Roy Fares “DELICIOUS” Book Release Party!

When I first met Roy Fares, it was under very sensitive circumstances. A friend’s memorial service.. From that time on, we have been friends.
Roy Fares (Sweden’s Best Pastry Chef of 2010) is a Sweet Dynamo of energy and talent!  He would have to be since he has just released his THIRD cook book, called “DELICIOUS

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The first, ‘Sweet by Roy Fares‘ in 2012, was our welcoming introduction to Roy’s simple yet tasty treats. After several visits to the U.S.A., he was inspired to complete a second book in 2013 called ‘The United States of Cakes‘. Traditional American desserts that Roy chose to put his own delectable spin on, to take your taste buds to a whole new level.

Now, Roy brings us yet another savoury book.

In ‘DELICIOUS‘, he focuses on seasonal Fall and Winter fruits like apples, pears and nuts. He also takes some baking inspiration from America and gives it the Roy Fares ‘lift’  with his own signature touches. He embraces the holidays too, and creates many delectable cookies, cakes and pies for the holiday season and to have with a nice cup of hot chocolate, curled up in your favourite chair.

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Roy’s DELICIOUS Release Party was held at the very elegant and laid back  Miss Clara Hotel. I got there and was greeted by Roy who was outside at the time. He looked handsome as usual.  I didn’t go right in. He asked why and I told him I was waiting for my plus one.  Only minutes later my friend Kendra arrived.

20140908_019 (2)Our names were checked off the list and we walked in to the high energy and pleasant atmosphere. Champagne, cocktail hors d’oeuvres, wine, pastries, cider and of course “DELICIOUS” were up for grabs. Everyone taking a DELICIOUS  copy to browse and have signed. The place was  filled with well wishers, family, acquaintances and friends. Roy was his usual cool self, greeting everyone, working the room and having a laugh or a selfie.

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Roy was born in Lebanon in 1984 – the youngest of three children. In 1990, during the Syrian war, his parents moved the family to Örebro, Sweden – for a safer and more prosperous life.

In his Bio on his website he writes, “I have always admired my Mom and Dad for their brave decision. I sometimes wonder what I would have done if we stayed, and how my life would have been like today.”

Roy has worked hard and has come very far in his career. His determination and continued rising success is an indicator that he is certainly on the move and has so much more to look forward to in his life and his career!  CHEERS ROY!

To learn more about Roy Fares, check out his site By Roy Fares , Facebook: Sweets by Roy Fares

Photos in Slideshow taken by Photographer: Kate Gabor

The 4th of July Celebration with the U.S. Embassy of Sweden, in Gotland!.. Or, ” What I did this Summer.”

Remember when you were returning to school after Summer, and the first assignment you would get from your Teacher would be to write an essay about what you did over the Summer.  Well, back then my reports were mainly about visiting my Grandparents in Miami, hanging with friends, having sleepovers with my cousins, getting Math and Reading assignments from my Parents, and taking extra Summer class courses. Yeah, I was a bit of a Nerd.

Well, NOTHING could have prepared me for this past Summer!

I was asked to sing the American National Anthem ( I write “American” because I know some of you thought I meant the Swedish anthem) for the July 4th Celebration at the U.S. Embassy of Sweden.

My first thought was, “Wow! Yay!” Those of you who know me, you know this is true 🙂

The first time I had this honour was in June 2013 when the U.S. Embassy had their July 4th BBQ Bash at the Sheraton Hotel. That place was filled with Ambassadors, Officials, special guests as well as fellow Americans. I was really nervous but it went well. I  felt so humbled to sing the National Anthem for my Country and for the Embassy. It was just an overwhelming feeling of pride.

