Quote of the Week

“In the midst of movement and chaos, keep stillness inside of you.”

— Deepak Chopra

 

Favorites April 2018

April 30th, 2018 5 Comments

  I had been to the Pacific Northwest before but had no memory of these spectacular mountains that surrounded us—the Cascades and the Olympics—not to mention the utterly jaw-dropping awe-striking monoliths of the gigantic volcanoes (Rainier, Baker, Adams, St. Helens, Hood). All week we had miraculously sunny weather so the views and hikes were spectacular. It must have been mighty misty, grey, and cloudy on my last visit many years ago, because I would have remembered these splendors of the

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Pickled Radishes

April 17th, 2018 No Comments

  Looking out my window at the mid-April snow drifts it seems hard to believe that within a few weeks we might be seeing local radishes here in the upper midwest. Thank goodness for hoop houses and determined farmers! We seem to be in a perpetual time loop stuck in late February, but for me without the fun parts of being in a location with ski trails.   Radishes and vinegar together—this is not for the faint of heart! Actually I

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Tapioca Pilaf

April 11th, 2018 No Comments

  Tapioca ranks right up there in the Cute and Curious Food category. People may have vague memories (good or bad) of tapioca pudding, but if you’re in the Special Diet camp you probably are quite familiar with tapioca being in the ingredient list of gluten free products.   Tapioca pearls are made from the cassava root, a tropical plant native to Brazil but is widely used throughout the world. Its sticky quality works well for thickening sauces and is a common ingredient in

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Fried Cauliflower with a Curry Dip

April 6th, 2018 2 Comments

  How many times have we eaten from street food carts or food trucks, utterly wowed, then spent numerous attempts to re-enact the scrumptious experience? Usually it involves frying and serving with a greasy dip, and is never quite the same as the edible encounters on the boulevard. At a business anniversary party in Minneapolis a few years ago we munched fried cauliflower with a curry dip from a food truck they had hired for the event. We couldn’t stop talking about it and

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Hominy

March 27th, 2018 No Comments

  Making hominy gets to the core of slow food cooking.  It’s a process that takes forethought and time, and though the concept is understandable the Complexities of Simplicity emerge.  Simple is not necessarily simple.   Pre-Columbian cultures began the practice of ‘nixtamalization’ in Mesoamerica.  It involes soaking the kernels of maize in alkaline wood ash to release protein, calcium, niacin and other micro-nutients, and removes fungal-mycotoxins from stored corn.  They then rinsed and slow-cooked the soaked corn in clay pots and

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Smoked Deviled Eggs

March 21st, 2018 6 Comments

    The final leg of our North Woods journey was unexpected but really fun.  We headed deep into Yooper and Husky Territory of Michigan Tech University to ski the final marathon of the season: The Great Bear Chase.  We drove for hours into the Upper Peninsula with only woods and rivers for company, then finally entered the canal valley and home to the thriving communities of Houghton and Hancock, the copper country of the Keweenah Peninsula of Lake Superior.  Native Americans had mined copper in that

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Gluten Free Kimchi Pancakes

March 14th, 2018 1 Comment

  Do you need more ways to use your big batch of kimchi?  A surprisingly savory and cute appetizer?  A snack for your next road trip?  Here is an easy savory treat that makes me happy. Kimchi is the traditional Korean side dish of fermented vegetables—many veggies can be used but often napa cabbage, green onions, radishes, ginger, chiles and garlic are the stars.  The fermentation means it’s loaded with healthy bacteria (lactobacilli) to keep you healthy, aid digestion, and make your

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Favorites February 2018 and the Birkie

February 28th, 2018 4 Comments

  It was a stunningly beautiful day on Saturday, the hoar frost lining every branch and twig and the sun shining brightly as thousands of people skied from Cable to Hayward, Wisconsin during the 44th American Birkebeiner Ski Marathon.  For me it was a good excuse to hang out in the woods (and be grateful I wasn’t racing).         Volunteers! Over two thousand people volunteer during the 3 days of Birkie events in Hayward.  Nothing could happen

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Roasted Lemon Chutney

February 22nd, 2018 6 Comments

    Skis without skiers and skis with skiers at the North End Classic. It’s a small but sweet classic-only race organized by the North End Ski club, complete with the Cookie Classic for shorter people.   And while we’re on the subject of ski racing… I’m sure you already know, but this week Kikkan Randall (Anchorage, Alaska) and Jesse Diggins (Stillwater, Minnesota) won the first-ever Olympic medal for the U.S. women, and not just a medal but a GOLD medal, in

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Pink Gluten Free Gnocchi

February 15th, 2018 3 Comments

  Yes, they really are this color. At least before cooking, but it’s amazing to work with a food that is such a stunning hue!  It made me happy.  This was going to be a post just in time for Valentine’s Day, but the internet access was far away from the coziness of the cabin so we’re going with Valentine’s Week.  Any day can be a good day to make a fun meal for loved ones. There are a few recipes out there for

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Chocolate Chia Pudding

February 6th, 2018 2 Comments

  The Upper Peninsula sunsets have been spectacular here in the sub-zero air.  This is the view from just outside our cabin, right next to the outhouse that I did not include in the photo—you’ve already seen numerous scenic outhouse photos over the years.  These views, along with the blindingly bright Super Moon or glittering falling snow, make the outhouse treks fairly memorable.  Sub-zero air can be pretty memorable too…     A Skiers Little Helper at the end of

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Soups!

