Five Euro Food Awesome Food for less than the cost of a Burger Meal! Wed, 05 Aug 2015 11:33:58 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Back with Beetroot Brownies Wed, 05 Aug 2015 07:00:38 +0000

Sissi from once joked that I should probably have a beetroot blog since I have lot of beet recipes (ok, we're not talking hundreds here, but it's definitely something I have used a great deal in the past). Who knows, maybe I should publish a beetroot cookbook. Anyway, my son is getting more adventurous and less picky with his food. Certain vegetables (ok, most vegetables) are still a no-go for him, although he seems to love celery, cucumber, and raw spinach. I figured if he won't eat it directly, why not bake the veg into something delicious like a brownie? Besides, everyone knows that even the most unhealthy of foods becomes nourishing and power-food-like when you bake beets into it... right? Right?... ehm... yeah.

Joking aside, I really enjoyed these. I wasn't able to cook the beets for as long as I would have liked so it meant they were still a little hard when I puréed them. Not a problem for me because I just love me some beetroot, but unfortunately my mother-in-law wasn't a fan. However, as long as you make sure the beets are sufficiently cooked then you'll really never know they're in here [...]

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Back with Beetroot Brownies

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The Best Birthday Cake Wed, 10 Dec 2014 11:00:12 +0000 Warning: This post has a high calorie and fat content. People trying to achieve a bit of pre-Christmas weight-loss should probably not venture any further. Or perhaps they should, because this cake is awesome.

Whipped cream, whipped ganache, raspberries, blueberries, all sitting atop a deliciously light sponge cake - this cake has it all (had it all... it's gone now!). Best of all, every part of this cake is as simple as you could ever want. There's no complex steps involving precise measuring of temperature or time which means that this is truly a no-fail cake, and while there are plenty of cakes around which are more visually impressive, few yield such good results for so little effort, so henceforth I am naming this the best birthday cake, or perhaps "my" best birthday cake, since it was my birthday, and this was my cake after all.

The Best Birthday Cake

I mentioned in my last post that I had my birthday on the 3rd of December. I didn't actually make the cake on that day. We had some family over on the following Sunday, so that gave me plenty of time to think about what kind of cake I was going to make, as well as allowing me to focus on my birthday dinner on the day itself (a big, fat, magnificent steak with this sauce for anyone wondering, and some "french fries" made from parsnip and carrot which were very good. Incidentally, we'd got them to try to trick [...]

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The Best Birthday Cake

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Aaaand I’m back with a Spiced Plum Cake! Wed, 26 Nov 2014 20:07:26 +0000
Spiced Plum Cake

It's high time I got back into the swing of things. Months have passed and I've made only two mediocre updates. I haven't even been cooking or baking that much, but that's changing starting from now! Christmas is coming, and before that in just a week from now it's my birthday. The perfect time of year to get busy and flex one's baking muscle! For today's post I have made a spiced plum cake after finding some cheap organic plums for just 5kr. They were from Sweden, and I have no idea how they grew plums at this time of year, but they weren't that special  - a bit hard and not very juicy - so baking with them was a perfect idea.

I think I'll give Swedish gingerbread a go this year, or maybe some aniseed pigs, or maybe both. Of course, I'm choosing the worst possible time of the year to make a "comeback". It's getting darker which doesn't give me many opportunities for decent photography, as can no doubt be witnessed from today's offering. Still - as I said last year - it could be worse. I could be somewhere like Tromsø, in Norway. While I'm sure it's a lovely place, the sun rises today at 11am, and sets at 12:02pm, and it's not even December yet. This time in a month they'll have some perma-night going on which would make any kind of foot photography absolutely impossible without some fancy equipment (of which I have none) so I should be grateful for the small things. [...]

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Aaaand I’m back with a Spiced Plum Cake!

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I’m still here! Mon, 20 Oct 2014 07:00:04 +0000

Dear readers,... dear friends,

Do you know how long it's been since I posted anything to my blog? Heck, I can't even remember myself.

Ok, I just checked. July the 5th. That was three and a half months ago. Far too long, and I'll excuse myself in advance because I'm sorely out of the habit of writing, as you may have noticed from my weirdly disjointed sentences thus far. The sad fact is that I'm still not quite back to my baking-ways, and will still not be for a couple more weeks, because life has a habit of getting in the way of things, but I did want to give you all a little update so that you know that I'm still around, and that I haven't given up on FiveEuroFood entirely.

