Birthday present

My husband gave me a day at the tennis finals of Stockholm Open as a birthday present. He managed to get special “sponsor tickets” through Audi–we got our leasing car through them 2 years ago.

We arrived at the tennis center around an hour before the first game. It took us a little while to find the entrance as we weren’t supposed to go through the normal entrance but a special “sponsor entrance”.  When we got inside the different companies sponsoring the event had their own little area for their guests where they served food. We didn’t know they were going to serve food in advance but we were quite hungry by the time we got there so the buffet table was a perfect lunch treat before the game.

Audi's corner.
Audi’s corner.
Lunch time
Lunch time

After lunch we went to the main court to find our seats and then enjoyed a total of 3,5 hours of tennis action. First the doubles final and then the single final with a 30 minute break between the two.

Start of the doubles final. The swedish couple lost against the much higher ranked competitors.
Start of the doubles final. The Swedish couple (with their back against the camera) lost against the much higher ranked competitors. The Swedes were wild cards into the tournament so it was a great thing that they got this far.

 

Doubles final in action
Doubles final in action
The singles final was played between David Ferrer (Spain) and Grigor Dimitrov (Bulgaria)
The singles final was played between David Ferrer (Spain) and Grigor Dimitrov (Bulgaria)

At the singles final the Crown princess, her husband and their 19 months old daughter arrived. The little princess seemed to charm most people sitting close by and those setting far away. At one point it even looked like she was explaining what the players were doing from the way in which she gestured with her arms. We sat too far away though to get a good picture of the trio.

Ferrer serving
Ferrer serving
Prize ceremony. Dimitrov played his first ATP final and won. Great played against the no 1 seed (of the tournament) Ferrer.
Prize ceremony. Dimitrov played his first ATP final and won. Great played against the no 1 seed (of the tournament) Ferrer.

It was a lot of fun to watch the finals and next year I will definitely try to visit the tournament again, either the final and/or earlier matches. We ended the evening with dinner at The Bishop Arms.

Fish n chips
Fish n chips

Happy 38th!

Today is my 38th birthday. Happy birthday to me! 🙂

I started celebrating yesterday already with a afternoon tea party for my family. I had the party at my parents house as more people will be able to sit together around the table there. Here at home I can fit barely 8 in the kitchen.

I made three types of sandwiches, two traditional ones–one with egg and the other with cucumber–and the last one a ham and veggie bite on rye bread which was cut into small round pieces. My mom made her fantastic lemon cake squares and I made cupcakes. As I love purple I wanted to go with that theme for the cupcakes so I put lavender in the muffin and purple sugar paste flowers on top. I also came up with the idea to put a lilac ribbon on each of the cupcakes. That was probably the most tricky and tedious thing. Hubby and I had to do a little teamwork to get them all attached nicely.

Table is all set for guests to arrive.
Table is all set for guests to arrive.
Table decorations. Wine glasses upside down with flowers and tea lights on top (not visible).
Table decorations. Wine glasses upside down with flowers and tea lights on top (not visible).
Lavender cupcakes and lemon cake squares.
Lavender cupcakes and lemon cake squares.

I love afternoon tea but I’ve never had my own party before . I’ve “only” been to The Ritz in London and Grand Hotel here in Stockholm. It was a lot of fun to have my own party and it’s definitely not the last time! 🙂

Today I met up with my parents for lunch. It’s “shrimp sandwich day” here in Sweden today and whoever came up with it couldn’t have picked a better day for it as I love everything with shrimp and in particular shrimp sandwich! So, of course we had to go to the best shrimp sandwich serving café in town.  After lunch we took a 2,5 km walk this sunny and colorful Fall day.

Best shrimp sandwich ever!
Best shrimp sandwich ever!
Love walking in big piles of leaves.
Love walking in big piles of leaves.
Beautiful Fall!
Beautiful Fall!

My evening ended with hubby’s homemade hot chicken wings. I have a cold and it has felt worse for each day the past 4 days so nothing better than to scare it away with hot wings! 🙂 And lots of freshly squeezed grapefruit juice with that.

Birthday cupcakes

My mother turned 65 last week and I asked if I could make cupcakes for her birthday lunch party.

I started making the sugar paste flowers 2 days before the event. The good thing with sugar paste flowers is that they will stay nice for quite some time as long as you keep them in a dry place. As soon as they hit the refrigerator they will turn soft and eventually wither away. I wanted the flowers to be in a design I’d never done before. Originally I had planned to do a more star like shape of the flower but I just couldn’t get the hang of the cookie cutter and the silicon form so eventually I gave up and used my regular round cookie cutter.

