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How can I best say “I love you”??

Well in my husbands case, It works very well with just giving him his favorite food.

He is such an easy guy to please. Everybody who knows him knows that lobster does it all the time. But if I want to “umph it up” just a little bit more, I just add some more shellfish or seafood.

And in true style, I made a large (…or rather grand) seafood platter for two.

One doesn’t always have to cook. “Gathering” works just as well. It is just a matter of presentation. It doesn’t have to be fancy. Just decorate it a little more than usual. After all, it is all about the thought.

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To make the purple sweet-potato hearts, I used a cookie cutter. I steamed them lightly.

 

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For breakfast we had “the same old same old”. Sandwiches, fresh blueberries and some tea.

I just added some rose-petal hearts and a truffle (raspberry chocolate truffle) to make it a little bit more “festive”.

 

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For the first day of our 2-day celebration, I served little “roses” made of smoked salmon topped with salmon roe (caviar) & potato stacks.

The potato stacks are super easy to make.

Just finely slice some potatoes (I love Idaho). Put them in a bowl. Melt some butter and pour over. Add salt, pepper (or any other spice you like) to taste. Stack them into the “holes” of a muffin pan. Bake in the oven until they are tender (use a toothpick to make sure they are cooked all the way through).

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I hope you are having a very nice Valentines day, and for my dear husband,

Happy Valentines & Happy Wedding anniversary!

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Happy Valentines day!!!

 

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This is the real deal Swedish street food. We love our “Hotdog & Mashed potato wraps”. Or “Tunnbrödsrulle” as we call it (directly translated to “Thin-bread roll”).

It really is a comfort wrap. Extremely filling and “heavy”. They are sold at the hotdog or hamburger stands that you can find on almost every corner in the city. Well just about.

This is also the best thing to grab on your way home after a night out on town (let’s just call it an equalizer for the next day).

Some people are hamburger people but I am all for a “Tunnbrödsrulle”.

The thin-bread used is really fantastic. It has its roots in the northern parts of the Scandinavian countries. In Norway in particular.

In the old days, the women on the farms would bake the breads in large badges, everybody would be involved, and it would take a long time to prep and bake for all the people involved. Some of the thin-breads were kept soft while others were dried to be stored away. Farms would take huge pride in their recipes and would guard them well.

These days they are just a shopping trip away. Every grocery store has a variety of thin-breads offered. Soft or hard. Since we can’t get this bread here in the US, I use a regular wrap bread or tortilla bread. It works well. The Cucumber Mayo & the Shrimp Salads are sold in little tubs in any grocery store. They are a must in this wrap. One or the other, not both together. I prefer the Cucumber Mayo. We would also serve these dressings on a hotdog in a regular plain bun. Delicious.

So for Super bowl this year, we are all about this super handy, grab & go, no knife and fork needed food.
I learned early from my husband that for Super bowl, you have to eat with your hands and no silverware should be needed. So roll out the wraps, I am on my way!

 

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As I always say, I don’t really care about the football part of the whole Super bowl event, my focus is always what will we eat??

Hotdog & Mashed Potato Wraps.

Directions; 4 serv.

4-8 Hotdogs (1-2 per person depending on how many you can eat). Boiled or fried.

4 Wraps, tortillas or thin-breads (just make sure you use the larger version).

1 cup thinly shredded Iceberg lettuce.

3-4 cups of Mashed Potatoes.

3/4-1 cup Cucumber & Mayo dressing (optional). See recipe below.

3/4 – 1 cup Shrimp salad (optional). See recipe below.

Ketchup

Mustard

Pepper to taste.

BBQ spice, Steak rub spice or Hot sauce to taste (optional).

Dried onions (optional).

Finely chopped or sliced vegetables are optional (like peppers, cucumbers or anything else you have around the house. I try to fill it up with a little bit more vegetables to make it less filling).

Cucumber & Mayo dressing.

