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Love is in the air on this Valentine’s day… 5 memorable moments

Love is in the air on this Valentine’s day… 5 memorable moments

  With Valentine’s Day around the corner, love is indeed in the air!  Hubby and I never make a big fuss of Valentine’s Day; love should after all be celebrated every day.  (However, you know us by now – there should be no doubt that […]

Chargrilled beef with herb dressing and leeks

Chargrilled beef with herb dressing and leeks

Follow my blog with Bloglovin There is something to be said about ‘pure’ food.  I’m not talking organic food per say, but rather about food where the food speaks for itself.  Where the ingredients are shining in their own right. Don’t get me wrong! What is […]

Provençale inspired chicken breasts with roasted tomatoes

Provence_Roussillon
A view over the countryside from Roussillon
Driving in Provence, France
Hubby has his eyes on the road!

Our first trip to Provence was in 2015.  What an adventure it was!  We hired a little car and drove to the villages close to Avignon.  Driving on the right-hand side of the road was quite nerve wrecking, but hubby quickly got the hang of it. There were definitely a few hairy moments, like when we clearly misunderstood the GPS and found ourselves driving down this impossibly narrow little road, overgrown with bushes.  The bewildered, wide eyed stare of an elderly gentleman on his bicycle made us wonder if that road was even meant for a car!  We loved driving through the countryside, with the beautiful hilltop villages all around.  And we learnt to park like the French.  Which is anywhere where the car can fit, really!

Gordes, France
The town of Gordes, perched on a hilltop

But no one comes to Provence only for its beauty.  They most definitely come for the food too.  Think garlic, onions, tomatoes, olives, aubergines – think flavours of sunshine! And then there are the wonderfully aromatic “Herbes de Provence”.  It is typically a mixture of dried herbs which can include rosemary, oregano, marjoram and thyme.  It’s used in just about any dish; anything from meat to fish and even vegetables.  I just love the smell.  For me it’s the smell of Provence.  The tourist shops sells beautifully packaged little bags, but you have to shop carefully – if it just smells like dust, it probably is!  Of course, we did come home with a few bags… and a few grinders!  (It even inspired our own herb garden, so that we can grow and dry our own herbs, but that’s a story for another day!)

Herbes de Provence
Our stash of Herbes de Provence and the necessary grinder!
Fontvieille
A beautiful small town in Provence, Fontvieille

This dish is one of our favourite ways to celebrate the taste of Provence.  It is easy to make and the flavours really pack a punch; especially the combination of roasted tomatoes, olives and anchovies.  With the weekend coming up, it is a great little lunch to make in no time at all.  Go on, try it!

Provençale inspired chicken breasts with roasted tomatoes

(serves 2)

Ingredients:

For the chicken and marinade

2 chicken breasts

200ml olive oil

1 tbsp rosemary, chopped

1 tbsp thyme, chopped

6 basil leaves, chopped

2 garlic cloves, chopped

pinch of salt

pinch of ground black pepper

1 lemon, juice and zest only

For the roasted tomatoes

4 tomatoes, cut into quarters

2 garlic cloves, chopped

1 tsp thyme

75ml olive oil

pinch of salt

pinch of ground black pepper

1 tsp sugar

For the salad

10 basil leaves

1 tbsp capers

20g black olives, pitted

6 anchovies, chopped

100g rocket

10ml balsamic vinegar

Method:

  1. First, make the marinade.  Mix the olive oil, rosemary, thyme, basil, garlic, salt, pepper, lemon juice and lemon zest in a bowl.
  2. Pour about a quarter of the marinade into a separate jug.  This will be used to dress the salad at the end.
  3. Take the chicken breasts and wrap each one loosely in clingfilm.  Lightly smack each chicken breast so that it flattens slightly and are even.
  4. Rub the marinade all over the chicken.  Leave in the fridge to marinade for an hour.
  5. Pre-heat the oven to 160°C.
  6. Take the tomatoes and cut them into quarters.
  7. Mix the garlic, thyme, olive oil, salt, pepper and sugar together.  Cover the tomatoes thoroughly and place on a baking tray.
  8. Roast in the oven for 40 minutes at 160°C
  9. Heat a griddle pan and grill the chicken breasts on each side for 2 to 3 minutes, until slightly charred and cooked through.
  10. For the salad, mix the basil, capers, olives, anchovies and rocket with the marinade set aside earlier.
  11. To dish up, place the chicken on a plate, followed by the roasted tomatoes.  Top with the salad.
  12. Finish with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar around the plate.

