December 27, 2006

Happy belated Christmas

Today´s Swedish word: helg. Means holiday like Christmas, Easter etc. but also like in weekend

Oooops, unexpected hiatus there but blogger refused to work on the computer at my parents´ house. I have had a wonderful, calm Christmas with my parents, sister and brother and various cats and cows, as usual. We go for a very calm Christmas in my family, it is just us for Christmas lunch (and my mother´s food really is the best) and in the evening my aunts with families and my grandmother comes for coffee and my mother´s cakes and cookies (which also are the best by the way). In late evening we go to church, like almost everyone else in the little village. I am not very religious, but singing the old hymns and listening to the Bible verses on Christmas is really special for me.

On Christmas day my man and my sister´s fiancé arrived and we have spent the days since almost constantly eating our way through the fridge. Now I am back in our flat and our kitchen and am looking forward to being off work for another 12 days which will give me more than enough time to make up for my lack of posting these past weeks, for example about wonderful salads and green cabbage frittatas and the huge pile of Italian delicacies I got from my sister and brother for Christmas...

December 18, 2006

Christmas BBM

Today´s Swedish word: paket. Means parcel, or package.

Finally it is getting colder here so I just enjoyed a large cup of warm apple juice spiced up with some of the contents in my wonderful BBM package which arrived a couple of days ago. The kind sender is Libbycookie over at Curiosity Cabinet, located in Los Angeles. Funnily enough my own BBM package ended up in California...

Anyway, this round´s theme is Holiday and Libby kindly provided me with my very own Christmas stocking with my name on it filled with various goodies:
  • A beautiful box of spices for mulled wine or cider, tried today and it was superb with a hint of citrus, anise, cinnamon and lots of other things
  • Chocolate coins and peppermint bark, went down well here...
  • A bag of holiday-shaped pasta
  • A bag of "Peppermint Patty Candy Cane Cocoa" which I will enjoy after a long day in the snow (when it finally comes)
  • A cute set of small cookie cutters - this was really a hit since I like baking with and for children!
  • Last but not least a nice card telling me all about her family´s traditions and the recipe for Pecan Crescents which her family makes every year. I also got a paper house to decorate according to my own taste with stickers.

Now let´s see what Santa puts in my fluffy stocking on Sunday! Until then I can enjoy all these gifts from yet another friendly swapping partner. As I have said before - BBM is addictive!

Thank you so so much for all this Libby, and thank you Stephanie of Dispensing Happiness who is our secret Santa organiser this time! You can read her round-up here... And sorry about the somewhat blurry picture...

Fresh Christmas yeast

Today´s Swedish word: jäst Means yeast. The Swedish word gäst, which is pronounced exactly the same - like yes with a t in the end - means guest. Isn´t that neat? You use jäst when you expect gäster (guests).

I found these on the shelf when I shopped for some Christmas baking, fresh yeast in holiday packing. This is for sweet baking, with "extra power" but I have learned from several articles, experts etc. that it is really not necessary to use a special yeast for sweet things. I can understand that, I have never had problems with plain yeast during the long dark years before the sweet yeast introduction.
Despite my knowledge I couldn´t resist buying these because of the merry feeling they give me. God Jul means Merry Christmas, and there are tiny little lussekatts on them too. Cute!

Here fresh yeast really is widely available so I was surprised at first when I read food blogs and realised that in quite a few countries it is rather hard to get hold of, and people think it is hard to use it (on the other hand we don´t have a very good bakery tradition here so if you want good bread without paying a fortune then you will have to get baking yourself). Anyway. I use it for most of my baking (though I always keep a few bags of dried yeast in my baking cabinet, for back-up).

As it turned out I haven´t used them - I almost did yesterday for making lussekatter for my sister-in-law who just had a baby (yay! We have a new little boy in our lives!) but then we were out of saffron and out of time so instead she got these delicious muffins which are much more fast to make, and I had all ingredients in the house. You can read about lussekatter here instead...

Finally, the Menu for hope III campaign is still running, until december 22nd, and you still have the opportunity to buy raffle tickets for winning my wonderful Swedish candy collection with prize code EU20, or something else. I have bought three tickets myself today and can assure you it is very easy, safe, and above all it feels good to spend money on something that really matters this time of year when you just shop shop shop ´til you drop.

December 15, 2006

Win Swedish candy!

Today´s Swedish word: godis. Means candy, or sweets.

Sweets are of course good for you but these sweets are also good for others, if you donate some money to get raffle tickets to win it!
I am talking about Menu for hope III, an event among foodbloggers around the world to raise money for UN World Food Programme. The idea is quite simply that we donate different food related prizes and people buy raffle tickets for $10 each and specify which prize is most wanted. Read all about it and see all prizes here, or here for the European prizes, and donate here. My prize code is EU20.

And now I will tell you all about my donated prize, to tempt you into donating some of your hard-earned money for a good cause.
The lucky winner gets ten different very Swedish sweets which I have found are very much appreciated when I send them in BBM parcels and such like. There is of course Daim, our famous chocolate-covered crunchy caramel bar with almonds, the wonderful taste of it makes you speechless for quite some time (the teeth gets stuck, but it is worth it). Then there is a bag of chewy "cars"with fruit flavours, crunchy coloured chocolate "non Stops", a bar of my favourite Marabou chocolate with orange crunch, wonderful Kexchoklad (thin wafers and chocolate, a real classic), old fashioned violet tablets and of course our famous salty licorice (one bag, one small box). Oooh, and I throw in some "tyres" for the "cars" as well.

We all spend a lot of money this time of year which is totally OK, but this time of year is also suitable for thinking of and caring for not-so-fortunate people.
What are you waiting for? Everyone loves sweets, come on! Or find another pize you like. The donations has already beaten last year´s result of $17 000, let´s make it much much more!

December 12, 2006

Menu for Hope - a first note...

Just a quick posting today, our computer at home broke down yesterday and I don´t want to blog too much from work...

Let me just announce that I have donated a prize for Menu For Hope III, a selection of Swedish candy. For more instructions on how to buy tickets visit David Lebovitz, the European host for the event. Scroll down to see my prize (code EU20). You can also check out the main information page at Chez Pim to learn more and see ALL prizes. There are lots of generous people out there!

I will get back and write about all this properly when the computer at home feels well again. Until then check out all the different prizes and donate, donate, donate! The money goes to United Nations World Food Programme.

December 07, 2006

... and counting

Today`s Swedish word: raket. Means rocket.

This time of year the main topic in Swedish media usually is the Nobel Prize ceremony which takes place on Sunday. Well, not this year. In less than 24 hours, if the weather permits, we will have The First Swede In Space and that is almost the only thing you read about in the papers. (Well, there are also some articles about the popular docu-soap "Farmer seeks wife" which already has resulted in one wedding.)

