10K: Running because I’m rubbish at it and Chicken and Chorizo Paella as I’m quite good at it.

I thought that tennis and Crossfit isn’t enough an I need to start running as well  🙂 Actually, I do need some kind of a plan for summer holidays, as we going to Estonia for 3 weeks and I need something to keep me motivated nad moving. Also my tennis sessions stop for nearly 10 weeks as well. So I decided to sign up for the 10K race in September. (UPDATE! they have just cancelled the race I picked, so need to find anothere one for September)

I can’t remember, when I last run as long distance, maybe never. I done 5K few times, so I needed new challenge. I picked beginners 12 week  training plan from the Running Bug  webpage. I run 3 times a week and still do 3 -4 Crossfit sessions a week (not at the moment though as I spend lot’s of time driving my too active children around, which puts my needs ont o the hold) When I’m on holiday I will do only running.

The two first runs have been relatively easy for me –  4 x 5 min run with 2 min walk between. The first run I took Lonni with me. She was bit confused about it all. Usually she runs around woods and disappears to the bushes and I don’t see her for a while. Seeing me running, she didn’t trust to let me out of her sight, maybe she thought I just gallop away – as if 🙂 So she run straight behind me and tried really hard to drip me over. Unfortunately this didn’t work to slow me down so she thought it would be good idea to choke herself to death with a stick. This did make me stop and I got actually really worried about her. Luckily she managed to make herself sick and got rid of whatever was making her choke and running could continue. Next time, when she won’t come, when called I just might try running, seems that this resolves all the recall issues 🙂

   

Mu next run was supposed to be on Sunday -3 x min, 2 min walk between the runs but I got dragged into the “car washing project”, which took over our day and also I have a huge project of decluttering our house going on. So I decided start with the plan again this week as there is still time to fit my 12 week training in.

I think I did right, picking beginners plan – I’m rubbish at running and usually I try to get out of it or moan beforehand, when I know there is running in Crossfit workout. At the moment I actually have been enjoining those runs and I think I had reasonable speed (comparing to the slow-mo speed I use to run) 🙂

No idea how fast I actually run, or what my heart rate was. Not planning to waste money on any expensive devices at the moment, so will run as fast as I feel comfortable and try to challenge myself a bit as well.

I also dragged my daughter into it , who said she’ll come to the race with me. She has become quite athletic young lady after starting Crossfit over 2 years ago.

I think it’s the good place to jot down one paella recipe so I don’t have to look for piece of paper with the recipe, every time I need it. I have been cooking this for crowds (100 people)  past 2 years. Not many people will need recipe for 100 people so this one here is for 8.

CHICKEN AND CHORIZO PAELLA

800g chicken meat – I love chicken thighs and wings with skin on. It’s so much tastier and juicer, but any parts of chicken is ok for this paella.

800g Paella rice – you should be ok t find it for 8 people, but for 100 people I usually have to go 3 different supermarkets to get the required quantity! I should be more organised and order it online beforehand!

200 g diced cooking chorizo, I used a mixture of regular one and spicy one

250g chopped green beans

1 tin (400g) of chopped tomatoes

1.8 l boiling chicken stock (I have been using Knorr stock pots, here you would need 3-4 pots)

pinch of saffron

1tsp of Sweet Paprika ( I found it from Waitrose)

1 Red pepper sliced and preferably roasted, it will give such delicious taste to your paella, I have roasted it in the oven

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 medium onion, finely chopped

Salt

Fresh Rosemary  Sprigs

1 lemon (cut into wedges) for decoration

for extra lush finish use fresh asparagus, sautéed in the olive oil or you can steam it –  but you don’t have to use it  🙂

