Sunday, 20 December 2009

WHB# 214 - Christmas Gifts

ciao and welcome to this years last weekend herbal blogging.
we are hosted by Haalo, from
Cook (almost) anything at least once
thank's Haalo, for hosting, for keeping it all together.
and of course I wish to thank
Kalyn, the creator of this great event.
thank you both!
I'm always proud when I can be part of the WHB. :)

more information about the WHB here:
who's hosting

We are almost at the end of this 2009,
a very strange, lunatic and sometimes painful year.
oh, of course many sadisfactional and happy things have happen
I have had a lot of sadisfactions in my job as a guide.
I'm very proud of my kids doing their best though all our difficulties,
the enormous efforts my husband is doing to get a breaktrough in his new job,
the rest of our family stand close to us, helping us in every moment,
my friends always supporting me, being by my side.

it is not easy to find real friends,

and I have had very bad experience, both inside and outside the web.

but life is like a river, always moving along...
taking with him good and bad..

leaving you the chance to retry, again. :)

Actually I'm not in a very much Christmas mood this year,

too many difficulties in this last period.

my Christmas gifts are not very shiny, rich or particular.
but I wanted to show you what you can do with very little things :)

one the things I do and do, over and over, is the Brulè
it is a German/Austrian Christmas hot drink.

in these weeks before Christmas,
I usual bring it in a termos when we trek

merenda time
or when we are in the gym :)

palestra di venerdì6

very easy , and also a very quick and simply gift to do.
you can eather just give the spieces

or the Brulè together with glasses.

photos from last year

do you remember the
it is a perfect gift, to friends that likes strong, alcoholic, particular things.
my advice is to let rest for two years, then the spirit is much softer.
another advice is do much...people will ask you for more! :)

rumtopf per lucy

also your brownies can be dressed up for Christmas, give them a new shape.
mine are muffins like and the wrapped in a light pink ribbon
looks nice together with gold coloured napkin and gold ribbon.
some springs of pine or rosemary finish the decoration.

regalo lucy

don't have time to cook, bake?
you can also give special things in jars.
these 5 cereals are from the mill where I buy all my flour.

nice to put in a jar, wrap around some glittery golden ribbon, a crispy cellophane bag
closed by bordeaux and gold ribbon, pine and catalpa (very perfumed)


with candles you can do a lot of decorations.
if you are in time, why not make a Adventskranz
use what you find in ypur garden or in a walk.


don't underestimate dry flowers or plants,
I used dried Coreopsis to do this decoration
together with English Ivy berries,
and sprigs of pine and lavendel.

adventskrans till manfred
if it is to late for the adventskranz,
make a Christmas candle decoration.
per aldaq
I liked the combination black and silver
white candles
black plate and black berries
(I think it is some kind of Amelanchier - Shadebush, but I'm not sure)
sprigs of silver Cypressus and small silver balls
now and there flowers of Catalpa
per aldaqr
also a simple thing as a silicon brush can be a special gift.
add some of your friends favorite tea bags.
sprigs of Tuja and Cotoneaster looks good together.

pennello in rosso
or if she is a difficult one, give her tea home made.
black tea with dried friut,
green tea with ginger pieces,
or rooibos with vanilla
pennello in giallo
I wish you all a Merry Christmas

Lussekattor - Swedish saffron buns


this is one of the Swedish traditional Christmas cookies, the other one is Pepparkakor - Swedish ginger cookies.

nowdays you can find them all around the year, but when I was a child and lived in Sweden..we couldn't wait for Christmas to arrive to eat until we were fed. :))

Lussekattor - Swedish Saffron Buns

you need:
1 pack of saffron
1/2 tsp of salt
200g of butter
4dl of milk
1 dl low fat yoghurt
1 1/2dl sugar
2 eggs
10gr of fresh yeast
1kg of flour
1 egg to brush
melt the butter, together with the milk, yoghurt and the sugar.
put the yeast in the warm liquid and whisk while melting..
let cool, then add the saffron, the eggs, the flour and the pinch of salt.
work the dough until it is smooth and elastic.
let rise covered with a cloth
over the night in a cool place.
the next day,
leave in room temperature for one hour.
put the dough on the table,
cut pieces and the make rolls you curl up from both ends,
reaching the middle.
put the buns on a baking tray covered with baking paper,
brush with the egg and put a raisin in each "curl"
let rise for an other hour.
bake in preheated oven:
180° C -356°F for 8-10min
(or also 15-20 if you make them bigger)


I'm sending this to Susan from Food blogga, for her 3rd Eat Christmas Cookies event.

the round up!

Sunday, 13 December 2009

WHB# 213 - Pepparkakor - Swedish gingercookies

ciao and welcome to this week's herbal blogging.
we are hosted by our friend Laurie from
Mediterranean cooking in Alaska
thank you Laurie for hosting. :)

I wish to thank Kalyn from
Kalyn's Kitchen for this event
Haalo who been taken over since the last year
Thank's both of you.
more information about the WHB here:
who's hosting

When we talked to my parents this morning (they still live in Sweden)
they told me it was snowing!
it was about time,
when I was little and still lived there it started to snow in end of October
..and it never stopped :)))
sometimes we had snow until my birthday in mid April! :))

this is the look of our lake today,
it seems it will start to snow any moment...
but how knows? :)))

the snow is coming...

then we talked to our son Niklas, he is studying in the USA, Iowa
they have a lot of snow..and -16°C !

