The house by the sea foodwaves


Month: January, 2013

Almond – Date – 70 % Chocolate cake

My daughter was 3 the other day, we had a little birthday party, couple of friends with parents.  We knew less was more.  The kids had a good time, it was no stress and what was the important thing, the birthday girl was thrilled with the birthday party.  She got a cake with candles, couple of friends and balloons.  For her, that´s a birthday party!

I tend to over do sometimes  … For this birthday I was thinking, what kind of awesome cake should I do… But I live and learn so the day after I was thinking, what kind of cakes do people eat?  What kind of cake does my girl want?  I asked her… She wanted Dora the Explorer cake.  NO!! I was not gonna make a real size Dora the Explorer with all the friends made of fondant that no one likes to eat!

I made a very nice chocolate cake with nice cream (Betty fu*****  Crocker, better than most home made cakes, so light and fluffy.  Cakes are unhealthy anyways, from a box or not) and Dora… I simply cut out one of the paper plates, put it on a grilling pin and stuck it to the cake…voilá …we have  a Dora cake.  Trust me, the 3 year old was thrilled.  Fondant smondant…nobody finds it tasty!

Then I almost blew it… Instead of candles I bought this thing, in a shape of the number 3,  you light up and it sparkles …It was not a success… “MOM, I want to blow candles!”.  Thank god I had candles, three if them.


My lesson for you and myself.  They are kids, we got traditions, let´s stick to them and keep it simple.  The only one I am trying to impress is the birthday girl, not the guests!


I made a hamburger cake once, it was fun.

This year I was on the healthy side, of course I had a Pig in a blanket ( Hot dog in a pizza dough bun) .  But I had a healthy cake and a pot full of Chicken Chili Stew.

The healthy cake was really good.  It comes from a girl called Ebba Guðný I was told.


Almond – Date – 70 % Chocolate cake

  • 1 cup dates, soak them in water
  • 1 cup almonds
  • 120 g 70 % chocolate
  • 1/4 cup sugar (raw if you like)
  • 3 cups flour (spelt if you like)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons water ( from the dates)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

Mix everything together.  I roughly chopped the almonds and the chocolate. you can chop them or even put them in a food processor.

Put the mixture it in a baking tray, bake for 40 minutes at 150 °c.  Serve with cream or Ice cream.


Cuban sandwich – on a stick

If you read my post about Cuban Sandwich I posted the other day you should know all about Cuban Sandwich.  I love this combo of ham, cheese and dill pickles.  The other day I had smoked ham from Christmas,  I had good cheese and I had dill pickles.  I had tooth picks.

I cut the ham, pickles and cheese in little bites and put it on the tooth picks, It looked like this.  A great snack for a cocktail party.


Pizza – Everything you need to know about making the best pizza sauce – Part II

We already talked about the crust, what you need to get the best pizza crust.  It is meaningless to have this great crust if you don´t have a good sauce : )

Before I talk about the sauce I am going to name the most important things in making the best crust.

  • Good flour
  • Pinch the dough instead of rolling it
  • Preheat oven, highest setting and finish the baking on grill
  • Bake at high heat for the shortest time possible
  • Bake the pizza on a hot, preheated pan.  (put the dough on the pan before you put on rest of ingredients)
  • Keep the pizza as close to the grill element as possible

Here is Pizza – Everything you need to know about making the best crust – Part I

Now let´s talk sauce!

  • Few quality ingredients
  • Fresh basil
  • Roasted tomatoes
  • Little bit of garlic

You have to have good tomatoes.  If you will not be roasting your own but using canned, buy the organic more expensive quality ones that are free of added sugar or anything  else and with real tomato flavor.


Tomato sauce

  • Roasted tomatoes, without the skin
  • Few cloves roasted garlic
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Fresh basil
  • Very good Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Take the skin off by cutting an X on top of them and  putting them in boiling water for 20 sec, that way the skin goes off easily.

Cut them in half and put them on a parchment paper. Pour some very good olive oil over them and little bit of salt and pepper.  Roast them for couple of hours on low heat.  Throw in few whole garlic for roasting as well.

