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

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The Best Hearty Soup/Stew/Whatever – Moose Goulash

Moose Goulash | My Blue&White Kitchen

I returned from Spain last Wednesday and was welcomed by chilly weather. My first stop: Starbucks at the airport and "one Pumpkin Spice Latte, please" to prepare myself for the cold air on the other side of the window. Spain was fantastic. How could one not have a great time in bright sunshine amidst dear friends and good food? We cherished the abundance of fresh seafood (pulpo! king prawns! fish! paella!), ordered una botella de vino tinto de la casa almost every night, had tapas and probably the best cocktails in town (I really need to recreate that mint julep). We laughed; we laughed so much and hard that I got a hiccup because of it almost every day (there's a point when it turns from funny to annoying). We worked out on the beach, did yoga on Friday night (followed by a great sourdough pizza so that may just have ruined our karma), tried to learn how to whistle, witnessed the birth of a baby goat (the mama goat's yelling will probably haunt me till the end of my days), danced our way through the days, and sang on the plane. What a great week indeed.

But as I already mentioned, I'm back in the cold, dark north. I need something to warm me up from the inside, and I'm probably not the only one. Guys, may I present to you the most delicious, comforting soup ever made in my kitchen: Moose Goulash! As I was soaking up the sun in Spain last week, my mom bought a piece of moose meat for me to prepare once I returned home. Moose meat is available in fall, during the hunt season that runs from late September through the last day of December. The meat is excellent and doesn't have a strong "gamey" flavor which many people dislike. I remembered spotting a moose goulash from restaurant Tintå (based on the southwest coast, in the city of Turku) in the latest Finnish Glorian Ruoka & Viini magazine and decided to make a goulash inspired by that column.

I was slightly nervous of making and shooting this recipe for the blog because of 1) the lack of light during this season (the goulash needs to simmer for two hours and it's basically impossible to shoot after 3pm = I need to improve on my time management) and 2) my anxiety of shooting rustic food and soups/stews in particular. Despite my worries, I decided to at least try cause I was kind of fascinated by the idea of providing you a moose recipe.

And "ta-da!", here we are! I managed to both get the goulash ready in time (finished shooting at 2.30pm) AND did actually succeed in capturing the dish in all its beauty. I'm not saying that I don't see things to improve in these shots (oh I do!) but they're definitely good enough. This was the first time trying to photograph a dish like this but I guess this is where practice shows its magic; it doesn't really matter what kind of food you shoot, as long as you practice, practice, practice your food photography will improve altogether. I could continue with this talk about how much practice matters when it comes to photography but maybe I'll just leave that for another post. I'm sure you're already eager to see the recipe, right? (Make it, make it, make it! Don't have moose? Use beef!)

Hello moose! Hello juniper berries! Hello comfort!

Moose Goulash

adapted from Glorian Ruoka & Viini 07/2014 by Marko Jaakkola from restaurant Tintå
serves 6–8

This is the perfect soup for chilly days. If you're not able to find moose, use other game or beef instead. Choose a cut of meat that is suitable for stews. I used bottom round but other cuts such as brisket or chuck are great as well. Should you not be able to find juniper berries, leave them out. They're commonly used in game dishes throughout Scandinavia and I strongly recommend you to discover it not only as an ingredient to flavor gin but also as a spice. Although you can buy juniper berries in grocery stores, I prefer to forage them myself in early summer. Pick the dark blue berries (juniper berries get ripe on the third summer; the green ones are still unripe) and dry them before storing.

