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Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Sunshine makes me spontaneous!

19th February 2013
Some people think it's holding on that makes one strong; sometimes it's letting go.Sylvia Robinson
I’m absolutely loving the sunshine regardless of the temperature, yesterday turned out to be a lovely day, after my meeting I had planned on a walk round chase water on my own but instead I drove home, picked mom and Alfie up and we went on a magical mystery tour (we’ve done them before) where mom says left or right when asked, or chooses 1, 2, or 3 (that’ll either be an upcoming roundabout or three place names I have in my head that I’ve read on signposts).  Its good fun, and we ended up in Ironbridge where she managed a walk along the river before having a sit down outside Eley’s (apparently famous) pork pie shop where we partook in a cup of tea and she tested their pies, I resisted but she assures me they are delicious.  I left her there whilst fetching the car, gave her a fiver to get an ice cream and when I got back she’d had the £4 on with three scoops, when the man said it’s a lot of ice and its £4, she replied, “It’s ok I can manage it and I’m not paying”, mmm I suppose I should be glad she gave me the change!
We really enjoyed our few hours out the house and I’ve said we’ll do it more often, so if you can recommend anywhere, email me or put a comment, bear in mind she can only walk about half mile before she’s had enough as it’s so painful.  Preferably dog friendly and picturesque places with good food and coffee ;-)
So by the time I got home, did my paperwork, walked Alfie again, then went to supermarket for the ingredients for my 40 cloves garlic chicken it was about 6.30 and I really didn’t feel like cooking then to be honest.  I’d succumbed to a bargain on the reduced shelf ;-/ but it was a bargain, a nice piece of lamb shoulder £4 so I cooked that and me and Alfie had some each, I had mine with a couple of Weight Watcher Petit Pains cooked and a bit of melted jersey cheese in-between them.  Bless Alfie he stood crying by the oven for the last 15 minutes, he obviously recognises the smell of lamb, what is it they say about dogs and their owners!
I was a bit scared to do my honest tracking this morning after my tea, but I’m happy with it, 55pp consumed yesterday, 8pp earned and I still have 10pp left of my weeklies and today is the last day of my first honest tracking week, so if I can get through today with no more than 36pp plus any I may earn, I will have finished not only on track but also within budget!  I’m impressed if I do say so myself.  Especially as I’ve had everything I’ve fancied, yep I’ve really found this week a breeze, why can’t every week be that easy!  If only!  Yesterday was also one of those days when food didn’t even enter my mind, it just wasn’t important enough.
So today I will make my chicken, I’m going to use breast instead of thighs to see if it keeps it’s flavour, because it will knock of quite a few ProPoints, if you want to try, this’ll save you searching for the recipe, as you can see 8 x chicken thighs would be 42pp, whereas if I replace that with 450g chicken breast it’s only 11pp, that saves 31pp on the recipe WOW, that’s 5pp instead of 13pp a portion!  You could maybe get away with less oil too although the oil does add the flavour so I wouldn’t cut that down.  I hope it tastes as good because this is one of my favourite recipes.
Chicken with 40 cloves of garlic Serves 4, 13pp each
(if you use 450g breast only 5pp per serving!)
2 tbsp regular olive oil (8pp)                                                               
8 chicken thighs (skin on, bone in) (42pp)
1 bunch (about 6) spring onions                                                       
small bunch fresh thyme
40 garlic cloves (approx 3-4 bulbs), unpeeled                             
2 tbsp dry white wine or Vermouth (1pp)
1½ tsp sea salt flakes or ¾ tsp pouring salt                                   
Ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.  Heat the oil on the hob over a high heat in a wide, shallow, ovenproof and flameproof casserole (that will ultimately fit all the chicken in one layer, and that has a lid). Sear the chicken, skin-side down. This may take two batches, so transfer the browned pieces to a bowl as you go. Once the chicken pieces are seared, transfer them all to the bowl.
Finely slice the spring onions, put them into the casserole and quickly stir-fry them with the leaves torn from a few sprigs of thyme.  Put 20 of the unpeeled cloves of garlic (papery excess removed) into the casserole, top with the chicken pieces, skin-side up, then cover with the remaining 20 cloves of garlic.
Add the vermouth (or white wine) to any oily chicken juices left in the bowl. Swill it around and pour this into the casserole.  Sprinkle with the salt, grind over the pepper, and add a few more sprigs of thyme. Put on the lid and cook in the oven for 1½ hours.
Right hoping for another sunshine day and honest tracking, planning to Eat Gorgeous of course!
Mom & Alfie sharing pie ;-)

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