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 was 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 :))

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Pretty and Wild Wedding Flowers

So I just checked and in like two days, we will only be a hundred days away from our wedding! All of the invitations have been sent and I've started thinking about decor, day of schedules, and my favorite, flowers! 

The other week, we celebrated my future mother-in-law's birthday and I bought her The Flower Recipe Book by Alethea Harampolis and Jill Rizzo. Harampolis and Rizzo are the duo behind Studio Choo, one of my favorite florists to follow. I can only dream of having them do my wedding flowers because they are based in San Francisco. I love their work because their arrangements have a wild touch and they mix and match flowers with other natural elements so well. 

We have thought about doing our own wedding flowers but right now I would prefer getting a florist to at least do the bouquets. I've never really made bouquets before and I'm not sure I want to experiment with it for the wedding. I could start practicing now and do some research on what flowers will be in season in July. Something I still need to think about! However, I am open to doing the arrangements for the church ceremony and use some of the recipes from The Flower Recipe Book. What are your thoughts on this? Did you use a florist for your wedding flowers or did you DIY it? 

Images: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Chocolate Almond Meringues

I mentioned the other day that the fiance and I enjoyed some amazing meringues from Dessertdragen last week. Well, when I'm really into something, I'm really into something. So, I did some reading on meringues, compared a few recipes (most of the recipes out there are very similar), and whipped up a batch.

I make meringues every once in awhile. Sometimes I flavor them with freeze dried raspberry powder, or with lemon zest. And I usually pipe them out so they are just little bite sized meringues. But this time I wanted to do something bigger, a little fluffier, and a little more messy looking like the meringues we got from Dessertdragen. I have used quite a few of Joy the Baker's meringue recipes so I looked to her again and I found another great recipe from Cupcakes and Couscous. I used a bit of both recipes and got these wonderful chocolate and almond meringues! I like meringues that are crisp on the outside, but soft, marshmallowy and chewy on the inside. And these my friends, are exactly that!

Chocolate Almond Meringues (adapted from Joy the Baker and Cupcakes and Couscous)
Makes 12 large meringues

3 egg whites, at room temperature
pinch of salt
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup granulated sugar
50g dark chocolate, finely chopped
50g almonds, coarsely chopped
1 tbsp cocoa powder

To start, preheat your oven to 120C or 248F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

In a clean and dry bowl, beat egg whites with a hand or stand mixer on medium speed until it turns foamy. Add a pinch of salt and the cream of tartar. Increase the speed on your mixer to medium high and beat until you get soft peaks.

Gradually add the sugar and increase your mixer speed to high. Add the vanilla extract now as well and beat for about 3 minutes on high speed, or until stiff and glossy peaks form. (The meringue should be spoonable but keep their shape when dolloped onto the baking tray.)

Add the chopped chocolate and almonds to the meringue and gently fold them in with a spatula. Finally, sift the cocoa powder over the meringue mixture and lightly fold it in. If you want some chocolate streaks, don't fold the cocoa powder in completely.

Drop large spoonfuls of the meringue onto your prepared baking sheet. Place in the middle of the oven and bake the meringues for 1 hour, or until firm. Remove from the oven to cool when they are ready and enjoy!

We ate our meringues tonight with some whipped cream and berry sauce just like a pavlova! Delicious!