March 30, 2006


This Saturday I celebrated my birthday two days in advance just to get the chance to serve my friends lots and lots of waffles. March 25th is Waffle day here. I didn´t get to take pictures of those waffles so the one in the picture is made yesterday of a new wholemeal mix A found in the shop. Tasty and healthy (well, without the cream and the jam perhabs), but the home made I served on Saturday were better! With the waffles I served cloudberry jam (which is the perfect jam for waffles, really) and my own redcurrant/raspberry/vanilla jam (which is not too bad either), and whipped cream.
A special thank you to my mother and my dear boyfriend who helped out in the kitchen. It takes a lot of waffle batter, cream and coffee to entertain 14 guests!

The recipe comes from an organisation here in my hometown Södertälje which run the ski slope here. To make money to run the the snow machine and whatnot they sell these waffles. Thank God, the recipe is not a secret! They even have postcards with it! This batter is practical and keep well since it contains no eggs. I you want to make less waffles just half it, and if you want to serve the waffles with something savoury as a starter just skip the sugar.

Backstugans våfflor
20-25 waffles
1200 ml plain wheat flour, you can substitute wholemeal flour for some of it if you want
4 tbsp caster sugar
pinch of salt
1000 ml milk
250 grams melted butter or margarine (but I never use margarine)
400 ml sparkling mineral water, that is what makes them so crisp...

Whisk it all together and make sure there are no lumps. Let sit for 15 minutes and then bake away!

Here comes the sun!

I have coffee week this week and one of my responsibilities besides from emptying the dishwashers and clean the coffee machine is to buy something nice for the office fika on Thursday afternoon. I spent lunch in a dark sushi restaurant but when I came out on the street afterwards the SUN had come! And when I went up to Stortorget to get the nice thing for the coffee they were building up verandas outside the cafés. That is a really springy thing to do, building verandas! And the sun. Yesterday it rained, also a snowkiller but not nearly as nice as the sun.

Another thing I am happy about is that my EBBP parcel has arrived safely with Petra of Chili und Ciabatta in Bavaria, southern Germany. Now remains to get a parcel myself, still no sign of it but hopefully I will get it today or tomorrow.

By the way, do you know what I called spaghetti when I was little? My mother reminded me when she visited me. Sun sticks! I must have been thinking of how it looks when you draw a sun. A round in the middle and then the straight sunrays pointing out - I thought they looked like spaghetti. Rather cute.

March 28, 2006


Last Friday I tried a new place, Gooh! Behind this very very stupid name is a cooperation between one of the finest restaurants in Stockholm, Operakällaren, and one of Sweden´s cooperations for farmers, Lantmännen. The idea is to sell really good ready meals to people on the move - to bring home for dinner or to work for lunch. This concept is actually not very common in Stockholm yet, either you have to go to a restaurant to pick up a ready meal or buy something boring and fatty at the grocery store.

We were very tired after a busy week and the timing was right to drop by and pick up something to eat in front of the TV... A. chose tandoori chicken with rice and vegetables and I chose soup with lime, lemongrass, chilli, mussels and vegetables. And the verdict?

Prize: reasonable - not too much but not too cheap either if you know what I mean. I don´t like my food to be too cheap, makes me suspicious
Looks: very very good!
Smells: delicious, and A´s chicken was even better
Taste: great
Size: a bit too small for a mussel soup, the shells fill up quite a bit so really it looks more than it really is...
Recommended? Oooh yes, if you are in Stockholm and want good food to go. Also they have microwave ovens in the shop if you want to eat it on the spot.

March 27, 2006

Ginger green noodle salad

To those of you who are waiting for that cabbage pudding recipe: sorry, but I am tired of wintery food now so you will have to wait... I also have a lot of other things to write about, like it is my birthday today and it is (you wouldn´t guess, would you?) Snowing! Gah. I just waved off my mother who has been visiting all weekend, we have done lots of lovely things and eaten lots of other lovely things. We started out with this salad on Friday night. I have a lot of aunts, and one of them works on trains up north. Well, it is a long story but it finishes with her arranging my uncle going to Stockholm central and somewhere on a platform meeting someone handing him a bag of fresh prawns from Norway which he and his wife, my other aunt, brought to me, together with Mum who they picked up on the way. ("Oh, perhabs you´d better not write about this", my uncle said. "I am not sure it is legal to get prawns from Norway this way?") Well, I take the risk because it is such a good story and the prawns were fantastic. *Waving to the occasional customs spy who might read this*

Long story again. To accompany these possibly illegal prawns I made this salad. I got it on a buffet last weekend and after tasting it made sure I got the recipe! It has it all. It is fresh, it is soooo tasty (if you like ginger), it has a good combination of texture with both crunch and smoothness, and above all it is beautiful with all its shades of green. I also made a fruit salad with fresh mango, pineapple and finely chopped red chili, and the fantastic bread. For dessert we had Norwegian Römme, made from a jar which also was in that illegal bag. A very fat, smooth porridge served with cinnamon and caster sugar! An interesting cross over-dinner!

Green ginger noodle salad.
Recipe from Arla
Serves 10 on a buffet
200 grams egg noodles
2 tbsp neutral oil, like canola, corn or sunflower
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon ground ginger, I used fresh and a little more...
pinch of salt
freshly ground black pepper
2 spring onions, finely sliced
1 cucumber, cut in half lengthwise, deseeded and sliced
about 1 litre of mixed green lettuce - rocket, spinach, romain...whatever you fancy
I also added sugar snaps and green peppers. Zucchini might have worked too

Lemon dressing
300 ml plain yoghurt, I used turkish thick yoghurt
zest and juice from half a lemon
1 small garlic clove, pressed
small pinch of salt and black pepper

Boil the noodles according to instructions. Rinse them with cold water and let them drain off. Use a pair of scissors and cut a few times directly in the bowl, to make it easier to serve and eat... Pour in a big bowl and stir in the oil, lemon juice, ginger, salt and pepper. Prepare the veggies. Mix the dressing. All this can be made ahead. Before serving, mix the noodles carefully with the veggies and drizzle over some of the dressing, serve the rest on the side. Delicious with chicken, prawns, on its own... It keeps in the fridge for 1-2 days.

March 22, 2006


Unbelievable. U-n-b-e-l-i-e-v-a-b-l-e. It is snowing again, and not very little either. Aargh. This is the view from my window at work five minutes ago. I like snow, but not in the end of March. Please, stop.

The good news are that blogger seems to cooperate again. And aren´t the houses beautiful? I work in Old Town where many of the buildings origin in the 16th and 17th century.

Now back to work again. I don´t blog at work normally but I just had to let out some steam now. Snow. Really. Stop it! I want flowers and little birds singing. Chirp chirp. And warm winds. Sun sun!

March 21, 2006

I´m alive!

Sorry for my long silence, but life is crazy right now with lots and lots to do IRL. Sigh. Yesterday I wrote a long post on cabbage pudding though, but when I tried to upload a picture it didn´t work, and when I tried to publish it it didin´t work and when I tried to save as draft it all disappeared.
But well, I´m still alive and will get back with my cabbage pudding and more. Sorry. (And blogger should be sorry too)

March 12, 2006

Sweet potato baby soup

Sometimes it just doesn´t turn out like you thought it should, right? Like this soup. Let me give you some advice: don´t purée all your soup. If you don´t like baby food texture, that is... I should also have added some onion but felt lazy this Saturday evening. All I wanted to do was sinking down on the couch with some comforting soup and watch the Swedish semi-finals for the Eurovision song contest. Here in this country this is a serious, serious matter with four semi-finals and one final - accompanied by truckloads of shocking news about the artists, the artists´clothes, how the artists enjoyed themselves after the semi-finals and how those who didn´t pass sulked.

All in all the evening was a success. The soup was smooth and slightly sweet, the feta cheese crème adding some saltiness together with some parma ham to nibble, and some really good tomatoes. And Carola won. She is not my favourite, but at least she knows what she is doing and how to sing...

Sweet potato soup
serves 4

1 large sweet potato
4 potatoes
1 yellow onion, finely chopped, or some shalotts
500 ml chicken stock
salt, pepper
fresh herbs, I used chives but parsley or coriander would be nice too

Make feta cheese crème with 50 grams feta cheese and a splash of olive oil mixed together with a fork. Sometimes I also add some creme fraiche to bind it together.

Peel and cut the potatoes and let simmer until soft in the stock with the onions, about 20 minutes. Pour half of it together with some liquid in a can or something and purée with a handheld mixer. Then pour it back with the rest and give it a blast with a steel whisk or a fork until you get the righ texture. Spice to taste and serve with the feta and some nice bread.

March 11, 2006

Hot dogs

And who are these people? Who are the man shyly covering his face in the middle of the picture? What are they doing, poking around with sticks and even a whole tree branch, with sausages in the top?

Answer: this is my brother´s hot dog birthday party on the top of a small mountain just behind my grandmother´s house, very close to my parent´s farm. We are all trying to cope with the roaring fire to the right, but not visible in the picture. (My father got a bit freaked out when he still hadn´t got up there by 12.30 and the guests would arrive by 13. So he just rushed to the task and built a slightly over-dimensioned fire.) As you can see it was a glorious day with bright sunshine, and the temperature some degrees below zero. Perfect. Also, read about my brother´s party the night before, catered by me and Mum.

