Sunday, May 3, 2009

Swedish White Hot Chocolate

This was sooooo good ... totally a little on the rich side, but sometimes you just gotta let loose and have fun!


4 cups whole milk
8 ounces white chocolate chips or shaved white chocolate
2 Tb. sugar
2 tsp. vanilla


In a medium saucepan over low heat, warm the milk slowly. Then add the sugar and stir in the chocolate. Stir until all is well blended.

At the very end add the vanilla and then serve, with a sprinkle of cinnamon on top!

And if you have a hot chocolate machine (like a Cocomotion), just put in the milk and sugar and set it to warm the milk. When it was done with it's cycle, add the white chocolate and stir gently by hand until the chocolate was well blended. Then set it to cycle again, when it is done, add the vanilla, stir and serve.

It is more authentic to add some orange rind, I just didn't have any, so give it a try if you have some, it sounds delish!

Traditional Swedish Pancakes

I found this recipe on RecipeZaar and immediately fell in love when the author stated that when she was in Sweden, the children would eat these pancakes with Rainbow Sherbet! Funny thing, we have Rainbow Sherbet in the freezer ... looks like we're having pancakes.

I altered the recipe just a bit, and I was very pleased with how they turned out.


3 eggs

2 1/2 cups low-fat milk

1 1/4 cups flour

1/2 tsp. salt

3 Tb. sugar

4 Tb. butter, melted

In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs with one cup of the milk. Warm the remaining milk in the microwave and add the melted butter to that milk to be used shortly.

Add the dry ingredients to the milk and egg mixture, blend until smooth.

Now add the warm milk and butter and stir just until blended. The mixture will be very runny, don't worry!

Get a good fry pan with a heavy bottom (or cast iron would be even better) and warm it on medium for several minutes before using. Brush oil on the bottom of the pan and then add 1/2 cup of batter. It will spread over the bottom of the pan, let it cook like this for 1-2 minutes, until the underside is lightly browned.
Then flip the pancake and let the other side cook for 1-2 minutes, until done.

Serve immediately, or keep warm in the oven until serving time.

As mentioned above, kids in Sweden eat these with Rainbow Sherbet. My husband and I chose lingonberry preserves and little sprinkle of powdered sugar. And one of the kids opted for maple syrup. Basically, anything goes!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Stegt Kylling (Braised Chilcken w/ Parsley)

Oh how I wish I didn't have the poultry "issues" that I have, then I wouldn't have had to cut into this bird to MAKE SURE it was done. I could have left it alone in it's glorious presentation that could have been. Oh well, maybe next time I'll be a little more daring, then I'll post a new photo without big testing marks in the top of the beautiful, tasty bird!

This is a Danish recipe from the book: "Recipes: The Cooking of Scandinavia" and it was very good, not super healthy, but very, very good!


~3 lb. roasting chicken

1 TB. salt

4 TB. butter, softened

Large bunch of parsley

2 TB. butter

1/4 c. vegetable oil

1/2 c. water

1 c. heavy cream


Wash the chicken and pat it dry. Rub it inside and out with the salt. Then coat the entire inside with the 4 TB. of butter and stuff the inside with parsley. If you have twine (I didn't), truss it so that it will hold it's shape while cooking.

Preheat the oven to 325 F. Heat 2 TB. of butter and the oil over moderate heat in a skillet big enough to hold the chicken. When the oil and butter are hot, place the chicken in breast side down, let it stay a minute or two, long enough to get nicely browned. Turn the chicken 1/4 turn to its side and do the same. Repeat for all the sides fo the chicken.

Transfer the chicken to a roasting dish that has a lid.

Pour out all but 1 TB. of fat from the skillet and add 1/2 cup water. Bring it to a boil and scrape up any browned bits left in the pan. Pour this over the chicken, cover the chicken and place it in the oven to braise for about an hour. You can test it by cutting into like me, or the good old method of holding it up and seeing what color the juices are as they run out of the chicken. Clear means it is cooked, pink means NOT!

When the chicken is cooked, let it rest on a platter for 5 minutes while you make the sauce. Skim the fat from the cooking juices and pour it back into the skillet used to brown the chicken. Add in the heavy cream and cook over moderate heat until it has thickened and reduced.

