November 7, 2012

Julemarked Haugesund: Lappesola

Julemarked Haugesund: Lappesola: Lappesola elsker tråd og stoffer.  Hun strikker og syr i hver ledige stund.  Hjertet hennes banker ekstra sterkt for gjenb...

March 1, 2011

Stickey buns - countdown to lent

Since it is getting closer to Lent or Fastnacht we need to store up some energy to make it through to Easter. I have been craving good old-fashioned sticky buns like they serve after church in any basement of any Lutheran Church in the Midwest. I have not eaten a sticky bun since long before I moved to Norway, so to say it was 20 years ago is a safe estimate.
Norwegian "sunshine balls" or solskinnsboller
Norway has a similar sweet roll but it is drier and easier on your waist line. Missfryd has a wonderful example as illustrated in this picture.
But they are just not sticky enough.  So I turned to Google, my smartest friend, who turned up plentiful recipes and pictures. There were 2 pictures that looked particularly sticky and delightful.  Surprisingly, they were both made from the same recipe so I thought I would give What’s cooking America Harvest Cinnamon roll recipe a shot.
Great step by step instructions and pictures to guide you through and details about how to freeze etc. Mine turned out perfectly and I have some more in the freezer waiting for next weekend. I hope the smell of butter and cinnamon have dissipated by then.

Seven sorts of cookies

Any self-respecting housewife in Norway, past a certain age, has baked seven different cookies for Christmas.  I only managed the one but can excuse myself because of traveling.
Great Grandma Minnie’s Kringle
Minnie was a kitchen goddess, although in that day a wiz in the kitchen was just called a wife.  She loved butter and cream and kept sugar cubes on the table that I could eat anytime I wanted.  She had egg coffee on the stove and always a tin of homemade cookies within reach.
When we visited Minnie and Eric on the farm I got to play in the yard with the dog and my cousins.  We snuck off and hopped in the hay in the silos until Great Grandpa Eric found us and read us the riot act. Apparently hopping in hay silos is very dangerous. When they got older and moved to town, I got to play in Minnie’s jewelery box with all its glittery glory.  Well, as glitzy as a farmer’s wife ever has it.
The highlight of the visits were always the warm hugs and kringle slathered with salted butter served with a glass of cold milk for us under 3 ft and egg coffee for those over.  The kringle was always refered to as Norwegian cookies but in the 17 years I have been in Norway I have never encountered these cookies. There are many bakeries named Kringle and I see in the store the classic kringle shaped bread like things but they do not taste or look the same.
Other cookies like Rosettes, krumkake, and fattigman are the same – maybe one or two small changes between the American-Norwegian and the Norwegian version.  Lefse in Minneapolis is almost exclusively potato cakes or potetkaker as they are called here.  I have rarely seen flour lefse in Minnesota and it’s too bad too because it tastes much better. Last year when we were in Minneapolis I had to check out Ingebretsens THE place to procure Scandinavian food items but there was no flour lefse, just potato lefse.
Back to the Kringle – Great grandma’s kringle was laden with farm fresh goodies like cream and sour cream and I find her same recipe many places on the internet with one glaring difference.  After the cookies are baked, they are dipped in boiling water and left to dry on a rack.  Which makes them soft and chewy. It is important to keep them in tins with paper towels so they don’t get soggy.
Minnie had nimble fingers and made a lovely infinity symbol with her kringle, Grandma made nice eights with her ends all tucked in.  I make lazy eights with and without ends showing – which  makes them a bit more interesting.  You need to make sure that everything touches so you get a good surface to butter and remember the butter goes on the bottom.  You can also dunk them in your egg coffee if you want to.

Norwegian Christmas dinner

What did you eat for dinner? A nice juicy turkey? Maybe a succulent glazed ham?

Us? Well we had salted, dried lamb.  No really.  As previously professed I was going to spice up the traditional family dinner with some hippy salad, but I chickened out.  Not particularly ballsy of me but that’s the scoop.  Here was our dinner – in it’s pre-cooked state.
It’s simplicity is quite charming. Happy “romjul”* to you!
*romjul is that time between Christmas and New years. Many Norwegians take vacation and it is a great time to visit with friends and drink wine.  Well, the wine is not required.

