Wednesday, June 11, 2008


It's hard to believe nearly a month's passed since my last post. I have been finishing up my studies in Sweden and doing a little traveling. A week ago my parents visited (!) and we spent time in Copenhagen and Stockholm. We had a great time exploring the cities and savoring a variety of edibles. "Where are we eating next?". That's enough of a summary.
I am nearing the end of my time in Sweden. After Midsummer I will head south toward the Mediterranean. Duct tape, painting supplies, neon-plastic Ikea cutlery. Stuffed quickly in my pack these tools will safeguard my journey. Clothes, too. And a toothbrush. Among other things

I have been reading, staring, writing, cooking, and baking often. The weather is perfect. I nap in parks. I toss frisbee and kick futbol. My friends demand I join them for coffee. They also demand baked goods and dinner. That's what life is without my computer. It's relaxing, it's right. I dreamt a great fruit salad and made it three days in a row.

::2 apples (1 sour, 1 sweet)
::2 bananas
::1 red chili
::fresh grated ginger
::lime juice

It's a great blend of flavors. Simple, healthy, and delicious. Adjust them for your pleasure. I'm trying to figure out a good, fresh herb to add. Thoughts? Basil? Tonight's dessert.

Friday, May 16, 2008

travels with dumplings

I recently returned from a 7 day trip with my 'Sustainable Baltic Region' course through Helsinki (Finland), Tallinn (Estonia), and Riga (Latvia). Though it wasn't quite educational in an institutional sense, I absorbed plenty of culture: tram etiquette, bus routes, language barriers, beer, and dumplings. Dumplings, it could be said, ruled this trip. My estimates vary within 1.5 pounds and 1.5 kilos for the week.

Dumplings are the home-cooked comfort food of Eastern Europe. They are eaten on holidays, for dinner, lunch, and gobbled as after-pub snacks. Whether boiled or fried, their thin but firm dough outer houses a variety of tasty eatables. Potato, farmer's cheese, cabbage, beef, pork. While sour cream is the requisite dip, condiments often include parsley, pickles, sweet-chili sauce, and garlic sauce.

Dumplings, condiments, soup (BORSCHT!), sides, and drinks are self-service and priced by weight. Just great.

I've determined the Swedish version of this to be a variety of peeled-boiled potatoes, rather than dumplings, in self-service vats. Sides would include köttbullar (meatballs!), beet salad, pannkakor (pancakes!), lingonberry jam, and gravy, (and tube caviar? of course). It would be wildly popular.

And, a delicious poppy seed pastry I consumed:

Monday, May 5, 2008

chocolate craving

I present this recipe to reveal my thought process when faced with typical cravings and minimal pantry.

::2 eggs
::1/2 c sugar
::1/4 c really soft butter
::1/2 c flour
::1/8 c cocoa
::1 t baking soda
::1/8 c hot, strong coffee

-Pretty much mix wet, mix dry, mix everything and 375 for 15-20.

It's a really simple, moist, fluffy, eatable cake that satisfies my urge for chocolate and my need to bake. What really made this cake great:


I made this up real quick a few weeks ago for a pot-luck to drizzle on Swedish pancakes. Nobody made pancakes. I take spoonfuls in passing, but I was eager to use it with another foodstuff.
I don't remember anything close to a recipe. I know it involved these ingredients:
::cocoa powder
::fresh ginger
::sesame oil

A complex, deep flavor. I was satisfied using my quick cake as a vessel for mass-consumption of this.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

some college cooking

this is a brief interlude in my recent conquests of desserts, baking, and swede culture.

I started this blog last summer to showcase simple, tasty recipes I consider a step-up from the stereotypical college fare. I generally cook myself 2 meals a day, 6 days a week. It's just what happens on a budget. Mind you, I do often splurge at the grocery store. It’s also partially because I need at least one creative outlet per day. Sometimes its thinking and writing, often painting. Mostly: cooking.

A few days ago I awoke without the trace of appetite. Regardless, I sat and thought of food until 3, then had a chocolate cake to hold me over until dinner. Enter: appetite. And: rice. Recently I've been preparing rice by sautéing it in the saucepan with sesame oil, ginger, and garlic until crisp before steaming. The rice absorbs these flavors beautifully. I've also convinced myself that the grain holds form better...maybe true?
The more exciting part of the meal: carrots. Chopped then sautéed with potatoes and garlic and smothered with a nice sauce of tomato paste, sesame, chili pepper, soy. A happy compromise of sweet and spicy.

potato salad. no mayo. thanks. tomatoes would have been nice, though

Boiled potatoes are popular in Sweden. And not seasoned. usch. So, with a hefty portion of leftover potatoes and boiled eggs I made a simple, light potato salad. Too easy, in fact: too good.
::boiled potatoes
::boiled eggs
::fresh basil
::olive oil
::fresh lemon juice
::sweet, white "balsamic"

Okej, key to good cooking: fresh ingredients.