Our Swedish astronaut is called Christer Fuglesang and he has waited 14 years for this - good luck Christer! I hope you will be back in time for Christmas, safe and sound and well-traveled. And here he is in full gear, photo credit Nasa, which also provides us with this special page about the expedition. By the way, I read somewhere that a really famous American chef is in charge of the astronauts´ food during the trip. Cannot remember her name and is really curious about it all so I will have to go googling a little... Or can anyone enlighten us all?

And me? Well, I am allowed to travel a little as well. Tomorrow I am off to Lund, a lovely university town in the very south of Sweden where I spent four happy years studying and where I also learned how to cook for myself. I will meet old friends, perhabs go to Copenhagen and on Sunday I will make gingerbread, pepparkakor before I go home again! See you all next week.

December 06, 2006

Salty chocolate

Today´s Swedish word: chokladkaka. Means chocolate bar.

Just a quick note about a new favourite, found at the Stockholm food fair a couple of weeks ago. Salty chocolate! I have tasted some things with the sweet and salty combination before, but this is the best so far. We were walking around, Anne and me, sampling different foods, trying mandolines, shopping Tupperware, nagging coffee machine vendors to give us free espresso. And so we found the chocolate. Five or six different kinds of chocolate - with chili, coffee beans, pink peppercorns, ginger... All very delicious, but this was the one we both really fell for. Dark, dark chocolate with rather large sea salt crystals. The brand is C. Henriet but I am sure there are plenty of other brands too. Just try it, it is so good!

December 04, 2006

In the beginning was Chaos

Today´s Swedish word: röra. Means mess.

I have told you before about my friend M´s dissertation party and here is a short note - recipes to come but I am still in need of some extra sleep...
This is how our kitchen looked this Thursday morning when I was in full party-preparing frenzy. From the left: tapenade in my food processor, I made eight times the normal batch and fiddled for an hour peeling garlic cloves (you see a mountain of garlic peel to the far right), counting sardelles and scooping capers. Luckily I had cored the olives the night before! But when you have everything prepared it is easy to whizz it together.
And then we have fresh cheese in the making in the cloth thingy hanging over the pot in the sink, and dishes dishes dishes... But everything went very well except my second batch of fresh cheese didn´t drain properly so no horse radish cheese on the buffet this time, just chives... I also made red pesto and bread.
Anyway, the dissertation went very well and actually I understood quite a lot of it (except when M and the opponent spent 30 minutes scribbling chemical reactions on the whiteboard). She has done successful research on a certain step in the process for creating artificial photosynthesis and has hence contributed to solving the world´s energy problems. Bravo! Above all she is a great person and a dear friend and I am so glad I could be a part of her great day. And evening. And night. Yaaawn.

December 03, 2006

Dear Santa

Today´s Swedish word: gryta. Means casserole/pot

Dear Santa,

Please bring me a very, very large bowl this year, so I won´t have to use my second largest pot (the largest was occupied by the fresh cheese - more on that another day) for raising the dough next time I am baking beetroot bread for 50 people. To the right you see my up til now largest bowl, with rye/wheat/sunflower seeds bread for 50 people. I need one slightly larger for future projects.

I have been a very good girl this year.

Love, Clivia

November 28, 2006

Fish with orange, chili and saffron

Today´s Swedish word: apelsin. Means orange.

Oh dear, what a lousy picture! But I can assure you that this is the best I have cooked in weeks (now, I haven´t cooked very much but you get the picture). Yum, yum, yum.

The November weather this year is extremely warm, and very gloomy. It is dark when I get up and it is dark when I leave work, and it makes me soooo tired. So I thought, "I want to cook something sunny, something fresh and healthy, something that makes me happy. And I want to eat more fish! More fish to the people!"

This is what my thoughts led to, and a very gloomy Monday evening suddenly felt at least a tad sunny! The taste from the orange and saffron blended perfectly with the fish, and in the background a nice little heat from the chilli.

Sunny fish casserole
Serves 4-6

500 grams fish, I used coalfish (sej) but salmon would be nice too, in large chunks
1 yellow or schalott onion, finely sliced. A clove of garlic maybe? (I cannot use it when A eats)
1 carrot, sliced thinly lengthways
1 fresh red chilli, finely sliced
1 packet of crushed tomato
1 orange, preferrably organic since you will use the peel as well
a tiny pinch of saffron
salt and pepper

Fry the onions in a little oil until soft and shiny. Then add in the carrot and chilli and cook for just a minute. Add the tomato and the zest from half the orange, season with salt and pepper and let it simmer for a couple of minutes. Squeeze half the orange and add the juice to the tomato. Stir in just a tiny pinch of saffron, you don´t want it to be overwhelming! Stir in the fish and let everything simmer for a couple of minutes until the fish is cooked. Spice to taste with salt and pepper if needed and maybe a little more orange juice. Serve with rice and the remaining orange.

November 26, 2006

Must is a must!

Today´s Swedish word: flaska. Means bottle.

We have passed the magic date and it is now less than a month before Christmas! Since I am helping a good friend with her party-for-82-people-after-defending-a-doctoral-thesis-in-chemistry (and boy, will we celebrate!) next Friday I don´t have time to even think about Christmas food, yet. But I can at least buy a bottle of Julmust now and then, to refresh myself in between baking, planning, thinking... for that party. I am not alone in charge, thank God for that, but today I baked 100 of Johanna´s lovely Pink peppercorn and ginger cantuccini. Beside them I will bring the following to Uppsala very early on Friday morning:

  • Bread
  • Red pesto
  • Tapenade
  • Hoummos
  • Dried fruit, roughly chopped, to put on top of Brie cheeses
  • Party clothes, comfy shoes, toothbrush and my very best mood
The thesis-defending (it could be called disputation like in Swedish?) will start 9.00 and continue until 12.00. I don´t think I will understand very much but will give moral support! After that, me and a whole army of friends and family will get to the restaurant where the party will take place and get on cooking the last things for the buffet table, like Anne´s chocolate pots which will be served with a small citrus salad which I still have to invent, and a bulgur salad, and we will have trays of different meats, veg, pies etc. provided by deli counters, other friends and the Doctor-to-be´s Mum. 18.30 the party starts and we will continue eating, dancing and whooping until 2.00 at night. So there. I think I know what I am doing the upcoming days - resting and cooking...

November 20, 2006

New kitchen toy

Today´s Swedish word: vass. Means sharp.

This is my newest kitchen toy, a ceramic mandoline! I went to the Stockholm Food Fair last Friday with this in mind: I should do something about our lousy knives. I wanted something sharp, really sharp. And I got it. The problem is that it is a little too sharp. I am a little afraid of it! And I haven´t used it for anything other than trying to slice an overripe tomato, showing my dear man that this wasn´t a waste of money (actually it wasn´t very expensive). Well, this was no good for overripe tomatoes but I am sure I will use it for lots of other a little more stabile things, like potatoes and cucumbers and carrots and cabbage... I just have to feel like cooking again, which I don´t, at the moment. At the moment A is the one who cooks, and I do the dishes with sideway glances at my sharp little friend who hangs there on the wall just waiting!

