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Swedish Cuisine: Cabbage Rolls

I tried this lovely recipe by the famous Swedish Chef Leif Mannerström. I only changed one thing which is adding tomato sauce instead of the gravy that was described in the original recipe. I like cabbage rolls better with thick tomato sauce.  

I think the Swedish cabbage rolls method is a lot better than the regular international one that I made before. It gives the cabbage and the ground beef even more richer taste. I gotta admit being shocked while reading that syrup and brown sugar was on the ingredients list. But I trusted that the Chefs recipe sure to be something good and delicious. And it was finger lecking gooooood...  




Ingredients 

1 head of cabbage 
1 onion
butter, for frying
1 big boiled cold potato
200 ml milk 
1 dl bread crumbs
800 g lean ground beef
2 eggs
4 tablespoons soya sauce
2 tbsp of syrup
2 tablespoons of concentrated veal stock
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons melted butter
1 tablespoon brown sugar

Sauce
6 cups gravy or tomato sauce
2 bay leaves
10 black peppercorns

For serving
Mashed potatoes


Method 

Cut out the log from the cabbage and blanch in lightly salted water for about 15 minutes.
Remove the cabbage with a slotted spoon and gently loosen the cabbage leaves.
Cut away the hard parts / nerves and put them aside for now.
Add up the leaves on a cutting board.

Heat the oven to 200 degrees.
Peel and finely chop the onion, and the hard cabbage parts.
Fry until golden brown in a little butter.

Mash the potato with a fork.
Mix the milk and bread crumbs with mashed potatoes and onion mix.
Leave to stand and swell for about 10 minutes.
Mix the batter with ground beef, eggs, soy sauce, syrup and veal stock.
Salt and pepper.
Stir quickly to get a smooth batter.

Spoon out the mixture on the cabbage leaves, roll them and put them in a greased, ovenproof dish.
Brush with butter, pepper and dust with a pinch of salt and brown sugar.

Bake in middle of oven about 30 minutes until nicely browned on all sides.

Mix the sauce ingredients. 
Next add the gravy or tomato sauce mixture and spices.

Reduce heat to 150 degrees.
Braising additional 30-40 minutes and scoop diligently sky.
Serve the stuffed cabbage smoking hot.

Source

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Beauty: My Skin Care Routine


Few days ago some friends and social media followers asked me about my glowing face secret and skin care routine by commenting on a morning photo of mine drinking my first cup of coffee. To be honest I don't see that I have the glowing perfect skin but since I have been asked,  I thought.."well they say that people see themselves less beautiful than they actually are :-) "... especially women! that's why they spend enormous amount of money on beauty and makeup products that they don't really need. 

My everyday routine is very simple. First I am no longer an everyday makeup fan, it's been few years now since I stopped even wasting money on it. I rarely apply make up, maybe only on special occasions. And if I apply it on regular days it's often the " No make up - make up" which is very very light and barely seen. 


I moisturize my face day and night. Sometimes even three times a day if I notice my face getting dry or after shower. I use Forever Aloe Nourishing Serum in the morning and I use either Elizabeth Arden Moisture Cream  or VISAGE D'OR  in the evening. I also make sure to apply Clinique ( all about eyes ) cream eye cream once a day. 

I try my best to drink lots of water. That doesn't mean a lot of water at once. I make sure I drink few sips of water all day long on different times during the day this way the body really uses the water instead of flushing it out fast. 

If you are really bad at remembering to drink water often. Make sure you place a glass of water or a jar on each table in the house. You can also set a reminder or use one of the apps on your phone to keep a track of your water consuming. 

And at last, during summer sunny days I try to wear my sunglasses all the time to protect eye circles from getting dark and tired. I also put on a large beach hat to protect all face and neck area when sun tanning and I of course use sunscreen with sun protection lipstick. And the after sun lotion later on the day. 

My favorite face pampering masks every now and then are mud mask, dead sea herbs mask and I love to apply almond oil sometimes after shower. 

I am not sure this would work for everybody. But this works for me and I hope this way I have answered your questions.





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Spinach and Ricotta Gnocchi







Ingredients 

200g young spinach
, washed
small handful parsley
 leaves, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
140g ricotta
85g plain flour
2 eggs
100g freshly grated vegetarian Parmesan-style cheese, plus extra to serve
freshly grated nutmeg
olive oil and rocket, to serve

Tomato sauce

1 tomato sauce can
Fresh or dry basil ( or spinach ) 
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt & pepper to taste



Method

Boil the kettle. Place the spinach in a large bowl and pour boiling water over it. Leave for 2 mins until wilted, then drain thoroughly. Leave to cool, then wrap a clean tea towel around the spinach. Hold it over the sink and squeeze out as much water as possible. Finely chop.

