Sunday, 23 December 2012

Sandkaker - Sand Biscuits

I am proud to present to you - the Seventh Kind!

I only just got there in time, but the point is that I made the finish line, phew! I even brought some biscuits across the road to my Aunt and Uncle.

Usually, these are made in a special biscuit tin, but neither my mum nor me have any, and so I had to make them the way my grandmother made them, which is a little easier! I also added an almond on top for good measure - they're healthy after all! And ooooh so tasty!

Sandkaker - Sand Biscuits
(Makes about 34, 110 calories each)

Ho-ho-holey moley!

200 g butter
250 g plain flour
100 g ground almonds
1 egg
100 g sugar

- Crumble the butter in with the flour, and then add the rest of the ingredients. Work with it until you have a nice dough, shape it into a ball and leave it in the fridge to cool for at least an hour.

- Pre-heat the oven to 175°C.

- IF you have the biscuit tins required, use them to put the dough in and press it around so that you end up with a 3-5 mm thick biscuit "bowl", if you don't have them - worry not! Just roll them into balls the size of a walnut, and optionally press and almond on top. Bake the biscuit tins for 10-15 minutes, and the biscuit balls for 15-20 minutes. The latter are thicker and therefore need a few more minutes in the oven to cook through.


Enjoy - and I hope you have a wonderful holiday! And if you don't celebrate christmas and like almonds, why not give these a shot anyway?


Oh, oh! And it turns out I have a least been a wee bit of a good girl this year, as my stocking that has been with me since I was three months old has been filled by "santa" - win! *grins*

Original source:
http://oppskrift.klikk.no/sandkaker/1723/

- Jules

Peppernøtter - Pepper Nuts

First of all - Happy little christmas!

I would like to apologise for my absence, but I am currently on Christmas holiday in Norway with my family. I was panicking a bit as I hadn't finished my "Seven Kinds" biscuit project, but today I had some time to spare tonight and finished off the project.

Before that, we had "Santa Porridge", which is a tradition for my family to have on the 23rd. It's rice porridge that we serve hot sprinkled with sugar, cinnamon and a little knob of butter in the centre. It is a little different from family to family, but I think the point of it is to have a cheap nice meal before celebrating with a huge dinner on the 24th.
To make a little bit more out of it than just, well...rice porridge - we add an almond in the casserole, and whoever gets it wins a prize, which is usually a marzipan pig! This year, my mother got it! We always save a little of the leftover porridge and sets it out in a bowl for Santa - the man needs a little porridge to keep him going!


I would have tried to make it from scratch if it was up to me, it only takes pudding rice, a tiny bit of salt, a little more sugar, and a few drops of vanilla extract, and then you boil it like a risotto, only with milk. Cook it for about an hour until the rice is nice and soft. ANYWHOOOO, mum suggested we did as we usually do and cheated with a little hand from Toro, and to be honest, it is a pretty good substitute

I'm rambling, anyway, now for the sixth type of christmas biscuits - peppernøtter, which means peppernuts, but are basically gingernuts, and these came out better than the ones I made last year, result!

Peppernøtter - Pepper Nuts
(Makes about 60, 80 calories each)


250 g butter
200 g sugar
1 tbsp dark or light syrup
1 egg
2 ts ground ginger
2 ts ground cinnamon
2 ts ground cloves
1 ts cardamom (optional)
2 ts bicarbonate of soda
650 ml flour

- Mix sugar, butter and syrup. Then add the egg and stir well to combine.

- Now, add the spices, followed by bicarbonate of soda and the most of the flour. Combine this to a nice dough, add more of the flour until it is easy to handle without it sticking to your hands too much.

- Pre-heat the oven to 150°C. And on a baking paper clad tray roll the dough into balls the size of large hazelnuts. These will spread out a little, so keep some distance between them.

- Place in the middle of the oven and bake for about 15 minutes until nice and golden.


