New Forest, cooking and Easter in Norfolk

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Our girlie weekend ended on the Monday morning when Therèse went back home to Sweden and I went to the New Forest with work (and had a nice breakfast with my favourite sandwich on the train: baguette with salami and wild garlic mayo!) where I stayed the night to be as efficient as possible.

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It was good weather and the animals roaming free always put a smile on my face.

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Tuesday evening I got back to London, ordered a poke bowl for supper and had some Swedish chocolate for pudding as I watched Grey’s Anatomy before going to bed early.

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On Wednesday I packed my bags once again, to go to Norfolk for Easter. And I really got into the cooking groove as I made a two course dinner for myself, just because I felt like it. Wild garlic soup to start followed by mac ‘n cheese. Yum!

Thursday I did some errands and worked until I was sitting on the train north. Most of my carriage was party central so I plugged in my headphones and listened to podcasts instead. For dinner we had spaghetti bolognese and a lovely glass of wine. (Much needed after that train journey!)

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The following morning I was woken up by my boyfriend’s cute nieces who wanted me to come with them to soft play (which was really fun but also felt like a proper workout – lots of running around!). Afterwards I had lunch at the golf club and a nice walk on the beach before we did some food shopping and prepared dinner that I cooked for everyone.

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We had asparagus with wild garlic mayo and parmesan, lemon and thyme chicken with roasted new potatoes and jus and dulce de leech cheesecake with whipped cream and raspberries for pudding.

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We had a nice little lie-in on the Saturday and had breakfast outside in the sunshine before I had my first ever golf lesson followed by lunch at the golf club (once again).

After lunch I walked around the whole course while the others were playing and in the evening we all went out for dinner at a cosy pub.

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On Easter Sunday we all went to church in the morning, then the children had their Easter egg hunt when we came back and after that we did presents and brunch in the garden.

In the afternoon I decorated some Easter cookies with the girls, using pastel coloured icing and sprinkles. Great fun for them, and me!

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In the evening we had roast lamb with perfect roast potatoes, vegetables and jus. Such a lovely evening!

 

Holiday!

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Having only been back in London for a few days, my holiday last week is already starting to feel like a distant memory. But luckily I can re-live it when writing about it here on the blog.

The week before Easter was much less fun. I was ill and still had a lot to do at work, so it was a real push. By Thursday evening I was so happy I was feeling a little bit better and could meet my friends who were in town for a light supper at Barrafina (a good start on my tapas journey!). Good Friday I packed and met a friend for lunch at Rail House Café and then early early on the Saturday I flew to lovely Seville!

It was lovely to feel the sun on my face, inhale the wonderful scent of orange blossoms and have eight unplanned days in front of me. I ate very well, walked lots and discovered what the city had to offer. I also slept lots, read books by the pool and just took it easy.

I spent the last two days in Málaga and continued my explorations. Now it’s back to normal; work, dinner parties and this weekend an old friend from Sweden is coming to visit.

Recipe: asparagus with chopped egg, browned butter and lemon

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Easter was all about about asparagus (and wild garlic) for me. The first asparagus of the season had arrived in the UK before I left for Sweden so I brought two nice bunches home with me. And then we found some lovely Italian asparagus in the supermarket so obviously had to buy that too!

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The first time we kept it simple and ate them with homemade hollandaise sauce. The second and third lots were served with wild garlic mayonnaise (it’s SO good!) and on Holy Saturday we made this dish with chopped egg, browned butter and lemon.

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Asparagus with chopped egg, browned butter and lemon, serves 4

12 asparagus 

2 almost hard boiled eggs, chopped 

50 g butter

1/2 lemon

2 tbsp chopped chives 

4 radishes, thinly sliced

salt, black pepper

Place the butter in a saucepan on medium-high heat. Let the butter melt but leave it until it’s foamy. Remove from heat when it’s a nice medium brown underneath the foam and it smells nutty (and divine!). 

Cook the asparagus in boiling water until al dente (approx 3 mins). Drain and place the asparagus on a plate. Season. Add the chopped egg and spoon over the browned butter. Add plenty of lemon juice. Season again and top with chopped chives and sliced radishes. 

Easter at home

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Happy Easter!

