Archive for April, 2013

Homemade Mojito Ice cream… Now doesn’t that sound like a summer nights dream???

Since I love both Mojito’s and Ice cream I figured one should be able to combine the two. We got ourselves an Ice cream maker not so long ago. I am now ready to have the freezer full of healthier versions of my favorite Häagen-Dazs… I am trying to come up with some healthy alternatives. But one needs to also do some “real” Ice cream. For god sake, you can’t have an Ice cream maker and only do frozen yoghurt!! That would be a crime. So let the try-outs begin. One of my favorites right now is a Mojito ice cream. It is made from a custard base. Oh my, it is so fantastic. The first time I made it, it ended up a little too sweet in my taste, but I was the only one that thought so. Family & friends has loved all versions. No complaints of it being too sweet.

It is such an easy task to make Ice cream with this handy little machine. Gone are the days I made it by hand. I used to use the attachment to my Kitchen Aid, but it always gave me problems. It never really worked well, so I did it by hand. Now I finally don’t have to. It is so nice.

You can make so many versions of Ice cream. I think it is great to just experiment. First you need to just master the basics. Make a plain vanilla Ice cream, use a custard base. It is creamy, smooth and silky. From there you can start building up your repertoire. Use simple syrups, fruits, berries, herbs….or whatever your favorite taste is. I am thinking the wilder the better. It is easy to make “cocktail” Ice cream versions. Since many drinks are based on simple syrups, you can just transfer that into an Ice cream, you can even add alcohol if you want. If you do, just be careful and don’t add it until the last few seconds in the machine. The alcohol can prevent the Ice cream from freezing up.

Just note that you must make sure to have a day or two before the ice-cream is being served since the custard must chill down a 100%. I also prefer to have it sit in the freezer over night.

So make some Ice cream!!! Summer is closing in.



Homemade Mojito Ice-cream.

Makes about 6 cups.

2 c. Heavy cream (whipping cream).

2 c. whole milk.

1/2 c.  granulated sugar.

5 egg yolks from large eggs.

1/2 c. Simple syrup made of mint and lime. (Use 1 bunch of fresh mint and 1-2 limes, the juice and some grated zest as well. Boil down with 1/2 c. of water & 1/2 c. of granulated sugar. Let come to a boil. Make sure the sugar dissolves. Cool in the fridge for a few hours. Strain).

1 tsp. finely grated lime zest

1-2 tbsp. of good rum (optional, to add the last few seconds of mixing the ice-cream).

Pinch of salt.

(If you would like to make a vanilla ice-cream, add 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract 1 vanilla bean, halved & seeds scraped off. Cooked in the milk/cream mixture. Just remove the vanilla bean when finished cooking. Obviously you don’t use the lime and mint for the vanilla version)


Pour the milk, cream and half of the sugar into a pot. Let come to a boil on medium low heat. Meanwhile, mix the egg yolks and the rest of the sugar until nice, light and fluffy.

You now need to “temper” the eggs. Take 1/3 of the hot milk/cream. Pour, little by little while whisking well, into the egg & sugar mixture. When done pour this tempered egg mixture back into the pot. Use a wooden spoon, stir constantly on low heat until it thickens. Make sure it isn’t too hot or the eggs will curdle. When the mixture covers the back of the spoon and you can drag your finger across the spoon and the mixture doesn’t close back in over spoon, it is done. It will take about 5-6 minutes.

If you are making vanilla ice-cream, you need to now remove the vanilla bean. Pour the custard into a container with air tight lid.

Sometimes when making ice-cream you might end up with lot’s of ice crystals. The trick to avoid that is to cool down the custard really fast. I use an ice bath (a large bowl with water and ice that I put my container of finished ice-cream custard into).

You need to refrigerate the custard for at least 2 hours. The best would be to let it sit in the fridge over night.

When cooled down totally, add to the ice-cream machine. Make sure it is turned on before you start pouring in the mixture into the frozen freezer bowl. After 5 minutes or so of churning the ice-cream, start adding the simple syrup. Little by little. Make sure to taste so that it isn’t too over powering. Let churn for about 20-25 minutes in total. At the very end, add the finely grated lime zest and the alcohol (optional). If you like a little softer version of ice-cream, serve directly. I prefer to make mine ahead of time and add it to an airtight container and put it in the freezer for a few hours or even over night.

Decorate with a couple of leaves of mint.


Read Full Post »

It is still a little chilly out and I crave some soup or broth. Right now, I am so focused on finishing a whole bunch of tasks making long complicated cooking banned.  I just don’t have the time for it this week. Instead I am making quick dishes. Turkey Fricadelles in a chicken broth.

The “heavy work” would just be the mixing of the ground turkey. After that, it takes care of itself.

