Hello there. It seems like I’ve been talking about this rhubarb cardamom crisp and sharing it all over social media for a few weeks, but it occurred to me that I had yet to mention it here. The rhubarb cardamom crisp with buckwheat streusel and whipped crème fraîche is the most recent recipe I’ve written about in the Norwegian American Weekly, and it’s become one of my favorite desserts.
I’ve been the food editor of the Norwegian American Weekly for a number of issues now, and before any more time passes, I thought I’d take a moment today to write an update about what’s going on over there at the food section. If you follow Outside Oslo on Facebook, you’ve probably seen a bit of what I’m up to, but if you just follow the blog, then things will have seemed pretty quiet since I announced my new role with a recipe for kaffefromasj.
Most recently, we ran this yellow pea soup with ham and watercress from Maria Nelson, one of our newest writers. She’s a food writer and photographer who blogs at Pink Patisserie, and I’m excited to see the work she will be continuing to contribute in the months to come.
There was also Bergen Easter chicken, a recipe from one of Beatrice Ojakangas’s books, which combines chicken with the distinctly Norwegian flavor of gjetost (brown goat cheese). And this week, Sunny Gandara of the blog Arctic Grub will be exploring the role of ice cream on Syttende Mai–along with sharing several recipes. (And here’s a little secret for you: Look for an aquavit cocktail recipe from another one of our new writers in the coming weeks!)
I’ve been working behind the scenes for a couple of months to shape the food section of the Norwegian American Weekly–which is the last remaining Norwegian American newspaper (there used to be hundreds of them!)–and it’s been fun to see the first stories and recipes roll out since taking the position. We have some great new writers on board, in addition to existing ones, and I’m looking forward to watching how the Norwegian food coverage unfolds in the months to come. I’ll be sure to post Norwegian American Weekly updates here from time to time, but I hope you’ll follow the paper too.
We’ll get to the dessert in a moment. But first I can’t wait to announce that I’m the new food editor for the Norwegian American Weekly! Starting this week, I’ll be shaping the paper’s Taste of Norway section, sharing everything from traditional recipes and stories about the connection between food and heritage to interviews with chefs and features on modern Nordic cooking.
I’ve been contributing to the publication for a few years, and it’s exciting to now be able to take on this role. The paper has some great existing writers, and I’m also seeking new contributors. I’m looking forward to seeing the coverage unfold. But first, I’m settling in with kaffefromasj–basically a Norwegian coffee mousse. It’s no surprise that Norwegians–well, almost all Nordics–love their coffee, and this recipe celebrates that bold, bitter flavor with a creamy, not-too-sweet dessert.
Head over to the Norwegian American Weekly’s website (it’s subscription-based; subscribe here) for my first article as editor–and the recipe for kaffefromasj!
If you follow along on Instagram, this image might look familiar. I offered the sneak peak a couple of months ago when developing a recipe for my latest article in Costco Connection magazine. That article–Beyond the Bun: A Camper’s Guide to Outdoor Cuisine–is now in print, and I want to take a moment to share it with you today. It’s all about how to break away from the typical camping fare of hot dogs and burgers and to eat as well as you would at home, with just a little extra preparation before the trip. You can find the article–along with my recipe for Orange Pound Cake with Wine-Poached Strawberries and Mascarpone–in the May 2014 issue of Costco Connection. Enjoy!
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!