Saturday, 31 August 2013

A treasure in a drawer

There are secret drawers in my house where I haven't looked in for ages. 
Would you like to have a look with me in one of these secret places?
 Let's open the drawer carefully - only a tiny bit. Oh, what could that be?
There's a silvery gleam beneath some dust.
 Let's draw a bit stronger - phew - the drawer jams.
A treasure, a real treasure, the silver service I got 20 years ago and a silver vase that was a present from my mum. I absolutely forgot that I own that.
Oh! In what a poor condition they are!
I have to take my silver polish and clean them immediately.
And not only silver polish is what I will need but also some blackberries to fill in after the cleaning action.
Aah! What gleaming and shining in my humble hut. Where are my sunglasses?
But something's missing! What else than a rose could fill that gap?
 More is more! Not only one rose - many roses, please!
Let's have a closer look!
 And closer!
 What's that inside the rose? Another secret?
 OMG! Another treasure?
 A sleeping green rose chafer! With his green shimmering shell!
How beautiful is nature whenever you have a closer look!
You can find treasures everywhere.
Wish you a shimmering day with secret treasures!
Miss Maple

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Four times strudel and a happy end

Last time I had a lot of time for cooking and so I decided to make several kinds of strudel.
The recipe for the dough needs only a few ingredients that you have in stock surely.
500 g flour
4 tbsp oil
4 tbsp vinegar
250 ml warm water
1 pinch salt
Place the flour in a bowl with the salt and add the oil and the vinegar first, then the warm water. Stir with a spoon until it comes together and you can work it with your hands. Knead the dough until it is smooth, about 5 minutes. Beat the dough against the worktop so it will become smoother. Form the dough into a ball, brush it with a little oil and place it back in the bowl for at least half an hour, room temperature. Covering the dough with a vaporized bowl would prevent it from drying out. Roll out a quarter of the dough on a lightly floured board and spread the filling on it. Fold in left and right ends of the dough. Furl the dough from the front to form a roll and transfer to the baking sheet with the seam-side down. Brush with butter.

scallion strudel with bacon
Filling: two bunches of sliced scallions and 100 - 150 gr of chopped bacon.
 That's a very old family recipe from my great grandmother who I never met. So this strudel is a very delicious reminder of this unknown person who I owe my life to as well. I think she probably took less bacon but a fatter one. My grandmother and my mother often made this strudel and so do I.

scallion strudel with mozarella and dried tomatoes
Fill in 2 bunches of sliced scallions, some chopped dried tomatoes and 1 chopped mozzarella. Add salt and pepper. I tried this mixture today for the first time and I would say: Next time I'm going to take spinach instead of scallions again. That's a much more better taste. When you use spinach you can also change the cheese and take sheep cheese instead of mozarella. That's fine for all the vegetarian guests.

poppy seed strudel
Fill in a mixture of 150 g ground poppy seeds, 75 ml warm milk, 40 g melted butter, 1 small dash of rum, 1tsp cinnamon, 4 heaped tbsp sugar. I always add four chopped apples cause I think it makes the filling a bit more moist and tasty.

apple strudel
 Fill in one kilo of chopped apples - I took some of my apple tree - 1tsp cinnamon and three heaped tbsp brown sugar.
 While the sweet strudels are baking in the oven a wonderful scent that will remind you of your childhood will waft through your home. It attracts children, adults and even some small animals.
I recommend adding vanilla sauce, whipped cream or even a scoop of ice cream to the sweet strudels.
 Even this little wasp found the scent very appetizing and came to enjoy one small piece.
 Don't you think that the endings are looking nice too?
A real "happy end" therefore!
And many of my family members or guests like these "happy ends" best.
Wish you a happy end in all your affairs!
Miss Maple

Sunday, 25 August 2013

My new dress under the rose arch

Lately I found a new dress in a wonderful print and an even more wonderful shape here.
The perfect summer dress!
 What? A photo session? So Julie wants to be on the set too, of course!
 I like the delicate pink of my autumn anemones.
 Julie tries to be in as much photos as possible.

 Too bad that the roses for this rose arch died some years ago. I must plant new ones.
 Some really robust ones that don't need watering too often.
This bag was a cheap bargain at my local op shop around the corner: 3 €. First I thought it had been an old sewing basket but my mum told me that in her childhood baskets like these were part of the traditional costumes worn in our area. So it was a way more precious found than I thought. And I think this basket is the ideal addition to all summer dresses. Besides there is enough space for all the things I need to have in a bag. Thank God I do not need too much things.
 Mistress is laughing.
So Julie is laughing, too!
 The photo session is over? Ok then there's nothing more to do for Julie here. 
She wants to leave as fast as possible. Let's go for a walk, mistress. Quick!!!
What's better than a walk on this sunny late summer day.
Wish you enough time for a walk on this sunny day!
Miss Maple

Thursday, 22 August 2013

And I made: Peanut Butter Cookies

What do you say? 
Here I'm back again with sweet and tender peanut butter cookies.
I found the recipe in an old cookbook and had almost everything in stock.
I only had half of the chopped peanuts so I added almonds. 
They really don't look spectacular but mmmh - how yummy!
I love the both sweet and a bit salty taste.
That was my adventure in cooking today.
 The recipe is fairly simple:
 125 g unsalted butter
150 g peanut butter crunchy
225 g sugar
1 egg
150 g flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 pinch salt
75 g unsalted chopped peanuts
 Cream together butter, peanut butter and sugar. Beat in egg.
 In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Stir into batter. 
Put batter in refrigerator for 1 hour.
 Roll into 1 inch balls and put on baking sheets.
Bake in a preheated 180°C oven for about 10 minutes or until cookies begin to brown.
 Flowers and apples from my garden.
 Playing around and around.
It took me a lot of time to decorate and change and decorate again and to take bazillions of photos, look through them and delete most of them. But in the end I was rather pleased with the outcome. 
Too bad that there's often no time to experiment so long with the food and the camera.
I think it looks already a bit autumnal. 
Yes, autumn is fast approaching.
My favourite colours!!!
Wish you some warm and lazy late summer days.
Miss Maple
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