The house by the sea foodwaves

I´m here only for the food

Category: Favorite

My trip to Tuscany

I went to Tuscany with my family this summer.  We have two young kids so most of the trip was designed around their needs, but that is what made the trip so great.   Kids got to eat and thankfully I have “well behaved” kids  so we went quite a bit out to restaurants, as well as cooking at home since we rented a beautiful place with a kitchen in Montaione.

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I think Tuscany is very kid friendly.  We found out that our kids didn´t need much… that is they hated walking in old towns, but they did love to get Ice Cream there.  They were most happy by the pool or picking berries from the trees.

It´s was the perfect trip. This is some of the cultural and culinary highlights.

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First of all, I met an old (but young) friend in her beautiful home in Moncalvo.  We had wine and cheese and so much good food while staying with her.

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There, my daughter could pick cherries from the trees, and being from Iceland she had never seen cherry trees before.

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We stayed at a wonderful organic farm in Montaione, where we had our own apartment, a beautiful view, a yard and a swimming pool.

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Bringing home the dough – that is the sourdough bread

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We travelled around tuscany, visited the typical touristic towns.

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Not too bad view while swinging…

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Those Bruschettas are not leagal!

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Double dipping in his mom´s coffee to get the foamy milk

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beautiful streets and houses and the locals doing the laundry, not everyone on a holiday in Tuscany…

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One of my favorite town was San Miniato.  We had lunch at La Cantina del Fondo in San Miniato, I really like that place.

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We ended the trip in Bologna.  That is a city I´d like to visit again.  The food culture is amazing.  All the tapas bars, market place, gouuuurmet culinary shops with cured ham and endless of cheese.

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And since one of my “hobby” is pizza I had done a research about pizza in Bologna and decided to check out Alce Nero Berberé .  We were running late and almost didn´t make it to lunch, so I was running in 30°c with my rather heavy 3 year old in my hands, I was going to eat lunch there and WE MADE IT!

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That place had brilliant pizzas.  They even use the flour I only use.

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Long story short, I love Tuscany, will go again soon 🙂

The House By The Sea – Now on Instagram

I love Instagram, just love browsing through people´s photos  There are so many great talents there, both with fine art, photography or food.

Let me know if you are Instagram as well so I can follow.

My account is https://instagram.com/thehousebytheseafoodwaves/

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Rye Berry Salad from Kitchen Vignettes

I love my grains, love my loaf of sour dough and my pizza.  But I choose my flour wisely.

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I was watching a beautiful video on Scenic this morning called A Rye Affair from Kitchen Vignettes.  You can find the recipe and an interesting blog post about grains on the Kitchen Vignettes blog.

While I am writing this blog I ´m watching the storm making quite some waves out on the sea and we have occasional snow flakes dropping from the sky.  So for me in late april it´s WINDY, SNOWY, FROSTY but thankfully WARM & COZY inside and I can cuddle up and watch Scenic.

Talking about waves, I went down to the shore the other day, the waves were high and I got caught in one but I caught it as well…

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…very refreshing 🙂  

There are so many different types of grain available today.  Growing up in Iceland back in the 80´s we had white rice from River Rice. That was about it.  Thankfully the variety has changed and for me, I love barley.

The joy I got from a video from Kitchen Vignettes this morning about rye… I can not tell you how much sun it brought into this cold day. Here is a MOMENT to show you what I felt…compared to the cold waves…

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Photo courtesy:© Kitchen Vignettes from the recipe “Rye Berry Salad”.

“Note: The general rule for the preparation of grains for optimal digestibility and nutrient absorption is to soak them in twice their volume of water, adding 2 tablespoons of an acidic medium per cup of grain. The acidic medium should ideally be yogurt, kefir, whey or buttermilk but apple cider vinegar and/or lemon juice can also be used.”

From: Kitchen Vignettes // RYE BERRY SALAD

I for example have not tried to soak the grains in acidic medium. And Oh My, being able to grow your own grains.  That would be something else!

Rye, Chicken, Sweet Corn, Red Onion, Zucchini, figs, walnuts, do I need to say more?  Check out the recipe for Rye Berry Salad here.

I recommend you read the book Cooked by Michael Pollan and especially the chapter about bread.  Don´t buy the cheapest processed flour that has been vitamin added because the have taken all the nutrition out if by too much processing… (READ THAT BOOK! It is good).

Keep exploring the word of grains and check out A Rye Affair on Scenic!

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Cheers from the “fjord of whales” in Iceland!

Lavender Polenta Cake from Brooklyn Kitchen

The good thing about my new job is I get to watch beautiful videos about food.  One being from Kate Previte of Brooklyn Kitchen, a short form recipe videos.

You can see the video here at a new online channel called Scenic Collection.  If you subscribe to the channel and download the app you can make 10 second clips from the videos and share on social media too.

Kate shared the recipe of Lavender Polenta Cake with Scenic and I want to share it with you because it is delicious. If you want to know more about talented Kate Previte visit her website here.

