Hotel: The Purbeck house Hotel

marte_marie_forsberg_20130808IMG_0956Tucked away on a charming hilltop in the victorian seaside town of Swanage, is a gorgeous gem of a Hotel, filled with beautiful history and artefacts from a bygone era.

This summer I had the privilege of meeting the delightful owners that carry with them a dash of french to this old English Hotel, once owned by George Burt, named the “King of Swanage” by Thomas Hardy.

The sun was high and a heatwave swept across the city, but inside this majestic Hotel overlooking the sea, I was swept away to another time and place altogether.

It is such a pleasure when meeting the people, and in this case, the family behind a Hotel and see how they pull from each others strengths to build a gorgeous hideaway for travellers both local and from faraway.

Work side by side and inspire each other.

For even if you may want to spend a weekend here with a beloved, its restaurant and lounge is open for the public all year round. So if you should wish to nestle up with a cup of afternoon tea after hours exploring the town, you’ll welcomed warmly.

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I perused its beautiful garden, explored its enchanted plant nursery where they grow vegetables for their restaurant, took in the vista, and sat down in the old church on the premises, that’s now turned into a restaurant, to cool off from the summer heat and to indulge in delicious courses prepared by their talented chef.

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It was a quiet afternoon before the evening guest would fill the restaurant, and the family that runs the Hotel generously shared of their time to walk me through the history of the house, and how an english girl went to France and met a boy, and how they ended up running this beautiful hotel together, working side by side, and now also with their son passionately involved.

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As I listened, true to form, my belly started rumbling, and it was time to visit their chef and have a peak at his kitchen.

I simply adore being able to watch artists at work, and chefs are truly artists.

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 A pan was sizzling with freshly caught halibut fillets, and the chef asked me if I wanted to taste and have the recipe…

I nodded eagerly and couldn’t contain my excitement, “Yes, please!”

When good male chefs are at work in their kitchen, there is a certain masculine elegance to how they work, it’s like a dance with an intriguing rhythm.

I watched, snapped eagerly away with my camera, and tried to pick up a few cooking tips along the way.

First on the list; get a freakin griddle pan!!

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So I thought I’d share the recipe with you, and in true chef style, there is no dl, gram and oz nonsense, it’s just the ingredients straight up, which to me, makes cooking much more exciting than having it all measured out.

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Halibut with stir fry vegetables with coconut sauce

Ingredients:

Fillet of Halibut

Shallots

Yellow and red peppers

Water chestnut

Bamboo shoots

Bean sprouts

Fresh Coriander

Olive Oil

Pinch of salt and pepper

Lemon

Rice:

Basmati rice

Saffron

Pinch of salt and pepper

Sauce:

Coconut milk

Shallots

Double cream

Butter

How to make it:

Step one

Season the fillet of Halibut with salt, pepper and lemon, place on grill.

Step two

Slice the peppers and Shallots, and stir fry together with the water chestnuts, bamboo shoots and bean sprouts for 2-5 minutes.

Step three

Chop shallots finely and add to pan with butter, salt and pepper.

Fry until they are golden in colour, and add the coconut milk and double cream until reduced.

Step four

Cook the rice with a pinch of saffron and salt.

Serve the Halibut warm on top of the stir fry vegetables with rice on the side and a drizzle of the coconut sauce.

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Meet: Annette Joseph

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 This July I met up with Annette Joseph in her amazing apartment in Italy for a little summer get-together with cooking, eating and dancing on the agenda.

If you know Annette Joseph from before, then you know she knows how to throw a party and make it all look oh-so effortlessly, she is a food and lifestyle stylist after all with years of experience under the belt for magazines such as Better Homes and Gardens, and is an lifestyle and entertainment expert on the Today show.

My lucky part was to be able to watch her work her magic up close and personal, enjoy heartfelt and fun conversation along the way, and play with my camera.

It was such a treat to spend time in her company.

It´s always so inspiring to have conversations between women, to hear their life wisdom, how they make their relationship work after many years of marriage, to listen to their life stories and to learn from their creative journey, how they began their career to where they are now.

