Sunday, 23 November 2014

Top Classics from my Childhood

OK, so I wasn't one of the children of either the take-away or hummous generation that you get these days (pre-ten year olds craving stupidly flavoured lattes and whathaveyou...). No this, this is a list of ten classics that, one might say - were 90s style cuisine, yup.

Top Classics from my Childhood

Fløyelsgrøt or Semulegrøt
Fløyelsgrøt, or silken/butter porridge, is made with flour, milk and butter as base and topped with a dusting of cinnamon and a good sprinkle of sugar, semulegrøt is also a porridge - but has a base of fine semolina.

Pasta with White Sauce, Spam and Peas
This was deeeelicious - although little Julie would always have hers served before peas were added, as she was a picky little thing (hence basic meals).

My absolute favourite, and still is to this date! This is a sort of dumpling recipe of sorts I suppose, made with grated and boiled potatoes, flour and a little salt and cooked in the stock which you cook your meat in. Served with sausages, mashed turnip, sausages and other salted meats (such as pork, and lamb) and sometimes more potato! No one made better raspeballer than granny, although my auntie Fi is a close second.
In Bergen, Thursdays are traditional "raspeball" day actually, so if you're ever there, check out one of the traditional Norwegian restaurants for this!
Some people prefer having them topped with melted butter or sugar, and although it's not as weird to me now as it was when I was a child, I still prefer it all savoury, it's fantastic!

....Not the cheese, but in Norway we call it fromage when you mix whipped cream and fruity jelly, it's actually amazing! My granny would normally serve a slightly tangy lemon fromage but my mum would normally make raspberry or boysenberry (I have yet to figure out to this day what boysenberries are.... Can any foodies out there assist me?)

Macaroni and......Ketchup!
Believe it or not, sometimes my mother and I would have some of this instead of a slice of toast before bedtime as a snack. You know when you're little and even the simplest meals seem awesome? This was great when it started getting chilli outside!

Fish Fingers guessed it - Ketchup!
Because how could you not love these little crumbly bits of tasty stuff?

So. Good! And my mother makes her signature ones, we even had a professional cyclist coming over for them (friend of dad's), and he was addicted to these. Also, when my brother Mikki the Belgian shepherd was walking this Earth with us, we would always make this for him on his birthday!

Bacon Pancakes
- or Fleskepannekaker as we'd say in Norway. If I was staying over at granny, I would sometimes be greeted with a couple of massive bacon pancakes, no syrup necessary, they were just. that. good!

Pizza Buns
The ones my mother made weighed about half a kilo each and were topped with ketchup (what didn't feature this did-it-actually-ever-contain-any-tomato topping that time?), ham and cheese. Some oregano would have been exotic (like that time my friend Irene introduced me to "pizza toast" made in the microwave - toast + cheese + oregano = fine cuisine for 8 and 88 year-olds alike!).

Ham gratin, fish gratin, whatever gratin really, you would use macaroni, bechamel sauce, whatever protein you had at hand, and mix it all together, put it in your biggest oven proof dish, and top it with ALL the cheese. S'how we rolled!

Cheese Cubes
Some evenings, mum would dice some cheese, and serve them on a small plate, and I would insist on using a toothpick to pick them up. It's the simple things, and I didn't even like wine then anyway...

Mighty Meatloaf
It was the 90s...there was meatloaf, it had travelled all the way from the Romans just to come and chill (or cook rather) in our kitchens.

These are all things that might have contributed to making me the person I am today, these - and my mother's chocolate cake, my mormor's infamous layered spinge jelly-cake topped with pineapple, and my farmor's nøttebunn (nutbase) with whipped yellow Italian custard cream, chopped nuts and chocolate shavings, my auntie's delfia cake, my other auntie's lemon cupcakes and tiramisu, and my third auntie's cheesecake (she made the very first cheese cake I ever had the pleasure of eating...) Right, I better stop daydreaming about cakes now.... I'm getting hungry!

What was your top three (or ten!) list of home-cooked classics? Sweet or savoury - I would love to hear it!

x J

PS. My only original photo is the one for the waffles, the other were found on Google Images

Sunshine Sweet Potato

Note to self - when it states "large sweet potato" get a laaaarge sweet potato, especially when you intend to bake it and stuff it with all the goodness of the world. Sadly, I had to leave out some of the goodness in the world here, but worry not, I had the rest in a bowl as I was waiting for the egg to bake.

Note to you - this was really delicious! I used a vegetarian Quorn sausage instead of spicy sausage as the original recipe calls for, but the chilli and smoked paprika added spice aplenty!

