mar 22 2010

Curried carrot potato soup

Published by under Ukategorisert


Empty the fridge supper : Some carrots, a potato, half an onion, a clove of garlic, a teaspoon of hot madras curry powder, some red split lentils, water, a chicken stock cube and a splash of milk. Thinly sliced champignon mushrooms fried till nearly crispy. Garden cress from my window sill. Time duration from start till finish : I don’t know. But less than 20 minutes! Healthy, filling, comforting, delicious.

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feb 20 2010

I’m cold

Published by under Ukategorisert

..and have been all day. Wool stockings, slippers, fleece and wool sweaters in several layers. Huddling up in a huge green fuzzy fleece cover on the couch while sipping close-to-scorching hot Early Grey tea. Still cold!
I felt even colder than that time when I jumped into the Arctic ocean wearing nothing but a bikini.
As with  many other problems I decided to solve this one with food – French onion soup that is. I chopped and slized and chopped 7 (!) medium sized yellow onions and two cloves of Chinese garlic, sautéed all of it in a generous dab of butter for half an hour until the onions had caramellized beautifully and shrunk down to a minimum of their original size. Then I added a tablespoon of flour, a bay leaf, some dried thyme, a splash of white wine vinegar, water and chicken stock. After some more gentle simmering the soup was ready – almost. I couldn’t resist dunking a thick slice of bread and a thick slice of cheese into each bowl of soup and pop them under the grill for a couple of seconds. To my horror a part of the bread got a bit burned, but after I’d immersed it into the golden delicious liquid that is French onion soup, I didn’t even notice any burnt flavour.
The sweetness of the caramellized onions is amazing! I didn’t add a single sugar crystal into the mix, all the sweetness came from the onions themselves. Delicious. I won’t even tell how much of the sweet sweet onions I noshed on before they made it into the soup.
Onions are healthy too! Did you know that onions and garlic are two of the most benefitial vegetables against cancer? They’re stock full of anti-grazing agents that prevent them from getting grazed on by animals, except us humans that’ve figured out the trick of cooking onions before ingesting them. These anti-grazing agents are anti-cancerous, so keep the onion soups coming!

Sadly, still after a very satisfying bowl of soup I hadn’t completely warmed up. The thought of going outside, getting the laundry and then walking back home again was horrifying. This is where having a nice boyfriend comes in handy. I nagged and pleaded and promised to do all the house chores tomorrow if only he’d do the laundry today (we usually do the laundry together). Not only did he comply, when he got back, he piled a giant mound of  hot, fresh-from-the-drier bed sheets  (oh, how I love thee!) all over me, submerging me completely and finally heating me through and through. Joy!

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jan 27 2010

Little things that make me happy

Published by under Ukategorisert

…like starting the day with a BLT-sandwich; loads of fresh lettuce, crispy bacon, tomatoes and mayo on wholegrain bread…nomnomnom!
- Or making homemade noodle soup for supper, then realizing there’s just enough left to fit in a recycled curry paste tub that’s a perfect size for lunch tomorrow. I knew hoarding those plastic containers would pay off someday!
..or…finding these AWESOME band-aids at the supermarket : Star Wars band-aids!!!
- I can’t wait till the next time I cut myself. Wait, that came out wrong.
What little things make you happy?
BTW; today I realized that whilst teaching Fredrik tricks, little Alfie had picked up on the training too! During the daily 5 min «training session» Alf suddenly got up and walked on his hindlegs next to Fredrik  when I gave the command «walk». Such a surprise, he was even better at it than Fredrik. I will never underestimate you again Alfie, even though you look like you have syndrome!

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mar 31 2009

Panang Curry Paste Soup – Thai delight!

Published by under oppskrifter

Coming home  after spending two weeks in the Arctic, with temperatures down to – 22 ° C, I managed to catch some kind of cold on the flight home. My head and my throat hurts and my cough sounds like the one of a lung cancer patient. So I decided to cure myself with my current favourite food; thai! I made a mild coconut-curry-chicken soup that just took away all of the throat pains and almost completely cleared up my lungs. I didn’t take a picture, or take any measurements, but here’s how I did it (approximately) :
Panang Curry Paste Soup
First I took out 4 chicken fillets from the freezer for defrosting. I boiled up some water (about 1 liter) with 2 chickenstock cubes and let the frozen fillets sit in the hot bouillon until they just were soft enough to be cut into pieces (but not cooked through).
Then I chopped up vegetables:
  • 2 carrots, into nice carrot flower slices
  • 1 big onion into wedges
  • 1 red and 1 yellow capsicum into big bits
  • 1/4 of a small cabbage head

-> Threw all the veggies and the chicken in a big pot with 1 can of coconutmilk, 1/2 – 1 tablespoons of Panang Curry Paste (I wanted a mild flavour this time, normally I go for much more curry paste) and added enough of the chicken stock to cover the vegetables by an inch/couple of centimeters. I let it simmer until the vegetables were through and the chicken done, it could probably have been added at a later time and been even moister but I think it was good enough. I used 1-2 tablespoons of fish sauce, 1 tablespoon of brown sugar and half a lime to season the soup. The next time I might add 2 cans coconut milk instead of one, I just love the flavour of  coconutmilk.

