Elderflower and Thyme Cocktail

Elderflower and Thyme Cocktail

The hardest, most difficult part of March is for me it’s seemingly manic weather moods. I know I’m not going to get much sympathy from those of you currently buried up to your eyeballs in snow, but here in the Pacific Northwest we’re dealing with some seriously unusual weather. For us.

Each year without fail, we get one or two really nice days in March, but the rest are the usual windy, wet, freezing temps that make you long for nothing more than warm socks and a hot fire.  So far this year we’re all warm and sunny during the day (60 degrees!) and frigid, frigid cold at night. All the poor plants in my garden are seriously confused. Heck, I’m confused. And our mountain snow pack is almost nonexistent.. Can you say impending drought? Sob.

I know the rest of you would give your eye teeth to be confused like me,  and suffer through our 60 degree days, so as a gesture of my sympathy, I’m bringing you this very, very springlike cocktail.

Elderflower and Thyme Cocktail 2

Elderflower cordial is one of those things I think that not too many people in the U.S. are familiar with. Hugely popular abroad (and very much so in Scandinavia) it’s basically the delicious syrup created by steeping Elderflower blossoms in a warm simple syrup overnight. It’s lightly fragrant taste goes especially well with lemons and I think therefore by extension, thyme.

To up the Scandinavian ante, I sometimes make this drink with a splash of  light aquavit. I mostly drink it however mixed with sparkling water, a slice of lemon and a lightly bruised sprig of thyme. This is the perfect drink to serve to friends who prefer not to imbibe in alcohol as it can be suited to everyones taste.

Elderflower and Thyme Cocktail 3

One bottle of cordial will last you quite awhile. Only the tiniest amount is used in preparing a drink. I prefer about 1 teaspoon to 8 oz.  It’s readily available at a variety of markets in our area, Kroger stores particularly, but if you can’t find it where you live, you can also order it rather inexpensively from Amazon

I’m on a hunt this year to find an Elderflower bush as I’d like nothing better than to make my own. Until then, I’ll happily drink what I have and raise a glass to spring and you, my snow bound friends!

This spring as it comes bursts up in bonfires green,
Wild puffing of emerald trees, and flame-filled bushes,
Thorn-blossom lifting in wreaths of smoke between
Where the wood fumes up and the watery, flickering rushes.  -D H Lawrence

This post contains affiliate links.

  • Elderflower and Thyme Cocktail
Servings
2

Ingredients

Servings:

Instructions

  1. In the bottom of each glass, gently press the thyme sprig with the handle of a wooden spoon or muddler to release it's oils. Pour the cordial in each glass, then add the aquavit or gin if using. Pour the sparkling wine on top, gently stir, then garnish with the lemon.
  2. For an nonalcoholic beverage, just omit the sparkling wine and aquavit and use sparkling water. It will taste just as delicious, I promise!

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Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad with Walnuts

Shaved Brussels Sprouts with Walnuts and Parmesan

There really is just something wonderfully delicious about a simple, unfussy salad. Not only are simple salads appealing because well they’re simple, they also do an amazing job of making a few ingredients really shine.

I’m working very hard these days to incorporate more cruciferous greens just like this in my diet, and while I love kale as much as the next gal, I’m starting to get a little kale fatigued. This recipe may not look super glam, believe me when I say it tastes it.

Big chunky, salty bits of Pecorino cheese, fat, fresh toasted walnuts and a smattering of lightly sweet, pomegranate arils are all you really need to make these sprouts sing.

Shaved Brussels Sprouts with Walnuts and  Parmesan Issaquah Press

The guys turned up their noses at this at first.  When I first introduced them to Brussels sprouts, I was able to get them to eat them by roasting them with big meaty pieces of bacon, and heavy sprinkles of Parmesan, so going fresh like this was a bit more difficult. I did eventually win them over.

The key to making this dish so good in my opinion is to shave the sprouts very thinly, then let them sit in some good olive oil for 15 minutes or so before you eat them. If you’re lucky enough to live near a Trader Joe’s you can buy pre-shaved sprouts in bags for even easier prep.

