Dessert, Featured, Food

Danish Ginger Cookies

November 9, 2018
Danish Ginger Cookies

Danish Ginger Cookies (also known as brunkager) are a staple in households across Scandinavia during the holidays. They’re crispy on the outside, chewy in the middle, loaded with tantalizing spice and finished with just the right amount of sweetness.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups plus 1 tablespoon gluten free, all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
  • 10 tablespoons Earth Balance vegan butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup molases
  • 1 egg (or equivalent egg replacer)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. In a medium mixing bowl, combine flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, and salt. Set aside.
  2. In a kitchen mixer (or large bowl with electric mixer), beat the coconut sugar and Earth Balance on medium until fluffy. Add molasses, egg, and vanilla, beating until smooth. You can use a rubber spatula to scrape the sides of the bowl if necessary.
  3. With the mixer on a slow speed, slowly add dry ingredients, beating just until the dough is formed.
  4. Divide dough into two equal portions. Lay each portion of dough onto a piece of parchment paper sprinkled with additional flour. Sprinkle the top of the dough with more flour, and cover it with another piece of parchment paper. Roll each ball of dough out between the two sheets of parchment paper to a 1/4 inch thickness. Stack rolled pieces of dough on a tray or baking sheet, chilling until firm. (At least 1 hour)
  5. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Prepare two baking sheets with silicone baking mats. (Parchment paper works too)
  6. Remove one portion of dough from the fridge and remove the top sheet of parchment paper. Cut out the cookies using cookie cutter(s) of choice. Place cookies on the cookie sheet using a spatula leaving multiple inches between cookies. You can form leftover dough scraps into a ball and roll them back out as instructed in step 4. Note: This dough softens quickly, so if it becomes too sticky to work with, place it back in the fridge until it hardens. Meanwhile, you can work with the chilled portion. 
  7. Bake cookies for 10 minutes. When the cookies are finished they will appear dry and fluffy. As the cool, they will flatten.
  8. Once done, remove the baking sheet from the oven, allowing cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 3 minutes before transferring to wire rack to cool indefinitely. Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 6 days.
  9. Lastly and most importantly, enjoy!
Danish Ginger Cookies

Danish Ginger Cookies

Featured, My life

I Am Struggling

October 9, 2018
I Am Struggling

As I sit here, reflecting on a particularly grueling news week last week, I have to wonder: What direction is the world heading? I’m finding it increasingly difficult to stay motivated and inspired to do good in a country where sexual assault victims are mocked by the highest levels of leadership and a concerted effort is still being made to deny climate change and the efficacy and safety of vaccines.

On Sunday, we watched as Brett Kavanaugh was sworn into the Supreme Court. After an FBI investigation in which the constraints were so tightly wound in his favor, he was deemed a fit candidate. Yesterday, President Trump apologized to Kavanaugh “on behalf of our nation” for the “terrible pain and suffering” he was “forced to endure” in the nomination process.

Through those words and their actions, the administration confirmed that ‘we’ as a nation, do not care about sexual assault survivors.

Yesterday, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released their latest report regarding the urgent and collective effort necessary to avoid a deleterious and irreversible increase in global temperature. Within the report, the prognosis for the planet was predictably grim. Headlines are pleading American leaders to take action. The political response thus far: predictably pathetic.

And as the #MeToo movement continues to grow expeditiously a year after it’s initial rise, antithetical hashtags including #IBelieveMen and #HimToo are beginning to surface across social media channels. These hashtags aren’t designed to be inclusive or empowering to male assault survivors (an equally vulnerable population), but instead, a counter weapon aimed to dilute the credibility of female victims. This is step backwards for survivors of all sexes.

Right now, it all feels like a lot and I am struggling.

I am struggling to adapt to a culture where empathy and compassion are desperately lacking.

I am struggling with the devastating level of willful ignorance that’s only being exacerbated with propagandic terms like ‘alternative facts’ and ‘fake news’ that empower imbecilic and detrimental ideologies.

