Jamie Oliver has helped me reach pie nirvana!

Jamie Oliver has helped me reach pie nirvana!

When I was a kid, all my mother had to do was say “pot pie” and I was absolutely ecstatic. I loved pot pies—chicken, beef, lamb, fish—if it was a pot pie, then I wanted it. Especially on chilly days when the warming goodness of a pot pie was like a slice of heaven in my belly. My mother only made pot pies during the autumn and the winter. Once spring came—even if it was still cold, pot pie season was over.

Now that I am an adult, I can eat pot pies whenever I want (and I do). But it took a while to find just the right recipe. The one my mom used, which was from an old Betty Crocker cookbook, was good, but it wasn’t perfect. Sometimes the filling felt too heavy and my attempts at finding the right blend of herbs didn’t always work.

Jamie Oliver, the man with the near-perfect pie.

Jamie Oliver, the man with the near-perfect pie.

Then one winter evening, I happened to be flipping through the channels and stumbled upon Jamie Oliver’s Christmas preparation program. The episode in question just happened to feature suggestions on what to do with leftover turkey. Which was perfect! We’d just celebrated Thanksgiving and we had two kilos of leftover turkey meat in our freezer. And what did he suggest?

Jamie's turkey & sweet leek pie. Photo credit: jamieoliver.com

Jamie’s turkey & sweet leek pie. Photo credit: jamieoliver.com

A pot pie!

Oh my heart soared. Turkey and sweet leek pie…I memorised everything!  His recipe called for leeks, which I also had at home. It also called for crème fraîche, which I didn’t have but I figured I could pick up the next day.

While I was at the grocery store, I decided to change the recipe a bit. I couldn’t find chestnuts, so I decided to leave them out. It’s not easy to find chestnuts here in Sweden–people don’t really seem to know what to do with them so stores only carry them for a very short period of time. And I thought adding bacon felt a little like overkill–I know, how could I say this? I love bacon! But it just didn’t feel like it would add much, so I skipped it. Instead, I added white wine, wild mushrooms and chopped kale to the pie filling. Tord made the pie crust and added sage and grated parmesan cheese to the dough.

We popped the pie in the oven and waited anxiously for it to finally be done. The pie needed around 40-45 minutes to get the perfect golden crust. And when it was ready….oh…that pie was wonderful.

My heavenly pie! Photo credit: Me!

My heavenly pie! Photo credit: Me!

I think I’ll be making this pie no matter the weather (well, maybe not during the summer–all I want to do then is barbecue chicken and beef). But I tell you–this pie is truly heavenly. And if you want to make your own version of it–just take Jamie’s recipe and–at the same time as you sauté the leeks–sauté the veggies you love and then add the turkey or chicken. Once you do that, add the white wine…don’t skip that step. So follow, Jamie’s recipe and tweak it  with your favourite little tidbits. You will reach pie nirvana too. 🙂


Sexiness & the Lumbersexual Man

Sexiness & the Lumbersexual Man

Over the years I’ve learned something about myself—I prefer a good-looking man who’s a little scruffy rather than one who’s groomed to within an inch of existence. The media has tooled a new name for these rough-and-tumble guys: Lumbersexual. Look around you–in nearly every major North American or European city, you’ll find him. The rough-around-the-edges who looks like he’d much rather be hanging out at a cabin in the woods than sitting in a microbrewery bar. He looks like your dream lumberjack–sexy without even trying, casual, comfortable like your favourite flannel shirt. And ou know he cleans up well if needs be.

Screen Shot 2015-02-22 at 22.02.44

Credit: Details Magazine

The Heir Apparent

Apparently, the heir apparent of Lumbersexual Men in Jake Gyllenhaal. He has a penchant for flannel shirts, jeans and workboots. He also looks good in a beard. And the beard is quite important for the Lumbersexual man–it can’t be too messy. It shouldn’t look like you expect to find a family of hibernating animals stuck in it. And there shouldn’t be any day-old food caught in those whiskers. Whenever Jake sports his Lumbersexual look, he looks clean…like fresh mountain air, like a spring water trickling over rocks… If you were lucky enough to hug him, he’d smell like balsam…or something equally outdoorsy and manly. He would not smell like he hadn’t bathed in weeks.

Tom Hardy is also another contender for the Lumbersexual Crown Prince. When he sports his beard and his pea coat, he looks like he could wrestle a bear and still not be too late to meet you for drinks at the Zetland Arms. This is very important–the Lumbersexual Guy would never leave you stranded at the pub.

Lumbersexual Essentials

Source: redwingheritage.com

Source: redwingheritage.comLumbersexual Essentials

If he’s mastered his beard, then we can focus on  your Lumbersexual guy’s attire. A plaid flannel work shirt or a Nordic sweater is always a good start. Lumbersexuals don’t like being cold. They like their jackets fleece…or PrimaLoft or some other functional material that looks smart and is smart. The North Face, Lands End, Timberland…Eastern Mountain Sports? No need for haute couture when your Lumbersexual hunk probably has everything he needs in his closet.  For shoes, classic, comfortable yet still stylish is always a safe bet. A pair of Red Wing Classic Mocs should do the trick. Spotted on Lumbersexuals in Stockholm and Copenhagen, these sturdy, studly boots work with jeans, corduroys and wool trousers.

Screen Shot 2015-02-22 at 22.32.32A good backpack is also essential. Ryan Gosling, another Lumbersexual god, is never far from his favourite backpack. Don’t make the mistake of letting it look too new. It should look worn-in, scuffed, scruffy–just like your guy. What should he have in his backpack? Some Lumbersexuals tote around their MacBook Air or a dog-eared copy of their favourite novel. Swedish Lumbersexuals seem to always have computers with them. A few of the American Lumbersexuals I’ve met have a penchant for Moleskine notebooks and nice pens. Not bad. I like a thinking man. A man who’s a bookworm. A man who likes to write down his thoughts.  My ideal Lumbersexual would always have a bottle of Canadian maple syrup in his backpack. That brunch place he recommended may only serve pancake syrup with artificially flavoured maple syrup. You never known when you might need maple syrup. But of course the ideal Lumbersexual would never take you to a place that didn’t serve proper maple syrup.

Lucky Me

As I write this, I realise I am already married to a Lumbersexual. He doesn’t like wearing suits. His hair is cut short and always a bit messy (just like I like it). And nearly everything in his wardrobe comes from an outdoor lifestyle shop. He likes hiking in the Swedish fells and owns more fleece jackets than one needs in a lifetime. All of his shoes are made of Gore-Tex (with the exception of one pair of leather dress shoes I made him buy to wear to a friend’s wedding). The only thing missing is the beard. His beard grows in too patchy, so he settles for razor-stubble and it looks good on him.

I hope this Lumbersexual fad lasts for a while. As much as I like David Beckham or Cristiano Ronaldo, they’re both a tad bit too polished, too waxed.  Give me the rough-and-tumble guy any day. He’s not afraid to get dirty…and he’s sexy as all get-out.

So tell me…who’s your favourite lumbersexual?

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