Cheat’s Cajun Chicken with Mushrooms

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We are not a very mushroom loving household, I have to admit. But when our weekly veggie box arrived with a big bag full of fresh, organic and locally grown mushrooms packed with vitamin D, we had to get creative.

And as much as I like to make my own spices combination from scratch, some days it is simply nice to not work so hard yet be able to put a decent plate of food in front of the family. So, in this recipe I have experimented with Asda’s Cajun mix. Worked really well!

This is nothing like a traditional Cajun stew that is simmered for hours with freshly ground spices but a quick and simple cheat’s recipe. Anyone with minimal cooking skills can put this one together quite impressively.

Ingredients:

2  Organic Chicken Breats (diced)

1 Onion

2-3 Garlic Cloves (grated or chopped)

200 gms of Mushrooms

1tsp Flour

3 – 4 tbsp of Cajun Mix (or to taste)

Salt to taste

1tsp Sugar

3 tsp Vegetable Oil

Method:

In a pan, heat the oil. Add onions and mushrooms. Sweat everything together for 5 minutes and then add the garlic and chicken. Once the chicken goes white from the outside, add flour and cajun spice mix, salt and sugar. Add lots of water, and once everything comes to a boil, lower the heat and simmer until nice and creamy.

Serve hot with white rice and some greens (I used fresh seasonal purple sprouts from our veggie box).

P.S: If you don’t eat meat, swap it for any vegetable(s) of your choice or some fish. Enjoy ūüôā

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Why I don’t drink alcohol anymore?

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I have completely given up alcohol.

Am I pregnant? Am I religious? Am I doing it for a charity? Or am I plain boring? NO.

Then Why Quit Alcohol?

I don’t really like the taste or smell of alcohol anymore (except maybe mojitos).

I don’t like hangovers.

Social evenings have become much cheaper and I can have an entire evening of fun with just a tenner or sometimes less. Even dinner dates are cheaper with my hubby now. Now the cost of a bottle covers the fee for a babysitter, easily!!

4 months as a teetotaller and going strong….

Giving up alcohol has been the best decision I have made this year! I have a sense of confidence in me that I don’t need the social lubrication that alcohol provides to enjoy the evening and dance the night away! I also have the confidence to say, “No thanks, I don’t drink.”

With alcohol, I have experienced a lot of unwelcomed drama rather than adventures РI have lost my uncle to it, I have put my 2 weeks old marriage at stake and ended up in therapy (briefly) !

Sounds like I had a problem with alcohol and the word ‘teetotal’ often conjures up images of addiction and fear of going back to it. But no! I didn’t have a drinking problem. I was a social drinker and drank much less than many others that I know do.

But as we all know, under the influence of cultural phenomenon we live in, drinking was becoming more frequent than ever before. I suppose alcohol has, hence lost its charm partly. Also, unlike many others, I was becoming less and less fun in inebriation.¬†And I have noticed people often aren’t. There is a certain amount of animated spirit in people! All inhibitions cut loose and unlike the popular belief of how alcohol reveals the real person in you, I’d turn into a fake one that doesn’t exist nowhere in my subconscious! I fear that!

Having said that I have had my share of fun with¬†alcohol too but nothing that couldn’t be achieved without drinking! But I can’t say the same about the bad experiences.¬†They were solely caused by the influence of alcohol on my sound consciousness.

Now, I have two beautiful children, and the worst part is that they have seen me the morning after a night out being sick and derelious and I am ashamed of that!

I don’t want to have a great saturday night out drinking, dancing and flirting at the cost of my children’s sunday which ends up being at home making dens with duvets because mother is too sick to go out or be left alone at home!

I have never grown up watching my parents have a drink with every meal (alcohol was a very occasional, celebratory compliment), so my brain can easily adapt to the lifestyle of enjoying a glass of nothing or occasionally a fizzy drink!

I’d like to set an example for my children. Drinking isn’t a lifestyle!

Besides, I do want to live a healthier life. I have been forcing broccoli down my children’s throat and abstaining them from drinking squashes all the time. We drink in front of them and we sometimes drink after they are in bed. I am aware that they watch those empty bottles of wine piling up on the window sill. After all that¬†I tell¬†them how alcohol is actually bad for health.¬†It is slightly hypocritical.

