Breakfast Buns

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I have been making bread with my beloved bread machine for about half a year now and I have never baked any loaf of white bread. Not sure if I just cannot stick with the simplicity or Im just unable to resist the temptation and curiosity to try all the flour in the baking supply section. Few days ago I just realized that I never made bread with carrots, and I happened to have a whole bunch in the fridge so I thought I would give it a try.

I admit that they do look a bit like bread from the medieval time, but it’s healthy and hearty, great for making breakfast sandwiches.

Here is the recipe:

Bread flour 200g

graham flour 50g

rye flour 25g

rice flour 25g (can be replaced with graham or rye flour)

2g salt

15g maple syrup

50g grated carrot

25g unsalted butter

14g fresh yeast

1 tbsp mixed seeds (I used chia, hemp, poppy and psyllium seeds) you can also sprinkle them on top of each roll instead of adding them to the dough itself.

155g to 165g water

Put everything in the bread machine and start the knead and proof program. Take out the dough and punch down, divide into 6 pieces and proof under a kitchen towel or in the oven for 1 hour. Bake at 200degree (392f) for 11 to 15 min.

 

 

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I think next time I will add a little bit fennel seed powder and sesame to spice it up.

Please let me know if you have other ideas! Have you baked bread with vegetable before and how they turned out?

 

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Random thoughts between me and Christmas

Christmas has always been a special thing to me; it is not an official holiday where I grew up as a child and therefore we can celebrate it stress free. Unlike the traditional holidays, there is no need to prepare for a feast or wish for good fortune or be forced into conversations with unfamiliar relatives… the children simply shared some candies and wish each other merry christmas and that was it. Most of the time we were not even allowed to go home since I was staying at a boarding school. It was better to spend christmas with other children anyway in my opinion, as the 8-year-old me discover a wrapped present (a pencil sharpener) weeks before christmas at home. The disappointment was so enormous that I was convinced that Santa Clause does not visit non-english speaking countries and christmas is overrated. Although I did have lots of imaginations about how christmas is like on the side of the planet, after watching movies like Home Alone and such. Later as a teenage, I realized that students give apples as present in the high school I attended but I have no idea why, since I’ve never found any reference about christmas apples in books like Harry Potter. I actually still don’t know today. Marzipan chocolate makes me feel depress because the association with pencil sharpener that I had to pretend to appreciate. Everything about christmas seems so wrong before I moved to Sweden.

The first christmas here in Sweden, oh dear… I probably did everything that one is not supposed to do on christmas. We were invited to christmas parties and met funny Swedes and of course it involves lots of alcohol and love-making without the love part… and the rest of the holiday season I was way too hangover to realize that I was left alone in a country far away from home at christmas, which is pretty sad while everyone else is spending cozy time their family.

Recent years I finally made peace with christmas. It has been difficult if you have any idea how I hated winter in Sweden. Lack of sun light, bitter cold and slippery icy road in greyish landscape, Christmas has became an escape, and I can just stay at home, light up lots of scented candles and bake. Discovered the scent of Christmas is such a pleasant thing! The Swedish tradition with baking saffron at the first advent. which has became my absolutely best friend in winter time. From the beginning of December, all the convenience store in Sweden smells like saffran and gingerbread. I usually started christmas baking with Stollen, which is rather time consuming and need to wait for weeks before eating. And then saffran rolls with marzipan and vanilla filling (so wonderful that I love marzipan now), and Gingerbread and muled wine after that… Maybe that is why people like to start working out after new year.

I must admit that I still don’t  know how to celebrate christmas properly, I’m a terrible presents wrapper and always send out presents too late and never does the decoration right. But I am certainly having fun and enjoying the comfort and coziness with loads of scent and flavours. It feels sad that christmas is over so soon. After new year and my birthday, it seems like the endless winter is ahead of us and I never learnt how to cope with it. Oh well, life is a daily thing and it will go on at its own pace. Soon enough it will be spring and the sun will shine again. Can’t wait!

Keep Working Out

Before this year has started I made a promise to myself that I will start to work out, just another lame thing that people do in beginning of the year.  It has been almost na entire year and I’m glad to say I am still on track. (proud face)

At first my goal is just simply to relieve the pain I got from the injury years ago. I went to a physical therapist and got some simple instructions on how should I work out in the gym. So I got a gym membership just like people do in january. It worked really fast, the pain went away as soon as I started (or replaced by training ache), and I feel very attached to the gym, as it offers a small spa /relaxing area consist of a small pool, a jacuzzi and sauna. Nothing beats that after a hard workout!  Just imagine…

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but of course that was not the only reason I enjoyed going to the gym, the feeling of getting your heart pounding, the sweat squeezing out of the body and the fuzzy warm feeling after a good stretch, I enjoyed every minute I spend at the gym.

