lördag 17 december 2011

Höstig Pasta Salad

The Swedish language, is amazing. They take any old word and turn it into an adjective. Like Höst, meaning Fall, for instance. When wanting to describle something "fall like" they simply add the equivalent to our "y" and suddenly have, "fally"...? Personally, I think it stems from lack of creativity. But whatever the case, I dig it. It makes for a lesser vocabulary, and in turn a more quiet type of folk.

Being your typical loud American, it took a while to find that balance, between silent Swede and big mouth. I found that balance through cooking. While cooking, I keep quiet and when finished, I get to write about it...which is my silent form of flapping my gums.

-1 package whole wheat, spiral pasta, cooked, drained and set aside.
-1 large sweet potato, peeled, chopped and steamed until barely tender (about 10 mins)
-2 large red beets, peeled, chopped and steamed
-1 large yellow pepper, washed and chopped
-Few handfuls of fresh, mixed greens, washed
-1 tbl olive oil, S&P to taste

To Do:
Cook it all up throw into a big pretty bowl and toss with a little olive oil, salt and pepper. Voilá!

Fat Ass Chocolate Cake

Ok, this cake is so not healthy. Nor was it intended to be. Sweden masters most desserts, but there are two things that do not exist here. Chocolate cake and American style cookies. Cookies are up next, but let's start with this baby first.

 Let me just say, that this goes against all I'm for...but once a year I need it. I made it for my birthday, and for those of you that know me, you know that I love chocolate and that my birthday was far too long to be posting this now, but I've had bigger fish to fry.

At first glance, you may choke at the amounts of sugar...but don't blame me. I give Martha Stewart full credit and blame.

3 sticks unsalted butter
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup boiling water
3 cups cake flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/4 cups sugar
4 lg eggs, lightly beaten
1 tbl vanilla
1 cup milk

To Do:
-Pre heat your oven to 175c or 350f
-Whisk cocoa into boiling water, set aside
-Sift flour, baking soda and salt
-Cream butter and sugar until fluffy, add eggs one at a time, and then vanilla
-Whisk milk into cocoa mixture
-Add flour to butter mixture, in three portions, alternating with cocoa mixture
-Pour into three round buttered pans and bake for 35-40 mins
-Level off bottom and middle cake layers with a serrated knife, and let cool completely.

For the Frosting:
-2 cups butter, softened
-7 cups powdered sugar
-2.5 cups cocoa powder
-1 tsp vanilla
-1 cup milk (if more is needed, add teaspoon, by teaspoon until desired consistancy is reached)

To Do:
-Whip all ingredients together, frost cake when completely cool.

NOTE: This frosting is sicky sweet when tasted alone. I almost threw the entire batch away. However...when paired with the cake, it is incredible.

Ruthie's Pad Thai

Oh Ruthie. One of the loveliest little ladies I know. Aside from shining her bright light on all she meets, spreading love around the world and selling fabulous floral arrangements from a small shop on Maui's upcountry...she can cook. And my favorite thing she whips up, happens to be the best pad thai I've yet to try. She never had her measurements down to a science, so neither do I...but for you, I've tried to pay attention to how much goes here, and how little goes there...but this dish is based on a "taste as you go" method, so if you feel like something is lacking, add a dash.

NOTE: Yet again...asian food stores have everything your cupboard desires.

1 Package Rice Stick Noodles
1 Package Pre-fried Tofu (chicken works too!)
1 large bunch Pak Choy, washed and chopped
2 handfuls Sugar Snap Peas, washed
1 bunch Broccoli, washed and chopped
2 handfuls Bean Sprouts, washed
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large egg

For the Sauce:
6 heaping tbl Peanut Butter
1 cup Water
1 tsp Fish Sauce (optional)
4 tbl (light sodium) Soy Sauce
2 tbl Rice Vinegar
1 tbl Raw Sugar or Agave Syrup
1 tbl Mae-Ploy Red Chili Paste
4 tbl Sweet Chili Sauce

To Do:
Make your sauce, by throwing all ingredients into a blender. If you like it a bit spicier, add a little more chili paste. But please, start with a small amount and taste as you go! If it tastes too salty add a bit more sugar...too sweet, vinegar.

-Cut each tofu triangle into thirds and fry in about two tbl oil, until golden. Set aside.
-Add a little more oil to your wok, fry onion and garlic until soft. Add egg and scramble.
-Throw in Pak Choy, Peas and about half of your Bean Sprouts. Cook for about 2 mins stirring constantly and set entire wok aside.
-Prepare your noodles accoring to package directions. They should take no more than 3 mins so do this last.
-Oce noodles are prepared, throw your wok back on warm burner, add noodles.
-Mix everything as best you can (little challenging) pour sauce over it all and mix some more.
-Top with remaining bean sprouts and serve.

