Thursday, October 27, 2011

pumpkin eller pumpa

Pumpkin is on my mind. It's on my mind...a lot. I went on a wild goose chase the other weekend for canned pumpkin. Yea, that ended up as a nervous breakdown thinking ''how can I celebrate fall without pumpkin!?''. But as luck would have it, I have one of the best moms in the whole world. She is my pumpkin savor. Thank you, mom!
So I got off work early on Tuesday and decided to go all out. I boiled up some cider vinegar and plums, started on a pumpkin yeast dough, and started a pot of coffee. How did all of this end up...
Plum Pork Tenderloin
1 lb. pork tenderloin
1\2 c. apple cider vinegar
1\2 c. brown sugar
1\2 tsp. cinnamon
1\4 tsp. salt
1\4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1\8 tsp each ground cloves, cardamom and allspice
1 pork tenderloin (1 pound)
1\2 tsp. pepper
In a sauce pan bring pitted and halved plums and cider to a boil. Let simmer of medium heat for 10 minutes.
Take away from heat and let cool. Pour into a blender and pulse until smooth. Now you can either strain or leave it a bit chunky. Depends on how you like your sauce.
Place back into the pan and add brown sugar and all spices (except pepper). Bring to a boil then reduce heat and let simmer for 10 minutes occassionally stirring.
Place pork tenderloin in a crock pot or a pan and pour half of the sauce over and then sprinkle with pepper.
In a crock pot cook on low for about 2 hours occassionally basting. If in an oven bake at 350 for 40-50 minutes.
Serve over rice with saved sauce.
Tastes just like fall!
Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls
1\3 c. milk
2 Tbsp. butter
1\2 c. canned pumpkin
2 Tbsp. sugar
1\4 tsp nutmeg
1 1\2 Tbsp. pumpkin pie spice
1\2 tsp. salt
1 beaten egg
1 package dry yeast
2 c. flour
1\2 c. packed brown sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
2 Tbsp. melted butter
In a small bowl, microwave milk and butter until luke warm.
In a large bowl combine, pumpkin, sugar, nutmet, pumpkin pie spice and salt.
Add milk mixture, then beat in egg and yeast.
Add half the flour and mix for 4-5 minutes. Add the rest of the flour.
Place sticky dough in a lightly greased bow and let rise until doubled. (What I do, because I don't have a large microwave, I pre heat the oven at about 100 degrees while I am preparing the dough, then turn it off and put the bowl in).
Once doubled, place dough on a lightly floured surface and roll out in a 10x12 in. square.
Brush with melted butter and then sprinkle brown sugar and cinnamon on top.
Roll from the long side.
I used fishing line to cut roll into 12 equal rolls. Super easy.
Place in a prepared 11x17 in. pan. and let almost double in size.
Once doubled bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes.
OMG, these are good. I love the orangey color and holy moly, they smell good from beginning to end!
Pumpkin spice coffee
I started with an entire mix of ''pumpkin milk''.
1. c milk
1\4 c. canned pumpkin
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. all spice
2 tsp. pumpkin spice
3 Tbsp. sugar
1. tsp. vanilla
I brewed a very strong pot of pumpkin flavored coffee with cinnamon sprinkled ontop of the coffee grounds.
Poured into a glass and added about 3 Tbsp. pumpkin milk and topped off with whipped cream and a little sprinkle of nutmeg. Yea, I almost cried it tasted so good.
Last weekend we celebrated Fredrik's birthday and my birthday with Fred's family. What a wonderful family he has, and now, I have. They are fantastic, kind, fun, loving and just plain amazing. We received some really nice presents and had a really cozy time with them!
In Sweden it is very typical to make your own cake for your birthday. So I made my never fail vanilla cake with butter cream\cream cheese\whipped cream frosting. Yea, it's so good. Unfortunately my decorating skills aren't up to par at 7 am (when I woke up Saturday morning to decorate it). So it's a little bit pathetic, but hey, it tasted fantastic.
We also got to spend some time with Lukas and Agnes, which always make me happy!
I'm a sucker for their big blue eyes!

