Saturday, 22 September 2012

National Cupcake Week - Vanilla Cupcakes with Haribo Candy Fluff Frosting

This week being the national cupcake week, I was inspired, to bake some cupcakes today, by my friend who decided to make cupcakes every day of this week. Very ambitious!! I decided to make cupcakes today, especially as it is the cake and bake show tomorrow. I am setting the mood already today by baking :)


Cupcakes come usually with some sort of frosting. The usual one is the butter cream frosting or the cream cheese frosting. I am not a big fan of both of these. However, I have discovered something called fluff. You can basically make anything into a fluff. So I decided to make haribo candy fluff. 

There are different recipes of how to make this fluff. The one I used is as following:


Ingredients: 3 dl double cream, 80 g of haribo mix candies.

Process: Heat up the double cream in a saucepan but do not let it boil. Put in the candies and stir until the candies have melted. Put the mix in the fridge and let it set for about 4-6 hours. After the mix is set, whip the mix with a little but more double cream until it becomes fluffy.

The recipe for the actual cupcake, I used Mary Berry's perfect Victoria sandwich recipe which I have tasted before and it is really good. The cupcakes were delicious and I simply decorated them with some princess sprinkles.







Friday, 21 September 2012

Swedish Cinnamon Rolls (Kanellbullar)

 I am finally done with the baking for today. I baked some cupcakes and Swedish cinnamon buns (kanelbullar) which are the best cinnamon buns in the world according to me. 



The idea is to take some of these delicious buns to the cake and bake show tomorrow and invite Eric Lanlard to try one :) We will see how that goes.

A recipe will come later for these delicious buns. They take such a time to bake, but I love how they make the whole house so fragrant of delicious cinnamon and they are at the best when you enjoy them with a nice cup of hot tea, yum. I love the sugerpearls on top. I have asked friends from Sweden to bring them for me when they come and visit me as I haven't seen them here in UK. Anyone who knows where I can find them in London area?

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Homemade Beef Burgers - Recipe

I love beef burgers, especially making my own burgers. Ever since I show one of these documentaries on what the food companies put into their beef burgers I stopped buying them and decided to make my own. Although it can be a little more expensive, it is totally worth buying the meat and make your own beef burgers, at least you know exactly what they are made of!

There are many different varieties of beef burgers and what to put into them, and this is just one of my many recipes of how I make them. You can put as much and as little into the mix. This time, I used very little ingredients :) Usually I love to stuff the meat with veggies. This is recipe for today:


Serves 3-4
Ingredients:
300-500 grams of minced beef ( I always go to the butcher and choose a nice beef steak and let them mince it for me once)
1 onion, half chopped, half sliced
dried parsley
salt and pepper to taste
ground garlic, 1/5 tea spoon
roasted paprika powder, 1/5 tea spoon
olive oil, 3 table spoons
worcester sauce, few dropps
asian spice mix, 1/5 tea spoon

Usually, you should use an egg and some flour to make the meat bind well, but I skipped it this time. You also need: tomatoes, lettuce, onion (I used roasted onions), cheese, beef burger dressing and ketchup for putting it together.


Process:

1 - Heat up the oven t200°C/400°F/Gas 6.
2- Mix all the ingredients for the burgers and shape them rounded. Put them on an oiled oven tray and put them in the oven until golden brown. If the tray gets watery from the burgers, I just take out the tray, pour out the water and put it back in the oven until done.
3- Let the meat rest for few minutes and then put it together with the tomato, onion and lettuce, dressing, ketchup, cheese and serve it with coleslaw and french fries.

Enjoy!


Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Roasted vegetables and chicken - Recipe

One of my all time favorite dishes is the roasted vegetables with chicken. It is very easy to make and a perfect healthy meal which can be served as it is or with fish, chicken or meat, or as I love to serve; with couscous and a nice fresh yogurt dip with herbs, yum!

