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And..December with festive trimmings!

Tuesday, December 18th, 2012

I can’t believe how fast this year has gone by! It feels like October and November slipped by so quick and here we are now…at the end of the year. December! Which also means Christmas! In a week’s time! Argh!

Well prepare yourself for a very Christmas themed post. Mostly for my mum’s reading pleasure!


I brought out my white tree branch and filled it up with bits and pieces. You’ll remember the tree from my DIY Christmas tree post. If you notice it looking skinnier…it’s because it has lost a few twigs from post-market stress, not to mention surviving a crazy Perth storm!


Then in perfect timing, a box of Christmas treats arrived from my parents in Germany! Inside are Christmas spiced cookies which we totally love and a few cute gifts…like this set of Christmas cookie cutters!


So in good Christmas spirit, we made some Ginger spiced biscuits. Well, Big mo did most of the work while I took pictures and sampled them straight from the oven! Very delicious!


Amongst all the gingery goodness…my parents also gifted us this cute gingerbread candle train, otherwise known as an incense smoker. You put a little incense cone inside the carriage and actual incense smoke comes out from its chute!


Traditionally, smokers are lit during Christmas time in Germany. But these days there are a variety of wooden smokers carved in different figurines and objects that you can light them up on non Christmas days too.


We have the train sitting on our dining table and we’ve been using it at night for our candlelit dinners. Hehe!


And finally, this Christmas time I sent off a Little Mo package all the way to Fairbanks, Northern Alaska. That’s as close as you can get to the North Pole! (Twenty minutes by car according to Google) How exciting! So if you read this lovely D, I hope you enjoy wearing your bunny pendant! xoxo

Well that’s as far as I got with my Christmas preparations here. Hope all of you are having a fun one with your own Christmas prep!

Today at home…

Friday, May 18th, 2012





Was mostly spent drinking tea, pottering around in my balcony garden…and a bit of drawing in between. I hope you are all well! xxx

To happy tea drinking days

Saturday, April 7th, 2012


Oh yes mum, we bought a tea cabinet the other day! Gotta love second hand furniture shopping :D

Homemade chilli jam

Friday, April 6th, 2012



Last month we visited the Chilli Festival for the first time. It was quite a fun affair with rows of stalls selling chilli plants and chilli infused food like chilli sauces, chilli wine and chilli beer.

We bought some spicy condiments and a box of very fresh and hot mixed chillies. In the box were some Bhut Jolokias, Fatalii, Morugas and even the fiery Trinidad Scorpion!


I was really inspired after our day out to make my own chilli jam!

Chilli Jam Recipe (makes 1 jar)

1kg ripe tomatoes
250g caster sugar
6 hot chillies, sliced
1/3 cup white wine vinegar
3 tbs fresh lemon juice
2 tsp sea salt
2 tsp cranberry sauce
2 tbs fish sauce


Firstly, peel the skins off the tomatoes and chop them up. Place the tomatoes and sugar in a saucepan, cover and leave at room temperature overnight.


Add the rest of the ingredients into the saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring occasionally.

Reduce heat and let it simmer for 1 or 2 hours until the jam thickens. Don’t worry if your jam seems watery in the beginning. As you cook it longer, it will gradually start to get thicker. Adjust the taste and chilli heat to your desire.


Let the jam sit in the saucepan, in a cool spot for 5 minutes before pouring it into a sterilised jar.

This sweet chilli jam makes a lovely spread on sandwiches and crackers, served with cold cuts. Enjoy!

The Merriness of Christmas

Saturday, December 31st, 2011


So I hope your Christmas was magic and blessed with family, friends, love…and good food! On Christmas Eve, Rich and I had a quiet dinner together. We put all our presents under the tree and bought a bottle of wine to celebrate. I think with the excitement of having our first tree this year, we may have got a bit carried away with the presents. Although half of the presents under the tree are for his family too:)


In the evening I prepared steamboat for dinner, we had slices of meat, vegetables, tofu and noodles to simmer and cook in our hot pot broth.


We ate so much! After dinner, we sat by our tree and gave presents to each other. Rich spoiled me with so many gifts! I will have to do a separate blog post on it because it’s just so awesome.

On Christmas Day we went down to his family’s place and we had more food and presents! I’m always amazed at how much effort people put into Christmas over here. Growing up in Asia, Christmas is just like an extra public holiday. It isn’t as festive and merry (although we do decorate the streets with tinsels and lights and occasionally put up the Christmas tree). More often we just have a quiet family dinner and maybe attend Christmas Mass at the local church. We never gave out Christmas presents at home, it just wasn’t a tradition at my house. But I can see how excited people get over here at Christmas time, especially Richard and the boys. I guess to him this is like his family tradition and he’s grown up celebrating Christmas in a loud and merry affair. The wonderful thing about this occasion is that there’s a lot of giving and sharing…and a lot of family and friendship bonding.

Ok, I’m sure by now you’re just itching to see some of the wonderful gifts I got this Christmas :D


A duck teapot from my sweetest friend Niina. She also gave me a gorgeous vintage casserole dish with a warmer stand (I will share that in my next post).


