I know, it’s been a few weeks since our last date night. California tricked us into thinking things were getting better and maybe, just maybe, we’d actually be able to travel. Well, joke’s on us, and date nights are back, although they will likely not be every week at this point.
Anyway, this week we journeyed virtually to a country I spent all of a single day in: Sweden. And no, for all those who have asked, we did not build IKEA furniture as part of the date. Sarcasm is everywhere these days! 😉
In any event, here is our itinerary for a Swedish date night. I hope it inspires you to create your own, or even to plan a trip when the pandemic is behind us and Americans are allowed in Europe again.
Swedish-Themed Date Night
Eat: Swedish Meatballs and Kladdkaka
Meatballs go with Sweden as much as anything, and A even said these were better than IKEA’s! I used ground beef (pork is more traditional) with breadcrumbs, shallot, Parmesan cheese for moisture and salt, plus allspice, cloves, garlic, and white pepper. I also baked my meatballs rather than pan frying them, so as to make them just a tad healthier. Twenty minutes at 400 is about perfect for a nice crust and to cook them through.
The sauce was made with beef stock, cream, the same seasonings as in the meatballs, Dijon mustard, and Worcestershire sauce, using a basic butter/flour roux to thicken it. I added the meatballs about thirty minutes before serving to let the sauce penetrate them, and then served it all over egg noodles with a side of garlic spinach and a nice bottle of red.
There’s something comforting and magical about meatballs.
Dessert, as always, was A’s domain. Kladdkaka (an unfortunate name) is sticky chocolate cake. The texture is the unique part. It has a hard, meringue-like exterior and a super sticky interior for a nice chew. If you make it, I’d recommend adding ice cream or sorbet (or even a berry sauce) for some extra moisture, as it needs it.
Texturally fascinating and tasty
Learn: The History of Sweden
This time, dinner documentary was done in two parts. Why? The first one stopped at the rise of the Swedish Empire and we all wanted more. Both are short and worthwhile. Here is the first one, and here is the second. Sweden is a pretty cool place with a fun history.
Northern Sweden, called Lapland, offered an immersive 4 day virtual tour of the region, and some of the highlights are available online, with full 360 degree views in the videos. Among the highlights: a tour of the famous IceHotel (wow!), a dog sled ride, a trek past the arctic circle, and more. Give yourselves at least an hour to play around with there.
One of the bedrooms of the IceHotel
Off on a dogsled ride!
Experience: Swedish Massage
We also did a YouTube thirty minute Swedish massage demo, since A had a rough week and deserved some relaxation.
Meatballs, massage, and an immersive tour of a remote area that is now on my list to see – this was a wonderful date night to Sweden, and we didn’t even go to Stockholm, my favorite Scandinavian city. I hope you’ll plan your Swedish date night soon!
If you enjoyed this, check out all of our travel themed date nights here.
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