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Pimientos de Padrón, blistered green peppers

The green Padrón peppers (pimientos de Padrón) originate from Padrón in Galicia, Spain, but the popular peppers are also grown at other places in Spain and in several other countries around the world. Padrón peppers have a rather mild, slightly bitter taste, which becomes smooth and a little sweet when sauteed. Though watch out, because for some reason, some Padrón peppers are very hot, and there is no way to tell, before biting it. I am one of those that thinks it makes them even more fun to eat:)

The sauteed peppers are a wonderful snack, sprinkled with salt flakes and nothing else, but they are also delicious with a little bit of lemon or lime and soy sauce. Good as a beer snack or as part of a tapas table, but also delicious as a side dish.


How to make Blistered Padrón Peppers

Ingredients

1 tablespoon good olive oil

Salt flakes

Padrón peppers or other small green peppers that are not too hot, such as Japanese shisito peppers.


Directions:

Heat the olive oil in a pan and fry the peppers over medium-high heat. The first time I made the peppers, I overcooked them, and they became soft and sloppy. I know some people prefer them that way, but to me they are better when cooked al dente, so 3-4 minutes on the hot frying pan should be enough.   

When the peppers start getting brown blisters, you need to pay attention, because then they are almost done.

Place the peppers in a bowl or on a tray, sprinkle with salt (and lemon juice and soy sauce if you wish) and serve immediately.

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Emirates Golf Club, Dubai

Before covid-19 I did most of my exercise on the treadmill at the gym in our building, but after covid-19 my workout habits have changed drastically. Nowadays I prefer exercising at home in front of the tv. I have signed up for Yoga Barn Online, so I have access to a seemingly never-ending supply of yoga and meditation classes from beautiful Yoga Barn in Ubud, Bali. I usually do Yin yoga or yoga Nidra right before bedtime, but sometimes I also take a yoga break during the day to get away from the computer screen for a while and clear my thoughts.

When I feel like getting my heart rate up, I look around YouTube for dance workouts. I have never been a good dancer (that’s actually an understatement. I seriously suck), because I don’t have any rhythm in my body. As a matter of fact, I have avoided dance classes because I didn’t want to distract other people with my weird out-of-sync moves. Though in front of the TV, I’m only distracting myself, so I can really let loose and do my ugly dance:) I really like the Popsugar dance videos with Keaira, but the dance workouts with Pamela Reif are also good and very easy to follow.

In the morning I play golf, and I try to go and practice every weekday. I get up at 5am and have a nice long breakfast while going through my inbox and planning the day ahead. At 6am I am off to the driving range, which is almost empty at this time of the day. Hitting balls while watching the sun rise is such a soothing experience, and to me it is the perfect way to start the day.

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Pitaya breakfast bowls

I always wake up hungry, so I want my breakfast to be easy and quick to make. Here are three of my favorite breakfast recipes:

Smoothie Bowls

During the summer last year, I have been experimenting with different kinds of smoothie bowls. I started out with some rather miserable attempts, that looked more like berry soup. Finding the right balance between too much liquid, and not enough liquid to get my budget brand blender to blend, was a struggle. For me, the key to smoothie bowl success was sliced frozen bananas, which gives the smoothie some texture without clogging up the blender. I use one frozen banana per bowl together with frozen acai mix for the purple bowls or pitaya mix for the pink bowls. The bananas have to be frozen, or you will get smoothie soup. If you use frozen smoothie mix you might need to add a little bit of coconut water to get the blending started. Top with fresh berries, coconut and other things that make the bowl look pretty:)

Chia pudding with passion fruit topping

Chia Pudding

My first attempt to make chia pudding was a couple of years back, and it was a big failure. With only two ingredients, you probably wonder how it’s possible to mess it up? Well try adding quinoa instead of chia…

My second attempt turned out so much better, and if you just check that you are adding the right seeds, this is probably the most foolproof recipe you will find. All you need is chia seeds, coconut milk, and maybe a touch of vanilla + a nice topping that you like (my favorite is passion fruit).

My chia pudding recipe >>

Chia pudding with passion fruit topping

Oatmeal with almond milk

Oatmeal with Almond Milk

Old-school oatmeal is filling and delicious. My recipe is with almond milk, but you can also use regular milk if you prefer. It doesn’t take more than 10 minutes to make, and it will keep you full for a long time. Perfect for those days, when you’re so busy, lunch might not happen.

