I talk and talk…..

….. and I promise and promise, and then I don’t fulfill.

Every single time, in fact, I write a new post, I say that my presence on the blog is decreasing, but that I’ll make up for it, that you’ll see me more often….. but then I become preoccupied with other things, therefore, I further reduce my presence on this poor blog. Does saying that I’ll patch things up bring me bad luck? Does life beyond the blog really absorb me so much?

Whatever it is, I really hope I’ll be able to write a bit more in the next weeks, ’cause maybe I’ll have a bit more time available (but I added the “maybe” just in case). But don’t worry, in the past weekend I relaxed a bit and I cooked (hallelujah, hallelujah), so you’ll have the pleasure (or displeasure) of seeing these 2 or 3 new recipes soon. Of course, if only I’d remember to take pictures every time I cook something new, maybe my blog will definitely improve, but I can’t ask myself too much.

Coming back to topics much more interesting than my (lack of) mental health, let’s talk about today’s recipe. Some time ago I found this recipe and I fell in love;

Risotto Alla Primavera

All you need:
6 1/2 cups (about) vegetable broth
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 8-ounce onion, chopped
1 medium leek (white part only), sliced crosswise into thin rings
2 stalks green garlic, chopped, or 1 garlic clove, minced
2 cups arborio rice or carnaroli rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 cup 1-inch pieces thin asparagus
1 cup freshly shelled small peas or petite frozen peas (about 1/4 pound)
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus additional for serving

Do this:
Bring broth to simmer in medium saucepan. Cover; keep warm over low heat.

Melt 1 tablespoon butter with oil in heavy large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add onion, leek, and garlic - sauté until wilted and almost tender, about 6 minutes.

Add rice; stir until rice is translucent at edges but still opaque in center, about 3 minutes.

Add wine; simmer until almost all liquid is absorbed, stirring often, about 1 minute.

Add broth 1 cup at a time until rice is about half cooked, allowing each addition to be absorbed before adding next and stirring often, about 9 minutes.

Stir in asparagus, peas (if using fresh) and parsley.

Continue adding broth by cupfuls and stirring until rice is almost tender, about 6 minutes longer.

Add peas (if using frozen).

Cook until rice is tender but still firm to bite and mixture is creamy, about 2 minutes longer. Remove from heat.

Add 3/4 cup cheese and 2 tablespoons butter. Stir until cheese and butter melt.

Season with salt and pepper.

Serve passing additional cheese alongside.

Buon appetito

Kategorien Comfort, Cottage Life / Cooking, Kitchen & food, Recipes . Skrevet af LE 25. November, 2013 kl 10:08

I love…..

….. summer tomatoes - I wait for their arrival all year.

….. and I can’t think of anything better on a autumn Sunday, than a lovely salad of warm juicy tomatoes layered with fresh basil, creamy mozzarella and flakes of maldons sea salt that burst in my mouth….. there is nothing like it and makes the wait well worth it.

When you have tomatoes this good they need very little work, as this beautiful vegetable will just shine and take the lead role in any meal.

Caprese Salad

Tomatoes
Fresh basil
Mozzarella
Sea salt
Cracked pepper
Quality olive oil
Grilled bread

Simple as it sounds its heaven. Combine all ingredients, eat it as a salad, put it on crostini, whatever way you fancy.

Enjoy and happy Sunday

Kategorien Cottage Life / Cooking, Kitchen & food, Recipes . Skrevet af LE 24. November, 2013 kl 13:22

When I’m sick and…..

….. cold, I firmly believe that a hot toddy will make me feel better than any cold or flu medicine I can buy.

I’ve experimented with many versions and varieties and this simple soothing concoction always does the trick.

This toddy isn’t overly sweet and lets the rye whiskey shine. It is a bit jazzed up with the addition of fresh ginger and its sweet side comes from honey.

Serve it alongside a plate of holiday cookies and cakes, or sip it on it’s own as a nightcap (it will make for a deep comfy night’s sleep).