The grocery store only sells herbs in I won't be buying any more basil for the next month. Thanks, ICA.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

sun in sweden.

I returned from Poland to a sunny Sweden. Dry with highs in the mid-60's. Long days getting longer. Sunlight from 5am until 8:45pm.

A friend was visiting from Paris for two days, so we made a quick, fresh pasta salad for dinner. It was a simple, colorful, filling, and delicious. We used a mix of regular and spinach pasta with chopped cucumber, tomato, feta, basil, caviar, olive oil, salt 'n pepper. In Sweden caviar is a very accessible food. It comes in a large variety at an attractive price of about $3. It's a subtle flavor. And the mild fish/salty/sweet isn't lost with this light dish. The feta is definitely essential to this bright taste, but mozzarella could be used if you splashed a little balsamic throughout.

An adaptive meal.

In other news: I have been raising a sourdough starter the last few weeks. He (yes, gender defined) is quite easy to take care of and I'm confident enough in his maturity to start using him in recipes. That said, I don't always like recipes. In fact, today I wanted nothing to do with them. So I just mixed things together. Usch. Results were by no means sourdough, excellent, or smile-worthy. I'm convinced the reason I quickly ate half the loaf is due to its affinity for butter. Turns out this bread was just an excuse for eating butter. Butter and carbs. Two things I love. A good excuse, mind you, but unsuccessful nonetheless. I plan on following a recipe soon enough.

lazy, experimental bread.

not quite as yellow in person. white, in fact

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

some time in Poland

Hej alla. Sorry about the lack of posts recently. I just returned from a week-long trip to Poland. Four days at a student conference meeting with students from all around Eastern Europe. Two days relaxing in beautiful Gdansk in Northern Poland. Great times with new friends.
We were treated to plentiful meals at the conference. Bread and butter at every meal. Slices of meat and cheese for breakfast. Rich soups with bread and varieties of slaw for lunch. Potatoes and meat (chicken, pork, varieties of schnitzel) for dinner. Cake and ice cream for dessert. Always coffee and tea. It was delicious. Free, too. Delcious, free, and smiling.

the fancy spread for the closing dinner of the conference:

Thursday, April 10, 2008

simply amazing.

A few days ago while exploring the blogosphere I came across a few posts (closet cooking, genesis of a cook) regarding the peanut butter, banana, honey combo. This is one of my favorite comfort foods. And the simplicity of the ingredients lends itself as a convenient, everyday indulgence. Just great. My goal was to take the flavor combinitaion in a different, more pre-conceived direction. Enter: bread pudding. It's rich, homely, and an extremely flexible base for flavor exploration/exploitation.

::2 c milk
::1/2-2/3 c crunchy peanut butter (the more the better!)
::1/8 c butter
::1/4 c sugar
::2 eggs
::day old bread (like this one)
::hot water
::2 ripe, large bananas
-Bring milk, peanut butter, butter, sugar, and salt to a boil, stirring often, and reduce heat until thickened.
-Remove from heat and let cool until lukewarm.
-Beat in eggs and add 3/4 of the bread in large chunks.
-Mix some honey with hot water and a table spoon of butter.
-Cut 1/4 of bread into small chunks and cover/saturate with honey mix.
-Cut bananas into large chunks and caramelize with butter in sauté pan.
-In a buttered pan place bananas and honey-soaked bread then cover with custard-bread.
-Bake at 350 for 35 minutes.

I have been really eager for this since conceiving it a few days ago. I even baked a bread solely for use in this recipe (prior post). Once I started preparing its components I became even more excited; smililng to myself as I bounced around the korridor. I knew this was going to be really outstanding. With custards/bread pudding it is easy to produce satisfying, but homogeneous flavors. One of my goals was to preserve the individual flavors. I did this successfully by using large pieces of banana and by pre-saturating a portion of the bread with honey. The results were just as I had hoped: rich, distinct bites of honey and banana amidst a sea of peanut-buttery goodness. And using chunky peanut butter gives a needed crunch to the otherwise custardy custard.

