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Pumpkin Spice Bread

Pumpkin Spice Bread

Pumpkin Spice Bread

Fall is finally here, my favorite time of year. I love Autumn here in Virginia, the sun is still nice and warm but the air is cool and crisp and the sky is the most brilliant blue color. The trees are showing off their beautiful Fall foliage, Pumpkins are everywhere and the evenings are for hot apple cider. What’s not to like. And to really get us into the Autumn mood, here is a delicious, soft and moist Pumpkin Spice bread which I lightened up a little by substituting some of the oil with applesauce. I promise that you can’t tell it’s a little on the healthy side. The recipe makes two regular loaves (9 x 5 inch pan) or 1 regular and 2 mini loaves (7 x 2.5 inch pan) or maybe you could make 4 mini loaves to give to friends and family. The regular size loaves bake for 60-70 minutes and the mini loaves bake for about 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Happy baking!

Pumpkin Spice Bread

Pumpkin Spice Bread

Pumpkin Spice Bread (makes 2 loaves)

Ingredients:

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup applesauce

4 eggs, at room temperature

15 oz canned pumpkin

3 cups sugar

3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

1/2 cup water

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray two 9×5 inch loaf pans with baking spray and set aside.

In a large bowl combine oil, applesauce, eggs, pumpkin and sugar, mix well to combine. In a second bowl combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and allspice. With the mixer set to slow speed, add dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture, while alternating with the water, mix until combined.

Pour batter into prepared pans and bake for 60-70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in pans for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. Enjoy!

Source: adapted from Taste of Home

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Veggie Roll-up Lasagna

Veggie Lasagna Roll-up

My husband Joe is a meat lover so when I told him that I was making vegetable lasagna roll-up he immediately wrinkled his nose and I assured him that he was going to love it. And while I was cooking the sauce he kept asking me if I was adding some sausage to the sauce, but I stood my ground with a firm “no” :) And when it finally came time to taste the much anticipated lasagna roll-up, guess what, he loved it and I must say that this recipe really is wonderful…even without meat.

Separate and cover noodles until ready to use. Spread ricotta cheese, roll tightly, place in pan.

Separate and cover noodles until ready to use. Spread ricotta cheese, roll tightly, place in pan.

I am always looking for good recipes that you can cook ahead, freeze and then thaw and cook for those nights when you come home tired from a long day at work. I love this recipe because it can be made into small portions, it is loaded with delicious vegetables and there is less cheese involved than a regular lasagna. Of course you can always add some meat to the recipe or change the vegetables around as you please, but all kidding aside, this recipe will definitely be a staple recipe here at our house and sometimes there may even be some meat in it.

Layer: sauce, rolled up noodles, sauce and a thin layer of cheese.

Layer: sauce, rolled up noodles, sauce and a thin layer of cheese.

Veggie Lasagna Roll-up, makes 3 foil loaf-size pans

Ingredients:

12 lasagna noodles

For the sauce:

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 onion, diced

1 orange bell pepper, diced

3 large cloves of garlic, minced

1 zucchini, cut into bite size chunks

1 yellow squash, cut into bite size chunks

mushrooms, sliced or diced

1 cup white wine

salt and pepper, to taste

14 oz diced tomatoes

3 tablespoons tomato paste

1 cup of your favorite marinara sauce

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

For the cheese filling:

15 oz ricotta cheese

1 egg

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

large bunch fresh basil

salt and pepper

For the topping:

Your favorite Italian cheese (I used a store-bought blend of Mozzarella, Asiago, Provolone and Romano)

Directions:

Cook lasagna noodles in salted water according to package directions, drain and rinse with cold water. Line a baking sheet with plastic wrap and place one layer of noodles, alternate plastic wrap with noodles ending with plactic wrap on top, to prevent the noodles from drying out. Set aside.

To make sauce: heat olive oil in a large cooking pot, add onions and bell pepper, cook until onions are starting to turn translucent. Add garlic, zucchini, squash and mushrooms, cook for a few minutes. Pour in wine and cook another 1-2 minutes. Add salt and pepper, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, your favorite marinara sauce and Parmesan cheese, simmer 15-20 minutes.

To make cheese filling: in a small bowl add ricotta cheese, egg, Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper and chopped basil, stir to combine.

To assemble: line up 3 loaf-size foil pans. Spoon a small amount of sauce into bottom of loaf pan. Lay out 4 lasagna noodles and spread each noodle with a thin layers of ricotta cheese mix. Roll each noodle up tightly and place on top of sauce inside foil pan. 4 rolled up noodle will fit inside each pan. Top noodles with more sauce and your favorite cheese. Close pan off with tinfoil. Repeat with remaining ingredients. Cook immediately or let cool down in refrigerator before placing in freezer.

