Sunday, March 27, 2011

Sunday brioche

Living in Sweden and being in need of a proper Italian breakfast?
Here there is a recipe that could satisfy the ones searching for a "Saccottino".

  • 470 gr of flour
  • 100 gr of soft butter
  • 120 ml of milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 100 gr of sugar
  • 25 gr of yeast
  • A bit of salt
To fill and decorate:
  • Jam, marmelade, Nutella, chocolate drops or whatever you like (I used just jam and Nutella)
  • Pearl sugar

Melt the yeast in a bit of lukewarm milk

Put all the ingredients in a bowl and add the yeast. 

Work the mix with a fork (or a spoon) and then work it with the hands, until one gets a smooth and homogeneous dough.

Cover it and let it yeast in a lukewarm place for about 1 hour and half. 
Then, take a little ball of dough at the time and flatten it with a rolling pin obtaining a rectangular shape about 0,5 cm high. 

Spread the jam or whatever you want to use on the surface and roll the rectangle.

Put the brioche on a baking tin covered with oven paper and then brush them with some of the milk and spread on the surface the pearl sugar.

Put it in the oven at 180° for about half an hour or when they are golden.


Thursday, March 24, 2011

Compact living

I believe it is a common problem to know where to store all the clothes, blankets, and so on, when one switches from the cold season to the warmer one. Especially the blankets do take a lot of place and if one lives in an apartment, space is definitely a constraint.

So, what to do?
I have decided to invest in some sort of vacuum system called Compactor (no link available sorry). Basically an enormous plastic bag that can be closed (hopefully) tightly and all the air from it can be vacuumed away, reducing the space of the object.


Result, a lot of space is saved and also, the blankets are kept away from bugs and whatever else!


Monday, March 21, 2011

Salt & Brygga

We have now been twice to this restaurant and both times, we have come back home extremely satisfied.
Main characteristic? Fine dining in an ecological manner. It is nice to find local ingredients, cooked in a never too elaborated way, mixed together in some interesting combination.

The portions are unfortunately not too big, but this is fine dining, we can't expect to be served as in a tavern, and the price is not exactly low, but it is justified, in my opinion, by the originality of the menu' as well as the good service.

I should also point out that the location is quite strategic, since it is in one of the most trendy areas of Malmö, Västra Hamnen, and when there are long summer days, it is possible to admire a quite breathtaking sunset.

I do not remember our first visit details (except a wonderful nettle soup), since it was some time ago. However, last Friday dinner was memorable (maybe because we were celebrating my maternity leave?).
We decided to choose a "menu" each, I took the fish one, while Mattias picked up the meat one and we added a small appetizer to share. That was fried prästost (a swedish type of cheese), that had been stored for about 5 years. A cheese that can't be found yet in any shop, since it is developed in some dairy lab, but, although fried, it had a really nice taste.
The menu details are available at their homepage. I tried Mattias' main dish and that was the best dish of them all!

Alltogether, the place is great and I warmly recommend it for special occasions and romantic dinners (especially during summer).

Sunday, March 20, 2011

St. Joseph pancakes (Crespelle di San Giuseppe)

When I was a child, I remember my parents frying a massive amount of pancakes for the 19th of March. I don't remember if they did it really every year, but for sure, they are not doing that anymore these days!
Hereby, I have been taking on this tradition, even though there is not yet any father in this household (but there is a Giuseppina!).


  • 1 kg of flour
  • 25 gr of yeast
  • raisins
  • water
  • oil for frying

Melt the yeast with a small amount of lukewarm water, in a small bowl.

 In the meanwhile, put the flour in a big bowl and then add the yeast in the flour and start to mix.

Slowly, add the raisins and some water so that the dough keeps being soft. The amount of raisins depends on the taste!

