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December 23, 2008

Veggie Patty with Pineapple Salsa - Completely Vegan Recipe

This is a tasty veggie patty that was created as an alternative to garden burgers.

Patty Mix:
2 Portabella Mushrooms, whole with stem
2 Pieces of Firm Tofu about 4x4" (can sometimes be bought in whole food stores bulk department)
2 Medium Red Potatoes, peel on
3 Tbsp Teriyaki Sauce
1/2 Tbsp Paprika
2 pinches Cayenne
1 Tbsp Worcester Sauce
1 Cup Oat Flour (can be substituted with All Purpose Flour)

1. Take a big bowl to have for mixing your ingredients in.
2. Puls mushrooms in mixer until mushy consistency. Then do the same with the tofu and the potatoes.
3. Add in spices and sauces.
4. Add in flour, a little at a time while so it gets mixed in evenly. (Depending on how dry or wet the mix is, you might need more flour mixed in)
5. Heat up oil in a pan.
6. Use a 4 oz scoop to measure patties, dip into flour before frying them.
7. If the mix is too wet, it might stick to the pan and be hard to flip the patty. If so, add more flour to mix and a little bit more oil to the pan.
8. Because of the sugar in the Teriyaki Sauce, it will brown quickly and can easily burn, so keep an eye on the color.

Pineapple Salsa:
1/4 Fresh Pineapple (can be substituted with Mango)
1 tsp Chopped Red Onion
1 Tbsp Chopped Fresh Cilantro
1 Lime Wedge
Salt & White Pepper to taste

1. Peel off pineapple and chop the fruit fine
2. Mix fruit with onion and cilantro.
3. Squeeze in lime juice.
4. Taste of salsa with salt & pepper.

Enjoy veggie patty with the salsa on a toasted bun and a glass of sweet Riesling or an Dark Ale.

December 22, 2008

Swedish Pancakes or Plattar (mini pancakes)

Swedish Pancakes - Batter can be used for Plattar fryed in a special cast iron with "Silver Dollar" size cakes.

Super yummy pancakes, thin like crepes but less dry and more "eggy" in flavor.

4 Portions


5 Eggs

4 Cups Whole Milk

1 ½ Cup All Purpose Flour

1 pinch Salt

1 Tbsp Butter

For frying: Vegetable Oil

1. Melt butter and put aside.

2. Whisk eggs and mix in 2 cups milk.

3. Add flour and whisk until free from clumps.

4. Add all the rest of the ingredients into the egg mix.

5. Mix until smooth, do not over mix.

6. The batter gets much better if it can sit refridgerated for a few hours or over night.

7. Heat up a pan and put a little vegetable oil in the pan.

8. See so the grease is coating the bottom of the pan.

9. Pour 6 oz of mix into the pan and swirl pan around until bottom is covered with batter.

10. Let a spatula separate the edge of the pancake from the pan, swirl again and do the procedure over until pancake is dry.

11. Pancake should now begin to brown and be ready to be flipped over. Let the spatula work its way under the whole pancake until lose and then flip it over and brown other side. Be patient!!! Pancake will break if you work it too early.

Enjoy with fresh berries/ fruit and whipping cream, ice cream or syrup.

Luxury Plättar - This recipe makes a little more fancy style of the mini pancakes

4 Portions


1 ½ Cup Heavy Whipping Cream

5 Tbsp All Purpose Flour

3 Egg Yolks

¼ tsp Salt

2 Egg Whites

For frying: Butter

1. Whip the cream until thick.

2. Stir in the flour, egg yolks and salt.

3. Whisk egg whites until stiff and turn them into the cream mix.

4. Heat up special pan for Plattar and put a little butter on each frying surface in the pan.

5. Pour mix in right when butter is melted

6. Brown mini pancakes until golden brown, turn with a fork or a mini spatula.

Enjoy with fresh berries/ fruit and whipping cream, ice cream or syrup.

December 15, 2008

Helena’s Holiday Glogg - Mulled Wine

This glogg is a great party starter or a nice dessert beverage that will make you warm inside on a cold day. The aroma in the air will give an ambiance of holiday celebration.

