Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Ramsløg Smør / Ramps Butter

Every year the fiance's dad's side of the family gets together for an Easter lunch at his aunt's summerhouse. His parents' summerhouse is right next door and on Saturday they mentioned that their neighbors had a lot of ramsløg/ramps growing on their property. Walking around the property, you could really smell the onion and garlicky odor that these wild herbs were omitting. I forgot to mention the other day that we enjoyed some bread with an amazingly smooth and creamy ramps butter at St Pauls Apothek in Aarhus. It was so good, we even dipped our bread into the butter as if it was a sauce at one point. Oops! So when the fiance and I heard that we could pick some of the neighbors ramps (they were cool with it), we picked a bunch and decided to try and recreate the delicious butter we had in Aarhus.

By the way, if you are interested in finding some ramsløg or ramps in Copenhagen, check out this website. It is a great place to find different herbs and fruit in the city! Also, be careful when picking these herbs. They look similar to some other plants like Lilly of the Valley which are poisonous to eat! There is some info here on how to distinguish between ramps and similar looking but dangerous plants.

If you like garlic butter you will love ramps butter. Ramps tastes like a mix of garlic and chives. The fiance and I made two batches of this butter. With my batch I simply chopped up some of the ramps leaves and mixed it into my whipped butter. For the fiance's batch, he bashed the ramps in the mortar and made it into a paste before we incorporated it into the butter. Either way, they are delicious and if you find yourself with some ramsløg or ramps this spring, enjoy and preserve it in the form of ramsløg smør or ramps butter!

For our butters, we softened about 200g of organic salted butter and whipped it with our handmixer before adding either chopped ramps or ramps paste into the butter and whipping it again. We used a range from 10 to 20 leaves per batch of butter. It is really up to you how strong you want the ramps flavor in your butter to be. You can store your ramps butter in an airtight container for a week, and if you are like us and have made a lot of butter, you can drop some of the butter onto some cling film and roll it up into a log. Wrap the log of butter with some tin foil and freeze to enjoy later! Also, letting your butter sit for a day or two will allow the ramps flavor to deepen. It gets even better with time! Eat your ramps butter on some freshly baked bread or try cooking with it! 

Monday, April 21, 2014

Your Rainbow Panorama at ARoS

Before visiting Aarhus, the only thing I knew about and was interested in there was ARoS Aarhus Art Museum and Olafur Eliasson's Your Rainbow Panorama. We got there bright and early last Wednesday and had the rainbow almost all to ourselves. I absolutely loved walking around the rainbow high above the city. The view from there is spectacular and you see the city in a different way through all the colored glass. Besides Your Rainbow Panorama, we saw a Wes Lang exhibition and the Danish artist, Tal R, is exhibiting at ARoS right now as well. Definitely pay ARoS a visit when you are in Aarhus! 

I hope you've had a lovely Easter! The fiance has been on holidays the whole week so it has felt like a mini-vacation for us with our trip to Aarhus and getting some sun (even some sun burns) here this weekend in Copenhagen! 

Friday, April 18, 2014

Dinner and Cocktails at St. Pauls Apothek

Before going to Aarhus, we got some recommendations for places to eat and I did some of my own research as well. I found this blog and read a great review of St. Pauls Apothek so I showed it to the fiance and we saved it as one of our options. After comparing some of the menus from different restaurants in the city, we decided to make a reservation at St. Pauls Apothek.

St. Pauls Apothek stands out because they pair cocktails with each dish. You can choose between two or three courses, and choose to have all courses paired with a cocktail or just have one or two drinks with certain courses.

Every thing that we ate was delicious and very high quality. We both started with the jomfruhummer (also known as norway lobster or langoustine) which was mixed with cucumber, a yogurt dressing and served with a quail egg and lots of fresh herbs. The accompanying cocktail was a light and refreshing mix of honey vodka, elderflower liqueur, cucumber, and cava.

For our main course, we both ordered the Danish ribeye. The meat was soft and cooked perfectly to medium and it was served on a bed of mashed potatoes. What really kicked it up a notch was their sauce bordelaise. That sauce was amazing! I chose to skip out on the cocktail pairing for this round but the fiance enjoyed a more savory cocktail that consisted of gin, a red wine and balsamic vinegar reduction and rosemary. There are so many ingredients in their cocktails, I can't remember them all but hopefully you get the idea.

Dessert is where the fiance and I finally chose different dishes. I had St. Pauls Apothek's version of carrot cake while the fiance ordered a dark chocolate mousse. My carrot cake was really interesting as they had incorporated pureed carrots and dehydrated carrots to the dessert. They served the light sponge cake with a cream cheese frosting and some caramelized condensed milk as well. The cocktail that went with this dessert was a daiquiri that consisted of rum and the more sour fruit seabuckthorn. The fiance had the dark chocolate mousse with candied lemon peel and some licorice meringue. He said that compared to the other two dishes his mousse wasn't amazing, but still really good. It was just that everything else was so good! I wish I could tell you what was in the fiance's dessert cocktail but all I remember is taking one sip and not liking it because there was a strong licorice flavor. But I can tell you he liked it!

