Travel: Rome and breathtaking moments

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 As I sit here in front of my Mac retouching for clients trying to get it all done before upcoming food photo-shoots next week and am exciting food trip to Iceland, my thoughts wander off to Rome, sun and gelato.

Last June I spend 1 month in Rome doing research for some upcoming food projects and studying Baroque art through the university of Oslo.

One afternoon when the city was boiling and friends were scattered off in all four corners I wintered deeper into St Peter´s basilica with a friend to view the city from the top, it´s religious top.

We stood in line for hours, wiping sweet pearls off our foreheads, crawled and walked sideways through the thick walls inside the basilica making our way slowly towards its heart.

It was a rather sticky experience, and I´ve never been more happy to take the first breath of fresh cool air as we popped out on the top of the dome viewing the grand city of Rome at our feet.

I filled my lungs with fresh air and took in the majestic view.

It was breathtaking.

Every now and then I need moments that takes my breath away, no matter how sticky and hot it has been to get to that point.

Those moments fuels me on and makes me so grateful to be alive, to live right now in this fast paced time full of endless possibilities, full of adventure waiting around every corner.

That afternoon in Rome filled me right up.

And no matter how often or seldom we really do experience these truly breathtaking and majestic moments, I need them as much as my lungs needs to expand with fresh new air every so often.

It makes me grateful.

If all this talking of Rome makes you hungry here is my recipe for some homemade pasta and here is a great tagliatelle dish with creamy stilton (blue cheese) sauce with physalis.

Happy Sunday!

PS: Want to enjoy more of Rome?

Check out our Voyage magazine on travel and food!

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Posted in Italy, Rome, Travel | Tagged , , , | Comments Off

Happy valentine´s day: A windspwet day and a warm cup of tea.

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On a gray and misty day in December last year, my english gentleman swept me off to Swanage, an old victorian seaside town, on an old steam train.

It was a cold and miserable day, but anything goes when in great company…

So we wandered down the old pier and talked.

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Rain drops hung on our noses before bravely diving into the vigorous sea below the pier, and the wind tugged ever so not gently on the hair.

I love a windswept little adventure to the sea, just long enough for you to get perfectly uncomfortably cold and then head indoors to warm up on a warm cup of tea and feel like the luckiest girl in the world…

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It´s the small things in life, non?

The little everyday adventures that makes life so darn wonderful!

To me that´s valentine´s, those sweet little moments you share with your favorite person sprinkled out throughout the year.

They create these treasured memories I secretly pull out when the weather inside matched this day´s cold and wet.

Those are the moments that make up life…

Happy valentine´s day!

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Don´t buy me roses or chocolates, but sweep me away on a miserable wednesday in December to a little windswept place to kiss me with your cold lips.

That is how I want my valentine´s day to be, divided up into little pieces and sprinkled on dull Wednesdays like delicious icing throughout the year.

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Posted in Afternoon tea, Afternoon walks, Beautiful places, Dorset, Drink, England, Food, Swanage, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Recipe: Tagliatelle with a creamy stilton sauce with physalis

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I must admit that my quest for making the perfect burger has not gone by without a few hiccups.

Having watched my beloved mother make delicious burgers and meatballs since I was old enough to sit on the counter next to her in the kitchen, I thought making the perfect perfect burger would be a piece of cake.

Not so much…

I’ve tried a failed, and since I’m a stubborn bugger, I’ll continue to try until I get it right…

I put in all the ingredients that my mother taught me, and add a few of my own, all delicious on their own. But when the burger is done and I take my first bite it’s…mediocre…

Who want’s mediocre burgers?!

I want the first juicy bite to be so good it begs me to take another.

So back to the kitchen I go, but not without leaving you with a delicious comfort food tagliatelle dish that will get you thorough this rather chilly time of the year.

This is my sunshine pasta dish.

Invite your friends over to a nicely decked table, or curl up in your PJ’s, settle in your favourite chair in front of the fireplace with this dish in a bowl.

Enjoy!

