Strawberry Rhubarb Peach Pie

Even though it’s very much fall here in Copenhagen, I’m still playing catch-up with summertime recipe posts. It’s good – I can reminisce about summer and be glad that it’s over and we get to wear cozy coats instead of sticky sunscreen (am I the only one who likes winter better than summer? sometimes it feels like it).

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This recipe is all about summer produce – vibrant red strawberries, fuzzy peaches, and… um… what’s this rhubarb thing? Is it real? Rhubarb never really made it to Israel so I have only ever heard about it from TV shows and the blogosphere – up until this summer. Apparently you make pies with it, and it’s tart – just like my mom likes pies, so it’s a good thing that she was here to share this pie, because, myself – I’m more of a chocolate person.

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One of the things I had to get used to here in Northern Europe is that strawberries are a summer food. It’s another one of these blogosphere things I’ve read about, but I never really got it until I saw (Danish) strawberries standing right next to (obviously imported, but still) watermelon in the supermarket. You see, in Israel, being a (very) warm country, strawberries grow in winter-spring, and most definitely NOT summer (that’s when we get watermelons!). But hey, I think it’s pretty cool to have strawberries available at the same time as peaches. If nothing else, it makes this pie possible!

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Summer eats

So… summer’s done. And man, I am SO ready for fall/winter/routine again! Summer has been completely crazy. Moving from a somewhat sleepy city to a European capital (albeit not one the major ones) opened up a world of new and exciting activities that I love to take part it, but I am TIRED. This summer we had 3 (!) different visits from family, book club meetings, vegan meetups; we went to bars with colleagues on Fridays, which I hadn’t done in… years. There was hiking, berry-picking, and even a short dip in the (very cold) sea. We took a rowboat on the lake, a small motor boat through the canals (twice!), went to multiple street parties and had numerous lunches and dinners out in the sunshine.

Before summer started, we had a birthday party for Daniel. We served nachos:

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And a black forest cake:

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I did not know at the time, but cherries would not make an appearance in the supermarket for another two months, hence the freeze-dried raspberry decoration instead. Nonetheless, the cake had plenty of cherries inside, and as far as I can remember was delicious.

For a vegan picnic we made foccacia:

Before baking:

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And after:

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Then there was the Jewish holiday of Shavuot, for which we made this (if I may say so) stunning strawberry cheesecake:

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This tasted absolutely amazing and I’m sure we’ll make it next year too. I just need to understand / remember how we made it the first time around, since this was inspired by about 7 different recipes, vegan and non-vegan alike, with various last-minute changes made due to time and ingredient constraints. Guess we’ll just have to try!

After Daniel returned from a conference in Florence we were inspired to make some Truffle oil pizza:

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You can’t smell it from the picture, but that stuff is strong! He also came back with a high quality balsamic vinegar which I adore.

So that was our summer. Now I’m ready to hunker down for winter and go back to normal life – regular Kendo training, some books, Danish TV and soups, before the holiday craziness begins. Hope you had a good summer too! 🙂

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Raspberry Blackout Cake with Ganache-y Frosting

Oof, keeping up with blogging in summer is hard! But here I am again.

Summer in Denmark is a whole different experience than what I’m used to. First of all, there’s rain. That means things stay green instead of turning brown and dying. And the daytime temperature mostly stays in the 70’s°F/ 20°C instead of climbing up to the high 80’s°F/ 30°C I’m used to. I am loving this.

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Another thing that’s new and exciting for me is the abundance of berries. I’m used to (and love) strawberries and cherries, but that’s about it. But here there are all kinds of different berries: blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, cranberries, currants, and more. We joined a food co-op and our latest bag of fruits and veggies had gooseberries. I’ve never even heard of those ones before!

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The abundance of berry options makes it easier to finish baking all the dessert recipes from the book. When summer started we craved something chocolate-y so we made this raspberry-chocolate cake. Such a good decision! It came out pretty big so we froze it and ate it over a few weeks. Perfect summer treat.

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Chocolate Pudding

It’s been a while! Since we moved to Copenhagen just at the start of spring, once we got settled in, all the spring/summer/the-sun-is-out-let’s-have-fun activities started popping up all over the city. We’re both working full time and exploring the area on weekends, so this blog was pushed to the side a bit. On the one hand it’s hard to find time to do quiet indoors activities when the sun is out all day (currently setting around 9:45 pm) and I know I’ll have the forever-winter waiting for me in just a few months, but on the other hand I’m an introvert who very much needs her down time, otherwise I tend to lose focus.

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Spring in full bloom

At the moment I’m housebound with a sore throat, but at least that’s a great excuse to stay home and rest. And today I can update about this super simple chocolate pudding. I avoided making it for the longest time because a couple of years ago I made a similar recipe that was a complete flop and tasted of nothing but cornstarch.

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I’m glad to report that I was wrong about this one – it turned out great! Very chocolate-y with no cornstarch taste (yep, I used cornstarch instead of arrowroot or tapioca starch. I choose to only keep one starch at home since I can’t tell the difference anyway). We topped it with Alpro whipped cream and it was a treat.

Definitely keeping this one for a quick non-formal dessert, and maybe next time we’ll try out one of the variations.

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Coconut Pancakes with Pineapple Sauce

Things are settling down as we’re settling in here in Copenhagen. I know how to turn left when riding a bike, I’m starting a new job on Monday and we even hosted our first birthday party here. This city is gorgeous and I can’t wait for summer when we’ll explore a bit more of it on foot (or bike).

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Last week I took a bad fall when running. It was an unusually warm day so I was in shorts, and my knees scraped pretty badly. It’s not fun, but it happens. Just need to remind myself that another week or two don’t make such a difference in the grand scheme of things. It’s consistency over years that matters.

