Linda Lomelino’s “Sweet Food & Photography” giveaway

Linda Lomelino's

Isn’t it just lovely to see when creative and talented people get to put their work out into the world? Most of you are probably familiar with Linda Lomelino – and if not, do hurry over to her blog Call me Cupcake to check it out! I have been following her for quite some time now, and in May I also had the great honour to have her as a participant at one of my workshops. And she is just as lovely in person as she seems on her blog!

Linda Lomelino's

One of my favorite spreads

The book Sweet Food & Photography is Linda’s third book and it’s a true work of art! The styling and the photography is pure magic, and just looking at the photos makes me want to bake all of those cakes and sweets. Right away. The book is filled with tips and tricks, not just for baking, but also for styling and photographing your work. In other words the perfect book for that hard-core foodie that you probably are if you read my blog (haha!).

The book was recently published in Sweden (it’s in Swedish) and Linda has been kind enough to share three copies of the book with three lucky readers!

Linda Lomelino's

Thank you Linda for mentioning Dagmar’s Kitchen as a source of inspiration on page 96!

If you would like to win a copy, please leave a comment below and share with us your favorite Christmas dish (sweet or savory doesn’t matter!). Make sure to leave your name and contact email so I can get in touch with you. Please note that only Swedish residents are eligible to join the giveaway. The giveaway will close on Wednesday, December 31st.

Linda Lomelino's

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Tuscan kale, cabbage and beluga lentil salad with cranberries

Tuscan kale, cabbage and beluga lentil salad with cranberries :: Sonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's Kitchen

Oh dear! Time passes quickly, don’t you agree? No matter how much I try, I never seem to be prepared for December coming. Although this year we actually started early buying christmas gifts online, ordering christmas greeting cards (haven’t gotten to that in many years…) and I actually managed to fulfill Tuva’s dream to have an advent calendar on a string above her bed with 24 little gifts. Yes, Egon got one too.

Are you getting ready for christmas yet?

I wanted so much for my next blog post to be something sweet for christmas. In my head beautifully styled with garlands, stars and winter greens. And I have been experimenting with really good stuff. Mostly chocolate, mind you. It is just not good enough for a blog post yet.

Tuscan kale, cabbage and beluga lentil salad with cranberries :: Sonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's Kitchen

So here I am with a seemingly very simple salad. At first I didn’t want to post it, because it just seems too simple. But then I realized that I always wanted this blog to be about inspiration to cook seasonal, health minded and simple food. Just like this salad. So, now I’m posting it anyway hoping that it will inspire you to make something similar this month.

This is simply the kind of casual food I make everyday for lunch or as a side for dinner. Here I’ve just dressed it up to a more christmas-like feel with cranberries and a wholegrain mustard dressing. I think it would be perfect as a christmas side dish with meat or poultry. And if you have vegetarians at your gathering just add some avocados, boiled eggs or the likes for a heartier meal.

I love winter for the ability to make sturdy and filling cabbage salads. Key here is to use a mandolin to shred the cabbage thinly. Add some beluga lentils and sunflower seeds along with tangy cranberries and sweet mustard dressing and you’re in for a real treat! Happy weekend friends!


Printable recipe

Tuscan kale, cabbage and beluga lentil salad with cranberries

serves 2 as a lunch or 4 as a side

2/3 cup black lentils (beluga) + 2 cups water
1 cup red cabbage, finely shredded
1 cup tuscan kale (or kale of your choice), finely shredded
1/4 cup sunflower seeds

2 tbsp sunflower seeds, toasted
a handful fresh cranberries (frozen or dried if you can’t find fresh)

For the dressing:
2 tsp wholegrain mustard
1 tsp honey
5 tsp white balsamic vinegar
8 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, crushed
pinch of sea salt

1) Put the lentils in a saucepan, cover with water and add a pinch of salt. Bring to the boil and cook for 15 minutes, or until the lentils are tender but not falling apart. Take the saucepan off the heat and if time allows (you can do this one day ahead) let the lentils cool in their cooking liquid. This way they keep their consistency better, and taste more too. Once cooled, drain and set aside.
2) Rinse and halve the cranberries. Toast the 2 tablespoons sunflower seeds in a dry frying pan until golden.
3) To make the dressing, put the mustard, honey and vinegar into a cup or small jug. Mix well using a fork and then slowly add the olive oil in a steady stream. Add garlic and salt to taste.
4) Gently toss the kale and the cabbage together with the lentils, sunflower seeds and the dressing. Top with the toasted sunflower seeds and the cranberries.

