Finding work for idle hands: making, baking and more.

Space issues July 31, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — lauravw @ 2:13 pm

20120731-151148.jpgI’ve been a subscriber to Martha Stewart Living for quite a few years now – I’m not sure how many, but I have editions going back around ten years. And I’ve kept them all – which means they take up rather a lot of space.

So I’ve decided to work my way through them, snipping out the recipes and articles that caught my eye, and donating the rest to friends/recycling them.

It’s been quite fun – I’ve started with the older editions, from before Martha went to prison (or, as she apparently tells it, “the army”). In those days her name was very prominent on the cover, and from the moment she was sentenced, it was made much less prominent. Now that she’s been rehabilitated back into society, she takes a more visible role in the magazine, which I think is good news.

I’m still subscribing to the magazine, so the editions will continue to pile up, but when my subscription expires next year, I’m going to opt for the digital-only version and simply read it on my iPad.


The Hummingbird Bakery July 10, 2012

Filed under: Books,Food — lauravw @ 1:33 pm

When we were in London last month, we managed to fit in a visit to the Hummingbird Bakery in Notting Hill.

I was very excited about visiting the bakery in person, because ever since I got a copy of the first Hummingbird Bakery book last year, I’ve been really impressed by all the recipes I’ve tried from it. The recipe for vanilla cupcakes is the best one I’ve ever used, and I always use that recipe now if I want to make simple cupcakes.

The branch in Notting Hill is small, but it does have a few seats inside so if you time your visit just right, you might be able to sit and enjoy your cake indoors. Unfortunately for us, we arrived at around about the time school finished for the day, so the seats were all taken by yummy mummies and their offspring – we had our purchases boxed so that we could take them away. I tried the black bottomed cupcakes, which are chocolatey concoctions with a swirl of cheesecake built in. No pictures of the cake itself: once I started eating it, sitting in a park in Notting Hill, my hands were so messy and sticky that to get the camera out would have been a big mistake. It was delicious though.

My mother tried the brownies – I can’t tell you how good they were as she demolished hers so rapidly that I didn’t get a taste, but I assume that means they were very good indeed…

I now have a copy of the second book as well, Cake Days, and last weekend I tried making the Earl Grey tea cupcakes, which were very good. The Earl Grey taste seemed to fade a bit as the week went on, but they were still the perfect accompaniment to a cup of tea. The second book seems to have as many interesting recipes in it as the first, and I’m looking forward to trying a few more when I get chance.

And if you’ve not seen it already, take a look at their blog, which often has useful baking tips, and is worth a read.