Next time I use plain base, reserving the peanut butter for either a marbled saltiness or as a luxurious whipped topping. Enjoy!

Monday, April 7, 2008

a bread experiment

I've recently baked a slew of quick-breads. But I've also had yeast on hand for the last few weeks with the intent to make kenalbullar (Swedish cinnamon rolls!). Without a rolling pin, canned food, soda or beer cans available as flattening tools, I've had to postpone my cinnamon filled, gooey expectations. After day-dreaming a particularly delicious bread pudding recipe yesterday and determining that I don't want to buy a loaf of bread I figured I might as well bake my own. So, with my limited baking experience (pizza dough and cinnamon rolls) I set out on a path of self discovery. (not as epic as it seems, but quite delicious, hopefully)

I have read many a bread recipe in my life. All sorts of measurements and slight variations that produce drastically different results. I am always drawn to what I call "simple" recipes, such that one measuring cup can do most of the work. So why not try out this principle and cross my fingers for good results?

I figured adding an egg and honey would make it challah-esque. silly, I know.
::1/4 c milk
::1/4 c water
::1/4 c honey
::1 T yeast
::1 egg
::1/4 c butter
::5/4 c flour
::1 T salt
-mix milk, water, and honey and warm in microwave for about 30 seconds or until warm.
-mix in yeast and let sit for 10 minutes
-in the meantime: melt butter in microwave and beat in egg.
-combine egg/butter with yeasty mix
-pour into a bowl of flour and salt.
-mix with wooden spoon adding a little flour if needed
-turn out onto floured surface and knead for 7 (?) minutes
-place in oiled/buttered bowl, cover with moist towel, and let rise for about 45 minutes
-on floured surface, separate dough into 3 pieces.
-gently form into long strands and braid.
-place in baking pan, covered, and let it rise until oven is preheated.
-make an egg wash from yolk and milk
-bake at 375 for 30 minutes

This bread met my expectations. It's fairly plain and moist, like a mellow challah. Delcious with butter and honey or creamcheese, cheese, and cucumbers (that's what the Swedes like). It will be a perfect candidate for bread pudding after some drying.

Leftover dough becomes a mini-round: !

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Apple Yogurt Bread

The other day at the grocer a friend recommended apple cinnamon yogurt and I immediately schemed this bread. I've been wanting to whip together a bread with some yogurt for some time now. It's simple and subtly sweet with gooey granny smiths lining the bottom! I was excited.

Apple Yogurt Bread
::1/4 c softened butter
::1/4 c sugar
::2 eggs
::1/2 c yogurt (I used a sweet, cinnamon/apple variety)
::1 c flour
::1 t baking powder
::1 t baking soda
::2 granny smiths
-cream together butter and sugar
-mix in eggs then yogurt.
-mix flour, baking powder, soda, salt, and a little cinnamon
-combine dry and wet
-wash, core, and slice apples
-toss them in a mix of cinnamon, sugar, and flour until coated
-place apples at bottom of buttered pan
-spread dough on top of apples
-bake at 350 for 45 minutes

Wait until the bread sufficiently cools until slicing and the baked apples will stay intact. The upper bread is very simple but moist. What's special is the combination of bread and apples. They add a needed tangy sweetness. This is great by itself or spread with butter. Maybe consider adding salt roasted walnuts. Or topping it with an brown sugar, oat, egg white glazing? Good times.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Ginger Honey Sesame Bread

I was hungry and unmotivated to trek to the grocer at 9pm. Luckily, with my recent acquisition of baking soda, I can satisfy my snacking needs with simple, homemade quick-breads. Also, limited by a small amount of butter, I decided to add sesame oil to dough, and then why not ginger?

served warm with drizzled honey:

...also: darker than expected.

::2 T butter (softened)
::1/4 c sesame oil
::1/4 c sugar
::1/4 c honey
::2 eggs
::1 T ginger (freshly grated/minced/pulverized)
::1 c flour
::1/4 c oats
::2 t baking soda
-cream together butter, sesame oil, sugar, and honey.
-incorporate eggs and ginger.
-mix flour, oats, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.
-combine dry and wet ingredients
-pour into sesameOiled baking pan
-bake at 350 for about 40 minutes.

I am really happy with these results. The ginger is strong, but gives way to the pleasant sesame and honey. A brilliant aftertaste. I would consider adding sesame seeds to the mix or as a topping. Maybe cashews.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

another banana bread.