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We made these pancakes on a lazy Sunday morning. We used fresh pineapple instead of canned. The batter came out way too thick so we had to add quite a bit of water to get it to a pancake-like consistency. It’s not my favorite pancake recipe from the book, but tropical flavors are always nice.

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First Copenhagen eats!

First blog post from Copenhagen! I’ve been here for three weeks now and we’ve been cooking, baking and eating some great food. We even made progress on cooking through “Vegan with a Vengeance”, but that’ll get its own post.

Copenhagen is amazing. I love cycling everywhere. Our neighborhood is very quiet but only 20 minutes by easy bike ride from the city center, and the city itself is lovely. This place just has a great vibe all-around.

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Daniel started working in the university. He’s pretty pleased with the work and the people. A week after I came here he was in charge for bringing in breakfast for his group. We baked baguettes and made olive tapenade, tomato tapenade and a veggie patĂ©. I don’t have pictures of those because I was still in shock, having just moved to a new country, but it was the same recipe we used to make these buns:

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They taste so good!

We took a whole weekend to make Kenji’s Ultimate Fully Loaded Vegan Nachos. It was a ton of work (like, cooking 3 different kinds of beans from scratch just to get started on the recipes), but so worth it! It tasted amazing and we ate up everything the following week as tacos, taco bowls or just the chili on its own. We’re already planning to make it again in a week or so for Daniel’s birthday party.

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Other than that we’ve been eating our regular salads for breakfast (I took the photo in our old place, but trust me, it looks the same in Copenhagen):

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That was me tuning in from cold, sunny Copenhagen. Vi ses!

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Recent bread eats

We’ve been making our own bread for about… 6 years now. It’s healthy, cheap and tasty. In the last year we’ve branched out from only whole-wheat buns to using rye, spelt, different kinds of ancient wheat; adding seeds and spices like fennel seeds and cardamom; making boules instead of buns, trying out different sourdough waffles… a ton of different things, really.

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Einkorn bread

Bread is a lot of fun to make, and despite what some people claim, I think it’s actually very forgiving and pretty difficult to mess up.

I fell in love with sourdough waffles, so we’ll need to find a new waffle maker in Copenhagen…

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Speaking of Copenhagen, we’ve been preparing by watching a lot of Danish food shows, which gave us the inspiration to do a smørrebrød (open sandwiches) night. We had several different spreads and toppings. Here is one tall creation from that night (rye bread with soy cheese and beet spread topped with caramelized onion, fried eggplant, radishes, pepitas and fried potato):

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A friend brought us some San Francisco sourdough she got from ebay. It was very lively!

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And just thought I’d add a photo of what we eat with all this bread with. We make a tomato-cucumber-onion salad every day for breakfast, which we eat with whatever bread we have and some spread, usually soy cheese or vegan white bean aioli.

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Countdown to Copenhagen is 2 days!

(Non-edible) flowers

A post sans food this time! That’s what happens one cleans out one’s fridge/freezer/pantry, especially without the help of a significant other who has already gone to faraway Copenhagen to try and find an apartment (which is, as we were warned, proving to be very difficult).

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My foot has made a miraculous recovery and I can walk again without pain. I am indescribably happy because a daily dose of walking outside keeps me calm and sane. I didn’t want to push it by running so I’ve been holding off on that, but I’m definitely taking advantage of the sunny weather we’ve been having and have been going for a few hours of hiking on days with nice weather.

 

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Around here this time of year is spring – everything is green and flowers bloom. In a couple of months it’ll be too hot and things will have died of. I’ve been feeling very grateful to have time off now when it’s the absolute best time for hiking and wandering around in nature.

There are tall flowers:

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red flowers:

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pink flowers:

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some local thyme:

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a (not-so-friendly) goat:

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and to top it off, a great blossoming almond tree:

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That’s all for today. Countdown to Copenhagen is 10 days.

Recent Italian Eats

We recently borrowed a pasta maker from a friend, bought some fine semolina flour and played around with both to see what we can make.

We started from some basic fettuccine:

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which we ate with TVP bolognese sauce. Delicious!

Then we added some color (carrot juice for orange, spinach for green):

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and made lasagna:

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With lots of basil:

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And the grand finale was pink ravioli stuffed with our homemade soy cheese:

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I was very surprised by how easy it was to make the pasta. It’s really just mixing semolina flour and water, kneading a bit, letting it rest, rolling and cutting. Rolling and cutting was very simple and not as time consuming as I expected it to be. I basically fell in love with the whole thing and will be lobbying for a pasta maker once we’re settled in Denmark.

Before the pasta maker adventures began, we got some purple sweet potato which we made gnocchi with:

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We also made gnocchi with regular sweet potato, which I didn’t take a photo of, but I can say it was very good.

No-Bake Black Bottom Peanut Butter Silk Pie

This was a really fun recipe to make. I love peanut butter, and I love chocolate, and I really can’t resist desserts that combine the two. This is the last recipe we made from the book before we’re moving to Copenhagen in a couple of weeks, and it was a great choice.

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This pie has a chocolate covered cookie pie dough filled with a peanut putter mousse filling made with silken tofu. I improvised with the dough a bit – we didn’t have any chocolate cookies, so I made something between the original recipe and a pâte brisĂ©e (shortcrust pastry) from a French cake book I have. It worked well enough, though next time I’m definitely weighing it down with something while I bake, because the dough wanted to take over the entire tart pan, and I still had the filling to put in there! I also used agar powder instead of flakes, which actually made the recipe easier since it requires less processing.

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Daniel, who is not a huge fan of chocolate or peanut butter (at least not as I am), dubbed it as “perfect”, so I guess we can end with that.