Rye & Ginger Hot Toddy
All you need (1 drink)
1 1/2 ounces rye whiskey
2 teaspoons honey
2 to 3 thin slices fresh ginger, peeled
Lemon wedge
Hot water

Do this
In a teapot with one cup of water add the ginger.

Heat until the teapot whistles.

In a mug add the whiskey, honey, and juice of the lemon wedge. Strain the ginger infused hot water into the mug.

Stir to dissolve the honey and enjoy.

Note: You may wonder what is Rye Whiskey anyway? It’s a whiskey made from a grain mixture that’s mostly rye (at least 51%) and the rest can be corn, wheat, malted rye, malted barley or a combination of any of the above. Then like Bourbon it’s aged in new toasted oak barrels. The results range from robust and spicy whiskey to smooth sips tinged with vanilla and caramel flavors, making Rye whiskey the perfect pick for whipping up some hot toddies.

Kategorien Christmas, Easter & Holidays, Cottage Life / Cooking, Health, Kitchen & food, Lizzy says, Recipes . Skrevet af LE 19. December, 2012 kl 6:37

A very quick post…..

….. with a very clear intention: wish a HAPPY (belated) BIRTHDAY to me!

I wish it to myself, cause you never know! Oh, yes, I fall into the birthday’s post cliche, too, but I won’t keep going (at myself, of course) stating my desperation for the advancing age (but the age advances, though)….. or describing everything that I prepared for the celebrations in my honor….. well, actually I didn’t prepare anything (I forgot to bake the cake yesterday) and there was no special celebration (what the heck!).

But, for my non-birthday (if I remember to bake it tonight), I will prepared this Strawberries cake with lemon curd (sort of)….

….. why I prepare a Strawberries cake with lots of whipped cream for my non-birthday, when I don’t go crazy for whipped cream? This remains a mystery to solve. But that’s another story, which I think has something to do with the mental tares I’m in at the moment…… look on the bright side, at least I don’t have to turn on the oven!

Strawberries cake with lemon curd
1 cake / 12 pieces
a little syrup (see recipe here)
a glass of lemon curd
Filling
1 vanilla stick
½ dl sugar
2 liters of fresh strawberries
3 dl whipping cream

Do this:
I will cheated a little, and buy finished cake plates.

Prepare the lemon curd (see recipe below) and let it cool in refrigerator.

Scrape vanilla seeds out and mix them with sugar. Guilt and slice half of strawberries and mix them with sugar.
Spread fruit on the bottom cake plate.

Put a cake plate on top and spread lemon curd on.

Put the last cake plate on top and cover it with light whipped cream and the rest of the quilted fresh fruit.

Tip: If you want your cake juicier, you can mix a little punch (or rum) with syrup and brush the bottom cake plate with it, before you add the fruit. This will make the cake juicy and add a wonderful liqueur flavor

Lemon Curd (1 small jar)
3 lemons
1 1/2 dl sugar
50 g butter
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 eggs
2 egg yolks

Do this:
Mix grate from 3 lemons with juice from 2 lemons and boil up with sugar and butter.

Pour liquid through a sieve.
Mix cornstarch into the juice from the third lemon and stir it into the hot liquid.

Beat the eggs together and stir them into the hot liquid, place the liquid back on the stove and let it simmer, stirring constantly until the cream gets thick.

Pour the cream into a clean glass and let it cool.

Tip: the Lemon curd should be kept in the refrigerator.

Kategorien Cottage Life / Cooking, Kitchen & food, Lizzy says, Personally, Recipes . Skrevet af LE 29. August, 2012 kl 10:41

Yes, today is…..

….. my birthday….. I’m going towards 50 - jubilee!

And, while someone claims that the making of one’s own birthday cake is bad luck (but why?), or simply is not very nice, I have a certain compulsion (”another one?”, you’d say) not only in preparing the dessert, but the whole dinner for a party in my honor!

