Friday, 30 May 2014

hybrid hotness | recipe cards

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A while back I stumbled across a 6x8 Snap album by Simple Stories, and even though I am strictly a digi girl when it comes to my Project Life, I felt like I had to have it. So I got it, and then it sat empty on a shelf for a couple of months. I had no idea what to do with it.

But then I happened to see the super cute and very practical Recipe Maven recipe cards templates by Scotty Girl Design. The album would be ideal to keep all the recipes that we have come to love but that I only have pinned on Pinterest, and with that are becoming increasingly difficult to find as I grow my pinboards (and that seems to happen quickly).

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The templates come in several shapes, that fit perfectly with the page protectors. Since I got the Snap album in teal, I felt that I wanted a neutral compliment in the recipe cards, so I modified the templates to fit my vision.

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I am very happy with the look, and the fact that the plastic page protectors are perfect in the kitchen when messy fingers want to get hands on.

Now I just need to remember to actually take photos of the food when we cook it!

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

photography | david loftus

You guys probably know by now that I love food. I also like to document what we eat, sometimes with my phone, but other times with my Nikon. Naturally, I'm always up for learning how to improve my food shots.

If you follow me on Facebook (if not, just click the Facebook logo over on the right to go straight over and like me) you saw yesterday that I gave a tip to check out Jamie Oliver's Food Tube on Youtube to get food photography tips from his go-to photographer David Loftus.

Now, they just started Food Tube on Monday so there is just one film with David as of yet, but there is more coming. I have subscribed, go on over and do it to, why don't you? Check out David's master class here!

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

sweet treat on fat tuesday

I don't eat all that many cakes. I love to bake, but since I try to stay away from the stuff, that doesn't happen all too often either.

But there are a few times every now and then where I indulge. Today is a day like that. Today is fat Tuesday, and that means a special sweet treat in our parts of the world; a cardamom bun with marzipan and whipped cream, topped with a dusting of icing sugar.

They are quite lovely with the combination of the spicy bun, the sweet marzipan, and the fluffy cream. We settle for one a year, for tradition's sake, but people must be going crazy for them because they show up in the shops and bakeries right after Christmas.

I haven't been able to find a recipe in English, but with a little help of Google Translate I think most will be pretty clear. So, here's the recipe!

Disclaimer 1:
I bought mine in a bakery though, no time for baking when you leave work at five ...

Disclaimer 2:
There's a lot of noice in the picture, I know, but again, when you leave work at five there aren't many minutes left of daylight once you get around to eating the damn thing.

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

new52 | always food

Last week was my second week off work, and it was all spent in the house, watching tv, reading, designing, cleaning, recouperating, and relaxing. It was marvellous, but it also meant that my only new thing was the monthly cooking of a three course meal.

I am not beating myself up about it. I really needed some time off to just be myself and not worry about anything. And I keep telling myself that this project wasn't about forcing myself. So it's all good.

But I did cook. And it was pretty good. I am pleased that I can get through cooking the meals without wanting to throw the pots and pans through the window. I did have a small meltdown when the recipe called for butternut squash and the store didn't have any. But with some gentle whispers from the husband, and a few suggestions on things to exchange it for, I was ok.

For starter I made a soup of roasted Jerusalem artichoke and apple with chili and thyme. It was served with a onion and chevre tart.

The soup was a tad bit too hot, but otherwise it was delicious. And that little tart with the chevre? Delish!
The main course was cheese tortellini with a cream sauce with sugar snap peas and pancetta. This was really great. And so easy to cook. What a shame I completely messed up the photo taking.

The dessert was a monster to make. It took me two hours early Saturday morning, but I figure it was worth it. I made homemade Nutella pudding. Yum-oh!

And that's it for last week, folks. Now, I have to figure out something fun for this week before it's all over, LOL!

Sunday, 2 October 2011

new52 | not much going on

I feel like I need to get my butt in gear when it comes to new things in my life. For the past several weeks I have just been stuck in my usual tracks, doing what I do every single day. One would have thought that I would be used to thinking new by now, 39 weeks into the year. But I guess 37 years of same old same old weighs heavier ... Shape up, girl!

