Sunday, 23 September 2012

Stained glass (living dangerously:P)

Since I'm constantly trying out new paints, techniques and other fun things, it was just a matter of time until I came across glass paints. And as usual, instead of painting something nice and easy for a start, I chose to make a big stained glass (230x420mm, because I live dangerously :P). While looking for ideas I found this beauty:

I, of course, thought it'd look great on my wall, and sure it had to be big, a small one wouldn't make much of an impression, right? Difficult? "Oh, well" I thought "It'll just take a bit more time". And it did, 4 days exactly! :P But I do think the final effect makes it worth my while:

Under the influence of euphoria (Woohoo! I did it!) I decided to paint another one. This time I actually thought before starting and chose something smaller (better late than never, right?):

And now something different, I've just planted these beauties today:

We'll see if anything appears in spring or not, actually it was the first time I've ever planted any bulbs so I've got no idea how it'll turn out ;) These are still waiting for being planted:

all photos taken from the shop's website  
I should finally take photos of my moor (it's already up and running, so to say, but it still needs just a little bit of work to look perfect). I hope I'll show it to you soon (next time, maybe?).

Thanks for stopping by and have a great week! 

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Sunday, 16 September 2012

The Ambassador

Today's my first culinary post. Generally the only thing I do in the kitchen is tea :P Ok, I might be exaggerating a bit but I'm really not gifted in the cooking department so the following recipe is not mine nor is it carried out by me - I've gorged myself on the Ambassador since I was a kid, my great grandmother made it, my grandmother made it and my mother still does, too. I may give it a try one day but for now I'll just share with you the way to create a truly delicious dessert as described by my mum.  
I associate autumn and winter with cozy evenings by the fireplace, with tea and... chocolate which is why I consider the Ambassador perfect for these seasons and cold days, it just melts easily in summer :P

Just looking at these photos makes my mouth water :D But let's get down to work, what you'll need is:


1 cup margarine
2 cups white sugar
¾ glass water
baking soda
2 cups flour
3  spoons cocoa
5 eggs


3 eggs
6 spoons white sugar.
2 spoons cocoa
1,5 cup margarine

To decorate:

coconut shavings
drilled cherries (about 1,5l jar)
chocolate topping

First the dough:
In a bowl mix 2 cups sugar, 3/4 glass water and 3 spoons cocoa, bring to the boil, then simmer for 5 minutes. Wait until it cools down and in the meantime beat 5 egg whites until stiff, leave the yolks to use later. Add alternately the rest of the ingredients: 2 cups of flour, yolks and whipped egg whites. Make sure you don't put everything at once but in small doses eg. one yolk, some flour and egg whites, again one yolk and so on until you've added everything. Then add 3 teaspoons baking soda. Mix everything and put on your baking tray covered with bakery paper. Bake for about 25 minutes at 180-200 degrees C.

At this point I should warn you that the Ambasador dough is quite capricious, one day it will grow bigger while another day it'll barely move. But fear not, it doesn't affect the taste or even the look of your dessert :)

 After taking your cake out of the oven allow it to cool down. Then cut it in half across the tray like this:

Cut both of the cake pieces into two thinner layers/slices like this:

view from the side

Put two of the slices in your baking tray (layered with tinfoil). Now it's time for the cream.
Mix two spoons cocoa with hot water until the mixture has the consistency of cream. Leave to cool. 
Beat 3 eggs and 6 spoons sugar until stiff (it's best to do in a small bowl placed over a pot of hot water). Allow to cool. Take another bowl and mix 1,5 cup margarine with your egg and sugar stiff foam adding it gradually. Make sure it's really well mixed. Then add your cream cocoa. 

Let's get back to the baking tray. Spread half of the cream on the previously prepared layer of cake. Cover with the second cake layer and spread the other half of your cream. Cover with drilled cherries. Sprinkle with finely chopped walnuts. Finish up with chocolate topping and decorate with some more walnuts and coconut shavings. Enjoy! :)

The dessert tastes best after a day or so, you may also want to leave in the fridge for some time just to let the ingredients 'settle in' :)
I really hope it was clear enough to follow, if not please ask and I'll try to answer all of your questions.

Have a delicious week and see you soon :)


Here's a peak into my little work in progress:

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Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Thrift shop finds

I'm sure many of you are addicted to searching the nearby thrift shops, checking every nook and cranny for something charming and unique. I just love a good search ;) And today a short post with my latest finds. Oh, by the way, do you think buying a stuffed pheasant is going too far? :P I liked it but didn't buy (yet). 
Here's my first find - a brass pot before and after ("hours" of cleaning).

A beautiful colour of old gold.

Another two:

It's my mini cauldron, already shown here.

Under all the stains this one's kind of pinkish. I deliberately left some of the marks - I don't like old things shining like brand-new.  

I've no idea what it's called in English but it's beautiful nonetheless:)

An amazing old knife by Norblin (Warsaw), I found out it's from the 19 century and the floral pattern was called  "Aleksander". I am so delighted with it, I just love the little flowers and the initials on it (N.W? Or M.M maybe?).

Here are things that didn't go home with me but the jury's still out :P
The first one is some kind of a cast-iron relief. Perfect for the garden, it'd look great surrounded by ivy.

And here's something that is supposed to be an old-fashioned barbecue. I can just imagine a group of elegant ladies and gentlemen having a picnic, talking and laughing while their servants grilled something nice for them ;) (or maybe the shop assistant was just pulling my leg?). Anyway, I think it would make an interesting plant stand. 

If (or when) I find something worth mentioning, I'll definitely share :)

Take care,

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