Tarragon Chicken

Tarragon Chicken

The diced Chicken promotion rages on and is going down a treat in store. I loved the curry although i may leave the seeds of the chilis out the next time. Hot Hot Hot !! Delicious though and cooks away without too much faffing about. Phew - it's getting busy around here. This is another recipe I tried out and It was a big hit with the lads but also so easy and quick. Its already in the same time it took to cook the rice. That 's a winner in my book ....
Try it and see. Yum

Quick and Easy

Tarragon Chicken
Ingredients
50g of butter
450g of Diced Chicken Fillet (€4.50 or 2 for €8)
Salt and black pepper
300mls of Chicken stock
1 tub (250g) of crème fraiche
6 tbsp. chopped fresh tarragon. (Dried will suffice reduce to 2 tbsp. See below)
Method
Melt butter in a frying pan on a high heat and when foaming, add diced chicken. Season with salt and pepper and seal the chicken for 5-6 minutes until browned, then stir in the remaining ingredients.
Mix well together scraping the bottom of the pan, stirring the brown pieces into the sauce.
Bring to the boil and turn down to a simmer for about 8 minutes or until the sauce has reduced and thickened and chicken is cooked through.
Serve with new potatoes, rice or roasted mix veg. yum!!

#Tips from the butchers wife.
If you don’t have fresh herbs to hand substitute with dried but just reduce the volume to about a third. Bay leaves are the exception to this rule. They loose much of their flavour dried so double the volume.
When you have a glut of herbs you can freeze them in ice cube trays with water or chopped into ice cube trays and covered in olive oil. When frozen you can take them out of the ice cube trays and store in a little container.


Equality and division of labour (part two)

Gender Determined Roles

The baby of the house is seven. She loves nothing more than to draw pictures, write little stories and make cards. So I have collections of little drawings etc. She skipped down the stairs and handed me this the other day.

Following on from the previous post regarding division of labour maybe we need to work harder and not have the division so determined by gender. Opps.... Not great. Soccer and rugby under dads column and baking and dishes under my column. Delighted with the card though. Great phonics ....


Summer Time! BBQ Time!

Well hello ladies.

Digging a hole

Isn't BBQ season just marvellous for us women?
Himself piped up the other day, "isn't it grand for you now that I'm doing all the cooking." I looked up expectantly. Where is he going with this one? "Well now that the good weather is here and the kids are on holidays, you don't have to do anything"? Again I gave him the eye. Say nothing and see how deep this hole he is digging will be. I don't even have to supply the shovel.

The Great Gender Divide and Primeval instinct
"Well sure we (I'm assuming he means men) do all the BBQing”. "Yes, you do BBQ." said I. "Well it makes things easier for you" said he. "That it does. All I have to do when you're BBQing is bring out the meat, the marinade, the thongs, the forks, the plate to put it all on, then make the salads and wash the spuds and then after I get to clean the grill racks." It was his turn to stay silent.
So why do men do the BBQ. It’s a 'primeval instinct’ for men to barbecue. They’re essentially hard-wired to work with meat and fire. It certainly would be weird to see himself make a salad while I BBQed and although I'm the primary caregiver and himself the main earner we live in a house that has good equality balance of roles.

Equality 
Equality, in the home, to me means that we share out what needs to be done. Division of labour. I struggled initially with being “a kept woman" as it is traditionally seen. I find it strange that the care of children and investing time and effort in home life is less valued than a job. True equality is about choice. I choose to be at home. I’m lucky enough to have that choice but I did feel a little “anti-feminist” in my choice. At times I felt judged, by women more than men. But I think i was judging myself more. Was I setting a good example for my daughters?  But as time went on and life threw curve balls and it was essential for someone to be at home I was grateful for the choice and was at peace in my role. I’m lucky.

