Easter – The Secret Easter Bunny Brought Me Gifts

Hello everyone,

I hope you had a great Easter Sunday and are enjoying Easter Monday so far. This Easter I participated in a gift exchange that follows the same rules as Secret Santa except that it’s the Secret Easter Bunny who is trying to put a smile on your face. The gift exchange was organized by fellow blogger Sarah from Büchermops and was open to Austrian book bloggers.

Secret Easter Bunny Package

A few weeks ago I received a beautiful and big package, wrapped in mint-colored wrapping paper. This is when the long wait until Easter Sunday began. Fortunately, I am very disciplined when it comes to not touching stuff I’m meant to leave alone. Last night, I finally opened my package and here is what I found inside:

Secret Easter Bunny

The Secret Easter Bunny obviously wants me to spend more time at my sewing machine, because they gave me lots of fabric. There is red fleece, which I can never have enough of, as it is perfect for all sorts of small projects, very cute white cotton with animals on it (my boyfriend loves all the cats on it 😀 ), salmon-colored stretchy knit fabric with glitter, and white jersey with fairies (or princesses?). The last two fabrics are perfect, as I can finally try my hand at stretch fabric. We’ll see how that goes. 😉 I also got two kinds of grosgrain ribbon. One is pink with daisies and the other one, my absolute favorite, is blue with a space theme.

Secret Easter BunnyOf course Easter would be boring without some calories, right? So I got fruit confections and the Easter Bunny tells me that these are made by a local manufacturer – so cool! Some of you might have noticed the small green bag. It has tea flowers in it that bloom when you put them in hot water. I’ve always wanted a tea flower and the Easter Bunny didn’t even know that. Now that is a surprise! I’m looking forward to a special moment to make some blooming tea and I can’t wait to see what the flowers look like.

As this was a book blogger Secret Easter Bunny, I also got a book that has been on my wish list for a while now. It’s Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Anne Fowler. I’m really looking forward to diving into it and I think I might do so tonight.

easter2016
Happy Easter Everyone!

Thank you so much Secret Easter Bunny! You did great selecting everything and I’m very happy about this wonderful package. I’m still not sure who you are, because you didn’t leave me any clues, or at least I didn’t see any, but I’ll take a lucky guess: Is it you msmedlock?

Recipe – No-Crust Pumpkin Pie

Hello,

Some of you might have noticed that there haven’t been that many blog posts in the past months. I’m writing hard on my thesis and won’t be able to update All That Magic as often as I’d like until I’m done with university. I’d be happy to flood you with my thoughts after graduation, because I haven’t stopped reading books ;). For now, I’ve got a seasonal recipe for you.

No-Crust Pumpkin Pie for Claudia

no crust pumpkin pieIt’s been three years since Claudia decided to share recipes for people with chewing and swallowing difficulties on her blog Geschmeidige Köstlichkeiten. Claudia thinks that having difficulties eating solid food doesn’t mean that you can’t eat varied and appealing meals. She is constantly trying and testing new recipes and even asks chefs for their contributions. For her third blogiversary, Claudia asked her readers and colleagues to think of something smooth and delicious for her to eat and I thought I’d make her some no-crust pumpkin pie.¹

Ingredients:
  • 5 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • pinch ground ginger
  • pinch ground cloves
  • pinch salt
  • 1 egg
  • 250 g canned pumpkin puree (have a look at the baby food section in your supermarket if you can’t find canned pumpkin, or make pumpkin puree yourself)
  • 150 ml evaporated milk (G: Kondensmilch, ungezuckert)
Instructions:

No crust pumpkin pie

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F.
  2. Mix sugar, ground cinnamon, ground ginger,, ground cloves and salt in a bowl.
  3. Lightly whisk the egg in a small bowl.
  4. Add the egg to the sugar mixture and stir.
  5. Add the pumpkin puree and stir.
  6. Gradually add the evaporated milk and keep stirring until combined.
  7. Lightly grease a ceramic, or glass baking dish, or ramekins. Pour in pumpkin batter.
  8. Bake for 15 min on 180°C/350°F, then reduce the heat to 160°C/320°F and bake until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean and the no-crust pie jiggles slightly (in my case 20 more minutes, if you use ramekins the baking time will be shorter).
  9. Let the pie cool down to room temperature and, to get a better consistency, put it in the fridge overnight.
  10. Serve and enjoy!

Geschmeidige Koestlichkeiten

 

¹ I adapted Alice Medrich’s Pumpkin Pudding recipe.

Blogger Convention – Salt and the City

Hey There,

Salt and the City is Salzburg’s first blogger convention for food and lifestyle and was held on the last weekend of May. Caro, one of the organizers, assured us early on that book blogs are lifestyle blogs, so of course Nana and I had to join the fun.


Salt and the City - Blogger Camp for Food & Lifestyle

Friday

The convention started off with an Instawalk. This was particularly funny, because I still have an old Sony Ericsson Cyber-shot phone that I love very much (who needs touch screens anyway?) and as a result I don’t have an Instagram account. I was thinking about bringing my bridge camera and then decided against it as I didn’t want to carry that heavy thing around the city. “It’s an Instawalk,” I thought, “so why don’t I just take pictures with my mobile phone?” And that’s what I did. You can see those “lovely” retro shots on our Facebook page.

