Bringing the party to you

5 March 2017

Did you know that we can bring our tea and craft parties to your home? At the weekend we were welcomed into the home of Sarah for her 10th birthday.

Once the table was set with a pretty tablecloth and china it was time for afternoon tea! The girls loved having wee sandwiches and cakes served on cake stands and drinking tea from their little china cups.

When afternoon tea was over, the girls got started on making hairbands. They were a really great bunsh of girls and every one of them sewed a fabric decoration to put onto their head bands. I was very impressed!

If you’d like to throw a tea party for your little one then get in touch. We can provide a venue for you if you’d prefer not to hVE THE Prty in your own home.

Poppy corny – shrimpy

20 February 2017

My son Morris and I were visiting the grandparents today when Gran had a look on YouTube for some Muppets videos that he might like. After the usual “Mahna mahna” song she found a great Swedish Chef clip which made all of us laugh out loud. Not least when she said to Morris:

“Is that like your mum in the kitchen, son?”

What cheek! Watch it here.

Swedish Chef “Popcorn”

Pancake Day

17 February 2017

I’m not religious and will not be fasting for Lent in the countdown to Easter, but I do enjoy Pancake Day (or any feast day which involves food!)

If I recall from my childhood, “Shove Tuesday” was the day before Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent which involved giving up certain foods, particularly sweet things. Traditionally you would use up all of your sweet and rich foods such a sugar, eggs and butter before Lent started.

Making pancakes, for me is a very regular event and not restricted to Shrove Tuesday. I love them and my fussy 15 month old also loves them and it is sometimes all that he will eat. I make American style pancakes. Big and fluffy and with this recipe*, they can’t fail.

I like to use a non stick griddle tray so that I can cook more at one time and speed up the time till I can sit down and enjoy them.

  • 135g plain flour (you can use self raising for extra fluffy pancakes)
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 2tbsp caster sugar
  • 2tbsp butter melted and cooled
  • 130ml milk
  • 1 egg

Sieve the flour and baking powder together in a big bowl with a pinch of salt. Add the caster sugar. In a jug mix the milk, melted butter and egg.

Mix the wet ingredients into the dry and mix to combine.

Heat your griddle or frying pan on a medium heat, don’t be tempted to crank up the heat. Pancakes cook quickly enough and can burn in a few seconds if the heat is too high.

Ladle a dessertspoon full onto griddle and cook the batter for about 2 minutes until bubble appear in the batter. Turn them over and cook the other side which should only take about a minute.

This wee recipe makes about 8 pancakes but the recipe is easily doubled (and I recommend you do as they disappear quick!)

Serve warm from the pan with golden or maple syrup, butter, bacon, jam or Nutella. However you like ’em!

Recipe from BBC Food

 

10% discount on party bookings before the end of March

10 February 2017

It is that time of year when are bridesmaids all over the country are tasked with organising a most wonderful hen party celebration. Finding something which is suitable for large groups or groups of mixed ages and interests can be tricky.

Our parties appeal to people of all ages and tastes. Who doesn’t love afternoon tea?! Spending the afternoon enjoying some lovely homebaked treats following by some crafting is the perfect, relaxed way to celebrate with friends and family.

To avoid disappointment booking early is essential so if you book your hen party with us before 31st March 2017*, you’ll be entitled to 10% off your booking. Just quote SPRING17

*discount applies to parties booked before 31st March 2017, they do not have to take place before the end of March. Bookings are not confirmed until deposit is received. Full payment is due 4 weeks before party date.

Pretty Wedding Bakes

7 February 2017

Last Summer, I was asked to bake a selection of cakes to be part of a cake table at a Summer wedding. The collection of cakes included classics like vanilla sponge and chocolate sponge and more interesting flavour combinations such a rhubarb and cardamom. Last week the lovely bride Sally forwarded some of the images of the cakes taken by their wedding photographer Rooftop Mosaic.

A yummy blueberry cake with a cream cheese frosting - Images by Rooftop Mosaic

Sally’s fantastic contemporary decor of geometric shapes and neon colours are a smashing background to the cakes. I’m envious of her ribbon- fairy light backdrop!

Simple vanilla sponge, un-iced with fruit and flowers.

Contact the Elderly

13 January 2017

Contact the Elderly logo

On a dreary Sunday afternoon in Glasgow, we threw a Crafternoon for some ladies involved with a charity called Contact the Elderly.

The charity operates up and down the country where volunteers host Sunday tea parties and get togethers for older folk who live alone. I first heard of the charity a few years back when regular customer of mine in the tearoom told me she was a volunteer driver for the charity and spent one Sunday afternoon a month, driving members to events.