10-12 Servings

2 Cups Water

1 Orange

6 Whole Cloves

1 Cinnamon stick

10 Cardamon Pods

1 Cup Granulated Sugar

1 Bottle Red Wine, Bordeaux Style

1 Cup Vodka (optional

1/4 Cup Raisins (optional)

1/4 Cup Sliced Almonds or Blanched and Peeled Whole Almonds

1. Peel orange by hand or with a peering knife so you get a few big pieces of the peel.

2. Mix water, sugar, spices and orange peel in a pot. Bring to a boil, take down heat and let simmer until the spiced syrup is reduced to half. Let it sit for a few hours or over night.

3. Mix red wine, spiced syrup and vodka in a pot. Heat up without boiling; the alcohol will dissipate if you bring the glogg to the boiling point.

4. The glogg should be served warm but not hot.

5. Pour into small cups, espresso size with a tea spoon on the plate.

6. Serve with raisins and almonds on the side for your guests to spoon into their glogg.

Enjoy with ginger bread snaps, a chocolate dessert or just as it is.

December 10, 2008

Swedish Julbord

This is a picture of a Swedish Julbord which is where the word smörgåsbord originates from.

See my traditional recipes for:
Swedish Meatballs
Jansson's Temptation
Wine Braised Red Cabbage
Almond Cottage Cheese Pudding
Chocolate-Oat Balls
Helena's Glogg

See Helena in the Press Democrat December '08

Red Wine Braised Cabbage

6-8 portions


1/2 Head of Red Cabbage
1 Cup Red Wine
1 Cup Chicken or Vegetable Stock
6 Whole Cloves
1/3 Cup Brown Sugar
Salt & White Pepper to taste

1. Shred cabbage fine. Heat up oil in a big pot, add cabbage and cook until soft.
2. Bring wine, stock, cloves and sugar to boil. Let simmer for 10 minutes and strain out cloves.
3. Pour liquid over cabbage and cover with a lid and slow cook for another 10 minutes, add a little water if needed.
4. Season with salt & pepper.

Enjoy as a side salad with meat and potatoes for the holiday.

December 09, 2008

Swedish Meatballs

8-10 portions

4 lbs ground beef
1/2 Medium Yellow Onion
1/2 Cup Bread Crumbs
2 Eggs
3/4 Cup Half & Half
2 tsp Paprika
2 tsp Italian Seasoning
1 pinch Cayenne
1 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
1 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
1 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp White Pepper
Vegetable oil for sautéing

1. Chop onion fine and sauté on low heat until light golden, set aside to cool down.
2. Whisk eggs with cream and add bread crumbs to soak for a few minutes.
3. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl.
4. Heat up oil in a pan and sauté a tiny ball to taste your seasoning.
5. When satisfied, roll the whole mix into meatballs so they are ready to be cooked.
6. Roll the balls, while browning them in a hot pan.
7. When all sides are browned, move meatballs over to a pot, add water and cover with a lid.
8. Let them cook on slow heat until cooked through.

Enjoy with mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce and a cold beer.

Jansson’s Temptation

8-10 portions


2 Medium Yellow Onions
8 Russet Potatoes
4 oz Caned Flat Anchovies
2 Cups Half & Half
1 tsp White Pepper
1/4 Cup Bread Crumbs, Japanese style recommended
4 Tbsp Butter

1. Cut onion into thin slices
2. Peel potatoes and use a box grater to grate on the coarse side.
3. Mix potatoes, onion, anchovy, cream and pepper in a big bowl.
4. Put mix in an oven safe greased 20 inch pan.
5. Sprinkle breadcrumbs on top and shave butter over.
6. Bake in 450º F until golden brown for about 1 hour. If top turns brown to quick, cover with aluminum foil.

Enjoy as a side dish with a meat entrée for the holiday.

Chocolate-Oat Balls

Here is the perfect sweets for your party. Very easy to make and require no cooking.

