Wednesday, March 30, 2011

C is for cookie

I'm leaving Iceland tomorrow. I've spent 3 snowy, cold and fun months here working, but now it's time to leave. I will stay in Sweden for the month of April, then have a summer filled with adventures in Oregon, Washington and England. I'm so excited! But before I leave, I wanted to tell you about a really nice café in Reykjavík.
C is for cookie is a café right off the main drag, which means it's close to everything but quiet and calm as if it was far away from the city center. The interior is light and welcoming with some soft sofas and armchairs as well as wooden tables and chairs, and the bookshelf is filled with fun books and a large amount of National Geographic magazines. The menu is simple but nice, and the prices are quite cheap for being Scandinavia. 
They offer a roll or toast with hummus which is nothing spectacular, but homemade and vegan. It would be nice to have some veggies to it though.

They have soy milk  for your coffee and they make a cute pattern in the froth with a chocolate syrup. I'm always  irritated when cafés charge extra for soy milk, so I'm pleased that they don't do it here. I wish I found this place earlier than 5 days before I would leave! Next time I go to Iceland I will definitely go back and I hope they will have a vegan cookie by then.

C is for cookie is situated on Týsgata 8, 101 Reykjavík

Monday, March 28, 2011

A little bit of this and that.

Some days ago I had pretty disgusting coffee at a café called Hemmi og Valdi. The cups where pretty but impractical for drinking hot drinks in, I don't think I will go back there. Today on the other hand, I went to a great café which you will hear more about as soon as I have tried their hummus sandwich!

I bought some mysterious yellow beans as the Thai market the other week, which wouldn't soften no matter how many hours (3) we boiled them. I refused to throw them out, so after a session with my immersion blender and some add-ins, these bean patties were created.

We were invited to our co-worker for dinner and were treated a great meal. Roasted veggies, green salad, whole oats, coconut mango sauce and chickpeas. It was un that the whole family ate the same food as us!

Scone-dough + some fresh rosemary + topping of choice = fakeaccia!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Waffle day!

 Today is the national waffle day in Sweden, and although it's not currently my country of residence, I refuse not to celebrate this wonderful day fully. The origin of this day is rather funny. For Christian people out there, this day is more known as the day Maria got knocked up. In Swedish that day is called Vårfrudagen ("Our Lady's Day"), which in vernacular Swedish sounds almost like Våffeldagen (waffle day). Well, to be honest I have a hard time understanding how someone could mishear it like that, but who am I to argue when it made a day into waffle day?

This is our last week in Iceland for this time, so we wanted to treat our co-workers with a waffle party! I wanted to try the raised waffles in Vegan Brunch, but I also wanted to make some the way they're normally eaten in Sweden, light and crispy. So I found a great recipe over at The Vegan Swedes, and made waffles for the 10 o'clock coffee break at the office today. Total success of course!

 You can find the recipe for the waffles on the pictures here.

Friday Favourites

This  pretty picture is taken by Julia at Islaborg.

Creamy iced latte
While I've never had protein powder in my life, using it to make your iced latte creamy makes me want to head to the store and get it right now. 

Japanese green tea and red bean marble bread.
Can someone please come up with a recipe for a bread like this

Persian New Year
Amey over at Vegan Eats & Treats made an amazing spread of dishes for Persian New Year, check it out and get hungry!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Syrup waffles

(Psst, this post is just a tease for what's coming tomorrow, when it's National Waffle Day in Sweden and I will celebrate from abroad by hosting a waffle party at my office!)

Yesterday I picked up something totally new to me in the supermarket. They called it syrup waffles, and the package said they were organic and filled with hazelnut paste. I bought one package to try, and this morning me and Martin had one each for breakfast. While not being a very healthy or filling start of the day, they were totally delicious! I think they would have been superb with coffee, so I might have to buy another package and try that combination very soon. I also bet I could make something similar myself with my wafer iron. Perhaps someone of you have a recipe for me?

