December 28, 2013

Good times!

December 27, 2013

I love the preparations of a party almost as much as the celebration itself. Ironing the table cloth, setting the table, planning the menu, all the baking. It's my birthday today and we're celebrating tomorrow over breakfast. Today it's me and good music and some sparkling in the kitchen. I'm feeling so loved with all the heartfelt birthday wishes!

"Every year you grow, you will find me bigger." (Aslan to Lucy in "Prince Caspian" by C.S. Lewis)

December 26, 2013

The Green Kitchen Project, recipe no.9

Sometimes words feel inadequate. Like when you really want to thank somebody. Susanna and Mariia have seen so much of the good and the bad and they've been there for me lately when I've really needed them. My way of saying thank you was breakfast.


(serves 2-4)

200g blueberries (fresh or thawed if frozen)
240ml oats
1/2tsp baking powder
1/4 ground ginger
a good pinch of salt
1 egg
250ml milk
a pinch of pure powdered vanilla
40g hazel nuts
40g pumpkin seeds
1tbsp coconut oil
30ml maple syrup

Combine oats, baking powder and salt in a bowl. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs, add milk and whisk well to combine. For the crunchy top layer mix syrup, coconut oil, hazel nuts and pumpkin seeds with your fingers.

Grease a baking dish with coconut oil and spread the blueberries on the bottom. Spoon the oat mixture on the blueberries and then pour the egg mixture over the oats so that everything is evenly soaked. Sprinkle the seed and nut mixture on top and bake in 190 celsius for 25 – 35 minutes (when ready the oatmeal should be set and the nuts and seeds lightly browned and crunchy). Leave to cool slightly before serving.

I quite liked this! I think I'll substitute pumpkin seeds with sunflower seeds next time as their taste is more subtle. And I am tempted to try this version as well.

December 23, 2013

I hope you all have a blessed, wonderful Christmas time. (Remember to tell your family and friends how much you love and appreciate them!) I pray nobody's lonely or burdened. There's hope, there's always hope and good things coming in abundance!

(I've got the last batch of saaristolaisleipä (malt bread) in the oven and while waiting for them to rise I made raw cacao macaroons from Oh, Ladycakes that I've been meaning to make for a long time. Oh boy. Mums!)

December 17, 2013

"To me, hospitality is key to inviting people into your life - to opening yourself up to be inspired by their amazingness. Everyone who passes through my home is offered tea, coffee, cake, dinner, something! It is an invitation not just to be satiated but also to be a part of my life - to be someone who incites me to do good and allows me to do the same for them."
(Saer Richards)

December 14, 2013

My nephew turns 12 today. I love him and his brown eyes, his tender heart and his curiosity in the kitchen! (The photo is shot in the summer of 2005, on film, naturally.)

December 11, 2013

Oh presents! Oh Henna!

December 10, 2013

Though I'd forgotten that Henna has sugar in her morning tea and she was shocked to find out I've started to drink my coffee black, spending time with a good friend from afar is always like coming home. We ate lots of good food, marvelled at the christmas lights downtown, had coffee at Johan & Nyström (because I knew she'd fall in love with the interiors) and just took it really easy.


(makes 8-10)

400ml wheat flour
2tsp baking powder
0,5tsp salt
1,5tbsp light cane sugar
60g butter
175ml milk
1 egg

Combine flour, baking powder, salt and sugar in a bowl. Add cold butter in cubes and rub it in with your fingers until the mixture looks like fine crumbs. Add cold milk and stir just until smooth. Roll the dough on a floured surface until it's 1,5 to 2cm thick and cut scones out of it with a 6cm round cutter. Gather the edges and roll them out once more to get the rest of the scones. Brush the tops with beaten egg. Bake in 200 celsius for about 10 minutes, until risen and slightly golden on the top. Serve fresh with this amazing lingonberry curd Krisse made when we last were at her place or with jam (I found blackberry Bonne Maman!) & whipped cream and bacon & eggs like me and Henna did now. How can something so simple be so freaking tasty?

(And oh, look at that amazing carpet mom made for me!)

December 4, 2013

These days are slow and calm. It's good.


(makes 12-16 muffins)

480ml almond flour
1 heap tsp cinnamon
1tsp salt
2tsp baking powder
240ml soft dried dates, pitted
3 ripe bananas
3 organic eggs
60ml coconut oil, melted
1stp apple cider vinegar
360ml carrots, grated
150ml almonds, chopped (plus some for garnish)

Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Mix dates, bananas, eggs, vinegar and oil in a food processor until fully combined and smooth.
Add the mixture to the dry ingredients and mix with a spatula. Fold in carrots and almonds. Spoon mixture into paper lined muffin tins and sprinkle chopped almonds on top. Bake in 175 celsius for 25 minutes (baking time might vary a little depending on the size of your muffins).

