Pretzels

 

Homemade pretzels

Chewie on the outside and soft on the inside, to me that is a perfect pretzel, unlike the first one I tried. It was my first trip to the US and I had to transfer to a domestic flight at Newark and went over to wait for my flight to SF. I regretted going early because the there were not as¬†many places to eat or at least nothing that I really cared for. I came across a Hot dog stand that sold pretzels and I had waned to try one for a long time, after seeing them on TV or at the movies. It was nothing like the pretzels I have eaten later, this was really chewie and dry. I guess a hot dog stand at Newark in 1989 probably wasn’t a place to start my culinary adventure ūüėÄ

8 pretzels

2,5 dl luke warm water
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 package active dry yeast
10 dl flour
2 tbsp melted butter

Sauce pan 2/3 with water
1/10  of  baking soda (10 dl water=1 dl bakinhsoda, 5 dl water=0,5 dl bakingsoda)
1 large egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon water
Pretzel salt

Combine the water, sugar, yeast and salt in the  baking bowl. Allow to sit for 5 minutes or until the mixture begins to foam. Add the flour and butter and mix until everything is well combined.

Mix and knead the mixture to make a firm dough (around 10 minutes) and leave for approx 1 and a half hours or until when you poke the dough it gently springs back.

Turn the dough out onto a work surface and knock the dough back, knead and divide into 8 equal pieces. Roll out each piece of dough into a 24-inch rope. Make a U-shape with the rope, holding the ends of the rope, cross them over each other and press onto the bottom of the U in order to form the shape of a pretzel

Bring water and the baking soda to a boil in a  saucepan or roasting pan

Place the pretzels into the boiling water, 1 by 1,  until they float (about 5 second), fish out and lay on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Brush the top of each pretzel with the beaten egg yolk and water mixture and sprinkle with the sea salt.

Bake until dark golden brown in color, approximately 12 to 14 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack for at least 5 minutes before serving. and enjoy them with some mustard.

Pretzel recipe

Wholemeal rolls

The norwegian people need their bread in the morning, the grainier and heavier the better, I on the other hand like mine a little lighter. In this recipe I have used more white flour than the coarse wholemeal flour

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350 g plain flour, pluss a little extra for kneading
200 g stone-ground wholemeal flour
0,5 dl flax seeds
0,5 dl sunflower seeds
0,5 dl oatmeal( blend in a food processor)
1 ¬Ĺ tsp salt
1 teaspoon sugar
3,5 -4 dl water luke warm water
10 g instant yeast
40 g unsalted butter, melted

 

Tip all the dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl. Add the butter and three-quarters of the water, and turn the mixture around with your fingers. Add water a little at a time until you’ve picked up all the flour from the sides of the bowl. You may not need to add all the water, or you may need to add more, you want dough that is soft, but not soggy.  Work the dough by folding the edges into the middle, keep going until the mixture forms a rough dough.

Flour¬†the work surface, then tip the dough onto it and begin to knead. Keep kneading for 5‚Äď10 minutes until the dough starts to form a soft, smooth skin.

When your dough feels smooth and silky, put it into a lightly oiled large bowl. Cover with a tea towel and leave to rise until at least doubled in size ‚ÄĒ at least 1 hour, but it‚Äôs fine to leave it for 2 or even 3 hours.

Line a baking tray with bakingpaper or a silicone sheet.

Dust your work surface with flour and tip your dough onto it. Knock the air out of the dough by folding it inwards repeatedly until the dough is smooth. roll the dough into a sausage and cut it up into equal sized parts, roll each piece and flatten them slightly and place on the prepared baking tray. How many you get depends on the size you want.

Put the tray into a clean plastic bag. Leave to prove for about an hour, until the dough is at least doubled in size and springs back quickly if you prod it lightly with your finger. Heat your oven to 220C and put a roasting tray in the bottom to heat up.

Put the rolls¬†into the oven and fill the roasting tray with hot water. This will create steam in the oven, which helps give the bread a lighter crust. Bake the rolls for 15¬†minutes, then check them is cooked by tapping the base ‚ÄĒ it should sound hollow. Cool on a wire rack.

