The house by the sea foodwaves


Category: Favorite

FIELD NOTES on Asian Cooking

My friend and I went to a few Asian stores in town and came home with all kind of goodies.  The plan was to make a Korean Inspired dinner.  We ended up making Pho, Green Curry dish with Spaghetti squash (sooo good)  and Short ribs that melted of the bones.  The “Go-Chu-Jang” is a Korean chile-paste that I also recommend you get if you are into Korean cooking.  This one was not too spicy but nice flavour



I´m taking down all the recipes we made so I can do this again someday.

My Field Notes

First of all, you need to have lots of chile, garlic and ginger.  I made green curry and used ginger, jalapeno and garlic with a bit of coconut milk and made a paste in my Nutrabullet.

Green Curry with Spaghetti Squash

  • Green curry Paste
  • Chinese Cabbage, finely cut
  • Carrots, finely cut
  • Red Pepper / Green pepper, finely cut
  • And the star of the show Spaghetti Squash
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • Noodles or rice to serve it with

Heat oven 190°c  Cut the squash in half, brush with olive oil and a little salt.  Bake for 50 minutes or so.

Oil on a pan, all veggies sauteed except the squash. Green curry paste and coconut milk mixed in, then I scooped out the Squash and mixed it with the rest on the pan.

You can add Mung bean sprouts to the dish, I served it with the pho and had some with this dish on the side.


My friend made the short ribs, she slow-cooked it to perfection in a slow cooker.

The sauce with it was so good.  I don´t have the exact recipe but if you google “Korean Kalbi sauce” or “Bulgogi” you get lots of good recipes.

I made mango sauce, spicy Pear-Apple sauce and Thai sweet chile sauce.

The Thai sweet sauce is SO EASY TO MAKE, that way you know what you are eating and like I do, I choose my garlic well.  (I prefer Italian, but this time I used Spanish)


I have already blogged about Thai sweet chile sauce here.

One of the tricks I learned was to blacken the ginger over an open flame on the gas stove.

Mango Sauce

  • Mango (fresh or frozen)
  • Chile
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Cilantro
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Umami Paste from Clearspring

In a pan heat up some garlic, ginger and chile.  Add mango, I used frozen one, salt and pepper.  Let it simmer for 5 – 10 minutes.  I use my Nutrabullet to mash it into a sauce.  Add lime and finely cut cilantro.

Apple-Pear Sauce

  • Few apples cut them in cubes (I used 4)
  • Few pears, cut in cubes (I used 2)
  • Chile
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Cilantro
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • water- for simmer

Same method as the Mango sauce.  Heat up the spices, add apples and pears and add a little bit of water for simmer, about 10 minutes.  Get the sauce into a blender, mixer to make a smooth sauce.

I bought UMAMI paste with Chili from Clearspring.  It is really good and really gives good flavour.

The Pho was made with Oxtail broth.  I put oxtails in simmering water and cooked it for at least 3 hours.

I didn´t have anis stars, so I used Chinese 5 spices.

Here is a recipe for PHO I made a few years ago.


We also made rice paper veggie rolls.  So so so delicious and so so so fresh!

Veggie Rolls in Rice Paper

  • Rice Paper
  • Carrots
  • Cucumber
  • Red Pepper
  • Fresh Mint
  • Fresh Cilantro

Wet the pice paper and fill it up with goodies.   The magic here are all the dipping sauces I made.  They all go well with this dish.

I googled a lot when making this dinner and to see how to make rice paper rolls I recommend browsing through videos on Youtube.

Here are some links that help me out.


Rice Paper Rolls

Spaghetti Squash

Very good video about PHO

Short Ribs

PHO with Jimmy Ly at Munchies


This one for later

Spring Rolls

Vietnamese Dipping Sauce


If you have not followed the cooking with Maangchi on Youtube I totally recommend her, such a cool lady.  Her Mung beans are very very good.


