Author: Kristin

Grilled Blackberry Chevre Sandwich

Grilled Blackberry Chèvre Sandwich

“Every year, the bright Scandinavian summer nights fade away without anyone’s noticing. One evening in August you have an errand outdoors, and all of a sudden it’s pitch-black. A great warm, dark silence surrounds the house. It is still summer, but the summer is no longer alive. It has come to a standstill; nothing withers, and fall is not ready to begin.” (Tove Jansson, The Summer Book) One of my favorite things about living in southern Sweden are the stark contrasts of seasons. For the short time I lived in Florida, I missed the frigid snows, the muddy, chill regrowth, and particularly the burst of color as the trees prepared for winter. Here the seasonal changes sneak up on you. One day you’re enjoying a cold beer on the balcony in the lingering sunlight hours after dinner, the next you’re wrapped up in a woolen blanket with steaming tea, watching the sun set with hours to go before bedtime. A month ago, I went out everyday for a week, collecting blackberries and bringing them home …

Citrus Steamed Fish

Citrus Steamed Foil-Packet Fish

“So now you must choose… Are you a child who has not yet become world-weary? Or are you a philosopher who will vow never to become so? To children, the world and everything in it is new, something that gives rise to astonishment. It is not like that for adults. Most adults accept the world as a matter of course. This is precisely where philosophers are a notable exception. A philosopher never gets quite used to the world. To him or her, the world continues to seem a bit unreasonable – bewildering, even enigmatic. Philosophers and small children thus have an important faculty in common. The only thing we require to be good philosophers is the faculty of wonder.” (Jostein Gaarder, Sophie’s World) When one looks at pictures with scenery like this, of stunning places and adventurous times, it’s hard to imagine not knowing what to write about it. But, such is my reality right now. Writer’s block, motivation lacking, the wild tempests of life unexpected, the general wearing down of one’s reserves. Whatever the …

Crunchy Nectarine Macadamia Granola Bars

The long-delayed part 2 of my road trip posts! These granola bars, studded with macadamias and golden raisins, filled out by puffed rice and oats, and with a scent of cardamom, are crunchy, satisfying, and the perfect thing to keep you going on a long road trip, cheer you on a rainy morning, or sustain you long enough to see the Norwegian midnight sun on a chilly night. Check out Instagram for a few more pictures of the road trip! Makes sixteen 2.5×12.5 cm (1×5 in) bars. Ingredients 60 ml (1/4 cup) honey 120ml (1/2 cup) nectarine purée 1/2 teaspoon cardamom 125g (1 1/2 cups) oats 200g (1 1/2 cups) macadamia nuts, chopped 40g (1/2 cup) shredded coconut 40g (1 1/3 cups) puffed rice cereal 100g (3/4 cup) golden raisins Directions Preheat the oven to 180C/350F, and spread the oats, macadamia nuts, and coconut onto a baking sheet; toast them for 10-15 minutes, until lightly golden. Remove to cool and reduce the oven temperature to 150C/300F. Heat the honey in the microwave for 20 seconds, …

For-the-Road Lentil Salad

The days melded into a long haze, sweltering, the buzzing of flies and bees piercing the thick stillness; the cool nights provided brief respite. The road beckoned. It was time to blow this joint, take to the road, journey to cooler climes. As I planned for our road trip from Göteborg, Sweden to Tromsø, Norway, I wanted some food that was easy to pack and carry, but still delicious. Healthy couldn’t hurt either. Granola bars were obvious, but I also wanted meals. So I thought wraps, perhaps, and jar salads! So, here is my first road trip post: a refreshing and hearty salad in a jar that will stay crisp until you combine it. The following is enough for two generous servings. For this post, I made them in small jars, which were tipped out into bowls and stirred. For our road trip, I made it in a big jar with room for shaking, which you can see on my instagram feed! Ingredients 1 dl (scant 1/2 cup) beluga lentils juice of half a lime …

The World’s Best (Chocolate) Cake

“So, what makes it the world’s best cake?” My sister asked, dubiously. “Well, Erin,” I began in my best bravado, “it has two dense, moist vanilla cake layers topped with meringue and toasted slivered almonds, and sandwiched in between,” I continued, exaggerating for effect, “is a luscious, overflowing layer of custard folded with whipped cream!” “So, it’s the world’s best non-chocolate cake,” she stated matter-of-factly. Well, there was nothing I could say to that. But what I could do, is make a chocolate version. This one’s for my sister; Happy Birthday Erin! To read about the origin of the World’s Best Cake, check out my very first post! This recipe makes one very small but sort of tall 10cm (4-inch) cake. We got four servings out of it. Ingredients Directions Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Briskly stir together softened butter and sugar. Add the yolk and stir until combined, then add the chocolate and stir until well combined. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and cocoa. Add to the butter mixture …

