It's time to make ice cream out of snow. I know that many may think this is unsanitary but truth of the matter is that Sweden has so many pristine places that if you are going to make snow cream anywhere, Sweden would be one of the places to do so. It takes a couple of hours of snow fall to clean the air of pollutants, after this you have good clean snow.Honestly, if you have snow why not give it a try. Kids love to make this and honestly, it tastes so good.
1 cup milk 1/2 cup sugar scant 1/2 teaspoon vanilla large bowl of snow (about 3 quarts)
Blend milk, sugar and vanilla. Stir in enough snow to make snow cream to an ice cream consistency.
You can substitue the milk with condensed milk. Some welcome additions are that of cocoa, almonds, cinnamon, chocolate sauce and anything else you love to eat with ice cream. Enjoy!
Yesterday found me outside placing many leaves in beds before the rains came. I almost got done, but the rain started sooner than I had hoped. Along with the rain the weather turned cold and so the day called for not only a cup of tea, a fire in the fireplace, but a bowl of hot soup to warm my belly.
It's time for a great harvest soup with pumpkin, ....don't you think? Here's one of my favorites.Rebecca, this one's for you. Rebecca stayed with us a couple of years ago and this was one of her favorite soups too. Know that you can substitute the chicken stock with vegetable stock for a complete vegetarian meal.
Don't forget to have a look at the end of the post for today's Swedish words.
Pumpkin Vegetable Soup
2 tbsp of olive oil
2 tbsp of butter
2 to 3 garlic cloves
2 carrots peeled and chopped
1 celery stick peeled and chopped
4 cups of chicken broth
1 container of mushrooms
1 large leek or two small ones
3 cups of pumpkin puree fresh or canned
16 oz of half and half
½ teaspoon of red pepper flakes
1 ½ salt
1 tsp of pepper
1 tsp of lemon juice
1 to 2 tsp of chopped thyme
In a large stockpot, melt 1 tbsp of olive oil and butter over medium heat.
Once melted, add the onion, garlic, carrots, and celery, and cook for about 10 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.
Add 2 cups of chicken broth and let simmer for about 3 to 5 minutes.
Remove the stockpot from the heat and let cool for 15 minutes.
Pour the broth mixture into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Set this aside.
In the stockpot you were just using, melt the remaining olive oil and butter.
Add the mushrooms and leeks, cooking them for about 6 minutes or until the mushrooms start to brown.
Mix the puree, pumpkin, remaining broth, half and half, pepper, red pepper flakes. Let simmer for 15 minutes.
Stir in the lemon juice, salt and thyme and let simmer for another 10 minutes.
Today's Swedish Words:
To rake up: rive upp
Pumpkin soup: pumpa soppa
vegetable: grönsak ;lural grönsaker.
Rain: regn. Det har regnat hela hösten. It's been raining the whole autumn.
Carrots: Morot plural morötter
Chicken broth: kycklings buljong
Mushrooms: Svamp, plural svampar, Plocka svamp to pick mushrooms. verb.
Finally we're back online. For the last couple of weeks I haven't had an internet connection. Though it was all around me, my computer didn't acknowledge the connections and I couldn't find any. I've never had that problem before, but we just rolled with the punches and had a great vacation to Gotland. We recorded almost every moment which has given us a vast store of future blog posts.
So let's get started..........
About 30 km north of Visby Gotland lies Ihregard, a lovely little all purpose farm.
Feeling the affects of jetlag we were in desparate need of some coffee. What we found was a quiet little garden which hosted a cafe where young and old a like could enjoy their Sunday with some coffee and a little lunch.
You can find Ihregard on route 149 heading north. There you will find a little store housing many products from the farm, horse and pony riding, a garden and a cafe, both I highly recommend.
Saturday will see the marriage of Crown Princess Victoria to her sweetheart of 7 years Daniel Westerling.
Since it's wedding week in Sweden, I thought we had to bake something yummy in honor of this fine event. You see this photo? This is a Princess Torte.
Many people in my family possess the "cake gene". This means we prefer cake to most foods. I'm sure they will love it. The recipe below is the "traditional way to make it but I also found an incredible version over at Tartlette.
