It truly feels like I say this every month, but October was an incredibly busy month for me. I filmed a fun holiday cookie segment with The Today Show, and hosted a conversation at a local bookship with my friend Erin Jeanne McDowell about her new new book, Savory Baking. And outside of Hummingbird High, I’m making lots of big moves—most of which I’ll be able to share with you soon!
But the first is this: remember how Erlend and I were supposed to get married in the summer of 2020, but the pandemic pretty much killed our plans (in fact, you can still buy my original wedding dress here, lol)? Well, after losing deposits and rescheduling and canceling again and again because of variants and such, we decided to just elope… to LAS VEGAS.
If you know Erlend and me in real life, the thought of us eloping to Las Vegas is a little hilarious. We are the least Vegas-y people ever—we don’t gamble, we don’t go clubbing, and neither of us have been to Vegas since we were little kids. But it’s still pretty difficult to get married in Portland’s city hall, and what turned into an idle joke (e.g. “ugh, maybe we should just get married in Vegas”) quickly became a reality. So this upcoming weekend, we’re heading to Vegas with just two of our good friends, signing the papers at some cheesy chapel, and finally getting hitched. Hooray!
Some folks have asked me if I’m sad about not having a more traditional wedding. Honestly, I’ve never been a Big Wedding Person to begin with—even our original plans involved us getting married at our local city hall with just our parents, with a small reception dinner at our favorite (and now shuttered?) Portland restaurant.
I’m saddest about not having all my friends and family from around the world be in one place (Because when will there be an occasion for that ever again? Probably never!), but aside from that, I love how low-key our plans are. We took these photos with a tripod and a timer, I made our cake (with this “vintage” recipe on my site!) and decorated it with the flowers from my bouquet (that I picked up from a local market). For us, all of it is just a simple and quiet way to celebrate our relationship of so many years.
In Case You Missed It: New Recipes and Posts
Here’s a list of everything new on my different Hummingbird High channels:
- Tasting Buttermilk Substitutes in Buttermilk Biscuits (After publishing this post about buttermilk substitutes in chocolate cake and finding that I couldn’t tell the difference between the real thing and the substitutes, many of you challenged me to do the same test but with buttermilk biscuits. I took on that challenge—watch a sneak peek of the results on Instagram and TikTok!)
- Small Batch Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins (Watch a sneak peek of the recipe on Instagram and TikTok!)
- Ube Halaya Recipe For Baking and 5+ Delicious Ube Dessert Ideas (Watch a sneak peek of the recipe on Instagram and TikTok!)
- Rainbow Frozen Pudding Dots (I recently worked with Kraft to try one of the unique recipes on their site—watch the video exclusively on Instagram!)
- NOT CAKEY Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies (Not a new recipe, but an old favorite of mine that I remake every pumpkin season. I’ve updated the post with even more tips and tricks—watch a sneak peak of it on Instagram and TikTok!)
- Soft and Chewy Maple Sugar Cookies
- Cheese-Stuffed Corn Muffins (I mentioned already that my friend Erin Jeanne McDowell was in town on a book tour. And to celebrate, I decided to bake these muffins from her book! Although I didn’t publish the recipe on my site, you can still watch a sneak peek of it on Instagram and TikTok!)
- Pumpkin Pie Spice Recipe + A Round Up Of My Best Pumpkin Recipes (Watch a TL/DR of the pumpkin pie spice recipe on Instagram and TikTok!)
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:
- “11 Moments That Show How ‘The Great British Bake Off’ Crumbled” in Eater and “‘Mexican Week’ Was Not An Accident For ‘The Great British Baking Show'” in The New York TImes. I love The Great British Bake Off, but I’ll be the first to admit that its lost some of its magic after transitioning to a new channel and losing Mary Berry and the two original lady hosts, Mel and Sue.
And even when Mary was at its helm, both she and Paul made some questionable judgements—the Eater article has a great summary of things like them being weirded out by common flavor combos like peanut butter and jelly, or maple and bacon—that made me realize how we needed more diversity and youth on the show. I haven’t seen the newest season, but from the uproar about their woefully misinformed Mexican Week, it sounds like the show is still trending for the worse. What do you guys think?
- “Everyone Wants A Tip Now. Do You Have To Give Them One?” in Vox. I love going out to eat. But I’ve noticed I’m expected to tip for literally everything every time I do, including at places like fast food drive throughs and restaurants where I pick up my own food and bus my own table. It’s getting unaffordable, especially since my own income is so unstable these days, too! This article describes this experience as “tipflation”, and does a great job outlining why it’s such a murky issue.
Recipes and Resources To Save
And here are all the recipes and baking/cooking resources I saved for myself:
- “I Tested The Most Popular Pumpkin Muffin Recipes And Found The One You Must Make” in The Kitchn. The Kitchn recently included my Small Batch Pumpkin Muffins recipe in a bake-off, and they did fairly well! The Kitchn ranked them a solid 9/10, knocking off a point for the recipe only yielding 4 muffins—you can read the full review through this link. I’d argue that yielding 4 muffins is a feature of the recipe—it is small batch, after all—and not a bug?! Oh well.
- “People Are Sharing (And Debunking) The Cooking Myths That Are Outdated, Over-Exaggerated, And Just Begging To Be Demystified” in Buzzfeed. There are some gems in this one—in particular, I’m looking at #3, which rants about how most Instapot recipes are LIARS and take twice as long to actually cook than what the recipe states.
We’re still in the middle of peak cookbook season. Here are the new ones I added to my collection this month:
- Baking By Feel: Recipes To Sort Out Your Emotions (Whatever They Are Today!) by Becca Rea-Tucker. I’m a big fan of Becca’s instagram account, @thesweetfeminist, where she combines baking with activism, feminism, and more. I’ve been waiting for her new cookbook forever ever, and even contributed a recommendation blurb to its back cover!
- Delectable: Sweet & Savory Baking by Claudia Fleming. Claudia Fleming is one of the country’s most celebrated pastry chefs. She’s currently the culinary director at Daily Provisions, one of my favorite bakeries in New York (seriously—look at these crullers!). I’m super excited about her new book—it contains a mix of both sweet and savory baking recipes.
- Savory Baking: Recipes For Breakfast, Dinner, And Everything Between by Erin Jeanne McDowell. I mentioned this book a handful of times already, but I am SO excited about this trend in savory baking. And what better to learn more from Erin Jeanne McDowell, who is one of the most talented food stylists and recipe developers ever?
- The King Arthur Baking School: Lessons and Recipes For Every Baker by King Arthur Baking Company. If you are looking to improve your baking, this is the only book to buy this season. It’s got a breadth of recipes for all levels, as well as incredibly detailed and comprehensive photos of all the tips and techniques to help you succeed at making the recipe.
Finally, On A Lighthearted Note
I thought this video poking fun on the super fast paced cooking videos of TikTok was spot on. Seriously, how is somebody supposed to cook from these videos?
@logenkershaw Like dang, slow down please😫 #chef #food #breakfastburrito ♬ original sound – Logen Kershaw
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.
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NO TIME TO BAKE?!
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.
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