1/3 cup Mayo.

2/3 cup Sweet Cucumber relish.

Mix the Mayo and Sweet Cucumber relish together well. Season with some black pepper to taste.

Shrimp Salad.

1/2 lb. (250 gr.) Shrimp. Any kind. Cooked and peeled. Lightly chopped.

1/2 cup Mayo.

1/4 cup Creme fraiche or sour cream.

2 tbsp. Dijon mustard.

1 tbsp. chopped fresh Dill.

1 tbsp. chopped fresh Chives.

Pepper to taste.1 tbsp. shredded Horseradish (optional).

1-2 tbsp. Ketchup (optional).

1-2 tbsp. Paprika powder (optional).

Mix all the ingredients together well.

If you want the salad to have a more “Rhode Island sauce” base, add the ketchup and paprika. If not, just exclude that.

The horseradish is very potent and it might be too strong for some. Use with caution.

 

Prepare your homemade-, instant- or store-bought mashed potatoes.

Finely slice the lettuce and other vegetables that you would like to add to your wrap.

Slightly warm the bread in a frying pan, griddle or in the oven. Just a few seconds for it to be more smooth to wrap.

Add 2-3 scoops of mashed potatoes vertically onto the bread. Make sure not to place it too far down onto the bread.

Add the shredded lettuce, dressings and vegetables as well. Place one or two hotdogs on top of the mashed potatoes. Add pepper and other spices all over as desired.

Make sure not to fill the wraps too full, or you will have a hard time to wrap it all together.

To wrap it up, first lift up the bottom part of the bread and then turn one of the sides over the bottom fold-over, then tightly roll it together.

Wrap some parchment paper around the roll as a cover to prevent the filling from falling out.

 

One of my favorite chefs is Anthony Bourdain.

Here is a clip from the travel channel that you can find on YouTube. It is from when he went to Sweden and had his first Tunnbrödsrulle!!

Hope you will enjoy this just as much as he did.

Enjoy!!!

 

 

One should always keep a few recipes for dishes that are showstoppers. Either because of taste or because of looks. Food that you love and that (one would hope) others would love as well.

This salmon dish is one of those dishes for me. It is just so fantastic in taste that I always say that I could eat just the sauce itself with a spoon. (Well that isn’t really true, I actually say I could swim in the sauce, but it just doesn’t sound too good).

The smell that lingers in the house after cooking this dish is like a savory perfume.

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Salmon in a hot Coconut-milk & Saffron sauce. 4 serv.

4 portion sized pieces of fresh salmon.

1 can of coconut milk.

2 cups of a good stock. (fish, vegetable or chicken).

1 apple, peeled and cut into small pieces.

0.5 grams of saffron (If you have the little envelopes, it would be 1 envelope).

1 tsp. of a good broth or liquid seasoning (optional).

1/2 tsp. fish sauce.

1/2 tsp. anchovy paste (you can skip this if you can’t find it and just use a pinch of salt).

1 tsp. white balsamic vinegar (you could also use honey or Mirin).

Hot sauce to taste (I like it hot so I use at least 1 tbsp. of hot sauce).

2-3 tbsp. dried or fresh herbs (note that dried herbs has more of a concentrated taste than fresh).

Pepper to taste.

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Add all the ingredients except the salmon and apple pieces into a saucepan. Let it boil for a few minutes.

Transfer the sauce into a wide frying pan. Make sure the sauce is boiling. Carefully lay down the fish & apple pieces into the saucepan. Turn down the heat to medium hot.

Cook the salmon until it is just about done (it would usually take 6-8 minutes depending on the size of the fish). Spoon the boiling sauce over the salmon (since you don’t turn the salmon over).  I always slightly undercooked my salmon (and most other fish) since it will keep cooking after you take it from the sauce.

There is nothing worse than an overcooked piece of salmon.

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When the salmon is done, take it out of the pan together with the apple pieces.

