Basil chicken and a busy mother

I have been super busy lately. I am really trying to get everything organised at home. I think I am doing a great progress and I feel pretty relaxed that we won’t have any last minute rush. I also got a brand new macbook pro as  a present from my husband so blogging is a lot easier now as I don’t need to use our desktop upstairs but can use a computer in any room. I still have to say that me staying at home instead of working made a big difference to our move and allowed us to proceed slowly but steadily.

basil chicken 2

Anyway, enough about the move and back to the food. I made this simple but tasty basil chicken last night. One good thing of having a child is that you start cooking a lot simpler food. As a young couple I think we have really cooked quite exotic meals and tried all sort of interesting new twists in our dinners. I, however, have to admit that back to basic is not too bad, in fact simple flavours are refreshing. As my daughter still cannot eat any dairy or soy I use creamed oats (Oatly oat cream) in cooking. I was a bit suspicious if it would work but now I have to admit I prefer it over regular cream or even soy cream firstly because it does not make me sick ( my body cannot stand pure regular cream, it never had) and secondly it has this fantastic naturally sweet flavour so actually it gives a soft delicate taste to every sauce. My daughter loved the creamy chicken I made last night and kept on asking more and more to taste whilst I was still cooking. She also had it today for lunch and ate with a great appetite. My dear husband loved it too and requested more so I think I will cook it again very soon.  I chose red onion as it is sweeter. Also chicken thighs are better for this sauce, a bit fattier and more flavoursome than breast filets so I recommend those. Oat is super good for you so this oat cream for cooking is just amazing and worth trying!

Perfect basil chicken for busy mothers.

For four people:

1 red onion

4  chicken thighs (skin off)

200ml oat cream (soy and regular cream works if you prefer them)

1 bunch of basil

hint of salt, black pepper, white pepper and paprika

1. Dice the onion and cook it until golden.

2. Add chicken and cook until almost fully cooked.

3. Add oat cream and basil leaves as whole.

4. Spice it with salt, white and black pepper and paprika.

Serve with salad or rice.

Bon appetite!

Mainokset

Fennel radish salad -Fenkoli-retiisi salaatti

ImageNanny hunt is still going and we have been extremely busy reading CVs and interviewing people. Today I ended up make fennel radish salad for dinner. I got the inspiration in one amazing coffee house Maison Blanc in Musewell Hill where I enjoyed an extraordinary salad which had fennel and radish in it. When we got home I could not resist myself and wanted to try my own version of it. The flavour combination was extremely good. I warmly recommend to try this.

2 chicken breasts fried and cut into cubes

salad ( rocket, spinach and regular salad combination)

4 radishes

half a fennel

100 ml red quinoa (when cooked it will be almost 200 ml)

3 spring onions

1 avocado

olive oil

black pepper

1. Cook the quinoa and fry the chicken.

2. Cut all the other ingredients and add into the bowl. Pour good quality olive oil in and add some black pepper. Mix it well. Add the chicken and quinoa and mix well again.

This is a superfood salad but so tasty, fennel and radish together are amazing! Serve it with fresh bread and olive oil!

Olemme olleet todella kiireisiä viime päivinä lukien nannyjen Cv:itä ja pitäen haastatteluja. Tänä iltana tein illalliseksi fenkoli-retiisisalaattia. Inspiraation sain eräästä ihanasta kahvilasta Maison Blancista Muswell Hillissä. Kun tulimme kotiin halusin koettaa omaa versiotani tästä ihanaisesta salaatista. Fenkoli ja retiisi ovat unelmainen yhdistelmä! Suosittelen siis lämpimästi kokeilemaan tätä salaattia!

2 kanan rintaa paistettu ja kuutioitu

salaattia (rucola, pinaatti, salaatti sekoitus)

4 retiisiä

puolikas fenkoli

1 dl punaista quinoaa (keitettyna tulee n. 2dl)

 3 kevätsipulia

1 avokado

oliiviöljyä

mustapippuria

1. Keitä quinoa ja paista kananrinnat.

2. Kuutioi kaikki ainekset ja sekoita yhteen. Kaada hyvälaatuista oliiviöljyä runsaasti sekaan, lisää mustapippuria ja sekoita. Tarjoile tuoreen leivän ja oliiviöljyn kanssa. Jam!