Instawalk through Salzburg
Instawalk through Salzburg. Image provided by pixellovers.at

On our walk we got an exclusive tour of the Salzburger Landestheater where we went backstage and up to the millinery. I could have stayed there for hours just to try on every single stunning headpiece and hat. We had some schnapps at Sporer‘s, a liquor manufacture, and tipsily climbed four flights of stairs to the realm of Andreas Kirchtag, the workshop of Kirchtag umbrella manufacture. It was great to see how much work goes into a single umbrella and that not only can you choose the fabric of your umbrella but also the shaft. After this informative stop, we sat down for iced coffee and tea at Afro Cafe and recharged our batteries for one more climb. The highlight of the day was the view from Salzburg’s city hall tower which isn’t open to the public. On our way down we were treated to some delicious Venusbrüstchen chocolates, so I didn’t have to worry about bedtime candy that night.

Saturday
cake topper
The cake topper I made.

Official convention day was Saturday and started with a breakfast table laden with muesli and excellent Rauch Juice Bar Grünschnabel spinach juice that I can’t seem to find in stores. I relaxed and chatted until lunch, as my workshops didn’t start until early afternoon. The first workshop was by Tina Tagwercher who gave a presentation on Thai fruit carving techniques and even though the time was too short to have a go at it myself, I’m fairly confident that I’d manage to carve a melon with the right tools. In the second workshop, I got to do some cake decorating. Dr Oetker sent a pastry chef and his assistant to teach us how to make fondant roses and pipe chocolate decorations. I had a good time and I think my cake top looks presentable.

Thai fruit carving
Thai fruit carving

In the evening we were invited to dinner and a craft beer tasting at Trumerei. Unfortunately, I couldn’t enjoy this part of the day as a migraine hit me.

Sunday
Hallein Salt Mine
Hallein Salt Mine. Image provided by pixellovers.at

On Sunday it was time for the bloggers to explore Salzburg’s countryside. I was looking forward to a visit to Sonnleitn Alm in Abtenau but my migraine wasn’t gone when I woke up in the morning, so I had to pass on the first half of the outing. I joined the others for the second half though. We went up to Dürrnberg mountain to visit the Salt Mine. I’ve been there many times already and I have to admit that I don’t like the videos that you get to see touring the mine. You feel stupid watching them. They might do for children’s tours but adults would appreciate content instead of bad jokes. The mine itself is impressing though and you wouldn’t want to miss the boat ride on the salt lake and the slides.

When I arrived home, I finally had time to go through the two goodie bags that we got. I’m already excessively using my Riess mug for overnight oats, and I tried Quinoa for the very first time. It has a weird consistency that I think I like. 😉

I had a great weekend at my very first blogger convention and I hope that Salt and the City will return next year. Thank you girls for the hard work you did!

Salzburg
Beautiful Salzburg
Thanks to all the sponsors who made Salt and the City possible:

stadt-salzburgtrumer

trumereitennengau

salzburger-land

gesagt-getandmrauchfissler

altstadt-salzburg dr-oetker verival wuesthof

riess nenihotel-sacher rough-cut-board

coworking-campdecora bombasei

Winner – World Book Day 2015: Blogger Schenken Lesefreude (Bloggers Give Books)

Hi,

It’s finally time to announce the winner of our giveaway to celebrate World Book Day and our Second Blogiversary. Unfortunately, I had to disqualify one entrant for entering the giveaway multiple times. Did you really think I wouldn’t notice?

Edit (5/5/2015 05:12pm):

[Anyways, Rachel, you are the lucky winner of a copy of Donal Ryan’s The Thing About December. I just sent you an e-mail and you have 72 hours to reply.]  Sorry Rachel, but you didn’t answer my e-mail.

This is why we have a new winner: Fornika! Congrats! I just sent you an e-mail and you have 72 hours to reply.

If you haven’t won, don’t be sad, it’s the weekend. Go on and read a good book. There are many more out there 🙂

Blogger Schenken Lesefreude

 Donal Ryan The Thing About December
The Thing About December
Image provided by Transworld¹
Synopsis quoted from Transworld¹:

‘He heard Daddy one time saying he was a grand quiet boy to Mother when he thought Johnsey couldn’t hear them talking. Mother must have been giving out about him being a gom and Daddy was defending him. He heard the fondness in Daddy’s voice. But you’d have fondness for an auld eejit of a crossbred pup that should have been drowned at birth.’

While the Celtic Tiger rages, and greed becomes the norm, Johnsey Cunliffe desperately tries to hold on to the familiar, even as he loses those who all his life have protected him from a harsh world. Village bullies and scheming land-grabbers stand in his way, no matter where he turns.
Set over the course of one year of Johnsey’s life, The Thing About December breathes with his grief, bewilderment, humour and agonizing self-doubt. This is a heart-twisting tale of a lonely man struggling to make sense of a world moving faster than he is.

Giveaway – World Book Day 2015: Blogger Schenken Lesefreude (Bloggers Give Books)

Happy World Book Day, Book Lovers!