Annette Jospeh was no exception, and this Tuesday she launched her very first cookbook “Picture perfect parties” a book on how to throw parties at home, how to entertain your family and friends for any seasonal occasion decorating with things you already have at home with lots of tasty recipes.

Her motto: Make it simple and make it gorgeous!

And she´s generously giving away a signed book to one of you!

All you need to do is to leave a comment on my Instagram account @marte_marie_forsberg before friday the 11th of October.

If you happen to not be on instagram, comment on Facebook or just shoot me a short email at marie@mmforsberg.com.

If you want to meet her on her American book tour find dates and locations here.

Here´s a little peek at our fun days together and a recipe of one of my favorite treats from the day, Spicy orange shrimp.

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After having planned them menu, we took our shopping baskets and headed to the nearest Italian coastal town in her cool little mini to shop for quality produce.

The sun was high and the palm trees stood tall and still in the warm summer air with a well needed gentle sea breeze cooling us every now and then.

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For the last 20 years Annett´s been going to Italy and just a few years ago she chose to buy a place in Liguria with her husband and go here every summer for three months to recharging, spend time with her Italian friends and to be inspired.

Here´s a peek at her entertaining magic as she cooked up a storm in her kitchen for me that day in July.

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marte_marie_forsberg_20130719IMG_9478marte_marie_forsberg_20130719IMG_9456Watching someone cook from scratch with confidence and joy is such a pleasure. As the scents from her cooking filled the kitchen, it reminded me of the most happy memories I have from my childhood with my beloved mother cooking away by her side.

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marte_marie_forsberg_20130719IMG_9641marte_marie_forsberg_annette_joseph_07_2013-7This fennel and blood orange salad with olives was such a fun a summer treat!

Easy, quick and full of color, perfect, just like my favorite little dish from that day, spicy shrimp, that Annette´s is kindly shared with me.

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Spicy orange shrimp

Serve 4-6

(* great make ahead dish)


Ingredients:

40 medium shrimp with heads and tails ( washed until cold water and drained)
2 cloves of garlic minced
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup of fresh squeezed orange juice ( about 2 medium size oranges)
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried pepper flakes (you can add more to taste if you like it spicy)
1/2 teaspoon of tabasco sauce
1 teaspoon salt

Preparation:

In a large sauté pan add olive oil and garlic, sauté on medium heat until garlic until transparent.
add shrimp, and orange juice, cover for 2 minutes until shrimp turns pink.
Toss with oregano, pepper flakes, and tabasco and salt. Place into a shallow platter or bowl and place in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours.
Pull out of the refrigerator about 1 hour before serving.

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Then all you need is to set the table before the guests arrive.

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I loved how she rolled the cutlery in individual linen monogrammed napkins with a string bow.

Cute little trick, non?

The sun went down, the music got louder and the guests could arrive.

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In the end it´s all about keeping it simple, and about sharing the moment in great company.

I definately learned a few tricks here and there in terms of entertaining, but what I adored the most was to discover a hosted that can serve up seemingly effortlessly beautiful dishes, engage in heartfelt conversation, relax, dance the night away and not take herself too seriously in the process, what´s not to love.

Get Annette´s book here, and stay tuned for a book tour on the European side of the pond soon.

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Meet: Julian Biggs, the global creative chef to Bill Granger

marte_marie_forsberg_20130312IMG_3950The first time I met Julian London was foggy and cold, and we warmed our stomachs on deliciously rustic food inside the Ducksoup in London that he started with friends Rory McCoy and Claire Lattin over two years ago.

So when the cool team behind Viewport industries asked me to shoot and write a story about him and Ducksoup for their new newspaper magazine on the culture that surrounds the creative professional in the food industry, I said yes before I had a chance to think about it.

Let’s face it, what’s there to think about.

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After a whirlwind of a spring and summer with a bit too much on my plate, this creative space here on the blog has been one of the things I’ve had to cross out and let rest for awhile, but with a new blog design on the way and fun new things happening I thought I’d slowly start up the blog again with Julian Biggs as our first guest.

If you want to read the full interview and story on him by yours truly, a story on the Cafe culture for modern Nomads and check out the still hot off the press cover of Digest magazine, go here to get your very own copy.

