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Thanksgiving in Stockholm

Thanksgiving is a day-long celebration and feast, for both Americans and Canadians alike. The US holiday is on November 22nd but isn’t usually celebrated here in Sweden. However, I’m finding that a lot of restaurants, turkey suppliers and other Americans are trying to import the tradition more and more. Which, of course, I think is great. When I usually explain my family’s traditions for the holiday, a lot of Swedes find that what happens on the day is very similar to what happens for them on Christmas. And, who could ever argue against having a second Christmas?! πŸ˜‹

I suggest you grab your friends and/or family here in Stockholm and find a way to have a meal, share what you’ve been grateful for this year, and celebrate with us turkey-and-pumpkin-pie-crazed northern Americans! The day should hopefully leave everyone with full bellies, a sense of family (or community), and enough warm and happy vibes to get you all the way through the cooling temperatures of the season— until Christmas. 

If you can’t get around to hosting your own feast or finding an event (like the one Henrik and I did, that I will try to post more about later) you should at least go to a fun restaurant with a festive Thanksgiving dinner menu. I have found a few places that are celebrating the holiday in Stockholm this year, and have listed them below. If you are interested, I recommend booking your table at any one of these places as soon as possible. I hope you all enjoy this list and have a super happy Thanksgiving this year! πŸ¦ƒπŸ‚πŸ—πŸ§‘πŸ’›

Here are my recommendations to have a Thanksgiving dinner out in Stockholm:


Low and Slow Smokehouse
Luntmakargatan 98
Thursday, November 22nd (by pre-booking only)
Reservations made by email: bbq@lowandslow.se
Two-course meal for 350 sek per person.

Main course: smoked turkey, candied jams, green beans, stuffing, a kale, and cranberry salad and cornbread. 

Dessert: pumpkin pie!


Yellow
Jakobsbergsgatan 23
Thursday, November 22nd 
Reservations made on their website: http://yellowsthlm.com/thanksgiving/
Three-course menu for 495 sek a person

Appetizer: pumpkin soup with cream cheese, pumpkin seeds, and cranberries 

Main course: stuffed chicken, a side baked sweet potatoes filled with bacon, jalapeños and cheddar, a side of yellow beans with caramelized onions, chicken gravy, and cranberry sauce. 

Dessert: Pecan Pie, caramel, marshmallows, candied pecans, and chocolate


Austin Food Works
Norrtullsgatan 24
Thursday, November 22nd, 23rd and 24th
Reservations made on their website: http://norrtull.austinfoodworks.se/
Three-course menu, no price listed yet

AFW will be publishing more about what’s on their menu a little closer to the date. Stay tuned to their @austinfoodworks Instagram account for more info.


Kitchen and Table
In the Clarion Hotel Sign, Östra Järnvägsgatan 35
Thursday, November 22nd and 23rd
Reservations made on their website: https://kitchenandtable.se
Three-course menu for 495 sek

Appetizer: foamed pumpkin soup with pumpkin cream flavored with vanilla, sprinkles on panko fried rosemary, egg 63, roasted pumpkin kernels, pickled chili, peeled rose pepper, roasted pumpkin 

Main: turkey “to share”, lemon and thyme gravy, Karl-Johan mushroom cappuccino, roasted root vegetables, sweet potato, carrot, cabbage, fried green kale 

Dessert: apple pie burrito, dates, crumble of mixed nuts, apple chips, custard sauce 

Coconut Banana Pancakes

Happy "Fars dag" (Swedish Father's Day)! I thought it was a good time to share my favorite "Coconut Banana Pancake" recipe with you all—just incase anyone wants to suprise their dad with a heavenly short stack on his special day. These pancakes happen to be gluten, dairy and refined sugar-free, but are so good that no one would ever even notice the difference. Henrik, my partner, thinks that they may even be better than regular pancakes. And, he's a pretty tough pancake critic. I hope you all enjoy them as much as we do!

I have listed the ingredients in both American cups and Swedish measurements. This recipe makes about 16 medium-small pancakes and could serve four people easily.