day after tomorrow

he will be back soon, short before Christmas.
that's good, I do miss him :)
These cookies once were made only at Christmas,
now you find them all around the year.
ok, it is easy buying them..
but the satisfaction in doing them by your self is great!
make's me feel as a kid again :)))

you need:
350g of sugar
100g of marple syrup
130g of water
250g of butter
700g of plain flour
1tsp of baking soda
1tsp of ground cinnamon*
1tsp of ground ginger*
1tsp of ground cloves*
in a small pot melt the sugar and the syrup in the water.
add the baking soda and mix.
add the butter in pieces and the species.
whisk until butter is melted and it is all coolen.
pour the liquid in the flour and work the dough.
it is very soft, but it is ok.
when all the flour is worked in the dough, cover with plastic wrap and put in the fridge over the night.
the next day, take out just the amount you need to make some cookies and leave the rest in the fridge.
work quickly rooling out the dough (it melts so fast), use less flour as possible.
use cookie cuuters to cut our cookies.
put ona baking tray covered with baking paper.
bake in very hot oven 225°C - 437° F for 5-7min.
let cool, and the put them away in a box.
they will conserve for over 20days (sure, haha)
* try your self out.
it is so personal the taste, but the right one should
pince on your tongue.
perhaps it seems a lot of sugar, but it is right.
I wish you a very nice week, the last before Christmas.
this is some photos of our Nordic Walking tour last Wendsday.
still, beautiful colours even if we are in the end of Dicember. :)


sentiero dalle valeselle

Thursday, 10 December 2009

68th tablescape thursday - Christmas decoration greens - Grandma Maria's crispy cookies

tablescape thursday's

wow! did you stop by S
she has some beautiful, beautiful tablescapes photos..
she and so many other tablescapers..
some many interesting, and beautiful ideas!! it is still warm! yesterday and today we reached 14°C!!
almost to have lunch on the terrace :)))
it is not easy to get into the Christmas atmosphere when the sun shines...
but me and my doughters tried.
we decorated our fireplace,
we don't have any place to put a Christmas tree..
so we have to
get satisfied with the fireplace and little else.
I cut brances of
mugo pine, whitebark pine, austrian pine
together with branches of rosemary and bay.
fireplace christmas decoration

the decorations are small wooden or wicker Christmas objects,
ribbons and Christmas balls.

small wooden angels

I put 4 big white candles for the Advent.

fireplace with candels
on the front door we put a very old decoration,
I made this together with the kids
I think some 10-12years ago :))
a simple juta bag filled with linning
match boxes as gifts
old toys
wooden stars
home made gips decorations
all clued together

old Christmas door decoration

this was the dawn today,....
doesn't feel much Christmas
but it is so beautiful :)

buon giorno lago!

Grandma Maria's crispy cookies
biscotti di santa caterina
you need:
1 glass of extravergin olive oil (190gr)
1 glass of white wine (180gr)*
1/2 glass of sugar (90gr)
600gr ca of plain flour
2 tsp of bakaing soda (or cremor tartar)
some salt
mix all the ingredients, you should obtain a smooth greasy dough.
let rest in the fridge for 30min
roll a long "sausage",
cut pieces that you roll to long tiny "sausages"
cut in 3 or 4 pieces.
close , by crossing the ends
put on a baking tray (covered with baking paper)
bake in oven 160°C - 320°F for 20min
let cool.
you can also use red wine, dubble the sugar
or moscato- sweet white wine, then put less sugar.
the dough can rest for 4 days in the fridge.
the cookies can be preserved for 15days at least in a tin box.

Sunday, 6 December 2009

WHB# 212 - Pumpkin and sweet potatoe vellutè with rosemary

ciao and welcome to this week's herbal blogging.
this time we are hosted by Marillyn from
Just Making Noise
thank's marillyn for hosting!

I wish to thank Kalyn from
Kalyn's Kitchen for this event
Haalo who been taken over since the last year,
thank's both of you.
more information about the WHB here:
who's hosting

what a intese week this has been.
so many things done, so many things forgotten, so many things yet to do. many bloggerfriends met :))

Tuesday my dear friend
Tatiana came visit, she lives in marvellous Florence.
together with her I went to Trento, other very nice town close to the Dolomiti
there we met Manu, from ...
profumi e colori...
that was fun! :)
I'm happy to have known manu, she lives her I will see her soon again.
Tatiana is special, we are very found of each other.
she was a strong shoulder when I needed her,
and I'm so happy I was there when she needed me. :)

manu, tatiana & I

but that was not enough...
this weekend also Roby come visit this charming place that
the Garda Lake is. :)

it is always so fun to know those people you have written to for so long,
I know Roby since 2006
and this was the first time we met. love at first sight! :))
can't wait to get down to Nardò where they live! :)))
Puglia....wait for me! :))


this vellutè is very special.
great success here.
the rosemary was not in the original recipe, what I thought I would fit in...
and it did :)))

Pumpkin and sweet potatoe vellutè with rosemary.

vellutata di zucca, patata americana e rosmarino
you need:
1 big sweet potatoe (300gr )
1 small pumpkin (600-700gr)
4 challots
2 garlic clovers
500ml of water
extravergin olive oil
fresh rosemary

cut the pumpkin in quarters and peel thr rest of the vegetables.
pencil with some oil and put them with the cutted part down on a baking tray.
bake for 40min at 180°C - 356°F
let cool and the peel the pumpkin.
put all the tender vegetables in a pot together with one or two rosmary branches,
pour over water and add 2-3 tbsp of vegetable stock cube.
cook gently for another 30min.
eliminate the rosemary and blend with a mixer until smooth.
serve with homemade tarallucci
I used the recipe of Iris's embraces without sugar, adding salt.
I divided in 3 doughs and added popy seeds to one,
paprica to another, and thyme to the third.
have a nice week, this is who we found our Monte Baldo Saturday.
beautiful, isn't it ? :)

cima costa bella, coal santo, vetta delle buse

lago, topei, colonei di pesina

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