The house by the sea foodwaves

I´m here only for the food

Tag: food

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 🙂

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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Vegetarian red lentils lasagna with zucchini instead of pasta sheets

I am not a vegetarian, but I easily could be.  Sometimes I wonder why I eat meat, then I guess it´s because first of all I am used to it, also it can taste good and third I believe since us humans are meat eaters it is nutritious….  Usually when I cook I make vegetarian dishes, Indian,  Mexican,  Italian ..  If I have ground beef I use it, that is because I get it from the beef farmers next door where I live from grass fed animals that are treated well.

Anyways, I don´t eat much meat at all and when I make vegetarian dishes I surely don´t miss it flavor vise or other vise.  I do love LOVE  green pepper salami for my pizza though… and the Icelandic lamb is very tasty, the smoked goose is really something…:)

This dish here was going to be something like lasagna, with zucchini instead of lasagna sheets and red lentils instead of ground beef…that was just because I had an awesome zucchini and lots of cooked red lentils and I really love red lentils in lasagna.

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Red lentils vegetarian dish

  • Red lentils, cooked
  • Red pepper
  • Onion
  • Carrots
  • Garlic
  • Fresh Basil
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Chop chop, fry, add lentils and sauce bamm bamm boom…you know the drift

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Basil Dressing

  • Basil, fresh
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper

brrmmm brrmmm with the blender.

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Oven roasted zucchini

  • Zucchini
  • Tomatoes
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Extra virgin olive Oil

In the oven, 220°C , half an hour or so

Also:

  • Cheese, mozzarella or any good cheese that melts well (Cottage cheese would also be good)
  • Parmigiano Reggiano

Layers:

First some red lentils sauce, then zucchini, then cheese, then I put a little bit of basil sauce…as many layers as you like. I only had two this time.

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Have a terrific weekend!

Here is one of my favorite quotes to inspire you this weekend….

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Salmon fiesta at lunch time and never ending food scandals

So, I guess most of you have heard about the horse meat scandal.  In Iceland they decided to take examples from Icelandic food products to see if they found horse meat in it.  There was no horse.  I guess since we eat a lot of horse in Iceland they would just say it contained horse meat.  But the “funny thing” was, they tested a beef pie from one company and it contained ta taaaaa…no beef, just no MEAT at all, not even a horse.  30 % of the pie was supposed to be beef.  I guess you can call it a vegetarian beef pie.

Like I´ve said so many times, stop buying all this processed and ready made food.  I know making everything from scratch is hard, but it is so rewarding and worth it.

And if you are too lazy too cook, just boil potatoes and fish and serve it with a good pinch of real butter, homemade even 😉

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This summer we were at home with our new born and the neighbors were on a summer vacation so we had lots of food fiestas.  One took place at our house at lunch time.  The men had been outside working on the houses (we are both building our houses).  I was in the kitchen and made a lovely meal, worth writing down.

This was a healthy and a very tasty meal. Barley goes very well with salmon.

I made Teriaki Salmon with barley salad and teriaki dressing.  The Teriaki was made of  mirin, soy sauce and sugar.

Barley salad

  • Barley, boiled
  • Ruccola
  • Avocado
  • Tomatoes
  • Red pepper

Cut veggies, mix well.

 

Christmas Count Down…5 – Ugly Cookies and Fluffy muffins

I made the ugliest cookies ever.  They are probably the tastiest I´ve ever made …but I din´t have good quality time when making them…stressed about 100 other things I should be rather doing aaaand I am not a good cookie baking the first place.

 

THANKFULLY I have a 3 year old and I can tell everyone that she helped me make them… she really did for the first hour but when it came to decorating it was all me.. yes I have photos and yes I will post the recipe very soon…BECAUSE they are really good.

This was a winning recipe for an Icelandic Food Magazine for a Christmas baking recipe and I know the girl who won, that´s why I wanted to try them.  They are really good cookies but all I can say, make sure you have time to make them because it takes at least 3 hours to do this recipe properly.

BUT, I like to bake muffins  because it´s no fuzz when it comes to mixing the ingredients, you just put everything in a bowl and whisk it together with a fork or a wooden spoon for few strokes,  the less you mix the better I´ve heard.