The Northern Lights were dancing like crazy this weekend. It´s not easy to go to sleep when the view from your bed is like this!

The Ethical Meat Eater

I´ve been postponing this post because there is so much I could write about.  The workshop itself, ethical eating, sustainable living, recipes, food politic and KOJI, that´s a topic I need to explore.  So I´m making this post mostly about the photos I took during the class… I might do separate posts about different topics later.

So many people are going vegan these days.  I´m not going to talk about that or defend myself for eating meat. What I want to talk about today, on the other hand, is a class I took a couple of weeks ago called Charcuterie Intensive – Ethical meat workshop with Meredith Leigh.

This class was held at Bragginn, Studio in Flúðir.  They have more classes coming up.  You can follow them on facebook if you are interested in food-related classes.

It was a very informative and interesting workshop where we worked with a half hog and deconstructed it into sausages, pates, salamis and more.  A class I wouldn´t have taken if it weren’t for my friend who is a butcher and a farmer of grass-fed Gallaway cattle.   I have a passion for anything food-related:  Food politic,  what I eat, cooking, cooking shows, recipes and last but not leas sustainable living as I live in the country.  Therefore I decided to join her on this 2-day class in the countryside.  We made a weekend trip of it where we stayed in a beautiful guesthouse, ate good food and went swimming in a natural hot spring.

We also went out to dinner in Flúðir, in a great company of couple of classmates, at an Ethiopian restaurant called Minilik, a place I totally recommend.


Back to the class…  Meridith is a very knowledgable and informative teacher.  She knows soooo much about curing food and how to truly use almost every part of the animal, so nothing goes to waste.  That´s ethical cooking.

The only beef I eat comes from my farmer friends.  I know them and I know how well they take care of their animals.  The cattle are only grass-fed (I think the only grass-fed cattle in the country)   I wish people who don´t eat meat could show more respect to omnivores.   Things are not black and white.    (The way Indian women working in nut farms are treated because of high demand on cashews because so many people are turning vegan… )  Like I said, this post is not about that, so enough about it.

I will most definitely do more of my own curing, patés and sausages in the future after everything I learned.

If you are interested in cured meat, fresh sausages or smoked ham you can learn more about Meridith on her website

Now, I´m going to let the photos speak for themselves.

IMG_20190907_150844-01Paté in the making


IMG_20190907_125215-01IMG_20190907_120414-01Lunch is served


IMG_20190907_095942-01IMG_20190907_160711-01IMG_20190908_170631-01IMG_20190908_162816-01IMG_20190908_160230-01Koji Bresaola

I need to talk more about Koji later… Google it in the meantime!

IMG_20190908_160114-01IMG_20190908_160046-01IMG_20190908_105936-01Amazing sausage in the making with apricots and habanero.  More about that later.

IMG_20190908_105152-01IMG_20190908_164904-01I was very impressed by the Mortadella, or Malakoff as it is called in Icelandic.









Cauliflower bread packed with protein

My super healthy fitness queen neighbour shared a recipe in a local home decor magazine here in Iceland, her house is btw amazing.  I couldn´t resist trying the recipe in the hope of getting the body she got.  The bread was delicious but I´m the same…It takes more I guess.

I didn´t have goji berries or tablespoon of Parmigiano so I skipped the berries and used a handful of shredded mozzarella, and she uses 2 tablespoons coconut fat, I used olive oil.


Cauliflower Bread

  • 400g cauliflower
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 cup wheat germ
  • A handful of shredded cheese (Parmigiano or mozzarella)
  • 2 teaspoons rising agent
  • 2 tablespoons oil (coconut or olive oil)
  • 3 cloves garlic (preferably organic)
  • Luke of goji berries
  • Oregano or some pizza season & salt ( a tablespoon or two)
  • Sesam seeds or a blend of your favourite seeds on top


Put the cauliflower in a food processor, mix well.   Separate the egg white from the yolk.  Whip the egg white stiff, but use both white and yolk for the bread.  Blend everything carefully.

