Merry Christmas to you and yours! Here in Sweden we had our celebration yesterday. Good food was eaten, toys were opened, and the merriness was abundant.
If you like mushrooms keep reading. Even if you don’t like mushrooms you should probably know this recipe anyway. Just in case. You never know. These portobello mushrooms are to die for, so it’s a good recipe to have in your arsenal.
Prior to this fated evening I had only ever grilled portobello mushrooms. Yes, I’m new here, despite this the recipe was easy to follow and resulted in delightfully scrumptious mushrooms. Find the original Eggton recipe/description here.
- 2 tbsp. + 1 tsp. olive oil
- 3 large cloves garlic, passed through a garlic press (Eggton says chopped is fine, but I hate chopping garlic)
- 12 oz. portobello mushroom caps, cut into 1/2″ strips
- 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 tbsp. fresh thyme
- 1/2 tsp. sugar
- 1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
- In a medium or large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-low heat. When it’s hot, add the garlic. Sautée for a minute. Make sure the garlic isn’t browning or frying up.
- Add the mushrooms, salt and thyme. At first, the skillet will be dry except for the oil. 10-15 minutes into cooking, they will be dark and will have released their water content into the skillet.
- At this point, add the sugar and the vinegar. Cook, stirring occasionally, at least 5 minutes more, until most of the liquid in the skillet has evaporated.
Eggton recommends that one spoons the mushrooms over goat cheese on toasted bread and drizzle with olive oil and coarse salt. (Sounds ridiculously fantastic). Or toss on salads, put in omelets, incorporate into pasta sauces, what have you.
Now, I do like Eggton’s serving suggestions, but let’s be real. These mushrooms are so good you’ll just end up slurping them all up while standing over the still hot frying pan like I did. Be real. Be like me.
Here in Sweden Thanksgiving is not a national holiday. Which means I was in class. Despite the numerous e-mails arguing to the contrary, my professors saw it imperative to hold our seminars as scheduled. Though they failed to provide me with a better explanation for it than “this is Sweden”.
A what I’m getting to is the fact that we had Thanksgiving dinner last night. It was a gleeful event, where family and friends joined us at our place for food and fun. Everyone said they enjoyed the American style food, so we’re just going to have to take them on their word.We fit 14 people around our table(s), which is just about maximum capacity.
Hope y’all had a great Thanksgiving, whenever it was celebrated. There’s so much to be thankful for.
Now, my avid blog readers will already know the ending of this story, but I’m gong to tell it anyway. The journey is the destination, man.
I don’t know if you’ve explored the baby side of social media recently, but according to that, gender reveal parties are all the rage. From the get go it sounded to me like an awesome opportunity to eat cool colored cake, so I was in.
Gender reveal parties can be done one of two ways. Either a special someone is designated to find out the gender of the coming baby, keep that a secret from the couple and all other humans, and help make the appropriate color schemed surprise. Or the couple finds out the gender of the baby and no one else knows until the big reveal during the party. Evelina and I went with the latter option.
After deciding that we needed to figure out how to do the big reveal. Pop a balloon filled with blue or pink confetti, open a present/box whose contents reveal the gender, be sprayed by our loved ones with the correct color of paint…the list is almost endless. We went with the tried and true method of cutting into a cake, and letting the cake do the talking.
Now, for games and entertainment. A prerequisite of attendance was a specific dress code, everyone had to wear pink or blue, depending on which gender they thought the baby would be. When our guests arrived they were conveniently divided into two teams as determined by their clothing choice. Before dinner was served our guests could guess the baby’s name, by writing it on the appropriate colored paper. We also played a quiz game where Evelina and I had written questions about common superstitions about pregnancy symptoms that can reveal the baby’s gender. Each team answered the questions, and the winning team won the honor of being victorious.
After dinner it was time for dessert, or as we say in Sweden, fika! Since Evelina and I knew the gender of our little one, we were the ones to order the cake to match, covered in white with the words “It’s a…” glazed on top. That evening our guests gathered round in suspense as we cut into the cake, finally revealing that we were expecting a little girl!
In keeping with my 30 before 30 list I’ve made one of Eggtons recipes, this time chilled honey oats. For a while now I’ve wanted to try out refrigerating oats, there are a ton of recipes and tasty looking pictures these days on social media that have enticed me to finally do it.
Though I really have no idea how so many people can take such nice pictures of oats. Seriously. It’s ridiculously difficult.
As per the usual I followed Eggtons recipe essentially to a T.
- 1 1/2 c. rolled oats
- 1 c. whole milk (or cream)
- 1/2 c. of your favorite yogurt
- 2 tsp. honey (can substitute agave nectar – though I don’t know what this actually is)
- 1 tsp. chopped orange peel (from 1 orange)
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla
- 1/4 c. orange juice
- 2 tart apples (such as granny smith or pink ladies)
- other fruits or berries (optional)
- nuts (optional)
- Combine the first 8 ingredients in a container with a lid and refrigerate for at least 5 hours or overnight (I chose over night, because I wanted to eat the oats for breakfast).
- Prior to serving, peel the apples and shred them down to the core using the side of a cheese grater that you’d use to shred cheese for a pizza. Do this directly prior to eating so your apples don’t turn brown.
- Toss the apple into the mix and stir to combine. Taste it. Adjust the consistency and flavors as desired–you can add more orange juice for acidity, milk or cream to thin it out, and honey to pick up the sweetness.
- Serve with berries, other fresh fruit, and your favorite nuts.
Only you have to say it in French…”Fraaance”. Also feel free to be a little snooty about it, but that’s optional.
In October Evelina and I travelled to Paris. My cousin has been living there for about a year with her husband and daughter and now their new-born son. Though his arrival was after our visit. Evelina and had a great time visiting with them and catching up. The last time I had seen my cousins daughter she was only three months old, so it was quite different to get to play with her as an almost three-year old in the parks of Paris and bounce up and down on a seesaw beside the Notre Dame.
Evelina and I loved Paris. As they say the city is for lovers.
After we got home I took the opportunity to work on number 15 on my 30 before 30 list. I made a map matte.
Here’s the example picture I found on Pintrest:
And here’s my crack at it:
I just loved the idea of using a map as a matte! I got in almost everything in the matte that we did/went to. We stayed by the Eifel Tower, visited the Louvre and the Musée d’Orsay, as well as strolled along the Seine eating baguettes in the sunshine.
To all you happy folk enjoying Christmas Day today I’d like to take the chance to share with you what we here in Sweden eat on Christmas Eve.
As I mentioned yesterday, in Sweden, and much of the Northland, Christmas is celebrated on Christmas Eve. In Sweden that means tons of good food.
If you find yourself in North America, and unable to enjoy this smorgasbord don’t fret!
Side bar: Smorgasbord is one of the few English words deriving directly from Swedish.
Head over to your nearest IKEA in the coming days, and you too can enjoy all this goodness. Though there’s no guarantee it will be as tasty as the homemade food here in Sweden. Actually it’s highly unlikely, but you’ll get the Swedish experience at least!
Dessert may vary, but yesterday we enjoyed a wonderful Christmas cake. It tasted like peppermint! As per the Swedish usual, dessert is always accompanied by strong coffee.
There was of course the classic ris a la malta. Enjoyed with lingon berries and saftsås.
Merry Christmas from my home to yours.