Saturday, December 4, 2021

Lemon Cookies

Everybody loves cookies, especially around Christmas. 

Well, my family are big sweets lovers and consume cookies all year round, but anyway ... :)

I absolutely adore lemons - lemon color, lemon trees, lemon smell, lemonade, so about a couple of months ago I came up  with an idea for butter cookies with lemon. As Alex tries hard to cut on sugar, these cookies have less sugar than usual, but are still very delicious and fragrant. I've tried to replace the white sugar with stevia partially and completely - partially works, completely - not so much, as stevia has a different taste, which I happen not to appreciate. I also recently tried to replace sugar with honey - nah, nobody liked them, though we eat lots of honey otherwise.

This last batch is prepared with brown sugar and it was declared one of the best so far, so here's the recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1 average size lemon - zest and juice
  • 1 egg
  • 80 g brown sugar 
  • 80 g butter
  • 200 g flour
  • 5 g baking powder and a pinch of baking soda

Preparation:

Grate the lemon and then squeeze it. Add the sugar and stir. Add the butter and the egg, stir. Fold in the flour with the baking powder and the soda. The resulting dough is very soft and sticky, but do not add additional flour, as the cookies will get too hard. 

Bake in a preheated oven at 180C for about 20 min. This last batch came out just a little bit too soft, we prefer them slightly overbaked.

Serve with coffee, tea or why not a glass of white wine as a dessert after a light dinner.


Friday, December 3, 2021

Welcome Lucy

Say hello to Lucy - my new sewing helper :)

A tailor's dummy had been on my wish list this year, as my sewing skills gradually began to grow and I felt closer to making more complicated clothes, taking days of tailoring and testing. I also hope Lucy will be of help not only for sewing of clothes but also for modelling them, especially when I sew for Gaby.

Lucy came home from Amazon.de, as a birthday present from my lovely husband. She is from Germany, from a Berlin based retailor and the story of her acquisition is riddled with buyer - seller exchanged messages in English and German, the translation of some of which involved even Gaby's lovely boyfriend, as a native speaker, as something was clearly missing in the communication with the seller, transportation back and forth between Sofia and Berlin and other such unpleasantness. In other words, the seller sent us Lucy in the wrong size (L instead of XS), bluntly refused to acknowledge his mistake and to cover the additional transportation costs. In the end we decided to accept the replacement of the dummy at our expense and be done and finished with it - frankly, as I get older, the less I value money compared to peace and quiet.

Apart from the above vicissitudes, I am actually very happy with my Lucy. She is exactly my measurements at the shoulders, bust and waist, and just a little flatter than me at the back bottoms, as I am a bit more mature and endowed in this area :) I have taken out some pieces of fabric and a pattern and I plan to finally put it into use this weekend.

On something completely different - it was 14C !!! today and most of the snow in the park melted.The heavy wet snow, however, took its due and quite a lot of branches and several entire trees have been broken in the park and in the green areas around our building.


Thursday, December 2, 2021

In the Park

For more than a couple of years now I try to go out for an hour - an hour and a half every work day. I work from home (always have been, not just now) and I have the liberty to organize my work hours as I find fit as long as I deliver on time. Not that I am successful in my endevours - in reality I go out for a walk on average on two or three out of five work days, but there's always the goal and the plan at the start of the day that I will find the time and the will to do it. 

Usually it is enough just to put my walking clothes and shoes on and step out of the door - once that barrier of laziness and unwillingness is crossed, I enjoy my walks and do not consider the time lost. I usually listen to music and ponder on my daily plans and craft projects; I've tried doing Duolingo exercises while walking, but it's not really worth it.

The first pictures were taken during my last week's walks on Friday and Saturday, when late autumn was still the season to be experienced, with cold wind on Friday and some warmer breeze on Saturday.