I am not against drinking and I am aware that my children might take up drinking as an occasional or social phenomenon. And that is fine! Who knows, perhaps by then I would have taken up drinking as a very very ocassional token splash.  But the aim is to be the one who shows them that it is possible and absolutely harmlessly normal not to, if they ever decided to quit.

Having said all of that, I will have a glass of whatever (more likely to be rum) only if I feel like. At the moment, I don’t and the more I abstain, the more I appreciate the¬†change.

Why blog about it?

Well, I think it is quite a big deal. Every time you walk in through someone’s door in the evening, they offer you a drink that I won’t be able to accept, I can’t be invited out for a ‘pint’ but a coke, people may find me boring, I won’t be going for dinner parties at a friends with the statutory bottle of wine but I will bring a bottle of something gentler, I will remember everything everybody else does on a night out (that is if I am still invited?).

Believe it or not, and no matter how much I love discussing the likes and dislikes of people in terms of alcohol, it is still one of the hardest questions to answer, “Why did you stop drinking?” I suppose it requires at least a 1000 words worth of explanation. Perhaps I should start carrying a copy of this.

People who make lifestyle changes have their own reasons and must not be judged or praised even. It is just a choice, it is NORMAL!!

Did you make any lifestyle changes recently? What challenges and apprehensions did you have to face?

 

Homemade Strawberry Jam

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Without it our breakfast crumpets are a bland affair, without it cream teas are colourless and no victoria sponge is ever extra-ordinary without a big dollop of strawberry jam sandwiched between the sponges.

Summers are gone but one can always pack the sickly sweetness of strawberry nostalgia in a jar, spreading sweet dollops of happiness on your crumpets during cold winter mornings.

If you follow this recipe, I bet you will end up with strawberry jam that tastes simply mind-blowing!

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Ingredients:

1kg strawberries

500gm caster sugar

1 lemon juice

Method:

Clean and cut the strawberries into half. In a saucepan mix the strawberries with sugar and lemon juice. Squish the strawberries gently with a fork. Cook the mixture until the sugar melts and then simmer it for almost one and half hours or until it is thick enough. Have a taste and add sugar according to taste.

Prepare the jam jars before hand. There are different ways of sterilising them. You can either wash them and put them in the oven for 30 minutes on 130 degrees. I simply washed them thoroughly in hot water and soaked them in piping hot water for 15 minutes and let them dry.

Once the jam jars are ready, pour in the hot jam into the jars. If the jar is cold, make sure the jar is sitting in hot water because cold glass has a tendency to break when it comes in contact with hot jam. Leave half an inch space, do not over fill. Stir the jam gently with a knife to get rid of any air bubbles. Put the cap on gently and sterilise the jars with the lid in hot water for another 15 to 20 minutes. Then tighten the seal and leave it to set overnight.

Voila!! Your home-made jam is ready to squirl on top of your toast or crumpet!

Let me know if you like my recipe by leaving a comment below.

 

How to wear your husband’s knitwear?!

As the weather gets colder, it becomes more imminent to think about styling if you are into fashion. The boring blacks and grey’s in the form of jackets and coats tone down the stylist in you big time! Also, sometimes it is just so nice to not wear a jacket if you could layer yourself up warm enough for the weather.

Often, especially on a cold evening, I tend to snuggle up in my husband’s sweatshirt or jumper by the fireside with a book or a dvd. There is something so warm about men’s clothing. Also, they are strangely much cheaper yet cosy ¬†and genuinely warm – you just need to get the style right or style it right!

I love bohemian look a lot and I try to incorporate it in my dressing sense as and when I can. Here is what I did with my husband’s knitwear for that perfect slouchy bohemian look for a cold day out in London without compromising any comfort or colours, definitely not!

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If you are petite like me, remember that bold colours and horizontal patterns can swallow you whole. So keep the lower half quite dark and stick to shoes that do not go above your ankles to give the illusion of height. Adding a belt at the waist might not be a bad idea either. You can easily add another layer underneath without adding any bulk for extra warmth.

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I carried a big chunky bag, for convenience but I think it also takes away the bulk off your jumper. It carries the responsibility of looking bulky, thereby making you look petite.

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Another great thing about bold colours is that you stand out in a crowd, of course in a nice way.

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Lastly, wear your smile which is your best accessory – cliche as it may sound! ūüôā

Jumper: Matalan

Bag: Next

Shoes: Primark

I hope you liked my post. Please don’t forget to like or leave a comment.¬†