Follow us on Twitter E-Mail Feed

Shopping and usual light snack

Yesterday at 11 am they opened in our town a new H&M store! Yay! Good news for me since I like H&M clothes. In the same building opened also a new KappAhl store, but I doubt you know anything about that :P I decided to go take a look since they also were giving a 20€ bonus H&M card to the first 50 persons. Not bad.

I've never been to a big store opening in my life and it showed clearly when I arrived at the centrum at 10.45 am, there were already at least 100 people waiting in front of the closed doors... and there my bonus card went down the drain! Alright, I'm a big shopping-n00b, but why is there so many teenage girls?? Aren't they supposed to be at school at this time? And what the hell is that big group of grannies doing here?! XD XD

It was also very weird when the speakers started to play loud a very epic music Star Trek style and the was the countdown before the opening. It was all kinda sad -___-

H&M was so full of people that it was impossible to move around and to try on clothes as there was a long queue for the dressing rooms. So I just grabbed a pair of comfy sport pants and I left (I payed before leaving :P). The other store, KappAhl, was almost empty even though all the clothes were 25% off for that day. There I found a nice t-shirt, and I was so happy to see that now the L size fits me!


Luckily I don't go shopping very often (I go only when I need something), it's stressing and when I arrived home I was so tired. Later in the afternoon I ate my usual light snack: rye crackers with veggies (without ham slices this time) :)


Risotto with red radicchio and bacon

Risotto al radicchio rosso recipe was to me. Of course I ate radicchio as salad before in Italy but never in a risotto...until now.

When a couple of weeks ago mom called and said: "My god, your dad made a wonderful radicchio risotto the other day, you just HAVE to try and make it!!! You'll love it, it's absolutely FANTASTIC! Look if you can find radicchio over there, in that silly land... of course they sell it, why shouldn't they? Dad suggests to buy a small round radicchio, and of course onions and buillon cubes too..." and blablablabla.

It's hard to say NO to mom, especially to an Italian mom when talking about FOOD. So I went and looked for the holy radicchio, and I luckily found it at the local supermarket (and yes, I bought also onions and buillon cubes :P). However, the first experiment was a disappointment, as the risotto came out too bitter and I really didn't like it. I dediced not to give up and to find a way to show the good flavor of the radicchio and trying to avoid its bitterness at the same time.

And it was a success! \o/


I have to say that it was one of the best risottos I've ever made :)


I followed dad's recipe, BUT I added bacon (as my bf says "Bacon always makes food taste better!") and meat buillon cube instead of veggie one. I also added a small amount of creamy cheese at the end but I realised that the risotto would have been good even without it! And, if for some weird reason you don't like bacon, minced meat works as well.

I suggest you to use only the smaller and soft inner leaves of the radicchio and remove the white part in the middle so they won't be too bitter.

Ingredients (2 persons):
  • 200 g risotto rice
  • some radicchio leaves
  • 170 g smoked bacon
  • 1 onion
  • 1 meat buillon cube
  • 1 tbs creamy cheese (optional)
  • rapeseed oil or olive oil
  • salt & pepper
  • parmesan cheese

Directions:
Boil the water and drop in it the bouillon cube.
Wash and cut the radicchio leaves in small stripes. In a pan heat some oil over medium heat. Add finely chopped onion and saute until it gets a nice golden color.
Add the radicchio leaves, 1 ladleful of broth and stir. Let it cook few minutes. Cut the bacon in small pieces and drop them in the pan. Add some pepper and mix.
Add the rice and turn up the heat. Let it lightly fry, while keeping stirring it for few minutes (it will look slightly translucent).
Add enough broth that it covers all the rice and stir. When the rice has absorbed almost all the broth, add a ladle of broth. Keep adding ladlefuls of broth, allowing each ladleful to be absorbed before adding the next, until the rice is cooked and has creamy texture. This takes about 20 minutes.
Check the taste, add salt and pepper up to taste.
When the risotto is cooked, if you want, add the creamy cheese and stir. Remove from heat and let it rest covered with a lid for a couple of minutes before serving.
Serve with parmesan cheese.

Spring omelette

Omelette is my favorite food when it comes to empty the fridge from random leftovers.