1 Stick Room Tempered Unsalted Butter
1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar
1 Tbsp Vanilla
4 Tbsp Cocoa Powder
1 1/2 Cup Quick Oats
1-2 Tbsp Strong Coffee (optional)
Unsweetened Coconut Flakes or Crystallized Sugar (Swedish specialty
called Pearl Sugar that can be bought at IKEA )

1. Stir butter, sugar & vanilla fluffy.
2. Sift cocoa powder and stir into the mix.
3. Stir in oats and coffee.
4. Make 2 inch balls and roll them in crystallized sugar or unsweetened coconut flings.
5. Chill chocolate-oat balls in refrigerator before being served.

Enjoy with a nice port wine, Swedish Glogg or a glass of milk.

Almond Cottage Cheese Pudding

This is a yummy dessert to enjoy at any occasion.
Light, fluffy, creamy and just delicious.

9 portions


2 Eggs
1/4 Cup Granulated Sugar
16 oz Cottage Cheese
1/4 Cup All Purpose Flour
1/2 Cup Almonds (roasted or smoked, preferable unsalted)
2/3 Cup Milk
1 Cup Heavy Whipping Cream
1/2 Cup Strawberry Jam
2 Tbsp Powder Sugar

1. Chop almonds fine and put a side.
2. Whisk eggs and sugar until fluffy.
3. Add milk and flour, whisk until lump free.
4. Stir in cottage cheese and chopped almonds.
5. Pour mix into a greased oven safe 10 inch pan.
6. Bake in 375º F for about 40 minutes or until firm with golden surface, but still moist inside.
7. Let pudding sit for a while before serving.
8. Whip cream until it thickens to a nice consistency.
9. Serve pudding topped with whipped cream, strawberry jam and powder sugar sifted over.

Enjoy with a glass of Late Harvest Gewürztraminer or a Kir Royal.

November 19, 2008

Roasted Winter Squash Soup

The perfect meal to keep you warm on a cold day

There are so many types of winter Squash with different colors, shapes, textures and flavors. Kabocha is my personal favorite squash for soup, but Butternut Squash is easier to find and more affordable. When making a soup, I do recommend that you cook a larger batch than just for the dinner you have planned. This soup can stay fresh up to one week, because it does not have any dairy, it is actually completely vegan but very tasty and healthy. The soup will probably thicken over night when it is refrigerated, so you can add some water when heating it up next time.
See different kinds of squash here.

Soup recipe:

3 Whole Squash
3 Medium Carrots
2 Medium Yellow Onions
4 Stems Celery
2-3 Garlic Cloves
2 Portabella Mushrooms
1/4 Cup Vegetable Oil
1/2 Bottle White Wine - like a sweet Gewürztraminer or Riesling
2-4 Quarts Water
2 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
2 tsp Ground Nutmeg
2 tsp Dry Sage
1 Orange
2 Tbsp Dry Sherry
Salt & White Pepper to taste

1. Cut the squash in wedges, by first cutting of the top and the bottom, then splitting it in half, scrape out the seeds and last cut each half into wedges. Put the wedges on a sheet pan with skin side down. Roast in 250-300º F until the flesh is tender, it will take a few hours depending on how firm the squash is.
2. Cut carrots, onion & celery in 1.5-2" pieces. Heat up 4 Tbsp vegetable oil in a frying pan and
sauté the cut vegetables until light browned. Let the vegetables cool a little and then mash them in a blender together with the garlic.
3. Use a fine grater to take the zest of the orange and then squeeze out the juice.
4. Put the mash in a big pot, add wine, 2 Quarts water, orange juice, orange zest, mustard, nutmeg, sage and a little salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, lower heat and let simmer for an hour. If liquid reduces more than half, add another quart of water.
5. Scoop the flesh of the squash out of the skin with a spoon. Mash it in the blender before adding it into the soup. Let the soup simmer and then taste off to see if it needs more spices. Be aware that the soup will taste much, much better the next day.
6. Cut the whole mushroom in 1/2" x 1/2" pieces, including the stem. Heat up 4 Tbsp vegetable oil in a frying pan and
sauté the mushroom, flavor with sherry, salt and pepper. Be aware that the Sherry might light a flame in your pan. Stir the mushroom into the soup or add it on the top when serving.

