Sunday, December 30, 2012

Real Danish Æbleskiver -- by popular demand!

A couple days ago I posted this Instagram picture of my æbleskiver, sizzling away in their cast iron skillet.  Oh, the deliciousness!  Æbleskiver are a traditional Danish Christmas treat, something a little bit like a pancake ball, but ever so much better tasting.  They are served with all kinds of dipping sides -- butter and a sugar/cinnamon mix, jam and powdered sugar, fruit or maple syrup, nutella, etc.  Several people asked for the recipe, so I thought I'd post it here to make it easy to find and use.  I got this recipe while serving as a missionary in Denmark about 13 years ago, and it makes the most moist and fluffy little balls of goodness you could imagine.

Real Danish Æbleskiver
4 eggs, separated
1 T sugar
2 c. sifted flour
1/2 t. salt
1 t. baking powder
1/2 c. melted shortening
2 c. milk

Beat egg yolks and add sugar.  Sift dry ingredients together and add to egg yolk mixture alternately with shortening and milk.  Fold this mixture into stiffly beaten egg whites.  Bake in æbleskiver pan (preheat pan over medium heat -- a good cast iron skillet generally doesn't need to be greased because there's already a lot of oil in the batter, but if you find them a little sticky you can baste the cups with butter).  Fill cups 3/4 full.  Allow to bake until bubbles form around edges.  Then flip each bubbling æbleskive over and finish baking.  Many Danes use a crochet hook to flip them.  Other favorite implements are metal skewers -- I just use a fork. :)

So if YOU have an æbleskiver pan just gathering dust because you don't really know what to do with it, try this out!  If you don't have one yet, here is a good one on Amazon.

PS - some recipes call for various fillings inside the æbleskive itself.  I'm sure that's lovely too, but I never had them that way in Denmark.  If you want to take up æbleskive-making, I'd start out with a recipe like this and get it figured out before moving on to something more complicated.

Let me know if you have any questions!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Pom-Pom Fairies for the Tree

I was looking up an old pin on Pinterest the other day and my Eliza saw a picture of pom-pom clothespin fairies.  "Are those for me?" she asked, with such excitement -- how could I say no?  Especially when I have been wanting to make some so very much!  So we followed the excellent tutorial at that link, and here are the ornaments we created:

The clothespins I found at Hobby Lobby were a little different from the nice rounded heads I've seen elsewhere, and they just needed a little something extra.  I painted tiny wooden balls and hotglued them to the top to create the buns.  The wings are just made from scraps of white craft felt.

My kids (to varying degrees) loved learning how to make pom-poms out of yarn.  They all liked the concept, but only my 9-year-old had the patience to finish the whole thing without my help.  It IS pretty time-consuming.  But they all loved the finished product, and they loved that I wrote their name and the year on the back, so that when they grow up they can take it with them.  I think a new tradition has been born in our family!

Hope you are all having a wonderful Christmas season -- only a week left!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Naughty&Nice... for ScrapbookUSA Expo

I have another cute Aspen Frost by Basic Grey layout to show you, brought to you by ScrapbookUSA Expo! My earlier layout was fun and eclectic and pretty darn busy, so I thought I'd show you how well this collection also lends itself to the quick and simple. This layout came together very quickly, but it looks great!

I started by setting up my pictures to print onto a single 8 1/2x11 sheet, leaving that bottom middle space blank. Once I got that printed out, I just had to layer the various papers together, add a few stickers and tags, and it was done! I'm not generally a very quick scrapper, but with the awesome coordinated products Basic Grey sent me, I was able to get this done lickety-split and still feel like it has my own personal stamp. Love it!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Little Bits of Christmas... for ScrapbookUSA Expo

Basic Grey sent me the most gorgeous box of goodies for my ScrapbookUSA Expo projects this month.  It was like having my own little early Christmas!  They sent me the "Aspen Frost" Christmas/winter collection, and I had a grand old time scrapping with it.  Here's my first layout:

As I looked through my pictures from this past Christmas, I had a lot of little moments but no great "this is Christmas" shots.  Then I realized -- all the little moments are what make up a wonderful Christmas!  And the Aspen Frost collection was perfect for that theme -- I was able to use the patterned paper, letter stickers, tags, pre-sewn pennant flags (how cool is that?), and mini-envelopes to put together a fun, eclectic layout highlighting all the little "bits" we enjoyed so much.

Basic Grey is definitely a favorite booth at the ScrapbookUSA Expo.  They sell their big collection packs, card kits, and tons of little bits and bobs that you don't often see, all for great prices.  (Psst -- they've always had a one-hour sale on their collection packs during the day on Friday that makes them only $5 each.  DEAL!)  I may or may not have bought at least 10 different packs in September... and a ton of adorable flower clips... and labels and rub-ons and alphabet flashcards and more.  Oh, the awesomeness.

Thanks for stopping by!

PS I also used red velvet chipboard letters from My Mind's Eye for the title.