Shaved Brussels Sprouts with Walnuts and  Parmesan 3

I recently had some of the leftover salad for breakfast and it was good. Surprisingly so. Not many dressed salads can hold up to a night in the fridge. It got me thinking that a big, fat soft boiled egg or two on top wouldn’t be so out of line. Excuse me while I go take care of that.

You can find this recipe over on the Issaquah Press Recipe Box page.

Recipe slightly adapted from Jody Williams

Valentine Crispy Chocolate Bark

Pop Rock and Crispy Chocolate Valentine Bark

I’m back this week with this super simple, really festive, Pop Rocks Valentine’s Bark that will I hope, become your next new favorite thing.  After my Super Bowl extravaganza of posts and recipes I decided to take last week off and spend some time licking my wounds and unfortunately dealing with a nasty illness. I’m better now thankfully, but it was a rough week. It was a rough week for us all here in the Seattle area. I’m only now just feeling up to talking about it.

I used to laugh and kind of shake my head in shame at fans who became so overwrought about their team’s losses. Never again. After years of never quite making it or being good enough I had kind of accepted the fact that failure was just the reality that Seattle sports fans had to become comfortable with. And I had done that. Numbed myself to those disappointing feelings. I can’t do that anymore. This kind of loss for us hurts in no way I can easily quantify or describe.

Pop Rock and Crispy Chocolate Valentine Bark 2

But thankfully life goes on and with Valentine’s Day right around the corner I simply could not not be happy when I’m in the kitchen making this fun little treat. I mean come on. Pop Rocks people! I was inspired to make this recipe by one of our local and beloved chocolate companies here in Seattle, called Seattle Chocolates. Each Valentine’s Day they release this ridiculously delicious, off the hook chocolate bar called, Pink Bubbly Truffle Bar .

It’s freeze dried raspberries, coated in white chocolate, with popping candy, all covered by some seriously lovely dark chocolate. How could you not love that? When I was in Trader Joes last week I noticed they are selling a chocolate bar with cayenne pepper and popping candy too. It’s becoming a thing. Seattle Chocolates also make some other really fantastic flavors like Birthday Cake Batter Truffle Bar and one of my new favorites, a 12 Seattle Sea Salt Truffle Bar. You absolutely must try them.

Pop Rock and Crispy Chocolate Valentine Bark 4

Inspired by that awesome bar I decided to make my Christmas Peppermint Bark recipe without the peppermint of course, and use some festive candies and sprinkles instead. To add a little extra crunch and pop I added some crispy rice cereal to the mix. I think it does a nice job of lightening up all the sweet and as my friend Melissa says, it essentially makes this breakfast food.

That my friends is definitely a win, win!

  • Valentine's Crispy Chocolate Bark
Servings Prep Time Passive Time
1 30 minutes 3 hours

Ingredients

Servings:

Instructions

  1. Line a rimmed, quarter sized sheet pan with parchment paper and set aside. Place the chocolate in a small heat proof bowl over a pan of simmering water. Melt and stir until smooth.
  2. Pour the cereal and the Pop Rocks evenly over the surface of the pan. Pour half the chocolate over the cereal and candy, and smooth using an off set spatula making sure the cereal and candy are completely covered.
  3. Pour the remaining chocolate over the top and smooth. Gently press the candies into the chocolate then garnish with the sprinkles. Allow to cool at room temperature, approx. 3 hours. Do not refrigerate. Once firm, break into pieces.

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This post is not a sponsored post. All opinions here are my own.

Easy Slice and Bake Sugar Cookies

Slice and Bake Sugar Cookies

Happy SUPER Blue Friday 12′s!! Today’s recipe is the final installment in my week long Seahawks/Super Bowl themed and inspired recipes and I just want to say thank you all for hanging in there with me and making this week so, so fun.  It’s been fantastic to see all the great comments, shares and general Super Bowl excitement and it just makes me ridiculously happy to have you guys following along.

I thought I’d share with you this super simple recipe for some really delicious sugar cookies that are perfect for your party table. These little cookies are a gem, primarily because they don’t involve any time consuming rolling or cookie cutters. They taste very similar to my roll and cut sugar cookies, hold their shape extraordinarily well while baking and they taste waaaaay better than anything you can buy at the grocery store.

