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!

Cyber chef, or, When Clivia Tried Really Hard Eating Liver

As you all know by now we Swedish food bloggers have our own Paper Chef, called Cyberkocken. I will make a special posting about it in Swedish too but have to share the recipe with you English-speaking people out there. To make a long story short, this event was hosted by Viktoria over at Kardemumma (means cardamom), a very nice food blog by the way, and the given ingredients were mushrooms, mozzarella, almonds and - tadaa - chicken liver. As Viktoria said: "I have eaten it too little to like it", and I totally agreed. You see, I eat most things and tries to keep an open mind, but intestines are hard.
Actually I have thought about chicken liver quite a few times recently. It is cheap, it is good for you... Maybe, I thought, I will give it a try. Some time. The Cyber chef gave me this opportunity - thanks Victoria! (And sorry, no picture right now. How I hate blogger sometimes.)

So, after shopping and thinking and shopping again and more thinking I made this:

200 grams of chicken liver cut in small pieces
3 large champignons and a small bag of yellow chanterelles from the freezer, cut in pieces
1 large shalott onion, finely chopped
about 100 ml roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 small splash of balsamic vinegar
salt and a lot of freshly ground black pepper
4-5 slices of good bread
4-5 slices mozzarella
about 100 ml roughly chopped toasted almonds

Fry the liver, mushrooms and onion in a little butter until brown. Salt, pepper, vinegar... Let simmer for some minutes. Stir in the parsley.
Put the mix on the bread slices and put mozzarella on top.
Bake in hot oven until the cheese has melted and got a nice colour
Put on plates and scatter the almonds on top

Sounds and looks good, doesn´t it? The problem is, I really couldn´t eat it. Believe me, I tried! After frying and peppering I tried a bite and said to A "I can feel it is tasty, but I will not be able to eat this". Strange, isn´t it? I could feel that it was good and that a person who loves liver would love this - but I just couldn´t face eating any more. It is something about the taste, and something about the texture. I made just one sandwich, took the photo, tried another bite (still no luck) and threw it out. That is the poor poor truth about this dish.

But if you are into intestines - this is a hit!

August 19, 2006


At last my EBBP parcel arrived, after being stuck at the head post office in Montpellier for a week! As I said to Jeanne who is the hostess this round - we should all sign a petition or something for the postal support of us EBBP´ers who is waiting and waiting and waiting for our Secret Santa. The pshycological pressure is very serious and should be considered by European authorities. So there. Fortunately this time it seems lika I am the only one with a late parcel - read the round up here.

Anyway, my parcel comes from Cindy of Cindy´s kitchen in Montpellier, France and it arrived safely yesterday. It was a warm, sunny evening and I had some leftover Turkish bread from lunch and decided to treat myself and A with a Mediterranean delicacy plate with grilled chicken, vegetables, bulgur and a non-garlic-but-with-mint tzatziki. (Oh no, I forgot about the wine leaf dolmadas! They are still in the cupboard. Oh well...) And for dessert I opened my parcel! Cindy wrote that she didn´t know if I am a sweet or savoury girl so she had decided to send a little of this and a little of that. Well Cindy, I don´t know either but at this moment I wanted sweets and sweets I found!
  • 1 large bag of Carambars, Cindy´s favourite candy which is chewy candy bars in different flavours, very nice and practical little sweets - I am having one right now
  • 1 bar of Michel Cluziel chocolate, dark and rich!
  • 1 tin of condensed milk, I am particularly glad for this since I have found quite a few recipes which calls for this but it is hard to find it here
  • 1 bag of fruits made of almond paste, which happens to be a favourite in this household!

As for the savoury bit I got:

  • 1 tin of Cassoulet Toulousain, a stew with beans and meat and sausages which will come in handy some cold and rainy evening this autumn when I don´t feel like cooking (believe me, it happens!)
  • 1 small jar of mustard with Piment d´Espelette which I have heard of and has wanted to try for quite some time. Since I started with these food parcel sending I have got at least three jars of interesting mustard! Maybe I should send some myself next time!

The picture might not be so very good, unfortunately, but it is all there together with my geraniums on the balcony. Thank you so much Cindy for all these goodies and thank you Jeanne for organising this! I am looking forward to next round of EBBP but first a round of BBM, in the end of this month.

August 17, 2006


Long time no see - I have spent a couple of days up north. First working in Sundsvall, then visiting relatives in Hälsingland. My mother grew up in this house, now my aunt and her family lives downstairs and my grandparents upstairs (but now my grandmother was away, picking cloudberries). Anyway, just look at these flowerbeds, gorgeous!

