Take a look what I found in the web… This lovely little bird, designed by Fee who has a very inspiring blog: Fee ist mein Name. You can download the bird here, and I used some stamps to pimp it my way. I had so much fun doing it, and I love to send our Christmas greetings with the bird to our family and friends. Thank you Fee for this beautiful little cards!
So Christmas is almost here! We have a birthday to celebrate before, and we are still remodeling the boys room, so there is a lot of action in the house. I try to do everything step by step, because otherwise I have the feeling it is not doable… Tonight the gingerbread house is on the plan, I can’t wait to start decorating it. I meet with friends since a few years to do it together and it is a brilliant little Christmas tradition. Tomorrow we will go out to cut our tree, another tradition i love. And the boys do to! Unfortunately we have no snow, it is green outside, it is even a sunny day… I hope you are all in a good Christmas flow and not to stressed! Have a Happy Friday!
I hope you all enjoy a Happy Friday! We had a little Christmas party at the kindergarten today, so I decided to show you some rockstar cookies, my boys made recently! I love how colorful they are, and although there is no snow in sight here in Munich, we have a little snowman with us…
I am late with my decoration this year, but one thing I love to have is a tiny little tree in a jar. I can almost feel the joy of kids playing with the little animals, it made me happy to find this deer family within all the other animals who live in a basket in the boys room… They are made to stand right next to my “tree” and the boys were generous enough to lend them to me for a little while.
These cookies, called “Spitzbuben” are very famous with my husband and my oldest son, so I have to keep them away sometimes. There are not many left but I guess it is a good sign for the baker, right?
Linzertörtchen – also very delicious and this is a cake you can make all year round. But I love it most around Christmas. I normally do one big cake, but this year I wanted to have some give aways for some lovely people around us, and so I split the dough to make little cakes. I hope I will be able to share the recipe soon, but this Friday will end in 10 minutes, german time, so honestly I need to go to bed!
We are desperately waiting for snow! So we made some coconut cookies to give the polar bears something to play with… The days have been more or less grey, only today we had some sun and I just thought how beautiful light can be! Alright three minutes left on this Happy Friday! This was a last minute post…. Good night!
So what happened to my royal icing post? To be honest, I need more time to write and shoot a post about such a wonderful theme. We had a really nice backing afternoon last Friday, it was a joy to teach. At around 6pm my boys came home and we were still decorating with all kind of different icings. Can you imagine how their eyes started to glow? I couldn’t count until two and the 2 older ones were sitting right next to us and started to decorate. And seriously, I was impressed how concentrated and focused they were working. They even used my tweezers to put tiny little golden pearls on their cookies and the results were outstanding cool! Unfortunately it was really dark already and I couldn’t get a nice picture before we packed them away. They are on their way to be a little christmas surprise somewhere far away from here… psst surprise!
We spend the rest of our weekend remodeling the boys room. We painted it (and that meant to get all their stuff from their room to our living room where we literally couldn’t do a step in then. Toys, toys, toys…) We rebuilt a bunk bed, and there is one to follow and there was no more time to plan and photograph my royal icing post. I got quiet sad about it, when I realized my whole week is full of appointments and I won’t have a chance to work on it. And there are so, so many things I want to do.! Especially the weeks before Christmas are ALWAYS to short, don’t you think? I want to take time to celebrate this time of the year with my family, to sit down, light a candle, eat cookies, drink hot chocolate. I want to craft with my two older boys, which is quiet a challenge, regarding that our youngest wants to do everything they do… I want to have time to think about little presents, to think about how we can spread the love… I don’t want to feel stressed because of Christmas being around the corner. So I decided to focus on my family for the next weeks, and this means there won’t be all the lovely, long and full of picture posts I have in mind. But that’s ok. Next year, I’ll be better prepared.
I am recently taking part of Christina Greves Jumpstart 2015 online workshop. You all know I already took 2 of her workshops this year, but this one is not only about photography. It is about getting ready for an excellent and successful and happy year 2015. Christina is not only an amazing photographer, she is a brilliant coach. She talkes about self-confidence, about what purpose we want to have in this life and as well about those embarrassing things like business plans! And you know what? She does it in a way, that I really have the feeling I can do it. I never thought something like:” ok that sounds good and easy for you, but how should I make it?”. No! Christina is honest enough to tell us how difficult things can be, and how often we need to add another scoop of becoming active to let our dreams come true. But while I am listening to her I really feel that I can do this. We do have homework, there are a lot of worksheets to complete. And it is amazing how important it is to write goals, feelings, actions down! It gives them a totally different value and I really have to think about all the lessons and all the information. So a big thank you to Christina, who actually is teaching more than 1000 women in this workshop for free.
Ok, I have one picture and two recipes for you today:
Roast the pine nuts in a pan without oil until golden
Cut the tomatoes in fine stripes
Cut the portions in small pieces
Mix all dry ingredients together. this is also a perfect little gift!
Dice the shallots and roast in the heated olive oil until slightly golden.