Right after finding the waffles, I also found a pair of earrings that is exactly what I have been looking for for more than a year. Who knew it would be so hard finding something so simple?

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Granola bars

I made granola bars for the first time ever, what took me so long? No recipe, just a mix of blended dates, apple sauce, oats, nuts, sesame seeds, shredded coconut and raisins.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Cabin Hotel, Reykjavík

While the warm section of this eat-all-you-want buffet leaves a lot to wish for vegan eaters, the cold section can please most of us. It's simple, almost on the edge to boring, but it will surely fill you up if your not a super picky eater. There's a lot of raw vegetables, pasta, rice and some sauces, of which the salsa and sweet chilli sauce is vegan. Add some bread, peanuts and fresh fruit to that and you've got yourself a meal. I miss more protein options (now there's only chickpeas), some cooked vegetables and of course, some warm food would be nice as well. But it's a place where you can bring any old grumpy Icelander, and everyone will be happy and full.

Also, I cut bangs the other week! I like it, but I think I'll cut it short this summer, maybe even shave it off before going to England. Time will tell!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Friday Favourites

This weeks Froday Favourites will be dedicated to Ai from Japan, who writes one of my favourite blogs, it will stop raining*.  I know she has a lot to deal with right now considering what's happening in her part of the world, so what better time to give her some credit for the work she is doing? She photographs everything (?) she eats and every single photo is beautiful. I don't know how she does it, but I'm totally impressed. I've followed her blog for several years, and never get tired of being shown her daily eats, pastries for breakfast, restaurant visits or snapshots from travels around Japan. And the blog title gives me hope on those rainy days.

Both photos above are taken by Ai at it will stop raining*

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Sauðárkrók bakarí

 I'm home again after one of the most amazing road trips ever. 4 days of crazy winds, loads of snow and slippery roads. But most of all new friends, mind blowing sights and memories for the rest of my life. We got stuck in the snow and had to be escorted to our house by a huge tractor, we saw northern lights for the first time in our lives, we swam in a hot pool right by the fjord, and made it safe home over the mountains in the storm.

The second day of our trip, we went to Sauðárkrókur, a town in the southern point of a fjord. We was lucky with the weather, but before we took a walk we decided to go for some coffee in a bakery. To my surprise, I found two kinds of vegan bars.

We went for the one with chocolate, and it was filled with nuts, seeds and puffed rice, and held together with pear (!!), banana and chocolate. It was cheap and very tasty, perfect before our long walk. The other variety was without chocolate. The café in it self might not have been the most cosy place to hang out, but I was too busy with my sweet and my new friends so really bother. The towns surrounding also weighed up for it.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Friday Favourites

365 days of breakfast
One beautiful breakfast photo every single day by Camilla Sundberg. The best thing about it is that it looks like it's summer in her kitchen every morning.

Photo Kitchen Blog
Thoughts and pictures from a team consisting of a food stylist, a graphic designer and a photographer based in the Philippines. It's interesting to get an insight to their work, and follow the process from beginning to start.

15 food photography tips for bloggers
Want to take beautiful photos of your food but don't know how to start? This guide from Happy Healthy Life covers some of the basics.

My plan was to have photography as the theme this Friday,  but this was to good not to share:

Jurassic Chocolate
Archaeology and chocolate in the same box? Count me in!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


A Semla is a traditional pastry made in various forms in Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Iceland, and today happens to be Shrove Tuesday, the day when it is traditionally eaten in Sweden! Way back, this day was the day before Lent, but since Sweden turned down Catholicism a long time ago, now it's just a happy celebration of this fabulous pastry. The Semla is actually sold from Christmas until Easter, and the average Swede eats 5 every year (not the home made ones counted).

The traditional Swedish Semla is a sweet yeasted bun, filled with almond paste and topped with whipped cream.

Vegan Semla
(translated from the excellent Swedish blogger Veganmage). The dough for the bun is the same that is used for cinnamon rolls, so use your favourite recipe for that if you want to instead!

