Friday, July 30, 2010

A healthy start

Breakfast is my favourite meal of the day. Even before falling alseep at night I sometimes think about what to have for breakfast next morning. One thing I find very tasty is home made muesli, and a plus is that it is very healthy too. This recipe is something my mum have made for years since she got the recipe from a friend. It is easy to make and you can sort of change it depending on personal taste and what you have at home. I usually stick to the original recipe though because it suits my palate.

This is roughly how much you will need for one big tray of muesli, but like I said you can play around a little with the ingredients. The sugar for instance can be reduced, or add more if you like it sweet. Nuts and seeds can be swapped for what you like best, maybe you prefer hazelnuts or sunflower seeds.

250ml oatflakes
250ml wheatgerm
250ml ryeflakes
100ml dessicated coconut
100ml linsseed
100ml chopped almonds
75ml vegetable oil
50ml brown sugar
100ml raisins

Mix all dry ingredients except the raisins. Add vegetable oil and mix well. Spread on a large deep roasting tray. Toast in the lower part of the oven for 30min on 140C. Add raisins and tost for another 5-10min. Let cool down before keeping in an airtight jar. Eat with yoghurt or milk for breakfast or a healthy snack.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Hazelnut and chocolate biscotti.

In Italy it is very common to be given a little biscotti with your cup of coffee and I love the idea. Something crunchy and sweet but simple enough. Here in Ireland, and in Sweden as well, we tend to make them a little bigger than those tiny nibbles the Italians serve us, so when I made these hazelnut and dark chocolate biscottis the other day I was generous on the size. It is so simple and they keep for very long in an airtight jar, so you always have something to offer when you get unexpected visitors.

220 grams plain flour
220 grams sugar
110 grams nuts
50 grams dark chocolate
2tsp baking powder
3 eggs

Chop nuts and chocolate roughly, mix with the dry ingredients. Add the eggs and mix until it forms a loose dough. Divide in two and make two sausage shaped rolls, put a tray with baking paper. Bake for 15-20min on 220C. Cut in 2cm wide slices, separate the biscotti and put on the tray with a little space in between. Let dry on 50C for about an hour. Serve with tea or coffee.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Pea and mint risotto

Yesterday Martin and myself went up to his parents house for a bbq. I brought some of the truffles and muffins I made, and I came back home with a bag of mangetout from their garden. Today I was standing in the kitchen looking at these lovely, green vegetables trying to figure out what to do with them. Usually I would probably just blanch them i salted water and eat hot with butter...but they were so big and had lovely peas inside so I took the peas out and made a risotto for lunch. I flavoured it with fresh mint and parmesan cheese and it went down a treat.

This recipe is for 2 portions.

120 grams risotto rice
2tbsp olive oil
3tbsp butter
1 shallot, finely chopped
400ml vegetable stock/ chicken stock
50ml white wine
100 grams fresh peas (you can use defrosted ones too)
1 handfull of fresh herbs such as mint, basil, parsley

parmesan cheese, salt, freshly ground black pepper

Fry onion in the olive oil and one tablespoon of the butter until soft. Add the rice and continue to fry until the rice is covered by the olive oil/butter. Add the white wine and let simmer until all the liquid is gone. Start adding the stock, one ladle at the time. Let it simmer and stir gently, add next ladle of stock when the rice has soken up all the liquid. When the rice is almost finished add the last bit of liquid and peas. When the peas and rice is cooked stir in the rest of the butter and grated parmesan cheese to taste. Last fold in chopped fresh herbs. Serve with freshly ground black pepper and grated parmesan.

Raspberries and lemon...

I love raspberries and lemon together in cakes, so yesterday while waiting for the truffles to set I made some muffins. I flavoured the mix with lemon and put a few raspberries on the top just before i baked them. The result was a very fluffy muffin with a lovely flavour. The recipe is for 16 big muffins.

150ml milk
75grams butter
220grams sugar
240grams plain flour
2 1/2tsp baking powder
3 eggs
1 lemon, zest and juice

Heat milk in a pan and add butter to melt. Set a side. In a bowl whisk eggs and sugar until white and fluffy. Mix flour and baking powder, add through a sive to the egg and sugar mix. Add milk and butter, juice of a lemon and the lemon zest.

