Friday, November 20, 2009

So Close and Yet so Far Away


Me and my husband found this painting in a tiny art gallery in Bouzios north of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. We visited the gallery several times hoping to come to some kind of decision but due to the language barrier we couldn’t settle a deal to buy the oil painting and had it sent to our home in London. We left Bouzios still with the aim of buying the painting. Being in contact with the painter now the price of the painting is completely different and has therefore somehow lost the romantic Brazilian touch we first fell for. I am now surprisingly satisfied with the picture as a happy memory from that time on our honeymoon when we had a vision of the painting being ours. You always learn something from events like these and this time I learned that sometimes decisions need to be made there and then and you shouldn’t be afraid to trust your gut feeling at the time being.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Danish Sourdough & Thyme Bread

There is something about baking sourdough bread. The whole process takes planning, counting of hours, patient and curiosity. The curiosity comes from questions about what really happens in that bowl when you leave it for hours and hours to rest and produce that sour taste that gives sourdough bread it's special character. I have not baked a sourdough bread in years and since me an my husband love to indulge in freshly baked bread for the weekend breakfasts and because I think that there is nothing compared to home cooked, and my husband do agree, I simply have to make it myself. This is my third week baking a bread and I keep my hopes up that this bread, compare to last weeks gluten free bread, will put a smile on my husbands face and put me in the light of being the excellent cook I so want to be. The recipe is inspired from one of my absolute favorite Swedish cookbooks. I have had the book for years and the only recipes I have been trying are from the bread section for some reason. I think it has something to do with the fact that my mother always baked bread at home and that the fantastic smell brings happy childhood memories and warming comfort.

The sourdough needs to rest for 24hours so make sure that you have enough time and patient before you start. Before I scare you off, keep in mind that you do not need to do anything with the dough for many hours. The original recipe suggests fresh yeast but since I couldn't get fresh yeast from my local food store in the area where I live in London I had to use fast action dry yeast instead. If you are using fresh yeast you need 12g. Keep the salt level to 2 tsp if you have a delicate pallet, high blood pressure or are on a low sodium diet. The original recipe suggests 1 tbsp but that was too salty for me. I used herb salt since it is not as salty and more nutritious then conventional salt.


Danish Sourdough & Thyme Bread
for the sourdough you need:
7g of fast action dry yeast
5dl/500ml warm water
2dl/200ml natural yoghurt
1 liter/1000ml whole wheat flour

Combine yeast and water in a bowl until the yeast is completely dissolved. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix together by hand with a wooden spoon. Cover the bowl with cling film and leave to rest for 24hours.

24hours later the sourdough is mature and ready for the next step where you add:
3-4dl whole wheat flour
1tbsp dried thyme
1 heaped tbsp cumin

Pour the dough in to ovenproof loaf tin and garnish with dried thyme and sunflower seeds or any other seed you have at home. Leave to rest for 1hour. Preheat the oven to 200°C/390°F and bake the bread for about 45minutes. Every oven is different so please keep an eye on the bread. You know your oven best.

The bread keeps for days and is delicious toasted with real butter. The original recipe suggests that the bread should rest for 1-2 days. If you want to wait that long, be my guest. I didn't!

Friday, November 6, 2009

A Picture for Your Thought

I can not believe that almost two months have passed since I came back from my honeymoon in Brazil. Today I got a bit nostalgic looking at some of the pictures we took there. Color is the only word to describe it. You get the impression that the whole country is filled with bright colors and as a European you find it fascinating to look at the exotic fresh spices, fruits, vegetables and flowers. Even the animals are fascinating! It is so different from what you are used to and I am truly fortunate to have been there, and picked a piece of this country to put in my memory, with my husband. Happy thoughts are what give me energy today! I thought I share a few pictures with you:
 






 



Thursday, November 5, 2009

Winter Colds


It is this time of year when we tend to catch a cold, when the dark keep us from really waking up and when you feel as you could do with a few days lying in bed. I know someone just like that and this year she decided to make it stop. She has reached out and asked for advice on how to strengthen her immune system and I thought I start of with something simple as supplements. You might now think that supplements are a waste of money but trust me, they are not. It is about charging your body, making it resistant to disease, depression. The foods available today do not provide us with enough nutrients, the pollutant air that we breathe are toxins to our body, and what about stress?! that depletes our body from vital nutrients which in turn makes us need even more nutrients We need something to help us on our way and for that supplements are a good and simple way to go. You have to experience the improvement you are going to see/feel before knocking it down. You want to be happy, energized and healthy and look beautiful. That is the way we want it! So do yourself a favour and stock up on these vitamins and minerals as a start:

• B-Complex - protects the nervous system from excessive stress
• Zinc - good defense against the common cold and important for the absorption of B vitamins
• Vitamin C - general health promoter, important antioxidant that protects against stress and pollutants
• Magnesium - vital for healthy muscle tone, bones, and heart and required for a healthy immune system

Please make sure to consult with your doctor if you are on any medication. More information on each vitamin will soon be provided under facts tab. And finally a few words of wisdom. Supplements do not work its magic without proper food in the body. You can not expect to feel and look healthy without providing your body with the right kind of foods. So get going, by those whole foods!