Christmas baking with a twist

This year I wanted to do something different with the classic Christmas baking recipies and went all in on both saffron buns and butterscotch!

From the saffron buns I made small balls which I then filled with butter cola coconut and sprinkled on powdered sugar on top of the bun. It became really good actually! I also made some more classic variations for those who do not want to be quite so experimental. The filling for these buns instead was classic raisins. 

Saffron buns (30 pcs)

Ingredients:

  • 50 grams of yeast (sweet)
  • 2 dl cold milk
  • 1 packet of saffron
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 125 g butter (room temperature)
  • 1 egg
  • 7 dl wheat flour

Filling:

  • 100 g coconut flakes
  • 0.5 dl light syrup
  • 0.5 dl granulated sugar 
  • 0.75 dl cream
  • 40 g butter

How to use:

Pour the cold milk into a bowl and stir the yeast into it. Pour in the saffron powder, sugar, butter and egg in the milk jug. Then mix down the wheat flour and work quickly together into a smooth dough. 

Prepare the filling by pouring all the ingredients for the filling into a saucepan. Bring to a boil and then simmer for about 5 minutes. 

Take the saffron dough on a well-floured baking sheet and knead. Divide the dough into 5 equal pieces and divide each part into 6 pieces. Roll up buns of the pieces and put in molds.

Press a hole in the bun and add a click of filling (if you want, you can also fill some buns with about 5 raisins instead). Close the hole and place the bun with the hole side down. Then set all the buns to ferment under a towel for about 1 hour and set the oven at 225 degrees. 

When the buns are finished yeast, brush the buns with lightly beaten egg and sprinkle with powdered sugar. Bake the buns in the oven for about 7-8 minutes. 

Butterscoth with coco (approx. 40 pcs)

I made these today while I made the saffron buns. I got leftover filling from the saffron buns so I decided to make coconut butterscotch of the leftovers. 

Ingredients:

  • 200 g coconut chopped
  • 1 dl light syrup
  • 1 dl caster sugar
  • 1.5 dl whipping cream
  • 75 g butter
  • 50 g chopped almonds (optional and the amount can also vary)

Do this:

Pour all the ingredients into a saucepan. Boil without a lid, stirring occasionally until the batter passes the test for firmness (the test is done by pouring som cold water in a glas and then taking a teaspoon of the batter to put in the waterglas, when it turns chevy then its done). Adjust the cooking length according to how firm you want the butterscotch coco.

Tip! If you want to make both of these recipes, it is very easy to make them at the same time, as the filling for the saffron bun is basically the same ingredients as for the butterscotch coco. What you do then is that you make the same amount of butterscotch coco as the recipe above. Boil the filling / butterscotch coco  in the saucepan and then lower the temperature. Let stand and simmer for about 5 minutes. Then fill the saffron buns with running butterscotch coco. Leave the rest of the filling / butterscotch coco in the saucepan and add the chopped almonds. Boil without a lid, stirring occasionally until the batter passes the firmness test for butterscotch coco.  

Modern interior style from Germany

Pictures from Lievevolles.zuhause in Germany. Stylish, modern and sober interior style in colors that go in black, white, brown and beige.

Picturecred: @ liebevolles.zuhause on Instagram. Here you reach the account: https://www.instagram.com/liebevolles.zuhause/

 

Test:  what interior design style do you have?  Take the test here!

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A dream location in the archipelago

A dream location in the archipelago

The beautiful scenery, forest, lake and beach were truly breathtaking and it was love at first sight! Out in the archipelago in Kristinehamn we found our little oasis in the middle of Sweden after a visit here on our holiday. There were several plots for sale and we could choose from many different plots – we chose a corner plot that was over 2,600 sqm large and only a minute from the lake and the beach.

A few years later we were told that all plots had been sold and that our plot was especially sought after so we are glad that we were first. The plot is perfectly located and we have sun in our back yard almost all day. In addition, there is a wonderful wildlife all around with lots of trees and animals.

Choice of housing developer

Before we found our dream plot, we had talked for a long time about buying a plot and building a house. That is why we were at Hem & Villamässan long before and had already met a number of developers there. We hade the best impression of Myresjöhus and really fell in love with some of their houses.  

Building permit and choice of house

We received help from Myresjöhus with a new construction map and drawings including a sauna house and carport, which we thought was very flexible. When we sent in the building permit application, I thought it would take a very long time as we also had to supplement with more info about the carport. Luckily it did not take too long and within 8 weeks we got an approved building permit.

We had a very hard time deciding on a house style – there were so many nice ones! Sloping house, 1.5-storey villa, New England, manor house style, etc. In the end, we fell for a mix between Milton and Båstad with a ridge roof. We wanted to get a lot of west coast feeling but at the same time a house that fit into the area. Once we had chosen a house, we still wanted to make changes so we started redrawing, changing, undoing, etc. This process was among the most fun and difficult we have done!

