I have just finished reading a post by blogger Carly Jacobs at Smaggle about getting organised and getting a routine. This is something I can relate to. As a writer it would be easy to fill my day doing research, emailing, writing my blog, cleaning the house, cooking, etc, etc. All valid things but a complete distraction from the task at hand…writing the next bloody book! Setting a routine is THE most important thing to keep me on track.I start by treating writing as my job and aim to be at my desk between 11am and 6pm each weekday.
As I still have a family to take care of I try to get dinner sorted first thing. This is my go to dish as I usually have most of the ingredients at hand and make enough for two meals if I’m on a writing roll.
This is not an exacting recipe, usually a handful of this and a pinch of that, but I will do my best to give you accurate amounts. Feel free to make your own adaptions.
3kgs (7lbs) chicken drumsticks* (you could use thighs)
*Chicken drumsticks were on sale and at $1.99 a kilo I bought lots and froze them. Same story for the chorizo, usually about $20/kg, a steal at just $10. By having a freezer full of basic supplies I’m less prone to suffer the distraction of a quick trip to the supermarket…you know the one that turns into a 3 hour expedition.
1-First remove knobbly joint of leg bone by scoring with a serrated knife then snapping off weakened bone. I do this because the whole leg takes up too much room and this dry old joint doesn’t look so good or add much flavour. Instead of discarding bones I put them in a zip lock bag, freeze and use later for stock in soups and sauces.
1 large onion
8 small potatoes*
2 medium sweet potatoes*
2 medium zucchinis
1 large red capsicum (bell pepper)
3 cloves garlic
*Do not peel the potatoes as the skin helps to hold shape and is so much quicker to prepare.
1 tablespoon each of ground cumin, sweet paprika and fennel seed
1 teaspoon each of cracked pepper, chilli flakes and salt.
Sprinkle all spices over vegetables.
1/4 cup olive oil
2 table spoons of fish sauce*
juice of 1 lemon
2 tins of chopped tomatoes
*Thai fish sauce is my cheats version of stock. It adds a delicious umami quality and I often add it to paella or Italian lamb dishes. It is a good replacement for anchovies or fish stock.
10-set oven to 220 c (430f) and place pot in oven (remove lid as the vegetables will produce a lot of liquid). This dish usually takes about an hour but will vary depending on your oven and volume of food. I keep checking every half hour, turning ingredients to avoid burning (be careful to do this gently so that you don’t turn vegetables to mush). The dish will be ready when chicken meat begins to come away easily from bone.
2 handfuls of green beans- top and tailed and microwaved for 2 minutes. Microwaving will help beans keep their bright green colour.
1/2 cup chopped coriander (cilantro)
12-Remove pot from oven, toss through green things and adjust for seasonings such as extra salt or lemon. Adding the green things last freshens the flavour. If you cook the beans in the stew they will lose their texture and become a rather unattractive olive-green colour.
In the meantime you can sit back with a smug look on you face knowing, that by preparing this ahead, your day has been free of the usual distractions and you’ve done those 2,000 words, cleaned up that messy plot line and rewritten a rather clumsy sex scene and…you’re still the domestic goddess who your family adores and loves!
Cheers, Anna x
P.S. This Saturday, March 21, Carly Jacobs of Smaggle is holding a blogging workshop in Melbourne. It will be good to get out of my office, meet new people and get tips on how to do this blogging thing a little better. For more details go to Smaggle… hope to see you there!
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The Lost Woman series follows the sexy adventures of Christina as she makes her way through a world of new media, design, fashion, travel, and … men.