Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Pastel Summertime Lavender and Corals...........

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Hello, and Happy Tuesday - I'm having a bit of lazy day today; I'm really loving half term I must say, the long lay-ins, the early summer sunshine pouring in and creating a vivid light display upon the floor. There's so much to look forward to at this time of year.....and one thing I was especially looking forward to, was having my hair re-done again. I've not much enjoyed having to leave my hair to repair, or to tempt to hide my massive rootage over the past few months and I've not much enjoyed seeing the ever-increasing grey hairs that have been popping up either. So believe me: I am more than happy to be back to blonde (with a lavender rinse) - yay!

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Friday, 11 April 2014

Best Homemade Chicken Curry Recipe!

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I've always loved a yummy chicken curry that had a good, decent amount of burn to it. This recipe came about when I was doing Slimming World  a couple of years ago; I needed something that was completely free of syns on the plan, but tasty too. Since then I've adapted and changed it somewhat - but it can still remain relatively healthy with a couple of swapsy ingredients.
This is one dish I don't mind making for the family, because everyone loves it - I don't get any of the usual complaining when announcing 'We're having a curry for dinner kiddos'.

I make this at least once a week; it's one of our favourite dishes.

This is the recipe as I make it right now, however if you want a lighter calorie dish, you can substitute the cream and vanilla extract for a Mullerlight Yogurt (The Vanilla one with chocolate sprinkles) and the peanut butter can be swapped for Coconut Milk or you can add both, it's up to you.

This recipe is based on feeding 6 people.
What You'll Need:
2-3 tbsp Olive Oil
4 x Chicken Breasts
1-2 Red or Green chillies with the seeds left in
4 x Medium Red Onions 
1 x White Onion
500g Passata
3 tbsp Medium Curry Powder
2 x Chicken oxo cubes
4 x Cloves of Garlic
2 x tbsp Crunchy Peanut Butter
1 x tsp Mixed Herbs
1 x tsp Cinnamon Powder
1 x tsp Ginger (fresh or powdered)
1 x tbsp Coriander
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
3-4 Freshly Chopped Tomatoes 
200ml of Fresh Cream (near room temperature)
Salt and Pepper to Taste
OPTIONAL: 1/2 tsp Chilli Flakes 
Basmati Rice  

The Method:
1: Boil your water for the rice first - I never ever stir my rice, and I never rinse it either - I allow it to simmer until the water is almost gone, then cover with the saucepan lid and leave to steam off the heat for as long as possible. This allows the rice to be fluffy and perfect. 

 2: Whilst the rice is cooking: Take a large saucepan and add the olive oil. When the oil has heated, add the fresh chillies, red and white onions then cook until the onions have softened.

3: Dice the chicken and add to the chilli's and onions.

4: Whilst the chicken is cooking, add the curry powder and mix in. (you may want to add another tbsp of olive oil at this point, if the mix appears too dry.) Also add the coriander. 

5:Add the passata to the pan and mix in with the chicken, chillies and onions. At this point, add the garlic, chicken stock and mixed herbs. Leave to simmer for around 2-3 minutes. 

6: Add the Peanut Butter and/or Coconut Milk, Vanilla essence, Cinnamon and Ginger.

7: It's good to taste the curry at this point to decide whether you need to add chilli flakes or not. Remember, if you are adding yogurt or cream later, this will cool the curry down quite considerably. 

8: Add the freshly chopped tomatoes, and salt and pepper to taste.

9: Turn the heat off and allow the curry to cool slightly (around 3-4 minutes should be fine). Add either your cream or yogurt. To stop the cream curdling in the curry, make sure it has been out of the fridge for at least 30 minutes before using. Pour the Cream/Yogurt onto the top of the curry and without stirring, leave for 2-3 minutes (this allows the cream/yogurt to heat gradually) then gently stir through into the curry. 

10: Serve with flurry basmati rice and a sprinkle of fresh parsley on top - maybe a beer too!

Voila, curry nights will never be the same again :)

Hope you enjoy this, let me know if you try it and if you have success - I'd love to hear your feedback!


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Sunday, 6 April 2014

My Most Favourite - Little Black Vintage Dress!

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I think it's fair to say: I don't have many items in my wardrobe that are black. However, when I was in Brighton the year before last; I picked up this gorgeous little (and petite - yay!) vintage dress from Beyond Retro.
I was a bit slimmer back then, but not as much as I first thought, because I can still get in this dress - just about! So I honestly thought when I tried it on, It wouldn't fit at all, then I'd be confronted with the overwhelming urge to 'have a word', especially about my lack of self-control around food. Naughty cakes!!
I mean, I couldn't wear this dress out and about right now, I'd be scared of splitting the seams every time I sat down - but in a few more weeks, hopefully I'll be able to wear it properly :)

So, I just wanted to show you my most favourite little black dress, I don't have many LBD's so this one wins my heart everytime and I think this deserves a spot on the blog!

Besides, look at the beautiful detailing on the back - I just love it, even if it is a nightmare to get in, and out of ;)

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