One Pot Pasta #BEDM

Last weekend, after getting told off one too many times by Tao, I realised that when I cook or bake, I use allllllll of the utensils possible. Pots, pans, plates, chopping boards, every piece of cutlery possible… messy Kat!

So, as I watched him do the dishes for what felt like the five hundredth time in a weekend, I promised Tao I’d cook something minimally messy next weekend. That time is here, and it means its time for one pot pasta.

You heard right! I’m going to cook a meal for two, in one pan, and no longer will anyone be able to say that every time I cook, I leave a trail of destruction.

Now I’ve made one pot pasta before, plenty of times, but this is the first time I’m really thinking about it properly. It’s not a case of boil some pasta and add a jar of sauce. This is from scratch baby, from scratch.

To serve two hungry pandas, you’ll need:

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350g of uncooked pasta (we had fusilli)
2 chicken breasts, cut into little bitesize pieces
100ml of double cream
1 red pepper
1 litre of chicken stock (or broth if you prefer)
a little bit of oil or frying spray
garlic – I used minced garlic from a jar
80g of parmesan – I prefer chunky slices for this dish, but finely grated works too

Start by cutting your chicken and red pepper into little pieces.

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Heat a large saucepan over a medium heat, and pour in around a tablespoon of oil, or a few spritzes of cooking spray – I used a mix of sunflower oil spray, and garlic oil spray.

This is my garlic secret weapon though:

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Fry your chicken and red pepper, with the minced garlic, in the pan until both are cooked on the outside. The chicken doesn’t need to be fully cooked through – it’ll continue to cook as you cook the pasta.

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For the stock, I tried out 2 of these stock melts in a litre of water, and they worked pretty well!

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When you’re happy with the colour of chicken – lightly browned – pour in your chicken stock, double cream and uncooked pasta. Turn the heat up so it starts to boil, then cover with a lid and turn down to a simmer.

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Now just sit back and let that baby simmer for 15-20 minutes.

The stock and cream will thicken, the pasta will soften, and it’ll all come together in a delicious creamy sauce. For the last 3-5 minutes I like to take the lid off the pan, to let a liiiitle bit of liquid evaporate – makes for a thicker sauce.

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When your pasta is soft and your sauce has thickened, take it off the heat and stir in the parmesan. Then bask in the beautiful creation you’re about to devour.

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Serve with a fresh crisp salad if you can be bothered, or just heap it on plates to feed hungry people as it is!

Enjoy!

Mini strawberry pancakes #BEDM

Brunch is one of my favourite meals – of the day, of the week, in general. (Although my new favourite answer when I’m asked what my favourite food is? Buffet.)

This weekend, I decided on a leisurely Saturday morning brunch, where the star of the show would be strawberry pancakes. Inspired by Dutch poffertjes – mini, fluffy pancakes – I started playing with a recipe of my own.

To make a pile to feed an army (or two hungry pandas), you’ll need:

  • 170g of all purpose flour
  • 30g brown sugar (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 250ml of milk
  • 2 tablespoons of oil – vegetable or sunflower works great
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract – better than essence, but if you can’t get it, not a deal breaker to go with essense
  • 1 cup chopped fresh strawberries – around 10-15 medium sized strawbs, cut into little chunks

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To make the batter, first mix all of your dry ingredients in a bowl.

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Then add all of the wet ingredients (minus the strawberries), and beat together until everything is mixed it – we’re going for light and fluffy, if liquid could ever be such a thing.

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Chop up your strawberries into little chunks:

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At the end, add your strawberries and mix through, but be careful not to completely smoosh them.

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Heat a large pan on a medium heat, and add a little bit of oil or a couple of spritzes of cooking spray (ala FryLight).

Top tips – don’t make your frying pan too hot, and remember we’re going for mini pancakes here!

When the frying pan is hot, pour dessertspoon size little pools of mixture in, aiming for 2-3 strawberry chunks per pancake.

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Cook each pancake for around 3 minutes on one side, until little bubbles appear on the top, then flip that baby over with a spatula and cook the other side for another 2 minutes. Obviously timings may vary, but we’re aiming for a golden brown colour.

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Serve with more fresh strawberries (if you have any left), maple syrup, whipped cream – whatever floats your boat.

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An introduction of sorts #BEDM

#BEDM stands for Blog Every Day in May. A challenge a fully expect to fail, but at the same time am determined to give it a go. Even if that go is occasionally half-arsed.

BEDM sets topics and ideas for posts for every day of the month, and whilst I already know some of my posts won’t adhere to the list, I also know it’s all for fun really, and none of it is set in stone.

The first post topic is about introducing yourself. Now, I know I blog sporadically at best, but I also think by reading previous posts you can find out a bit about me. That said, I’ll still introduce myself.

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Hello, I’m Kat! I work as a freelance/contract UX designer – basically this means I make the web an awesome place to be. I love creating things – be it websites, apps, experiences handmade goodies, beautiful photographs or delicious food.

I live in London – hence the blog name – and I love this city. It’s a big ol’ tiring stressbag sometimes, but those “oh wow” moments make it worthwhile. Mostly.

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As mentioned, I work as a web designer, specialising in UX. UX = user experience, so one could say I design experiences. Except, I wouldn’t say that, because I think it’s somewhat inaccurate. At the end of the day, I try and make products, apps and websites that are a joy to use, that feel intuitive, build trust and loyalty, and that people want to keep using.

Part of my job involves creating wireframes like this:

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And I have a portfolio up at www.katskii.co.uk

I’m also a crafter, I love to knit and crochet, cross stitch and sew, do origami and other paper crafts. I made this:

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Perfect for nap time (another of my favourite things).

I love to eat, cook, bake, and continuously inspire myself, food-wise. My ambition is to have my own recipe book someday.

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I recently got back into making my own dough, and pizza, from scratch.

And finally travel. I love to travel, photography my journeys as I go.

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^ The amazing Casa Batlló in Barcelona.

I want to be happy, and work hard at it (the world doesn’t owe me diddlysquat – a girls gotta make it on her own!), I’m happiest when I’m with my boyfriend, and we’re cooking together, and I feel safe and content.

Tomorrow, let’s talk about adventures!