When ready to bake preheat oven to 350 degrees F and cook covered for 40 minutes. Turn heat up to 400 degrees F and continue to cook uncovered for 15 minutes or until cheese is golden in color. Enjoy!

Source: adapted from Ree Drummond

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Honningkage

Honningkage

I bought a package of Dr. Oetker Honningkage spice mix which I have been wanting to try out for quite some time now. The cake turned out very delicious and it was super easy to make. It brought back childhood memories of a wonderful Honningkage that my mother used to make, I’ll have to ask her if she still has that recipe. The spice package is a mixture of cinnamon, cloves, ginger, allspice and baking soda so it is a really nice combination of spices. I topped the cake with a little glaze of confectioners sugar and water, which gave it a nice sweet contrast. So if you come across a package of Dr. Oetker Honningkage spice mix, give it a try, it’s really very easy to make and delicious. (Wow, that almost sounded like a commercial, it not though, just a personal recommedation :) )

Honningkage – Honey Cake (makes 2 small or 1 large loaf)

Ingredients:

100 grams butter (or 3.5 oz)

1 1/2 deciliter sugar (or 145 grams or 5.1 oz)

1 deciliter honey (150 grams or 5.3 oz)

1 egg

1 deciliter buttermilk (4 liquid oz or 1/2 liquid cup)

4 deciliter all-purpose flour (235 grams or 8.2 oz)

1 package (15 grams) Dr. Oetker Honningkage spice

Directions:

Preheat oven to 150 degrees C (300 degrees F). Spray your baking pan of choice with baking spray and set aside. I used 2 small 7 x 2.5 x 1.8 inch pans (approx 17.5 x 6 x 4.5 cm). Melt butter, sugar and honey in a small saucepan, remove from heat and let it cool down a little. Beat egg and buttermilk together. Mix honningkage spice package in with the flour. Add honey mixture and flour to the buttermilk in alternating increments. Beat until incorporated, do not over-mix. Pour into baking pan and bake in center of oven for 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean. If desired you can serve cake with glasur (mix confectioners sugar with a small amount of cold water). Enjoy!

Source: adapted from Dr. Oetker Honningkage spice package

Honningkage Spice Package

Honningkage Spice Package

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Almost Flourless Chocolate Cake

Almost Flourless Chocolate Cake

You don’t need a special occasion to make this cake although it is timeless, elegant and oh-so decadent, and it’s sure to take care of any severe chocolate craving which may be possessing you. This cake is very simple to make however, it does need to be made a day in advance of serving it.  I actually view that as a big plus, that way you don’t have to fiddle around with it on the day your guests are coming. I chose to serve this wonderful cake with a small scoop of Vanilla Bean Ice Cream to offset the sweetness of the cake. You could also simply choose some whipped cream or Crème Fraîche on the side. If you venture out and make this cake, I hope you enjoy it!

Making Almost Flourless Chocolate Cake

Making Almost Flourless Chocolate Cake

Almost Flourless Chocolate Cake (serves 8-10)

Ingredients:

200 gram dark chocolate (7 oz) (I used 70% Lindt dark chocolate)

200 gram unsalted butter (7 oz)

200 gram sugar (7 oz)

5 eggs

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

Directions:

Preheat oven to 180 degrees C (350 degrees F).

Spray a 22 cm (~ 8.5 inch) springform pan lightly with baking spray. Place a round cut-to-fit piece of parchment paper in the bottom of the pan and lightly spray parchment paper with baking spray, set aside.

Using a warm water bath (a bowl set over a pan of almost simmering water, do not let the bottom of the bowl touch the water) melt the butter and chopped chocolate over gentle heat. Once the chocolate mixture is smooth, remove from heat and allow to cool a little. Add sugar to chocolate mixture and stir thoroughly. Add the eggs on at a time, mixing well after each addition but without beating too much air into the mixture. Fold in the flour.

Pour chocolate mixture into prepared pan and bake for 22-26 minutes. Cake should be slightly wobbly in the middle when you take it out. Allow cake to cool completely before removing it from the pan. Store cake overnight in a cool place, covered with foil.

Serve with a small scoop of Vanilla Ice Cream, Whipped Cream or a dollop of Crème Fraîche. Enjoy!

