Saturday, January 29, 2011

Het falukorv


While here in Sweden, I've been spending more time cooking. I've always loved to cook but finding time to do so was hard. Since I start work next week I've had time to cook! Hopefully I'll be able to continue to do so because I really do enjoy cooking. After discovering that yummy Västerbottensost cheese I went to the cheese makers website and they have all sorts of recipes, jackpot! Thanks to trusty Google Chrome, which translates webpages for you, I've been able to cook several things from the Västerbottensost website. The first recipe didn't turn out so great thanks in large part to my inability to think in the metric system (Remind me again why the whole world doesn't measure things the same?!) but I'm starting to get the hang of it. The other night I tried a second recipe, this time for Het falukorv, and it came out much much better. Dale enjoyed this one, probably because it's one of the least healthy things I've ever cooked. But alas, it was tasty! Here's the recipe from the website:

(I know it's tiny but you can find the recipe here

It's basically a sausage with slices cut in it and thinly cut bell pepper and onion put in the sliced sausage then covered with creme fraiche and cheese and cook at 175 C for 25 minutes. Easy! Here's a picture of what mine turned out like:
I told you it wasn't healthy! And in the future I'll work on presentation skills before I post more pictures :)

Love Always,

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Paging Lisbeth


(image source:

While on a recent trip to the grocery store I saw Billy's Pan Pizza! If you've read the Millennium Trilogy by Stieg Larsson you know what I'm talking about. And if you haven't read it, get on it 'cause it rocks! Lisbeth loves them so I had to try one (marketing at it's best?) I opted for the original flavor and am reminded of Tostino's. Good if you are in a pinch but that's about it. So, that's the Millennium update for now. Still trying to talk Dale into taking the Millennium tour in Stockholm - I'll let you know if I succeed!

Love Always,

Tuesday, January 25, 2011



I have fallen in love, with a cheese! It's not made on the cheese-trail but I'm still cheese'n and freeze'n!

Not just any cheese, Vasterbottensost. The company that makes this cheese describes it as:

Vaserbottensost has a fruity, somewhat nutty aroma. The flavour contains hints of truffle, toffee and bitter almond. The cheese is creamy, round, full-bodied and moderately salty" and goes on to say it's a balance between salty and milky goodness.

If you see this in your local grocery store pick it up, it will not disappoint! Pure yumminess!

Love Always,

P.S. Pops I put cheese'n and freeze'n in there just for you!

Monday, January 24, 2011



I know I notice the weirdest things but I found the difference in shopping baskets between Stockholm and the States interesting. There are the "normal" carry baskets available which is what Dale and I use, then their are pull along baskets that Dale and I find rather humorous. Here I am with one.
It's about the same size as the "normal" carry baskets and I guess if you stuff the baskets full or with heavy items dragging it would be beneficial. But it's going to be a little while before I'm used to seeing people drag these things around. By the way, we took this while we were shopping in Clas Ohlson which is the closest we've found to target and it's got lots of cool things for the home.

Then you've got the full size carts, same as in the States but you have to give your credit card to get the cart (I assume this is so people don't steal them). If you need this cart you are probably doing a big shopping trip and to make check out easier you can take a scanner for a fee. We don't have a car so we aren't shopping in bulk, because we would never be able to carry it all home, so I'm not sure what the fees are for the scanner and the cart. Here's a picture so you can see for your self.
It was pretty busy when I took this picture so almost all the scanners are checked out but they look just like the wedding registry scanners back in the States. When you are done shopping you give the cashier the scanner and they finish the check out. At all grocery stores and at various other stores you have to pay for your bags but the fee per bag is usually just 1 SEK, about 15 cents in US dollars. I now carry a bag in my purse at all times, just in case I buy something.

Love Always,

Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Postal Service


I wish this were a post about the band The Postal Service whom I love more then any other Postal Service but alas, it is not about the band.

Back in the States we had to pay a pretty absurd amount of money to ship 3 boxes to Stockholm via the US Postal Service (which was the cheapest method we could find). They told us it would take 2 weeks for our boxes to arrive to us in Stockholm. The day after we got to Stockholm Dale checked on the boxes online and it said they had passed customs and would be out for arrival the next day. Hurray! So, I stayed home all day Friday waiting for the boxes . . . and then waiting for the boxes . . . and then waiting some more. They never came! We tried to call the Swedish Postal Service but couldn't get to an actual person, then we emailed the people we are renting the house from and they said the closest post office is 2 blocks from our house and they could help us. So, we go to the post office and despite the internet saying they are open on Saturdays they are not. We go first thing Monday morning and the post office says we can take our boxes but that it would be a heinous charge to actually have them delivered to our apartment, great. So of course Dale and I opt to carry them home for no fee, all 150 pounds! We make it not even half way before we realize we are way too weak to carry 150 pounds by ourselves while trying not to slip on the ice encrusted sidewalk. So Dale goes into the mini market, luckily located right where we gave up the carrying, and convinces the guy working there that we are trustworthy foreigners and he lets us borrow a cart. With the cart we are able to successfully get our boxes (aka our winter clothes!) home much quicker. But I had to check our trail to make sure we didn't lose anything as this is what the boxes looked like when we got them in the house:
 At least that chore is over with! For a couple months at least, we'll see how we move everything to the next apartment! Oy vey!

