Cranberry Chutney

Thanksgiving is just around the corner and it’s time to start the preparations. Yes the holiday will be very different this year. We’re not getting together family or friends in order to keep everyone safe, but we will still make the foods that for my family are an integral part of this very special holiday; the holiday I have loved ever since I was introduced to it during my first year in the United States so long ago.

One of the items that have been a staple on our Thanksgiving menu for many years now is a cranberry chutney. I came across the recipe in a Cooking Light magazine in 1998 and it’s become tradition that I make this every year, no matter where or with whom we celebrate Thanksgiving. I’ve adapted the recipe slightly but it’s still really easy to make and I encourage you to try it.

Cranberry Chutney

Ingredients

  • 1 cup chopped Granny Smith apple
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup sugar (or a little less)
  • ¾ cup apple cider vinegar (you can use white vinegar if you don’t have apple cider vinegar)
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • ¾ cup water
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 ½  tsp ground ginger
  • ¼  tsp ground cloves
  • 12 oz fresh organic cranberries

Directions

Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes or until the chutney is slightly thick. Stir occasionally.

Pour the chutney into clean jars (it’s a good idea to put the jars in boiling water first) and put the lids on while it’s still hot.

Enjoy!

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Time to bake with pumpkin

I love to bake in the fall. The warmth from the oven is welcoming as the temperature outside drops, and the smell of the spices reminds me that the holidays are coming. The high season for “hygge” is upon us!

Here is a recipe for a pumpkin bread that is more like a loaf of bread than a cake, with less sugar and butter but lots of flavor and a good amount of whole grains. The bread smells and tastes wonderfully of fall and Thanksgiving.

Pumpkin bread

Pumpkin Bread with whole wheat flour

Ingredients

  • 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp cloves
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp instant yeast
  • 1 ¾ cups pumpkin purée
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 Tbsp melted butter
  • ½ cup raisins

Directions

Combine flours, spices, sugar, salt and yeast in a mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, mix the pumpkin, eggs and melted butter.

Using a mixer, add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and knead for 2 minutes. Let the dough rest for 15 minutes, then continue kneading for 5-7 minutes until it’s smooth. Stir in the raisins.

Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let it rise for 1 – 1 ½ hours.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide it into three pieces. Roll each piece into a log. Place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet and braid them together. Pinch the ends together and tuck them under. 

Cover the braid with lightly greased plastic wrap and let it rise for 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Bake the bread for 25 to 30 minutes, until lightly browned. Remove it from oven and allow to cool on a wire rack.

Enjoy! 

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A Great Snack

Now that school has started for many of our kids, even if it’s virtual, they need some good, healthy snacks that give them fuel to get through the day.

I like to bake with vegetables and fruit. They add nice moisture and great flavor. But it’s also a good way to add something extra healthy to what you’re baking. Most kids won’t even notice when it comes to vegetables in their baked treats.

Here is a great recipe for a perfect snack.

Whole Wheat Zucchini Bread

Ingredients

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil (I use avocado oil)
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 225 gr (2 cups) whole wheat flour or white whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom (optional)
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder (optional)
  • approx. 300 gr (approx. 2 cups) shredded, unpeeled zucchini (preferably organic)
  • 170 gr (1 cup) chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F and lightly grease a 9″ x 5″ loaf pan.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs, oil, honey, sugar, and vanilla until smooth.
  3. Add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and, if using, the cardamom and protein powder. Mix until well combined.
  4. Squeeze the zucchini to drain off some of the liquid. Stir it in the mixture along with the chocolate chips.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
  6. Bake for about 55 minutes or until a cake tester or toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean.
  7. Remove the loaf from the oven. Cool for 15 minutes, then turn it out of the pan onto a rack and cool completely before wrapping.

TIP: If you have leftover, shredded zucchini, squeeze it to drain some of the liquid and weigh/measure it. Then flatten it and put it in a freezer bag. Label, date and write the amount on the bag. Now you have some zucchini to add to another baked treat, preferably within 3 months.

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Making Homemade Ice Cream

Do you ever crave ice cream? To me that’s almost a silly question. I know I do for sure and especially as the weather gets warmer.

I recently decided to make a batch of ice cream at home. I don’t have an ice cream maker so I opted for my mom’s old recipe which doesn’t not call for the use of one and it turned out really good. But I wanted to also try a recipe in which an ice cream maker was used to see how the ice cream would come out without it. I learned a couple of lessons. I needed to use whole milk instead of 1% and once in the freezer, I needed to stir it every 90 minutes, about three times. This helped make the ice cream more creamy.

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So I urge you to try this recipe, whether or not you have an ice cream maker.  It’s delicious by itself but have it with some berries or, for a more decadent treat, with a chocolate cookie and you’ll be in heaven!

