Food

First off, June brought Chris’ birthday. Lily got dressed up especially for the occasion:

For all you non-nerds, she’s wearing a World of Warcraft onesie. Definitely her daddy’s girl!

 

June also ushers in the Norwegian strawberry season. Oh Norwegian strawberries, you tender, luscious drops of juicy sweetness. Chris’ birthday conveniently falls right when strawberry season and rhubarb season overlap, so OF COURSE we celebrate each year with Chris’ favorite strawberry rhubarb pie. Yet again, I was reminded that we have to buy twice as many strawberries as we think we need if we are going to use them besides eating fresh. “One for the pie. And one for Chelsea! One for the pie. And one for Chelsea!” You just can’t stop! I’ll include the recipe below since this year I feel like I finally nailed it!

 

Have you tried the “soaking strawberries in vinegar” trick to keep them fresh? It’s awesome! We do it every time we buy strawberries and they last much longer than they usually do (if we happen to have any leftovers, that is. Which is rare.)
Strawberry-rhubarb pie in the making!

 

We’ve basically been eating our weight in strawberries this season!
Strawberry muffins.

 

Salads with strawberries, pecans, and poppyseed dressing.

 

So gorgeous!
Lily being her cute self.
We’ve reached the MUSTCHEWONEVERYTHING!!!! stage. I suspect teething is imminent.

 

Cloudy walk.

 

This spring has officially been one of the coldest springs on record here in Stavanger. Not much sun, lots of rain, and cold winds off the coast. Not very springy and a total bummer, especially for my poor garden. This year I went all out and bought a small raised bed gardening box to try my hand at the square foot gardening method (we have awesome landlords who let me take over a portion of our backyard for this experiment). I planned the layout and planting dates over 6 months in advance, I spent a lot of my maternity leave during naps mixing the soil correctly (I think) and felt like I had all my research in order so that this year was going to be the Year of the Garden of Awesome.

 

Then, as I said before, the coldest spring on record hit. I waited almost 4 weeks for anything to sprout (when it should have taken a 1-2 weeks) and the little seedlings that did manage to sprout eventually were stunted and small. I barely even got some of my radishes to grow, and radishes basically grow themselves. Apparently I seeded WAY too early, despite the guidelines from this planting guide for Stavanger. I tried planting some more later on in hopes that the weather would warm up, and so far I’ve been able to get somewhat of a harvest.

 

Some lettuces:
The radishes that eventually did grow:

 

Kale and sugar snap peas have also managed to pull through lately and I have some small shreds of hope left for a broccoli plant. Total failures = Romaine, spinach, butter lettuce, green beans, two broccoli plants, sunflowers, and beets. I’ve replanted everything but the broccoli, so we’ll see how that turns out.

 

Also, see this sheep?
This jerk managed to hop the fence and get into our backyard. When Chris tried to shoo her back over the fence, she panicked and trampled through my garden patch instead. Thankfully the only major casualties were my spinach and green beans but they were pretty much failures anyway. All in all not a good year for the garden.

 

Chris also celebrated his first Father’s Day. Dads rock! This is one of his many attempts to convince/trick/bribe Lily to drink from a bottle…to no avail.

 

