Scandinavian Julbord

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Traditional Scandinavian Julbord with Christmas food served smorgasbord style including Lucia performance, entertainment and Christmas tree lightning tickets adult $25, children under 12 $15 and children under 5 free including beer and refillable sodas. The event hosted by the " title="Scandinavian Trade Association" target=_new>Scandinavian Trade Association
Event will be held on Saturday, December 3 at 6pm at the Tampa Bay Brewing Company, 139 37 Monroe Business Park Tampa, FL 336 35.

Swedeviled Eggs

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These deviled eggs will make any Swede very happy. Perfect for Easter if you want to serve a real taste of Sweden.

Nobel Banquet Menu 2013

Guinea hen mosaic, carrot variation with Gotland truffle,
and chanterelle duxelle with truffle mayonnaise

Turbot cupola stuffed with Norwegian lobster,
tartelette with lobster on a bed of cream cheese and spinach,
pointed cabbage terrine, lobster sauce and almond potato purée

Chocolate silhouette with nougat and sea buckthorn explosion


Champagne Gaston Chiquet Cuvée Tradition
Brut Premier Cru

Château l’Hospitalet La Reserve Rouge 2011
Coteaux du Languedoc la Clape

Nivole Moscato d’Asti 2012
Michele Chiarlo

Pancake Trio

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I fried frozen mini pancakes in butter and filled one Russian style with smoked salmon, sour cream and topped with black caviar from lumpfish. The second I filled with Southern food, sliced, boneless BBQ wings and BBQ sauce. The third is Swedish style, filled with mashed potatoes, one sliced meatball and topped with lingonberry jam. Surprisingly good pancakes!  

Swedish Potato Gratin

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Swedish comfort food at its best, perfect as a side for a fall dinner. Always a favorite among my American friends.

5:GrapeWine Chicken

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This is a very tasty dish, easy to make and good enough to serve at a dinner party. I serve it with halved brussel sprouts.

Licorice Gravlax Roses

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I made my gravlax adding a pinch of licorice powder to the salt and sugar. Made some nice roses by spreading a thin layer of cream cheese on slices of gravlax and rolling them up. The roses were served on sliced lemon. Very good finger food!

Tampa Food Truck Rally

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Here I got my best bagel ever!

First time I visited a food truck rally and actually bought food from a truck. Tried crepes and lox bagel. The bagel was the winner while the crepes were not near French street food. I wish next time a rally would be planned during the cooler time of the year, we almost melted away walking in the sun at 95 degrees. Anyways, fun to see this many trucks in one place and a lot of happy foodies.

:2 Cod and Brussels

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I have caved in to the popular 5:2 diet, if you haven't heard about it, which I doubt here it how it works. For 5 days of the week you can eat your normal food, 2 days of the week you can only eat 500 calories if you're a woman and 600 calories if you're a man. The two diet days must not be consecutive. I try to make Tuesday and Fridays my :2 days. I must say it this diet gives an immediate effect. You should loose about 1 kilo per week with this diet and it really works. So here I am counting calories again. This dish contains around 300 calories and is good for lunch or dinner on diet day.

Matjes asparagus

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This recipe was inspired by Ottolenghi. I substituted the capers with a more Nordic flavor of matjes herring. Came out surprisingly good.

Cabbage Trio

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I found a beautiful head of fresh, green cabbage had to buy it. I made three sides from it; Swedish cole slaw, cole slaw and oven roasted cabbage.

Berry Bread Pudding

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This bread pudding is perfect for a rainy, muggy day in Florida as we have an abundance of blueberries now. And who doesn't have some old bread in the pantry? Sustainability, localism and comfort in one yummy desert. Serve with half melted vanilla icecream.

Nordic forest mix

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This side dish will take you to a Nordic forest in the first bite. Butter sauteed chanterelles mixed with lingonberry jam and a little bit of sour cream goes very well together and if you want to go all new Nordic cuisine allow some pine needles to saute with the mushrooms.

Cream trio on Swedish flatbread

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It is called tilltugg in Swedish, small bites that goes with the drinks such as typical schnaps and beer but also with white wine or bubbly. I used tunnbröd, Swedish flatbread that I baked in the oven with Västerbotten cheese and topped them with three different creams. I was inspired by a new Swedish restaurant, Tradition. If you plan a visit to Stockholm and want have a bite of Sweden that's the place.

Matjes Salmon

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This dish has some Scandinavian flavors that we long for during the summer. The salmon is baked with matjes herring and served with leeks and dill crisp bread.

Swedish Salmon Crudo

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A Swedish twist on crudo with raw salmon drizzled with red beet infused vodka, rhubarb lemonade and walnut oil. Very cool, fresh and tasty lunch in hot and steamy Florida.  


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This is a dish that reminds me of sunny weather and is perfect to serve on a Swedish Midsummer event. I learned to make ratatouille by a family I was living with in St Tropez, France many years ago. I have now developed my own method of making this traditional dish from Provence.

Swedish style collard greens

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Collard greens is a true southern food. Traditionally boiled with smoked pork hocks, available all year round here in Florida a cross between cale and cabbage it is perfect to stuff as we do on Sweden with white cabbage, kåldolmar. I made stuffed collard greens with a Swedish twist and they came out very tasty.

Turkmen Plov

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The mother of pilaff, paella and risotto comes from Central Asia and Caucasus with humble ingredients they all come together as the best comfort food ever. The Turkmen plov is made from rice, garlic, onions, carrots a lot of oil and beef or mutton. Make a lot of plov if you have guests, it will disappear quickly. Serve with red wine and white bread.

