How tidy are you? I must confess, I’m usually living in a least a bit of a mess and things tend to leave the place I assigned them to.
That’s why I love small bowls, containers and dishes to quickly stow things away and feel like you’ve got your s**t together. For those bits and pieces little dishes made of airdrying clay are the perfect solution! Just shape them as big or small as you need them, let them dry and finish it off with a bit of paint. Et voilà, there you have your pretty, handmade trinket dishes!
Active Time: 30 minutes
Additional Time: 1 day
Total Time: 1 day30 minutes
Perfect for storing small things - a stylish way to organise your chaos!
air-drying modeling clay (stone effect)
bowls in different sizes
craft mat & knife
golden acrylic paint
Take a bit of the modeling clay and press it into a clean bowl - the shape of the bowl will be the mould for your dish.
Carefully remove it from the bowl and finish shaping it with your hands until you have your desired shape.
Thin the edges evenly and then cut off the uneven bits with a knife to create a smooth edge.
Let it dry according to package instructions (mine took 24 hours).
If needed smooth the surfaces with sand paper.
Paint the edge with gold paint, let it dry and the dishes are ready for use!
Simple and super effective! I’ve got a whole bunch of them in my office – they keep things organised and look so pretty!
Christmas is approaching fast and therefore I would like to give you some nice gift ideas in the next few days.
In our family we (at least the adults) agreed to only gift eachother small presents, preferably homemade. So last year, I put together a box of handmade chocolate for everyone – from salted caramel to berry cream and spicy marshmallows, it had everything your heart could desire. It also included the pralines that I want to share with you today: Delicious Crème Brûlée chocolates with a crunchy caramel crust and sweet white chocolate.
Crème Brûlée Chocolates
Yield: makes about 15
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Cooling Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 3 hours
Just as tasty as the dessert classic & a great homemade gift idea from the kitchen!
80 g cream
the pulp of half a vanilla pod
150 g white chocolate
storebought chocolates cases + some extra chocolate
200 g white chocolate and a silicone chocolate mould
40 g sugar
1 tbsp golden syrup or honey
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Put cream, vanilla and the chopped white chocolate into a small saucepan, heat on medium temperature and allow to melt until it's smooth. Remove from heat and let it cool at room temperature.
In the meantime prepare the chocolate shells. To do this, chop the second part of white chocolate and melt in a water bath and (ideally) temper the chocolate. Put some chocolate into the silicone moulds, distribute well and then turn over so that the excess chocolate can drip out. Scrape off the excess and then let the chocolate set in the refrigerator.
Now fill the hollow chocolates (either the homemade or storebought ones) with the cooled vanilla creme, leaving a small gap at the top. Place in the fridge for half an hour, then top with the remaining white chocolate, level and scrape off the excess to seal the chocolates. Let them set for at least one hour in the refrigerator.
In the meantime, make the Honey Comb. Heat the sugar and honey in a small saucepan and simmer on a medium flame until it turns into a light caramel. Now stir in the baking soda (be careful, it will foam up!) and pour the mass directly onto a sheet of baking paper. Even out a bit and let it cool down. The mass will turn very hard and then can be broken into small chunks.
Remove the chocolates from the mould and grind some of the honey comb with a mortar and pestle. Lightly melt the surface of the chocolates with a lighter or flambé burner and dip into the caramel powder. Lastly, caramelise the top lightly with the flambé burner, allow to cool and the chocolates are ready to serve.
Did you make chocolates by yourself before? If so, which is your favourite recipe?
Christmas time is a lot about consumption. Technically our whole year kind of is. Most of us can usually afford what they need (or often don’t really need), throw away things that are still good, and just don’t think about their consumption habits. But there are a few small steps you can easily follow to have more sustainability in your life.
One of them is banning ‘disposable products’ like foil – more specifically, aluminum foil and cling film – from your life. Use a bit here to wrap half that onion, use another bit there for the sandwich to go. An environmentally friendly alternative – easy to make and a really fun DIY project – are reusable beeswax wraps. Choose a few nice cotton fabrics and then you’re almost good to go – I’ll show you how it works:
Yield: makes about 6
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Active Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Save our planet - or at least try to help reducing the plastic madness!