So, here I am again, being asked a second year in a row (Yes! They didn’t think I sucked the first time 🙂 ) to sing for their 4th of July Party. I humbly accepted, knowing that it couldn’t be as nerve wrecking as the first time.  The BIG surprise. This party was going to be held in Visby Gotland during Almedalen, Sweden’s biggest political meeting place. Almedalen brings political parties, non-governmental organisations, businesses, trade unions and a host of other organisations together to discuss politics and policy through seminars and gatherings throughout the week. This is the first time the U.S.Embassy has taken the 4th of July celebration outside of Stockholm.

I had never been to Visby and was quite excited about the trip considering it was during high season for vacation seekers as well. I was finally going to Gotland.

My fun began on the boat ride with Destination Gotland ferry from Nynäshamn to Gotland. Quite a fine journey. It reminded of me of being on a floating plane but MUCH quieter!

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Once there, I stayed in the Clarion Visby hotel.

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From the outside, it reminded me of a rook chess piece.  The inside, much more becoming and warm with great staff and a friendly, buzzing atmosphere. This hotel is deceiving with it’s long corridors that twist and turn. I got the hang of it and only knew I was near my room from the change of décor in the hallway and the large chandelier hanging near my room door.

The next day, it was all about preparation. The festivities were held in the Governor’s garden. The Landshövding (Governor) of Visby is Governor Cecilia Schelin Seidegård.

The Embassy staff were worker bees fixing, organizing, preparing, and ensuring all would flow smoothly  for this event. Then finally it was time.. Introductions were made.

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Natalia & Ambassador Brzezinski and Governor Cecilia Schelin Seidegård.

 

 

The Ambassador and Mrs. Natalia Brzezinski took their place on the podium and then I was presented to sing.

A nervous moment but I got through it with grace.  You’ve never seen someone so happy and eager to step off a stage 🙂

The Ambassador then gave a speech that was full of meaning and inspiration.

The party itself was a huge success and everyone seemed to enjoy all the great music, conversations, food and even slushies!

Thank you so much Darcie,  Laura, Ann-Charlotte, Steve, Jeff, Julie, Kellie, Natalia, Michael, Mark, Ken, Bob, Annika and everyone for a wonderful time. You all really made me feel so warm and welcome!

There are moments you remember all your life. This is one of those moments.

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Welcome to Stockholm PRIDE!

On August 2nd I got up early and prepared myself for a lovely day and a great Parade!
The STOCKHOLM PRIDE PARADE!

I have been attending for almost all the years I have lived in Stockholm and it seems the Parade, participants and On lookers increase in number every year. There are celebrations the whole week and ends with a festive Parade.
STOCKHOLM PRIDE’S  goal is to strengthen and make aware the rights of LBGT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender). It is a festival blending, politics, culture and awareness in a party atmosphere and this year was no different.

This year, not only did I watch, I got to participate in the march when yanked into the U.S Embassy group as they went by! What a great feeling!!!

I have stood in many different places to view the Parade. Kungsträdgården, Near the Castle, Slussen etc and none topped the spot I was in for this Parade!
No, I’m not sharing… 🙂
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America! Welcome to Sweden!

I am sure you have heard that before. well, maybe not, but this time it really means just that!

Welcome to Sweden” received wonderful praise and was ultimately picked up by NBC and is premièring TONIGHT on their Thursday evening line-up!  SWEET!

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Welcome to Sweden is a romantic comedy that Sweden was first introduced to earlier this year. I attended Premier Night and was truly blown away!

It was created by my friend and fellow Expat Greg Poehler and Executive Produced by  Amy Poehler, his sister.

Greg began this journey 2 years ago. He wrote the first episode in his attic on a snowy day. He dreamt big that day and he is amazed and humbled that the reality has truly exceeded his dreams.

It is loosely based on Greg’s own life. He’s a well educated man who fell in love with his girlfriend (now wife) and moved to Sweden.  Sounds simple right? Hmm…

This is truly a loosely-based autobiography for all of us American Expats in Sweden. I am sure that most of us identified clearly with all the scenarios.

