My family’s exclusive gingerbread recipe

In the last couple of years I’ve became famous among friends and family members of my weird implementation of gingerbread. Besides making the usual Christmas things like snowmen, stars and boots, I always try to bring some fun to the holiday feasts. So I found some DIY ideas that seemed easy to make (they never are at the end!). That led to a series of gingerbread ninjas, Yoda, R2D2, a Batman sign and reindeers that everybody considered dogs. Although they were more sweet then pretty, there are some of my creations I’m actually proud of. For example I once made a 3D Christmas tree that looked particularly handsome, and I make little ladies holding hazelnut in their hands every year, they are my favourite. Whatever results I have after baking I can always say the effort comes from my heart. 

Here are the ingredients you need for the perfect, immediately soft gingerbread:
/for 3 pans of pastry/

  • 70 dkg flour
  • 20 dkg powdered sugar
  • 1 coffee-spoon of baking soda
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 sac of gingerbread spice mix
  • 20 dkg margarine
  • 5 tablespoon of honey

After procuring all these things here is what you need to do:

  1. Mix the powdered sugar with the margarine first, then add the flour and the baking soda.
  2. Add the gingerbread spice mix as well.
  3. Warm up the honey (but don’t boil it!) and add it to your paste.
  4. Mix everything well.
  5. Put it into the fridge for 2 hours.
  6. Extend the pastry till you get 3 mm thickness.
  7. And now let the madness of decoration begin! You can use walnuts, edible pearls, icing or even marzipan.

Bon appétit!

 

Budapest Christmas fair

Winter is my favourite time of the year. Firstly because I myself am a winter child and secondly because of Christmas. Christmas fairs became very popular everywhere in the world and I enjoy walking at night among the beautifully decorated streets with mulled wine in my hand. During the years I was lucky to visit some fairs in Hungary and abroad as well. My record is 4/year in 2 countries. But for starters let’s see this year Budapest fair. 

The main place for it is situated in front of St. Stephen’s Basilica with the Christmas tree (that’s my favourite because of the spiderweb-shaped lights originating from the top of the tree). Other locations are the City Hall, Vörösmarty Square, Deák Square and Jókai Square. There are many people selling their artwork, ornaments, winter clothes, toys and Hungaricums as well. The choice of food is widespread: from stuffed cabbage served in a huge loaf, through marzipan wonders to Hungarian speciality, the chimney cake. For drinking I recommend mulled wine served in specially made cups and mugs.

Special thanks to my BFFs, Anita, Lilla and Pálma for making this and last year’s Budapest Christmas fairs possible for me and providing awesome company as always! Can’t wait to see you again, my ladies! ❤

Have a nice walk at the largest Christmas fair of Hungary, wishing you all a magical Advent. Other Christmas fair photos and holiday topics coming soon! 🙂

My favourite Christmas movies

While it’s currently snowing outside, I’m thinking about crawling on my sofa with tea in one hand and gingerbread in the other and how nice it would be to watch a typical Christmas movie. They say you can measure a man’s true love of how many times he was willing to watch Frozen with you. Now we are at 4, can we make it to 5 this year? 

  1. Love Actually: the ultimate Christmas movie I watch with my family every year. It’s a romantic comedy that features Hollywood icons like Liam Neeson, Emma Thompson, Hugh Grant, Keira Knightley and Colin Firth.
  2. Frozen: some may say this story was written among a cheesy song, well I don’t care, because it’s beautiful! Fun characters like Olaf, amazing CGI and Elsa is one of my favourite Disney princesses of all time.
  3. Little Women: inspired by the book of Louisa May Alcott, this movie presents the life of a family with 4 sisters. Though not every section of the movie takes place in winter, it’s a lovely family film.
  4. A Christmas Carol: Charles Dickens’ novel inspired a lot of adaptations, but my favourite one is the animated from 2009. Jim Carrey starring as Scrooge.
  5. Just Friends: Ryan Reynolds comes home for Christmas… need I say more?
  6. The Polar Express: an animated movie in which Tom Hanks plays 5 characters at the same time!
  7. A Bad Moms Christmas: the second movie of the very popular Bad moms. It’s full of funny and crazy moments. A great choice to watch with friends.
  8. Home alone: TV channels are screening it every single year, it became part of Christmas.
  9. The Nightmare before Christmas: classic Tim Burton writing and spectacle.
  10. Die Hard: because I thought about gentlemen too! The first Die Hard movie from 1988 actually takes place at a Christmas party so if you are full of comedies, here is some action for you!
  11. Serendipity: John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale searching for each other after the night they first met and fell in love.
  12. Batman Returns: because why not? Directed by Tim Burton, Batman has to save Gotham during Christmas. Legendary casting: Michael Keaton as Batman, Michelle Pfeiffer as Catwoman and Danny DeVito as the Penguin.

