December 30, 2005

Wild chicken and beetroot cake

I have folkdancing as one of my hobbies and yesterday we had our annual dinner with some dance friends. One of the friends live in the same building as me and A and she and I had a lovely time yesterday planning, shopping and cooking with the snowstorm howling outside. We chose a favourite - wild chicken casserole- as main course and for dessert we whipped up a new and exciting variety of the common carrot cake with cream cheese. The recipe is from a new cookbook, Två systrars söta (Two sister´s sweet), and the authors, Lisen and Monica Eisenman, are two American-Swedish sisters who run the Cookbook Café in Stockholm. This cake is heaven, and it is beatiful with the beetroots inside and the thick shiny glaze. Our guests really liked both the chicken and the cake, even the youngest (aged 2) cleaned her plate and asked for more! I can really recommend the chicken, it is very easy to pull together and the taste is great. The sauce gets a little runny though so you can thicken it if you want to.

Wild chicken
Serves 4
4 chicken breasts, skinless
100 ml concentrated blackcurrant syrup (saft)
200 ml chicken stock
200 ml creme fraiche (I use the light bot not the very light)
10 crushed dry juniper berries
2 tbsp chinese soy
a pinch of dried thyme

Cut the chicken in smaller pieces and fry them in as little oil as possible until they have a nice colour.
Mix syrup, chicken stock, creme fraiche, juniper, soy and thyme in a skillet. Bring to a boil.
Add the chicken and let simmer on low heat for about ten minutes on low heat, with a lid on.
Garnish with thyme and blackcurrants and serve with potatoes and steamed vegetables, for example carrots or cauliflower

Beetroot cake with saffron glaze
400 ml plain flour
350 ml caster sugar
a pinch of salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla sugar
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon grated nutmeg
150 ml canola (raps) or sunflower oil
3 eggs
300 ml grated beetroots
300 ml roughly chopped walnuts

oil or butter and breadcrumbs for the baking form (use one with releasable sides)

1 gram of saffron, crushed in a mortlar with a little pinch of sugar
200 g cream cheese
200-300 ml powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla sugar

Peel and grate 2-3 beetroots. Prepare the baking form. Mix the dry ingredients for the cake in a large bowl and stir in oil and eggs. Add the beetroots and walnuts. Pour it in the baking form and bake for 45 minutes in 175C/347F, it should be dry inside. Let it cool on a rack, covered with the form.

Mix the ingredients for the glaze, easiest with a handheld mixer. Spread it over the cake and serve. Next time I will try and garnish the cake with grated beetroot...

December 28, 2005

Leftovers and a food challenge

I just froze the last piece of my gravlax, and all the remaining meatballs, and the small sausages, and tonight I will also freeze the remaining ham. Christmas food is great, but there´s definitely a limit to how much of it you can eat whithin a single week. This way we can enjoy it all January - also the month when most people, including us, maybe doesn´t exactly own heaps of money after all Christmas shopping... Do you know, I think I will challenge myself. No food shopping in January - except milk, potatoes and fresh vegetables. No frozen things, no tins, no rice, no new exciting flours or sugars. And I will try not to buy any meat, fish or chicken either. Once a week, tops, and nothing before I have used the shrimps and pork and stuff from the freezer. One of my favourite non-food bloggers gave herself this challenge when they were moving abroad and I wanted to try too. Now the time has come! Let´s see how long I can manage without my beloved food shopping... Join me if you want to save money and do something about bulging cabinets and freezers!

I talked about gravlax before, this star, this crown of the Christmas buffet with its delicious creamy sauce. Here´s the recipe, suitable not only for Christmas and Easter...

Serves at least ten people on a buffet table.

1 kg salmon, preferrably the middle part. It is recommended in Sweden to freeze the fish for at least 48 hours to kill parasites
2-3 teaspoons of whole white pepper
4 tbsp salt
4 tbsp sugar
a large bunch of fresh dill, roughly chopped

Fillet the salmon and take away the bones. Leave the skin on. Crush the peppercorns and mix with sugar and salt. Rub the salmon with the mix, especially the meat sides. Put the fillets together with a lot of dill in between (meat sides together) so the thick part on one comes on the thin part of the other. Put everything in double plastic bags, seal well and put in the fridge for 48 hours. Turn the bag now and then so the juices spread evenly.
Take out the fillets and carefully scrape off the sugar/salt/dill mix. The salmon is now firm, shiny and all pink with a delicious taste! Serve in very thin slices with some mustard sauce, in flakes on egg halves, with shrimps or whatever you can think of. The salmon keeps for about a week in the fridge and often I simply fry the last part in thick slices and serve with potatoes. It is also delicious to grill this salmon! You can freeze gravlax for a couple of months too.

Swedish mustard sauce
2-3 tbsp sweet mustard
1-2 tbsp sugar
1-2 tbsp of white wine vinegar or similar. I always use apple cider vinegar
100 ml oil, rapeseed or sunflower or corn
2-3 tbsp finely chopped dill
salt and white pepper
Mix the mustard, sugar and vinegar in a bowl. Put the bowl on a damp dishcloth so it doesn´t jump around. Then add the oil carefully and stir, stir, stir! The mustard mix should absorbe the oil and become thick and creamy. Spice to taste with salt and white pepper and stir in the dill.

December 25, 2005

Lemon pickled herring

The thing I love most on the Christmas table is pickled herring, and the herring I love most of all herrings is this one, lemon pickled herring. The recipe comes from my grandmother and we have had it for Christmas and Easter for many years. I am not celebrating with my family this year and hence had to make my own - without lemon herring no Christmas. It turned out perfect - fragrant of lemon and dill and the moist herring is accompanied by crunchy veggies. For Easter it is perfect to serve with boiled eggs. Traditionally pickled herring is made with distilled vinegar, ättika, but in this recipe you use lemon juice. For those of you who can´t get hold of salted herring I guess you can substitute with ready pickled herring which you let sit in the veggie/lemon mix for 24 hours... Otherwise the herring should sit for 3 days before eating.

Lemon pickled herring
1 tin of salted herring or 200-250 grams of salted herring which you rinse in water and let soak over night.
Zest from half a lemon, the most beautiful way to do this is to use a potato peeler and then slice the peel thinly by hand. I used a lemon zester this year and the zest got so thin so you can´t see it which is part of the experience
Juice from three lemons
300 ml caster sugar
400 ml water
1 bag of herring spice or 8 crushed allspice corns, 4 crushed white pepper corns and 1 bay leaf
1small leek, thinly sliced
2 carrots, in toothpicks
1 red onion, very finely sliced
1 bunch of fresh or frozen dill, roughly chopped

Use a large bowl! Dissolve the sugar in the lemon juice and add the spices. Add the water. Stir in all the vegetables and the herring cut in bite size pieces. Cover the bowl with plastic or tin foil and let sit in the fridge for three days. The herring keeps for three/four days but I bet you will eat it all up before that. And don´t forget to eat the veggies too, they are totally delicious. Enjoy!

