Today is…..

….. my birthday.

It’s the 28th of august and it’s late summer here in paradise - soon the swallows will get ready to fly south - but still, every morning, I am going right out to sea, slowly carving the gentle deep blue of an late August ocean, in to slices of pure azure.

Anton and Murphy is sitting, waiting for me on the beach, looking longingly at a large seagulls sitting close by, and I feel grateful, the swallows have gone, the seagulls can defend itself - not like the little blackbird which was taken by the neighbor’s cat - I swear, that cat spend all summer, waiting under the nest for the baby bird to fall into it’s mouth - nature can be so cruel sometimes!

Cottage cooking:

Food eaten in the dog days (not a lot of those around this summer) needs to be light - and tempting. Like thinking back on my morning swim, I can almost taste the salt on my lips, as I lift the fork for the first life-saving mouthful.

The lovely taste of Greek feta has that special salty flavor, which is perfect through late summer.

Greek tomato & cucumber salad

All you need:
2 ripe tomatoes, quartered
1 large cucumber, chopped and halved
1/4 Kalamtata Olives
2 T Capers
1/2 cup thinly sliced red onions
1 slice Greek Feta
2 T Olive Oil
Fresh lemon juice from 1/2 lemon
1/2 tsp. lemon zest

Do this:
Combine all ingredients and serve immediately… ENJOY!!

Kategorien Cottage Life / Cooking, Recipes . Skrevet af LE 28. August, 2011 kl 8:42

Perhaps I was a little quick…..

….. on the trigger yesterday, when I stated: “it feels like indian summer here”.

This morning heaven and earth is one. Rain, lightning and thunder pours down upon us, reminding us, that although we live in paradise, this place can be very rough when a storm appears.

But even when the gods are pouring their rage down upon us, this place is unbelievably beautiful. Today, wind blows from the north and the sea is such a wonderful green color - but nobody sees it, because even our most frequent beach-visitor has gone back to safety at their hotel, and left the beach desolated.

I feel tempted to defy the rage of Thor, and set out on a wonderful walk on the lonely beach (but maybe I’ll wait till the thunder has died down - just in case).

Cottage poetry:

Hello! Said hot air to the cold,
(which made the clouds upset, I’m told)
for at the top of their encounter,
they noticed no one else around them.

And hot air flashed cold air a smile,
which could be seen for many miles,
and cold air cried in great delight,
which shook the skies with force and might.

The clouds got scared and ran for cover,
to give privacy, to these two lovers.
For love, although we think it warm,
can be as violent as a storm.

Kategorien Cottage Life / Cooking, Delightful poems . Skrevet af LE 27. August, 2011 kl 11:57

In an effort to be truly fair…..

to this lovely island (and to make my blog appear as true to fact as possible), I would like to say that things around here have been perfectly lovely the last couple of days. It truly feels like indian summer.

So even though we have been a bit unlucky with the summer this year, now it’s here, and it feels like it will stretch a bit in to September.

This week have been warm and sunny, and the farmer’s market is full of yummy things to eat, like crunchy vegetables and fragrant mushrooms - so despite the crisp in the morning air, life is pretty good.

Cottage cooking:

A mushroom risotto can taste a variety of ways, depending on what kind of mushrooms you have and whether they are introduced at the very beginning of cooking or just added at the end.

This way of cooking brings out a really fresh and nutty flavor in them; perfect for being dressed lightly with olive or truffle oil and sprinkles of parmesan cheese at the last minute before serving.

Wild Mushroom Risotto

All you need for 4 serves:
200g of Chanterelle mushrooms
1 litre Chicken stock
150g butter
1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
300g risotto rice
75ml white wine
150g Parmesan cheese, freshly grated

Do this:
Fry the mushrooms in a little butter until slightly colored. Allow any water from the mushrooms to fry off. Transfer to a plate and set aside.

Pour the stock into a saucepan and simmer gently.

Melt 75g of the butter and the remaining olive oil in a large frying pan, add the onion and gently fry for about 10 minutes until softened. Add the rice and stir until it is coated.

