Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Leek and potato soup

First, I'd like to say Happy Valentine's day to all who are celebrating! I myself am more hung on the idea of honoring the day of wine (st. Tryphon) as it evokes many funny memories from my childhood. I and my family together with my uncles' families would go to the vineyard, where the kids (us) would play and the adults would drink some good red wine. Most years, the snow covered ground and frozen garden pond provided lost of entertainment and funny stories. Now, it's just me and my sister, sipping some red wine bought from the local store and laughing about all those past moments. Traditions, what will we do without them?

I've been thinking a bit about the blog and how I want to proceed with it. Since, I'm not quite fond of writing all that much during the week and my posts seem somewhat unfinished to me, I decided that it shall be a Sunday edition, when I would take my time in posting step by step recipe explanations with more pictures (hopefully better quality too) and a little more attention to the writing part too. I'm also going to try doing double-language posts (English and Danish) as I need to establish a routine practicing my Danish. Finally, I'm gonna keep the blog strictly 'food' related. If I have the patience to listen through skype explanations of gardening - growing vegetables and fruit - from my dad, I'd also love to include these. He has a life-long experience and lots of best-practice advice he's been giving to his friends and integrating in his work, so I think it will be a great way to keep his wisdom through an online shared note-taking. I hope you're interested. I'm going to reinvent the personal style part of it in a separate blog some time later on, as I've changed its concept a bit and I'm not ready to delve into it now, but if you're interested, there will be some bits and pieces of what I'd choose in my Pinterest account.

Unbelievable as it is, I managed to write an entire post without the tiniest hint of the title. So, here it comes. I checked out a very interesting recipe a couple of days ago. Reading just the name "leek and potato soup" immediately caught my attention, as both ingredients are on the top list of this season's food and I love them both. Here is the recipe. The author gives plenty of information on how the recipe could be modified for all sorts of diets and explains the process with beautiful pictures. You should check it out!

The only changes I made were that I used only 10 g olive oil and substituted the double cream with cream fraiche. It was absolutely lovely. If I had tomato salad, it would have been even lovelier. :)

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Orange chocolate chip cookies

Fruit or chocolate? Cookies or cake? Why not have it all in one? That's what orange chocolate chip cookies are for me. I and the raising eyebrows' taster at home particularly like the combination of orange and chocolate, as I'm sure most of you dear readers do.

I'm too tired to write anything else except the recipe, but if I have time tomorrow, I'll tell you why... or most likely show you. Winter and sea lovers will be excited to see. ;)


2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup butter/ coconut oil (I prefer the latter, as it adds a little more exotic feel to the cookies)
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
4 tb. sp. orange juice
1 t. sp. orange zest
1 t. sp. baking powder
1/2 t. sp. baking soda
1/4 t. sp. salt
chocolate chip


1. Mix the butter/ coconut oil with the sugar until creamy.
2. Add the eggs one by one, whisking them well.
3. Add the orange juice and zest and continue whisking.
3. Add the baking powder, the baking soda and the salt to the flour and sift it in the bowl where the wet ingredients are. Mix well together.
4. Finally, add the chocolate chip and integrate in the dough. 
5. Let it rest wrapped in plastic foil in the fridge for a day. (I wasn't feeling like waiting, so I made them the same day.)
6. Bake in a 200 C oven. Let them cool for about 5 minutes, before you remove them from the baking paper. Leave them on a rack to cool additionally. Enjoy! :)

I also did a batch with coffee and raisin, but they weren't as good.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Cinnamon buns

In a few minutes we're going for dinner with a lovely Bulgarian family, so I thought I'd make the dessert. I've been thinking about trying cinnamon buns ever since I read Kanelbullar post, but I only got to them today. I mostly followed the recipe, except that I made about 1/6 of the size, used the egg for the dough, replaced the dried yeast with fresh yeast and I also used raisin instead of topping the rolls with sugar. Now, I somewhat regret the choice, as their shape got a bit all "over the place" or in other words, they popped too much. However, I'm also conflicted by the very pleasing taste they create. Next time, I think I'll just cut the raisin in very small pieces... maybe that'll work. In any case, I'm sure they'll be savored. :)

Thursday, February 9, 2012

A take on egg salad

Remember how I mentioned I'll try a more challenging crochet design than the one I did on Sunday? Well, I browsed some video tutorials on flower-making with chaining, double and triple crochet. THANK YOU to all the lovely women sharing their knowledge on youtube! It's so easy to follow - stopping, resuming and repeating to suit one's learning best. My needle (0.66 mm) and thread are a lot tinier and thiner than the ones used on the tutorials, though. So, I wasn't particularly excited about the size of the flowers I ended up with... one will have to look at them through glasses just to spot them (I'll make some adjustments and give these designs another try). Instead, I did my own thing again. It's mostly chaining and then applying three layers for achieving volume. I should remember to keep it a little loose. At least, that's what my mom said back when she tried to teach me. But I don't like loose at all. Until my fingers hurt, it's like I haven't worked with it. Crazy, I know. Anyway, this is what I did last night. I know it's a tiny amount of finished work, but I watched a scary movie in the meantime. :O

