wine wednesday: rioja reserva and fun with bottles

By Wine

 

Rioja reserva

Rioja reserva is a beautifully complex and rich red best served with rich meats!

Hey everyone! It’s time for another wine wednesday and I’m here sipping a nice large glass of Rioja Reserva 2013/14, a great red wine from  Compañía Vinícola del Norte de España (Spain!). The winery was family founded way back in 1879 and is still family owned to this day, with all the wines made today hailing back to the original wines first produced here and sold as a Bordeaux lookalike. This Rioja is a great soft and luxurious glass of wine lightly red in color with (we agree with the bottle here) a lovely brambly nose with light hints of spice! The tasting notes feature leather, coffee and even caramel all with nice overtones of autumn fruits.

The recommended serving pairing with food is for any kind of rich meat, such as grilled lamb or duck, so today we’re having it alongside a lovely, meaty, hamburger recipe. There are very few things in life better than sitting back after a long hard day with a great glass of red and today is no different! After a long day crunching through numbers and working through spreadsheets, there’s very few things in my life I enjoy as much as a beautiful (large!) glass of red wine, and combining this with brilliant food only enhances the experience.

I’ve recently had my love for wine reinvigorated after spending some time reading Fine Wine Master, a leading wine blog which I’ve recently discovered on Twitter. They’ve got some great resources there for discovering more about wine and finding out loads that you don’t know, so I’d really recommend everyone take a look and see what you can learn! I’ve also really enjoyed their recent article on wine bottle openers and chosen to replace my awful rusty old thing with a brand new one (electronic, woo!) and must admit I’m not looking back. The posting schedule is a little unpredictable, but if you want to discover more about wine (wine pairing, types of wine…unfortunately nothing much on food yet) then this is the place you need to check out.

I’ve also found this amazing video so if you do ever get caught without a bottle opener…you can apparently open a bottle of wine with a shoe!

I must admit, I’ve been caught in a tough spot without a wine bottle opener many times before but for the best of my recollection I’m pretty sure it’s always been when I’ve been out and about – usually while having a picnic! Unfortunately this has the negative side-effect of meaning that there’s rarely a wall around. But next time I do have problems opening a bottle of wine (and don’t have my new bottle opener to hand) I’ll be sure to follow the advice of the video and let you know if it works just as well with a tree as it does and let you know if you can use this to get out of your wine emergency.

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cocktail hour: raspberry delight

By Cocktails

[eng]

Guys, it’s cocktail hour, and Raspberry Delight is on the menu. Real refreshing and super simple to make.

For one of these red delights you need:
2 cl Passoa
2 cl white rum (I used Havana Club)
7 – 10 fresh raspberries
Sprite

Then you:
1. Muddle 3 – 4 raspberries at the bottom of a cocktail shaker
2. Add Passoa and rum, and enough ice cubes to fill half the shaker
3. Shake ingredients well
4. Pour everything into a tall glass
5. Top up with sprite and decorate with the rest of the raspberries

Cheers!

xxx etta

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wine wednesday: white wine from morocco

By Wine

So I’m sat here a little tipsy (in my defence, I did just consume half a bottle of white in less than 30 minutes) wanting to put together and publish a Wine Wednesday post at some point before midnight and before it ain’t Wednesday no more.

I blame my tipsiness on the Moroccans and their wonderful white, ’cause one of many things I did not know ahead of my trip to this colourful country, was their super tasty white!

But I’m a quick learner, especially when it comes to stuff that tastes good. Already the first evening some of my travel partners and I ‘met’ our first liquid Moroccan and from there on out it was all about the white; for lunch, for dinner and then some. I managed to bring two of my favourites home, of one which I’ll be phrasing on this less than sober evening…

I’m talking about the one with the yellow label – yum! The other one I’ll tell your about next month.

This ‘Vin Blanc du Maroc’ from Domaine de Sahari Reserve (French  is not my strong suit, but I figured it means Moroccan white form this and that) is, in one (very American) word: AWESOME! Its mix of wonderful aroma, little acidy and lots of taste makes it so, SO easy to drink (perhaps a little too easy?). Even the boyfriend practically gulped it down here earlier and he’s barely touched a white the last few weeks saying he generally finds them boring. Well, mam, there’s nothing boring about this one!

