Happy Holidays

happy holidays
...to all of you. Wishing you a merry Christmas filled with love, joy, food, presents and of course lots of pictures :)

Happy first advent

Happy first advent
Hope you all have a wonderful first advent. I'm busy working these days because there are a few important deadlines within the next weeks that I have to meet but I hope to find some time to write soon. I still have another lovely shopping recommendation for Hamburg that has to be posted.

Oschätzchen & Cucinaria

Oschätzchen
If you come ever to Hamburg and are interested in food and cooking and decorating be sure to visit Oschätzchen.

If you want to shop for kitchenware, cooking utensils, cookbooks, pans, pots, tins, dishes, moulds, plates, glasses,... you should by no means miss Cucinaria. They have everything your culinary heart as ever desired. I already wanted to go there when we spend a night in Hamburg on our way to Denmark back in September but as I didn't have a proper map with us we did not find the store. The "kitchen temple" is not that easy to find but once you found it and entered the doors you don't want to leave ever again... Oh, and they also have an online shop (in German and English) with more than 5.000 products that "offers you the widest selection in kitchenware throughout the German speaking market".
Cucinaria
Image from www.cucinaria.de

YAY!

Our new sofa arrived today! I can't wait to put it up but we have to get rid of our old one first.
After several decision-making weeks I finally decided to get the charcoal gray one about two weeks ago. But when we went to IKEA willing to order they told us that it won't available before March 2008! 2008!!! Argh! After all this wavering and contemplation I was bummed. (Btw, am the only one that contemplates on a sofa color?) After some more considerating (luckily there have been only 30 minutes left until they would have kicked us out of the store to close so we had to make a decicion quickly) we decided to go with the yellow/green one AND to pre-order the chacoral cover. Ha. That's more I could have asekd for. And it was one of my first thoughts when we started thinking about a new sofa at all...but this also means no Habitat Spindle lamp anytime soon :(
Pictures will follow as soon as we put everything up.
Thanks so much for all your input. It was really helpful to hear some other opinions.

Mini cheesecakes

mini_cheesecakes
Two weeks ago I made some mini cheesecakes...recipe is going to follow but has to be tested once again first - hopefully I find time to do so on Saturday or Sunday - as I'm not 100% sure about the measurements...

New Photoshop Brushes

new brushes
I made some new Photoshop Brushes from my photographs. Actually I only wanted to make a new blog header but then I went brush-crazy.

New sofa...but what color?

New couch...but what color?
I really think the IKEA Kramfors sofa is almost THE perfect sofa considering the price, too. It has nice lines and proportions. It's comfortable to sit (and hopefully sleep) on. The covers come in nice colors, are changeable, washable and non-itchy (I hate itchy fabrics!). If I only could decide on a color. The yellow/green cover would work very well with our auburn laminate flooring I think. But I never really liked the color yellow and it's strangely enough for me that I now like this cover color. I'm a little bit scared that this might only be temporary and it makes me sick after a few weeks. So the dark grey would be a safe choice. It matches almost everything and is very impassible. (We have a black cat.) But boring. I also thought of getting both covers and change them every now and then...Have I told you I hate making decisions?

And the new IKEA lamp Kulla might be a less-pricy alternative to the Habitat Spindle lamp even if I completely fell for it...especially the green one. But I wish it came also in black.

Moo Postcards are here

Moo Postcards are here!
Images from www.moo.com
This is definitely one of the best news in a long time. I've been waiting like forever for Moo Postcards. I can't wait to order mine. They are 14.99 € for 20 postcards and until October 28th 2007 Moo offers free shipping. Don't miss it!

Lamp Love

Lamp Love
Images from www.habitat.de

Another lamp I love - the Spindle lamp from Habitat.

More inspiration

I have found some new, favorite blogs...so if you have some spare time be sure to check them out. (Well, maybe I should add that they have tons of inpirsations on their blogs and that they are highly addictive so you better have LOTS of time to read...) If you are interested in interior decoration and design don't miss purple area, who just started her own interior design company. Another great find is the sweet Miss Anna over at Door 16, where she shares her "adventures in homemaking" and renovating an awesome Victorian house from the 1890s. cake & pie is the creative outlet of designer Kathleen Losche. And finally Black*Eiffel – my latest find – Rachel's favorite people, places, things and ideas.

Lamps by Le Klint

Lamps by Le Klint
Classic Collection by Le Klint, Images from www.leklint.com

When it comes to interior design I always found that picking nice lamps was the hardest part. But lately I've seen lots of great lamps. I discovered these lamps by Le Klint on our vacation in Denmark. We had some classic Le Klint shades in our vacation home, which I didn't even know until I spotted them in a small lamp store in Helsinge. You could see them in the window of almost every lamp store whether in a small town like Helsinge or in Copenhagen.