This version I found at About.com. We are off to the kitchen to have a "baking" day. I promise there will photos to follow. Until then, go get yourself some coffee and read up about the wedding here, here and here.
Although this cake takes time to prepare, all of the elements can be made up to three days ahead of assembling. The resulting cake is magnificent, as smooth and beautiful as a fondant-covered cake yet with a marzipan exterior that’s as delicious as it is attractive.
1 white cake mix
3 Tbsp. raspberry jam
For Pastry Cream Filling:
2 cups half and half
5 egg yolks
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
4 Tbsp. cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
For Simple Syrup:
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
For Whipped Cream:
3 cups heavy cream
3 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. vanilla
1 lb. Marzipan, store-bought or homemade
3 drops green food coloring
confectioner’s sugar for dusting rolling pin
The day before assembling cake: Make the pastry cream: bring the milk to a simmer in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Whisk together the egg yolks, cornstarch, sugar, and salt in a bowl until smooth. Add half of the scalded milk into the bowl containing the eggs, whisking constantly to incorporate, then return the entire mixture to the saucepan containing the remaining milk, whisking over moderate heat. Continue whisking, about 2 to 5 minutes, until the mixture is thickened and begins to simmer. Allow pastry cream to simmer, whisking for an additional 2 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in vanilla and 4 Tbsp. cold unsalted butter. Transfer into another bowl and allow to cool completely. Cover and refrigerate at least 5 hours and up to 3 days before using.
Prepare white cake mix according to instructions, but pour 1/3 of batter into one 9” cake pan and 2/3 of batter into second 9” cake pan. Bake and cool on rack. When cakes have cooled, use a serrated knife to slice larger cake into two equal halves. (Note: cake can be prepared ahead of time and refrigerated, uncut, for 1 day or frozen, uncut, for up to a week. If baked ahead, slice the larger cake when assembling on the day of serving).
To assemble cake (on day of serving): Make a simple syrupby heating together 1 cup water and 1 cup sugar. Brush syrup lightly on each of the three cake layers, taking care not to oversoak.
For whipped cream, whip together 3 cups heavy cream, 3 Tbsp. sugar, and 1 Tbsp. vanilla until stiff peaks form.
For the marzipan: Knead green food coloring into store-bought, then shape marzipan into an 8”-long disk. Place disk between two 18”-long lengths of waxed paper. Then, working from the middle of the marzipan, use a rolling pin to roll out the disk into a 16” circle of even thickness.
Spread 1 Tbsp. raspberry jam on each of the two halves of the larger cake. Divide the pastry cream into thirds, folding 1/3 gently into the whipped cream. Spread the remaining 2/3 of the pastry cream on top of the raspberry-jam level of the two cake halves. Stack the two pastry-covered halves, then top with the remaining cake.
Frost the sides of the cake with the whipped cream in a 1” layer and then spoon the remaining whipped cream on top of the cake. Use a spatula to smooth the cream into a dome.
Remove the top level of waxed paper from the marzipan. Dust your rolling pin with confectioner’s sugar, then drape the marzipan circle over the pin and transfer it to the cake (you can lightly roll the marzipan around the pin as you would a pie crust).
With your hands, gently press the marzipan down over the cake, working from the top down. Smooth it down the sides, then cut off any excess at the bottom with a knife or cooking shears. Tuck in the marzipan under the edge of the cake. Tip: If the marzipan on the cake tears during placement, you can cut the remaining trimmings into decorative shapes and simply press these over the tears (this is a nice way to decorate the cake even if it’s perfect already! Alternatively, use additional uncolored or differently colored marzipan to create leaves, roses, or other shapes). Also: In order to hide less-than-perfect bottom edges, some bakers wrap a pretty ribbon around the bottom of the cake, removing before serving).
Sprinkle cake with confectioner’s sugar or decorate with marzipan cut-outs. Store in refrigerator for up to 1 week.
A little travel to the island of Gotland Sweden today.