The LA Times says, “Welcome to Sweden is the best thing to happen to broadcast-network comedy since “Modern Family.” Sweet, smart and quickly addictive, it’s a classic cross-cultural romantic comedy with top notes of satire, but a brave and true heart.”

Monsters & Critics say, “Bottom line:Welcome to Sweden’ is absolutely NOTHING like any network comedy you have watched. And this is a good thing. Fresh, quirky, truly funny and endearing, the cast and the familiar fish out of water premise is taken to Nordic extremes and dressed with some of Sweden’s best actors – Lena Olin, Josephine Bornebusch, Claes Månsson, Per Svensson, Christopher Wagelin – in the main cast, all of whom effortlessly deliver lines in Swedish and English, with occasional sub-titles easy to read to see the quips they are doling out as their daughter’s boyfriend from America (Greg Poehler) is exasperating them at almost every turn with his big goofy Yankee two left feet and penchant to overdress for the sauna.”

The New York Post says, “Welcome to Sweden” is a charming new entry into the genre, and after watching the first two episodes I’ll be coming back for more.”

Now, this is a chance for the U.S.A. to see just a little slice of Swedish life through the eyes of “Bruce”.  There are also cameo appearances by Will Ferrell, Gene Simmons, Patrick Duffy and Illeana Douglas to name a few..

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Josephine (Emma) Bornebush and Greg (Bruce) Poehler

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Welcome to Sweden

Please don’t expect any slap-stick jokes. He reserves that for his stand-up routine. Check out the Youtube below!
What you will get are great laughs, beautiful scenery, wonderful story lines and an honest to goodness look at the changes and sacrifices one makes for love.

So TONIGHT, get yourself a comfy seat on the sofa and watch, Welcome to Sweden“... Yes friends.. I live in Sweden… not Switzerland.

” This clip is Rated PG-13″

The Fortunate Cook Goes Challah!

It’s that time of year. What time you might ask? Time to start baking.. Like we really need an excuse to bake!  It’s an ongoing happening.

This year I am starting out by baking one of my FAVOURITE breads. Challah. 

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Challah is a loaf of yeast-risen egg bread that is traditionally eaten by Jews on Shabbat, on ceremonial occasions and during festival holidays.

My Mom would buy it on the weekend after her work. It was the BEST bread I ever ate. The shiny texture and pull-like form made it a sure win.

I never made the bread until I got here to Stockholm. The hunt was on to find a recipe and then refine and perfect it until I was tasting New York Challah bread! You know, ’cause I’m in SWEDEN….not Switzerland 🙂

What a challenge this turned out to be but with persistence, I finally was able to create my on Challah.  Please don’t get Challah confused with Brioche, its’ French counterpart.
They both have a similar look but Brioche contains milk and butter as ingredients. Challah does not, but it does need time and patience.

 

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I started out with preparing all the ingredients in advance. Sifting the flour is a usual thing for me. Most flours can become clumpy. Sifting the flour destroys clumps and helps for better mixing.  I allow the yeast to dissolve and puff up in  tepid water and 1 tablespoon of sugar. Takes about 10-15 minutes. If you want it to happen quicker, you can submerge your bowl into a waterbath with hot water.  Once the yeast is ready, add the rest of the sugar, salt and ½ the flour to the bowl. Mix together with dough hook. Add the eggs and oil and  blend them in well.

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Mix in the remaining flour until the dough starts to pull away from the bowl. This where the fun begins!
Pull the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and begin Kneading.  This may take about 5-8 minutes.  One commonly used technique is to push the dough out in one direction with the heel of your hand, and fold it back on itself. Turn the dough by 90 degrees and repeat. Kneading in this way stretches the gluten and makes the dough elastic until it acquires a “life of it’s own”. It should be smooth and elastic, springing back when pressed lightly with your finger.

