Baking kanelbullar aka Swedish cinnamon buns (#Recipe Post)

Just when I thought things couldn’t get more Swedish… I invited the lovely menjagtyckerinteomkaffe to take a big step towards Swedishism and make kanelbullar (cinnamon buns). What makes the Swedish way tasty for me is that they are lagom sweet and not drenched in sugary icing.

Actually when I had my first bulle (sweet bun), it was my first time tasting cardamon spice. Now I look forward to its taste every time I order a bulle for fika!

Alright let’s get to the good stuff!

 

Recipe for cinnamon buns / kanelbullar recept

RECIPE FOR KANELBULLAR AKA SWEDISH CINNAMON BUNS 

Ingredients (Makes 30-36):

For the dough:

 100 g butter

500 mL (2 cups) milk

50 g fresh yeast

2 mL salt

125 mL (1/2 cup) sugar

5 mL cardamom (crushed seeds)

1.4 L (5 1/2 cups) flour

1 egg for wash

pearl sugar for topping

For the filling:

100 g butter, softened

100 mL sugar

15 mL ground cinnamom

Directions:

1. Melt the butter and mix with milk in a mixing bowl. Bring the mixture to 37 degrees.

2. Stir yeast into the mixing bowl and until it is dissolved. Add salt, sugar, cardamom and 1L (4 cups) of flour. With a paddle mixer or by hand, blend it well into a smooth batter. Slowly add just enough of the remaining flour until it stops sticking to the bowl and hands. Sprinkle a little bit of flour over the dough, cover the bowl with a tea towel and let it rise. It should take 20-30 min to double in size.

3. In another bowl, blend together the ingredients for the filling until smooth. I prefer brown sugar for this.

4. Flour a large surface to prepare for the kneading and rolling out of the dough. When the dough is ready, work it for a few minutes in the bowl and then move it onto the floured surfaced. Lightly flour the dough and begin kneading until it is no longer sticky to the surface or hands.

5. Split the dough in two and roll out each half into a rectangle until 0.5 cm thin or less.

6.Spread the filling onto 2/3 of the rectangle lengthwise. Take the uncovered end and fold it over the middle third, followed by the other end over the middle… kind of like a brochure =)

7. Cut dough into 2-3 cm wide strips (and 25-30 cm long) along the long side. Twist a strip and then roll it into a bun, and there you have a kanelbulle! Refer to the photos below, or check this video.

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It’s always nice to bake with a friend! 🙂

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8. Once they’re all rolled up, cover again with a tea towel and let the buns rise again before baking for approx. 20 min.

9. As they’re rising, set temperature to 200-225 degrees C and the racks in the lower half.  After rising, brush the buns with the egg wash and sprinkle pearl sugar (or other toppings of your choice). Bake for 5-10 min depending on your oven.

10. Cover with a tea towel as they cool down.

11. Take a fika pause and enjoy them with a coffee!

Lycka Till! ~ Good luck!

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Job search and the Swedish summer

Are you struggling with how to find a job in Stockholm right now? Well I hear ya… I’ve been searching for awhile and now that it’s the summer time, it seems like even fewer jobs are being listed. Are you screaming WHY IS IT THIS HARD? Well it’s likely because (almost) everyone in management is on vacation right now. It’s strange that these jobs keep popping up, but no one is there to answer your calls or return your emails right?

In Sweden, workers have the right to up to 5-6 weeks of vacation a year. Most opt to take vacay starting from June – Mid Aug, and because of this there is little business happening, so the general trend is to take vacation this time. The most popular time to take is mid July – mid Aug. So, hang in there… don’t give up! I’m trying to maintain my positive attitude and enjoy the swedish sun, and you should too!

So it’s probably not you, and just the timing of vacations.

For the travelers, this is why you see a lot of shops, eateries and Cafes closed… but there are still many options!

Enjoy the lovely weather in Sweden everyone!

Swedish one time grills

Now that the summer heat appears to be more lasting, there will surely be even more grilling happening. Sometimes this even happens…*gasp*… spontaneously in Sweden!
Swedes love to grill once the sun is out and the warmth is right. You’ll see this at each park you go to and also see people cooking things out of small aluminium boxes. These are called engångsgrill which translates to one-time grill.

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This things are truly amazing because:

  1. They don’t require storage space, cleaning or buying coals
  2. They are inexpensive and found in all grocery stores
  3. They are lightweight and no butane tanks needed
  4. There are specific waste bins for these grills at parks
  5. You can have a spontaneous BBQ in the park!

