One of the reasons that I love May…..

….. is because of all the fresh spring/summer vegetables that find their way to our local farmers market, and even to our supermarket around the corner….. fresh asparagus, lovely rhubarbs and sweet strawberries. And they aren’t even expensive!

So with all these fresh vegetables in our Cottage, we have to start making some early summer recipes, like this: very simple version of a traditional Italian dessert with a twist of Danish spring!

You don’t need an oven to make it (but you do need a fridge).

Rhubarb tiramisu.

All you need:
200 g caster sugar
50 ml water
400 g rhubarb, cut into 4cm pieces
4 eggs, separated
1 orange, juice only
250 g mascarpone
200 g boudoir biscuits, (sponge fingers)
50 g flaked almonds

Do this:
Dissolve half the sugar in the water and simmer for 2-3 minutes. Add the rhubarb to the pan, and cook gently for 3-4 minutes, until tender but still holding its shape. Leave on one side to cool.

Whisk the egg yolks with the remaining sugar until pale and fluffy. Whisk in the mascarpone cheese and beat until smooth.

In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until they resemble soft peaks. Fold into the egg and mascarpone mixture.

Remove the cooled rhubarb from the syrup and set aside. Add the orange juice to the rhubarb syrup and strain into a bowl.

Dip half the biscuits in the cooled syrup and use to line the base of a 28cm gratin dish or glass bowl. Spread half the mascarpone mixture over the biscuits and top with half the rhubarb. Cover the rhubarb with another layer of biscuits dipped in syrup. Spread with the rest of the rhubarb, followed by the remaining mascarpone mixture. Cover with cling film and chill for about 6 hours, or overnight.

Toast the almonds in a dry frying pan for 2-3 minutes until they turn golden brown. Set aside to cool before scattering over the tiramisu.

Enjoy

♥ Lizzy

Kategorien Cottage Life / Cooking, Recipes . Skrevet af LE 30. May, 2011 kl 16:18

These weeks in May…..

….. happen to be my absolute favorite weeks of the year….. sunshine, garden picnics, barbecues and the first ice cream.

Do you remember sucking on ice pops when you were a kid, keeping the stick in your mouth for hours afterwards? I do. My mum always made sure to keep a good stock in the freezer, which kept my brothers and I happy (and our pets too!).

This is a very simple version of a Rhubarb, Raspberry Yogurt Ice Pop….. I can easily go on and on about how good this Ice Pop taste, but instead I just encourage you to try it for yourselves. Make it on a hot summer day and eat it outside before it melts away.

Rhubarb, Raspberry Yogurt Ice Pops

You need:

Rhubarb:
9 oz rhubarb, peeled and diced
1 3/4 oz fine blond cane sugar
2 Tbsp water

Raspberries
6 1/3 oz raspberries
2 Tbsp fine cane sugar
1 Tbsp lime juice

Yogurt
10.5 oz Greek style yogurt 2%
2 Tbsp fine cane sugar

Do this:
Place your shot glasses in the freezer.

To make the raspberry syrup, place the fruit in a pot with 2 Tbsp sugar, the lime juice and bring to a boil, cooking for 2 min.

Strain to remove seeds and pour back in the pot. Cook until you obtain a thick syrup-like consistency, on medium heat. Let cool.

Pour in the glasses along the edges to describe a pattern and place in the freezer again.

To prepare the rhubarb, place 5 Tbsp sugar with the peeled and diced rhubarb in a pot. Add 2 Tbsp water. Cook until the rhubarb is soft and let cool. Purée finely in a food processor.

Mix this rhubarb purée with the yogurt and 2 Tbsp sugar. Adjust the sweetness according to taste.

Place in the fridge to cool (or use an ice cream machine to churn) and then pour in the shot glasses. Place in the freezer again.

While still soft, insert the wooden sticks.

Place in the freezer once more so that the yogurt pops fully set.

Kategorien Cottage Life / Cooking, Recipes . Skrevet af LE 28. May, 2011 kl 14:10

This morning the…..

….. rain pours down outside.

When summer feels really far away, a guaranteed pick-me-up is a big glass of lemonade, and this combination of rhubarbs flavored with lime, mint leaves, ginger and vanilla is very refreshing….. and the bright red color always cheers me up.

This is also an example of me trying something new. It’s actually my first attempt ever making lemonade.

I thought that making lemonade was complicated. But it’s really not. You boil fruit and spices with water and sugar, strain it through a sieve and serve it with lots of ice.