Roast beef and Potato Salad - A Swedish Classic

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Roll up some slices of roast beef and slice them sushi style, top with herbs, mix one or two boiled and peeled and cubed potatoes with a few dollops of sour cream, just a hint of mayo with chopped chives, parsley and dill or bronze fennel, mix and spice with black pepper and salt. Serve some capers on the side. Very Swedish, very fresh.

Oysters Rockefeller style

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Had a wonderful Mother's Day and my husband's birthday with Ruby Mimosas in the morning, fresh seafood at Bayport Inn and later Aperol Spritzers before a light dinner including oysters Rockefeller style. I covered oysters in their shell with panko, butter, lemon zest, bronze fennel, tarragon and parsley mix, baked in 450F oven for 8 minutes. Served with lemon wedges. Mycket gott!

Caviar shopping in Turkmenistan

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   Photo with my BlackBerry Z10

Did some caviar shopping at the Russian Market in Ashgabad, Turkmenistan. Tasted a wide variety of sturgeon caviar from nearby Caspian Sea. Heavenly indeed.

Scallops and truffle oil

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Light appetizer, pan seared Patagonian scallops served with black truffle oil and sweet peas.

Lemon Licorice Chicken

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Chicken thighs with grated Parmesan, lemon zest, licorice powder and pink pepper with apple slaw make a perfect weekday lunch.

Laxpytt Deluxe

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This laxpytt or salmon hash is a sweet reminder of all the good Easter food we had last week. I diced and browned cold, boiled potatoes w skin in plenty of butter, wilted a bunch of arugula in the pan and finally gave cold, boiled asparagus a quick swirl in the pan. Added plenty of salt and black pepper and stirred in chopped gravlax. I put an egg on top and added a dollop of Hollandaise sauce.

Gravlax Tartar

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A perfect spring lunch made from Easter leftovers. Finely chop one mango, one avocado, a few slices of gravlax, a few sprigs of fresh dill, squeeze a half a lemon over, salt and pepper to taste, very good with bubbly such as Prosecco or Cava.

Gravlax 2 for Easter

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Although the licorice gravlax will be my favorite not everyone has as liberal taste buds as I have so I will also make a more traditional gravlax. I rub it with about a tablespoon for half a salmon of brandy, I prefer the Central Asian/Caucasian style, mild with tones of honey. After brandy I rub with 3 tablespoons of sugar and three tablespoons salt, add a lot of chopped, fresh dill and finish with sprinkling some pink peppcorns over the dill. I put two sides together in plastic bag store in fridge for 48 hours, the result gets better if you put something heavy on the salmon and turn the bag a few times.

Easter Candy

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The licorice gravlax came out super, it's better than candy, sweet, earthy and savory. Will serve only with a wedge of Meyer lemon on the Easter buffet

Licorice salmon rub

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My Danish licorice powder and syrup have arrived. Today I made a rub of 1 tbs sugar, 1 tbs salt and 1 tbs licorice powder, rubbed it into about 1 pound of salmon, chopped some fresh bronze fennel and put it together for a 48 hour curing in fridge. In the meantime I will have to figure out what kind of sauce to serve it with. I will serve this licorice gravlax as Easter food.

Rhubarb Chutney

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Planning for Easter lunch on Sunday, will have beef and lamb shashlik and want to have one hot side so I made a rhubarb chutney today so it will have some time to mature the flavors, it a little bit reminds me of the plum sauce that is served with shashlik in Caucasus.

The Swedish Liquerice Festival 2013

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Most of us Swedes love, love, love licorice and since 2009 Lakritsfestivalen is an annual event in Stockholm for licoricians. This year the event will be held on April 20 and 21 at the Globen Annex.
If you are in Sweden by then, this is certainly an event to visit.

Modern Viking Fare - VikingBurger

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Serve a grilled beef burger on green such as romaine and arugula with home made ranch dressing and turnip chips, crush some pink peppercorns between your fingertip and sprinkle over the dish. A lot of flavors and very clean dish will make you feel good.  

Modern Viking Fare - Small Flatbreads

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Flatbreads, fiddleheads and hazelnuts, food for a Viking.

The fist batch of Viking I made from rye and oats meals, butter and buttermilk, honey and salt, and some chopped chives. No yeast, no oven. Made it on the stove. This is really healthy bread, so fun and easy to do and so good and filling. Oats and rye has, unlike wheat, a type of fiber that lowers the level of cholesterol in the blood. The fibers will bind gall salts that are produced with the cholesterol. The fibers in in whole grain meals prevents constipation, rye is 18% fiber and those fibers help to strengthen the immune defense of the guts, eating a lot of fibers make you feel full and you will therefore eat less. And as an extra bonus the high fiber content in this bread made from good rye and oats makes you chew more and salivate more which is a natural way of cleaning your teeth. I tell you, if the Vikings still ruled, we would have no corrupt and greedy food industry. Now, here is how I made my first Viking bread ever.

