Showing posts with label chocolate. Show all posts
Showing posts with label chocolate. Show all posts

Friday, September 26, 2014

Creative Cookery: Warming Up With a Hot Drink

It’s the 26th of September and autumn has officially arrived in Norway. With it comes, the beautiful golden leaves falling, foggy mornings, and copious amounts of rain. Now when I say rain, I do not mean the heavy rain of the UK. No. Before I moved to Bergen I thought I knew rain, I was merely an interested amateur until I’d lived through a Bergen Autumn/Winter. Rain here comes in walls, like waterfalls from clouds, my husband occasionally describes it as “it’s raining elephants” and he is so right!

With the weather turning, everyone’s thought in the Northern hemisphere turns to warm drinks, hearty meals and woollen underwear.

So when, after asking my followers on Facebook for inspiration, I was asked for a recipe for a warm drink that was neither coffee or tea, I thought it was very apropos.

Three Hot Drinks

I started looking through my recipe books, and researching online for some candidates. The following three are what I found.

Pineapple and Ginger Punch

This recipe came from the reader’s digest page.

You will need:

  • 4 cups pineapple juice
  • 1 cup sliced fresh ginger (no need to peel)
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 cinnamon stick, split lengthwise
  • 8 whole cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

In a medium saucepan, combine the pineapple juice, ginger, honey, cinnamon, cloves, and pepper; bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Strain and serve warm.

Hot Butter Beer

I have never made this drink outside of the UK, and as you can probably guess it is a nod to the famous “Harry Potter”, even if you’ve never read the books, or seen the films this is a delicious if a decidedly sweet drink. Not for diabetics!

You will need for 4 servings:

  • 1 litre of cream soda fizzy drink
  • 2-3 tbsps butter
  • 2-3 tbsps brown sugar
  • 200ml single cream
  • 4-5 wether’s original butterscotch sweets.

Put the cream soda in a pan and boil. In a separate pan melt the sugar and butter together, stirring constantly, until the sugar has dissolved. Then making sure that the cream soda is still boiling, pour the sugar and butter mixture into the soda. Add the cream and the sweets, stirring constantly until the sweets have melted. Serve hot.

Mrs Egeland’s Note: For a night-cap add butterscotch schnappps.

And last but by no means least…

Chilli Hot Chocolate

It is a winter warmer, I promise, in spite of its name.

You will need for 4 servings:

  • 1 liter of milk
  • 40z of dark chocolate, chopped into small pieces
  • 1-2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp chilli pepper.

In a saucepan warm the milk gently with the cinnamon and chilli pepper, until its almost boiling. Stir in the dark chocolate, over a medium heat, stirring constantly until the chocolate has completely melted. You can throw it into the blender and whizz it up now, if you want it to be frothy. Otherwise pour into cups and serve.

Mrs Egeland’s Note: The chilli should be barely tasted, and only leave a warm tingling in the back of the throat.

Keep warm and enjoy. Feel free to follow me on Twitter, Facebook and Google+. Don’t forget to subscribe.

Until next time

Davita

Monday, September 15, 2014

Imaginative Cookery: Party Food

Its not often that I attend or even arrange a party, this time I am only one of some friends organising a baby shower for a dear friend of ours. Thank goodness! I have organised a baby shower single handed, I have to say it was quite stressful, and I have no wish to do it alone again.

Our dear friend is having a little girl quite soon, no doubt she will be a marvellous mother. We decided we wanted to give her a baby shower, and of course there had to be a lot of pink! We invited her friends and asked everyone to bring food as well as presents.

My Contributions

I thought I’d better make both a savoury dish and a sweet, because in my experience everyone tends to bring sweet and then there’s nothing else.

So I decided to make chicken vol-au-vant, an 80’s classic, although I have tweaked the recipe a little because I didn’t want to add white wine.

I cheated and bought pastry cases, I was planning on making them but time escaped me. So this is really just a recipe for the chicken filling.