Also here’s a link to my updated portfolio based on summer’s beautiful colour ocean blue and lush forest green.

marte_marie_forsberg_20130312IMG_4137Julian Biggs is a talented chef with the world as his oyster as the global creative chef of Australia’s Bill Granger.

When interviewing him for Digest he proudly showed me his new tattoo if I promised not to tell his mom, I kept my word and viewed on of his cool ink-based adornments on his left hand, a pocket knife.

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He’s a modern Boheme that with his charming passion and creativity with food makes me eager to taste his new creations.

Here are a few of the take outs from the magazine shoot that I thought I’d share with you.

(For more on Julian Bigg and the Ducksoup here’s a previous blog post)

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Photo shoot: A peek from a shoot in an old Norwegian estate…

marte_marie_forsberg_20130307IMG_3501The first four months of this year has been going by way too fast!

I look back and wish I would have had  some time to take it all in, to let it marinate a bit before attacking the next project.

I can’t complaint, it´s been a whirlwind of fun, but I look forward to some upcoming days next week back in the countryside in England

I am really looking forward to some time to just sit by the fire in a charming stone cottage with view of rolling green hills.

Time to breathe slower, to wander along the beach and to just be for some days.

It might be a bit quiet here on the blog  as I´ll be on the road, going to England, Milano and back to England for work, and I´m making some changes to the blog that I hope you´ll enjoy.

Right now I´m going over the design changes, new layout and creating content that I´m really excited about sharing with you.

So while we´re waiting here are some behind the scene shots for you from a photo-shoot for a Norwegian food magazine at a local old estate on my fjord island I did a month back.

It was a magical day, and I was lucky enough to have my beloved mother as an assistant.

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She sat by the window and knitted, had an idea or two where plates and forks should be placed, and was the best moral support one can ask for.

I so treasured this photo-shoot and the quality time I had with my wise and beautiful mother.

Bliss!

Where would we be without mothers or friends who so unconditionally believes in us!?

Have a wonderful weekend!

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Food: Daylesford organic farm shop

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 Many of you have asked me about my little getaway to the Cotswolds this last week, so I´ll make a wee list for you coming up, but first let me tell you about a treat of a place…

 On our little getaway we visited Daylesford utterly perfect farm shop, garden shop, cookery school, cafe, restaurant and spa, yup that´s right.

Daylesford farm was introduced to us by this sweet lady, and it´s surely a place to get lost of for the good amount of a full day.

Ps: Did i mention it was organic too!?

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I love finding a great brand with attention to detail, I love eating freshly prepared food, I love shopping quality products in beautiful surroundings and I love feeling like the whole experience is like a bit of zen…

This place was groomed to the brim, and even if it could get over the top, you couldn´t help but feeling happy just by entering.

I litterally squeeled as I perused the organic produce aisles, and about died when we entered the cheese room bathing in natural light filled with locally made cheese from floor to ceiling.

I didnt really take any photos on this little getaway and it was pure bliss to just take in all in without feeling the need to capture it all…

However, I couldn’t really let go all the way, so here and there I grabbed a shot.

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I´ve recently become more and more interested in what I put in my body.

If you´d ask any of my friends they would testify that even if I should know better I spent my 20´s eating whatever was in front of me.

Cheesepuffs for breakfast, chocolate for lunch and and pancakes with bacon for dinner…

However as I grow older the consequences of what we eat and how we live our lives seem to become more and more clear.

I lead a quite hectic life constantly on the go, I find that I have started to crave routine, and above all, to eat not only delicious quality food but organic, and well balanced food.

By that I mean I try to make more deliberate food choices based on what minerals my body lacks and how to maintain more ph balanced body, more alkaline.

A cooking site I love going to for healthy tips and beautiful food presentation is My new roots.

It blows my mind the things I craved when I was in my early 20´s, and luckily they have changed…slightly…

But let´s face it guys, when I mention leading a balanced life…I think indulging lustfully in quality belgium chocolate has its place too!

Now if you want a piece of this farm shop but cant make it out of the city, no worries they have mini farm shops in London here, so you can get your countryside organics on a mere Wednesday in the city.