Slice and Bake Sugar Cookies 2

The other really fantastic thing about these is that you can make up the dough in advance, like say a month or so, freeze it then bring it out whenever you want, slice up the dough and go. If you want perfectly shaped round cookies, you do need to go through a 2 part reshape half way through the chilling time, but it’s not that big of a deal. The dough naturally is pretty soft, so I recommend chilling them in the freezer rather than the fridge. It will make for much easier cutting.

We chose Skittles, Jelly Bellys and blue and green sprinkles for our decorations but you can obviously choose whatever suits your fancy. I always add almond extract to my sugar cookies, because it gives them that little something extra flavor but vanilla or even lemon extract would work well too.

Slice and Bake Sugar Cookies 3

Cookies get devoured around here pretty fast, it was all I could do to take these photos before the guys swooped in and snarfed them all up, these especially. I had to do the stealth moves to get one off the tray in time and save one for myself. I have good stealth cookie moves thankfully.

I hope you all enjoy the game and have a fantastic Super Bowl Sunday and thanks again for staying with me this week! It’s been a blast. GO HAWKS!

  • Easy Slice and Bake Sugar Cookies
Servings
24

Ingredients

Servings:

Instructions

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the butter and cream cheese. Beat until light. Add the sugar, egg and almond extract. Combine. Sift the dry ingredients over the wet and mix thoroughly.
  2. On a lightly floured board, roll dough into a large (approx 3" diameter) roll. Don't worry about it being perfectly round at this point. It won't be. Wrap in plastic wrap and freeze for 30 min.
  3. Remove from the freezer and shape dough into a smoother roll. You can unwrap it to do this or unwrap it, roll, then re-wrap. Return to the freezer for 30 minutes more. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  4. Remove cookies from the freezer and slice using a sharp, non-serrated knife into 1/4" rounds. You may need to reshape the cookies slightly to get them to retain their shape.
  5. Place them on lined baking sheets and bake for 8-9 minutes until slightly golden. Remove and cool on a baking rack. Once cooled completely, frost and decorate.
For the frosting:
  1. Cream the butter in a medium sized bowl with a hand blender until light. Sift the confectioners sugar over the top, then add the almond extract and half and half. Whip until light and fluffy.
  2. Spread over the cookies and sprinkle accordingly.

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recipe adapted from Taste of Home

The 12th Fandinavian

The 12th Fandinavian

We’re coming down the stretch this week with our Seahawks themed drinks and eats and before my last post on Friday I wanted to share with you one more cocktail. This gorgeous lime green libation was created by the good folks at the Old Ballard Liquor Co. (located in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle, obviously) last week and made especially for all of you 12′s looking for another fun and delicious way to celebrate on Super Bowl Sunday.

It’s only 4 more days until Super Bowl Sunday and the mania around here continues!  My parents are currently doing their snowbird gig down in Arizona, so I get frequent updates from them about all the happenings in Phoenix. According to my mom, she’s feeling very much at home. Twelves are everywhere, and the excitement in the city is palpable. We are known for our crazy loyal traveling fan base and the proximity of Phoenix to Seattle only makes it more of a go for so many.

The 12th Fandinavian 2

Ok, now about the drink! Not only is this drink delicious, it has the perfect name I think. The 12th Fandinavian perfectly marries some awesome (in this case Swedish style) Aquavit with the fun, lime green Seahawks color that we all know and love. The gorgeous color comes from a combination of their Älskar Citron Aquavit, Chartreuse liqueur and some fresh squeezed lime juice, then it’s topped with some delicious, bubbly Prosecco.

It’s sweet without being overly so, and the aquavit and Chartreuse  give it a complex, lightly herbal flavor that tastes amazing. If you wanted to fancy it up a bit you could dip the rims in some blue tinted sugar or serve it with a blueberry swizzle stick. But really it tastes outstanding all on it’s own.

The 12th Fandinavian 3

The Old Ballard Liquor Co. makes such a fantastic product and has a wide range of delicious aquavits along with some other really outstanding products (one specifically called Cherry Bounce, I’m dying to try) so if you’re in the Ballard neighborhood you should definitely do yourself a favor and stop by. You might just need to make the trip and pick yourself up some aquavit before Sunday. They also sell their products locally in many liquor stores so check there too, if you’re unable to make the trip in.