And need I say, that the result is a thousand times better than the supermarket version?….. and as an extra bonus: your kitchen will smell divine from the fruit and spices.

Rhubarb & Strawberry Lemonade

All you need:
4 cups (1 lb) rhubarbs, chopped into 3/4-inch pieces
2 cups (12 oz) strawberries, divided in half
3 inch ginger, peeled and chopped into 1 inch pieces
1 cup cane sugar (add more if you prefer it sweeter)
1 vanilla pod, sliced open
4 cups water
juice from 2 lime (1/3 cup)
20 mint leaves

Decorate with: A handful of chopped fresh rhubarb, strawberries and a couple of slices of lime.

Do this:
In a medium size saucepan, combine rhubarb, strawberries, ginger, cane sugar, vanilla pod and water.

Bring it to a boil and then lower the temperature. Add the lime juice and the mint leaves. Simmer for 20-25 minutes while stirring occasionally.

Strain the lemonade through a sieve, removing the pulp. Let it cool in the refrigerator.

Serve in a large pitcher with lots of ice, fresh rhubarbs, strawberries and slices of lime.

Tip: If left in an air-tight container it can stay fresh for about a week.

Kategorien Cottage Life / Cooking, Recipes . Skrevet af LE 27. May, 2011 kl 6:33

We have often…..

….. chosen to sleep in the “wing” but at this time of year it can feel as if the water gets a little too close for comfort, as there is so much moisture in the air, it feels like linens and towels are damp - and it takes ages for it to dry.

In “the wing”, I also have my studio where I happily spend my free time painting. From here, I have a wonderful view of the wild garden filled with white lilacs, pink roses, honeysuckle and flowering apple and cherry trees.

The place has become so overgrown, after having grown wild for almost a decade, it is hard to see the different houses.

Fences and walls are covered with roses and jasmine; vine grows on trellises over the patio, and flowerbeds are exploding with rhubarb and strawberries when the summer comes. Only at this time of year while the tulips are still visible and not covered by wild long grass, can the original shape of the house be seen.

Cottage cooking:

Enjoy this spring and summer dessert, so refreshing in its simplicity. Bärkräm is a creamy berry pudding from Sweden that can be made with blackberries, strawberries, goose-berries, or any berries in season.

All you need:
Water - 3 cups
Sugar - 1 cup
Berries, any type, cleaned and trimmed - 4 cups
Cornstarch - 1/4 cup
Water - 3 tablespoons

Do this:
Bring the water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add the sugar and stir to dissolve. Add the berries and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 10 minutes, or until they begin to break down. Add extra sugar to taste as needed.

Stir the cornstarch into the 3 tablespoons of cold water, and then whisk the cornstarch slurry into the simmering berries to thicken it into a loose, pudding-like consistency. (Keep in mind, the berries will thicken even more as they cool. You might not need all of the slurry. Then again you might need more. It depends on the berries.)

Remove from heat and pour the berries into a large bowl or individual serving dishes. Cover with plastic wrap and chill well.

Serve topped with a little cream or with a dollop of whipped cream.

Kategorien Cottage Life / Cooking, Recipes . Skrevet af LE 26. May, 2011 kl 12:34

Our summer cottage is…..

….. much as it was when it was built around 1900.

It is a white house with red tile roof, with three bedrooms upstairs and a long white room downstairs with a magnificent stucco ceiling. The old plank floor aren’t shiny but a pale and worn matt wood color, many years ago they looked as though they where about to give up and turn into dust, but it has not happened, and today, these floors are one of many small things that make our house so charming.

The is also a guest Wing, which is not a wing at all; to get to it, you have to walk down a narrow path bordered, this time of year, with wonderfully fragrant pink and white tulips, and various wild flowers, which succeed each other in waves: anemones, violets and small wild strawberries.

“The wing” can be frightening for those who do not understand the power behind a Danish spring thunder and lightning storm, or the noise from the roiling sea, which is located directly below. Just as beautiful the blue sea can be, just as terrifying it may seem, when it suddenly transformed in a raging spring storm.

Cottage cooking:

Pickled beets
Rødbeder is a simple yet beautiful side dish popular throughout Scandinavia. In Denmark it is known as syltede rødbeder.

All you need:
White vinegar - 1/2 cup
Water - 1/2 cup
Sugar - 1/2 cup
Salt - 1 teaspoon
Pepper - pinch
Beets, cooked, peeled and sliced into rounds - 2 cups

Do this:
Bring the vinegar, water, sugar, salt and pepper to a boil in a non-reactive saucepan. Reduce heat and simmer for about 5 minutes to completely dissolve sugar.

