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.

Baked Penne — Slow Cooker
Feb 15th, 2016 by Alice

Baked Penne

Not a great picture, but yummy!

From Alice

  • Olive oil
  • 2 generous pinches bonito
  • 1 tiny pinch xanthan gum
  • 1.5 lbs sausage (I make mine the same day with oregano, crushed garlic, pepper, thyme, and ground pork)
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper (green is prettier, but we like the taste of red), chopped
  • 1 orange bell pepper, chopped
  • (Or 1 package frozen, shelled edamame and 2 chopped zucchinis)
  • 4 oz (½ container) tofu cream cheese (Tofutti)
  • A handful of fresh oregano, chopped
  • A handful of fresh thyme, chopped
  • 28-oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 package (16-oz) penne pasta, uncooked
  • 15-oz jar tomato sauce


Makes one 6-quart slow-cooker’s worth.

Bring ½ cup of water to a boil. Remove from heat, add the bonito. Let sit for 5 minutes.

Heat olive oil in heavy pan medium-high. Brown the sausage. Remove and set aside. Add the bonito broth to the leftover oil/fat in the pan while heating. Add the pinch of xanthan gum and whisk/stir to combine.

Add in the garlic, onions, and bell peppers. Cook until onions start to soften.

Add the cream cheese and melt while stirring.

When it is all combined, add the oregano, thyme, and crushed tomatoes. Cook for a short time, then add back the sausage. Stir to mix well, simmer 5-10 minutes.

Add penne, uncooked, stir until you can’t see any dry bits of penne.

If you’re already in the slow cooker, scrape everything away from the back wall and add a foil collar. Otherwise, put a foil collar in your slow cooker and oil the pan lightly. Pour in the penne and sauce.

Pour the tomato sauce over the top, carefully covering everything sticking up.

Cook 3 hours on high. Too much time in the “keep warm” stage does lead to crispy pasta.

Spanish Rice or Stuffed Peppers
Jan 24th, 2016 by Alice

From Debbie Gift

Brown in stock pot:

  • 1½ pounds lean ground beef
  • 2 cloves chopped garlic
  • ½ cup chopped onion (or 1 teaspoon dried onion flakes)
  • Canola or olive oil

Combine & cook:

  • 1 ½ cups white rice
  • 1 ¼ cups water
  • 14 oz can stewed tomatoes
  • Fresh ground black pepper to taste

Mix and set aside for topping:

  • 1-2 cups breadcrumbs
  • 2-4 Tbsp margarine or butter, melted or canola oil


  • Jalapeño peppers

For Stuffed Peppers:

  • 3 large bell peppers
  • 1-2 additional cans of tomato sauce for Stuffed Peppers


Add browned meat mixture to rice mixture.

For Spanish Rice:

Place in oven proof baking dish, top with breadcrumbs.

Serve garnished with jalapeño peppers.

For Stuffed Peppers:

Wash, halve and seed 3 large green peppers. Boil for 5 minutes or until just softened. Drain.

Stuff meat/rice mixture into green peppers.

Top with extra cans of tomato sauce and breadcrumb mixture.

Bake at 350°F for 10-20 minutes or until crumbs are browned and or tomato sauce is hot.

Serve garnished with jalapeño peppers.

Roasted Garlic Sauce
Jan 24th, 2016 by Alice

From Jenn Purnell

  • 3 large onions, chopped up
  • ½+ cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons minced garlic
  • ¾ cup tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon wine vinegar with a touch of brown sugar added
  • Optional: 1 ½ teaspoon hot sauce
  • Optional: ¾ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • ¾ teaspoon parsley
  • ¾ teaspoon marjoram
  • ¾ teaspoon oregano
  • ¾ teaspoon thyme
  • ¾ teaspoon dried basil leaves
  • 6 (28-ounce) cans whole Italian plum tomatoes.
  • 9 heads roasted garlic, peeled (or 3 heads roasted elephant garlic, peeled)


Sauté the onion in the olive oil until soft, then add minced garlic.

Add everything except the tomatoes and roasted garlic.

Squish the tomatoes and add them (including the liquid!). Stir and bring to a boil. Simmer 20 minutes.

Add the roasted garlic, mix. Simmer for 45 minutes.

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.

Pear Salad
Jan 24th, 2016 by Alice

From Jessica Branom-Zwick

  • 3 lbs spinach (or your preferred quantity)
  • 2 cups dried cranberries
  • 1 small Walla Walla or other onion
  • 2 tasty pears or 4 satsumas (your choice)


Chop, toss, and serve.