Sometimes, I get tired of rise, pasta, bread and "heavy" foods. So, I like to make roasted veggies as it fills me, but doesn't give me that stuffed and bloated feeling afterwards. This time, I made extra so I could take some for our lunch the day after. 


Serves 3-4

Ingredients:
9 potatoes, diced
1/2 big leak, sliced
1 fennel, sliced
3 carrots, sliced
3 chicken breast, diced
olive oil

Spices: roasted paprika, mix of peppers, salt, cumin, herbes de provence, dried parsley, mild curry.




Process:
1- Put the oven on 200°C/400°F/gas 6.



2- Slice up all the veggies and put them in an oven tray, pour olive oil and spices over it and mix everything so everything gets coated in the olive oil and the spices. Put tray in the oven and let the veggies roast for about 1 hour or til they've got a nice golden color and are cooked well.


Usually, I love having courgette, aubergine, garlic, butternut squash etc in the veggie mix, but I just had these at home and used them. Jamie Oliver has a great recipe on roasted veggies which I simply love.

3- Cut the chicken breasts in 2 pieces, and coat them with the olive oil and the spices as well.

I prepared everything in 2 oven trays. One for only the veggies and one for the chicken mixed with the veggies. I put them both in the oven for about 50-60 minutes until the veggies and the chicken were cooked well.

Very useful if you invite vegetarian friends for diner or you're on a healthy diet.

Enjoy !


Top tray with just veggies and bottom tray with veggies and the chicken.

Fruity Smoothie - Recipe


Sometimes I feel like having something sweet, fresh and creamy but I am not talking about candies or sweets. I am talking about smoothie :) One of the best drinks (?) ever that you can do in so many different way and yet always be so tasty. I was craving this smoothie when I was watching the food channel and one of the chefs did it to take it to a picnic. Now the weather is getting worse here in UK so there won't be any picnics here, but it did not stop me from having a delicious, summery smoothie :)


It is soo simple to make that every time I make it, it surprises me that I don't do it more often. Now I don't have an exact measurement of all the ingredients that went in this smoothie but will try to make a approx. recipe for this particular smoothie.

Ingredients:

1 kiwi
13-15 strawberries
2 bannas
half cup Greek yogurt
1/3 of a glass of summer fruit juice
honey to sweeten it
some milk to get the right consistancy


Process:

1- Put all the ingredients in a liquidizer and waz it up as Jamie Oliver would say :)


2- Taste it and put in more of the ingredients that you feel are required to get the right taste.




Enjoy !

Sunday, 16 September 2012

The Cake & Bake Show 2012


Finally it is only one week left to The Cake & Bake Show 2012, which is an event dedicated to the world of cakes, breads and the art of baking. It will take place between 22-23 September at Earls Court Brompton Hall. When a friend of mine mentioned she had 2 tickets for this show, I instantly wanted one of tickets and couldn't wait for it. Baking is another passion of mine and I love to bake, especially if it has chocolate in it :)



This will be my first event regarding food and baking. I am truly looking forward to meet and listen to some of the famous speakers such as Marry Berry and Paul Hollywood  which are the judges on the famous baking show Great British Bake Off and of course Eric Lanlard! I love watching Lanlard's show "Baking Mad with Eric Lanlard". He's cupcakes and cakes looks absolutely divine and so delicious.
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So next Saturday I will at the Cake & Bake Show and will def blog more about it afterwards. I hope there will be a lot of sweet cakes and bread to nibble on :)
I will try to buy some new baking tools and hope to learn new techniques regarding baking bread and cakes and of course, have a great time !

Crispy Crostini with Tomato & Mozzarella - Recipe



Yesterday evening I felt a bit peckish and wanted something with bread and easy to make. So I thought, what could be better than crostinis. It is super simple to make and tastes great. Best thing is that is very filling as well. Crostini works as starters, as a simple lunch or something to have late at night. The varieties of crostinis are endless and you can have it whenever you want!