So, what have I been up to in my unacceptably long extended hiatus? [...]

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I’m still here!

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…a little break Sat, 05 Jul 2014 21:37:54 +0000

Hi folks, those of you who also have blogs that I follow will no doubt have noticed that I haven't been especially regular in stopping by of late. My own posting schedule has suffered and I have to admit it: I'm a bit frazzled.

It feels like there are a million and one things to do, and never enough hours in the day. I'm already having a hard time getting things done that I actually need to get done in a day, so I've taken the decision to step back from my blog for a while. After all, I want to be able to [...]

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…a little break

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Quick Halloumi and Avocado Salad and the giveaway results Wed, 25 Jun 2014 20:04:19 +0000
Quick Halloumi and Avocado Salad

This "quick halloumi and avocado salad" is the result of some creative thinking, and while I originally had no intention of posting it, it looked just so darn nice on the plate (and tasted amazing) that I decided to grab a few quick snaps and write it up.

I was in town and lost track of time somewhat. My wife was due to work in the afternoon and when I returned from town she was taking a well-deserved nap before leaving. I decided to make her a little something to eat before she went to work but the question was... "what?".

Having a look through the fridge I found halloumi, avocado, and some fresh spinach and pea shoots (leftover from my fried brie - yes, this dish is indeed from a couple of weeks ago and I'm only getting around to posting it now!). Well, that was about everything I needed. Chuck in a slice of bread and you've got something fairly balanced - protein, carbs, fat... you could even add in a soft boiled or poached egg on top, although I didn't feel like that was necessary. Of course, like I said - this salad was the result of some quick refrigerator-raiding. I wouldn't substitute the halloumi [...]

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Quick Halloumi and Avocado Salad and the giveaway results

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Physalis and Green Tea Jam and a Giveaway Thu, 19 Jun 2014 10:00:39 +0000
Physalis and Green Tea Jam

I've never cooked with physalis (is that the plural?) before, and come to think of it I've never cooked with green tea either, so making this gave me a great chance to flex my culinary muscle, and while making jam isn't really "thinking outside the box", the physalis and green tea jam was easy to make, and the taste was amazing. Like... actually, really, really good. It ended up being one of these experiments which you feel really pleased with, and given my previous opinion of physalis, it was nice to know that they can be turned into something delicious.

You see, up to now, physalis have always been these "sticky little berries" which they put on top of cakes and desserts in France, and no-one ever eats them. Well, I always did, because I don't like wasting food - even if it's just a tiny "sticky little berry" - but nine times out of ten, I would see them discarded [...]

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Physalis and Green Tea Jam and a Giveaway

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Organic tasties from Loppi Fri, 13 Jun 2014 11:10:16 +0000
Loppi Blogbag

I couldn't possibly say that this applies only to people with kids, because that's just simply not true, but when you "all of a sudden" do have another little mouth to feed it gives you pause for thought. "What am I actually putting into my body? What are we actually putting into our child's body?". It gives you just one more reason to re-examine your dietary habits and while I'm certainly far from being the healthiest person in the world - heck, I sure do love my butter, olive oil, chocolate, and cake - there's absolutely nothing wrong with trying to do better.

My wife and I always tried to buy organic when we lived in France. There was once a time when organic produce was a real novelty and the price reflected that. These days, it still tends to be a little more expensive, but the difference is often negligible. Indeed, for some things, such as the milk I'd buy in France, the organic product was cheaper than the non-organic counterpart [...]

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Organic tasties from Loppi

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Fried Brie – a.k.a. “When life gives you lemons… er… Brie” Mon, 09 Jun 2014 07:00:51 +0000
Fried Brie

I'm a person that likes to complain. A lot. Indeed, my poor wife likes to mock me because about one out of every five things I say begins with the phrase "Do you know what really annoys me?". Of course the usual response to that is a heavy sigh and an eye-roll, followed by "No darling, but I'm sure you're going to tell me.". What can I say? Some people are perpetually positive, and some people are more "glass half-empty".

