Summerly zabaione with moscato wine

Zabaione, known also as zabaglione or zabajone, is an extremely simple italian dessert made of egg yolks, sugar and sweet wine. Marsala or vin santo are the most common wines used in the preparation, but moscato wine is also a delightful ingredient choice, and gives this fantastic dessert a “summerly” air. Topping it with fruit in summer is popular, in winter you could dust some cocoa powder over it for extra comforting richness in taste. The classical lady finger biscuits (savoiardi), or other hard biscotti are always a delicious way to spoon up this tempting egg nog pudding, that N.B. inspired the creation of the historical egg liquor Vov in the 19th century.

photo: Áslaug Snorradóttir

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Egg fried bread with strawberries & ricotta

When I make those butter fried slices of bread for late Sunday breakfast or whenever I need extra sunshine into my morning, the lines from Richard Rodger’s score of “Oklahoma” automatically come to mind: “Oh, what a beautiful morning, oh, what a beautiful day”, and I feel like Gordon MacRae admiring the golden meadows on a super sunny day. That is what food can do to us. In addition to nurturing us, it takes our spirit on the most incredible “voyages”. Use the fruit you have in season for topping.

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Apple fritters from Tyrol

There’s something about fried food that is so comforting and satisfying for the tastebuds. The aroma of the fried ingredients, the crunchiness of the dough that surrounds it…. Heavenly indulgent.
I particularly love fried apple slices in batter, and they are the main reason why sometimes I go skiing. It’s really worth while (independently from the breathtaking view), to take the funivia up to a couple of thousands of meters altitude, and savor these Tyrol Apple Fritters in their perfect surroundings.
The dessert is originally from the Trentino Alto Adige region, which is by the way Italy’s most important apple cultivation area. Then the ski ride down the mountain serves to burn the calories and admire the spectacular view.
When I make them, the sweet, fresh and comforting smell brings out the the imagine of a sunny skiing day in the Alps.

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Zesty ciambella with extra virgin olive oil inside & out

Ciambella is such a beautiful word and comforting in a way. The second part of the word “bella” means “beautiful” in Italian, so there’s one reason for the word’s expression for something good. Pronouncing “Ciam“, adds gladness and saliva to your palate in advance. It reminds of the sound of “yum“, meaning something that tastes or looks delicious. This bundt cake, ciambella, or better ciambellone, because of the size of it, is very light (despite the size of it), and extremely fragrant and zesty. An important factor for its lightness is given to the presence of extra virgin olive oil and zest in the dough. Then we exalt the zestiness, almonds as well as the mild olive oil in the dough with a second oil, a fruity Sicilian one.

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Pancakes with strawberries & maple syrup topping

Pancakes are one of my favorite things, and one day I think I will write a short story, or a “love poem” recalling all the “pancake” moments of my life. Or a song. In whatever circumstance they add joy, comfort, an intoxicating perfume, and then you have a world of choices for the fillings.
This recipe comes from my mother’s cookbook, “Hratt og bítandi” (2000, Ormstunga editor).
I added some baking powder and vanilla extract, that is typically put in pancakes in Iceland and fry them a little differently.

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Sea of chocolate & raspberries

One of my strongest and sweetest food memories are connected to the roasting pan cakes my grandmother used to make. We’re talking about a single-layer chocolate cake baked in a roasting pan and covered with chocolate glaze. She used to sprinkle ground coconut over the whole thing, and that is the Icelandic tradition.
This is my version of the cake, that I always saw as a kind of a “sea of chocolate” being so immense and endless…… until the last slice disappeared accompanied by a glass of cold milk.

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The world’s best ice cream?

Ice cream is the food that makes you smile more than any other. That is at least the result of a research made by Amsterdam University some years ago. Researchers observed and studied the expressions on European citizens faces while tasting various food types. The one that evoked most frequently a smile on people’s faces was ice cream.

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