Spinach and Almond Pesto

Pesto is one of those things that every one should have in their pantry. For years we bought it in the local super market, then we decided to buy it in the local Italian Deli and now we are making it our selves. It is as easy as boiling an egg and it only takes a few minutes.

This recipe is a pesto with spinach, almonds and parmesan cheese, but you can use all sorts of herbs, nuts and hard cheese.

That we chose to make a version with spinach, was actually because we had bought to much spinach at the local Farmers Market last wednesday and did not know what to use it for. So we decided to google ‘spinach recipes pictures’ and ended up with hundreds of pictures of meals containing spinach, but at that exact time none of it look appealing. Later the same day, we saw another blogger baking a cauliflower salad with basil pesto, and  we immediately new what to make of the remaining spinach 🙂

 

Ingredients (1/2 cup)

2 handfuls spinach

1/2 lemon, juice

1/3 cup quality olive oil

2 tbsp. grated parmesan cheese

8 almonds, roasted

Salt & Pepper

IMG_1041

Rinse the spinach thoroughly in cold water and leave it to dry on some paper towel (if you are in a hurry you can just dap it with paper towel to remove as much water as possible).

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth – it takes approximately 30-40 seconds. If you think that the pesto is a bit to thick and grainy, you can add more olive oil. Add one tsp. at a time, to prevent that it gets to thin.

Transfer to sterilized jar, seal and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.

IMG_1042

Serve as a dressing for raw cut vegetables, with pasta, tapas, or combine with sour cream and use as an alternative the the usual burger dressing.

IMG_1043

Bon Appétit!

Ingredients (2.5 dl)

2 handfuls spinach

0.5 lemon, juice

0.8 dl quality olive oil

2 tbsp. grated parmesan cheese

8 almonds, roasted

Salt & Pepper

Mom’s Blackberry Jam

Every single year since I can remember, my parents have gathered blackberries to make jam for the rest of the year. This year I insisted on going with them on one of their trips, as I did when I was a child.

We went to one of their secret blackberry spots and within 40 minutes we had gathered 11.2 oz of delicious blackberries 🙂 As they has already been out twice within the last week (with a total gathering of 36 oz), I took home all the berries and began thinking of different way to use them. My parents made jam out of their HUGE portion and gave to the neighbor family who LOVE it (we have received several pictures of babies (and their parents) with jam all over the face).

As other people often have different and/or great ideas, I asked followers on our Facebook site and as expected they came with a dozen of great ideas. Besides this delicious jam recipe, I have decided to make blackberry vinegar, blackberry liqueur, blackberry vodka, blackberry ice cream and the rest went into the freezer for smoothies or cupcakes 🙂

Has anyone of you been on blackberry hunt this summer??

IMG_0979

Ingredients

2 cups blackberries

1 1/4 cup sugar

1/2 lemon, juice

IMG_0988

Place all the blackberries and the lemon juice in a saucepan. Let stand at medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring every other second minute so all berries get warm. It should end up looking like the picture below.IMG_0992

Add the sugar, combine and remove from the heat. Stir until the sugar has dissolved. It takes 5-7 minutes of constant stirring. Using a wooden spoon, you can feel when the sugar has dissolved. You can stop stirring when the ‘crunchy’ feeling of sugar is gone.IMG_0993

Transfer to a clean jar, close the lid and refrigerate immediately. Use within 3-4 weeks.

If you want it to last longer (if you make a large portion to last until next blackberry season), you can add a teaspoon of liquid preservatives just before you pour it into the jar.

Serve with pancakes, breakfast rolls, ice cream or use it when making sauces 🙂IMG_0999

Bon Appétit!

Ingredients

500 g blackberries

280 g sugar

1/2 lemon, juice

Bacon Explosion Sub Sandwich

When we met four years ago Chris was an enthusiastic cook but did not own anything other than a toasting machine, so we often had grilled cheese and grilled cheese 😀 But one in a while he was able to borrow a charcoal grill, and one the first real date meal he made was bacon explosion. We have made it dozens of times since and now believe to have reached the definite perfect recipe, which we of cause are willing to share with all our wonderful readers 🙂

Due to that history, this dish means something to us and we like to make it for ‘date nights’. We have served it in many different ways and last night we decided to serve it in a French baguette with tomatoes and mozzarella and was really great.

