Friday, March 30, 2007

Late and light.

I was in Oslo all day yesterday on a meeting. The meeting was shorter than expected, which gave me some great time to walk around in Oslo enjoying spring (will post about this in The House in the Woods tomorrow). I had an early lunch before the meeting, but then ate almost nothing before I came home. Terje had a dinner at work, so the girls made some hotdogs for their dinner. I was not tempted to eat hotdog leftovers when I finally came home, starving, so instead I searched the fridge, found a couple of tomatoes and ended up with a bruschetta.

Bruschetta must be one of the simplest thing to make, still it is so tasty. Braise a couple of pieces of old bread in virgin olive oil. Chop a couple of tomatoes, mix in a little olive oil, chopped leaves of basil and the tiniest amount of seasalt. Spread the cold tomato mixture on the warm bread and start your meal.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Seasonal opening of outdoor Blue Café

Today I had "the grand opening" of the season for The Blue Café. We woke up to such a beautiful Sunday, bright sky, shining sun, snow melting. Marta and Terje don't want to let the winter go yet, so both of them went out cross country skiing. Terje alone for exercise, Marta with a friend and her mother for one of these perfect days when you make a fire in the snow, grill sausages, play and have fun. I am more a spring person, so I drove down to the sea and had a lovely walk there, first at the Botanical Garden here in Trondheim, then along the beach.

When I came home, Terje was already here He found some garden furniture, which we store in the playhouse during the cold winter months, while I made coffee and warmed some chocolate filled pastries from the freezer

Later we had an early dinner, before guests came for a coffee party in the afternoon. The dinner meal is an important meal, and I try to gether the family to eat together, but today I made an exception. I did the table, I prepared the food, left over lasagne from last night, and a green salad sprinkled with the first chives which I found hidden under snow and old leaves from last year. But instead of sitting down with the others I brought my plate out into the sunny porch. The day was really too perfect to spend indoors.

Spring is here, and I can look forward to months with lovely meals in the outdoor Blue Café.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Pancakes with a healthy twist.

For Sunday Scriblings.
Marta had a handball match this afternoon. I quit work early, not because of the match, but because I had a date with my two best friends. We always meet to celebrate our birthdays and today was the Day for one of them. Usually we meet for lunch at some posh restaurant, but today none of us had time for lunch so we decided on coffee and creampuffs at a confectionary. Sweet cake and sweet talk made the time pass too fast, so I wasn't home any earlier than usual. I had promised Marta pancakes for dinner, mostly because they are simple and fast to make. But after my suger dance I wasn't in much of a mood to have pancakes filled with sugar and blueberry jam. At the grocery store on my way home, I decided something had to be done. And while browsing the vegetable section it was easy to fill up the shopping basket.
Coming home, four pancakes (without sugar and butter) were made, bacon were diced and braised, and then I made a vegetable mix of fresh garlic, mushrooms, celery, spring onion, ginger and onion. The mixture braised, giving a wonderful smell in the house.
Marta ate her pancake filled with bacon, I topped mine with a tasty mixture of bacon and vegetables, topping it all with parmesan cheese and parsley.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Heart food........

It is Monday, and another busy week has started. My husband and youngest daughter came home last night after the week-end away for a family occasion, I am leaving with the night train tonight, coming home tomorrow night by plane (work), my husband will be travelling with the night train tomorrow night (more work). This is our life :-)
Living this busy life, which we love and which gives us so much, makes it important to take care of the moments, take care of "living here and now". And tonight is one of those.
It has been snowing, but milder weather has come, and the wet snow is fun to play in. Marta has been out in the garden making a huge Mr. Snowman, and when she came in she was red cheeked and hungry. I had some leftover cream and sour cream (fløte and rømme) in the fridge, and decided to make "vaffler" ,a favorite comfort food which we haven't had in a long time.
I am sorry that I don't have any spesific recipe, but I have made waffles since I was just a tiny little girl and never ever had any written instructions. I simply beat 3-4 eggs, melt butter, add milk, white flour, a little salt, a little sugar, rømme or/and fløte if I happen to have, and blend it all together. They I bake, or do you say fry (?) it, in a waffle iron. An electric one at home, an old iron one at the cabin.
Today we ate the waffles warm with vanilla and chocolate ice cream, and with cheary chatting between mother and two daughters (dh is at a handball meeting)

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Give Thanks.

It is the day to celebrate bread. In the church of Norway the reading today is from when Jesus feeded more than 5000 people, using a few breads and fishes given him by a small boy. I gave thanks when I ate my bread for breakfast, and again just now when eating a piece of bread filled with braised leftovers for a simple lunch.
I am home alone today. My husband and youngest daughter are away for the week-end, our oldest daughter is with friends. She and I will go to an Italian restaurant downown for dinner later, but sitting here reading alot of colourful books about food I was tempted to make myself a hot dish for lunch. In the fridge I had some leftovers from the porkmeat and the cold potato salad I made Thursday night. I braised it with some fresh chopped garlic and leftovers of leek. A piece of homemade bread was also braised in olive oil and put on a plate which I got at a restaurant in Terracina a few years ago. The plate has the word THANKS written in a bouquet of different langauges.
A hot dish easy to make, delicious to eat, and I am ready to go back to my food books.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Dinner for one!

