Thursday, December 31, 2015

happy new 2016

Looking forward to an exciting new year of personal and professional growth, inspiration and exploration, kindness and fun.

I don't do New Year's promises but I've made a list of 5 personal and 5 professional goals for growth in 2016. 

Also I will wear more circus nails, because life should be more quirky and less predictable.

Happy New Year, 
kind and caring
let's make 2016
a fantastic and compassionate year 
with less tears and more laughter!

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

the lady in unikko red

On the shivering last days of 2015 I finally found the red Marimekko Unikko umbrella that's been on my wish list for so long. And on sale.

When I got home the umbrella met its two red relatives, the fabulastic dress and the iPhone cover. An obvious case of the more the merrier. And a lovely way to round of the year.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

vegan ris á la malta

Ris á la Malta (Rice á la Malta) or creamy rice pudding is my only must at the Christmas table. It's easy to make and the vegan version is delicious. Here's the simple recipe of the classic Swedish Christmas dessert:

Ris á la Malta
4-6 generous servings

porridge rice for 4 servings
6 dl - 1L oat milk
2 tbsp caster sugar

1-3 tsp vanilla sugar
~3 dl whipped soy cream

For serving: 
raspberry jam or tinned mandarine

Boil the rice porridge according to the recipe on the package. Add the caster sugar when it's cooked. Let the porridge cool completely then add the vanilla sugar after taste.

Whip the soy cream fluffy and stir it in the rice porridge. The Ris á la Malta should be of a rather runny consistency.

Serve with jam or fruit of choice. My favourite is raspberry jam, but the classic topping is tinned mandarines.

Let the cats lick the bowls. After you've finished eating.

Monday, December 28, 2015

first snow 2015

December 28 was the day the first snow fell. Let's just put it very mildly and say that this is not the natural way of the world on these latitudes. Global warming did this.

I will now try and enjoy the beauty of it all and the extra light as much as possible (although to be honest I'd much rather go into hibernation and just sleep for a few months). And keeping fingers crossed there will be no nasty ice (good luck with that) and ridiculous un-professional excuses for train delays due to a bit of snow (good luck too).

The bobs that are new to snow are in awe of the fluffy winter wonderland.

The cats not so much. In fact they've gone into extra grumpy mode. After leaving some obligatory paw prints.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

2015 best nine

If you're a user of Instagram you might have noticed the hashtag #2015bestnine popping up in your feed recently. And you can make your own here.

Myself I thought that my best nine photos (ie most liked) would be a blend of cats, Berlin and food. But *surprise* it was obviously pretty much all about the cats - I'm sure they'll demand their own IG-account any day now... And since there will FINALLY be support for multiple Instagram-accounts soon, who am I to say no to that... - plus a Moomin lamps snap from Helsinki.

So, there's another proof that cats rule the world. And the internetz.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

lohas christmas gifts all the way, baby

This Christmas I went all LOHAS with the few gifts I gave away - organic, sustainable, high quality, durable, vegan and animal rights-ish. It felt good to give away extra thought through, kind gifts for a better world and I do believe the gift recievers appreciated them lots too.

Fjällräven Kånken backpack - isn't the colour gorgeous?! - and a membership in the fantastic Swedish animal rights organization Djurens Rätt (of which I've been a member since pre-school ie forever).

Planting trees on Borneo via Save the Orangutang-organization and a cutting board from Djurens Rätt.

Organic cotton, fairtrade shopping bag with a cute animal print from Djurens Rätt.

Favourite socks from Braintree Clothing in bamboo and organic cotton. I think they are fantastic, so much airier, softer and comfier than any other socks I've ever had. Lots of sweet colours and patterns, onesize for men and onesize for women. Plus really affordable. Ie great gifts for anyone.

How was you LOHAS giving/receiving this Christmas?

Friday, December 25, 2015

creamy brussel sprouts gratin with saffron

Simplicity in all its glory, I decided anyway on doing the creamy gratin with saffron side dish I've had on my mind since last year, with the brussel sprouts. And it turned out really lovely. The sauce is fantastic. Just remember to, unlike I did, use a smaller gratin mould so the pre-cooked brussel sprouts are completely covered in sauce.

