I remember when jalapeño poppers rose to fame in the 1990’s. I fondly recall being sixteen and going out to eat with my high school sweetheart at a favorite local Mexican food restaurant in our small town and always ordering the jalapeño poppers – fiery hot peppers filled with cooling cream cheese, battered and deep fried until the jalapeños were tender and the cream cheese was oozing. I don’t specifically remember anything else on the menu because the poppers were just about the only thing I ever ordered.
I can imagine no better Mother’s Day than waking to breakfast in bed prepared by my pajama-clad clan including handwritten notes, strong mugs of coffee, one of my most favorite recipes, big hugs and kisses, and a memorable gift all enjoyed over a leisurely, snuggly morning.
During breakup season, we Alaskans break up with a lot of things. We break up with slushy roads and icy conditions. Good riddance. We break up with prolonged darkness and nights so black the constellations glow and the northern lights dance. We break up with the daily ordeal of making sure our children have every single last piece of snow gear packed in their backpacks. Can somebody please tell me where all the gloves go? We break up with our snow shovels, snowblowers, snow machines and studded snow tires. We break up with auto starting our vehicles and scraping our windshields. And inevitably each spring, we break up with last year’s salmon we have sitting in our freezers.
The bread is toasted and golden now, filling the cabin with undeniable aroma of French toast. One slice goes down on the plate, promptly smeared with sweetened cream cheese and layered with fresh strawberries, then topped with another steaming hot slice. The cream cheese begins to fall over the edges, the strawberries peeking out. I dust the plate with powdered sugar like a light snowfall and take it to the table where the syrup is waiting and the light is still pouring in, reflecting back at me in pools of maple.
Four years ago, when my eldest son turned nine, he declared that he was getting too big for the cupcakes I made every year on his birthday. He wanted a big cake. Gasp. Cupcakes were safe. Cupcakes I could do. This was the day the cupcakes died. It was early on in my food writing days and I, admittedly, had very little experience decorating bigger cakes. When I asked him what kind of cake he wanted, he announced it would be a lime cake and that it would be green, his favorite color. This week, as my son reached his thirteenth birthday, I revisited that first key lime cake recipe that made me the confident cake-baking mom I am today.
I’ve rounded up a bunch of my favorite GREEN recipes to help make your St. Patrick’s Day as festive and flavorful as possible.
When the 7.1 earthquake rocked the southcentral part of our state early this week, Alaskans picked up their phones and laptops, taking to social media in droves. Everyone from the Kenai Peninsula to Anchorage and beyond seemed to be up at 2 a.m. checking on one another, sharing stories and videos, and reading the breaking news. Text messages chimed. Phones rang. Within moments of the event, the earthquake became the common thread that stitched together a people who live miles and oceans and mountains apart in this vast state we call home. The solidarity was visible and immediate. Shared experiences unify people, rewriting our collective narrative.
This smoked salmon bagel is a staple. An Alaska must-have. A well-loved, well-used post. An obligatory Alaska from Scratch rite of passage. I serve it up year round for any meal of the day. When I give the gift of smoked wild Alaska salmon, this is the first thing I tell the receiver to do with it: Make. Bagels. Now.