Yesterday was as crazy, trying to finish everything before the holiday and ended up working halfway through the night. This morning my email box was full of messages saying they couldn't access the files I shared with them, so havd to still catch up on some things this morning. But now I'm finally officially on holiday. We went to meet with our mortgage advisor in the morning, and everything should now be set up for the exchange which is a great relief. And I'm hoping we will be able to complete in mid-late July, which is not a moment too soon. As much as I appreciate that I have saved an absolute fortune not having to pay rent while living here, having to stay in the bachelor pad for much longer would probably drive me and the Culinary Consultant insane (ok, it's debatable whether there would be any change for me there, but still, you get the point...). There was hardly enough space here for him when he was alone, and now with all my stuff, there are boxes, bags and various piles of stuff everywhere. We have narrow paths going from the kitchen to the sofa and to the bedroom, but other than that it's just stuff everywhere. It's like the houses from TV programs about hoarders, it really is that bad. We are so lucky to be moving into something bigger soon. Although I dread the amount of housework that will be needed to keep the place running. The first thing I will have to find is a reliable cleaner. But I can't wait to have access to all my clothes and kitchen stuff again.
Right now I'm blogging to try and calm down my stress levels after getting all of the work done, and focus on the trip ahead. I'm going to Hungary for the weeding of a good friend. I'm looking forward to seeing her again after a long time, and I'm also very excited about seeing Hungary. We will be staying in Budapest for a few days, and then travelling to my friend's home town in southwestern Hungary. It will be fantastic, although the weather forecast isn't the most promising. I got me a guide book for Budapest and have made a lot of notes of what I want to do and see, most of them restaurants, coffee shops and chocolatiers. Expect a blog post about Hungarian food when I get back.
I have not made too many plans for the holiday, as I want it to be relaxing as well, instead of just trying to see everything in a few short days. I really need to let my brain switch off a little bit. My brain has been on overload because of work, and I realised last night I had even forgotten to print my boarding passes for the flight! That has never happened before, I'm really thorough with stuff like that, printing everything days ahead, all hotel reservations, maps and stuff. Now I can't even tell you the names of our hotels, I'm just hoping there will be good 3G reception everywhere we go so that I can look it up as I go along.
I will leave you with a recipe for a curry I made the other night as I had a few leftover sweet potatoes which looked like they might not make it for much longer, and some chicken in the freezer to use up. It is a very mild and creamy curry and I liked it very much. I also made some home made naan breads with it, which I will blog about some other time. This recipe is stolen from BBC good food, and slightly modified.
Creamy chicken and sweet potato curry (serves 4):
1 tbsp olive oil
2-3 tbsp mild curry paste (I used Tesco Rendang curry paste)
2 sweet potatoes
2 chicken fillets
1/2 cup red lentils
300 ml chicken stock (I also added a few tbsp of the juices from last weekend's roasted chicken)
400 ml can coconut milk
1/3 cup soya beans (or peas)
Chop the chicken fillets and sweet potatoes to bite sized pieces. Slice onion (or finely chop if that's how you prefer your onion. I felt like going for slices). Prepare the chicken stock. Heat the oil in a deep frying pan or wok. Add the curry paste and let cook for a minute or two. Add the chicken, sweet potatoes and lentils and coat in the curry paste and let cook for a few minutes. Add chicken stock and coconut milk and let cook until the sweet potato is soft, 20-25 minutes. (add a bit more liquid if your lentils are absorbing too much liquid, depending on how much sauce you like. I like quite a thick curry so this worked out well for me) Add soya beans and cook for another minute or two. Serve with rice and/or naan bread.
I'm not a friend of very spicy food. Even small amounts of chilli hurt my mouth, and often make my gums and tongue hurt quite badly, like it has been burned from really hot food. I prefer more subtle flavours, and I absolutely loved this curry. I used a mild curry paste and the coconut milk just gives the dish such a creamy texture and wonderful flavour. I should use coconut milk more often, as every time I do, I love how it turns out. And I like the addition of soya beans, not necessarily so much for the flavour, but I love the look of them. The original recipe had peas, but I wanted something a bit more healthy. But I have to admit, the peas would probably have worked really well. One big problem I have with peas over here is, that if you buy them frozen, the smallest pack you can get is about the size of a small elephant. Back home you could get small packs of frozen peas perfect for using up all in one go, but this pea crazy people are selling them by the tonne. And when you keep them in the freezer for a while, they get all dried up and lose their flavour. So I went for the soya beans as they came in a smaller pack than peas.
Card of the day:
This is the card I made for my friend's wedding. The invitation had a brown colour scheme, and I know my friend likes yellow, so I settled on that for a colour theme. Other than that I wanted it to be quite natural and I think it turned out quite nice. The cardstock is Tim Holtz Distress collection cardstock, and the colours are Old Paper, Vintage photo and Mustard Seed. The embossing folder is Cuttlebug Birds and Swirls, and the heart stamp is from a Tim Holtz. The sentiment is from the Lawn Fawn critters ever after set (which I only just ordered and can't wait to get to play around with!!). The bow is actually from a chocolate box (don't tell anyone) that I decided to re-use. You can't quite see it on the photo, but I sprayed some Perfect Pearls mist onto the Old paper cardstock, it looks almost like there is some white powder on the card, but it's really the shimmer. I hope my friend will like the card as much as I do.