This picture was taken this Sunday evening when my other aunt and uncle came visiting and my aunt who lives in this house (you see, a lot of aunts here, I have four in total) made mince skewers spiced with garlic, chilli and cumin I think and we had a barbecue dinner in the garden. With the skewers we had fresh new potatoes and vegs from the garden and a light yoghurt sauce with lime. For dessert my other aunt brought cherry soup. And on Monday evening my aunt (who is also my godmother) and I cooked together again and created the most delicious prune baclava which I will have to get back to shortly since I forgot to take a picture of it and it was so good. And I made some food shopping too. Stay tuned for more spin-offs from my Hälsingland trip...

Today it is one month to go before the elections and since I both work full time with politics and run for the local elections I am quite busy and very tired. I will try to cook and write as much as possible anyway, one has to do what one can to relax, right?

August 09, 2006

Brussels cookies

I made these darling little cookies for a very young friend of mine who is to be christened this Saturday. Sadly I will miss it because I have to work, but I promised her mother to bake something, just like I did for her older daughter two years ago. Back then it was cinnamon rolls, now I wanted to try and make something really sweet, and made this design up. The recipe itself is a Swedish classic, Brysselkex - Brussels cookies. It is common to colour the caster sugar you roll them in, though maybe not bright pink which is what I chose. I also wanted to decorate them in some cute way and found a jar of sugar teddy bears, in the shop, blue and pink. I ate the blue ones and put the pink on top of the cookies.

Actually I am not that good at baking these kind of cookies! I always put them too close to each other on the baking tray so they get stuck in each other, or break them, and above all not one is similar to another. My grandmother has a wonderful expression for this - "church people" That means that the cookies looks like a gathering of people in the church, all are different! Well, this time I am almost happy with them. I would be out in the kitchen baking a new batch If I were a perfectionist but then I am not.

For once I don´t have to translate the recipe since I own an English version of the Swedish classic Seven kinds of cookies with 300 recipes!

Approx. 50

450-500 ml plain flour
100 ml caster sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla sugar or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
200 grams butter or margarine (but I never use margarine)
Garnish: about 200 ml caster sugar and a few drops food colouring if you feel like it. And approx. 50 sugar teddy bears (optional)

Cut the butter in cubes and work into the other ingredients. I used a food processor.
Form into 4 cm thick ropes, as round as possible, and roll them in sugar
Cover and let it sit in the fridge for at least 1 hour
Cut into pieces and put on a greased or parchment-lined baking sheet, not too close together!
Bake in the middle of the oven in 175C/350F for about 10 minutes
Transfer them onto the kitchen counter, I simply slipped the whole parchment off the baking sheet, and let them cool completely until you handle them

August 08, 2006

Swedish cheesecake

I just saw our famous athlete Carolina Klüft on TV, getting a gold medal in heptathlon. I say, that girl must have been fed a lot of cheesecake to get so strong and beautiful. She comes from the same landscape as me, Småland, where everyone is force-fed cheesecake at every even remotely festive occasion. As a child I dreaded all these coffee parties because I couldn´t bear the taste and texture of it, but now I just love it. Earlier I have given you a very simple recipe, based on cottage cheese, but if you have time and patience you can make the real thing, from scratch. It is like a warm, crumbly pudding with a very distinct almond flavour, and totally delicious. And sorry, no picture - blogger is on strike again it seems.

My man never stops fascinating me. He can start the most interesting projects at the most interesting times of the day. Like this Thursday evening, after dinner at about 7 o´clock in the evening. He got up from the table, put away the dishes and said: "I am going to make cheesecake now". Umm, OK I thought, who vividly recalls my mother´s cheesecake sessions - it takes ages. But he still had vacation and felt like it so why not?

The cheesecake was almost perfect - the taste was spot on and the texture very good, although a little wet. It is very important that you drain off the whey really careful! Otherwise it seems to be easy, I might try it myself one of these days...

Cheesecake (the Småland way)
3000 ml of whole milk + 200 ml
1 tbsp rennin (you can get it in the pharmacy here)
140 ml plain flour
3 eggs
100 ml sugar
40 grams almonds, peeled and roughly chopped
2 bitter almonds, peeled and grated
300 ml whipping cream

Warm the 3000 ml of milk to 37 degrees. Whip the 200 ml of milk with rennin and flour, stir it in the warm milk and stir for about 1 minute.
Put the casserole aside, put the lid on and leave it for about 45 minutes until the milk is stiff and let go of the edges in the casserole.
Take a long knife and cut the cheese mass in squares, then stir a bit very carefully. Leave the mass to sink and the whey to float up. Scoop out the whey, as much as you can (you can save it for baking bread). Then stir again, scoop and repeat until all the whey is gone. You can also drain it in a muslin sieve.
Whip together the cream, eggs and sugar, mix in almond and cream.
Mix with the cheese mass, you can squeeze it with your hands to get the right texture
Pour in a 1000-ml round ovenproof dish and bake it in 175 C for about 1 hour, until it has a nice colour and rises in the middle.
Serve warm with some good jam and maybe some whipped cream. The traditional way is to start scooping in the middle of the dish, an old custom that has to do with older times oven dishes made of copper. Sometimes they gave off verdigris around the edges so the cheesecake went green, so the guests got to start in the middle where the cheesecake was nice and clean!

