Norfolk: pizza at The Jolly Sailors

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August in Norfolk is peak season, and the heat wave probably added to that. We’re talking car queues on every road leading to the beach, full car parks, looong ice cream queues, and packed beaches. So you can imagine that if you want a last minute reservation to a restaurant you have to be verrrry lucky.

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That’s why I really like places like The Jolly Sailors, where you don’t need to book (unless you’re a large group), can just show up on a whim, order a pizza and find yourself a table underneath vines and fairy lights.

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It’s rustic, semi-cosy, but also welcome to all. There’s an eclectic mix of guests and a large playground for the kiddos out back. And they make good pizzas (and offer takeaway too).

We had a very impromptu date night here on our last night, and as much as I love fancy restaurants and elaborate menus, sometimes a pizza in a beer garden with someone special is just the ticket.

The Jolly Sailors, Main Road, Brancaster Staithe PE31 8BJ

Recipe: daim ice cream cake

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In my family we all love the daim bar. I grew up eating them for fika instead of a cookie sometimes (but only half a daim bar each!) and my favourite ice cream is still the daim ice cream. Either as scoops or the daim cone we have in Sweden.

So I don’t know why it took me so long to try this daim ice cream cake recipe, as it basically has my name written all over it!

I made it for pudding in the summer for some friends of mine and we all loved it, although I thought it was borderline too sweet. (Who have I become?!) So when I made it for the second time, only a few days later, for dinner with my parents, I changed the proportions a bit. The cake base is really lovely but also very sweet so by adding more ice cream on top the base appeared less dominant and sweet. So this is not the original recipe, but my adaptation of it,  and isn’t that the beauty of sharing recipes really?! That we can all change them after our own preferences.

And yes, of course it was a hit with my daim bar loving parents as well!

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Daim ice cream cake, serves 6-8

Translated from and adapted after Söta Saker’s recipe.

Base:

100 g butter, softened

100 ml golden caster sugar

100 ml oats 

2 tbsp cocoa 

1 tsp vanilla

2 daim bars

Filling:

150 ml double cream 

75 ml caramel sauce 

3 daim bars 

Dekoration:

daim sprinkles

caramel sauce

Mix butter, sugar, oats, cocoa and vanilla to a sticky batter. Chop the daim bars coarsely and mix into the batter. Press the batter onto a baking parchment covered cake tin. 

Whip the cream and add the caramel sauce bit by bit, while whipping until soft peaks. Chop the daim bars and add to the cream mixture. Pour the cream mixture into the tin. Cover with cling and put in the freezer for at least 4 hours or over night. Remove from the freezer a few minutes before serving and decorate with caramel sauce and daim sprinkles. 

 

Theatre, cooking and a chilled weekend

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The third week in September the nice weather continued. For most of the week at least.

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So I made the best of it eating a lot of caprese salads. With the best supermarket mozzarella I have ever come across. Yum! Some leftover charcuterie from the weekend added some protein as well.

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In the evening we had dinner at Honest Burgers on Southbank before we went to see Peter Gynt (an adaptation of Ibsen’s Peer Gynt set in modern day Scotland) at The National Theatre. It was really long and I’m not sure the adaptation really worked, but it was still nice to see it.

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The next day I once again had caprese for lunch (can’t get enough) but with the addition of avocado and prosciutto. So yummy!

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I also managed to eat a whole bag of Swedish Polly sweets in just a few days. Wish I had bought more though. Other than work I didn’t do much on Wednesday. Had toast for dinner and went to bed early.

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But Thursday night I spent some time in the kitchen. We pretended it was Friday and I made us a three course dinner consisting of puff pastry bites (recipe to come), pasta al limone (will post this soon) and white chocolate crème with raspberries (also to come). Now that I have someone to cook for I enjoy cooking for just myself a bit less.

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Friday we had eggs for breakfast and I worked from home the whole day. In the evening we had dinner at Home SW15 (love their shrimp burger!) before going to the cinema to see Once upon a time in Hollywood. Such a great film!

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Saturday I had a lie-in, did some errands and had store-bought pizza for dinner in front of a film I’ve wanted to see for a long time now; All the president’s men with Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman as the Washington Post journalists uncovering the Watergate affair. Really good!

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On the Sunday I had another lie-in and stayed inside all day as it was pouring down with rain the whole day. I read a lot, put on a face mask and made a very simple pasta for dinner (cheese tortellini with browned butter, parmesan and lemon). It was a day of rest and so needed.

Norfolk: seafood dinner at The Hoste

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One of the evenings in Norfolk in August we all went out for dinner at The Hoste in Burnham Market. It was my first time there, but the others had all been before.

To start I just had to have the Norfolk oysters, as it’s such a treat to have fresh local seafood, and they did not disappoint. Lovely, almost buttery, oysters. So yummy!

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Most of us around the table had the Lobster Thermidor and fries as our main course and it was really nice. We had a really nice dinner here, but the service could have been a lot faster and more attentive, so I hope that improves.

