How It Began
I started Hummingbird High back in 2011, when I first moved to Denver, Colorado. At the time, I was working a fairly intense and awful job. Every day, all I wanted to do was come home and bake to relieve the stress. However, whenever I would bake one of my favorite recipes (that had worked in the past), I found myself with sunken cakes, rock hard cookies, and cupcakes that looked like sticky puddles of goop.
Having never lived anywhere besides coastal cities, I had no idea at the time that baking at high altitude is completely different from baking at sea level! There are weird quirks like water boiling at a different temperature, as well as air pressure being significantly lower–this affects the time in which you need to bake things at, and the amount of leavener you use in the recipe.
So I started a blog to help me learn more about baking.
I decided that the best way to do so was to bake through my favorite cookbook, The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook, and try and adapt the recipes to work at high altitude. And so Hummingbird High started out as a record of my attempts, trials and (many) errors, and eventually, my successes.
Baking through a cookbook taught me how to have results that were consistent and delicious every time. My project was like a crash course in pastry school–it taught me a lot about the chemistry of baking. I examined every failure and every puddle of goop through a scientific lens (probably to the dismay of many readers), and doing so taught me to understand how ingredients work together. It was only then that I realized I’d taken the baking process for granted my entire life.
I’ve since moved back to Portland, Oregon (which is thankfully at seal-level!), and I’m at the point now where I understand the process and chemistry so well that I can come up with my own recipes. What you see on the blog today are mostly recipes I’ve made up, or tweaked and perfected from the cookbooks and blogs that I love.
I’ve made sure to include meticulous baker’s notes with each recipe to help you through the baking process or learn more about the dish. And even though the name “Hummingbird High” isn’t really relevant to the blog’s content anymore, I kept it as an ode to this initial project of baking through The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook–it is, after all, what made me the baker I am today.
Welcome to my happy place.
These days, I write every post with the goal for you to see Hummingbird High as one of your most trusted baking resources. The blog is now an extensive collection of recipes suited for all levels and occasions, all accompanied by incredibly detailed posts full of rigorously tested tips and techniques.
Every recipe shared on my blog now has detailed information on how to make the recipes work within your limited schedule, along with extensive information on how to troubleshoot common problems, difficult techniques, and other relevant resources related to the recipe.