Inspired by a recipe for brussel sprouts and tofu gratin in the vegan magazine VEGO, here's the recipe for

Creamy brussel sprouts gratin with saffron

500 g brussel sprouts
2 tbsp rapeseed oil
1 yellow onion
1-2 tbsp flour
2 dl oat milk
2 dl oat cream Oatly iMat
1 vegetable stock cube or equivalent
0,5 g saffron
white pepper, salt

Rinse and peel the brussel sprouts. Boil them in water for about 5 minutes.

Chop the onion finely. Fry in the oil until golden-ish. Powder flour in and stir. Add the milk, cream, stock cube, pepper and saffron. Let to boil while stirring and the simmer until creamy. Taste. 

Pour the brussel spouts into a gratin mould, cover with the sauce and put in oven at 225C for 15 minutes.

As I said, the sauce is wonderful and will work great for a flavourful, creamy pasta sauce too.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

merry christmas 2015 ~

This Santa isn't terribly pleased with the live in reindeer. But after a bit of different opinions we did settle the matter reasonably well, Ms Grumpy Santa and I.

Happy, kind, compassionate 
Christmas one and all!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

three sisters

Three photos that perfectly describes the three sisters characters, each adorable in their own way.

The littlest one, the half sister, loves her tree.

The redhead is always eager to inspect and play.

The great white snoopervisor and cuddles please. Like a boss. With paws.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

eating out - minh mat

There's a lovely, popular, little, Vietnamese, rather new restaurant in Stockholm called Minh Mat. The name is a fun wordplay in Swedish; Minh is the owner's name and Min = my, Mat = food.

I've had the uttermost tastebuds pleasure to have lunch there a few times now and it has always been a flavour and texture delight. In fact, after my first visit I wrote a Yelp-review and fave them a 5 without hesitating.

They only serve three noodle/rice dishes at lunch (from 11 am - 2 pm); one animal flesh, one seafood and one vegan with homemade tofu.

The tofu is great, one of the best I've ever had, firm for real and even a bit chewy. But the best thing with the vegan dish (obviously I'm not the least bit interested in the other two ones with inferior main ingredients) is the intense, multi-layered flavours. That lingers on long after lunch is eaten, chili, garlic, coriander and more, mmm... 

The dish always come with a little bowl with homemade soy sauce that  is simply amazing. So full of flavours and nothing at all like the, I know now, plain and dull ones you get in a bottle from the supermarkets.

The interior is fresh and adorable, the service friendly. I'm looking forward to my next lunch, but I'm also very much hoping I'll have an opportunity to have dinner there sometime soon. The vegan evening menu looks mouthwatering and it would be fab if we could all order different dishes and sample from eachother.

Monday, December 21, 2015

beautiful brussel sprouts

This Christmas I'll make a vegan creamy brussel sprouts gratin with saffron, saw the recipe last year but never got around trying it. Sounds delicious so I just have to this year!

What's your favourite brussel sprouts recipe?

Sunday, December 20, 2015

on advent fourth 2015

I always find it curious that advent fourth sometimes take place well before Christmas, but here it is.

And with a heartbreakingly ominous climate change temperature - +14 degrees C in December, on these latitudes. That's simply not right, not right at all. Poor planet and atmosphere, the human kind has not treated you well. 

This year's fourth candle is for you planet, you can most certainly thrive without humans, we can't without you.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

saffron semla 2015

There, the one and only saffron semla of the year has been devoured. And it was rather a nice one, even if the almond paste inside was of the cheap and too sweet kind (ie nor at all as the perfect one I make myself *insert link to recipe*). The bun itself was good and saffrony.

But yes, one of this type of semla a year suffice.

Saffron semla from Fabian Flink bakery in Enköping.

Friday, December 18, 2015

happy 4th birthday, prosit sisters!

Four years since these two darlings were born. The start was a bit rough (or possibly it was just me being of the worrying kind...) but after that they've been such a joy and delight. With some nuisance and tykeness thrown in of course. But mostly cuddles and purrs.

Dear Ztina and Zigne, you are the perfect poster girls - and board members extraordinaire - for Prosit Ord & Bild AB. Happy birthday you two, and many many many more to come!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

we should all be feminists

This is one of the best books (novella) I've read recently. In fact ever, since it's such an important read. For everyone, women and men alike.