Am I stupid?! Maybe.

Do I love cooking too much?! For sure!

On my birthday, however, traditionally I don’t cook. We will eat at a restaurant (preferably a surprise restaurant) and this year (we celebrated in advance and held my birthday last Saturday) my daughter and I chose to eat on the very nice restaurant “Søsterne Olsen”….. it was awesome….. I chose (as always) dessert instead of the starter (yet another lie - I ate both)….. I chose my favorite ice-cream: a little semifreddo, a soft fruit one and the three chocolates one - what the heck!

But, for all other parties, believe me, I MUST (it’s a primordial need) prepare something….. the whole dinner, a starter or just the dessert.

But this year I will skip the party, and only make the cake, which I will bring with me to the office tomorrow — I guess I have to celebrate twice as much next year.

….. and since I have not baked the cake yet, I’ll post this unforgettable desserts - perfect for a birthday party.

Ice cream bomb with raspberry meringue
2 litres softened vanilla ice cream
¾ litre softened raspberry sorbet
1 cake base (purchased is fine)
1 small (¾ litre) and 1 large (2 litres) metal bowls

Raspberry meringue
3 free-range egg whites
4 drops fresh lemon juice
325 ml sugar
200 g fresh raspberries

Freeze the bowls (so the ice cream sticks better to the sides and does not melt as quickly when the bowls are to be filled).

Soften the sorbet in the refrigerator for 20-30 minutes. Pack it firmly into the little metal bowl. Cover with cling film and freeze it until the sorbet is hard again, about 2 hours.

Soften the vanilla ice cream in the refrigerator for 20-30 minutes. Cover the bottom and walls of the larger (frozen) metal bowl with vanilla ice cream so you leave the centre hollow.

Take the bowl with the raspberry sorbet out and rinse the outside of the bowl quickly with hot water. Take the sorbet out and press it into the hollow space in the vanilla ice cream. Fill in any excess space with more vanilla ice cream and spread a layer of vanilla ice cream on top so the sorbet disappears into the middle of the bomb.

Cut a round slice out of the cake bottom so it covers the entire surface of the ice cream. Cover with cling film and freeze again until the ice cream bomb is hard.

Rinse the outside of the bowl quickly with hot water and press the ice cream out. Freeze it again so the surface freezes.

Whisk the egg whites, lemon juice and 1 dl sugar with an electric mixer into a thick meringue in a dry and clean stainless steel bowl.

Add another 1 dl sugar while whipping it.

Mash the raspberries with the rest of the sugar and whip it into the meringue at low speed. Whip it hard until it is firm.

Pipe or spread the meringue over the ice cream bomb and cook the surface with a blow torch

Enjoy!

Kategorien Cottage Life / Cooking, Kitchen & food, Lizzy says, Personally, Recipes, Restaurant . Skrevet af LE 28. August, 2012 kl 15:21

If I was Alice…..

….. I would have never left wonderland

I wonder how many times as a child, I played the “if I” game….. and sometimes I still play it….. especially if someone triggers me off….. and it’s not a game as simple as it might seem, or as we thought as children, because it’s often hard to find an answer that will fully represent ourselves.

For example, today I tried to dedicate myself for the umpteenth time to this game, and there have been some “if I” really difficult to determine! For example, I wondered, “If I were a song“….. well, I would properly be “Baby I’m a fool” by Melony Gardot or perhaps “Live tomorrow” by Laleh…. No, come on, I would be “Careless love” by Madeleine Peyroux! Nooooooo: I would definitely be “The Best is yet to Come” by Michael Bublé! But eventually, after hours of intensive listening, I realized that if I were a song, I would probably be “Piece of my heart” sung by Janis Joplin, a song about love and anger, strong and intense, sung by a female and hoarse voice, both powerful and fragile….. Yes, I think I would be THIS song. I began with the most difficult task: music contains so many facets that it’s very hard to choose a single song….. but other choices are not simple, as well!

