Monday, 23 February 2015

Fish Pie & Stuff

Hello everyone,

I hope you've had a fantastic weekend and that your Monday hasn't been so gloomy (it's raining over here but the weather in England is what it is). I've been rustling up a lot of different food and on Saturday I decided to make a favourite childhood dish that I've missed eating. Fish pie is a tremendously easy dish to make and quite literally doesn't take very long to make at all. I make the white sauce from scratch, using the milk I used to poach the fish, which gives it a gorgeous flavour without the need to use any fish stock. I've been eating a lot of meat for a while now, especially chicken ( don't get me wrong, I can't go through a week without it) but a change is always welcome and eating more fish gives any ones diet a bit more variety than the same meal day in day out. I have other fish recipies that I would love to share with you, especially my take on tuna free tuna sandwich which is just divine!!...but back to my original topic and the focus of this post. If you don't like fish and find it difficult to get yourself to eat it, I would suggest trying crab meat or breaded fish patties mixed with peas, carrots and sweetcorn. The latter is extremely easy to make and I will share my method of making these later on. So without further ado, here is how I make a fish pie...


350 grams Cod Fillets
350 grams Plaice Fillets
500ml Milk
500ml Water
200ml Thick Cream
2 Bay leafs
1 Carrot
1 portion of Green Peas
1 portion of Cauliflower
1 1/2 tbsp Parsley
2 tbsp Mayonnaise
25g Butter
5-6 Large Potatoes (more or less depending on size of dish)
1 tspn Salt
A pinch of pepper

White sauce;

2 tbsp Corn flour (or Sauce flour)
25g Butter
1 liter of Milk & Water (from above)
1 pinch of Salt and Pepper


1. Peel, wash and dice your potatoes and then place them in a pan of boiling water until they become soft ( I make mash in batches and then freeze it for when I need it, lovely use of time on a Sunday afternoon) once soft, you can drain and place them to one side until needed.

2. Whilst the potatoes are boiling, in a deep pan, measure out the milk and water and let it warm up on the stove. As it begins to foam, add the fish, bay leaf, chopped vegetables, parsley, salt and pepper and let it poach on a medium heat, just enough for it to bubble gently, and leave it on the stove for about 10-15 mins.

3. In a separate medium sauce pan, melt half the butter at a medium high heat and add the flour, stirring with a whisk until the flour and butter are fully incorporated. This is our roux for the white sauce. The dough will become more like breadcrumbs, which is our sign that it is ready but don't worry if it remains in the shape of a dough, some flours absorb the butter better than others any way :-) put the pan aside for the moment

4. Drain the fish and vegetables onto a separate plate and save the milk in a jug. Putting the roux pan back on the heat, begin adding the milk a little at a time to the roux until all lumps are gone. A nice trick to see if the sauce is done is if you cover the back of a spoon with the sauce and run your finger down the middle, the streak should remain on the spoon. Add a generous amount of cheese if you like at this stage.

5. Begin preparing the mash by adding the rest of the butter, cream and mayonnaise, some salt and pepper and mash until soft, fluffy and lump free. If you have an egg allergy, you can leave the mayonnaise out or use egg free mayonnaise instead. 

6. Place the fish in the sauce and stir well. Place the sauce and fish mix into an oven proof dish and either pipe the mash on top or use a spoon to place the mash evenly over the fish. I like to top the pie with some cheese and breadcrumbs for a crunchy topping but this is optional. 

7. Leave to bake in the oven for 30 mins at 180 degrees or gas mark 5 and tuck in whilst it is still fresh ;-)


Monday, 16 February 2015

Happiness: Living for yourself

Hi everyone,

I wanted to share with you what I do to make myself happier and more fulfilled with my life. Sometimes work, studies and relationships with friends and family can put a lot of pressure in your life and in the long run this can have a negative impact on your health and happiness.

There is no right way to be happy but taking time out to do the things you enjoy and leave all the worries of life at the door can help to give you the right sort of energy and strength you need to carry yourself forward and stay positive and motivated. Here are just some of the things I like to do:

  • A large warm cup of tea with honey; I think I look forward to a cup of tea more than I enjoy a lie in on a Saturday. I drink anything from Chamomile, Chai and peppermint to some more of the usual classics like English Breakfast and Earl Grey.
  • Exercise; Running in the cold winter air is a favourite past time of mine. If I'm not down with the flu or anything that is. I try to put aside time for exercise in the calendar for three set days in the week and then stick to it and this can vary between running, gym, ballet or yoga. If I've been unwell, I'll give my body an additional week off, to avoid getting a relapse and make sure I recover properly. 
  • Photography and drawing; I've been drawing since I was very young, and from early on, I've learnt to grow this talent to greater depths. I love nothing more than to go through arts and crafts or stationary stores and picking up paint brushes and acrylics and oil paints for new projects. I recently took photography a bit further as well, and I'm finding so much peace in capturing those precious moments and beautiful life that's all around us.
  • A good read; I'm a self confessed bookaholic. I currently have about six books I've got to find the time for and read through, but I love nothing more than curling up in my cozy corner and escaping into the world of a 'mysig' book.
Now these are just my ideas of what adds joy into my life. There are many other things I love and I'm sure, you can find activities and things which let you escape for a few hours from stress and worries.

