Sunday, 31 May 2009

Mother's day pancakes

It's Mother's day today in Sweden. I sent my mom a "Happy Mother's day" card on Wednesday, hopefully it got there in time!
To celebrate Mother's day, but without a mother present to celebrate with, I made "real American" pancakes for breakfast.

I used to make these pancakes for brekkie almost every weekend when I was younger. Don't know how I managed to stay so slim back then.....

American pancakes
Makes about 10

3 3/4 dl flour
1 ½ tsp baking POWDER
2 tbsp sugar
2 eggs
60 g melted butter
2 ½ dl milk
pinch of salt

1. Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl.

2. Crack the eggs into the flour mixture.

3. Pour in the melted butter and the milk.

4. Mix thoroughly to dissolve any lumps.

5. Set to rest for 20 minutes.

6. Add a tiny nob of butter to a medium to high heated pan. Use about ½ dl of batter for each pancake. Do not flip the pancakes until small bubbles appear on the surface. Stack the cooked pancakes on a plate, cover with a clean kitchen towel to keep them warm.

7. Serve with strawberry jam.

På svenska

Another BBQ

To celebrate the long weekend, yay for Pentecost(!), we decided to have another BBQ last night. It was just the two of us, but that didn't stop me from cooking up a small feast of goodies from the kitchen.

Rocket salad, with home grown rocket. Also made a vinaigrette from 1 part balsamico, 3 parts olive oils, splash of lemon juice, salt & pepper.

Grilled potatoes. I actually bought these ready made, and to tell you the truth the weren't all that tasty. The potatoes were very hard, even after 30 minutes on the grill, the instructions read 20-25 min. I am trying the second packet today, but instead of putting them on the grill, I'm oven roasting them.
(Can report that the potatoes weren't all that much better when done in the oven. I'm definitely staying clear off store bought roast potatoes).

Pepper marinated pork fillet. I simply put the pork fillets in a plastic bag, poured in about 4 tbsp ground black pepper, and let them marinate for 4 hours in the fridge.

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Lazy girl's Paella

I am starting to hate this diet we are on... All we get to eat is chicken and rice, and ground meat and whole wheat pasta... It's starting to bore me stiff. I long for some fish, some meat that is not ground to a disgusting-looking mess, and lo and behold, potato. I normally hate potatoes, I hate the texture and how it doesn't really taste of anything, and just seems to grow in my mouth into a disgusting mash... Maybe this is due to too many over-boiled potatoes in Swedish school cafeterias? The only kinds of potatoes I like are, mashed potatoes, oven-roast potatoes, and new potatoes, but only the small new potatoes. I love new potatoes, especially how we eat them in Sweden during the summer months, boiled with a few twigs of dill tossed into the water, served with a side of sour cream and chopped chives. YUM! Try it!

Yesterday I made what I have chosen to call "Lazy girl's Paella". It was really easy and went down a treat, most of my foods seems to go down a treat, which I guess is pretty awesome, come to think of it!

Here's how you make
"Lazy girl's Paella"
- diet version (with a cheat as no Paella is complete without some seafood)
Serves 2

140 g cooked rice
8 raw tiger prawns, peeled and de-veined
1 large chicken breast, cut into bit-size pieces
½ onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 pinch saffron, I don't want to call what I used Saffron though. Even though it said saffron on the packet, it was more like something coloured orange with food colour.
½ dl water, or vegetable stock
1 dl frozen peas
lots of frozen broccoli
1-2 tomatoes, roughly chopped
chili salt, pepper

1. Sauté the onion and garlic in a hot pan. Add the bits of chicken (seasoned with chili salt and pepper) saffron and water/stock.

2. When most of the water/stock has evaporated and the chicken seems almost done, add the vegetables, rice and prawns and stir through so everything mixes well. At this point, lower the heat just a tiny bit and leave the paella until the rice has formed a fine crust at the bottom of the pan, just like on an authentic paella.

Sprinkle with some chopped parsley and serve.


På svenska:
En lat flickas Paella

Nu finns även dessa recept på svenska:

My "garden"- revisited

My garden has morphed into... a garden. Might sound a bit strange, but with the poor excuse of a garden I had to work with, I must say I am happy with how it turned out. Now I just wish I had some grass to relax on in the sunshine. I only have the cement patio, which my landlord tells me will be paved sometime soon..., and some ugly plastic garden furniture that came with the apartment.

The garden part is great though, I love my pots filled with herbs and veggies. Maybe I should stop calling it a garden, when all it really is is a herb garden?

