January 29, 2013

I had Helena over for breakfast and thought it was about time to make banana bread again. I appreciate and cherish time with Helena all the more now for she's moving abroad in May. She's a gem and she makes me very happy.


100g almond flour
90g wheat flour (300ml flour altogether)
40g (230ml) shredded coconut
50g (75ml) cane sugar
a pinch of salt
1tsp baking powder
1/4tsp baking soda
1tsp cinnamon

3 ripe bananas
2 eggs
100ml oil

Combine the dry and wet ingredients separately, beat the wet mixture a little and then mix all together. Bake in a greased bread tin in 180 celsius for 50-60 minutes. Serve toasted with Philadelphia (or as it is).

The original recipe has 230g wheat flour; I've tried different combinations and I have to say this was my favorite. You can make the bread gluten free by using a combination of almond and rice flour for example but I like using some wheat flour because it helps the bread stay together better and not crumble so easily. I've also reduced sugar to a third and replaced butter with oil (which makes the bread moistier and a little lighter). The bread stays good for about 3 days.

Have a happy Tuesday!

January 28, 2013

I discovered Tanja's cozy kitchen.

January 25, 2013

It was Jessika's last day at work before she goes travelling. We had breakfast at Sis.deli (still loving it, all the more) before work and actually started a breakfast review series. We really had nothing bad to say about Sis.deli's breakfast. And Jessika had made a super scrumptious raw cake for work!

January 24, 2013

I was feeling down after some more phonecalls offering me expensive flats. Coming home I found a package from mom with this beautiful linen tablecloth (we talked about tablecloths the other day on the phone and I mentioned I'd like a linen one). Mom really knows how to do these things. Thank you!!

January 21, 2013

Whatever difficulty or challenge or waiting you're in, remember, it's only temporary. This is not it; there's a whole bunch of good things ahead in life!

Last night I finished Piiat (The Help) by Kathryn Stockett. A gripping and thought-provoking book, written well and obviously from the heart. I'm having a day off, the sky is blue and the sun is shining. I'm off to my sister's to bake some more of last Sunday's bread.

January 20, 2013

A calm Sunday after a packed week was welcome. I made spinach pancakes for lunch, a good old favorite. Here's the recipe:


(makes about 9 big pancakes)

400ml whole milk
1tsp salt
2 eggs
about 200ml spelt flour
1tbs oil or melted butter
150g frozen spinach (melted)

butter for cooking (make the pancakes as thin as possible to get crispy edges)

I love these with gooseberry jam. (My mom makes amazing gooseberry jam and I'm terribly sorry she didn't last summer).

January 15, 2013

Oh the light of day!

My friend moved on Sunday and I made bread that's a little like ciabatta (I've named it Greek Country Bread because I originally put olives in it) to serve the movers. (I also made one for home and had some for lunch yesterday. And blood grapefruit, a new acquaintance!) The bread came out delicious with a lovely hard crust. I love to put lots of time and effort into baking bread; this recipe is a somewhat fast solution for scrumptious bread. I'm still after big, wonderful air bubbles and I'm hoping to make and maintain a good sourdough that could serve me for a long time! But here's Sunday's recipe:



500ml water (37 decrees)
25g fresh yeast
2tsp salt
300ml spelt flour
about 700ml wheat flour

Dissolve the yeast in the water. Add salt and spelt flour and mix. Last add wheat flour in parts and gently fold it in with your hands (I kneaded the dough a little). The ready dough should be very soft and a little elastic but not sticky. Leave to rise for 2 hours under a kitchen towel in a warm place. (If you want to make one very large bread leave it rising in one bowl but if you want to make two smaller ones separate the dough into two bowls and then let rise.) Very gently lift the dough onto a baking paper (and fold it a few times over itself maybe, very gently) and form into a loaf. Leave to rise for about a half an hour under a kitchen towel. Turn the oven on to 250 celsius and put a baking tray in the oven (the hot tray will ensure you a crispier crust). Sprinkle flour on top of the loaf and with a sharp knife make a few cuts (5mm deep) on the surface. Take out the hot tray, pull the loaf on it and place it on the bottom level of the oven. Pour 100ml of water in the bottom of the oven. (This also helps to create the crispy crust.) After 10 minutes lower the temperature to 200 celsius and pull out the baking paper. Bake for another 25 to 35 minutes; the bread is ready when tapping the bottom of the bread you hear a hollow sound.

It's our sister-in-law's birthday today. Me and my sisters went and surprised Sanni with a cake. Our littlest one (their daughter) is growing so fast; she's 3 months in a bit!

January 8, 2013

There's something about Africa that steals your heart. There's a deep-rooted joy you don't find anywhere else. And living so close to the earth. There are the smells, the sunrises.

I miss it all. And the thought of yet living in Africa for some time never really leaves me.

(The picture above was taken somewhere in South Africa in 2007 and the one below in Douenza, Mali in 2003, both on film.)

For two weeks or so now I've mainly just been lying on the couch, reading (Vanhan rouvan lokikirja by Kyllikki Villa), watching Jamie's 30 minute meals and cleaning closets. I'm happy I actually managed to spend the holiday with almost no planning ahead (and not entirely in the kitchen either!) Tomorrow it's goodbye holiday, hello work!

January 3, 2013

I'm going through closets (and making a terrible mess) and I found this on a piece of paper:

People important to you, people unimportant to you, cross your life, touch it with love and carelessness, and move on. There are people that leave you, and you breathe a sigh of relief, and you wonder why you ever came in contact with them. There are people who leave, and you breathe a sigh of remorse, and wonder why they had to go and leave such a gaping hole.

Children leave parents, friends leave friends, acquaintances move on. You think on the many who have moved into your life with hazy memory. You look on those present and wonder.

I believe in God’s master plan for our lives.

People move in and out of each other’s lives, and each leaves his mark on the other. You find you are made up of bits and pieces of all who have touched your life, and you are more because of it, and you would be less if they had not touched you.

Pray to God that you can accept the bits and pieces in humility and wonder, and never question, and never regret.

(Lois A. Cheney)

January 2, 2013

I turned 31 last week and celebrated a little in good company. One of the birthday cards had this lovely poem:

I say,
It's in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

(Maya Angelou)

January 1, 2013

Hello, new year!

I woke up at twelve, had breakfast and stayed in bed until three finishing Kirjallinen piiri perunankuoripaistoksen ystäville (The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann shaffer and Annie Barrows) that I got from Henna for my birthday. Such a lovely book! (And such a lovely way to start a day, haven't done it in ages. I'm on holiday and have absolutely no schedule for the coming I haven't counted how many days, ah. And I need it, the autumn was packed.)

I've often written a TOP 10 of the things I want to see happen in the coming year. (I love writing lists.) Now I don't know where to start and it feels a little weird — but I also think it's a good sign: I guess I'm more satisfied with where I'm at. And that's where I really want to be: present, here, today. I want to love and give all I can today. I want to expect less of myself and have more grace and let the Father's love sink deeper. I want to read more, lie on the couch more and keep dreaming big things.

I wish you all a happy, fulfilling year with loving people and adventures around you. I'll keep telling you about the things I love, the people, the moments, the places, the beauty. I hope you keep coming around and I hope you leave with something.