anna brones

writer + artist + activist

Posts Tagged ‘Swedish

Preorder ‘Live Lagom’ U.S. Edition

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Earlier this year I wrote a book called Live Lagom: Balanced Living the Swedish Way, published by Ebury Press in the U.K. I am happy to announce that it’s hitting the U.S. market this December thanks to the wonderful team at Ten Speed Press.  It’s officially out on December 26, 2017 which means that you could consider it a belated Christmas present, or also, a kick off to the new year.

What is lagom? It’s a Swedish word that roughly translates to “the right amount.” In other words, not too much, not too little, just that perfect middle ground. It can relate to food, fashion, health, work, social life and beyond. I wrote a little more about the book when it came out in July, which you can read here.

The book is beautifully photographed by Matilda Hildingsson and Nathalie Myrberg and I like to think of it not just as a lifestyle guide about Scandinavian living, but a look at how slowing down and finding balance can help all of us.

Ask your favorite bookstore to order it for you, or preorder it online at your favorite indie retailer (mine is Powell’s.)

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Written by Anna Brones

November 10, 2017 at 07:00

Welcoming the Darkness

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It’s so easy to complain about the lack of light this time of year, particularly after we have set our clocks back and the afternoon succumbs to darkness even earlier. Yet with that darkness comes a beautiful quietness and stillness that’s hard to find at other times of year.

The Scandinavian way to enjoy this is to bring in lots of candlelight. I’ve been lighting candles both in the morning and the afternoon, a way to welcome the darkness instead of falling prey to it. In Finnish, “kaamos” is the world that refers to the time of year when the sun doesn’t even rise, yet there is still a magical lightness that covers the winter landscape. It doesn’t matter if you live in a place of pure winter darkness or not, candles and a pot of tea or a cup of coffee always help.

So in the coming weeks, invite a friend over and have fika by candlelight. (Here’s a recipe for sourdough cardamom buns, if you are in the mood for a little baking)

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A couple of Scandinavian classics featured in the papercut above: the Kivi candleholders from Iittala and a teapot and mug in the Unikko design from Marimekko. Kivi means “stone” in Finnish, and the candleholder is a gentle nod to the fact that so much of Scandinavian design is influenced by nature. The Marimekko Unniko design dates back all the way to 1964, when the company’s founder Armi Ratia declared that the company would never print a flower pattern again. Designer Maija Isola thought otherwise, and came up with this iconic poppy print that is still used today, over half a century later.

 

Written by Anna Brones

November 9, 2017 at 10:44

Recipe: Chanterelle Tart with Rye Crust

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In Swedish, chanterelles (and other mushrooms that can be found in the forest this time of year) are often referred to as skogsguld, forest gold. Cooking them up in a pan with a little olive oil or butter is as indicative of autumn to me as the changing colors.

I haven’t been out to harvest any chanterelles this season, but fortunately my friend Adam supplies a good stash, and I like sautéing them and serving on top of a slice of rye bread for a simple warm sandwich.

Another good way to put chanterelles to use is in a tart or quiche. I like making savory tarts because they are fairly straightforward and forgiving; just sauté up whatever you want as a filling, pour some whisked eggs on top and call it a day.

For this one in particular, I wanted a flavorful crust to pair with the earthy chanterelles, so I came up with a rye pastry crust. It’s made up of mostly rye flour and a little oat flour.

This is a cozy recipe, perfect for a blustery autumn day with flickering candles on the kitchen table. Leftovers will be perfect for breakfast the next day too, so be sure to save a few slices.

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Written by Anna Brones

November 2, 2017 at 10:42

Kanelbullensdag – Swedish Cinnamon Bun Day

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In Sweden, the cinnamon bun gets its very own day: October 4th. Celebrate with a fika today!

I like making cinnamon buns (and more importantly, cardamom buns) with sourdough. Here’s a recipe for sourdough cardamom buns with pear and hazelnut filling to try out.

Or you can try the traditional recipe in my book Fika: The Art of the Swedish Coffee Break. Check out #kanelbullensdag on Instagram for inspiration.

Written by Anna Brones

October 4, 2017 at 08:54

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