Recipe: Parma Ham-Wrapped Dates with Balsamic and Honey

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Here’s another winner of a canapé! Also from the Christmas party. These parma ham-wrapped dates with balsamic and honey are a more sophisticated version than the bacon-wrapped dates, and therefore so much better.

The idea is the same; sweet meets salty but with less punchy flavours (i.e. ham instead of bacon) and a little depth from the vinegar and honey. It truly is a winning flavour combination and one of the easiest nibbles you can make, so keep it in mind for the festive season of 2020!

Parma Ham-Wrapped dates with balsamic and honey, makes 20

With inspiration from Sophie Conran’s recipe.

10 dates, stones removed and cut in half lengthways

10 slices Parma Ham or prosciutto, cut in half lengthways 

20 cocktail sticks

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 tbsp runny honey

salt and pepper

Wrap each date halve in a thin slice of ham and secure with the cocktail sticks. Place in an ovenproof dish and drizzle with vinegar and honey. Add salt and pepper. Bake in 200C oven for approx 10 minutes. Leave to cool and serve at room temperature. 

Recipe: Puff Pastry Pizza with Browned Butter, Creme Fraiche, Red Onions, Salmon Roe and Herbs

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Puff pastry pizza seems to be trending in my native Sweden and inspired by Swedish foodie Tuvessonskan I thought I would give it a try too!

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A adapted her recipe slightly but kept the idea of spreading a browned butter mixture over store-bought puff pastry, scatter with grated cheddar and bake it before adding the rest of the (very Scandinavian) toppings.

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I love the classic combination of creme frachie, chopped red onions and fish roe and it works great on puff pastry too, especially when enhanced further with herbs and lemon.

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Puff pastry pizza with browned butter, creme fraiche, red onions, salmon roe and herbs, serves 4 as nibbles or a starter

Adapted fromTuvessonskan’s recipe.

1/2 roll all butter puff pastry 

50 g butter

50 g philadelphia

2 tbsp creme fraiche

approx 200 ml grated cheddar

salt and pepper

Topping:

100 ml creme fraiche

1 jar salmon (or other fish) roe

1/2 red onions, finely chopped

a bunch chives, finely chopped

a bunch dill, finely chopped

1/2 lemon, the juice

salt and pepper

Brown the butter 30 minutes in advance. Leave to cool in room temperature. Mix the cooled butter with philadelphia and creme fraîche in a bowl. Add salt and pepper. Spread the mixture over the puff (leaving the edges bare if you like) and scatter with the cheddar. Bake in 200C fan or 220 C without fan until the puff is golden and the cheese has melted. Leave to cool. 

One the baked puff is cooled, spoon or pipe the creme fraîche onto it, then the salmon roe. Scatter with red onions and herbs. Season and finish by squeezing a bit of lemon juice over it. Cut into pieces (either cut in four and serve as a starter on plates or cut into small bites and serve on a tray or platter). 

 

Nights in, The Crown and a lot of cooking!

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The third week of November feels like forever ago, but it was a nice week (apart from one blip) and I cooked a lot!

The Monday was pretty blah though. I worked, had leftovers for dinner and went to bed early.

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The next day I went to The New Forest with work and had a Pret breakfast on the train. Sadly this brioche egg muffin seemed nicer than it was.

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After a full day away I came home and started watching the third season of The Crown

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… while eating chocolate chip cookies I made at the weekend.

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The next day I had grilled cheese for lunch because of a sudden melted cheese craving (love melted cheese!).

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And for dinner I had crisps and dip in front of The Crown. Please don’t judge. And love that series! It’s still great even with a whole new cast!

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Thursday I had a healthier lunch of burrata and avocado. Yum!

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And in the evening I met up with Laura at a cosy pub. We had dinner and wine and a proper catch up. So lovely!

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But I didn’t feel to well the next day. Not hungover, more like something I ate didn’t agree with me. So I was pretty miserable and tired and couldn’t eat the whole day.

But managed to cook in the evening (with some help). First I made puff pastry bites with browned butter, chopped red onions, herbs, creme fraiche and salmon roe (recipe to follow!).

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Next we had a lovely beef and ginger stir-fry with rice and sesame broccoli (recipe to follow!).

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After a lie-in the next morning I felt lots better and cooked us two courses for brunch. Both oeufs en cocotte with pancetta…

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…and American pancakes with blueberries, lightly whipped cream and maple syrup! So yummy!

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In the afternoon we went looking at motorcycle helmets and gear and stopped by Krispy Kreme on the way home, so we had doughnuts and tea in the afternoon.

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In the evening I made puff pastry nibbles yet again, but this time with cheese, speck, philadelphia and chives (recipe to follow!).

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I also made us Presa Iberico with crispy potatoes, aioli, romesco sauce and padron peppers. Sooo yum! (Recipe to follow!).

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The next morning my boyfriend had to get up early for work so I stayed in bed and had avocado toast for breakfast.

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I spent the day prepping dinner, reading and drinking hot chocolate.

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And in the evening we had whipped browned butter (recipe to follow) with baguette and fennel salami.

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And pork belly slices with potato purée, carrots, wilted spinach and a creamy sauce. We also tried a failed pudding attempt which I won’t post until it’s successful!