I sure know this is a versatile tool. Cream Puff´s mandoline can even speak for himself! But I need more encouragement. How do you use your mandolines, those of you who owns one? And no "Oh, I once cut off half my finger"-stories, please... *gasp*

And as I said, my desire to cook is luring just behind the corner and will be back soon. I have been to restaurants, I have BBM parcels to put together, I will participate in Menu for Hope, I will cook for a friend who defends her doctoral thesis in chemistry (party afterwards!) and above all Christmas is coming up in just four weeks. So stay tuned!

November 13, 2006

Peace in Gamla stan

Today´s Swedish word: spegel. Means mirror.

You know how you sometimes just cannot go to sleep? Random thoughts keeps popping up in your head, your PJ´s gets twisted around your back and your legs and suddenly you feel hungry. That happened this past night and I lay awake between midnight and about 3.00. Sigh. With a heavy head and very heavy eye-lids I decided to treat myself to a bagel and good coffee for lunch at Coffee Cup, a café chain up on Västerlånggatan here in Old Town which is quite good. Well, on my way there I stumbled upon a new place called Spegeln (see above) and was lured inside because it looked so nice.
And oh, that was lucky! A parma ham focaccia, a salad and a good strong cappucino later I feel (almost) refreshed from my bad night. Focaccias in this town tends to be rather pricey and not so exciting, but this one (for 60 SEK) came with a fresh salad and was filled with lots of ham, lots of sundried tomato and basil and a lovely cheese. And above all, it was presented to me very nicely cut in smaller pieces which allowed me to hold a very good book in one hand and with the other pick up the sandwich bite by bite. When I told the owner how pleased I was with his design he said that he always cut the focaccia like that for girls because they like to nibble! Isn´t that sweet?

And the place was very cozy with lots of mirrors, comfy chairs and sofas and nice corners where you can rest your tired head. And the staff was very friendly and attentive. Go there if you want some peace in Gamla stan!

Old Town Spegeln, Västerlånggatan 34, Gamla Stan, Stockholm

And sorry, but my life is a bit hectic right now so I don´t think I will have much time to update in the coming days...

November 05, 2006

Clay pot chicken

Today´s Swedish word: kyckling. Means chicken.

*Clattering teeth*
My man is on his way to wander round a lake with a friend but I am sooo happy to stay indoors today. It is damp, it is gloomy and just a few degrees above zero. I just got dressed to go down to the library but realised that it is closed today since it is the All Saints weekend. So I am staying here baking, cooking and sewing (oh yes, I am trapped by the crafts devil, happens every year by this time). This photo though was taken this Friday when the weather was absolutely fantastic. I think it looks rather cool with both autumn leaves and snow on the same time. Now the leaves are gone...

Yesterday we invited my in-laws for a simple Saturday dinner and I decided it was time to once again de-dust the clay pot, or romtopf as the Germans call it. I had bought some large chicken legs and also the fridge was full of lovely root veg after a trip to an organic farm last weekend. I leafed through a cookbook or two and found a recipe from my ever-present cooking guru Anna Bergenström which I tweaked a little. This was lovely served with potatoes and a cold sauce made from creme fraiche with freshly grated horse radish. Clay pot cooking is really very practical and the chicken comes out juicy and tender.

Clay pot chicken
Soak the pot in water for at least 30 minutes
Chop up some vegetables in large pieces, I used about two carrots, half a swede, 1/4 root celery, two very small red onions and one large parsnip. I should have used kohlrabi as well but forgot! Put in the bottom of the pot and mix, don´t fill more than half of the pot so you have room for the chicken as well. Season with a little salt and pepper. If you don´t have a garlic allergic in the house add some garlic as well!

Cut the chicken legs (three in my case) in half, rub them with the juice from half a lemon, peel from half a lemon, pepper and salt and a pinch of dried oregano or thyme (I used my beloved Herbes de Provence). Put them on top of the root veggies, pour over a glug of white wine, put on the lid and then put it in cold (very important!) oven, programmed for 200C. When the oven reaches 200C start counting time, it will take about 45 minutes for the chicken to cook.

I like my chicken a bit brown and crisp so I took off the lid the last ten minutes or so and put on the grill mode. You can also brown the chicken before you put it in the pot.

Serve directly from the pot and forget about the cold outside.

November 01, 2006

Snow chaos!

Oh, for God´s sake. Does it have to snow already? Just a short non-food posting today but I will give you several Swedish words.
Kallt, means cold. Blåsigt, means windy. Lidande, means suffering. Snöstorm, means snowstorm. Våt om fötterna, means wet feet. Vänta, means wait.

It started yesterday evening. A and I had been to a concert (Cesaria Evora, wonderful!) and entered the central station in Stockholm where approx. 100 people were standing in line in front of the information desk. We learned that all trains heading north of Gävle, a town about 200 km north of Stockholm, were cancelled and some trains were even standing on the railways in the middle of nowhere because it was not safe to continue in the increasing snowstorm.

I thought the worst was over, but when I came out in the street after work the snow hit my face so hard I just gasped! The commuter train was delayed, and we waited, and waited, and waited. Then we learned that the railway points (växlar) north of Stockholm were totally frozen, didn´t work at all. So the central station was even more chaotic this evening! It took two hours to get home, and that is only because A very kindly took the car to pick me up at the train station. All buses in my hometown were cancelled, the streets were simply too slippery, so we also took a passenger - a poor lady who had been on her way home from work for three hours. Normally it takes about 50 minutes!
I am so glad we decided to switch to winter tyres this weekend, or I would have had to walk all the way home. But now I am OK again after some champagne tea! Now let´s see how it works tomorrow. Life in public transport in Stockholm is so exciting!

October 30, 2006

Sausage stroganoff

Today´s Swedish word: korv. Means sausage.

You cannot live in Sweden without encountering the famous sausage falukorv. It is a true classic, saviour of the hungry and stressed families, useful in many ways, you can eat it raw, fried, boiled, thai style, in the oven with apples. But this is the falukorv dish I love the most, korv stroganoff. And yes, I admit without blushing that actually this is on my top ten, even five, of absolute favourite dishes. There are people frowning upon falukorv, but I am not among them.
When I grew up, my mother´s korv stroganoff was a real treat, the kind of food you were very happy to see on the table (well, I liked almost everything she made, apart from black pudding and prune-stuffed pork). Now I make my own, maybe once a month, because I love it so much. Falukorv is a large sausage, bent in a circle, with a mild taste. Its origin is in the landscape Dalarna where there was a mine in Falun where they used oxes to run the carriages. Or was it when they made ropes from the leather they got so much meat they had to make sausages? I don´t remember, maybe it is all true. Anyway, here´s the recipe for my best comfort food!
Korv stroganoff
Serves 6-8 (freezes well)
600 grams falukorv or other mild-tasting, meaty sausage
1 small yellow onion, very finely chopped
2-3 tbsp plain flour
500 ml boiling water
2 tbsp mustard (not Dijon)
2-3 tbsp tomato purée
100 ml creme fraiche or similar
Shred the sausage quite finely and brown them in a little butter. Add the onions and sautée carefully not to burn them. Salt and pepper! When everything is a bit soft, powder over the flour and stir, it should soak up the juices in the pan. Pour over the water a little at a time, stir and let simmer until it thickens. Go easy on the water, you don´t want runny stroganoff! Stir in the mustard and tomato and let simmer for a couple of minutes. Add the creme fraiche and stir. Taste, the sauce should taste a little tart, mustardy, but still mild.
Serve with rice and green peas which is the very best veg for this (i.e. what Mum used to serve). This time I had to make do with a carrot. If you want you can add some finely chopped salted cucumbers in the sauce.

