Wednesday 22 August 2018

Lightning Chicken Recipe

If you have read my recent This and That blog post or follow me on Instagram you will know that I have set myself a weekly 'cook a new recipe' challenge.

One of my lovely ex-mothers-in-law, don't judge but I have had a few, suggested I try Chelsea Winter's Lightning Chicken as it is quick, easy and delicious.  She was right on all counts.

So without further ado, here is the recipe!

Lightning Chicken With Thyme Cream

Why "lightning" chicken? Because it's as quick as lightning to prepare! The trick is to make sure you get a good golden colour on the thighs when you sear them, because it's that colour that creates the flavour of the sauce - Chelsea Winter

Prep time: 5 minutes / Cook time: 20 minutes
Serves: 4-6


  • 1kg chicken thighs (bone-in or boneless, skin-on or skinless)
  • Neutral oil, e.g. grapeseed, for frying
  • 25g butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • ¹∕³ cup white wine
  • ½ cups cream
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme leaves

To Cook:

  1. Remove the chicken from the fridge 30-60 minutes before cooking. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Season on both sides with salt and pepper, being quite generous.
  2. Heat 1-2 tablespoons of the oil in a large frying pan over a fairly high heat. When very hot, add the chicken (skin-side down if it has skin). You may need to do this in two batches – don't crowd the pan or the chicken might start stewing.
  3. Leave the chicken to fry without turning until it has turned a deep golden brown colour on one side. Turn over and brown the other side. You can turn the chicken back over a couple of times to get it looking browner and crispier. Also, the more crusty brown stuff that builds up in the bottom of the pan, the better.
  4. When both sides of the chicken are lovely and brown, set aside on a plate or roasting tray.
  5. Tip any excess oil from the pan and replace over a medium heat. 
  6. Add the butter and garlic and swish it around for 30 seconds. 
  7. Add the wine, increase the heat to high, and let it bubble rapidly for about 30-60 seconds to evaporate the alcohol – it should reduce by about half.
  8. Stir in the cream and thyme, then add the chicken and any resting juices. 
  9. Reduce the heat to medium-high and let everything simmer until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce has reduced down to a nice consistency – not too thick; it's quite a rich sauce. If it becomes too thick, simply add more cream and simmer again until you're happy with it. 
  10. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  11. Serve with steamed greens and mash, new potatoes, pasta, bulghur wheat or rice.
not the nicest plating but everyone was starving so it was a quick serve!
I didn't quite have a full tbsp of fresh thyme but aside from that, it was delicious. The Cowboy and I loved this, the Princess liked the chicken but not the sauce. The recipe made enough that the Cowboy and I also had it for dinner last night.

I sourced the recipe from here.

Rachael xo

Sunday 19 August 2018

La Roche-Posay® Effaclar Skincare Review

I recently reviewed La Roche-Posay® Effaclar Foaming Gel and La Roche-Posay® Effaclar Duo Plus for

Both products from this skincare range impressed me and if you have oily or blemish-prone skin they will impress you as well.

The cleanser, La Roche-Posay® Effaclar Foaming Gel comes in a generous 200ml tube. The packaging is simple, giving the product a 'dermatological' feel, while the blue and white colour scheme has a fresh and cooling vibe.
The gel is simple to use, only a small amount is needed and it massages nicely into the skin. It leaves the skin feeling clean without the tightness that other cleansers sometimes have. Although, I did notice my skin didn't feel as soft as it usually does when I use my normal cleanser.
During the first week of use, my skin became very flaky and I had more breakouts than normal. Other reviewers also found this. The breakouts dried and cleared very quickly and by the second week, my skin was smooth and even looking.

From the second week of use on, my skin settled down and I noticed I did not suffer from the hormonal breakouts around my jawline and chin that I would normally have.

Overall, I was impressed with this cleanser and would happily recommend it, especially to those who have oily or problematic skin.
The moisturiser, La Roche-Posay® Effaclar Duo Plus comes in a 40ml white tube and like its buddy the foaming gel, the packaging has a fresh 'dermatological' vibe.

It applies and absorbs nicely into the skin but I do find I need to use a generous amount to cover my entire face which seems disproportionate to the size of the product.
The La Roche-Posay® Effaclar Duo Plus promises to correct imperfections and it certainly lives up to its promise. Before using this product,  I was on the verge of going to a dermatologist regarding the under skin bumps around my jawline. Since using this product the smaller bumps have disappeared and the large ones are reducing in size. I have noticed blemishes dry and heal quickly. Overall, my skin is smoother, I feel my pores look more refined in appearance and my skin tone is even and clear.

My only complaint about this product is that it does not seem to be particularly nourishing as my skin doesn't look as plump as it normally does. It is a minor complaint given all the positives about this product and it is possibly due to my skin type being combination rather than oily skin type the product is designed for.