Add the risotto mix and stir for 1 minute
Slowly add the vegetable stock, just as much as needed to let the rice boil
Constantly stir and add vegetable stock as soon as more liquid is needed.
This procedure will take about 20 minutes.
The risotto should be creamy but not overcooked.
Add parmesan and serve immediately
If you want add a teaspoon of the red pesto to each portion, it tastes delicious together.
For the red pesto mix together 100 g of chopped walnuts, 80 g of dried tomatoes in oil (dripped off), 2 gloves of garlic, 1 bunch of parsley, 40g fresh ground parmesan, 120ml Olive oil, salt and pepper. It is easiest to use a food processor, otherwise just try to cut everything as small as possible! Put in a clean container and stored in the fridge, the pesto will keep fresh for 3 weeks. Always cover it with oil!
This is excellent autumn and winter food,try it out and have a happy Friday!
I will teach a little class of Christmas cookies bakery and decorating this Friday afternoon with two ( I am sure) lovely ladies. Lucky me! I am already thankful to be able to share something I really love and admire. Christmas bakery is a highlight in my “bakery year”. It helps me to come through the dark afternoons and evenings. And as I told you already, I always remember the good time I spend with my grandmother. She died to early so some memories are only vague, but no one can ever steel the feeling I dive in while smelling the sweet and most delicious flavors while baking “Gutzels”. Over the years there were a lot of different recipes I tried, and there are still more about to come… As much as I love the traditional cookies from my family, I love to try out something new! So decorating cookies with colorful icing was defiantly nothing my grandma did! But it is so much fun, and I will show you my favorite royal icing recipe and techniques soon. I just have to prepare now for the afternoon… Have a happy Friday!
A lot of people love Springerle, an aniseed flavored Christmas cookie – and a lot of people are really scared to bake them by themselves. But to be honest, you won’t need any witchcraft to succeed, just a beautiful Springerle mold, time and as always a lot of love while doing it. It is essential to dry the unbaked cookies overnight, or at least 12 hours before baking. Otherwise the beautiful patterns will not stay stable and run away in the heat. Well done Springerle need to “pop-up” during baking in order to get a little foot, in german we say they need to jump and that is also where the name is from (“little jumper”).
There are a lot of recipes with aniseeds or aniseed extract in the dough. For my taste this is to intense, so I prefer to just set the cookies on a greased and aniseed sprinkled baking tray. But this is a bit up to your taste, just try it out. While rolling out, work with small amounts of the dough, so the moisture stays inside. Take care to finely dust the molds with flour, to get sharp pictures and to be able to lift the mold without destroying the pattern. Cut the dough into pieces.
The baked biscuits are hard. Put them into a tin can, best with a ripe (but not to aromatic) apple for 2 – 3 weeks until they “ripe” and get tender. Springerle are little beauties! You will always get a “wow” for nicely made Springerle so don’t be scared, just try it out! They also make a beautiful small gift, if you are invited for a tea afternoon during advent season.
One word to my recipes. I know, it would be much easier and a lot more convenient to a lot of you, if I would not only write in grams and millimeters… I am a bit of a perfectionist and I really want to do it soon, but it is a big step for me, to just write the recipes down like it is now. Normally I would not even start doing something, I know it won’t be perfect. So I am quiet happy I am ignoring this feeling and posting the pictures and recipes anyway, although they are not “perfect”.
Slowly add sugar and egg yolks and whisk until the sugar dissolved
Add the fresh lemon zests and the flour
Knead the dough and put it into the refrigerator for 2 hours
Take the still slightly sticky dough and roll it out on flour so that it is 8-10 mm thick.
Lightly dust with flour. The dough feels very smooth.
Now press the finely dusted mold evenly into the dough.
Cut out the pattern with a knife or pastry roller.
Place on a baking tray that has been buttered and sprinkled with the aniseeds.
After a drying period of 12-24 hours (room temperature), bake the Springerle at approx. 150-160ºC at the very bottom of the oven for about 12-15 minutes. Be careful not to overbake them, they should remain white (you can put some tinfoil on top as soon as they start to darken in order to keep them nice and bright).
Life has been faster then me… The friday christmas cookie post is not yet written, and as I will have a girls only week end with two of my best friends, this has to wait until next week. I am so sorry, but I decided rather to wait and to write the post with some time and not to rush. I guess you all know that feeling, when your head is almost exploding and full of ideas and then there is just not enough time to do all of it. So I wish you all a lovely friday and week end!
It is still Friday, although already friday evening in Germany. But anyway, I wish anyone a happy friday of course!
“Spritzgebackenes”: I have no idea how to translate the names of the cookies… But I guess you will get an idea by watching the pictures. This is another one of my favorite recipes. I got it from a very good friend and she got it from her mum, and she got ist from her school, and…. It is traditional, as it can be traditional….
My boys love to help. The trick is to use a grinder (classically for meat, but with a star cap), this helps a lot and is the fun part for the kids. Mine is a beautiful vintage one, I got through my father from an old lady. I wish this grinder could talk, I am sure it has seen a lot of kitchen stories! Anyway. It is important to cool down the dough. Otherwise it is going to be impossible to work with it. There is quiet an amount of butter inside (which makes the cookies so yummy), so do yourself a favor and work only with the portion you’ll need, and keep the rest in the refrigerator. Depending on the warmth in your kitchen, especially when the oven is preheating or already baking, the dough can get too smooth within minutes.