It's really quick and easy to make, plus you can add to it whatever you want and it always comes out good! When I have in the fridge some leftovers, omelette is my first choice :)

This omelette came out pretty colorful and reminded me of Spring, so I named it "Spring omelette"!


This time in the fridge I found some basil leaves, parsley, one tomato, half bell pepper and ham slices. With the skin of the tomato I made this tomato rose as decoration :)


Ingredients:
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 red bell pepper
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1 tomato
  • some basil leaves
  • 2 ham slices
  • parsley
  • rapeseed oil or olive oil
  • salt & pepper 
Directions:
Blend the egg yolks and whites with a fork in a bowl. Peel the tomato. Chop finely onion, bell pepper, tomato, basil and parsley and add them into the bowl. Add salt and pepper up to taste and mix well.
Warm up a nonstick pan greased with a bit of oil and pour the egg mixture, spreading it evenly. Wait that the bottom starts to set and carefully lift the border with a rubber spatula to detach it from the pan.
Now it's time to flip the omelette upside down, and for that I always use a plate (slide the omelette on the plate, hold it above the pan and quickly flip it down). Cook for another minute or so, but don't overcook or allow the egg to turn brown, place the ham slices on it and wrap it up with the spatula.
Serve immediately.

Creamy Unicorn Horns

I found time ago metallic cones for cooking purpose. That's great, like that I could do the famous swiss pastry horn that can be found there often at the bakeries and patisseries. I remember being little, calling it always "Unicorn Horn", and for years and years, it's been always "Unicorn Horn" for me, so don't ask me about the original name, I don't recall... XD
There are easy to made, but you need to be patient. It's just done out of puffpastry and patisserie cream, so I'll make the recipe for that.



Ingredients:
  • 0.5l milk
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 100gr sugar
  • 40 gr flour
  • 25 gr maizena
  • 3 spoons milk
  • 1 package of puff pastry (to roll around the metallic cone)

Instructions:

Pour in pan the flour, maizena, sugar, yolks and mix thorougly together. When there's mixture, start heating on low level the pan. Heat the rest of the milk (so that it is warm but not to the boiling point). Add it to the mixture, and mix and whirl and turn and twist and on and on. Continue to do so, without stopping (to avoid crumbs on the cream, or to avoid that it burns and sticks to the pan, if you don't have a high quality pan). Eventually highen a bit up the heat, but not too much. It has to boil. When it starts boiling, remove the pan and add 3 spoons of milk. Mix everything, put it again over the heat and make it boil a second time. Then let it cool in the fridge for 1-2hours.

Meanwhile, roll out the puff pastry and cut long triangles out of it. Take a bit of oil to brush it over the ends of the metallic cone (but really just a tiny bit, otherwhise it will be too slippery to attach the puff pastry). Then start enrolling the puff pastry around the cone, twirling it around.
Bake in the oven until golden. When cold, take the cone out.
Take a pastry sleeve, and take out the cream that was in the fridge. So you put the cream in the pastry sleeve, and start pouring it into the "horns". And tadaaaaa: you'll have creamy unicorn horns, ready to eat! Enjoy! ;)

As inspiration, you can put in the "boiling" a cinnamon stem, or a bit of lemon.
Once ready (as in the picture), you can also melt a bit of chocolate, and pour the upper part of the cone in it, and maybe even roll out on smashed nuts, as decorative purpose. ;)

Peperonata tricolore

Nowadays I have to avoid eating too much carbohydrates, so when I cook some meat for dinner I cannot serve it with potatoes (or mashed potatoes), pasta or rice as often as before. I must use a lots of veggies! I like salads, but I really don't wanna eat them every single day, so I try to cook veggies in different ways and serve them as side dish.

In this recipe I use my favorite vegetable: bell pepper! Peperonata is a very common Italian dish prepared with bell peppers and tomatoes (or tomato sauce) and usually served as side dish for meat.



Although the original peperonata recipe contains tomatoes, I didn't add them in my version. And, since I used bell peppers of 3 different colors, the name is "tricolore" :)


Ingredients (3 persons):
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 yellow bell pepper 
  • 1 green bell pepper 
  • 1 onion
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 veggie buillon cube
  • rapeseed oil or olive oil
  • black pepper

Directions:
Wash the bell peppers, remove the white stuff inside and cut them in pieces.
Chop garlic and onion and saute them in a big saucepan with a bit of oil. When they turn into nice golden color, add bell pepper pieces and stir. Crush the buillon cube and pour it in the pan.
Add black pepper up to taste (I didn't add any salt because the buillon was salty enough). Let it cook for about 15 minutes or until the bell peppers are soft enough.
Serve with e.g. chicken or meatballs.

