Good things: August 2014

Last week I got an advertising-type email from a gym that reminded all recipients that ‘summer bodies are made in winter’. Reader, I threw it in the rubbish.

I don’t know about you, but I’m hoping kaftans and elasticated waistbands are going to be the height of fashion in summer 2015. Various things – birthdays, parties, stressful life events – are conspiring against my ‘summer body’.


Firstly, I found this – a pasta machine at a charity shop for $20, still in its original box, with its original warranty and instructions. I’ve always, always wanted one to play with and although I’ve only used it once so far, I can see plenty of pasta in my future.

Eclair image thanks to my colleague and co-baker Lisa

I know DIY pasta has a difficult reputation but it was a cinch compared to some of the things I’ve been making lately. In a moment of weakness I joined the Wellington On a Plate Bake Club team at work, which has meant many a late Sunday night making pies, slices, cakes and eclairs.

The upshot of all of this is that I won our in-house contest against some seriously tough competition and now I have to join the winners of 80+ Bake Clubs this Sunday morning for the final Bake-Off. I normally go for a run on Sunday mornings – but if the gods have decided I need to be in a room full of cakes, I can only go along with their wishes.

Perhaps I’ll take inspiration from these cute cupcakes – these are made by 15-year-old Emily, of three winners in the Better With BRITA contest. Emily, who made bespoke cupcakes for each of the judges – it takes a special kind of talent to make a miniature BRITA water jug out of icing – joins Alex, who made gluten-free brownies and Rekha, who made samosas, at The Big Feastival in London at the end of the month.

I’d love to join them, but my real goal for August is to make something out of My Paris Kitchen. If you haven’t got a copy of this yet, you’re missing out. My lovely sister-in-law gave it to me for my birthday and I think it’s a strong contender for book of the year.


How has August been for you?



  1. August 20, 2014 / 9:24 am

    Howonrful to find a pasta machine at such a bargain. I would have snapped it up too and stuff the consequences. Good luck with the Bake Off and I'm looking forward to hear what you make from such a lovely looking book.

  2. August 20, 2014 / 7:36 pm

    Wow, you're in the bake-off. Yay for you. Hope that it all goes well – you'll have plenty of time later to practice pasta making and not to mention ravioli :o) Go girl, whip up those cakes……

    • August 21, 2014 / 8:11 am

      I know, it was a shock to me too! Perhaps I'll make a pasta cake…

  3. August 21, 2014 / 1:04 pm

    oh the shame of it – my pasta machine is still in its box and August hasn't given me much of a chance to do anything so I can't see it happening in the near future – congrats on the bake off success – and good luck with baking up a storm for the judges in the next round

  4. August 21, 2014 / 7:38 pm

    I don't have a pasta machine, I probably would only use it once. I don't have a summer body either, but winter is coming here so maybe next year! Good luck in the Bake Club bake off, let us know how it goes.

  5. August 30, 2014 / 9:25 am

    i'm searching for my bikini body… not sure where I left it. This book looks fabulous. I will purchase and cook!

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