Panang Curry Paste must be one of my absolute favourite food items when it comes to fixing up dinner quickly, and the fact that it’s sooo good is a huge bonus. I buy it at the local turkish supermarket, but you could make the curry paste yourself. The list of  ingredients as it’s written on the box:

  • Dried red chili
  • Shallot
  • Garlic
  • Salt
  • Lemon grass
  • Galangal
  • Cumin powder
  • Kaffir lime’s skin
  • Coriander seeds 

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mar 31 2009

Lentil craze!

Published by under oppskrifter,Ukategorisert

Lentils are a great ! I never ate them during childhood, except maybe once or twice while visiting my grandmother, but my mother would never make them for dinner. Not until I moved into my own place and I started cooking – I mean really COOKING things from scratch, reading food blogs, try to learn everything there is about good food – I stumbled over the wonderfully diverse group of legumes called lentils. They are cheap, you can always have them in your pantry since they’re dried, they’re full of stuff thats good for you, they’re a healthy alternative to potatoes/pasta/bread and other starchy food, and they don’t take a long time to cook!  – They contain dieatry fiber, lots of different aminoacids (proteins), minerals and folate – need I say more?  The only thing you have to do is to rince them in cold water a couple of times, and pick out un-purities like small pebbles before you start cooking.

There’s a huuge variety of lentils out there, but I especially like the green puy lentils, the small red ones, and the yellow split lentils.

File:3 types of lentil.jpg

Read more about lentils on Wikipedia

I especially like to use lentils in Indian curries, but I’ve also mashed them up for use in veggie burgers, in soups, in salads with a nice vinaigrette or in a stew, like this one: It started out like a soup, but then I just added all the lentils I had in my pantry since I had like three different kinds of jars that were getting empty, and the soup got thick, mushy and stewey. The following days I would alternate between reheating the leftovers for a warm lunch, or eating it cold, like a spread on thick slices of bread, with some extra roasted onions on top – yummy! Lentils keep well in the fridge for at least a couple of days in a thight container.

Multi-purpose lentil stew/soup/spread

Approximately:

- 1-2 tbs of red curry paste

- 1-2 tsp hot madras curry powder

- 2 big carrots, peeled and sliced into half-moons

- 2 big yellow onions, diced into small pieces

- 1 big sweet potato, peeled and diced into small cubes

- 2 medium big potatoes, peeled and diced into small cubes

- 1/4 of a medium-small cabbage head, sliced into strips, then squares

- 1 – 2 cups of brown  lentils (also called puy lentils)

- 1/2 cup yellow lentils

-1 big red capsicum

- 2 cans of chopped tomatoes

- 1 can of coconutcream (I would’ve used 2, but forgot to buy more)

- enough chicken-/vegetable stock to cover the vegetables and lentils after you’ve added the tomatoes and coconutmilk.

I had to divide the stuff among two casserolles and ended up with huge amounts of food, so about half of this would be enough for 4 people, I think. I let everything simmer and bubble for at least an hour, adjusting with some water to avoid the stew from getting too dry.

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okt 20 2008

Ramen noodle frenzy

Published by under Meg og mitt liv

Tore and I have had an almost weeklong simultanous ramen noodle hang-up. We bought about 1 million different kinds of ramen noodles the last time we were shopping in one of the chinese grocery shops downtown Oslo, and suddenly we both couldn’t go through a day without eating at least one pack of crazy flavoured noodles. They were all sooo fascinating, and if not incredible tasty, it was very satisfying to slurp hot broth after spending a day in the rainy autumn weather. The craziest ramen I tried must be the kimchi-flavoured ones I had yesterday – the broth was pink! And the flavour..indescribable. Kinda like salty, slightly synthetic strawberry-beef broth. But not bad, not bad at all!

Ramen noodles with Kimchi flavour
Luckily we came off the ramen wagon today, and I made a spicy carrot soup to compensate for the unhealthy week long noodle-overdose. To give us something to chew on I made a side of pizza rolls from store-bought freshpizza dough – we were both so hungry that we just couldn’t wait for a home made dough to rise. They were so delicious! I filled them with tomato paste, chopped olives, garlic, sundried tomatoes, strips of lowfat ham, dried oregano, basil and marjoram, cheese and basil pesto.. Neither of us were really excited about the taste of the carrot soup, but with the help of the rolls we finished it off, which means we ate about 8 carrots for dinner! That must count for something !
Spicy carrot soup w/pizza buns
The beautiful yellow and red maple leafs from the last weeks of bright beautiful autumn weather have turned to a blackish-brown glistening..mass, covering nearly all the sidewalks on my route to University. With poor street lightning, rain and heavy winds, riding a bike was quite an adventure today. I like that it takes less time to bike than to go by bus and the tube, and especially that it doesn’t harm the environment, but boy, do I have to do some serious self-convincing to get on that bike every morning..Oh well, I’m done whining now. Biking through the rainy darkness makes me appreciate the dry warm inside so much more. I’ve even begun to think about cookies to bake in December! But I will not mention any of them yet, as it’s ONLY OCTOBER, a fact that the supermarkets seem to disregard completely, since they’ve already put the christmas chocolate and – marzipan on the shelves…
I’ve bought the plane tickets for Svalbard, made all the arrangements that need to be done and I can hardly wait to get up there! The course is going to be really hectic (they call it an intensive course, after all) but I’ll make sure to make time to visit some of these guys :
Visiting the dogpen IMG_2327 - Copy
Me and a 5 week old husky puppy + Fram and Tundra (from left); a 3 year old male husky, and a 7 month old husky-greenland dog mix female.
I love dogs, and the sled dogs that I met on Svalbard, Spitzbergen are some of the most amazing dogs I’ve ever met. They live outside in the cold all year round, pull more than their own weight through often deep snow, they compete which each other for food, being chained to small huts when not running – but still so incredible friendly! I helped a friend to feed them last winter and all of the dogs waited politely until I had placed the food bowl on the ground before they tried to inhale their food (at least that’s what it looked like). Huge shaggy greenland dogs that look like teddy bears, sleek beautiful huskys, all super-happy to meet you, jumping up whilst trying to give you puppy kisses, shaking their entire body in anticipation, howling of excitement, ready to run..my kind of dogs.