Continue to mix and add water (and if wanted, raisins) until the dough is quite soft and the sound, when mixing it, is similar to "plok, plok".
Let it yeast for about 2 hours in a warm place.
Warm up some oil in a pan and with the help of a spoon, shape the pancakes and drop them in the oil. Turn them around so that both sides are golden.

When ready, let them rest on a plate prepared with kitchen paper and season them with sugar.


Monday, March 14, 2011

Mansion of madness

Last friday, we had the opportunity to play a new game, which by casualties (or not really) is set yet again in the world of Call of Cthulhu. It seems that the big squid is actually on to us and I haven't even read a single Lovecraft book. Maybe I should abandon the Silmarillion passion for the Necronomicon?

The ratings of Mansion of Madness are pretty high and it is quite understandable why (considering also the comparison with Arkham Horror). There is a good atmosphere, there is a definite less amount of rules, exceptions, cards and tokens and there is a continuity between the two games (at least, in the characters one can choose).

It is quite intriguing with puzzles to be solved and a mistery and it is nice that the "evilness" is dictacted by a keeper, some sort of evil overlord a la Descent to Hell.
At least, also the evil forces can do mistakes :-)

In comparison still with Arkham Horror, the game is less mechanic, however the collaborative part is not really pushed as in Arkham Horror, where when things start to go bad, everyone is panicking and finally start to talk to each other.

Here, time is also quite crucial and we have to admit, we were quite lucky in defeating the evil keeper and his horrible shaggoth that appeared at the altar thanks to two of my teeth sacrificed for the mega squid!!!

I surely would like to play it again, also I believe, there is an infinite amount of scenarios possible and that is going to be quite funny!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Where to make a baby sleep...

Also the decision on where to make our baby sleep has not been easy. That is because we have evaluated several parameters: cost, comfort and space as major ones.
These the limitations: reduced space in our bedroom, cats and not a great enthusiasm in making the baby sleep with us.

So, we discarded to buy the cot for the first months, since our bedroom is quite tight and we would have to move some furniture out and then the question would have been...where? :) I would have preferred to make her used to sleep in her cot already from the beginning, but...

The next option was then to buy a moses nest. However, this is quite expensive in Sweden and we were evaluating this idea only if the pram would have not had a carrycot. Considering that this kind of bed would have been used just for the first 3-4 months, we thought that it was enough with one of them. Anyway, there were many lovely Moses nest available in UK and on their websites.

Since at the end, we ended up buying a pram that included a carrycot, we thought that we could use the carrycot as bed, exploiting it as much as possible during its short life time. I really didn't feel like putting it on the floor, with drafts, cats, cats' hair and general dirt, I didn't think it was exactly the ideal place where to put anyone to sleep at all! The hunt for a stand started and that was not easy at all.
It seems that for some prams models there are specific stands that are sold, however, our model didn't have it. I found a universal one sold years ago by Chicco, in some Ebay page, but the contact person decided to sell it to somebody else just when I confirmed we were interested.

Looking around, I realized we could use a Moses nest stand and I searched on all Swedish shops, with the result that I found just 3-4 shops having it and with a fancy cost.
Finally, I decided to import it from UK since the item is much more common and the cost was incredibly lower. We went for Amazon, and the model we liked (and that would fit our carrycot) was of course not sold internationally.
Eventually, we ended up on this website for some strange reason and bought this item:

This will hopefully fit our carrycot and it matches our bedroom colors. It seems quite stable and it was not that expensive. And so far, it seems that the shop gave us good service. Let's hope next week we will get it home.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Spring breakfast!

Among the various Christmas presents, I forgot to mention another of my mother's creations for us, which is really ideal for having breakfast when the sun is shining outside.

We got four small tablecloths, which I think will be perfect for use in these occasions.

And since it seems that the spring is finally coming (let's hope it is not an illusion), it will be nice to start to use them for some serious business ;)

Monday, March 7, 2011

More baby theme

Of course, like every mom-to-be baby things are quite an obsession, especially near the end of the pregnancy. Let's not talk about the fact that we are behind all preparations, but let's focus on what we have mainly got so far, instead!

