• Fårikål (Lamb and Cabbage), Norway’s National Dish)

    I remember the first time I tasted fårikål, the national dish of Norway. I had read for a long time—years maybe—about this stew of lamb and cabbage that is Norway’s national dish. It seemed too simple, I thought—just lamb and…

  • Icelandic Happy Marriage Cake (Hjónabandssaela)

    Icelandic Happy Marriage Cake (Hjónabandssaela)

    The thought of rhubarb takes me back to my grandparents’ garden, a place that surely was dwarfed by the farms that were their former landscape back in North Dakota yet seemed to me the most amazing sort of wonderland. Some…

  • Fattigmann

    Norwegian Christmas Cookies: Fattigmann

    Gathering the dough into a ball, I inhaled the scent of the cardamom and butter, warm in my hands. Like all those memories from my childhood, the feelings stirring in my heart filled me with a sense of love, a security…

  • Sandkaker / Sandbakkelse

    Norwegian Christmas Cookies: Sandkaker / Sandbakkelse

    I never tire of seeing the variety of cakes and cookies in the Scandinavian tradition. With little more than butter, sugar, eggs, and flour, and often a scattering of spices, we can create an extensive assortment of treats. Sometimes elegant…

  • Pepperkaker

    Norwegian Christmas Cookies: Pepperkaker

    I returned home the other day and was surprised by the warmth and smell that greeted me. Cinnamon and cardamom, clove and ginger. Warm butter and sugar. The scents of baking. Earlier in the day I had made pepperkaker, but…

  • Gløgg

    Embracing hygge with gløgg (Scandinavian Mulled Wine)

    A pot of spiced wine simmering on the stove, releasing its fragrant spices into the air. The flickering glow of candles, a crackling fireplace. It’s hard to imagine a more cozy setting in which to celebrate the holiday season or…

  • Berlinerkranser

    Norwegian Christmas Cookies: Berlinerkranser

    I grew up knowing the tradition by taste rather than by name. Syv slags kaker–or seven sorts of cookies. The way it goes, you wouldn’t be a proper Norwegian if you didn’t serve at least seven types of cookies at Christmastime. I…

  • Krumkaker

    Norwegian Christmas Baking: Krumkaker

    I still remember what it was like, cupping my hand under my mouth to catch the crumbs. Biting into a krumkake at my grandparents’ house at Christmastime, I knew that the cookie would inevitably shatter. I just had to be…

  • Kladdkaka

    My Favorite Kladdkaka (Swedish Fudgy Chocolate Cake)

    Life is full of reasons to celebrate, I’m convinced of that. It’s so easy to get caught up in the movement and the swiftness of the everyday. Sometimes—as a friend put it the other day—the monotony. But I’m trying to…