October 28, 2006

Tosca cake

Today´s Swedish word: mandel. Means almond

Tosca cake is a Swedish classic - maybe in other countries as well? Anyway, I found it in my beloved Swedish cakes and cookies, my lifesaver when I don´t feel like translating recipes myself. I used another recipe from another much loved book of mine, Church coffee, since there are a lot of good recipes for when you want a lot of cookies, i.e. the whole congregation. We (because this was teamwork by me and A for a fika this Thursday for our dancing group) used the large oven pan but this calls for an ordinary round spring-form. Otherwise it is pretty much the same, this cake is truly a classic! Serve as it is with coffee or as a dessert after a lighter meal.

The tosca topping is also delicious to glaze canned pears and bake in the oven. Serve at once with whipped cream or ice cream!

Otherwise I am tired, and look forward very much to the coming winter time tomorrow. Since 1980 we Swedes turn the clock back one hour the last Sunday in October (which is lovely, you get an extra hour´s sleep!) and forward again last Sunday in March (which is OK on a Sunday morning, but not the day after. Ugh.) And no, it is not practical. At all. Maybe our new government can do something about this? Hmmm.

Tosca cake

100 grams butter (of course you can use margarine if you want but I never do)
2 large eggs
150 ml caster sugar
200 ml plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
50 ml milk

100 grams butter
100 ml caster sugar
2 tbsp plain flour
2 tbsp milk
100 grams flaked almonds

Grease and flour a 24 cm round spring form

Melt the butter and let it cool off. Beat the eggs and the sugar until white and fluffy. Combine the dry ingredients and stir into the eggs together with the milk and butter. Mix well. Pour into the pan and bake in the lower part of the oven (175C/350F) for 20-25 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the topping. Just combine everything in a saucepan, heat and stir well until it thickens. Use a spatula and spread the topping over the cake, put it back in the oven (but move it up to the middle) and bake for another 15 minutes until the topping is golden and a little caramelized.

October 26, 2006


Today´s Swedish word: lyx. Means luxury

My man works for a certain Swedish cell phone company, and they have the very good habit of awarding their employees sometimes by giving them something called dinner for two. The idea is that you get a card entitling you to a meal for two at a restaurant of your own choice. You go there, you eat, you drink, you pay - and then you get all the money back on your next salary. Isn´t that neat?

Anyway. We chose Operakällaren, one of Stockholm´s oldest and finest restaurants. It opened in 1787 in the old Opera and since 1895 it has been in the same building as we entered, a little nervously, this Saturday in September. The diningroom was redecorated last year and in a very good way. As you can see in the picture (borrowed from Operakällarens homepage) the modern chairs goes well with all the gold!

Oh, what can I say other than it was wonderful. The staff was so nice, the food was fantastic and so beautifully presented, the wine was fantastic (we had our own sommelier!)... We chose the tasting menu with wine and this is what we had! And sorry, I cannot find the wine collection on their homepage - I write down what I remember and update the rest later)

Sea urchin soup with crab, clams, oysters and Iranian caviar (A´s favourite)
(with champagne!)

Fried langoustine tails with chickpea purée and mint jus (my favourite!)
(Ooh, I think it was Chateauneuf du Pape with this...)
Fried fillet of turbot with poached egg and potato purée with anchovy

French pigeon stuffed with horns of plenty with roasted walnuts, creamy lentils and grape sauce

A selection of cheeses
(with port wine from 1969!)

Lemon mousse with Malibou foam and Mojito flavoured sorbet

Apple variation with soufflé, terrine and Calvados cream
(I think it was Vinsanto with this)
Pastry delicacies
(This was so great! A small piece of marmalade, a sugar stick with melon liqeur inside, and a piece of French nougat)
It was really great to get this opportunity, since this kind of fine dining is a tad (!!) expensive for us, but at the end of the meal I said to A. that this is worth paying for, even without a refund from the very kind cell phone company. I was simply in foodie paradise!

Introducing new feature - Swedish words!

I have decided to celebrate my blog´s 1st birthday not only with cake, but also by introducing a new feature: Swedish words. Often, but not always food-related, and always related to my postings. Enjoy!

Today´s Swedish word: ord. Means word!

October 21, 2006

Birthday cake

I had lunch with Anne the other day, who told me that you are supposed to make a blog birthday cake - which I didn´t have time for on the big day. Well, as luck would have it we have a lot of birthdays in the family this week - my father-in-law yesterday and A and his twin sister on Wednesday. This evening we had a little joint birthday celebration for all three of them, and A and I brought a cake. So it is not made for my blog, but tomorrow I will eat a piece in honour of it anyway! Isn´t that too convenient, getting a blog cake just like that, whithout planning?

The base is one of my favourite recipes - a gateau au yaourt I picked up at Chocolate and Zucchini a year ago and have made many times since. It is so perfect, I almost never make any ordinary sponge cakes any more because this is much easier, you just stir everything together in five minutes and shove it in the oven. The cake comes out moist, a little fluffy and very tasty. I usually make it with a wheat flour mixed with wholewheat.

I baked it yesterday evening, cut it in three layers and put it out on the balcony. This morning I left to go to Uppsala for the day meeting friends and when I came back the cake looked like this. I have said before that my A is outstanding in food decoration and this cake is yet another proof. The filling is, quite simply, mashed banana and vanilla custard. Then he has put on whipping cream and decorated with fruit and berries, and topped it off with a clear jelly made of gelatine mixed with some apple juice for flavour. The jelly is optional but gives the fruit a nice, shiny finish. The green leaves are mint which was what we had on hand. And the cake was just as delicious as it looks. "This cake is so good I cannot speak", his mother said!

Thank you for all nice comments, I promise I will continue doing my best on this blog!

October 17, 2006

Happy birthday, cuisine!

Just a very quick note on this historic day...
It is now almost exactly a year since I started up Clivia´s Cuisine and I am so nostalgic about this! I have learned so much about ways to cook and bake and about food from all over the world, and I have had the opportunity to get to know lots of lovely people.

Thank you all for reading and commenting and mailing and inspiring me! I will celebrate the beginning of year two with some new features - as soon as I have time. I just had to write something right now!