Boil down the sauce until it is thick enough to not “close” right away when dragging a wooden spoon along the bottom of the pan.

Serve the salmon with some rice or couscous. You could also serve it with just vegetables if you are watching your carbs.

I hope you like this just as much as I do.

 

Enjoy!

 

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I wanted to fix up a cute & healthy little breakfast for us this morning.

The weekends we take our time to start our days.

My mother-in-law makes the best fish cakes. I saved some from the holidays for this weekend to surprise my husband. He loves them.

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Mini Quiche. 4 servings. 2 per person.

5-7 eggs (depending on the size of the eggs and how big you want to make your little mini quiches).

1 (+ -1/4) cup milk (use more if you are making them a little bigger).

4 slices of sandwich meat. Cut into small pieces (I used smoked turkey breast. Depending on how large the slices are, add or take off as you desire).

5-7 mini/cherry tomatoes or 1-2 regular tomatoes. Cut into small pieces. I cut up the tomatoes and let them rest on a folded paper-towel. (This way they are not as wet for the quiche).

1-3 tbsp. fresh herbs, finely cut.

4-5 slices of a sharp (or regular) cheese. I love sharp cheddar.

Pinch of salt & pepper (if desired, add any other seasoning of your choice).

Muffin-pan or small oven safe cups.

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Whisk the eggs, milk, herbs, salt & pepper together until well blended. Add additional seasoning as desired. I tend to always add hot-sauce, ground coriander and/or ground chipotle pepper. Smoked paprika would also be delicious.

Grease (spray) the muffin-pan. Turn on the oven to 175-200C/350-400F (depending on how your oven works. Mine is a little low and slow so I cook on the higher temperature).

Fill each of the holes with the egg mixture. Make sure they are only filled 1/2 – 2/3 to the edge. Add the meat, tomatoes and finally top with pieces of the cheese slices.

Bake in the oven until the cheese is nicely melted and has turned into a golden brown color.

Serve 2 per person. Make a little bed of salad decorated with either herbs, fruits or vegetables.

I served mine with the reheated leftover fish cakes my mother-in-law made for the holidays.

If you want to make them vegetarian (a vegetarian who eats eggs), skip the meat inside.

Usually I serve them with some oven baked bacon or prosciutto.

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Enjoy!!!

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The first day of the new year always makes you want to do good and eat well (as in healthy). I can only guess how many new years resolutions has been set with a healthy living and eating in mind.

We tried to start it somewhat good already on new years eve. We had planned on doing a traditional seafood fondue but we changed our minds at the very last minute. The food itself was the same, it was just the preparation that was altered. We decided to do a BBQ!

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It is freezing cold in New York right now. We are breaking temperature records. It has not been this cold in over 100 years. We are down to -12-13C/8F. A perfect weather for a BBQ!

 

Our new years meal always consists of some kind of shellfish. Most likely lobster. After all, I am married to a man who has black belt in eating lobsters. I didn’t feel like messing down the kitchen too much with steaming lobsters and cooking shrimp, so we took the somewhat radical decision to face the cold and throw the food on the BBQ instead. After being equipped with a flashlight, BBQ tools and the food, we headed out. It took a while to even get the grill started. It was almost calling out to us saying “I am hibernating, stop bothering me!”  But after being a little persistent, we got the whole thing going. Fantastic! I can say with a 100% certainty that we were the only ones BBQ’ing this new years eve.

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Our dessert  was a simple mixture of a Swiss Meringue and a Banana Split. The year is after all meant to go out with a bang!

To make it extra delicious I baked some brownies and topped them with walnuts.

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Swiss Meringue / Banana Split bowl.

Please note that you just need a few or a handful of each ingredient per person. After all, it is supposed to fit in the glass or bowl you choose.

Small meringues

Your favorite ice cream

Whipped heavy cream

Berries

Chocolate/Fudge sauce

I also used brownie bits

A few mint leaves.

