Introducing, our new monthly feature – Baking with Corker and Mills! Nested is proud to be partnering up with the catering duo to get people really stuck into baking throughout the year. They make it look so easy, and so yummy.  This month we’re diving in with a gorgeous treat from ‘American as apple pie’ Heather Corker. 

Autumn is the best time to bake.

Chilly days just make you want to snuggle up to a lovely someone, don’t they?  Or, in lieu of that, at least to make a nice steaming mug of coffee (or tea) to accompany a delicious slice of freshly baked cake. Its all pretty much the same thing, really – cake and love, love and cake (isn’t it?).

The Autumn season is ripe (literally) with so many wonderful, wonderful ingredients to bake with. Pumpkins and apples and pears and figs, oh my! I get giggly and excited just thinking about it. Its a little bit like having a crush. But a baking crush. A big baking crush.

Are you ready for this? Good.

Apple Cinnamon Breakfast Roll

Apple pie meets cinnamon roll. Yeah, this is love.

This is a wonderfully goopy and cinnamony delicious, appley sort of thing that I am deeming as a breakfast food (well, if the French get their croissants…).

Now, if you are planning some sort of breakfast / brunch / get together with family and friends, something tasty for the kids on a weekend, this is sure to be a hit around the table. It takes a while to make – the yeast requires some patience – however it is a super simple recipe and nearly fool proof (the first time I made this the dough didn’t rise! But I used the dough anyway and it was scrumptious all the same).

Makes two loaves

For the Dough:

  • 2 1/4 teaspoon (1 package) active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • big pinch of sugar
  • 6 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 4 1/2 to 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup warm whole milk

For the Filling:

  • 3 large apples, peeled and cut into small cubes (British bramley apples are good for this)
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon cornflour
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
  • pinch of salt

For the Streusel:

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of cardamom (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 egg and sugar for brushing and topping the dough before baking

To Make the Dough: In a small bowl, mix together yeast, warm water and pinch of sugar. Stir together until yeast is dissolved and set aside for 10 minutes. Yeast will foam up.

In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, add the sugar, butter, cardamom, and salt. Blend on medium speed until pale in color and fluffy, about 3 minutes. (or hand blend, thats fine too – and usually what I do! elbow grease and all that…)

Stop the mixer, scrape down the bowl, and add eggs and 1 cup of flour. Blend on medium speed until thoroughly incorporated and creamy, about 1 minute. Stop the mixer and add 2 cups more cups of flour, yeast mixture, and warm milk. Blend in medium speed until the flour disappears. Mixture will be very wet.

Add 1 1/2 to 2 more cups of flour. Blend until the flour is almost incorporated.

Dump the dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Knead for 5 to 8 minutes by hand. Dough will be glossy and just slightly sticky. Place dough in an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and a towel and let rest in a warm place for 1 1/2 hours, or until doubled in size.

While the dough rises, make the apple filling and the streusel.







To make the Apple Filling, toss together diced apples, lemon juice, sugar, cinnamon, cornflour, nutmeg and salt. Leave at room temperature and set aside until ready to use.

To make the Streusel Filling:

In a small bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, cinnamon, salt, and cardamom. Add butter and, using your fingers, work the butter into the flour mixture.  Break up the butter into the mixture, until thoroughly incorporated and crumbly. Set aside.

Continue on with the Dough:

Line two baking sheets with parchment/grease proof paper and set aside.

When the dough has doubled in size, dump it out onto a lightly floured work surface. Use a large knife to divide the dough in two. Roll each dough piece into about a 10×14-inch rectangle. Sprinkle with half of the streusel mixture. Add half of the apple mixture over the streusel. Add a bit of the yummy apple juices too.

Starting from the longest side, begin to roll the dough. This isn’t like a cinnamon roll, you don’t have to roll it into a super tight swirl. Fold in about 1 1/2 to 1-inch folds. Keep the seam on the bottom.

Repeat the same steps for the second piece of dough.

Carefully lift roll onto the prepared baking sheet.

**Now is a great time to freeze or refrigerate the rolled dough for later baking.**

Take a pair of clean scissors and slice into the dough leaving about 3/4-inch of dough still attached. Slice at 1-inch intervals. Carefully begin to curve the sliced dough into a semi-circle/horseshoe shape. If some of the apple juices escape, that’s ok. Cover with a towel and let rest in a warm place for 30 minutes.







Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Brush dough with egg wash and sprinkle with raw or granulated sugar. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until golden brown and cooked through.

Remove from the oven, allow to cool for 15 minutes before serving. Best served warm with hot coffee or tea. Breakfast cake will last, well wrapped at room temperature, for up to 3 days… or 3 hours.

