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At The Table With...Sarah Coates of The Sugar Hit

An interview with food blogger Sarah Coates of The Sugar Hit | www.paperplatesblog.com

Today we're rolling with Sarah Coates, the 24-year-old blogger behind The Sugar Hit. First things first: Sarah lives in Brisbane, Australia. That is awesome. Also awesome is her blog, where she shares creative, high-volume recipes for baked goods, desserts and — my personal favorite — street foods. I mean, just look at that Vietnamese iced coffee below. If that weren't enough, Sarah is also a fellow banana-hater. I think I have a girl crush.

Read on to get to know Sarah!

What is your all-time favorite book, and why?

This question is HARD. There are so many different books that I absolutely love and would feel completely lost without. But since you’re making me pick one, it has to be How to Eat by Nigella Lawson. It’s such a beautifully written, deeply personal book, and it’s all about my favourite topic, food. It’s a recipe book, definitely, but it’s so much more than that. I have read it cover-to-cover more times than I can count. A life-changing read. 

What meal do you love to cook, and why?

Hmmm. One of my absolute favourite things to cook is something I call ‘Christmas Ragu’. I don’t have a recipe for it published anywhere, and it changes a little every year. It’s a slow-cooked lamb ragu with sage and rosemary and white wine, served over fresh pasta. It’s what my boyfriend and I eat on Christmas Eve every year, just the two of us. And then we watch Wayne’s World. It’s a weird tradition, but it’s our tradition.

What is your favorite food scene from a book, and why?

It has to be a scene from The Magic Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton. The Faraway Tree books were already very old by the time I got to read them, but they are completely enchanting and I absolutely loved and still love them. My favourite of the many wonderful scenes with food is the chapter where the children and their friends climb up the tree into the Land of Goodies. There are plates of jelly that grow on trees, and bushes of strawberries grow their own dollops of cream and dustings of sugar, and they feast on tomato soup and poached eggs and ginger buns. 

Coffee or tea?

Coffee – black, two sugars.

What is the last book you abandoned, and why?

I’m sorry to say, it was Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne. Not through any fault of the book, it was just that there were so many marine terms that I kept having to look up — donaciae, porphitae, asterophytons, etc. — I got sick of it.
Sarah's Vietnamese iced coffee, in the corner by the window where she does much of her reading.

Sarah's Vietnamese iced coffee, in the corner by the window where she does much of her reading.

Author you'd most like to meet for dinner, and your order?

It’s an incredibly close call. Of course, Nigella, or Tina Fey, but just to mix things up I’m going to say Nora Ephron. I think she would have been an incredible dinner companion. And I would make sure to order plenty, so that we could stick to her ‘rule of four’. Nora said that most people always serve three things; some sort of meat, some sort of starch and a vegetable. Nora learned to always serve a fourth thing, something unexpected and delicious, just to keep each bite interesting.  

Where do you go to find new recipes? 

The question is where DON’T I go! Everywhere! I’m totally unashamed of asking for recipes in restaurants, at friend’s places, or at markets. I am all over blogs, left and right. I love food magazines, and you can find me in the cookbook section of my local bookstore, pretty much every Saturday.

Where do you go to find new reads?

Now this one is tougher. I’m verrry picky when it comes to books. I’m not a huge fan of popular fiction. My most favourite thing to read is memoir, which is why I love Nora Ephron’s writing so much. What I tend to do is find an author who I love, and then find out who they read, and who their friends are or where, and then read them. 

Tell us about your blog — the inspiration for it, why you blog, and your favorite aspects.

The Sugar Hit is all about kick-ass, totally delicious, sometimes unexpected and always amazing food that is reasonably simple and affordable. Food that gives you that excited, exhilarated ‘sugar hit’ feeling, even if there’s no sugar in it! I’m inspired by all of my cooking heroes, Nigella, Jamie Oliver, Gizzi Erskine, Joy The Baker, and so many others, and I just love to be creative with cooking in my home and then get to share that with anyone who’s interested!

What are your favorite blogs, and why?

For sheer style and a new way of thinking about food, I love Dine x DesignHungry Girl Por VidaGirl Versus Dough [ATTW], Take a MegabiteBlogging Over Thyme and Jessica from How Sweet It Is all do incredibly creative, original work that never ceases to inspire me. I love to read SugarHero, because she creates things I never could. Wit & Vinegar is absolutely hilarious, and Billy is very left of field with his recipes, which I love. Top with Cinnamon because Izy’s raw talent speaks for itself. Also, Joy the Baker, because she’s Joy the Baker.

Connect with Sarah: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest

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