Original source:
http://www.dansukker.no/no/oppskrifter/fine-peppernotter.aspx

- Jules

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Jødekaker - Jew's Biscuits

First of all, I found some of the biggest red apples I have ever seen in our local fruit and vegetable shop! Take a look at this....


Secondly -

My fifth out of seven kinds of christmas biscuits! These go by different names, but I will use the one that I found in my grandmother's recipe book. Now, I don't know the story behind them, I just remember them from my childhood. Easy to make, really quick as soon as the dough has been left to cool for a little while, and sweet on the tongue. These are crumblicious!

PS. Icing is essential!

Jødekaker
(Makes about 46, 55 calories each without icing)



1 egg medium
125 g sugar
175 g butter (I used Flora), melted and slightly cooled
300 g plain flour
1 lemon, zest
1 tsp horn salt

Icing sugar, a few drops of water and a few drops of lemon juice for icing.

-First, whip the egg and sugar together until light and airy.

- Then add the remaining ingredients, and stir well to combine. Use a wooden spoon and combine it so you get a sticky, but nice golden dough. Place in the fridge for at least half an hour. I let it sit overnight.

- Preheat the oven to about 200°C

- Roll out half of the dough at a time, until it's about 2-3 mm flat. Use a medium sized glass and cut out circles. Place on a tray with baking paper. These only rise and don't spread out, so you only need a bit of space between them.

- Place them in the middle of the oven for 5-10 minutes. The biscuits should still be pale, but have a slight golden colour around the edges. Leave on a rack to cool.

- Once they're cool, mix icing sugar, and a few drops each of water and lemon juice. The icing should be a lttle thick, as that helps it dry quicker and prevents it from going all runny.

Enjoy!

Original source:
My dear Grandmother Evelyn, whose birthday would have been today. The bestest mormor there was and will ever be!

- Jules

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Vegetable Lasagne Befit Iron Man

....Here is a recipe for a lasagne that is full or iron and other good things! Cheap to make, and with the right amount of seasoning - delicious!

Vegetable Lasagne Befit Iron Man
(Serves 4, 330 calories each)


2 tbsp olive oil
1 aubergine, small chunks
125 g mushrooms, chopped
2 roasted red peppers, chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
400-450 ml passata
6 lasagne sheets
200 g frozen spinach, defrosted
125 g ricotta
20 g parmesan, grated
1 tsp each of salt and pepper
Optionally a handful pine nuts for topping (I used sunflower seeds....)

-Pre-heat the oven, 180°C, if you don't have roasted peppers, pop them on a baking tray at this stage, and they will be ready in time for when you have finished frying the mushrooms.

- Heat up some oil in a frying pan, and chuck in the aubergine and garlic. Fry for about five minutes, before tipping into a bowl. Use the same frying pan to fry the mushrooms. Pour the mushrooms in with the aubergine, and add the chopped pepper and seasoning as well.

- Spoon half of the vegetables into a medium sized oven-proof baking dish, pour over half the passata, and cover with about 3 lasagne sheets. Add the rest of the vegetables on top, pour over the remaining passata, and then place the rest of the lasagne sheets over to cover.

- Drain the spinach and mix it with the ricotta and parmesan together in a bowl, and spread evenly over the top of the dish, sprinkle with pine nuts if you like, for an extra crunch!

- Cover the lasagne with foil, preventing it from burning, and place in the middle of the oven for about 20 minutes. Remove the foil and finish baking it for another 10 minutes.

Serve with bread, or a salad - or both!


Original source:
http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/5586/fiveveg-lasagne

- Jules

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Konfektkaker - Confectionary Cookies

...or dark chocolate chip cookies if you like!

I found this as one of the recipes I already had written down in my recipe journal even before I got properly into cooking. My grandmother always used to make these whenever we were getting close to christmas, and my mum still makes them every year! And so I have decided that this will be my #4 out of the seven kinds I will be making for christmas this year. They might be very similar to the ones I have already posted, BUT I prefer these ones because of the bittersweet dark chocolate, mmmm!