Love Always,

Friday, January 21, 2011



Saturday was my 27th birthday, where those 27 years have gone is almost as confusing as saying my age in Swedish: tjugosju. Being new in town, Dale and I didn't have anyone to celebrate with except each other so we explored Gamla Stan (which means Old Town), Stockholm and came home to enjoy cake and a glass or two of wine.

Stockholm is located on 14 islands and Gamla Stan is the oldest and original island in Stockholm with the first recorded history taking place in 1252. The streets on this island are all cobblestone, narrow, windy, and mostly baroque so the island must have been remodeled last in the 16th century. Here's a picture so you can see what I'm talking about:

All the Christmas decorations are still up and the city looks very pretty with all the boughs, trees, and lights.
We wondered around the island and found the Nobel Museum. The museum is currently closed for renovations so we'll have to come back to actually go inside but I still snapped a picture of Dale outside the museum.
In the courtyard outside the museum were tons of cafes. Some of them, like this one below, were in old cellars and looked very cozy. But since this is probably the most touristy part of Stockholm it is also fairly pricey so we didn't stop anywhere.
Just around the corner is the Stockholm Cathedral which we wondered into and looked around. It is quite beautiful inside.
The picture on the left is what you see when you first walk in the Cathedral and the picture on the right is a statue called "Saint George and the Dragon" which, in folklore, is supposed to protect Stockholm. You can read about the statue here. No flash is allowed in the Cathedral so the pictures are not so great, sorry.

Just outside the Stockholm Cathedral lies the Royal Palace of Stockholm but we didn't feel up to paying to see this just yet so we skipped it for now. :) Here are some pictures taken just outside the Royal Palace though.
You can see it's snowy and cold in Stockholm and we were ready to go home to warm up so that's the end of the Gamla Stan adventures for that day.

Love Always,

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Snack Time


Today I had a snack consisting of a Trocadero to sip on and a Semla to chew upon. The trocadero came in this pretty almost circus like bottle and was a light, sweet but not too sweet, juice of a soda which you can read more about here. I would definitely drink one of these again! Yummy!

And after seeming semla's around town and reading about them in the guidebooks I just had to try one. The one I purchased was from the grocery store so maybe it wasn't as great as all the hype, I'll try another from a quality bakery just to be sure ;) A semla is a cardamom bun with the top cut off and the the insides scooped out, then it is filled with whipped cream and almond paste, you can read some of the hype here. The cardamom bun was delicious but the filling was heavy and sort of blah. These semla's seem to be a religion around here so hopefully I'm more impressed with the bakery version. I'll keep you posted!

Love Always,

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Our Apartment


Here's the photo tour of our apartment that you all have been waiting for. (Okay, maybe not waiting for but I can pretend right?!)
This picture is looking down the hall at the entrance:
The doorway on the right that you can see is open is our bedroom:
Here's a picture looking out the bedroom window while it's snowing:
Then we've got bathroom #1
And bathroom #2
Then the kitchen:
Living room:
We don't have a tv but there is a projector and screen so we can watch movies and that's all we need!
Here's the view out the living room window:

And finally bedroom #2:
As you can see we've got plenty of space in this apartment. So come visit! Well, we're only at this apartment until the end of March, then who knows where we will be. But I'm sure we'll find something nice, just not this nice and this inexpensive. If you somehow find this blog Jessica and Jonas, thank you for letting us stay at your apartment! It's wonderful!

Love Always,

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Not All Who Wander Are Lost


We spent the day wandering around Stockholm taking in the sites but still accomplishing tasks. We started off by taking the bus to Dale's work. It's a beautiful new building and here he is standing outside it.

