Saturday, 22 December 2012

Masala-marinated chicken with minted yoghurt sauce and Cumin-crusted vegetables

Hi all sorry not to be around much these days life is just so darn busy. We have been preping for a really festive Christmas and I got the  last of the food shopping early this morning before the rush, the Turkey is in the freezer at moms house as my freezer is full I will get it out tomorrow to thaw for a couple of days.

Last thing I have to do tomorrow is go to the Butcher and collect the two Pheasants I ordered for Christmas Eve Lunch and we will be ready to go, food always plays a key roll at Christmas in my house.

I have my relatives coming over after Christmas for lunch so I decided to do something different from a traditional roast. So Mom and I did a dry run on the meal below it was absolutely delicious and the whole house smelt of delicious aromatic herbs and spices, we willl be cooking it again when the realitives visit. Have a wonderful weekend;)

Masala-marinated chicken with minted yoghurt sauce and Cumin-crusted vegetables

Dieting or not, this is one of my favourite recipes. It’s mouth-wateringly good – the spicy marinade makes the meat really tender and full of flavour, while the yoghurt sauce sets it off a treat.

  • 200g/7oz low-fat natural yoghurt
  • 1 tsp ready-made mint sauce

    Preparation method
    For the marinade
  1. To make the marinade, split the cardamom pods and remove the seeds. Put the cardamom seeds in a dry non-stick frying pan and discard the husks. Add the cumin and coriander seeds, cloves and black peppercorns and place the pan over a medium heat. Cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring regularly until the spices are lightly toasted – you know they’re ready when you can smell the spicy aroma.
  2. Tip the toasted spices into a pestle and mortar, or an electric spice grinder, and pound to a fine powder. Transfer to a mixing bowl and stir in the fenugreek, turmeric, paprika, chilli powder, cinnamon and salt. Add the garlic, ginger and yoghurt, then mix well and leave to stand while you prepare the chicken.
  3. Place the chicken on its breast on a sturdy chopping board and cut carefully either side of the backbone with good scissors or poultry shears. Chuck out the bone and cut off the foot joints and wing tips.
  4. Strip all the skin off the bird apart from the ends of the wings (which are easier to remove after cooking). You’ll find this simpler to do if you snip the membrane between the skin and the chicken flesh as you go. Cut off and discard any obvious fat – it will be a creamy white colour. Open out the chicken and place it on the board so the breast side is facing upwards.
  5. Press down heavily with the palms of your hands to break the breastbone and flatten the chicken as evenly as possible. This will help it cook more quickly. Slash the meat with a knife through the thickest parts of the legs and breast. Place the chicken in a shallow non-metallic dish – a lasagne dish is ideal – and tuck in the legs and wings.
  6. Spoon over the marinade and really massage it into the chicken on both sides, ensuring that every bit of bird is well coated – get your hands in there and really go for it. Cover the dish with cling film and put the chicken in the fridge to marinate for at least four hours or ideally overnight.
  7. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6. Take the chicken out of the dish and place it on a rack inside a large baking tray, breast-side up. Squeeze over some juice from the lime and season with ground black pepper.
  8. Roast for 1-1¼ hours until the chicken is lightly browned and cooked throughout, tossing the lime quarters on to the rack for the last 20 minutes to cook alongside the chicken. They’ll be good for squeezing over the meat later. The juices should run clear when the thickest part of one of the thighs is pierced with a skewer. Cover loosely with foil and leave to rest for 10 minutes before carving.
  9. While the chicken is resting, make the sauce. Spoon the yoghurt into a serving bowl and stir in the mint sauce until thoroughly combined. Transfer the chicken to a plate or wooden board and carve into slices, discarding any skin. Serve with the sauce and some watercress or salad and enjoy!