Serve with meat or poultry or if vegetarian with avocado, eggs etc.

Tuscan kale, cabbage and beluga lentil salad with cranberries :: Sonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's Kitchen

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Vibrant winter recipes from my recent workshop

Creamy carrot and orange soup :: Sonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's Kitchen
Creamy carrot and orange soup with spicy chickpeas and sautéed tuscan kale

Last Saturday I had the honor to meet eight lovely foodies/photographers when I hosted a workshop on the theme Vibrant winter food and food photography during winter. I had so much fun with Ulrica, Virginia, Agnes, Linda, Andrea, Veronika, Jenny och Moa – and I was so busy assisting and helping out the entire day, which resulted in zero photos taken by me from the actual workshop. But as my students used their cameras more frequently I’m hoping there will be some photographic evidence from the workshop on their blogs eventually.

Raw beet salad with honey vinaigrette, hazelnuts and feta cheese :: Sonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's Kitchen
Raw beet salad with honey vinaigrette, hazelnuts and feta cheese

I opened the workshop by talking about camera gear, available light and how to best use it during winter and lastly a demonstration on how I typically create my food photographs. To illustrate this I created the raw beet salad above step by step from slicing the beets to finished photo. After that the turn had come to the participants to style and photograph the salad, then the carrot soup and lastly the baked apples. In between each course we sat down to enjoy it and then quickly onto the next…

Baked apples with vanilla and cardamom scented almond stuffing :: Sonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's Kitchen
Baked apples with vanilla and cardamom scented almond stuffing

At the moment I have no more group workshops planned, but I also offer one-on one classes in the same manner on weekdays – so don’t hesitate to contact me if you’re interested in booking a date.

The three course menu is vegetarian, gluten free, sugar free and dairy free (if you omit the feta cheese) and you’ll find the recipes below. Enjoy!


Printable recipes

Raw beet salad with honey vinaigrette, hazelnuts and feta cheese

serves 4

4 beets, yellow and chioggia beets look fantastic together
fresh oregano
a handful pan toasted hazelnuts, roughly chopped
50 g feta cheese, crumbled
sea salt and black pepper

Honey vinaigrette
2 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp honey
5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 small garlic clove, grated
pinch of sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

1) In a small bowl whisk together vinegar and honey for the vinaigrette. Add olive oil and whisk until combined. Add grated garlic, salt and pepper and set aside until ready to use.
2) Rinse and scrub the beets thoroughly. Thinly slice them (preferably with a mandolin) and arrange them on individual plates. Top with the vinaigrette, feta cheese, hazelnuts and oregano. Sprinkle with a little sea salt and some ground pepper to finish it off.

Raw beet salad with honey vinaigrette, hazelnuts and feta cheese :: Sonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's Kitchen

Creamy carrot and orange soup with spicy chickpeas and sautéed tuscan kale

serves 4 as a main or 8 as a starter

8 medium sized carrots
1/2 medium sized fennel bulb
3 tomatoes, halved
2 yellow onions
3 garlic gloves
a handful of fresh thyme
1/2 tsp sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 orange, juice from

3-4 cups vegetable stock
1/2 orange, juice from
1/4 cup creamy coconut milk or any “cream” of your choice
sea salt + freshly ground black pepper to taste

1) Preheat the oven to 200° C (400° F). Rinse, peel and then chop all the vegetables and onions roughly. Arrange them on baking paper on a baking tray with fresh thyme and sprinkle with olive oil, salt, pepper and fresh orange juice. Roast in the oven for 25 minutes in order to release as much flavor as possible.
2) In a large pot heat the vegetable stock and then add the roasted veg straight from the oven. Bring to a boil, cover the pot and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the orange juice and cream and simmer for 5 more minutes.
3) Puree the soup in a blender and add salt and pepper to taste. Serve topped with the spicy chickpeas and sautéed kale.

Spicy chickpeas
1 can (400g) cooked chickpeas, well drained
1 tbsp olive oil
a pinch of sea salt
1/4 tsp paprika powder
cayenne pepper according to taste

1) Heat the olive oil in a skillet and add the chickpeas. Toss them in the oil on medium high heat for 1-2 minutes. Add salt and spices and toss until well covered. Set aside until ready to use.

