Sunday, 28 December 2014

Pearl Barley & Mushroom Aivar Salad

Hi! And happy post-christmas times!

Yesterday I returned Glasgow city and today I think my body might be in shock from having gone back to work after the holidays. Now however, my feet are up and I am charging my camera...which decided to die on me on my second day there, even though I charged it right before I went to Norway. It might have been the fact that my dad had just gotten a kitten and... I might have spent way too long trying to take some nice photos of her, but little Trixie is a hyper one.

Anywhooo, have you had a nice christmas? Or a nice weekend?

I wondered what I could use the wonderful Aivar I got from HelloFresh for, and then I realised I had a lot of random ingredients in the fridge that could easily be turned into a nice little salad, and off to the kitchen I went.

This turned into a lovely little lunch salad! Perfect for times when you miiiight just have overindulged a little, or actually... This salad would fit any season, and any time - I'm so glad I improvised and made this *biggrinonherface*

Pearl Barley & Mushroom Aivar Salad
(Serves 1)

3 tbsp pearl barley
1 cup of vegetable stock
1 bay leaf
1 cup vegetarian stock
80g small button mushrooms, halved
30g cheese of choice, I used Wensleydale with cranberries
2 tbsp aivar
Fresh salad leaves to serve

- Simply boil up your barley along with stock, bay leaf and mushrooms for about 15-20 minutes, leave for about five minutes to cool slightly.

- Crumble in the cheese and mix in 1 tbsp aivar, serve on a bed of leaves and top with the remaining aivar for a bit of extra flavour and enjoy!

We were so lucky that we got about 20 centimetre of snow on the 26th, and you might be surprised, but Bergen doesn't actually always get a white christmas. It was two days late (we celebrate the evening of the 24th) but it made for a wonderful scenery, like in the postcards - with the fjords and mountains, amazing! I ate far too much, but hey! As my dad tells me "It's not about what you eat between Christmas and New Year's, but what you eat between New Year's and christmas", and when you're offered the finest biscuits, cakes, and dinners - you wont exactly refure right? No way Josê!
I hope you have had a lovely week as well ^ ^

Recipe by yours truly,

- Jules

Monday, 22 December 2014

Peanut Butter Cranberry Bars & Take-Off

You know that heartbreaking feeling when you find your peanutbutter jar....almost...empty? I don't know why, but for some reason this is one of the saddest occasions in the kitchen (that, and when your cake that you have been anticipating just...collapses). BUT one can only make the most of those moments and make sure you use up the last bit for something deeeelicious right? Or just grab a spoon.

In this case, I managed to behave, just in time to make these lovely nutty bars! These are sugar-free, vegan, and packed full of nutty goodness, just the way we like it!

Peanut Butter Cranberry Bars
(Makes 4-6)

1 cup dates
2 tbsp dried cranberries
2 biiiig tbsp peanut butter
1/2 cup oats
50g hazelnuts (or other nuts)

- Simply soak the dates in a bowl in warm water for five minutes, then drain. Add all the ingredients to a food processor and blend until you have a sticky paste, still with a bit of crunch to it.

- Take a small cake tin or a bread tin, and dress it with clingfilm, then add your mixture. Flatten down into the tin firmly with your hands. The mixture should be about 1cm thick.

- Now, you can cut them into little bars, OR you can make power balls, simply by rolling them.

These are perfect for lunchboxes, when you're in a hurry and need something on-the-go, or enjoy with a cup of coffee in the morning or afternoon.

PS. I am pretty sure my stick blender hates me.... In fact, I know so, he's giving me evil looks and wants to retire in place of an actual food processor...

What are your favourite bars?

On a slightly different note, this will be my last post before christmas! I am going to Norway today (cannot wait!) and because I am only there for five days, I doubt I will be online much during that time, as I have soo many lovely faces to see! So don't you go posting hundreds of goodies in my absense! (Although, I will probably scroll back and update my self even if it will take me a week...).

I found that I don't tend to walk up mountains in Norway in the Winter time, but chances are that Bergen wont be covered in snow - so I thought posting a picture of the sunny fjords was appropriate in any which case *smiles*

Bags are packed, Seamus and Finnegan have gotten their holiday fish food and are on their second breakfast, and all I can say is simply have a wonderful festive season! Big hugs from Glasgow x

Original source:

- Jules aka Julienissen

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, 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
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:

- 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

Saturday, 6 December 2014

Single Lady Banana Split â la Katrina

I can't actually remember having a banana split out, not even as a child!

But you know what? It doesn't matter, as they usually seem a little too sugary and tend to be way too big portions and the like. Plus... Katrina just provided me with the tastiest little treat that is so good - you might have it for breakfast just as much as you'd want to serve this up as a dessert!

