Thursday, October 21, 2010

Recipe time - Curried chicken on couscous

It's been a while since I posted a recipe so here is one I tried last night. The recipe is from the latest Healthy Food Guide magazine and I followed it pretty diligently - except I needed it to be gluten free so no couscous. So it became curried chicken on brown rice. The recipe isn't on their website yet but I guess it will appear there at some point. It's a great resource for healthy recipes.

Ingredients :

3 teaspoons grated ginger
1/4 cup lime juice (I used fresh limes)
3 teaspoons curry powder
400g chicken thighs with fat removed (I used free-range chicken)

Mix the first three ingredients in a bowl and then add chicken. Give it a good stir around and set aside while you're cooking the rice (of course you may well want to stick to couscous).

Rice / couscous ingredients :
1 cup of brown rice / couscous
400g can lentils, drained and rinsed
2/3 cup chopped fresh coriander

Cook the rice / couscous, add lentils and coriander. Pan fry the chicken in a lightly oiled pan - takes about 10 minutes. Place the chicken on top of the rice / couscous. Serve with freshly steamed vegetables - I did broccolini and asparagus (yay for spring / summer vegetables).

The dish is really simple but tastes great. I'll be making this one again soon.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Ski trip report

I'm still in catch-up mode with my blog so here I am letting you guys know what I have been doing over recent months.

In August I was lucky enough to get an invite along for a family ski week. Our destination was Whakapapa ski-field on Mt Ruapehu (see for more info).

We left Wellington late morning on a Sunday and headed off. The car was packed to the brim - all the essentials - ski gear, food, wine. Luckily we were in a 4-wheel-drive so no worries about having to carry chains to get us up the mountain.

After a fairly slow trip with lots of stops (amazing how often kids need to pee!) we got up to the carpark at Top of the Bruce just as daylight was fading. I'd read up on how long the walk was to the lodge we were staying in and figured it was a half hour walk at the most - how hard could that be? Well! The snow conditions on the mountain were not great so most of the walk was over rocks and dirt. When we did get to snow in the valleys the result tended to be sinking straight through the snow. I soon realised that a heavy pack plus another bag in each hand was not such a good idea. At least it was a clear, calm night. At the point where we had one last climb to get to the hut I started to seriously flag. The others said they would go on up to the hut and then come back and help me with my bags. I figured I didn't want to seem like the weak female (only female) in the group so thought I would carry on and see how far I could get. Within a few paces I had suck up to my hips in snow and fallen onto my back. Yeah yeah. I know. I bet that conjures up some amusing images. To be honest, I lay there looking up at the stars giggling and wondering what to do next. With the weight of my pack I couldn't stand up so had to release my pack to be able to do anything. At this stage all heroics exited and I carried my various bags to a handy rock and sat and enjoyed the night sky until assistance arrived. Of course it was short climb to the hut (when I wasn't carrying so much weight).

It was divine to walk into the warmth and know that all physical activity had finished for the day. A bit of unpacking took place and then it was time for a glass of wine. Yes, yes - some of the weight in my bag was from the wine. Stupid woman that I am. :)

And so the ski week started. The weather wasn't terrific but it did snow and snow and snow. Each day we would walk down to the car to pick up supplies (mostly wine) and there were not a lot of rocks to clamber over and around. The car was pretty snowed in when it came time to leave.

We had a couple of fantastic skiing days - of course the best day was the day we had to leave and head for home. Isn't that always the way!

I hadn't been skiing for over 20 years but it didn't take long for my un-sophisticated style of years gone by to reappear. I had a ball!

The evenings in the lodge were fun - great food (roast meals, etc), good company and the obligatory wine(s) (oh, and whiskey!). The kids had a wonderful time. In the lodge there were over 20 people staying each night with a pretty even split between kids and adults. We had fun building a snow cave, chucking snowballs around and tobogganing. Sigh. Wish I was there now. Here are some pics for you to enjoy.

This is the lodge we stayed in. It belongs to the Hutt Valley Tramping Club (

This was taken a little uphill from the lodge and looking up the skifield. Still not great snow coverage but enough to have some fun.

This photo was taken when it started snowing the second night we were there. The kids were pretty excited and apparently running around in the snow with no long sleeves wasn't a problem.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Where things are at overall

As some of you are aware I've been working through a legal issue in recent times. While this caused anxiety and upset when it first came up I quickly came to terms with what I needed to do - namely focus on dealing with the legal aspect and ignore the questionable morals (or distinct lack of morals) involved.

The upshot of the saga is that a very good friend lent me some money to pay out my ex-husband. I'm extremely grateful for the financial assistance I have received from my friend as it meant I now have some breathing space and time to prepare my house for sale. I need to repay the loan by February so I am working hard to get the house tidied up ready for sale. Funnily enough I am ok with having to sell the house. I had planned to do this in the future anyway, although I would have preferred to be able to wait for the market to recover somewhat.

Today I have builders in renovating the bathroom. Months ago I had purchased everything needed for the renovation so it made sense to me to get that job done before putting the house on the market. I've also started painting the hallway so that job is more than half done. The other significant piece of work needed is to get the lounge ceiling and walls painted. My neck problems won't allow me to do that job by myself so I will be putting a call out to see if I can get some help from my friends. The only job I need to do is tidy the section up. It's pretty rough around the edges, a bit jungle-like so will need a bit of effort put in.

I've decided to market the house myself without using a real estate agent. This decision has been made from a pure financial perspective. There is so little equity left in the house I simply cannot afford to lose 3-4% of the sale price to an agent.

In a nutshell, that's where I am at. Anyone who is handy with a paintbrush / roller please let me know. :)

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Back in the land of blogging

Humble apologies to all for the lack of blogging in recent times. It has mostly been a deliberate move as I needed to get a few things sorted in my personal life before I continued with my blog. That is all done now so I am free to get back into it.

So, while you get a new entry today it's going to be short and sweet. Obviously I've been doing all sorts of things over the past couple of months so my next few entries will be reports of various trips, progress on things around the house, some moaning about broody chooks (again!) as well as a well-overdue update on my 101 things to do in 1001 days list.

Life remains very busy for me but I am having fun, getting out and about and moving on. Be patient with me and I will fill you in on ski trips, alpine training, tramping, camping, my trip to Australia and all sorts of other adventures.