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Posts Tagged ‘cheese’

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I wanted to fix up a cute & healthy little breakfast for us this morning.

The weekends we take our time to start our days.

My mother-in-law makes the best fish cakes. I saved some from the holidays for this weekend to surprise my husband. He loves them.

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Mini Quiche. 4 servings. 2 per person.

5-7 eggs (depending on the size of the eggs and how big you want to make your little mini quiches).

1 (+ -1/4) cup milk (use more if you are making them a little bigger).

4 slices of sandwich meat. Cut into small pieces (I used smoked turkey breast. Depending on how large the slices are, add or take off as you desire).

5-7 mini/cherry tomatoes or 1-2 regular tomatoes. Cut into small pieces. I cut up the tomatoes and let them rest on a folded paper-towel. (This way they are not as wet for the quiche).

1-3 tbsp. fresh herbs, finely cut.

4-5 slices of a sharp (or regular) cheese. I love sharp cheddar.

Pinch of salt & pepper (if desired, add any other seasoning of your choice).

Muffin-pan or small oven safe cups.

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Whisk the eggs, milk, herbs, salt & pepper together until well blended. Add additional seasoning as desired. I tend to always add hot-sauce, ground coriander and/or ground chipotle pepper. Smoked paprika would also be delicious.

Grease (spray) the muffin-pan. Turn on the oven to 175-200C/350-400F (depending on how your oven works. Mine is a little low and slow so I cook on the higher temperature).

Fill each of the holes with the egg mixture. Make sure they are only filled 1/2 – 2/3 to the edge. Add the meat, tomatoes and finally top with pieces of the cheese slices.

Bake in the oven until the cheese is nicely melted and has turned into a golden brown color.

Serve 2 per person. Make a little bed of salad decorated with either herbs, fruits or vegetables.

I served mine with the reheated leftover fish cakes my mother-in-law made for the holidays.

If you want to make them vegetarian (a vegetarian who eats eggs), skip the meat inside.

Usually I serve them with some oven baked bacon or prosciutto.

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Enjoy!!!

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Happy continued holidays or “God fortsättning” as we would say.

Breakfast after the celebrations all through the holidays, consists of the best sandwiches.

Breakfast after the celebrations all through the holidays, consists of the best sandwiches.

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Christmas is celebrated for many days in Sweden. People take as many days of vacation as they can. We usually call all the days in between the holidays “squeeze days”. These are mostly given off to the staff as bonus days but at some workplaces they have to use vacation-days. Some years one can really get lucky and have 2- 2 1/2 weeks off. Other times it can be only a week. This year, many of my friends and family has been able to take a whole lot of extra days. How lucky. Here in the US we are only off on Christmas day. The rest has to come out of that oh so important vacation day pot. So since I just had a late year vacation, I am not having any days off in between.

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I always change the Christmas table up from year to year. The decorations are important but can really be anything & everything.

I always change the Christmas table up from year to year. The decorations are important but can really be anything & everything.

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Christmas is my absolute favorite holiday of the year. The food, the lights, the family & friends. It all comes together in a blend of “wonderfulness”.
We decorate the house with all the old Swedish little “tomtar” (gnomes), fruits, candles, straw ornaments, flowers and much more.

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The highlight of course, is the food. The Christmas buffet is a very typical and non-changing event. In my family, we keep having the Christmas ham, salmon mousse, warm smoked salmon or any other smoked fish, cold smoked salmon, Jansson temptation (potato & anchovy gratin), meatballs, cocktail sausages and much more on the table. No Christmas is complete without these dishes.

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Warmsmoked salmon or in this case, Whiting and cold smoked salmon.

Warm-smoked salmon or in this case, Whiting and cold smoked salmon.

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We celebrate Christmas eve. The following days of Christmas we make all sorts of leftover dishes. For breakfast, you could almost guarantee that people would eat meatball and beet salad, ham & cheese- & other versions of Christmas sandwiches. They are the best sandwiches ever.