Put them in a blender with some fresh basil.  Add more oil if needed.

Let´s see…

Fresh tomatoes or can of good organic chopped/whole tomatoes , not diced because they usually have the skin on.

Roast the tomatoes if you are using fresh ones.

A good quality olive oil is rarely available in a supermarket.  Got to a gourmet stores you can trust.

Fresh basil!  FRESH FRESH FRESH.

Now we know what to do for a good sauce.  Next time we will talk about the toppings.

Top 10 recipes of 2012 – The post you´ve all been waiting for

I am a sucker for top 10 and best of  in the beginning of a new year, so I am doing top ten favorite recipes I blogged about in 2012. (In no particular order…)

Hey, and thank you everyone for checking out my blog in 2012. I started this blog in English now in 2012 but I have been blogging for about 5 years in Icelandic.


Top ten, here we go…


1.  This is THE Sandwich.  It is filled with few of my favorite things, ground beef, melted cheese and jalapeno.  The Super Duper Awesome Sandwich


(Photo taken by pro photograher, Björn,  of the Lahmacun I made.)

2. I love pizza, I can always eat pizza, I eat a lot of pizza.  There for I love to play with various toppings.  After a visit to Istanbul I fell in love with Lahmacun.  I use ground lamb and fresh herbs.  If you have not tried it I recommend Lahmacun.


3.  Did I mention I love pizza? Talking about various toppings.  This is a winner.  The cheese spread is perfect for topping burgers as well. Pizza with jalapeno cheese spread.


4.  I have been looking for a good Naan recipe.  I found this one and it was perfect, but It´s not quite Naan, but very close. It´s called Kulchas.


5.  I love pizza, I can always eat pizza, I eat a lot of pizza. 😀 Calzone is always good and this one was particularly memorable.


6. If you could say I have a hobby it´s pizza and Chile con Carne.  I do a lot of ground beef and veggies, but since I don´t eat much of chicken I hadn´t done a chicken chile.  I got a recipe, I tried it, I loved it… Chicken chili  with Cannellini beans.


7.  Lobster, how can a recipe with lobster go wrong, maybe it can but serve it with avocado and keep it simple and you have a winner.   Lobster with avocado


8.  Scallops and fennel is a lovely combo .  I love combining fennel to my cooking.  With scallops and orange it´s magic.


9.  Raw salmon mmmmmmm.  Here in Iceland we have lots of fresh fish.  If you find fresh salmon, try this dish.


10.  There is nothing like home made.  When ever I can do my own, I do…my own pasta, asian noodles, bread or tortillas.  These are made with Masa Harina.  Dipping them in cold water after baking makes them very soft and flexible.

I could have done top t twenty.  Instead I might throw in, every now and then,  top ten sandwiches, top ten pizzas, even top ten Icelandic food 😉

We´ll see.  At least those 10 recipes above are worth the try.


Cuban Sandwich

I was so sure I had blogged about my fetish for sandwiches.  The key to a good sandwich is a decent bread.  The bread MUST be good.  It can not be old, chewy or soggy.  Sour dough baguette is delicious, but each type of sandwich has the bread, like a meatball sub must be in a soft sub, not french baguette or grainy sliced bread, same with hot dogs, I can not stand it when people put a hot dog in a white sandwich bread and try to tell me it´s same as a hot dog bun…IT´S NOT! ….aaaah, I feel better not getting that out there :D.

Then I don´t want the sandwich to be dry but again not too much sauce.  Everything has to be in perfect balance.  The sauce should be flavorful but not overpowering and the meat should be fresh and not too processed (real ham not thin watery something pink that looks like ham).  Then there is cheese, good real cheese, not plastic!

italian sub

I love Italian meatball sub, healthy avocado sandwich often called California sandwich, my Panini grilled ground beef ciabatta sandwich is awesome, a sandwich called King from a little cafe in Copenhagen I will never forget.  I shall make a special blog about that sandwich called King.


This is the only photo I have of King.

