I wanted to make homemeade clotted cream in honour of Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee which is happening this weekend. I was adamant about making clotted cream.
True Fact: I’ve never tried clotted cream before.
I told Vicki that I wanted to make it and she proceeded to tell me that she found it to be sickeningly rich when she tried it in the UK at afternoon tea. . . but that was after practically devouring all of ‘tea for two’ on her own and that I should try it anyway.
I was apprehensive at this point but I had a litre of cream in the fridge and nothing else to do with it. The idea of ice cream was coming to mind instead since the weather was hot and ice cream was a much better project than baking cream in the oven for 8 hours.
Then I started reading more about making it. I read that the cream should not be ultrapasteurized or contain emulsifiers. Was mine ultrapasteurized? The carton didn’t say. It did contain some other crazy ingredients I didn’t understand which were probably emulsifiers. This was going to be a disaster.
I picked the least hot day, turned my oven to 200F, poured the cream in a 9×13″ baking dish, covered it with aluminum foil, put it in the oven and left the house to turn into a sauna for the next 8 hours.
When I came home to check on it I was pretty sure that was I was looking at was not what it was supposed to look like. I consulted the internet and confirmed my suspicion. I got a deep brown, caramelized tray of cream without a distinct thick layer of fat at the top like I was expecting.
I knew it was all wrong but in any case, I decided to follow through with the rest of the instructions. I let it cool to room temperature then refrigerated it for a few hours before skimming the top fat off the cream with a slotted spoon.
I collected the remaining cream (which was also brown in colour) and poured it into a separate bowl. I refrigerated the cream and the clotted cream overnight and hoped for the best.
So, now it’s tomorrow. I take my clotted cream out of the fridge. It has a really terrible consistency. It’s as thick as butter and full of chunks of the crispy caramelized skin that formed when baking. It isn’t right but, but but(!) the flavour is actually phenomenal. It tastes almost like Norwegian brown cheese (and obviously my next project is going to be to make brown cheese, but that’s another post for another day), very nutty and slightly sweet.
I thought I’d try putting the clotted cream in the food processor to rectify the texture situation. It doesn’t really smooth out. I do get rid of the major chunks, but I end up with something like crumbly butter. But it’s tasty and good enough to spread on a hot scone, so it’s good enough for me.
Just for the hell of it, I food-processed the leftover cream too. That smoothed out much easier.
From a taste standpoint, the clotted cream is great. I like it, Matt likes it, and it’s better than butter as a spread. So in the end my clotted cream is one of those disasters that wasn’t actually all that bad.
But I still don’t know what real clotted cream tastes like.4 Comments
Wasabi Arugula. It’s amazing. It’s all the spicy, nasal-clearing properties of wasabi in a leafy green! It’s SO good that I might even pay regular price for it next time.
It makes delicious salads with a bit of salt and my favourite sweet and syrupy balsamic vinegar.
Norwegian brown cheese is making a comeback. Matt found it a while back at the cheese shop at Market Square in Windsor.
This brunost is not as good as gudbrandsdalsost, but yet its supply is still slowly dwindling. It’s really good with German-style seed bread.
Pupusas. Matt and I made the most delicious pupusas stuffed with black bean, cheese, and plantain for dinner on Saturday night.
I’ve never had pupusas before. They’re basically a stuffed and pan-fried corn tortilla. I can just think of all the delicious possible fillings that you could put inside! I’ll be making these again.
I also made cracker jack soup (I’m not kidding- see the photo for proof), a chocolate cake, and the most delicious chocolate ice cream ever. So it wasn’t exactly the healthiest of weekends.
I finally bought a new pair of running shoes (Adidas Marathon 10s) with a super soft and comfortable upper, and a thin light sole. . .
Then I returned them after a brief run with them on the treadmill. They felt a bit too wide for my foot and I didn’t think there was enough cushion in the forefoot.
Too bad, because they were really cute, and my current running shoes are 2 years old. I’m not joking.
I ran my first double digit miler since June – 10 miles in just under 2 hours. I wasn’t planning on running that far this weekend but I met up with my old high school friend Santina and Ken, a member of her running group, and they had a very long run planned.
I learned a few things on my group run:
1) It’s nice to run with other people
2) I need a fuel belt
3) I hate calculating distance in kilometres. It’s a psychological thing—I think kilometres are shorter than they really are.
Splits courtesy of Santina who actually owns a Garmin (!). . . and a fuel belt. . . and new running shoes.
Department of Random
I can’t get this song out of my head.
…and I keep watching chap-hop youtube videos.8 Comments
- 2 little spelt buns that I proofed on Monday and baked last night; I wasn’t happy with the flavour of these guys. 1 bun was eaten with with jam (unphotographed) and the other with Norwegian brown cheese
- banana—nice and brown, just like it’s meant to be
-leftover vegan corn and black bean chili
-2 spinach fatayer (it was supposed to be 3 but one accidentally got stuck in the toaster at the office and burned to a char)
-stress at work drove me to the candy dispenser for Skittles. 20 minutes later I sugar-crashed and fell asleep at my desk. (I only got 1 red skittle?! Damn you, candy dispenser)
- once I got home I ate another one of those little spelt buns, plain. They’re really small I swear.