October 14, 2006

Autumn canapées

I just waved off some girlfriends who came for a soup and a chat and a a cake. This was not to celebrate my blog in any way (even though the counter just ticked over 15 000 visits and it turns 1 year on Tuesday!) but in another way this was truly a blog dinner since I had a lot of blogger inspiration!

At first I didn´t plan a three-course meal but then we had boiled potatoes the other day and they just - ahem - was a little too boiled so there I was with quite a few mushy potatoes. What to do? Well, I could always try Pille´s potato shortcrust in my new 24-hole mini muffin tin! I jumped to the task and the recipe was wonderful as I had guessed, dear Pille knows her finger-food!

For filling them I turned to another food-blogger for inspiration and decided to try Anne´s funnel chanterelle dip which was lovely. I had some mushrooms lying around after my trip to the forest yesterday... It is the ones with the red flakes on, I thought they needed some decoration and went for pink pepper which was a lovely companion to the mild mushroom and cheese. In the other half of the canapées I put a classic Swedish mix (recipe found in Bonniers kokbok)of egg, boiled potato (not all of them were mushy), matje herring, chives, dill and creme fraiche which also was lovely Update: Oh! I forgot that I also put in a very finely diced apple! Essential for giving this mix some freshness and balance.... And I am above all very pleased with this photo, it looks really good while most of my photos looks like - well, you can see what the food looks like but maybe you won´t feel like eating it...
For the main course I made the Swedish-French fish soup from my blog dinner this January, with fake aioli and home made baguette, and for dessert I made the fantastic beetroot cake with saffron glaze.

Over and out! I have a lot of dishes to take care of tomorrow...

October 11, 2006

Chanterelles again

Some people have eyes for mushrooms and some don´t. I am quite good at it, but not as good as my dear man! This is just a little of all the chanterelles, funnel chanterelles and whatsitcalled, taggsvamp (In Latin Hýdnum rapándum) he dragged home this Saturday. You see, if he ever observes a mushroom and picks it, he will for ever remember where he was by that time. And mushrooms don´t move, they come again and again on the same spot. So when A feels like it, he just takes the car, drives somewhere and walks purposefully right out between some tree and a rock mumbling "it was here somewhere". The next thing I know he comes into the kitchen, soaking wet (this Saturday was very rainy) and covers the kitchen table with large, golden, fragrant mushrooms. And then we spend a couple of hours cleaning and cutting and cooking and filling freezer bags and then he has had enough for at least a couple of days!
We enjoyed some of these yesterday on hot sandwiches. I take some good bread, butter it a little, then make a really good mushroom stew spiced with salt, pepper and a little balsamic vinegar. Then I boil thin slices of Jerusalem artichokes until just soft, covers the bread with them, put the stew on top and covers with some cheese. Bake in oven until the cheese has melted with a nice colour. Serve with some good soup, or with a cup of tea as a late night snack.

This Friday I plan to go mushroom-picking with a dear friend of mine. Let´s hope we will find at least something! I know some of A´s places...

October 10, 2006

EBBP from Dianne

When I first participated in BBM last year I never thought I would be addicted to it, but as it turns out I have taken every opportunity since to send and receive foodie things. Last week I participated in BBM, sending to Melbourne and receiving from Syracuse. This week I have been sending to Shoreham-by-Sea and receiving from Southsea, both UK via EBBP organised by Johanna of The Passionate Cook. Every time I think that maybe I should just not join next time, because my kitchen cupboards are bulging with things and also it takes a little time, money and effort. But you know, when a new round of BBM or EBBP is coming I just cannot resist. I love putting together the parcel and figure out what my receiver would appreciate the most, and I also love to get a parcel from a secret Santa somewhere! Better still, the parcels tend to arrive on the gloomiest, most boring days, to cheer me up!

Back to my latest parcel, which I consequently picked up this Saturday when I had a cold coming with sore throat, runny nose etc. and the rain was just bucketing down, cold and unpleasant. I picked up a heavy parcel in green plastic cover (so practical this day!) and headed home to open it immediately. As it turned out it was from Dianne over at A gluten-free journey and she sent me all sorts of lovely things. First of all a card which described everything and also advised me to immediately have a cup of hot cocoa with marshmallows (Dianne supplied me with both) and go read the food magazine Country Kitchen which she also sent me. So I did, but first I took a photo of all her goodies: apart from marshmallows, instant cocoa drink and the food magazine I got some fine-looking Shrewsbury cookies and a piece of Cheddar cheese (yum! I just love Cheddar!) and a jar of Hampshire honey. Dianne wrote that she actually lives close to the beehives and maybe the bees who made this honey were the ones who had tried to sting her all summer. Can it be more local?
Thank you so much for all this Dianne, and thank you Johanna for organising! I don´t think I will be able to resist next time either - I already have some ideas on what to send...

October 05, 2006

Tomato strike

Last weekend we went to Mariefred, a cute little town about 20 kilometers from here. There are small wooden cottages, cobblestone streets, a real castle and a very old railway but the main attraction for me was the Farmers´market, taking place on a square in the city center.

Let me just moan a little first: it is in fact hard to get hold of locally produced things here in Sweden, and also there is almost no debate about food. Well yes, about food safety and such of course, but not much about quality, about food miles, about eating seasonally, about why food should cost money. Every month I buy and read some English food magazines (mostly Olive and Waitrose Food Illustrated) and there are large features about what is best right now, why it is best right now and what to do with it. I miss that in most Swedish food magazines, and I miss the local products on the shelves in the large food chains. Sigh. We order fruit for work from one of Stockholm´s best fruit vendors and I doubt they send us anything Swedish ever, not even apples right now. This week they sent us satsumas (why? Surely they will be much better in November-December), and we got plums already in June. Hard as rocks and terribly sour. Why?

Well, I will do my best to change this, at least in our home, as much as I can. Eating locally and seasonally takes a lot of effort here considering where I live. In my nearest food store there are no organic vegetables and most of the other vegs are imported, except maybe the root vegetables. I will have to go further to get my vegs, or shop in Stockholm and lug it home on the commuter train. Well, well.
But, there are options if you have a car and can afford it (I could go on about food prices for ages, will take that another time perhabs), and now I am back (finally! Had you lost hope I would ever get to the point?) to the Farmers´market in Mariefred last Saturday.

This is what I got:
  • a bottle of fresh organic canola oil from a producer actually living just 15 kilometres from my hometown
  • grapes, peppers, carrots and a kind of radish (rättika), also from around here
  • four kabanoss sausages, bought them directly from the producers

You know, there are still fresh Swedish tomatoes, but when they are finally out of season (shouldn´t be too long now) I will go on fresh tomato strike for at least six months. I can find no reason to eat the bleak, watery, sour tomatoes sold here in winter*. Will you join me?