Enjoy with a glass of the same wine that you cooked into your soup, if you did not already finish the bottle while cooking....

Sesame-Cilantro Coleslaw

4-6 portions

Vegetables for Salad:
1 Head of Cabbage, medium sized
1 Small Carrot
1/4 Red Bell Pepper
6 Stems of Cilantro with Leafs

1. Shred cabbage in thin stripes (easier to do after cutting the head into quarters and after removing the stem in the center).
2. Peel carrot and after the skin is removed, continue peeling the rest of the carrot for the salad. Peel with short strikes, no longer than 1.5".
3. Cut bell pepper into small dice 1/4" x 1/4".
4. Chop cilantro fine.
5. Put all vegetables in a big bowl.

1/2 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
1/2 Cup Olive Oil
2 Tbsp Sesame Seeds
1 Small Lime Wedge
1-2 Tbsp Sugar
1/4-1/2 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp White Pepper

1. Pour vinegar into a deep bowl.
2. Whisk in sesame seeds, juice of lime wedge and the smaller amount of sugar, salt & pepper.
3. While continuing whisking pour slowly the olive oil into the vinegar mix. Continue whisking until unified and "fluffy".
4. Dip a piece of cabbage into the vinaigrette and taste. See if more sugar or salt is needed. If the taste is to oily, add some more vinegar or lime.
5. Pour half of the vinaigrette over cabbage mix and toss properly, add more of the vinaigrette until all cabbage is coated but not soaked. If you get dressing left over, cover it and store it in refrigerator for later.
6. Let sit cold for a few hours or over night before serving.

Serve as side salad with any thing from smoked pulled pork to quiche or even pizza. This is a refreshing, flavorful and healthy salad.

October 29, 2008

Thanksgiving Dinner for 2

With a small house hold in a tight economy, you can still enjoy a nice Thanksgiving Dinner without eating turkey every day for the rest of the month. This is a complex dinner that is easy to make.


Spinach Salad with Pomegranate, Orange, Celery & Citrus Vinaigrette

Braised Turkey Breast with Duo of Potatoes, Gravy & Cranberry Sauce

Recipe for Spinach Salad:

5 oz Fresh Baby Spinach
1 Pomegranate
2 Oranges
1-2 Sticks of Celery
1/2 Cup of Olive Oil
1/2 Cup of Apple Cider Vinegar
1 small wedge of Lime
1 tsp Sugar
1 pinch of Salt
1 pinch of White or Black Pepper

1. Rinse fruit and vegetables.
2. Split Pomegranate in quarters. Use a fork to pull out the red seeds. Be aware that the color stains bad so if you are using your fingers instead of a fork, use gloves.
3. Peel one orange and cut nice bite size pieces. Try to take away all seeds.
4. Cut Celery into thin half moon slices or small square pieces.
5. Put the cut pieces to the side, bring out a large bowl and a balloon whisk to make the dressing.
6. Pour Vinegar into bowl, together with juice and peel of orange, juice of lime wedge, sugar, salt & pepper.
7. Whisk constantly while adding oil in a slow pour until incorporated.
8. Taste vinaigrette by eating a leaf of spinach dipped into the dressing. Taste so it is balanced with sweet, salty and acid (lime or vinegar.) Make adjustments until you are happy with the flavor. Always whisk properly before tasting or dressing the salad; if you pour the vinaigrette into a squeeze bottle it makes it very easy to just shake the bottle to mix.
9. Put all the spinach in a big bowl, sprinkle vinaigrette over and toss until coated, but not soaked.
10. Center a pile of dressed spinach leafs in a good portion size on each plate. Divide cut pieces of Pomegranate, Orange and Celery in a nice looking way to finish the salad plates. Serve immediately; if you are planing to serve later, wait with dressing the salad.

