Tak Snacks (Smørrebrød)
May 12th, 2016 by Alice

A plate of open-face Danish-style sandwiches, "Tak Snacks" as seen from the side so you can see the sausage and herring standing up like standing stones on the Tak board.

Tak Snacks

A plate of open face Danish-style sandwiches, as seen from above, arranged in a checkerboard pattern. The sausages are cut into half-round coins, and the herring is cut into trapezoids.A plate of open face Danish-style sandwiches, as seen from above, arranged in a checkerboard pattern. This time garnishes (lingonberry jam and sundried tomato) are visible

Snack #1

  • Cocktail rye bread* (or similar light bread sliced into 1.5-inch squares)
  • Margarine or butter
  • Mustard of choice
  • Sauerkraut
  • Bratwurst or dark sausage sliced into coins.
    • (Veggie replacement: sauteed sliced mushrooms or roasted red bell peppers)
  • Garnish: Sun-dried tomato

A plate of open face Danish-style sandwiches, as seen from above, arranged in a checkerboard pattern. These are the vegetarian sandwiches, featuring roasted red bell pepper cut into half round shapes, and pickled artichoke hearts cut into trapezoids.

Snack #2

  • Cocktail pumpernickel bread* (or similar dark bread sliced into 1.5-inch squares)
  • Margarine or butter
  • Sliced cucumber
  • Pickled herring**
    • (Veggie replacement: sliced artichoke heart cut into a trapezoid/triangle shape if you can manage it. Other great choices would be kholrabi, broccoli stem, sweet radishes. These all pair better with a mustard or drop of vinaigrette instead of margarine)
  • Garnish: Lingonberry or other tart jam. Cranberry sauce works in a pinch.

For the sausage, herring, or veggie replacements cut into Tak playing piece shapes: Cane or Miter.

In fancier establishments, these bites will be pre-assembled in the order shown above, with one piece of each ingredient stacked up. Each individual open-faced sandwich should be approximately one- or two-bite sized to keep players hands free and clean for playing. Assembled, each sandwich should vaguely resemble a move on a Tak board square with either a Cane (sausage or mushroom) piece or a Merchant (herring or artichoke) piece on top. Very fancy plating of this hors d’oeuvre alternates the dark pumpernickel squares with the light rye.

In more casual locations the ingredients are served on a platter for players to assemble themselves, usually during their opponent’s turn.

*Pumpernickel bread may contain cornmeal, and both pumpernickel and rye may contain corn syrup. If you make your own though, these breads can easily be corn-free.

**Good luck determining the exact spices in available pickled herring, often they’re just listed as “spices.”

I wrote this recipe as part of a stretch goal competition for the @TakBoardGame Kickstarter, which you can find until May 20, 2016 at #takgamerecipe. After that I’m sure you’ll be able to find information from the creators Patrick Rothfuss, author of some truly wonderful books, and James Ernest, designer of some truly wonderful BRAIIINS … I mean games.

I was attempting to think of a recipe that reminded me of (European) epic high-fantasy foodstuffs–mead, meat pie, ale, pasties, etc–but yet was snackable and kept your hands clean enough for playing a game. This is essentially an aesthetically-designed version of Danish open-face sandwiches, Smørrebrød. You can honestly put anything on these that you want, but as you can see from the blog, we’re focused on avoiding several food allergens, so we don’t use staples you might prefer, such as cheese.

Rakugan Higashi (Dry Sugar Candies)
Jan 24th, 2016 by Alice

From Alice

  • 30 g wasanbon sugar
  • 2 ml water
  • 20 g mijin-ko (kanbai-ko) flour made from sweet rice
  • Food coloring
  • katakuri-ko (potato starch)


Mix water and food coloring. Mix sugar into water and food coloring. Add mijin-ko and mix until the dough holds finger marks.

Dust your molds with katakuri-ko. Fill molds tightly, and tap out onto a plate.

