Christmas 2014

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I had two weeks off work during Christmas and it was wonderful spending that much time back home in Sweden. There was a lot of food involved as we entertained and saw friends often for a meal.

At the moment I’m more in the mood for soups and vegetables than three course meals (who knew I would ever utter those words), but I fondly look back on all the nice meals we had during the Christmas break.

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We only had traditional Christmas food on Christmas Eve, and we decided that was the perfect amount for our family. The traditional dishes are all rich and stodgy so one day is enough! In the evening we started with a smörgåsbord of cured and smoked salmon, meatballs and sausages, Jansson’s temptation, Christmas ham, brown and red cabbage, bread and cheeses. Thereafter we had salted ling with a warm mustard sauce and boiled potatoes (although I had cod instead) and a seriously rich rice pudding (Ris a’la Malta) with plenty of whipped cream and berry sauce to finish.

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The other days we enjoyed whatever we were in the mood for. Mummy made this gubbröra on toast as a starter one day. It’s chopped eggs, anchovies, dill and onions in butter. Very yummy! (Recipe to follow).

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We actually had a lot of fish, like this gratin with plaice fillets and prawns.

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But also a lot of meat, sauce and potatoes. Above seriously tender wild duck cooked by mummy with Hasselback potatoes and Brussel sprouts but we also had rib-eye and bearnaise sauce as well as roasted chicken.

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While entertaining we of course had puddings too, like this favourite tarte tatin with ‘raw’ custard. The oven cooks a bit unevenly and we forgot to move it around, hence the colour difference, but it was still very delicious!

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One of the last days we had some more fish as not much can beat fried Arctic char fillets with boiled potatoes and the best sauce for fish ever!

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A few days before Christmas and New Year we even had snow, and although I’m not a fan of icy roads and cold temperatures, the garden looked rather pretty clad in white.

Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas break. Happy New Year!

Christmas indulgence

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We didn’t host Christmas Eve this year, so I haven’t got a single picture of what we ate that day. Instead I left the camera at home and just focused on being in the moment.

Besides, traditional Swedish Christmas food is not my favourite type of food. I love Jansson’s temptation (the potato bake with anchovies) and meatballs with allspice but am happy to skip the herring, Christmas ham and cabbages.

This post will instead focus on what we ate all the other days around Christmas. Staying with my parents for two weeks was a great excuse to indulge in lots of eating and cooking. Most of the food was quite festive and a little something extra, but we also squeezed in some everyday food.

We also made very good use of mother’s Christmas china service with the the words ‘God Jul’ which means Merry Christmas in Swedish; it features on most pictures. jul6

Charkuterie board: smoked sausage, cured ham, parmesan and crema di balsamico, olives.

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Wild duck breast, peanut fingerling potatoes, port sauce, broccoli and rowanberry jelly.

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Fresh crab, prawns, mayonnaise, bread and salad.

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Almost as important as food – bubbly and candles

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Poached halibut, boiled potatoes, lovely creamy sauce and carrots

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Creme brulee

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Weekday food: Christmas meatballs (seasoned with allspice) and creamy potato mash with extra butter

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Fried shallots and carrot matchsticks, scallops and wild garlic oil

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Classic Lobster Thermidor

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Swedish pizza and coke on New Year’s Day

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Lots of nice cookies made by mother (favourites are the chocolate ones and the crispy rolls)

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Fish soup with prawns, aoili

It was a lovely Christmas last year!

Christmas 2013

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This past Christmas was a great one for me. I got to see my wonderful friends back home in Sweden, try some new restaurants, spend time with my dear parents, celebrate Christmas the traditional way with the relatives and meet some newly arrived babies for the first time. And – this is the kicker – I had enough time to enjoy every moment.

Usually I feel like a hamster in a wheel spinning out of control when I go to Sweden for a longer trip. So much to do, so many people to see and never enough time to do it all. Sure, I still have a guilty conscience about not being able to see people as much as I (and hopefully they) would have liked, but I had a great time and had a lot of quality time with great people.

Thanks Christmas of 2013 – you were great!

Best of: Christmas

My life is pretty hectic right now and even though I try to prepare for December every year it is never enough. So please bear with me the coming few weeks. I have a big back log of posts to share with you but I just don’t haven’t got the time right now.

But I do have time to share a few great Christmassy recipes with you! I hope you like them as much as I do.

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Vanilla toffee – homemade sweets always impress and these are seriously delicious! 

Saffron pannacotta – Because of the Swedish St Lucia buns with saffron we associate everything with saffron with Christmas. These pannacottas are really delicious and festive with their bright yellow colour. 

Christmas paté – This paté can be served as a starter, on a nice sandwich or on a smorgasbord of Christmas food.

Mother’s mazarin cake – This cake is a long standing Christmas tradition on my mother’s side of the family. It is a little chewy, not too sweet and absolutely gorgeous.

God Jul – Merry Christmas

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Christmas greetings from the South of Sweden! We celebrate Christmas today on Christmas eve, so after a lunch with boiled eggs and pickled herring, we are awaiting the relatives who will join us for supper. We’re having meatballs, prinskorv (smoked sausages), Jansson’s temptation (potato bake with anchovies), red and caramelised white cabbage and Christmas ham as the first course, followed by salted ling with mustard bechamel, potatoes and peas. To finish we have a very creamy rice pudding called ris a’la Malta and coulis.

God Jul!