My Oatmeal Recipe >>

Oatmeal with almond milk
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Infused water with mango, mint and cucumber

I often find it hard to drink enough water during the day, but after I have started making infused water, it is much easier to stay hydrated. I usually prepare a bottle of water in the morning, and then I do a refill in the afternoon, just adding more water to the ingredients in the bottle.

How much water you need to drink during the day to stay hydrated depends on individual factors such as how active you are and how much fluid you get through your diet, but for me, around 2 liters is usually sufficient. To avoid infusing pesticide residues and other nasty stuff, it is important that you only use organic produce in your infused water. If you do not have organic fruit and vegetables at hand, remove the rind/skin.

While there is no doubt that staying hydrated comes with multiple benefits for your health, the detoxing properties of infused water have been questioned, since the actual intake of the ingredients added is too small to matter. There is thus no point in overthinking what you put in your infused water, and if you think ginger tastes like soap, don’t add it just because it is supposed to be healthy and detoxing. Instead, add whatever you like and have readily available, and see the infused water as a nice way to make water drinking tastier and more exciting.

Want some inspiration? Here are some of my favorite recipes:

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Miyoshi, Korean hair salon, Dubai

Wonder where the Koreans in Dubai get their hair done? I was too, because all my Korean friends down here have amazing hair, and it turned out they all go to the same hair salon, Miyoshi, inside Golden Tulip in Tecom.

Miyoshi is a Korean-style beauty salon, and most of the staff are Korean. When making your booking, you can choose which hair stylist you want. Shinae recommended Mario, so I went on to book my haircut with him.

Mario is Korean (Mario is just his English name), and he has previously worked in Australia and China, so he speaks English well. I told him that I wanted the new kind of layer cut that all the Koreans have, and I showed him a photo of Shinae, to make sure we were on the same page. We decided to go for mid-length layers and a tapered cut to add some lightness and vibrance to my hair.  If I was happy with that style, he explained, we could go even further down that path the next time.

It all took about 45 minutes including complimentary hair wash. Hair wash is included at most hairdressers in Dubai, but that is unfortunately not always the case anymore in Denmark, so I want to make it clear to my Danish readers that the 100AED I paid for the hair cut was including wash, which makes it super cheap compared to haircuts in Denmark.

The haircut is very low maintenance, which is important to me, because if I need to spend too much time in the morning, blow drying and setting my hair, I will end up just wearing it in a ponytail. The cut has a natural volume and lightness to it so I can just roll out of bed, brush my hair and add a little setting spray, and I’m good to go.

Update 1: A friend had her haircut with another stylist, Julie, and she was also very happy with the result.

Update 2: One Korean friend doesn’t go to Miyoshi, but to a place in Oud Metha called Korean Beauty Salon. They are supposed to be very good too, and their perms are cheaper than at Miyoshi, so if you are in that area and want a Korean-style haircut, maybe that salon is worth checking out.


Miyoshi, Golden Tulip Media Hotel (not to be confused with Golden Tulip Hotel in Al Barsha), Barsha Heights, Tecom, Dubai. Tel: 04 448 9898

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Seafood pancit, Filipino food, Sarap Nation, JLT, Dubai

One of the things about Dubai that I have really learned to appreciate after covid-19 is the large selection of restaurants with food from all over the world. Now that we cannot travel abroad, it is great to have access to food from so many different countries within the city.

The other day I saw a small Filipino restaurant, Sarap Nation, in JLT and decided to go there for lunch. Before we moved to Dubai, I had never tasted Filipino food, but I have really come to like the hearty meals and the large variety of dishes and flavors.

Filipinos really like their pork dishes, with lechón (roasted suckling pick) being among the most famous ones. Though the island nation also has a big selection of delicious dishes with fish and seafood.  

I asked the staff at Sarap Nation which seafood dishes they would recommend, and they suggested that I either ordered the Sinigang na Hipon (sour soup with shrimp) or the seafood pancit (noodle dish). I could not decide, so I ordered both dishes. The staff also suggested that I tried their ube dalgona, and since I cannot say no to purple-colored drinks, I decided to try that one too. Ube is a purple potato-like vegetable which is used in many kinds of desserts in the Philippines. I use to say that the most interesting thing about ube is the color, as the flavor is not really for me, but mixed with the dalgona foam, it was delicious.

