I must admit I feel slightly stressed that it’s already the middle of July. In less than two weeks I go home to Sweden for two weeks and I have quite a lot to do before then, but the main reason I’m stressed is that I don’t want this lovely summer to end! It’s been so lovely and I want it to continue forever.
I’m really looking forward to my weeks in Sweden but London is lovely too at the moment. Last week was busy but fun and one of the highlight was definitely the RAF fly-over on Tuesday to mark their hundred year anniversary. Wow!
In the evening I met up with the girls at Chick ‘n’ Sours for nachos (probably the best ever), fried chicken, cocktails and of course a proper catch-up. It was much needed and so lovely!
On Thursday I was invited to Shakespeare’s The Tempest at an outdoor theatre in Covent Garden. Always nice with some culture!
And before the theatre we had a quick meal at cosy Polpo nearby. Love those meatballs!
Friday I had a (much needed) night in, with face masks, scented candles and a not great but fine rom-com.
The weekend was all about sport, apart from the Saturday evening which was all about Tim (the birthday boy) and the barbecue him and Laura had arranged. We had Pimm’s and snacks in the garden, followed by a barbecue complete with burgers and two types of sausages and finished off with proper American s’mores. Yum! When it got dark we ventured inside for board games and champagne.
Sunday started with a lie-in (yes!) followed by a whole afternoon in a lovely beer garden watching both the Wimbledon final and the World Cup final.
It was nice and relaxing with a glass of rosé in hand. Afterwards we went for a little walk, then headed back for homemade club sandwiches and the last episode of Billions. Can’t wait for the next season to start!
The past week was just glorious with blue skies, 25+C degrees and SUNSHINE! It’s sadly over now but it was wonderful as long as it lasted.
On Tuesday it was my turn to host the book group and I thought a summery lemon pasta (I will post the recipe soon) would be appropriate. It went down a treat together with a simple leafy salad and wild garlic bread. Marie-Louise brought a bottle of lovely champagne as well, so it was a rather festive Tuesday!
The next day was sunny and hot, so after work I took the river boat down the Thames and had the first glass of rosé of the season, overlooking the river.
On Friday a group of us had a lovely girlie evening at Gordon’s Wine Bar (where Laura expertly managed to get us a table as soon as we arrived!) with rosé, cheese and lots of chatting. So lovely!
The rest of the weekend was fairly quiet with lie-ins, pizza and champagne on Saturday night and a lovely pub lunch in the sunshine on Sunday.
The summer has paused (once again) here in London and I sincerely hope my two weeks in Sweden in August will make up for the lack of summer I’ve experienced so far. *crossing fingers*
Luckily, one can help summer along a little by cooking the most summery of recipes. If it tastes like summer IT IS summer, right?!
Noodles with fried squid, lime and mint tastes very fresh and reminds me of balmy nights. What better summer smell is there than the one of charcoal and meat juices?! This marinaded pork fillet with lemon and herbs is utterly delicious! And the easiest (and best) of summer puds is of course the humble mess. For a late lazy lunch with friends (and rosé!) this halloumi salad is easy to whip up.
Happy (make your own) summer!
That weekend in the countryside the maincourse was a buffet with plenty of options. We had sausages and burgers from Waitrose as well as chicken drumsticks with sweet chilli marinade and marinated pork fillet with lemon and herbs.
For the sausages and burgers we had buns, mustard, ketchup, mayo, sliced tomatoes, onions and pickles.
The other trimmings were a regular salad with avocado and spring onions, couscous salad with grilled peppers and chickpeas, bean salad with Dijon and feta, classic potato salad (with parsley instead of dill) and slaw.
Marinated pork fillet with lemon and herbs, serves 6-8
2 pork fillets/tenderloins approx 400 g each
150-200 ml mild olive oil
1 lemon, zest and juice
2 tsp honey
1 garlic clove
5-8 sprigs of thyme, leaves only
5 sprigs rosemary, chopped
Trim the meat of any fat/tendons and cut into 1 inch thich slices. Flatten them a bit. Season the meat.
Mix the marinade and cover the meat (either in ziplock bags or a ceramic tray/bowl. Leave to marinate in the fridge at least over night or for 48 hours. Barbecue.
The weekend before last a friend invited a group of us down to a very nice house in the country. Luckily the weather was good so we could enjoy the pool and play football on the lawn as well as drink wine and eat a lot. What more could one ask for?!
It was one of those wonderful weekends that fill you up with energy, although I have to admit I was a little tired when I got back to London because I took care of the cooking. It was good fun though and I don’t think there was any risk of anyone going hungry.
As we were lounging outside most of the day I thought it best with nibbles instead of a proper started and served three different ones; salmon rolls with horseradish, puff pastry straws with blue cheese, walnuts and honey and my take on bruschetta.
Then it was time for the big event – the BBQ. I had prepped drumsticks and pork fillet and we also grilled sausages and beef burgers. There were of course a lot of different salads and condiments; potato salad, bean salad with feta, slaw, salad with avocado and spring onions, couscous salad and ketchup, mayo, pickled, mustard, cheese, sliced onions and tomatoes.
After a proper break we finished the meal with Swedish mud cake, vanilla icecream, butterscotch sauce and berries.
Everybody seem to enjoy themselves and the food and it was good fun prepping it all too! Recipes will follow in separate posts.
I made these lovely rolls as a pre-dinner snack on Sunday when we were waiting for the barbecued meat. They are easy to make and you can fill them with whatever you want. I have made similar ones before with smoked salmon and horseradish, but these are even nicer.
I also made hummus at Emma’s request and we had radishes, carrot batons and cucumber to dip.
We barbecued both extremely tender slices of topside of beef and pork chops, served with bearnaise sauce, two-root slaw, asparagus wrapped in bacon and oven-roasted new potatoes.
Sunday was also Mother’s Day in Sweden so we had cake (made by mother though, not me, I was busy being hangover) and she made a classic cake for our family – lemon mousse roll. It is lovely and retro and a good tip is to make a bit too much of the lemon mousse so you can enjoy some on its own in a bowl with some fresh berries too. 🙂
Prawn rolls with caviar and red onion, serves 6 as an appetizer
6 soft wheat tortillas
1 red onion, finely chopped
100-150 g peeled icelandic prawns
Spread a thin layer of creme fraiche on each tortilla. Spread caviar on top of that. Scatter red onions and prawns on top and roll it tightly into a roll. Place on a plate and leave for an hour in the fridge. Slice in inch-thick slices before serving. Enjoy!