I also took pictures of logs. Swedish logs are everywhere right now, and they smell good!

This weekend I have no idea what Fred has planned for my birthday. But I am not allowed to make plans for Saturday night. So we will see! Turning 25 feels like a big deal and I don't know why. I guess because in Sweden it is sort of a ''big birthday''. They haven't had a ''big birthday'' since the 20th birthday (the drinking age here). So maybe that is why. But as one of my friends put it I will be ''a quarter of a century old''. Yikes!

Happy Fall Ya'll!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

baby apple pies

This past Tuesday my sister-in-law, Hanna, her husband, Andreas and their adorable daughter Agnes came over for dinner. Agnes turned 6 months old last week. I cannot understand how time is going by so quickly! I felt like it was just yesterday Hanna told us she was pregnant!
I love that worried face she has!
Her cheeks are amazingly soft and adorable!
The day they came over was my 'early day'. Which means I had to be at work at 6 am, but I got to leave at 1:30 pm. I really love these days. 6 is very early but it honestly feels like I have a day off when I go home so early! So I had lots of time to make a delicious dinner! I made some cumin bread, crock pot chili, apple ginger punch and baby apple pies. Now this is another thing that is different in Sweden. They have apple pie, but it's not like the American apple pie we think of. An apple pie here has the same fillings but not the same crust. It's simply butter, flour and a bit of sugar sprinkled on top. Still delicious with a lot less work!
I got this apple pealer, slicer and corer (?) from a student at the last school I worked at. This is one of my favorite student gifts ever. What a cute and sweet idea! I use it so much, especially with the season!
Look at how beautiful that is! Takes out so much work!
Baby apple pies
4 apples, if I were in Kansas I'd be using some red delicious! Unfortunately we don't have those here!
1 Tbsp. sugar, depending on the tartness of the apples you are using. You can adjust to your liking!
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. all spice
1 tsp. nutmeg
Peal, core and slice apples according to however big your like your apples to be in a pie. I like them quite small so I cut the sliced apple in sections of 4.
Mix in sugar, cinnamon, all spice and nutmeg and distribute amongst 4 individual baking ramikins.
For the topping
4 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. flour
2 Tbsp. oats (optional)
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
Mix flour, oats, brown sugar and cinnamon. Cut butter into dry ingredients. Distribute into ramikins on to apple mixture.
Bake at 400 for about 25 minutes. The goal is for the topping to be brown, crustry, buttery deliciousness.
PS. Sorry I didn't take a picture of the end product! But I can guarantee I topped it with 2 heaping scoops of vanilla ice cream!
I also wanted to add on that...
Apple Ginger Punch
1 c. sugar
1 galon apple cider
1 tbsp. cinnamon
1 tbsp. all spice
1 can frozen orange juice concentrate
1 liter ginger ale
In a pan mix sugar, 1 cup apple cider, cinnamon and all spice. Simmer on medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Take from heat and add orange juice and remaining apple cider. Chill in the fridge over night. Add ginger ale immediately before serving.
I also think it's fun to make either some ice cubes with tiny orange bits or an ice ring with a bundt pan and a few slices of orange if you are serving in a large punch bowl!
This drink is also really good served warm!
Happy fall!

