The house by the sea foodwaves


Month: March, 2012

Everything is good in moderation…Mashed potatoes with Parmigiano Reggiano

Everything is good in moderation…

That is a saying we use a lot here in Iceland. The other day I was browsing through old books about food and health, it was rather old book. There was a definition of moderate drinking (alcohol wise).The definition is:
Moderate drinking is one glass a day. Never more than seven glasses a week. Though never more than three on one day.

Everything is good in moderation…

So, there you have it. I started wondering if this could work for other (bad) habits like smoking, drinking coffee or sodas, for people who wants to cut down but not quit.

Everything is good in moderation…

And then it´s a question about the fast food. One Mcdonalds a day. Never more than seven Mcdonalds a week. Though never more than three Mcdonalds each day…

Everything is good in moderation…

Mashed potatoes  (for 2)

  • 8 potatoes, boiled and skin off
  • 2-3 tbsp butter
  • 1 pieces of a garlic (or by taste)
  • 3 tbsp parmigiano reggiano
  • Little bit of milk
  • Salt and fresh black pepper

Mash the potatoes in a pot on medium heat with  the butter.  Add the garlic, the parma cheese and some milk until you get the thickness you like.  Salt and pepper by taste.

If you have some hot dogs, fry them on a pan and serve with the mashed potatoes, I always find fried hot dogs go so well with mashed potatoes.


I really hope all the snow is gone for now, until next winter.  The only frost I want to see these days  is what´s keeping my sorbet frozen.

We have fresh berries in the supermarket.  A little box of berries is very expensive.  I never buy them, but I always have few bags of frozen berries in my freezer.  They are perfect for making a sorbet.  Every fall I go out and pick lots and lots of Blueberries and Crowberries to freeze and use it mostly for my smoothie all winter.  I find them to precious to drown them with sugar for jams.


  • 3 cups mixed berries, fresh or frozen ( I only had frozen)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 lemon, zest and juice

Put everything in a put and bring to boil.  I used strawberries, blueberries and raspberries

Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes.

Take pot off the heat and cool down.

Puree in a food prosessor ( or a blender) and strain.

Put the sorbet in a box and into the freezer for few hours at least.

If you have an Ice cream machine you can use that.

This recipe can also be used as a berry “kind of a ” jam.  Same thing, just don´t freeze it.

I did that the other day and used it with waffles and whipped cream, so very good.

Yogurt Ice Cream

This is a very easy Ice cream.  Only 3 ingredients, yogurt, honey and berries,

Yogurt Ice Cream

  • 1/2 L  Greek yogurt
  • 1,2 dl honey
  • 2,5 dl berries (I used fresh strawberries and blueberries, you could also use frozen berries)

Mix yogurt and honey

Chop the berries a bit

I took half of the berries and mixed it with the yogurt and honey in a blender.

The other half I chopped roughly

Put the ice cream in a plastic box or popsicle molds.  Freeze it (for at least 3 hours).

When I served the Ice cream I cut it down like I´d slice bread and served it with brownies and some home made sorbet.

I might try next time to mix some home made sorbet into the yogurt.  I´ll throw in the recipe for sorbet next time.

Moist and chewy Brownies

Spring, where are you?

It´s been a long and cold winter.  Today is the first day since november  it´s rather warm.  It´s been almost constant snow for about 4 months now.  I´d like to think that spring is here!  The good thing about Iceland and spring is the daylight, now it starts getting bright outside around 6.30 in the morning and the sun goes down around 8.30 in the evening.  I welcome that after a long dark winter.

I haven´t had an alarm clock for about 10 years now.  I haven´t been on a 9-5 job for a long time and for the last 10 years I´ve been my own boss, and for the last 2 years a stay at home mom with a little girl who likes to cuddle.  But without an alarm clock I always got up at least around 9.  I am the early to bed, not too late up type.

But, lately I´ve been having the urge to get up very early.  For weeks now I have been up at 6.30 or 7.  It is nice.  I get so many things done while the others sleep and my brain is so fresh. I find it even more refreshing now that I have the daylight with me when I get up.

I recommend you try it, for a week maybe, to get up an hour earlier than usually and use the time for your creative work, not to read the newspaper, make breakfast for the family or cleaning,…well, unless it´s very creative cleaning : )

It´s the weekend now, Saturday, and I am up at 6.30… maybe I ´m just getting old.  Well, enough about this early bird talk.  Here is the perfect Brownies recipe for the weekend.

I don´t bake brownies or chocolate cakes often. I find them dry and uninteresting because I am not much of a baker. But this time I found a great recipe and I also think my baking skills are getting better. That happens when you have kids I guess, less red wine and cheese – more cake and milk…

These Brownies became both moist and caramel chewy in a very good way.


  • 140 g butter
  • 280 g sugar
  • 80 g unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs, cold
  • 70 g flour

Heat oven at 160°c (325 f).

Put a rack in middle of owen.