    Cumin-crusted vegetablesveg
  1. This is a lovely spicy variation on your classic roasties, using a small amount of oil and lots of tantalising tastes. Goes beautifully with masala-marinated chicken, or with plain grilled meat.
    199 calories per portion (if serving 4)
    160 calories per portion (if serving 5)


    1. Preheat the oven to 190C/400F/Gas 6. Half-fill a medium saucepan with water and bring to the boil. Peel the potatoes, cut them into quarters and lower them carefully into the water. Bring the water back to the boil and cook for five minutes – just enough to parboil them.
    2. While the potatoes are boiling, place a large non-stick frying pan over a medium heat and add the mustard and cumin seeds. Toast for about 30 seconds, then stir in the oil, garam masala and turmeric. Sizzle for a few seconds and add the onion.
    3. Fry the onion in the spices for 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently.
    4. Drain the potatoes in a large colander and toss several times to roughen up the surface of each potato.
    5. Tip the potatoes into the pan with the onion and spices, season with a few twists of ground black pepper and toss together until the potatoes are lightly coated.
    6. Tip everything onto a large baking tray and roast for 30 minutes.
    7. Take the tray out of the oven and add the peppers and courgettes.
    8. Toss lightly together and return to the oven for another 25–30 minutes until the potatoes are crisp and golden-brown and the vegetables have softened.

Monday, 17 December 2012

Seasons Greetings


Birds of a Feather


I spent the weekend thinking about what happened in Connecticut on Friday, looking for reasons and excuses for forgiveness for  a person who could perpetrate such an atrocity; I found none.

Anybody no matter what personal Daemons they fight who perpetrates such a crime against humanity is beyond redemption and forgiveness. 

No man or woman should have to out live and suffer the loss of a child, loss at such a tender age is beyond imagining! 

My thoughts and prayers go out to the family's and friends of these  poor Children and to all Americans at another tragic loss. 

As a foreigner, but somebody with a love for and a vested interest in America, I look in from the outside and ask, regardless of your own Politics and your countries Constitution, is it not time to come together and protect your children, if nothing else?

Again Thoughts and Prayers for all those who endure such a grievous loss 

Saturday, 15 December 2012

December - Morning Sunlight

Hi all we had a beautiful morning before the rain came back in so I got out for a few hours early to catch the morning light, it was a quite beautiful day. Have a great weekend;)

European Song Thrush


Monday, 10 December 2012

Hi All

Just back from a meeting about the health walks for the first 3 months of 2013, I will be leading 2 or 3 walks a week from the middle of January

I joined one of the walks as an observer today everybody had a great time even though is was still very wet under foot!

Mom and I just put up the rest of the decorations and the Tree, Seasons Greetings;)


Images And Words Week 188 - Toys And Games

Were I a philosopher, 
I should write a philosophy of toys, 
showing that nothing else in life need to be taken seriously, 
and that Christmas Day in the company of children is one of the few occasions on which 
men become entirely alive.

                              Robert Lynd

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Moors Lake in the December Evening Light

After a dull day the sky's finally cleared just before sun set, I took the chance to go back to Moors Lake and capture some reflections in the last of the evening Light, it was a wonderful shoot, it was the first time I have really been motivated to shoot for moths. I thought you might like to see some of the shots I hope your all having a wonderful restful weekend;)

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Images And Words Week 187 ' December

How did it get so late so soon?
 Its night before its afternoon. December is here before its June. 
My goodness how the time has flewn. How did it get so late so soon? 

Dr. Seuss 


Have a great weekend

Z0087586Hi all,

Sorry I am not around much at the moment, there is so much catching up to do at home, especially in the garden. I have been planting lots of new Spring bulbs, Daffodils, Tulips, Bulb Iris and Dwarf Iris. I have cleared the veg plot and spread the home made compost around.

I have trimmed back lots of the shrubs but there is still much to do.

I have also been doing the training for the health walks I have volunteered to lead for people who have been in ill health and their doctor has decided they are ready for a little vigorous exercise in the form of an hours reasonably fast walking for an hour twice a week.

I had to renew my first aid certificate to lead the walks and was surprised how much had changed, I completed the course and was re-certified last week.

I have been doing the walks twice a week as an observer for the last 2 weeks and next Wednesday we have a meeting to allocate walks to leaders for the next 3 months.

