Saturday, January 31, 2015

Caroline's Colonial Bean Soup

Just the thing when you're trapped inside by the snow!

I've become a bit of a cookbook hoarder. A lot of my recipes also come from the internet, or are suggested to me by family and friends, but I've got an impressive stack of cookbooks I can say are mine and mine alone, and there's just never enough time in the day to go through all of them and do all the recipes I'd like to do.

That doesn't stop me from buying more, though, especially when they boast having some authentic, historic recipes inside. How could I pass offers like that up?

This particular book was picked up on our trip to Old Sturbridge Village, which I talked a bit about in my post about Joe Frogger cookies. It's one installment in a series that offers a variety of historical and regional dishes, and is definitely something I'm going to be keeping an eye out for when I visit other historical sites. For a little book that didn't cost too much, it's got quite a lot of recipes, and does feature some interesting historical trivia, even if it's not quite as in depth with its historical facts as other books I own are. I can also attest that so far, what I've made from it has been really tasty!

All one thing. But still. That's not a bad sign.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Kaya's Celery Root Salad

Brought to you from a very unique cookbook!

I've said it before: Kaya can be difficult to find authentic recipes for. Between the fact that I'm literally on the other side of the continent from where she lived and the fact that making food the way she would have cooked and enjoyed it just isn't practical for someone who can't keep making fires outside her house, it's hard to feature her as often as I'd like to on my blog. I've found ways to work around this, but I still struggle sometimes to get excited about things to cook for her.

I'm pretty sure that's completely changed, and all because of one restaurant, one cookbook, and two sets of aunts and uncles who helped facilitate this.

Kaya and I went on a field trip. Where did we go?

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Grace's French Yogurt Cake

A moist, chocolatey treat that gave me more trouble than I thought it would!

I tried to resist. I really did. But as soon as I heard that this year's Girl of the Year was going to be a baker, I pretty much knew that no matter what she looked like or what her story was, there was a very good chance she was going to be coming here to guest star on my blog. I've never been a big fan of the Girl of the Year line - I didn't get into AG because of the modern dolls, and even if the dolls themselves have been pretty, I've never really bonded with any of the characters, but since she's a baker and her books are actually pretty cute (and are a lot more believable than certain other GotY stories!), I picked her up a few weekends ago while we were in New York.

Thanks to Grace's books, I had no problem coming up with a good first recipe to feature for her. Unfortunately, mine did not turn out as perfectly or easily as Grace's did, to the point of where I'm not sure I'd use this particular recipe ever again! Read on to discover what happened.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Kirsten's Pepparkakor

Rediscovering an old favorite!

There is a debate going on in my house about this recipe: my mother swears we've made this exact one before, as in the recipe that's printed in Kirsten's Cook Book. She says when I was in kindergarten, she made these cookies for my class during our curriculum about different cultures and cultural practices around the world because my teacher was Swedish, and because of Kirsten, I was kind of representing Sweden. I'm virtually certain that we've only owned a copy of Kirsten's Cook Book since last year, considering I don't remember any of the recipes or pictures inside of it from my childhood and we definitely do not have another copy of it floating around the house. Even if we did at one point, why would we have ever gotten rid of it?

Either way, despite not being Swedish, we have known of pepparkakor for quite a long time, and as a fan of spiced cookies and cakes, I've been eager to break out the recipe for this blog for a while. I've had a couple near misses and actual flops with official American Girl recipes before, but I think I can pretty safely say this one is a winner. It makes quite a lot of cookies even if you're using a big cookie cutter, it's a straight forward recipe, and the end product just tastes good.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Nellie's Sweet Caraway Luncheon Loaf

Good for more than just your next luncheon!

So, I have two things to apologize for. First, I'm not actually technically done with the holiday posts yet, and two, this should have gone up three days ago. Oh well, real life comes first!

The reason this should have gone up three days ago is that the sixth of January is Little Christmas, or the Feast of the Epiphany. It's celebrated in a lot of different ways all over the world, but in Ireland, some families have adopted a pretty nice tradition they call Women's Little Christmas. Why? Because after wives, moms, aunts and grandmas break their backs over the holiday season (and the rest of the year), Women's Little Christmas is a day where their husbands and male relatives take on the household chores and dote on them. They're taken out to lunch, given presents and get together with their female friends to chat and catch up. Mother's Day is starting to replace this tradition, but it's still practiced in several parts of Ireland as it has been for generations.

Although there isn't much documentation about how this tradition got started, it's an old one, and one I'd never heard of before doing some research for this blog. Because of that, I was excited to find a recipe to help showcase it here!