December 23, 2005

Janssons frestelse

The day before the Day, at least for all of us who celebrate Christmas on Christmas Eve... All food is done, almost all the presents are fixed and the Christmas tree is glowing in a corner of the living room. The Christmas tree on the photo is not mine, but my family´s a couple of years ago when it was really snowy where I come from in southern Sweden. I was out in the forest with my sister, brother and father and we found this fine tree, cut it down and brought it home standing upright (the tree, not us) in my sister´s open car boot - I will never forget how strange it looked. But my parent´s home is in the countryside and nobody saw us.

Today A made the last essential Christmas food, Janssons frestelse and risgrynsgröt, and now the fridge is full of goodies. I couldn´t stand Janssons when I was little, and really the taste and texture is a little original - something not all children will like. But now I love it!

All Swedish knows what Janssons is, but here´s the short version. Raw potatoes cut in toothpick shape, anchovies and cream baked in the oven and served with all the meatballs and ham on the buffet table. Not only for Christmas but also for Easter and other festive occasions. The risgrynsgröt is porridge made from round rice, served with cinnamon and sugar and milk and maybe a little butter.

Now I will return to my rhyming on the gift tags for my presents for tomorrow and leave you with this recipe for your own Janssons! Note the vegetarian version with cinnamon! I got the tip many years ago from a friend and even though it sounds crazy with cinnamon in this it really gives almost the same taste as anchovies!

Janssons frestelse
(serves 4)
8-10 potatoes
2 yellow onions
8-10 fillets of anchovies in brine (save the brine!!!)
about ¾ cup of milk or a mix of milk and a little cream
1 tbsp of fine breadcrumbs
1 tbsp of butter or margarine
Peel the potatoes and onion. Cut the potatoes in matchsticks and chop the onions very finely. Fryt it for some minutes if you want.
Layer the potatoes, onions and anchovy fillets in a buttered ovenproof dish. Start and finish with potato. Pour over half of the milk and some brine from the fillets. Put the butter on the potatoes in small dots and sprinkle with breadcrumbs.
Bake in oven in 425 F/225 C for 45 minutes. When it is nearly done add the rest of the milk around the edges.
Serve as it is with a salad or with meatballs or…
If you want it vegetarian replace the anchovies with ground cinnamon.

December 21, 2005


Freedom! I am finally off work and can do what I want all day, i.e. cooking, baking etc. These strange brownish-greyish things are my first home made knäckebröd ever, and I will present some of them as a Christmas gift for my in-laws. (And don´t ask how I am going to wrap them because I don´t know yet.) I got the beautiful wooden container this weekend as a Christmas gift from my grandfather who is a skilled craftsman and has this kind of containers as his specialty.
Ordinary knäckebröd (and those of you who doesn´t know knäckebröd: it is hard bread and comes in different sizes, shapes and flavours - a Swedish staple) is a bit boring I think, especially the rectangular ones they fed you with school lunch. At home we always had the big round cakes which you break a piece of yourself, but I am not very fond of that either. When I on occasion buy knäckebröd I go for the really old fashioned versions - VERY hard, uneven, rough cakes with a distinct rye taste. And these cakes of mine turned out just according to my taste, I am very pleased! A little fussy to make, but not worse than gingerbread and absolute bliss comparing to the truffles. I dont have the time right now to translate the recipe but I can tell my Swedish readers that I found it in the reliable Bonniers kokbok. It is rye, wheat, water, salt and fresh yeast. That´s it. And what a feeling to sit down, put some butter on the fresh knäckebröd and eat it while you stare into the oven on your next project for this day, the biscotti I found chez Oslo foodie yesterday. I followed the recipe exactly, only substituted the cocktail cherries with some dried cranberries I found at Hötorgshallen. You should all try it, they are fantastic (and also a Christmas gift for my sister-in-law who won´t get any chilli-chocolate truffles this year.)

And the gravlax (sugar-salted fresh salmon with loads of dill) is prepared now, and the lemon herring....

December 19, 2005

-11C/12F, lutfisk and knäck

When I woke up today we had -11 outside but no snow so far... Hope it will come soon! I have spent the weekend mostly dealing with food in different ways. Cooking (mustard, dinner, knäck), shopping (ham, salmon, stuff for the mustard, dill und so weiter) and planning (realizing that perhabs I can´t sleep in in the mornings during my three free days before Christmas). And having a fantastic lutfisk dinner at my aunt´s and uncle´s on Saturday! Lutfisk is something you either love or hate. The hardcore cooks make it from scratch, which is a dried piece of fish. You soak it in water for several weeks, then cook it. Anyway, you can buy it ready. Lutfisk is white and wobbly and has a very delicate taste. It is also extremely healthy. You enjoy it (if you are in the lutfisk fan club) with potatoes, white sauce, melted butter, green peas and ground allspice. Some people also like some bacon with their lutfisk, I have never tried it but am tempted because it sounds good (not healthy though).

Yesterday I made knäck, on my to do-list for Christmas one down, fifteenhundred to go... I used the recipe from Bonniers kokbok and happened to boil it a little too long so I got what I wanted, very hard candy! But it was a little tricky in the end to pour the toffee in the small paper cups...

makes about 60

200 ml cream
200 ml golden syrup
200 ml sugar
50 g peeled and chopped almonds

Combine in a thick-bottomed skillet (preferably non-stick) and let simmer until it reaches 122 degrees C or about 250 F, it takes 20-30 minutes. If you don´t have a thermometer pour some drops in cold water and try to roll it to a rather firm ball. If you succeed it is time to add the almonds and pour it into the small cups you beforehand has placed on a tray nearby... I use a small can or teaspoons.
If you like a quicker recipe I saw one at Anne´s...

December 17, 2005

Don´t try it at home...

I have had a real kitchen debâcle this week making these truffles. Truffles, apparantly, is nothing for me. The first round was fine. I dragged home immense quantities of chocolate and rummaged the cabinets for nuts, poppy seeds, lemons and pear brandy and whatnot. Then I whipped up three different truffles. White chocolate with lemon and poppyseeds, dark chocolate with blackcurrant and the big number: chocolate with pear purée (I bought baby food) and pear brandy. I found the recipes in my newest cookbook, Godis by Maria Öhrn, and on the picture they looked gorgeous. And as always I thought that mine would look exactly the same, and that I would present them as a special gift for a friend yesterday, in a nice box. And later I would make more truffles for my sister-in-law and my family. Well well.

To make a long story short. I left the truffles in the fridge until thursday when I was supposed to roll them and dip them and decorate them. After a rich Christmas dinner I started off, nine o´clock in the evening. At eleven o´clock I had reached the following result:
  • The white truffles was just fine and dipped, but they were not round but with a funny little skirt in the bottom
  • The blackcurrant truffle first refused to be rolled and then refused to be dipped in the chocolate with my new special fork. They wanted to slip off and bathe and melt in the chocolate. So I only made a few which looked like - well - blobs?
  • The pear truffle refused even to be cut in pieces and I just threw all the crumbles (very tasty by the way) in a plastic container in the fridge - I guess I could make a cake or something with it. Suggestions please!
  • Quite a few "student candy" was made from all the high quality melted chocolate (white and dark) which was left. I just poured the chocolate into little round islands and decorated with cashew, pistachio and walnuts, and green raisins. The white rounds I decorated with candied orange peel. A real life-saver for an unsuccesful truffle maker!