Have you ever made bacon explosion?? If yes, what are you using for filling and how do you serve it??

 

Ingredients (4 sandwiches)

1 pound beef, grounded

1 pound pork, grounded

25 slices bacon

1/3 cup BBQ sauce

Salt & Pepper

1/3 cup cheddar cheese, shredded

1 tsp. butter

2 onions, chopped

1/2 pound mushrooms, chopped

2-3 garlic cloves, minced

1 tbsp. thyme leaves

1 jalapeño, sliced

2 handfuls fresh spinach, rinsed

2 tbsp. BBQ sauce

2 tbsp. brown sugar

4 tbsp. soy sauce

2 French baguettes

2 tbsp. mayo

4 tbsp. BBQ sauce

1 romaine lettuce

2 tomatoes, sliced

2 mozzarella balls, sliced

Melt the butter on a medium-hot pan and sauté onions, mushrooms, garlic and thyme for 4-5 minutes or until the onion pieces begin to soften a bit. Set aside while preparing the meat and bacon. IMG_0935

Weave the bacon slices together, as shown on the picture below. Do it on a piece of baking paper, so it is easy to wrap around the meat when finished. Set aside.IMG_0936

Combine grounded beef and pork in a mixing bowl together with 1/3 cup BBQ sauce and salt and pepper. Place the meat on a piece of baking paper when mixed well. roll it out until it is approximately 2 inches smaller than the bacon wrap.

Spread the shredded cheddar on to the meat followed by the rinsed spinach (remember to rinse the spinach thoroughly, as it is one of those vegetables that might contain a lot of dirt), the onion and mushroom mix and last (but not least) the jalapeños slices. Be aware to leave an edge in the meat, so that the vegetables and cheese and be fully covered when making the meat roll.

IMG_0937

Roll the meat up, with the filling inside, using the baking paper to help you. Close both ends of the ‘sausage’ before transferring it to the bacon wrap.

Roll the bacon wrap around the meat sausage, using the baking paper as you did when rolling the sausage. Weave the bacon ends together, so the wrap is closed all around the sausage.IMG_0938

Place on indirect heat on the grill and grill it at 360F for approximately 90 minutes. Toss a piece of wet applewood into the charcoal to give it some smoke.

Combine 2 tbsp. BBQ sauce with brown sugar and soy sauce and stir to dissolve the sugar. Spread on the BBQ/sugar mixture approximately 60 minutes into the grilling. This will make the bacon surface shine at taste both sweet and salty.  IMG_0941

Remove the bacon explosion from the grill after 90 minutes and let it rest while warming the bread.

Slice the bread and place it on the grill with the inside down for 2-3 minutes. Then spread on some mayo and place the lettuce leaves on the bottom half of the bread.

Cut the meat into 1-inch slices and place 4 slices on each sandwich bottom.IMG_0949

IMG_0952

Spread out a few stripes of BBQ sauce on the meat slices before placing the tomato and mozzarella on top and finally the top half of the baguette.

Serve with a cold beer 😀IMG_0958

Bon Appétit!

Ingredients (4 sandwiches)

450 g beef, grounded

450 g pork, grounded

25 slices bacon

0.8 dl BBQ sauce

Salt & Pepper

0.8 dl cheddar cheese, shredded

1 tsp. butter

2 onions, chopped

225 g mushrooms, chopped

2-3 garlic cloves, minced

1 tbsp. thyme leaves

1 jalapeño, sliced

2 handfuls fresh spinach, rinsed

2 tbsp. BBQ sauce

2 tbsp. brown sugar

4 tbsp. soy sauce

2 French baguettes

2 tbsp. mayo

4 tbsp. BBQ sauce

1 romaine lettuce

2 tomatoes, sliced

2 mozzarella balls, sliced

 

Vodka Peachini

A while ago we searched the internet for good drink recipe and stumbled upon a great blog by the name Seattle Foodshed, from which we got the inspiration for this lovely and fresh drink. The only difference between theirs and our recipe, is that they add tonic water to their drink making it a bit more thin in the taste but still very delicious. Actually we were going to add tonic water to but didn’t have any that day and realized that we loved it without 🙂

If you have the time, you should definitely go visit their blog as it has a lot of great recipes.

