It was a little crazy to try and get back into blogging at 40 weeks pregnant but saying that I need some distraction from this slow waiting game of wondering when she will come. Between an anxious toddler who doesn’t understand why her sister isn’t here now, a sick hubby and my own body struggling with the issues of the uncomfortableness of being 40 weeks pregnant I am starting to unravel a bit at the seams. So blogging is actually something I am trying to use to keep me slightly sane.
In continuation with my 30 minute challenge this month I decided to attempt some homemade paella. Until I moved to the UK I had never tried paella, although it is similar to Jambalaya. Paella is more commonly eaten with mixed seafood but since working in the food market world for the past 2 years I have been introduced to chicken and chorizo paella which I have fallen in love with. Traditionally this would be cooked in a wide, shallow, flat-bottomed paella pan but I found it worked out well in a deep, frying pan. The flavour in this dish is fantastic and while the toddler found it too spicy hubby and I were in love.
Chicken and Chorizo Paella
2 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts, diced in 1/2-inch pieces
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp dried parsley
113g (4 oz) chorizo, cut into 1/4-inch slices
1 onion, chopped
1 red sweet pepper, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
300g (1-1/2 c.) Paella Rice*
750mL (3 c.) chicken stock
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp salt
1 generous pinch saffron threads *optional
150g (1 c.) frozen peas, defrosted
1 lemon, juiced
*I used Arborio rice this time and it worked out well
Adapted from Healthy Delicious
Today Sunday Supper is celebrating 4th of July with some fantastic picnic ideas. I hope everyone will forgive me for bringing a very traditional British picnic dish to a American 4th of July party but it is one of our favourite picnic foods and one I have been wanting to make at home forever.
These are so filling and tasty, they make a perfect picnic food item as they are good warm or cold. Traditionally these are fried but I wanted to lighten things up and bake them. Sadly this seems to have caused it to split it in the oven. I didn’t have time to make them again before this event but twist my arm it just means I have to make them again soon. But that is what happens sometimes when you try new dishes so I wanted to still share it with you. Hopefully I will be able to update this posting with a reason why it didn’t work out well for me.
What is your favourite picnic dish? Is it traditional or a little outside the box?
4 large eggs (as fresh as possible)
400g (14oz) sausage meat
1/4 tsp dried thyme leaves
1/4 tsp dried parsley
salt and freshly ground black pepper
125g (1 c.) plain flour, seasoned with salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 egg, beaten
125g (1 c.) breadcrumbs
Spanish tapas was something I had heard of but never tried until I moved to the UK. I don’t know about you but I often go out to restaurants and wish that I could just have a small dish of several different things on the menu rather then a large plate of one thing. So I was delighted when I went out for Spanish Tapas and discovered that is what this style of eating is all about. Since several of my favourite tapas choices for going out were already chosen by some of the other contributors this week I decided to share this delicious smokey paprika peppers which would go perfectly with a tapas meal but also be versatile enough to go with other things. We have served this with fresh French loaf, over sandwiches and even over pasta for a simple pasta salad.
Annoyingly I got confused earlier in the week and thought I had saved all the photos onto my computer so I formatted my card and reshot a different meal on it. So sadly I don’t have step-by-step photos for this one. I wish I could say this is the first time I have done such a silly thing but sadly it isn’t. I really do need to get more organized. Anyone else do dumb things like this because they are disorganized?
Smokey Paprika Peppers
125ml (1/2 c.) mild olive oil
3/4 tsp sweet smoked paprika
1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
1 tsp fresh cracked black peppercorn
1 tsp fennel seed
2 red peppers
2 yellow peppers
75ml (1/3 c.) white wine vinegar
small bunch flat leaf parsley, chopped
I have been trying to get creative with new lunch ideas for my husband’s lunch box and I really hit the jackpot with this recipe. It was from one of my Woman & Home Magazines. This year I decided I would make myself actually go through all of my magazines and attempt the recipes in them. I don’t know about you but I often get a magazine and go through selecting recipes that I think sound nice but then the magazine gets put away and the recipe forgotten. So this year I am not allowed to buy another magazine until I go through all the ones I have. It is a big challenge but I feel an attainable one. So one recipe down and tons more to go.
Red Rice Salad with Hazelnuts and Pomegranates
200g (7oz) Red Rice
100g (4oz) hazelnuts, toasted and chopped
Zest from 1 lemon
Large handful of fresh parsley
3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
3 Tbsp olive oil
Today’s Sunday Supper is all about Reflections and Resolutions. For me 2013 is going down as a whirlwind of a year. I have learned so much along the way and hopefully it has made me stronger for an even better 2014. In May of this year I stared my business, California Taco. It was a small catering and events business and I started serving hot Mexican street food at events and in my local market. But business hasn’t been as good as we would like and right before Christmas I had to make the decision to pull out of our local market. It felt emotional about it as I saw it as my business failing. But not everything has been bad, when I do larger events like beer festivals my business is thriving, but I had wanted to build my business more locally in my adopted home town. But I have had to learn the hard way that business doesn’t always go the way you would want, but if you are willing to adapt your business doesn’t have to be a total failure when you hit hard times. Pulling out of a failing market was a good decision and I know that building more catering clients and finding big events will be a healthier thing for my business. I have also decided to build an online store so that I can sell my homemade salsas and other Mexican delights to customers who have been requesting online sales. So 2013 ended with my shutting down shop but I know 2014 will be a year of new investments and discoveries of where my business will take me. No matter what I will always be able to look back and see that I put aside my fears and stepped out to pursue my dreams. I can’t wait share more about where life takes me with it.
Here’s to a new year where we all put aside our fears and step out into the unknown, because taking chances is the only way we will ever knew if there is any substance to our dreams.