** If you decide to freeze the dough for later baking, place it in the fridge to thaw the evening before you’d like to bake it. Once it’s thawed, slice it according to the above directions. Allow to come to room temperature, and allow to rise for another 30 minutes beyond that. Wash with egg and sugar, then bake.

** If you decide to refrigerate the dough, simple take it out of the fridge, slice according to the above directions. Let come to room temperature, then allow to rise for 30 minutes beyond that. Brush with egg and sugar, then bake.

Et Voila!  You will be loved for ever and ever. Trust me.

Can’t wait for November’s baking treat!

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Following my post about getting creative with pizza boxes, I though it best to give further excuse to wash down those pizza’s with a couple of boxes of wine… yes I meant boxes!

This floor is not only a great way of displaying your true taste, it’s also recycling and, to a certain extent, money saving (depending how nice you like you wine!). The trick is to find as many different wines as possible, maybe even add in some port and whiskey boxes for variety.

This is definitely one for the wine lovers out there and for all those just starting, here’s a fantastic reason to drink as much as you can! Cheers!

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I first saw glass floats used as home decoration in Australia… after seeing this image I am now definitely getting some… I love it!

If you want to find out more about glass floats then visit this great blog: Glass Float Junkie.

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Need something interesting and unique for a empty wall in your home? Want to make more of your family photos? How about this…

You could start off as a mere sapling and nurture your very own giant oak as your family grows. Even better, make use of those lovely old sepia photos that are gathering dust in the loft. However you choose to do it, this is a wonderfully visual addition to any home!

I found this image on Fresh Paint Artist, a website dedicated to the artisitc works of Linnette Lee in Kansas.

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A few weeks ago I spent an afternoon at Highclere Castle in Berkshire, the set of the very popular British TV series, Downton Abbey. I spent the majority of the time captivated by the ceilings, resulting not only in severe neck ache but also inspiration. The intricate paintings were beautifully framed by cornicing and medallions and got me thinking, how could I make art out of those?

Once home, I began my hunt on Google and found this image on Apartment Now that I see it here, it seems such a wonderfully simple idea. Why strain your eyes and ruin your neck to see these beautifully detailed pieces?Made to be painted you can keep it simple with muted tones that don’t distract from the detail or maybe even be a bit creative and highlight certain points . I’d far rather have these on the wall than the traditional plates.

These medallions are very detailed and quite old fashioned in style, a reason why I love them. However for the more modern home you could try a contemporary design. I found a great selection on UK Home Interiors ranging from the traditional through to art deco and contemporary. Whatever your style, this is a creative and artistic way to decorate your walls.

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I love finding ways of getting creative with what most consider to be rubbish; I’m also a big fan of a saturday night in watching XFactor and eating take-a-way pizza, who isn’t?! So, when I came across this blog post from Home-Dzine I just had to re-post it. Great idea!

Here’s how to make the most out of your old boxes

You will need:

Pizza boxes – small, medium or large
Wallpaper, wrapping paper or fabric
Bostik spray adhesive
Craft or utility knife
Double-sided tape to mount onto wall


1. Cut a sheet of paper so that it is bigger than the box and will fold nicely over the sides.

2. Spray the back of the paper and the front and sides of the box with Bostik spray adhesive and leave for five minutes.

3. Place the front of the box on the paper, making sure to position in the centre, and press down.


4. Use scissors to cut all four corners diagonally.

5. Fold over two opposite side. Don’t fold all the sides over just yet as you need to create nice, neat corners.


6. Fold the edges/corners of the sides that you have just folded over onto the other sides – as shown left.

7. On the other two corners, trim the edges straight and then spray adhesive onto the corners that you have just folded over. Wait for five minutes.

8. Now fold the other sides onto the edges.

9. Use a craft knife to cut away any excess at the back.

10. Hey presto! Done.


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After recently watching the film Date Night with Steve Carell and Tina Fey, I started to wonder how many people actually do this any more? The film dramatises how most people feel about date night; busy lives often mean that finding time for a ‘special’ evening is more stressful than worthwhile. My partner and I have been together for the majority of our adult lives and despite our success we  have yet to actually go on a fairytale date. To clarify, I mean one of those dates where we both get dressed up and eat somewhere low-lit with soft Jazz. Obviously this is followed by a romantic stroll by a river and the whole evening is packaged into a montage narrated by the tones of Damien Rice.

Meeting through school at the tender age of 16, our idea of a date was a teenage house party where drink was plentiful and stolen kisses in crowded corridors were about as romantic as it got. Obviously things have changed since then.