Modern Viking Fare - Happy Lamb

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Mediterranean food and especially the diet from Crete in Greece is now again the latest fad for heart healthy foods. And yes, Greece food is delicious and healthy. It is very difficult though to find the fresh food you can find in Greece in other places, this is real local food produced at small farms where most animals are free to eat what they find in nature especially on the small islands the pure and simple food is outstanding. Not to mention the fish and seafood brought in fresh every day by fishermen and prepared by chefs who now their ingredients. However, I am of Viking bloodlines and I think that a Modern Viking Diet is better for me. The Vikings had access to diary products, meats from cows, goats and pigs as well as wild animals, fish was common. They made flatbread from barley, oats, peas, sometimes animal proteins, nuts and sour milk or buttermilk. Meat from domesticated animals was rare as the animals mainly produced milk and eggs and it was pretty expensive to feed cattle for consumption. In my Modern Viking Fare I will also add some tricks and treats from Caucasus where they have a similar lifestyle and cooking traditions as the Viking had. I have travelled there many times and love their clean simple food. I think one trick is to cook everything outside on a big barbecue, meat from happy animals that have roamed free in the mountains, prepared over open fire is just another product than industrially raised, abused and stressed out animals, and cooking on an electric or gas stove is not the same thing. So my two lambs I have fed and cared for for almost a year are now in my freezer and the meat is soooo good. I made a traditional shashlik from the neck meat, the meat was cubed and marinated for two hours in olive oil, fresh lemon juice, plenty of fresh garlic cloves and fresh herbs such as rosemary, oregano, basil, thyme and mint. I made skewers from rosemary sprigs and grilled the meat for about 7 minutes on a gas grill. The Caucasians make a wonderful plum sauce to serve with shashlik, I will work on such a sauce as the Vikings used plums in their cooking as well. The lamb should be served with root vegetables and wine.

Swedish Fishballs

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Horse meat in IKEA meatballs is world news, but really, who is surprised, you get what you pay for. In my mind the IKEA version of meatballs is bland and the sauce is just awful, next time you visit their restaurant try the gravlax instead. Fishy business here in the US has been revealed by Oceana that has DNA-tested fish and found out that more than 90% of canned tuna is something else. Oceana recommends suspicious shoppers to buy salmon as this fish is more difficult to mislabel. Today I made fishballs from lax served with a Swedish style roe sauce and straight forward haricot verts from Florida. Very clean food with bright flavors.

Gravlax Orange with stewed potatoes

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Salmon goes with a lot of flavors, I cured the salmon with salt, sugar, black pepper and orange zest and served with stewed potatoes. Very fresh flavors and still very comfort foodish.

Deconstructed kroppkaka

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I had some oven roasted butternut leftovers and decided to use it for starch instead of potatoes in the traditional Swedish dumpling dish, kroppkaka. I wanted to serve the filling that is in the dumpling, bacon and onions on the side instead. Came out very good, real Swedish comfort food with a modern twist.

Butternut squash

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Butternut squash is pale on the outside and the inside is a rich orange color, orange and deep green veggies are supposed to be extra good for you. The butternut variety of squash originates from a place in Massachusetts that is now called Butternut Golf Club. Florida is one of the biggest producers of butternuts in the USA and now is the time to enjoy these tasty gourds. Cut them in halves, take out the seeds and clean them, put the butternuts, flesh side up on a baking pan, spice them up with salt and black pepper and slice some butter on top, put the seeds on the side. Roast butternuts for 40 minutes in 400F take out the seeds after 20 minutes or when they start popping. Butternut is excellent with bacon, Parmesan Cheese or Gorgonzola cheese.

Total Local - Kumquats

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Last weekend I went to the annual Kumquat Festival in nearby Dade City, my plan was to be inspired by local products and make something still with a Scandinavian touch. So, I found, round, sweet marumi kumquats, I think I actually grabbed the last bag of this little "orange berries" grown a few miles from our home. To my delight I also found wooden spoons made from southern cherry by a fifth generation wood worker in Oxford not far from us, at that point I hade made up my mind, I planned to make make raw stirred kumquats, the same way we make raw stirred lingonberries in Sweden, key to this is, as I have always been told is to use a wooden spoon. 2.5 cups of pitted and sliced mauri kumquats, 1 cup of Florida demerara sugar, 10 mint leaves, put in a bowl and stir with a wooden spoon until the sugar is completely dissolved and fluid. Store in fridge and serve with pork or lamb dishes and try it with spicy meatballs.

Nordic Food Localism - Florida style

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La Florida is turning 500 years in 2013, 500 years since the Spaniard Ponce de Leon and his convoy set foot in Florida and named it La Florida from all the beautiful flowers they found here. Florida belonged to Spain until 1821 when it was ceded to the USA and in 1845 Florida became a state. Thousands of years before Florida was inhabited by Indian tribes that lived a sustainable life in harmony with nature, the Spaniards I would say added architectural beauty, the Americans though run havoc in the state and unfortunately there is a lot of ugliness and environmental disasters going on in this beautiful and welcoming place on earth. I wish that the ideas and ideology of the Nordic Food Localism could grow strong here and also the ideas of the very interesting and inspiring organization Future Perfect. This year, I will share my personal celebration to my new home, Florida with photos of ugly and beautiful Florida and how to implement Nordic Localism here.  

Peppers and pork

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Bell peppers are very cheap right now and I was lucky to find smoked pork jowl bacon on my last shopping trip. I took three peppers, red, yellow and orange and sliced them, sliced a big yellow onion, mixed with some oil, salt and black pepper, I sliced the pork medium thin and sprinkled it on top of the peppers and onion. Baked it in a 390F/200C oven for 35 minutes. Delicious as a side with hamburgers or any sandwich.  

Silly Dilly Burger - Dillsillburgare

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This is one of the best burgers I ever had, it is Nordic infused with pickled herring and dill. So on top of a perfectly grilled ground chuck cheese burger I put a dollop of sour cream, two big pieces of dill pickled herring and added some fresh dill for more flavor. It might sound like a silly idea but if you are a fan of Nordic and burgers, try it!

