Tag Archives: French

#36 No-fat Apple Pancake

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This is another dessert or breakfast dish with apples.

The French call this cafoultis and we call it oven pancake, pannukakku in Finnish. The recipe is very similar, we don’t use vanilla in Finland.

for a small pancake you will need

an oven form, the size of a bread loaf

2 eggs, 2 dl milk, 1.5 dl flour, 1 tbsp sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp vanilla, 2 apples

Pre-heat the oven to 175 C. Beat the eggs, add the milk and flour. Line the oven pan with baking paper and put apple slices on the bottom. Sprinkle with sugar, vanilla and cinnamon. Pour in the pancake batter. Bake for 25-30 min. Serve with sugar and apple jam.

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Filed under Breakfast, Cooking, Dessert

#27 Tallin on the Plate and for Business

I will tell you about my trip to Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, in this post. As always, eating well was one of the main attractions of the trip.

The beautiful Hanseatic town of Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, is only 85 km from Helsinki. I had an opportunity to spend a long weekend there as I participated in a conference. It was different to visit the town on business as it has always been a leisure destination during the summer holidays and just before Christmas. When living in Helsinki it was ever so easy to take the ferry over, even for a day trip.

The town is growing and developing. Estonia is no longer the somewhat poor and old-fashioned neighboring Soviet state many of us remember from the early 90’s when the boarders opened as the country gained their independence. The city is full of life, growing and flourishing – and the Estonian are quite hip – great fashions and great places to visit.

It was stormy as we set off and the catamaran we’d booked was cancelled. Luckily there are several, three to be precise, shipping companies that traffic the route Helsinki-Tallinn, and we could easily purchase ticket to another ferry. The trip takes 1,5 – 3,5 h depending on the type of ferry you take.

The first lunch we had in town was at The Farm which serves traditional Estonian game-based dishes with French twist. The decor is French country-style. The late Thursday lunch was not too busy and the servants had plenty of time for everyone. The cold starters and desserts are prepared in a kitchen with an open view to the restaurant – the cooks and other personnel are behind a glass so that you can see them. They can naturally also see the customers. The food was delicious, I had smoked breast of duck and my companion wild boar. The duck was served in a steaming colander – and looked quite odd but had a wonderful perfume of smoke. The tastes were very delicate.

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Tallinn was busy that weekend and all of the restaurants we had listed were fully booked. Next time we will make bookings in advance. Our hotel receptionist recommended a close by restaurant, Magus Auk, also with French tones. This proved to be a good recommendation and had a menu degustation (tasting) with a mix of small dishes. Very tasty and new combinations. In the end we thought the four courses were too much.

The conference took place at the Sokos hotel Viru conference center which is very centrally located yet not in the old towns. The facilities were good and again the catering excellent. The coffees and snacks as well as the lunch were delicious and served smoothly and professionally. There was absolutely no queuing. The change from Thursday evening through Friday and the to Saturday transformed the town. There were of course tourists in the old town during the week but the amount doubled if not tripled. Also, the quests changed at the hotel as most business people had rushed home.

One always makes new acquaintances in conferences and I had the pleasure of meeting many Estonian  as well as other European professionals in language education and teacher training. The Estonians recommended several places for dinner or lunch and the last day, before boarding the ferry, we had a late meal at Kohvik Moon, a hipster restaurant in the trendy Kalasadama area. They serve a mix of Estonia and Russian food and flavours and have an interesting if not hilarious decor.

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There was also a lovely small cafe with exquisite cakes, Le Bonaparte on the street called Pikk.

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I can truly recommend Tallinn for gourmands and history interested tourists. It is also an excellent destination for well-being tourism too as they have excellent spas. The prices are very reasonable compared with those of Finland. I tried the services of Elemis Spa at the luxury hotel Telegraph. The spa is located in their new wing and it offers different treatments, saunas and small pools.

Shopping is one of the major attractions, wide selection and good prices. Much handicraft too. There was absolutely no time for the shops for me this time. My husband happily discovered the town on his own and was gladly surprised to bump into a group of old school mates. What a small world!

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Filed under Miscellaneous on travelling, Restaurants, Travel diary

Moules Marinieres – Mussels in Wine 2.0


We are expecting the first snow any day now. Late November and no snow!

At the supermarket I found fresh Danish mussels and realised that we had skipped our traditional October  mussel evening! We always have a crayfish party, kräftskiva, at a friend’s and the a mussel dinner chef nous.

Well, today it is Mussels for two.

1 kg Mussels, 3 dl white wine, 2 garlic cloves, one small onion, one carrot, parsley, rosemary, sage, bay leaf and butter

Brush and clean the mussels under cold running water. The mussels will shut their shells if they are alike and you have to trash the ones that won’t do it.

Chop the onion and carrot, and the garlic. Melt the butter and sauce the herbs and the veggies. Add the wine and heat it up. You can use water and lemon or vegetable stock if you do not wish to use alcohol. Pour in the mussels and cover with a lid. Cook for 5 minutes.

Serve with bread and white wine or mineral water.

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Filed under Cooking, Dinner, Recipes

Pissaladiere – French Onion Pizza

Experiments with savoury baking continue and now it was time to try something new. Some months ago I ran into a recipe of French galette with fennel and potato and now found a recipe of  pissaladière. French pizza,  in Lantliv that is a Swedish home interior magazine. The galette bottom seemed to be about the same as the pissaladiere, I do not know the difference. In some recipes pissaladiere is made with puff pastry. Would you know the difference?

This lovely pie or pizza with anchovies and onions is delicious. A good dinner with salad on a hot day or likewise a delicious lunch. Perfect when you need that extra salty bit to eat!

The recipe called for a kilo of onions – I settled for a quarter.

Pizza or pie bottom:
3 dl luke warm water
2 tsp dried yeast
4 dl flour
4 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp honey
1 tsp salt

1 Mix the yeast into a bit of flour and whisk the mixture into the water.
2 Add the olive oil, honey and salt. Turn in the rest of the flour by hand.
3 Let the dough rise for an hour.
4 Roll the dough into a rectangular ‘pizza’ bottom and put it on an oven sheet. Fill and bake in 225 C for 20 – 30 minutes.

Filling:
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp olive oil
250 g red onions
1 tbsp thyme, 1 tbsp rosmary, 1 bay leaf
2 dl chopped olives, black or green, pitted
1/2 chicken stock cube
1 1/2 dl water
salt and pepper
2 dl chopped olives, black or green, pitted
180 g anchovies or sardelle
olive oil

1 Peel and slice the onion into thin slices.
2 Sautée the onions for 15 minutes.
3 Add the herbs, water ad chicken stock. Let simmer for 15 minutes. Remove the lid and let the liquid evaporate.

4 Put the fillings (onion, anchovies and olives)  on the pizza bottom. Sprinkle on salt and pepper you might want to be careful with the salt as the fish is already quite salty. Bake in 225  for about 20 minutes.

Serve with green salad and mineral water or a good wine.

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Filed under Baking, Dinner, Lunch, Recipes