I'm Back – Stinging Nettle Pancakes

Stinging Nettle Pancakes | My Blue&White Kitchen

I'm back.

I've probably written this post in my head a thousand times already. There's so much I would like to say but I'm lost for words. To be fully honest with you, although I feel glad to be back, I'm also nervous and anxious. What if someone mirrors my blog again? I'll probably never be free of that fear but I can't let it keep me away from what I love; from this space and community, styling and shooting food, developing recipes and sharing them with you. So here I am. Hi, folks!

Before I start to talk about food, I really have to thank you first. I was really touched by your response to my Facebook update 3 months ago where I explained why I had to take down the blog for the time being. Your support has been amazing. Your comments, emails, DMs, and tweets have shown once more what an incredible community this is. A fellow blogger once said to me in an email that our community is widespread but tight knit and I couldn't agree more. So thank you.

The last couple of weeks, I've been waiting for the perfect recipe to share with you but none felt right. Well, until last week when I made these pancakes after a foraging trip to the woods. I knew this would be a recipe I wanted to share with you.

Stinging nettles are great in things like pesto or paired with butter and cream. I also want to make some nettle gnocchi soon. That said, one of my absolute favorite ways to enjoy this wild plant is in pancakes. Spinach pancakes are popular in the Nordic countries, so it comes naturally to adapt that classic dish and use wild nettles instead of spinach; a perfect dish for lunch or dinner. Nordic pancakes are related to French crêpes in size (although we sometimes make small ones too) and texture. However, we like to fry our pancakes until brown in color. A perfect Nordic pancake should have a lacy, crispy edge.

Spring is the perfect time to forage stinging nettles. If you're new to foraging wild plants, stinging nettles are the perfect plant to begin with; they're easy to identify and grow in abundance. There are a couple of things to keep in mind though. Wear gloves when you pick nettles as they sting when touched. Pick the top four to six leaves of each plant; this way the nettles will regrow all summer long. Don't forage stinging nettles near roads, composts, or possibly polluted areas, as the plants absorb harmful nitrogen from soil and air. Remember to use gloves or tongs when you're handling stinging nettles. You can get rid of the sting by boiling or crushing the plants after which they can be handled without the fear of getting that nasty stinging sensation.

As always when I'm talking about foraging, don't forage or eat any plants, mushrooms, or berries that you can't identify with 100% certainty. This is not the time to experiment as the results may in the worst case be fatal.


Stinging Nettle Pancakes

serves 3 to 4

You can make small or big pancakes; mine were around 10 cm (4") in diameter. If you're using a large frying pan, you can fry several small pancakes at the same time. I like to serve these pancakes with lingonberry or cranberry jam but the topping options are endless; I tried these with sour cream and smoked salmon as well as sprinkled with nothing but sugar and both versions were delicious.

6 dl (2 ½ cups) milk
3 eggs
1 tsp fine sea salt
165 g (3 dl; 1 ¼ cups) all-purpose flour
3 tbsp melted butter
about 1 liter (4 ½ cups) loosely packed stinging nettles, cleaned

butter, for frying

lingonberry or cranberry jam (or any other topping of your choice), to serve


In a medium-sized bowl, combine the milk, eggs, and salt. Whisk to combine. Gradually, add the flour followed by the melted butter. Whisk until the batter is smooth. Let rest at room temperature for half an hour. As the batter rests, bits of butter may rise to the surface. Don't worry; just give the batter a good mix before frying.

Meanwhile, quickly blanch the stinging nettles: bring a large pot of water to a boil, add the stinging nettles, and let boil for 10 to 30 seconds. Remove the stinging nettles and place under cold running water or plunge into ice water. Drain and squeeze the blanched stinging nettles to remove as much water as possible. Chop finely and add to the pancake batter.

To fry the pancakes, heat a frying pan over medium-high heat. Add a knob of butter and a ladle of the batter; we're looking for a relatively thin pancake, about 2 mm in thickness. Fry until set and browned. Flip and fry until the other side is brown as well. Transfer fried pancakes to a plate and continue with the remaining batter. Add a small knob of butter between each pancake.

Serve warm with lingonberry or cranberry jam or toppings of your choice.


Stinging Nettle Pancakes | My Blue&White Kitchen

Related Posts

To Keep "In Shape" – Double Chocolate Muffins with Flaked Sea Salt & Dried Flowers

Double Chocolate Muffins with Flaked Sea Salt & Dried Flowers | My Blue&White Kitchen

Quite often I get asked how I keep "in shape" while I cook, bake, and eat so much. Moderation is of course one thing which I've also talked about here on the blog. It's something I actually don't have to do very consciously as it comes quite naturally to me. The other thing I usually mention is that I hardly ever eat any processed food and don't buy sweets and baked stuff (except croissants and ice cream). I make them at home. Craving pizza? I make it from scratch. Chocolate? Homemade chocolate cake it is. Partly this has to do with the fact that I just freakin' love standing in the kitchen. At least most of the time. Furthermore, we haven't a takeout culture here in Finland and, hence, there aren't that many places that offer great takeout food. And what about processed food? Well, it's primarily a question of personal preference. It doesn't taste good. Not to me at least. And because I live to eat rather than eat to live and because I basically belong to that range of people who rather skip a meal than eat something that's crap (not entirely sure how good a thing that is), I very rarely buy or eat any convenience food.

