Fatten up your wallet.
The only thing right now that needs fattening up might be your wallet, right? Especially if you used your credit card to buy Christmas presents. Social welfare secretary Sandra Lundqvist Medén sees many people who can barely pay the rent because they overspent during Christmas and New Years. “My advice for Christmas was to only buy Christmas presents to the children, it’s the children who like Christmas best, anyway.” Lundqvist Medén’s tips for saving lagging January finances are: 1. Only buy what you absolutely must have. Tuck away the credit cards. 2. Introduce a shopping ban. 3. No more restaurant/café visits. 4. Bring to work food from home instead of lunching out. 5. Don’t use the car; use public transportation. 6. Sell what you don’t need or use.

Banana pancakes for 2009.
Try something different in the new year – how about banana pancakes? These come from Allt om Mat. Ingredients: 4 eggs, 2 Tablespoons sugar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 6 oz light cream, 1 Tablespoon lemon juice, 1 cup + 2 oz flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon cardamom, 2 ripe bananas, butter for frying. Serve with honey or maple syrup. The recipe yields 15 small pancakes or plättar. Separate the eggs and put the whites in a small bowl. Beat 1/4 of the egg whites and 3/4 of the yolks, sugar, and salt until fluffy. Add cream and lemon and stir in flour, baking powder, and cardamom. Beat the remainder of the egg whites until stiff peaks are formed. Stir in the first foam into this batter and carefully fold in the rest of the yolks. Cut the bananas in small pieces and add them to the mix. Fry small pancakes or plättar and serve right away.

Sofia Jannok’s Stockholm.
Nordstjernan met her some time ago when she visited New York, and she was a delight – Sami singer Sofia Jannok. Her new record “By the embers” is due out in January. Jannok still lives in Gällivare but spends a lot of time in Stockholm. Here are her Stockholm favorites. Restaurant: Créperiet on Söder. Store: Solo. Street: Götgatan. Cultural place of interest: Naturhistoriska and Cosmonova. When you hear the word Stockholm what comes to mind? “Warm latte with a fun friend.” If you had grown up in Stockholm, would your lyrics have been different? “They might not have been about the vast expanses … or maybe there would have been more songs about vast expanses, since I would’ve missed them more!” What’s the main difference between Stockholm and where you live? “In Stockholm there are only four seasons, we have eight.”

Women-only gym – no discrimination.
A man reported he felt discriminated against when a new gym opened in Malmö, a gym with two parts, one for both women and men, and one for women only. The man said he got less for his money, since he could use only one part of the gym. Women, the man complained, also had more machines to work out with. But JämO (the Equal Opportunities Ombudsman) doesn’t agree. According to JämO, women deserve the right to workout alone.