Quote of the Week

“No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn.”
Hal Borland


Favorites New Year’s Day 2014

January 1st, 2014 1 Comment

  Recently a friend lent to me the cookbook Fäviken by Magnus Nilsson from Phaidon press.  I thought it was a sweet gesture to pass along this book but I didn’t understand why she thought of me until I began reading it.  Holy mama, it’s a gem after my own heart.   Fäviken Magasinet is a 14-seat restaurant in what had been a small remote agricultural hamlet of northern Sweden, surrounded by thousands of acres of wilderness and bogs.  Run by Magnus Nilsson


Hoppin’ John

December 26th, 2013 No Comments

    Eat Good Luck for your New Year!   There was an idyllic snow on Christmas eve, and after walking home from a Norwegian Jule dinner on quiet streets in the falling flakes, we awoke to more snow and a perfect day for a beginning-of-season ski on that slippery powder.  As we skied through the woods we watched a gorgeous orange sunset through dark silhouettes of bare trees—but I forgot to take a camera!  So no photos from me,


Smoked Sweet Potato Puree

December 17th, 2013 1 Comment

  Nearly everyone who eats this deep orange treat asks for the recipe, it is yet another dish that will convince even the anti-yam-ites to change sides and join my Orange-Love Camp.  The original recipe was from Scott’s family and has seen adaptations along the way, the most recent alteration being to smoke the yams to give it extra depth.  It is of course delicious without the smoking, but occasionally it’s fun to do something different.       I


Bacon & Liver Pâté

December 11th, 2013 2 Comments

  Two liver posts in one year?!?  I must really have a need to push your boundaries, and this time there is no conclusion to the cliff-hanger story.  Just think of it as another tasty grey spread….creamy and rich and great on a cracker. Step outside your comfort zone in this life. Eat Liver.   You can’t get any more powerhouse than liver. They say liver contains more nutrients than any other food, gram for gram.  Protein, iron, folate, calcium,


Ostkake (Swedish Cheesecake)

December 4th, 2013 2 Comments

  I love this plate.   Ost = cheese Kake or kaka = cake   Ostkaka (or ostakaka) was the Swedish cheesecake dessert we served at my friend’s Surströmming party (sour herring).  It’s another understated but surprisingly addictive Scandinavian dessert…fresh-cheese with eggs and sugar.   My friend gave me this recipe from a 1927 Swedesburg Cookbook and I swapped out the flour with rice flour but no one noticed. Here are more early 1900’s Scandinavian Recipes from the Centennial Church Cookbooks in Nebraska and Iowa.  


Polenta Pancetta Dressing

November 25th, 2013 1 Comment

  This is another recipe that appears the November/December edition of The IOWAN magazine.  They asked for “Iowa-Sourced” holiday recipes so polenta seemed like a good direction to take the classic dish since organic polenta is grown and produced near Cresco.  It resembles cornbread stuffing—flavorful and hearty as the night is long.  La Quercia pancetta was an obvious addition to the mix, rich with a hint of juniper berries….and from Iowa.   The polenta can be made a couple days in


Happy Anniversary

November 19th, 2013 3 Comments

    Apparently my celebration for the two year anniversary of this website was to take a week off.  Many things going on and very few of them have to do with food.  But that’s okay.   I started this little project because people often ask about recipes for my food, and since I’m relatively undisciplined and mostly use a recipe as a general guideline…I had nothing to offer other than lists of ingredients.  This website has been an experiment


Holiday Chutney

November 5th, 2013 No Comments

      This should probably be labeled “Tart Super-Fruit Chutney” or “Antioxidant Chutney“.  Some of these tart fruits are not available right now unless you happen to have frozen them or dried them, but this gets our juices flowing for ways to use this northerly bounty next year.   Cranberries The cheeriest looking staple to your holiday table.  They are used also medicinally to treat UTI’s—their proanthocyanidin prevents the bacteria from latching to the urinary tract, and studies show


Favorites October 2013

October 30th, 2013 1 Comment

    Still some color left and I’m soaking it in.  We spent an entire day last week hiking in the woods, the leaves were still bright yellow and the sun shone through as we wandered in the golden dome effect.  Funny how I so quickly switch from hiding in the shade in summer months to basking in the rays during fall and winter.  I even use different sides of the street when walking downtown depending on the season, around


Potatoes with Cumin (Aloo Jeera)

October 23rd, 2013 No Comments

  Aloo = Potato,   Jeera = Cumin  Aloo + Jeera = Yum   It’s been a while since I’ve had time to sit down and ramble on about food, I’ve been too busy catering.  It seems the more I cook the food the less I have time to write about it. We’re heading into a slowing-down time of year.  Late October and November are often overcast and drizzly, and the brilliant leaves are on their way out leaving dull

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