I served ours with carrots and parsnips, the book suggests boiled new potatoes and a certain cucumber salad which I will be making soon!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Irish Brown Bread

I just found this recipe in an old issue of Family Fun Magazine (March 2008).

It looked easy, we had all the ingredients and decided to give it a go!

And the results:

This is how we made it:


2 1/4 cups whole wheat flour

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 cups rolled oats

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. salt

1 TB. sugar

2 1/2 cups buttermilk


Heat oven to 400 degrees. Combine all of the dry ingredients. Make a well and add half the buttermilk. Get your hands in there and mix it up (or let your kids).

Continue mixing with your hands and add the rest of the buttermilk. The resulting dough will be very wet and sticky.

Dust your hands with flour, shape the dough into a ball and place it on a baking sheet lined with parchment. Shape it into a big mound, then use a long, sharp knife to score an "x" in the top (widening it with the sides of the blade while you cut).

Bake it until golden brown, about 50 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and cool for at least 10 minutes before slicing.

This makes a crusty, dense loaf, really great when warm!!! Still good when it's cooled down.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Finally ... Alfredo

It's taken me a while to do, but I have finally figured out a great, creamy alfredo that uses all of the regular ingredients! I have read over several recipes, many adding things in there that I just didn't want. But all of the recipes I have tried that use basically just milk, butter and cheese have not resulted in a yummy, creamy sauce. Today, I decided to not follow recipes, but (yes, this is corny but true) I followed my heart and it finally happened. No more packaged alfredo mixes for us - it's about time.

2 Tb. butter
3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 Tb. flour
1 1/2 cups parmesan cheese, freshly grated
1 1/2 cups milk (I used Vitamin D)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. white pepper

Mix together the cheese, milk, salt and pepper and let it sit for a minute.

In a saucepan melt the butter over medium heat. Once melted, add the garlic and saute for a few minutes, do not let it burn or the butter go brown. The key is LOW heat. (well, medium low).

Then add the flour, stir it in with a wisk until it's all smooth, let it cook for a minute, you should turn the heat up just a bit.

When the flour is well incorporated and slightly cooked, add the milk/cheese mixture.

Keep using the wisk to make it smooth and stir while it cooks. Let it cook until it has thickened up to the desired consistancy.

Pour over pasta and devour!

YAY! This is such a relief!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Magdalenas - Breakfast Muffin

These little cuties are EASY and very authentic - nothing nutritional, really, but very tasty - I ate these almost everyday for breakfast when I lived in Spain!


6 eggs

1 1/4 cups sugar

2 1/2 cups flour

7 oz. canola oil

1 TB. baking powder

The rind from 1 lemon


Mix all of the ingredients together. Let it rest for 1-2 hours in the fridge (covered). When it is time to bake, preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Fill the muffin cups (use liners - these will stick) about 2/3 full. I like to sprinkle the tops with a little bit of sugar, this is how they are in Spain. Bake for 12-15 minutes - they will have risen and turned a very LIGHT golden color. Do not overbake because they will dry out! Keep leftovers in an airtight container.

These are best dipped in hot chocolate!!! :)

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Pan con Tomate (Bread with tomato)

I love this easy little appetizer - it is so basic and so tasty. There are several variations that I have seen on American cooking shows, but I really have to stick with the basic form I learned in Spain. And I should clarify - Northern Spain - Catalonia - other places in Spain don't really do this. Boy, are they missing out.


A baguette
Several Roma Tomatoes
Olive Oil


You start with a sliced baguette - the better the bread, the better this will be. A little on the crusty side is my preference.

You take a Roma tomato, cut it in half lengthwise and the spread the tomato inner parts (juice, seeds, whatever) over the surface of the bread. Really, just squish it in.

Then get some great, fruity olive oil and drizzle a little on top of one, grab another and rub the two tomato drenched faces together. When all the pieces of bread have the olive oil, then just a bit of salt and you are set. This is really the best way to eat bread I have ever come across. It is so good with any classic spanish dish - it's not too heavy and a healthy alternative to garlic bread.

Other form I have seen toast the bread first. And then they add little things like a great European cheese or some olive paste and even rub fresh garlic on the slice (which is great, too). They really are all good, but the plain old original is divine!