The man with his back to the camera and the very long barbecue branch is married to my aunt, and very inventive. This was his way to grill hot dogs for himself and his wife without getting smoke in his eyes. (Of course the wind came from the wrong direction, it always does when you have hot dog parties). Also the fire was *very* hot to come near.
My uncle, crouching in the middle and covering his eyes, not because he is shy but because of the smoke and the heat) frowned at his brother-in-law and called that barbecue branch the most cowardice way to grill a hot dog he ever has seen. As you can see, my uncle, as a hard core griller, uses a much shorter stick for his sausage.
Cough cough cough.

But the hot dog party was great anyway, we all got as much hot dogs as we could possibly eat and nothing tastes so good as something eaten outside in winter! Hot dogs grilled over open fire outdoors, with bread, mustard and ketchup and soda to drink is a real feast. As a tribute to old tradition I dropped one of my hot dogs in the fire (on purpose, of course! ;-) but fished it out again, brushed off the soot and ate it anyway. Just like when I was eight. A difference from the 80´s though is that my mother had bought wholemeal hot dog bread, which is very good. One of my aunts also made a hot dog for granny, who is 90 years old and couldn´t get up to the party. She participated later though in hot dog party part 2 when we got back to my parent´s for coffee and birthday cake.

March 07, 2006

"Australian" sandwiches

I was born in the end of March and demand flowers for my birthday. No, not in vases (even though it is nice of course). The main thing is they should grow, from the soil, together with the grass. Under the hot sun. Coltsfoot (tussilago) is most important for me, but also crocus and the delicate white snowdrops, I didn´t find the word in the dictionary so that is a direct translation. Well, well - the spring seem to be lurking somewhere faaar away right now and also for the upcoming weeks. The forecasts say at least one more week with degrees much below zero and lots of snow. And I don´t mind, it is absolutely stunning to see Stockholm in winter. But how will there be time for all the snow to disappear and the flowers to come in just a couple of days, in time for my birthday? I am just asking.

Until then I dedicate to the winter´s joys, like standing on the lake (yes, 30 cm of ice) in the blazing sun which just has begun to warm a little on my face and eat "Australian" sandwiches and drink hot chocolate. The quotation marks means I am not sure it is Australian with grated carrots in sandwiches, but I have never seen it since I was there. It is great, really, to substitute a little pile of grated raw carrot instead of using the boring tomatoes you get here in winter. It is cheap, tasty, crunchy and the sandwiches don´t get soggy. Our sandwiches (wholemeal polar bread) also contained smoked ham and cheese. Nothing special, but everything tastes so fantastic when you eat outside! We also got to try A´s new ice-drill and saw, which we used for making a hole in the ice. He has built a sauna by the lake, see, and we need somewhere to cool off! But that´s another story, cooking for winter-bathing...

P.S. Ice-drills are *very* sharp! Make sure you bring some plasters if you want to try exactly how sharp they are D.S.

March 05, 2006

Leftover beefs with quinoa, chick peas and coriander

I am trying to get better at using leftovers, and today I had some quinoa I had to get rid of before it was too late. Quinoa is really getting one of my absolute favourites. So tasty, still not "taking over" other tastes, and so very versatile. I have also found a brand which is not bitter at all, I still rinse it but I don´t think I really would have to...

My other mission, apart from leftovers, is to taste coriander and today I grabbed the last plant in the grocery store and carried it home in triumph! The smell is intriguing, I cannot figure out what it reminds me of. And it is NOT cat pee, like many people say! It is something parsnips? I don´t know. But I am definitely going to try it out with root vegetables. Anyway, I ended up in the coriander/cilantro lovers group.

Over to the beefs. And hey, only two more days to go witout photos!

Quinoa/Chick peas/coriander "beefs"
Serves 4-5 people if you serve it with some other things too...
200 ml cooked quinoa
200 grams chick peas, home cooked or from a jar
a small bunch chopped fresh coriander
1 small onion, finely chopped and sautéed until a little soft and shiny
optional 1 garlic clove, finely chopped and sautéed
good pinch of each salt and pepper
optional a little lemon zest, but I really couldn´t find the lemon in the ready product ;-). Remains to be experimented with...
1 egg

Start with mashing the chick peas, I used a handheld mixer. Then stir in quinoa, onion, coriander and spice. Finish with the egg and stir until you get a smooth mix that holds together nicely and can be formed in neat little beefs or patties. Mine were maybe 5 cm in diameter.
Fry them in butter or oil on medium heat until they are golden brown. Serve at once with for example chicken and a dollop of thick yoghurt and mango chutney.
I didn´t have it, but I would guess a salad with avocado, different green leaves and a light lemon dressing tastes fantastic on the side... (Hmm, perhabs that´s where the lemon should be, instead of in the beefs)

March 03, 2006

Friday fun

Haha, I found a link to this - quite fun to play with on a Friday afternoon! This is what I found out about myself.

