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Saturday ice cream

cardemon parfait with chocolate sauce and merignes (and pomegrantes seeds)

whisk 3 egg yolks, 1.5 dl powdered suger, pinch of cardemon and squeeze of lemon until frothy.  in an another bowl whisk 4 dl heavy cream until fluffy then fold into egg mixture

cover a form with plastic wrap as shown and then pour mix into form, place in freezer for 4 hours or more

when done it can easily be sliced to serve

mergines: 3 egg whites, 2 dl suger, 3-4 drops lemon juice

mix the egg whites at medium speed for 2 minutes then add sugar and lemon juice and mix until thick and frothy

place mix in pastry bag

make small puffs

after an hour at 100C and another hour at 60C they are done!

chocolate sauce
chop up 150g of milk chocolate

after boiling 3 dl heavy cream, remove cream from stove top for 2 minutes, add chocolate to cream and stir


Pizza a la Tony

For those of you who do not live in Sweden, it may seem strange but pizza is as Swedish as it gets.  I saw in a documentary on Swedish food culture that pizza was brought over during the mid 1970's.  Now pizza is common place in pretty much every city and town.  Smaller cities that don't have sushi have pizza, cities that don't have Mexican or Thai food have pizza.  Pizza has become so big in Sweden that it is everywhere, almost to the point where it is EVERYWHERE.  For example in our little neighborhood we have four pizzarias with a 3 to 5 minute walk from each other (unfortunately none of them are great).  Do not get me wrong, the are a lot of great pizzarias in Stockholm just not in my neighborhood.

Pizza is actually easy to make.  It's a fun thing to do with the kids if you have the time and patience.    Another great thing about making your own is that you can put toppings on that maybe your local pizza joint doesn't carry.

To start make the dough.  You can even make the dough the night before to save time.

50g yeast
5 dl water
1 dl olive oil
12 dl flour
2 tblsp salt

In a food processor blend the yeast with room temperature water and olive oil.  Let it work for 1 or 2 minutes.  Add half the flour, let it work for 2 minutes.  Add salt and the rest of the flour.  Let it work for 15 minutes.  Then place a towel over the dough and let it rise, should take about 30 minutes.  Then take out the dough and make tennis size balls.  Place a wet towel over the dough/balls and let it rise for another 30 minutes.

While the yeast is doing it's thing make the tomato sauce.

1 yellow onion
4 slices of red chili
3 garlic gloves
2 tblsp olive oil
1 bunch oregeno
1 tblsp sugar
2 cans whole tomato
salt / pepper

Sear the onion, chili, garlic and oregeno in olive oil.  Pour in the tomatos, let it cook for 15-20 minutes.  Season with salt, pepper and suger.  Mix it with hand mixer or blender.  Let it cool down.  

my kids made their own pizza tonight

Shape the dough into small pizzas.  Put on a warm baking tray.  Pour on sauce and garnish with your topping, cheese etc.  Today we used chedder and mozzarella,  olives, prociutto and mushrooms on one pizza and on the other goat cheese, mushrooms, figs and walnuts.  If using dried meats like prociutto I recommend placing it on the pizza when it is done same with ruccula, spinach and basil.


vegetarian of the week

Polenta breaded haloumi served with cous cous and eggplant creme

One night a week we try to eat a vegetarian dish.  More on that later...This dish has a lot of ingridients but it's fast to make.  When going vegetarian,  Haloumi is a good substitute for meat and it's easy to work with.  Today I breaded the haloumi in polenta to give it a crispy crust.  I use the big round  cous cous because i like the texture but you can use whatever cous cous you prefer.

