Caprese Salad bites

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Caprese Salad is one of my favorite ways to enjoy fresh summer tomatoes. I needed a light starter for my pizza party, and caprese salad was the first idea that popped into my mind, however I also wanted something that was easy to snack on, so I decided to make mini caprese salad bites on a stick, drizzled with a balsamic glaze. They turned out beautifully and are so easy to make!

Caprese Salad Bites

  • 20 fresh basil leaves
  • 10 cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1 ball of buffalo mozzarella cut into 20 cubes
  • Crema di balsamico, or homemade balsamic reduction
  • salt and pepper
  • toothpicks

Directions

  1. Wash tomatoes and basil, cut tomatoes in half
  2. Cut mozzarella into cubes
  3. With your toothpick in hand, add tomato, basil leave (folded in half) and mozzarella, repeat until you have assembled all of the bites
  4. On a plate or platter arrange the salad bites, season with salt and pepper, and drizzle with crema di balsamico

Pizza Party

I read an article in Bon Appetite magazine about a great dinner party idea, homemade pizza. Turn your kitchen into a pizza parlor for the evening and let guests assemble their own pies. The pizza’s turned out perfectly, and the key is to have all the toppings prepared before your guests arrive; I chopped tomatoes, garlic, and artichokes, caramelized onions, and thinly sliced red onion, and since I don’t eat meat, my guests brought their favorite meat toppings.

The key to perfect homemade pizza is a pizza stone and an extremely hot oven, the no-knead dough is made the day before and left to rise for 18 hours. Bon Appetite’s recipe calls for white flour, but I used a mix of whole wheat and white. Make sure the dough is in a large bowl, because it will double in size and try to spill over the edges, it’s a very sticky, lively dough with lots of bubbles!

No-Knead Pizza Dough

  • 7 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (1000 grams) plus more for shaping dough
  • 4 teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast

Preparation

  1. Whisk flour, salt, and yeast in a medium bowl. While stirring with a wooden spoon, gradually add 3 cups water; stir until well incorporated. Mix dough gently with your hands to bring it together and form into a rough ball. Transfer to a large clean bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let dough rise at room temperature (about 72°) in a draft-free area until surface is covered with tiny bubbles and dough has more than doubled in size, about 18 hours (time will vary depending on the temperature in the room).
  2. Transfer dough to a floured work surface. Gently shape into a rough rectangle. Divide into 6 equal portions. Working with 1 portion at a time, gather 4 corners to center to create 4 folds. Turn seam side down and mold gently into a ball. Dust dough with flour; set aside on work surface or a floured baking sheet. Repeat with remaining portions.
  3. Let dough rest, covered with plastic wrap or a damp kitchen towel, until soft and pliable, about 1 hour. DO AHEAD: Can be made 3 days ahead. Wrap each dough ball separately in plastic wrap and chill. Unwrap and let rest at room temperature on a lightly floured work surface, covered with plastic wrap, for 2–3 hours before shaping.

To Make the Pizzas

  • During the last hour of dough’s resting, prepare oven: If using a pizza stone, arrange a rack in upper third of oven and place stone on rack; preheat oven to its hottest setting, 500°–550°, for 1 hour. If using a baking sheet, arrange a rack in middle of oven and preheat to its hottest setting, 500°–550°. (You do not need to preheat the baking sheet.)
  • Working with 1 dough ball at a time, dust dough generously with flour and place on a floured work surface. Gently shape dough into a 10″–12″ disk.

If Using Pizza Stone

  • When ready to bake, increase oven heat to broil. Sprinkle a pizza peel or rimless (or inverted rimmed) baking sheet lightly with flour. Place dough disk on prepared peel and top with desired toppings.
  • Using small, quick back-and-forth movements, slide pizza from peel onto hot pizza stone. Broil pizza, rotating halfway, until bottom of crust is crisp and top is blistered, 5–7 minutes.
  • Using peel, transfer to a work surface to slice. Repeat, allowing pizza stone to reheat under broiler for 5 minutes between pizzas.

Recipe from Bon Appetite

New Nordic Carrot Cake

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As I child I always loved carrot cake, with the cream cheese frosting, cinnamon spiced interior, and cute frosted carrots adorning the top of the cake. I will always love the classic American carrot cake, but it’s quite indulgent, so I’ve been searching for a healthy alternative, which I found in one of my favorite Danish cookbooks Aarstidernes Livretter.

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Thirty minutes north of Copenhagen, is Aarstiderne at Krogerup, an organic farm with accompanying farm boutique where you can buy fresh, seasonal, organic produce. The Farm boutique is a recent addition; Aarstiderne started out delivering weekly fruit and vegetable boxes to your front door. Today they deliver to around 40,000 households in Denmark and 5,000 in Sweden. The weekly boxes come with exciting recipes, which they have compiled into the cookbook Aarstidernes Livretter.