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Just layer it all in a wide glass or bowl. Top with the chocolate/fudge sauce. Final touch is a little bit of fresh mint leaves.

Enjoy!

 

Happy New Year!!!!

This years Easter celebration was a smaller version of anything I usually would do.

We were taking it very easy and slow. It is actually not bad at all to just roll up to the table without any fuss.

The good thing with being “my mothers child” is that I had everything in my fridge, freezer and cabinets and didn’t really have to go to the store.

 

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The table is set ready to go. We are doing a cold-smoked salmon, salmon baked in the oven with just some pesto on top, colored eggs with white caviar, pickled herring, scalloped potatoes, salad and veggies.

 

 

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Delicious!

 

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And to finish it off, I improvised an orange cake. A simple cake served with heavy whipped cream and fresh berries.  There is not much that can top that.

Simple Orange cake

1 cup sugar

2 cups of flour

1 tsp baking powder

2 small eggs ( or one large egg)

1 organic orange (or 1 well scrubbed regular orange)

1 tbs good oil

3 tbs heavy cream

 

Cut the orange into wedges. Take off any seeds and add the orange pieces into a food processor. Grind/pulse the orange pieces into a smooth paste.

Add all the ingredients and mix until it becomes a smooth (relatively thick) batter.

Grease and flour a spring pan. Pour the batter into the pan.

Bake in a 325F (175C) degree oven until golden brown and until a cake tester (or toothpick) comes out clean without any sticky batter on it.

I love serving a simple cake like this with some whipped heavy cream and fresh berries.

 

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I love having fresh flowers in the house. And what screams Easter more than tulips?

Can’t wait for my tulips in the garden to bloom by the way.

 

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Thanks to my sister my house has a little bit more of an Easter feeling.

Enjoy your Easter and what little is left of the weekend.

 

It is nice to know that the domestic shrimp fishing is back to what it was before the tragedy in the gulf with oil spills and all, many years ago. I try to support them by always buying Gulf shrimp. When I do, I make sure I keep it nice and “clean” and just use a few ingredients.

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Gulf Shrimp with Pineapple/Mango/Jicama salsa.

Serves 4.

1-1.2 lb of Gulf shrimp.

3 Spring onions or 1 baby leek.

1 Mango.

2-3 Rings of fresh (or canned) pineapple.

1/2 Jicama.

2 tbsp finely cubes red pepper.

Zest from 1 lime.

Juice from half a lime.

2 tbsp. of concentrated shrimp or shellfish stock (or use vegetable stock for a lighter taste).

1-2 tbsp. soy sauce.

1-2 tbsp. Mango (or other fruit) vinegar.

1 tbsp. of grated ginger.

1 sprig of fresh Mint.

Good oil for frying the onions and shrimp.

A splash of hot sauce (optional).

Directions;

Peel and mince the fruit into small cubes or sticks. Mix with the cubed red pepper. Mix together with a pinch of the cut up onion, half of the mint (cut into smaller pieces) a splash of the vinegar and a splash of the lime juice. Let sit and “marry”.

Clean and cut up the onion into 1″ pieces. Add the oil to a medium hot frying pan.

Add the onion. Let cook down until slighty translucent. Add the vinegar, soy and stock. Mix well. Add the shrimp. Cook for a few minutes until the shrimp is nice and pink. Add the hot-sauce at the end if you like it to have a little “bite”. Add the rest of the lime juice to give the shrimp a “clean” taste.

Plate with the little dollops of the salsa. Top with a little fresh mint. Sprinkle over the left over zest from the lime.

I t could easily be served like this, but you could also serve it over rice.

Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

Fast pasta

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I was working on my computer all day and realized at 7.30pm that I had almost passed dinner time.
It is all about having things in the food pantry and in the fridge. And don’t let them see you sweat.

Just throw something together. A fast pasta does the trick.