Eat the rolls with your favorite spread ūüôā

Experience medieval Normandy digitally

The Jumiège abbey, Normandy, Normandie, Medieval, Church ruins, Ruiner, Middelalder, analizagonzales.com

The most beautiful ruins in all of France according to Victor Hugo,¬†Ch√Ęteau de Falaise and the archbishop’s palace in Rouen has more than the middle ages in common. Have you ever wondered how ruins and historical sites might have looked like at¬†the¬†high of their glory days?¬†These three places mentioned have been brought to the 20th century¬†digitally.

The Jumiège abbey

Rumors has it that Victor Hugo called these ruins for the most¬†beautiful ruins in all of France. The original monastery was founded in 654 by saint Philibert who became the first abbot, but it is not site’s old¬†age that has made it¬†in to ruins.

The place was the religious center of the area and under saint Philibert successor there¬†were nearly a thousand¬†monks living in the monastery. Unfortunately some “Scandinavians” plundered and burned the place to the ground¬†in the ninth century, but it was rebuilt larger¬†and grander by¬†William I¬†Longsword the son of Rollo the viking, Duke of Normandy. In 1067 a new church was consecrated in the presence of William the Conqueror¬† and since then the monastery has had¬†the patronage of the dukes of Normandy. The abbey became a great centre of religion and learning, its schools producing, scholars, bishops, archbishops and cardinals.¬†The church went through an expansion¬†in 1256, and again restored in 1573.

The Jumiège abbey, Normandy, Normandie, Medieval, Church ruins, Ruiner, Middelalder, analizagonzales.com

Walking through the monastery ruins today you get glimpses of the grandeur of its heydays and with an iPad in tow you get to see how archeologists and historians belive it might have looked like when the place was bustling with life.

The Jumiège abbey, Normandy, Normandie, Medieval, Church ruins, Ruiner, Middelalder, analizagonzales.com

The¬†iPad’s are linked to four different spots on the monastery grounds and by standing on them and holding up the iPad’s you will see a digital reconstruction and animation of the place. Click HERE to see the animation on their webpage.¬†SAMSUNG CSC

It was not untill the french revolution that the monastery was abandoned and made into a quarry, the stones sold off as building materials. A gallery of the cloister was bought by Lord Stuart de Rothesay to rebuild it in Highcliffe Castle near Bournemouth, Dorset.

The Jumiège abbey, Normandy, Normandie, Medieval, Church ruins, Ruiner, Middelalder, analizagonzales.com

FALAISE

Ch√Ęteau de Falaise in Falaise in Calvados, Normandy, Normandie, Medieval, Castel ruins, Ruiner, Middelalder, analizagonzales.com

Ch√Ęteau de Falaise in Falaise¬†in Calvados, overlooks the town from a high crag, it was formerly the seat of the Dukes of Normandy.¬†Around the Year One Thousand, the dukes‚Äô fortress is particularly effective and protected a vast domain.¬†It is built on the model “motte and Bailey” principle, a fortress atop a mound and protected by solid walls and ramparts.SAMSUNG CSC

At this historic site they have also made use of digital technology. Here as at the monastery of Jumièges you also get an iPad to take along for your tour around the castle, so you can see and get a feeling of how it might have been. If you walk around take a look at the some of the original masonry sometimes you can find graffiti carved in into the stones from when the soldiers was bored, some vulgar and some as innocent as tic, tac, toe.

SAMSUNG CSC

Possession of the castle changed sides many times  during the 100 year war, it went from french hands to english, then french again and back to english and so on, by the 17th century the castle was deserted.

As early as¬†the 1840s ¬†Ch√Ęteau de Falaise has been recognised as a Monument Historique by the French Ministry of Culture.¬†A programme of restoration was carried out as early as in between the years of 1870 and 1874.

In modern times Ch√Ęteau de Falaise and Falaise got bombarded by allied forces during the second world war¬†in what is known as the¬†Falaise pocket. 2/3 of the town was destroyed and taken by a combined force of Canadian and Polish troops. Luckily the keeps of the ch√Ęteau were unscathed and Falaise has largely¬†been¬†restored after the war.