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Sides & Red beat salad, olives, pickled cucumbers, sour cream, sweet-mustard sauce, lingonberries, mustard and much more.

Sides. Beet salad, olives, pickled cucumbers, sour cream, sweet-mustard sauce, lingonberries, mustard and much more.

God Jul!! Or Merry Christmas!!

God Jul!! Or Merry Christmas!!

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I keep telling my husband when he says that Christmas is only one day, that Christmas lasts until the beginning of January. So, keep on celebrating and keep eating versions of that fantastic Christmas buffet!

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Here we go again…

Another Super Bowl game… I had planned to be prepared and know exactly what to serve this year. That didn’t happen. “Something with hotdogs” was the order for this years football finals. Again? Some of the things we did last year were “thin-bread rolls with hotdogs”.

We don’t really eat hotdogs that often since it is one of the most processed foods there is so I rather cook something else. I decided to go with mini versions of pizzas. Everybody loves that so it is an “easy” one. Since I decided a few years back not to fight it for super bowl and just make some home-made fast food my way, it is ok. I can live with it. I actually managed to squeeze in some whole wheat pizza dough for the pizza buns and lot’s of herbs in the crust of the calzones. One does what one can. It is like hiding vegetables from kids.

Instead of eating big slices that drip and are a little harder to handle, I make mini calzones and pizza “buns”.

The recipes are easy . The only “set” measurements are for the dough itself. After that, you just add the amount of topping you like.

Try these mini pizzas and Have a great Super Bowl.

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Mini Calzones.

Pizza dough.

Tomato sauce. A few tablespoons per pizza.

Cheese. I use a mixture of a few different kinds of cheese. Cheddar, Monterey Jack, Mozzarella, Gruyère or just anything you have in the house. About a handful per pizza.

Smoked ham or Canadian bacon. About a handful per pizza.

A pinch of Italian seasoning or dried Thyme and Oregano on the filling. You would need a little more if you add it to the crust.

Directions;

Take the pizza dough. Divide it into portion sizes (the size of a tennis ball or the size of your choice). Roll them out very thinly  (you can add dried herbs to the crust by pressing it in while rolling out the dough). Spread a little tomato sauce onto one half, a couple of tablespoons per pizza. Make sure not to go all the way out into the edge. Place some cut up ham as a “stripe” across the middle of the dough. Add a handful of cheese on top. End with the herbs or seasoning. Fold the “lid” over. Pinch the edges very tight so that the calzone can “puff up”.

Bake in a 450 – 500 F (225-250 C) oven. It will take 5-10 minutes. You should bake them hot and fast. If you have a pizza stone, use that.

Note that you can use any kinds of cheeses and fillings for this pizza. The amount is also up to you. Just don’t over stuff them. They need a little space to be able to “puff up”.

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Place the tomato sauce, ham and cheese horizontally across the dough. Fold over the “lid”. Pinch the edge well so that the calzone is nice and airtight.

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Keep them whole or cut them into halves.

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IMG_2868_2“Pizza Buns”.

Pizza dough.

Tomato sauce.

Pepperoni.

Cheese. I use a mixture of a few kinds. Cheddar, Monterey Jack, Mozzarella, Gruyère or just anything you have in the house. About a handful per pizza.

Directions;

Roll out the pizza dough into a rectangular shape. It should be about 1/4″-3/8″ (about 1/2 cm) thick.

Spread tomato sauce onto the dough as if you were making cinnamon buns. Cut the pepperoni into small pieces. Spread it evenly all over the dough. Use as much as you would like. Add the cheese. Start rolling up the dough from one end to the other (it must be tight so that the filling doesn’t fall out when it is cut up into pieces). Make sure to pinch the end very well so the roll stays closed. Place the dough with the end facing down into the counter. Cut pieces about 3/4″ (2 cm) thick. Place on a baking sheet and bake in a 450 – 500 F (225-250 C) oven. It will take 5-10 minutes. You should bake them hot and fast. If you have a pizza stone, use that.