3 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp sweet smoked paprika
3 garlic gloves, minced
800 g (1.75 pounds) moose (I used bottom round but other cuts such as brisket or chuck are great as well), trimmed and cut into 2 cm / ¾" cubes
2 tbsp light muscovado sugar

½ tsp red pepper flakes
2 bay leaves

2 tbsp finely chopped rosemary
2 tbsp thyme leaves
3 red bell peppers, cut into strips
1 large onion, cut into strips
600 g (1.3 lb) piece of celeriac, cut into strips
680 g (1.5 lb) passata
1 liter (4 cups) beef stock
1 tbsp whole black pepper
½ tbsp juniper berries
1 ½ tsp fine sea salt
1 tsp cinnamon
4 potatoes, peeled & cubed

crème fraîche & flat leaf parsley, to serve

In a large dutch oven or pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the sweet paprika, garlic, and meat cubes and sear, tossing the cubes regularly. Lower the heat and add the sugar and red pepper flakes. Cook for around 5 minutes. Add the bay leaves and half of the rosemary and thyme. Cook for a couple of minutes more. Add the vegetables and cook for a couple of minutes. Add the passata, beef stock, as well as the remaining herbs and spices.

Bring to a simmer and reduce the heat to low. Cover and simmer for 1 ½ to 2 hours, or until the meat is tender. Stir occasionally. Add more water during cooking if necessary.

Add potatoes and cook for further 10 minutes or until cooked.

Serve with crème fraîche and flat leaf parsley. Note: You're not supposed to eat the black pepper and juniper berries (well, you can eat them but the taste won't be that nice as everyone who has bitten on a peppercorn knows). Here in Scandinavia, typically each eater picks out the spices him or herself. However, if you want to be extra nice to your dinner guests, discard the spices before serving.

Needless to say, this soup keeps for days and only gets better and better and better.

Moose Goulash | My Blue&White Kitchen

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Farmers' Market Glory – Summer Potato Salad

Summer Potato Salad | my blue&white kitchen

How can one not be inspired by summer’s bounty? I’m like a kid in a candy shop whenever I visit a farmers’ market these days as I easily get overwhelmed by all the fresh produce: berries, fruit, vegetables, herbs... So much goodness! I’m lucky to live within a short walking distance of not only one but two farmers’ markets, so I try to find my way to them several times a week. You almost never see me leaving without a bagful of green peas (I eat them raw – one of the best things I know), some local strawberries while still in season (they're amazing at the moment), and new potatoes (cause I just can't get enough of their lovely, delicate flavor). Also, I’m addicted to the sweet-like-candy cherry tomatoes that an old lady sells at her stall every summer. They are the best tomatoes I’ve ever tasted, and I never miss the chance to tell her that.

I buy what looks fresh and vibrant, what inspires me the most. When you have great produce at hand, you don’t need to do much to them anymore. Rather, let the textures, flavors, and colors speak their own language. That's my summer cooking philosophy.

Potato salad has always been a summer staple out our home. It's the perfect side dish to accompany grilled meat or fish without having to spend too much time in the kitchen. To be honest, I often make salads on the porch. That way I don't have the feeling I'm trapped inside missing all the fun. Potato salad is also what I most often get asked to bring with me to a summer potluck with friends or family. It's a crowd-pleaser and we rarely end up having leftovers. You would never see mayonnaise in my potato salads as I like to prepare them the way it's done back home in southern Germany with a simple vinaigrette. In this recipe, I added some dijon mustard to the vinaigrette as well as honey which may not be traditional but definitely delicious. Feel free to play around with different vegetables and herbs; use what's in season, what inspires you, or what simply make your mouth water.

Summer Potato Salad | my blue&white kitchen

I’m keeping it short today as the sun is shining so brightly outside and it would be a waste to spend more time sitting here in front of the laptop telling you how wonderful summer evenings are. Go outside, soak up the sun while it's still shining so gleefully! That's exactly what I'm going to do right now.

Summer Potato Salad | my blue&white kitchen

Summer Potato Salad

serves 6 as a side

This salad can be prepared in advance. If doing so, add the radishes, peas, and herbs just before serving or they'll lose their color and/or wilt. You may also need to add some more vinaigrette before serving as the potatoes will probably soak up most of it. Furthermore, if you decide to make the salad in advance, I would let the potatoes cool completely before adding the other vegetables and herbs; you can, however, add the vinaigrette while the potatoes are still warm.

