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Posts Tagged ‘easter’

The egg is the “king of the Swedish Easter table”. In the old days they used to save all the eggs, milk, heavy cream & butter during the Easter fasting.

When Ester finally arrived, they got all those goodies out of their food pantries and started cooking up a storm.

Most of the time, the food is served buffet style as a “smörgåsbord” as we call it. For Easter we eat lot’s of eggs, pickled herring, Quiche, salads, lamb, salmon, caviar …Did I mention eggs and pickled herring??? I love it. It is also one of my year round fast fix dinner. Luckily, my husband loves it as well. If it is for dinner I usually boil a couple of potatoes as well.

I always try to come up with a new little “chick” made out of an egg for the Easter table. I saw these little ones somewhere and wanted to add them to my herring plates. You just boil the eggs (hard boil) cut out a thin slice from a peeled carrot. Cut out little v-shapes on one side. Cut a slit in the top/pointy part of the egg. Insert the “rooster comb”. I inserted 2 pieces of wild rice for the eyes. They really are super cute.

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Herring tray.

* Pickled herring with a mixture of sour cream, mayo, dill & black pepper.

* Egg halves with caviar.

*”Gubbröra”. “Old man’s mixture”…not sure of the translation of this egg anchovies mixture. You need hardboiled eggs, anchovies, a little finely chopped red onion, finely chopped dill, finely chopped chives, Creme Fraiche. Usually this is served on hard or dark bread.

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Our Easter table is always a display of spring. Lot’s of  yellows and greens… I like to give my guest a little something on their plate.

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Isn’t it wonderful when the flower shops starts to sell tulips & daffodils with all those vibrant colors. There is a great flower district in New York. I go there a lot, it makes me happy. If any of my friends are a little down I always suggest a trip to the flower district. It is the busiest early in the morning. My visits usually takes place between 7 or 8am, I have loved flowers as long as I can remember. I always buy flowers and make everything from little bouquets to bigger arrangements. A dream is to have a country house with some land where I would grow all sorts of flowers and vegetables. One day…

If you can, bring some flowers into the house. It really makes it lively. Even a potted plant will do it. If you have a garden, get a potted plant that you eventually can plant outside. Many of my hyacinths and tulips started out as house plants. Anything from christmas arrangements to summer flowers. They all go into the ground. Easter is the “kick off” for my garden. This year it has been such a harsh winter that the daffodils and tulips are taking their time. The only thing blooming are some mini daffodils I planted after easter last year.

Happy Easter!!!

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I have always felt that Easter is the “kick-off” for summer.

This is the time when we, if we are lucky, could sit outside on the deck, having breakfast in the nice and warm spring sun. Not this year though. Even though we had a very mild winter it isn’t warm enough. I was hoping for some garden furniture to come out from the shed but I guess I will have to wait a little longer. It’s actually good, since I am about to re-arrange my whole back yard. I am building new and better flower beds, a little higher than before.  It is a huge project but I can’t wait.

This is also the time when I pick the first flowers to decorate the house with. So far, I have tulips, pearl hyacinths, daffodils, violets and some  apple blossom branches placed in champagne glasses.

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I always try to take good Friday off, it gives me that extra day to work outside and prepare for summer. It is very soothing to just do physical work and “lift things up and put them down..” as they say in a popular commercial here.

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A tradition for me, is to eat poached salmon on good Friday. It is good, healthy and fresh. As one of the side dishes, my mom used to make these little “poison mushrooms” made of eggs, tomatoes and spinach. As a sauce to the fish, we would always have a sour cream. mayo, dill & frozen vegetables mixture. It is just soo delicious (a great summer dish too.) On saturday, we would eat anything but on Easter sunday, we would have lamb.

I don’t like my meat to be pink so I cook my lamb long and slow to make it super tender and infused with flavours. I marinate the lamb in the fridge for a few hours or over night. For anyone who thinks they don’t like lamb this is really a great way of cooking it. I use a steak/ roast, but you could always use any other part of the lamb. Serve with a mint sauce or a delicious rosemary garlic sauce.

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Poached Salmon.

Fresh Salmon. Preferable wild caught. Either one whole salmon or a piece of salmon. As much as you would need for the amount of people you are serving. (Just remember that you can do so many things of the left overs, so don’t be scared of poaching too much.)

Water to almost just cover the fish in the pot.

Black pepper corns, about 10-12.

2 lemons.

1/2 onion.

1 carrot. Cut into medium size pieces.

1/2 orange.

2 bay leaves.

Directions;

It would be great if you have a fish pot but if you don’t, use a large pot. You can also use a cast iron pot /dutch oven.  If you are using portion pieces of salmon, you could just use a frying pan to poach them in. Add the pepper corns, carrot pieces, cut up onion & the bay leaves. Let cook for about 10 minutes to create a broth. Add the fish & the dill. Make sure the water covers about half the fish. Squeeze one lemon and the 1/2 orange into the pot. Let the peel boil with the fish. Some people likes to add some vinegar. I don’t, it makes the meat a little lighter, I use the lemon for that. 

Let come to a boil, then let simmer for about 30 minutes depending on the size of the fish. If you are using portion pieces of fish it will ready much faster. Keep checking it. You know that it is done, when it is starting to loosen from the bones.

Let the fish cool down in the broth. Lift up and plate. You can easily take off the skin if it is cool. If you are experiencing any problems, use a little piece of paper towel as a help.

Cut the last lemon into very fine slices. Add them onto the top of the fish. It is supposed to look like fish scales. Some people use finely cut cucumber slices to decorate the salmon with.

You can serve it hot or cold. Boiled potatoes are great to this poached salmon. As a sauce, I prefer a cold sauce made of sour cream, mayo, dill & some frozen vegetables. Pepper to taste. I of course use hot sauce in mine.