Provencale inspired chicken breasts with roasted tomoatoes

2017-02-02
: 2

By:

Ingredients
  • For the chicken and marinade
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 200ml olive oil
  • 1 tbsp rosemary, chopped
  • 1 tbsp thyme, chopped
  • 6 basil leaves, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of ground black pepper
  • 1 lemon, juice and zest only
  • For the roasted tomatoes
  • 4 tomatoes, cut into quarters
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 75ml olive oil
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • For the salad
  • 10 basil leaves
  • 1 tbsp capers
  • 20g black olives, pitted
  • 6 anchovies, chopped
  • 100g rocket
  • 10ml balsamic vinegar
Directions
  • Step 1 First, make the marinade. Mix the olive oil, rosemary, thyme, basil, garlic, salt, pepper, lemon juice and lemon zest in a bowl.
  • Step 2 Pour about a quarter of the marinade into a separate jug. This will be used to dress the salad at the end.
  • Step 3 Take the chicken breasts and wrap each one loosely in clingfilm. Lightly smack each chicken breast so that it flattens slightly and are even.
  • Step 4 Rub the marinade all over the chicken. Leave in the fridge to marinade for an hour.
  • Step 5 Pre-heat the oven to 160°C.
  • Step 6 Take the tomatoes and cut them into quarters.
  • Step 7 Mix the garlic, thyme, olive oil, salt, pepper and sugar together. Cover the tomatoes thoroughly and place on a baking tray.
  • Step 8 Roast in the oven for 40 minutes at 160°C
  • Step 9 Heat a griddle pan and grill the chicken breasts on each side for 2 to 3 minutes, until slightly charred and cooked through.
  • Step 10 For the salad, mix the basil, capers, olives, anchovies and rocket with the marinade set aside earlier.
  • Step 11 To dish up, place the chicken on a plate, followed by the roasted tomatoes. Top with the salad.
  • Step 12 Finish with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar around the plate.
WorkFoodHome is growing

WorkFoodHome is growing

  In my inaugural post for 2017 I promised that this year WorkFoodHome would really showcase the things I am passionate about; more recipes, travel, photography – and hubby of course!  I am therefore very proud to share WorkFoodHome’s brand new look with you all […]

Sundried tomato and anchovy breadsticks

Sundried tomato and anchovy breadsticks

 You know what is one of hubby and my most favourite thing to do over the weekends?  You guessed it – making delicious food! But it’s not just the fact that we make nice food that we enjoy; more importantly, it is making food that […]

I’m baaaaaaaaaaack!

I’m baaaaaaaaaaack!

img_2523-copyWow, I can’t believe that it has been over four months since my last post!  As the saying goes – time flies when you’re having fun – but for me the past year was more a case of time that flew even though I was not having fun.

2016 was a tough year for me; probably one of the toughest yet.  It was professionally challenging more than anything else, but unfortunately I let that spill over into (and to a large extent consume) my personal life and it really had a negative impact on me.  I felt despondent, emotionally drained, not good enough, angry, sad, tired and sorry for myself.  And there was no way I could hide all of that in my writing.  So I stopped.  And I didn’t want to start again until I was sure that I was ready to be the real me again.

‘And now, what’s changed?’, I hear you ask.

Well, not a whole lot.  In reality, only one thing really.  Me.  My outlook on life.  My mindset.  And I’m back!

With the help of the love of my life, a.k.a my amazing husband and my friends (a special mention to the CoreCore team and my friend who had to come to the work’s kitchen with tissues on more than one occasion!), I’ve found my stride again.  I am so grateful to each and everyone one of you for putting up with my moods, my silences, my sarcastic comments, my tears, my self-doubt.  Never judging, always supporting and encouraging, and just being there for me.  I would not have made it through 2016 without you!