One weekend it was pretty sunny out and looked decently warm, so we packed some blankets and headed for a new beach that I happened upon on my way home from a cake delivery. Because it is summer dang it!
Turns out this summery day was a big fat lie and we spent 2 minutes sitting on towels in the sand huddled behind a rock attempting to block the wind before we decided pretending it was summer wasn’t going to actually make it summer. We did see this random fellow wandering down the shore though:
And then he met up with some friends:
Only in Norway…
C2’s Strawberry Rhubarb Pie
Recipe Type: Dessert
Author: Chelsea Hill
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 1 pie
Classic strawberry rhubarb pie that isn’t watery and runny! Be sure to follow the recipe exactly. Speaking from experience, varying the ingredients too much usually makes for a runny pie and nobody wants that!
Ingredients
  • 1 double pie crust (Use your favorite one. I love this one: http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/all-butter-pie-crust-recipe)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup corn starch
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 3 ½ to 4 cups lightly packed diced rhubarb, fresh or frozen
  • 3 ½ cups hulled, quartered fresh strawberries
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • coarse white sparkling sugar, to garnish
Instructions
  1. To make the crust: Line a 9″ pie pan (or two 6″ pie pans) with half the crust. Refrigerate while you make the filling, for at least 30 minutes.
  2. To make the filling: Whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, and salt.
  3. Toss the rhubarb and strawberries with the sugar mixture. Spoon the fruit into the pan(s), filling them about 3/4 full and mounding the filling a bit in the center.
  4. Place dabs of the butter atop the filling. Return the pie to the refrigerator.
  5. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
  6. Roll out the remaining crust, and cut it into strips for a latice top, or cookie cutter shapes for a festive touch.
  7. Place the pastry atop the filling in a lattice pattern or arrange the shapes however you would like. Brush with egg white wash (beaten egg white and a little bit of water) and sprinkle with coarse white sparkling sugar, if desired.
  8. Bake the pie(s) for 30 minutes (for the 9″ pie), or 20 minutes (for the 6″ pies), then reduce the oven heat to 375°F and bake for an additional 30 to 40 minutes (9″ pie), or 20 to 25 minutes (6″ pies), until the filling is bubbling and the crust nicely browned. (Cover top with tin foil if too much browning is occurring.
  9. Remove the pie(s) from the oven, and let them cool to room temperature before serving.
  10. The pie may be served warm, but it’ll be a bit messy; it sets as it cools. You can reheat after setting and just before serving if desired. Top with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream, if desired.
Notes
Use the ripest, most local strawberries you can find. It really does make a difference![br]When making your pie crust, DO NOT OVERMIX. If your butter is cut into the flour in the size of large peas and you don’t overmix, you will end up with a lovely flaky crust :)

Right around my birthday I got hit with a MAJOR pregnancy craving for sushi. Of course my one major craving of the entire pregnancy so far had to be a big no-no for pregnant women everywhere. Miserable!

 

Then inspiration struck one evening while browsing Pinterest: I can make my own pregnancy-friendly sushi!

 

I scoured the internet for tutorials and spent more time watching sushi-making YouTube videos than I care to admit, then we invited a bunch of our friends over to have a make-your-own sushi night for my big 2-7!

 

The idea was that each couple brought enough fillings of their choice to fill 3 sushi rolls. Chris and I provided the nori (seaweed wrappers), sushi rice and photographic inspiration for restaurant-style sushi. We set out everyone’s fillings and then each couple designed, created, named, and plated 3 rolls each. Then we had ourselves a sushi feast! Seriously…so much fun. Everyone was a bit intimidated by the idea at first, but as we got going they all got way into it and we ended up with some creative and delicious maki rolls! Just looking at these photos makes me want to have a repeat ASAP!
We used about every dish we own setting out all the fillings and plating all the rolls! Our kitchen and dining area could barely contain all the sushi!

 

Here is the recipe for the sushi rice we used. I definitely still need practice to make it like the pros (apparently professional sushi apprentices can take 10 years+ to perfect their sushi rice technique!), but I think it still turned out yummy :)

 

Fillings we used:
carrot
avocado
cucumber
mango
crab sticks
cream cheese
tempura fried shrimp
sushi-grade Salma salmon (for all the non-pregger people)

 

Toppings and sauces we used:
avocado
mango
kiwi
black and white sesame seeds
Eel sauce (apparently not actually made with eel)

 

Plus, some useful links and recipes to make your own:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This “Sweet Roll” made by Barrett was one of the biggest hits of the evening! Sugary, fruity, and desserty!

So fun, so delicious, so craving-satisfying and basically the best 27th birthday ever!

 

Did I mention we grew a lot of radishes this summer in our Zombie Garden? Because we grew A LOT of radishes.

Vegetable Gardening for Dummies said that since radishes grow really fast, you can just scatter them on top of your garden after you plant everything else. The radishes will be ready for harvest before the rest of the veggies grow enough to crowd them. So I did just that. Scattered a bunch of seeds over all my pots.

A whole handful of seeds.

All at once.

See where we might have gone wrong?

A month later, radishes were everywhere. And, you know what I learned? Chris doesn’t particularly like radishes (you learn new things every day in a marriage.) Unfortunately, I’m a horrible wife and fed them to him for dinner anyway and he was a champ and did his best to eat them. I tried a bunch of different preparations to see if I could find something that Chris might actually enjoy. We tried them raw, sauteed, and in salads but in the end there were two winners:

1. Glazed Radishes (click for the recipe)

2. Radish-top Soup (recipe below)

The fact that the glazed radishes were delicious was unsurprising because, let’s be honest, the recipe calls for “a slab of butter.” The glazing process turns the radishes into juicy little pink balls of sweet-n-salty goodness that I’m now convinced will convert any radish-hater.

