Enjoy Not Knowing

Just another American living in Sweden


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twice-baked potatoes

These are actually Rebekah’s twice-baked potatoes. I don’t actually know Rebekah, but she knows her potatoes! Eggton posted about these scrumptious spuds a while back, and as usual her pictures make me want to eat my computer screen.

I haven’t changed the instructions much, but definitely check out the original post here.

Ingredients:

  • 3 medium russet potatoes
  • 2 Tbsp. of olive oil (or a little bacon grease, for the true Southern experience)
  • a few dashes of kosher salt
  • 4 Tbsp. butter (half a stick), cut into a bunch of smaller pats
  • 3 oz.+ whipped cream cheese spread (buy an 8-0z. container)
  • 1/4 c.+ heavy whipping cream (buy a half pint)
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 1/2 c.  grated cheddar cheese
  • a dash of cayenne pepper

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Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. (Or 205 centigrade).
  2. Thoroughly scrub and dry the potatoes and poke a bunch of holes in each with a fork.  Rub olive oil into the skins, coating them thoroughly. Place the potatoes on a baking sheet and sprinkle with kosher salt. (I chose to generously sprinkle).
  3. Bake 45 minutes to an hour or more, until they give a little when handled with a potholder or they’re tender when pierced with a fork (it’ll depend on the size of your potatoes). Remove the potatoes from the oven and let them cool enough to handle (Eggton says you can just proceed here if you want, holding them in a towel or something – I was afraid of burning myself so I waited). In the mean time reduce the heat to 350 degrees (176 C).
  4. Cut the potatoes in half lengthwise and carefully scoop out the insides with a spoon and transfer the insides to a mixing bowl.  Be careful to leave a little potato flesh on the skins so that the potato skin stays up like a canoe.  (If you dig too much out from the side walls, the papery skins will tear or collapse inwards and it’ll be harder to fill.)
  5. Add the butter and the whipped cream cheese to the baked potato and beat in a mixer until smooth.  (If you don’t have a mixer, you could use a potato smasher.)  Beat in the cream and some salt and pepper. Taste it. Here’s where Eggton adds more whipped cream cheese and more cream because, you know, what the heck. Some people also throw in pieces of bacon, green onions, and some grated cheddar at this point.
  6. Mound the baked potato mixture into the potato skins you hollowed out. It’s okay if the filling rises above the brim of the skin. Sprinkle some of the grated cheddar cheese on top of each and then sprinkle with a dash of cayenne if you want. (You should want the cayenne).
  7. Place the potatoes back on the baking sheet and return them to the oven until they’re heated through and the cheese is melted.

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I love me some potatoes, and I love me some cheese, so the combination is always a hit with me. I made some with less cheese for Evelina, promptly forgot which were which and we just ate them as they came. Try out the recipe, let me know what you think!

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the eggton

Eggton, the awesome blog which I dedicatedly stalk follow, is wittily named after Eggton’s own invention: The Eggton.

I know you just can’t wait to find out what this concoction will be! The wait is over my friends, the secret is revealed!

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The Eggton is the genius combination of croutons and scrambled eggs. The harmony between which create an absolutely scrumptious breakfast experience. Let’s get cracking! (I couldn’t resist).

Original recipe found here.
Ingredients:

  • a small pat of butter
  • a small handful of croutons
  • 2-3 eggs
  • a little of your favorite cheese (optional)
  • salt & pepper

Directions:

  1. Melt the butter in a skillet over medium to low heat.
  2. Toss in the croutons.
  3. Crack the eggs into the skillet.  Cook for a minute before breaking the yolks.  Break the yolks with your spatula and toss the eggs with the croutons, coating evenly.
  4. Add some cheese if you like.
  5. Season with salt and pepper and cook until desired doneness.

I went with croutons seasoned with garlic and parsley, and Eggton agrees that croutons with garlic are a good way to go. Just writing this post has me looking forward to Sunday morning breakfast!

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the end of the school year

In 2014 I took an unplanned break from blogging. I got incredibly, surprisingly, busy. Upon my return I apologized, as one is want to do, and listed what it was exactly that was keeping me otherwise occupied. The end of the school year being one of those things.

