My little French kitchen -Pieni ranskalainen keittiöni

You know I love cooking shows, I have noted it several times. If you ask my dear Aussie husband, our TiVo recording space is overloaded of various cooking shows that I record and watch whenever I have a chance to. My new celebrity chef favourite is Cordon Bleu trained Rachel Khoo whose program ”My Little Paris Kitchen” I am absolutely in love with. Rachel Khoo does French cuisine with her own twist -fantabulous! You can find her recipes online so have a look at them. My favourite so far has been Croque Madame muffins -wow. I will make them soon -as soon as my oven has been fixed. I am still waiting, last week British Gas came to fix it but had a wrong spare part -surprise- and this was only fourth attempt to fix it -unreal! Anyway, I will post a recipe here if those Croque Madame muffins are as amazing as they sound.

Tiedätte kuinka rakastan kokkausohjelmia. BBC Good Food täällä Britanniassa tarjoaa huikean määrän erilaisia ohjelmia ja kaikki valtavan korkeatasoisia. Jos kysystte rakkaalta aussimieheltäni meidän nauhoittavan digiboxin tallennustila on pakahtamaisillaan kaikista kokkaus- ja leivontaohjelmista, joita jatkuvasti nauhoitan. Katson niitä aina kun vain voin. Tällä hetkellä ehdoton uusin suosikki julkkiskokkini on Rachel Khoo, jonka ohjelmaa ”My Little Paris Kitchen” tujotan haltioituneena. Rachel Khoo kokkaa ranskalaisittain antaen ruoalle oman loppusilauksen ja lopputulos vaikuttaa hyvin houkuttelevalta. Hänen reseptejään löytyy myös netistä. Resepti, joka minun täytyy kokeilla ensi tilassa on Croque Madame muffinit. Aion tehdä niitä heti kun uunini on korjattu. Tämän pitäisi viimein tapahtua maanantaina tosin sitähän se British Gas lupaili jo viime viikolla, jolloin he saapuivat paikalle väärän varaosan kanssa -uskomatonta! Postaan blogiini reseptin mikäli nuo muffinit ovat niin ihania kuin miltä ne kuulostavat!

My next two Amazon orders will be her two cook books!

Seuraavat Amazon tilaukseni ovat Rachel Khoon kaksi allaolevaa kokkauskirjaa!

My Little French Kitchen

Imageand ”My Little Paris Kitchen”.

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Have a look at Rachel Khoo, her recipes will rock your kitchen!

Sunday in Highgate Village -Sunnuntai Highgaten kylässä

As my dad was in town we wanted to take him to one of our favourite pubs The Red Lion and the Sun that I mentioned in my blog post a few weeks ago. This pub is located in Highgate. As the weather was wonderful we thought we would have a lovely walk there. First we crossed our beautiful local park and then showed my dad the high street in Highgate Village.

Koska isäni oli Lontoossa viikonloppuna ajattelimme viedä hänet lempipubiimme The Red Lion and the Sun, josta olenkin jo aiemmin kirjoitellyt blogispostauksessani. Tämä pubi sijaitsee Highgatessa Lontoossa. Ensin kävelimme halki kauniin läheisen puistomme ja sitten suuntasimme kohti Highgatea.

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The Highgate Pantry.

I have probably said this multiple times before but I love these small pockets of London that are like villages with all the independent shops, bakeries, butchers, fishmongers, green grocers and cute boutiques. The Highgate Pantry bakery had a mouthwatering window!

Olenkin jo aiemmin sanonut useaan kertaan, että rakastan Lontoon pieniä itsenäisiä kylämäisiä yhteisöjä. Etenkin pohjois Lontoo on täynnä näitä pieniä kaupunginosia kuten Highgate, Hampsted, Highbury, Stoke Newington, Primrose Hill, Winchmore Hill, Muswell Hill, Crouch End. Ne kaikki seuraavat samaa kaavaa. Kylämäisen osan läpi vie high street, joka on täynnä mitä ihanaisimpia kahviloita ja puoteja lihakauppa, kalakauppa ja vihanneskauppa mukaan lukien. The Highgate Pantry leipomolla oli upea ikkuna.

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Some amazing looking lolly cupcakes in The Highgate Pantry.

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I usually try not to support the chains, but Le Pain de Quotidien has quality food and all organic too!

Yritän useimmiten välttää ketjuja, mutta Le Pain de Quotidien on loistava. Ruoan laatu on hyvää ja kaikki luomua.

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A lovely fruiterers in Highgate. — Ihana hedelmäkauppa Highgatessa.