  1. Usually I prepare everything before hand and store ingredients resealable bags or boxes, so I’m ready to go – it’s necessary if cooking for crowds.
  2. Cut the chicken to suitable size pieces or if using drumsticks and wings, I just leave them as they are. I don’t cut the breast pieces too small or they lose their juicienes.
  3. Remove the “skin” from chorizo and dice it to small pieces.
  4. Chop the beans, I usually cut them to 3
  5. Make  the stock ready – mix the stockpot with boiling water add pinch of saffron and let it infuse.
  6. Wash the pepper and de-seed. Slice it and lay evenly on to the oven tray. Roast it for about 15-20 minutes around 220C. check occasionally and tak it out from the oven just before it starts to turn black
  7. Peel and chop the onion.
  8. NOW THE COOKING BEGINS! Heat some olive oil in your paella pan and cook the chicken pieces sprinkled with some salt, until they browned all around. Half way through, add chorizo and mix it all well so the chorizo flavour gets into the chicken pieces. When done, push the chicken and chorizo outside of the pan
  9. Now you need to make “Sofrito”, it’s what gives your paella “right” taste. First “sweat” onions on slow temprature on middle of the paella pan until soft. Then add chopped tomatoes and cook on the medium heat. Keep stirring. When the mixture reduces down and thickens and turns dark red colour – you have your perfect “sofrito”
  10. Bring the chicken and chorizo back to the middle and mix it woth sofrito. Add sweet paprika and half of the roasted peppers. Mix everything and keep fryinf for the few minutes.
  11. Add the hot stock and deglaze the pan until everything mixed well. Taste for seasoning.
  12. Now add the chopped beans, mix well and keep boiling around 5 minutes.
  13. Add the rice and mix it gently. Try to get the rice to even layer to the pan so all of it will be covered with the stock. Don’t mix it after that and keep the heat low. After about 10 minutes the rice should be appear through the liquid, turn the heat really low and keep cooking another 10 minutes. If the rice drys out unevenly you can move the rice around carefully.
  14. When the rice is dried out, taste a bit from the top layer, it should be “al dente”. Cover the pan with foil and turn up the heat. You might hear popping sound as the paella “caramellaising”. Covering pan also helps finishing off the cooking of the top layer of the rice.
  15. Turn off the heat. Decorate with lemon wedges, rest of the roasted peppers and prepared asparagus. I also pop some rosmary sprigs on the pan and recover it with the foil. Leave it at least for 15 minutes or more.
  16. Remove the foil and serve, not forgetting to scrape the caramellise bits from the pan
  17. When cooking larger quantities, the timings will be longer, sometimes MUCH longer! I learned it from my first time, when cooking for 100.                                                             ENJOY!!!

Note to myself – I need to find better version of veggie paella as omitting the meat from this, doesn’t relly measure up – at least I don’t think so.

2016 – what a year!

Another year has gone. It feels like only yesterday I wrote about our 2015. The 2016 has been emotional roller-coaster, not personally, but for the world and I think lots of decision made in 2016, will affect us all years to come.

January

Like always the biggest event on the first month of the year is our dear son birthday. Other than that I can’t remember much going on. Just recovering from the Christmas, getting back to the school/work/Crossfit/tennis/football/scouts routine with all family.

February

I have managed to save photos from my lovely cousin visit to somewhere secret, so only picture I can find is the one in the Facebook 🙂 How did we manage before the Facebook?? It’s weird, how you see the place you live through eyes of your guests, when you showing around. We just don’t notice, how much history and interesting places there are around us. We went to London, visited Tower Bridge – first time in 14 years, I have been living here, only an hour trip from London 🙁 We also went to Cambridge and the weather was unusually warm to February.

Rare occasion of Collins family playing tourists in London!

March

Getting more difficult as I have no idea what’s happened in March??  Oh yes, we had Timo’s birthday party, because it’s really hard to organise anything straight after Christmas, so it’s not so unusual to have his birthday celebration just before Keitis 🙂 The Easter was really early this year and we were stressing over the Timo’s Secondary School options.

