eats, festive eat, salt eat, sweet eat

Cinnamon Popcorn & Apple Chips

i know i might be late but i’ve had a popcorn epiphany. popcorn anything. any day of the week. this is my latest favorite. it’s like christmas and fall in one and the same treat.

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apple chips (a small amount)
two good apples

popcorn (single serving)
1 1/2 tbsp popcorn kernels
1/2 tsp canola oil
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp agave syrup (or maple?)
2-3 pinches of sea salt
a small handfull of apple chips (bought or homemade)

for the apple chips.
wash and dry the apples. cut in 4 wedges and remove the core, then slice each wedge in 1 mm thin slices (making small triangles). put on baking paper, making sure pieces are not on top of each other. now dry in the oven at 75°c for approximately 5 hours (or until crisp). to let steam out put a wooden spoon/kettle-holder in the oven door, that keeps it open.

now the popcorn.
start by popping the popcorn on the stovetop in the small amount of canola oil. medium high heat and the lid on, continuously swirling the kernels. when popping stops remove from the heat. powder with cinnamon, drizzle with syrup and sprinkle with sea salt. stir and then mix in the apple chips. indulge.

All content by © Sofia Hellsten 2010-2013. All rights reserved.

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around the world, London, Photograpic, Places

Facades of happiness

happiness is an interesting thing. so very intangible, slipping through your fingers, making you pursue the chase over and over again. come to think of it, what is even being happy? and do we know when we are? last autumn i spent quite some time lingering upon this. the circumstances gave me both mental space and opportunity to ponder the subject. having this glade of time for self-exploration in an otherwise paced life was greatly valuable. i read. listened to other people’s experiences. made choices solely with regards to what i enjoyed and felt i gained from in that particular moment. went running. studied what i felt like. explored new places. went to the same places over and over again. experienced flow. thought.

of course this was a luxury with limitations. at some point you need to do the boring stuff, take others into consideration when choosing. but it taught me something and i had time to figure out my values and priorities. i learnt to appreciate even more the little things passing you by in haste. being caught by the beauty of the afternoon sky. the old facades in my home quarter. a perfect apple. my sisters stream of words. the smile of my friend. a soft sweater. playing the same song over and over. and this makes a huge difference.

my conclusion to this experience is that giving a little thought as to how we can affect our happiness is greatly valuable. to think about the way we approach life and it’s challenges. you just need to make a little time to figure out about what makes you feel good. life can be fantastic or it can be a never-ending struggle. why pick the hard way?

We’ve come so far, it feels so real.
All this time, that we’ve waited for it.
And who we are, and where we’re going to.
All this time, preparing for it.
Sort of Revolution, Fink

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All content by © Sofia Hellsten 2010-2013. All rights reserved.

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around the world, London, Photograpic

When in England.

last week-end i went to london to visit Em, browse photo galleries, have long breakfasts and re-visit all my favourite spots. pizza at Princi, hot chocolate at Verde & Co, jewelry at Spitafields market, art at Tate, tea at Fortnum & Mason, dance at Barts, shopping at Whistles, a peek into Swallow street, breakfast at Gail’s, lunch at Daylesford, stroll in Kensington Gardens, sleep-over in South Ken. burgers at Byron. a good week-end away.

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All content by © Sofia Hellsten 2010-2013. All rights reserved.

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any day eat, eats, fast eat, vegeterian eat

Black bean spaghetti with kale and pomegranate

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when i was i kid i loved pasta. and a really mean loved. i could eat it every single day for weeks if i was allowed. from time to time me and dad also used to make pasta together. this always ended up with the whole kitchen being heaped with tagliatelle on the dry. sometimes we’d go all the way and make tortellini,  another love of mine. i cherished these days. winding the pasta machine, hanging out in the kitchen, later serving the rest of the family this fantastic creation of ours. with loads of parmesan if i had it my way. at this that time my humble opinion was that pasta was the best invention the world had seen. i even remember writing a short paper on the subject when i was eight.

now it was a long time since i stood in a kitchen surrounded by pasta and even though i have a very weak spot for pasta carbonara that’s not how i approach weekdays today. since i don’t cook (or eat) much meat i try to fit in proteins into my meals wherever i can. and a big portion of veggie pasta doesn’t really fill that purpose, or my stomach for that matter. that’s a problem, since i love both the pasta itself and the simplicity in tossing of a bowl of spaghetti.

then, a couple of weeks ago i found something that turned my weekdays around completely. black bean pasta. yes, it’s exactly what it sounds like. pasta made from black beans, packed with proteins and satisfyingly filling. i combined this with the great kale, a new green interpretation of my dad’s pesto and pomegranate. ending up with something both beautiful to look at, comforting to eat, easy to make and incredibly tasty. people say you should be humble about your own cooking, but seriously, i’ve made this like seven times the past weeks. i promise you it’s good.

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the pasta part
200 g black bean spaghetti
6-8 leaves of kale, washed and cut into small pieces
1 big red onion, sliced
seeds from 1 pomegranate
parsley pesto (see below for recipe)
salt & 
pepper
pumpkin/sunflower seeds, toasted (was out of pumpkin seeds..)

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parsley & kale pesto
2 leaves of kale, stalks removed and cut into small pieces
one bunch of parsley, stalks removed
100 ml almonds
1 clove of garlic, minced into paste
100 g parmesan cheese, chopped
juice from 1/2 a lemon
100 ml olive oil, more if it’s too dry
1/2 tsp honey/agave syrup (optional)
1 tsp sea salt

start of by making the pesto. put all dry ingredients in a bowl mixer and mix until semi-fine. add liquids and pulse again, adding more oil if necessary. let rest for a while to allow the flavors to emerge. then adjust flavor (salt/cheese/lemon/syrup) if needed.

on to the pasta. while bringing salted water to a boil prepare the vegetables and the pomegranate. fry the onion and kale at high temperature in some olive oil while the pasta is cooking. remove frying pan from the heat and add drained pasta and just over half of the pesto and a dash of olive oil. mix well to make sure the pesto has worked it’s way into the tangle of pasta. put on plates and add a spoon or two of pomegranate seeds, some pumpkin seeds, black pepper and a shaving of fresh parmesan. indulge with more pesto close at hand.

about that pasta: in Stockholm you can find it at a couple of health-/eco stores – just have a look around. and the non-food photos is a peek from my past weekend in London.

All content by © Sofia Hellsten 2010-2013. All rights reserved.

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around the world, Places

Côte d’Azur.

two weeks ago i went away from my regular everyday life to spend a couple of days in france. we stayed in a wonderful little village at the Côte d’Azur called Bormes les Mimosa. what a retreat. still green, still warm and very french.

the purpose of the trip, apart from enjoying the mild autumn weather, was to prepare for our exam. we only took pauses to go to the local bakery for almond croissants in the morning or to drink a glass of champagne from time to time. and of course we made an excursion to St Tropez. other than that the stay entailed a lot of talking, cheeses, wine with lunch and lovely sceneries. just as you’d expect when in france.

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i’ve introduced this new recipe at home that’s been a life-saver on late nights. i’ll try to get it up here during next week. though i can tell you now that you’re in for a treat.

All content by © Sofia Hellsten 2010-2013. All rights reserved.

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