I'll share my latest gripe with you, dear readers, since I'm sure you're very eager to know. You'd think I'd just be happy that the darkness has gone; that summer is here; that the temperatures are in excess of a balmy 32 degrees every day or so. Well, I am, but I have a big problem. It's not the perma-daylight that keeps me awake. It's not the rooster which starts crowing at 3.30am, right when I'm about to finally drift off. No, it's [...]

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Fried Brie – a.k.a. “When life gives you lemons… er… Brie”

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Cheap Asparagus Soup Mon, 02 Jun 2014 07:00:10 +0000 Cheap Asparagus Soup

Hi everyone, I'll be making a really cheap asparagus soup today but before I get to that I thought I'd give you all a brief update of what's going on here.

Well, let's see now - not a huge deal to be honest. Things are ticking along much as they always do. The days are getting shorter and shorter and "darkness" is but a distant memory right now. It never gets dark at the moment. It will get a little more "dusky" between 11pm and 1am, but still not very dark. I couldn't sleep the other night and went down to get a sandwich at 3am. I was met with the sun streaming in through the window, fairly high in the sky.

On the 22nd of June it will be the longest day - the sun will "set" at 11.30pm, and come right back up again at [...]

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Cheap Asparagus Soup

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Ocean Pie, a rooster, a hen, a cat, and some seedlings Sun, 25 May 2014 07:00:35 +0000 Cucumber Seedlings

Hi folks, I thought I'd share a great ocean pie recipe (because that sounds so much better than "fish pie") with you today, despite my wife saying that if I did post the pie photos then I'd lose all my readers. I'll admit - it's not the prettiest of things, but damn if it's not delicious. Before that though I thought I'd share a few updates with you on what's going on here.

Now that the ground has defrosted; the days are hot and the nights are mild, the time has come to start thinking of gardening. I planted some seeds a few weeks back and am delighted to see that they're coming along really well. Shown below are cucumbers; I've also planted leeks, oregano and some weird salad leaf thing which I don't actually know the name of.

Cucumber Seedlings

These are getting big enough that they'll soon need to be replanted. I dare not plant them outside quite yet because the risk of frost is still a possibility for another half month or so. In any case, eventually they'll go out to a greenhouse along with some tomato and aubergine seedlings - the latter two I'll be buying because I'm lazy and also didn't really plan ahead.

I've been weeding and forking and digging and preparing another patch of land for some beets, beans, and various other things which I forget right now [...]

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Ocean Pie, a rooster, a hen, a cat, and some seedlings

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The Top 10 Best Swedish Foods Wed, 14 May 2014 07:00:16 +0000

So, I've shown you the worst, and (unsurprisingly), most of the Swedish people I know didn't agree with my choices. Since writing the previous list I have learned of another dish which really should have made its way onto the list. "Svartsoppa", or "Black Soup". It's basically blood, cooked with stock and served as soup. Not a little blood either, but the main ingredient. So it's a bowl of hot blood. Yummy.

Regardless though, the quantity of delicious foods here far outweigh the more strange culinary things. Indeed, there are so many tasty things here that I genuinely had a really hard time coming up with the list because as soon as I put one item down, I ended up thinking of two more that I like equally, or more so.

It's a top 10 though - not a top 100, so I've tried to keep it to the things that you simply have to have if you find yourself in these parts.

Read on for the Top 10 Best Swedish Foods: [...]

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The Top 10 Best Swedish Foods

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The Top 10 Worst Swedish Foods (or ones that are just plain weird)… Tue, 06 May 2014 07:00:19 +0000 FiveEuroFood's Top 10 Worst Swedish Foods

I recently read a Top 10 on this very subject, and while I realise that things like this are highly subjective I have to say that aside from two or three things, I didn't agree with the list at all! Indeed, they even put some things on the list which I'd actually put on my "Top 10 Best Swedish Foods", so I've no idea what was wrong with that author (to be fair, I think they "crowd-sourced" the responses, and then just picked the responses from the people who'd sent in the most decent photos).

In any event, I should add a disclaimer that these are purely my personal opinions and I don't mean to offend any die-hard fans of any of the things on this list. Sweden is a beautiful country with beautiful foods but some of the things just don't sit well with me. In any case, every country has its own peculiar flavours... no-one here seems too fond of Marmite for example...

Without further ado, I present to you my list; read on to see the Top 10 Worst Swedish Foods [...]

