Quote of the Week

“Just living is not enough… one must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower.”
~Hans Christian Andersen

 

 

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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Gluten Free Ladyfingers

November 15th, 2016 2 Comments

  “One of the most calming and powerful actions you can do to intervene in a stormy world is to stand up and show your soul. Struggling souls catch light from other souls who are fully lit and willing to show it.” . -Clarissa Pinkola Estes     A few weeks ago we went to the Barebones production in Minneapolis, and though I kept thinking others would love to see some of the amazing imagery and creatures from the night

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Curried Gratin

November 8th, 2016 No Comments

photo by David Cavagnaro Squash, potatoes, onions, coconut milk, herbs, chili and curry paste…that’s what I had so we’ll see where this goes.  It could be good.  This dish was an experiment on a chilly afternoon and though it probably dips into the ‘vague recipe’ territory, I think you can handle it.   A Gratin generally consists of root or firm vegetables with cream baked in a a shallow dish with a browned topping of breadcrumbs and/or cheese, or perhaps lately it’s morphing into just ‘something baked in a

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Kissel

November 1st, 2016 4 Comments

  An extraordinary project has been happening in our little town this year. Our resident English stone-guru Ted Wilson is building a dry-stone arch bridge with the help of Sean Smyth from Missoula, MT who travels around the country working on complex stone projects like this.  Dry-stone is an ancient building method that uses no mortar.  Dry-stone bridges have been built for centuries—the stones need a trapezoidal shape and a tight fit, then the arch holds its shape by only the pressure of the stones against each other.  Sound formidable

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Favorites October 2016

October 25th, 2016 3 Comments

  Last spring we visited Mike’s Meat Market in Eau Claire, Wisconsin for some of their legendary bacon and spent time admiring their mighty cleaver collection.  Maybe a bit gruesome if you’re not a chef…but you have to admit they tell a story of how we eat (apologies to the vegetarians).  The knives were high on the walls so it was hard to get a great photo, but you get the idea.     These are from the days when all blades were

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Squash Soup with Lemongrass and Corn

October 18th, 2016 2 Comments

  This is a full-flavored simple soup for a fall day, and especially great for the dreary chill that arrives in this part of the northern hemisphere as we shift into late October.  And it’s orange.  That should cheer up nearly anyone.     I roasted and froze corn in August and was happy to use it up in this soup.  Fresh corn would work well too—it might not have the roasty flavor but it would make a smoother puree than the

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