Monday, October 10, 2011

baby shower

This Saturday I put on my hostess shoes and held a baby shower here in our little apartment for my friend Sofia, who will be having a baby girl in November.
Grattis means Congratulations in Swedish.
Diaper cake. It's a bottle of shampoo and a bottle of body wash (for baby) with rolled up diapers to form the cake. Then I bought a very sweet etsy blanket and draped it over. Then adorned it with an etsy hat and etsy booties. Very easy but a cute way to present gifts!
Cupcakes, honey roasted peanuts and chocolate, cinnamon and sugar popcorn. Super easy but delicious!
I personally do not use paper plates when I have a party. This is one of my favorite things. I have a cabinet full of antique plates, all mixed and matched. For this party I got out the flowery, girly, pinkish plates. I also found the pink candle holders at our second hand store for 3 kr a piece! That's 45 cents!
This is one of my favorite things to do and it's really easy. If I'm having a themed party I always buy a package of paper that I want to use as the decorations, invites, etc. I made the invites with this cute pink themed paper, made the congrats sign, made the cupcake flags, these glass flags, and even switched out all my pictures in the living room with the paper. It's so easy and you can always save the paper and use it for other stuff later!
All I had to do was switched it out and it added a lot to the room!
These were for the lovely guests. Bought these cute 35 cent travel soaps from etsy. They made the room smell great, and added a nice decoration! The *tack* stamp was also bought from etsy! Buy handmade! It's the best!
Sofia opening all the lovely gifts every body brought her!
Now who wants the recipe to these gorgeous little cupcakes! This is my go to, never fail, always tastes delicious cupcake recipe. It's from This is one of my favorite food blogs!
Vanilla Cake (or cupcakes)
preheat oven to 350
2 sticks softened butter
1 3\4 c. sugar
4 eggs
1 c. milk
1 Tbsp. vanilla
1 vanilla pod
2 3\4 c. flour
1 1\2 tsp. baking powder
1\2 tsp. salt
Cream butter and sugar for 3-5 minutes.
Add eggs one at a time beating for one minute after you add each one. This seems ridiculous but it really makes the cupcakes fluffy and light.
Whisk flour, baking powder and salt together in a separate bowl.
Combine milk, vanilla and vanilla beans in a separate bowl.
One low, start by adding 1\3 flour and incorporate. Add half the milk and incorporate. Add another 1\3 of the flour and incorporate. Add the rest of the milk and incorporate. And yup, you guess, add the rest of the flour and incorporate!
Divide into 24 cupcakes tins or into two 10 inch cake pans.
For cupcakes bake for 25-30 minutes. For cakes 35-40 and let them cool for 15 minutes in the pan before taking them out. Cupcakes can just jump right out into your mouth straight from the oven.
You can use whatever frosting you like. For the cupcakes above I used about 1\2 c. butter, 8 oz. cream cheese and uhm...some powdered sugar. I don't really measure when it comes to frostings. Just a lot of tasting!
For the cakes I think it's light, fluffy and delicious to simply use whipping cream for the middle layer and top and add fresh fruit.
This recipe is so great because you can add whatever you'd like. Chocolate, cinnamon, berries, the sky is the limit! :)

Saturday, October 1, 2011

let's talk about pizza, fall and a baby.

This is an almost typical Swedish pizza. This is actually a "family size" but a completely normal pizza would look much the same. Thin, minimal cheese and sauce. Maximum grease. It doesn't look that appetizing, but oh man, it's delicious. I do miss our deep dish, super cheesey, monster pizza's, which are pre-sliced. Yes, in Sweden you have to pay extra to get your pizza sliced. What? Yea, I duno.
Swedish pizza shops have more toppings and options than any American pizza parlor. They have some weird combo's too. Kebab pizza. Lamb meat, salad, cucumbers, tomatoes and garlic sauce. Sometimes you can put french fries on it too. Yea...
My personal favorite is mozarella, parmesan ham and pesto. Yum.
Now this is a super easy pizza that I made myself. Puff pastry with spagetti sauce, cheese, oregano and basil. I usually just put whatever I find in my fridge that suits my fancy. Super easy recipe today! Try it, you won't be sad!
Onto cuter things. How adorable is this bundle of fall goodness. Spent the day with my 2 and a half month old nephew today. Lukas. I love him.
Mr. Josefsson loves him too.
And we love walks in the fall with our fancy Nikon camera.
I love updating my blog from our new fancy computer, too. So easy and goes much faster! Thanks Mr. Josefsson for letting me steal the computer for a few minutes every few days!
Also, today one of my friends from childhood is getting married! Laura and Jake have been together since high shcool, through a long army stay in Germany and now they are going to be happily married! I love them both and they deserve an absolutely perfect, beautiful wedding day!