Recipe for Braised Turkey Breast:

1 full fresh Turkey Breast with skin on
1 medium Yellow Onion
2 cloves of Garlic
1 Carrot
1 stick of Celery
1 small firm Apple
2 slices of Sourdough Bread
1 cup of Chicken Stock
3 tsp Poultry Seasoning
Salt & Pepper
Vegetable Oil

1. Turn on oven to 375º F
2. Coat Turkey Breast with oil and sprinkle salt and pepper on both sides.
3. Heat up 2 Tbsp Vegetable Oil in a frying pan. Brown both sides of the Turkey Breast.
4. Cut Onion, Carrot, Celery, Apple and Bread in bite size pieces. Mince or grate garlic.
5. Toss cut pieces and Garlic in a bowl with Poultry Seasoning, Sage and two pinches of each Salt & Pepper. Pour Chicken Stock over and toss without mushing to much.
6. Coat a small, deep oven pan with oil. Spread the bite size pieces as a bed for the Turkey Breast to lay on. Cover pan with foil after 12 minutes to keep food moist. Bake until the Turkey feels firm but does not look like it is shrinking, the inner temperature has to reach 165º F (use thermometer to be sure.)

Recipe for Duo of Potatoes:

2 Large Russet Potatoes
2 Large Sweet Potatoes or Yams
3 Tbsp Soft Unsalted Butter
1/2 Cup of Warm Whole Milk
1 Tsp Nutmeg
Salt & Pepper to taste

1. Scrub Potatoes under running water, leave peal on.
2. Put potatoes in a larger pot, fill with water so potatoes are covered. Add a pinch of salt, bring to boil, take down heat to simmering and cover with a lid. Cook until potatoes are soft, but not too mushy. You might want to take out the Sweet Potatoes earlier if they are done prior to the Russets.

3. Put the potatoes in two separate bowls and mash them ruffly with a balloon whisk or a potato masher.
4. Add 1.5 Tsp butter in each bowl, 1/2 Tsp Nutmeg and a touch of Salt & Pepper
5. Pour in the warm milk a little by little while you continue to mash until all is mixed and the consistency is how you like it. If you mash to much it will become starchy.
6. Keep the different mashed potatoes separate, so you can plate them nicely as a duo.

Recipe for Gravy:

4 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
4 Tbsp All Purpose Flour
1 Cup Chicken Stock
1/2 Cup Heavy Whipping Cream
1-2 Cups Milk
1 tsp Dijon Mustard
1/2 tsp Nutmeg
1-2 tsp Poultry Seasoning
Salt & White Pepper to taste

1. Melt butter on low heat, take pot of the stove.
2. Whisk flour into butter until smooth.
3. Pour chicken stock and half of the milk while whisking.
4. Put pot back on the stove and heat until mix is boiling.
5. Add cream, mustard and spices and use the rest of the milk to find the right consistency.
6. Heat up again and the gravy is ready to be served. It is important that the gravy is boiled, or you will feel the flavor of flour when tasting it.

Cranberry Sauce Recipe:

1 Cup Fresh Cranberries
1 Orange
1 Lime
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
1-3 Cups Water

1. Grate the zest of orange and lime and squeeze out the juice.
2. Mix cranberries, citrus zest, citrus juice, sugar and half of the water.
3. Bring mix to boil, stir properly and turn heat down to simmer.
4. Stir frequently and add water when needed. Cook until cranberries are soft and jelly consistency is created.
5. Taste to see that it has a nice balance between sweet and tart.

October 27, 2008

Quiche with Ground Beef and Carrots

4 portions

Crust Recipe:
1 1/4 Cup All Purpose Flour
1 stick of Chilled Unsalted Butter
1/2 tsp Salt
2 Tbsp Cold Water

1. Use a fork or a pastry cutter to mix butter and flour until crumbly.
2. Add salt and water and knead into a dough.
3. Put the dough in a 9.5" pie form and work it out with your finger tips until even and covering the whole inside of the pan. If the butter separates from the dough and it seems oily, leave the dough in the refrigerator for a while until it has chilled, before you finish covering the mold. Pull the dough up on the edge of the mold, because it will shrink when baking.
4. Put the pie shell in refrigerator or freezer until the dough has stiffened up.