Place the beets in a stainless steel or glass bowl. Pour hot vinegar mixture over the beets, cover and chill for at least 2 hours before serving.

Tip: try to add cinnamon, thyme, star anise and coriander seedsthese spices will ”transport” these beets to a (almost religiously) higher level.

Kategorien Cottage Life / Cooking, Recipes . Skrevet af LE 25. May, 2011 kl 8:31

To remove the shock…..

….. of seeing our lovely garden altered by the new garden path, we swapped tales of people who rents houses here in the summer.

Mary tells about the time Bruce Springsteen rented a house, and danced with her in the kitchen, and the story of the rich American woman who started drinking gin at. 9 am, and whose husband joined her with a glass of whiskey an hour later - every day throughout their stay. Doing the time we have gazed out over the sea and exchanged stories, we have completed the way down to the house.

It’s still early in the year, and the vine growing over the path has only little bright green leaves. Evening falls, but slowly as it does here in Scandinavia. As we round the corner of the house, the light comes on, as stretchedout arms of light….. a worm welcome greeting….. the moon is suddenly visible, high up in the sky. We’re here….. we have arrived.

Cottage cooking:

Plump red strawberries and fragrant raspberries sweeten market shelves.

Strawberry shortcake is a classic early summer dessert. It comes together quickly and easily and is the perfect way to finish a picnic in May or June.

All you need:
Strawberries, cut into quarters — 2 pints
Sugar — 1/2 cup
Flour — 4 cups
Sugar — 6 tablespoons
Baking powder — 5 teaspoons
Salt — 1 teaspoon
Butter, chilled and cut into small cubes — 12 tablespoons
Milk, half-and-half or cream — 1 1/2 cups
Whipped cream — 2 cups

Do this:
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.

In a large bowl, mix together the strawberries and 1/2 cup sugar. Set aside, stirring occasionally. The strawberries will produce their own syrup.

Sift the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt into a large bowl. Add the chilled butter and work it into the flour with your fingers until the mixture takes on a mealy texture. Place the bowl in the refrigerator or freezer and chill the ingredients for about 5-10 minutes.

Remove the bowl from the refrigerator and stir in the milk, half-and-half or cream until all the ingredients come together in a ball. Remove the dough to a lightly floured worksurface and knead gently and quickly just enough to smooth out the dough.

Roll the dough out to a thickness of about 3/4 inch. Use a cookie or biscuit cutter to cut the dough into twelve 3-inch rounds. Place the rounds on a buttered baking sheet and bake until lightly browned on top, about 10-12 minutes.

Place one shortcake round in a dessert bowl. Top with a spoonful of strawberries and syrup. Place another round on top of that and top with another spoonful of berries. Top the whole thing with a dollop of whipped cream and serve immediately.

Kategorien Cottage Life / Cooking, Recipes . Skrevet af LE 23. May, 2011 kl 7:59

Each time we…..

….. arrive at our paradise, it’s different ….. although it also magically the same.

While we were away, a new garden path have been built to the house, and it has redundant the painful walk down….. no more fatal tours on slippery pebbles paths, with suitcases around the neck, while rain, thunder and lightning hails down upon us, as if to show who is boss on this little Danish island. No more wavering to the top of the stairs leading down to the house and the terrace, while wishing we had stayed home in the city instead (through this last no more than two minutes).

It’s turning into evening on this day, that’s like no others after all. The first sight of the sea far below, is weird and wonderful as we had expect it to be, blue is changed into silver in a wide color beam, a wonderful explosion of rainbow colors which quite takes the breath away.

Cottage cooking:

With memories of winter fading, tender shoots, young sprouts and fresh greens are pushing their way through the warming soil. Now green peas and firm asparagus are at their peak.

Roasting is an excellent way to prepare asparagus. This simple dish with a tasty Parmesan crust is snap to throw together. Asparagi alla parmigiana is a springtime favorite.

All you need:
Asparagus, trimmed — 2 pounds
Butter, cut into pieces — 2 to 3 tablespoons
Parmesan cheese, grated — 1/2 to 2/3 cup
Salt and pepper — to taste

Do this:
Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Butter a shallow gratin or baking dish that is just large enough to hold the asparagus. Place a layer of asparagus in the dish, with the tips all facing the same direction. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper and some of the cheese. Keep adding layers until all asparagus and all cheese is used, finishing with the cheese.