And I didn’t stop there… after I discovered that being physically active is more of a reward to the body instead of ‘wearing it down’, I signed up for an adult ballet class for biginners.YES! As a crazy banana ballet fan I’ve been waiting so long to dance again, and it was the most difficult physical challenge I had to do this year, and I cannot be happier that I did it.

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Just a few months ago I also discovered Bikram Yoga. I was introduced by a co-worker and we are leaving work almost every weekday to sweat and stretch to relax our mind. I cannot even tell how much I wish I found this earlier in my years in Sweden, in which some I might have not sweat a single drop of sweat for… like an entire year if not longer! How could I not think of this? This is exactly what I need to cope with the dark and long Scandinavian winter.

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These poses does not look too challenging but doing them in a 40 degree hot room for 90 minutes is not that easy.  I am hoping to go there with my boyfriend someday to see what he thinks about it! This is going to be a real interesting experience.

Overall I am really glad about how I treated my body this year,  I would say I made a rather easy goal for myself and I was slightly surprised to see my body became stronger and fitter. Suppose it’s a bonus reward for listening to my body and treating it with care and respect, but I’m also aware that there is room for improvement and I am sure it will be more challenging for 2017.

Looking forward!!

Here and there

Work party at Stockholm, back to Gothenburg, concert at Oslo, then stockholm again… for someone who doesn’t  travel every other week it almost feels a bit too much. It’s so inconvenient to pack and unpack, rush to the station, check in and check out, but at least for me it’s somewhat romantic to travel, even if the reason to travel itself has absolutely nothing to do with romance. Plus, it’s always exiting to be in somewhere unfamiliar and explore and definitely worth all trouble it caused.

The concert we went to see was amazing. we have been listening to his songs for 2 years now, only in summer times because they are so beautiful that I don’t want to associate them with the dark cold depressing winter. And they are the most dreamy and soulful melodies ever, and this guy has such a voice that almost seems unreal.BFL-After-The-Rain.jpg

Even if it was just a day trip to Oslo we still manage to see a lot. We love Norway and maybe we will even move there some day.

No matter we like it or not, we actually have some more trips in the coming weeks. My boyfriend will travel up north next weekend and I will be in Stockholm (Again!) weekend after. I guess I just have to learn to enjoy it.

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More Japanese food please!

Heart-melting bento box, hot steamy ramen, soft fluffy pastry bread and adzukibeans paste… Japanese is no doubt my favorite genre of food. Never get enough. After watching the movie series Little Forest and Midnight diner I feel like this close — to book the tickets to japan.

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Even if I already eat japanese food at least twice once a week (not include sushi), I still feeling like I’m not getting enough. I recently tried to make odenおでん, a savory but light stew of plenty of ingredients such as radish, seaweed, eggs, tofu, mushrooms and konjac.  I used to buy them at 7-11 when I went to high school in Beijing, it makes such a wonderful meal especially when the weather is cold.

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Sadly but understandable, none of the 7-11 here in Sweden has this traditional japanese food. They usually just have some hotdogs and coffee and buns, some times Panini too, but I always missed this cozy, warming and light street food  in the cold and windy Gothenburg.

I love to make this at home for dinner coz it is healthy, dilicious and convinient. what could I ask for more.. but this is not really the ideal lunch box since it’s a bit messy to pack and carry it in a lunch bag.

It’s time to explore some more japanese reciepes, and I am very looking forward!

Wish me luck!

 

Forest

Mushroom hunting is very time consuming…but it’s also exciting and fun! You never know what you will see in the forest. I don’t really mind just go into the forest to see new kinds of fungus and try to identify them. As an introvert I feel like I was intruding, but I do hope the forest creatures don’t mind.

Let there be blog.

I am desperately in need of some motivation to cope with being me. I guess it’s a symtom of laziness.

It shouldn’t be that hard, being a 26 year old female living in sweden, has a job, a caring boyfriend and bleh and blah but nope… in the reality there are many guidelines about what should I care and how i should feel.

So here it comes, a blog. Yay! It’s going to be my little escape from the real world. But what if there is no real… never mind.

Ha det bra.