These are dry sugar candies – and go well with the tea ceremony. Shapes of these candies are seasonally linked and generally very specific. Since I only have a few molds, those are what I plan to make.

If you do not have rakugan higashi molds, you can buy candy or chocolate molds at many craft supply stores. They’ll hold you over until you can make a friend in Japan to send you some molds.

Jan 24th, 2016 by Alice

From Alice

  • 2 ¼ cups white, short-grain, Japanese rice (or medium-grain California rice).
  • rice wine vinegar
  • ¼ lb sashimi-grade salmon


Broil the salmon until justflaking.

Cook the rice. Add rice vinegar until the flavor of the rice is right–like sushi rice. This should be ¼ to ½ cups of rice wine vinegar.

Make tightly-squished balls of rice with bits of salmon hidden in the middle. Using an onigiri mold makes this easy.

You can put other things in the middles too!

Soy Yogurt (homemade)
Apr 27th, 2015 by Alice

Alice Enevoldsen


  • Yogurt Maker (~$25)
  • Candy Thermometer


  • 3 Capsules Probiotic* or safe yogurt starter — this is the hardest one with dietary restrictions
  • 3.5 Cups Soymilk — must be plain, unsweetened, unenriched. The ingredients should be soy and water.
  • 1/4 Cup Sweetener — try honey first.
  • 2/3 Tsp (or 1/4 Packet) Gelatin
  • A little vanilla if you want vanilla flavor
Soy Yogurt

Soy yogurt in process


Mix soymilk, sweetener, and 3/4 tsp gelatin.

Bring the soymilk/sweetener/gelatin to 180F (not 212!). Stir it so as not to burn it on the bottom. Set it aside.

While the soymilk is cooling, consider sterilizing your yogurt jars.

When the soymilk is 110F (measure!) take out 1 cup and dissolve 3 caplets of probiotic in that 1 cup, OR 1 tablespoon of your last batch of yogurt. Mix that cup gently back into the rest of the milk.

You can cool the soymilk to 110 faster by floating the pot in a sink of cold water. Cooler than 110 is okay, hotter is not.

If you’re adding vanilla, add a little to each jar you want vanilla flavored. Leave one jar unflavored (so you have starter next time). For beginners like me fruit should be added at eating time.

Fill each jar 3/4 full and place in the yogurt maker. DO NOT put lids on the jars, but DO put the lid on the yogurt maker. Turn it on.

Return in 6-8 hours (I do this overnight). Gently tip one jar. The yogurt should jiggle and bulge like set jello. When it slips, it should pull away from the side of the jar making a space there.

Put the lids on the finished jars, label them with the date, and put them in the fridge. They’ll be ready to eat in 3 hours and good for 7 days.


If this is too sweet for you, or not as solid as you’d like, it should process longer. Try 7-8 hours if it is just a little off or 12 hours if you want it tarter. (If you want it sweeter AND more solid, add sweetener and/or more gelatin in stage 1).

Tips and Product Links:

No one gave me any products to try. I discovered and purchased these on my own.

  1. Epica Yogurt Maker:  Also works with seven 4-oz mason jars, or four wide-mouth 8-oz mason jars. I might recommend a larger brand name, or one that has the option of a taller lid. Not sure. Yogurt Maker Automatic with Glass Jars by Euro Cuisine YM100 or Tribest Yolife YL-210 Yogurt Maker.
  2. *Starter. If you’re as allergic to milk as we are, don’t use a yogurt starter, INCLUDING the one that comes with the Epica yogurt maker. They’re usually milk-contaminated. We like Klaire Labs Ther-Biotic Complete, it’s a probiotic capsule. We have also used Jarro-Dophilus Allergen Free Jarrow Formulas, but the flavor it made wasn’t as good. We might eventually try the Yolife Yogurt Starter that is vegan. (You want a starter or probiotic that contains these three microorganisms: lactobacillus rhamnosus, bifidobacterium bifidum, lactobacillus acidophilus. If you can have more rhamnosus than the others, my research says you’re on the road to thicker, sweeter yogurt.)
    It is YOUR job to check all ingredients and cross-contamination to see if it is safe FOR YOU.
  3. Soy milk. Non-sweetened, non-enriched (this part is important, you want to avoid the other ingredients they’ll mess up the “set” of the yogurt). We use Pacific Organic Soy Original UnsweetenedIt is YOUR job to check all ingredients and cross-contamination to see if it is safe FOR YOU.
  4. Sweetener. I’ve only used honey so far, but anything sugary that the bacteria can eat.
  5. Gelatin. Many people use other thickeners. I chose gelatin because I’m familiar with how it works in cooked recipes.
  6. Date Labels. You can label any way you want. I use removable date labels.
  7. Don’t eat your first batch all at once, testing various ways of making it. There’s going to be more good bacteria in there than your body is used to. Ramp up slowly. You wouldn’t swallow a ton of probiotic pills all at once: eat your yogurt in moderation until your body is used to it.