Returning to this specific drink we find it to be perfect for in all situations where drinks are suitable, such as late night get togethers, dinner party drinks or just to celebrate life and happiness 🙂

 

Ingredients (1 drink)

1 Peach

1 vodka shot

1/2 Cointreau shot

1/2 lime, juice

3 ice cubes

Cane sugar (for the glass)

 

Cut the peach into two and remove the stone. Cut a 1/2-inch slice of the peach to use for decoration and peel the rest.

Place the peeled peach, vodka, cointreau, lime juice and two ice cubes in a blender and blend until smooth.

Wet the edge of the glass with lime juice or water and twist it in the sugar.

Pour the drink through a strainer and into the glass. Decorate with the peach slice. Serve as a welcome drink or after dinner.

IMG_0934Bon Appétit!

What to do on a rainy day macaroons

This summer has, contrary to the last 4-5 summers, been sunny and warm but today it has been cold and rainy. So what to do on a rainy summer day??

Well, I decided to bake some macaroons and ask out Facebook followers what they would like as filling. There were so many delicious suggestions and it was not easy to decide on one – so I decided on four different fillings 🙂 So I should probably say thanks to Martin, Kirsten, Kis and Pernille for their great suggestions 🙂

When making this macaroon recipe you will need a few basic tools:

A digital thermometer

An electric mixer

A rubber spatula

A pastry bag and

A 1/2-inch plain round tip

Without these, I doubt that you will succeed (but that shouldn’t keep you from trying if you have the drive) 🙂

 

Ingredients (60 macaroons)

1 1/8 cup almonds, blanched

1 3/5 cup confectioners sugar

7/8 cup granulated sugar

2 x 2 egg whites

1/3 cup water

 

Blend the almonds into fine almond flour in a hand blender or food processor. Then add confections sugar and blend again for at least 20-30 seconds. Shift into a mixing bowl. If there are anything left in the strainer, blend it further and shift again.

Take half of the egg whites and mix them into the blended almonds. mix until well combined and even.

In another bowl whisk the other half of the egg whites until they make soft peaks. Find a saucepan and add granulated sugar and water. Heat until the syrup reaches 230F, stir once in a while (use a digital thermometer). Pour the heated syrup slowly into the egg whites while whisking on medium-low speed. Be careful not to get burned on the sugar – it hurts like hell! When all the syrup has been added, turn up the volume of you mixer and whisk until the meringue has reached room temperature. It take about 10 minutes.

When your meringue has reached room temperature, add half to the almond mixture and mix well until combined. Then add the rest of the meringue and fold around – do not whisk, as this will ruin the batter! Fold until the batter is evenly combined and smooth.

Now it gets a bit tricky – the texture of the batter needs to soft, but not to soft. It still needs to keep the round shape when added to the baking paper, but it should be soft enough to prevent the macaroons from getting small tops. Did that make sense?

Transfer the batter to a pastry bag with a 1/2-inch plain round tip, and pipe 3/4-inch rounds 1 inch apart on a baking tray with baking paper.  Turn the baking tray into the table top 8-10 times, to remove air bubbles from the macaroons.

Let the macaroons dry at room temperature for an hour. Bake at 300F for 13-14 minutes. Transfer the baking paper with the baked macaroons to a wire rack and let cool completely before filling or storing them.

IMG_0854

Below there are 4 different fillings for your macaroons. Each filling recipe is for 20 macaroons.

 

Caramel:

1/2 cup sea salt caramel

 

Place the caramel in a piping bag and warm it with your hands until it is soft enough to be squeezed out onto the macaroons.

IMG_0861

Coffee Liqueur Ganache:

1/2 cup Amedei Toscano White (or another good quality white chocolate)

1/8 cup cream

1/8 cup coffee liqueur

 

Place all three ingredients in a he alt proof blow and place over a pan of simmering water. Stir occasionally until melted and combined. Transfer to a piping bag and fridge until cooled completely. If the ganache get at bit to cold, you can warm it in your hands until it is soft enough to squeeze onto the macaroons.

