Friday, June 20, 2014

One Pot Chicken Curry Rice Pilaf

A clogged kitchen sink was waiting for us when we got back to the Netherlands exactly a month ago. I had to painfully endure two long weeks of doing the dishes in the smaller bathroom sink. The hubby had put off calling the plumber for as long as possible until it became clear to him that he was never going to get that drain fixed by himself. Who knew house calls to a plumber would cost so much?! After one hour of clearing and vacuuming the most vile thing ever from the drain lines, I was more than grateful to have our kitchen sink back. But I will never be able to erase the memory of that funky smelling black goop fermenting inside the drain pipes. I also learned that plumbers don't clean up the mess they leave behind. I've had the best day scrubbing the goop-stained kitchen cabinets under the sink and the floor with bleach. We've been using a double drain-net strainer in the kitchen sink after that incident.

Put me in a kitchen and I'd gladly cook up something for you. Cooking is what I love to do. Cleaning up afterwards, not so much.  Let's face it. NO ONE likes to clean up unless you're a clean freak OCD.  Doing the dishes might be slightly tolerable on days when I'm not feeling lazy. But there's nothing I hate more than cleaning a dirty kitchen sink and a drain-net strainer with all the food scraps stuck to it. It's enough to make your skin crawl after washing a towering pile of dirty plates, bowls and pans. 

That's what I love about ONE POT MEALS.  

ONE pot. ONE pan. 

It's all you need. Toss everything together into one pan and 20 minutes later, you've got a NO-FUSS, LESS-MESS, delicious meal waiting for you. And LESS dishes to wash. It can't get any better than that.

serves 2-3

1 large chicken breast fillet, cut into small pieces
1 1/2 cups rice, uncooked
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp curry powder
1 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 yellow bell pepper, chopped 
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup raisins 
3 cups vegetable broth (or 1.5 bouillon cube dissolved in 3 cups water)
2 handfuls spinach

Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan over medium heat. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Cook and brown the chicken for 5-6 minutes. Remove and set aside.

Saute the garlic and onions. Cook until the onions are soft and translucent. Add the curry powder, garam masala and turmeric. Stir for one minute

Add the bell peppers and tomatoes. Cook for another minute. Add the rice, chicken and raisins. Pour in the chicken broth. Stir everything together. Bring it to a boil and then lower the heat. Cover the rice and cook on very low heat until the liquid has evaporated and the top of the rice mixture looks dry. 

Then turn off the heat and set aside covered for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, ruffle the rice gently with a fork and fold in the spinach. Put it back on low heat for 5 minutes until the spinach has wilted and serve.

NOTE: Best to use a non-stick or ceramic coated pan for this dish.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

7UP Chicken Adobo

FIFA World Cup in Brazil has started last week and there's nothing else worth watching on TV or online as far as the hubby is concerned. For a month! What's up with men and sports really! I'm no soccer fan but I have to admit last Friday night's game with the Netherlands vs. Spain was INCREDIBLE! The Dutch team killed the Spanish team by an unbelievable margin 5-1, quite a stunning and humiliating loss considering they are the best in the world after winning 2 European championships & the World Cup in 2010, ironically also against the Netherlands in the finals. But losing one game doesn't say anything. Spain also lost to Switzerland in the group stage 4 years ago and later went on to win the tournament. Anyway, if the Dutch team keeps on playing at this level, then the Netherlands might have a very good shot going all the way to the finals again this year. I really hope so! 

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Spaghetti with Bacon & Peas


Today is officially lazy day. 

6:00am    Woke up to make a couple of sandwiches for the hubby to take with as he gets ready for work
6:30am     Went back to bed to get more zzzzz just for a couple of hours
8:30am      Zzzz...couple of hours went by...
12:30am    Zzzzzzz....six hours later....

1:30 pm....
Woke up, lazily turned on the bed to get the ipad, checked the time and was basically horrified to see it was already past lunch time. I can't believe I slept so long. Dragged my heavy legs to the bathroom to shower. Then to the kitchen to make a cup of hot coffee & a peanut butter sandwich.

The rest of the day was just as lazy as I felt when I woke up. I tried to get some studying done but gave up after half an hour. I just wasn't in the mood today. 

I also wasn't in the mood to spend a lot of time in the kitchen nor make something complicated.  

Monday, June 9, 2014

IKEA for the perfect home

The hubby and I spent the afternoon wandering inside this HUGE Scandinavian warehouse for modern furniture & home accessories. I certainly wouldn't mind getting lost the whole day in IKEA. I LOVE IT! The place has THREE floors with a foodcourt at the top level and a sort of supermarket for Swedish products. IKEA is very popular in Europe and is possibly the world's largest furniture company. The showrooms are so beautifully designed you'll end up buying something before leaving the place (or the whole showroom!). 

Friday, June 6, 2014

Baked Sweet & Sour Chicken

Hubby and I are big fans of Asian dishes. 

He has been raving about my dad's Sweet & Sour Chicken ever since he had that very first taste 2 years ago. It became his favorite dish ever. I could never get dad's recipe right whatever I do and trust me, I tried many times with instructions from him and failed so eventually I went to Pinterest for a little help. My dad cooks from the heart and he's not one to follow recipes and measurements like I do. I finally got around to making it for the hubby after much begging for a week. Soooo glad that I did because this turned out to be one of the best versions of Sweet and Sour Chicken I've ever come across, all thanks to this genius blogger, Mel