Category Archives: Starters

Cheesy Cauliflower Soup

This was our Saturday lunch. It was meant to be light but kept adding cheese, so do not know about the lightness. My sister served this type of soup as a starter for crayfish last weekend, and I just had to try cook it too. 

This is what you need for 8 portions:  1-1.5 kg cauliflower, 1 tbsp oil, 2 onions, 1,5 l water, salt and pepper, 100 – 150 g cheese (cream cheese, Finnish Koskenlaskija strong or even crime fraiche). Clean and chop the onions and cauliflower. Sauté the onion in oil for 5 min. Add the cauliflower. Pour over boiling water, cook until done. Pure and add the cheese. Bring to boil and check that the cheese has melted. Add salt and pepper. 

Enjoy with crisp bread, rye bread and salad greens (even in the soup).


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Summer Rolls: Rice Paper, Veggies and Shrimp

This was my second attempt  to make Vietnamese spring rolls. The taste was wonderful but the looks need improvement.

I used a package of rice paper with 12 round sheets and for the filling I had: 1/2 shredded carrot, 10 cm cucumber chopped, a handful of chopped coriander, 200 g shrimp and some lettuce. Then I made a sauce with 4 tbsp unsweetened peanut butter, 2 tbsp hoi shin sauce and 1/2 dl water

Soak one rice paper at a time in hot water. Place it on parchment paper and place on some filling, and roll. Enjoy with the sauce. 

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#30 Melon Salad

imageI just found a recipe for this delightful and light starter in an old gourmet magazine. I’m trying to clear the clitter in the cupboards a la ConMari and old magazines had to go. I was clipping this and this recipe is one of the clippings.

For a sattwr for two, you will need one honey dew melon, 1 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar and 5 mint leaves.

Cut small balls of the melon wilt a ball knife and place them in a small bowl. Pour over the oil and vinegar, and shrewd the mint leaves in the bowl. Refidgerate for an hour and serve in small glass bowl.

A delightful and light starter!

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Homemade Pasta

imageMy husband told me that he would take care of dinner today. I was back from work around six and dinner was served at seven.

The homemade pasta, tagliatelle was certainly worth the wait. Thank you Vittoria for the recipe. 100 g flour & one egg. As simple as that! It is then another thing to get the paste smooth and rolling smoothly through the pasta machine.

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Red Cabbage with Pomegranate, Walnuts and Chili


Felt for more chili and peppers as well as tastes of winter. Hence this lovely warm salad of red cabbage and small green peppers. I think i have shared these recipes earlier but they are our favourites, oh-so-delicious, and some of you might not have read the posts.

These dishes make a lovely and light lunch. I also served a tasty and strong Greek mountain cheese with the salad.

For a salad for four you will need:

a quarter of a small red cabbage
1 red onion
1 red chili pepper, medium in strength
1 green apple
half of a pomegranate
a handful of walnuts, a handful of shredded rocket
olive oil, balsamic vinegar

Chop the onion and chili. Shred the cabbage and rocket. Open the pomegranate and knock the fruit so that the seeds fall out (works on a well-ripened fruit), and break the walnuts in two in your palm. Cut the apple into wedges.

Heat a pan and sauté the chili and onion. Add the cabbage and let simmer on low heat for 25 minutes.
Add the apple and walnut. Let simmer for 10 minutes. Take away from the heat and season with olive oil, balsamic vinegar and salt. Add the pomegranate and rocket right before serving.

Fried green peppers

4-5 dl small green peppers, 3 tbsp salt
Heat a pan and place the peppers and salt on it. Fry or grill for five minutes. Sprinkle with olive oil if the peppers are very dry.
The peppers are a delicious starter, tapas and side dish. This is a dish I fell in love with on our pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostella the other year.


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Zucchini-Mozzarella Bake with Kale Chips

My nieces were over for dinner week and brought us a huge zucchini. I’ve made three different meals and a couple of lunches of it. Today I used the last bits and this is what I prepared:


Zucchini-mozzarella bake for two

15 cm long piece of a large zucchini, cut into 12 thin slices
125 g mozzarella, cut into thin slices
Olive oil, salt and pepper
1 dl creme fraiche, 2 tbsp tomato pure, thyme and oregano
3 tbsp finely grated Parmesan.
1 tbsp pine nuts

Fry the zucchini slices in olive oil.
Mix together the tomato pure, creme fraiche and herbs.
Grease a small oven pan and pile layers of zucchini, mozzarella and tomato-creme fraiche sauce. Top with zucchini and sprinkle with Parmesan. Put some pine nuts on the top.
Bake in 180 C for 20 minutes.

