Jam once again

IMG_6241The last two weeks were busy, busier than usual partially due to the closing deadline aka as our nearing vacation. Everyone wants a piece of you and there are so many appointments to check off that you feel like in a gurgle and time just flies. But right now, I don’t worry, I’m on vacation and from Wednesday on, M is on vacation too and we head over the big water to visit family and run a race (half marathon in Ashland, Wisconsin).

We are having a beautiful fall with warm days and chillier mornings and evenings. Last week was wet but this week has just been wonderful, it even got T-shirt warm. Which is pretty amazing considering we are living in Norway and it’s October. Today I biked with munchkin in the bike trailer to a meeting of the baby group. The wind was blowing quite a bit but I wasn’t wearing more than a blouse, the sun was smiling at us and the wind pushing clouds over the blue sky.

Our friend gave us some pounds of their hundreds of pounds of apples and so we got into making another batch of jam, this time cranberry apple and apple jam. Otherwise we have started to prepare our trip foodwise with baking Belgian waffles, sweet buns and granola walnuts.

Cranberry apple and apple jam from today

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By the way that’s what our friend N got out of 200lbs of apples! Juice concentrate (we got a bottle of apple pear one), apple butter, different types of jams, cider and and and… I think it’s ok to call her the apple prepper. Awesome job N!

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Every Tuesday we are still going swimming and munchkin loves the water. It’s a thing the three of us do together during our otherwise busy and turbulent week. Munchkin is running around, chasing Ecky, throwing the ball for him or both are pulling on Ecky’s blanket one on each end. The moment munchkin goes to bed Ecky jumps into the stroller and gets comfy there. He loves the lamb skin which I’ve recently added to keep munchkin warmer in the back.

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Apple cranberry jam (yield about 5 jars each 500ml)

  • 1kg of apples, peeled, cored and cut into medium sized chunks
  • 1kg cranberries
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • a pinch of ground cloves
  • juice and rind of one orange
  • 1kg jam sugar, 1:2
  • Prepare your jam jars, wash and flush them thoroughly, sterilize the lids with boiling water.

Prepared jars waiting to be filled with jam

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  • Keep a ladle and maybe a funnel for filling the jars close by, once you start filling them into the jars there is NO time for searching and running through the house… 😉
  • In a big pot mix the apples with the cranberries, spices and orange juice and rind. Bring it to boil and let it boil until the apples and cranberries are done. Stir frequently to avoid burning.
  • Add the sugar and blend in well, let it boil for another 2-5min (check the instructions on your jam sugar package). Take a ceramic plate and drop a little bit of jam on it to check if it gets firm. It shouldn’t be runny anymore after a few moments. If it doesn’t get firm, boil it a bit longer or add some pectin. (Apples contain a lot of pectin so the jam should get firm without any problems.)
  • Then fill one jar after another: fill the boiling jam into a jar, twist the lid on firmly and turn it upside down. Continue with the next one until all your jam is jarred. Let cool down. Check if the middle of the lid is slightly sunken in which means the jars are vacuum sealed.

The next recipe is from our friend in Germany. She likes the mediterranean kitchen and tries to eat mostly vegan. We tasted this dish the last time when we visited her and she told us it’s easy peasy. I got a copy and we finally made it. It’s easy to prepare some time ahead and then you just throw into the oven and wait. We had it together with red quinoa but bread or rice will work too.

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Bean tomato hot dish with baked feta cheese (yield 4-6 persons) adapted from Despina Parashu

  • 2 cans white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 onions, peeled and finely cut
  • 2 medium sized carrots, peeled and cut into thin (2mm thick) slices
  • 3 red bell peppers, washed, cored and cut into smaller chunks
  • 700ml passed tomatoes
  • 200gr feta cheese
  • oregano, salt, pepper, oil
  • Fry the onions over medium heat in a medium sizes sauce pan for 3 min. Then add the carrots and bell pepper and fry them for 3 min.
  • Add the passed tomatoes and simmer for 5min.
  • Preheat the oven at 200C.
  • Add the beans to the vegetable tomato mix and let all simmer for 3 min. Season with 1 tbsp oregano and salt and pepper.
  • Fill the mix into an oven dish, crumble the feta cheese on top of it and bake for 40min.
  • Serve with rice, quinoa or pita bread.

Bean tomato hot dish served with red quinoa

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The dish is even better the next day. 🙂

We can’t help it but we take a whole carry on with just snacks with us when going on a trip to the US. The flight from Amsterdam to the west coast or twin cities is long and chomping on snacks keeps you busy. Every time we try something new to improve the experience and to adapt to the new needs of our little boy.

This time we are going to take with us in addition to the standard stuff: pretzel sticks, fruits, sandwiches, fruit pouches and cereal (for munchkin) squeeze bottles with plain yoghurt (for munchkin), Belgian waffles (actually the right name is waffles from Liege), granola walnuts and boller (sweet buns).

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Granola walnuts adapted from Deb Perelman

  • 1.5 cups rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup coconut flakes, unsweetened (for the Norwegians: you don’t get any sweetened coconut flakes here, don’t worry!)
  • 4 tbsp pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar very lightly packed*
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground vanilla
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 4 cups walnut halves, we love Chandler walnuts
  • Preheat your oven to 165C and like a baking tray with parchment paper.
  • In a food processor pulse everything except for the wet ingredients and the walnuts a couple times.
  • In a bigger bowl whip the egg white with the water until frothy then add the nuts and stir them in very well, they need to get well coated with the egg white otherwise the granola won’t stick. Then add the granola mix and stir just a few times. (Too many times erases the coating again.)
  • Pour onto your baking tray and bake for 20min. Let cool down on a cooling rack and keep in an airtight container. I would like to tell you how long they can stay there, but I can’t cause we eat them way too fast and I’m not sure if the current batch is actually going to last until we leave for the US. 8)
  • The granola which didn’t want to stick on the nuts is great in your morning or night yoghurt.
  • * Add more sugar, if you like it sweeter.

Munchkin and I prepared some really good, rich but easy brownies last week. The recipe is from David Lebovitz and they are just *yum*.

That’s how it looks with my little helper in the baby carrier when we are melting chocolate for the brownies

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And the ready brownies

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Sometimes I try to knit a little, every now and then when munchkin is taking a nap or in the evening in front of the TV. My latest project a sweater with the Marius pattern, a very popular pattern in Norway, just got ready. The sweater earned a lot of ohhs and ahhhs on M’s facebook esp from the Americans, but for here it’s just a normal sweater almost every one has and a lot can knit.

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Have a good start into the new week and dream of sweet buns with raspberry jam and vanilla cream. You’ll get the recipe in the next post. Cross your fingers for our race on the 10th. It’s going to be hard.

 

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