Saturday, 29 March 2014

Snickers-style Ice-cream Sauce

Or: Do you ever just want to make ice-cream slightly more unhealthy? Well, you're in luck, some Saturday night decadence is on its way!

We’ve all been there – really fancy some ice-cream, but the only thing in the freezer is vanilla. BORING. So, I scramble in the cupboards and see what I can come up with. While crumbled cookies are also a very acceptable option, I prefer this gooey, chocolatey, peanut-y sauce. Bonus: it is pretty much less effort than scooping out the ice-cream.

Off centre picture. Is it bugging you as much as it bugs me?

Thursday, 27 March 2014


Look, sometimes you just don’t want meat. Sometimes you want a crispy, delicately spiced ball of beans. And that, my friends, is why falafel was invented.

I’m not going to lie, I’ve attempted falafel in the past and it was a NIGHTMARE. Horrible, limp, cloying, un-salted. But then I picked myself up and tried it again. And I’m glad that I did, because these little beauties are a firm favourite.

Serve them whatever way you want, I chose tortilla wraps, spinach and hummus because it just felt right. I also had an avocado to use up so I mixed up the cuisines and threw in some guacamole to the mix. It didn’t go perfectly.. But hell, I liked it. And that’s why I do this.

Sunday, 23 March 2014


Or, cinnamon buns.

Shall we continue the Swedish theme? Okay, then!

Hmm, that name looks familiar, you might be thinking. Well, if you have visited IKEA lately and hung out by the grocery section, you will be right.

These are amazing little pastry blobs of sweet cinnamon delight, Swedish-style. Now, Sweden doesn’t often get sweet things right. They have an affinity for cardamom, for one. And those lime-green marzipan abominations.. Don’t even get me started.

But these are wonderful. Smaller than their American cousins, and less in-your-face sweet too. I took this recipe from a great little red gingham Swedish cookbook which my Swedish boyfriend assures me is a staple in any Swede’s kitchen.

Frankly, any Sunday where I get to mess around with dough is just swell by me. If you’re the same, you need these in your life.

Friday, 21 March 2014

Swedish Waffles - Våfflor

If you have a waffle machine (and they’re not that pricey) and are looking for a tasty weekend breakfast, then this is the recipe for you. Swedish style waffles are mildly tricky to make, the batter is slightly thin and sometimes removing them from the pan is a nightmare if you haven’t greased it well enough/are too impatient.

But my boyfriend assures me that my tribulations with these waffles are worth it. Because he LOVES them. One thing I love about them is, when using the traditional Swedish waffle iron, they come out in little heart shapes. I love it when my food is cute.

There’s no sugar in the batter, so these are definitely savoury, and the sweetness comes from the array of toppings that these serve as a base for. Any work well, let your imagination run wild, but for breakfast ones I have a soft spot for Nutella (who doesn’t?). If you’re serving as a dessert, you can’t go wrong with icecream.

Makes 5-6 waffles

  • 100g butter, melted
  • 165g plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 400ml milk
  • Oil or butter, for greasing the waffle iron

To serve:
  • Whipped cream
  • Jam
  • Icing sugar
  • Chopped strawberries
  • Nutella
  • Vanilla icecream


Melt the butter and let cool slightly.

Measure out the dry ingredients and mix. Stir in half the milk.

Then add in the rest of the milk and butter and stir to mix well. There may be some lumps, but that is ok.

Heat the waffle iron, and when ready, grease the pan with some oil or butter.

Pour in a little under a ladleful of batter to the machine (about 1cm free rim around the top of the ladle is about enough).

Embrace the lumps.

And close the lid. Let cook for 2-3 minutes.

The carnage that is my kitchen is just out of shot
Open the lid carefully, what I find is that normally the top part sticks a lot more because it’s harder to grease the upright bit. I just used a wooden spatula and, from the edge, carefully peeled the top bit off. It works, you just need patience.

Serve with any of the above suggestions, or all. My Swedish boyfriend prefers the whipped cream/strawberry jam combo, traditional-style.

Mid-munch in the corner

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Leek and Potato Soup


Happy belated St Patrick’s day, everyone! Sorry for the delayed post, but I was home in Belfast all last week, having a brilliant time with the family. 

..and enjoying some warm-weather treats

The holy grail. Tayto 4 lyfe.

