anna brones

writer + artist + activist

Archive for the ‘Food + Recipes’ Category

‘Extra Helping’ – a Cookbook for Caring Through Food (Preorder)

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Last year I was very honored to be asked to create papercut illustrations for a cookbook. That cookbook is out next month and I can’t wait for it to be born into the world. Extra Helping: Recipes for Caring, Connecting, and Building Community One Dish at a Time by Janet Reich Elsbach is a beautiful collection of recipes and essays, all based around the idea that food is caring.

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Written by Anna Brones

October 15, 2018 at 11:53

Swedish Cinnamon Buns (with Apple Filling) to Celebrate Kanelbullens Dag

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Swedish cinnamon buns are so iconic that they get their very own day: October 4th. That’s right, today is the official Kanelbullens Dag. And you know what you should do to celebrate? Make a batch of cinnamon buns and invite a friend over for fika.

I don’t make kanelbullar very regularly, so when I do it’s a special affair. (Quick Swedish lesson: kanelbulle is singular, kanelbullar is plural.)

For the uninitiated, kanelbullar carry a lot of importance in Swedish food culture. It’s a staple of fika, and baking them at home is a special affair. Thinking about kanelbullar and my own connection to them makes me think of this passage from my friend Sara Bir’s book The Fruit Forager’s Companion:

“It would be wonderful to make and eat pie every day, but that is unrealistic for most of us… As it stands, I do not make pies for special occasions, but allow the pie itself to be the occasion. That way, if someone asks me how I am, I can simply say, ‘I ate piece today,’ and they know I am well.”

The way Sara feels about pie is how I feel about kanelbullar. You don’t need a special occasion to make them. Instead they turn an ordinary day into something much more exciting. Baking kanelbullar is an act of celebrating the everyday.

While I certainly enjoy the pure, unadulterated version, I often enjoy experimenting with different flours and fillings. My current favorite is to make them with whole wheat flour (I use hard white wheat from Bluebird Grain Farms) and let the dough rise overnight. I find that this slower rise makes for a slightly more interesting taste. To take full advantage of the fall season, these kanelbullar are filled with grated apple. You can certainly go classic and make it without that addition.

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Written by Anna Brones

October 4, 2018 at 08:45

Champagne Champagne Natural Wine Bar (and Shop) on Orcas Island

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“I want to be as serious as I need to be to run this place. Otherwise I don’t give a shit about being serious.” – Amelia Carver, co-owner Champagne Champagne.

My profile of Carver and her partner Brian Crum went up recently on Sprudge Wine. The two run a super cool natural wine bar on Orcas Island in Washington State. In my opinion you never really need an excuse to take a ferry ride, but if you did, this is a good one.

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Written by Anna Brones

September 14, 2018 at 05:47

How to Plan a Swedish Midsummer Dinner

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Swedish midsommar is the celebration of the summer solstice, a time to honor the endless hours of daylight.

I often get asked what to do for midsummer. There’s no one “right” way to celebrate midsummer, although there are a few common foods and activities that tend to be involved (like putting up a midsummer pole and singing and dancing).

Above all, midsummer is a celebration of the season, a time to take a break, be with friends, indulge in good food and honor the beginning of summer days.

For me, food is at the center of midsummer. It’s a time to showcase seasonal abundance; strawberries, fresh herbs and produce. If you’re looking to host your own midsummer dinner this year (the main event is midsummer eve, this year on Friday June 22nd), here are a few tips and food ideas.

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Written by Anna Brones

June 21, 2018 at 09:18

Posted in Food + Recipes

Strawberry Cardamom Cordial

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Making cordial is the perfect way to use up all of those slightly mashed strawberries that tend to be leftover when you have bought a few more than you can eat in a couple of days. In fact, that’s how this recipe came to be.

I add cardamom to basically everything, but the spice pairs particularly well with strawberries. You can mix this cordial with straight water, sparkling water, or even combine with other libations for a summer cocktail.

This makes about a cup and a half of cordial, so scale up if you would like to make a larger batch.

Ingredients:

About 17 ounces/500 grams of strawberries, rinsed and cut in half

1 cup (240 milliliters) water

3 teaspoons cardamom seeds, crushed

1/2 cup (3.5 ounces, 100) grams of sugar

Juice and zest of half a small lemon

Preparation:

Place the strawberries, water and crushed cardamom seeds in a saucepan. Place on the stove and bring to a boil. Simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring every once in awhile with a fork or spoon and using it to crush the strawberries.

Once the strawberries have fully broken down, remove from the heat and let sit for about half an hour.

Strain the strawberry pulp out, using a cheesecloth or fine mesh strainer.

Measure the liquid. You want to add in about half that amount of sugar. Measuring by weight is more precise, but you can measure by volume too (i.e. with a cup).

Pour the liquid into a clean saucepan and place on medium heat. Slowly add the sugar and stir until dissolved. Bring to a boil, and let simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and pour into a clean bottle or jar.

Written by Anna Brones

June 20, 2018 at 16:08

Camp Cooking: Coconut Ginger Vermicelli Noodles

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This weekend marks the fourth annual Swift Campout, a global call to get people out for a night and bike camp, hosted by Swift Industries. And what do you need for a good bike camping trip? Good food.

This recipe for Coconut Ginger Vermicelli Noodles is one that I originally made for the MSR Summit Register blog. It’s a recipe that’s perfect for an overnight trip as you can prep a few of the ingredients at home and then throw the whole thing together at camp.

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Written by Anna Brones

June 19, 2018 at 10:30

Happy Birthday Fika!

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Three years ago today, Fika The Art of The Swedish Coffee Break came into the world. Over the last three years, it has been so much fun seeing all the places that this book ends up. I love hearing from readers when they bake a recipe or give the book as a gift to a friend. I think we could all use a little more fika in our lives, and I am happy to see so many of you doing exactly that.

In honor of Fika‘s third birthday, I am doing a special giveaway of signed copies of both Fika: The Art of the Swedish Coffee Break and my latest book, Live Lagom Balanced Living the Swedish Wayas well as an original fika-themed papercut (unframed).

This fika papercut was done as a sample for some new templates that I made for Paper Artist Collective (if you’re in the mood to try your hand at papercutting, you can snag them here) and I think it deserves a space on someone’s wall!

How to enter? All you have to do is subscribe to my newsletter. I’ll draw a random winner next Friday, April 13, 2018 so you have a week to get yourself signed up and entered.

Written by Anna Brones

April 7, 2018 at 04:00