Burgundinpataa -Beef Bourguignon

Olen useamman vuoden ollut vegaani, mutta aika ajoin tekee mieli lihaa tai juustoa. Kun kokkaan lihaa usein päädyn johonkin pitkään haudutettuun pataruokaan. Viime aikoina olen tehnyt muutamaan otteeseen Burgundinpataa. Se on tyttäremme herkku ja hän lusikoi sitä perunamuusin kanssa suuhunsa suurella halulla. Aviomieheni myös rakastaa erilaisia patoja -hearty stews- kuten täällä kutsutaan. Haluan jakaa kanssanne tämän super herkullisen reseptin. Se on helppotekoinen, mutta uskomattoman maukas. Itse käytän patoihin lähes aina slow cookeria. Se on laite, jonka voi laittaa päälle aamulla joko matalalle tai korkealle lämmölle ja jättää padan tekeytymään vaikka koko työpäivän ajaksi. Ostan ainekset aina South Melbournen markkinoita, joka on valtava kauppahalli liha- ja vihanneskauppoineen. Kauppahalli sijaitsee aivan kotikulmillamme, joten viikonloppurituaaleihimme kuuluu markkinoilla käynti. Tuotteiden laatu ja tuoreus on taattua ja sen maistaa ruoan maussa. Tuotteet tulevat suoraan Australian farmeilta ja voisin jopa sanoa, että 99% tuotteista ovat kotimaisia! Eksoottiset hedelmät sekä merenelävät ovat mitä ihastuttavin näky.

Ohje:
7 pientä shalottisipulia
2 isoa porkkanaa
1 palsternakka
600g naudan paistilihaa (mielellään tuoretta lihakaupasta)
150g hyvänlaatuista pekonia (jos löydät kokonaisen pekonikimpaleen, suosittelen)
400g pieniä herkkusieniä
5dl korkealaatuista lihalientä
3dl punaviiniä (Cabernet Sauvignon hyvä!)
3rkl tuoretta silputtua persiljaa
suolaa

1. Pilko porkkanat, palsternakka ja kuori sipuli. Kaada slow cookeriin (tai pataan). Itse käytän slow cookeria.
2. Kuutio pekoni ja ruskista pekoni pannussa, kun ruskeaa kaada pataan.
3. Kuutio naudan paistiliha, ruskista pannulla, kun ruskeaa kaada pataan.
4. Pese sienet ja laita pataan.
5. Kaada lihaliemi ja punaviini pataan. Sekoita.
6. Lisää suolaa (1/2-1tl) sekä persilja. Sekoita.
7. Kypsytä slow cookerissa n. 5-6 tuntia. Vaihtoehtoisesti uunissa monta tuntia matalassa lämmössä.
Tarjoile perunamuusin ja papujen kanssa. Bon appetit!
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Lakritsimantelit – Finnish Liquorice Almonds

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Osa teistä varmaan huomasikin jonkin aika sitte Helsingin Sanomissa lakritsimanteleiden ohjeen. Äitini ihastui niihin ikihyvikseen ja sai minutkin koukutettua kyseiseen herkkuun. Ne ovat nopeatekoisia ja mitä ihanin terveellinen herkkupala. Ne ovat myös oivallinen lahja laitettuna pieneen pussiin. Halusin jakaa kyseisen ohjeen kanssanne, sillä se on mielestäni erikoinen, mutta uskomattoman herkullinen. Itse koukutuin niin pahasti, että pyysin äitiäni lähettämään lakritsijauhetta Suomesta tänne Australiaan. Jännitin jäisikö jauhe tullissa jumiin ja palautettaisiinko se Suomeen. Tännehän ei saisi lähettää mitään ruokatuotteita, mausteita yms. Ei jäänyt ja nyt olen saanut nautiskella laktrisimanteleista oikein sydämeni kyllyydestä!