Cauliflower terrine, inspired by the Nobel Prize Banquet

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Inspired by the Nobel Prize Banquet menu I made a cauliflower terrine, came out very good, excellent replacement for potatoes actually.

First Swedish Glogg available in the USA

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The Geijer family with Swedish roots have developed their old family recipe and bottled it for sale here in the US. Unfortunately not available in stores here in Florida but you can find it online. I hope it will be sold in Florida in time for next Christmas, until then I will have to make my own, recipe later.

The 2012 Noble Banquet Menu

A toast for the donor Alfred Nobel.
From the 2011 banquet from

Finally, those of us foodies that weren't invited to the Noble Banquet find out this year's menu, here it is:

Cured Arctic char with cauliflower terrine, Kalix bleak roe and dill mayonnaise.

Pheasant with chanterelle mushrooms, poached pear, winter vegetables, almond potato puree and red wine sauce.

Trio of cherries with pistachio covered Mascarpone cheese and black cherry sorbet.

The menu begins very Nordic and sleek indeed but then gets a little bit out of control with too many sides to the bird, and the end is more Italian than Nordic which I think was a pity.

Zakuski Burger

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Every weekend we try to find a day when we are all at home and can have a real good burger for lunch. We make the burgers the same way all the time but change the sides and dressings. Inspired by the Russian version of the smorgasbord, zakuski, I made a burger that you can have with a shot of vodka if you want.

Sweet Pickled Portabellas

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I always get pickled mushrooms when I am in Russia, it is a staple on a zakuski, Russian smorgasbord. The Russian version though is not as sweet as this one that I modified for a Swedish Julbord, Yule Table. Whole cloves and cinnamon give Christmas flavors. I served them cool with the raw, stirred cranberries I made for Thanksgiving. The cranberries came out so good so I am thinking about serving them instead of the traditional lingonsylt, lingonberry jam with the meatballs on our 2012 julbord.

Thanksgiving - raw, stirred cranberries

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Raw stirred lingon is a sweet, tangy delight in Sweden and this method of preserving works very well with cranberries. The non-cooking method enhances the clean flavors of cranberries, I also added some orange zest for flavor and to infuse a little bit of Florida in this preserve.

Thanksgiving side du jour - Zucchini MacDill Style

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The Dill Spill

Tampa and MacDill are getting international attention never seen before due to a Real-Housewife-style woman with all the drama of the series who wants to get back on a rival in an army general attention cat fight spinning out of control. Anyways, I always liked the name MacDill as the herb, dill, is one of my favorite flavors. Zucchini or squash is in season now so why not make a MacDill dish for Thanksgiving to spur conversation about the latest in this juicy scandal.  

Thanksgiving vickning - Smoked Turkey Tartar

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Before guests prepared to leave a traditional Swedish dinner party they are offered a small dish called vickning, this to make sure they had something in their stomach to take them through a long and maybe cold trip home. I created a Thanksgiving vickning to serve before bedtime next Thursday. This dish is a delicious end to a great day with family and friends.

Thanksgiving Brannvinsbord dishes - Thanksgiving Pickled Herring

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Thanksgiving is an ideal time to serve a Swedish style Brännvinsbord when guests arrive. The Brännvinsbord has a long tradition in Sweden, when guests arrived from travelling by horse and carriage they where given a schnaps or two and some bites of bread, butter, cheese and cold fish and meat dishes. This gave guests something to nibble on waiting for everyone to arrive and immediately put everyone in a good mood with a shot of alcohol. I have planned some dishes to put together a nice Thanksgiving Brännvinsbord based on what is in season now and the flavors of Thanksgiving. As a Swede I cannot really celebrate without eating pickled herring, so I made Cranberry-Orange Pickled Herring that came out really good, the tart cranberry and fresh orange goes very well with the fat herring.

Thanksgiving sides - Bryssels & Bacon

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This year we are having Thanksgiving turkey in Orlando with family so we do not have to cook the bird but we bring sides. I wanted to make traditional but a little bit more spicy and tasty sides that can stand by themselves at the table. Instead of green beans this year I am going to make Brussels and bacon, I tried it on my family last weekend and they loved it.

Lamb & Loaf from Gotland - perfect before trick or treat

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This is hearty, rustic and pure food made from old recipes from my home island, Gotland. Kids will be fed this tonight, before they go trick or treating, collecting droves of candy made from high fructose syrup, food coloring and other chemicals. I made the stew and bread today, they mostly took care of themselves on the stove and in the oven. The recipe for Gotland loaf will be published later but here is the recipe for Gotland Lamb Stew.

Our 2012 julnubbe, christmas schnaps

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This year we are going to try Chamomile schnaps for our Christmas trio of schnaps. Yesterday I put ten teabags of pure Chamomile tea in a 12 oz jar and filled up with Absolut Vodka. The jar is now in the darkest spot of our pantry and should be ready to try at Christmas.

Quest for the best food and schnaps pairing

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Pine infused Gotlandskringlor

The smorgasbord as we know it today here in the US was born at the 1939 New York World's Fair. The original smörgåsbord was the brännvinsbord where guests arriving to dinner could mingle and have a schnaps with fish, meat, bread, butter and cheese and later go sit down for the dinner. Three sorts of brännvin or schnaps were offered, spiced by herbs such as wormwood, lemon balm, St John's Wort, fennel and anise. My project is to offer a traditional, modern brännvinsbord for Christmas so I have a few months to experiment with flavors of brännvin together with food. This weekend I made Gotlandskringlor from an old recipe and tried to infuse them with the flavor of the forest by adding finely chopped pine needles from Florida Long Leaf Pine. The flavor though did not come out the way I wanted it so I will try another flavor though and if it works I will publish the recipe here.