And I didn´t find any boxes and had to make do with plastic bags, but in the end they turned out rather nice I think. But I think I will stay away from truffles in the future - and certainly not try to dip them in anything. Humpf.

December 15, 2005

Doggy bag

I have folk dancing as one of my hobbies and tonight we in our folk dancing group had a little Christmas dinner for dance teachers and others. The Swedish smorgasbord is known here and there in the world, and the Christmas smorgasbord is the best! (Well, maybe second best after Easter smorgasbord - I love eggs so much - but that is another story.)

One of us runs a catering firm and she was in charge today for a slightly unusual Julbord. There was some classic things, like ham and red cabbage, but also a pie, a brie cheese, and some other goodies. Everything was so delicious and beautifully presented - I didn´t bring my camera though. We ate and ate but there was a truckload of food left anyway so we had the pleasure to take a doggybag home! This was my selection.

On top of the potatoes a lettuce leaf with a mix of gravlax (salmon "cooked" with a rubbing of salt and sugar), orange, avocado and some dressing. Mmmm, love it. Then two skewers with mince beef spiced up with cinnamon and cloves (instead of the classic meatballs). The dark thing beside the potaotes is red cabbage cooked with spices and raisins. The thing tipped on its side to the right is a slice of brie cheese. She had "shaved" off the top mould layer with a sharp knife and sprinkled the surface with dried apricots, plums, raisins and pine nuts. Beautiful and very very tasty, I will definitely steal that idea! And last of all on the bottom of the box a delicious pie with rocket salad and sundried tomatoes. Sorry about the poor picture!
The doggybag will come in very handy for A. tomorrow night when he is home alone - I am going to a nice little glögg party with a good friend. And then my friends I will spend my weekend in the kitchen - well, a lot of the weekend anyway.

December 12, 2005

Happy Lucia!

December 13th, Lucia, is an important day for me and many others - time for beautiful music and people roaming the streets in long white robes. (A tall teenage boy in a white dress and pointy white hat is really endearing!) At school it was even more important, at least for me who likes to sing and always has been in the school choirs. This is an old photo from playschool. I am six years old and has a four year old brother and a baby sister. Even at this young age, I was already an experienced Lucia celebrator and had played all the important roles; as maid of Lucia, Santa´s little helper and whatnot our teachers could come up with to suit every little boy´s and girl´s taste. In playschool everyone who wanted could be Lucia, then the number decreased slowly to three and then to one in high school and gymnasium. I guess this is the last time I was Lucia, then I was forever a maid because I didn´t have long blonde hair. *Dramatic sigh* Anyway, it was the singing I liked best!

And for those who still doesn´t know which of the girls is me, I´m the dark and curly one to the right with the crown on the loose. Rather sweet, I must say, with these three little Lucias. (We seem to have gobbled up our gingerbread and lussekatts already, or are we waiting for it? The napkins look pretty spotless.)

Have a nice Lucia!

December 10, 2005

Mission accomplished!

Our new family member The Dough is gone from the balcony and lies in different boxes instead. I spent some hours baking gingerbread today, the cookies aren´t beautiful at all but tasty. I made hearts, stars, men and women and goats or whatever they are called? More cookies to come next weekend, but gingerbred is the worst to make I think. Not my cup of tea to stand there for hours on end rolling and cutting and fiddling, but I like to eat them.

I can also report from a successful shopping tour to a middle-east grocery store, we have a large assyrian/syrian population in my home town so I knew where to go in quest for my much desired unsalted pistachios... What a foodie place! The place was full of different kinds of nuts, wine leaves for stuffing, exotic sweets, oils, spices and cheese. I returned home not only with 200 grams of fine pistachios but also with a tin of wine dolmadas (my favourite), green raisins, cashew nuts and some more things. Oooh, they also had pomegranates the size of footballs (almost) and I bought the smallest one and had it today with our festive hot shrimps to celebrate the Nobel Prize. I got the recipe once from a friend´s mother.

Elisabeth´s hot shrimps
(I don´t have the exact quantities)
500 g shrimps
peppers in different colours or other veggies
1 chopped onion
1-2 cloves garlic (but I don´t use garlic when A is supposed to eat it)
1 tub of creme fraiche, about 1 cup
Tomato paste
Curry powder
cayenne pepper
1-2 tablespoons of concentrated orange juice

Fry the onion until shiny and a little soft. Add the other veggies. Powder over curry and fry some more, then add in the creme fraiche and spice to taste with cayenne and orange juice. Let simmer for a few minutes, add the shrimps and heat it up bot don´t boil. Serve with rice.

December 09, 2005

What´s cooking?

A. just came home and said happily "Oh, it smells like Christmas ham". But it is not ham, it is another part of the pig - the leg. The delicious leg, which is simmering with white pepper, allspice and bay leaves since 1.5 hours. The delicious leg, which is to be served with swede and potato mash and some mustard tomorrow. (Although it is Nobel Prize festivities tomorrow and on such a night maybe I should present something more fancy for dinner.) The delicious leg, which I will spare you the sight of...

What´s cooking?

A. just came home and said happily "Oh, it smells like Christmas ham". But it is not ham, it is another part of the pig - the leg. The delicious leg, which is simmering with white pepper, allspice and bay leaves since 1.5 hours. The delicious leg, which is to be served with swede and potato mash and some mustard tomorrow. (Although it is Nobel Prize festivities tomorrow and on such a night maybe I should present something more fancy for dinner.) The delicious leg, which I will spare you the sight of...

December 06, 2005

The Dough

We have a new family member. It is brown and lives on the balcony and we simply call it The Dough. Oh, and I see on the picture that it looks rather unappetizing. Wasn´t there some food blog contest somewhere about the worst picture? Maybe I should participate...

Anyhoo, this is much more tasty than it looks. I know, because I just tasted a lump of it. And then some more. And just a little bit more. Gingerbread dough is really really good! This one is firm and creamy, with lots of taste from cloves and cinnamon. This weekend we will transform it to stars, hearts, gingerbread men and maybe grissini, like Anne has done. And then we will have pepparkakor all year! Nice.

You know you are in possession of a good man when you on a lazy monday evening says: "shouldn´t you make gingerbread dough, so we can make cookies on saturday?" And he says: "Good point!" and rise from the comfy couch and goes to the kitchen for half an hour blending, mesauring, melting and pestle-ing (we didn´t have ground cloves at home so he had to use the mortlar), and bellowing for that matter "where´s the cloves? where´s the baking soda? do we have orange peel? we don´t have any flour! (in the cabinet, in the cabinet, no, oh yes we do behind the old bag")

So I have nothing to do with the making of this dough, but sure will help in the weekend!