The place called Limone in Highgate has a great selection of dairy and gluten free cakes. So all of you who are looking for finding some special diet coffee places in North London, this is one for you! Yesterday Limone had a tasty selection of special diet treats and one particularly interesting cake -lemon rosemary cake that was dairy free! Inspired by this, I will definitely bake some lemon drizzle cake next week when our cooker will be finally fixed. British Gas promised it to be ready next Monday -finally! Fingers crossed.

Jos etsit erityisruokavalioon sopivaa kahvipaikkaa Pohjois-Lontoossa Limone Highgatessa on mahtava. Se tarjoaa kotitekoisia maidottomia ja gluteiinittomia kakkuja. Yksi mielenkiintoisemmista oli sitruuna-rosmariini kuivakakku. Kuulosti tosi herkulliselta! Sen innoittamana aion ehdottomasti leipoa sitruunakakkua ensi viikolla, kun uunimme vihdoin pitäisi olla kunnossa. British Gas lupasi tänään, että maanantaina 14.10 uuni on korjattu. Toivottavasti, sillä rakkaan aussimieheni syntymäivät lähenevät kovaa vauhtia ja haluan kokata ihanaista illallista syntymäpäiväiltana!

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Waterlow Park in Highgate is super beautiful! I recommend a walk in there! I had a lovely Sunday, hopefully you had a relaxing weekend too!

Waterlow puisto Highgatessa on todella kaunis. Suosittelen kävelyä siellä! MInulla oli upea sunnuntaipäivä. Oli niin ihanaa nähdä isää! Toivottavasti teilläkin oli rentouttava viikonloppu!

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Waterlow Park.

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!

My articles about motherhood in London- Artikkeleitani äitiydestä Lontoossa

Despite my crazy tiredness due to non-sleeping multi allergic baby I have still found some time to contribute to a website that is directed to Finns who are moving to London and looking for information regarding various topics. My articles have all been about pregnancy and motherhood in London. They have been published as a series on lontoossa.fi website lately.

If you are interested in having a look at them see the links below. Unfortunately or fortunately (depends which way you look at it from) they are all written in Finnish this time 🙂

Raskaus Lontoossa suomalaisen silmin

Kymmenen tärkeintä ohjetta synnytykseen Lontoossa

Synnytys Lontoossa suomalaisen silmin

10 tärkeintä ohjetta vauvanhoitoon Lontoossa

Five people I admire – Viisi ihailemaani ihmistä

I did artistic gymnastic all my childhood and youngster days. Whilst other kids were catching up after school or going to house parties I was in the trainings and prepared for competitions. I just loved gymnastics. As my mother put it she tried to take me to go to some dancing lessons but the only place where my eyes where truly sparkling was the gymnastics training. My biggest idol of that time (90s) was  Shannon Miller, an American, 1996 Atlanta Olympic games beam gold medalist. I watched her performance on VHS in repeat and I had to have the similar fringe.

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At the same time as the gymnastics filled my life I fell in love with Queen music and I have to say until these days Freddie Mercury, the lead singer of Queen is still on the top of my list of people who I admire. As one of the first things in London was to go to see Freddie Mercury’s Garden Lodge house in Kensington.

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During the university years I went through a philosophy phase. I sold my soul to French existentialists and my student book shelf got new additions from authors like Jean Paul Sartre, Albert Camus and Simone de Beauvoir. The one that mostly appealed to me was De Beauvoir. I read the whole series of biography she wrote and I booked my first trip to Paris just to walk on the streets she walked and visit the restaurants where she used to dine. I adored the life style of Sartre and Beauvoir and wanted to be one of those philosophy students back in 1930s Sorbonne, drinking wine, eating fois gras on baguettes, smoking cigarettes and enjoying decadent life style. The book ”The Second Sex” is still a cult work and a feminist classic. De Beuvoir is admittedly one of the most genius thinkers of 20th century. I love to quote her saying ”women are made weak by encouraging them to wear high heels as they cannot run and escape” or ”women’s independence relies on their financial independence”. Well, as much as I still admire her, I have to admit that I wear high heels every day and as being a housewife at the moment I live with the pocket money I get from my husband. There goes all the great feminist ideals that I once so furiously advocated.

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What comes to authors one of my favourites is Oscar Wilde. I love her irony, sarcasm and the richness of his English language. I admire how he plays with words and says things that everyone thinks but cannot dare to say. In London we went to see one of his theatre pieces called ” An Ideal Husband”. It was better than I could have ever dreamed of!

