May 29, 2011

Rucola, avocado and pea soup

Another soup experiment. I just love green, creamy soups without using the actual cream. Avocado is creamy and silky, rucola is spicy, peas are sweet. Blend these together and you'll get a very special something. 
Rucola, avocado&pea soup

You'll need:

100 g rucola
1 avocado
50 g peas (frozen or fresh)
0,7 l organic vegetable stock
lime/lemon juice
chilli (optional)


1. Prepare the vegetable stock and cook the peas. I cooked the frozen peas in the stock until boiled. Let cool slightly.
2. Peel the avocado and remove the pitch. 
3. Place in a blender together with rucola, peas and stock. Blend until smooth.
4. Season with salt, lime juice and chilli and blend one more time.
5. Ready to serve.

Have a nice time everyone! I'll see you in june :)

Cookies that bring you up

Bad weather, neverending hours at the computer with my essay, tired and restless. So it was before I decided to go for cookies. Cinammon and ginger always bring me up :) And the recipe is a quickie!
I wish I could say that they are "chewy" too, but I'm not gonna lie to you. They are semi-soft, maybe a little chewy just after you take them out of the oven. I've been actually hunting for a recipe for chewy chocolate chip cookies, I tried two so far and I was disappointed. I thought that making a good batch of cookies must be a piece of cake! I don't know what went wrong but my last two cookie batches were no good. This one turned out just nice, I promise! The lovely spice mix of cinammon, ginger and cardamom is probably nothing you are longing for when it's summer, but here, where I am it's only 7 degrees and raining..The taste of these cookies reminded me strongly of Christmas :)

Cinammon&ginger cookies for good mood :)

You'll need:

75 g butter 
1/3 cup packed light brown muscovado sugar 
1/3 cup golden syrup
1 tsp ginger
0,5 tsp cardamom
2 tsp cinammon
1,5 cup self raising flour


1. Set the oven to 200 degrees.
2. Melt the butter together with the sugar and the golden syrup on low heat.
3. Let the sugar dissolve in butter, stir in the spices and remove from heat.
4. Cool down. Stir in flour.
5. Roll balls out of the dough and place them on a baking sheet leaving a few centimeters between. Use a fork to flatten the cookie balls.
6. Bake for 8-10 minutes. And done!

May 24, 2011

Not just an ordinary muffin (cake)

Hello everyone! I thought I'd take a break from baking, but...Our holiday might be cancelled because of the vulcanic activity, which would just be typical. It's just wait and see how that goes this time. While sitting and working (not so) hard on my final exams, I thought, I might easily find some inner peace and bake! The only problem is that I haven't kept ordinary flour for baking purposes at home for a while. I thought it would help me resist my baking temptations. So wrong I was! Amazing how our creativity works when you give it a little push. I remembered that I had some wholegrain spelt flour left from the times when I was living a happy flour- and sugarless life :) I also remebered my mum's favorite cake recipe. I do realize this probably is not a "wow" kind of thing but if you are interested in a healthier way of baking, you must definitely try this recipe! The cake (or muffins) is soft, spongy, absolutely wonderful and the good news is that there's no bad news :)

Wholegrain spelt muffins with lemon yogurt icing

You need:
4 small eggs (or 3 big ones)
6 TBsp granulated sugar (or 3 TBsp granulated+3TBsp light brown muscovado sugar)
1 dl olive oil
2 TBsp cocoa powder
6 TBsp wholegrain spelt flour
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp baking powder

for the "icing":
greek yogurt + lemon curd + cinnamon = absolutely lovely!!!

1. Beat eggs and sugar. 2. Stir in olive oil, cocoa powder and cinnamon. 3. Stir in flour and baking powder. 4. Bake at 200 degrees for the first 5 minutes then turn down to 180 and bake for 10-15 minutes.
You can make muffins as I did or a cake, it's up to your preference. If you are using a baking mold, grease and flour the mold first. 
As for the icing, I've been using a greek yourt instead of everything lately and can't get enough of it :) You can make your own favorite icing, but I recommend this light, lemony one with the cinnamon spice. I promise you'll love it!

May 15, 2011

Vegetarian bbq

Vegetarian bbq variations are not completely hopeless. When I first started experimenting with barbecuing vegetables, it was not that good, but over the years, I've learned some tricks. My favo at the moment is grilled courgette (zucchini). The good news is that I don't have to use the actual grill everytime I want a smoky courgette on my plate. I frequently use a grill pan for grilling vegetables and tofu. Little effort gives sometimes great results. All you need is the grill pan and some marinade/grill oil. The rest is upon your own taste and imagination.

Grilled courgette&tofu with goat brie cheese

tofu natural
goat brie cheese
olive oil + grill oil or a favorite marinade

Slice the courgette and the tofu. Marinate tofu for a while and grill it in the grill pan for about 2 minutes on each side. Brush the courgette with the marinade (or olive/grill oil) and grill on each side. Place a slice of the goat brie on each courgette a minute before it's done, it will melt slightly. Make "sandwiches" with goat brie in the middle. Serve with sallad or what ever you prefer. 

What is your favorite bbq food?

