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Archive for March, 2013

The egg is the “king of the Swedish Easter table”. In the old days they used to save all the eggs, milk, heavy cream & butter during the Easter fasting.

When Ester finally arrived, they got all those goodies out of their food pantries and started cooking up a storm.

Most of the time, the food is served buffet style as a “smörgåsbord” as we call it. For Easter we eat lot’s of eggs, pickled herring, Quiche, salads, lamb, salmon, caviar …Did I mention eggs and pickled herring??? I love it. It is also one of my year round fast fix dinner. Luckily, my husband loves it as well. If it is for dinner I usually boil a couple of potatoes as well.

I always try to come up with a new little “chick” made out of an egg for the Easter table. I saw these little ones somewhere and wanted to add them to my herring plates. You just boil the eggs (hard boil) cut out a thin slice from a peeled carrot. Cut out little v-shapes on one side. Cut a slit in the top/pointy part of the egg. Insert the “rooster comb”. I inserted 2 pieces of wild rice for the eyes. They really are super cute.

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Herring tray.

* Pickled herring with a mixture of sour cream, mayo, dill & black pepper.

* Egg halves with caviar.

*”Gubbröra”. “Old man’s mixture”…not sure of the translation of this egg anchovies mixture. You need hardboiled eggs, anchovies, a little finely chopped red onion, finely chopped dill, finely chopped chives, Creme Fraiche. Usually this is served on hard or dark bread.

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Our Easter table is always a display of spring. Lot’s of  yellows and greens… I like to give my guest a little something on their plate.

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Isn’t it wonderful when the flower shops starts to sell tulips & daffodils with all those vibrant colors. There is a great flower district in New York. I go there a lot, it makes me happy. If any of my friends are a little down I always suggest a trip to the flower district. It is the busiest early in the morning. My visits usually takes place between 7 or 8am, I have loved flowers as long as I can remember. I always buy flowers and make everything from little bouquets to bigger arrangements. A dream is to have a country house with some land where I would grow all sorts of flowers and vegetables. One day…

If you can, bring some flowers into the house. It really makes it lively. Even a potted plant will do it. If you have a garden, get a potted plant that you eventually can plant outside. Many of my hyacinths and tulips started out as house plants. Anything from christmas arrangements to summer flowers. They all go into the ground. Easter is the “kick off” for my garden. This year it has been such a harsh winter that the daffodils and tulips are taking their time. The only thing blooming are some mini daffodils I planted after easter last year.

Happy Easter!!!

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St Patrick’s day is here again.

We went to my mother-in-law for the yearly Corn Beef and Cabbage dinner. I never cook it myself since it has become a tradition for her to cook it.

Instead, it has become my challenge to come up with left-over ideas for all the food we get with us home. This year I decided to make Corned Beef and Cabbage Enchiladas. They were delicious. It is easy to come up with “left over” dishes. You just need to have an open mind to what is allowed or not. This year, it snowed like crazy in New York, just when the big parade took place on 5th avenue. But the Irish are troopers. No amount of snow can get them to back up their kilts or bagpipes. The show will go on…

I Always get a special feeling when there is anything Irish to celebrate. This because of my special Irish friends and families… (You know who you are….)

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Corned Beef and Cabbage Enchilada.

4 small enchilada’s.

4 tortilla’s (any kind but on the smaller side).

1 onion, finely sliced.

1 c. chopped cooked Corned Beef and Cabbage,

2 tbsp. taco spice.

1/2 c. tomato sauce or finely chopped tomatoes.

1/2 c. water or stock (I used chicken stock. It is my usual “go to”).

1/2-1 c. shredded cheese. Mixed or just one kind.

Splash of hot sauce (optional).

Salt & pepper to taste.

Directions;

Fry up the onion. Add the chopped (and cooked) Corned Beef and Cabbage. Add the taco spice. Let cook for a few minutes. Mix well. Add the water, tomato sauce (or stock). Add the hot sauce, salt & pepper to taste. And any other spice if needed.

Spray an oven proof pan. Add the tortillas. Spoon up the fried Corned Beef mixture and divide into the tortillas. Fold over and “secure” with a tooth pick. Add the shredded cheese. Bake in a 450F (225C) degree oven. Bake until golden brown. It will take about 10-15 minutes.

Serve with rice, guacamole/avocado, beans or salad.

Enjoy!!!!

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Happy St Patrick’s day!!!!

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This is another one of my very old “go to” recipes.

I have cravings for it ever so often. Pork tenderloin is a very common cut of meat at home. There are so many things you can cook with it. Since it is almost or even as lean as chicken breast it is a great choice of meat.

When I cook Pork tenderloin, I often starts with searing it whole or cut in medallions and then I layer any kind of sauce or sides to it. This version of cooking the tenderloin is very tasty and it is a great comfort food. You can make it less heavy by using half & half (12% fat compared to heavy cream that is 35-38% fat) or a cooking cream. It’s all relative as they say.

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Pork Tenderloin in a Mustard Basil sauce.

Serves 4-6.

2 Pork tenderloins.

1 zucchini (finely sliced).

1/2 leek (finely sliced).

1/2 – 1 red pepper (sliced).

3-4 tbsp. Dijon mustard.

2/3 -1 c. heavy cream (You can also a use leaner alternative or Creme Fraiche).

2-3 tbsp. dried basil. (If you use fresh basil add a little but more).

Hot sauce to taste (optional).