Put parchment paper in a oven proof baking pan, an 8 x 8 inch or so. Have it reach the edges of the baking pan.

Melt togeather butter, sugar, cocoa and salt.

Put it in the mixing bowl and cooll down for a bit, add vanilla and the eggs, one at a time.

Add the flour. I used Kitchen Aid and it worked well, they talk about 40 strokes with a spoon after adding the flour.

Spread cake mix in the baking pan.

Bake for 30 minutes or until centre is slightly moist.

Lift the cake out of baking pan by holding on to the parchment paper that are reaching the edges of the pan.

Let cool on a rack.

I love Brownies with a bit of whipped cream or vanilla ice cream…

My little helper in the kitchen loved these Brownies, before and after it went in the oven.

Honey butter

honey butter

Honey butter

  • Butter, room tempature
  • Honey
  • Salt

Mix the ingredients well together.  Just taste it to find out how much honey you like in the amount of butter you are using.

This is so good with sopaipilla, I have never made sopaipilla myself but it is on the agenda 🙂

Cooking all recipes from one book

Well, now I´ve got my glass of red, and can start writing, join me for a glass if you like while reading this… unless you are at work…
It´s been a trend lately to pick one cook book and cook all the recipes in that book, like you see in the movie Julie and Julia.
I have seen few blogs about this and one of the most ambitious ones might be the one cooking from a book called Alinea.
I bought this book a while ago and I love it, lots of fun ideas but sometimes a little complicated.


I have been wondering about doing this for some time and I am finally gonna go with it. Because lately I haven´t been very inspired and always kind of cooking the same with the same ingredients.
So, the question was, what book to cook from. The ones I have are mostly like all Indian, all pasta, all tapas, all fish… but I wanted a book with good varaity.
One of them is The naked chef, an old one from Jamie Oliver. I browse through it a lot but I never cook from it. I find it an interesting book to cook from. There are lots of nice recipes, ingredients I almost never use but some ingredients I wont be able to get here in Iceland, like live lobster. I will improvise when needed.

So the decision has been made, I will be cooking from The naked chef. It has got good varaity of dishes, fish, meet, vegetable, pasta, soups…

I will follow the recipes as good as I can, that way I will learn new things and combinations of food.

The first recipe I am making is scallops. And this is how it went…

First of all, I am not good at doing the recipes exactly the way it is, I wanted to make changes, but this time it was not an option, I would do it the way the chef made it.
And you know what, it was delicious, a fiesta in my mouth, great combination of ingredients.
This is how I did it, I did change some of the amount of the ingredients.

Scallops with green lentils and sage   (for 2)

  • 6 slices bacon
  • 6 scallops
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 8 leaves of fresh sage
  • Salt and pepper
  • Juice from half a lemon
  • 4 tbsp green lentils boiled with rosmarin and garlic *
  • 2 handfuls of some nice green salad leaves
  • Salad oil ( see below)
*You could also boil the lentils just in water since this is dish with lots of tasts. I did that because I saw too late that this was lentils from another recipe in the book).
Fry the bacon on a pan, and when that is almost done throw in the sage leaves and fry for about 2 minutes. Put this on a kitchen towel to get rid of extra fat. The sage gets really crispy and nice.
Fry the scallops on the same pan as the bacon, make sure it´s really hot. Put a little bit of olive oil on the pan before the scallops. Squeeze a little bit of lemon juice over the scallops while frying them. They only need couple of minutes on each side.
Now, worm up the lentils on that very same pan after you remove the scallops.
Toss some dressing over the salad, put it on a plate. Put the scallops, bacon and the sage on top of the salad and the lentils. Serve right away.
Salad dressing
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
Mix all ingredients together
I made a very easy bread with this.
Mix yeast, sugar and luke warm water in a bowl and let sit for 5 minutes. Add flour and some mix of seeds (sesame seeds, sunflower…what ever you got and like) Stir it all together with a fork. Let rise for half an hour. Stir it a bit with a fork, add some flour to make it non sticky. Form it as a baguette and brush it with egg whites and even some seeds. Bake for 20 minutes at 220°c.
Bread, ingredients
  • 2 tsp yeast
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 1/2 glass luke warm water
  • 2 glasses flour ( the glass is about 1 cup)
And, how was it? First recipe of many…it was very very very good. You can serve this as a main course or an appetizer.
I served a bottle of George Dubæuf, Beaujolais with this dish.
And what did I learn?
Scallops, sage and bacon goes so well together. I have to use sage more in my cooking. Lemon, also something I have to use more.
My boyfriend said, wow this is soooo goood! I will totally make this again for dinner guests.


One of my favorite food is Crêpes. I have so many good memories from Canada where we made crepes in the mornings when we had a sleepover at friends house. (Too much wine and saving a cab ride)

I ´m not a sweet tooth so I always make my crêpes savory. The morning crêpes have just what´s in the house. Usually all kinds of cheeses, ham, bell pepper, spring onion and spices. (oregano, basil, salt, paprika….)