We got this funny snake directly from Israel, the first extremely foreign present, which is colorful and have a lot of fancy sounds:

The best though is the expression of the head:

We can go back into the normal field of clothing, thanks to grandma' (farmor):

To be combined with:

Or this (the pink hat was a present fr:om Italy, instead). I think the white hat might be a good "first hat" depending on how big the head will be...

Also Mattias' mother has done some handcrafting for our baby, this is a nice soft blanket that she can have when it is a bit chilly outside:

But when it is a bit warmer, we can reuse this coming from my brother (I mean, my brother was the first to use it):

Or maybe we can experiment with this sleeping sack instead of using sheets and blankets:

But maybe she will like to have these smalls and warm dresses as pijiamas instead?:


Sunday, March 6, 2011

Operation "Walk in closet" aka, "it never ends"

Maybe stating that "it never ends" is not exactly correct. The work per se is not a 200 hours work, but the problem for us has been to find the time to do every single step of this operation.
We started this autumn and we have come as far as now it is time to put back the objects in.

  1. we could not remove properly the wooden strips. We managed just on one side and then we had to glue it up back because the constructions was badly done from the start. This meant that where we put the wallpaper there is a strange "cut" and the wallpaper doesn't go behind the strip :-/
  2. we totally forgot to look for the floor. We didn't think at all if the floor would be matching the wall so now we have some sort of linoleum floor that is not exactly beautiful and we can't remove it due to the wooden strips. I am thinking of putting just another layer on top, but we need to consult some "expert" before doing this or we will do a mess
  3. putting up the wallpaper was not exactly as easy as we thought, although we bought an "easy up" wallpaper.
  4. we had to buy a good deal of tools to handle several steps and this means that we need even more storage place for all of this ;-/

Nevertheless, this is the result so far!
Detail of the wallpaper (I really love the butterfly motif and the silverish shade):

I think we did a good job with the color choice, it is not that pink to be lame:

We put back one of the shelves after covering it up with the wallpaper. I think it became pretty nice:

First put back some of the things that were originally there. Part of the plan is to try to label properly the boxes and cover the ones that have no special pattern with some nice colorful paper.
Try to see how much space is left and what we need still to put in. For example, it would be a nice idea to buy some shoe furniture that can store many shoes.
But we want also to have something fancy, like a mirror, that could cover the panel with the fuses. Like this one:

And this needs to be done asap, since the guestroom is covered in all these objects and we need to sort them out before our baby come! A lot of her clothes are in the pile and they still need to be washed :-/


Saturday, March 5, 2011

Swedish style tapas?

I believe it is one of the latest trends to open restaurant that instead of serving big portions of food, serve smaller portions (and of course a smaller price) in order to make it become more like a tasting party of different dishes. I also think that this is inspired by the tapas concept and why not, it is not that bad afterall if the bill doesn't become too high and the menu is not too ambitious.
The risk with this concept is to try to cover too many dishes and too many kitchen, but yesterday, we were at Plockepinn and we thought that that was a good implementation of such an idea.
There was some asiatic inspiration in the dishes, but all together, the dishes we took were nice and the menu rich but not absurd.

The high peak of the evening (if we exclude the extra scratches on the car and the fine)?
* Some simple french fries with mayonnese, which were really nice
* Korean inspired seeweed sallad
* Deep fried scampi, with a nice dip sauce
* The lemon sorbet

I guess Mattias might have had other high points, but I think these were the best for me.

The restaurant itself is located in the choklad fabriken building (Mazetti house), with a feeling (or ceiling) of industrial/office taste which was not that great in the attempt to make the place look cozy, although designed with a modern taste.

Decent service, quite fast, a bit strange way of booking (we had a table between 18 and 20 - then I think they eventually would have kicked us out?), a place where we might come back, but that has not taken our breath away! 3.5 stars?

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