Recipe: Blueberry Cardamom Ice Cream

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Makes 2 quarts There's an old Icelandic saying: "Even though you are small, you can still be clever." Teeny weenie blueberries, fresh from the bush may be small, but they make the most adorable and extraordinary purple ice cream. And, as you drown in bite after bite of cold, sweet, glorious goodness, you also consume a quarter ton of antioxidants. Clever, indeed. So, churn up a batch. Stick around to watch as it freezes in the belly of your ice cream maker - you'll be all smiles as the … [Read more...]

Menu: Iceland

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Good things are all around me. Yesterday I celebrated my third wedding anniversary with Keith. On Friday my brother Keith is coming to visit us all the way from Florida.  (We haven't seen him in a year and a half. We miss him.) But, lest you think it's all about the many Keiths in my life, Monday is Ava's 2nd birthday. That's pretty great, too. Not to mention I'll be sharing Icelandic treats with you all week. Given the heatwave we've been enduring, I've put together a summertime sampler... … [Read more...]

About the food of Iceland

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Do you remember in gradeschool when your teacher told you that Iceland is actually greener than Greenland? That blew my wee, 11 year-old mind. It still does. The simple factoid pops up at the strangest times, like when I'm in line at the grocery store or weeding the garden. Or brushing Ava's hair. It's amazing the lifelong influence our teachers have on us. Iceland is greener than Greenland. Apparently the island was named Iceland to deter people from overpopulating the small country. … [Read more...]

Monday Meal Review: Hungary

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THE SCENE: "No, no, no. That's not how you make it! You need much more paprika." I looked down at the heaping tablespoon in front of me. Like, what? Two tablespoons? I asked, raising my eyebrows. "At least." Mom waved her hand like she was shooing a fly. "As much as you can stand." She looked down at Ava's head and wrapped another strand of hair around the soft cotton curlers. In a few short hours they'd have matching curls. I tasted the broth. My eyes began to water. "It's … [Read more...]

Recipe: Mom’s Chicken Paprika

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"Whose recipe is this? No, no, no. Much more paprika! Heap it on!" And so the Adventure to recreate a favorite childhood supper began. I say this is mom's chicken paprika, but it didn't start out that way. I had a basic recipe and then asked for her help to execute it. As we simmered along, however, mom tossed corrections my way - saving me from disaster and cluing me into how she would have made it, if she was the one wielding the wooden spoon. I promise you - although Chicken … [Read more...]

Recipe: Chilled Cherry Soup

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Serves 2-4 Relaxing has never been so easy. Dive into this cool bowl of deep violet cherry soup and feel the blissful calm of Hungary overtake you. It only takes 12 minutes to make, 10 of which you'll be daydreaming in a lawn chair with your sunglasses on. That's the kind of cooking I can get behind on a hot summer's day. If you can get your hands on fresh tart cherries (a.k.a sour cherries), the soup will be even better. In fact, if you do, you'll be able to float some whole cherries on top … [Read more...]

Hungarians like their bacon on a stick

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Stars poke holes in the black sky. Crickets chirp. A campfire crackles. A few dear friends sit in a circle, chattering. They laugh until they cry and cry until they laugh. And, since they're Hungarian, they're holding bacon. Giant cubes of bacon. On sticks. Welcome to Hungarian summer. Campfire bacon kabobs, a.k.a. Gypsy Bacon (Cigany Szalonna) are an integral part of any Hungarian barbecue. In Planet Barbecue Steven Raichlen states: There once was a time - perhaps it's true still … [Read more...]

Recipe: Palacsinta (Hungarian crêpes)

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Serves 2-4 Ah, the glories of simple love. Simple food. Simple summertime breakfasts in Hungary. My mom has been making palacsinta under the guise of crêpes for decades. Despite being half Hungarian, she even calls them crêpes -I suppose because it's easier to say. Still, like any good Hungarian, she's made an art of rolling them up with fruit, yogurt, and nuts. Today - in her honor - we make the simplest preparation of all: smeared with apricot jam, sprinkled with crushed walnuts and … [Read more...]