A throwback is coming your way. I have some photos and recipes to edit in the coming weeks but things have been hectic during the past month and couldn’t find the time to focus and publish anything on this blog. However today I managed to arrive home during the early hours of the afternoon. It took me quite a bit of time to settle in to be honest, but thankfully a few easy house chores didn’t stop my writing rhythm. To a certain degree.
You know me by now, or so I hope! I always say that the best recipes are the ones that take a few minutes to prepare. Here’s the perfect example. I didn’t know if I wanted to call it a pizza because this isn’t the real deal. For that you might want to take a look at my recipe for that in a previous post, where I practically profess my love for the stuff! However adding another word with a ‘p’ was too tempting to let go. I could have added ‘pie’ instead, I know, but ‘pizza’ sounds better. That is how my mind works, people. Please be kind.
One of the easiest things for me to cook when I feel as if I’m racing against time is chicken. I know I’m not alone on this; when people ask me for recipes, 99 percent of the time it’s all about cakes or chicken. My favourite chocolate cake recipe? Done. An easy chicken recipe? You’re sorted. And here’s another one.
I don’t normally go for chicken breasts, because I feel edgy cooking them. I prefer something on the bone, like chicken legs. The meat nearest the bones is always more tender and juicier, and almost never goes dry, no matter how long you cook it for. It also reminds me of my mum’s Sunday lunches, and my obsession with drumsticks. They would fall off the bone, and at the end of the meal I would declare that they were the best thing I’ve ever had. (Excluding chocolate and marshmallows, of course.)
This post is supposed to go up tomorrow but I have some totally unplanned time today to write. Tomorrow will be a busy day and anyhow something happened this afternoon which I feel deserves a mention. So if you don’t mind sticking around just for a little while, I would like to share something with you. Some will not like me after this but in this space I’m allowed to speak my mind and get to the personal stuff once in a while. Don’t worry, you will find a recipe at the end of his post, but you will have noticed that by now in the title. Here we go.
If you know me personally, or even if you come by my blog or Facebook wall once in a while, you will notice that I take many matters to heart. C&T is mostly about food and I understand that’s why many people come here. Hopefully you stop by because you like the recipes and photos, and my occasional rants about food, and I’m always glad when you pop in and say hello, both on this blog and also anywhere else you can find me on social media. Reading comments is something I hold dear and I don’t take these for granted. No blog comes to life without readers, both the regular ones and those who visit sporadically. I have been criticised many times, and that’s OK. Really. I do get upset sometimes but I am learning to let some things go.
I’m sure that summer’s officially here, one, because it’s almost unbearably hot, and two, because I buy chicken by the bucket, or whatever expression you might choose to put instead. There are tonnes of reasons for which this happens. The first one that comes to mind is that it makes a perfect meal for when I have people over for supper. So I keep various chicken pieces in the freezer at once. This past week I went to the butcher twice; they were on my list for both trips, simply because I had guests last Saturday and I ran out of chicken breasts. As I must have mentioned somewhere before on C&T
but I must do so again I would rather have the dark meat bits. The meat next to the bones is generally more tender and juicy. However lately, since the turn in the weather, I much prefer grilling or pan-frying a marinated chicken breast. The marinade bit is most important. It’s amazing what some extra virgin olive oil together with freshly squeezed lemon juice, salt and pepper does to a piece of meat, and to vegetables! Place the meat in a dish, marinate, cover with cling film in the fridge for a couple of hours. Grill, serve with a simple salad and voila, you have a meal. Right there.
This recipe is a little different, in that you don’t even need a grill pan and there’s no marinade prep but it’s easy. I like it because it resembles a curry without the extra spice. It comes in handy when you know you will feed a group of people who undoubtedly have various likes and dislikes, or even allergies and/or intolerances. As months go by I am often finding myself in this predicament, which can be a headache on one hand, but a positive thing for me, meaning I’m reconnecting with people. It’s been almost a year now since I moved back from Surrey. Unbelievable.
I am a planner. Well, whenever I can that is. I look for interesting recipes, write grocery lists and plan weekly meals. Usually. Though there are times when I just can’t be bothered. Stuff just happens. It’s been almost a year since moving back to Malta and we haven’t stopped. Feeling overwhelmed and stressed out doesn’t even begin to describe. So for the past few months I have given up on planning meals all the time. Giving this up for the most part has not been as hard as I anticipated. I know – I’m surprised at that myself to be honest but I gradually learnt not to fuss over the little things. To an extent. Cooking and baking are meant to be stress-busters for me. Whereas lately they were completely stressing me out! And I was letting them do that. I almost made my kitchen my enemy. Say what?! The fact that I’ve been running this blog for four and a half years now has somewhat increased the pressure, even though it remains my beloved hobby and my rock. Phew.
So I decided that when it comes to buying fresh produce I was going to relax. My thought process for the past few weeks has been something like this: deep breathe, let the notepad go, let the pen go, make the journey to the veggie truck, pick the best fruit and veggies you can buy, think of some recipes while you linger, chat to the nicest people there, pay for the stuff and walk away slowly. And it’s working. It is. I feel freer and I cook whatever I want when I’m home. The kitchen is not my enemy anymore. At least for now!
Christmas is around the corner and the preparations have begun. I haven’t really been in the swing of things this week, although my trees are up and so are the rest of the decorations. My beautiful mum has been over to help me, although I suspect she came over to keep me company first, helping me out second – something which I always relish. To me, she is truly one of a kind. I love her to bits. I’m having people over this year for the day and although I still feel the pressure (even though I know I don’t need to) she somewhat managed to ease my nerves. I hope to offer a little bit of that by the some of the recipes here on C&T.