The radish-top soup, however, was the star.

The recipe came about after I made the glazed radishes. It only called for the bottom root parts which left the leafy greens, majority of the plant, to go to waste. I was distressed because I worked hard to grow those stinkin’ radishes! I didn’t want to throw them out after all that watering and weeding! Plus, since this is an apocalypse garden, I wanted to be all homesteady and use the entire plant. Most recipes I found online said to toss the tops in salads, but when I tried that they were spiney and made my tongue itch.

In my searches though, I stumbled across the idea to make Radish-Top Soup so I gave that a shot. It was super simple to make and it tasted like split-pea soup, which Chris loves. SUCCESS! It also made a lot more meals than just the radish bottoms did. We still have some of it frozen in the freezer. Which makes it a pretty good apocalypse dinner, me thinks.

Radish-Top Soup
Recipe Type: Soup
Author: Chelsea Hill
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
Why waste the radish plant by only using the bottoms?
Ingredients
  • 1 large bunch of radish tops
  • 4 medium potatoes, chopped with skin on
  • 2 tablespoons bacon fat (or butter or olive oil, but bacon is better :) )
  • 1/2 onion, chopped (or 1/4 cup dried onion flakes)
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 4 cups chicken broth, heated to almost boiling
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • cajun seasoning to taste
Instructions
  1. Melt bacon fat in a medium pot. Add raish leaves and saute for 3-4 minutes until wilted. Add potatoes and continue to saute for 3-4 minutes longer.
  2. Add onions and garlic and saute for another 3 minutes.
  3. Add hot chicken broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 25-30 minutes.
  4. When potatoes are soft, puree the soup with an immersion blender (or normal blender, just be careful!) until well-blended and creamy.
  5. Add salt, pepper and cajun seasoing to taste.
  6. If you cooked bacon to get the bacon fat, sprinkle soup with chopped bacon bits and a dollop of sour cream!

 

 

I think despite the initial “HOLY RADISHES BATMAN!!” panic, we will definitely be planting radishes again next year!

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.

Mushroom Bisque

Author: Chelsea Hill (adapted from Food Network)
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
A rich, creamy, and super simple mushroom soup for your long winter nights.
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.
3.2.1596

 

On Christmas Eve we gathered the fam together for a homemade pizza night. I contributed my friend Anna’s famous spinach pizza and Shannon made BBQ chicken and chicken-bacon-artichoke pizzas. I feel a new Christmas Eve tradition coming on!

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“They see me rollin’…my pizza…”

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Draining the tomatos for the spinach pizza.

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A little brush of melted butter and a sprinkle of garlic salt makes the crust oh so good!

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Even Tian helped make his own allergy-friendly personal pan pizza.

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Saucy!

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Shannon’s genius trick of spreading the sauce all the way to the edges of the rolled-out dough and then rolling it up inside the crust. Try it next time you make homemade pizza. I dare you.

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Nice and brown and bubbly! ::Drool::

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The BBQ

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The Spinach

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The CBA (Chicken Bacon Artichoke)

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Mmmmm…. :)

Now… it would be just plain mean if we showed off all of these yummy photos without providing a way for you to enjoy them yourselves! So the recipes for the dough and all three pizzas are below. We hope you enjoy them as much as we did!

 

Pizza Dough

Author: Shannon Davis (adapted from All-Recipes)
Ingredients
  • 3 cups Flour
  • 1 package Active Dry Yeast, (0.25 oz)
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 Tablespoon White Sugar
  • 1 Cup Warm Water
  • ½ tsp Garlic Powder, (or fresh garlic)
  • 2 tsp Pizza Seasoning, (make sure it has marjoram in the seasoning. If not, add in a bit)
Instructions
  1. Combine flour, salt, sugar, pizza seasoning, garlic, and yeast in a large bowl.
  2. Mix in oil & warm water.
  3. Spread out on large pizza pan or stone.
  4. Top as desired.
  5. Bake at 375℉ for 20-25 minutes.
Notes
If you have time, let it rise in a warm place for an hour or two. If not though, the dough is still great un-risen! Recipe for Homemade Pizza Seasoning: 2 T oregano 2 T basil 2 T marjoram 1 tsp garlic powder
3.2.1596
Anna’s Famous Spinach Pizza