To celebrate World Book Day and our Second Blogiversary, we’re giving away a copy of The Thing About December by Irish author Donal Ryan. I chose this novel because it is one of the best books I’ve read in 2014 and I would love to share this wonderful story with you. All you have to do is answer one quiz question. The giveaway is international and you have time to enter from today until April 30, 2015. Good luck!

Blogger Schenken Lesefreude

 Donal Ryan The Thing About December
The Thing About December
Image provided by Transworld¹
Synopsis quoted from Transworld¹:

‘He heard Daddy one time saying he was a grand quiet boy to Mother when he thought Johnsey couldn’t hear them talking. Mother must have been giving out about him being a gom and Daddy was defending him. He heard the fondness in Daddy’s voice. But you’d have fondness for an auld eejit of a crossbred pup that should have been drowned at birth.’

While the Celtic Tiger rages, and greed becomes the norm, Johnsey Cunliffe desperately tries to hold on to the familiar, even as he loses those who all his life have protected him from a harsh world. Village bullies and scheming land-grabbers stand in his way, no matter where he turns.
Set over the course of one year of Johnsey’s life, The Thing About December breathes with his grief, bewilderment, humour and agonizing self-doubt. This is a heart-twisting tale of a lonely man struggling to make sense of a world moving faster than he is.

  • You can participate as long as The Book Depository ships to your country for free.
  • You have to be 16 or older to participate.
  • The giveaway runs from April 23, 2015 until April 30, 2015.
  • Be fair! One entry per person/immediate family/household.
  • I am not responsible for lost or damaged items. There will be one winner who will receive one English language paperback copy of Donal Ryan’s The Thing About December, sponsored by All That Magic.
  • You you have to enter through Giveaway Tools.
  • The winner will be selected at random and notified via e-mail. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, another winner will be drawn.
  • The personal information you enter will only be used to contact you in case you win. It will be deleted after the giveaway.
  • I can amend and interpret these official rules at any time, and terminate, suspend or cancel the giveaway at any time for any reason.
  • All decisions are final.
If you want to enter the The Thing About December giveaway, click this link: Entry-Form

Second Blogiversary – Two Years of Magic

Hi There,

I’ve been a little quiet over the past few weeks because writing my thesis is taking up quite some time and energy. I might have to make temporary changes to my review format to be able to publish book reviews on a regular basis up until my graduation. I’ve not stopped reading books, and I won’t stop writing this blog. So please bear with me 🙂

And now on to the fun part 😉

Blogoversary

It’s All That Magic‘s Second Blogiversary today! Two years of reading, writing, cooking, eating, crafting (in secret [I’ve just sewn a book cover]), taking bad pictures, going to book fairs and making new friends. I wouldn’t want to miss any of that.

Last year was particularly exciting. I got to be part of a cooperation between bloggers and a local bookstore (Rupertus Buchhandlung) and made new friends this way. I went to Frankfurt Book Fair for the second time, met old friends and got acquainted with new ones. I also won 10 Penguin Random House books in a reading challenge for reading 49 English-language books in 2014.

Which brings me to the last part of my blogiversary monologue: I’d like to thank everyone who has supported me so far. The publishers who kindly supply me with review copies, among them Canongate Books and Penguin Random House UK, Rupertus Buchhandlung for the great time I had in the past months, the authors who spend months writing books for us, and I’d like to thank You for stopping by and for reading what I have to say!

P.S.: Like last year, I will run a book giveaway on World Book Day, April 23rd.

The Winners – World Book Day: Blogger Schenken Lesefreude (Bloggers Give Books)

To celebrate World Book Day and my First Blogoversary, I was doing a giveaway of the following three books: Life After Life by British author Kate Atkinson, the German edition of Y (“Hier könnte ich zur Welt kommen”) by Canadian author Marjorie Celona and the German edition of The Art of Fielding (“Die Kunst des Feldspiels”) by US author Chad Harbach.

Just so you know, all your answers were correct! 🙂 Unfortunately, not all of you lovely entrants got to win something. The winners were chosen at random by Giveaway Tools. I’ve already contacted them, but to make things official, here they are. They’ve got 72 hours to reply to my e-mail.

Thank you for entering!

Blogger Schenken Lesefreude Banner

Also: A big “Thank You” goes out to Dumont Verlag and Insel Verlag for offering the two German-language books to give away to two lucky readers!


 Kate Atkinson Life After Life
Life After Life
Image provided by Transworld¹
Kate Atkinson’s Life After Life goes to: Melanie D.
You can also double-check in the Entry-Form

 Marjorie Celona “Hier könnte ich zur Welt kommen
Hier könnte Ich zur Welt kommen
Image provided by Insel Verlag²
Marjorie Celona’s “Hier könnte ich zur Welt kommen” goes to: Bettina
You can also double-check in the: Entry-Form

Chad Harbach “Die Kunst des Feldspiels”
Die Kunst des Feldspiels Cover
Image provided by Dumont Verlag³
Chad Harbach’s “Die Kunst des Feldspiels” goes to: WolfgangB
You can also double-check in the: Entry-Form