Ingredients

  • 10 oz whole milk (or you can use 2% milk)
  • 10 oz heavy cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 110 g sugar (1/2 cup)

Directions

Pour the milk, heavy cream and vanilla extract into a pot. Split the vanilla bean, scrape out all the seeds and add them along with the bean itself to the pot.  Heat the milk mixture until it just boils and remove the bean.

In a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and the sugar. Once it turns off white, add just a little of the hot milk mixture and whisk well to combine.

Slowly add the rest of the milk mixture while whisking to avoid the eggs from cooking. Then pour it back into the pot.  Reduce the heat and keep stirring until the mixture reaches about 185 degrees F (not boiling).

Pour the mixture into a bowl and let it cool slightly on the countertop and then in the refrigerator for about an hour. Now you can pour it into an ice cream maker and follow the manufacturer’s instructions, or you can pour it into a freezer safe container and put it in the freezer.

If you don’t use an ice cream maker, stir the ice cream every 90 minutes three times.  Then leave it set and enjoy when frozen!

A Great Flourless Cookie

With holidays to celebrate but ingredients harder to find, many who are baking at home find it challenging to find recipes that fit the bill.  I have a suggestion – make meringues! They are flourless, festive and delicious.

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These meringues with chocolate and nuts are easy to make and only require 5 ingredients. You can even leave out one ingredient, meaning the nuts, if you’d like. The only thing to keep in mind is that you have to give it time to bake. Otherwise you will not get that perfectly crisp meringue.

 

Meringue

 

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Baking Bread without Yeast

There are many of us who are baking at the moment as we spend our days at home, maybe to avoid having to go to the grocery store but for many of us, it is also like therapy.

Unfortunately yeast is now hard to come by, so I thought I would share this bread recipe that doesn’t call for yeast.

I always weigh my flours but in case you don’t have a scale, I added how many cups to use. Also, if you don’t have buttermilk, I provide an alternative. I used buttermilk powder but that’s usually not something most people have in their pantry.

When I made the bread yesterday, I had just run out of parchment paper, so instead I slightly greased the cookie sheet and added a little flour before I placed the dough on the sheet. If you’re out of parchment paper too, you can do the same.

When the bread comes out of the oven, you may be able to smell the baking soda but don’t worry.  That dissipates and the taste is nice. When my my son tasted it, he said it tastes of something familiar. I told him it’s Irish Soda Bread and he agreed. But this bread doesn’t contain either butter or sugar.

Give it a go!

Recipe - bread without yeast-2

Reminiscing over Waffles

I made my go-to Honey Yogurt Waffles for breakfast this morning.  I make them quite often and sometimes I make a double batch because they are great to have in the freezer for mornings when time doesn’t allow me to make them fresh. Not like these days when time almost seems to stand still because we’re all homebound.

I actually never had a waffle for breakfast until I came to the U.S.! In Denmark it just isn’t, or at least it wasn’t when I grew up, something considered appropriate to eat in the morning. It’s more of an afternoon treat or perhaps a mid-morning Sunday treat.

Thinking of waffles and my childhood I can easily tell you where I had the best waffles! My parents, sister and I had traveled to Sweden during the summer to visit family and to join them for a trip to the Swedish fell (fjäll) where we had rented a house. While there, we did lots of outdoor activities and one of course was to hike. On a hike that lasted all day (at least in my memory it did), we took a break at a cozy cabin café and this is where I had the most delicious waffles. I am sure it had something to do with the cozy surroundings, the craving I felt for something sweet but it definitely also had something to do with the whipped cream and the outstanding cloudberry jam that topped the waffles.  To this day I can still taste them.

The waffles that I make for my family now are different for sure. But that’s probably good. Good because those waffles in Sweden will forever stand as a delicious and unmatched memory for me.  But also good because they are healthier, as they should be when they are served for breakfast on a regular basis. 🙂

If you want to try the waffles I make for my family, here comes the recipe.

Honey Yogurt Waffles

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Ingredients

  • 3 Tbs salted butter
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat or white whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup old-fashioned oats (not quick oats)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 3/4 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Preheat waffle iron.
  2. Melt butter and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together all dry ingredients.
  4. In another bowl, whisk together milk, yogurt, honey, eggs and vanilla until well blended.
  5. Pour the liquid ingredients over the dry ingredients until just combined.
  6. Fold in the melted butter.
  7. Lightly butter or spray the grids of the waffle iron. Spray again if the waffles stick.
  8. Pour 1/2 cup of batter onto the waffle iron (or whatever amount works best with your iron). Close the lid and bake until the waffles are golden and set.
  9. Serve immediately or keep them warm in the oven (preheated to 200°F). Place the waffles on a rack in a single layer.

Enjoy!

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Try these Raisin Rolls

My mom has always baked rolls for all kinds of needs and occasions – breakfast, birthday celebrations, when guests come over for afternoon coffee, etc. What type of rolls would depend on how they would be served. Some were sweet, some were savory, some were made with plain white flour, some were filled with whole grains.

