christmas

Lussebullar- Swedish Saffron Rolls

Saffron rolls web-1

Most Swedish food I don’t like. All the fish stuff? No thank you! But I have some Swedish foods that I absolutely love, visit including Swedish Meatballs and these Saffron Rolls, or Lussebullar in Swedish. I have been begging my mom to make these for me for years and she never has (they do take quite a bit of time to make). This year my littlest sister was having a Christmas party and my mom decided that she would make these. That’s right- she made them for my little sister but not for me! But there were a lot left over so I have been enjoying them for the past few days :)

Saffron rolls web-3

These Lussebullar are so good! They remind me of my childhood. If you like the taste of saffron, you will love these rolls. They’re soft, flavorful, and a little bit sweet. I love the raisins on top because they add a bit of sweetness. These rolls aren’t sweet like cinnamon rolls, but they’re definitely sweeter than just plain rolls and like I said before, the saffron adds a great flavor!

Saffron rolls web-4

I definitely recommend that you make these! They are one of my all-time favorite foods. I will admit that I have never made these by myself before, but I certainly have eaten them! I love them for breakfast or a snack!

Saffron rolls web-2

Lussebullar (Swedish Saffron Rolls) Recipe

Note: This recipe is a European recipe, but I’ve tried to convert the measurements

Ingredients:
2 cups milk
1  gram saffron strands
50 g fresh yeast (I used 2 packets of dry, powdered yeast)
170 g (3/4 cup) granulated sugar
1/2 tsp fine salt
about 1 kg plain flour (I weighed it out on the scale, but I believe it’s about 7 cups)
250 g (8oz) cream cheese, softened
1 and ¼ sticks unsalted butter, softened
2 eggs, divided
raisins or dried cranberries

*extra sugar and softened butter* (We added some extra butter and sugar to make them sweeter- see directions, Option 2, below)

Directions:

  1. Heat milk in a small saucepan until steaming. Remove from the heat, add saffron threads and leave to infuse for 10-15 minutes. You’ll need to cool the milk to about 37-38 C (about 100 degrees F). When the milk is lukewarm, then crumble in the yeast and stir, until dissolved. (The dry yeast doesn’t need to dissolve, really. Just mix it in.)
  2. Add salt, sugar and about half of the flour. Stir until combined, then add the cream cheese, butter, ONE egg (lightly whisked), and then gradually knead in the rest of the flour. The final yeast dough should be soft and supple.
  3. Cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel and leave to rise in a warm room for 30-60 minutes, until doubled in size.
  4. Knead the dough gently and turn onto a lightly floured work surface.
  5. OPTION 1– Twist small amounts of dough (about the size of a large egg or a tennis ball, depending on whether you’re making small or larger buns). Roll each piece of dough into a long “sausage”, then twist it from both ends to form a letter S.
    OPTION 2, Sweeter Rolls– Roll the dough out pretty flat and cover it with extra butter and sugar. Then cut the dough into strips, twist the dough, and then create the S-shape rolls.
  6. Place the shaped buns onto a baking sheet that’s been covered with a parchment paper. Leave to rise for another 10-15 minutes, then press a raisin or a craisin into each end.
  7. Brush with an egg wash (an egg whisked with a spoonful of water).
  8. Bake in a pre-heated 425 F oven for 12-15 minutes, until light golden brown.
  9. Remove from the oven, transfer onto a metal rack to cool a little. If you want softer buns, then cover them with a clean tea towel when they’re cooling.

How to Take Christmas Photos- Bokeh Tutorial

I love Christmas lights- they’re so pretty! And I also love taking photos with Christmas lights in the background when it creates beautiful bokeh (the circles that form behind the subject).

Here are some tips of how to take photos with gorgeous bokeh using Christmas lights!

1. Use a small aperture– to get really nice bokeh, order you need a lens with an aperture (or f stop) that can go down to 1.8 or 2. For these photos I was using my Canon 50mm 1.4 lens. The aperture of your lens is how big the opening is to let in light- so when you have a low aperture like 1.8, patient the opening is really large and lets in a lot of light, stomach and your background gets blurry. Because your aperture is letting in a lot of light, your shutter speed will have to be higher to compensate.

bokeh web12. Put your subject several feet away from the lights. For these photos I used our Christmas tree and my dog was a good 8ish feet away from the tree. Varying the distance between your subject and the lights will give you different looks- the closer you are to the lights the smaller they will be. If you get really close, they will just look like lights, not circles. The farther away you are, the bigger the circles, but if you get too far away, all the circles will start blurring together.

