Orange, feta, pistachio salad

This is the best thing I�ve eaten in quite a while! I�ve been stuck in a rut, making the same dishes over and over again, for a long time now. Very little time and very little energy. Then I saw a salad with oranges, feta, pistachios and avocado in a magazine and that inspired me to get in the kitchen.

Sure, it�s not cooking as much as assembling. But flavor wise  this will deliver. I ate this with some thinly sliced Serrano ham on the side. It would stand up well on its own, or be a perfect side dish for the holidays. 
Orange, feta & pistachio salad
Serves 1-2
2 oranges, peeled and thinly sliced 
1 avocado, diced
70 g feta cheese, crumbled
2 tbsp pistachio nuts, coarsely chopped
Small handful of raspberries 
Black pepper
Layer in a large salad plate. Finish with grinding of black pepper. 

Banana Oatmeal Muffins

Got an itch to bake the other night, and I had – as always – a bunch of bananas going brown on the counter. I wanted something hearty and not overly sweet or rich, and these yummy muffins fit the bill perfectly. They freeze well and heat in the microwave in mere seconds.

Banana Oatmeal Muffins
12 medium sized muffins

375 ml all-purpose flour
250 ml rolled oats
100 ml sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg
170 ml milk
80 ml vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
250 ml mashed bananas (I used two and a half)
100 ml walnuts, roughly chopped (optional, of course)

Start by mixing the dry ingredients – flour, oats, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt – in a bowl. In another bowl, whisk the egg. Add milk oil and vanilla, and finally the bananas. Stir in the dry ingredients, and if you want to, walnuts.

Dollop into muffin cases, and bake for about 15 minutes at 200�C. (The time will depend on your oven – a toothpick should come out clean when they’re done.)

Strawberry-Rhubarb Meringue Cake


This is a wonderful take on classic flavors. I was inspired by a super cute “number cake” I saw on Pinterest, and when Mother’s Day was coming up, I decided to make a heart-shaped meringue cake, filled with rhubarb mousse, vanilla whipped cream and plenty of fresh berries. It has a layer of lemon curd as well, to add acidity and a little bit of sharpness. Wonderful cake! It generously served eight, and would have been enough for at least 12.

I would strongly recommend this as a midsommart�rta (midsummer’s cake) – one of the very best I’ve made. (And to make this easier to google-find for Swedes – h�r hittar du den b�sta midsommart�rtan med jordgubbar och rabarbermousse!)

Now, it’s a little bit fiddly, I admit that – but you can prepare almost everything in advance. Make the meringue layers the night before if you have the chance, it’s much easier that way. I also made the rhubarb jelly the night before, and then the morning of serving, I whipped cream, used a little bit less than half for the mousse and the rest for decorating. I really advice having piping bags at hand, it helps so much, and that way you can prepare everything, and have it ready in the fridge. Once you fill it, you do want to serve it fairly fast, as with all meringue-based cakes. Otherwise the meringue will eventually melt. But it holds up for at least a few hours!


Strawberry-Rhubarb Meringue Cake

Meringue layers: 
4 egg whites
200 g sugar

Beat the egg whites until fluffy – add the sugar and beat until you have a very strong and glossy meringue. Fill into a piping bag, and pipe your chosen shape on two lined baking sheets. Be aware that they will grow a LITTLE in the oven, so don’t overdo it. You’ll have enough for two fairly small rounds (about 8 inches/20 cm) or two larger shapes that aren’t filled in, like my hearts.

Bake at 100�C for about one hour. They will be pale beige, and should feel dry to the touch. Remove the sheets and let them cool completely before moving the layers – ideally leave them over night and only remove when you’re ready to assemble.

Rhubarb mousse: 
250 g rhubarb, cut into small pieces
75 g sugar
1 leaf of gelatine
200 ml heavy cream, whipped

Put the rhubarb and sugar in a small saucepan and cook until soft. Mash well – a spoon will probably be enough. Soak the gelatine in cold water for five minutes, then add to the rhubarb and stir to melt. Let the rhubarb jelly cool completely. When it’s cold, and set, beat it with a stand mixer or similar, and gently mix in the whipped cream. Fill the rhubarb mousse into a piping bag and leave in the fridge for a few hours. (I used a round, plain nozzle for this)

To assemble: 
lemon curd (store bought, about half a jar)
fresh berries
300 ml heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla sugar

Whip the cream with the vanilla sugar – this can be made in advance. Fill in a piping bag, I used a star shaped nozzle for this.