Doesn’t this look amazing?
It’s supposed to be a Grenadian Oil Down but I took liberties with the recipe. In the end it came out phenomenal—a very tasty, stick to your ribs, West Indian flavoured stew.
I took the recipe from Sasha at Global Table Adventures one of my favourite blogs. She’s cooking dishes from every country in the world in alphabetical order (she’s at the G’s). How awesome is that?
I had already started the prep work for the recipe when I cut into the yucca that I just happened to have lying around (what can I say, I’m impulsive in the produce section!) and found that it had gone bad. I subbed parsnips for the yucca (the only other root veggie I had lying around) and it turned out fabulous!
In the mix is carrots, parsnips, celery, onion, spinach, coconut milk, curry, and dumplings (aka spinners and sinkers).
Yesterday I went out for a 5 mile run which felt super quick compared to the distances that I’ve been doing lately but it also felt really tough on my legs. My legs felt like lead and then I started to develop pain in my right knee and my left heel/ankle.
Considering the discomfort of the run I was pretty surprised to see that I ran it in 50 minutes which about a minute/mile faster than I have been running lately.
Today I came home and did an Eoin Finn yoga podcast and followed that up with Jackie Warner’s 20 minute core workout. I still suck terribly at that core workout—I’m always doing the easy modifications! I’d like to make it my goal to have Jackie’s 6 pack but I think that would be highly unattainable.
I have a tonne of leftovers so I’m putting them to good use at breakfast and lunch… I can see why Gina commented that food journals can be boring. And I see just how limited my diet is within a given week.
My meals today were seriously lacking in vegetables
-Leftover meser wat from Tuesday’s dinner
-a mango to cool my mouth down
-leftover bean salad from yesterday’s dinner
-banana that I sliced up and ate with a bit of peanut butter
- toasted sandwich with a sunny-side up egg, melted gudbrandsdalsost (my new favourite cheese from Norway), spinach, and a bit of dijon mustard.
-hideous cookie x2
Do mowing the lawn and walking the dog count? I’m going to go with No.
We’ll call it a rest day.3 Comments
I finished the final week of my most recent weight training routine. I had been at it for 4 weeks and I generally go anywhere from 4 to 8 weeks with one routine before switching things up.
My routine (see the full spreadsheet here) involved full body strength training 2 days per week to balance out my marathon training.
2 Days a week is nothing for me– I’m at my peak when I weight lift 4 days a week—so I am itching to get more strength training in.
Most of my training was consistent from week to week, but I did make a few exciting improvements… like bench pressing 135lbs(!) (getting closer to my goal of bench pressing my own body weight!).
Today I started a new 3 Day Routine. To prevent exhausting my legs with weights and running, this routine has 1 leg day per week (with moderate weight) and 2 upper body days per week.
Day 1: Upper Body – 4 sets, 4-8 reps, heavy weight
Day 2: Lower Body – 4 sets, 8-12 reps, moderate weight
Day 3: Upper Body – Drop Sets! (read my drop sets strategy here)
Drop Sets are intense, awesome for building mass, and always make me feel dead tired like I`ve had an amazing workout. I’m experimenting by adding them to my routine while marathon training; I may have to change them out for regular sets if it gets to be too intense.
I was really excited to get back into a new weightlifting groove today. Here’s what I did:
Matt made a really tasty venison stew for dinner with some deer meat that I got from my friend Tina’s parents (Hi Mrs. Cappucci! Thanks for the venison!). The meat’s been in the freezer for a while so it was about time we made it. In the stew was onions, peppers, mushrooms, sweet potato, and canned tomatoes, and he spiced it with cinnamon and clove. The gaminess, the sweet potato, and the spices made this stew taste like wintertime. And kinda felt like we were eating during the winter too because it was dark out by the time the stew was finally ready to eat. Oh well. It was worth the wait.
Confession: I took that photograph before I realized that I didn’t have a single piece of meat on my plate. Just imagine there are chunks of red meat in there. I promise there was a lot of it in the stew.
I also had some homemade pain a l’ancienne with a slice of Norwegian brown cheese. Brown cheese is my new nightcap.9 Comments
I set out a meal plan for myself yesterday and promised I’d check back and let you know if I stuck to it.
Breakfast: Poached Egg on Ciabatta Toast with Dijon mustard and mixed greens. Check.
Morning Lunch: Strawberry Banana Soy Milk Smoothie. Check.
Afternoon Lunch: Leftover Cabbage and Barley Soup. Check.
Snack: Dates and Almonds. Check.
Dinner: West African Spinach with Groundnuts. Check. (Unfortunately, this recipe didn’t taste as good as it looks)
Dessert: Sliver of Coconut Cake. Definitely! I ate it while watching Top Chef Canada with Matt.
