Are cupcakes still all the rage? I never really got that into them, perhaps because I’m terrible at decorating them. The icing has to be perfect for me to really enjoy them. Crunchy icing puts my teeth on edge. It needs to be a sweet, flavoursome butter cream or cream cheese.
These jam-filled pound cupcakes don’t need any topping because the interest is all in the middle. I used some of my home-made mixed berry jelly from last autumn – there are always a few jars in the store cupboard. You can use any fruit jam, marmalade or lemon curd instead. Or what about a spoonful of Nutella? Mmmmmmmm…
I used a pound cake recipe I found in Marvellous Mini-Cakes – a little book full of teensy sweet & savoury cakes. I used to think a pound cake was a cake that weighed a pound! In actual fact, it’s a cake traditionally made with a pound each of its four main ingredients – butter, sugar, flour and eggs… so I guess it’s really a 4lb cake!
As tempting as they may be, please don’t attempt to eat these straight from the oven. The hot, molten jam will scald the roof of your mouth!
- 120g/4¼oz salted butter
- 120g/4¼oz caster sugar
- 2 eggs, separated
- 120g/4¼oz plain flour, sifted
- 2 scant tsp baking powder
- pinch of salt
- Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/Gas mark 4
- Grease a muffin tin and dust with flour or add cupcake/muffin cases
- In a mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar together until the mixture turns pale and becomes smooth
- Add the egg yolks, flour and salt and combine
- In another bowl, whisk the egg whites
- Add them gradually to the mixture
- Add the baking powder
- As soon as you have stirred in the baking powder, put a dessert-spoonful of cake mixture in each cupcake hole/case
- Add a teaspoonful of jam to the centre of each cake
- Cover with the remaining cake mixture, ensuring that the jam is fully covered by the cake mix
- Put in the oven straight away
- Bake for about 20 minutes. Towards the end of the cooking time, prick with a skewer if it comes away clean, the cupcakes are done
- Allow to cool slightly before turning them out of the tin
Spring, whether it’s meteorological (the 1st) or astronomical (the 20th), begins in March. It’s the time of year to begin thinking about getting back down to the allotment again. Before diving straight in, there are a few tasks that need to be taken into consideration.
Ensure you have suitable outdoor clothing & protective footwear
Before you begin any work on your allotment, make sure you’ve got the right kind of gear to wear. Don’t ruin your best pairs of trousers or training shoes – buy some hard wearing clothing that’s built for the jobs in hand and that you don’t mind getting dirty… and of course heavy duty, protective footwear. We’ve all heard those horror stories of people standing on rusty nails or impaling themselves through the foot with a garden fork!
Have a spring clean
You probably did a lot of the chores at the end of autumn as the gardening year wound down. However, if you haven’t, this is your last call for completing all these jobs. Tidy the shed and greenhouse if you have one. Sweep paths, remove slippery moss, clean pots, make sure water butts are full, bring the garden table & chairs out of the shed and paint or oil as required… and scrub that barbecue clean in readiness for some al fresco dining!
Prepare the soil
Flower beds and fruit & vegetable plots have probably lain dormant for almost 6 months. Now that the final frosts are almost over, it’s the perfect time to dig over beds, tackle weeds, mulch, rotate compost bins and sow green compost.
Clean & repair your tools
Why make gardening jobs any tougher than they need to be? Make sure your secateurs and shears are sharpened, shovel and rake handles are secure and free from splinters. Consider a service & deeper clean for electrical items such as lawnmowers and chainsaws.
Organise your planting calendar
Organise your planting diary for the year ahead. Look back at what you did last year and rotate beds to avoid disease and pests and maximise yields. Do some research as to what might grow well in your situation and soil conditions… and of course enjoy browsing all those lovely seed catalogues, gardening magazines & books for inspiration and ideas.
Care for wildlife
Not only are they lovely to look at and listen to, wildlife helps to pollinate flowers and they eat pests such as slugs and aphids. You can do lots of things to attract creatures to your allotment. Build insect boxes, provide food for birds, plant insect-attracting flowers, create paths for hedgehogs and find space for a water feature of some kind if possible – even if it’s just an upturned bin lid! It’s one of the single most effective way of attracting wildlife to an outdoor space.
I discovered this Barcelona home when it was recently featured over on Apartment Therapy. It’s the rented apartment of couple, Alida and Alex. You may recognise many of the furnishings in this cute, compact kitchen diner; Alex works at IKEA and obviously brings some of his job home with him!