August 06, 2006

Cooking kidney beans

The summer is still here, up to 30 degrees today and sun, sun, sun - but I have started working and soon the heat will be gone too, who knows. So, time for autumn and new ambitions! I have complained before about my bulging kitchen cabinets - no fault but my own, A. only buys things he has serious plans to use, and a deadline, and he doesn´t receive food parcels from people all over the world either. If I see something that tempts me in a food shop, I buy it without thinking "I will use it on Monday". So, hence the bulging, and hence my ambition to use up some of it!

The first thing I am doing now is cooking a large bag of kidney beans. I often buy beans and lentils but then I cannot be bothered cooking them. That has to change. This bag contained about a kilo of beans and I soaked the whole lot thinking that it couldn´t expand that much. Well, it did. So when it is done I will be in possession of about 2-3 liters of cooked kidney beans that I will put in the freezer for future use. So, I plan on cooking a lot with kidney beans the coming months so it doesn´t occupy our freezer longer than necessary...

Please share your favourite kidney bean recipe!

August 05, 2006


Saturday night, home alone because A is sailing over night. I would too but had to work yesterday and today. I work in politics and with the elections coming up in september we had a big kick off with lots of people, lots of fun and a big party yesterday. Great food and drinks and entertainment which made most of us stand on our chairs dancing! But I think I had maybe a glass of wine too much and too little sleep so I feel a little tilted today, just like this lighthouse on the very north-western tip of the Estonian island Saaremaa. I plan to write some posts about our fantastic holiday and considered writing about a strawberry Margaritha I had in Riga but the mere picture of it gave me headache today so lighthouse first!

It must be about two weeks since we took a day driving far far away into the nature park Harulaid. We parked the car and continued by foot to this lighthouse, it took one hour to go there and one hour back in the sun and wind. The nature was absolutely stunning! Since we know very little Estonian and couldn´t find good info in English about this we didn´t really know what to expect, but we like lighthouses and tend to seek them out wherever we go. When we got there we found out that the very special thing with this lighthouse was that it was tilted! We couldn´t believe our eyes. A. wanted to climb it but I wouldn´t let him.

When I am home alone I usually treat myself to some goodies from the deli counter so I just enjoyed a meal of vegetarian pizza served with salami and serrano ham. Later, with my tea, I will sample some fine Swedish blue cheese and some biscuits. I crave salt because it is so very hot today and I topped off all the tiltedness and work with joining my colleagues in the Stockholm Pride parade through Stockholm. It was wonderful, a true celebration of love really, with lots and lots of different people, but it was so hot in the sun and now I am exhausted even though I left the parade after about 45 minutes. Oooof, I think I will just lay down on the couch now and watch TV and ignore the fantastic summer evening outside! Rest, so I can cook properly tomorrow and write something more substantial!

August 02, 2006

Five things

Here is a funny little meme which is going around on Swedish blogs. Just felt like writing something and haven´t cooked much in a few days due to back-to-work laziness. Pick it up if you want to!

Five things in my freezer
  • plastic bag filled with smaller plastic bags filled with portion pieces of cabbage pudding. I don´t want to throw it out and I don´t feel like eating it and soon it is too old
  • mushrooms, mushrooms and mushrooms, from two years back. And now it is raining again so we´ll have to deal with all this in some way
  • two portion pizzas (emergency food)
  • Estonian rye bread
  • mango sorbet
Five things in my walk-in closet
  • Our traditional costumes (my man has one too)
  • Electric tools
  • Toilet and kitchen rolls
  • One of my two sewing machines (anyone want the other?)
  • Boots for nordic skiing and long-distance skating, one set each for both of us

Five things in my car

  • Tourist information on Latvia and Estonia
  • Picnic blanket
  • Rubber boots, one set each (for spontaneous mushroom picking)
  • A jar of Latvian pickled cucumber (until yesterday, when I remembered it and brought it with me)
  • Plastic bottles we have forgotten to recycle
Five things in my purse
  • Pocket book, right now a crime novel. I never go anywhere without something to read
  • A give-away pencil from the Swedish social democrats, not at all my choice but it is quite good
  • Small umbrella (but don´t think I never remove it and forget it when it is most needed!)
  • Latvian wet tissues, smells like after shave
  • Sadly not my key card to work. Before vacations I hid it somewhere and now I cannot find it for the life of me. I will have to write to one of those "psycic" ladies in one of my mother-in-law´s Women´s magazines and ask if they can "see" where it is.