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Archive for the ‘Breakfast’ Category

A New year. I am happy for that. A New Year brings new possibilities and expectations.

We all try to start off being better & healthier. I want to make better choices for myself this year. On all levels. With that said, now it is up to me to execute it. Oh boy… I better stick to it all this year.

We decided to just take it easy on new years eve. A pajama party of sorts. A tradition that my husband grew up with, is to hold rice and some money in your hand when the clock strikes midnight. I wanted to “up the odds” so I was holding a couple of extra bills and as much rice as my hand could hold. Now we just have to wait and see.

The new year is showing its nice side. The sun is shining and it is nice and fresh outside. The morning has been slow and gentle. How could you start the new year better than this?

We had the usual lobster meal on for new years, but this time we didn’t even finish it all. That is unusual. That gave me an opportunity to make a nice individual Lobster Omelette with some vegetables for breakfast. Delicious and the first healthy meal of the year.

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Individual Omelette’s with left over Lobster.

Serves 2.

4 large eggs.

4 tbsp. milk.

6 mini peppers or 2 x 1/2 bell peppers, different colors. Finely cut.

6 asparagus. Finely cut.

1/4 – 1/2 cup left over Lobster or any other seafood. Cut in semi big pieces.

1 tbsp. shredded basil leaves or any other fresh herbs.

Salt & pepper to taste.

1 Lemon or lime.

Hot 450 F/ 225 C oven.

Directions;

Whisk the eggs well, together with the milk, salt & pepper.

Heat up mini frying pans or if you only have a regular sized pans, do one big omelette.

Pour in the egg/milk mixture. Fry for a couple of minutes, scraping the edges into the center so that it cooks evenly.

Fry the finely chopped vegetables. Turn off the heat. Let sit in the pan.

Put the mini omelettes into the oven. Add the seafood into a oven-proof bowl and warm slightly.

Finish off the omelets and make them “dry” on the top. It will only take a couple of minutes.

Take them out, you will see that they have puffed up a little bit, just like a soufflé.

Add the vegetables and the seafood on top. Shred over the basil or fresh herbs.

Squeeze a few drops of lemon or lime over the omelette.

Serve with some fresh fruit.

Enjoy the New Year!!!

 

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Sundays are perfect breakfast & brunch days.

I usually get up really early. I am the first one up. I get myself a cup of black tea with dried mixed flowery blends (tea that I buy a whole bunch of when I m home). I might have a sandwich just to hold me over until the rest of the group gets up and we will eat breakfast. At that time, we might have missed the breakfast spot and end up making a brunch spread instead. It is great to switch it up ever so often. It is said that eating carbs for breakfast is great because you have the whole day to burn it off. During the week I eat oatmeal and different kinds of porridge for breakfast. Lot’s of berries and eggs. But when the weekend comes around, we are all about bigger bolder foods. Lot’s of times we choose fish. Here is a great vegetable pattie stacked with salad and sardines. It is delicious. Sardines are not only great tasting and good for you they are also a great source of protein for that healthier breakfast or brunch.

This pattie is a vegetable version of a potato pancake.

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Vegetable Patties.

Makes about 4 patties.

2 potatoes.

1 carrot.

2 scallions (spring onions).

2-3 mini sweet peppers or 1/4 regular bell pepper. Any color.

1/2 zucchini.

1-3 large mushrooms. Any kind. I used king mushrooms.

Salt & pepper to taste.

Splash of hot sauce.

Pinches of your favorite herbs. Fresh or dried.

Directions;

Peel and shred the carrot and potatoes. Shred them and the zucchini on the fine side of a box shredder. Squeeze out the liquid. Finely cut/mince the peppers, scallions & mushrooms. Add all vegetables together with the spices and herbs. Mix well. Shape into 4 patties or if you rather have smaller ones make 6-8 small patties. Fry in a skillet on medium low heat so that they have time to get cooked all the way through and not burn. Fry in a little oil and a small dab of butter. 

Add some lettuce to the plate. Place the pattie on top. Stack the sardines and sprouts or whatever you would like on top of the pattie. 

Enjoy!!

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And so it is finally here. The 2012 Olympics!!!!!!

I love watching the Olympic games. Unfortunately everything else around me has to take a backseat during these weeks of competitions. The routine and organization around the house and my time keeping go out the window. In the morning you can tell which people in the subway and at work has been up all night watching the games.

In my house we have three teams to route for; Sweden, USA & of course S:t Lucia. It is great to have “choices”. But ultimately of course, I will sit and cheer for the Swedes. Sorry, but I have to do it.

I think there will be lot’s of “take outs” and “sandwich or non-cooked” dinners going on around the world.

