Saturday, January 16, 2010

Amerikaner - ready to eat

They are truly favorites in this house and a family recipe since even I can remember. The recipe is out of my mom's handwritten cookbook she wrote down in cooking school before my time - don't even think about asking when that might have been.

You can find them in the  German bakeries with a sugar and chochlate glaze half white half black. We make them a little smaller as there, just because it is fun to get seconds and the real ones are BIG almost as big as your hand and  we they come in all colors from white to black to pink and yellow and green and blue with and without sprinkles and clown faces and bear faces. We already had it ALL. They still taste YUMMY.



125 g butter
175 g sugar
1 package vanilla sugar
3 eggs
lemon peel
1 pinch salt
500 g flour
1 package  backing powder (3 tsp)
250 ml milk
1Tbl rum

Heat the oven at 310 degrees. Mix all the ingredients. Just take the a tablespoon and dab a spoonful of dough on a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper. Bake about 10 minutes until the edge is gold yellow.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

I have a dream

written by Chiara - 7- first grader

for my community!

My dream for my community is to be happy!

for my community!

My dream for my community is all the soldiers to come home safely and see their families.

for my country!

My dream for my country is no aliens to come.

for the world!

My dream for the world is to stay clean!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Spacehip Backpack

I have this adorable fabric since a few months in my blue Schrank which is filled from top to bottom with fabric, but not so much boys fabric. So when I came across this one I could not resist to get some for Soren, but for what?

So today I went into the garage where now my blue Schrank is placed since we moved into this rental at freezing temperatures - 21 degress F, at that in freaking TEXAS. But at least the Schrank and fabric is organized by now.

The fabric was sitting out next to me even I knew I wanted to make him now a backpack from yesterdays prototype with a little bit finetuning in the sewing department. But I got sidetracked with worked on an UFO which is always good to do, a burned out light bulb of my sewing machine - it is truly weird sewing in the dark - and car shopping/looking.

But dinner didn't get done until this little backpack was done.

Toddler Backpack - Prototype

Since before Christmas  I wanted to make a backpack for Soren, because he LOVES bags. He always finds a bag to drag around and pretty often wants to take a bag with him when we leave the house and grabs the nearest one he can find which  most of the time is PINK. Leland has a problem with ALL THE PINK and his boy.  And I, I was taking pictures. LOL.

Pst ... don't tell Leland I posted this again.
Proud as can be.

So I was looking for a matter and found one, cut up one of Daddy's old uniforms and got started, but I did not like the pattern. I didn't even sew one stitch. Then two days ago I finally had an idea about a simple backpack similiar to the pink/purple - here we go again - Dora backpack Chiara had once. I finally figured out how to make it and started on a prototype. I am not a prototype person, I want usable results right away, but here I had no choice because it needs to perfect at the end - at least as good or as cute as possible.

Here it is.

Now further suggestions are :

to shorten it for Soren a little and add velcro as a closure
use a contrast color for the flap
use applique for example his name
if i use uniforms as material I have old name tags from dad

Bella already wants one bigger
with a front pocket added
perhaps a big button as closure

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

A TINY little New Year's Gift

The girls have Sunday school on Wednesday night. Yes, we still call it Sunday school, because I just can't remember the other name for it. They want to bring a New Year's gift for their teachers. I have to admit we didn't manage the xmas presents for them, because I thought there was another class left. So we switched to HAPPY NEW YEAR's Gifts. It's always nice to get a little something. I have two girls in two classes, but there are five teachers and teacher's helpers for a maximum of 12 kids. The should seriously keep that ratio up in school.

We made TIN CAN presents. BIG ones, small ones and tiny ones. It depended on the size of tin cans I stacked up in my pantry. Even I had this idea for longer in mind I usually didn't get the ones with the snap lids one. They are more pricey - usually. I also invested in a safety can opener which we truly love by now, it just doesn't cut the top of the lid, but also keeps Soren's hands safe from being cut because he has his hands everywhere especially where they are not supposed to be.

When I used snap lid cans for cooking I opened them with the safety can opener from the bottom, so the top would stay intact. Washed them out well and just stored them.

Bella picked her "New Year's" scrap paper with fireworks on and some flowery one and we cut a strip wide enough to fit from the top to the bottom off the can and long enough to wrap around. I glued one side of the paper on the the can, wrapped it around, let it overlap a little and glued it down.

With the left over paper we cut out circles to fit on the lid (right now the bottom of the open can) to cover up the prints or just for decorations. We only left a little opening to be able to slide it in under the snap and glued it down.

Then came the sweet part. We filled it up with candy. This time, because I might use it for wrapping up other things, too, with enough tissue paper to keep them safe inside.

I added glue on the edge of the cut off lid, trying to make sure none was sticking on the bottom and pressed it back on the can. Turned it upside down and added a regular can, filled, heavy, on top to keep some weight on it while it was drying.

From the last scraps of paper we cut out labels and attached them with some ribbon.

I am no scrapbook person, I try ones a while, but I am sure you can come up with more ideas for decorations. This was Bella's and my first try, now we need to collect cans again.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

gone in 3 minutes - apple chips

somehow this post published in front of my eyes without even having words yet - totally empty - but it pretty much fits to the empty bowl standing right here. EMPTY. totally empty. nothing left. all gone  and that within minutes. BUT they were good.

Back to the beginning. LOL.

I keep adding recipes here, because for once at the end of the year I have a collection of our favorite family recipes of the year. If I try to put them in a folder in the house in will disappear in nirvana, I know that for sure or I have to keep digging out links and books and magazines and just don't find them again. At then end I still can print them out all at once to keep if I should decide.