Check out the photo. I have arugula, flat leaf parsley, basil, radishes, coriander (planted the roots that came with the coriander twigs I bought at my local Asian shop), sugar snaps, spring onion, and wild strawberries (I found the w.s plants wild in the forest on Saturday).

I do not just grow things in my herb garden, I also grow things on my kitchen counter. And no, it's not mould, but garden cress. It so easy, and so very tasty. I also tried growing bean sprouts, or actually I tried growing lentil sprouts, and it worked out well, however it wasn't what I was aiming for, I was aiming for bean sprouts... Does anyone know which beans are used for bean sprouts? The garden cress on the other hand is all I I could ever ask her. I sat in the sun the other day, on my ugly patio, and had a snack made from crisp bread and garden cress, read a book, and enjoyed the sunshine.

Friday, 22 May 2009

Pesto-filled chicken breast with mushroom rice

Day four on the diet, my boyfriend's already lost 1 kg, so we must be doing something right!

Pesto-filled chicken breast with mushroom rice
Serves 2

2 chicken breasts
2 msk pesto
1-2 cloves garlic, grated
salt & pepper

250 g fresh/frozen mixed mushrooms
200 g cooked rice

1. Heat your oven to 210 C fan. Mix the pesto and garlic. Cut the chicken breast, lenghtways, but not all the way through so you create a pocket. Fill the pocket with the pesto. Season the chicken breast with salt and pepper. Fry for 5 minutes on each side in a pan. Then transfer the chicken breasts to an oven-proof dish and place it in the oven for 20 minutes or until the chicken juices run clear.

2. While the chicken is in the oven, fry the mushrooms in the same pan you fried the chicken in. That way you can get all those delicious bits off from the bottom of the pan. When the mushrooms are almost done, tip in the rice, and allow to heat through.

Serve the chicken on a bed of mushroom rice. Sprinkle with spring onion.


Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Chicken Tandoori Skewers

Third day on a diet... This does not look very healthy, but it is according to Mr. Personal trainer's instructions: 1 chicken breast, 100 g rice and vegetables.

Chicken Tandoori Skewers
Serves 2

2 chicken breasts
2 tbsp Tandoori masala
1 tsp corinader powder
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tbsp oil

1 cup rice
1 ½ cup water

1. Cut the chicken breasts into bit size pieces. Pour the spices in a plastic bag, add the chicken and the oil. Marinate in the fridge for anything from 30 minutes to overnight.

2. Atleast 30 minutes before you plan on grilling the chicken skewers, soak 6 wooden skewers in water.

3. Heat the oven to 210 C.

4. Place the rice into a sauce pan, pour in the water and add some salt. Bring to the boil, lower the heat to very low and allow to simmer under lid for 17 minutes. Take off from the heat, remove the lid and steam to 5 minutes. Fluff the rice with a fork.

5. While the rice is cooking, grill the marinated chicken on the skrewers until they are done.

6. Serve the skewers on a bed of vegetables and 100 g of rice per person.

Monday, 18 May 2009


My boyfriend's personal trainer has put him on a diet, and I have decided to try and follow the same regime. We'll see how well I do, I am absolutely sure that I will be the one who crumbles and falls first. Thankfully, Saturdays are "eating days" which means that we can eat "normal" food instead of following the diet. Can't wait for Saturday!

Serves 4

400 g ground pork/beef
1 dl bread crumbs
½ red onion, finely chopped
1 tomato, finely chopped
1-2 clove garlic, grated
1 tbsp dried mint leaves
2 tbsp milk
salt & pepper

(These meatballs can be used as either part of a main course or as part of a platter of starters).

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl. Shape the mix into small balls. Fry in a non-stick pan using no oil. Drain off any excess fat on kitchen paper. Serve with pasta and a tomato sauce.


Sunday, 17 May 2009

Saturday treats

The day before Norway Day, the day Norway won Eurovision Song Contest!

Saturday afternoon: the sun disappeared behind some clouds, but that did not stop me from putting some din-din on the BBQ. Salmon marinated in olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. I also finished off the last of the asparagus I had laying around from Friday. This time, instead of marinating them, which did not really work as I only let them marinate for 1o minutes, I put some lemon juice and a clove of garlic in the water when I blanched them. It worked out well, I recommend it.

15 minutes later: Dinner's ready. Served it with new potatoes (13.90 NOK/kg) and a sauce made from sour cream, garlic and salt & pepper. It was yummy!

Friday, 15 May 2009

Friday treats

Friday afternoon: started out with my new favourite drink. I'm gonna have quite a few of these throughout the summer, of this be sure.

