feb 1st I have not eaten any fructose including that in fruit and avoided wheat as much as possible, I am doing really well! My tastebuds have recovered to such an extent that a glass of full fat milk now tastes deliciously sweet!

This week I joined the local library, it was such a shock to see how high tech libraries have become its a long way from the stuffy little place we used frequent in Arklow in search of Roald Dahl & Enid Blyton books! For one thing the books check themselves out these days, you can keep them for 21 days, there’s dvds too and its not quiet AT ALL! My main reason for joining was that I wanted to read another book on giving up sugar called Sweet Poison by David Gillespie, Sarah Wilson refers to him as an inspiration. The book is incredible, I read it in 24 hours (it would have been less but I had to keep stopping to get into the pool and sleep) and would recommend it to anyone interested in health, the food industry, why we are getting fatter, heart disease, cancer, diabetes or just looking to expand their knowledge base (in other words info-hungry like myself!).

I’m not going to try and convert everyone but if you have ever wondered why humans are doing more exercise than ever but getting fatter, eating more low-fat/light products than ever but getting fatter and why this has all come about in our lifetimes this subject is worth looking into!  Oh and don’t worry I will be eating fruit again in a few weeks, I am detoxing totally first then I’ll start eating it again.

Are you wondering what I am eating? If so let me know and I’ll do a post on a few meals ….

Today I made these rice paper rolls, very simple and filled with all sorts from the fridge such as peanut butter, courgette/zucchini, cucumber, carrot, capsicum/pepper, fresh coriander, last night’s roast chicken, avocado (of course!) …I’ve munched on 3 as I’ve been writing this! Other filling ideas are cold rice, noodles, meats, prawns really anything works as long as its not liquidy.  Great with a simple little dipping sauce of lime juice, tamari (soya sauce) and chilli …


Of course February is the month of love with Valentine’s Day falling slap bang in the middle of month! I just love love and not just the romantic hallmark flowers and chocolates sort but the real life best friends, sisters, parents, family, being there for each other, knowing you are not alone in this big bad world sort of love! In the past few weeks I have come across some really beautiful stories that I want to share … if you’re a Hurley get the Kleenex out ..

Bill and Shelley: Their love story 

The Race Grows Sweeter Near its Final Lap 

Ada Bryant and Robert Haire 

And lest we forget those that were not so lucky to know love in life …. Margaret Magdelene No. 322 

And as for me well I am super lucky and know first hand all sorts of real love but none so greater than what I feel for my early Valentines gift …. isn’t she a beauty????

20130208-131155.jpgYip, I’m as shallow as they come ,

Be good,

SJ xx

Quinoa, Brining, Paprika Chicken, Pavlova and Chocolate Ice Cream …

7 Jul

I have been trying new things lately …

First off I made chocolate ice cream using this recipe from Murphy’s Ice Cream and my new ice cream maker .. it was so good I forgot to take any photos until it was nearly all eaten …

Last month I discovered www.foodgawker.com and have literally lost hours of my life scanning through amazing photos of food … its a great way of find new blogs and foodie websites too …..

Upon finding this recipe for Paprika Chicken  I knew exactly what to do with some chicken legs in my freezer .. however I have never been able to achieve that lovely “falling off the bone” texture with chicken legs .. then I heard about brining so I consulted the foodie twitterati and both LikeMamUsedToBake and 9BeanRow  are fans and gave me lots of tips. I covered the 4 chicken legs in water added in a handful of salt, a little sugar and some black peppercorns, covered with cling film and hoped for the best! This evening I took the chicken out, dried with paper towels before following the recipe as normal. The result was a delicous, simple dish and chicken that was really moist and actually falling off the bone .. RESULT!

I served the above with two other new foods to me .. quinoa and fennel! The fennel came in my wonderful bag from Home Organics this week and Sharon Dingle another great twitter foodie gave me a recipe… basically cut off the fennel stalks and chop, cut the bulb itself in 4 and boil for ten minutes. Then to the chopped stalks add chopped garlic, black olives, cherry tomatoes, a glug of olive oil and a glass of white wine.. add the bulb quarters and roast in the oven for 20 minutes!  I’ll admit I am not a massive fan of the liquorice type taste of fennel but this was a really nice way of cooking it and went down a treat.  Quinoa I have been hearing about since my student days working in an organic shop in London … and that’s not today nor yesterday.. but I had never bought and prepared it myself until last week. Its very simple and I just followed the instructions on the pack .. its a great alternative to rice or addition to salads.  I can see it becoming a firm favourite in my kitchen ..

I had 5 egg whites left over from the ice cream making so with the help of text from my Mam I whipped up my first pavlova …

Kenwood whisking up the egg whites!

In an attempt to be healthier and because I don’t really like cream I used greek yoghurt instead …mixed in a little of my Mam’s homemade raspberry jam …and added some lovely juicy Irish raspberries …

It wasn’t as good as my Mam’s … but it was still really nice! The greek yoghurt (Glenisk of course) is lusciously creamy and so a great substitiute for cream.

What will I try next ???