Scandinavian Baking by Trine Hahnemann

Have you heard of FIKA? I hadn’t. Not until a few months ago that is, when I was catching up on my daily world news on I came across an article that read  Why Are Swedish Workers So Happy?.  This article was about FIKA, the Swedish workplace tradition of taking a coffee break with sweet treats and chatting. In many companies in Sweden this coffee break is not only encouraged but in some offices it is actually  mandatory.  Research has shown that taking a work-place coffee break leads to happier and more productive employees.

I know it’s silly of me, but when I read that people take a coffee break every day with a sweet pastry or two, all I could think of is, “Why aren’t Swedish people overweight?”  Eating that much sweet treats every day must have some negative impact on the body. Right?


The quest for the answer to this question is how I came upon this cookbook Scandinavian Baking by Trine Hahnemann. Continue reading Scandinavian Baking by Trine Hahnemann

William’s Carrot Ginger Soup

I had the most delicious soup when we were invited to dinner at our friends Stella and William’s place one evening late last summer. Going to their home for dinner is always a fun treat. On this evening Stella and William had prepared a delicious meal of carrot ginger soup, vegetable lasagna, and a couple of local Ghanna dishes such as a thick well-seasoned stew and fried plantains. Everything was delicious. One of our favorite dishes was the carrot ginger soup which was in a league of its own. It was not your run of the mill carrot ginger soup, this was creamy and sweet with herbs and just the right amount of heat from the ginger; and the best part is that it was the easiest soup to make. Continue reading William’s Carrot Ginger Soup

A Victorian Christmas in Nevada City, California

We discovered this little town of Nevada City, California when I heard about it from my friend Radhika. She would tell me stories of this charming town and the wonderful Victorian Christmas fair that was held every year in Nevada City and how it was always a fun holiday event to go to. She used to live and work in Nevada City years ago after graduating from college. Radhika would describe Vitorian style stalls and vendors in Victorian costumes selling hot apple cider and warm roasted chestnuts, and the shops in town all beautifully decorated for christmas with shopkeepers also dressed in period costumes. Radhika has a way of making everything sound so romantic and nostalgic. She made Nevada City’s Victorian Christmas Fair sound so amazing that I decided: “That’s it, I want to go and check it out for myself.Continue reading A Victorian Christmas in Nevada City, California

Dark Chocolate Brownies With Salted Carmel

My friend Rose made these outstanding dark chocolate brownies a while back, and they were perfect little bites of pure chocolate joy. These brownies were gooey, chocolaty, and moist with a hint of espresso and they were not teeth-tingling sweet. Why am I surprised these brownies were so good? Rose is an amazing baker – just amazing. Her baked goods can win awards. If only she would open a bakeshop, her goodies would sell out for sure. Rose shared her recipe for these gooey brownies, which she got from trEATs by April Carter. Here is the recipe with a few of Rose’s own tweaks. Continue reading Dark Chocolate Brownies With Salted Carmel

I Love the Holidays!

I love the holidays and Christmas time. I absolutely love it, love it, love it. There is nothing more festive than the December holiday season. I can’t think of any other time of the year when the entire country gets in on the celebrations. Almost every mall, shopping plaza, neighborhood, street, and home is decked with lights and holiday decor. Even if one is not into celebrating the holidays, you can’t help but smile when you see shimmering Christmas lights everywhere or little kids excited faces looking forward to Santa’s visit. Continue reading I Love the Holidays!

25 Days of Recipes, Posts and Stories

It’s November 30th and with the festive holiday season upon us, I thought I would do a take on the 25 Days of Christmas that a few of our TV stations put on every year, where for 25 consecutive days in December a Christmas movie is aired on TV until Christmas day. Except in my version I am publishing a post a day until Christmas day. Continue reading 25 Days of Recipes, Posts and Stories

A Natural High

I love gardening. Because I feel great after I’ve been out in the garden, I’ve assumed it’s good for me. When I am restless or a little down I just step outside to get some fresh air, I walk in my garden, prune a few bushes, water a few pots, or cut a few blooms; this has always calmed me down and brought me out of my funk. I come back in with a dose of Natural High that gets me motivated to get things done. There is something very therapeutic about being out in nature. Continue reading A Natural High

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!
Wishing you and your families many warm and loving sharing moments on this very special holiday.

On this Thanksgiving holiday, I would like to convey my heartfelt thank you to all my blog readers and followers. Thank you for taking the time to read what I write and publish, for all your comments, and for your encouraging words. I truly appreciate it. Continue reading Happy Thanksgiving!

Dark Chocolate Fruit & Nut Bark with Apricots and Candied Ginger

I love Cadbury’s Fruit and Nut Bar. It’s my favorite chocolate. I thought about making some at home but decided it was best to leave it to Cadbury’s to make it the way they do – just perfect.  Instead I decided to make a more adult fruit and nut bar with dark chocolate and some of my favorite dried fruits and nuts like apricots, pistachios, and candied ginger. I also added saffron to give the chocolate an exotic flavor. Here is the recipe. Continue reading Dark Chocolate Fruit & Nut Bark with Apricots and Candied Ginger

Stuffed Peppers with Mexican Spiced Veggies & Black Beans

This is a variation of stuffed peppers that I like to make with a frozen vegetable mix called Southwest Blend. This frozen veggie mix is really good, it has bell peppers, black beans, corn, poblano peppers, and roasted onions. With this combination of veggies you really don’t need to chop a whole lot of veggies. I took my cue for the seasoning for the stuffed peppers from the Southwest mix which has a Mexican slant to them.

IMG_0418 (2).jpg Continue reading Stuffed Peppers with Mexican Spiced Veggies & Black Beans

recipes and stories from our home