That Time I Ended Up With 8 Kilos of Fruit Leather.

Well, it was actually 8 kilos of undried fruit leather, which is probably only a kilo once it’s been through the dehydrator. But since it takes a day per batch and I was making the stuff on a deadline, I ended up just freezing most of the mush to be processed at a later date. Anyway, I’m not running out of fruit leather anytime soon. But let’s rewind a bit! So this year was truly an epic year for berries. Whatever was happening with the weather, berries liked it. A LOT. This resulted in all our blackcurrant, redcurrant, and gooseberry bushes …

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Lemon Crumb Muffins

Another batch of muffins for post-hospital entertaining of guests. These freeze really well – I defrosted and zapped them in the microwave some for visiting grandparents the other day and they turned out really moist and fluffy. I used a base recipe from Taste of Home, with just a smidge of substitution in the main muffin but quite a bit of tweaking for the topping and glaze. Despite my increasing the natural lemon ingredients, I probably would go so far as to add in a splash of lemon extract in my next batch, like some reviewers have suggested, just to …

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Sugar-Crusted Raspberry Muffins

A few years ago, I visited a friend who took me to see her friend, who had just recently had a baby. I remember being totally impressed with how together this woman was, despite her chaotic schedule, recovering health and our last-minute visit — to the point where she sat us down and busted out fresh baked goods in what seemed like mere minutes. It was like magic! Just make a pot of tea and that’s that. I promised myself that I would learn from her and stock up on frozen pre-prepped items to make entertaining guests stress-free. Never did get …

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Why my luggage is never stolen, or, London Food Haul 2011

A continuation of the gallery from yesterday, in a way. This is all the stuff that I could carry in my checked-in luggage from that same trip back in 2011. Besides being deterred by my gaudily bright-pink-patterned suitcase set, I’m pretty sure that any would-be thief who peeked inside said suitcases and saw the cumbersome pile of cheap foreign food items would just give up the situation as Totally Not Worth It. Except that it was totally worth it to me, given the difficulty in obtaining some of said items in our little corner of the country.

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Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

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Remember this post about pumpkin puree where I mentioned always saving the seeds from pumpkins to use for another recipe? This would be one of those recipes. Super simple and gives you loads of snacky stuff to have in a bowl for entertaining guests or to keep in your purse for when your stomach starts growling before lunch. You can crack them open like sunflower seeds or eat them whole (the way I do). The crunch is the fun part! Continue reading

Return of the berries of the sea.

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This post is dedicated to Keva, who hates eggs. She made a fuss about my previous post regarding fake (seaweed-based) caviar a while back, so I thought it was only fair that I share with her the real stuff 🙂 It showed up in my local grocer’s fish refrigerator last month and I had to get a jar. This isn’t my first run-in with salmon roe this side of the Atlantic, but they were probably the largest ones I’ve seen so far. Still not as generously sized as the ones I got back in Cali but I’ve come to accept that most …

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Mystery Meat: Pâté of Ungulate

Today’s Mystery Meat comes to us courtesy of the specialty foods store in Stockholm Arlanda airport. Yeah, I know I won’t win any points for classy presentation with these photos, but these were just quick snacks that I snapped pictures of on the way to the table. Were I serving this for guests, I’dve probably chosen a nicer plate, prettier crackers, and encased the pâté in a pastry skin or something. But that wouldn’t have looked as much like a mystery meat, would it? These tasty chunks of pâté were a fine example of native Scandinavian wildlife. That ought to …

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Mystery Meat: Surprisingly tentacle-free!

I mentioned in my last post how I’ve been craving non-fish seafood lately. Since the fresh stuff isn’t so common, I’ve lately been resorting to frozen and the occasional canned product. I’ve only bought cans of stuff that I’ve trusted in the past, however, like mussels and crab. Last week, I thought I’d be a bit more adventurous and expand my tinned seafood horizons. Unfortunately, I decided to begin with this: Can’t tell what it is? That’s okay, I read the label, saw the picture, ate all of it, and STILL can’t quite figure out what it was supposed to …

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Juustoleipä -or- Bread Cheese/Frying Cheese/Squeaky Cheese

I was first introduced to juustoleipä (juusto = cheese, leipä = bread) a little over three years ago, my first summer out here. It had been cut into ordinary-looking cubes, so I thought it was mozzarella at first glance. Then I was instructed to eat the cubes with jam, which was a bit different, but not too far departed from the more familiar cheese and fruit pairings. Then the cheese started making sounds while I was chewing, and I figured it might be good to ask what exactly it was that we were eating. Like many Finnish foods, juustoleipä is a …

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