Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Homemade Fro-Yo, NO ice cream maker!

I have been experimenting with healthy/low calorie dessert. This may have to do with a. I have a sweet tooth the size of Russia and b. My metabolism has abandoned me. Also, I like health and nutrition. 

So I made some low calorie vanilla ice cream two days ago and today I made some Raspberry Blueberry Cheese Cake Frozen Yogurt. That's right. And a generous portion was only 237 calories. Take that Dreyers 1/2 fat ice cream (which is delicious, but much higher in calories). I think I will leave the berries out tomorrow (yes I will be making more fro-yo tomorrow) and add some cinnamon and walnuts and of course the mashed cookies like the ones in the batch I made tonight. That was my favorite part!

I have included the recipe for this below but know that it is a work in progress/experiment but if you want my notes, to make your own experiment, keep reading. Actually keep reading either way....

I am also making mental notes of other flavors of ice cream and fro-yo I can make. Any ideas????
Leave a comment!

Raspberry Blueberry Cheese Cake Fro-Yo!:

NOTE: I am in Sweden so some of the ingredients do not exist or are different in America.

350 Grams Turkish Yogurt (I used 3.5% fat)
50 Grams Kesella vanilla (this is like vanilla creme fraiche)
.5 packet of artificial sweetener (like Stevia)
1 tsp vanilla extract
60 Grams frozen berries
about 25 Grams mashed cookies (Digestives or graham crackers are great)
.5 tsp cinnamon
Dash of artificial sweetener

Mix the yogurt, Kesella, sweetener, and vanilla until well blended with a whisk or electric mixer. Add frozen berries and stir in with spoon. (Or leave them off until the end and sprinkle on top when served) Put this in freezer. Whisk every 30 minutes until frozen and well blended. While the fro-yo is chilling, mash or grind the cookies and then mix in the cinnamon and sweetener. When frozen yogurt is ready to be served, pour the cookie crumbs in, give it a good mix and serve.

ENJOY! No really, it's only 237 calories... ENJOY!

Saturday, 25 August 2012

Sweden Vs Switzerland (the difference)

When I tell an American something about Sweden, almost 100% of the time the person will ask me a question about Switzerland... A country I have never been to. For some reason, Americans have no idea there is a difference between the two countries and the fact is... they are two different countries! The American education system has failed us. Here is one geography lesson:


                          Where? Sweden is in Northern Europe between Norway and Flinland.     Sweden is Scandinavian.

      -Gothenburg (Göteborg)

Famous for: 
 Pippi Longstocking
 Nobel Prize
Sony Ericsson

Carl Linnaeus 


 Swedish meatballs
Lax (salmon)
 Lingonberry sauce
 Swedish Pancakes 
Pickled Herring 


                                  Where? Switzerland is right above Italy. It is pretty centrally located in Europe. It is surrounded by Germany, Austria, and France. 


Famous for: 
Swiss Army Knife
 Founded Red Cross

Albert Einstien


A lot of Italian, French, and German influence.

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Chocolate Peanut Butter Truffles

Dreamy Chocolate Peanut Butter Truffles

Chocolate and peanut butter. These are two things I crave just about every minute I am awake. In a successful attempt to indulge my cravings, I decided to see if I could create a peanut butter coated chocolate truffle. 

The end result was as delicious as I had hoped, maybe a little dreamier. I took them to work and they were a hit. 


TRUFFLE: (Taken from Taste of Home)

I took the chocolate truffle recipe from the Taste of Home website: 


3 Cups              Semisweet chocolate chips
1 (14oz) Can    Sweetened condensed milk
1 Tbsp              Vanilla extract

-In microwave-safe bowl, melt chocolate chips and sweetened condensed milk; stir until smooth. Add vanilla and stir. Chill the mixture for 2 hours or until it is easy to handle.
-Roll into 1-in balls (or bigger if you would like) and refrigerate. 

1/2 Cup       Peanut Butter Chips
1.5 Tbsp      Smooth peanut butter of choice (I am a Jiff fan)

Add the Peanut Butter Chips and peanut butter into a microwave safe bowl. Melt together in microwave, checking and stirring every 30 seconds until you can blend them together into a smooth creamy mixture. 

Take chilled truffles out of the fridge. Place one on a fork and dip into the peanut butter mix and roll around so that it is completely covered. Roll back onto the fork and lightly tap the truffle until the excess peanut butter has fallen off and truffle and place on wax paper. 

Repeat. (If you like the extra kick of salt, sprinkle salt on top of finished truffle while peanut butter mix is still wet or add some salt to the peanut butter mix before dropping in the truffle)
Keep in air tight container in refrigerator. 


