Saturday, 20 December 2014

Dirty Tiger Paws

Ho-ho-holey moley holidays are right around the corner, I only have two days left of work before taking a little break, I cannot wait! But before that, let me show you my new addiction....


My dearest Ragnhild tipped me on this little dish when I posted my recipe for Sunshine baked potato a few weeks ago. I had to try it out and boy - it was mind blowing!

It is vegan, it features sweet potato and cinnamon - how can you possibly go wrong?! You can't, thankfully!

I renamed this dish, as I only had it as a light snack, for a main meal though, use a whole sweet potato, trust me - you are going to want all of it!

Dirty Tiger Paws
(Serves 2 as a snack with four tigerpaws, or 1 as a main using a whole sweet potato)


1 sweet potato, peeled
Almond butter (about 2 tbsp)
Agave syrup for drizzling
Cinnamon for sprinkling

- Start by boiling up water for the sweet potato, peel it and boil it for about 10 minutes.

- In the meantime, pre-heat the oven to 200ºC.

- Once your sweetpotato is boiled to al dente, pop it in the oven for about 25 minutes, then, turn the oven down to 180ºC and bake for an additional 15 minutes until soft.

- Depending on whether you're having it as a snack or a main, slice it up and plate up/ Dip a teaspoon into the almon butter and spread it on top of a slice, repeat until all the slices are covered, then drizzle with agave syrup (about 1-2 tbsp) and then sprinkle a little cinnamon on top.


Heavenly! I had to go back for more....


I might have already had this three times since I discovered it... And as for the almond butter? Long since gone, will top up super soon!


- Jules

Thursday, 18 December 2014

Courgette Soup with Roasted Almonds

Courgette! Or zucchini as they say over in 'Murica, they're so versatile, right?

After having walked home in the cold, I figured I would make a small batch of soup for the next couple of days. This recipe is vegan, and topped with dry-roast almonds, it was fantastic, and I had no idea almond and courgette worked so well together! Luckily now I do, and it wont be the last time I pair them together!

Courgette Soup with Roasted Almonds
(Serves 2 as a main)


1 small onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1-3 green bell pepper, roughly chopped
1 courgette, chopped
250ml (light) soy milk
300ml boiling water
1 heaped tbsp vegetable stock powder, or 1 cube
A handful of almonds

- Have a medium pan over medium high heat and soften the onions for a few minutes, then add the garlic, green pepper and courgette and swirl around for about 5 minutes until the courgette starts to soften.

- Then, add the soy milk, stock, and water and heat until boiling. Use a stick-blender or a food processor and whizz until smooth. Turn the heat down a little.

- Lastly, dry roast the almonds in a small frying pan until darkened. Pour the soup into bowls and garnish with the almonds, and enjoy!

Today, I had the pleasure of going to Tchai Ovna for some delicious vegetarian food with a friend of mine, had it not been for that though, i might have whipped a second batch of this up! Have you every tried soup topped with nuts, discovered any surprisingly good food pairings?

I hope you've had a lovely week so far, and may the weekend be even better!


Inspiration from: Friske Vegetariske Oppskrifter

- Jules

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Christmas Chess Biscuits a.k.a Sunnere Silkekaker

December is flying by, so I thought I'd do a second Yule-inspired post to make sure we all have enough time to make them!

I had never had "silkekaker", nor had I ever made them until the other day, but I have seen them about - it just wasn't one of the biscuits that were a tradition to make in our family. Then, then I thought "Hey! I have to try and make seven kinds before christmas, I should have a go at some I haven't tried before". Now, OK...so I might have devoured them, and a couple of my friends have already pre-approved of them, so I must have done something right! Personally, I love how they have that lovely old fashioned texture, despite swapping some of the ingredients for healthier alternatives. Means I can have a few extra and claim that they are good for me! Right? Yes!

Christmas Chess Biscuits a.k.a Sunnere Silkekaker
(Makes one small batch - so you might want to double the recipe!)


