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Writer’s Kitchen: Inspiration from Sugar and Spice


Pears and Tomatoes

Sometimes you just need to bake. You need to open a cookbook, find something that you have all the ingredients for, and get to work whipping butter, eggs, sugar, and flour into some magical concoction. Maybe you’re suffering from writer’s block. Maybe you’re just hungry. In any case, a little time in the kitchen can be a great source of inspiration if you’re anything like me.


Take yesterday, for example. As I stood in the kitchen, coring pears and stirring a pot of simmering fruit sauce on the stove, words came to me as though I was writing in my head. I was spending the day baking some things I was planning to feature on Outside Oslo, my Scandinavian food blog, and the words just started coming together, making me excited to get to the computer and see what would happen.

Scandinavian Autumn Fruit Soup

As the day went on, the aroma of fruit and spice from the Scandinavian fruit soup* and the pear sauce I was making started to mingle with the deep, sensual fragrance of warm, chocolate cake.** Little did I know when I got to work in the kitchen yesterday that I was going to fill my home with the warmest, most inviting scent, the kind that makes you feel all cozy inside. If that’s not enough to inspire creativity, I don’t know what is.

*The Scandinavian fruit soup is from my latest article in Pregnancy & Newborn Magazine. The article–“Double-duty dishes: Autumn soups to satisfy the whole family”–is on page 36 of the October issue (the digital edition is available here).

**I’ll be featuring the recipe for chocolate cake later this week on Outside Oslo.

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“My Berlin Kitchen” Author Luisa Weiss Comes to Seattle (Giveaway!)

My Berlin Kitchen Book

My fellow foodies and bloggers will be excited to note that Luisa Weiss of The Wednesday Chef is coming to Seattle this month in support of her new memoir, My Berlin Kitchen. In advance of the appearance at University Bookstore on September 24, we’re giving away a copy of the book, courtesy of the publisher.

Weiss started The Wednesday Chef back in 2005. She was working as a cookbook editor at the time, and decided to start a blog as a way to document the stack of newspaper recipe clippings she was cooking her way through. Today The Wednesday Chef is one of the most popular and admired food blogs out there, and her followers waited anxiously for My Berlin Kitchen to be released yesterday.

I’ve only had a chance to read the introduction and first chapter so far, but already I’m enjoying Weiss’ tone and her honesty and vulnerability as she digs into her personal history and shares with readers how the kitchen has always been a haven and a place of comfort and reflection. I can’t wait to keep reading later tonight…

In the meantime, I’m excited to be able to give away a copy of the book. There are several ways to enter:

1. Leave a comment on this post telling us about a favorite recipe from your past.

2. Follow us on Facebook (leave a comment here letting us know)

3. Follow us on Twitter (again, leave a comment)

4. Sign up for our RSS feed (yes, leave a comment)

The giveaway ends on Tuesday, September 18, at 11:59 pm PT. We’ll pick a winner at random and ship the book off to you. Please note that we can only ship to addresses in the United States.