Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Farmer Cookies - BondKakor

My mother-in-law is living with us for a few months in order to help us with our son (to keep him out of daycare until he is 11 months old). A few weeks ago she whipped up some Bondkakor (Farmer Cookies), which is ironic because #1, she is a farmer and #2, we call her Farmor (which is Pappa's mother in Swedish but almost sounds like Farmer if you don't know Swedish). We quickly ate the first batch, and she was nice enough to make a second batch (as well as some cinnamon buns) for the Grant Family Reunion in Atlantic City. They were a hit. People are emailing me, asking for the recipe. Well, here it is. Carin found it on Susanne's blog:

2 1/3 cups flour (5.5 dl vetemjöl)
3/4 cup + 1 TBS sugar (2 dl strösocker)
1 Tbsp Corn Syrup (1 msk ljus sirap)
1 Tsp baking soda (1 tsk bikarbonat)
1 Tsp water (1 msk vatten)
1/3 cup sliced almonds (0.75 dl (50 g) grovhackad sötmandel)
14 Tbsp butter (200 g smör)

Combine butter, sugar and syrup. Let stand until the butter is room temperature/soft.
Combine the water and baking soda in a small bowl.
Whisp the butter, sugar, and syrup until smooth.
Add the almonds, flour, baking soda and water to the mixture. Stir until clump.
When the dough is too thick to stir, continue to mix with hands (if the dough is too dry, add a little extra water or butter)
Break the dough into two pieces. Roll each piece into a long snake like roll (approximately 1 1/2 - 2 inches thick)
Roll the snake like roll in a piece of parchment paper. Place in the refrigerator for 2 hours or longer until hard. (or in the freezer if you are in a hurry)
Preheat oven to 400 F (200 C)
Thinly slice the rolls
Place slices onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or a siliplat
Bake for approximately 5-7 minutes (until they have a light gold color)
Remove from cookie sheet and let cool

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Ham and Split Pea Soup

1 piece (about 2½ pounds) smoked, bone-in picnic ham
4 bay leaves
1 pound (2½ cups) split peas
1 teaspoon dried thyme
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 medium onions, chopped medium
2 medium carrots, chopped medium
2 medium stalks celery, chopped medium
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 medium cloves garlic, minced
Pinch sugar
6 small new potatoes, scrubbed and cut into small cubes
Ground black pepper

1. Place the ham, bay leaves, and 3 quarts water in a large stockpot. Cover and bring boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the meat is tender and pulls away from the bone, 2 to 2½ hours.

2. Remove the ham meat and bone from the pot. Set aside to cool.

3. Add the split peas and thyme to the ham stock. Bring to a boil again, then simmer (uncovered) until peas are tender (45 minutes)

4. While the peas are simmering, Saute onions, carrots, and celery in the oil (5 to 6 minutes).

5. Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the butter, garlic, and sugar to the sauted vegetables.

6. Continue to cook and stir frequently, until deeply browned (30 to 35 minutes); set aside.

7. Shred the meat off the ham into bite-sized pieces and add to pot with split peas. Discard the rind, fat, and bone.

8. Add the sauteed vegetables and potatoes to the pot with the split peas. Simmer until the potatoes are tender and peas dissolve and thicken to the consistency of light cream, about 20 minutes.

9. Season with ground black pepper to taste. Remove the bay leaves. separately.

Recipe taken and very very very lightly adapted to add more potatoes, and make dairy free from Brown Eyed Baker

Tuesday, August 27, 2013


My MIL Carin was in South Africa a few years ago and brought this recipe back with her. This is super tasty, and a great meal to make for a large group!


2 onions - diced
1 slice white bread
1 cup milk
2 pounds ground beef
1 tbsp curry powder
2 eggs
1 tbsp sugar
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tbsp garam masala
2 tbsp vinegar
3 tbsp apricot preserves
6 almonds - chopped
1/2 cup raisons
4 bay leaves


1. Saute onions, add ground beef and saute
2. Soak the bread in milk, squeeze the milk into a bowl (set aside)
3. break apart the bread slice and place in mixing bowl
4. Mix the onions, beef, 1 egg, sugar, curry, salt, pepper, turmeric, garam masala, apricot preserves, almonds, vinegar and raisins together
5. Place mixture in baking dish, insert bay leaves into the meat.
6. Cook at 350 (175 C) for 60 minutes
7. Beat 1 egg and milk that had been set aside. Pour over the meat and bake for an additional 30 minutes.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Cauliflower Soup

This soup is awesome. I made it a lot when I was pregnant and shortly after giving birth to my son. So easy, so satisfying, so tasty!


2 Tbs. olive oil
2 shallots, minced
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 medium potato, peeled and chopped roughly
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups vegetable or chicken broth
3/4 head cauliflower, chopped
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
2 tsp Dijon mustard
Kosher salt and ground black pepper


Saute shallots and onion in olive oil until slightly softened(4-5 minutes).
Season with salt and pepper
Add the potato, garlic and vegetable broth
Cover and bring to a boil
Lower the heat to a simmer (covered)until the potatoes are tender (8-20 minutes)
Add the cauliflower and cook until the cauliflower is tender (5-10 minutes)
Stir in the cheese and dijon mustard.
Blend until desired consistency

Recipe taken and very lightly adapted Pink Parlsey

Friday, August 16, 2013

Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole with Mushrooms

Love this recipe! Lightly adapted from Ellie says Opa.