Pepper to taste.

Directions;

Trim the pork tenderloin (make sure you take the “silver skin” off  – “Silver skin” is the tough membrane covering the top of a pork loin). Cut into 2/3″ medallions. Quickly fry/sear on both sides until golden brown. Remove the meat from the pan. Add the leek, zucchini and red peppers into the pan (let all the bits and pieces from frying the meat stay in the pan). Fry for a few minutes. Add the Dijon mustard (in portions so that you can control the taste). Let fry together for about a minute while stirring well. Add the heavy cream & the meat. Lower the heat and let simmer for about 5-8 minutes. Add the herbs and the hot sauce (optional). Pepper to taste. Serve it with a good tasting rice ( I love Basmati rice or red Korean rice for this) or even some mashed potatoes.

Enjoy!

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Winter is a fantastic season.

Yes, it is cold, but it is also so beautiful. The best of course is when the sun is out, the ground is covered with glistening snow and you have a day off to enjoy it. As soon as there is a sunny day, we love to take advantage of every little sunny second. These would be the days we would go on a winter picnic. We would fill up a thermos of hot chocolate and/or one with hot blueberry soup, make some sandwiches and pack some other snacks. If we felt like dragging it along, we would also pack a lamb skin to sit on. When finding the right picnic spot, we would dig out a little “seat” in the snow and put the lambskin down. It has been a few years since I went on a winter picnic, but this winter we finally did it. It was just so nice to be out in the snow on a sunny winter day. It is highly recommended. If you have kids, this could be a great tradition, to go on “off-season” picnics. Try it…

The tradition of drinking hot blueberry soup is very Scandinavian. It is a great way to stay warm  and it also gives you energy.

Once a year, there is a huge cross-country skiing competition taking place in Sweden. It is called “Vasaloppet”. There are blueberry soup stations along the way. The skiers gets a cup of hot blueberry soup to heat them up and to give them continued energy. The race is 90 km long, so it is well needed.

“Vasaloppet” is taking place this weekend.

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Chicken salad in a Pita pocket.

1 baked/boiled or grilled chicken.

2-4 small pita breads.

Lettuce.

1 c. seedless grapes, cut into halves.

1/2 c. lightly crushed walnuts.

1/2 c. mayo.

3-4 tbsp. ranch dressing powder (or 1/2 c. of ranch dressing, store-bought).

Splash of hot sauce.

Black pepper to taste.

Directions;

Cook the chicken (or you can even buy a rotisserie chicken in the store if you are short of time). Let cool down slightly. Take off all the meat from the bones. Add the mayo, ranch powder (or the just the ranch dressing), crushed walnuts, hot sauce and pepper into a mixing bowl. Mix well. Taste it. If you would like more ranch dressing or mayo, add some but be careful not to add too much. Pour in the chicken pieces & grapes. Mix again. Take a last taste and make sure it is to your satisfaction. Let sit in the fridge covered for a few hours or even over night if you make this ahead of time.

This chicken salad gets better and better after a few days when all the tastes has “married”.

Place a little lettuce in half a pita bread. Add some chicken salad. You can add any vegetable of your choice or just skip that.

Enjoy!!

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Blueberry soup.

2 c. blueberries.

 A few tbsp. of sugar (I use brown sugar. It is up to you how sweet you want the soup. I recommend it not to be too sweet though. It should be nice and fresh with a “true” blueberry taste).

3 c. water.

1- 1 1/2 tbsp. potato starch.

Directions;

Let  blueberries, sugar and water come to a boil and cook on medium heat for a 5-10 minutes. Make sure  the right amount of sugar is added by tasting the soup. Mix the blueberry soup with a hand mixer or in a blender until nice and silky. Whisk in  the potato starch into some cold water. Add little by little into the blueberry soup. Let it come to a boil and then take it off the heat. The blueberry soup is ready.

You can drink it hot as it is or eat it totally cold with a splash of milk. I drink hot soup in the winter and cold soup in the summer. It is perfect as a night “snack”.

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A thermos  full of hot chocolate is a staple for a winter picnic.

A thermos full of hot chocolate is a staple for a winter picnic.

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Steamed Edamame with sea salt and some Chipotle & honey roasted cashews are perfect picnic snacks.

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We would carry with us a lamb skin to sit on. You just dig out a perfect “seat” and add the skin on top. This is perfect and you stay nice and warm.
If you would have a winter picnic outside but close to the house, you could use a larger skin or even a reindeer hide.

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I always keep a look out for great coolers and food storage solutions. This is the little cooler bag my husband and I got as a present from Caesars Palace Las Vegas when we got married. It contained two bottles of champagne and some champagne flutes at the time. We keep using this for all kinds of occasions.

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Vasaloppet (literally, The Vasa race) is an annual long distance (90 km) cross-country ski race (ski marathon) held on the first Sunday of March in northwestern DalarnaSweden between the village of Sälen and town of Mora. It is the oldest, the longest, and the biggest (in terms of participants) cross-country ski race in the world.In the 80th race, held on 7 March 2004, some 15,500 skiers competed in the main event. More than 40,000 participated in one of the seven different races held during the first week of March. The race was first run in 1922, inspired by a run by King Gustav Vasa in 1520. The winner of the first race was Ernst Alm from Norsjö, 22 years old, who is also the youngest ever winner of the race. Vasaloppet is one of the races in the long distance cup Ski Classics.

ref- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vasaloppet

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