If I were a poet I would be Pablo Neruda, but if I were a poem I would be “I carry your heart with me” by E. E. Cummings, if I were a color I would be the color blue, if I were an animal I would be a dog, if I were a drink I would be a glass of iced Chardonnay.

If I were a novel I would be “Elle s’appelait (Sarah’s key) by Tatiana De Rosnay, if I were an album I would be “RIO” by Duran Duran, if I were a movie I would be “Under the Tuscan Sun” (at the present time), if I were a film director I would be Richard Whalley Anthony Curtis, if I were a comic book I would be “Marsupilam” by André Franquin… and so on…..

But how much exclusion, how many thoughts and afterthoughts to reach these conclusions! And I’m sure I’ll change my mind again and again!

But when I found myself thinking (thanks to a big help from the outside) “if I were a recipe, what would I be?” the response was immediate: “I would be a dish of Tiramisu“!

I would be a dish of Tiramisu, first of all because it’s my favorite dessert (I’d never be able to say no to Tiramisu), because - just like a sensible girl (with one eye on the scales) - I don’t give up so easily to dessert (I’m not a dessert-maniac, but I don’t say no to it, if you know what I mean), but especially because in this dish there is the (desired) holiday that I don’t have, there is summer, sun, southern Italy, things far away from me (some just now, others geographically) that I like to take and transplant to Denmark, anytime I feel like it….. and today I feel so!

Tiramisu

All you need:
350-400 ml (12-14 fl oz) espresso coffee
4 eggs
60 g (3 ¼ oz) caster sugar
450 g (1 lb) mascarpone cheese
150 ml (5 fl oz) marsala wine
230 ml (7 ½ fl oz) whipping cream
300 g (11 oz) Savoyard biscuits (sweet Italian biscuits)
3 tablespoons good quality cocoa powder

Do this:
Make the espresso and pour the coffee in a bowl to cool down.

Separate the eggs and beat the egg yolks fluffy together with half of the caster sugar. Save the egg whites.

Stir the mascarpone cheese until it gets creamy and mix it with the egg yolks. Add the marsala wine.

Whip the cream until fluffy and carefully mix with the egg batter.

Spoon some of the batter in the bottom of a serving dish.

Quickly dip one biscuit at a time in the cold espresso coffee and cover the bottom of the dish.

Spoon over a layer of batter and dust with cocoa powder.

Repeat with another layer of dipped biscuits, batter and cocoa powder.

Repeat if necessary one more time, depending on the size of the serving dish.

Note: This Tiramisu is to die for.

Kategorien Cottage Life / Cooking, Kitchen & food, Personally, Recipes . Skrevet af LE 23. August, 2012 kl 14:14

Hi….. how was your…..

….. weekend? Me yes….. I guess the queen of false promises has returned….. each time, in fact, more and more time passes between a post and the following one - I am a genius of evil, no doubt about it!

But what can I say, summer took me, and so did miles of travelling to the outer edge of Denmark this weekend, a birthday party with my family, a day at the beach and lazy hours with a glass of iced rosé wine…..

But it’s not that I cook less than usual (on the contrary, in fact), but certainly I document less and, as you can see (photo below), with a minor (could we say nonexistent?! Let’s say nonexistent) aesthetic eye. Maybe it’s the hot weather or the weekend mood - NO - I’m lazier, and I admit it without any problems….. quite the opposite, almost with a sense of pride!

The recipe I am presenting you today, is a summer classic, it’s easy to make, very quick and cold: it doesn’t require an oven or stove (just the fridge, my friends) and you’d need only very basic kitchen equipment, but you’ll have a fresh and delicious dessert, “low fat” and suitable for all palates.

Well, I post less and less, but I hope to make it up to you with some ideas to facilitate you in these hot days.

