Author Archive

Shichimi

April 12th, 2017 2 Comments

Also known as ‘Seven Flavor Chile” because there are usually seven ingredients (shichi = seven), shichimi is a Japanese dried-spice mixture that can be cooked into dishes or added at the end for a complex punch of flavor.  Though regions and families have their own ingredient combinations and proportions, most shichimi contains chiles, citrus peel, sesame seeds, and nori.  Other ingredients may include Szechuan peppercorn, black or white poppyseeds, hemp seeds, paprika, salt, ginger and garlic.   I recently picked up a bag of pre-mixed shichimi and was reminded how

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Another photo flashback

April 4th, 2017 2 Comments

    The word for the day is Mirabilia: miracles, marvels.   Rob Brezney describes Mirabilia such: “events that inspire wonder, marvelous phenomena, small  miracles, beguiling ephemera, inexplicable joys, changes that inspire quiet  awe, eccentric enchantments, unplanned jubilations, sudden deliverance  from boring evils”    Here are some examples of Mirabilia he shared this week: *The National Center for Atmospheric Research reports that the average  cloud is the same weight as 100 elephants. * The seeds of some trees are so

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Pickled Deviled Eggs

March 21st, 2017 No Comments

  Sanskrit scriptures describe the universe as being birthed from an egg. The term Brahmanda is from two words: Brahm (ब्रह्म) = ‘cosmos’ or ‘expanding’, and ‘anda‘ (अण्ड) = ‘egg’.  The Brahmanda Purana, an ancient Indian text, explains this fascinating concept in great detail.  Good reading while you wait for the weather to warm as we muck through this season of mudliness.    Eggs and Spring.   Along with symbolizing life and new birth, in earlier times eggs were one of the few things available

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Gluten Free Ricotta Gnocchi

March 14th, 2017 No Comments

  Spring veggies are not far off and these miniature bites of goodness will go well with all of them.  Spinach, garlic scapes, asparagus, kale, green onions, peas, watercress, fiddlehead ferns, morel mushrooms—-mix any or all of these delicacies with ricotta gnocchi (and butter!) and you’ll have a seasonal celebration on your table. Gnocchi is traditionally made with cooked potatoes, which are also delicious and a great way to use up your leftover mash, but this version gives more protein

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Black Bean Paste

March 7th, 2017 No Comments

  Black Bean paste is a Chinese condiment used in many a dish (hoisin sauce, stir fries, Asian BBQ, noodles), and a secret ingredient of those from Team Umami.  It’s bold and tangy and can bump the flavor factor of your sauces manyfold. It can be really difficult to tell if Chinese condiments are gluten free, especially if there is the possibility of soy sauce (containing wheat) and it certainly doesn’t help if the ingredient list seems vague or incomplete.  I’ve been searching for GF

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Favorites February 2017

February 28th, 2017 3 Comments

  Can you name me another sport where a major race is cancelled yet thousands of people still show up?   The 2017 American Birkebiener Ski Marathon, largest cross country ski race in North America and part of the reason we trek northward for the season, was cancelled this year due to lack of snow.  Around 10,000 people annually participate in the numerous Birkie races and events, the majority of them venturing the long haul of 50-55 kilometers through the rolling

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Beetroot Salad with Herring and Ham

February 21st, 2017 4 Comments

  Full moon in the North Woods from a couple of weeks ago…back when we were blanked by that white stuff called snow.  It’s been an interesting time of skiing in alternating slush-ice-slush-ice-rain conditions during these tropical heat waves, what can you do but enjoy the moment while quietly mourning the early loss of winter. Last week we were invited to a dawn ‘crust ski‘ on a nearby lake (there’s always a nearby lake in Wisconsin).  Usually a spring venture, people monitor temperatures and wait

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Gluten Free Szechuan Shortbread

February 14th, 2017 6 Comments

  First, a stunning photo by Coleen Sullins.   She joined us for a trip to ABR then afterwards sent along this Birch beauty for the post.  It almost appears that she was laying down for the shot…I didn’t ask if perhaps she fell while skiing and noticed the great view :-) It’s good to take moments and notice the beauty whenever you can!  And sometimes lying in the snow provides a good opportunity.  Believe me, I have spent a fair amount

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Herb Egg Butter

February 8th, 2017 4 Comments

  More wax!! For any of you partial to vintage ski paraphernalia here is Something Old and Something New in side-by-side Reds: years ago Swedish wax company Lind-Ex changed their name to SkiGo and here they are together. We bought the new SkiGo Red this year because of impending warm conditions, and Scott found a red Lind-Ex kick wax from the early 1980’s in his wax box. I love the SkiGo ski bag in the background of the SkiGo waxes, and next

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Cinnamon

January 31st, 2017 5 Comments

photo by Coleen Sullins A visit from a flying squirrel in the evening, he waited for the cover of darkness to check out our supplies and scampered up our skis when we arrived after the sauna.  He apparently likes cheese.     A visit from the daily groomer in the morning–it was too warm to set tracks but they would drag the skate lanes to break up the ice.  I don’t know if he likes cheese.     photo by