I found these links useful–

The only company making soy yogurt safe for us closed its doors in March of this year. Luckily, their product was so great, it gave me assurance that good soy yogurt was possible. Thanks to David for all the tips, and the boost in morale about the possibility of making soy yogurt at home.

Edamame/Soybean Hummous
Sep 25th, 2014 by Alice

From Alice Enevoldsen

2013_10_05 Edamame hummus 002-800

As we’re allergic to most beans and legumes (and chickpeas) I was excited by the idea of Edamame Hummous. All the ones I found on the market were combinations of chickpeas and edamame, so I tried making an edamame-only version. Get shelled edamame to save yourself some work.

  • 2 ¼ cups shelled edamame – frozen (This is 1 bag of Cascade Farm)
  • Enough water to see the water through the edamame when boiling in the pot.
  • 6-8 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 6-8 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 Tablespoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons chopped garlic
  • 6-10 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • Paprika


Cook the edamame in a saucepan with the water until soft enough to eat. Drain.

Blend in a blender with olive oil.

Add all other ingredients. Blend some more. The better your blender, the less you’ll have to scrape the edges and stir it up. My blender is just okay, so I stop every minute or so to move all the goop around, or when I start to hear the motor whirring the blades in an empty space it made  in the middle of the hummous.

Serve up in a bowl or on a plate. Make a little divet in the middle, fill with olive oil, and dust with a generous helping of paprika.


The longer you blend, the smoother your hummous.

Tomatillo Salsa — Canned (Very Mild)
Sep 30th, 2013 by Alice

2013_09_30 Tomatillo salsa 007-800

Tomatillo Salsa in 1/2 pint wide-mouth jars

From Alice Enevoldsen

  • 24 cups husked and diced tomatillos (117 assorted sizes)
  • 6 small tomatoes
  • 1 onion (lightly caramelized in olive oil)
  • 4 heads garlic, roasted.
  • 2 Anaheim chili peppers, de-seeded and de-veined  (I’m not so great at heat, you can add more if you like)
  • 2 bunches cilantro, leaves only
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 & 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 & 3/4 cups white vinegar (this may contain corn or wheat, so depending on your allergies choose a light vinegar you know is safe for you)
  • 1 cup bottled lime juice
  • 24 (8 oz) half pint glass jars with lids and bands, sterlized


Be careful canning, follow sterile procedure to protect yourself and your food from bacteria.

Chop everything into small bits, according to your taste for salsa. Add the roast garlic (mush it into smallish pieces and spread it through). Mix everything together.

Fill your jars, wipe the rims, and process for 15 minutes in a hot water bath.

2013_09_30 Tomatillo salsa 008-800

It’s also yummy fresh!

Lemon Cucumber Refrigerator Pickles
Sep 25th, 2013 by Alice

Fridge-canned lemon cucumber pickles!

Fridge-canned lemon cucumber pickles!

