Thursday, 30 October 2014

First Ever Pumpkin Pie!

I'm back after a long break from blogging! I've been very busy with studying lately, but I found the time to make a pumpkin pie the other day so I decided to do another post! I will hopefully be making more regular recipe posts from now on.

I've never made or even eaten pumpkin pie before but it's something I've always wanted to do, and since it's that time of year I told myself I'd do it and bought a massive pumpkin! I decided not to use canned pumpkin, because if I'm gonna do it, I'm gonna do it properly, and I've heard that it tastes nicer with fresh pumpkin. I've never tried pumpkin pie with canned pumpkin so I can't comment, but this pie turned out very good considering it's my first attempt. It's such a unique flavour and perfect for this time of year so I'd really recommend it if you have a sweet tooth.


Half a large pumpkin
350 grams sweet shortcrust pastry
150 grams sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 eggs, beaten
25 grams butter, melted
175 ml milk
Flour for dusting
Icing sugar (optional)

Phase 1: Preparing the pumpkin

This is quite an important phase which most recipes leave out, even though it's hard to know what to do if you've never done it before. This is the strategy I used and it worked quite well:

First cut the pumpkin in half (I bought my half ready cut so I didn't need to worry about this). Now scoop out the seeds using your hands, a large spoon or ice cream scoop. You can save the seeds for roasting or just throw them away.

Now you need to scoop out the stringy parts of the pumpkin which takes up quite a lot of the middle part. This stuff can go straight in the trash.

This is how the pumpkin should look when you've removed everything:

Next slice the pumpkin. You can see in the picture below that I sliced it into quite small chunks. I would recommend making the slices at least twice as big this, as it makes things a lot easier later on.

Now throw the slices into a large saucepan and cover them with water. Bring to the boil and then cover and simmer for around 15 minutes, or until the slices are soft and ready to mash. While doing this you can start on the pastry (see below).

Drain out the water and leave the slices to cool for around 20-30 minutes. After cooking the skin should be soft enough to remove fairly easily with a spoon or just with your hands, as the pumpkin will come off very easily. Just make sure they're properly cooled or you'll burn yourself. Having larger slices makes this a lot easier. Once all the skin has been removed, mash the pumpkin with a fork or blender and then sieve it properly to remove any remaining water (leave it in the sieve for around 5 minutes to make sure all the water is removed). Now the first part is done! The pumpkin is ready!

Phase 2: Blind bake the pastry

Now to do the pastry. You can work on this while the pumpkin is boiling and cooling. Set the oven to 180C First get your pie tin and dust it with some flour. Spread out the pastry over the tin and press it into the edges. Now mark it all over with a fork. Cover it with baking paper and add baking beans or some kind of weight to keep the paper down. I didn't have any baking beans so I used a smaller cake tin to weigh down the paper. Put it in the oven for 15 minutes. Remove the weight and paper and hopefully the pastry should be golden brown. When I did it I put the pastry in for an extra 10 minutes afterwards without any paper or weights, but it ended up getting too cooked and the sides started to get a little burned when the pie cooked with the filling.  Only put it in for extra time if it really needs it!

Phase 3: The Filling!

The best part of the pie! First combine the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Then add in the eggs, melted butter and milk. If you want you can substitute double cream for the milk and butter, I just did it this way as I had no cream at the time. The milk and butter way might be a bit healthier. Add this mixture to the pumpkin puree and mix well. Pour the filling into the pie dish and smooth it out.

Phase 4: Baking

Bake the pie for 10 minutes at 220C then turn the heat down to 180C and cook the pie for another 30-40 minutes, or until the filling has just set. This will depend on how thick your filling was. Mine was quite thin and was ready 35 minutes after the temperature change. Leave it to cool for 5-10 minutes before serving. It tastes better chilled but I didn't want to wait so I had some as soon as possible! Serve with whipped cream or ice cream on the side if you want. You can also top with icing sugar or more cinnamon depending on your taste.

Hope you enjoyed this recipe and hopefully it has convinced you to try out making pumpkin pie. If I can do it from scratch with a fresh pumpkin and without any experience, I'm sure anyone can. I was pleasantly surprised with how it tasted. Since I've never had pumpkin pie before, I don't know if it tasted how it was meant to, but I thought it was delicious! Let me know how it goes!

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

2 Smoothies! :)

The other day my girlfriend bought a smoothie recipe book called Smoothies och Juicer (Smoothies and Juice) from the Swedish store Lagerhaus and we've already tried out two of the recipes from it. Both of them turned out really well, considering I've never made smoothies before, so I thought I would share the recipes with you. We modified them slightly to suit our preferences.