1 1/2 tl vettä
1/2 tl suolaa
1tl sokeria
3 tl laktritsijauhetta
100g kuorellisia manteleita

1.Kuumenna uuni 200 asteiseksi.
2.Mittaa kulhoon vesi, suola, sokeri ja puolet lakritsijauheesta.
3.Sekoita mantelit joukkoon.
4. Levitä leivinpaperin päälle (ei päällekkäin vaan yhteen kerrokseen).
5.Paista uunissa n. 7 minuuttia.
6. Ota mantelit pois uunista ja kierittele lopussa lakritsijauheessa (1 1/2tl).
7. Anna manteleiden jäähtyä ja muuttua rapsakoiksi. Säilytä ilmatiiviissä purkissa, jotta mantelit säilyvät rapeina.

Nautiskelkaa! Itse suuntaan kohti pääsiäismarkkinoita, jos vaikka löytyisi mignon -munia…ja salmiakkia.. Hyvää pääsiäistä!

Gluten, dairy and egg free banana blueberry cake -Gluetiiniton, maidoton, munaton banaanimustikkakakku

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Again this silence..I think I have no more excuses now, just being terribly busy. I am back to work now and after the working day there seems to be so little time left for anything! I am loving it though. After a year at home with the baby work seems like 5 days a week holiday! I know it probably sounds horrible but for me this is a perfect balance. I cannot handle being staying-at-home-mum, it really drives me crazy. I need my own life and  I need to have challenges in my life -my brain needs stimulation and what I do for work certainly does it. It is also so glorious to have my morning coffee peacefully before starting to work.

We found a perfect nanny for our little daughter and we could not notice any change in her behaviour when I started working -pretty amazing. She sleeps as well (as badly as usually :)) and she is not any clingier or more tearful when I finish the work. In fact she is the happiest baby you can ever imagine as the nanny does all sort of wonderful activities with her all day long. So all in all, this is the most amazing arrangement we could have ever hoped for. My husband has a happy wife and  we have a happy baby.

I was quite depressed the last couple of months staying at home only. Even though I have lots of friends with babies it was still not enough for me, I needed some balance and I wanted to see myself not as a 24/7 mother but also a capable career woman with a drive to work. I know it means less baking and cooking and therefore probably less frequent blog posting but it is better. My usually so positive and cheerful personality changed drastically by the end of the last year and I felt like I was not myself anymore. I was just sad and miserable all the time and every day seemed to just repeat itself. Same fights with the baby over eating (without any success!) and acting as a constant entertainment machine day after day, month after month. I know there are women out there who are at their happiest when they can stay at home full time and I certainly admire them but I am not one of those I get not only a cabin fever but huge anxiety. Now I feel so happy every day when I started working. I meet adults, I can communicate with people who do not throw themselves to the floor when they get annoyed and I can challenge myself in a working life. Wonderful..and my new job is great too!

As my baby still does  not eat I tried the” NHS approach”, the approach the dietician here in England suggested, that was ”feed your baby with pizza, cakes, crisps, ice cream, add sugar to everything..to get calories in”. Well, of course I cannot give dairy, eggs or gluten to her so I baked this banana blueberry cake.  It was super good..although she spitted it out straight away and threw rest of it to the floor -no success with the NHS approach either. So I won’t try this unhealthy suggestion any more.

Anyway, don’t believe my baby, her taste buds do not exist, this cake is really good. Our American friend who is visiting us here absolutely loved it. It was his birthday yesterday so it was kind of his birthday cake. I hope you enjoy the recipe too. It is simple and quick and of course you can use regular flour if you do not need a gluten free version.

4 1/2dl (2 1/4 cup) white flour (white gluten free flour)

2 dl (1 cup) sugar

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 1/2 tsp vanilla sugar

3 dl (1 1/2 cup) blueberries (frozen are fine)

2 bananas

2 1/2dl (1 1/4 cup) rice milk or regular milk if you can eat dairy

1  1/4 dl (1/2 cup) dairy free melted margarine or regular margarine

1. Combine the dry ingredients.

2. Mash the bananas. Mix the mash with rice milk and melted margarine.

3. Combine the blueberries with dry ingredients and then banana mix.

4. Pour to the cake tin and bake 50-55 min in 175 Celsius degrees.

ENJOY!
Tip: Add some Betty Crocker icing on top and it is even more delicious!