I’m a Ballard native so it just does my Norwegian heart all kinds of good to see companies like the Old Ballard Liquor Co. continuing on, cherishing and promoting my heritage, my history and roots in such a real and authentic way. I’m a huge, huge fan.

Don’t forget, one more day of Seahawks Super Bowl themed posts, so be sure to check back in and GO HAWKS!!

Recipe printed with permission. This post is unsponsored.

  • The 12th Fandinavian
Servings
3

Ingredients

Servings:

Instructions

  1. In a pitcher or shaker combine the aquavit, lime juice, Chartreuse and simple syrup. Add ice and stir. Strain into glasses and top with Prosecco, Champagne or sparkling water.

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Blue Cheese and Bacon Buffalo Chicken Dip

 

Blue Cheese and Bacon Buffalo Chicken Dip 2

Five more days until Super Bowl Sunday! Have you started planning your menu yet for the big day or are you one of those who really couldn’t care one way or the other and are just looking for a good excuse to consume some really naughty/delicious food? Regardless of where you fall on the whole Super Bowl spectrum you’ll definitely want to have this recipe for Blue Cheese and Bacon Buffalo Chicken Dip in your arsenal.

I’m continuing my whole Super Bowl Seahawks party theme with this easy to make dip that you’ve probably already had in some incarnation or other, but I’ve changed it every so slightly by adding some crumbled bacon and using some amazing Greek yogurt cream cheese that I found at my local Safeway.

My oldest son and my husband are huge wing consumers in our house and I have to admit I love the flavors too, but  more than anything, I really love my wings only one way; smothered in creamy blue cheese. The wings just really serve as a kind of a convenient and tasty vehicle to get all that delicious dressing into my mouth. If blue cheese isn’t available, I’m not even interested in the wings. This recipe, just bypasses all the messy, fingers and frying (although that’s awesome too) and puts all those amazing buttery flavors in a warm bubbling dish ready to spread on thick crusty bread or vegetables if that’s your thing..

Pretty perfecto for Super Bowl Sunday.  This recipe can be found over on the Issaquah Press Recipe Box page so head on over and get it HERE.

I’m also including a link for the Slow Cook Shredded Beef Tacos  pictured below, that I made for the Super Bowl last year. They’re exceptionally flavorful and really easy to make. Be sure to serve them with one of the cocktails I’m featuring this week or a good light lager with a generous squeeze of lime.

I’ll be winding things down tomorrow and Friday with a few more recipes you won’t want to miss, so be sure to come on back and check in! We’re going all out!!  GO HAWKS!!

 

 

Cucumber Melon Mojitos aka The 12th Man Hawktail

The 12th Man Hawktail

The Super Bowl 12th Man train of treats and drinks is rolling on today with this gorgeous bright green cocktail that is delicious, refreshing and really a cinch to make. It’s almost, almost health food. If you discount the alcohol and the simple syrup that is.

I’m a huge fan of cucumber in drinks and truth be told just about anything. Icy cold cucumber water, or cucumber smoked salmon sandwiches and lightly pickled dill cucumbers have to be some of my all time favorite things to eat, so it’s only natural that a cucumber cocktail would eventually find it’s way again into my drink rotation. And for all of you looking out your window at a snowy landscape, consider this cocktail a way to escape all that cold and pretend you’re on a white sandy beach somewhere. You’re welcome.

My boys were so intrigued by this they asked me to make a non-alcoholic version and I have to say it was awesome. I plan to serve these on Super Bowl Sunday along with another drink, that I’ll be sharing with you later this week. The very cool thing about this drink is that you can make it the day before, then add the sparkling water just before serving. It holds up remarkably well.

The 12th Man Hawktail 2

I wanted to share a drink with you that was vibrant and green, but I also wanted to avoid using too much artificial color, so I opted for the cucumber, mint and melon liquor combination. The result was a drink that was minty, refreshing and bursting with cucumber goodness. An English cucumber works best here, because the seeds puree nicely, but if you decide you’d rather do with out, you can easily remove them by halving the cucumber lengthwise and scooping them out with a spoon.

