Some weeks you have a freezer full of meat to use, other weeks the grocery store has great deals and then there are these weeks. This week I had a few things of mince in the freezer and some sausages and no good deals at the store. These weeks though force me to step away from my usual meals and through in something like fish pie or when Mr. H is working late just have a vague idea and decide when I am ready to cook.
Monday – Chow Faux Mein
Tuesday – Something with rice
Wednesday – Fish Pie
Thursday – Baked Potato Soup
Friday – Nachos
Saturday – Danish Sausages, Mash with Lingonberry
Sunday – Lasagna and Garlic Bread
Now that I am writing this up and I am sad this is not on the menu this week! Whenever I have a lone egg in the fridge I usually mark it for some meatballs, and as it happened when I went to make these the first time I also had some crushed pineapple needing to be used so I added it on a whim and it actually made the dish!
1 lb ground meat – I used beef but I think turkey would be really good
Breadcrumbs – about 1/2 cup
1 garlic clove minced
1 tsp ground ginger
salt and pepper
1 tsp soy sauce
pinch of red pepper flakes
Teriyaki Pineapple Sauce:
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 cup water
1 tsp fresh grated ginger
3 tbsp brown sugar
1 minced garlic clove
2 tbsp corn starch dissolved in 1/4 cup cold water
1 cup crushed pineapple – if you do not want pineapple pieces you could just use 1 cup pineapple juice
What to do:
Combine meatball ingredients in a mixing bowl. Scoop into balls and place on a lined baking sheet. Bake for about 15 minutes at 180 C.
While the meatballs are baking combine water, soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, pineapple and ginger in a pan, bring to a boil stirring constantly.
Add corn starch mixture to pan.
Continue stirring while the sauce thickens.
Add the mostly cooked meatballs to the sauce covering them and let simmer till fully cooked and infused with sauce.
Serve over rice or noodles.
Yes that is a pretzel bigger than my hand! On Friday we ventured out to the International Food Fair and had such a fun time seeing all the food to buy and getting some treats for home. The giant pretzels were one thing I had set out to get so after strolling around and before the rain came we grabbed one then headed to our favorite coffee place. Mr. H was not so sure they would like us bringing in outside food but luckily a hidden corner spot was open so we snacked on pretzel as we had our coffees and did some supreme people watching.
Reading: This week was not as bookish as last but I did manage to finish two books:
I love The Cat Who books for a lazy day in and read that one last Sunday, I also love that I can read them out of order with no consequence to getting confused later on. Now this Agatha Christie was wonderful and a bit different than her usual Poirot story, sadly the copy I was reading fell apart but it has green tinted edges so I might try to do a Christmas craft with it.
Listening: To Cat Power The Covers Record. I put it on yesterday as I was fixing lunch and about halfway through eating Mr. H looked up and said to me “you sure do like depressing music” and I was so confused because to me it is so lovely but that is music for you everyone will feel different about it.
Thinking: I might break out the Halloween decorations today. At the start of September I put out the neutral pumpkins but a feeling ready for the skeletons and ghouls now.
Smelling: Tea, we ran out of coffee last and I opted to not buy more this week and have regretted it all day. Why o why would I not buy more coffee???
Wishing: I would have been able to attend my friends wedding last night but I am trying to not dwell on how sucky it is sometimes to live thousands of miles away from friends.
Planning: Christmas presents, we want to bring a few things that are reminiscent of Sweden and then I think I will be making the rest.
Wearing: The weather has been all over the place this week making me so annoyed when dressing. If I had a better autumn coat I guess it would be easier but as it is I am just having to layer and make sure to have a scarf.
Loving: Game competitions, this week we did a three day Skip-bo competition. I lost in the last hand so horribly but it is always fun and now that I am home alone today I am missing it.
Feeling: A tiny bit jealous, on Friday Mr. H gets to go to a fancy restaurant in town and have lunch with his class. Sure they have to discuss mental health care at some point but still free lunch!!!