4 dl cous cous
1/2 cauliflower
10 cherry tomatos
1 bunch baby spinach
1 bunch cilantro
3 scallions
1/2 pomegranite
1 pinch of red chili
1/2 red onion

2 packages haloumi
1-2 dl polenta

1 eggplant
5 gloves garlic
1 dl creme friache 
squeeze of lemon
1 pinc of grounded cumin

Start with the eggplant.  Place the whole eggplant and the garlic (with the skin on) on a tray in the oven, at 200 C for 25 minutes or until the eggplant is soft and soggy.  Skin the eggplant and then blend it with with the garlic lemon, cumin and creme fraiche, salt and pepper

Mean while, boil the cous cous and rinse in cold water, boil the cauliflower and rinse in cold water.  Chop the scallions, the cilantro, the spinach, the onion, the tomatos and the chili and place everything in a bowl.  Take out the pomegranite seeds and put them into the mix... an easy way to deseed a pomegranite is to cut the fruit in half, then hold one half in one hand while banging the closed end with a hard sppon as showed in the picture above.  Cut up the haloumi and bread it in the polenta (you can even use bread crumbs or panko or seasame seeds, etc.)  Sear in olive oil, takes about 1 minute on each side and then place in oven to keep warm.  Sear the cous cous mix in olive oil.  Done.


Apple Sauce (Äppelmos)

To make your own apple sauce (äppelmos) is very easy and you don't have to worry about preservatives and other chemicals which you have no idea of their uses.  When I make apple sauce I  choose to leave the skin on because it saves you some time on the pealing and there is a lot of vitamins in the skin as well.  It might not be as smooth as if you peal the apples but if you give it a good mix you can't really tell the difference.  If you want to preserve it then when the apple sauce is done put it in a clean glass jar with some kind of  seal then  put the jar in a large pot to boil for about 20 minutes.  By preserving it the sauce will hold for about 2 to 3 months in your fridge (if you don't open it), once you open it then it is good for about 3 weeks.

6-7 Apples
2-3 cinnamon sticks
1/2 vanilla bean
1.5 dl suger
2dl water
1/2 lemon

Put everything in a pot, simmer for 35 minutes. 
Let rest for 35 minutes.
Take out the lemon, the cinnamon stick and vainlla bean.
Mix it with a hand mixer or a blender until smooth.


Sunday Thoughts!

Kids! It is a touchy subject... kids and food. No one likes to be told what to do, how to raise their kids but everybody needs help. Food and sleep are often the most difficult challanges when raising young ones. I have no answers but I can share my thoughts and experiences.

picking berries a grandpa's house
plate licking good
"hmmm looks healthy"
spagehtti bolognese, every kids favorite

I am a man of many empty threats (not advised) but when it comes to food it's "eat or get out". Today my kids are 1.5 and 3.5 and they eat everything. My oldest is going through a phase... " I don't eat..." this or that phase but in the end it's always the same with me "eat whats on the table or go hungry". I make one dinner a night, if you are hungry you will eat it. It may sound hard core and I would never force my kids to eat anything, my thought is "if you don't like it don't eat it".

At around 9 months old boths our kids ate "real" food.   Before that it was mashed fruits and veggies and/or breast milk. All fresh fruits and veggies, no bottled or premade baby foods. I think that when it comes to food and kids the sooner the better and show no fear. Also, as with everything with kids if you give in and make pancakes or pasta and meatballs for dinner just because they don't want fish then you are screwed for life. Kids remember... and from then on it is a two dinner household.

fork in hand

our biggest meat eater waiting patiently

Let a kid be a kid? Absolutely, but a kid is a kid. I don't think that you need to introduce candy, they'll ask when they are ready and even then it can be put off a bit... does 2 year old really need candy? Tilda, my 3.5 year old has had candy maybe five or six times total and then it has been because others have given it to her at birthday parties. But, don't get me wrong... our kids get plenty of sweets. During the summer they get ice cream almost everyday and then there is Swedish fika which is hard to avoid... cookies, pastries, etc. Now during the winter when most people have Saturday cany we have Saturday ice cream.