Serves 2


Ingredients:
5 slices of garlic bread
2 tomatoes, sliced
1 mozzarella ball, sliced
a pinch of dried basil
fresh basil for garnish


Process:

1- I bought the sliced garlic bread which already has a spread of butter and herbs, from the refrigerated section in our local supermarket. 



2- Then, I put on top the sliced mozzarella and tomatoes. A pinch of dried basil over the slices and then put it in the oven (200° C) until the cheese has melted and the bread crispy brown. Garnish it with fresh basil on top.





Enjoy :)

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Beef Tacos with Salsa - Recipe


One of my favorite stores here in UK is TIGER which is a Scandinavian store with lots of fun and stylish products. One thing I particularly love about that store is the wide variety of spices they sell. Today I went to buy 3 different spices, dried basil, dried dill and of course the taco spice mix (1£/ each). This mix gave me the idea of making the super simple dish, tacos, as we say in Sweden. It is a tex mex inspired dish wish is easy to make and doesn't need to much effort or time.  




Serves 3-4

Ingredients: 
500 g minced meat (I used beef)
4 big tomatoes, shopped
2 onion, shopped
2 bell pepper, shopped
1/2 cup of sweet corn
dried basil, 1 tea spoon
lemon juice from 1 lemon
salt to taste

parsley
1 avocado, diced
3 table spoon olive oil
3 table spoon tomato puree
tortillas and tortilla chips
soured cream
2 table spoon of tacos spice mix
1/2 cup of water

Process:

1- I began doing the salsa which is very simple as you simply chop the ingredients for the salsa and mix them. These are: tomatoes, 1 onion, parsley,  1 bell pepper and avocado. I added salt, lemon juice and dried basil and put it in the fridge.



2- Now for the tacos sauce, I simply fried the minced meat in some olive oil over medium heat until brown and crumbly. If the pieces are to big, you can break it up with a spoon. Then I added chopped veggies such as bell pepper, parsley, sweet corn and fried it for few minutes. Then added the tacos spice, salt, tomato puree and the water and let it simmer for about 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.


3- When the tacos sauce was done, I served it with the salsa, tortillas, chips and soured cream. It was very filling and tasty!

Usually in Sweden, we would chop up veggies such as: tomatoes, cucumber, lettuce, sweet corn and put them in separate bowls and serve it with guacamole, soured cream, meat sauce, salsa sauce and of course grated cheese. I have spent many fun nights with friends doing this delicious yes simple dish :)

Another great recipe that I will shortly try out is the beef tacos recipe by allrecipes.co.uk. But if you don't like beef and prefer chicken instead, then I suggest that you make Jamie Oliver's Chicken Fajitas with homemade guacamole and salsa. It is absolutely tasty and great for a Friday night in front of a great movie :) 


Enjoy :)

Monday, 10 September 2012

Pasta with creamy coconut chicken curry sauce - Recipe

Today I made a very tasty and creamy pasta with a coconut chicken curry sauce. When I used to live in Sweden, me and my girlfriends used to do this dish often and loved it. It is perfect comfort food when you want something creamy but not a heavy dish. I do this dish often when I am alone and want something quick yet creamy and very delicious. I have read online that this dish might sound weird and  a bit of a cultural clash with the pasta and curry sauce. But I find it very well complemented and the coconut milk makes it creamy and gives it a nice round curry taste reducing the strong curry flavour.

When family came for a visit yesterday, we went for a nice picnic in the park. We needed to do something quick, so I made my fast food pizzas. We bought 4 pizza bases and for the topping I used, squash, paprika, mushrooms, tomatoes, chicken and onions. It was delicious!

So for today, I had some diced chicken leftover from yesterday and decided to make this creamy pasta with curry sauce. The recipe is easy to make and it doesn't require much time to prepare and cook.


