Welcoming May!

Time flies even when it is lockdown, it seems. And although we can’t enjoy the arrival of May the usual way (with picnics and barbecues galore with friends and family), the passing of time seems comforting somehow. Life goes on. And we can celebrate it with the smallest of things. In solitary or over Zoom with friends. Using fresh local produce and eating seasonal. For me, food is so important right now and I’d like to share some of my favourite spring recipes with you here!

First up is this super simple and utterly delicious lemon and basil pasta courtesy of The River Café. It’s so good that when I made it for book club they all asked for the recipe and one of the girls cooked it three (!) times the coming week.

If you have the luxury of a garden, utilise it for cooking. Meat tastes best on the barbecue, even if you’re only cooking for one or two people. And this lemony marinade with honey and herbs is so easy to throw together but elevates your meat no end. Perfect for chicken and pork!

With barbecue meats you need a nice sauce and this garlic and herb (yes, that is the taste of spring to me!) one is super easy to make and is delicious with any oven roasted potatoes, or even chips.

One of my best recipes from last year was this charred and sticky barbecue chicken. It’s simply delish and I urge you to make it!

Although I’m super excited about barbecue season my enthusiasm for the asparagus season is still at an high and this recipe is just what I’m craving; cooked green asparagus with crispy pancetta and a buttery lemony hollandaise with chives. Yum!

This recipe is more for gatherings than lockdown, but scale it down and it’s the easiest starter: cooked asparagus to be eaten with your fingers and dipped in homemade lemon mayo! So delicious!

A Scandi classic that I love a bit extra at this time of year is the bleak roe pizza. It’s best as a starter although I wouldn’t turn down a whole one all to myself!

Moving on the sweet stuff. It’s still rhubarb season and luckily also ice cream season, so why not combine the two into this amazing rhubarb parfait?! It’s easier to make than ice cream (no churning) but so so good!

Another rhubarb favourite is this vanilla pannacotta topped with soft rhubarb. Just to die for and can be made well in advance!

The first British strawberries have arrived and although I prefer to eat the first ones with just during cream and sugar, after a while I like to mix it up, and this muscovado ice cream with lime marinated strawbs is just lovely on a sunny day!

Another spring favourite of mine, is this fantastic key lime pie! I can’t wait to make it this year!

Welcoming December!

It’s December! I don’t know how we got here so quickly but although this month is pretty exhausting I do love everything it has to offer. Christmas lights, Christmas parties, all the sparkle and festive cheer and of course the food. So I thought I’d share my best December recipes with you, in case you want to add a little Scandi twist to your celebrations. We have glögg (Swedish mulled wine), two recipes for gingerbread, lots of recipes with saffron, the best rocky road and so much more!

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But let’s start with a little cocktail! I made this clementine prosecco drink with rosemary last year for the book club Christmas dinner and it was a real hit! It’s festive and in my opinon the best way to start a Christmas drinks party!

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Another favourite are these mini Jansson’s temptationsIt’s a classic Swedish Christmas dish with grated potatoes and onion, cream and anchovies. I know it sounds weird but you got to try it if you even remotely like dauphinoise potatoes. It’s compulsory (in a big dish) at every Christmas smorgasbord and every family have their own version of it. This is how my mamma makes it and it is of course the BEST!

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Does making your own gingerbread seem daunting? Then this recipe is for you! It’s quick to mix together in a pan and after it’s chilled in the fridge over night all you do is cut it and bake it. No rolling, no cookie cutters needed. And they’re so so yummy! And highly addictive!

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But if you’re itching to use your cookie cutters (I am, love my little collection of traditional – and other – shapes!) then this is the best recipe to use. They’re quite subtle in flavour but absolutely delicious and the dough holds up really well. I have noticed though that it’s easier to use on some surfaces than others so try your way. And make sure you chill it in the fridge overnight!

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Another super traditional Swedish Christmas biscuit are these crispy almond biscuits that we fill with cream and jam. Again I have the best recipe for you (thanks to mamma again!) that never fails or sticks to the mould. They’re called mandelmussla (almond mussle or clam) in Swedish which is just the cutest name!

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Next I’m going to share some saffron recipes! It’s probably because of the saffron buns we eat at Lucia that makes us associate this lovely spice with the festive season, but I love anything saffron, like this cake with white chocolate for example! So nice (and easy to make!)!

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I also love this saffron cheesecake, which you can either serve whole or in little bites like I’ve done here!

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And of course this lovely golden saffron pannacotta!

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Moving on to the proper sweets, this rocky road with honeycomb is one of the best you can make. It’s super easy (just be careful with the honeycomb – or use a Crunchie bar or store-bought honeycomb) and really fun to make!

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And these toffees are amazing too! You need a good thermometer but other than that’s it’s super easy! And the toffees are silky and yummy; definitely worth making and they make lovely little gifts too!

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If you want to make your own mulled cider or Swedish glögg, you’ll find the recipes here!

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I thought I’d give you my favourite weeknight supper recipe too, while we’re at it. And it’s this kale soup with frikadeller (pork quenelles). It’s warming, wintery and obviously good for you with all that kale!

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But let’s finish this little peek into the archives with a lovely Christmas dessert; my Winter pavlova with clementine curd, clementines and pomegranate! It’s absolutely delicious and a lovely way to finish off any festive meal!

November already?!

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It’s November! Already?! October just sped past and now it’s time for one of my least favourite months. Why? Because it’s colder, darker, rainier and more depressing. BUT November is also leading the way to December and the holiday season, so I have learned that if I light as many candles as possible and concentrate on everything cosy and Christmassy then November isn’t quite so bad.

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And another good way of making November more bearable is through food. Warm hearty soups, some nice stews and a few sweets and it suddenly feels a lot better.

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So let’s start with the soups. A must in pumpkin season is of course this butternut squash soup with roasted garlic.

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Another lovely soup for this time of year is a real British classic; broccoli and stilton soup. So comforting!

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Obviously had to include my favourite soup; my best version of Jerusalem artichoke soup. It’s earthy, creamy and perfect for dinner parties and weeknights alike.

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Sweet potato soup with lemon grass is another lovely and warming soup you must try!

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And lastly we have the soup that is like a big warm hug in a bowl. Yes, it contains lots of melted cheese, but also healthy broccoli for balance. And it’s heaven!

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But we can’t survive November on soup alone. How about some pillowy gnocchi with the creamiest butternut sauce?! Delicious!

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And these venison patties with dauphinois potatoes and creamy mushroom sauce is the perfect Sunday dinner to impress your friends with, in a warming un-fussy way.

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Or make this slow-cooked lamb shank with herb polenta for ultimate comfort. Also perfect for a dinner party!

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And then we have the ultimate stew; Julia Child’s excellent boeuf bourguignon. So dreamy!

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For pudding what’s better than a Thanksgiving inspired pecan pie or pecan cheesecake?! Because nuts and caramel are the antidotes to dark November!