Pour in the white wine and let it bubble until nearly evaporated, then start adding the warm stock, about two ladlefuls at a time, allowing it to be absorbed before adding more. Continue to add the stock until the rice is tender and has a creamy coating. This should take about 15-20 minutes.

Add the remaining butter, mushrooms and grated Parmesan cheese and gently stir though. Season with salt and black pepper. Serve immediately with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil or truffle oil and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese.

Kategorien Cottage Life / Cooking, Recipes . Skrevet af LE 26. August, 2011 kl 12:49

In my opinion: Gazpacho would not…..

….. be anything special without garlic ….. and the same can be said about a number of other dishes.

But not everyone agrees with this. When my father was a live, his distrust of garlic was well known, and lasted all his life.

Shhhhh we whispered to each other if a meal had clearly received a dose of the forbidden bulb, amused each time that such an innocent little clot could create so much stir.

Cottage cooking:

But unlike my father, I think that the combination of garlic, pine nuts and the strong taste of basil leaves, is one of the most vivid and aromatic taste sensations imaginable - and served as pesto it is simply heaven.

Pesto:

All you need:
3 cups fresh basil leaves
1 1/2 cups pine nuts
4 cloves garlic, peeled
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Do this:
In a food processor, blend together basil leaves, nuts, garlic, and cheese. Pour in oil slowly while still mixing. Stir in salt and pepper

Kategorien Cottage Life / Cooking, Recipes . Skrevet af LE 19. August, 2011 kl 9:53

Sunday was Murphy’s birthday…..

….. and he got a royal visit, when both crown prince Frederik, crown princess Mary, prince Christian and princess Isabella came by to say hello.

They found that both dogs were so cute, that they had to stop and say hi

….. Anton and Murphy will properly not be washed for a long time ☺

Photo: HER & NU

Kategorien Anton, Murphy & friends . Skrevet af LE 17. August, 2011 kl 17:34

People…..

….. their presence or absence, have always been an important part of life here in paradise. But to be honest, moonlight on our beautiful bay does look different when there are no people around - then it’s like a perfect painting of a Danish bay.

The answer, of course, is that we are spoilt by the quietness here in Paradise most of the time: the soft splashes of water in the bay, and in the morning, the fresh sweet sea air seeping through the thin curtains, fluttering in the breeze, whispering about yet another wonderful day that lies out there waiting.

We are lucky, and glad to remember this.

Cottage cooking:

What is best to eat on those summer evenings where the heat lies over everything and refuses to depart when night falls?

Perhaps: Gazpacho, the famous soup from the Andalusia region of southern Spain - it’s an amazingly refreshing foil to a hot summer night.

Gazpacho (4 to 6 servings)

All you need:
2 Cucumbers, peeled, seeded and diced
1 Bell pepper, chopped
1 Onion, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 1/2 to 2 pounds tomatoes, diced
1 cup water or tomato juice
1/4 cup red wine or sherry vinegar
1/2 to 1 cup breadcrumbs
1/3 cup olive oil
Salt and pepper - to taste

Do this:
Puree the cucumbers, pepper, onion and garlic in a food processor or blender until smooth. Strain through a sieve into a large bowl.

Add the tomatoes to the food processor or blender and puree. Strain through the sieve into the bowl with the cucumber-pepper puree.

Whisk in the water or tomato juice, breadcrumbs and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.

Chill for at least 1-2 hours. Adjust seasoning and serve in a large bowl.

Kategorien Cottage Life / Cooking, Recipes . Skrevet af LE 12. August, 2011 kl 10:02

I belong in a…..

….. boat out at sea.

Cottage poetry:

Take me out to the ocean,
 take me out to the sea,
show me the foamy waves that is rolling there,
let me breathe the salty air!

Let me look at the ocean,
let me see the sea and explore,
for it’s fun to dive from the top of the waves,
down to the sandy ocean floor!

Kategorien Cottage Life / Cooking, Delightful poems . Skrevet af LE 11. August, 2011 kl 14:47

I belong among…..

….. a field of wildflowers.

….. and suddenly I realize, that if I stepped out of my body I would break into blossom.

Cottage poetry:

Every light begins with darkness
Every flower was once a seed
And with the sun and wind to test us
We are bound to be released!

