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