It is fairly well known that I love coffee. There isn't a day without a cup or two of the liquid elixir. Gula Huset (The yellow house) is one of the nicest secret treasures of Visby. Open only on saturday and sunday 10 - 5. This is a lovely retreat to spend a time reading a book, conversating with friends, or just catching some rays.
A walk by the sea,
Through the botanical garden,
say hello to my new friend
A little saunter up the street will lead us to Gula Huset
I love to watch cooking shows on TV. I can get bored with the same old recipes week in and week out. Even the recipes that are seasonal. I always love the cooking shows with the nice looking chef and beautiful scenery etc.
Last Sunday I was watching TV and the most incredible souffle came up. I had never made a souffle but with Giada's guidance it was a success.
Giada DeLaurentiis is a favorite in this house. Not just with me but the kids too. Give this one a try. I hope it warms your bones. You can use any cheeses that you want. In fact we substitued the cheddar cheese for a cheese blend of mild cheddar,monterey jack, and colby. Enjoy!
Unsalted butter for greasing the souffle dish, plus 1/2 stick (4 tablespoons), at room temperature
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups whole milk, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups shredded mild Cheddar
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
2 packed cups baby spinach leaves
1 store-bought, rotisserie chicken, breast meat only, skinned and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 2 cups)
6 egg yolks, at room temperature, lightly beaten
2 (1/2-inch thick) slices country-style white bread, crusts removed, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
6 egg whites, at room temperature
Special equipment: a 2-quart (8-cups) souffle dish
Arrange an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Butter the bottom and sides of a 2-quart souffle dish. Set aside.
In a medium saucepan, heat 1/2 stick of butter over medium-low heat. Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Slowly whisk in the milk until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture coats the back of a spoon, about 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in the nutmeg and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Remove the pan from the heat and add the cheeses, the spinach, chicken, egg yolks, and bread cubes. Stir until combined (mixture will be thick).
In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites at high speed until they hold stiff peaks, about 2 minutes. Stir 1/4 of the egg whites into the chicken mixture. Using a spatula, fold in the remaining egg whites. Spoon the batter into the prepared dish and bake until the souffle is puffed and the top is firm and golden, about 55 to 60 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve immediately.
Sunday morning, in a lovely, sunny and white Stockholm. We took a morning walk to the Grand Hotel, opposite the Castle. There, we enjoyed a lovely breakfast. This is our favourite breakfast place in town. You just relax in a sofa and get served coffee and freshly squeezed orange juice, and then it is time to decide what to eat. Choose between, bread basket, Danish basket, eggs, fruit salad, yoghurt, smoothies and a lot more. Then eat, enjoy the food, the drinks and maybe best of all, the view of Stockholm, the Castle, The Old Town, the water, the boats and all the white swans.
It is absolutely frigid out there. Cold,snowy , and really winter. With all of this, I thought I would share a recipe with you that might take the chill off. I usually make this when I have left-over lentils and rice but today we'll make it from scratch.
2 cups of french lentils
2 chopped yellow onions
2 cloves of minced garlic
3 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon of ground black pepper
1 teasponn of dried thyme or a few stalks of fresh
1/2 teaspoon of ground cumin
3 stalks of diced celery
2 long carrots,peeled and diced
32 oz of chicken stock
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
In a pot cover the lentils with water,bring to a boil and let cook for about 15 minutes. Drain the water off.
In a large soup pot saute the onions and garlic with the olive oil,salt, pepper,cumin and thyme for about 20 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.
Add the celery and carrots and saute for 10 more minutes.
Add the tomato paste and let it cook for about 40 seconds and then add the chicken stock and lentils.
Cover this with a lid until it comes to a boil.
Once the soup is boiling, uncover it and let it cook for about an hour until all of the lentils and vegetables are cooked through.
Once finished,add the red wine vinegar and serve hot.
Hopefully this will take the chill out of your day.
Hot spicy red wine or apple juice with calvados together with ginger, cinnamon and other spices, that is glögg. Served in small cups together with almonds and raisins.Often served with pepparkakor (ginger cookies). We always have a Glögg afternoon for all our friends, serving different sorts of Glögg and snacks with it. These are some pictures from it hope you enjoy them.