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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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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Family Traits: Grilled Corn with Chilli and Salt

grilled sweetcorn chili and salt
I have realized that colder weather strikes up a little bit of nostalgia in me – first the rock cakes.. and now this! Every Friday after school, my grandma – we called her Mumma – used to pick us up from school and take us back to hers. She was one of those un-strict grandparents – most grandparents spoil their grandchildren I reckon. Always lots of cartoons and toys.

But she also introduced me to corn on the cob. Such a great snack! And it looks so pretty with the leaves one when it’s been grilled. EVEN if the leaves are a teeensy bit burnt like mine, still looks lush.

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Pork Dumplings

pork dumplings recipe

So, I thought I would give these pork dumplings a try – I found them on one of my favourite food blogs Spoon Fork Bacon. Great GREAT recipe and so easy! I haven’t got much time to write a blog post unfortunately but I really recommend their blog for party food ! So wonderful and simple. Also, their photography is the bomb.

pork dumplings recipe

If you, like one of my flatmates and my boyfriend, don’t like pork, give it a try with minced chicken or beef. I personally think pork is amazing, especially when seasoned so well, because it has tasty juices that I really don’t think chicken can compete with! My mum also makes amazing dumplings with a pasta making machine and pork. PORKITY PORKITY PORK!

choganjang sauce

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Chicken and Pesto Pasties

chicken and pesto pasties

When it’s a Sunday in Berlin… and you have completely forgotten that supermarkets don’t open, the first thing you want to do is scream expletives. However, believe it or not,  this approach doesn’t actually help. So instead I scrambled around the kitchen finding anything useful (and luckily some chicken I had bought on friday… sneaky!). With the right ingredients to make shortcrust pastry, some chicken, pesto, garlic, onions and parmesen I decided to make some open pasties.

The photo above is the uncooked version… it was just my favourite photo which is why I used it first! below, you can see the baked version. I added some balsamic vinegar to give it that tang!

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Family Traits: Mum’s Lime and Coriander prawns

lime and coriander prawn recipe

So, I am trying to introduce more savory cooking to Sugar Thumb – firstly because all this baking is making me into a bit of a chubster and secondly because I cook a lot so it seems a waste not to photograph it all! I am trying to be a bit healthier, but have no fear… I will never cut baking out and the majority of posts will still have sweet treats in mind.  I am going to start including some of my favourite meals from my childhood in a series called “Family Traits”. Many of which I will take from my mum, dad, grandmas and family friends… I hope it’s interesting and I think it will be a wonderful trip down memory lane for me!

My mother, Kala, has a real skill for throwing things together when she is busy and has little time to make something elaborate. And it still looks and tastes like a dream! This is one of her classic quick recipes – lemon and coriander prawns it takes about 15 minutes and its great to have in a wrap. It has a beautiful tang from the lemon and coriander which is smoothened by the use of butter instead of oil to fry the shallots in.

lime and coriander prawn recipe

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Soda Bread: a Steak and Tomato relish sandwich

steak sandwich on soda bread

Happy Tuesday…

I am in one of those foul moods where I hate everything… Haha, pleasant I know. Our flat hasn’t had hot water for days, I can’t be bothered to work and all I want to do is read about cooking, cook, eat and possibly watch an episode of Game of Thrones at a push. I am never normally like this.. but when I get in a mood like this I seeth and while I politely chat away to people below the surface I am screaming GO AWAY. Ever had one of those days?

soda bread recipe

I think it’s the hot water thing… I feel like a greasy stinky person. I probably am at this point.

Anyway, foul mood aside, I made soda bread for the first time yesterday and I must say, it’s bloody amazing! I love baking bread.. but I always get this feeling of fear at how long it will take for the yeast to rise etc. But with soda bread, you don’t even use yeast… which is the beauty of it all. I added honey and butter milk and this made it so lovely and moist! It takes about 10 minutes to make and 20 minutes to bake. Then I just fried some minute steaks with salt and gorgonzola on top, made some tomato relish (a la Trisha) and added some rocket. In fact I think it took about 40 minutes to make a delicious meal… all homemade – bar the cheese!

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