Archive for » February, 2013 «

Holy Halibut!

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Yup…this is a chest of halibut.

I made a first birthday cake yesterday for a cute little girl. Her parents apparently own a halibut fishery and brought some for me as a thank you for the cake. And by some, I mean a CHEST-full. I love Norwegians :) I couldn’t stop laughing as I hauled the chest up to our apartment to show Chris!

So now we have about a month’s worth of halibut and not all of it will fit in our freezer. We are super excited for some nice filets and fish tacos…but we’d LOVE any halibut recipes you guys have to share! Send us an email or leave some links in the comments!

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Cake is life…. at least it has been lately.

Hey folks!

We’ve been quite busy around here this week. Going a little crazy actually! I just wanted to give a quick update on the bakery/studio since that’s pretty much been our life lately. Yes… Chris included! He’s been going to the studio almost every evening after work this week to throw up some layers of paint while I’m busy working on cakes for clients. We also got a TON done over the weekend thanks to some seriously awesome friends. And I mean AWESOME friends! We got the entire place sanded, washed and primed thanks to them and we really can’t thank them enough!

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Saskia and Desi

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Yrjan and Daniel

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My super hot husband

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Joanna and Benjamin

Also, here are some photos from my first ever wedding fair! It was up in Haugesund (a semi-neighboring town) 2 weeks ago. While I only got 3 hours of sleep over the course of the 3 days leading up to the fair with all the preparations, it turned out to be pretty successful and definitely worth it! Bring on the wedding cake season!

 

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Chelsea’s Cool Cakes‘ booth

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Desiree Photography‘s Booth

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Samples!

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New business cards for the occasion.

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Rockin’ my brand new chef’s coat! 

So yeah…things are plugging along here with Chelsea’s Cool Cakes! Let me tell you, it’s an insane amount of work starting up a cake shop. And to be totally honest… there are days when I want to scrap the whole thing because I don’t feel like I can pull it off (today may or may not be one of them). But I just keep telling myself that it’ll be worth it and I just need to take it one step at a time.

The hard is what makes it great.

Wise, wise words.

Sharing Recipes and Mushroom Bisque

I have a confession. I have become a hoarder. A recipe hoarder to be specific. It’s a bit insane.

Although, I do think I have a pretty good excuse. Because eating out is so expensive ($50 for a single pizza!) and because almost nothing in the grocery store is pre-made (no Rice-a-Ronis, Hamburger Helpers, etc), I am on a constant search to find delicious things we can make at home using the fresh ingredients we can find here in Stavanger. Chris and I have found quite a few winners so far, so I decided it is high time to start sharing them on our blog so everyone can enjoy delicious food. Because really, what’s the point of discovering something amazing if you don’t share it with those around you? :)

SO. Without further ado, I present MUSHROOM BISQUE!

I came across this recipe one cold and wet day when I suddenly came down with a serious craving for Zupas‘ Wild Mushroom Bisque from back in Utah. I happened to find beautiful chanterelle mushrooms at the outdoor market that day and it just spiraled out of control from there. In desperation, I found this recipe on foodnetwork.com and adapted it to fit the crockpot (because really…with the cake shop about to open I have no time to cook soup all day). I’m not sure how close it is to actual Zupas since I don’t have the chance to compare and contrast, but it’s rich, creamy, SUPER simple and it sure hit the spot!

(Although, just as a side note, I learned that it is not technically a true bisque. Bisques are bisques because they are made with a strained crustacean broth with cream added. Creamy soups made with vegetables (like this here mushroom soup) are often called bisques because of the creaminess, but this is a misnomer. So now you have learned something for the day! If any of you happen to stop by Zupas in the near future would you please inform them that their Wild Mushroom Bisque is inappropriately named and should actually be called Wild Mushroom Cream Soup? Muchas gracias.)

First, find some beautiful mushrooms. I used a mix of chanterelles and button mushrooms because that’s what I could find that day, but I’m sure any combination of mushrooms you use would be delicious!

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Clean and chop said beautiful mushrooms. Add them to crockpot along with chopped onions and chicken broth/stock.

