Thursday, October 26, 2006

All the way from Australia

I`m so moved that I`m speechless & I`ve got a big, big smile on my face today... And it`s all thanks to my sweet friend Kali. Words cannot describe how grateful I am & thank you wouldn`t be enough but thank you is all I can come up with right now :-)

Today when I walked out to the mailbox, the loveliest surprise was waiting for me. This parcel came all the way from Australia to my mailbox...

There`s so much goodies in this parcel & I`m so excited about each and every one of them! I hope that I`ve got them all on photo and that I haven`t forgot any of it...

Everytime I write something in this notebook, I`ll think of you Kali :-)

I`ve been meaning to get a new adress book, buy it`s been one of those things that intend to do & then forget about it... How did you now that Kali? :-) It so pretty & I had to take a photo of one of the inside pages as well. And the book is full of pages like that.

Isn`t this gorgeous? I think it will look perfect in my bedroom, beside my mirror where I can hang my necklaces or something like that...

This is so beautiful in itself but it actually hide some more treasures inside it! I couldn`t believe it when I found more lovely things...

The Fragrant Sachets smells wonderful & I adore the picture.

I remember how I loved this rabbit when Kali showed pictures of it & now she`s moved in here :-) It`s amazing!

Love it, love it, love it... Everything is so wonderful!

Monday, October 23, 2006

Pearls & Paper

My parcel of pearls and various christmas crafting items finally arrived today! I`m really excited to get crafting and I`m already imagining the jewellery, christmas decorations & christmas cards that I would like to make :-)

I didn`t photograph everything in the parcel but here`s the pearls and some of the paper. Isn`t the images on the paper beautiful? I love the old-fashion look of it & I think it will make lovely christmas cards...

Friday, October 20, 2006

A pumpkin

I`m really trying not to be such a perfectionist & instead focus on how fun and relaxing it is to create things. I`m still experimenting with the sewing machine & this time I made something for Halloween... I figured it would be better to do the Halloween stuff before all the Christmas stuff, it seems to be a more logical order somehow ;-)

If you want to get into the Halloween spirit, take a look at the wonderful things at Potterybarn, Ballard Designs (I love the Spooky Treat Bowl) & Stonewall Kitchen.
And even though it`s not Halloween, sia has a wonderful collection called Delightful autumn.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Wish List: Books

I love to read and books have always been on my wish list every Christmas & Birthday. This year I`m spending most of my days reading classics or other fictional english literature, which is why I`m wishing for non-fiction books instead... I want good books that is well-written, inspiring and difficult to put away. I`m interested in books about houses, interior design, crafting and food but also inspiring biographies, memoirs and history books.

I would be grateful if anyone would like to help me out here! What`s your favourite book when it comes to non-fiction? On a cold winters day, when I`m lying in the sofa under a blanket with a large cup of tea right beside me and a book in my hands - what book should that be? :-)

What`s on my wish list right now:
Anything by Susan Branch but especially Christmas from the heart, Heart of the home: Notes from a Vineyard Kitchen & Vineyard Seasons

Anything from Gooseberry Patch. Doesn`t A Pinch of This, A Dash of That, Country Baking, Gifts for Giving or Old-Fashioned Country Christmas sound wonderful?

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Christmas is coming early this year

I don`t know why, but suddenly I feel like it`s not such a bad thing to get organized and prepare my christmas presents/decorations now instead of a couple of days before Christmas Eve... It`s a strange feeling, knowing that I`ve got plenty of time to do it. Strange but pleasant! :-)

Here`s a Christmas decoration that I made the other day, mainly as an experiment since I haven`t used the sewing machine for years.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Cupcake decorating

There`s a lot of food posts right not but I wanted to take my favourites with me & now I feel like I should at least write something new about food too ;-)

I believe I`ve already mentioned that I`ve got a thing for cupcakes? That is, I`ve got a thing for reading about them (especially blogs, my favourites are 52 Cupcakes & Cupcake Bakeshop), looking at beautiful pictures of them, things with painted cupcakes on them & so on... And this weekend I gave decorating cupcakes a try & I very much enjoyed it!
Now to the strange bit - when it comes to eating them, I`m not that excited. The cupcakes I`ve eaten so far has been to sweet for me (I`m more into savoury muffins) and even though this probably is a good thing (for my teeths and my weight that is) I would like to find something between savoury muffins and sweet cupcakes. Any ideas?

Chocolate Chip Cookies

I found this recipe only a couple of weeks ago but I`ve already used it twice. They were very popular & I enjoyed baking them too, but who wouldn`t like the smell of newly-baked cookies or the taste of chocolate chips that melt in your mouth? ;-)

100 g margarine (softened)
1 dl brown sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla sugar
1 egg
2 dl wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
100 g dark chocolate
50 g hazelnuts

Preheat the oven to 200°C.

Put margarine, brown sugar & vanilla sugar in a bowl and use the electric mixer to stir it together.
Add the egg and make sure to mix it well.
Combine wheat flour, baking powder & salt. Then add this mixture to the margarine-mixture.
Chop the chocolate & the hazelnuts and stir into the cake mixture.

Take a tablespoon of the mixture for each cookie and place it on a baking plate with a baking cloth/oven paper on it. Bake for approx. 10 minutes and then let them cool off.

Bread with brie, pistachio & honey

This is a delicious snack (or an appetizer) which is really simple to make. The bread gets nice and crisp, the brie and the honey melt together into a tasty combination & the pistachio nut adds some salt to all the sweetness. It`s simply mouth watering!