* I will, however, eat canned tomatoes and the sundried ones I buy in 500 gram bags at Hötorgshallen. It is the "fresh" ones I am angry about

October 04, 2006

Kanelbullens dag

Today the 4th of October we celebrate Kanelbullens dag here in Sweden. And what is that? Well, kanel means cinnamon and bulle is bun (or roll), and dag means day. So, cinnamon bun day. Nice, isn´t it? We have had buns here for the office fika in the afternoon and if I didn´t had to go to a meeting this evening I would have bought some to bring home. Baking them is a little too time-consuming for a working day I think, but maybe this weekend I will have some time to make my man very happy, because cinnamon rolls is an absolute favourite of his.

The Cinnamon Bun Day is invented by an organisation called Hembakningsrådet, who also supplied me with this nice picture (thank you!). Swedish lesson continues: Hembakning means Home baking, and this organisation works for supporting knowledge about cereals, baking and other bun-and-bread-related issues.

Well, I am off to the meeting, in pouring rain. We have had some calm weeks after the elections, just awaiting the negotiations between the parties. Yesterday the Parliament re-opened and on Friday the new Prime Minister will give a speech on the new government policy and also present the new ministers, which is very exciting.

September 29, 2006


I know nothing about wine, really. Well, I know that I don´t fancy sweet wine with my food, and you shouldn´t judge a wine by its price, but that is all. Should I get more knowledge? Maybe, but right now my brain is fully busy with all other things food-related I have come across during the last year (my blog will turn 1 year in a few weeks). Until later, I rely on the trusted Swedish institution Systembolaget. Systembolaget you see, is a wonderful place. It is also the only place in Sweden where you can buy wine, spirits and strong beer to bring home.
Some people think it is wrong, and inconvenient, but I don´t mind going there. You see, it is truly a wonderful place. A wine analphabet like me can just walk into Systembolaget in Old Town, where they have the old-fashioned system with people getting the wine for you. Well, you walk up to the counter and says "Hello, I am going to cook a pasta with smoked salmon today and I want a wine for about 75 SEK." The salesperson answers "OK, and do you have herbs or horse radish in it?" And you answers that you are going to use horse radish, at which moment the salesperson taps a little on the computer and says "Hey, how would you like this blah blah blah for 68 SEK? And you say it is fine, he or she gets it for you, checks your ID which is fun if you are over 25 (you are supposed to be 20 years or older), you pay and the next second you are skipping out the door with your wine. I always let them choose and I am never disappointed. Apparently they get a lot of training and knowledge about wine and what goes with what so you never have to figure it out for yourself if you are not interested.

Today I visited another kind of Systembolaget just to pick up a bottle of really good apple cider for my dear man who is currently experimenting a lot with chicken casseroles (right now he is experimenting with the sewing machine to fix a pair of trousers for tomorrow*. I have had two glasses of wine and refused to do it). Well, this is the kind of shop where you take a basket and walk around the shelves, choosing and picking what you like. To guide you there are small signs with symbols for different foods and describing the taste. I found a Cidre de Normandie which looked promising, and also something called Cidraie. I love the slightly yeasty flavour of French ciders. I also picked up an organic wine, Vida Organica 2005, Argentinian. We had it with our Friday sushi (well, we don´t have sushi every Friday) and liked it very much.
Well, that was all about Systembolaget and back to the food again in the future on this blog I think.

*Tomorrow we are going to this place, which I really really look forward to. It is too posh for me to dare taking photos but I will tell you all about the food!

September 26, 2006

Apple pie baklava style

I know, this is quite far from a traditional baklava but it has at least some similarity. The phyllo dough, the honey, the nuts...
When I was in Hälsingland a month ago my aunt and I created a "baklava" with phyllo and things we found in her kitchen cupboards - prunes, cashews, almonds and some honey. It turned out delicious and I bought some phyllo to try it out at home. This weekend I had to use it before it expired but just couldn´t use prunes when I had all these beautiful fresh Swedish apples laying around the house...

This apple and almond baklava was just as delicious as the prune variety but next time I will make it when I expect a lot of guests because it is best to eat it all right away. We heated it up two days later and it was OK but a tad soggy. I like our little invention, the crunchy dough goes very well with the sweet and sticky filling, it looks very pretty but is actually rather quick and easy to make. A keeper! And you can vary it endlessly, with different fruits, maybe a little cinnamon, more nuts, more honey...

Apple and almond baklava
9 sheets of phyllo dough
about 100 ml melted butter
200 grams chopped almonds, it is nice with both small and a little larger pieces
100 grams grated almond paste (not necessary, but my dear man loves it)
4-5 tart apples
100 ml runny honey (you can also melt firm honey in the microwave)

Start with the filling: chop the almonds, grate the almond paste and prepare the honey. Use a box grater and grate the apples down to the core, I didn´t bother peeling them. Mix everything in a bowl. Use a rather small ovenproof rectangular dish and grease it with a little butter. Cut the phyllo to the size of the dish and layer three sheets (brush each one with a little butter). Remember to work fast and to cover the remaining phyllo with a damp towel or some plastic foil. Spread out half of the filling over the phyllo and continue layering three more phyllo sheets with butter brushing and all. Spread the remaining filling and finish off with the last three phyllo sheets. Brush the surface with butter.
Use a thin and sharp knife and cut the phyllo in a pretty diamond shape (my knife was not sharp enough so I had to stop half-way). Bake in oven (I think about 180-200C) for 20-30 minutes until the phyllo is crisp with a nice colour.
Let it cool a little bit and serve with whipped cream.

September 24, 2006


Another round of Cyberkocken, the Swedish Paper Chef - hence Swedish writing. But I can tell you that the ingredients were chicken, basil, sundried tomatoes and something black. I made filled chicken fillets with sundried tomatoes and basil, and spiced the chicken with black pepper. I served it with champignon risotto and it was really good!

Dags för cyberkocken igen med Folkets mat som värdar. Ingredienserna var inte svåra alls den här gången jämfört med den där kycklinglevern (fast det var väl mest svårätet) och jag skred entusiastiskt till verket för att göra något med kyckling, soltorkade tomater, basilika och något svart (svartpeppar blev det)

Soltorkad tomat- och basilikafyllda kycklingfiléer
900 g kycklinglårfiléer, putsade och lätt utbankade
10 soltorkade tomater, i olja eller blötlagda i hett vatten 30 min.
1 stor näve basilikablad
en skvätt god olivolja
salt och svartpeppar

Hacka tomater och basilika och blanda i en bunke med lite olivolja. Bred ut filéerna och salta och peppra. Lägg en klick fyllning på varje filé och rulla ihop (man kan väl också tänka sig att skära ett snitt i en vanlig kycklingfilé och pressa in fyllningen). Ställ i en smord form och stek i ugn vid 225 grader tills köttet är genomstekt och har fin färg. Servera med t.ex. som på bilden en god champinjonrisotto. Jag är nöjd med min skapelse - gott och enkelt även om det kanske inte är så fantasifullt... Men någon gång ska jag testa att ha lite vitlök i fyllningen, det kan jag inte använda när sambon ska äta också eftersom han inte tål det. Jag köpte för övrigt både champinjonerna, paprikan och rättikan på Bondens marknad i Mariefred i lördags. Odlat i Sörmland, obesprutat och jättegott!

