One of my favorite holiday traditions is baking with my grandma and mom. Each November we start a months’ long routine of gathering in the kitchen to bake through our family’s traditional recipes. There’s lefse, krumkaker, sandbakkelse, and much, much more. I had the opportunity to share a little about the tradition–along with my grandma’s recipe for sandbakkelse–in Nordic Design’s Christmas magazine this year (find my story on pages 73-76). In addition to my story and some other great recipes, editor Catherine Lazure-Guinard has put together a great compilation of gift suggestions, ideas for decorating, and more. I hope you’ll check it out as you prepare for your Scandinavian Christmas this year!
Wow. I’d like to thank you all for your encouragement and celebration when I announced that my Nordic food article was featured as the centerpiece food story last week in The Oregonian. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many likes on the Facebook page! You are the best. I still get excited every time I walk by the various copies of the newspaper at my home, and I’d to try to explain this story’s significance to me.
As a lifetime writer who studied journalism in college and has made a career out of telling stories through the written word, getting published in The Oregonian marks a significant point in my writing life. With a reputation as one of the biggest and best newspapers in the Pacific Northwest, the Pulitzer Prize-winning paper has fostered and trained many excellent journalists; its former managing editor in his book “A Writer’s Coach” called it a “writer’s newspaper, a place where words matter.”
Six years ago this summer I traveled down to Portland, Oregon, for a writers’ conference organized by The Oregonian and the Poynter Institute. Being surrounded by all of that integrity, creativity, and passion stirred something in me, and that weekend I decided, without a doubt, to leave broadcast news and pursue a job in print.
Even in 2007 that was a daring decision; as I took a communications and marketing job while doing freelance writing on the side, I watched as print editions of newspapers and magazines continued to decline.
As my family and I drove north from Portland last Tuesday after picking up a few copies of my article in that day’s paper, we passed the conference site and it occurred to me how momentous the article was. Six years after that influential experience I was back in Portland holding a copy of that respected paper–a “writer’s newspaper”–with my own article in it. Even though my stories about food have been published nationally, a byline in The Oregonian–especially on the topic of Nordic food, my specialty–is perhaps the one I’m most proud of.
Thanks again for all of your enthusiasm. Even without knowing the full significance of this article for me, you’ve written kind words, shared the article with your friends, and celebrated with me. I’ll say it again: You are the best.
So, here it is: the article I have been longing to tell you about! Published yesterday as the centerpiece food piece in The Oregonian (with a front-page teaser!), ”Nordic in the Northwest” examines the similarities between the way of eating in the Nordic countries and the Pacific Northwest, especially each region’s emphasis on local, seasonal foods.
I started working on this piece earlier in the summer, interviewing experts on Nordic cuisine, researching immigration to the Pacific Northwest from Scandinavia, and developing five original recipes. If that weren’t exciting enough, I got to do all the photography, with three images used in the package.
I designed the recipes to work together as an entire late-summer menu, though you can certainly pick and choose which ones to make. They honor traditional Scandinavian cooking while reflecting modern influences. With salmon, blueberries, and an assortment of produce figuring heavily in the menu, the recipes also emphasize eating local and seasonal as much as possible and in such a way that is relevant in the Pacific Northwest and the Nordic countries this time of year.
I’ve included some outtakes from the photo shoot here in this post. Please do feel free to pin them on Pinterest–in fact, I’d be honored if you did!
One of my favorite things about being a food writer is sharing the ingredients, food ideas, and recipes I love with readers from all over. Growing up in a Norwegian-American family, I developed a taste for Norwegian goat cheese as a young child. Much different than the soft white goat cheese that’s more commonly known to Americans, the Norwegian variety–known as brunost, gjetost, or geitost, depending on region or the particular composition of the cheese–is mocha-colored and comes in a block that can be easily sliced, perfect for eating with a hearty bread or perhaps a traditional heart-shaped waffle.
I wrote an article for the latest issue of Our Amazing Norway that explains brunost and provides a number of ideas for how to serve it. Check out Our Amazing Norway’s website to find out how get a copy, and don’t forget to follow them on Facebook!
Images provided by and used with permission from Our Amazing Norway.
If you would have told me back when I was a journalism student that I would eventually be a food writer and professional recipe developer, I’m not quite sure what I would have thought. Back then I was interviewing bands and trying my hand at concert reviews while simultaneously trying to establish a credible name for myself as a news journalist. Sure, I baked regularly, but it was for fun. I didn’t give much thought to the fact that I could transfer my love of baking and cooking into a job, let alone a significant part of a freelance writing career. I’m so glad I came to my senses, though; with my food- and nutrition-related articles in a number of publications, I’m lucky enough to be able to stretch myself and hone my craft, all while eating well and playing with my food.
Today I want to share with you my latest article, “Chill out: Beat the heat with homemade ice cream, frozen yogurt and the best smoothies on the block” (page 40), in the June 2013 issue of Pregnancy & Newborn Magazine. The article features five original summer recipes, including Chocolate-Earl Grey and Blueberry Ice Cream, Banana Bread Frozen Yogurt, and Carrot-Beet-Apple Sorbet. If you’re looking to give a healthy edge to your treats, I encourage you to try out the Chocolate-Cinnamon Smoothie, which features a base of avocado (you can’t even taste it!) and is sweetened with banana and honey.