I got back from Sweden last night after ten wonderful days with friends and family. I didn’t get to see everyone I wanted to see, but I’m starting to learn that I never have that much time when I go home. And I’m happy I managed to squeeze in as much as I did.

I ate a lot of pick ‘n mix and cooked a bit, met up with friends and got invited over to theirs for lunches and dinners. And I got to enjoy the fresh countryside air, pick wood anemones in the woods and unwind a little.

Here are a few pictures from the trip and I will post a lovely recipe later in the week!

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Our Easter dinner on Holy Saturday; plenty of eggs and herring!
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Champagne, nibbles and quality time with my dear parents.
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British asparagus! with homemade hollandaise sauce – SO good!
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“Our” woods
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Picking wood anemones
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Rhubarb meringue pie – our new favourite pudding!

Trattoria Caminetto d’Oro, Bologna

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Our first day in Bologna (Good Friday) we walked all over town to explore, but despite the many restaurants here we really struggled to find a nice place for lunch in the area where we were. After a while we settled for Pizzeria Trattoria O Sole Mio, where we had an OK lunch. I had a pizza with plump porcini mushroomsch and Caroline had gramignone pasta with salsiccia and copious amount of cream. Nothing to write home about but just what we needed.

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Our dinner that day was a little more exciting, as we had booked a table at Trattoria Caminetto d’Oro. The menu looked really good so we decided to share two starters to get to taste as much as possible. But first we had the amuse bouche above; a fish mousse with fennel I believe.

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One of the starters was this potato filled ravioli with pecorino and black truffle. It was absolutely delicious and just the type of Italian food I had been dreaming about before our trip.

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The second starter was the daily smoked fish: seabass, with finely chopped vegetables, orange peel, rosemary and thyme. Absolutely delicious! I must remember to pair orange with fish, it works so very well!

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I never tire of truffle so I chose the poached egg with parmesan, white truffle, purple potato purée, croutons and a whole artichoke for my mains. Everything was delicious but it was a dish that you ate in sections because of the artichoke, but still lovely.

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Caroline tried the ‘traditional boiled meats’, which was similar to a pot au feu, tender meats in a deliciously flavoured broth. Very filling though as some of the meat was sausages.

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It came with two sharp sauces, to cut through the richness of the meat; one with herbs and one with chilli, both really nice.

We really enjoyed the food, but the service could have been better. The sommelier was not helpful at all, and actually quite rude. The saving grace was the restaurant manager/owner who really did a great job, but he should hire better staff!

Worth a visit.

Caminetto d’Oro, Via de’ Falegnami 4, Bologna, Italy 

Italy in spring

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For Easter my friend Caroline and I went to Italy, to enjoy glorious spring weather and eat copious amounts of pasta. That’s our type of holiday.

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We spent most of the time in Bologna, in the Emilia-Romagna region, but we also drove to Modena, Cierva and Ravenna. Driving in Italy was an, ehum, experience but we got into it after a while.

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It was lovely to see all the fresh produce at the greengrocers. Bright red tomatoes, asparagus and courgette flowers made the mouth water, and strawberries were in season too!

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We of course enjoyed pasta, cheese and charkuteries as well. And fish and seafood.

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Just a change of scenery and pace was lovely, but also to enjoy some sunshine and be able to sit outside was amazing. I’m such a spring and summertime person I feel I came alive again!

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I have plenty to tell you about the restaurants we went too, so hope you’re up for a few posts on Italy!

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My Swedish Easter

I hope you have had a wonderful Easter. Apart from snow (!) and cold winds my Easter back home in Sweden was fantastic.

I got to hang out with my friends, spend time with my parents, go for walks, eat lots of nice food and just relax a bit.

When I got home on Good Friday my Easter egg was full of sweets, exactly like I hoped it would be. My mother painted this egg for me when I was a little girl obsessed with the colour pink. It is my favourite Easter egg, but a purple one my grandmother made is almost as nice.

My mother has still got some Easter eggs from when she was a little girl (yes, we like traditions in my family). Aren’t they nice? Well kept since they’re from 1959 and 1960…

Although the weather was pretty bad mum and I managed to go to the woods and pick some white anemones. It is proper spring when they’ve come out!