Grab yourself some chopsticks and enjoy a little heat on a blustery winters eve.

måndag 7 november 2011

Coconut Almond Pancakes

These pretty little pancakes were inspired by a recipe found on Green Kitchen Stories. After inviting my sister in law over for a brunch date, I wanted to whip up something different and healthy. Green Kitchen Stories, is a fabulous blog that I often go to for ideas and inspiration. They have thought of everything, have carried through with their ideas and have mastered them. Hardly ever using, flour or egg and never using white sugar or atery clogging butter...their recipes are dreamy and guilt free. So on this particular day, I went to them...only to find that I was missing 1/3 of the ingredients their pancakes called for. So with a dash of this, a handful of that and few prayers...this is what I came up with.

5 large eggs
1 1/2 light coconut milk
1/2 cup oat or almond milk
1 cup almond meal (ground almonds)
1 large banana, mashed well
2 tbl melted coconut oil
1 tsp cinnamon
a pinch of salt

*butter for the pan*

To Do:Whisk eggs and coconut milk. Adding and whisking in, banana, almond meal, coconut oil, cinnamon and salt. Slowly add oat or almond milk while continuously whisking.Melt butter in frying pan on med heat. Pour a little less than 1/2 a cup of the batter into the pan. When you see small bubbles, very gently fold the pancake in half, so that you have a semi circle shape. *Since there is no flour, these pancakes easily fall apart while trying to flip. It's better to fold them in half, making them a bit thicker and easier to work with. You end with a sweet crunchy crepe like pancake. Top with fresh or pre-thawed, frozen raspberries, and drizzle with agave syrup or honey.

söndag 6 november 2011

Chantarelle Soppa

Sweden's woods grow wild with Chantarelles. Sadly enough, I had never seen one before coming here. But once my first Fall hit...they were everywhere. Shops, outdoor markets, under my feet and in my refridgerator. Andreas (the hubs) loves them. He pan fries them in plenty of butter and places a generous heap atop a buttered piece of toast, topping it off with a sprinkle of herb salt. The sight sickened me at first. But once I overcame my stubborness, I took a taste and fell head over heels. This mushroom in unlike any other, in a very fine way. So when my dear husband wanted to make a Chantarelle cream soup, I stood behind him...despite the fact, that warm milky things are my worst nightmare. And because he loves me so, he replaced the heavy cream with oat cream. (available most anywhere if you jut take a look) It was delightful, extremely simple and contains half the cholesterol and fat of any normal "cream of" soup.

5 handfuls of fresh Chantarelle mushrooms, washed well
2 shallots, chopped
2 1/2 cups water
1 cup "heavy" oat cream or alternatively any lactose free heavy cream
1 1/2 vegetable boullion cubes
1 tbl soy sauce
salt and pepper to taste

To Do:
Dissolve boullion cubes in the water
Fry the washed mushrooms in about 1 tbl of butter, in a large saucepan
Add shallot and cook until the shallot is clear
Add your "veggie stock", cream, soy sauce and let simmer on low heat for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Season with salt and pepper to taste.

lördag 5 november 2011

Natural vs Processed


The battle between fructose and sucrose. My mother and I nearly draw blood every time we touch upon the subject. So, what is the difference? How does your body seperate the two, and why is white sugar said to be the root of all evil? After visiting my hometown and introducing Siggy to the people, the place and my mothers absurd theories...I decided to take a deeper look. Without turning my little page into a science book, I'd like to share the result with you and more importantly...I'd like to prove my mother wrong on the world wide web. So the verdict? Good old white sugar, raises your insulin 3 times as much as the natural sugars found in fruits and veggies. What does that mean? Elevated levels of insulin, send the sugar that you do not quickly burn off, into your fat storage cells where it is converted into stored body fat. In short, the body is smart...it knows when you treat it like shit, and will turn your ass into jell-o for doing so.

Will I never enjoy another pint of Ben & Jerry's? Of course I will, and Lord knows I can't keep my mother from feeding Halloween Oreo's to Siggy. But I can continue to keep white sugar out of my cupboards, think about what goes into my body, and have the knowledge to back me up when I fight Mommy Dearest.

Porridge á la Awesome

We've all heard the saying, "breakfast is the most important meal of the day". For me, this couldn't prove more true. If a hearty, balanced breakfast is not consumed...I turn into a bear. For real...a nasty, hairy, growling, clawing, man eating grizzly. So, in order to avoid an ugly situation and to face the daily grind, I often enjoy a power packing porridge.

1 cup quick oats
1 tbl agave syrup or alternativley honey
1 tsp cinnamon
1 handful of raw almonds, chopped
1 handful of dried cranberries
1/2 of a banana, sliced
1 tbl raw hemp seeds
oat milk

To Do:
Mix oats and water, according to package instructions.
Add almonds, cinnamon and cranberries to oats. Cover and let cook.
When done cooking, add banana, drizzle with agave and sprinkle with hemp seeds. Add oat milk to your liking. Stay satisfied till lunch.