All posts filed under: Iceland

Nordic Around the World Lunch

Ava’s Nordic Lunch

Ah, winter. This week I took inspiration from the chill in the air and went Nordic with Ava’s Around the World Lunch (Nordic simply means the cultural part of Northern Europe that includes Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. The Nordic menu is quite simple and can be assembled in about five minutes. For Ava’s main meal, I went Danish: A few slices of dark rye bread smeared with a bit of butter are topped with a translucent slice of smoked salmon. Two smaller slices of bread were topped with cheese – use any mild cheese you like, especially Jalsberg which comes from Norway. Essentially simple Smørrebrød, these open-faced sandwiches include other common toppers such as sliced cucumbers and radishes – which she can eat on their own or turn them into toppers – finger food like this is perfect my kindergartner. Dessert was a few raspberries and a squeezable tube of blueberry skyr, an Icelandic-style yogurt known for being super low in sugar and high in protein (a.k.a. my five-year old won’t have a post-lunch energy crash). Ava was SO excited about the Siggi’s – I have a feeling they’re going into the …

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Cold soup recipes from around the world.

Chill out with 7 cold soups from around the world

A few things have changed since the early days of this blog (namely the photography), but one thing is certain: I love a good, chilled soup in the summer. Here are seven awesome cold soup recipes from around the world that aren’t gazpacho – because, my goodness, there are other cold soups besides gazpacho! So, without further ado, summer’s almost over – let’s skip the heat and chill out. 1. Mul Naengmyeon | Korea [Recipe] This Korean recipe is the most recent addition to our collection – a soup so cold, it is actually served with ice. It’s claim to fame? The balance of flavor between earthy buckwheat noodles spicy cucumber, sweet Asian pear, and tart vinegar. The best part? This soup is DIY, so everyone can add exactly what they like (and leave out the rest) – perfect for picky eaters who want to stovetop travel to Korea! 2. Rye Bread Soup with Homemade Rhubarb Raisins | Iceland [Recipe]   A soup made with bread? Yup. It’s thick, heavy on the rye, and just odd enough to get …

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Swedish girl wearing a Midsummer crown. Photo by Bengt Nyman.

22 Campfire & Scandinavian Recipes to celebrate Midsummer’s Night

Midsummer’s Eve – the longest day of the year – is celebrated in dozens of countries with huge bonfires, maypole dancing, and glorious food. In Scandinavia, the sun never fully sets. But even if night falls where you live, you can still celebrate. To get into the spirit, simply drop out of big city chaos and into nature. This is a time to make flower crowns, swim in clear streams, sing hymns, and laugh more than is wise. Some say Midsummer is also a time for love. After long, dark winter the cheerful sun naturally warms hearts. One famous Swedish proverb states: “Midsummer Night is not long but it sets many cradles rocking.” It is also said that, if a woman is to pick seven flowers in silence and places them under her pillow on Midsummer Night, she will dream about her one true love. For me – already fully in love and married with a child – the main purpose of Midsummer is to enjoy the light with my family. Camping is a fantastic way to do …

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Monday Meal Review: Iceland

THE SCENE Careful, Sasha. Let’s get this right. I quietly dropped the blueberries into the measuring cup, then into the pot. The first time I made the ice cream, I’d accidentally doubled the amount of blueberries required, thinking a “clamshell” container of blueberries equaled two cups. Turns out a clamshell actually holds closer to four cups. The result? Icy, icy ice cream all over the counters. Not pleasant. This time I’d get it right. The scent of cardamom wafted up from the bubbling pot, mixing with the sweet blueberries. Intoxicating. If fairies wore perfume, this would be their signature scent. A few hours later the syrupy goodness was chilled and ready to go. I looked at the clock. So was Ava. Naptime. “Hold on sweetie. I just need to get the ice cream churning.” Her eyes got big.  “Ice cream?” “Yes, honey. You can have some after your nap.” I smiled, trying to sound convincing. I poured the milk and heavy cream into the machine but, before I could add the chilled blueberries, a sharp …

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Sweet Rye Bread Soup | Brauðsúpa

