Picnic, black tie party and concert!

IMG_0769.jpeg

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.

IMG_0577.jpeg

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

IMG_0585.jpeg

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!

IMG_0608.jpg

IMG_0618.jpg

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

IMG_0644.jpeg

IMG_0649.jpeg

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

IMG_0688.jpg

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

IMG_0684.jpg

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

IMG_0713.jpg

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.

IMG_0496.jpeg

IMG_0758.jpeg

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.

IMG_0523.jpeg

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

IMG_0783.jpeg

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

IMG_2978.jpeg

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.

IMG_2996.jpeg

IMG_0824.jpeg

IMG_0826.jpeg

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!

IMG_0864.jpg

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

IMG_0876.jpgIMG_0889.jpg

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

IMG_0973.jpeg

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!

IMG_1019.jpg

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

IMG_1021.jpeg

IMG_1023.jpeg

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

IMG_3031.jpeg

IMG_1167.jpg

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!!

IMG_1274.jpg

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

 

 

 

Recipe: Lobster soup with toast

nye7.jpg

For New Year’s Eve my assignment was to make a lobster soup with sherry, so that’s what I set out to do. But as I needed lobster shell for the stock I thought it best to incorporate the lobster meat as well and did so by serving a delicious lobster toast (on butter-fried bread!) along side it. So yummy!

Obviously one can make the soup sans toast the day after a lobster feast or freeze the shells and use them another day. Same goes for prawn shells; you find a great recipe for prawn soup here.

nye5.jpg

Lobster soup, serves 8

4 cooked lobsters

2 carrots

1 onion with skin on 

1 fennel or celery 

a bunch dill stalks

1 tsp fennel seeds

300 ml double cream 

50 ml dry sherry

approx 2 tbsp maizena or corn starch to thicken the soup

concentrated lobster stock (to taste)

———-

1 tbsp butter

a splash of sherry

2 shallots, finely chopped 

1/2 bunch dill, finely chopped 

Remove the lobster meat from the shells and set aside. Chop the shells very coarsley (it’s only so they fit better in the pan later). Place the shell in a large cooking tray with a little oil. Also add large pieces of carrot, onion and celery/fennel. Roast for approx 20 minutes on 180/200C. Transfer the shells and vegetables to a large saucepan with a lid. Add plenty of water (3 litres) and bring to the boil. Add dill stalks and fennel seeds. Place the lid askew and cook for 30-45 minutes.

Sieve the stock and reduce (high heat, no lid) until approx 1 litre remains. Add salt and pepper and taste. Add some concentrated lobster stock if needed. Add the sherry to a clean non-stick pan and let it bubble for a minute. Add the stock and cream and let it thicken. Add the maizena/corn starch to thicken the soup further. Sieve if you see any lumps. Season to taste with concentrate, salt, pepper and sherry. 

From the lobster meat I used approx 1/4 of the meat, the smallest pieces, to place in the soup bowls. Melt the butter in a pan and add the chopped shallots. After a minute add the lobster meat and add the sherry. Add salt and pepper. Remove the pan from the heat and add the dill. Divide between the bowls and pour in the soup. 

Lobster toast, serves 8

6 slices white bread

2 tbsp butter

remaining lobster meat from the 4 lobsters

1 batch homemade mayonnaise

1 tsp dijon

1 bunch, finely chopped

1 pinch cayenne pepper

salt, pepper

Chop the lobster meat (not too finely). Add 4 tbsp mayonnaise to a bowl and mix in the meat. Add more mayo if needed. Add mustard, dill and cayenne after taste. Season. Place cold until serving. 

Remove the crusts on the bread and cut into two diagonally. Fry the slices golden brown on both sides in butter on medium-low heat. Divide the lobster mayonnaise between the toasts and serve with the soup. 

A lovely weekend (with BBQ) in the country

IMG_8176

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.

IMG_8233

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.

IMG_8277

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.

The birthday party

Bubbles are a must!

As it was my birthday when I was in Sweden I thought I would tell you about my birthday party. It is always good fun to gather the friends and I had a fab time. Thanks guys!

The menu for the evening looked like this:

Ricotta stuffed mushrooms with lemon and persillade as well as mussels with aioli as nibbles

~~~

Salmon with pea mousse and crayfish tails

~~~

Venison and roast beef with potato parcels, Madeira sauce and carrots

~~~

Elderflower parfait with red currants

~~~

Chocolate cake

The recipe for the starter is from the book Gourmet food for a fiver by Jason Atherton. For once I actually followed the recipe but I realised I should have been a little bit critical and made it my own. It was still a fab dish, but it needs a bit more oompf to be perfect.

The main course was easy to serve since we plated the meats, potato parcels and carrots and had the guests pour the sauce at the table.

Elderflower parfait with homegrown red currants

Chocolate cake with the best chocolate frosting. Baked and decorated by my dear mama.

Apart from pictures of the food I would also like to share a few party snaps with you. It is after all the people that make the party. And this party was very fab indeed thanks to the fantastic guests. Recipes will follow in separate posts.

Cheers!

Hello, hello…

Me and my best friend!

Last night in pictures


Greetings from a foggy Sweden!

I arrived quite late on Wednesday night and marched straight into the kitchen to prepare some nibbles for Thursdays party hosted by my best friend Emma.

We had such a good night and I am so grateful so many friends could make it on a schoolnight. Thanks guys – you’re the best!

Below you can see some pictures from our fab evening, recipes to follow. Cheerio!

Quiche with blue cheese and leek

Meatballs with feta dip
 Polenta squares with marinaded pork fillet
Butternut squash soup shots

Soft gingerbread
Chewy chocolate cake with chocolate frosting
Saffron pannacotta with raspberries
Best friends together again!