Now, oil a clean bowl and place the dough into it ,turning the dough once so that its oiled on all sides. Cover it with a damp kitchen towel and let it rise in a warm, draft-free place for… are you ready.. 2 HOURS!!! That’s right!  Well, you’re not totally inactive at this stage. you need to punch down the rising dough  every ½ hour!  Now, if you miss one or two, ½ hour intervals, don’t fret but it’s best to have a timer set so you can get it done!

After the 2 hours, turn your dough out onto your lightly floured work surface.  Get your pan and line it with baking paper.  Set your oven to 175c  degrees. 375 F degrees in the U.S.

Cut the dough in half with a large knife or a dough cutter. Take one half and divide it into thirds.

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Now the fun begins. Roll each third out to about a foot long…from your pinky finger to your elbow That might be a bit longer than 12 inches but there is enough dough..  Place each one on the bakingpaper sheet . I think it is easier to braid them on the sheet than attempting to transfer them from workboard to baking pan but if you have mad skills, go for it!  Pinch the top ends together and begin to carefully braid the bread. Be sure there is enough space in between each length. Work slowly. When you get to the end, pinch it together and tuck it under. Now, do the same thing with the other third OR you can make rolls as I did.

Now allow the Challah to rest for 30 minutes.

Take a beaten egg and brush the Challah all over. At this point you can sprinkle, pumpkin seeds or poppy seeds on top if you like. Then into the oven for 25 minutes.

DO NOT OPEN THE OVEN!  Now depending on your oven.. that 25 minutes could be 35 minutes or 20 minutes. Keep a close watch on it. I usually put my timer on for 25 minutes, then check it for browness after an extra 10 minutes.

After the time has passed, turn off the oven and let the bread sit in there for another 10 minutes.

NOW, take the bread out of the oven…..

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Aren’t they just the prettiest things you ever saw. This bread can also be made in a loaf pan. I made hamburger buns with them a while back. They were excellent!  It’s great for breakfast with butter and jam or just plain with a nice cup of tea like my Mum use to have it. Either way, it is quite a yummy bread. Just try your hand at it. You will be surprised how satisfied you will feel afterwards!

Challah Bread  Yield: 2 Challahs

Ingredients:
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 (1/4 ounce) packages dry yeast
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups warm water (80 -90)
Glaze
1 egg, beaten

 

Welcome to Khrysos Photography

Hi and Welcome!
This is my first venture into Websites and Blogs and I must say it is quite daunting at times but I seem to be muddling through it all quite well so far. This will be a place where I will share some of my adventures and lots of my photos, like this one!

This is to also thanks Lola Akimnade Åkerström of  Geotraveler Media.com for helping me dive head first into my love for Photography and Travel and Food.

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I remember our conversation some time ago when we first started to talk of me creating a website:

“*Lola: You take great photos? Do you do it professionally?

**Me:  Well, I have been published three times. An Author’s book portrait, newspaper article and a Science magazine.

*Lola: Germaine, (she says with a small smirk and a twinkling eye) you are a Professional Published Photographer my friend. Do not call yourself anything less than that.”

Everyone needs a ” Lola” In their lives!

Please enjoy this adventure with me.

The Butterfly Traveller

Hi All!
Glad you are here. I call myself the Butterfly Traveller. There are a few reasons why that name came about but one comes from my Mom.  Actually, I think both came from my Mom now that I think about it.

Travel doesn’t have to mean you actually fly or drive to another state or town. Travel is exploring and discovering what happens in your life. As that saying goes, “Life is a journey, not a destination”. So in honor of my Mom and Sister… I am continuing this glorious journey for them and for myself.

The Fortunate Cook

 

FoodI love to bake. I love to cook. I love the chemistry. And most of all, I love to share my dishes and baked goods with friends and family.

 

 

I always heard that there is an “Art” to cooking and doing it well. I believe the ART of cooking is to LOVE what you do.

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So, I decided (with alot of encouragement from friends) to start this Blog and post dishes I’ve made and wonderful meals I’ve discovered in restaurants here in Stockholm and through my travels.

I hope you enjoy!