Watching: Yesterday while Mr. H watched Manchester United I watched Catching Fire finally and was so happy. I got all comfy with my pillows and a plate of cheese and sausages and managed not to cry once. I am now hoping that when we get to California the next one will still be in a theatre for me to see.
I had been looking at short hair pictures on Pinterest for months and thinking that when we go to California I will get it done. Then last weekend we went to a favorite bar of ours and the waitress that we always comment on how cute she is and has great style had the haircut I really wanted.
I was like but that is what I wanted to do and of course sounded really lame and jealous but she took my haircut.
Then on Tuesday Mr. H woke me up by telling me there was frost on the ground which meant that I would have to blow dry my hair before going out which I loathe doing.
So I figured it is not like I know this waitress personally, I can do what I want, and it is just hair so I cut it.
I brushed it back into a ponytail securing it about the length I wanted and cut away.
Since there was a few remaining layers from my haircut in June 2013 I just needed to trim it up a bit after blow drying it and am really happy with it.
Now it is in no means perfect which is slightly annoying Mr. H but he will just need to deal with it!
Change just feels so good sometimes and a change involving not dragging around a head of spilt ends is one of the best.
Speaking of changes some will be coming soon to this blog that are very exciting!
When I did this weeks meal plan it was very cold and grey out so it is jam packed with comforting and totally not healthy food!
Monday – Mince and Mozzarella Italian Pasta Bake
Tuesday – Chicken Stroganoff with Rice
Wednesday – Chicken and Broccoli Puff Pastry Pies – never did them last week
Thursday – Pork Chili and Cheesy Fries
Friday – Crunchy Tacos and Refried Beans
Saturday – BBQ Chicken with Ranchero Rice
Last week I had curry on the meal plan but all that day I was not in the mood for curry and then Mr. H came home with some beers and in a really cheery mood since he got Friday off work so decided to switch up the meals.
That is the great thing with meal planning though, sometimes it is just having ingredients at hand rather than cooking what is next in line.
I had already defrosted the chicken so we threw out some ideas and ended up with fajitas. It ended up working like this:
I used the main curry ingredients and the main fajita ingredients then used cupboard staples to make a marinade and then some of the ingredients for the next days meal to round it out. The ingredients I used from the Spicy Coleslaw Pork Wraps was enough to go around the next day so that meal was still on plan. Nothing went to waste from the curry meal as the coconut milk and curry paste will stay good for another day.
And that is why I love meal planning you have everything ready to go for meals you love and save money and time in the process.
I have been able to meet two bloggers in real life, which for living in the middle of nowhere is pretty good I think, and one was the very lovely Emma. Or as Mr. H calls her the British Kiwi Emma, seriously he asked me about five times if she was really from New Zealand as she whizzed us through London like a pro.
Now I can be a bit ummmm lets say easily distracted and way back in summer sometime Emma nominated me for a Liebster Award and I copied the questions down in Stickies and then just saw them yesterday. So I am going to combine this One Lovely Blog Award with those questions!
The rules are pretty straight forward;
- Thank the blogger who nominated you for the award.
- Add the One Lovely Blog Award logo to your post (or elsewhere on your blog).
- Share 7 facts about yourself.
- Nominate some other blogs to receive the award – blogs that you admire for sharing stories in a “lovely” way.
Fact: (Battlestar Galactica)
1. I have never had my hair professionally cut in Sweden, I always just hack away at it myself and wait till we visit California and get it done there.
2. I do not own a pair of plain white socks, they are all either crazy colored or patterned preferably both.
3. We have no ceiling light in our bedroom since when we tried to put one up I accidentally shorted the breakers and we just gave up after that.
4. I want to get a quail tattoo as it is the state bird of California and my dad would also love it.
5. I can bend over and touch the floor with my palms which always impresses people but I think it is more to do with being short than how flexible I am.
