Thursday, December 5, 2013
The fiance and I traded gifts on the four Sunday's leading up to Christmas last year but this year we're sharing gifts on the twenty four days leading up to Christmas. The fiance prepared 12 or so things and I prepared the other half. A third of the gifts are edible items, a third are things, and a third of them are activities and all of them are meant to be shared and enjoyed by the both of us.
We've kept the calendar pretty simple again this year. We put all of our gifts into paper bags that we bought at Notre Dame and sealed it with some advent calendar stickers I picked up from Søstrene Grene (although I can't really recommend them as their sticking power is lacking). And now our advent gifts are all sitting on top of our "bar" shelf in the dining room waiting for their turn.
It's so cozy when the fiance and I open a gift each night with our advent candle burning in the background. Do you celebrate advent and how do you celebrate it? I think it is so lovely and it really builds up the anticipation for Christmas.
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
Instead of serving a cake at brunch, I made a crepe cake! It was delicious and I can't wait to make it again. I've been wanting to make this berry filled crepe cake after seeing this recipe on Pastry Affair. I use a different crepe recipe normally but I thought I would just follow the recipe on Pastry Affair. Unfortunately, the buttermilk pancake/crepe recipe just didn't work for me. The batter was thick on the pan and it didn't cook properly. It was difficult to flip and the texture just seemed off. So I threw out that batter and turned to my usual crepe recipe instead. After my crepe crisis, everything turned out beautifully! I absolutely loved the addition of skyr to the whipped cream. It gave it more body and the cream held nicely in the cake. Yum!
Crepe Cake with Forest Berries and Cream (adapted from A Tasty Love Story's recipe on Pastry Affair and Cakies)
Enough cake for about 8 people
Enough cake for about 8 people
Crepes (slightly adapted from Sweet and Savory Tooth)
Makes about 10 large crepes
1 cup milk
1/3 cup water
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tbsp sugar (I used homemade vanilla sugar)
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp butter, melted
With a blender or with a whisk, blend or mix all the ingredients until smooth. The batter should be the thickness of heavy cream.
Heat a non-stick pan or skillet on medium high heat until hot and grease the pan with a little bit of butter. Take the pan away from the stove top and pour in about 1/3 cup of batter. Tilt and rotate the pan so that the batter coats the surface. Cook until almost dry on top and lightly browned on the edges, about 1 minute. Loosen the edges with a spatula and flip the crepe over. Cook the other side for another 30 seconds or so until it is lightly browned. Place the crepe on a plate to cool. Continue with the rest of the batter remembering to grease the pan after each crepe. (I placed a sheet of baking paper between each crepe to ensure that they wouldn't stick together.) Allow the crepes to completely cool on the counter or in the fridge before putting your crepe cake together.
2 1/2 cups (300g) mixed forest berries (blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, red currants, etc.), fresh or frozen
2 tbsp sugar (I used homemade vanilla sugar)
Place the berries in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the sugar and gently mash the berries with a potato masher. Allow the berry sauce to simmer for 8 to 10 minutes, until it is not runny but also not as thick as jam. Fully cool before using. This can be made a day or two in advance and stored in an airtight container in the fridge.
Topping and Layers
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup greek yogurt or skyr
2 tbsp sugar
fresh berries (I used strawberries and pomegranate seeds)
Whip the heavy cream and when it starts to thicken up, add the sugar. Continue to whip the cream until you get soft peaks. Gently fold in the skyr or whipped cream.
Assembling the Cake
Place a crepe on a plate or a cake stand. Add a layer of cream or the berry compote or both and top with another crepe. Continue with this until you reach the last crepe. Top with the rest of the cream and pile some fresh berries on top and voila!
I know this crepe cake sounds like a lot of work, but it is really tasty, perfect for brunch, and it is a great alternative to a birthday cake! What do you think?
Monday, December 2, 2013
What you will need is: air dry clay (I got mine at Panduro), some cookie cutters, and different stamps or things to stamp the clay with to give it some pattern and texture
Roll out the clay to your desired thickness. Stamp the clay with different designs and patterns before cutting the clay with your cookie cutters. Carefully remove the clay from the cookie cutter and poke a hole around the center of the ornament with something sharp and round (a straw or a skewer would work). Place clay ornaments on some baking paper and let it dry. It takes about 2 to 3 days for the ornaments to fully dry but check with the brand of your clay and how thick your ornaments are. To finish, place some string or ribbon through the holes in your ornaments and that's it!
Now that my birthday has come and gone, we can really start bringing Christmas into the apartment!
Saturday, November 30, 2013
I am turning 25 on Sunday and I don't really know how I feel about that ha! I am not exactly happy about getting older but I am really happy about where I am now. I am so incredibly thankful for my family who continues to support me in every way while we are thousands of miles apart. I wouldn't have been able to pursue my Master's or be able to live here in Copenhagen if it weren't for my parents. The older you get, the more you realize how great your parents and siblings are. The things you don't realize when you are a teenager! Some things just come with age?! Sometimes I'm like "I'm not actually that old"! I always thought I would already have worked for a few years at 25 but then again, I just finished school a year and a half ago so I'm not so far behind. I did always hope to get married at 25 and well, that's happening! So I'm partially on track with where I had envisioned myself a few years ago.
So, birthday weekend! The fiance and I invited a few of his good friends over for some cocktails, cake, and Citadels tonight. We're going to have a cake that he is baking! It was one of my birthday wishes and I'm really looking forward to it! And then on Sunday morning, the day of my actual birthday, we've invited a few of my girlfriends over for brunch. There will be champagne, fresh bread, my spiced pear and pomegranate fruit salad, a frittata, bacon, potatoes, and a crepe cake! I've been running around to three different grocery stores the last few days and I still need to pick up some things later today in the city, birthdays are a lot of work! But I am really looking forward to everything, I mean I woke up today at 6am all excited! For today, I'll enjoy my last day of being 24!
Have a great weekend everyone!
Photo credits: candles
Thursday, November 28, 2013
A few weeks ago, Tina from Traveling Mama and I baked a few different types of brownies to feature on her blog as the holidays are approaching. Read the post here! I make the same brownies all the time and they're delicious, but sometimes you just want to try something new.
On her post you'll find my Almond Flour Brownies (which I also turned dairy free by replacing the butter with coconut oil), my White Chocolate Cranberry Blondies, and my favorite Dark Chocolate Brownies topped with some Peppermint Buttercream.
But let me tell you about Tina's Mississippi Mud Brownies. They were a m a z i n g. The spongy later of marshmallow icing on top was the best thing ever. Marshmallows are now on my grocery list so I can make those brownies asap! If you have a dairy allergy or are lactose intolerant, try Tina's Dark Chocolate Oat Brownies and replace the butter and milk in the Fudgy Cake Brownies with oil and almond milk. Yum!
If you're looking for recipes this holiday, try some of these brownies! I tasted everything and enjoyed them all. What can I say, I'm a sweets and dessert person!
*All the photos in this post are taken by Tina Fussell