September 13, 2010

Peanut butter pasta with Thai chicken

AUGUST 25, 2010
by wife ic
house and cream pasta 010
After a fun shopping trip to Stavanger we stopped atDéjà Vu for dinner.  This is my second visit to Déjà Vu and honestly this place makes me want to move to Stavanger!
Well, I wanted something spicy that popped like the Mango Salmon salad I had last time.  The daily special was creamed pasta with chicken. Snore! That sounded boring but my clever friend has deep faith in the daily special and as usual, she was right!
It was anything but boring. I ran straight home to figure out what all these wonderful flavors popping in my mouth were.  Even now just thinking about it makes my mouth water.
Creamed pasta:
  • 3 cups cooked pasta, I used whole grain corkscrew but suit yourself
  • 2/3 cup cream
  • 2 – 3 tablespoons tomato paste for thickening and color
  • 2 – 3 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon tahini
  • crushed chili pepper to taste
  • dash of Cayenne pepper sauce
  • dash of tabasco
  • dash of soya sauce for color and saltiness
Blend together in a saucepan over low heat until liquid is mostly absorbed.
Chicken (or pork):
Pre-grilled chicken or I have now tried this with both pork and chicken – wonderful either way.  We had some left over beer can chicken which I divided up and warmed in the following sauce.
  • Thai sweet chili sauce
  • Soya sauce
  • Sesame oil
  • Oyster sauce
Assemble the dish and if you have greens toss in a vinaigrette and place on top of it all.  They will be just lovely and can hide the slightly unattractive blackish sauce that tastes ever so delightful with the creamy pasta.
Far from boring! Hubby gave Creamed pasta  10 of 10 stars and we renamed it!
If you like this recipe hack you might also like the salad from my first visit to the wonderful Déjà Vu.
Cooks note September 6, 2010
Shrimp is also an A-OK variation on this recipe!

July 19, 2010

Summer salad nr. 4 - Steak salad

I had a lovely surf and turf salad when we were in Adenau to see the races at Nurburgring and I was looking to recreate it.  Unfortunately, I could not remember anything besides the lettuce, steak and one decorative scampi on top.

So, here I am craving meat and lettuce and I have no recipe.  A quick search on epicuriousallrecipes and googleturned up a lot of recipes but nothing that reminded me of that salad. So here is a self-compiled, human-tested Steak salad recipe.

Chili flakes
Peach juice
white vinegar
lime juice

Pretty lettuce, washed and crisp
Avocaodos, peeled and diced
Steak, grilled and thinly sliced
Roasted bell peppers, disemboweled and sliced
Red onions, thinly sliced
Fennel, chopped
Ripe tomatoes, in boats
Basil for decoration

Toss with dressing and serve with naan bread.

I am pretty sure it has to do with the red meat content Hubby has given this recipe at 10 of 10!

God fornøyelse!

July 14, 2010

Summer salad nr 3 – La Salade Niçoise

One of my favorite summer salads is a Salade Niçoise.  The first time we vacationed in France this was all I ate, mostly because I was afraid of ordering something with frog legs. But even after I have become acquainted with "safe" menu choices, this salad has remained my all time favorite.

I love the briny flavors of the olives and anchovies with the mild egg and potatoes. I still order this when we are in Provence.  The ingredients are NEVER the same, from restaurant to restaurant as everyone has "improved" it with their own touches and normal variances according to what is in season but core ingredients are tuna, anchovies, green beans, eggs, potatoes, lettuce with a Dijon vinaigrette.

The salad in this photograph is Salade Niçoise interpreted by an outdoor café in Menerbes where we had lunch after a bit of site-seeing this past weekend.

La Salade Niçoise

— pour la vinaigrette:
Dijon mustard
Red wine vinegar
Olive oil
— pour la salade:
Tomatoes in boats
Cooked potatoes sliced
Spring onions chopped
Mixed lettuce cleaned and crisp
Cooked egg in boats
Tuna in olive oil
Anchovies (give them a try - this gives the salad a nice salty flavor)
Good quality green or black olives
Artichoke hearts (marinated)
Green beans (lightly steamed and chilled)

Basil leaves
Toss the greens with the vinaigrette and arrange the remaining ingredients decoratively on the salad!