September 23, 2006

To Clivia from Upstate New York!

Look what I got in the mail this friday! Wonderful gifts from Stefanie of Couteau Bonswan. I am one of those people addicted to BBM and EBBP, two different events with the one in common that it is all about sending food parcels around the world - and also receive one from a Secret Santa somewhere. I have shipped my own BBM parcel far, far away and hope it will reach its final destination. Yesterday I mailed Stefanie with the happy news that her parcel has arrived here in Södertälje safe and sound. Here to be seen on my kitchen counter!

This is what I got...

  • 1 bottle of red BBQ sauce
  • 1 bottle of chicken BBQ sauce (both of these I will put away for using next summer)
  • 1 bag of vegan granola, already opened and sampled by me and A (I had to hide it from him eventually. Well, I had to hide it from myself too - it was that good)
  • 1 bottle of wild flower honey (I collect - and use! - honey from around the world so this is perfect)

Everything is locally produced around where Stefanie lives in Syracuse, which I really like - I always tries to include local things in my own parcels so we seem to share the same philosophy!

Thank you so much for all this Stefanie! And thank you to another important Stephanie, she of Dispensing Happiness who is organising this happy event.

September 21, 2006

Bean bread

I have told you before about my large supply of ready-cooked kidney beans. Well, it hasn´t diminished very much, sadly, and since our freezer is quite small I have been constantly thinking about ways to use them, between campaigning of course. One evening last week I remeberd reading somewhere that you can put cooked beans in bread. But where did I read it? After a little thinking and searching I found it in the lovely book Brödglädje which means The joy of bread, published by the Swedish church. It is filled with lovely recipes and stories and nice pictures, oooh I like it so much.
Anyway. There was a story about three women studying to be domestic science teachers. They had an assignment to find a way for students to learn to eat pulses and came up with the idea to put it in bread. And it worked very well, too! They had also done some research and found out that the protein you get by eating a slice of this bread roughly replaces the protein you should get from putting a slice of ham for example on a slice of "ordinary" bread. And no, the bread doesn´t taste beans at all!

The recipe in the book called for lentils, soy beans or chick peas but I replaced with kidney beans and it was fine. I also used fresh yeast because that is what I usually have on hand. I also used the flour I had at home which was wholemeal wheat. I was amazed by the dough, it was so easy to work with! And the taste is great. I will definitely make this again! And the picture? Well, I didn´t have the camera handy baking these so this is a nice spot to eat sandwiches - a nature park in Nôva, western Estonia.

Bean bread
12 bread rolls or 2 loaves

250 grams red or brown lentils, chick peas, soy beans or indeed kidney beans - cooked from scratch or can
450 ml water
50 grams dry or fresh yeast
2 teaspoons salt
50 ml neutral oil, like canola
1 tablespoon golden syrup (I guess honey is a fine replacement)
500 ml rågsikt, which is a Swedish mix of 40% fine rye and 60% wheat (you can use something else too)
700-800 ml wheat flour

Mix the rinsed pulses with 200 ml water and mix in a blender until smooth. Add the rest of the water, in total you should be left with 700 ml bean/water mix. Pour in a skillet and heat it to 37C using fresh yeast and about 42 using dry yeast.
Pour the yeast in a large bowl and add the warm mix, stir until dissolved and continue with salt, syrup, oil and the rye flour. Add about 400 ml wheat flour and work it in. Add more flour until the dough let go of the bowl. Cover with a towel and let it rise for 30 minutes.
Work the dough again on a floured surface and shape it to bread rolls or loaves. Put on baking sheets and let them rise for 30 minutes.
Bake in 225C for about 15 minutes for bread rolls (in the middle of the oven) or 175C for about 25 minutes for loaves (in the bottom of the oven)

September 18, 2006


By accident I missed the big election party in Stockholm so no drink like this tonight - this is a very good and cheap Strawberry Margaritha in Riga this summer. But I went to another, smaller, party here in my hometown where we enjoyed good food, wine and above all the victory. Not only did we win over the socialists in the parliament elections - we also won in our town together with some other parties and that my friends was totally unexpected. So I am celebrating now and will continue to do so for weeks. Everything is just glorious.
I just came home and turned on the computer to unwind. Hmm, no success. I keep reading the figures and statistics and get more and more excited about our results. For example we have had 1 Member of Parliament representing our party for the whole Stockholm region the last four years. Now we have - tadaaaaa! - 5. Five. I repeat, 5.

Oh gosh. And now when the elections are finally over I will try and concentrate on my cooking again and also I have a few new things to tell you about, like the red kidney bean bread rolls.

Good Night!

September 14, 2006

Elections hiatus

Hello all, and sorry for my long silence. So, what am I doing instead of writing? Well, firstly it is the elections coming up which causes a lot of work but also is very fun. "My" party is the Center party which can be described as a green social liberal party, and yesterday we received the good news that we are now the third largest party and also that we together with the three other cooperating parties in Alliance for Sweden are slightly larger than the socialist block! Well, we will have to wait until Sunday before we know if we succeeds - but it feels good. Anne and I are planning for a celebration fika next week, and if we cannot celebrate victory (we are on the same side, although not in the same party), we can celebrate that the elections are over!

Another thing distracting me from blogging is the big dance camp we arranged this past weekend for "our" dancing kids and a visiting group of other young dancers from the lovely island Gotland. All in all we had 25 children (mostly girls) aged 10-16 years living on the dance floor for three nights and they had a lot of fun of course. We too had a lot of fun, but sleeping on the floor is a completely different experience for a 32-year old compared to a 12-year old. I was so so tired this Sunday and had very little resistence when a virus decided to invade my poor body. So here I am the week before elections, with fiever and a terrible cold.

And what about today´s picture? Can you see the mooses? I took this picture in late June on the way home from a dancing evening but haven´t had the opportunity to show it yet. Well, in a month´s time these guys are in real danger because in October the moose hunting season starts*. Sadly I don´t know any hunters, otherwise maybe I could get hold of some moose meat which is so delicious. You rarely see it in the meat shelves in the shop, but I will try to cook at least something with moose later this autumn.

See you after the elections!

* Politics again... Sweden is as you may know a little famous for our good opportunities to stay at home with small children for about 18 months, the same right for mothers and fathers. Well, can you guess what time of year it is most common to take a paternity leave? That´s right, in October. And the highest exploitation of this is in northern Sweden where they hunt *a lot*. Humph.

