Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Happy Birthday ComfyDays...

Today we are celebrating one year ComfyDays and I still cannot believe that exactly one year ago I spontaneously decided to post my very first recipe (HERE), clueless where the journey would take me and what to expect. Many doubts and questions went through my head... would someone be interested in my blog or my recipes, would I be able to keep up with my posts, would I find time to follow up on my blog or would I rather lose my passion to write once I posted something. Now one year later... relaxed, happy and fulfilled, I can say that it was a very right thing to do! With over 70 published posts, more then 100 shared recipes and more than 500 followers in facebook, I am still super excited to write my small little stories, share my pictures and recipes, with the very same passion I felt when writing my very first post, but definitely with less doubts and fear. 

My family and friends were my greatest supporters and I would like to thank each of you for believing in me. Not only that they encouraged me to start the blog, but also gave me ideas for my next posting, tried my dishes and were the best food critics ever, gave me tips and tricks on how my pictures can be made and played my models when needed. I did enjoy every posting I wrote and I am looking forward for many others to come.

We celebrated this special day with a mocha cake and salted caramel frosting (after some baking pause of all the Christmas goodies). I wanted to make this cake for some time now, but never found the right occasion. The cake is rather heavy on calories I know, but it must be tried....

Mocha cake with salted caramel frosting

  • 75 g butter softened
  • 200 g sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 300 ml buttermilk
  • 3 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 tablespoon instant coffee powder
  • 350 g flour
Preheat the oven to 180C. In a stand mixer mix together butter and sugar, till soft and pale in the colour. Add eggs (one at the time) and vanilla mix well. In a separate bowl combined coffee powder with buttermilk. Sift flour and baking powder. Now add the wet and dry ingredients alternately to the egg-butter mixture (in 3 badges) always starting and ending with dry ingredients. Pour the batter either in 2 baking form (18 cm each) or all in once in one baking form. Bake about 30-40 minutes if using 2 pans or about an hour when using one pan only. Check with a wooden stick if cake is ready. Take it out and let it rest at the cooling rack. Once cake is cooled, slice it in equal layers.
  • 1 cup of strong coffee
  • 1-2 teaspoons brown sugar
Mix both ingredients and pour it over the cut layers, letting the liquid soak into the sponge. By doing this you will add additional coffee flavour to the cake and make it even more moist.
  • 250 g salted butter softened
  • 400 g dulce de leche
In a stand mixer, mix the butter till light and fluffy and pale in colour. Add whole cane of dulce de leche and mix till all well combined.

Frost the cake with the frosting, between the layers and on the side. Let the cake rest for 15-20 minutes in the refrigerator.
  • 20 ml double cream
  • 80 g dark chocolate
Heat up the cream, take it from the heat and add the chocolate (roughly chopped). Let is rest for 5 minutes. Whisk the chocolate with the hand whisk till smooth and shiny, it should still be runny. Cover the top of the frosted cake with a thick layer of chocolate, letting it run down the sides. Decorate the cake and serve...


And here some highlights from 2015, with my most favourite recipes... Many birthdays were celebrated and new cake creations have been tried, there was a challenge of the french cooking in Provence and Swedish sweet delights in south of Sweden, some nice, cosy and hearty dishes for autumn with many figs creation, many sweets delights and Julia Child challenge in winter...




Enjoy!

Sunday, 10 January 2016

Sunshine and exotic carrot creme soup for dinner

We are back home and Spain has welcome us with sunshine and pleasant +20 degrees. It is unusual warm for this time of the year, but we are not complaining and really enjoying the warmth. I got all inspired by the sun and decided to do something vibrant for dinner. Exotic carrot creme soup, a soup as bright as the sun, super easy to do and something Pablo actually likes too.
Exotic carrot cake
  • 5-6 big carrots
  • 1 stick celery
  • fresh ginger
  • 1,5 cubes vegetable broth 
  • 500 ml water
  • 300 ml coconut milk
  • olive oil
Wash the carrots and celery, cut them in cubes. Put everything in a pot with some olive oil, let it saute for 1-2 minutes. Add the water (it shall cover the carrots), broth cubes and ginger (finely cut or grated) and let it boil. Once it boils, put the heat down to medium/high and let us cook for 15 minutes with lead on. Add the coconut milk and cook for additional 5-10 minutes. The carrots should be cooked trough. Puree the soup in a blender, till you will get a creamy soup.  Serve it with some bread and a dot of a greek yogurt.

The wooden board that you can see on the pictures, is a handmade piece by my husband. One month at the country side and we started to craft wooden cutting boards and wooden cake boards, I even got a wooden etagere... I am so proud of my husband, making all my crazy visions true... I literally freaked, bursting out all my wishes, when I saw all the wood, which actually was meant to end up as firewood... 
Enjoy!

