Celebración Sueca de Midsommar en Ikea Filadelfia

Después de sobrevivir nueve meses de nubes y frío, el día más largo llega y los suecos celebran el comienzo del verano.  Midsommar (solsticio de verano).  Por fin, el luz del sol y caras sonrientes.  Las fiestas incluyen la recolección de flores, bailes folklóricos y qué mas?  Comida!  Las cartas tradicionales ofrecen arenque en escabeche, patatas hervidas, crema agria, pescado a la parilla y salmón.  De postre comen las fresas más recientes de la estación con crema.  Ikea de Filadelfia abrió su café a todos que querían como un sueco (o Rose Nylund) en su Midsommar celebración y por un precio muy bueno.

Swedish Flag

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Smorgasborg Menu

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Parece que les gustó el salmón!

Swedish Midsommar Celebration at Philadelphia Ikea

After enduring nine months of cloudiness and brrrr weather, the longest day of the year arrives and Swedes celebrate the commencement of Summer.  Midsommar (midsummer).  Finally, sunshine and smiley faces.  The gaiety includes flower picking, folk dancing and what else?  Food!  Traditional menus feature pickled herring, boiled potatoes, sour cream, a grilled fish, salmon and the season’s first strawberries and cream for dessert.  Ikea opened its café to all who wanted to eat like a Swede (or Rose Nylund) on their Midsommar celebration and for quite an affordable price.

Swedish Flag

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Looks like this salmon was a hit!

Recipe of the Day: Simple Sangria

Spring = Fruit.  Fruit = Sangria.


Here’s my version.


1 cup of strawberries

1 whole mango

1 apple

3 oranges

3 lemons

1 1.5L bottle of red wine (or cran apple juice for non-alcoholic preferences)

1 bottle of white grape sparkling cider


1.  Slice strawberries, mango and apple.  Place it in container

2.  Squeeze 2 lemons and 2 oranges into mixture.

3.  Slice 1 lemon and 1 orange and add for decoration.

4.  Add wine, then sparkling cider carefully so that it does not become flat.

5.  Chill in the refrigerator overnight.

6.  Serve – yields about 15 glasses

My favorite part is the fruit on the bottom 😉

5 Days of Global Goodies: Birthday Edition

Ooops.  My 5 days were interrupted with the celebrating of this one’s birthday:

Bday Pina

Now, back to the global goodies!  Since it’s a birthday week, today’s featured treats are celebratory.  Not all are sweet but they are all eaten on that special day that only comes once a year.

In China, Yi mein noodles, also called longevity noodles, are eaten in hopes of living a long life.

They’re followed by longevity peach buns, a peach-shaped pastry filled with custard or red bean paste.


For the kiddies in Australia, parents make fairy bread.  It’s sliced white bread topped with butter and sprinkles.


Towers are the dish of choice in Scandinavia.  Their Kransekake is an 18-layer doughy cake made of almond rings.  Its decorations are often patriotic and festive.

In Brazil, Brigadeiros are a must.  They’re petit sweets made of chocolate, condensed milk and butter.

But let’s not forget…

And many moooore!

5 Days of Goodies: Pretzel Day

Happy National Pretzel Day!  Thank you so much, German and Swiss German settlers for bringing your “brezel” to North America.  It has gone through many changes over the years.  I am an absolute -aholic of sweet and savory harmonies.  It stands to reason that one of my favorite variations is the chocolate covered pretzel.  Small, crunchy and delightful.  But there is a range of sweet pretzel interpretations.  Take your pick!

Auntie Anne’s Cinnamon Sugar Stix:


In a truffle:

As a shamrock:

Atop a cupcake:

Cupcake Pretzel

Sky is the limit!

