Semlas

20150206_100911

The bun is traditionally a cardamom yeast bun. You carve out the insides and then blend the crumbs with almond paste and cream, filling the hole and then topping it off with whipped cream and then the little cap before dusting it in powdered sugar.

20140301_172723_resized(1)

Admittedly, they are not as beautiful when I make them myself, but they still taste good! I like to add strawberry jam to mine. The bakeries here sell them in February. They even have a semla day!

20150206_100920

This year someone thought to do a twist on the original and created the semla wrap. It was pretty great. A lot lighter than the classic bun. I’m not sure how common they were across Sweden this season, but we had them in Kiruna!

20140307_163241

So, if you ever find yourself in Scandinavia in February, try a semla!

 

 

Continue Reading

Food in Piteå!

pthai1

Heart shaped rice! We went to a Thai restaurant on our first night in Piteå, we could actually see it from our hotel window so it was perfect.

pthai2

 

It was called Thai Garden. As you can see, it was not very busy but it was late on a Monday night so I’m just happy they were open at all. Very nice restaurant. There were a few other Thai places in the area. I don’t know why but there seems to be an abundance of Thai restaurants up in the far north of Sweden. In Kiruna we have a handful of Thai places and no Chinese, Japanese or Indian restaurants. It’s pretty much just Thai food or pizza in the north. Which is to say, I have come to like Thai quite a bit.

 

pthai3

I picked this particular Thai restaurant over the others this time because they had a particularly large vegetarian menu and that makes us pretty happy.

pthai4

I actually remembered to snap some pictures before we ate everything. Usually I forget until about half way through the meal that I even thought about taking pictures. I get pretty focused when I’m given food.

pthai5

I also tried a restaurant in town called Nobo. It was very cute, with coffee and pastries if you’re looking to fika and a nice lunch menu that comes with a salad/pasta bar.

nobo1

I found and bought a pear flavored biskvi here! It was pretty exciting and yet, no picture. We ate it. The end.

I really liked the staff here and would happily come back the next time I find myself in Piteå.

 

Continue Reading

Christmas Round TWO!

julblog1

Yes, I can make caramel corn. Sometimes it turns out better than other times and for the most part I don’t burn myself anymore.

julblog4Phong and I went down to Umeå for Christmas and New Years and we had a great time. The tree and everything was already decorated when we got there and had a nearly obscene pile of presents under it considering we’re a group of adults.

A lot of Swedish things have really grown on me over the years, including glögg- a sort of wine that’s served hot and in tiny cups, and julmust- a christmas soda of which I only seem to like one brand but I do like it enough to make up for any dislike of the others.

But Swedes have a tradition of watching a set of cartoon clips that are replayed at the same time on Christmas Eve every year. The same clips. Every year. With a couple of new ones on the end. I’m not really a fan of this because, well, most of them aren’t even christmasy!

julblog5

I tried a new cake recipe and it turned out pretty good. It was a snickerdoodle cake! It really smelt like snickerdoodles when it was baking too.

We had a really great time. Ate quite a bit of sweets and watched some good movies and shows with family. We also started playing a charades game with a tablet that turned out to be really funny. I hope everyone else had as great of a holiday break as we did!

julblog3

Continue Reading

Asian Market – Stockholm

chinesestore3

chinesestore1

 

We found this place by accident on our way back to the hotel and I miss it already! In the north of Sweden we have limited access to foreign markets and the (usually thai) markets aren’t very big. This place was huge! It had an upstairs and downstairs, a whole freezer section and a fresh foods section. I wish I could have bought so much more but we couldn’t get any of the frozen foods because we were visiting in Stockholm.

We bought bowls, spoons, noodles, moon cakes, green chopsticks and candy while we were there.

 

chinesestore2

Continue Reading

Cookies!

 

cookiebanner2

So, in case we haven’t met, I love cookies. I like to make them almost as much as I like to eat them. This summer I got to make two batches of cookies for Phong to take to work and just barely managed to remember to take pictures of them.

The most recent was a combination Phong came up with himself- white chocolate chip cookies with avocado frosting. I’ve done an avocado frosting on cupcakes before but this was the first time I did it on a cookie and it turned out great! I’m not even a big fan of avocado and I still loved it.

Ingredients:cookiesmall2

3/4 cup butter (180 grams)

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup white sugar

1 tsp baking powder (bakpulvar)

1/4 tsp baking soda (bikarbonat)

1/2 tsp cinnamon (kanel)

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla (vaniljarom)

1  3/4 cups flour

2 cups rolled oats (havre)

White chocolate chunks

Directions: Cream the butter, brown sugar, white sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, eggs and vanilla in a large bowl. Add the flour. And then mix in the oats and chocolate chunks. I roll them into ball and flatten into pucks.

For the Frosting: Mash up an avocado and then start mixing in powdered sugar until it becomes thick and that pretty lime green color. If you want to add coconut sprinkles (or any other kind of sprinkle) remember to do it before the frosting hardens.

 

cookiebanner

 

The other was Sugar Cookies. I’ve used this recipe a few times and it’s hands down my favorite sugar cookie recipe.

cookiesmallIngredients:

1  1/2 cups butter, softened (240 grams)

2 cups sugar

4 eggs

1 tsp vanilla (vaniljarom)

5 cups flour

2 tsp baking powder (bakpulvar)

1 tsp salt

Frosting:

4 cups powdered sugar

1/2 cup butter

5 tbs milk

1 tsp vanilla (vaniljarom)

Directions: Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla. Separately mix flower, baking powder and salt and then add to butter mixture.  For the frosting just mix the ingredients and make sure the cookie is cool before you frost it. Sprinkle quickly!

If you’re not from the States you might have noticed that these recipes are. I play pretty fast and loose when it comes to recipes. I find that cookies are the most forgiving of baked goods when it comes to this kind of cooking. For tbs (tablespoon) I actually just use a normal sized spoon and tsp (teaspoon) I use a tea spoon or just eyeball it. I have a measuring cup so I don’t have to try to convert these into deciliters. 1 cup is a little less than 2 1/2 deciliters.

You might also have noticed that I didn’t give a baking time or temperature. I almost always baking cookies at 175 Celsius (350 Farenheit) until they look done. For me, done is a little brown on the edges, that moment when they just started to get color. I like a soft cookie.

 

Until next time!

-cheryl

Continue Reading