Tagliatelle with a creamy stilton sauce with physalis

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Ingredients

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150-200g Tagliatelle (preferably fresh)

100g Stilton

2dl Double cream/whipping cream (go for the real deal, this is where the flavour is)

 A handful Physalis (optional, but recommended)

Thyme (fresh if you have)

Salt (Maldon ocean salt)

Pepper (freshly grind)

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Directions

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Fill a large pot with water, set on medium to high heat.

When boiling lower the heat to medium so that it keeps boiling but does not boil over.

Add the tagliatelle and cook as instructed on the pack or till al dente.

Crumble the Stilton into a saucepan and add the cream.

Heat the stilton and cream mixture over a low to medium heat until the cheese has melted, then season, with ocean salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Stir through the cooked pasta until well combined.

Serve immediately with a sprinkle of thyme, physalis and some stilton crumbs.

Serve with dry white wine (ex: Pinot grigio or Savignon blanch)  or with Elderflower cordial (mixed with water) on the rocks.

Bon appetit!

PS: If you wonder why I ad the physalis, it’s simply because this dish needs a little tangy and sweet zing for all the flavours to really work well together.

Now,  if you don’t have physalis at hand, you can add roasted walnuts (delicious), but if you find some, they will add just the right amount of fresh zing to this dish.

If you need another reason, besides taste and appearance, to try adding the physalis to this dish, here’s one; did you know that a physalis contains twice the amount of Vitamin C as that in lemons?

Pretty great for cold days:)

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Elsewhere this week:

Check out the newest edition of Pure Green Magazine where my shots from a beautiful bed and breakfast in the english countryside is featured.

Get your copy from www.puregreenmag.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Dinner, Food, Tagliatelle with a creamy stilton sauce | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off

My new english studio, client work and a spinach burger.

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Today I had a little inauguration shoot in my new english studio and I am so excited to be using my new space that I just had to show you the beautiful light that emerges form the window like a soft breeze.

There’s no heating yet, so my breath came out as white winter clouds, but I loved using my new studio with rustic stone walls and a little north facing window.

It’s perfect!

Never mind the cold, I was beyond excited to be doing a photo-shoot for a client in my new studio.

And as it happens, it was vegetable burger!

Now, I know there are so many varieties of this and most of them are not that tasty, but this one with spinach, ginger, parmesan, chill, breadcrumbs and ChiaX was really good.

It’s a light little snack with a lot of taste and packed full of nutrients, so all in all a perfect January treat.

I’m still working on recreating the perfect burger and fries for you, and as I’m creating, styling and shooting for clients in mon petit english studio these days, my food plugs have been inspired greatly.

So, I guess I’m as excited as you to see how this “perfect” burger and fries turn out at the end of the week, so stay tuned.

Wishing you all a lovely day!

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(For recipe to the above Spinach and ChiaX burger in Norwegian go here.)

Posted in Food, Photography | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off

Hunting for: The perfect hamburger and fries

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 How are you and how is your January detox going?!

I must admit that my no stress, eat more healthy, drink lots of water and only sugar on the weekends plan for January, after a wonderful December food fest plan, will need to be postponed till February.

There’s still too much good food around!

A couple of weekends ago, amidst my hasty and overeager plan of a bit of a health kick in January plan, my english gentleman and I went to a perfectly charming pub in the heart of  Wimborn.

It was one of those perfectly loungy Saturdays where you end up ordering snack, drinks, a meal, more drinks and before you know it the sun has gone down and it’s time for a cup of something warm and a dash of dessert.

After a petit wander around is small windy streets visiting specialty shops and finding lots of great props, we found a table by the window at The Olive branch ( note: photos on the web are not updated to the cozy feel it has today) and ordered the most delicious and perfectly small sized hamburger with tasty fries in a cup.

You know what you ordered was good when you both eat in silence with a bit of a smirk.

A good hamburger is hard to find, and I’ve has some pretty good ones while travelling in America eating in small diners across this large continent, however when this delightful and perky hamburger showed up on a cutting board with just the right amount of relish, melted cheese and mustard on the side, I had to give it to the English for making my perfect Hamburger dream come true on this side of the continent.