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Photo courtesy:©Kate Previte / Brooklyn Kitchen  – Stills from the Video Lavender Polenta Cake

Lavender Polenta Cake yield: one 8-inch cake, about 8 servings

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1.5 Tbsp culinary or English lavender flowers
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 Tbsp brandy
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla paste or extract
  • 3/4 cup polenta, plus additional for coating pan
  • 2 cups almond flour*
  • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour or gluten-free flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tsp powdered sugar, for dusting
  • a few sprigs of lavender, optional

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350ºF (or 180ºC). Butter an 8-inch round cake pan and dust with polenta.

By hand or in a stand mixer, beat butter with sugar and lavender until smooth and light. Add the eggs and beat to combine — on low if using an electric mixer — then add the almond extract, brandy and vanilla.

In a separate bowl, combine the polenta, almond flour and wheat or gf flour and whisk or mix by hand until uniformly combined.

using a sturdy wooden spoon, gradually mix the dry ingredients into the egg and butter mixture until just combined.

Spoon the batter into the prepared baking pan and smooth out the top. Bake for 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. The top of the cake should be a light golden brown.

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Photo courtesy:©Kate Previte / Brooklyn Kitchen

Let the cake cool for 10–15 minutes, then remove from pan and allow to cool for 10 minutes more. Dust with powdered sugar using a handheld strainer and top with lavender sprigs, if using.

Serve warm or at room temperature. The cake will last for about 6 days on the counter if covered in cling wrap, or a bit longer in the refrigerator.

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Photo courtesy:©Kate Previte / Brooklyn Kitchen

*Almond flour can be purchased in stores, but is also a handy by-product of homemade almond milk. After straining your almond milk, spread wet almond meal out on a sheet pan and place in a warm oven (pilot light only) for about 2 days. Grind in a food processor or blender to remove chunks and store in a sealed container in the freezer until ready to use.

Scenic Collection – my new job

I haven´t posted much lately because I have been working on a project called Scenic Collection with a friend and we will be launching in April.  No surprise, there will be food involved, but also other fun lifestyle-related topics.

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We wrote a blog post about what Scenic Collection is, it´s a lovely read:)

 Peace in the eye of the storm

And please go check out our facebook page and give it a little like, we will keep you updated there.

Of course we are all over social media and you can find links on our homepage ScenicCollection.com

Cheers, Soffía

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Vikingsushi at Breiðafjörður

Breiðafjörður is a beautiful bay in the west of Iceland,where you find over 3000 small islands and skerries.

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You can go on a boat trip around the bay, and one boat offers “vikingsushi” , where a net plough is put in the ocean  and soon they bring  up a net full of fresh delicious seafood like, scallops, crabs and sea urchins.  This must be the best scallops I´ve ever had and the freshest for sure.

 

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viking sushi

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The bird life around the Islands is wonderful as well.

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The Kiss

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Summertime – The green energy drink

It has been a while.  I have been eating,  just not blogging.

I just got back from a vacation in Canada.  I went to see my sister in Vancouver and  friends in Kamloops,  where I used to live.  We put a little twist on the trip by going on a cruise to Alaska.
After watching Northern exposure back in the days I have always had a thing for Alaska. 🙂  More about the trip later.

Now I am back in rainy Iceland,  very refreshing.

One of my favorite drink in the morning these days is the green energy drink, kale, mango, bananas, mint and some berries and a dash of orange juice.  I offered my 4 year old daughter to try it and asked if she wanted to taste my drink “The green thunder”. Yes, she did and liked it.  The next day she asked me if was was making the green drink again and said, not quite remembering the name of the drink “ Mom, are you making “The green booger”

(In Icelandic I called it “Græna þruman” but she said “Græna slumman”. )

 

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The green booger

  • Handful of kale
  • 10-15  leaves of mint
  • 1/2 mango
  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 cup orange juice (or any juice)
  • Few raspberries

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All in a blender.  The mint is essential here.  If you have not tried kale in a smootihe I urge you to try it.  It is delicious.

 

 

I am doing something new now,  writing this blog on my phone.  Therefore I am going to post some pics I have been taking with the phone camera after I got back home from my vacation.

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Hvalfjörður

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My hens.

We had a very aggressive rooster, so we asked a friend to help us to get rid of it.  Only few days later the hens were so much happier and totally different hens, they were outgoing, friendly, adventures, the one that had lost some feather grew it back and looks fab.

Finally I have happy hens.

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Flowers in the evening sun

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Evening walk with a friend

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The neighbors

Chicken Cannelloni

It´s been quite a while since I posted a recipe, so long that I think I haven´t said HAPPY NEW YEAR! hehe.  I have been thinking lots of blog posts in my head and now that I am sitting here writing this I don´t remember anything i have been wanting to blog about.  I have been reading fun books I want to tell you about, one is called “On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen by Harold McGee. It is a very interesting book and even though I am not the scientist type and have troubles understanding all the English scientific words it´s very educational.  A really good book to have in your cook book collection.cannelone

A local newspaper asked me for a recipe.  I decided to make Cannelloni with chicken, served with a good loaf of bread and lightly cooked fresh spinach.

Do I need to say:  As much as you can, buy fresh, buy local, buy food you can trust that is good, buy organic that you know for sure is organic.

