Blini in the sunset

A couple of weeks ago my husband made his annual hunting trip to the Swedish Lapland. This time it was only three gentlemen and three dogs as the rest had conflicting schedules. In the north where they were, the foliage on the ground was starting to turn colors while the trees were quite green. I have been impressed as they do real cooking everyday. They usually make one crockpot meal and on other days they might make premium burgers that would make a fast food burger pale in comparison or roast chicken. Yes, the meals tend to be quite masculine in that they have plenty of meat but on the other hand they are trekking in the forest of the nordic fell all day and eat their main meal after they return to the cabin. The time that the ladies came along two years ago, we were served plenty of greens. So I suppose their meals are quite well balanced. That time as well, they took care of the meal planning and cooking. It was a true vacation.tunturin syksy Since I began blogging a little over two years ago, this has become a family project. So my husband took these photos of northern Sweden for me to share. Back at home we had an abundance of apples received from friends and coworkers. Our three little apple trees were just planted this summer and fall and so it will be some time before they grow to become good climbing trees full of fruit. Some of the apples were pressed for fresh apple cider and some apple sauce was made in the crockpot and a couple of apple crisps were made as well. Did you notice the apple that jumped out of the basket and rolled across the patio? This time I happened to be at the right place at the right time and snap the shot as well. It doesn’t always quite work out that way.

jumping applesWhile the men were gone we enjoyed a meal of what I thought was Blini but was actually Oladji, as one dear reader pointed out in the comments. Blini are the thin and crêpe-like and Oladji are thick and hearty. Mine were the thick and hearty version and served with savory fillings might be just the perfect meal after a hunting or fishing trip. I used only buckwheat which makes them completely gluten-free but if preferred you may subsitute some of the buckwheat flour with regular wheat flour. The dough is thick and includes yeast and must be made into a large bowl as it will rise and be full of air bubbles.

blini doughThe reason why I thought these would be a perfect part of their menu repertoire is that the dough can be mixed in the early morning and then placed into the fridge for the day to rise. Then when they make their way back to the cabin in the evening, only a hot griddle is needed with some butter and a savory topping that can be easily mixed by the others while one fries.

bliniIn Russia, these round blini symbolize the sun and are quite rich. Traditionally they are served before Lent with melted butter, sour cream, caviar, jam and really, the list could go on. I served my blini with shrimp and a dollop of sour cream that had a bit of red onion and dill in it. You could use your imagination and serve your blini with what suits your fancy.


Blini or more correctly Oladji    gluten-free (makes about 15)

recipe from Viljatuote buckwheat package

3 dl/ 1 and 1/3 c Greek or Turkish yoghurt
15 g/ 1/2 oz yeast (I used fresh yeast)
2 dl/ just under 1 cup buckwheat flour
1 tsp sugar
1 dl/ just under 1/2 c hot milk
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp melted butter
1 yolk
1 egg white

Warm the yoghurt until it is luke warm. Stir in the yeast until it is dissolved and then add the buckwheat flour and sugar. Allow the dough to rise for a couple of hours at room temperature or for longer in the refrigerator. Before frying the pancakes add the hot milk, salt, melted butter, egg yolk. Whip the egg white until fluffy and fold into the batter. Fry the blini in a knob of butter at low temperature in a frying pan or a blini pan. Serve hot with a topping of your choice.


2 dl/1 c sour cream
juice from a half of a lemon
1 small red onion, finely chopped
small handful of dill, finely chopped
black pepper


Mix all of the ingredients except for the shrimp. Spoon a large spoonful of sour cream topping on the blini and serve with shrimp.

sunset in swedennordic fellswedish lapland landscape


  1. Yes, a table of colors, with a little bit of everything beautiful! Northern traditions, family, food, friendship, and stunning scenes of your beautiful country. Thank you!

  2. Wonderful! What an amazing photo of your daughter with her little tiny apple shaped red beads and the apple jumping out of the basket. Thank you Laila.Thanks to your husband too!

    1. I didn’t realize that the timing had been that perfect as I left run after the runaway apple. Later as I looked at the photos I noticed the jumping apple, perfectly in mid-air. 🙂 Have you made blini before?

  3. Buckwheat blinis are delicious and I really like the look of your recipe here. I plan to do tis as soon as I get hold of some buckwheat flour. Hmm, caviar, dill, smoked slamon, sour cream. I would like some of these right now.

    1. Funny you said that, because that has been my experience as well. This recipe was simple enough that I felt it would be easy to recreate time and time again. Thanks for stopping by Suzanne!

  4. Sounds good and lovely photos of the northern wilderness…how does one find their way?! Not a blink as the apple jumped…cool one:) So cute…

    1. They use a compass and a map and nowadays you can download a gps app on your smart phone and use that…but Antti prefers to do it the old-fashioned way. And yes, Cool is her middle name…doesn’t get flustered too easy. 🙂

  5. I so enjoy your posts, especially since I know that we grew up in the same area, where no on knew anything at all about buckwheat, and still we both found its merits. I’ve made pancakes in the upstate new york style; looking forward to trying your version.

      1. It’s simply a pancake made with wheat flour and buckwheat (and a bit of baking powder to make it puff) with maple syrup. I’ll try to remember to look up our recipe…

        I’ve been getting into pancakes and flatbreads lately; such a wholesome-simple way to eat grain, when all the packaged world is stuffing “bread” full of additives.

    1. Maybe I should have the apple shot printed for our kids’ gallery upstairs in their room as it includes some of their artwork, candid shots and school pictures as well. Thank you so much for stopping by Gallivanta!

  6. Peaceful and quiet place on the pictures. Nicely done.
    Usually, blini in Russia associated with crepe-like things with big diameter. Dough for them is prepared with the fresh milk. Another thing pancake-like is Oladji. Dough is prepared with the buttermilk. They are thick and small in diameter. I’ve seen that and eaten many times by visiting Russia. That’s what I know from my experience.

    1. Thank you for the clarification…so the recipe above would be correctly called Oladji…I will have to make that change. 🙂 Often right before Lent, many restaurants serve Oladji…but they are called Blini on their menus. Perhaps that is one reason for my confusion.

      1. Sorry, I did not have in mind to confuse you. Russia is a huge country and in different part of it people call the same product differently. However Blini is most known and wide used landmark name and recipe.

      2. No worries…it happens here in Finland as well. 🙂 Rieska in the north is a flatbread and in the East it is a thick bread made with yeast. So I can definitely imagine that a country as large as Russia has different traditions in different areas. Thank you for bringing it up, I’m learning something everyday 🙂

  7. Love the flying apple 🙂
    Also love that your husband contributed photos to this post – beautiful shots. I’ve never made authentic blinis with yeast before (mine are always the faux type, really just mini pancakes). Very intrigued to give your recipe a go, especially knowing the batter can rest in the fridge until required.

    1. 🙂 Thank you…I’ll pass the compliments to him. Let me know how they turn out if you have a chance to give the recipe to go. I made a double batch for our family. I read somewhere that they freeze very well. They could easily be slipped into the toaster to defrost for later use on a busy morning.

    1. I can imagine that New Hamphsire is beautiful. There are so many places in the USA that I would love to visit. Perhaps we will have to make a goal that on every trip we visit one new place.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s