6. I hate the sounds of lawnmowers and dream of living somewhere where I never have to hear one again.
7. It usually takes me over an hour to do a blogpost because I click away to other tabs or leave the room and forget all about it!
1. Who or what has inspired you to travel? I am inspired to travel because I like to see how things work, I like to see for myself if Greeks are really very friendly and if you can really find amazing pastry all over France.
2. Backpack or suitcase? Suitcase that I can convince Mr. H to drag, I hate the sound of those little suitcase wheels clacking along a street.
3. Song that epitomises travel for you. America by Simon and Garfunkel
4. What period of time would you most like to visit? I would love to see New York city in the 50’s, so much energy and life feeling fresh in a new post war world.
5. What’s the strangest food you really want to try? I have no idea, maybe camel I tried horse so camel seems the next logical step right.
6. Beach, mountain or jungle? O hells no ever the jungle to many bugs and ugh just no jungle ever, not even the Jungle Cruise at Disneyland. Mountains though I like, not Bear Grylls style but a nice cabin with views of trees and a lake I can handle.
7. What is your best piece of travel advice? Only do and go where you want, if that means doing a picture in front of the Leaning Tower of Pisa or trekking through the Amazon then do that and you will be happy and do not give a rats ass what others think.
8. How do you like to unwind after a long day on the road? At a cozy pub with a cheese platter and a cider.
9. If you had a super power, what would it be? Can never gaining weight be a super power because if so I want that one.
Cynthia from Adventurings – I really like the way she blogs about living abroad in a straightforward way like me!
Kaelene from Unlocking Kiki – Want to feel motivated to appreciate the world around you, read this blog!
Sarah from The Mountain Rambles – A brand new blogger whose posts already have me hooked.
Jennie Shaw – If you like to laugh, read well written book reviews and be amazed by what people can do with nail polish then Jennie is the girl for you.
We took this picture yesterday as we walked to lunch. We went to a Swedish favorite, Sibylla, and even though it was only about 1/2 mile from our house it was nestled in an area we had never been to and felt like we were on a road trip. We had bacon cheese burgers and fries with their famous seasoning salt and then lusted after ice cream cones but saved ourselves for the ones we had in the freezer at home.
Reading: I have been a busy little reader this week and have read these books:
In addition to those I have made some progress on ‘salems Lot but Stephen King, I am trying to chip away at it but these other books were calling my name and then I started another book so I am thinking I need to set a time limit or something or else the library is going to be hunting me down for it.
Listening: To a playlist Mr. H is making for our trip to California, so far it has over 400 songs and he claims it is not done yet. We will have some really long travel days though so having a good mix of music will be nice and he is trying to keep it all upbeat to help us mentally not get down when we are looking down the barrel of a 12 hr flight.
Thinking: I really need to get back to all the lovely comments that have been left lately. Am I the only one that has a hard time with this? I really wish I could use disqus but alas you cannot use it with a free wordpress platform and I cannot afford a paid one so it is what it is I guess.
Smelling: Grapefruit, my sister in law sent me some grapefruit lotion from The Body Shop for my birthday and the smell is very light but fresh and long lasting.
Planning: To go to the international food fair that is coming to town this week. We missed last year but this year we are going and I am eating a giant pretzel from the Bavaria stand. We are also planning on getting some cheese from the France stand and some sausages from the Netherlands stand and having a little feast on Friday with some red wine.
Hoping: Dinner turns out good tonight, I am going to make brussel sprouts for the first time and am slightly nervous about it. I am going to be doing them with bacon though so it should turn out just fine.
Wearing: Blue polka dot pj’s and a blue tank top, Mr. H is feeling a bit under the weather today so I figured I should stand in solidarity and wear comfy clothes too ;)
Loving: Lipton yellow label tea, it is their basic black tea but for some reason Mr. H and I are having a total love affair with it right now. Yesterday we bought two 20 packs since the store had a 6 kr coupon if you bought two and they were only 8.90 kr to start making it a good deal.
