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Me & my sis

I need to take the beginning of this blog to introduce myself. I am Poppy, Alix’s sister. Alix and I thought it would be fun for me to do some blog posts, shake things up a bit. I’m not a chef, but I can cook relatively well, so together we can muddle through and put Alix’s recipes to the test and maybe even venture out to test some of her restaurant recommendations.

Coming from a food obsessed family, I am just as passionate about food as Alix is, I think I may overtake her on passion for eating however – with a bottomless appetite and a chef for a sister living around the corner, I really don’t stop eating, so I feel I have slight authority to write about food.

I love anything, from a Victoria sponge to a roasted pig’s head….as long as it isn’t chicory salad, I love it.  I’m in the first year of doing a postgrad degree in paediatric nursing (that’s children, not feet – an unusually common mistake ‘why on earth would you want to specialize in feet so soon?’). This means that I’m waking up indecently early to get to work for 7:15, I then run around a hospital ward for 13 hours before sleep walking home to supper, bath and bed.

I can’t afford to get ill, I need endless stores of power to run after little people who are getting away from me as fast as possible – often on bikes or scooters (Yes, we have these on the wards. If you don’t want an injection, running isn’t enough, best to adopt an alternative means of transport), and I like to make all my food at the beginning of the week then munch my way through it. Therefore, when I’m writing, you’re going to be hearing lots about recipes to give you energy, keep you healthy, that are quick to make, can be bulk made and most importantly, not too expensive.

So, Alix sent me this earlier in the week and here I am making it as I type. So far it has taken half an hour to cook and that is with me faffing and chatting, so I’m sure it could be quicker if you need. The flat has been filled with warmth from the oven and a delicious smell that is making memories of the day fade away. I know that coming home after work you can often feel like getting something and popping it in the microwave, but actually cooking supper can be the little bit of therapy at the end of your day, time to sort your head and get your senses retuned.

Remember when you take the chicken out of the oven to turn off the oven and then open the door wide open and let your legs enjoy a little heat. That may sound mad, but it’s always one of my highlights of cooking. I’m sitting here wearing 4 jumpers – if I could fit in the oven I’d be there with the chicken. I live in a flat with plenty of plates, but I tend to eat out of a marvellous deep dish as it fits ‘proper amounts’ in it. Alix pointed out the other day that it’s for serving potatoes in, but actually I find it just perfect for meals like this one, where more is definitely better. I’m going to be packing up any leftovers for lunch tomorrow. So, here it is – give it a go! More from me soon…

Quick and cheap supper for 2 (or one…)

Chicken and chickpeas


1/2 tsp. sea salt

pinch pepper

1/2 tsp. chopped rosemary

Splash of balsamic vinegar

Splash of olive oil

For the chicken

4 chicken thighs

1 red onion

4 cloves of garlic

2 red peppers

4 tomatoes

Olive oil

1/2 tsp. fresh rosemary

1 can chick peas, drained

Start by mixing the marinade ingredients together. Add in the chicken thighs and allow them to sit for 10-20 minutes (the longer the better if you have time, and preferably overnight if you can). Preheat the oven to 180C.

Cut up the onion and cook it with a little oil on a medium heat for 7-10 minutes. Add in the garlic and cook for a further 2 minutes. While this is cooking, cut the pepper and tomatoes as you like. Add this into the pan and allow to simmer for 10 minutes. While this is cooking, place the chicken in a roasting tray and bake for 15 minutes. Now add the olive oil and rosemary to the tomato sauce. Stir to mix and check seasoning. Add salt, pepper, sugar or vinegar to balance. Finally, add in the chickpeas, and place the chicken on top. Place a lid on the pan or cover with foil and cook for a further 10 minutes.

Season and serve!