Slow cooker Chicken -Slow Cooker Kanaa

I promised I would post a recipe for you if my whole chicken slow cooker dish was even a decent one. In fact it was super tasty even though I threw all the ingredients in without any recipe. You can obviously apply the recipe depending what suits for you and whatever you happen to have in your pantry at the moment. The whole point of using a slow cooker is just leave the ingredients cooking for hours and hours.

Lupailin reseptiä slow cooker kanastani, siis kokonaisesta kanasta, jonka valmistin lauantaina. Minulla ei ollut lainkaan reseptia vaan heittelin sekaan ainesosia sitä mukaan kuin mieleeni juolahti ja kuinka ollakaan, kanasta tuli varsin herkullista. Luulen tosin, että syynä tähän lienee pikemminkin ihanainen slow cooker kuin kokkailutaitoni! Voitte soveltaa reseptiä oman mielihalunne mukaan. Onhan koko slow cookerin idea harras ja pitkä kypsentäminen. Voitte valita esimerkiksi yhden yrtin, jota suositte ja rakentaa aterian sen ympärille. Minulle tämä yrtti oli timjami.

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For 4-5 people:

1 onion

3 garlic cloves

500ml chicken stock

100ml dry white wine

700g parsnips

1 whole free range chicken

2-3 tbs chopped thyme

3 tbs BBQ sauce

3-4 tbs jerk chicken spice

1 tsp onion granules

1 tsp black pepper

1. Cut the parsnips and slice the onion.

2. Rub the BBQ sauce on the chicken skin and cover it with the jerk chicken spice.

3. Put the parsnips and the onion slices in the bottom of the slow cooker, pour the chicken stock and wine on top, add the spices.

4. Set the chicken on the top of the parsnips. Crush the garlic on top and into the sauce.

5. Cook in the slow cooker at least 5 hours.

Remember to reuse the chicken stock that you have left after this meal. The stock will be perfect for risottos, soups or paellas.

Enjoy!

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Neljälle tai viidelle hengelle:

1 sipuli

3 valkosipulin kynttä

500ml kanalientä

100ml kuivaa valkoviiniä

700g palsternakkaa

1 kokonainen vapaa kana

2-3 rkl timjamia

3 rkl BBQ-kastiketta/grillikastiketta

3-4 rkl jerk chicken maustetta (tai jotakin tulista maustemixiä!)

1tl sipulijauhetta

1 tl mustapippuria

1. Pilko palsternakka ja sipuli.

2. Hiero grillikastike kanan nahan päälle ja ripottele paksu kerros jerk chicken maustejauhetta.

3. Laita palsternakka, sipuli, valkoviini, kanaliemi ja mausteet slow cookeriin.

4. Asettele kana palsternakkojen päälle ja musrkaa valkosipulin kynnet kanan päälle ja liemen joukkoon.

5. Anna kypsyä vähintään viisi tuntia, mitä pidempään sen parempi!!

Muista uudelleenkäyttää kanaliemi, joka jää yli tästä ateriasta. Liemi on ideaalia juuri risottoihin, keittoihin tai paellaan!

Nauti!

Another pampering day -Toinen hemmottelupäivä

I had another pampering day today. My dad is in town which is amazing by the way as I have spare two hands helping me with the baby! Whilst my dad went to have a day out shopping and my dear Aussie husband was looking after our sweet baby girl I went to hairdresser, to my absolute favourite and trusted one called Jojo&Flo. I always book the salon director to do my hair and she is just amazing. She told me already last time that I should go for bob style cut and darker highlights, I hesitated. Now I was I totally ready for the change. I thought the suggestion of salon director would suit me as my dear Aussie husband told me last summer that ”darling you are turning to thirty it would be maybe time to look a bit more elegant rather than girly”.  He meant it in a nice way and I totally agreed. Time to change my look to more classic chic, like Parisian street style rather than have my long blonde hair flowing whilst wearing something pink :)! So today I took darker highlights, in fact mix of three: dark brown, golden brown and blonde.