December 03, 2005

Good-for-you pie

After a crazy week I have finally had the time to do something about the flat. We had dirty laundry everywhere, old newspapers lying around, dust crawling on the floor and nothing nothing nothing done on the Christmas front. Now we have a glowing, neat and lovely home again. Complete with a star in the bedroom window and the electric candleholder in the kitchen!

I also had time to cook, which was very nice. Nothing´s like a clean kitchen with lots of groceries in the cabinets and fridge. Aaah! For dinner we had this very tasty pie, made with some brussels sprouts I had on hand, carrots and bacon and some more things. For a savoury pie I prefer a crust with less fat and more taste.

Clivia´s good-for-you pie
Serves 4-6

2/3 cup or 1.5 dl all-purpose flour
2/3 cups wholemeal wheat flour (grahamsmjöl)
75 grams butter
a little less than 1/3 cups or 3/4 dl cottage or curd cheese (kesella)

Chop this toghether to a dough, by hand or in food processor. Put in a pie form (you don´t have to grease it) and put in the fridge for 10 minutes. Then bake it in the oven for 10 minutes in 200C/400F.

Then take what root vegetables you have on hand and chop and slice them in bitesize pieces. I used 15-20 brussels sprouts, two small carrots and half a leek. I didn´t boil the brussels which I should have because they came out a bit too chewy... I also fried some bacon, that is of course optional but hey, it is saturday! Put everything in the crust, mix it around, salt and pepper... Then grate some cheese and sprinkle over.

Whip up 3 eggs and 1 cup (2 dl) milk, I had a large pie form so I doubled the batch today. Pour over the veggies and bacon and bake in the oven for about 40 minutes. It should have a nice colour and not be runny in the middle. Serve with Estonian beer (optional) and a salad.

A hidden treasure

On one of my lunch walks several months ago I discovered a nice-looking tea house, Chaikhana, behind German church in Old town. Yesterday I finally made it and went for tea with my friends S&A. After a crazy week it was so nice just to sit down and enjoy afternoon tea and start off the weekend! You could choose french or english afternoon tea and if you wanted much or a little less. We went for the big english! First we got three delicious small sandwiches; salmon, cucumber and indian cress and ham and cheddar cheese. After that we got two scones each with two kinds of marmalade and whipped cream (you can´t get clotted here). Then we could choose what we wanted from the dessert trolley. S chose a glögg (mulled wine) cheesecake which she liked very much and I chose a mousse tart of which I have been thinking now for almost 24 hours. Mango mousse (with little fruit pieces in it) enclosed in another mousse of tea (!) and a little chocolate. I am not exaggerating when I say that was the best dessert I ever had. I have good table manners, which stopped me from licking the plate but otherwise I would have done it. With all this we drank tea of course. I had some black tea I don´t remember the name of and S had a green jasmine tea which she claimed tasted and smelled like wild strawberries. All this cost 140 SEK which is not cheap but definitely not overprized for this wonderful afternoon treat. Above all the tearooms was wonderful: peaceful and beautifully set. They also have a little tea shop.

Now I have two questions: when can I go back and how on earth do you make that mousse tart?

If you are in Stockholm, go find it! It is hidden behind German Church, just 5 minutes walk from Stortorget.

Chaikhana, Svartmangatan 23

December 01, 2005

Overheard on the subway

The winter has come and the snow is falling. I am on my way to work and get off the subway in Old Town. I walk behind a little boy, maybe 3 years old, who is dressed in a thick overall, boots and mittens and the whole lot. He holds on tight to his father´s hand and talks talks talks...

Boy: Daddy, it is snowing and the snow comes down the chimney
Father (looking like he has not had coffee): Uhuh
B: What if you are cooking and the snow comes down the chimney, then the snow will come into the food
F: Mmmhhmmm
B: But what to do if the snow comes down the chimney and you are cooking
F (looks desperate, thinking hard on what solution to present to this snow-in-the-food problem): Ahem???
B: Snow in the fooooood. What to do? What to do? When it comes down the chimney.

An so on.

November 28, 2005

Belgian cookies and more

Yesterday I returned from Brussels where I spent a wonderful weekend with my dear man. Well, I had some colleagues who just had been to Brussels and came home gushing about the glorious weather - cold and crisp and sunny. Of course the rain was pouring down when we arrived to Charleroi airport after a rather dull Ryanair flight, but Brussels have much to offer someone tired and wet and cold. We crawled into a cosy beer café and had a beer and sandwich before bedtime at the hotel at Boul. Anspach. The day after it was OK, but very cold and then we jumped into the Dandoy bakery right behind Grand Place where I ordered the cookies above and tea for only 4 euros, very good value I think. I am not a big cookie fan, but wanted to have a taste of these specialties and was delighted! The best one was the small one with a nut on top to the right but everything was very tasty. I liked the speculoos but they were very like our Swedish gingerbread, only thicker and more crumbly. Another favourite was a tiny cookie with earl grey leaves in, totally delicious and not too sweet. They also had a nice little shop.

I have had some tips on Brussels foodie places but the weather was so lousy Saturday so we didn´t feel like walking around so I stuck to my old favourite places, conveniently located next to each other in Rue des herbes. The wonderful coffee and chocolate shop Café Tasse and La maison du miel where they have all things honey. I bought lavender and chestnut honey and what I bought in Café Tasse shall remain a secret because some people will read this.

... and of course we hade mussels, at least I did. And lobster, and lobster bisque. And we drank some fine beers of course. Unfortunately no crème brulée came in my way this time but I will compensate this next time I go to the best town. But first it is time for christmas, I am already obsessed with recipes and ingredients!

November 23, 2005


This is my contribution to the big cookie swap, at the same time both IMBB and SHF - translation of these mysterious combinations of letters here. I am posting this a little early, depending on that I am leaving for Brussels tomorroow, for a short holiday.

Anyway, these fine cookies are called cousins and I got the recipe some years ago from a newspaper. They caught my eye because I like cousins and my father loves loves loves dried apricots and I take every opportunity to feed him with them. I have made these cookies twice, and they are great. The recipe is created by Anna Bergenström, one of Sweden´s most well-known gastronomic profiles who has written several great cookbooks and inspires me every day.
(The dough needs to rest over night, like the rest of us)
15-20 dried apricots, use the most moist and tender you can find!
200 g butter, room temperature
1/2 cup or 1 dl almond, peeled or not
2/3 cup or 1.5 dl brown sugar
1 3/4 cup or 4.5 dl plain flour
1 teaspoon vanilla sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
  • Chop the apricots or cut them with a pair of scissors into small pieces. Chop the almonds. Put aside.
  • Stir the soft butter with the sugar and vanilla sugar until really soft and creamy texture. Stir in the apricots and almonds.
  • Mix the flour carefully with the baking powder and stir in the butter mix. Knead together, to a firm dough, it is easiest to do it on a table...
  • Divide the dough into two or three pieces and make thick rolls, then flatten them to square shape. Wrap them in waxed paper or plastic foil and put in the fridge over night.
  • Use a very sharp knife and cut the rolls in thin slices, put on greased or paper-lined baking sheets and bake in the oven in 200 C/400 F for 10-12 minutes. Watch them very carefully, because the apricots burn really easy! I included one burned cookie in the picture, as a warning! Let them cool on the baking sheets and store in airtight containers. They keep well for several weeks in the fridge.