Six ingredients = epic cookies!

Konfektkaker - Confectionary Cookies
(Makes 25 large cookies, 160 calories each)


200 g butter (I used flora light)
250 g sugar
275 g plain flour
2 eggs
1 tsp baking powder
200 g dark chocolate, chopped

- Cream the sugar and butter until it's nice and smooth.

- Preheat the oven to 200°C, before mixing in flour, baking powder and eggs with the butter and sugar. Make sure it is combined well, and then stir in the chopped chocolate.

- Use to teaspoons and set little mounts of batter onto a baking paper clad tray. These cookies will spread out quite a bit, so make sure there's plenty of room between them!

- Place in the middle of the oven and bake for 10-12 minutes until golden, leave on a cooling rack for 5-10 minutes.

Original source:
Mum! And possibly also granny...I think we might have gotten the recipe from her in the first place

- Jules

Creamy Coconut Dahl

After having had coffee with a close friend in one of my favourite cafès today *Cough cough* Caffe Nero *cough*, I came home only to find I was a liiiittle bit hungry. So I decided to have a go at a different kind of dahl - much to my delight! The dish needs a good bit of seasoning to it, and perhaps a dash of cayenne would have made it even better, but this is still a really lovely, hearty meal. I will make it again for sure!

Creamy Coconut Dahl
(Serves 4, 410 calories each)


200-250 g red lentils
400 ml light coconut milk
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
1 tbsp tumeric
2 chillies, deseeded and finely chopped
1 tsp Garam Masala
2 onions, one chopped, the other one sliced
2 tbsp oil
2 tsp black mustard seeds
Handful fresh curry leaves (I used dry curry leaves)
Salt and pepper to taste

Naan breads to serve

- Bring 300 ml water to the boil, and have in a medium sized pan along with lentils, coconut milk, tomatoes, the chopped onion, tumeric, chillies and Garam Masala. Add a dash of salt and pepper for good measure. Cover and simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

- Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a frying pan, and tip in the sliced onion along with chopped, or crumbled curry leaves, and add the mustard seeds as well. Fry until the onion is nice and crispy.

- Divide dahl between four bowls, top with onion and serve with warm naan bread, enjoy!
Original source:
http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/3794/coconut-dhal

- Jules

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Pea & Artichoke Spread

I found this very handy little recipe for a nice vegetable spread. Originally it was called pea and artichoke humous however, as there were neither chickpeas not tahini used in it, I failed to see how it could fall under that category.

When I made it using the original recipe, it came out very bland - BUT, whenever I added a little seasoning it turned out really nicely!

Pea & Artichoke Spread
(Serves 4, 120 calories each)


140 g garden peas or petit pois
100 g artichoke hearts, from a jar
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 1/2 tbsp olive oil
A small handful mint, chopped
1 -2 tsp dried basil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper

-Simply take a stick blender and whizz it until it has the preferred consistency. If it gets a little too solid for your liking, just add a little more oil. In the original recipe they had used 4 tbsp oil, but I like it when it keeps together.

-Store in a air tight container and use within 3-5 days (I'd imagine!) Tastes delicious on some crispbread!

Original Source>
http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/7060/pea-and-artichoke-houmous

-Jules

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Pepperkaker - Gingerbread Cookies

3rd out of the seven cookie recipes! Almost halfway there now - phew!

I was thinking of gifts that I could make myself and give away for christmas, and I came across this rather clever one. Originally, you can put all the dry ingredients in a jar, tie a nice ribbon around it and add the instruction for how to make them along with a cookie cutter. The ingredients would fill a 450 ml jar according to the place I found this recipe at. I believe that due to the extra flour you need to add, it would need a bigger jar, or instruct to use only half of the butter!

