Cooking · The good

Happy Summer!

How’s everyone celebrating summer so far? Here some days are sunny, some are rainy. The weather is warm but not near to what we normally have here. Temperatures are not high and there’s plenty of humidity in the air. Some parts of the country are facing floods, not even close to what they’ve predicted for the year-drought.

We won’t be having any summer holidays this year and we won’t be getting any days off either. Husband is quite busy with his carpentry workshop and we are currently implementing part of the business plans that we’ve been working on for a while.

As for me, currently helping him to go in the direction that we both agree on with his part of the business. I’ve stopped my workshop for now, at least won’t be shipping internationally until this virus madness ends. The post office is way too slow and is causing unnecessary drama that is being added to our problems .

Meanwhile, there’s plenty of work to do! One reason why I love summer is because of all the herbs that need to be collected! So happy I was able to make lots of spruce buds syrup! Al ready sitting for two weeks now.

I also picked up plenty of Thymus Serpyllum to dry for tea.

This year I was also able to focus more on Dandelion. First time trying to make coffee from dandelion roots! Loved the smell and taste of the coffee so I collected MORE roots!

The process is quite easy: wash them, cut them in small pieces, roast them in a pan in the oven. The taste of the coffee it all depends on how much you roast the roots. Let them cool and put them in your coffee grinder. You can make the coffee with your espresso machine, I personally prefer to make it the traditional way- in a pot on the stove.

Then I also home made tomato sauce . I like to froze it in cubes, wrap each cube individually and store them in the freezer.

And because it is summer I’m oriented on greens and simple light foods. I don’t know why I’m losing appetite in summers, or better said – I eat less food and drink lots of water ,tea and fruit juices.

So yesterday I made this yummy tart with herbs from the garden : green onion, green garlic, orach and forest mushrooms.

Cooking

Country style chicken soup with sorrel

I’ve been quite busy gathering herbs, making tinctures, teas and salves. Gardening and preparing the first vegetables for winter also eats up a lot of my time. I wanted to go up in the mountains again this weekend, but it’s pouring outside! I wanted to see what herbs I can gather, so far I’m all stocked up on sorrel, wild garlic, dandelion and nettles.

And since I have so much sorrel, making one of my grandma’s favorite chicken soups was mandatory!

This soup is perfect for rainy, gloomy days.

So first thing’s first – a chicken was sacrificed for this soup. Other ingredients from the garden: carrots (2), onion (1 ), garlic (2-3 cloves), parsnip (1), root celery (half from a small one). And of course the star of this dish : a hand full of fresh picked sorrel.

For those who don’t know this magnificent herb , sorrel is packed with lots of vitamins and minerals and it is a strong antioxidant . It helps with blood pressure, bad cholesterol and detoxification of the entire body.

Cooking

Lamb stew with chanterelles mushrooms

Today I made lamb stew with chanterelles mushrooms that I’ve picked up from the forest last autumn. The lamb was bought from a local farmer, everything else is from the garden. I also made lamb broth/soup but that’s for another post, maybe.

I’m not good when it comes to write down recipes. When I cook I usually add ingredients…by eye. I only measure the exact quantities when it comes to baking. But then again this is not a cooking blog. I just wanted to share this with everyone out there.

Roughly I used 1 yellow onion, 4 green onions, 4 medium carrots, 2 medium potatoes, root celery (about half of it from a medium sized one), one big parsnip, 4 garlic cloves. Chop everything in chunky pieces. You will also need about 300gr lamb meat, cut in cubes. About 100-150g chanterelles mushrooms. You will also need 3 tablespoons of olive oil, salt, pepper, one bay leaf, rosemary, dill, 1 cup of wine, 2-3 cups of water and 70g tomato sauce.

The good · Cooking

Home made bread

I did it!! Last night I tried to make and bake my very first loafs of bread! I have plenty of flour and 1 kg of fresh yeast , so I had to build up the courage and give it a try.

The bread was baked in the oven and the dough came out perfectly. Do excuse the dark photos. It was the best I could do at 2 am.

Basic bread recipe, nothing fancy. 1 kg all purpose flour, 4 spoonful olive oil, 2 teaspoon sugar, 1 teaspoon salt, 20g fresh yeast, about 400-450 ml lukewarm water. This is the recipe that my grandma used to make. Wait until the bread is cooled and store it into plastic bags. This way the bread will remain soft and fresh. Sometimes my grandma woupd add 500g white flour and 500g rye flour.

I was so happy with the dough that I forgot all about the egg yolk for the surface of the bread. I had it ready on the table.

One thing is for sure – I am never gonna buy bread from the supermarket ever again! And I’m so eager to experiment with different recipes and flavors! At least I know that my oven can bake bread! My mom’s oven wasn’t suitable for this kind of task. Reason why back when I was at my parents we used to make bread with our bread machine. My mom doesn’t use it anymore so I decided to ask nicely if she is willing to give it to me. And she did , bless her heart!

This machine is at least 15 years old but in perfect condition. I’m missing the recipe book, so I’ll have to experiment a bit until I get it right.

I want to keep this machine as an option for when I don’t have time to hand make the dough and wait until it’s baked.

So far this experiment was a success.

Cooking

Creamy mashed cauliflower with chicken liver sauté (low carb/Keto friendly)

So I took the challenge until Christmas. Trying to also fix my poor eating habits too. Let’s see how this goes. Cauliflower and I aren’t really that good friends but for this challenge I must find better alternatives. Today I tried mashed cauliflower for the first time and I love it! If you’re missing mashed potatoes, definitely try switching to a healthier alternative : cauliflower.

I don’t have the exact quantities . I don’t really like sticking to quantities when I cook, unless there is a complicated recipe that needs to be strictly followed. I choose a small cauliflower, boiled or steam it until it is soft, drain, put it in a food processor or a blender, add butter ( 80% fat), cream cheese, salt, pepper. I also sprinkled a bit of hot paprika on top.

For the chicken liver saute (you can use pork liver instead) I used about 500 gr liver, one yellow bell pepper, one red bell pepper, one onion and a few minced garlic cloves, olive oil, salt, pepper. That’s it!