Kiwi and Lime Smoothie

First we went for a kiwi and lime smoothie recipe, partly because it sounded tasty, and partly because we had quite a few kiwis to eat :). It turned out very rich and smooth, probably because of the ice cream in it, but also very refreshing and fruity.

2 kiwis
Half a lime
150 ml of milk
400 g of vanilla ice cream

Pour the milk into the blender and squeeze in the juice from the lime. Then scoop out the kiwis and add them. Finally add the ice cream and blend it all together :) It should make 2-3 servings. For a healthier alternative, use vanilla yoghurt instead of ice cream.

You can also check out this recipe on my girlfriend's blog here

Strawberry Cooler Recipe

The second recipe we went for was called Apple Cooler, but there were more strawberries in it than apples, so I'm gonna call it Strawberry Cooler :) This one was lighter and fruitier, so it's good if you're on a diet.

1 apple
1 peach
4 oranges
A number of strawberries (See the picture below to see how many we used)

First peel and core the apple, chop it and add it to the blender. Core and chop the peach and add it. Chop the strawberries and add them. Finally squeeze the oranges into the mixture and blend well. Serve with ice and enjoy this delicious and wholesome, summer smoothie. It's great if you love bits!

I hope this recipes gave you some inspiration! Comment if you know any other nice smoothie recipes you want to share. Thank you for reading :)

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Chanterelle Mushrooms on Toast

I had never heard of or tried Chanterelle mushrooms until I came to Sweden, where they are a bit of a delicacy. I've never seen them in the supermarket in the UK, which is a shame because they're really tasty and I much prefer them over regular mushrooms. Luckily, they're really easy to get a hold of in Sweden. The other day I cooked some up with special homemade Swedish style Chanterelle sauce (which is ridiculously simple to make) and had it on toast for dinner, with salad on the side (I'd had a big lunch so I wanted something light). This recipe makes enough mushrooms for 8 pieces of toast.

200 g Chanterelle mushrooms
125 ml cream
A large knob of butter
8 slices of white bread

1. Fry the mushrooms in the butter for several minutes until they start to go soft. Then add the cream. Add enough to fill up the pan, as some will boil away. 
2. Stir for a couple more minutes until the sauce is fully warm.
3. Toast and butter the bread and then add the mushrooms with the sauce to each slice.

This recipe is so simple I almost feel stupid writing it up but the mushrooms are really tasty and they go really well with the sauce. This recipe is perfect for a light lunch or snack, but you can also add the mushrooms and sauce to pretty much anything, it goes really well with rice and probably with pasta as well. To be honest I could probably eat it with anything. I don't know how hard it is to get a hold of chanterelle mushrooms in countries other than Sweden. I'll have a look next time I'm in the UK to see if I can find any. But if you do have chance to find some, then I'd definitely recommend buying them! 

Friday, 11 July 2014

Fitness Guru One Meal Powder

Fitness Guru One Meal Powder

My girlfriend and I recently bought a powder from Fitness Guru. Its called One Meal and can be used either as a meal replacement or as a supplement. My girlfriend bought it to have instead of breakfast when she's in a rush, but I've ended up using most of it, and she's only had it once so far. I've been using it for snacks in between meals and also mixing it with my oatmeal for breakfast sometimes. My god does it taste good! The flavour is Madagascar Vanilla and its really sweet and tasty. Some might find it a bit sickly but I have a sweet tooth so I loved it :). In addition it was extremely filling and kept me full for a long time, so I think it'll definitely work as a meal substitute for those who don't have time to cook or who are trying to diet. I'm not trying to lose weight so I'm just using it in order to make sure I'm getting enough protein into my diet, and also because it tastes so damn good. Ok, mainly because it tastes so damn good.

I don't have much experience with this kind of thing, so I can't really compare to similar products, but the price was reasonable (25 pounds for 1.38 kg). There's quite a lot of carbs in it (43 g per 100g) so I'd avoid if you're on a low carb diet. There is nevertheless very little sugar so I'm not too worried and its aspartame free which is another plus. Its also high in protein (38 g per 100 g) so its good if you need more protein in your diet. They recommend 2 and a half scoops per serving, but personally I think this is way too much and rarely use more than 1 scoop.

Since the taste is so amazing, I'm going to use it in baking and smoothies recipes which I'll post up at some point once I get around to trying them out :). So stay tuned.