1 kg (2 lb) new potatoes (preferably small ones), scrubbed
2 small cucumbers (I love to use Kirby cucumbers), sliced
1 red scallion, sliced
1 small bunch of pink radishes, cut into sticks
a couple of handfuls of cherry tomatoes, preferably in several colors, cut into wedges
2 ½ dl (1 cup) shelled green peas
a bunch of fresh herbs, such as dill, chive, or parsley, roughly chopped

For the vinaigrette
5 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp dijon mustard
a drizzle of honey or agave nectar
fine sea salt & freshly ground black pepper


Boil the potatoes in salted water until tender. Drain and return the potatoes to the pot. Put the pot back to the stove top and let sit for a while to absorb any water that may still cling to the potatoes and potentially make them soggy. Let the potatoes cool a bit. Halve or slice the potatoes, depending on their size. [note: New potatoes usually have only a very thin skin. Therefore, I prefer them unpeeled.] Add to a big bowl.

To make the vinaigrette, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, mustard, and honey. Season with salt and pepper. Add to the still warm potatoes and mix to combine.

Boil the green peas in salted water for 3 minutes. Drain and rinse under ice cold water to stop them from cooking further as well as to help them keep their bright color.

Add everything to the dressed potatoes and toss gently. Serve with grilled fish or meat.

Summer Potato Salad | my blue&white kitchen

Canada in my Heart - Homemade Apple Butter


Ever since my trip to the Maritimes, fall brings back sweet memories of Canada. Its kind and hospitable people, the breathtaking nature, and the food we enjoyed - scallops on Prince Edward Island, blueberry beer in Saint John, clam chowder on Cape Breton Island, and lobsters in Halifax. We were lucky enough to visit during fall when the trees were on fire. All those colors! What a beautiful region it is. I left a piece of my heart right there at the shores. One day, I'll come back to look how it's doing.

It was in Nova Scotia, in the small town of Baddeck, that I tasted apple butter for the first time in my life. Here in Scandinavia we aren't aware of its existence. Such a shame! I still remember the lovely young shop owner (?) couple. He was totally into hockey and beyond excited when he heard we were from Finland - "the Koivu brothers!". She couldn't stand maple syrup which I though was totally weird. Living in the promised land of maple syrup and not liking it? What a crazy world we're living in.


This is for you, New Brunswick, P.E.I., and Nova Scotia. 


Homemade Apple Butter

yields about 1 liter of apple butter
2,5 kg (5.5 lbs) slightly tangy apples, peeled, cored, & coarsely chopped
250 ml (1 cup) hard cider
1 dl 1 tbsp (½ cup) packed light muscovado {or light brown} sugar 
4 cinnamon sticks
1 tsp ground ginger
¼ tsp ground allspice
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
⅛ tsp ground cloves

Put all the ingredients into a large ovenproof pot. Mix well and cover with a lid. Bring the liquid at the bottom of the pot to a boil and let simmer for 30 minutes, or until the apples are soft and falling apart. Remember to stir occasionally. 

Meanwhile preheat the oven to 150°C (300°F). Place an oven rack in the bottom third of the oven.

Remove the pot from the heat and discard the cinnamon sticks. Pour the applesauce into a blender or use an immersion blender and blend until lump free. {At this stage you have a delicious applesauce. Feel free to stop here and enjoy!} If you used a blender, pour the applesauce and the discarded cinnamon sticks back into the pot.

Place the pot in the preheated oven. Cook, uncovered, for 1 hour. Remember to stir occasionally to prevent any scorching. Discard the cinnamon sticks. Continue cooking the applesauce, stirring every half an hour, for 3-4 more hours, or until it has the desired consistency. As it cooks, the applesauce will slowly thicken and turn into a gorgeous deep red-brown color.

Remove from the oven and store in jars. The apple butter will keep in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks or longer if you decide to can it. {For canning instructions, look at my Queen Jam post.}

Note: The recipe can easily be halved. The cooking time in the oven will reduce to 2-3 hours. 


The first snow was sighted yesterday. Wait, what!?! I'm sure the poor cloud just lost its way. I'm definitely not expecting more snow until November.