April

Ok. For April I can find lots of dog and cats photos in my phone. We really have to get our act together and be more creative with our diaries 🙂 🙂 Keiti was only one, who actually did something exciting and went to skiing to Austria. On 25th of April I had one year from starting the CrossFit, dragging everyone else in the family into as well 🙂

May

May is birthdays month (Keiti and Simon) and our anniversary month as well and we so lucky to have 2 Bank Holidays in May. There were cricket matches in village green, which are so British and I have finally got hang of with the rules of the game now. There were beautiful sunsets and our first meals out in the garden, which almost feels like being on holiday. There is the Eurovision, which everyone hates but still watches 🙂 We had night out in London for Simons birthday, went to see QI recording, which was real treat. Our lovely daughters birthday, just can’t believe I’m a parent of this lovely young lady – how did it happened? We found duckling in our garden, who we tried to get back to his home, running around the village and knocking to the neighbours doors, carrying him in the plastic box. He got finally rescued by Rosina Animal Centre, with the help from my lovely neighbours and duckling was named Terry! 🙂 Terry was released after the month, back to the bond, where he hopefully found family or at least new friends. We went to our annual camping trip to the border of the Devon and Cornwall. We were blessed with the best weather with lots of sunshine.

June

Our camping trip continued in June, only to get back, when the rollercoaster started. We learned, what BREXIT means – maybe not, as we still don’t know, how it will actually happen, but it definitely have shaken up the world politics. I even have BREXIT flowerbed in our garden 🙂 I needed to channel my frustration somewhere, I weeded and dag and it actually looked quite decent in the end. 🙂 I baked cakes for the Antique Roadshow at Ightham Mote and cook huge paella for 150 people at the Ightham music festival.

July

July was all about Timos last month in primary school. We had mums night out at the school summer ball. Our children primary school has been such big part of our lives past 10 years, so it is very different now, not to drive up the little village lane to drop off or pick up our children. There were lots of parties for mums and quite few for children. I have met so many lovely ladies during those years and I was sad, when it draw to the end. We also went to the local farm strawberry picking picnic with live music.  I must say I didn’t pick any strawberries 🙁 but enjoyed the crowd and live bands. We spent day at Whitstable, when children did waters sports with scouts.End of the July, when children finished the school they were off to scout camp to Jersey, so we had 10 days without children – first time since we become parents! We had mini holiday in Poole and met up with my friends from the volleyball days for my friend’s 50-s birthday at Wiltshire. We visited Chilli festival at Dorset. I love summers! We get up for so much more!

August

August is our usual holiday months, but we didn’t go to Estonia this year. Instead we spent some time at Deal, found fantastic sandy beach in Broadstairs and first time ever in UK, I went to swim in the sea! The waves were amazing and we all really loved it!

September

Back to school! Both our children are in the secondary school, which has started new era in our lives. Keiti completed her first ever mud race and she did incredibly well. Very impressed with her. As I said before, Crossfit has changed us all 🙂

October

There was some baking but most importantly there was mini break in Milan, with my bestest friends. We laughed 4 days in a row and I love my friends dearly for that. We had lots of delicious food and wine and we chatted for the years we haven’t seen each other. Also, we are selfie queens 🙂 Thank you girls – I love you!

November

Watching football in freezing cold, trying new recipes, lots of Crossfit and tennis, dog walks. Just the everyday routine. But I didn’t mind it 🙂 and of course the world shocker – Trump became American president – oh dear!

December

Finally, end of the year! lots of rushing around to get ready for the Christmas, shopping, cleaning, organising. Oh! Had great Christmas party with my CrossFit buddies, lovely family Christmas, beautiful walk after festivities. What I like overall – sitting in my dining room, TV entertainments are on, fire roars, candles flickering, I haven’t bothered with make up, I have comfy leggings and top on, chatting with my far friends in Facebook and writing summary of my year. It’s best place to be.

I wish you all Happy New Year! And I really hope that 2017 brings us more clarity and common sense.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Year 2013 – gone for good!

 See postitus tuleb nüüd eesti keeles kuna … ma ei teagi miks, aga tundub kuidagi ôigem.

Nii et, mis juhtus kaua oodatud 2013 aastal, mis oli vast emotsionaalsemalt üks raskemaid viimase 10 vôi ehk isegi 15 aasta jooksul.

Jaanuar

Algas suure lootustega nagu iga uus aasta, lubadused teha rohkem sporti, süüa vähem, kasutada rohkem aega oma sôpradega suheldes, veeta vähem aega TV ees. No tôepoolest ma ei saa uhke olla ühegi lubaduse täitmise eest, istun siin detsember 2013, söön shokolaadi, joon veini, vaatan poole silmaga telekat kui samas kirjutan seda postitust, kindlasti kohe ei higista ma hetkel mingit füüsilist tegevust tehes, ainuke, mis mind päästab et olen FB kahe sôbraga juba üle tunni vestelnud.

