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

Mince Pies

It's just not Christmas weather outside and I also really dislike Christmas is over the weekend. I don't know how things are your end, but it feels like we have to squeeze Christmas in this year. Even the supermarkets are open on the 26th. But I'm trying my best to be in a festive mood and these mince pies help along the way.

Ingredients for the filling

500 gr apples (Jonagold or Pink Lady)
250 gr currants
100 gr dried cranberries
½ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
¼ tsp ground ginger
zest of 1 orange
500 ml of organic apple juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Ingredients for the dough

375 gr flour
260 gr (cold) unsalted butter
125 gr white caster sugar
1 egg
12 aluminium ramekins

Preparation

Cut the apples into small pieces. Mix the apples, currants and cranberries in a saucepan. Add the apple juice, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, vanilla extract and orange zest and cover the pan with the lid. Simmer on low heat for 30 minutes, make sure to stir. Add more of the apple juice, if necessary, to the mixture to keep it moist and juicy. Simmer for another 30 minutes.
Turn off the heat and let the mixture cool. Knead all ingredients for the dough in a food processor until you have a ball. If you don't have a food processor, then knead the dough with your hands in a large bowl. Push the ball flat, wrap in plastic foil and let the dough 30 minutes cool in a refrigerator. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Remove the dough from the refrigerator. Dust a smooth surface with flour and roll out the dough about 2 mm thick. Use a bowl which is just slightly larger as the aluminium baking dishes and cut out circles from the dough. Push them into the aluminium ramekins. Scoop the fruit mixture into the ramekins and cover with a star cut out of the dough. Bake the pies for 15-20 minutes in the oven. Let the pies cool slightly and dust with powdered sugar.

For 12 mince pies