Have a happy life,

Saturday, 14 February 2015

Green Living 2015

Hi everyone,

It’s that time of year again. We are two months into the new year and on your list (including mine!) and probably near the top, is a resolution to start eating healthier. And every year you tell yourself this time it’s going to be different. Well…let’s face it, it’s not, but I would rather be honest with myself than face the disappointment by the end of summer (possibly sooner) that I have failed miserably at kicking away bad habits.

Now for me, my biggest crave is bread! I love bread so much that I went to all the effort of learning how to make it myself when I was at university. But I’ve realized that just because you enjoy eating a particularly unhealthy thing doesn’t mean that you should lock it away in a cupboard when the new-year resolutions come in and the yearly ‘diet’ starts again. So this year, I’m going to do things a little differently as an experiment and I will be sharing my journey with you as I go along.

So here it goes…

 I find it quite difficult to get myself to eat a lot of fruit and veg, Since last summer I have tried to introduce a whole range of new food that I just haven't had the will power to go out and buy previously. Every week, I will add one new fruit or vegetable to try and this is working well for me at the moment because I end up trying whatever is in season rather than looking for anything specific which might possibly be out of season.

Then winter came....

I really don't like eating cold things in winter so salad was definitely out of the question. Then I FINALLY cottoned onto the nutri-bullet and all my worries seemed to melt away like the proverbial snow I expected at christmas ;-) But the price tag seemed a bit steep so, the Breville smoothie maker is doing just as a good a job at churning those juicy mangoes and blueberries.

Grab whatever fruit and vegetable you can rummage out of the fridge and freezer and start blitzing! I can't tell you how much I'm enjoying this right now. It's great as a breakfast, snack and well...anything really.

So that's the start anyway, I'll keep you posted on what else I'm coming up with under this title so if you enjoyed this and want to find out more, please subscribe ;-)

Have a happy life,

Thursday, 15 January 2015


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Happy Eating!

#Bullar (Cinnamon buns)

Hello Everyone,

It is about time that I did a post on this delightful childhood memory. Bullar, or cinnamon buns, are delicious (and normally addictive) Swedish pastries. I used to eat these a lot when I was younger and growing up, I learnt how to make them myself at home so that I could enjoy them whenever I wanted to.

These are the ones I made during Christmas but they are nice to make any time of year. To make a batch of 50 Bullar you are going to need;


For the dough

150 grams Margarine

300 ml Milk

200 ml Water

1/2 tspn Salt

150 ml Golden Syrup (or 150 ml sugar)

1 1/2 tspn Ground Cardamom

1.3 litre Strong White Bread Flour

50 grams Fresh Yeast ( or three satchels of dried yeast if you can't get fresh)

For the filling

100 grams Margarine

100 grams Sugar

2 tbsp Cinnamon

2 tbsp Ground Almonds (Optional)

I know the measurement may seem strange but that's because of the way in which we measure things in Sweden. To get around this, use a measuring jug or the little cup measurers.

To start:

1. Put the oven on 180 degrees centigrades and prepare three trays to start with, placing some baking sheets on top of each.

2. Measure the milk, margarine and water together in a pan (or microwavable bowl) and warm until slightly warm. A test is to put your small finger into the mixture and feel a slight tingling but it shouldn't be burning hot, be very careful not to stick your finger in if it the mixture started to bubble at any point.

3. Using an all in one method, start by measuring three quarters of the flour into a separate bowl (I use a mixer by the way because these is quite a bit of kneading involved).

4. Dig a little ditch in the flour using your baking spatula (or spoon) and crumble in the yeast. Cover the yeast with flour so that nothing else can touch it.

5. In the same bowl, pour in the golden syrup (or sugar), salt and cardamom on the opposite side to where you put the yeast.

6. Using the mixer, begin at a moderate speed and pour in the milk and margarine mixture, which should still be warm, at a slow and steady rate. Sometimes, depending on the type of flour that you use, you might not need all the liquid, so go slowly and don't pour it all in, in case you don't need it. The dough should look slightly sticky but not what I call 'porridge-wet' after you have poured in the mixture. Continue to knead it for ten minutes. The dough should be smooth, soft and bouncy to touch.

7. Dust the finished dough lightly with flour and cover with a layer of cling film and three layers of kitchen towel or even your apron (I should mention at this point that if the bowl you used to knead in is quite small, transfer to a much larger bowl now, because the dough needs room to expand[butter the bowl first though] ). The warmer the better. Place in a warm place in your house, like next to a radiator if like me, you don't have one of those lovely warming cupboards, and let it sit for two hours.

8. In the meantime, mix together the butter, sugar and cinnamon into a thick smooth spread and leave until later.

9. Once it has doubled in size, punch it back down into the bowl and knead it out slightly to get any air bubbles out. Split the dough in two and cover the potion you are not using yet. With your remaining half, begin to roll it out into a rectangular shape that is about 1 cm thick.