 

 

 

 

Fish pasta -Kalapastaa

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I am terribly sorry about this huge blog silence. I have been extremely busy with all sort of things. This has been a tough week in many ways my baby has had cold for 6 weeks now and on the top of that she got her first ear infection this week. Bad sleeping and an unwell baby have definitely kept me busy night and day this week!  Today I also got sad news that my dear grandma passed away. So sad but that is what life is like it starts and it ends. The most important thing is that we make most of the time we have. I am happy that I had her in my life for all this time and lucky to be able to bring back all the amazing memories of her -she really made my childhood special. I think to respect her memory I will share one Eastern Finnish recipe soon as that is where she comes from and Eastern Finland has its own very strong food culture.

Bad night after bad night I have finally recovered from the sleep deprivation and able to share a lovely fish pasta recipe with you. Simple but tasty. This is done Bill Granger style. It is super healthy and good.  I am such a big fan of seafood and chicken these days that don’t even need any red meat. Cannot remember when I have bought some..I love how many amazing dishes you can cook with fish! Anyway, I try to share my next post a lot sooner! Hope you all are having a lovely weekend! It has been incredibly sunny here in England. Unfortunately I have been lying in bed recovering from my cold and fever so have only been able to enjoy the sunshine by looking out of the window. Light, sun and spring time make miracles anyway!

100g pasta ( I used corn and rice pasta)

2 cod fillets

1 red chilli (seeds removed)

3 garlic cloves

200ml dry white wine

handful of fresh flat leaf parsley

black pepper

white pepper

onion granules

squeeze of lemon

salt

1. Cook pasta.

2. Fry crushed garlic and chopped chilli in a frying pan until golden brown.

3. Add white wine to garlic-chilli mix and bring it to boil and let it boil for a couple of minutes.

4. Add cod fillet cubes into the frying pan and cook for 2 minutes. Do not over cook the fish otherwise it gets flavourless and dry!

5. Add cooked pasta into the frying pan. Mix well.

6. Add chopped parsley and hint of back pepper, white pepper and onion granules and a bit of salt too.

7. Squeeze half a lemon in.

Serve with lovely white wine and enjoy!

King prawn-red pepper pasta – Katkarapu-paprika pasta

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As I have mentioned several times I absolutely love seafood. That is why I feel very lucky of my husband coming from Queensland Australia as when we travel there I can always enjoy the most amazing seafood that the Great Barrier Reef and Australian tropics can offer. I cannot believe how big king prawns and scallops are over there, they are huge, flavoursome and so fresh that I could not imagine anything better. I have also tried to educate myself to become familiar with the different type of fish they have over there. As funny as it is some of the fish have European names but are totally different fish.. I guess the first Europeans who immigrated in Australia run out of names and thought they would name the fish with the familiar names they used to grow up with :)! So do not get confused if the fish you order over there whilst having the same name is something totally different! Anyway I hope you enjoy this simple prawn pasta recipe, it is a perfect dish to cook after the working day as it won’t take much time or effort but still tastes good.

For 2-3 people:
1 onion
1-2 garlic cloves
1 spring onion
150-200g king prawns
50ml white wine
1-2tbsp chopped dill
3tbsp eggplant pepper paste (see the recipe below)
100ml soy cream
150-200g pasta ( I used corn-rice pasta to make it gluten free)
3tbsp olive oil
juice of half of the lemon
black pepper, salt, paprika

Eggplant-red pepper paste:

1 eggplant

1 big red pepper

1. Bake the eggplant and red pepper cubes in the oven in 200 celsius degrees for half an hour until soft and a bit brownish.

2. Blend the cubes to get the smooth paste.

3. Use in any cooking or spice it up with some salt and black pepper and use on the top of the bread.

Prawn pasta instructions:

1. Cook pasta.

2. Cook the onions until golden, add king prawns and white wine and let it boil for a couple of minutes (not too long as otherwise prawns become chewy!).

3. Add eggplant-rep pepper paste. dill and soy cream.

4. Add the pasta, spices, juice of half of the lemon and olive oil.

Serve and enjoy! Home made, fresh and so irresistibly  good!