November 22, 2005

Jerusalem artichokes

Now take a look at these! My boyfriend dug them up last thursday in his mother´s garden and weighed them to 2.3 kiloes. We haven´t planted any this year, but last year, so these have had the cance to grow all year until now. If you have a garden of your own or can borrow a piece of someon else´s - try to grow your own! It is so easy. Just put them in the earth in spring, and harvest them as late as possible. Bear in mind that the plants become very big, so don´t put them in front of the pretty flowers!

Jerusalem artichokes, or jordärtskockor as we call them, are one of my favourite root vegetables. I love that you can make so many different things with them, I love the taste and texture and the way they just taste good in your mouth for a long time after you swallowed! It is the same thing with "ordinary" artichokes I think.

What we will do with this lot (probably both soups and gratins and pies and...) remains to be seen (and tasted) but whatever comes out, I look forward to it!

November 20, 2005

An introduction to chinese food...

BBM package contents

For many Swedes, including me, chinese food equals rice with deep-fried giant prawns in sweet and sour sauce, or beef and bean sprouts in soy sauce. That is what is served here in Chinese restaurants.

In october 2002 we went to Australia for a month and on our way back we spent some days in Singapore with a friend of mine who was living there at the time. She took me and my boyfriend to Chinatown and introduced us to the real Chinese cuisine, the meal that time was soup with a variety of small pâtés, rolls and mince balls to choose from and either put in the soup or eat as a side. It tasted great, but I have had problems getting to cook it at home because the Chinese produce is a mystery to me...

Now, thanks to Cass in Singapore I will try to make my own dumplings and also a thai noodle salad with the nice gifts from her BBM package which arrived here yesterday. Of course I can get asian foodstuffs here, but getting it from someone who really knows how to use it and generously share this knowledge is something completely different. Cass also told me all about the dragonboat festival which was very interesting, and overall it was nice to get a package from Singapore, which I think is a great place!

And the contents in the package is....(drumroll please)

  • Glutinous rice, dried shrimps and dried mushrooms for the dumplings
  • Glass noodles for a thai noodle salad
  • 2 bags of dried fruits - plums and limes (I just love dried fruit, how did you know that?)
  • 1 package of laksa mix, some kind of soup - Cass warns me it is both hot and sour! Exciting...
  • 1 box of powder for an almond dessert, looks like a pudding of some kind...
  • 2 packets of instant tom yum noodles

Thank you so much for a lovely package and thank you Cathy for hosting BBM3!

November 17, 2005

My little parcel

I can exhale, my BBM package has arrived safely on Ana´s porch this Wednesday! Nothing was broken and the lussekatts was still edible! I am so glad, because when I checked out on the internet a parcel to Canada was shipped in 5 days. OK, I thought, then I can make her some lussekatts and send them, they will be fine if she throws them in the oven for some minutes. And so I did, and off I went to the post office where a very nice lady helped me out with toll forms and everything and then merrily said "Bye-bye, your parcel will reach Canada in 8 working days". What a schock. As it turned out, the parcel arrived exactly one week later...

By the way, I told the very nice lady in the post office all about BBM and she thought it was a great idea! And not only because she works in a place that benefits from people sending parcels. I think I will have to go back and tell her that everything went well even though I sent grain products to Canada (it was not allowed, but I wrote "sweets" on the form, said a prayer and sent it off)

November 15, 2005

The day of the cheesecake

Yesterday November 14th was the day of the cheesecake here in Sweden. Swedish cheesecake is not at all like American cheesecake with cream cheese and crumble in the bottom. The Swedish is made from milk, processed with something I can´t translate (the correct English word for ostlöpe? Anyone?) so the milk starts to turn into cheese. Then you scoop up the cheese, mix it with almonds, eggs and cream and bake it in the oven. It is served warm with whipped cream and jam. Totally delicious, but a bit time-consuming and you need a lot of milk....
I come from a part of Sweden where the ostkaka is extremely important, you get it at every festive occasion, especially when older people are involved in some way. My mother comes from another part of Sweden where the ostkaka also is important but there it is completely different in texture, more smooth and a little chewy. There is also a version of this on the west coast of Sweden called äggost (egg cheese). It is a living tradition and I have this untranslatable processing thing in the fridge to try make my own the traditional way some time.

The good news are you don´t have to have the untranslatable thing, abnormal quantities of milk or indeed the time to enjoy the Swedish ostkaka experience. Just follow this easy-peasy recipe!

Swedish cheesecake
Serves 4-6
2 eggs
2 tbsp sugar
250 g of cottage cheese
1.5 tbsp all-purpose flour
1/4 cup peeled and roughly chopped almonds

Whip up the eggs and sugar until white and fluffy. Stir in the other ingredients, pour in a greased ovenproof dish (not too big) and bake in 175 degrees (about 340 F) for about 30-45 minutes. Do not overcook! Serve with jam and maybe some whipped cream. Makes a great dessert after a soup for example.

November 14, 2005

Forget, forgot, forgotten

Of course I forgot the camera at home. I would forget my head somewhere if it wasn´t firmly attached to my neck.
But I can tell you that Mum´s food was, as always, delicious and it looked delicious too. And the lovely cats were adorable, as always. And we talked to them and they talked to us, as always.

My sister got engaged and we had this special dinner on Saturday for the lucky ones. The main dish was beef stew with dill sauce and for dessert Mum made my vanilla yoghurt panna cotta, but instead of vanilla yoghurt she used cloudberry yoghurt. Recommended!

November 10, 2005

Oh, that Tina

I watched Foodie Tina again today, see my previous post on the Jackson potatoes, and really. Really.
Well, today in all newspapers they had stories on how bad it is to eat too much salt, and Tina was mentioned as a bad example. She uses just too much salt, some professor said. Her PR agent on the other hand said that the professor couldn´t tell how salty Tina´s food is because he never tasted it. And she uses flake salt and that loooks more than it really is. Anyhow. Tina is a chef, and not some national nutrionist, and she can not be held responsible for people salting too much. That was my view. But she made chili con carne (looked delicious) and practically covered it in salt. Hmmm. So now I don´t know.

But: the fat. Again. She made student food, cheap and plenty, and one dish was potato and leek soup. Fine, I thought. But what did she put in it? Bacon, my friends. And she served it with a huge lump of brie cheese in each bowl. (She also made moussaka and into the white sauce went grated cheese and a huge lump of chèvre).

No, try this student soup instead. I learned it from a friend when I went to Lund University. Cheap, lean and lots of taste.