bokeh web43. Put your camera close to the subject– My dog was far away from the tree, but I was close to him. That made the frame tighter and made for better bokeh.

bokeh web34. Adjust your ISO– My ISO was at 400 for these photos- that’s in the middle as far as ISO goes. ISO is how sensitive to light your camera is- if your ISO is low (100 or 200) your camera is not as sensitive to light meaning that your aperture and shutter speed have to be lower to let in enough light. Low ISO is good for when you’re shooting in bright light and gives you the highest quality photos. Middle ISO from 400-800 will make your camera more sensitive to light which is good for when you’re shooting in a well-let room inside. ISO in this range will allow your camera to take in more light and won’t take down the quality of your photos too much. High ISO (800+ depending on your camera) will allow you to shoot in low-light situations, but will also produce granier photos. I always try to shoot at as low an ISO as possible so my photos will be of better quality. Your ISO in these photos is going to depend on how dark your environment is- my living room has windows so it was letting in quite a bit of light.

bokeh web25. Have fun and don’t hesitate to ask me questions in the comment section! I know Christmas is over, but keep your lights up and experiment with some bokeh holiday photos :)

And for those of you who are curious, my settings for these photos were: ISO– 400, Shutter Speed– 1/100, Aperture– f/1.8

Christmas Cookie Ideas

Are you guys baking for Christmas yet? I love baking cookies around Christmas-time. Cookies are fun to make and also easy to give away! This post is filled with some of my favorite cookie (and bar) recipes that you can enjoy this holiday season!

First Up- I’ve made three different bars this year that are all quite possibly the best things that I have ever made. I am so excited to make these tasty bars again!

Gooey Nutella Bars!

I brought these to a Fourth of July Party and everyone loved them! I loved them too- they were sooo gooey and delicious.

 Gooey Peanut Butter Reece’s Bars

Another Gooey Bar! Oh it’s so good. I absolutely love Recces!

 S’mores Bars

While I know I sound like a broken record, here these bars were amazing!

I honestly cannot choose my favorite between these three bars- and blogging about them now is making me excited to go home and do some baking! I’m thinking I’m going to make at least one of these bars, surgery some zucchini or pumpkin bread, and a new cookie recipe (I already have one in mind :).

Speaking of cookies…. :) Here are a few of my favorite cookie recipes:

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies

I absolutely loved these cookies! They’re big, soft, and fluffy, and I love the sweet and salty combination. Make them! :)

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

I will confess that I will always choose chocolate over oatmeal raisin, but maybe not with these cookies! I made these for a teacher who really likes oatmeal raisin cookies, and I couldn’t believe how much I loved these! They’re so soft and have a great texture. Love them!

There are so many recipes I could post on this post, but I didn’t want to overwhelm you too much! Check out my Recipe Page to see all my bars, cookies, cupcakes, cakes, and other desserts!

Do you have any desserts that you have to make every year around Christmas time?

 

Merry Christmas

I cannot believe there are only three more days until Christmas! I feel like I have so much to do, meningitis but slowly people’s presents are coming together and I will start wrapping this evening. I love giving presents :)

I also love making Christmas crafts. Here are some step by step instructions for how to make this precious little snowman ornament. All you need is some felt (2 colors), seek some thread, a little bit of stuffing, tiny piece of yarn, and sequins/buttons. I found a picture of these ornaments on Pinterest and knew that I had to make them. I’m no expert when it comes to sewing or crafting, so I just did this the best way I could see how. It was easy and turned out great :) I might make some more if I have time. I’m thinking it’d be really cute to give him a hat if I can figure out how. I hope all of you guys are having a wonderful holiday season!

Materials:

White Felt (I used less than 1/4 of a 8.5 by 11 piece of felt…it just depends on how big you make your snowman)

Colored Felt (This is just for the scarf so you don’t need much at all)

Thread (Dark Blue or Black for the eyes, Orange for the nose, and Light Blue to sew up the snowman)

Stuffing (Very little needed)

Small piece of yarn (to hang the ornament)

Extras- small buttons, sequins

Directions:

Start by cutting out two identical snowman bodies. On one of them, use the dark blue/black thread to stitch the eyes and orange thread to make the nose. The one I saw on Pinterest didn’t have a mouth, but I wanted mine to have one so I stitched on a little smile.

