This year’s Christmas drinks party


I had some of the girls over for Christmas drinks the first Saturday in December and it was so much fun! Last year I had a larger gathering with both girls and boys, but this year I just didn’t have enough time or energy to prepare something big, but rather than not organising anything at all I preferred to scale it down. I do hope I have more time and energy last year for a proper Christmas party with lots of canapés, but I’m not making any promises.

To start with we had prosecco (and quite a lot of it!) and savoury canapés, starting with warm crisps with browned butter, grated comté, lemon juice and cress. I love these so so much! I know it’s making crisps even unhealthier, but it is so worth it. I mentioned the browned butter right?!


Thereafter I put out a little DIY project with crostinis. I had a large bag filled with crostinis and three jars on a silver tray with different spreads to put on top; bean spread with sage, hot smoked salmon spread (the girls favourite!) and a new version of chicken liver parfait (recipe to follow soon) and cornichons.


After that I passed around a board of prosciutto parcels filled with cream cheese mixed with chopped sunblush tomatoes. It’s the easiest recipe ever (three ingredients!) but always goes down well.


We then moved on to the hot food. First up were these puff pastry squares with mushrooms, grated cheese, creme fraiche and parsley. IMG_7468

Then the mini Janssons frestelse that all my London friends adore! Janssons frestelse is like a creamy potato bake (with grated potato) with anchovies. It sounds rather odd I know, but everyone who’s ever tried it loves it, I promise!


Having finished the savoury canapés it was time for the sweets and glögg! I put it all out on the table at once to people cook pick and choose. The rocky road I made this year is probably the best one yet (recipe to follow), mainly because it has honeycomb in it and it really works!! I also tried to pretty them pieces up with snowflakes (which I tend to use on everything this time of year!) and edible glitter.


I also served gingerbread with blue cheese, but this time I substituted Stilton for St Agur, which works even better.


I also made these mini saffron pannacottas that I like to make every year – I’m so lucky my friends are happy to eat! 



Pre-Christmas drinks (and nibbles)

IMG_9132The month of December was busy to say the least. So much so that I didn’t have time to update you on the blog on what I was up to.

One Sunday I had a bunch of friends over for drinks and canapés, some Christmas themed, some not. Some of my friends have dietary requirements that I catered for and it was a bit of a challenge to cater for a vegan, a coeliac and pregnant ladies all at the same time, but I seemed to pull it off!

We started with prosecco (and alcohol free alternatives) and savoury canapés. One one table I had made a little blini buffet that my guests could help themselves to whenever they liked. That way I wasn’t too stressed sending out trays of canapés. At the blini station I had proper homemade blinis, glutenfree pancakes and vegan pancakes as well as lots of toppings (cured salmon, creme fraiche, caviar (not the fancy stuff), chopped onions, aubergine ‘caviar’ and marinated beetroot).

IMG_9141The first savoury canapé was these rolls with cream cheese, sunblush tomatoes and basil. So easy to make ahead of time.


Next up was baked aubergine with saffron yoghurt and pomegranate seeds.


Vegan truffled mushrooms on crostinis – recipe to follow later.


And lastly, warming pots with Jansson’s temptation, a classic Swedish Christmas dish consisting of grated potatoes and onions, anchovies, cream and breadcrumbs on top. I love that all mu non-Swedish friends adore this. Most of my guests had two each!

IMG_9163In the transition from savoury to sweet I replaced the blini station with gingerbread (regular, vegan and gluten free ones) with Stilton, sweets, chewy chocolate cake (including a vegan and gluten free one that didn’t turn out very well). Jenny brought some vegan mince pies with filo pastry that were put out too, they were delicious! And of course, we had some homemade glögg (sweet mulled wine) with the gingerbread.


Lastly I brought out rice pudding the way we eat it on Christmas Eve; cold and mixed with whipped cream. I served it with defrosted berries mixed with some icing sugar.

I had so much fun at this gathering, and I hope my friends did too! Preparing most of it ahead of time meant I could mingle and drink prosecco like every body else.

Glögg party


December was as usual crazy busy but I am glad I managed to squeeze in a little glögg party for a few friends one Sunday afternoon. It was windy and rainy outside so I had both mulled cider and homemade Swedish glögg (sweet mulled wine) to offer the guests when they arrived.


I also made some lussekatter that we eat in Sweden on and around the 13th December when we celebrate St Lucia. They’re sweet buns with saffron rolled into certain shapes. As I was running out of time I also made some plain rolls with sugar pearls on.


As a nod to the Christmas ham we have in Sweden for Christmas I applied the same mustard topping to a pork fillet which I then sliced and serve with a dollop of slaw with apple.


These pixie potato bakes with anchovies are surprisingly popular among by British friends and one of my Christmas favourites too. 


Homemade ginger thins with Stilton is a must with glögg.