1 cup wild rice/brown rice mixture (Lundbergs)
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 lb. boneless/skinless chicken thighs or breasts (trimmed)
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 lb. baby portabella mushrooms, sliced
1 large leek, sliced
1/2 tsp. minced rosemary
1 tsp. minced thyme
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
1/8 tsp. dried sage
1/4 cup sherry
3 Tbsp. corn flour
2 cups chicken broth
cooking spray oil


1 - Cook rice per instructions. Set cooked rice aside.
2 - Preheat the oven to 375 and grease a 2 qt. baking dish with spray oil.
3 - Heat a large dutch oven over medium heat. Add oil. Sprinkle chicken with salt & pepper. Add to oil. Cook through, about 5 minutes total. Remove from the pot.
4 - Add the oil to the same pan you used to cook the chicken. Stir in the mushrooms & leeks. Cook until mushrooms are tender and the moisture has evaporated.
5 - Stir in the rosemary, thyme, parsley, & sage. Add the sherry to deglaze the pan, scraping up any browned bits. Cook until sherry is nearly evaporated.
6 - Sprinkle the corn flour over the mushrooms and stir for 1-2 minutes.
7 - Add the chicken broth and stir until thickened.
8 - Season to taste with salt and pepper.
9 - Combine the mushroom/broth mixture with the rice and chicken (and any accumulated juices). Pour into the baking dish.
10 - Bake for 30 minutes, or until bubbly and the breadcrumbs are golden brown.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Quinoa Salad


2 cups quinoa
4 cups water
Kale - 2-4 stalks
2 tightly packed tablespoons of fresh parsley (not dried)
1 can black beans (drained and rinsed) - possible improvements - precook dried beans or look for BPA free cans
1 can kidney beans (drained and rinsed) - possible improvements ... same as above
1 cucumber - diced
2 tomatoes - seeded and diced
1 1/2 cups of corn (I used frozen)
1 red onion - diced
5 medium carrots. Diced.
olive oil
sea salt
avacado - diced

1) Bring 4 cups of water and 2 cups of quinoa to boil. Then simmer for 10-15 minutes (until water is cooked out and quinoa is uncoiled and fluffy). Toss with olive oil. Set aside to cool.
2) drain and rinse black and kidney beans. Pour into bowl. Add corn, cucumber, tomatoes, red onion to bowl.
3) Boil diced carrots until soft, but not mushy. Drain, cool, and add to bowl.
4) clean and destalk kale. Chop up the kale leaves into bite size pieces. Massage with 1-2 tbsp olive oil. Add to bowl.
5) Rinse parlsey. Chop and add to bowl.
6) add cooled quinoa to bowl.
7) Add olive oil and stir until lightly coated.
8) Salt and pepper to taste.
9) Serve with avacado for topping. Don't add the avacado to the bowl because it will get brown fast and make it seem like the salad doesn't stay good for as long.

NOTE: This is a BIG salad. It will stay good in the fridge for almost a week.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Lentil Salad

Vegetarian optional by leaving out bacon.

2cups lentils
1 small onion
5 carrots (2 cut into 3 pieces each, the other 3 diced and set aside)
3 celery stalks (1 cut into 3 pieces, the other 2 diced and set aside)
Sea Salt
4 strips of bacon (or more if wanted) -- THIS IS OPTIONAL
4 tbsp olive oil (+ 2 TBSP olive oil if not using bacon)
Ground pepper
4 tbsp Balsamic vinegar
8 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp honey
Salad (either mixed greens or spinach)


1) Place lentils in bowl with whole onion, big carrot and celery chunks. Cover with water. Cook until lentils are tender (maybe 30-40 minutes depending on your stove). Add more water if it cooks off.
2) drain lentils, run cold water over them to stop the cooking process. Discard onion, celery and carrots. Set lentils aside in large bowl. Season with salt.
3) Cook bacon (I like to bake in the oven at 375-400 for 10-15 minutes or until crispy). Reserve bacon grease. Cup up bacon into bite size pieces and set aside.
4) Put bacon grease (2 tbsp or so) in pan. Saute diced celery and carrots (use olive oil if not using bacon in recipe). 5-7 minutes or until tender.
5) Dressing: Mix 4 tbsp olive oil, 4 tbsp balsamic vinegar, 8 teaspoons lemon juice, 1 heaping tsp honey. Add salt and pepper to taste.
6) combine lentils, onions, celery, salad, and toss with dressing. Salt and pepper to taste.
7) Mix in bacon if you are using. Or serve on the side if you prefer.

Recipe lightly adapted from Alice's Tea Cup Cook Book

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Kannelbullar - Swedish Cinnamon Buns Recipe

I love Swedish Cinnamon buns. Sweet, but not too sweet. Light and fluffy. I made this recipe for midsummer and loved it so much I've made it twice since then. My friends and family rave about it! This recipe has been lightly adapted to make it vegan/dairy free from Kokblog.