These muffins are perfect for breakfast or a snack as they have no sugar or white flour in them. (They're adapted a little from a paleo recipe.) They also freeze well. I've made these both with very fine almond flour and much coarser almond meal; fine flour makes the muffins quite dense whereas coarser meal makes them very moist and light. I reckon a blend of the two would be perfect! I've also sometimes replaced carrot with apple, works really well!

December 1, 2013

The Green Kitchen Project, recipe no.8

Good things often come about slowly. You should know by now that I really like spending lots of time in the kitchen: have good music playing, put effort into what I'm going to serve, try new things and watch something (in my opinion) almost magical take place as simple ingredients turn out into tasty, nourishing and comforting pastries and dishes. This is one those 24-hour projects but it actually requires more time than work.


(makes 1 loaf)

190g whole rye grains
60g sunflower seeds
500ml boiling water
250ml plain yoghurt, at room temperature
3tbsp clear honey
1tbsp sea salt
1tbsp fennel seeds
125g dried cranberries (optional)
5tbsp carob powder (or cacao powder)
4tsp dried yeast
400g whole rye flour
150g whole spelt flour
60g light spelt flour

Place the rye grains and sunflower seeds in a bowl and cover with the boiling water. Let sit for 15 minuten, then add the yoghurt, honey, salt, fennel seeds, cranberries and carob powder and stir with a wooden spoon. Use your finger to test the temperature of the mixture - it should be just warm. Stri in the yeast. Then add rye flour and stir until you have a smooth batter. Cover the bowl with clingfilm and leave for 1 hour at room temperature, until the dough is slightly bubbly.

Gradually add in enough of the spelt flour to form a dough. Turn out onto a floured work surface (I skipped this step, for I find that rye bread doughs are next to impossible to remove from your work surfaces, and kneaded in the bowl instead). Knead for about 5 minutes, adding the remaining spelt flour until it is firmer, but still slightly sticky and quite heavy. Form it into a ball and return to the bowl. Slap some water on the top with your hands. Cover with clingfilm and place in the fridge for 8-10 hours or overnight.

Place the dough into an oiled loaf tin and press down with your fists to get rid of any air pockets. The dough should be quite sticky. Brush the top with water and dust it with rye flour. Cover with a kitchen towel and set aside to rise slightly for 2 hours.

Bake the loaf on the slowest shelf of the oven in 200 celsius for 1 hour. Turn off the heat and leave the loaf in the oven for further a 15 minutes. Remove from the tin and leave to cool on a wire rack for at least 4 hours. This is important to allow the bread to set, which makes it easier to cut. Keep for about a week.

My loaf ended up a little underdone; I felt the dough could have taken in more flour but I wanted to give it a chance since I hadn't made this bread earlier and I didn't really know how it should be like. (Also longer time in the oven could maybe have solved the problem though I already gave it some: after turning the heat off and the 15 minutes I had it in the oven without the tin for a further 8 minutes.) The bread didn't hold together very well when cut in slices, though I waited the 4 hours. Maybe I should've waited more? But it tasted really good and had a wonderful smell of christmas! (I used cacao powder instead of carob and skipped the cranberries. I didn't have light spelt flour so I substituted it and some of the whole spelt flour with wheat flour. Also next time I'd halve the amount of fennels seeds.)

Soundtrack for the recipe: Chopin's Nocturne No.11 by Elisabeth Leonskaja

November 30, 2013

We talked about visual arts and photography with a friend of mine the other day (she's a painter). It's intriguing how you pour yourself in your art, how it's a channel of emotions, how your art reflects so much about you as it reveals how and what you see. I came to the conclusion that if I had to pick my all-time best photos it might have to be these two. In Koutiala, Mali, they were a colourful, big family on the YWAM base. She was from a western country, living there with her family, he was Malian. When I sat him down for this photo I saw this serious look for the first time; he was such a happy boy, but I was stoked because it was exactly what I'd wished for to pair with her photo. These are shot in the spring 2003 with a pocket film camera; I bought my first SLR camera when I settled in Oulu soon after that. It was around those times that I started to fall in love with photography.

November 15, 2013

Slow mornings are one my favorite things in life. This morning I enjoyed luscious coffee from Kenia (Tekangu Karogoto), bread fresh from the oven and the sun shining in. This fruit & nut bread just might beat the one it was inspired by (second photo on this post). I am so pleased with this recipe, oh my.