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The Top 10 Worst Swedish Foods (or ones that are just plain weird)…

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Blood Orange Marmalade Thu, 01 May 2014 07:00:26 +0000

Who doesn't love marmalade, right? Do you know what makes marmalade even better? Using fancy ingredients, like lemons or, in this case blood oranges. Of course, they're not very "bloody". I made this a month ago or so and we don't get the most amazing produce at times up here in the colder months, so sadly these are blood oranges in name alone, but think how incredible the colour could have been, had the flesh been that gorgeous, rich sanguine colour.

As you can see, although some of them were starting to turn a bit, the blood oranges never really fulfilled their full potential [...]

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Blood Orange Marmalade

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Spring Salad with Asparagus, Halloumi, and Homemade Aioli Mon, 21 Apr 2014 07:00:50 +0000

Spring is here! Nothing can possible spoil my mood, especially not now that spring salads are on the menu. The air is warmer, the birds are singing, the buds are blooming. It's a whole changing landscape and it's beautiful. The snow is gradually melting away, with now only the very shady, sheltered parts of the landscape still showing the marks of winter. The rivers are still frozen on the edges, but they, along with the sea nearby, are now thawing out for the most part. I can go outside to see brilliantly blue skies, much like this.

Fluffy, wispy clouds hang in the air – it’s a good time to be alive.

The stores are getting a whole bunch of new things. For the things they already had, the prices are tumbling. I saw strawberries the other day for about 7 SEK a pack. That’s about $1. That’s not what I’m interested in though. What I’m after is the veg. Fresh, green asparagus, huge bags of rosy red radishes, new potatoes [...]

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Spring Salad with Asparagus, Halloumi, and Homemade Aioli

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Cream of Feta Dip Thu, 17 Apr 2014 07:00:05 +0000

I'm gonna go ahead and say, right away, that this stuff rocks. Like - seriously. It is insanely good. If you like feta cheese (and come on - who doesn't like feta cheese?) then you'll love this! Best of all, it could not possibly be easier to make. For cream of feta dip you need a mere handful of things and the whole thing comes together in about 2 minutes.

Do you remember my post about my trip to the market with my son? Yikes - I can't believe that was pretty much a year ago. Excuse me while I wipe a little tear of reminiscence from the corner of my eye. Well, I digress; my wife was doing some volunteer work and so Willy and I were having some special father and son time and we took a walk around a market, which was a very bad idea. Faced with delicious food I have pretty much zero fiscal responsibility and this wasn't just any regular market selling fruit, veg, meat and fish [...]

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Cream of Feta Dip

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Roasted Red Pepper and Feta Dip revisited: A few improvements Sun, 13 Apr 2014 07:00:46 +0000

So, for those of you who read my blog all those years ago back in 2011 (that's just Kristy and Greg, ha!) perhaps you might remember the first time I made a roasted red pepper and feta dip? Behold the horror... I'm not even going to post a picture here in case anyone gets completely turned off the recipe, so you're going to have to check it out yourself if you're brave enough.

Suffice to say, it looked pretty vile - as in, "not even a little bit appetizing". Of course, I still have far to go with my food photography and I don't really have the space to be getting overly artsy with my photos at the moment but I'd like to think that hopefully this looks better... at least like something one could imagine eating. I've definitely learned that taking a photo at 11pm does not a good photo make! [...]

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Roasted Red Pepper and Feta Dip revisited: A few improvements

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Artichoke and Coriander Dip Sat, 05 Apr 2014 07:00:05 +0000 Hi there folks. It seems like absolutely ages since I last made a post. Things sure seem to get away from me these days, but I figured I have a bit of time now, and I had a few recipes ready to roll (four in fact), so why not write up a post? I'll be writing about my artichoke and coriander dip further down, but I'll tell you first that today's going to be a fun day! My wife is out all day... it's me and my son - against the world. Well, we're actually going to meet up with my wife's aunt and cousin (so, my son's, er, great aunt (?) and... "great cousin" (??)). We'll go out to a giant indoor playground and then round off the afternoon with cake.

Speaking of my son, and following on from my previous post I thought you'd all like to see some proof of just how great Vegemite is. After all - if my son likes it, it has to be awesome, right? [...]

