Happy Midsummer!

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Tomorrow one of Sweden’s big yearly feasts will be celebrated: midsummer. Most people will leave the city for the archipelago or the countryside and gather with friends at summerhouses. In the afternoon on midsummer’s night Swedes build maypoles and dance around them, singing quite amusing songs. One of the most popular goes:

 

The small frogs, the small frogs are funny to see,

The small frogs, the small frogs are funny to see,

No ears, no ears, no tails have thee,

No ears, no ears, no tails have thee,

Kou ack ack ack, kou ack ack ack,

kou ack ack ack ack kaa.

Kou ack ack ack, kou ack ack ack,

kou ack ack ack ack kaa.

We knew you would love it! After the dancing we eat, sing and drink snaps. A beautiful tradition is that if you pick 7 different kinds of flowers and put it under your pillow on midsummer’s night, you will dream about the one you love. Elisabeth and I went out in the woods to pick Sweet Cicely (spansk körvel in Swedish, Myrrhis Odorata in Latin) and as we already know who we love we put it in our snaps instead of under our pillows.

Summer in Sweden is short, so when it’s finally arriving, we make a big fuzz about it. Here are recipes for our Sweet Cicely snaps, a yummy midsummer ice cream dessert and a Sweet Cicely granité.

Happy midsummer everyone!

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Seasoned Vodka with Sweet Cicely – A Snaps for Midsummer

  • 1,5 cups / 3,5 dl unseasoned vodka
  • 4 twigs of cicely
  • 2 teaspoons whole aniseed
  • ½ teaspoon fennel
  • ½ teaspoon cumin

Put the twigs of cicely in a bottle and fill up with the vodka. Roughly pestle the aniseed and fennel in a mortar and add. Add cumin. Let it be for 3 days. Filter the vodka through a coffee filter. Serve ice cold.

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Cicely and Melon Granité

Makes a great small chilly meal in between courses or put it in a champagne glass and pour champagne over it – yum!

6 servings

  • 1 green melon, Ogen
  • 1 green apple
  • 10 g Sweet Cicely
  • 3½ tablespoons vodka
  • 4 tablespoons caster sugar
  • ½ lemon, the juice

Peel and seed the melon. Divide the melon and apple into pieces of about 3-4 cm/1½ inch. Put the melon, apple and cicely in layers and blend them with a raw juice centrifuge. Mix the juice with vodka, sugar and lemon juice. Freeze everything in a stainless bowl overnight. Take out the bowl in room temperature for 5 minutes and carefully whip up ice crystals with an electric mixer. Whip at the top first and then slowly lower the mixer. Put the bowl back into the freezer until it is time to serve.

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Strawberries with Coconut Ice Cream

6-8 servings

  • 1⅔ cups / 4 dl milk
  • 0,4 cup / 1 dl heavy cream
  • 0,8 cup / 2 dl coconut cream
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 0,8 cup / 2 dl caster sugar
  • 2 tablespoons toasted coconut chips
  • 1-2 litres pounds / 1-2 litres fresh strawberries

Boil milk, cream and coconut cream in a stainless steel saucepan. Whisk yolks and sugar. Pour the hot cream over the yolks in a smooth stream, whisk meanwhile. Pour it all back into the saucepan. Whisk and let the mixture simmer to 85˚C or until it starts thickening. Take off the heat, do not let it boil. Pour the mixture into a bowl and cool. For the best result, let the mixture mature in the refrigerator overnight, or let it cool first and then cool it further in the refrigerator before using it in the ice cream machine. Filter and use the ice cream machine. Put the ice cream in the freezer for 1-2 h. Serve with fresh strawberries and sprinkle with toasted coconut.

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Strawberry Shake

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Hey Australia! We have plenty of Australian readers and though it’s minus in New York today and chilly in Stockholm, it’s summer in Australia. So here you go, lucky ones! A yummy strawberry shake to cool you down. Thanks for reading our blog!

Strawberry Shake

4 servings

  • 125 g strawberries
  • 2 pints / 1 l strawberry ice cream
  • 1 cup / 2,4 dl milk
  • Freeze-dried berries for garnish.

Cut the strawberries into small pieces. Put in a blender and blend until smooth. Add the ice cream and blend. Pour milk into the mixture until you get the desired texture. Pour into chilled small bottles or glasses and garnish with freeze-dried berries.

Lingonberry Gingerbread Cakes

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13th of December marks one of Sweden’s big yearly celebrations – Lucia. All around Sweden today, kids and choirs are dressing up in white gowns and singing songs to celebrate the Italian Saint Lucia. If the singers are teenagers or adults, one of the girls are chosen to be Lucia and she wears real candles in a wreath around her hair. It’s very beautiful and the most popular songs go something like: oh it’s so dark, come dressed in your white gown, light your candles, Saint Lucia, Saint Lucia. It certainly is dark and cold in Sweden this time of the year, but it’s also the cosy season and we Swedes warm up with glögg and gingerbread.

Glögg (Mulled and Spiced Wine) 

10 small glasses

  • 1 bottle of red wine
  • 1 dl / ½ cup raw sugar
  • 2-3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 8 cardamom capsules
  • 6 cloves
  • 1 piece of orange or orange zest
  • 1 piece of dried ginger
  • sultanas
  • almonds

Simmer wine, sugar and spices. Don’t let it boil. Serve hot with sultanas, almonds and ginger bread.

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Lingonberry Gingerbread Cakes

About 20 pieces

  • 115 g butter, room temperature
  • 1 dl / ½ cup raw sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 dl / ½ cup milk
  • ½ dl / ¼ cup lingonberry jam
  • 3 ½ dl / 1 ½ cup wheat flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoons ground nutmeg
  • 4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons ground cloves

Frosting

  • 1 egg white
  • 3 ½ dl / 1 ½ cup confectionary sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

Set the oven to 175°C/350°F. Brush small cake molds with melted butter and sprinkle with bread crumbs. Beat the butter a couple of minutes. Add the sugar and keep beating a few minutes. Add the eggs one at a time while beating. Add the milk and the lingonberry. Mix all the dry ingredients and stir into the paste. Pour the paste into the molds, fill them up to about ¾ to make room for the paste to rise. Knock the molds carefully against the table to get rid of air pockets. Put the molds in the middle of the oven for about 25 minutes. Let the cakes rest in the molds for about 10 minutes. Lightly beat the egg whites and mix with confectionary sugar and lemon juice. Decorate with the frosting and let it harden.

Yummy Coffee Drink

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Baby it’s cold outside… treat yourself with a yummy coffee drink!

Yummy Coffee Drink

  • 20 g milk chocolate 40 %
  • 1 cinnamon rod, preferably sweet Sri Lanka cinnamon
  • 1 cup filter coffee, dark roasted
  • 1 teaspoon milk 3 %
  • 1 ball of caramel ice cream or crème brulée ice cream
  • 1-2 small meringues

Put chocolate pieces at the bottom of a glass. Put the cinnamon rod in the glass, pour up some filter coffee and the milk. Put in the ball of ice cream. Crumble the meringue roughly and top the coffee drink with the crumbles.

Chocolate shake

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A great recipe of an all time favorite.

Chocolate Shake

4 servings

  • 1 liter/1 quart chocolate ice cream
  • 2 tablespoons chocolate sauce
  • 2-3 dl/1 cup milk
  • 25 g grated dark chocolate

Spoon the ice cream and put it in a blender. Pour in chocolate sauce and milk and blend until you get the desired texture. Pour into cool small bottles or glasses and garnish with grated dark chocolate.

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