strawberry, raspberry and cherry smoothie

What do you do when you don’t know what smoothie to make and don’t have that many ingredients left in the fridge? Why you throw together the little bits of what you do have left and make due!

During my cherry-phase this summer (I told you I was writing some of these posts very late!) I found one day that I was out of inspiration one day. I was about to go food shopping, so didn’t have much left in the freezer, and not enough cherries to make a cherry smoothie. I actually didn’t have many cherries at all – I don’t know why I just use them all in the previous smoothie!

Anyway, what I did have was a few cherries, a few raspberries, and some strawberries. I figured that goes well together, so I mixed it with the other thing I had – which was oat milk.


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Ingredients (1 portion)

125g strawberries

75g raspberries

35g cherries

300 ml oat milk


I think it turned out nice, but I should have probably used water instead of oat milk. I don’t feel like the oat milk added anything (but calories) to it. It turned out nice and big though, and definitely tasted nice. Very summery.

/t

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blueberry smoothie with oats

One of my favourite things from childhood is blåbärssoppa, which means blueberry soup. It’s obviously not like a food-soup, rather more like a drink. It can be served hot or cold, and is given out to people who do Vasaloppet – a Swedish cross-country skiing race. For me it brings back those winter days out skiing or ice-skating with my mum and my brother.

The reason I liked the look of this smoothie was because it reminded me of blåbärssoppa. The picture on Ica’s website looks like a thick, blåbärssoppa-like smoothie. And though it was not quite like blåbärssoppa, it was good. I shouldn’t have halved the recipe though!


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Ingredients (1 or 0.5 portion)

125g blueberries

300 ml oat milk

0.5 tsp cardamom

0.5 tbsp brown sugar

2 tbsp oats

1 tsp vanilla sugar


I would have liked maybe a slightly creamier texture, so I would suggest replacing some of the milk with quark or natural yogurt. Maybe vanilla flavoured natural yogurt, to remove the need for the vanilla sugar?

/t

tagliatelle with mushrooms and courgette

Another easy and quick pasta recipe for those days that you either just cannot be bothered to make something more elaborate, or you just want a creamy, courgettey, goodness. With some chicken. And mushrooms.


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Ingredients (4 portions)

4 portions of tagliatelle pasta

600g chicken

2 courgettes

150g mushrooms

250 ml cream

parmesan

salt

pepper

pine nuts if you want


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There really isn’t much to it. Start by boiling the pasta.

Cut the chicken into smaller pieces and fry until cooked through. Set aside.

Cut the courgette and mushrooms into smaller pieces and fry. Return the chicken to the pan. Add cream and parmesan to taste (I think I used about 50g). Leave to simmer for a bit and season with salt and pepper.

Serve with the pasta and pine nuts.

/t

a japanese sunday

This weekend I went to London to see S. As I wrote last week, we had our first wedding anniversary on the 19th, and he was here the weekend before to celebrate. On top of this, I had already booked in that I would come to London this weekend because there was a Japanese harvest festival on the Sunday that we were going to go to. So I took Friday and Monday off and had a long weekend in the city I used to call home seven months ago. (I still called Stockholm home too!)

Now I don’t know if it’s because I was introduced to Japanese food at an early-ish age (mum is a huge sushi fan and dad’s wife is half-Japanese) or because it just appeals to me on a taste and texture level (probably a bit of both), but I really like Japanese food. I love sushi, and it has been one of my great sorrows that S doesn’t (lol) –  but he’s starting to open up to it a bit! But I also really like their meat/chicken and noodle dishes – yakitori, yakiniku, teriyaki, tonkatsu, katsu curry, ramen, udon, and so on – as well as for example lotus roots and yuzu.

Either way I love it, and since S and I had said we would double celebrate our anniversary (nice dinner and Bridget Jones’ Baby in Stockholm the weekend before and nice dinner in London the weekend after) my wish had been to go to Sticks’n’Sushi, a Danish restaurant group having branched out in London. We’ve been there before with friends, but since S is now getting more adventurous with the sushi bit, we thought it could be nice to go just the two of us.

The day started at Trafalgar Square though, at the Japan Matsuri (a harvest festival) where we were treated to some Japanese food and culture. We bought some really nice Gyoza and a Hirata bun (sorry, no picture of that), and were then treated to a Japan Airlines bento box in the Guest Section. The bento box was apparently what they serve first and business class passengers on JAL, and though a few things were not quite to my taste (I don’t like mackerel for example), most of it were really nice. We were also given a bag of Scottish shortbread – which is never wrong!

We were supposed to have lunch with a friend from uni, but since we’d had so much food at the festival we decided to invite her to dinner instead. Unfortunately, S started feeling bad in the afternoon and by dinner-time he was too sick to go out! So I ended up having dinner with just my friend, while S was at home and asleep.

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It wasn’t quite what we’d planned, but the food was still nice. We had a sharing plate of sushi and three sticks each, and then shared three desserts (they’re quite small). The sticks were pork belly, chicken skewer, and chicken meatballs, and the sushi was salmon, tuna, sea bass, and prawn nigiri, and pink Alaska, spicy tuna, and gypsy roll maki. For dessert we shared a vanilla bean crème brulée, a cheesecake with yuzu and crumble, and a macha moji ice-cream. A real treat.