100g coconut oil (about 4tbsp)
40g xylitol or brown sugar
100g plain flour
50g potato flour or cornflour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Additional:
1 heaped tsp cocoa powder

- Pre-heat the oven to 180°C.

- Simply mix the xylitol or sugar with the coconut oil before adding everything but the cocoa.

- Then, divide the dough in half, and add the cocoa powder to one of the halves, making sure it is mixed in well and keeping the two doughs separate.

- Now, roll two sausages out of each of the doughs, giving you a total of four. Place one brown next to a white and then the last two on top so that you have your "chess" log. Place in the freezer for a couple of minutes or in the fridge for 10-30 minutes.

- Slice the log into biscuits and place on a baking paper clad tray. bake in the ovem for 8-10 minutes until golden.

- Leave to cool slightly before serving. Perfect with a cuppa or as something sweet and light after dinner.

.... try and not wolf them all in one go, sharing is caring *winks*

This week has been good so far, I have enjoyed some time off and had the wonderful pleasure of making new friends, went to the christmas party at Nice'n'Sleazy's open mic night, and managed to keep my nerves somewhat in check and had a little debut singing a song accompanied by my friend on guitar that we finished writing last year. Today, I bumped into a musician that has been one of my muses for years now (and still is!), and he wished me a merry christmas - surreal but nice, to quote Notting Hill.
Tomorrow, it's back to work for a final four-day intervall before I'm off to Norway for a few days over the holidays, it'll be so nice!

Have you gotten around to doing much holiday baking, or just baking in general? I'd love to hear what your favourite biscuits and cookies are! I hope you have a lovely evening ^ ^


Recipe inspired from my granny's cookbook

- Jules

Monday, 15 December 2014

Light & Soft Chocolate Gingerbread Bears

So.... I wanted to make gingerbread cookies, but a healthier version as I have indulged quite a bit this week. With a recipe on hand, and a good bit of determination, I discovered that I was lacking almost half of the ingredients, so I had to substitute and thus this definitely became my own recipe in the end!

In Norway we call gingerbread "pepperkaker", pepper cakes or biscuits in other words, so I usually toss in a bit of that, it gives it that little bit of an edge along with the ginger without being too overpowering - delicious!

Light & Soft Chocolate Gingerbread Bears
(Makes 6 + cut-offs for the lucky maker)


1 egg
1 tbsp coconut oil, melted on low heat
1 tbsp agave syrup
3 tbsp flour of choice
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 scoop chocolate protein powder
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp cardamom
1/4 tsp ground black pepper

- Pre-heat the oven to 180°C.

- Mix the egg, melted oil and syrup in a bowl. Then, add the flour, protein powder, baking powder, and spices to the mix. You'll now have a sticky dough.

- Get a baking tray and place a piece of greased baking parchment on top of it. Have the stick gingerbread dough on top of it, and then place a piece of clingfilm on top, preventing the rolling pin/glass/wine bottle to stick to the dough when you roll it out, it should be about 5mm thick, remove the clingfilm.

- Place in the middle of the oven and bake it for 8 minutes. Now, carefully place it top-side down and slide off the baking paper. Cut out biscuits when the cake is still warm, whilst munching on off-cuts.

You can either serve these straight away, or wait until they have cooled a little and decorate with icing, or peanut butter, or anything else you can think of really!

Will the real ginger bear please stand up?

Yesterday (or earlier today, sort of, as it's only past midnight), I was lucky enough to watch the last Hobbit movie, and wow - I thoroughly enjoyed it, but I was quite sad at the end, as it felt like an end of an era. 12 years of Tolkien goodness... The future cinema has a lot to live up to!
After having wondered around in town afterwards in the Winter evening, witnessing an old lady dancing in the middle of the street as someone in a monkey costume was playing drums (I am not making this up!), enjoying coffee, walking around at the christmas market, and caught up with a friend for delicious home made food and a jam session.. It is time to head to Bedfordshire, and get ready to face the beginning of a new week. I have two days off, and I cannot wait to embrace it, and try and make the most of it!

What are your plans for the week?


Recipe by yours truly,

- Jules

Saturday, 13 December 2014

Tortellini Soup, Dreams & Guilty Pleasures

I remember, sometimes in the evening, hours after dinner, my mum would boil some macaroni, and we'd have that as a sort of snack before bedtime, unless I had a sandwich or some other snack. She loved it, I loved it, and sometimes we'd sneak some chopped up sausages in it too.
But then...THEN we discovered tortellini! These lovely little fluffy, fresh pasta parcels stuffed with goodies, mmm - sold! To that little girl and her mother. We'd easily wolf down a packet of tortellini between us, bliss ^ ^

Today, I had tortellini for the first time in literally years (shame on Julie, why deprive myself of such awesome things as these?!). And this time, I didn't have them on their own, but cooked them in a lovely tomato and cannelini-based casserole, so good! I had a bit of a Warm Vanilla Sugar week when I made these dishes as you might have noticed, but that girl really knows her stuff, what can I say?

Tortellini Soup
(Serves 3-4)


1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
400ml tin chopped tomatoes
400ml tin cannellini beans
1/2 tsp oregano
A bit of black pepper
100g spinach, roughly torn
800ml vegetable stock
300g packet spinach and ricotta-stuffed tortellini
Grated parmesan and good, crusty bread to serve

- In a large casserole, heat the olive oil, add your onion and soften for about five minutes. Then, add the garlic and fry for an additional minute or two until golden.

- Now, add the spinach and wilt for about a minute, add the oregano and pepper and give it a swirl before adding the tomatoes, beans, and stock. Leave to simmer for about 5-10 minutes to let the flavours get a chance to meld together.

- Add your tortellini, and cook in the casserole for as long as instructed. Mine took five minutes.

Serve up in bowls, top with freshly grated parmesan, and some good bread for dipping and mopping.

Comfort food at its best!

What is your favourite Italian dish?

I also made Katrina's Parmigiana Bianca, and I who normally don't like aubergines, loved these! So soft and tender!

Also, do you remember how I have a Flump calendar? Well after about ten days of flumps as part of my breakfast, I decided that I had to do something, and so I...added them to my porridge! I know, I know, it's childish, but it's SO good! The marshmallow simply melts into the porridge, and so I didn't need to add any sweetener of any kind! This was my breakfast this morning, but the Peanut Butter and Marshmallow Porridge is my favourite so far, hehe...


Also, last night I had many awful dreams, but then I was lucky enough only to remember the amuzing one, it went a little something like this:

Location: What looked like Grand Canyon
Occasion: School trip
So my class and myself were on a school trip to the Grand Canyon, for reasons unknown, but it was awesome! Pupils from Primary and Secondary were there, and we were wandering around until one of the locals told us: One of the carriages on the train has come off, run to the hill there!
And ran to a hill we did, and it must have been the cart containing dessicated coconut, for there on the little cliff lay little coconut macaroons - cooking under the scorching sun. They were delightful, and now I am sad it was just a dream...

This post turned out to be a little longer than expected, sorry about that! Do try this tortellini soup though, it's delicious! The little Yule Mouse says so! (Isn't he adorable?!)



Original source:
http://warmvanillasugar.com/2014/10/26/sicilian-sundays-tortellini-soup/

- Jules

Thursday, 11 December 2014

Pan-Fried Chicken with Dukkah Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Are you ready?!

Here comes the third and last (for now) recipe from HelloFresh that I got to try out. I made it after a long day at work, and it was so easy and delicious with this lovely dukkah spice mix. I am sure there are recipes kickin' about if you want to try your hand at making your own dukkah as well *smiles*

Pan-Fried Chicken with Dukkah Roasted Sweet Potatoes
(Serves 2)


1 1/2 tbsp Dukkah
1 medium sweet potato
2 large chicken breasts
Salt and black pepper
Zest of 1 lime, plus a squeeze of lime juice
4 tbsp sour cream
150g sugarsnap peas
Olive oil

- Start by pre-heating your oven to 220ºC.

