Monday, February 22, 2016

Cinnamon Scrolls - TaDa!

IMAGE : THE MOTHER LOAD | Cinnamon Scrolls - TaDa!

I've been doing a lot of cooking lately and I can't NOT share some of the gems here. No kidding, these cinnamon scrolls with a cup of tea will deadset solve world peace I reckon. I think the UN could seriously do with a batch.

When it comes to baking, there's nothing better than making your own dough  - nothing tastes better and if you've never done it before rest assured it's really nothing to be scared about. I found this recipe on Best Recipes a few years ago and although I've only made them a couple of times, I can guarantee these cinnamon scrolls are to die for. And while they're super easy (that can be our little secret) you will seriously impress even the toughest audience with your superior culinary skills. Have a go!

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Pet Fret! It's A Thing!

IMAGE : THE MOTHER LOAD | Pet Fret! It's A Thing!
Confession time. I have a serious case of 'pet fret' currently.

Is there perhaps a support group for those who long to have a furry companion but just can't? Surely there are others out there who also suffer from pet fret? There should be a support group. We need to come together and work through this unfortunate vacancy in our lives!

I'm all over dogs like a flea-bite rash at the moment. I think I may have a set of doggy ovaries in me somewhere as every time I see a dog something aches inside me and I make a desperate bee-line for the poor unsuspecting animal showering them in over-zealous pats and gushy doggy dialogue.  What have I become now that I'm no longer a pet owner? A crazy pet stalker lady - that's what! 

In my lifetime, I've never been without a furry companion and boy, have I had some great ones. Cats, dogs, horses, sheep - I've had them all and they were all significant members of my family (even Betty Bantam did alright at holding her position in our brood). And now, I find myself pet free for the past six months after we said goodbye to our beloved Honey (read my tale of unfortunate farewells here) and although my hallway is free from the hairy tumbleweeds that used to frequent our entrance and my grocery bill is a little cheaper, my heart is emptier without a quiet wet-nosed companion tangling around my feet as I attempt to move from room to room. I miss the quiet tap tapping of nails padding up and down the hallway checking the status of various family members. I miss the slow, rhythmic sound of dog snores at my feet as I type away at my computer. I even miss flipping over the damn water bowl for the umpteenth time, then slipping in the spillage in clean socks. (Actually I only miss that a little bit but you get my point).

And while I would like to adopt one (or many) of the dogs I obsessively pore over on Pet Rescue each day, sadly for me and my doggy ovaries there are several reasons why we can't just go out a satisfy my longing for another K9 companion right now. So in the meantime, I will continue my crazy dog lady behaviour and if I happen to run into you and your beloved pet in the street, please forgive the inordinate amount of time I may spend stroking your dog and looking lovingly into its black beady eyes. I'm just soaking up some of it's unconditional love. OK?

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Julie Goodwin's Chicken And Lemon Tagine

How good is pearl couscous?! It's awesome, right?! Sorry what? You've NEVER had it? Good Lord - it's time you did! Why not start with the lovely Julie Goodwin's Chicken and Lemon Tagine? It's super easy and outrageously yum.

Here's the lowdown:

Julie Goodwin's Chicken and Lemon Tagine

1/3 cup olive oil
800g skinless chicken thigh fillets
4 garlic cloves
1 large onion
2 TBS sea salt
1 TBS ground turmeric
1 TBS ground cumin
1 lemon
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup water
1 cup pearl couscous (this is the kicker!)
12 large green olives (although I leave these out as it's more than my youngest child can bear)
1/4 bunch flat-leaf parsley

Cut the onion into quarters, and place the pieces into a food processor (or Thermie) along with garlic, salt, turmeric, cumin and 3 TBS of oil. Zest and juice the lemon into the processor and whizz it all up until if forms a smooth paste. (Have a sneaky sniff! How good does it smell?)

Cut chicken thighs into thirds, pop into a large bowl and coat with the yummy paste. (Doesn't need to be marinated for any length of time - just well coated). Add oil to a chef pan with a lid, wait until oil is hot then add the coated chicken pieces. Fry without turning for about three minutes or until golden brown on one side. Turn chicken pieces over and slowly add chicken stock and water. Bring to the boil then reduce heat to low. Using a spoon, sprinkle in the pearl couscous spreading throughout the pan evenly, ensuring its submerged in the liquid. Pop on the lid and allow it to simmer away for about 15 minutes (without stirring) until the couscous is cooked and liquid is almost all absorbed. Sprinkle the parsley over the top, gently stir it through and voila! Serve it up. Yes - it's that easy! (And no, I haven't left any steps out as is my usual form in the kitchen).

* Can be served with your choice of green vegies too, if you want to boost the kids' intake.

If you want more excellent yumminess like this, you should check out Julie Goodwin's 20/20 Meals Book - it's a total winner for weeknight dinners for under $20.00 and it's completely devoid of any eyeroll-inducing recipes. I didn't even get a fake gag when I cooked this one. Winner.

Enjoy! (Not a sponsored post, just sharing some Julie Goodwin love).