Sunshine Sweet Potato
(Serves 1)

1 XXL sweet potato (just sayin')
1 tbsp butter
1 Quorn sausage, chopped
1/2 small onion, chopped
1 tsp fresh chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
A good dash smoked paprika
15g grated cheddar
Chopped fresh coriander (optional)
Salt and black pepper
1 egg

- Pre-heat the oven to 180ºC. If you want, peel the sweet potato, or wash it and bake for about 50 minutes until tender.

- Once it's ten minutes left of the cooking time, heat the butter in a small frying pan and fosten the onion along with the sausage, once soft, todd in the chilli and seasoning and fry for another minute or two.

- Now, scoop out most of the sweet potato, but making sure the outer layer is intact. In a bowl, mix the excess sweet potato with the sausage mix, and cheese and place back into the potato (if it doesn't all fit, just eat it ^ ^). Make a well in the middle of the mixture and crack the egg into it. Return the potato to the oven and bake for a further 10-15 minutes until the egg is cooked.

Serve up and eeeeenjoy! This was so easy and tasty - will definitely be making it again, with a BIG sweet potato next time!

For some reason, sweet potato is one of those vegetables that I prefer peeled, I usually never peel carrots or other potatoes, because - it's good for you, and it doesn't taste any different. I think it's because I went through a sweet potato phase (yes, these exist) and I had it too frequently. Anywho! The one I got in the shop turned out to have white flesh, which doesn't bake as well as the more common orange sweet potato.

Oh and by the way, sorry for the few days' absence, I have been working non-stop this weekend, and on Friday I went to the cinema with a friend. I hadn't been to the cinema since I-don't-know-when - I saw the new Hunger Games movie. Then, yesterday Mari-cat treated me to dinner at her place, which was lovely! She made her now infamous pancake-cake-cake (sadly no photgraphic evidence of this phenomenon. One day though!) I hope you have had a lovely weekend! Have you been up to much?

Original source:
Spice it Up! p. 94

- Jules

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Gremolata Crusted Tilapia with Roasted Mediterranean Vegetables

As mentioned before in my HelloFresh post, this was the first of the three dishes I made, and it came out brilliantly! The zing from the lemon juice and zest, the lovely mellow and meaty fish, and the colourful vegetables... I loved it!

PS. Their website has a lot of recipe ideas should you want to take a little peek ^ ^

Gremolata Crusted Tilapia with Roasted Mediterranean Vegetables
(Serves 2)

1 red pepper, cored and diced
1 courgette, diced
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
6-8 small new potatoes, diced
2 boneless tilapia fillets
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
Zest of 1/2 lemon
Juice of 1/2 lemon
2 tbsp breadcrumbs
A small bunch of flat leaf parsley, finely chopped

- Pre-heat the oven to 220ºC. Chop your red pepper and courgette and toss in a bowl with 1 tbsp olive oil and a little salt and pepper. Place in the oven for about 20 minutes.

- In the meantime, dice your potatoes and boil for 15-20 minutes. Then, once everything is doing its things, you can mix 3/4 of the parsley, the garlic, breadcrumbs, lemon zest, a good pinch of salt and a dash of olive oil. Toss lightly.

- On a baking tray or in an oven-proof dish, place the two tilapia fillets. Rub wih 1/2 tbsp olive oil, before topping with the breadcrumb mixture. Press down a little bit so that the topping sticks to the fish.

- When the vegetables have been roasting for 20 minutes and are slightly charred at the edges, place in the bottom of the oven and put the tray/dish with the tilapia on middle rack, let it bake for 5 minuntes. Turn the grill on high and bake for a further 2-3 minutes until the crust on top is golden.

- Now, mix the mediterranean vegetables with the potatoes, toss in a little oil, the lemon juice, and remaining parsley. Season to taste before plating up, and topping each plate with a tilapia fillet.

Have you ever had tilapia before?

Original source:

- Jules

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Healthy Mutant Ninja Turtles

Candy turtles.. candy..wait, sweet turtles, as a... snack? What? How does this work?

This was pretty much my reaction the first time I saw someone writing up the recipe for these amazing little treats! The first time I made them, I did it with the Rolo chocolate, the "proper" way one might say, but then... THEN, I decided to make some healthified turtles, they tastes just as good as the original, but the "chocolate" is darker - which, in my humble opinion, is a good thing! My flatmate quality checked it as well, and couldn't believe they were healthy!

And the best thing? They're whipped up in minutes, and it hardly takes any longer to double, or treble the recipe, if anything, it might make it easier with a bigger batch of dates to make the chocolate paste - score! These disappeared pretty much the instant they were served up, mainly thanks to me...oops!

