Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Breakfast Popsicles

Yes, you read that correctly. Breakfast popsicles! How can you justify that? Easy. It is merely frozen juice. Healthy, frozen, fruit juice. How can you not justify it? Created out of necessity (it was HOT), and the fact that there was nothing else in the apartment to experiment with, juice popsicles happened. We discovered that our favorite juice flavor makes the most delicious, thirst-quenching popsicles and an award-winning, summer breakfast. 

The juice flavor, if you are wondering, is Brämhults "Blåbär och svarta vinbär,” which translates as "blueberries and black currants." So tasty! If you live in Sweden, you are in luck as it is readily available. My only wish if you do not live in Sweden is that you can find something similar. However, I would think any juice would be delicious (pomegranate blueberry, orange strawberry, apple, etc.). If you already have a favorite flavor in mind even better.

You don’t have to limit yourself to juice however. The other day I made a batch with Turkish yogurt, honey, and roasted rhubarb. I just stirred all of the ingredients together, spooned the mixture into the popsicle molds, and send those babies to the freezer. You could even blend a combination of juice and fruit in your blender first to puree it a bit, or a lot depending on how chunky you want the end result. And since you are enjoying these for breakfast on hot, summer days, I would think the more imaginative the better. I personally would not recommend bacon but if that's your thing, go for it. 


Your favorite juice/yogurt honey fruit combo + Popsicle mold + Freezer = Breakfast popsicles. 

You are welcome.

Ps. You can eat these any time of day, but doesn't the thought of having popsicles for breakfast feel a bit luxurious? Plus, your kids will think you are the coolest ever.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Mind Garbage

Ah summer! That time of year when I'm more often riding my bike to work than not. When I am more often reflecting on the beauty of Stockholm, enjoying the fresh, clean air, and in general taking in the sights, smells, and sounds around me. Which means I'm often contemplating my life and day dreaming, two of my favorite things to do. The other day as I was making my way up one of the many mördarbackar (literal translation: a murderously steep hill) that I ride up on my route to and from work, the notion of "spring cleaning" popped into my head. 

Yes, I know it is summer but I skipped over spring cleaning in the spring and I was thinking of my closet and how I needed to get rid of "a few things." Then the notion of "spring cleaning" the cobwebs and garbage in my mind popped up. I got to thinking about how much energy I waste in thinking about things that are unproductive, or even counter-productive, and how cleaning out my "mind garbage" could be a great way to jump start productivity in other areas. 

It would be like cleaning out your email inbox (the thought terrifies me), or more applicable and personal to me, cleaning out the photo storage on my mobil phone (physically painful). On a regular basis I receive a message on my phone that my storage is nearly full and if I do not delete photos (that are already saved to our home storage), my phone camera will stop allowing me to take more photos. How rude.

If my mind also fill up with unproductive thoughts and/or negativity (garbage!), then perhaps it too stops allowing me to take in positive, productive thoughts and ideas. So the idea of taking out the "mind garbage" came up and I realized that I don't even have to wait for my mind to fill up, I can simply throw the negative, garbage-y thoughts away as soon as they enter my mind. We all have mind garbage, or negative, unproductive thoughts. Right?

Just think about how much space would be available for positive, productive ideas if your mind was a clean, fresh, wide-open meadow just waiting to be planted with wild flowers, or any other type of garden you want to grow. We can begin today. Weed out the negative/unproductive thoughts, take out the "mind garbage," and make room for fresh, new thoughts and ideas. Who's with me?

(Saw this when I was in England... Just add "& Mind Garbage")

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Mölle Krukmakeri and a Simple, Lazy-Day, 30-Minute Pasta

A mere 500 meters from the town of Mölle. Beautiful scenery all around!

Approximately three hours drive south of our summer house on Tjörn, lies a quaint peninsula in the Höganäs region of Skåne. Tucked into the southwestern coast of Sweden, the beautiful, lush nature reserve of Kullaberg rises above the charming, seaside town of Mölle. I'd heard talk of how beautiful Kullaberg’s nature reserve is. What I didn't hear however, is how breath-taking the views are, even in and around the lazy, country roads that curve around the peninsula, taking you by farms with free-roving pigs, chickens, cows, and horses, along with rows and rows of ready-to-harvest "rödbetor" (beets) and "potatis" (potatoes). It is no wonder that the ceramic studio, which inspired our trip down, was filled with such beautiful bowls, platters, mugs, plates and other assorted vessels for purchase. The beautiful nature is certainly inspirational!

Just one angle of Mölle Krukmakeri's shop & beautiful wares.

Mölle Krukmakeri is a small slice of heaven for clay-influenced folk like myself. Part ceramics studio, part cafe, Mölle Krukmakeri is my dream come true. I could easily see myself running a similar establishment at some point in my life. That is, once I've mastered being able to reproduce a bowl, cup, or other shape more than once, or by chance ;-). In other words, when I've managed to master the clay. (Wink, wink). So far I am a great master of the "unique" bowl/cup/plate. I’m getting there slowly but surely. 

("Hey, my name is Viktor, I bite sometimes") :-D

I’m not entirely sure if it was out of a desire to hold on to the inspiration or merely a love for her work, but we left with two large “pasta” bowls, a beautiful planter, and thoughts of replacing our dishes at home with her gorgeous plates and bowls. Every time we have used these amazing bowls I think of those dishes we left behind and my mind starts rearranging our cupboards to fit them into our lives. One day they will be ours. 

Just the other day we decided to make our “simple, lazy-day, 30-minute pasta” for dinner and my husband claimed that it was the best one yet. I proposed that maybe it was because of the bowls that our simple pasta dish tasted so much better. He concurred. ;-) I think pretty much anything would taste better in one of these bowls. Ice cream? yes. Salad? definitely. Pasta? of course, silly.

Infinity circle love.

Simple, Lazy-Day, 30-minute Pasta:


- Spaghetti for two, cooked al dente & drained, reserving approximately 1/4 C of cooking liquid
- A larger than probably desired lump of butter
- 1-2 cloves of garlic, minced or pressed
- 1/8 - 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Pinch of salt
- Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Chiffonade of fresh basil leaves
- Two beautiful, oversized, handmade ceramic bowls & a healthy appetite

After you have cooked & drained your pasta and set aside some of the cooking liquid, quickly rinse your pot and place it back on the burner on low to medium heat. Melt your butter and once it has started to bubble up, add your garlic and sauté for 2-3 minutes or until fragrant. Add half of your crushed red pepper flakes and continue to stir for just under a minute. Quickly add your pasta and toss, adding more crushed red pepper, ground black pepper, the reserved cooking liquid, and finally a pinch of salt. 

Place a small amount of pasta in the bottom of each bowl, sprinkle with parmesan cheese, layer with more pasta and cheese until you run out of each, making sure to finish with a light dusting of cheese. Sprinkle your fresh basil on top and complete with a turn of the pepper mill. Enjoy! 

Don't you agree that just about anything would taste delicious in one of these?!