Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Buckeye Balls

Another family favorite. These cookies have been made by my family every year for as long as I can remember. Tauren has also incorporated these as a regular in her annual cookie party. The best part of her incorporating this into her cookie party is the recipe was already typed up and I just had to copy and paste it onto the website. Score!

1 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups confectioners' sugar
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

1. Line 2 baking sheets with waxed paper; set aside.

2. In a large bowl, beat peanut butter, butter and sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed until well combined. Roll into 1-inch balls and place on baking sheets. If mixture is sticky, wet hands with cold water and continue rolling. Place baking sheets in freezer for 30 minutes or until balls are firm.

3. Microwave chips in a glass bowl on HIGH for 2 minutes, stirring midway.

4. Pierce each ball with a toothpick and dip into chocolate 3/4 of the way deep, wiping excess chocolate on rim of bowl. Place on waxed paper; repeat with remaining balls. Return undipped buckeyes to freezer for 10 minutes if they get too soft.

5. Chill in fridge for 45 minutes, until set.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Melissa's Homemade Grape Juice

Melissa just moved to a new house which has a huge garden including a grape arbor. 2009 has been filled with all sorts of awesome cooking projects. Among them is homemade grape juice!

Ingredients & Tools
2 big pots
one big bowl
4 or 5 lbs of grapes

1. Place grapes into large vat or sink. Fill it with water and separate all the good grapes into the big bowl.

2. Mash grapes with a potato masher

3. Place into one big pot and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Let simmer for at least 10 minutes.

4. Mash mixture a few more times while simmering, and stir every occasionally to ensure nothing sticks to the bottom.

5. Place a fine strainer or cheesecloth (strainer would be easier) over the other big pot and strain out all the seeds and skins. There will still be a bunch of sediment, so you may want to strain twice. A third straining will make the juice less thick feeling.

6. Let it cool, or pour over ice and enjoy!

7. Add sugar if you need to, but taste it first without sugar.

Note: 1lb of grapes only makes about a cup or so of juice.

This recipe was obtained from Simply Recipes

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Äppelkaka - Swedish Apple Cake

This recipe is a family favorite on both sides of the pond. Commonly requested for both Thanksgiving & Jul Afton, this is a great recipe for apple lovers.

6 medelstora äpple (6 Medium Apples)
150 g smör (10.5 Tablespoons Butter)
3 dl vetemjöl (1 1/4 cup flour)
kanel 1-2 tsk (1-2 teaspoons cinnamon)
socker 0,5 - 1 dl beroende på hur söta äpplena är (between 1/4 and 1/2 cups sugar depending on how sweet the apples are)

1. Skala och skiva äpplena lägg i en ugnsfast form (Peel and slice the apples. Lay them in a baking dish)

2. Blanda socker och kanel och strö över äpplena (mix the sugar and the cinnamon. Sprinkle over the apples)

3. Hacka samman smör och mjöl till en smulig deg och strö den jämnt över äpplena. (Mix the butter and flour to make dough. Crumble over the apples)

4. Grädda i ugnen i C 225 grader till äpplena är mjuka och pajen fått fin färg. (Cook at 425 degrees F until the apples are soft and the dough has a light brown color)

Denna äppelpaj åt vi på Thanksgiving 2009 hos B&B. (Carin & Gitan made this apple pie for Thanksgiving 2009 at Brittany & Benny's home).

Pepparkakor - Swedish Gingerbread cookies


1) 3 dl sirap
1.25 cups of "sirap". There is no direct substitute. They sell Sirap at IKEA. If I can't find "Sirap" I substitute light molasses or corn syrup (light or dark).