A slice of white bread, a slice of brie, a pistachio nut & a sprinkle of buoyant honey to finish it of. Then into the oven for as long as it takes for the brie to melt.

Salmon & potatoes

Today I cooked one of my favourite dishes - Salmon & potatoes. This is a recipe I associate with summer evenings & eating dinner out on the porch...

Salmon with lime & ginger butter
600 gr Salmon fillet
Salt & pepper
1 lime (peel & juice)
2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
50 gr butter
The salmon is baked in foil packages. Take 1 piece of salmon and put it on a piece of foil, season it with salt & pepper and then put a pat of lime & ginger butter on the salmon.
The lime & ginger butter is made out of the peel and the juice from one lime, the grated ginger & the butter which is all whisked together.
Wrap the package together and put in in the oven (225°C for about 10-15 minutes) or on the outdoor grill.

Boiled potatoes with olive oil, parsley & dill
800 gr potatoes
3 tablespoons olive oil
½ dl finely chopped parsley and dill
Peel (not necessary when using new potatoes) and boil the potatoes and let the water run off. Then add the olive oil, parsley and dill & stir it together.

Basil & Sundried Tomato Muffins

I like muffins and especially savoury muffins which I think is perfect as breakfast for those lazy weekend mornings when I`ve got time to treat myself with something special. To wake up knowing that I`m not in any hurry & then making myself some muffins to eat together with a hot cup of coffee - that`s a nice way to start off the day!

I got this delicious recipe from Kali.

Basil & Sundried Tomato Muffins
Makes 1 dozen
3 cups self raising flour (sifted)
1/2 cup roughly torn basil leaves
1/4 cup chopped sun dried tomatoes
2 tablespoons sugarfreshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup salad oil
1 egg, beaten
1 1/4 cups milk
Combine the first five ingredients. Beat oil, egg and milk together and pour over dry ingredients. Stir just enough to dampen the dry ingredients, spoon into well-greased muffin pans. Bake 18-20 minutes at 200 degrees celsius or until well risen and brown.

Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie

I was a little worried at first because I really don`t get on with pies & cakes, don`t ask me why (but my I guess my cooking skills is not as great as I would wish them to be). Last time I tried to make a cake it was a plain simple cheesecake recipe and my intention was to serve it as a dessert at the dinner party I was throwing. I won`t go into details but I had to use my backup plan & serve the icecream instead. Maybe it would have been better if I had tried the recipe before the day of the dinner party, but we learn from our mistakes don`t we? Well, I don`t.

I found the recipe of the Strawberry-Rhubarb pie in Country Living and promised to serve it as a dessert at our family`s Midsummer celebration. That was on Friday. When did I try the recipe for the first time? Friday.
Luckily for me, it was a really simple recipe & even though I revised it a little (I used a little more of the strawberries & a little less of the rhubarb) it was well appreciated by the family.

Grandma`s Pie Dough
Yields: 4 single crusts Prep Time: 10 minutes Total Time: 10 minutes

4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 3/4 cups cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 egg (extra large)

Combine the flour, salt, and sugar in a large bowl. Cut in the butter using a pastry blender or your fingers until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Whisk the vinegar, egg, and 1/2 cup of ice water together and mix into the flour mixture with your hands until just combined. Transfer to a clean work surface, and gently press to form a dough. Divide the dough into 4 equal parts. Shape each into a ball, flatten slightly to form a disk, and wrap in plastic. Chill for at least 1 hour.
Timesaver: Keep extra dough frozen until ready to use. Allow two days to thaw in the refrigerator.

Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie
Yields: One 9-inch pie (about 8 servings) Prep Time: 20 minutes Cook Time: 45 to 55 minutes Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

2 disks Grandma`s Pie Dough (1/2 recipe)
1 1/3 pounds rhubarb, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/3 pound strawberries, hulled and halved
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour

Heat the oven to 375° F. Roll out one disk of dough on a lightly floured surface to 1/8-inch thickness, and transfer to a 9-inch pie pan. Set aside and keep chilled. Roll the remaining dough to 1/8-inch thickness and cut slits or use a miniature star cutter to create vents. Combine the rhubarb, strawberries, sugar, and flour in a large bowl, and transfer to the prepared pie pan; drape the rolled-out dough over the pie. Trim the edges of both crusts, leaving a 1/2- inch overhand. Fold the dough under, lightly pinching to seal the top and bottom crusts. Crimp around the rim and chill for 10 minutes. Bake on the center shelf of the oven until golden brown — 45 to 55 minutes. Cool on wire rack.
If you can't find fresh, use frozen rhubarb from the grocer's freezer section.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

More about me

I want to have a life where there`s always room for friends & family, where there`s always time for a cup of tea and one of my favourite savoury muffins, where there`s always a loving hug to get & where there`s a peaceful comforting atmosphere.
I want to live well, laugh often & love much.

Of course, the things I do and the things I like are all connected to these wishes...

I like things that have a country-, shabby chic-, danish-, english cottage- or New England kind of style... I`m looking for cozy things that look like they could belong in a country home, which doesn`t have to rule out all things modern but I do fall for pretty much anything with a old, rustic look to it :-)

Yankee Candles, Party Lite, Country Living, Nicholas Sparks, Country Living UK, Tamara McKinley, Jojo Moyes, Katie Fforde, Susan Branch, Joanne Fluke, Rebecca Lavelle, Cath Kidston, Shabby chic, Norah Jones, sia, Steven Curtis Chapman, Old Houses