On my last day there, I was wracking my brains with them, trying to think of what I could make for the blog in celebration of my Irish-ness, because I just don’t enjoy too much of what you may think of as ‘traditional’ Irish food. Irish stew, salmon, Guinness.. Boke. But if you have been paying any attention at all then you know that I have a deep love for the humble potato. How could you not, they are filling, nourishing and infinitely versatile.

And this soup is a fantastic way to show off the spud. Superbly smooth and silky, and the flavour is perfect. One of the best soups I’ve ever made, and so simple. I love this for a cold-weather dinner, with hunks of warm fresh bread, but it makes a lovely filling lunch too.

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Chicken Laksa

It's really messy. Messier than this photo gives credit for.

Got this recipe from Jamie and his 15 minute meals. Or, as I call it, “Hannah getting flustered and making a huge mess in the kitchen over 35 minutes.” Seriously, I never use as many pots/pans/chopping boards/food processors and knives as when I make stuff from this book.

I have never had nor made anything remotely like this before but the spiced, salty, thick and creamy broth is fantastic. In fact, it is so incredibly flavourful that you could easily eat this without the meat. 

Usually, I am not a fan of noodles (RICE 4EVA), but this is a definite improvement on the boil in the bag variety. And it uses my favourite veg. I think that peppers or baby corn could work instead of the green beans, but I always just work with what I have.

Monday, 10 March 2014

Baked Samosas

These are my favourite type of thing: morsels of delicately spiced veggies, with potatoes included!

I got the recipe from one of my favourite cooking blogs: ekant cook curry. This guy makes some delicious curries, beautifully spiced and photographed. I have a few more of his recipes tucked away which I am DYING to try.

And these little beauties are just fantastic, the spicing inside is perfection and I love the mix of vegetables. Baking them also means they are going to be far less high in fat than the fried versions you get in restaurants. It also means that they are ever so slightly dry, which is why they make a great addition to a saucy curry. They would also be delicious with some dipping sauce. I’m thinking sweet chilli sauce would work amazingly well.

Friday, 7 March 2014

Chorizo and Butterbean Stew

Here are a few of my favourite things

Where has this been all my life?!

Seriously, this stew packs an epic punch. Forget greying mince and lacklustre gravy, this is a stew like nothing this Irish chick has eaten before. Thick, flavourful, meaty and amazing. The beans are a perfect antidote to the rich chorizo.

The other bonus is that it is so easy to make, making it the perfect work-night, cold-evening dinner. It's what I'm having tonight, and you should too!

Tuesday, 4 March 2014


Happy Pancake Day, guys!

Now, as amazing as pancakes are, I felt the need to mix it up a bit this year. Other countries have their own traditions on this most holy carbohydrate-loading day, so I decided to copy the Swedes and make my Swedish boyfriend’s favourite pastry EVER.

Semla (plural, semlor) are these little sweet cardamom spiced buns, with the top cut off allowing it to be filled with an almond mixture and topped with whipped cream, before placing the lid back on. 

They are understated and decadent. There is no “triple chocolate fudge” element, but they still pack a flavourful and rich punch. To prove they are no joke, when I was doing some reading around these, I read that King Adolf Frederick of Sweden died in the 1700s by topping off a decadent meal with fourteen of the early version of these buns.

Full disclosure, I don’t eat cream because it is weird to me, so I don’t really chow down on these bad boys often. I feel like I should clarify one of my above statements, they are my boyfriend’s favourite FOOD ever. So he isn’t totally crying that I’m not pinching any of his precious semlor.

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Mango Smoothie

Oh, so good. Mango is the best fruit in the world. Fact. Perfect texture, one big stone that it is fairly easy to manoeuvre around and just absolutely delicious. And  Sunday smoothie is the perfect way to recover from some, ahem, excesses of a weekend.

Mangoes make good smoothies because they form a lovely thick paste when blended which goes well with many other flavours while not being overpowered.

The great thing about a smoothie is that they are incredibly easy to make, and you can really throw whatever fruit you like in it. For this, I would go with any yogurt flavoured with mango, and similar for the fruit juice. I used mango and passionfruit yogurt (a near-perfect fruit flavour combo) and mango and apple juice. But really, there's no hard and fast rule. I've also made it with apple juice only and it was DELICOUS.