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Monday, 27 May 2013

What a beautiful bank holiday...

27th May 2013
 
The best things in life are free…
 
So true that statement is - for me anyway or is it more money can’t buy them nor guarantee them – health, happiness, sunshine. We had a fabulous day yesterday drove out to Attingham Park near Shrewsbury and walked round the grounds for a few hours, enjoying the scenery, the deer, the flowers were just glorious. I would definitely recommend it for a visit, lovely grounds, a cracking playing field for the kids and deer roaming over their land, absolutely amazing. Not a bad cup of tea either, of course we had to force the scone and clotted cream down though ;-)
 
Posing - Laughing - Loving Life x
 
Spending time with my mom and watching her enjoy herself really is lovely, and she’s so comical, walking round the park watching the children play she looked at me with all seriousness and said, “I’d make a good granny, I just don’t like kids”.  Then when we get to the shop there’s a child with a yo-yo and she insists on showing him how to do it, he watches her, copies then runs back to his mom saying, “I can do it mom, that lady showed me how”.  Yeah she hates kids!   It was rather embarrassing listening to her say, “Oh it must be national no smiling day Bev”, as we walked passed people, yep as she gets older, she has absolutely NO shame whatsoever!
 
Driving was a joy, the fields of yellow just look stunning and we have really pretty countryside.  When we got back I decided to tackle a bit of weeding up the back garden for an hour, then I cooked chicken jalfrezi from the hairy bikers diet book, a few people have recommended the recipe but I’m real fussy about home made curries, they’re not my forte, but I have to say I really enjoyed it.  I didn’t have any chillis so as I don’t like heat anyway I made it without them, instead I used about 6 cloves of garlic because I am a fan of garlic, I also realised I didn’t have the green pepper so instead I added an extra onion, and it was delicious, I’d definitely use it again, I may even make it and add veggies rather than chicken.  If you fancy a go, here’s the recipe.
 
Chicken Jalfrezi - from the Hairy Bikers diet book
(recipe total 31pp, serves 4 - 8pp each)

6 long green chillies (or less according to your taste)
4 (x 165g) chicken breast, skinless & boneless (16pp)
2 tablespoons Sunflower Oil (8pp) you could replace & save ProPoints by using 10 sprays of Fry Light (1pp) personally I like the flavour the oil adds.
2 garlic gloves - peeled and finely chopped
3 ripe tomatoes - chopped
1 tbsp ground cumin (1pp)
1 tbsp garam masala (1pp)
1 tsp turmeric
1 tbsp caster sugar (2pp)
1 tsp flaked sea salt
200ml cold water
2 tbsp low-fat natural yoghurt (1pp)
1 medium onion, cut into 12 wedges
1 green pepper, deseeded and cut into rough 3m chunks
2 tomatoes - quartered
2 tsp cornflour (1pp)
1 tbsp water

Finely chop 4 of the chillies - deseed a couple or all of them first if you don't like very spicy food. Split the other 2 chillies from stalk to tip on 1 side without opening or removing the seeds. Cut each chicken breast into 7 or 8 bite sized chunks.
 
Heat a tablespoon of the oil in a large, fairly deep, non stick frying pan (or wok) over a high heat.  Add the garlic, chopped chillies, chopped tomatoes, cumin, garam masala, turmeric, sugar and salt, then stir fry for 3-4 minutes until the vegetables soften. Don't let the garlic or spices burn or they will add a bitter flavour to the sauce.

Next, add the chicken pieces and whole chillies and cook for 3 minutes, turning the chicken regularly. Pour over the 200ml water, stir in the yoghurt and reduce the heat only slightly - you want the sauce to simmer. Cook for about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally until the chicken is tender and cooked through and the sauce has reduced by about a third. The yoghurt may separate to begin with but will disappear into the sauce.

While the chicken is cooking, heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in a clean pan and stir fry the onion and pepper over a high heat for 3-4 minutes until lightly browned. Add the quartered tomatoes and fry for 2-3 minutes more, stirring until the vegetables are just tender. Mix the cornflour with the tablespoon of water to form a smooth paste.
 
When the chicken is cooked, stir in the cornflour mixture and simmer for a few seconds until the sauce thickens, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat, add the hot stir-fried vegetables and toss together lightly. Serve immediately. And just in case you were wondering - don't eat the whole chillies!
 
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It looks like another beautiful day out there, however you spend it, enjoy spending time with those you love because life really is short. xx

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