I used my trusty Nutra Ninja Blender Duo with Auto -iQ to whip these babies up and it did a phenomenal job. The good folks at Ninja sent me a mixer last November and I’ve been using it to whip up smoothies and cocktails all winter long. I’ll share with you some more information on the Nutra Ninja later in a more detailed post, but for now if you are in the market for a good blender I would strongly encourage you to consider it.

The 12th Man Hawktail 3

Things are seriously crazy here in Seattle this week. It’s all Super Bowl all the time, everywhere you go everyone is sporting their colors, talking about the Super Bowl with whom ever will listen and local television and radio are all doing their part to contribute to the wild 12the Man frenzy. It’s awesome. And you’d seriously have to be living under a rock or dead not to be aware of it all. We’ve already started celebrating and I think it’s probably safe to say I’ll have a Super Bowl party planning hangover come next week, regardless of the outcome of the game. But I really honestly don’t care. I’m just going to buckle myself in, drink some mojitos and enjoy the ride….

I’ll be back again tomorrow with a recipe for an easy and delicious appetizer that you’ll definitely want to make so be sure to come on back and check it out! Until then, “GO HAWKS!”

  • Cucumber Melon Mojitos aka The 12th Man Hawktail
Servings
4

Ingredients

Servings:

Instructions

  1. In a blender, combine the cucumber, mint, lime juice and simple syrup. Blend until thoroughly combined and all the chunks are pureed. Add the liquor and the light rum, stir to combine. Pour into glasses and top off with sparkling water. Serve immediately.
  2. If you want to make this in advance you absolutely can. Prepare the according to the directions above, but leave out the sparkling water. Can be made 1 day in advance.

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This is an unsponsored post but does contain affiliate links.

Seahawks Vodka Jello Shots

Seahawks Vodka Jello Shots

I’m not really quite sure what it is about Jello shots that’s so darn appealing, but there is something undeniably awesome about the tasty marriage of gelatin and alcohol.  When anyone ever says jello shots, my ears automatically perk up and I’m instantly thinking PARTAY!  They’re so festive and fun, and really not something most people go to the trouble to make everyday so naturally they deserve a place on your Super Bowl menu.

Last year when the Seahawks were making their first run at the Super Bowl, I made these and posted a photo of them to my Flickr and Pinterest accounts but did not blog about them. One year later and that little photo has received around 1,000 pins on Pinterest. I took that as a sign that I needed to remake and repost the photos along with a recipe. So, here we are at the beginning of a week of pre-Super Bowl prep and you now have plenty of time to get the supplies and get crackin. If you so happen to be rooting for that other team, you can definitely mix up the colors appropriately.

Seahawks Vodka Jello Shots 2

I’m not going to pretend these jello shots are anything new, unusual or fancy. They are simply made of jello, unflavored gelatin and sweetened condensed milk, all spiked with some really great vodka. We are lucky enough around here to have so many local small batch distillers making really amazing spirits, so I couldn’t resist putting some 12 Vodka from White River Distillers in the shots just to stay in keeping with the whole 12th Man, Seahawks theme. You can use really whatever vodka you like, Whipped Cream vodka is my next favorite go to, but I don’t really think you need to spend too much on whatever spirit you end up using as you are going to be bastardizing it anyway by adding the jello and sweetened condensed milk. The 12 Vodka is a premium brand and I did feel a bit guilty adding it to the Jello, but I figured what the heck, it’ll taste amazing. And it does.

It’s pretty safe to say that these pack a very serious punch. Be really judicious in your consumption of them, and make sure they stay out of the hands of the kiddos. They are like magnets for anyone under age. I would even suggest making a non-alcoholic variety in different cups so if you have kids or are going to party where they’ll be present they can enjoy their own alcohol free versionas well. Believe me, they are going to want to have some and it would be very bad if they decided to flout the rules and help themselves. Not good.  Stepping down off the soap box now.

Seahawks Vodka Jello Shots 3

I love to make these in these pretty little dessert glasses, but really they are equally good in just about any little cup or glass you’ve got around.  You can even make them in an 8″x8″ pan and cut them into squares if you’d rather not go to all the fiddly trouble of using glasses. If you do that make sure your squares stay on the smallish side, for obvious reasons. My husband is not usually one to go in for sweets or even much hard alcohol, but even he is a fan of these.. Seriously one of these bad boys will do you. Particularly if you’re consuming them on an empty stomach. At 10 am, lets say while you’re taste testing or something like that.

