Happy Valentine's Day Biscuits

Ingredients

300 gr flour (and extra for dusting)
100 gr white caster sugar (and extra for dusting)
50 gr flaked almonds
250 gr unsalted butter
Strawberry jam (or any other jam you fancy)

Preparation

Mix the sugar and flour using your hands in a bowl. Pour it into another bowl.

Chop the almonds finely and add them to flour and sugar.

Rub the (at refrigerator temperature) butter very well through the mixture until you have a solid mass, this takes awhile.

Dust a clean work surface with flour. Roll the dough flat, about 10 cm thick, and place on a sheet of baking paper. Let the dough cool for 30 minutes in a refrigerator.

Preheat the oven of 170 C and remove the dough from the refrigerator.

Dust a clean work surface with flour. Roll the dough flat, about 1 cm thick. Cut out circles with a cookie cutter and then the hearts with a smaller heart-shaped cookie cutter.

Lay the biscuits on a baking tray lined with baking paper and bake in the oven for 15 minutes, or until golden brown.

Sprinkle some white caster sugar over the biscuits immediately and rub it in. Let them cool completely before pasting on the jam.

Flip the solid round biscuits over and add a teaspoon of jam to the centre of the biscuit, put it together with the biscuit with the heart out.

For 12 cookies

Have a really happy Valentine today xxxx

Kitchen Ramblings and Pendants

And just like that, after endless rain that never seemed to stop, there was a massive amount of sunlight in my kitchen - just for me and the little Moose.

I'm really slowly changing the look of the kitchen, nothing major I just wanted to get rid of the floral wallpaper and the spotty curtains. I'm older now and with that my taste slightly changes. And the kitchen is older now and is starting to show cracks, chipped paint and cat rubbing stains on the cupboards.

There's also a massive crack in the resin floor and it has gone from bright white to a dirty yellowish colour, which I absolutely dislike. So we need to get a new floor and I want a new stone top for the island as the zinc top is stained and really grubby.

Another thing that's bothering me is lighting. The green pendants matched the floral wallpaper and the spotty curtains but looked really wrong with the new tiles wallpaper by Studio Ditte. IKEA hung a pair of white pendants up for a photo shoot they did for the IKEA Family mag but they looked cheap. I however liked the whiteness so I went for the MUUTO MHY pendant in white which I ordered from Flinders I regret that I didn't get them in a greyish blue instead because I find them slightly too white. But it's such a beautiful and stylish pendant, I might have to find another place for it .... honestly!

To be continued.

The pendants were sponsored by Flinders, a shop I adore and use very often as I don't like shopping, parking and all the fuss of other people that are shopping.

Pom Pom Flowers for Valentine

Or any other occasion that needs pom poms ...

These are super simple to make. All you need is yarn, a pom pom maker (or a fork, your fingers or two round pieces of carton with a hole in it - anything that will make a pom pom), fabric glue and flower wire. You can also use real sticks for a more rustic effect.

Dip the tip of the flower wire in the fabric glue and push it through the pom pom. After a few minutes the wire will glue together with the pom pom. Now you can experiment.

Stick it on a gift or put them in a vase. They make such a happy decoration.

Mocktails

Happy 2016!!

I took a mini break so that I can start 2016 rested and fresh. I've made these two mocktails as I want to live a cleaner life in 2016. I want to be more outdoors and become a proper 365 days a year gardener instead of a spring and summer gardener only. We have made a good start of building me a proper garden shed with a pottering table and all my tools neatly organised. I'm going to rearrange the back of the house garden and I'm going to rethink the side of the house garden. I've also started to exercise daily. I've bought myself a good indoor bike and have been on it for at least an hour a day watching two episodes of The Big Bang Theory. As from Wednesday I'll start to swim 3 times per week and by March I might need a break - LOL!!! And a new years resolution we've both made: work less and travel more.

Here's to an exciting fresh new year.

Non-alcoholic Ginger Mimosa (left)

  • 50 ml fresh orange juice
  • 250 ml sparkling water
  • 2 x 1 cm thick slices of fresh ginger
  • Half a Clementine
  • 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary

Preparation

Pour the orange juice into a glass, then add the sparkling water. Garnish with pieces of Clementine, ginger slices and insert the rosemary sprigs into the glass. Use a cocktail pestle to squeeze the juice out of the ginger and Clementine. To make the drink alcoholic pour 50 ml champagne in the glass and reduce the sparkling water to 200 ml.

For one long drink or champagne glass

Non-alcoholic Iced Chai Latte (right)

  • 1 litre of boiling water
  • 4 bags of Clipper Chai Tea
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 sprigs of star anise
  • Milk

Preparation

Brew the tea in a litre of boiling water, about 15 minutes. Stir the maple syrup into the tea and add the cinnamon stick and star anise. Let stand until it has cooled completely. Then cool the tea for 30 minutes in the refrigerator before you pour the tea into an ice cube tray. Place in the freezer for at least 24 hours. Pour into a glass of cold milk and add (to taste) the chai tea ice cubes. Stir and wait until the cubes are almost melted. To make the drink alcoholic add 1 tablespoon of Kahlua to the tea mixture before freezing.

For 8 glasses

Planning Bedrooms

2016 is going to be a big year for my home. We moved here in 2008 with the house almost being in ruins and 8 years later we are still renovating. We had 3 setback years in the renovating process because we had to face health and after that personal issues, but now we are back on track.

It's actually a good thing that it's taking us such a long time to renovate the house as it gives us time to think about what we want, like and need. If all goes well I get to decorate the bedrooms by the end of this year. I love decorating bedrooms as I find them the most cosiest rooms in the house. I love bedding, pillows, blankets and closets.

Image © swiss sense

Image © swiss sense

My bedroom style is Scandinavian, according to the bedroom style test over at VTwonen. But I also really like romantic. My interior style is described as "Scandinavian Pretty", I like that. You can do your own test and see what your style is. You can even win a whole new bedroom room make-over sponsored by Swiss Sense, I wouldn't mind to win one of their box-springs.

Posted in collaboration withSwiss Sense - all views are my own.

Flower Arrangement in a Bowl

I planned this post for Christmas day, but as my family reads my blog and I didn't want to spoil the surprise, I'm posting it now. This is a quick way to give some floral joy to a diner host. I've made these for my sisters in law using vintage bowls.

Use flower oasis or floral foam. Cut it so it fits the bowls you are using and soak it into water. First stick the candle in the bowl and work your way round with greens and later adding the flowers. You can use evergreens from the garden. The candle is actually just a regular size candle but I cut about 10 cm off to make it look more in proportion.

Christmas House

Our "spring" Christmas house is ready for Christmas. It still doesn't feel like Christmas as it's hot and I can walk around without a coat outside. Even the light is really bright and sharp. Oh and today an ant walked straight into my kitchen ... an ant in December!!!

Traditionally we celebrate Christmas eve with friends but this year we're going to celebrate it together as we both still have to work. I'm going to cook a mini Christmas diner and we'll unwrap presents and watch Narnia.

Up until Sunday we'll be celebrating Christmas with our families.

I want to wish you all a peaceful Christmas, something we can actually use right now. Let's hope there are no ill minded people destroying lives, hopes and dreams over the weekend.

xmashouse04.jpg

Lots of love, Yvonne xxx