Since 2014 I have concluded two other school years, that is to say here at pre-school we have welcomed the summer of 2014, 2015 and most recently 2016. Where I work we celebrate the return of the sunshine and warm weather in Sweden by singing songs outdoors. I find these songs to be particularly Swedish where the lyrics inevitably include flowers, swallows and mosquitoes. Because…what else?

2014 I was kept particularly busy as that was the school year I was with the group of children moving on to kindergarten after the summer. June that year was composed of many meetings, compiling documentation for the children and most memorably the quiet pang of nostalgia in my heart as I realized I would only very rarely see many of these children in the future.

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Receiving many thoughtful and kind presents was lovely, but I will hold most dear the letter I received from a small human whom I will always remember.

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I am happy that you have been my teacher.
You are a good teacher.
Hugs!

Coming to work daily and teaching the children left in our care is a wonderful privilege.

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four blogging years

Can you believe this?! Four years ago in January I started this little corner of the internet, and my have we come a long way.

4 years of blogging

I’ve posted 285 times. This post you’re reading now is the two hundred and eighty fifth time I have composed word followed by word to send out into the interwebs.

I have uploaded 796 pictures/collages and y’all have viewed my little blog 11,794 times.

Sunday at 9:00pm is my most popular day and time. I should probably start posting every Sunday, eh?

My top three visited posts/pages (aside from the home page) are:

  1. 25 before 25, published March 21st, 2012
  2. 5 years, published November 1st, 2013
  3. Book of December: James Potter, published December 31st, 2012

The top five countries who view my blog the most are:

  1. USA FullSizeRender (4)
  2. Sweden FullSizeRender (6)
  3. France FullSizeRender (8)
  4. Germany FullSizeRender (7)
  5. Canada FullSizeRender (5)

I want to say: Thank you! Tack så mycket! Merci! Dankeshön! And once again thank you! Without you my lovely readers this blog would be nothing.

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apple bran muffins

Number 21 on my 30 before 30 list is to cook 10 things off of this awesome blog. I chose to bake some apple bran muffins, and not just because this is the very first thing on the recipe index, but because they look this scrumptious on the blog:

Picture from eggton

Picture from eggton

These are listed as breakfast muffins, and I was pretty sceptical to begin with, to be honest. I was thinking we could just have them as dessert if they were too sweet. But they were not! They were savory and scrumptious, and just all around excellent. Not too sweet to eat for breakfast, and quite filling.

I followed the recipe exactly as written on eggton:

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 c. wheat bran
  • 1 c. buttermilk
  • 1/3 c. vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 2/3 c. brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 c. flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 small to medium apple, peeled and diced into 1/2″ cubes (about 1 c.)

Directions

  • Heat the oven to 375 degrees.
  • Combine wheat bran and buttermilk in a medium bowl and let sit for 10 minutes.
  • In a separate large bowl, mix the oil, egg, sugar and vanilla.
    In a separate small bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
  • When the bran has soaked for ten minutes, scoop it into the bowl with the oil and egg mixture.  Stir until just combined.  Stir in the flour mixture until just combined.  Add the apple pieces and stir until just combined.   Using a melon baller, ice cream scoop or spoon, transfer the batter into a muffin tin lined with paper liners (fill the liners 3/4 or 4/5 of the way up).
  • Bake the muffins for 15-20 minutes, or until the middles have set and a tester inserted in the muffins comes out clean.
My muffins - yum!

My muffins – yum!

I ate the last of my muffins just the other day, and I’m ready to bake some more.

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the 200th

Well here it is. Much sooner than I thought.

text graphic courtesy of WordPress

text graphic courtesy of WordPress

When I started out on this grand adventure, I never could have imagined what my blog would become. And now, only three months away from my three year anniversary, a lot has changed. Not only on the blog.

Since day one I’ve written 30 book of the month posts. (And read as many books!)

Since day one I’ve completed 17 things that I’ve always wanted to do. (Check out the 25 before 25 and 30 before 30 lists to read about them!)