Home alone! And instead of just making a simple and easy dinner I decided to treat myself with something special - fried pork covered with blue castello, a cold potato salad, a vegetable mix of garlic, onion, cellery and leek braised in virgin olive oil. The meat was followed by coffee and a cocolate covered piece of ginger - which will be shown in The House in the Woods tomorrow.
The food is finished, the dishes are done, a pile of books and our new sofa are patiently waiting for my time.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Invitation to lunch.

Lent is an important period for Norwegian Church Aid. During these weeks they run a Lental campaign to raise money to help people around the world. I have volunteered for NCA through many years, and I've also travelled with them to several countries where they work.
Part of their promotion of the Lent campaign is to invite guests from the country where they work. The guests travel around in Norway telling stories from their lives and countries.
One of the guests this year is Helene from Kenya, and for the moment she is here in Trondheim. Tomorrow she will come and have lunch with us at the diocese office where I work. I have invited all my coworkers to have lunch with us, just bread, cheese and jam, coffee and tea. And for this they must pay a prize in money, which will be given to the NCA campaign.
We are almost halfway through Lent, and the coming Sunday we will celebrate when Jesus made the few small breads and fishes belonging to a young boy, enough food for several thousands. Bread is a main part of the Norwegian kitchen, and tonight I've baked bread to take to the lunch tomorrow. Four big bread pluss alot of small ones. And with the mesmerizing smell of fresh bread filling the house my choice for supper was without question - bread with brown goat cheese, a glass of milk, a cup of tea.
So simple! So perfect!

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Week-end in the kitchen

I have had a great week-end, sharing my time between books and cooking. Had my family over for dinner on Sunday, 12 around the table for an Italian dinner. I had planned to blog about it, but the cooking made me so busy there was absolutely no time for photographing.

I did take some photos earlier in the day though. Terje and the girls were out skiing but I was home to start the dinner preparations. I became hungry around noon, and decided to make myself a special little treat. Had some thoughts first about making a peanutbutter and banana sandwich, but luckily I decided against it ands took a search in the fridge instead. Found some leftover of an old leek, some celery, garlic, a few mini tomatoes and fresh basil and parsley. I fried some left over bread from breakfast in olive oil, and also fried the vegetables, though the tomatos and the herbs remained fresh. Had some tapenade in the fridge which I spread on the bread, and then topped it with the fried vegetables and some fresh parmesan cheese. Sat alone at the table enjoying the meal, enjoying my solitude, knowing that I would also love a full table later in the day.
Marzelle Hazan writes about the family dinner in her The Classic Italian Cookbook: There probably has been no influence, not even religion, so effective in creating a rich family life, in maintaining a civilized link between the generations, as this daily sharing of a common joy. Eating in Italy is essentially a family art, practiced for and by the family.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

This one is for you Ingrid.

Yesterday I was busy in the kitchen, doing the dishes after alot of baking and cooking. My camera was on the dresser filled with photos from my kitchen fun, and my oldest daughter Ingrid came in and started to play. She loves to photograph, and can never resist an idle camera.
When I downloaded my photos this morning I really couldn't resist this one she took of herself. She might be mad at me when she sees it here (wink,wink Ingrid), so to please her I am also showing one of the photos she shot of me :-) The photos from my kitchen fun will have to wait. here you have mother and daughter.
Happy Sunday!

While waiting......

I plan to do alot of cooking this week-end, have just finished a shopping list for my husband to go grocery shopping. Will take photos and eventually post some of it here, but meanwhile I have a treat for you - popcorns at the cabin.
Welome over to enjoy some with me.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Blueberry Cheese Cake

As I wrote in my last post it is a challenge to find food to make at our cabin which can be made without a stove. I really don't mind challenges though, and love to try out new things. Last week I made this
Blueberry Cheese Cake.
Marta helped me to crunch a few sweet biscuits in the bottom of the cake tine while I made raspberry jello using only half of the recommended water. While the jello cooled I mixed yoghurt, cottage cheese, creme fraiche and blueberries, and then added the jello. The mixture was set aside in a cold room till it started to stiffen. Then I poured it on top of the biscuits and sat the cake tin in the fridge for a couple of hours.

Monday, March 5, 2007

French Tomato Soup

I have my favorite dishes to make at home and my favorite dishes to make at the cabin. Our cabin is quite simple, we have to walk to get water from the well, and we have no electricity. The food can be made on the wood stove, or on the gas stove. I usually prefere tha gas.
Over the years I have gathered some favorite recipe in my special cabin recipe book, and among them is this favorite tomato soup.
I found it in Corey's blog last spring, and the recipe is so beautifully written by Corey. So instead of copying her words here, I lead you to her beautiful blog. And you will soon be very happy that this soup is so easy and fast to make. As soon as you start reading Tongue in Cheek you will forget everything else :-)