This is more of a sophisticated and old fashion dish. It is usually served in a consomme’. I am more used to Fricadelles made out of ground pork. But, if using ground turkey, you will get a very nice light and fresh taste. And, if you mix it with ginger and lemon zest the freshness & lightness is elevated even more. You can also make Fricadelles and boil them in a tomato sauce and pour it over some pasta. Another version is to bake them in the oven. I prefer to boil them in a broth though.

It is a little sad that we have forgotten many of the old timers (old classic dishes). I really appreciate eating different kinds of food. Things that my grandmother and mother used to make. These Fricadelles are an upbeat version of theirs.



Turkey Fricadelles in a Chicken broth.

Makes about 20 Fricadelles.

1 lb. ground turkey.

1 tbsp. potato flour/starch.

Zest from 1 lemon., finely chopped.

1/2-1 tbsp. finely grated fresh ginger.

1 egg.

2 tbsp. finely chopped herbs. Any kind. (I love to use basil/Thyme/cilantro/parsley. Either one or a combination of).

2 tbsp. finely grated parmesan cheese (optional).

1 tbsp. concentrated chicken or vegetable broth.

Salt & pepper to taste.

Splash of hot sauce (optional).

Good quality chicken broth or consomme’.


Mix the ground turkey, herbs, zest, egg and all the rest of the ingredients together in a bowl. Make sure all is well combined. Form little “meatballs” of the mixture, about 3/4″-1″ in size.

Let the broth or consomme’ come to a boil. Drop in the Fricadelles, one by one and make sure they don’t stick together. Let them simmer slowly (so that they don’t boil too hard and break into pieces). It should take about 8-10 minutes. They should be slightly firm to the touch. Note that since it is poultry they must be cooked all the way through. I use the broth that I boiled the Fricadelles in, but you can just as well boil some clean and clear broth on the side and lift over the Fricadelles into that broth for a clean serving. I usually strain the broth I boiled the Fricadelles in since it becomes very flavorful. 

You can make lot’s of Fricadelles and freeze them for future use. Perfect to just defrost in the fridge over night and drop into any dish for dinner.


Read Full Post »

The Arctic winds were hitting many parts of the world this winter. In New York, we have had lot’s of snow and it has been freezing cold. We even had 10F/-11C at times, that is cold. For days it has been colder than in Sweden.  And on top of that during the same time a friend in Australia said that they were hit with the highest registered temperature ever at this one part of Sydney. I believe it was 120F/49C. Something like that. Isn’t it just crazy how the climate is changing??

As if we don’t have enough of the cold, we love visiting the Ice Hotel up in the north of Sweden or the Ice Bar in Stockholm. Or the Ice Hotel in Canada. Cold as ….
I went to the Ice Hotel with a friend just before I moved to the US. I wanted to do something very Swedish as a last hurrah.

It was fantastic. We drove a reindeer sled, fed the reindeer, went cross-country skiing. And of course we slept at the Ice Hotel itself. It was such an experience. What a nice thing to do. If you ever have a chance to go there, do it. You sleep in a sleeping bag, with just your underwear. Your clothes are neatly rolled up and put at the bottom of your sleeping bag. They wake you up in the morning bringing a glass of hot lingon berry juice. You can choose between rooms or suits. The bed is a wooden frame with a mattress and lined with reindeer hides. The whole hotel is built out of ice blocks cut out from the river. And every spring the river takes the hotel right back. All rooms, furniture, light fixtures such as chandeliers, the little church, the art installations all are made of snow and ice. It really is amazing that one can build this giant hotel made of just snow and ice. I would say going to the Ice Hotel is a bucket list thing to do.



The glasses are made of ice. The stack of empty glasses is almost looking like an art installation.



Flavored Alcohol.

You can make your own flavored alcohol. I usually make flavored vodka and rum. The best way is to make a small essence that you dilute into the vodka itself. There are so many version. When I was in my 20’s we used to make candy shots by adding lot’s of different kinds of candy into the bottles of vodka, liquorice, “Kola shoestrings, peppermint, sours candy….a.s.o. You will see how the dye/colors in the candy dyes the vodka. The liquorice becomes light grey for example. Just throw that out after a few days. You can also strain the vodka in a sieve with some cheese cloth if your candy fell apart.

My favorite flavored vodkas are;

* Cinnamon & orange. 

* Saffron, cinnamon & cloves.

* Ginger & apples.

* Lemon (use a Buddhas hand if possible. Regular lemons tend to get slightly bitter. Let the peal only sit in the vodka for a day or so).

* Raspberries or other berries.

* A typical Swedish taste would be herbal such as Fennel seeds or dill. 

The varieties are endless.

Add a little sugar, about 1 tbsp, so that the tastes marry better.

This is also the way I make my essence. I use a 50% alcohol and let it sit in a glass jar for months in my basement. I never buy my vanilla essence I make it from vanilla beans. It tastes really good.












Let’s hope we soon go from snow and ice to a nice warm spring.

Happy spring to all of us!!!

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: