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Home made mustard with maple syrup & fennel seeds


It is tradition in my family to make home made mustard to go with the ham at Christmas, but why don’t we make mustard all year around? If you have a blender it is super easy to make mustard and start experimenting with different flavours. I love a sweet mustard but if you don’t want the sugar you could leave it out. But why would you. I have tried out a few different ways of sweetening the mustard lately and in this recipe I have used maple syrup. If you don’t have maple syrup you could use dark brown sugar or honey. Another way of mixing it up is with different vinegars, I used apple cider vinegar because I had a nice one in the cupboard but any vinegar will do, pick your favourite! You can also replace the oil with your oil of choice. So many options.

This will create a strong mustard and if you want a milder version use less brown mustard seeds and more yellow seeds. You can also mix the finished mustard with some milk or cream when serving. Don’t mix it in the jar as the cream or milk will not last as long as the mustard. The mustard will keep in the fridge for a couple of months.

It is important to know that the mustard will be very bitter and not edible straight away when blended. I was not aware of this and after tasting my first mustard I concluded I must have done something wrong and almost threw it in the compost. Luckily I decided to keep it in a jar and after a day or two it had ripened and started to taste like actual mustard.

Mustard with maple syrup & fennel seeds
1 jar

50ml yellow mustard seeds
50ml brown mustard seeds
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds (optional)
1 teaspoon salt
50 ml cold pressed rape seed oil
100 ml water

Simmer the mustard seeds in some water for a couple of minutes to make them softer and easier to blend. Alternatively soak over night. Place all the ingredients in a blender or use a hand mixer. Blend until you get a creamy consistency, this will usually take a few minutes. Disinfect a jar by placing it in 120 degrees celsius in the oven for a coupe of minutes. Let the jars cool slightly then fill with mustard. Let ripen in the fridge for 1-2 days.

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Potato salad with smoked tofu


Potato salad with new potatoes is pretty much one of the most summery dishes I know. The weather here has not been very summery lately but let’s pretend that summer is here with this delicious potato salad. I have used smoked tofu in this recipe and I would say that regular tofu is not an ideal substitute. What makes this salad so great is in my opinion the added smoky flavour.

Potato salad with smoked tofu
Serves 4 as a light lunch

600g new potatoes, cut into 2 cm cubes
bunch of dill, chopped
small red onion, finely chopped
juice from half a lemon
100ml finely chopped gherkins
4 mushrooms, finely chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1-2 teaspoon cider vinegar
6 radishes, chopped in half then finely sliced
100g smoked tofu
1 teaspoon wholegrain mustard (or mustard of your choice)

Boil the chopped potatoes in salted water for roughly 10 minutes. Drain and put aside to cool for a moment. Mix the dill, red onion, lemon juice, mustard, 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, cider vinegar, radishes and mushrooms in a big serving bowl.

Heat a pan with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Slice the tofu into thin strips and fry for a couple of minutes on each side on a high heat until they get some colour. Cut the strips into squares and add to the salad along with the potatoes. Season with salt and pepper.



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Strawberry Akvavit


Akvavit, or Aquavit , is a Scandinavian spirit flavoured with caraway seeds and other herbs. It is commonly consumed as an apertif during festivities such as midsummer and christmas. I am not a huge fan of drinking Akvavit straight but combining it with strawberries and lemon makes for one of my favourite cocktails. The taste of this drink is of pure refreshing summer. If you decide to make this in winter don’t bother buying flavourless strawberries shipped from somewhere far away but spend your money on a good quality cordial. There are loads of different kinds of Akvavit and I am looking forward to trying this recipe with many different varieties. This time I used Linie, which is a Norwegian Akvavit, aged in Sherry casks.

Strawberry Akvavit
1 drink

50 ml Akvavit
25 ml strawberry juice (or strawberry cordial)
25 ml lemon juice
ice cubes
soda water (optional)

If using fresh strawberries, blend and strain through a sieve. Combine freshly squeezed lemon juice, akvavit, strawberry juice and stir with some ice. Pour into a glass and and serve if you like a strong drink or top up with soda water.






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Swirl Buns with Lemoncurd & Vanilla


This is essentially a traditional Swedish cinnamon bun but with an English twist of lemon curd. There are loads of fun ways to shape your buns and this time I’ve gone for swirls. The lemon and vanilla makes for some really fresh tasting buns, perfect for spring and summer.