Wanting: To buy every candle I can find, I think I mentioned this already but I am going through a major candle thing right now. When we go to town Friday I will need to try and sneak a few into our shopping expenses.
Needing: To get some new fabric, last year I bought a large piece of white fabric that I was able to get at least 10 projects out of but it has finally been all used up and now that we have a printer I have all sorts of new ones I want to start.
Feeling: Fresh and ready for a new week.
Watching: Last night we watched Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues and we laughed tons and were pleasantly surprised by how much we liked it. Now Mr. H is watching the Manchester United game and I am going to watch the Mortal Instruments movie.
Mr. H was meant to be working today but was lucky to get it off!!! So we slept in and had a long breakfast which I just loved. I am not a huge morning person but it is really nice to have someone to talk with at breakfast and plan out dream craft rooms and at home cinemas.
The rest of the weekend will be featuring hot dogs covered in sauerkraut and cheese, an imported bottle of Stone Brewing beer, and just maybe a trip into town. Ok we will probably break and head into town and visit our favorite pub.
Hopefully you find something worthy a big thumbs up this weekend!
I very rarely ever blog about Sweden directly. The reason is that I know if I say in Sweden x,y, and z happen and this is why it is really only the Sweden I know I am blogging about.
The Sweden I know is tainted with having a husband from a certain area, Skåne, and his ideas about life and the fact that he lived in America for 2 1/2 years.
The Sweden I know is tainted with my Americanness, my education, and my ideas about life.
The Sweden I know is also tainted by the place we currently live and the people I have known in my time here.
So it is not the Sweden you know from your life, or TV, or looking up pictures of Alexander Skårsgard online.
The Sweden I know is a deep and personal thing to me and one that I often keep to myself as I even after three years am still very protective about it and it is in a fragile state at times.
However I am always blogging about Sweden as this is my life.
Every part of my life is now infused with Sweden.
My memories now have a filter of that was America and this is Sweden. My tastes in food and clothing have altered with the growing of myself in a new place. My interest about politics and public policy have been heightened.
Then all of that filters down into when I blog about our meal plan and our anniversary.
So yes this is a blog about Sweden even without posts about the joys of cheap fast internet and the headache that is CSN.
I am happy we have been stocking up the freezer lately since this weeks ad was rather weak in terms of good meat deals, however the onions and cabbage are on mega discount! They are 2.90 kr per kg which works out to something like $0.20 per lb, they often go on sale like that in the fall and winter here and provide some great vitamins and heartiness when the other vegetables skyrocket in price.
Monday – Kassler Pasta Bake
Tuesday – Shepards Pie
Wednesday – Thai Red Curry
Thursday – BBQ Pork Loin and Spicy Slaw Wraps
Friday – Deluxe Sausage Dogs and Fries
Saturday – Chicken Broccoli Puff Pastry Pockets
Sunday – Beef Roast with Mash and Honey Bacon Brussel Sprouts – We never did them last week so this week I am getting them done!
This is a great side dish for bbq chicken, as a main with various toppings like salsa and lettuce, or as a base for burritos. The recipe makes enough for me to use it for a dinner side and lunch usually which is great for such cheap ingredients and can be easily adapted to be vegetarian by switching out the broth.
1 cup rice
1/2 large onion diced or one small onion
1-2 garlic cloves diced
1 cup salsa
2 cups chicken broth
1 carton beans drained of liquid – I usually use kidney beans but I am sure any type would work
50 grams butter or margarine
What to Do:
In a large skillet gently cook the onion and garlic in the melted margarine
When soft add in the rice and cook stirring often till the rice begins to change color and is coated in the margarine about 5 minutes
Add in the salsa and then beans thoroughly incorporating
Pour in the broth gently stirring and bring to a boil
Put the lid on the pan, turn down the heat and let simmer for about 15 minutes
Check to make sure the pan still has some liquid and the rice is just about cooked
Cover with cheese and recover, letting the steam melt the cheese about 5 minutes