You can tell everyone is concentrating hard when the room falls silent!

I was contacted, again by a previous customer and asked if I could host a Crafternoon for a group of ladies that she meets with regularly. We spent the afternoon drinking tea, eating cake and chatting before getting to work on some stuffed fabric lavender hearts. The lavender hearts were hand sewn and many of the women in the group commented how nice it was to do a little sewing again. Many hadn’t sewn for years but they were back on form with their needle and thread in no time at all.

Getting reacquainted with the art of sewing.

The afternoon flew by and everyone was happy with their creations. I hope to do some more events with Contact the Elderly and I was inspired by the lovely work that the volunteers do. I’d love to get involved myself and perhaps even host a tea party in my own home. Provided they don’t mind a noisy 15 month old tearing around the house!

If you’d like to know more about Contact the Elderly, visit their website here.

Happy New Year! What are your resolutions for 2017?

3 January 2017

It is now January 2017. One full year since I closed the Cushion & Cake tearoom. I can’t believe how fast the time has passed. It will largely be due to the rapidly growing infant now in my life! One year has passed since I emptied the tearoom of the furniture, crockery, bits and bobs. I essentially moved everything into the spare rooms in my home which made several spaces in the house a no-go areas as they were filled with boxes and boxes of things. At the time, having a new baby I just wasn’t ready to sort through many of the things from the tearoom and I simply stored everything to organise later. The months rolled on and I was starting to feel quite anxious in my house. I was keen to get out and about. I felt unsettled and I was in a never ending cycle of tidying (moving things from one place to another) but never getting anywhere.

I then realised that the accumulation of stuff in my house was taking over. Obviously many of the items now in the house didn’t have a ‘home’. They were surplus and didn’t have a place to be stored. I can be a bit or a hoarder at the best of times and I knew I needed help! Around September I discovered a book about tidying and I can genuinely say it has changed my life. It is called The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. I got the audiobook version from Audible which allowed me to listen to it again, and  again, and again.

The book is about decluttering. As a society we all have too much stuff. We hold onto things that we neither need nor want and it is this accumulation of stuff that makes us feel suffocated. The Kondo method described in the book is quite simple and she asks you, the reader to evaluate everything that you own by asking yourself, “Does this spark joy?” Starting with clothes, it is quite easy actually to determine whether or not an item from your wardrobe sparks joy. I have whittled my enormous wardrobe of clothes down to about a quarter! And it was easy. I was excited to keep momentum going and move onto the different areas of the house.

The book helped me to deal with the stuff from the tearoom. I began to find homes for larger items and lots of surplus crockery etc that I wasn’t using for my parties and events. I am still decluttering as it can’t be done overnight but the results are massive and I feel much better for it. The rest of 2017 will be about continued decluttering and home organisation leaving me more time to focus on my work. Have you made any good resolutions or grand plans for the New Year?

Recipe for yummy cinnamon buns

7 December 2016

In my post about hygge a wee while back I promised a recipe to cinnamon buns. I have been eating these delicious home baked treats on too regular a basis but I think I have developed an addiction to the warm, sticky, cinnamon ball of loveliness.

As with all bread goods, they require a little effort on the time front but I have have done a bit of experimenting with this recipe so I can tell about getting them into the oven in the morning with no effort.

This recipe is from Martha Collison’s “Twist” book and I have found it to be the best cinnamon bun recipe (I’ve tried a few!)

Ingredients

  • 75g unsalted butter
  • 200ml whole milk
  • 500g white bread flour
  • 7g fast action yeast
  • 1tsp salt
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 2 free range eggs
  • 50g butter
  • 200g brown sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 egg for wash
  • 1 greased and lined brownie pan or 23cm round tin

In a pan, gently melt the butter and milk and allow to cool slightly.

Place flour, yeast, salt and sugar into a bowl (don’t put the salt and yeast next to each other, salt can destroy the yeast)

Mix the eggs into the lukewarm butter and milk and slowly begin to pour the wet ingredients into the dry, mixing as you go. You want a sticky dough but not wet. Begin to work the dough with your hands or a dough hook if using a stand mixture. Once the dough comes together, continue to knead in the mixer for 5 minutes or on an lightly oiled worktop with your hands for about 10 minutes.

One you have a nice shiny, elastic dough, pop it into an oiled bowl and cover with film for 1-2 hours or until doubled in size.