Worried that it would be a complete disaster for whoever received this make-yourself gift though, I decided I should try out the recipe. I am kind of glad I did, as for some reason I had to add a lot more flour than stated in the original recipe.
I'm not sure whether that was because of the type of butter I'd used or what, flora usually works like any other butter though - ah well. The MAIN thing is that they turned out really nice and sweet, crumbling in your mouth. Delicious!
I was going to serve these along with a cup of Yogi Yogi Tchai tea, and these came out almost tasting like that lushiously creamy spiced cuppa, brilliant!

What you can do, is to either use 250-300 g flour OR after some reseach, only use 60 g butter

Pepperkaker - Gingerbread Cookies
(Makes 80-90 small ones, about 25 calories each)


100 g soft brown sugar
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp all-spice
1/2 tsp cinnamon
50 g crystalised ginger, chopped (most health shops sell this)
125 g (if using 60 g butter) 250-300 g plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
60 g (for 125 g flour) 150 g melted butter
1 egg yolk
1 tbsp golden syrup

- In a baking bowl, mix the eight first ingredients together, and mix well.

- Make a well in the centre of it, and pour in the butter, egg yolk and syrup. This is where I came to the conclusion (after having used 125 g flour) that I just had to add flour and stir with a wooden spoon until the dough wasn't sticky. From what it seemed like, I had to use almost double of the amount I had used!

- Now when the dough is manageable, knead well until you have a nice lump of soon-to-be-cookies. Place the dough in a plastic bag and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes. I left my dough in there for a good couple of hours, and it worked a treat!

- Pre-heat the oven to 180-200°C, and place baking paper on a couple of baking trays (this dough will altogether give you about 4 small baking trays worth of cookies).
Roll out the dough on a well-floured surface, until it is about 3-5mm thick, and cut out little cookies. Place them on the tray and bake for 8-10 minutes. Keep an eye on them about 5 minutes in, as sometimes ovens can be a bit unpredictable...as can cookies - sneaky!


In the end, you should end up with a little something like this! Perfect for serving evening guests, or to give away in little cellophane bags perhaps?

Original source:
http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/1840651/gingerbread-gift-jars

- Jules

Roasted Chestnuts

Feeling festive?
Well if you don't, turn on Disney's Chip'n'Dale (the christmas episodes, of course!) and get some chestnuts roasting! You don't need an open fire, just a functional oven.

On another note, I started making some christmas decorations out of paper the other day. I made a long chain for a tree that have yet to be purchased and brought home, AND I made a sort of weaved christmas heart - the one in the photo!


I didn't realise that I had used the colours of the Scottish flag until after I snapped this photo actually. It used to be my dad who made these when I was little, as my mind couldn't comprehend how to create such a masterpiece, and my dad is quite good when it comes to nifty little crafty things like that!

So! I had never tasted a chestnut until last week, but they are really tasty! I found a way of doing roasting them somewhere online - it was a post on a thread, and so it's kind of difficult to find a link to it. Anyway, I'll stop rambling and give you the recipe straight away!

Roasted Chestnuts
(Serving - as maaany as you like! These badboys are about 25 calories per nut)


- Place the nuts, flatside down, on a chopping board, and cut a cross on top of them with a knife. It doesn't matter if you cut the crosses a little deep, if anything, that'll just make them easier to peel!

- Pour some lightly salted water in a baking bowl (I used 60/30 cold water from the tap and boiling water from the kettle - don't think it'll make any difference though!), tip in the chestnuts and let them soak for about an hour.

- Pre-heat the oven to 200°C, and place the chestnuts on a baking tray, with the flat side again facing down. Leave them to bake for about 15-20 minutes until they start cracking open.

- Now, when you've taken them out, peel them whilst they're still warm, as this is a whole lot easier! They should have a glazed yellowy colour to them.

*attempts tracking down her original source*

I FOUND IT!

Original source:
http://startcooking.com/how-to-roast-chestnuts

- Jules

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Havremakroner med Rosiner - Oat Macaroons

...with raisins! Although, I would describe them more as flapjack bites. They are delicious, and usually made without raisins (only heaven knows why!).