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The olive branch is not even a proper hamburger place, nor is it one of a kind, so it was quite surprising that an English chain pub should have cracked the burger code.

When it comes to my dream burger less is definitely more, and if the cheese is not melted I’m not even tucking into it.

But when it’s just a little handful of deliciousness with bacon, tasty and juicy meat, melted cheddar cheese, a bit of crunch and a great bun, it had me at hello, and I’ll be coming back for more.

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Now, I’m sure you agree, the presentation of food is crucial.

The interior of a place, the way you’re greeted, the way it smells, and how the food is presented to you is all a part of the eating experience, and this pub simply delivered.

Maybe it was a lucky day, but on that rather chilly Saturday two weeks back I was in Hamburger heaven.

Do you have a favourite burger place?

My all time favourite burger place in the America is ‘The burger joint’ in New York.

Tucked away to the right of the coat rack inside a big hotel downtown, you thick you’ve landed in an old burger shack.

It’s a small, room with a big line, this city secret will have you waiting for your burger, but it is so worth it!

My task at hand now is trying to recreate the perfect burger and fries at home!

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Over the next week I’ll be cooking away in my kitchen here in England to see if I can crack the burger code too.

Do you have a favourite recipe?!

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I’ve called up my beloved mother and asked for her homemade meatball recipe which will be my starting point as it’s so tasty.

But when it comes to the fries all I know is that I like them rustic with the skin, golden and with crunch!

Do you have a trick to creating the perfect fries at home?

After all this, let the healthier life start up again.

Wishing you all a great Tuesday!

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Posted in Dinner, Dorset, Food, Restaurants, Wimborne | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Tea: The afternoon tea tradition…

marte_marie_forsberg_20130112IMG_0587Afternoon tea, the delightful tradition that is as english as the queen mother.

It seems to have been around forever, yet we owe this cozy ritual to Anna Maria, the seventh Duchess of Bedford, for introducing us to Afternoon tea.

In the mid 19th century, Anna Maria, simply could not bear the tumbling tummy between lunch and dinner, so she insisted she be brought tea and cakes between 2 and 5 pm to stop hunger pains, oh how we are kindred spirits!

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 The British are very proud of their tea tradition, and since 1886, when queen Victoria held her first Royal tea party at Buckingham palace, they have been unstoppable.

And I for one, wish they’d never turn the heat off of the teapot.

I love the little breaks that involve tea, but I especially adore afternoon tea when one can nibble on scones and clotted cream with jam, small cucumber sandwiches and little cakes and biscuits in a small tea room.

A little piece of heaven, really;)

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As I’m exploring England these days, and particularly the Dorset area, I’m falling hard for the english countryside and its charming villages and towns.

Last Saturday, my english gentleman, introduced me to yet another charming place, called Morton house hotel, taught me how to play draughts, and dunk my biscuit properly in a cup of tea without having it come apart, an art-form really.

All these little pieces make up the wonderful afternoon tea tradition for me.

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(If you’re looking for a sweet little weekend getaway with a loved one or even just need a couple of days off by yourself, this place with it’s surrounding beauty, is just the thing.)

We sat for hours nipping to tea, sketching, planning the week ahead and listening to the huge crackling fireplace.

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The walls were adorned in dark wood, small windows set in the thick stone walls allowed for just the right amount of dim light to come through.

When it all boils down to it I must say, as Kara Rosenlund (a very talented props stylist and with the most charming travelling props shop in a beautiful caravan!!) mentioned on instagram yesterday…

‘Why is it that tea always tastes better when someone else makes it?…’

Afternoon tea defiantly tastes better when someone else makes it!

One can easily boil the water, fill the tea cup, add the tea and milk, but oh boy how delightfully delicious it is when one can take a seat in a charming little tea house, cafe or hotel lounge and be served steaming hot tea in its own pot.

