The house by the sea foodwaves

I´m here only for the food

Month: June, 2012

Owl cupcakes

This is very easy to make, specially if you use Betty Crocker or some other cake mix and cake frosting.

This time I tried a  devil´s food cup cake from Martha Stewart.  It was ok, but I like the Betty Crocker cake mix more, it´s so moist.

  • Your favorite cup cake recipe or cake mix.
  • Your favorite chocolate frosting.
  • Oreos.
  • 1 bag of m&m,use the orange and the brown ones.

Make cupcakes, put on the cream, make little owl ears with the cream.

Get the Orieos and take it a part.  One part will have all the white cream.

Put brown m&m on top of the white part of the Oreos to make eyes.

Put orange one between the Oreos to make the beak.

When I lived in Canada I loved the acres of sunflowers.  Something we don´t have here in Iceland, only some in green houses.

I hope summer is treating you well…

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Nutella cookies and the other with peanut butter – the 3 ingredient recipe

As much as I like to make everything from scratch and I am preaching that I don´t buy processed food and all, i sometimes do, I must say…. I am sure not a holy cow, because I bought Nutella.   This is the second time in my life I buy Nutella.  I just had to… I saw some recipes about Nutella cookies with only 3 ingredients.  Nutella, flour and egg.  And you know…I might need to buy it again some day to do this recipe again.

There was also a recipe with 4 ingredients,  the fourth being sugar. o my , o my…I could not add more sugar to the recipe.  Nutella has 60 g sugar in 100 g. Isn´t that sweet enough?? I also saw a recipe with butter, again Nutella contains 30 g fat in 100 g.

So I am telling you…the 3 ingredient recipe is perfect, Nutella has both the sugar and the fat!

Now we know, this is not the healthiest recipe we can find, so let´s start baking. 

Nutella cookies 

  • 1 cup nutella
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 egg

Mix it all together.  Then I used my hands to make little balls I flattened out with the palm of my hand and then a fork to get a little pattern.

Put them on a parchment paper and in the oven for 10 minutes at 180°c.

I had some salted peanuts I crushed and put in the dough. That was really good.

Since this was so easy I made another type, using peanut butter.  Use pure organic peanut butter.  This recipe is therefor a little healtier than the Nutella one.

You can play with the amount of sugar and maybe add quality 70% chocolate to the dough.

Peanut butter cookies

  • 1 cup pure organic peanut butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg

The recipe said 1 cup sugar, I used less.

With two types of dough I mixed them together and made some experiments.  That came out very well, Nutella & Peanut butter cookies.

The outside kitchen …coming soon! Icelandic flatkaka, it´s healthy – why not try it!

I am dreaming of a kitchen outside.  Shouldn´t be a problem and it´s on the drawing table since we are building our dream house in the country.

The weather here in Iceland in´t that special, but we get really good days once in a while and then it´s so worth it to have a good cooking facility outside.  I am not the sun bathing type so being able to be outside and cook, what a dream!

I have a little oven I put outside the other day when the weather was so nice.  I made the Icelandic flat bread, because it can get smoky when making it  I used tthe opportunity to do it outside.  It was so relaxing, baking outside in the sun.  It wasn´t me being baked but the bread, that´s better.

If you have a little oven like this, take it out side next time the weather is nice and try to make this recipe. Or do it inside on a rainy day…

I grew up eating this flat bread and  I love it.  I also love rye flour.  If you do, you should try this recipe.  Don´t forget to dip the cakes in water after you bake them.

I use a pancake pan, cast iron would be good, or just any pan you have.

Icelandic rye bread – Flatkaka (Flat “cake”)

  • 200 g rye flour
  • 100 g whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 1/2 -3 dl boiling water
  • All purpose flour when rolling it out.

Blend all ingredients together, pouring the water in little at a time.  It´s like making any bread dough, or like tortillas.

Make little balls and flat them out in round cakes. When you flat them out, I use all purpose flour for dusting so they don´t stick to the rolling pin.

Poke the cake with a fork few times.  I use a plate I cut around, same size the pan to make them perfect circle .

 Bake it on a hot pan (dry pan, no oil or butter on the pan) for about one minute each side.  I have parchment paper between the cakes before cooking so they don´t stick together.