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Travel: Blenheim palace, a stroll back in time…

marte_marie_forsberg_20130314IMG_4308These last weeks have gone by in a whirlwind of a speed.

Iceland (here and here) feels like a dream and I still have loads of photographs to go through.

I did a story for a Norwegian food magazine right after I came back from Iceland and before heading off to London where I had a photo-shoot and interview with Julian Biggs the global creative chef for Bill Granger.

I love when work becomes a treat, and I´m constantly inspired by the wonderful creatives I meet and get to work with.

Then finally, my english gentleman and I went on a well needed three day getaway to the Cotswolds.

You seriously need to put that area on your list of places to visit.

We lounged in charming tea rooms, strolled the cobbled stone streets, went to Cheltenham for a horse race, went antique shopping in Tetbury and dined in our thatched cottage in front of the fireplace at night.

One afternoon my english gentleman took me to majestic Blenheim palace.

As we slowly made our way through the rooms, it felt like passing through history.

Did you know that Churchill was born in one of the rooms of the palace?

It truly is an incredible place…

Many a movie has been filmed here, and the family still actually lives in parts of the Palace…

It will blow your mind…

marte_marie_forsberg_20130314IMG_4314marte_marie_forsberg_blenheim_palace_03_2013-3marte_marie_forsberg_20130314IMG_4313We gazed, held hands and took it all in with slow deep breaths.

It´s such an aw-inspiring building, and I kept thinking about that very first stone that was put in the ground to start it all off…

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marte_marie_forsberg_20130314IMG_4304You can easily spend a day in Blenheim´s embrace, and when your feet are tired and your mind is buzzing from all the grandness, pop into their champagne bar or have afternoon tea in their cafe.

We upgraded our ticket to an annual pass, and I´m already planning a summer picnic on the “lawn”…

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Elswhere recently:

Bon Appetit magazine  recently including me in their 8 best food accounts to follow on Pinterest. Go check out the other accounts, so many drool worthy boards!

A story I did for Pure Green magazine´s wanderlust issue just came out and was so fun to see as I photographed a beautiful bed and breakfast in England. Such a treat to work on that story.

If you follow the great site My little Paris, I’m happy to have contribute with a story on a little village in Dorset for their February issue of their print Magazine.

Love when work has me photographing such beautiful places!

Happy Tuesday!

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Warm drink: Cappuccino

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 To there´s nothing more Italian than the cappuccino, even if it wasn’t on the menu till the 1930´s.

And in Italy you can have your cappuccino more than one way.

For the caffein addicted, and those in need of a little pick me upper, the normal caffeinated cappuccino will do, or you can skip all that jazz and  have a decaf.

However my favorite is made of roasted barley, called orzo.

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I love the flavor and I love my cappuccino, but I´m not huge fan of caffeinated drinks, as caffeine slow down the nutrient intake of the food we eat so that cancels out all the good stuff I try to feed my body during the day.

Decaf is not always any better of an alternative due to all the chemicals used to detract the caffein,  so when I can order a Cappuccino d´Orzo, I´m in heaven.

Roasted barley drink with that familiar fluffy foam.

If you live in the states or england and even Norway, I believe there´s a brand called Perron that you can get at your local supermarket and make your very own Cappuccino d´Orzo at home.

But let´s face it, like afternoon tea, cappuccino´s are best enjoyed at the many great coffee houses, bars and cafes around.

I´m a true cafe cappuccino fiend.

There´s something about the buzz, the extravagance of having someone else make you the warm drink, serve you and for you to just linger and enjoy.

On my recent trip to Iceland I skimped on my love for d´orzo had had the regular kind.

I didn´t have too much time to explore the different coffee shops, and cafes around, but in Reykjavik my favorite place so far, and this might change as I visit again for an upcoming job, is Kaffismidja.

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Kaffismidja.

 

 

This corner house cafe has great light streaming through its open space, a great coffee menu, and delicious brioche!

(take my word for it, you want this one with your cappuccino)

I went there with a delightful little group, beautiful Alice Gao, Rosa Park and Rich Stapleton from the great Cereal magazine.

