New Year’s Eve, pizza and dinner parties!

The first week of January actually started in December. That Monday we had a lie-in and after a bit of NYE prep we went to see some friends for dinner.

We had a lovely time playing with the children, eating lots of good food and catching up with the adults. To start we had charcuteries and nibbles in the kitchen while the chef prepared our main course.

Which was pizza! With lots of cheese and mushrooms. Delicious!

And for pudding we had the most luxurious saffron ice cream with crunchy oats on top. Yum!

Next day was New Year’s Eve and I spent the day with my best friend and my god daughter playing and chatting (but also working so didn’t get as much quality time as I would have liked) while the boys were out playing golf. Once they were back we opened up the champagne and gathered around the kitchen island eating canapés and chatting while I occasionally stirred a pot prepping the rest of our dinner.

We had three nibbles, quite substantial as we started early and had dinner late, to accommodate a little lady’s bed time. The girolle toasts were requested by all and will probably be a firm NYE nibble from now on, but we also had the fried rice paper with salmon and mini rosti with bleak roe. So yummy!

The starter was of course lobster, but prepared a bit differently so will post the recipe later.

The main course was also classic with fillet of beef, mushroom and cognac sauce, pommes Anna, broccoli and charred spring onions. Really nice, if I may say so myself!

The pudding was a new version of baked Alaska, with dulce de leche ice cream inside. Recipe to come!

The next morning we had a lie-in and then I cooked us all poached eggs with pancetta, basically forcing our favourite couple onto our hosts, but they loved it (as we thought they would).

When we got back home we unpacked (I basically brought half of mum’s kitchen with me), settled in for a film and hang out with my parents. Then we had some bubbles and Jamon Iberico by the fire before dinner.

Which was pizza! It’s basically tradition to eat pizza on New Year’s Day but I prefer to make my own instead of buying it. I made four different ones and we were so full afterwards we postponed pudding until an hour or so later.

Pudding was homemade ice cream, crispy oat biscuits and chocolate sauce. So yummy!

The following day we hosted a dinner party, and mum and I both cooked making it so easy. I had prepared the crostini we had with some bubbly when our guests arrived. We had the Finnish-Russian mushroom spread and the Öjeby toast – both delicious!

Mamma made the main course, we had wild duck with all the trimmings, which was delicious as usual but I forgot to take any pictures of it. I did photograph the crème brûlée I made for pudding though. We served some saucy raspberries with it. Love this pudding so much!

The next day it was time for my boyfriend to go back to London so we made the most of the day; going for a walk in the woods, playing with the cats and had a late lunch with my parents. Mamma had made her famous (they are seriously the best!!) meatballs and we ate so much it was nice we had a drive ahead of us to digest the food.

When I got back we had some leftover pizza for supper while watching our favourite Swedish game show!

On the Saturday I had a full day with just my parents. We went to the cinema and saw A Piece of My Heart which was actually quite sweet. And quite good!

Then we had alll the seafood for dinner. Oysters au gratin, smoked salmon, langoustines, smoked prawns, homemade mayo, garlic bread. All delicious!

My last day in Sweden I hang out with my parents, packed my bags and just tried to get stuff done. Then we had roast chicken for dinner, before going to the airport. Two weeks just flew by! But I have all the memories.

Malmö, Sweden: Seafood Brunch at Johan P

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The Sunday before Christmas my best friend and I have each other the greatest gift; time. Almost a whole day together to just talk, laugh and hang out together. And eat of course. Because without food neither of us are particularly nice to be around.

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Too busy in the lead up to Christmas we hadn’t made a firm plan for where to eat, so when we walked past Johan P and saw that they a) were open on a Sunday (insert dance emoji) and b) were serving brunch, we thought it was meant to be.

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We settled in at our table and ordered some champagne to celebrate being together. Cheers, bestie!

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And then we started on the seafood. It was a lovely spread of fresh prawns, langoustines, king crab legs, prawns and crayfish in mayonnaise, sauces, herring, seafood paté, boiled eggs, hot and cold smoked salmon, cheese and bread.

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We sat there eating, chatting and drinking for hours and were so full of the cold stuff we didn’t have room for the warm fish and chips that was also included in the brunch.

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Everything was really nice and we loved to sample a bit of this and a bit of that as chatting away. We ordered more wine and the staff let us take our time.

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We took a little break to enjoy the wine and digest all the seafood and so enjoyed having a whole day together!

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It soon got dark and we were still there, having a jolly good time. And after our little breather we thoroughly enjoyed the pudding: a light as air deconstructed cheesecake.

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It was the perfect ending to our perfect day. Thanks, bestie!

Johan P, Hjulhamnsgatan 5, 211 34 Malmö, Sweden

Christmas in Sweden, food galore and catching up with friends!

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The last week in December was quite a sociable one! I was home in Sweden trying to relax a bit, celebrate Christmas and catchup up with friends.