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okt 15 2008

Picture marathon

Published by under Meg og mitt liv

Although I haven’t posted anything on this blog for a while, I have been cooking. I just haven’t had the spunk to write about it. But now as the two exams are behind me, I finally have some mental energy to spare. I don’t want to bore you with a super-long essay about what I’ve done since the last post (except for passing my exams with flying colours,no need to mention), so I’ll just give you the photo-evidence. 

First, I’ve gotten a taste..eh, bad choice of words, I’ve gotten an insight of how the work with my master thesis is going to be. Two weeks ago I helped some under-graduates out with their project that is a mini-version of my master. I helped them out with training the chicken. – The one – day old, yellow, fluffy baby-chicken. Sooo cute! I just had to kiss them on their downy little heads, completely forgetting about the possibility of salmonella, which luckily is quite rare in Norway (and I didn’t get sick, so no harm’s done). 

 

Chicken behaviour experiment
At the end of the week-long experiment they’d become so imprintet on us that they came running over, trying to jump into our hands when we were handling them. No wonder, being picked up meant getting yummy worms, so who can blame them. 
On the nigh before my animal behaviour mid-term I was so sick of studying that I followed the old advise to not study the day before an exam (I normally do). Instead I spent 3 hours to cook a pig’s knuckle! I’ve always wanted to try this smoky, super tender (not to mention super-fatty) meat, and tonight I felt like disregarding any counter-arguments like «It takes too long time», «It’s unhealthy», «Bla bla bla». I’m glad I endured the three hour cookin time with the mouthwatering smell almost driving me mad of hunger: It was sooo delicious, cheap and very satisfying. And the cooking made me  relaxed; like I’ve never been the day before an exam, with the result that I did great on the test (I think).
Porks knuckle, sauerkraut and potatoes
As an extra bonus it gave me the opportunity to make pig’s knuckle sandwich the next day. If you’ve read Terry Pratchetts books you’ll understand why pig’s knuckle sandwich has a special attraction to me. 
With the exams behind me and Tore back home from his weekend-trip to the small town where he comes from, I was in the mood for some experimenting. Inspired by Rachael Ray , who makes all kinds of delicious hamburgers (wihout stealing any recipe of her), I made my own chicken burgers with home-made coleslaw and spicy oven fries. I used ciabatta-buns instead of standard hamburger-rolls, since I’m not a too big a fan of those store-bought, über-sweet, fiber-less air-buns. 
Chicken burger, coleslaw and oven chips
They were juicy, tasty and way more filling than any big hamburger chain-meal..
The next meal I bothered to capture on film digital camera was a standard tomato soup. To rid myself of the excessive amounts of vegetables in my fridge I added celery, potatoes, onions and red peppers to the tomatoes in the soup, blended it, and mellowed the taste a tad with a spoonful of low-fat creme fraiche. Yum ! I love tomatoes, I have a craving for them on a regular basis. I read somewhere that craving tomatoes means that you have an iron-deficiency, but maybe it just means that I really love tomatoes (I do). I like this picure, despite it’s blurriness, since it shows off one of the beautiful cutlery Tore inherited from his late grand-parents. I think it’s silver, and we use it everyday. I think it’s nice to use pretty things instead of stowing them away at a «safe place». 
Chunky tomato soup
Over to something not food related. The other day Tore and I took Sam with us outside to enjoy the autumn sun, that doesn’t really warm you up, but makes the beautiful fall colours glow. We let Sam explore the branch of a small tree, but he was so nervous that the only thing he cared about was to jump over to safety, in other words his mum and dad. As long he could sit on the inside of our sweaters his curious little whiskery nose was constantly moving, drawing in the fresh air. 
Tree rat Sam  Sam in the park  Tree rat Sam


Phew! I have many recipes left to post and I still got some pictures that I want to comment on here, but that got to wait. I know a furry little guy that needs some TLC, and I’m not talking about Tore :p


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