October 29, 2007

Fruit salad

Getting rid of: fresh fruit, raisins, canned pineapple

Well of course I will continue buying fresh stuff even if we are trying to empty our kitchen - fruit and veg and dairy... But I know myself oh-too-well and fresh fruit tend to just be put in a bowl and looked at with pride in this household. See, we have a bowl of apples in our kitchen. Look how lovely they are! And bananas, mmmmm. And kiwi! Lots of vitamin C. They look so lovely that we somehow forget what they are really for: to be eaten! These past months I have been craving a lot more fruit, but even so especially apples just lies there - and it is such a shame! Every two weeks I get a delivery of fresh organic fruit and veg from Ekolådan and last time I got gorgeous apples: small, rather tart and very very apple-y if such a word exists. Most of the other things from the box is now gone, but a morning recently when I was making scones for my man the sad fruit bowl caught my eye. There was two rather browned bananas, a lonely kiwi and a pile of those apples...

Strange but true - fruit can be lying about for weeks here, but once they are turned to a fruit salad they are gone in just a day, sometimes just hours. My trick to make it extra juicy and tempting is to add a small tin of crushed pineapple in own juice, a cheap staple that is easy to keep at home (in the cupboards, oh my). Boring apples, or apples that will be boring in just days, and sad bananas turns into something luxurious, delicious and totally healthy!

October 26, 2007

No-knead bread

Getting rid of: flour, sunflower seeds, spices

As you can see I have changed my feature, from "Today´s Swedish word" to "Getting rid of". This will be my new theme for the upcoming months - getting rid of as much as possible from my bulging kitchen cupboards, fridge and freezer. Then, in December when I am installed in my new kitchen I can change back to my usual "Getting". Being a food nerd means "getting". You get stuff from EBBP parcels, you get stuff from friends who know you will love a food present for birthdays and Christmas, you get new and exciting things when you are out shopping with other food nerds, or indeed just popping by at Hötorgshallen for "just some sundried tomatoes" and coming back up the escalator laden with bags of dried fruits, pulses, herbs, strange-looking fruit and a smelly cheese. All this now occupies our kitchen and since we don´t want to carry too much while moving we will have to eat it, or throw it away which really is not an option unless something is helplessly expired...
Before my, and our for that matter, decision of getting rid of things I happily bought a large bag of flour and brought it home just to discover that I really didn´t need it. An entire shelf is filled with different flours, in two rows - meanwhile we have been buying our bread for months now! My baking goes in periods, sometimes I just bake and bake everything we eat, and then suddenly I stop for some reason and it is just so hard to get going again. Well, now I have to! This "No-knead bread" is an old favourite of mine and I made it long before everyone else started experimenting with cast-iron pots and minimal amounts of yeast a year or so ago when the ultimate recipe for no-knead bread was tried out by so many of us food bloggers. I, however, was not tempted because I already had the ultimate recipe: of course from my cooking and baking guru Anna Bergenström!

No-knead bread
25 grams fresh yeast
1tsp salt
preferrably about a tbsp of honey
400 ml tepid water
800-900 ml of wheat flour
100 ml sunflower seeds (optional)
1 tsp crushed fennel seeds or other bread spice that you like (optional)

Crumble the yeast into a bowl, add salt and honey and some of the water. Stir until the yeast is dissolved and add the rest of the water.
Pour in the sunflower seeds and the fennel and the flour and work it to a loose dough. Cover with a towel and let rise for 1-2 hours.
Line a baking sheet with paper or grease it, and carefully tip the dough directly onto it. No need to knead. Heat the oven to 250C and meanwhile let the dough rise, for about 20 minutes.
Bake the bread in the middle of the oven for 15 minutes, then lower the heat to 125C and continue baking for 40-45 minutes.
Let the bread cool on a rack, loosely covered with a towel. Enjoy!

October 16, 2007

Hip hip hooray, maybe my blog will stay...

Oh yes, I am still alive. Too busy living as a matter of fact - this blog gets more and more neglected and I really have to think hard what to do with it. Maybe I should quit, or take a "real" hiatus instead of just disappearing for weeks, or maybe I should just try and get inspired again, participating in all the nice events available? That is what I am thinking right now.

But, no decisions made at the moment, today (forgot to post on the 17th though...) I celebrate this blog´s second birthday with a lovely flower photo shot at a restaurant in Riga where we consumed some - oh yeah - shots this summer! Two years of writing, taking photos, meeting incredibly nice people some of whom I have now met and count as real friends, answering questions about almost everything and learning loads, loads about food. Oh yes, while writing this I definitely feel that I just cannot quit blogging! What I need is a whole day, or a whole weekend when I can just cook and write and work on a good backlog for all those days and weeks when life just gets too much...

An exciting year lies ahead of me I can tell - the third year as a food blogger when also a lot of other things will happen in my life! We have for example bought a house, so in about two months´time Clivia will get a new Cuisine where new challenges will take place. So stay tuned, and thank you for your patience!

October 05, 2007

Cooking class

Today´s Swedish word: kurs. Means course, or class.

My life has been pretty intense these past months and I have had little time for food blogging and even cooking, sadly. But after my recent trip (see below) to Tallinn to meet my blogging friends I got new inspiration, and since four weeks back I have another source of inspiration: I have become a cooking teacher!

I have got a new job since april at an organisation which arranges courses for adults in everything from languages to yoga - a lovely job! Anyway, I don´t work full time and therefore had the possibility to take on a cooking class on Fridays, starting about a month ago. And it is so much fun! I only have three pupils but for a new teacher like me it is totally OK. We have great fun together and try many things - they are so brave and never turn a recipe of mine down! This has been on the menus so far:

Beetroot soup with sour cream and chopped pickled cucmbers, fake cheesecake for dessert

Stuffed peppers, some with
lentils and some with mince and olives, Blå Jungfruns muffins for dessert

African stew" with home made peanut butter, Gino for dessert

Fish stew with root vegetables, apple crumble

Salad with whole wheat, marinated in a vinaigrette with sundried tomatoes and garlic, loads of veg like cucumber, tomato, peppers and onions - served with oven grilled chicken. Dessert: ice cream with lemon marinated blackberries.

The upcoming Friday we will cook meatloaf. What next? I don´t know... Any ideas?

October 02, 2007

A lovely day in Tallinn

Today´s Swedish word: Estland. Means Estonia.

I have written quite a lot about Estonia here on this blog, a country I first visited in 1992 in a youth exchange. Then I met A, whose mother is Estonian-Swedish and that has led to me visiting this fantastic country many times. When I found Pille´s blog I was delighted, what a great way to learn more about Estonian culture and above all, food!

From the start I had a feeling that Pille must be a very, very nice person and a week ago I finally got to meet her and get that feeling confirmed! Anne, Dagmar and me arranged to go overseas with Tallink Victoria to our closest capital, Tallinn, for shopping and sightseeing - and meeting Pille of course. After a very calm night at sea we arrived in a sunny lovely September Tallinn on a Tuesday morning when everyone else was at work. Could life be better? We had a lovely day shopping, chatting, having coffee and eating and admiring the view from Toompea. Thank you so much Pille for guiding and feeding us, and thank you Anne and Dagmar for great travel company! Next time I hope we won´t have to listen to car alarms all night though (the journey back wasn´t nearly as calm as the first night...)

Read more about our day in Tallinn and see pictures over at Pille´s and Dagmar´s!