Marketplace: Swarovski Crystal and Traditions

Swarovski - The Magic of Crystal

Before I could barely even string a sentence together, my mom taught about Swarovski crystal. I know, right? She tells me stories of going to the Swarovski factory in Austria when I was quite young and buying pairs of Swarovski animals. There was always a pair Рone for me and one for my sister, she said.

She hasn’t added to her collection in quite some time, so this past Christmas, I thought I should spoil her. I picked up a¬†couple of sweet little animals to add to her collection. Swarovski‘s growing collection is¬†amazing…as is my mom’s!¬†Here’s a peek into her collection…

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a pair of crystal squirrels

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a pair of bears

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a pair of bunnies

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a hedgehog (this one might be my favourite!)

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a kangaroo (my sister brought this one back from Australia)

View the entire collection at Swarovski.

Photos by me.

Food: Vanilla Danish Cookies

A couple of years ago,¬†I learned about Danish¬†chef Trine Hahnemann¬†as I was¬†munching on some simple¬†vanilla cookies that a friend made from Trine’s recipe. The little white¬†rings are full of goodness¬†– they’re¬†perfectly sized¬†and have¬†just enough¬†sweetness.

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I didn’t make them in time for Christmas, but I did bake a batch in time for my family’s New Year’s Day feast.

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before –¬†little ring cookies ready for the oven

Trine-hahnemann-danish-cookies-White-Cabana-2Trine-hahnemann-danish-cookies-White-Cabana-1after: little ring cookies ready to be eaten

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Trine Hahnemann’s Vanilla Danish Butter Cookies

375 g butter
250 g sugar
1 egg
2 vanilla pods
500 g plain flour

1. Cream the butter and sugar together in a bowl until the mixture is pale and fluffy. Add the egg and continue beating.
3. Split the vanilla pods lengthways and scrape out the seeds with the tip of a knife. Stir them into the flour.
4. Fold the dry ingredients into the butter mixture. (I knead the dough a little bit so everything sticks together.)
5. Wrap the dough in cling wrap and chill for (at least) two hours.
6. Preheat the oven to¬†200¬įC (I¬†set mine at 390¬įF).
7. Roll the dough into very thin sausages about fix or six centimetres long. Curl each on into a ring and press the ends firmly together.
8. Place rings on a parchment-lined baking tray (I put the trays in the fridge for a few minutes before putting them in the oven. This helps them keep their small ring shape).
9. Bake for about eight minutes (I baked mine for about 6 minutes.)
10. Cool cookies on a wire rack.
11. Store the cookies in an airtight container and do not mix them with other types of cookies or they will go soft.

*Instead of converting the measurements into cups and tablespoons, I used a scale and weighed each of the ingredients.

Thanks to Emmy for teaching me about these delicious Danish cookies. Recipe via Red (original recipe is in The Scandinavian Cookbook). Photos by me.

Christmas: Advent Calendar

Well, yes, I know we’re already a week into December and many of you have already begun your advent calendars but I just can’t resist posting these three amazing white ones. Aren’t they pretty? I must remember these for next year!

via Sally J Shim

via Emmas DesignBlogg

via Say Yes to Hoboken

Do you have an advent calendar? With gifts or chocolate?

20 Below: Italian Cards

Last week while I was at Chapters, I noticed a wall displaying boxes of Italian cards. With these cards, one can play scopa and briscola, two traditional Italian card games. My grandfather used to play these games with all of his friends but I never learned how to play. Well, now I have my own set (well, two actually) and instructions too. Now all I need is a partner. Does anyone already know how to play?

Scopa card game, $12.95, Chapters