Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Chicken Normandy

Chicken Normandy, recipe from Luscious Affair Cooking School.

Free range chicken divided into 12 pieces or
as many pieces as you like.

2 finely chopped onions

100g butter

30ml olive oil

250g mushrooms

five sprigs of thyme

100ml of calvados (apple brandy)

5 granny smith apples, cored, peeled and cut into bit size pieces

300 mls cream

Pre heat oven to 180 C

Cut chicken or have pieces pre cut and ready

Place in a large fying pan - on a medium heat - add butter, oil. When it begins to foam, add chicken but do not crowd the pan - you may have to do two lots. Sear chicken pieces on both sides (skin down first) until golden brown.

Place apple on the bottom of a large oven proof dish (like a glass lasagna dish - with quite high sides).

Once chicken is sealed well, remove and places pieces on top of the apple in the baking dish. Put in oven.

Return to you pan - keep on a low heat and add onion, mushrooms - cook gently, stir and add thyme and *calvados and reduce by half. Add cream and allow to come to the boil.

Then pour contents of pan all over chicken and put back into the oven for another 15 to 20 minutes.

Smell that thyme! Brilliant.

Serve with crusty bread (a piece on each plate to soak up the sauce) and crispy green beans and a we had a bottle of dry white, too!

* I didn't have calvados - so just skipped that bit. One day I'll make this recipe with the calvados because it really does add extra flavour to the dish.


Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Super Craft

I think I might be a super-craft hero and not know it. I think maybe some evil, craft oriented mastermind has hidden the crafty equivalent of kryptonite somewhere in my craft-room and that's why, not matter how many times I march in there and decide to make something, I end up backing out because it's too cold, too messy, the planets are'nt aligned - I don't know. I see sparks of inspiration fly around the room...then fizzle softly on the floor and suddenly my great idea feels limp.

I think I need to start with something small. I've dragged out my sewing machine, I even bought a lamp so I could sew at night - but what to do? I saw some lovely pear-pincushions on craftster - they look like fun. I'm loving Theresa's new bears - just so sweet. Makes me want to get some mohair and have a go at making a tiny, scruffy bear. I'm often inspired by what I see over at Sweet Nellie - her little creations have such dignity - they all look so well read!

Tonight I (might) go to the first of four classes to learn how to crochet - so maybe that will help my malaise? Something small, warm and fuzzy to begin with. I like the look of this daffodil.

Chicken Normandy coming tomorrow.

Monday, July 23, 2007

I really enjoy cooking on the weekend - not as hectic as week day meals. Saturday I made Chicken Normandy for Em's folks, Uncle and Aunty - perfect for a wintry lunch - especially with a good drop. I was lucky enough to do a one night French Cookery class a few weeks ago and I really loved it. The chef made it, so this was my chance to replicate it. I didn't add the calvados (apple brandy) only because I knew I'd buy a bottle, use it twice a year and chuck it out. As the chicken cooked, the kitchen smelt devine. If anyone wants the recipe... just let me know. It tasted great and I was so pleased. Made me feel terribly sophisticated, cooking French cuisine and all!

These little birds? They sit in the spout of our pink tea-pot.

Friday, July 20, 2007

It was a rainy day but this tiny Geisha looked like apple tea and fans. Only problem is...she is one of 20 little dolls for sale! I think one will do but I spotted a sister over at Craftapalooz's flickr site. Have a lovely weeked.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Doing My Block

I've been collecting tatty, torn, scribbled on vintage kid's books for awhile now and then I came across some old wooden building blocks and DING! I've started recovering blocks with images that take my fancy. These are from the first batch...the second lot sort of tell a story about all sorts of things: Polar exploration, grand houses, maps, bodies of water, the Brontes, botanicals, fairytales, birds, clouds are coming soon. Thanks for looking.

Some Books I've Really Enjoyed

  • Apples For Jam by Tessa Kiros
  • Saturday by Ian McEwan
  • Philip Larkin: A Writer's Life by Andrew Motion
  • The Bell Jar by Syliva Plath
  • Ex Libris by Anne Fadiman
  • Stasiland by Anna Funder

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Living, reading, crafting, taking photos, writing.