As of last week, my family has upped sticks to the land of flowing corn fields, twinkle bugs, future birth places and state fairs. Are they in Heaven? No. They're in Iowa.
With a new family home purchased and my sister's little one getting bigger by the minute, I'm day-dreamin about catching the first plane to a new home & new adventures - playin ball with ghosts in the corn, seein a young captain James T Kirk, and picklin prize-winning preserves with Margie's mama.
Over the next two weeks I'll be busy in the kitchen for two very different occasions! First: a cake fit for a four year old fairy princess (been working on a mood board as always!); Next: a cake for a coffee & terrier lover. Watch this space.
Far from the gritty novels that have been passing my bed as of late. I felt like a light & heart-warming (if not ultimately cheesy) read, and Cecelia has always done the trick.
After years of indecisively picking up & putting down Moon at the video store, I finally got the chance to sit down and watch it (thank you recordable telly). What a film! Nearing the end of a three-year mission astronaut Sam Bell, who's only companion is a computer named GERTY, is set to go home to his loved wife and little girl. Truly a fantastic film with a heartbreaking turn from Sam Rockwell. What the hell took me so long?
Over the weekend Earl's Court opened it's doors to the Cake & Bake show - a sort of Comic Con of the cake world (which coincidentally the last time I trekked to Earl's Court, I mingled with the likes of Chewbacca, a few Daleks, and mr bluebirdcage was met by an angry Eddie Furlong in the loo. But that's another story…).
I spent Sunday wandering an endless sea of baked goods & cookery stalls; cakes singing my name from every direction. My siren: a little slice of chocolate peanut butter and pretzel heaven from Tea with Tom.
In the Cake Kitchen, I was introduced to the baking world of Stacie Stewart - a cute as hell mod baker with a beehive to die for. In the Bakery, Eric Lanlard dropped the words 'pecan pie' 'sexy' and 'thanksgiving' - needless to say, I was in my element. And in Classroom 2, GBBO alumn Baking James showed us all that it is a-okay to be absolutely nerdish about baking some Brilliant Bread; mid-demo, we were sneakily joined by an assortment of team GBBO 2013 - half of the Baker's Dozen to be exact! (Fingers crossed some of their luck rubbed off on me in that little demo room).
Too overwhelming for words, I'll leave you with some of the sites from the day.
oh beehive: incorporating a little social media into the routine
Inspired by a little bagel shop I used to frequent with my mama on snowy North Dakota mornins. One of my ultimate guilty pleasures, this dreamy cream cheese topping takes two minutes to make. Side with a cuppa and enjoy!
2tbsp cream cheese
1/2 small pink-lady apple (pealed/un-pealed & cubed)
In a small bowl, mix the cream cheese and cubed apples until the apples are well coated. Next, fold the honey into the mixture - try not to over mix, or you won't get those tasty pockets of honey bursting every now & then.
Smother on top of a freshly toasted bagel.
*Alternatively, replace the honey with caramel sauce. If you do, go on and smother it onto a cinnamon raisin bagel. Sure, it's a bit naughty…but you've got to spoil yourself sometimes.
It's no secret that I'm a fan of the iced biscuit. The nostalgic messiness of the decor. Colour stained fingertips from cleaning the piping bag. Lines of brightly-coloured icing running down your apron. There will always be so much to learn about decorating these little fellas - and to me, that's the best bit!
Enter the Biscuiteers School of Icing! This little biscuit boutique first passed my sights one fateful valentine's day, when a supplier sent me this lovely little cookie-gram from the Biscuiteers's fashion range. It was love at first bite. Three years on, this biscuit e-tailer has opened a cute little boutique & icing cafe in Notting Hill where on any given day, tourists walk by flashing their lenses at the infamous window displays.
always a tourist
step inside the looking glass
For my birthday, mr bluebirdcage took the hint to an over exaggerated wink & nudge, and signed me up for today'sicing class.
Walking into the boutique, I was greeted by Lorena (window display baker extraordinaire!), who ushered me & two other girls downstairs to the Icing Cafe where tables had been prepped with un-iced cookies from the Woodland Collection, a rainbow of piping bags, cotton printed aprons (keepsakes for the day!), and a compliment of teas & coffees.
sweet nostalgia, here I come
Over two hours, we were taught basic techniques such as lining & flooding, and even had a mini icing-prep tutorial.
coffee & icing
badgers, foxes, bugs & bunnies...oh my!
obligatory oven shot
Along with our new-found biscuit icing knowledge, the Biscuiteers showered us with a goody bag filled with their Book of Iced Biscuits, a tin to put our goodies in, and a School of Icing Certificate of Brilliance. I'm a certified Biscuiteer ya'll!
goodies (plus a little extra buy - icing tools!)
my very own woodland collection
ready for their closeup
just me & my badger
If you're on the search for a fun & intimate baking class with friendly people, then this is your place! Thank you to Lorena, Becky & the Biscuiteers family! I'll be seeing you soon.xx