Kategorien Cottage Life / Cooking, Delightful poems . Skrevet af LE 10. August, 2011 kl 8:02

When it rains, it pours…..

….. at least today!

Arrghhh, this day is off to a bad start. So as a consolation, I think I’ll spend the rest of the day in the kitchen.

It is only 19 degrees outside, so we need some cooking to cheer us up: Blue cheese sirloin lying on a bed of baby rocket, firm and sweet peaches and soft cheese melting on the steak - Need I say more: food for gods!

It is suppose to be high summer now….. so I hope the weather soon will realize this. But for now, it is raining and the sea is shifting from blue to green….. so I think, we need more than a steak to cheer us up:

Perhaps a dish of late summer strawberries to end the dinner, delicious in its simplicity, served with foam of just-whipped cream.

Cottage cooking:

Blue cheese sirloin with peach rocket salad

Sirloin is seasoned with salt and pepper, cooked until pink in the center, then topped with bleu cheese and balsamic vinegar. Served alongside a simple rocket peach & red onion salad, this meal is light, tasty, and perfectly quick to pull together.

All you need:

FOR THE SIRLOIN:
1 thick-cut sirloin steak
sea salt & pepper
4 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons olive oile
2 ounces bleu cheese

FOR THE SALAD:
6 cups baby rocket
2 peaches, peeled and diced
1/4 red onion, diced
3 tablespoons olive oil

Do this:
Heat a cast-iron skillet or griddle over medium-high heat.

Add butter and cook just until melted, then place the steak in the pan.

Cook until nicely browned, about 5-6 minutes.

Salt and pepper your steak.

Whisk together the balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Set aside 3 tablespoons of the mixture.

Flip the steak, drizzle with remaining vinegar mixture, then top liberally with bleu cheese. Cover your pan with a lid to allow the steak to cook to a perfect, warm pink center (about an additional 4-6 minutes depending on how thick your steak is).

Gently transfer the steak to a cutting board and allow it to sit for about 10 minutes before slicing.

In the meantime, toss together the ingredients for the salad. Mix together the olive oil and remaining balsamic vinegar mixture. Toss into salad, salt and pepper to taste.

Serve salad with sliced sirloin.

Enjoy

Kategorien Cottage Life / Cooking, Recipes . Skrevet af LE 8. August, 2011 kl 14:51

A new light and color…..

….. has come in to the sky and sea. It is sudden, and yet it must have been gradual, this transformation to high summer.

The rose hips on the bushes down on the beach is still light orange, so there will be a little more time for the sun to bake them, until they becomes the right color and is ready to be picked.

But it is not only the plants that mark the rise of high summer: it is the people to. Most of the day they are there on the beach, playing games, sunbathing and as good as naked, rushing into the sea to cool off.

In the evening, families are barbecuing and drinking bottles of soda and vine cooled in the sea, and after they go home to put their kids to bed, the youngsters will take over, building bonfires and singing songs - and in the morning, they will be the first ones to hear the soft twittering of the swallows.

Cottage cooking:

As a child, my mother showed me that the rose hip (the orange berry-like fruit that remains on the rose plant once the flower has died) can actually be used for many things including jam, jellies, and syrup.

Rose Hip Jam

All you need:
200g trimmed and seeded rose hips
175ml water
3 tablespoons lemon juice
400g caster sugar
50g powdered fruit pectin
175ml water

Do this:
Prepare the rose hip by cutting off the flower and stem ends. Cut the hip in half and remove the seeds.

Put the prepared rose hips, water and lemon juice in a liquidiser; blend until smooth, about 15 seconds. Small bits of rose hips skin are okay. Gradually add the sugar while blender is running. Blend until sugar is dissolved, about 30 seconds or so.
Stir the pectin into 175ml water in a saucepan. Bring to the boil; boil hard for about 1 minute. Slowly pour into the rose hip mixture; blend for about 30 seconds.

Pour into small containers with lids. Store in the refrigerator. Jam that is not used within a few weeks can be stored in the freezer for up to a year.

Kategorien Cottage Life / Cooking, Recipes . Skrevet af LE 7. August, 2011 kl 17:08

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