Regular readers of this blog will know that this has been the longest, dustiest and most tiring winter EVER… In September we embarked on a major kitchen remodel which had us cooking out of a temporary kitchen in the living room while the former kitchen was being torn down and rebuilt. It was a student bedsit existence if you can imagine the bedsit being hugely crammed, remarkably dirty (there was no avoiding the dust) and somehow catering for a family of four.
But that’s all behind us now and we have emerged from the chaos and dust to a beautiful new kitchen, making those 6 months of toil and trouble totally worth it! It took us a week of moving all our old kitchen stuff (scattered around the house in boxes) back in… then we realised that most of it simply HAD to go! A new kitchen deserves something fresh and contemporary, an injection of vibrant colour that is not just practical but good for the soul. I am a firm believer that ‘a thing of beauty is a joy forever’ and so it’s fair to say I am enjoying a little love affair with my Fruiti Snug Mugs. I am very particular about mugs (also notebooks and pens) and have been known to pour my coffee into a new mug if someone* has dared used the wrong one for my morning cup.
* That someone being my husband and beloved resident barista.
Having a cup of tea or coffee, with a little something sweet on the side, is my favourite ritual. I usually spread a couple of cookbooks on the kitchen table and, armed with my favourite pen, make notes and scribble recipe ideas until the pot is empty. My favourite new mugs, a shiny new kettle and a couple of candy-coloured mixing bowls (I want to collect them all!) are all courtesy of Sabichi who have been supplying inspiring homeware for the past 20 years in the UK. There’s plenty more desirable accessories, gadgets and cookware I have my eye on and the good news is it is all extremely affordable as well.
And speaking of something sweet – I have a big thing for plums at the moment. I literally can’t get enough of them so expect to see a couple of recipes cropping up in the near future. These plum and poppy seed financiers are a simplified version of this recipe from Alana of the amazing Bojon Gourmet blog.
Plum and poppy seed financiers
Makes 9 large or 12 small
1-2 tbsp Demerara sugar for sprinkling
- Preheat the oven to 180C (350F) and either line a muffin tin with cupcake cases or grease a suitable silicone tin. I used some larger than average muffin cases, doubled up.
- Sift the flour, ground almonds, soft brown & icing sugar, salt and baking powder into a bowl.
- Stir in the egg whites, orange zest and vanilla paste.
- Gradually and slowly whisk in the melted butter until it is completely incorporated.
- Fill your muffin cases just over halfway up and fan the plum slices over the top. Sprinkle with a little Demerara sugar and bake for 25 minutes or until risen, golden and firm on top.
- Warm the apricot jam in the microwave until runny then brush over the financiers.
PS: Have you seen anything more cheerful? I need to invest in a second set of Fruiti Snug Mugs to use as mini-planters…