 

Recipe: Caramelised Bacon Bites – Perhaps the Best Canapé Ever!

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When I cook for a party the food do get some attention, but mostly I just want to the food to be one positive element of the party; what’s important is the mix of food, cold drinks, fun people and a nice atmosphere.

But at our Christmas party the week before Christmas a lot of focus was on the food, and one canapé in particular – these caramelised bacon bites! One can say they were the star of the show, the diva in fact, because they were talked about a lot.

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And I understand why, as this little morsel of deliciousness places itself in that perfect intersection between salty and sweet and crispy and chewy, but it also has a hint of spice and a smokiness that makes every single bite (and trust me, you will eat many!) interesting.

So without much further ado, I give you the recipe. It’s the brain child of the fabulous Ina Garten and I salute her for creating something this perfect AND easy to make. But I have made quite a few changes to the recipe. I only omitted one ingredient (pecan nuts as some guests were allergic), but as I made enough of these to feed a small army, I also changed the method (and size) slightly to save time.

Caramelised bacon bites, makes 30

Adapted from Ina Garten’s recipe.

118 ml light dark brown sugar

2 tsp sea salt

1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1/8 tsp cayenne

2 tbsp good quality maple syrup

225 g fairly thick slices smoked streaky bacon 

Pre-heat the oven to 190C. Cover a large baking tray with parchment paper. 

Mix all the ingredients apart from the bacon in a bowl. Cut each bacon slice into three (I found using scissors the easiest way to do this) and place with space in between on the parchment paper covered tray.

Pat in the sugar mixture in a thin layer on each bacon piece using a teaspoon then bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until browned but not burnt. Leave to cool on the parchment paper. Serve at room temperature.  

Happy New Year!

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Dear readers,

Happy New Year!

Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and a great start to the new year! As much as I am excited about a new year, a clean slate and a bit more free time, this is also my least favourite time of year. There I said it!

I’m not a fan of the cold and darker months but it’s OK as long as there is something to look forward to, like Christmas. But this stretch after the Christmas break is the worst with long dark January and cold February ahead.

I will try to battle it with good books, lots of sleep and seeing friends. But please, Spring, hurry up!

I also hope I will have more time for the blog and instagram these slower months. And I will try to embrace the slow; I definitely need more of that!

Hope you’re all having a good week! And if, like me, this isn’t your favourite time of year either, it’s OK. It doesn’t have to be.

Lots of cooking, some baking and a “failed” date night…

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The second full week in November was quite chilled after a lovely weekend away – just what I needed!

On the Monday I did laundry (love it!), had Shake Shack for dinner and watched TV before going to bed early. A really good Monday routine – apart from the burger.

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Tuesday I started reading Northern Lights by Philip Pullman as I wanted to read it before we watch the series. I also watched some TV, catching up om The Morning Show and FBI. For dinner I had fish tacos!

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Wednesday I made a really lovely halloumi wrap for lunch and in the evening I had noodles with cucumber. (Will post both these recipes soon!) I also watched a film that I missed at the cinema; Colette with Keira Knightley and Dominic West based on a true story.

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The next day I did lots of work errands running around the city and taking some nice pictures as I went. Love being out and about on a dry day! For lunch I had leftover noodles topped with my new love crispy chilli flakes in oil. So so good! And for dinner I made tortilla pizzas.

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Friday night I made chicken satay and a lovely pudding with raspberries and browned butter (!), will post these soon too!

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Saturday I made cookies and chilled during the day and in the evening we went out for dinner but sadly didn’t have the best experience. Bad service and atmosphere. Luckily the company was amazing; we honestly have fun wherever we are so it didn’t ruin our date night, the food was good (but not amazing) and the wine really good.

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On Sunday we had a nice lie-in followed by our usual breakfast AND brioche French toast (will post this too, but so behind at the moment)…

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…and in the evening I cooked us a little homage dinner to Martin of Tours which we celebrate in my part of Sweden the week before. We had cream of mushroom soup to start and duck instead of goose as the main course.

Copenhagen: Bæst Revisited!

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Since we only go to Copenhagen once a year it’s tricky to balance the urge to go back to old favourites with the excitement of trying new ones. So we do a bit of both, resulting in a day of feasting our way around the beautiful city. But as we get around mostly by walking it works!

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So after trying a new bar, a new restaurant for lunch and another new bar, we went back to Bæst for their amazing pizzas! We loved it so much last year and it was just as good this time around.

But since we had had something yummy to eat at Rudo too, we didn’t go crazy ordering all the menu, which we did last year. We had just one starter; the garlic bread with lardo which was just lovely!

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And then we moved on to what we were here for: the pizzas! Or more specifically, that Margherita I’ve dreamt about for a whole year! And yep, it was just as amazing as I remembered it!

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But we did broaden our horizons a little trying two new pizzas too. This one with stracciatella, garlic, mushrooms and herbs was really nice (but almost a little too herby for my liking).

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And lastly we had this one with mozzarella, sun-dried tomatoes, prosciutto and rocket. Also really really good, but the margherita is the best ever! So when you go (because it’s just a matter of time really, you totally should go!), make sure you ordered it!

Bæst, Guldbergsgade 29, 2200 Copenhagen, Denmark