Summer drink
Serves 1

2 cl Absolut Lemon
Passion fruit soda
1 strawberry

5 pm: Martha made home made tortilla chips the other day, and ever since I have been dying to try it myself. It's really simple, all you need it a packet of soft tortillas, some salt, and a few drops of olive oil. Cut the tortillas into smaller pieces, coat slightly with oil, season, and whack into a 200 C oven for 10-15 minutes, turning the chips half way through.

6 pm: Dinner's almost done. Found some good-looking asparagus at the supermarket. Decided to put then on the barbie along with the meat that's already out there getting tasty. This is blanched asparagus cooling off in ice water. After this I put them in a marinade of olive oil, grated garlic, and lemon juice for a few minutes. Then I put them on the barbie, then I ate them. Yum!

6:30 pm: Dinner's ready!. Grilled and marinated meat and asparagus, with French fries and Bearnaise sauce. Absolutely gorgeous!

8:30 pm: Mint chocolate ice cream with strawberries marinated in sugar and lemon zest.

Thursday, 14 May 2009

Spaghetti Bolognese á la Angelica

Had initially planned on making Wild Mushroom tartlets for dinner last night. But time flew by, and in the end I did not have time to spend 1 ½ hours making the puff pastry. So, instead I decided to make Spaghetti Bolognese. I know it doesn't sound all that "flashy" but you do not have to make it the way they do in the school cafeteria, however Bolognese sauce from Swedish school cafeterias might just be the tastiest Bolognese sauce I have ever tried- sad but true. I started making mine the ordinary way, but somewhere in the process I realized I just can't make it taste tasty, if you know what I mean. Sometimes I have this very precise idea on what things should taste like when I'm at a certain stage in the cooking process, and when it does not live up to my standards I get very disappointed. It is at this stage I might go a little crazy and add all kinds of spices and herbs. And believe it or not, it always, almost always, turn out really good. Yesterday was one of those days where thankfully everything worked out well, and me and my boyfriend could enjoy a nice bowl of Spaghetti Bolognese á la Angelica.

Spaghetti Bolognese á la Angelica
Serves 4, smallish servings

Spaghetti for 4 people
400 g ground beef or pork
½ onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, grated
1 can crushed tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato puré
1 tbsp ketchup
1 tsp chili sauce
4 dried Chinese mushrooms
2 ½ dl mushroom stock, from Chinese mushrooms
1 tbsp oregano, dried or fresh
1 tsp tarragon, dried or fresh
1 tbsp basil, dried or fresh
1 tsp balsamico, or ½ dl red wine
salt and pepper
grated Parmesan cheese

1. Start by soaking the Chinese mushrooms in warm water for 20 minutes.

2. Sauté onion and garlic until soft and transparent. Add the meat and allow to brown for 5-10 minutes. Stir in the crushed tomatoes, tomato puré, ketchup, chili sauce, and Chinese mushrooms.

3. Add the mushroom stock, herbs, balsamico or wine, and salt and pepper, and let the sauce simmer for another 10-15 minutes.

4. Follow the instructions on the packet on how to boil the spaghetti, or make your own spaghetti.

5. Serve in a bowl, sprinkle with the cheese, and ENJOY!

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Ice tea and shrimps

It was a beautiful day yesterday. The sun was shining, the birds were chirping, and the cat enjoyed himself in the sunshine trying to catch butterflies. I only thought about my blog. I don't know why, or how it came to this, but I am slightly obsessed with my blog. I think about it 24/7, what can I do to improve it, how can I reach more people, what recipes to put on... and yeah, just about anything imaginable...

Anyway, I think I drank about 1 litre ice tea yesterday. I wish I had made it myself, but the truth is that they had 2for1 at the supermarket on Lipton Ice Tea powder. Before last year I had never really had a lot of ice tea. But living in the US (Muncie, IN) for 6 months introduces you to all kinds of stuff you have never really tried before. I love ice tea, does anyone have instructions on how to make it at home?

To celebrate the good weather we had shrimps for dinner. I love shrimps and consider myself a little bit of an expert on peeling and eating shrimps. For as long as I can remember I have always loved shrimps, and I can still remember very clearly going to Strömstad, Sweden, each summer with my family for dad's military camp training-thingy. All the families at the camp met for a an evening of entertainment and shrimps each year! And I always ate the most out of everyone. Once the military camp had a group of German army-people visiting, and for some reason the Germans did not eat their shrimp, so they gave theirs to me... I was in heaven- yum!