5 Days of Global Goodies: In A Cup!

A woman in Nice, France once told me, “everything tastes better in a cup.”  That was her opinion about desserts and cooking/baking.  Since then, my eyes (and mouth) were awakened.  I don’t know the logic but it’s true.  It’s as if the ingredients appreciate their independence more in cup size and decide to wow you a little more.  Pick a dessert, any dessert.  You’ll taste the difference.  Maybe that’s how the inventor of cupcakes felt…

Pistachio Tiramisu

Molten Chocolate Cake

White Chocolate Soufflé

Strawberry Vanilla Panna Cotta

Tres Leches Cake

Smooches 🙂

5 Days of Global Goodies

Birthday Treats

This week is my sister’s birthday.  So, in honor of her sweet tooth existence, let’s shine a light on los postres, les gourmands, i dolci!  Yes, the rest of the week is all about the sweets.  I’ll begin with some of her favorites.


The napolitano de chocolate (in Spain), pain au chocolat (in France), chocolate-filled croissant (in the US).  The first and best placed she ate these were at a bus stop in Madrid.  Who woulda thunk it?  According to her, the bakeries didn’t hold a candle to the bus stop. Take notes, bakers!


Hol-y cow…the death of us both.  Stroopwafels.  They’re just so good, I don’t know where to begin.  A Dutch specialty, this waffle sandwich is all kinds of irresistible. It’s made of two thin waffles with a caramel syrup holding them together.  It puts you right on the edge of a sugar high.  They’re sweet but the cinnamon cuts the sugar just enough to make you think that you’re not really consuming 50g of sugar.  And its softness somehow makes you eat them twice as fast.  They’re typically eaten with tea.  BUT, I discovered that dipped in Cream of Wheat….uuuh!


Llaollao (pronounced yao-yao), another Spanish must.  I’m no frozen yogurt connoisseur but this is the best we’ve had.  It’s a tangy, tart, sweet cup.  Ordering the ‘Sanum’ is the best deal.  You’re able to choose three different fruits, a chopped topping and a drizzle.  Mine goes a little something like this, “un sanum con kiwi piña, fresa, muesli y chocolate, por favor.”  Translated, “a sanum with kiwi, pineapple, strawberries, granola and chocolate, please.”  Wait a minute or two for it to soften so that everything blends together.  Can’t beat it.

Carrot Cake

Good ol’ American carrot cake.  Not much else to say.  Just yum!!!

Happy Hump Day 😉

Lipstick Movement: Gigi’s Cupcakes

Gigi Sugar Mama

In honor of Women’s History Month, this week is dedicated to women that have left and are leaving their imprints on the world.  There aren’t enough days in the week to highlight them all but it’s a good start.

First is Gina Butler, owner of Gigi’s Cupcakes.  Her confections appeal to my sweet tooth and her journey speaks to me as an entrepreneur.  With her vision, faith and persistance, she was able to turn her hobby as a baker into a rapidly growing franchise.  On the eve of her grand opening, she had merely $33 to spare.  However, her products proved to be exceptional and within three years the once solitary cupcakery became a franchise spanning 18 states.  Though I’ve only had the Gigi Cupcake Experience once (devoured in 3.2 seconds), it was enough to know that her success is well-deserved.  According to Gigi, she wants people to, ” believe in yourself, walk with integrity, work hard and trust in God.”  Excellent advice.  Excellent product to match.


Gigi Chocolate Hazelnut Gigi Italian Gigi Peanut Butter

All information and photos found on www.gigiscupcakesusa.com.


Chocolate Shoe Bites

Choco Shoes

Who cares if Valentine’s Day has passed?  This upscale chocolate collection was made specially for the lovers’ holiday but is fit for any day.  Mexican “chocolatera”, Andrea Pedraza, titillated taste buds and catwalks in one.  Her handmade creations are made of Belgian chocolate and a cup of love.  To no surprise, her most popular designs are those of Christian Louboutin.  The good news for us that are stateside is that they’re sold north of the border at CocoAndré in Dallas, TX, where she is the Master Chocolatier (yes, also available for purchase online!).  The not so good news (for me, anyway) is that I’d probably be too stuck in a state of adoration to ever bite it.  Congratulations to Ms. Pedraza on her tasty chic sweets.

La Artista


Les Louboutins

Mexicana crea zapatos de tacón de chocolate