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Archive for April, 2013

Carrabba's Razzamatini

Carrabba’s Razzamatini

One of our favorite place to eat is Carrabba’s Italian Grill. Since it’s just the two of us we always sit by the grill and watch the staff prepare the food, it makes for great entertainment. We don’t usually buy alcoholic drinks with our meal but when we were dinning there with my In-laws I went outside our normal routine. I ordered the Carrabba’s Raspberry Martini (Razzamatini) and it was so delicious I could have sucked the entire drink down in one mouthful…but I behaved myself 🙂

Razzamatini

Razzamatini

After our visit there I started searching for a recipe for the Razzamatini and I actually found one. When I first tested the Razzamatini it was a little bitter and so I did just a slight adjustment and I think it’s pretty much right on, at least the way it was served for me that night. I tried it first using Smirnoff Raspberry Vodka and it was very good and then I tried it with Stolichnaya Raspberry Vodka (Stoli Razberi) and it was even better, so if you can get Stoli Razberi Vodka I would recommend that particular brand. I hope you enjoy this delicious drink, SkĂĄl and Cheers!

Razzamatini, makes 1 drink

Ingredients:

2 oz Raspberry Vodka

1 oz Chambord

1 oz Sour Mix

1 oz Cran-Raspberry juice

Directions:

Pour all ingredients into a cocktail mixer with a handful of ice. Shake and pour into your glass.  Garnish with fresh raspberries or blackberries if you like. Cheers and enjoy!

Source: adapted from Cincinnati Mom

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Svensk Pølseret

Svensk Pølseret

Svensk pølseret is a well-known Danish stew that I think most Danes have had on occasion. It is not a Swedish dish, as the name would have you believe, but rather it seems to have come from a summer camp experience in Sweden and was created by using up the last bits of foods in the pantry. And that is what makes this dish so great, it allows you to use up your left-over potatoes and it’s quick and very easy to make on a busy weeknight. I made it many years ago and then forgot about it until my family came to visit. Traditionally Svensk pølseret is made with paprika but in my sisters version she is using curry instead which taste absolutely wonderful and adds a nice heat to the dish.

Making Svensk Pølseret

Making Svensk Pølseret

My sister Jonna making Svensk Pølseret

My sister Jonna making Svensk Pølseret

Svensk Pølseret (6 servings)

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 medium onion, diced

6-7  hot dogs, sliced

2 1/2 lbs left-over cold cooked potatoes, cubed

1 cup ketchup

2 cups milk

2-3 tsp curry

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper (optional for extra heat)

1/2 tsp garlic powder

Chives, for garnish

Directions:

Potatoes are peeled, cooked and drained, placed in refrigerator overnight.

Dice onion and hotdogs. Cut cold potatoes into cubes. Mix ketchup and milk together and set aside. Cook onions in a small amount of olive oil until translucent, add hotdogs and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Add curry, salt, pepper and garlic powder, cook for another minute. Add potatoes and ketchup/milk mixture, stir gently to combine. Turn heat down to low and continue to simmer very gently for another 30-45 minutes. Garnish with chives and serve with warm dinner rolls and enjoy.

Source: my sister Jonna Pedersen

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Davidson Hall at Campbell Folk School, Kitchen, Music and "Wet Studios

Davidson Hall at J. C. Campbell Folk School where the Kitchen, Music and “Wet” Studios are located.

Back in 2005 Joe and I attended a week long seminar at J. C. Campbell Folk School which is located in the beautiful Appalachian mountains in Brasstown NC. The campus is set in the most secluded environment and it is easily navigated with numerous trails for an early morning walk. Each day begins with the tradition of Morningsong which is a combination of music and folklore, a great way to start your morning. Meals are served family style in the Dinning Hall which is a great opportunity to meet new people from all walks of life. The campus also has a charming History center and a wonderful Craft Shop which features pottery, handwoven items, jewelry, wood crafts and ironwork. Back in 2005 Joe took a Viking Blacksmithing class and I took a Scandinavian baking class and it turned out to be one of those fantastic experiences that stays with you forever. So you can imagine my surprise and excitement when I was approached by Campbell Folk School to come down and teach the Scandinavian baking/cooking class during their Scandinavian Heritage week during March 2013.

Director of J. C. Campbell Folk School Jan Davidson performing Morningsong. It's a wonderful beginning to your morning, each day Morningsong is led by someone different.

