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Wiener piglets


Another guest post by Sander.

(btw, Sander’s opinion on ketchup is not mine!!!)

Wieners – or hot dogs, as they are known in the United States – are nice-tasting fully cooked sausages. You can do about ten thousand foods with them – use as a meat in salads, boil, fry with eggs, make sandwiches… sky is the limit!

But since childhood, my favorite way of making wieners is wiener piglets – incredibly easy to make, great-tasting and great-looking food. I think half of my relatives come to the parties held at my parents just to get cheese’n’mayo sandwiches and wiener piglets…

Wiener piglets are especially popular with kids – they look good (click on the picture to see larger version), have a funny name and taste great. And – kids can actually help to make them.

But how?

You take the sausage, cut a small cross in the end – about an inch deep – and put to hot oven (around 200..250 degrees Celsius). Depending on the type of sausages, they will take 10 to 20 minutes until ready – when the puffy ends start to get brown, they are done.

And that is it, all ready to eat. You can have them separately or as a side dish for salad/rice/potatoes. If you have crappy sausages or dead taste buds, you can use ketchup or mayo on them.


Hot milk with honey


Everybody has bad memories about their childhood, when they were forced to drink hot milk with honey and onions… ewwwwwww!!

But do try it without onions – just milk and honey. It is incredibly good – and also, the one and only effective cure for sore throat.

Under no circumstances, do not try it with lukewarm milk. That tastes just disgusting. Use hot, almost boiling milk – and drink it with a straw. Yummy healthy goodiness!

Do not add honey to the milk before heating, especially if you use microwave oven to heat the milk. Microwave radiation breaks down enzymes in the honey and diminishes its healing effect.

Usually, one cup (~0.24 liters) of milk goes perfectly together with one tablespoonful of honey. Stir, get a straw, go sit on your sofa – and feel how your sore throat, cough and runny nose are going away. And for a change, medicine doesn’t taste bad, instead it tastes incredibly yummy!

Roosamanna (Semolina Pudding) (Our Thanksgiving dessert)

Thanksgiving dessert is traditionally pumpkin pie.  I was all prepared to make it for our Thanksgiving – all the ingredients purchased and ready to go… that is until my son insisted on Roosamanna.  It’s a simple dessert, and one that has become a favorite for both of us.

Roosamanna is an Estonian dish that a friend, (Thank you, S), introduced me to about a year ago, and it’s become very, very requested by my son.  It’s probably one of the most simple things to make – made with semolina, milk, and a favorite flavor of jam.

Semolina is basically just coarsely ground durum wheat.  Most will probably know semolina as the main ingredient in pastas, and in Italian bread, but semolina has so many uses.  It’s used in various forms — finely ground, lightly ground, roughly or coarsely ground, and in every different kind of recipe….  Everything from the above mentioned pasta and bread, but also pies, pastries, hush puppies, pizza dough, puddings, cakes.. and on and on. 

In the US, most people will find semolina in the cereal isle under the brand names “Farina” or “Cream of Wheat”.  It can also be found in markets that sell grains loosely packed, or sold by weight.  I usually use “Cream of Wheat” to make Roosamanna – and only the long cooking, or 2 1/2 minute version — /never/ the quick cooking or instant.

Enjoy :)

Roosamanna (Semolina Pudding)

2 Cups Milk
1/4 cup Sugar
1/2 cup Jam of choice
1/3 cup Semolina (2 1/2 Minute Cream of Wheat)
1/4-1/2 cup of Milk

Bring milk, sugar and jam to just under a boil slowly, stirring constantly. 

Sprinkle semolina into milk, mixing thoroughly and continue to stir.  Stir until semolina is cooked and the mixture well incorporated – about 6 minutes.

Set aside and allow to cool for about 20 minutes.  The mixture should still be slightly warm, (body temp).

Using a hand mixer, or a whisk, mix for 8-12 minutes, until mixture changes color and lightens and becomes foamy.

Now.. you can either serve this warm, as it is now, or allow to chill for a couple of hours.  I really love this served cold, with milk and fresh fruit , using same fruit as the jam used.

(That is one version of the recipe.. for another one, try naminami.)