Place one meringue layer on a cake plate. Spread with lemon curd. Pipe rhubarb mousse all over. Place the second layer, and pipe cream all over that. Top with all sorts of berries – you can also use flowers, or candy.

There you have it – an amazing summer cake! I hope you’ll like it!

Cinnamon Bun Cookies

Dear friends. Excuse my absence. Again. By now, it�s clear that my blogging days are sparse. But oh well. That�s life, really. 

Today, let�s make some cookies. Really, please make these. They taste just like Swedish cinnamon buns. If you can�t find pearl sugar, an option would be to Americanize them with a little frosting instead! (After baking.) Or just sprinkle with regular sugar. 

They�ll keep well in the freezer, if you happen to save any. The dough also freezes and thaws well, so I actually make a double batch and freeze some dough when I make these. 

Cinnamon Bun Cookies
about 22 cookies

150 g butter, at room temperature
150 g sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp golden syrup
225 g all-purpose flour
1,5 tsp baking powder
1,5 tsp cardamom, ground
1,5 tsp cinnamon, ground
pinch of salt

1 egg, beaten
pearl sugar

Preheat the oven to 175�C  and prepare a baking sheet with non-stick baking paper. 

Use your Kitchen-Aid (or your fingers) to mix butter, sugar, vanilla, syrup, flour, baking powder, cardamom, cinnamon and salt to a nice smooth dough. Roll it into two lengths and place on the baking sheet. Flatten them a little. 

Brush with egg and sprinkle with a little more cinnamon and pearl sugar. Bake for 8-10 minutes. 

Take out, and let the cookies cool for a few minutes but NOT until they harden. Cut them, diagonally, while they are still warm. 

Apple Crumb Muffins

My husband is a huge fan of apples in baked goods and I made these apple crumb muffins just for him. They keep very well in the freezer, just give them a few seconds in the microwave. (But if you, like me, use foil tins, make sure to pop them out beforehand!)

Apple Crumb Muffins

100 g butter, melted

2 eggs 
150 ml sugar
1 tsp vanilla sugar
200 ml milk
400 ml flour (240 g)
2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
2 apples
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp butter
75 g cold butter
200 ml oats
100 ml flour
100 ml sugar
pinch of salt 
Start with the filling. Peel, core and dice the apples. Melt the butter and toss with the apples, sugar and a dash of cinnamon.

For the muffins, whisk eggs and sugar until fluffy. Stir in vanilla sugar, flour and baking powder, and milk. Finally add the butter, and also add the apple filling. Dollop into muffin tins or muffin liners in one of those cupcake tins if you have them.

For the topping, mix cold butter with oats, flour, sugar and a pinch of salt until it’s grainy and rubbly. A Kitchen-Aid will do it very fast, but your fingertips will suffice as well. Sprinkle this topping on top of the muffins.

Bake at 200�C for about 20 minutes. Check to see that they’re cooked through (using a metal tester or a toothpick – it should come out clean) and that the topping is nicely golden. 

Cookbook watch March 2018

Oh it’s been SO long since I talked about cookbooks. Let’s remedy that immediately and dive right in.

First, I finally got an Instant Pot. I’ve been reading raves about this gadget for a few months now and I added it to my watchlist on Amazon. It finally got back into stock (for a few brief minutes) and I managed to snag one. However, once I got it and did  a test run (with water) it scared me a little and now I’m stuck. What should I cook? Any recommendations?

I have promised to try it tomorrow, and first out will be the saffron risotto from “Dinner in an Instant” by Melissa Clark. It does sound really good and I think risotto will be one of the things that can really work out in the Instant Pot. The book is nice – it has 75 recipes, all with good, clear photos. It has a fairly unadventurous chapter division (like meats, desserts etc) and it’s easy enough to navigate.

Another book specifically for the Instant Pot is the “Indian Instant Pot Cookbook” by Urvashi Pitre who’s otherwise known in the IP community as the “butter chicken lady”. She is extremely well known for her recipe for Butter Chicken in the IP, but this cookbook has a lot more recipes – all Indian. I really like Indian food and I look forward to trying this. I do wish it had more photos though – it’s just a few.