Food inspiration from Lappland - shaved venison with lingon yoghurt

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Inspired by the traditional shaved reindeer, renskav in Swedish, poronkärystis in Finnish dish from Lappland I shaved some venison tenderloin from a Florida deer I found cleaning out my freezer. I do not know if I can find reindeer meet here in Florida but we do have plenty of deer here. Here is how I made this ancient dish still popular in Sweden.

Culinary Olympic gold medals to Swedish chefs!

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The Swedish chefs took gold at the Culinary Olympics in Germany, the senior team, junior team, industrial kitchen team and the regional team from Stockholm all won gold medals.
This is the winning menu of the senior team.
Starter: Cured and Blackened Ling with Kalix Löjrom and Crispy Ling Skin Cauliflower and Broccoli Terrine and Mousseline with Nordic Heat Crudites, Lemonated Cucumber and Oyster Emulsion White Wine Sauce.
Main dish: Spice-Crusted Red Deer Saddle with Sausage and Neck Brawn Crispy Potatoes flavored with Svecia Cheese Cep Duxelles, Seasonal Vegetables and Pumpkin Puree Vinegar Sauce.
Dessert: sour Cream Pudding with Raspberry Sorbet and Autumn Raspberries, served with Yoghurt Meringue and Almond Cake flavored with Raspberry.
Team member: Fredrik Björlin, Viktor Westerlind, Tom Sjöstedt, Klas Lindberg, Daniel Roos and Fredrik Hedlund.
Swedish Chef hat off to you guys!

New Nordic dish in celebration of Leif Erikson Day

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Norwegian explorer Leif Erikson was the first European known to have set foot in North America. Since 1964, this day, October 9 has been an official day of notice of this event. Today we should all be proud of our Scandinavian descent and celebrate. I took the time to try a recipe from famous Danish restaurant Noma. Sous chef Torsten Vildgaard from Noma shared a recipe for us deadly to try in a Swedish food show. I adjusted it a little bit but it came out super delicious.

Scandinavian Smorgasbord at the Absolut Vodka Akademi

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I prepared the Scandinavian smorgasbord for the Absolut Vodka Akademi hosted by the Scandinavian Trade Association and the British-American Business Council last Thursday. More than 70 people attended including the Honorary Consul of Finland. We were educated on what makes the Absolut Vodka so smooth and good as a drink base and tasted some drinks. The smorgasbord was a good balance to the vodka with cured salmon, Skagen rolls, herring and potatoes, Norwegian cheese, home-baked walnut and rosemary bread, WASA crisp bread, roasted roots, prune stuffed pork sirloin and cabbage rolls shipped from a Finnish caterer in West Palm Beach.

Hayboiled potatoes

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The other day the timothy hay we got for the horses looked so good I wanted to eat it myself, however, hay is not so good for the human digestion so I tried to infuse some hay flavor to potatoes instead. I put hay in a pan added potoates, salt and water and boiled it all together for 15 minutes. The potatoes got a deep, earthy and herby flavor from this hayboil, I will do it again and then also add some fresh herbs such as rosemary.

Chantarelle and Leeks quiche

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Super good quiche made without flour. I used frozen chantarelles I picked in my back yard last year. I have not seen any of them this year though, maybe it has to rainy I guess.

BB Pancakes

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Flourless sweet and filling pancakes. Perfect for a weekend breakfast. Got this recipe from my daughter Charli who is studying anthropology in Visby, Sweden.

Language confusion in the Mexican quarters

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Looking for good authentic food can sometimes be adventurous, we had heard that there was a place in the Mexican quarters of Dade City where you could have the best and most authentic tacos ever. The quest for the little stand that was supposed to be serving heavenly tacos under a white tent took us to a gas station, crowded with people, we went in to ask for directions. Walking through the door we saw the sign above with bad English translated into - bad Swedish "Vi köper fix försäljning handel och försäljning telefon." Why would anyone in the Florida countryside, in the Mexican quarters put up a sign in Swedish. We walked in and asked, and got the answer that no, it was not Swedish but Spanish or possibly Italian. Well, we said no and were asked how we could know is wasn't Italian, we said because we are Swedes, the guy behind the counter refused to believe us. In walked a guy with a huge, red macaw on his shoulder and solved the situation, he told the guy behind the counter that he could confirm that I was a Swede as I sounded like the Swedish Chef so I should know what I was talking about. Asking where he got the Swedish translation from he admitted he got it from his computer and he had always thought it was Spanish or possibly Italian... The tacos, did not find the place this time but will not give up.

Poached cod with egg sauce - Swedish comfort food

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Tropical storm Isaac moving in from the south and hordes of GOPers moving in from the north, I need Swedish comfort food - bad. This dish was often served at home and at school when I grew up and with some tweeks this dish is not only delicious enough to serve for Sunday dinner, it is also good for you and affordable.

