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Giveaway: Celebrating Kokblog 10 Year!

© Johanna Kindvall

Last month Kokblog turned 10! Yay!

Not sure how ten years can pass that quickly. It feels like yesterday! Anyway…
Thanks to kokblog and all my readers, many great things have happened. I have got to know several interesting people, which has led to several interesting meetings and collaborations. All this and many other things have led me to become a full time illustrator. Thanks!

So why did I start kokblog? Ever since I was a young girl I have always enjoyed drawing. The drawings of ordinary things or situations I find interesting, something I experienced during the day or in my past. Cooking has also been an important part of my life, in my own kitchen or with friends.  Several years ago, I even used to work-train people in a large scale kitchen.

In 2003 I came to New York to work on my final master project (Fine Art and Design). During these few months I didn’t have much money so I paid my tutor in Sunday dinners!

At this time I started to draw things I cooked and ate. I started kokblog as a way to collect my recipes and drawings. It was also a place to share recipes with others and an excellent platform to show my work. I think that kokblog was one of the first cooking blogs to use illustrations instead of photographs.

This year has been especially amazing, in April my first cookbook, Fika was released. I celebrated big with a classic Swedish kafferep* and with several events in NYC, Boston, London and Sweden.

To celebrate Kokblog, I’m having a giveaway of  one of my prints. It’s a drawing of different kinds of coffeemakers (pictured below). The artwork is printed on an 8.5 x 11 inches (about 216 x 279 mm) heavyweight matte archival & acid free paper.

To participate, leave a comment below and tell me which is your favorite kokblog recipe/ post. You have until Friday August 21st to enter. I will contact the winner by email so please make sure to use an email you regularly use. The winner will also be announced here.
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We have a winner! 

First of all I want to thank you all for participating in my giveaway. It was a great pleasure to read through your comments. And I’m deeply honored by your sweet words about kokblog and my work. Thank you all.

The winner is Inés, who announced kanelbullar as her favorite recipe on kokblog. She also likes my sourdough starter diagram which is based on a method by Iban Yarza. Inés, I really hope you and your husband (who can’t live without coffee) will enjoy my coffeemaker drawing. Congratulations!

I would also especially thank Ginger Garza who asked her local library to order the Fika so more people can have fika (coffee break) and kafferep* with friends. That really warms my heart as from the time I started to read I’ve been a big fan of libraries. Thanks Ginger.

kokblog-coffee-print-05* Kafferep is a larger and more formal version of fika (coffee break). It’s a coffee gathering where several different varieties of buns, cookies and cakes are served. A kafferep is often held at birthdays, funerals or just as a good excuse for old ladies to meet and chat.Popular posts & recipes on Kokblog

Body Cakes (kroppkakor)- Swedish potato dumplings with salted pork
Pierogi (Polish dumplings) – with my not so traditional fillings
Kanelbullar (Cinnamon Buns) – collaboration with Anna Brones
Sourdough Starter Diagram
Cooking in Marrakesh – Semolina Pancakes
Sopa de Ajo (Traditional Spanish Bread Soup) by Ibán Yarza
Elderflower Gravlax
Glögg  – (Swedish Mulled Wine)
Sticky Chocolate Cake – (Swedish kladdkaka)
How to Turn Your Desk Into a Cheese Board by Tenaya Darlington
Mushroom Confit by Andrew Janjigian
Fika – The Art of the Swedish Coffee Break – (Behind the Scenes)
Cheese Calendar – Collaboration with Tenaya Darlington

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If you can’t get enough of kokblog and me? You can follow me on instagram, twitter and/or facebook. You can also check my portfolio for a selection of my work.

 

Pantry Confidential in my Kitchen

© Johanna Kindvall

A couple of weeks ago I was baking cardamom buns for the wonderful ladies Hana Choi and Christine Han at Pantry Confidential. If you are interested, you can read the interview and get a sneak peek into my kitchen here. The post also includes the Fika book recipe of Vetebullar (base dough for cinnamon and cardamom buns).