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The day before Christmas Eve is our “mini Christmas” at home. We decorated the tree, wrapped the last gifts and had Christmas food for dinner. But first a G&T and some crisps by the fire.

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For dinner we had a small selection of traditional Christmas dishes, basically our favourites. Meatballs, cooked ham, rye bread, Jansson’s temptation and “brown” (caramelised) cabbage.

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Look at our pretty tree!

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On Christmas Eve we had leftovers for lunch (and herring for my parents).

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But in the evening we prefer more regular dinner party food (but still with a nod towards tradition). Christmas food is so heavy once is enough for us.

Our starter was my homemade beetroot cured salmon with prawns, dill cream cheese and a honey mustard sauce on butter-fried bread. Delicious!

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Followed by slow cooked venison tjälknöl (cooked from frozen) with dauphinoise potatoes, red wine sauce and cooked vegetables.

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For pudding we had both a cheeseboard and traditional rice pudding with lightly whipped cream folded in and berry sauce.

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And after that we had fruits and sweets. This day is all about eating…

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On Christmas Day we wanted something lighter and I assembled a little bruschetta bar with charcuterie, cured salmon, venison from the night before, cheeses and spreads.

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Boxing Day was a social day with fika at one set of friends, completely with homemade saffron buns, gingerbread and games with the kids.

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That was followed by dinner at another set of friends. We had prawns, eggs, quiches, salad and more.

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And ice cream for pudding! My friends are really spoiling me!

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The next day I hung out with my parents and in the evening we had leftovers. But first of course a G&T.

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Cured salmon toast with homemade mayonnaise.

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Venison, dauphinoise potatoes, red wine sauce and cooked vegetables.

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On the Saturday I met some friends for fika at Slättarps Gård (how pretty?!)…

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…and in the evening I had dinner with friends. Once again being spoilt!

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Sunday was spent at home with my parents and we had pork fillet with potato wedges and homemade bearnaise sauce for dinner. Afterwards I went food shopping for new year’s eve and picked up the boy from the airport. Can’t believe how quickly a week went past!

Prep, party and going home for Christmas!

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The third week in December was also a busy one. December is usually a crazy month, even though I try my best to prevent that from happening, I never seem to succeed.

Monday I went down to The New Forest for work (train lunch above) and when I got back to London in the evening I hit the shops for some last Christmas shopping. Thank god the shops are open in the evenings!

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The next day I worked from home and prepped for our party the next day. In the evening we went to a lovely drinks party and when we got back I continued the prepping.

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Wednesday night was our party and it was so much fun!! I didn’t take a single picture of people but snapped some of the food.

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The next day I worked from home again and we had leftovers for both lunch and dinner.

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In the evening a friend helped us eat the leftovers as he couldn’t make the party and the three of us had a lovely evening drinking champagne and stuffing ourselves.

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Friday night I flew home to Sweden and back home we had tea and sandwiches in the middle of the night.

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The next day I unpacked, wrapped Christmas gifts (which I love to do) and spent time with my parents.

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In the evening we made boeuf bourguignon and it was so nice to be home and have dinner with mamma and pappa.

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The next day I spent time with my best friend Emma  and we had a lovely brunch with allll the seafood and even champagne. So lovely to be reunited again!

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We had such a lovely day just hanging out and it was the perfect ending to a fairly hectic week.

 

 

Sweden: prawn sandwiches by the sea

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As you might have learnt from this blog, us Swedes LOVE seafood. I ate prawns every single Friday night through my childhood and I still love them. Like a lot.

So every chance I get to eat nice (cold water) prawns I take. Like when I was at home in Sweden in the summer and my parents suggested we try out the local café in Smyge (the most southern point in the country!) because their prawn sandwiches are talked about a lot and meant to be really good!

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So on my boyfriend’s last day visiting we had lunch there, in their cosy little garden a stone’s throw from the sea.

They offer prawn sandwiches in three different sizes and we all decided on medium as that looked pretty big to us. And what we received was the perfect specimens of a Swedish prawn sandwich. It had soft white bread that’s still sturdy enough to not go soggy, lettuce, a nice amount of mayonnaise and sliced boiled eggs and a small mountain of Atlantic prawns peeled by hand. And of course lemon, dill and tomato and cucumber slices as decoration.

So nice, and extremely filling! We only had a hot dog each for supper as we were too full to have something resembling a proper dinner. Great place!  Highly recommend. Especially when you can sit outside in the garden. Inside is quite rustic, but I can see it being cosy too.

Café Smyge, Smyge strandväg 4F, 231 78 Smygehamn, Sweden

Sweden: escaping the rain – lunch at Strandtugg

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I usually bang on about how great Swedish summers are to my London friends, and although that is completely true, we of course have some less glorious days too.

When the sky is dark and the clouds are brooding and you know the thunder and lightning are not far away. But the summer lover that I am, I refused to really believe the weather forecast and still met up with my childhood friend Henrik and his two children on the beach. Mainly because we didn’t really know what else to do!

