Early New Year

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I can’t believe how fast my time at home has been flying by! Even though I’ve been having the best time with my family it feels like my vacation is half over already because my sister is flying back to London tomorrow morning. I’m glad that I get to stay in Austria for another 2 weeks but really wish my sister and I  would have had a little more time together since we don’t really do that much or get to see each other that often when we’re in England.

We decided to spend our last day together in the year 2011 with shopping. We got up bright and early, had a quick bowl of invigorating oatmeal and a cappuccino and drove off to Salzburg to hit the malls.

We were quite the successful shoppers! Even though I was spoiled rotten by my family for Christmas I could not help myself to indulge in some post-Christmas bargains.

For dinner my mom prepared Fondue! Fondue is usually our New Year’s Eve dinner because it makes waiting for midnight a tad easier if you are munching on meat, sausage and warm baguette all night long. But because Christina loves Fondue just as much as I do and since she can’t be around for New Year’s we decided to have Fondue night by 2 days earlier.

Each year we have the same sauces, sausages and meat and gather round the table as the whole family talking, laughing and eating! Lots of eating!

While the meat is being cooked it’s always good to have a full basket of baguette nearby to have something to dunk into the sauces.

Even though all of the sauces are delicious in their own way, my favorite flavors are dill and cowberry sauce.

I’m off to play some board games with the family!

Indonesian Vegetable Soup

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My probably last recipe for the year is an Indonesian Vegetable Soup, a soup my mom learned to cook directly from Indonesian women. Even though there’s hundreds of meals my mom could make when the whole family is around, making this vegetable soup is an absolute crowd pleaser since it includes all kinds of vegetables, tofu, rice and an option of greens, so there’s something for everyone. Even my grandpa, who is 85 years old loved it and he’s never had tofu before in his life.

Indonesian Vegetable Soup

makes 2 very filling portions

You will need:

  • about 1/2 l chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
  • 2-3 small potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into slices
  • 1 handful of green beans, washed
  • 100g tofu, cut into cubes
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • salt
  • optional: chilli (or sambal oelek), basmati rice, pak choi, bean sprouts
  1. Start by heating up the chicken broth in a pot. You can use vegetable broth instead, but the flavor will be more intense if chicken broth is used. Once it simmers, add the potatoes and carrots.
  2. After about 10 minutes add the green beans and tofu. Wait another 10 minutes until everything is cooked completely.
  3. In a small pan heat up the olive oil and fry the garlic. Once lightly golden, scoop 1 ladle of soup into the pan and stir to mix the garlic and the soup. Then transfer the garlic-soup mixture back into the soup pot. Heat everything up for another 5 minutes and season with salt (and chilli).
  4. Serve with basmati rice, bean sprouts and blanched pak choi.

Bliss of Nature

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My family decided to go for a hike this afternoon since the weather was better than expected. It was such a beautiful day so I took along my camera to snap a couple (148) of pictures along the way.

Sunny was being a perfect lady the whole hike up the mountain, but when we told her to pose for a couple of pictures she gave me an attitude!

We wanted to have lunch half-way along our hike in a little alpine hut near the top of the mountain where they serve bread, cheese and meats but unfortunately they were closed so we had leftovers from the last couple of days and Parmesan Soup that my mom made as a starter. I didn’t manage to take a good picture but I will tell you it was delicious and cheesy! Just the way I like it!

Christmas Eats

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Hello!
I hope you’ve all had an amazing Christmas and enjoyed a couple of stress-free days with family and friends. We had a wonderful time and it was great to see my grandparents and spend time with all of my siblings playing games, going for walks, hiking and  lots of eating!

On Christmas Eve my grandma and mom prepared a delicious meal. We had a traditional Austrian soup (“Frittatensuppe” -shredded savory pancake soup) and turkey. We added lots of vegetables to keep things as healthy as possible! For dessert we had Mousse au Chocolat and fruit salad.

Shredded savory pancake soup is a specialty in Austria and is one of my favorite soups. The preparation is similar to pancakes except for the fact that they have to be extremely thin, sort of like French crepes. After they’ve cooled down they are cut into thin pieces and added to beef broth.