Panzanella (Bread Salad)
Jan 24th, 2016 by Alice

From Jenn Purnell

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 cups French bread, cut in cubes
  • 2 tomatoes, cut in cubes
  • 1 cucumber, seeds removed, cut in cubes
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, diced
  • ½ red onion sliced
  • 3 large handfuls fresh basil, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons capers


  • 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
  • ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • ½ cup good olive oil
  • a tiny pinch of salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Sauté bread with oil until browned, mix up the vinaigrette.
Mix everything together. Let sit 30 minutes before serving.

Pan Dulces
Jan 24th, 2016 by Alice

From Alice

  • 1 cup oat milk or milk substitute of your choice
  • 6 tablespoons palm oil, butter, margarine, or other solid fat
  • 1 Tablespoon yeast
  • ⅓ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 “Eggs” (substitute of your choice)
  • 5 cups flour


  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ⅔ cups flour
  • 4 Tablespoons palm oil
  • 2 fake egg yolks
  • food coloring (pink, orange, yellow)


Heat the oat milk until it bubbles and remove from heat. Add the palm oil, stir until melted. Add the yeast when it is about the same temperature as tap-hot water. Try not to let the yeast get coated in palm oil.

Add ⅓ cup sugar, fake eggs and 2 cups flour. Add the rest of the flour a little at a time, mixing thoroughly. Knead until smooth, about 8 minutes. Put dough in an oiled, warm bowl. Cover and let rise until doubled in size (1 hour).

Divide the dough into 16 equal pieces. Form into flat ovals on a lined cookie sheet. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise until doubled again (40 minutes).

Topping: mix ½  cup sugar, ⅔ cup flour, and palm oil until you get crumbs. Mix coloring with the fake egg, then add to the crumbs. Roll into 16 ovals about the same size as the top of the buns. Place a topping oval on each bun, and press very lightly into place. Do not press hard enough to collapse your buns!

Cut patterns into the oval topping – spiral shapes, criss-crosses, etc.

Bake at 350°F for 15 to 20 minutes, or until sugar topping is almost browned.

Mustard-Coated Roast Lamb
Jan 24th, 2016 by Alice

From Andrew Telesca

  • ¼ Cup Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbsp Maggi or soy sauce
  • 1 ½ Tsp Rosemary
  • ½ Tsp Ground ginger
  • ½ Tsp Sugar
  • ½ Tsp Pepper
  • 5-7 Lbs Leg of free-range lamb
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, sliced


Preheat oven to 350°F.

Combine everything except lamb and garlic.

Insert garlic into small cuts you make in the lamb, coat it with the mustard mixture.

Roast until done.

Mitarashi Dango (or, Seattle Dango)
Jan 24th, 2016 by Alice

From Alice

  • 200 g joshin-ko (rice flour)
  • 30 g mochi-ko (mochi rice flour)
  • 20 g granulated white sugar
  • 320 ml tap-hot water


  • 1 ⅓ Tablespoons Maggi (or soy sauce)
  • 50 g granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon sake
  • 60 ml water
  • 1 Tablespoon katakuri-ko (potato starch)
  • 1 tablespoon water


Combine sauce ingredients (except katakuri ko) in a saucepan. Heat. Add katakuri-ko to 1 tablespoon of water. Add katakuri-ko mixture to sauce. Remove from heat as soon as the katakuri-ko is mixed in. Set aside.

Mix dry ingredients in a glass bowl. Add water a bit at a time, while stirring. Mix thoroughly.
Put into a microwave at 600 watts for 2 minutes. On our microwave (1500 watts) this is setting 4 of 10.

Mix with a wooden spoon as best you can. Repeat until it is so stiff that you can cut it with a knife and it stays in place. You should start microwaving it 1 minute at a time as you get close to this point. It will be a little bouncy/springy.

Wrap in a cool, damp cloth and knead for 2-3 minutes. Rinse your hands often in cool water – the dough is very hot.

Split into 6 parts. Roll each into a 16 cm long sausage. Keep wetting your hands so they don’t stick to the dough. Cut each roll into 8 equal pieces. (“Marume naosu hitsuyou wa nai” – you don’t have to make sure they are all perfectly round. How nice.)

Skewer 4 onto each skewer and roast. “Kirei ni yakeru” – roast until they look pretty.

We roasted them on the oiled rack from a toaster oven positioned over a stovetop burner set on high.

This is very much like roasting marshmallows – you want a nice crusty (though not completely browned) layer on the outside.

Set on a plate, drizzle with sauce. Eat as soon as they’re not too hot for your tongue.

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