Nii et mis siis toimus pea aasta tagasi:

  • Aasta esimene päev sai juba traditsiooniliselt veedetud Simoni venna perel külas Londonis.

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  • Timo sai 8 aastaseks – jummel küll, kuhu see aeg küll kaob?

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Veebruar

  • Aasta jubedamaid hetki – ma sain neljakümneseks! Tean, tean kôik üle neljakümnesed  ütlevad nüüd, et elu alles algab, aga ainus mis mind masendab on mitte need uued kortsud ja suurenev keskkoht,vaid arvutused järelejäänud oletavast ajst siin maamuna peal. Ma olen juba 40 aastat eksisteerinud ja fakt on see et, ma ikka veel ei ole seal kus ma olla tahksin ja aiinkohal ei räägi ma materiaalsetest eesmärkidest.

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  • Samuti mahtus veebruarisse väike puhkus Bristolis ja külastasime Cheddarit (kust on pärit meie igapäevane juust)

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Märts

  • Märtsikuu suursündmuseks oli meie väike reis Prantsusmaale.

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1075

 

579

 

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 Aprill

  • Suht igav kuu, ma ei suuda leida ühtegi märget et midagi huvitavat oleks minuga juhtunud aga tundub, et lastel oli lôbu laialt.

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St George päeva tähistamine

Mai

  • Selle aasta numbris ühinesin fotograafia klassiga, mille raames sai ette vôetud mitmeid väljasôite. Üks toredamaid oli Rochesteris Sweep Festivalil. Kahjuks pole aega oma uut kaamerat nii tihti kui sooviksin kasutada (jällegi üks uue aasta lubadusi tuleb siit)

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 Samuti käisime jälegi Prantsusmaal sedakorda siis Pariisis Simoni sünnipäeva puhul.

  • Eiffeli torn.

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  • Ja saime kokku oma toredate sôpradega

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  • Ja muidugi kôige tähtsam maikuu sündmus –  kallis tütreke sai 11 aastaseks

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Juuni

Suvekuu algas kohe fotoklassi väljasôiduga Rochesteri sedakorda siis Dickensi Festivalile.

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  • Tundub et juuni mööduski pildistamise tähe all, siin siis klassiga Maidstoni piiskopi palee juures pildistamas. Seal pandi ka meid Simoniga 11 aasta eest paari.

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  • Ja klassiga pildistamas linde 🙂 Leedsi lossis.

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Juuli

Juulikuu möödus Keiti algkooli lôpetamise tähe all.

  • Nende klassijuhataja lavastas fantastilise Oliveri muusikali, mis oli tôeline elamus.

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  • Ja see oli Keiti fantastiline algkooliklass

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  •  Juulisse jäi ka Collinsite pere üli lôbus telkimise-möllamise nädalavahetus Simoni ema suve majakeses St Marys at Cliffes.

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August

Nagu alati on august Eesti kuu ja sellest vôiks eraldi postituse kohe teha. Kuna oleme paar viimast aastat autoga kohale vuranud on uusi elamusi palju.

  • Selle aasta märksônadeks on kindlasti Poola – täielik avastus mulle, fantastilised vanalinnad, toredad inimesed, palju vahvaid hetki..

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Poznan

  • Collins & Co kohvik minu kallite sôpradega Augustiunetusel.

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  • Hilisôhtune ujumine äikeselises Pärnu lahes kôige kallimatega

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  • Ja muidugi kôige tähtsam sündmus 2013 aastal – meie Lonni.

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 September

  • No ei leia ühtegi ürituse pilti, ma usun et September möödus kutsika kasvatamise tähe all 🙂

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Oktoober

  • Selle kuu suursündmus – kooli kokkutulek, nagu alati on vanade klassikaaslastega tore kokku saada ja kindlasti oli kaugelt Inglismaalt ekstra kohale tulemine seda väärt. Kuna tegemist oli spordiklassiga siis sel pildil üritab igaüks oma sporti imiteerida, vaata kas arvad ära 🙂

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November

  • Aasta suursündmus oli reis Tenerifidele mu kallite sôbrannadega. Lubasime seda teha 11 aastat tagsi minu lahkumise peol Eestis, rebisime isegi selle kinnituseks 5 kroonise katki ja jagasime laiali 🙂 ja tänu kalli Kädi tahtejôule sai see reis ka tehtud.

