Thursday, December 31, 2009
Wishing all of you a sparkling and shiny New Year with all your wishes coming true!
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
The Animal On Your Teeth
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
and longed to jump into the hot springs pool afterwards. Can you spot it?
Monday, December 28, 2009
Sunday, December 27, 2009
And the Lucky Winner is...
Saturday, December 26, 2009
Mobile Broadband Killed the Video Star
Friday, December 25, 2009
C is for Christmas. And Charity. And Cosmetics.
In order to avoid too much waste of wrapping paper, I wrapped my Mum's and maternal granny's presents in a similar accumulatory fashion, reducing it to one package each. Other people did not stick to that rule and so it was the usual sight, post gift-unwrapping:
Isn't it beautiful?
Before you think I have suddenly renounced all vain pleasures - I got lots of beauty-related stuff from friends and relatives (notably cousins) in Vienna - yay!Chiquita and Amica (book) also provided fodder for my current japanophile phase. Another yay!
I spent Christmas Day reading the German translation of Fun Home (one of the best books EVER in my opinion) which was among the books I gave my Mum and the first BRIGITTE with only lay models. In case you live in Germany and are wondering: Austrians get always get it 5 days before the official issue date in Germany. I also brought a stash of books to KLU, but want to read through some magazine backlog such as the ART magazine my parents have a subscription of, before. Another tradition...
Thursday, December 24, 2009
PS: The small "onemorehandbag merchandise prize" is still up for grabs and competition is not exactly fierce at this stage...
Monday, December 21, 2009
Sunday, December 20, 2009
Friday, December 18, 2009
Matcha (Christmas) Cookies
The recipe produced about one sheet of filled, i.e. double-tiered, and one of plain cookies.
The whole decororation-thing was actually just an excuse the mape-leave shaped food-cutter (I assume it's used for fish-paste or other savoury food rather than for marzipan in Japan) I bought at a grocery market near the famous Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo. The little thing was surprisingly expensive. I can't remember the exact price, but it cost more than € 10.
1 heaped teaspoon of matcha powder
400g flour (plain)
Ingredients (marzipan decorations)
1 heaped teaspoon of matcha powder
Knead the marzipan with the matcha powder and a bit of icing sugar, wrap with clingfilm and store in a cool place (or the fridge) until you need it.
Preheat your oven to 200° (fan setting: 180°) Cut off half of the dough. It will probably be rock-solid when you take it out of the fridge, but this is normal. Leave for some minutes until soft enough to knead through. Roll out on a floured surface and use your favourite cookie cutters to cut out nice shapes. When all the dough has been used, work with the remaining half. Bake for 10 mins approx and be careful that the surface does not get too brown. Actually, it should not get brown at all as we want (pale) green to be the dominant colour. I used greengage jam as a filling for some of mine, but they actually taste nice plain as well.
Roll the marzipan out with some icing sugar to prevent it from sticking to your worktop and cut out small shapes. My Japanese cutter thingie was actually quite tricky as I had to get out the little shapes with the aid of my pinkie. If the marzipan sticks to the cookies on its own, fine. If not (as was the case with mine) use a tiny bit of jam as "glue".
Store in a tin between layers of greaseproof-paper and leave to soften for a couple of days.
Thursday, December 17, 2009
The Great (Well...) Onemorehandbag.com Christmas Giveaway
Much to the chagrin of the Empress and M.C. who were actually far more excited about my little crafts project than the actual recipients, people who are a) related to me or b) work in the same office with me are not eligible to enter the...tadah...great Onemorehandbag.com Christmas Giveaway.
If you want the little bag, all you have to do is leave a comment telling me what kind of (hand)bag you would get if money were no issue. Closing date: December 26. The lucky winner will be chosen using random.org
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Monday, December 14, 2009
Pomegranate Aperitif and Advent Idyll
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Happy Hunting Grounds
My Dad could not face burying him in the garden (like our last cat, A.) or even worse, having him end up in pet food, so had found out about a pet cremation service. The Beast's ashes will be scattered in the garden. His garden, which he was the undisputed king of.
The Beast, who from the very beginning was very much my Dad's cat, lived with my parents for 15 years. If I remember correctly, he actually was delivered a few days before Christmas December 1994 by a schoolfriend whose cat was the Beast's mother. He was born in September and so was a bit too young to be taken away from this mother already at the end of October as a 50th birthday present for my Dad. The two of them had a particularly symbiotic relationship and were inseparable, but everyone (unless they had a cat allergy) who met him was immediately wooed by his impressive purr and cuddliness.
I hope there are plently of sunny spots to enjoy his beauty sleep in Cat Heaven and many mice and birds to hunt.
Saturday, December 12, 2009
Friday, December 11, 2009
Granny's Traditional Gingerbread
And this is the bronzed outcome (and, no, the rectangles didn't magically morph into hearts during the process of baking, I made a total of 4 trays using different shapes):
200 g sugar
69g lukewarm honey
300 g rye flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 sachet* allspice/ gingerbread spice mix
Mix sugar, honey and eggs and then add the rest. The dough will be very dense and sticky, but that's allright. Leave to rest in your fridge overnight or longer (I usually don't get around to baking until 3 days or so later...). When you take it out of the fridge knead through again and roll out on a flat surface to about 3mm in height. Use cookie cutters dipped in flour to cut out your preferred shapes. Brush with whisked egg white or water and decorate with blanched almonts or candied cherries if you like.
Preheat your oven to 200° and bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown.
Once it has cooled, the gingerbread will be crisp. As we want it to be soft rather than crunchy, we're going to use a little trick. Peel half an apple and cut into thick slices. Take 2 or three and eat the rest. Put the slices between double layers of greaseproof paper and put on top of the cookies in the tin. Leave for 2 days approx. Don't put directly on the gingerbread as the apple's acid and moisture will make it gooey. Don't forget to take out after 2 (3 days max) either, unless you want mouldy apples. This is what it should look like:
The gingerbread will be perfectly soft.
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Recipes for traditional gingerbread and matcha cookies (incl. video tutorial) coming up!
Wednesday, December 09, 2009
SOME People Walk Their Pets on a Leash
Tuesday, December 08, 2009
PS - Matcha Latte
Monday, December 07, 2009
Saturday, December 05, 2009
Orange Christmas baubles of course...
Thursday, December 03, 2009
Wednesday, December 02, 2009
Almost like the Shinkansen
(photo taken with my mobile phone)