Place the spinach, parsley, garlic, ricotta, flour, eggs, cheese and a generous grating of nutmeg into a large bowl and season with salt and pepper. Use a fork to stir very thoroughly until everything is completely mixed. Using wet hands, form the mixture into walnut-size balls. Place on a large plate or tray and refrigerate for at least 30 mins.

When ready to cook, heat the oven to warm and bring a large pan of water to the boil. Reduce the heat to medium and drop in batches of about 8-10 gnocchi at a time. They will sink to the bottom, and when they rise to the top give them about 1 min more, then remove with a slotted spoon and keep warm while you cook the rest. 

You can serve the gnocchi on warm plates drizzled with olive oil and scattered with rocket and more cheese.

or 

With Tomato Sauce

In a sauce pan add the olive oil, tomato sauce, basil, salt and pepper and cook for 5 minutes 
Place the sauce on the serving dish first then add the gnocchi. Garnish with basil or spinach leaves and parmesan cheese just as seen in the photo above.  

SHOPPING DIARY: Babygirl Faux Fur Ivory Top


I felt in love with this top the second I saw it at the Gap store in Malaga airport duty free. I knew this would make a perfect birthday gift for Julia introducing her to a little bit of baby fashion and glam hehe. As I mentioned in my previous shipping diary post that I adoooore ivory color. I know for a toddler like Julia it's not the practical color but I don't mind dressing her up a little bit stylish from time to time. 

What caught me even more what the soft touch of this faux fur. She will be like a little white bear wearing it. A perfect cuddly cozy top which we will both enjoy. 

I made sure to buy a bigger size so that she can have it for longer period, and fit until next fall / winter.    









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Creamy Spring Broccoli and Potatoes Soup




This is one of my favorite Spring soups. Comfort food is what I try to cook often during fall - winter and spring. Its has to be saucy, creamy and warm and delicious. This loaded chunky soup makes a perfect late lunch or light dinner. You can also serve it with garlic bread. Kids love this recipe by the way since it has both broccoli potatoes and cheese. Enjoy! 






Ingredients

1 tablespoon butter
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
3 large white potatoes, cubed, about 4 cups
3 cups chicken broth or water 
½ teaspoon kosher salt
6 cups broccoli florets
3 cups whole milk
3 cups shredded cheese
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Optional:
Fried crispy bacon for garnish

Instructions

Boil the potatoes and broccoli each on a pan before starting with the soup. 
Cut or mash the potatoes after they are boiled and peeled.
Cut the broccoli to small pieces.

Melt the butter in a large dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 4-5 minutes, until softened,  while stirring occasionally. 

Add the potatoes, chicken broth / water and the kosher salt and bring to a boil. Add the milk and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, cooking for 5 minutes.

Toss the cheese and some of the bacon and add while stirring until cheese melted before adding the next batch of cheese. Season with black pepper and more salt to taste.

Tip: The chicken broth / water amount depends on how thick you want the soup to be. I usually prefer thick soups. You can also replace the milk with cooking cream.

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Fancy Flowers: Pink Duke



While in Hötorget / Stockholm, the square market where you can find enormous amount and types of flowers and fresh vegetables. I noticed these fancy looking flowers which I had no idea what they are and what they called. I took this photo and googled them when I came home. Since I didn't know what they are called I looked for " flowers that look like artichoke". And that is how I found more info about them which I would like to share with you. 

It's a large winter / spring flower. Color in vibrant pink petals with creamy base and a light pink center. Long vase life ++.  I would definitely make these flowers part of my next events arrangements to decorate the dining or coffee table. I also definitely recommend it for wedding events arrangements. 



Florist & Wholesaler Information
  • A family of interesting and unusual long lasting flowers available in a vast array of shapes, colours and sizes.
  • Widely grown in Californian as well as Australia / South Africa / New Zealand Protea are available virtually year round because of their opposite seasons.
  •  Most varieties of Protea dry very well.
  • One of the oldest groups of flowering plants, protea have existed for over 300 million years.
  • Protea are named after the Greek god Proteus , who could change his form at will.


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