For this week, a couple of little new things. I went to a big breakfast seminar held by the city on netowrking, online and IRL. It was the first time I have attended something like this and it was interesting. The speakers were of varied quality and not everything that was talked about gave me something. But I did get some food for thought, and it was verified for me again that I don't have the natural talent to be a successful self employed entrepreneur. If I ever want to make it big in the design world, in my own brand, I will need to work very hard on networking and self promotion - basically putting myself out there and not feeling like I should be making excuses for taking up space.
Incidentally I took a shot with Instagram before stepping in, and even though it has nothing to do with the topic, I'll put it here anyway as I think it's quite pretty.

The husband and I had lunch together at a new to us restaurant this week. We don't get to do that so very often due to our different working situations, but when we do it's always quite lovely. This time we went to a place called Stereo. It was a nice enough place, rather cool looking and I think it would be a decent place to visit for a drink in the evening. The food itself was rather blah. We were both a bit disappointed with the quality based on the price of it. But I guess it is impossible to find great stuff if you're not willing to risk getting bad stuff as well. Picture also taken with Instagram, and I don't want tog et stuck in a long talk about that but it's all kinds of brilliant. I love the ease. I can clearly see why some people see no need for a "real" camera when they can just use their phone.

We went to see the first Europa league home game this week. Even though we've seen the qualifications to the Champions league earlier this season, this was my first time seeing a game in one of the European cups live.

On Friday I cooked my monthly meal for the husband. Way to go getting that in on the last day of the month. :) I did cook last week as well but that was technically August's meal. This time I had to skip making a starter simply because it was Friday night and we didn't get home from work until past six o'clock. I chose to go with a Swedish classic home cooking style dinner this time. For main course I made boiled cod with egg sauce, served with boiled potato and peas. I cooked the fish just a teensy bit too long, but other than that it was a really nice and healthy dish.

For dessert I made an apple pie with custard. I usually prefer apple crumble to "real" pie, but I have never made a pie like this before so I wanted to give it a try. It turned out lovely but very rich and filling.

So, nothing ground breaking this week either, but that is kind of my life at the moment.

Sunday, 7 August 2011

a week in the life | food

Yes, things have been dead around here for the past week. Well, I desperately needed a break from all things even remotely related to work, computers, and deadlines and so I spent our first week of vacation with family; eating good food, watching good football, painting a fence, and going on a mini trip. It has been sublime. I haven't felt so relaxed and calm in months. It even got to the point where I passed the computer yesterday and thought "I can't be bothered". LOL!

Last week I had this informal photo project where I photographed the food I ate throughout the week. My life isn't even remotely interesting enough for me to chronicle it in the "regular" way but I do think it's cool to follow what we eat. I had planned to share it here at the beginning of the week but never got round to it. But why not now, eh?

Tuesday was a quickie sort of day. We made salmon sandwiches for dinner and sat outside with a glass of rosé and enjoyed a little sunshine after work.

Wednesday and Thursday were meh sort of days and the highlight of my food chronicles were the berry smoothies I made for myself.

On Friday Johan made roast beef which we enjoyed with fagioli and red wine from Banfi castle in Tuscany (I just had two sips because red wine gives me a migraine).

On Saturday it was my time to cook the three course meal of the month. We started off with gazpacho with grilled scallops.

Then we continued with pan fried cod and a couscous with prawns and red onions seared in red wine vinegar which was served with a lovely rosé from France. It was delicious!

We ended the meal with white chocolate mousse and limoncello.

On Sunday we had my family over for dinner to welcome my sister and her boyfriend who are here visiting from Italy. I got up at the crack of dawn to do some baking, which all turned out really well. I made rosemary and parmesan foccacia to go with dinner.

And then for dessert I made a riccotta and lime pie topped with raspberries and blueberries. This was absolutely amazing!

I also made Nutella swirl cupcakes. I found this on Pinterest and had to convert to metric on my own so I was a bit worried how it would turn out. It ended up very lovely thankfully.
This is straight out of the oven.

And here they are on the stand for the guests to jump all over.

On Monday we celebrated my birthday with a lovely lunch at a local fish restaurant.
I had the most amazing seafood salad, which contained scallops, squid, prawns, crayfish and the most amazing tomato vinaigrette.