These Raisin Rolls remind me so much of my childhood. There was nothing like the wonderful, warm smell that filled the house when they came out of the oven. That wonderful smell filled my house today and my son noticed!

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The recipe is simple and is easy to make with younger children. They can help knead the dough and shape the rolls. Having them be part of the baking makes it a fun family activity.

Ingredients

  • 500 gr unbleached white flour (or you can reduce it to 400 gr and add 100 gr of white whole wheat flour)
  • 4 tsp dry yeast
  • 1 Tbs sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp of cardamom (optional)
  • 100 gr raisins
  • 75 gr butter
  • 1 egg (plus one to brush the rolls)
  • 2.5 dl milk

Directions

  1. Combine all dry ingredients and the raisins.
  2. Using a mixer, a pastry fork or your fingers, work in the butter until it’s evenly distributed and no large chunks remain.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk and egg. Pour this mixture into the dry ingredients and knead the dough until it’s smooth.
  4. Set the dough aside to rise until about double in size.
  5. Shape the dough into rolls and let them rise while preheating the oven to 350°F.
  6. Brush the rolls with a whisked egg.
  7. Bake the rolls for 10 minutes or until golden brown.

Enjoy!

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Pizza Making – A Family Activity

My family really enjoy homemade pizza with fresh mozzarella. My son likes his Hawaiian style with ham and pineapple. My husband likes his that way too but will add some red onions and black olives. I make mine vegetarian style, often with peppers, red onions, olives and whatever green vegetables we have.

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The pizza dough I make several hours before we need it, sometimes even the day before which makes it even better, and I usually make a double portion, so we have extra pizza to put in the freezer for an easy meal. My go-to recipe comes from King Arthur Flour although I do add my own little twist by adding fresh garlic. Here it is:

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cups (206g) Unbleached All-Purpose Flour (sometimes I  replace 3/4 cup with white wholewheat flour)
  • 1 1/4 cups (206g) semolina
  • 1 large clove of crushed garlic
  • 1 teaspoon instant yeast
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons to 1 1/4 cups lukewarm water

Directions

  1. Beat the ingredients at high speed of your electric mixer, using the beater blade, for 2 minutes. Switch to the dough hook, and knead for 7 minutes; the dough should be smooth and quite soft. If kneading by hand, mix the ingredients, then let the dough rest, covered, for about 30 minutes; this will give the flour a chance to absorb the water, which will make kneading easier.
  2. Allow the dough to rise, covered, for 45 minutes; then refrigerate it for 4 hours (or up to 36 hours); this step will develop the crust’s flavor. It’ll continue to rise in the fridge, so make sure it’s in a big enough bowl.
  3. Divide the dough in half. Note: for thick, Sicilian-style pizza, leave the dough in one piece, and press it into a rimmed half-sheet pan (18″ x 13″).
  4. Working with one piece of dough at a time, pick it up and let gravity gently stretch it into an oval. For a more circular shape, move your hands around the perimeter of the dough as it stretches. Once you’ve gotten the dough into its general shape, place it onto a piece of parchment to finish shaping. For thin-crust pizza, make a 12″ round or oval. For thick-crust, make a 9″ round.
  5. Cover the dough, and let it rest while you heat your oven to 450°F. 
  6. After about 30 minutes (or 60 minutes for thick crust), use a giant spatula or pizza peel to transfer the pizzas and parchment to your hot oven stone; or place the pizzas and parchment on a pan, and place the pan on the middle rack of your oven.
  7. Bake for 6 minutes (for a thinner, larger crust), or for up to 8 minutes for a smaller/thicker crust. Remove from the oven.
  8. Top the pizzas with your favorite toppings, return to an upper rack of the oven (not to the stone), and bake for an additional 8 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the filling bubbly.

Enjoy!

 

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Pandekager, the Danish crepes

What most Americans call crepes, Danes call pandekager or pancakes. They are thin and easily roll up, deliciously inviting all kinds of fillings. We usually have them with a little bit of sugar and some homemade jam but who can turn down Nutella or fresh whipped cream if offered!

Every time I make pandekager, I reminisce about my childhood. It was a wonderful and special treat when my mom made pandekager for us. The sizzling sound and the wonderful smell of them as they bake on the pan make me feel all warm inside.

Perhaps you feel like making pandekager for your family too, so I thought I would share (and translate) the recipe I’ve been using, courtesy of the Danish Valdemarsro.

Pandekager

Pandekager - Crepes

Ingredients

•  125 g unbleached flour

•  3 Tbsp cane sugar

•  1/2 tsp vanilla powder

•  1/2 tsp ground cardamom

•  a pinch of salt

•  3 large eggs

•  3 deciliter milk

• butter for the pan

Directions

Whisk all ingredients together in a bowl with a håndmixer and let the dough rest for a minimum of 20 minutes in the refrigerator.

Melt a little butter on a pan and when it’s hot,  fry each pandekage (crepe) on both sides until it’s lightly brown.

 

Enjoy! 💛

 

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