Sunday, November 30, 2014

Fancy coffee and sunshine

I love that coffee is part of the culture here in Sweden.  This country consumes more coffee per capita than the US, but I daresay they like it more... plain? Americans like their fancy coffees, and I do like to indulge here and there, especially when the fall and winter seasonal flavors come.  Gothenburg recently got its first Starbucks at the central train station, and my friend Fran has spent quite a bit of time the States and loves American stuff.  While this is a genuine Starbucks, they do cater to local tastes so when Fran and I went in September I wasn't surprised that they didn't have old-fashioned donuts or lemon pound cake.  I was thrilled that they had pumpkin spice lattes, though, and these toffee-pecan cookies were pretty good.

Fran and Bowen and I met up for Starbucks fika again this week while Olivia was at a playdate.  The seasonal drinks this time around were Honey & Almond Hot Chocolate, Gingerbread Latte, and Toffee Nut Latte, so I went with Toffee Nut (mmm).  No Cranberry Bliss Bars, though, so I got a cranberry & white chocolate cookie and Bowen chose a lemon poppy seed muffin and played happily with his matchbox car and a straw.

And then I made a whole pan of Cranberry Bliss Bars this weekend.

Today I checked out the fancy coffee at Espresso House (which is like Sweden's Starbucks).  Initially when Fran told me about their Tomte latte my brain was like, "Eww it tastes like troll?!"  But I guess that's just their way of marketing a yuletide drink with cinnamon and cardamom, or else tomtes actually taste like Christmas.

They also have seasonal treats like pepparkaka (gingerbread) cheesecake topped with lingonberries, and these "Christmas spiced" julmuffins with candied orange.

I think I may survive the winter after all.  Actually, in all fairness, the six weeks of gloom has ended and we have seen some blue sky most days this week.  It makes such a difference in everyone's mood!  I don't mind the short days as much as I thought I would, as long as I can see the sun at some point.

Morning at Askimsbadet (from Kathy's house)
Sunset a few minutes later (ha ha) in central Gothenburg

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