Tag: Christmas

Oven mitts

We had a lovely visit with Paul’s cousin today. I immediately thought of her when I saw that fabric in the store a little while ago. It is actually not quite as pale as in the picture but rather a light sage tone, and it is covered with the English and Latin names of different fruits and herbs. So I thought it would be perfect for a nice pair of oven mitts. And since it is baking season right now… I hope you’ll have lots of fun with them, Angela! 🤗

A Christmas teepee

Yeehaw! I made a teepee! 😀

Well, I actually made it back in October, but now the big monster finally moved in. The reason why I hid it in the basement for two months is that I didn’t want it to experience the same cruel fate as his cardboard box house earlier this year. Even though I was really close to throwing it out a few times because it was battered so badly, I ended up keeping it until it literally fell apart. It was just so invaluable during those moments where I was cooking and just needed to know the monster was not climbing onto the dining table or living room shelves. And I also thought that the teepee would make for a great Christmas gift, especially to give us more inside playing options for the winter.

I got the fabric at Ikea. I wanted something stable and durable and was happy to find a selection of heavy quality fabrics there. While I don’t love most of their patterns, they also have a few nice solids, so I decided to combine white and dark grey. I chose a hexagonal shape, sewed wide white and grey fabric strips together as walls and cut windows in two of these walls and a long slot in another to be the door. For the dowels I added fabric tunnels along the sides and in order to add some color accents, I trimmed the edges with lime green bias tape.

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Because I wanted the teepee to be as cosy as possible, it also got a floor mat that can be tied to the posts to also give the teepee a little more stability. And the monster was lucky: his new home comes fully furnished with a bunch of pilows. 🙂

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So yesterday, we set up the teepee in our living room. The big monster didn’t try to climb through the windows as I expected… but through the gap between the wall and the floor mat and still almost managed to throw the whole thing over. Oh well…

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This morning we finally succeeded in reading the first book together in there, sitting on the pillows. I hope this will become the main (peaceful!) use of the teepee and it will live a long and healthy life!

And exceptionally a picture of the proud builder… 😉

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Sabine’s Quarkstollen

It is my honor to present you my very first guest post! 🙂

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Since it is the pre-Christmas season, we wanted to make Stollen, a traditional German Christmas bread. And Sabine was so kind to share her recipe. So here it is!

This is what you need:

  • 3/4 cup (150 g) sugar
  • vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 cup (150 g) soft butter
  • 1 cup (250 g) quark
  • 2.5 cups (500 g) raisins
  • 1 cup (150 g) crushed almonds
  •  3/4 cup (100 g) mixed peel
  •  3 cups (500 g) flour
  •  2.5 tsp baking powder
  •  1/2 cup (100 g) melted butter
  •  icing sugar

This is what you do:

Preheat the oven to 355°F (180°C). Mix the sugar, a dash of vanilla extract and the eggs (photo 1), then add the butter (photo 2) and the quark (photo 3).

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Mix in the raisins, almonds (photo 4) and the mixed peel (photo 5).

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Sift in the flour and the baking powder (photo 6), then knead with your hands and make a loaf (photo 7).

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Bake for 70 min on the middle rack. Brush on melted butter several times while baking. Sift lots of icing sugar over your Stollen directly after taking it out of the oven (photo 8). Let cool, then wrap in aluminum foil and let the Stollen sit for 2-3 weeks in a plastic bag.1512_Stollen_07

Cut into slices and enjoy, with a cup of hot chocolate, punch or Glühwein for example! 🙂

We made the Stollen about a week ago and didn’t feel like waiting for another week before trying it, but already opened the bundle this weekend. And it was really delicious!

Even though some of the ingredients are slightly different than in Germany, we tried to stick closely to Sabine’s recipe. The only difference: the mixed peel was a bit chunky, so we cut it into smaller bits using my hand blender, and we made two small loaves instead of one big one.

So, thank you very much again, Sabine!! 🙂