Saffron. Cinnamon. Nutmeg. Ginger. The house on Saturday morning was filled with the scent of Christmas! It was an atmosphere that smelled better than it actually was. To be honest, our morning planning and strategy of how to get ready for our drop-in Christmas afternoon tea did not really reflect our 3.5 years of parenting. What were we thinking? It was a mad house as Bubba and The Flash ran crazy whilst TSH tried to cook delicacies and I tried to clean up and keep the kids from wrecking the house. Yes, there was a hint of Saffron in the air but also a hint of stress as well. Oh well, you live and learn*.
As 2pm hit, our guests arrived and the house began to come alive with chatter, laughter, the sound of kids playing crazy all mixed with the Christmas cheer supplied by Frank Sinatra. I totally loved it! It was so nice and cosy and crazy and noisy and it all went by too quick. I had time to chat to friends, to heat up glögg, to wipe noses and to tell the kids to stop jumping on our bed, to change CD’s, to light more tea lights, to tell stories and to find more room for winter coats. It was just a lovely mix of friends and family and the making of good memories. And I must say, our strategy of me staying out of the kitchen and letting TSH do all the cooking, proved to be our biggest success. Our menu plan of traditional Swedish with a modern flare seemed to be well appreciated and everything did taste so darn good. I was also touched by all the wonderful hostess gifts I received like beautiful Poinsettia’s that are just about to bloom, prettily wrapped treats and a duo serving of organic hot chocolate complete with crushed mint and marshmallows! It really did move me and left me feeling all warm and fuzzy.
I’ve still got that feeling today…
Christmas Cheesecake with Blue Cheese and Rye
130g Finn Crisp Rye biscuits/crackers
2 tbs flour
50 g butter
200 g Philadelphia cheese
140 g blue cheese (ädelost)
1 dl cream
1/2 dl glögg (mulled red wine, a Swedish tradition)
1/2 dl raisins
1/2 dl sugar
Turn the oven on to 175°C. Place rye crackers in a food processor and blend to a pretty fine pulp. Blend in melted butter and flour and make a base dough. Place into a spring form round pan ca 20cm and spread out so it is even on the bottom and a little bit up the sides.
Blend Philly cheese, blue cheese, egg and cream in a processor and mix. Spread out over the base. Place in the lower part of the oven for ca 25 minutes. Let the cheesecake cool.
Blend the glögg, raisins and sugar in a saucepan. Let them sit until most of the glögg has been sucked up. Let the mix cool then pour over the cheesecake.
Serve the cheesecake in small pieces with glögg or drinks.
2 dl raw sugar
1 dl almond flour
1 tsp vanilla sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 tsp ground finer
1 pinch of ground nutmeg
4 dl of grated carrots (3 to 4)
1 dl dried cranberry
1 1/2 dl oil (eg. sunflower oil)
a little bit of water
1. Set oven to 150°
2. Grease cake tin or muffin tin
3. Wisp egg and sugar then blend in the flour, vanilla sugar, baking powder and spices. Add the carrots, cranberries and oil. Cook the cake in the middle of the of the oven for approx. 1 hour. (If making muffins it should take 20 mins). Let cool.
4. Making some icing and decorate the cake with icing and finely chopped cranberries.
Pretty Raspberry Caramels (also good as gifts)
2 dl cream
4 dl sugar
1 dl sugar sirup
1 tbs butter
dried raspberries (sometimes found in health food shops)
1. Defrost and mix the berries and run them through a sift. You need 2 dl of puré.
2. Blend together the cream, sugar, sirup and puré in a saucepan.
3. Simmer without the lid for 30 min, until the temp reaches120°. (Test the consistency by running a bit under cold water when the temp begins to near 120°.)
4. Take the saucepan off the heat and blend in the butter. Pour out the caramel into a 30 cm x 30 cm baking tray, cover with baking paper. Add the dried raspberry on top. Let cool.
5. Cut into small pieces. Pack into cellophane packets for a bit of festive glee.
And adding to my warm glow of Christmas glee is the latest addition to our Christmas decorations, are these Jette Froelich tea light holders called ‘magic boy’ that light up our bathroom. Purchased at Tivoli of course!
Do you pimp your bathroom with Christmas cheer or am I the only crazy one?
*We don’t seem to.