Makes about 30-40 buns



2 1/8 cup (500 ml) unsweetened Almond Milk (Or regular milk if you prefer)
2 envelopes dry active yeast (1 package of dry active yeast = 2 1/2 tsp) (or 25g fresh yeast)
2/3 cup (130 g) brown sugar
5 7/8 cups (840 g) flour
2 teaspoons whole cardamom seeds
½ teaspoon salt
10 TBSP Earth Balance no soy butter substitute at room temperature (or butter or other dairy substitute such as coconut oil if you prefer)

cinnamon filling

8 TBSP Earth Balance no soy butter substitute at room temperature (or butter or other dairy substitute such as coconut oil if you prefer)
1/3 cup (65 gr) sugar
2 ½ teaspoon cinnamon

pearl sugar (Raw Sugar can be a substitute, but its just not the same)
Almond milk (or regular milk) for brushing



1 - Heat almond milk until it about 110ºF. Add yeast and stir until yeast has dissolved.
2 - Crack open cardamom seeds. Pull out seeds and pulverize in a mortar and pestle.
3 - Mix together flour, sugar, cardamom and salt.
4 - Add flour mixture to the milk and yeast mixture.
5 - Add in the Earth Balance in small cubes. Mix either with KitchenAid mixer or by hand.
6 - Knead for about 5-10 minutes.
7 - Cover the dough and place in a draft free place and let it rise for at least 40 minutes.
8 - Mix all of the filling ingredients into an even batter. It is important for the butter to be at room temperature so it’s easier to spread.
9 - Divide the dough into two pieces and using a rolling pin, roll each of them out separately to the shape of a rectangle.
10 - Spread half of the filling onto each piece of rolled out dough so that it covers the entire area. Roll the dough up beginning with the long side.
11 - Slice the roll into about 20 equal sized (about 1 inch wide) slices and place them with their cut side up on baking sheet.
12 - Repeat above procedure with the last piece of dough.
13 - Let them rise for about 30 minutes.
14 - Brush each roll with almond milk and sprinkle pearl sugar on top.
15 - Bake them in the oven at 440F for 8-10 minutes.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Whole Wheat Bread

This is my favorite bread to make right. Very lightly adapted from the Brown Eyed Baker's Recipe to make it dairy free.


2-1/3 cups warm water (about 100-110 degrees)
1½ tablespoons instant yeast
¼ cup honey
4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) Earth Balance (NO SOY) (OR butter or your favorite butter substitute)
2½ teaspoons salt
¼ cup rye flour
½ cup wheat germ
3 cups whole-wheat flour
2¾ cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting the work surface


1. In the bowl of a standing mixer, mix the water, yeast, honey, butter, and salt with a spoon or spatula.
2. Mix in the rye flour, wheat germ, and 1 cup each of the whole-wheat and all-purpose flours.
3. Add the remaining whole-wheat and all-purpose flours. Knead at low speed with dough hook for about 8 minutes (until the dough is smooth and elastic).
4. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface. Knead just long enough to make sure that the dough is soft and smooth, about 30 seconds.
5. Place the dough in a very lightly oiled large bowl; cover with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm, draft-free area until the dough has doubled in volume, about 1 hour.
6. 6. Heat the oven to 375 degrees.
7. Gently press down the dough and divide into two equal pieces. Gently press each piece into a rectangle about 1 inch thick and no longer than 9 inches. With a long side of the dough facing you, roll the dough firmly into a cylinder, pressing down to make sure that the dough sticks to itself. Turn the dough seam-side up and pinch it closed. Place each cylinder of dough in a greased 9 by 5-inch loaf pan, seam-side down and pressing the dough gently so it touches all four sides of the pan. Cover the shaped dough; let rise until almost doubled in volume, 20 to 30 minutes.
8. Bake until an instant-read thermometer inserted at an angle from the short end just above the pan rim reads 205 degrees, 30 to 40 minutes. Remove the bread immediately from the baking pans (I let them cool on a clean towel on our butcher block); cool to room temperature.
9. Slice whatever bread isn't eaten on the first day. Transfer slices to gallon ziplock bag. Freeze until ready to eat. Take frozen slices and place on cookie sheet. Add a tablespoon of water to the pan and bake at 350 degrees for 5-10 minutes until warm and soft.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Dawit's pasta sauce

Dawit made this pasta sauce for us a few days after Bea was born. It was a hit and we are still making it to this day.


2-3 cloves of garlic
2 onions
1 small can of tomato paste
1-2 large tomato sauce
1 lb ground beef
Salt & Pepper


1 - Brown, garlic (make sure it does not burn) in olive oil
2 - Add onion and let it soften up.
3 - Add the ground beef and brown it. salt and pepper to taste.
4 - Add tomato paste &a bit more olive oil, stir until it starts to caramelize. It helps to turn up the heat. Add a bit more oil if it sticks.
5 - Add the tomato sauce and let it simmer in low to mid heat for about 20-40min. I usually go for 30min.