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Holiday Wrap Up

January 4, 2016

Well, it's been quite the busy holiday season here at Chez Eisenberger.  I hope that everyone has enjoyed good friends and good food.  After moving here to Austria, I have learned many things about appreciating the friends and family with whom I stay connected, about the benefits of eating whole, minimally processed foods, and about the effects of getting back to nature.

I also learned the joys of making and giving things to others.  I find such peace and stress relief when I sit down and create something with my own two hands.  Sure, it's not as perfect as a machine would make it... but the imperfections here and there make each piece more unique.  This year I made a few gifts for friends and family.  I made a few pairs of fingerless mitts using this pattern from Sew DIY.  I finally finished up a bubble stitch crocheted zip bag (adapted from this pattern from Liz Makes).

Last year, I was given a few vintage, micro quilts from Thailand.  The blocks on these guys were super small... I think someone needed a magnifying glass to make these!  Anyway, I took them all apart and kept only the main quilted panels.  I was also given a batch of Shantung silk swatches and these were perfect to do a few patch work panels on the front and back.  These turned into sweet little zip pouches can be easily thrown into a bag or used solo.

Keeping with the "handmade" theme of this holiday season,  I made a few cork stamps inspired by this tutorial from Leaf and Letter Handmade.  This was fun to do.  You don't even need an ink stamp pad.  I used some of my husband's art paint tubes and the girl's watercolour paints.  All I had to buy was a roll of white paper and the rest was easy!

Last year, my holiday currency was cookies.  This year it was sugared nuts.  I didn't care for nuts as a child... maybe because there were always more chocolatier options available.  However, this year, my tastebuds awakened to the deliciousness of freshly shelled nuts AND the light sugary coating that make these so addictive!  I adapted my sugared nuts from this recipe from Natasha's Kitchen.

Of course, Santa Claus came to visit us on Christmas Eve.  And, of course, we had to leave out cookies and milk for him.  We all had a hand in making (and eating!) these sugared cookies adapted from this recipe from Design Eat Repeat.

Phew!  Busy bees we were in this house.  While we were busy getting the house up in order, the girls were up to their usual silliness.

For New Year's Eve dinner, Weihnachtsgans (Christmas Goose) was the main attraction.  In addition, we had Serviettenkn√∂del (Bread Dumplings in a Napkin) and Geschmortes Rotkraut (Braised Red Cabbage).  The recipes we used were a shout out to our favourite German-Austrian restaurant in Manhattan, Blaue Gans (The Blue Goose).  The chef-owner, Kurt Guntenbrunner, has a great cookbook called Neue Cuisine: The Elegant Tastes of Vienna.  It was from his cookbook that we got all of our recipes.

Mmm... It was a wonderful evening of good food, good friends, lots of wine, and lots of sweets.  The goose was delicious.  The kn√∂del and red cabbage were perfect.  The desserts were creme caramel and meringue cookies.

Happy New Year, everyone!  We made it through another year.  I hope that next year will be more peaceful, productive, and delicious!!!  And, with that, I leave you with a new artist to start the new year... (new to me, anyway!)...  We had friends from Scotland stay with us over the holidays and they were kind enough to share this Scottish/Italian artist's music (Thanks, Gordon & Vanessa!!).  I'm a big fan of discovering new music... and an even bigger fan of boys with guitars! Enjoy!


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