Swedish Music & Awesomeness: Melodifestivalen takes place tonight!

The day has finally arrived! After six weeks of semi-finals and a second chance round that saw mesmerizing performances, funny moments and shock exits, it all comes down to tonight as the ten acts prepare for the final countdown to do battle for the honor of representing Sweden at the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest.

The country is raging with speculation and divided into two camps over who ought to win. With the international juries having a say, it is predicted to be an extremely tight race and I, personally, am refusing to even think about it or else I’ll end up with heart palpitations. I’m going to get enough of that during the voting anyways. Here’s the line-up:

  1. Shout It Out – David Lindgren
  2. Jag Reser Mig Igen – Thorsten Flinck & Revolutionsorkestern
  3. Mystery – Dead by April
  4. Why Start A Fire – Lisa Miskovsky
  5. Baby Doll – Top Cats
  6. Euphoria – Loreen
  7. Soldiers – Ulrik Munther
  8. Mirakel – Björn Ranelid feat. Sara Li
  9. Why Am I Crying – Molly Sandén
  10. Amazing – Danny Saucedo

Apart from the strongest line-up in a good long while, SVT have a spectacular show planned. This includes the long-awaited Melodifestivalen comeback of Helena Paparizou, the Greek-Swedish diva who took Greece to their first Eurovision victory back in 2005. She’s back in Sweden and will be performing the interval act, reinterpreting last year’s winning song Popular in a completely different arrangement. According to insiders, its going to be a performance like no other. And speaking of past winners, Sweden’s golden boy and Eurovision bronze medalist Eric Saade himself will be opening the show with a medley of all his hits. Wowsers! This year’s Mello is going to rock Sweden! And you can catch it all live on SVT Play here at 20:00 CET.

And don’t forget your Swedish treats! I’ve got me my Ikea Choklad Mörk, Pepparkakor cookies (you can find my recipe here) and my Swedish flag. Here’s to an amazing show! Go Sverige!

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A Swedish culinary delight for Eurovision.

I love baking and this year, I wanted to make something special to munch on while watching the Eurovision Song Contest. To that end, I came up with these Swedish Eurovision Cookies.

They are Swedish because the recipe is based on the traditional ‘Pepparkakor’ Swedish cookies but with my own culinary twist. And they are ‘Eurovision’ because they take exactly three minutes to bake! How cool is that? Granted, I used the microwave but it makes the whole process so much more easier and they still taste fantastic, if I do say so myself.

Check out the recipe below and try them out for your Eurovision party!

Swedish Eurovision Cookies Recipe
Makes 10 cookies

2 cups whole-wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
4 teaspoons butter, cold
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cardamom, ground
1 teaspoon cinnamon, ground
4 tablespoons brown/cane sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup skim milk

Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, cardamom and cinnamon together in a large bowl. Cut in the butter and combine. Add in the sugar and vanilla extract.

Add the milk bit by bit, kneading all the while until a moist dough forms.

Roll the dough out on a floured surface and cut out the cookies. I cut out the flag heart from a bit of cardboard and used that to trace out and cut the dough into flag heart shapes.

Place them in a ceramic/glass plate in a circular arrangement. Put the cookie-laden plate in the microwave and set the power level to 6 or 7, depending on your model. It would be best to check the manual and select the specific level used for baking cakes. Set the timer for three minutes and hit ‘Start’.

Once the three minutes are up, take the plate out. Be careful though, as it will be really hot. The cookies will still be a little soft but they will continue to ‘cook’ while cooling. Let the cookies stand for about two to three minutes. They would have cooled and firmed up by then.

To garnish, you can make flag motifs of your choice using slivered almonds and melted chocolate. Then pile them high and enjoy them while watching Eurovision!