Favourites of November 2017

November passed so quickly, it’s unbelievable… I went through a lot of feelings this month. From enjoying the last warm autumn days to decorating my apartment with several reindeers singing ‘Siiilent niiight’… 

Book experience of the month:
I’ve been always curious about the woman who not only used a pseudonym to hide her female identity, but was the partner of Frédéric Chopin for several years and corresponded with Gustave Flaubert. My first George Sand novel was La Petite Fadette, the romantic novel that takes place in the 19th century countryside. It was lovely to read, I hope I can procure more of her novels.
My second choice was Lauren Graham’s My Talking as Fast as I Can: From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls (and Everything in Between), the book she wrote about the 7 seasons of Gilmore Girls series between 2000-2007, and then about the cast’s reunion for a 4 episode windup last year. It’s a must-read for all true fans. 

Audiobook experience of the month:
I moved on to J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Jim Dale is still hilarious! It always made me smile how he imitated Lockhart’s voice: ‘Harry, Harry, Harryyy…’.

Movie experience of the month:
Circle
movie, starring Emma Watson and Tom Hanks makes us think about the advantages and disadvantages of modern social media.
The Space between us is a nice romantic story, not only for space fans!
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead men tell no tales honestly was a little forced for me. Jack Sparrow’s character was a big hit when the first movie came out, but not anymore. Though it was nice to see (SPOILER ALERT!) Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley reunited.

Cinema experience of the month:
November has been the month of superheroes! The new Thor movie was funnier than the first two and Mark Ruffalo is always a great coworker. Cate Blanchett’s Hela was a pretty badass enemy. Fun fact: this was the first time Marvel movie that had a female wicked leading character.
The long awaited Justice League had two precious actors, Ezra Miller as the Flash and Gal Gadot as Wonderwoman. I still can’t get over the fact that Ben Affleck became Batman… whoever thought about that at DC Comics, he is not their friend!
And I also saw A Bad Moms Christmas with my friends during my trip to Budapest. Although it’s full of crazy and funny moments, it still makes you think about what is important in Christmas: having the perfect tree and perfect decoration or spending quality time with your loved ones?

Series experience of the month:
The second season of Stranger Things is finally out and it was just as good as the first one! I love how they pay attention to every detail to create this 80’s world. Can’t wait for season 3!

Theatre experience of the month:
I went to see The Barber of Seville in the National Theatre in Szeged. I actually never heard an opera in Hungarian before. After talking to the singer playing Count Almaviva (I know, such a VIP…), he told us it was harder because Hungarian words often end with syllables like ‘t’ or ‘k’ while in Italian you can let go of the ‘o’-s and ‘a’-s. Besides it was a lot of fun and a great way to attract younger people to watch an opera.

Travelling experience of the month:
I went to Debrecen for a weekend to visit my Polish friend who came here to study with Erasmus. I have actually never been to Debrecen before so it was a great opportunity.
I traveled to the Hungarian capital, Budapest to visit my childhood friends. We went to see the Christmas fair (blog post coming soon about it, no worries).

Photography experience of the month:
Definitely my Budapest night photos and the ones I took of the Japanese collection of the Déri Museum in Debrecen.

Music experience of the month:
Janis Joplin’s Summertime when the living is easy. I really don’t know why.

Food experience of the month:
Although the most commonly known Hungarian dish by foreigners is goulash, I only had it in school canteens. And who’s fault is that, mummy? OK, just kidding, I know it’s mine.  But it’s never too late. Goulash is a traditional soup made from beef and a lot of vegetables seasoned with paprika. If someone wants to sell it to you elsewhere, don’t believe them, we have the original!

Amazing people IX.: Mirmy Klopfen Design

„Painting is a combinative art. Analogous, metaphorical. Full of references and symbols, like psychology.” /Luigi Guarnieri/

Mirmy Klopfen Design’s imaginative and lovely artwork can bring light to the grey weekdays. The next guest of my interview series is a lady, who although works as a psychologist, she is also an artist in her free time and I can proudly call her my friend.

