Norfolk, takeaway and a long weekend in Sweden!

APC_4749.jpeg

We were still in Norfolk on the Easter Monday. We went to the beach in the morning with the children and played in the sand. I even dipped my toes in the water but it was seriously cold! Afterwards we all had lunch together at the golf club before breaking up for the weekend.

APC_4809.jpegAPC_4836.jpeg

We stayed the whole day though, going to Sandringham, the Queen’s private residence, in the afternoon. It’s open to the public when the Queen isn’t there (she usually spends the winter months around Christmas there) and I was so happy to finally go. It’s been on my hit list for quite a while. And we really enjoyed our visit to the house, the museum and the lovely park and gardens. We even had time to peek into the church on the estate on the way home.

APC_4853.jpeg

Back in the house we packed our bags and emptied the fridge and made my best to use up as many leftovers as possible in a toasted sandwich I made us for supper. It had chicken, wild garlic mayo, Philadelphia, cheddar and parmesan in it and was topped with a fried egg. It turned out really great actually and perfect food before a long drive home.

Tuesday was a regular work day for me and in the evening I packed my bags once again, to go home to Sweden the following evening. As I was only home in London for a night I had a takeaway from Bleecker for supper.

APC_4854.jpeg

After work on Wednesday I flew home to Copenhagen (and then went across the bridge to Sweden). My parents and I had a late night cup of tea catching up before going to bed – a little tradition of ours. So cosy!

IMG_9495.jpegD857962C-A8F8-478F-902F-683FF5AD4CCA.jpeg

The next morning I had a lie in and just enjoyed having a day off at home with my parents. Mamma and I went shopping in a few nearby shops and bought nice local charcuterie for dinner. Afterwards we had grilled steaks and asparagus with roasted Amandine potatoes and homemade bearnaise sauce. Love dinners like that at home!

C1493068-E385-4DAF-958F-C8FED408216A.jpeg

 

On the Friday i had my hair cut and afterwards I had my favourite soft serve ice cream with daim sprinkles in the sunshine. For dinner I made roasted chicken with roast vegetables, a Greek-ish salad and tzatziki – proper summer food!

APC_5003.jpeg

APC_4992.jpegIMG_2350.jpeg

Om Saturday we drove to the summer house and harvested three (!) asparagus spears that we had for dinner that day together with store-bought asparagus and hollandaise sauce, oysters au gratin and smoked and regular prawns with homemade mayonnaise and wild garlic bread.

APC_5052.jpegIMG_4003.jpg

 

Sunday we had an impromptu photo shoot (you’ll see the result soon!) and I made chocolate covered meringue buns for dad because he likes them so much and they seemed fun to make! For dinner (before heading to the airport) we had mamma’s homemade meatballs (i.e. the best in the world!) with boiled potatoes, creamy gravy, pickled cucumber and lingonberry jam. Loved being home for a few days just spending time with the family! Need to do that more.

Malmö: dinner at cosy MJ’S

APC_1412.jpeg

One of the days before Christmas and New Year I met up with my childhood friend Therèse for dinner and drinks in Malmö.

APC_1415.jpeg

I was very curious to try MJ’S that I had heard so much about and Therèse is always up for trying new places so off we went. I actually got there early but checked with the restaurant if they could fit us in earlier and they could. In the meantime we had a drink in the bar and when our table was ready the waiter from the restaurant came to fetch us. Great service!

IMG_1591.jpeg

The bar area is dark and cosy with big leather sofa and luxe details but the dining room has a very different vibe. It’s a large atrium with almost a Mediterranean garden vibe. Even in the middle of winter! It’s super cosy and pretty and definitely have a wow factor!

APC_1431.jpeg

So cute! Love the pink walls.

apc_1423

The menu for the day we got there was very concise and consisted of only four dishes, either to order one by one or together as a menu. We were hungry and decided on the full menu. But with some dietary adjustments for me, which they handled very quickly and professionally. Did I say I liked the service here?

Anyway. My first dish (off menu) was this lovely aubergine with a spicy tomato mixture on top and with fluffy aioli on the side.

apc_1436

The next dish was on the menu and Therèse and I shared it as planned. The perfectly cooked cod with fennel and beurre blanc was very nice but not as interesting as some other dishes.

APC_1447.jpeg

Like the pork cheeks with pumpkin and sea buckthorn. A very unexpected combination that totally worked. Loved this!

APC_1450.jpeg

The pudding course was this blueberry sorbet on blueberry compote with shaved white chocolate and nuts for texture. A nice ending to our meal.