Saturday ice cream

Fall picnic
As I cook every night and often throughout the day on weekends it is a big part of our life. We spend a lot of time in the kitchen and my kids help (or think they do) when I cook. I think it is important to keep them involved. I tell them where things come from and even when we go to the country I try to explain that the lamb they see in the field is the same kind of animal we eat for dinner.

helping mix pancakes
baking bread
making oatmeal cookies

We bake bread, make cookies, stews, pasta, fry fish and chicken. We pickle vegetables and fruits. We try to grow our own herbs on our balcony. We do everything together. I think it is important even at an early age that my kids understand that ketchup is made from tomatos and we can make that. Cereal is made from wheat and we can make that and so on.

perfect snack

Everyone has their own way of doing things, their own way of raising their kids. I know I don't do a lot of things right when raising my kids but when it comes to food I try my hardest to do what I feel is good for them both nutritionally while also making it fun to eat and learn about food.

These are my Sunday thoughts... got any of your own?


Pasta a la Vongole

It doesn't get much easier or better then this!  This is a great weekend meal... it is festive and great tasting and it is very quick to make which frees up your time for other weekend activities.  If you are eating a spaghetti and meat sauce dinner fair enough but if if you are eating something a little nicer then I think that it is worth the money to get a better pasta.  Most people think pasta is pasta but I disagree.  The taste and the consistency of a good pasta as well the capacity to pick of flavors is not comparable to the average pasta (in my opinion).  

Shellfish is very easy to work with, much easier then many think.  Basically you just rinse and cook, you will know when it is ready because it will open.  Today I used vongole clams which are my favorite shellfish for pasta.  We drank a wine that was perfect for the meal.  A Soave Classico 2007 which was recommended by my co-workers.  The wine was full of flavor and it made the food taste even better which is what a good wine should do.  

1 kilo vongole clams
4 dl white wine
2 gloves garlic
1 diced shallot
1 bunch parsley
3 tblsp butter
dash olive oil
pinch of diced red chili

Rinse the clams, in a bowl with running water for about 5 minutes.  Lift the clams up so all the water and sand falls off.  Put them in a hot pan with olive oil and 1 tablsp butter, the onion chili and garlic.  Let it  simmer two minutes then pour in wine and let cook for three minutes.  Add the rest of the butter and pasta.  Toss with parsley, salt and pepper.  Done.

Obviously, cook the pasta in a side pot during the time you are preparing the clams.  The time it will take to do this depends on the pasta.


Chili with Guacamole

This chili is a great food for when you are having a gathering of friends or family because (1) it is very cheap to do (2) it is easily prepared and dosn't take much work (3) with the nachos chips you can basically eat it as finger food or at the least you do not need a knife which is good when having guests walking around (4) I haven't met a person that dosn't like it... even kids love it maybe because it is served with chips??

The main ingredient is beef chuck (högrev) which is a great meet for stews and an inexpensive cut. You can serve it over rice if you want to make it hardier or just serve it as it is which is what I usually do. You can basically use whateve beans you prefer, either buy in the raw and soak over night and then cook them until they are done the next day or buy precooked. These days packaged beans are pretty good, they come organic and they are cheap--- this is time saving but it's your call. The recipe below is for approximately 4-5 people or 6-8 if served with rice.  This recipe is not super spicy so add more spice if you want it hot.

800g chuck beef ("högrev")
4 dl black coffee (cold)
2 garlic gloves
1 yellow onion
5 dl coca cola
5 dl beer
3 tbs chili power
1 tbs chipotle paste (or 1 dried)
5 dl beans

4 avacados
1 red onion
2 garlic gloves
1 finely diced tomato
1 bunch cilantro ("korriander")
pinch chopped red chili
juice of 1 lime

Instructions below

Dice the meat into cubes.  Slice the onion and garlic.  Fry these ingredients in a HOT pan.  Pour over chili powder.  Fry for about 2-3 minutes, the meat should be almost black.  Place the meat in a pot, pour in the coffee, the beer and the coke as well as the chipotle, pinch of salt and pepper.  Cook on medium heat for 1.5 hour, until the meat is tender.  Add beans towards the last 15 minutes.  If you want the consistency of the stew thicker add a bit of corn starch ("maizena") mixed with water.  Done!

Guacamole, just take the ingredients above and mix it all together.  You can serve this dish with sour cream as showed in the picture.  It's also great with beer!