Ramason salt

 Ramson has a short shelf life in its natural form, First of all the growing season is short  and the leaves are best before they start to bloom. Second, when they are picked you need to use or process them fairly soon, before they lose they aroma and become more grassy than garlic. There are some many things you can make with ransom to make it last a little bit longer than the herbs short season. Ramson salt is one of them and they are great little gifts as well.
Ramson salt, ramson, Homemade, DIY, ramsløk, ramsløksalt, analizagonzales.com
INGREDIENTS
100 g table salt + 900 g flake salt
100 g (2 cups very tightly packed) chopped wild garlic leaves, no stems!
A little bit of water to get the blades running.
INSTRUCTIONS
Wash the wild garlic and remove the stems. Chop it roughly and make sure you are left with 100 g (2 cups
tightly packed) wild garlic leaves.
Place the wild garlic into a food processor and run it on max speed until you got a rough  consistency add a bit of the water if it does not chop.  Add about 100 g of the salt to the wild garlic puree. Process at max speed until it forms a creamy paste.
Pour the remaining salt into a big bowl and add the garlic-salt paste. Take a fork and mix it until it is evenly combined. It will look like damp, green sand.
Line two roasting tray with baking paper and spread the damp salt evenly on each one. Let the salt dry in the sun for 8-10 hours or place in the oven for about 3-4 hours at 50°C. You can also use a dehydrator.
Let it cool down before transferring into an air tight container.
The salt has no expiration date, but it will lose its flavour over time, make sure the jars are airtight or store it in the freezer.

Home made or specially designed clothes? I am having a little fun dressing up MiniMe

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In my early teens I wanted to be a fashion designer and I used to draw a lot of crazy things. I also submitted a few design for a competition when I was 14.  Ha ha ha, I did not fare as well as I thought I would. I remember getting a letter thanking for my contribution, but they thought I was maybe a little too young. Oh well, I thing it was their way to let me down easy.

From time to time I sew clothes or should say design clothes for the children, most often I make practical wearable clothing. Some patterns i make myself , some I buy and re do a bit to fit the style I want, and some I just eyeball and cut out free-hand.

I Have been a little buzzy bee since I made my little sewing nook. I have had a little fun making clothes for MiniMe with fabric I have had for a while. The plan was to make something a long time ago, but since my situation has changed, all my fabric and craft stuff had bern packed away.

The past few weeks I have finished about a dozen items of clothing for her and I still have a few more that I have not finished.

“Mum why do you not become a real designer and sell your clothes” the little one asked. Oh the sweet thing, she has really high opinions of her mum.

Here are a few of the tings i have made for her. The one above I just cut out by eyeballing it. It is an easy simple design, I made two layers and hemmed the top layer with some lace.

This two piece dress above i did not use a pattern either and I hand smocked the front part of the top. I smocked another top and I am currently working on the yellow piece you see to the left below.

When I lived in South Korea I had some lables made:)

 

 

 

 

Home made cream cheese with ramson

Ramson creamcheese recipe

Have you ever thought about making your own cream cheese? In some cultures it is still common to make cream at home. This product that you can get from any store is so easily made at home.Yes, it’s possible to learn how make your own cream cheese and this easy recipe doesn’t require any hard-to-find ingredients or difficult cooking techniques.

Homemade creamcheese

This is a fresh cheese made with something acidic to curdle the milk, some also call this yoghurt cheese. For some people it is not cheese if you do not use a cheese starter or rennet to produce cheese. Although the only ingredients I used are cream, milk, buttermilk, lemon juice and salt, the finished flavor is cream cheese all the way.

As mentioned it is not very difficult to make. The most trying part of the recipe is the time commitment, it requires little active time, but the resting times make this a 24 hour project. If you want cream cheese for Sunday brunch, start either on Friday or early Saturday for best results.

Wild garlic creamcheese recipe

Yelds 4 dl +

Cooking time 24 hours, active cooking time 30 min

Equipment

medium, heavy bottomed pot
thermometer
measuring cup
fine mesh seive
cheesecloth / clean tea towel
clean string or twine
wooden spoon

Ingredients

1 liter whole milk
6 dl heavy cream
2,5 dl buttermilk
0,5 dl fresh lemon juice
1 tsp salt

Hand full of ramson or some other herbs and spices.

In a clean, heavy bottomed saucepan, heat the milk, cream, and salt on medium heat, stirring gently but constantly so not to scorch the milk mixture. Heat it up to about 80 C, the liquid will start to wave gently.

Once the mixture reaches 80 C, remove it from the heat and let the mixture rest for 5 minutes. Add buttermilk and lemon juice and stir gently, just to combine. Give the mixture a little taste: if it doesn’t taste as tangy as you would like, add a bit more lemon juice. If you prefer it saltier, you can also add more salt.

Cover the mixture in the pot with a towel, and let it rest at room temperature for at least 4 hours.

How to make creamcheese

Place the cheesecloth or cloth in a bowl, and pour the mixture on top. Gather the edges and tie it to something so the whey can drip away.

I tied the cheese cloth to a one of the kitchen cabinet handles. Leave the mixture to drain for several hours until it stops dripping whey.

When it has stopped dripping whey and feels firm, you can remove it from its pouch. You can eat the cheese as is or add flavourings like herbs and spices. and add the flavouring . You ave made  yourself some amazing cream cheese. Keep it covered in the refrigerator until ready to use. It is said that it keeps for about two weeks in the fridge,, my never keeps that long, because it ges eaten up.

What did I do with the whey, I made biscuits with it and will soon be a new post here soon.