Hana has a background in journalism and food with a Grande Diplôme at The French Culinary Institute. In 2011 she started her blog style fare, where she shares beautiful things mixed with recipes and reviews of places she visits in NYC or when traveling. Christine is an anthropologist and photographer, based in NYC. She use photography as a tool to tell people’s stories. And she does that really well. Her specialities are food, weddings and travel.

Together they run Pantry Confidential, were they peek into food lover’s home kitchens around the city of NY.  I really like their concept and I find it really fun to get a look into the kitchens of other food personalities. Here are a few of my favorites: Michael Harlan Turkell, Olga Massov, Yossy Arefi and Kristin Appenbrink.

So when Hana contacted me three years ago and asked if they could come to my kitchen, I was obviously super flattered. But as I was in the middle of packing my kitchen stuff in the East Village, on our move to Brooklyn, I asked to postpone it. Then a year past while I was waiting for building approvals and what else you need to start a major house renovation. We definitely had a “gut” job ahead of us. Our new place was unlivable with plants growing into the kitchen and many other issues I don’t want to talk about.

During this time we rented a friend’s apartment. As the kitchen wasn’t really mine we decided to wait a little bit longer. The following year we finally lived in the house with a barely functional kitchen and a bathroom. But that was pretty much everything that was working. Our first night in the house we didn’t even have proper heating (and that was in February 2013).

The year after when our kitchen was almost ready we decided to take a break from renovating. We were almost ready but hungry to fully work on our own projects. Then Hana gave birth to her daughter Lana so Pantry Confidential took a year off. This year we were all finally ready.

It’s not everyday my food gets this kind of exposure (normally I just take a quick photo to document the process for potential drawing later).  At first I was nervous and worried if the bread would be baked properly or if the cardamom buns looked good enough in front of the camera. But as soon as Hana and Christine entered my home I felt totally relaxed. Both of them are so professional and they made me feel I was just baking with friends. And in the end, I was.

Thanks Hana and Christine! It was a great pleasure to have you in my kitchen. You are welcome back anytime.

© Johanna Kindvall

Follow these lovely ladies on Instagram: Hana,  Christine and Pantry Confidential.

Also check out my recipe for Cinnamon Buns (kanelbullar)

Fika Book Events in June – London and Göteborg

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Our book tour and celebration of Fika continues to London and Gothenburg, Sweden…

Fika London – Wednesday June 3

Come chat with me while having fika. I will be there with Fika books. On the menu they have kladdkaka (chocolate sticky cake), Swedish Pancakes and Cinnamon Buns. And more!
Looking forward to meet you all.
Address: 161 Brick Lane, London
Time: June 3, btw 5-7pm.
More about the event on Fika London’s facebook event page.

Nordicana 2015, London – Saturday & Sunday June 6 & 7

On Saturday and Sunday, I will be talking food at Nordicana – Nordic Noir festival in London together with Anna Brones and Brontë Aurell (Scandinavian Kitchen) with moderator Signe Skaimsgard Johansen.  It’s on the panel “Honest cooking: the simple art of Scandinavian food”. Anna and I will also be there with Fika books.
Time:  Saturday June 6 @ 2pm and Sunday June 7 @ 2.15.
Get your ticket here.

Viktor’s Kaffe, Göteborg- June 14

Our first Fika event in the land of fika will be at Viktors Kaffe in Gothenburg. I’m extra happy as I lived five years in Gothenburg while I studied architecture at HDK.
Time:  in the evening  of Sunday June 14 from 5pm.
Address: Geijersgatan 7, close to Götaplatsen.
Both Anna and I will be there, with books while having fika. So if you are in town come by and say hello. We looking forward to meet you.
More about Viktors Kaffe  here.

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At the end of May I went to Boston to share some fika with everyone at America’s Test Kitchen. I had a great time and it was hard to leave so I ceriously considered hiding under the table in their impressive cookbook library. On this trip I also visited Google, but just because it was a good excuse to have a 10 o’clock fika with friends.

 

Fika: Book Events: NYC, West Coast & London

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Do you want to fika with me?
Next week we are celebrating by having some Fika – The Art of the Swedish Coffee Break events here in NYC, at various cool places around town.
Both Anna and I will be there! I’m very excited!
Not in NYC? There is also an opportunity to meet Anna on the west coast later in May or meet up with me in London at the beginning of June.