10. Spread a generous amount of the cinnamon mix onto the rolled out dough using your baking spatula or butter knife until covered then beginning from the top most part of the dough furthest from you, start rolling the dough together. It's a bit like rolling a Swiss roll, but easier!

11. Using a knife, slice the dough into 2 cm wide disks and place onto the baking trays. Cover with cling film and kitchen towel again, to prove for 30 mins. Repeat process for second half of the dough.

12. Using a brush, lightly spread a mixture of 1 beaten egg and some milk (omit the egg if you are allergic) and place in the oven for 20-30 mins until golden brown and leave to cool on a cooling wrack.

And that's it, fresh yummy bullar for everyone to enjoy. You will notice I didn't say anything about the sugar crystals I place onto the buns. This is because they are not sold here in Britain [I've looked all over for 10 years] and the only place to buy them is in specialist Swedish shops. But a variation in sweden is to top these with flaked almonds which tastes just as wonderful, especially with a cup of coffee or strawberry juice.


Saturday, 3 January 2015

Coming Soon 2015

Hello all,

Thank you for taking the time to visit my new blog. The website is still under construction and I will be adding pages as I go along but there will continue to be posts made right here irregardless of this. I hope to be finished with the website and start showing tutorials very soon but in the meantime please enjoy all the wonderful recipes I will be putting up in the meantime :-)

Friday, 2 January 2015

Potatisgratäng | Steg för steg | FoodClub

I loved this simple and delicious winter warmer. I found this recipe on the FoodClub's channel. It's the perfect dinner for cosying up in front a good film with family and friends.

Bon appetite :-)

Friday, 5 December 2014


There is nothing better than getting the day off to a good start. To me breakfast is the most important meal in the day and I just wouldn't feel right if I didn't get my morning meal before leaving the house.

I try to get as much fibre in my diet as I can, and breakfast is the easiest meal to do that. I'll mix it up from time time, varying between granola and muesli and adding in seasonal fruits sometimes to chunk it up and add texture. The dried fruits and nuts in these cereals are a great source of protein so this is a great way of fitting several food groups packed into a small bowl.

I love my dairy and I'll have this granola with either milk of flavoured yoghurt. The one above by Onken is absolutely divine. It's the first time trying this flavour (I normally have the mango and vanilla or strawberry flavoured type). I've really fallen in love with it and the combination of blueberry and elderberry reminds me of the early crisp days of Spring in my childhood in Sweden, picking blueberries in the forest.

I hope to show you some more breakfast ideas in the near future and I would love to hear what sort of food gets you waking up in the morning.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Festival Cake

Hi everyone,

I think a new post has been long over due. To commemorate the oncoming festivities this season and bring out the inner fun in you. Here is a recipe to get your mouth watering.


To make this delicious festive cake you will need;

For the cake:

 375g Soft Butter

375g  Sugar (I used golden caster sugar)
5 eggs
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 teaspoon Orange Extract or grate some orange zest
375g Self-raising flour
1 teaspoon of baking powder (it will come out softer)
50ml Milk

For the icing;

200g Soft Butter (room temperature) 

600g of Icing sugar
25ml of Milk
Half a jar of Jam (I used a Strawberry and Raspberries mix)

To Decorate;

Your choice of delicious sweets!

You need;

two or three 20cm loose bottomed tins (depending on how many layers you want) greased with butter and lined with baking or greaseproof paper.

1) Pre-heat the oven to 180C (Gas Mark 4).

2)Cream butter, sugar and vanilla and orange extract (or zest) together in a bowl until pale and fluffy.
3)Beat in one egg at a time, being careful to over whisk the eggs as this will prevent the cake from rising properly. (it is easier if you are using a machine as the egg will blend quicker with the butter mixture) 
4) Sift the flour into the mixture. It is important to sieve your flour at this point because it ensures we get as much air into the cake as possible. Gently fold the mixture into all the ingredients are well incorporated. Add the milk in at this stage.
5) Once well mixed, evenly divide your mixture between the two/three tins and smooth the mixture out with a baking spatula. 
6) Bake in the oven for 40-45 mins (This might be less if you have a really powerful oven, but as a general rule, cakes should take three quarters of an hour to cook.) The cakes are ready when they are firm to the touch and bounce back slightly. Take a small knife through the middle of the cake to make sure, it should come out clean.
7) Cool on a wire rack for a few hours. The cake should not emit any heat at all before you start icing.
8)To make the butter cream icing; mix the butter and milk together until incorporated and gradually sieve the icing sugar into the butter whilst mixing. (I find this easier to do with a mixer, as it can take a while by hand) The icing is ready when it is slightly stiff, smooth and free from lumps.
9)To decorate, add butter cream and jam first to the top of the first cake, then place the second cake on top and cover the top of this with more butter cream (repeat the first step if you have more layers). Evenly spread the sides with butter cream and even the entire cake surface out with a bent palette knife, then pipe on a design of your choice, then finish it off with sweets of your choice ;-)

The cake will keep well for 4 days, if kept in the fridge.