Or, you could do as I do, prepare multiple meals ahead of time. I cook weekly meals and just pop them in the micro wave or the oven. It is all about speed & simplicity during sports events, right??

And, to make sure we last through our days, here are some home-made “Olympic Power bars” and some Trail mix for all of us.

Just a little note. I have used a whole lot of different berries, fruits and nuts in both the power bars and the trail mix. You really don’t have to do that. It is just that I have so many different kinds in the house that I have the luxury of using such a variety. For example, for the power bars It is just as good to only use raisins, oats and almonds if that is what you have at home.

Enjoy the games!! May all your favorite (or all the Swedes) win!!!

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Home made Power bars.

Makes about 14-18 bars.

1 c. old fashion oats.

1 c. dried fruits & berries. I used a mix of dried cranberries, bananas, pineapples, figs, blueberries & mangoes.

1 c. of chopped nuts. I used a mix of hazelnuts, raw cashews, pecans & almonds.

1/2 c. dried coconut flakes or shredded coconut.

1 tbsp. ground cinnamon.

2 tbsp. chopped Gojji berries. (This is not necessary, but I always have it in my food pantry so I used it.)

1/2 c. low or non-fat greek yoghurt.

1 tsp. ground ginger. Fresh or dried. (optional).

1/2 -1 egg (optional).

1-3 tbsp. good tasting honey. 

Dark chocolate (optional).

Directions;

Chop up nuts, fruits & berries. Add to a bowl. Mix in the coconut, honey, yoghurt, and all the rest of the ingredients.

If you add the egg, they become more chewy and dense and a little bit more “baked”. But, the egg keeps the bars better together.

I have made both with and without the egg. I actually prefer without.

Add the mixture to a parchment paper lined large pan. Spray the paper with cooking spray so it is easier to get it out after baking. Make sure to press the mixture down and distribute it well into corners all around.

Bake in a 350 degree oven (fahrenheit) for about 25-30 minutes, or until you see it is drying up very slightly at edges.

Take out of the pan and put on a cutting board. Cut perfect squares. Add them to a drying rack. Let the bars cool down and dry out a little.

If you would like to, melt some dark chocolate and dip one end of the bars into it. It looks really good and professional.

Well, that is really it. These bars are great to keep around the house.

Store them in air tight containers.

Enjoy!!!

Trail mix.

To make your own trail mix, you just need to mix nuts, dried fruits/berries & seeds together.

It is healthier if you use “raw” nuts. Not toasted.

Use any amount you would like too. Just remember to balance it with somewhat equal parts nuts and fruits/berries.

I used;

Dried mangoes, bananas, cranberries, apricots & blueberries. Cashews, hazelnuts, peanuts, almonds, pumpkin seeds & sunflower seeds.

Cut up the dried fruits & berries if needed. Mix all of it together. Portion it into small “snack bags” for easy access for when you are “on the run” or just a big air tight container.

Enjoy!!

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I am so fortunate… It is my birthday and I have many family members here from Sweden. Together with my extended family in the US we are a great crowd.

They woke me up with Champagne in bed. YUM. One can get used to that!!!

So, today will not be a cooking day. I am on vacation!

Chocolate mousse cake….

Imagine that… I must be very popular…

Life is good………

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It’s finally warm enough to eat breakfast in the garden on the weekends!! (At least some days..)

This is what I have been waiting for all winter long.  Our backyard is quite small, but we still built a deck over half of it. Well, we didn’t build it ourselves, our friend Mark did. It is absolutely fantastic. In the summertime, it is our second living room. It is just great to have a huge deck with plenty of room for a really big table and still have space left.

During the week we eat oatmeal with lot’s of different kind of berries in the mornings but on saturday and sunday we eat like kings and queens… The sandwiches are always “open face” as the Scandinavian tradition dictates.

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Open sandwiches.  A typical weekend breakfast in the garden.

Use any bread of your choice. I try to make the bread healthy and hearty. 

Use mayo or mustard as the “glue” to keep things from sliding off the bread.

Just know that these are only guidelines. Your imagination should create the sandwiches. Nothing is wrong. I would say that the rule is to not pile thick layers of one thing but to balance everything well. Every bite should have a little piece of everything.

Egg sandwich;

Hardboiled eggs thinly sliced. Mayo as a “glue” as my mom says. Lettuce, some caviar or pepper & paprika. A sprig of dill.

Liver pate’ sandwich;

Liver pate’. Any kind. Spreadable or sliced. Top with finely slices dill pickles or fresh cucumber. 

Cheese and strawberry sandwich;

A sharper cheese like a good cheddar or so. A few lettuce leaves. Nice and sweet strawberries, finely sliced. (If you don’t want to use strawberries, cut up some peppers or cucumbers instead.)

