Monday, February 27, 2012

Sun, pine and cats.

The fridge is really empty right now, so no fun food has been had in a couple of days. But rest assure, grocery shopping is about to happen soon and after that there will be loads of yumminess to be had. If only it was summer. I can't wait for growing stuff on my balcony and picking berries in the fields and forest.

 Luckily, summer felt a bit closer this weekend. The weather was stunning, it's still cold but the sun was shining like never before. We took advantage of it of course, taking some small road trips to some nearby places. Above is me and my tall fried Mikael and some Scots pine on the left.

Sunday, we went east and drove along some really pretty roads in the countryside, and visited a small nature reserve with bid old pine trees. My view of big trees has changed a bit after visiting the Pacific Northwest, where the trees were really huge to me. The Swedish climate might not be as friendly to the trees, but this Scots pine from the 18th century was pretty big anyway.

 The weekend might be over, but I started my week with something great, some hours helping out at the local cat shelter. Above is Petter and Johnny, two beautiful boys. Johnny has a damaged eye, but has one of the softest furs I've ever touched.

This is Molle. He has such a pretty face and is a true cuddle bug. He will jump into you lap and stay there forever if you'd let him. I really hope he will be adopted soon.

This cat is such a character!  Frank, is actually only on a short visit back at the shelter and will hopefully go back to his family really soon. In the meantime, I try to squeeze in as many cuddles with his big cheeks as possible.

I hope you have a nice weekend with as sunny weather as I had, and I'll be back soon with some fun food.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Cosmos Apple Pie from Vegan Pie in the Sky

I have no idea why it took me so long to buy Vegan Pie in the Sky, since I have the two other books in the same series. The other week when I was over at my friend Hannah for lunch the other week, I flipped through her copy and knew I had to get one myself. It's a beautiful book, and I'm so glad it's in my bookshelf at last. I had already made two recipes from it before,the Pear Frangipane Tart and the Old Fashioned Chocolate Pudding Pie, both 5-star desserts. This week, I invited Hannah over for some apple pie.

Apple pie, the pies of pies, it was the only reasonable place to start.  I have made quite a few pie-ish desserts in my days, mostly crumbles but also the occasional pie with crust, but I don't think I've ever made one with both a bottom and top crust. Until today. Over all, the pie came out well. The dough was a bit tricky to work with, it was quite prone to crack while rolling it out, and didn't have much elasticity at all. However, I managed to get it together without falling apart and made some decorations with the excess dough. I must say, the crust was the best thing about this pie. It's crispy but oh so tender, and with a lovely mild taste that goes so well together with the apples and cinnamon. On the down side, the pie came out quite watery. This didn't make it any less tasty, but made it look a bit messy when cut.

I'll definitely make this pie again, and this crust will be used for many fruit and berry pies this year! If you have this book yourself, what recipe is your favorite?

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Chai spiced oat milk

There's a new non-dairy milk on the market here. The leading brand of oat products (Oatly) has started selling oat milk with chai flavour! There's no tea in it, just the usual cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and ginger. It's really good to drink it cold just by itself, it's thin and the flavour is not very strong. I would have liked it even more if it had a stronger taste, but hey, this is good enough! I wonder why they didn't start selling it before the holidays, it would have been a perfect beverage hot or cold during that period. It's also good in chai tea, since it will add all the qualities of milk-in-tea but without diluting the flavour to much.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Happy Shrove Tuesday!

Today is Shrove Tuesday and here in Sweden we celebrate by eating a semla (or two, or three). I blogged about it last year, so I'm not going to say much about it today.  I just wanted to remind you to make one, since it's one of the best Swedish treats there is. I mean, it's a fluffy sweet bun filled with almond paste and whipped cream, doesn't that say it all? Above is the one I had today when coming home from school.

A semla is great served with coffee. Just don't get to exited about the tastiness of the semla so you spill it all.

Last years semlor, eaten in Reykjavík, Iceland. 

Two years ago I did a chocolate coffee variation. I added some cocoa powder  to the dough, then added chopped chocolate and some coffee to the almond paste, as well as some cocoa powder in the cream.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Falukorv / Falu sausage

To me, Falukorv is in the top five when I think about common easy Swedish meals. It's a thick sausage originated in the town Falun in about 1890, and can be served in many ways, most commonly sliced and fried and served with elbow macaronis, or oven baked and served with mashed potatoes. That's how we ate it today.

I'm not going to write this as a recipe, since I wouldn't think a sausage like this is avaliable in vegan versions anywhere else, but the concept is easy: slice it (but not all the way down), squirt some mustard in between the slices, add some thinly cut apple in there as well, and top it off with some vegan cheese. Bake it in 225 C for about 20 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the sausage is browned. Serve with mashed potatoes and ketchup!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Chocolate balls

Today a friend of mine walked from Örebro to Hallsberg (where I live), which is a walk about 30 kilometers long. In -12 degrees Celsius (10 F), I think he deserves an applause. We did the only decent thing friends would do in this situation, served him coffee and chocolate balls.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Thursday lunch

Last night I was watching a Jamie Oliver show on TV, and he made some awesome sounding Indian food, so for lunch today I made some Indian inspired curry. I used the recipe for Chickpea Spinach Curry from Vegan with a Vengeance as a base but added shredded apple along with the spices, used beluga lentils instead of chickpeas and added some finely cubed carrots. Served with warm newly made chapati and some lettuce, it's makes a perfect winter lunch.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Aloha burgers in the cold midwinter.

When temperature is down to -17 C outside and it's only the beginning of February, you have to do what you can to get away from the midwinter if only for a short while. I decided to make the Aloha 
Teriyaki Burgers from the Best Veggie Burgers on the Planet by Joni Marie Newman. This is most definitely one of my favorite cookbooks, for several reasons. First, it's a book all about burgers, so I think the awesomeness is pretty self explanatory. Apart from that though, every burger or bun or condiment I've made has been really good. No fails what so ever. Friday nights burger sounded very promising, with a base of TVP and gluten flour, spiced up with pineapple and teriyaki sauce. I didn't have teriyaki on hand, so I used some bottled  Jamaican jerk BBQ sauce in place of it. The burger turned out amazing. Really meaty without being tough to chew, and with a sweetness from pineapple and brown sugar, this burger is very high on my burger hall of fame right now. We ate in smacked in between two toasted slices of bread with classic condiments such as ketchup, mustard, red onions, pickles and fried onions. Best thing ever. I'm pretty sure I will make these again within a couple of days. 

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Pumpkin marmelade

Last Saturday when we visited Miljövårdscentrum we bought amongst other stuff this marmelade made at the store from their own pumpkins. It's pumpkin base and have hints of citrus and cinnamon, tastes that goes really great together. I had some on top of a crepe for breakfast this morning, and the taste is really good. Unfortunately, it was full of sugar crystals that definitely makes the experience of eating it a bit unpleasant. Maybe it will do better in some baked goods.