Once the dough has riden nicely, place the dough on the worktop and knock it back taking care to remove any large air bubbles. Then roll out your dough into a rectangle shape 20 x 40cms.

Melt the butter and slather over the dough, right to the edges.

Mix the sugar and the cinnamon together and sprinkle all over the butter.

Now get ready to roll! Rolling from the longest edge, slowly and carefully make the dough into a big sausage. Cut the sausage into 5 cm rounds and arrange them in your pan. I use a brownie pan for my rolls.

Cover the pan with a clean plastic bag and leave to rise again for about 1 hour*. Meanwhile heat the oven to 200degrees C.

Once the rolls have risen for a second time, brush the dough with the whisked egg and bake in the oven for 25 minutes.

You can ice these with a little glace icing but I’ve never allowed them to cool enough to ice them…

Enjoy!

*at this stage you can slow down the second rise by placing the rolls covered in the fridge overnight. Allow them to come to room temperature for about 30 minutes before putting them into the oven.

Christmas Crafternoon kids special offer this week

21 November 2016

This week we are offering a reduced price place for children accompanying adults to Christmas Crafternoon. For one week only, a child’s place costs only £10, saving you £5.

Its a great way to spend some quality time together before Christmas making lovely things and eating festive treats.

Select the reduced price option from paypal below until this offer runs out on Sunday 27th November 2016 at 5pm.


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Children LOVE Christmas Crafternoons!

14 November 2016

Did you know that our Christmas Crafternoons are suitable for children too? Why not bring along a son, daughter, niece or nephew for some quality time before the Christmas hustle and bustle?
We can guarantee a super fun and festive afternoon making lovely crafts and eating yummy cakes. Children will be delighted when they take home something original and lovely, completely handcrafted by themselves. They could even give their homemade items as gifts?

Why not book online now!?

 

Christmas Crafternoons!

8 November 2016

Did you think that because the little tearoom had closed that there would be no beloved Christmas Crafternoon!? Well fear not. I couldn’t let the festive season pass without getting together with you to do some making and enjoying the best Christmas treats and tunes.

I will be running two sessions this season in Windsor Street Community Halls near St George’s Cross on Sunday 4th and 11th December at 4pm. We will be making all new crafts including festive paper decorations and clay tea light holders. We will also create a Scandinavian inspired Christmas tree alternative wall decoration!

Crafts are suitable for all but will be adapted slightly for little ones.

If all of this doesn’t have you giggling with excitement then you’ll be delighted to know that the first 10 to book their place on Christmas Crafternoon will receive a super duper goody bag full of treats and useful stuff.

Session cost £20 adult £15 child. Choose your date in the drop down menu before clicking “Buy Now”


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Get your hygge on

4 November 2016

Autumn is here but do not fear! When many mourn the end or Summer (if you could call it that in Scotland) and dread the coming Winter, this year I found a way to get the most out of the colder months.

I love to be cosy. I love blankets. Fluffy socks. Hot tea. Fresh baking. I love all of these things, especially if the weather is grim outside and I don’t need to go out. This feeling of “cossiness” is what the Danes call “hygge” and it is apparently what makes the Danish people the happiest in the world!

I got a copy of the newly released The Little Book of Hygge by Meik Wiking and sat on the sofa with tea and my blanket and began to read what makes a situation or a place hygge. Things like foods, spaces and the company you are in appear to be high on the hygge making list but for me, the concept of hygge helped me to reframe the way I look at things into a more positive light, specifically, the dark nights. Poor weather and dark nights can make us feel de-energised, even blue but if you can seek out the lovely things about these colder months, it makes life really quite lovely.

As I usually do, I got others involved in my hygge-ing. Hygge would creep into my conversations with most people. I got my sister a copy of the book too and soon she was full on hygge-ing. She even made me a homemade hygge hamper with new fluffy socks, flannel pyjamas, candles, bathbombs even a little can of gin & tonic.

I have noticed a difference in my attitude to the winter months this year and I’m so please to have discovered The Little Book of Hygge. I’ll keep you posted throughout the season with some hygge inspiring stuff including a recipe for cinnamon rolls!

New website, new blog

20 October 2016

Since closing the tearoom in January earlier this year we have taken Cushion & Cake mobile hosting our tea and craft parties and Crafternoons in venues around Glasgow or in people’s homes. Not having a premises to work from felt a little strange at first but it I quickly got to enjoy travelling to different places to throw my parties. Also not working in the tearoom everyday means that I’m not in contact regularly with my customers the way I once was. I want this blog to be not only about Cushion & Cake businessy stuff, but also about the things we used to chat about in the tearoom. Recipes, fun things we did at the weekend, books that we have read etc. I’ll use the blog to chat about a whole host of things and show you pictures of the work I have been doing, be that parties or celebration cakes.