Fill muffincups to 2/3, put 3-4 raspberries on top. Bake in the lower part of the oven for 15-20min on 2ooC.

Raspberries and chocolate...

When I was in the last year of catering school I did my work experience in a very wellknown, old cafe/patisserie in Stockholm city. There was seperate kitchens for each department and I was lucky enough to try out each one of them. In the end I did end up working in one of them where we cooked light lunches such as soups, salads and sandwiches made on bread baked the same morning...

...but during my work experience my favorite was definatley the chocolaterie, that was a room one floor down that was almost completly covered in marble and filled with chocolate. I know, it was a dream coming true and in this very place I was thought how to make chocolate truffles. This place is going through a lot of chocolate every week so of course the whole procedure was a little different than when I make truffles at home, but the only difference really is the quantity.

My favorite flavours was always the truffles made from dark chocolate, and cardamom or raspberry are probably still the top two.

Yesterday I decided to make some raspberry truffles at home and it was a sucess! I here give you the recipe that will be enough for 12-14pieces, depending on what size you want them. Raspberry pure is just made from defrosted raspberries pressed through a fine sieve.

100grams dark chocolate
50ml cream
50grams raspberry pure
1tsp honey
1tsp butter

25grams dark chocolate
5tbsp granulated sugar, red food colour

Break the chocolate in to small pieces and put in a bowl. In a pot mix cream, raspberry pure, honey and butter. Gently heat up, almost to boil. Pour this over the broken chocolate and stir until completly smooth. Chill for at least 4 hours.

With cold hands shape 12-14 round balls. Put in the fridge again.

Melt the chocolate. If you want the coating to be pink just add a couple of drops of food colour to the sugar and mix with a fork until the colour is even. Roll the chocolate balls in melted chocolate and then in the sugar. Store the truffles cold and dry.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Seven types of cakes

Seven types of cakes is a Swedish tradition going back to the end of the 1800's. Seven was the number of how many different types of cakes/biscuits/buns you were meant to serve when having your friends over for a "coffee party". Yes you read right, we drank more coffee than tea in Sweden so the tradition was to have coffee and cakes. The ladies would have their good friends over and it would almost be a competition in who would serve the most varieties of baked goods.

Nowadays we are not as strict, maybe we just serve one type of cake and maybe we drink tea, but I would love to bring the old traditions back and have a proper "coffee party" where I will serve the whole seven types of cakes on a pretty cake stand (I have my eyes on one in STOCK).
The other day I made some biscuits that probably were served on one of those parties. If I translate straight from Swedish the English name would be "Farmers biscuits". It is a little like shortbread but crunchier and with a nice taste of almonds.

The trick is to let the dough rest in the fridge, it says 2 hours but I let it rest for the whole night. Also, they are very tasty so you might just as well do the big batch.

330grams plain flour
170grams sugar
1tbsp golden syrup
1tsp bread soda/bicarbonate
50grams almonds, finely chopped
200grams butter, room temperature

Mix all ingredients til it forms a dough. Shape in to a roll and cover with clingfilm. Let it rest in the fridge for at least 2 hours. With a sharp knife cut in to 1/2cm thick slices. Bake on a tray with baking paper in 200C for 6-7min til golden.

France meets Sweden in a quiche...

When I was younger I used to love cheesy toast. I am not talking about just bread and cheese put under the grill, no Im talking about my grandmothers cheesy toast. That is where smokey bacon, cheese and mustard is mixed together and spread on toast to be baked in the oven and come out like a delicoius meal. I have had it so many times, sometimes in my grandmother's house or in my famliy's house when we were a little to lazy to cook a proper meal...
A couple of years ago Martin and me went to paris for a week around New Years. We lived in an apartment in Monte Martre, just below Sacre Coeur. It was freezing at the time so seeing Paris by foot was quite a challenge but luckily Mont Martre is full of cafes, restaurants and creperies. We visited a good few of these and had the most amazing Crouque Monsieurs and Soup L'Oignon. Every time I think of Paris these days I just think about the smell of melted cheese...

