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.
Published on January 29th, 2010
by Clarabella

Veggie night #4

I have to confess, my veggie cooking efforts last night were not my main priority. I did make some lovely spinach, ricotta, goats cheese and mushroom cannelloni with a rich tomato sauce, but the dinner faded into insignificance as Jel came home after a week away in Barbados. I know that a week is not very long, but it felt like an eternity and I missed him like crazy!

Back on topic, last night I made cannelloni with tomato sauce. I did deviate from the recipe as it called for another gallon of olive oil to make up a sauce and I am really not sold on that concept. So improvisation was the order of the evening, and I am sure my waistline will thank me for it. I mixed ricotta, goats cheese, wilted spinach and cooked mushrooms with some seasoning and nutmeg to make the canneloni filling. As I have not yet bought a piping bag (I REALLY need one now as it would save a lot of time and mess!) I rather unelegantly stuffed the filling into the canneloni tubes by hand, which is a messy but rather entertaining process. The basic tomato sauce had cooked for around and hour before I poured it over the canneloni and topped with shavings of parmesam, then into the oven for 40 minutes. It would have been a lot quicker if I had made the pasta from scratch rather than using dried, but I simply did not have the time or the energy after getting home from yoga at 18:45 and having an aching upper-body from the shoulder stands and the half hand stands. 

Dinner was delicious, partly because I was ravenous and partly because I love anything with pasta and cheese. I have not used goat’s cheese in canneloni before so that was an unusual background flavour and it combined really well with the rest of the filling and the sauce. I did find that it turned out a little dry but that is because the sauce was not as liquid as it could have been and dry cannelloni tend to soak up the sauce like insatiable sponges and I should really remember this when cooking the sauce. But as I was slightly distracted by the presence of my man and the beautiful bunch of flowers he brought me, I will forgive myself.

I am very excited today as I have received the first of my ‘Daring Baker’ challenges. I signed up on the last month and have been eagerly awaiting the first Daring Cook/Daring Baker challenge. This has been posted today and I can’t wait to get started. The Challenge Recipes are for Gluten-free graham crackers (similar to digestive biscuits I believe for us non-americans) and then for a recipe including these which is a Canadian sweet-treat called Nanaimo (Nah-nye-Moh). The picture below is for how they are supposed to look. I can only hope that mine will turn out as pretty, but I am really looking forward to giving it a try. I have had to order all the special gluten-free flours from an online asian food shop as they are not something I will be able to get in the local tesco, but the pricing was very reasonable so I really can’t complain. I doubt that I will receive the delivery in time to make them this weekend so it may be a project for next weekend, how exciting! 

Tonight I am going out for dinner (yay!) to a Chinese restaurant that I have heard a lot about since I moved to Manchester so I am really looking forward to it. It will also be a break from my week of vegetarianism 🙂 Tomorrow morning I will curl up on the couch with a cup of coffee and plan my culinary adventures for the next week. I did think that a Spanish week may be fun but I’ll see which way the wind blows me tomorrow.

Until then, happy cooking.