I'm not sure whether I'm gonna make a dozen of these (or more, depending on what I end up using them for) or mix them with other designs. I'm also having some serious dilemma what I wanna use them for. I thought about embellishing a headband, a bolero, a cushion case, cards, etc. If it's a bolero/cushion I'd wanna do it from scratch though, which means hand-sewing (I'm gonna buy a sewing machine one day!)... scary but possible! :)

Moving on! :) My version of egg salad. I haven't had egg salad before, so I have no idea what the classic version tastes like. I was a bit pressed for time, so I didn't check out a recipe either. I did have eggs in the fridge though and the only food I could think of was boiled eggs, yoghurt and salad, so I guess it worked out the way it should have. I used home made whole grain bread (the same recipe I use for other bread, but with whole grain flour) to make sandwiches with the egg salad. It was yummy!


2 boiled eggs
1/2 leek
1/3 cup maize
80 g. natural yoghurt/ cream fresh
ground black pepper
ground red pepper


Well.... mix it all well and bon appetite! :)

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Apple pie

Previously, I've made an apple tart with pastry cream, which is a fabulous dessert to share with friends. Its thin crust leaves plenty of space for the abundance of cream and apples, which I love. Pastry cream is more of a festive dessert ingredient for me though. On the other hand, I'm very fond of fruit infused pastry for a weekday dessert. Apple pie, maybe? Yes, that's what sprang in my mind first. If I had thought about it some more, I would have gone for crumble, but there is always a next time. :)


2 cups flour
100 g. butter
1/3 cup sugar
2 egg yolks
1/2 tb. sp. icy water

2 apples
1 tb. sp. corn starch 
1 tb. sp. oatmeal 
1 tb. sp. sugar


1. Mix the butter and the sugar together until creamy. 
2. Add the icy water and the egg yolks one by one, whisking them well together.
3. Finally add the flour and quickly form soft dough. Refrigerate for about 1 hour wrapped in plastic foil.
4. In the meantime, peel and cut in small cubes the apples. Mix them with the corn starch, oatmeal and sugar. (Alternatively, you can use nuts, which will absorb the moisture of the apples.)
5. Roll out a bottom and a top crust layer from the cooled dough. 
6. Place the first in a tart form(s) and spread the apples on top of it. Then cover it with the top layer. Cut the crust with a fork on a couple of places, so the pie can breathe. Bake at 200 C until ready.

I'm gonna try a vegan version of this some time before the winter has passed. Pretty optimistic about it too. :)

Monday, February 6, 2012

Crochet coaster

Two years ago, while on a holiday in Bulgaria, I asked my mom to show me how to crochet. She's not a woman of much patience though, so every time I stopped trying to get myself out of a situation, she'd just start pointing out the right way or get the needle and thread out of my hands, so she could show me again... and again. At that point, I'd start laughing uncontrollably, which made the whole endeavor so much more time-consuming and ineffective. Eventually, she gave me a book and told me I could learn now on my own. Hmmm... I don't do well with such instructions, so I left the whole project aside. This weekend, I accidentally stumbled on it and I thought I'd give it another chance.

I wasn't particularly excited about the shape though, so I unthreaded the whole thing and started wondering about a small project. I and my sister were watching our favorite BG series, 

so I in no way wanted to also look into patterns. I wanted something simple (just to get used to working faster) but also practical. Since my sister doesn't have a coaster for her coffee glass, I thought I'd make one for her. 

Admittedly, it's as simple as it gets. But I kind of like it, especially the round shape. Most importantly, my sister thought it was cute too. :)

I'm thrilled about trying a more challenging, but still small design now. Some creative project to go with tv-time.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Baked apples

I've been so tired all morning, despite getting up early and drinking a cup of tea. So I just stayed in bed, browsing a database of amazing print projects. I feel like a kid in a candy shop at moments like these. The fact that it's considerably colder than previous days (-16 C in the early morning) doesn't exactly encourage me getting a foot out the door just yet. So, it also seems like the perfect time for having baked apples for late breakfast. I usually prefer them with walnuts and honey, but the 1.5 kg walnuts I brought back from home vanished in less than a month. Ouch! The only walnuts I can find here come in packages of 150 g. and they look disappointingly unappetizing. Almonds are top quality though, so I think there's no discussion which ones should come home with me.


apples (the juicier and sweeter the apples are, the better)

I sometimes also add orange juice, covering 1-2 fingers of the apples, but they're equally delicious without the juice, I think.


1. Clean the seeds of the apples, keeping them whole or cutting them in two. 
2. Fill the apples with small pieces of marzipan and raisin and bake them until the apples are soft.
3. Garnish with almonds and cinnamon.

I keep forgetting adding this outfit arrangement. I guess today is the day. I simply love the cardigan with its girly-romantic embellishment. It seems to me so cute to wear in the spring with shorts, heels and a clutch. 