Grease the baking mould with butter, for example, pour in the mixture

Bake for 40 minutes at 180-200°c




I served it with chickpea curry, it also might be good with hummus.


So, we got the best weather in July that has ever been since the beginning of logging weather measurements.  Icelandic people love talking about the weather so this really made our summer!


My beautiful countryside.

Gúllasréttur – mjög einfaldur og góður

Ég eldaði mjög góðan gúllasrétt, þetta var svona á mörkunum að vera gúllassúpa.  (Bara að bæta við meira af vatni og einni aukadós af góðum tómötum til að gera úr þessu súpu).

Þetta er barnvæna útgáfan mín, sem minnir mig á að ég þarf ekki alltaf að vera með stæla í eldhúsinu, þetta einfalda er alveg möst öðru hvoru.

(Með stælum þá myndi ég nota slatta af chili, karrý, kókóskmólk, jafnvel kóríander, austurlenskan brag).


Lykillinn að góðu gúllasi er að sjálfsögðu kjötið.  Ég fékk mitt hjá bændunum á Hálsi, í Kjós, en þau eru með opið í búðinni hjá sér um helgar.




Gúllas, plain & simple

  • 1/2 kg Gúllas
  • laukur (bara smá því þetta var fyrir börnin)
  • Sveppir, góðann slatta, alln pakkann… skornir í sneiðar
  • Paprika (ég hefði notað græna ef ég hefði átt til)
  • Góðar kartöflur, 5-6 stk, skar þær í 2-3 cm bita ég fékk danskar um daginn sem voru svaka góðar, þessar íslensku hafa ekki verið að gera neitt fyrir mig upp á síðkastið)
  • 1 dós hakkaðir tómatar, ég nota ítalska
  • Vatn, sirka 1 líter eða svo, ekki nojið, fer bara eftir hvað þið viljið hafa hana þykka
  • Salt og pipar og smá sítrónupipar


Ég átti ekki paprikuduft, en eflaust ágætt að nota það.

Kjötið var svo svakalega gott að ég þurfti lítið að krydda, saltið og piparinn var nóg fyrir mig.

Ég byrjaði á að svita smá lauk í ólífuolíu og smá smjöri, og léttsteikja kjötið sem ég kryddaði með salti og pipar og svo komu sveppir, bætti við vatni, tómötum og skrælluðum kartöflum og lét malla í 2 klst eða svo, svo stóð þetta á pönnunni í aðra 2 tíma, þar til ég hitaði það upp í kvöldmat.

Borið fram með hrísgrjónum fyrir þá sem vilja, annars finnst mér kartöflurnar duga.

Allt í blóma hér í sveitinni ❤

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Roti – Indian flatbread


I was looking into videos making roti on a gas stove and then tried it myself and guess what, It totally works!  My roti has never popped like it did straight on the fire.

I have a video clip on instagram:

View this post on Instagram

Making #roti on a gas stove #baking #bread #breadmaking #cooking #ilovebread

A post shared by Soffia (@thehousebytheseafoodwaves) on

You can use classic roti dough or even pizza dough.  I´ve tried both.

Use flour:water about 2:1

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup warm water
  • a teaspoon salt

Mix well, cover and let sit for an hour or so

Or use a classic pizza dough, everything you need to know about making one you can find here:  HOW TO MAKE PIZZA DOUGH


When making roti, start by rolling out the dough, I make them about 5-6 inches.  On a medium – hot pan heat it for 30 seconds on both side, then flip it over on the gas flame.

You can find good videos on how to at youtube by searching for roti gas stove










First post for a very long time

I´ve been wanting to start blogging again, mostly because I´ve been cooking quite a bit and not writing down the recipes and therefor forget them.

One of the reasons I stopped is because the standard of food blogging was so high, people were posting amazing photos of food, and what I also learned is it was even fake food, like sour cream for ice cream and things like that.  I just wanted to cook, snap a photo and eat.

