Persimmon couscous salad

A few years ago I discovered the persimmon. I absolutely loved the sweet taste and the juicy texture. And it’s quite a pretty fruit too! I didn’t really know how to proceed the first time I ate it, so I cut of a slice to taste. It was all good, so I cut the entire fruit in slices and ate it with a fork. Feels so much satisfying eating it that way. And the next time I bought persimmons, I did the same thing, and now this has been standard procedure every time they appear in the shops this time of year. I started to think there must be other ways to use this fruit, but I didn’t want to incorporate it completely into something to the point where you really can’t taste it. The persimmon season is just too short. But, then I came across this salad at Tastespotting, and it was just what I was looking for. A way to use the fruit without cooking it. I guess I should have been able to think of something like this myself, but my mind is occupied with physics. That’s my excuse. It was every bit as delicious as it looked. I replaced the parsley with coriander and whole wheat couscous with regular. Just because that’s what I had. The recipe is adapted from kalynskitchen .

3/4 cup couscous (could use quinoa for a gluten-free version)
1 cup chicken stock (or vegetarian stock)
2 tsp. olive oil + 1 T olive oil for dressing
2 Fuyu persimmons, peeled and diced into pieces about 1/2 inch square
1 cup purple seedless grapes, washed and sliced into round pieces
1/3 cup sliced green onion, mostly green parts
1/3 cup finely chopped mint (or use parsley or cilantro)
1 tsp. lemon zest (optional, but recommended)
1 T fresh lemon juice
pinch of ground cumin
salt to taste for seasoning couscous
1/3 cup toasted pine nuts (or use chopped pecans or slivered almonds)

Bring chicken stock and olive oil to the boil, add the couscous and cover with a lid. Let sit for 5-10 minutes, or until all the water is absorbed. Remove lid, stir the couscous and allow to cool.

Slice the persimmons in half, and chop into smaller pieces. If using big grapes like I did, wash them and cut in halves. Normally I wouldn’t bother, but I had giant grapes. Thinly slice the spring onions and finely chop the coriander. (Parsley/mint)

Combine all the greens in a big bowl. Whisk together olive oil, lemon zest and juice and cumin. Pour over the couscous, stir to distribute and taste to see if it needs salt.

Add the couscous to the persimmon-grape mixture and gently combine. Heat up a pan and toast the pine nuts until they start turning golden. Remove from heat, and sprinkle the pine nuts over the salad.

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Custard filled cinnamon rolls

Well, first of all, I can’t take credit for this one. Did not make it myself. But I sure helped eating! My boyfriend suddenly decided to make cinnamon rolls late last night, and I was not to stop him. And I figured, I don’t really have time to bake nowadays, reading for my exams pretty much takes all my time. Little baking means few posts, means my poor blog is suffering, so I might as well let him take over the show for a while.

He’s actually not a bad cook at all, but usually he leaves all flour-and-sugar-related activity to me. He cooks, I bake. He makes dinner, I make dessert. At least on weekends. It’s a nice deal. But yesterday he sat his minds to these rolls, which is probably his all time favourite, and mine to that matter, and I let him. (Ain’t I nice?)

And they turned out great. I guess I wouldn’t have rolled out the dough quite as thin, but then again, that means more filling. And I think he agreed, because he managed to get twice as many as he was supposed to! So, quite small, but I’m not complaining! They were absolutely delicious. I had myself a little platter of rolls watching True Blood last night, and today I had some more for breakfast as we conveniently were out of bread. Yummy in my tummy. Higly recommendable! If you haven’t tasted this version of cinnamon rolls before, you should definetely give it a try! What I lova about it is that it contains all the good stuff: cinnamon-filling, custard and lovely icing melting onto the hot rolls. You have to try it, seriously. I have one recipe that I use for all kinds of rolls, including this one. It’s easy to do and easy to succeed with. This should give about 12 larger rolls, or many many smaller ones…

Dough
50 gram fresh yeast (or 25 g dry if you prefer)
500 g flour
100 gram sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cardamom
100 gram butter
3 dl milk

Filling
200 g brown sugar, packed
15 g ground cinnamon
75 g butter, softened

Icing

icing sugar
water

Feels like something’s missing? Like the custard? Well – I buy it… So don’t really have a recipe for that, but of course you can make your own! Which is probably even better. But you will need it either way, so provide custard somehow.

Make as any ordinary dough. Mix fresh yeast with melted butter and milk, or dry yeast with flour. Knead until you have an elastic yet firm dough. Set to rise for about an hour, or until it reaches double size. While it’s rising, start making the filling. You can use whatever sugar you like, but I prefer dark brown sugar. At least part brown sugar to give a richer taste. Mix sugar of your choice, butter and cinnamon together. And when the dough had reaches a nice volume, knock it down, roll it out as thins as you like. Remeber thinner dough means smaller buns with more filling, or you can get thicker rolls, but with less filling. Hmm. Hard choice. Or I guess you can have both if you strech it out the right way! Leave to rise for about 20 minutes, then put on a nice scoop of custard on each roll, and bake on 200 C for 10-15 minutes (depending on the size) Bake until lightly golden. And then, while they’re still hot, drizzle with icing and enjoy… Trust me, you will.

Breakfast Pancakes

pancakes

Ever since my trip to the US last year, my breakfast habits have severely changed, and will never be the same again. I used to say that breakfast, or the morning is that one time of the day when I only want something healthy. Oatmeal, fruits, dark rhye bread was, and still pretty much is, my day to day breakfast routine. But over there, I realized that it can be so much more. French toast, muffins, doughnuts, pancakes – you name it, I ate it. When in Rome, right? And though I liked it, I didn’t really think I’d adopt these habits when I came home. But a few weeks later, when I started craving pancakes for breakfast for the first time in my life, I knew there was no going back. I had become a pancake addict. Which is quite strange, because I’ve never really liked pancakes before. Not the Norwegian way, which is for dinner, and ultra thin. Oh no! Give it to me a la Americana! Stacked XXL-pancakes, thick and fluffy and drenched in maple syrup…

panacakes with maple syrup and butter

And suddenly it hit me again! Pancakes! I wanted pancakes this weekend. I’ve never posted about it before, because I didn’t manage to get any decent photos, and I’m not very patient when pancakes are awaiting! I decided on plain regular ones, as this is my first pancake post ever. Figured I should start from scratch and then become more experimental. So I found a recipe for perfect pancakes here, which was exactly what I was looking for. My previous tries are less perfect, at least in apperance. That’s why they haven’t made it through here. But here it goes, pancakes for breakfast. I’m getting so used to this…

breakfast