The Vegemite Monster

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Artichoke and Coriander Dip

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Cheese and Vegemite Scones Wed, 26 Mar 2014 07:00:49 +0000

Phew, I've been so busy the last few days! I've been meaning to write this for so long but things have always run away from me. So what I have been up to you may wonder? Well, the bulk of my time has been spent on my freelance web work (shameless plug - if you happen to know anyone looking for some assistance, feel free to give them my details!).

Naturally I've been cooking, baking and eating, like these cheese and vegemite scones, although I'll get to those in just a moment, and in amongst all that there's the school-work and the diapers and the trips into town and the trips back again. What I need is an extra 8 hours in the day. Who do I have to write to in order to start such a campaign to make the days longer do you think? [...]

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Cheese and Vegemite Scones

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Chocolate Biskvi Sun, 16 Mar 2014 07:00:01 +0000 I was really hoping to post something "Swedish" today, but in reading up about biskvi, I discovered that apparently they were first made in France, at the end of the 19th century. That said, I've never seen them in France, nor have I seen anything really like it outside of Sweden, so I'm going to go ahead and introduce these Chocolate Biskvi as hailing from this country.

They couldn't be easier to make, although one of the main ingredients might not be widely available everywhere. Almond Paste — mandelmassa in Swedish — isn't that common in other countries I've found. Don't confuse it with marzipan. While similar, almond paste is usually much looser in consistency. If you're unable to find it then I would recommend using marzipan, but run it through a food processor with a little bit of sunflower or canola oil. You should achieve a similar result, with the benefit of being able to skip the first step (grating the paste) of the recipe below.

Chocolate Biskvi truly are things which could benefit from an artistic touch. Don't get me wrong — I love everything about these things — but they're a bit plain looking, especially when they're made by someone like me with my sausage fingers and big clumsy man-hands.

Chocolate Biskvi

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Chocolate Biskvi

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Beetroot Muffins, a.k.a how to trick kids into eating vegetables! Mon, 10 Mar 2014 07:00:33 +0000

Sissi from made a funny comment on my croquettes recipe the other day about how she felt it was a little worrying if she didn't see a recipe containing beetroot once in a while. That got me thinking - perhaps I post too many beetroot recipes, especially given the fact that nobody seems to like them. Then I shook that crazy feeling off and figured that no; it's everyone else who's wrong, and that beetroot surely is the epitome of good eating (well... almost) [...]

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Beetroot Muffins, a.k.a how to trick kids into eating vegetables!

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Curry-roasted Brussels Sprouts Mon, 03 Mar 2014 07:00:03 +0000

Oh boy, I had a shock when I saw that it was the 1st of March yesterday. It can't possibly have been that long since I last made a post, can it? My last post was on the 21st of February which means that was... 10 days ago? Then I realised that I was being very silly and February only had 28 days so it's not quite as bad as I'd thought, although my posting has been rather sporadic, as has my visiting everyone else's wonderful blogs whom I follow. My apologies if my drop-ins are rarer than they used to be. Time does seem to get away from me so fast, and so easily these days.

Before I forget as well, I've got a nifty new logo! If it's showing up weirdly for you then you may need to [...]

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Curry-roasted Brussels Sprouts

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Typically Swedish: Surströmming Fri, 21 Feb 2014 07:00:43 +0000

Hi folks, welcome back to the second post in my series of "Typically Swedish" things. Today is all about Surströmming. "Sur-what?" you might ask. Let's break it down: "Strömming" is "Baltic herring". Ok, that sounds pretty good, right? Wait, wait, wait - there's another part to the word: "Sur", which unfortunately means "sour". Do not, under any circumstances, be tricked into thinking that this is something similar to pickled herring. I love pickled herring. I do not love surströmming.

It was probably one of the most unpleasant things I've ever had the misfortune of eating and yet it's, inexplicably, loved by a great many Swedish people. Ok, perhaps you're curious by now as to what it actually is.

This is just an excerpt! Want to see the whole post? Check it out here:
Typically Swedish: Surströmming

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Beetroot and Potato Croquettes Sat, 15 Feb 2014 07:00:43 +0000

The best potato croquettes I ever had were some gloriously creamy things with cheese and ham in the middle. Crispy on the outside, soft on the inside – as a good croquette should be, with cheese oozing out from the centre when you separated them. They were made even better by the fact that the restaurant I was in was exceptionally nice. It was a very fancy-looking place in Tokyo during one of my visits there and the entire place was covered in black marble. The lighting was dim, the voices hushed, and it had a stream and pond running through the whole place, with frosted glass walkways taking you over the water to your seats.

