Wishes for 2014

What a strange and straining year 2013 has been! Mostly, it has felt like an obstacle course. Starting beautifully with Peter’s and my marriage, what followed then however just ate away our mental, physical, and financial resources. We are both happy this year is over now!

white wine

~ champagne for having survived 2013 ~

So you see, I am really looking forward to 2014, because things can only get better! Here are some of my wishes for the upcoming year:

  • more happiness, confidence, and feeling of security in my life
  • more quality time with my hubby, my family, my friends, and myself
  • more health, well-being, and energy
  • more musical activities and inspiration

I hope you all have a good transition!

happy new year

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Filed under Kath's Stuff, Lalala

Christmas, Not Quite As Planned.

When I look back at 2013 with all its unsettlement and unforeseen strains and social rejection, I really should not be surprised that also Christmas is not going to be as it should be this year. Not only am I going to visit my family alone because Peter has to catch up on a lot of work and we will not visit his mom until some issues have been resolved, but also our apartment is current being a chaos again, since Peter got his remaining things from his former shared apartment last weekend.

Christmas tree in the middle of chaos

However, we do have a tiny Christmas tree – fake, but hey, it has straw stars and lights! biggrin

Christmas tree

Later today we want to move Peter’s old kitchen cupboard (which is finally here now) from the corridor into the kitchen. This means we will have to clear out and move one of the shelves, so we will be busy for the afternoon. Since Christmas is already celebrated on December 24th in Germany, this is not how you would expect it to be.

kitchen cupboard

At least our two house rats, who have recently accompanied us, are having fun indulging in the remaining chocolates. Sniffy (the grey one) is actually quite well-behaved, but Nougat (the brown one) has a completely hedonic character, so you will find him either looking out for chocolate, munching on chocolate, occupying the pillow in the bed snoring loudly when you want to go to sleep, or scratching his back against Peter’s arm or head when Peter wants to do other things. We are a little concerned that his ways might gradually spill over on Sniffy.

rats with chocolate

~ Sniffy and Nougat indulging in chocolate ~

Anyway, I wish you all beautiful and stress-free holidays! Merry Christmas to all of you!

christmas smiley

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Filed under Lalala

Roasted Nut Chocolates

Christmas chocs

Every year in winter, I make chocolates. It all goes back to a “how to make chocolates”-workshop which I attented by the end of my schooldays – it was a birthday present from friends of my parents. At the workshop, people learned how to make fancy chocolates with different fillings, and afterwards you could take the chocolates you made home with you. In that year, the chocolates made beautiful Christmas presents for my family.

When I moved out of home to start studies, I used to live in very small apartments most of the time, and did not have an oven for baking. This meant I could not bake Christmas cookies. However, the chocolates came to my mind again, and since then, it has become a ritual to make chocolates which only afford very little equipment and are easy to make – at least the ones I make, but of course you can dive into elaborate chocolate production, if you like that.

Nowadays, I still make chocolates, and this year’s chocolate production was opened with these roasted almond and walnut chocolates. I used dark chocolate so they are vegan, but you can also use milk or white chocolate, or other kinds of nuts. Instead of whole nuts, also chopped or sliced nuts, coconut flakes, dried cranberries, or corn flakes work well. Just try around. smiling

nut chocs

ROASTED NUT CHOCOLATES

hungry about 30 to 40 chocolates – vegan / gluten-free

Ingredients

  • 200 g (7 oz) whole nuts (I used almonds and walnuts)
  • 150 g (5 oz) dark chocolate

Directions

Pour some water into a pan and heat it up. Break the chocolate into pieces and put them into a bowl, then carefully place the bowl in the pan to let it melt. Be careful that the chocolate does not get into contact with the water, otherwise it will not dry so well.

In a second pan, roast the nuts without added oil. Stir constantly to prevent them from burning. The nuts are ready when they are slightly browned and fragrant.

nut choc production

Mix the roasted nuts with the melted chocolate. Stir until all nuts are evenly coated with chocolate.

nut choc production

Line a baking sheet or a large chopping board with paper. Use two teaspoons to make small heaps of chocolate and nuts until the mass is used up.

nut choc production

Leave the chocolates to dry. In winter, I like to put them outside on the balcony where they cool down very quickly. Finally, pluck the chocolates from the paper and enjoy. Store leftover chocolates in an airtight container in the fridge.

nut choc production

Here are some more combinations to try:

  • white chocolate and cranberries
  • white chocolate and coconut flakes
  • white chocolate and chopped cashews
  • milk chocolate and sliced almonds
  • milk chocolate and peanuts
  • milk chocolate and corn flakes
  • dark chocolate and hazelnuts
  • dark chocolate and rum raisins

Which ones would you like? Do you have any more ideas?

I love chocolate

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Filed under All Recipes, Sweets