Monday, May 24, 2010

Iceland III

Over Greenland

Randy was drooling over a boat-did I mention he wants to live on one?
One of my favorite house I saw up there.

Holy heatstroke! It is almost 100 degrees here today-we have set a record in MN for the hottest May 24 on record. I will cool off by remembering Iceland......

Gullfoss GeyserThare she Blows!

Amazing waterfalls!

Me and Randy on the tetonic plates

On bus tour

Still can't get over our amazing trip. I can't wait to go back again. Dude has been checking on house prices. Thinks we should relocate....

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Iceland, Part II

Ahhh, beverages. We enjoyed vast quantities of these delightful drinks while in Iceland!

Gull Beer is a local beer in Iceland. A light lager, easy drinking. Didn't enjoy it out of the can though. Had a tinny flavor.
Cosmos-not as good as in the states, but had to mix it up a bit.

Teeny, tiny bottle of Pepsi. Had this the third day-when it finally hit me that the headache I had was caffeine withdrawal! We didn't see any on-tap pop anywhere. I took this bottle home with me to go with my 16 ounce returnables I have from 1984!

Our bottle of anniversary wine. So disappointed I didn't take a pic of the label. It was a very nice Riesling.

Viking-another local beer in Iceland. Beer only became legal in 1989 in Iceland. Bars would serve non-alcoholic beer and put a shot of Vodka in it. Lawmakers finally gave in and they started their own brewery.

Monday, May 17, 2010


Hi everyone! We are back from our trip to Iceland. It was touch and go both on the way there and on the way back. We were leaving Tuesday night at 6:30 PM, but the airport in Iceland closed on Sunday and didn't open until Tuesday morning. We were delayed until almost 9:00 PM and we arrived in Iceland at about 8:50 Wednesday morning. It was a 6 hour flight and they are 6 hours ahead of us here in Minnesota. We were also delayed coming home, as the airport closed Friday and we flew home Saturday. They had to get all the flights out at once, so we left close to 3 hours late, but were able to get home. We were in our hotel room by 10:30 and we took about a 4 hour nap and got up to go exploring. I will do a couple posts about Iceland, since there is so much to share, but today I'm just posting pictures of the food we ate. Well, most of it. We did grab a burger one day that was good, but it was a burger.

All the menu's were in Icelandic and English. Some translations were a little off, but good enough that we could figure it out. This is one example of the menu-unfortunately the pics just didn't turn out the good in the restaurants. They were mainly lit with dim lights and lots of candles, so without the flash was dark/blurry but with the flash on, they were washed out.

The above was my sandwich the day we arrived. It made me a little nervous considering the size of the roll and the amount of meat on the sandwich-about 3 TBSP. I wasn't sure what we would be in for on portion sizes versus cost. It was good, but the ciabatta roll filled me, not the filling in the sandwich. It was a BBZ pulled pork served on a layer of coleslaw-which isn't sweet like ours in the states.

Randy had a Lamb burger, but it wasn't ground meat but rather like a small lamb steak like a steak sandwich here. I tried a bite and it was good. Tender and flavorful.

We arrived in Iceland on our actual anniversary, but since we were tired and just trying to find our way around, we had our nice dinner on the 13th instead. We went to the Hereford Grillhusid. Randy had the special: Lobster soup with a cognac broth, a whale steak with potato and roasted carrots, onions and parsnips, then had a custard type dessert that had a really sweet yogurt-consistency base with raspberry sorbet and fruit sauce. Above is the lobster soup. Neither one of us like lobster, but it was so good! It was tender, not rubbery, the broth was loaded with flavor and we sopped it up with the basket of garlic and rosemary bread cubes they gave us.

This was my steak. It was tender, cooked perfectly and delicious. It came with a potato and roasted veggies like Randy's.

This is Randy's whale steak. The photo I took of it cut open didn't turn out unfortunately. It looked like a beef steak on the plate, but was a dark, dark red when cut open. It was very tasty, but different from beef. I liked the bite I had, but probably wouldn't eat a whole one by myself.

This is my dessert from this night. It was a small, hot chocolate cake with ice cream and whipped cream which tasted home made. It was delightful and I don't like ice cream. The cake was so hot it melted the ice cream-ahhhh!
Randy's was a very sweet base of a yogurt-consistency base, with raspberry sorbet and a fruit glaze. He liked the sorbet but the base was way too sweet.