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Fast pasta with swiss chard, tomatoes and bacon.

Serves 4.

1 package of pasta, any kind (make sure it serves 4).

1/4 of a package of bacon. Finely chopped.

2-3 cups of cherry tomatoes.

1 medium size bundle of swiss chard (ab.out 6 cups)

1 cup of heavy cream or creme fraiche (you could also just use a stock if you don’t want the dairy)

3 garlic cloves.

1-2 tbsp. of soy sauce.

A splash of hot sauce.

1 tbsp. anchovy paste.

1/3 cup grated parmesan.

2 tbsp. of Dijon mustard (optional).

Pepper to taste.

Directions;

Fry the bacon bits until crispy. Lift them out and let drain on a paper towel.

Take out some of the rendered bacon fat, leave about 1 tbsp. Add the garlic and anchovy paste. Stir for 30 seconds.

Clean the Swiss chard and cut into bite size. Add to the bacon fat. Fry for about 3 minutes. Add the split cherry tomatoes. Let simmer for about 5-7 minutes.

Add the pasta to some boiling water. Boil until “al dente” (with a little bite not too soft).

Add the rest of the ingredients and let simmer for about 5-10 minutes.

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Plate the boiled pasta. Add the sauce over the top. Sprinkle over the bacon bits. Finish with some grated parmesan cheese and a little sprig of any herb you have at home.

Enjoy!

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fast pasta 5

 

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When I was a teenager in the 70′, one of the favorite dishes at the time was to make a sandwich cake.

It would be served at any party & for any occasion.  It really fits the Swedish “smörgåsbord” format. It sits well on a buffet table and can be done ahead of time.

My mother worked as a “kallskänka” (“cold-cut” chef) for one of the most fancy grocery-stores for a few years. I remember her making all the sandwich cakes and all other buffet and cold-cut dishes. It is a very Scandinavian way of eating. It took my husband a while to really get onboard with all the cold food that Swedes eat. All the cold-cut dishes creates the famous “smörgåsbord”.

The sandwich cakes can be varied in infinity. It really is all about what you can lay your hands on or what you have in the fridge.

The basic rules for the cake is good bread cut in big slices (you can if need be, also stack regular slices of bread. The important thing is to cut of all hard edges so that you never know that all bread has been pieced together).

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You can mix layers of different breads. I usually go to a good grocery store that has their own bread or bakery department. You can ask them to slice the bread for you. They will be very puzzled when you ask them to slice it lengthwise. Just remember to cut of all hard edges. I usually make croutons of the edges.

*The cake usually has two or three layers of filling. You can make it easy for yourself if you don’t have time, to buy already made salads as an egg-salad, ham-salad or anything else that your deli sells. I prefer to make my own fillings. It is all about what you feel like making. It is good to have a theme as in smoked salmon or fish, veggies or perhaps meats.

You make all fillings with either mayo, sour cream, whipped cream or creme fraiche. Or a mixture of any two of them.

For example. I used smoked salmon in one layer. I used equal parts mayo & whipped heavy cream. I finely cut the cold-smoked salmon and dill. You can add pepper or other spices after requirement. I happened to have white caviar in the fridge, so I dropped that in, but this was just because I happened to have it at home.

Another layer was a chicken salad with grapes and walnuts. You just take baked (or boiled chicken), mayo, ranch dressing seasoning, grapes cut in half, crushed up walnuts and some hot sauce (optional).

It all depends on how big you make your sandwich cake, but you should calculate that it takes about 1 cup of filling to one loaf layer of bread. But as I said, it all depends on what kind of bread you get. You need to plan it accordingly.

To my sandwich cake above, I used almost 3 loaves of bread.

2 layers of filling. One cold-smoked salmon & one chicken salad layer. It takes about 1 cup of filling per layer (give & take, depending on how loose the filling is).

You need about 1 cup of mayo & 1 cup of whipped heavy cream for the covering of the cake. It should be well mixed.

