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Archive for December, 2016

Pepparkakor (Swedish Ginger Cookies)


“Peppahkaka!” my aunt exclaimed, when we showed up with these cookies.

“Peppahkaka!” my uncle gave me two thumbs up, when he arrived two hours later.


When, while cleaning out a house that has been well-lived in (and accumulating boxes) for multiple decades, you open a box and find a hand-written recipe in your grandmother’s writing… of course you need to find an opportunity to make it.

Half a year later, this recipe was first in line on my holiday baking list. I gathered the ingredients, softened the butter (which is surprisingly difficult in a house that tends to stay colder than 60°F all winter), and started mixing.

It’s funny how strong scent memories can be. Based on the name, I hadn’t had any recollection of ever eating these cookies. But as I stuck my hands in the bowl, kneading the stiff cookie dough together, the scent wafting up brought me back to my childhood.

Pepparkakor cutouts

The best feeling ever is when someone goes back for seconds (and thirds!) of something I’ve cooked or baked. (And, not to worry – I’ve had plenty of failures over the years, which make the successes that much sweeter!)

Over the course of the last two days, my aunts, uncle, and both grandparents have been sneaking cookies left and right! They’ve told me that these taste just like how Grandma used to make them. A Christmas success!

Pepparakakor recipe

Pepparkakor (Swedish Ginger Cookies)

Makes ~25 dozen small (1″) cookies, or fewer larger cookies


  • 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp ground ginger
  • 1 tbsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 lb unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp light molasses
  • 1 large egg
  • juice and zest of one orange

Cooking Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
  2. Sift the flour with the baking soda and spices.
  3. Cream the butter with the sugar. Mix in the molasses and egg. Add dry ingredients, then mix until blended. (You may need to use a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, or if you’re like me, just use your hands.)
  4. Turn onto lightly floured board (or sandwich between two sheets of parchment paper). Roll as thin as possible, then use cookie cutters to cut into shapes.
  5. Bake 7 – 10 minutes, or until slightly browned around the edges.
  6. Enjoy!

Weekly Wanderings {2016 week 49}

This week in my world…

My aunt gave my sister a bunch of really tasty curry buns… and my sister was sweet enough to bring one down to LA so I could try!

Curry bun

Had a bunch of Son’s friends over for a dinner party this week. This caramelized onion dip was BOMB.

Onion dip

Sour cream deviled eggs with bacon.

Sour cream deviled eggs

Yorkshire puddings! Such a sense of relief when they actually popped!

Yorkshire puddings

My first time ever making prime rib. Amazingly, it was an overwhelming success!

Prime rib

One of his friends always brings desserts from a nearby Japanese bakery. The black sesame cream puffs are my favorite.

Black sesame cream puff

We made our citrus tree into a Citrusmus tree. Christmacitrus tree?

Citrusmas tree

My aunt makes really good cheese boards.

I ate way too much cheese.

Cheese board

Crostini with mayo, kimchi, pulled wild boar shoulder, and watercress. SO GOOD.




Arizona… you’re awesome, but you have a serious gnome problem.

Gnome problem




Weekly Wanderings {2016 week 48}

This week in my world…

Leaves are falling.

Fallen leaves

I got a TARDIS ornament for our first ever Christmas tree. Because I’m nerdy like that.

Tardis ornament

One of my friends sent me a box full of cookies!


O Christmas tree…

Christmas tree

Our annual visit to Candy Cane Lane.

Candy cane lane

The house with the big train set is my favorite!

Candy cane lane


Weekly Wanderings {2016 week 47}

This week in my world…

I’m kind of addicted to the “Ms. Rachel” pastrami sandwich from Orleans and York.

Pastrami sandwich

Curry udon.

Curry udon

Swirly coffee.


Look, ma! I’m upside down!

Allison doing straddleback

Papparkakor cutouts.

Pepparkakor cutouts

Cant. Even.

Can't even.


Weekly Wanderings {2016 week 46}

This week in my world…

Stretching in the dark.



Squad rolls

Those amazingly delicious truffle fries… again.

Truffle fries

Burger, sister, beer.

Goodnight/Good Cause Burger




Plane landing

Such an LA sunset.


Delicious short ribs.


Lobster linguini. This was the bomb.

Lobster linguini

Mango sorbet… in a mango!

Mango sorbet

When I want comfort food… I go for curry udon.

Curry udon

Cold, rainy days mean hot chocolate (with colorful mini marshmallows, obviously) are a must!

Hot chocolate