The husband had perch with crayfish sauce and new potatoes.

That night we continued the seafood theme and had a crayfish party with the husband's brother and his wife. Oh, and we squeezed in some champagne as well. :)

All in all it was a really lovely food week. I live a good life!

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Summer eatings

The weather this week has been changing, giving us both showers and sun. Apparently the rain will come to stay for a few weeks now, so last night we jumped at the chance of grilling and sitting outside as it was a really nice evening. We got some minced lamb and grilled it with nectarines which were then mixed with Chevre and arugula. The flavours married perfectly and it was just lovely to sit on the tiny little porch and enjoy the warmth with the food and a nice glass of wine.

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Slow business on the "new" front

This week has certainly not brought much when it comes to new stuff. Not new in the sense that I've never done it before. We did get new plants and herbs for the garden, but that happens every spring so that's kind of meh. And even though I did visit an emergency clinic while at a conference in Stockholm, something I've never done before, I hardly think that is worthy of being featured as part of New52. So the only thing I have to report this week is the monthly cooking, which for this month took place yesterday.

I skipped making a starter as we had a small cheese tray while watching football on telly. I mean, there is a limit to how much a person can eat. The main course was paella and it turned out pretty damned good. It was surprisingly easy to make, and I got praises from the husband for how tasty it was.

For dessert I made an apple tart which was served with vanilla ice cream. This was super easy to make and I think I will try it again with pears.

I really like the fact that I decided to try this monthly cooking thing out. I always panic just before (and a bit during too to be honest) I start, but it's been a success five months in a row now and I am starting to enjoy the challenge.

Saturday, 23 April 2011

Face paint and cooking like Jamie

I decided it was time for me to finally get my butt in gear and sort my make up situation out. I've been searching for what seems like forever for a good product that gives good coverage (for my rosacea) but doesn't dry my already dry skin out further. For years it's been a bust but then I was encouraged to try mineral foundation a while back. Being an idiot I got a brand on the cheaper end of the spectrum. Not a good idea. So nowI felt it was time to try a better - or at least a more expensive - brand. I finally decided on bareMinerals and got the 8-piece start kit.

I've only had time to try it once but what a world of difference! I think it might turn out to be a love affair with this one.

Continuing with my monthly dinner adventure it was yet again time for me to give cooking a go. I didn't decide on what to cook until last night and was a little stressed. I went with recipes from Jamie Oliver's book "Jamie at home". Doing that at the last minute might have meant that I could have chosen better. I think the only thing I really, really liked this time was the starter. The other two courses were just fine, and I got compliments from the husband, but personally the starter fit my tastes the best.

I started out with asparagus soldiers with soft boiled egg to dip in.
That's asparagus wrapped in parma ham which is grilled to get a bit of a crispy surface.

Then I made a tomato and coriander (cilantro) salsa with pan fried tuna.

The meal was finished off with a dark chocolate mousse with raspberries. Man that mousse was filling! It tasted lovely but the fact that it was so rich made it too much for me. No wonder as it was made with cream, egg yolks, and chocolate. Hee! It went very well with limoncello.

Monday, 18 April 2011

Weekend pixels

I shot a bunch of photos over the weekend and some of them really caught my eye. They're not really anything fantastic, but they convey that feeling of relaxation. What can I say, I just like them.

Um, what's up with me and the food/drink motif?

Saturday, 16 April 2011

Delish dish

I have already talked about my quest to become a better cook several times on this blog. Another thing I want to get better at is baking. I never was the domestic goddes in the cooking/baking department and I just think it would be neat to whip up sweet tasting creations on a whim. So far I have kept to easier things like cupcakes and cheesecakes. Baking where you actually have to do knead and stuff has been a little too scary for me.

A few weeks back I got a new cook book and I have been itching to try some stuff out. On Wednesday night we had some company over and I decided to bite the bullet by baking filled bread. I know, way to go with being over ambitious, right?

So filled bread bread. Not bad. Not bad at all. I got a recipe from the book, which can also be found here, for Tortano and filled it with prosciutto and mozzarella. It turned out amazing. Really, really tasty with a crispy crust and a soft filling. And I am so proud and thankful. Proud that I can actually do things that I didn't think I ever could. And thankful that I was inspired to do New52. I am quite sure I wouldn't have pushed myself without it.

