Hey guys, hope everyone is having…..

….. a lovely week.

Its like spring here in Denmark today, and my winter weight has got to go. Now that its getting warmer I’m craving light yummy salads again.

I love Tzatziki….. especially when served with black sesame crusted lamb (a real Easter favorite). But while the original Tzatziki is considered a sauce originating from Turkey and Greece, which is served with bread or as a side, I like to take the yoghurt sauce and cucumber and eat it over greens, as it’s cooling refreshing taste is a nice contrast to any spicy rich food.

I developed this salad to be my own, by incorporating Pimentón (a smokey paprika from Spain) cumin and lemon.

Cucumber Tzatziki Salad

All you need:
1 large cucumber
1 lemon
1 8oz container of greek youghurt
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon pimenton or cayenne
1 tablespoon olive oil
S+P to taste
Fresh herbs (cilantro, mint, parsley, dill) all or one is a nice addition.
mesclun greens

Garnish: toasted sesame seeds

Do this:
Peel cucumber and de-seed using a spoon. Cut cucumber in thin slices.

Add cucumber to a bowl together with the greek yogurt.

Add the seasonings, juice from half a lemon and olive oil. Mix well and taste.

Lightly toss greens with a little olive oil and lemon juice, place cucumber on top of the greens.

Garnish with toasted sesame seeds.

Kategorien Cottage Life / Cooking . Skrevet af LE 31. March, 2012 kl 7:36

We’re going through a transition…..

….. a transition from Winter to Spring.

While the trees may still look bare, their buds are soon on the way.

The flowers are starting to grow, creating little bits of color along the city streets.

Nature is waking up.

Happy Spring and have a lovely weekend.

Kategorien Cottage Life / Cooking . Skrevet af LE 30. March, 2012 kl 5:37

I love a good…..

….. puzzle

….. especially on a rainy day….. and when paired with a hot cup of chai latte….. oh boy, I’m in heaven.

Kategorien Cottage Life / Cooking . Skrevet af LE 29. March, 2012 kl 10:24

“If you were born without wings,

….. do nothing to prevent them from growing.”

- Coco Chanel

Kategorien Lovely Quotes . Skrevet af LE 28. March, 2012 kl 14:44

My mother often made this…..

….. pie back when we were growing up.

So you might say it’s stood the test of time, because today it’s still my 79-year-old mother’s favorite!

The beaten egg whites give it a delicate texture and make this custard pie quite unique!

Crostata de Limone

All you need:
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup ground toasted almonds
1/2 cup sugar
4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 egg, plus 4 eggs, separated
Pinch salt
3/4 cup sugar
2 lemons, zested, plus 3 lemon, juiced

Do this
Grease the bottom and sides of a 9-inch tart pan with butter and set aside.

Toss together the flour, almonds, and sugar. Cut the butter into the dry mixture until it is the consistency of fine bread crumbs. Add 1 egg and salt and mix well, kneading slightly. Form the pastry into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate while you make the filling.
Beat the 4 egg yolks with the sugar until very thick, then beat in the lemon zest and juice. Transfer the mixture to the top of a double boiler and set over barely simmering water. Cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture becomes thick, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool slightly.

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.

Roll the dough between 2 sheets of waxed paper. Place in a pan and prick the dough with a fork all over the bottom, line with waxed paper, and fill with dried beans or rice to keep the bottom from puffing. Place in the oven and bake 10 minutes, then remove the paper and beans, and cook an additional 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, beat the 4 egg whites until very stiff and fold them into the cooled lemon mixture.
Remove the pie casing from the oven and reduce the temperature to 160 degrees. Spread the lemon filling over the pie shell and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the filling is thoroughly set.

It’s a great way to top off any meal.

 

Kategorien Cottage Life / Cooking, Recipes . Skrevet af LE 20. March, 2012 kl 16:29

If you’re looking for…..

….. something special to fix on this rainy day, look no further.

This velvety soup is Yummy and the toasted bread topped with melted Brie cheese is the crowning touch.