Serves 6 This is the strangest soup I’ve ever sipped, and I owe it all to Iceland. Actually, “sip” isn’t really the right word. It’s actually somewhere between chew and sip – this soup is thick and hearty. The sugar and raisins give it a sweet, desserty feel, but still it feels like comfort food. Add rhubarb “raisins” if desired. Ingredients: 4 slices light rye bread, chopped (5 cups) 3 slices whole/dark rye bread, chopped (3 cups) 1/2 cup lingdonberry or sour cherry jam 1/4 cup sugar, or more to taste 1/2 cup homemade rhubarb raisins water, as needed Method: Icelanders love rye bread. The love it in the morning. They love it in the night. The love it on the “road”… and they love it chopped up for soup. Let’s create a little Icelandic comfort. Add the cubed bread to a pot and cover with water. Then stir in the jam and bring to a simmer. Puree with an immersion blender until smooth. Add raisins and sugar, to taste. Continue simmering until the bread …

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Tart Rhubarb Soup (chilled)

Serves 2-4 Friends, when rhubarb season calls, you must answer. This cold rhubarb soup from Iceland is like a big sip of sunshine. It tastes like lemonade. It tastes like rhubarb. It tastes like “good.” We only have a little more time in rhubarb land until next spring, so hop over to the grocery store and get some! Ingredients: 4 cups chopped rhubarb (cut into 1″ pieces) – about 1 bunch 2 cups water 3/4 cup sugar, more as needed 2 tsp lemon juice Method: Rhubarb, rhubarb, rhubarb. It makes me happy. Almost as happy as these pictures make me… just look at his mane. It’s enough to make any pony jealous Once you chop up the rhubarb, there’s almost nothing left to do. Toss everything in a pot, let simmer for 15 minutes and puree. Chill for a few hours, until cold. Crumble on some zwieback biscuits, or you could serve it up with a dollop of something sweet, if you’d like. But I prefer to eat it with someone sweet. Sip slowly and let …

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DIY Rhubarb Raisins

So you feel like something unsual for lunch… but you just don’t feel like you’re up to Iceland’s famed putrefied shark flesh called Hákarl? You know… the dish made up of poisonous shark flesh that’s been fermented and hung to dry so that it’s no longer poisonous? The one that was traditionally buried and exposed to several freeze/thaw cycles until naturally fermented? The one that tastes like cheesy ammonia? Yeah. Let’s try something simpler. A little more tame. Perhaps something you could bake with? How about rhubarb “raisins”? This is one of those ingenious, resourceful Icelandic dishes that anyone can make at home. All you need is a very hot day (95-100F), or a barely warm oven (150F). Chop up a pile of rhubarb and set it out in the sun (or in the oven), until dried up and shriveled. If you leave it outside, you might cover it lightly with a thin cloth to keep dust and gunk away. Once the rhubarb dries up, pack it in sugar until needed. They get really small, so …

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Blueberry Cardamom Ice Cream

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 violet blue blends with the rich cream and sweetened by a light touch of sugar and cardamom. Make ice cream. Let joy overwhelm you – become a child, yet again. I’m honored that this recipe was featured in Penzy’s Spices’ 2012 early summer catalog. Ingredients: 2 cups blueberries 1 Tbsp water 1/2 tsp fresh, crushed cardamom (the seeds of about 15-20 pods) 2/3 cup sugar 2 cups heavy cream 1 cup milk Method: Ah, blueberries. There’s no quicker way to revive the inner child. Especially when the winter …

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Menu: Iceland

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… except for the hot and hearty Rye Bread Soup. I dedicate that recipe to our friends in the Southern hemisphere, where a sweet, hot bowl of rye bread soup might be just the ticket. What sounds good to you? Rhubarb “Raisins” [recipe] A simple and ingenious way to use up rhubarb in baked goods. Rye Bread Soup [recipe] The hot answer to Iceland’s sweet tooth. This unusual soup is loaded up with raisins and sugar. And, of course, rye bread. Blueberry Cardamom Ice Cream [recipe] Cream. …

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About the food of Iceland

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. They hoped instead that icy Greenland would lure people over instead – you know, because they named it Greenland. Tricky, tricky. I’m happy to report that’s not the only trick Iceland has up her sleeve. In the kitchen they turn trick after trick, resourcefully turning unusable food into delectable nibbles. Have a bunch of stale rye bread? Don’t throw it out – make sweet rye bread soup [recipe]. Need a handful of raisins, but only have rhubarb? No problem. Icelanders make it happen [recipe]. They even make cod roe waffles, which I read …

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