- The beautiful sculptures of Patrick Haines. His work is kind of morbid, a bit of a “memento mori”. Take this beetle, for example, or this bird. I was also quite taken with the “Citadel” and this raven. Thanks to Polly for leading me there!’
- Cécile Corbel’s Vagabonde album. I know I put her on one of my lists before but at the moment I’m having a phase of her albums rotating as my personal background soundtrack.
- Our new hammock in the backyard.
- This Mori Kei beginner’s guide by Baaikha on tumblr.
- My tablet. I got an unused Fire (so it’s technically not a tablet, it’s a kindle, but DILLIGAF?) from a friend and it is so much more handy for bingeing on blog posts on the sofa than my laptop! I still need a good cover for it but I can’t wait to have more packing space on my next travels because I don’t need to take the notebook anymore just to update a blog post or read my Changeling rule books (putting them on there was pretty much the first thing I did when I got it).
- This Dormouse Pin from Monica L. Knighton’s Etsy shop. All of her pieces are wonderful (and some were already featured in this list), but this is definitely a new favourite, together with the Fluttering Bat and the Hanging Bats.
- The music of Josh Woodward. I’m always on the hunt for good royalty-free music to use in videos and it was on such a hunt that I stumbled over Josh’s work on the Free Music Archive. Someone who puts songs for people who like things as their tag line on their website can’t be a bad person, right? He makes a feel-good, soft, pop-folky kind of music that just makes me smile (and serves as a great soundtrack for some of my videos, too. He puts up an instrumental version for each song, this is so wonderful!).
- psych. I know I’m late with this one but my friend Rus is a big fan and finally introduced me to the series. I’m always a friend of Sherlock scans and I love how it’s more of a sitcom than your usual crime show.
- Mangetouts. We have them at work and on Thursdays and Saturdays I seem to live only on them and fresh strawberries at the moment. Sooo yummy!
- Adriene is hosting a Find What Feels Good retreat, and there’s a home version on YouTube, too. It starts tomorrow (as far as I can see), is laid out for a week and the schedule looks really good, including journal prompts and of course yoga flows. I’ve been a bit lazy with my yoga practise lately so this is a great opportunity for me to start over and get used to daily sessions again.
I based this on my cinnamon rolls recipe, but it’s less fuss and easier to portion. The apples give it not only a bit of zing but will also keep the loaf moist and serve as built-in applesauce so you don’t have to mess around with extra (which of course you can if you want to anyway).
Makes two loaves, because honestly the first one will be gone in a heartbeat.
Actual making time: ~25min
Baking time: 60min
Oven heat: ~ 220°C or 3 on a gas oven
For the dough:
1pck fresh yeast
800g flour (I use wheat type 405)
500ml milk or the vegan equivalent of your choice
80-100g sugar (depends on how sweet you want it)
2tbs ground cardamom OR a 1:2 mixture of cinnamon and ground ginger
50g butter, room-tempered
pinch of salt
1-2 large apples, diced
For the filling:
cinnamon & sugar, mixed (about 1:3)
2 large apples, diced
extra flour for your workspace (so just just the rest of that kilo)
Heat the milk to what I call “nice bathing temperature” and crumble in the fresh yeast. Let it sit while you mit sugar, salt and cardamom and measure the butter. Pour your yeasted milk into your mixing bowl and add butter and cardamom sugar, mix well and start adding flour. I use a spoon first – at least room temperature so it won’t shock the yeast! – and then go into kneading when it’s a bit dryer. Work the dough and add more flour if necessary until it stops sticking to your fingers. And has the consistency of an earlobe (it sounds strange but helps a lot). Cover the bowl with a tea towel and let it prove next to the radiator or in another warm place for at least an hour.
Once the dough has risen nicely take it out of the bowl and onto your flour-dusted work surface. Give it a good kneading and then add the first set of diced apples by simply folding the dough around the apple and kneading some more. This will increase the moistness of the dough so make sure to have enough flour left to generously re-dust the surface every now and then until it stops being sticky.
Halve your dough, put one half aside and roll out the other to about 1.5cm thick. Spread the cinnamon-sugar mix evenly on a thin layer of butter all over the rolled-out dough, then roll the whole thing up (I find that it helps to fold in the ends first). Flatten the roll a litte, then slice it open end-to-end leaving a few centimeters closed on each side, twist it a little so you have some of the cinnamon filling showing, put in a loaf tin and stuff 1/2 of the remaining apples into that split.
Bake for 60min or until the top of the loaf is golden brown. With a gas oven I found it helpful to boost the temperature for the last 10min one last time by simply turning up the gas.
Repeat the latter part of the recipe with the second half of the dough. Serve warm or toast later.
I think it speaks for itself that my first-try loaf was gone in 15min after I gave it to the RPG session that was taking place in our living room. Good thing the recipe makes two.
We’re being visited by Verdinium this week and when she first arrived last Thursday I had leftover cheesecake in the fridge. She tried it, liked it and asked me for the recipe. Instead of just scanning it for her I decided to bake another cake, take pictures and give her – and the rest of my lovely readers – the recipe in digital form.
This is the cheesecake recipe that was handed down from my Grandmum to me and she still makes it every time I come to visit.
Actual making time: ~20min
Baking time: 60-70min
For the crust:
200g plain flour, type 405
1 tsp baking powder
50-75g sugar (depending on your sweet tooth)
100g butter, soft
For the filling:
1 satchet vanilla sugar
grated lemon peel
1 satchet vanilla instant pudding
To make the pastry mix all ingredients, egg and butter last, and knead until the dough is smooth. Line the bottom of a springform pan with baking paper and snap on the outer ring, then roll out about 1/3 of your dough for the base and use the rest to cover the sides. Prick the base with a fork a few times and then set aside. Pre-heat oven to ~170°C.
