Sunday 9 June 2013

Sticky BBQ Chicken recipe

 I've come up with a recipe for Sticky BBQ Chicken which is nice and healthy if eaten with the right accompaniments. 

Ingredients (serves 2 people):

2 chicken breasts
1 packet of Merchant Gourmet Mixed Grains (Ready to eat)
150g cherry tomatoes
2 tbsp ketchup
1 tbsp dark soy sauce
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
1 tsp wholegrain mustard
1/2 tbsp honey
1/2 tsp ground mixed spice
1/2 tsp ground ginger


Start by adding the ketchup, soy sauce, lemon juice, sweet chilli sauce, mustard, honey, mixed spice and ginger into a large glass bowl.  Taste it to see if the flavours suit you and add more of any of the ingredients if you wish.  

Add the chicken breasts to the bowl and coat with sauce.  In an ideal world this should be placed in the fridge for a minimum of half and hour but I understand that you are probably hungry and just want to cook it in which case it will be fine!

Preheat the oven to 180C and turn on the grill

Once you have left it to marinate (or not) place under a grill. Keep turning and cook for about 20 minutes ensuring that the chicken is cooked right through.  (I cooked it in an aga for 30 minutes so please use your judgement on whether or not it is cooked.

Whilst this is cooking place your cherry tomatoes in a pan with 1-2 tbsp of olive oil and a sprinkling of salt.  Place in the oven and leave to cook for 20 minutes.

Then cook your mixed grains according to the packet - it takes 10 minutes on the hob or 1 minute in the microwave if you have one!

Place the remaining marinate in a saucepan and heat until boiling (remember that you had chicken in their so it essentially needs to be cooked).  This should take no more than 5 minutes.

Next up you need to assemble.  So place the mixed grains at the bottom of your bowl.  Cut up you chicken into pieces and place on top.  Then sprinkle the tomatoes on top followed by the remaining marinate and voila!  

If you make it let me know how it goes!

Katie :)

Wednesday 5 June 2013

Florence and the Douche Part 2

So as promised here is part 2 of Florence and the Douch. You can read part one here: Florence and the Douche part 1

Part 2

"Ahem." The interviewer grunted. Florence and Amber were being interviewed for the start of series 2 of their sketch show: Florence and the Douch.  They hadn't expected series 1 to be quite such a hit.  Their name was quite passive aggressive but the content of the show was carefree and naturally funny. Young teenagers loved the show and more importantly loved the girls.  They could relate to them.  Florence and Amber were making fun of their past, which was these young girls present.

Florence and Amber won their first comedy award at the beginning of the year and everyone was expecting them to win a Bafta the following month.  They both admitted to finding it all a bit overwhelming and they were tired from having to do interview after interview after interview.  Both Florence and Amber had dreamed of doing interviews from the very first time they performed together.  They wanted to be on Graham Norton and Jonathan Ross and they wanted to do photoshoots in magazines and formal interviews in newspapers.  The life of comediennes and comedy actresses seemed so idyllic.  They weren't stupid though, they knew it wouldn't be a walk in the park, they knew that being a 'celebrity' was really shit at times, but it didn't stop them from dreaming.

Here they were in yet another interview for a magazine they didn't even know the name of.  It could be Glamour or Heat or Zoo for all they knew or possibly even cared.  It's not that they were ungrateful, Florence and Amber just could not do interviews.  They always seemed to go wrong.  The problem became apparent in the first interview they ever had to do two years previously.

It was the week before the first episode of their sketch show was about to go out on BBC2.  Their agent had told them they had to do a whole host of interviews and that perhaps they should practice some answers so that they weren't caught unawares.

"There is nothing worse than having a skeleton fly out of the closet at you during an interview" Maureen their agent said matter-of-factly. "If your skeleton gets out and you haven't discussed it, the journalist will suck that oozing blood out of your head like a starved vampire.  D'you get me?" Florence and Amber looked at each other, not sure whether to laugh or cry.  Amber put two fingers up to her mouth to look like fangs and hissed at Florence.  They both burst into fits of giggles.  Despite the laughing, they knew that Maureen was serious and that they had to know EVERYTHING about each other.  Every boyfriend and pet, all the good times and bad.  No stone was to be left unturned.  The problem was, Florence and Amber were not the most serious of people when they were together and well, their practice run didn't go as planned.

Florence, being the more vocal of the two took the role of the interviewer - Graham Norton to be precise. They decided to do the mock interview the following day so that they had time to get their outfits sorted.  It was all about getting their priorities straight for these girls.  Florence decided she had to completely get into character, which meant tying up her long blonde hair into a bun and clipping a small part of it on top of her head to look a bit like a fringe. She then put on a bright blue suit with a gold shirt so she could capture the camp side of Graham.  Amber also went all out.  She had watched almost every Graham Norton episode there was, which meant she had seen the variety of outfits the guests came on wearing.  Amber decided to go for some sequinned trousers (well, she'd always wanted them and a mock interview with your best friend is the ideal opportunity to spend £70 you don't have on a pair of trousers) with a tight black strappy top and a black fitted blazer.  She was going for the Miranda Hart look, although she was only five foot five compared to Miranda's six foot one frame.  On her feet she went for some black stilettos, seemingly to try and match Miranda's height to 'complete' the look.  She looked good in a sophisticated, subtle, middle-class women kind of way.