Double Chunky chocolate almonds cookies

Oh yeah.
Studies have shown that women drool more over a chunky chocolate cookie than over Brad Pitt's young naked body. This must mean something. Here's is the cookie, now we just need a young Brad Pitt -double. :)

Ingredients for the filling:
75g soft butter
125g castor sugar
2 spoons of philadelphia or mascarpone cheese

Instructions:
Mix everything well together and let rest in the fridge for 2 hours, so you can start doing the cookies, let them cool and when they're ready you can fill them.


Ingredients for the cookie:

  • 125g softened butter
  • 50g castor sugar
  • 100g cocoa powder (or melted chocolate if you don't find cocoa)
  • 125g flour
  • 3 spoons almonds (cut in pieces)
  • 1 bit of salt
Instructions:
Whipe the butter and add one by one each ingredient until the mixture is soft but compact. Let it rest for 30 mins in the fridge. Then take out, form them and bake for 8-10 mins at 170ºC in the oven. After it, take out and cool.
When cold, take a cookie and a spoon, put a bit of the filling in it, take another cookie and press both together.

Really, enjoy, it's a yummy cookie. ;)

Banana muffins

Today is my Name Day!
The Roman Catholic calendar of saints says that 20th of March is Santa Alessandra. Alessandra di Amiso was a marthyr, but sadly there's not much information about her.

Well anyway, to celebrate my Name Day and also the First Spring Day today I baked banana muffins or, as my bf called them, monkey muffins! :D


I made muffins only once in my life and it was a disaster (I accidentally put double amount of butter so they turned out quite greasy :P). But this time it was YUMMY SURPRISE, these muffins were the most moist and tasty I've ever eaten. You should really try these out.


I made a couple of muffins prettier with sugar decorations :)



Ingredients (12 muffins):
  • 4 ripe bananas
  • 3,5 dl flour
  • 1,20 dl sugar
  • 80 g melted butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 ts baking powder
  • 1 ts baking soda
  • 1/2 ts salt

Directions:
Mash the bananas with a fork or in a mixer. Melt the butter and let it cool down. Beat the egg slightly with a fork.
Put the mashed bananas in a bowl with the egg, sugar and melted butter and mix well. In another bowl mix the dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Mix wet and dry ingredients together and pour into muffins cups (fill them about 2/3).
Bake in the oven at 180ºC for about 20 min. Check if they're ready with a toothpick. Let the muffins cool down before decorating and serving.

Sandwich idea with egg

I don't eat that many eggs recently, though I reall like them. The other day I prepared myself for dinner a tasty sandwich. It's a bit embarassing to even call it a recipe, but it might help as inspiration for sandwich ideas, so here it goes.

Ingredients (for two persons):
  • 2 slices of bread (better if not whole wheat)
  • 1 cooked egg
  • 2 salad-leafs
  • 2 spoons of fat free yogurt
  • a bit of pepper and salt
  • optionally a bit of curry
  • 2 cherry tomatoes
  • 2 spoons of chopped hazelnuts/sesame/almond
  • 2 tsp Argan oil (or olive or sesame oil)

Instructions:

Chop very finely the egg white and smash the egg yolk, mixing everything with a bit of salt, pepper (and curry if desired) and the yogurt thoroughly. Chop very finely the salad leafs and add to the mixture.

On the bread, after diving in half the tomatoes, rub them against it, until the juice and core is all over (and eat the rest of the cherry tomatoe lol). Then, spread the mix over the bread slices. I have recieved a gift yummy Argan oil: it's a very expensive arabic oil made of nuts, it has this soft almond taste that is very savory, so spread a bit of that oil, or normal olive oil, over the egg-mix on the bread. To enhance the nut-taste, put finely chopped hazelnut or almond all over as decoration. Cut each slice in half and enjoy, maybe with a bit of salad or tomato-salad. :)

By the way: you can also substitute the yogurt with mayonnaise. But this fat-free version is as good tasting so it would mean to add unnecessary calories. ;)


Swiss "Zopf" and "Nussgifpel"

So I love breads, brioche, and all those simple yummy flour-related goodies. ;)
When I was in Switzerland my grandmother always did this typical swiss bread called "Zopf", that means "braid". We ate it sometimes on Sunday's, either with ham or jam. Good thing of this bread, is that it can be done not only as bread itself, but also as dessert like some kind of cinnamon-roll, or as maindish, mostly as a wrapping for meat etc.

