Preserved lemons and wandering off at tangents

I know this blog is predominantly about me and fashion but I love to cook so sometimes I’m going to through in a recipe just to keep things fresh. ūüôā

Today for dinner we had this recipe for Moroccan chicken I found on Christies Corner which just happens to be one of my fav sites for recipes and cooking.

If you don’t know me in real life you need to know I never really follow recipes unless it’s a baking recipe and then, only for the first time. So I’ve altered it to suit our tastes, nobody in my family is in the least bit surprised.

To start with there are only 3 of us not 6 – The Cub does have the¬†appetite¬†of an adult right now as we are ‘enjoying’ another growth spurt, aren’t we lucky???? So I’ve used these amounts:

  • 6 skin on boned chicken thighs – it’s all I could get yesterday when faced with the horror that is Morrisons on a Saturday. I’m writing this bit now Sunday morning after starting everything off – ain’t I industrious today? ;~)
  • pepper
  • 1 tbsp olive oil for cooking, don’t use extra virgin as it’s awful for cooking with, keep that for salad dressings – even for 5/6 people in the original recipe I think a 1/4 cup is a LOT!
  • 1 medium onions, thinly sliced – I got to use my¬†mandolin which is always fun
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp cumin – it didn’t say so I used whole because I had them
  • 1/2 tsp coriander – see cumin
  • a pinch dried chili flakes – we aren’t a family who can take a lot of chilli heat
  • 1 cinnamon sticks – I got a bag of these from Morrisons for 99 pence, I miss living near asian wholesale food stores for this kind of thing
  • 2 bay leaves – same amount because I love the taste
  • enough chicken stock to cover – home made no salt
  • 1 whole preserved lemon rinsed and chopped up roughly, make sure all pips are removed
  • 1 fresh lemon juiced retain the lemon after juicing remove any pips left.
  • 100g dried chickpeas soaked overnight because canned chickpeas are stupidly expensive
  • 6 apricots – no olives because there is already enough salt and nobody here likes them. I’ve popped in apricots (which nobody will eat as we only like the flavour not the fruit) to balance the heat, salt and sour tastes
  • 1tbsp dried mint because we don’t have any fresh in
  • 1 lemons, quartered

In a large frying pan brown the chicken (in the olive oil to stop it from catching) and some of the chicken fat has rendered out. I don’t season at this stage because I think it makes the pepper a bit acrid tasting. Remove the chicken to a large casserole dish. Takes about 4/5 minutes in my large Tefal pan.

Add onions and garlic and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add turmeric, cumin, coriander, chili flakes, cinnamon sticks and bay leaves and sauté, stirring constantly, until spices are fragrant , about 1 minute. Add some chicken stock, preserved lemon and juice with whats left of the juiced lemon, simmer over low heat for 20 minutes. I tasted it because I was worried about the salt content and added a potato to soak the salt up whilst it was simmering.

Add onions etc to the chicken, add the chickpeas and dried apricots. Stir to combine. Cooked in a fan oven at 160 degree’s until chicken and chickpeas are cooked, took about 1 and a half hours. I would have done this in the slow cooker but mine died earlier this year and I haven’t been able to find a good replacement, if you’d like to recommend one I’ll have a look!

Skim off any oil and stir in the mint and lemon quarters just before serving.

My family don’t like couscous – it reminds us too much of tapioca – so I served it with some rice, carrots and herb bread (from my bread maker) and it was lush. It was still a bit salty even with the potato, so I might soak the preserved lemon for an hour next time to help reduce that. Also, I’d use a green veg to give a bit of colour to the plate.

I forgot to take a picture of it so you’ll just have to take my word, it was good!

I promise the next blog will be about something fashion related!

Mwah! Mwah!

dxx

Kids clothes

As you may know, (or not, I know I’m fabulous but you may not know me very well!) I started doing my Foundation Degree course because I couldn’t find clothes for The Cub W.L.F.* that I actually liked or wanted him to wear. It was the usual thing, 25 racks of clothes for girls – so long as you want it in pink – and 2, if you’re lucky for boys, so long as you want it in blue or beige! There are hundreds of sites all churning out mini Boden type clothing which IMNSHO is the John Major of children’s wear – a bit beige, not very exciting and liable to bore you to death if you let it. Whilst looking into putting together a range of clothing that suits my aesthetic and works with what I have in mind for my own son I’ve come across some wonderful sites, I thought I’d share them with you – aint you all lucky and stuff?

