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10 posts from January 2014

January 30, 2014

'Monthly Art/Photo Space' at ScandiKitchen: Artists wanted.

We've got a few empty walls where we like to ask artists and photogrpahers to display their work. We usually change artworks every month or so.

This is a last call to be in with a chance to be February/March artist.  

Send a few examples of your work to iloveherring@scandikitchen.co.uk and we'll chose the artist or photographer we feel is best for the space.

The few simple ground rules are:

- The art work comes to us frame and ready to hang, ideally no larger than 40 x 80cm.  We can accommodate up to 4 paintings or frames.

- The work MUST be either by a Scandi artist or photographer OR someone depicting Scandinavia in some form.

- The write up about the artist has to be no larger than A5 - we can add this on the wall next to the frames

- We will not sell or be responsible for any sales of the art work - all comms about the art work will need to be on the A5 note including contact details

- When the art months is up, the artist is responsible to picking up the art work again.

- We accept no responsibility for damage etc to any works - we will do out best to keep things nice, but the items are hung here on owners responsibility.

- No moving of nails or hooks - we have only what we have here and can't start moving nails around

- Please, no frames that are massively heavy, it is just a basic wall.

Other than that, it is up to you.

Ps - please dont send massive images by email. Small example versions of your work is good.

WIN a box of our favourite liquorice selection

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To celebrate our liquorice week at ScandiKitchen, we're giving away a selection box of our favourite liquorice.

The lovely gift box contains:

Tyrkisk peber (both normal and firewood), Johan Bulow No 2 Salty, Franske Saltpastiller, Skolekridt chalks, Salty fish, Super Piratos, Lakrisal, Marabou Black Chocolate, Skipper's Pipes and Djungelvrål.

Want to win a selection of our Top Ten?  You better like licourice, then. Or know someone who does.

To be in with a chance of winning, answer the following question:

Salmiakki is a word originating from which language?

a)  Norwegian

b)  Icelandic

c)  Finnish

Email your answer before Midday Wednesday 5th Feb 2014 to iloveherring@scandikitchen.co.uk  – usual rules apply. No cheating. No cash alternative. 

Liquorice: A mini guide.

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LAKRIDS, LIQUORICE, LICOURICE... 

We Nordics have a favourite pass time: to try and get non-liquorice lovers to taste the stuff we enjoy eating by the bucket load. We cannot comprehend why you do not enjoy these (usually) super salty and often peppery sweets.

To be fair, we are aware that liquorice is one of those tastes that have to be developed over time. The enjoyment of liquorice (to us) start in the sweetie shops when we’re kids and it grows over a great number of years. By the time we’re adults, we’re so accustomed to the taste of salty liquorice that we can eat the liquorice-equivalent of crack and still think straight. Most likely, we can consume bags at the time.

First, the nature bit: Liquorice comes from the liquorice root. It’s a plant that has medicinal powers known for centuries. Admittedly, commercial liquorice isn’t that similar to the root. However, did you know that pure liquorice is actually 20 times sweeter than sugar? 

Liquorice is popular all across the world but especially in Europe.  The further North you go, the saltier we like it.  The Nordic countries as well as the Netherlands, seem to have developed the taste for the particularly Strong Black Stuff. Many believe this is because the salty/sweet combo is very much part of our food heritage.

When you talk about Salty Liquorice, what we usually mean is Salmiakki.  The word Salmiakki is a Finnish word and we prefer using that because the actual word is Ammonium Chloride, which doesn’t sound so nice. Ammonium Chloride is a powder that taste like salt, but isn't really actual salt as you know it. It’s this stuff that gives some of our liquorice the distinct edge of saltiness. But let’s just call it Salmiakki, shall we? Or saltlakrids, if you want to be specific about it.

The way to start appreciating liquorice is to start with the mild stuff then slowly move towards the saltier varieties, much like you would when enjoying spicy foods.  There are many varieties of liquorice – from the gourmet to the less gourmet, from the mild to the super strong… Where to start? 

Here’s our mini-guide to some of our favourite liquorice – and a guide to the strength, as measured in good old skulls.

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Our favourite has to be the gourmet liquorice by Danish maker Johan Bülow. When we say gourmet, we really do mean gourmet: hand made using the finest raw ingredients. Not strong, just very fine liquorice.

No skulls - this stuff is very mild, although Liquorice number 5 does have a good kick at the end as it has added chilli.  For beginners, try number one - the sweet one.  