Serves 4

Ingredients:
500 g pasta of choice (I used twist pasta)
3 chicken breasts, diced 
2 table spoons vegetable oil
1/2 squash,diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
3 small scallions (any onion can be used instead), chopped
1/4 cup of sweet corn
1 can of coconut milk, 400 ml
1 table spoon curry powder
2 tea spoons thai red curry paste (Sainsbury's)



Process:
1- Start by cooking the pasta according to the instructions on the package.

2- Heat 2 table spoons of vegetable oil in a big pan and add the diced chicken and let it cook until golden brown. Add the squash, bell pepper, sweet corn, scallions and curry powder and fry everything together on medium heat until evenly cooked.

3- Add the coconut milk and thai red curry paste and let it simmer for 15-20 minutes until the curry sauce has reduced a little to a creamy and thick consistence. 

4- Serve the curry sauce with the pasta.


Saturday, 8 September 2012

Delicious Lasagna & Fresh Green Salad - Recipe

Yesterday I wanted to make something really tasty and creamy, so I instantly thought of Lasagna. It was also requested by the family, so lasagna it was! I went to buy lasagna sheets and tomato sauce, as I would not have time enough to make my own tomato sauce which I usually do myself (that will be another blog post). This is a recipe I always follow whenever i want to make a quick but delicious lasagna together with a fresh green salad. Hopefully you would give it a go :)

Serves 4

Ingredients: 
12 Lasange sheets

For the Meat Sauce:
500 g tomato sauce (I'm using onion and garlic tomato sauce from Iceland)
Ca 300 g minced beef
2 table spoon of olive oil
1/3 bell pepper
A small onion (I also had a small piece of aubergine and leek which I also used in the tomato sauce)

Spices to use for extra taste in the tomato sauce: 
1/2 teaspoon of :
smoked paprika
black, rose, white pepper mix
ground garlic
herbes de provence mic
dried parsley
dried basil
sea salt

(All of these spices should be used to taste, this is how i like it best in my tomato sauces)

Bechamel Sauce (white sauce):
 Ca 700 (1 pint) semi-skimmed milk
pinch of grated nutmeg
1,5 table spoon of plain flour
1 table spoon of butter (not in the picture)
salt and pepper to taste
grated cheese, ca half cup (I am using Sainsbury's white cheese, not in the pucture)



Process:
1- preheat the oven to 200 C degrees (gas mark 7). Heat the oil in a hot pan and add the minced meat and fry until browned nicely. Break it up with a wooden spoon if needed.



2-  Grate the veggies in a food processor (or by hand if you prefer that, but I use the food processor always for grating the veggies while the meat is frying as it is done in seconds and saves me time). Add the veggies in the pan and fry everything together for few minutes.




 3- Once everything is browned, add the tomato sauce and stir and let it simmer for 10-15 minutes. Add all the spices and stir until everything is mixed well. Dont forget to taste and season more if needed.  

4- Now it is time to do the white sauce. Put the butter, flour and pour the milk into a saucepan and stir over a moderate heat and bring to just to the boil. Then, add salt, plack pepper and the nutmed/ Reduce the heat and simmer the sauce gently and then add the grated cheese. Keep stirring so nothing gets stick to the bottom of the pan, until the sauce looks smooth and thick. In this case, you should taste it and season more if it is needed.

5-  The last step is when you put everything together. For this, I am using a pyrex glass baking dish. Spoon a thin layer of the tomato sauce and the white sauce into the bottom of the baking dish. Place 3 lasagna sheets on top. Next, you repeat this step by layering a spoon of the tomato and white sauce over the three first sheets and and on top of that make a new layer of three sheets and tomato and white sauce. The last and fourth layer should end with tomato and white sauce on top and some grated cheese.

Then put the lasagna in the oven for about 30-45 minutes depending on your oven and heat. It should look golden brown and delicious.


This was truly an amazing dish which I try to make at least once every month. It is great for puttting it in portion size boxes and freeze it for taking with you to work for lunch. For the dinner I served it alongside a fresh green salad. It was very tasty and filling :)

Fresh green salad:
2 tomatoes
1/3 cucumber
1/3 iceberg salad
2 spoons of lemon juice
2 teaspoons of dried parsely
1 table spoond of extra virgin olive oil. 