Gin and Tonics with a delicious dinner with the Matriarch and the sister

Anyway back to how lucky I am to have little to do now that it’s BBQ season. The weather is just amazing. We’ve been BBQing at the beach and at home. I love the Cajun chicken kebabs. I usually add them to my salad of leaves with toasted walnuts, tomatoes and beetroot. Love love love !!!! The kids are loving the BBQ sausages and the lamb kebabs. They haven’t time to chew. The butcher enjoys the beef or lamb burgers. But at the weekend I said no more. I was being lazy about changing what I was eating. My Mam and my sister were staying over and I wanted to feed them well. So I tried the butterflied leg of lamb on the BBQ. I marinated it with lemon juice, crushed garlic and salt and pepper. Simple. It was nearly half eaten before I got it to the table. It really is delicious and quick. And a welcome change from the typical BBQ fare. I served the lamb with South East Produce New Potatoes and a simple salad of leaves with mint. So between the delicious lamb and new potatoes with melting butter, portion distortion was the order of the day. I’ve found a Jamie Oliver recipe that I’m going to try for the marinade and will share the results.
So the butcher got to try something new and I enjoyed the results immensely – He even washed the grill rack after.

True love.

Equality.

Happy wife, happy life.

The butchers’ wife xx

Contact orders@molloysbutchersardkeen.com for any special request regarding the lamb.

In other news we are still encouraging our customers to bring their clean reusable containers into us. Choose to Reuse. Plastic Free Waterford.

Image result for plastic free waterford logo


New Years Resolutions

New Years Resolutions

Today, apparently, is the most blue of Mondays. So to talk about New Year’s resolutions isn’t ideal when we are not feeling our best. But to maybe put a smile on your face, I will share the baby of the houses’ New Year’s resolutions. The butcher and I had a good laugh at it. Look closely at the second picture on her list – looks like she’s smoking a cigarette. So we couldn’t help but ask her was taking up or giving up smoking for the New Year.

Just so you’re clear, she’s going to learn the piano, and the flute (not take up smoking), do gymnastics, eat more healthily, get better at swimming and perfect her back flip on the trampoline. Beat that!!

Hope you’re getting through Monday

XX


Midweek Meatballs

Midweek Meatballs

Hello October!

Hello October is right! Isn't it just lovely? I love this time of year I may have mentioned. I'm a walker. Love getting out early with the dogs and pounding the roads. A good buddy of mine had a fun thing up on instagram yesterday - "When are you too old to pull leaves off the trees. Asking for a friend”. I say never. Leaves crunching underfoot and crumbling in your hands because I spend my walk pulling at the ditches. Love it. Anyway that's a by the by.

The Overdue Books

I was chatting to one of the school mammies in the library the other day. She has just decided to take a break from her job for a while - stepped off the treadmill. She was saying how she didn't realise how much of a treadmill it was until she stepped off it. I don't know about you but this really hit a cord with me. I was just after returning overdue books to the library in shame. Thankfully I met with a lovely librarian who didn't add to my shame. It was on my to do list for about two weeks but we never made it and therefore I felt, as us mothers do, that the children ability to read would be stunted for life. It isn't I'm sure but the mothers guilt is a strong one.  I have had the luxury of spending the early years at home with my lads. It was great and I realise it's a privilege. But it’s not always the easy option. At times, if I'm truly honest I found it frustrating and dare I say even boring. But when they were small I wasn't able for the dual status that is a working mother and we choose for me to step out. I was very very lucky. But now as the Nina is gone to big school and the baby is well settled in school, I can see that in the future, I might find myself twiddling my thumbs. I'd really hate that!!

Work

I've recently started a new project and it's time consuming but I'm enjoying it. This only adds to the guilt because I've to spend a lot of time at the computer. What's the story with the guilt? Because I'm busy I think I make more of an effort to make time count. The old adage - if you want something done ask a busy person. I think we should ease off on ourselves. Everyone is trying their best and even sometimes we're just getting it over the line. It's grand!! My wiser and much much older sister's words are ringing in my ears - They all get reared! It'll be grand!!