Besides the food, I loved the interior of St. Pauls Apothek. I loved the brick walls and the sort of old world feel it had to it. Another bonus was that the bartenders/servers were super friendly and provided excellent service. And lastly, not being a big fan of wine (what?! I know...) pairing cocktails with food was a nice twist. The fiance and I sat at the restaurant for over two hours and enjoyed every minute of it!

Definitely make a reservation for dinner or enjoy a cocktail at St. Pauls Apothek the next time you are in Aarhus!

St. Pauls Apothek
Jægergårdsgade 76
8000 Aarhus C

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Aarhus, You Were a Lovely Surprise!

The fiance took me on a two day trip to Aarhus this week. I have been wanting to see more of Denmark and having lived here for almost two years, it was about time! I had low expectation going to Aarhus, like really low. I've heard some people compare it to Malmö and having lived in the center of Malmö myself, I wasn't expecting very much. But Aarhus was such a lovely surprise!

We took the train from Copenhagen really early in the morning so that we would have a full day in Aarhus. We rode the fast train which didn't make very many stops plus it was nice way to see some of the countryside. We dropped off our bag at City Hotel Oasia where we stayed the night, and started to wander around the city.

We walked through Midtbyen in Aarhus where Strøget and the shopping area is located. The sun was shining the two days we were visiting the city so there were many people sitting outside by the canals which run through the center of town and down to the harbor.

We also explored the neighborhood Frederikbjerg. We basically ate all of our meals at different restaurants and cafes in that neighborhood on Jægergårdsgade. (More to come on that later!) We also visited Kähler's flagship store in Frederiksbjerg and enjoyed some frozen yogurt from their coffee shop, Kähler Coffee and Food Station. I love and have a good collection of Kähler items and Aarhus is like Kähler capital! I saw an Omaggio vase or some other piece in every other apartment window!

We also visited the Latin Quarter of Aarhus on our first day in the city. We strolled past various cafes and independent art galleries and studios on Mejlgade. We eventually made our way past the architecture school there before calling it a day and resting our feet at the hotel for a little bit before going out for dinner.

Aarhus is a beautiful and lively city. It really exceeded my expectations. I loved the colorful apartment buildings by Jægergårdsgade. They were just so fun and happy. Some of the apartment buildings in Frederiksbjerg are very grand and ornate, and the fiance and I thought it reminded us of Östermalm in Stockholm. We enjoyed great food the two days we were in the city and I'll share where we had dinner with you this week! There are a lot of green spaces in the city and the canal was such a great place to just sit back and people watch. I can definitely see how Aarhus and Copenhagen have a rivalry going on. And although Aarhus is a little small for me, I do see why people there love their city so much!

Have you visited Aarhus before? What'd you think? What was your favorite thing about the city? I'll be back later this week/weekend with posts about where we ate and our trip to Aros Art Museum as well!

Friday, April 11, 2014

My Workout Routine

I know I post a lot of recipes here that are in the form of a cookie or cake, and although I do enjoy treats a few times a week, I do also try to live a balanced life.

I go to the gym three times a week and mostly focus on strength training workouts. I take either a TRX or a Body Pump class at the local gym and throw in a bit of cardio on the elliptical and do a few extra weight training exercises with some free weights or machines. I've had gym memberships before and that didn't last long mostly because I wasn't so motivated to work out on my own and I was mostly using machines. But with classes, it is totally different. Even though I don't know anyone, it is more motivating to be in a room with 20 other people and have a instructor continuously encouraging you to work harder.

Strength training is totally addictive. I'm not in the gym to lose weight. I am training to get stronger, gain muscle and definition, and get my heart pumping. Before my gym started offering TRX classes, I was going to Body Pump classes twice a week and a Stram Op (or "Tighten Up") class. Body Pump is a class that focuses on a lower amount of weight with high repetitions to build lean muscles. I love Body Pump but I feel like it has been difficult for me to increase or up the amount of weights I use because you do so, so, so many reps with each track. Then they started offering TRX suspension classes and there you learn how to lift or work out using your own bodyweight. In that class, I feel even stronger because I know I am lifting much more weight compared to what I use in Body Pump, and I can do it! Both classes leave me feeling super energized and I was never really into gym music before, but sometimes I find myself looking up the songs on Spotify! I told the fiance the other day, that I'm living in a constant state of soreness. A good sore!

Have you tried Body Pump or TRX? Are you into strength training? Have you seen changes with strength training?

(I know I put food pictures in this post, but it's because I don't have any gym photos! Gym selfies aren't really my thing :))