And finally a Swedish cookbook, “Frukost Hela Dagen” by Anna & Rasmus Axelsson. The title means “breakfast all day” and it’s basically a bunch of breakfast recipes that work for any meal. They are all free from gluten and lactose, which is quite nice – even though I don’t have any dietary restrictions. The recipes are from the super popular caf� named “Pom och  Flora” – do visit if you’re in Stockholm. So far, I’ve tried their steel-cut oats (made with oatmeal “milk” and oats) and it was delicious.

Creamy tarragon chicken with apples

A huge hit with the whole family – they finished every last drop. And I can’t blame them, the sauce was really wonderful. Next time, I plan to add a little bit of chili (at the same time as the garlic) to amp up the heat, but it was great just like this too.

Creamy tarragon chicken with apples
Serves 4

400 g boneless chicken thighs, cut into smaller pieces
1 yellow onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp butter
1/2 tbsp dried tarragon
2 red apples, cored and cut into small wedges (no need to peel them)
500 ml water
1 chicken stock cube (or 1 tbsp concentrated chicken stock)
200 ml cream
1 tbsp corn starch, plus water
zest from 1 lemon
salt, pepper

Start by melting the butter in a big pot. Fry the onion and garlic for a few minutes on medium heat. Add apples, tarragon and chicken. Season with salt and pepper. Fry for a little bit and add the water and chicken stock. Cook for about 15 minutes, the chicken should be well cooked through at this point.

Add the cream, and cook for a few minutes longer. Stir together corn starch with water to make a slurry, and add this into your sauce (which should look quite thin and watery, but will thicken up beautifully in a few minutes.) And for the final touch, add lemon zest and see if you want any more salt or pepper.

Serve with rice.

Magically crispy chicken

Best oven-baked chicken we’ve ever tried! I know it seems like unnecessary work, toasting the panko, but it’s worth it. I promise.

My kids love this.

Magically crispy chicken

700 g boneless chicken thighs, in smaller pieces

(Chicken breasts works well too)

1 egg yolk
3 tbsp mayonnaise
1 tbsp dijon mustard
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

500 ml panko (japanese breadcrumbs)
3 tbsp olive oil

Whisk together the egg yolk, mayo, dijon mustard, salt and pepper. Add the chicken to this. Make sure it’s evenly coated.

In a large pan, heat the oil. When it’s hot, add the panko and toast it until evenly lightly golden brown. Let it cool for a few minutes.

Then, coat the chicken in panko – take one piece at a time, and turn it so that it’s well coated all around. Set it on a wire rack over a deep rimmed oven sheet (ideally lined with foil for easy clean up). When all your chicken is coated and positioned on the rack, bake them at 200�C for about 20-25 minutes. They should be golden brown, and cooked through – check to make sure.

White chocolate chunk macadamia cookies

These cookies are very, very close to the ones served by a certain fast-food restaurant – Subway. They are crispy at the edges and soft and chewy in the middle. Just make sure you don’t over-bake them. 

White Chocolate Chunk Macadamia Cookies
Makes 24 medium cookies 

125 g butter, softened
110 g white sugar 
110 g brown sugar 
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
210 g flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda 
100 g white chocolate, cut into chunks 
70 g macadamia nuts (unsalted!), halved 

Cream the butter with both types of sugar until very  soft and fluffy. I use my Kitchen-aid but handheld beaters will work too. Add the egg and beat well. And the vanilla, too. 
Next, add salt, baking powder and baking soda, and the flour. Mix to incorporate. 
Finally add chocolate and macadamias, and mix briefly. 

Shape about 24 balls and place well spaced on lined cookie sheets. The cookies will spread a fair amount so don�t place them too closely. 

Bake at 175� C for about ten minutes. The cookies should be slightly brown at the edges. Let them cool on the baking sheets, before you move them. 

Parmesan dip

This goes really well with warm potato chips! Yes – warm! Get the kettle-fried chips, and heat them for just a minute or two in a hot oven. Makes a huge difference! 

And make the dip an hour or so in advance. (Or more) 
Parmesan dip
200 ml creme fraiche
100 ml parmesan, finely grated
Garlic powder
Onion powder
Chili powder
Black pepper
Stir together creme fraiche and the parmesan. Add a small pinch of each spice and stir well. Taste, and keep going until it�s the way you want it. Remember to not use too much salt since your chips will be salty as well.