Mini Morning Apple Pancakes

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Mini Morning Apple Pancakes, Mini Morning Apple Pancakes, Mini Morning Apple Pancakes… Now, try reading that out loud three or more times, I swear it’s a tongue-twister to me – I’ve tried it and failed over and over again! What surely didn’t fail are the pancakes themselves, which I recently made on my favourite lazy Sunday mornings. Seriously, how amazing is it to sleep-in and get a heart-warming, delicious breakfast? It’s probably my favourite routine every weekend. With it being autumn, there are kilos and kilos of apples everywhere to buy for a nickle and a dime. I love it. Completely love it. There are about a million receipes to try out this season, and, quite frankly, it’s my favourite of the year (or do I say that about every season?).

I remember loving pancakes already as a kid. My mom would make them at least once a month, if not twice, for dinner. We would have the healthy pancakes first, filled with seasonal vegetables and sometimes meat, and were allowed to have one dessert pancake with cinnamon & sugar or nutella afterwards. I would always try to eat as many dessert-pancakes as possible, suddenly being super hungry again. Which reminds me, I should do that sometime soon again and share a recipe with you. What do you think?

This recipe makes around 8 mini-pancakes, so it is the perfect portion for two. Unless, of course, you are super hungry and want all for yourself. Naturally, you can also eat them when they cooled down some later hour and not share any. And, with it being no surprise, they are of course free of gluten and lactose.

What you need

2 eggs
200g glutenfree flour
50ml water
200ml milk
100g sugar (50g sugar and 1 tbs agave syrup also works)
1 pack vanilla-sugar
1 apple
coconut oil / or any oil of choice
powdered sugar (for decoration purposes if wanted)

What to do

1) separate the eggs and beat the egg whites until frothy (almost stiff)
2) add all other ingredients (excluding the egg yolk) into a bowl and mix it well
3) gently mix the beat egg whites under the mixture
4) cut the apple into slices
5) heat some coconut oil in a (small) pan and fill it with your pancake-mixture
6) prior to flipping the pancake, add a few slices of apple on top
7) flip the pancake and let it sit for another minute or two

Voila, now you can

1) serve it for you and your loved onces / or just yourself (no need to be ashamed!)
2) store them in the fridge for later
3) sprinkle them with powdered sugar (always looks great!) and serve them with some homemade jam – I had them with my apple-pumkin jam :-)
4) pack them in a lunch-bag for the kids to take to school – what a great snack!

As always – I hope you enjoy the recipe and of coures, I would be more than happy to see your creations and versions of it!

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Apple-Pumpkin Jam Recipe

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Happy Friday loves! I’m quite glad that Friday has arrived – the weeks keep getting busier towards Christmas. Last weekend I’ve been busy cooking up some recipes again in my kitchen – it surely never gets dusty in that area of the apartment. Since I’ve been a little kid I’ve always loved the kitchen. I loved watching my mom prepare dinners when I was younger, loved watching her make cakes on the weekends or for our birthdays, and loved some of those traditional recipes my grandma would throw out from time to time when I visited her. Nowadays it seems to be more my grandpa that turns up the stove and prepares meals when we visit – and I must say he is amazing at it! I’ve already stolen so much inspiration from him, though generally, from my whole family. As much as I love trying out new recipes and playing around in the kitchen, it’s always nice to know those meals that will work out perfectly just because they have been perfected throughout decades. My mom used to make super much jam, the whole year round, with all types of fruit. She still does them from time to time, though because we all live in different places she obviously doesn’t make heaps anymore.

Last weekend I made several glasses of apple-pumpkin jam paired with a hint of cinnamon. It tastes amazing – with a great emphasis on the apple and gives a great splash of color to any bread in the morning. Actually, I’ve been using it daily so far, be it on my bread or in my morning porridge. A hint of fruit never is a failure in taste in my eyes. The recipe makes about 8 medium glasses and when closed properly, they stay well for months. Of course it’s also possible to only do half of the recipe, or even less – but I always prefer a few glasses too much rather than too little. It’s also a great little present for your loved ones – be it for a birthday, christmas, or just in general.

What you need

1.2kg Hokkaido Pumpkin
1kg apples (I mixed sweet and sour ones)
1kg brown sugar
juice from ½ a lemon
200-250ml still water
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 packs Confi-Vite from Coop (gelling agent/thickener 2:1, fruit:sugar)

What to do

1) Cut the pumpkin into squares and take out the seeds (no need to peel it)
2) peel and cut the apples into the same size and remove the seeds as well
3) place the pieces into a large cooking pot together with the lemon juice
4) turn the stove on medium heat and cook the pumpkin and apple until they are soft enough to puree
5) once they are soft, puree them slightly
6) add the sugar, water and gelling agent (Confi-Vite)
7) continue to puree it until you have reached your desired texture (I always love keeping some pieces in)
8) now that everything is much more sauce-like in texture, turn the heat up and let it boil for 5 minutes
9) now fill everything into the pre-cleaned jars (I usually turn them upside down before filling them so nothing gets inside). Once a jar is filled, close it with the appropriate lid and turn it upside-down.
10) After all glasses are filled and upside down for about 10 minutes you can turn them normal again – note that you should hear a popping-sound, which means that they are closed fully (air-proof) and will thus stay good much longer