Beautiful shrimps!

We peeled the shrimp, put them in freshly baked baguette. I had made herb-butter (oregano, chili salt, spring onion and garlic),
and lemon mayo. It was delicious!

I am saving the prawn shells in the freezer for a rainy day.
My plan is to make my own prawn stock. I have had this
idea for quite some time now, but the other week I threw out
2 bags of shells when I did not have room in the freezer for
something else.

Thai prawn balls- revisited

I made Thai prawn balls again yesterday! They, as last time, turned out delicious! I really didn't feel like making them last night, it was late and I had just returned from volleyball practice. But I had already defrosted the prawns so had to make them or else I'd end up throwing the prawns in the trash. After a quick stop at the supermarket on my way home from practice I picked up all the ingredients I knew I didn't have at home; lime, spring onions and eggs. Once home I realized I didn't have soy sauce either, but I simply substituted the soy sauce for 1 tsp Thai fish sauce. Like last time I served the "balls" with rice and a sweet chili sauce. I also added a couple of florets of broccoli to add some greens to the plate. YUM!


Monday, 11 May 2009

My "garden"

I love growing my own veggies, and I would love to have an entire garden and a green house at my disposal, but unfortunately I have to make due with what I've been give; which is a cement patio... Not much to work with there. However, I was also given a flower box and a bunch of flower pots in which to plant the seeds I have accumulated over the past winter. So far I have planted seeds for arugula/rocket/rucola, spring onion, basil and flat leaf parsley. I am also planning on planting dill, coriander/cilantro, radish and carrots.

After about one week and two days the only vegetable making an appearance is the rocket. But that's not much of a surprise seeing how the seeds are covered by only 0.2 cm of soil. I can't wait to have all my herbs and vegetables growing in their pots on my patio this summer!

Sunday, 10 May 2009

Thai Green Curry

Me and my boyfriend had a friend over for dinner tonight. I decided to make a Thai chicken green curry, a dish that never fails to please even the most picky eater. I'm not saying the friend we invited is a picky eater, but let me put it this way; he had no idea that Thai food was food inspired by Thailand, but thought it was some kind of Mexican food. However, I think he was happily surprised by my Thai Green curry, even though I am pretty sure he found it a tad bit too spicy... I thought it was delicious, and cannot wait to devour the leftovers tomorrow.

Thai Green Curry
Serves 4

3 tbsp vegetable oil
1 generous tbsp green curry paste
1 tsp coriander/cilantro powder
1 tsp cumin powder
1 can coconut milk
1 clove garlic, grated
1 cm ginger, grated
4 chicken breasts (or fish, or prawns, or pork, or beef) cut into bite size pieces
350 ml chicken stock
3/4 courgette, sliced and halved
3/4 aubergine, sliced and halved
10 small button mushroom, halved
1 tsp fish sauce
1 tsp lime juice
handful coriander/cilantro leaves

1. Heat the oil in a wok, sauce pan or saute pan. Add the curry paste and stir for 2 minutes. Add in the spices, and garlic & ginger and fry for another minute, keep stirring.

2. Add coconut milk, chicken stock, and chicken pieces and bring to the boil. Simmer for 5-10 minutes until the chicken is almost cooked.

3. Tip in the vegetables, add fish sauce and lime juice. Simmer until the aubergine is soft. Sprinkle coriander/cilantro leaves on top.

4. Serve with rice.


- You can make this dish vegetarian by cutting out the meat, and using vegetable stock instead of chicken stock.

- The flavour develops when you freeze this dish, so put the leftovers in the freezer to enjoy another day.

- If you find this dish a tab bit too spicy, serve it with dollop of creme fraiche, yogurt or sour cream.

Thursday, 7 May 2009

Harira - traditional Moroccan soup

Food from friends, part 2:

Let me introduce you to one of my other friends- Hanna! I have known Hanna, or known about Hanna more like it, since forever. We grew up in the same town, went to the same school, and our little brothers were best friends... However, we never hit it off, not until high school. We're the best of friends now, she's truly an awesome friend! This is her favourite soup, a Moroccan soup, traditionally eaten by the Muslims during the holy month of Ramadan.