2) 3 dl vispgrädde
1.25 cup whipping cream

3) 3 hg smör (1 hg = 300 g)
1 1/3 cups butter

4) 150 g socker
2/3 cups sugar

5) 150 g farinsocker
3/4 cup brown sugar

6) 1 tsk kryddnejlika
1 tsp clove

7) 1 tsk kanel
1 tsp cinnamon

8) 1 tsk ingefära
1 tsp ginger

9) 1 tsk pomeransskal
1 tsp pomegranite rind. You can substitute orange rind

10) 1 tsk bikarbonat ( blandas med lite mjöl )
1 tsp baking soda - mix with a little flour

11) ca 1,5 l vetemjöl
approximately 7.5 cups flour

1) Smält smöret i en gryta, ( låt det svalna lite )
Melt butter in a pan (let cool a little). Add to mixing bowl.

2) häll i vispgrädde, socker, farinsocker och sirap.
Add whipping cream, sugar, brown sugar, and sirap (molasses or corn syrup) to the mixing bowl. Mix.

3) Blanda kryddorna och bikarbonat och häll i smeten.
Mix the spices and baking soda and pour into the batter

4) Rör ner mjölet i grytan, rör om väl till en jämn smet.
Stir the flour into the batter

5) Låt stå i kylskåp över natten.
Let stand in the fridge over night

6) Ev behövs mer mjöl till utbakningen.
More flour is needed for rolling the cookies and cutting the shapes

7) Gräddas i 200 gr C ca 5 min eller till fin färg.
Cook at 400 degrees F or until the cookies have a nice color (5-10 minutes, depending on the size and thickness of the cookies).

Friday, October 2, 2009

Spinach Dip

1 package Knorr Vegatable Soup Mix
1 package frozen chopped spinach (make sure it's chopped not whole)
16 oz sour cream (reduced fat if desired)
8 oz mayonaise (reduced fat if desired)
1 can water chestnuts

Thaw spinach, drain and squeeze all excess water out of it.

Chop water chestnuts into small pieces

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients. Refridgerate for at least an hour.

Goes great with sourdough bread and veggies.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Goat cheese and spinach chicken with fig preserves

When I lived in Brooklyn Heights, Henry's End was one of my and B's favorite restaurants. B always ordered some sort of steak, and I would order their Goat Cheese & Fig Jam Chicken. One day, I decided that the recipe didn't seem so complex - so why spend $18.95 if I could make it at home, so I set out to replicate it. I usually just wing it, but here is an approximation of what I do:

1/3 cup goat cheese
10 oz frozen chopped spinach
1 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
2 tbsp Parmesan cheese
3 chicken breasts
1 Jar Fig Preserves

1) In a small bowl, combine bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese.
2) Pound each chicken breast until thin.
3) Dip each chicken breast in water or milk and then bread crumbs.
4) Evenly divide the spinach and the goat cheese.
5) Place spinach and goat cheese onto each breast.
6) Roll, secure with tooth pick if necessary.
7) Bake at 375° for 35-38 minutes.
8) Serve with fig preserves either by spooning onto the top of each chicken breast, or by placing a large spoon full on plate next to chicken for dipping.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Blackbean and Corn Salad

My mom just came to visit and made a blackbean and corn salad that was super tasty and super easy. This is going to be one on our regular meal rotation.


1 can blackbeans
1 1/2 cans sweet corn
1 cup grape tomatoes
8 leaves fresh basil
8 scallions
2 tsp olive oil
1 tsp white balsalmic vinegar
Sea salt


1. Drain corn and blackbeans, pour into bowl
2. Chop Basil, add to bowl
3. Chop scallions, add to bowl
4. Add olive oil and white vinegar to bowl
5. Mix
6. Salt to taste
7. Cut grape tomatoes in half. Add to each individual bowl.
8. Enjoy!