Since day one some things have happened. I’ve learned a new language, I’ve travelled, I’ve made memories, and met people who are impossible to forget. I’ve used this blog to catalogue the great things. The adventures and smile bearing small moments.

There have been some bumps along the road, some that I’ve casually mentioned, but I try not to dwell. I do hope you fabulous readers do know that it’s not all rainbows and butterflies. I do prefer to highlight the good though. Positivity builds on itself to create more good. So when I’m down I can pick myself back up by taking a little peek at my own corner of the internet. It usually works.

Let’s start a tradition then, and focus on the good, like how many different places in the world my blog has poked it’s nose into your lives.

Stats 200

statistics courtesy of WordPress

That’s 75 countries y’all. How many views does your country have?

I hope you enjoy what you see.

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do you remember

Do you guys remember my first blog post ever? I certainly do. (And if you can’t be troubled to click that little link and read up you’ll get the gist of it anyway.) Not to say I can predict the future, but I totally can.

What did I say in that first post ever? That I didn’t want this to turn into 10th grade English class? Well, it has, my friends, it has. I am both behind on my reading and my writing. Although this time it is all self-inflicted, it seems to matter all the same.

Side bar: Does this mean I actually enjoyed 10th grade English…if I keep bringing myself back there…? What would Freud say?

Anywho. What I feared would happen has happened. I have promised many a promise and post, and have yet to deliver. I’m here today to tell you about ALL of the posts I’ve said I’d post. (And haven’t yet.) In list form of course, I love lists. I’m going to Tarentino this bad boy and start at the end…which is really the beginning:

Let’s start with 2012:
In a post entitled things i’ve been up to I’ve listed a list of things I had been up to (as my listy list suggests) the following is what has yet to be written about.

  1. Celebrating birthdays
  2. Visiting Spain part 3
  3. Last week at my job
  4. Working out
  5. Gardening
  6. Trying out DIY stuff off of Pintrest
  7. Germinating lemon seeds, trying to grow avocado and hoping my pineapple bush won’t die
  8. Riding motorcycles
    .

Moving on to 2013:
If you check out my book of the month list for 2013 you’ll notice a few things. First, both June and August have yet to be posted. These are now, seriously, delayed. If you were to start clicking on some of the links you would notice a couple rather incomplete posts. These are the, soon to be more complete, BOTMs coming to a screen near you:

  1. February – Läroplan för förskolan Lpfö 98 by Skolverket
  2. April – Godnatt, Alfons Åberg by Gunilla Bergström
  3. June – The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
  4. August – Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
    .

In October I mentioned my own personal troubles getting on SJ trains, and promised a future story.

Also in 2013 I made five New Year’s resolutions. Two have yet to be completed:

  1. Paint a painting
  2. Find a lasagna recipe Evelina likes as much as I do
    .

Finally, 2014:
A trend has started, and I have yet to post the following BOTMs for 2014.

  1. March – Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
  2. April – The Flame Alphabet by Ben Marcus
    .

In January I talked about throwing a sun party, if you’re curious how that went, stay tuned.
In March
I mentioned lördagsgodis, a future explanation is clearly on its way.

I also wrote a post only a few weeks ago expressing my regrets in my absence from writing. There I listed the following future posts.

  1. Wrapping up my Swedish as a Second Language course
  2. Running like a mad woman
  3. Travelling across the Atlantic
  4. Hosting a friend
  5. Party planning
  6. Taking my driver’s test
  7. The end of the school year
    .

As I’m sure you realize, this is quite the list, but it actually doesn’t include it all. I will also be updating previous posts, and editing and fine tuning what needs to be edited and fine tuned. If you like math you will see that this totals 26 up and coming posts.

This whole idea, posting all of the things I’ve said I’d write about, can be found on my 30 before 30 list, number 14. I know I’ve been talking about this for a year, but I feel new motivation coming on. When I’ve posted all these posts I’m hoping my blog will have a more complete and cohesive feel. That I can actually pretend that I have a bit of focus and thought behind what I do. I like pretending.

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