The picture of the house type we chose comes from http://www.myresjohus.se

Other planning for the site

Once the house planning was complete, we could start sketching the plot layout. We wanted a small lawn but at the same time keep as much forest plot as possible so that it would feel like a real natural plot. At the end of the plot facing the lake, we planned a wood-fired sauna house of 15 sqm with a relaxation room and large windows.

Behind the house we planned for the garden with a small lawn and a large wooden deck where we wanted to be able to have space with relaxation furniture, barbecue and wood-fired hot tub. At the entrance we planned a small wooden deck where we can sit and enjoy the morning sun.

To the left of the house we sketched in a double carport with storage. Later on we are also planning for a small house that has a gym for me and a music studio for my husband😊

Location of sauna house, dwelling house and carport on the plot
Picture of the vision of our sauna house

Interior design

There were really a lot of choices we needed to make and down to the smallest detail, quite difficult when you do not see the whole in front of you. The part where we invested the most was the kitchen and it eventually became a rustic kitchen with a lot of work space. We had a very professional kitchen architect at HTH Jönköping so it felt very safe and good.

The sketch of our kitchen 🙂
Some choices of countertops
One of the kitchens we looked at

In the large bathroom we chose dark furniture and a free standing bath where we think we will have many candles. We also chose a dark floor and a background wall in dark stone with a lot of structure in marble.

In the toilet / shower we chose white polished stones on the floor and a white facade for the tile where we could decorate with white furniture.

White polished stones that we have as a floor in one of the bathrooms
Wall tiles in one of the bathrooms

The ground work is being prepared and construction begins

At the beginning of April 2016, the ground work began . Myresjö hus took care of all the work when it came to the house, but we also did a lot of work ourselves, such as the foundation for the sauna house and carport, construction of the sauna house and carport, garden facility and construction of wooden decks and fences.

The ground work is being prepared

Inspection

The house constuction went fast and in and about 2 weeks before the final inspection we had a control inspection. All rooms and bathrooms were ok except for a few small things. However, we had a problem with the boiler in the laundry room, someone had made a mistake and the pipes were pulled a little tight which meant that the boiler did not fit. They removed some of the tiles on the wall to penetrate it, which did not go well and there was a remark on it. They presented different solutions to fix this and nothing felt great but we hope they can solve it in a nice and safe way anyway.

Other parts of the house will be inspected at the final inspection. Tiles were still missing in the hall, some moldings, installation of white goods and such things, but it would be in place in time for the final inspection.

The living room

Final inspection

The faults that remained from the inspection were corrected and what was left now to inspect was the laundry room, the kitchen and the hall.

The inspection went well and there were only a few remarks on the heat pump and some parts that were not in place yet, such as the fan and cornices. We felt that the inspection went a little too fast and we did not have time to look through properly before we went on.

After the final inspection, we got keys to the house and we started walking around and looking more closely. The most important thing for us in the whole house was and is the kitchen and the living room. We have put most focus on these areas and had expected a really nice kitchen. It was nice if you did not look closely. If you looked a little closer, you quickly noticed that the carpentry was completely missing! There was so much carelessness and mess. Some examples are countertops that slipped at windows, too little joint, gaps between floor and plinth, scratched tiles around the fan, black plastic that was left behind the fan, carpets and side parts were missing in all drawers. When we pointed out all the faults to our carpenters five minutes after the inspection, we we were told that the inspection was already complete and that it was too late now. I got so angry!

There were lots of other small flaws like holes, moldings, poorly cleaned, unwillingness to adjust exterior doors, etc. The same was true of several craftsmen on site who spat on the floor of the house next to us owners and complained that they were paid to little to work on our house. How can you even behave like that in front of a customer?

Nicely fixed hole in the worktop?
The joint around the fan and the plastic behind

Other experiences

But we also have positive experiences from other people who have worked with our house construction, such as tilers, painters, electricians, plumbers and ground contractors. We have nothing to complain about at all – they did exactly everything we agreed on and immediately asked if there was anything. I would love to work with these people again in the future!

Unfortunately, I experienced that Myresjöhus did not listen to us when we had problems. You could not get support or suggestions for solutions when you talked to them and needed help.

The house when we moved in
Our kitchen where we thrive today despite the bad start
The bathroom with toilet / shower
Large bathroom with dark background wall

Our best tip for others planning to build a new house

You have to be involved as much as you can! You have the right to talk to knowledgeable people and do not feel that you are too picky or fussy, it is your money and your house! Had we made this journey again and known more from the beginning, we would have opted out of the turnkey contract, which did not turn out as we expected. The promised service delivery from Myresjöhus also failed.

How are you doing today?

We really love the house which is amazingly nice and exactly what we wanted! However, we did not love the process and the level of service from Myresjöhus was far from being the best on the market as they themselves claim. But you forget quickly and we now enjoy our nice home with a cozy atmosphere, our dogs and our small children.

We have had time to build a terrace as well and this is what our house looks like today 🙂
We have planted trees and shrubs that make the driveway and the plot nice and lively
Nice natural environment with mountains around the house
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