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Chicken Cannelloni with spinach. 

Lasagna sheets:

  • 300 g stone milled organic flour
  • 3 eggs

Mix together in a food processor for 30 sec and then by hand  or by hand only.  Flat out the dough with a rolling pin or a pasta machine and make thin lasagna sheets.

The filling:

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 1/2 dl heavy cream
  • Handful of fresh basil
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • Salt and pepper, teaspoon each

Mix all ingredients very well together in a food processor.

The tomato sauce:

  • 1 bottle (about 500 ml ) Tomato passata
  • 1-2 shallots (onion)
  • 1 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Extra: 

2 dl Mozzarella, shredded

Spinach, cooked in  EVOO

Lightly cook the finely chopped onion in a tbsp of EVOO to soften it up, add the tomato passata and cook on medium heat for 5 minutes. Ta ta you got a mild and tasty tomato sauce.  Make sure you use a good passata.

Put the filling on the lasagna sheets, about 3-4 tablespoons per sheet.  Roll it up.

Pour the tomato sauce in an oven proved dish, not all though, place the lasagna sheets on top.  Pour over the rest of the sauce on top of the sheets so they are soft when cooked.

Bake for about half an hour.  Add the shredded mozzarella and bake for another 10 minutes.

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Saute the spinach with a little bit of good extra virgin olive oil (EVOO).

Make sure you got lots of pamagiano reggiano shredded on top of the whole thing.

Follow Soffia Gisladottir’s board The house by the sea on Pinterest.

Rye-tortilla with veggies and a foggy day

We got the craziest fog the other day and we watched it crawl into the fjord. In fifteen minutes we went from sunny clear sky to a total fog so I couldn´t see the house next a cross the road.

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I had spent the day outside baking rye bread as I often do since It can get rather smokey if I do it inside.  Then I made few  tortillas for lunch using the Icelandic flat bread recipe.  If you like the taste of rye this you must try.

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Rye tortillas with veggies

The tortillas

  • 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.  Roll it out in thin tortillas and bake on a hot pan, about 1 minute each side.

I use white flour for dusting, while rolling out the dough.  I do the same as if it was Roti or any other flat bred, make golf ball sizes balls and roll them out, bake on a hot pan, each side for 1 minute or so.

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The Chili sauce

  • 2-3 tablespoons Sweet chili sauce
  • 1 cup Mayo

Mix well in a bowl.

The Yogurt sauce

  • Ab milk or greek yogurt
  • Cucumber
  • Red onion
  • Salt
  • Turmeric
  • Fresh oregano or good quality dried one

Dice the red onion and the cucumber. Mix everything well together in a
bowl.

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The Veggie Salad

  • Red bell pepper
  • Yellow bell pepper
  • Spring onion
  • Carrots
  • Garden greens

Dice the peppers and the onion, scred the carrot. Mix.

Serve little of everything on a flatbread. I had some melted cheese as
well.

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I put shredded cheese on the hot flatbread so it mmmmmmmmmmmmelted.

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Here you find the Icelandic flat bread recipe

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First we had a beautiful sunset and a little cloud sneaking in…

Then I placed my camera on a tripod and took a photo with the timer every minute for about 20 minutes

This is what happened…

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The first photo was taken at 22:42 and the last one at 23.01 in the evening.

Sandwich cake – smörgåstårta

I made this cake for my son on his first birthday.  When you are this little you are not getting a bite of a chocolate cake so I decided to make a cake he could taste.  There for I made a pretty cake made of bread, a fancy sandwich cake.

In Icelandic we call Sandwich cake, “brauðterta”, translated “bread tart”.  It is made with bread and lots of mayo.  This version is easy on the mayo though and it is really tasty. A smoked salmon is perfect in sandwich cake.  Here we made a mousse out of the salmon with some Crème fraîche.  This recipe uses also cream cheese and I tell you, smoked salmon and cream cheese is the perfect combo.

I got this recipe from Saveur.  Follow this link to get the recipe.  Read on to see how I pulled this off…

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First of all, I buy a classic sandwich cake bread in the store, since this kind of food has been a tradition in Iceland for a long long time.  It is a soft white bread.  You can of course bake your own or go to the bakery and buy a nice loaf.  You can see below how it is cut length wise.

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The first layer was the salmon mousse and cucumbers.

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Then we get a bread and on top goes butter, salmon, mustard sauce…

sandwich cake…and the salad

sandwich cakeAnother bread and repeat until you finish the slices of bread, I had 5 slices.

sandwich cakeThen you get your creative side out and decorate it with sliced egg, little cooked shrimp, smoked salmon

and flat leave parsley.  But first you put the cream cheese on the cake, like you were putting a frosting on a normal cake.

I made roses out of the salmon… it is easy you just roll up the strip of salmon.

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I had left over bread and made triangle sandwiches with mousse, parsley and salad.

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The birthday boy was happy with the cake and most of all loved drinking milk with a straw…muuu

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We drove around the fjord, close by we have a farm, they sell the nicest organic lamb and pork.

The goat got comfy at the cafe.

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