The sinigang soup is typically served with white rice, and the acidity comes from tamarind. The flavor is similar to Thai Tom Yum soup, but without the saltiness from the fish sauce and the heat from the chilies. The seafood flavor mixes very well with the tamarind, and the soup was even better, when I heated up the leftovers for dinner later that day, as it had taken on more flavor from the shrimp.

Pancit is noodles with different kinds of vegetables and meat, chicken or seafood. It is real Filipino comfort food and is often made with rice noodles, but the pancit I got at Sarap Nation was made with glass noodles and reminded me of Korean japchae. The fried calamari was delicious and tasted homemade, and the portion was large enough for two-three persons to share. Though it was just me and myself dining, so I got the leftovers to go together with the soup and the rice.


Sarap Nation, Shop 6, Ground Level (one stair up from the promenade), Fortune Tower, Cluster C, Jumeirah Lake Towers (JLT), Dubai

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Danish Swedish Farmdog

When Bølle was younger, his favorite holiday tradition was to knock over Santa and Santa’s wife every morning before ripping apart other Christmas decorations in front of them (I guess that explains the horrified look on their faces).

Though this year, Bølle has been more interested in his Christmas stocking which had a new treat for him every day, so both Santa + wife survived December.

In a few hours we will sit down for a traditional Danish Christmas dinner (we’re celebrating on the 24th in Denmark) with roast goose and caramelized potatoes, and risalamande for dessert, so before entering food coma, I therefore thought I would wish you all a merry Christmas and a happy New Year.  

 

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Recipe, Warm Goat Cheese Toasts with Olive Tapenade

Advertisement for my company Fair Fashionista and Spread-mmms

I first had these warm goat cheese toasts at a friend’s place, and I was immediately hooked. It’s such a great snack, and you only need 4 ingredients and 10 minutes to make it. A perfect nibble along with pre-dinner drinks, at the tapas table, or served together with a creamy tomato soup.

I prefer to make the toasts with sour dough baguette, but any regular baguette would do too. The Spread-mmms tapenade has a nice kick that goes well with the sharp goat cheese flavor, but you can use any olive tapenade of your liking.

Ingredients

1 baguette

2 tablespoons olive tapenade

1 small log of goat cheese with rind (You need enough to cut 12 discs, 0.5 inch thick)

Olive oil

Directions

Preheat the oven to 425°F.

Cut the baguette into 12 slices about ½ inch thick.

Pour a bit of olive oil on a plate and dip each side of the sliced bread in the oil.

Place the olive-soaked bread slices on a baking sheet.

Cut the goat cheese log into 12 discs about ½ inch thick.

Place the cheese on top of the bread slices

Bake for 4-5 minutes and keep an eye on the toasts all the time, as they are easy to burn. When the bread is slightly golden, and the cheese turns soft and start melting the toasts are ready.

Top with olive tapenade and serve hot. You can also add the tapenade before baking. I’ve tried both options, and I like the flavor better, when added afterwards.

Buy the gift pack with 2 handwoven tea towels, 2 bags of Hungry Bird Nordic Crisps and 1 mini jar of Spread-mmms Olive Tapenade at Fair Fashionista Shop >>

FAIR-FASHIONISTA.COM
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Danish birthday cake, kagekone/kagemand

Yesterday was my birthday and my family got me a kagekone (cake woman) from the local bakery shop. In Denmark, you are often served kagekone or kagemand (cake man) at children’s birthday parties. The kagekone is decorated with sugar frosting and candy, so it has eyes, nose, mouth and hair. Usually, the head has the most candy, making it the most popular part.

First, the kagekone/kagemand is decapitated, and while the knife cuts through the cake neck, everybody at the party is supposed to scream out as loud as possible. I remember that as the big highlight at my childhood’s birthday parties, but now when I think about it, it sounds rather bizarre:)

My cake woman yesterday was made of vandbakkelse, which is a kind of choux pastry, but you can kagekone/kagemand with any kind of pastry or cake, as long as there is candy on top.

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