Instructions to change your password should arrive in your inbox in a few moments.
Design and lifestyle expert Kristan Cunningham shows us how to fika like they do in Sweden with a rich but never bitter cup of Gevalia coffee. Get her Fika how-to ideas here:
What is fika?
Fika is the Swedish equivalent to our coffee break and do they ever do it right! To take a fika means to have a snack, coffee and light conversation with friends, family or coworkers, no heavy topics and no work talk! It's an opportunity, mid-day, to truly take a mental breather and actually ENJOY the coffee, snack AND people in front of you. Americans have a hard time putting down the phone and slowing down. We've conditioned ourselves to multitask, and make use of every second of the day, but the Swedes have actually proven to be more productive thanks to their government mandated twice a day fika. Most importantly though, life is short! We owe it to ourselves to "stop and smell the roses" daily.
Create a fika experience for a co-worker.
We spend almost as much time with our co-workers as we do with our friends and families, so maintaining healthy relationships with them is key to a productive and positive work life. Whether you have a co-worker whom you're already friendly with and would like to catch up, or there's a new co-worker who you'd like to get to know better, inviting them to fika with you is a lovely gesture that'll create a bright spot in each of your days. Whether you go to a park, the building lobby, or even the break room, the important thing is to walk away from your work stations, put the phones on silence and just have people time. Throwing one together is easy with these few items that you can keep on hand at your desk. First send them a note on Dala horse blank cards (a Dala horse is the official animal of Sweden). Keep these in a drawer in your desk and scribble out a note when you'd like to hang out with a co-worker. The fact that it's a.) handwritten and b.) on adorable Dala horse stationery feels extra thoughtful. Next get a thermos; you can get some fun retro ones online. Also, for under 25 bucks, you can get these compostable trays, large and small bowls, utensil sets, cups, and napkins. The best part is it all comes in this adorable lightweight box and leaves room to throw in the extras. You can also store all the snacks inside the briefcase box. This ensures that any ol' surface is the right surface for a fika, and it's easy to wipe off, roll up and carry back and store for the next fika. For flowers you should try wheat in a jar, so that they're usable for a million fikas. Store bought cookies and chocolate covered strawberries go in the bento boxes and make great on the go fika treats.
Create a fika at home.
Great coffee and great food; what a wonderful way to reconnect with a few friends! Again, the idea of fika is a new one to most Americans, so why not use it as an excuse for a get together? In Sweden, a guest expects to discuss weather and current events... oh, and they also expect around seven options for snacks! As I've told you ladies before, I don't cook, and I always entertain on a budget, so I've put together a tasting menu/coffee pairings made up of authentic items you'd find on a Swedes table for fika, but I've modified or enhanced plain ol' store bought items, plated them prettily and labeled them with their Swedish names to elevate the whole shebang a bit. Hand written invites, pretty textiles and easy and inexpensive hostess gifts round out the whole experience. So here's what we've got... Dala horse invites, hostess gift (mason jars with natural coffee filter lids and each guest can take home their favorite beans) or a Dala Horse Bookmark, which is a great hostess gift that you can also use as place card at your fika, and lastly a Dunk Mug With Biscuit Holder.
Make food and coffee pairings.
Since Gevalia is much more than your average cup of Joe, it's a cup of Johan - a Swedish style break from the usual coffee routine, you need some great food to pair with it. I'm suggesting seven traditional fika snacks that, together, create a really impressive smorgasbord to pair with, but individually, are super easy to create by either a) garnishing store bought items or b) supplementing Scandinavian elements with ones more readily available in the US.
A take on the fruit dish - Pear with Blue Cheese and Chocolate Crumble. Literally just slice pears and sprinkle with blue cheese and chocolate.