Somebody please remind my kids that someday they will be longing for food like mom used to make.

onsdag 5 december 2012

Gingerbread houses

The big girl and I made gingerbread houses. I bought 2 kits with the gingerbread and we whipped up some royal icing. We made one for her school Christmas fair to sell and one for her to have at home. It is in her newly rearranged room on her dresser smelling wonderful, and she has big plans to demolish it on her birthday. She says the toddler can have the chimney. Very generous.

Turkey Day

Turkey - I love Thanksgiving. 
Filling for the turkey: Onion, carrot, prosciutto, garlic, parsley, sage, thyme, rosemary, apple. They give lots of flavor to the meat and drippings, and therefore even the gravy. 

We stuff it and then put the rest in the bag with the turkey. 

I strained the drippings, then let it rest a couple minutes and scooped the fat off the top. I heated the fat with a little butter and added flour to make the roux. Then in with the liquid, a little water and some chicken bouillion and boil until thickened. Salt and pepper to taste, cream, and it was the best gravy I have had in years.

The toddler's first portion after she ate most of the turkey. She ate about 3 potatoes and 3 helpings of turkey. 

This year I did Stovetop stuffing (saved from a care package) and just plain green beans, plus lingonberry preserves from the store. Keeping it stress free. Last year I did the whole nine yards from scratch complete with pumpkin pie, but I just didn't have it in me with all the stress I have had at work lately. 

Chocolate chip walnut cookies

Chocolate chip walnut cookies

From here

1 c butter, softened
1 c granulated sugar
1 c brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 c flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp hot water
1/2 tsp salt
2 c semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 c chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

Cream together the butter, white sugar, and brown sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Dissolve baking soda in hot water. Add to batter along with salt. Stir in flour, chocolate chips, and nuts. Drop by large spoonfuls onto ungreased pans. (I always use parchment paper  anyway to make cleanup easier.)

Bake for about 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until edges are nicely browned.

Saffron and almond biscotti

Saffron and almond biscotti

Scant 1/2 c. butter
1 g. saffron, crushed in mortar
2 eggs
2/3 c. granulated sugar
2 c. all-purpose flour
1.5 tsp. baking powder
2/3 c whole almonds (or coarsely chopped to make the cookies easier to slice)

Heat oven to 350 F/175 C. Melt butter and saffron, pour in bowl and stir in eggs. Mix dry ingredients and almonds and stir into the butter mixture until combined. Divide into thirds and form 3 long pieces of dough. Bake for approximately 25 minutes or until just starting to turn golden. Remove and lower heat to 250 F/125 C. Slice into 3/4 inch slices on the bias and return them to the baking sheet with cut side up. Toast them in oven for about 10 minutes. Turn off oven and let them stay in there until the oven has completely cooled or overnight.

lördag 13 oktober 2012

Baked Taquitos

Here is one of my new meals for when I want something good but fast. 

Baked chicken taquitos

From here.

1/3 cup (3 oz) cream cheese
1/4 cup mild salsa
1 T fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
3 T chopped cilantro
2 T sliced green onions
2 cups shredded cooked chicken
1 cup grated pepperjack cheese
about 12 small tortillas

olive oil or cooking spray

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Lightly coat a baking sheet or dish with cooking spray or brush with oil.

Heat cream cheese in the microwave for about 20-30 seconds so it's soft and easy to stir. Add salsa, lime juice, cumin, chili powder, onion powder and garlic powder and mix well. Add cilantro, green onions, chicken and pepperjack cheese and combine well.

Place 3 Tablespoons of chicken mixture on the lower third of a tortilla, keeping it about 1/2 inch from the edges. Roll up tightly.

Place seam side down on the baking sheet. Lay all of the taquitos on the baking sheet and make sure they are not touching each other (Not the end of the world if they are, they just get less crisp). Spray the tops lightly with cooking spray or lightly brush with oil.

Place pan in oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until crisp and the ends start to get golden brown. Makes around 12 taquitos.

Serve with salsa, sour cream, guacamole and a salad.

Big girl ate two with gusto, and tried to convince her cousin the picky eater that they were really good. Score 1. The toddler stood up in her high-chair and would not sit. She ended up running around and coming back for bites every once in a while. She ate it too, just not in the way we had planned from the beginning. Whatever. I pick my parenting battles and this was not one of them. 

Stuff I didn't make my kids eat

My husband and I recently traveled to Prague for a long weekend to celebrate our anniversary and his 40th birthday. The kids stayed with relatives.  

