As I type, I’m on my way back from a whirlwind trip to Detroit to visit my in-laws for Thanksgiving! We crammed a lot into 4 short days and loved every second of it!
I started off my pushing the limits of carry-on luggage, finding out once and for all, just how much food can one bring through airport security?
I packed 2 dozen cookies in my checked baggage, so I knew they would be fine, but I also wanted to bring a bread cornucopia and an apple pie, which begged the question: Can one bring a whole pie through airport security?
The answer is yes! Hop on over to Instagram if you’re interested in the photo journey of the pie through airport security and 3 airports!
Once we got to Detroit, we were able to attend the Nutcracker Ballet (with a live orchestra!) at the Detroit Opera House (amazingly beautiful!) and go on a fossil dig at a science museum (the kids loved it!)
Plus, we got to visit family and friends, including my blogging friend, Wendy from A Day in the Life on the Farm! Wendy and my mother-in-law are best friends, and we’ve known each other since before either of us were bloggers – in fact, she threw my baby shower when I was pregnant with Dude (almost 11 years ago!!!!)
Wendy really pushed me out of my comfort zone here. I knew the movie was based off a book by the same name, so I chased down a copy and read that first. I was skeptical, to say the least. The book was described as “heartwarming”. I usually ending up rolling my eyes throughout “heartwarming” books (yikes, maybe I am cold-hearted!) and I’ve recently come to the conclusion that while I’ll tolerate the occasional realistic or contemporary fiction, they are really not my thing (unless there’s a lot of mystery or action).
So, I grudgingly started the book and darn it if Ove and the ragtag cast of characters didn’t grow on me! I really enjoyed that heartwarming book!
I’m not going to share a synopsis here, because I’m no good at those and I trust that you can click the various links and find out more for yourself, okay? Okay.
Then, I got around to the movie. You guys! It’s in subtitles! AHHHH!!!
How am I supposed to do homework and watch a movie at the same time when I’m reading subtitles?!?!?
Well, I couldn’t, so I was forced to take a break from homework (not the worst thing in the world) and actually watch the movie.
The movie stayed fairly true to the book, but as this librarian always says, “the book was better!” So definitely pick up the book if you get the chance!
Now to the food. Ummmm….
Soooo, there wasn’t a ton of food in either the book or the movie. However Saffron Rice & Chicken and Meat & Potatoes did make an appearance in both.
And so, I got pushed out of my comfort zone for the 3rd time (if you’re keeping count, 1. “Heartwarming”, 2. Subtitles, 3. Saffron)
I’m not completely unfamiliar with saffron. In fact, saffron makes in appearance in my grandma’s Easter bread, which I’ve made but still haven’t blogged (I’ll make that my 2019 goal). But that’s my only saffron experience and Easter bread is a sweet bread!
But I decided to give it a whirl anyway. And it was amazing!!!
Saffron was the only “unfamiliar” ingredient here, so the family took to the recipe very nicely. I loved the flavor combination with the saffron, onions, garlic and almonds. I still have a bit of saffron on hand and would definitely consider making this again!
Saffron Rice Pilaf & Chicken
Adapted from Serious Eats
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
½ cup slivered almonds
1 ½ pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
1 large onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup basmati rice
2 cups chicken broth
¼ teaspoon crumbled saffron threads
1 bay leaf
Salt & pepper
Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large lidded skillet over medium heat. Add the almonds and fry for 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Once the almonds are browned, set them aside on a paper towel lined plate.
Heat another tablespoon of oil in the same skillet over medium heat. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Cook until browned, then flip and brown the second side (about 6 minutes total), set aside.
Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in the same skillet. Add the onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and rice and cook for another minute.
Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Stir in the saffron bay leaf, and almonds; season with more salt and pepper. Place the chicken on top of the rice. Cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until liquid is absorbed, chicken is cooked through, and rice is tender. If the liquid is absorbed before rice is tender, add additional hot water, ¼ cup at a time until rice is done.