Chicken Vol-Au-Vant Filling

  • 1 medium sized leek IMG_2003[1]
  • A handful of button mushrooms.
  • 1 tsp dried thyme.
  • Salt and pepper.
  • Butter.
  • 400-600 grs chicken fillet, diced
  • 4 tbsp cream cheese
  • Chicken stock
  • 1 tsp cornflour

Slice the leek and the mushrooms, and fry in a pan with some butter. When the mushrooms are cooked and the leek has separated add the diced chicken. Continue to fry, and cook the chicken. Add the cream cheese and add enough chicken stock to make a sauce with the cream cheese. Simmer for about 5 mins, or until the sauce thickens, add the thyme and cornflour at the end simmering for another 2 mins.

Fill your pastry cases and serve.

Chocolate Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Taken from Muffins og Kaker, published by Spektrum.IMG_2002[1]

  • 6 tbsp butter or margarine
  • 100g sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 55g chocolate chips
  • 225g flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 25g good quality cocoa
For Frosting
  • 225g bar of white chocolate
  • 150g cream cheese

Preheat the oven to 200C. On a baking tray arrange 18 paper cupcake cases. In a bowl, mix butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, making sure to beat each egg in well to combine. Add the milk, and fold in the chocolate chips. Sift in the flour, baking powder and cocoa, folding them carefully into the mixture so as not to beat out the air. Fill the paper cases, and try to flatten out the tops of the cakes.

Bake in the oven for 20 mins, or until firm and well risen. Allow them to cool.

Mrs Egeland’s Note: I actually used a packet frosting this time around, it happened to be white chocolate flavour. The frosting here would have made a delicious alternative.

For the frosting, break the white chocolate into a heatproof bowl, and put the bowl over a saucepan of rolling boiling water, making sure that the water doesn’t actually touch the bowl or splash water into the chocolate. Stir until the chocolate has melted, white chocolate is always a bit delicate, so don’t hurry it. Allow to cool a little. In another bowl have the cream cheese, and whisk it until its softened. Add the melted chocolate. Decorate your cupcakes. Chill them in the fridge for an hour before serving, to firm up your frosting.

Delicious Food, Good Company

The party was a success. Everyone had made delicious food, and my small offerings was well received. There were gifts and I’m sure the little baby girl will be beautifully dressed for a long time to come.

Until Next Time

Davita

Monday, April 28, 2014

Domestic Divines: Raquel Gonzalez

Another first for me here at Mrs Egeland’s, I have never ever done an interview! But I have met lots of very interesting people, and since my new mission is to bring you more ideas and creative ways to be inspired I decided it was about time that I introduced you all to some of the very creative people I know.

Avant Garde Cosmopolitan

Facebook RaquelMs. Raquel Gonzalez Setien is originally from Bilbao, Spain. However to stamp her as anything less than a well-travelled European would be to deny her vast amount of life experiences from all over the world. She now lives in Bergen, Norway although she still travels regularly across the wide world, dashing from New York to Dominican Republic without batting her dark eyes.

I met this avant garde cosmopolitan about two or three years ago, although I had heard of her before meeting her whilst I lived in Stockholm and in fact we can boast of knowing quite a few of the same people in that neck of the woods.

We are of the same breed, Ms Raquel and I, two non-conformists in a conformist country. We have neither of us taken the road most travelled, Ms Raquel is a pioneer of the unique, if such things exist in this world anymore.

Tapping For Inspiration

She has created a corner of serenity in her charming, period apartment from IMG_0917where she scales the conformist world. It was whilst sitting on her corduroy sofa that I asked her a few questions:

  • How would you describe your style?

My style… well my style is really, well eclectic. I enjoy taking, what I consider as the best from each place I have visited, country or even era and blending it. Really then, my style doesn’t fit into any definite design aesthetic.

  • If someone were to give you a housewarming present, what would you hope it would be?

To be honest, I love getting presents of food. Here food is always welcome, and welcoming. Otherwise I love getting things from other countries.

  • In what aspect of your life do you think you are most creative?

Food. I don’t always have a lot of energy, but food for me is a way to create something beautiful and delicious without expending a huge amount of energy. In that way, you can create something small.

  • IMG_0928Is there a favourite piece of furniture/art/clothing or decor in your life?