Kale chips for two
4 kale leaves, 1 tbsp Parmesan, 1 tbsp olive oil
Shred 4 kale leaves and put on baking paper on an oven pan,
Sprinkle thinly with olive oil and and Parmesan.
Bake in 180 C for 10 minutes.

The dish is quite filling and plenty as dinner for two. For four persons it makes a good starter.

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Kalimera! Oozing Watermelon Salad and Fried Aubergine

This wonderful salad combines some traditional Greek tastes i.e. feta cheese, mint and Ouzo. The recipe originates in Lotta Lindgren’s Om jag var don hemmafru cookbook (If I were your housewife). The salad makes a light lunch on a hot day. The salad and aubergine make a light lunch or alternatively, you can make them as starters.

This is what you need for four small portions:
Half of a small watermelon , 5 cl ouzo (traditional Greek aperitif with herbs and aniseed), 100 g feta cheese, a handful of mint leaves.

Dice the watermelon and mix with the ouzo, refrigerate for an hour. Chop the mint leaves and crumble the feta cheese. Oriste, the salad is ready.

I served the salad with fried aubergine and green salad.

The aubergine is easy to make. You need one aubergine, one garlic clove and olive oil for a portion for two people. You can also add some Parmesan on the slices right before taking them out of the pan. Just let the cheese melt on the slices.

Slice the aubergine. Sprinkle lightly with salt and let sweat for 10 minutes. Dry the sliced and fry in olive oil until done.



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Zucchini with Sardines and Garlic

This is one of my favourite zucchini and summer recipes. I tasted if first at my sister K’s many, many years ago. She’d found the recipe in a recipe leaflet of a popular Finnish glossy, Gloria. The recipe originates to Italy and Laila Pullinen, a famous sculptor, shared her favourite recipes in one of the issues in the 80’s I believe.

This is so easy to make and so delicious. You can eat it both hot and cold. And never get enough.

This is what you need: zucchini, chopped garlic, sardines or pickled herring, grated Parmesan or other cheese, olive oil

Cut the zucchini into five cm long pieces and halve them. Cut a slice of each piece so that it stands straight in an oven pan.

Pre-heat the oven to 175 C. Sprinkle an oven pan with olive oil. Place the zucchini pieces in the pan. Place chopped garlic and pieces of anchovy on the pieces. Cover with grated cheese and sprinkle abundantly with olive oil.

Cook for 20 minutes if the zucchini pieces are small and thin and for 30 minutes if larger and thicker.


Laila Pullinen celebrates her 80th anniversary this year and there is a grate retrospective exhibition in  Vaasa, Finland. Have a peak at the Vaasa Art Museum’s webiste to see some of her magnificent sculptures.

Kuntsi, Vaasa Museum of Modern Art, Laila Pullinen – Arch of Light
and more pieces at the museum home page
If you’re in Finland, you’ve still got time to visit the exhibition. It’s open until 20 April and after that it moves to the city of Kouvola.







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More baking and party planning

I’ve been doing some serois party planning, we hope to have the house full next weekend!
The lovely cook books, magazines and my collection of recipes as well as friends are contributing to the plans.
We got snow that has stayed and I’m thrilled… perfect for candles and decorations with evergreens.

Wanted to share some of the preparations in pictures –
Pie with smoked salmon, grissini, desert dreams/ökendrömmar biscuits, marinated aubergine.
Forgot to take pictures of the lovely brown meatballs fried in butter and cinnamon. Yummy and so Christmasy!






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Filed under Baking, Miscellaneous on travelling, cooking and life in general, Starters

Starter with Taste of Greece

Aubergine, eggplant is one of my favourite vegetables. So delicious and what a what lovely colour, called aubergine as well.

A Turkish dish with cooked aubergine in garlic and yoghurt sauce is an all time favourite but I wanted to try something different. A recipe in the local markets leaflet inspired me try something new, and I followed it almost to the point (thanks K-market).

Taste of Greece was welcome and I have found myself dreaming of a holiday in the south. Even searching for cheap flights. This summer has not taken us abroad and we have followed friends in summer paradises via Facebook. Just at the moment a friend is in Greece visiting her family and posting beautiful photos. This has taken me back to holidays on Crete and Samos ten and even twenty years ago.

This aubergine starter with tomato and feta cheese is delicious. This is what you need for a starter for six:

2 aubergines, olive oil, salt and pepper
4-5 tomatoes
feta cheese
basil and peppermint

1 Take two medium-sized aubergines and cut them not thin slices. Brush with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and bake for 30 minutes in 200 C.
2 Slice 4-5 small tomatoes. Work a chunk of Feta cheese into small pieces, crumbs.
3 Coat the aubergine slices with tomatoes and put one some cheese on them. Bake for 10 minutes.
4 Chop some basil and peppermint and decorate the dish with the herbs.
The peppermint gives a very fresh flavour.


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