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Japanese Night

26 Jan

This Tuesday I was on a Japanese Night. We are a group of friends that have an allotment plot together and we decided to have the first “what-to-plant-and-grow-this-year”-meeting of the year. One of us, Sofia, just visited Japan so we had a Japanese theme food-wise with amongst other courses okonomi yaki, daikon and wakame and Ida made ginger-cupcakes with wasabi-frosting (recipe here). Soo good!

/Elsa

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I tisdags var jag på japansk afton och årets första planeringsmöte för den kolonilott som jag delar med några vänner, mycket fint!

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Sweet Potato Latkes

22 Jan

It was great to see Elsa’s photos from her India evening….what fun. I’ve been inspired to cook and bake lately. Yesterday between my husband and I we made banana bread, sweet potato latkes, cinnamon buns and roasted veggies. It’s great to have time on the weekend to kick back and do the things you love. Here is the recipe for the latkes. They were very nice; a little sweet, a little savory.  I made ours for breakfast but it is more common to have them for dinner.

 

Sweet Potato Latkes

1 lb sweet potatoes, peeled and coarsely grated

1/3 cup onion finely chopped

1/4 cup flour

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

3/4 cup vegetable oil

-Grate potatoes on box grater and drain liquid in paper towel

-Stir together potatoes, onion, flour, eggs, salt, and pepper.

-Heat oil in a skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking.

-Working in batches of 4, spoon 1/8 cup potato mixture per latke into oil and flatten to 3-inch diameter with a slotted spatula. Reduce heat to moderate and cook until golden, about 1 1/2 minutes on each side. Transfer latkes with spatula to paper towels to drain.

They were so good that I almost missed a chance to get a photo of the final result…snapped one shot just in time. Enjoy!

/b

Cold day, Hot Soup

13 Jan

We had snow flurries this morning, nothing stuck but it started to truly feel like winter. To warm myself up today I made a delicious Butternut Squash and Carrot Soup. I forgot to capture the process on film, but the end result was really good. There is cumin and garlic in the recipe that adds a nice depth to the sweetness of the carrot and butternut squash.

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 carrots, sliced
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 small or one large butternut squash, peeled and chopped
  • 5 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup milk or milk alternative 
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp cumin

Preparation:
In a large soup pot, sauté the onion and garlic in olive oil until onions turn soft, about 3 to 5 minutes.

Add the carrots and celery and cook for another 3 to 5 miutes.

Add the squash and stir just to coat, then add the vegetable broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a slow simmer. Allow to cook for at least 25 minutes, or until squash is soft.

Using a potato masher or a large fork, mash the squash until smooth, or, alternatively, you can puree the soup in a food processor or blender.

Stir in the milk and season with cumin and salt and pepper to taste.

I ate it by itself, but it would be lovely with a few pieces of fresh bread.

/b

Quick Lavender Cakes

12 Jan

This morning we were working on our project at my place (presentation tomorrow!) and I did some caramel-cakes with Lavender to keep the study motivation up. This is a recipe I often use when I need to bake something really tasty quick.

You need this:

100 g butter

1 dl sugar

1 tablespoon vanilla

1 tablespoon syrup

2,5 dl flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

2 tablespoons dried Lavender

 

First mix room-tempered butter and sugar (easy with an electricity whisk) and then add the rest of the ingredients. Divide the batter into 3 pieces and roll each piece into a roll in the same length as your tin. Place the rolls on the tin and use a fork to make patterns in them. Bake for about 10 minutes in a 175°C-hot oven. Cut them into pieces when they are still hot and soft.

Don’t worry they look small unbaked on the tin, they will expand in the oven. 

Today I used Lavender, but they are good natural too. And it’s also tasty to change the Lavender to Peppermint or Rosemary.

Yum!

/Elsa

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Idag jobbade vi på vårt projekt hemma hos mig på förmiddagen. För att hålla studiemotivationen uppe bakade jag kolakakor med lavendel, mycket gott!

Boiling Bagels

8 Jan

I love to bake, and yesterday I was inspired to try making bagels. I have attempted these years ago with some success, but it was prior to going gluten free which is a whole different ball game. This recipe is simple and only requires a few ingredients. It is gluten, dairy, soy and grain free…and tasty too (I promise).

Oh yeah, my husband is the best baking helper ever

Tapioca Flour Bagels

– 1 ¾ Cups tapioca flour

– 1 tbsp. baking powder 

– 2 eggs

– t tbsp. olive oil

– 1/4 Cup water 

(I added rosemary, a pinch of salt and a little garlic powder to make them savory, but you could add cinnamon and raisins if you prefer) 

Preheat oven to 450° F
1. Boil 3 quarts of water
2. Mix all ingredients til well blended
3. Knead it for a few more minutes, then let it rest about 10 minutes.
4. Separate into 4 equal pieces and form into bagels (NOTE: I discovered it is better to keep them a little smaller, i would recommend dividing into 6 pieces)
5. Drop dough into boiling water for 1.5 – 2 minutes. With a slotted spoon or tongs, turn over and boil for another 1.5 – 2 minutes.


6. Remove with a slotted spoon or tongs and place on un-greased baking pan. Bake for 15 – 18 minutes on an un-greased pan.
7. Remove and let cool. Slice with a serrated knife.

After slicing the bagels we toasted them and ate them with butter. Mmm, crispy on the outside, soft and chewy on the inside- perfect! I will definitely make them again and try out some different flavors. Yum.

/b

(photos by my husband)

Bread-baking

3 Jan

Right now I’m superbusy with an exam in school next week and having started a new job yesterday. One of my best ways to relax and clear my mind though is through baking, don’t know why but there is something soothing in making your own bread. For Christmas I got a food processor for bread making and tonight was the first time I used it. Fresh bread out of the oven must be one of the best smells ever and one of my New Year resolutions for 2012 is to bake more bread myself instead of buying it ready – soo much tastier (and cheaper)!

Here comes my basic bread recipe (that can be varied in eternity with different kinds of flour and seasoning). 

You need this:

25 g fresh yeast

5 dl lukewarm water

1 tablespoon oil

2 teaspoons salt

12-13 dl flour

Blend it all well and let it rise for about an hour. Form it into the shape you want and let it rise again for about 30 min. If you make baguettes; bake it in a 250 degrees Celcius warm oven for about 15 minutes.

The best evening tea, with fresh bread and home-made hoummus (I’ll share that recipe another day).

Now it’s back to studying. By the way, I love Brita’s clever skirt in the last post!

/Elsa

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Just nu har jag fullt upp med tenta nästa vecka och nytt jobb från och med igår. Ett av de bästa sätten för mig att slappna av och rensa tankarna på är genom att baka bröd. Jag fick en assistent i julklapp som jag har invigt ikväll. Ovan finns mitt basrecept på bröd som går att variera i oändlighet.  

New Year in Photos

1 Jan

New Years Eve in a few photos, it was a wonderful night and I danced until the morning came. Today we have had the laziest day ever with Harry Potter movie-marathon and pizza at Ida’s.

Desserts almost done. 

You find the recipe and description of the dessert here

Just before midnight, ready for celebrating the arrival of the new year. 

Blurry joy. I’m looking forward to 2012!

/Elsa

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Nyårsafton i lite bilder. Jag har dansat in det nya året och ser fram emot 2012.