Le Klint has two major collections. The classic collection with the handcrafted pleated shades and the Undercover collection with a glass or acryl shade and a replacable inner shade that comes in different colors and patterns, including a lovely marimekko collection.

Lamps by Le Klint
Undercover Collection by Le Klint, Images from www.leklint.com

Lovely details of our vacation home

Lovely details of our vacation home

Tisvildeleje

Tisvildeleje
This is where we are going to stay the next week.

Sorry for the lack of updates but work has been crazy in the past two weeks. Hopefully I bring back some nice pictures and inspirations from Denmark. We are also planning on going to Copenhagen and Malmö. So if anyone has any recommendations I'd really appreciate them.

Laterns by Orike Muth

Laterns by Orike Muth

I'm in love with the new latern collection by Orike Muth. They come in the most wonderful colors and shapes and are made of delicate japanpaper. You can get them at her online store www.orikemuth.de. Oh, and there are even matching pillows available.

"Almost a cheesecake" or the "moistest sponge cake ever"

"Almost a cheesecake" or the "moistest sponge cake ever"
Last weekend I was craving for cheesecake but didn't have enough cream cheese or curd at home to make a 'real' cheesecake. While the typical German cheesecake is made with curd I prefer the American cheesecake with a graham cracker crust and a cream cheese filling.
All I had left in the fridge was one cup of curd and one cup of creme fraiche. I looked in all of my cook books to find a cake recipe that comes close but does not require lots of cream cheese or curd. But I could not find a recipe I liked. Well, I could not find anything that requried the ingedients I had. So I decided to start experimenting and coming up with my own recipe. I've done some baking experiments before but I never came up with a whole recipe on my own. It was always more like modifying recipes and replacing ingredients I didn't like. And I have to admit there have already been some big mishps. Baking is always a little bit like gambling...you never know if you win or loose - if it turns out great or catastrophically. And even after years of avid baking I'm never totally sure if a batter is going to be good or not.
But this one turned out perfectly - to my own surprise. You could totally taste the cheese in the cake and it was super moist and delicious. So it's "almost a cheesecake" or the "moistest sponge cake ever". Or anything inbetween...

Recipe
4 eggs
250g curd
250g creme fraiche
180g butter
180g sugar
200g flour
2 tbsp raisins, soaked in rum
1 tsp baking powder (not baking soda)
1 pinch of vanilla flavor
2 cl (or 1,5 fl) advocaat

1. Beat egg whites until stiff and put aside.
2. Batter egg yolks and sugar until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture becomes think and creamy.
3. Add curd and cream fraiche.
4. Melt the butter in a small pan and let it cool down for a few minutes.
5. Meanwhile sift the flour over the mixture and stir it in.
5. Add the melted butter and the advocaat while slowly mixing.
6. Fold in carefully the beaten egg whites.
7. Add the raisins.
8. Pour everything into a prepared cake pan and bake for 45 minutes at 160° C (325° F).
I always butter the cake pan first and then put in a mixture of flour, sugar and breadcrumbs to make sure that the cake comes off of the cake pan easily. In most recipes they recommend to dust the buttered cake pan with flour but for me this never worked very well. The flour gets soaked very quickly and then it still sticks to the pan. So I did try some different things some years ago until I figured out that the flour/sugar/breadcrumb mixture works best. It does not only work very well for almost every kind of cake but it also tastes delicious.

Red tulips

Red tulips

MOO Stickerbook

MOO Sticker
Some weeks ago I went through all the images I've taken over the past years and turned some of them into Photoshop brushes to have them printed as Moo Stickerbook.

Saturday morning at the market in Strasbourg

Saturday morning at the market in Strasbourg
Marché des producteurs le samedi
If you ever come to Strasbourg be sure to visit the small farmers' market on Saturday mornings at the Place du Marché aux Poissons. There are only about 10 farmers with their stalls but they sell the most delicious looking products ever. Fruit, vegetables, honey, marmelades, mustards cheese and meat as well as flowers. Most of them are organically grwon. It is one of the Marchés du terroir in Alsace - markets that sell only local products.

Lynette May

Lynette May
Paintings from Lynette May
I want to share some works of one of my favorite artists. Lynette May from Memphis, TN. I absolutley adore her style. Her delicate almost fragile portraits are yet very expressive and illustrative. I wouldn't be surprised to fine them published in glossy fashion magazines one day. You can check out her portfolio at lynettemay.envy.nu. She also posts new paintings on her livejournal. Lynette has also been making jewelry for more than 14 years and last year she started Bleu Lulu where she sells her 'youthful, yet elegant and sultry' pieces.

Jewelry from Bleu Lulu by Lynette May
Jewelry from Bleu Lulu by Lynette May

Roses on Rue du 22 Novembre

roses_strasbourg
Roses in Strasbourg
At Au Nom de la Rose on Rue du 22 Novembre in Strasbourg they sold some of the most prettiest roses ever.