Yesterday I was making a quiche for Martin. I like to bake but he does not really like sweet things, therefore a quiche is perfect for both of us. I know he likes bacon and cheese but I took it a step furter and added loads of white onion that I let fry with the bacon til really soft and sweet. To this I also added a bit of wholegrain-mustard. I think the result is my grandmother's cheesy toast mixed with sweet oninons (think french onionsoup) in a quiche!

Pie crust
255grams plain flour
125grams butter
1pinch salt
1-2tbsp cold water

With your fingers mix flour, salt and butter til it forms crumbles. Add the water and quickly mix in to a dough. Roll out and line a pieform, chill for half an hour and prebake for 10min on 200C

200grams bacon
1-2 white onion
2tsp wholegrain-mustard
400ml milk
4 eggs
100grams grated cheese (a little mature)

Chop bacon in to small pieces and fry in a pan, slice the onions thinly and add to the bacon. Let fry on a low heat til the onion is really soft and sweet, takes about 10-15min. dd wholegrain-mustard. Let cool down.

Beat the eggs lightly and mix with the milk and grated cheese. Add some salt and black pepper to taste. Add the bacon and onion to the milk and eggs. Pour in to the piecrust and bake on 175-180C for 40 or til set.

Serve with a nice salad.


Halloumi for lunch.

Halloumi is something I tasted only last year for the first time in a Turkish restaurant in London, and I was blown away. It is such a clever product because you can do almost anything with it; grill, deepfry, bake or panfry...

I usually just dip it in spices and panfry in a little oil til crispy and add to salads or couscous. Yesterday I made a small salad that could be a starter, a snack or a light lunch.

2slices halloumi
6slices tomato
1cm green chili, finely chopped
1tbsp plain flour
1/2tsp paprika powder
1/2tsp cumin
1/2tsp turmeric
4leaves mint

olive oil, salt and pepper

Cut the halloumi in to triangles. Mix spices and flour, dip the halloumi in the flourmix and panfry in olive oil for about 1min on each side or til crispy. Arrange tomatoes on a plate, season with salt, pepper and the green chili. Place halloumi on top and garnish with some olive oil and fresh mint.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

This one is for Sara

When I came back to Dublin, after seeing a bit of Asia and living a summer in Cork, I lived in a very small apartment that actually was quite similar to a rats nest. I did not like spending much time there at all. My very best friend Sara on the other hand lived in an old Georgian house in one of the posher parts in Dublin, so of course I liked to spend my sundays off work in Saras. In this very part of town they obviously have a very nice food-store. Every sunday for I dont know how long I used to call over to Saras and in this very shop we stocked up on these particular things:

  • One bottle of cava (11euro!!)

  • One loaf of fresh, crusty bread

  • One tub of Hummus (5 euro!!)

  • Cucumber

Now this was during the good years in Ireland when we all made plenty of money and had no plans on actually making our own hummus or bake our own bread (ok maybe I did sometimes in my house but not on a sunday afternoon...)

These days Sara is back in Sweden and I have moved in with Martin,and I actually make my own hummus because I realised it is one of the simplest and cheapest things to make, but still so tasty! Every time I make hummus I think about those lazy sunday afternoons...

1tin chickpeas
1 lemon,the juice
2tbsp tahini(sesamepaste)
1tsp cumin
1clove garlic
1/2tsp salt
5tbsp oliveoil
3tbsp water


With a handblender mix together chickpeas, water, lemonjuice, oliveoil, cumin, garlic, tahini and salt. If it is a little to dry just add a little more liquid, either water or oil. Taste and see if you might need more lemonjuice or salt. When it is mixed til smooth it is ready.
Put on a plate and make a little well in the middle where you put a little oliveoil,garnish with a sprinkle of paprika and a couple of leaves of parsley. Serve with pitabread!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Thoughts about tuesdays...

Tuesdays are my Mondays because usually I have Sunday and Monday off,and today i cant help but feeling a little low. I have not really been doing much on my days of but it was just so nice to spend time at home and cook some proper food...and then all of a sudden that stupid day is back where I have to stop enjoying myself and start paying attention to what I do.
It is as if a big gray cloud is hanging over me. It would be easier to get up early in the morning and go to work and get it over with, but I always work in the evenings and that means more time during the day to feel sorry for myself.
Enough of self pity,I do enjoy a lovely cup of coffee before work..or actually I think it would be wrong to call it coffee. What I drink is hot chocolate made with only milk, tiny bit of brown sugar, dark chocolate and some cardamom, and in that goes a shot of strong is truly delicious.
Next time I make it i'll put a picture up so you can see it!