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Tänään sain nauttia toisesta hemmottelupäivää tässä kuussa. Luksusta! Isäni on Lontoossa käymässä, mikä on ihanaa, minulla on kaksi muuta kättä auttamassa vauvan kanssa. Kun isäni suuntasi shoppailemaan keskustaan ja rakas aussimieheni toimi lastenvahtina suuntasin luottokampaajalleni muodonmuutokseen. Varaan aina ajan niin kutsutulta ”salon directorilta”, mikä täällä on korkein kampaajan arvo salongeissa (täällä siis usein titteli etenee graduate, stylist, senior stylist ja salon director). Hän jo viime kerralla ehdotti trendikästa polkkaa ja tummempia raitoja. Silloin emmin. Nyt olin valmis muutokseen. Viime kesänä nimittäin aviomieheni hyvään sävyyn tokaisi ”rakas täytät kolmekymmentä, ehkä olisi aika pukeutua elegantimmin pikemminkin kuin tyttömäisesti”. Olin samaa mieltä. On aika tavoitella pariisilaista klassista katutyylia pitkien blondien hiusten ja pinkkien vaatteiden sijaan. Tänään siis leikkasin trendikkaan polkan ja otin kolmen sävyn raidat: tumman ruskeaa, kullan ruskeaa ja blondia. Olen uskomattoman tyytyväinen. Lopputulos oli juuri sitä mitä toivoinkin. Kiitos ihanaisen luottokampaajani!

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For tonight I have a whole free range chicken in white wine simmering in a slow cooker for dinner.  I will post you the recipe if it is successful. This is in the end my first whole chicken that I am cooking. I love slow cookers by the way, they are the dream of any housewife as you just put things in for 8-10 hours and you get an amazing meat that falls off the bone -yummy! I better go now to enjoy my evening as I just got my baby to sleep. I hope you have had a lovely weekend so far. Have a relaxing Saturday night!

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Illalliseksi minulla on tulossa kokonainen kana valkoviinissä. Toivottavasti se onnistuu. Jos kokkaan ensimmäisen kokonaisen kanani onnistuneesti, resepti seuraa perässä tähän blogiin. Kokkaan kanaa siis niin kutsutussa ”slow cookerissa” (uunimme on siis yhä hajalla kiitos British Gasin huonon palvelun). Rakastan muuten ”slow cookeria”, se on jokaisen kotirouvan unelma. Ei tarvitse kuin laittaa mausteet, lihat ja liemet ”slow cookeriin” ja jättää hiljakseen poreilemaan 8-10 tunniksi. Liha suorastaan putoaa luusta, niin meheväksi se tulee. Lähden nyt nauttimaan lauantai-illasta sillä sain juuri vauvamme nukkumaan. Toivottavasti teillä on ollut onnistunut viikonloppu. Ihanaista lauantai-iltaa kaikille!

Butternut squash soup -Myskikurpitsa keitto

squashMy oven is still broken so I am cooking everything on hobs. Have to say that British Gas is the worst service provider I have ever faced and am not surprised why everything is always broken here. As a tip if you are planning to move to the UK consider all the other service providers before signing a contract with them! Anyway, my life has been a bit of roller coaster lately and I know some of you may think that it is normal when you have a baby and see me being just a complete whinger. I think only a person who has gone through this craziness will understand how stressful it is when you cannot eat anything, you fear to introduce new foods as you are afraid of severe allergic reaction, your baby has woken up every hour for months and months to scratch herself or to comfort herself by eating and during the daytime she has hardly slept. No downtime at all. I guess there will be a turning point but we haven’t reached it yet. My dinners have become quicker and quicker as the only thing I can think about after putting my baby to sleep is to go to bed. Here you are my quick butternut squash soup. Very tasty but ideal for a busy life!

For four people:

1 butternut squash

4 tbs olive oil

hint of blackpepper, salt and sage

2 onions

1 tsp sage (or 1 tbs of finely chopped fresh sage)

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

500ml chicken stock

1. Roast the butternut squash cubes and sliced onions in the oven in 200 celsius degrees for 30-35min after mixing them with olive oil and the hint of salt, blackpepper and sage .

2. Bring the chicken stock into boil, add the squash and onions and let it simmer for 5min.

3. Puree with the stick or in a food processor.

Enjoy!

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Päätin kaiken pohdinnan jälkeen kirjoittaa blogiini myös suomeksi. Onhan se rakas äidinkieleni. Puhun tyttärelleni suomea, mutta viime aikoina on tuntunut, että suomenkieleni on ruosteessa, etenkin kirjallinen ilmaisukykyni. Blogini kirjoittaminen ja kirjallisesti suomen tuottaminen toivottavasti parantaa tilanteen. En voi luvata jokaista postausta suomeksi, mutta yritän parhaani!