Sunday, 19 August 2012

My New Home: Halmstad

Halmstad is a fun city. It has lots of active people, young and old. Although it is a modern city, there are still traces of when a former Danish king made this city his home. I walked around town and took some pictures. Maybe this will entice some visitors :)

This is the library and our neighborhood.
 This is the bridge that we cross to get downtown. We live to the left of this. 
 Old cool building downtown.
 Brewery. Delicious beer.
 More old stuff.

 Historic old street. 
 Boat in front of the castle.
 Bad picture of the castle.
 Picasso Park form far away.
 In Picasso Park. 
 Main street of downtown

 Jolly park between our apartment and downtown.

 Duck pond, sans ducks...
 Cute Cafe. 

 Proof that Sweden is better than the USA: Pipi hangs out in their trees!

 Homeless shelter for kitties!

Don't you want to come visit now??? You know you do!

Friday, 17 August 2012

Bucatini all'Amatriciana

This is one of my favorite dishes I had the delight of making and eating during my year studying abroad in Viterbo, Italy. Bucatini all'Amatriciana was a pasta that was made in my first Italian Cuisine class and I fell in love. It has a lot of flavor and very easy to make. The bucatini is a wonderful type of pasta. It is also called Perciatelli and unfortunately cannot always be found in grocery stores in the USA. Bucatini is a long think spaghetti like noodle with a whole going through the middle, like a straw. It has a delightful chewy consistency. 

Bucatini all'Amatriciana is a much loved dish in Italy. It comes from Amatrice, a town in the Lazio region of Italy, not far from Rome. This is a simple pasta with few ingredients, which is typical of pasta dishes from this region. Also, the use of Guanciale (pig cheek) can easily be found to flavor food in Lazio because in history, the pope and his people would get the 'choice' pieces of meat and the less desirable pieces went to the rest of the people in the surrounding areas, such as pig cheek.

Bucatini all'Amatriciana
(Recipe from De Cecco)

1 lb bucatini (or perciatelli)
1/4 lb guanciale (pancetta or bacon can be substituted) 
 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
 1 3/4 lbs fresh tomatoes
 1 cup pecorina cheese
 1/4 cup chopped onion
 salt and pepper
A hot pepper, seeded and chopped finely (not from the De Cecco box, but in the traditional recipe)

1. Cook the diced pancetta and chopped onion in a skillet until brown. 
2. Cut the peeled tomatoes into small pieces and add with pepper and salt, cooking over high heat for 20 minutes. 
3. Cook the Bucatini for 11 minutes (or until al dente)  in briskly boiling salted water, drain and place in serving dish. (reserving some water to add to dish). 
4. Add the sauce and sprinkle Pecorino cheese generously. 
Enjoy! Buon appetito!

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Travel Inspiration

This is one of a series of amazing videos this guy has created where he dances in different places around the world with the locals. AMAZING. So inspiring. These make me smile and excited about life. :) If you ever need some inspiration, Youtube this guy!

Monday, 13 August 2012

Wedding cake (practice)

My Dad is getting married in September and I will be making the cake. I am very excited but the pressure is on. Usually when I make a cake it is just for fun, so if I mess it up nobody will ever know. With this cake, that is NOT the situation. 

I will be making a three tiered German Chocolate Cake. Each of the the three tiers will have chocolate frosting in the middle. My Dad's favorite cake is the German Chocolate that my grandma used to make and she is unfortunately no longer with us. To commemorate her, this is the chosen wedding cake flavor. 

Now as many of us know, german chocolate cake is delicious but not very pretty. Lucky for me they are having a beach themed wedding. So I have come up with the idea to ground the coconut and pecans in the frosting down to tiny pieces, thus giving the frosting a more similar appearance to sand. 

I practiced this cake for the first time a few days ago. Although I feel it turned out pretty good for a 'rough draft' the process was not very easy. I just moved into my new apartment in Halmstad and we do not have the appliances or modern baking convenience that makes this kind of adventure quick and easy. That being said, I spent close to 14 hours over the span of three days making the rough draft cake. 

Difficulties that I will not have to undergo again=
- Not having an electric mixer
-Not having multiple (or the right size) baking pan
- Making my own cake boards
-Making a 3 tiered cake in which one must use support ( I used plastic straws and it worked great!)
-Not having a blender (to blend the pecans and coconut)
- Making my own 'sea shells' with white chocolate 
-etc, the list goes on as I had almost none of the tools I needed.

This... is how it turned out:

The shells will look better when they are store bought and my dad's fiance bought a beautiful cake topper to take the place of my white chocolate hearts (which actually turned out better than I thought). Also, the 'sand' will be crushed nilla waffers rather than crushed rice cake and brown sugar (it was raining and I did not want to go to the store just for cookies). The dots around the cake bases that look awful will be those nice edible pearls. And I am pretty sure that when I have three cake pans, the size they are supposed to be, the cakes themselves will be more even. 

I am always hard on myself and although this is not perfect, I think it came out okay considering the inconveniences and the first time attempt at a tiered cake.