Saint Lucia Buns Swedish Saffron

Saint Lucia Buns Swedish Saffron

Saint Lucia buns are Sweden’s answer to the mid-winter blues. Spiced with saffron and curled into a distinctively feline S-shape, consumption of lussekatter (literally, Lucy’s cats) peaks around 13th December, which is the day of the festival of Saint Lucia and the start of the run-up to Christmas. The poet John Donne might have said … Read more

Speculaas Spicy Seasonal Dutch Cookies

Speculaas spicy seasonal dutch cookies

December 6th is Saint Nicholas’ day, in the run up to which kitchens all over the Netherlands will be humming with the smell of baking speculaas cookies. Speculaas – known as speculoos in France and Belgium and spekulatius in Germany – are a kind of softer gingerbread biscuit bursting with spices and topped with almonds … Read more

Scottish Steak Pie Ale Hogmanay New Years

Scottish Steak Pie Ale

For most countries, the apex of the holiday season circles around the mid-December timeframe. With “big hitter” holidays like Christmas and Hanukkah (and even those like shab-e-yalda), much of the festive cheer is expended before New Year’s Eve. The Scots, however, approach things a little differently. Their celebration of Hogmanay trumps everything else, and foods like steak … Read more

Kebab on Grill With Ground Beef and Pork – Cevapi Recipe

Cevapi Recipe - kebab on grill with ground beef and pork

Grilled pieces of meat or cubes of kebab are one of my favorite summertime foods. I love the simplicity, fun and flavor of skewered meats. This recipe is best served with flatbread. What is Cevapi Cevapi (or ćevapčići, if you want to be all diminutive and cute) are the seminal kafana food of the Balkans, cousins of … Read more

Tavce Gravce Macedonian Bean Stew

Tavce gravce macedonian bean stew

Friday is abstinence day for meat-eating Orthodox Christians, which means that vegetarian dishes in the otherwise carnivorous Balkans do get an airing at least once a week. One of these dishes is tavce gravce, Macedonia’s national plate, nuances of which pervade all of the former Yugoslav countries under different names, including pasulj, prebranac and grah. Put simply, tavce gravce … Read more