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Roll up the pizza dough with all the filling just as if you where baking cinnamon buns.

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Cut the pizza roll into pieces.

Basic Pizza dough.

3 – 3 1/2 c. flour.
1 tsp. salt.
2 tbsp. olive oil
Pinch of honey or sugar (the honey/sugar is used to help activate the yeast).
1 package dry yeast (1/2 oz) or 1 package ( 1 1/2 oz) fresh yeast .
1 cup warm water (warm not hot since it would ‘kill” the yeast).
Directions;
Combine honey/sugar, water and yeast into a small bowl. Let sit until the yeast has dissolved).
Use a wooden spoon. Combine flour and salt in a large bowl and make a well in the center.
Pour yeast mixture and oil into well and stir in dry ingredients until you have a soft dough.
If dough is too sticky, add a little bit more flour.
Knead on a lightly floured surface for about 8 minutes or until smooth and firm.
Place in an oiled bowl, cover with a towel and let rise until doubled or 45 minutes to an hour.
* If you would like, it is smart to make a couple of batches of pizza dough at the same time and freeze it. If you use frozen dough, take it out the night or two nights before and let it de-frost in the fridge. This way the dough doesn’t become rubbery but nice and “giving”.

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Enjoy!!

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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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The pizza I am used to, is a very “thin crusted huge one person pizza.”

My husband was shocked when he saw it in Sweden for the first time. “Are you sure??  Eat the whole thing??”

Let me put it this way, you have to practice, but yes, you have the whole pizza to yourself!!

The crust might be thin but we load it up with toppings.

I have my favorite pizza place “Birka Pizza “and I always order the same thing, a Tropicana with curry, banana, onions, ham and black olives. YUM! Others would say yuck.

I think you really can put anything on a pizza crust, make them any size and really have fun with it.

At home I either bake individual pizzas or make a hug one with sections of toppings. The “rule” though is for my bananas and curry NEVER to touch my husbands pepperoni.

Try my desert blueberry pizza. Great as a snack or desert. Even as a little bite if you get unexpected visitors.

Almost every grocery store sells pizza dough. Fresh or frozen. To save time, just buy that. I buy the frozen whole grain and let it de-frost over night in the fridge.

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Blueberry pizza.

1 package of frozen or fresh pizza dough.

1 cup of frozen or fresh blueberries.

1-3 tbsp. of brown sugar.

A few sprigs of fresh mint.

Directions:

Roll out the pizza dough on a floured surface.

Move it over to a pizza baking sheet. Pour over the blueberries. Note, if you are using frozen ones you don’t have to de-frost them.

Sprinkle over the sugar.

Bake in a 450 degree oven. Bake until  the crust starts to turn slightly golden brown.

Either rip or cut pieces of mint and sprinkle over the pizza.

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Banana pizza.

1 Package of frozen or fresh pizza dough.

1 cup tomato sauce. I make it easy for myself and use spaghetti sauce.

1 cup of shredded cheese. Use your favorite or a mixture of a couple or 3 kinds of cheese. I tend to use a nutty cheese like Jarlsberg, some easy melting cheese like Edam and a sharp one like parmesan or Gruyère. You can also use mozzarella. You can use less or more cheese. Your choice.

1 ripe banana. 

1 tbsp. curry powder.

Pepper to taste.

Fresh basil, julienned (shredded).

Directions:

Roll out the pizza dough on a floured surface.

Move it over to a pizza baking sheet. Add the tomato sauce. Spread it all the way out into edges. Cut the banana in thin slices. Add to pizza. Cover with the cheese. Sprinkle over the curry powder. Bake in a 450 degree oven until the melted cheese is getting nice & brown.

Shred or julienne the basil and add to the pizza.

Enjoy.

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