Here is some stuff we didn't make them eat:

At the very mediocre Svejk Restaurant on Wenceslas Square which I would not have chosen in retrospect. Duck, sausage, ham, bread dumplings, bacon dumplings, and potato dumplings. Tasted fine but not fabulous. 
Mediocre pork schnitzel and potato dumplings. Had to steal hubby's sauce.
Simple but good Spaghetti Pomodoro at a simple but pleasant family restaurant in the Lesser town, U Zeleného krále. 
Dinner rolls at our hotel restaurant, Restaurant Rott, with which we were quite pleased, especially having received a half price coupon from the hotel. The round rolls seem to be traditional since we got them everywhere, and were often a bit salty.
The most fabulous appetizer I may ever have eaten: Goat cheese baked in puff pastry with sweet, delicious figs, herb pesto, and a flavorful salad with sun-dried tomatoes. I may have to try something like this at home. 
Goulash with bread dumplings. 
Pork tenderloin with potatoes au gratin and roasted vegetables.
Choco Café in the old town. Nice cozy place for brunch or lunch. Tons of various fancy hot chocolate drinks. We had two different kinds of chocolate, done in the same way. It was like eating melted chocolate with a spoon. It would probably have been better with some whipped cream or ice cream, but the chocolate in itself was good. Quite the place for a chocolate connoisseur.
Caprese Bruschetta
Beer at the Pivovar Strahov, the Strahov monastic microbrewery. Touristy but very pleasant, and hubby greatly enjoyed the beer. The cheesecake, not pictured, was also good.
More St. Norbert's beer at Pivovar Strahov.
Mulled wine
Trdelník, a pastry made by winding dough around a cylinder and rotating it over a heat source. It was very good. We had one with cinnamon sugar, but they had other flavorings and even fillings available. I also had a plum kolacky, which was good, but perhaps would have been better from a bakery rather than a grocery store. 
On our last night, I had booked a table at one of the fanciest places in Prague, Terasa U Zlate Studné. It is just below the castle, on a back street in the lesser town. It was the kind of place where they bring you a hot towel before your meal. 
Amuse Bouche with monkfish mousse topped with mango gelatin, some kind of peppery sprouts, some dots of sauce, and a crisp bread. 
Mousse from Goat Cheese "Buche Affine" wrapped in Nuts, with marinated green Asparagus and spicy honey Sauce
Traditional “Prague Ham”served with fine Horseradish Mousse and Cranberry Jelly
Sea Bass prepared "sous vide" topped with carmelized flowers, Fennel Purée, steamed vegetables,and Pernod Foam
Roasted Rack of Fallow Deerwith forest Mushrooms, Rowanberries, Kenya Beans, butter Gnocchi and Grand Veneur Sauce
Chocolate Fondant,  raspberry sauce with cinnamon-chocolate mousse and home-made Ice cream from salted butter
Selection of traditional Créme Bruleéwith seasonal fresh Fruit
And a few scenery shots:

Voltava river
Prague from Petrin Hill
Wenceslas square
The main square in the old town
Charles bridge and Petrin Hill

I have no idea what the kids ate while we were gone, but it was apparently in vast quantities compared to what their cousins usually eat. Also, it probably included candy, since the toddler had learned to say the Swedish word for candy, "godis", very clearly while we were gone.

söndag 30 september 2012

Green pea soup and a sceptical toddler

Green pea soup with horseradish créme fraiche
When big girl was younger, she was big into soup. She liked carrot soup the best, followed by chantarelle soup and pea soup. I used to make this pea soup for her, which she would gladly eat. It had been a while, so I thought I would try it out on the toddler. 

Stirring together grated horseradish and créme fraiche
chopped onions
Onions, peas, bouillion, and water
Mix until smooth, add some milk and a little S&P 
Topped with a dollop of horseradish créme fraiche, with some grilled ham and swiss on the side. 
This is what the toddler thought of it. She ate the insides of her grilled cheese and discarded the rest. Her comment on the soup was, and I quote, "Go away!".
I guess she isn't the soup girl her sister was/is. 

Here is where the recipe comes from. 

Green Pea soup with horseradish créme fraiche

1 tsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
600 g frozen peas
4 dl water
1.5 dl milk
1 vegetable bouillion cube
1.5 dl low fat créme fraiche
grated horseradish
Salt and pepper

Combine horseradish and créme fraiche to taste. Cover and refrigerate. 

Saute onion in olive oil in a stockpot until soft. Add peas, water, and bouillion cube. Boil for 8 minutes. Remove from heat and puree until smooth. Add milk, season to taste, and return to heat, warming to desired temperature. Serve with a dollop of the horseradish creme. Serves 4. If they actually eat it.