From Jason Enevoldsen

Fill your containers with a densely-packed mix of chopped:

  • Japanese cucumbers
  • Lemon cucumbers
  • Shallots
  • Garlic

Brine (per pint)

  • 1/2 cup white vinegar (usually contains wheat or corn, choose a light vinegar that is safe for you)
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar (may contain undisclosed ingredients, choos a brand that is safe for you)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon pickling salt (makes clearer pickle brine)

Spices (total amount — approximately two teaspoons per pint)

  • black pepper – whole (more of this)
  • coriander seed (more of this)
  • yellow mustard seed
  • celery seed
  • bay leaves (fresh)
  • whole dried  thai peppers


Boil the brine, chop the veggies.

Add the spice mix to the heated, sterilized canning jars.

Pack the jars with the veggies, fill to within 1/2-inch of the top with the brine. Add the lids and rings, process 5 minutes in a hot water bath, cool in temperate water and put in the fridge as soon as they’re touchably cool.

Be careful canning, follow sterile procedure to protect yourself and your food from bacteria.

Safe Potluck and Snack Dishes for Friends with Food Allergies
Sep 29th, 2011 by Alice

Potlucks and snacks can be difficult when accomodating your food allergic friends. Here are some quick and easy (some are quicker and easier) snack options that work for us. We at least won’t have problems being in the room with these items. These may or may not work for your friends. Check with them about their allergens and list of safe snacks.

Here is a link to the general list of our allergies.

Chips and Dip

  • Corn chips and salsa or guacamole
    • (make sure the guacamole has no egg, mayonnaise, or milk ingredients).
    • No sour cream
    • 7-layer dip has beans and cheese and sour cream so is out, out, out!
  • Potato Chips – no dip
    • Most dips for potato chips are cheese or sour cream or ranch dressing – all bad
    • Check the potato chips – do not get ones cooked in peanut oil (like Tim’s)
    • No “sour cream and onion” or “cheese-this, cheese-that” flavored chips
    • Most flavored chips have milk powder in them … so plain or simply salted is best.

Veggies and Dip

  • Veggies (most veggies are okay except string beans, peas, and the like) here are some good ones:
    • Carrots
    • Celery
    • Broccoli
    • Cauliflower
    • Bell Peppers
    • Pickles (I guess you don’t dip pickles, but you do eat them)…
  • Dip
    • Veggie dip has the same problem as potato chip dip- it’s usually sour cream or ranch dressing, both milk-based and bad.
    • Vinaigrette dresssing (non-balsamic) is good.
      • Brianna’s and Annie’s have several kinds of safe and dippable dressing. Check for milk, egg, and balsamic vinegar before buying. Here are our favorites:
        • Brianna’s Zesty French
        • Brianna’s Real French Vinaigrette
        • Brianna’s Honey Mustard


Most fruits are safe for us to be around.

  • Apples
  • Oranges
  • Pears
  • Peaches
  • Plums
  • Melons
  • Pomegranate
  • Grapes
  • Avocado
  • All the tropical fruits are not safe for us to eat (Mango, Guava, Kiwi … Starfruit) we can be around these fruits though.
  • Bananas and strawberries carry their own histamine. Alice can eat both, Jason can carefully eat a de-seeded strawberry or two. Safe to be around
  • Alice is skittish about eating pineapple. It is safe to be around though.


You’re going to have a hard time finding safe bread, but as long as the bread has no direct milk or egg ingredients, we’ll be fine around it. Go for sub-style sandwiches with enough toppings that people won’t miss the cheese

  • No cheese, butter, or mayonnaise
  • No balsamic vinegar
  • No peanut butter
  • Lettuce and all its relatives are fine
  • Cold cuts are fine – though we usually won’t eat them unless we can confirm they have calcium phosphate instead of calcium lactate.
  • Veggies as seen above are fine
  • Olives are fine, as are bell peppers and hot peppers
  • Pickles are yummy!
  • Mustard is safe – usually. watch those fancy mustards for odd ingredients.
  • Olive oil and vinegar (malt, white, red wine, cider etc) are great on subs – no balsamic.