However, it’s best to buy ones with the holes on the side as this makes the igniting process a whole lot easier!

If you buy one without them, worry not as you can always poke your own holes on the sides 🙂

Please remember to keep the parks clean and take all your garbage with you if they don’t fit in the bins!!!

Any other countries have this amazing product???

 

 

Midsommar – the best Swedish holiday!

When I first visited Stockholm two years ago, I was on my way to celebrate the most important holiday in Sweden – Midsommar!

carolina_romare-midsummer-1779

I wasn’t sure what to expected, because it has a reputation for being the only holiday all Swedes celebrate with a lot of drinking, traditional foods including a lot of fishy foods, drinking, dancing, singing, and more drinking!

Here’s the down-low on Swedish Midsommar!

http://beta.quiet.ly/list/share/62418-the-tradition-of-midsommar

Day 101: Swedish men in tights

Everyone here in Stockholm runs. Whether it is morning, ,late morning, lunch, afternoon, evening or night, there will always be a swede running by you or walking with ski poles in their hands. I think it’s a great thing to see such an active society and especially being one where men are running in tights ALL THE TIME.

thebestofmenblog.blogspot.com

from thebestofmenblog.blogspot.com

Now back in Canada and US, men in tights is a no-no… so it’s funny to see men exercising out and about, so comfortable in their tight pants.

shorts and spandex!

Shorts and spandex!

 

 

 

 

 

Usually if a guy is wearing spandex of some sort, it’s under a part of shorts. But here in Sweden, the men are comfortable and it makes for some good eye candy. However it also makes me wonder about my own bum and thighs… but at least now I can enjoy my version of the view that men have enjoyed of women in yoga pants and leggings!

So if you are visiting Stockholm or other parts of Sweden and you see men in tights… it’s normal! The man you see running in tights didn’t lose a bet nor necessarily a very high performance athlete. He’s Swedish and serious about being as aerodynamic as he can possibly be!

MAN-OF-STEEL

The Swedish man hair bun

Swedish men have beautiful hair. 

And it’s probably because they are constantly fixing their hair and making sure all sides are in place. They are so confident with their flowly blonde and light brown locks that it makes me feel so conscious about my fly away hairs. I have never seen so many men with ‘long hair’ as here in Sweden… and of course they experience the same problems as anyone would with long hair… it can get in the way or fly into the face at the most inconvient times.

So how do men deal with this? The man bun.

You may have seen this beautifully worned by such celebrities as Chris Hemsworth, Jared Leto (he’s a actually a whole different type of long haired beauty), and of course Sweden’s modern day god Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Zlatan is Sweden’s greatest football player http://e1.365dm.com/12/06/660×350/Zlatan-Ibrahimovic-pa_2781565.jpg

I wonder if it is because of Zlatan’s popularity that 60%* of Swedish men have the man hair bun…

The man bun here in Stockholm is seriously flawless. It puts my own was sexy messy bun to shame and now I try to avoid wearing my messy bun out of the house. It just cannot compete with the Swedish man hair bun!

So ladies how do you feel about this man hair bun? hot or not?

And the men? have you or would you?

Here’s an article + tutorial for those interested: The man bun

 

*- not a real statistic…just merely observation

The Liebster Award Nomination

LIEBSTER AWARD NOMINATION

Oops so this is long overdue… I have been nominated for the Liebster Award from two amazing ladies: Hu’s that girl and The Mauritian Geographer. Thank you for the nominations ladies!

Usually, selected bloggers are to answer 11 questions about themselves, but since I’ve lacked, I’ve got double duty! At the end of this, I will nominate 4 more bloggers and 11 new questions!

I guess it’s time to learn about me… who I was before becoming an expat and who I am now that I live in Stockholm.

From Miss Tina of Hu’s that girl:

1. When you were little, what did you want to grow up to be?
I have a terrible recollection of my childhood and it’s so spotty BUT I do remember saying that I wanted to be a pharmacist in grade 6… HAHA… What were you thinking back then little Jocie?
2. What was the first  country you wanted to travel to?
Hmm from childhood?

I am thinking maybe to Hong Kong because my mom’s family is all there and we would speak to my grandma regularly…and they would always try to tempt me by asking what I wanted to receive as gifts – the true Asian way! Or perhaps to Disneyland or Hawaii (yes I know those are not countries) because everyone around the age 7-8 started going to those two spots.

