Sugarbird's Sweet Nothings

I am passionate about food. And cooking. And baking. And running. Come and find a new recipe, a funny story, some strong opinions and whatever else I feel like throwing in the mix today.

Archive for the ‘Daring Cooks Challenges’ Category

May 14th, 2011 by Clarabella

Great Gumbo

 

Anyone who has ever watched much American TV or American movies has herd of Gumbo. I had heard of Gumbo. But I had never seen it, tasted it, let alone tried to make it, so I was thrilled when this month’s daring cooks challenge was revealed as Gumbo. Our May hostess, Denise, of There’s a Newf in My Soup!, challenged The Daring Cooks to make Gumbo! She provided us with all the recipes we’d need, from creole spices, homemade stock, and Louisiana white rice, to Drew’s Chicken & Smoked Sausage Gumbo and Seafood Gumbo from My New Orleans: The Cookbook, by John Besh.

So, armed with a very long recipe/s I set off to source some chicken and smoked sausage. I went off to the Farm Shop in nearby Alderley Edge for the chicken. I have an opinion on chicken, yes. I don’t like supermarket chicken. In the supermarket most of the chicken is battery farm chicken, and I loathe buying that on principle alone, but also because the poor little chicken breasts of the chickens who have never seen the sunshine and never set foot outside their warehouse are so small, that the supermarkets/suppliers feel the need to inject the tiny chicken breasts with water to plump them up. So on the shelf they look fat and juicy but when you get them home and cook them they shrink ridiculously and end up a quarter of the size that they were when they went into the oven. How its not illegal to do that, when us poor consumers are paying by the weight, I just don’t know. Read the rest of this entry »

April 14th, 2011 by Clarabella

Daring Cooks April, Edible Containers

There are a couple of things I was reminded of while cooking & baking last night.

Hot things, like pans that have just come out of the oven – they will burn you if you touch them

The old adage that my Gran used to be a big fan of, more haste less speed, its very true and it works.

Cake flour is easy to make, don’t panic if you have a cake to make and you don’t have any. You can start panicing if you don’t have any regular flour or any cornflour.

Last night I went for a run after work. First pain free run in AGES, woohoo! 🙂 I went really slowly and just relished every minute of it. It was awesome. I couldn’t stop smiling for like 3 hours afterwards. But a consequence of running really slowly is that you don’t get done quickly. So I only got home at 7:20, and I had a big cake to make, cake filling to make, and my daring cooks challenge to make. So after a moment of ‘I don’t know where to start’ flappiness. I took a deep breath, and just started. More haste less speed. And thats when I remembered another important thing. Women can multi-task. And thank heavens for that!

Renata of Testado, Provado & Aprovado! was our Daring Cooks’ April 2011 hostess. Renata challenged us to think “outside the plate” and create our own edible containers! Prizes are being awarded to the most creative edible container and filling, so vote on your favorite from April 17th to May 16th at http://thedaringkitchen.com!

 I was into the soup idea for this challenge from the beginning. I am a big fan of soup and as I am trying to eat relatively healthy this week, soup fits the bill perfectly.

As far as soup varieties go, I’m a tomato girl all the way. Butternut has its place, as does a brothy prawn hot and sour soup, but for a ‘make a big batch and eat it daily’ soup, tomato is always my first choice. Read the rest of this entry »

March 13th, 2011 by Clarabella

Ceviche – Courtesy of the Daring Cooks

Kathlyn of Bake Like a Ninja was our Daring Cooks’ March 2011 hostess. Kathlyn challenges us to make two classic Peruvian dishes: Ceviche de Pescado from “Peruvian Cooking – Basic Recipes” by Annik Franco Barreau. And Papas Rellenas adapted from a home recipe by Kathlyn’s Spanish teacher, Mayra.

I have never had ceviche before although I have heard of it. Being a huge fan of sushi the prospect of raw fish did not put me off at all. The thought of using it in a whole new way was exciting, and I decided that I wanted to do something different with it. Make it stand out. Make something thats not like anything I’ve had/seen/made before. So I looked around online and read loads of recipes using white fish, salmon, herbs, and then one caught my eye. Scallop and Peach Ceviche.

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February 14th, 2011 by Clarabella

Soba & Tempura

The February 2011 Daring Cooks’ challenge was hosted by Lisa of Blueberry Girl. She challenged Daring Cooks to make Hiyashi Soba and Tempura. She has various sources for her challenge including japanesefood.about.com, pinkbites.com, and itsybitsyfoodies.com

I was very excited to read this challenge – I have never even thought about making tempura before and I probably never would have were it not for this challenge. I don’t often make anything deep fried but I am game for anything when it comes to the daring cooks, so when I got home from work last Monday I filled my pot with one and a half bottles of oil and jumped straight in.

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October 14th, 2010 by Clarabella

On a Roll, or off a roll perhaps?



Our October 2010 hostess, Lori of Lori’s Lipsmacking Goodness, has challenged The Daring Cooks to stuff grape leaves. Lori chose a recipe from Aromas of Aleppo and a recipe from The New Book of Middle Eastern Food.


Now I had heard of stuffed vine leaves before. I can’t remember ever having eaten them, but I was aware of them as a concept. So I was excited when I saw this months challenge. Something completely new that I had never even considered attempting before.


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