All happiness depends on a leisurely breakfast. ~John Gunther

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


julekake means "christmas cake" in Norwegian - but really this is a yeast bread with dried fruit bits in it. it's so good.

Julekake - Norwegian Christmas bread: makes two loaves

Mix dry ingredients together in a very large bowl:
1.5 liters of flour
250 grams of sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons of cardamom

Prepare your yeast:
mix two packets of dry yeast with 1 deciliter of lukewarm water and 2 teaspoons of sugar
let sit for two minutes

Mix wet ingredients together in a bowl:
400 grams of melted butter (about 3 and a half sticks)
5 deciliters of milk
yeast mixture

Pour the wet mixture into the bowl of dry ingredients.
knead with your hands for about ten minutes or using the dough hook on your standmixer
keep extra flour and milk nearby if you need to adjust the texture of your dough
it's ready when it comes together in a ball without leaving bits of itself behind in the bowl.

cover the ball of dough in the ball and let it rise in a warm place for about 45 minutes

put 2 deciliters of raisins and 1 deciliter of candied citrus peel (lemon and/or orange) chopped to about the same size as raisins aside.

When the dough ball has risen by at least 50%, knead the raisins and candied citrus peel into the dough until it is thoroughly incorporated. Then cut the dough in half and shape it into two round balls. Set the balls on a buttered baking sheet in a warm place (on top of your preheating oven, perhaps?) and cover with a kitchen towel. Let rise for 45 more minutes.

Brush each loaf with egg white or milk.

Leave the loaves on the cookie sheet and put into preheated 350 degree oven. Bake for 45 minutes to an hour, until quite brown. if they are big they can be raw inside - and it's hard to overcook this guy, it's ok if it gets a little dry, you're going to eat it with butter on it anyways.

Remove from oven and immediately set loaves on to cooling racks. Don't cut into them until they are completely cooled!

The bread will last for quite awhile. It is best eaten toasted with butter. so good.

A story here - this recipe is adapted from the scanned in copies of a norwegian cookbook that's missing a critical page that I got from my mom. So let's just say it has taken some trial and error to get these right! still working on it.

Also, fair warning, this takes about 5 hours to make. And that's if you're on your game.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

creamy beet surprise! pasta

In the usual "oh man it's Tuesday night and we just got all these new vegetables from the farm share we better eat *last* week's vegetables" scramble, I made this tasty pasta.

I started out with a mirepoix in butter. onion, carrot, celery, half a stick of butter. OK fine, a whole stick. Then garlic. Then I wasn't sure what my next move was. I we had beets, so I diced those fine and tossed them in too. Next up? some heavy cream. Or maybe it was half and half. And some milk. and some nutmeg. I let it reduce for serious. And then added a whole bag of spinach (chopped first - the leaves are big!). And then, I wasn't so sure about it, but I went for it, and added a bunch of cheddar cheese. I was worried it would overwhelm the sauce - but actually it was delicious. I cooked it over some delicious cavatappi (a gift from chloe)...

It was darn tasty.

Monday, September 6, 2010

lasagna (avec "votre bechamel"}

While sarah elisabeth was in france with gina marie, we were treated to an amazing lasagna from our friend, Zeke.

Zeke had, of course, gotten the recipe from another woman, but added his own elements. like ricotta and nutmeg.

We loved reading the package of fresh lasagna noodles that we got at Carrefour. It gave very simple instructions on how to make a lasagna (about 5 lines.) The 3rd like Prepare "votre bechamel." that was it, nothing else, because, clearly, you have your own bechamel, so you should prepare it.

All lasagna should have cream sauce, really.

So, I attempted to recreate Zeke's lasagna. It's not quite as good, but it is still pretty delicious.

Here is the recipe I emailed myself:


500 grams low fat ground beef
make ragu
fry in little oil and salt til brown, crispy, done

in another skillet
onion, carrot, celery, little oil

add vegetables to meat

add healthy glass red wine

1 liter stock (if cooking for 3 hours)

1 small can tomato puree
6 fresh tomatoes

1/2 hr before meat is done, prepare votre bechamel:

make a roux: 100g melt butter, add white flour, stir (leave it pretty wet
do NOT remove from heat
add milk until bechamel is satisfying

olive oil in bottom of pan
meat sauce

end with

(extra veg in bechamel layer - zucchini, peppers, etc.)

bake at 375 for 45 minutes.

And that's what I did.

Friday, March 12, 2010

banana ice cream

I was walking around in whole foods - and I just wanted to make ice cream out of everything... avocados, pears, pineapple... everything. but then, I realized Bananas!

chloe recently lent us over at 48 her her ice cream maker for awhile. making ice cream is really really fun.

Along with the maker, chloe lent us some books so we could make the ice cream. this recipe is the Caribbean banana and rum ice cream from the book "ice cream" by Pippa Cuthbert and Lindsay Cameron Wilson. This book has very complicated recipes. luckily, gina marie did almost all of the making. I was working on the shrimp & potato soup!

The recipe says that gina marie heated two and a quarter cups of heavy cream and 1 cup of whole milk on the stove until it almost boiled. In another bowl, she beat 3 egg yolks with 1 cup of brown sugar until it got lightish colored. Then she stirred in the hot liquid. Finally, she put the (metal) bowl over a pot with boiling water in it, and stirred until the liquid in the bowl thickened "enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon." Then gina put the bowl outside (covered, of course) to cool.

I mashed 4 small bananas with the juice of a lemon and a nip of dark rum with a potato masher. then we whisked that into the now cold custardy liquid, and poured that into the ice cream maker and turned it on. Then we froze it overnight. It was really good!