APC_1458.jpeg

I really like MJ’S and can’t fault it one bit. Fine, the food isn’t mind-blowing, but it’s really nice and experienced in this lovely atmosphere it’s perfect. The menu feels accessible for all guests (we saw children and old people here as well as people our own age) – which is very important since it’s a hotel – despite being a little bit different. The service is impeccable and the ambiance lovely.

Yes, I will be back.

MJ’S, Mäster Johansgatan 13, 211 21 Malmö, Sweden

New year, seeing friends and quiet days at home

APC_1576.jpeg

New Year’s Eve was a quiet affair, with a visitor from London, my best friend and her husband and daughter. The guys played golf during the day and as soon as they got back we had wine, champagne and nibbles and chatted away until the little one went to bed. That’s when we tucked into our three course dinner, cooked by me. For a full report, click here.

The following day we had a lie-in and breakfast with our hosts before going back to my parents’ house in the afternoon. We watched a film in the afternoon (which feels so indulgent!) and in the evening I made pizza for us all.

APC_1647.jpeg

APC_1652.jpeg

The next day we cosied up on the sofa in front of another film and braved the cold for a very short (but beautiful walk) before having another nice dinner with my parents.

IMG_2261.jpeg

After dropping my guest off by the train to the airport I toured around seeing friends. First lunch with one friend outside of Malmö, then tea and a catch-up with another friend in Lund and finally dinner with an old school friend and his family in the evening; also in Lund.

APC_1697.jpeg

The next few days I spent time with mamma and pappa. We had lots of lovely food, like lobster Thermidor one evening.

APC_1722.jpeg

The next day mamma and I (but mainly mamma) made English scones that we had with tea, clotted cream that I’d brought with me from London and mamma’s raspberry jam.

APC_1728.jpeg

In the evening we had dinner with lots of little bits; which we all love. It was ham and truffle salami left over from the pizza night, spicy chorizo, olive, cheese, bread and two different patées.

IMG_2458.jpeg

The Sunday was my last day in Sweden and to make sure we could have dinner together in the evening I had booked a late flight. I quite like flying late, making the most of the day.

Christmas celebrations and catching up with friends!

APC_1376.jpeg

After a hectic month with late evenings at work and a lot of social engagements I really enjoyed slowing down for Christmas. In Sweden we celebrate Christmas on Christmas Eve and this year we went to my uncle’s house for a big Christmas dinner.

APC_1385.jpeg

Christmas Day was a quiet one at home; reading cookbooks and eating sweets. We had cod and the best sauce for fish for dinner, followed by ice cream with caramel sauce.

IMG_1658.jpeg

I spent Boxing Day with my best friend. We met up around lunch time for some sale shopping followed by fika and in the evening we had fish tacos for supper. The next day I met another friend for dinner in Malmö (review to come) and we had a lovely time.

APC_1467.jpeg

On the Friday I met up with another friend, in Höllviken this time, at our favourite place. After a prawn sandwich and a nice catch-up I went to the hairdresser and did some food shopping for New Year’s Eve.

APC_1494.jpeg

Saturday was full on with three social visits after each other. But I got quality time with everyone and for that I’m so grateful. It’s quite tricky to get to see everybody because of different work schedules, family engagements and of course, flu season throwing a few spanners in the works. But I managed quite well this time. Didn’t get to see everyone but I will be back in the summer again.

IMG_2087.jpeg

The last day of the week I spent at home, but not so leisurely as I had a lot to get done before my guest from London was arriving in the evening. Lots of tidying and preparations for New Year’s eve. Mamma and I also made a really nice dinner; venison (will post the recipe) followed by tarte tatin. So yummy!

 

Christmas party, drones and Sweden

IMG_1152.jpeg

The last week in London before going home to Sweden for Christmas was probably the busiest week of all. Sometimes it seems impossible to plan things well no matter how hard you try.

So after a weekend in the country we drove back to London late on the Sunday night so I could be back for work on the Monday. That evening we cooked up a storm for the Christmas party the following evening. It’s not ideal to be away the weekend before hosting a party but we did best we could.

APC_1265.jpeg

The Tuesday Christmas party was great fun and it was lovely to see everybody before going home. Wednesday was then my last day at the office and it was a real scramble to finish everything off at work and pack for two plus weeks but somehow I managed. In the evening I went home to pack after work, with lovely company and champagne to make it more fun, before going out for dinner.

The next morning I was out the door early and although I had heard about the drones I made my way to Gatwick as my flight hadn’t been cancelled. But it was, halfway to the airport and so I turned around in my taxi while frantically booking a ticket for the following morning. When I came home I went straight to bed and slept for hours, but when the airport was still closed in the evening I decided to buy a ticket from Heathrow for the following afternoon. Lots of flights were full and the remaining tickets very expensive but I really wanted to go home which made it worth it.

