Archive for the ‘gimme five’ Category

Gimme Five: Piping bags

Friday, August 21st, 2015

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Selection of five piping bags via @hisforhome

As you may have read a couple of weeks ago, I made a batch of profiteroles (and some éclairs later on in the week). I fished out my piping set, forgetting how completely inadequate it had been the last time I’d used it.

I should have realised that it was going to be a false economy when I picked it up at the supermarket. The bag with 6 metal nozzles cost all of £2. I used it once when I made some cupcakes. It was very fiddly – the bag was way too small, it could only hold a few tablespoonfuls of icing. By the time I piped the éclairs with cream, the bag had split and cream was actually diffusing through the whole thing; I’d only used it three times!

I’ve now thrown out the bag – I’ve held on to the nozzles and coupler so am in search of a large, decent, durable piping bag. When looking online I read quite a few reviews from buyers, there were endless one star reviews; complaints about some brands of bag splitting at the seams after just one use. I didn’t fancy buying single-use plastic bags, too much waste, so here are some of the reusable piping bags in the running.

  1. Cotton Thermo standard piping bag – 28cm: £2.99, Nisbets
  2. 2 piece piping bag set by Cake Boss – 20cm & 30cm: £11.95, Wayfair
  3. PME premium icing bag – 30cm: £6.75, Divertimenti
  4. Master Class professional 50cm icing and food piping bag: £5.10, Amazon
  5. Large icing bag – 30cm: £5.65, Lakeland

Gimme Five! Bottom up blinds

Friday, August 14th, 2015

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Selection of 5 bottom up blinds

Our house backs onto the canal with trees and farmland beyond – perfect! But before you start thinking we’re getting a bit smug, it’s a different story at the front. We face out onto a fairly busy road, there’s a bus shelter obliquely opposite and generally it’s not the prettiest of outlooks at street level. Look upwards however, and we’re blessed with a beautiful wooded hillside.

We currently have wooden Venetian blinds fitted at all of our windows; they look good but they don’t suit what we need… and they’re magnets for dust and a pain to keep clean! What we want is something that will give us privacy, block out the busy street, yet allows us to enjoy the countryside view. The perfect solution is bottom up blinds. We have unusual-sized windows, so off-the-shelf ones aren’t an option.

We’re really surprised that bottom up blinds aren’t more widely available. And the range that is on offer varies hugely in price. We have three large windows (one for each floor) that will need new blinds, so the difference in cost will be significant.

It’s one of those investments that should be worth the cost and effort. It’s joined the long list of potential home improvements, but is probably one of the more likely candidates to receive funding!

  1. Top down bottom up 25mm Duette: £206, Crosby Blinds
  2. Element Ginger Snap bottom up roller blind: £78.12, Tuiss
  3. Scotch Holland champagne bottom up blind: £401, Eclectics
  4. Cotton Doormouse 3381E bottom up blind: £332, Order Blinds Online
  5. Canvas mustard bottom up blind: £174, Bottom Up Blinds

Gimme Five! Egg cups

Friday, August 7th, 2015

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Selection of five egg cups

We’re currently on a mission. Justin’s mum has asked us to keep an eye out for some egg cups. No real instructions regarding style or material. They don’t even have to match. A flexible brief you could say!

We’ve started by browsing some of the internet offerings and decided to make it into our Gimme Five for this week.

  1. 4 x Martin Wiscombe spotty egg cups: £13.30, Tesco
  2. Egg cosy set: £22, H is for Home
  3. Berså egg cup: £27, Royal Design
  4. Acapulco design egg cup by Villeroy and Boch: £5.79 each, Etsy
  5. 4 x Scion Mr Fox egg cups: £15, John Lewis