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Aitähh mu kôige kallimad.

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Detsember

Jôulukuu algus möödus kiirelt cateringi tähe all koos mitmete magamate öödega, aga see oli seda väärt. Kahjuks ei ole mul kunagi aega roogadest pilte teha kuna pole piisavalt tunde ööpäevas, et kôike aegsalt valmis saada. Loodan et parandan end selles suhtes.

Jôulupuu sai tuppa, kaarte jälle ei saatnud – sorry! Mitmetel jôulupeodel käidud (isegi Lonnil oli oma jôulupidu) ja suur jôulusööming 10 kg kalkuniga Collinsite perele korraldatud….kuid pilte pole tehtud. Simon ja lapsed käisid aasta lôpus Pariisis tuuritamas, kui mina korralik tööinimene kontoris kükitasin. Kuna piltidega on see kuu kehvasti siis jääb siia postituse lôppu meie pere värskeim ja ka väikseim (mitte kauaks) liige.

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 HEAD UUT AASTAT!!

Lugu uueks aastaks, et ôigele lainele end häälestada

Pharrell Williams – Happy

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dish a day!

I have wanted to start this blog long time ago and always found excuse – mainly I have no time, which is not strictly true as I have plenty of time to watch some rubbish TV. So from today for a month I’ll post one dish or meal I had on the day. So there will be 30 dishes coming on your way 🙂 Also I try to use one ingredient from my cupboard, which have been hiding behind everything too long.

Ttoday the first thing I found was cornmeal and with cup of tea some Bacon – Chilli muffins sounded perfect for me.

2 eggs

350 grams of plain yogurt + 100 grams of soured cream (can be all one or other, it was combination I founded from my fridge)

50 g butter

65 g plain flour

2 tsp or maybe less if bacon is salty

1 tsp biocarbonate of soda

275g cornmeal (I used fine one)

4 rashers of bacon

1tsp chilli flakes or use fresh chilli if you preffer

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Before

First grill or fry bacon and crumble it to small pieces. Whisk 2 eggs in a big bowl then add yogurt or sour cream or both. Add also melted butter and whisk everything together. Sift flour, salt and soda together and add to the mixture. Then add cornmeal gradually, crumbled bacon and chilli flakes. 1tsp chilli flakes makes quite hot muffins so add bit less if you want them bit milder.

Grease muffin tray with bacon fat left over from cooking or with bit of oil. Fill to about 3/4 with the muffin mixture and bake on Gas Mark 6/ 200C for 20 minutes.

I enjoyed them with roasted onion cream cheese and Red onion chutney and delicious it was!

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After – Bacon – Chilli Muffins

 

 

UPDATE! Our Labrador Lonni has finished them off as we left them stupidly on the table. Mhm…how the digestion goes with this chilli – burned bum me thinks 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

Lonni

Here she is – chocolate Labrador – our Lonni!

I have dreamt about a dog all my life and finally I have one – just had to wait about 30 years. What I didn’t realize that having a dog is like having a baby, only difference is that this “baby” can straight away cause awfully lots of trouble and run away from you.  So it’s 100 times harder 🙂 and it’s all happening very quickly! So for month now I could forget about worrying diets and eating, because there is no time for food 🙂

But despite everything – she’s lovely and I already love her to bits!

I do feel sorry for our cats Tomi and Molly, who won’t hang out with us in the living room anymore as it’s taken over by Lonni. I really hope that one day they can be peacefully together in same room. But for now, our house is filled with safety gates to keep trouble out of the most of the rooms. Our books and baskets full of stuff have left the living room and the carpet is covered with layer of cardboard and paper.

Lonni 9 weeks

Lonni 9 weeks old

 

Lonni 12 weeks

Lonni 12 weeks old