70 Comments on “about”

  1. thomas brindley
    May 24, 2011 at 1:42 am #

    It seems like I should know you?

    • May 24, 2011 at 1:24 pm #

      Ahhh, and so you do. Welcome to the site Tommy!

  2. anne-mai
    July 12, 2011 at 6:49 am #

    As a full blooded Swede living in Oregon I am looking forward to finding out about your experiences in Sweden.


    • August 8, 2011 at 8:59 pm #

      Where in Sweden are you from? I hope you’ll stop by the site often and provide your native perspective on some of the posts.

  3. Peter
    August 8, 2011 at 8:20 pm #

    Looks REALLY good Maia! 🙂

    • August 8, 2011 at 8:57 pm #

      Thanks Peter. Stop by any time. 🙂

  4. Anna
    August 9, 2011 at 5:35 pm #

    I grew up in Finspang and have spent many years in Pennsylvania and the last 15 years in Oregon and Washington. I love the Pacific Northwest which in many ways reminds me of Sweden.

  5. September 13, 2011 at 7:42 pm #

    You amaze me! I love checking out your site even if I hate to cook!

    • September 13, 2011 at 7:46 pm #

      Thanks Joanna. That is really sweet of you. Wish we were closer so I could bring you some jam!

  6. Kamila
    October 2, 2011 at 12:43 pm #

    I really enjoy reading your blog 🙂 as well as my full-blooded Polish fiance.
    Greetings from Warsaw

    • October 2, 2011 at 2:23 pm #

      Thanks Kamila. I’m really enjoying working on it so it’s nice to know that people are finding it and enjoy it too. 🙂 I would LOVE to make a trip to Poland. Krakow has been on my list of places to see for quite a while. Do you happen to know of a good recipe for Polish sour pickle soup? There was a great Polish restaurant we used to go to in Boston and I adored that soup.

  7. Kamila
    October 2, 2011 at 5:08 pm #

    Dear Maia, sour pickle soup is one of my favourite and my specialty, I will be happy to send you the recipe. Please contact me on my email and I send it to you asap:) Krakow is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful Polish cities, there are many nice restaurants but they do not have a Cheers Pub 🙂

    • October 2, 2011 at 8:31 pm #

      Oh hooray!

      I sent you an email.

  8. October 21, 2011 at 2:16 pm #

    We lived for about five years in Vaster Norrland but recently moved to Spain where winter is kinder, food is better and a greater variety is available, and wine is much cheaper. We also know Oregon (a great State) and have a number of friends in the Portland/Tigard area. We also found the language issues tricky: many Swedes try English, frequently incorrectly, thus dominating conversations and making it difficult to try out Swedish. They also often have little ability to think laterally when dealing with the difficult pronunciation aspects that can occur with Svenska and a newcomer! We left because we had enough of the harsh winters and could no longer stomach the ridiculously poor level of consumer care and standards, the total straitjacket of state control etc., where without a personnummer it can be hard to get the most basic of services. (We had problems at one time in simply buying a greenhouse/vaxthus!) We do miss the beauty of the country, and some of our great and friendly, helpful neighbours. Given our time again, we too would head for Skane. It’s that bit milder, closer to Europe and cheaper, better produce and plonk etc. Good luck.

    • まぐ
      January 23, 2012 at 6:47 am #

      Wow, man, seems like you needed to get that off your chest.
      I think you found the wrong place to vent, though.
      Better food in Spain? Not a chance.

  9. Alison Mitchell
    October 28, 2011 at 2:15 pm #

    Maia, wonderful website!!

    • October 28, 2011 at 11:17 pm #

      Thanks Alison. I really appreciate that. I’m still hoping you will make a trip to Scandinavia. We would love to have you. I hope all is well.

