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 ‘Mains’ Category

July 19th, 2011 by Clarabella

Spaghetti & Meatballs


Sometimes I eat too much sugar. I know this. I know its not healthy. I can’t help it. I love baking.

When I have had an especially sugary day or two, I start craving salt and savoury, big time. And not just anything, something substantial, home cooked and flavourful. I had this particular craving the other day and after seeing the Barefoot Contessa’s spaghetti and meatballs, and remembering how absolutely phenomenal my friend Sandra’s spaghetti and meatballs were the last time she made them for me, I decided it was time. I had not made spaghetti and meatballs for like, a year? More? I can’t even remember. I have made bolognaise and lasagne which I guess are in a similar vein, but don’t have the mega meaty punch of the meatball.

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May 7th, 2011 by Clarabella

Creamy Tomato Soup

Due to my injury inflicted running fast, I have really been trying to eat well this week. Due to my love of all things baked and sweet, its not easy. I have been fighting the call of the chocolate and resisting the lure to bake something horribly decadent.  I am strong. Like a bull.

So in the interest of healthy eating and to ensure that I go to work armed with enough vegetable goodness to obscure all thoughts of the vending machine, I decided to make a huge vat of tomato soup. Tomato is my absolute favourite soup and I don’t need much of an excuse to crack out my biggest saucepan and the tomatoes and basil.

This soup uses tinned tomatoes and it really has a different flavour to a fresh tomato soup. Fresh tomatoes have their place, and they are beautiful and tasty, but tinned tomatoes also have their place. Pasta sauce, bolognaise, stews, and this soup. Don’t believe me? Try it for yourself. Read the rest of this entry »

April 26th, 2011 by Clarabella

Chorizo Stew & Spanakopita Triangles

You know what its like when you haven’t had the motivation to go to the supermarket for a week, and then you get to a long weekend and there are bank holidays and the sun is shining and you would much rather be picnicking out in the sun than even thinking about broaching the entrance of any shop. Even a painful hobbled attempt at a run is better than contemplating shopping. No. I don’t like shopping at the best of times. I tolerate food shopping as its a means to an end. Don’t even get me started on the ordeal that is clothes shopping. Ugh, I shiver at the mere thought.

So when the cupboards and the fridge and even the freezer are rather bare, and the most appealing things you have in the kitchen are a lovely string of fresh chorizo and a plait of garlic straight from Spain, chorizo stew was an obvious solution. It did feel like it needed an accompaniment, not necessarily related. So out of the freezer came some phyllo pastry (for some reason I have 3 boxes in there – who knows what I was thinking), and from the fridge came feta cheese and spinach and kale. 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!

 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 25th, 2011 by Clarabella

Blueberry Brown Rice Pudding

Sometimes the simplest things in life are the most pleasurable. Feeling the warmth of the sunshine on your face, sharing a hot, frothy latte with someone in the morning, finishing a run that you just put a bit more effort into than usual, making someone smile. They are not elaborate, complicated, challenging, things. They do not require much effort or hours of dedication. They are simple, but special. This is how I feel about rice pudding.

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