parents gift guide_kairamkairam

Christmas Gift Guide – Parents’ Edition

I know, I know what you will say: isn’t it a little bit too early to be thinking about Christmans presents? Well, the answer is yes – unless you are unlike me one of these super-organized people, so in that case – good for you, keep going!  However, I will be travelling starting next week and won’t have access to a laptop, so I kind of had to start planning a little bit in advance. And since I always feel like my parent are the hardest people to buy for since they wish for nothing really, I thought I shared my ideas with you. In case you are or will be facing the same dilemma – whether it’s for Christmas, Hanukka or a birthday.

 

parents gift guide_kairamkairam
allihopa

Family Tree Print
I have this thing with trees. I was born in a region that is even called the “forest region”, so nothing means home to me as much as trees. Whenever I feel homesick, I look for the next national park with loads of wood, and I feel home again. Plus, what better represents the strong bonds between a family than the branches of a tree? So, as you might have guessed, I absolutely love this print by Allihopa. It looks fabulous, and it’s a nice little thing for your parents to put on their wall and look pretty without being too tacky.

 

parents gift guide_kairamkairam
a little craft in your day
parents gift guide_kairamkairam
Little House of Four

DIYs
My Mum is a horrible person to buy presents for. She does not want you to spend money on her, but she loves presents that show her that you actually thought about what to give and put in some effort. (I inherited that trait, so I sincerely apologize to anyone who ever had or has to get me a present). I feel like quite a few parents are like that, but unfortuately as a grown up it is no longer acceptable to scribble a house and a christmas tree on a piece of paper and present it together with a nice poem under the Christmas tree. Which is why I tend to spend quite a lot of time on Pinterest. This year’s inspiration comes from Little House of Four and A little Craft in Your Day. My main criteria is that the stuff looks pretty, is somewhat useful and easy to make (let’s face it, I’ll never be good at DIY), but make sure to chose your DIY based on things that your parents love, so all your effort does not go to waste.

 

parents gift guide_kairamkairam
lassedesignen/Shutterstock

Time
Time – the constant struggle. I am pretty sure no one spends as much time with their parents as we should. I feel like everyone should spend at least some time with their parents over the holidays. Of course it would be awesome to spend that time in person, but if that’s not possible, at least make sure your parents know you think about them with a letter, postcard, phonecall – or all of them. You can also give them some of your time as a gift – bake a cake with your mum, help your dad with some gardening (and yes I am using extreme stereotypes, but I cannot think of anything else at the moment, so sorry) or invite them over to some afternoon tea at your place. I am pretty sure they will not appreciate any other present as much as your time.

 

parents gift guide_kairamkairam
Lindt

Chocolate, Socks and a Tie
If everything else fails, go back to the basics. When my brother and me were teenagers, we were not really creative when it came to presents, so that’s what our parents got. We took it so far that it became a tradition, so now they get disappointed if they don’t get their traditional Christmas chocolate. Although now I would get them another present in addition to these ones. Even if they are really cool socks.

 

parents gift guide_kairamkairam
3d laser gifts

Family Picture
At the very end, another one of the nostalgic presents. You could get your siblings together and have a nice photoshoot or get your friend’s good camera and take new pictures yourself. Or you could just use a photo you already have and put it in a pretty frame – and maybe even use your amazing DIY skills to make it extra special. Of course, you can also go fancy and put your pretty faces into a bit of glass like the one from 3D Laser Gifts. Just do whatever feels best for you – and double-check your picture, your sibing won’t appreciate having a horrible picture of himself hanging on the wall for the next five years, just because you only checked your own face – oopsie.

 

I hope this was helpful for everyone desperately thinking about what to give to your parents. And in case you’re not feeling the christmas spirit yet – put on some festive music and go to a shopping center, there Christmas is all around. ;)

xx, K (:

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Vanillekipferl

Vanillekipferl (a.k.a. the best Christmas biscuits ever)

I admit it – way too many Christmas parties, Christmas markets and other celebratory gatherings led to me losing my Christmas spirit. Although I really tried my best to keep the spirit this year, I failed miserably, got stressed and bought all presents last minute. However, before heading home to spend the holidays with my family, I want to share this recipe with you. Maybe this makes me feel more festive again as well.