- Kitchen cabinetry, VEDDINGE, grey
- Picture ledge MOSSLANDA, white
- Handle TYDA, stainless steel
- Side table on castors IKEA PS 2017 beech/white
- Door DJUPVIKEN, white
- 9-bottle wine rack HUTTEN, solid wood
- Copper pineapple storage pot
- Crosley Presley floral Bluetooth Cruiser vinyl record player
- Tray KLACK, rubberwood
- Gateleg table NORDEN, birch
No matter what the shape and size of your home, you‘ll always want it to be as stylish and comfortable as you can make it. When it comes to the bathroom, the three key things people look for are practicality, storage and luxury. Even if you’re dealing with a footprint that’s rather small, there’s no reason why you can’t achieve this by paying close attention to detail with your design features. Here are a few tips to get you started…
Start with the tiles
As soon as you start to put colours and tiles on your walls, your bathroom can instantly appear larger or smaller. If you’re already dealing with a tight footprint, go for lighter, elongated tiles that give the appearance of a brighter and longer room. Try to stay away from pure white, as this can often be a little too dazzling.
Instead, light grey and ivory make good off-white colours which will still enhance any light that hits the walls. Consider adding a border tile too, which is again a slim, long design, so that the person entering the bathroom is instantly given the impression of more length.
Think about fixtures and fittings
Next, it’s time to think about the bathroom furniture. If space-saving is your ultimate goal here, then you need to look at a variety of different designs and styles to find what you like. For example, a large, traditional roll-top bath would be completely impractical for a smaller bathroom, but you could get a corner bath with shower that has traditional features, so that you still have the look and feel you desire.
It’s best to check out an online retailer with a large choice, such as Better Bathrooms, to make these initial decisions. Then, consider additional items like floating toilets, where the cistern is concealed within the wall, so as not to take up precious floor space.
Start thinking vertically
Now that you have your colours and fixtures all in place, in order to make this space usable, you’ll need to turn your attention to storage. Whether you have three children and their bath time toys to worry about, or you’re a leisure-lover with dozens of pampering products laying around, don’t think of your walls as dead space, and start using them more creatively. You can opt for the more conventional wall-to-ceiling units, or go for hanging compartments and shelving units that can be easily moved as your needs change.
Secondly, don’t be afraid to use every single nook and cranny in your space. You can easily have vanity units built to conceal pipes and such, but can you use that space for anything else? If you have an awkward recess in one wall, look for what tailored storage solutions there are around, so that you can turn it into something useful.
We hope this post gave you some inspiration – if you have any more ideas for small bathroom solutions, please let us know in the comment section.
The post How to make the most of a small bathroom footprint appeared first on H is for Home Harbinger.
Tamara de Lempicka has been a favourite artist of ours for years. Her work isn’t from our usual era – mid century modern – it’s straight out of the Art Deco and Jazz age.
de Lempicka’s work depicts her glamorous life and that of the time in which she lived. She came from a wealthy Polish family and lived a bohemian life, socialising with aristocrats and Hollywood film stars. She married a baron, had affairs with both men and women and travelled extensively, fleeing the Russian Revolution and then World War II.
Her painting style developed and changed throughout her career however, it’s her work from the 20s & 30s that’s our favourite. Portraits of fashionable flappers, open-topped sports cars, cubist skyscrapers. Her execution of fabric – the folds, the ruffles, the shadows – is outstanding!
A range of affordable prints and other decorative objects using her artworks can be found online. There are also lots of books about her paintings and her long and fascinating life.
Additional image credits:
My (only) pair of trainers are coming to the end of their life. I’ve had them for at least 15 years and the soles are worn down to the thickness of paper and the fabric is splitting across the vamp where the toe joints bend. They’re a pair of all-black Nikes and I’d like to replace them with something fairly similar.
I don’t like trainers that are too high-tech – you know, those made with colourful space-age material, aerodynamic shape, computer-engineered soles and all that. I just want a pair of old skool sneakers. ‘Sneakers’ must be an old fashioned word – my spell-check tells me it doesn’t exist!
I know exactly what I want from my new pair. I’d prefer if they were low-tech canvas or hemp. They need to be black all over, I don’t like black uppers with thick white sidewalls. This kind of style is so They can be worn with jeans, skirt or dress – really versatile.
I usually prefer the look of Pumas over other brands. However, I’m tempted by the £90 Nikes – they’re completely customisable. You can choose the material; the colour of the base, quarter, swoosh, laces, outsole and sidewalls; style of the tongue… you can even have customised text printed to the underside of the tongue!
- Old Skool Lite: £55, Vans
- Suede Classic+ trainers: £58, Puma
- Nike SB Zoom Stefan Janoski iD skateboarding shoe: £90, Nike