Recipe Type: Main
Cuisine: Italian
Author: Anna Depew
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Meatless and utterly delicious!
Ingredients
  • 1 Store-bought pizza crust, (or homemade)
  • 1 Tablespoon Pesto Sauce
  • 1 clove Garlic, pressed
  • Olive oil
  • Fresh Ground Pepper
  • 2 small tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • 1 ball buffalo mozzerella, sliced
  • ½ cup pre-shredded mozzarella
  • 1 large mushroom, thinly sliced
  • ¼ medium red onion, sliced
  • 1 bag spinach, chopped
  • garlic salt
  • parmesan cheese
Instructions
  1. Spread sliced mozzarella and tomato slices on a piece of paper towel to draw out the extra water. (The spinach contains A LOT of water so draining the tomato and cheese will help keep it from getting soggy). Sprinkle mozzarella with a good amount of salt.
  2. Preheat a pizza stone in a 250℃ oven.
  3. Remove pizza stone from oven and form pizza crust onto the stone in a circle. Brush with a few drizzles of olive oil, pesto, crushed garlic, pepper, and a generous dash of Italian seasoning.
  4. Place tomatoes evenly spread out onto crust.
  5. Cover entirely with chopped spinach.*
  6. Place mozzarella slices on top of spinach (evenly spaced). Sprinkle liberally with pre-shredded mozzarella.
  7. Top with onions and mushroom slices.
  8. Cover with LOTS of grated parmesan cheese on top.
  9. Brush the crust edges with melted butter and sprinkle with garlic salt.
  10. Sprinkle entire pizza with more fresh cracked pepper and salt.
  11. Bake at 250℃/480 F for approximately 10 minutes until cheese is brown and bubbly. The cheese needs to be quite browned to make sure the crust is fully cooked.
  12. Tilt pizza to check for water build up. If there is some, soak it up with a paper towel and bake for a minute or two more.
  13. Cool for a few minutes, slice, and enjoy!
Notes
Makes enough for 2 slices per person for 3 people. *You will use more spinach than you think you’ll need. It shrinks quite a bit in the oven. It is recommended that you follow these cooking instructions, despite what your pizza dough recipe calls for. The high heat and short cooking time allow for the correct amount of moisture to evaporate from the spinach. Otherwise you might end up with a soggy pizza!
3.2.1596
BBQ Chicken Pizza

Recipe Type: Main
Cuisine: Italian
Author: Shannon Davis
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Ingredients
  • 1 Pizza Dough
  • 1 bottle BBQ Sauce
  • 1-2 breasts Grilled Chicken , (or 2-3 thighs) cut into bits.
  • ¼ Red onion
  • 1.5 cups Mozzerella Cheese
  • Cilantro, chopped
Instructions
  1. Roll out pizza dough. Spread BBQ sauce to taste on top of dough all the way to the edges. Roll up the edges around the sauce to form the crust.
  2. Top with half the cheese, all the toppings, and then the rest of the cheese. Top it all off with cilantro.
  3. Bake at 375℉ for 18-22 minutes until the crust is golden and the cheese is bubbly
3.2.1596
Chicken Bacon Artichoke Pizza

Recipe Type: Main
Cuisine: Italian
Author: Shannon Davis
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Ingredients
  • 1 Pizza crust, unbaked
  • 1 jar Alfredo sauce
  • 1 cup Mozzerella cheese
  • 1-2 Grilled Chicken breast, (grilled with oil and salt)
  • 1 can Artichoke hearts, roughly chopped
  • 3-4 slices Bacon, cooked and cut into pieces
  • handful Spinach
  • 1 Green onion, chopped
  • 2-3 small Mushrooms, sliced to preference
Instructions
  1. Roll out pizza dough flat. Spread a layer of alfredo sauce (to taste preference) all the way to the edges of the dough. Roll up edges of dough (around sauce) to form crust.
  2. Top with 1/2 of the mozzerella cheese. Add all the toppings. Add the rest of the cheese.
  3. Bake at 375℉ for 18-22 minutes until crust is golden and cheese is bubbly.
3.2.1596

 

 

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