Weeknight Supper Inspiration: Summer Vegetable and Chicken Stew

A couple of weeks ago I was very kindly invited to attend a products event for Zwilling and Staub.  It was such fun to look at all the ranges available and to dream up a wishlist of products I can covet - the Zwilling asparagus pan and Pro Chef's knife are especially lustworthy and I was also very taken with the Staub Cocottes.  These cast iron beauties come in a range of colours and styles, and I loved both the look and the feel of the pans.

Imagine my delight when I was then lucky enough to be gifted one of the oval cocottes, in graphite, to use at home!  The cocotte I received is perfect for cooking a meal for two to six people (depending how hungry they are!).  The day I returned from holiday in Spain it was awaiting me, so I devised a quick and simple supper to try it out - I fully intend to be using it a lot, especially when autumn, the season of soups and stews and roasts, rolls around!

Below is a little flipagram of my (incredibly quick and easy, thrown together with what we had in the fridge and pantry) Summer Vegetable and Chicken Stew.  Recipe after the vid.


1 medium courgette (or zuchinni, if you hail from the US), sliced
1 green pepper, diced
2 chicken breasts, cubed or in chunks
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
2 tbsp tomato puree/paste
1 sliced chili (we had a red jalapeno in the fridge, but I'm sure any mid-heat chili would work well)
1 clove garlic
Olive oil
Salt and pepper


1. Put your oven on to preheat at around 160 degrees C (around 320 F).  Heat a little olive oil in a pan.  Add your courgette and cook for a couple of minutes.  Then add your green pepper.
2.  Add your garlic and chili, then add the chicken.  You're going to want to cook this until slightly golden and cooked on the outside - as it's also going in the oven to cook through there's method to the madness.
3.  Add your tinned tomatoes and tomato puree.  Stir through.
4.  Once all is combined, pop your cocotte into the oven for an hour.  Ignore studiously.  The cocotte has a brilliant dimpled underside to the lid which really helps to baste the food as it cooks and keeps it moist.

We had our stew with rice, but I think it would be just as tasty with greens or wholemeal bread.  A little cheese or sour cream on top would be yummy too.  I was really pleased with how this improvised recipe came together - let me know if you give it a try!

Linking up a year on with the lovelies at Home Etc.

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Terrace Chapters at the Royal Horseguards Hotel

Last month I was very kindly invited to the Royal Horseguards Hotel for their Terrace Chapters event.  In the hot summer sunshine, what could be more refreshing than cocktails or bubbles in the great outdoors.  After worked I popped into a taxi and headed down to Whitehall to sample what was on offer, and I have to say I had a really splendid time.  The food and drinks were lovely, the space exquisite, and the company charming - the staff and PR team were so helpful and well-informed, and there were lots of fun bloggers in attendance too.  Below are a few snaps I took of the event.

The hotel could not be closer to the middle of things!  Trafalgar Square, Whitehall and the busy-ness of the Embankment are moments away, but the Royal Horseguards Hotel is quiet and calm, tucked away from the hullabaloo.  Lovely.

From the Terrace you could look out over the gardens and spot the London Eye in the near-distance.

The whole space is green and fresh, with lovely pops of colour.  It would be a lovely space for drinks party or a cocktail get-together!

The hotel had some of its marvellous picnic hampers on display.  These are very clever, in that they are bespoke - you can add the items you desire.  Perfect, if like me you have dining companions who avoid a food, or who have special dietary requirements.

There was plenty of Taittinger flowing - such a crisp, lovely drink.

This shows you quite how big the space is.  The bloggers in the distance aren't even at the end of the terrace, there's another ten metres or so beyond them!

Marvellous cocktails, including one involving jam.  I think I will have to return to sample that one!

I'm a sucker for a summery basket with a red and white trim.

An 'Aperol Sorbet Spritz' - sorbet and bubbles combining into a sweet, refreshing, citrusy delight.

There was an Eton Mess bar too.  You could race against the clock to win a prize, but I take Eton Mess far too seriously and instead spent ages building the best possible pudding.

There were lots of nibbles - I particularly enjoyed this meze selection.  The hummus was gorgeous!

Also great were these mojito licquers. They tasted just like the cocktail, with a chocolatey twist.

There were three different Taittinger varieties available, to pair with different foods.  My favourite was the bottle on the right, the Taittinger Nocturne.  It was mellow and a little less dry, perfect for sipping.

I would recommend the Terrace at the Royal Horseguards Hotel to anyone looking for a smart place for drinks in the centre of town.  As well as the terrace being lovely, the hotel itself was beautiful and well-appointed, and I'm hoping to return there later this year to sample their afternoon tea - I've heard great things!  To read more about the Terrace and the Terrace Chapters event, please click here.

I was invited to this event and was hosted for the evening (Thank you!).  All opinions are my own. 
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Music: What I'm Listening To Now

This was meant to be my June post....but life got busy (as it tends to!).  Here's my latest bunch of listens:

Tracks -

1. Gimme All Your Love - Alabama Shakes (Big, big song)

2. A Thousand Years - Christina Perri (such a sweet ballad....and this video is officially the closest you'll get me to a Twilight film)

3. Too Young to Remember - Florrie (a bit of powerpop?  Yes please)

4. Take U There - Jack U ft, Keisza (my keyboard can't do umlauts, apparently)

5. Gives You Hell - The All-American Rejects

6. Hold My Hand - Jess Glynne

7. Mine - Taylor Swift

8. Dream Story - Laura Groves (great atmosphere on this track)

9. Like Lovers - Striking Matches

10. False Hope - Laura Marling

11. Nashville Grey Skies - The Shires

12. I'm A Ruin - Marina and the Diamonds

13. I Ain't Leaving Without Your Love - Nashville Cast (Chaley Rose, Jonathan Jackson, Sam Palladio)

14. Come Back To Me - Urban Cone ft. Tove Lo (this gets stuck in my brain)

I'm so looking forward to spending a lot of summer listening to some new tunes.  Would love a few recommendations!
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Life Lately, According to Instagram

The past few weeks have been a little hectic.  Wrapping up term (we finish tomorrow),  prepping for next year, time with friends and family, writing and Junior League and honeymoon prep has me in a tizz!  Here are a few glimpses of recent adventures.

I went to a brilliant event last week for Staub and Zwillig, way up on the walkways in Tower Bridge.  Such fun, and wonderful to watch talented people like Tom Kerridge cook!

The week before that Matthew and I had headed to the Tower of London for my school's 125th Gala.  We scrub up fairly well, I think!

Such fun to see my name in print!

This weekend we journeyed up to Silverstone for the British Grand Prix.  It was such fun to see Lewis Hamilton achieve a home win, and a fab weekend with my lovely parents-in-law to celebrate my father-in-law's significant birthday.  Pictured are some GP2 cars - so fast, so loud!

The week before, Shona and I headed to Hyde Park to see Taylor Swift play.  She was brilliant and we had a great vantage point.  Can't get 1989 off rotation!

The recent temperatures have me melting!  Heat I can handle, to a certain degree, but heat plus work plus a hot classroom?  Good lord.

The view over London from Tower Bridge.  Beautiful.

Breakfast time at Silverstone.

I received this beautiful bouquet for choreographing our school show.  So pretty!

Must be summer....my freckles are back!

Planning ahead.

Miss Leela can work the camera.

Lovely event at the Royal Horseguards Hotel last week - I'll be posting more about their gorgeous terrace soon!

Poppet helping with the garden.

Champagne in the sunshine with this man makes me happy...

...as do ales in one of our locals.

It's his birthday today, so spoiling is in order.  Have a great day, all!
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