"Coconut Banana Pancakes"

Dry ingredients:

3/4 cup (60 grams) coconut flour
3/4 cup (120 grams) gluten-free flour mix—I used “Lailas Mjölmix Glutenfri” 
2 tsp (2 teskedar) baking powder
1/8 tsp (about 1 finger pinch of salt) 

Wet ingredients:

2 tbsp (2 matskedar) organic honey
2 tbsp (2 matskedar) organic maple syrup
1/3 cup (70 grams) coconut oil for in the batter 
+1 teaspoon (1 tesked) coconut oil set aside for frying later
1 cup (2 dl + 2 matskedar) unsweetened non-dairy milk
1 medium sized banana 
1/4 tsp (1 krm) real vanilla extract
6 medium to large sized eggs  

1. Sift the gluten free flour mix if you can, this helps prevent clumping in the dough later.

2. Whisk all dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl.

3. In a small pan at a very low temperature add the honey, maple syrup, coconut oil and non-dairy milk together.

4. In a small bowl mash the banana until somewhat smooth and then add to the pan. Once the coconut oil looks like it has melted and the only chunks in the batter are from the banana, remove the pan off of the stove to cool for a minute.

5. Whisk 6 eggs in a small bowl until well mixed and add them to the pan—When you do this, make sure the liquids in the pan are just slightly warm to the touch (not at all hot) because you don’t want to cook or scramble the eggs!

6. Then, pour the wet mixture into the dry ingredient bowl and mix well. Try to make sure there are no lumps left in the batter with dry flour. 

7. Heat a teaspoon (tesked) of coconut oil in a non-stick frying pan on medium-low heat.

8. Use a small to medium sized scoop and spoon your pancakes into the pan at your desired size (I used a Swedish "glögg" scoop and it made perfectly sized pancakes).

9. When very small bubbles begin to form along the edges, or the pancakes firm slightly, then it is time to flip them. (The first two pancakes are always a mess, so try not to judge your skills until the end.)

10. If the first two pancakes are too thick for your liking, you can add a bit more non-dairy milk (or even water) to the batter to thin them out slightly. Gluten free flour mixes tend to vary, so you many need to adjust the liquid amount slightly. 

11. There is no need for more coconut oil or butter in the pan after that first teaspoon. Pancakes actually come out smoother and more perfect looking, when there is less oil or butter in the pan. So, just scoop your next pancakes into the pan and repeat the process until you are out of batter.

12. When finished, serve with whatever toppings you like! 

Some suggested toppings: more bananas, coconut shavings, butter or margarin, jam, maple syrup, powdered sugar, peanut or almond butter, berries, chopped nuts, coconut “whipped cream”, ice cream, sprinkles, Nutella or chocolate chips.

A few of our family's tips for making perfect American pancakes:

Tip #1: My grandmother always used to serve her pancakes with melted butter in a little pouring dish (that was heated on the stove or in a microwave). We used to pour our butter on top right before the maple syrup! I now sometimes do this with vegan butter.

Tip #2: My mother always stirs in a bit of extra melted butter into her pancake batter, to make them extra moist. I haven’t done that in this recipe, but i’m guessing it would work well for all pancake recipes. Let me know how it goes if you decide to try it!

Tip #3: You can always add even thicker banana chunks, other berries or fruit (or even chocolate chips!) to the batter right before frying, to give the pancakes a little something extra. I haven’t done that for this recipe before, but I imagine it also works well with all pancake recipes. If you dare to try this too, let me know how it goes and comment below!

Falling in Love with Fall Markets

Who doesn’t love fall? You have to be a psychopath or something, to not feel any joy at the turning of the season. Yes, I’m totally going to be one of those cringe-worthy people boasting about their love of fall right now. I have no shame. There are a million reasons to go crazy for it (and it’s almost over, so we have to celebrate it as much as possible, while we still can). I love the colored leaves, the sweater weather, the pumpkin spice everything (even the pumpkin spice haters), apples, scented candles that smell like food, the actual food, etc. I could go on for days, but I’ll spare you. 