Kalles Kaviar better than IKEAS' generic

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There are around 60 000 Swedes living in the USA and about 11 million Americans with Scandinavian roots. A small number of consumers that doesn't matter to IKEA, however, it appears as if they did get a little bit concerned when Swedish expats all over the world used Facebook and Twitter to express their anger over IKEA removing more than 150 Swedish brands from their food store, replacing them with their own brand of cheaper food. Personally I was really upset that they took away Kalles Kaviar from the Tampa store before they stocked up with their own "Smörgåskaviar ". After having boycotted IKEA for more than a year I went back some weeks ago and found Kalles Kaviar and the generic Smörgåskaviar I got both and took home for a test, so IKEA is listening, a little bit to us expats, and they should if they want to market themselves as a Swedish retailer.

Romney picks hillbilly handfisher for running mate

File:Noodling champ.jpg
Photo of Lee McFarlin another hillbilly fisher from Wikipedia

Mitt Romney's running mate, Paul Ryan is yet another man who shows no compassion to animals. Romney did not mind putting his poor dog in a carrier on the top of his car for a twelve hour drive.  His mate do not mind to, for his own pure entertainment catch and kill the male catfish while he is caring for the eggs, killing not only the male catfish but also the eggs. Needless to say this hillbilly activity is illegal in certain forms in many states. Obviously few hunter and fishers want to prey on animals when they are reproducing, not only is it stupid it is also in my mind a cowardly way of killing animals. The only other place outside the southern US this cruel fishing method is used is in Nigeria.

Divine Dill Cod

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Dill and cod raises so many good memories from my childhood when cod was a staple in Swedish cuisine. Dill, en masse, will always make a Swede happy, and add cheese to the mix, I bet you even the most picky person will learn to love fish. If I find frozen cod for a good prize I buy and stock up, I have also seen a lot of fresh cod in the stores lately. My dill died from the summer heat so the only minus now is that I have to buy dill, oh well, it is worth it. I found this recipe and tweaked it a bit, looking for medieval food, to celebrate the Gotland Medieval Week.

London 2012 Olympics Food - bangers, mushy peas and sweet Hasselbacks

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After viewing the NBC Olympics live streaming of beautiful Greenwich Park where the equestrian events are held I got cravings for mushy peas. Therefore Sunday dinner included bangers, grilled chicken- garlic-mozzarella sausages, mushy peas and wonderful sweet Hasselback potatoes. Tasted just like English gastro pub fare.

Foodie Fights: Chick-fil-A - Not so gay

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Dyslectic? Regressive and generally Better Than Though and a holy cow?
borrowed from

The President and COO, Dan Cathy, of fat food chain Chick-fil-A, CFA, has come out as anti gay in a religious publication, the regressive bible thumper thinks that a family should be created by a man and woman and his corporation via it's charity WinShape, supports groups such as Marriage & Family Foundation and the Family Research Council with millions of dollars. This stance against homosexuals has caused an uproar amongst some city leaders in the USA and in Chicago Alderman Joe Moreno wants to use his aldermanic privilege to stop the fat food chain from expanding there, so far they have opened one restaurant there. According to Chicago Tribune, CFA has been sued 12 times for 1988 for discrimination against employees, one of them was Aziz Latif who was fired after he refused to participate in a group prayer to Jesus Christ at a company training program in 2000. I've never been to a CFA restaurant as I think the name is so annoyingly ridiculous and I do not like their eat more chikin commercials, why spend money on spelling errors and promote disneyfying of animals being abused at industry farms. Obviously this particular better-than-though evangelist might actually suffer from dyslexia, as his company, according to Wikipedia, had to admit they where lying about recalls of

Mumsig mango salad

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Mangos and Florida avocados are in abundance. This mango salad is so refreshing and goes with almost anything. Mumsig is yummy in Swedish.

Cognac burgers with truffle creme

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The other day a friend brought a really smooth cognac from Kazakhstan. I decided to use some of it for the burgers, part of the family came over and I wanted to make a new twist on the all American burger.

Cherry Chutney

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For Saturday lunch with the family I am making CherrySheepCheese delights, today I made the Cherry Chutney so it has time to develop all flavors.

Lax & Leeks Muffins

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Easy to make Nordic bites for the summer table or picnic.

Blue dessert for 4th of July

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Klappgröt is a traditional Swedish dish made from seminola or farina grains, I prepared it with blueberry preserves instead of lemonade and it got a nice blue color and great flavor.

Open Sweet Swedish Dumplings

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We got almost 14 inches of rain last week and in Sweden the month of June has rained away. Rainy days I crave comfort food and there is a Swedish dish that can almost put you in a coma. Swedish dumplings are very rich and so good served with buttery bechamel and lingonsylt. I tried to make a Florida style Sweet Swedish dumpling with sweet potatoes instead of potatoes and with a Scandinavian style filling of leek and smoked salmon, however, the sweet potatoes do not have a much starch as potatoes so I could not shape them into round dumplings, it had to be open dumplings instead, but they are as good I must say.

A Midsummer Supper made in Florida

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Celebrating midsummers in Sweden as a child was magic, the day never ended and we were eating, dancing and playing all night long on the beautiful and mystic island of Gotland. Certain foods can evoke those memories and planning for a midsummer meal I make sure to include those specific flavors, unique for Sweden. A midsummer supper it is going to be including, pickled herring/sill, salmon, new potatoes, cheese/ost, crisp bread/knäckebröd, dill/dill and strawberries/jordgubbar.