We got to meet Dale's new boss and co-workers and they all seem like very nice people. I know Dale is going to be happy there! Here's a picture I snapped of Dale's new office.
His desk is the farther of the two in the picture. I know it looks cluttered and not very impressive in the picture but it's still exciting none the less. His office mate wasn't around so we didn't get to meet him. We had lunch in the cafeteria and then hoped on the subway to go downtown to the government office to get our person numbers. I'd read about all the artwork in the subways so I was excited to see it all. It is very pretty but mostly it's just paint over exposed rock tunnels deep underground. I guess I need to work on my art appreciation skills, but it is much prettier then the exposed rock would be! :) Here I am in the T-Central station.
At the government office on old man sat down next to me and started talking to me in Swedish and I didn't understand a word he said. I told him I was sorry but I didn't understand and asked if he spoke English. He said no, he didn't and then started talking to me in spanish. Haha! I found this guy pretty entertaining. He even tried to give me some snack called "Fisherman's Friend" but I had no idea what it was and wasn't feeling so brave so I passed. As we were leaving the government office I noticed this tiny structure painted like a castle, curious what it was I poked my head in and I'm lucky no one was inside because it was a toilet! On the street! With no door! I think only men use this thing because there isn't even room to squat and it's pretty much just a grate on the ground to a deep hole. Needless to say, I won't be trying it out! Here's a picture I took while laughing about how strange I thought this was.
Next we hoped on the subway, grabbed some food from the grocery store, and came home. We successfully didn't get lost and we're getting our bearings down pretty well.
Love Always,

Friday, January 14, 2011

We made it!


Ok, ok, I know I'm a couple days behind in getting this posted but I've been trying to get settled and acclimated and all that. Forgive me? Ok, good! :)

We made it to Stockholm safe and sound! Snow storms have been tailing our flights but we had no problems. Here's our last picture on US soil:
Shortly after take off they brought around free alcoholic beverages, twice, and what I've always called a desert survival kit. But the food wasn't that bad and the free glass of wine combined with a sleeping pill had me snoozing in no time! Before we knew it, we were landing at Arlanda Airport. Here's the first picture on Sverige (as the Swede's call themselves) soil:

This picture was taken about 7:30 am and it was light out less then an hour later. Customs was a breeze, no paperwork, just stamp the visa and walk through. Our baggage came quickly and our taxi was right there waiting for us. Dale didn't sleep quite as well as I did and he was a little out of it so I sailed the ship and missed the taxi-driver-holding-our-name-sign photo op, but all's well that ends well and we were in our new apartment and napping before we knew it!

We spent the rest of the day going out to lunch and walking around town trying to get our orientation down and finding a grocery store to purchase some food essentials. Then it was off to bed fairly early to sleep off the rest of the jet lag.

Love Always,

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Goodbyes Part 2


For New Years Eve on Friday we had people over to our almost empty FoCo house to celebrate and to say farewell. The guys caused their normal ruckus and much celebrating was done.

Then on Sunday, for our final moments in the FoCo we had lunch with friends at Choice City. I sure am going to miss that yummy place and these wonderful friends!
The house we rented in Fort Collins

 Then we drove down to Denver and had dinner with the framily (more then friends but not quite family)

After we ate a scrumptious meal at Earl's, we broke apart for some quality girl time and let the boys play alone as well :) I'll save myself and all my girlfriends the embarrassment of posting too many of those pictures but here are a couple. Miss you all already!

On our last night in Colorado we went out to dinner at Highland Pacific with Dale's family and my family. It was sad saying goodbye to our families since we've always lived so close to them :( But we'll be back before we know it!

Then in the morning it was off to Boston to visit my family, but Erin, Jason, and Autumn surprised us at the airport for one last farewell (and mimosa!) before we took off.

In Boston (well, Rye and Hebron New Hampshire to be exact) we were spoiled with sea food extravaganza's, puzzling, quality time, and lots of laughter with our family.

Mr and Mrs Face even had a wish lantern ready for us that we sent off on our final night in the states wishing for a good (and safe) time in Sweden. I didn't really get a good picture of the wish lantern in action as I was too busy admiring it, but visit to check these things out! So cool! And it was beautiful over the ocean!
I swear this is over the ocean, I need to improve my night picture skills!
Goodbye Colorado, goodbye USA, goodbye friends, goodbye family!
Love Always,

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Goodbyes Part 1


As our time in Colorado is running out we are running around saying our goodbyes to as many of our friends and family as we can!

On Christmas Eve we visited Dale's Grandma Anne, Aunt Dana, Uncle RT, and their 2 adorable kiddos Taylor and Tyler.

Taylor and Tyler getting Santa's milk and cookies ready

The Camaro Dale's Uncle RT has restored all by hand

A couple of days later we went out with our friends Sergio and Grishy. We played too much shuffle board and had a blast until we discovered an evil driver of a green jeep had destroyed Serg's bike, sorry Serg!
Grishy and Me

Serg and Dale
The next day Dale and I packed up our offices and walked out of the ERC for the last time, it was surreal! I worked there for 4 and 1/2 years and Dale worked there for 7 and 1/2 years. Time flies when you are having fun!

The next night our friends Mark and Andrea had Dale, Me, Autumn and Grishy over for a wonder raclette dinner. They are such nice people and always have the fanciest dinners!
Mark, Andrea, Dale, Me, and Grishy

And that wraps up week 1 of goodbyes. Phew, it's been busy but nice seeing everyone and taking care of business (or T.C.B. as Dale and I call it). 
Love Always,