Today I have the honor of introducing to you Colombian Christmas, rituals, and customs. Of course I am going to introduce to you typical Colombian recipes for Christmas as well. I by no means consider this extensive and is more based on my personal experience. As a German I can say though that Colombian Christmas is happier, louder, and more carefree than German Christmas. Maybe it has to do with the fact that Germans usually meet with their nucleus family; during these short winter days you need to be at home behind closed doors. Colombians, on the other hand, are found travelling in large groups to relatives, Christmas celebrations can start at 30 people or more, you may encounter a birthday cake for Jesus and see Colombians dancing Salsa happily. Of course the food plays an important role as well. Usually you will find a large amount of people being involved in some food preparation as it requires many hours of labor. By the way, New Year’s Eve is not that different from Christmas, usually Colombians will visit one side of the family on Christmas, and the other on New Year’s. Prepare yourself for eating large amounts of food. But let’s first get started with Christmas in Colombia!
Are you also such a big fan of picnics? I just love the idea of sitting on a blanket, enjoying a few treats I prepared beforehand and breathing some fresh air in nature. A picnic to me is the best way to relax. Below you will find two recipes perfect for a picnic. One is a berry salad infused with lavender honey, the other is homemade pesto, which I used on a sandwich as a spread, but which may be used as a dip or with some cooked pasta. All of below tips are also from my first-hand experience as a huge picnic lover.
My ten favorite layer cakes, today I am going to introduce them to you! I have to spill a few secrets today, one of them is that you make me so happy! Just looking at the reader’s favorite recipes from 2019 and 2020, I am astonished that so many layer cakes made it to the top. You know, a layer cake usually means several different components. A layer cake means quite a bit of work. This is not like a simple cookie, layer cakes will take time. Yes, and I have also learned a thing or two along the way. Did you know that I didn’t dare to cut a cake into more than two layers? The cake layers were so crooked, it was aweful. Until I learned that you don’t cut through immediately, but you will go around just about a centimeter or so and slowly work your way through. That’s how you get even cake layers! Yes, I have also failed, cakes didn’t turn out or melted away, but regardless, I love making cakes. You apparently, too, at least you seem to really make a lot of them.
And let me spill another secret. I have been making my own birthday cake for years. Each time I am like, OK, I don’t care what people want or which recipes may go viral, I will simply invent a cake I like and which is something for MY tastebuds. And then I sit down and invent a recipe I like. Since I am chocoholic many of my cakes will have some chocolate part. Interestingly enough, many of these layers cakes I made not caring about readers’s interest or whether this was something worth posting, have made it to the top ten. I am beyond happy that you seem to have a very similar taste. I mean, maybe I should only post cakes I like and then somehow they will make it to the top. That makes me so happy! But now let’s get down to business, below you will see MY favorite layer cakes. Don’t ask me how long I had to think about which ten to include, there are simply so many…
Are you looking for inspiration for Easter? I’ve got you covered. Below you will find lots of recipes either for brunch or breakfast, but also if you wish to serve some special cupcakes or treats or even a cake. Check the links below the pictures, I always start from left to right. You will find all recipes from the featured picture in this blog post.
Breakfast or Brunch
Traditional braided bread from Germany
Waffle cake with rhubarb and strawberries
Sourdough pancakes with blueberry sauce,
Thick Belgian waffles with caramelized bananas,
Broken-up pancakes with rhubarb compote
Cupcakes and Cookies
Cheesecake with rhubarb and strawberries
Today I am going to introduce my nine favorite recipes from Uruguay. I was born in that little country in South America and was fortunate enough to live there for a few years when I was small. In 2016 I had the opportunity to go there on vacation again after I had lived in Germany for many years. It was so crazy how many memories came back. Obviously I had to try some of the most popular dishes again. The recipes I introduce below have all been tested with German ingredients in Germany since I live in Germany. I would be very excited to see if you also give it a try yourself. If you have any other request or encounter any problem, please let me know in the comments.
Cookie boxes are my thing! I love shipping cookies to friends and family during the season! I have been doing this for years. And since this year is so special and you may not be able to see everybody you hold dear, how about shipping a cookie box instead? This post will let you know which type and size of box to choose, which cookies are best to ship with lots of recipe suggestions, how you make your cookie box look nice and give it a personal touch and how your cookies make it safe and sound without breaking or going bad. Let’s have a look:
Simple sugar cookies with royal icing
#1 Which box is best to ship cookies?
It may sound counter-intuitive, but I do prefer rectangular boxes, even if round cookie boxes seem so much more common here in Germany. I find rectangular boxes so much better as you can easily create smaller compartments by cutting out some carton (yes, you can use an old cornflakes box) and by placing them inside your cookie box to create smaller compartments. So stacking the cookies becomes much easier as each has its small compartment and is protected even better. You probably could create something similar with a round cookie box, but I am very bad at this. This is not to say that you can’t use round boxes, but as stated, for shipping rectangular boxes are better.
A tin can will work best and can be found in German stores during this time of the year. Once I even bought a cookie box already filled with cookies in a grocery store and replaced those with my own homemade cookies. So you can go with tin, thick carton, or wood. Paper is not thick enough, you may only use it if you want to wrap single cookies in some extra containers.
The size is also tricky, they shouldn’t be too small as you won’t be able to put in any cookies (and they fill up much faster than you think), but also not too large. I would suggest about 17-20cm in diameter and 8-10cm in height for round cookie boxes, these are the ones I liked a lot. For a rectangular box again height should be between 8-10cm, the largest I shipped was 17cm in width and 20cm long.
My nine favorite recipes with pumpkin. Finally it is the season again for my beloved pumpkin. So let me introduce to you my favorite recipes, be it breakfast, in a cookie, a cake, cupcake or in waffles, let this orange vegetable shine. What is your favorite recipe with pumpkin?
Have you every heard of Nanaimo bars? These translate to a no-bake bar with a nutty base, which is mixed with graham crackers and melted butter, a vanilla custard in the middle layer, and then topped off with delicious chocolate. I’m telling you, you are going to love this Canadian treat, at least I fell in love with it and I don’t even like coconut that much, but in this nutty base combined with walnuts, it is a dream come true. Ah, just look at this deliciousness!
I was fortunate enough to spend a gap year in Canada after high school. Don’t ask me why, but Germans LOVE Canada. And there is a lot to love. So much untouched nature, such friendly people, and in general a very wonderful place to be in. Canadians are in general extremely polite and friendly, but if you tell them they are basically the same as Americans, they get offended and will talk about all the differences, such as Tim Hortons (the “Starbuck/Dunkin Donuts” version of Canada), their beloved queen, and, of course, the fact that they have public health insurance.
Be it as it may, conversations you are definitely going to have is about food. Canadians love their food. I don’t think I have ever eaten more salmon than during my gap year in British Columbia, it was sold EVERYWHERE. And the famous maple syrup, yes, I have actually seen Canadian pour it on their bacon, mashed potatos as well as into their coffee. So needless to say that of course I had to try Nanaimo bars. Nanaimo bars are originally from British Columbia, from Vancouver Island. The base usually contains coconut flakes, graham crackers and melted butter. Since I live in Germany and pecans are a little harder to find, I went with walnuts, but I believe you can use any nut as a wonderful addition to this mix.