Soren and I brought a a bag of apples home today in addition to all the ones we already have because of course there is no apple tree in this yard here. We really want an apple tree. Someday perhaps in our own yard if it actually would grow in the heat here.
We decided to make apple chips. The ones we bought the day before as snack were so overloaded with sugar that we made them ourselves today. We cut the apples in rings, loaded them onto the dehydrator sprinkled them with cinnamon and very little bit of sugar/splenda. And then it took hours. SIX to be exact.

Six hours later we had these. And Soren was right next to me. Sampling.

It took us 20 minutes to get the apples ready (includes little hands in between), 6 hours to wait and about three minutes to eat them up. Is it really worth it???

Well, the next batch is in the making, because the girls didn't even get one single one. Mmmm. They were already in bed. And they are yummy.

 And it's really fun to peak through the rings, too!

If you don't know what to do today take a look

I got to go this morning so just click and enjoy.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Hot Pepper Jelly

Right before Christmas I had one of those crazy ideas to try out a new recipe, because I needed for once gift ideas and seriously no matter what some people might say "edible" gifts I think are awesome, because they do not cause clutter. And even if you get them double it doesn't matter as long as they are yummy. But of course, instead of just simply going shopping and buying presents I try to make them and it takes more time, more work - stupid me - but at least this time it was kind of funny. Especially for Leland.  We made Hot Pepper Jelly. He had a blast making fun of me seeing me handling Habanero Peppers or listening to me fussing about the after effects itching and burning. HE loves Habaneros, me - okay they are peppers, I try little bit spicy that's usually it. So I after cooking the hot pepper jelly late night, figuring out how to can for the first time in my life in  my pasta pot without all the necessary equipment, because of course I do have crazy ideas out of season, I did not go and taste it right away. We had added red food coloring because Habaneros are HOT.

The next morning a friend and me and the little kiddos sample with crackers and cream cheese and it was sweet. Sweet as jelly. With a little taste like pepper. But good. Perfect for dipping french fries or glazing meat.

So after a phone call we stocked up on more little jars and in the evening I made a second batch wearing gloves with lots and lots of Habanero Peppers (I had a whole bag in the fridge). This time, not much fiddling, seeds and everything stayed in. And believe me the result is HOT and we tinted it green. The bell pepper was green this time. We are good in canning now. Especially after I let Leland grab the hot little jars out of the pasta pot.

And with a little tag added ready were some Christmas presents and of course also our yearly supply on sweet and sour sauce and hot pepper jelly for our pantry. Now I might just need some more ideas what to use it for.



  • 2/3 cup hot pepper (this amount can vary according to what type of peppers used and how hot you want your jelly)
  • 1 bell pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups white vinegar
  • 6 cups sugar
  • 8 ounces liquid Certo (2 packets) I used only 6 ounces
  • 1 teaspoon food coloring (red or green I use red for hotter jelly-green for milder jelly)
  1. Chop peppers and put in blender with vinegar.
  2. Blend well and pour into large boiler.
  3. Add sugar and mix well.
  4. Bring mixture to a rolling boil and boil for 1 minute.
  5. Remove from heat, strain through sieve and return liquid back to a boil.
  6. Boil for 5 minutes.
  7. Remove from heat.
  8. Add Certo and food coloring quickly.
  9. Put into 12 (4 oz) jars and seal.
  10. I use heated seal method, where I heat the lids in boiling water, place on jar, secure ring tightly and turn jar upside down for 5 minutes.
  11. Turn jar up correctly and allow to cool completely before storing.
  12. Newer studies show that it is safer to seal with the hot water bath method. To do this, put into a large boiler with rack on bottom, cover with 1-2 inches of water and boil for 5 minutes. Remove to rack to cool.
    We did both just to make sure.

I found the recipe here and just adjusted it for us

Friday, January 1, 2010

first stitches of 2010 - s.i.m.p.l.e.

I wanted to sew something. A few days ago. Getting started, but there was no time for it. And I was not set with a design yet neither. Something simple, but cute. Girly cute. With Pink. No ruffles.

I started digging in my stash and got two pink fabrics out. A lot of pink already. A little bit of white and then WHAT? Mmmh. I am short of brown fabric lately. But I came across some batik fabric in brown with dots that found its way in my stash on our last trip to Roundrock.

With Soren's help more or less after cutting, we pinned some squares together while he was sitting like a little monkey on the back of my chair - just to let you know he is pinning all kinds of hair clips in my hair while I am typing right here.

And a little while later before the kitchen was back in use this little quilt top was done.

Well, I said simple before, didn't I.

As always having it finished as a quilt is another story, but there are 364 more days in the year of 2010.

The last hours from 2009 and Art a la Fingerprints

Hours before the years ended, the girls and Leland went to the theatre. Soren was stuck with me. Literally. For once he was not happy being left behind and he was glued to me. So after Isabell couldn't make up her mind alone how to use a large piece of poster board for any kind of New Years or 2010 decoration, Soren got free hands and made ART in STYLE a la FINGERPRINTS. That's my boy.


Everything kept going all day with fingerprints, also in our New Year's Eve dinner.
Homemade Pizza from scratch in all sizes and all flavors you can imagine.

two cheese pizza
cheesy pepperoni ham pizza
pizza hawaii
pizza fajita
pizza with tomato pesto and tomatoes, onoion, ...
bbq pizza

We were stuffed by the time we all settled down to watch part VI of Starwars.

With a full moon blanket, thick jackets prepped the kids were ready for the firework to start and the new year.



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