I´ve been doing the same recipe (with blueberries)  for a while, but decided to try a new one, a chocolate one.  I saw a tasty photo of a muffin with a recipe to try.  I changed it a bit by using butter instead of oil and a little bit less sugar.  It was a good one.  Very fluffy and not too sweet.

Fluffy muffins

  • 1 3/4 c flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa (a good one)
  • 3/4 c sugar (I used a liiiittle bit less)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 c butter (or 1/3 oil)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons espresso coffee
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Handful of good chopped chocolate

Put dry ingredients in a bowl, mix.  Add the rest and mix well with a wooden spoon or a fork or something.

Enjoy with a cup of tea or glass of milk…or red wine

Window 19…

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Christmas count down 10… Cucumber salad

Today I went out to buy all the Christmas presents.  I had already figured out what to buy,  and I don´t buy that many because in my family it is a tradition only to give gifts to kids under 14 years old.  I like that tradition, the presents are for the kids, the food and wine and getting a little bit of holiday vacation with family is for us grown ups.

Now I am celebrating Christmas with 2 kids for the first time.  For me, the excitement of opening presents are through my kids, or kid, because the younger one is only few months old 🙂

I am totally doing Christmas differently after having kids.  Before it was about travelling the world with my boyfriend when we had our Christmas vacation.  Now it´s about baking cookies, making Christmas decorations and staying with my family and relax in the country, making traditions. (But I am sure we will do new things every year…and probably go to a warm country one Christmas…)

In Iceland, over Christmas, people eat a lot of fat food and VERY SALTY food.  In between it is important to eat healthy food.  I, in general eat healthy over Christmas, I do a little bit of the salty and fat with the pork on Christmas Eve.

With all the fat and salt, a cucumber is a really nice treat.  Cucumber goes so well with all kinds of food.  It´s refreshing.  With Mexican, Sushi, Indian, Icelandic, you name it.  I find it essential in my taco (but not in burrito, only taco shells…) with all kinds of sushi, in Raita with Indian food and I love it sliced on rye bread with Icelandic lamb paté.

I made this cucumber salad for a sushi party the other day.  It´s simple and again, REFRESHING!

Cucumber salad

  • Cucumber
  • Spring Onion
  • Mirin

Mix it all together.  Serve with….what ever 😀

Opening number 14

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Christmas Count Down …14 – Home made corn tortillas (and plain flour)

Do you tell your kids that there is a Santa Clause?

In Iceland we have 13 santas, we call them jólasveinar – yule lads.  They are weird little guys.  13 days before Christmas they start coming to town, one every day  (they live up in THE mountains, where ever that is… : ) )

Kids put their shoe in the window before going to bed (starting when the first guy comes to town, 13 days before xmas) and when they wake up the yule lad left a gift in the shoe. But if a kid has been naughty they get a rotten potato. My mom had to tell me theses lads were just a made up fairy tale because I didn´t like those crazy guys in my bedroom while I was sleeping.  They are loud and annoying.

Now, I have a 3 year old and I am telling  her about those yule lads, and I can not lie to her that they really exists  I guess I will tell her it´s a fairy tale.  Do you think that´s terrible?  Do you think it´s important for a kid to think that 13 weird creepy guys really exist when they do not?  For me it is not a fond childhood memory, we don´t have a sweet fat guy for a santa.   Did I tell you about those yule lads mother, o my o my.  She is terrible.  She eats children.  So, should I really lie to my daughter that Gryla exists? Gryla, that´s her name, eats children?   If she will believe that the lads exists their mother comes with that package.

Telling or not telling…For me I look at it through my experience of knowing they are a good story and I love it.  I enjoyed the yule lads when I was little  more knowing that they were just a good story.  I got sweets and gifts in my shoe, but I knew it was my mom who put it there.  I really liked that and when I was little I thought I had a really nice mom giving me those nice things in my shoe when the rest of kids thought they were getting gifts form 13 creepy looking lads.

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You can read about the yule lads here and there you find the photo of them in a larger format for further reading to see if you´d tell your kids these guys are real…

Before I talk about food lets open window number 10

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I found a method to make the tortillas soft after heating them on the stove. I did what I do when I make Icelandic flatbread.  After cooking the flatbread/tortilla I dip it in to a bowl of cold water and from there in a tea towel.