Tiramisu-semifreddo

All you need:
4 organic eggs
85 g (3 ¼ oz) caster sugar
250 ml (8 fl oz) whipping cream
250 g (9 oz) mascarpone cheese
100 ml (3 ½ fl oz) marsala wine
12 Savoyard biscuits
150 ml (5 fl oz) espresso coffee

Separate the egg yolks from the whites (without getting any yolk in the whites).

Whisk the yolks with half the sugar in a bowl until white and fluffy.

Whip the cream until fluffy and fold it into the egg mixture.

Whip the egg whites with the rest of the sugar until white and stiff in a dry and clean bowl. Carefully fold this into the egg mixture.

Whisk the mascarpone with the marsala wine and carefully fold it together with the yolk, the whipped cream and the whipped egg whites.

Line a rectangular bread tin with cling film.

Put a little of the ice cream mixture into the bottom and dip one biscuit at a time into the cold espresso. Place a layer of biscuits in the tin and top with some of the ice cream. Repeat the procedure again.

Lightly hit the tin against the table so any air bubbles disappear. Freeze it for 3-4 hours so that it is “half frozen”; it should be a little soft in the middle.

Turn out the tiramisu and remove the cling film. Powder with cocoa.

Enjoy!

Kategorien Comfort, Cottage Life / Cooking, Kitchen & food, Recipes, Weekend . Skrevet af LE 20. August, 2012 kl 8:47

Yes, I admit it…..

….. I want to dry out in the sun (not in my office)…..

….. I want beach and seaside. And I want these things so much that I started to feel the smell and the sound of the sea each time I take a sip of water

….. I need a vacation (I know I just had one, but still).

Tomorrow afternoon it’s weekend, and I’ll be back in Paradise….. and I will see the sea again: every day I feel nostalgic about the sea, and every day I look forward to seeing it again, excited like a child with its favorite toy.

And passing the time while waiting, I comfort myself with this delicious Seafood Paella, that scent like summer and sea, and with this lovely photo of the blue mirror that I love (and miss) so much.

Seafood Paella

All you need:
Broth:
3 cups water
1 cup dry white wine
1 teaspoon saffron threads
2 bottles clam juice

Herb Blend:
1 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon dried tarragon
2 large garlic cloves, minced

Paella:
1 pound monkfish or other firm white fish fillets
16 unpeeled jumbo shrimp (about 1 pound)
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups finely chopped onion
1 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
1 cup canned diced tomatoes, undrained
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups uncooked Arborio rice or other short-grain rice
1 cup frozen green peas
16 littleneck clams
1 (7-ounce) jar sliced pimento, drained
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Do this:
To prepare broth, combine the first 4 ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer (do not boil). Keep warm over low heat.

To prepare herb blend, combine parsley and next 4 ingredients (parsley through 2 garlic cloves); set aside.

To prepare paella, trim connective tissue from monkfish; cut into 1-inch pieces. Peel and devein shrimp, leaving tails intact. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large paella pan or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add fish and shrimp; sauté 1 minute (the seafood mixture will not be cooked through).

Remove seafood mixture from pan, and keep warm. Add onion and bell pepper to pan, and sauté 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, paprika, crushed red pepper, and 3 garlic cloves; cook 5 minutes. Add rice, and cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in broth, herb blend, and peas. Bring to a low boil, and cook 10 minutes, stirring frequently.

Add clams to pan, nestling them into rice mixture. Cook 5 minutes or until shells open; discard any unopened shells. Stir in the seafood mixture, and arrange shrimp, heads down, in rice mixture. Arrange pimento slices spoke like on top of rice mixture; cook 5 minutes. Sprinkle with lemon juice. Remove from heat; cover with a towel and let stand 10 minutes

Tip: Seafood paellas are often served with a cold, fresh, dry fino sherry; however, a zesty, dry California Sauvignon Blanc works well, too.

Kategorien Comfort, Cottage Life / Cooking, Kitchen & food, Recipes . Skrevet af LE 9. August, 2012 kl 9:53

All right people…..