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We managed a half an hour or so of playing in the sea and sand until the raindrops started to fall, in a rapid succession, so we packed our things and sprinted to the nearest place for shelter. Luckily the nearest place was a brand new (new for this year!) restaurant that were just about to start serving lunch. Perfect timing!

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So we installed ourselves at a table upstairs and had a lovely lunch as the storm continued outside.

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I had the weekly pasta which this particular week was tortellini with smoked salmon in a creamy sauce. It was nice-ish but nothing spectacular and I must admit I was a little disappointed and got a serious case of food envy when I saw Henrik’s Wallenbergare (basically a large meatball made with veal mince) with potato purée and lingonberries.

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He confirmed it was really good, and I know what to order next time. As we finished our lunch the storm had passed and the sun came out, so we did get that glorious sunny day after all. So we went for a walk and in search of ice cream!

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Apart from being a good place to shelter from thunder storms I could see myself sitting on the deck here drinking rosé and overlooking the beach on a balmy summer’s evening. Let’s make a plan for that next year!

Strandtugg, Östersjövägen 79, 236 36 Höllviken, Sweden

 

My second week in Sweden!

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The second week in Sweden by dear boyfriend came to visit. So on the Monday morning on my way to pick him up from the train from Copenhagen airport I stopped at Ikea to buy a few things. It was almost empty and a breeze  to shop (i.e. the opposite of the Ikea shopping experience in the UK!).

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After I had picked him up we drove into central Malmö and went for a nice walk in the sunshine to the west harbour, and afterwards we had lunch at Saluhallen, the foodhall. We shared a huge burger and a crab ravioli and neither of us could decide on what we wanted.

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In the evening we had dinner with my parents. Starting with bubbly and parmesan biscuits, then barbecued chicken (so yummy!) with slaw, crispy potatoes and tzatsiki.

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For pudding mamma had made crema catalana which we enjoyed with berries.

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The following day we had some friends coming for fika, and so to avoid a sugar overload we started with a savoury quiche and salad and then had a lovely apple and blueberry cake with vanilla and blueberry ice cream to finish. We played a bit with the children in the garden and had a lovely time catching up!

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In the evening we bought pizzas and had a very chilled night in watching a Swedish sing-along show (!) and a good documentary.

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The following day we had a morning swim in the sea and then started prepping for our little dinner party that evening.

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As a starter we had melon and prosciutto as well as a caprese salad and for the main course we had shrimp rolls, skin-on oven fries and a nice salad. For pudding I had made lemon posset that I served with whipped cream, apricots from the garden and blueberries. Such a lovely evening!

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Thursday my boyfriend played golf with my best friend’s husband and his dad most of the day so I met up with a childhood friend in the morning.

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We played on the beach with his children until suddenly a rain storm drew in, so we took refuge at a nearby restaurant that was just opening for lunch. As we had finished eating the dark clouds disappeared and we could go outside for a nice walk in the sun and an ice cream. After I had said goodbye to them I quickly went to the supermarket and stocked up for dinner that evening and then met up with my best friend Emma for a glass of wine while I was prepping dinner and we waited for the golfers to come back.

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To make it easier with my goddaughter’s bed time we had our started – the much loved bruschetta bar – before she went to bed, and the rest of the dinner after.

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So while my friends put her to bed I finished cooking the pasta carbonara with girolles and for pudding we had a lovely frozen daim cheesecake. It was one of those lovely evenings where you forget about time and just sit there chatting, laughing and sipping wine until you suddenly realise it’s late and we should all go to bed.

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We stayed over so the next morning I got to play with my goddaughter some more before we went back to the summer house. As it was my boyfriend’s last day in Sweden we made the most of the afternoon with a little outing to Smygehuk (the southernmost point in Sweden) where we had delicious (and huge!) prawn sandwiches, then went for a little walk and finished off with an ice cream before we went back home to pack.

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After I had dropped him off at the train to the airport I had a very simple supper with my parents; grilled hotdogs! We were still full from the prawn sandwiches so didn’t want a full-on dinner so sausages were perfect!

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On the Saturday I did some sunbathing before we went home to our other house to pick a few things up and get a few things done. In the evening my parents and I had a little mini crayfish party, as we all love seafood and especially crayfish at this time of year. First we had a girolle toast, then the Swedish crayfish with bread and cheese and aquavit!

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The next day (my last in Sweden, sob…) mamma and I went to a flea market where I bought some bouillon bowls and plates (I’m such a crockery addict!).

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Then I packed my bags while mamma and pappa organised fika for my best friend and her family, so I could see them one last time before I left. We had Danish open-faced sandwiches with prawns and brussels pate respectively and a chewy toffee cake with lightly whipped cream afterwards. It was a short fika but lovely seeing my friends and god daughter once more.

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The journey back to London was easy, so I hung out in the lounge a bit before my flight, enjoying a light supper of smoked salmon and potato salad before I boarded, already missing Sweden. Thank you for two lovely weeks! ❤️