Sunday, February 17, 2013

Weekend pleasures

The week has flown quickly and we are enjoying our weekends again. Today we were blessed to have some long-awaited warm sunshine. It is a rare event at this part of the year, that's why it is so enjoyable to walk under it and soak it's lovely energy. We decided to go for a walk to one of the Kiev's parks - the park of Partizan Glory. It is quite large and includes a part of pine forest and few lakes. They are still covered with ice allowing people to walk on them. Another lake was full of skating children.
Take a look around. I haven't been on a walk for quite a while. We had a very cold and snowy winter this year. Hope spring will come soon and we'll be able to enjoy such warm sunny walks more often.
The sky was blue and looked unusual after all the grey days we've had.
Another little pleasure was on my table today. I finally tried to make a carrot cake! I used Lucy's recipe and it came out very yummy. And I have to mention it's really very quick to make.
See that little nose trying to steal my piece of cake? Actually, that's what I always deal with while taking photos anywhere in my apartment. This little fluffy helper is following me everywhere and she doesn't like to be turned back. Taking photos becomes a real challenge, especially when it comes to crochet things, she loves them most of all.
I was also preserving some orange zest. I dry it and add to my tea to give it a nice orange aroma.
Hope you are having a pleasant weekends! See you soon.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

♥Heart♥ shaped chocolate cupcakes with light frosting, chocolate shavings and mandarin zest

Hope you are all having a lovely day. My day was full of good mood, nice atmosphere and little pleasant things. It's been a regular working day, but with a special feeling of happiness, that makes you smile, like in a beautiful sunny day, even with grey weather outside. This chocolate heart muffins with light frosting and some chocolate shavings and mandarin zest on top were one of those pleasant things.
I've bought this form few months ago while shopping for the new year presents. Actually I've bought two of them - one went to my grandma and another is happily used by me. And I have to say I'm pretty satisfied with it.
I used this recipe with slight modifications to make the muffin dough. I added cocoa powder instead of melted chocolate, omitted adding 1 orange juice and putted my favorite spices in there. So the overall list of ingredients is:
  • 120 g flour
  • 150 g sugar
  • 10 g vanilla sugar (can be replaced by vanilla extract)
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 40 g melted butter
  • 1 egg
  • 125 ml milk


1. Preheat the oven to 170°C (325F).
2. Mix the flour, sugar, vanilla sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger and cocoa powder together in a bowl.
3. Add the butter and mix until combined.
4. Whisk the egg and milk together in a jug.
5. Stir the egg and milk mixture into the flour mixture until just combined.
6. Spoon the mixture into the paper cups or other cupcake forms and bake for 10-15 minutes for small cupcakes and 15-20 minutes for larger ones, or until risen and golden-brown and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
7. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool for 10 minutes.
8. Decorate with frosting, chocolate shavings and fresh mandarin/orange zest.

I made chocolate shavings and mandarin zest using zest grater like on this picture.
And I used this recipe to make frosting. I have already written about this frosting in one of my previous post saying that it is really good - very light and smooth.
Adding some banana hearts for decoration. Bananas taste absolutely great with this frosting. Probably I'll try to make such banana cream once. What can be better than a combination of chocolate, bananas and whipped or alike cream.
Looks nice, doesn't it?
I've made some bite muffins in paper cups using the dough leftovers.
So my Valentine's day was sweet and pleasant. How about yours?

♥ Happy Valentine's Day! ♥

Happy Valentine's Day, my dear readers!
Wish you lots of love, happiness, pleasant moments, smiles, peace, harmony and understanding! Love and be loved!
♥ Have a pleasant and lovely day! ♥

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Crochet ♥hearts♥

I've found one more crochet heart pattern, that I used few years ago to make this cute hearts. Red one was a present for St. Valentine's Day. And purple and yellow one was made as a new year tree decoration.
The posts are written in Russian, so I decided to make a short translation for my English speaking readers. See the scheme for the first and second side of the heart below.
Happy crafting!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Crochet ♥ heart ♥ shaped cup coasters

Here is one more gift idea for the Valentine's day - crochet heart shaped cup coasters. They are quick and easy to make, you don't need a lot of yarn, any leftovers of matching colors can be used. You can give it either to friends, relatives or to your beloved person. The cup coaster will remind them about your love and care every time they'll drink their tea or coffee or whatever.
Everything you need is crochet hook, scissors and of course some yarn.
And here is the crochet scheme.
This is a basic heart pattern. I also added some edging for my heart cup coasters. This one has two rows of single crochet stitches - white and pink one.
For the second heart I've made a shell edging. Here is a description.
5dc in 2d chain from the hook
skip 1 chain
1sc into the next chain
skip 1 chain
5dc in the next chain
skip 1 chain
1sc in the next chain
Repeat actions between * until you reach the end of your pattern.
Are you preparing some handmade presents for the upcoming Valentine's day?

Happy crafting!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Pork spare ribs in honey-mustard sauce

When I first tried meat in honey mustard sauce (it was a gorgeous baked duck cooked by my grandma) I understood that my life wasn't full enough without this sauce. And then a period of experiments begun, I'm trying this beautiful sauce with different kinds of meat in different combinations and for various occasions. This time I'll tell you how to make fabulous pork spare ribs in honey mustard sauce.


