Monday, 30 November 2015

Wedding: Complete


If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter you'll already be in the know about this, but Rich and I finally got married on Friday 20th November. I pinkie promise that when I get the official photos all back I'll do a proper blog post about the day, the decorations, the suppliers etc. but this is just a little sneak peek.

Bride looking out of window

I was simultaneously the most excited and the most nervous I'd ever been. Rich and I were both awake at 5am messaging each other because we couldn't sleep, and I woke my sister up by dancing and jumping around at her. It felt amazing getting my hair and make-up done professionally, and when I stepped into my dress at long last it didn't feel real.

Just before walking down the aisle, when the music started to play, I welled up, but I made the decision to be excited instead, and you can see on the pictures people have taken that I was beaming like a crazy person because I was finally getting to marry my soul mate.

Bride and Groom Under Umbrella in the Rain Snow

The day went perfectly, I even got the snow of my dreams. The photographer shared this sneak preview pic of us in the snow and I love it so much.

We went on a mini-moon for a week to relax and recharge ourselves, and I had my first day back at work today. I love being married, but the only downside I've found so far is that changing your name is a complete nightmare. We're moving into military housing just after Christmas, so I know I've got changes of address to do soon as well. So much paperwork!

I've still got my blog post to write up about my fantastic hen do, and then there's all the Christmas ones to get going on. I'm sure you can imagine how busy I've been, and now that I've got to prepare to host Christmas for the first time, do all of my Christmas shopping, change my name on everything under the sun and move house, it doesn't look like it's going to calm down anytime soon. I'll do my best to try and keep you updated on it all though.

Rachel x
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Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Mexican Chicken Risotto Recipe

Mexican Chicken Risotto Recipe

Oh my gosh this recipe is amazing. It is one of those things which you make, and then sit and eat whilst saying to each other in disbelief "How good is this?!" the entire time. Even when I had the leftovers at work, I was texting Rich to say how good it was. It was born out of my love of Italian food and Rich's love of Mexican food. The perfect compromise dish, if you may. So when OXO got in contact and offered to send me some kitchen equipment (I didn't know they did kitchen equipment either) to use in a recipe post, I knew I had to share this one with you all.

Risotto Rice in a bowl

Ingredients

(Serves four, or two mains and three lunches)

  • 400g risotto rice
  • 2 small onions
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 glass or a small bottle of white wine
  • 1 litre of vegetable stock
  • 1 litre of chicken stock
  • 600g chicken thighs
  • 2 peppers
  • Fajhita spice mix (We use 2tsp smoked paprika, 1tsp cayenne pepper, 1/2tsp garlic powder, 1/2 tsp cumin and chilli flakes)
  • 200g cooked black beans (these can be hard to find in supermarkets, but it only takes just over an hour to cook your own from dried, no soaking needed)
  • 50g sweetcorn
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Olive oil
  • Butter

Method

Diced Onion in Mini Chopper

1. Dice the onion. We used the OXO mini chopper which was great in theory, but a bit tough to use in reality. Great for people without good knife skills, or to keep small fingers away from sharp blades, but a bit too much washing up for my liking.

Chicken and peppers sliced in a bowl

2. Slice the chicken thighs and peppers into thin strips and put them in a big bowl.

1 tsp cayenne pepper

Fajhita spice mix on chicken and peppers

3. Add your fajhita spice mix and olive oil to the chicken and peppers and mix well. OXO sent me these spice jar measuring spoons to use, and they're the best invention ever. My usual round measuring spoons don't fit directly into the jars, so I often have to use the smaller sizes more often which gets super annoying when you need 4tbsp of something and have to use 8 of the half tbsp spoons. I love these measuring spoons!

4. Melt a generous knob of butter in your pan and fry the onions and the garlic until soft. Then add the risotto rice and fry for about a minute.

Adding wine to risotto

5. Then add your wine to the pan and let reduce. I won't judge if you help yourself to a bit of wine at this point too.

Stock in a jug

6. Boil your kettle and make up your first litre of stock. The third and final product OXO sent me was this angled measuring jug which has nifty measuring lines on the inside so it's easy to measure as you add the water.

Risotto mixture in pan

7. Once your wine has reduced down, add your stock a ladle at a time, reducing down between each ladle. You want to keep doing this until the rice no longer has a bite, whilst stirring regularly. I never said this was an easy recipe, but it's so worth it!