Source: Trish Deseine’s,  I Want Chocolate

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Hindbærsnitter

Hindbærsnitter

Hindbærsnitter remains one of my all-time favorite Danish pastries and while we were vacationing home in Denmark this summer, I had my fair share of them from the bakery (that, and Træstammer). So after coming home I was looking for an excuse to bake them again and finally got the opportunity when a friend of ours came for a short stay, thanks Vince :)

This recipe is not that different from my other post about Hindbærsnitter, it probably differs mostly in technique. The result was a very, very tasty Hindbærsnit, although the cake turned out very delicate and frail. I think that was due to the fact that I interpreted the directions to roll out the dough to a 25 by 30 cm rectangle. Looking back, I think what Lone Landmand (from Beretninger fra et autentisk landbrug) meant was to roll the dough out to a 25 or 30 cm square. I believe that if you roll it out to a 25 by 25 cm square you will get a slightly thicker, and therefor a less delicate outcome. If you decide to try this recipe for Hindbærsnitter, I know you’ll love them.

Making Hindbærsnitter

Making Hindbærsnitter

Hindbærsnitter (makes 12-16 pieces)

Ingredients:

300 gram all-purpose flour (10.5 oz)

100 gram confectioners sugar (3.5 oz)

200 gram butter, at room temperature (7 oz)

2 large egg yolks

280 gram seedless raspberry jam (10 oz)

For the glaze:

270 gram confectioners sugar (approx 2 1/2 cups)

3-4 tablespoons cold water

Colored sprinkles for decorating

Directions:

In a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine flour, confectioner sugar and cut-up butter. On low speed, combine until mixture is crumbly. Add egg yolks one at the time, gradually increasing speed to medium, mix until dough comes together. Divide dough into two equal portions, place each half of dough on a piece of parchment paper and slightly press dough into a square shape. Place both pieces of dough in refrigerator for 1 hour to rest and chill.

Preheat oven to 175 degrees C (345 degrees F)

Keeping the dough on parchment paper, roll dough out to approximately 25 x 25 cm (9.5 x 9.5 inches), repeat with the second piece of dough. Place each parchment paper with rolled out dough onto a baking sheet. Bake dough, one sheet at the time, for 12 minutes or until edges turn golden. Allow baked cake to cool a little. Meanwhile, make the glaze by mixing confectioners sugar and water until smooth. Prepare raspberry jam by stirring it to make a loose flowing jam. Spread jam onto the first baked cake, this will be the bottom piece. Gently slide a flexible plastic cutting board under the second cake and lift it up. Then slide it off the cutting board onto the first raspberry covered cake. If the cake crack a little don’t worry, the glaze will cover it up. Spread the glaze over the top and add sprinkles before the glaze sets. Allow glaze to set completely before cutting. Enjoy!

Source: Beretninger fra et autentisk landbrug

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Summer Vacation

Summer Vacation

Summer Vacation

Hello everyone! I’ll be taking a little time off to enjoy the summer as well as traveling home to visit my family, friends and to soak up the beauty of Denmark. I can’t believe that it has actually been 4 1/2 years since I was home last, so this vacation is long overdue :D I’ll see you back here soon.

Caprese Salad

Greek Pasta Salad

This pasta salad war originally a caprese pasta salad with mozzarella, but I really don’t like to bite into chunks of mozzarella cheese. So I changed it up a little and replaced the mozzarella with a delicious feta cheese which I love. The dressing for the pasta salad is a wonderful blend of garlic infused olive oil, balsamic vinegar with a background of fresh basil, really flavorful. I hope you enjoy this easy to make and very delicious pasta salad.

Pasta Salad (8-10 servings)

Ingredients:

12 oz. of your favorite pasta, cooked

6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2-3 cloves of garlic, minced

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

6 oz. cherry tomatoes, halved

1/2 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves, chopped

2 oz. feta cheese

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Cook pasta according to package directions, drain and rinse, set aside. In a small skillet combine olive oil, garlic and red pepper flakes (optional) over low heat. Warm oil slowly to allow flavors to infuse, 5-10 minutes. Do not let the garlic take on color. Set aside to cool slightly.

Place pasta in a bowl. Add olive oil mixture, balsamic vinegar, tomatoes and basil, toss to combine. Add feta cheese, toss gently. Season with salt and pepper. Serve at room temperature or chilled. Enjoy!

Source: adapted from Annie’s Eats

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Nougatmandler

Nougatmandler

Nougat is a sinfully delicious paste that is used quite often in Denmark. Nougat can be made from sugar or honey, toasted almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts and/or pistachios. There are a number of different variations of nougat but the one I am using here is a soft nougat made with hazelnuts.

The melted Nougat is added in three additions and then gently tossed and separated with confectioners sugar.

Nougatmandler is quick and easy to make. Make sure the ceramic bowl you’re using is chilled all the way and be aware that you may have to place the bowl back in the refrigerator for a few minutes, in-between each addition of the warm melted nougat. The final outcome is a crunchy toasted almond  hidden in a soft shell of sweet nougat. Makes for a perfect little snack.