A gnome painter kit and cutest planter from my lovely friend Allana. Some gnome picture books from Richard.


Another gnome from my father-in-law and a new chili plant. My vegetable corner garden is coming along quite nicely this Summer.


He also gave me a new planter with some tomato plants!

Everything is just so awesome and everyone knows me so well! I always get excited when I receive gardening or kitchen gifts! Thank you so much for celebrating Christmas with me this year!

Spiced Christmas

Thursday, December 22nd, 2011


Hey mum…the treats have arrived! Vielen dank!

To those who are wondering about the contents in the box, they are German Christmas cookies. Every year my mum spoils us with this stuff!


The brown flat shaped gingerbread is known as Lebkuchen. They are usually rectangular or round in shape, and coated in chocolate or white frosting. They have a sweet and nutty taste and smells like allspice

Lebkuchen is made with honey, flour, sugar, eggs, hazelnuts, walnuts, almonds, candied orange and lemon peel, marzipan, and spices (cinnamon, ginger, aniseed, cloves, pimento, coriander, cardamom).

My favourite biscuits out of the lot are the Spekulatius. They are thin and crispy with a buttery and allspice taste. The biscuits are formed by traditional hand carved cookie molds. Each biscuit has a beautiful imprint and intricate pattern. They are almost too precious to eat! What are your favourite Christmas treats?

Spaetzle and homemade meatballs

Monday, November 28th, 2011


I made spaetzle with meatballs and mushroom cream sauce on Richard’s birthday.

Spaetzle is a popular dish in Germany. It’s a cross between a curly pasta and a small dumpling. Before we left Stuttgart, mum bought us a spaetzle maker so that we could make our own homemade spaetzle! It was much easier than I thought and also, very delicious and fresh!

Basic Spaetzle Recipe (serves 2 people)
2 cups of all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
3/4 cup milk

Mix the flour and salt. Combine eggs and milk and stir into the flour mixture. The batter should look and feel like a pancake mix. Wet and sticky.


Place the spaetzle maker on a large pot of boiling, salted water (there are different kinds of spaetzle makers out there, mine looks like a flat cheese grater).


Pour the batter onto the spatzle maker and spread the mixture through. The dough will fall through the sieve and into the boiling water.


When the spatzle floats up the surface it means it’s cooked. Gather the pasta quickly with a large spoon, drain and serve with your favourite sauce.

Spaetzle is declicious with melted butter and melted cheese, or served with any meat dish, gravy, cream based sauce or even plain! Enjoy!


My green Monday

Monday, September 26th, 2011

Today was a wet and windy day and I was feeling really cold (and lonely) in the shop…


I decided that maybe the shop needed a bit of sprucing up, so I chose a “spring green” theme and started decorating our shelf display. I love that our pop-up shop has such a diverse range of products, it inspires me…just being part of this talented collective.



When I got home, the green theme rubbed off on me so I made a quick salad for lunch, and treated myself to Kerri’s Yo-yo biscuits…served on my Stangl Magnolia green plates.


It’s taken me ages to find a set of plates that I love and these vintage dinnerware from New Jersey are all hand painted individually and made between 1952 to 1978. Unfortunately Stangl Potteries have closed so I’ve been sourcing online, the rest of the Stangl dinnerware, in particular this Magnolia collection. I’ll share more pics once I’ve managed to collect the complete set!

Bistro menu

Saturday, September 10th, 2011


We did end up having tea at our place. Niina dropped by and we had a light lunch.


2 mushroom and chopped walnut rissole, 1 chickpea and sweet potato rissole, 1 pot of Russian green tea with maté and lemon grass, a tub of freshly picked cherry tomatoes, Abhis gluten-free bread with flax seed and rice and Abhis rosemary and olive loaf.



Stay For Tea

Saturday, September 3rd, 2011

Painted with Acrylic and pencil on Arches watercolour paper.



I painted this piece while drinking a tea blend called Marco Polo and listening to Collapse Under The Empire.

This painting is of course inspired by my love for tea drinking. The idea came about from a random sketching session with Niina during our last shop shift. She was the one who suggested I draw a chicken teapot..which sounded crazy at first, but the idea grew on me and I couldn’t stop thinking about it. So chicken + tea = cute chicken teapot!

Before I met my Welsh husband, I was hardly crazy about tea. Once we started dating, I realised how much tea he consumed. I also learned quickly that he MUST have his morning ritual of tea + milk + toast or I would suffer the wrath of a grumpy bear! In fact, his whole family drinks tea around the clock, which is probably a very British thing.


Over the years we have sampled and bought various tea. One of our favourite things to do is to brew a pot of tea after dinner and sit down and unwind. I usually take mine black, without any sugar or milk.


So to all the tea lovers out there including Niina, this piece is for you. Here’s to lots of happy tea drinking!

Stay For Tea is available to purchase in my shop. Pop it in a 5×7 frame and enjoy your original cuppa:)

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