So there was no big epiphany.  Just a gradual realization (and acceptance) of what I already knew deep down inside.  That no one could do anything about the way I was feeling or the way I was reacting to what was happening to me, but myself.  I saw one of those motivational posters that read:  “There comes a point in your life when you realize that turning the page is the best feeling in the world, because there’s so much more to the book that the page you were stuck on.”  I was holding on to all the negative feelings for so long because it was just easier to do so than figuring out how to move forward.  So slowly I worked through the things I had going on in my head until I came to a point where I was finally ready to admit that only I could change the way I was feeling.  And yes, while the world around me is still pretty much the same, I now remember that I have control over how I react to those things that upset me and that just ignoring how I feel about it won’t make it go away either.  It’s like the old saying of not being able to fill a cup that is already full…  And going forward I will always make sure that there is always room in my cup for something more!

And what better way to celebrate than getting back to writing!

If I look back at my first blog post in December last year, I am so proud of having started WorkFoodHome!  I remember how scared I was when I pressed “publish” that first time!  (To be honest, most of my friends and family still don’t know that I have a blog, but that’s about to change! Deep breaths, deep breaths!)

So, in 2107 you can look forward WorkFoodHome really showcasing the things I am passionate about – more recipes, more travel stories and more beautiful photography – all with hubby by my side!

Here is to 2017 being filled with joie de vivre!

On weekend getaways… and pushing ‘reset’…

On weekend getaways… and pushing ‘reset’…

My blog has been a bit quiet lately – but I have had a very good excuse!  It’s been almost a year since I’ve had some proper leave from work;  I’m not just talking of a day here or there – but rather about proper […]

Moroccan lamb kebabs with flatbread

Moroccan lamb kebabs with flatbread

For us, Sundays are typically lazy days – having a little lie-in, then getting up and enjoying a cup of coffee on the patio and finally contemplating what we would like to do for the day. In the summer that mostly involves pottering around the […]

Reflection on the world today

Reflection on the world today

This morning when I woke up it was with much sadness that I read about the attack that happened in Nice, France, where a truck drove into a crowd of people, killing over 80.

What was even sadder is that every day around the world people are killed in so many senseless acts of violence.  Syria, Baghdad, Orlando, Paris… – those are just some of the more known ones.  But there is also the woman who gets raped and killed while out jogging, or the man robbed and shot dead, while waiting for a train.  And sometimes it feels to me that as a world we have become so desensitised to this; it’s only the latest event that makes the headlines for a day or so and then we move on… So much suffering because of  race, religion, sexual preference… because of evil.

I believe Mother Theresa said “I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.”

There ARE more good in this world than evil.  There are more of us that believe it the value of respecting one another; of allowing our fellow human beings to live in peace in this world.  It is not whether your religion is Christianity or Islam that counts… or if you love a woman or a man… it’s not a black or white life that matters… all innocent lives matter.  Let us respect that; let us live that value – and even if alone we can’t change the world, we can pray that by doing this we will lead by example and that we will leave a better and more peaceful, respectful world for our children and those to come after us.

I leave you with a song from a Just Jinjer, a South African band.  It was written a couple of years ago but as relevant today as it was then.  On my way to work this morning I could not help but think of the first few lines…

if there is grace in this world
if there is light on this earth
let us use it
let us see it
starting right now

can we be down with ourselves
respectful and mindful of one, of one another
your significant other
your sister, your brother

peace, love, more tolerance
faith, hope, trust in the same name of god

peace, love, more tolerance
faith, hope, trust in the same god in whose
name we die for, take an innocent life for
that’s not what he means
and it doesn’t matter what book you read

It’s called “What he means” – and it’s worth listening to it here.

Let us not just pray for Nice today…

let us pray for the world.

Steak tartare with pommes frites

Steak tartare with pommes frites

I was still small when I discovered that I did not mind rare (raw!) meat.  I remember when my mom used to buy our meat from the butcher at month-end… A Friday afternoon would be spent packing the meat, sausages and ground beef into portions and […]


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Provençale inspired chicken breasts with roasted tomatoes

Our first trip to Provence was in 2015.  What an adventure it was!  We hired a little car and drove to the villages close to Avignon.  Driving on the right-hand side of the road was quite nerve wrecking, but hubby quickly got the hang of […]

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