In no particular order:

  • Les Cullotes Courtes¬†written in english you’ll be gratful to know but with a view point which is distinctively French – you might have guessed that from the name of the blog. This blog brings you fab children’s fashions, it also includes links to sales and other child related stuff such as nursery equipment but mostly concentrates on garments. I like it as it has a definite point of view and features some really lovely styles for children.
  • Kids Fashion Review¬†a review of kids fashions in the Australasia region. Gives a nice change to see what’s going on with kids fashions on the other side of the world and likes to include some quirky styles – which suits me down to the ground!
  • Stroller in the City¬†¬†Brianne Tursi Manz shares what she finds in NYC for mums from fashion to great places to take the kids. I like to imagine I live a fabulous life in NYC ala Bethenney Frankel and it’s me really ūüėČ
  • Boys Be Cool¬†does what it says in the title really, this blog helps to point you towards sites that have ace boys clothes that won’t break the bank. Of course it helps if you live in the USA, but it’s a great place to go for inspiration.
  • Cool Kids Clothes¬†cool vintage, new and fab clothing. I like it because I always see something that inspires my own design.
  • Smockaholics Anonymous is really about smocked clothing – could you guess from the title? But, as I like that kind of thing for babies I like the blog!
  • The Brothers Trimm¬†a general blog for boys which also features fashion. Gotta love other parents who find out great things for their kids and shares the knowledge.
  • Pirouette this blog based in the USA aims to bridge the gap between the industry which has great kids products and people looking to buy great products for their kids. It does it rather well.
  • Planet Awesome Kid shows street style wear for children and invites people to send pictures of their own children’s style. Great inspiration for combining clothes for your children.
  • Smudgetikka¬†written by the Fashion Director at Junior Magazine, good for trend predictions and letting you know what is fresh and new for children’s fashion.
  • Bloesem Kids great general blog and round up of what’s cool for children.
  • Child Mode based in the USA but with an eye towards Europe a great blog which also covers maternity wear.
  • Kenzie Poo get past the name as this is a blog about fresh and edgy kids stuff. The name is unfortunate!
  • 365 days of Children’s Clothes¬†one¬†woman’s¬†attempt to get her the cool clothes here kids wear online. I like it!
  • Bellissima Kids great site from travel with children to fashion.

I like to keep an eye on these blogs for inspiration for our line and for ways of putting outfits together. I hope you like them as much as I do.

Please leave a comment about which ones you like and why.

Mwah mwah!

dxx

* W.L.F. = Weird Little Fucker, cos he is and it’s one of the things I love about him most of all. I hope he never develops normal!

25 really awful presents for under ¬£10

Following on for presents for your geeky guy some friends of mine are meeting up in London just before Xmas and are planning on Secret Santa. However, they are aiming to outdo each other in the oh my word look at that tat stakes so I thought I’d see what I could find. Here it is for your reading pleasure:

  1. The Queen in a head scarf mask Рnever again will you need to queue, simply take out your mask and start waving! £3.50
  2. Index fingers – I promise I’m not making this up, post-it notes in the shape of index fingers ¬£2.95
  3. A shower cap bobble hat Рlook like Super Gran in the shower £4.50
  4. Borat mankini – seriously who is buying these things?
  5. An iPad writing pad – trust me it’s not what you think it is ¬£9.99
  6. Microphone tongs – because that’s what you want to do with things designed for contact with food ¬£8.99
  7. Benedictaphone Рgive the pope your confession so you can send a memo later!
  8. Fetus cookie cutter – I know this is the USA but it was just too awful not to include $11.99
  9. Inflatable fruit cake – again from the USA but once you look you’ll KNOW why $8.50
  10. Screaming flying monkey Рdoes what it says on the tin really £4.49
  11. I heart the hoff mug Рwhy? for the love of god why? £7.00
  12. Cliff Richard autobiography – please don’t buy this for anyone under the age of 80 New and used from ¬£0.01
  13. Dog mustache – it’s not even slightly funny. ¬£9.99
  14. Michael Quackson Рwords fail me £7.99
  15. Belly button brush Рwhy? Just why? £4.60
  16. Plop trumps Рfor people who find whoopee cushions the height of humour £4.99
  17. Pick your nose cups Рfor people who find the thought of not having a nose on display just too much £7.00
  18. Indicatears Рso you can avoid those annoying collisions with people and they know which way you are turning £4.44
  19. Retro weather magnets Рso you can patronise people and tell them there will be no hurricane £5.99
  20. Potty fisher Рhilaaaaaaaarious #not £9.99
  21. Willy wear Рhow to break up with the man in your life in one easy step £8.99
  22. A Touch of Morris Рerm, ok if you want to listen to bells £4.30
  23. Bacon wallet РI know that us geeks love bacon but really? £8.99
  24. Slipper Genie Рnow you no longer need a brush up your bottom. £9.99
  25. Santa toilet seat cover Рlast but by no means least £4.75

Disclaimer, all prices are correct at time of posting, we make no claim that these are the cheapest available.

We also make no claim that any taste was used in picking these items unless it was bad.

Neither have we used some of these companies and can’t vouch for their service.

I’m sorry I put you through this – have fun.

Mwah mwah

dxx