Casual winter weekend at the country side

When we were living in Spain there was always something to do on the weekends, I mean special activities outside... the weather would always play along and the fact that we were living next to one of the most exciting cities in Europe helped a lot too. The moment we decided to move to Swedish country side, I got my doubts whether this will be the same there too. I did not know what to expect and got bit worried we might get bored. I could not be more wrong here, I know it now. Country life suits us all very well and every weekend is as excited and special as they were in Spain. I do admit the activities are slightly different, but still as exciting and funny.

Now, there is another small but very significant fact, which makes us feel super happy here, and that would be our neighbours. We have got the best neighbours ever if you ask me, who welcomed us so dearly in the neighbourhood and do help us with different matters. It did not take long and we became friends, as well as our kids and dogs. We take every opportunity to spend time together and that can be anything... starting from a dog walking afternoons, over Christmas decoration crafting sessions to picnic in a forest in the middle of Swedish winter. There is always fun and lot of sharing, while kids are playing together the adults are having some grown up talks and there will be always delicious food. It was about time to have our neighbours over in our home for a special treat too, hence I decided to host a small brunch party for them on the weekend.

For me brunch is always the answer, when you expect more people to come. Many brunch dishes can be prepared in advance, so you do not stress up on the main day. You can vary between many easy to make dishes. It remains special but still casual, perfect for a country side weekend meet up in my point of view.

There are some must have dishes, which will always appear in my brunch menu... these are quiche, fritatta, salad and muffins. Olives, cheese, some nuts and cherry tomatoes come always handy. Buy the best you can get and your guests will be more than delighted. To make it even more special you can also bake some bread, but this is really optional and only when you have some time to spare,  otherwise pay a visit to your favourite bakery for some fresh baguette bread, instead. When it comes to the sweet treats, my personal rule is always to have something humble, such as coffee cake or bundtcake, something chocolaty and small cake with cream, to make sure everybody will get what they like most. This weekend my choices were Russian raspberry cream cake, Swedish punsch rolls and German coffeecake... 

Raspberry cake
  • 100 g flour
  • 100 g sugar
  • 50 g grounded hazelnuts (or almonds)
  • 4 eggs
  • 250 ml double cream
  • vanilla essence
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 250 g fresh raspberries
  • raspberry jam
Preheat the oven to 180 C. Line your baking form with baking paper. Beat the eggs and sugar till they will double in size and get a pale colour. Sift in flour and hazelnut flour, fold it carefully with a spatula till all well combined. Pour the batter into the baking dish and bake for about 20-25 minutes (make the wooden stick test). Let the cake cool of completely and cut it in two layers.

In a bowl whisk together the whipping cream, vanilla essence and powdered sugar, till stiff peaks starts to form. Put the cream in a piping bag with a big star pipping tip.

Put the first cake layer on the cake plate and spread 2-3 tablespoons of raspberry on it. Pipe some of the cream on top and spread 2/3 of the raspberries on it. Put the second layer on top and cover it with jam too. Decorate the top with the remaining cream and berries.

  • 10 fresh eggs
  • good splash of milk
  • 2 hand full cherry tomatoes
  • salt, pepper, chili flakes and smoked paprika (optional)
  • 2 hand full grated cheese
  • chopped spring onions
Preheat the oven. In a bowl whisk together eggs and milk, season with salt, pepper, some chili flakes and smoked paprika, add some of the spring onions. Cut the cherry tomatoes in half and put them cut down into the pan (use a pan which you can put into the oven in a later step). Pour some olive oil over the tomatoes and let them cook for a minute in the pan. Pour the eggs over the tomatoes and spread the grated cheese on top. Put the pan into the oven for about 10-15 minutes till golden brown. Take it out of the oven, sprinkle with some more spring onions and serve.

Swedish punsch rolls

  • chocolate cake left overs 
  • cookies (any cookies you like)
  • arrag essence
  • cream cheese
  • marzipan 
  • chocolate
Crush the cookies and crumble the cake. Mix them together. Add some cream cheese (spoon wise) and mix it in, continue to add the cream cheese till you will get a smooth and sticky batter, which can be formed in a roll. The batter shall not be too dry or too wet, just about right to be work with. Form some roles and put them into the fridge for at least 30 min. Roll out the marzipan and cover the batter rolls with it. Put them back into the fridge. Melted the chocolate. Take the rolls out of the fridge cut them in pieces and dip them from both ends into the chocolate. Let them cool.

You can find the recipe for the pumpkin quiche HERE and for home made baguette bread HERE