Rouen

Joan of Arc History Museum, Normandy, Rouen, Normandie, Medieval, Middelalder, analizagonzales.com

On March 21st 2015, just a stone throw from the dungeon she was imprisoned, the highly anticipated Joan of Arc History Museum, located in the former archbishop’s palace opened its door. Visitors are transported back to the middle ages through state-of-the-art technology, immersive exhibition space with comprehensive historical content that enables you to explore the myth and legend of France’s national heroine. Joan of Arc History Museum, Normandy, Rouen, Normandie, Medieval, Middelalder, analizagonzales.comA team of internationally renowned historians, museum specialists and design agencies started this project of constructing and renovating the archbishop’s palace in 2013.  A film production company has worked with local actors and Rouen Opera’s costume department, to create fictional documentaries that will form part of the visitor experience. One stand-out aspect of the new museum casts tourists as witnesses to Joan of Arc’s trials.

 

I originally posted this in norwegian on Feelgoods online magazine

Cherry pie

Do you have a cherry tree?

I have a cherry tree in my garden with dark and very tart berries that we get to enjoy through out most of the year, thanks to my mother in law who has picked, pitted and portioned them in little baggies and stored them in the freezer for me.

They say that the way to a mans hart is through his stomach, so a big thank you to my mother in law for helping me keep my husband at my side;)

He on the other hand might not agree with that, eating all the desserts I make is forcing him to put on his running shoes and run for miles.

He says he does not mind putting in the effort and sacrificing a few miles and little sweat.

If you like sweet and tart treats, then this is a pie for you.

For norwegian look HERE

Dough:

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup cold butter, cut into small pieces

1 teaspoon grated lemon rind

1 egg yolk

Cherry Filling

:4 cups pitted tart cherries (about 1 1/3 pounds)

1 cup sugar(or adust the sweetness to your liking)

2 tablespoons cornstarch

Instructions:
To prepare the pastry, combine flour, sugar and salt in a processor; pulse to combine.

Add butter and lemon rind; pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add egg yolk and 1 to 2 teaspoons of ice water; pulse until dough clumps together.

Shape into a 4-inch disc; wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate about 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375F.

Roll pastry into a 15-inch circle on a floured surface. Place in a 10-inch tart pan with removable bottom.

To prepare the filling, coock cherries, granulated sugar  in a small pot and add cornstarch to thiken the mixture, sett it aside an let it cool a bit.

Spoon the cherry filling into pastry and decorate with left over pie crust.

Bake for 40 minutes or until crust is golden and filling is bubbly. Cool on wire rack and

enjoy the pie varm with vanilla ice cream

 

Fastelavnboller

Fastelavnboller are buns filled with wipped cream and other goodnesses that are eaten to celebrate the coming days of fasting, even though the tradition of fasting is long forgotten.

Fastelavn comes from the low german word¬†vastel-avent,¬†evening before Lent and it is the name commonly used for Carnival¬†in the scandinavian countries. Fastelavn evolved from the¬†Roman Catholic¬†tradition of celebrating the days before¬†Lent, but since the scandinavian countries became Protestant, the holiday became less specifically religious. This holiday occurs seven weeks before Easter Sunday and is sometimes described as a Nordic¬†Halloween, children dressing up in costumes and gather treats for the Fastelavn feast. The holiday is generally considered to be a time for children’s fun and family games. The Cat in the Sac is often played and is a nordic version of a Pi√Īata.

 

2 cups milk, I got a tip to boil the milk and let it cool to make the fluffiest buns

1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup sugar

1,5 tps active dry yeast

1/2 tps salt

4 cups all purpose flour

1 tsp finly ground cardamom

Strawberry purée

1 cup whipping cream

Fresh strawberries

Boil milk, sugar and butter and let it cool to bodytemperature, add the rest of the ingredients and knead the dough till it is soft and plyable. Coover the dough and let it rise to atleast double the size.

This dough gave me about 24 buns

I placed them om trays lined with baking paper and let them rice again for about 20 minutes.