- Now peel (or wash) the sweet potatoe and cut into dice. Toss in a bowl along with the dukkah mix and 1 tbsp olive oil. Place on a baking tray and roast for 25 minutes until soft and slightly crisp on the outside.

- In the meantime, cut each chicken breast along the side until you get to the end, so that you can flip it over, "butterfly" style. Sprinkle both sides of the ckicken with some salt, pepper and rub on the zest on both sides.

- Mix the sour cream in a small bowl with a pinch of salt and pepper and a squeeze of lime juice, stir and set aside.

- Ten minutes into roasting the potatoes, heat some oil in a large frying pan on medium-high heat, now, add the chicken and cook for four minutes on each side (or a little longer, as it might need a minute or two longer, I always check using a knife and cut into the thickest piece of chicken).

- Once you've turned the chicken, boil up some water, and cook the sugarsnap peas for three minutes, drain.

- Now, it's time to stack it all up before serving! Serve the roast sweet potatoes with the sugarsnap peas, top each place with a piece of butterflied chicken, and the sour cream on the side.

Go to www.hellofresh.co.uk and use reference code BWD72K to get £20 off your first box!

I cannot believe how quick this month is flying by by the way, how does it happen? I feel like I have hardly posted any festive treats, but then again, you do need other things than gingerbread and mince pies recipes in your newsfeed, right? I have been cooking up some christmas biscuits and the like though, but around this time of year, I do try and stick with my favourites, and I cannot wait to go home to Norway and have some of my mother's "kakemenn", they're so good!


Original source:
HelloFresh UK

- Jules

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Overnight Mocha Oats & Tiramisu Oatmeal

Like oatmeal? Then I would encourage you to check out the Oatmeal Artist's blog dedicated to the humble oats, showing you how much you can use it in!

Liiiiike this Mocha-flavoured overnight oats. If you like intense chocolate flavour, you're in for atreat, as the coffee in this brings out the cocoa goodness. Make it the evening before and enjoy this little number for breakfast! You can top it with some vanilla yogurt, chopped nuts, chocolate chips, or some sliced fruit. I decided to chop some banana to finish it off, yum!

Overnight Mocha Oats & Tiramisu Oatmeal
(Serves 1)

First time around, I had it topped with chopped banana. I love pairing banana and strong chocolatey goodness!

1 cup milk of choice (I used almond, making this vegan)
1/2 cup rolled oats
A pinch of salt
1/2 tsp instant coffee granules
1/3 tsp vanilla extract (or 1 tsp vanilla sugar)
1 tbsp cocoa powder

- Start by mixing all the dry ingredients in a bowl, and then add the milk, give it a good stir (or shake if storing it in a jar), and leave in the fridge overnight! It's as simple as that!

Enjoy topped with whatever you feel this will go well with, and indulge in this lovely little treat, I hope you like it as much as I did. Will make this again in the super near future for sure *smiles*

Additional for Tiramisu Oatmeal:
1/2 cup vanilla or soy yogurt
A few drops vanilla extract
1 or 2 drops rum essence
Mix these three ingredients well

Cocoa powder for dusting


So! If you make the porridge using the same ingredients, but making it warm, layer it in a bowl or glass, and between each layer have some of the yogurt, dust with cocoa powder, and repeat, et voilâ! Fancy breakfast two ways, whatever mood your in - because usually whatever mood would never say no to chocolate, right?


And speaking of serving things up in glasses and such, the other night, I made myself some mulled wine! I had these cute little mulled wine-bags that needed used, and so I did! I also added a cinnamon stick, sliced tangerine, and a little bit of raisins and nuts (Norwegian tradition, I don't know if other countries serve it with the currants and nuts...) It was lovely, and most certainly got me in a bit of a festive spirit, heater on, candles lit, and a starry sky above *smiles*


Recipe by yours truly,

- Jules