May 11, 2011

Simply Jamie

Jamie, you know which one I mean :) When I see his enthusiasm for food and cooking, I realize that I sometimes think about how it would feel to be served a meal from Jamie. Fortunately, Jamie's cooking is very "down to earth", both when it comes to ingredients and methods. There are so many recipes by Jamie that I would like to try but after my obsessive dessert period, I'm more or less forced to get obsessed with salads. Sallads may sound boring to some people but the truth is that you never have to make the same sallad twice. Just pick and fuse seasonal vegetables - it works most of the times. I trusted Jamie with this one: radish and fennel are great mates! Fennel is absolutely not my favorite, in fact, I can't stand its strong licorice flavor - in most dishes. In this sallad, fennel behaved so that I didn't dislike it at all. So thank you Jamie, if you are reading this (of course you are :D): I Like, like, like!

Fennel, radish and asparagus salad

green asparagus
sea salt
lemon juice
(cottage cheese)

Jamie was feeling rather embarassed when giving this "recipe", it's ridiculously simple.. The green asparagus and the cottage cheese was my idea to make the salad more filling. Or, make the salad as a side dish to roasted salmon.
Slice the radish and fennel as thin as you can. Chop the asparagus. Dress the vegetables with lemon juice and season with sea salt.

May 7, 2011

Passion (for) fruit

Passion fruit, also known as Granadilla or Maracujá, depending on country of its origin, gives such a wonderful touch to desserts and drinks! As many of the exotic fruit kinds, passion fruit at the Swedish food stores is always available, unfortunately, quality of the fruit that has crossed oceans before it got here, varies. I was lucky and got some really wonderful passion fruits - in size of a small lemon, full of juice and flavor. 
Now that my "dessert period" is at its end (I make and believe this statement regularly - every Monday :)) I want to share a recipe on passion fruit pie. Once again, I found it amusing to experiment and didn't follow any recipe which means that there are things that you can make better in case you'll find it interesting enough to test and try. It is a no-bake dessert, well, if we don't consider the digestive crust visiting oven for 10 minutes. 

Passion fruit pie

You need:
for the crust:
digestives (I used approx. 2 digestives per portion, made 5 portions)
butter, melted (40-50 g for about 10 digestives)
1 tsp ginger (optional)

for the filling:
1 can coconut milk (400 ml) or a coconut cream (I reduced the watery part of the coconut milk to a half which turned out as a smart move)
4 gelatine sheets (I used Dr. Oetker gelatine sheets that recommend using 3 sheets per 2 dl fluid)
3 Tbsp sugar
3 small or 2 big passion fruits 

heavy cream (36% fat) to serve with and 1 passion fruit for decorating

1. Crush the digestives - the best way to do this is to use a food processor. Mix the crushed digestives with melted butter (and ginger). Press the mixture into the pie pan or individual pie molds. Bake at 180 degrees for about 10-15 minutes. Cool down completely.
2. Place the gelatine sheets in a bowl with cold water for 5 - 10 minutes.
3. For the filling, put the coconut milk (reduce the water first) in a pan. Add sugar and the spoon out the passion fruits. Heat up until it almost boils. Remove from the heat. Squeeze out water from the gelatine sheets and dissolve them one by one in the warm mixture. Let cool  for a while and pour on the prepared crust. Place in the fridge over night or for at least 4 hours. 
4. Serve with a table spoon of cream and some more passion fruit.

To make it better: Sieve the coconut-passion fruit mixture before using it to get a rid of the fruit seeds. You can add some lime zest to the mixture as well. I added lime juice but it made the mixture a little too watery.

May 2, 2011

Rhubarb&raspberry mini cakes

A lovely rhubarb pound cake recipe that I've adapted from a gifted Swedish food blogger Linnéa Seidel. In her recipe on rhubarb squares, she chose to marry rhubarb with strawberries. And I agree with Linnéa who says that rhubarb can just as well shake it up with raspberries, blueberries, blackberries or the very special cloudberries.
What I like about this recipe is the mix of spices used to marinade the fruit. Imagine cardamom, ginger and cinnamon together with honey. Sounds like Christmas but it works perfectly well with the sour rhubarb. Try and see! As usual, I cut down on sugar a bit in my recipe and as it turns out, I could have gone for even less sugar in the cake.

Rhubarb&raspberry mini cakes

Ingredients: (6 mini cakes)
1- 2 stalks rhubarb
150 g raspberries /fresh or frozen/
3 Tbsp honey /or golden syrup/
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp cardamom
1 tsp cinnamon

100 g butter
2 dl granulated sugar
0,5 dl golden syrup
2 eggs
3 dl flour
1 tsp vanilla sugar
0,5 tsp salt

Preparation: Marinade the fruit first. Cut the rhubarb into 3 cm pieces and put it in a bowl together with raspeberries. Combine with honey (or golden syrup) and spices.
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Grease and flour a standard pie mold or 6 individual mini molds.
1. Let the eggs rest at a room temperature for about 30 minutes before you start.
2. Melt the butter in a pan, add sugar and the golden syrup. Let the sugar dissolve a little. Let cool to a room temperature before you beat in eggs.
3. Beat in the eggs, one by one.
4. Mix the flour with salt and vanilla sugar and combine it in the butter-egg mixture. You'll get a smooth and rather thick mixture.
5. Fill the mini molds to a half and divide the fruit mixture on the top of each. Bake for about 30-40 minutes, until the cakes are golden on the sides.