I also made tiny pearls out of sugar paste and painted them with the  glitter. It was a tedious job–both rolling the small balls and painting them–and I think I used most of the pearl glitter on my fingers instead of on the pearls. 🙂 Not as fun to make as the flowers maybe but they taste good and it’s more fun to have your own shaped pearl than buying the much harder versions from a store.

Home made pearls.
Home made pearls.

The chocolate muffins were made the evening before the event so on the actual day I only had to make the frosting and decorate. I had made white flowers and pearls and though a regular white frosting would be a little boring so I colored it pink instead. The hardest part was filling the decorating bag! Usually I make cupcakes on the weekends which means I have two more hands, that is my hubby assists me, but now he was at work. So what to do? I went to the cabinet and checked for what to use. After a little thought I realized our fine glasses was the only glass possible to use for this. 🙂 Very fancy glass to use but it worked. 🙂

Chocolate muffins waiting to be decorated with a pink frosting.
Chocolate muffins waiting to be decorated with a pink frosting.

I’ve realized that I need to practice much more in regards to decorating techniques. It just doesn’t turn out as good as I want. A good reason to bake cupcakes (or cakes) often I suppose. 😉 With the help of my flowers and my other decorations though I can hide the not so perfect frosting.

I transported the cupcakes to my parents without the decorations on top. They wouldn’t be served immediately and I wanted all flowers to look perfect so I decorated them right before eating. Usually I take them out of the refrigerator around 30 minutes before I need to decorate them in order for the frosting to become soft again. It was still a little too hard though when I had to decorate them so most of the sprinkles didn’t want to stick but it turned out nice anyway.

Birthday cupcakes finished and ready to be served.
Birthday cupcakes finished and ready to be served.

Party prep

It’s my wonderful hubby’s 45th birthday today. We’re not having the real celebration until Saturday when everyone is invited to my parents place (our apartment is too small) for BBQ.

I’m making cupcakes for the birthday party and today I started making the flowers that will be on top as decoration. I’ve not made any since I attended the cupcake class in May so it was fun to finally make some again. I did not have everything I needed so the first flowers didn’t turn out as great but then I tried to use sponges to put the flowers upside down on in order for them to keep the shape. Much better! I can’t remember that we did that in the class though so not sure why I had the issue of the flowers “falling apart”.

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Of course we needed a little celebration on his actual birthday so he decided what he wanted to grill, and I asked my parents if we could use their grill. Our electrical grill is no fun at all for a grill fanatic like my hubby. 😊 He made rainbow trout marinated in a habanero and lime sauce. First time we tried that recipe but definitely not the last!

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Big celebration

Today we’ve celebrated my father-in-law’s 80th birthday with an open house.

We started the day early with baking two pans of mini muffins for the cupcakes. The first pan Mathias baked yesterday. Next we went and picked up my mother-in-law. She had made three sandwich cakes so our car was filled with yummy stuff. If we had gotten stuck in snow we’d have lots of good stuff to eat! 😉

At my sister-in-law’s and her spouse place we started to prepare for the birthday party. At 1 pm we were ready for guests to start to arrive.

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I just have to post a photo of all the decorated cupcakes. It’s quite the view with ~70 cupcakes standing in front of you!

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Birthday boy

Christmas Day in my family means celebrating my brother’s birthday. It’s really good that Swedes celebrate Christmas on Christmas Eve! 🙂

The morning we spent at home making more candy. Around lunchtime my mother-in-law came back with our car (she borrowed it yesterday evening in order to get home easier). We drove her home and then headed to my parents. Our plan was to go to the memorial ground to light candles but due to the snow storm (lots of snow plus heavy winds) we decided to just go straight to my parents.

Once there we enjoyed coffee and cookies while my brother opened his gift.

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We also played a little couronne. Normally I would play more than once but I’ve experienced more pain in my shoulder and back the past days so I let my brother and hubby play instead.

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For dinner we were first served an appetizer containing toasted bread. My brother got a toaster as a gift from my parents which “burns” the badge of his favorite team.

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Main course was Flygande Jacob (translated Flying Jacob), a chicken dish with a whipped cream sauce served with rice. I’ll post the recipe someday not too far away.

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And for dessert we ate ice cream.

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As I said earlier it was snowing a lot early on today so we decided to bring toothbrushes etc in case we had to stay the night. It stopped snowing in the mid afternoon and we figured it wouldn’t be too bad to drive home after all. The small road out to the main road where my parents lives were quite bad but once we got to the main road the snow had been removed and it was easy to get home.

When we left my parents I noticed Santa and Mrs Claus were snowed in so I removed the snow from their faces and then got this fantastic photo.

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