I am also a fan of open sandwiches, Scandinavian Style.  Rye bread with cured salmon (grav lox)

Then, one of my all time favorite sandwich is Cuban Sandwich.  I´ve read recipes and from there I made my own.  I even made my own Cuban Sandwich bread.

A Cuban Sandwich has pork, ham, mustard, cheese and pickles.  My favorite meal at Christmas is on the 25th.  We have smoked leg of pork (organic) at 24th, our Christmas eve in Iceland and I only have it so I can make the sandwich the day after.  Usually the pork is not smoked in a Cuban but I really like using the smoked meat.

For lunch on the 25th I was making Cuban Sandwich.   This is how mine was.


Cuban Sandwich with smoked pork

  • Slices of the Christmas smoked pig
  • Ham
  • Good cheese, Swiss
  • Mustard, sweet
  • Dill Pickles, sliced
  • Ciabatta

Cut the Ciabatta open.  Add mustard, cheese, pickles, ham and pork.  Close the sandwich and press it in a panini press for couple of minutes.


The trix:  Turn the ciabatta bread inside out, the cut part should turn to the panini grill and the filling is put on the outside of the bread, you see what I mean? Then you can butter it up a bit or brush it with olive oil for a golden crust.cuban

Here is a link to an authentic Cuban sandwich recipe.

Happy New Year – Burger of the year

Happy New year.  I love the beginning of a new year and I love love love Action Planner Diary.  I love when I get a new one in the beginning of the year.  It´s so sleek and “unwritten”.  I always tell myself that this year I will be organized and write with a nice handwriting on each page.  But each week in the diary ends up with poor handwriting and very unorganized scrabble and doodle all over the place.

It was the same when the school year started.  I sharpened my pencils and was really gonna do my homework every day.  Not many days passed when all my pencils were broken, the sharpener gone missing and I totally had something better to do than homework.

From all this I have learned, I don´t make any New Years Resolutions.  I am not gonna eat less or better because I already eat well enough.  I am not gonna exercise more because I find my walks with the kids and housework enough exercise.  I am not gonna quit drinking because…!  : )

Instead of resolutions I like to make focal points.  This year my focus will be on 4 things. Family – Work –  Food – Art.

And talking about food.  I made a really nice dinner tonight.  I was gonna make a huge hamburger but then I decided to change it to sliders.  For those of you who wants to eat less… Make sliders instead of a big burger.  One slider is more than enough with some veggies on the side.  I would say a slider is about 1/3 of a regular burger.

I did make some Croquettas as well.  I had leftovers of Brandade, salted cod.  I will tell you all about it later.

I was watching this show called Man VS Food the other day and he was in Texas and the burger he had was AWESOME.  It had a pile of cheese and jalapenos.  I have been thinking about it since then.  Since I am not in Texas, but Iceland and not everything is big in Iceland I made a slider.  : )

Okey I had 2 sliders, I am not on a diet you see…


Hamburger with jalapeno

  • 500 g  ground beef
  • 1/2 onion
  • Garlic cloves, 3-4
  • Handful of old  foccacia bread (put in a mixer) with a splash of milk*
  • 1 egg
  • Salt and Pepper

Mix everything well together.  *I made foccacia the other day with olives, rosmarin and feta cheese.  I put it in a mixer to make breadcrumbs then added some milk.

Make hamburger patties.


On top

  • Jalapeno, fresh and canned…I used both
  • 4-6 tablespoons Creme Fraiche
  • 4-6 tablespoons shredded cheese
  • Salt and pepper

All mixed well.  Salt and pepper to taste.

Cook the paddies.  Spoon the jalapeno cheese on top and put under a broiler until the cheese melts and gets some brown spots.  Put in a burger bread.  I put the burger bread on the pan I fried the burgers on for few seconds and threw them under the broiler as well for a minute.  I also used a regular burger bread I cut with a champagne glass to make the same size as the burgers.

I had nothing else on the burger.  The jalapeno cheese mix and the foccacia in the patties are very flavorful.  This was so good.  Day two of the year and I already peaked when it comes to making the best burger ever  😛

So, anything planned for 2013?

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