Lady Fraise (LF): How did Mirmy Klopfen Design start?
Mirmy Klopfen Design (MKD): MKD has come a long way until reaching its present state although I still consider this stage transitional for obtaining the final goal. The starting point was my affinity for art. I loved drawing with basically everything, in the sand with a stick, to vaporous glass with my finger. This developed an interest for graphic art and the joy of creation as well.
Finding my own technique specified the path that gave me the idea of founding a design workshop. It’s a design workshop, because besides creating paintings, themes are appearing on other objects (postcards, bookmarks, etc).

LF: What inspires you in creating your artwork?
MKD: I have two inspirational source representing the two main patterns of MKD that differs from each other. Photographs taken in nature inspire realistic paintings, so this section of MKD reflects reality. The other section is closer to my personality, it shows a waggish, fantasy world with personalised creatures and objects. The inspiration to this world comes from how I see the world and how I exist in it: with full of colours and laughter.

LF: What kind of techniques do you usually use?
MKD: I tried many techniques before finding it for MKD and it is aquarelle. I love the softness, airiness of aquarelle colours and what startles me is that I can let the paint work for itself.
My new field of interest is digital art but I have to learn a lot about it.

 

LF: Which one is your favourite artwork?
MKD: It’s always the one I’m currently working on. I like exprimenting with topics and techniques and if an innovation works and I start loving it immediately. It is hard for me to say goodbye to a painting, I always take a picture of them before letting them go. I’m also very critical about my paintings, there are only a few of them I’m truly satisfied with. But that may be all right.

LF: Where did the name Mirmy Klopfen Design come from?
MKD: It originates from my nickname and playing with words before reaching its current sound.

LF: Does creating art and your job have a connection wich other?
MKD: As a child psychologist, the world of fantasy and creativity interlock with my profession. Furthermore I believe in the expressive and liberating effect of creation so it serves my mental well being. At the same time I can feel that even looking at a nice picture makes me peaceful or happy, so it influences my actual mood. There is a need for every positive thought these days and I hope my paintings can make the same impact on people as well.

Mirmy Klopfen Design Facebook
Mirmy Klopfen Design Instagram

Csodálatos emberek IX.: Mirmy Klopfen Design

„A festészet is kombinatív művészet. Analogikus, metaforikus. Utalásokkal és jelképekkel teli, mint a pszichológia.” /Luigi Guarnieri/

A Mirmy Klopfen Design fantáziadús, csodaszép alkotásai megfűszerezhetik a szürke hétköznapokat. Az interjúsorozat következő vendége a civilben pszichológusként dolgozó, szabadidejében képzőművész hölgy, akit büszkén nevezhetek barátnőmnek.

Lady Fraise (LF): Hogyan indult el a Mirmy Klopfen Design?
Mirmy Klopfen Design (MKD): Az MKD hosszú utat járt be, míg jelenlegi állapotába eljutott, és amit még mindig egy átmeneti állomásnak tartok a cél eléréséhez. A kiindulási pont a művészetek iránti vonzódás volt. Mindennel szerettem rajzolni, firkálni: homokba bottal, párás üvegre ujjal, stb. Ebből fejlődött ki a képzőművészet iránti érdeklődés, és az aktív alkotás örömének kipróbálása is.
A saját technikai utam meglelése pontosította azt az útvonalat, mely az ötletet adta egy design műhely életre hívásához. Design műhely, mert a festményeken kívül különböző tárgyakra is rá kerülnek az egyes motívumok (képeslapok, könyvjelzők, stb).

LF: Mi inspiràl a műveid elkèszìtèse soràn?
MKD: Két inspirációs bázisom van, ami az MKD két, egymástól gyökeresen különböző motívumvilágához illeszkedik. A természetben készült fotók inspirálják a valósághű festményeket, az MKD ezen ágazata a realitás talaján mozog. A másik vonulat közelebb áll a személyiségemhez, ami egy bohókás, valóságtól elrugaszkodott világot mutat be, megszemélyesített állatokkal, tárgyakkal. Az inspirációt ehhez a világhoz egészen egyszerűen az adja, ahogy szemlélem a világot, és létezem benne: színesen, mosolygósan.

