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We spent a day driving and exploring Falun and Sundborn, Sweden with Uncle Ryan. We went to Falun to have a traditional Swedish lunch at the old copper mines which were pretty impressive and then we went to Sundborn to see the Carl Larsson House, which was equally as impressive. The Swedish countryside is unbelievable. It’s vibrantly colored, the air is so fresh, and the people are friendly. We’ve had near perfect weather which the Swedes are all thankful for… apparently it’s been quite grey until we arrived. We’re soaking up every minute of country life here.

dala floda swedenPINsundborn sweden family travelPINsundborn sweden carl larsson housePIN

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Yesterday was our third wedding anniversary. We start our days here with coffee and books on the couch, Checking on the chickens and looking for eggs with Adam…

dala jarna sweden family travelPINBreakfast. Ryan made us wonderful sourdough waffles. He started the batter the night before and they were so good! We are scheming to see how we might be able to take back the yeast with us…

dala jarna sweden family travelPINAnd music in the living room.

dala jarna sweden family travelPINKyle and I decided to go for a nice long drive around Lake Siljian, stopping at little towns along the way. We packed up a little bag, grabbed our maps and were on our way.

All in all it was a lovely anniversary. Sweden is just as beautiful as you might imagine.

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We arrived in Dala-Järna, Sweden on the 11th and have been having a wonderful time. We spent our first evening meeting the lovely neighbors, eating a simple dinner, and heading to bed for some much needed sleep. Gigi didn’t sleep on the flight except for maybe an hour long nap. She finally passed out when we landed in Sweden at about 4:00am U.S. time which means the little stinker stayed up all night long. Despite this, the flights were much easier than we anticipated. She watched some movies, colored, walked the aisles and was generally pretty happy. The timing actually worked our perfectly. She slept in the car for the four hour drive from Stockholm to Dala-Järna, got up and played with the neighbor kids, and went to bed at her normal bed time. She slept 12 hours and only woke up once in the night, nursed and went right back to sleep. We all recovered from the jet lag pretty quickly because we were able to get onto Swedish time right away.

There was a big air show here when we arrived so we spent our first day staring straight up into the sky. There were fighter jets, an F16, trick planes… it was pretty impressive.


The house that we’re staying at is a sweet little farm. The boys that live here are working to make it into a working farm with a possible CSA kind of program. Gigi is in love with the chickens. She walks out to see them every chance she gets and says, “Hey bac-bac-bac-bac!!!”


dala jarna sweden family travelPIN

dala jarna sweden family travelPIN

dala jarna sweden family travelPIN

I’m getting really excited about getting set up with chickens when we get home… well next Spring anyway. We’ve been so spoiled with farm eggs from our friends. It will be fun to get chicks and raise them. The life here is pretty sweet.


Gigi is also in love with her darling Uncle Ryan who, for some reason she has been calling Uncle Mow! I think she’s means now? Even in her still waking state, or when she sits up in the middle of the night, the first words out of her mouth have been, “Uncle Mow? Uncle Mow? Oh, hi!” It’s incredibly sweet.


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Crispy Oven Baked French Fries RecipePIN

I love French Fries. Honestly, who doesn’t? Sometimes I’ll make them for lunch. Just French Fries. There’s something about their salty, crispy, soaked in olive oil perfection that I can’t get enough of. We go through so much olive oil in this house that we’ve taken to buying the restaurant size boxes of extra virgin olive oil. We pour through it like it’s… well, wine. Don’t worry, it’s good fat. These hot summer days with barbeques out front with our neighbors and many, many servings of fries.

The last couple of weeks have been a wonderful whirlwind of friends, family, wine tasting, popsicles, and many summer things. We’ve skipped a few of Gwyn’s nightly baths, gone to bed with dirty feet, forgone errands, and eaten too many cherries. Kyle is back in the brewery this week for the first time in months, following his shoulder surgery. He’s so happy to be back to the work he loves. Long days in the brew-house aren’t always easy, but they’re almost always rewarding. Kyle is so good at his job and I’m so proud of him… even though I sometimes forget to say it to him.

I’m still reveling in the joy and excitement of my acting work last week. I so rarely get an opportunity to work as an actress that when I do I try to soak up every single second of it and relive it over and over in my head. I love what I’m doing but there are days that I wish I could make a living as an actress. It’s so fulfilling.

This weekend we are going to see The Head and The Heart play at the Portland Zoo. It’s so great to have a chance to take Gigi to see them. Our friend Chris the band’s bass player and I hope we get to say hi and introduce him to G. Normally we can’t take her to shows but since this one is at the zoo, it’s totally kid friendly. I’m looking forward to the opportunity to pack up a gourmet picnic basket and a bottle of wine and relax on the grass. Our step-cousin is also getting hitched this weekend so we’re going to have a busy but fun next few days.


Ingredients for Fries.
3 pounds potatoes (you can use new or russet) cut into thin pieces
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
kosher salt
fresh parsley, minced (optional)

Ingredients for Aioli.
1 clove garlic
1 tablespoon fresh parsley
3/4 cup mayonnaise of Vegenaise
zest of one lemon
3-4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper

Directions for Fries.
In a large bowl toss the cut potatoes with 1/2-3/4 cup of the olive oil and two teaspoons of kosher salt. Dump the contents of the bowl onto a large cookie sheet. They should be really drenched in oil.

Place the fries in a cold oven. Turn the oven on to 400° F. Toss the fries every twenty minutes. They will occasionally stick to the bottom of the cookie sheet. Use a firm spatula and scrape them up. It doesn’t matter what they look like. They will taste great. They will continue to soak up the olive oil (God bless them) so keep adding a drizzle each time you toss them.

After about an hour the fries will be cooked through and beginning to crisp up. Turn on the broiler and, watching the fries carefully, broil them, toss them, and broil them some more until they reach your desired crispness.

Remove them from the oven and transfer them to a large bowl or plate. Sprinkle with a large pinch of kosher salt and some parsley.

Directions for Aioli.
Toss the mayo, garlic, parsley, lemon zest, a pinch of salt and a few turns of black pepper in a small food processor and blend until combined. While the processor is running drizzle in a few tablespoons of olive oil. Transfer to a small bowl and serve along side the fries.


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