Sautéed Tuscan kale
8-10 kale leaves (I used Tuscan kale but any variety will do)
1-2 tbsp olive oil or coconut oil
pinch of sea salt + freshly ground black pepper

1) Remove and discard any tough stems from the kale and finely shred the remaining leaves.
2) In a skillet heat the olive oil and add the kale. Sautée for 1-2 minutes on medium high heat until slightly wilted – stir occasionally. Add salt and black pepper to taste and remove from the heat.

Creamy carrot and orange soup :: Sonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's Kitchen

Baked apples with vanilla and cardamom scented almond stuffing

stuffing enough for 8-10 apples

8 small tart eating apples (e.g. Cox Orange)

2/3 cup almonds (100g)
1/2 cup (100 g) dates (about 6 medjool or 12 regular), pitted
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp ground vanilla
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
2 tbsp almond butter (make your own or use ready made)
2 tbsp extra virgin coconut oil
coconut sugar and/or agave syrup to sprinkle

1) Preheat the oven to 175° C (350° F). Cut the tops of the apples and remove the cores with a corer or knife.
2) Make the stuffing by putting all ingredients in a food processor and whiz until well blended. Use this mixture to stuff the holes left in the apples by their cores.
3) Place on a baking tray and sprinkle with a pinch of coconut sugar and/or a little agave syrup. Bake for 25-30 minutes. When the apples are soft to the touch, they are ready. Serve lukewarm with whipped cream.

Baked apples with vanilla and cardamom scented almond stuffing :: Sonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's KitchenBaked apples with vanilla and cardamom scented almond stuffing :: Sonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's Kitchen

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Take a “shellfie” and get a chance to win a crayfish safari :: Ta en “shellfie” och tävla om en kräftsafari

Jerusalem artichoke soup with steamed blue mussels :: Sonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's Kitchen
Jerusalem artichoke soup with steamed blue mussels

Hello! I’m writing this post in collaboration with Västsvenska Turistrådet (Tourism council of West Sweden). The tourism council wants more people to be able to experience the beautiful Bohuslän and its wonderful shellfish supply. And that’s why they currently run a contest with a chance to win a crayfish safari including food and two hotel nights – one in Gothenburg and one in Fjällbacka (valued to 6 400 sek ≈ 600 €).

In Bohuslän you’ll find a variety of shellfish such as oysters, lobster, crayfish, shrimps and mussels. And there are so many delicious things to cook with shellfish… Try this recipe for Jerusalem artichoke (sun choke) soup with steamed blue mussels for example – a fantastic seasonal combo during autumn and winter!

Find the recipe in English here
Du hittar receptet på svenska här

Join the contest by taking a “shellfie” – a selfie with your favourite shellfish and then upload the image to Facebook or Instagram. Tag your image #saltalivet.

I have been asked to nominate best photo of the week so let your imagination run wild and you might be the lucky one!

Below you’ll find the instructions in both English and Swedish. The contest will close on October 31st.

Wishing you all the best of luck!

Så här tävlar du:

1. Ta en shellfie!

2. Ladda upp bilden på vår Facebooksida (Bohuslän) eller på ditt Instagramkonto genom att tagga bilden med #saltalivet. För att tävla måste du ha ett Facebook- och/eller ett öppet Instagramkonto.

3. Tio bilder går till final varav fem utifrån antal röster/gilla och Instagramhjärtan som bilden får, så var med och påverka! Resterande fem bilder utses av en enväldig jury från Västsvenska Turistrådet.

4. Juryn utser vinnaren bland de tio finalbidragen.

Follow these steps to join the contest:

1) Take a shellfie!

2) Upload the image to Bohuslän on Facebook or on your personal Instagram account (your account must be set to “public”) by tagging the image #saltalivet.

3) Ten images will be nominated to the final and the winner will be chosen by a jury at the Tourism council.

In collaboration with Västsvenska Turistrådet and Bohuslän.com

Girl with mussels in her hands :: Sonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's Kitchen

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Creative Q&A with ceramicist Kajsa Cramér + a giveaway

Creative Q&A with ceramicist Kajsa Cramér :: Sonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's Kitchen

As some of you might remember I started a new series here on the blog a while ago. It is called ‘Creative Q&A’ and I decided to focus on ceramicists that make beautiful every day use objects and tableware. Ceramicists whose objects I admire and that you see in use often here on the blog.

Last time we were invited to peep into the little cabin of Elin Lannsjö where she often comes to work and where I got to photograph her and her ceramics.

Today you’ll get to meet Kajsa Cramér – a lovely person and ceramicist based out of Billdal, a bit south from Gothenburg on the west coast of Sweden.