Strange how such a simple thing as a cup of tea can make you feel better instantly!

It’s the perfect break in a day, with the comfort of solitude and pleasure of company.

So I raise my tea cup to Anna Maria and her rumbling tummy for introducing such a wonderful tradition that me and so many with me cannot seem to be able to live without.

Cheers!

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Posted in Afternoon tea, Corfe Castle, Dorset, Drink, England, England, Food, Hotel, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Restaurant: The Ducksoup in Soho, London

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 I was introduced to Ducksoup by the talented chef Julian Biggs.

Infact he is the founder of Ducksoup and is the brain behind the fun and ever evolving menu (changes twice a day)that usually makes my tastebuds tingle with simple, tasty and fun flavour combination delight.

Take the porkbelly I had there last time I was in London.

It was tender and tasty with a crunch to the skin that almost put the Norwegian “ribbe” crust to shame…almost… But it was the bean broth with different herbs and garlic that truly made it the delicious and warm winter lunch treat you’re really hoping for.

Warm, tasty, crunchy and full of soothing soft flavours that make you want to return again and again.

Oh, and put their wine list on your to-drink list as well!

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Ducksoup is a small restaurant that has a great vibe and by all means they do not only serve up a good pork belly.

My favorite part of choosing to eat there for lunch is how the menu is put together, made up by many small dishes to choose from and some that can be a complete lunch on its own.

It feel like it’s Aperitivo time in Milano or Rome, ordering a nice drink and nibbling on countless small dishes served up around the bar.

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It’s fun filling up a table with friends where we all order two or three different dishes and share.

Aperitivo time at noon is what I’m all about!

I’ve yet to explore Ducksoup at night, but apparently it’s quite the place in the evening where the old record player fills the little restaurant with old school ambiance.

Incidently it was over a lunch with Julian at Ducksoup that I was introduced to Joe Warwick a food writer and author of the newly released bible for a travelling foodie called ” Where chefs eat” published by Phaidon.

Looking for a place to have breakfast, lunch, or dinner, in your old city or just crusing through Oslo, San Francisco, London or New York and need some recommendations, not by a mere travel guide, but from chefs working in the city your at.

Chefs recommending their top places to eat in your chosen city, yup, that’s right, it’s a little bit of genius really.

Trust me, if you buy one food related book this year make it “Where chefs eat” by Joe Warwick.

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 When I travel and end up consuming many a meal by myself, and I treasure this time, lingering by a table, enjoying a bit of downtime, people watching, daydreaming and planning for upcoming projects and shoots.

Ducksoup is a great place to take a seat by the long bar that is the heart of the restaurant or book the one and only table by the window and plan your next place to eat in London while resting your feet.

And being a food photographer, I always end up going a wee big Instagram crazy when I visit, it’s delicious food for both eye and belly.

PS: Be sure to book a table ahead for lunch and dinner on the weekends, it fills up quick.

Here’s a little moment from the Ducksoup for you…

Posted in Ducksoup, Food, London, Restaurants, Soho, Travel | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

Cooking with my mother: Rye cake (bread)

Happy New Year!

Im so excited for this brand new year, and I´m kickstarting a new series called Cooking with my mother!

My beloved mother is such an amazingly warm, talented, beautiful, fun and wise woman that I´m lucky to count as a dear friend as well as my main mentor in life (dad is up there on that mentor list as well:)

She has this unique ability to turn any day into a good one, to turn three wilted ingredients in the fridge into a feast in no time, and even if she knows how to follow a recipe, she is quite the creative genius that has fun with food.

I have loved watching her cook, bake and bring our garden onto our plate since I was a little girl.

I wanted to find a way to preserve her recipes and learn more about food from her this last years, so I thought I´d share her with you and use this blog as a place to store some of the recipes passed from mother to daughter.

Many of the recipies she shares with me were passed down to her from her mother, and

I´m so excited to start collecting them here with you.

First one up is one of my favorite types of bread, rye cake bread.

I love the texture, flavor with anis and its shape.