(For coffee shops in Paris Alice has a great post here)

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We talked, enjoyied our warm drinks and relaxed for a few before heading out in the cold.

It was a needed little break from a wonderfully busy schedule exploring Iceland.

I don´t know about you, but one of the things I particularly love about enjoying a little moment in a cafe is the people watching…

It feels like I´m allowed little peeks and trailers of people´s lives.

This week, after the Iceland trip, has gone by too fast with fun food magazine shoots in an old island estate. Now I´m prepping for a photo-shoot in London next week and a well needed three day vacation in the Cotswolds, and I cannot wait!!

I try to balance life and work, but I must admit that its quite the challenging act to balance.

I greatly admire those that are able to separate the two better, as my work and life seem all tangled up in one wonderfully great knot.

My little way of taking a break are small moments on cafes with a cappuccino…

Little break that I can scatter about and sprinkle on busy weeks like frosting on a cupcake.

What are you´re favorite ways of little daily or weekly breaks?

Do you have a favorite place for enjoying your cappuccino?

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Posted in Cafe, Cappuccino, Drink, Food, Iceland, Reykjavik, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off

A magical journey…

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 Last week was magical as I visited Iceland for the very first time.

It´s dramatic landscape and ever changing weather made for the most fantastic  sceneries.

Wild mountaintops topped with snow peeking through mist, black lava troll landscape covered in soft neon green moss, flat grass covered fields as long as the eye could see basking in sun shine and windswept valleys melancholically moody and dark.

One hour in Iceland could go from sun, rain wind and hail all depending on which side of the car you disembarked from.

It was indeed a week full of magic.

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I´m so grateful for the talented people behind this trip, who with their wonderful ability to host made this wonderfully intense week such a pleasure. And for the locals that opened their museums, boats, restaurants, hotels and hearts to us, and shared their love for this beautiful country.

Besides offering a feast for the eyes landscape wise, the food culture on this island was so fascinating and delicious to explore.

I´ll share more from my trip soon.

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These images are from our time in Hofn, in the south east.

On our way back from the glacier Vatnajøkul, we stopped for refreshments at a small museum and restaurant dedicated to the Icelandic writer Thorbergur Thordarson.

I loved seeing the ocean and wild mountains through the windows were quotes from his writings were neatly written in Icelandic.

Some of the letters seem so fascinating to me, and I fell in love with the d with a line over it pronounced like th in that.

Such a cool letter!

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If you´re wondering what part of the world to explore next, put Iceland on your list, you won´t regret it.

Bon Voyage!

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Recipe: Homemade Gnocchi di patate with sage butter

marte_marie_forsberg_20120916IMG_6738Last fall I was shooting a story for Cereal magazine at Geitmyra food center for children.

It´s such a beautiful old place smack bang in the middle of Oslo in a green oasis with old houses from the 1800th century.

After finishing up the story for Cereal magazine, I smelled something delicious brewing at the back of the market.

Handmade gnocchi was being prepared from scratch over open fire.

The air was crisp and the sun was hiding behind thick fall clouds. It was the perfect setting for getting my hands on something warm and tasty.

Have you noticed how utterly more tasty food is when being prepared and eaten outside?!

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Chefs from one of the restaurants I´ll be featuring in my upcoming Oslo guide, called Baltazar, was sharing their passion for great food made from scratch.

Eager little ones and overeager big ones, like me who could not help myself and squeaks of delight may or may not have crossed my lips in excitement, gathered around.

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Ever since I landed in Italy for the first time at the age of 19 I´ve been in love with its diverse, simple and tasty cuisine.

The whole low carb diet never really hit home with me as I indulge in pasta, bread, pizza and gnocchi to my stomachs content more often than not.

In the end we only live once, and there is no guarantee there will be served pasta in heaven…

I´m just saying…

So I make sure I get plenty while walking on this earth.

However having said that, I definitely try to have a healthy lifestyle, eating mostly fresh, organic, vegetables, and as of recent, drink plenty of water!

So when that´s taken care of I happily indulge in high carb dishes whenever I feel like, guilt free.

