Happy…wait the holidays are over. Oh wait! Its Epiphany today, Happy Epiphany! Not quite as shiny as the holidays but just as magical (IMO). Hope your holiday was super magical. Ours had its ups and downs, but not in a devestating way. Mostly it was characterized by lots of baking, some great pretends at our playground and X-Men…that last one came out of nowhere. Anyway there was a lot of running around and it left me pretty drained and wondering did I do enough? Did I spend enough time with her? Could I have spent my time better? Maybe if I hadn’t spent so much time cooking and baking I would feel better about this?
But actually the best day we had was when we walked to the playground and she turned me into an elephant. I got stuck on the playset because I’m not sure if elephants can go downstairs, I know cows can’t and I still haven’t looked it up so maybe my elephant was just super dim. When she finally turned me back to a person I was a evil sorcerer and I changed her into a genie and imprisoned her in a bottle for 400 years (give or take). When she finally was summoned she refused to grant my other character’s first wish (to go to space) and ultimatly choose to become dust instead (willfull little sprite). She changed me to a genie and after 500 years I was much more helpfull and all would have been well had she not turned the trees alive and bad. We nearly got crushed!
We ended the day with some homemade potato and herb soup and some soda bread baked with bacon on top (apparently Irish Pizza) while we watched “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” (the basis of another pretend we play in the up-upstairs).
Christmas itself was rather tedious. We made all the usual treats: toffee, treacle fudge, mince pies, christmas pudding (which I still haven’t lit on fire) and a ton of cinnamon rolls. We also made the cake of cakes:
It was delicious…but royal icing is a a royal pain (I have come to find out). We put a bunch of her toys on top as this is our first and we don’t have any traditional toppers and it wasn’t in our budget.
We did break with tradition…for better or worse. I tried my hand at Cork Spiced Beef and it was pretty salty.
Pretty sure thats not really the way it was suppose to come out and time will tell if I decide to try it again next year…might use a different recipe. As it would happen Baby Bat didn’t feel that great New Years Eve Morning and I called off the get together we had planned so no one else was subjected to that catastrophe.
Not even close! At school we found a loophole in our cooking regulations and we are super excited about “traveling” with our kids this upcoming year. I’ve also been feeling a bit of gastronomical wanderlust and decided to take Baby Bat to Scandinavia. Since Elsa is forever in this house and there is a Frozen 2 coming out in November this year it seems a natural choice…although I have a bit of a budding interest in Scottish Cuisine (it was bound to happen sometime).
Elsa is from Norway, or so they say, and it would be super fun to focus on Norwegian food but we decided to open it up to Scandinavian food in general as the Frozen world opens with Arendell’s partners in trade come to see the new Queen crowned.
I did a bit of recipe hunting and I’ve got a cookbook coming in from the library. What I’ve discovered is that this part of the world is really connected tradewise (we will be discussing cardemom at some point in the near future) and also seems to favor sour cream and dill in a bunch of recipes as well as this sauce:
Lingonberries are apparently a big deal, and why not? They are some kind of relation to the cranberry, so yay! Tasty antioxidents and if you can’t get the sauce specifically get the whole berry cranberry sauce as a subtitute.
I wanted to start with something easy and kid friendly that everyone associates with that part of the world and what better dish to start with than Swedish Meatballs. Check out the pinterest boards these guys are often listed as Elsa Balls…
I chose a Donal Skehan recipe because I felt like it bridged my current cooking location with the new one, also his wife is from Sweden and I noticed he blends their two cultures a lot (#relationship goals).
I started off chopping up and cracking some of the ingredients so she could just do the mixing but she really wanted to help with measuring the meat and later she tried peeling the Potatoes as well. Funny story: when we decided to do this recipe she was super excited, but her enthusiasm waned a bit when it became a revelation that we were making Swedish Meatballs from Sweden the country…not Sweet-ish Meatballs.
All went well for a first attempt, I might look to see if anyone makes the sauce differently as it seems a bit bland but she ate it up (to be honest mostly the lingonberry sauce, I’ve had to cut her off). We also tried some different cheeses.
This cheese is really out of left field, completly didn’t expect this flavor. Its sweet and sort of like treacle fudge…if by fudge we mean cheese…really really dense claylike cheese, best way I can describe it. I love sweet but this I can’t eat to much of and that is saying something.
We have been walking this “Elsa cheese” since the fall. Its a type of swiss and Baby Bat would way this all day long.
Harvati Dill Cheese
Is great, was a bit disconcerted because it tastes like you should also be crunching into a rye cracker and the crunch never comes (until you add the cracker of course).
Well, that is a good start to this adventure. Stay Magical and stay cool!