After horseback riding, we had to wait almost an hour for the tour bus to pick us up to finish our package we bought. The owner of the stable had made soup and bread and was $700 Kronur-about $5 US. It was vegetable soup-but not many veggies in it. Food is so expensive up there. Soups are everywhere-pubs, bistros, bars, grocery stores. They eat a lot of soup. She also made a loaf of whole grain and nut bread. She told Randy it isn't made with yeast, so it was dense and chewy. I don't know if that is just the style they prefer or if yeast is too expensive.
The bread was good and chewy and sopped up all the broth.

Here is my dessert from out last night. The photos posted out of order, but that is okay. It was a layered dense chocolate cake, but it was not really sweet or rich. It was delicious with home made vanilla ice cream and vanilla whipped cream.
Randy's banana split. The ice cream was good he said, but the pineapple wasn't ripe. Thought they should have used canned, so it was edible and actually yellow.

I ordered a glass of white wine and it came in a small carafe. It was awful. I tried to dilute it with the one ice cube in my water. They don't give you much ice when you ask for it-it should be cheap to make up there! It was nothing like the delightful bottle of Riesling we had for our anniversary dinner.

I was going to try lamb before we left, so I had it the last night. We looked at many menus and it was pretty spendy, so we thought we would try this restaurant as it was a little cheaper. I figured in case I hated it, I wasn't out a bunch of money, but on the other hand, since it was cheap it may not be good. I got the lamb chops. I got four good sized chops that were pink, tender and flavorful! And it converted out to about $18 US for my dinner-I couldn't believe I got that much food for that amount of money.
I didn't take pics of the breakfast buffet at our hotel, but they had traditional American stuff like scrambled eggs and bacon, cereal and fruit, but also fried hot dogs and pork and beans. They had a small table that catered to the European guests also with sliced veggies, breads, lunch meat and sliced cheeses and salmon. They also have caviar in a tube! What is that?
I'll be back with some more posts later on. I'm starting back on nights today with a new Phase, so I am a little nervous. Crossing fingers it all goes smooth!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Banana Bars with Chocolate Chips and Walnuts

Happy Mother's Day everyone! While in theory, it should be a day of rest for Moms, we know that is never the case. I made a dinner and some treats for Dude to take in to work, then made some treats for me to take in for my last day on light duty. We had a freeze on Saturday night and even though I covered my plants and took some into the garage, I'm waiting to see if they survive.

We are suppose to be leaving on our trip to Iceland soon, but that stupid volcano keeps erupting and shutting down the airport. I have been trying to reach the airline, but keep getting a busy signal. There is no information on our airport's website and the airline only has information about European flights. I have no luck if it ain't bad luck.

I had two bananas on the counter on the verge of demise, so while looking for a different recipe, I stumbled across this one. I like the community cookbooks as I have stated before, and I found one about 6 years ago called Hudson Memorial Cookbook from 1979. My great-grandmother was a resident there at the nursing home section at this time. I was even able to find one recipe from her-it really made my day. This isn't her recipe, but rather from Ann Rebholz. I only made one addition and that was walnuts as Dude loves nuts in his banana bread-and almost any other treats.

Banana Bars

2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2/3 cup shortening
2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 egg
1 cup mashed bananas
6 ounces chocolate chips
1/3 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine flour, baking powder and salt and set aside. Cream shortening, sugar and brown sugar until fluffy. Beat in egg and then blend in vanilla and bananas. Slowly add the flour mixture. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts. Spread batter into a 9x13 pan. Bake for 26 to 34 minutes. Sprinkle with powdered sugar after bars have cooled if you wish.

The kitchen smelled so good when these were baking. I'll get the scoop after Dude gets off work.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Catch Up

I guess it has been a while since I have posted. Life has been rather busy. I had Hermit Crab and her boyfriend and BFF home for a week from school. They were rather tired from finals, so they mostly just chilled around the house and spent 3 days at the lake with Dude's parents. They did some hiking on the trails and spent some time in the hot tub. I spent an entire day bringing them home and then driving back here. That was one long day!

Here is Hermit Crab and her boyfriend Noel

I spent an evening with my girlfriends Casey and Megan. We checked out Psycho Suzi's Motor Lounge in Minneapolis. Guy visited here on one of his Triple D shows. It was rather kitschy, but we had fun out on the patio.

Myself, Megan and Casey

Some decor on the patio

Megan and Casey shared a BBQ Chicken pizza

I had a pulled pork sandwich and 'tots'
Dude has been busy working on the downstairs bathroom. The shower is now complete and he is starting on the walls and floor for the rest of the bathroom. He has the sink and mirror and light fixture put in.

We are getting ready for our trip. I have lists, and lists of lists. I'm panicking and he's like "well, they have stores in Iceland in case we forget anything". This is why I'm in charge.