photo of hand holding a sliced baklava cruffin


Between you and me, I’ve been struggling to get back into the groove of things since my vacation last month to London, England. To be fair, it’s been wildly busy since then—one of my good friends was in town with her husband, I caught up with an old professor of mine that I’ve been meaning to see for years and years, and I’ve been managing contractors to deal with a leaky bathroom in my house. I’ve also been on a farmer’s market kick (I swear, the season between summer and fall is the best time for produce), visiting the Portland Farmers Market every Saturday to pick up goodies (like the baklava cruffin you see above from Twisted Croissant). It’s been hard to find time to bake!

Additionally, I made a quick trip to Bend, Oregon to speak at The Sugar Association‘s fall board of directors meeting. I was an attendee of one of their farm tours late last year, and they wanted to hear about my experiences on that trip.

I’m not going to lie—public speaking has never been my forte, so I was dreading the talk. But it ended up being SO. MUCH. FUN. Everybody in the room really loved seeing how their ingredients were being used in the real world, and I had a blast introducing them to viral recipes (like Dalgona Coffee and Mini Pancake Cereal) online. You should’ve seen their faces when I described the latest trend, TikTok’s Butter Boards, lol.

And on a somewhat related note, I’m working with them on another fun project:

Win A KitchenAid 2022 Design Series Blossom Stand Mixer

You can find more details in this post of mine:

As well as their post about it:

The contest ends on October 7th, and I’ll be picking the winners shortly after that date. Good luck! The mixer is SO beautiful, and I really want one for myself. The copper mixinng bowl is 😍😍😍.

In Case You Missed It: New Recipes and Posts

Here’s a list of everything new on my different Hummingbird High channels:

  • Homemade Pizza For Date Night (Watch exclusively on Instagram or TikTok)
    Breville recently sent me their AMAZING Pizzaiolo pizza oven, and Erlend and I have been experimenting with tons of homemade pizzas. We’ve tried all sorts of unconventional toppings and bases, like using pesto instead of tomato sauce, or skipping it all together to make a white pie. But it turns out I’m a traditionalist who likes red sauce and pepperoni pizza best, welp.

  • Carrot Cake Recipe For 8-Inch Pan (Watch a video blurb of the recipe on Instagram or TikTok)

  • The Best Buttermilk Substitutes in Baking (Watch a video blurb of the recipe on Instagram or TikTok)
    I made the same chocolate cupcake recipe with real buttermilk and two other buttermilk substitutes (lemon and milk, yogurt and water) to see if I could tell the difference. Spoiler Alert: I COULD NOT. I was shook, because I really thought that real buttermilk would be superior!!! But folks are telling me I need to try the recipe with biscuits, scones, and pancakes. What do you guys think?

  • Small Batch Chocolate Cupcake Recipe — Makes Just One Cupcake! (Watch a video blurb of the recipe on Instagram or TikTok)
    My friend Molly Yeh’s new cookbook, Home Is Where The Eggs Are, arrived last week! I was super excited to see a small batch chocolate cupcake recipe in the book. Of course, I had to make it to add to my collection of small batch baking recipes.

Below are pictures of the two most popular recipes from the month—Carrot Cake Recipe For 8-Inch Pan and The Best Buttermilk Substitutes In Baking—to inspire you:

hand holding slice of carrot cake over wire rack
a photo of three chocolate cupcakes made with different buttermilk substitutes sliced crosswise

Food For Thought

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:

  • “The Endless Torment Of The ‘Recipe?’ Guy” in The New York Times. This article was DIVISIVE. It describes the phenomenon of people just constantly commenting ‘recipe?’ on content creators’ works, and how that can feel grating and dehumanizing if you’re on the receiving end. But the opposite argument is that it’s a quick and easy way to show support and drive engagement up for these creators’ works, and why share the photo online anyway if you refuse to share the recipe. So what do you guys think? 

  • “The Recipe Convention That Dooms Home Cooks” in The New Yorker. J.J. Goode, the writer of this article, is one of my favorite cookbook authors. He helps famous chefs write really, really detailed recipes for complicated dishes and techniques…and struggles when he instructs people to “salt to taste.” He says that’s a LOT to leave to the hands of the average home cook, which I agree with! I always avoid using that kind of language in my recipes. Admittedly, baking is more prescriptive—you can’t really salt to taste batters and doughs like you can soup or salad, lol.

  • “The Great Food Instagram Vibe Shift” in Eater. Here’s another article from another food writer I love, Bettina Makalintal. She talks about how photo styles on Instagram have shifted from being the curated, bright aesthetic that I’m sure y’all are familiar with from my blog, to a more casual, “laissez-faire” style. I honestly get it, but I’m too set in my ways to make even more changes. And honestly, I’m too busy trying to figure TikTok and Reels out these days to add one more thing to my plate!

  • “How Did Recipe Developer Become A Famous Job?” in Gawker. Okay, this article is several months old but new-to-me. Somebody recently shared this amazing Alicia Kennedy piece on burnout in the food content creation world, and I fell into a hole reading all her work. She is so smart and thoughtful, especially when it comes to the food world. It was hard to pick an article of hers to share, but this Gawker one was particularly relevant to you and me. It talks about how “professional recipe developer” became a desirable profession in the last few years, what it actually takes to become one, and the certain pitfalls you can face as one.
photo of cookbooks on marble tabletop

New Cookbooks

We’re heading into a busy fall season of new cookbooks, and I’ve already started getting some in the mail! Here’s everything I got that I’m loving so far:

Finally, On A Lighthearted Note

How is everybody feeling about TikTok these days? I’m still meh on creating videos for the platform, but I really love watching them (lol). Below are some of the ones I saved to share with y’all. Also, please follow me on TikTok so I can get to 10,000 followers and finally qualify for the TikTok Creator Fund and get paid for my work! I’m so close, lol.

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.


Michelle holding Weeknight Baking cookbook covering her face.

buy the book
Weeknight Baking:
Recipes to Fit your Schedule

Over the past several years of running Hummingbird High, I kept a crucial aspect of my life hidden from my readers: I had a full-time, extremely demanding job in the tech world. In my debut cookbook, Weeknight Baking, I finally reveal the secrets to baking delicious desserts on a tight schedule.