Saturday, November 22, 2014

creamy pasta sauce with asparagus and vegan ham

creamy vegan ham and asparagus pasta

I don't each much pasta but recently I've become very fond of this easy, creamy way of doing pasta sauce and just put whatever veggies and vegan proteing you have at home in it. It's delicious whatever you chose to add to the sauce. Today I went with vegan ham from Astrid och aporna (Astrid and the monkeys, same brand that makes my new vegan cheese favourite Jeezly) - not that I usually enjoy meat substitutes that imitates animal flesh in texture and flavour, but this is a rather nice product to vary the usual soy and tofu products with -  and green asparagus. It was such a great flavour and texture combination and I really need to eat more asparagus on a regular basis!

The sauce is made with Oatly oats milk - like in the green pea soup - a bit of flour for thickening, salt, pepper and whatever spices you might enjoy, left over Jeezly, let it simmer until thickened, add the vegan ham and asparagus (or whatever vegan proteinn and veggies you enjoy) and let it boil for a few minutes. Serve with pasta of choice.

Not much of a recipe I know. And I really don't work with any specific amounts of the ingredients when I do this sauce, but you get the idea and hopefully it'll inspire you to an easy peasy awesome animal friendly pasta sauce.

astrid och aporna vegan food products

Also happy that Swedish vegan food products now is fairly easy to find in food stores all over Sweden - this is Astrid and apornas soy steaks, Jeezly and top right the vegan ham I used called "strimlad sk*nka" (shredded h*m) - congrats to the consumers, the animals, the health and the environment!

Friday, November 21, 2014

little miss lens louse presenting ~ the november 2014 bath & body works batch

little miss lens louse and the bath & body works batch

There's something about Ztina. Whatever one's doing she's there within seconds taking it for granted she's a natural part of everything, everywhere in this residence. I strongly suspect she's a cat version of Little Loaf. Just more agile.

I will from now on call her Little Miss Lens Louse, as Little White, Sister Snow and such doesn't really capture her essence somehow.

She even, apparently, has a way of capturing a whole blog post which was suppose to be about the content of the special scent delivery the other day. Typical lens louse behaviour!

the lens louse and bath & body works

That said. I adore every single scent I got. Of which all was new to me and I had just hoped they'd be great given the descriptions on the Bath & Body Works website. And they were. I've only tried one so far, the one I had most looked forward to; Twisted peppermint. So much fabulousness in one bottle! If there was ever such a thing as heaven around Christmas this would surely be the smell of it. A body cream with strong and distinct scent of peppermint rocks (or polkagris as we call them in Sweden). Heart.

Of the six bottles two more are winter season / holiday traditions scents; Winter candy apple (body cream) and Sugar plum dream (body lotion) and the other three are summerish; Oahu coconut sunset (body lotion, similar to the Maui hibiscus beach one I adored last time), Pure paradise (fragrance mist, very Pia in scent as M puts it) and Endless weekend (body lotion). I have been saving on the Maui body lotion, but now I see, if not endless but many months of being swept in delicious fragrances before me.

And even if the weekend may not be endless, it is very welcome. Never mind I will spend some time working during it this time around too - because oh how I'm looking forward to the upcoming invoicing! And who knows how long this particular flow will last, even if I'm very much looking forward to working with stuff that makes my creative, compassionate heart truly sing I'm also immensely grateful for opportunities to pay bills/have fun and do something I do very well namely writing and copywriting. Now I'm just looking for that extra fullfillment and joy in my work.

So it's going to be a good weekend I'm sure. And above all, a very sweet-scented one.