Dip them in water after cooking and store them in a plastic bag or under a wet towel to keep them moist and soft.

Cut the flat cake circle in half.

Serve with butter and even some sliced cucumber.  I love it with lamb pate.

This is a video in Icelandic about making flatkaka, but you don´t have to understand the language to get a better idea how flatkaka is made.

Roasted red peppers

Icelandic peppers are so expencive, I got a good deal the other day so I bought a lot.  So they wouldn´t end up in the trash I took some and roasted them.

Roasted peppers are delicious for so many recipes, they get sweet when roasted and are perfect match to spice up a simple tomato soup, put it into your hummus and last but not least Roasted pepper pesto.  And when you are deciding on what to do with your roasted peppers you can keep them in the freezer.

Two ways to do it is to put them under the grill in the oven or if you got gas burners, use a thong and burn them over the gas.

I went for the oven this time.

Roasted peppers

  • Peppers, red, green yellow…

Clean them

Take out the core.  It´s easier to do it now than after you grill them, but it is also possible to put them whole in the oven.

I cut mine and put them on aluminum foil on an oven plate.  The oven was on grill and the highes heat.

I put a little bit of olive oil over them.

After 8-10 minutes they get black, then I watch them cloesely because they get very burnt very fast in the end and I don´t want to burn them that much, not making bbq coals..

Now we want to remove the blackened skin.  It´s easy to get it off if you put the peppers in a bowl covered with plastic wrap.

That way you steam them and when they are cold enough to handle remove all the skin.  I use my fingers for that.

Now you have sweet roasted peppers ready for use.

Brandade and the 5 course – 11 wines birthday dinner

Last year on my birthday I decided to invite friends over for 5 course – 5 wines  “food and wine pairing” event.  We started at 15.00 (3 o´clock) and finished eating around 19.00 (7 o´clock)  then we sat and talked and drank wine until midnight. So the 5 course – 5 wine event ended up being 5 courses and 11 wines.

This was a great way to spend my birthday.  When inviting people I only invited people who were ready to sit the whole time and taste all the wines.  Because I did buy really nice wines and spent time thinking about what would go well with what food and I did serve fancy food.  I am lucky to have have foodie friends who like to do exacly that, eat good food and drink fine wines,  so I was in no trouble finding few good friends to enjoy the day with me.

I did prepare well so It wasn´t a hassle in the kitchen. My kitchen is a part of he dining room.  There fore I wes part of the crowd and the conversations the whole time.

One of the course I made was Brandade.  For a little twist and color I added the beet dip.

Salted cod is a popular dish in Iceland, usually just plain  boiled with potatoes and butter.  I love salted cod.  If you can buy it somewhere, fresh or frozen, go for it!

Brandade with beet dip and broccoli sprout

  • 800 g salted cod
  • U.þ.b 2 dl heavy cream
  • 2-3 cloves garlic
  • Tellicherry pepper
  • 1 dl a good Extra Virgin Olive Oil
(1 cup = 2,4 dl)

Boil the salted cod.  Make sure it has no skin or bones.  Put the oil in a skillet, on medium heat with the fish and finely chooped or pressed garlic cloves and the cream.  Season with salt and pepper.

Put this in a mixer and blend very well until it´s a nice smooth puree.

Serve in a bowl or on a dish with a little bit of beet sauceand broccoli sprout.  You can skip the beet dip and the sprout.  that was just me making this look a little more gourmet and for the presentation.

Beet dip

  • 1 cooked beet
  • 3 tablespoons sour cream
  • 2-3teaspoons salt
  • 1-2 teaspoons lime juice

Mix well.

I paired this dish with  Marques de Riscal. It did dance with the Brandade.  .

 ”it´s like the wine and the food are good siblings” one of my guest said about this pairing :).

Domain de granges de Mirabel, Viognier was a little too dry and spicy for the Brandade.  Neat wine but not with dish.

There I am in the right corner, happy after a great food and wine paring party.

A TV Chef in my kitchen…. Taping…and CUT!

We have few TV chef celebs in Iceland.  One of them and my favorite is a girl called Hrefna Sætran, she has a really cool TV cooking show.   She had read my blog.  I have been blogging about food in Icelandic for few years now.  Few months ago she asked me if she could visit with her crew and have me cook something for her for the show.