Serves 4

2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 celery stick, chopped, can be left out
2 tsp cumin powder, or 1 tbsp cumin seeds, crushed in pestle and mortar. (You can never have too much cumin, according to Hanna)
3 cans chickpeas
1 generous pinch saffron (Saffron gives this soup an amazing flavour, but it can be left out, says Hanna)
400 g tomatoes, de-seeded and coarsely chopped (you can also use 1 can crushed tomatoes)
1 cube vegetable stock
½ bunch coriander/cilantro leaves, about 2 generous tbsp chopped
juice from ½ lemon
salt and pepper

1. Sauté the onions in a little bit of olive oil. Add garlic, cumin and celery and sauté for a few more minutes. Tip in the chickpeas and the juices from the chickpeas, saffron and the vegetable stock cube- stir till it is completely dissolved in the liquid. Pour in 2 ½ dl water and simmer for 15 minutes.

2. Add chopped tomatoes, after one minute add in half of the coriander/cilantro, the lemon juice, Tabasco and season with salt and pepper. Stir for one minute, then remove from the heat.

3. Serve, sprinkle with the rest of the coriander/cilantro and drizzle with some olive oil.

Potato salad

I love barbecues, but I always have a difficult time deciding on what to have with my grilled piece of meat, fish or veggies. My all time favourite is potato salad, and I have a few different recipes that I use from time to time. This potatoe salad is my new absolute favourite, and it
went down a treat when I served it the other week at the first BBQ of 2009.

Potato salad
Serves 4

700 g potatoes, boiled, cooled, and cubed
200 g feta cheese, cubed
1 small red/yellow onion, sliced
1 dl dill, chopped
100 g sugar snaps, chopped into 1 cm pieces
roasted sunflower seeds, to taste
salt, pepper

Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl and serve. It really is as simple as that!

Can be stored in the fridge for up to 2 days.

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Aubergine & mushroom curry

I have been cooking quite a lot over the past couple of days, but I seem to have writer's block, because I cannot convert my thoughts into words. It is extremely annoying, but please bear with me! Anyways, I was in the same dilemma as last week before volleyball practice; "what to eat?". This time I decided not too go all crazy and use my imagination (like last week), but to follow a recipe, and it turned out great. Ok, I added my own twist to the recipe, I did not have all the required ingredients, but one day I will make it according to the exact recipe just to compare the two.
For my twisted recipe, scroll down.

I promise you, this dish will have
your house smelling like the most
fabulous curry-house.

Aubergine & mushroom curry
Serves 4

3 tbsp olive oil
2 aubergines, each cut into 8 chunks
250 g chestnut mushrooms, halved
20 g bunch coriander/cilantro, stalks and leaves separated
2 large onions
thumb-sized piece fresh root ginger
3 cloves garlic
1 fat chili, de-seeded and half roughly chopped
1 tbsp coriander powder
1 tbsp cumin powder
1 tbsp tomato purée
500 ml vegetable stock
5 tbsp ground almonds
200 ml natural full-fat yogurt
basmati rice, to serve

1. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a large pan, add the aubergines and fry for 10 minutes until golden brown and soft. Add the mushrooms, and fry for another 5 minutes. Tip out onto a plate.

2. Meanwhile, whizz the coriander stalks, onion, ginger, garlic and chopped chili in a food processor. Add another tbsp of oil to the pan, fry the paste for a few minute until softened.

3. Tip in the spices and tomato purée. Stir for 2 minutes, then return the vegetables to the pan. Pour in the stock, ground almonds and most of the yogurt. Simmer for 5 minutes until the sauce has thickened a little.

4. Serve with the basmati rice, sprinkle with the rest of the chilies and coriander leaves, and drizzle of the remaining yogurt.

- As seen in BBC Good Food Magazine, May 2009, UK Edition

My twisted version
Serves 2-3

3 tbsp vegetable oil
2 aubergines
6 small boiled potatoes, cut into quarters
20 g coriander/cilantro leaves and stalks
1 onion
1 cm ginger, grated
2 cloves garlic
1 dried chili, soaked to soften
1 tbsp coriander powder
1 tbsp cumin powder
1 tbsp ketchup
1 tomato, finely chopped
3- 4 dl chicken, or vegetable stock
1 can coconut milk
1 handful sugar snaps

1. Follow the instructions on #1 above, except substitute the mushrooms for potatoes.

2. Whizz coriander stalks AND leaves, onion, garlic, ginger and chili in a food mixer. Add ½ dl of coconut milk and mix again into a paste. Add another tbsp of oil to the pan and fry the paste for a few minutes, allowing some of the liquid to evaporate.

3. Follow the instructions on #3 above, but add the tomatoes and ketchup instead of tomato purée, and no almonds. Substitute the yogurt for coconut milk, I find it difficult to cook with yogurt as it always curdles and separates. Add some sugar snaps to the curry, allow them to heat.

Serve with basmati rice.