Enjoy Not Knowing

Just another American living in Sweden


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raspberry scones

Here we go! Number 10/10 on my list of recipes from Eggton’s scrumptious blog. I almost can’t believe it. Mostly I can’t believe it because I thought this was post 8, then I scanned through my past posts and realized I hadn’t listed two of my recipe posts. So, here it is. The final recipe for number 21 on my 30 before 30 list.

These scones couldn’t be a better pick to wrap up this list. Seriously guys, you gotta make these.

For any clarity needs and a side bar on Ranger Rick and tulip cruelty, here’s the original post.

The ingredients you will need:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 8 tbs. butter cut into 12 inch cubes and then frozen (since this is in italics you know it’s serious)
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup frozen raspberries (again, important word in italics)

The steps you will take:

  1. Mix dry ingredients in a bowl; flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Whisk everything to reduce clumps.
  2. Add frozen butter to the bowl. Eggton says to use a pastry blender or a dough scraper here, I don’t have those appliances so I used a hand mixer. My scones tasted awesome (though you’ll never know if I’m telling the truth, will you?). Regardless, I say a hand mixer also works. You’ll just have to trust me. You’re done mixing when the largest pieces of butter are about the size of a pea.
  3. Pour the cream into the mixture and mix with your hands. Again with the italics, yes. Stop when the cream is no longer creamy and the dough is sticky. There will still be loose flour in the bowl. Deep breath, it’s supposed to be there.
  4. Turn the mixture onto a lightly floured counter and form into a rectangle. Flip it over and form a rectangle again, repeat this until the rectangle is no longer coming apart. (Or coming apart less). Handle the dough as little as possible so the small chunks of butter stay intact.
  5. Use a lightly floured rolling pin to flatten the rectangle into a pan 8×10 rectangle as best you can. Push it back together if it comes apart.
  6. Gently press the frozen raspberries into the bottom 2/3 of the dough. It’s okay if the raspberries break and/or don’t really press into the dough.
  7. Fold the top third of the dough over the raspberries. Use a knife or other tool to scrape under the dough first, if necessary. This will result in a log(ish) shape.
  8. Gently roll the log into a rectangle using the lightly floured rolling pin. Eggton says it should be 1 inch thick, mine were not, but good for you if you can get them that thin. Cut the flattened dough into triangles and transfer the triangles into the freezer.
  9. Heat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit or 200 degrees Celsius. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  10. Remove the triangles from the freezer, place two inches apart on the baking sheet, and brush each scone with a thin layer of cream. Sprinkle each scone with a little bit of sugar to really top everything off.
  11. Bake for 20 min (or more) until the scones are golden brown and your home smells wonderful.
  12. Allow the scones to cool on the baking sheet for a while before moving to the cooling rack. Or before eating every single scone while standing hunched over the oven. Your call.

The wonderful scones you will eat:

Until next time!

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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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what is fika?

Listen up! This is important. Open your eyes now, people, you’re about to gain some knowledge!

An immediate differentiation should be made, that fika and FICA are two very, very different things. The latter is a taxing system that funds Social Security and Mecicare. That’s definitely not what this is about. The former is what we’re here today to discuss.

Fika, with the all important “K”, is a Swedish tradition, incurred daily, which allows for the intake of caffeine and sugar. Some argue that this event should take place at 2:30 pm on the dot, but I’m not here to set the rules, I’m here to enjoy the party!

In this instance, when I say party, I mean an often quiet moment during the day where you sit down with co-workers, friends or family and take a second to enjoy their company. As well as the aforementioned sugar and caffeine. Not to be confused with the British tea-time, Swedish fika is a beast of its own.

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Fika can actually happen anytime, anywhere. From meeting up with friends at a local café or in the comfort of your own home alone or with your favorite family members (let’s be honest, we all have favorites). Swedes can fika in public, from outdoors in a park with a homemade selection of sweets and a thermos of coffee to riding a SJ train from Malmo to Stockholm in the dining car. Fika isn’t only a daily break from the hustle and bustle that is our fast-paced lives, it’s a lifestyle of taking the time to stop and smell the coffee.

