Matchy matchy

I’ve been laid up for the last week with acute bronchitis so between long long sleeps, I’ve been working on my matchy-matchy skills.

I don’t think I did too badly.

Tamyra has been my sleeping buddy. I’m not so sure about what she did to make her bed like that but it is all fixed now and more exciting is the fact that she slept with me on the sofa for hours and hours.

Simon’s Girlfriend’s Grandmother’s Swedish Meatball Recipe


We sometimes have international students come to stay and last year we hosted a Swedish student called Simon and his girlfriend for a short while. We were talking about Christmas in Sweden and they said they ate meatballs with beer in. I was curious and asked for the recipe which they very kindly obtained for me and we tried it out and loved it. I’ve made some adaptations as I found frying batches of them a little cumbersome and the meatballs wouldn’t stay together. I also didn’t have any French mustard so subbed some French’s Classic yellow mustard instead.

100g breadcrumbs
200ml beer
500g beef mince
500g pork mince
mixed spice

Make your meatballs – around a tsp each in size and place them on baking sheet covered with baking parchment. Bake these for around 15 minutes until they are cooked through. Serve with mashed potatoes and vegetables of your choice. Swedes serve meatballs with lingonberry jam. Redcurrant jelly or cumberland sauce would work just as well.

An alternative is cooking these in a pepper sauce. I had a packet mix in the cupboard so made it up on the stove and put some partially cooked meatballs (cook for around 10 minutes in the oven as previously described) in a covered casserole with the sauce and cooked them in the oven for around 20 minutes.

Hot cross bun pudding

Happy Easter! It’s been a while but life has gotten in the way a bit but hopefully I’ll be back to normal service again.

I was having a very tiny little panic last night when I realised that I had no dessert for Easter lunch and knowing that the stores were closing later that evening and also feeling a little lazy about driving into town to collect some groceries, I thought I’d invent something and hence hot cross bun pudding was born. It is loosely based on this bread pudding recipe but I’ve given it an Easter twist. My pudding is a cross between hot cross buns and simnel cake as it has a marzipan middle which you can leave out if you don’t have any marzipan. I just happened to have some in the cupboard staring at me. Anyone who has ever visited me knows that my cupboards groan with strange and wonderful ingredients. I also have a big drawer full of bread crusts of all types and varieties in my freezer 🙂 I started my pudding last night as it gives the bread a good chance to break down and meld together with the milk and brandy and also for the dried fruit to swell up again.

500g bread, whatever you have to hand, if it is all dried up that’s even better
600ml-800ml milk
3 tbsp brandy
500g mixed fruit, I used raisins and currants
200g mixed peel
2 tbsp mixed spice (pumpkin pie spice also would work)
2 large eggs
140g light muscovado sugar, you can also used caster sugar
100g melted butter
1 pack of marzipan, around 500g

Soak the bread, fruit and peel with the milk and brandy overnight with the mixed spice. If your bread is not taking in the liquid very well, add a bit more milk or brandy. The next day you should have a squashy mushy fruity mix.

Butter a large casserole dish – a lasagna dish would be perfect.

Beat together your eggs and add to the mix with the muscovado sugar. Stir in your melted better. Spoon in roughly half of your pudding mix into the bottom of the dish. Cut your marzipan into slices and arrange on top of the bread pudding and then spoon the rest of the pudding mix on top. Sprinkle some sugar on the top of the pudding and put into the oven to bake for around 1-1.5 hours. If it looks like it is getting too brown, cover your pudding with some tin foil.