Nordic Almond Rusks…to go with my reindeer sweater

Nordic Almond Rusks || cityhippyfarmgirl

My mum gave me this book last Christmas, The Nordic Cookbook. It was one of those presents where you unwrap it and have a small excited titter just on running your fingers over the front cover. (Much like the time when she gave me a Figgio plate without knowing what it is was, just knowing that I would like it.)

On reading the book, I wasn’t disappointed. Skimming the pages, and I feel like I’m sitting in some snug Nordic kitchen drinking tea…

…there’s a soft snow gently coming down outside, the kids are calmly playing a board game, while we all wear (similar in pattern) knitted reindeer sweaters. With a tidy plateful of almond bars on the kitchen counter I reach for one to deftly dunk into my steaming mug of tea, I catch a cheeky smile from my loving partner across the subtly decorated effortless styled room…

Ahh, wait. Hang on a sec, seems I got carried away. That last part must have been an IKEA catalogue I’d seen.

Back to the chaos of reality.

The kids are tearing around laser blammering each other, the dog is sinking her puppy teeth into a couch leg once more. Everything is completely mismatched, the autumn weather is unseasonably warm for this time of year (thank you climate change), partner has disappeared under several piles of washing needing somehow to be dried before tomorrow, and tea may yet have to be rewarmed (again) due to distractions and time constraints of drinking it hot within a 15 minute advisable time frame. (Tepid at best on a regular basis.)

Thankfully I’ve been playing with my own Nordic Almond Rusk recipe, and no one has managed to break the Figgio (as yet.)

Nordic almond rusk || cityhippyfarmgirl

Nordic Almond Bars

150g softened butter

150g sugar

150g almond meal

2 tablespoons of honey

2 eggs

300g (2 cups) plain flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp almond aroma * (if you love it, omit if you don’t)

Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl. Then give a quick knead on a lightly floured surface.

Divide mixture into three even fat log shaped rolls, lay on a lined baking tray and bake at 200C for approximately 25 minutes. Take logs out, and allow them to cool (this part is important) for about 20 minutes. Lower the oven temperature to 180C, then carefully slice on the diagonal with a serrated bread knife, and lay them back on the tray.

Continue to bake for a further 15-20 minutes or until just a light golden. Swapping sides mid way through.

Eating these will guarantee crumbs on any nordic themed reindeer sweaters.


Strawberry Shortcake Crumble

Strawberry Shortcake Crumble

How would you describe the taste of a strawberry to someone who hadn’t ever eaten one before? Soft and sweet obviously. But then, then? That’s where my descriptions falter. It tastes like…

I asked the smallest and current hardcore daily-strawberry-advocate.

“…it tastes…likkkkke… strawberry?” 

Obviously not feeling particularly poetic today my girl.

seasonal strawberries

Now the benefits of having a blog is being able to see what you were making a year ago, two years ago, (…or eek, 6 years ago?) I knew it was strawberry season, and I knew I wanted to make something easy. I looked at my recipe, scrutinised it for a second or two and then thought, yeah, I reckon I could go a step further in the making it even easier department.

Blend it!

And so I did.

Here’s the slightly tweaked version. Lots of seasonal strawberry goodness, and really low in processed sugar (1.4 tsp per serve.)

Now tell me, how would you describe the taste of a strawberry?

Strawberry Shortcake Crumble

Strawberry Shortcake Crumble (serves 7)

100g butter

1 tsp vanilla extract

zest of a whole lemon

1/4 cup raw sugar

75g almond meal

150g self raising flour

hulled, washed and roughly chopped strawberries

Pop strawberries into an oven proof ramekins. In a blender, add all of your remaining ingredients together and then spoon mixture on top of strawberries. Into an oven at 180C for about 20 or so minutes or until golden.

Ridiculously quick and easy.

Lemon and Olive Oil Cake

Lemon and Olive Oil Cake ||

It’s Sunday and there is cake on our family plates

a soft lemony one

a cake that you could easily handle another slice (or two.)

Made quickly but with love.

Don’t ever think that something made in haste

isn’t without it’s lemony love merits,

that’s just practicality.

Lemon a dn Olive Oil Cake ||

A practical Lemon-And-Olive-Oil-Made-With-Love Father’s Day cake.

Lemon and Olive Oil Cake

4 eggs

400g caster sugar

250mls olive oil

zest of 1 large lemon

juice of 2 large lemons

450g self raising flour

In a mixer, beat eggs and sugar together until pale. Then drizzle in olive oil. Tip out to a large mixing bowl and add lemon zest and juice. Fold through self raising flour.

Pour mixture into two greased and lined cake tins or one cake tin and one muffin tray (this mixture make approximately one large cake and 8 muffins).

Bake at 180C for approximately 45-50 minutes, shorter time for muffins.

The Crumpet Trumpet

Top tips for Sourdough Crumpets || cityhippyfarmgirl

Talk of crumpets and it usually leads to other words like buttery fingers, dripping honey and piping hot cups of tea.

Crispy on the bottom, soft in the middle. There was something about the humble crumpet that most certainly appealed.

When I started making sourdough crumpets, (now not to blow my own crumpet trumpet here) well that appeal went through the roof.

The fact that they are dead easy, tasted good AND so much easier on the tummy being sourdough…well the requests started to pile up.

It seems everyone else in the family wanted in on the crumpet action as well. There really was quite a loud trumpet for crumpets.

Buttery fingers, dripping honey and piping hot cups of tea? Seems it really is the only way to eat crumpets.

Sourdough Crumpets

1 cup of sourdough starter

1/2 tsp bicarbonate soda

1/4-1/2 tsp salt

extra melted butter

You’ll need a whisk, egg rings and a frying pan to cook them in.

sourdough starter || cityhippyfarmgirl

Top Tips for Sourdough Crumpets

* Your starter doesn’t need to be refreshed for this to work. Straight from the fridge is fine, just leave it on the bench for a little to bring it back to room temp.

* Work on a fairly liquidy starter, if it looks to thick, just add a little extra water. You should see bubbles within the egg ring when you cook them. If it’s too thick you won’t see this.

* If you like the big holes, divide your starter mixture in half before adding the bicarb and salt, stagger the timing and add the second lot just before you start to cook them.

* Use a whisk when adding the salt and bicarb.

* When cooking them, pour the batter into the egg rings- gently rub some melted butter round the edges so the batter doesn’t stick.

* If your crumpets don’t have the bubbles you are after, take the heat up a smidge in the initial cooking period, then turn it down a little.

* After a few minutes of cooking gently jiggle the ring off and leave the crumpet to continue to cook. You can either flip it over to cook the top a little or once the crumpet is 75% cooked, add a lid and steam the last bit of the crumpet. This is purely to keep your holes completely intact so you are not squashing them.

* These can easily be frozen and toasted again later (once cooked the first time of course.)

* Great camping food.

* Also good for kiddo’s to do on the weekend.


If you don’t have a sourdough starter and you are keen to give it a crack. This tutorial here will get you started.

sourdough crumpets || cityhippyfarmgirl