Thursday, 7 January 2016

Hard working boys, pulled pork and yet another gorgeous sunset

The new year found us well and I hope the same for all of you too...

The magic of Swedish country side is still upon us. It has been a month now since we arrived here and soon we are leaving back home. After all these weeks at the country side, we realise that country life might suit us perfectly... There were some things we have been doing and seen, such as getting visits from mouses, experiencing the most gorgeous sunrises and sunsets, working hard to prepare firewood for many cold days to come, cut down the trees, trying new recipes, getting creative and crafting things out of the wood from the trees we cut and of course celebrating the holidays, visiting family and friends... 
My part on the hard work was rather little, instead I got all creative took millions of pictures, trying to capture all the beauty around us. You would be amazed how beautiful nature can be, I for my part could spend the whole day outside taking pictures, if there just would not be that huge, big and irresistible desire to cook or bake.... My boys however were just amazing, being all manly and strong, making sure the firewood stock is filled up for the yet cold days to come. Pablo got equipped with the same tools as papa, just in a mini format and would strive for the same performance as his daddy. I on the other hand was almost exploding from pride and joy, seeing papa and son making sure our home stays warm and cosy.
After such a hard work my boys got rewarded with "pulled pork" in the bun for dinner. Pulled pork seemed to be quite a hit in Sweden these days, I was not aware of it till recently. We got it served at friends place and wanted to try it out ourselves too. The day we decided to stock up on the firewood, seemed perfect for the pulled pork, as this dish needs to be slowly cooked for several hours in the oven. My husband took the lead on the meat (so today I am actually sharing a recipe from my husband) and I contributed with homemade buns, coleslaw salad and yogurt sauce to round up the dinner...
Pulled pork

  • 1,5 kl pork shoulder roast
  • 1 tablespoon coarse salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon grounded cumin 
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 5 garlic gloves
Cut the garlic as small as you can, add all the spices and mix. Rub the meat with all the spices, put it in a dish you will use later for cooking, cover with wrapping foil and let it rest over the night (up to 12 hours) in the refrigerator.

Preheat the oven to 125 C. Put the meat into the oven and let is cook for 5-6 hours. Prepare the salsa, to rub the meat with this after those 5-6 hours. 
  • 1 tablespoon worcester sauce
  • 200 ml ketchup
  • 50 ml apple vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon tabasco
  • 50 g brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
Put all the ingredients in a sauce pan, mix together and let it cook on medium/high heat for 3 minutes. Let it cool down. After your meat has been roasting for 5-6 hours, start rubbing the meat with the sauce, 3-4 times within additional 1 hour. In total your meat will be roasting for about 7-8 hours. Once done, take the meat out and pull it apart with 2 forks.

Homemade buns
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon dry yeast
  • 250 ml warm water
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 30 g butter melted
  • 1 egg
  • 500 g flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
In a mixing bowl add some water and sugar, sprinkle the yeast over it, steer briefly. Cover it with clean kitchen towel and let it rest for 5-10 min, to activate the yeast (the mixture will get foamy and you will smell the yeast). Add melted butter, egg, some flour and salt, mix. Add about 400 g flour in total and start the kneading (about 2-3 minutes using your stand mixer). Check the dough with your rubber spatula, if the dough will stick to it add more flour....spoon wise and continue the kneading. Do the spatula test again. Sprinkle bit of olive oil over the dough (the sides of your mixing bowl should be clean) and turn the dough ball couple of times in the bowl, making sure it got all covered with the oil. Cover the bow with the kitchen towel and let it raise for about 1 hour, till it doubled in size. Make sure there is no wind draw, otherwise you dough won´t raise.

Flour your kitchen worktop slightly and take the dough out of the bowl. Knead couple of times with your hands, taking all the air out, and divide in 6-8 equal dough pieces. Knead each piece in a bowl, flatting it to a round bun form and put it on the baking tray or baking dish. Cover with wrapping foil and kitchen towel and let it raise for additional 40-60 minutes, till doubled in size.
Preheat the oven to 180C. Brush the buns, very gently, with an egg wash (egg and a bit of milk and sprinkle it with some sesame seeds. Bake for 18-20 minutes, till golden brown. Take it out and let is cool down.

Coleslaw

  • cabbage
  • salt
  • pepper
Cut the cabbage in thin slices, best you shred it in your food processor. Put some salt and pepper over it. Smash the cabbage with your hand, basically rubbing the spices inside, for some minutes. Let it rest.

Yogurt sauce
  • yogurt or creme fraiche
  • salt
  • dry garlic powder
  • fresh herbs you like
Mix everything together...

After the dinner we put on the fire, resting from the hard working day and very nutritious dinner...


Enjoy!

P.S. can you see the monkey face on the picture with the small wood piece lying on the stones?
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