Director of J. C. Campbell Folk School Jan Davidson performing Morningsong. It’s a wonderful beginning to your morning and each day Morningsong is led by someone different.

Evening entertainment

I didn’t catch their names but they were great. If anyone knows who they are please let me know.

David Baker taught the Kaleidoscope class and he was a riot, a real viking :)

David Baker taught the Kaleidoscope class and he was a riot, a real viking 🙂

Local Fireman doing Morningsong and smartly incorporating fire prevention into his routing.

Local Fireman J. D. Robinson doing Morningsong and smartly incorporating fire prevention into his routine.

The class turned out to be a really good group which meshed together very nicely. There were five wonderful ladies, all with fantastic personalities: Lucrecia, Paula B, Paula C, Roberta and Lynn Ann and then we had one gentleman named Mark which turned out to be a really funny and pleasant feller.

Our class left to right: Paula, Roberta, Lucrecia, Lynn Ann, Gitte, Mark and Paula

Our class left to right: Paula, Roberta, Lucrecia, Lynn Ann, Gitte, Mark and Paula

For the class I had prepared recipes which were Danish, Norwegian, Swedish and Finnish in origin and the class was set up to be predominantly baking with one full day of cooking savory foods.

Mark making Pebernødder

Mark making Pebernødder

Roberta and Paula making Norwegian Julekake

Roberta and Paula carefully following a recipe

Lynn Ann making Æbleskiver, they were delicious!

Lynn Ann making Æbleskiver, they were delicious!

Lucrecia and Paula made the classic Othellolagkage. They did an outstanding job.

Lucrecia and Paula made the classic Othellolagkage. They did an outstanding job.

Here are a few pictures of some of the baked goods the class made. We made a lot more than this but I didn’t get pictures of everything.

Othellolagkage

Othellolagkage, a true masterpiece!

Campbell 2 (42)

Making Hindbær Roulade

Campbell 2 (52)

Swedish Lussekatter, before baking.

Campbell 2 (60)

Birkes with Remonce.

Campbell 5 (5)

Kringle pastry

Campbell 5 (6)

Æbleskiver, the only thing missing is a warm glass of Gløgg.

Campbell 5 (8)

Finnish Christmas Stars.

Campbell 6 (3)

Norwegian Krumkake, they were served with vanilla and chocolate filling. Very popular!

Campbell 6 (4)

Scandinavian Toscakake.

Campbell 6 (6)

Kiksekage, very decadent.

The Fiddle class stopped in and serenaded us. They were well fed.

The Fiddle class stopped in and serenaded us. They were well fed.

Midweek is when we cooked the savory foods leading up to our dinner party on Wednesday evening. I wanted them to experience small samples of typical Danish foods and there were some hesitation and a lot of joking 🙂 about eating Marinated Herring and Liver Pate in particular, but I think all in all, they really did like those foods. Our dinner that evening turned out to be a lot of fun and it was a real pleasure meeting everyone’s significant others and family members.

Our dinner party.

Our dinner party.

The menu consisted of a mixture of different food:

Smørrebrød with Danish Rye Bread (Rugbrød), Marinated Herring (Sild) and homemade Curry Salad (Karrysalat)

Smørrebrød with Rye Bread, Liver pate (Leverpostej), fried mushrooms and bacon

Meatballs (Frikadeller) with Red Sweet and Sour Cabbage (Rødkål) and Caramelized Potatoes (Brunede Kartofler)

Ris a La Mande with warm Cherry Sauce (Ris a La Mande with Krisebær Sovs)

Lucrecia stirred and stirred the Risengrød so it wouldn't burn. I think we should have given her some sort of "best stirring" award :)

Lucrecia stirred and stirred the Risengrød so it wouldn’t burn. She deserved some sort of “stirring” award 🙂

Campbell 3 (5)

Making “oh so wonderful” Liver Pate.

Campbell 3 (10)

Danish Smørrebrød with Marinated Herring and homemade Curry Salad (Karrysalat).

Friday afternoon was the closing ceremony and all the different classes put on a display of what they had been making during the week. As for our class, we spent the morning baking so we could provide samples of some delicious special treats to all the other students and instructors. All of the samples were gone within fifteen minutes and we got great reviews on our baked goods. Great job Guys! 🙂

Scandinavian Baking Class, Closing Ceremomy

Scandinavian Baking Class at the Closing Ceremony

The Fiddle class provided entertainment at the Closing Ceremony.

