Easy Chicken Curry

One of the things I enjoy doing is cooking. I don’t have a favourite style, I just enjoy cooking in general. I like eating too, so these go hand in hand quite nicely.

In any case I got in from work today and threw together a quick and easy chicken curry. You’ll notice that some of the ingredients don’t have any quantities, this is because I didn’t measure them and used whatever I had in the kitchen. This recipe will take around 45 minutes or so to prepare and cook.

Ingredients (Serves 2 or 3) medium spicy

  • 1 pack of chicken breast fillets cut into cubes
  • 1 onion chopped finely
  • 2 garlic cloves chopped finely or crushed
  • 1 chilli pepper finely chopped (can be left out)
  • 1 bell pepper finely chopped
  • mushrooms chopped
  • small piece of root ginger, peeled and grated
  • 2 tbsp curry powder (adjust to taste)
  • 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
  • half a chopped tomato tin of cold water
  • Spray oil or cooking oil (depends how healthy you want it)
  • Rice or cauliflower to accompany

Method

I use 1 cal spray oil as it is healthier than using glugs of oil, but whatever you want to use.

Fry the onions and garlic in a pan until browned. Add the chopped chilli pepper and grated ginger and fry for another 2 or 3 minutes.

Add 1 tbsp of the curry powder and stir in well, fry for a further 1 minute.

Add the cubed chicken and brown off, then add the chopped tomatoes, and the cold water.

Stir in the chopped bell pepper, mushrooms, and the rest of the curry powder. bring back to the boil and simmer for 30 minutes.

While the curry is simmering cook the rice or cauliflower. Adjust timings so everything is done at the same time.

Serve!

This is really easy to make and most people have these ingredients in the fridge/store cupboards.

 

Oh ITIL where has all the fun gone?

I am studying for my ITIL Foundation qualification. This first paragraph from the official study guide strikes fear into my very heart.

“Organisations operating in dynamic environments need to improve their performance and maintain competitive advantage. Adopting best practices in industry-wide use can help to improve capability.”

Straight in with the management speak, no pulling punches here. Ok so I wasn’t expecting it to be a gripping read and I struggle to learn by straight reading, but oh boy this material is so dry I have to keep it away from naked flames.

Though there are many resources on the internet that help to explain it in a way that encourages interest, it is still the dullest material I have ever come across. The ITIL framework is designed to support and integrate IT Service Management into the business environment, describing the key principles and practices as a set of resources and capabilities such as processes, people and technology.

See what I mean?

So how to make it more interesting to learn? I tried substituting the word process (it comes up a lot) with something else that is totally out of context. I chose kitten. Now here is a paragraph as it appears in the study book:

“The process owner role is accountable for ensuring that a process is fit for purpose, i.e. that it is capable of meeting its objectives; that it is performed according to the agreed and documented standard; and that it meets the aims of the process definition. This role may be assigned to the same person carrying out the process manager role.”

Wow, heavy going I hear you say. Now here is the fun version:

“The kitten owner role is accountable for ensuring that a kitten is fit for purpose, i.e. that it is capable of meeting its objectives; that it is performed according to the agreed and documented standard; and that it meets the aims of the kitten definition. This role may be assigned to the same person carrying out the kitten manager role.”

Who wouldn’t want to be a kitten manager? You need to make sure that the kitten is fit for purpose, does it chase a laser pointer dot when presented? Is it a cute ball of fluff that can climb the curtains? Makes writing the kitten definition fun, making sure all the objectives are met. And as a kitten owner, you can be a kitten manager too! It’s just too good to be true.

But alas I cannot procrastinate any longer, I still have dull studying to do, I just wanted to share the tediousness of the material I am trying to learn.

Oh and if for some reason you are wondering what the word ITIL means, it is an acronym – Information Technology Infrastructure Library.

Carly

She’s not a kitten, but couldn’t help posting a photo of my study partner.

Rediscovered Treasures

If you’re anything like me then you have boxes of ‘stuff’ in the attic. Boxes filled with things that may come in useful one day. You have to understand I am a borderline obsessive hoarder. I don’t like to get rid of anything, everything will have a use or could be mended.

I needed to find something from one of these boxes. I knew it was up there, but not in which box. I had been putting this off for a while, mainly for two reasons;

  1. I don’t like spiders. There are many up there, hanging like macabre eight legged Christmas baubles. Staring at me with their eight beady eyes, just waiting to drop on my head, or down the collar of my shirt. This causes me to scream uncontrollably.
  2. The boxes are stacked in a way which is massively inconvenient to get to anything. And it’s hot up there. And dusty. And full of spiders (see number 1)

So after half an hour of Tetris stacking to avoid the boxes falling off the boarded area and falling through the ceiling of the bedroom below, I found a box which was heavy. Really heavy. I’m thinking to myself how on earth did I get this up here? Anyway with growing excitement I took the packing tape off to look inside to see what was contained in this corrugated cardboard sarcophagus. What I found caused waves of joy and memories wash across me. Think of the scene in Indiana Jones and The Raiders of The Lost Ark where the ark of the covenant was opened and all the whooshing spirits came out. It was pretty much like that, just with no Nazis or face melting.

I know what you’re thinking, come on James just tell us what was in the box, what could have caused such unbridled joy and happiness? Is it Gold? Diamonds? The last Panini sticker to complete your album?

I’ll stop your wildly inaccurate guesses right there, what I had in the really heavy box were all of my RPG books, everything I had collected over the course of my life. Boxed up and forgotten, sent to live with the spiders. These books were some of the best friends I had during my teenage years, there abandoned in the dark, dusty confines of my spider infested attic. (I may have mentioned I don’t like spiders)

I manhandled the box down the ladder, nearly slipping and snapping my spine like a twig. Got it down the stairs and into the sitting room. My eldest son (he’s 12) looked up from whatever it was he was reading, and seeing the big heavy box immediately focussed on its contents.

What followed was an hour of rediscovering lost treasures, made even better by having number one son help me to sift through all the bits of paper, books, and box sets. Most of my collection consisted of 2nd Edition Advanced Dungeons and Dragons material, although amongst all the books, there is a mix of original , 1st edition, and 3rd edition Dungeons and Dragons, I might catalogue it in a future post, but there is a lot!

After we had sorted into editions, the first thing we did in a father/son bonding time was roll up ridiculously high level characters. His character was a 12th level Firbolg (a giant kin), and mine was a human 15th level armoured wizard/9th level cleric. Now before anyone points out that wizards can’t wear armour, or a Firbolg isn’t a playable race in AD&D, these were created using the skills and powers player’s option rules add-on. This enables a kind of assignable point system that is simple yet complex at the same time. But worth it to have an ARMOURED wizard.

I was filled with pride as I passed the torch (well all my books) to my son who now has all this gaming material on the bookshelves in his bedroom. It brings back fond memories from when I was the same age, receiving my first D&D rule book from my parents for Christmas, and spending the rest of the day creating my own worlds and inhabitants.

My rediscovered treasures are his gateway into the greatest fantasy realm ever. The only limit? His imagination.