So yes, I eat butter, sugar, and meat. And yes, I love a good loaf of bread. I'm not following a special diet. I don't have a list of forbidden food. I eat. A lot. Occasionally, such as last week, I go and get a burger. But still, I'm eating (to my standards) pretty healthy and consciously and, thus, manage to stay "in shape". I know that eating this way doesn't come naturally to all of us. Many of us struggle. I struggle sometimes too.

So how to find balance? I'm afraid I don't have an answer to this question. I only have a couple of thoughts. Listen to your body. Listen to your mind. What do they, and ultimately you, crave? What makes them, and ultimately you, feel good? Be interested in what you put in your mouth. Think seasonally. Think locally. Discover. How does a fresh tomato that has grown in soil taste like? How does a simple soup made from scratch differ from a canned one? Trial and error. Get connected. Share. Gather in the kitchen and around the table. Create memories around food. Get back to the roots. Think simpler.

So what has this all to do with chocolate muffins? Well, they too were created because I 1) craved chocolate (the ultimate way to beat winter blues) and 2) knew that a chocolate bar or a bought chocolate muffin wouldn't do. Originally, I didn't plan to sprinkle dried flowers on top. But as I pulled the muffins out of the oven and saw the sun shining through the windows, I felt like dried flower petals would be perfect. A layer of white snow is still covering the fields and hills, but spring lingers in the air. There's light. There's hope.

Double Chocolate Muffins with Flaked Sea Salt & Dried Flowers | My Blue&White Kitchen

Double Chocolate Muffins with Flaked Sea Salt & Dried Flowers

makes 16–18 medium-sized muffins

This recipe can easily be halved. You can use whatever dried flowers you have on hand. I used a mix of hibiscus, elderflower, cornflower, lavender, orange blossom, thyme flower, viola, erica, and yarrow. The recipe calls for buttermilk. Should buttermilk not be easy to come by where you live, you can make your own: stir 1 tbsp lemon juice into 1 cup milk and let the mixture sit in room temperature for 5 to 10 minutes. The milk should now have thickened slightly and have small curdled bits in it. If you live in Scandinavia, you can use filmjölk.

2 tbsp cocoa powder
250 g (4 ½ dl; 2 cups minus 1 ½ tbsp) all-purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp fine sea salt
2 eggs
175 g (2 dl; ¾ cup plus 2 tbsp) granulated sugar
½ dl (1 cup) buttermilk
180 g bittersweet chocolate (70 % cocoa), melted & cooled 
90 g bittersweet chocolate (70 % cocoa), roughly chopped
115 g (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted & cooled to room temperature

flaked sea salt, to sprinkle on top
optional: dried flowers, to sprinkle on top


Preheat oven to 175°C (350°C).

In a medium bowl, combine cocoa powder, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.  Line the inside of 16 to 18 muffin cups with muffin liners.

In a stand mixer at high speed, beat the eggs and sugar until light and fluffy. Turn the speed to low, and gradually add buttermilk, melted butter, and melted chocolate. At this point, the batter may look curdled. Don't worry, it's normal. Add the flour mixture and mix until just combined.

Divide batter among muffin liners, filling each ¾ full. Top with coarsely chopped chocolate. Bake for 15–18 minutes or until a cake tester inserted near the center comes out clean.

Sprinkle with flaked sea salt and dried flowers of your choice.


Double Chocolate Muffins with Flaked Sea Salt & Dried Flowers | My Blue&White Kitchen

Related Posts

Whipped Cranberry Porridge (The Prettiest Porridge Ever) & A Guest Post For A Cup Of Jo

Whipped Cranberry Porridge | My Blue&White Kitchen

Maybe you have followed me for long enough that you remember my post about Whipped Lingonberry Porridge almost a year ago as a "this-is-not-a-Valentine's-Day-recipe-although-it's-pink" thing. This time, I'm following my traditions with not being into Valentine's Day and blaming coincidence (or faith?) for me sharing a pink dish only a week before that said lovers' day. But here I am. And here it is. Whipped berry porridge - one of my most favorite breakfasts/midday snacks/Nordic fairs/berry power bowls.

As I realize that lingonberries are a Nordic (hello there Ikea!) or at least European thing, I recreated this old favorite with cranberries. Both the taste and color are almost identical to the more traditional version, so this porridge could still be seen as being highly authentic. Well, at least sans the toppings. The toppings are a modern twist on the dish. I love toppings, so I really like to add some texture and flavor to this pink breakfast bowl.

I'm also on A Cup of Jo this week sharing this porridge as part of the weekly food series. I discovered Joanna's site a couple of years ago and have been a regular reader ever since. There are always so many exciting links and reads, and I always leave feeling inspired. I especially remember this hair tutorial post (when I still had long enough hair to do awesome things like that... now all I do is this), these cute faces, and how Molly's egg-in-a-hole was a life-changing discovery. So yeah, I'm pretty excited to contribute and maybe inspire others in the same way as I have been inspired.

Hop on over to A Cup of Jo to read more about the porridge!


Whipped Cranberry Porridge

serves 4 to 6

As I don't like to start my day with a breakfast loaded with sugar and as I want to keep some of that lovely tartness cranberries are known for, this porridge isn't very sweet. Feel free to add more sugar to taste. However, remember that the milk will balance out some of the tartness. Chilling the porridge is crucial – you won't be able to whip it probably if it's still warm. 

8 dl (3 ¼ cups) water
250 g (4 ½ dl; 2 cups) frozen (or fresh) cranberries
pinch of fine sea salt
100–150 g (1 ¼–1 ¾ dl; ½–¾ cup) granulated sugar, depending on your taste
120 g (1
½ dl; ⅔ cup) farina (Cream of Wheat)

milk of your choice, to serve
optional: toppings of your choice


In a medium pot, combine the water and cranberries. Bring to a boil and boil for 10 to 15 minutes.

Add the salt and sugar. Gradually whisk in the farina. Depending on how long your farina needs to be cooked, let simmer for 5 to 10 minutes stirring constantly. Taste and add more sugar if desired. Remove the pot from the heat and let the porridge cool to room temperature.

When the porridge has cooled to room temperature, whisk until light and fluffy. The color will turn from magenta to light pink.

Serve at room temperature or cold with milk and toppings of your choice.

The porridge can be stored in the fridge for a couple of days. For the perfect texture, whisk it again before serving.


Whipped Cranberry Porridge | My Blue&White Kitchen

Related posts

January Love&Inspiration

My Blue&White Kitchen

It's still winter and yet I can feel spring in the air. The light is changing which at this latitude mainly means that we're finally getting to see the sun more often. This week, I was totally amazed to notice that it wasn't dark outside at 2:30pm! I may or may not have danced a happy dance. Anyway, I'm looking forward to those sunny February days and walks on frozen lakes. After that, I'm ready to welcome spring.

I'm wishing you all a great weekend and to all my pals in North America a fun Super Sunday!


What has inspired me lately...
 

» Glorious, Green Minestrone with Kale Pistachio Pesto

» So glad I stumbled upon Renée Kemps' gorgeous blog! (Thanks to the interview she did on Food Bandits!)

» This Smokey Shrimp Chowder must be cooked asap. And this Oxtail Macaroni Gratin.

» Sarah of The Vanilla  Bean Blog is working on her first cookbook! It's about baking. Obviously. *crazyexcited*

» Two takes on winter citrus: ricotta crêpes and an upside down cake + I have to make this blood orange marmelade (thanks, Suvi of Suvi Sur Le Vif!)

» Pure Green Magazine isn't only a really fabulous magazine about thoughtful, green, and sustainable living but they also have an inspiring podcast! So far, I've especially enjoyed the episodes with Huckle&Goose (they offer curated seasonal meal plans and I've been honored to work with; they're featuring my Nordic Pea Soup this week!), Lindsey Love of Dolly and Oatmeal and Laura Wright of The First Mess.

» Lindsey, one of the ladies in this food blogging community who inspires me the most, is also working on her debut cookbook! I'm 100% sure that I'm gonna madly fall in love with it. (no pressure, friend!)

» Awesomeness in a bowl vol. 1 by Reclaiming Provencial and vol. 2 by Fairing Well

» Please tell me you've already discovered From The Kitchen, a gorgeous NZ-based food blog

» Some recipes from the web that I've tried this month and that are worth mentioning: Turmeric-Miso Soup, Spicy Red Lentil Stuffed Bell Peppersshakshuka (recipe can also be found in David Lebovitz's My Paris Kitchen), naan, and chocolate granola (that's what I'm having in the pics!).

» I'm a sucker for Irish Coffee, so this would be perfect for summer: Dublin Iced Coffee

» I want something like this

» GRANOLA!! Cranberry Orange Granola from Cookie & Kate & Granola with Earl Grey (!!) Flavor from What Should I Eat For Breakfast Today

» Love the feel of Ordinary Daze, a new, inspiring blog 

» Are you trying to nail down the perfect sourdough bread loaf? I think this guide on The Clever Carrot is fabulous!

» Savoy Cabbage Strudel + a video to get lost in

» I love Belén's work and I'm beyond excited to see her on Freunde von Freunden sharing her gorgeous meals with us.

» Oy, Finnish followers! Be sure to listen to Helsingin Ruokaradio every Tuesday at 5pm on Radio Helsinki. This far, I've really enjoyed the show!

» Also mainly for my Finnish followers, check out the Finnish band ELE (the singer is Eva Louhivuori, better known from the duo Eva&Manu), who are bringing out their debut album this February, and their song Kun Kello Seisoo. I love it and am looking forward to seeing them live on stage.


My Blue&White Kitchen

And here follows the obligatory & most exciting question of all: what are you cooking/baking this weekend? I'm making pizza with Jim Lahey's no-knead pizza dough! Toppings? At least a variation of the following: prosciutto, chorizo, mozzarella, ricotta, and arugula. Maybe some caramelized fennel too?


Related Posts

Morning Glory – Oeufs en Cocotte with Spinach & Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Oeufs en Cocotte with Spinach & Sun-Dried Tomatoes | My Blue&White Kitchen

For a couple of months now, I've bought most of the eggs I use in my kitchen from a farmer for whom his chickens' health and what they eat are the number-one priority. The chickens can roam freely and have the option to go outdoors 365 days a year. These chickens can smell the first greens of spring, feel the warm summer sun on their skin, watch the days get shorter in fall, and experience the beauty of the white Nordic winters. And you can taste all of that in the eggs. The yolks are deep yellow in color and the texture is creamy; they're the best eggs I've eaten.

I'm happy that I've found a product that matches my idea of ethical and sustainable living and consumption, tastes delicious, and is an excellent example of the farm-to-table movement. My money goes directly to the farmer which is, as I believe, the best scenario for both the consumer and the producer. And you know, happy chickens.

For over a decade, I've only bought organic eggs or, better still, eggs from a local, small farmer where I can be sure that the chickens are being ethically raised and held. Standards of how chickens must be held to be called "organic" or "free-range" vary from one country to another, and I encourage you to do some research on what those terms really mean should you be interested in where your eggs come from. Naturally, the same applies to all animal products and, well, to produce in general.

Be interested, care, ask.

If you live in Southern Finland and are interested in ethically raised, fresh eggs, join the Facebook group and check out the dates. The farmer drives around Southern Finland on a regular basis selling his products.

After my love letter to eggs, I should come up with a dish that puts them into good use, right? So today, I'm sharing a recipe for Oeufs en cocotte, one of the fanciest sounding yet easy and quick to prepare dishes for breakfast or brunch. I mean, we could talk about baked eggs but who wants to call them by that name, especially when they have such a fancy sounding French name? This is a dish that makes your guests look at you in awe, sing an ode to the beauty of eggs, and ask for the recipe. You think I'm exaggerating? Try it yourself.

I first stumbled upon this French breakfast classic on either Béa's or Aran's blog and have been an avid fan of this luscious dish ever since. Oeufs en cocotte can be adapted to one's liking and the season. The possibilities are endless! Look what's in your fridge and get inspired by the produce of the season. Last week, I had spinach which I wanted to use up. The idea of tomatoes crossed my mind, so I grabbed a glass of sun-dried tomatoes for a dose of sunshine (cause fresh tomatoes are obviously not in season). Créme fraîche works really nice, especially during the colder months as it makes the dish extra creamy and comforting, so I decided to use some.

The result was a lovely breakfast; one that I couldn't wait to share with you.


Oeufs en Cocotte with Spinach & Sun-Dried Tomatoes

serves 2

1 tbsp olive oil
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 large handful (1 lightly packed cup) spinach, washed
4 sun-dried tomatoes, diced
2 tbsp crème fraîche
2 eggs
4 tsp heavy cream
fine sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
nutmeg
a bit of finely sliced scallions

Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F). Butter or oil two ovenproof ramekins.

In a skillet over medium-high heat, sauté the crushed garlic and spinach until spinach starts to wilt. Add a pinch of salt and the sun-dried tomatoes. Remove skillet from heat. Discard the garlic glove.

Put a layer of crème fraîche in each ramekin and top with the spinach mixture. Crack an egg in each ramekin. Pour 2 tsp of heavy cream over each egg white avoiding the egg yolks. Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Finish with finely sliced scallions.

To make a water bath, put the ramekins in a baking dish. Place the baking dish on the middle rack of the oven. Pour steaming hot water (hot tap water works fine!) into the baking dish to reach halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the egg whites are set but the yolks are still runny. Serve warm.


Oeufs en Cocotte with Spinach & Sun-Dried Tomatoes | My Blue&White Kitchen

Related Posts