Watching my beloved mother make this bread, that is called (rug kake) Rye cake in Norwegian, the other day, brought back so many wonderful childhood memories, and put that familiar warm bread perfume back in the kitchen.

It’s perfect warm with a bit of salted butter, and it is great for making delicious sandwiches with.

After a few days when the freshness has left it, toast it, and enjoy with a dash of butter and apricot marmalade.

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Ingredients

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11 dl all purpose flour

6 dl water

5 dl coarse rye flour

50 g yeast

2 tbs butter

2 tbs water

2 tbs salt

1 tbs anise

(don’t leave the anis out, it’s what really makes this bread)

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Directions

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Heat the water to luke warm, or test it on the back of your hand for the same temeprature as you.

Add butter and sirup to a bowl.

Add the yeast and mix till dissolved.

Add the dry to the wet and mix till it forms a medium firm dough.

Preheat oven to 200 degrees.

Cover the bread dough with a kitchen towel and set to rest and rise in a warm spot.

When the dough has risen to double its size, empty bowl onto a lightly floured surface.

Divide dough into four parts and roll them into balls.

Flatten them with your hands or a roller pin to the thickness of your hand flat on a table.

Cut a hole in the middle with a small lid or a knife.

For your own little personal touch use a small cookie cutter with a star or a heart.

Butter a baking tray and place the rye cakes.

Brush the cakes with warm water and with a fork dot the cakes.

Bake on 200 degrees for about 20 min.

Let them cool off on a rack and cover with a kitchen towel when room temperature.

Bon Appetit!

I wish you all a wonderful new year and thank you for your kind support throughout 2012.

Your thoughtful comments and feedback make it all worth it:)

Let’s start the new year with a dash of gratitude and a dose of adventure.

Sometimes is comes to us with ease and other times we need to dig deeper, but we can always find something to be grateful for and throw ourselves into the unknown with a bit of daredevilness;)

Happy New Year!

Posted in Baked goods, Bread, Cooking with my mother series, Food, Food memories, Homemade, Rye cake bread | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Recipe: Mince pie and a little video

In the cold months of winter, nestling up inside with a treat become a habit.

At breakfast I think about lunch, and while wandering the streets of a cozy english countryside village I dream of finding the perfect little cafe to warm my hands and enjoy a warm treat.

My english gentleman took me to a charming village called Sherborne, where we hunted for antiques and perused the local christmas market, before finding a gem of a cafe that one of his sister´s had suggested for us.

Oliver´s in Sherborne was where I for the first time had mince pie and mulled wine, I know, where have been the past 20 years! Sleeping under a rock for sure:)

Did you know that mince pies have been eaten as part of a traditional British Christmas since the 16th century.

Back then they were made of meat but are now made with sweet mincemeat; a mixture of dried fruits, sugar, spices and brandy.

This is my take on this great English Christmas treat made with blackcurrants cordial and mango among the more traditional ingredients.

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Ingredients

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(Makes 12 mince pies)

Pastry

170g all purpose flour

100g salted butter

1tbsp sugar

1/2 cinnamon

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Mincemeat

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140g semi dried apricot, diced

80g semi-dried figs diced

100g  roasted walnuts

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon,

1/2 grated nutmeg

1 Orange zest and juice

3 tbsp Chia seed (optional)

1 banana  chopped

A small handful of dried mango

3 tbsp gløgg, blackcurrants cordial (or brandy)

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Directions

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Pastry

Place the flour, butter and salt into a large bowl.

Rub the butter into the flour with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs

Add cold water a teaspoon at a time until the mixture binds, about 3 tbsp.

Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes in the fridge.

You can also make the dough in a food processor by mixing the flour, butter and salt in the bowl of the processor on a pulse setting. When the mixture resembles breadcrumbs, add water a tbsp at a time until the dough comes together in a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill as mentioned above.

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Mincemeat

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Preheat the oven to 200 degrees and roast the walnuts on a baking tray for about 10 min, before taking them out.