Poison mushrooms.

Hardboiled eggs.

Spinach.

Tomatoes, too big.

Boil down the spinach. I just put them in a pan and let them “melt” with a dash of nutmeg, salt and pepper. You could also use frozen defrosted spinach.

Hard boil the eggs and let cool. Cut the tomatoes. Use 1/3 of the upper part. Cut the very ends of the egg on top and bottom. Stand the egg up with the more narrow part facing up. Add the “hat” meaning the tomato. Cut up the egg white you just cut off the egg. Decorate the “hat” with a few pieces. Stand them around the salmon with the spinach being the “ground”.

Enjoy.

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Lamb roast.

I roast of Lamb.

10 cloves of garlic.

1 sprig of rosemary.

3 tbsp. of olive oil.

1-2 tbsp. of hot sauce (optional.)

Mint, fresh or dried. About 3 tbsp.

Herbs, Dried or fresh. About 1/4 cup.

A pinch of salt & pepper.

Directions.

Add all herbs and the garlic to a food processor. Mix well. Add the olive oil. It will become a pale version of pesto.

Add the mixture to the roast. Massage it into the meat. Make sure it covers any place you can reach. If possible, let marinate in the fridge over night, if not just for a few hours. Turn on the oven on 250 degrees. Put the roast into an oven safe dish. Cover with foil. Let cook for about 3 hours depending on how big it is. You need to look at it after a few hours. It will shrink a bit. When done, just take of the foil and raise the temperature to 450 and make a little colored crust on the roast.

Let it rest for about 5-10 minutes before starting to cut into it.

I prefer to cut very thin slices of the lamb. Serve with any kind of potato side or perhaps just vegetables.

Enjoy!

Happy easter!

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Happy easter!!!!

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It is possible my design career started as a little girl, making easter cards & painting eggs.

For easter, kids are dressed up as little witches with a scarf on their heads, rosy cheeks and freckled noses. They would wear an old dress and an apron. The story goes, that on the Thursday night before Good Friday, all the witches flew on their broomsticks to an island called Blakulla. This tradition is thought to have started during the big witch hunt in the 16th century.

Easter is our version of “trick or treat”. Kids give out hand-made easter cards and they receive candy, money or other treats in return.

As a kid I always thought that good friday was the longest day of the year. Soo long.. Nothing to do. One had to be calm and stay indoors. Hard for all of us 4 kids. Thank god we had the easter eggs & treats to focus on.

There are so many little crafty projects one can do for easter. A perfect time to involve the kids in crafts and cooking.

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We always have a “Pask ris” all decorated with hand painted eggs, colored feathers and little chickens. My husband is getting used to me spiffing up our house for all sorts of Swedish holidays. It is to the point where he comes up with the boxes of decorations from the basement even before I have said “Let’s decorate!!”  But then again, he is now an honorary Swede, these are his new traditions.

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Little egg chicks.

Hard boil some eggs. Let them cool in some ice-cold water.

Cut a little jagged edge line all around the upper part of the eggs. Be careful so that you don’t cut off any parts of the egg yolk. Loosen the top egg white part. 

Cut little beaks off any red vegetable like red pepper or tomato. Cut out little eyes. Attach them to the egg yolk. Present them in a deviled egg platter or in egg cups. They are really cute to have on the easter table. 

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I have lot’s of different egg cups. My favorites are the clear glass ones that I inherited from my grandmother, they are just ordinary every day egg cups. The reason they are special is because they came from my grandmother, and I remember eating my breakfast eggs from those cups. This turquoise egg cup came from my mother so of course they are also favorites. The silver one is actually one of the awards I got in swimming (I used to compete in swimming. We don’t or at least didn’t get anything even close to the trophy’s kids are getting here in America, we had to make do with a little bucket. I shouldn’t complain though, they are all silver and I have a bunch of them. I love to be able to use things instead of them becoming dust collectors.) Another great cup is a miniature terracotta flower-pot. This one is usually the hit with our guests. If you don’t have any egg cups, you could use shot glasses.

My easter table usually ends up being green and yellow. I think it is appropriate to make it spring like. This would be the only time of the year I would have yellow in the house. It isn’t a favorite color of mine at all, but for some reason it doesn’t bother me for easter. I actually look forward to taking out all the yellow and green decorations. We would have daffodils in the house for as long as possible.

A great trick with them is, that you can buy a couple of bunches of daffodils and put them in the fridge. No water needed. Take them out the day or so before you plan to put them in a vase. They will last a long time in the fridge. They are cheap and really beautiful.

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A couple of great ways of coloring your eggs.

A few weeks or a month before easter, I start saving dry onion peels, from both red & yellow onions. Save the peels in separate bags.

Take as many white eggs as you think you will eat. (I watched the documentary “Food Inc” and have now a hard time buying anything else than organic eggs.)

Take little leaves either from plants or herbs. Put them on the sides of the un-boiled eggs. Cover the eggs with a cut up nylon stocking or cheese cloth. Tie the opening or close with rubber bands. Make sure the little leaves are spread out well and are laying in a great “position” on the egg. Hard boil the eggs with the onion peels. When done, take off the heat, but let them stay in the liquid. Let them soak up the color from the onion peels as long as possible. When cool, cut open the little packages. You will find these beautifully colored eggs. Natural and just so different.

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Another way of doing different eggs for the easter table is to make them marbled. You hard boil some white (organic) eggs. When done, crack the peel slightly but don’t take off any parts of the peel. Let soak in the liquid from pickled beets, or just the liquid from boiled beets. Let sit over night in the fridge. Be careful when you peel the eggs, so that no part of the egg white comes off. This is a super great way of making decorative eggs.

Happy easter decorating a crafting !!!

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