Sunday, November 22, 2009

Happy Sunday!

Things I'm looking forward to this Sunday:

- stirring up a cake. It is Stir-up Sunday after all. I'm not religious but I like food traditions, even from other countries. So I'm making a marzipan fruit cake largely inspired by Nigella's, but with a few adaptations. I used to hate marzipan, but I have found some without any artificial flavouring and it's quite OK in baking. Adds a new dimension to cakes.

-new plants on the balcony. I am very bad at green things, but W likes to potter about the balcony and yesterday we were at Ikea and he bought a few things to brighten up our winter. He was uprooting old wizened up summer flowers and found some acorns buried in the pot. I said they probably fell in there from the oaks in our street. He insisted they were buried in the middle of the soil and that a squirrel must have stored them in there.  I love that!

-reading. I haven't read enough these past months. All I've been interested in were non-fiction books, but fell asleep every night after a few lines of Flow. I have decided to waste less time online and spend more time reading good fiction again. Chose to turn to a favourite writer's prose : David Lodge's Deaf Sentence.

As you can tell from the pics, we are slowly gearing up for Christmas, next Sunday is the beginning of Advent so we'll be lighting the first candle in that wreath and perhaps drinking some mulled wine to go with a slice of that cake -if there's any left...

Happy Sunday to you!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Good things

Instead of telling you all about my failure to finish those projects I was talking about here, I'll tell you about some good things.

Baking cakes for teatime has to be the most relaxing activity. Here is a favourite of mine, already blogged about, but worth every post it can get. Olive oil and orange juice cake with pine nuts, only good things in there and a delicate cake, both dense and light, plain but delicious. It is dairy free too, if you know someone with dairy allergies. It's the olive oil and orange juice cake with pine nuts from Apples for Jam by Tessa Kiros.

I love baking cookies and biscuits too, but it's more time-consuming than cakes, so I do it less often these days. Browsing the web for Christmas ideas, I found out that the vegan punk girls' cookie book was out at last. Yay! So to be patient until next month, I set out to bake the PB chocolate pillows featured on their website, the Post Punk Kitchen. They looked so delicious with their little bellyful of peanut butter. The dough was incredible, very much like play dough. For some reason they flattened out irredeemably in my oven. They were also quite greasy. Tasted great nonetheless, hehe.

To try and forget the projects I buried at the back of my mind and of my sewing cabinet, I've been working on a tote for my mum, who's visiting, she chose the fabrics herself. Pretty cool. It's nearly done. It's a great project from Weekend Sewing by Heather Ross. I bought the book after reading about it on Sandy's blog. I have made a few things from it and must say that they were easy enough for a beginner like me but satisfying. I have already made this tote for myself and it was huge. This time it's a little smaller as I had less denim left than I thought.