100 g beeswax
3 tsp jojoba oil
6 pieces of cotton cloth (à 30 × 30 cm)
Old pot & brush
Baking tray & aluminum foil
Cut the fabric to the desired size.
Put the beeswax in a small (old) saucepan and melt on medium heat. Add the jojoba oil and stir well.
Preheat the oven to 100° C.
Lineout the work surface as well as a large baking tray with aluminum foil. Lay the pieces of fabric flat on the prepared work surface.
Brush the fabric evenly with the hot wax using the brush. Place the cloth on the baking sheet and let the wax melt for 5 minutes in a preheated oven. If it is not soaked through evenly after this time, put it back in the oven for another 3 minutes.
Then remove the fabric from the tray, hold it briefly up with your fingers to let it cool down and set . Now the wraps are ready for their use.
Do you think that could be something for you? Replace cling film with wax wraps? I think the concept is great and I’m really trying to implement my lovely new beeswax wraps in my daily routine ♥
are you #TEAMDOG or #TEAMCAT or maybe even #TEAMSTAYAWAYFROMME? A cat girl named Bailey has been living with me for many years now, so I am very used to cats. Then, almost a year ago, a black ball of fluff moved in with my sister and her family. He answers to the name of Campino (more or less acurately) and since then the cat has to share her food from time to time with the dog – as you can imagine she is not thrilled about it.
Meanwhile, the small (or by now rather large) bugger has stolen all of our hearts and to celebrate his first Christmas as part of the family, I baked him a large portion of dog treats. They are super easy to make and his happy tail wagging made it worth the effort ♥
Yield: makes about 50
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
A tasty snack for our four-legged family members.
200 g rolled oats
150 g cottage cheese
100 g liver sausage or pâté
5 tbsp olive oil
Put all the ingredients in a bowl and knead into a smooth dough.
Place the dough on a floured work surface and roll it out evenly. Cut out the desired shape (e.g. little bones) and place them on a baking tray lined with baking paper.
Put the tray into the cold oven, then turn the oven on to 200° C (180° C convection) and bake for 30 minutes.
Allow the treats to cool well and then feed them right away or store in a air tight container for up to 3 weeks.
And now the ultimate taste test… do you think he liked them? Let’s see:
Today it’s all about the gifts! To be more precise: those presents that you already have at home (or will get soon) and the goal is to make them, so to speak, presentable for their upcoming duty as a Christmas gift! I myself love to wrap gifts – especially if you can come up with a little special feature or detail and this way turn the package itself already into an eye-catcher.
Of course, most of us don’t have an endless amount of time, especially in the pre-Christmas period, so the gift wrapping process has to be quick. Fast, easy, uncomplicated. That’s what these cute Thuja Tassels are about! The style is rather minimalistic but also a bit playful and I think they look great on the gifts.
Active Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Wild green put in shape and turned into an enchanting gift decoration!
Take the big branches and break them into smaller bits.
Depending on the desired size, bunch a few of them together. Wrap tightly with the twine around the upper part. Tie the loose ends together and if you want to you can add a small loop.
Cut off the overhanging bits at the top and trim to the desired length from below. Lightly fray with a pair of scissors and the tassel is ready.
Do you have the gifts behind the wrapping paper already sorted or are you still waiting for the right idea?
Do you have special plans for the holidays? Is it just going to be a relaxed party with your closest family or are you planning a big Christmas feast? In any case, it is always important to me to decorate the table nicely. Even if it’s just a few small elements, it makes everything look put together and I just love to decorate.
That’s why I’d like to share a bit of inspiration with you today – maybe you’ll find a few ideas that you’d like to use on your own table this Christmas – there’s still a wee bit of time left. I also have a little DIY for you: Turn simple white porcelain plates into a real eye-catcher on the table with just some black and gold paint and a little time!
Active Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours
With a few brushstrokes and some time you can turn plain white plates into real gems!
white porcelain plates
porcelain color in black and gold
Clean the plates well, so that they are free of dust and grease.
Now mix the two colours (I used THIS and THIS here) in small cups with a little thinner (compatible with the colour) to achieve a watercolor-like consistency.
Apply thin layers of paint and repeat until you get your desired look - lightly let the paint dry in between layers, so it doesn't mix too much.
Let the finished design dry for 24 hours, then bake in the oven according to the manufacturer's instructions to make it durable.
