My recipes – All in one place

For many years, I have enjoyed cooking and baking. One reason could be because I like good food. But it is also logical, similar to programming. You have instructions you follow, but you can still modify them, as long as you know how different ingredients react with each other and with heat, liquids, etc. Cooking is a combination of programming, chemistry and physics. Perfect for a geek!

I often get questions about how I made a particular dish. Many of the recipes have been published on my blog, but I thought it would be easier if I simply collected them all in one place on my website. I have tried to convert all measurements to US imperial, most of them are originally using the metric system.

I plan to add more dishes here soon, so keep checking back!




Swedish Christmas buffet at IKEA

For us Swedes living abroad, the Christmas food is probably what we miss the most. IKEA, the Swedish furniture company, organize “julbord” at their stores, which is very popular with us ex-patriates. I just finished my yearly pilgrimage to Frisco, TX to have herring, salmon, meatballs and other traditional dishes.


I think most people don’t realize all the little special things they will miss when living in another country.
I like living in the US, but still miss Swedish food.


Healthy (and tasty) bread rolls from my youth

When I went to school in Sweden in the early 1980´s, it was (I believe it still is) mandatory to attend “hemkunskap” (translates into “home knowledge”, probably somewhat close to home economics). These classes were taken during 7th to 9th grade, and included cooking/baking, how to do dishes, washing clothes by hand, creating a budget and furnishing an apartment with a set amount of money.

A couple of years ago, my sister found a recipe I had written down on a piece of paper from when we baked bread rolls at school. I favored graph paper, not just for math but for all kinds of notes, as you can see in the scan below.

One interesting item is the note in the upper right section, next to the amount of yeast to use. Translated it says “Note: put it [the yeast] in first, otherwise mom will be angry.” Not long before I was supposed to bake bread using our break maker at home, and I forgot the yeast in the beginning, so I added it at the end of the baking process, with above mentioned result”…”



After I got the recipe, I tried to make the same rolls, and they actually turned out very tasty. As they are healthy, I wanted to share how to make them. I have made one change to the recipe above, I added a small amount of sugar for the yeast to consume, but I am sure it would also be very good using a little bit of honey.

1 cake of yeast (or 3 packets dry yeast, do not use RapidRise!)
8 dl (27 fl oz/3.4 cups) warm water (32?/90? for yeast cake, 37?/100? for dry yeast)
8 table spoons of oil
16 ml (just over 3 teaspoons) of salt
(optional) barely 1 tablespoon of sugar or honey
12 dl (5 cups) graham flour
4 dl (1.6 cups) wheat flour

Put the yeast in a big bowl. Add sugar and salt to the warm water, stir to dissolve. Add a little of the water to the years and stir to dissolve yeast in water. Add the rest of the water and the oil, stir well.
Add the wheat flour and the graham flour. Add half of it, stir well, add half of the rest, stir more. Add the rest little by little. When the dough is getting fairly solid, dump on a baking table and start kneading, adding more flour as needed.

When the dough is sticky but not wet, and well kneaded, shape it into a big ball, put it back in the bowl, sprinkle over some wheat flour and cover with a baking towel. Let it rise for 20-30 minutes. Don´t allow it to stand in a cool area or in draft/near an air conditioning vent. I prefer to put it outside, the Texas summer temperature of 95-100 degrees is perfect. Don´t let it get over 100 degrees, or the yeast will die.

After the dough have been rising (should about double in size) put it back on the table. Cut it in four sections, shape each part as a small loaf and cut in 6 pieces. Shape each of the 24 resulting pieces into a ball (don´t press too hard, you just want to shape them, not compact them) and put them on cookie sheets. Leave plenty of space between each, I usually put no more than 12 on one cookie sheet. Again cover with baking towels and rise additionally 30-40 minutes.

Bake the rolls about 7-9 minutes in 225°C (435°F). After you take them out, quickly brush each roll with cold water. Let cool on a rack. Smaklig måltid!



Tis the Season for Chili

Sunday I made a batch of chili. I changed the recipe some, and it turned out really good. I use Wick Fowler´s 2-Alarm Chili Kit as a base (about $1,68 in the grocery store), together with 2 lbs of lean ground beef (10% fat) and a few extra ingredients. The batch I made was actually double the recipe, so do not get confused by the pictures.


Chili3 Chili2

So here is how I make it:

* Brown 2 lbs of beef in a skillet with just a small amount of butter. Add 1/2 the salt from the kit. Dust the meat with some paprika powder and smoked chipotle powder while it is being browned, this makes the flavor penetrate the meat better.

* Drain the meat and transfer it to a big pot. When the meat is sizzling again, pour in a bottle of beer. I used Dos XX. Let it boil for at least 10 minutes (preferably 30+ minutes) under a lid. Make sure it does not cook dry.

* Add the rest of the spices, except the Masa flour. Then add two cans of Rotel Original (sometimes I use one Original and one Hot or Chili Fixin´s), a can of crushed tomatoes and 2 cans of light red kidney beans. I drain and rinse the beans to get rid of the sugary syrup they come in. Add a little bit of water, perhaps 2-3 oz, stir well and bring to a boil. I also add about 2 teaspoons of crushed garlic.

* Let it boil for 30-45 minutes while stirring frequently. Let it simmer for at least another hour or two. If the chili is too thin, mix the Masa flour with some hot water (1 bag to 1/3 cup water) and add to the chili to thicken it. Simmer for another 2-3 hours, stirring occasionally. You can also use a slow cooker (Crock Pot) and cook it overnight on slow heat. The longer the better, and the more the flavor goes into the meat. If you use a slow cooker, you can make it a bit more spicy.

Serve with shredded cheese, sour cream and corn bread. And a beer.




And yes, I know that real Texas chili does not contain tomatoes or beans. But this is how I make it, and an earlier version of this (without the beer) won a chili cook-off at my work. Note that I was the only non-Texan who competed”…”



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