January 31st, 2018 7 Comments

. Something old, something new, something gifted and something almost-but-not-quite-blue. There’s been a lot of great reading here in the North Woods.  Life is good.      Soups! It’s the time of year when a Simmering Pot can be one of your best friends—providing warmth and good smells while slowly transforming ingredients into tasty sustenance, they are our kitchen’s ‘external stomach’ partially digesting our food so we spend less calories on digesting and more calories on having bigger brains.  Healthy as raw

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Flax Muffins-Biscuit-Bread

January 24th, 2018 4 Comments

  This recipe was given to me by my friend Deanna who passed it along from her doctor who I think got it from writer Susan Weed.  Deanna scribbled it on a cracker box and I’m finally getting around to making it. It’s a great savory no-grain no-sweetener base recipe that is surprisingly light and fluffy.  I eventually added cinnamon but you could incorporate countless other amendments or sweeteners.  The first time I made it with golden flax flour (those

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Baharat and The Epicentre

January 17th, 2018 No Comments

  Spice mixtures, they are limitless! Chinese 5 Spice, Za’atar, Harissa, Shichimi, Jerk, Chermoula…like musical notes creating an infinite number of songs, the combinations and variations of spices are equally endless.   Baharat is the Arabic word for ‘spices’, and spices they are.  Generally the mix includes black peppercorns, paprika, cumin, coriander, cloves, nutmeg, cardamom and cinnamon.  Turkish Baharat usually contains mint, in Tunisia rose petals are added, and other areas might mix in ginger, allspice, sumac or saffron.  I’m

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Coconut Lime Ginger Rice (revisited)

January 9th, 2018 2 Comments

  I came across my post from 2014 that sounded perfect for the simpler meals of post-holiday excess so we’ll give it another go around.  This little recipe was initially from Food Renegade that I made with a few adaptations.  I used canned coconut milk but if you have access to fresh I’m sure it would be divine. I see this mostly as a savory dish but a person could also make this into a sweet lime rice by adding

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Favorites January 2018

January 2nd, 2018 10 Comments

  Happy New Year and Happy Birthday John O’Donohue!   Years ago my friend Britney introduced me to the writings of Irish poet and philosopher John O’Donohue and he’s an easy one to go to for inspiration.  He would have been 62 years old yesterday, January first.   . A few of his many books: . Anam Cara: A book of Celtic Wisdom . Beauty: The Invisible Embrace . To Bless the Space Between Us . Benedictus: A Book of

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Vegan Nacho Cheese Dip

December 26th, 2017 2 Comments

  I recently came across a recipe for Vegan Nacho Cheese at Brita Britnell’s food blog: Life, One Meal at a Time.  Always looking for special-diet options for catering I gave this a try.  Yum!  I did make a few modifications to increase the creamy factor but it was really quite tasty all on its own without any meddling on my part. This is great as a chip dip if you’re wondering what to make for a New Years Eve

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Scandinavian Meatballs

December 19th, 2017 2 Comments

  Another Christmas favorite for (and from) all the Scandihoovians around me.  I just finished catering a December wedding with a very Norwegian flair and Meatballs were the main attraction.  Actually I think the gravy was the main attraction…but isn’t it always?  It’s all about the gravy.  I didn’t measure anything when making the gravy for the wedding so below only the ingredients for it are listed, maybe later I’ll try to recreate that scrumptious magic.   Swedish meatballs (Köttbullar)

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Spiced Blueberry Soup

December 13th, 2017 2 Comments

. Beginning in Sälen and ending in Mora, Sweden, the 90 kilometer Swedish Vasaloppet is one of the largest ski races in the world.  Tens of thousands of skiers pilgrimage to Sälen in mid-March to ski, enjoy the spectacle, and some to winter camp along the race course in a good spot to cheer on the racers.  During the week prior to the Vasaloppet between 50,000 and 80,000 people ski the course as a fun family event leading up to

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Indian Cauliflower Pickle

December 6th, 2017 4 Comments

  Pickled cauliflower would be great in the summer heat but I’ve been enjoying the brightness of this veggie alongside my denser fall foods like squash, stews, and slow cooked meats.  There are countless versions of marinated brassicas, though many of us don’t have access to a wide variety of southeast Asian spices so this adaptation is relatively simple.     Here is a little video with two ways to cut cauliflower into florets.  We’ve also been frying and roasting

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