IMG_0866

Rum ganache:

1/2 cup Amedei Toscano Black (63%)

1/4 cup cream

4 tbsp. good quality rum

 

Place all three ingredients in a he alt proof blow and place over a pan of simmering water. Stir occasionally until melted and combined. Transfer to a piping bag and fridge until cooled completely. If the ganache get at bit to cold, you can warm it in your hands until it is soft enough to squeeze onto the macaroons.

IMG_0859

Black Currant and Liquerice Ganache:

1/2 cup Amedei Toscano White (or another good quality white chocolate)

1/4 cup cream

2 tbsp. freeze dried black currant powder

1/2 tsp. raw liquorice powder

 

Place all chocolate, cream and freeze dried powder in a he alt proof blow and place over a pan of simmering water. Stir occasionally until melted and combined. Transfer to a piping bag and fridge until cooled completely. If the ganache get at bit to cold, you can warm it in your hands until it is soft enough to squeeze onto the macaroons. Sprinkle the raw licorice powder on top of the ganache before putting on the top macaroon.

IMG_0870

Bon Appétit!

Ingredients (60 macaroons)

200 gram almonds, blanched

200 gram confectioners sugar

200 gram granulated sugar

2 x 80 gram egg whites

0.8 dl water

 

Caramel:

4 tbsp. sea salt caramel

 

Coffee Liqueur Ganache:

80 g Amedei Toscano White (or another good quality white chocolate)

20 g cream

20 g coffee liqueur

 

Rum ganache:

80 g Amedei Toscano Black (63%)

30 g cream

4 tbsp. good quality rum

 

Black Currant and Liquerice Ganache:

80 g Amedei Toscano White (or another good quality white chocolate)

30 g cream

2 tbsp. freeze dried black currant powder

1/2 tsp. raw liquorice powder

 

Classic Chicken Caesar Salad

A while ago we decided to make a classic chicken caesar salad and began to search the internet to find the ideal recipe. We found dozens of recipes but only court our attention and that was a recipe from Seattle Foodshed. It was a classic caesar salad with out the chicken, but as we were going to have the salad as a our main course we added grilled chicken.

The recipe is very easy and it doesn’t take long to make, but be careful when making the dressing. Hope that you will love it as much as we do 🙂

 

Ingredients (2 servings)

2 chicken breasts (organic if possible)

1/4 tsp. chili flakes

Salt

Pepper

 

Salad:

1 head romaine lettuce

1 lemon, juice

1 garlic clove

1 egg

2 anchovies

1/4 cup olive oil

1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated

Salt

Pepper

 

Croutons:

1/2 loaf of ciabatta

3 tbsp. olive oil

Salt

Pepper

 

Cut the ciabatta into 1-inch cubes and roast in medium-hot olive oil until crisp and slightly browned. Season with salt and pepper.

Season the chicken with salt, pepper and chili flakes and grill it on both sides until it is well done – approximately 10-12 minutes on each side depending on the size. Cover in tin foil when grilled and let rest while preparing the rest of the salad.

Rinse the lettuce in cold water and it drip off. Tear the dried lettuce into bite-sized pieces and place in a bowl.

Blend together egg, lemon juice, garlic clove and anchovies until smooth. If you use a food processor, pour the olive oil slowly into the mixture while the processing. If you use a hand blend, transfer the mixture to a bowl and slowly pour in the olive oil while whisking. Using the last of the two methods you will need to whisk a lot, but it is not impossible 🙂 Stop whisking when all the olive oil has been absorbed – over whisking will ruin the dressing!! When finished whisking add 1/8 cup of grated parmesan and season with salt and pepper.

Pour the dressing over the shredded lettuce and mix well. Place the lettuce mixture on two plates and sprinkle with the remaining parmesan cheese. Slice the chicken breast into thin slices and place on top of the salad together with the croutons.

Serve for lunch or as a light dinner 🙂

IMG_0825

Bon Appétit!

Ingredients (2 servings)

2 chicken breasts (organic if possible)

1/4 tsp. chili flakes

Salt

Pepper

 

Salad:

1 head romaine lettuce

1 lemon, juice

1 garlic clove

1 egg

2 anchovies

0.6 dl olive oil

50 g parmesan cheese, grated

Salt

Pepper

 

Croutons:

1/2 loaf of ciabatta

3 tbsp. olive oil

Salt

Pepper