Carrot cake ~ with cardamom ~

Carrots – not just for the rabbits!

While on holiday in Sweden my son and I tried several carrot cakes and most of the ones we tried in the Cafe`s had the special twist with cardamom!  It was a great treat to simply indulge, not too heavy, very fresh.

Three days back at home and we decided to give a new recipe a try and we found this one! It is delicious, light and just the right texture – and gets a lovely colour! Hope you will enjoy, too! Easy and quick at the same time!
I found this one on https://heavenlycupcake.se.
And if you manage to have some left over – it is still great the next day!

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Carrot Cake

Ingredients

  • 3 eggs
  • 3dl (*) sugar (I used a bit less and found it sweet enough)
  • 150gr butter
  • 5dl carrots finely grated
  • 3dl flour
  • 1 teasp vanilla sugar (I used 1 teasp vanilla extract)
  • 3 teasp baking powder
  • 2 teasp grounded cinnamon
  • 0.5 teasp cardamom grounded (I used a bit more for more intense flavour)
  • 0.5 teasp ginger grounded
  • 1 little pinch of salt

(*) 1dl – 100ml

 

Directions:

  • Melt the butter and let it cool down a bit
  • Mix eggs and sugar very well until white and a bit fluffy
  • Gently lift under the carrots and melted butter, best with a spatula.
  • In a separate bowl mix dry ingredients, flour, vanilla powder, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, baking powder and salt.
  • Gently mix the dry ingredients into the wet ones until just mixed, best with a spatula.
  • Spread onto a baking tray or baking form around 20x20cm

Bake at 150 deg C for about 1 hr on the lowest rack (check in between, e.g. with a wooden stick to come out dry

Remove the cake and let it cool down completely before adding the frosting.

 Frosting

  • 100gr butter
  • 200gr cream cheese
  • 1,5 dl cream (I did not add it but it will make it more “fluffy”)
  • 1 teasp vanilla sugar (I used vanilla extract)
  • 200gr icing sugar

I personally found the amount of frosting a bit too much and will reduce the ingredients by half the next time. But I assume this is personal preference.

  • Let the butter and cream cheese become room temperature
  • Mix only the butter until white and creamy
  • Add the cream cheese and continue mixing to a creamy consistency
  • Add the icing- and vanilla sugar (I used vanilla extract and added a bit more of grounded cardamom, too)
  • If you decide to add the cream, add it bit by bit and mix up to a fluffy frosting.
  • Spread it well into the cooled down cake.

 

Now, sit back with a coffee or tea, a nice book or friends and indulge!

Have a lovely day,

AK

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Parmesan Crackers

My kids love crackers and when we noticed we had no more, what better way than making your own?!

All done in less than 20min. We may just stop buying them as the options for flavours seem endless and they are so quick and easily done!

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Below please find a recipe I found in a magazine sometime ago. While the dough itself is nice we tend to add a bit more salt, springle sea salt on top. And next time I will try to add chili! Also, playing around with the herbs will give various possibilities! Or try a different flour?!

But here the base recipe that works for us.

Parmesan Crackers

225gr plain flour

1 tsp salt

1 tsp dried thyme

25gr parmesan cheese

125ml water

1 1/2 tbsp olive oil

Directions:

– preheat oven 230 deg C

– combine flour, salt, thyme and parmesan

– add water and olive oil and bring together into a dough. I find this easiest by hand.

– roll out 3mm or thinner if you like onto baking paper

– cut dough into squares, prick each square with a fork

– bake for 10min or until golden

Enjoy plain, with cheese, salami, ham, olives, salad, dips and whatever else may come to mind!

Have a lovely day

AK

 

 

 

 

Summer time – Salad time

I got fed up by what we were eating,  focusing too much on what the kids like, losing the balance in my meals and what I like. On top of that it got hot and nobody seems to be really hungry these days. So I took action and served hearty salad for dinner. Normal green salads do not go down too well with the kids and are less filling, so I tried to come up with something we can all enjoy and “experience” with!

The good thing about that kind of salad is that it can be easily adjusted to what individuals (meaning the kids)  like. The base is the same for all, and then we can all mix and match, kind of like emptying the fridge! A win-win on all sides!

 

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salad orzo

My base today was Orzo, after all I need to slowly ease the kids into all this! The next part of the base was whatever my daughter decided on, after all she was the one helping me today! She started to grate carrots, cucumber, red and orange pepper to give a lovely summer colour! Being in summer mood we added some olive oil, fresh lemon juice, parsley, lemon zest and salt and pepper.

For myself, I then spiced it up with Feta cheese, olives, avocado, finely chopped green salad leaves, grilled spicy peppers, chili – and then decided to stop!

But further ideas came to my mind, like bacon, eggs, peas, zucchini, chilli – the variations are endless! Oh the joy of just being able to add whatever you feel like!

After the kids saw my mixture they got a bit jealous and wanted to add more, too. They then decided spice it up some fresh parmesan cheese.

And just like that within a super short time we all had a healthy, filling summer dinner to each of our liking in front of us.

Don’t let salad be boring, embrace its endless possibilities!

Do you have a nice hearty salad idea you want to share with me?

Have a lovely day,

AK

Peanut Butter Cookies

My kids are not fans of peanut butter and I can’t blame them, I only started to like it as a young adult myself. But I recently remembered that they liked some peanut butter cookies they tried when visiting friends over the summer. And I remembered my friend telling me how easy and quick they are to make!  So I set out to find a new recipe. And this one was a huge success among my family and as well friends.