Swirls buns with lemon curd & vanilla essence

18 buns

Ingredients for the dough:
300 ml milk
50 g fresh yeast or 21g dried yeast
120 g caster sugar
½ tsp salt
150 g soft butter
1 egg
600 g plain flour
zest of 1 lemon

The filling:
125g soft butter
75g lemon curd
1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence

For brushing:
1 egg

Nib sugar

Heat up the milk to 37 degrees. In a mixing bowl dissolve the yeast in the milk and add caster sugar, salt, butter, lemon zest and egg.
Add a little bit of flour at a time and knead until the dough is smooth.
Let the dough rise in a warm place and with a tea towel on top until doubled in size. This will take approximately 45-60 minutes.
Mix the soft butter, lemon curd and vanilla essence.
Split the dough in half and roll out the dough to a rectangular shape roughly 1 cm thick. Fold twice and roll out to the same shape again.
Spread half of the filling evenly on the rolled out dough. Roll up and cut in 2,5 cm thick slices. Place in paper baking cups on an oven tray. You can also bake without paper cups and instead place on a baking sheet. Repeat with the rest of the dough. Let the buns rise under a tea towel until doubled in size for approximately 40 minutes. Heat the oven to 200 degrees celsius. Brush the buns with whisked egg, sprinkle with nib sugar (if you can get hold of it) and bake for approximately 10 minutes.


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Rhubarb Crumble with Cardamom



Since rhubarb is in season I keep seeing it everywhere so I had to make a good old Rhubarb crumble. I always used to think it was a bit weird that we make desserts from some kind of vegetable stalk. How can it be so tasty? Having grown up with a garden where rhubarb grew like weeds, it feels wrong to buy rhubarb in a shop. Why do I have to pay for it? This is an unreasonable attitude from my side. I don’t have a garden. I have to pay for all of my food. I wish I had a garden.

This is yet another recipe with my good old favourite Cardamom in it because it goes so well with Rhubarb. If you’re not a fan of Cardamom, just leave it out.

400 g Rhubarb
2 tablespoon corn starch flour (or potato starch flour)
75 ml sugar
200 ml oats
100 ml ground almonds
3/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
100 g butter
1/4 teaspoon salt

Het the oven to 200 degrees celsius. Chop the rhubarb into 2 cm pieces and place in a pie dish. If the rhubarb is a bit rougher you might want to peel it. Sprinkle over the sugar and the corn starch. In a bowl mix oats, ground almonds, cardamom and salt. Cut the cold butter into small pieces. Mix with the oats mix until it has a crumbly texture, the easiest tool for this are your hands. Place in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes until the top is golden. Serve with vanilla bean custard, vanilla ice cream or greek yoghurt.

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Very Pink Beetroot Pesto


I appear to have an obsession with pink food at the moment (my next recipe  to publish will be a rhubarb crumble). I made this very pink dish for lunch recently and it is very quick and easy to make.A good way of adding a bit more veg to a regular home made pesto.

Serves 2

1 medium beetroot, finely grated
15 g basil, finely chopped
25g Vegetarian Italian hard cheese (or parmesan if you wish) finely grated
50ml pine nuts, crushed
50 ml virgin olive oil
200 g pasta
black pepper
½ teaspoon sea salt
Mix the grated beetroot and parmesan with basil, crushed pine nuts and olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. Boil the pasta and drain but save a couple of tablespoons of the water. Return the pasta to the pot and mix in the pesto and the pasta water. Serve.

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Beetroot burger with whipped goats cheese



I love burgers, but I am often suspicious of the veggie alternatives, even more so if a menu just says “veggie burger” with no information about what it is actually made of. I have too many times ended up with burgers that look like they were made form mashed up frozen peas, carrots and corn. What is even worse is that the price is often the same as for a meat burger. This should be illegal. I obviously love veggie food, but in my experience this is also a good burger if you are having gusts that like their meat. The beet is with their deep earthy flavour is a very satisfying substitute to a meat pattie. Today I fancied serving these with home made potato wedges but most of the time I choose to present these red patties in fancy burger buns.  If you want to experiment with different herbs  or if you don’t have basil at home these burgers also taste great with dill, parsley, rosemary or thyme.

Beetroot burgers with whipped goats cheese
4 patties


Beetroot burgers
4 medium beetroots
bunch of fresh basil, chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
black pepper to taste
200 ml rolled oats
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1 free range egg

Whipped goats cheese
100 g soft goats cheese
50 ml crème fraiche
black pepper to taste

Finely grate the beetroot and squeeze out some of the liquid. Mix with the rest of the ingredients. Heat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Put aside for 20-30 minutes so that the oats can soak up the liquid. If you are serving these with potatoes wedges this is a good time to prepare and start roasting them. Shape the beetroot mix into 6 patties and place on an oven tray lined with baking paper. Place in the oven for 30 minutes, flip halfway through. You can also shallow fry in a frying pan a medium heat for roughly 5 minutes on each side.

Whip together the goats cheese, crème fraiche and black pepper to taste.

Serve with potato wedges or in a burger bun with a fresh salad.

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Lingonberry & Cinnamon Smoothie


It has been a bit quiet here for a while as I have been at home in Sweden visiting family and friends. I have been cooking quite a lot but I was in a holiday mode and did not take photos of any of  it. I did however manage to take a photo of this refreshing smoothie with lingonberries. These tart berries are very common in Scandinavian cuisine and are served with meatballs, black pudding, potato cakes, in porridge, as coridial, in desserts and more. I realise that frozen lingonberries might not be readily available everywhere, but if you can get hold of them, lucky you! As far as I am aware there are no lingberries in Edinburgh where I live 😦

250 ml oat milk (or any other milk you like)
100 ml frozen lingonberries
pinch of cinnamon
1 frozen sliced banana

Blend all the ingredients and serve immediately.