My amber lamp. I have lots of things that I love, but particularly the amber lamp. I bought it with my first pay check about 17 years ago and I just love amber.

  • If the worst happened and you had to rush out of your home and never return what is the one thing you wouldn’t be able to leave behind?

Hehe, I will be brutal and mercenary and say my purse. It has everything that’s important, money, ID and my phone. Its also very pretty.

  • If you could go back in time to a period in your life or history, when would you go?

I would go back to childhood, or maybe my time in Sweden. Those where times of discovery, of growth, when I learnt the most about myself and my surroundings.IMG_0855

  • What is your latest project?

Well, the last month I have been preparing a chocolate course for beginner chocolate connoisseurs. I’d like to take that further, making chocolate, which is something of a passion of mine, into my business.

  • What is your passion?

That’s easy, food and travel.

  • If there was one thing about your life that you could change, what would it be?

Oh, well, if I’m completely honest I’d change two things. I’d have more energy to do the things I love and I wouldn’t live in Norway.

Note From Mrs Egeland: We are in no way saying anything against Norway. Please come and visit this beautiful country and enjoy its dramatic landscape. Not everyone was made to live everywhere, but sometimes we don’t always have the option to move.

Ms Raquel’s apartment, in my own opinion is Modern Vintage in style. Of course she is right that her style is eclectic, and it is that eclecticism that is stamped all over her apartment. From the chalk board painted door, the newspaper-ed  door and the general feeling of cosy chic-ness, the whole place is a testament to her well-travelled life. Her vintage touches don’t overwhelm her home, this isn’t a vintage home, she’s not living in a reproduction of 1940. However they do add a comforting dash to her already welcoming environment. Below are some photographs of her apartment that illustrate the whole style, and I hope they inspire you in your own home as much as they have me.

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These last two photographs came from Ms Raquel’s small but well-appointed bathroom. They are vintage advertisements for Norwegian beauty products. They add that hint of classy luxury in a small and multi-use bathroom.

Well, its time to go. Please comment below, and subscribe in the left hand corner at the top of the page.

Until next time

Davita

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Smart or just plain wacky?

Who is the genius person who figures out the most ridiculous studies? For example a news piece I read online lately, apparently doing simple eye exercises for 30 minutes every morning can enhance your memory. See link below,

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/new...

but who was the person that woke up one morning and decided to do that kind of study? Another news piece a read a couple of weeks ago said that chocolate is more fun than kissing, the study actually had 20 couples of all different ages kissing and eating chocolate. But which Bridget Jones wannabe came up with that idea? I'd really like to meet that person, because obviously they're more interesting than me.

Anyone who was so genius to ask that kind of question has got to be the kind of person you meet once in a life time. I have actually met someone with a huge IQ and yes he was a little on the weird and wonderful side.

After all they say that the difference between insanity and genius is a fine line, well some people prove the theory, this particular person had an odd habit of collecting other peoples chewed gum from beneath tables. I'm sure he had his reasons but I was never brave enough to ask him what they were.

Although, I've noted, because I've got lots of very smart friends, that most really intelligent people are hopeless when it comes to the basic realms of everyday common sense. Which probably explains the chewing gum thing. Although saying that, lots of regularly intelligent people also have no idea when it comes to the insanely obvious choices. I mean otherwise we wouldn't have ended up in the 21st Century with AIDS, hiv virus, drug addiction and unwanted children, right?

So my real question is, what's the difference between a super smart genius and an everyday average joe? Money? Environment? Parenting techniques? Are we all genius waiting to happen without the proper stimuli? Or is genius about genetics? If you get two more than averagely intelligent, do they produce child prodigies? Genius babies?

Saying that some of us are unfortunate to be born with disabling disabilities of mind and body, and that doesn't stop them from being intelligent, active people. So maybe it is just a case of environment, stimulus and parenting techniques. Perhaps if you have smart parents you will be a smart person, not because of some genetic predisposition but because of the stimulus you are then surrounded by and the parenting techniques that they've developed.

I suppose my question will never be answered, unless of course, someone wakes up one morning and decides to do some sort of study. Over and Out. Sincerity K