I had a huge portion of red cabbage and a side of cabbage salad with my turkey.

Mommy’s famous Mousse au Chocolat with an extra big scoop of fruit salad.

Yesterday we decided to have Nasi Goreng. Even though it’s not a typical Christmas meal, it’s something everyone loves and only my mom knows how to make. My sister specifically requested it as she is only home for a couple of days and wants to have her favorite food while in Austria. Luckily her favorite food is also my favorite food!

After a 1.5 hour hike/ run with my dad and brother this afternoon I got home to a delicious and tender duck roasting in the oven.

Served with left-over red cabbage and home-made Austrian dumplings.

And because we haven’t yet eaten enough we attempted to fill up on nutrients with chocolate fondue with different flavors of chocolate: yoghurt vanilla, chocolate brownie, milk chocolate and orange chocolate.

I hope your holiday was equally as successful food-wise!

Merry Christmas

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Hello everyone!

We are just a couple of hours away from our family Christmas celebration. I was sooo excited about today’s festivities this morning that I woke up at 7am and couldn’t go back to sleep.

Last night “we” (even though I did all the work) set up  the Christmas tree. It usually is a family activity but Christina was on the phone and Mo played DJ so I was the only one doing the work. Luckily Christina did some damage control when I was done hanging up the ornaments because I am not the most gifted “ornament hanger”. Each year I am overwhelmed by how great our ornaments look. They are a mix of unique and beautiful ornaments which my dad buys and home-made touches.

My breakfast this morning was bigger than usual. I had a small bowl of oatmeal and one of my favorite wholemeal bread rolls with home-made strawberry and apricot jam (made by my mom). We buy the bread rolls at our local bakery and they are loved by everyone is my family.

The usual oatmeal with goji berries, flaxseeds, 1/2 banana, home-made granola, 1 clementine and pomegranate seeds!

We are about to have lunch so I better go! See you guys later. Hope you have a great Christmas Eve!

Reindeer Cupcakes, Cookies and Chocolate

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Wuhu! Tomorrow is Christmas Eve! In Austria, people celebrate Christmas on Christmas Eve and I can’t wait until my whole family is together again. My brother and grandparents will be joining us tomorrow morning ahead of church and Christmas dinner!

I had some friends over for a little pre-Christmas celebration. Unfortunately, not everyone was able to come but it was a good opportunity to do some baking.

I got the idea for the reindeer cupcakes form Julie from Peanut Butter Fingers and I thought it would be cool to serve them to my friends. I love making cupcakes and I have yet to meet someone who doesn’t like them. I used a recipe from the Magnolia Bakery Cookbook for both the Vanilla Cupcake and Chocolate Buttercream Frosting.

Other than that I served a big plate of Christmas cookies and I also made a peppermint slab earlier this week that I wrapped up and gave to my friends as a party favor.

 

I’ve got a ton of things to do today before we set up our Christmas tree tonight, so I better get a move on!

Chocolate Rum Balls

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Yesterday I made the 11th (and I’m sad to say) final cookie flavor for this year’s cookie collection. We have always made rum balls in the past but they’re not really a family favorite as most people in my family don’t like rum. But being the good sister that I am, I made these especially for my older brother Alex, who I know doesn’t mind the taste of rum that much…..so he better appreciate my effort! I also included lots of nuts (healthy fat) to make up for the unhealthy fat from the chocolate and cream.

Rum Balls

makes about 50 rum balls

You will need:

  • 1/8 l cream
  • 300g dark chocolate, chopped
  • 200g grated nuts (walnuts or hazelnuts)
  • 4 cl rum
  • desiccated coconut
  • chocolate sprinkles
  1. In a pan, heat up the cream and wait for it to boil. Then turn down the heat.
  2. Add the chocolate and stir until the mixture is smooth.
  3. Then add the nuts and rum. Mix well.
  4. Let the mixture cool for a couple of minutes. It should then have the perfect consistency to form small balls.
  5. After forming the balls roll them in chocolate sprinkles or desiccated coconut.
  6. Store in an airtight container.