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Cook for 4-5 hours on low.

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Puree the cooked stuff to desired chunkiness with a blender, immersion or normal. (I pulverized mine silky smooth because I don’t like chunky mushrooms, but it’s all up to you and your preference!)

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Make a roux of butter and flour, add half-and-half, and incorporate into the soup as per the directions below. Cook for a little while longer.

Add some of your favorite hot sauce and VOILA! Smooth, creamy, flavorful mushroom bisque for your cold winter’s day!

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Pictures like this result when you have become crazed with comfort food cravings. It’s a sad, sad state.

 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Ingredients
  • 1 quart chicken broth
  • 1 lb. assorted fresh mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 8 tablespoons half-and-half
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • White pepper
  • Hot sauce
Instructions
  1. Add onions, mushrooms and chicken broth to slow cooker. Cook on low for 4-5 hours.
  2. Roux:
  3. In a frying pan, melt the butter, then add the flour. Whisk until evenly incorporated. Continue to whisk while slowly adding half-and-half to the roux. Add bay leaf and stir constantly until the sauce is thickened and smooth. Remove the bay leaf and discard.
  4. Add a ladleful of mushroom broth to the roux and stir until evenly incorporated. Add the entire thing back into the slow cooker and cook for another 30 minutes to 1 hour.
  5. Using an immersion blender (or regular blender), blend it all up to desired chunkiness.
  6. Season with salt, pepper and hot sauce, to taste. Serve immediately.

 

A Very Undead Valentine’s Day

Chris and I celebrated Valentine’s Day this year with a zombie-filled evening. Zombie-themed dinner, zombie-themed decor, and zombie-themed entertainment. Totally romantic, I know. I tried to explain it to a friend of mine when she asked what our Vday plans were…but it just ended up with a “that’s just how we roll.” Can’t explain it…but we sure had fun :)

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The whole plan stemmed from the idea of seeing Warm Bodies in the theater. Romantic comedy about zombies?? Excellent! But it turns out that Warm Bodies doesn’t get released here in Stavanger until April 5! (Come on Norway… you release the new Die Hard on the same day as the US, but not Warm Bodies?? Whyyy?) So we got caught up on The Walking Dead instead. Not quite as romantic as a zombie in love (and a lot more terrifying), but there’s nothing like a night of watching the undead eat struggling survivors to remind us why we love each other!

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Our Zombie Dinner Menu:

Bone-in Ribs (with a bloody  spicy BBQ sauce)

Mashed Brains (mashed potatoes and parsnips dyed pink)

Eyeballs (glazed radishes)

Femurs (garlic bread)

Bile (virgin raspberry mojitos)

and for dessert….. cheesecake. We’re mildly sophisticated zombies over here.

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Clearly.

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Chris’ valentine from me.

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Since I forgot to take a “before” photo, the box is full of candy and chocolate, I just rewrapped them!*

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I think he liked it!

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And continuing with the theme of chocolates, my man definitely knows what I like :)

 

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY from C²!!

 

* As much as I’d love for you all to think I came up with this on my own, I feel I must cite my sources. I adapted the idea from here.

Lake Skating

The other day I came across the bucket list I started back in high school and have updated every few years since (bucket list = A list of all the things you want to do before you “kick the bucket.”) I hadn’t looked at it in at least a year or so, and guess what! I crossed off nine things! NINE things! Life is good :)

One of the things I was most excited to cross off was ice skating on a frozen lake. All through my “career” as a figure skater, I dreamed about getting to skate on a frozen lake. It always seemed so magical in the movies! But since I learned to skate in the deserts of Las Vegas, chances to check that off the list were… well.. non-existant.

Luckily we moved to Norway where we got hit with a frigid cold spell that froze all the freshwater lakes and ponds! So we took a break from our crazy work week and had fun with the ice on Mosvanet.

Skating on a frozen lake… CHECK!

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It really was just as magical as I had dreamed!

A few other things that got crossed off the list: Go on a cruise, bake a pumpkin pie from a real pumpkin, visit Italy, go backpacking, and donate my hair to Locks of Love!