Now you can

1) eat it all up on warm toasts, on bread, waffles, put some on top of porridge or any other way
2) store them in a dark, dry room 
3) give them away as little presents to your dearest ones

Do let me know of how your jam turned out, if you’ve made any amendments to the recipe or found even more creative ways to eat it – I’m always interested in seeing what my readers make out of it!

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DIY Gift-making for Christmas

Good morning everyone! I came back to Düsseldorf last night – Amsterdam was a fabulous trip! I still have quite a few events/sightseeing and café photos to show you, so I will be sharing those in the upcoming days when it’s not all about Christmas anymore. How exciting is this – it’s Christmas tomorrow! Our family tradition is to open the presents on Christmas eve the 24th of December. A few family members will be joining (other than my parents and sister, obviously): my aunt, her husband, her three children – ie. my cousins and my grandparents. I love having the whole family around! They will be coming in the late afternoon, for tea probably, and then we will slowly start the cooking for dinner. We will need to go out with the kids at some point, so that “Santa” can come in when they’re gone and place the presents under the Christmas tree.

Now I want to share a DIY present you can make. I actually made this for my mom – the end product picture is not at it’s best, but I will take another one once she unpacked it. She promised to not read my blog until after Christmas eve, so I can share it, in case some of you still need to get a present and feel like doing some hand-craftmanship. I made a candle in a cement bowl. The whole process, including the drying, takes 36 hours.

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So here is what you need:
– 2 bowls to make the cement-bowl (one larger, one smaller one)
– one bowl to mix the cement
– cement (and water)
– candle wax
– candlewick
– oil (I used plant cooking oil)

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Start spreading the oil inside of the large bowl and on the outside of the smaller bowl. I used a cooking brush, as it worked best.

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Once the bowls are ready (though you can choose what order you want to do it in), start mixing the cement. Depending on how large you want to make the cement, use more or less. I used about 3kg of dry cement and added the according amount of water to it. The cement packaging normally gives instructions on how to mix it properly. Be careful to actually use the right amounts, otherwise the chance of the bowl getting a crack is much higher. I actually made one previous to this one, and although the cement fully dried it got a little crack in the end because I obviously was too lazy to read the exact amount of water I would need.

Once the cement mixture is ready, start pouring it into the large bowl. You can place the smaller bowl on top and put pressure onto it, to see how much cement you actually need. Once you are happy with the size, place enough weights into the smaller bowl so that it stays down. I used a large glass marble I had found and filled it up with water, too.

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The cement should dry out completely – which takes round about 24 hours. Once the cement has fully dried, carefully take out the small bowl first. Don’t worry if you have a film/layer of oil sitting on top of the cement – it doesn’t influence the drying process. The oil will enable you to take out and take off the bowls, without either breaking the cement bowl or the plastic bowls.

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Voila, here you have your cement bowl. If you only want a cement bowl, i.e. no candle, then you are done already! I actually made two, as you can see. I used both for candles, however am thinking of making more, to use it as a bowl for fruit or just for interior decoration purposes.

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If you decide to make a candle out of the bowl, you can now start melting the wax. Place the wax pieces into a bowl to heat-up over hot water. I used around 1kg of wax per candle. Whilst the wax is melting (I chose white wax, which becomes see-through), you can start cutting the appropriate length of the candlewick.

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I used one of those long cooking-spears to place the candlewick in the centre. Taking a spoon full of melted wax, I fixed the candlewick to the bottom of the cement bowl.

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Once the wax is fully melted, you can start pouring it slowly into the cement bowl. Don’t do it too fast, as the cement bowl can easily crack if it gets too hot, too quickly. However, don’t wait until the wax has melted again.

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Now it’s time to wait until the wax is fully dried. Et voila, here you have you’re DIY candle in a cement bowl.

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I’ve seriously seen so many blogs, which have done DIY cement projects. I always loved the idea but it took me ages to actually get going and try it out myself. Now that I’ve done it – I absolutely love the idea of making more things out of cement. I am loving the idea of having cement letters – as a bookend or simply as a great idea for more home decorations. It’s the only real present I made myself – though I had planned on making more things. Let’s just hope my mom likes the present!

Now I have to get all pretty – we are going to a photoshoot today to make pictures of family-photos (parents, sister, dog and me). We barely have any photos, were everyone is not the picture and everyone is all prettied-up. So I am really looking forward to getting these photos done! It was actually one of my Christmas-wishes, so I guess you can call it early Christmas for me today!