Nougatmandler – Nougat Wrapped Almonds

Ingredients:

100 grams whole almonds with skin on

100 grams nougat

50 grams confectioner sugar

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, place almonds on a baking sheet and toast for 5 minutes. Remove almonds from oven and place in a ceramic bowl in refrigerator until completely cold.

Place confectioner sugar in a small bowl and set aside. Over a waterbath melt the nougat. Bring the cold bowl with almonds out of refrigerator and add 1/3 of melted nougat, stir with a small rubber spatula until nougat starts to set and thicken. Add the second 1/3 of nougat and repeat stirring. Place bowl back into refrigerator between nougat additions if needed. Finally, add the last 1/3 of nougat and repeat stirring. Pour nougat almonds into bowl with confectioners sugar and gently, using your fingers, work the confectioners sugar around each almond. In the end, place almonds into a sieve and gently tap the excess sugar off the almonds. Store almonds a covered container in a cool location. Makes for a wonder snack, enjoy!

Source: Mette Blomsterberg

Soft Nougat

Soft Nougat

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Cranberry-Walnut Chocolate Chip Cookies

Cranberry-Walnut Chocolate Chip Cookies

I have been on the hunt for a go-to-cookie for a long time now. One that fits anytime of the year, one that is quick and easy to make and I think I have finally found one. I have made these both with and without the walnuts, not everybody like nuts you know, and they are equally good with and without. They tend to spread out a little more without the nuts, but that’s OK. These cookies have a wonderful background flavor of brown sugar, which reminds me of a Blondie, and the combination of walnuts and cranberries gives them a slight crunch and makes them nice and soft, all at the same time. These cookies are definitely a keeper and I think you’ll really enjoy them as well.

IMG_4909

Roll dough into 1 1/2 inch balls

Ingredients:

2 3/4 cup all-purpose flour (360 grams)

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup butter, room temperature (226 grams)

3/4 cup sugar (155 grams)

1 cup packed brown sugar (185 grams)

2 large eggs, room temperature

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

10 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips (280 grams)

1 1/2 cup dried cranberries (140 grams)

1 cup chopped walnuts (112 grams)

Directions:

Line baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (175 degrees Celsius).

Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt, set aside. Cream butter and sugars until smooth and soft, about 2-3 minutes. Add eggs one at a time and beat until smooth. Add vanilla and mix until fully incorporated, scrape down sides of bowl as needed. With mixer on low, add flour in three increments and mix only until fully incorporated. Add chocolate chips, cranberries and chopped walnuts, mix only until incorporated. Working quickly, roll dough into 1 1/2 inch balls (approx. 4 cm), place on prepared baking sheet 2 inches apart (5 cm). If dough feels very soft when rolling, place baking sheet with dough balls in refrigerator for 5 minutes before baking. Bake for 16-20 minutes or until done. Cool and baking sheet for 2 minutes before transferring to cooling rack. Enjoy!

Freshly baked Cranberry-Walnut Chocolate Chip Cookies

Freshly baked Cranberry-Walnut Chocolate Chip Cookies

Source: adapted from Bakerella

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Shrimp Salad With White Asparagus

Shrimp Salad With White Asparagus

For a beautiful, warm spring day like today I think we need a light and delicious Shrimp Salad served on a small slice of French bread. I’ve had my eye on this Shrimp Salad for quite some time now, and today is the perfect day for it. The most important thing about making it, is to make sure that you get as much liquid out of the shrimp and asparagus as possible and that is difficult to do with the fragile marinated asparagus without squashing them. I still ended up with a little too much liquid in mine but the salad was still wonderful and very fresh tasting. Perhaps next time I’ll try in addition to gently patting the asparagus dry, also letting them sit for awhile on some paper towels to try and absorb some more liquid. This is a really nice, refreshing Shrimp Salad with a hint of lemon. Enjoy!

Shrimp Salad With White Asparagus

Ingredients:

200 grams small shrimp (peeled, deveined and cooked)

16-18 thin white asparagus (marinated in water)

1 deciliter Hellmann’s mayo

1 tablespoon ketchup

a small sprinkle of fresh lemon juice

a pinch of ground chili powder

Directions:

If using frozen shrimp, defrost, drain and thoroughly pat dry the shrimp. Remove asparagus from marinade water, place on paper towel and gently pat dry. It is important to remove as much liquid from shrimp and asparagus as possible to avoid a wet shrimp salad. Cut asparagus into bite size pieces. In a small bowl add mayo, ketchup, lemon juice and chili powder, stir. Add shrimp and asparagus to mayo mixture and gently mix to combine. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. Serve with French bread. Enjoy!

Source: Dalsgaard i Skivholme

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