Samstag, Dezember 31, 2011

Happy New Year

This year has rushed so fast by -I cannot believe it already is the last day of the year.
In Swabia, we love our bakeries and varieties of bread, rolls and cakes. And the days before New Year is the season  when bakeries sell something really traditional : Neujahrsbrezeln.  They look somewhat like gigantic Brezels but they taste completely different to normal brezels and have no salt on it.
The dough is a yeast dough  similar to the one for Hefezopf and is slightly sweet, not salty and you can enjoy it with some butter. In the old days every family made their own Neujahrsbrezeln, but nowadays people buy it a their bakery or if they are "Reingeschmeckte" (people not born in Swabia) they often don't even know about this custom  For me the smell and taste of Neujahrsbrezeln is a taste of my childhood.
Today I remember how I loved making New Year's Brezels with my Mum so I decided to have a go at making some with my little princess. I have to admit that I am not on friendly terms regarding yeast dough as it seems to have a mind on its own and never looks like I want it to look and I am always afraid it might turn out really dry .
Actually it was really easy and plaiting the New Year's Brezel was fun. We started in the middle and I did one side and Little Princess did the other side.
Even though it doesn't look perfect at all we were really proud of our first Neujahrsbrezeln . My Neujahrsbrezel actually is a bit on the small side because I don't want to eat the same Brezel for days(like we had  to in our childhood) so I only used 500 gram of flour instead of a whole kilo and went for three little ones instead of just one gigantic one.
So with the sweet smell of childhood baking wafting through our flat I am wishing you a Happy New Year-may it bring you peace and happiness and lots of culinary adventures.

Sonntag, Dezember 25, 2011

Best Christmas gift ever

This year I  got the best Christmas gift ever. Some days ago a huge blue parcel with stars arrived from this years Nekobento Secret Santa. I had been waiting for that parcel for days. So there it was sitting on my table. what a big parcel what might be in it? And isn't that already such a pretty parcel from the outside-oh I wonder what wonders it might hold on the inside. No,it can't be-it was  like the parcel was  whispering, no more like shouting to me "open me at once, open me, come on open me". Days passed and day by day we kept coming back behold the beauty of that parcel.
Just when we couldn't possibly wait any longer Christmas arrived and you should have seen us rushing  to that parcel. I was so anxious: will I like it?Will there be nice card or letter? Will it be wrapped with tissue paper or with gift paper? Has everything arrived safe or is it all broken?
So when all the rush and excitement had cooled down there we were standing right in front of the parcel and suddenly I was anxious to make the first step and open it. Would I like it?
Oh, my God it turned out to be the best Christmas gift and parcel I ever got. My secret Santa fryda has gone out of her way to pack zillions of cute nice individually wrapped tiny parcels and to nice cards as well. We were "oh" and "ahh" the whole time because one was better than the other and we couldn't believe how lucky we were.Thank you so much fryda, it is the best Christmas gift I ever got and I really appreciate all the love and time that has gone into it. I don't know how she did it, but she got me just the most amazing parcel with lots of homemade stuff:

I never have tried Matcha before, but was really keen on it so fryda made me some Matcha truffles-don't they lool gorgous? I just love that colour. But there was even more Matcha for me: a homemade Matcha cookie baking mix along with a card with a detailed recipe, some Matcha powder to taste, seeds for Shiso and Mitsuba (as I love gardening and cannot get fresh Shiso or Mitsuba here), Anko(always wanted to try that), homemade peanut curry furikake( we got two jars but we already munched away on of them-absolutely delicious, I need to get that recipe and make some more), Scottish biscuits and English tea as I am so homesick for England and enjoy a good cup of tea and as I am absolutely crazy about chestnuts fryda made me some chestnut cream. But one of the first things we opened was the surprise parcel for my Little One: fyrda got her the ultimate Xmas gift: her very own first bento box. You should have seen her face. The happiest little princess ever. she is so proud to finally have a bento box as well.
So by now you certainly agree: I have got the best Secret Santa ever. Thanks fryda so much.
And go check out her lovely blog

Donnerstag, Dezember 15, 2011

Post from Casabento

Actually I still have countless pictures of bento gear I got during the last two years that  I want to share with you. But I think I will start with the most recent one. As I have never ordered from Casa&Bento before  I was a bit anxious how it would work out. It worked out all fine, everything was neatly packed.
Here are some sneak views of the parcel. I will post some more detailed photos after Xmas as the parcel also contained a Xmas gift for Little Princess and a gift item for this year's Secret Santa at nekobento. So I still have to keep some things secret.

Busy weeks running up to Xmas

 November and December have been passing so fast, I don't know where all the time has gone. I have been so busy at uni and at work that I have resorted to cooking large quantities of food and freezing them.
When I am stressed and tired and cold nothing works better magic than heating up some home cooked soup.
This autumn and winter I have gone through some soup crazes: first it was pumpkin and carrot soup, than some hearty potato soup and for the two last weeks I have been crazy about chestnut soup.
The picture of the Xmas cookies above actually dates from November. I have been so busy this month that I outsourced all the other Xmas cookie baking to my sister. She and Little Princess have become some Xmas cookies baking champions- and I get to enjoy the Xmas cookies without any stress.
Actually, I was wondering what your favourite dish is for the cold season? And have you incorporated winter dishes and winter vegetables such as parsnips, cabbage, chestnuts,...into your bento? I am still looking for some inspiration on how to do that.

Cupcake dream in pink

So back in November I was the lucky winner of A76's Giveaway and I still haven't shown you what actually was in that parcel. And A76 even added two extras for my little princess. Little princess and me where overwhelmed, so much pink and girly stuff. A big thanks to A 76.