Potato Dumplings with Spring Vegetables (Raspeballer)

April 6, 2017
Norwegian Potato Dumplings with Spring Vegetables (Raspeballer)

Norwegian Potato Dumplings with Spring Vegetables (Raspeballer)Norwegian Potato Dumplings with Spring Vegetables (Raspeballer)One of my first introductions to Norwegian food was raspeballer, potato dumplings. The memory of my husband’s grandmother proudly shaping a mixture of potato and flour into large rounds the size of my fist is one I have imprinted in my memory. She served them with boiled meat and large sausages. Less that was not enough, she also topped them with a generous portion of fried bacon and fat.

It’s no surprise they lean toward the starchy and dense side with a tendency to stick to your ribs. They are reminiscent of a traditional Norwegian lifestyle, where simple foods that filled you up were the order of the day. Nonetheless, they are good and satisfy those salty, hearty, meat-indulgent, comfort food cravings that pop up now and then. Therefore, it’s easy to see why they have earned a place in the mainstream diet. Even the mere mention of them has people swooning over the memories these conjur up. Continue Reading…

Rye Waffles with Wild Blueberry Butter (Rugvafler med Blåbærsmør)

March 24, 2017
Rye Waffles with Wild Blueberry Butter (Rug Vafler med Blåbær Smør)

Rye Waffles with Wild Blueberry Butter (Rug Vafler med Blåbær Smør)Rye Waffles with Wild Blueberry Butter (Rug Vafler med Blåbær Smør)There’s something quite alluring about making waffles. Golden batter poured over a hot, textured iron, quickly flowing into each deep groove. As the top of the iron closes over the bottom, the batter squeezes towards the edges. Sometimes a little batter escapes the confines of the iron grasp and hangs on the outside. With a bit of patience, the waiting concludes with a simple green light or a gentle lift. The test of success comes in the form of desired crispiness, desired browning, and whether it can easily be peeled from its honeycomb embrace. Seeing those five hearts melded together and the taste of each one is nothing short of humble satisfaction. It’s the simple pleasures, you know. Continue Reading…

Fiskegrateng (Fish Casserole with Macaroni & Garlicky Breadcrumbs)

March 17, 2017
Norwegian Fiskegrateng (Fish & Macaroni Casserole with Garlicky Breadcrumbs)

Norwegian Fiskegrateng (Fish & Macaroni Casserole with Garlicky Breadcrumbs)Some days you just need something with a bit of depth and a bit of warmth. An all-in-one meal straight from the oven and dished out directly from its hot container. Nothing too fancy or fussy. A good, classic meal that you can always count on. Understated, but gives you that cozy feeling with each bite. For me, that’s fiskegrateng.

Fiskegrateng is the very definition of comfort food. This is a beloved and popular dish throughout Norway and has had a constant place in cookbooks and homes throughout the 20th and 21st century, possibly even before. It’s an ideal way to use up leftover fish or just serve fish for dinner that everyone is bound to enjoy. It’s almost like a mac & cheese –  just swap out the cheese for the fish. Continue Reading…

Homemade Walnut Bread (Valnøttbrød)

March 9, 2017
Walnut Bread (Valnøttbrød)

Walnut Bread (Valnøttbrød)There’s nothing quite like the smell of homemade bread baking in the oven. The warmth of the oven encompassing the kitchen and the anticipation of taking the first bite.

Bread is an absolute staple in Norwegian cuisine. You can usually count on a couple of slices for breakfast and lunch, each with a topping of choice. You’ll find, more often than not, an emphasis on hearty breads that rely on a variety of flours, whole grains and seeds. And while it may be easy to just pick up a loaf from the local bakery or store, nothing beats the taste of homemade bread.

Walnut Bread (Valnøttbrød) Continue Reading…

Heitevegger (Bergen’s Warm Shrovetide Buns)

February 24, 2017
Heitevegger (Bergen Hot Buns for Shrovetide/Fastelavns)

Heitevegger (Bergen Hot Buns for Shrovetide/Fastelavns) Heitevegger (Bergen Hot Buns for Shrovetide/FastalavnsChange is in the air. That time again when the sun stays a little longer each day and the once, all-white landscape has become a collage of earthy tones. We are edging towards spring and that means we are also edging toward the cusp of lent with the celebration of Fastelavns, ‘the fast evening’.

The typical fare for Fastelavns in Norway is a sweet bun with a layer of whipped cream in the middle called Fastelavnsboller (you can find my recipe and the history here). You will also find different names and slightly different ways of serving these buns across Scandinavia, but the heart of the treat is always the same. The bun. Continue Reading…

Tropisk Aroma-Kake (Tropical Aroma Cake)

February 11, 2017
Tropisk Aroma-Kake (Norwegian Tropical Aroma Cake)

Tropisk Aroma-Kake (Norwegian Tropical Aroma Cake)Tropisk Aroma-Kake (Norwegian Tropical Aroma Cake)Tropisk Aroma-Kake, or tropical aroma cake, conjures up an incredible scenery in the mind. Thoughts of palm trees and exotic fruits, perhaps, or even a sandy beach and bright, blue waters. A cake laden with colors and tastes from paradise. At least that’s what my mind envisioned as the words fell out of my Norwegian friend’s mouth. She explained to me that there was this cake, which her aunt always made, which she adored, and which I just had to make myself. An old fashioned cake and a reminder of her childhood. A Norwegian cake, with a tropical name.

When Irene sent me the recipe, I eyed the ingredient list waiting to spot pineapple or banana or coconut. Instead, I saw nothing out of the ordinary. Nothing to bring me straight to a lush paradise. A few spices, some cocoa, and I suppose what could be interesting in some eyes, the addition of strong coffee. I was a little surprised, a little curious. Perhaps even a little disappointed. Disappointed that I fell into the trap of reading into a name. But surely there was more to this cake. Continue Reading…