Note: The corn and blackbeans stay good in the refrigerator for a few days, however the tomatoes get wonky after a day or so. Therefore, to make the salad last longer add the tomatoes only when ready to serve.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Carins gurkor (Carin's Cucumbers)

2 kg gurkor ( Västerås ) - 4.4 lbs cucumbers
1 kg socker - 2.2 lbs sugar
0,5 dl salt - 1/5 cup salt
1,5 dl 24% ättika - 3/5 cup vinegar (24% vinegar - I'm not sure what this is)

1. Tvätta gurkorna noga, skiva dem och lägg i en stor skål. (Wash and slice cucumbers. Put them in a large bowl)

2. Strö över socker och salt. Häll i ättikan. (Sprinkle sugar and salt over cucumbers. Add the vinegar)

3. Rör i gurkorna när det börjar att bildas vätska. (Stir the cucumbers)

4. Låt stå ca 2 dygn, häll sedan upp i glasburkar, allt socker och salt ska då vara löst. (Let sit for 2 days. Pour into glass jars. The sugar and salt should be dissolved)

5. Tillsätt gult senapsfrö och ca 2-3 cm stora pepparrotsbitar ( 2 - 4 st i varje burk ) så håller gurkorna sig i ett år om de står svalt. (Add gold mustard seeds and 2-3 cm large horseradish pieces (2-3 pieces in ever jar). The cucumbers will last for 1 year if the kept cool.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Corn Casserole

My family has been making some sort of corn casserole for holiday meals for as long as I can remember. I don't have the original recipe, but this is the recipe I've been using for at least 7 years now.


1 16-oz. can cream of corn (undrained)
1 16-oz. can sweet corn (drained)
1 box Jiffy corn muffin mix
1 cup milk
1 egg


Mix ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. Pour into a greased casserole baking dish. Bake at 375 degrees for approximately 35 to 45 minutes or until top is golden brown.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Heather's Sweet Potatoes

I obtained this recipe from my friend Heather in Sweden. My family requests that I make this every Thanksgiving.

6 Cups of Sweet Potatoes
2 cups brown sugar
1 cup flour
1 cup butter
1 cup chopped pecans


1. Cube and boil sweet potatoes. Place into baking dish.
2. Mix together brown sugar, flour, butter and nuts. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Crumble over sweet potatoes.
3. Bake everything at 400 F for 30 minutes.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Rårörd saft - Strawberry Saft (Juice)

6 l bär (6 Liters Strawberries)

30 g vinsyra (30 grams Cream of Tartar or Tartaric Acid)

4 l vatten (4 Liters water)


Tvätta bären snoppa jordgubbarna, strö över vinsyran och häll det kokta vattnet över. (Boil the water. Wash the berries. Take the tops off the strawberries. Sprinkle the cream of tartar over the barries, poor in boiling water).

Låt stå över natten. (Let sit over night)

Sila saften, och mät upp mängden. Lika mycket socker som saftens vikt. (Strain the juice off the berries. Add as much sugar as the juice weighs).

1 l saft väger ca 925 g (1 Liter of juice weighs approximately 925 grams)

Rör saft och socker tills sockret är löst, ca 1 tim. (Stir the juice and the sugar until the sugar dissolves -- approximately 1 hour).

Frys in saften. (Freeze the strawberry juice).

***** English conversions and note below added by Brittany***

One of the great foodie things about Sweden is the saft (homemade juice). If you've been to IKEA, you've probably tried their lingonberry saft. My favorite type of saft is the strawberry saft that Carin makes. Although you can make this saft with any type of berry or fruit, the English translations that I've added Carin's recipes specify strawberries.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Garbage Bread

Pizza dough
1% Ricotta cheese
Honey ham (approx 1/2 lb)
Hard Salami (approx 3/4 lb)

1. Let dough rise.
2. Roll out dough into rectangle
3. Add 1 layer of ricotta cheese, 1 layer of salami, 1 layer of mozzarella, 1 layer of ham, and 1 additional layer of salami.
4. Roll into pinwheel shape and pinch edges tight so ingredients do not ooze out.
5. Brush top with butter and bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 45 minutes.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Brie and Sausage Breakfast Casserole

We were introduced to this recipe by my cousin Melissa, who obtained it from the Rock Cottage Bed and Breakfast website

Totally decadent and oh. so. good. Try it, I guarantee you'll make this for company.