And I took these snowy ones yesterday, after the snowfall during Monday night. Such a difference just in a couple of hours. But as lovely as the birch trees look on the snowy background, I'm glad that the temperatures are rising and the snow is melting - I'm not ready to part with autumn yet, and snow is such a hassle in the city. Frankly, I wouldn't mind a warm snowless winter in Sofia with plenty of snow on Vitosha :))



Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Zlatnite - Kumata - Edelweiss, 2021

This weekend the weather was still comfortable, in some parts of the country even warm for the season, and it was a manifestation on Vitosha. An old woman we passed along the track even remarked that the trail, which is somewhat off more frequented tourist routes, was unusually popular this Sunday. 

We hadn't been there since the end of 2019, when it was spectacularly white. On Sunday the trail was still in the grips of late autumn, with leafless trees and brown grass, but no frost or snow. The snow did come on the following day, but more about this - in another post.

Although down in the city it was quite above zero C, it was cold and windy along the open parts of the path and we had to put on everything we had in the backpacks, hats, gloves and hoods on.

 

The wind cleared the air and Sofia was finally ridden of the smog, at least for a while ...

Hike info:

Destination: Edelweiss hut, round route
Mountain: Vitosha
Total length: 9 km
Elevation gain: 360 m
Total duration (plus rest): 2 and a half hours
Average difficulty: 3 / 10 



Me-made items, worn on this hike:

Husband: men's boxers, Navy Sweater, KnipMode Trousers









Thursday, November 25, 2021

Vrana in November

This Sunday, after we voted for the fourth time this year :), husband and I went for a stroll in park Vrana. We've been to the park several times, but always in the spring. Of course, the park is gorgeous when the trees and the flowers are in bloom, but on this late November day the sun was shining, the temperatures were mild and we had a very nice walk along the grounds of the former tzar's palace.





 :I am enjoying wearing my hand made clothes this year - here I have my favourite black Grasser sweater, the Chanel skirt, a hand-made necklace and my brown CC CopyCat Beanie.










Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Navy Sweater for Husband

Hot off the sewing machine and the overlocker - a new sweater for my husband, which I only finished  last night.

The pattern is from KnipMode 05 / 2020, a Dutch sewing magazine, which has a Russian translation and I buy single patterns from it from time to time from the online shop of burda.ru. The sizing of KnipMode is a bit different from that of Burda, as they design for taller and more robust male figures, which suits my husband well.

My husband is size 52 according to their table, but I cut the sweater in size 50, as I read that it was a bit oversized. What I have found is that the sweater does not have a good balance of proportions - the width of the body is OK, but the sleeves are narrow and the neckline is too wide, even after I added a broader neckpiece to it.


My first finishing of a neckline with a Petersham ribbon - I love it!, it looks so clean and professional :) I'll definitely continue using this technique for finishing the necklines of men's sweaters and hoodies.

Instead of the decorative details, suggested by the pattern, I added two horizontal grey stripes to the front to bring together the grey ribbing of the neck, sleeves and hem. I am pretty pleased with the overall look.

Size: 50
Fabric: navy cotton double knit, grey cotton ribbing
Time to make: 4 days

 


Friday, November 19, 2021

Baylovo In November

Photos from our hike to Spasova Mogila near the village of Baylovo. For some reason we have hiked this place many times, almost every year, but always in late winter or early spring, never in the summer or autumn. While deliberating where to hike this Saturday, we wanted an open track with plenty of sunshine and Baylovo fit the bill exactly. It is a fairly easy walk through fields of crops to a small hill with an old humble chapel on top of the hill - extremely enjoyable and satisfying.


:The gorgeous path between the fields of crops. This is my most favourite part of the trail
Hike info:
Destination: St Spas Chapel
Mountain: Spasova Mogila
Total length: 11.6 km
Elevation gain: 80 m
Total duration (plus rest): 3 h
Average difficulty: 2 / 10 


Me-made items, worn on this hike:

Husband: men's boxers, knitted socks, Raglan sweater
 
:Yellowhammer (жълта овесарка)
:St Spas Chapel on top of Spasova Mogila

:We had our picnic here with a view to the fields of the village of Golema Rakovitza and the endless chains of Lozen mountain
:The southern slopes of Spasova Mogila



:The village of Baylovo
:After the hike we decided to take a different route back home and had a short walk around the Ognyanovo dam