Sunday, November 25, 2012

When you've got the Gluhwein boost

Warms inside and out

You know you're in Vienna… when you've got the Gluhwein boost.

When days turn nippy in Vienna, the Austrians have just the remedy… the Gluhwein boost!  This mulled wine is a special treat at outdoor Christmas markets during the winter holiday season.  It's pretty tasty!

A cup from Christmas market at Turkenshanz Park

Gluhwein goes down warm and sweet and a little bit spicy, filling you with good cheer - and even good will towards fellow market goers!

From lower left: Gluhwein hut, sweets for sale, roasted goodies, and Gluhwein!

What to have with Gluhwien?  So many choices.  You can go with sweets - gingerbread and waffles - or savory - chestnuts and roasted potatoes.

Want to try making this at home?  Check out this Austrian Gluhwein Recipe from the Austrian National Tourist Office.

Happy Holidays!

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Sunday, November 18, 2012

Fabric Christmas Tree Card Tutorial

Fabric tree cards

Ever wonder what to do with all those little scraps of fabric left over from a project?  Christmas cards!  This struck me as I was looking down at a pile of little triangle-shaped scraps left over from one of my basket projects.  The tiny shapes seemed to be calling me.  Make me into something!

A stylized tree

The little triangles reminded me of the "stylized" trees we used to draw as kids.  So, I gathered them together, along with some fabric glue and blank cards, and I started to play.

Each is unique!

What a fun project for kids too!

Want to try it?  Here's all you need:

  • Fabric pieces in a variety of patterns and colors
  • A fabric glue stick
  • Blank cards with matching envelopes
  • Stamps for a message (optional)

Tools and materials

The process is easy!

  • Snip your fabric into triangle shapes.  
  • Take a triangle and rub a bit of glue on it.  
  • Place it at the top of your card.  
  • Now take the next triangle, add glue, and place it just below and to the left of the first triangle, overlapping a bit.
  • Continue building downward and outward, and before you know it, you have a tree!
  • If you want your tree to have a trunk, just snip a little rectangle and glue it to the base.

You can go with traditional colors or mix it up with fun unorthodox combinations

You can build one big tree, or several small ones.  Soon you will have a set of a lovely handmade cards to send for the holidays!

Make a set!

You might enjoy some of my other tutorials...

Got a few minutes?  Come by to see what's new in my shop...

Happy crafting!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

When there's beauty in a regentag

You know you're in Vienna when…  there's beauty in a regentag.  Regentag means "rainy day" in German.  A regentag can be a wonderful way to see Vienna because - if you pay attention - you' ll see the place transformed.

On a rainy day, light, color, and texture change.  Tones deepen.  Objects shine.

I credit Viennese artist, Friedenreich Hundertwasser for teaching me about rainy days. Hundertwasser loved these days so much that he chose to call his ship The Regentag.  He even added the word to his name!

BTW, if you're in Vienna and want to see some of Hundertwasser's inspiring, colorful, and fun art, take a visit to the Kunshaus Wien.  Do it on a rainy day!

Happy Regentag!

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Sunday, November 4, 2012

When dinkel's in your bread

Multigrain bread with dinkel

You know you're in Vienna when... dinkel's in your bread!

Dinkel is a tasty and nutritious grain, commonly called spelt.  It's slightly nutty and sweet, and quite popular in grocery stores and health food shops around Vienna.

Dinkel has an especially hard husk, which means it's naturally resistant to insects and pollutants.  It's higher in protein and fiber when compared to its wheat relatives.  And it's said to have healing qualities!

I especially like to bake with whole grain dinkel, as it adds a hearty flavor and slightly more dense crumb to breads.

Recently I baked a delicious multigrain dinkel loaf on the first snowy day in Vienna.  Dinkel bread goes great with soups and stews.

Here's the recipe:


1 1/4 cups water
1 tbsp pumpkin seed oil (or other seed oil)
2 tbsp honey
2 cups wholemeal dinkel flour
1/2 cup corn meal
1/2 rolled oats
1/4 potato flakes (optional)
1 tsp salt
2 1/2 tsp dry yeast

For crust:

1/2 cup nut and seed mix (I use whatever I have around: sesame, pumpkin, and sunflower seeds, rolled oats and cornmeal, etc.)

My seed mix is always handy.  I keep it in the door of the fridge.


Using your electric mixer with a paddle attachment or your bread machine, combine the ingredients – keeping in mind your machine’s instructions.

When kneading is done, let the dough rise for about 45 min. or until it has doubled in size.  (If you prefer hand kneading, see my note on hand kneading in my Best Ever Polenta Pumpkin Seed Bread Recipe.)

Once the dough has doubled, pour it out into a floured surface, give it a good kneading - a couple minutes - and then place it greased bowl, and cover lightly with plastic wrap.  Leave it to rise once more.

Waiting to rise

Now preheat your oven to 210 C (or approximately 410 F).  If you have a baking stone, place it in the oven.

Once the dough has doubled again, scatter the seed mix and then pour the dough out onto the seeds.  Gently roll it over the mixture.  The seeds stick to the dough and create a lovely pattern.

Roll gently over the seeds

Place your seed-covered dough directly onto a hot stone.  (If you don't have a stone, no worries.  Just place the loaf on a baking sheet.)

Bake at 210 C (or approximately 410 F) for 20-25 minutes.

When the bread has turned a lovely dark brown and the seeds look nice and toasted, you know it's ready!

Cooling in at the window.  See the snow outside?

This multigrain dinkel bread is excellent toasted and holds up well as a sandwich.

Top: the crumb; bottom: tomato and cheese on dinkel

I encourage you to try wholemeal dinkel in your next bread recipe!


The Grain Mill Company
Lentz Spelt

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Shared with: Petite Hermine