Filling Recipe:
3/4 lbs Ground Beef (vegetarian option: mushroom & broccoli)
1 Medium Carrot
1/4 Medium Yellow Onion
1 Small Garlic Clove
1/2 Cup Shredded Cheese like Cheddar, Pepper Jack or Mozzarella (can be mixed)
1 Egg
1/4 Cup Whole Milk
2 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
1 tsp Herbs de Provence (can be substituted with Oregano)
Salt & Pepper to taste

1. Cut carrot into the size of a peas.
2. Mince onion and garlic
3. Heat up oil in a frying pan and sauté ground beef until it browns.
4. Add onion and garlic into the hot mix and continue cooking until onion is soft.
5. Add carrots, herbs, salt and pepper. Taste.
6. Let meat mix cool down.
7. Whisk egg in a deep bowl, add milk, meat and cheese and stir it all.
8. Fill pie shell with meat mix, bake until golden brown and center is moist but not wet. If the crust is turning dark to quick, cut a piece of aluminum foil to cover the edge of the pan, but leave the center open.
9. Let quiche sit for a while before cutting.
10. Serve with a fresh green salad and sour cream.

Enjoy with a chilled beer.

October 26, 2008

Braised Herb Chicken with Fettucini, Plums & Roasted Cashews

4 portions

15 oz Fettucini Pasta
3 Raw Chicken Thighs
2 Ripe Plums
3 Tbsp Raw Cashews
1/2 Cup of Red Wine
1 Cup Chicken Broth
3 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
1 Tbsp Dried Herbs de Provance
1 tsp Dried Thyme
Salt & White Pepper to taste
Parsley for garnish

1. Boil water in pot seasoned with salt, add pasta and cook until done al dente. Cool pasta directly when done under cold water, drain in colander and coat with one Tbsp of vegetable oil.
2. Roast cashews in a dry pan on low heat until light brown.
3. Cut plums into wedges, take pit out and leave skin on.
4. Season chicken with both of the herbs, salt & pepper. Brown both sides of chicken thighs in a hot pan with rest of vegetable oil.
5. Turn down heat, pour red wine over the chicken and let simmer under a lid about 4-5 minutes, add a little water if the wine evaporates to quick.
6. Take chicken out of pan to cut in finger size pieces.
7. Add cooked pasta, chicken broth and plums into the wine sauce and simmer until liquid has reduced to half. Add pieces of chicken and let cook for a few more minutes, until you see that chicken is cooked through. Add more salt and pepper if needed.
8. Serve in deep dish and garnish with cashews & chopped parsley

Enjoy with a glass of Russian River Pinot Noir.

Please, leave comments below of your experience with this recipe.

October 17, 2008

Crunchy Apple-Blueberry Crisp

8-10 portions

5 thinly sliced firm apples

1 small pack of blueberries

1/4 cup brown sugar

2 tsp cinnamon


1 1/2 cup all purpose flour

1 1/2 cup old fashioned oats

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1 pinch salt

1 stick of unsalted soft butter

  1. Grease an oven safe pan approx. 12x16”
  2. Mix ingredients for the filling in a bowl with a tong or spatula. (You can caramelize the apple slices by sautéing them with the brown sugar if you want to)
  3. Mix ingredients for topping in a bowl with a fork or your fingers. You want the mix to become crumbly.
  4. Pour filling into baking pan and crumble the topping over, until evenly distributed.
  5. Bake in 375º F until the crisp is golden brown.
  6. Let cool until warm or chill completely and reheat before serving.

Serve crisp on a deep plate with one scoop of French vanilla bean ice cream and top off with whipping cream and sifted powder sugar


Please, leave comments below of your experience with this recipe.

Harvest time

This time a year brings back memories from my childhood in Sweden, with all the harvesting our family did. My favorites were to find mushrooms in the forest, to cook apple juice in a big double boiler and to jump in the big piles of colorful leaves that were gathered a little every where.

Now a days, I enjoy the ripeness and fantastic flavors of local produce when it is time to gather goodies in my basket for cooking. I love seeing the color changes on the vineyards that we are surrounded by here in northern California, and it seems like the nature comes to live after a busy summer season.