To keep things ticking along, the concept of date night had reared its head a few times. Its appeal lies in the fact that it forces both of us to make an effort and do something different. Yet is it a practical option and can such an event be upheld on a regular basis nowadays? With rising workloads and stress to match, the idea of getting dressed up and going out to spend money we don’t have isn’t appealing. Dating is an act dreaded by many so the thought of doing it when you finally find your perfect partner seems particularly cruel for all those involved.

So with this in mind, can date night be a more fluid concept? Can it instead mean that once  a month some time is placed aside, day or night, unscheduled and at random, spent as circumstances determine? Whether at home or not, it has to be made special, for me this just means phones off and Facebook left alone. I don’t think date night should rigidly mean flowers, toe-numbing heels and expensive food. Why can it not instead be a simple candle lit dinner at home, a drive to the beach or an inexpensive but different Groupon. Services such as Groupon can help considerably for these occasions, only recently I saw a cheap cocktail making course, perfect for a special occasion.

I think traditional date night has evolved and it no longer works with the modern life style. If you can achieve one out of the ordinary gesture per month, I’m certain that it can only have a positive effect on any relationship. October’s date has yet to be determined in my household but I’m keeping an eye out for ideas that will suit both of us.


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I apologise sincerly for the title of this post but it had to be done.

I found this image on Pinterest and I am still working out how these wonderful little lights have been made. It is such a creative use of the simple egg carton! I think they look like seed pods or dried leaves, definitely one for the Autumn home!

Any other creative ideas for fairy lights? Let us know and we’ll post them up!


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I never realised how dull stairs could be…these stair designs are amazing!










Just a little bit of wallpaper and a keen eye for a good pattern is necessary for these ones – so simple but it creates such a striking and fun effect. You could also use paint and stencils if you have more time (and energy).

Dark paint and masking tape create a brilliant illusion on a staircase. Good for fairly wide steps, and if you want to display your precious things in a clearly marked out area!


If you had a few stairs that led up to your child’s room, this is a lovely idea to paint their favourite books onto each step. Probably not for your main stairs – but how great is it to encourage a love of books every time they went up to bed.

Would you be up for doing something like this to your stairs? Any of these ideas appeal to you? We don’t have stairs in our flat, and now I’m sad.


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Introducing the Clutter Busting Game…

The rules:

1. Each child chooses a ball and completes the task written on it;

2. Once the task is done and bounced into a pot it’s time to choose another one;

3. After 30 minutes, whoever has the most balls gets a prize. Prizes could include a no-chores day, pick of the evening movie or choice of that night’s dinner.

Try it and let us know how it works!

(Image via: Pinterest)

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My wall of frames in the bedroom

I am a great one for recycling old items and giving them a second chance to shine. One of my favourite things to do this with is picture frames. Littered around my the walls of my little London flat, I have old recycled and mismatched frames, sanded down and painted black for effect. It makes a really interesting display of your favourite images and definitely fuelled my inspiration for other things you can do with old picture frames.

It’s amazing just how versatile old frames can be. Start going through the loft and raiding local car boot sales, it’s time to get creative. I think I am going to run out of wall space thanks to this picture perfect post!

Tea and coffee tray

Make sure you find a sturdy frame for this. All you need to add is a pair of handles, either from your local DIY store or a car boot sale and hey presto, a unique and ever changing tray. I like the idea of framing interesting, vintage wallpaper.

Frame within a frame

If you want to get a bit more creative with photo montages then this is for you. A pretty sizeable outer frame is required but the effect is really nice, bringing all the inner items together. I also love the way colour has been used here to match the frames with their surroundings. Simple but very effective in creating a fresh and clean design.


Shake it like a Polaroid picture

An old frame works really well here and complements the rustic approach. If you can’t choose which images you like the best or are a bit of a Polaroid hoarder, then this is the solution for you. As I apply to both those categories, I am now looking for a spare wall of my own to do this with!




Something fishy

Last but not least why not make your very own underwater world. I love this and best of all no fish food is required. The slightly faded wallpaper is a nice touch so it would be worth while shining a light on the frame or even simpler, white washing the square of wallpaper behind the frame. Trying using a different type of frame for different rooms; a bright frame would work equally well in a kids room!



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As the evenings gets darker and the woolly hat creeps out of the box above the wardrobe, I find myself on a mission to keep a little bit of summer in my home.

In my quest I recently came across this DIY paper lanterns post from Martha Stewart and am now determined to create one of my own. Look out for pictures soon!

It is so simple and can be used to bring those bright summery colours back into any winter home; they almost look like flowers. Great for a baby’s room. Why not play around with the concept yourself and post your pictures below. It’s easy, cheap and helps light up any rainy British evening.


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