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The food at Sticks’n’Sushi is always great, and if you’re a sushi lover I definitely recommend it. I’ve only been to the Canary Wharf branch though, and the service there isn’t always great. When I came to the restaurant (15 minutes late because I had to drive poor S back home since he was feeling sick) they told me my friend hadn’t arrived yet. So I text her and she said she was already at our table! I went up to the waiter who seated me and he said “No, there’s no one here. Look.” and took me further in the restaurant. Then he said “Unless it’s her.” and pointed at my friend. Hrm!

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It then took at least 20 minutes until we got to order, despite the waiter coming up and taking our drinks order, giving us water, and serving us our drinks. It also took ages before anyone came to take our dessert order or let us pay the bill. And it’s not like there were a lot of people in the restaurant, or few staff working. Needless to say, we didn’t tip them (but still had to pay the service charge included in the bill – I don’t really like it when they do that).

If the service is good, Sticks’n’Sushi is a great place to go. If the service isn’t great – the food still is. And they have a lot of nice fruity (non-alcoholic) drinks. I definitely recommend it for any fellow sushi-lovers out there!

/t

granny smith smoothie (aka ‘green lemonade’)

I need to get a lot better at writing these posts when I make the food, because I’m almost forgetting what they were like before coming back to write! But that’s a luxury problem I have because I’ve been making so many ‘new’ smoothies – and one that is doomed to die out once I have to start repeating myself.

Anyway, I saw this recipe on Ica’s website and they called it ‘Green lemonade’. I thought that sounded refreshing and nice, and wanted to try something else apple-centred after the slight disappointment of the apple and cinnamon smoothie (picking the wrong colour apple and using too much cinnamon, if you remember).

I cut the original recipe in half and removed the celery. I don’t like celery, but I know that many green smoothies use it, so I will at some point crawl to the altar and use it. Just not this time.


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Ingredients (1 portion)

1.5 Granny Smith apples (ca 150g)

100g mango

0.5 lemon

1 cm fresh ginger


I think it turned out really nice and it was very refreshing – but I would maybe add a little more lemon, to get that lemonadey feeling they obviously want. I can imagine it being perfect on a sunny summer day though, laying on the beach with a good book in your other hand.

/t

strawberry and kiwi smoothie

I’ve never really thought about it before, but over the summer the supply of kiwis in supermarkets seems to go down. I was talking to a colleague about what was in my smoothie, and she mentioned that she thought it might be kiwi season – so I Googled it.

According to a Swedish website I found, kiwi season is essentially from October to March. But everywhere I go at the moment seems to have an offer on kiwis – so I wonder if that means that the season has started early or, which I guess is more likely, they’re trying to clear the stock before the new arrivals?

Either way, after my strawberry-mango ‘epiphany’ I had another one: strawberry and kiwi. That is another flavour combination favourite (the list is long my friends) and since I had four kiwis in the fridge that needed to be eaten before I went to London for the weekend, I thought it was a good idea. Because I also had a tub of quark needing to be used up, I decided to make it as a quark-based smoothie.


20160921_072348 (2).JPGIngredients (1 portion)

150g strawberries

2 kiwis

100g quark

100ml milk


20160921_072828 (2).JPGI used 150g strawberries because that was all I had, and two kiwis (because I had four). By the size of my kiwis I would guess that this meant that they weighed roughly similar to the strawberries – which meant that the primary flavour ended up being kiwi.

If you want more of a strawberry-prominent smoothie, I would recommend using 200g strawberries, or maybe one or one and a half kiwis.

/t

 

crumpets

Crumpets are a joy I haven’t known very long. They don’t exist in Sweden (well you might be able to buy them in specialist English shops, but I’ve never seen them), so I discovered them when I was living in the UK. I don’t really know how to describe them, but a Swedish recipe online said they were “a mix between a pancake and bread” which I feel is a terrible description!

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A crumpet is easily identified by its large holes on top and pancake-looking bottom. It’s cooked on a griddle – which explains the pancake-looking bottom – and mainly on one side. Apparently the first reference to a crumpet was in 1382, but it wasn’t until the Victorian era that yeast was added and they achieved the height that makes them different from pancakes (though apparently Scottish crumpets are much more pancake-like than English crumpets, which are cooked in a round metal ring to keep their shape).

Now I don’t like butter (I know – gasp!) so I don’t enjoy crumpets in the traditional English way. S on the other hand, does. That is to say he takes at least a teaspoon of butter and spreads onto a hot, toasted crumpet, making the butter melt into the holes. If you do like butter, I’d trust his judgement in that it’s really nice.

 

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So what I do is I eat them with jam –enough to almost completely fill the holes. And whether you like butter or not, trust me when I say that’s really nice too.

When I first tried crumpets I liked them, but I don’t think I went head over heels for them. Now that I can’t (easily) get them though, I get real crumpet cravings. So much so that I asked S to buy some and bring over for me.

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There are of course crumpet recipes out there (e.g. Paul Hollywood’s very own), but I don’t know if I could do it without a griddle. I don’t really know if I want to try with a normal pan, or if I don’t want to get my hopes up only to fail. It’s not a very complicated recipe though (although I don’t like working with dry yeast) and some recipes say you can use a frying pan.

Maybe it is worth a try?

/t