True to the black and gold color scheme, I have put together a table decoration with these pretty plates. Just scroll through the pictures – in between there are also a few links to manufacturers or sources!
In my opinion there are certain flavours that are inextricably linked to experiences, memories or moments. Cinema tastes like popcorn, my children’s birthday tastes like Käse-Sahne-Torte and afternoons after school have the taste of ‘Anna & Kristin’s special pasta’ (maybe I’ll pubish the recipe on here one day 😉).
And Christmas? For me personally, the Christmas season tastes most of all like gingerbread – maybe with a hint of Vanillekipferl (crescent shaped vanilla shortbread) and speculoos. Without gingerbread it just wouldn’t be the same. The nuts, the spices and the chocolate in there ♥ That’s the concentrated flavour of Christmas to me.
Mostly gingerbread just get’s eaten on it’s own, but today I’ll show you a way how to turn gingerbread into a lovely Christmas dessert: piled up layer by layer with a whipped sour cream and fruity cherries to create a marvellous Gingerbread Trifle – here’s the recipe:
Yield: makes about 6
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Additional Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour5 minutes
The taste of Christmas: flavourful gingerbread, sweet cherries and rich vanilla creme.
1 jar of preserved cherries (680g)
1 tbsp cornstarch
2 tbsp sugar
400 g sour cream
200 g cream
50 g vanilla sugar
3-4 large gingerbread with chocolate glaze (ideally German-Style Lebkuchen)
Drain the jar of cherries, collecting the cherry juice in a saucepan. Remove about 4 tablespoons of the juice, pour it into a small bowl and stir together with the starch until smooth. Bring the remaining juice to a boil together with 2 tablespoons of sugar. Stir the starch mixture into the boiling juice, simmer briefly until it thickens and then remove from heat. Finally, add cherries back in and let everything cool well.
Meanwhile, put sour cream, cream and vanilla sugar in a large bowl and whip up with a hand mixer until it's thick and creamy.
Finely chop the gingerbread. Now alternately put a layer of gingerbread in a dessert glass, then some sour cream, next some cherries and then again a layer of sour cream. Finally top with gingerbread and serve.
AND NOW THE GIVEAWAY:
Today you can win 1 packet of gingerbread from Pfeffer & Frost – the finest Elisenlebkuchen that come in a really pretty box!
Pfeffer & Frost is a young start-up from Nuremberg: the two founders behind it, Jannik & Tillman, are real gingerbread fans and came up with the idea to create a modern packaging for the old-established Elisenlebkuchen – and they succeeded! Sturdy cardboard and a biodegradable foil protect and keep the gingerbread fresh; the colourful and lovingly illustrated design by London artist Alec Doherty makes the box a real collector’s item! The edition is limited and next year they will come in a whole new look.
The content of the box is just as amazing! Baked by hand in a traditional Nuremberg bakery and brimming with good ingredients: fine almonds, sweet marzipan and delicious hazelnuts – this turns the gingerbread into a real taste experience!
The great design of the boxes is something you can see in the photos, the taste you can unfortunately only imagine … but that can change, because I’m going give one of them to a lucky winner!
HOW TO ENTER:
You can participate by commenting on this post, via Facebook and on Instagram – you can thus secure 1 entry on each platform (that a maximum of 3 entries per participant). My question is the same everywhere: Which is your favourite Lebkuchen style – chocolate glazed, with icing or au naturelle?
The raffle starts on 08.12.2018 at 8:00 and ends on 12.12.2018 at 23:59 (CET).
Eligible are readers from Germany, who are at least 18 years old.
Participation is via the submission of a comment on the blog and under the corresponding on Facebook and Instagram posts.
The raffle is not affiliated with Facebook / Instagram and is not sponsored or organized by Facebook / Instagram in any way.
Today I want to share another super easy to make gift idea with you: Colourful Pom Pom Coasters! They protect the table from unsightly scratches or water stains and are incredibly cute at the same time.
Maybe you can tell, I have fallen a little bit in love with those happy coasters and would really like to keep them all to myself. Fortunately, it’s so very easy to make mor of them so nobody will miss out!
Pom Pom Coasters
Active Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Colourful, fluffy and a fast to make gift idea!
