Gimme Five: Sledges

January 23rd, 2015

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Selection of sledges suitable for (the not so) grown ups! | H is for Home

We’ve been blessed this week with a thick, deep carpet of pristine snow. Because we live in the hilly Pennines it’s perfect for sledging. We’ve had a look online for sledges suitable for (not so) grown ups and there are loads from which to choose.

We love the look of the traditional Scandi wooden examples but they’ll take up a lot of storage space for the 50 or so weeks of the year that they weren’t being used. The fold up aluminium one is much more practical – and lightweight too, for getting up to the top of the hill. The red plastic Delta is cheap & cheerful perfect if you’re in a part of the country that rarely gets snow. The other metal sledge looks like a Formula one version – I wonder what its top speed would be!

  1. Wooden sledge with back rest: £22.90, Amazon
  2. Sledge – aluminium construction: £34.99, eBay
  3. Aluminium folding sledge – blue: £79.99, Halfords
  4. Delta sledge – red: £12.95, UK Sport Imports
  5. Davos wooden sledge – 110cm: £78, SimplyPiste

Cakes & Bakes: Japanese cheesecake

January 22nd, 2015

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Slice of Japanese cheesecake with quince jam | @hisforhome

Last week we shared a Taiwanese bread recipe; this week we’re staying in that general geographical area with this Japanese cheesecake.

Japanese cheesecake ingredients | @hisforhome

Separated eggs | @hisforhome

This cake is also known as a soufflé cheesecake – it gets this airy texture from the separated eggs.

lining a cake tin with parchment paper | @hisforhome lining a cake tin with tin foil | @hisforhome

Cheesecake mixture after adding the cream and eggs | @hisforhome

A stiff meringue is made from the whipped egg whites and sugar, and is then folded into the mixture at the end.

Japanese cheesecake mixture after adding the flour, rum and lemon juice | @hisforhome

Japanese cheesecake meringue | @hisforhome

To finish the cheesecake, the recipe calls for an apricot glaze. We have all manner of home made jams & jellies in the cupboard, so I decided to make a plain version of the cake – then experiment with the different flavours of jam for each slice.

folding meringue into Japanese cheesecake batter | @hisforhome

Japanese cheesecake batter in cake tin | @hisforhome

Apricot might indeed be perfect, but you never know…

Japanese cheesecake | @hisforhome

Japanese cheesecake with jars of jam and jelly | @hisforhome

…it could be blackcurrant, wild raspberry, strawberry, gooseberry or quince!

Japanese cheesecake
Serves 8
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Cook Time
1 hr 30 min
Cook Time
1 hr 30 min
For the cheesecake
  1. 400g/14oz cream cheese
  2. 60g/2oz caster sugar
  3. 60g/2oz butter, cubed
  4. 6 egg yolks
  5. 200ml double cream
  6. 10 ml/2 tsp lemon juice
  7. 1 tbsp dark rum
  8. 80g/3oz plain flour
  9. 3 tbsp apricot jam + 1tsp water (to glaze)
For the meringue
  1. 6 egg whites, refrigerated
  2. 100g/3½ granulated sugar
Instructions
  1. Before you start, bring all your ingredients to room temperature
  2. Separate the eggs, putting the whites into the fridge
  3. Grease & line the bottom and side of a 25cm/10inch diameter spring form cake tin with parchment paper
  4. Cover the base & up the side of the tin with tin foil, making it water-tight
  5. Place the tin in an oven proof dish large enough that it can sit flat & level
  6. Preheat the oven to 160ºC/320ºF/gas mark 3
  7. Put the cream cheese and caster sugar into the bowl of an electric food mixer
  8. Using the K-beater attachment, mix on a medium speed for about a minute until there are no lumps
  9. Add the softened butter and mix, again on a medium speed, until there are no lumps
  10. Add the egg yolks a little at a time before adding all the double cream. Combine
  11. Add the lemon juice and rum. Combine
  12. Sift the flour before adding to the mixture. Combine
  13. Put the mixture into a large bowl, before thoroughly washing and drying the food mixer bowl
  14. Put the cold egg whites into the mixer bowl and, using the whisk attachment on a high speed, whip them into stiff peaks
  15. Slow the speed to medium and (while still moving) add the granulated sugar a little at a time to the egg white
  16. Boil half a kettle-full of water
  17. Carefully fold the meringue, half at a time, into the batter using a large metal spoon
  18. Pour the mixture into the cake tin and level the top with the back of the spoon
  19. Carefully pour the boiling water into the large oven-proof dish containing the cake tin before putting it into the oven
  20. Bake for an hour at 160ºC/320ºF/gas mark 3 before lowering the temperature to 150ºC/300ºC/gas mark 2 and cooking for another 30 minutes
  21. Turn off the oven, leave the oven door ajar, leaving the cake in the oven for 20 minutes
  22. Remove the cake from the oven and allow to cool completely in its tin on a wire rack
Adapted from Just One Cookbook
Adapted from Just One Cookbook
H is for Home Harbinger http://hisforhomeblog.com/