Ham & Cheese sandwich;

A great kind of ham preferably not a pressed ham. I buy mine at the farmers market in New York from a company called “Happy Pig’s farm”. The ham is one of the best ever. The smoke is real not liquid (as in “liquid smoke”).  I sometimes use smoked pork tenderloin too. Add your favorite cheese. A sharp little nutty kind like Gruyère or Jarlsberg would be good. Top with thin slices of red pepper and a little sprig of parsley.

Smoked salmon sandwich;

Smoked salmon (cold smoked), lettuce or arugula, sweet mustard sauce or just plain mustard. Some people likes to use some kind of horse radish sauce or dressing on the salmon. Sliced fresh cucumbers topped with a sprig of dill.

So, these are some of my favorite breakfast choices of open face sandwiches. There are endless options…. Oh, another favorite of mine is cold sliced meatballs sitting on a bed of beet salad. Yum…

I hope you will start doing these “mackor” as we call them.

Enjoy!

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Today is the international waffle day, a very important day for all of us waffle lovers.

Fresh crispy, flakey waffles with some whipped cream, fresh berries and home-made (or bought for that matter) jam… Nothing can ever beat that!

They are the very best when just made, and I men JUST made. It is all about not being the designated waffle maker. Everybody will fight over the steaming hot waffles, and you can not make them fast enough. In a perfect world one would make a plate full of waffles and everybody would sit down and eat together, but in reality…. it’s like feeding hungry wolves. But is certainly is worth it. Let the indulgence begin.

Happy international waffle day!!!

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Flakey waffles.

Serves 3-4.

1 1/2 cup of flour.

1 1/2 cup of heavy cream, whipped.

1 cup of seltzer water, ice-cold. This is the trick to making the waffles super flakey and crispy. If you don’t have seltzer water, use regular water it must be ice-cold.

2 oz (half a stick) of butter.

1/4  teaspoon of salt (or 3 pinches.)

Directions;

Melt the butter and let cool.

Mix flour, salt & seltzer water together to a smooth (thick) batter. 

Whip the heavy cream, “Fold” into batter together with the cooled butter. 

Grease (butter or cooking spray) the waffle iron. Pour in some batter. Let the waffles turn golden brown.

Serve with fresh berries and whipped cream. You can of course also add any kind of syrup.

To make them a little fancy, you could sprinkle over some powdered sugar.

Enjoy.

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Ok, I confess…..

If you ask me to recommend a good book, I probably would give you a cookbook. If I go on vacation, I would rather go to the food markets than seeing the sites. If you tell me about your day, I might ask you what you ate…

I know, I’m a FOODIE!!

I love food. I never really thought about it much as me being a foodie, but if you always talk about food and relate to life in general by adding on experiences with  food, I guess you just have to face it. You are a foodie. Nothing wrong with that.

But in my defense, this is how I grew up.

My mother worked with food her whole life. I was around pots and pans from an early age. My mother always cooked everything from scratch. She baked, she cooked, she pickled, she made preserves….. She did it all. How can you not be affected by that?

I actually didn’t realize that not everybody knew how to cook.

Not everybody buys a whole fish, cleans it , fillet it and then makes a little “something..something” with it.

Salmon mousse & Gravlax.

Salmon mousse. 

Ingredient:

1/2 lb. of smoked salmon for mousse

(1/2 lb. of smoked salmon for lining the bowls for the mousse. Can be eliminated.)

1/2 lb. fresh salmon

1/2 cup heavy cream

1 Lemon

3-6 black pepper corn

1 bay leaf

Dill for decoration

A couple of bowls or containers to use for pouring the mousse into.

Directions:

Add the fresh salmon to a pot of water. Add pepper corns, bay leaf and squeeze half the lemon into the water. Throw in the peal. Let the water just cover the salmon. Let it come to a boil. Let the salmon boil for about 2 minutes. Turn off the heat. Let the salmon cool in the water. While the salmon is cooling down, put the smoked salmon in a food processor. Grind it down. Make sure it becomes more of a thick paste. (Add a little heavy cream if it is too thick to grind.) When the boiled salmon has cooled down a little, add it to the smoked salmon in the food processor. Break off the meat. Make sure not to add any bones or spices. Just the boiled salmon flesh. Mix together. Pour in a couple of tea spoons of the heavy cream so that the salmon paste can mix. (At this point, the mixture is a little thick.) When the two salmon kinds are well mixed, pour mixture into a bowl. Squeeze a little of the lemon juice into salmon mixture. Add in non whipped heavy cream. Use a spatular, and “fold” in the cream. Keep adding until the salmon paste is feeling less thick and lumpy. It should feel more as a smoothie in the consistency.