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The thing about gnocchi is that it, besides tasting so good, is fairly easy to prepare from cracking the egg, mashing the potatoe to frying it in a pan with butter and sage.

So really, with a little bit of planning there is simply no excuse for not treating your family and friends, or just yourself for that matter, to some homemade gnocchi next time you prepare dinner.

Want to know how?

Here we go…

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Homemade gnocchi di patate with sage butter

(from Baltazar)

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Ingredients

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Serving 4

600 g Russet potatoes

2-3 egg yolks

220 g all purpose flour

1ts ocean salt

 100 g freshly grated Parmesan

25 g butter

Lemon

Sage or Rosemary

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Directions

___________________

Boil the potatoes, about 45 minutes.

Make sure you have a big enough pot so that the water covers the potatoes.

Don´t add salt to the water as it will make the gnocchi to dense.

When the potatoes are boiled and soft, pell them and mash them with a hand masher and add flour and salt in a bowl.

Create a crater in the dough where you add the egg yolks.

Knead the dough gently until it becomes soft and workable.

With your hands, roll finger thick “sausages”, and cut them into 2 cm long pieces.

Gently press each pice with a fork to create the desired gnocchi pattern.

(Prepare an ice bath for the later use.)

Bring water to a boil in a big pot and add a pinch of salt.

Add the gnocchi and boil them till they float to the top.

This should not take more than a couple of minutes, then quickly add the gnocchi to ice cold water  bath mentioned above till they are cooled, then dry them on a kitchen towel.

Melt butter in a saucepan till its golden brown with some sprigs of rosemary or my favorite, some sage leafs.

To stop the browning of the butter add some drops of fresh juice from a lemon.

Add the gnocchi and warm them in the delicious sage butter.

When warm enough, dish up and serve with freshly grated parmesan, or in a tomato sauce.

Bon Appetitt!

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Recipe: Creamy garlic Spaghettini with quail egg

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 When winter wraps the landscape in white, and the temperature tempts you to spend every day inside in front of the fireplace, I need comfort food…

I need pasta!

This dish is perfectly tasty, fun and quick to make.

I usually buy fresh pasta as I feel that adds more flavor, but there is no harm in using the other kind as well.

(hi, but if your up for it you can always make your own pasta with or without egg, go here for my recipe.)

If you´re in the mood for comfort food for one, for two or for a whole party, this dish is your friend.

I love the dash of color, fun and texture the quail eggs add to this dish.

Many people peel the eggs, but I eat them with their shell on.

Not only is it good for you, it also adds a bit of crunch, and let´s face it, peeling a quail egg is messy tedious business.

If you have a genius way of peeling them quick do let me know, but until that way is discovered, I simply eat them as is after a minute or two of boiling.

Oh, and whatever you do, do not hold back on the parmesan, freshly grated, not to be confused with Grana Padano

Pair this dish with a Pinot Grigio white wine, or a nice and fresh Elder flower on the rocks drink.

This will add a bit of sun on the coldest and grayest of winter days for sure!

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Creamy garlic pasta with quail eggs

(serves 4)

Adapted from Donnay Hay

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Ingredients

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1 garlic (the entire thing)

8 quail eggs

250g Pasta, (I used spaghetti)

1/2 cup (125ml) whipping cream, or single cream

1/2 cup (50g) finely grated parmesan

Ocean salt and cracked black pepper

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Directions

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Turn on the oven and preheat to 180°C (355°F).

Wrap the garlic in aluminium foil and roast for 30 minutes or until soft and tender. Squeeze garlic from skins and mash with a fork.

 Cook the quail eggs in a small pot of boiling water for 1 minute. Drain and set aside to cool slightly.

You can peel them at this point or leave them in their shells and simply cut in half right before serving, but make sure you keep them warm.

  Cook the pasta in a pot of boiling water with a pinch of salt for 3–4 minutes or until al dente.

Drain well and return to the pot where you add the cream, parmesan (hold a little for serving), roasted garlic, salt and pepper, toss to coat the pasta in the delicious sauce.

Divide the pasta between serving plates, sprinkle some freshly grated parmesan and a pinch of salt, then halve the quail eggs and place on top to serve.

Sprin

Bon Appetit!

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