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.
March 1st, 2012

Poached Eggs

Poached Eggs

Poached eggs. Not exactly rocket science one would think. But they have stymied me for a long time. I have tried putting vinegar in the water, making a whirlpool, all sorts of tips and hints. But I would invariably end up with an eggy, watery mess.

Until now. And I owe it all to Heston. In the most recent series by the slightly crazy ad very adventurous Heston Blumenthal, he covers one ingredient per show. And he did one on eggs. And he showed all us hopeless egg poachers, exactly how to do it so it will work. Every time.

Rule 1. Use fresh eggs, as they are less watery so the white will hold together.
Rule 2. Have the water hot, at 80 deg C, not boiling furiously, not even simmering, 80 deg.
Rule 3. Place a plate upside-down  at the bottom of the pot to protect the eggs from the direct heat of the pan.
Rule 4. Crack the eggs into a slotted spoon before putting in the water, to allow any the watery egg white to drain away.

It worked. It was amazing. Heston’s poached eggs, combined with leftover spinach, some soft, warm rolls, and Delia’s Hollandaise sauce, oh its the breakfast of kings. Mmmmmmm

August 24th, 2011

Eggnog Pancakes and Come Run with Me

(Warning. This blog post contains many, many images of woods and trails) I like pancakes, and I love to run. Join me for pancakes and a <virtual> run?

I don’t make pancakes for breakfast very often. Partly due to morning time restrictions, partly due to the fact that they are a ‘treat’ for breakfast, and should not be the norm, lest they cease to be a treat and become mundane. But I felt like pancakes, I had time, and I have been running again recently so I can justify the sweet indulgence with a run.

I came across these on Joy the Baker and they just sounded different. Unusual. Spicy and interesting. So I chose them. The only small pitfall was that I did not have any buttermilk with which to make my buttermilk based pancakes. Did I say pitfall? Sorry, I meant potential pitfall, if I did not know how to make my very own buttermilk. Its great, easy, quick, and just the thing when you want pancakes and don’t have any buttermilk in the fridge. Just 1 cup of milk and one tablespoon of lemon juice. Let it sit for a few minutes. Voila. Buttermilk.  Read the rest of this entry »

May 27th, 2011

Raisin Oat Pancakes

I do try to eat healthily, I really do. I buy kale by the huge bagful and tomatoes by the branch. I have bushes of herbs outside my back door. I stock up on bananas, strawberries and blueberries to accompany my granola and muesli breakfasts. But sometimes, just occasionally, one needs pancakes for breakfast.

I do believe all things in moderation are ok. A glass of wine, not a whole bottle. A couple of chocolate truffles, not an entire boxful. Pancakes for breakfast now and again, not every day. Besides, these pancakes have oats, and raisins so they aren’t all bad and indulgent. And you’re allowed to indulge occasionally, thats ok. Just make sure you go to the gym afterwards. Or go for a run. Or get on your exercise bike/cross-trainer that I know has been acting as a glorified clothes horse in your house for the last year.

  Read the rest of this entry »

May 19th, 2011

Toasted Almond Breakfast Granola

Sometimes all the cake can be too much. Too much sugar. Too much butter. Too much unhealthiness. I am not a healthy eating fanatic, not even close. But sometimes you need a break from the cake.

So what do I do when I feel like this? I look around for something wholesome, and tasty, and good. Something that will balance the cake, but make me smile at the same time, no kale and cucumber smoothies or cranberry juice detox diets. Just wholesome goodness. And granola and banana and yoghurt tick those boxes for me.  Read the rest of this entry »

March 29th, 2011

Berry Breakfast Smoothie and Not a PB, but a PA

On Sunday I ran the Wilmslow Half Marathon. I had trained. I had worked for it. But still I was not as fast as I was in my last half marathon. That sucks. Not that I am usually fast at all, but I’m speaking relatively here. I honestly don’t think that I’m naturally built for running, but its something that I normally enjoy doing, and it allows me to eat cake. So its win win. 

If you have ever run any kind of race before, whether it be a 5k, a Half Marathon or the insanity that is a full Marathon, you will know that racing = pain.  In my case, 2 hours of pain. Which is how long it took me to run the 13.1m/21km. While running along for 2 hours, one has a lot of time to think. And at times I thought about the sports jelly beans I was shoving into my mouth at mile intervals, and wondering if they were doing anything apart from making me gag as I tried to swallow them with dehydrated mouth/throat. I also thought about the ‘carbo-loading’ preparation that I had done the week before and whether it offered any benefit or not.

Read the rest of this entry »