Uunimme, joka reilu viikko sitten rikkoi sopimuksensa irti on yhä hajalla. British Gas, joka täällä Britanniassa hallinnoi lämmitysjärjestelmien ja kodinkoneiden huoltoa on ollut aivan mahdoton. Insinöörit tekivät sovituista ajankohdista huolimatta kolmesti oharit. Toiminta on ollut niin hidasta ja leväperäistä, että selittää miksi tässä maassa niin usein kaikki hajoilee. Se, ettei kyseinen korjaaja saapunut paikalle, vaikka istuin neljän seinän sisällä odottamassa vauvan kanssa (kaikkea muuta kuin ideaalia!), ei ole parantanut tätä hullunmyllyä. Viimeiset neljä kuukautta ovat olleet todella rankkoja. Täytyy rehellisyyden nimissä myöntää, että vaikka kuinka yritän psyykata itseäni positiiviseen ajatteluun, masentaa tämä äärimmäisyyksiin viety tiukka imetysdieetti, jonka vuoksi en voi syödä lähestulkoon mitäään. Sen lisäksi huolettaa jokaisen uuden ruoka-aineen antaminen vauvalleni pahan allergisen reaktion pelossa. Han ei hyväksy pulloa eikä ole kiinnostunut mistään ruoista (rajoitettu valikoima, ei kiinostaisi minuakaan!), joten olen täysin häneen sidottuna kohta kahdeksannetta kuukautta.. Rakas tyttäreni on myös ollut hyvin itkuinen, vaativa, heräillyt joka tunti öisin jo kuukausia, joten univajeeni on jo huolestuttavissa mittasuhteissa. On suorastaan ihme että muistan laittaa housut jalkaan aamuisin. Lohduttaudun sillä, että jossain vaiheessa käänne tapahtuu. Vielä ei sitä olen näkynyt. Odotan ensi helmikuuta, jolloin toivottavasti saan lopettaa tämän dieetin. Kokkaus, leivonta ja blogin pitäminen piristävät minua tällä hetkellä enemmän kuin koskaan -jotain omaa tuttua vanhaa minua!

Hullumyllyn vuoksi koetan kokkailla illalliset nopeasti, jotta pääsen aikaisin nukkumaan. Tässä varsin mainion, yksinkertaisen, mutta huippuherkullisen myskikurpitsakeiton ohje. Kokeile!

Neljälle:

1 myskikurpitsa

4rkl oliiviöljyä

ripaus mustapippuria, suolaa ja kuivaa salviaa

2 sipulia

500ml kanalientä

1tl salviaa (kuiva käy, jos tuoretta voi laittaa 2rkl silputtuna)

1tl suolaa

1/2 tl mustapippuria

1. Kuutioi myskikurpitsa  ja sekoita olliviöljy sekä ripaus mustapippuria, suolaa ja salviaa. Paista 200 asteessa n. 30-35 minuuttia.

2. Kiehauta kanaliemi, lisää kesäkurpitsa ja sipulit. Keitä miedolla lämmöllä n. 5 minuuttia. Mausta.

3. Soseuta ja nauti!

Caribbean feast- Karibialainen ruokafesti

photo (60)

Last weekend I had an amazing Caribbean influenced meal for lunch. I got so excited about those flavours that yesterday I decided to make my own version of this delicious meal. I was amazed how good our local supermarket was when I went to hunt some Caribbean ingredients, they had everything I needed for the jerk sauce and even a ready Jamaican jerk spice too. The supermarket had fresh pawpaws and mangoes and even plantains (cooking bananas!!!). Unbelievable!  Have to give points to English supermarkets after that! By the way, don’t get too worried if you cannot find cooking bananas, use regular ones.

My mum always keeps on telling me how different my taste buds are from hers as I love sweet meals and particularly I love mixing sweet and savoury flavours together. I know this is the case. If my dear Aussie husband goes and orders an English breakfast I choose always sweet continental breakfast for myself. I rather pass the savoury English breakfast and drink only coffee instead if I cannot get my muesli or croissant with some jam.