I almost always make this with raspberry jam, served with fresh raspberries, and a bit of whipped cream.  I have garnished this with shredded chocolate as well.

I made this with bananas the last time I made this recipe — I mashed a banana well, with a bit of milk before cooking,  and then garnished with fresh slices of bananas. 

This could just as easily be made with chocolate, adding some walnuts — the thought of that just sounds so yummy.

Buckwheat Porridge – recipe by DukeLupus

(Updated November 27, 2008)

Buckwheat used to be hugely popular in the United States – buckwheat.jpgit was grown on more then 4000 km2 in 1918, but then its popularity declined sharply. It is still extremely popular in North and East Europe.

If you live in the U.S., it might be a problem finding buckwheat at the market – most markets don’t carry it or have just the pre-cooked stuff – stay away from that, it tastes like someone already ate it once and didn’t like it. You might get lucky in stores that specialize in health foods or Russian/Eastern Europe food; ask for full buckwheat groats, not flour.

Easiest and most common way to prepare buckwheat is to make buckwheat porridge – which is really, really delicious.

What you’ll need is 300 grams/10 ounces of buckwheat, some salt and butter. Heat an empty pot on the stove, wash the buckwheat with cold water and pour it into the empty pot. Add a big spoonful of butter and roast the concoction for five to ten minutes while mixing it every few minutes – it will smell delicious while you do that. You can skip the roasting, but that way the porridge doesn’t become too soft – babies will like it without roasting more, I think.


Buckwheat Porridge - Photo by Sander Säde, 2008

Add salt and then carefully pour water into the pot. I recommend that you pre-heat the water, that way it will boil faster. You?ll need about 1 liter/0.25 gallons of water.

Boil the porridge for about 30-40 minutes, mixing it every once in a while, especially towards the end. You can add some more butter, too. The porridge is ready when all of the water has been absorbed. Let it sit for five minutes or so and serve with butter on top.

This amount will serve 3-4 people, but you may want to make more of buckwheat porridge than that. Not only does it stay fresh very well in the fridge or windowsill, it will taste even better afterwards when fried in a pan – you can add bits of sausages when frying. I recommend frying it with corn oil, but try it with bacon as well.


Besides the porridge, you can make buckwheat pancakes, buckwheat noodles (both require buckwheat flour, not full groats) – and they even do gluten-free buckwheat beer.

This recipe was shared, and picture taken, by DukeLupus (Sander Säde) – his blog …meie igapaevast IT’d anna meile igapaev… and ..pühapäevafotod..

Cheesy Goodness


Cheese sandwiches, Photo by Sander Säde

One of my favorite comfort foods has no real name.. at least, not that I know of. We just call them “cheese-mayo-sour-cream sandwiches”.

I got this recipe from Sander, who likes them quite a lot, and has been making them since he was in pre-school. I have become rather addicted to these little yummy things. Mmmmy cheesey goodness!

There are no real measurements with this recipe – experiment with what works best for you, and what tastes best to you.

Cheese-Mayo-Sour Cream-Sandwiches

Grated cheese ? Use one or more of your favorite cheeses. I use Cheddar, Monterey, Gouda, American ? any kind of cheese will work. I often mix different cheeses together for this recipe ? A bit of cheddar, a bit of munster, a bit of cream cheese, a bit of parmesan. No real rules to the type of cheese that can be used. However, Bleu styled cheeses don?t work well in this application

Sour cream – about 1/2 a cup

Mayo – about 1/2 a cup – though I usually use 2/3 a cup myself, as I like the flavor

Any type of seasoning you like ? Dill, curry, red pepper flakes, garlic – try your favorites

Bread ? I often have used white, wheat, italian, french or challah to make this – use your favorite

Mix everything together and spread it on bread. Bake at 400F until cheese is bubbly and golden brown.

Serve immediately.

Store these in plastic wrap or foil in the refrigerator. Re-heat in the oven at 400F until warmed through or serve cold.
Some variations and additions:

Add a bit of salami, pepperoni, diced ham or chicken to the mix

A thin sliced tomato

Thin sliced black olives

Leftover sausage, crumbled

Try different types of cheeses and seasonings.. for example, try Parmesan, Romano, Mozzarella and garlic.

Thanks to Sander for the included picture