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New Nordic Carrot Cake Recipe

  • 500g carrots, peeled and grated
  • 150g raw sugar
  • 200ml taste free oil (I used sunflower oil)
  • 4 eggs
  • 150g white flour
  • 115g wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla sugar
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 100g raisins
  • 50g hazelnuts or walnuts (I used hazelnuts)
  • Preheat oven to 185 celsius/365 fahrenheit
  1. In a medium bowl whisk sugar and oil until combined, then whisk in eggs
  2. To the sugar mixture add vanilla sugar and cinnamon.
  3. In a large bowl combine flour, salt, and baking powder, then whisk in the sugar mixture until smooth.
  4. Gently fold in the carrots (it seems like a lot of carrots but this is what makes the cake so moist) and lastly, fold in the hazelnuts and raisins
  5. Pour the batter into two greased loaf pans and bake for 50-70 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean

For information about Aarstiderne visit their English blog

Carrot, Cilantro, and Chili Slaw

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I was searching for a salad with a bit Asian flair to go with take away sushi, when I came across a carrot, cilantro, chili slaw from Bon Appetit. The salad takes about 20 minutes to make and it’s absolutely delicious! If you don’t like spicy food you might want to tone down the jalapeño, I used red chili instead of jalapeño.

Carrot, Cilantro, and Chili Slaw
recipe from Bon Appetit

  • 12 ounces carrots (preferably assorted colors), peeled, julienned (about 4 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil or grapeseed oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt plus more for seasoning
  • 2 jalapeños, stemmed, seeded, minced
  • 1/2 cup (loosely packed) fresh cilantro leaves
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Toss carrots, oil, lime juice, sugar, 1/2 tsp. salt, and jalapeños in a large bowl. Let marinate for 15 minutes, tossing occasionally.
Add cilantro, coriander and sesame seeds; toss to evenly incorporate. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Chocolate Coconut Macaroons

I recently stocked up on shredded organic coconut. It was only after I had purchased it I realized coconut has a relatively short shelf life, so I’ve been searching the web for a way to use all of this coconut.

Luckily, I found David Lebovitz’s simple recipe for Coconut and Chocolate Macaroons. I made a few modifications to the recipe: I substituted organic raw sugar for white sugar, I melted 4 squares of 85% organic chocolate to dip the macaroons in, and I made my macaroons a bit larger, and made 15 instead of 30 cookies.

Coconut and Chocolate Macaroons

by David Lebovitz

30 Cookies

From Ready for Dessert (Ten Speed)

  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1¼ cups sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2½ cups unsweetened coconut (see note)
  • ¼ cup flour
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
  1. In a large skillet, mix together the egg whites, sugar, salt, honey, coconut and flour. Heat over low-to-moderate heat on the stovetop, stirring constantly, scraping the bottom as you stir.
  2. When the mixture just begins to scorch at the bottom, remove from heat and stir in the vanilla. Transfer to a bowl to cool to room temperature. (At this point, the mixture can be chilled for up to one week, or frozen for up to two months.)
  3. When ready to bake, line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mat and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  4. Form the dough into 1 1/2-inch mounds with your fingers evenly spaced on the baking sheet. Bake for 18-20 minutes, until deep golden brown. Cool completely.
  5. To dip the macaroons in chocolate, melt the chocolate in a clean, dry bowl set over a pan of simmering water (or in a microwave.) Line a baking sheet with plastic wrap. Dip the bottoms of each cookie in the chocolate and set the cookies on the baking sheet. Refrigerate 5-10 minutes, until the chocolate is set.

Note: Unsweetened coconut is available in most natural-food shops or you can purchase it online.

It goes under various names, such as coconut powdermedium shredded coconut, and coconut flakes. All will work well in this recipe.


smoked salmon salad

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Summer has officially arrived here in Copenhagen Denmark! The sun is shining, the weather is warm and I have started wearing my favorite summer clothes!

With the heat I crave a crisp and refreshing salad (also no need to turn the oven on and heat things up even more!), this smoked salmon salad is so so easy to make and tastes like a gourmet salad from a nice cafe.

Crisp romaine serves as the bed for this salad to which I add cucumber, tomato, avocado, and succulent smoked salmon; the light and healthy yoghurt dill dressing is the perfect compliment to the veggies and salmon.

Yoghurt Dill Dressing

1. 3/4 cup fat free plain yoghurt (I use Irma’s promille yoghurt )

2. Juice from half a lemon

3. 4 tablespoons of dill dressing or 4 tablespoons fresh dill, 1 tablespoon honey and 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard

4. Salt and pepper to taste

5. Mix the ingredients in a small bowl and enjoy!