Friday, November 29, 2013

Homemade Christmas Gift Ideas

I guess everybody likes to receive and give gifts. Me myself I even like more to give than to receive. Love to see the smile on people's faces when they unwrap their gifts. But what can be even better than that is to give something that you did yourself. Homemade gifts are more valuable in my opinion as you put also something from yourself when you prepare them. Don't forget that they are also money savers. Probably the same thing will cost much more if you want to get it from the store. Anyway, if you are keen to prepare homemade gifts for your family and friends and want to have fun here are some ideas for you. Homemade gifts made with 'love' will be the most precious ones!


Whether a candle itself or a candle holder you can prepare a lot of beautiful things easily. I would like to share first a link where you can watch how to make candles at home. Then using this method you can prepare hundreds of different styles candles. Just use your imagination. Also you can decorate simple candles and turn them into a beautiful decoration object.

Here are some homemade candles that I really like. Also I will share candle holders that looks really nice.



Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Europe's Best Christmas Markets

For those who want to spend their Christmas holidays in Europe, here are some places. I think you will enjoy visiting these places. You can pick up handmade gifts, savor roasted chestnuts and mulled wine, find many interesting things.

BARCELONA - Fira de Santa Llúcia

        Dating from 1786, this traditional Christmas fair has expanded to more than 300 stalls selling all manner of handcrafted Christmas decorations and gifts, along with mistletoe, poinsettias and Christmas trees. The most popular figure on sale for Nativity scenes is the curious Catalan figure of the caganer(crapper), a small figure crouching over a steaming turd with his trousers around his ankles. Kids line up for a go on the giant caga tió, a huge, smiley-faced ‘shitting log’ that poops out pressies upon being beaten viciously by a stick; smaller versions are on sale in the stalls. There’s also a Nativity scene contest, musical parades and exhibitions, including the popular life-size Nativity scene in Plaça Sant Jaume.

Where: Pla de la Seu & Avda de la Catedral, Barcelona, Spain

When: 25 Nov-23 Dec

How to get there:

It is recommended to use the public transport in order to avoid traffic jams, especially on public holidays and weekends.

By bicycle:
Station Bicing on Avinguda de la Catedral, opposite numbers 4-6.

By metro:
Catalunya or Urquinaona stations
Liceu or Catalunya stations
Jaume I station

By bus:
Lines 17, 19, 40, 45 and 120.

By car:
Car parking on Avinguda de la Catedral and Avinguda de Francesc Cambó, next to the Mercat de Santa Caterina market. Entrance on Vi­a Laietana.

BERLIN - Christmas Market at Kaiser Wilhelm

        Berlin could easily be described as the capital of the Traditional Christmas Market, if judged on quantity alone – it has over fifty across the city every year. The market at Kaiser Wilhelm Gedächtniskirche is the biggest and most popular receiving around 2 million visitors each year who come to peruse the jewellery, decorations and artwork on sale as well to indulge in the more clichéd seasonal pleasures such as chestnuts and mulled wine.

Where: Kaiser Wilhelm Gedächtniskirche, Berlin, Germany

When: 25 Nov-1 Jan

Address: Breitscheidplatz

Area: Charlottenburg

Transport: U2, U9, S5, S7, S9, S75 Zoologischer Garten

BRUSSELS - Plaisirs d'hiver (Winter Wonders)

          Christmas in Brussels seems to get bigger every year. The Christmas market now extends along the streets from Grand’Place to place Ste-Catherine, covering almost 2 kilometres (1.2 miles). Each of the 240 market stalls is a little wooden-roofed hut selling mainly arts and crafts or food and drink, all of them having a pan-European flavour. By the time you reach place Ste-Catherine and the quays beyond, not only are you decently warmed up, but you’re at the heart of the festivities. The quaint stalls continue, punctuated every now and again by a 35m toboggan slope, a big-wheel illuminated with 18,000 lights and, of course, the 200 foot-long skating rink.

Where: Grand’Place to Place Ste-Catherine
When: 29 Nov-5 Jan
From Monday to Thursday and Sunday: 11am to 9pm.
Friday, Saturday: from 11am to 10pm.
o Tuesday 24.12: from 11am to 6pm
o Wednesday 25.12: from 2pm to 9 pm
o Tuesday 31.12: from 11am to 6 pm
o Wednesday 01.01: from 2pm to 9pm

Winter Wonders will also be accessible by the STIB and Train Brussels–Central station. Cyclists will be able to park their bikes onto one of the 100 recently installed bicycle racks.