Serves: 8-10

8 oz brie cheese
1 lb hot pork sausage, ground
6 slices white bread
1 cup parmesan cheese, grated
7 large eggs, divided
3 cups whipping cream, divided
2 cups fat-free milk
1 Tbsp sage, chopped fresh or 1 teas dried
1 tsp seasoned salt
1 tsp dry mustard
Green onion, chopped for garnish

Trim and discard rind from top of Brie. Cut cheese into cubes; set aside. Cook sausage in a large skillet over medium-high heat, stirring until crumbled and no longer pink; drain well.

Cut crusts from bread slices, and place crusts evenly in bottom of a lightly greased 13 X 9- inch baking dish. Layer evenly with bread slices, sausage, Brie, and grated Parmesan cheese.

Whisk together 5 eggs, 2 cups whipping cream, and next 4 ingredients; pour evenly over cheeses. Cover and chill 8 hours.

Whisk together remaining 2 eggs and 1 cup whipping cream; pour evenly over chilled mixture.

Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes or until set. Garnish, if desired.

*Substitute 2 cups ( 8 oz) shredded Swiss cheese , if desired.

Sugar and Spice and everything nice Pork Tenderloin

Another one of the recipes my mom has used. This recipe also meets my sweet and salty needs. If you are sensitive to spicy foods, be careful because this one is firey!

Recipe adapted from Epicurious's Island Pork Tenderloin Recipe

2 ½ lbs Pork Tenderloin

1 ½ teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 ½ teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup brown sugar
2 ½ tablespoons chopped garlic
1 tablespoon Tabasco


Cook at 350°F.

Rub: Combine salt, pepper, cumin, chili powder, and cinnamon.

Pork Glaze: Combine brown sugar, garlic, and Tabasco.

Both the Rub and the Glaze can be prepared in advance.

Cover the pork with the Rub. Brown pork in a skillet (approximately 5 minutes). Cover the tenderloin with the glaze. Transfer the skillet to the Oven. Cook for 25 minutes, let stand for 10 minutes.

Sugar Cookies

This is the sugar cookie recipe mom has been using for the last few years. I will have to come back and add a link and credit for the recipe source. Mom, do you have that information?

1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 tsps vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup sifted Confectioners' sugar (I never sifted the sugar)
1 - 2 tablespoons low-fat milk, warmed
Assorted food coloring


Beat butter and sugar together in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Add egges and vanilla. Beat well. Stir in flour. Cover and chill at least 1 hour - preferably overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Working with a little of the dough at a time,r oll it out on a floured surfact to about 1/8 inch thickness. Keep remaining dough chilled. Cut with desired cooke cutters and transfer carefully to an ungreased baking sheet spacing an inch apart. If there is enough rom in your refrigerator, chill baking sheets for 5 minutes before baking. This helps cocokies retain their shape if you've ovverworked the dough or the kitchen is hot.

Place cookies in oven and bake 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on racks.

If you use "edible paint", do so before baking. If you are using colored sugars, bursh cookies with a little egg white before sprinkling on decoration. If you are going to frost with a powedered sugar icing, bake cookies first.

Combine 1 cup sifted confectioners' sugar and 1 to 2 tablespoons or more warm low-fat mil until desired consistency. Tint, if desired, with food coloring. You can also add a dash of almond flavoring, if desired. If frosting gets too runny, add more sugar.

Mix 2 egg yolks and 1/2 tsp water in a small bowl. Divide mixture among several small cups. Tint each cup witha different fod coloring. Paint cookies with small, clean, new paint brushes. If pain thickens up, add a little water. Then bake as directed.

Have FUN!

Chicken pasta salad with pine nuts

This is one of my Mom's recipes. It is easy to make and healthy. I always leave the table satisfied.