I did two and they both went fast. I managed to get a pic before it was all gone.

Monday, 11 April 2011

Slippery little buggers

If you think there wasn't a New52 post the week before last then you are completely correct. The reason being that I didn't do one single thing worth talking about that week. I was simply too swamped with working and being sick. It's the way of life and I'm definitely not going to beat myself up about it. I promised myself that at the start of this project back in January.

But that means I can be all the more excited about this past week's new thing. And boy am I! The thing is, I kind of feel a little sad that it took 37 years before I tried it. I've deprived myself of something fabulous for such a long time. Thankfully I will have lots of time to enjoy it during the rest of my life (hopefully).

So on Monday it was our 15 year meetiversary. Fifteen freaking years together! I was saying to the husband the other week that back then we were young, we were thin, and we were happy. Today we are not so young, not so thin, but sickeningly happy. I am proud and amazed all at the same time.

We had made reservations at our favourite local restaurant for Monday and were really looking forward to going. But the sickies that I referred to above when talking about the week before last came at the end of the week and come Monday I was stuck in bed all day and completely miserable. So we had to reschedule and decided on Thursday.

Anyone wondering when I'm getting to the new part? Stay with me, I'm getting there!

Our favourite restaurant has a cool concept. Instead of starters and mains they have divided the menu into cold and warm dishes (they still have desserts though, thank god). Each dish is a little bigger than a starter and a little smaller than a main and they all cost the same. Excellent news for both big and small eaters as you can pick and choose whatevery you like. As an addition to their menu they also have a selection of small apetizers and here is where the new part comes in. They had oysters from Bretagne and even though I had never tried oysters before in my life, and had never really wanted to either due to people talking about them as slimy snot buggers, I suggested we try them out. The husband was all over that suggestion and was almost a little taken aback by my suggestion. So we ordered and the owner, who came over to talk to us, gave us this whole lesson on how they are farmed. It was awesome. I could still feel the nerves build in my stomach though. What if I didn't like them at all? What if it was indeed like slimey gross snot?

Man alive, they were fantastic! Salty, fresh, tasting of the sea in a good way. They were served with a tangy shallot vinaigrette and lemon wedges. After finishing them I was on a high all night. Of course, the rest of the meal didn't take me down one bit. I had Jerusalem artichoke soup with grilled scallop, paired with a super fresh Riesling, and then finished off with my all time favourite dessert - creme brulee which was served with a raspberry parfait and chocolate crunch.

All in all it was an awesome night; the food was fab and we had some really fun and crazy conversations. The thing that still stands out to me though was the new thing; the oysters.

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Nothing new but still tasty

Well, this past week has been so full of regular life scheduled stuff and obligations that it simply hasn't allowed me to do anything new at all. With work, work, more work, work trip, grocery shopping, laundry, and yada yada yada, bla bla bla - you know what it's like - I have just been too exhausted to even think about anything else.

So I guess my only new-ish thing is my monthly cooking night. This month I decide to up the ante a little and go for a slightly more difficult choice for the main course. I had a crazy-moment for a while when the recipe said to use clarified butter and I had no idea how to get it just that but I got through it and got a comment from the husband that it was the best I had made yet this year. Not bad. Not bad at all, I say.

Ok, so I made pomodori ripieni (stuffed tomatoes) for the first course. The stuffing was made with mushrooms, nutmeg, and pecorino cheese.

For main course I went with a deconstructed lasagna with an almond pesto on top. The recipe called for mushrooms, spinach, prosciutto, and riccotta cheese. I had forgotten to get spinach so I decided replace that with zucchini. That worked out well. I also added lemon juice on a whim. Look at me go - improvising! The almond pesto was the thing that called for clarified butter. Once I got that down it was a breeze to make. I made a mistake when I plated the lasagna and got way too much olive oil on there. The husband didn't mind that though as he loves olive oil.

When it was time for dessert I was exhausted and so I went the simple route and made a chocolate/banana milkshake. Very easy to make but still delish!

So that makes three for three. Next month the husband gets to decide the menu. Please pray he doesn't go overboard on the difficulty index.