I can’t quite believe it but Hotly Spiced has just turned one!
Before I started Hotly Spiced I had only ever read one blog and that was a real estate blog and now I read hundreds of blogs and none of them are about real estate!
My first tentative steps into blogging were lacklustre, unremarkable and very, very ordinary. Most likely because I had no idea what I was doing. I wasn’t born in 2005 where now I would be seven and taught blogging at school. Yes, that’s right, I sat in on one of Alfie’s classes yesterday and the teacher was showing the class on the smart board their blog and teaching them how to approve and edit comments. Amazing!
Back in my early days I wasn’t sure if anyone was reading my blog. If they were they certainly weren’t commenting. I used to beg everyone in my family, (and my friends who I knew I could lean on), to post a comment. ‘Just write anything’, I’d plead, ‘And you don’t even have to be you, you can make up any name you like’. And so my family and friends would draw straws to see who would have to take on the task of appeasing me with a comment.
Then Mr Anonymous found me and his comment was awful. This is what he said:
‘The five minutes I just spent reading your juvenile and self-consciously written blog is five minutes of my life wasted, gone forever. A real loss. Fortunately, not as great a loss as the sum total of your empty life which is built around self-absorbed family members, yourself included. Your attempts at humour fail (you must have graduated with Honours from the Bob Hope School of Comedy) and your life’s tales are boring. If serendipity ever finds me in your orbit, your identity will be confirmed if I fall asleep in your presence. Stick to cooking and stay in your kitchen, far away from your keyboard.’
Isn’t that mean! But Mr Anonymous taught me that not all comments need to be approved.
And just a few days later there was a very different comment and it wasn’t anonymous and it came all the way from California:
I just found your site this fine gray morning… It was impossible to stop reading due to your absolutely captivating writing, I can tell I’m in for a grand ride and adventure. What an absolute and utter fool the publisher was for not printing your cookbook, obviously it would have been more than a million seller. Great, great recipes!!!
And ever so slowly Hotly Spiced gained traction and one by one we found each other. And you do not know how special you have made me feel. It is an absolute joy to wake up each morning and read your generous, kind and supportive comments. It’s wonderful building and developing relationships with you all. Some of you like Celia from Fig Jam and Lime Cordial are geographically so close we could catch up for coffee, others like Eva from Kitchen Inspirations are on the other side of the world but we feel so close she could be in the house next door.
But you are all very special to me and you know who you are because I am on your site awaiting every new post, eagerly anticipating news from your part of the world; how’s your family life, what are you cooking, where are you dining and where are you traveling. Thank you for letting me share your journey.
And a very special thank you to everyone in my family. Thank you for allowing me to share your sins, stories and secrets with all my cyber-friends. But don’t be worried, my cyber-friends are all very good at keeping secrets!
I’m very much looking forward to the next 12 months. Please journey with me. xx
Yesterday’s Fried Rice is really just a side-dish. Here’s something ‘meaty’ to go with it.
Stir-Fried Chicken Fillets with Cashews
Degree of Difficulty: 2/5
Cost: I’m sure this cost less than $20.00 to make and we had leftovers for lunch boxes.
- 800g (1lb 10oz) chicken thigh fillets, cut into 2cm (1 inch) slices
- 1 medium-sized cucumber
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup unsalted and roasted cashew nuts – about 150g (5oz)
- 6 garlic cloves, finely diced
- 2 tbspns shao hsing wine or dry sherry
- 2 tspns sea salt
- 3/4 cup finely sliced spring onions (scallions)
- 2 tbspns shao hsing wine or dry sherry
- 2 tbspns cornflour (cornstarch)
- 1 tbspn water
- 1 tsp sea salt
Combine chicken with marinade ingredients in a large bowl, cover, and leave to marianate in thre fridge for 30 minutes.
Cut cucumber in half lengthways and scoop out the seeds using a spoon. Place cucumber cut-side down on a chopping board, finely slice on the diagonal and set aside.
Heat 2 tbspns of the oil in a hot wok until surface seems to shimmer slightly. Add half the marinated chicken and stir-fry for 1 minute. Remove from wok with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add remaining chicken and stir-fry for 1 minute, remove from wok and set aside.
Add remaining oil to the hot wok, stir in nuts and garlic and stir-fry on medium heat for 30 seconds, stirring constantly to ensure garlic does not burn. Immediately return chicken to the wok and increase heat to high. Pour in wine or sherry and stir-fry for 30 seconds. Add salt and continue to stir-fry for a further 30 seconds or until chicken is lightly browned and just cooked through. Lastly, add reserved cucumber and stir-fry for 10 seconds.
Arrange chicken on a platter, garnish with spring onions and serve immediately.
This recipe is Kylie Kwong’s Simple Chinese Cooking. I love to cook Chinese food but I can’t do it without a recipe and Kylie’s recipes are the best!
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