Tuesday, November 22, 2011

it's never too early

  • In the words of one of my dear friends 'Don't you dare mock me for being early or I'm liable to bite your head off'. I feel the same way. Christmas has always been a time in my family to relax, spend time together, enjoy and be jolly! So if I wait until AFTER Thanksgiving to put up my decorations, I have what...a few weeks to enjoy? I'm sorry, but I want to enjoy and feel this warm, cozy, loving, holiday feeling 2 months out of the year. Plus, I was chomping at the bit to start decorating. This is mine and Mr.Josefsson's first Christmas in our own apartment together! Decorating is not a burden to me. Mr. Josefsson is more than willing to help! So it's a wonderful time for us to spend together sharing ideas and enjoying each other's company!
  • I know Christmas and the holidays are not about the decorations or the presents, but it feels so warm, cozy, and lovely with lights up and nice smelling candles and with a fresh look to our apartment. We love change. I guess, I love change. It's fun to redecorate, especially if you have a certain goal. So thank you, Sarah, for those words! Her blog is http://http://farthingboys.blogspot.com/ and she has some wonderful words to say about Christmas and this time of year. Plus, she has cute videos and quotes from her darling twin boys!
Here is a glimpse of my decorations....
This tree looks quite ugly, but it was our first Christmas tree we had together while we were staying at his parents house when I first moved back to Sweden. The decorations are keychains for every country we have been to together. The silly santas were made by Mr. Josefsson when he was a child. Some of the ugliest or least stylish decorations are the most important and hold the best memories. I love this silly little tree.
A special shout out to Mr. Josefsson for taking this lovely picture of me! Thanks, babe! Haha! I especially love the candy wrappers spread all over the table and the dirty clothes draped over the chair. Wonderful housekeeping! Can't be perfect all the time, right!?
Last weekend we had a really relaxing wonderful weekend together and I whipped up an amazing batch of garlic breaksticks and creamy chicken piccata. The chicken, luckily for us, was actually grilled! Mr. Josefsson was cleaning out our outside shed and found an open bag of almost useless coal. He asked if I had anything I wanted to grill and I immediately thought about this recipe! Check it out.
  • Chicken
Juice of 1 lemon (3 Tbsp)
3 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. salt
1\4 tsp. black pepper
1\2 tsp. oregano and basil
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Pasta
2 cups dried penne pasta
2 Tbsp butter
Juice of 2 lemons (6 Tbsp)
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1/2 cup half and half (or heavy cream)
2 tsp dried basil
2 Tbps capers
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • Chicken
Combine first 6 ingredients and mix well. Place chicken in a ziplock bag and pour marinade over chicken. Marinate overnight in the refrigerator. When ready, grill until done. Allow chicken to rest for a few minutes and then slice into strips to serve over pasta.
  • Pasta
While chicken is grilling. Cook pasta according to directions (10-12 minutes). Reserve 1/2 cup of pasta water and drain. In same sauce pan, melt butter over medium heat. Whisk in garlic and lemon juice. Pour in half and half and whisk until hot. Add some salt and pepper to taste. Add the parmesan cheese, basil and capers, and heat until cheese is melted. Check the consistency of the sauce and add some of the reserved pasta water to loosen the sauce if necessary. Toss in pasta.
  • Garlic Bread
Turn oven onto low heat such as 50 degree. When it is preheated turn it off and close the door.
1\2 c. luke warm water
1 pkg. rapid rise yeast
1\2 c. luke warm milk
1\3 c. sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. salt
1\3 c. melted butter
4 c. flour
  • Let yeast dissolve in luke warm water for 1 minute. Add milk, sugar, egg, salt, melted butter and 2 c. flour. Mix until smooth. Add the rest of the flour and knead or mix for 3-4 minutes. Scrape out of bowl into new, greased bowl. Place a towel over bowl and place in proofed oven. Let rise for 1 hour or until doubled in size. Punch down and roll into long, breadstick shapes. Keep in mind they will double in size again, so don't make them too big! Let them rise another 30 minutes. Once risen, poured melted butter over them and sprinkle with garlic salt. Bake at 300 for about 10-15 minutes depending on how doughy you want them. Once you take them out pour a small amount of olive oil over them. This makes them really soft and gives that extra punch of flavor!
  • I also had extra dough, since I was only baking for 2. So I used the extra to make mini monkey bread. Same recipe up until you form the dough. I rolled them into 3 smalls balls, rolled them in melted butter, then in cinnamon, brown sugar and pumpkin spice. There is also 2 chocolate chips in each ball. Just a little surprise for the mouth! These also take a little longer to bake. So give them an extra 5 or so minutes.
In other news. I am really pumping up for my Thanksgiving party! I have my menu and grocery list. Mr. Josefsson is going to take me on a huge shopping trip tomorrow and our fridge will be packed full with ingredients ready to be whipped up into a delicious meal! I took Friday off work so I can spend the whole day baking, cleaning and of course, tasting the food!
  • Menu:
Green bean casserole
Creamed corn
Sweet potato casserole
Mashed potatoes
Sweet yeast rolls
Cranberry sauce
  • Desserts and appetizers:
Pumpkin cheesecake (sorry, I don't get down on pumpkin pie)
Apple pie
Chocolate covered pretzels
Pumpkin popcorn
Gingersnaps with pumpkin dip
Pumpkin chocolate chip cookies
  • I know this seems like a ridiculously long dessert menu, but honestly, that is the part I am most looking forward to! I hoarded all the pupmkin my mom sent me just for Thanksgiving! I want to bake and bake! The food is going to be delicious, also, but the baking is what is filling my mind wiht ideas and excitement!
  • I will also have hot chocolate and apple cider and for the adults some glögg, which you might know as mulled red wine. It's so delicious! That is actually what one of the pictures above is, my glögg station. It's a small jug to fill with glögg which is heated by a small candle. Here, we drink glögg with chopped up almonds and raisins and of course...ginger cookies!
  • I hope everybody is enjoying the beginning of the season as much as I am! I just love this time of year! I have always been a fan of the holidays and as an adult it hasn't gone away.
  • ALSO in 22 days I will be on an airplane headed home! The amount of joy and excitement I have cannot be explained. Going home is always a wondeful thing, but to go home after 2 years away during the holidays feels really wonderful. My mother is the queen of decorating and the queen of Christmas. It feels so homey and wonderful. I absolutely cannot wait to spend time with my friends and family and enjoy every second I have home!
  • Hope everybody has a wonderful Thanksgiving, as I probably won't have time to post before. I will take loads of pictures and give you a huge update ASAP!
  • Love to all!


  1. Your decorations look fantastic! I love that you have some things Fredrik made as a child and it will be so fun to watch your keychain tree fill up over the years. Good luck on your wonderful feast, I'm sure it will be fabulous!

  2. Well my dear the Queen of Christmas - dubs the Princess of Christmas!