However, I'm thrilled with this little miracle in a tube and have continued to use it as a topical moisturiser on my problem areas in conjunction with my regular moisturiser. I can't recommend the La Roche-Posay® Effaclar Duo Plus enough!
Overall, I believe the La Roche-Posay® Effaclar Duo to be a very good skincare range. If you would like to read other reviews about the La Roche-Posay® Effaclar skincare range check out here.

La Roche-Posay® Effaclar Duo delivers much for an affordable price point. La Roche-Posay® Effaclar Foaming Gel has a RRP of $27.99  and La Roche-Posay® Effaclar Duo Plus has a RRP of $32.99, available in selected NZ pharmacies.

If you would like to find out more about the brand, La Roche-Posay, have a really great, behind the brand, interview with Sam, the Assistant Product Manager of La Roche-Posay, check it out here or visit their website here.

And finally, are always looking out for reviewers of all ages. It's a fun and friendly website, has great articles, reward points and it's so great to be able to trial and review full-size products for free!

Thanks for reading,
Rachael xo

Monday 13 August 2018

This and That...


Life is quiet on the home front. I'm not a winter person, I hate the cold and tend to become bear-like, not the grouchy bear kind but the hibernating bear kind! In saying that, I do love my winter clothes much more than my summer clothes. I'm all about, jeans, jackets and boots. While hibernating at home, I have been doing lots of cleaning, sorting, organising and rearranging, all due to my new found energy levels. The Cowboy and the Cats are quite perturbed by my sorting, organising and rearranging. It's good to keep everyone on their toes, and paws...

Diary and Planning and Lists


These two hate change

This term I am working almost three full days and now have 18 children in my Writing Enrichment groups. It's fast and furious. They come in groups of three for 30 minutes a time, three days a week. I probably say this every time, but I really do love working with them. They are cute and it is so rewarding to see them progress and to gain confidence in their writing ability, range of vocabulary and oral language skills. It's so funny to hear them using their new-found words, they are big on the word 'pizazz'!  I don't miss being in a full class...until I visit one and then I do, but I'm not sure why - haha! Because of my increase in hours, I am now at school for both breaks and it has made me realise how much I missed spending time in the staffroom with friends and colleagues. It really helps that I am able to communicate again haha!

I have got a bit behind with my book club reading. The June book was From Darkest Skies by Sam Peters. It was late arriving from Book Depository and then I struggled to read it. It's a futuristic story which is not a genre I normally enjoy and I just could not get into and eventually stopped reading it, which is most unlike me. I forgot to order the July book, Once upon a Time in the East by Xiolu Guo so missed that discussion! August's book is All Grown Up by Jami Attenberg which arrived on Friday along with July's book which I ordered at the same time. Now to read the August book in time to participate in the online discussion. Goodness, so much pressure in reading, that I put on myself!
After months of binge-watching, all sorts of action, suspense and violent shows we came across Schitt's Creek and binge-watched the two seasons. At first, I wasn't sure but it quickly grew on me. The character development is wonderful and the entire show is absolutely hilarious. I had a period of mourning once it had finished but fortunately, it has been renewed for a third season and also a movie. It's so annoying when you get into watching something and am left with a cliffhanger and lots of loose ends only to find it hasn't been renewed for another season.

I've been cooking! Comfort food like soup, casseroles and curries. Last week I set myself a challenge, to cook a new recipe each week. You know, put my cupboard of recipes books to good use. Anyway, we have had Lamb Rogan Josh and Beef Ragu, both from Chelsea Winter's Scrumptious recipe book. Both dishes were, well, they were scrumptious!

Lamb Rogan Josh
Beef Ragu

Now, you must follow DreamPuffBakes on Instagram. Heidi is a former student of mine. She is only 13 years old and is a future patisserie chef. She creates the most wonderful edible confections of which I am able to testify to the deliciousness of her work. Heidi is also an incredibly talented hip-hop dancer and is the sweetest, bubbliest person ever! Go and show Heidi some Instagram love by following her!

Marshmallow Caramel Slice - DECADENT!

I may have had three slices of this...

  • Health - Amazing, I am going to do an update soon.
  • - I recently trialled some new skincare products and will share my reviews soon.
  • Pixi by Petra - I ordered a cleanser and toner and am obsessed!
  • I bought new bowls over the weekend so that my recipe challenge photos are more aesthetically pleasing. The Cowboy asked if they are like the show pillows on the bed!
  • Kindness - One of my teacher friends brought me back this divine bag from Singapore. I really felt overwhelmed by her thoughtfulness and kindness and I absolutely adore the bag.
  • The Princess is a real live teenager, she rolled her eyes at me twice on Saturday. I laughed! trial


New Recipes = New Dishes

I'm sure I had more to share, but I have left This and That for so long that I have forgotten! Haha

Thanks for reading.