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Time goes by and I notice that the older I get the fewer people I genuinely admire. I guess that is due to a fact that as an adult you start realising that they are only human beings and their life is sometimes as ordinary as your own.

If I should mention a person who I currently admire purely based on his talent, it has to be Will I Am. I think he is a genius as a producer. He has an eye to not only what sells but what is entertaining, grooving and compelling. View the link of his recent production for Voice UK that he created in no time. Only a really talented person can put together such a show in a week.

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Bang Bang Voice UK -Leah and Will I am

Our typical Sunday in North London – Sunnuntaimme Pohjois-Lontoossa

Yesterday when the morning was sunny we thought we would have a family walk from Muswell Hill to Highgate. We hadn’t done that walk before so we were curious to see what the are between was like. We have our eyes constantly open for new places and potential areas to buy house in. Muswell Hill is one of my favourite places in North London. If you have not been there, go! It is like a small pocket of London and cute own world. It has great shops and cafes and it is super baby friendly too. There is this awesome place called Crocodile Antiques . It has a fantastic shop attached to a love coffee shop. They have play corner for kids and in general lovely atmosphere. Muswell Hill has lots of non-mainstream shops which I prefer.  There is a shop called COOK.  I love the concept of this place. It sells gourmet style pre-made meals, lots of Indian food and wonderful cakes and desserts! Every meal has a signature of a chef who cooked it! I think this must be the dream of any busy housewife at Muswell Hill if surprise dinner guests arrive!

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These days Planet Organic is my favourite store to do our family grocery shopping  in! There is one in Muswell Hill and the other one on Essex Road, both North London. The store has a great selection of organic food, and goodies! They do home deliveries too!

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From Muswell Hill we chose a nice road to walk to Highgate. We passed beautiful houses and walked across Highgate Wood, a wonderful forest like park! The air smelled so fresh that it felt almost like being at the countryside.

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After arriving to Highgate village we went to this fantastic and cosy pub called Red Lion and the Sun. The food was excellent, service really good and pub so popular and crowded that we go the last table they had, so next time we need to book a table well advance! This pub is the place to be on Sundays. I warmly recommend it. It was a find!

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We had a lovely Sunday.

I also have to mention that my baby is so good. During the whole long (3h) lunch in the pub she was happily sitting in her highchair and being social and charming all the people around her. The group of people in the next table to us was admiring her and her huge blue icy eyes. I definitely feel so thankful for having such a lovely daughter, but it has been a long journey and the allergy problems messed up our happiness for a long time so I feel like as a family we deserve this. I am glad to get the happiness back and say I finally fully enjoy my motherhood.

Last night I realised I have been adding very few posts about our travels and I think in addition to the recipes I will be adding lots of traveling tips and accommodation recommendations as we have found so many lovely places to stay and visit whilst traveling around Europe. I hope you find them useful for your travels!

Have  a wonderful Monday!

Surprise Saturday pampering -Lauantain yllätyshemmottelu

My dear Aussie husband surprised me on Friday night.  I was having a lovely glass of Chardonnay in a local pub with my Norwegian friend. We had a proper girls’ evening, talking rubbish and having great time.  After coming back home I went to change my nighty on when I suddenly noticed there was a small piece of paper on my pillow in the bed. There was a poorly drawn heart on it and my name written with wonky handwriting. I opened it and there was a surprise full body massage reservation done for the Saturday midday to one of the most amazing local beauty salons. I was wordless. How sweet was that?

In the Saturday morning we did a walk in our new neighbourhood that I am absolutely in love with. A couple of months ago we decided to move to a bit more North London and get a big place for ourselves with the beautiful back garden and a small ”guest wing” as we call it. With the baby girl it is nice to have more space, two levels and big kitchen to do my cooking in.

I haven’t posted any photos of our new place. I love our rose gate in the backyard.

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The neighbourhood has just more and more stunning houses nearby and I love admiring them. This was what we discovered whilst doing our morning walk in the morning. Pretty!

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We had a cup of tasty coffee in our local Italian brasserie before I headed to enjoy my massage.

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The place I had my massage in is called ”House of Vanity”. It is such an amazing beauty salon. So luxurious and the massage was one of the best I have ever had, even the massage I once got in a fancy Alpine resort cannot beat it. It is so difficult to find a good massager and I think now I have found one so I will return to this salon..soon. Breastfeeding and nigh time wake ups have really made my shoulders and neck tight so a good massage is worth every single penny!

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What a relaxing Saturday afternoon. I feel like a human again. London is great! I have a peace of mind (and body too!).