So that leads me on to my meatballs recipe that I used this week - only because Julian gave out that I never make him meatballs anymore.... and then guiltily, I rush to fulfill his every wish!! There's that guilt again.!!

Great midweek supper though.

Meatballs

Ingredients

This is two dinners - (freeze the meatballs made up and defrost and cook as below or cook them, put them in the sauce and just defrost and reheat!!)

3lbs of mince beef  

300gs of breadcrumbs or finely crushed up cream crackers

2 grated onions

A jar of good quality pesto

200g of mozzarella cheese grated .

Method

Squish everything together – if you don’t like doing this get clean handed children to do it. They love it – also very good to develop those hand muscles!! Brilliant mother – halo!!

Roll into golf ball size – kids also do this. On a hot pan, add meatballs in batches, turning frequently so all sides are sealed. You can also popped them on a baking tray at 180 for about 20 minutes. Cover with tomato sauce and pop into a preheated oven at 180 for about half an hour or until they’re cooked through. It’s nice here to tear up a mozzarella ball and scatter over them before you put them in the oven but not necessary.

The Sauce

I batch cook the tomato sauce because I use it during the week. This recipe will do at least two dinners and sauce for pizzas at the weekend. The sauce itself can be added to cooked pasta for a quick dinner. To make it more luscious add a tub of mascarpone cheese. Heat up and add to pasta. I use this in my Chicken Parmigiana recipe too (will share soon).

It’s simple.

Saute two or three chopped onions for about ten minutes, add three cloves of chopped garlic and cook for about a minute. Then add 5 tins of chopped or plum tomatoes – plums are sweeter I think. Add a tablespoon or two of tomato puree. Add optionals like a splash of balsamic vinegar or basil leaves if you have them. I often add cherry tomatoes that never made the lunch box, or came home in the lunch box uneaten. Season and let cook for about 1 ½ hours. Blitz it all down and you have loads of sauce for whenever you need. This does freeze but it keeps in the fridge for a couple of weeks two. Thin it out with a vegetable stock for soup too.

Enjoy,

The Butchers Wife. xx

 


Goodbye summer, Hello Autumn - September 2017

Is September really nearly over?? It's flying. I still feel caught in the whirlwind and I'm not talking about the weather. Our eldest little one started in Secondary School this year and the transition is just huge. She's adapted to her new start just brilliantly. So many different classrooms, so many teachers to get your head around and not to mention THE LOCKER. This is the most exciting thing about secondary school. I think, perhaps, they might watch too many American sitcoms but the locker is certainly where it's at!!

We also challenged ourselves to the tree top walk in Castlecomer Discovery Park and by we I mean the children. The third step of a ladder is three steps too high for me. The older you get the more you loose your nerve and it is to my shame that the children overcame their nerves and flew around the course, while mammy looked on with pride with my two feet secure on solid ground.

Back to school brings back to activities, piano, swimming, rugby etc. In and out of the car like yoyos but it's a choice and I'm glad they all have interests. It does leave structured opportunities to go for walks while we wait. Lovely time to chat and catch up on the news of the day. We also had a great project on Sligo and therefore we had to do some research on Countess Markievicz. I love history and talking about how things were and how far we've come. Go on the girls..

September 2017 also brought THAT MATCH. What a brilliant game. Déise abú!! Great sense of pride in our county or in other words I loves me county boi!! And then Puddles turned 1 - Puddles arrived at Christmas - and brought plenty of puddles with her. She's a little Jack Russell who absolutely torments the life out of Bear our collie labrador mix. So Puddles had to get a cake and we got a doddie cake from the Bushy Tailed Baker -  a special dog cake. I kid you not. The dogs were trilled and the children got a great kick out of it.

So there you are. September nearly behind us. I love the crisp and cold weather of this time of year. Long walks wrapped up. Yummy comfort food and thoughts of lighting the fire. Bring it on...

Enjoy,

The Butchers Wife xx