Giveaway: Plate to Pixel by Helene Dujardin

Giveaway: Photography book | Sugar Thumb

So, as it’s christmas soon, I thought I would do a giveaway for all my loyal readers. If you haven’t heard of Plate to Pixel by Helene Dujardin – her blog is amaaaaazing and it’s called Tartelette. This book has really been helping me get to grips with the complexities of food photography. It really is very thorough and whether it’s styling and composition that you want to improve, your understanding of the technical side of photography or you need more information on equipment, this book is a lifesaver!

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Easy Meal Idea: Courgette, Chilli and Truffle Tagliatelle

Courgette, chilli, mozzarella pasta | Sugar Thumb

So, it’s not December yet and I am excitedly (and edgily … is that a word) awaiting the beginning of mulled wine season and christmas markets…must… eat… christmas… food…! Also, anyone seen the series Brooklyn nine nine yet? Hilaaaarious. Started watching it last night and am completely hooked. To summarise, it’s a comedy set in the detective department of a police station in Brooklyn. If you like Parks & Recreation and New Girl – you will like it.

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Chocolate Moustache Biscuits for Movember

Movember chocolate cookies

As you probably know, not only is it November, it’s Movember. Although I have a pretty impressive moustache for a girl, I don’t think growing it out would be noticeable enough to raise awareness. So instead, I thought I would bake these cute moustache biscuits. If you’re from the UK, these are actually modelled on the classic bourbon chocolate biscuit, if you have no idea what a bourbon is – you are missing out and should make and eat these asap. They are SO chocolatey without being too sweet. Perrrrfect. Plus they are shaped like moustaches, that’s just hilarious. And yes, I did hold them up in front of my face before eating them as did my flatmates… I think I would look pretty cool with a handlebar moustache.

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Cinnamon Rolls

Cinnamon rolls recipe

In Game of Thrones… they utter the words “Winter is coming” time and time again, well my friends, it is already well and truly here and my tonsils took quite the battering last week thanks to it. I didn’t even feel like baking. But I am feeling a lot better now and made these cinnamon rolls – which are perfect when eaten hot with a cuppa. They aren’t too sweet, which I like – i love sugar, but sometimes it can be too much. These have a subtly sweet taste – one fit for a chilly winter.

I often get put off by recipes with yeast in – because of the time it takes to wait for it to rise and knead it. But as part of my new “stop being so impulsive thing” I’ve decided to give them more of a chance. I’m glad I did because these are freaking awesome. I played around with the shapes quite a bit because you can and my flat My new favourite thing to bake will be yeasty bready sweet stuff – as yet undefined but I will keep you updated.

Other weekend activities include watching Philomena – it’s such a good film! If you haven’t heard of it yet, it stars good old Judi Dench and Steve Coogan. Dench plays the role of an older Irish woman who was forced into a home for ‘fallen women’ during the 1950s in Ireland when she was young and now Coogan, a journalist and ex politician, and Dench are on the hunt for the son that was taken from her during that time. Its beauts! Pretty sad but also amazing.

Cinnamon rolls recipe

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Poached Caramel Pear, Polenta and Almond Cake

Poached Pear polenta and almond cake

As I have mentioned and as you may have noticed… I have a very new and very real love affair with polenta. You can have it with meat or veg or you can put it in a cake… sweet or savory – it goes down a charm. My latest recipe is this gorgeous poached and caramelized pear cake with ground almond and polenta.So rich in flavour! I read about an italian cake called Amor Polenta in one of my mum’s old recipe books and I based this recipe on it. Standardly I had to adapt it so that there is way more almond and caramel as well… Let’s be honest any cake is made better with some caramel.

The pears I bought we pretty unripe, but that worked well because they didn’t fall apart when being poached and caramelized at high temperatures and the heat brought all the juicyness to the surface. Perfecto!

Poached Pear polenta and almond cake

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Dulce De Leche Brownie Muffins

Dulce De Leche Brownie Muffins

Ohhhhh dulce de leche. How I love you and your ridiculously sweet gooeyness and how I would love to eat you with a spoon from the jar… This post is my ode to dulce de leche – one of my greatest vices in life.

Realising that eating it straight from the jar would probably reduce my life expectancy by more than just a little bit, I decided to pop it in a cake. but NOT just any cake, a deliciously moist and brownie like muffin. If you are really greedy, like me, then you can also spread some on the top once they’re done and eat them like that.If you don’t – you’re missing out. You should have FOMO.

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Easy Meal Idea: Chilli Yoghurt Chicken, Rocket & herby Polenta

Easy meal ideas

If there is one thing I know about myself is that I’m as impulsive as hell. The moment I get an idea that I want to do something in my head, that’s the end of it. I have to do it and I have to do it as fast as possible. Quality of the task often suffers. I am trying to better this part of myself – I watched a great PBS digital studios documentary on creativity as well as this speech from John Cleese about sitting with your ideas – even if it stresses you out – and working through them. They identified this hard work and perseverence as a highly underrated yet fundamental way to reach the perfect realisation of an idea.

Anyway, despite trying to improve this about myself – a girl still gotta eat before I get there! Inbetween work and other stuff I have impulsively planned after work I want to eat something healthy, delicious AND slightly new to broaden my cooking repertoire.So, until I reach that inner peace and calm and shun my impulsive nature, banishing it to the woods forever, I am starting a series for a quick meal – “Easy Meal Ideas”. It does exactly what it says on the tin! Who’d have thought that polento was so delicious and easy?? And great for anyone who is gluten-intolerant.

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Fun From October

chopped tomatoes
Oh Tuesday, how I love you for NOT being Monday! Sorry for my erratic posting of late – I have been running around like a headless chicken and trying to fill all my time with socializing so that this damn dark season we are having doesn’t depress me too much!
Trisha eating ice cream | Sugar Thumb
Me trying to smile – all the while thinking “Why the frick did I get sorbet in this cold cold weather”. Most agrees (below)
Most | Sugar Thumb
Despite a HIGHLY depressing day yesterday – purely due to the veritable lack of sunshine – the evening was a bundle of laughs. If you haven’t seen Aziz Ansari’s latest stand up then you should get on that. I laughed for the whole thing – and when I say laughed I mean heartily! I also did a work out video – I know it’s a standard cliche, but exercise and laughter are really the key to not getting the winter blues. That and the oh so close christmas markets in Berlin with their heavenly Glühwein… I can almost taste that divine spicy flavour! NOICE.