Rosemary pork & Nectarines

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We live in a great community in the Florida countryside, surrounded with oak trees, vast green pastures and lakes. Our neighbours are awesome and we try to get together as often as we can. Three of us that work from home are having lunch at my house this Friday and I am going to make something not so time consuming but yet delicious. Here is the plan, I am going to double marinate pork tenderloin so it gets really tender and juicy, I am not always in the position to go out and buy the best pork meat so this time I am stuck with industry pork and it needs more work. With the pork tenderloin I will serve radish puree and pan-seared nectarines. I planned the menu up with nectarines in mind as they are in season now and they go very well with pork.
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Lunch for a king

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Our king visited beautiful Gotland on the Swedish national day celebration, one of the lunches he will be served is prepared by the chef of restaurant Lilla Bjers and winner of the Young Chef of the Year award 2012, Lugaz Ottosson. I think this lunch is not only good for a king but also for my family and friends. I am going to prepare my version of Luffarbiff/Flat Iron Steak Primörsallad/Primeur Salad Färskpotatis/New potoes and Senapskräm/Mustard cream with a sweet and tart ending with Raberberpaj/Rhubarb pie with a Florida twist. Flat Iron Steak or Top Blade Steak was actually a cut that was co-developed by a University of Florida researcher in Gainsville, it is a very popular cut of meat here in the USA and it will soon be on my grill.
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Look, another Scandinavian in Florida!

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Buy it now! Absolut Vodka Miami is a limited edition and it is yummy, passion fruity and hot, just like Miami.

Root mash with a twang of sweet potatoes

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The rutabaga is a Swedish root vegetable called kålrot in Swedish, the old Swedish name for this tasty rooty is rotabagge which means bag of roots, so the exotic name rutabaga is actually derived from Swedish, in England the rutabaga is actually called swede. One of my favorite dishes is rotmos or root mash, it is made from rutabaga, potatoes and carrots. I experimented by replacing the carrots and potatoes with sweet potatoes and the result was deliciously creamy and silky smooth. This dish is not only colorful and tasty it is good for you, rutabagas are high in c-vitamins  combined with the sweet potatoes that are high in a-vitamins sprinkle a lot of parsley on top of your mash and your dish might even lower your blood pressure. Here is how to do it

Sockerbit goes online!

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The sleek and neat Swedish candy store Sockerbit in New York is now offering some of their wonderful sweets online. Today I ordered a big bag of the smågodis us Swedes almost cannot live without such as green frogs, Dumle lakrits, likörpraliner and of course cola bottles. Within a few days I will get my coveted candy bag, yum yum y'all. Hint, if you want to give something a Swede will really appreciate, you cannot go wrong with a bag of smågodis.

Hurra! Gevalia will be available in US stores in August

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It's getting better every day for Swedes in Florida, Kraft Foods will begin selling Gevalia via more than 20 000 supermarkets, mass merchandisers and other retail outlets throughout the US. Ten different roasts will be available in August and the Gevalia coffee roastery is located in Gävle Sweden, Gevalia is the latin name for Gävle,  has already begin shipping their coffee to the US. Gevalia is the number one coffee brand in Sweden and it is a really, really good coffee. Sweden is a big coffe drinking nation and I would say that the Swedes have fostered the development of the best coffe you can find in the world. I would guess that most of the people that try Gevalia once available here will never go back to the overroasted, bland and uberexpensive coffee they have had to put up with here. I would guess that Publix here in Florida will offer Gevalia and I cannot wait to get my hands on the first batch.    

Scandilicious - new book for foodies

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I want this book about the Scandinavian cooking secrets! It was published only a few days ago, written by Norwegian foodie Signe Johansen who lives in England. I will try to get my hands on this book as soon as possible for inspiration! Visit Signe's blog for beautiful photos and Scandinavian recipes. The book is published by Waterstones, UK.  

Healthy Hanukkah with squatkes

We love the latkes our friends make for Hanukkah, we invented a green version we named squatkes that are equally delicious and a bit healthier.  The squatkes are easy to make, just mix two medium sized green and shredded squashes with one cup of flour, one egg, half a cup of shreeded cheese, salt and pepper to taste, (for a Mediterranian style add parmesan and Herbes de Provence) click small patties into hot frying pan with a lot of butter and olive oil and fry for ca two minutes per side. Enjoy!

Thanksgiving 2010

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Thanksgiving is finally here. We love this American tradition and every year we put a lot of efforts into the menue for the big turkey feast. We will have a large group of friends and family this year from all over the world so we will have to make tons of food. Here is the menue we planned for this year:
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Egg timing

I am not surprised to see the egg recall here in the USA. Salmonella is a direct result of poor sanitary standards, as usual in the USA, the egg industry, just like the oil industry has bribed themselves into a self control that obviously does not work. The company producing the eggs are abusing the hens that produce the eggs and the consumers that eat them. I am happy to have my breakfast eggs from my own, happy and beautiful, free roaming chicks. If you have a yard, get yourself some chickens, they eat bugs, fertilize your lawn and come running like dogs when you get home, take care of the left overs and if allowed to eat grass, produce eggs that you have never seen before!

A Swedish Strawberry Cake

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The Swedish-American-Russian cake team.

Last Saturday we were celebrating the wedding of the Swedish crown princess with good food and great friends, the teens made a wonderful Swedish strawberry cake.  We picked wild flowers in the meadow behind our house and decorated the table, we had sill and snaps and sang Helan Gar all night long, a little bit of Sweden in Florida!

Now is the time to make Elderberry Flower Lemonade

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Swedes, especially Gotlanders, love to make elderberry lemonade from the large, white elderberry flowers.  Now is the time to make this delicious lemonade as the elder flowers are ready to pick. The Florida elder can be found along countryside roads, fence lines and channels. It is easy to stop the car and pick enough flowers to follow this easy recipe for a flowery lemonade.

