Tag Archives: summer

Zucchini Galette 

Galette comes in many forms and with many fillings. Sauvory and sweet. I believe it has its origins in France but in also place it in Italy. The crust is baked with butter and therefor I would not place it in Liguria, this despite the closeness to France.

I’ve been reading galette recipes and seeing wonderful pictures on blogs, Instagram and Pinterest for sock long that I finally baked on myself. I’d promised to bake a pizza for my husband on his birthday but decided for this. He was surprised and fell in love with the new bake.

Start with making dough for the crest. You need 100 g cold butter, 300 g flour, a dash of salt, 2 tsp lemon juice, 1/2 dl yoghurt and 1/2 dl cold water. Mix together the butter and flour by hand. Add the rest of the ingredients and wrap the dough into plastic foil and refrigerate for at least 30 min. Some recipes tell you to make the dough one day ahead.

Make the filling while the dough is resting. You will need: 500 g zucchini (thinly sliced, I slice it with my cheese cutter) and salt, and 125 g ricotta, 50 g finely grated Pecorino or Parmesan cheese, 2 tsp grated lime zest, 1 lime juice (or lemon), 1 tbsp finely chopped thyme,  and olive oil.

Slice the zucchini, sprinkle with salt  and place it in a colander for 30 minutes. 

Turn the oven to 200 C. Roll the dough out with a rolling pin on baking paper. Make it roundish and about 30 cm in diameter. Mix the cheese, lemon juice and zest, and thyme. Spread it on the crust leaving a 4 cm border without filling. 

Dry out the zucchini using a kitchen towel, and then place it on the cheese filling. Turn the border inwards, and brush the whole pie with olive oil. Bake for 30-40 minutes. Sprinkle with oil during baking if it looks to be drying out too much. 

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Rhubarb Juice in the Making

It is rhubarb time and time to enjoy the first harvest of the summer garden. Apples and cherries are blooming, and since we have had a very cold spring the tulips are not all out yet. Imagine! There was a frost warning for last night but we were good here in the southern parts of the country (Finland).
I started the rhubarb season last weeks with pies. Took one to mom and now I’ve just set the first pot of juice to brew on the kitchen teller. This is an old juice recipe from mom and it is so easy.

You start with fetching the rhubarb (ca 500 g)  from the garden and cutting it into smallish pieces. Then you boil 1 1/2 l water, wash and slice a lemon and take our 1 dl of sugar. Pile the rhubarb, lemon and sugar in a large jar. Pour over boiling water and cover with a lid. Let stand in room temperature for a day.  Sieve and bottle.
Your juice is ready to be enjoyed, and keeps in the fridge for 2-3 days. I often put freeze this in small plastic bottles to enjoy in the winter.

 

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Overnight Oats and Summer Berries

Prepared this wonderful breakfast bowl last night and put it in the fridge for the morning. The only things I added  before eating it was strawberries and honey.

This is what you need for one portion: 1/2 dl oats, 1/2 tbsp chia seeds, milk (normal, skimmed, oat milk, coconut milk) to cover the ingredients 1 dl natural yoghurt and 1 tbsp chocolate nibs. Refrigerate overnight. Cut strawberries and place in the bowl and spoon over some honey.

Enjoy! And have a wonderful Sunday!

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Summer’s 1st Rhubarb Pies

imageimageThe rhubarb has been growing like mad the past week thanks the sun and drizzle. It rains a bit more today and the morning was perfect for baking and sowing some lettuce and planting some kale and mangold.

The first rhubarb pie is almost the best – here my recipe! An old recipe with slight changes. This batter makes one tiny and one larger pie.

500 g rhubarb, chopped and steamed with lemon zest, 1/2 tsp lemon juice and 1 tbsp cane sugar

2 eggs, 1 dl caster sugar, 1 dl brown sugar, 1,5 dl butter milk, 1 dl melted butter, 4 dl flower (a mix of plain white and graham), 2 tsp baking powder and a dash of vanilla (I used a small sachet of PanAngeli vanilla)

Topping: 2 dl sour cream or thick yoghurt, 1 egg, 1/2 dl butter milk

Melt the butter. Mix the eggs and sugar. Add the milk and butter. Mix all the dry ingredients and turn into the mixture.

Line two forms and divide the batter into them. Add the rhubarb and pour on the topping. Bake in 200 C for 30 minutes.

 

 

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#28 Chocolate Cake from Black Forest

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It is Midsummer and time for celebration. The summer is at its best, it’s holiday time and midsummer!

I baked this fabulous cake to celebrate my hubby and the summer. The inspiration and the recipe come from my favourite magazine ELLE mat & vin.

I baked the cake bottom one day ahead of the b-day, and filled the cake just before serving it. It turned out fabulous but I need to work on the chocolate ganache for the topping.

