Archive | November, 2011

That time of year

30 Nov

I’ve loved seeing Elsa’s posts on all the fun holiday activities she has been up to. I have been busy as well, but in this case getting ready for my sisters wedding and another craft fair. My sister and her fiance both have Swedish roots and so have decided to have a big “Swedish Smörgåsbord” the night before the wedding. There will around 50 people and so many tasty treats; swedish meatballs, gravlax, 7 types of cookies (thanks Elsa and Ida for the heads up on that) and much much more!

My husband and I started the gravlax marinading yesterday…with 1/3 cup salt, 2/3 cup sugar and 3 tablespoons of dill. You simply cover the fish with this mixture and let cure in the refrigerator for three days. We got the recipe from this great cook book Kitchen of Light, full of delicious scandinavian recipes.

I also had the pleasure of making double chocolate, hazelnut gluten free biscotti for the wedding reception. I had never made biscotti prior to this but it proved to be a fun and tasty project.

First bake them as logs of dough

then slice them and bake again

Then the final touches!

This recipe is from Gluten-Free Baking with the Culinary Institute of America, it was quite complex with odd ingredients due to the fact that it is gluten free. But I highly suggest giving homemade biscotti a try as they keep well and are perfect with your afternoon coffee!

I’m headed out of town this evening for the wedding, but hope to post some updates from the road.

/brita

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Saffron Buns Again

30 Nov

This week I’m spending a lot of time with my 6-year-old niece here in Stockholm and yesterday we made saffron buns after school. Since saffron bun are called lussekatt in Swedish, where the katt means cat (Does anyone know why these buns are called this? Anyone? Please?) we associated away and started shaping the buns in different shapes of animals. The recipe is the same as last time.

Snail, rabbit, elephant, cats and a snowman before the heat in the oven…

Fancy a saffron-snail anyone?

/Elsa

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Jag tillbringar mycket tid med min 6-åriga systerdotter den här veckan och igår bakade vi lussekatter. Fria associationer på ordet katt ledde till massa olika lussedjur. Är det någon som vet varför det heter lussekatt? 

Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas

29 Nov

I’m in Stockholm but home in my kitchen in Malmö hangs a lovely Christmas-print. It’s made by the very talented Jenny Ahonen and shows divine actress Judy Garland with a quote from one of her most famous songs (see the video below the pictures for the whole song).  To see more of Jenny’s work, visit her webpage or blog.

/Elsa

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Jag befinner mig i Stockholm men hemma i mitt kök i Malmö hänger en fantastisk jul-illustration. Den är gjord av den begåvade Jenny Ahonen och föreställer Judy Garland med ett citat från en av hennes mest berömda sånger (spana in videon och njut). 

Saffron Buns and Glögg Evening

28 Nov

Yesterday afternoon I baked saffron buns, or lussekatter as they are called in Swedish. A traditional cake made for Advent and Christmas in Sweden. And in the evening we had a small First Advent-gathering with glögg, saffron buns and gingerbreads, really delicious. 

You need this:

50 g yeast

150 g melted butter

5 dl milk

250 g kvarg (simliar to cottage cheese but less granular and more sour)

1 teaspoon salt

2 dl sugar

1,5 g saffron

1 egg (+1 egg to brush the buns before baking)

16 dl flour

raisins

Mix butter, milk and saffron and heat until it’s lukewarm. Pour the buttermilk over the yeast in a bowl and add kvarg, salt and sugar. Then add almost all flour and work the dough until it’s shiny and has a nice feel to it. Let it rise until doubled (approx. 1 hour) and then work the dough on a table before you divide it to small pieces. The recipe above gives 50 of the ordinary S-kind. When the dough is formed and ready, let it rise again and then add raisin and brush the buns with a slightly beaten egg. Bake at 250 degrees Celsius for 10-15 min.

The traditional ones on the right and I also did some special ones…

Classic S-shaped saffron buns.

These ones I filled with butter, almondpaste, raisins, sugar and chopped almonds. 

Just fresh out of the oven. 

A table set for glögg and First Advent-celebration. The first candle is lit. 

Glögg! With special-shaped gingerbreads as decoration. 

Now I’m off to Stockholm to be a full-time aunt (to my sister’s darling daughter) for the week, I don’t really know when I’ll be able to write again – but hopefully soon.

/Elsa

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Igår eftermiddag bakade jag lussekatter, några vanliga och några lite mer speciella. På kvällen firade vi in första advent medan stormen Berit ven utanför fönstret. 

Thanksgiving Wrap-up

27 Nov

We made it back home safe and sound after a lovely trip in Boston. Thanksgiving was one of the most delicious I have ever had with more food than one can imagine.

My husband and I were in charge of baking the turkey which ended with great success- a crowd favorite! After the dry brine was rinsed off we buttered the skin generously, added some salt and fresh herbs. We then filled the bottom of the pan with chicken broth and chopped veggies and into the oven for 6.5 hours! We basted it every 20 min and the end result was fantastic.

buttered up

sage, rosemary and thyme (sorry no parsley:)

basting

final result!

 As my first Thanksgiving as an official part of the W family, it was one to be cherished and remembered. The house was beautiful and the tables looked fabulous with beautiful flower arrangements of hydrangeas, iris, roses and cabbage roses placed in elegant mercury glass vases.

The day was filled with family and friends, love and laughter, old and young. I had the pleasure of sitting at the “kids table” and was thoroughly entertained the whole time.

"Thanksgiving tastes like scrumptious apple pie with caramel sauce. Thanksgiving smells like out of this world stuffing. Thanksgiving feels like very very happy feelings."

patiently waiting for food at the kids table

the "grown-up" table

My thanksgiving plate, yum yum!

Green beans, brussel sprouts, two types of sweet potatoes, wild rice and mushroom stuffing, turkey, cranberry sauce and coleslaw- WOW!

Great trip, wonderful Thanksgiving but happy to be back home just in time to start advent celebrations and get into the Christmas spirit.

Happy first Sunday of Advent!

/brita

Gingerbreads

27 Nov

Yesterday I was at lovely Ida’s for gingerbread-baking, we didn’t make a house but loads of small cakes. It was Ida (badbakeday.com) who had made the insanely tasty dough for the cakes. Mandatory for every Christmas-baking is listening to Christmas-music and drinking glögg – which we did with success.

Four eager persons started baking. Every year you’re soo excited for the first two baking tins and then the energy sort of drifts away… 

Hanna made pigs.

Pigs in a circle.

No gingerbread-baking without glögg.

First taste (apart from dough of course…). 

Big hearts to decorate and hang in the windows. 

Maybe not the most beautiful gingerbread but absolutely the one with the most personality. 

Happy First Advent!

/Elsa

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Igår var jag hemma hos Ida (badbakeday.com) och gjorde pepparkakor. Märkligt att det varje år är hur kul som helst de två första plåtarna och sen försvinner liksom energin… Men mycket fint med julmusik och glögg. Glad första advent på er! 

Stars for Advent

26 Nov

In my living room there is more of a star-theme now as Advent comes closer (tomorrow!). I’m going to try to take a photo outside one of these days so you’ll see how beautiful it looks with all the stars and candlesticks in every window all over town.

One of my windows covered in a star-curtain. 

I like the combination of white lace with these small lights.

In the other window there’s a star in brass, just the same as my grandmother has for Advent every christmas. 

My living room right now, if you are observant you can see me in the mirror and Solveig in the armchair. 

/Elsa

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I mitt vardagsrum är det mer ett stjärn-tema nu när advent närmar sig (i morgon!). Jag älskar verkligen att gå utomhus om kvällarna nu när man ser alla ljus i varje fönster.