Whether you’re pregnant or not, I think you’ll enjoy these creative ways to cool off in the summer months. I hope you’ll check out the story!
One of the best parts of being a recipe developer is coming up with ideas for foods that I would enjoy eating–and then having an excuse to try making them. Thanks to the Norwegian American Weekly, for which I am a contributing editor, I have a batch of lusciously smooth cardamom ice cream with Norwegian chocolate chunks in my freezer right now. Scented with the warm, woodsy notes of cardamom and a hint of vanilla, the custard is deceptively rich despite its low milk-to-cream ratio. The recipe is for the paper’s Syttende Mai issue, which is out today. Ice cream and hot dogs are common fare for Norwegian Constitution Day, so my latest story in the paper features recipes for both. I hope you’ll check it out and give the Syttende Mai recipes a try! Click here to read “Feast for a fest: 17. mai treats: A gourmet twist on the traditional 17. mai fare from Outside Oslo.”
I think it’s part of the collective food-lovers’ experience to crave salads as soon as spring rolls around. In contrast to the hearty dishes that have dominated our kitchens for months, salads seem to represent the fresh air, lightened moods, and sense of new beginnings that come with spring. So it seems appropriate, then, that my latest article for the Norwegian American Weekly features an original recipe for Composed Salad of Smoked Salmon, Cucumber, Mâche, Egg, and Asparagus.
This salad makes me think of a Norwegian variation on the salade Niçoise, which I love so much. Just as with that French favorite, this salad is fresh and light yet contains enough protein to make it a meal. Just butter a slice of bread and pour a sparkling beverage, and you’ll be set. Or, better, yet, pack it up and make it part of a Syttende Mai picnic if you live in a city that has a parade. Click here for the recipe, and enjoy!
When it comes to creating a family cookbook, there are so many things to consider: how many recipes to include and what format it should take are just two of them. My mom and I are in the process of creating our own family cookbook, and so when an editor at Costco Connection asked me to write a story on the topic, I jumped at the opportunity. That article is published in the April 2013 issue, and if you happen to be a Costco member, you’ll find it on page 49. For the rest of you, you can read “Creating the Family Cookbook: How to Preserve Your Family’s History–One Recipe at a Time” in the online edition. You’ll find great tips and inspiration in the interviews with Dianne Jacob, author of Will Write For Food (a must-read for anyone interested in any type of food writing); Alice Currah, author of Savory Sweet Life and a blog by the same name; Terry Guzman, author of a self-published family cookbook called What Can I Get You; and Elise Bauer of SimplyRecipes.com. The article includes three recipes, including my Grandma Adeline’s peanut bars, which she’s been making since the middle of the last century when she baked them for a restaurant. I grew up eating these sweet and nutty confections, and I trust that you’ll love them as much as I do.
This article epitomizes the current phase of my career, a time in which I get to have my “dream job.” When I started my career as a journalist fresh out of college, I envisioned a future of covering the news, eventually moving from my role as a writer and producer to becoming an anchor and reporter. Little did I know that I would eventually find my ideal outside of the newsroom and in my own home. Since leaving the traditional working world in 2011, I’ve begun freelancing more and more, transitioning from general news and features to writing about topics I’m passionate about: primarily food, Scandinavian cuisine, and parenting.
Check out the article! I hope that you enjoy it and that if you’re working on your own family cookbook, that you find it helpful and inspiring.
As you probably know from reading Outside Oslo, I enjoy taking items frequently found in Norwegian and Scandinavian kitchens and coming up with new and original ways to use them. I had the opportunity recently to write an article about lingonberries for Our Amazing Norway, a magazine for expats in Norway. The story is complete with four original lingonberry recipes:
Cardamom-Scented Cauliflower Soup with Lingonberry and Dill
Black Tea Crème Brûléewith Lingonberry Preserves
Spiced Lingonberry Sauce for Ice Cream
Cucumber, Dill, and Lingonberry Smørrebrød
Check out Our Amazing Norway’s website to find out how get a copy. I have an article about another commonly-found item coming up in their next issue; I’ll be sure to tell you when it’s published. In the meantime, follow them on Facebook and Instagram!
Images provided by and used with permission from Our Amazing Norway.
Living in the Pacific Northwest, any number of outdoor activities are available within an hour or two from home. From skiing and boating to hiking and beach strolls, there is ample opportunity to get fresh air and enjoy the great outdoors. Interestingly, however, a recent study showed that less than half of American preschoolers are given the opportunity to play outside for an hour a day.
For those who need some inspiration, I wrote an article on a related topic for Seattle-based ParentMap Magazine. “Swings, Snails and Sun: 10 Simple Delights of Backyard Fun“–in the SummerMap special edition–addresses the turn away from outdoor play and gives parents ideas for how to reinstill in our families the old childhood values of rollicking in nature. If you’re a parent, I hope you enjoy the outdoor play ideas!