3. What WAS the first country you travelled to?
Without counting my immigration to Canada as a baby… The United States of AMERICA! I went to Disneyland when I was 8 and recall that each Disney character had a lot of difficulties using the pen I had for autographs… wasn’t a clicky but a twisty…
4. Peanut butter or Nutella?
Peanut Butter. Nutella is so yummy too but I never eat spoonfuls of it… I easily do that with peanut butter! *oink*
5. Favourite Spice Girl and why?
I went through phases but I think I will always like Geri the most! Best hair and attitude in music videos!
6. Did you have an imaginary friend and if so, who was s/he?
I always talked to myself or took at different personas while I was playing but I don’t think I ever had a friend that would have their own seat and eat at the dinner table.
7. Are you still in touch with your first best friend from your childhood?
Yes! Jess since elementary ❤ I will never forget how silly we were as little girls and still today haha. You are the best no matter how near or far we are from each other! It gets hard sometimes with work schedules and now timezone conflicts, but still in contact  and am so grateful!
8. Favourite late night snack to binge on?
Popcorn!
9. What do you miss about home the most (other than people)?
Asian food… it’s getting to the point where I really miss sushi and pho!
Also reasonable priced cocktails like a CAESER! Gosh that would be heaven in this Swedish summer!
10. Favourite way to waste time?
It has got to be looking at recipes and foodporn!
11. What’s your favourite spot in the current city/town you live in?
Another tough one! There’s a sweet little spot on Lilla Essingen and this is the view:
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Thanks for your questions Tina!
Now for the next 11 questions fromThe Mauritian Geographer:
1. What was the thing that made you happy today?Sleeping in, in my comfy bed! After traveling for two weeks before in Italy and this past weekend out of town.. there is really nothing more comfortable than sleeping and waking up in your own soft and fluffy bed!2. If you could be anywhere right now, where would it be?

Visiting my family and friends at home… it’s been almost 7 months now since I moved and long to visit for some homecooked foods, reunions and also bringing over my cute shoes/clothes haha

3. If you could take three items and one person with you to an isolated island, what and who would they be?

My meatball, there’s no one else that could probably stand being stuck on an island with me than him haha!!! What to bring?

A volleyball that can also function as a football so we can become an allstar team, a guitar as we will all the time in the world to figure out how to play it and create songs, and lastly a yoga book so I can attempt to master it!

4. What is that one thing on your bucket list you think you’d never cross off?

Riding a motorcycle on my own

5. Describe your ideal vacation spot.

Anywhere with excellent wine, sun and a great view!

6. Which period in history do you wish you could go back to, and why?

The roaring twenties and to attend Gatsby like parties!

7. What’s your favourite time of the day?

In the evening when I’m sitting lazily on the couch or out in the park next to my meatball … and the screaming kids have stopped screaming in the neighbourhood… 😛

8. Which book or film has marked you the most?

Not sure… I’m sure I have been influenced by all I’ve read or seen. I have a memory like a fish sometimes… when I novels or watch movies, I only remember about half of the details… Maybe The Lion King!

9. What is the most embarrassing thing you’ve ever done?

Oi… really there have been many… I just try to shake these off and live life 🙂
10. What’s the craziest thing that has happened to you during your travels?

I had a pleasant neighbor a plane ride to Stockholm once… I guess he enjoyed my company and decided to treat me to the train ride into the city and then his private driver drove me to my hostel……. all out of kindness!

11. If you could change one thing in your past, what would it be?

practiced swimming more! I’m such a bad swimmer now -.- ……. makes swimming out in the open and cliff jumping a little more scary.

So there you have it… a little more about me!

And now for my nominees!

Menjagtyckerinteomkaffe

Sunny District

Travel Morgan Travel

Liene Goes To Sweden

Here are my 11 questions for you all:

1. Why/what inspired you to start your blog?

2. What is your favourite comfort food?

3. What is a something you would like to do/accomplish by the end of the year?

4. Chocolate or candies?

5. What is your favourite animal?

6. Describe your favourite memory or place from your travels.

7. What is your favourite quote and by whom?

8. Describe yourself in three words

9. Where would you like to visit on your next travel?

10. Name one of your favourite fictional characters from film/book or TV.

11. What is your personal mantra?

Looking forward to your replies!

 

Let’s talk coffee

Lately I have been having conversations about Starbucks with friends, and once in awhile I do find myself yearning for a soy caramel Macchiato from Starbucks or even a plain ol’ Grande Pike Place.

For those who aren’t very familiar with Starbucks (some way, some how…), Starbucks coffee revolutionized the way North Americans have coffee. Having a coffee really means drinking a latte thanks to Starbucks.