  10. Neda
    November 18, 2011 at 3:24 pm #

    Hi Maia,
    I am your opposite counter-part, that is, I was raised in Malmo, Sweden, but moved to Iowa 6 years ago. I just heard about your blog, I can’t wait to read it. And feel free to put up pictures of lovely Malmo, I miss it every day! – Neda

    • November 18, 2011 at 8:05 pm #

      Hey Neda, welcome to semiswede. Did you find out about the site through the Iowa City Swedish Club by chance? What took you to Iowa? It is so beautiful there. It actually reminds me of Skåne. I don’t post a lot of pictures of Malmö on this site, but I do sometimes put them on the semiswede facebook page. There is one of slottsparken on there now that you might want to check out if it doesn’t make you too homesick. Thanks for stopping by, and welcome back any time. 🙂

  11. Stephanie
    November 30, 2011 at 2:13 am #

    I am coming to Stockholm for Christmas Eve and need a place for my family to have dinner. I’ve already tried the Grand Hotel (booked) and a number of smaller restaurants (either booked or not open) and still can’t find anything for Julbord. I’m 100% American born Swede and need my herring! Can you help?

    • November 30, 2011 at 7:25 am #

      Hi Stephanie. I’m afraid I’m not so familiar with Stockholm, but here is a website that lists 100 restaurants will julbords. Good luck finding one that suits you. Safe travels and Merry Christmas (albeit a little early).


      • Pontus
        December 20, 2011 at 5:57 pm #

        Hey Maia,

        Just came accross your blog and it is amazing. I’m from Malmö but moved to Stockholm in 2008. My company is from England and so are some of my coleagues. I’ll send them a link to your page as I think your perspective might be similiar to their own and therefore be very interesting. Plus I found your page very interesting and well made.

        I can strongly recomend these two for Julbord in Stockholm:

      • December 20, 2011 at 6:01 pm #

        What a lovely compliment. I’m so glad you like the site. I really enjoy working on it. If only I had more time! Thank you for sharing the link. Happy Holidays!

  12. Susan
    December 10, 2011 at 1:22 pm #


    I’ve been reading your blog and just love it. I’m American born with a 100% Swedish born mother. I moved from Boston to Sweden (Skane) and lived there for 15 years. Now I’m back in U.S. but continue to miss Sweden every day, especially the food. I love your recipes – I’m on my way to the kitchen to make aggekaka. Do you have a good recipe for Tosca kaka? Flickorna Lundgren (in Arild) used to make the best Tosca kaka – just melted in your mouth.

    I understand what you’re going through because moving to Sweden is an adjustment. Swedish is a difficult language. It seems easy at first but the more you learn, the harder it gets until suddenly, one day, you’re fluent. Hang in there. The darkness of the fall and winter is an adjustment too, but, of course, when the summer is blessed with beautiful weather, there’s nothing like it. It is really a country that changes with its seasons – in all aspects, like food, attitude, etc.

    Thanks for your blog and good luck to you and your family. I’m looking forward to reading your impressions and wonderful recipes!

    p.s. Heard about your blog in a Swedish Club of Sarasota, Florida Newsletter. They had a beautiful Lucia celebration last night!

    • December 11, 2011 at 10:40 am #

      Hi Susan. Thanks for your nice note. Interesting that we both moved to Sweden from Boston. I miss Boston often. Sounds like you are in Florida now? Thank you for letting me know that you found out about the site through the Swedish Club of Sarasota. I hope what you are saying about Swedish is right because now I’m at the point you described where the more I learn the harder it gets.

      I haven’t tried Tosca kaka before. I’ll ask my in-laws about it and see if they have a special recipe. I hope the äggakaka worked out for you. Thanks for stoppping by the site and welcome back any time!

  13. Ann Hall
    December 12, 2011 at 5:24 pm #

    As a Swede living in Florida I can understand the cultural adjustment! I had it coming the other way. I was born and raised in Malmö so I know a little about the city. I come back for a visit every two years as I have a summer cottage in Höllviken.

    Boy did I get hungry reading about all the good food. I miss Tosca kaka and äpplekaka. The desserts in the USA are nothing like!

    Enjoy learning Swedish – you do realize that you will learn Swedish with a southern accent as you are in Malmö unless your husband’s family speaks otherwise! When I open my mouth in the company of Swedes, they know immediately where I grew up!


  14. Arthur Runquist
    December 22, 2011 at 3:01 pm #

    Hi Mia, I am looking for a recipe for Swedish cookies. My farther and his sister came to the US at a very young age. My aunt Olga made these great cookies. They were crescent shape, finished with powdered sugar. Chopped nuts were one of the ingredients. That is all I remember.

    • February 27, 2012 at 8:28 pm #

      Hi Arthur,

      Somehow I missed your comment back in December. My apologies. The cookies you make sound vaguely familiar. I looked through a couple of my Swedish cookbooks and didn’t see anything, but I’ll ask around and see what I can find out.

    • February 27, 2012 at 9:01 pm #

      Just after I sent that message I remembered there was one more cookbook I should check, my Julens Kokbok (Christmas cookbook) by ICA Bokförlag. Lo and behold, I found a recipe for mandelhorn (almond horns). They look just like what you have described.

      makes about 40

      1/2 cup blanched almonds
      1 1/2 – 1 3/4 cups flour
      14 tablespoons butter
      2 tablespoons vanilla sugar (vanilla sugar is essentially vanilla infused powdered sugar. You could probably substitute vanilla extract if need be and use 1 tablespoon or you may be able to buy vanilla sugar at IKEA if you have one nearby)

      1/4 cup powdered sugar
      1 tablespoon vanilla sugar (no getting around that one with regular vanilla)

      Here’s the other tricky part. You need an almond grinder that looks like this http://www.scanspecialties.com/proddetail.php?prod=H17. I don’t know anything about that company so I can’t recommend them, but that is the product you need to grind the almonds so they are almost fluffy. I don’t know if a parmesan grinder would work…maybe, but I haven’t tried it.

      Anyway, you need to grind the almonds and blend them with the flour and vanilla sugar. Then cut in the cold butter until you have a ‘grainy mass.’ Then let the dough rest for a few hours.

      Divide the dough into 40 equal sized bits. Roll it out into a 3″ log that is thicker in the middle than at the ends. Lay the rolls on buttered parchment paper on top of a baking sheet and form them into crescent shapes. Bake them in the nmiddle of the oven at 350F about 12 minutes.

      While they are baking blend the powdered sugar and vanilla sugar for the garnish. Dip the ‘faces’ of the warm cookies in the powdered sugar mix. Let cool completely.

      Keep them in a cool place in a jar or freeze them without the powdered sugar topping, just sprinkle it over the top instead once they have defrosted.

      Hope that helps! I’ll try to come back and post a photo later. I don’t have access to my camera at the moment.

  15. Rebecca
    December 23, 2011 at 8:36 am #

    Hej Maia! Another one here with some similar ties! From Tennessee originally, but lived in Portland, OR for 5 years in the early 2000s before moving to Uppsala almost 5 years ago. Married to a Northern German who studied in Lund. We became very interesting in food, cooking after living in the food culture driven Portland. Hubby found your blog today and I am thrilled to read it! Thanks for sharing such a lovely site. Will be back often, I am sure!

    • December 23, 2011 at 10:40 am #

      Hey Rebecca, thanks for such a nice comment. It’s so nice to hear when people enjoy the information they find here. I really love sharing what I learn so it’s nice to know it is appreciated.

      I miss Portland very much. I was in Eugene at grad school from 1995-2000 but went to Portland often to visit my sister and her family. If we ever move back to the states, Portland will be the spot. We love it there. It really is an incredible food scene and so fun to have easy access to seafood, berries, orchards, and wineries. Oh no! I’m getting homesick.

      Happy Holidays, and welcome back any time. 🙂

  16. December 23, 2011 at 10:46 am #

    And the Rogue Brewery’s pretty fine, too…..and, of course, Powells Bookstore – I can and do spend days in there!

    • December 23, 2011 at 12:01 pm #

      I’m not much of a beer person so I can’t speak to the Rogue Brewery, but ohhhhh Powells. Now I’m feeling really homesick! I have purchased many a great, used cookbook from there. I love the ones that have helpful notes in the margins. Such a fabulous and intriguing place.

  17. December 23, 2011 at 3:12 pm #

    The Rogue beer is good! Also a Carribean restaurant – name forgotten – very laid-back, good fair-priced lunchy food. Always worth a visit….and, is it Joe’s, donut shop on way out to Mt Hood, Just to die for on a frosty morning!

