December 27, 2006
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
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...
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
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
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
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
December 04, 2006
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.
December 03, 2006
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.
November 28, 2006
November 26, 2006
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:
- Red pesto
- Dried fruit, roughly chopped, to put on top of Brie cheeses
- Party clothes, comfy shoes, toothbrush and my very best mood
November 20, 2006
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
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
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...
November 01, 2006
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
October 28, 2006
2 large eggs
150 ml caster sugar
October 26, 2006
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)
Fried langoustine tails with chickpea purée and mint jus (my favourite!)
French pigeon stuffed with horns of plenty with roasted walnuts, creamy lentils and grape sauce
A selection of cheeses
Lemon mousse with Malibou foam and Mojito flavoured sorbet
Apple variation with soufflé, terrine and Calvados cream
Today´s Swedish word: ord. Means word!
October 21, 2006
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
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
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
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.
October 10, 2006
October 05, 2006
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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.
September 14, 2006
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
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.
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
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
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
August 27, 2006
Och blogger vägrar ladda bilder idag. Igen. Så den får ni vänta på!
Clivias levertoast med svamp och persilja
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!