I don’t remember anything else about what I ate there – the croquettes have stuck in my mind because they were amazing. You’d think it shouldn’t be so hard to recreate such a thing [...]

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Beetroot and Potato Croquettes

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Cream of Pesto Sun, 09 Feb 2014 07:00:47 +0000

With my new timetable for school I have quite a bit of time in the week now, so I actually had three dishes cooked and prepared. I really had quite the choice about what to post today and just couldn't make a decision so in the end I opted to go for the dish I made most recently - cream of pesto. It's not particularly difficult; I'd say that pretty much everyone can throw together a basil pesto, but there was one problem. Basil isn't that cheap in the winter - especially not for the quantity you'd normally need to make a pesto - and I really love pesto. It's one of the best things imaginable with pasta and so naturally when there's pesto to be had I do tend to apply liberal quantities to my plate!

Were it just me, that wouldn't really be a problem, but let's not be selfish Charlie! My son, fortunately for me, didn't seem in the mood for pesto on this day. He kept shaking his head and saying "neh, neh" when I offered it to him. [...]

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Cream of Pesto

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Pasta-less Lasagne and the giveaway winner is… Sun, 02 Feb 2014 07:00:58 +0000

Hi folks, I hope you've had a great week. I sure have. Remember how I mentioned that I was starting studying again? Well, I've cleared that course now. I took the final exam after 3 weeks, passed with an A, and now I'm jumping straight into something roughly equivalent to high-school level Swedish. With any luck, this will be the last step I need before I can enter university here, although this step of learning is split into three parts, and most certainly will not take three weeks but I'm on my way at least!

Before moving on to the food today it's time to announce the winner of my giveaway I posted last week! Yep, after a week of caffeine-fuelled excitement, I'm now summoning up the powers of to pick the winner. There were 32 valid entries in total, based on my count of parent comments which met the minimum required (and subsequent optional) criteria, so without further ado, the winner is... [...]

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Pasta-less Lasagne and the giveaway winner is…

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Typically Swedish: Kokkaffe (Boiled Coffee) and a giveaway Sun, 26 Jan 2014 07:00:30 +0000

I’ve decided to kick off a series of posts today about things that are “typically Swedish”. I haven’t decided on a subject for a second post yet; it will be a case of writing one when the inspiration hits me, and so as a result, my next post will be “back to normal” with a nice recipe I’m looking forward to sharing with you. Today’s post though is all about coffee and I’m doing a little giveaway as well so read on for details of that! [...]

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Typically Swedish: Kokkaffe (Boiled Coffee) and a giveaway

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Swedish Countryside – My neighbourhood Sun, 19 Jan 2014 07:00:56 +0000

Hi folks, I've had a few people asking about what it's like where I live so I thought what better time to share a few photos. I braved the -25 Celsius temperatures today to take a walk around and get some shots. We're finally getting something worthy of being called a winter here - a bit of snow, some low minus temperatures, and all the fun that comes with such weather conditions.

No recipe today alas - I've been quite tired from my studies so just didn't have the motivation to start whipping things up in the kitchen, but I hope you enjoy the photos of the Swedish countryside, and if you happen to like any of the photos you can buy prints, canvasses, mouse pads or even paper-weights in my online store here. My store also contains all of the photos I previously shared from my road-trip to Sweden and I'll be adding more to it over time.

It was actually lovely to be outside. It was cold, sure, but the important thing is to wear proper clothing [...]

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Swedish Countryside – My neighbourhood

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Cranking out some Carrot Bread Mon, 13 Jan 2014 07:00:23 +0000

My mind was full of ideas of things I wanted to make and post this weekend. The only problem is, when you're in classes every day, you literally have a window of a weekend for cooking. Add into this mix the fact that it's dark by around 3pm then you need to get the cooking finished on the Saturday and then use Sunday for the photography. In the end I decided to go for something a little easier. It was still something I've never specifically tried before but it was a long time since I added to my list of "Vegetable Breads" - the first of which being, of course, the pumpkin bread I made for Kristy's winning ingredient submission for my two year "blogiversary" some time ago [...]

