Thursday, December 30, 2010

first christmas in vienna

our first christmas here was lovely and relaxing but it passed by so quickly. we ate lots of yummy food - the usual roast turkey with all the trimmings on christmas day and then bubble & squeak with cold meats, cheeses and pickles on boxing day (i've attached a link for all those of you who haven't got a clue what bubble & squeak is!). we also played lots of games of cluedo and cards (kev wasn't so keen on the cluedo... but he's a bad loser! hee hee). this is a game we played A LOT when i was a child and i still love playing it now.
i attempted an english trifle for christmas day dessert except that i added my own little twist. i couldn't find any sherry so i soaked the raspberries in rum instead and also added rum to the jelly! it tasted great (well, i thought so anyway!).
i then made chocolate brownies for boxing day (miriam, you got me thinking about them!) from jamie oliver's recipe. they fell apart a bit but they tasted REALLY good (might have something to do with the whole packet of butter that went in?).

Friday, December 24, 2010

twas the night before christmas

its the 24th of december everyone! i hope all you people out there who celebrate today are enjoying the festivities.
my mum and brother craig made it here. YAY! we've been out to the christmas market this afternoon and drunk a few glühwein (we went to the one at rathausplatz even though i vowed never again! but it was a lot quieter) and then we wandered down graben to see the lights and ended up quickly going inside stephansdom. all the bells were ringing as a service was just starting. it sounded amazing (even for a not so religious person like me!). now we are preparing our turkey for the oven. its quite a beast!
merry christmas everyone!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

4 days to go...

yesterday i went to café schwarzenberg to meet miriam and sofie for a cup of tea. it was the first time i had been inside the cafe. its a really traditional old viennese coffee house but with a really good selection of tea and lots of cakes (although i didn't eat one).

we had a pretty lazy weekend here. very lazy actually. except for saturday night when we hosted our first dinner party in vienna! i was quite nervous because no one knew each other but i think it went well (hopefully!). we cooked the yummy moroccan meatballs.

on sunday we watched 3 films including elf. i love that film (although i've realised i'm not so keen on the later part of the film when santa crashes in central park. the rest of the film is much better).

last night we watched a christmas story for the first time (which was filmed in 1983 but set in the 1940's). somehow this film had previously passed me by? its actually really quite funny if a little odd at times. i enjoyed it though. it makes you recall memories of what christmas was like as a child.

my mum and brother are meant to be flying to vienna on friday to spend christmas with us but i'm getting really worried they might not make it due to the current chaos at british airports. i just hope that it sorts itself out by friday morning.

my plan now for this afternoon is to get a little in the christmas spirit by baking cookies whilst listening to some christmas music!

Monday, December 20, 2010

my favourite christmas market (so far!)

a few pictures from last thursday. as you can see it was a lovely sunny day and everywhere looked beautiful in the snow. i headed over to the 9th district to meet dorte and silja at a(nother!) christmas market called weihnachtsdorf im alten akh (which is located at the former general hospital).
this is my favourite market so far! it was lovely. it was quieter (when we were there) and seemed much more spread out. we had a little glühmost (of course!) and then headed inside out of the cold for hot chocolate and beer. a really nice afternoon.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

the tree is up!

and there are presents under there already! (i think the star on top might be a little heavy)
i love the new sparkly red hearts i bought from ikea.


yesterday i went for lunch at a vietnamese restaurant called SAPA (its on lindengasse on the corner with zollergasse in the 7th district). i was there with a few women who have connected through the expat blog website and it was lovely to meet and chat. the food was good. we had some spring rolls and another type of rolled dish with chicken and prawn inside to share. both were really good. i then had a typical vietnamese soup with noodles and beef and dumplings and lots of other stuff in there (think its called pho). it tasted really fresh and healthy. delicious! the food was really reasonable too.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

christmas lights

these were taken on saturday afternoon just as it was getting dark. i love the big chandeliers!

as i mentioned, we visited the crazy busy market at rathausplatz on saturday but we also visited the market known as adventmarkt am hof. am hof is an old square in the 1st district. this market was much less crowded, there were some nice stalls selling handcrafted goods and more contemporary artworks, and we drank glühmost. yay!
(i love snow globes).

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

christmas market number 6 - the BIG one!

as you may have seen from the blog, i've given myself a little challenge to see how many of the 12 main viennese christmas markets i can visit this year. on saturday with our friends from england it was market number 6 for me when we braved the crowds at the wiener christkindlmarkt at rathausplatz.
this is the most well known and largest market and therefore it is the most touristy. it was so ridiculously crowded on saturday afternoon i couldn't wait to get out of there. the problem is, once you've entered its rather hard to get out again because the crowd is so thick you just get taken with it. it was too busy to even get a mug of glühmost or glühwein (which in my opinion is the only reason to visit the markets in the first place!). i think i'll leave this one to the tourists....
on the plus side we did purchase an amazing hazelnut bretzel (which is a huge bread type pretzel thingy. i know all the technical words!).


the random snowflake mobile i made on friday!

we had a lovely weekend with jamie and angie. it was so nice to see them and show them vienna. we ate lots and drank lots and i've now visited 2 more christmas markets! (including the one at rathausplatz. but never again).

kev has flown back to zagreb this morning and i've woken up with a headache and sore throat. not impressed. i need to go christmas shopping but i can't seem to get the motivation to get out of bed. not really feeling myself today.

Friday, December 10, 2010

happy friday

i took a little trip to ikea on tuesday afternoon. it was fun. i always end up with random things i probably don't need when i visit ikea (but i think its the same for everyone?). i couldn't resist the little xmas tree and heart pot and the cute mini cake stand... not really sure what i'll put on it? maybe i'll fill it with ferrero rocher! yum. and i couldn't go to ikea without having a 50 cent hotdog! (my diet has been so bad recently. going on a health kick in january).

its starting to feel a little more like christmas around here. i've put up some paper chains which i made yesterday and i'm going to start cutting out some paper snowflakes when i've finished writing this... but no big christmas tree yet. i've been waiting to find them on sale but i've been told that tree sellers will spring up everywhere next week. fingers crossed there will be one within walking distance. i don't really fancy getting on the U-bahn or tram with a tree.

our friends angie & jamie are visiting this weekend. in fact they will be in the air now! i'm looking forward to showing them vienna and seeing how drunk we can get jamie on austrian beer! (it is his birthday today).

right, i'm off to make snowflakes and drink my beer. happy weekend!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

anniversary dinner

for our meal on monday evening i decided to make some recipes from the book indian food made easy by anjum anand. we had chicken with peppercorns and shredded ginger, simple pilaff and pomegranate raita. the chicken tasted SO good i couldn't actually believe i'd cooked it myself! bad lighting for photos but it gives you an idea. totally yummy meal and kev was very impressed!