presents

Linzer Christmas Tree Cookies


Here is a recipe for some easy and decorative Christmas cookies.  Merry Christmas everyone ♥

You need:  600 g flour, 220 g icing sugar (plus some for decorating), 4 egg yolks, 1 tsp vanilla essence, 400 g butter, raspberry jam

Combine all ingredients (except for the jam) to a dough and refrigerate for at least half an hour. Roll out the dough to about 5 mm and cut out shapes with a cookie cutter of your choice.

Punch holes or shapes into half the cookies before baking. Bake at 180 degrees for 8-12 minutes, or until the edges start to brown.

Remove from oven and allow to cool for at least 15 minutes. Spread some raspberry jam on the cookies without holes, and sprinkle some icing sugar over the cookies with holes. Combine the two parts carefully to avoid the icing sugar falling on the jam, so that the cut-out shapes stay bright red.


Mother’s Day thoughts


My daughters really wanted to buy me some presents for Mother’s Day. They wanted to buy me books, because they know how much I love them. However after thinking about the commercial side of Mother’s Day, I didn’t want them to fall into such a consumer trap so early in their lives.

So I told them I didn’t want anything from a store for Mother’s Day. I said I would be happy to just sit on the balcony, in the sun, and drink coffee with daddy, while I watch them play downstairs in the garden (that really is my favourite way to spend any free time). They were a bit confused, but quickly accepted my request.

And then they went off to make me the sweetest gift. A handmade heart and and a written invitation to the lovely new cafe down the street, which they know I really want to, but didn’t have time to go to yet. It really made me happy.


Fun for kids: Easter eggs and bunnies in miniature watering cans


This year I’m totally hopeless with Easter. Unexpected work, travel and a long lingering flu prevented me from doing the preparations I normally love to do weeks in advance. So, when I went to the Supermarket yesterday to do my last minute Easter shopping I still had not thought about what I would use as Easter egg nests.

The little baskets I used in the previous years were somewhere in a box in the attic and finding them would have probably taken me at least an hour, which I didn’t really have to spare. But then I saw these little watering cans in the flower section – reduced to 50 cents- and I instantly had the idea of using them instead of the baskets.

So I went home, cleaned them and filled them for my little nephew and my daughters. The nice thing is the watering cans can be used during spring and summer to water little freshly planted seeds, or they can be used as little flower pots to plant cress, or other small sprouts or herbs. A perfect gardening toy for little children. Happy Easter to you all !


Spring decoration: Candy twigs


I always wanted to be able to build a nest like a bird, just to put it on the table or somewhere else as a decoration. Maybe that’s why I always start to collect the little twigs from the birch trees in front of our house, as soon as they come down with the first spring storm.

So far I have decorated presents with them or made wreaths with spring flowers, but today I had a different idea. I was inspired by all the beautiful things I had seen on pinterest, especially this one.

I used Haribo Pico-Balla because of their nice colours and their perfect small size. Their soft centers can be gently pushed onto the little protruding bits of the twigs and they just stay there like magic.

candy easter twigs decorated


Potato Stamps


Do you remember being told not to play with food when you were a child? Well, this is one occasion were you can ignore this rule. Making potato stamps is such fun and when you use your stamps to make cards you actually save some money as well.

We used a little trick to create even shapes. Just cut away the top third of the potato and then punch a cookie cutter into it and remove the bits around the cookie cutter with a knife. It works best with big potatoes and small cookie cutters.

Once everything is removed carefully lift off the cookie cutter and you have a beautiful stamp. We used our stamps to make a card for our new little cousin and niece Mia in Australia.


Presents for children: Candy in Jars


This is a present I made for my little nephew. The miniature glass containers fit perfectly into the shelves of the wooden market stand he got from us as a combined birthday and Christmas present. I filled the containers with miniature candies, mainly from Haribo Starmix (my favourite) and some smarties. The Starmix candy is really cute. It comes in little bags and consists of miniature hearts, coca cola bottles, little rings and sunny side up fried eggs. It is also a nice decoration for cupcakes and cakes.

L1L2DSC_0269