As previously mentioned there are no rules when it comes to fika, but one of my favorite treats to enjoy with my coffee are Swedish chocolate balls. (If you know anything about me you know how extrememly dificult it was for me to decide on just one treat). Here’s the recipe so you too can enjoy a moment of Swedish fika in your busy busy day:

Ingredients:

  • 2 dl oats
  • 1 dl sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cold coffee
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa
  • 150g butter 
  • Coconut shavings or sprinkles or both


Directions:

  1. Convert everything to cups if you don’t have a deciliter measuring device. I’ll help you get there by telling you that 1 dl is 0.42 cups.
  2. Mix all ingredients except the coconut/sprinkles in a bowl.
  3. Roll mixture into balls. Larger balls will be about 1.5 inches in diameter smaller balls can be about 1 inch in diameter.
  4. Pour a small amount of coconut (or sprinkles) on a plate, one or two handfuls will be enough to get started. Coat the balls with coconut or sprinkles by rolling them around the plate. As the coconut/sprinkles run out, add more to the plate. 
  5. Makes about 14 large balls or 20 small balls.







Side bar: For those of you who like words, I just had to check the etymology of the word “fika” and according to professor Lars-Gunnar Andersson at the University of Gothenburg the word fika comes from an alternate form of a Swedish word for coffee (kaffi). The word “kaffi” is cut in the middle and each side swapped, as a type of slang (since that just seems like the easiest kind of slang there is…) which results in “fika“!


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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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black bean soup

Eggton does it again with a vegetarian (or vegan if desired) black bean soup. Now that fall is on its way a nice hot soup is a go to meal to keep toasty warm. Original recipe found here.

Once again I didn’t stray much from Eggton’s instructions. I’ve found that’s the best way for me to have success in the kitchen. It unfortunately doesn’t guarantee I don’t get burned.

Black bean soup ingredients

Ingredients:

  • 3 Tbsp. butter or olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 ribs celery diced (did you guys know they’re called ribs?!)
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 6 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 c. vegetable broth
  • 1 15-oz. can tomato sauce
  • 2 410g cans black beans, drained but not rinsed
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. ketchup (use a vegan ketchup if you’re vegan)
  • 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce (omit if vegan)
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. cumin

Cooking black bean soup

Directions:

  • In a large pot or a big skillet with raised sides, melt the olive oil or butter over medium heat.
  • Add the chopped onion and celery and carrot.  Sauté until the onion is tender and translucent but not browned, lowering the heat if necessary.  Add the garlic and cook another couple of minutes.
  • Add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine.  Raise the heat to bring it to a boil and then lower it so that the soup simmers for 20 minutes (or less – but if you cook it really fast your veggies might still be a little crunchy – I seriously recommend cooking the veggies fast, so good!).
  • Purée half or all of the soup with a hand mixer (Eggton recommends a blender or food processor, we don’t have that and the hand mixer worked great) then stir it back into the pot.
  • Taste the soup and adjust the seasoning as desired.  If it’s too thick for your taste, add more broth and reheat. Serve with sour cream and cheese if you like (provided you’re not vegan).

black bean soup

This soup was so good I could honestly eat it every week this fall. I won’t because then I may turn into a black bean. As the old adage goes: you are what you eat.

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roasted vegetable salad with kale & kamut

As per the usual Eggton delivers again. I found this recipe here, and made a few modifications I will be sure to tell you all about.

Yesterday I went shopping to purchase the following ingredients for this scrumptious dish.

Ingredients:

For the vinaigrette:

  • 1/4 c. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1-2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1/4 c. olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary

For the salad:

  • 2 pints cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 6 c. finely shredded kale leaves (remove the stems first)
  • 1 c. uncooked kamut
  • 3 c. mixed roasted vegetables, such as carrots, peppers, eggplant, zucchini or mushrooms, in bite-sized pieces

In advance I, of course, read this list. Lovely! I thought to myself, as we had many of the items already at home. I was in the store to buy the fresh herbs, cherry tomatoes, kamut, parsnip, & zucchini. I’m the only zucchini eater in the house, so we don’t usually have it around. I also love parsnip, so I just had to roast it up and add to the salad.

Eggton’s recipe actually calls for farro. I don’t know what farro is. Sweden does not know what farro is. I tried asking for it in the store, even had my smartphone out with a picture and everything. That guy still thinks I’m crazy. On second thought, he may not have been an employee.