Take slices of smoked salmon and line the inside of a bowl or container. (This can be eliminated. If you prefer to pour mousse directly into bowls, use plastic wrap as liner. This will make it easier to remove mousse from bowl.)

I usually make a couple of smaller bowls then just one big one. (You can easily freeze any extra little container of mousse.) When inside walls are well covered, pour in mixture to center of bowl. Fill almost all the way up to edges of the smoked salmon “lining.” Cover with plastic wrap and let cool down and settle, in the fridge. It is great if the salmon mousse can sit over night in. When mousse has stiffened up, turn mold upside down onto a plate. Decorate with a sprig of dill. 

I usually decorate with dill around the salmon mousse. Another more “festive” or spectacular decoration is to dissolve some gelatin into white whine. See directions on gelatin package. Let it stiffen up in the fridge. When the whine has become a gelatin, use a fork and “scrape” it out of the bowl. This will look like crushed ice. If you spread the “ice” around the salmon mousse, it will look absolutely fantastic.

The salmon mousse absolutely melts in your mouth. It is very nice to drink some “bubbly” to it.

It is always nice to add a small frozen strawberry or raspberry into the glass.

My mother used to love this one food magazine “All about food”. She had stacks and stacks of them. You know, how people collect things….My mother collected these magazines. I all of a sudden noticed in my 30’s or so, that I started having little piles of the same magazine. Hm…. What about that apple again??

When I was little, I remember my grandmother calling on the phone talking about  what she had eaten that day. Things like a “fantaaastic sandwich. With an absolutely looovely piece of ham and gorgeous vegetables.”

So, if this is how you grow up, no wonder you become the same.

And it isn’t just me. My 2 brothers both cook. My sister does too. We all have our food pantries stacked. Just like mom. “In case you can’t get to the store.” Or, “In case there is an emergency.” But do you need enough food to last for  months???  When my husband and I moved into our house, I told him we absolutely had to build a food pantry in the basement. We also needed to have an extra freezer down there. “Just in case.”

Keeping in mind, I have been damaged by my environment” , it now means that I don’t bake a cake using a box mix. I don’t buy a frozen dinner. Even if it promises on the box to taste “Exactly like home-made!”

I love having dinner parties and BBQ’s for friends and family.  It is a great time to try new things and revisit old favorites. I started working on a cookbook. While testing recipes on people, I found that I actually liked giving tips on cooking, teaching and recommending. I have been pushing this one person to write a food blog, not even thinking that I actually should write one myself. I just happened to look in to it, and liked the idea.

So, I would love to welcome you to my food blog.

I will share recipes and food experiences with all of you.

Since I am a Swede, and there is a favorite Swedish dessert, let me share that with you.

                                              Swedish pancakes.

Or “Svenska pannkakor” as we say at home.

Makes about 12-14 pancakes

Ingredient:

2 cups of milk

1 cup of flower

1 large egg

1 pinch of salt

butter for frying (or oil if you do not like butter).

1 1/2 cup of fruits or berries. Use any kind or your favorites.

1-3 tbsp. of brown sugar.

1 sprig of mint for decoration

Directions:

Mix the flower, milk and salt well in a bowl. Make sure there are no lumps. Add the egg. Mix well. Put the batter aside and let it rest.

Take 1/2 of the rinsed fruits and berries. Add to a pan. Add sugar. One table spoon at a time.

Be sure to taste so that it doesn’t get too sweet. Simmer on low/ medium heat. Let the fruit and berries melt down creating a syrup. This will take about 10 minutes or so.. Depending on what kind of fruit or berries you are using. If you need to cook longer, do so. You can also prepare this ahead of time.

When you have a nice syrupy juice, take off the heat. Use a sift to press out the last precious drops of your syrup. Use the back of a spoon to gently press down the fruit /berry mixture. 

Heat up a frying pan/ skillet on medium high heat. Add a teaspoon of butter to pan. Use butter/oil to every other pancake. Add one ladle full of batter to the frying pan. Pour it into the center of pan. Make sure the batter distributes well into edges. You do this by lifting the pan up and swirling it slowly. Some flours thickens up more then others. If you feel the batter is a little too thick, just “thin out” with a slightly bit of milk. 

You know the pancake is ready when it is starting to “dry up” on the surface and when the edges are starting to turn golden brown. Use a “turner” to lift up the pancake and flip it onto the other side. It takes less time on the second side of the pancake to brown. When ready, fold in half and the fold the half into a quarter. Lift onto platter. Decorate with berries or fruit. Poor on the syrup. Decorate with a sprig of mint.

Some people loves to eat some whipped cream to the pancakes. You could also sprinkle over some powdered sugar. It looks very pretty.

Enjoy.

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