This is the basic recipe for the braided bread. :)


Ingredients:
  • 1 kg of flour
  • 10 g salt
  • 1 cube fresh yeast
  • 100 g butter
  • 80 g sugar
  • 280 ml water
  • 140 ml of milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk (to spread over)

Instructions:

Put in a big bowl the flour with the salt and the sugar. Chop the butter and put it in the middle. Separately, mix the milk and the water with the cube of fresh yeast, and, together with the egg, pour it in the middle of the flour, too. Mix everything thoroughly and well together. Let it rest for 1 hour. Then it's ready to work it out as you prefer. I took a piece out, braided it, put the yolk over and baked it in the oven at 160ºC for 40 min. It came out soft and delicious. Eating it when it was still warm, remembered me of Switzerland and my grandmother.

Alternatively, there is as I already said, a lot of things you can do with the bread-base.


For example "Nussgipfel", what means "nut-croissant".

Ingredients:

  • 300g ground almonds or hazelnut
  • 100 gr sugar
  • 8 tbsp apricot jam

Instructions:

Roll out the bread (not yet baked if course :P) like it was a pizza. Mix the above ingredients and put it over the circle. Cut out slices and roll each triangle out, as to form a "croissant". Then spread an egg yolk on it (it's not necessary, it just helps to make it prettier). Bake it in the oven at 160ºC for 40 min. Then, as optional, spread castor sugar all over. :P And eat!



Cheesy baked salmon

Since we bought so much salmon at the Spring Market, I thought to share with you a wonderful salmon recipe. Salmon is by far my favorite fish! I love it!

I didn't really eat much salmon when I was in Italy because it was terribly expensive, and when I ate it, it was with pasta (lovely recipe that I will add soon!) or with a curl of butter on bread at Christmas.

I hoped that in Finland it would be cheaper, as we're closer to Norway, but nope! ;___; It's still quite pricey. But luckily now we can manage to eat salmon almost every week. I usually cook it with pasta but in this case the fish goes into the oven! :)


Warning: this recipe isn't very dietetic and light since it contains cheese and cream. But it's REALLY good.

Ingredients (3 persons):
  • 800 g salmon fillets
  • 2 dl cooking cream
  • 70 g tomato paste
  • about 80 g creamy flavorful cheese 
  • 1 onion
  • salt & pepper

Directions:
Grease the oven plate with a little of butter and place the salmon pieces. Slice the onion in thin circles. Put onion and slices of cheese on top of the salmon. Mix the cream and tomato paste together and pour it over the fish. Add salt and pepper up to taste.
Bake in pre-heated oven at 200ºC for 30-40 minutes. Serve for example with mashed potatoes.

Hot pink pasta!

Happy Women's Day to all the girls, young and not so young, that read our blog!!!

Since today is Women's Day, it would be a good chance (or excuse :P) to bake something yummy like a pie or muffins or a delicious double chocolate cream cake! But... nope. I've been eating too many caloric pastries and sweets lately (laskiaispulla and licorice for example) so I couldn't bake anything today :(

But I wanted to celebrate theis special day anyway, so I decided to cook pasta. Pink Pasta, of course!!! :D
I know, the sauce would come pink even with basic tomatoes and cream, but then.. what's the fun? So I cooked something new, something I've never cooked before: beetroot pasta!


