Salad of the day: Pear and prawn salad -Päivän salaatti: Päärynäkatkarapusalaatti

WP_20131101_012Oh I am still so busy with the nanny hunt. It is so difficult, there are so many amazing candidates in their own way. I am looking for a Mary Poppins. The one that dances and sings. I know, she does not exist. It is like a dream mother does not exist. I wanted to be the happy, always smiling, stimulating, understanding cupcake mum and I realised it is impossible, sometimes I am grumpy and have no extra power to understand my baby girl’s tantrums. Anyway, this is a fantastic learning experience for me to try to find the nanny. It truly tests my personality type reading skills. Whilst going through everything I can get to my hands about hiring a nanny I have been munching salad.

This is my salad of the day:

Pears

Garlic Coriander Prawns

Salad

Goji berries

Roasted and salted cashew nuts

Honey-mustard dressing (1 tbs wholegrain mustard, 1 tbs olive oil, 1 tbs honey)

Very tasty! Even my baby girl who hates all the food was looking at my plate enviously! Win!

Mainokset

Banana oatmeal -Banaanikaurakakkunen

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Banana oatmeal -Banaanikaurakakkunen

This morning my baby girl was a rooster, she woke up at 5.30am. Wow. Early start. I have been awake for so long now that when it approaches 10am I feel like it is a lunch time. I guess my dear Aussie husband likes when I wake up so early as it means he has breakfast waiting for him and we can enjoy our early morning moments together. Today I thought I would try my morning oatmeal but instead of raspberries I used bananas and yummy, it was tasty! I felt I needed something super sweet and energy rich to go on as the morning wake up was so early. Try this, it is a perfect sweet breakfast!

Two portions:

2 dl (1 cup) jumbo oats

1/2 dl (1/4 cup) rice milk or regular milk

1 tbsp date pieces

1 tbsp raisins

1 tbsp dried cranberries

2 tbsp honey

1 banana

1. Mix rice milk, oats, raisins, dates and dried cranberries. Let it soak for 5-10 minutes.

2. Add in the honey.

3. Mash half of the banana, mix it in. Slice the other half of the banana, mix half of the slices into the oats and pour the mix into small tart tins. Put rest of the banana slices on the top of oat meals for decoration.

4. Bake in 190 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

Tänä aamuna tyttäreni heräsi kukonlaulunaikaan klo 5.30. Wow. Aikainen aloitus aamulle. Olen siis ollut jo hereillä niin pitkään, että kellon lähetessä kymmentä tuntuu kuin olisi jo lounasaika. Rakas aussimieheni ei pistä pahakseen aikaisia aamyherätyksiäni, sillä se tarkoittaa yleensä sitä, että tuore leivottu aamiainen kahveineen odottaa häntä ennen töihin lähtöä.  Voimme aikaisina aamun tunteina nauttia yhdessä pitkän aamiaisen ja rentoutua. Olen ehkä hitusen epätavallinen suomalaisnainen siitä syystä, että rakastan hemmotella miestäni. Mikään ei ole mielestäni niin ihanaa kuin leipoa hänelle aamiaista, laittaa ruokaa, yllättää leivonnaisilla tai vaikka vain tehdä voileivät valmiiksi lautaselle. Joku voisi kommentoida minun olevan desperate housewife kandidaatti, mutta koska teen sen täysin vapaaehtoisesti rakkaudesta en näe toiminnassani mitään paheksuttavaa eikä sisäinen feministini koe arvojansa loukatuksi. Hemmottelu on rakkauden ele ja pieni lisämauste jokapäiväiseen arkeen. Tänä aamuna valmistin vadelma kaurakakkusten sijaan vastaavia banaanisia. Tarvitsin jotain super energistä ja makeaa, jotta pysyn liikkeessä aikaisen aamuherätyksen jälkeen. Banaanikakkuset olivat onnistuneita, jam. Kokeilehan, ne olivat täydellisen makoisia aamiaiskakkusia.

Kaksi annosta:

2 dl jumbo kaurahiutaleita

1/2 dl riisimaitoa tai maitoa

1 rkl taatelinpaloja

1 rkl rusinoita

1 rkl kuivattuja karpaloita

2 rkl hunajaa

1 banaani

1. Sekoita kaurahiutaleet, rusinat, karpalot, taatelit ja riisimaito. Anna imeytyä 5-10 minuuttia.

2. Lisää hunaja.

3. Muussaa puoli banaania ja sekoita kaurasekoituksen sekaan. Viipaloi toinen puolikas banaanista ja sekoita puolet viipaleista kauraseokseen. Kaada seos pieniin torttuvuokiin ja koristele banaaninpaloilla.