Next, either sew on little buttons or use some hot glue to attach sequins for the snowman’s buttons. Next, tie the yarn into a loop and then, on the body piece that doesn’t have the face on it, hot glue on the yarn towards the top of the snowman’s body.

Now it’s time to start sewing him up! Use the light blue thread to sew around the snowman’s body (making sure that the knot of the yarn is on the inside of the snowman), leaving a gap at the bottom so you can put the stuffing in. When you only have a small opening left, stuff the snowman. Then finish sewing him up.

The final thing is to add the scarf. Cut two thin pieces of felt. One of the pieces will be glued around the snowman’s neck, and the other will be the part that hangs down. That sounds confusing…it’s really not. Just look at the pictures :)

Glue that final scarf piece down and you’re done!


I hope those instructions made sense. Feel free to leave a comment if you have any questions, and I’d love to see pictures if you end up making this ornament!

For to us a child is born, allergy
 to us
 a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. – Isaiah 9:6

I hope you have a peaceful, joyful Christmas surrounded by the ones you love :)

Christmas Recipe Round-Up

I love the food around Christmas. For my family’s Christmas dinner, sildenafil we have ham, Swedish meatballs, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, rolls, green bean casserole…basically all the things we have at Thanksgiving except we swap turkey for ham, add the Swedish meatballs, and take away the stuffing. Now that I’m reading a lot of food blogs, I’m finding that not everyone does a big meal like this on Christmas…some people do big meals on Christmas Eve or have other traditions, like Mexican food, on Christmas. Interesting! I thought everyone had a meal similar to Thanksgiving on Christmas Day. What does your family do?

Well no matter what you eat for dinner on Christmas, you definitely need to finish the day off with some tasty desserts! Here are some of my favorites that I have made this year.

1. Marshmallow Pie

I know pie is traditionally eaten at Thanksgiving, but this is one of my all-time favorites. It’s very easy to make and I haven’t met anyone who didn’t absolutely love it. Definitely one to think about for your Christmas desserts :)

2. Nutella Swirl Brownie Bites

Oh goodness. Brownie+nutella=heaven. These are great because they’re really easy to make- you can use a brownie box mix to save time and just swirl nutella on the top. If you’re going to anyone’s house to celebrate or any parties, these would be really easy treats to bring.

3. Oreo Truffles

My family always makes these around Christmas…I think we’ve made them four times already. They are insanely easy to make and one of the best-tasting things I’ve ever had!

4. Pumpkin Deliciousness Cake

Are you guys over pumpkin yet? Good. Me either. I stood in the kitchen eating piece after piece of this cake..it was just that good. It’s really easy to make (even though I kept messing up when making it!) and tastes aaamazing!

5. Chocolate Chip Pretzel Bars

Chocolate chip cookie dough + pretzel = heaven. The pretzel crust is buttery and salty and the chocolate chip cookie is gooey and sweet. This is the treat I mailed for the Great Blogger Cookie Exchange and loved how they tasted!

6. Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cookies

These are cookies that taste like cookie dough. I’ll wait while that sinks in. Yep that’s what I said. The outside is like a soft, tasty chocolate chip cookie while the inside tastes like raw cookie dough. They’re incredibly simple to make and they are sure to impress everyone!

7. Peanut Butter and Pretzel Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Keeping with the sweet and salty theme, these are, in my opinion, some of the best cookies I have ever made. They’re really easy to make, and you can add in whatever your heart desires! But I would recommend chunks of Dove chocolate and pretzel pieces. Mmm :)

8. Oreo Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies

These cookies really have the “wow” factor. Everyone is amazed that a chocolate chip cookie is wrapped around an oreo! Make these perfect for the holidays by using red oreos.

9. Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting

Oh goodness. These mini chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter frosting were insanely good. I used my favorite chocolate cake recipe for the cupcake, and a really tasty peanut butter filling. They’re adorable, especially when topped with a chocolate chip, and kids will be sure to love them!

10. Minty Kiss Brownie Bites

Take advantage of your favorite holiday limited-edition Hershey’s kisses! I used mint truffle kisses for these super simple brownie bites. Again, make these a speedy treat by using a box mix and placing a kiss on the top.

~

Tonight my sisters, grandparents, and I are doing our traditional Christmas Eve Eve celebration. We all get in the car in our PJs, drive to Sonic, eat dinner, and then drive around and look at all the pretty Christmas lights. It’s a really fun tradition :) Happy Christmas Eve Eve everyone! Hope it’s wonderful!

 

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...