Leek Soup with Brie Toasts Recipe

All you ned:
6 medium leeks (white portion only), thinly sliced
1/2 pound sliced fresh mushrooms
1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
2 tablespoons plus 6 teaspoons butter, softened, divided
1 garlic clove, minced
7-1/2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
4 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
12 slices French bread or bread of your choice
1 round Brie cheese, cut into slices

Do this:
In a Dutch oven, saute the leeks, mushrooms, tarragon and pepper in 2 tablespoons butter for 8-10 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Stir in flour until blended; gradually add broth and cream. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened.

Place bread slices on an ungreased baking sheet. Broil 3-4 in. from the heat for 1-2 minutes or until golden brown. Spread one side of each slice with 1/2 teaspoon butter. Place Brie on buttered side of toasts.

Broil 3-4 in. from the heat for 1-2 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Enjoy

Kategorien Cottage Life / Cooking, Recipes . Skrevet af LE 18. March, 2012 kl 9:30

Rainy days

Gotta love ‘em.

Kategorien Personally . Skrevet af LE 18. March, 2012 kl 8:24

I’m missing the sea…..

….. but embracing its treasures.

This time of year is hard for me. I don’t care for the bitter cold, darkness at 5 o’clock or for dark and dreary days….. but I have learned to embrace them instead of fight them.

Today, I dream of southern beaches, and the itch to go away wont fade. So while South America & Mexico are screaming my name yet again, I will ignore it. I shall see you soon enough….. but at present, I must spend my days dreaming of the sea, and counting the hours until it once again becomes time to visit my paradise.

Kategorien Cottage Life / Cooking, Personally . Skrevet af LE 17. March, 2012 kl 18:39

I don’t know about you all…..

….. but I love grilled cheese!….. well I love sandwiches of all kinds, I don’t discriminate, but one of my favorite combinations is cheese and tomato, and this grilled cheese fits tomato soup perfectly.

Grilled cheese
your favorite bread
your favorite cheese (I used a Italian cheese called sottocenere al tartufo)
a little butter

Do this:
Slice bread and place cheese inside. Butter each side of the sandwich and place in a sauté pan on medium-low heat. Flip when golden brown. Yum!

The Cheese

Sottocenere al Tartufo is a pale cheese that has a grey-brown ash rind. It has a somewhat mild taste and is semi-soft in firmness.

Sottocenere is originally from Venice, Italy and translates from Italian literally as “under ash”, while al tartufo means “with truffles.”

It is made with raw cow’s milk and slices of truffles, then rubbed with various herbs and spices.

After creation, sottocenere is aged in an ash rind as a way to preserve it over a long period without losing flavor. The use of ash as a cheese rind is a tradition in the Venetian region. The ash is also used to convey subtle flavors into the cheese, with a variety of spices (cinnamon and nutmeg, among others) mixed with the ash.

Kategorien Cottage Life / Cooking, Recipes . Skrevet af LE 14. March, 2012 kl 9:53

If you’re lucky enough to have a…..

….. garden and grow tomatoes, you can use them in this recipe (I would love to make this during the summer when the tomatoes are unbelievably delicious).

But when it is winter as no, you can also use canned tomatoes from your local grocer.

Be sure to use a really good quality extra virgin olive oil and only use fresh basil (not dried).

And top the soup off with a little grated Parmesan cheese and a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil.

Simple, delicious, rich and down right tasty!

Zuppa di Pomodoro

All you need:
1 28 oz can of high quality tomatoes (like San Marzano)
4 cups of vegetable stock
2 carrots
2 stalks of celery
2 cloves of garlic
1 yellow onion
1/2 cup of cream
handful of fresh basil
sea salt & pepper
chili flakes

Do this:
In a large pot on medium heat add a little butter and the chopped carrots, celery, onion and garlic. Season with a pinch of sea salt, pepper and chili flakes. Cook till tender about 5 minutes.

Add the can of tomatoes and finish with 4 cups of vegetable stock. Bring to a simmer then turn off heat.

Using a hand blender, blend the soup until smooth. Add a handful of fresh basil and blend again. Once smooth, finish with a half-cup of cream.

Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.

Tip: the longer it sits the better it tastes, but it could be ready to eat in as little as a half an hour.

This soup is super fast and easy to make, and paired with a truly awesome grilled cheese….. well its just pretty fabulous.

Buon appetito!

Kategorien Cottage Life / Cooking, Recipes . Skrevet af LE 11. March, 2012 kl 8:09

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