They decided to conduct the interview in Amber's flat because her living room was more open, which allowed for Amber to walk in and show off to the 'audience' her perfectly planned outfit before sitting down. Florence began the 'show' by sharing a few words with the 'audience' about her favourite new comedian on the block, Amber.

Come back tomorrow for part 3 and see how their mock interview ended up with both of them rolling around on the floor in fits of giggles and how their first ever interview went from bad to catastrophically awful!  

Tuesday 4 June 2013

Florence and the Douche part 1

So I decided to write a story about two girls Amber and Florence. The first part sets the scene in the past, but the rest will be in the present.  Hope you enjoy.  Let me know what you think...

Part 1

Amber was a bright young girl, not that she would ever admit it. In fact she'd go so far as call herself stupid.  She used to have such a bright outlook on life but after a while when life threw yet another shit in her path, she just gave up.  She let pessimism take charge.  That way she could control the darkness that became her life.

Florence on the other hand. Oh Florence.  She had been handed the worst deck of cards imaginable with loosing her mum last year being just the tip of the iceberg.  She got pregnant just two short weeks before her mum died.  She never knew thank God, that would have truly - well if she wasn't already going to die - it would have killed her.  She didn't tell her dad either. It would have hurt him so much and Florence couldn't do that.  She had an abortion almost as soon as she found out.  Her BFF Amelia was there to hold her hand.  It was horrible.  All Florence could think about was her mum.  How horrible it was to lose her, and yet how grateful she was that she would never know the stupid thing she'd done.  Yes she did think the unthinkable.  Everyday.  What's worse is that she believed it.  Her getting pregnant was the reason for her mum's death.  Maybe not directly but indirectly for sure.  It was karma and everyone knows karma's a bitch.  The thing is, all that stuff, the death, the baby, it's all in the past.  There was nothing Florence could do about it.  That is why Florence is bubbly, courageous, smart, funny and loveable.  Everything Amber is seemingly not.  If this were a rom-com, they'd be hooking-up right about now.  This however, is a different story.

Florence and Amber were never meant to meet. Yes they went to the same school and yes they knew of each other, but they were in different years and to be honest they were very different people, possibly too different.  That didn't stop them from meeting though.

Florence had rushed out of class to get an early lunch.  It might have been against the school rules but to be frank, she was in year 13 now and could do what the hell she liked and besides she was the most popular girl in school.  Everybody loved her, including the teachers.  It had been a year since her mum died but she still felt everybody's eyes watching her as she entered the room.  Alone.  It could have been her popularity but Florence knew that look, that one of admiration and well, lust after a life they would probably never have.  This was a different look.  A look of pity and of guilt.  A look that made Florence want to curl up into a ball and cry.  She didn't though.  She wanted lunch.  God she was hungry.  Jacket potato or pasta? Jacket potato or...  She could hear the murmurs of hungry pupils behind her and choose the pasta - no sauce, just cheese.  She wasn't going to eat it anyway - not properly.

Then it happened.  That thing that everyone dreads, like standing up in front of the school in your underwear but louder, much louder.  She had dropped her tray.  As if in slow motion it jumped out of her hands and smashed onto the floor sending pasta and cheese catapulting across the room.  Her first response was to cry.  To sink to the floor and bawl.  She knew that wasn't the answer though.  She wanted and needed to laugh.  To make a joke of it with her friends.  Where was Amelia or Holly at a time like this?  In that split second, she decided on her response.  She laughed, she pointed and she made fun... of herself.

"Oh my God, did you see what I just did?  Look, everybody, look.  I'm such an idiot."

She'd done it.  People were laughing at her because she had made them.  She had made people laugh.  She continued.

"It's like I rubbed oil all over my hands and it just slipped right out of them."

People started to look.  Some continued laughing, but mostly people looked bemused.  Florence kept talking.

"I haven't actually rubbed oil on my hands.  That was a joke.  Well I mean obviously it was a joke.  Why aren't you laughing?  Come on, it was a joke, who would rub- I've gone too far haven't I?"

She turned to the girl standing next to her and grabbed her arm.

"I've gone too far.  I should really stop.  It's just so funny though!  Sorry.  I'll let go."

Amber was one of the bemused ones and now was one of the scared ones.  All Amber wanted to do was laugh but in a weird way, in amongst all of the drama, there was still a school hierarchy, and she didn't know if she was allowed to laugh...

That was the first time Amber and Florence met.  It seemed insignificant at the time.  They went their separate ways.  Ten years later however, they still remember that day.  It was one of those clich├ęd moments where they can say 'that's where it all began'.  That was the day when Florence and the Douch was born.  It was the start of their double act.  They performed that lunchtime sketch for most of their career - although they added some guns and the mafia to spice it up a bit.

Katie :)