300ml water
25g fresh yeast
1tsp salt
1tbsp cane sugar
200ml coarse spelt flour
450ml wheat flour
50ml olive oil
120g dried figs
100g soft dried dates
70g hazelnuts

Warm the water in a large bowl up to 42 celsius. Mix in yeast and after that salt, sugar, flour in parts and olive oil. Lastly mix in figs, dates and hazelnuts (throw them in whole to have beautiful big clumps in the bread). Cover the bowl with cling film (the bowl should be more at least double the size of the dough for it will rise alot) and place in the fridge overnight. In the morning knead the dough on a floured surface for about 10 minutes; this is important as the dough warms up and the yeast awakens. Grease a bread tin and have the dough rise in it for 45 minutes in a warm place under a kitchen towel. Bake the bread in 175 celsius for about 45 minutes and to get crispier edges take the bread out of the tin and bake for another 5 minutes without it. Tap the bottom of the bread and if you hear a hollow sound the bread is ready. This bread is really best with just butter on but it goes awfully well with good ham and goat cheese gouda, or the like, as well.

November 10, 2013


50g dark cocoa powder
40g raw cocoa powder
90g organic cane sugar
30g lucuma
8g cinnamon

Weigh everything in a bowl (pouring cocoa powder through a sieve) and mix well. Store in an airtight container.

Warm up about 250ml whole milk in a casserole but don't let it boil (milk gets an awful taste when it boils)! Whisk in 3 heap tablespoons or so of the cocoa mixture. Wrap yourself in a blanket, listen to good, calming music and enjoy.

(If you want the measures in millilitres, holler, I could measure them the next time I make some. But really, a digital scale comes in very handy in the kitchen!)

November 6, 2013

There's something really special in having friends you've known for 25 years. Them having babies feels all the more special. I was in Oulu for the weekend and got to meet two darling boys I hadn't met yet and both stole my heart right out. I also got ridiculously spoiled with good food at Rantakatu again. Some people just know how to.

October 30, 2013

A day can't be so bad that pannari wouldn't save it (Jamie's new Food Escapes in the mail also helped).


(finnish oven pancake)

500ml whole milk
2tbsp sugar
1tsp salt
2 organic eggs
200ml flour (sometimes I use about one fourth coarse spelt flour but really, plain wheat flour gives the best result here)
2tbsp melted butter

Whisk everything but cardamom together and let swell for 10 minutes. Cover an oven pan (mine was about 20x30cm and I love how thick the pancake gets) with baking paper. Pour the dough in and sprinkle cardamom on top. Bake in 225 celsius for about 40 minutes. The pancake will rise and swell alot in the oven but don't worry, it'll come down again. Pannari is best eaten a little chilled but still warm. I absolutely recommend homemade blueberry jam with this!

October 29, 2013


1) having friends you can be vulnerable with, sharing lives on deep levels
2) good coffee (and all there is to learn about it!)
3) that we never have to make it on our own as we have such a loving God fully for us
4) organic sundried bananas
5) Oceans (boy, she can sing)

October 28, 2013

I finally got around to trying this bread that is basicly just nuts and seeds. (Here's a slightly different version of the same thing.) I was quite pleased with the bread! It is especially good toasted and it holds together better if you store it in the fridge. (The lace patterned plate in the picture, my absolutely most beautiful plate, is from Valkoinen Puu. I am so incredibly inspired by the lovely couple who makes these!)

In this season I love the rustling of leaves, lots of hot chocolate (recipe coming soon) and listening to autumn music. The nights are dark but snuggling on the couch is good.

October 26, 2013


October 17, 2013

Yesterday I went stationery shopping, and discovered an inspiring blog. This morning I made omelet rolls with ham, spinach and mushrooms. Yums!

October 10, 2013

I love spreads on bread and this is the one I make most often. I had something similar in Berlin years back but I make mine a lot more spinachy; you can use more feta to make it thicker and saltier and for a creamier touch you can try adding some cream cheese as well. This is how I like mine:


250g fresh spinach
100g feta cheese (I prefer goat's milk feta)

Blanch the spinach in boiling water for about a minute until it wilts. Rinse the spinach under cold water in a colander and squeeze excess water out with your hands. Puree the cold spinach and feta with a hand blender. Keep in the fridge for about a week.

October 8, 2013

What an awfully long silence here (due to new work swallowing most of my energy), I'm so sorry. These photos are from a couple of weeks back from my friend's new home and her housewarming brunch. It was lovely. (And made me long for a home in Kallio all the more again!)