Friday, 17 August 2012

BLOG EXTRA - Nighthawks

While at university, one exercise we had to do was to look at a painting and then write a poem based on it. One poem we were shown was Nighthawks. 

Pavement Observation 

Ham sandwiches stacked up neatly on the cake stand.
It’s clear at night and through the rumble,
the flick of a dishcloth echoes through glass.

Staring down I count the spike stripes,
jumping, concrete heavy, between the cracks.

There is a glob of pink bubble gum
stuck under a soul by the bar stool - 
It’s caught in the yellow light from bare bulbs.

Bubble gum on its way home. 

Friday, 3 August 2012



My excellent blogger chum at Chic It Yourself is full of ideas to keep up appearances on a budget. If you love sales, crafts and quirky tips this is the blog for you. I love Wagamamas, but I always have the same thing, yaki soba - not very interesting. CIY put up this recipe for Katsu Curry from another BBC food blog by Gizzi Erskine and inspired me to try something new. So here we go - entering the third layer of food blogging!

Keeping it stylish in my slippers and PJs before we begin.
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil 
  • 1 onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 carrots, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp medium curry powder
  • 600ml chicken stock (I used an oxo cube, as recommended by CIY)
  • 2 tsp honey 
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • ½ tsp garam masala 
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 x 100g chicken breasts
  • 100g flour, seasoned with lots of salt and pepper
  • 1 free-range egg, beaten 
  • 120g breadcrumbs

First I started washing the rice, you cannot really wash it enough. This is how I cook my rice: I wash it a few times in cold water (until I get bored, maybe 3 - 5 rinses). Then I let it stand in warm water with a pinch of salt. This par cooks the rice so I leave it until it cools down a fair bit.
I then rinse it once more in cold water before putting it into a sauce pan with a knob of butter. I fry the rice in butter and then cover the rice with water, bring to the boil. Once it's boiled for a few minutes, I take the rice off the heat, cover, and let it steam for 10-15 minutes.


First, sweat the vegetables. saute the onion and garlic for a few minutes. Roughly chop the carrots and sweat them with the onion for ten minutes with the lid on. 

Next, stir in 2tbsp of flour and 1tbsp of medium curry powder. The flour and curry powder will turn to a nice paste that coats the carrots. Slowly add the chicken stock. Spoon in the honey and splash in some soy (this is the healthy way to make sauces glossy, rather than using butter). Simmer for 20 minutes.


Is anyone else's lid cupboard similar to this? I had a bit of a panic looking for the right size!

Meanwhile, across the kitchen . . .

Seasoned flour, egg and breadcrumbs. I was baffled by bread crumbs... how did CIY get hers so small and crumbly? I don't know the secret so my breadcrumbs were a bit of a disaster, still tasty though. Can you buy these perfect breadcrumbs? Chic It Yourself, seriously, what is the crumb-y secret?

 Coat the whole chicken breasts into the flour, then the egg and finally cover with the magic breadcrumbs.

Into a hot oven for 12-15 minutes and then slice diagonally when ready. 

Here's the rice steaming. I was a little worried that there wouldn't be enough to go round. (I'm used to cooking huge comfort portions) So I decided to use the left over egg to make fried rice.

 It is starting to look rather gorgeous. And smell incredible! I added the 1/2 tsp of garam masala and salt and pepper while I fried the rice.

We loved it! Try it  at Chic It Yourself