Saturday 29 December 2012

my stuffed chicken...

...was better than the best pair of Manolos!!!

For the first time in my life, I decided to cook my grandmother's recipe for stuffed chicken this Christmas. I have such fond childhood (and more recent...) memories of this succulent dish that my mother would cook for our Christmas lunch and later, after having eaten like there was not tomorrow, my brother and I would just crash on the sofa and fall asleep with a classic old movie... mmmm those were the days... and these are the days too, for I was determined to recreate both the food and the pleasure!

So, with my mom (who spent these past few days with me) to assist/supervise, I set sail. I got a free range French chicken (which I like to think has been strolling nonchalantly through the streets of Marseille before having been caught...) on Christmas eve and on the day I got started. The stuffing was not so difficult, though with a myriad of  ingredients, because I had tried it before. But when it came to the point I had to pass a needle with cooking string through the bird's skin to keep the stuffing inside, well, it got tricky...

Nevertheless, I did it and put it all stuffed and beautiful in the oven, complete with potatoes. About an hour an a half later, there it was on my festive table! And the taste... oh, heaven! The potatoes had actually cooked in the juices from the stuffing that came out of the bird and they were a revelation! The meat was juicy and delicious and the stuffing excellent!

I was so proud of myself! And I ate so much, like the good old days! So much so I had to walk 10Km the next day to burn a bit of the guilt, more than the calories... But it was so worth it! It was better than shoes all the way!!

P.S My mom thought the prunes were cut too small for her taste but... such a criticism I considered a compliment ;)

Monday 3 December 2012

a "better than shoes" weekend!

You know this feeling when a very demanding time period passes and you have been through it all and gotten out in one piece and all the stress and struggle is over and you can just sit and finally relax? That's exactly how I have been feeling this passed weekend!

Having had the new house all in order and returned the key of the old place, November left me on a good note. The weekend came and, as my tradition has it, Saturday I set up the Christmas tree! First time in the new home, I was dancing and placing ornaments all morning! And after this was done, after I wished like a true Greek "may you do this next year too" to myself, I parked my exhausted body (no, not from decorating the tree obviously, from the passed two months of running around like a mad woman...) on the sofa and watched all time classics: "The Holiday" and "Love actually" with a nice, hot cup of tea! Yes, I do know the lines of these films by heart but "Christmas tree day" without them is not a proper one!

My Saturday was perfected by an IKEA microwave dinner (you should try them, meatball and mashed potatoes, certainly better than anything of the sort) and BBC; being a huge "Strictly come dancing" fan I enjoyed it as always and then laughed my heart out with  "The Graham Norton show" until I fell asleep on the sofa... bliss, pure bliss!!

Come Sunday, after the morning hale storm passed, I went out for a walk with a neighbour and we went all the way to the beach and back, some good two hours walk (to burn the calories from the chocolate abuse of the past few days...) and then, after a much need shower (to warm me up... it was rather chilli yesterday) I went to cut my hair... Pampered!! Continued with a  delicious lunch of erwtensoep, the best thing that the Dutch cuisine (if such thing exists...) has to offer, in my opinion, and then back home where the best surprise ever was waiting for me... ;) What was it?... Mmmm, I think I will keep this one only for myself... But is was most certainly "better than shoes" :) better than those Valentino glitter pumps from this season's collection! Yep, those!! Better!!! ;)