Recipe for Homemade Finnish Mustard

Mustard only comes in garish-yellow plastic squeeze bottles and pricey shelf-stable jars, yes? No more! Here's a homemade mustard for special occasions, made with just a few pantry ingredients and a quick stir on the stove. This mustard is a personal favorite, from the year I lived in Finland as an exchange student. It's a staple in my kitchen, a meal prep standard. ~ Skip Straight to the Recipe ~

A World Apart: My First Real Finnish SaunaIn Finland, sauna is pronounced SOW-na, not SAW-na and its ritual is revered in the lives of Finnish families. If you picture an American girl just-turned 18 and a just-arrived exchange student, you’ll understand why my first Finnish sauna was unnerving.The setting was idyllic, a treeless stonecrop island in the Finnish archipelago on a golden September afternoon. As my Finnish "sister" and I gathered driftwood along the shore to stoke the sauna fire, she explained the routine: men and women together, seated naked in a tiny hut heate…

Recipe for Lamb Stew with Sweet Tomato Jam

A Moroccan-style lamb stew, cooked in a savory “jam" (which really isn't a jam at all) made with onions and fresh summer tomatoes, seasoned with cinnamon, saffron and honey. One hand, it’s enough to count the times lamb has reached my plate, let alone my stove. But I’m learning! When you buy a whole lamb (or a whole hog or a whole steer or a whole elk, say), you fly through the chops, steaks and tenderloins. And then you’re left with a freezerful of the so-called ‘lesser cuts’ that need a little TLC to cook. (TLC? That would mean Time, Largess and Curiosity.) Confession: I so do not “get" cuts of meat, my eyes glaze over at those butcher diagrams showing the loins and hams and the sirloins and butts (which are actually shoulders, by the way, confusing me even more). Buying a whole animal for the freezer, it’s this former-vegetarian's, still-meat-squeamish cook’s attempt to learn my way through the less-expensive just-as-tasty pieces of meat.This is the first lamb dish…

Recipe for Calico Beans
aka "Alanna's Famous Cowboy Beans"

Nothing like a big ol' pot of great baked beans! Calico Beans are definitely hearty: meaty enough for supper but more often a popular side at potlucks and around campfires. Men, especially, love these doctored baked beans and no kidding, beg me to send the recipe to their wives. No wonder Calico Beans are now dubbed "Alanna's Famous Cowboy Beans"! Hint Hint: These baked beans are mostly "doctored" up canned beans!

Potluck Favorite. Slow-Cooker Friendly. High Protein. Great for Meal Prep.

Potato Bites with Smoked Salmon

An easy bite-size appetizer with an elegant appearance, tiny potato halves stuffed with smoked salmon in a sour cream and horseradish sauce. If you love lox and bagels, you'll love this quick, impressive-looking bite-size appetizer!

No Fork Required! Equally At Home for an Elegant Buffet or a Rustic Farm Table. Weight Watchers Friendly. Low Carb. High Protein.

Fried Bread

Everybody's doing it. And I'm doing it too. Won't you fry bread, too? (Hint: It's soo worthwhile!) This 'recipe' (can Fried Bread even be called a recipe?) is so quick and easy
that I'm adding it to a special collection of easy summer recipes
published throughout the summer of 2009.
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“Birds do it, bees do it, even educated fleas do it. Let's do it, let's fall in love.” 
 ~ Cole Porter So everybody IS doing it, frying bread, that is, and loving it too.Julia Child does it. In the new hit movie Julie & Julia, she sizzles bread in a heavy cast-iron skillet. Mattie Ross in True Grit does it. “The ‘corn dodgers’ were balls of what I would call hot-water cornbread. … [Rooster Cogburn] sliced up some of the dodgers and fried them in grease. Fried bread! That was a new dish to me.”Uncle Ronnie does it. “I never use a toaster anymore!” My own dad does it. “I didn’t know anybody in the last 150 y…