Since my photos were not professional and I didn´t have time to make the blog a full time job I got overwhelmed of the standard and  lost some interest.

I´m going to post the recipes I like with real photos and no pressure.

I bought Jerusalem Artichokes and decided to make a soup, I also had a very nice head of cauliflower.

All ingredients in a pot with 1 liter of water.  I used Red Thai chili paste, Sweet Thai chili sauce and curry to spice it up.

I saved one Jerusalem artichoke and sliced it thinly with mandolin, put it on a baking sheet, drizzled olive oil and salt over it and baked for about 15 minutes at 200°c.  Watch it closely so it doesn´t burn.

Cauliflower Soup

  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 3 Jerusalem artichokes
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 teaspoons Red Thai chili paste
  • 2-3 tbsp Sweet Thai chili sauce
  • 1 tsp curry
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 liter water

I used magic wand (food processor) to blend it rather smooth.  Served with homemade bread buns.



My trip to Tuscany

I went to Tuscany with my family this summer.  We have two young kids so most of the trip was designed around their needs, but that is what made the trip so great.   Kids got to eat and thankfully I have “well behaved” kids  so we went quite a bit out to restaurants, as well as cooking at home since we rented a beautiful place with a kitchen in Montaione.


I think Tuscany is very kid friendly.  We found out that our kids didn´t need much… that is they hated walking in old towns, but they did love to get Ice Cream there.  They were most happy by the pool or picking berries from the trees.

It´s was the perfect trip. This is some of the cultural and culinary highlights.

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First of all, I met an old (but young) friend in her beautiful home in Moncalvo.  We had wine and cheese and so much good food while staying with her.

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There, my daughter could pick cherries from the trees, and being from Iceland she had never seen cherry trees before.

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We stayed at a wonderful organic farm in Montaione, where we had our own apartment, a beautiful view, a yard and a swimming pool.


Bringing home the dough – that is the sourdough bread

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We travelled around tuscany, visited the typical touristic towns.


Not too bad view while swinging…


Those Bruschettas are not leagal!


Double dipping in his mom´s coffee to get the foamy milk


beautiful streets and houses and the locals doing the laundry, not everyone on a holiday in Tuscany…


One of my favorite town was San Miniato.  We had lunch at La Cantina del Fondo in San Miniato, I really like that place.

Screen Shot 2015-08-26 at 11.22.29

We ended the trip in Bologna.  That is a city I´d like to visit again.  The food culture is amazing.  All the tapas bars, market place, gouuuurmet culinary shops with cured ham and endless of cheese.

Screen Shot 2015-08-26 at 11.22.46

And since one of my “hobby” is pizza I had done a research about pizza in Bologna and decided to check out Alce Nero Berberé .  We were running late and almost didn´t make it to lunch, so I was running in 30°c with my rather heavy 3 year old in my hands, I was going to eat lunch there and WE MADE IT!


That place had brilliant pizzas.  They even use the flour I only use.

Screen Shot 2015-08-26 at 11.23.40

Long story short, I love Tuscany, will go again soon 🙂

The House By The Sea – Now on Instagram

I love Instagram, just love browsing through people´s photos  There are so many great talents there, both with fine art, photography or food.

Let me know if you are Instagram as well so I can follow.

My account is

Screen Shot 2015-08-25 at 16.38.58

Rye Berry Salad from Kitchen Vignettes

I love my grains, love my loaf of sour dough and my pizza.  But I choose my flour wisely.


I was watching a beautiful video on Scenic this morning called A Rye Affair from Kitchen Vignettes.  You can find the recipe and an interesting blog post about grains on the Kitchen Vignettes blog.

While I am writing this blog I ´m watching the storm making quite some waves out on the sea and we have occasional snow flakes dropping from the sky.  So for me in late april it´s WINDY, SNOWY, FROSTY but thankfully WARM & COZY inside and I can cuddle up and watch Scenic.