The Fiddle class provided entertainment at the Closing Ceremony.

Viking Style Ironwork

Viking Style Ironwork

Thread Art

Thread Art

Norwegian Rosemaling

Norwegian Rosemaling

Birch Bark Basketry

Birch Bark Basketry

Nordic Knitting

Nordic Knitting

Woodturning

Woodturning

Kaleidoscopes

Kaleidoscopes

Figure Carving

Figure Carving

Weaving

Weaving

Norwegian Bentwood Boxes

Norwegian Bentwood Boxes

Needle Felting

Needle Felting

I wanted to say thank you to all of my students for being so pleasant and I hope you enjoyed tasting all the delicious treats we made. I also wanted to say thank you to Carla Owen who initially approached me to teach at the Folk School and to Nanette Davidson for all of your help and the generous offer you extended to me. I thank all of you!

The Easter Bunny also made an appearance at the Folk School.

The Easter Bunny also made an appearance at the Folk School. (David Baker in disguise)

Source: My Danish Kitchen

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Making Rumtopf

Rumtopf is a very popular drink in Denmark and Germany. I recall my father making this when I was a girl and that it was a huge hit in the house. Of course my parents let me taste it and I liked the fruit 🙂 although very strong, but I didn’t care for the rum liquid. It was much too strong for my young taste buds, however, that is not the case today. Today it is delicious, but don’t forget that this is straight flavored rum you are consuming and the wonderful fruit is loaded with alcohol. So beware when your enjoying this delicious Rumtopf.

I choose to pit my cherries, however, the pits can be left in place for added flavor.

Traditionally the Rumtopf is started in late spring and fruit is added during the summer as they come into season. However, since fruit is now available pretty much year-round you could start it at any time but ideally you want to follow the season for the best flavors. When you choose your fruit make sure they are not over-ripe. Small fruit that contain pits (like cherries) can either be pitted or the pits can be left in place for added flavor. Larger fruit need to be pitted and cut into bite size pieces.

Rumtopf

The Rumtopf is typically made in a large stoneware pot that has a lid. I don’t have a Rumtopf pot so I used a large glass jar which worked out well except for the fact that I was not able to add very much fruit. My Rumtopf only had two kinds of fruit, cherries and mangoes and hindsight being 20/20 I would not choose mango again with other dark colored fruit because the darker fruit (cherries) give off color and ended up discoloring my beautiful yellow mango. Not esthetically pleasing, but delicious nonetheless. The other dilemma I had was that you want to store the Rumtopf in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. Well it’s been such an extremely hot summer here in Virginia and our house has been comfortable, but not cool per se, so I choose to store it in the refrigerator to avoid too much fermentation.

Rumtopf fruit and liquid mixed with a little strawberry jam over vanilla ice cream…
ĂĽber delicious.

Suitable fruit: Cherries, Mangoes, Plums, Pears, Peaches, Apricots, Nectarines, Pineapple, Raspberries, Strawberries, Gooseberries, Red Currants, Grapes

Fruit not suitable:

Banana (too soft)

Watermelon and Cantaloupe (too watery)

Citrus (too much acid)

Apple (takes on an odd texture)

Blackberries and Blueberries (may discolor other fruit)

Rhubarb (too sour)

Mix half and half Rumtopf and Champagne for a cool delicious drink

Rumtopf

Ingredients:

1 pound fresh fruit

1/2 pound sugar

good quality rum, unflavored, enough to cover fruit

Directions:

Add fruit to jar. If fruit is large, cut into bite-size pieces. If fruit has pits they may either be left in place for added flavor or removed if you desire. If you choose to leave the pits in place don’t forget to tell your guests that pits are present, to avoid accidents.

Pour sugar over fruit and add rum to cover fruit by 1 inch. Give a quick stir and seal with a tight-fitting lid. Store in a cool dry location away from direct sunlight. Allow fruit to sit for at least 4 to 6 weeks, tasting periodically. Serve Rumtopf fruit and liquid over Ice Cream, cakes, cheese cakes and waffles or inside rolled-up crepes. Serve strained Rumtopf liquid as an after dinner cordial or mix with other drinks of your choice. Enjoy!

Source: My Danish Kitchen

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