LF: Milyen technikákat hasznàlsz?
MKD: Többféle technikát kipróbáltam, míg egy hosszú önismereti út elvezetett az MKD fő kifejezőeszközéhez, az akvarellfestészethez. Szeretem az akvarell színek lágyságát, könnyedségét, és ennek a technikának a bámulatossága számomra abban rejlik, hogy hagyhatom, hogy magától dolgozzon a festék.
Új érdeklődési terület a digitális ábrázolás, amit még tanulnom kell.

LF: Mik a jövőbeli terveid?
MKD: Terveim között szerepel a megfestett motívumok, képek megjelenítése különböző írószer termékeken: füzetek, naptárak, naplók, noteszek felületein, valamint új területként a fotózást szeretném beemelni az MKD megjelenési területei közé.

LF: Melyik a kedvenc alkotàsod?
MKD: Mindig az aktuálisan legfrissebb alkotás a kedvencem. Szeretek kísérletezni témákkal, technikákkal, így ha egy újítás beválik, megtetszik, nagyon tudom kedvelni. Nehezen is válok meg a festményektől, mindig lefotózom, mielőtt elengedem őket. Nagyon kritikus is vagyok a képeimmel, kevés az olyan kép, amire azt tudom mondani, hogy „igen, ezzel teljesen meg vagyok elégedve”. De talán ez így is van rendjén.

LF: Honnan jött az Mirmy Klopfen Design nèv?
MKD: A becenevemben gyökerezik, majd a szavakkal való játékból fejlődött tovább jelenlegi hangzásáig.

LF: Kapcsolòdik-e az alkotàs a munkàddal?
MKD: Gyermekpszichológusként közel áll hozzám a fantázia világa, a kreativitás, és a kreatív erők mozgósítása, ebben a tekintetben összekapcsolódik az alkotás a hivatással. Továbbá hiszek a szabad alkotás kifejező és felszabadító hatásában, így saját mentális karbantartásomat is szolgálja. Ugyanakkor magamon érzem, hogy egy szép kép nézegetése megnyugtat, egy vidám kép látványa felvidít, egyszóval befolyásolja az aktuális érzelmi állapotomat. A mai világban minden apró pozitív gondolatra szükség van, és csak remélni tudom, hogy az én képeim ugyanígy képesek hatni az embereke.

Mirmy Klopfen Design Facebook
Mirmy Klopfen Design Instagram

 

My favourite photographers

I love looking at pictures of photography legends as well as looking at paintings. Although photography is the art of the moment, they preserve a piece of history or beauty and they always inspire me. Here are the people who had the greatest impact on my visual world and imagination.

Annie Leibovitz
She is my favourite photographer of all time! I love the colour palette she works with, it reminds me of Tim Burton (his movies have shades that are typical only for him).
Her career started at the Rolling Stones magazine and after that she took photos for Vanity Fair and Vogue as well. Her most famous shot is the one she took of John Lennon and Yoko Ono on the day he was murdered. She is truly remarkable and I can’t wait to acquire all of her books.

 

Mario Testino
The world’s most famous fashion photographer comes from a Catholic family in Peru. He worked for all of the leading fashion magazines and for brands like Chanel, Burberry, Lancome, Gucci and Versace. Besides that he was the official photographer of the British royal family members. He is a huge fan of art and founded a museum as well.

 

Helmut Newton
The German born artist revolutionized fashion photography with his erotic filled shots. He considered himself a feminist and always wanted to show the dominant side of women. The Helmut Newton Foundation in Berlin has an exhibition in the Museum of Photography that can be visited today.

 

Robert Capa
The Hungarian photographer, who said: ‘If your pictures aren’t good enough, you aren’t close enough’. He worked as a war correspondent from 1934 to 1954 with Gerda Taro. He took legendary pictures of Ernest Hemingway and Pablo Picasso as well. The love of his life was Ingrid Bergman, the leading actress in Casablanca.

 

Murad Osmann
The Russian photographer became famous on Instagram by a photoseries called #followmeto. It started in 2011 when his wife was fed up with him always stopping to take pictures so she tried to drag him away in Barcelona. Now he has more than 4.6 million followers.

 

Pál Nánási
My most favourite Hungarian photographer takes pictures of all topics: fashion, portrait, nude and advertising. He currently runs an adorable Youtube show about a trip he took with his family to Asia.