Beat the egg whites with 1/3 of the filling sugar.Mix the egg yolks with quark, milk, vanilla sugar, regular sugar and lemon peel. Once the mixture is smooth add the instant pudding.
Pour the filling into the dough-lined pan. Put into the oven and bake for 70min or until the filling is golden brown on top (which means slightly shorter than I left mine in this time…).
If you can use pesticide free fresh organic lemons for the lemon peel part do so, the results are so much more aromatic than the packaged stuff from the supermarket! The vanilla pudding can be substituted by 2½ tbsp starch, a dash of salt and another pack of vanilla sugar (which can be self-made, too, of course, or simply be substituted by actual vanilla but then you’d have to add another tsp of sugar for the pudding substitute… oh, you know what I mean).
If you can’t get quark where you live: Here are a few substitute suggestions.
If you bake it tell me if you liked it!
- How to Attract Crows on WikiHow. There are always crows somewhere around me but knowing how to attract them can’t be wrong, either. Maybe one day I’ll make crow or raven friends, too!
- Hand Charms from the Speckled Egg on Etsy. I’m also quite smitten with these drawer pulls from Art of Brass.
- The artisanry of the ladies of Basketry Plus. On this website they feature beautiful woven objects, my favourites being those of Maggie Smith.
- Helen Mask’s short guide on Emulating Art Nouveau in your own art. I desperately want to draw more for myself again (opposed to “for others” or “out of necessity”).
- The Great Language Game, a game where you get a short recording and then have to guess the language via multiple choice (it gets harder with time). Hat tip to Noisette, Scoundrel’s flatmate, speaker of Arabic, Polish, German, English and probably half a dozen other languages, too.
- Angelina Ballerina – the old series (I have yet to find the books somewhere near me). The new series is a CGI abomination – where the mice had actual mouse anatomy in the old animation (and were most of the time not even wearing clothes because well, they had fur) the new ones just look like your typical 3D animated, garishly dressed children with surreal mouse heads on. Anyway, the old one is sweet and cute and just what you’d expect of ballet-dancing mice and the obligatory bit of drama that comes from being a child in a dance class. There’s also this bit of insight into how the tales about a mouse in a tutu came to be.
- Eulalia Hath A Blogge, the accounts of Eulalia Piebakere, SCA persona, pie lover and modern-life science teacher. I love her style of writing and her dedication! She’s been a great source of inspiration to me lately and now I definitely want to get into more historical cooking.
- My Bubblegum Pink Ethletics. How could I not list them before? Actually the colour is called “Ice Cream Pink” but I think it’s more of a bubblegum hue. And they’re a fair trade product, too!
- Pictures from the National Geographics Traveler Photo Contest on Boredpanda. I can’t decide which one I like best, it’s a tie between #1, #5, #7, #16, #22. Which is your favourite?
- Rice Cake with Nori and Soy Sauce. My favourite snack at the moment! You simply steam the rice cakes (the ones without a filling, I prefer the long round ones), wrap them in nori and dip them in soy sauce as you go. And it’s even fairly healthy!
There’s a memory deeply engraved in my mind. It’s the picture of a little girl in a white night gown with little blue flowers on it, sitting on her feet on a corner bench in a dining room at dusk, her head wrapped in a towel – she’s probably just out of the bathtub. It’s warm, maybe spring or early summer, and her grandmother comes in with a deep dish with chipped primary-colour ornaments from the 70s. Semolina pudding with a face drawn with sea-buckthorn sauce, with hair made from banana slices. I’m the little girl.
This is my first post for my rendition of the Mori Challenge. I wanted to post this incredibly simple recipe sometime soon, anyway.
For one bowl of decent semolina pudding you’ll need:
- ½l milk (or the vegan alternative of your choice)
- 2 tbs sugar
- 4 tbs soft wheat semolina/farina
See, it’s that easy. Pour the milk into a small pot, mix in the sugar and bring it to a boil. Stir in the semolina, slowly, to avoid lumps. Lower the flame (or if you use an electric stove you might as well turn it off and use the excess heat) and let it soak and cook for another five minutes. Stir it up from time to time or it will burn easily. When it doesn’t flow off the spoon anymore but rather drips in larger drops it’s done.
Eat with banana slices and absurd amounts of sea-buckthorn-and-honey sauce. I fear they might not have this outside europe, but something with a lot of vitamin C usually compliments the flavour quite well.
This food always makes me feel warm and safe, the ultimate comfort food.
As much as I’m looking forward to starting the Mori Challenge it’s Friday and that means project-in-progress pictures.
It’s incredibly hot at the moment so projects that need hot air – for fast drying, for example – get the highest priority at the moment, just out of convenience. ^^
Painting cute bear faces on fabric, for example.
Or my latest aquisition and activity: Making pasta. It’s Plastic Free July which I took as an excuse to finally get me a pasta machine thingy. You only get pasta in plastic bags here in Germany except for the brand Barilla, and they’re homophobe troglodytes (and I don’t mean wrens), so I don’t buy from them (remember: every purchase you make or make not is a statement). So I took a fancy to the thought of making my own – I have the time, and now I have the tools. It’s fun, and I can’t wait to try more extravagant recipes (pasta spinaci, for example).
Also I’m in the progress of cleaning the fridge at the moment but I don’t think you’d need a photo of that mess.
Have a wonderful (and maybe productive) weekend! ♥