There was a period of my life defined by the baking of weekly banana bread. It was delicious for a few weeks, until I become more interested in the smell and the process than the taste. Needless to say, I made many friends. Now that I have finally found baking soda in ICA (the main Swedish grocer), I can finally get back to some regular aroma therapy sessions. I also bought honey at the store and, with a box of honey puffed cereal (like "Smacks", but generic), was eager to satisfy my sweet tooth.

check out that toasted cereal!

::1/2 c butter (room temperature)
::1/4 c honey
::1/4 c sugar
::2 large uber-ripe bananas
::1 egg
::1 T baking soda
::1 c flour
::1/4 c oats
::honey puffed cereal
-cream butter with honey and sugar
-mash bananas with egg
-mix bananas into butter
-mix baking soda, flour, oats, salt, cinnamon, and a handful of cereal
-combine wet/dry mixes (should be very moist)
-put in a butterDusted pan and top with another few handfuls of cereal
-bake at 350 for 45-1.

"Whoa! Wow! Next time you make this I watch."-Swedish roommate. It was his birthday and this was the most excited he got all day. Yeah, banana bread didn't exist here.
This batch came out very moist. The texture was perfect and the honey and crunch of the honey and crunch were suitably subtle and smile-worthy. I will make this again. I still want to add either yogurt or cottage cheese. Luckily you can by pre-mixed cottage cheese yogurt cinnamon snack at the local ICA. hmm...suspect

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Your leftovers are my pudding.

I took home some extra vegan bread from the vegetarian/vegan restaurant I work at. It's very dense and has whole roasted hazelnuts, apricots, and raisins mixed throughout. We serve it to every table as they sit down. I can't eat more than a bite without alternating between it and gulps of milk. It's just too dense. But, I figured, why not use it for a recipe? I considered making a bread pudding, or grinding/crushing it and using it as a pie crust (I also make crusts of old cornbread or banana bread, any bread really, try it). After reading Emiline's entry to her food blog contest, I knew the bread's fate: pudding. Delicious, moist pudding.


::1 c milk
::3 T cocoa
::1/3 c sugar
::2 T butter
::2 t salt
::2 eggs
::1/2 c cream
::dry/stale bread (Challah works best, but use what you have)
-Heat the milk, sugar, salt, and cocoa in saucepan until dissolved and scalded.
-Melt in butter and TAKE OFF HEAT
-Once mix is about room temperature, mix in eggs and cream.
-Add in chunks of bread and let sit for 15 minutes (or cover and place in fridge for hours)
-Pour into buttered baking ban or individual ramekins
-Bake for 35-45 minutes at about 350º (I used maybe ramekin use 375º)

I served this in a bowl, drizzled with heavy cream. Really tasty. Since the bread was so dense, and could not be fully infiltrated by the custard, there is a great variety of textures. And the surprise crunch of a hazelnut or sweetness of dried fruit really made this batch special. I'm definitely going to have to take home more of this great bread next week!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

black and tan and a spoon

A few days ago I decided to take a stroll around the food blogosphere. I do this every once and a while, usually searching for ice cream recipes, inspiration, and delicious pictures. Eventually I came across Sugar Plum, where Emiline had chosen to throw a St. Patrick’s Day food blog event. I've never participated in a blog event before. And with beer plentiful here in Sweden, I knew I must participate. Even before I had made that decision, my mind had started wandering around the "kitchen." This test kitchen, thought mostly fanciful, is unavoidably accompanied by a growling stomach and a half-concealed grin. Anyways.

Some initial thoughts: Beer, cream, ice cream, no ice cream maker, beer, pudding, génoise, no pans, mousse, beer.

I decided a mousse would be perfectly spoonable and elegant. And why not add whipped cream? I've run into a few problems while cooking in my Swedish kitchen the last two months. I don't want to spend (too much) money on kitchen essentials that I know I will leave behind in 4 months. Also, it's just difficult to find certain ingredients. Baking soda and cream of tartar have both eluded me in the grocery stores! Baking soda! And, with this in mind, I set out to make mousse with neither electric mixer nor recipe. dumb

partially inspired by the drink: Black and tan

served in a shot glass.

(not exact, and not portioned well)

::::Guinness-caramel mousse::::
::1/2 c Guinness (room temp preferred)
::1 c sugar
::2 T water
::4 eggs separated
::1/2 c heavy cream
::cream of tartar (I did not use this, but you should)
-heat 1/2 c sugar and water in saucepan on medium-high until sugar dissolves and caramelizes.
-take off heat and add Guinness (it will foam like crazy)
-reduce heat to Low and reduce to about 1/2 c.
-beat egg yolks with about 1/4 c sugar until light
-beat egg whites with a tablespoon sugar and a bit of cream of tartar until stiff peaks.
-beat cream with a tablespoon sugar until stiff peaks.
-beat yolks continuously while slowly adding in hot Guinness/caramel
-alternate folding in spatula-fulls of whipping cream then egg whites
-pour into glasses, cover, chill.