Talking about waves, I went down to the shore the other day, the waves were high and I got caught in one but I caught it as well…

…very refreshing 🙂  

There are so many different types of grain available today.  Growing up in Iceland back in the 80´s we had white rice from River Rice. That was about it.  Thankfully the variety has changed and for me, I love barley.

The joy I got from a video from Kitchen Vignettes this morning about rye… I can not tell you how much sun it brought into this cold day. Here is a MOMENT to show you what I felt…compared to the cold waves…


Photo courtesy:© Kitchen Vignettes from the recipe “Rye Berry Salad”.

“Note: The general rule for the preparation of grains for optimal digestibility and nutrient absorption is to soak them in twice their volume of water, adding 2 tablespoons of an acidic medium per cup of grain. The acidic medium should ideally be yogurt, kefir, whey or buttermilk but apple cider vinegar and/or lemon juice can also be used.”

From: Kitchen Vignettes // RYE BERRY SALAD

I for example have not tried to soak the grains in acidic medium. And Oh My, being able to grow your own grains.  That would be something else!

Rye, Chicken, Sweet Corn, Red Onion, Zucchini, figs, walnuts, do I need to say more?  Check out the recipe for Rye Berry Salad here.

I recommend you read the book Cooked by Michael Pollan and especially the chapter about bread.  Don´t buy the cheapest processed flour that has been vitamin added because the have taken all the nutrition out if by too much processing… (READ THAT BOOK! It is good).

Keep exploring the word of grains and check out A Rye Affair on Scenic!


Cheers from the “fjord of whales” in Iceland!

Lavender Polenta Cake from Brooklyn Kitchen

The good thing about my new job is I get to watch beautiful videos about food.  One being from Kate Previte of Brooklyn Kitchen, a short form recipe videos.

You can see the video here at a new online channel called Scenic Collection.  If you subscribe to the channel and download the app you can make 10 second clips from the videos and share on social media too.

Kate shared the recipe of Lavender Polenta Cake with Scenic and I want to share it with you because it is delicious. If you want to know more about talented Kate Previte visit her website here.


Photo courtesy:©Kate Previte / Brooklyn Kitchen  – Stills from the Video Lavender Polenta Cake

Lavender Polenta Cake yield: one 8-inch cake, about 8 servings


  • 8 ounces unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1.5 Tbsp culinary or English lavender flowers
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 Tbsp brandy
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla paste or extract
  • 3/4 cup polenta, plus additional for coating pan
  • 2 cups almond flour*
  • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour or gluten-free flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tsp powdered sugar, for dusting
  • a few sprigs of lavender, optional


Preheat oven to 350ºF (or 180ºC). Butter an 8-inch round cake pan and dust with polenta.

By hand or in a stand mixer, beat butter with sugar and lavender until smooth and light. Add the eggs and beat to combine — on low if using an electric mixer — then add the almond extract, brandy and vanilla.

In a separate bowl, combine the polenta, almond flour and wheat or gf flour and whisk or mix by hand until uniformly combined.

using a sturdy wooden spoon, gradually mix the dry ingredients into the egg and butter mixture until just combined.

Spoon the batter into the prepared baking pan and smooth out the top. Bake for 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. The top of the cake should be a light golden brown.


Photo courtesy:©Kate Previte / Brooklyn Kitchen

Let the cake cool for 10–15 minutes, then remove from pan and allow to cool for 10 minutes more. Dust with powdered sugar using a handheld strainer and top with lavender sprigs, if using.

Serve warm or at room temperature. The cake will last for about 6 days on the counter if covered in cling wrap, or a bit longer in the refrigerator.


Photo courtesy:©Kate Previte / Brooklyn Kitchen

*Almond flour can be purchased in stores, but is also a handy by-product of homemade almond milk. After straining your almond milk, spread wet almond meal out on a sheet pan and place in a warm oven (pilot light only) for about 2 days. Grind in a food processor or blender to remove chunks and store in a sealed container in the freezer until ready to use.

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