Oh, God, I  think I need want another glade, sorry, glass. Talk tomorrow – cheers!

xxx etta

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recipe: tasty nachos with homemade guacamole

By Recipes

This dish rocks! And it’s SO filling! Depending a little on how greedy the people around your table are, this recipe should easily fill three tummies.

For the meat sauce, you need:

400 g minced meat
3 tbs taco spice (if you want to make your own, see further down)
2 – 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/2 chilli, finely chopped
1/2 box sweetcorn
1/2 brown beans
1/2 box chopped tomatoes

For the taco spice – which will leave you with plenty to spare for another ‘Mexican occasion’ – you need:

3 tbs chilli powder
2 1/2 ts chilli flakes
2 1/2 ts dried oregano
2 tbs cumin
2 tbs paprika powder
2 1/2 ts garlic powder
1 1/2  – 2 tbs salt
2 ts black pepper

Simply mix all spices together and store in a sealed jar.

For the guacamole, I used this recipe (it’s da bomb!)

Over to the ‘extras’:
200 g nachos (unsalted)
Shredded cheese of your choice
Salsa
Sourcream
Lime, cut in wedges
Fresh coriander

Now let’s gets started!
1. Fry minced meat, garlic and chilli on medium heat
2. Add taco spice
3. Mix sweetcorn, beans and chopped tomatoes in a bowl, then pour mixture in with the meat. Let simmer for a few minutes before you taste to see if more taco spice is needed
4, Make sure the sauce is not too juice or else it will moisten the nachos later on, and sloppy nachos ain’t nice
5. While meat sauce is thickening, ‘decorate’ an ovenproof dish with nachos (see picture further up)
6. Pour sauce over nachos and cover with cheese
7. Place in oven at 225 ℃ (no fan!) for 10 – 15 minutes (until cheese and nachos have ‘tanned’ a bit)
8. This gives you a few minutes to prep the guacamole
9. When time is up and nachos are ready, sprinkle the dish with some fresh coriander – serve with guacamole, salsa, sour cream and lime 🙂

Bon Appétit!

xxx etta

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recipe: watermelon with feta cheese and pine seeds

By Recipes

It was when I made this salad that I realized just how slow I am in the kitchen. I mean, I knew I was ‘food slow’, but, man! Stuff that other people throw together in a few minutes, takes me ages!

I think it may have something to do with the fact that the kitchen has never been my domain (nor am I sure it ever will be). But I’ve improved a little over the years. As in, I’m more comfortable in the kitchen zone than I used to be and I’m able to produce decent, eatable food. The problem is, I just don’t seem to get any faster at it.

You see… I prepare, I organize, I stop to think for a moment, I follow the recipe step by step, I measure, I make a mess, I clean up, I think some more (yes, I’m a thinker and it’s usually not food I’m thinking about, even in the kitchen) and then, maybe then, I may actually get around to the cooking bit! Still wondering why I’m slow? Didn’t think so! 😉

God only knows how people with full time jobs, a husband, three kids and a dog cope with having only 30 minutes to prep something for their hungry family?!

So I better just enjoy this unemployed life, while I still have it, and take as much time in the kitchen as I want, while I still can. And that’s exactly what I did when I made this watermelon salad, although I’ll never ever admit to you just how long it took to put together something as simple as this 😉

For the salad you need (enough for 2):
1/2 small watermelon
2 handfuls of Rocket leaves
200 g feta cheese
80 g pine seeds

For the dressing you need:
6 tbs olive oil
1 1/2 tbs honey
The juice from 1/2 a lemon
Salt and pepper to taste

And this is how you do it, baby!
1. Cut melon into chunky pieces. If you’re a little picky, you can try and remove some of the seeds, but don’t overdo it as you’ll only end up loosing out on some precious melon meat
2. Place melon in a bowl similar to the one on the photo below
3. Sprinkle with salad, feta cheese and pine seeds
4. Throw oil, honey and lemon juice in a Tupperware box (those cylinder shaped lock’n’seal containers work great) and shake it like you meant it. Taste with pepper and salt
5. Pour dressing over salad mix and serve!

