Monday, 31 December 2012

Happy New Year!

This will be my New Year's resolution.


I wish you all a happy New Year's Eve. I'm already slaving in the kitchen and looking expectantly at my bottle of red wine. Let's all start 2013 in the best of ways...
and see you next year!

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Merry Christmas!

All is ready now... Have a Merry Christmas everyone!

all photos by me

Thursday, 20 December 2012

White inspiration by Kim Timmerman

Today I'm loving these beautiful white interiors from the portfolio of stylist Kim Timmerman.

all images via 

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Glass Bottles

Today's obsession: big glass bottles with simple flower arrangements or twigs.
(and a bright interior...I need light!)

image via 
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Thursday, 13 December 2012

Christmas Chocolate Biscuits

These last two weeks I've been spending my time between baking and running outside every time it starts snowing. And I mean that literally! I drop my oven mittens, put on my new gorgeous, baby blue,wellington boots and go out to try catching the snow flakes with my face. For me, snow is still something new and exciting and I've been learning a lot about it. First of all, I learned that if I keep moving back and forth, from a warm oven to a frozen terrace, I will get a nasty cold...snif...snif. But that was totally worth it. I've seen snow I could shape and play with, snow that feels like sand and snow that was frozen and no fun at all. And I learned that there is a thing called "black ice" that is difficult to see and extremely slippery and that I need to be careful not to fall on my behind when I walk on it.

Now, this post isn't about snow but it all started on a snowy evening, when I was snuggling on my sofa, under a duvet, watching Nigella Lawson's special Christmas cooking program on TV. Amongst other delicious things, she started making these chocolate biscuits and it was love at first sight. When I saw that dough I KNEW I had to make them. And I'll say it again... it was when I saw the dough, not the actual biscuits... which probably means I have been baking way to much this last year! So I got up, "googled" the recipe (which you can see here) and it seemed simple enough for me.

These biscuits are not too sweet and they have a crunchy, sandy texture that I love (but if you have kids or a man at home that will mean lots of crumbs all over the place). The first batch I made ended up not having any sort of topping because I run out of confectioners sugar and this was at mid-night. But they were so delicious that they all disappeared before I had time to go buy more sugar. So I made another batch and today I tried the topping on half of them. I think they are pretty damn good to eat without the toppings, and the chocolate topping is a bit too sweet for my taste, but they do look more festive for the holiday season if you add a bit of colourful sprinkles and sparkles on top.

[updated] After I posted this recipe I gave one of the biscuits with topping to Emil, who had just gotten back home from work, to try. He said and I quote: "The topping distracts from the awesomeness of the biscuit". I couldn't have said it better and completely agree, so even though it looks pretty there will be no more toppings for me!

I made a few small changes so I'll leave you here the adapted recipe (most of the description was copied from the original recipe since I still find it hard to explain this things in English at times).

For the biscuits:
250g butter (soft)
150g confectioners sugar (caster sugar in the original)
40g cocoa powder
300g plain flower
3/4 tea spoon baking powder
a pinch of salt (the original recipe says bicarbonate of soda but  that thing leaves a weird after taste)

For the topping:
2 table spoons cocoa powder
175g confectioners sugar 
60ml water (boiling)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
sprinkles of your choice

Pre-heat the oven to 170.C Cover 2 oven trays with cooking paper. 

Cream the butter and sugar in a bowl. Add the cocoa powder and mix well. Add the flour with the salt and baking powder and keep mixing. I used my electric mixer for this and after adding the flour I got a very lumpy mixture so I finished it with my hands.

Pinch of pieces from the dough, about the size of a big walnut, roll them into balls, and then slightly flatten into fat discs as you place them, well spaced, on your baking sheet (more or less 12 biscuits per tray)
The original recipe said that this dough was very sticky, but mine wasn't! Which I thought it was just perfect because I hate dough glued to my fingers. This was very, very easy to shape...oh, and delicious to eat!

Bake for 15 min. It won't feel as if they have had enough time but they will continue to cook as they cool. And they will get harder, so don't panic if they feel mushy as getting out of the oven. Let them cool on a cold surface before moving to the topping.

To make the topping, put all the ingredients, except the sprinkles, into a small sauce pan and whisk over a low heat until everything is smoothly combined. The original recipe says to leave it for 10 min, but my chocolate wasn't to warm to start with so I started topping the biscuits immediately. 

Ice 6 biscuits at a time with one table spoon of chocolate and then the sprinkles and let it cool completely.

And that's it! Easy no? And the best part is that they aren't really part of mine or Emil's Christmas traditions so I feel free to make them all year round :)

Merry Christmas and enjoy! 

all photos by me

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Scandinavian Christmas Inspiration

When I starting seeing all the black&white and neutral decorations for Christmas, that have been available for more than a month all over the blogs and pinterest, I thought they were very beautiful, perfect for my taste in general but ...maybe... just not completely Christmassy?! 

Then it snowed on the 1st of December and everything has been white outside since then. And all of a sudden all that white, the simple decorations, the bare branches in simple vases, make perfect sense to me. It's like a reflection of what's going on outside.

I'm loving my white Christmas.

image via Walther&Co
image via Nordic Design
image via Nordic Design
image via Nordic Design
image via Kamer26
image via Trettien[31]
image via Weekday Carnival
image via Cox&Cox
image via April and May
via April and May

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Sweet Paul Magazine - Winter

The winter edition of Sweet Paul Magazine brings us not only the usual delicious food recipes but also a few "recipes" for decorating our homes for Christmas. 
And, as always, with beautiful images that I couldn't resist sharing.

all images via Sweet Paul Magazine

Monday, 3 December 2012

Christmas Decorations

This year, inspired by all the images posted on blogs I follow and on Pinterest, I have been wanting some simple black and white Christmas decorations. So I decided to go with an easy and cheap DIY on a corner of my living room. I got the definition of December from Pinterest, the little Christmas trees pattern is from Fine Little Day, and the advent calendar was quickly made by myself on my computer (using washi tape to "cut" the days).

all photos by me

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