After a nice lunch we got to watch some local beekeepers remove a hive that had unfortunately placed itself in the middle of the market area.  It was a perfect amount of drama after a nice lunch and wander about the hillside village.

When we got home I had to make one. Here is a pic of My Salad Nicoise. It's only fair to say that this salad received an embarrassing 4 of 10 from hubby.  I think it has to do with his dislike of anchovies but also the mildness of the dish.

Summer salad nr. 2 - Swedish chicken curry salad

This recipe we discovered on a three-week road trip around Sweden some 8 years ago.  I had plotted out every arts and crafts store in southern Sweden and hubby drove us diligently from one place to another in a borrowed camper.

There are 3 food experiences I remember from the trip.  Peanut doodles (like cheese doodles but peanut butter dust instead of cheese dust), licorice ice cream and Chicken curry salad.  The latter is the salad I have recreated for this post and of course our dinner.

The chicken curry salad came on everything! At the Ekelund factory we had chicken curry salad on a steaming baked potato, at the Orrefors factory they put it in a baguette and on Öland they served it on pasta. My favorite stop on Öland was the Paradise workshop were I got some of the wonderful ceramic eggs they make! Which reminds me that it might be time to go back.

We have settled on our own variation with rice as our preferred starch as the juiciness in the salad makes a nice sauce for the rice.  I serve the rice warm and the salad cold and think it is a good contrast.  Any good rice will do such as basmati, jasmine, natural or wild.
Now, I will be the first to admit that this salad does not photograph well.  It looks like yellow smush, sorry that I couldn't capture the cheeriness of this dish.
Chicken curry salad
Shredded chicken breasts (boiled with 2 garlic boats)
Fresh mango - chunked
Fresh or canned pineapple in juice
Canned Mandarin
finely chopped shallots
add fruit and some juice to the warm shredded chicken breasts
add curry powder until you get a bright yellow color, I have sometimes used saffron to improve the color or Norwegian gurkemeie (Curcuma longa L.).  NOTE: If you are using a spicy  curry powder such as Madras Curry powder, color the dish with a milder curry. I have also tried Pataks Curry paste in varied strengths but was not pleased with the texture it gave.
Sea salt - to taste
Fresh ground pepper - to taste
Chili pepper flakes
Chili powder

Let these flavors meld in the refrigerator until cool.
When cool add sour cream, crème fraîche or yogurt cheese -to moisten.  Whatever you have or prefer will do.  I have tried all of them with good results.

Serve on rice and garnish with roasted cashews (if you need the MUFAS).

Non-salad loving hubby gives this also an 8 on a 10 point scale!

Guten Appetit!

Summer salad nr. 1 - Salmon Mango salad

Summer is all about salads in our house.  Things that can be made ahead and picked out of the refrigerator when the day cools down and the appetite awakens.

During a trip to Stavanger I ran across Déjà Vu Delikatesser where I had a lovely salad which I have tried to recreate here.

Salmon Mango Salad
Field salad - I used red leafed for a little color
Fresh mango - chunked
Fresh cantalope - chunked
Smoked salmon - in pieces
Sweet peas in a pod - chopped
Sprouts - preferably crunchy type
Shallots - finely minced
Cayenne and Chipotle pepper flakes
Fresh ground pepper
Sea salt
Toss above ingredients in a large bowl

Balsamic vinegar
Squish of lime juice
Salad Olive Oil
Dijon mustard
Mix well

We didn't have wasabi paste to mix in the dressing but we did have wasabi potato chips which are very spicy.  I crushed some over the salad. I would also consider Wasabi dried peas or Wasabi covered peanuts as a nice  spicy / crunchy addition.

Hubby isn't a fan of salads or salmon (the dislike of salmon is due to an overdose from several years of commuting on Scandinavian Airlines in the early 2000's) but this salad he gave a 8 on a 10 point scale.

Bon Appetit!