While scrolling back through all my blog posts, I realized that I have an obvious preference towards baking… this is no surprise since my mom loved baking, my mormor loved baking, and really most people in my family are pretty good bakers. But I do have some family recipes up my sleeve that do not involve an oven…and are a bit healthier for you too! This is one of my favorite salads that I grew up having for dinner many nights. There are some things that you eat so often growing up that you end up never wanting another bite of it as an adult (hello, cauliflower)… but then there are things that, despite eating often, you have fond memories of and find yourself eating regularly as an adult too. That is this salad for me. And bonus, my husband loves it too. And double bonus, it is incredibly easy to make (perfect for those week nights when the last thing you want to do is make dinner).
This salad recipe actually comes from my mormor (my grandma) so I think my mom must have grown up eating this sometimes… and if so, she obviously didn’t grow tired of it either :).
Since this is my mormor’s recipe, I thought it would be perfect to talk a little about her, her twin, and my gigantic (and amazing) Swedish family. I’ll start from the top… my mormor was a twin, an identical twin, and she and her twin (we called her moster, which means aunt) were inseparable. They almost always wore matching outfits, even as adults… they shared a wedding day, where they married a set of best friends… and after my mormor and morfar (grandpa) got divorced, moster’s husband would joke about his “two wives” because they were basically inseparable. My favorite story is when my sister brought them both to her show-and-tell in kindergarten and said, “These are my two grandmas,” (which surely was confusing, and hilarious, for the teacher since is obvious they are identical twins). This is all to illustrate just how close my mormor and moster were. Which is why it is no surprise that their children grew up to be more like siblings than cousins… at least that is how my mom always described it.
She would tell me stories about how they would spend the summers all together at the countryside cabin… all the kids (3 from mormor and 4 from moster) would squeeze together in one room. They’d spend days having fun swimming, biking, or baking (see I told you it was a family thing!) …. or sometimes running errands, like getting a bucket of milk from a nearby farm, or biking to get the newspaper for my great uncle (which my mom admitted that she and her closest cousin would use as an excuse to sneakily buy candy… one time they even biked all the way back before realizing they forgot the newspaper!). I could go on about the fun stories my mom told of growing up with her cousins (and maybe I will in future blog posts), but the point is more to show how close they all were, like siblings… which is why it is not a surprise that her cousins are now more like aunts to me… and their children are more like cousins…
Confused yet? You’re not alone! Recently my cousin (well, really my second cousin, but again, we feel more like first cousins) and I had to draw a diagram for our significant others to show who is who in our family and how we are all related, because every time they come to a family gathering it feels like they are a billion people and they are all “cousins”… but I love having a big family and I love how close we all are.
During the same conversation with the family diagram, my cousin and I started discussing if there were any traits that we can see in everyone in our family. There were a few… like enjoying cooking (or baking)…. and that we seem to like nicknames… but the one that really struck me was that everyone in my family seems to have a love for animals. Almost everyone has a dog, or a cat, or a horse, or some combination of those…one of my cousins is a vet, another has worked closely with horses, and another went to a high school that specialized in working with animals… and even if they don’t have a pet or don’t work with animals, everyone in my family seems to at least appreciate animals. This definitely includes mormor! Growing up, our neighbors had a loving dog they adopted, who really seemed to become the neighborhood dog. And when my mormor would come visit us in the summers, she would buy this dog EXPENSIVE meats and was always giving her love. So obviously, this dog loved mormor in return… and whenever she was visiting from Sweden, this loving neighborhood dog would just lay by our sliding glass door, until mormor would pop out with a treat. It was an incredibly sweet relationship. I have to admit, I definitely am more of a cat person than dog person, but this neighborhood dog was special to me.
And when I say I’m a cat person, I am not exaggerating (remember, my whole family loves animals, it’s like in my DNA!). Chris and I adopted two cats a few years ago in the States and brought them over to Sweden with us. They have given me so much joy, especially when Chris didn’t have his permit and couldn’t be in Sweden with me (see last post). They are so loving and have SO much personality! One of the funniest things they do is they love to investigate whatever I am working on in the kitchen… which is why I often get little noses and whiskers peaking into some of my blog photos. They especially love chicken and eggs, so this blog post drew in an extra amount of attention from the cats.
Their favorite food in the whole world is probably rotisserie chicken… I’m not really sure why particularly this way of preparing chicken makes them go crazy, but it makes them go NUTS. If we walk in with a rotisserie chicken, or even take leftovers from the fridge, the cats will be at our side within 10 seconds, meowing for a bite. One time I left a rotisserie chicken on the counter and literally only turned to get something behind me, and one of the cats sprang up to grab a bite of the chicken and was in mid-air when I caught him… however his paws still touched the chicken, turning them orange for the rest of the day (even after he licked them for hours just to get any taste of chicken). Anyways, my cats love chicken. And I love them. So ya, sometimes they get a bite of chicken from me :).
But I think my mormor would approve of that, so I’m ok with it. And so, of course, after the pictures for this blog post were taken (including the many pictures starring the cats), they got a little treat for all their harddddd work.
And I don’t blame them for being curious about this salad….as I mentioned earlier, it is pretty darn delicious. I love rotisserie chicken (almost as much as the cats) because it’s so juicy and flavorful… don’t get me wrong, I enjoy roasting my own chicken too, but this salad is for quick meals and a rotisserie chicken does the job well!
It’s a hearty salad, with eggs and bacon in addition to the chicken. Plus you can add whatever fresh veggies you want! My favorites are plump cherry tomatoes, crispy snap peas, and fresh cucumber. I remember my mom used to add blanched cauliflower sometimes, but I think I already mentioned how I feel about cauliflower…
But the real star of this dish is the dressing! It is made with mostly sour cream, but is spiced up with chili sauce, curry power, and paprika. It is so creamy and flavorful… and add a squeeze of lemon to everything, and it is PERFECT.
With that, I hope you’re both inspired to look up that old recipe for that classic dish you used to eat as a kid (we all have at least one we still love, right?!) AND I hope you’re inspired to give this hearty and healthy salad a try :).
Mormor's Cobb-Style Salad
- 1 head of iceberg lettuce / isbergssalladshuvud
- ½ cucumber / gurka
- 15 cherry tomatoes / körsbärstomater
- 15 snap peas /
- 6 slices bacon / bacon
- 5 eggs / ägg
- 1 rotisserie chicken / stor grillad kyckling
- ½ lemon / citron Dressing:
- 1 cup sour cream / 2.4 dl gräddfil
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise / majonnäs
- 5 tablespoons chili sauce / chilisås
- 1 teaspoon curry powder / curry
- 1 teaspoon paprika / paprikapulver
- salt and pepper / salt och peppar
- Place eggs in a pot of water and bring to a boil.
- Once the water is almost boiling, set a timer for 10 minutes.
- While eggs are cooking, fry the bacon in a pan until crispy – then cut into small pieces.
- Slice the cucumbers, tomatoes, snap peas, and lemon.
- Mix salad dressing ingredients together and refrigerate until ready to eat.
- Carve the rotisserie chicken and cut into small pieces.
- When the eggs are done boiling, peel and then slice into quarters.
- Serve with all of the above on top of chopped ice berg lettuce, and enjoy!