White wine always compliments this dish. For those who live in England I can recommend a good every day wine that is -I think- rather exceptional price -quality wine: Calvet Prestige Sauvignon Semillon. Be aware of not getting ripped off. In Ocado this wine is £11.99 but for example Morrisons has it quite often reduced to £6-8 and so does Sainsbury’s. I quite often hunt these offers and buy many bottles at once as this wine is definitely worth that £11.99 in flavour and good to serve in casual house parties when friends are visiting:)

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Berryfull breakfast mousse -Marjainen aamiaismousse

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One of my favourite bloggers Deliciously Ella posted a while ago the recipe of a berry breakfast puree. I made a lot more simple version of it and I totally fell in love with it. It is super healthy but incredibly tasty. My baby was munching it with the smile on her face too.

One portion:

1/2 banana

1/2 avocado

Blueberries and/or raspberries depending on your taste. I used couple of tablespoons of blueberry puree as  it is hard to find fresh blueberries this time of the year.

Put the ingredients to the blender and mix well and you will have the silkiest mousse for breakfast. I eat it with fresh raspberries and raw oat porridge (oats soaked in rice milk and sweetened by Acasia honey).

Try and enjoy!

Scandinavian salmon pasta- Lohipasta skandityyliin

ImageSince the pregnancy I have been obsessed with fish and seafood. A person who loved medium rare steaks and flavour of meat seemed to have disappeared. I cannot even think about the steak without feeling shivers. Having said that lamb and game meet are fine for some reason, it is only beef and pork that seem not to go down as they used to. I guess nothing wrong with that. London offers a huge range of different tasty fish and seafood to eat. In addition to local fishmongers and supermarkets, there are couple of fantastic fresh seafood markets in London! Any day I can go to our local store and buy fresh squid, scallops, prawns and variety of fish. It is just wonderful!

Last night I felt like salmon (again!) and my husband was begging to have salmon pasta (has been actually begging for some time) so I thought why not, let’s go for it. For me it is a huge step as I have these horror images (and memories) in my head of Finnish primary school food that so often was soggy, greasy and flavourless salmon pasta. I was a tricky child, I refused to eat any school food all my life. I was lucky enough to go at that time privately run sport high school that invested in amazing school food provided my Fazer (Amica). I guess I was pampered at home my parents were cooking extremely flavoursome and tasty meals and school food just didn’t reach that level.

In order to make great salmon pasta you need fresh ingredients and fresh herbs. I think seafood in general is very demanding as you do need fresh ingredients, jars and dried spices just don’t do it. This salmon pasta is extremely simple and quick but I have to say it was tasty even though I made up the ingredients in my head. This is a dairy free but ”creamy” pasta, it is super healthy and far from greasy! I warmly recommend to try it.

For two:

2 salmon fillets

approximately 200g pasta (I used spaghetti for two but you can choose tagliatelle, fusilli.. anything) I used corn and rice pasta, it is my new favourite! It seems to digest easier than normal wheat pasta and does not make me feel bloated.

3 spring onions

1-2 tbsp chopped dill

1-2 tbsp olive oil

(squeeze of lemon always good!)

100ml soy cream (or normal single cream if you want to use dairy)

3 tbsp wholegrain mustard

hint of white pepper

hint of black pepper

hint of lemon pepper

1. Cook the salmon fillets in the oven. Usually 200 Celsius degrees and 17 minutes is perfect.

2. Cook the pasta until al dente.

3. Pour the water away from pasta but leave a little bit in the bottom of the saucepan.

4. Add the spring onions, dill, olive oil and soy cream and cook for a little while.

3. Add the cooked salmon and mix.

4. Add the wholegrain mustard and spices and mix well.

Serve and enjoy! White wine -particularly Riesling – goes well with this but as we do clean eating in our household now we did not have any wine with the dinner.

PS. I will start writing in Finnish again as soon as I find more time (the other challenge is my British keyboard, I need to install the Finnish one in order to get the right alphabet  🙂