Creative Q&A with ceramicist Kajsa Cramér :: Sonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's Kitchen

Kajsa creates unique, clean and amazingly beautiful objects with a timeless, simple yet elegant scandinavian touch.

She works mostly with white porcelain clay (kaolin) and she says she loves its clean and almost transparent look after burning. That’s also why she doesn’t use much color in her work. She wants the clay to play the main role and to really ‘shine’.

Kajsa was kind enough to answer a few questions – and to let me have a look inside her little studio where she makes most of her ceramics.

Creative Q&A with ceramicist Kajsa Cramér :: Sonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's Kitchen

Kajsa Cramér
ceramicist
Billdal (Gothenburg), Sweden
www.kajsacramer.se
instagram.com/kajsacramer

How long have you been making ceramics for?
I have been doing ceramics as a hobby for about 15 years, and four years ago I decided to make it my profession. Along with my former job as an interior stylist I took several different courses, and in 2006 I started my education focusing solely on ceramics at Löftadalens Folkhögskola. That was when I started dreaming about making ceramics my profession. I never returned to my former job after we had our third child in 2009, and from then on I have been following my dream.

What was it that made you realize ceramics was something you wanted to spend your days doing?
I’ve always had creative jobs such as florist, stylist, interior stylist etc. I was drawn to ceramics because of the challenge it brings… and there is so much to try in terms of clay. I knew I would never get bored working with clay. Working with clay also allows me to combine my former creative experiences with clay as I create vases, candle holders and tableware for decorative use.

I work mainly with porcelain clay which is the whitest of clays and actually rather difficult to work with. But what I love about it is that it feels modern, poetic and matches the interior design style that I love. I actually fell in love with porcelain clay the very first time I tried, although all of my teachers (except one!) tried to discourage me from using it…

At the moment ceramics is my thing, but I’ll probably try other ways of expressing myself creatively in the future. But I’ll never let go completely of clay.

Creative Q&A with ceramicist Kajsa Cramér :: Sonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's Kitchen

Is there anything in particular that inspires you in your creative process?
The clay in itself is my biggest inspiration. I love all of its states – wet, bone-dry, burned and finished. And I try to show off all of its states in my objects, which is why I love to combine shiny and matte finishes and that’s also why I hardly use any color in my glazes.

Nature also inspires me a lot (Have you heard that one before? she says and laughs.) As I walk my dog in the woods and near the ocean I study shapes, shades and surfaces and the changes in nature with the seasons.

But of course I’m also inspired by interior magazines, blogs, shops and travels. Inspiration can also be found in a simple sheet of paper, a painting, a photograph or a wall color. I guess I’m always on the lookout and inspiration is a complex thing that you cannot always explain.

Creative Q&A with ceramicist Kajsa Cramér :: Sonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's Kitchen

Your dishes and platters are a perfect canvas for food presentation but also for display of other items in the home or to create beautiful stills around the house. Do you have a certain use in mind when you create a new piece?
When I create something new I have a basic idea of what I want to do. But my philosophy is also that it is up to the owner of my objects what to use it for. A lantern can be used as a vase, a bowl or as a pot for a plant. The mug becomes a bowl, the espresso cup turns into a candle holder etc.

I simply want the design of my objects to inspire the owner’s creativity.

Creative Q&A with ceramicist Kajsa Cramér :: Sonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's Kitchen

Do you have a personal ‘darling piece’ among your work?
At the moment I am very fond of my new tableware ‘Black’. I love that the clay is unfinished and matte in combination with an edge dipped in glaze. I really like it when the clay and its natural state is shown off without the disturbance of painted patterns.

I also love the candle holder and I use it for almost anything – pot, vase, pen holder etc. But I love it the most when used as a candle holder. When lit it becomes almost transparent and the throw lines become clearly visible. I also love that the outside is matte while the inside is shiny, which reflects the light beautifully. It shows that it has been made by hand. Perfectly imperfect.

* And lastly – a giveaway! *
Kajsa has also been kind enough to share a small object of hers for a giveaway with one lucky reader. It is named ‘Straight small bloom’ (pictured below).

Isn’t it just too cute? Personally I would use it for anything from flowers to pencils and toothbrushes…

If you would like to win, simply leave a comment below. The giveaway will close on Sunday, October 26th. And please make sure to leave your name and contact email so I can get in touch with you. And you are welcome to join in regardless of where you live in the world!

Straight small bloom by Kajsa Cramér :: Sonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's Kitchen

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