September 05, 2006

Experiment canelloni with mushrooms

Autumn has come to Stockholm! I am not complaining, this is a really pleasant time of the year I think, with the clear air, glowing trees and endless possibilities to enjoy cups of tea on the couch instead of having to run around and play outside even if you don´t feel like it. What I do like to do outdoors is to pack some fika, put on my rubber boots, bring some nice company (or enjoy my own company) and go mushroom-picking in the forest. My man likes it too, and what´s more, he is really good at it. I have learned a lot since I met him but still I don´t always have the "eyes" to see the chanterelles. He always, always succeeds, and hence brings home truckloads of mushrooms. We rinse them and cook them and freeze them in little bags, over and over every weekend until the snow comes. But do we actually eat them? No. We love mushrooms, but it feels a little luxurious to use them in everyday cooking. And that is why I opened the freezer this Sunday and found about 20 little bags of chanterelles dated "04". And let me just say that it is totally OK to eat frozen mushrooms from 2004, as long as you have cooked them without any fat they are fine!

I decided then and there to put more luxury into our everyday life and started off by defrosting two bags for this canelloni, also invented then and there. I used thinly sliced and shredded beef instead of the mince I had planned but didn´t find at the store, and spiced half of the canelloni with crumbled blue cheese, half of them with Dijon mustard. Sorry, no proportions and no picture but I think you´ll get a good picture of this anyway. A tasty and flexible dish.

Experiment canelloni
Mushrooms and thinly shredded beef, about 50/50. I used about 300 grams of meat and maybe 200 ml mushrooms
chopped onion, I used one yellow onion
salt, pepper, balsamic vinegar
fresh lasagna sheets
cooking cream
some good grated cheese
It is good to flavour the mix with dijon mustard or some blue cheese. Or maybe some fresh herbs!

Brown the meat and then add the onions and mushrooms. Let it simmer for some minutes and spice to taste with salt, pepper and a splash of balsamic vinegar (which I always use with mushrooms in any form). Put in some mustard or cheese, or both (but not in the same canelloni I think)
Cut the lasagna sheets in about 15x15 cm long pieces, put on some filling, roll it up and put in an ovenproof dish
When you have all the canelloni you want, pour over cooking cream or maybe some good stock to almost cover the rolls. Mine wasn´t really covered and was a bit on the crunchy side after baking.
Scatter over some cheese and bake in the oven until golden.
Serve with a fresh salad and start to think about what you are going to do next with mushrooms.

September 03, 2006

What to eat in August & September

Elections or not, I need to eat and enjoy myself so here I am on this very rainy Sunday, hammering away on the keyboard...
Today´s issue is to get rid of some of the mushrooms in the freezer, because the forests are filling up again after some rain and the still warm weather, and my man has started bringing home bag after bag after bag. I have some fresh lasagna plates in the fridge and plan on some sort of mushroom lasagna. I also plan to make some beetroot mince beefs for dinner and freezer, and oh, I could really use some apple pie or something. Autumn is so wonderful with all these fine produce, I could stand in the kitchen all day. This Friday, by the way, I made some of
Johanna´s cantuccini with ginger, almonds and pink pepper corns. The combination sounds crazy, but they are so good! I will make them again and try to not put in too many eggs like I did this time. They were fine anyway, though...

But it was crawfish I was going to write about. This is the main topic in Sweden in August and September: have you had crawfish, what brand, frozen or fresh, and were they any good? These were really good! Last Friday I felt like having a little crawfish party on the balcony, just for the two of us, and bought 1 kilo of frozen Turkish Jumbo crawfish. The ideal thing is of course to fish and cook your own crawfish but that is a complicated procedure involving a boat, a trailer or pick up truck, cages, bait (dry dog´s food is ideal, smelly and easy to handle), some free evenings, patience and a cold-blooded father-in-law willing to cook the poor things alive with lots of dill. Anyhow, these made do this time and they were really tasty. I love crawfish and I eat until they are finished, not only tails and claws but also the roe and heads. Yum, yum, yum.

The other thing to eat this time of year is surströmming, fermented herring, which people tend to either love or hate. You see, they smell. And some people have an issue with smelly food. I on the other hand loves it, and compare surströmming to Danish cheese, which is also very smelly but taste delicious, very piquant in a way. One of my paternal aunts once said about a Danish cheese on the table "take away the cheese!". Not because she thought it was smelly, but because she couldn´t stop eating from it. I feel the same way these days, about crawfish, my new cantuccini and surströmming - if I could find someone who would like to share a tin with me. On the balcony (oh yes, you don´t want to eat it inside because the smell gets stuck in all padded furniture), with thin bread, boiled potatoes, onion and sourcream. Oh, the joy.

August 30, 2006

Picture of the chicken liver toast!

Ooops - I panicked about not being able to upload a picture of the good old chicken liver toast and installed Hello, which I *don´t* master. At all. But anyway, this is how my delicious toast looks! And here you can vote for me - or someone else...
Otherwise I am very busy working these days with the election coming up in just over two weeks (gaaah!) but still cook now and then. I also have some pictures laying around waiting to be interpreted in writing - let´s hope blogger is more cooperative then, or that I can learn how to work this new programme...
So long!

August 27, 2006

Cyberkocken igen

Jaha, dags för Cyberkocken igen. Den här gången var det väääldigt spännande ingredienser för mig som har svårt för inälvsmat - kycklinglever, mandel, mozzarella och svamp. Förutom att den där levern var en riktig utmaning (har länge velat få "en spark i baken" att börja laga och testa detta, jag vill så gärna gilla inälvsmat för det är ju nyttigt och billigt...) hade jag inga svårigheter att hitta på vad jag skulle göra - det skulle behöva gå fort och jag ville ha med bladpersilja för jag hade så mycket över. Därför beslöt jag rätt snabbt att göra en variant på min gamla favorit varm kycklingsallad (egen konstruktion), fast byta ut kycklingkött mot kycklinglever istället, och gratinera den på en varm macka med mozzarella och mandel. So far so good. Det var bara det, att jag fick inse att lever är verkligen inget för mig. Jag smakade och smakade, men det går inte. Däremot (och detta är konstigt) så kunde jag känna att det var gott, på något sätt. Fast jag själv har så svårt för leversmaken och konsistensen så tror jag att en leverälskare skulle kunna älska detta! Ni får väl testa själva...

Och blogger vägrar ladda bilder idag. Igen. Så den får ni vänta på!

Clivias levertoast med svamp och persilja
4-5 portioner
200 gram kycklinglever i småbitar
1 finhackad schalottenlök
3 stora champinjoner och en påse kantareller från frysen
ca 1 dl grovhackad slätbladig persilja
salt, peppar, balsamvinäger
4-5 skivor gott bröd
4-5 stora skivor mozzarella
ca 1 dl grovhackad mandel

Fräs lever, svamp och lök i lite smör eller olja tills allt har fin färg, krydda och häll i någon matsked vinäger (jag använder alltid balsamvinäger till svamp, det blir så gooott.) Låt puttra ett par minuter. Rör ned bladpersiljan och fördela röran på brödskivorna. Lägg på lite mozzarella på varje macka och gratinera i ugn tills osten smält och fått lite färg. Rosta mandeln i het stekpanna. Servera bums med lite grönsallad till och mandelhack på. Mums - om man gillar lever i alla fall... Kanpen går för övrigt vidare! Jag har 200 gram överbliven lever i frysen som ska testas till något annat!