The color came out totally AMAZING! It was bright hot pink, just the way I wanted it!!! <3
(it shows better in the upper photo)


The taste was also a nice surprise, it was really good! As it was a bit sweet of course because of beetroot, it would have been perfect paired with some gorgonzola or blue cheese. But I cannot eat those fat cheeses anymore because of my diet, so I used some Philadelphia Extra Light instead :)

Ingredients (2 persons):
  • 200 g short pasta, e.g. fusilli
  • 2 pre-cooked medium size beetroots
  • 100 g Philadelphia Extra Light (5% fat)
  • 250 ml cooking cream
  • 1 onion
  • 1-2 garlic cloves
  • rapeseed oil or olive oil
  • salt
  • black pepper
  • parmesan cheese

Directions:
Put a pot of salted water on to boil. Scrap the beetroots (careful they stain a lot).
Finely chop garlic and onion and saute them in a saucepan with oil over medium heat. When they turn into nice golden color, add beetroot and stir for 5 minutes.
Add then cheese and let it melt, always stirring. Pour the cream and add salt and a good mount of pepper. Cook at low heat until the sauce is thick enough.
When water boils, add pasta and cook until al dente. Mix the pasta with the sauce and serve with parmesan cheese.

Wonderland goes to Spring Market

I've always hated to go to markets in Milano, because there is a total mess. Too crowded, too chaotic, too noisy. EVERYONE shouts, sellers and customers (us Italians are screaming champions). Moving is impossible since there's so many people walking in every direction without any logic and if you add small children and dogs and grannies... it becomes a nightmare!

But here in Finland is different, and I like it. Of course, in a small town's market you can't find a big selection like in big cities, but who cares! As long as there is the stand of the fried little fishes "paistetut muikut" (my secret love) and the licorice stand, I'm happy :)


So today my bf and I went to the marketplace. I didn't buy the fried fishies, but we ate a lovely lörtsy, a pastry made of meat and rice but there is also available a version filled with apple jam (mine was with meat). My man also bought 19 meters of colorful licorice and almost 2 kg of salmon :D
And yes, here they sell licorice in meters and they taste awesome!

 delicious pastries...

 I was taking pics of salmon packs when the seller struck a pose so I had to take a photo of him :D

 this is the yummy lörtsy (already bitten)...

 when the sun shines all the snow melts...

 that's a whole lot of licorice!

 ...even more licorice :)



Fresh light dinner salad

Thank god is not so cold anymore so there's no need for a warm meal everyday and we can enjoy a fresh and light salad for dinner!

Actually this is not just a tuna salad but I added what we had left in the fridge, so eggs and mozzarella light. And, as we do in Italy, I didn't put any silly salad dressing, but just a bit of oil and salt (we didn't have vinegar at home).


Since I had a small amount of unused tomato sauce in the fridge as well, I decided to incorporate it in the meal before it went bad. So I mixed it with a bit of oil, salt, black pepper and chili. It came out nicely spicy! And it fit well with the boiled eggs :)

Ingredients (2 persons):
  • 1 package of iceberg salad (or any salad of your choice)
  • 1 can tuna chunks in brine
  • 2 eggs
  • about 2 tbs green olives
  • 2 mozzarellas light
  • spicy tomato sauce (optional)
  • rapeseed oil or olive oil
  • salt & pepper

Directions:
Come on, this is a salad! Do you really need directions? :D
Just kidding, anyway... wash and slice the salad. Add tuna and olives and mix it with a bit of oil and salt.
Slice the mozzarellas and put it on serving plate. Boil and peel the eggs, slice them in 4 parts. If you want, pour the chili tomato sauce on them. Ta-daaaa it's ready! :)

Quesada Pasiega, not quite Cheesecake

Quesada Pasiega is a spanish Cheesecake, that is done for long time in the oven, to create a compact tart.
There are different recipes and way to do one, for now, the one I'll give away here, is the one that seems te easiest and yummiest for me. :)

Ingredients:
  • 750 g fresh cheese (or quark, curd, philadelphia, yougrt)
  • 190 g sugar
  • 75 g butter
  • 75 g flour
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ tbs cinnamon
  • optional: ½ grated lemon or orange

Instructions:

Let the eggs rest and be at roomtemperature, like this, once beating, they go up. So beat the eggs with the sugar for 15 minutes. Melt the butter and add it slowly, then incorporate the cinnamon, grated lemon or orange and the fresh cheese. Beat thoroughly until there a nice mixture, then add the flour and don't let any lumps floating.

The Quesada Pasiega mustn't be higher than 2 cm, while baking it will go up, but go down again once cold, so don't worry. It will be cooked in the oven at 180º for 50 mins. After 30 mins, f it get's golden, you can cover it with foil so the top doesn't get burned.

Then let it cool and serve either single piece or with decoration like berries, etc. Enjoy ;)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...