Have a lovely weekend! :)

Friday, February 3, 2012

Orange-apple vitamin shot

Have you noticed that when there is too much stuff surrounding you, it's inevitable to start feeling sick, depressed or generally in a negative mood? Well, that's how lack of empty (aka well thought out) space affects me. I mostly don't think about it though and simply throw out whatever I deem unnecessary. If I have to be completely objective, all I need is a bed, a table and a chair, but let's not get too literal. :) Then, I started reading on Feng Shui. Very interesting and occasionally entertaining philosophy, I tell ya. Some of the principles I don't particularly agree with or find bothersome, but the few points, I consider spot on are:

- all clutter should be removed
- one's home should be properly and regularly maintained (cleaning and repairing)

these two being the most important for me with regard to energy flow and simply feeling good about your personal space.

Are there any Feng Shui geeks around you?

Talking about energy, today's been a pretty successful day for getting some more vitamins. Rema 1000 (a store chain) offers 2 kg oranges for 10 kr ($ 1.76). Hooray! To make it more fun and flavorful (also adding a few more vitamins in the mix), I added an apple and made an orange-apple drink. Delicious!!!


3 oranges
1 apple
1/2 t. sp. cinnamon 
1/2 t. sp. vanilla sugar


1. Squeeze the oranges.
2. Juice the apples. (I don't have a juicer here, so I shave them and then squeeze the juice with my hands.)
3. Mix all the ingredients together in a jar and shake them well. 

Enjoy! :)

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Orange coconut mini cakes

The post today is somewhat a continuation of yesterday's note on the use of vegetable oils. Yes, I'm seriously considering how to banish butter from my kitchen. In the meantime, I want to make sure that I don't end up using only olive oil... it tends to get boring after a while. Not to mention that its flavor doesn't necessarily work well with all sorts of baked goodies. Fortunately, a friend of mine is also very fond of healthy foods and we discuss this stuff often. Every once in a while, I'd see her spread thinly coconut oil (it's hard unless melted) and honey on a slice of bread and give it to her kids... I have no words to describe just how delicious it is. So, when yesterday I stumbled upon this Little lemon coconut cakes recipe, I thought I'd make it and share the results with the gang.

I made a few changes, cause I just can't follow recipes strictly. I also am not particularly interested in a wholly sweet cake. I favor very light sweetness with the occasional dried fruit which gives a little sweet and flavorful surprise to the cake. Thus, I used only half the sugar, added half a banana and a handful of raisin, and then replaced the lemon with orange. Finally, I skipped the glaze. I didn't have agave nectar and I wasn't planning on buying some anyway. Using sugar wasn't an option either. It just spoils the otherwise perfectly balanced flavors. This way, the cakes are better suited for kids too. Yey! Quite happy with the result, I tell ya. It looks more like mini fruit bread, I know... but that's what I love about them.

A note on coconut oil: "To clear things up, coconut oil does contain saturated fat, but lucky for us, it comes in the form of medium-chain triglycerides (or MCTs). This type of fat differs from the types of fat we normally consume from both plant and animal sources, which are long-chain triglycerides (or LCTs). Without getting too technical, MCTs are easily digested, absorbed, and utilized in the body because their molecules are smaller than those from LCTs. This means that unlike other fats, they require less energy and fewer enzymes to break them down for digestion. They are an excellent choice of fat for active people and athletes as MCTs digest immediately to produce energy and stimulate metabolism. They are also ideal for those who suffer from digestive disorders and are often given in hospitals to provide nourishment for critically ill people who have trouble digesting fat." (My New Roots). Do visit the site, if you want to be impressed! :)

Mood board

It's winter... snowy and sunny! Is there any better time to dream about summer? Lightness, brightness, vibrancy, LIFE!
Pictures: taken from google. Don't judge! :)

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Green beans with potatoes stew

Green beans make the list of my favorite winter food, so on yet another chilly day as today, here is what I've made for us:


1 onion
1 leek
1/2 can chopped tomatoes
1/2 red pepper
2 large potatoes
2 handfuls green beans
4 cups boiling water
1 tb. sp. olive oil
ground red pepper
ground black pepper
4 cloves garlic


1. Saute the onion and leek for a couple of minutes. Then add the red pepper and the tomatoes. Continue cooking for a couple of more minutes, while you peel and chop the potatoes in small cubes.
2. Add the potatoes, the green beans, the spices (except for the ground red pepper, which you should add 5 min before you remove the pot from the stove) and the hot water to the pot and continue cooking until the potatoes are ready. 

I love vegan dishes, so this was a very delicious meal in my book. However, dear meat lovers, you can add red meat to the stew and you'll be amazed. :)

I've been particularly interested in finding more information about cooking with vegetable oil. I know that it's unhealthy to have food cooked for too long with the vegetable oil in, since it floats to the surface, where the temperature much higher. So, when cooking, I just slightly coat the surface of the pan with olive oil and add however much extra is needed just before I remove the food from the stove. However, I'd really like to find out more about it, so if any of you dear readers have any thoughts on the subject, I'd love to hear from you. :)

A note on cooking with vegetable oils and olive oil in particular: Heating olive oil