I am struggling to understand how the opinions and feelings of privileged individuals now preponderate science-based medicine and irrefutable data.

I am struggling to grasp what it means to be a female in 2018. Not only do I have to fear for my safety as a woman, but I also have to fear for my credibility as a survivor.

I am struggling with the habituation of white-supremacists, police brutality, gun violence and hate in our headlines; action rarely taken, readers quickly apathetic – inured by the suffering due to the frequency of such events.

I am struggling to understand the world that I live in. Each year, I feel a piece of the somewhat idyllic place I thought this planet to be, fall away, revealing an even more complex, daunting and downright terrifying place.

At this point, my solutions are limited. My inclination has always been to solve life’s biggest dilemmas  using a combination of logic, data, practical reasoning and creativity – all while nourishing my insatiable desire to find the truth, learn more and share my knowledge.

So for now, that’s what I’ll continue to do.

Entree, Featured, Food

Dairy Free Nordic Fiskesuppe (Fish Soup)

September 13, 2018

As summer gracefully dwindles the last of itself out of the Pacific Northwest and we return to a steady and more familiar forecast of clouds and showers, you’ll find me in my kitchen; concocting an array of autumnal dishes, playing with seasonal produce, and creating aromatic masterpieces designed to dazzle both the eye and tastebud. This Dairy Free Nordic Fiskesuppe is one of many recipes coming your way this season. It’s both hearty and warming without that heavy feeling afterwards and suitable for those with dairy and gluten allergies. (A rarity in Scandinavian cuisine.)

Ingredients

  • 6 tablespoons vegan butter (I like Earth Balance. Scandinavian friends try Carlshamn Mjölkfritt)
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 small leek, sliced 14 ” thick
  • Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 2 medium carrots, sliced 14” thick
  • 1 large parsnip, peeled and chopped
  • 1 small celery root, peeled and chopped
  • 4 medium gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1″ pieces
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 3 cups unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 cup clam juice
  • 12 tablespoons gluten free Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 lb. boneless, salmon fillet, cut into 2″ pieces (remove skin if desired)
  • 1/3 cup dill, chopped, plus more for garnish
  • 1/4 cup parsley leaves, chopped (optional)
  • Juice of 1 lemon

Melt Earth Balance in stock pot over medium-high heat. Add garlic, celery, onions, and leeks, and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until soft, 8-10 minutes. Add carrots, celery root, parsnips, potatoes, vegetable broth, almond milk, clam juice and Worcestershire; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender, about 25 minutes. Add salmon, and continue to cook, stirring gently, until fish is cooked through, 6-8 minutes. Stir in dill, parsley, lemon juice, and additional salt and pepper if necessary. Serve with a thick, crusty bread. Best if enjoyed with friends and paired with a bottle of Syrah. Skål!

Notes:

  • This soup can be made vegan by omitting the clam juice and salmon.
  • Feel free to substitute mahimahi, cod, scallops, or shrimp for the salmon.

Dessert, Featured, Food

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

September 1, 2018
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

Decadently chewy and full of rich, autumnal flavors; these Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars are destined to dazzle!


Ingredients

  • 1 cup canned pumpkin or fresh pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/2 cup Earth Balance vegan butter
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1 egg (or egg replacer for vegan option)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups gluten free, all-purpose flour gluten free, all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. In a large bowl or kitchen mixer, combine one cup of canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling), coconut sugar, maple syrup, Earth Balance, egg, and vanilla. Beat until smooth.
  3. Add in the cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, baking powder, baking soda, salt and flour. Mix until all ingredients are well combined.
  4. Fold in chocolate chips. (If you’re using an electric mixer, disregard at this point and fold in chocolate chips using a rubber spatula.)
  5. Line baking 8″x 12″ with parchment paper and spread batter evenly into pan.
  6. Bake at 350° F for 25-30 minutes or until cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
  7. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.