Tuesday, September 19, 2006

The Power Of

"The City of Angels" reminds me of the "Time Traveler's Wife." Unusually poignant love stories. True. Real. Based on something so incredible -- which most likely is what makes it so believable.

Sort of like encountering solid earnestness and remembering that, most of the time, what you see is what you get.

Which is exactly the point.

Eyesight, and the miracle of seeing, is completely within our subjective control.

So. Believe. It's just much more magical.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Le Free Ride: C'est Fini

Twelve years is a long time.

But at this point, not sure Goran Persson thinks so.

Mr. P was officially given the boot by 80% of the Swedish voting population. Well, he actually leaves his fancy-pants seat in March, but still, not sure he'll be able to rest on his laurels any longer.

Good-bye life-long unemployment. Hello, hopefully, some form of social responsibility. Adios leaving things be. Hola, embracing -- or perhaps just slowly acknowledging -- change.

Hejda Social Democrats. Hejsan Moderates.

Not sure I ever would have thought I would lean slightly more right than left. Keep in mind this is Sweden: the most non-stance-ical place on earth after Switzerland. This kind of "upheaval" can only be good.

Especially if it means the middle shrinks, if even by a smidgeon.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Bake It

We finally decided on veggie soup. Simple, delicious, and ideal for a chilly, 45-degree-evening. A few minced garlic cloves later, we realized the inevitable: no bread. Love bread. Adore bread. But honestly, the store-bought version -- while usually fresh -- is clearly not the same as a loaf pulled straight from the Viking oven.

A quick inspirational call to my sis, a few notes jotted on a sticky -- and the venerable Kitchen Aid had everything it needed to spin, knead and mold to its heart's content.

Here's how:

Mix the following: 1/2 teaspoon yeast, 1 cup flour, 1 cup luke-warm water. Leave alone for 15-30 minutes.

Next, add: 1 teaspoon yeast, 3/4 cup water, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 3 to 4 cups flour. Knead.

Cover with kitchen towl & allow to rise for 2-3 hours.

Divide dough into three equal parts. Form into baguette shapes. Place on cookie sheet. Use serrated knife to score. Cover with same towel for an additional 30 minutes, or so, depending how hungry you are. Dab loaves with water, place in 500-degree oven for 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown.

Serve -- with plenty of butter, obviously.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Breaking News

"Fast-food eaters underestimate calories," reports CNN.

"....over-weight people ... tended to buy larger meals," continues this fascinatingly 80-s-eque reminder of how *clueless* people are when it comes to food, fats and the fabulousness of friendly greens.

You can read the rest here.

Instead of waxing and waning on the benefits of cooking at home, shunning the unappealing burritos and "100% beef" patties purported to be "burgers" along highways across this *huge* land, I'll let you leap to your own conclusions.

But honestly, is it all our fault?

My brand spankin' new night-armour Nissan Xterra comes with super-size cupholders. Luckily, I'm Swedish. So instead of feeling forced down to Circle-K for a mega-slurpie, I'll use it to stash my spare clogs.

Kidding. Kinda.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006


It's going to sound decidedly obnoxious. Unappealing. But definitely not un-appetizing: I'm a culinary rockstar. No, really. Clearly inherited from my Cordon-Bleu-trained Mamma and fine-tuned, refined and unceremoniously polished by cooking dinners. Nightly.

If you're remotely connected to the addictive world of eats, you might remember that girl Julia from NY. She spent one year cooking everything from one of Julia Child's tomes. And while the latter J was certainly a whisk-bearing figure to be reckoned with, I was never that impressed with the former's resolve to cook recipes that were already developed. Imitate, if you will.

Instead, I'm a devout follower of the opposite. Read recipes for inspiration. But add your own whimsical pinches and dollops and at-will drizzles. It's definitely more fun. And delicious.

Need a starting point? Grab a salmon fillet. Marinate it. Garlic, ginger, OJ -- all good fish-flavor enhancers. Perhaps a dousing of balsamic. Spicy herbs. Sea salt. Pan-sear. Ideally in a grill-pan. Serve with blue-cheese-speckled risotto and steamed broccoli.