Leave them to cool on a kitchen towel for some minutes and gently rub the walnuts with the towel rolled into a ball to get the dark shell off the nuts.

Pick out the nuts and add them to the food processor.

Turn off the oven.

In a food processor on pulse add all the fruit and nuts.

Then add the liquid.

Have the food processor on plus only until the ingredients are mixed and chopped a bit, but avoid keeping it running till it´s a porridge, you want small chunks. About 1 min depending on how rough you chopped the dry fruit.

Butter up a 12-hole bun tin to make sure the pies don´t stick.

Preheat the oven to 190 degrees while sprinkling some flour on a surface and rolling out the dough till its about as thick as a pound or two quarters on top of each other.

Use a small glass or cup to cut out 12 pie bottoms/discs, or use a ca 7cm cutter.

Then cut 12 small stars or hearts from the rest of the dough with small cookie cutters or cut out from paper and cut with a knife around the paper cut-outs on the dough.

I usually skip the top lids on the pies and go straight for the decoration in the shape of a star or a heart. That way you can see a bit of the mincemeat peaking through on the sides when you place the star on top of the small pies.

However, if you want, cut 12, 6 cm discs that are half as thick as the bottom discs, like on quarter or a normal coin in thickness, and place on top as a lid on the pies before you add the star or heart decorations.

Bake in the middle of the oven for about 10 min on 190 degrees, or until a shy golden color appears.

Let the pies cool on a wire rack before serving them lukewarm with a wee sprinkle of icing sugar and hot mulled wine or gløgg.

Enjoy!

Here´s a little video clip from our delicious sweets feast at Oliver´s in Sherborne.

 Did you notice the deliciously dark carrot cake in the video?

It was a real treat filled with fruit and nuts in addition to carrots.

Coming up soon is my take on recreating this sultry dark carrot dessert.

Happy Holidays!

 

Posted in Desserts, Dorset, England, England, Food, Mince pie, Sherborne, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Christmas tree hunting in England…

I remember when I was a little girl heading off into the woods behind our house to chop down a christmas tree with my father.

I was over the top excited and though my dad was the toughest man in the world carrying the old ax ready to hunt down a tree!

When the tree was hunted down, chopped at the perfect spot and dragged home, we used to put it up overnight in the basement for it to acclimatize so it would keep its green needles longer.

I oculd not wait for them to bring it up to the nicer living room on the other side of our house next to the floor to ceiling fireplace.

Following family tradition we´d all help get it setteled in it´s spot in the living room, but my parents would after us kids where tucked in to bed on the 23rd of December decorate the tree and put all the brightly wrapped gifts underneath it.

Needless to say I was up as early as I could on the 24th and would sneak down in my pj`s with one of my brothers to start the endless shaking, guessing and peaking at presents.

Ahh, the anticipation was overwhelming!

This last weekend I was lucky enough to go Christmas hunting with my english gentleman.

The air was crisp, the sun was out and off we went into the english woods to find our tree.

We woke up to frost that morning, and even if I am very much Norwegian, I was thrilled there was no snow.

I adore the fall, and love a bit of snow around christmas, but having left Norway for – 15 degrees some days earlier, the mild english winter and the sun was such a treat.

I feel so grateful for this time of year and to be able to spend it with dear family and friends.

Even if one can gather at all random times of the year around a good meal or a walk in the forest, the Holidays are the perfect excuse to spend more time together.

As the sun dipped under the horizon we had literally managed to stuffed the a-lot-larger-than-we-thought christmas tree in the car and headed off to warm our hands on a cup of tea.

Days like this call for a bit of a treat, and the holiday season is to me just a month long excuse to enjoy the sweeter side of life.

On this trip to England I was introduced to mulled wine and minced pie.That my english gentleman treated me to after a wonderful afternoon per suing Christmas markets and antique shops.

 I found the combination to be the perfect, so coming up next is my versions of mulled wine and minced pie.

Hoping you´re all having a lovely Holiday season!

Posted in Dorset, England, England, Travel | Tagged , , , | Comments Off