A handful of ingredients and so much goodness! I hadn't had nutella in so so long, so this was most definitely a treat! Plums are no longer in season here though, so if the same applies when you wanna make this, I'd serve it up with a few slices of nectarine or peach instead. If you're lucky enough to have access to lovely, sweet, ripe plums - go for it!

PS. Check out Warm Vanilla Sugar for some mouthwatering pictures of this little number!

Single Lady Banana Split â la Katrina
(Serves 1 single lady or lad)

1 banana
3 tbsp vanilla yogurt (can use vegan)
1 tbsp strawberry jam
1 tbsp Nutella (for vegan, use homemade)
A few shelled pistachios or pecans - roughly chopped
1 plum (or a few slices of nectarine), sliced

- Simply cut the banana halfways and place on a plate (easier to scoop up all the goodies then!).

- Top with yogurt, and then - heat up both the jam and Nutella, separately until soft (you can do this either for a few seconds in the microwave, or in a small pot, make sure it doesn't burn!

- Have the jam and Nutella atop the banana, followed by nuts and the plum, and enjoy, almost hitting 2 of your 5-a-day in this hit, what's not to love about this?!

Original source:

- Jules

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Algerian Silk

One of my colleagues gave me this amazingly simple and, soon I come to discover - O so tasty Algerian recipe! I made a single serving for lunch, but I have doubled the recipe below, because you are going to want more of this for sure, of whip it up for a friend.

It's such a lovely, hearty and yet healthy dish. Add an extra egg if serving as a main with some toasted flatbread, but the recipe below will serve two as a filling lunch or breakfast.

I have made it three or four times since I first got the recipe... I might be addicted...

Algerian Silk
(Serves 2)

300g spinach, roughtly torn
1 large (or two smaller) cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1/2 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
1 medium potato, diced
1 tbsp tomato purée
1 tsp smoked paprika
Stock to cover (vegetable, beef, or chicken)
Salt and pepper to taste
2 eggs

- In a pan, start by dry - frying your spinach on medium low heat until wilted, this only takes a few minutes, then add the chilli and garlic and fry until the spinach is completely broken down.

- Now, add the potato, tomato purée, paprika and enough stock to juuust cover. Season and allow to cook for 10-15 minutes until the potato is soft.

- Crack the eggs in and stir for a minute until the eggs are starting to cook, turn off the heat and stir for another minute before serving. You want the egg to be juuust cooked without the sauce to curdle, or that is what I did anyway and it worked a treat!

Enjoy either on its own, or with toasted flatbread and enjoy!

I loved how simple this was, and it's packed full of nutrition and protein, a perfectly balanced comfort meal, mmmmmm so good!

Have you tried Algerian food before?

Also, sorry for having been very un-Wintery on the blog this year so far, it's just that.... It's been so mild outside, and I have been inspired by so many different people and books recently, and finally gotten around to making some food that I have been meaning to for aaaages!

And when it comes to christmas, I find myself going back to the classics. I had a head-start in November when I made coconut macaroons for my colleagues, and last week I made some biscuits that will be up here in the not too distant future! What is your absolute favourite christmas bakes?

Thanks to my colleague and friend for this great recipe!

- Jules

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Banana Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

In about nine hours' time eighteen years ago, my little sister came to this world, and I just wanted to wish her happy birthday here:
Happy birthday Camilla! I remember waiting for the phone to ring as my granny was looking after me. In the middle of the 6 o'clock children's TV it did, and I got the news that my baby sister had come to the world healthy and happy. I was such a proud big sister, so happy to be able to share years to come with her (although she could be a little annoying, but then I had to tryyyy and remind myself that that comes as part of her role to, haha) *smiles*
It might be seven years between us, but for the last years it really doesn't feel like it, she's such a wee grown-up now! And thus, we need cake! Cupcakes no less.

I had a discussion with a friend at work the other day, about... the slices of cakes, yup, I kid you not! We were talking about how sometimes, we can be put off if the slices in cafês are too big (although at home, we'd happily have several smaller slices, adding up to at least a ridiculously large piece all in all, funny that...)
Anywho, we came to the conclusion that is better to have access to several little slices or pieces, with the option for a second one instead of ginormous mountains of it, don't you think?

And that is why I love cupcakes so much! You can easily have a couple of these, AND they're gluten and sugar free as well, but you would never have guessed it, as they are deliciously sweet and creamy with the cream cheese frosting!

