June 29, 2013

"Tämä on minun maisemani. Tästä minut on tehty."
(Francesca Marciano in Casa Rossa)

This here was my favorite place to be last weekend, listening to the waves and the birds and Yona. There's just no limit to how long I can stare at a lake, no limit. There's magic in it, God right there, all for us, displaying himself in such a beautiful, peaceful way.

June 27, 2013

The Green Kitchen Project, recipe no.4

It's half a year and a day since Nora and I had last met. It's lovely to have her back in Helsinki and it was so good to catch up with her. (And it's been a while since I cooked anything on The Green Kitchen Project but now here we go!)


1/2tbsp coriander seeds
1/2tsp mustard seeds
1/2tsp cardamom seeds
1/2tsp cloves
1/2tbsp curry powder
1/2tsp ground ginger
a pinch of chili powder
6 organic dried apricots, chopped in half
2-3tbsp coconut oil for frying (or ghee or olive oil)
1 small onion
2 garlic cloves
1 cauliflower
2 carrots
200g red lentils
750ml coconut milk
225ml water
200g fresh spinach
(a large handful of coriander/cilantro)

Trust me, freshly ground spices make all the difference.

Grind the first four spices (I used ground cardamom) in a pestle and mortar. Add the rest of the spices and and apricots and mix with your fingers. Heat the oil in a large saucepan on medium heat. Add the spice blend and stir constantly. Fry until it smells fragrant and looks browned but be careful not to burn to spices. Add chopped onion and garlic and fry for a couple of minutes, stirring. Add the cauliflower and the carrots and stir until they are fully coated by the spices. Then add the lentils, coconut milk and water and stir well. Let simmer, covered, for 15-20 minutes or until the vegetables and lentils are cooked through. Season with salt to taste. Last stir the spinach in (and garnish with cilantro if you like).

My dal tasted delicate but didn't look very pretty. I let it cook a little too long so the lentils got all mushy and the cauliflowers a bit too soft. I also felt it could've had more spices, a little kick of something, a little more warmth - but now as I wrote the recipe here I realized I'd measured all the spices with a teaspoon so I was missing a whole lot of coriander and curry there! I'll fix that next time; I'm definitely making this again. I really liked the apricots but only really tasted them once. I used six and chopped them in small pieces; next time I'll throw in 10 or more and just chop them in half or quarters.

Soundtrack for the recipe: Weaver of dreams by Esperanza Spalding

To accompany the dal I had a go on a new recipe of pan rolls (that Pete made for us in Berlin). They turned out soft and moist and perfectly delicious!


(makes 8-10)

200ml turkish yoghurt
50ml water
11 g dry yeast
1 tbsp sugar
1tsp salt
1 egg
3tbsp olive oil
600ml flour (I used half wheat, half fine spelt)

Mix yoghurt and water and warm till 42 decrees. Add the rest of the ingredients mixing after each one. Add flours in parts and mix them in with your hands. (The dough will be very soft.) Cover with a kitchen towel and leave to rise for about a half an hour or until the dough is double in size. Form small rolls (15mm thick) using flour. Pour olive oil on a plate and dip both sides of the rolls in it. Fry the rolls on medium heat on a dry pan, a few minutes on both sides. (If you're using spelt flour, note that it burns easily!)

June 26, 2013

It was good to come home, finding presents.

And then Henni invited me for the loveliest breakfast yesterday. She had made this bread among other yummy things. (I've been meaning to try it for a long time and I definitely will, it was so good!) Then I got pampered a little more at my brother's in the afternoon. Happy days.

June 24, 2013

I had a very lovely start for my holiday in Berlin with Eva and Johan, and my uncle. Yes, lots of good coffee and conversations and taking it easy. (If I lived in Berlin I could always have peonies at home!)

Eva's husband Johan works in westberlin. Coffee was very good and cakes (from Five Elephant) so delicious!

One of the best finds of the trip was Café Pförtner (thanks to my uncle!). We went for both dinner (italian home food!) and breakfast. The old bus is so charming!

I am truly blessed by Eva's friendship. And I was so at home with Eva and Johan. They share such sweet love. And I'm so excited to see what's on the next page for them!

Juha and Pete have the most inspiring home!

We celebrated my name day after fleamarkets in Five Elephant.

I love the canal in Kreuzberg. It takes me back to so many summers there and long talks with my dear old friend Matthias (whom I got to know as a penpal in 1995!)

I have to say that my new favorite was Katies blue cat. Handsome, charming service, tasty espresso (from Bonanza) and Almond toffee crunch, the most scrumptious sweet I've had in I don't remember how long (a little like Daim, but the homemade version and so much better)! Need to try to figure out the recipe!

June 8, 2013

I am leaving to Berlin in the morning. How very lovely. I cannot wait to be with my friends and family. Eat good food, walk the endless streets of Berlin, reminish, sit in cozy, inspiring cafes and forget everything about work and schedules.

I got rhubarb from a workmate the other day so in the midst of packing I made the first rhubarb pie of the summer.



100ml spelt flour
100ml almond flour
200ml corn flour (you can use 400ml of the flour you prefer)
150ml sugar
1tsp baking powder
1tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
1tsp vanilla sugar
125g coconut oil (originally butter)

100ml sour milk
1 egg

2-4 rhubarb stalks

250g quark
50ml organic cane sugar
1tsp vanilla sugar
1 egg

Mix all the dry ingredients together and add melted coconut oil. Take two thirds of the dough and add sour milk and egg. Grease a tin (diameter about 24cm) with coconut oil and spread the dough in the tin. Cut rhubarb in 7mm slices and cover the dough with them. Mix quark, sugar, vanilla sugar and egg together and spread it over the rhubarbs. Take the remaining one third of the dough and sprinkle it on top. Bake in 175 celsius for about 35-40 minutes (for example spelt flour burns easily so the baking time will vary a little depending on the flours you use and how moist you want to leave the pie). I like this pie best chilled but can never wait that long.

June 5, 2013

Hello holiday! I left work and went straigth to Good Life Coffee and then had nepalese takeaway in our garden. (I like rites. And favorites.)

It was odd and sad to leave work today for it looks like I won't go back in the autumn. Yet I love the freedom in letting go and trusting (things are in Daddy's hands and not in mine) and the state when anything is possible. Good things are coming!

(I got the loveliest presents at work today. Love is just written all over.)

These are the times of love and meaning
Ice of the heart has melted away and found the light
These are the days of endless dreaming
Troubles of life are floating away like a bird in flight

(Jamie Cullum: These are the days)

June 2, 2013

Hello June! It's really sunny and warm and nice and I still find it hard to believe it's really summer. I have two and a half days left at work which is almost like I'm on holiday already. I met with mom this morning and we decided we'll drive up north together in July and stop at all the fleamarkets we come by like we did last summer. Super! This morning's fleamarket finds were: a grandma's old Longchamp brown leather case for my laptop, an old key and a chain to make it a necklace, two beautiful plates, some clothes and The Hotel New Hampshire by John Irving (I hope it'll be good summer reading). The photo is from Friday when we went to Vasikkasaari (an island outside Espoo) for the day from work. Happy days.