Corn tortillas

  • 2 cups masa harina
  • 1 1/4 cup water
  • Pinch of salt

Mix everything together.  Make balls from the dough, golf ball size.  Flatten.  Bake on a dry skillet.  Dip  the tortilla in water and then keep under a moist tea towel.

This is a great video on how to make tortillas.

My favorite toppings on a tortilla is home made tomato salsa, avocado, arugula  creme fraiche and ground beef that I spice up with fresh garlic and chile pepper, fresh cilantro and salt.  (I usually write chile pepper instead of chili pepper…I guess it´s the Spanish version.)

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Christmas Count Down …16

Tomorrow is 2nd of advent. That´s a good day to spend in the kitchen or doing something nice for Christmas, make gifts with the kids or nice Christmas ornaments.  Plenty to do and it doesn´t have to cost much, it´s more about spending time together …awww.  Sweet, right? But true.  (This is my second red wine glass talking…)

I was browsing pinterest, that place is full of nice Ideas.  I came a cross this one just a minute ago and wanted to post it because I think it´s cute and easy to do.  If you have smaller gifts it could also me nice to make little snowman.

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(Here is the link to the original post from the website housebella.com)

Where we live in the country we have a forest close by.  Every year people can come there and cut their own trees for Christmas.  I guess we will be going next weekend.  We went last year and it had snowed so much that we sank in the snow up to waist sometimes.  It was a great time and this is now a family tradition.

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We went with our friends from next door.  They came, 2 minutes later they found a tree.  But me, I was running around…that tree…no, that tree…no wait, maybe that tree…until I had to make a decision… I saw a tree it looked good from one side but the other…not so nice.  But it was charming, not perfect but charming. It looked real and I loved it.  I will try to find a photo of it after I decorated it and post tomorrow , I found this one from the outside…It was a big tree, almost 3 meters.

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(Still building the house…this was a year ago)

Day 8 and my moms birthday so off I go to a birthday party, have a great weekend!

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Christmas countdown …19 – Christmas cookies, the perfect cookie dough?

I was browsing the internet today looking for nothing in particular when I stumbled up on a website with the cutest cookies ever.  The funny thing being,  I posted the Charlie Brown video yesterday and since I love Charlie Brown I love those cookies.

So today I am sharing with you what I found online.  First of all the awesome decoration of the Charlie Brown cookies, don´t you just love them?

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(recipe and image found at http://bakeat350.blogspot.com

Then, I have been browsing around for a cookie dough and I saw this image…

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(recipe and image found at http://www.sweetopia.net

…It looks so good, almost too good to be true.  Since , yes, lots of food photography is fake and you never know if it´s really this nice set of cookies or just maybe porcelain cookies or something.  But I am sure this is not fake, the lady behind the website seems to be a VERY talented baker. You can find the recipe for the dough  here.

Anyways, I have not tried this recipe but I am going to.  I decided to share this with you before I tried it because I thought it was so cute to find the cookies with Snoopy and co and maybe this recipe would be nice for that kind of deco.

Now we are talking about day 5.  Only 19 days until we officially start celebrating here in Iceland.  If you celebrate on the 25th you have to add a day or maybe just do it the Icelandic style this year and make Christmas Eve the night you eat the nice food and  open all the presents.

Our “Christmas Eve” is on the Des. 23.  That´s the evening when lots of people go downtown for a drink and last minute shopping.  The shopping street down town is filled with people, it´s very nice and festive to go for a walk and have a drink or two that night.

That is also the evening many people put up the Christmas tree and decorate it, at least it has been a tradition in my family. It was always so much fun to wake up on the 24th and go look at the tree all lit up and looking lovely.  I will  go on with that tradition for my kids, and they can help me decorate it.

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My girl was almost two years old last year and she and her friend helped decorate.  They had never done it before but it came so natural to them, almost like it´s in our genes now to decorate trees : )

 

Day 5

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Christmas count down…20

I love Charlie Brown. Doesn´t this  get you in the right mood?

And number 4.

This year x-mas is on a Monday so that means only 17 days until Christmas vacation for some of you working crowd…yay!

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