I was going to say no because I am kind of shy, but I don´t know how to say no so I said yes, thankfully, because she was really nice and easy going and the whole experience seeing and being part of  making a TV show was so much fun.

You can find the recipe in Icelandic here with nice photos attached.  Too bad I don´t have the show online, but if I ever do I´ll post a link to it.

I made Lahmacun, sometimes called Turkish pizza, one of my favorite pizza ever.

This is a photo from Hrefna´s TV blog, taken by her pro photograher, Björn,  of the Lahmacun I made.

Lahmacun

  • 400 g ground lamb (choose some good part of the lamb)
  • 1 onion
  • Handful  fresh mint
  • Handful fresh coriander
  • 1/2 red chile pepper (make sure it has some bite)
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 yellow pepper
  • 1/2 can whole tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • Juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt

Ground the beef and the onion.

Finely chop the mint and coriander.

Finely chop the red chile pepper.

Grind the garlic, cut the pepper small, cut the tomatoes.  Mix everything in a bowl with the herbs, salt, lemon juice and olive oil.

Roll out the pizza dough, I made 4 individual pizzas.  Make them thin!  You can use any pizza dough recipe you like.

Put the ground beef mixture on top of the pizza dough.  Bake in oven at 220°c for 15 minutes or so, until the beef is cooked. (The ground beef goes raw in the oven)

Topping (added when the pizza  comes out of the oven)

  • Fresh parsley
  • Lemon juice
  • Red onion

After the pizza is out of the oven add finely chopped parsley, sliced red onion and squeeze a little bit lemon juice over it.

I recommend you ground your own lamb…that way you can choose a good bite of lamb and you know what kind of meat you are getting : )

hakk
The house by the sea on Facebook.  I am posting all kinds of things related to food.
If you like food, good recipes, food politics and everything else related to food this is the page to like.

Cooking with sheep´s sorrel

Do you know Sheep´s sorrel? It´s a plant that grows wild, usually around blueberries.  We got plenty here in Iceland.  It is sour, but kind of good.

It is not very nutritious.  It  contains oxalates so you shouldn´t eat it in large amounts. Oh!  But there are good things to be said about Sheep´s sorrel.

Sheep´s sorrel:

– may have cancer-fighting properties
– helps strengthen the immune system
– a curdling agent for cheese
– one of the herbs in the medicinal Essiac Tea
– not to be eaten in large quantities though

Lot´s of other interesting things about Sheep´s sorrel to read online.  Let me google that for you.

And you know what, a  homemade Sheep´s sorrel Ice cream is delicious.  The sugary Ice cream goes well with the sour flavor of the Sheep´s sorrel.

Use any Vanilla Ice cream recipe.  Here is an easy one.

Vanilla Ice Cream

  • 5 egg yolks
  • 5 tablespoons sugar
  • 5 dl lightly whipped heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Whip together egg and sugar.  Add the whipped cream and vanilla extract and blend it all together carefully.

Sheep´s sorrel flavor

  • 2-3  handfuls of Sheep´s sorrel leaves
  • Little bit cream or milk (3-4 tablespoons)

The cream or milk is just to make it easier to mix the sheep´s sorrel leaves in to paste in the blender.

Put everything in a blender and make a paste.  Add the paste to the Ice cream.  Put in the freezer like any other Ice cream, or use an Ice cream maker.

happy days!

Cheesy blog

I have been experimenting with making cheese.  If you have a good milk, juice from a lemon and a rennet, you´re good to go. Well even just with milk and lemon juice you can make a nice Ricotta.  But adding a rennet and it´s super easy to make any kind of cheese, for example, Mozzarella.

Like always, before I try something new, I google it and I find it good to watch some videos on youtube.

This guy is a pro, he is a cheese shop owner and this guy is in his kitchen at home and explains well  how to make a mozzarella.  Then you can browse through bunch of other videos about making cheese.

The only acid I used was the lemon juice and it worked well.

This is how I did it this time.  If you watch the videos I linked  and check this out, a  little more info about making Mozzarella, you are good to go.  When doing things the first time it may sound more complicated than it is, but after one time making it, you will find it easy cheesy…

Mozzarella

  • 2 L organic fresh milk
  • 2-3 drops of rennet (mixed with 2 drops of water)
  • 2-3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Put milk and lemon in a pot, heat it at 30°c.  Stir now and then.
When the milk is 30°c add the rennet and heat it to 37°c
Turn off the heat and take the pot of the stove.  Let it stand with a lid on for 20- 30 minutes.

