Showing posts with label Gift. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Gift. Show all posts

Saturday, December 7, 2013

A Hello and a Gift Guide (for Men)

Hello friends. I have been gone for so long, and I haven't even been that busy. For the past few weeks I resisted the idea of taking pictures of food, hence the lack of posts here. I hope to be posting a few recipes soon, especially a few salads I am trying to replicate that I had when I visited Amy in Paris (More on those soon, hopefully)
Right now though, holiday gifts are on my mind, and I'd like to share a few ideas if you are still looking for gifts for your loved ones.
I don't know about you but for me, the men in my life are the hardest to gift to. Especially if you rule out tech gifts (for the price), I often feel with very little ideas left.
Here are a few things that I think would make great gifts for men (or women, I'd love one of each, please)

1) Socks: This may seem a bit boring, but everyone needs socks. And I swear there are a few very old and threadbare socks in every sock drawer which need replacing.

2) Small Batch Tonic: Men love booze, or at least the men in my family do. And if you are not gifting a purist who only drinks whisky, straight, no ice, this small batch tonic would make a great gift. A bottle of gin, I really like Hendrick's, would go well with this, if you'd like to go bigger.

3) Whisky Stones: So you do have to find a gift for a whisky lover? Picking a whisky for a whisky lover can be really difficult, unless you know their taste very well. If you don't, why not give them these whisky stones? They cool without diluting, and look really cool. (Locals, I saw whisky stones at Globus before, if you don't want to order online)

4) Beer of the Month: More alcohol: Your man prefers beer? How about a beer subscription? I am linking to an online subscription, but you can also just do this yourself and deliver a different bottle of a special beer each month.

5) Breaking Bad - The Complete Series: I am including this because Michael is planning to buy them for himself. Right now there is only a very expensive set available on Amazon, but the DVDs themselves are not that expensive (and they are on sale right now).
6) Microplane Grater: Because everyone (who just remotely likes to cook) needs one, and not everyone might want to spend that much on a grater. (They are quite a bit more expensive in Switzerland than the one on Amazon)

7) A great knife: Because a good knife is probably the best gift Michael has ever recieved. They are expensive, but they'll last you a life time (if you care for them properly). The one Michael has is similar to this one.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Maple Cranberry Granola

As I am writing this, my thesis lies in Michaels inbox, waiting to be checked one last time before I print it out tomorrow, bind it and drop it off in my departments office. Yay. And really, I can't imagine what it must feel like to write a real book. These 30 pages were quite enough for me.
Now that this is behind me, I can dedicate the few days before Christmas to actually make a few Christmas presents.
So today I transformed my kitchen into a Christmas present factory and made this granola and candied citrus peel that still needs to be dipped into chocolate.
If you are still looking for Christmas presents, and I really don't know many people who are not, may I suggest making this granola? It is slightly adapted from a recipe in the Smitten Kitchen cookbook, and I really love it. It has just the right sweetness, for a breakfast and the tartness of the dried cranberries contrast really nicely with the maple flavor. I did find though that the egg white did not produce the big cluster granola Deb promised in her recipe. I don't know if this is because Swiss eggs are smaller than American eggs, or perhaps I just did something wrong, but nonetheless, this is a great granola, big or small clusters.
I filled the granola into small bags, made a bow with some yarn and attached a little tag I made myself. I already know a few friends I want to give this to, just to say I thought of you this Christmas. If you like the tag I made, and would like to use it for a really quick gift, I attached a template you can print out at home, you'll just need to cut them out. As you see in the picture, I made a German one for myself, and an English version for you. Exclusively.
English gift tag   German gift tag

Maple Cranberry Granola
adapted from Big Cluster Maple Granola from the Smitten Kitchen cookbook

250g old-fashioned oats
50g unsweetened large-flake coconut
100g pecans, coarsely chopped
25g wheat germ
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp coarse sea salt
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 large egg white
200g dried cranberries

Preheat the oven to 300°F/150°C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Add all the ingredients from oats to maple syrup to a large mixing bowl and stir until all the dry ingredients are coated with maple syrup.
In a small bowl wisk the egg white until frothy. Stir it into the oat mixture until is distributed evenly. Pour the mixture onto the baking sheet, and bake for 45-55 minutes. Take out after half of this time to turn large segments of the granola with a spatula. Bake until evenly golden. Let the granola cool down, break into pieces (if it actually does stick together better than mine), add in the cranberries and fill into bags or mason jars.