autumn days


If October was “focused” last time I wrote, it got busy. Very busy. The last two weeks of October were my absolute busiest so far, and I’m hoping that the frenzied pace peaked with the two presentations I gave last Friday and I’m on the descent side of the slope now.

In between and around a bunch of schoolwork and an extra three-day course I took (focused!), I’ve continued to enjoy life in Tromsø.


I made pickles for the first time. I used the light pickling solution from The New Nordic and these were a delight (that’s radishes on the left and onions on the right). One of the bonuses of living in Norway is that I can basically find any of the ingredients used in that cookbook. I also made some fancy cookies which I can’t show you yet, but more on those later (edit: the piece went live, so now I CAN link you to those fancy cookies!).

I collected a few short video snippets I’ve been taking over the last couple of months into one video. It’s just snippets, but for the curious, here’s a glimpse of autumn in Tromsø:

Mørketida, which I mentioned in my last post, draws ever nearer (or is already upon us, depending on how you look at it). Daylight Savings Time ended here on October 25th, which very suddenly made the days feel much shorter. The sun set today at 2:30 in the afternoon and it’s really not long now before the sun disappears for the winter. One thing that makes the dark easier to cope with, though, is the northern lights that visit us when the weather’s clear. I don’t get tired of watching them from my living room window. I love how they often look like twisting green flames coming from behind the mountains to the east.


Another thing that makes it easier to cope is snow. About a week ago we had our first snow in the city. It started snowing on the 26th and by the morning of the 27th there were several inches on the ground. It stuck around for a few days before mostly melting away, but man, it was beautiful. From what I’ve heard, the snow-melt-snow-melt cycle is pretty common here, but after Christmas the snow is more likely to stick around (and it also starts to get lighter again, so that’s when skiing season really begins).


This city is absolutely charming covered in snow. It’s such a treat to see my daily landscape transform so dramatically. The university campus, too, looks a little bit more magical in the snow.


So between the northern lights, the dramatic skies, and the snow, I think I’m going to get by okay during the dark season.

golden milk smoothie


I’ve probably used the “I know this isn’t a food blog” disclaimer before, but I do enjoy sharing the very occasional recipe in this space when I come up with something I actually think is worth sharing. In any case, I’ve been pretty into making smoothies in my Vita-Mix since the start of the new year, and I’m kind of an Oh She Glows devotee at this point. One of my favorite smoothie recipes in the Oh She Glows cookbook is the Cheerful Chocolate Smoothie, a vegan chocolate smoothie that uses a combo of almond milk and avocado (rather than banana, which is not my favorite smoothie ingredient) to create the creamy base. To give credit where credit is due, that’s the smoothie that put this idea in my head. Thanks for that, Angela!

Golden milk is something I’ve seen popping up all over lately, and for good reason. It’s long been a folk remedy for colds and other sicknesses, largely due to the benefits of turmeric – which is what gives it its namesake golden color. A quick Google search will have the Internet hitting you over the head with the magical! healing! properties! of turmeric! so search the Internet at your own risk and take it with a grain of salt. But at the very least, the mix of sweet and spicy in golden milk does do a great job of being refreshing while also clearing out your sinuses. It’s served as a hot drink, and I’ve definitely enjoyed it before bed a few times. If you’ve had golden milk and liked it, or if you just know you like turmeric and ginger, this smoothie version’s totally for you.


Vegan Golden Milk Smoothie

A few notes on the recipe:

– It involves frozen goods and ice cubes, and dates can be on the hard side depending on where they’re coming from, so you may not want to attempt this if you haven’t got a high speed blender with a good motor in it.

– When cutting into a new avocado for a batch of smoothie, I go ahead and quarter it so that the sections are ready to go for future batches. Pop the 3/4 you’re not using in a freezer-safe container and freeze them for later.

– The almond milk could be swapped out for any other non-dairy milk (or even dairy milk if you roll that way). I use unsweetened and would recommend that for this smoothie, since the dates act as a sweetener.

– When I make this, it yields about 3 cups. I like to pour half in a glass and the other half into a jar I can pop in the fridge for later.


  • approx. 1/4 of an avocado
  • 2 cups unsweetened almond milk or other non-dairy milk
  • 1 heaping tsp turmeric powder
  • small quantity chopped ginger (I chop up about a 1/2″ piece)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 4-6 medium medjool dates, pitted
  • 1/8 tsp cardamom
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 4-6 ice cubes
  • pinch of salt
  • dash of black pepper

1. Add the avocado, almond milk, turmeric powder, ginger, and vanilla to blender. Blend on high speed until mixed.

2. Add the pitted dates, cardamom, cinnamon, ice, salt, and black pepper to blender, then blend again on high speed until mixture is smooth.

3. That’s it! Pour and enjoy!


pom pom 8 & cookies


The spring issue Pom Pom has been winging its way to subscribers all over the world this past week. Mine showed up yesterday, and I’m pleased as punch to once again be a contributor! One of my favorite things to do if I’m not knitting is baking, and I’ve been nerding out a little bit because this is the first time I’ve had a recipe of my own published. When the spring call for submissions went out, it was clear that botanicals were going to be a theme in this issue, and it felt like the perfect fit for the chocolate bergamot cookie recipe I’d been working on.


Bergamot is the citrus that gives Earl Grey tea its flavor, and I have to admit I have a pretty big soft spot for it. The recipe uses the essential oil, and while I purchased mine at Dandelion Botanical Company here in Seattle, my local grocery store also carries it (you’re more likely to find it in the herbal remedies section among the other essential oils than you are near any baking supplies). Essential oils are potent, so the recipe only takes a few drops, and the smallest bottle you can find will be more than enough for many batches of cookies.

These cookies have become my go-to recipe if I need to whip up a dessert, because they’re relatively quick and easy. I like them plain, and I also like them with dark chocolate chips if I’m in the mood for something extra decadent.

If you’d like to grab a copy of the spring Pom Pom for yourself, it’s available on the Pom Pom site here (the digital version is coming soon).

baked potato frites

I’ve had food on the brain a lot, lately. Here’s one of my easy favorites for your Sunday afternoon:

Baked Potato Frites

You will need:
– potatoes (I use russet, but these can easily be done with red potatoes, sweet potatoes, or any other variety, really)
– olive oil
– salt & pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 450°F
2. Wash and slice potatoes into fry-sized pieces
3. Place unbaked frites on a cookie sheet. Douse with enough olive oil that the frites are coated. I like to arrange them in rows so that they’re easy to flip later on.
4. Place the cookie sheet in the oven for approximately 12-15 minutes.
5. Remove from oven and flip the frites. (If you’re having trouble with the frites sticking to the cookie sheet, try popping them in the oven for a few more minutes first).
6. Put the frites back in the oven for another 10-15 minutes or until golden and cooked through.
7. Remove frites from oven, transfer them to a plate, and sprinkle with salt & pepper to taste.
8. Savor and/or devour accordingly.