::::orange-ale whipped cream::::
::1/2 c pale ale
::1/2 c sugar
::1/4 c fresh orange juice
::the orange's zest (remember to zest before cutting the orange!)
::3/4-1 c cream
-heat sugar and ale until sugar dissolves over medium-high.
-add zest and juice and turn heat to Low
-reduce until about 1/2 c
-mix orange-ale syrup with cream and whip until stiff peaks

Okay. It tastes really great. Both parts of this recipe taste fine on their own. The beer and flavoring parings are great. Dark, creamy Guinness with smooth, complex caramel. The light ale whipped with fresh orange. Great.
With proper kitchen appliances I would expect both to have more complex/contrasting textures. And maybe next time chocolate-guinness rather than caramel. Or both?

I'm looking forward to seeing what the other bloggers put together. Should be a delicious moment.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

banana bread.

I haven't done any baking in the last two months. It was difficult. But now, with the fumes of fresh banana bread wafting through my corridor, it will be hard to stay away from the oven. I tried a few new things in this "loaf". First, I say "loaf" because I baked in a circular, glass pan. Not quite a loaf, but quite delicious. Who cares about shape anyways? Another new addition: an unmashed, less ripe banana. I caramelized it a bit before placing it, cut lengthwise, on top of the dough. I also used half flour, half oats. I think that will be nice.
If there is one thing I love about banana bread, it's that it reminds me of banana bread ice cream!

(I didn't have a recipe and I have a limited pantry (no baking soda!: oops), so don't be too critical or trusting of this. I'm not)

::1/4 c butter softened
::1/4 c sugar
::2 eggs
::1 large ripe banana
::1 large yellow banana (peeled and sliced lengthwise)
::1/2 c oats
::3/4 c flour
::2 t baking powder

-cream butter and sugar
-mix eggs and ripe banana
-combine egg/banana with butter/sugar
-mix dry ingredients
-slowly mix in dry ingredients
-put mix in buttered, circular pan. or use a traditional 5x9 loafer.
-caramelize the fresh banana in a frying pan on medium/high heat. Consider sprinkling it with cinnamon and salt.
-place banana slices on dough before baking for about 45 minutes at 350.

*remember: using a glass pan like I did, please turn the stove down about 20º.

I haven't tried this yet, but it has all the requisites of success. Looks good, smells good, and induces roommates to halt studies and wander toward kitchen. as a note of importance: THIS IS THE FIRST BANANA BREAD MY SWEDISH ROOMMATES HAVE EVER SEEN!

Sunday, March 9, 2008

another college feast.

I bought my first package of Swedish meatballs (kötbullar) today. Turns out that, except for special occasion, most Swedes buy this popular food in the refridgerator section. They microwave hot in about 45 seconds. They also heat well on the stove. Tonight I had them with chopped dalakorv (a large, cheap, common sausage. It's ok). And, of course, ketchup. My swedish roommates go through more ketchup than anyone I've seen. Last night one of them ate tortellinni...douced in ketchup.

A quick note: for those who don't know, ketchup and catsup are both legit spellings. The sauce originated in China, where it was used with fish. Try it sometime (not just on fish sticks. real fish too). Or try Heinz Chili Sauce. It's ketchup-like with added zestiness. Worth a try.

Also: I bought soy sauce. I got a really dark one. For some reason I have an uncontrollable craving to eat it with fried chicken.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

