Last month, I headed north to southern Washington state to a beautiful beach cabin (complete with an epic balcony, hot tub, and private access to the beach) to spend a three day holiday weekend with some friends. It was the first vacation/non-family-related or work travel I’d taken since January 2020 and it did NOT disappoint. We spent the weekend hot tubbing, drinking bottles of wine, and eating boxes of Girl Scout cookies. And for some reason I made everybody watch the Lindsay Lohan Parent Trap movie (lol), which I thoroughly enjoyed.
This month, I’m headed north again for a longer week vacation in Vancouver, Canada. I’ve furiously texted my friend Amy (the talented @constellationinspiration, if you want to give her a follow) for all her Vancouver restaurant, bakery, and boba recommendations. I’ve got reservations at Kissa Tanto, Vij’s, Published On Main, and I just cannot wait! Be sure to follow along on Instagram (or maybe even my fledgling TikTok?) to watch my adventure fold in real time.
In Case You Missed It: New Recipes and Posts on Hummingbird High
And in case you missed it, I published the following new recipes and posts on Hummingbird High. Last month, I did a bake-off between my brownie recipe and some of my favorite recipe developers’ brownie recipes! Here’s a round-up of all the recipes I baked, including my round-up/conclusion of the bake off:
- My Best Fudgy Brownies Recipe
- Claire Saffitz’s Brownie Recipe
- Stella Parks’ Brownie Recipe
- White Chocolate Brownies (This is an exclusive recipe for my Patreon supporters—learn more below!)
- Sarah Kieffer’s Brownie Recipe
- The Best Brownie Recipes On The Internet (If you want the TL/DR of which brownie recipe is best for you, check out this post!)
Developing and updating these recipes requires financial resources from ads on my website and paid partnerships with brands. Unfortunately, because of the pandemic, many brands have limited their advertising budgets and cancelled sponsorship opportunities. So if you are able to financially support my work, please consider becoming a Patreon supporter. You can learn more about why I decided to start a Patreon in this far too emotional and confessional essay (lol).
However, the TL/DR is this: in addition to enabling me to keep developing more customized recipes suited to your needs, Patreon supporters help shape future recipes on Hummingbird High. Patreon supporters get access to exclusive recipes and Instagram Story tutorials like Small Batch Blueberry Scones, Very Small Batch Yellow Sheet Cake, Small Batch Cinnamon Rolls, and more.
This past month, I also spent a LOT of time thinking and reading about food beyond the baking recipes you see on this blog. Here are the ideas and issues that resonated with me:
- “National Cuisine Is a Useful Illusion” in The Atlantic. Cookbook author Reem Kassis talks about how national cuisine is a weird thing that doesn’t really exist; instead, cuisine is mostly regional and has many local, national, and international influences.
- “It’s Time to Break up With Red Velvet for Good” in Eater. As somebody who was obsessed with red velvet circa 2012 to 2014, I thoroughly enjoyed this short history on the rise and fall of red velvet flavor.
- “Forget Chocolate Bars: Baking With Chips Is Often Better” in The New York Times. I’m not gonna lie—this article PRESSED me, especially as somebody who is on record in both her cookbook and national food media that chocolate bars are superior to chips when it comes to baking. NO, just no!!!!
- Any fans of @carolinagelen over here? Her videos are generally great! BUT… there have been a handful of her recipes that made me raise my eyebrows because they seem like they’re not being credited properly. I’m not the only one—TikToker @soogia1 discusses the problematic way on how Carolina rebranded mochi as gnocchi and how it erases the culture that the food came from. Sigh.
Recipes and Resources To Save
And here’s a list of all the cooking resources and recipes I saved for myself this month:
- “Let’s Stop Confusing Macaroons & Macarons” in Food52. This is one of my biggest pet peeves, when people call French macarons “macaroons.” I saved this to send to all those folks, lol.
- “How I Got My Job: Creating Weeknight Recipe Faves for Top Publications and Writing a Cookbook” in Eater. I’m a big fan of Ali Slagle’s work on Food52, so I thoroughly enjoyed this interview with her about her career.
- Cafe Appliances recently sent me an espresso machine, and I’ve been obsessively teaching myself how to pull the perfect espresso shots (I think I nailed it!) and steam the perfect microfoam (I need a TON of practice with this skill—it’s SO freaking hard, now I understand why all the fancy third wave coffee shops charge $5 for an 8 ounce latte).
As part of my learning process, I’ve been watching tons of YouTube tutorials and TikTok videos on how to do so. My favorite coffee TikToker so far is Dan McLaughlin. I love his unpretentious take on coffee and his willingness to make Starbucks drinks like Iced Brown Sugar Shaken Oat Espresso, Gingerbread Lattes, and Espresso Con Panna.
Follow Me On TikTok
@hummingbirdhigh found this amazing gem at @Costco!!! #baking #costcofinds #costcobuys #cooking #bakingrecipe ♬ Love You So – The King Khan & BBQ Show
Speaking of TikTok, did you guys know I quietly started a TikTok account? I’ve been experimenting with different types of posts—sharing books from my cookbook collection, giving quick reviews of snacks at Trader Joe’s, and even a handful of videos featuring my cat and dog. So far my most successful video is the one up top showing what I did with a jar of pistachio cream from Costco. It blew up so much that I’m planning on sharing the recipe on Hummingbird High next week!
Finally, On A Lighthearted Note
- OMG, this frownie brownie/pity party situation has me DYING. I’m a little brownie-d out from my brownie bake-off in February, but I kinda want to make some of these for Hummingbird High!
That’s all for now, folks. I hope you all are staying safe and healthy! Please let me know how you’re doing in the comments below, and feel free to share the ideas and issues that are floating around in your heads, too.