I’ll be back tomorrow with some more alcyholly goodness, I’ve got a couple fun drinks to share with you, all keeping within the Seahawks party theme so be sure to come on back and check out whats the what.

  • Seahawks Jello Shots
Servings
24 small cups

Ingredients

Servings: small cups

Instructions

  1. Prepare the blue layer first: In a microwave proof bowl heat one cup of the water until boiling approximately 3 minutes or so. Sprinkle the blue jello over the top, and stir until dissolved. Add the food coloring and stir until combined. Stir in 1 C. of the vodka. Pour into small cups, evenly. Place on a rimmed baking sheet and freeze for 15-20 minutes. Prepare middle layer while first is setting.
  2. For the white layer: Pour 1/2 cup of the water in to a medium sized bowl. Sprinkle the 2 pkgs of unflavored gelatin over the top and let dissolve. Meanwhile heat 1/2 c. of the water and 1/2 C. of the vodka in the microwave for 2 minutes or just under a boil. Pour into the unflavored gelatin mixture and stir until dissolved. Add the sweetened condensed milk and stir again. Remove the cups from the freezer and pour the second layer over the top, evenly. Return to the freezer and freeze for 30 minutes. Prepare the green layer while it freezes.
  3. For the green layer: Heat the remaining cup of water in the microwave for 3 minutes. Add the lime jello, stir until dissolved, then add the food coloring. Add the remaining 1 C. vodka, stir thoroughly. Remove the cups from the freezer, pour the green layer over the middle, evenly then return to the freezer for 15-20 minutes.
  4. Remove from the freezer and store in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Serve with whipped cream, berries and mint.

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This post is unsponsored. White River Distillers did not pay me for this post, I just really love their juice.

Seahawks Sprinkle Doughnuts AKA Cardamom Spice Baked Doughnuts

Cardamom Spice Baked Doughnuts

I hope that you’ll forgive me for going regional on you all today. I try to keep this blog a bit more friendly to viewers from all locales, but I simply cannot pass up this time and opportunity to share my true feelings and allegiance, to the Seattle Seahawks!!  I’m a life long Seattleite, (one of the few left, I think sometimes :) ) and a lifelong Seahawks fan so I feel absolutely compelled to share with you some fun easy recipes that you can make in preparation for your Super Bowl celebrations. If you’re into that kind a thing.

We are again going to the Super Bowl this year and while I feel for our Green Bay fans, (truly, I completely respect and admire them, in fact if I wasn’t a die hard Seattle fan I definitely, definitely would be a Packers fan) I am completely and utterly beside myself with ridiculous excitement. It’s safe to say the rest of Seattle is too.

Cardamom Spice Baked Doughnuts 2

I thought I’d take the time over the course of the next week and a half to share with you some easy to prepare, completely fun party food that you can make in preparation for your big shindig, or just share with your friends to get you all in the spirit on a Friday or Saturday night.  They’ll be a few sweet things, a couple kickin cocktails and possibly an appetizer or two to get things rolling.

Cardamom Spice Baked Doughnuts 3

These little lovelies are just so good and honestly the only thing that makes them “Seahawks” is of course their sprinkles so decorate exactly however you feel or whatever your persuasion. They are a rich, eggy doughnut that has the least baked flavor of a baked doughnut I’ve ever had. If you are at all like me, I simply cannot go through the whole rigamarole of frying doughnuts whenever I want one. Baked are so much easier, and not to mention nearly AS bad for you.

These would be a fantastic treat to bring to work on Blue Friday (our regional spirit day, basically), or as dessert for friends or of course for sharing on the big day. They also make a really delicious all though unadvised breakfast. I may or may not have eaten one while I was walking on the treadmill the other day.