Pour the whey out with a sieve.  What you got in the sieve is what will be the cheese.

Now you have to squeeze out all the whey.  Don´t be surprised on how little cheese you get out of 2 liters of milk.  They say you get 100 g of cheese from one L of milk.  But you can use the whey for all kinds of things.  It is very healthy.  You can add it to your smoothie, use it for baking bread and more.  (Lot´s of Ideas on Google).

Heat water in the pot to 90°c.  Add the cheese to the water.  you can also microwave the cheese.  After you heat it you will be kneading it for a bit and make a mozzarella ball.

I used my cheese on a pizza.

I had a friend with me in the kitchen and we made both mozzarella and ricotta.  it was such a good and cheesy pizza.  You can´t beat the homemade stuff!

And then it was perfect on with the bruschetta,the classic version: Good bread, bunch of super awesome extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper, fresh basil and ripe and juicy tomatoes…grilled to perfection.

Homemade Ice cream without eggs – flavored with freshly squeezed oranges and some Rum..

Here is another easy homemade recipe,  Ice cream with no eggs.  This is something you should make yourself instead of buying in the store with all kinds of bad ingredients.

When I was stirring it while it was in the freezer ( I don´t have an Ice cream maker) I tasted it and it was just like my favorite milk shake from the ice cream parlor.

If you make a simple vanilla ice cream recipe you can flavor it as you like.  I had really nice organic oranges from Sicily that I bought at my favorite little organic farmers market kind of a store here in Reykjavik.

Then I used my homemade vanilla rum extract and…………. sugar…yes just plain not so healthy sugar but this would be good with raw sugar as well.

Ice cream with oranges and rum

  • 1/2 L heavy cream
  • 2,5 dl milk
  • 1,8 dl sugar or raw sugar
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or homemade vanilla rum extract

Flavoring: 

  • Juice for 2-3 organic oranges
  • 2 tablespoons rum
  • 100 g finely grated 70% organic chocolate

In a pot heat up 2 dl cream and sugar on medium heat so the sugar melts.  Take the vanilla beans out of the pod and add to the cream in the pot, and the vanilla pod as well, then you fish it put before freezing the ice cream.

Take the pot off the heat, add the rest of the cream, milk, and vanilla extract.

Cool it in the fridge for few hours, 8 hours or more they suggest.

Remove the vanilla pod and put the ice cream in a box that can go into the freezer.  Put in the freezer or into an ice cream maker if you have one.

This took me less than 30 minutes.  I might use a little bit less sugar next time…

homemade butter – 1 ingredient

It´s so cool to watch heavy cream become butter.  It takes only couple of minutes to happen and within 10 minutes you have your own homemade butter

If you have never tried to make your own butter I recommend you try it, just to see how it´s done and to be able to impress your dinner guests with a homemade butter with that homemade bread you make for starter, like you get at the good restaurants….when you are too full when the main course comes because you ate all the bread and asked for more…

It´s very easy to make this, takes about 10 minutes using a Kitchen aid.  Here in Iceland i am not saving bucks making this myself because heavy cream is rather expensive here compared to a piece of butter.  But it´s fun, cool and interesting and homemade is always best: ) .

Before I tried it. I watched this video.  It shows very well how to do this.  There are lots of videos on youtube  about making butter and you can probably find some about making it with a blender for example.

Homemade butter

  • 1/2 L heavy cream

Whip the cream for 2-3 minutes until the watery  part  (that is a buttermilk) separates. Pour the buttermilk  into a glass.  (But keep it, you can use it for making bread or something).

Now you only have the solid part in the bowl.  Put 1/2 cup ice cold water  in the bowl and use the paddle tool  to get more liquid out of the butter.  Squeeze all the liquid out of the butter with a spoon.

You can see when you got a good piece of butter.  The more liquid you squeeze out the longer you can store the butter they say.

Your butter is ready.  At this point you can add herbs into the blender, or salt or even a bit of good olive oil if you like.  Improvise!

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