Places, Sweden

White days.

after a few days up north i am back to repack my bags and then head to more southern mountain tops.

there is something about mountains. some kind of mystery that lingers. a taking, enigmatic feeling. and then of course there is the freedom. the clean air and the scenery faraway – of mountains, forests, sky and lakes. it fills you up and makes it hard to leave. what makes it even more amazing is when i put on a pair of skis. i then laugh from the top of the mountain down to the valley. the happiness flooding though me is amazing. and i never want to stop. ever.

this feeling made me start to wonder why so much of what is written, filmed, recorded, painted is about the painful moments in life. why don’t we focus more on the things that make us feel good? when someone asks how you have been, why don’t we answer with the best thing that has happened lately? when you make your new years resolutions why are they not about doing more of something that makes you happy? when the temperature creeps below zero why don’t you focus on the refreshing air that comes with it instead of complaining at the cold? i will continue to let the tiny but happy moments and situations fill me, allowing the good stuff to take time and space.

All content by © Sofia Hellsten 2010-2014. All rights reserved.

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any day eat, eats, Places, salt eat, Sweden, vegeterian eat

Creamy polenta with two types of kale

so. i got hooked on this dish a couple of weeks ago. before exams happened… hence the delay. it’s comforting, and super easy to make. think risotto but creamier. with crispy and lemony kale. 

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the colors reminded me of the trekking i did with my mother this summer. among crisp green trees on soft moss with spectacular views. it makes me want to go back up north. and just as the lush green of a late-summer Jämtland calms you down so does a plate of this.

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this makes enough for 4
the polenta
3 dl polenta
12,5 dl warm stock (chicken or vegetable)
1 shallot, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
2 dl grated parmesan cheese
zest from 1/2 a lemon
fresh thyme, leafed

the topping
fine mushrooms, 3 handfuls (i used brown wood mushroom, but portabella or shiitake would work nicely as well)
Kale, 2 BIG bunches
juice from 1/4 a lemon
olive oil
truffle salt

for serving: lemon and freshly grated parmesan

fry garlic and shallots in olive oil, add the polenta, give it a stir and then add the stock – whisk immediately until smooth (to avoid lumps). when the polenta has come to a boil put on low heat and steer regularly for the next 30 minutes. while the polenta is cooking rinse and chop the kale roughly. put half of it on a oven tray and bake for about 10 min at 225°c. the same thing is done with the mushrooms, halve them and put on a separate tray and bake next to the kale.

the other half of the kale is to be fried in a frying pan with olive oil for about 7 minutes, squeeze some lemon juice over it towards the end. when the polenta is done (make sure it’s still creamy!!) fold in the cheese and lemon zest together with some olive oil. Serve immediately with the greens and browns on top, a sprinkle of truffle salt and a small bunch of thyme leaves. add a pinch of parmesan and a few drops of lemon to top it off.

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

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Photograpic, Sweden

Autumn on the water.

i spent the weekend kayaking in the Stockholm archipelago. camping. eating by the fire. enjoying indian summer days. i still can’t get my head around how amazing Stockholm is and that this is where we live. i’m humbled.

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

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baked eat, eats, festive eat, Sweden, sweet eat

Tangy lemon tart with mazarin and pistachio

when it comes to desserts and sweets i prefer things with some kind of crispiness. cakes with whipped cream and jam are ruled out – i prefer an easy crumble any day of the week. the sweet thing with sweet pies is that they have unlimited possibilities in terms of variation, and what can actually go wrong when you have butter, sugar and fruits or berries?

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this was an experiment inspired by Therésia’s theme of the month; citrus, that turned out surprisingly well – the sour tanginess of the fresh lemons is well balanced by the sweet almond paste, and the pistachios gives it a nice twist. and apart from wedging the lemon pulp it’s really quite easy. that’s about what’s need to be said.

Lemon tart with mazarin and pistachio | piecefully Lemon tart with mazarin and pistachio | piecefully

crust
4 dl (400 ml) flour
125 g butter
75 ml sugar
1 tbsp water
1 egg

mix the dry ingredients and then pinch together with the wet ones until it’s a smooth dough. leave in the fridge for about an hour before rolling out and dressing a pie dish with it (ca 24 cm diameter). while waiting prepare the filling.

mazarin
300g almond paste, grated
125 g butter, at room temperature
80 g natural pistachio kernels, ground (i use a nut grinder)
3 eggs
lemon zest from one lemon
pulp from six small lemons

start with the lemons. zest one of them to mix with the batter. then cut away the peel from all of them and cut out “wedges” of pulp (only the pulp, leaving out the white “walls”). then mix everything but the eggs with a whisk. add in the eggs and give it another whisk. pour the batter in the crust and place the lemon wedges spread out in the batter. now bake at 175°c for 45 min (or until the tar gets a nice golden colour).

i got some crust and filling left and threw in a couple of plums in two small pie dishes, also a winning combo!

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

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eats, Sweden, sweet eat

Go nuts

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i went to Hälsingland again on my way north and we stopped by another amazingly beautiful farmhouse. if i would have tea here i would serve these cookies along with it, and maybe some of this.

Nut dreams
100 g hazelnuts
100 g walnuts
2 eggs
3 tbsp honey
1,5 tbsp cacao nibs
pinch of sea salt

hazelnuts for decoration

grind the nuts into a powder using a nut grinder, if you don’t have one use a mixer instead (this won’t give you as fine powder a the grinder though). mix the nut flour with the rest of the ingredients, and adjust the sweetness to you liking. Using a spoon, put the batter in small mountains on baking paper. Put a hazelnut in the middle of every cookie and then bake at 175C for ca 15 min. the dreams turn out chewy with a nice chocolate twist from the cocoa nibs.

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

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around the world, Sweden

Up north

i’m in jämtland, trekkikng with my mother in stunning surroundings and eating fantastic dinners and breakfasts. life. today we met this noble albino in the barren landscape towards the top of the mountain. i managed to get quite close before he got nervous and wandered off. i wonder if he’s the reincarnation of a reindeer me and C meet up here nine years ago… this makes me want to be up here always. now dinner awaits so i’ll get back to you with some recipes when i’m back home.

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