Bon Appétit!

xxx etta

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recipe: stuffed chicken with pesto and serrano ham

By Food

This has been my go-to dinner for the past couple of weeks. Lots of flavour, simple to make. It doesn’t get much better than that 🙂

Ingredients (makes enough for 2 people):
2 chicken filets (about 160 g each)
4 slices Serrano ham
4 ts pesto
Mozarella
Pine seeds
Salt and pepper
2 small avocados
1/2 medium red onion, finely chopped
1 mango, cut in cubes (this video shows you how)
Ruccola salad

Method:
1. With a sharp knife make a 4 cm long “pocket” in the fillets (make sure you don’t cut all the way through)
2. Fill both pockets with 2 ts pesto
3. Wrap two slices of Serrano ham around each filet
4. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, mozzarella and pine seeds
5. Place chicken on a baking tray covered with aluminium foil, and bake in the middle of the oven at 225°C for 15-20 minutes
6. In the meantime, make the salad. In a bowl, simply throw together avocado, onion, mango and ruccola

And that’s it, dinner is done 🙂

Bon appètit!

xxx etta

Are you a mango-fan like me? Check out my blog post on how to make Mango Mojito!

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wine wednesday: pierre deschamps sancerre in a box

By Wine

‘Classy’ is probably not the first adjective that comes to mind when talking box wine, but although I’m still quite new to the wine world (and think I always will be, there’s just so much unexplored territory), I dare say its reputation has changed somewhat over the last few years. The boxes are better looking these days (smaller and easier to handle) and it’s not asuncool anymore to be seen with one 😉

Pierre Deschamps Sancerre’s box wine does not only look pretty, but also contains some lovely tasting white. It’s fresh and filled with plenty of flavour and not too sweet. In fact, it’s apparently of the dry kind, which surprised me a little. I would’ve put it somewhere in between, But then again, what do I know! To me it simply tasted summer, and with the heat we’re having these days (30+, what happened to you Norway?), I can’t think of anything better than a glass of super chilled white.

So if you’re having people over this weekend or you don’t think a bottle is enough for whatever the occasion, get one of these and you’re sorted!

Cheers!

xxx etta

PS: I’m fully aware this isn’t the first Wednesday of the month, which is my dedicated ‘Wine Wednesday’ day, but I didn’t want to wait until the summer was over to share this one with you. In fact, I might even share another wine tip with you next Wednesday, and it’ll probably be a rosé, which would be a first for this blog!

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homemade tomato soup with eggs

By Recipes

My first time making soup and I’m already an expert 😉

The stuff that goes in (and which makes for a starter for four or dinner for two):
4 eggs
2 tbs olive oil
1/2 onion
1 clove garlic
1 can diced tomatos
2 tbs sun dried tomato puree (you can use regular tomato puree as well)
3 1/2 dl water
1/2 dl cream
1 cube chicken stock
1/2 tbs sugar
1 ts basil
Salt and pepper to taste

How to put it all together:
1. Boil the eggs for 10 minutes, then cool down in cold water before you peel them
2. Fry the onion and garlic in a pot until soft
3. Add the tomatos, puree, water, cream and sugar
4. Bring to boil and let simmer for about 10 minutes
5. Add the basil
5. Mix the soup with a hand blender until desired consistency has been achieved (remember to take the pot off the stove before you do so)
6. Taste with salt and pepper
7. Cut the eggs in two and place them carefully in the prepared bowls of soup (looks like egg boats floating on a lake of soup – see below photo)

Serve with paris bread 🙂

Bon Appétit!

etta

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stephan’s homemade hamburgers

By Food

It’s been forever since I spent a whole Saturday lazying about in the flat. In fact, I can’t remember the last time. There’s usually always something that needs doing in town and as I work, plus, like most people, usually have a few things scheduled during the week, the weekend is when all the annoying ‘must do’ stuff has to be done.