Dot the top of the dish with the pieces of butter and place the dish on the top rack of the oven. Bake for about 15-20 minutes, or until the asparagus is cooked through and beginning to brown and the cheese is melted.

Kategorien Cottage Life / Cooking, Recipes . Skrevet af LE 20. May, 2011 kl 9:25

We used to call them…..

….. the fishermen club, the old men who popped up from nowhere behind the worn shacks in the harbor, on our way back to the house. Morning, the hoarse voice that greets you, with a kind of relief, it is good to be on land again after a long cold morning at sea. Morning, a greeting so much more approachable and friendly, than anything you’re likely to hear when you met someone early in the morning anywhere ells in Denmark. But only if you greet them first. If you don’t, they ignore you and pretend you’re invisible.

But we’ve done the journey between the port and our house so many times, so most people here know us, and we call out to each other at the same time.

There is Frank coming out from his garden. He lives on the road which lead down to the beach. He looks like he is ready for a little chat before he enjoys his coffee in silence, overlooking the sea.

And then there’s Molly, the old artist, who dresses up and fix her hair when evening falls, before she strolls down to the sea, to dance among the dunes. She looks stunning with the twisted white hair at top of her head, standing with a straight back, gazing out over the sea, as a heroine from the past.

It’s spring; Molly meets Frank at the beach, as do Mary and John, the couple who live part of year in the little crooked house beside Frank. They know that they should enjoy the sleepy atmosphere of warm spring air and salt from the sea. Will soon the sleeping mood will be gone, because when summer comes to town, it will be accompanied by many happy summer visitors that transforms the small sleepy town into a bustling maze of happy voices and hopeful dreams.

This year, we have completed the journey from the city to our summer paradise at the seaside, quite early. Here it is only spring and most things are still closed. Even when we pass the tiny bar, which consists of a few tables and four chairs, one almost gets the feeling that it has been opened by mistake.

Cottage cooking

Spring: Bright by day and it grows colder in the evenings. After a long walk on the windy beach, and a walk along the gravel path to find the first spring flowers, it’s lovely to come home and enjoy a nice hot meal.

Barbecued pork and potato salad with apples

A classic grill dishes that taste like a wonderful Danish spring day.

Servings: 6

You need:
2 whole pork fillets
sea salt
black pepper from the mill

Potato salad with apple
1.8 kg new potatoes
6 large apples
4 cup Hellman’s mayonnaise
5 cups sour cream
0.5 cup capers
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
sea salt
black pepper from the mill
0.5 clove garlic
1 bunch scallions

Do this:
Light the grill and spread the coals on one side of the grill.

Salt and pepper the fillet. Brush with glaze.

Grill the fillets until they get golden color. Move them to the other side and place the lid on. Grill the meat is 10-15 minutes.

Potato salad with apple:
Boil the potatoes to they become soft in salted water. Drain and slice the potatoes into ½ inch thick pieces while it is warm and place in a large serving bowl.

Dice the apples.

Add the mayonnaise, crème fraiche, capers and Dijon mustard.

Season with sea salt, black pepper and grated garlic.

Slice the green onions on the potato salad and mix.

Enjoy

Kategorien Cottage Life / Cooking, Recipes . Skrevet af LE 17. May, 2011 kl 16:03

I am very, very…..

….. busy right now….. but Sunday, I took time out of my schedule to go to a place which I really love: the art museum Louisiana. It is an incredibly beautiful and wonderful place.

I’m trying to find time to visit Louisiana minimum twice pr. year (but I wish I stopped by more often).

Fortunately, my friend asked if I would go with her and see the exhibition: Picasso Peace & Freedom…… it’s nice when others pushes you a little in the right direction.

Well anyway, off we went with my mother, to see Picasso….. and yes, it’s an exhibition worth seeing. The exhibition “paints a good picture” of the socially conscious, politically active and peace-loving artist.

Me: I like thematic exhibitions such as this, where selected works appear to illustrate a certain angle.

I: can only recommend that you pass by Louisiana to see the show and that you also take time to enjoy a stroll in the wonderful park.

Extra bonus: you also have the opportunity to see an amazing Japanese lighting installation. This unique and wonderful work of art is really fascinating. Had the queue not been so long (only two where allowed in the light-room at the same time) I would have stayed in there long.

But judge for yourself!

Kategorien Culture . Skrevet af LE 16. May, 2011 kl 7:11

“They who dream…..

….. by day are cognizant of many things
which escape those who dream only by night.”

-Edgar Allan Poe

Kategorien Lovely Quotes . Skrevet af LE 14. May, 2011 kl 7:53

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