Hope to see you all over a fika!

Manhattan

Book signing at Fika NYC on Monday May 4, at 3 to 5pm
Join us for a chat while having fika. Psst! I have heard there will be chocolate balls!
Address: Fika Tower’s Loft  – 824 10th Avenue btw 54 and 55 th Street

Brooklyn

Book signing at the Nordic coffee shop Budin on Wednesday May 6, at 5 to 7pm
Join us over a chat while having some Scandinavian Drop Coffee with your fika.
Budin also has a great beer selection!
Address: 114 Greenpoint Avenue, Brooklyn

Book signing at the bar of 61 Local on Thursday May 7, btw 6 – 8 pm
Join us for some fika talk over a beer and cardamom buns (made from our recipe)!
This bar has a great selection of crafted beers.
Address: 61 Bergen Street, Brooklyn

Anna will continue to…

West Coast

Fika at Book Larder on May 12, btw 6:30 to 8pm
Address: 4252 Fremont Ave N, Seattle.
Anna will be there and talk about Fika

Fika at Broder Nord on Friday May 15, btw 6 to 8:30pm
There will be cinnamon buns, aquavit cocktails and kroppkakor.
Address: Broder Nord, 2240 N Interstate Ave, Portland
Tickets here.

And Johanna will go to…

London

Book signing at Fika London on June 3, at 5-7pm
Come chat with me while having fika. Pssst they have kladdkaka (chocolate sticky cake), Swedish Pancakes  and  Cinnamon Buns. And more!
Address: 161 Brick Lane, London

Hope to see you all!

You can read more about the book here.

Fika: The Art of the Swedish Coffee Break (Behind the Scene)

Fika – The Art of the Swedish coffee break is finally here. It has been a long and wonderful journey together with my dear collaborator Anna Brones. We both thought it would be nice to share our stories behind the scenes on how we created this book. Please read Anna’s version here.

The book Fika is a celebration of the Swedish coffee break, fika. Something that most Swedes do daily, sometimes even twice. At work, at home or together with a friend, it doesn’t matter where and when and how, for a Swede this break is essential. And the best fika comes with a treat, sweet or savory.

To have a fika was something I really missed when I came to work in an architecture office in NYC several years ago. Colleagues always drank their coffee alone at their desks. Eventually some agreed to share a coffee break with me, but it almost always meant we were hanging out by our desks, sharing a muffin. I even started a kaffekassa (it’s a box where you collect money for coffee and cakes) which I shared with my closest friend at the office. And we used it for daily treats.

So when Anna, who is a Swedish/American food writer and a dedicated coffee drinker, invited me to collaborate on this project I instantly said yes. It was really about time the world learned about the art of fika.

For the proposal, I helped Anna choose a few recipes that we thought symbolized homemade fika. I illustrated them and included a few other illustrations that worked with Anna’s proposal.

After some edits back and forth we were ready to ship the proposal out to an extensive list of publishers and agents (yes some publishers still want actual printed copies). We both continued our different lives, Anna in Portland and myself in the East Village. Anna reported some rejections but otherwise nothing. We were quite cool about the whole thing and we talked about other potential projects. Just when we both were about to start working on the book, The Culinary Cyclist (Elly Blue Publishing 2013), I got an email from Kaitlin Ketchum, editor at Ten Speed Press. She had just been treated to a fika and remembered our proposal. A couple of months later we had a book contract.

 

When it was time to start, I was just moving into our new place in Brooklyn, which was still under construction. With no functional kitchen, no gas and no water.

Yes I panicked!

But just a few days later I had a working stove, a sink with running water and my old drawing desk as a baking table. Not particularly perfect but I learned that to develop fika recipes during construction wasn’t that bad. In fact it was kind of perfect as there was always something sweet to share with the workers (mostly my husband, our friend Frank and me) when it was time for fika, which we held at 10am and 3pm every day, in the sun on the stoop or on rainy days sitting inside on paint buckets.