Here is the link to Fitness Guru if you're interested:

Monday, 30 June 2014

My First Homemade Quiche

The other day I made my first ever homemade quiche, as I wanted to try something new and I've been making and eating a lot of meaty dishes lately, such as pie and fajitas etc, so I decided to do something vegetarian. There are so many different kinds of quiches you can make: Quiche Lorraine, spinach, cheese and onion etc. I decided to do one with tomato and broccoli since that's what I had in the fridge and I didn't want to spend money on meat. It was really delicious and turned out pretty well for the first time I've done a quiche. As with the previous pies I've made, I used ready made pastry for the base, but you can make your own of course. One day I'll try a recipe with homemade pastry, but that's for another time.

Most quiche recipes call for blind baking the pastry before adding the filling (baking the pasty by itself weighed down with baking beans). I didn't do this and it still turned out delicious and just like a normal quiche. The crust was cooked through, both at the sides and the bottom. It was a little softer on the bottom  but still fully cooked, and I prefer the pastry to be a little soft anyway so it was perfect. If you'd prefer to blind bake it, go right ahead and do it for about 20 minutes before adding the filling. You can use this recipe to make any kind of quiche, just replace the tomatoes and broccoli with your desired toppings.


500 g puff pastry
5 eggs
100 ml milk
200 ml double cream
250 g of cheese grated (you can use any cheese you like, I used Swedish HerrgÄrd)
100 g tomatoes chopped
200 g broccoli chopped

1. Mix together the eggs, milk, cream and about half of the cheese in a bowl.
2. Grease a 9 inch tray and spread the pastry over it, pressing it onto the bottom and the sides to form a crust. Use a fork and prick the bottom of the pastry all over. This helps it to cook. Sprinkle half of the remaining cheese into the bottom of the crust and spread it out.
3. Add the tomatoes and broccoli (or whatever filling you want) to the bottom of the crust and spread it out. Now pour in the milk, cream and egg mixture.

4. Put the pie in the oven at around 160 C for 30-40 minutes until the crust is browned and the filling has solidified but is still soft in the middle.
5. Leave it to cool for a few minutes and then enjoy!

There you go. Its nutritious, filling and should feed at least 4 people. What are your favourite quiche recipes? Comment below if you have any suggestions. Thanks for reading :)

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

So I thought I'd share with you a chocolate chip cookie recipe that I've been using quite a lot lately. Its the first cookie recipe that I've used that's actually worked really well, which I'm very happy about. Often when you make cookies they turn out too cakey or too hard, but these ones always turn out perfect. I've made this recipe three times now and each time the cookies have turned out slightly different, I'm not sure why, but the last time I made them was definitely the best so I'll use the same exact measurements I used then. They turned out nice and thick and soft but still cookie tasting.


225 grams plain flour
170 grams sugar
200 grams unsalted butter
2 tablespoons vanilla sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 large egg
Roughly 50 grams of dark chocolate broken up into small pieces

1. Mix together the flour, sugar, vanilla sugar and baking powder together in a large bowl. Then add the butter and egg and mix well with a whisk or with your hands. I don't have a whisk so I use my hands (it's great to lick the dough off your fingers!) Finally, add the chocolate pieces and mix them in.

2. You can now chill the dough if you want, but I'm too impatient so I bake them straight away. Preheat the oven to 200 C and then spoon the cookie dough into small blobs onto a baking tray. Make sure to leave enough space as they will spread quite a lot. Then bake them for roughly 10 minutes. If you want them to be hard leave them in for longer, but I like them soft and chewy on the inside so the less time the better. The first time I left them in for around 14 minutes and they spread a lot more and became thin and looked more like cookies, however they were quite hard.

There you go. This recipe doesn't take very long, the cookies are delicious, and it's so easy, the only challenge will be not eating them all at once! Comment if you have any cookie recipes or cookie making tips you want to share. Now I have to go for a run, since I've eaten way too many of these today. Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Bacon and Avocado Sandwich (Heaven)

Another week and more new food to try :) The other day I made bacon and avocado sandwiches as an after workout snack and it tastes so good! First I toasted some bread and lightly buttered it. Then I fried streaky bacon until very crispy and added 4 slices to the sandwich. Then I added half an avocado, mashed up, to each sandwich. Add a bit of ketchup if you want and then enjoy. The avocado and bacon really complement each other very well. Very simple and perfect for breakfast, lunch or just for a snack to keep you going :)

Thanks for reading and comment below if you have any other good ideas for bacon sandwiches, or good ideas for avocado recipes!

PS. I promise I'll post some fitness related posts soon. I've just been relaxing a lot lately since term finished recently, but I will get back into working out soon to get some inspiration.