Happy weekend one and all ~

Thursday, November 20, 2014

bread for different occasions

bread goodness

Searching for older blog posts about bread it seems I've written quite a few. I'm glad to report though that since the one I wrote in 2008 Sweden is swamped (at least in the big cities) with great (sourdough) bakeries. And I'm certainly not the only one who never buys bread at the supermarket anymore.

bread goodness

This dark rye bread with walnuts and sea salt I got the other day. I don't think I've bought anything from small bakery-chain / cafe Bröd & Salt (Bread & Salt) before but given the awesomeness of this loaf I will certainly return. Jam-packed with flavour and texture it tastes great with a dollop of butter and Jeezly vegan cheese for breakfast! Although, gently removing the sea salt before eating is essential, otherwise it's like eating a spoonful of salt straight up.

bread goodness

My CEO (ie me, myself and I) used to treat me to a soy latte/week or every second week. Since that's now a very rare thing the new treat is that I should have great bread for breakfast and most importantly; at least once a week I should have something really decent to look forward to when I take a fika break at home. Like a very nice bun or cake waiting for me in the freezer.

These two hit the spot on two different occasions this past intense work week, from one of my favourite bakeries Petrus, a sugar bun and a mumma (puff paste bun rolled in cardamom). It's important to have a bit of the health for the soul too.

What I don't use much these days is the ever popular breadbaskets. Looking at the old pictures of their immense feline popularity I might have to put them out for cats instead of bread again.

What's your favourite bakery/bread?

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

a little glimpse of sunshine

kungsängen train station

Welcome to the blog which seems to be a bit weather obsessed at the moment. Which isn't difficult to grasp given the gloom and doom of Swedish climate at the moment alas.

But today there was proof that there really are blue skies above all that dull greyness we call sky. And there was glimpses of sun. In other words euphoria.

And even my suburb train station - which I really don't like for many reasons - was a little bit pretty. Given the right light and the right mood.

borgs bageri

The "discovery" of a "new" cafe which was cosy, cute and with a fabulastic array of bread, cakes and buns teamed up with a great chat - ie the best illustration of the Swedish concept fika (I realised I hadn't created a lable/tag for that so better late than never now there is one) - also made for a really inspirational day overall.

And walking to the train home, at one of my favourite train stations, if not THE favourite, the late winter afternoon Stockholm was so very pretty, soaked in magic light. And life was more than alright.

karlberg station

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

a bag of happiness

a bag of happy

This is the special delivery of my day - a true bag of happiness. In the shape of the most deliciously scented lotions and potions from one of my favourite skincare brands Bath & Body Works. Which sadly still isn't available in Sweden. So I have to rely on kind souls from overseas bringing the bottles of goodness.

Every single bottle is of a different scent. And they all smell absolutely fantastic. I will reveal the content another day.

The special delivery person, who happens to be vegan, and I also had lunch at Falafelbaren as well as fabulous rawfood fika at little organic shop/cafe 8T8 - I think you can tell how delicious these chocolate treats were from the picture alone...

stockholm vegan

And she got the beanie. Despite the continous lack of sun it was a day of a very fine sort. It was a day to be grateful for.

Even if there's no hedgehog around to endorse the bottles of sweet scented things, like past summer.

bath & body works delivery

Monday, November 17, 2014

two hours of sun

wenngarn sunflowers

It's official. The month of November has so far only offered 2 whole hours of sun in Stockholm. Two. Hours. Sun. And not even cohesively. Although in this case I'm not sure that would have been better or worse.

The lack of sun and natural vitamin D was an issue in October already. It's really really bad for the mood and the overall well-being. And given I'm eating vitamin D supplements and other stuff plus overall decent food I'd hate to know how it'd feel if I wasn't. Another depressing effect of climate change.

Two months ago the sun was still generous. Not to mention four glorious months ago... Everything feels better with a reasonable amount of sun. There's sadly only so much cat cuddles and good cups of teas can do for the overall mood when the body and soul scream for sun.

How do you survive reasonably intact during this time of the Scandinavian year? Or wherever you might live with similar dark, glum weather?

wenngarn sunflowers

Sunday, November 16, 2014

friggs rooibos and green tea

green tea and rooibos

A week later I'm still swamped with work of the copywriting kind and a dash of other matters. Neither time nor energy for much else. Except drinking copious amount of fine tea. Behold two new Swedish teas from Friggs with superfruits I've found, one rooibos with raspberry and pomegranate (lovely!) the other green tea with sea buckthorn and mango (sounds lovley, but it's a bit on the weak side in flavour unfortunately).