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Japanese Okonomiyaki


Okonomiyaki is a Japanese pancake/omelette with vegetables. This is another recipe that is easy to adjust according to what vegetables you like or have at home. The word Okonomiyaki actually translates to something like “what you want grilled”, a great name for a dish. I often find myself with half a head of cabbage in the fridge and this is a perfect way of using it up. The Okonomi sauce an important component of the Okonomiyaki and if you can’t find it to you can make it yourself. Just mix 3 tablespoons ketchup, 1 teaspoon soy sauce and one tablespoon vegetarian Worcestershire sauce. I have also seen HP sauce being suggested as a valid substitute.

Japanese okonomiyaki
Serves 2

sesame oil
2 eggs
1 sachet of dashi stock or regular vegetable stock works too
½ teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon mirin
1 medium potato, grated
2 spring onions, finely sliced
1 carrot, grated
1 small courgette, grated
3 tablespoons plain flour
220 g finely sliced cabbaged

Mayonnaise (Preferably Kewpie)
Okonomi sauce
Seaweed sprinkle
Pickled ginger

Mix the eggs with the soy sauce, dashi stock and mirin. Squeeze out some of the liquid from the grated vegetables and add to the egg mixture. Heat a frying pan with sesame oil to medium heat. You can make one large pancake or portion-sized versions that will make the flipping easier. A big one can be quite difficult to flip. Fry for roughly 5 minutes then flip and cook for another 5 minutes. Serve with mayo, Okonomi sauce, pickled ginger and seaweed sprinkle.



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Swedish Rye Bread with Caraway Seeds & why I killed my sourdough


About a year ago I killed my sourdough baby that I had been nurturing for about two years. I had accidentally killed sourdough previously but this time it was on purpose. A planned murder. After I poured it the in the bin I felt immensely relieved. I had loved experimenting with different recipes using my sourdough which resulted in quite a few successful breads. However, it had become a huge stress in my life. I had to bake bread every week, or at least every other week and I had started to thing that it was silly to buy a loaf of bread from the shop.

I want to be good at everything. I want to have a successful career, have good friends, close family relationships, a beautiful home and cooking good food all from scratch. But there is just not enough time for any person to be good at everything. We all need to prioritise what’s important to us and sacrifice the things that we can live without. I started to realise how stupid it was for me to keep this sourdough going after reading this article (sorry it is in Swedish) by food writer Lotta Lundgren where she warned people, and specifically women of the slow food trend. She wrote that the reason why we dream of grandma’s old stew is because she spent her whole day in the kitchen preparing that meal. The female liberation was helped by the fact that working women also responsible of taking care of a family could save time and energy by buying ready meals. Good food is good, but sometimes we need to focus on other things in life and a ready made product might allow us to do so.

I don’t want to bake bread every week and plan my time around the rising of a dough. I also don’t want to eat bread every day and sometimes I want to buy a deliciously bad white loaf from the supermarket or a fancy sourdough bread from a baker. If baking bread is your hobby and passion you should definitely start your own sourdough, but if you start to feel any stress at all, just kill it.

I still love baking bread but only when I feel like it and when I have enough time to not feel stressed. When my sourdough was alive I used to bake a rye bread with caraway seeds from the book Artisan Bread By Jan Hedh. It was really dark from all the treacle and if you served it with honey it was more like cake than bread. I decided to make a version that did not require sourdough and here is the result. It still requires some planning and time since the rye flour is scalded to bring out the full rye and caraway flavour and make the bread moist. Eat it as open sandwiches in a classic Swedish style. It is amazing with butter and honey but also with savoury toppings.

Swedish Rye & Caraway bread
2 loaves


1 tablespoon caraway seeds
1 ½ tablespoon sea salt
500 ml water

30g melted butter
21 g dried yeast or 50 grams fresh yeast
250 ml water
100ml treacle
½ tablespoon apple cider vinegar
300g stoneground rye flour
300 g strong white bread flour

Day 1
Mix the flour, salt and caraway seeds. Boil the water and pour over the mixture. Stir until blended and cover with a lid or cling film. Leave for 12-24 hours to bring out the full flavours and making the finished bread moist.

Day 2
In a large bowl or standing mixes if you have one, mix the scalded rye flour mix, treacle, yeast, lukewarm water, melted butter, and vinegar. Mix until smooth then add the flours a little at a time. Save some for shaping the breads later. Knead in a machine or by hand until the dough is smooth and elastic. The dough should be quite firm. Place in a lightly oiled container and cover with a tea towel and leave to rise in a warm place for 1.5 or ideally 2.5 hours.

Place the dough on a work surface dusted with flour and shape into 2 smooth loaves. Place the loaves in greased loaf tins, cover with a tea towel and leave to rise for 30-60 minutes. Heat the oven to 225 degrees. Once the breads are ready to go in lower the temperature to 175. Bake on a low shelf for 1 hour.