I have also been looking at leading the health cycle rides for people at the next level of health development, but unfortunately these are going to clash with the walks so at the moment I will only be able to do the rides on the days I am not leading a walk.

For my part some good news I have got my weight down to my target weight for my age and with the additional exercise I have been doing my blood pressure has now dropped into what they call the "Optimal Zone" which means it has consistently been below the "normal" 120/80 and on average has been about 116/68, the doc cut my BP meds by 50%  for the next 2 weeks if my BP stays in the Optimal Zone we are going to try cutting out the meds completely, fingers crossed LOL;)

With Winter well underway now and some very cold weather anticipated next week I have not been out shooting much but I am planning to wrap up and get out during the week if we get snow,

Mom and I have started to get the decorations out we always start with the fire place in the living room and we decked that out this week and also mad and put up the wreath on the front of the house.

Marci will be here on the 27th December and will be here for almost 3 weeks we are both very excited to be getting back together after a whole series of mishaps that have kept us apart this year.

Well thats my knews for now I will be blogging more from now on but I will not be spending as much time on line as I did before, since the demise of Multiply I have found a whole new raft of rich experience I am enjoying at the moment along with making some new friends in my local community.

Have a wonderful weekend and may your God be with you;)


Saturday, 1 December 2012

William Rufus - William II of England - The Rufus Stone

William II (Old Norman: Williame II; c. 1056 – 2 August 1100), the third son of William I of England, was King of England from 1087 until 1100, with powers over Normandy, and influence in Scotland. 

Z0307548 He was less successful in extending control into Wales. William is commonly known as William Rufus, perhaps because of his red-faced appearance.

Although William was an effective soldier, he was a ruthless ruler and, it seems, was little liked by those he governed: according to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, he was "hateful to almost all his people and odious to God." 

Z0307548 However, chroniclers tended to take a dim view of William's reign, arguably on account of his long and difficult struggles with the Church: these chroniclers were themselves generally products of the Church, and so might be expected to report him somewhat negatively. 

His chief minister was Ranulf Flambard, whom he appointed Bishop of Durham in 1099: this was a political appointment, to a see that was also a great fiefdom. The particulars of the king's relationship with the people of England are not credibly documented. 
William was roundly denounced in his time and after his death for presiding over what was held to be a dissolute court, in terms which, in modern times, have raised questions over his sexuality. In keeping with Norman tradition, William scorned the English and their culture. 

 William seems to have been a flamboyant character, and his reign was marked by his bellicose temperament. He did not marry, nor did he produce any offspring, legitimate or otherwise. 

He died after being struck by an arrow while hunting in what is now called The New Forest, under circumstances that remain murky, and was succeeded by his younger brother Henry. 

The Rufus Stone 

Z0307554 A stone known as the Rufus Stone marks the spot where he supposedly fell, The claim that this is the location of King William II's death appears to date no earlier than a 17th century visit by Charles II to the forest. 


At the time the most popular account of William II's death involved the fatal arrow deflecting off a tree and during Charles II's visit to the forest he appears to have been shown a suitable tree. 


In letters in The Gentleman's Magazine it was reported that the tree was cut down and burned during the 18th century. 

Later in that century the rufus stone was set up. Originally it was around 5-foot 10 tall with a stone ball on top. In 1789 the stone was visited by King George III along with his queen and an inscription was added to the stone commemorate the visit. It was protected with a cast iron cover in 1841 after repeated vandalism. 


The inscription on the Rufus Stone reads: Here stood the oak tree, on which an arrow shot by Sir Walter Tyrrell at a stag, glanced and struck King William the Second, surnamed Rufus, on the breast, of which he instantly died, on the second day of August, anno 1100. 

King William the Second, surnamed Rufus, being slain, as before related, was laid in a cart, belonging to one Purkis[e] to take the king's body to Winchester Cathedral on his cart., and drawn from hence, to Winchester, and buried in the Cathedral Church, of that city.