Homegrown watermelons

February 15, 2010

As a contrast to last time’s snow post I thought it would be fun to show you my watermelons that I planted and grew last year. The plants were planted in large pots on the terrace and I pollinated the flowers with a small brush. Both varieties seen on the photos, Sweet Sibirian and Cream of Saskatchewan were supposed to have a final weight of 4.5 kg but ended up very small yet still extremely tasty. It’s quite unusual to grow watermelons in Sweden, especially if you don’t have any greenhouse. It’s hard to say if it was worth the effort since the harvest only resulted in 4-5 tiny watermelons but it was indeed a treat to eat them.

Hot cocoa in the snow

January 31, 2010

I often think about how lucky I am to live here, in this house and neighbourhood, with my husband. We live in the middle of three bays all within a 5 minute walk. One of them has a lovely beach, with people bathing in summer and ice skating in winter. We have a really cold winter this year with an enormous amount of snow. Some people would just stay at home but we’ve been out both days this weekend. Today we prepared hot cocoa in a thermos bottle that we packed together with something warm to sit on before heading to our beach. We stopped by our local bakery to buy two semla and then we trudged through the snow to a wooden dock where we drank our piping hot cocoa and ate the delicious semlas while enjoying the sun and snow. We returned home with frost nipped cheeks but very happy.

Hot cocoa and semla.

Happy in the snow!

Enjoying the view.

The black dots are people and children ice skating on a ploughed track.

A glass of instant happiness

January 29, 2010

It’s impossible to not smile while pouring this juice into a glass. It’s impossible to not feel happy when drinking it. Instant happiness.

    Peel 1 kg of blood oranges. Process them together with 2 unpeeled apples in a juicer. Indulge!

Exotic fruit with spicy dipping sauce (+ a new guest in the garden)

January 7, 2010

During the last week we’ve had around -20 degrees C in Stockholm. That is way too cold for me and I’m worried about my peach tree since it’s exposed being planted in a pot. I can only hope it will survive the winter. However it is a treat sitting in the living room looking out through our large windows while the roe deers are strolling in our snowy garden.

The roe deers still visit the garden, especially during winter. For a more unusual visit see further down.

December and January is a very good season for citrus, which makes you forget all about the snowy winter landscape outside the window. My favourite is pomelo and I love eating a whole one which I peel and prepare while watching TV. Although in this “dish” I prepared some other exotic fruit that I served with a spicy dipping sauce and brought to Anne’s annual Twelfthnight Eve dinner as one of my 4 dishes.

    Exotic fruit with spicy dipping sauce

    Various fruit (I served Rambutan, Mangosteen, golden Kiwi fruit, Mango and Rose Apple. Feel free to substitute with other fruit to your liking).

    (adapted from Äta ris – maten och livet i Vietnam by Minh Du Alneng)
    1 large whole cinnamon
    2 vanilla beans
    2 whole star anises
    the juice from 1 lime
    50 ml lemon & lime honey from Lustgården
    400 ml water
    A pinch of pepper

    Bring all ingredients except for the pepper to boil. Let simmer for around 15 minutes. Let cool in a fridge overnight. Before serving strain add pepper and serve with fruit.

Today I saw an elk outside the window, I’ve never seen any in my neighbourhood earlier and I haven’t seen a wild one since I was a kid.

Happy New Year!

December 31, 2009

I know I have not been very active with the blog this year. It has been a tough year but I have been thinking a lot about the blog and my dear readers. I really appreciate all emails and comments that you’re sending and I’m so thankful for your patience with my irregular updates. I have a huge backlog of recipes and restaurant visits that I will try to post during the beginning of next year.

I wish you all the best for the new year and that all your wishes will be fullfilled! I hope next year will be a wonderful and exciting year full of sweet treats for all of us!

Take care!

Today is the last day for donating to Menu for Hope 6. If you have the possibility please make a contribution here at the same time as you have the possibility to win great food related prizes.

Mini trifles

December 22, 2009

We had a Christmas party for our friends a couple of weeks ago. It took some time to decide what to serve for dessert so I ended up making two different ones. As we were having some British guests I wanted to make trifle and I decided to make individual ones as I came to the conclusion that one big trifle would become extremly messy when serving a lot of people. Also when making individual trifles it’s easy to make an alcohol free batch for drivers – still someone managed to hit our neighbour’s mailbox really hard after the party, but that’s another story… :-)

    Mini trifles
    (a rough sketch. serves 30 people)

    30 plastic cups
    1 sponge cake (I baked a normal one in a loaf pan. When cool I cut it in half length wise and then I cut 15 slices which resulted in 30 pieces)
    around 500 gram thawed berries (a mix of raspberries, bilberries, red currants, blackberries)
    around 700 ml vanilla custard (I was lazy and used store bought ready custard)
    Sherry to taste – optional
    sugar – optional (since the other dessert that I served was extremely sweet I omitted sugar in this one as I thought the custard was sweet enough).
    500 ml double cream, whipped
    two large handfuls of unsalted pistachios, chopped

    Place a slice of sponge cake in each cup. Next place berries in each cup, sprinkle with sugar if wanted. Drizzle sherry. Pour some custard in each cup. Next divide the whipped cream and finish with pistachios.

Doughnut plant, New York City

December 21, 2009

All kinds of yummy doughnuts!

A couple of days ago we came home after a spending a whole week in New York City. It was an incredible week, full of delicious food and sights! One day we decided to get some doughnuts at Doughnut Plant. They use all natural ingredients without any transfats and no preservatives. It was extremely tough to choose just one so we decided to skip lunch and ended up with a whole box that we brought back to the hotel along with some coffee. Yum! Did I say yum? Double yum! Triple yum! Yum yum yum! They were the best doughnuts that I’ve ever had! Please Santa, open a Doughnut plant in Stockholm! Please!

This is how happy you look when you have a box of doughnuts!

This is what we bought: Tres leches doughnut, marcipan doughnut, vanilla bean doughnut, 2 Crème brûlé doughnuts (caramelized doughnut filled with crème brûlé), square doughnut with peanut butter glaze and blackberry jelly, blackout doughnut (chocolate doughnut filled with chocolate pudding and covered in cake crumbles) and coconut glaze doughnut with coconut cream filling. And no, we did not manage to eat all :-(

I think this was my favourite one; a square doughnut with coconut glaze and coconut cream filling. Amazing!

Doughnut Plant
379 Grand Street, New York, NY 10002

Coconut brittle

December 13, 2009

I love coconut and came up with the idea to add some shredded coconut instead of almonds and spices when making brittle. The result was delicious and super easy to make.

    Coconut brittle

    200 ml caster sugar
    25 gram butter
    100 ml shredded unsweetened coconut to mix in
    50 ml shredded unsweetened coconut to sprinkle over parchment paper

    Put sugar and butter in a frying pan. Let melt on low-medium heat while stirring (preferably with a silicon ladle). When the mixture has become golden coloured shredded coconut. Combine carefully.
    Pour the mixture over a big baking sheet lined with parchment paper and covered with shredded coconut. Cover with another parchment paper and carfully roll with a rolling pin until spread thinly and evenly. Allow to cool, then break into pieces.