Baked them in the middle of the oven between 10-15 minutes, until golden on 200 degrees Celsius about 400 F. Let the buns cool on a wire rack.

Whip the cream, cut the buns in half and add some whipped cream,

cut strawberries and purée, then put the top back on and dust with icing sugar.

My youngest daughter made this one

and it was yummy:)

Enjoy:)

Mini pecan pies

I tasted a very nice pecan pie the other day, but it was not quite how I like it. I like the ones with molasses and whole pieces nuts.

I find that the molasses, butter and vanilla bring out the wonderful flavor of the pecans.
But remember that nuts go rancid with storage, make sure you are using the freshest of pecans for this pie!
12 mini pie shells
2 cups pecans or one 9-inch pie shell
3 eggs
1 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 Tbsp molasses
4 Tbsp butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350¬įF.

Coarsely chop the nuts and save a few whole pecan halves to decorate the pie.

In a bowl mix together the eggs, brown sugar, corn syrup, molasses, melted butter, vanilla, salt, until smooth.

Spread¬†the chopped pecans over¬†the bottom of a pie shell/shells. Pour the filling over the pecans. Don’t worry about burying the pecans, they will rise to the surface. (If you have reserved a few whole pecan halves, you can use them to arrange them on the surface in a decorative pattern. Just dip them below the wet filling and let them rise again so they get coated with the filling.)

Bake at 180¬įC/350¬įF for 30¬†minutes. After 30 minutes cover¬†the pie loosely with aluminum foil to prevent the crust and pecans from getting burnt. Bake for another 35¬†to 45¬†minutes until the filling has set. The pie should be a bit¬†loose¬†in the center.

Remove from oven and let cool completely. The pie will be puffed up a bit when you take it out of the oven, but it will settle as it cools.

Enjoy this pie with vanilla ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream.

Lime pie

 

We love lime pie, when we are in the US we try almost all the lime pies we come across. We have even turned down good restaurants because they did not serve lime pie and eaten at shabby ones just because they had.
¬†–
Last summer we went to Florida, spent some time in Fort Lauderdale, Miami and Key West and we happened to come across a pie place called Blond Giraffe Key Lime Pie Factory in Key West. Their pie was nice and we bought a bottle of Blond Giraffe Key lime juice, for us to bring back home to Norway. Even though we love the lime pies in the US, we find them a little to sweet. My family is used to a receipt that I have been using for the past 15 years or so that I found in a Norwegian news paper, but the consistency is not like the american pies, but the tartness and sweetness is perfect for us. So what I have done is mix the two recipes and now the consistency, sweetness and tartness is right for us. It is very simple really, you take an ordinary lime pie recipe and add some creme fra√ģche or sour cream.
Pie crust
300 g digestive or graham cracker
100 g butter
1 tps ground cinnamon
1 tps vanilla extract
OR do as I sometimes do, get the ready-made ones (family likes the one made from scratch)
Filling
4 egg yolks
1 can of condensed milk
150 g creme fra√ģche or sour cream
150 ml of lime juice
Mix everything together in a food processor
Then put the mixture in a pie dish, press and even out the dough
Put the egg yolks in a bowl and beat lightly, add condensed milk and creme fraiche
 continue beating and add lime juice, the mixture will thicken.
Pour filling in to the pie crust
Eat as is or bake in the middle of the oven for about10 minutes on¬†180¬įC ,and if you like, use the egg whites and make meringue and cover the pie before you bake it.

Meringue

3 egg whites, room temperature

1/4 tsp cream of tartar

6 Tbsp sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Beat egg whites and cream of tartar with a mixer on low speed in the beginning and gradually turn up the speed, beat until foamy.
Continiue beating and add sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating after each addition until sugar is dissolved before adding the next. Continue beating until whites are glossy and stand in soft peaks, add vanilla at the end.
Spread the soft meringue evenly over filling. Bake¬†onthe¬† upper third of preheated 180¬įC oven until meringue is lightly browned, 12 to 15 minutes. Cool on wire rack 30 minutes to 1 hour.