Other than baking up a storm and lighting scented candles that smell like dessert, I had been really looking for something fun to do in Stockholm this time of year, that really felt like a seasonal celebration. Back in the states, my family used to take my sister and I to a pumpkin and apple farm for a whole day. We would pick out our Halloween pumpkins, drink warm apple cider, take a horse-drawn hayride, walk through corn mazes and purchase homemade sweets in a little old-fashioned country store. If we were lucky, we even got some caramel apples and cider donuts to take home with us. Those days made up some of my best memories as a young kid.

I searched around a little and realized that pumpkin farms aren’t a real popular thing around the Stockholm region. If you go down to the south of Sweden, it seems to be a bit easier to find one. Maybe it has to do with the climate down there or something? A pumpkin farm outing was out of the question unless we wanted to take a very long road trip. So, I had begun looking around at all the fall markets nearby instead (also known as a “Höstmarknad” or a Harvest festival "Skördefest" in Swedish). 

A couple of years ago, we went to the Skansen Autumn fair. It was well organized and had a good amount of vendors. I found a really good homemade jam stand that year. The Skansen festival is really a bit more than just a fall market. They have musicians and actors putting on a show at different times and everyone is dressed up in old-fashioned clothing. You must pay to get into the open-air museum, but then you also have access to a full day of fun activities inside (whether you stay in the fall market part of the park or not.)

More recently, we've gone to Zetas fall market. Zetas is a beautiful garden center and "White Guide" recommended cafe, just south of the city. The market takes place inside the venue and is free to attend. Unfortunately, I was a little late in looking it up, so we missed it this year. It was a really good event though and worth the trip. They had everything you could want; all the typical jams, fresh produce, and old-world food products one hopes to find at these type of events. I even saw a lot of fun craft items, clothing, and jewelry everywhere. The cute little red and white striped awnings over each booth made the whole market seem very fun and festive. It could possibly be my favorite one so far!

This year we decided to try something new. There was a fall market happening at a castle called Ulriksdals Slott (”slott” is Swedish for “castle”). I have a huge love for visiting castles, ever since my move to Europe. I find them absolutely fascinating to see in person. Especially since we grow up without that type of history around us in the US. Henrik, being an architect, also has a love of buildings that are both old and new. So, visiting castles and old manor homes has kind of become a little thing that we do together. (Which, is why we’ve even chosen to get married at one next year!) So, you can guess at my level of excitement, to see that one of the local castles was holding a fall festival.

Ulriksdal’s fall market was small but nice. It didn’t have as many vendors as I was expecting, yet it was fun to visit none the less. I think the most exciting part was really just to be outside in such a beautiful park on a sunny crisp autumn day.

The castle itself held guided tours (only in Swedish, unfortunately. However, they do happen to have English ones in the summer). At 1:00 pm and 3:00 pm, the small beautiful chapel nearby had a free music event going on as well. There were even cute little pony rides for children at 50 SEK a turn, making this quite the fun family event.

I think my favorite part of this festival was that it was in walking distance to Ulriksdals Trädgård; a garden center with a self-picking field, greenhouse, gift shop, and cafe. The cafe makes excellent vegetarian food and fika desserts year round. Often, using organic ingredients they grow on site. It’s one of my favorite escapes just north of Stockholm city. We frequently come here to pick vegetables and flowers in July and August too and it's absolutely wonderful.

On the day of the market, we all ended up walking over to Ulriksdals Trädgård and getting the best lemon meringue pie EVER! Hands down, THE BEST. Henrik always goes crazy for it. I have begun to consider it a favorite of mine as well. I’m a bit sensitive to dairy and gluten, so I can only have things like this in really rare amounts (I’m currently living by the 80/20 rule), but the pie here is so worth the sacrifice. This is truly one of the best fika places in town. (If they had a barista that could serve specialty drinks—like a latte or cappuccino—I would say it was “the best,” but still waiting on that.)

I would say this was the perfect picturesque fall day that I had been hoping for. Even the long hike back to our car and finding a delightful parking ticket on our windshield couldn’t spoil the mood. It was a great way end to the season. 

If you have any tips for other good fall markets or activities in the Stockholm region, please leave a comment below!!! I would love to hear more about what everyone else has been doing. πŸ‚

Have Your Cake and Eat it Too!

