December 3, 2014

Creative Advent Calendar : Quick Cinnamon Rolls, Rich Spiced Hot Chocolate + Wassail Cranberry Punch


We've been busy baking again + I'd like to share my recipes with you for






I'll be posting lots of goodies throughout December on my Creative Advent Calendar.


Join us here for recipes, diy, and German holiday traditions.


Hope your holiday season has started well + come over get your recipes here.

Warm greetings from Berlin,

Stephanie


November 28, 2014

3 Delicious Holiday Baking Recipes


My Tennessee grandmother was famous for her delicious Southern pecan pie, and I've added chocolate and updated her recipe using less sugar. I also used walnuts, as pecans are difficult to find in Germany. However, both walnuts and pecans work well in this recipe and if you prefer a thicker filling, you can use a smaller pie pan too. Enjoy! 

Tennessee Walnut Chocolate Pie

Grandma's Butter Crust Pastry

1 cup flour + more to roll out
pinch of salt
pinch of sugar
2 Tbsp. / 30 g cold butter
1/4-1/2 cup cold milk

Walnut Chocolate Filling
4 eggs, beaten
3/4 cup / 140 g brown or fine raw sugar
1/2 cup / 125 ml maple syrup
1 tsp. vanilla
2 Tbsp. whiskey or rum
3 Tbsp. melted butter, cooled
1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. flour
2 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups chopped walnuts (or pecans)
4 oz. / 100 g semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
whipped cream or ice cream for serving, if desired

Preheat oven to 350ºF / 175ºC and prepare a 10“ / 26 cm pie/tart/quiche pan.

To make pastry, mix flour, salt, and sugar together, then rub in cold butter until mixture resembles course meal. Stir in milk slowly with a fork, just enough for dough to form a soft ball.

Turn out pastry dough onto a floured surface, and roll out to a thin circle large enough to cover pie or tart pan. Fold dough into quarters, transfer gently to pie pan and unfold. Trim crust as needed to fit pan.

Prick dough with a fork all over and pre-bake crust slightly for about 6-7 minutes. If any bubbles appear in dough, simply prick and press down with a fork. Let cool.

Meanwhile, prepare Walnut Chocolate Filling. Mix together eggs, sugar, maple syrup, vanilla, whiskey, melted butter, and salt until smooth. Gradually sprinkle in flour and cocoa powder, stirring well to prevent lumps. When mixture is smooth, add chopped nuts and chocolate.

Pour walnut chocolate filling into cooled pie crust. Place tart in oven and bake for 40-45 minutes or until puffed and golden.

This is especially wonderful when served slightly warm with a dollop of whipped or vanilla ice cream. Greetings from Tennessee!


This simple open-faced apple tart is easy to make, very yummy, and it's beautiful to look at too. Serve warm and you and your guests will be happy!

Apple Cinnamon Creme Fraiche Tart

Pastry:

2 cups / 250 g flour
1/2 cup / 125 g cold butter
1 egg yolk
6-7 Tbsp. ice water, as needed

Topping:
1/2 cup (125 g) creme fraiche or sour cream
4-5 tart apples (like Granny Smith), peeled + sliced + tossed in the juice of one lemon to prevent browning
3 Tbsp. brown or raw sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 Tbsp. finely chopped almonds or walnuts (optional)

To make pastry: Combine all ingredients to make a smooth dough, adding water as needed, then wrap dough in plastic wrap and let rest for at least 30 minutes before rolling out. Meanwhile, you could peel and slice your apples...

Roll out the dough as thinly as possible into a large free form rectangle. I generally roll out this dough directly onto my baking paper, so that there is no need to transfer the dough.

Spread the creme fraiche or sour cream over the dough, then top with apples in a nice pattern.
Mix together sugar + cinnamon, then sprinkle evenly over the apples. Scatter over chopped almonds or walnuts, if you'd like.

Bake at 375ºF/190ºC for 25 - 30 minutes or until golden brown and apples are tender. Serve warm + this tart will disappear fast. 


These fresh cranberry scones are one of our favorite breakfast treats on the weekends or holidays. Lovely served hot, right out of the oven with a pat of butter or cream cheese :)

Quick Cranberry Scones

3 cups flour
4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, cut into small pieces
1 cup fresh cranberries
1 egg
about 1/2 cup milk

Preheat oven to 400ºF / 200ºC. Grease or line a large baking sheet.
Stir together flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Cut butter into flour mixture using fingers or a pastry blender until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Gently mix in cranberries very carefully. Break egg into a measuring cup for liquids and beat well. Add enough milk to egg to make 3/4 cup, and stir well to blend with egg.

Add milk/egg mixture to dry ingredients; mix gently until particles cling together. Mixture will be very crumbly. Form a ball of dough and divide into two parts. With floured hands, form into 2 balls of dough and place onto the baking sheet. Press each ball of dough into a 6 inch circle (about 3/4 inch / 2 cm high). Using a sharp knife, cut each circle into 6 wedges, and pull apart to separate wedges, leaving at least 1/2 inch between them (dough will expand while baking).

Brush tops with milk, and sprinkle with a bit of sugar if desired.
Bake for 18-20 minutes or until lightly golden. Serve hot with butter and enjoy!

****
Happy holiday baking + warm greetings from Berlin,

Stephanie

p.s. - I'll be sharing my Creative Advent Calendar with daily recipes, diy projects + other goodies during the month of December, and I'd love for you to join me here :)

To get updates + my free 2015 illustrated calendar to download, be sure to sign up for my creative newsletter.