  18. Kelly Craig
    December 30, 2011 at 7:31 pm #

    Hello Maia. You probably already heard about this is Sweden, but this news just hit the States.

    Happy Holidays!

    • December 30, 2011 at 9:20 pm #

      That’s quite the story. Thanks for sharing it. My grandmother once found the diamond she had lost out of her ring in the mailbox. Talk about a relief!

      Happy Holidays to you as well!

  19. まぐ
    January 23, 2012 at 6:53 am #

    Hey Maia,
    Just found your site through The Local.
    Great to read what non-Swedes write about Swedish food. Living abroad myself (Japan) I know how it must feel. Japan has it’s share of both good and not so good food.

    • January 23, 2012 at 7:55 am #

      Welcome to the site! I gather you are a Swede living in Japan now? There certainly must be alot of new food experiences there. I love going to the Asian markets here in Malmö but I always feel a bit overwhelmed and disappointed that I don’t know what to do with the majority of the ingredients they have.

  20. February 23, 2012 at 2:39 pm #

    Like your blog, I’m from next door, Norway, but live in Portugal. I love that you did so many things in your life, I can relate:-)

    • February 23, 2012 at 3:31 pm #

      Thanks Anne. I have yet to make it to Norway, or Portugal for that matter. But I hope to visit both one day. Thanks for stopping by the site and welcome back any time.

  21. Curt Peterson
    February 24, 2012 at 3:04 am #

    Maia- My lovely bride, who looks much more Swedish than I but is of Welsh descent, found your site for me. An amazing coincidence, because I am trying to write a freelance article about a Swedish fellow from Goteborg who is now living in Boston. The article is about him, of course, but focused on his amazing cooking skills, including presentation. He posts photos of dinners he cooks for himself, photos that make one salivate. He’s also quite the wine maven.
    Already a coincidence package, but, listen to this: His last name is also Nilsson. I’ve posted your website on his FB page and I think you can expect to hear from him soon.
    My credentials are: Father’s parents from Sweden (Lidkoping), age two, 1877 to Worcester MA. Grandfather migrated to various parts of Canada and the U.S., ended up in New Jersey, where I grew up. Like many Swedes, most of the family ended up in Florida worshipping the sun. I went north, live in Hartland VT. I’ve been over twice, fell in love with Malmo but feel more at home in the countryside.
    Great site. Keep up the good work and the good will.

    • February 24, 2012 at 7:29 am #

      Thank you for your comment. I would love to get the blog address of the person you mentioned. It would be fun to see what he is up to.

      The countryside around Malmö is certainly beautiful so I can understand you being drawn to it. Thanks for stopping by semiswede and welcome back any time. Good luck with your article!

  22. Sheila
    February 25, 2012 at 9:59 am #

    Lovely to find your website….I’m English, married to a Swede, and we both emigrated to Australia in 1968. My husband still has fond memories of Swedish dishes, so I’m hoping your site will help!

    • February 25, 2012 at 8:22 pm #

      Let me know if there is anything special your husband is longing for and maybe I’ll be able to help. It’s interesting to know what Swedes who have moved abroad miss. Welcome back any time.

  23. March 7, 2012 at 9:12 pm #

    It’s nice to have found your blog. And it’s interesting to read all the comments from people with different backgrounds all associated to Swedish culture and Sweden somehow. I’m not Swedish (American of distant Anglo/French/Irish heritage), but I became intrigued by the country in school and studied abroad in Uppsala during college. Now I want to study there for graduate school, possibly in Malmö. As for your blog, the photography is quite good, and I enjoy the chance to browse your collection or recipes while reading your input and personal experience. It brings back some memories from my time there. Food is such a rich and rewarding way to explore a culture.

    • March 7, 2012 at 9:24 pm #

      I’m glad you are finding something of interest and that is reminding you of your time here. It will be interesting to see if you decide to return! Welcome back to the site, and Sweden, any time!

  24. scott
    April 3, 2012 at 11:01 pm #


    it’s been so long.

    so much to say.

    beautiful site:

    love to you, magnus and the children.