 - 10 pork spare ribs (washed, dried, cut into separate pieces)
 - 1 tablespoon honey
 - 2 tablespoons mustard (hot or mild - whatever you like better)
 - 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
 - 1 teaspoon basil (either fresh or dry)
 - 1 tablespoon soy sauce
 - salt, pepper


1. Salt and pepper the ribs.
2. Mix honey and mustard in a bowl until smooth. This mixture smells gorgeous, isn't it?
3. Add chopped garlic.
4. Add basil, pepper.
5. Add soy sauce. Mix well. The smell is even better now.
6. Cover each spare rib piece in the prepared mixture and leave it in a cool place for about an hour. Actually you can start frying them without waiting, but the taste will be richer and deeper if you'll give the ribs some time to soak the marinade.
7. Put some olive oil into the frying pan and add the ribs. Poor the rest of the sauce, if there is any, in the pan as well.
8. Cook for about 10-15 minutes on the low heat. Turn the ribs to the other side after they'll get browned from first one.
Cook 10-15 minutes more. Put the lid on when the ribs will become brown from both sides and cook about 10-15 minutes more. At the end you'll get beautiful brown ribs in caramelized honey mustard sauce.
9. Serve with vegetables. Bon appetit!

Things I enjoy this weekend

Today I'm enjoying...
... crocheting heart shaped cup coaster;
... crocheting few more squares for my blanket;
... home brewed coffee;
... tiny chocolate muffins (recipe in the previous post);
.... trying new frosting for my muffins (recipe here - everything that is written about the taste and consistency of this frosting is true - mild, smooth and light as air);
... color pencils - I feel an inexplicable need to draw some nice colorful pictures like in childhood;
... looking trough my notes regarding Valentine's day ideas;
... watching Feature playing with a little pink crochet circle I made for her, she adores such things, and I can actually continue crocheting after she gets piece of what I have - that's a kind of fee;
... weather outside my window - a lot of snow again.
Hope you are finding something enjoyable in your weekends as well!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Chocolate Baby Muffins with chocolate chips

I like making muffins almost as much as eating them, especially when it comes to making tiny baby chocolate muffins in colorful paper cups.
That's so much fun and such a pleasure for eyes. It's not time consuming and easy enough to do this with kids. Afterwords it's a real chocolate heaven. So if you consider yourself as a real chocoholic you'll definitely like the result.
I used the next recipe for this little cute chocolate muffins.


  • 25 g butter
  • 1 egg
  • 0.5 cup milk
  • 0.8 cup flour
  • 0.3 cup cacao powder
  • 0.6 cup sugar
  • 0.5 teaspoon baking soda
  • 0.5 teaspoon baking powder
  • 0.25 teaspoon salt
  • 0.5 cup milk chocolate chips


1. Preheat over to 180°C (400F).
2. Melt the butter in a microwave and let it cool. Just remember, that we are using eggs in this recipe and everything should be cold enough not to cook eggs.
3. Mix everything together and stir well until smooth.
4. Fill your paper cups with the prepares mixture about 2/3 full.
5. Bake about 10 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the muffin comes out clean.
6. Take out of the oven and let the muffins cool a little bit.
You can decorate them putting some whipped or butter cream on the top and adding some chocolate sprinkles. Eat them in a peaceful cozy atmosphere in a family circle with your favorite tea or coffee.
Have a pleasant weekends!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

New Year with a new Etsy shop

I'm happy to introduce you my new Etsy shop. I've been wanting to start my own shop on Etsy for quite a while, thinking how to do this better, etc. And finally I've came up with the idea. I really enjoy crocheting and making different cute things, I like developing new patterns and bringing them to life from a small thought in my head to the completed item.
Today I have added the first item to my 'Life in color' shop - crochet heart earrings pattern. This is a detailed tutorial on how to make crochet heart earrings with beads and a ribbon bow. Use the code VALENTINE to receive a 50% discount. You still have enough time to make a few as presents for St. Valentine's day.
Happy crocheting!

January 2013

Hello, my dear readers. I'm so happy to write here again!
Let's talk about January. The first thing that comes to my mind related to January is of course the New Year and Christmas (we - the Orthodox Christians celebrate Christmas on the 7th of January following the old calendar style). I usually celebrate these holidays with my family at home, near a decorated Christmas tree, yummy food and nice and cozy holiday atmosphere. Of course, we baked some gingerbread cookies or pepperkakers as they are called in other countries.
This already became a tradition for us and this is the third year we do this. Here are the links to 2011 and 2012 pepperkaker baking. Oh, I adore smelling all those beautiful spices. I usually put a lot of them into my cookies, such as cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, pepper and some orange zest. Just look at those yammies, mmm.... I should start making them more often, then just on Christmas, cuz that's such a pleasure.
This winter we are having a lot of snow here in Kiev and mostly a cold frosty weather. You know, I like when everything goes as it should, it's good to have snow and frost in winter and warm sunny weather in summer. Here's the view from my window in one of the snowiest and windiest days.
And look at this frosty window.
It's been a little bit warmer last few days, but it's still tons of snow around here. And sometimes it's so needed to visit a cozy warm cafe. We love visiting Lviv Handmade Chocolate place. This guys have really tasty chocolate and coffee with cinnamon, nice decor, lovely atmosphere and good old music.
I treated myself with a few colorful yarn balls for future projects lately. Feel absolutely happy with the colors I've chosen. I have already tried the pink one - it looks great - I'll show you later.
Hope you are doing fine and having a great weekends! Wish you lots of inspiration and creativity for the whole upcoming week!