Sunday, 22 November 2009

Green is the colour

Well it seems that Copenhagen and the upcoming climate change summit really is the topic du jour as we attended the Green Awards on Wednesday night at LSO St Luke's. Whilst possibly not the most smoothly executed awards on the night, their heart is definitely in the right place as these awards are to celebrate green creative thinking within the media industry. Our favorite winner from the night was this from film company Green Thing, very Swedish chef from the Muppets!

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

A Christmas Shopping Extravaganza: Three Kings Pub, Clerkenwell Close

Come on down to the 3 Kings on the 29th November for a Christmas shopping bonanza! As well as our scrummy yummy cakes there will be stalls from the following:

As well as hand painted furniture by Carol Maxwell, homewares from Little Red Treacle, and handmade children's clothes from Kathryn Ann Barry and much more besides!

And the best pub in London will be open for the first time ever on a Sunday!

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Cakes & Copenhagen

Just got back from 4 days in what is soon to be the worlds first carbon neutral city...and what a feast we had! I had one of my top three lunches of all time on Monday - a Smorresbod selection of salmon, herring, roast beef and chicken, washed down with the best bottle of wine in the whole world ever, (A Christmann 2007 Blanc De Noirs, Spatburgunder, Pfalz - google it buy it and try it - our waiter had actually been picking the grapes for it only a few days before) and followed with a superb selection of Danish goats cheeses. Stumbled upon this cute little English afternoon tea place - shame it was closed!

And check out this beautiful cake and jewellery shop...I want to live here!

Twin Magazine launch party

Cherry on Top were at the fabulous launch party for new fashion and art magazine Twin last Thursday. With photos from Todd Selby and words on everything from punks to Chanel to Peter Blake this bi-annual looks beautiful and reads like a cross between the New Yorker and Vanity Fair. And it all the fun all took place in the deliciously named Biscuit Building! We made some yummy chocolate and vanilla cupcakes for this one...

The Flaming Lips, hotdogs and tings

Went to see the Flaming Lips at the Troxy (10 mins walk from my house!) last night. Fabulous. Fact. And when we all moaned a bit about how they haven't changed their act in ten years bla bla bla we got hit on the back of head by a bouncy balloon and all was fabulous again and we had a chilli dog to celebrate.

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Down On The Farm

Feel the need to get out of the city? Get back to nature, give something back and blow the cobwebs away? A chance to don your designer wellies which are still caked in Glastonbury mud? What you need is a weekend WOOFFing (Willing Workers on Organic Farms, for those of you who don't know!  Which is exactly how myself and some lovely pals spent this weekend, there is nothing like a spot of log carrying and leaf mulching to clear a red wine headache I can tell you!

Our farm of choice was Lower Shaw Farm in Swindon, last year's winner of Best Organic Garden in The Observer Ethical Awards. . It really is a fantastic place, run not for profit, it hosts numerous activity weekends - yoga, dance, jewellery etc as a community centre where kids get the play with the animals and learn how farms work. Owners Matt and Andrea are passionate about their work as well as being wonderful, interesting and entertaining hosts.

The work itself was kind of repetative - moving piles of logs, gathering leaves, cleaning buckets and sorting out a greenhouse. I couldn't bring myself to pluck and gut the chickens although some of my fellow wooffer's were frighteningly keen - FREAKS!. Still any monotony was more than made up for by the well earned tea breaks with endless home-made cakes and red wine around the bonfire complete with fire juggling display by the owners son. The food was all fantastic, my personal favourite the lemon and apple, cinammon cake which I informed came mainly from Cranks cookbook, I am getting me one of them!

Wellies have returned to their rightful place under the stairs for now but thoroughly enjoyed their airing!

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

If I were a Rich Man: yebedebedebedebedebededum

My Kenwood Multipro food processor arrived today. Excitement beyond my wildest dreams! Especially since I found it on this site used only once for £75 when they retail in John Lewis at £299. When it came into the office it reminded me of that scene in Fiddler on the Roof when Motel the tailer gets a new sewing machine and everyone was crowding round ooooing and ahhhhing! Watch this space for recipes and videos of me using my new gadget very soon.

An Education

I went to see this beautiful film at my local cinema, Mile End Genesis last night, and what fun we had for Monday...

Started off the night with a curry at Needoo, which is being dubbed by those in the know (well me and Jay Rayner actually) as the new Tayyabs (its the brainchild of a former Tayyabs employer), and I have to say it surpassed all expectations.

We ordered a typically Tayyabs order, lambchops, chicken tikka, fish tikka, tarka dahl, a roti and paratha and boy oh boy! Get yerselfs down sharpish there cause the food was scrumptious, there were no Tayyabs queues and it came to a tenner.

Now Jay reckon in his Observer piece that the lambchops in Needoo(ooooooooo) were the only things that didn't quite hit the mark but I have to say ours were truly delish and it was the breads that were slightly under par but am still licking my lips just thinking about them now!

And then onto the film (and some Divine chocolate from the Genesis - Rio Cinema eat your heart out) and if it wasn't for the fact that I still smelt slightly of tandoori grill I would have been transported back to a very stylish and middle class 1960s. This film is stunning looking, the clothes, the hair, the houses, the cars, the battenburg cake- everything. I wanted to go home and redecorate immediately (and make some battenburg!). And it was a great entertaining story with a fab soundtrack to boot. Made me rethink my opinions of both Nick Hornby and Emma Thompson. And that ain't no mean feat.

Also made me want to read Lynn Barber's memoirs, especially as when I went home and googled her I read that she had spent this year's Venice Biennale hanging out with Ronnie Wood and Tracy Emin at 'an endless succession of lavish drunken parties' - a woman after my own heart!

Sunday, 1 November 2009

Art Attack Pt 2 (a posting soon to be better known as Graham Coxon ate my cupcake!)

Another week of culture although less high art and more rock n roll. Tuesday night at the National we went to see Fiona Shaw in Brecht's Mother Courage. Now I know this is going to make me sound like a bit of a wanker but I did my disseration on Brecht and I reckon why mess with a formula that works? They rocked up the play too much to try and modernize it when it would have been just as powerful if they'd set it as it was written. Fiona Shaw, who was awesome in it by the way, was dressed like a Vivienne Westwood model and kept jumping around on stage like a member of the Who singing Muse-like anthems - bizarre. Still great play and great acting and the brownies at the National are well yummy!

But then last night - wowwwwweeeee- Graham Coxon ate my cupcake! It was a night in the 3 Kings pub in Clerkenwell (best pub in London), a fund raiser for MSF specifically for their work in Iraq with children who have suffered injuries in the war, and the brilliant Robin Hitchcock doing the Beatles' Abbey Road with Graham Coxon on electric guitar. As it happens MSF first started their great work in 1969 the same year that the Beatles recorded Abbey Road. And what with it being Halloween and all  I thought I'd make these Pumpkin and Ginger Cupcakes and check out the big smile on Graham's face!

Pumpkin Ginger Cupcakes
175g stem or glace ginger
175g molasses sugar
200g unsalted butter
2 eggs
250 pumpkin or butternut squash
200g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp all spice
1/2 tsp of ground clove
1/2 tsp cinnamon
125g chopped pecans
200g icing sugar
125g cream cheese

Chop 125g of the ginger. Beat the sugar and 125g of the butter then beat the eggs in one at a time. Stir in the pumpkin and the ginger then the sifted slour, baking power and spices, add the nuts and mix it all up!
Bake in a muffin tray with muffin papers at 170c fan assisted for 25 mins. Mix the icing sugar with the remaining ginger, butter and cream cheese and ice when cool.