1 lb Penne pasta
5 cloves of garlic
1 bunch scallions/green onions
Fresh basil
1 pint grape tomatoes
1 pound chicken breast
Olive oil
salt and pepper
Feta Cheese
Pine Nuts (Not Chinese pine nuts, they leave a bad aftertaste for weeks)

1) Cook pasta (save a little bit of pasta water for "juice")
2) Chop garlic, scallions and basil. Set aside.
3) Slice grape tomatoes in half
4) Cube chicken into 1 or 2" pieces. Cook in pan with olive oil
5) Saute the garlic and onions in a little of Olive oil - don't cook with real high heat. You don't want the garlic to get brown and toasty
6) Add the basil and stir
7) Throw in the cooked chicken
8) Add the pasta and mix it all together
9) Add the tomatoes
10) Add pine nuts and feta cheese at the table.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Flying Jacob aka Flygande Jacob

Carin made this for a party while I was in Sweden several years ago and I fell in love. The combination of bacon, peanuts, cream and bananas meet all of my sweet and salty needs. It sounds a little odd, but give it a try because it sure is tasty!

1 rotisserie chickens
4 bananas
1 ½ cups (4 dl) whipping cream
3/4 cup(2 dl) chili sauce
1 package bacon
1/2 cup(1 dl) salted peanuts


1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees (225 degrees Celsius)
2. Cut up bacon into small pieces and fry
3. Remove meat from chicken in small chunks. place in casserole dish. (salt and pepper to taste)
4. Slice bananas and layer over chicken
5. Layer bacon and peanuts over the bananas
6. Whip the cream and mix with the chili sauce. Layer over bacon and peanuts
7. Bake for 20 minutes.

8. Serve with a salad and boiled rice.

Mom's Banana Bread


I love my mom's banana bread. Here's the recipe:

1/2 cup butter (113 grams), softened
1 cup sugar (2.4 dl)
2 eggs
2 cups flour (4.8 dl)
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 mashed bananas (I often use four) The riper the banana, the more "banana-y" it will taste
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup chopped walnuts (i never use walnuts) I have used chocolate chips on occasion.

Grease one 9 x 5 x 3 inch loaf pan or two small loaf pans. Preheat oven to 250 F (or 121 C) degrees (I think the secret is cooking the bread for a long time at a low oven setting).

Combine butter, sugar. Cream mixture. Add eggs and bananas. Blend well. Add remaining ingredients. Bake at 250 degrees for 1 1/2 hours until lightly browned.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Super Peanut Buttery Peanut Butter Blossoms

This is my peanut butter cookie recipe. I didn't make it up on my own, but I combined two or three different peanut butter cookie recipes using the different elements that I liked, and then adapted a little more. I hope you all enjoy them.

1 cup butter (softened)
1 cup white sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 egg
1 egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract (Mexican is best)
1/2 jar reduced fat peanut butter or reeses peanut butter
½ jar natural peanut butter (with salt)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup peanut butter chips
Milk chocolate Ghirardelli chips or hershey kisses unwrapped

DIRECTIONS:Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a cookie sheet.
1. Mix butter, white sugar, and brown sugar together until smooth. Add the eggs, yolks, and vanilla; mix until fluffy. Stir in peanut butter.

2. In a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, and salt; stir into the peanut butter mixture. Finally, stir in the peanut butter chips. Refrigerate the dough for at least 2 hours.

3. Roll dough into small balls. Place on the cookie sheet and flatten slightly with a fork. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes in the preheated oven. Cookies should look dry on top. Allow to cool for a few minutes on the cookie sheet before removing to cool completely on a rack. These cookies taste great when slightly undercooked.

4. Add chocolates to the tops while the cookies are still warm.

Family Recipe Blog!

I've tried, unsucessfully, for years to get my family to send me their favorite recipes so I can create a family recipe book. Hopefully this medium will be a little easier for them to get on board with.

Come on guys! Post your favorite recipes!

Later, as we make the dishes we can post pictures.