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Cranking out some Carrot Bread

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Falafel – Crispy, Fluffy… Delicious! Mon, 06 Jan 2014 07:00:13 +0000

I can safely say that these are the best falafel I've ever made, but then I've only ever made them twice and the first time I tried my beautifully crafted falafel disintegrated as soon as they hit the hot oil.

After reading A_Boleyn's post here about her falafel adventures I immediately began craving one such sandwich myself - specifically one that they used to serve in a restaurant in the Marais district of Paris. Falafel restaurants in this area are not uncommon... serving up crisp, fluffy, fragrant falafel in a pita with shredded cabbage, onion, tomato and sauce - but I stumbled upon a place once which had a "secret weapon".

Aubergine wouldn't normally be classed as a secret weapon, but seriously - a few good slices of grilled aubergine nestling underneath the crisp falafel will kick your sandwich up a notch from "delicious" to "out of this world".

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Falafel – Crispy, Fluffy… Delicious!

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Going nuts: Nut Roast redux Mon, 30 Dec 2013 07:00:16 +0000

Hi folks, I hope you all had a smashing Christmas. The new year is right around the corner… 2013 has been a year full of big changes, I’m looking forward to seeing what 2014 brings. I’m starting off the new year in a new country with a new way of life… what’s going to happen in 2014? I’ll have to wait and see! I hope at least that I’ll be able to share some photos of our New Year’s Eve celebration with you in my next post.

The good news is that my parents were not disappointed during their holiday visit: we had a white (Swedish) Christmas. It was even snowing throughout the afternoon and evening which made everything seem very festive, especially when Santa Claus came in to distribute gifts [...]

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Going nuts: Nut Roast redux

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Anisgrisar (Anise Pigs) Fri, 20 Dec 2013 07:00:21 +0000

Just in time for Christmas, here's a Swedish festive special for you all. "Anisbröd", or Anise Bread, which is sometimes called Anisgrisar (Anise Pigs). I have absolutely no idea why they are called the latter. Apparently someone, once upon a time, decided that the shape of these resembles little piggies and thus the name stuck. Whatever name they go by, they're delicious! Fluffy, sugary - but not too sweet, moreish little mouthfuls that are great for dunking in your morning coffee.

Normally I can't stand the flavour of aniseed but I've discovered through my Swedish baking, both in this recipe and my Swedish flat bread recipe too, that when it's in food like this it's actually really good [...]

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Anisgrisar (Anise Pigs)

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Late to the party: Kale Chips Sat, 14 Dec 2013 07:00:09 +0000

Yes, I am horribly late to the party, and I realise that these have been done a million ways before, up, down, and sideways, but I have a good excuse! I never once saw kale when I was living in France. After visiting a myriad markets, stores, and supermarkets I just gave up and assumed that, much like things like raw beetroot, kale would be one of those things that would "eventually" turn up. Give it a few more years and I'm sure it'll be everywhere, but sadly it didn't happen during my residence. Living in a country where kale supply is no problem at all is a real pleasure, so I'll be playing catch-up for a bit now while I experiment with this wonderful, curly, leafy vegetable.

I had my misgivings about kale chips, I must say. So many people rave about them. Final verdict? Well... I won't be turning in my occasional pack of potato chips any time soon, but these were a perfectly pleasant alternative. Very light, guilt-free, and actually "crispy" to boot. That one was a nice surprise! You know that "crack" you get when you bite into a potato chip? [...]

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Late to the party: Kale Chips

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Bachkoutou Sun, 08 Dec 2013 07:00:24 +0000

Hi folks! First of all, a shameless plug. A couple of people mentioned to me that they wouldn't be averse to the idea of buying a print of some of the photos I took on my road-trip from France to Sweden. I've set up a page now here where you can do just that. I've teamed up with FotoMoto to offer prints, canvases and cards in pretty much every size imaginable which you can order right from the page so if you like the photos, and want to send one as a card to a friend, or have one on your wall, please go and have a look! :)

On to the recipe though - so what's a "bachkoutou" I hear you asking? Bachkoutou, sometimes written "bechkoutou" are my newest discovery [...]