These crispy little almond shells are divine and best served with lightly whipped cream and strawberry jam. I brought the leftovers along to work and my colleagues (who also loved these) dubbed them a Scandinavian cream tea, which actually hadn’t crossed my mind before as for me they are a pure Christmas treat.


The pork fillet with apple slaw was a real hit so I am happy I added a few substantial savoury nibbles to the sweet spread.

You find the links for the recipes in the text above and the new ones below.

Pork fillet with mustard spread, makes about 35 canapès

1 pork fillet/pork tenderloin, approx 400 g

butter and neutral oil for frying

salt, black pepper

50 ml English mustard

1 egg yolk

1 tbsp caster sugar

1 tbsp crisp bread crumbs

Remove and tendons and fat and brown on all sides in oil aand butter on high heat. Add salt and pepper. Place in the oven at 180C for 15-20 minutes. 

Mix mustard, egg yolk, sugar and bread crumbs in a bowl. Remove the pork from the oven and put the temperature on 200C. Spread the mustard paste onto the top of the pork and put it back in the oven for a further 5 minutes, until the mustard paste looks cooked and a little blistered. Remove from oven and leave to rest. Slice thinly and serve a dollop of slaw on each slice as a canapé. 

Slaw with apple, for 35 canapès

1/2 celeriac

2 large carrots

2 apples

3-4 tbsp Hellman’s or homemade mayonnaise

1/2 lemon, the juice

salt, white pepper

Peel and grate the root veg and apples. Mix the mayonnaise with lemon juice in a bowl. Add the grated mixture bit by bit and work the mayonnaise into it. It should just about hold everything together. Add salt and pepper. Place a dollop on each pork fillet slice and serve as a canapés.

Advent gathering

The first Sunday of Advent is special to me, and I like to invite people over to celebrate it with Swedish glögg and plenty of nibbles.

Unfortunately I was too busy in the kitchen to have time to take pictures of everything, but at least a few things got caught by the camera.

For the first time ever, I made my own glögg, which is basically a sweeter version of mulled wine, served in little cups wit almonds and raisins.

I love it, and you can have white or red glögg although the red one is more common. I also made mulled cider which is a bit drier, although still sweet, so that was why I served mainly savoury nibbles this year.

We had mini potato bakes with anchovies (it is a lot nicer than it sounds, promise), meatballs and pickled beetroot on scewers, dates wrapped in bacon, ginger thins with Stilton (great combo), clementines and a soft gingerbread cake with frosting (recipe to follow). I also made a little spread with potato, hardboiled eggs, herring, dill, chives, mayonnaise and creme fraiche, knows as old man’s spread. A dollop of that on crisp bread is delicious.

Homemade glögg, 70 cl

Translated and adapted from this recipe.

1 bottle red wine

1 whole cinnamon stock

20 cloves

1 tsp ground ginger

4 cardamom kernels, crushed

300 ml caster sugar (start with 200 ml if you don’t want it too sweet)

1 tsp vanilla

some grated lemon zest

Pour the wine into a large sauce pan. Add the spices and leave it for at least an hour and a half. Before serving, add the sugar and vanilla and heat it up without boiling. Pour through a sieve to remove the spices. Serve in a small cup (espresso size) with almonds and raisins.

Mulled cider, 2 litres

2 litres dry cider

1 vanilla pod, cut in half lengthways

2 tbsp brown sugar

2-3 star anise

2 tsp ground cinnamon

orange or lemon peel

Place everything in a large saucepan and heat up. Serve without the spices.

Christmas meatballs, makes 50

500 g beef mince

500 g pork mince

2 eggs

150 ml breadcrumbs

100 ml cream

1 onion, finely chopped or 1 tbsp onion granules

2-3 tsp salt

white pepper

1,5 tsp allspice

Pour everything but the meat into a large bowl. Mix and let it sweel for a few minutes. Add the meat and mix it throughly with a wooden fork. Rinse your hands in cold water and roll into smallish meatballs. Fry in the oven or in a frying pan until cooked through Serve hot or cold. Place a meatball on a toothpick together with a wedge of pickled beetroot for a simple canapé.

Old man’s spread (Gubbröra), makes 30 canapées

2-3 medium potatoes, cooked, cold and chopped

1 jar matjes herring, chopped

2 hardboiled eggs, cold and chopped

4 tbsp mayonnaise

4 tbsp creme fraiche

1/2 bunch dill, finely chopped

1/2 bunch chives, finely chopped

Mix creme fraiche and mayo in a bowl. Add the other ingredients and mix. Break crispbread into small pieces and place a dollop of the spread on each. Serve straight away as the crispbread will soften from the moisture.

Bacon wrapped dates, makes 18

18 pitted dates

9 slices smoked streaky bacon

Cut the baconslices in half. Wrap a bacon piece around each date, fasten with a toothpick. Place in a baking tray and bake for 15 minutes in 200C until the bacon is crisp. Serve while hot.