Friton-Topped Risotto-Stuffed Peppers

This will be my last duck post for a while. With the remaining meat tucked away safely in the freezer, I think it’s time for some sweet things next week! Makes enough for for 2 lunch servings, or 2-4 side servings, depending on what the rest of dinner is! They are also great leftover right out of the fridge. Ingredients 2 medium yellow or orange bell peppers 1 teaspoon duck fat (or olive oil) 1 shallot, minced 120 ml (1/2 cup) uncooked Carnaroli rice (or Arborio) 3 dl (1 1/4 cup) rich duck stock (or chicken or vegetable stock) about 10 chopped prunes 1 dl (scant 1/2 cup) pine nuts 60ml (1/4 cup) whole milk 50g (1/2 cup) grated parmesan 2-3 sprigs fresh parsley, snipped sea salt and freshly ground pepper handful fritons (duck cracklings) Directions Heat oil over medium heat, then add the minced shallot. Sauté for about 3 minutes, then add the rice and stir for an additional 1 minute. Add the stock and bring to a boiling point. Give it a quick …

Duck, Duck, Salad

I never liked playing Duck, Duck, Goose. It’s an interminable game that’s excruciatingly boring for unpopular kids and overly exhausting for those who are continually picked. And no matter who you are, you still have to sit there and be repeatedly patted on the head by probably unwashed hands. As if that wasn’t enough, it’s completely nonsensical, because by far the funnest part is when you become the picker, but you only become so when you “lose” the chase! So is there ever really a winner? Now, these two duck salads are a different story. Together, they have something for everyone. One uses breast meat, the other dark meat. One is fresh and tangy, with dried cranberries and sharp cheese, the other is sweet and creamy, with cherries and hints of licorice from fennel. Whichever you choose (I hope you choose both) you won’t be disappointed. So, without further ado, I present part three of my duck series. If you’re interested in other duck recipes, check out some previous posts: Duck Ramen + Whole Roasted …

Blackberry Duck Liver Smørrebrød

So, you’ve made a whole duck, stuck the carcass and giblets in a slow cooker to make rich stock, but now what do you do with the liver? You can’t refreeze it. Sticking it in the fridge doesn’t seem like a good idea and you feel guilty throwing it away—make yourself a quick, nutritious, and delicious lunch! Part two of my duck series consists of my second smørrebrød recipe. If you’re unfamiliar with smørrebrød, check out my previous post, Smoked Mackerel Smørrebrød with Dill and Chive Blossoms! Depending on the size of the liver and how many blackberries you use, this can make lunch for one or two. Ingredients one duck liver 1-2 teaspoons olive oil half a shallot handful blackberries, mashed 2-3 slices Danish rye bread (or other dark, seeded bread of choice) butter arugula purple pansies, for garnish Directions Peel and thinly slice half a shallot. Heat oil over medium-high heat and add shallot, sautéing until slightly softened. Cut the liver into small pieces and add to the pan, stirring for 4-6 minutes …

Duck Ramen + Whole Roasted Duck and Rich Duck Stock

I have these moments when I ache for the future. It’s usually when I have too much time on my hands. Whether the anticipated event is a few hours, a few days, or a few months away, I abhor waiting. My parents always told me that I wanted instant gratification, that this was not good for my character, and I needed to learn to wait. However, I feel as though I’ve done my share of waiting in this life. As the daughter of a preacher, many hours of my childhood were spent waiting after church for all the little old ladies, happy young couples, and the occasional disenchanted parishioner to shake the hand of my mother and father. Now and then I stood next to them, resigning myself to the hugs I would no doubt receive from the well-meaning elderly, ending up with aching jaws from forced smiles, and smelling like a perfume factory whose target consumer group is women over seventy. I’m not complaining about this, mind you; these memories are fond ones that …

Smoked Mackerel Smørrebrød with Dill and Chive Blossoms

“In a country where understatement and simplicity reign, it makes sense that the unpretentious sandwich is embraced as a national dish.” (npr.org) Danish Rugbrød, or rye bread, has been perfected over the last few hundred years, and the open-faced sandwich has been elevated to an art. Recipes for the dense, dark bread range from simple—containing just rye and wheat flours and cracked rye—to more complex—studded with seeds and sweetened with molasses or dark syrup. I prefer the more complex method, with layers of flavors created by the addition of more ingredients. The recipe I developed (coming soon!) has oats, cocoa, and blackstrap molasses, and flax, sunflower, and caraway seeds, in addition to the cracked rye. I also use Guinness instead of water! For these open-faced sandwiches, or smørrebrød, as they’re called in Danish, I opted for a zingy and light crème fraîche mixture instead of the traditional butter (the “smørre” in smørrebrød). This is perfectly acceptable, but if you want to hold tight to tradition, you need that first smear of butter before adding any …