Sunday, May 3, 2015

A Hike, A Make and A Cake

Hello everyone! I hope you had an amazing weekend! The weather was spectacular around here and we took full advantage.
We bought new outdoor dining furniture and dear hubby spent hours putting it together so we could use it right away. I finally got out into my gardens and did some much needed clean-up while the kids frolicked on the trampoline and were entertained by the dog's antics.  Every meal was eaten al fresco and hubby and ended off a fabulous Sunday sipping mojitos on the deck.
This blog post is three parts as its title indicates.
Firstly  - The Hike. 
We recently bought a year-long pass for all the nearby conservation areas. We've used this pass every weekend since it arrived. This time we checked out Rattlesnake Point.
Created on top of the nearby Escarpment, it has spectacular views and on a clear day like today, you could see for miles!
We climbed rocks and hiked hills for over an hour before the kids complained about oncoming exhaustion. 
I was pleased to see the Trilliums up already.  I was sure they were July flowers, but with the large groups of blossoms we saw today, I was definitely proven wrong!
Secondly - The Make 
My husband and I have done a fair bit of travelling.  Now, often, our children attend these educational and cultural experiences with us.  I was looking for another way to celebrate and remember  these vacations other than our photo scrapbooks.  After searching Etsy, I came across the perfect thing - cross stitching patterns that encompass the attractions of many of the cities we have visited. 
I particularly loved this shop - Happy Stitches 4 You. I ended up purchasing patterns for Paris, London, New York and Amsterdam. 
I eagerly got started on Paris because of the cute little hearts and Eiffel Tower.  I worked on it, off and on, for about a month....

....and now it is finished.  I plan on stitching up all the cities and framing them in a matched set for our home.  Perfect little reminders of our trips abroad!
Thirdly - The Cake
After being in the UK back in March and consuming a lot of cake and tea along the way, I realized how much I really like the stuff and how rarely I make them!
I'll bake a cake for a birthday, and maybe if friends are coming for dinner. But I never baked a cake just for the sheer pleasure of mixing the ingredients, watching it get golden in the oven and eating it on a Sunday afternoon just because it tastes good! 
So to change all that, I've challenged myself to bake a cake from scratch, each and every weekend all year long. So far I've baked a Victoria Sponge, a Meyer Lemon Bundt Cake and a Brown Sugar Chocolate Chip Cake.
This morning I whipped up a Summer Berry Upside Down Cornmeal Cake. I found the recipe in the book, One Bowl Baking.
Her recipe called for plums and blueberries, but I modified it and went with a mix of berries instead. 
And boy,  was it good!
I wasn't sure how the cornmeal would taste and whether I might find the texture strange.  Nope.  It was perfect.  It gave the cake a little bit of a gritty texture that balanced the sweet, jammy layer of berries.


I ordered a couple of new baking books this past week written by the pastry chef at the Bea's of Bloomsbury tea shops.  I cant wait to flip through those and figure out what I'll make next week!
Thanks for popping by my blog today.
I'd love for you to leave a comment.  I checked out my blog stats recently and saw that I had many, many visitors come by here everyday but only a very small fraction ever leave any commentary evidence!
Hugs to all,


  1. love the cross stitch and a perfect way of reminding you all of your travels. It was a perfect weekend weather wise wasn't it? That cake looks so good. Glad you liked it with the cornmeal, as I too would have been worried about the texture.

    1. Oh the weather was delicious! I hear it's gong to be even better this coming weekend! The cake was scrumptious - let me know if you want the recipe!!

  2. The cross stitch kits are such a good idea, they'll look lovely when they're finished, framed and hung, a special reminder xx

    1. I can't wait to get them done. I am trying to enjoy the process, too, though! Part way through the London one now. I've made a few mistakes so I had to pull some stitches out. very frustrating!

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  3. Ooooh yummy - that cake looks scrumptious!!! Your cross stitch is a great reminder like you say - very well done. I love the pic of the Little ones in their log den - childhood bottled in that there photo ;0) J9 x

    1. I posted a pic of that cake on Facebook and countless people have been asking for the recipe. Honestly, I'd make it again and again - it was that good!
      Hoping to create just as many outdoor memories this weekend again!

  4. Your cake looks delicious, I might give it a try this weekend. I am assuming that cornmeal is polenta in my part of the world. I love it in all forms. Did you use the finest you could find?
    Traveling is great, looking forward to doing more again in the future. We are exploring the UK mostly at the moment, it is good value for money for us for the time being. xx


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