Havremakroner med Rosiner - Oat Macaroons
(Makes about 24 small ones - about 70-75 calories each)



90 g/3 dl oats
125 g butter (I use Flora light)
125 g sugar
3 tbsp water
1 1/2 dl raisins (about 50 g)
100 g/3 dl plain flour
1 tsp baking powder

- Melt the butter and pour over the oats into a baking bowl, then stir in the other ingredients. You should end up with a sticky mixture that you can shape balls with.

- Pre-heat the oven to about 175°C. On a baking paper clad tray, use two teaspoons to shape little balls out of the batter, OR use your hands. My mixture was not that wet, so I just used my hands, worked just fine!

- Place in the middle of the oven and bake until golden, 15-20 minutes. These need a little longer than the coconut macaroons because they are quite solid with all the oats. They come out lovely and chewy though!

I hope you enjoy!

Original source:
As previous recipe, my dearest mormor, of granny if you like! I'm trying to take most of the recipes I use for the christmas biscuits from an old recipe books of hers. How beautiful is the handwriting?!

- Jules

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Kokosmakroner - Coconut Macaroons

So the flat has had its Winter clean, and I have just finished making the first two out of my "seven kinds" of christmas biscuits. I will post the first one up here now, I hope you enjoy!

Kokosmakroner - Coconut Macaroons
(Makes 40, about 65 calories each)



4 egg whites
200 g sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla sugar OR 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
280 g dessicated coconut

- Whisk the egg whites along with the sugar and vanilla until it's nice and airy, then fold in the dessicated coconut.

- Pre-heat oven to 175°C. On a baking paper clad tray, use two teaspoons and shape little balls out of the coconut mixture. Place about 2 cm apart from each other as they do get a bit bigger in the oven as they bake.

- Sit them in the middle of the oven, and bake for about 10-12 minutes until golden. Leave to cool for a little while before transferring to a cooling rack.

Original source:
Mormor

- Jules

The Seven Kinds

So, before I start uploading what might seem like a surprising amount of recipes for biscuits, macaroons and other such things within the next few weeks, I would just like to explain / yes, there is a reason!

In Norway, or possibly in the whole of Scandinavia, it is an old tradition - that most people don't really follow - to make seven kinds of christmas biscuits around the christmas holidays. OK, so it might seem a little over the top, but I sure didn't mind visiting my grandmother when I was little, only to find lots of tin boxes full of every kind of biscuit you could dream of! I would get to choose a few of my favourites, and it almost seemed like a privilege. The boxes seemed to never empty, and family member of the generation above me seemed equally eager, and you could see their eyes light up with excitement just the same.

This image is taking from google, seeing as I my project has only just started!

Seeing as I do have a blog about cooking, and I am very fond of traditions, I decided to give this a go. Now, let's see.... I'll make up a list of the ones I remember as my family's infamous "Seven". I already know I will have to leave one out, as you need a special cooking iron for making them. They're called krumkaker, and they are so simple, yet delicious - and the iron give them a lovely pattern. I already featured them in a post regarding the christmas market I was at about, hmm....was it two weeks ago?

Kokosmakroner - coconut macaroons/snow balls
Havremakroner - Oat macaroons
Pepperkaker - Ginger bread cookies
Kakemenn - Cakemen (I don't know of any equivalents to this)
Peppernøtter - Pepper nuts, but they're more like ginger nuts
Glasurpletter - Iced flats (Just like with kakemenn, I don't know if these are common elsewhere)
Konfekt kaker - Confectionary biscuits, chocolate chip no less!

Like I mentioned though, I might have made a few changes to that list had I had the right cookie-cutters and irons to make them, but for now - this is pretty hardcore on a scale from 1 - christmassy, Santa Claus would be proud!

Something to look forward to, I hope *smiles*

- Jules