Cork coasters or a cork mat
Pom Poms (about 100 pieces à 10mm for 1 coaster with 10cm Ø)
Either you use ready-made cork coasters or you get yourself a cork mat about 5 mm thick, from which you then cut out circles in your desired size.
And then it's already time to glue! Heat up the hot glue gun and lay out a bunch of pom poms in front of you. Then put some hot glue on the pom pom and press it onto the cork. It's best to work from the outside in, until the surface is completely covered.
Have you already got all of the Christmas presents you want to gift this year or do you prefer to take some more time to think about it?
I’m a big fan of homemade presents – both on the receiving and giving end. Sure, sometimes we all want a special something – this great new cookbook, a nice watch or the lovely perfume you’ve always wanted. But on the whole, I like homemade gifts so much better. Simply because it shows that you have thought about it & taken your time to come up with something special for the recipient.
Tomorrow is the day of Saint Nicolas in Germany, the day when he pays you a visit and fills your boots with wee presents if you left them outside the night before. This is of course a great opportunity to gift your loved ones a wee something. How about this beautiful & very easy to make turban-style hairband? You’ll only need a bit of fabric and ideally a sewing machine – if you don’t have one you can obiviously sew by hand as well, it will just take a bit longer then.
Which material you use is completely up to you, but ideally it should be at least somewhat stretchy, so that the finished hairband fits comfortably. Below, I also have a great video tutorial on this project from the lovely Eliza – watching her make one makes it so much easier to understand the steps.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Active Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Give this old piece of fabric a new life and turn it into a pretty hairband in a few simple steps!
2 pieces of fabric with the dimensions 16 × 56 cm
Sewing machine, needles & thread
Pins & scissors
Fold the cut fabric pieces along the long side and sew together the open side with a zigzag stitch.
Now turn the fabric strips inside out so that the seam is now inside.
Place one of the strips on the table with the seam facing up and the smooth side down.
Now put the second strip over it like a cross. This time the seam points down and the smooth side up.
Now bring the two opposite ends together in pairs, so that it forms a kind of knot in the middle.
Now fold everything in the middle so that all 4 ends are on top of each other.
Sew the 4 layers together with a straight stitch, cut off excess threads and your hairband is finished.
TIP: If you want the seam in the back to be invisible, you should definitely watch the video Eliza's video tutorial. There she shows how a hidden seam works - it's pretty difficult to show in photos only, but it's actually quite simple.
Try it – it’s really super easy to make and I think the hairbands are so nice and cosy, especially now that temperatures outside dropped quite a bit. I’m looking forward to the hairband I made of fleece keeping my ears warm and toasty <3
Do you like sewing and who would you give sone of those hairbands to?
especially in the run up to Christmas it is nice to meet up with friends and acquaintances for coffee and spend some nice hours together. Talk about what’s new, reminisce on old memories or exchange ideas about this years Christmas presents. The latter I always find fascinating, because it is so interesting to see how other people gift. One person might be more of the last-minute type while another is a crafter and creator. Maybe they will even have tips for you for particularly great gifts – who knows?
For these occasions, I always find it nice to bring the host a little something. A nice thing to bring is, for example, small Stollen (German fruit bread) in a jar! It is quick to prepare and gets baked directly in small screw top jars, so after baking you just put on the lid, let it seal and this way preserve it for a few weeks.
Stollen in a Jar
Yield: makes 5
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
An ideal small present for your Christmas host but also great to prepare and then just eat by yourself!
150 g margarine
200 g sugar
500 g flour
1 packet baking soda (~2 tsp)
2 tbsp milk (or if you like the flavour: rum)
125 g dried cranberries
100 g chopped almonds
5 small screw top jars à 230 ml
Grease the small jars, dust them with bread crumbs and preheat the oven to 175° C.
Beat margarine, sugar and eggs together until creamy, then stir in the quark. Mix flour and baking powder and add it to wet ingredients together with some milk. Knead until combined, then add the cranberries and almonds and mix until evenly distributed.
Divide the dough and fill the jars about 2/3 full, then press down the dough lightly. Bake in the preheated oven for 40-45 minutes. Immediately sprinkle the hot cake in the jars with plenty of powdered sugar, then screw on the lid immediately and allow to cool completely.
Stored in a cool and dry place, the Stollen will keep fresh for 2-3 weeks.
What do you like to gift your host when you’re invited somewhere?