A brief commentary on Swedish food and culture

What did I know about Sweden two months ago? In Scandinavia. Cold. IKEA. Design. Environmental. Fish. Swedish fish. Let's check my scorecard so far: Yes. No. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Not quite.
Arriving in Sweden, I was quick to assess its culinary realm. However, as an eager exchange student, I had plenty of people, booklets, and roughly translated websites dishing me the stereotypical plate of Sweden.
Potatoes. Pickled herring. Caviar (tubed and jarred). Crisp bread. Sausage. Cheese. Coffee. Licorice.
This is true. All of it. Over the last two months all these items have become more prevalent in my diet. We're they new? Well, except for the tubed caviar and salt covered licorice, no. I have fond memories of sitting in my Ann Arbor kitchen, eating large quantities of crisp bread, jarred and canned fish (I think I described this to a roommate as part of my transitory phase between Ovaltine and adulthood), sausage, potatoes, cheese, and coffee. Lots of cheese. Even more coffee. Regardless, this has been an effortless transition. But the question remains: What is the Swedish culinary reality?
It's hard to tell. You cannot simply walk into a Swedish style restaurant. You cannot, I am sure, because I am certain they do not exist. Some things are certain. Swedes love buffet style service, coffee breaks, sweets, and fish. There abundance is abundant. Everywhere.
I frequent a few different book stores around town. They are quite large, like small Borders. It's hard for me to understand many of the books. They are in Swedish after all, which is a Nordic language, though sometimes if I am not paying attention I swear it sounds like English. But it's not. It's just a language. Anyways, one afternoon I found a particularly inviting fish cookbook. I read the glossy photos and deciphered what I could of the strange arrangement of consonants and vowels. Within minutes this book shared the true story of Swedish food. Delicious.

A quick list: sushi, soups, stews, sesame-saffron, encrusted, pesto, cilantro-lime, tomato-basil, wok-style, gazpacho, kebab.
That is modern day Swedish culinary culture. It is familiar. It is vibrant. It has all the culinary bells and whistles that consumers expect from global culture. At the same time, it has the peasant dishes, the pies, soups, and earthy, root stews that secure its heritage.

And because this post is lacking color:

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

food fight

This is a really intersting video I found on YouTube the other day. It is a brief history of US-centric war. Countries are represented by their different stereotypical foods. See if you can figure it out. Great animation as well.


tourist pictures

Thursday, February 21, 2008

yes, I am a college student

I've started booking flights and making travel plans! It's great! It also costs money, like, about 60 containers of swedish ice cream per trip. Yeah, I've adjusted my budget, allocated funds, and changed my diet.
I eat potatoes (mashed, baked, fried, hashed). I eat spaghetti. And not the whole grain type I would get in the states. I eat EuroShopper, the cheapest brand. Imagine shopping at a Spartan store and getting something less expensive than the store brand. That cheap. And rice. Lots of white rice, sometimes with pesto or tomato sauce. And Ramen, the exotic cuisine of college students. In addition my usual addition of egg and sesame oil, I've started adding rice to beef it up.

It's all delicious. And worth the traveling.

Monday, February 18, 2008

gasque then afterward

Saturday I attended my first gasque. A gasque is a long, fancy, proper, festive occasion. I will omit formalities now and generalize the series of events in these words: watch, champagne, sit, sing, drink, eat, sing, sing, drink, eat, sing, drink, sing, drink, stand, drink, dance. Lots of talking and smiling mixed all about. Then dancing. Always dancing.

So, we have a three course meal. We arrive to the starter: seasoned toast with marinated artichokes, garlic, sun dried tomatoes, garnished with dandelion greens. It was a great starter, maybe a little too garlic laden, and not quite filling for the hour singing period before dinner.
Dinner arrived with the white wine. The salmon was moist and flakey, crusted with cheese, breadcrumb mix. The baked, sliced root vegetables were primarily potatoes colored with beets and a heavy amount of pepper. Maybe a little paprika too. Tzadziki acted as the universal sauce, with a high proportion of chopped mint, which seems very popular here. Excellent.

this photo is over-exposed. the salmon's color is washed out.

Dessert was the most enjoyable. Chocolate hazelnut mousse topped with fresh raspberries and mint leaf. Bright, sour raspberries meeting the velvet whipped hazelnut. So rich and dense. Too good.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

blood pudding verdict

So, I had purchased a half kilo of blood pudding about 2 weeks ago. I was very surprised by my first impression, and decided not to throw out the remaining blood. So, weeks have passed, and the presence of the pudding on my fridge shelf has inspired my roommates into a blood pudding feeding frenzy. On one occasion, one of them ate an entire half kilo in one sitting! Another time it was eaten along side some falukrov (really common, basic, fatty sausage, probably similar to bologna. I wouldn't know, it just seems like it would be.) and bacon (really common, delicious pig). Regardless, it seemed to be always served with Lingon Sylt (lingonberry jam). Yes. So stereo-typically Swedish. Tonight I gave the blood another chance. A fair one, in fact, by pairing it with Lingon. The lingonberry improves the experience upwards of good enough. Still though, I am not into this. It's a shame. I do see potential using it to richen sauces, maybe a good gravy? This doesn't even get a photo...for now.