I hope you’ll come along with me on my new journey and drop me a line sometime and get involved in the conversation.

Pamela xx

We’ve got a new website!

15 October 2016

Ok so it took a little longer to launch my new website than I initially thought that it would, but hey, it takes 4 times longer to do anything with a baby in tow!

Morris turned 1 last week and we had a great day celebrating by chartering a barge with The Forth and Clyde Canal Society. The 3 hour trip took birthday boy and his family along the canal to Bishopbriggs. I was delighted to be putting my expertise into practice for our own wee family party. I had prepared afternoon tea for everyone on board which kept folk satisfied on the little tour.

This image was taken by Anne from the Forth & Clyde Canal Society on her approach to pick us up from Lock 21

I’m excited to launch my new website dedicated to parties, catering and celebration cakes. You can find information on what parties we offer and how to go about booking your party.

You’ll also find information on the cakes we can bake to order and deliver locally.

In addition, as Autumn is definitely here I’ve already started to think about Christmas and we will of course be running our popular Christmas Crafternoons on Sunday afternoons from the end of November. Information about this will be released soon so please do look out for them. We will be making all new Christmas crafts while drinking Christmas tea and eating warming, spiced cakes. I can hardly wait!

So why not pop over and take a look at our new website? I’ll be regularly posting in our blog, sharing recipes and pictures of our events. I hope to hear from you soon.

Pamela

www.cushionandcake.com

Wedding Cake Table

27 September 2016

I was delighted when I was asked to bake several gorgeous cakes for a customer’s wedding cake table. They had decided that they’d like a number of cakes to offer guests in addition to a more traditional wedding cake.

Classic chocolate and vanilla sponges were given the Cushion & Cake treatment in addition to cardamom, rhubarb and ginger cake, lemon polenta and raspberry and coconut cakes. The customer wanted the cakes to be ‘naked’, a trend where cakes are not covered in icing but left with the layers of sponge showing. I really like this method of decorating cakes, un-iced sponges with flowers to decorate is a lovely look for a vintage inspired wedding.

I used the same flowers to decorate all the cakes keeping things simple and linking all the cakes together.

This raspberry and coconut cake is 'semi naked where just a light coating is used exposing the sponge beneath.

Roses and gyp link all the cakes together

Everyone's favourite chocolate cake, but with less icing allowing you to enjoy the moist chocolate sponge.

We can bake for any occasions and deliver your cakes within the Glasgow area. Get in touch if you’d like to discuss a celebration cake or wedding cakes for your event. We’d be delighted to bake for you!

The Secret Herb Garden

2 August 2016

I love gardening. I love flowers and even more so, I love edible things from the garden. This year I very much concentrated on growing edible flowers and herbs in my garden to use in baking and cooking. Little violas look great decorating my lemon polenta cake and rosemary and thyme regularly accompany my citrus based cakes.

I came across a fantastic Mary Berry recipe for Lemon drizzle cake with lemon verbena cake which I was really keen to try but I was missing one vital ingredient of the cake. Can you guess what was missing?!

I was quite sure I wasn’t going to pick up a lemon verbena in a mainstream garden centre but I knew where I could get one. Last week, I visited the Secret Herb Garden outside Edinburgh. Their nursery is dedicated to growing and selling lots of edible things from the garden including lemon verbena. I got myself a lovely plant and a great lunch in their cafe of quiche and salad where most of the ingredients came from the Secret Herb Garden itself.

I planted my lemon verbena up when I got home but I couldn’t wait to make the cake that inspire the verbena purchase! The recipe is linked below and Mary says you can omit the lemon verbena if you don’t have it (and don’t want to travel 40 miles to get one like I did), your cake will still be delicious.

Mary Berry’s Lemon Drizzle Cake with Lemon Verbena

What’s New Summer 2016

26 July 2016

We have been a little quiet these past few months but over the Summer, we’ve thrown a number of hen and children’s parties which has gotten me back into the swing after having my baby in October 2015.

Afternoon tea

We have been hosting our parties in a couple of great venues, St Silas Church hall on Park Road and Windsor Street Community Halls in Maryhill. Both venues were great fun to decorate with pom poms, foil curtains and bunting.

Crafternoon making

Groups were treated to our signature afternoon tea and crafternoon.  This group were making fascinators.

If you’re looking for something special to celebrate a hen, baby shower or children’s party then please get in touch.