I decided to go with kamut for two reasons, one it’s PN approved. (Curious about my Precision Nutrition experience, click the PN tab above!) Two, it exists in Sweden.

With my spoils in hand, I biked on home. Whipping out the trusty smartphone once again, I examined Eggton’s directions.

Directions:

  • If you don’t have left-over roasted vegetables, roast some.
  • In the meantime, put all the ingredients for the vinaigrette into a jar, close the lid, and shake until combined.  If you taste it, don’t worry: the balsamic flavor will be stronger than in most dressings, but it will be fine when tossed with the salad.
  • Cook the kamut according to the package directions, adding a little salt to the cooking water.
  • In the meantime, put the kale and the tomatoes into a bowl.  When the kamut is done, drain it and immediately add it to the kale and tomatoes.  (You want it to still be warm so that it wilts the kale a little.)  Mix in the grilled vegetables and toss with most of the dressing.
  • Let the salad sit on the counter for a few hours so that the flavors meld.  Taste it and add the remaining salad dressing if desired, and season with salt and pepper if necessary.  Serve the salad at room temperature and then store it in the fridge.

I did my best to follow the directions as directed. I did not have left over roasted vegetables, so I chopped up carrots, parsnip, zucchini and peppers in relatively large pieces. On foil I carefully spaced the carrots and parsnip onto the baking pan, adding a light cover of olive oil and chopped garlic and a sprig of rosemary to the mix for flavor. I allowed the carrots and parsnip to roast for about 15 minutes before I added the zucchini and peppers. These vegetables are much softer and waterier, so they will roast faster. (Waterier is a word – right?) I popped everything back in the oven for 30-40 more minutes.

Then it was time for the dressing. Remember how “lovely” I thought it was that we had most of the ingredients already at home? Turns out we had exactly 1/4 a cup of olive oil and exactly 1/4 a cup of balsamic vinaigrette. We have an oil & viniager salad sprayer, and I actually had to sprits out approximately 1/8 of a cup of vinaigrette. I don’t recommend that. It did work out in the end though. Also, a good to know tidbit is that the size of the jar does not need to be large. A smarter woman than I would consider that 1/2 a cup of liquid with one teaspoon of mustard plus a bit of herbs will not make much dressing. Instead, this is what I did:

dressing

Left: The jar size I used. Right: The jar size I should have used.

I didn’t cook the kamut according to packaging instructions either. Coach Ryan in PN instructs us clients to boil grains & beans by using the amount desired covered by 2-3 inches of water. Those of you who don’t have access to Ryan’s awesome videos should know that while boiling, test for readiness by tasting (you’re looking for a tender grain/bean), then drain excess water. That guy knows his stuff, because that’s what I did, and it went swimmingly.

Continuing on to the fresh vegetables I attempted to measure one pint of cherry tomatoes. Actually I got baby plum tomatoes. I don’t know the difference, they seemed similar in size, and the baby plum tomatoes looked much more appetizing (and came from Holland – a short distance from Sweden for the geographically impaired).

Not how to measure tomatoes.

Not how one measures tomatoes.

I think I got about the right amount of tomatoes in the end, so I moved on to the kale. This was another item we already had at home. However, it was not pre-finely shredded. I’m not sure if you can buy kale that is finely shredded for you, but regardless, I did not have that. My first instinct was to take out the cheese grater and grate my kale. This is not possible, so don’t try that. I ended up chopping it. Forgetting that the stems were to be removed, and playing a grown up version of Where’s Waldo as I inspected my chopped kale attempting to remove the stems.

chopped kale

Getting the tomatoes, kale and kamut into one bowl was by far the easiest step of the day. By this time my roasted vegetables had roasted, so I removed them from the oven, cut them into bite sized pieces, and added them to the mix. Eggton suggests adding some of the dressing first only adding more later to taste, I just went all out, and I’m glad I did. It wasn’t that much dressing to begin with, in my humble opinion, so using it all was a good call for me. Then I added salt. I love salt. If you ask me, more salt is more salt. Do it.

Despite the setbacks the salad came out wonderfully.

a finished salad

I hope you can learn from helpful tips (read: embarrassing mistakes) so that you have tremendous success with this super delicious salad.

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