I love to use fresh hazelnuts, of course best collected by ourselves. But it even makes a big difference to buy already cracked ones and grind them yourself. For me, my lovely Kitchen Aid does all the work and that is the first fun moment for the kids. They just love to start the machine…. We made the dough in the morning and then went out for some skating and outdoor fun for a couple of hours.
And then the real fun starts. One is pulling the grinder, the other one is forming the cookies. And of course the boys need to test the quality of the dough by tasting it once in a while…. This year, I almost had no chance to do some shapes on my own, but that’s ok. I think they did a great job and I consider myself very happy to have such good helpers!
The next step will be to dip them in chocolate, but I will wait a bit longer to do this….and maybe without the boys… because in their believe, chocolate can always turn bad and needs to be tasted every 3 seconds… and what should I put on the cookies then????
Recipe again later, probably tomorrow….!! Ok, it took me more than a week, but here you go:
When I was sitting at my desk today, I was realizing that I started snacking around unhealthy food. It took me a moment to realize that I was really hungry and that the better option would be to make myself a fast lunch, full of vitamins and other good stuff. I opened the fridge to see what I could make and found some leftover quinoa from yesterday. Perfect.
It is a bit weird, but the moment my little one goes to sleep for his nap, I have the feeling I want to use every minute in the most effective way to do something useful. And you know, there is always a huge TO DO list, no? So sometimes I just don’t want to take the time to make myself lunch. WHAT? How can that be? As a food stylist? No way! But I am not shooting everyday and chances are high that I make lunch for my toddler, but forget about myself. There are so many easy and tasty recipes out there, I really want to change this.
As winter is around the corner, it is also the time for sore throats, the flue…. So I added a good knob of ginger to my fried quinoa and it turned out quiet spicy. But I really believe that ginger is good for me :-). You don’t have to stick to the recipe, just take what is in your fridge. Is is a double or triple satisfaction to cook yourself a healthy and tasty lunch with ingredients which are already waiting to be used! Love it!
To start the christmas cookie season is a highlight in our family life! We all love to bake together, and it is a good tradition to start the week after Luis birthday, so in the second week of November. We want to have a good range of different cookies at the end of the month to start eating them on 1st advent.
When I was kid, I can clearly remember sitting in my grandmas kitchen, right next to the fire oven and watching her baking “Gutzel”. When I close my eyes I can almost smell the most delicious mixture between fire wood, melted chocolate and fresh baked cookies. Mmh. So the passion for good christmas cookies comes from my grandmother and so are most of my cookie cutters. I love them. And my kids do too. So hopefully you will see a little series of our making of the cookies this year…
When we woke up yesterday, there was a tiny little bit of snow on the cars, and my boys went almost crazy about it. They can’t wait to play in the snow and they want to do everything they can to let it snow. So we started with snowflake cookies, to show the sky what we desire….I will post the recipe later on… Have a happy friday!
To be honest, I completely grew up without halloween! I guess thats why I never was very excited about this special day. But I know it is a HUGE thing… The first time I really experienced the trick or treat action is 8 years ago. We lived in a furnished apartment these days in a neighborhood with lot’s of kids. And it was on this evening, that I realized that the birth of our first kid couldn’t be to far away… I was sitting (or lying like a huge whale) on the couch, counting the time between two contractions, when the kids started to ring the bell and ask for sweets. In the beginning I found it quiet funny (like, I was just hours away from becoming a mum on my own and to see how fun it was for the kids to get the sweets…). But after an hour of opening the door, laying back down, jumping (not exactly, but…) again to the door and so on, I started to be a bit annoyed. Those kids were ringing the bell without mercy, we lived on the ground floor, so they could see the lights… Finally we hid and switched off all the lights, because I was no longer in the mood for ghosts and mummies… There was something bigger going on… Our first son was born the 1st of November, so we are always preparing the birthday party in the halloween night.
But this year, the two big boys are with their grandparents for the week and the middle one missed his halloween party in kindergarten! Of course he was complaining and in a weak moment I promised him some kind of halloween party, when they come home today. I cut out some bats for decoration and a bit of black vinyl to put a ghost face on the little milk bottles ( I love these bottles, they are just perfect for kids party). To get the pearls on, I dipped the bottle into some melted white chocolate. Very easy and fast, but it makes such a difference. With a colorful paper straw and a bat sitting on it, it is a easy last minute halloween decoration. The little ghost are even easier to make. Just take a lollipop and cut a kitchen roll paper into 4 pieces. Cover the lollipop and paint a little ghost face on it. Done! We will have some more fun food, like baked witch fingers, spooky pizza and so on, but as there is also the birthday party to be prepared, I decided to take it easy and only shoot what is ready right now. I hope you all have fun on this years halloween! Happy friday!