Showing posts from December, 2009

Best Recipes of 2009

My favorite recipes from 2009, just 12 of the best recipes of the year, recipes that especially express "fresh" and "easy" and "memorable" and "flavor-forward" and "seasonal" — all hallmarks of Kitchen Parade recipes.

Ditto. Ditto.It happens every year, Thanksgiving tumbling into Advent, Christmas careening toward New Year's. The lists are long and never once completed. This year, it was especially easy to welcome off-list activities: a 2080-mile trek to visit my mother's Canadian family to sample Christmas cookies; a "bring-a-salad-ingredient" party; a surprise breakfast just hours Christmas house guests arrived; a feast cooked by a husband-wife-daughter team who make Iron Chef look like Amateur Night; a lesson in shortbread from my sister. Though good food figured in all these good times, food was hardly their point.So while selecting 2009's best recipes, I ignored the temptation to share another story, some word…

Glöggi: Recipe for Scandinavian-Style
Hot Red Wine 'Mulled' with Winter Spices

To warm your winter world, try a glass of hot red wine 'mulled' with spices, fruit and for good luck, an almond. In Finland and Sweden, mulled wine is called 'glöggi' and 'vinglögg', because, I dare to say, for the easy way it glug-glugs down our throats. Twas a magical end to a year of hard work and four-continent travel. On Christmas Day, I booked a ticket to Finland to spend New Year’s with the Finnish ‘family’ who so warmly welcomed a young exchange student into their home two decades earlier.Hurry was important: my Finnish mother was afflicted with the scourge of Alzheimers. Already, my Finnish sister warned, “Äiti (mother) may not recognize you.” But Äiti did recognize me, not at first, only when I attempted much-rusty Finnish conversation. The first words to emerge were the Finnish names for foods, the subject of many patient after-school kitchen lessons all those years ago. In the present, she listened closely for some minutes, then laughed out loud, …

Beef Stew with Cranberries

This is such a quick and easy winter stew recipe, just chunks of beef slow-cooked with onions and cranberry, creating melt-in-your-mouth tender bites of meat, simple enough for a weeknight supper but special enough for company too. Winter Stew with Cranberries is based on an old-fashioned recipe for Swedish Kalops, no wonder it's perfect for cold winter nights! As the holiday season winds down, it's time to turn to simple foods that can be prepared in a few minutes and then forgotten until hunger strikes at serving time. Whether cooked ahead for a weeknight supper or simmered stovetop for Sunday dinner, Beef Stew with Cranberries fits the bill for easy, filling winter fare.Swedish cookbooks offer dozens of traditional recipes for Kalops, sometimes anglicized to Callops. Centuries ago, the meat and gravy mixture was served on sailing ships so most recipes call for a generous quantity of allspice or cloves to mask the taste of (ewwww ....) spoiled meat on long voyages.My delicio…