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Potato Celeriac Apple Mash

January 24th, 2017 2 Comments

  The Montreal River…not frozen.   There aren’t many places that can survive a week of temperatures hovering around 40 degrees (F) with multiple days of pouring rain and still have trails with skiable snow.  ABR in Ironwood, Michigan is such a place with their dedication to grooming and building a solid base.  The Upper Peninsula enjoys (most of them do enjoy it) an average of 167 inches (nearly 14 feet!) of snow per year, so fortunately they had some volume to

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Flax Seed Crisps

January 17th, 2017 3 Comments

  Completely inspired by Magnus Nilsson of Fäviken in Sweden, these crisps are simple with a most intriguing look.  In his cookbook Fäviken, Magnus explains that he started with thicker versions using more types of seeds, then evolved the crisp towards thinner version using only flax.  His cookbook photo shows the delicate see-through results.  Since I was making these as a traveling snack I brought it back to a thicker version so they would be more sturdy and road-worthy.   “Road-worthy”??  Yes!  We are once again pointing our

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Baked Ricotta

January 10th, 2017 No Comments

  Fuzzy diversions! Friends just picked up their chicks for the year and there are few things in this world more adorable than fuzzy babies.  Their nervous peeps filled the room when they first arrived, eventually softening into murmurs as they calmed and settled into to their new surroundings.  They would make a good jigsaw puzzle.   Check out Orange Free Sounds to hear chicks peeping!     Edible diversions. Baked ricotta is an easy dish that feels much more special than the energy it takes to make.

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Curried Red Lentil Fritters

January 3rd, 2017 4 Comments

  Fritter me this. You can make a flavorful mash of nearly anything then fry it up and call it a fritter.  British fritters are often coated in a batter before frying, but U.S. fritters mainly consist of main ingredient with some kind of binder (like egg, flour or cornmeal) then are deep fried or pan fried.  Fritters are hugely popular in Southeast Asia, combinations like squash, chickpea and green onion; or yam and banana; or squid dipped in batter; or a mixture of shredded

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Favorites December 2016

December 27th, 2016 No Comments

  Tis the season of magical windows…       It’s been quite a year, full of many blessings and challenges.  We said farewell to what seemed like an inordinate number of our artists in the past twelve months–some of my main influences like David Bowie, Prince and Leonard Cohen, then so many other larger-than-lifers—Leon Russell, Merle Haggard, George Michael, Maurice White (Earth Wind & Fire), and John Berry (Beastie Boys), Gene Wilder, Gwen Ifill, Morley Safer, Mohammad Ali, Fidel Castro, Zsa Zsa, Alan Rickman,

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Poppyseed Milk (Aguonpienis)

December 20th, 2016 No Comments

  Since I’m on a cozy-roll these few weeks, here are a few more images of warm, glowing contributions to the feeling of hygge.  This is my lampshade made of agates, I’ve shown it before but as we’re now fully in midst of the chill and long, dark nights it seemed like a good image to bring back.  The question is….do I love warm glowing candles and fuzzy clothing because it’s winter, or do I love winter because I get to wear

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Estonian Buckwheat Blinis

December 13th, 2016 3 Comments

  The Baltic Blitz continues… Blinis are a holiday treat in many traditions hailing from Eastern Europe and Russia.  In older times they were considered a symbol of the sun because of their round shape and were served at the end of winter to celebrate the coming of the new sun.  That ritual was eventually adopted by the Christians and is now known as ‘pancake week’ or ‘pancake day’ and blinis or pancakes are served on Shrove Tuesday (Mardi Gras) before Ash Wednesday.  

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Zeppelins

December 6th, 2016 2 Comments

  It’s been a very Baltic few months!   Zeppelins are adorable stuffed potato dumplings often served at Baltic holidays and they have the coolest name around.  We made these cuties for the Estonian Dinner last fall but I have to admit…I don’t have a Lithuanian grandmother therefore I really struggled with these stuffed dumplings.  Later I found some comfort to read online that other Zeppelin newbies have also struggled and I was not alone.   Though there are many versions,

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Boursin-style Cheese Spread

November 29th, 2016 5 Comments

  This scrumptious little spread is creamy, buttery, herbalicious and highly snackable for nearly any occasion.  It doesn’t have the crumbly texture of French Boursin but it’s still ding dang delicious and great for any edible vehicle that can transport it to your mouth.  The cracker in the photo is a Mary’s Gone Crackers Super Seed, one of my favorite crunchies.  The seedy ones are high in protein and hold up well.     Blend it all together and serve,

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Thanksgiving Revisited

November 22nd, 2016 4 Comments

  A little image of Hyggelig for your Thanksgiving week. We’ve officially entered the dark season of candles and warm fuzzies, and some of you may need a strong dose of Danish hygge to survive the ensuing large family gatherings.  They say that Danes burn the most candles per capita of any country—the radiant glow is a great contributor to the hygge atmosphere of coziness and warm conversations.  So break out the tea lights and the sparkly strings, light the fire, dim the overhead lamp, and put on beautiful music and

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