Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Japanese prints | The British Museum

Yesterday I went and strolled round the British Museum to fill my head with ponderings and beautiful things. There's a fantastic artist's house in the Korea section which I would love to live in, surrounded by all the neutral wonky pots housed in the collection. However, what caught my eye was this print by Tetsuya Noda of the artist's young daughter and son dancing in the apartment of a friend in Kobe. What sheer beauty.

The bare trees of Malet Street were looking particularly stark and lovely, too.

Thursday, 26 January 2012

New cactus :)

I have a new cactus and it's super cute and I love it! I aspire to a kitchen full of cacti.

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

The Big Lebowski - What a wonderful soundtrack!

London looks disgusting today. I'm sat at my desk watching the puddle on next door's roof grow and dance with the rain rain rain. So much rain.

Last night we went to Filthy MacNasty's for 2 for 1 pizzas and Fargo/Big Lebowski double bill. We missed Fargo but spent a happy couple of hours getting numb bums on hard pub seats watching the Dude say lots of things that we couldn't really hear properly. Thing is, I always forget how fantastic the soundtrack to that film is! Well done Cohen brothers.

Monday, 23 January 2012


January makes me obsess about music. This is a new song from Leonard Cohen. Its basically New Skins for the Old Ceremonies for this generation. Leonard Cohen is my first and greatest love - even the fact that he can't always sing in tune will never stop me from believing in his musical genius!

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Blue Monday

This is a song which my brother sang all Christmas, for some reason it kills the January blues for me. Its a cover of the Avett Brothers, who have got the best beards you will ever see. Yes, even better than Alun's

Monday, 16 January 2012

Inspiring posters for students | Advice to Sink in Slowly

Read about these posters on the Guardian website. There's a whole collection of inspirational posters for students created by graduates. If you're a student in your first year you can also sign up and request one for free! Hooray for free stuff! The people who make them are called Advice To Sink In Slowly.

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Glorious multipurpose spice jar eggcups.

I lost my barbie eggcup that came with an Easter egg when I was little (was hiding in a cupboard) and had a boiled egg crisis. Seemed like the perfect opportunity to demonstrate that i did NEED those lovely elegant spice jars from Habitat and that I wasn't being frivolous - they're not just for spices, you know! They also double as fabulous eggcups, bar perhaps the strong smell of cardamoms and star anise that perhaps isn't ideal if, like me, not being 'a morning person' seems an understatement.

Friday, 13 January 2012

Galette des Rois - Festive bake part 2.

So I'm back at uni and have started new courses, a new year etc etc. Walking home today and noticing that little green shoots were already starting to pop up in the flowerbeds, I realised that I still had my Epiphany Cake post unposted. So here we are.

This cake is one of the things that I miss most about living in France as every time that I've been for Christmas I've left too early to see them appear in all the shops. The cake is essentially puff pastry with an almond paste in the middle and a fève, a little figurine or a hard bean, hidden somewhere in the cake. Traditionally, the fève is of a religious theme but I have a very handsome Obi Wan Kenobi at home and there are people who collect the different ones. The lucky person who finds the figurine in their slice is crowned the king/queen and chooses a queen/king to reign beside them. Or at least that's what we did. So anyway, in my baking frenzy I decided to make one myself and its actually super easy! I used the Good Food recipe but you can find lots of variations, for example, I'd never tasted a Galette made with cognac in it - super tasty! To be honest, the funnest bit was the decorations on the top and then forcing my little sister (who isn't so little) to sit under the table and call out the name of a recipient for each slice.

It seems harsh to only be able to eat/bake this once a year in a window of a week or so so I'm going to make another for the flat soon, too. Updates may follow!

Thursday, 5 January 2012

When life gives you excess marzipan, make Stollen.

I'm back in London and finally getting round to looking back on some of the stuff I've done this holiday. Everything seemed very fleeting and most of it wasn't immortalised on camera. The past week or so has been my first chance to slow down a bit and I've taken the opportunity to try out a couple of things that I usually think of as 'shop-bought' cakes. Turns out they're both ridiculously simple and tastier, too.
So, part 1 of 2 of my baking escapades is my beautiful if rather portly and robust looking loaf of Stollen, a German sweetbread with dried fruit and often marzipan. I used Delia's recipe.

The end result was completely different to any of the shop-bought ones and was breadier, to the extent that it was completely heavenly with a generous spread of butter over the crustier edge bits that taste almost savoury compared to the sweet centre of marzipany moistness.

Definitely worth the effort and the excited trips up to the laundry cupboard to check how much it had risen.