Healthy Mutant Ninja Turtles
(Makes 7-10 turtles)

Lightly salted pretzels
Pecan halves
7 dried dates, soaked for five minutes - then drained and roughly chopped
2 tbsp cocoa powder
A splash of water (1-2 tbsp)

- Start by having the cocoa, dates and water in a bowl, or a processor (you might need to make a bigger batch for it to work in a food processor). Whizz until combined, scraping out the stick blender from time to time to make sure it all gets mixed up.

- Once the chocolate paste is done, you're ready to roll! Plate up pretzels, and take some of the date-chocolate and roll into hazelnut shaped balls, place one on top of each pretzel. Once you've run out of chocolate paste, top each of the chocolate pretzels with a pecan and gently press down. You can make them look a little prettier, using your fingers to smoothen out the edges.

What are you waiting for? Serve these badboys up... Perfect with a cup of coffee or a glass of milk, yum!

Aaaaand speaking of chocolatey sweets.....
I finally got around to uploading some new photos on my little digital camera, and so I can show you my first creation in the chocolate factory! Spiced apple. Originally, I had toffee apple in mind, then when I tasted it - I thought about apple crumble, but the others thought the cinnamon was a little too powerful for it to be called that, so it ended up being Spiced Apple. It has a light crunch when you bite into it, pretty all right for a first I thought!

And I will finish off posting a picture of little Morrow, a lurcher who was waiting for his owner (who when turned up, told me that the dog's name was Morrow ^ ^).

Such a beautiful scruffy thing, with one brown eye and the other icy blue! I keep telling myself - when I win the lottery....Then I'll finally get a dog. One day! For now, my loyal little goldfish - Seamus and Finnegan will be there by my sice, I cannot believe they're five and a half years!

Do you have any pets?

Recipe by yours truly,

- Jules

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

HelloFresh (UK)

You might remember me mentioning having signed up to HelloFresh at the food festival I went to last month, or perhaps I forgot to mention it or wanted to wait mentioning it until I actually received my first box, which is now!

The fellows at the stand had convinced me to sign up for a trial, giving me £20 off my first order (which YOU can too! Keep reading), and I am a sucker for bargains, so I saw this as a great opportunity to get to try some new recipes - nothing to lose!

The concept? It's easy, people in the UK can sign up, and you decide how frequently you get your parcels delivered, you wont be charged for the weeks you pass on a HelloFresh box (I am already sad I have paused next week's, could easily get used to this!).

Then, they have the standard 3 main meals for 2 people OR the family package. I went for the standard one, which means that should I have it all to myself, then I would have six main meals (I invited a friend over one of the days though - sharing is caring ^ ^ ).
They send you just enough spices, meat (or vegetables, as they have a vegetarian option as well for herbivores *smiles*), and fresh vegetables and herbs for you, along with the recipes and pictures of "how-to" and what it should look like in the end. Heck, this time they had even collaborated with smaller local companies and had aivar and dukkah made fresh from scratch!

You can decide where you want the parcel delivered to, be it your flat/house/cave/office etc. I had it delivered to work as I knew I was most likely to work that day. I got the option of having each delivery made on either a Tuesday or a Thursday, and I went for Tuesdays as it was the earliest date when I signed up for it. If you are not at home when they deliver it though, they will try their best to leave the parcel somewhere safe, with a good neighbour or the like, if you state it in the "note" box a few days before they send it out, and you don't have to worry about the food not being refrigerated, as they wrap the meat and dairy products with plenty of icepacks and other fancy wrapping things, making sure it can be out of the fridge for over 24 hours before opening.

Go to and use reference code BWD72K to get £20 off your first box!

At first, I was a little sceptical to what I would receive, because I have been doing meal-planning for quite some time and have got the hang of it now. It saves me money and it saves the trouble of worrying what to have for dinner from day to day! I wasn't sure how basic the meals were going to be, nor what type of fresh produce they would go as far as sending, but when I opened the box - I felt like it was my birthday!

The recipes I received the ingredients for were:
Gremolata Crusted Tilapia with Roasted Mediterranean Vegetables
Rosemary Lamb with Pelagonia Roasted pepper Ragu
Pan-Fried Chicken with Dukkah Roasted Sweet Potatoes & Citrus Sour Cream

I hadn't even tried tilapia until I opened the box, already having decided before I came home that if there was a fish recipe in there, I would try it first as fish has to be super fresh for it to be extra tasty, as goes with all meats and vegetables really, but I am a little particular when it comes to seafood.

