Monday, July 21, 2014

Coco-cardamom balls

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I'm not into raw food per se but I'm always on the lookout for yummy stuff... If it happens to be good for you, or at least not totally bad, that's a bonus. I'm at my hungriest in late afternoon, and I need to keep some sort of healthy snack at hand. I recently made these little balls from coconuts, almonds and dates, and they turned out to be delicious! Sort of like marzipan, sort of like cookie dough! And they come together in a few minutes, and keep for several days. They freeze well, too.

Coco-cardamom balls
100 ml almonds
150 ml coconut flakes (unsweetened) 
15 dates
Pinch vanilla powder
Pinch cardamom 
2 tbsp coconut oil

You do need a food processor. Start with the almonds - process until finely chopped. Add coconut flakes, dates, vanilla, cardamom and the oil. Process until you have a uniform mass.

Roll into little balls - this will be a little bit difficult as the "dough" is quite crumbly, but pinch and roll and you'll get there. Refrigerate, and they will firm up as the coconut oil goes solid again.

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If you like other goodies like these, here's a good book to check out! Smarta Sötsaker ("Smart Sweets") by Ulrika Hoffer. It's a tad bit preachy, and the recipes are not super exact, but there are some great ideas in here. And lovely photography, too. 

Thursday, July 17, 2014

News from Microplane

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Microplane has sent me some goodies - really awesome, sharp goodies. I've been using their graters for years, and while I love them and use them often, I was dismayed when two of mine decided to break at virtually the same time! Both had plastic framing and that's what broke - not too surprisingly after hard use, but still, disappointing. These ones, however, are part of the Gourmet series and there's no plastic, meaning there's really nothing that can break.

I use the fine one for garlic, ginger, chocolate, and citrus zest, mostly. The large one is great for cheese, although I also have an older ribbon grater that's pretty nice. The large one can also do things like carrots, cucumber (perfect for tzatziki) and many other things.

The third thing in the photo is Microplane's new mandolin slicer! It's nice and sturdy but it's main feature is that it has a removable julienne blade. Basically it's a small extra attachment, that makes perfect long ribbons of food. While not in use, there's a storage place for it in the back of the slicer - very handy.

I don't think I need to tell you that all of these are super sharp and should be handled with care. Nothing for the kids! :-)

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

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How about some cookies? These are just right - perfectly crisp on the outside, but chewy and soft inside. And delicious. Just delicious.

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

225 g butter, softened
220 g brown sugar
130 g white sugar
2 eggs
245 g flour
175 g rolled oats
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cardamon
200 g raisins

Start by beating the butter with both sugars until very fluffy and well combined. Add the eggs, and keep beating until smooth.

In a separate bowl, mix flour, oats, salt, baking soda, raisins, cinnamon and cardamon. Add this to the cookie batter and mix until combined.

Chill for at least one hour. Use a cookie scoop or your hands to shape balls - I make mine pretty small, about the size of a small walnut. Place on a cookie sheet (I could fit 12) and bake at 175°C for about 8 minutes.

I also freeze the un-cooked cookie-scoops, and bake directly from frozen. In that case, you might want to add a minute or two to the cooking time.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Lamb Meatballs & Creamy Risoni

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Yummy dinner idea, from Swedish dairy giant Arla's new summer cookbook. The original idea was to make oblong meatballs, fry them, and then thread on skewers and heat on the grill, but I'm certainly not heating up the grill just to re-heat a little meat. Seems wasteful to me. So, we did small meatballs instead and then placed them on skewers.

Completely optional, of course. I thought it would entice our kids but.. well. Not so sure that worked. Dante ate five before we served the pasta, but after that, he wouldn't touch them. Titus had a tiny bite and declared that he didn't like them. Oh well. I loved them!

Lamb Meatballs
500 g lamb mince
1 red chili
zest from 1 lemon
 2 garlic cloves, minced
100 ml milk
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp fresh mint, finely chopped
2 tbsp fresh coriander, finely chopped
butter to fry

Mix everything together, and shape small meatballs. Fry in butter until cooked through. Serve on skewers if you want to, or not - it's totally up to you.

 Creamy Risoni
1 onion, finely minced
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 tbsp butter
200 ml risoni (rice-shaped pasta)
1000 ml water
salt
1 tsp olive oil

Melt the butter, and gently fry the onion and garlic for a few minutes until softened and fragrant. Add the risoni, water and salt, and cook for ten minutes. Drain, and stir in the oil. Serve with the suggested toppings. (If you don't have picky kids, serve on a large platter. If you do though, I suggest having the toppings in separate bowls...)

Toppings:
crumbled feta cheese
finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
pomegranate seeds
cucumber
toasted pine nuts

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

New Gluten-Free cookbook

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I have to tell you about a marvelous baking book called Nytt Fikabröd! (Fikabröd means.. well, cakes and cookies and anything you'd have with a cup of coffee, basically. Nytt means new.) The authors, Jessica Frej and Maria Blohm, have already written about bread but have now made this new book as well. It's not out yet, but I've seen a review copy  - and what can I say? It's good news for all gluten-intolerant people out there. It'll be released on August 8.

I've tried one recipe from it so far, and it was a huge success. I won't give away the recipe - but perhaps I can publish a version of it later on.