    • April 3, 2012 at 11:35 pm #

      Scott! It has been a long time. Thanks for stopping by the site and saying hello. I hope you are well.


  25. April 27, 2012 at 7:23 pm #

    Hi there! I’ve nominated you for the Beautiful Blogger Award!!!


    Thanks for making the blogosphere a beautiful place to live. 🙂

    • April 27, 2012 at 9:10 pm #

      Wow! I’m totally flattered. Thank you so much.

      • April 27, 2012 at 10:07 pm #

        A smile to start the weekend. 🙂 Keep up the good work; obviously, I am a dedicated fan. I didn’t get to list the fact that I LOVE food… the smell, the taste, and the loving connection it has to family memories.

  26. May 4, 2012 at 9:54 pm #

    And, because you are also so very versatile . . .

    I’ve nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award . . .



    • May 5, 2012 at 8:58 am #

      Oh my! Now I’m uber flattered. I got a versatile blogger award from someone else as well but haven’t been able to get a post done about it. I started a new job this week after 4 years of being at home with my girls so things are a bit hectic but I’ll try to get a post done soon. I may wrap it all into my one year anniversary post which is coming up fast! Thank you again.

      • May 5, 2012 at 6:15 pm #

        No worries! Just enjoy it!! Good luck with that new job. And, a year? Congratulations on that!!! 🙂

  27. July 5, 2012 at 7:00 am #

    Hello there! Along with everyone else, I think your blog is really cool and I want to let you know I nominated you for a One Lovely Blogger award! Keep up the good work. :] (http://wordshifterstorywalker.wordpress.com/2012/07/04/one-lovely-blog-nomination/)

    • July 8, 2012 at 11:00 pm #

      Thank you so much! I really appreciate that.

  28. July 25, 2012 at 2:26 pm #

    dear maia, congratulation on your blog it’s fabulous!
    is there an email account where I can contact you?
    Thank you in advance.

    • August 23, 2012 at 9:10 pm #

      Hi Rania,

      Thank you so much, and my apologies for taking so long to get back to you. I have sent you a private email.

  29. April 7, 2013 at 8:43 am #

    Loving the blog, I too am a semi swede! Have some great Swedish recipes that you can check out on my blog, love your recipes!

  30. Cindy
    November 20, 2013 at 5:30 am #

    Just found your blog. Love it. I am half Swedish and half Norwegian, and am currently our Lodge’s Sons of Norway president. Served crockpot yellow pea soup to my board tonight.

    • November 25, 2013 at 11:32 pm #

      So nice to hear you enjoy the blog! Thank you so much for stopping by and taking the time to comment.

  31. March 23, 2014 at 8:43 pm #

    I found your blog last night when I was looking for a recipe for semlor. My husband and I, along with some other family members, had just returned home from a Spring celebration of the Utah Swedish Heritage Society. They call the event Varsoppa. There is a fairly strong contingent of Swedes here in the Salt Lake City area and they celebrate a number of the Swedish holidays and native seasonal celebrations.

    I am 0% Swedish, but my husband is of Swedish decent on both sides of his family. Additionally, he spent five years in Sweden as a young teenager and young adult. He and his family speak Swedish with each other every time we all get together. I like to listen to the language; I find it beautiful. John used to speak softly in Swedish to our babies when they would get fussy and it was amazing to watch them settle down and listen intently to him.

    Over the years, I have adopted some of the Swedish traditions, celebrations, foods, and even decor. I have tried to make some of the traditional Swedish foods for my husband, but have had a difficult time finding recipes for some of them. Last night was the first time that I have had semlor and I have fallen in love with the flavors! I am excited to try your recipe and have also been enjoying reading through your blog. Thank you for your time and effort here.

    Looking back over the length of this comment, I probably ought to have just sent you an email. Clearly, I am leaving a conversation rather than a comment. 😉

    • April 3, 2014 at 11:08 am #

      Thanks for your comment. I’m glad you found the blog and it’s fun to hear about how you are incorporating Swedish traditions into your family. Hope you find some fun things to try on semiswede.