Vintage Vogue

January 21st, 2015

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Cover of Vogue Magazine from February 1962

We bought a pile of vintage Ideal Home magazines recently. We were delighted with them in their own right, but in amongst them was a lovely copy of Vogue which was a real bonus.

Model wearing green Capri pants in Vogue Magazine, February 1962

It dates from February 1962 – and priced at 2’6!

Patent in Vogue Magazine, February 1962

These vintage Vogues are very collectable and it’s easy to see why.

Line drawings of hairstyles in Vogue Magazine, February 1962

The fashion is obviously the real draw – gorgeous clothes, shoes, jewellery, hair & make up from the era.

Kanyana fabric ad in Vogue Magazine, February 1962

Looks which still look very current over 40 years later!

Model with red top and lips and dusky eye make up in Vogue Magazine, February 1962

Model wearing a blue dress and hat in Vogue Magazine, February 1962

There are other great features – the fabulous new mini in its early years of production…

Mini car ad in Vogue Magazine, February 1962

…and introducing pasta – now arriving on UK shores!

Pasta article in Vogue Magazine, February 1962

There are some genius illustrations too – the header for Vogue Travel is good enough to frame.

Travel in Vogue guide in Vogue Magazine, February 1962

These vintage magazines really are a great read – snap them up if you see them… and take a second look in that dusty pile of National Geographics in the corner of the charity shop – there might be a vintage Vogue lurking halfway down!

Cactus cups

January 20th, 2015

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Vintage cups planted up with mini cacti | H is for Home

We’ve got a box full of random pieces of vintage crockery – kept in store just in case we need them to make up sets. To be honest, this doesn’t happen that often so we decided to give them a new life in a different way.

Stack of vintage cups

Amongst the selection are a whole host of lovely cups – the perfect home for small plants. We did something similar with colourful tins some time ago.

Vintage cups and supplies to plant up with mini cacti

So it was off to our local garden centre where we bought small cacti, succulent compost and fine gravel.

Vintage floral cup with base layer of fine gravel

As there are no drainage holes, start with a good layer of gravel to prevent water-logging. You’ll still need to avoid over-watering though – especially in the winter.

Vintage floral cup with middle layer of special cactus compost

Certain cacti seem to suit certain cups – whether it’s the size, shape, form or colour.

Vintage floral cup with middle layer of special cactus compost

Surround with the succulent compost and firm in.

Vintage floral cup planted up with a mini cactus and top dressing of crushed shell

Finish with an attractive top layer – we chose this crushed shell mix that they had in the aquarium section of the garden centre.

Vintage floral cup planted with a mini cactus

And voilà – cactus in a cup!

Vintage cups planted up with mini cacti | H is for Home

We think they look gorgeous – especially in a small grouping. We kept a few for ourselves and took some to our antiques centre space, where they’ve found a nice home on a window sill.

Etsy List: Popping!

January 19th, 2015

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'Popping!' Etsy List curated by H is for Home | vintage and homemade popcorn items

It’s National Popcorn Day over in the US today but why should they have the celebration all to themselves? We love popcorn here in the UK too!

The best we ever tasted was on a trip to New York a decade or so ago. We bought it from Dale and Thomas, a popcorn shop on Broadway – they sold about 20 different flavours; sweet, savoury, smoky and spicy, we were spoilt for choice. We finally decided on the ‘chocolate chunk ‘n’ caramel’ – it was a popcorn revelation!

I’ve tried to recreate it a few times but the results have never even been close. I do make a mean salted toffee popcorn though… :-)

Popping!
Curated by H is for Home

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