IMG_1196.jpeg

That third ticket (the flight from Gatwick in the morning was cancelled) got me to Sweden. Finally! A day and a half later than planned. I had to cancel plans with friends and rearrange things and although the last thing I needed it all went well in the end.

IMG_1228.jpeg

It was lovely to get home to my parents and have dinner with them that evening.

IMG_1239.jpeg

The following day (Saturday) I drove to Helsingborg to have lunch with a bunch of childhood friends and their families and it was a lovely reunion. On the Sunday I finally unpacked, wrapped gifts, had glögg (Swedish mulled wine) and gingerbread with friends of the family and in the evening we had some traditional Christmas food. Because I could see this drone thing dragging out and making it difficult for me to get home I think I appreciated this visit home more than usual. It’s so lovely to be surrounded by dear ones at Christmas.

 

Recipe: tagliatelle with prawns, tomatoes and mushrooms

IMG_2735.jpg

I made this pasta with prawns, mushrooms and tomatoes back in Sweden in August for my parents and I for supper and we all really enjoyed it.

It feels fresh and light although it has cream in it and the prawns work so well with both tomatoes and mushrooms.

And it’s actually the tomatoes that steal the show for me! Look out for those little bursts of juicy sweet tomato that comes with almost every bite. I had the luxury of using my mother’s homegrown cherry tomatoes in different colours (they were delicious!) but any small tomatoes in season will work just as well (I’ve made this dish a few times since August using store-bought on-the-vine British cherry tomatoes).

IMG_2742.jpg

Tagliatelle with prawns, tomatoes and button mushrooms, serves 3-4

500 g fresh tagliatelle

1-2 shallots, finely chopped 

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

plenty of butter and neutral oil for frying

200 g chestnut mushrooms, sliced

50 ml dry white wine

150 g cherry tomatoes, cut in half

300 ml double cream

1/2 stock cube (fish or vegetable) 

400 g frozen Atlantic shell-on prawns, defrosted and peeled (or approx 250 g fresh ones) 

approx 2 tsp caster sugar

salt and pepper

chopped parsley

Fry onions and garlic in butter and oil on medium heat without browning. Remove from pan. Add more butter and oil to the pan and fry the mushrooms on medium-high heat until golden brown. Season and remove from pan. Add a little more oil to the pan and add the tomatoes and let them cook on medium geat for a few minutes. Add the wine and let some evaporate before adding cream and stock cube (no water). Stir and let the sauce thicken. Add onions, garlic and mushrooms and season to taste with sugar, salt and pepper (the sugar will balance the acidity from the tomatoes). You want the sauce to have depth and taste a lot as the pasta will dilute the flavours. Cook the pasta in a large pot and drain.  

Take the sauce off the heat and add the prawns. Stir and add the pasta. Mix properly so every strand of pasta is coated with sauce. Adjust the seasoning if needed. Top with chopped parsley and serve immediately.  

Recipe: garlic and herb sauce

IMG_7474.jpg

Growing up in the countryside in the south of Sweden I didn’t realise how lucky I was to grow up in such an idyllic place. Fast forward to present time living in a big city, where getting fresh herbs and locally grown vegetables can be quite tricky at times.

So my first night in Sweden this summer I cooked us a fairly standard summer meal of pork fillet, salad and potatoes. Normally I would cook the meat on the barbecue to get that charred flavour, but due to the first barbecue ban in my life time (even in your own garden – it was that dry) I had to make do with the stove and oven. And sitting outside in the sunshine it was still a lovely meal.

Mainly because of the sauce I literally threw together on the spot. It’s a simple cold sauce with mainly creme fraiche and a little mayonnaise as a base (us Swedes make sauces like this ALL the time), but what made it so nice was the mix (and quantity) of fresh herbs from the garden. An absolute treat for this city girl and something I used to take for granted when I lived at home.

IMG_7476.jpg

Garlic and herb sauce, serves 3-4

300 ml creme fraiche

2 tbsp mayonnaise (preferably Hellman’s)

1 tsp dijon mustard

1/2 tsp Acacia honey

3/4 small garlic clove, finely chopped

approx 3 tbsp finely chopped fresh herbs such as rosemary, sage, thyme and parsley 

salt and pepper

Mix creme fraiche and mayonnaise. Then add mustard, honey, garlic and herbs and leave for a while for the flavours to develop before serving. Season to taste.