Thursday evening my Fiancé, Henrik, and I went to a wedding cake consultation at Patisserie Sthlm, along with our wedding planner, Anna from Rental Stories (who has been so totally awesome through this whole process!) We couldn't have been more pleased. They were so great!!!

It's actually been a little difficult to find an American style tiered wedding cake baker in Stockholm—Sweden's wedding cakes, though beautiful, usually have display stands with a big pole going through them, that I'm personally not a fan of (see Haga bakery's image below).

I also noticed that a lot of Stockholm bakeries (Haga included) only have a few pre-set flavor profiles to choose from. As deliciously awesome as bakeries like these are, not allowing for customization of the inside of a wedding cake isn't optimal.

My preferences really narrowed our options in the search for the perfect wedding cake baker. On top of that, all the American style cake bakers we initially liked, seem to keep moving away! First, we were really interested in Thora's Tårtor, but she was in the process of moving her shop down to southern Sweden. (If you are in the south, check her out!) Another suggestion by Anna, Sherry Bakery, also decided to move to Canada! LOL! It was beginning to get a little discouraging.

We had at least a few good options left to contact. One of our favorites was Liv Sandberg. She looks like she makes perfectly beautiful cakes. However, we wanted to cover our bases and look around at all the vendors first. I initially emailed Naked Cake (twice) and they never even bothered with a response—now, it looks like they've even removed the wedding section off of their website. Henrik and I went in person to Sthlm Cupcake, without our wedding planner's knowledge, which was a little dumb. Wedding planners really know their shit and ours would've probably told us not to go. Henrik and I were predictably unimpressed. Chokladfabriken also looked like a good option. They had American style wedding cakes, but again, only two flavor profiles to choose from on their site. Our planner also suggested The Craving Solution, which looks perfectly adequate, but maybe a little rustic for my taste.

By a stroke of luck one day, I was scrolling through my Instagram and landed on one of Sweden's famous influencers, Kenzas', images of her 1 year wedding anniversary cake. (See a picture of it below.)

Just like that, I found Patisserie Sthlm! Anna, Henrik and I traveled a little outside the city center to a suburb called Barkaby to get there. It's in a completely newly built area of the city. So new in fact, that there is still a ton fencing, dirt and construction materials everywhere. It's located right across the street from a large dirt covered fenced-in plot of land, probably reserved for future buildings to come.

We showed up a little earlier than when our appointment was scheduled, right as one of the owners was walking inside. We had planned to kill some time by walking around a bit, but she spotted us right away and warmly welcomed us right in. They immediately led us to a little cute couch arrangement and offered us some refreshments. I have to give them some props for putting their logo thoughtfully on all of the water bottles. Nice touch ladies!

My first impression of the interior was a little surprised. Walking in, it felt like we could be inside a nice apartment of any one of the young girls that worked there. I think I was initially expecting more of a bakery feel. You know, with the traditional style counter and pastries on display, etc? Which, I guess is silly, because they're really only a custom order and special event kind-of-place. So, there isn't a need for that traditional kind of set up.

I immediately asked to use the restroom and saw all the cute girly touches of pink everywhere in there. Even the cleaning products were pink—including a small heart shaped sponge sitting on the edge of the sink. Which, I noticed while washing my hands with their equally girly pink-ish floral scented Victoria Secret style soap. I began wondering when my love affair ended with all that was pink and girly. Was it in my 20's? No Idea. I was also immediately made aware of my age (I'm in my 30's), but more importantly, of how really impressive these girls were. I mean, to already own their own business and have the level of success they seem to be having, is really just so amazing. It makes me wonder about what I have been doing with my life. Haha!

After our initial discussion, they provided their three most popular flavors for us to taste. They were all fantastic! The raspberry mousse was delicious. Anna was partial to the chocolate mousse. Henrik and I were really huge fans of the lemon option. I knew Henrik would love the lemon because he usually goes crazy for lemon meringue pie, but it really was just SO GOOD that I couldn't resist either. I can really see why these are considered "the favorites". They said they were also open to any other custom flavor options we wanted. Which, as you can guess, sold me on the spot. Although the lemon was so good, we might just end up going with it as is. Haha!