Banana Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
(Makes 6)

1 banana, mashed
2 eggs, lightly beaten
20g vanilla protein powder
20g coconut flour OR ground almonds (I used 1 tbsp of both)
3 tbsp xylitol/sukrin gold/brown sugar
3 drops stevia chocolate (optional)

100g light cream cheese (I used Philadelphia's lightest)
3 tbsp xylitol/sukrin gold
A squeeze of lemon (optional)

- Pre-heat the oven to 160ºC.

- Whisk all the ingredients together well, and once it's a little fluffy, divide them between six cupcake cases. Place them in the middle of the oven and bake for 20 minutes.

- Allow for them to chill properly before making the icing. Then mix the (icing) "sugar" (xylitol) and the cream cheese and optionally a squeeze of lemon juice, until combined. Pipe or spread the frosting out evenly over the cupcakes and chill before serving.

I find that the cream cheese frosting tastes better if it's allowed to "mature" in the fridge for a few hours or even overnight! Don't you?

Original source:
Sunn & Sterk med Proteinrik Mat, p. 38

- Jules

Monday, 1 December 2014

Winter Vegetable Cakes with a Cheesy Bechamel Sauce

Did you know Spotify has a radio channel? I didn't until this very day, my flatmate put it on, and we blasted it through the speakers as I was cooking up these lovely vegetable cakes below.

We're talking Counting Crows, Blur, Britney Speaks, N'Sync, Backstreet Boys, No Doubt, Lou Bega - I jest not. It was 90s-tastic and then some!

But, let's talk food, as I assume that is why you manage to stumble upon these here words. I found this recipe in the ever so lovely Sophie Dahl's cook book, but had to change it sliiightly, based on what I had at hand!

Winter Vegetable Cakes with a Cheesy Bechamel Sauce
(Serves 2 as a main, 3 as Lunch, and 6 as a light Starter)

Cooked-pre-fried-but-still-delicious state of vegetable patties

2-3 carrots, peeled and diced
1 large potato, diced
1/3 celeriac, diced (about 200g)
A handful curly kale
1 tbsp butter
Salt and pepper
1 tsp butter
1 small onion or 1/3 leek, finely chopped
A handful of spinach, torn

For the sauce:
1 cup milk (+ 1/2 tsp vegetable stock powder if using soy or nut-milk)
1 tbsp butter
A bit of salt and pepper
25g grated cheese
Fresh (finely chopped) or dry parsley
1 tsp arrowroot, or 2 tsp cornflour mixed with a bit of water

- Start by making the vegetable cakes: Have the carrot, potato, celeriac and kale in a medium casserole and cover with boiling water, add a bit of salt and simmer for about 15-20 minutes until tender. Drain, and then mix in 1 tbsp butter, salt and butter and mash. Set aside.

- Heat 1 tsp oil in a small frying pan, and have the onion/leek and spinach in to soften for a few minutes. Add to the vegetable mixture and chill for about an hour in the fridge (if you have the patience!).

- Now, take out the vegetable mixture from the fridge and shape into 6 vegetable cakes. Heat butter in a large frying pan on medium heat, and fry for a good few minutes on each side until lovely and golden. Flip every few minutes, but be careful not to break them.

- As the vegetable cakes are cooking, you can make the sauce! Take a small frying pan or casserole and heat up the butter and milk along with the salt, pepper and parsley. Right before it starts bubbling, turn down the heat and mix in the cheese. Then, mix the arrowroot powder/cornflour with about 50ml water or milk and whisk lightly to get rid of the lumps, now pour it into your sauce and allow for it to thicken after a couple of minutes.

Once your vegetable cakes are golden, and the sauce it's done - it's ready to serve!

I only fried four of these, as I was sort of hungry, and only cooking for myself. BUT the remaining two vegetable cakes I had pre-fried and with a little sweet chilli sauce, it was the bomb!

Do you have a favourite veggie-burger or vegetable cake recipe?

I cannot believe it is already December, can you?
Because I work in a place that leaves me either regularly snacking on, serving, or finding myself partially covered with chocolate, I had to stay away from the traditional chocolate calendar this year. So yesterday after work, I went to the shops and bought 24 flumps, remember them? THE marshmallow of all marshmallows, that tastes like chewy sugar clouds, if they were made of marshmallow anyway... The girl behind the counter looked at me both confused and amused, and when I explained the situation, she totally understood. And so it was the Julie went back to her flat and pieced together her own questionable advent calendar like so:

I stuck a number to each of them, and made sure I have three per string, so that when I go to Norway on the 22nd, I have the last three to take with me ^ ^

And the straw-bucks are in place in the window sill now!

I hope you have had a good start to your December so far, do you have an advent calendar?

Inspired by:
From Season to Season, p. 45

- Jules