Curry potato soup
Serves 4
4-5 potatoes depending on size, in bite-size chunks
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
2-3 cups good stock, I often use beef stock
1 tbsp curry powder

Fry the onions for a little while in a skillet. Powder over the curry and let it fry a little to develop taste. Add the potatoes and the stock and bring to a boil, let simmer for 15-20 minutes until the potatoes are ready. Spice to taste with salt and pepper and serve with some nice cheese sandwiches.
Of course you can add about everything to this soup - carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, chick peas

Now I am going home to my parents for the weekend, bringing my camera to take some photos of Mum´s delicious food...

November 08, 2005

A box traveller

My parcel for BBM3 is now ready to go, after a couple of weeks of recipe-writing, baking, thinking and shopping. Here it is on its way to the post office.

Bye-bye little parcel, and good luck on your long journey to...someone... I hope the lussekatt doesn´t get too old and the jar with lingonbery jam doesn´t break.


I have had lunch again! Oh, happiness. Yesterday was poor, at least dinner-like and I was starving. On Tuesdays in Old Town you should go to the restaurant Magnus Ladulås to get your lunch, because then they always serve Wallenberg mince beef with mashed potato, creamy sauce, green peas and lingonberry jam. This Swedish specialty was created in the 1930´s I think and is kind of a luxury mince beef with extra high quality meat, cream and eggs and so on. The sauce has an almost toffee-like taste, simply delicious. Not low-fat but sometime you just have to let go! I think I am a healthy eater in general and can treat myself to an occasional Wallenbergare when I feel like it.

Magnus Ladulås is a very nice and cosy restaurant in an old building in Old Town, Österlånggatan 26, quite close to the royal castle. The name Magnus Ladulås comes from an old Swedish king, his reign was 1275-1290.

November 04, 2005

Warm chicken salad

Many years ago a good friend made this dish up for me an evening when I was tired and hungry. The recipe is really easy, just take an equal amount of the three main ingredients. It should be served with a nice bread but the shop didn´t have any (poor!) tonight so I added some creme fraiche to make it "saucy" and served it with unpeeled rice. I´m into grains and rices and stuff right now and tries out new things all the time. Last sunday wild rice, wednesday quinoa (fantastic taste but I still don´t have any good ideas on what to do with it. Anyone?) and today the unpeeled.

So, the recipe:
Chicken meat, I used fillets I cooked in the oven a couple of days ago. (You can use grilled chicken but I think it is too spicy for this dish. The pure taste of chicken combined with the other ingredients gives it a special character)
Mushrooms, I used ordinary champignons but you can use any firm mushroom with mild taste
Parsley, a lot of it, coarsly chopped. In this dish the parsley is a main ingredient and not "just" a spice
Salt, pepper, balsamic vinegar

Cut the chicken (raw or cooked) in bite size chunks and fry them in a pan. Salt and pepper! After a little while, add the mushrooms in big chunks and keep on frying. Add a splash of balsamic vinegar which accentuates the taste of the mushrooms in a great way. When the chicken is ready and the mushrooms just starts to soften (they should have some crunch left when you eat them!) you stir in the parsley, salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately with some good, fresh bread - or stir in some cream and serve it with pasta or rice.

November 03, 2005

Best lunch in town!

I just had lunch at the restaurant in the Post museum here in Old Town, Stockholm. If you ever come to Stockholm and want a really really good lunch, this is the place to go!

For 79 SEK you get the salad buffé with all goodies imaginable. Beetroots, broccoli, different kinds of beans, lentils, lettuce, olives, wine leaf dolmadas and the usual cucumber, corn and tomatoes. My favourite is the haricots verts, perfectly cooked and spiced with rose pepper. Today they also had big white beans with fresh mint. But it doesn´t stop there. The 79 also includes all you can eat of a delicious main course, today mince beefs with potato wedges and red wine sauce, water to drink and coffee and a small cookie afterwards. They also have soup and some different pies to choose from. On weekends they have a special menu.

Everything is always, always delicious and they often serve classical Swedish food. I heartly recommend it!

Restaurant Treskillingen
Lilla Nygatan 6
Old Town Stockholm
Open 11-16 Tue-Sun

November 02, 2005

Estonian pasta sauce

We often go to Estonia for holidays, which may seem like an odd destination. Mostly people go there just for a cruise to Tallinn but there is so much more to experience!Fantastic landscape, interesting history and long, white deserted beaches... That the prices are so low is an extra benefit!

Last summer my boyfriend and I made a trip to the big Estonian island Saaremaa on a very very hot day. When we got off the ferry and stopped the car in the countryside it was all quiet, you could only hear some bees and birds and in the hot air was the delicious scent of dry hay. We drove to the town Kurressaare and had lunch at a small restaurant with tables outside, this pasta sauce which today can be found in my lunch box. The estonian in this sauce, I think, is the salted cucumbers, a staple in all Estonian kitchens! Nice in sauces, in wedges with beer...

200-300 grams smoked ham in small pieces
2-3 salted cucumbers in small pieces
vegetables of your choice: tomato (seed them), corn, peppers... also in small pieces
chopped onion
2-3 tbsp flour
about 1 cup of thin cream or milk

Fry the ham and the onion. powder over the flour and stir. Pour in the milk or cream a little at a time and let simmer so it thickens. Add the cucumber and the veggies and let simmer for some minutes. Spice with salt and pepper. Serve with pasta. Serves 2-3 persons.

October 31, 2005

Renskav for lunch

Finally I managed to get some pictures here! This one is from our lunch festival last week, doesn´t it look cosy?

Anyway, down to the left you see a plastic box with renskav stew. Renskav is small flakes of reindeer meat and you buy it frozen. It is really easy to cook, very tender and lean and has a good, strong taste, if you like game, that is. I do!

The stew on the picture is not my stew, and the picture is not from today´s lunch, but here´s what I made yesterday for sunday dinner and brought today... This is a rather classical way to cook renskav, but I think I will try to do it à la provencale next time, with dried tomatoes to balance the strong taste of the meat.

1 package of renskav, 240 grams
2-3 shallots or one small onion, chopped
1 carrot, sliced
2-3 dl cream or creme fraiche
4 crushed dried juniper berries
salt and pepper
soy sauce

Fry the meat in a pan with as little fat as possible. Add the onions and the carrots in the pan and let it cook a little. Pour over the cream, throw in the juniper and other spices and let simmer for some minutes. Season with more pepper and a little soy sauce if necessary.

I served the renskav with lingonberry jam and wild rice mixed with plain rice. I have never had wild rice before and was a little disappointed actually because it didn´t taste very much at all. But the texture was nice, and it was beutiful!


Yesterday I read an article in Dagens Nyheter, the largest morning paper here, about the - what I thought - great Swedish investigation osthyvel, cheese slicer. Turned out it is in fact a Norwegian invention! I had absolutely no idea, and the article also said that almost every Swedish citizen is certain that their dear osthyvel is all together Swedish! It also said that the Swedish are big consumers of hard cheese, 13 kilos per person and year. And to slice all our lovely cheese, from the mild Herrgårdsost to the almost parmesan-like Västerbottenost we need this very practical tool. Of course I found the best picture in the Norwegian Wikipedia!