Vanillekipferl

At the beginning of December, I used a bank holiday to have the perfect wintery day – after a nice sleep-in and too much breakfast I met with some friends to go ice-skating, have dinner and bake some lovely Austrian biscuits. Since we didn’t know the recipe by heart (shame on us, bet most people do) we based our version on this one.

 

Ingredients:

1 vanilla pod
30 grams icing sugar
150 grams plain flour (or cake flour, but we didn’t have that at home at the cookies turned out fine)
50 grams ground nuts (we chose 20 grams almonds and 30 grams hazelnuts, but it’s up to you)
125 grams butter
Icing sugar to toss the cookies in

 

Preparation:

As pre-preparation, you want to put the vanilla pod into your icing sugar – minimum 24 hours before baking, but the longer, the better. It makes your sugar taste extra-sweet, and I’ve started putting one vanilla pod in every pack of icing sugar I buy because I prefer the aroma. But don’t worry, if you have not done that, just add 10 grams of icing sugar and a pack of vanilla sugar, and you’re good to go.

When preparing Vanillekipferl you’ll have to get your hands dirty, so make sure they are nicely washed before touching any food. As soon as you’ve done this, put the sugar, flour, nuts and butter on your counter top and knead all of the ingredients together until you have a lovely, even dough. That was always my favourite part as a child, and I still enjoy it way too much for a 21 year old. Afterwards, put it in cling wrap and store it in the fridge for at least 40 minutes.

Vanillekipferl

As soon as this is done, you want to form  a roll with about 3 cm diameter. Then, you want to cut this roll in about 1 cm wide pieces, form rolls again and make them look like little moons. You want to try to have the ends thinner than the middle part  – which we failed miserably at. Place them on a tray and put them in the oven at 160°C for 20 minutes or until you have the feeling they are baked – ours were slightly overweight and needed nearly 40 minutes. As soon as you take the cookies out of the oven, you want to toss them in icing sugar, and then you’re ready to munch away.

Vanillekipferl

I have to admit, I’m very proud of us for managing that well. Although they turned out a little bigger than they are supposed to be, they tasted amazing and all of them were gone within a week. I hope you soon enjoy some typical Austrian Kekserl too!

Merry Christmas, and I hope all of you enjoy the next days very much!

xx, K (:

Pear-Ginger Tea

Pear-Ginger Hot Drink

As I mentioned, I spent my last weekend at my parents‘ house, and as usual, I now return to Vienna well fed and happy. While being there, my dad made this fantastic pear-ginger tea (or hot drink, I’m not quite sure about the proper definition of a tea), I wanted to share the recipe with you. Since my dad improvises as he cooks rather than using measurements, I’m going to tell you the approximate amount he used, but I can’t tell you the exact grams of everything. But just do whatever you feel like, that’s the more fun way anyways!

 

Ingedients:

10 pears – the sweeter the better in my opinion, but use whichever ones you like
1 ginger root
2 oranges
cloves
cinnamon
2 litres of water

 

As mentioned before, these ingredients are a suggestion – use how much of anything as you wish.

 

Preparation:

Firstly, you want to peel and half the pears. Then basically get rid of everything on/in there you do not want to eat. Then, you peel the ginger and cut it into rather small pieces. In the meanwhile, you can get the water boiling. As soon as this is happening, you add the pears, the ginger and the spices and let it simmer for about ten minutes. Stir from time to time, just to avoid anything sticking to the bottom of your pot. Then you add the orange juice and let it simmer until the pears are soft (depends heavily on your type of pear, mine took another five minutes). Try not to overcook it, otherwise you’ll get a lovely pulp.

Et voila – that’s it! You can now drink the tea and – as a by-product – enjoy some lovely, wintery pears! Nothing heats you up better on a cold day.
(: