November 22, 2016

Smoked Trout and Black Garlic Open-faced Sandwiches

500 gram loaf European style sliced pumpernickle
1 7-oz container Finlandia Creamy Gourmet Cheese Black Garlic
8 oz smoked trout, cut into 2 inch wide pieces
1/2 English cucumber, sliced thinly
1/2 red onion, halved and sliced thinly
1 7-oz container Finlandia Creamy Gourmet Cheese Black Garlic

Spread a thick layer of Finlandia Creamy Gourmet Cheese Black Garlic on each slice of pumpernickel. Top with smoked trout then top with cucumber and onion slices. Slice the bread in half, if needed, for easy serving.

My thoughts:
Each year my husband and I make the rounds to as many of the Scandaivian holiday bazaars we can. We've been to Swedish, Finnish, Danish and Icelandic (this year we went to the Danish and Icelandic festivals back to back in the same day!) and this year we are hoping to finally make it to the Norwegian bazaar. I love Scandinavian food and these bazaars are the best place to not only try it but to bring back some of the foods to have at home. Luckily there are quite a few to choose from in the DC/Northern Virgina area which is a bit of a drive for us but worth it! One thing each of the fairs have in common are open-faced sandwiches. I liked them so much, I've taken to making them at home. So when I was asked to create a new recipe using Finlandia Creamy Gourmet Cheese and I happened to have some pumpernickel at home, I knew what I had to make! I love anything with black garlic so chosing that flavor was a snap. It is super creamy and spreadable so it was a great base for a sandwich piled high with toppings. It had a light black garlic flavor which was the perfect foil for the smoky, slightly oily fish. The onion and cucumber cut the richness just the right amount. I should have known Finlandia – making cheese and butter in Finland for over 100 years-would have a great spreadable cheese for an open-faced sandwich! Of course, I think it would be great on anything, I had it on pita crisps as a snack and even stirred it into pasta.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Finlandia™ . The opinions and text are all mine.

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November 11, 2016

Salted Butter Jumbles with Blueberries, Coconut & Chocolate Chips

1 1/3 cup flour
1/2 cup (4 oz) Finlandia Premium Imported Salted Butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 egg, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup large unsweetened coconut flakes/chips
1/4 cup dried blueberries
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips


Preheat the oven to 350°. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper or a silipat.

In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. Set aside. In a large bowl or bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy using a stand or electric handmixer. Add the egg and vanilla and combine thoroughly. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and mix until a very thick dough forms.

Fold in the chips, coconut, and blueberries.

Form cookies by dropping 1 heaping teaspoon of dough two inches apart.

Flatten slightly then bake until light brown on the bottom, about 12-13 minutes.

Slide them out on the parchment paper onto a wire rack and allow them to cool 1-2 minutes on the parchment or silipat on the wire rack before removing the parchment and allowing them to cool directly on the wire rack.

Cool completely before storing in air-tight containers.

My thoughts:

Traditionally jumbles are made with dried fruit, nuts and spices. I used dried blueberries (raisins are more typical but they are the devil's fruit), cocoNUT and chocolate because, well, that's what I like and I can. Using fresh tasting, Finlandia Premium Imported Salted Butter gave me a craggy, soft, surprisingly light cookie that everyone who tried it loved. I know it is somewhat unusual to use salted butter in a cookie but jumbles are a historical cookie (think Martha Washington) and salted butter was often used in cookies back then.

I'm not sure if it was the salt or the insanely soft, creamy texture of the butter (made from Finnish cows that their farmers treat like family!) but the dough whipped up super fast and was great to scoop. It didn't get stuck in my cookie scoop once! I can't wait to make these cookies again, maybe swapping the blueberries for cranberries for Thanksgiving?

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Finlandia™ . The opinions and text are all mine.

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November 09, 2016


1 lb kielbasa*, cubed
1/4 cup chopped onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup finely shredded Polish sauerkraut, drained (if needed)
2 cups cubed Russet potatoes, parboiled
1/4 cup sour cream
10 eggs
freshly ground black pepper
olive oil

*I like to use the good garlic-y kind from the Polish grocery but any good, kielbasa would work.


Preheat oven to 350. Saute the kielbasa, onion, and garlic in olive oil until the onion is translucent. Drain off any excess fat. Allow to cool 5-10 minutes.

Meanwhile, beat together the eggs, sour cream, pepper until fluffy. Stir in the sausage mixture, sauerkraut and the potatoes. Oil an 8x8-inch baking dish. Pour the mixture into the dish and bake for 40 minutes or until fully set in the middle. Allow to cool 5 minutes. Slice into 9 squares and serve.

Note: Do not skip the cooling step, it is difficult to cut straight out of the oven.

My thoughts:
I bought some lovely kielbasa at the Polish market (in Broadway Market for the locals) and a bunch of other goodies like candies, arak flavoring, pierogies, ham, sauerkraut, bread etc. Anyway, I may have overbought the sausage so I thought I'd make a frittata out of it, then I wondered if a frittata would be good with sauerkraut in it and then last night it just evolved into a total pierogi-inspired baked frittata. My favorite pierogi have sauerkraut and potatoes in them and I serve them with onions, kielbasa, and sour cream so it made total sense. I know it sounds a little wacky but trust me, it totally comes together! It isn't super sour or anything, just a fun combo of some of my favorite foods in the world.

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