The cheese slicer is also indispensable for slicing cabbage for a cole slaw, cucumber for a salad, almond paste and nougat for.... well, if you feel like eating a slice. That could happen, you know. I have three or four cheese slicers at home and use them several times a day.

Thank you Norway!

October 29, 2005

Comfort food

I´m home alone this weekend with my (now decreasing) cold and asked a friend over tonight to watch TV. I wanted to give her a real treat and made my number one comfort food - pasta with mango chutney, smoked mussels and cashew nuts. The recipe is an old favourite and I have made it both for myself and for friends many many times. Always a success! The taste is great, it is really easy to make, you don´t have to run to the shop for anything fresh - perfect if you have surprise guests. And all you need to prepare it is a bowl, a spoon and a pot.

And the recipe for my best pasta dish is:

(serves two hungry ones)
1 tin of smoked mussels in oil (105 g)
approx. 300 grams of shrimps, peeled
two or three tablespoons of mango chutney
a pinch of cayenne pepper
a pinch of saffron
two big handfuls of cashew nuts
(you see, you can keep it all at home in freezer, fridge and cabinets!)

Mix everything (don´t drain the mussels from the oil!) carefully in a bowl, this can be made well in advance. Let it stand for a while to develop even more taste!
When you are ready to eat, boil some tagliatelle. While you drain it, pour the shrimp/mussel marinade in the pot and heat it up quickly. Mix carefully with the pasta and add toasted cashewnuts. Serve immediately on hot plates. It is really hard to describe the taste, or should I say tastes. Smoke, fruit, salt, sweet, spice... And it looks great too!

October 28, 2005


I have discovered a truly fulfilling and very comforting form of shopping. Not clothes (oh, no!), not shoes, not handbags. But food stuff! And my favorite place to get this is Hötorgshallen in the city of Stockholm. Hötorget is a market square where you can get vegetables and flowers for a reasonable price, at least if you come there 15 minutes before they close down! Hötorgshallen is in the basement of a side building to the square and full of marvellous things. Meats, fish, vegetables, spices, fruit, desserts... I was there today in quest for the wonderful dried strawberries I found there some weeks ago, but came out with a bag of organic quinoa instead. Never tried it! A month ago I was there and came out with a load of different stuff - wild rice, unpeeled rice, green raisins, the strawberries and a large plastic bag with sundried tomatoes for only 40 kronor (about 5 USD). So now I have to find out what to do with all this, so we can finish it and I can go to Hötorgshallen again. The unpeeled rice will go very nice with the green raisins and some roast chicken in a salad I think... But the quinoa? I wonder if I can make stuffed peppers with it?

So: if you ever come to Stockholm don´t miss Hötorgshallen! They have absolutely everything you need for any kind of cuisine - especially Clivia´s!

Now my boyfriend wants me to write that he is grating horse radish in a little plastic box and bringing it to a friend´s summer house tomorrow to use in a pasta sauce with salmon. Just so you know.

October 26, 2005

Hello winter. hello cold

The Stockholmian transport system is really interesting I must say. You see, we live in a country where it gets rather cold in winter. Here, the leaves fall off the trees onto the commuter train rails. Here we have snow and ice. Every year! But the traffic planners seem not to notice these consistent weather conditions and here we go again. With leaves on the rail the wheels of the commuter trains is damaged in some way and has to be fixed. And then the commuter trains get shorter, and more crowded, and you get in close touch with fellow travellers and bring a nice little cold home, like I did yesterday. Sore throat, runny nose.

And later on when the real winter kicks in the trains often doesn´t work at all, and you find yourself standing on the platform in a howling icy wind with snow in your shoes for an indefinite amount of time. And voilá - hello again you cold.

A very tasty way of dealing with a cold is to drink an infusion of fresh ginger, whole lemon wedges (use an ecological!), honey and hot water. And if you don´t have ginger, lemons etc. at home try to gargle your poor throat with whisky. Not so tasty, but efficient.

October 25, 2005

Lunch festival!

At work, we are quite a few who likes to cook and often bring our own food for lunch. And we are always curious about what the others bring! "What is that, what´s in it, where did you buy that, how did you make it? And can I have the recipe?" The outcome of this curiosity is our regular lunch festival, when we all bring an extra big serving of our lunch food and everyone gets a chance to taste everything. And today was LF-day, hence the panna cotta. Yes, I know a panna cotta maybe not qualifies as "lunch food" but someone has got to bring the dessert....

And this was on the table today, enjoyed by twelve eager and hungry employees:
  • Thai soup
  • Fish soup
  • Fresh bread
  • Pasta salad with rocket and halloumi cheese
  • A fry-up with mince, cabbage, onions, carrots spiced with garlic and cardamom
  • Smoked salmon and spinach lasagna
  • Meat stew with reindeer "flakes", onion, carrots spiced with juniper berries
  • Oven baked salmon with a cabbage salad spiced with mustard and steamed beetroots
  • Dried mango
  • Chocolate coated coffee beans (yes, you can contribute with everything)
  • And my panna cotta

12 little plastic cups

Today I dragged a big bag containing two large and two small plastic boxes to work. In three of the boxes were twelve little plastic cups with vanilla yoghurt panna cotta and in the fourth box I kept a blackberry thing to spread over the panna cotta.

Why? You´ll see. But here´s the recipe. I found it some years ago in one of the big newspapers and I have made it several times since. My very first home made panna cotta with a "classic" recipe was a real disaster, tasted nothing but boiled cream and all the seeds were in a layer on the bottom of the cups. This yoghurt recipe is absolutely foolproof. Sorry I only have swedish measures with deciliters and liters.... I will have to improve that, or send a swedish måttsats to my visitors. Till then, a dl is 100 ml and a liter is 1000 ml.

Vanilla yoghurt panna cotta with blackberry "preserve"
Serves 6-8 (or twelve if you strain it!)

1.5 dl milk
2 dl cream, I went for full fat this time
1 dl sugar
1 whole vanilla stalk (don´t know the english word but surely you understand me) or 2 tablespoons of vanilla sugar
3 sheets of gelatin
5 dl vanilla yoghurt

Soak the gelatin in water for about 10 minutes. Bring the milk and cream to a boil with the vanilla stalk and stir in the sugar, let it dissolve. Let it cool down just a little. Fish up the vanilla, scrape out the seeds and stir them down. Squeeze out the water from the gelatin and melt it in the warm milk-cream mix. Stir in the yoghurt and fill up some nice cups or glasses and put in a cool place (i.e. the balcony in my case. -5 degrees C this morning)

Squeeze the juice out of a really fine lemon in a bowl. Dissolve 0.5-1 dl sugar in the juice (taste!). Pour it over blackberries, fresh or frozen ( I used 300-400 grams this time) stir and let it stand for a couple of hours or overnight. Serve the panna cotta with the blackberries on top.

Of course you can use other berries or jam to this, but I think the rather large and juicy blackberries are perfect companions to this smooth and slightly tart panna cotta.