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Tyrkisk Peber.  The most infamous of Nordic liquorice, these babies come in the original super hot flavour (boiled sweets with a peppery inside).  We also love the Firewood selection: chewy, but less strong. Still, we rate both as 3-skull due to the consistent salmiakki delivery while eating.

if you get hold of a few bags of the blue one, crush the sweets then add them to a bottle of vodka. Leave for a week or so to marinade - and voila! A very salty pepper shot. Also know as 'Little Grey Ones' in Denmark ('Små Grå). 

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Lakrifun / Skolekridt.  A firm childhood favourite, these little sweet 'chalks'. The liquorice centre is sweet with a slight hit of salt. Coated in a white sugary glaze. A great sweet – most people will admit to liking this after a few tries. 1 skull

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Djungelvraal – literally, JungleScream. Sweet liquorice covered in salmiakki. Initially the shock is a 3 skull taste – but quickly you will realise it is just the coating. If you can take the initial ten seconds, you can join the club. The rest is easy.

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Marabou Black – yes, chocolate with liquorice in it. Also available in the Salmiakki version by Fazer. Eating chocolate and salty liquorice together is something only true lakriphiles do. The liquorice enjoyment is long, drawn out and constant. Not strong, just very liquorice.   Is it really called lakriphile?

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Lakrisal -little liquorice powder tablets. A bit of a kick, but nothing serious.  A good salmiakki starter. 1-2 skulls.

 

Tyrkisk 

Super Piratos – salty liquorice coins. Actually, this is the extra salty version. If you can eat this, you’re in the club. 3 skulls.

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Franske Saltpastiller – French salt pastilles. Also a good beginner at 1 skull strength. Blue and white coated sugar sweets with slightly salty liquorice inside. Chewy. Not really French; doesn’t even know how to ask for directions to the nearest Metro. 

 

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Liquorice pipes – under threat from the EU and might be banned, the pipes are sweet and not strong. And a bit fun, too.  One skull strength. Great for starters and for pretending you are some kind of weird liquorice pipe eating pirate or sailor. 


Salty_Fish copySalty Fish – those Swedish Fish, but the liquorice version. 1 skull strength with a nice salty finish. A good beginner fish.

We're celebrating a bit of a liquorice week at ScandiKitchen Cafe starting 31st January.  Pop by and have a few tasters, chat to us about the strong stuff and get advise on what to try. We'll be most happy to try and help you develop your own liquorice addiction.

Click here to shop for liquorice in our online store.

 

January 23, 2014

Five easy ways to use Lingonberries at home

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With all the chat in the media about the amazing Nordic Lingonberry and how it fights off the fat, we thought we'd give you a few ideas on how to incorporate more Lingonberries into your day to day.

Lingonberries come in several forms. Firstly, fresh - this is very hard to get hold of outside the Nordics. Secondly, you can get it frozen (right here) and thirdly, in a jam style jelly (the most common form). We also love Lingonberry cordial and juices.

In Scandinavia, Lingonberry Jam is used a bit like cranberry sauce is in the UK: with savoury dishes. We love a good dollop of lingonberry jam with our meatballs, for example, or game dishes. Some people do use it as a jam on toast as well, but it is mostly used as a savoury sidekick.

Five nifty ways to add lingonberry to your daily foodie routines:

1) Lingonberry porridge. Make a simple porridge of oats, water and milk. When it starts to thicken, add a good handfull of frozen lingonberries. Keep stirring until they are incorporated and heated through. We serve this lovely 'pink porridge' at ScandiKitchen all the time. It has a slighty tart taste to it. Add sugar if desired. We also love it served with mixed seeds on top.

2) Add frozen lingonberries to your morning smoothie or juice. Because it is not a sweet berry, best pair with sweeter fruits. We think it works quite well in a banana based smoothie - add a pinch of cinnamon too and a squeeze of orange.

3) Easy red cabbage salad: Sliced raw red cabbage, diced pears, a dollop of lingonberry jam and creme fraiche to lightly coat. Season with salt. Add berries for extra tartness. 

4) Use Lingonberry jam (along with extra berries) on top of a sweet cheese cake.

5) Make a soft gingerbread cake ('Mjuk Pepparkaka') and add a cup of lingonberries to the mixture. Alternatively, make a vanilla buttercream icing and add a handful of lingonberries before spreading on a cake. 

Enjoy!

Tuut tuut, that's our trumpet blowing... And our recipes.

We were in S-Magazine in The Sunday Express last Sunday.  

Starring roles to our open roast beef sandwich, Jansson's Temptation, Vasterbotten Pie, Kladdkaka, Marte's Kale & Grape salad and the infamous Apple Cake that we serve at the cafe.