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Make a y kind of creamy salad or filling.

Mix all well. I t is smart to always have a little extra mayo/whipped cream on hand just in case you need to delude your filling or if you are running out of filling. A well spiced basic “white” sauce could also work.

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Make sure the filling reaches well out into edges all around 4 sides.

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Last layer is just as on a regular cake, the bread part.

Spread the mayo/whipped heavy cream as you would a regular icing or whipped cream layer on a cake.

Decorate with anything you want. I try to save something from what I use in the fillings.. Fruits and berries always works. Chopped herbs, cucumbers and even salad leaves could work on the edges as well as on top. Many times, we decorate with slices eggs and lemons.

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This was the sandwich cake we made for his latest birthday. It had shrimp and other seafood on and in it.

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A slice of sandwich cake looks pretty much like a regular slice of cake.

I really hope you try to make some sandwich cakes. Start small and work your way up to a large one if you feel a little scared of this. But I have to warn you, it really is delicious and can be addictive!

Yum!!!! Enjoy!!

 

 

Valentine’s day…

When I think back on our wedding, it feels as if it was just a few years ago. But it has been so many years that we get amazed every time we count. I don’t care what people say, it does make a difference to be married. I love it.

We have had so many big celebrations lately that we are a little low-key this Valentine’s. A little partied out, you could say. It could also be because we are expecting the worst and coldest weather in history, here in New York. Well, at least that is what they say.

So we cancelled our plans and are staying local. But, since we actually eloped and got married in Vegas, our revised plan is to go to the casino in New York/Queens, and have dinner there. Same same but different.

We already had our first Valentine’s dinner since we celebrate this for a few days since it actually is both our anniversary and Valentine’s.

This dinner was what we love to eat the most. Salmon. And lot’s of berries with some quinoa. Sweet dinner for my sweet & I.

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Sweet Salmon cubes with Berry & Fruit Quinoa.

Serves 2.

A mid-piece salmon, enough for two people. Cut into aprx. 1 1/2″ cubes.

1/2 cup. mixed fresh fruit & berries.

2 pineapple rings. Preferable fresh (canned is ok as well).

A couple of strawberries, cut in small pieces.

1 lime. Use the zest and the juice.

1 cup boiled quinoa.

2-4 tbsp. Thai chili (Hot & sweet)

1-2 spring onions, the semi green part cut in thin strips on a diagonal.

Salt pepper to taste.

Directions;

Let the pineapple rings dry of slightly. Cut into little cubes. Fry in a “dry” frying pan for a few minutes letting the pineapple get a little color. Add the boiled quinoa into a bowl. Squeeze over the lemon juice &  1-2 of the Thai chili sauce. Mix & let sit and “marry”.

Fry the salmon cubes in a medium hot pan in a little good oil. Just a few minutes on each side. Don’t over cook them.

If you are using larger fruits or berries, cut them into smaller pieces.

Just before serving, mix most but not all, of the berries, the lime zest & spring onions with the quinoa. Plate with the salmon cubes. sprinkle over more of the berries and the spring onions. Place little drops of the Thai chili sauce over the salmon and on the plate.

I used blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, dragon fruit and a little of a kiwi. I took a piece of the dragon fruit and cut out a heart and placed it on the plate.

You could of course use a cookie cutter if you want a perfectly cut heart.

You can squeeze over a little bit more lime juice if you want. Before you plate, taste and make sure it is balanced and to your liking. If you want it more hot and spicy add a dab of hot sauce (optional).

I also added a passion fruit on top of it all. I just love that fruit. A little expensive but so delicious.

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valentines salad

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What can be better than waking up to flowers and cards from your hubby?

Followed by a typical and favorite Swedish breakfast. Pancakes with whipped heavy cream and fresh berries, smoothie and some Swedish tea. I am really fortunate…

Happy Valentine’s!!!

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