4. Paista 190 asteessa 20-25 minuuttia.

Mustard-Honey Chicken

This is the recipe I originally found on BBC food website, but I change it a bit to get it more flavoursome. The sauce tastes heavenly and the best way to use leftover sauce is to cook chicken pies with this sauce as a filling. I bought Le Creuset here in London a few weeks after we moved here and now I have been testing all the different casserole recipes one can do. This recipe is best made in the oven in the casserole. All the flavours get stronger and softer.

4 servings

7-8 chicken thighs (skin removed) or 3 big chicken breasts bones in them

2 onions

500g parsnips

2 carrots

300ml vegetable stock

3/4 dl whole grain mustard

3 tbs honey

fresh thyme

1 ts salt

1. Set the oven in 180 celsius degrees. Cook the chicken thighs in a frying pan to make them golden brown. Then remove them on a plate to wait.

2. Cook the onions so that they become brown and sweet. Whilst onions are getting cooked cut the parsnips and carrots into the long sticks.

3. Mix the vegetable stock, mustard and honey together.

4. Take your casserole. Mix the chicken thighs, onions, carrots and parsnips. Add the vegetable-mustard-honey sauce. Bring it to simmer. Add fresh thyme according to your taste. I like thyme so I add  1/2 dl of fresh cut thyme. Salt the sauce.

5. Set the lid on and put the casserole into the oven of 180 celsius degrees for 20-40 min.

6. Serve the dish with the salad.

Crispy Oatbiscuits

All around the world people are using oat in cooking and baking. It is an exceptionally healthy grain even though it is the fattiest grain of all. It contains considerably bigger amount of good vegetable oil than any other type of grain. Oat is also suitable for people who suffer form gluten allergy (celiac disease) common in Northern Europe.

In Finland almost every grandmother knows how to make crunchy oatbiscuits for their grandchildren and those biscuits are considered very Finnish and also a significant part of ”wartime kitchen”. Unfortunately I have to shoot down this former claim although the latter one is quite true. It seems like in every country they have their own version of oatbiscuits that are part of so called ”traditional kitchen”. I realized this with my dear Aussie man when ANZAC day arrived.  It is celebrated every year on the 25th of April. It is a national day of remembrance in Australia and New Zeland. The name ANZAC comes from the Australian and New Zeland Army Corps. On the ANZAC day people are remembering this army that fought in Gallipoli in Turkey during the World War I. Both Australia and NZ lost massive amount of soldiers albeit UK and France lost even more.

How oatbiscuits and ANZAC day belong together then? On ANZAC day in addition that Aussies want to dress themselves in green and gold they also bake oatbiscuits -funny tradition, but it has a story behind it. Traditionally it is thought that the wives sent oatbiscuits to soldiers abroad back in Gallipoli times. Why oatbiscuits? Because the oaty ingredients do not spoil easily and the biscuits kept well during naval transportation. Smart women and tasty biscuits! Finally those certain kind of oatbiscuits were called ANZAC biscuits and served every year on ANZAC day in April!

Here I want to share my Finnish modified recipe of oatbiscuits. It is my favourite one and you can also make the biscuits even tastier by adding  some chewy date mousse topping on them. With all respect to Australian version of oatbiscuits, below you can also find a recipe for ANZAC biscuits. One of the most important ingredient for them is golden syrup.

FINNISH CRISPY OATBISCUITS

9 big biscuits

1 1/2 dl rolled oats

1 1/2 dl white flour

2 tl baking powder

100g melted butter

3 tbs honey

1 dl cream (milk goes as well)

1. Mix all the dry ingredients. Add the melted butter, honey and cream.

2. Form biscuits on the baking tray.

3. Bake them for 10-15 minutes in 225 degrees.

DATE TOPPING

1 dl dates (seedless)

1/2 dl almonds

water

1. Soak the dates and almons together in a small amount of water for a few hours and smooth them in the end. Add the topping for biscuits and cook them in the oven. This date topping tastes like caramel sauce.

ANZAC BISCUITS

125 g flour

150g caster sugar

1 dl coconut flakes

1 dl rolled oats

100g butter

1 tbs golden syrup

1/2 baking soda

2 tbs boiling water

1. Mix the flour, sugar, coconut and rolled oats. Melt butter and golden syrup. Dissolve baking soda in the butter-syrup mixture and add it with the flour mixture in a bowl. Mix well. Form biscuits on a baking tray.

2. Bake them in the oven of 180 degrees for 15-20 minutes.

ENJOY!