But not today. This morning has seen pastries make their way to the breakfast menu, a bit of TV has been enjoyed and now I’m relaxing on the couch with a cup of Viennese coffee while enjoying the heat from the radiator (which was turned on today for the first time this year) and listening to Christmas songs 🙂

Now, I know we’re only halfway into the month of December, so I doubt any of you are already sick of all that is Christmas, the food especially. As a matter of fact, I haven’t actually yet had any food of this season and I’m really looking forward to my parent’s Christmas feast that will take place on the 24th, which is when Norwegians share gifts and stuff themselves with whatever to them is traditional Christmas food.

But I know from experience that one can easily grow tired of too much meat, full fat sauces and sweet desserts and when that happens it’s good to have a couple of non-Christmassy recipes at hand, such as homemade hamburgers. The boyfriend makes them on a fairly regular basis and they’re tasssty! Also, you don’t need to be a food wiz to dare give it a go 🙂

To satisfy two people, whether you make four small or two big burgers, you need:
Roughly 340 g minced meat
1 egg
1/2 an onion
1 hamburger bun
1 garlic clove, finely chopped or crushed
Salt, pepper and paprika powder to taste (and seeing as this time we used lamb meat, a pinch of rosemary)

And this is what you do:
1. Dice half an onion (the other half you can use to ‘build’ your burger)
2. Wet one hamburger bun until it falls apart, but make sure you squeeze out any excessive water as you don’t want your meat to be watery (adding a hamburger bun to the minced meat makes for a more tender texture)
3. In a bowl, mix the minced meat with onion and hamburger bun
4. Add egg
5. Then garlic
6. Now it’s time for the spices to go in (remember to be careful with the rosemary)
7. Test run a mini burger in a hot pan (only a sprinkle of oil is needed as there’s enough fat in the meat) and if you think the mixture is lacking in taste, this would be the right time to spice it up some more 🙂
8. Form the meat into either two big, or four small, burgers depending on preference or what size your burger buns are
9. Before you introduce these fellas to the frying pan, sprinkle them with a tiny bit of paprika powder as this will give them a slight barbeque flavour (if you have a grilled pan, which we don’t, then there’s no need for the paprika)
10. Once the burger meat is cooked, the real fun begins: Build your very own burger tower! Grab whatever ingredients you like (tomatoes, onions, salad, cheese, (lots and lots!) of pickles, mayo, ketchup etc.) and get to work on layering it all between those buns! And I swear, if there was ever a time when ‘hard’ work paid off, this would be it 🙂

Bon Appétit!

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recipe: stephan’s tomato sauce

By Recipes

Hi everyone!

I’m sat here at the library with a coffee and a piece of pastry. I’m in food mood, so perfect time to share my boyfriends’s delicious tomato sauce recipe with you.

There’s nothing more I like than simplicity and this sauce is it. It’s cheap, cheerful and meat free and it tastes great!

Here’s what you need:
1 canned chopped tomatoes (apx. 400 g)
1 medium onion, super finely chopped
2 – 3 garlic cloves (depending on how big they are and how garlicky you prefer the sauce to be)
1 tbs tomato pure
1/2 ts oregano
1/2 ts basil
1/2 ts rosemary
1/4 ts thyme
1 small glass of red wine
1 ts honey (if you want to sweeten it a little)
Salt and pepper to taste
A splash of water (to rinse out leftovers in the tomato can)

PS: Remember, all measurements are ‘ish’ – you’re meant to taste your to your perfect sauce.

Then you:
1. Fry onion until soft
2. Add crushed garlic
3. Throw in the chopped tomatos, wine and all spices
4. Cook for apx. 10 minutes (if it gets too thick, just add a bit of water)
5. While the sauce is simmering, prep the butterfly pasta (or any other pasta you might have – I just happen to love farfalles, as they’re called in Italian)

Mix it all together and dinner is done!

Bon Appétit!

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