The recipes we picked for the book are cakes and cookies that we grew up with, cakes that we regularly bake ourselves or treats we always enjoy eating. Classics like vetebullar (Cinnamon & Cardamom Buns, page 26) but also some new (for e.g. Hazelnut & Coffee Cake page 60). We probably developed over 70 recipes and almost 50 made it into the book. Some of the rejections weren’t bad, they just didn’t fit in. They were not Scandinavian enough or too much like a dessert. Some classics where ditched as they weren’t things we actually bake ourselves, for e.g. the Swedish konditori classic, wienerbröd (which is what a Swede and Danish calls a danish). However one day I will master the art of baking puff pastries!

Anna worked on half the recipes in her tiny Paris kitchen, while I worked on the other half. At some point we swapped our recipes and continued developing the other person’s recipe.

Over the summer, Anna and I spent one week together in Sweden and we worked on a few recipes together for e.g. Fyriskaka (a classic apple cake with cinnamon, page 94). It was summer and we enjoyed having chilled rhubarb cordial (page 82), coffee and cakes every day in our garden, overlooking the pond and enjoying Swedish summer fika at its best.

The rest of the time we developed the work by having regular Skype meetings, sharing notes and baking progress with pictures on our communal work site, that I had set up as a way to keep track of the work.

During the whole process I was constantly drawing cakes and cookies. But at one point I decided to take a break from baking to spend time drawing. So in the beginning of Autumn 2013, I isolated myself in our country cottage with a pantry well stocked with cookies and drew nonstop for over a month. I barely saw anyone, and left my desk only to have something to eat or put a new log into the fireplace. I kind of liked it.

At about the same time, Anna was working on the content and when I was back in Brooklyn I could concentrate more on helping her with proofreading and editing. I don’t know how many times we went through everything page by page, chapter by chapter and recipe by recipe. I also corrected, changed and added several new illustrations when we at the end of this journey, when we were working more closely with our editor Kaitlin and Elizabeth Stromberg, our book designer.

Now with the book in my hand, it’s nice to see how well our work was treated. Kaitlin, Elizabeth and all the rest at Ten Speed Press, you did a beautiful job turning our vision into this book.

I’m especially thankful for Anna who invited me into the project and who wrote about it so beautifully. And for Kaitlin who remembered our proposal when she had her first fika moment!

I hope you will enjoy this book and that it will inspire you to take that daily break, we Swedes call fika.

Want your own copy of Fika?

In celebration of Fika’s release, we are giving away a couple of books! Post a photo of your fika on Instagram, and be sure to hashtag #artoffika as well as tag @johannakindvall and @annabrones so we are sure to see your photos. Not on Instagram? Tell us about your favorite thing for fika in the comments below.
Note that we can only ship books to North America. Entries must be received by April 14, 2015.

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upcoming Fika events

Paris
Fika launch party at La Tresorerie/Cafe Smörgås
April 11 at 10am-5pm,11 Rue du Château d’Eau, 75010 Paris.
Anna will be there and treat you special treats!

Manhattan
Fika at  Fika Tower’s Loft  – 824 10th Avenue btw 54 and 55 th Street
Monday May 4, at 3 to 5pm
Anna and me will both be there, with books while having coffee and cookies.

Brooklyn
Fika @ Budin
Wednesday May 6, at 5 to 7pm , 114 Greenpoint Avenue, Brooklyn
Anna and me will both be there, with books while having coffee and cookies.

Fika at the bar of 61 Local
May 7, btw 6 – 8 pm, 61 Bergen Street, Brooklyn
Anna and me will be there, with books while having beer and cookies.

Seattle
Fika at Book Larder
May 12, at 6:30 to 8pm, 4252 Fremont Ave N, Seattle.
Anna will be there and talk Fika

The book is available in many bookstores in the US and around the world. You can also find it in most online bookstores: Random House, Amazon (US), Amazon (UK), Barnes & Noble and iBooks.

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talks about fika

NY Times Style Magazine
Huffington Post
EcoSalon
Eater

Cool Hunting
edible Michiana
Interview with both Anna & me @ Slow Travel Stockholm
Saveur Magazine