Archive of ‘Food’ category

Smoked Salmon Casserole

lohilaatikoThis dish has been in heavy rotation at my house this winter. Simple and satisfying, this is my definition of comfort food. The original recipe, called lohilaatikko, was given to me by my aunt Helen. Her recipe calls for canned salmon (also very tasty), but I’ve substituted smoked fish and added dill.

5 medium potatoes, thinly sliced
1 4.5-oz. package smoked salmon, flaked
1/2 medium onion, thinly sliced
2 Tbsp. flour
Whole milk (at least 2 cups — quantity varies)
fresh dill and black pepper, to taste
2 Tbsp. butter

Butter a 2-quart casserole (a shallow one works best), and arrange half of the sliced potatoes in the bottom of the dish. Add layers of salmon and onion. Sprinkle evenly with flour, and add the remaining potatoes. Pour enough milk in the dish to nearly cover the potatoes. Sprinkle with dill and black pepper, to taste, and dot with butter. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for about an hour, or until the top is slightly browned and the potatoes are tender. Serves four.

Hot Eggs on a Cold Day

coziesA boiled egg for breakfast is one of life’s simple pleasures. But in an old house on a cold Minnesota morning, even a boiled egg needs a little help staying warm. These warm, wooly egg cozies are like a stocking cap for your eggs, keeping them hot until the coffee’s made or the kids are at the table.

I found the free instructions for these felted egg cozies on Ravelry. They were a quick project, with each one taking about an hour to knit. I opted to use some colorful Peer Gynt yarn remnants that I had around the house. I’ve had varying success with felting projects in the past, but after a few minutes in some hot, soapy water and a couple of cold rinses — voila! — these felted right up. (more…)

Wild Blueberry Pie

blueberriesNo berries taste sweeter than those you’ve foraged yourself — especially if you bake them into a pie. That’s exactly what I did after my family bagged a glorious haul of wild blueberries yesterday.

On the way home from picking, my daughter asked for the fresh blueberry pie that my parents used to make. This has become one of my go-to pie recipes because it’s simple, and the subtle flavor of the fresh fruit comes through — a true berry-lover’s pie. (The original recipe came from a cookbook published by the University of Minnesota’s Beta of Clovia sorority, and I’ve made just a couple of tweaks to the recipe.)

Of course the wild berries taste amazing, but this recipe works great with any fresh blueberries. So go get yourself some and give it a try! (more…)

Pulla “Peeps”

pulla peepsOne Easter when I was a kid, I remember my mom baking pulla buns in the shape of birds. Genius! What could be better than fat, adorable birds made from Finnish cardamom coffeebread and fresh from the oven?

I decided to give it a try this year, with the help of my son, and I would call our experiment a qualified success. We got some interesting variations—some ended up looking more like turtles, baby seals, or snails—but the majority of them actually looked like birds. And they all tasted equally delicious. (more…)

Best-Ever Baked Pancake

pannukakkuA few years ago we inherited a small flock of chickens from friends who moved abroad. Those hens laid beautiful brown eggs, and at their peak we gathered seven delicious eggs a day. As you might guess, we tried a lot of egg recipes. We also came to really appreciate that amazing little egg factory in our back yard. (Unfortunately, so did Mama Raccoon, but that’s another story.) During those years, this became the hardest-working recipe in our household. It’s nutritious, fast, filling, versatile, and affordable. And everyone likes it!

The inspiration for this recipe comes from The Great Scandinavian Baking Book by Beatrice Ojakangas (a fabulous book). I’ve made a couple of tweaks to the original to fit my family’s tastes. (more…)