75 g non-dairy margarine
300 ml/1 c + 2 tbs non-dairy milk
25 g fresh yeast (sub for dry if you want to, and do what the package tells you)
100 ml/1/3 c + 1 tbs granulated sugar
0,5 tsp salt
2 tsp cardamom
900 ml/4 all-purpose flour (more or less depending by need)

In a small saucepan, melt the margarine, then add the milk and heat until lukewarm (37° C/98° F). Crumble the yeast in a big bowl and add the sugar. Dissolve the yeast in a small part of the liquid, then add the rest together with salt and cardamom. Add the flour and knead to form a smooth and elastic dough. Cover with a clean towel and let rise for 40 minutes.

Divide the dough in 12 parts, shape to form round buns and put on a baking sheet and let rise again for 40 minutes. Bake buns in 200° C/390 ° F for 10-12 minutes. Let cool.

Slice off the top of the bun, and save it for later. Dig a small hole in the bun, taking out some of the inside. Mix some of that with almond paste (for all 12 of them, you'll need about 200 g. Marzipan is OK too), and add some veg milk to make it easier to blend. Put the filling in the holes. Top with whipped vegan cream, and seal the deal with the top of the bun. Sift some powdered sugar on top for the classical look.

The super traditional: Hetvägg (literary: hot wall). The Semla is placed in a bowl and served with hot milk poured over it.
Berry: Mix the cream with some fresh or frozen berries.
Chocolate-Coffee: Add 2 tbs of cocoa powder to the bun dough. Leave out the soymilk in the filling, and use coffee instead, along with some chopped dark chocolate. Add some cocoa powder to the whipped cream.

Fun fact (or rumour): The Swedish king Adolf Fredrik got a stroke from eating to much, and died 1771. He had a pretty "normal" royal dinner consisting of lobster, caviar, sauerkraut, fish and champagne, and had 14 helpings of Semla with hot milk for dessert.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Hello people! + 2 old favourites

Yesterday was a crowded day in here according to my statistics, and most of you seems to be new readers. I think a lot of you found my blog through either foodgawker or finding vegan, so let's throw a big welcome party where everyone's invited! For those of you who can't make it to Iceland, say hello in the comment field! I'm just so curious about all my readers, can't you tell me something about yourself? May it be the name of your furry friend, where you live, what you prefer to eat for breakfast or just whatever's on your mind, I would love to hear it.

Later this week I will share a recipe for an unresistable Swedish treat, but until then you can enjoy yourselves with two oldies but golides:

DIY seitan from scratch


Friday, March 4, 2011

Friday Recipe Favourites + Winter swimming video!

This week has been all about recipes, and this Friday Favourites will follow the theme. For me, this week has been more about photography, since I've found some really awesome food photography blogs, more about them next Friday! I just realized that all the links below are for sweets, and realised that that is what I use recipes for the most. I cook most of my food without a recipe, but almost always use recipes for the sweet stuff, guess that's why there's such an unbalance. If you have any recipes for food or sweets that you like to share, please do in the comments!

Molasses and ginger granola bars
This recipe from Good Life Eats is not only a recipe, but also a standard formula for granola bars!
Cinnamon roll pancakes
My heart stopped for a second when I saw this brilliant idea. A cross between a pancake and a cinnamon roll, that's just perfect.
Chocolate filled raspberries
This makes me want summer NOW.
Apple Butter
A recipe for apple butter that doesn't require a slow cooker.

So, recipe week is over, what did you think? There's been Vegan Skagen Mix, Mug Brownie, Orange Ginger Tofu, and Date Bars.  Was there something in particular that you liked/disliked? Have you used any of the recipes or are you planning to?

Below is a special treat for you, me swimming in the North Atlantic Ocean today!

The quality is lacking in most departments, and the wind shook the hole camera in the end, but still, gotta love it.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Recipe Week! Date Bars.

