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Archive for October, 2008

Halloween cookies with cardamom

Friday, October 31st, 2008

For the last years Halloween has become more and more popular to celebrate in Sweden. During the last week I’ve seen a lot of Halloween related merchandise and even ghost and pumpkin pastries in our local bakery. This year, my first in a house, we’ve carved a pumpkin and we’ve bought candies for the children that might come to trick or treat. I’m not so sure if anyone will pass by, but you never know.

I was very eager to try the new pumpkin shaped cookie cutter that I received in my blogging my mail parcel the other day, so I tried to find a good cut out cookie recipe. I decided to try a recipe from Allrecipes that I adjusted a bit, the biggest change was to add cardamom. The recipe is super simple and the cookies taste great; I believe it’s one of the best cut out recipes that I’ve tried. I decorated stems with melted chocolate and I piped faces with icing that I made with orange food colouring, icing sugar and a tiny splash of water.

    Cut out cookies
    adapted from Allrecipes

    1 1/2 cups butter, softened
    2 cups vanilla infused sugar
    4 eggs
    5 cups flour
    2 tsp baking powder
    1.5 tsp ground cardamom

    Beat butter and sugar with an electric beater until fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time. Add flour, cardamom and baking powder. Combine. Cover dough and chill in the fridge for one hour.
    Preheat oven to 200 degrees C. Roll out dough on floured surface, about 1 cm thick. Cut out cookies with a cookie cutter. Place cookies on baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Bake 6-10 minutes, make sure not to burn. Let cool before decorating.

Daring Bakers: Pizzas in the air!

Wednesday, October 29th, 2008

One, two…..

Today you’ll find over 1000 blog posts about pizza as it’s Daring Bakers time again! This month’s challenge was to toss and makes pizzas. The recipe was choosen by Rosa and can be found here.

….three!

This challenge is one of the best so far, not because of the recipe but because I made it together with Anne at my place. The evening before she came I prepared the dough. It was super easy to prepare and on the next day when she came we made the tossing, topping and baking. The tossing was fun, but it was impossible for the pizza dough to stay intact after the tossing. So after each tossing we had to re-shape the pizzas…. We prepared the pizza doughs and then we involved our husbands with letting them top their own pizzas. For topping we choose between mozzarella cheese, salami, ham, red onion, fresh mushrooms, ruccola, and ready made tomato sauce. We baked the pizzas on our Ipinium oven sheets, they worked great as pizza stones thanks to their heat retention and distribution.

Sharing a challenge with a friend is so much nicer that doing it yourself, so if you have a Daring Baker close by don’t hesitate to do the next challenge together! I promise you’ll have a lot of fun! To see Anne’s post about our pizza making go to this page.

Ready to put into the oven.

Ready to eat!

Blogging by mail

Monday, October 27th, 2008

On Friday I received my secret blogging by mail parcel. I love participating in blogging by mail and food blogging by post (the European version) as it’s so much fun sending and receiving parcels! It’s a great way to get to know other people and cultures. It turned out that this time my parcel came all the way from Ohio in the US, from a fellow Daring Baker: Fran at Apples Peaches Pumpkin Pie. Thank you so much for your lovely parcel, Fran! And thanks to Stephanie at Dispensing Happiness for hosting the event. And the parcel that I sent? It is travelling to another continent….

Below you can see all the great things that I received from sweet Fran:

There’s something special with handwritten letters. I will make someone happy with handwritten letters written on the included stationary.

I’ve always been wanting American measuring cups so that I don’t need to convert all those recipes that I try out, so I was very happy for these.

I love mustard! And the silicone pot holder will come in handy.

The tangy lemon heads are my kind of sweets, lovely! The jellies were bought at the farmer’s market, I havn’t tried them yet but they look very promising.

I love cookie cutters and this pumpkin shaped one will surely be used during this week with Halloween coming up! On the picture you can also see cute party bags and even cuter cupcake sticks with animals!

Mmm, oatmeal scotchies. Delicious!!!

The cats were very curious when the parcel arrived

Do men need their own food magazine?

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2008

I was surprised today when I received a press release for a new Swedish food magazine especially for men. I just can’t figure out why there is a need for a food magazine for men, other than the magazine wants sponsors and ads that are directed to men. I havn’t seen the magazine yet, so I probably shouldn’t question it. But I saw some notes about the contents and if I was a man I would be affended. Affended that my interests allegedly would be where to find the cheapest beer or being interested in what relationship semi famous people have to coffee. No, stay online and read all lovely food blogs instead, there are plenty of excellent food blogs written by men:

David Lebovitz
Cooking for Engineers
Dad – Baker & Chef
Real Epicurean
Spittoon Extra
Matblogg (in Swedish)

Apple and Rosemary syrup

Sunday, October 19th, 2008

Today I realized that I havn’t written anything during the last two weeks. My schedule has been a bit busy and I havn’t really had the time. Yesterday I came home from Denmark and tomorrow I’m off to Finland. By now my collegues are used to that I always buy moomin cookie cutters on my way home from business trips in Finland :-)

I’m not lucky enough to have an apple tree in my garden. The garden is very rocky and I’m still searching for a good spot to plant a tree. This lovely apple syrup, made of store bought apples, is easy to make and tastes delicious. Blend it with water for a refreshing drink in a 1:4 ratio.

    Apple and Rosemary syrup
    (makes just shy of 1 litre)

    700 ml water
    1.5 kg red rather tart apples
    200 gram sugar per 1 litre of liquid (see below for more info)
    4 fresh Rosemary twigs

    Wash the apples. Cut in slices with peel on. Don’t remove the cores. Let the apples simmer with water and rosemary twigs in a large sauce pan for 15 minutes or until the apples are soft. Strain the mixture through a very fine strainer, don’t press it through let it drop slowly for at least one hour.

    Discard the apples and rosemary. Measure the strained liquid. For every 1 litre of liquid, add 200 gram of sugar. Bring to boil in sauce pan and let simmer for 15 minutes. Carefully skim froth with a spoon. Pour the warm syrup into clean and sterilized bottles. Keep the syrup in the fridge. It will hold for around a month.

Lingonberry drink

Sunday, October 5th, 2008

This is a tasty autumnal lingonberry drink which can be made with alcohol or without. Both variants taste great. Unfortunately I didn’t have enough fresh lingonberries in the garden (I have a couple of wild plants), so I used frozen half thawed ones. The colour of the drink is gorgeous and makes you forget all about rainy and cold evenings, especially if you add rum :-)

    One glass of lingonberry drink

    1/3 cup (around 80 ml) lingonberries
    2 tsp demerara sugar
    1 tbsp black currant syrup
    ice cubes
    sparkling water
    fresh mint leaves
    optional: a splash or two of rum

    Muddle lingonberries, sugar and black currant cordial directly in a glass. Add rum to taste if wanted :-) Stir well. Fill the glass with ice cubes and sparkling water. Add a couple of mint leaves and serve immediately.


Some of the lingonberries in my garden.

Hötorgshallen is celebrating 50 years

Wednesday, October 1st, 2008

Hötorgshallen, one of the indoor food markets in Stockholm, is celebrating 50 years. Yesterday evening was the opening for the celebrations that will be ongoing from October 2nd until October 4th. There was a lot of people present last evening, mingling and trying out different goodies from the sellers: fresh oysters, sushi, Finnish boeuf Bourgignon, meze, and so much more. More information about the coming days, in Swedish, can be found here.