Four Ingredient Recipes: Ballotine Of Chicken – Daring Cooks April 2013 Challenge – Make No Bones About It!

I’m normally game for a challenge but I have to say that this one made me feel a little queazy! For the April Daring Cooks Challenge, Lisa from Parsley, Sage and Sweet has challenged us to debone a whole chicken, using this video by Jacques Pepin as our guide; then stuff it, tie it and roast it, to create a Chicken Ballotine.

And I wanted to try all of that using only 4 ingredients!! Ingredient 1 – the chicken… leaving 3 ingredients for the stuffing.

The process in the video wasn’t too hard to follow (although I think I got the front and back a bit mixed up at one point!) but I have to say that it took me a while to get it right. The wing bones were fairly easy to sort out but I struggled a bit with the fillets – possibly because they were quite small, maybe because I am so strong I ripped them off too early!! Once I was done I seasoned with salt, pepper and a little paprika and chilli.

For the stuffing I used:

  • My wife’s dad’s bread
  • Mushrooms
  • Yellow pepper

I finely chopped the mushrooms and pepper and softened them in the microwave then breadcrumbed the bread (although my wife pointed out that I should have removed the crusts!). I mixed the stuffing together and layered out on top of the chicken. The wrapping and tying were easier than the deboning! Cooked and cooled it’s even able to be sliced for sandwiches! 🙂 A great challenge and thanks to my wife’s assistance with working out which part of a chicken was which – as well as awesome knowledge of chicken anatomy her ballotine was tastier than mine too!

Thank you for a great challenge – definitely would do this again.

crossposted to tumblr

Leith Pale Ale




Kev and I have brewed our first batch of beer… and it’s delicious! We used an IPA kit and, to be honest, Kev really did all the work and I just helped wash the bottles and make some labels. Still… yum and home-brewed.

Replacing Google Reader with Tiny Tiny RSS

When Google announced that they were shutting down Reader it was a bit of a surprise as it seemed to me that a lot of people that I know relied on it. It was easily my most visited site – it was where all of my most visited sites lived! Anyway, instead of dwelling on Google I set out looking for an alternative. I liked the idea of a DIGG product, but didn’t want to wait. I think Feedly would do the trick for me, but I wanted something that I could be the boss of. Lifehacker suggested Tiny Tiny RSS and it looked like the one for me. The installation was easy enough – the steps are all here. The Android App works like a dream, even better than the way Google Reader works on Android. 🙂 The iPad version was a little bit of hassle to find but once the digest for slate plugin was activated things were sorted. I’ve set it all up on a subdomain and I’m pretty happy. At the moment it only pings all of the feeds to check for new articles when I’m in a full browser (not on Android or iPad) but that’s the next thing to work on.

I guess that I should end this post by asking “What’s next on Google’s kill list?” – especially since some of the most loyal users were punished it seems that no service is safe:

  • Latitude
  • Alerts
  • News
  • Blogger
  • Voice
  • Keep
  • TV
  • Groups
  • Offers
  • Talk
  • Drive

What do you think?

Self-Hosted Digital Diary

Paper diaries seem a bit dated for the 21st century, where all text needs to be searchable. Carrying around traditional diaries also seems a little unwieldy when everywhere we go we have an internet-capable device. So here’s an alternative – a self-hosted digital diary.

  1. Use Google Drive and set up a form with a few fields that you want to record each day (I suggest fields to record where you are, what you did, how you felt, etc – I also included a few checkboxes for basic health tracking but you can record whatever you want from long-form text to ten bullet points)
  2. Set the form to publish to a Goolge spreadsheet
  3. Go to the live form and copy the code
  4. Edit the page style and save it (you might want to prettify it a bit to strip out Google branding etc)
  5. Upload the form as a page on your website/sub-domain using ftp
  6. Visit that page each day and you’ve got a form that you can go to that will save your diary online for you

I’ve been using this for a week and it’s awesome. Let me know what you think!