Cake batter: 4 dl sugar, 5 dl flour, 3 tsp baking powder, 2 dl cacao, 1 tbsp salt, 3 eggs, 2,5 dl milk, 150 g melted butter, 1 dl espresso coffee

Filling: 3 dl cream and 1 dl cherry jam

Decoration: cherries and blackberries

Chocolate ganache: 200 g dark chocolate, 200 g butter, 1 dl confectioner’s sugar
Turn the oven on to 175 C. Grease two cake tins and dust them with cacao. Mix together all the dry ingredients. Melt the butter and let it cool. Beat the eggs and the milk. Turn in with the dry ingredients together with the butter and coffee.

Pour the batter in the cake tins and bake for about 30 min until done. Let cool and remove from the tins.

Whip the cream and mix in the cherry jam. Spread the mixture on the first cake layer.

Make the ganache. Place the butter and the chopped chocolate in a pan, and melt on medium heat. Add the sugar. Let the ganache cool and top the cake with it. Decorate with berries.

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#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

#25 Salmon with Rhubarb and Lentil-Asparagus Risotto 

imageReading Etikettiklubi newsletter (by Alko, the Finnish alcohol monopoly) yesterday I stumbled over this recipe of salmon with rhubarb sauce and simply had to try it. I had my doubts but the combination of tastes is so delicious.

I changed the recipes a bit as I did not have everything required in the original recipe. The recipes are for two.

Sauce: 120 g Rhubarb, 2 dl water, grated zest of a lime, 1 tbsp lime juice, 2 tbsp Palm sugar and 1 tsp sambal olek.

Chop the rhubarb and cook with the water, sugar and lime for 5 min. Add the sambal olek.

Salmon: 400 g  salmon, salt and pepper.

Cut the salmon into butterflies and place on a rack. Sprinkle on some salt and bake in oven, in 175 C, for 15 min.

Asparagus-Lentil Risotto: 1,5 dl red lentils, salt, 4,5 dl water, 125 g green asparagus, 1/2 cup of chopped chives

Rinse the lentils. Cook for 6 minutes. Add the asparagus chopped into 2 cm long pieces. Cook for 4 minutes. Add the chives and the dish is ready.

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Filed under Dinner, Recipes

Comforting Pasta with Black Chantarelle

A dark November evening, Thursday of a busy week. Pitch dark at half past six. Do not feel like grocery shopping and rummage in the pantry. A half full jar of dried mushroom, from the neighbour. Some spaghetti in the pasta jar, a splash of red wine and some herbs. And Parmesan. Just right for a meal.

This recipe is for two:

1,5 dl dried mushroom, 2 dl water, 2 tbsp tomato paste, 1 dl red wine, salt and pepper, 2 tbsp chopped parsley and the same amount of rocket and grated Parmesan. 150 g pasta per person.

Soak the mushroom in water in a pan for half an hour or hour. Enjoy a good glass of wine and olives while the mushroom is soaking.

Put the heat on and add the tomato. Put the pasta water on and cook the mushrooms  on low heat while the pasta is cooking. Mix the two together, and add the rest of the ingredients while the pan is still on the stove.

Enjoy! And have a restful evening.

 

 

 

 

 

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Pitting Cherries

My endeavours to cook and bake with cherries continue. I was browsing for ideas at Martha Stuart marthastuart.com and found this wonderful, lifesaving tip for today. Just-on-time not just-in-case solution for me who do not own a cherry pitter!

“In case you do not have a cherry pitter, use a paper clip. Unbend the clip in the center. Insert the tip of one end into the stem end. Twist to loosen pit and pull to remove.”

I found this in the recipe for brown-sugar cherry cakes that I am just about to bake.

How simple and wonderful! Yet something I could never think of. Did you know this trick? 

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Filed under Cooking, Miscellaneous on travelling, cooking and life in general

Fresh as the Summer – Finnish Summer Soup

Light lunches are the best be it summer or fall. This is in case you do not want to snooze off  and take a nap after eating. Oh well,  sometimes you do want to and summer naps are oh so delightful. Believe it or not the summer weather has not allowed a nap outside under the apple trees.

imageThis summery vegetable soup is made with the seasons vegetables – usually tiny potatoes, carrots just a bit bigger than your fingers, peas and cauliflower.

 

For four portions you will need

6 small potatoes, 4 small carrots, 2 dl peas, half a small cauliflower, 0,3 dl water, 0,5 dl milk, salt, white pepper, 2 tbsp butter, chopped chives

Brush the veggies and cut them into small pieces (potato cubes, carrot buttons, chunks of cauliflower).

Boil the water and start with cooking the potatoes. Add the carrot and cauliflower after 5 minutes. Add the milk and the white pepper. Let come to boil and cook for 5 minutes. Add the chopped chives and peas. Cook until all the veggies are done. Add the butter and salt if needed.

Enjoy with rye bread.

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