Friday, 26 August 2011

Polka Rose

I have cupboards full of porcelain. They are overflowing with tableware that just stands there and collects dust. I usually take them out to use them once or twice a year, just to justify to myself that I really do need them. But has overflowing cupboards ever stopped me from wanting more? Oh no.
Now I have come across a tea set from Royal Doulton, which I think is sooo beautiful.

Royal Albert Polka Rose – isn’t it just beautiful? They are new this year, and inspired by the shapes and colours of the 1930's.

The light green color is precisely my favourite, and the pink roses inside are so beautiful. I have never really been hung up on polka dots, but here they were somehow fitting. There is something deliciously luxurious about delicate bone china, and I think the lovely creamy white colour is much nicer than the greyish colour of normal everyday tableware.

I'm quite sure I would have been a just a tiny little bit happier if I had my morning coffee served from this mug.

And just look at this beautiful clock. Wouldn’t that have been something to have in the kitchen? But, do I need it? Alas, no.

It’s funny to see how the English make such extravagant accessories for their tea sets. I can’t ever see myself buying this little lady with a roses and polka dots dress, but she certainly is adorable.

Monday, 1 August 2011

Very berry goodies

We appear to be swimming in blueberries these days, and as they are so incredibly healthy and delicious, I feel obliged to harvest them. I don’t want to make just jam, so I try to find new ways of using them.

Here are two great recipes:

Blueberry muffins

These are real monster muffins, made from a recipe I got from America.
Will make 8 large or 12 small muffins.

250 g flour                       
150 g white sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla sugar
pinch of ground nutmeg
pinch of salt
80 ml vegetable oil
80 ml milk
2 eggs
150 g fresh blueberries
Crumb topping (Optional)
80 g white sugar
50 g flour
50 g butter
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 200 degrees C (400 degrees F).
Combine flour, sugar and the rest of the dry ingredients and mix well. Add oil, milk and eggs and mix well. Fold in the berries.

A BIT TOO MUCH. I didn't use all of these berries. Perhaps half. 
Fill muffin cups two thirds to the top. Take a teaspoon of crumb mixture and make a thin flat cake that you put on top of the muffins.

It tastes fantastic when the muffins are fresh out of the oven, but it will not stay crispy for very long. 
Bake for 20 minutes. The large muffins may take a while longer longer. 

WITHOUT TOPPING. I also made a few muffins without the crumb topping. They don't need as long in the oven.
Check with a piece of dry spaghetti if they are done.

Blueberry Ice Cream

BLUEBERRY PARFAIT. Does this look good or does this look good?
This is actually a "parfait", as the French call it, and it is super easy to make. The only problem is that is tastes so yummy, you might not be able to wait until it is frozen before you eat it.

100 g sugar
100 ml water
5 egg yolks
300 ml cream
3 tablespoons blueberry jam
Handfull of fresh blueberries
½ vanilla pod

First, make a syrup of the sugar and water. Let it boil for about five minutes. Remove the black seeds from the vanilla pod and add to the cream. Let the pod boil with the syrup for a gorgeous flavour.

Whisk the egg yolks light and creamy. Add the syrup in a thin stream.

Whip the cream with the vanilla seeds.

Mix with whipped cream.

Fold in a mix of blueberry jam and fresh berries.

Put the cream into individual moulds or a large container, and place in freezer. This type of ice cream does not need very much stirring, but give it a little whisk once every hour or so.

And then, just get yourself a cup of coffee and enjoy. :-)