Having said that, the below listed ingredients are from allrecipes.com but I found the sugar shockingly high and reduced it by half and I think even less will do!
I also added some dark chocolate chips just before baking.

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Peanut Butter Cookies 

Optional: dark chocolate chips to be added just before baking

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C)

In a large bowl, cream together the peanut butter, butter, white sugar, and brown sugar until well blended.
Beat in the egg, milk, and vanilla one at a time.
Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt; stir into creamed mixture.
Roll tablespoonfuls of dough into balls. (I made them a bit small, approx. half a tablespoon
Place cookies 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheets.
Press each ball once with a fork.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until edges are lightly browned.

That’s all all there is to do – and you are ready to enjoy!

Happy baking

and have a lovely day

AK

Fish Fingers delight

The things you sometimes come across at the hairdresser – interesting cooking magazines (*). These salmon fish fingers quickly became one of our favourites.

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As usual, quick and easy – and healthy on top!

Salmon Fish Fingers
(for 2 servings)

2 tbsp ground flaxseed
2 tbsp fine porridge oats (I use the normal ones)
1/2 tsp garlic granules
1/2 tsp dried mixed herbs
2 large skinless salmon fillets
olive oil for coating
lemon wedges to serve

Directions:

  • preheat oven to 180deg C.
  • mix flaxseed, oats, garlic and herbs together (I mix it in a food processor as I use standard oats and they tend to be harder. Plus I get a softer coating). I also added Chia seeds to the mix.
  • cut the salmon into fingers, coats slightly with olive oil.
  • roll the fingers in the oat mixture until completely covered.
  • place them on a baking sheet and bake around 25 min or until coating is golden.
  • serve with lemon wedges, fries, salad, etc.

Have fun and indulge!

AK

(*) I am not sure about the magazine anymore, but the recipe was published from the Medicinal Chef: How to Cook Healthily by Dale Pinnock)

Oat cookies

Great for an energy fix, a school snacks, for picnics or a bite on the go. Super easy and quick to make, kids will love to join in!

I have fond memories of those as I used to make them as a child. The recipe dates back to my Swedish Cooking book from 1963 when there was less focus on all the healthy eating. So they may not be super healthy with all the butter and sugar, but the oats – and optional dried fruits – make up for it, won’t you agree?

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Oat Cookies 
(Havrekakor)

8 dl plain oats
2 1/2 dl flour
3/4 dl sugar (or less, I changed to brown sugar for a slightly different taste)
200gr butter (soft)

around 0,5dl dried fruits (optional; raisins and cranberries work well)

Mix all ingredients but the dried fruits. Best way to mix it is by hand, it takes a little while until the butter and the rest is completely mixed and sticky but keep on going and it all comes together. Once the butter, oats, flour and sugar are all mixed together add the dried fruits.

Then make small balls. You may want to use a larger teaspoon to portion the balls so you have similar sizes for a more equal baking.
Place them on a baking tray with baking paper and press the down with a fork til around 0.5cm.

Bake on 175-200C for about 8-10min, until the sides turn slightly brownish.

Makes about 60 small cookies.
I tend to make them a big bigger, so I end up with around 40 pieces.

Have fun
and a nice day

AK

 

 

Salmon Stir-Fry! Quick, easy, tasty!

Planning a relaxed evening or lunch and need a quick meal?! Here you go, give it a try!

When the kids were out of the house it was time to do some relaxed and uninterrupted cooking. Oh what I enjoyed it! I didn’t go for something crazy but something tasty and easy; the cutting took in fact longer than the cooking. Just what I was in for. Nice music, a glass of wine and chopping away!

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This easy, tasty Salmon Stir-Fry is so worth it. And super quick, too!
I found it in Jamie Oliver’s Ministry of Food book.

Super-Quick Salmon Stir-Fry
(Jamie Oliver)

Ingredients 

sea salt and ground black pepper
200gr basmati rice (or noodles or whatever you may fancy)
350gr salmon fillet, skin off, bones removed
a handful of shelled peanuts
1 clove of garlic
a thumb sized piece of fresh root ginger
1 fresh chilli
a bunch of coriander
groundnut oil
1 heaped tablespoon of Patak’s tandoori curry paste (or other)
a handful of mangetouts
1/2 of a 400ml tin of coconut milk
a handful of beansprouts
1 lime

Directions

The stir fry is super quick, so make sure you have your rice or pasta cooked before, respectively do all the cutting and preparation while they cook!

  • crush the peanuts in a pastel
  • peel and finely chop garlic and ginger
  • halve, deseed and finely chop the chilli
  • pick the coriander leaves from the stalk, put the leaves aside and chop the stalks
  • chop the salmon into even abt 2.5cm chunks
  • put the work onto high heat and add 2 lugs of oil
  • add garlic, ginger, coriander stalks and most of the chilli
  • stir for 30 seconds, then add the curry paste an stir another 30 seconds
  • add the salmon, cook for about a minute, then add the mangetouts and coconut milk
  • let it all cook for another minute
  • taste and season with salt and pepper if needed
  • spoon the salon over your rice / pasta
  • sprinkle with beansprouts and crushed peanuts
  • halve the lime and squeeze over the juice
  • sprinkle with remaining chilli and coriander leaves 

    Sit down and enjoy!

    Have  a nice day
    AK