I first ate these bars in a car on the Faroe Islands, during a road trip. That time, they were made by a German girl studying art in the Netherlands, who were visiting the Faroe Islands. The recipe came from some Dutch coffee shop, and I was given some loose instructions on how to make it myself. Nearly a year later, I've finally got to veganize and making a complete recipe out of it. I hope you'll like it! This is the last recipe for this Recipe Week!, did you enjoy it? If you did, I might do it again sometime.Tomorrow is Friday Favourites, and the links will of course be all recipes, see you then!

Date Bars

150 g/5,3 oz margarine
75g/2,6 oz brown sugar
2 tbs cornstarch
375 g/13 oz g dates, coarsely chopped
2 tbs shredded dried coconut
100 g/3,5 oz simple sweet crackers

Melt the margarine in a sauce pan. Add the sugar and cornstarch, bring to a boil and let boil for about 1 minute until dissolved and a bit thickened. Add the dates and coconut, stir vigorously until everything is well mixed. Crush the crackers into different sized pieces, the largest a little bit than 2,5 cm/1 inch across and the smallest as crumbles. Add it to the date-mix. Using a big spoon (or your fingers, but be careful, it's hot!), spread out the mixture in a 20x20 cm/8x8 baking dish and let cool for at least two hours. Let it sit in room temperature for a while before cutting, since it will be quite hard straight out of the fridge and might break your knife if you don't (learned by experience). 

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Recipe Week! Orange Ginger Tofu.

 Orange Ginger Tofu

½ pound firm tofu, pressed
1 ½ tbs grated orange zest
1 tbs grated ginger
1 clove garlic, smashed
2 tbs soy sauce
3 tbs orange juice
1 tsp granulated sugar
2 tsp oil (I used rapeseed, but I'm sure coconut would be great as well)

Cut the tofu in the way that you like it and place it in a plastic container or plastic bag. I cut 4 slices that I halved. Mix all the ingredients for the marinade, and pour it over the tofu. It wont cover the tofu, but mix it around and make sure the tofu pieces are coated in it. Let sit for at least 2 hours, the longer the better! When ready to eat, pan fry or bake the tofu. Use the leftover marinade to make a sauce by adding 1/3 cup of water and 1 tbs of cornstarch dissolved in a little bit of water, and heat it on medium heat until thickened. When the tofu is done, add it to the sauce and let simmer for about 3 minutes. Serve over rice.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Recipe week! Microwave Mug Brownie.

OK, recipe week continues!  There will be four recipes, and this weeks Friday Favourite will focus on recipes that can be found online that I like. Any complains?

I first heard about the mug brownie a few years ago, and found out that it's a really great but dangerous recipe. A brownie that can be made in 2 minutes and only require the simplest ingredients and a microwave? Lucky me I haven't had regular access to a microwave in quite some time. While it's nothing like a real brownie, it will make you satisfied when you really crave a little bit of sugar and chocolate.

Vegan Mug Brownie

2 tbs wheat flour
2 tbs sugar
1 tbs cocoa powder
1 tbs oil
1 tbs liquid (coffee, water, orange juice, veg-milk)

Mix the dry ingredients in a mug or a small bowl. Add the oil and the liquid and stir to mix it well. Microwave on high heat for 45-60 seconds, depending on how firm you want your brownie. You will have to experiment to find the perfect time, since the heat varies from different microwaves. Eat with a spoon! For those super luxury moments, add a spoon of vanilla ice cream on top. Nom nom nom.

A mug brownie isn't pretty, so instead I give you two cute animals. I met the sheep when I was hiking in the Faroes, and it behaved very weird. While almost every other sheep ran away at the first sight of us, this stuck it's head trough then fence making sounds (what do you call the sounds of a sheep in English?). It sounded so demanding, so I picked up some grass and gave it to her. She ate it and walked away, seemingly pleased. Too lazy to pick her own grass obviously.