Monday, July 19, 2010


I have tried so many recipes for baguettes but this is the only one that really works for me. The recipe comes from my parents, I dont know where they got it though...

I still remember that dough sitting in a bowl rising for hours and then finally that lovely smell of fresh, crusty bread coming out of the oven that I still prefer to eat while still hot with butter...

500ml water, lukewarm
750grams strong flour
2tsp salt
15grams fresh yeast/ or 4grams dried yeast

Dissolve yeast in the water and mix in flour and salt. Kned the dough by hand for at least 5min til elastic. (if you have a kicthen assistant even better). Let proof for 4 hours in a bowl under a damp cloth.

Work the dough for a minute or so and divide into 4 pieces. Form 3 baguettes that you twirl slightly for a nicer shape. Put on a bakingtray lined with bakingpaper. Let rise on the tray for about 40min. Bake for 8min on really high heat,say 250-300C,then turn the heat down to 200C and bake for another 30min.

(I usually put a small tray of water in the bottom of the oven to create a nicer crust on the bread)


I love pecanpie! It is something special about that piecrust filled with gooey,sticky toffee mixed with crunchy pecans and a hint of cinnamon...yum yum!

This recipe is for one small sandwich tin but just do the double recipe if you want a large one. I have to say it is very sweet and filling though so maybe it is a good idea to start small...

25grams castersugar
50grams butter,at roomtemperature
75grams plain flour
1 eggyolk

100grams pecans
65grams butter
200grams golden syrup
125grams castersugar
1/4tsp salt
1tbsp plain flour
1/4tsp cinnamon(optional)
1 egg

Mix sugar and flour,gently rub in butter til it forms crumbles. Add the eggyolk and quickly mix in to a dough. Roll out and line the cake tin. Put in the fridge while making the filling. Prebake the piecrust for 10min on 160C.

Chop the pecans roughly and roast for about 10min on 150C.

Mix butter,syrup,sugar,cinnamon,salt and flour in a pot. Bring to the boil and let simmer for 3min while stirring. Set aside and cool down til roomtemperature.

Add the pecans and egg to the toffeemix.

Fill the piecrust and bake for 35-40min on 160C.

This should really be served with a dollop of whipped cream or even better with some vanilla icecream..but I just keep it in the fridge and have a small piece every now and then on its own.

Blueberry-cardamom bakewell

Bakewell tart is sort of new to me, we do have something similiar in Sweden but I cant remember that I ever tried to make it. This one I made on Saturday and I have done some small changes to suit my taste. I think blueberries, almonds and cardamom is a lovely combination...The recipe is for a small tart, say a sandwich-tin, so if you want to make a large one just do the double amount of the recipe.
25grams castersugar
50grams butter,at roomtemperature
75grams plain flour
1 eggyolk

75grams butter,at roomtemperature
75grams castersugar
75grams ground almonds
1tbsp plain flour
1 egg+1eggyolk

3tbsp blueberryjam
1tsp castersugar
1/2tsp cardamom,ground
2tbsp flakes almonds

Mix flour and sugar,rub in the butter til it forms crumbles. Add the eggyolk and quickly mix til it forms a dough. Roll out between cling film and line the baking tin. Put in the fridge while making the almondfilling.

Beat eggs and sugar til white,slowly add egg and eggyolk. Fold in flour and ground almond.
Spread the blueberryjam over the pastrybase,gently spread the almondfilling on top of the jam in an even layer. Sprinkle with almonds,sugar and cardamom.

Bake for 35-45min on 160C/gasmark 4. Cake is finished when a skewer comes out clean.

Day one.. I have finally started a blog. I still cant figure out how to design and change things to get it the way I want it but it is ok for now.
Here I will write about my biggest interest in life:Food! I just cant help it but I do love to cook food,eat food,talk about food and read about food. If Im not in work cooking I will most likely be in my kitchen at home trying out new recipes. So hopefully,with a little help,I will get some pictures up on the things I make. It could be anything from a chicken stirfry to of luck to myself!