anna brones

writer + artist + activist

Posts Tagged ‘Swedish

New Book: “Live Lagom: Balanced Living the Swedish Way”

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Today marks the release of my new book Live Lagom: Balanced Living the Swedish Way. I love book birthdays because they are the ideal time to give a little backstory on the book and what it meant for me to write it.

Lagom is a Swedish word that doesn’t have a direct translation in English, but means something along the lines of “just right.” As the title of the book would have you believe, it’s a look at how the concept of lagom translates into various elements of Swedish society, and identifies some of the lessons that we might be able to incorporate into our own lives.

But you don’t need me to tell you what’s in the book; you can buy it to get that story! You’re here for the inner look.

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Written by Anna Brones

July 27, 2017 at 06:15

A Strawberry Cake to Celebrate Swedish Midsummer

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Summer solstice marks the longest day of the year, and that’s cause for celebration. This week is one of sunshine stretching into the evening, carpets of wildflowers in the midst of grassy fields, bare feet and picnic blankets.

For me, it marks the celebration of Swedish midsommar, which will be celebrated this Friday. The traditional midsommar spread of food is one of my favorites, featuring some of my favorite dishes like marinated cucumbers, pickled herring (which you can even use in a savory cake), and plenty of knäckebröd.

But my favorite part of midsommar has to be dessert. Strawberry cake is one of the most common desserts on the Swedish midsommar table, and it puts seasonal berries front and center. It’s a simple dessert, topped with plenty of whipped cream and bright red berries.

I like to make the cake with cardamom, and even marinate a few strawberries in honey and cardamom to use as the center filling. The cake is cut in half, so that you can layer it, but if you want to make an even fancier cake, consider making two of them and layering them.

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Written by Anna Brones

June 21, 2017 at 07:35

How to Twist Swedish Cinnamon Buns (Kanelbullar)

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When my friend Marissa asked if I might like to have a recipe from Fika: The Art of the Swedish Coffee Break featured on FvF, I immediately said yes. I like Marissa’s photography and since I rarely spend any time styling or photographing my own recipes I thought it would be fun to have someone come and do it for me. See, I am lazy in the kitchen!

Get a photographer in your (tiny) kitchen and you immediately realize how hard food photography and styling really is; I have a lot of respect for the people who make it look easy. But let’s be honest; there is nothing like someone doing the hard work for you. And it’s even better when you want to do a series of how-to photos. Instead of playing the awkward Tripod in the Kitchen with Self Timer Camera game, all you have to do is go through the steps and have the photographer shoot it for you. This is perfect for Swedish cinnamon and cardamom buns, which people often ask me how they should twist. Now I finally have a visual guide to share.

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Written by Anna Brones

June 2, 2015 at 12:50

Swedish Midsommar 101

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It’s summer solstice this week, which means it’s high time for Swedish midsommar, the best of holidays. Why? Because it’s a classic Swedish tradition that celebrates the longest day of the year, with food and drink at the center. In other words, an event to celebrate the sun. Put good food, a few glasses of aquavit and a table of friends together and you have yourself a party. Read the rest of this entry »

Pepparkakor: Swedish Gingerbread Cookies

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Love collaborating with Johanna of Kokblog on recipes. Her illustrations provide plenty of inspiration.

I grew up, every December, carefully rolling out gingerbread dough. In the early years, it was an awkward dance of pushing and pulling a rolling pin about half my size. Flour tended to go everywhere, and I would end up grinning with dough pieces stuck all over me. Yet my mother simply left me to it, and if I rolled too hard and the dough got stuck to the countertop, I was forced to find a solution myself.

Dust with flour, roll, pull up dough, flip over and repeat until just the right thickness to slice into with a Swedish cookie cutter. These cookie cutters were carefully kept in a large tin – which had at one point in the early 80s held Danish butter cookies certainly purchased at duty free on one of her connecting stops in Copenhagen. Hearts, pigs, Christmas gnomes, the classic gingerbread couple; I loved, and still love, sorting through and picking out my favorites. Feeling lazy? There were always theFranska Pepparkakor to make, a much simpler process of rolling out a log and slicing the cookies. In fact, if Swedish Jul for Dummies were a book, this recipe would be in it.

Full article + recipes here.

Written by Anna Brones

December 8, 2011 at 14:11

Love From Sweden: Lös Godis

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Lös godis: very much my one true love. Imagine this: an entire wall covered in all kinds of candy, from salted licorice to chocolate covered rum balls, all to be carefully selected and placed in a colorful bag.

Weigh it at the checkout, raise your eyebrows when you realize how much was actually in that bag, and then smirk internally when you say to yourself, “who cares, it’s Saturday!” Then take it all home and pour the lös godis into a bowl where — for maybe for a few seconds — you enjoy the multicolored glory. But soon it’s all consumed, an empty, wrinkled bag with a fine layer of sugar your only remnants.

Love From Sweden: an ongoing travel photo series to capture the essence of Sweden. 

Written by Anna Brones

July 5, 2011 at 14:25

Semlor: Sweden’s Fat Tuesday Celebration

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This week marks Fat Tuesday. Which in Sweden means it’s high time for semlor, a pastry full of almond paste and whipped cream. After all, it’s not called Fat Tuesday for nothing.

So honored that Johanna over at Kokblog (my new favorite food illustration blog) asked me to write a guest post for this favorite Swedish tradition of mine.

semla, also known as fastlagsbulle or fettisbulle, is a flour bun filled with almond paste and topped with whipped cream and powdered sugar. Historically the decadent pastry was intended for consumption on fettisdagen, Fat Tuesday. But in modern day, the tradition of semlor has gone far beyond just fettisdagen, allowing for Swedish pastry shops and bakeries to fill their windows with the baked good from just after the New Year all the way through Easter. Several months of pastry bliss.

Read the full post — with more fantastic illustrations and my mother’s recipe — here.

Written by Anna Brones

March 8, 2011 at 04:00