Yup, they have been thoroughly paw inspected. By Little Miss Blue Eyes ie one of the Prosit sisters. It's impawtant that the CEO gets her food and drink properly approved too.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

the party dogs

the party dogs

Attended a family gathering (in celebration of someone's 85th birthday) today. And while other people seem more interested in talking to eachother and ooing over babies I am, as usual, not the least bit interested in those participants. I only have eyes for the dogs, or whatever animals attend the gathering.

Today I was so very lucky to meet, greet and cuddle with not only one or two but three party dogs! Above is Wilson, 4 year old bordercollie mix, supersweet and mild tempered. He found Anton, 2 year old french bulldog, a bit too much.

the party dogs

Fun and energetic he reminded me a lot of Little Loaf. But to be honest I'm not sure, would I ever get a dog again, I'd want one this *on* again. They get more philosophical with age, but still, more than a handfull of dog...

the party dogs

Last and least in age, 5 months old Timmo, Spanish water dog. Such a soft bundle of fluff and puppiness! I'm going to see him (and the rooster and chickens he live with!) next weekend. Hopefully in better light conditions then.

Every party would be a better party with furry attendees as far as I'm concerned.

Friday, November 14, 2014

a vegan beanie

pia k stockholm knitted beanie

Some years ago I bought this beautiful acrylic yarn in order to make a blanket for Little Loaf. I never turned the yarn into that blanket. And Little Loaf darling is no more. It may be a beautiful looking yarn, but its still acrylic and I don't enjoy non-natural fibers for knitting and crocheting so it's just been biding its time.

Recently I took part in a little Pay It Forward-challenge which consists in doing something nice for five people and hopefully these random five will do something nice for another five each and so forth. I think it's a really lovely, simple little idea to spread goodness with!

I decided to knit one of my usual beanies - ie not the odd-cat-eared one - since the yarn is kind of magic, acrylic or not, to be a part of this challenge. And I think it turned out really lovely. The reason for it being made into something else than a doggie blanket, despite me not liking acrylic yarn, is that the beanie is meant for a vegan. And hardcore vegans don't use anything that has to do with animals ie that includes wool. I'm hoping the receiver will enjoy it when we meet next week. And I also hope the person in question doesn't read this blog. If so, look away, look away, forget you ever saw this!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

eating out: falafelbaren

falafel stockholm

A really good falafel is hard to find. At least in Stockholm. But today I met what is most likely the best falafel I've ever had. In Stockholm and elsewhere.

Best overall falafel meal is still by far Hummus Bar in Budapest. Though as far as falafel itself goes, this one was super lovely, both in texture and flavour. Light and crispy.

The falafel and I met at popular hipster place (though I was glad to see there was a wide range of other guests too) Falafelbaren (The Falafel bar) and enjoyed a lunch together. Or at least I enjoyed the lunch, falafel was simply eaten.

I chose the falafel salad with halloumi. I know, I'm trying to eat vegan as much as possible but it was ages ago since I had halloumi and it looked so good. Sadly - or not! - it didn't taste much and it was difficult to remember why I've used to love halloumi. If there'll ever be a vegan version I'm no stranger to trying it of course...

The rest of the salad consisted of different mezes with flavour and textures that made the palate a very happy one. (Although carrot salad was no where near as heavenly as the Hummus Bar carrot and coriander one...)

falafel stockholm

My company chose luxuary falafel in pita bread and enjoyed it immensely too.

All food served at Falafelbaren is vegetarian. Most of it is vegan aparat from the cheese and egg in a couple of dishes. The rennet in the cheese is non-animal.

Already looking forward to my next lunch there!

Food - 4/5
Service - 3/5
Ambiance - 2/5
Value for money - 3/5

Hornsgatan 39

Mon - Fri 11 am - 7 pm (or until they run out of falafel)
Sat 11 am  - 4 pm
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