Ten Top Trivia Tips about Clivia!

  1. Thirty-five percent of the people who use personal ads for dating are Clivia! (Clivia comments: hmmm... no comments)
  2. Clivia is often used in place of milk in food photography, because milk goes soggy more quickly than Clivia. (Clivia comments: Oooh yes, I am so pale)
  3. If the annual Australian Clivia crop was laid end to end, it would stretch around the world seven times! (Clivia comments: Am I that tall?)
  4. The fingerprints of Clivia are virtually indistinguishable from those of humans, so much so that they could be confused at a crime scene. (Clivia comments: Hmm, that can come in handy some time)
  5. Clivia can fly at an average speed of fifteen kilometres an hour! (Clivia comments: Flying would be cool. But the commuter train seems to be faster)
  6. The moon is 400 times closer to the Earth than Clivia, and 400 times smaller! (Clivia comments: Are you insinuating something? Humph)
  7. Humans have 46 chromosomes, peas have 14, and Clivia has 7! (Clivia comments: What´s that supposed to mean?)
  8. Neil Armstrong first stepped on Clivia with his left foot! (Clivia comments: Ouch!)
  9. You share your birthday with Clivia. (Clivia comments: Congrats, not even a month to go...)
  10. If you toss Clivia 10000 times, she will not land heads 5000 times, but more like 4950, because her head weighs more and thus ends up on the bottom. (Clivia comments: Never been god at statistics, but are you talking about my physical state on Monday mornings?)

I am interested in - do tell me about

March 02, 2006

Mediterranean mince beefs

Today I felt like cooking for the first time in days and to celebrate this I made an old favourite of mine, "Mediterranean" mince beefs in tomato sauce. Very easy to prepare, and very reviving with strong colours and lots of flavour. I guess you can find similar recipes almost everywhere but this is my version. I like it because it is not impossible to pull off even if you have had a hard day at work...

Serves 3-4
400 g lamb mince, you can use other mince if you don´t like lamb
2 schalotts or half yellow onion, very finely chopped
optional 1 very finely chopped garlic clove
1 egg
good pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper
some dried or fresh herb, today I used dried mint
50 g fetta cheese

1 packet of crushed tomato or peeled and roughly chopped fresh tomato
optional some more chopped onion, I never use it because I have to go easy on onion when I am cooking for A, whose stomach doesn´t agree with this veg...
salt, pepper and a pinch of sugar
more herbs, today I used a big bunch of fresh parsley, roughly chopped

Mix the mince with the onion, egg and spice. Shape it into six rather big, flat balls and dig in some fetta cheese in the middle.
Brown the beefs some at a time in oil or butter and put aside. I just do this for the colour, they aren´t to be done! Fry the onion for the sauce if you want onion, add the tomato and spice. Put in the beefs, put a lid on the frying pan if you have one and let te beefs cook in the sauce for about 10 minutes until cooked through. Add a little water if the sauce gets too thick. Spice to taste with salt and pepper and serve with rice, quinoa or maybe potato wedges.
An idea I got today but didn´t try out is to add some chickpeas in the sauce, to make it more filling - maybe I´ll try it next time instead.

March 01, 2006

10 random facts about me

Don´t know where is comes from, just know everyone is doing it. Me too. You too?
  1. I never learned how to park between two other cars on the side of the road, you know what I mean? It is called pocket parking in Swedish. My driving teacher didn´t find it necessary - apparently she thought I would stay in my hometown all my life where there´s plenty of parking space everywhere
  2. I like to sing, soprano
  3. My second name (which by the way comes before my given name), is Eva
  4. I have once made it to the semi-finals in a competition for looking things up in the telephone catalogue as quickly as possible
  5. I almost never wear makeup since I don´t really know how to apply it
  6. I love all smoked food - fish, meat and cheese
  7. I can drive a tractor if I really have to
  8. I have a lot of grey hairs, dyes it sometimes but actually I like it as it is
  9. I have never eaten fresh coriander
  10. I have once fed fruit to a large flying dog called Pusjkin , in a bat sanctuary in Cape Tribulation Australia. And I am afraid of bats! But he was so cute.