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 😀

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

Homemade New York style bagels

Bagels

My first encounter with bagels was at high school, I can remember the other kids eating bagels with Philly cream cheese for a quick meal during lunch hurrying to their next activity.

I must confess that my first try at this chewy and dense bread was not a hit, but there has been many other bagels since the first one from the schools cafeteria and not to mention better ones. My favorite is with cream cheese and lox.

Untill recently you could not buy bagels in Norway and it is still only available a few places, so if I want some I make them myself.

Bagel and lox

12 bagels

1 packet active dry yeast
1 ½ tablespoons granulated sugar
350 ml warm water
600 g bread flour
2 teaspoons salt

Water and baking soda for boiling the bagels, one teaspoon of baking soda to one dl of water.

1 egg, for egg wash

Use any topping you want.

I used light and dark sesame seeds

Directions

In a small bowl combine the warm water with the sugar and yeast. Do not stir, let it sit for five minutes, and then stir the yeast and sugar mixture, until it all dissolves in the water.

Mix most of the flour and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the middle and pour in the Liquid.

Adjust the amount of your flour and water, depending on how old your flour is it might need more liquid. You want a moist and firm dough after you have mixed it.

Tip the dough on to a floured countertop, knead the dough for about 10 minutes until it is smooth and elastic.

Return your dough to the bowl and cover the bowl with a damp dish towel or cling film. Leave it to rise in a warm place for 1 hour or until the dough has doubled in size. Punch the dough down, and let it rest for another 10 minutes.

20160325_092114Divide the dough into 12 pieces  Shape each piece into a round bun by rolling a piece of dough between your hand and the counter top.

Coat a finger in flour, and gently press your finger into the center of each dough ball to form a ring. Stretch the ring to about ⅓ the diameter of the bagel and place on a baking paper lined baking tray.

Cover the buns with a damp kitchen towel and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Preheat your oven to 200-220ºC depending on your oven.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil add the baking soda. Reduce the heat to a simmer. Use a slotted spoon lower the bagels into the water, boil as many as you are comfortable with boiling. Once the bagels are in, it shouldn’t take too long for them to float to the top. Let them sit there for 1 minute on both sides. If you want chewier bagel leave them in for a little longer 2 minutes on each side, the results will give you a more New York Style bagel.

Homemade bagels

Take the bagels out and put them back on your bakingpaper lined baking tray.

Brush the bagels with egg wash and put the topping you want on top or leave them plain. toppings), transfer them to a lightly oiled baking sheet.

Bake for 15 minutes, until golden brown.

Cool on a wire rack or enjoy them warm with a spread of butter or cream cheese.

Bagels and creamcheese

Homemade crisp bread

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The holidays are over for now and a new year to venture. I have promised my self that I will lead a healthier life, so I start off with these homemade crisp breads. These crisp breads are very popular with my kids as they eat them as snack as wells as bread for their breakfast. There are many different recipes out there, but I like this one, it is simple and easy.
20160104_182611Pre heat  oven to 150 C/300 F
You need
1 cup  sunflower seeds
1 cup whole rye flour
1 cups oatmeal
1/2 cup flax seeds
1/2 cup bran
1 teaspoon salt3 cups water
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 Combine all the ingredients in a bowl, stir well and let it sit and swell for about 20 minutes

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Divide the mixture between three baking trays lined  with baking paper, Spread it as thin you can manage and score it up into squares so that it becomes easier to break up the crisp breads when they are done.

Bake all trays at once for 60 minutes. Every 20 minutes open the oven to let out steam , then move the top tray to the bottom and move the other two up, do this every 20 minutes.
All ovens are different, so if they are not dry and brittle after 60 minutes, then divide up the squares and dry them in the oven at 100 C/212 F between 10-30minutes depending on the thickness of the crisp bread.
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Eat them as is or spread something yummy on them, I enjoyed mine with avocado, eggs and fresh ground pepper.

Kitchen chic

What do you think about the tradittional aprons?

I wanted an apron that I could put over my dress and still look chic, so I designed this dress, sorry I ment apron.

As I was trying it on over my clothes my son came hoe from school

Me: What do you think

Son: I think the dress will look nicer if you loose the pants.

Me: Believe you me, it is better if I keep them on

and then I turened arround.

As you can see it is an apron. I was planning to post this before Christmas, but you know time flies when you are having fun

If I made the front part a wrap around skirt I could wear it as a dress.

Ha ha ha, maybe if I was 20 🙂

Easy steps to re use outgrown dresses

Does your child have a favorite dress, a dress that she still wants to use but it is too short.

MiniMe has outgrown her favorite dress, one she got to wear for her 5th birthday party, a Sonia Rykiel dress that we bought in Nice.

Its been a while since she outgrew the dress, but it is still hanging in her closet. She takes it out once in a while, looks at it and sighs, she really has been wanting to use it again.

She found the black tulle I once bought for a different project and wondered if she could staple on some on the hem of the dress. Mini’s dream for the time being is to become a fashion designer and she sews and staple clothes for her teddy bears and dolls. I suggested to sew it on instead and while preparing I found myself making a simple patter for a skirt and made a petticoat she can use for dress-up, skirt extender etc.  Tulle skirts for children is very popular these days. As you can see below it is very simple pattern.

m_nster

I made 4 layers, one silk and 3 tulle, sewed the skirts together at the waist and inserted a garter and decorated with a ribbon.

Just as countless of little girls, MiniMe loves to wear her mummys shoes.

She thought my shoes looked better with the skirt than her shoes does.

We are having a fun photo session this fall break.