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Normandy Pear Pie – or is it? Mon, 02 Dec 2013 07:00:05 +0000

So, much like my kind-of-sort-of-not-really-Bircher Potatoes, here's another dish from the annals of my childhood which I've forever known as "Normandy Pear Pie". As is often the case for dishes that aren't that well known, I usually have a quick peek at Google before writing out the post just to make sure I'm getting the name right, if it actually exists, or even just to see if I can find any information about this dish I know so well but others can only give me blank stares when I mention it. [...]

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Normandy Pear Pie – or is it?

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Muddus Cake Tue, 26 Nov 2013 07:00:41 +0000

So what do you do when you've promised someone a Black Forest cake but can't seem to find sour cherries anywhere? I knew I would eventually encounter things which weren't widely available up here in Sweden, though I didn't think this would be it. I think we checked in two or three stores and there wasn't a can, jar, or pack of cherries in sight. None frozen, none in syrup, definitely no fresh ones at this time of year... yikes. Well, there goes that idea for a cake. Time to get creative.

I could have taken the easy way out. It was my wife's aunt's birthday and the cake was destined for her. Being Swedish she seemed to have something else entirely in mind when I mentioned a Black Forest cake. Some funky mixture of meringue, cream, and chocolate [...]

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Muddus Cake

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Havreflarn Wed, 20 Nov 2013 09:00:27 +0000

Greetings from cold Sweden! It just wouldn't be right if my first ever recipe post from my new country wasn't something Swedish, so I present to you a (yet another) Swedish baked good. This time it's something which some of you may already be familiar with thanks to that global giant IKEA. In some countries, they sell giant boxes filled with "havreflarn", although I think they call them "dubbel havreflarn", since it's actually two, sandwiched together with chocolate. Actually, a brief search on the internet tells me that in some countries they even sell "plain" havreflarn, so there you go. Now you can make them yourself. Goodness knows they're better that way, although you might not want to make them too often, since they have a nasty habit of finding their way into your mouth and a plateful of the things seems to disappear rather swiftly [...]

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FiveEuroFood on the road – Adventures galore! Thu, 14 Nov 2013 14:34:22 +0000

So, here I am in Sweden at last, safe and sound, though not without some stories to tell. There is so much to do and no doubt it will be some weeks before we have taken care of the things that need to be taken care of, but things are gradually calming down. My son is greatly enjoying being able to see his grandparents, my cat seems to have endured the trip like a champ, the car has been unloaded and the clothes unpacked, and we can now start to have some semblance of normalcy again in our lives.

I will be gradually returning to cooking again soon, but in the meantime I thought you might all enjoy some photos of my trip! I didn't take so many photos during the beginning of the journey. We spent a night in Kaarst, Germany, a night in Odense, Denmark, and a night in Gardermoen, Norway, but the scenery was rather unremarkable in these areas, and besides [...]

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FiveEuroFood on the road – Adventures galore!

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Croque Monsieur – now with fewer chin burns Wed, 30 Oct 2013 07:00:26 +0000

You'd think that for something as ubiquitous as a croque monsieur in France you wouldn't be hard-pressed to find a good one, right? Well, you'd be wrong - at least in my experience. After eight years in France I can now say that I have had only one good croque monsieur. Up until a couple of weeks ago I don't think I'd ever had a good one at all. Sadly, the vast majority of cafés and brasseries here serve up vile-looking masses of chewy sandwich, which look like they were made at best early that morning, and at worst the day before. If you're lucky your sandwich will be reheated under a grill, while if you're unlucky it will be shoved in the microwave and nuked for thirty seconds. The cheese is often cold and has solidified to one giant coagulated sheet, the béchamel is either non-existent or has been completely absorbed into the bread, which in turn is soggy, and the ham inside is of such a horrifically poor quality that I'd feel bad feeding it to my cat [...]

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Croque Monsieur – now with fewer chin burns

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Wienerstänger Wed, 23 Oct 2013 07:00:06 +0000

So, ehm, I'm not really sure of the best translation for these in English. Basically, the word "Wienerbröd" in Swedish means "Danish pastry", and "stänger" is the plural of the word "stång", which means "rod", so, er... it's like "Danish pastry inspired rods" I suppose? That doesn't sound so appetizing though, so let's stick to the Swedish name shall we?

Whatever you want to call it, it's another perfect addition to a Swedish coffee time [...]

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