Congratulations to noma and Denmark

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The Danish restaurant noma has bee nominated the world's best restaurant by the magazine Restaurant Daily. The Finnish restaurant Chez Dominique came on 23rd place followed by the Swedish Mathias Dalgren on number 25. What can I say, the world loves Scandinavian people and our culture!
noma is in Copenhagen, read more

Grits - the southern version of gröt

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April is one of the best months in Florida and many Scandinavian expats get visitors from home. It is always nice to be able to cook a typical southern dish for your northern guests. The real estate agent that helped us to find our wonderful home in the beautiful Tampa Bay countryside in an area called vintage Florida by many, invited us for dinner and served grits. We found it delicious. Grits are stone-ground corn porridge or gröt served plain for breakfast or with added flavours and ingredients as a meal for lunch or dinner.

More beer to the people!

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Someone nudged me about a new Sweeeedish beer available in Florida. Stockholm Premium Lager Beer is available at Publix and Total Wine among other places. More beer to taste with the Easter food! Eggs, pickled herring, gravlax, fresh potatoes and beer, yum!
 Read more about the beer

Florida pilsner

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Orange Blossom Pilsner, sounds like the perfect Florida beer. Made in Orlando so it is local for real.  
Must try to get a few bottles to taste, I suspect this beer can be very, very good with the Easter food.
Read more

Food rules - yes, you need them in the USA

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The food and eating culture in the US is damaging to your health and general well-being to say the least. Processed foods are everywhere and good, healthy, clean food is scarce.Sitting down at the table having a home cooked meal is considered an exotic habit here where people prefer to bring food home that they eat standing up, normally only using their hands and fingers as utensils. Unhealthy snacks with extremely poor nutritional value such ad bread sticks, fried processed chicken meat, and so called salads are served as school lunch here, together with a sweet drink and a cookie. I strongly recommend the book  Food Rules for you who wants to reconnect to the Scandinavian life style. If you have americanized kids, discussing every rule, at the dinner table, is a great way to prepare them for a healthy life.

Tomorrow is fettisdagen time to prepare semlor

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The Easter faste or  quadragesimais the Christian faste, the faste begins seven weeks before Easter. Swedes traditionally had a sweet, creamy and delicious bun, semla from latin simila which means wheat flour. The semla is served on the Tuesday, called the Fat Tuesday before the first day of faste. Today, we like to eat the semla even if we do not faste. It is super easy to make your own semlor. If you bake the buns today you can add filling and whipped cream tomorrow and have a semel party. We are cheating as the kids have the day off from school and have out semel party today. Warning, if you have to many semlor, you might have to faste for a week! And yet again, a traditional Swedish dish might have killed a king. King Adolf Fredrik died at the age of 60, on February 12, 1771, after having ended a banquet by eating 14 semlor.  

Pea Soup and Pancakes in Sarasota

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                                                                                       Courtesy Allt om Mat

Traditional Swedish pea soup made of dried yellow peas and bacon is sooo good, add Swedish thin pancakes with whipped cream and lingonsylt and you have a heavenly meal of the best Swedish comfort food. The Swedish Club of Sarasota is hosting a Peasoup and Pancake event on March 7 at 3 pm in the St Armands Key Lutheran Church, Sarasota. I will take my family for a drive to beautiful Sarasota and enjoy pea soup in the company of the nice and friendly Swedes of Sarasota!  

Janssons frestelse - a classic on the Swedish and Finnish smorgasbord

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Photo: Anders Jonsson

The creamy potato and anchovy casserole is an inexpensive delicacy on the smorgasbord or julbord. I serve it together with pickled red beets, the sweet tartiness of the beets goes very good together with the creamy and salty Jansson.  It is important to use Swedish canned anchovy fillets for this recipe  as they are brined in a special mix of salt and spices.

IKEA Tampa’s Julbord and Lucia 2009 – empty promises extravaganza

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IKEA has always had a special meaning for me at Christmas time. When I was a young girl we spent every third Christmas with relatives in Stockholm, from the island of Gotland, in the middle of the Baltic Sea, we travelled for eight hours on a steamboat and then drove for two hours to get to hour relatives house on beautiful Varmdo in the Stockholm archipelago.

First Kräftskiva at IKEA Tampa Bay

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We attended the first Kräftskiva at IKEA Tampa Bay.
We liked the crayfish, the cheese and the lingonberry bread. The vodka though, Polish, was not as good as the Swedish vodka.
We will be back next year!

Kålpudding – Cabbage casserole

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A classic Swedish recipe modified to satisfy the carb- conscious gourmet.

Lunch at IKEA

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Friday July 10 we went to IKEA for a late lunch. When we arrived the restaurant was quite crowded, or rather it sounded very crowded.  The restaurant has an open airy and clean layout with nice wall art depicting Swedish landscapes.   The décor is 100% IKEA furniture that somehow makes this big space feel a little bit like you are in a home.  However, the acoustics is not so good, even when the restaurant is half-full it is noisy.  

Chanterelle season is here!

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Today I found chanterelles in my back yard. After several days of rain these golden nuggets popped up seemingly out of nowhere.  I picked the biggest ones, cleaned them and sautéed them in butter.  Eating chanterelles to me is to get a flavor of the deep woods, like eating oysters it to get the flavor of the sea.  


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This dish will disappear quickly from your smorgasbord.
I have served it many times here in Florida and everyone likes it.

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