But nice food and atmosphere!

The Hoste, The Green, Burnham Market, King’s Lynn PE31 8HD

Picnic, black tie party and concert!

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The second week of September we had quite nice weather. An Indian summer almost. But even so a Monday is still a Monday and I just stayed in after work. Read a new book by one of my favourite authors and just took it easy.

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Tuesday I had caprese with burrata for lunch and it made me so happy it was salad weather again!

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In the evening we had dinner at Green Room before we went to the Margaret Atwood talk at The National Theatre. She was of course amazing, and so were the three actresses reading chapters from her new book!

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The following day I went to The New Forest for work during the day and had my Pret lunch by my desk as usual.

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Back in London in the evening I met up with a friend for impromptu cocktails and pizza. So fun!

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Thursday I switched up my caprese salad a bit and added avocado – so yummy!

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As it was a glorious day I took the opportunity to do work errands AND enjoy my first and only frappe this summer.

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In the evening I made a really quick supper, consisting of cheese filled tortellini and fried mushrooms from the freezer. Super speedy and yummy! I also watched the first episode of a new series that seems promising; The Loudest Voice.

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On Friday I made some puff pastry slices topped with prosciutto and tomatoes as a starter and then made our favourite prawn pasta, but without the mushrooms.

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Saturday started with a lie-in and a cooked breakfast, as usual.

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And then we decided to have a little picnic in the park so we could enjoy the gorgeous weather!

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In the evening we went to a fun black tie party by the river and we got to sip champagne while taking in this view and sunset. A good start indeed.

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But we also had our faces painted by a really talented artist and enjoyed a hog roast followed by an ice cream of your choice! Such a great evening!

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Another lie in and another cooked breakfast on the Sunday before we got ready.

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We shared a pizza for lunch before heading east, using several different modes of transport.

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First the tube, then the DLR and then this cable car that I hadn’t tried before. Not the fastest route to the O2 but definitely the most fun!

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Then we had dinner at Gaucho, enjoying steak, fries and red wine.

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Next we had some drinks in the Sky Backstage bar while waiting for the concert to start.

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We saw Muse for a second time this year and as this concert was smaller it was a bit more intimate, but I loved both concerts equally. And the new album is so good!!

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Back home we had toast and hot chocolate before bed to unwind after a pretty full on but amazing weekend!

 

 

 

Recipe: chewy chocolate cookies (gf)

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These deliciously chewy chocolate biscuits happen to be gluten-free, and that’s why I decided to make them in the first place; for a friend who can’t have gluten, but as I suspected they were so lovely that I will keep making them for myself as well.

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Because they don’t contain gluten-free flour they’re not a regular cookie made into a gluten-free version. Instead the technique is completely different using eggs and corn flour to bind a mixture of mainly melted chocolate. Yes, they’re THAT chocolate-y!

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Gluten-free chocolate cookies with sea salt, makes 20-25

Translated from and adapted after Brinken Bakar’s recipe.

135 g caster sugar

40 g butter, softened

2 eggs

45 g corn flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

250 g dark chocolate 

120 g white chocolate, chopped

sea salt

Pre-heat the oven to 160C fan. Melt the dark chocolate in a Bain Marie and leave to cool slightly. Whip the butter with electric beaters fir approx 2 minutes, then add the sugar and beat for another 3 minutes. Add the eggs; first one, then whisk and then the other and whisk. Mix corn flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl and add to the egg mixture. Add the melted chocolate. If the mixture feels too runny leave it to thicken for while. When the mixture is cool, add the white chocolate. Spoon out the mixture onto baking tray covered with parchment paper. Scatter with sea salt and bake in the oven for 8-9 minutes. Leave to cool. They are best stored in an airtight container in the fridge. 

Sweden: prawn sandwiches by the sea

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As you might have learnt from this blog, us Swedes LOVE seafood. I ate prawns every single Friday night through my childhood and I still love them. Like a lot.

So every chance I get to eat nice (cold water) prawns I take. Like when I was at home in Sweden in the summer and my parents suggested we try out the local café in Smyge (the most southern point in the country!) because their prawn sandwiches are talked about a lot and meant to be really good!

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So on my boyfriend’s last day visiting we had lunch there, in their cosy little garden a stone’s throw from the sea.

They offer prawn sandwiches in three different sizes and we all decided on medium as that looked pretty big to us. And what we received was the perfect specimens of a Swedish prawn sandwich. It had soft white bread that’s still sturdy enough to not go soggy, lettuce, a nice amount of mayonnaise and sliced boiled eggs and a small mountain of Atlantic prawns peeled by hand. And of course lemon, dill and tomato and cucumber slices as decoration.

So nice, and extremely filling! We only had a hot dog each for supper as we were too full to have something resembling a proper dinner. Great place!  Highly recommend. Especially when you can sit outside in the garden. Inside is quite rustic, but I can see it being cosy too.

Café Smyge, Smyge strandväg 4F, 231 78 Smygehamn, Sweden