zip-a-dee-doo-dah, or what makes me really happy

I love cookbooks. I like looking at all the recipes and making them in my mind. I like the beautiful pictures, even though they give me a sense of disappointment because my own creations never look quite as delicious. (And yes, I do know that this has more to do with the wonders of food photography than any lack of cooking creativity on my part.) I like seeing all kinds of dishes I’ve never heard of or thought to make – look how versatile simple ingredients are, and how dinner can be an experience every night instead of just another thing that has to be done before the day is over and you can finally go to bed.

This is all just a prelude to introducing my new favorite book. My new go-to book for everything sweet and sugar-laden.

The Hummingbird Bakery is a shop in London, well-known for its goodies. I saw this book in London in the awesome Books for Cooks culinary bookstore, but I didn’t buy it because it was so expensive. I lingered over it for quite a while, though. So when I saw it at the Boekenfestijn a while ago, I knew I couldn’t pass it up a second time.

And I’m not sorry. The instructions are clear, the recipes are delicious, the pictures are gorgeous..what more could you ask for? Also, one thing I particularly like: when a recipe is said to make 12 cupcakes, it actually makes 12 cupcakes, and not the usual arbitrary number that will far exceed the called for dozen. Such neatness really satisfies the neurotic streak in my soul.

This book is so good, it makes me scout around my friends and acquaintances for people I can bake something for, just so I can try out all the recipes. So if you’ve got a birthday coming up, or some kind of party, or are just in the mood for some heavenly sweetness, let me know. I’d be glad to bake you anything you’d like.

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