Crackers and ______

Again, it is tough to find safe crackers, but we can be around them as long as they have no milk, egg, nut, cheese, or butter direct ingredients.

  • Cold cuts or smoked salmon
  • Pate – watch for secondary ingredients. We can be around all meats, but if this is made fancy with cheeses, or if they use egg or milk as a binder, then it is not okay!
  • Remember, no cheese
  • Tapenade – or grind up your favorite olives in a blender with some garlic and drain to make your own tapenade
  • Baby pizza toppings – Make up a dish of tomato paste and spices, and another few dishes of non-cheese favorite pizza toppings. People can build their own mini pizzas on crackers
    • Sausage/Hot dogs cut up small
    • Diced and/or caramelized onions
    • Diced bell pepper
    • Olives
    • Pineapple
    • Ham

Toothpick Food

Allergy-Free Cookies/Etc

  • Enjoy Life makes cookies we can eat: Snickerdoodles and Lemon Zest. These can be bought locally at PCC.
    • No chocolate!
  • Little Rae’s bakery uses milk and eggs, so they’re not safe for us.
  • Lucy’s Cookies use a garbanzo-bean based flour, so they’re not safe for us.
  • Most “allergy free” food is not free of all of our allergens, but you can always check with us about a specific brand!


Do you bake? Bake without nuts, peanuts, chocolate, fennel, anise, milk, butter, eggs, nutmeg, and allspice and you should be close to something we can be in the room with. See the rest of this website for safe baking recipes, or send us your recipe ahead of time. We won’t eat food you bake due to worries about cross-contamination with whatever you’ve baked before, but we’ll love it that other people are enjoying it.

Notes to the host:

If you really want us or your friends with food allergies to eat something, leave it sealed in the package until we arrive. Let us check the package ingredients, and then take what we want. Then put it on a plate for everyone else – this allows us to be in control of any cross-contamination.

Please don’t be offended if we or your friends choose not to eat food your provide, especially if you worked really hard for it to be safe. Eating is so much more than an enjoyable activity, or something we do to be polite to the host. For us, ingesting food is always a life safety issue, and sometimes we just don’t want to take any risks at all. We’ll be gracious about declining, appreciate the effort, be incredibly thankful we can be in the room with the food without worrying, and just not partake. You can help by being gracious about our choice not to. Thanks!

Tentacular Carrot Appetizers
Apr 9th, 2010 by Alice

From Alice Enevoldsen

  • 2 Carrots
  • 3-5* Tbsp Seasoned Rice Wine Vinegar
  • 2* Tbsp Olive Oil
  • Fresh Basil
  • Prosciutto (watch out for weird ingredients)
  • Thin-sliced Smoked Turkey (watch out for weird ingredients)
  • *Measurements approximate.


Shave the carrots into nice thickish shavings – about 2-3 inches long. Toss them with the rice wine vinegar and olive oil. Let sit for 15-20 minutes.

Separate the prosciutto and turkey into individual slices, and slice in half.

Wrap a basil leaf and 5-15 carrot shavings in a cold cut. Lay out on a pretty platter.


Apple Appetizer
Jan 16th, 2010 by Alice

From Alice Enevoldsen

  • 4 apples, cored and sliced
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 “clove” of a shallot, chopped fine
  • Salt
  • Marjoram
  • Basil
  • Thyme
  • Fresh rosemary (chopped as fine as is easy)
  • Black pepper
  • Kalamata olives – ½ cup?


Mix olive oil, vinegars, and shallot. Set aside.

Spend this time preparing the apples.

Add the spices, and mix it up. Marinade the apples. Let sit, turning as long as you have time for (a couple hours). Room temperature is fine.

Grill, setting aside the remaining marinade. Grill at a low temperature for about 25 minutes, until the apples’ sugars caramelize a little but they’re still firm.

Whiz the leftover marinade up with some kalamata olives. Serve the apples and tapenade together.

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