But my “in the evening” or “for lunch” crêpes are more stuffed and so delicious!



  • Crêpes (recipe below)
  • Boiled rice
  • 1 red pepper
  • Leek
  • good ham
  • Cheese
  • Mustard sause (recipe below)
  • Oregano
  • Basil
  • Paprika

Boil the rice.
Bake the Crêpes pancakes.
Dice the ham, red pepper, leek and cheese.

Usually I bake all the crêpes at once and then put back on the pan and fill them up one and one.

First I put the cheese, then ham, sauce, rice, red pepper and leek. Finally the spices. Fold it and heat as long as necessary. Usually just couple of minutes to melt the cheese if the rice are warm.

Mustard sauce

  • Sour cream
  • Sweet mustard
  • Dijon
  • Mable syrup
  • Salt

Dash of this and dash of that, to taste. If you like garlic you could add a little bit of garlic.

If you don´t like mustard a garlic sauce is also good with this. Same recipe, just skip all mustard and add garlic and some olive oil.



  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk (or as  much as you want them thin..)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp butter (melted) or some good oil

Mix well. Bake


I´ve made this for a larger group than just two. Then I made all the crêpes at once and put it in a oven proved dish and heated it in the oven.

Tuna tataki, served with cold glass of Cava

I made Tuna, cooked with the tataki methood. And instead of having the typical glass of white wine i always have with sushi I tried a new thing. I bought a bottle of Beaujolais and a bottle of Cava.

Cava and champagne is really good with sushi. I am not much of a sparkling wine fan, but the sushi really made the wine interesting and vice versa.

The Beaujolais went very well with the sushi and the soy sauce, I recommend trying both the Beaujolais and Cava next time you make sushi.

tuna tataki

Tuna tataki

  • Fresh tuna steak
  • Sesame seeds, black and white
  • Little bit of salt and pepper according to taste
Serve with
  • Soy sauce
  • Wasabi
  • Spring onion
  • Fresh or pickled ginger
Put a bit of salt and pepper on the steak. Sear it on a dry hot non stick pan, about 10-15 seconds each side. Put it in a bowl filled with ice cold water for 10-20 seconds to stop the cooking.

Cover with sesame seeds on both sides, put in a aluminium and put in the freezer for an hour or more. You can lightly roast the seeds on a hot dry pan.

Slice it really thin and serve with soy, wasabi and ginger, bit of spring onion and I put a radish micro green in the soy for extra presentation.

Healthy date confectionery

I was a super housewife tonight. I cooked dinner and made two types of those sweet little “date balls” One healthy type and other with a bit of marzipan. I use the word confectionery, it sounds mores sophisticated than date balls…

date confectionery

Date confectionery

  • 1/2 cup dates
  • 1/2 cup dried shredded coconut meat (that you buy in a supermarket)
  • 1/2 cup hazel nuts
  • 1/4 cup oat meal
  • 2 tsp good cocoa
  • 2 tsp syrup
  • 3 tbsp water if you need it more wet
Date confectionery with marzipan
  • Half of the recipe above
  • 100 – 200 g marzipan, or as much as you like
Mix the ingredients in a food processor until it becomes a sticky kind of a dough.
I made balls from the dough and rolled some of it with cocoa powder and some with the dried coconut meat.
You can improvise a lot here, the measurement doesn´t have to be accurate and it´s good to add all kinds of dried fruits, seeds and nuts.
The house by the sea on Facebook.
I am posting all kinds of things related to food.
If you like food, good recipes, food politics and everything else related to food this is the page to like.

Pho, Vietnamese soup

This Vietnamese soup is very tasty and fun to eat.

It´s a noodle soup and the broth is made from ox tails. Then you slice thin slices of raw quality beef into the hot soup and the broth cooks up the beef.

If you wanna know more about Pho you can read about it on wikipedia.

The key to a successful soup here is to have fresh ingredients, fresh cilantro and good cut of beef. Rice noodles are must.



Start making the broth:

  • 1 ox tail
  • 1-2 cm fresh ginger
  • 4 anise stars
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 1 msk fennel seeds
  • 6 cloves
  • Few coriander seeds (1 -2 tsk)

Boil the ox tail for 4 hours with fresh ginger, anise, cinnamon, fennel, cloves and coriander seeds.

Take away all fat that floats and run the soup through a sieve.

On the table you serve the condiments and dinner guest choose what they put in their soup, but of course we reccommend using everything!

  • Rice noodles, one bag, cooked.
  • Beef, thinly sliced (f.x sirloin)
  • 2 lime, cut into boats
  • 2 chili peppers, finely chopped
  • 1 cup bean sprouts
  • Spring onion, chopped
  • Fresh coriander, chopped
  • Scriracha sauce

Put every thing in separate bowls or on dishes and serve on the table.


Serve with Scriracha sauce.

Put the noodles in a bowl and pour hot broth in the bowl.

Serve right a way.

Dinner guests take care of the rest.

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