October 24, 2005

Tasty chicks

During the last weeks I have cooked swedish, swedish, swedish. And nothing wrong with that! Yesterday, though, I read an article about vegetables with strong colours, and nuts, and peas and beans, and how healthy it is. Got inspired, and surprised my boyfriend with this:

Chick peas and chicken

1 jar of chick peas
1 small jar of corn
one small chopped onion
4-5 sundried tomatoes, soaked in hot water and chopped
a handful of cashew nuts
1 egg, should have been two but my supplies run out
a splash of lime juice

2 chicken fillets
oil, salt and lemon pepper

Warm the oven to 180. Spice up the fillets and put in something ovenproof with a little oil on the bottom. They cook in 25-30 minutes. This time I wanted the chicken quite neutral, but next time I may use something stronger than pepper. Fry the onions for a little while (optional, but my boyfriend has problems with onions and I wanted to make them a little milder. He also cannot eat garlic, otherwise it would have been great to use some I think.) Put all the ingredients including the onions in a food processor and mix it. Take walnut sized scoops of the mix and make small beefs. Yes, I tried to make big ones and no, they weren´t easy to handle. Fry them on both sides in as little oil as possible. Serve with the chicken, mango chutney and some avocado. I also roasted some cashew nuts and sesame seeds to add extra healthiness! Over all a sunday success. The chicken was juicy, the beefs were crisp and the taste was great.

Jackson potatoes part one

Tina Nordström is an immensely popular swedish chef. In fact, her show is so popular so they have to warn the large food chains in advance what produce (fennel, flake salt, chillies...) she is going to use, to get them a chance to order them home in extra large quantities... Because what Tina cooks, everyone else wants to cook. Except me. I don´t know why, but she doesn´t inspire me. Her food looks good, but I don´t want to make it myself. One part is, I think, that her recipes are too complicated and contains too much fat for my taste. And I am even not not the one who is afraid of a little fat! This thursday I watched the show and one thing she made was something called Jackson potatoes. It was a fun idea, as a matter of fact - bake potatoes, then scoop out the contents and mix it with some stuff, put it back in the shells and then bake it in the oven. But the recipe - oh christ. Oil, and butter, and cheese, and bacon. Why? But maybe it is not Tina´s fault. Maybe it is a traditional recipe? Anyway, my mission is now to create a recipe for Jackson potatoes which takes this wonderful idea but is not so very very greasy.... To be continued....

Hmm, I think that Tina has inspired me in this case....

And thank you Anne for my first comment ever! I never dared to think that someone would find her or his way here... You made my day.

October 21, 2005

Mango yoghurt

Sometimes I crave fruit yoghurt but I also find the brands sold here far too sweet. Putting home made jam in the youghurt is very delicious but also to sweet to eat every day for breakfast. Now I have found a solution to this problem!
My colleague Stina is a great fan of dried mango and has even started a mango factory in the small west african country Burkina Faso. Last week I bought some dried mango in the Burkina Faso boutique here in old town of Stockholm. They had three different kinds from sour to sweet and I chose the medium one. The products contains no added sugar so I guess they dry three kinds of mango. Stina told me a while ago how to make your own mango yoghurt and yesterday I decided to try it out because I had some plain yoghurt on hand. It turned out delicious! And even more delicious because the mango comes from a small scale factory where the workers are properly paid and treated.

Mango youghurt, serves one
2 dl, about 3/4 cup of plain yoghurt - you can choose a light version if you want
1-2 slices of dried mango

Before you go to bed, take your favorite breakfast bowl and pour in the youghurt. Chop the mango or use a pair of scissors and stir it in. I also added some dried papaya I bought in Copenhagen last summer, rock hard by now... Cover the bowl and put in the fridge over night and enjoy it in the morning. Wonderful, pure mango taste, and the papaya was chewable again and very tasty. I now see immense possibilities to use other kinds of dried fruit in the same way, and to experiment with other kinds of yoghurts, like vanilla. And I will also try it out with the swedish filmjölk.

Thank you Stina!

October 20, 2005

Head stew

Oh, this day...

1 head (haricolour optional, I use a curly brown one)
5 colleagues shouting, laughing and whooping right behind you
4 papers to get copied
150 times and put into
100 envelopes
1 text to be printed on
800 postcards and then put
800 address labels on the postcards
800 addresses missing from the place where they should have been
1 pair of jeans to be picked up from a clothes store
15 children to teach swedish folkdancing and because of that you have to leave 16.30 sharp

Take the head and mix all the other ingredients in it. The head should soon begin to boil and the teeth start to grind. Take the head on the subway to Stockholm city and pick up the jeans from the stew. Forget about them. Then take the head to the wonderful café In ´n out at Hötorget and add a great Ceasar wrap to the stew, and a glossy magazine. The boiling now diminishes. Then take the head to a music store and buy a headset. Back by your desk attach the headset to the head and let simmer with a good CD for a while to cut out some of the whooping. Add the charming child of a returning colleague. The head is now completely cooled off. Enjoy!

October 17, 2005

Swede soup

Concidering my nationality, the following recipe may have a silly undertone, but anyway - it is tasty, cheap and warming on a cold october monday (today it was gloves premier). I got the recipe from another blogger, Gunilla, who got it from her mother.

Swede soup
1 medium size swede
1 small onion (I used two shalotts)
2-3 tablespoons of flour
about 1 litre of good strong stock, vegetable or meat
1 dl (about 3/4 cup) of creme fraiche or cream or similar

Grate the swede (next time I will use food processor instead of a grater because the little swede things came all over the place) and chop the onions finely. Fry it all for some minutes in oil or butter, powder the flour over, stir and add the stock. Today I wanted thick soup so I only used 7 dl of stock. Salt and pepper, and let it simmer for about 20 minutes. Then I mixed it, but that is optional. Stir in some cream or creme fraiche.
And eat!

Tomorrow when I bring it to lunch I will add in some diced ham I think....


yesterday I signed up to participate in the Blog By Mail session and now I have serious problems to concentrate on work. Who will it be? From where? What will I send? A lussekatt maybe? But will it stay fresh for a long journey in a parcel? My local paper is in swedish. Can I send the food section from it anyway? Yes. (But I will translate some of it, promise). And why is it so expensive to send parcels abroad? Doesn´t the swedish postal authorities want to support international relations of this kind? Well well, I´m sure it´s well worth it.

Last sunday night I cooked big time - a casserole of beef in dill sauce, very swedish. Took ages. And beetroot soup. Took ages (to cut all the beetroots, then it was OK). After all my efforts yesterday with the food blog I just made some potato wedges in the oven, ordinary and sweet potatoes. To accompany that some different things; first a mix of smoked salmon, creme fraiche, horseradish and diced apple. Then a good mushroom stew with a splash of balsamic vinegar. Then a fetta cheese dip. And some ham. And afterwards the gateau au yaourt that I found on chocolate and zucchini last week. My boyfriend was very pleased with it all!