Besides the dishes that I had planned out, I also ate 6 Hershey’s Kisses from my Easter Candy stash and another piece of homemade ciabatta with Gudbrandsdalost (the delicious brown cheese I brought back from Norway)
Ballparking the coconut cake at around 250 calories my intake for the day was:
1825 cal: 39% fat/48% carbs/13% protein
I like the idea of planning my meals a day in advance instead of counting my calories after the day is done. It gives me a good indication of how much I’m going to be eating rather than how much I already ate. I’ve had occasions where I’ve tallied up my calories at the end of the day and thought “WHAT?!?! I ate THAT much?!” No Bueno.
Now I’m toying with the idea of planning out my next day’s meals daily but it’s a big commitment and it doesn’t leave wiggle room in case my cravings change. So maybe I will plan my meals out in advance and then decide my snacks the next day. Thoughts? Do you plan your meals in advance? How does it work out for you?
I headed to the Downtown Yoga Studio last night for an awesome Asthanga Yoga class. It was a really powerful class and I was sweating like crazy. I wore my vibrams and they were the talk of the class. I’m glad I wore them since I was sweating so much I would have otherwise just slipped right off my mat.
The serenity that came with the practice was very quickly overshadowed by the parking ticket I found on my car window. I better blogger would, at this point, post a picture of their windshield with the ticket and maybe a ‘selfie’ of them with a posed angry face. But I was actually angry and had no time for such nonsense so I did the more rational thing: sped home (in the hopes of not getting a speeding ticket on top of the parking ticket), yelled about it to Matt, and then randomly started dusting my filthy (read: not so filthy) bedroom furniture. I’m still pissed about that ticket.
I cooled down a bit in time for an impromptu 5K nature walk with my friend Tina. Okay, so it wasn’t really a nature walk—just a walk along the nearby wooded trails—but we did see a deer and a bat, so that counts for something right?22 Comments
Related Norway Posts:
I’m a vegan for Lent. Or, I was until I boarded the plane for Norway.
I figured that eating vegan in Norway was going to be tough but I really had no idea how tough. After asking for a vegetarian meal on Scandinavian airlines and being given a fish dish instead I was quick to throw my hands up in the air and give myself a week long hiatus from Lent.
Given the proximity to sea and the farming practices of the country, which are primarily livestock and feed grains, you can bet there was lots of dairy, meat, and fish to be eaten.
One thing to note about dining out in Norway: it’s not cheap. Not at all.
I was not so secretly hoping to be able to eat one of these on my trip:
Don’t worry, this guy is just taxidermy. I’m no hunter. The meal looked more like this:
It tasted pretty good. Not my favourite meat (that award still goes to lamb). It was a bit on the tough side with a mild taste (not as game-y as I was expecting) similar to venison.
This reindeer stew came from the cafeteria restaurant Kaffistova in Oslo that serves lots of traditional Norwegian dishes from smørbrød (open faced sandwiches) to hot stews like this one to fish dishes.
Dinner for two at this cafeteria with no drinks 320NOK ~ $56 CAD.
Fish is BIG in Norway. Huge, really. I’m a big fan of fish and I’m pretty familiar with Norwegian fish dishes like gravlax and stockfish (salt cod) that I’ve cooked before so I was excited to eat it! Matt and I got a recommendation to go to the fish restaurant Lofoten in the Aker Brygge harbour neighbourhood of Oslo.
We started with a raw marinated scallop with scallop mousseline and lemon creme, and mussels steamed in white wine.
The scallop was tasty but I much preferred the mussel dish. The mussels were huge, meaty, and perfectly steamed.
For a main dish I went with panfried cod with onion tart and Matt had the baked arctic char with cauliflower cream. I`m not a big fan of these fancy schmancy deconstructed type dishes. While the fish was perfectly cooked, it was under seasoned. Everything else on the plate was over seasoned. It`s like you had to mush all the components of the dish together to get the whole thing to taste right! I don`t know about you, but I prefer my dish constructed.
At least the dessert made-up for the main… it was delicious. Black currant souffle with black currant sourbet. There were warm melty chunks of chocolate in the not too sweet souffle that mixed perfectly with the tartness of the sorbet. I was in heaven. It was almost worth the $20.
Dinner for two with 2 courses each, 1 dessert, and 1 glass of wine: 1180NOK ~ $205 CAD
Probably my favourite part of Norwegian cuisine was the dairy. Seriously, it was amazing. And given the amount that I ate the fact that I only came home with 2 tiny pimples made it all the more worthwhile.
First the skyr: super thick and not too sweet this Nordic yoghurt had the consistency thicker than sour cream and could hold a spoon upright. And the vanilla flavour actually had vanilla beans in it. Awesome.
Then there was the butter. Best. Butter. Ever.
I know I talked about Irish butter before and how delicious everyone says it is. If it’s anything like Norwegian butter then I believe every word. Because Norwegian butter is amazing. It tastes like you used to imagine butter would tasted back when you were 5 years old and you pretended you were Amish and had an imaginary butter churner. For real.
And then there’s the best cheese in the world. Gudbrandsdalost or Brown Cheese.
Made from the caramelized whey leftover from the goat cheese making process this cheese is soft and sweet and is amazing on toast with or Wasa crackers with coffee. … I snuck some home in my suitcase to save until after Lent again.
Related Norway Posts:11 Comments
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