Recipe: Mexican red chicken


Pollo rojo (Mexican red chicken)*

Serves: 4
I’ve made this dish twice now. Once in the oven as per the original recipe; the second time, with my modifications and on the stove top. With the original recipe I found that the tomato paste retains its tomato-pastiness and doesn’t taste quite ‘cooked’.  Perhaps it’s because I’ve grown up eating curries… When making an Indian curry, the tomato/paste – the base of the curry/gravy – is always ‘prepared’ first and doesn’t taste uncooked and like the cook was in a hurry! Tomatoes aside, the chargrilled capsicum adds a very nice flavour to the chicken and overall the dish is quite different from anything I've had in a while. It’s definitely going to become one of my go-to recipes in a busy week.


4 red capsicums
Cooking oil spray/ 2 TSP vegetable oil
500 gm chicken thigh fillets, cut into bite size pieces
2 TBS plain flour
Salt and pepper, to season
1 TSP chilli flakes/ crushed red chillies
1 TSP ground cumin
2 TSP hot paprika
2 TSP dried oregano
1 TBS tomato ketchup
1-2 TSP hot chilli sauce
400g can diced tomatoes (I use Ardmona, I find other brands, particularly Italian ones are too acidic and add quite a sour taste)
2 cups chicken stock
Parsley leaves, to garnish
Steamed rice to serve


Understanding marriage

Compromise: the negotiation involved in buying a new casserole dish ONLY if you throw out three other dishes.

Going today, ice tray, jelly moulds and one plastic storage box. Cheating, but the size of items to be thrown were not specified.


Recipe: Fried, mixed vegetables

Serves 6-8

Flavourful, colourful, lightly spiced and very healthy, this recipe can be eaten as an accompaniment to mains or as a ‘salad’!

2-4 carrots, cut into matchsticks
300g beans, stringed and cut diagonally
½ cauliflowers, cut into slices, leave some stems
2 TBS olive oil
1 tsp black/brown mustard seeds
1 dry, red chilli
3 garlic cloves, crushed
3 tsp finely grated ginger
1 ½ TSP turmeric powder
½ tsp chilli powder (optional)
Salt to taste

Recipe: Matar paneer

MATAR PANEER (Cottage cheese in tomato gravy)

300g paneer, cut into cubes
500g frozen peas, thawed
½ cup vegetable oil for frying (olive oil can be used but isn’t the greatest for frying)
2 medium onions, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tsp finely grated ginger
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground turmeric
½ tsp chilli powder, optional
1 cup tomato paste
Salt to taste
1 tsp garam masala
2 tbs finely chopped coriander leaves

Recipe: JB's chana masala

Serves 8 (recipe can be halved to serve 4)
4 cups chickpeas/ garbanzo beans (if using canned chickpeas, drain and wash)
4 tomatoes, finely chopped
2 cups tomato paste/puree
6 medium onions, finely chopped
4 cloves minced garlic (optional as per taste)
2 tbsp ginger paste
Salt to taste
½ tsp. cumin seeds
1 tsp. turmeric powder
3 tsp. red chili powder (adjust according to taste/tolerance)
2 tsp. coriander powder
2 TBS vegetable/ olive oil
½ tsp. garam masala powder

Coriander leaves
1 tomato, sliced into rings

Gates of Mordor


11am: the art of mess
It's 5.30 am and given my "regular" routine for the last three weeks, that's sleeping in.

I went to bed at 11 pm last night, woke up at one am to feed Livvy and have slept a total of five hours. Wow. For the last month that I've been on steroids (Prednisolone), I've been on a crazy energy drive, which includes me waking up at three am. I cannot sleep unless I'm literally asleep on my feet and once awake, I can't go back to sleep. Apparently insomnia and mania (I am a maniac?!) are both side effects of using the steroids. I've also developed something called 'mooning' of the face; a rather cute, non-Harry Potter term that means I have a huge, bloaty face. Not cute. In another couple of weeks the steroids stop and after that... I am absolutely terrified. Apparently there are side effects to stopping them as well, including fatigue, aches, depression... I have two little children to look after, I can't afford depression.
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