Cardamom Spice Baked Doughnuts 4

See those glorious little flecks of cardamom goodness up there? That’s what you get when you grind your own cardamom. That and some really amazing flavor. Store bought pre-ground stuff just won’t do here. Go to the Indian market, by a bag of the already husked cardamom, get a little mortar and pestle and get crackin.  You’ll be so glad you did and your kitchen will smell aaahmaaazzzing. Oh and as our fearless and amazing quarterback Russell Wilson says at the end of every interview,  GO HAWKS!!

Cardamom Spice Baked Doughnuts 5

Recipe adapted from King Arthur Flour

  • Cardamom Spice Baked Doughnuts
Servings
12 doughnuts

Ingredients

Servings: doughnuts

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly oil 2 doughnut pans and set aside. In a small bowl, sift the flour, sugar, baking powder, nutmeg, salt and cardamom. Set aside.
  2. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the yogurt, eggs, cooled melted butter and water. Gradually add the dry ingredients and whisk until thoroughly combined.
  3. Fill each doughnut well 1/2 full. I have a batter wand for this purpose and it works very well. Bake 10-12 minutes until golden. Remove from oven, cool on a cooling rack then frost.
Icing:
  1. Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl with a whisk. Dip each doughnut in the frosting, place on a cooling rack placed over a parchment lined baking sheet. Garnish with sprinkles, let dry.

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Icelandic Brown Bread

Icelandic Brown Bread 7

Happy January Friends! After a much needed and very long break from blogging, I’m back today to share with you this delicious and easy recipe for one of my favorite breads. I’m not one that’s necessarily big on resolutions at the New Year but oftentimes it just makes sense to pull back a bit from the sugar in January, refocus my eating on more whole grains, and generally try to clean up my diet.

I like to focus my eating more along the guidelines of the New Nordic Diet, but I don’t necessarily follow any prescribed “diet plan” I just like to incorporate some if it’s elements in my everyday meals.  The New Nordic Diet, is not really “new”.  It’s been around since 2004 and was developed by several famous Nordic chefs (one of whom, Renee Redzepi of Noma) and focuses primarily on consuming, cruciferous and root vegetables, berries, locally sourced seafood and whole and varied grains. Pretty simple right? Simple, delicious and really a recipe for overall better health. If you’re interested in finding out more about The New Nordic Diet, head HERE for a brief run down.

Icelandic Brown Bread 8

Intrigued and want to know even more?  Check out some the delicious recipes and ways to include The New Nordic Diet into your life by picking up Trina Hahnemann’s The Nordic Diet. Beautifully written and chock full of recipes that are simple and delicious.

Now for the bread. One really easy way to incorporate more whole and healthy grains in your life is to rightfully make your own bread. Scandinavians have their fair share of bread recipes that take more time than the average person would like to spend making them, but you don’t have to spend hours toiling in the kitchen to still get the benefits of homemade, whole grain bread.

Icelandic Brown Bread 9

This recipe, an adaptation of Beatrice Ojakangas, Icelandic Three Grain Brown Bread is basically a quick soda bread that you can literally throw together in the same time it would take you to make a batch of cookies. A trademark of good Scandinavian bread is usually the presence of oats, seeds and sometimes nuts, so I make sure to add a generous amount of additional whole oats, and a sprinkling of seeds to the top of each loaf I make. It keeps remarkably well and tastes ridiculously good toasted with mashed avocado, or my personal favorite, a big smear of dill mustard and piled high with gravlax.

I must also,absolutely recommend, the thorough and exhaustive, The Great Scandinavian Baking Book, by Beatrice Ojakangas. There you’ll find a whole host of delicious Scandinavian recipes from the healthy to the not so much. Beatrice has been baking New Nordic since before it was a thing.

This post contains affiliate links.

  • Icelandic Brown Bread
Servings Prep Time Cook Time
1 loaf 10 minutes 60 minutes

Ingredients

Servings: loaf

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9"x5" loaf pan with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a mixer, cream the butter and the brown sugar together. In a separate bowl, sift the flours and the remaining dry ingredients together, excepting the anise seed and the mixture for the topping.
  3. Add the dry ingredients to the mixing bowl and turn the mixer on low. Add the anise seed, then slowly pour in the buttermilk until the ingredients are wet. Avoid over mixing.
  4. Carefully spread the mixture in the loaf pan then sprinkle the mixed oats and seeds on top.
  5. Place on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 60 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.

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