Caribbean cuisine is something I highly admire and adore. The flavours are fresh, sweet and unusual for Western palate. I have been quite hesitant to try to cook any Caribbean at home as I am not very  familiar with cooking it, only eating it. After last night’s feast I realised that in fact it is not hard at all. Some research online needs to be carried out but after that you can combine your own Caribbean meal. Here is mine: Jerk chicken, fried plantains, mango pawpaw salsa and chunky chips. I hope you enjoy it. My dear Aussie husband certainly did as I got requested to cook another one tonight!

Serving for two:

2 chicken thighs

Jerk Sauce:

3 spring onions roughly chopped

1cm size of fresh ginger

1 garlic clove

1/2 onion

1 red chilli deseeded

1/2 lime (juice)

2-3 tbs vegetable oil

1-2 tbs BBQ sauce

1 tbs dark sugar

1 tbs fresh thyme chopped

1/2 tsp all spice mix

1. Put all the chopped sauce ingredients into the food processor or blender and mix well.

2. Rub the sauce on chicken thighs and let marinade for 1-2 hours.

3. Cook in the oven in 180 celsius degrees in a baking dish on the top of the foil for 30min or less if cooked through. The last 5min raise the baking dish higher so that the skin gets crispier.

Mango Pawpaw Salsa:

1/2 pawpaw cut into tiny cubes

1 small mango cut into small cubes

1 red onion chopped

2-3 tbs balsamico

1 tbs sugar

1. Chop the ingredients and mix well together. Let sit in the fridge for 1 hour or so. The salsa gets sweeter!

Chunky chips:

3-4 big potatoes sliced to chip shape with skin on

4 tbs vegetable oil

1 tbs paprika

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp white pepper

1 tsp black pepper

2 tsp onion granules

1. Mix together in a bowl and bake on a baking tray in 180 celsius degrees in grill section for 15-20min. The last 5min raise the temperature to the highest available degree (for me 240 celsius degrees) and cook for an extra 3-5 min to get really crunchy chips.

Plantains:

1 plantain

1. Slice the plantain and fry in oil on frying pan.

See the difference between ripe and unripe plantain. The darker the plantain and the more you see black spots the better and sweeter it will be!

plaintain ripeness

Serve the Caribbean feast by setting chicken thighs, chips, salsa and plantains on the plate.

ENJOY!

Peanutty Satay Skewers

My dear Aussie man loves peanut butter. His speciality is satay sauce based Thai dishes. I have always found it a bit difficult to add half a cup of peanut BUTTER into the sauce. I love to eat it, but the idea of cooking this massively fatty sauce creates a challenge for me. A few months ago I decided that our home cooking needs new ideas , new satay ideas!

We got a lovely book called ’Jamie’s 30 minute meals’ for Christmas present the other Christmas from my mother-in-law. I don’t like fast cooking as it is an enjoyment for me to cook and taste and have a glass of wine to speed up my cooking so I was suspicious whether one can cook a delicious meal in 30 minutes. After testing some of those recipes I realised that they are fantastica and that it is Jamie only who takes 30 minutes to cook these meals. For a normal human being it is a lot longer process! One of my favourite recipe in this book is the Satay Chicken Skewers.The skewer recipe below is sligthly moderated from the original recipe. I hope you find it tasty. I think it is heavenly. We have had some great moments with my Aussie man’s friends eating these skewers and watching Aussie rules football with cans of beer.

Ingredients:

small bunch of fresh coriander

1 fresh red chilli (remember to remove the seeds otherwise your meal is burning hot!!!!!)

1/2 clove garlic

4-5 tbs crunchy peanut butter

3-4 tbs soy sauce

2cm piece of fresh peeled ginger

1/2 dl cold water

1 lime squeezed (not necessary, but it gives  an exotic flavour)

2-3 chiken breats cut into cubes

honey

1. Heat up the oven to 180 celsius degrees. Soak the skewer sticks in the cold water. Cut the red chilli  and ginger into small pieces.

2. Smooth coriander, chilli, garlic, ginger and peanut butter in the food processor.

3. Add soy sauce (and lime juice).

4. Add some water to make the sauce running enough. Cut chicken breasts into small cubes. Mix the cubes into the sauce and let it sit for 15-20 min to get the flavours in.

5. Take the skewer sticks from the water. Put the satay saucy chicken cubes into the skewers. Place them nicely into a baking dish.

6. Cook them until they turn to nicely brown (15min). Squeese some honey on the top of the skewers and cook them for five more minutes.

Serve with salad. It is delightful!