Archive for the ‘Homemade candy’ Category

I am so excited about this Christmas. Germany definitely breeds the Christmas spirit with its busy Christmas markets, fresh white snow, and variety of Christmas traditions. What it doesn’t foster is that crazy Christmas materialism that so often comes in the US. Instead, I have been sweetly knitting gifts and crafting thoughtful tidbits for the people I care most about.

Here are the ravelry links to what I have knit; these could all be whipped together in one night if you were a quick knitter (unlike me):


Gingerbread House Kit

Label from Giverslogs



My coworkers are getting little gingerbread house kits. The idea and recipe are from Martha, but the label was adapted from the Giverslog. These are easy to make and could be pulled together in one evening. I hope they like them.

Merry Christmas.


Read Full Post »

Living in German definitely has its perks, one of which is the forced leisure on Sundays. Stores (and many restaurants) are closed, so people spend the day relaxing. I have found Sundays to be the perfect day for baking.  I had originally planned to make cinnamon rolls, but I forgot cinnamon and like I said no place was open. So I looked in my kitchen for something to make. I knew I wanted to bake something for breakfast on Monday. Monday is a big day for us here. It’s the start of classes and all of the teachers are a little stressed. So I had 2 lemons, 1 ginger root, basic baking ingredients and a baking sheet. I decided to make the most out of that. I made three delicious things.

First, I made candied ginger. It’s perfect for nervous stomaches. The candied ginger recipe was adapted from Alton Brown. I followed his basic directions, but I used one ginger root and 1 and 1/2 cups of sugar.   Basically, after boiling the ginger, strain it and boil it in simple syrup until the sugar re-crystalizes.

Next, I used the liquid that the ginger had been boiling in (and was strained off) to make ginger ale. I added some simple syrup, a little lemon juice, and sparkling water. I haven’t really been looking, but I haven’t seen ginger ale here. This was so good that even if I do find it, I wouldn’t buy it. It would make this!

The third ginger project of the day was ginger scones. I used this lemon ginger scone recipe and added a glaze on top. It used most of my candied ginger, but I had a few big chunks set aside to enjoy later. I am usually not a scone person… but wow! The texture was perfect. So moist. And the flavor was incredible.

I am so happy with each of these. When I moved into my little apartment, where the kitchen is literally in a closet and the only oven is a toaster oven, I thought all attempts at baking would be worthless. But my sweet coworker told me not to underestimate my toaster oven. And he was right. That thing is pretty powerful. I haven’t exactly figured out cooking times and temperatures, but that’s just more reason to bake.

Read Full Post »