  32. Hanna
    August 3, 2014 at 5:38 pm #

    I am so excited to have found your blog. I am half-Danish, raised in the US but dual citizen with Denmark and just moved to Sweden with my Swedish boyfriend to get my phd (after graduating from University of Oregon 🙂 ). I have a good few weeks before starting work so I plan to pour through this site while attempting to learn Swedish! Turns out filling in the blanks with Danish words really doesn’t fly with the Swedes..
    Thanks for your great recipes and fun posts!

    • August 4, 2014 at 10:03 pm #

      Hi Hanna. Welcome to Sweden from a fellow duck! I would guess that your Danish language experience will help a lot with your Swedish. I still find that I try making up words in Swedish based on English words. Sometimes with luck, and other times not. I hope you find life in Sweden enjoyable, and best wishes with your PhD studies.

  33. October 2, 2014 at 11:20 pm #

    Hejsan Maia, I stumbled upon your blog yesterday when my husband brought home 5 kg of lingonberries and I was trying to figure out how best to preserve them. Thanks for all the ideas and advice – my pantry is now well-stocked. Next up: the huge bag of chanterelles sitting on my kitchen counter. I laughed when I saw your blog title because I have recently moved to Sweden with my own semi-Swede and included a similar reference in my own blog, which I started a couple of months ago. If you find the time between work and family to check it out, I would be delighted to have you as one my readers. You can find me at: http://dogandtrampoline.wordpress.com/

    Kind regards, Tricia

  34. Helena
    December 17, 2014 at 11:24 pm #

    Hi . I am so happy i found your blog. I am a Swede living in Boston for the past 18 years with my american husband and 2 half swede half american children. Love all your recipes. I think I pinned all of them onto Pinterest. I hope that is OK. Keep blogging and enjoy Christmas time in Sweden. Helena

    • December 18, 2014 at 3:26 pm #

      Hi Helena. Thanks for such a nice note. We could have been rubbing shoulders unwittingly in Boston as my husband and I lived there from 2000-2008. Pin away on pinterest, I’m happy that you enjoy the blog! Where are you from in Sweden?

  35. Scott Swanson
    March 13, 2015 at 3:19 am #

    It was sheer serendipity that I came across your site. I am a writer and when I do an image search often I get a lot of images that have nothing to do with what I am searching. I came across an image of you. The reason this has any significance is that I keep a folder of faces that touch me in some way to use, if necessary as a visual resourse when I am writing and the instant I saw your picture I downloaded it for me folder. Because your image interested me I went to the source of the image and found your site. Just so you don’t think I’m a complete crazy, I am including the link to the page on imdb where you can find information, and see a picture of me, of the films I have been in. I’m also a professional actor in addition to writing. http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0841867/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1. The other interesting element, at least to me, is that I am second generation American, born in Chicago and grew up there, in Wisonsin, Massachusetts and Mississippi. My Grand parents were born in Sweden and emigrated to the United States in 1880. I know from genetic testing that I am a descendant of Viking King Sven Estridsen. Because of prejudice against Swedes in the late 19th Century my grandparents would not speak Swedish in front of my father and refused to allow anyone to teach it to him. He learned to read and write by reading Maj Sjowall in Swedish with an English language copy at his side. I learned a number of recipes such as Swedish meatballs and baked beans, Skorpa and Limpa which I still make from time to time. If you are at all intereted I would enjoy continuing this conversation since I have never been to Sweden and because of an event that occured when I was a child and would take much to long to tell. My father refused to contact any of his relatives and we have never met any of our family on my father’s side. I have been trying to do some ancesrtial searching but I have been totally unable to get farther back than my grandfather on my father’s side. On my mother’s side I have been able to trace back to Ancient Rome, though I’m not as certain about the accuracy of what I have assembled. I hope to hear from you.


  36. Mindy Daines
    October 30, 2018 at 10:07 pm #

    Hi Maia,
    Just found your blog spot!
    I am from Cache Valley. My daughters danced in the ballet company with you and I knew your dear mother from ballet as well as at Sunshine Terrace.
    Do you have your mother’s wonderful recipe for almond cake and is there a chance of getting a copy?
    I hope all is well with you and your family. Your mother is missed always.

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