'We should all be feminists' is an adaption of Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche's TED talk. An it's brilliant.

The novella has been given to every second year high-school student in Sweden. A fantastic initiative I hope will follow suit in schools and workplaces all  over the world. Because to be enlightened and a feminist is to be a part of the worldwide kindness revolution this world of ours is so in desperate need of.

And because we should all be interested in and work for a better, fairer world. I could quote many oneliners from the book but I'll settle for this, what we all want - 'A world of happier men and happier women who are truer to themselves.'

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

jurassic world and other movies

Of these three movies I, surprisingly, enjoyed 'Terminator Genesys' the most. Arnold - and this was well before his brilliant statements on sustainability - is such fun! Well-made action.

'The second best Marigold hotel' was just a bit blah, tired and disappointing. Adored its prequel, this not so much (despite lovely actors).

'The Babadok', another disappointment. Sure, a bit scary in parts, but far from as special and well-made I'd expected.

Enjoyed these three actually. Well made action all. And 'Antman' was quite clever and hilarious too.

'Mission Impossible: Rouge Nation'. Great action. Even though the annoying fact that the two Swedish actors spoke Swedish but obviously didn't have Swedish names or was from Sweden. Ridiculous.

'Jurassic World' - what I most enjoy with this one was, naturally, the obvious nudge to Sea World and other hellish zoos all over the world were humans exploit animals. Sooner or later the natural world will strike back. I just wish it didn't always have to endure so much suffering and pain for so long before that happens though... Great special effects and beautiful scenery.

What's the best movie/s you've seen lately?

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

quick vegan fajitas

Unlike many Swedes I'm not at all a fan of tacos, but I love a good vegan fajita or tortilla. But it shouldn't be greasy or cheesy, I want it fresh with emphasis on vegetables and flavour.

Over the years I've stir fried minced soy with yellow or red paprika and lots of garlic. Served with tortilla bread, lettuce, salsa sauce and creme fraiche with even more garlic.

Though since the vegan oat fraiche contains palm oil I shy away from that these days - plus to be honest I don't think it adds a lot to the dish anyway.

But then the other week M came up with the idea to only stir fry the minced soy - from Swedish brand Hälsans Kök (The Health's Kitchen) who recently have launched vegan products (they used to be ovo lacto vegetarian products) and this one is really great in flavour and consistency - with the garlic and then serve it with the fresh vegetables like lettuce, tomato, cucumber, corn plus salsa sauce.

And wow, it was quite a revelation! So much fresher and tastier. Plus it's great and healthy fast food. Very moreish. And homemade guacamole plus black beans would be awesome toppings too. Next step would of course be to make my own salsa sauce...

What's your favourite ingredients in a fajita/tortilla?

Monday, December 14, 2015

christmas card swap 2015?

If you are interested in taking part of the annual, 
lovely tradition of swapping Christmas cards
give me a holler
ie leave a comment in this post 
send me your address to piaktw (at) gmail (dot) com!

PS. Every single one of the cards will of course be paw approved. DS

Sunday, December 13, 2015

happy lucia 2015

It has been a simple, lovely little Lucia. And third Advent. With the usual Ms Candle Snoopervisor.

The very unusual meet cute with Kalle Kamel (Charlie Camel) at the neighbourhood Christmas fair - I've been so excited to finally meet him, he lives with a camel friend in the vicinity and makes appearances at local fairs - and he was such a gorgeous, fluffy fella. Star of the day.

And the day was rounded off with one of my favourite home-cooked meals: a perfect vegan, fajitas dinner. Very fresh and moreish.

Hope your Lucia has been full of sweetness to ~

Saturday, December 12, 2015

a scrumptious december breakfast

Behold today's lovely lovely breakfast at darlin' Älskade Tider retro cafe - the first time I had a sweet waffle and not a savoury wraffle and it was delicious. A befitting for the season saffron waffle with  red berries and cinnamon cream. Together with a cup of chai rooibos tea it was a perfect start of the winter day.

M had a banana split waffle and enjoyed his very much too, even if he would have liked more bananas for perfection.

Älskade Tider opens at 10 am Mon-Sun and is usually pretty full by 10.30 on the weekends. Today it was surprisingly slow at least until we left at 11.30, which made the breakfast even lovelier. I adore empty or slow cafes. 

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