You know when you try and make something and it doesn't end up looking anything like the original? This one is almost identical!

They send you restaurant worthy recipes, good local (if possible) produce, and they usually don't take longer than 30-40 minutes to cook from start to finish.

I cannot wait to try my other two dishes, it's almost as if I wish I could just do it now, buuuut I have to be patient, tomorrow, tomorrow!

Have you tried a service like HelloFresh before?

- Jules

Monday, 17 November 2014

Chilli Sin Carne

You might have had chilli con carne plenty of times before, but have you tried a good chilli sin (without) carne? It's cheap, healthy and really easy to whip up using store cubboard ingredients!

Chilli Sin Carne
(Serves 2-3)

1 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
400g tin white beans (I used broad/fava beans)
400g tin kidney beans (or black beans)
1 tbsp tomato purée
1/2 green chilli, finely chopped
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp (smoked) paprika
1 tsp oregano
1/2-1 tbsp cajun seasoning
Salt and pepper to taste

Tortilla chips or good bread to serve, optionally top with a bit of cheese, or serve with guacamole!

- Start by heating the oil in a medium-sized casserole, add the onion and garlic and soften for about 5 minutes before adding the fresh chilli.

- Now, add the remaining ingredients and heat through. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve with whatever you want, or just the way it is. Perfect for a chilly Autumn day *smiles*

Also, last night I was so lucky to go to my friend Rowan Ross' second album launch, this time for his album "Fireflight" - check it out!
It was another friend who did the support act for it, and his performance was magic as well. I have to go to more local gigs in the near future, it's too good *smiles*

Today I am off and having a few friends over for dinner in the evening. I hope you have had a leisurely weekend and a great start to a new one!

Original source:
Sunnere & Sterkere med Proteinrik Mat, p. 104

- Jules

Friday, 14 November 2014

Spiced Kale Crisps (Not for Rabbits)

Kale crisps, whether it's "in" or out, I don't really care, because I reckon it is flippin' deeelicious!

The first time I tried it was in a wholefoods here in Glasgow, they had tasters by the counter and I could not help myself - and that I discovered was with good reason. The lovely greens, that taste nothing but the greens you were scared of as a child, but crisp, lightly salted, and so so sooo good!

I have been meaning to make it myself for some time, I mean... it's kale crisps, how hard can that be? The prices they charge for them in the shops can be extortionate, so why pay more when you can pay less, and make them fresh at home? Beats me.

There are various ways of doing it when it comes to the baking of the crisps; some take a handful of minutes, and others... slightly longer, I decided to go for the latter version, as I had a bit of time in my hand and the brain behind the recipe, who seemed like an experienced kale-crisper-upper recommended allowing them to bake on lower heat for longer.

Spiced Kale Crisps (Not for Rabbits)
(Makes 1 large cereal bowl)

1 small packet/ 1/2 large packet of fresh, green kale, roughly torn
1/2 tbsp olive oil - or coconut oil

1 1/2 tbsp nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper (optional)

- Pre-heat the oven to 150ºC.

- Mix the seasonings together in a small bowl.

- Have the kale in a large bowl and pour the oil over it. Massage the kale until all of it is nice and shiny. Pour over the seasoning and toss well.

- Transfer to a baking tray and place in the middle of the oven. bake for 10 minutes, turn the tray, and bake for a further 15 minutes. If they still haven't crisped up properly, toss a little and keep baking for five minutes intervalls whilst checking on them.

- Allow to cool for a few minutes before serving, and enjoy!

Have you tried kale crisps before, aaaaand do you have a favourite? Be it home made or bought, I'd love to hear it!

Aaaaand speaking of green stuff, as I mentioned yesterday I did a little "gardening" in the kitchen, and after having tended to the herbs in the windowsill, I took a few snaps of my carnivore plants, they're of the specie Nepenthes Alata, and I got the biggest of them from a dear friend about four years ago when I was working with him in an office and there were some flies buzzing. The plant didn't really do a good job as far as fly-catching went, but I reckon it looks beautiful! The little one is a cutting from the bigger one, I reckon it's fascinating how plants can multiply like that, and I remember when I was young, my grandmother would give me lots of "baby plants" that she would show me how to take care of, I used to have quite a collection. Yes, I was a geeky child, I guess some things never change....

Anyway, I hope you have a fantasmic weekend! I will spend most of it in work, but hopefully that'll be all right, and then I have a friends's album launch. You can check out his first video here starring yours truly in the beginning, and his brand new single Heavy Rain here! What have you got in store for the coming days? Hopefully something nice ^ ^

Original source:

- Jules