Happy 2018! Looking back on 2017, it was a wonderful year… I finished my master’s (finally!), traveled a bit more in Europe (Norway, Estonia, Spain), found out I was pregnant (yay!), and completed my first year with this blog (technically started at the end of 2016, but who’s really counting). This blog, and my connected Instagram, have been such a fun hobby for me and I’m so thankful I started a little over a year ago. I love that I get to show what I’m up to in the kitchen AND share about our lives here in Sweden. It’s been fun to watch my photography skills improve over this year and the progression of the types of recipes I share. I recently went over 1,000 followers on Instagram (not that that’s the most important thing, but it makes me feel good that people appreciate my food!) and have met some wonderful people through it. Although I know 2018 will bring BIG life changes with baby, I hope to continue this blogging/instagram journey.
So, in true New Years fashion, this post is a top 10 countdown of 2017’s best Half and Halv recipes. I started this list by using “best of nine
” which shows your most liked photos on Instagram. But since it only shows you the top nine, and one recipe repeated, I decided to add in the two recipes that have had the most repins on Pinterest as well.
So here you are – the top ten recipes and a bit of reflection on this wonderful year :).
10. Swedish pancakes: a classic, and basically my first recipe on the blog, I am so pleased that these made the list. Although it didn’t make the cut with likes on Instagram (my picture quality has gone up a lot since I started!), it had a few dozen pins on Pinterest and consistently brings people to the blog looking for this recipe. Super easy, super Swedish, super yummy :). Technically I wrote this at the end of 2016, but I really wanted to include it because it is such a fun reminder of where I started with this blog *almost* a year ago!
: another Swedish classic, this also didn’t make the cut on my Instagram best of nine but did well on Pinterest. I am proud of this one because I spent quite a bit of time cutting all pieces to be (mostly) equal in size and taking the time to fry everything really well. My friend who came over for dinner the night I made this still talks about it, and that makes me proud. As I mentioned in my post-Christmas photo on Instagram, it’s also the perfect meal to use up any leftovers you have… Christmas ham, potatoes, even vegetables like brussel sprouts would be yummy thrown into this hash.
8. Cherry chokladbiskvier
: So this may have made the top nine most liked photos because it was also when we announced we were having a baby girl :). Either way, these were still so fun to make and turned out really delicious. I remember making the frosting filling at least three times, trying to get a good consistency. The filling still isn’t as fluffy as I want it to be, so I may experiment with these again some day (any tips welcome!). This picture is a great reminder of one of the best parts of 2017 for me – finding out I was pregnant :).
: this was a fun recipe because it’s such an obscure Swedish dish that I didn’t even know about before moving here. As I wrote in the post, it is now a favorite whenever we visit Skansen for a special occasion. With bacon, pancake, and jam, it’s hard to go wrong! It reminds me of how much I have learned about Sweden and Swedish culture since moving here, despite spending summers here as a child. And I’m sure I have so much more to learn in 2018 and beyond!
6. Easter filled scones
: besides Mickey waffles (which are usually reserved for the cabin) these are my favorite family brunch recipe. I’m pretty sure I would request these for birthdays and general weekend brunches whenever I could. So, I’m really glad others enjoyed them as well. It’s been so fun using this blog to share new recipes, but also family favorites. (I couldn’t find the original picture from the top nine, but this one was also popular for this recipe!).
5. Lingon scones (new recipe): For those of you not following me on Instagram, here is a NEW recipe that people seemed to enjoy. Simple lingon scones. As a typical Swedish fall activity, many people go into the woods to pick berries. Chris’s coworker did just this and gave us three huge bags of handpicked lingon berries! So this is just one of the ways we have used them so far :).
The recipe (as shared on Instagram):
– 2 cups flour
– 1 tbsp sugar
– 1 tbsp baking powder
– 1/2 tsp baking soda
– 100g butter
– 1 cup cream
– frozen lingon berries
Mix dry ingredients; cut in cold butter until crumbly; stir in the cream; add lingon berries; shape on lined baking sheet; bake for 20 min at 375F / 190C.
4. Coconut banana bread muffins with cream cheese tops: this is another recipe I got a lot of positive feedback for and was really thankful… because I made them soon after my first trimester when my taste buds seemed to be all out of whack! I was never sure if what I thought tasted good was actually good, or just the pregnancy talking. It’s crazy to think that I spent most of 2017 being pregnant – with it came a roller coaster of emotions and body changes, more doctors appointments than I’ve probably ever had, but also such a fun and exciting adventure.
3. Chai flavored bullar
: I can’t take total credit for this one… as I mention in the post, the base dough comes from the Swedish baking book called “Fika: The Art of the Swedish Coffee Break” which I absolutely fell in love with this year. It also reminds me of all the wonderful people and accounts I have gotten to know (digitally) through Instagram, including one of the authors, Johanna Kindvall. She has such adorable drawings and patterns on her account, plus since this blog post she’s come out with a second book about the Swedish “Smörgåsbord” (I can’t wait to check it out!).
2. Mickey Mouse waffles
: As I mentioned before, THIS is probably my all-time favorite family recipe and one that holds so many special memories. It makes my heart warm that so many others appreciated them as well. Plus this photo reminds me of a highlight of 2017 – visiting friends and family in Seattle this spring, spending time at the cabin with my sister, and going to Disneyland with my husband!
1. American fried chicken
: this was one of the most surprising photos for me. Somehow it got over 500 likes on Instagram and I have NO idea how… maybe someone reposted and I missed it? Or maybe people just reallllly like fried chicken! I’m not trying to downplay it… this fried chicken turned out dang good. And I’m glad it made the list because it’s one of the recipes that my husband and I got to do together! I’m so glad that we love to cook together and can’t wait to see what creations we come up with in the kitchen in 2018 :).
With that, I wish you all a Happy New Year and a wonderful 2018!