I had heard Megan Markle's cake (below) was also lemon curd, but with elderflower buttercream. Which, not only sounds amazing, but kind of Swedish too! Don't you think? Elderflower is a really popular thing here. I might just have to copy her. She is a fellow American-European expat after all. The girls at Patisserie Sthlm agreed to look into it and some other Swedish inspired options for our next tasting. So excited for that!

I am also getting married at a royal castle, Rosersbergs Slott (below), so it kind of feels appropriate to do as the royals do. Right?

After the tasting, we got down to business and discussed the bakery's capabilities. Could they accommodate gluten-free or vegan guests? Yes, Check! Could they accommodate a gluten-free and vegan guest? They thought so (but are going to look into it further). Could they ship to the castle? Yes, check! All was looking good so far.

We began discussing the size of our cake, and what it could look like—because It needs to be big enough to feed 124 people. It was then suggested that they possibly make us an extra large "fake cake", and we just have sheet cake for serving the guests. It was explained that the “fake cake” could actually have one real layer on top, for the cutting ceremony. Which, I thought was really smart! They said if we choose that option, then they could really make look our cake look however we want. I thought that it was absolutely amazing of them to suggest that.

They also showed us a little sample of what else they can do for dessert tables, wedding favors and the like. There was a small tray of a few items laid out. How cute are some of them (below)?!

They offer so many other things on their website than just wedding cakes. They have macaroon and strawberry towers, Cream tarts and cookies, just to name a few. If you have a celebration of any kind coming up, go to www.patisseriesthlm.se to see more! Also, check out their super pretty Instagram account @patisseriesthlm. I'm already a huge fan of this place and I haven't even ordered my cake yet. LOL! But... "Dun dun dun dunnnnn", I think we may have found a winner, people!!! I will definitely update Y'all again after our next cake appointment. I have a really good feeling about this place. <3

Until next time,
πŸ’–KramarπŸ’–

CocoNUTS!

I'm officially crazy for coconut yogurt!

I am lactose intolerant and a firm believer that milk products are inflammatory, so I haven't actually had real yogurt for breakfast in forever! I'm so glad the world is changing, with all of these great dairy alternatives now. There have been a few dairy alternative soy products in Stockholm for a while, but soy is a bit controversial healthwise (especially when it comes to your hormones,) so I've been trying to avoid it. Now, that coconut yogurt has FINALLY hit Sweden the past couple of years, I can totally jump on the trend full-time and recommend it wholeheartedly!

I have hunted down all the kinds of coconut yogurt in Stockholm that I can find. The availability seems to have grown a lot over this past year. So far, my favorites are The Coconut Collaborative at ICA Liljeholmen (pictured above,) Abbot and Kinney's from The Good Store and Garant Eko Kokosghurt Naturell from Mat.se. I always recommend to go for the unflavored natural kinds, to avoid any extra added sugar—you can always put in honey or fruit to flavor it to your preference later.

Because of this new addiction, I have even attempted to make coconut yogurt on my own, in the oven. That didn't really turn out as planned. Somehow, it got contaminated and turned pink. 😝 I'll spare you all the grossness and not put up a photo of that mess. Apparently, making coconut yogurt is actually a little hard. Everything has to be super sterilized, so no unwanted bacteria can creep in and ruin it.

Since then, I have purchased a yogurt maker from Kitchentime.se (for only 249:-,) thinking it would be easier. It has just been sitting around for a while, waiting for me to use it. Out of fear of growing pink bacteria again, I haven't quite found the time yet. Haha! 🀣 But, I'm about to pick a day sometime next week to attempt this process again. I will, for sure, update you on my progress. Cross your fingers for me (if you are Swedish: hold your thumbs!)


This alien looking thing is the yogurt maker I purchased πŸ˜‚

Does anyone have any tips on buying other good dairy-free yogurts in Stockholm?

How about making coconut yogurt at home? I could use all the tips I can get. Comment below!!!!