christmas DIY

Gifts from our kitchen – as every year

The countdown for Christmas is on!

Here we go: I’ve already been criticised that I haven’t posted recipes for my annual topic gifts from the kitchen! So I spent the morning doing a little fotoshooting in order to show you what you can quickly whip up as a beautiful and tasty gift!

Different kinds of flavored salt

It has already become a tradition: there is always a flavored salt in our gift bag. Last year we had bacon salt (which was a big success), the previous year it was pomegranate (oh, this color!) and this year we went overboard creating 3 different kinds of salt!!

3 verschieden Salze : Geschenke aus der Küche

Beetroot salt

  • 4 medium sized beetroots
  • 200 g coarse high quality sea-salt

Scrub or peel the beetroot and grate it. Now it’s time to let it dry – pick the method of your choice: on the radiator (it’s running anyways in this season, it just takes some time, however, just works fine), in the oven at 100°C for approximately 2 hours (put a wooden spoon in the door so it doesn’t close all the way). Or if you are lucky enough to have a dehydrator – just use that one…

The beetroot has to be really dry (I had to hold back in order not to eat these crispy beetroot pieces just like that as a snack!). Mix / blend with the coarse salt and fill it in little glass-vials.

Rosemary-lemon-salt

  • 3 twigs of fresh rosemary
  • 1 bio-lemon
  • 200 g coarse high quality sea-salt

Rip off the rosemary needles and finely chop them. Rinse off the lemon with hot water and rub it dry. Grate the yellow part of the skin. Mix it all together and let it sit on the radiator for an afternoon until it is nice and dry and fill it in little glass-vials.

Chili-salt

  • 4 fresh chili-peppers (you can choose how spicy you want it)
  • 200 g coarse high quality sea-salt

Was the chilies and cut them in half min Order to Remove the feeds and the white stuff. Finely chop or grind in a mortar so you get a paste. Mix it up with the salt and let it sit on the radiator for an afternoon until it is nice and dry and fill it in little glass-vials.

All three variations look great and have an intense aroma!

Something sweet for the salty stuff

Pears and quince are part of my favorite fall and winter fruits. Properly stored quince will last for quite a while and regional pears are even still available on farmers markets. Combining both fruits and seasoning all of it with some vanilla is delicious. It’s not only good with fresh croissants or Sunday breakfast roles but try having some cheese and wine with it!

Birnen-Quitten-Marmelade: Geschenke aus der Küche

Caramelized pear- and quince-jam

  • 500 g ripe pears
  • 500 g ripe quince
  • 2 lemons
  • 2 tbs brown sugar
  • 400 g gelling sugar 2:1
  • Inside of one vanilla bean

Wash and peel the fruits and remove the seeds. Dice the fruits finely and squeeze the lemon juice over the fruits.

Heat up the brown sugar in a big pot until it caramelizes and turns into a nice dark brown color. Add three quarters of the diced fruit and let it simmer for 10 minutes. Use an electric stick blender (does anyone know the proper word for that?) to blend it into a nice and smooth paste.

Add the rest of the fruits plus the vanilla and the gelling sugar. Let it boil for another 8 minutes while frequently stirring.

Pour in small glasses (I usually boil them in water to get rid of the germs) and immediately put on the lid tightly!

Quitten-Birnen-Marmelade: Geschenke aus der Küche

 

Italian pearl barley stew

Another thing that should be on the food-gift-list is a soup – more like a stew in this case. It’s always funny if a couple of month into the new year you receive a message saying: “Yummy, we’re just eating your christmas present!”…

The stew is quickly made, quite nutritious and would probably not pop up in your everyday cooking routine. It is to encourage to try something new.

The “instant”-version is great to give away as a gift, however, you can use all fresh ingredients as well!

Instant soup: Geschenke aus der Küche

Italian pearl barley stew

  • 150g pearl barley
  • 30 g / half a cup of sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1 tbs dried parsley
  • 1 tbs dried oregano
  • 2 tbs dried basil
  • 1 tbs dried onions
  • 1/2 tbs powdered garlic
  • 1 bouillon cube
  • 1 (small) can of tomatoes (400g)

Bring one liter of water to boil, dissolve the bouillon cube in it and add the entire rest of the ingredients. Let it simmer for 20 minutes at medium heat until the barley is cooked. To taste you can add a mountain of parmesan cheese on top!

Italienischer Graupeneintopf: Geschenke aus der Küche!

 

And for the finale it’s going to be really sweet

Toffees! I always wanted to try them, just never got to it for the past few years…

Karamellbonbons: Geschenke aus der Küche

Toffees with some fleur de sel

  • 300 g brown sugar
  • 6 tbs water
  • 100 ml heavy cream
  • Fleur de sel to taste

There are a ton of recipe variations online if it comes to toffees. Containing glucose or not, with or without condensed milk… We decided upon a very plain and basic recipe by Rike Dittloff. The only difference – we used brown sugar instead of white one and added some fleur de sel to add a tiny twist. You can watch her video (sorry it’s German only) to get an idea and then get started.

It is important to keep calm and be patient. Don’t stir the caramel. In the beginning there will be a sugar crust and you’ll think: “this is never going to turn out…!” But then it starts to bubble stronger and the sugar crust breaks open and reveals/dissolves into a golden caramel mass. Delightful!

In order to wrap the hardened pieces I use wax paper – it looks nice and you can easily unwrap the sticky mass again.

Karamellbonbons: Geschenke aus der Küche

My addiction of the year!

To all of you who are thinking: ” where is she taking all these beautiful hangers and labels from?”, here is the secret about my most beautiful addiction in the year 2017: stamps created by Perlenfischer!

We worked together this year for a book-project. I can’t tell you how often the lovely act of stamping with these extraordinary stamps from “Perlenfischer” made me smile! All our Christmas cards were created that way, the kids helped and the cards turned out just lovely.

Perlenfischer Stempelkarten Perlenfischer Stempel Perlenfischer Stempel

The variations you can create are unlimited and these stamps are also very good for “embossing”, however, that’s a different story bound to be a separate blog post – it’s simply to much fun!

You can order these great stamps right here and you won’t regret it!

To all of you a happy holiday!

Enjoy this time off of your everyday life. Enjoy it with your family, alone in a bathtub, at the stove while the feast is silently cooking and sending beautiful scents throughout the house but before all that: Make some gifts from the kitchen! The joy with these kind of gifts will be great – giving and receiving…!

Frohes Fest: Geschenke aus der Küche

 

 

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