Thursday, 13 June 2013

Three Things

One: I want to apologise for my altogether whingeing, whining tone yesterday. If life gets too busy I have no-one to blame but myself. I don't work. I am busy with childcare, volunteering, housework, cooking...the stuff of life, things I enjoy. It's just that you caught me in a sulk, when I was feeling tired, irritable and a little bit sorry for myself. Thank you for your lovely supportive words. 

Two: The print I showed you yesterday is by the artist Jeremy Speck and it's called Four Mugs. Fans of the St Ives Movement, Ben Nicholson, Eric Ravilious and Edward Bawden may like his work.

Three: Here is the recipe for the chicken and couscous I mentioned yesterday, and for the yogurt dressing should you want it. Quantities feed four people either as one main meal for four, or as one meal for two followed by salad for two the next day.

  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 2 tbsp harissa paste
  • 2 tbsp plain yogurt
  • 200 g plain couscous
  • 100 g pomegranate seeds 
  • 50 g flaked almonds
  • bunch of fresh coriander

A few hours before cooking, put the chicken, harissa paste and yogurt in a freezer bag and mix it all together so that the meat is well coated with both ingredients. Leave in the fridge for a while to marinate. When you're ready to cook, remove the chicken from the fridge, butterfly the meat so it's as flat as possible then heat a little olive oil in a frying pan or skillet. Fry the chicken until it's cooked through, turning regularly. This should take about 15 minutes. While the chicken is cooking boil the kettle. Put your couscous in a large bowl and add 250 ml boiling water and leave it to stand for five minutes so it can soak up the water. Roughly chop the coriander. Then, just before serving, fluff up the couscous with a fork and add the pomegranate seeds, coriander and almonds and mix well.

For the salad, just add any leftover chicken (chopped), salad leaves, maybe some avocado, and toss together. It's really good with this yogurt dressing:

  • 250 ml plain yogurt. I find the runnier low fat yogurts make a better dressing than the thicker, Greek styles.
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh mint
  • 1 tbsp finely grated or minced cucumber
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • salt and pepper 

Put all your ingredients in a jam jar and shake well or stir with a fork. It will keep in the fridge for three or four days. This is a cross between a dip and a dressing. It's thick enough to be spooned into pitta breads and runny enough to be drizzled over a salad.


  1. The chicken and couscous sounds delish, I may give that a go.

  2. I do love your photography Gillian. I'm doing a spicy middle-eastern style mince dish with pittas on Saturday. I shall make that dressing to go with it. Thank you x

  3. Don't apologise! I've been having one of those days for the last few weeks. Having a sulk is good as it makes you reflect :)

  4. No worries. We all have "those days!"
    Thanks for the recipe!!

  5. That sounds delicious , am so with you on the lack of sleep trying not to be grumpy feelings xx

  6. Please don't apologize. I have a day like yours at least once a week. :)

  7. Looks absolutely delicious! And don't worry about having a whinge ~ we are all entitled to one of them every now and then! :O)xx

  8. Mmm sounds delicious will have to give it a go. Whinge away you're right there really aren't enough hours in the day. I wish I could clone myself so one of me could do all the chores and mom and daughter stuff and the other one could do all the things I really want to do ... if only. Sarah x

  9. Don't apologise Gillian ... we all benefit from a little sulk now and again ... your chicken recipe sounds delicious ... Bee xx

  10. Glad you feel brighter. I wrote the book on mid week blues! You are allowed you know.

    Leanne xx

  11. What lovely recipes for the chicken and yoghurt dressing - look yummy! Thank you! Hope your lovely parcel yesterday turned your week up a happy notch or two - always lovely when things like that happen on "down days". Take care of yourself. E x

  12. We all have bad days and they're usually when you're over-tired. I had one today and had a good moan with a friend. Luckily we know we're all human and that things will soon be back on an even keel. x

  13. I've just caught up with your previous post and don't think it sounded whining at all, but even if it did, we all have those sorts of days (I've had plenty lately, more so on my teacher training blog!). The cous cous looked very tasty.

    Thanks for your comments earlier. I did have a wonderful place to grow up, rocks, rivers, trees and fields - it's really hard leaving it all behind and changing my job at the school I went to, to work in a city (that's why I'm so whiny at the moment!) but it has to be done.

  14. Thanks for the recipes and hope you are feeling a little more cheerful today. We all need to let it out at times, so don't worry.

  15. No need at all to apologise. I know exactly how you felt, it happens. Hope you have a fantastic weekend.

  16. We all have those days. You are completely normal and there is no need to apologize! Lack of sleep definitely puts me in a bad mood. The recipe sounds delicious... I love couscous!

  17. No need to apologise - it just sounded normal to me! Thanks for the recipe! x

  18. I hope you are better, I know what you feel. Sometimes you think everything is around you and you have to solve everything. Your blog is very, very cute and it's fine to me to open it everyday as a window to your life. So thanks for being there.

    Marina from Jerez (Spain)

  19. No need to apologise! Glad you feel a little better, lack of sleep always makes us feel down. Thanks for sharing your lovely recipe, and I really love the way you photograph your food posts.
    M c

  20. Ta for the recipe. I much prefer dousing my salad with something yogurt based rather than oil so will be trying this, probably with some grilled Halloumi in place of the meat.


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