Thursday, 18 December 2014

Few more sleeps

#few more sleeps #and then #no work #sleep #eat #read #repeat #paint #play #have fun #relax #puppy time #get cozy #watch christmas movies #milk and cookies #snuggles #blankets #fireplace #christmas tree  #can't wait #bring it on



#love

Monday, 15 December 2014

Christmas baking - HONEY GINGER BREAD (MEDOVNIKY)

Our traditional cookie for Christmas is honey bread which is like gingerbread but instead of golden syrup we use honey in the batter. Some people bake the honey ginger bread for Easter as well. 

The traditional honey cake was previously made with a marzipan topping and the traditional shapes of the cookies were horses, hearts and religious motives using the finest flour and honey (med in Slovak). Marzipan was later replaced with a sugar icing. We ice the cookies with a meringue icing. 


I am sharing a recipe for soft honey ginger bread. If stored in a tin can in cold room, they will stay soft until Christmas. Unless you eat them all. :-)





SUPPLIES

Dough:

- 160 g honey

- 160 g crystal sugar
- 120 g butter (one stick)
- 500 g flour
- 1 tea spoon of baking soda
- 2 tea spoons of grounded cinnamon 
- gingerbread spices package 
- 3 whole eggs (2 for the dough, 1 for glazing before baking)




1. bring the butter + honey + crystal sugar to boil
2. mix the dry ingredients together
3. add the dry ingredients spoon by spoon into hot honey mass ( I used mixer on medium speed)
4. wait until the batter cools down a bit
5. add eggs and work on the batter with your hands to make it evenly mixed
6. let it rest in the fridge for at least two hours (or over night)
8. preheat the oven to 170-180 degrees
7. place baking paper on a tray. using rolling pin, roll the dough until its cca 5 mm thick
9. cut out the honey ginger breads and glaze them with lightly beaten (use fork) egg
10. bake for 10 minutes or less, depends on thickness and your oven




 Meringue icing:

- 2 egg whites 

- 1 cup of icing sugar or powder sugar (sifted)
- lemon juice
- food coloring

1. sift the sugar, boil water in a saucepan 

2. use a bowl that can be put on top of saucepan with water  and beat the egg whites until soft peaks form
3. add the sugar gradually, spoon by spoon and add few drops of lemon (don't let the pips fall into the icing)
4. place the meringue above the hot bath for few minutes ( I did it for 3-5 mins)
5. place the icing into bowls so you can color with color of your choice
6. transfer the icing into plastic bags and decorate the gingerbreads




Sunday, 14 December 2014

SCAVENGER HUNT SUNDAY

SHINY



UNDERNEATH



DECORATIONS - check out the TUTORIAL: EASY CHRISTMAS TREE BIRD ORNAMENTS



FRESH



COLORFUL



LINKED WITH:

Inspire yourself {4} - Christmas cakes DIY

I think that Christmas is a good excuse to go overboard with cake decorating, don't you think? Why not adding an extra touch to make the holiday desserts more decadent? I have searched other blogs and sites and found these 8 amazing recipe tutorials for festive cakes inspiration.



1./ Liebesbotschaft blog has great 3 tutorials on cakes with cookie toppers: ADVENT BAKING


2./ Liebesbotschaft blogWINTER WONDERLAND DIY ONE


3./ Liebesbotschaft blogWINTER WONDERLAND DIY TWO

4./ oh happy day  shared a how to make MARZIPAN TREE CAKE DECORATIONS DIY


5./ chocolateandcarrots created a cake with CHOCOLATE FORREST DIY


6./ stylesweetca created a tutorial for GINGERBREAD HOUSE CAKE


7./ sainsburys magazine has this rich and fancy looking FORREST CAKE


8./ matpaabordet shared snowy CHOCOLATE CAKE WITH MARSHMALLOW TOPPING




So many wonderful cake designs and recipes to pick from. Now I need to decide which one will I try.

Decisions, decisions! :-)

Saturday, 13 December 2014

Tutorial : Christmas cranes origami


I have bought this origami paper almost four years ago while I visited Japan. I didn't want to just use it for whatever origami as it was too precious to me. When Christmas came around I thought that a Crane origami as an ornament would be a great idea.



I have followed this Crane Origami tutorial. I have tried to make few origami before, Kusudama ball included. Some origami is easy and some are more complicated of course. It takes some practice. I am sure that if you follow the instructions, you will get there. And if the cranes are too difficult, there are other origami that you can use instead.



I didn't use any hooks to attach the origami to the tree. I just sat them on the branches and they were fine. My origami paper was quite colorful with lots of different patterns as well so my collection of cranes looks really nice.




I cannot wait to use these on this years Christmas tree!

Thursday, 11 December 2014

Thailand winter beach escape

Does your end of year at work feel almost as if an end of the world is approaching? Mine is. I wish I could pack a bag and fly to an isolated island on a whim. To a coconut trees island with white sand beaches. Just like I did when I went to Koh Samui and Kho Phangan in Thailand for a perfect winter escape.

I have traveled via Thailand for two weeks in a small group of 12 with G Adventures. They do specialize in a small groups travel with different travel styles (as your budget allows). One of the reasons why I have picked them is also because they support the local communities in all of the destinations they take you to and they promote sustainable travel experience as well.

To get to the island we took a three hour ferry ride. The ferry was probably the size of a Titanic. It was quite slow hence it was a leisure way how to see all the other differently shaped islands peeking out of the water before we got to ours.




The first island where we spent couple of nights was Kho Phangan. Our accommodation was a small family run resort that is in secluded part of the island with a private beach. To get there you need either a boat or 4WD car. Let me tell you that it was some bumpy terrain ride through the jungle (while the driver was singing with his loud CD as if it was a karaoke contest). The cars that the G Adventures hire are very new, safe and comfortable vans or jeeps.


The resort where we have stayed comprised of little one bedrooms houses which are located only few meters from the beach. They were all new and clean. The restaurant where you could order breakfast lunch or dinner was directly at the beach.



The resort is surrounded by coconut trees and nothing but coconut trees. I loved it. It was as if I was in my favorite book and me and my friend went on a little photo adventure. The coconuts were everywhere. This is the island where the canned coconut milk and cream you can buy in all of the supermarkets comes from.  





The past time on this island for us was to eat, sleep, swim, snorchel, kayak, play volleyball, read, eat, relax and repeat. We have also hired a boat to go to the other side of the island to the beach where they hold the Full Moon Party. We have missed it by a week but I do not really regret it not attending.



 Once on the other side of the island, we have rented motorbikes for few hours. It was my first time on a bike and I am really glad that I didn't kill myself, I almost did twice. Let me stress how dangerous the motorcycles can be if you have no idea what you are doing. It is something that I will never do without a proper lesson ever again.


Second island we hopped to by a ferry cruise boat was  Koh Samui. This one was much busier and had more people on it than the beach we have stayed on Koh Phangan. On the other hand, I think the beach was nicer, more white sand and the sea color was of intense turquoise shade.


There are also more restaurants right at the beach to pick from. I could finally order a Red Panang curry with coconut milk just as I like it. My favorite Thai drink was watermelon juice. 




If you ever need a destination that is not expensive and offers plenty of  beautiful beaches and friendly service then Thailand is definitely the right place. There are so many islands to pick from and so many variety of travel from adventure, exploring or yoga to family and leisure. 

Maybe I should check out some last minute Christmas offer?  :-)