….. we’re are back from Spain and we have taken the wonderful summer weather and a pair of amazing Spanish-inspired recipes with us home.

We are now in the thick of summer, and it’s time to sway up to the bar for some ice cold sangria (please don’t go to that bad place in your mind of sickly sweet concoctions and hangovers so horrible that you’ll swear off the stuff). Great sangria can be refreshing and it’s perfect for a summer party.

Nowadays with the endless varieties of wine, types of fruit and herb mix-ins to choose from, there’s a signature sangria out there for everyone.

For todays Happy Hour we’re jumping on the fan wagon of Cava, the slightly spritzy white wine from Spain. We’re mixing it up with some peach brandy and ripe white peaches for a pitcher perfect happy hour.

Sparkling White Sangria

All you need (serves 4 to 6)
2 to 3 white peaches, sliced (2 if they are large, 3 if they are small)
3/4 cup peach brandy
1 bottle chilled Cava
1 liter chilled white peach seltzer water

Do this:
In a pitcher, place 3/4 of the sliced peaches (saving some for garnish) add brandy and let the peaches soak for 20-30 minutes.

Add the Cava and seltzer water.

Stir with wooden spoon to mix. Pour into ice filled glasses and top with a couple of fresh peach slices.

Tip: Wrap some melon in Prosciutto and you’ve got a gorgeous, not to mention delicious, happy hour.

Kategorien Comfort, Cottage Life / Cooking, Holiday, Kitchen & food, Personally, Recipes . Skrevet af LE 23. July, 2012 kl 9:27

As I’m planning my…..

….. summer holiday, I find myself missing Paris more and more (the weather forecast promises rain well into the future).

So right now we’re leaning towards visiting a place where the sun shines (and summer always remind me of my time in Paris and Italy). Looking at old photos and recalling the vivid colors and sounds of the cities brighten my feelings of nostalgia. Sometimes I forget what I saw or breathed in, until I browse through my pictures. The major sites stick out to me, but it’s the little things, like this creme brulee, that makes my memory gloss over.

I’m sure many of us travel and store thousands of digital photos tucked away in our computers, most never making it to the print world. Like the saying of the tree falling in the forest, what happens to a photo or a memory that is never looked at again? In addition to sharing this storie, I want to use this post as a visual space to showcase and bring life to one of my “lost” captured travel moments……

….. perhaps it will feel like visiting Paris all over again.

Have a great weekend.

Crème Brûlée a classic French recipe

All you need:
500ml double cream
1 vanilla pod
100g caster sugar (plus extra for the topping)
4 egg yolks
1 whole egg

Do this:
Preheat the oven to 125 degrees Celsius

Pour the cream into a saucepan. Split the vanilla pod lengthways and scrape the seeds into the cream. Chop the empty pod into bits, and add these too. Bring to boiling point, then turn off the heat and put a lid on. Leave to infuse for five to ten minutes.

Beat the sugar and all the eggs together in a large heat-proof bowl until pale and creamy. Bring the cream back to boiling point, then pour over the egg mixture, whisking all the time until thickened - this indicates that the eggs have begun to cook slightly (you should have a smooth custard the consistency of double cream - a grainy texture means it’s been overcooked and you’ll have to start all over again).

Strain through a fine sieve into a large jug, then use this to fill 6 ramekins about two thirds full.

Place the ramekins in a large roasting tray and pour in enough hot water to come halfway up their sides. Place on the centre shelf and bake for about 35-40 minutes, or until the custards are just set and still a bit wobbly in the middle.

Remove from the water and allow to cool (to room temperature).

When you’re ready to serve, evenly sprinkle one teaspoon caster sugar over the surface of each Crème, then caramelise with a blowtorch. Leave to cool for a couple of minutes…..

….. and then enjoy one of France’s greatest contributions to eating pleasure!

Kategorien Culture, Kitchen & food, Personally, Recipes, Weekend . Skrevet af LE 6. July, 2012 kl 10:57

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