Here in Europe, the selection of ‘coffee’ has not been Starbuckized, unless you treat yourself to real Starbucks everyday (Whopping $7-8 each cup!). In order to satisfy my milky filled coffee cravings, I am now ordering cappuccinos regularly or drinking black coffee… as a true European would…

  • Coffee is enjoyed black or with little cream
  • There are no absurdly long customized coffees announced eg. Nonfat-extra caramel-extra hot-triple shot caramel latte
  • A macchiato is an espresso shot with a tad bit of milk

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Sweden’s big chain (or one could say their Starbucks) is Espresso House. Thankfully, this chain is a very good replacement for Starbucks for me as:

  • Each location has such a cosy interior and make for a great place to enjoy fika with anyone – personal or for business
  • They have great coffee and cappuccinos, oh and the best chai latte I’ve tasted so far in Stockholm!
  • A cool hipster feel and satisfy my need to feel like a Vancouverite with a take away coffee in one hand, my yoga mat in the other and my leggings/yoga pants on

Yes coffee isn’t cheap in Stockholm, but at least you aren’t paying a ridiculous price to prove your affluence as in China! The average is easily $20 for a western coffee there!

Anyone else out there feeling the withdrawal of Starbucks?
Now time for a coffee break! 

Sweden’s National Day – June 6

Today is the Swedish National Day!

Fun Fact: It was only made a public holiday in 2005.

Actually, most Swedes don’t think too much of this holiday or at least it seems that way due to the responses from tv interviews and from hearsay here in Stockholm. There are celebrations held at Skansen where some Swedes dress up in traditional clothing and another festival in the park, but not everyone is hyped up as I expected them to be.

In Canada, we all love to celebrate Canada day by wearing everything red and white with maple leafs and singing our anthem. It’s probably the only time of year many Canadians drink Molson Canadian beer! We like to check out the local parades & festivals, start the BBQs at 10am, and have the drink olympics… hmm after that description I know why people call us hosers!

In Sweden or at least in Stockholm, the National day is treated much like a regular day off. I did not see much blue and yellow clothing or people with flag capes… and then I realized that Swedish has been a kingdom/country all along. They were never colonized by anyone nor did they have to claim independence in anyway. I guess that’s why they don’t ‘go all out’ to celebrate the National day…

So how did I ‘celebrate’?

I enjoyed the best Swedish food chain – MAX in the middle of a park in the city while soaking up all the sun that I could. Quite Swedish if you ask me! 

MAX – The fast food in the world!

 

BUT FEAR NOT … The true party weekend is coming up in a couple of weeks – MIDSOMMAR!!! That is the day when all Swedish shenanigans happen!

I’ll be sure to share the traditions on my blog ahead of time so you can prepare for it.

I’ll love to hear about other national/independence day celebrations. Share if you have a story!

Italian women

I recently learned through observation and eavesdropping that Italian women are in fact very strong characters.

One really can’t boss these ladies  around! When they don’t want to do something, they won’t do it.

This is an admirable quality to me, since I sometimes find myself doing things that I don’t really want to do. I need to ‘stick to my guns’ sometimes and this has inspired me to do more of that in the future. I’ll get to learn more about Italians when I am there next month- EXCITED!

I know this has nothing to do with Swedish life, but thought I’d share this observation.

Loving Expat Life!

I think one of the greatest things about living in Stockholm is the cultural mosaic of this city!

Yes I come from Canada, where there’s no real definition for what is ‘Canadian’ , yet I realized that minorities are becoming the majorities and pushing out other cultures…

However that’s not the case in Stockholm. I have been very lucky to have made some great friends here so far, and through them I am meeting more and more people from all over Europe, Middle East and Asia! At the same time the Swedish culture is very present in the city and I have even done *the impossible* and met some Swedes outside of friend circles!

It has really allowed me to learn new perspectives, understand different cultural beliefs and leave all judgement behind. Everyone is so knowledgeable in their own cultures here and willing to share! This is easily becoming one of the best perks of being an expat and part of the expat  community! This is also a perk of going to SFI!

I’m even trying to learn a little of each language, although it might be not the BEST idea with trying to learn Swedish… but it’s all great fun, and I promise I’m learning more than just the swear words!

Some say Canada is a multicultural place, but I believe that the diversity is even greater in Stockholm!

Whats the point of this post?

1) Join different kinds of meet up groups!

2) Learn Swedish!