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Lingonberries - the new super berry

Ahhh, we knew it already, but now the cat is out of the bag: Lingonberries are the new super berry according to researchers at Lund University. 

Read the article here 

It can be very hard to get hold of Lingonberries in the UK - but we stock them frozen at the cafe in 500g packs. Perfect to keep a stash in your freezer so you can add a handful of berries to your morning smoothie or on top of your yoghurt or cereal.

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Recipe: Semlor - Swedish lent buns

Fancy baking some Semlor? This amazing cardamom buns stuffed with marzipan and whipped cream. We enjoy these mainly on Fat Tuesday (Shrove Tuesday) - but also in the weeks leading up to it.

Here's a nice recipe.

If you can't get hold of the 50% marzipan (you can get it at our place and also on Ocado), you can use a UK marzipan, such as Waitrose 25%. It will not be as almondy, but it works).

We've tested this recipe with both fresh yeast and dry active yeast (comes in a little tub) - if using the latter, you should add the granules to the warm milk.

Get a PDF of the recipe here

If you cant be bothered baking, we're baking daily at the cafe until Easter, so pop by and get your bun-fix.

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January 10, 2014

January's artist: Åsa Wikman

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We love our wall downstairs in the cafe. Most of all, we love that every month, we have lovely new amazing art work displayed there. From photography to paintings and illustrations.

This month belongs to the brilliant illustrator Åsa Wikman.

You can see more of Åsa's work here

See her lovely display at the cafe all of January.

Do you fancy being having your art work displayed at ScandiKitchen? Here's your chance.  Each month we pick a new artist to decorate our wall.  

We have a few rules, though:

- The art work comes to us frame and ready to hang, ideally no larger than 40 x 80.  We can accommodate up to 4 paintings or frames.

- The work MUST be either by a Scandi artist or photographer OR someone depicting Scandinavia.

- The write up about the artist has to be no larger than A5 - we can add this on the wall next to the frames

- We will not sell or be responsible for any sales of the art work - all comms about the art work will need to be on the A5 note including contact details

- When the 1 months is up, the artist is responsible to picking up the art work again

- We accept no responsibility for damage etc to any works - we will do out best to keep things nice, but the items are hung here on owners responsibility.

- No moving of nails or hooks - we have only what we have here and can't start moving nails around

- Please, no frames that are massively heavy, it is just a basic wall.

Other than that, it is up to you.

To be considered for February's Art Person, send some suggestiosn of your work to bronte@scandikitchen.co.uk.

We'll let you know by mid January if you're the chosen one.

Ps - please dont send massive images. Small versions of your work is good.

Asa2

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WIN tickets to Nordicana Film Festival 2014

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We are so excited: Nordicana is BACK in London on 1st and 2nd February 2014.

This year the event takes place at the Truman Brewery in East London and they have everyone there this year. From the stars of The Bridge to (Sofia Helin and Kim Bodnia) to Sidse Babett Knudsen from Borgen - and even Wallander himself: The one and only Krister Henriksson.

You can get your hands on tickets HERE - but be quick: they are going to sell out, we're pretty certain of that.

We're very lucky to have been given a Weekend Pass for the whole event as well as a signed The Bridge DVD.  Want to be in with a chance to win this fantastic prize?

Just answer the following question:

The Bridge referred to in the title of the programme is the bridge between...

a) Sweden and Norway

b) Denmark and Sweden

c) Norway and Denmark

Answer by e-mail to iloveherring@scandikitchen.co.uk before Tuesday 14th January 2014 at noon. Usual competition rules apply, including no cheating, no exchange of prize, to cash alternative. Winner chosen at random from correct entries. Winner will be notified by e-mail.

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January 02, 2014

Cinnamon buns: A perfect way to start the year.

This is a basic recipe for cinnamon buns.  Try this and then adapt to suit you: Less sugar, more sugar, more butter (can you ever have too much butter?), vanilla sugar in the filling, no egg, a whole egg, thinner roll out, nuts, marzipan...  If you're going to make cinnamon buns, get a hang of the recipe and then start making it your own.  Use your hands for the kneading and get a feel for the yeast dough and really learn how to work it. We even know someone who uses Messsmör in the filling (soft, spreadable brown cheese) - and it is delicious.  Slightly unorthodox, but still: he made the buns his own and they are lovely.

We'd love to know what you do to your buns to make them yours? 

Downlod the PDF here  Download PDF of the Cinnamonbuns Recipe Here

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