Enjoy :)  

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Fast Pizza - Recipe

As I mentioned yesterday, a fast pizza is sometimes the best comfort food when you don't have much time at hand to make a dinner from start. I bought 3 pizza bases with tomato sauce and cheese on top, and then I simply used what ever ingredients I had at home today to put on top of it and baked it in the oven.



The ingredients I used were as follows (these can be chosen or left out to taste):

  • A chicken breast diced, grilled (a later post on how I make the grilled chicken my way)
  • A half green bellpeper, grilled
  • A quarter of a small eggplant, grilled
  • A quarter of a leek, grilled
  • Sweetcorn
  • Tomato, sliced
  • Sea salt to taste
  • Cheese


After i grilled the bellpeper, eggplant and chicken in a pan I sprinkled the grilled ingredients, as well as the tomato, sweetcorn and the extra cheese over the pizza base. I put on the oven to 190 degrees celsius and baked the pizza for about 15 minutes. But be careful, as all ovens are different. Your pizza might require more or less time in the oven, but when you see it is golden brown, it should be done.

I would suggest a nice cabbage or green salad to be served, as we would do in Sweden :) 



Now, I just tried out and used these particular ingredients on the pizza this time, however, you can really use whatever you feel like having on your pizza. You can use salami, mushrooms, mozzarella cheese, other veggies etc. Let your imagination free when doing your pizza :) The crucial ingredient is an already made pizza base with tomato sauce and cheese. That makes the baking of the pizza very simple and takes no time at all to have a dinner ready within 30 minutes.

Enjoy ! 



Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Fast food on your way home.

I'm on my way home and thought of what we should eat for dinner. One of my favorite fast food dinner is pizza. I simply buy a pizza base, usually margherita, and top it up with what ever left over veggies or topping I might have at hand. Usually I use bellpepers, squash, corn, mozarella cheese, chicken or whatever I might have from yesterday's dinner.
I slice up all the veggies and sprinkle it over the pizzas and add extra cheese and put it in the oven til golden brown. I usually serve it with a nice green salad and ice cold cola, yum :)

Here we go....

Hello and welcome to my blog :)
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Ever since last year when I got married and moved to UK from Sweden I've developed a passion for cooking and baking. With mum not around anymore to do the cooking and all the other household activities I had to roll up the sleeves and do my best as the chef of our house. I started to cook following the basic recipes I knew and what mum had taught me as well as through experimenting, I developed my own recipes and learnt so much about food and cooking.



Eventually I went online and discovered different food websites and most of all i found youtube with lovely recipe videos which are easy to use in my cooking and great chefs to follow. One of my favorite youtubers is Laura Vitale (http://www.laurainthekitchen.com/) who cooks mostly Italian and have the most simple and easy to follow recipes. Also, I just love watching the food network (channel 49 on freeview) as i recently discovered this channel. I can sit hours and just watch this channel and learn from Nigella Lawsonm, Jenny Morris, Reza Mahammad and all the incredible chefs.
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There is no particular cooking style or type of food i follow or cook. I try to cook different types of dishes and cook dishes from all corners of the world. Having experienced food from different cultures through friends, family, traveling and fellow international students at the uni I developed a taste for food from all over the world. 

I will be therefore blogging about all new recipes I try out and about all my successful and not so successful experiments in the kitchen :) I love using fresh veggies and lots of different spices in my cooking so I will shortly blog about what I always have at hand in my kitchen.

My goal is to having this blog as my kitchen playground where I gather all recipes, info as well as my experiences in my cooking and baking as well as other interesting things concerning food. I also would love to share it with you all who love to cook, bake or simply eat :) so leave a comment whenever you're here and do share your own recipes or blog with me and enjoy reading my blog :)