November 8, 2014

Jolly Holiday Making, Baking, Exploring Berlin's Xmas Markets + Invite a Friend for Free


Wouldn't you like to spend the remaining weeks of 2014 ...
  • relaxing with friends
  • creating delicious holiday treats to eat and drink
  • making fun diy projects
  • reading your favorite books
  • exploring Berlin's Xmas markets
  • getting inspired by lovely guest artist interviews
  • + making joyful, exciting plans for 2015?
Oh yes? Well then, I have great news for you :)

On Monday we'll be starting a new session full of celebratory holiday recipes, creative projects, photo walks from around the world, inspiring guest interviews + I'll even take you on a tour of Berlin's coolest Xmas markets, yoohoo!

Since this is the final session of the year - I'd like to offer you a very special one time bonus - you can invite a friend to join us for FREE.

Several participants have already invited their moms, daughters, sisters, cousins, best friends and neighbors to take part in this one of a kind, international, multi-cultural celebration.


Regardless of your nationality or religion, there will be something for everyone in this session as we gather together to make this the merriest, jolliest holiday season ever.


"I am thoroughly enjoying the Creative Courageous Year course! Stephanie is full of fabulous and inspiring ideas for walks, crafts, recipes, journaling and reading to keep our creative juices flowing. Connecting with the worldwide community of wonderful and like-minded women is so delightful. This is exactly the gift I needed to give myself right now." Jobina, Germany/Canada




As we make yummy food and fun, crafty projects together, you'll relax and enjoy the remaining weeks of 2014 all the more. You can also share our DIY projects + recipes with your children, your mom, your sister, or a group of creative friends.

We'll also enjoy a wide variety of weekly guest artist interviews.

I'm honored to announce that the following artists and creative international ladies will be joining us for this unique Holiday Session:

Chelsea Fuss - stylist, photographer, floral designer, and creator of the fabulous Frolic blog

Jennifer Orkin Lewis - talented artist, illustrator, and art journaller extraordinaire aka August Wren

Susie Lubell - whimsical watercolor artist/illustrator + creator of exclusive Ketubah designs

Heather Braun-Dahl - inspiring ceramic artist and painter from beautiful Vancouver, Canada

Lori Portka - creator of art, illustrations, prayer flags, cards, and gratitude kits based on love and joy

Cathy Nichols - unique, poetic mixed media artist and encaustic painter

Rachel Faucett - author, designer, mother of 5, and creator of the lovely Handmade Charlotte blog

Natascha Rosenberg - internationally-known illustrator and artist from Madrid, Spain

These wonderful ladies from around the world will be sharing their artwork, personal thoughts and tips on creativity, as well as their family holiday traditions with us - what a treat.


As an extra bonus I'll be taking you on a tour of Berlin's coolest + most charming Christmas markets during our Holiday session.



We'll bake cookies, sip on yummy drinks, make easy, fun decorations and cards, and celebrate our multi-cultural holiday traditions together.

"This is such a lovely place: make yourself comfortable, treat yourself to a delicious cup of tea or coffee and breathe in all the beauty and inspiration at your own pace... Just one little note: Stephanie's courses are addictive and so is this feast for the eyes and the (other) senses!" - Elke, Belgium


Creative Courageous Holiday is the final session of a year of making our creative dreams real. 

Preparing this course is a true labor of love and it's a treat to share all of this heartfelt creativity with you.

This session will be a particularly rich + warm gathering of lovely, kind friends as we celebrate the remaining weeks of 2014 together - and make glorious, fresh plans for the upcoming year.

We'll take time to share what we loved during the past year, what we want to improve, and how we can best prepare ourselves to flourish and expand during 2015.

Remember, you are most welcome to invite a friend or relative to join you this session for FREE, if you'd like. That way, both of you can take part in our special session of international holiday fun.

Get all of the details about Creative Courageous Holiday HERE.

Warm greetings from Berlin + I look forward to seeing you in class on Monday,

xoxo

Stephanie

November 7, 2014

Baltic Sea Dreaming



A couple of weeks ago, my family visited from the States and we took a trip up to the Baltic Sea for an autumn break.

The sea is only 3 hours away from Berlin, and it always inspires and refreshes me.




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The girls were already excited by our train ride and watched the passing scenery, commenting on every cow, sheep, horse, and deer they saw.


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Once we arrived, it was time to go for a walk and look for sea shells and other treasures on the beach.


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My mom taught the girls how to fly a kite

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and we went on countless walks along the beach, regardless of the weather.

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We also took a boat ride to see the island cliffs

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sampled lots of German cakes

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visited a historic castle

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had fun at a playground

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and admired the stormy sea and evening clouds.

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I mostly enjoyed the salty fresh air and water

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the misty morning atmosphere

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and I even squeezed in a bit of time to dream and sketch for my upcoming e-courses :)

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On the lovely ride home, our train passed through lush green fields and vast open spaces, under painterly skies.

It's always good to provide our eyes and spirit with a new landscape, and now I'm full of ideas and plans for the upcoming months.

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What are your dreaming about today?

Hugs from November Berlin,

xoxo

Stephanie

October 20, 2014

A Berlin Autumn Walk


One of the many things I love about Berlin is the changing of the seasons, and autumn is a true explosion of color here.

Today you're invited for an autumn walk through my Berlin neighborhood, come along with me...
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I hope you liked this autumnal stroll!

If you'd like to visit gorgeous Berlin and see more of this incredible city, join us for a Wild Art Weekend next June :)

Today is the last day of Early Bird registration for my next Berlin Art Workshop - and 1/2 of the spaces have already been snapped up - so get all the info and grab your spot here.

Sunny greetings from Berlin,

xoxo

Stephanie

p.s. - Lovely Claudia made us a super cute, fun "Bollywood" style video - have a peek + smile with us here.

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