 Wherever you are hope you enjoy your time. Countdown for Christmas and New Year starts soon! :))

Christmas Table Decorations

Today I would like to share some Christmas table decorations that I really like. If you are feeling festive with a little touch you can make your home ready for a party. Hope you like these ideas.

Delicious Christmas Ideas

Here are some creative and delicious ideas to decorate your Christmas table. Easy and yummy! 
Bon Appetit!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013


Boozy Chocolate Bombes


100ml Irish cream liqueur (we used Baileys)
200g white chocolate (use cheaper chocolate, it will melt better), broken into pieces
real or artificial holly, to decorate

For the sponge:

100g butter, plus extra for greasing
50g dark chocolate, broken into pieces
2 tsp instant coffee, mixed with 1 tbsp boiling water
1 tsp vanilla extract
100g plain flour
1 tbsp cocoa
¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
140g light soft brown sugar
2 large eggs
85g natural yogurt 

For the chocolate mousse: 

50g dark chocolate, broken into pieces
1 large egg, separated
50g caster sugar
75ml double cream 

  1. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Butter 6 x 150ml ovenproof pudding moulds and put a disc of baking parchment in the base of each. 
  2. To make the sponge, put the butter, chocolate and coffee in a bowl over a pan of simmering water. Gently heat until melted, add the vanilla and stir to combine. Set aside to cool a little. Sift the flour, cocoa and bicarb into another bowl, then scatter in the sugar, breaking up any clumps of sugar with your fingers. Mix the eggs and yogurt in a jug. Add the chocolate mixture and the egg mixture to the flour, and stir everything with a spatula until there are no visible lumps of flour. Divide the mixture between the 6 moulds, put on a baking tray and cook in the centre of the oven for 30 mins or until a skewer pushed into the cakes comes out clean. Leave to cool for 10 mins, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely. Can be made up to 5 days ahead, wrapped well in cling film and stored in a sealed container; or freeze for up to 6 weeks. 
  3. While the cakes cool, make the chocolate mousse. Melt the chocolate in a small bowl over a pan of simmering water. Leave to cool for 5 mins, then stir in the egg yolk. Whisk the egg white in another bowl until stiff, add the sugar and continue to whisk until glossy and thick. Pour the cream into a third bowl and lightly whisk until thick. Tip the cream into the chocolate and stir to combine. Add the beaten egg white and, using a metal spoon, fold together until there are no streaks of egg white remaining. Chill until needed. 
  4. Line each pudding mould with cling film. Remove the tops of the cakes with a small serrated knife to create a flat surface. Carefully split the cakes into 2 or 3 layers through their middles. Reassemble the cakes in the pudding moulds, soaking each layer of sponge with the liqueur and layering with chocolate mousse. Cover the cakes with any overhanging cling film and press down gently. Chill the cakes for at least 3 hrs or for up to 2 days before serving. 
  5. Melt the white chocolate in a small bowl over a pan of barely simmering water. Turn each cake out and unwrap. Drizzle the top of each with a little white chocolate, letting it drizzle down the sides. Decorate using a small sprig of real or artificial holly. Leave the white chocolate to set for 20 mins before serving. 
Recipe from Good Food magazine, December 2012

White Chocolate & Ricotta Cheesecake


For the base:

50g butter, melted
150g digestive biscuits
50g amaretti biscuits
sunflower oil, for greasing

For the filling:

200g white chocolate, chopped
5 leaves gelatine
6 tbsp milk
500g tub ricotta
300ml pot double cream
50g icing sugar
2 large eggs, separated

To decorate:

white chocolate curls
pomegranate seeds
icing sugar, for dusting (optional)


  1. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Melt the butter in a pan or microwave. Very finely crush the biscuits together, stir with the butter, then press very firmly into the base of a 20cm round loosebottomed cake tin. Bake for 6 mins. Cool, then wipe around the inside of the tin with a little oil on kitchen paper.
  2. Soak the gelatine in water while you make the filling. Tip the chocolate into a bowl over a pan of simmering water, then add the milk. Gently heat until melted, then stir together. Squeeze the gelatine dry, add to the chocolate mixture and stir to dissolve.
  3. Beat the ricotta, cream, sugar and egg yolks together. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites.
  4. Stir the chocolate and ricotta mixtures together, then gently fold in the egg whites. Carefully pour onto the cooled biscuit base. Cover the tin with cling film, then chill until firm, preferably overnight.
  5. To decorate, very generously top the cheesecake with the white chocolate curls, then remove from the tin, scatter with the pomegranate seeds and dust all over with icing sugar, if you like.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, December 2009