Frying chicken fajhita mix

8. Whilst you're keeping an eye on the risotto mix, fry the fajhita mix in a separate pan until the peppers are nice and soft and the chicken is cooked through. 

Adding parmesan to risotto

9. Once the risotto rice is cooked, remove from the heat and sprinkle grated parmesan over the surface so there's a decent covering and stir through.

Black beans in sieve

10. Add in the cooked chicken and peppers, the sweetcorn and the black beans and give it all a good stir together.

Mexican Chicken Risotto

11. Serve! I like mine with an extra load of black pepper on top and with some avocado. Because I chuffing love avocados and would have them with every meal if I could.

This recipe makes for amazing leftover lunches, and inspires lots of jealous looks in the staff room, believe me. I hope you like the recipe, and please let me know if you try it out!

Rachel x

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Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Trinity Kitchen and Lady Boys of Bangkok


A couple of Thursday's ago I was lucky enough to be invited to go see The Lady Boys of Bangkok with lots of lovely Leeds bloggers, I immediately said yes, as last year I was desperate to go when I saw the tent in Millennium Square but never got round to it before they left *sob*.

I originally asked my Mum if she wanted to come with me but unfortunately she had to work, so Rich was my back up - unfortunately for him as you'll find out later...

After driving into Leeds and parking up at the Trinity Car Park (a new discovery - only £3 to park after 5pm so it's actually cheaper than the train) we headed to Trinity Kitchen for tea. Even though I have a list as long as my arm of places I want to eat in Leeds, we are a bit skint now that it's so close to the wedding, and Trinity Kitchen is a wonderfully cheap way to feed ourselves without compromising on taste.




First up were starters from Dim Sum Su, 5 chicken and sweetcorn dumplings and 5 pork and prawn wontons for £5 each. These were hot, tasty and packed full of flavour. The dressing on the dumplings was incredible, and the garnish on both of them was so good I scraped up every last bit with a fork. Nom.



We followed our Chinese starters with an Indian street food main from Rola Wala, one of the permanent stands in Trinity Kitchen. Rich and I opted to share a rice bowl, with chicken tikka, paneer and all the toppings. The cauliflower rice caught my eye, but there wasn't much left, so we got a mixture of cauliflower rice and regular rice. The cauli rice was amazing, but having the mix was fantastic, something I'll definitely opt for again. The paneer was a bit chewy, and not that warm, but the chicken tikka was stunning. I thoroughly enjoyed this rice bowl, loads of flavours which contrasted and complimented each other, and really unusual too. We will definitely be coming here again for food!


With happily full bellies, we headed over to Millennium Square and took our seats ready for the show. There was a wide range of people in the audience, from groups of girls, to couples of all ages, so you wouldn't have to worry about standing out in the crowd.




As you'd expect, there were loads of glittery over the top costumes, worn by incredibly glamorous lady boys.




There was lots of lip-syncing to pop songs and musicals, with dance routines galore. The lip-syncing and dancing wasn't always spot on, and the standard wasn't as high as you'd see in shows at the theatre, but this could have just been because it was the second show of the night, so they all must have been tired by the end of the second show.


In between many of the acts, when there was a need to move the stage around, there was a fabulous drag queen who lip-synced along to some very funny, cheeky songs, often aided by the guy you can see in the photo. She had us roaring with laughter, her facial expressions were on point!

There was plenty of audience participation, mostly for the guys in the audience... and Rich swiftly began to regret accompanying me when he got selected to go on stage during a rendition of Rhianna's S&M song. I'll let the photo's do the talking...




He was tied up and stripped, and I was crying with laughter trying to take as many pictures as I could. It was one of the funniest moments of my life, and Rich was such a good sport playing along with it, even if he did sustain a couple of fake nail scratches from being stripped. I do apologise to all of the Leeds bloggers there, who had never met him before, and then saw a lot more of him than we bargained for!

Thank you so much to Lady Boys of Bangkok for a very funny night out, which will certainly be remembered forever by the both of us! Unfortunately they've left Leeds now, but are in Newark tonight, then Belfast from Friday til the 21st November. They do tour every year, and it is a very funny way to spend an evening, especially if you can take your partner and they get selected to go on stage.

Rachel x
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