July 30, 2013


how anything is possible in life
home roasting coffee
friendships that last through the years
Kinsey's words of kindness challenge
this cake (and this!)
Martin Johansson's sour dough school
Jamie's passion to cook
Song of the wind by Santana
this painting by Bernard Lorjou:

July 29, 2013

The Green Kitchen Project, recipe no.6

I am at home and I miss everybody a lot (though most of us live in Helsinki being with the family at our parents is just very different from being with them here). And I miss the countryside and feel a little out of place in the city. But I suppose I'll soon get the hang of this again. There are wild things in the air; I'm excited but also looking forward to things settling down again.

I made these crackers at our parents. Very yummy.



60g sunflower seeds
60g sesame seeds
40g linseed
60g hempseeds (I didn't have hempseeds so I used 80g of sunflower seeds, 80g sesame and 60g linseed)
100g amaranth/quinoa/almond flour (I used half rye, half oat flour)
1,5tsp sea salt
300ml water
60ml olive oil
2tbsp orange juice
1tbsp clear honey

Mix the seeds together and reserve a quarter for topping. Add flour, salt, water and olive oil and mix. (You should have a loose batter. If it is not loose enough, add some more water; it will evaporate as you bake the crackers.) Line two baking trays with baking paper and pour the batter on them. Flatten them out with a spatula as thin as possible. (I accidentally sprinkled the remaining seeds on them at this point; they were meant to be sprinkled after the first bit in the oven, before cutting the crackers, but I think I'll actually stick to doing it this way.) Bake in 150 celsius for 25 minutes. Meanwhile whisk together the honey and orange juice. Remove the trays from the oven, brush them with the orange glaze and cut them (I used a pizza slicer) into 5cm pieces. Bake for 30 minutes more or until the crackers are crunchy. (I baked the middle pieces for an extra 10 minutes or so.) Cool on a wire rack.

July 20, 2013

The other day in Ahola dad and Antti put up new benches in the sauna, me and Sanni painted a bed, I hung out and cooked with Iiris and Sanni wanted to paint everything white.

July 19, 2013

Rice porridge is comforting. Friendship is golden.

July 17, 2013

These days are slow and easy. I love how here and now matters all the more (however ordinary it might be) when you don't know what the future holds.

I have been making granola for a long time (inspired by my friend Maija last summer) but I never used a recipe. I just mix oats, chopped almonds and cashews and then warm up some oil with organic syrup or honey and then pour that on the oats and nuts and stir until everything is well coated (and warm up some more oil and sweetener, if not). I roast the granola in 175 celsius for 10 to 15 minutes or so, turning it a few times with a spoon to roast evenly. When the granola has cooled down I throw in cacao nibs, coconut flakes and dried cranberries (this was my favorite granola for a long time). Sometimes I use olive oil, sometimes canola and sometimes coconut oil. I've found that olive oil and honey are a good pair and canola oil and syrup; with coconut oil I've used no sweetener. Lately I have experimented a little with seeds, and one of my favourite finds for granola has been dried strawberries!

Green Kitchen Stories posted this granola recipe a while ago and the banana in it sounded so enticing that I had to have a go. I've made jars and jars of this during the last two weeks (we are many here at our parents)!


(from Green Kitchen Stories)

700ml oats
120ml roughly chopped almonds
120ml pumpkin seeds
0,5tsp salt

3tbsp coconut oil
3tbsp honey (or maple syrup)
2 very ripe bananas

Combine oats, almonds, seeds and salt in a bowl. In a separate bowl mash the bananas with a fork until smooth and add coconut oil and honey and mix. Mix the wet ingredients with the dry with your hands. Spread the granola in an even layer on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Bake in 200 celsius for 15 to 20 minutes, check at around 10 minutes and turn the granola over and break chunks that are too big.

July 16, 2013

Seeing a good old friend who lives far away is like remembering how lovely the smell of green grass is after a long winter! (as Sirpa put it so beautifully)

July 12, 2013

We spent some lovely, slow days on my friend's family's island. We know how to relax, make good food and solve crosswords.

July 8, 2013

Oh it's good to be back!

July 7, 2013

The Green Kitchen Project, recipe no.5

I'd been waiting for strawberry season to get to try this recipe from the book! It was a sunny morning and we had the cake for dessert after breakfast on the backyard. It's good to have family around (some are leaving home soon but then others are coming). Tomorrow we're going to Ahola!


300g sunflower seeds
(2tbsp hemp seeds, optional)
12 fresh medjool dates, pitted (about 225g)
2tbsp coconut oil
1/2tsp sea salt

300g fresh strawberries
juice of 1/2 a lemon
120ml clear honey (or agave syrup, I put 100ml)
500g quark (or greek yoghurt or mascarpone)

250g fresh strawberries for garnish

Toast the sunflower seeds on a baking tray in 180 celsius for 6-8 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes and put them (together with the hemp seeds) in a food processor and pulse for about 20 seconds. The seeds should be chopped but not powdered. Add the dates, coconut oil and salt and process until the mixture comes together to a sticky crust. (I don't have a food processor at hand here so I chopped the seeds with a hand blender and mashed the dates with a fork until smooth. Then I first added coconut oil and salt to the dates and mixed them in by hand and last blended the seeds in by hand.) Cover the bottom of a 20cm spring-form cake tin with baking paper, closing in the paper with the sides. Press the mixture firmly over the base with your thumbs. Chill in the fridge while you prepare the filling.

Purée the strawberries, lemon juice and honey in a food processor or blender (hand blender worked perfect), pour into a large bowl, add the quark and mix well. Pour the mixture over the crust and put it in the freezer for about 90 minutes. You can keep the cake in the freezer for a few days but then let it thaw for about a half an hour before serving. Garnish the cake with strawberries (and a couple of edible flowers, as the Green Kitchen does). Serve the cake immediately; you cannot freeze it again and it doesn't really last in the fridge either.

We had the cake in the freezer for 2 days but next time I'd freeze it just before serving, I think the consistency will be better then. (I'm actually intrigued to play around with the recipe in order to just chill the cake instead of freezing it; it would be easier to keep.) Also next time I think I'm substituting honey for some cane sugar in the filling; honey's got such a strong flavour. And fresh blueberries or blackcurrants would make a killer cake I bet! I used 2,3% quark but I'm sure greek yoghurt would work well too. I really like the lightly toasted sunflower seeds in the crust, yum.

Soundtrack for the recipe: Onnellinen by Mikki Kauste

July 4, 2013

We drove up north with mom and my sister yesterday. I'll be spending July here. It's quieter and smaller and I love how people actually walk slower here than in Helsinki, no one's in a hurry. It's calming.

On my last night in Helsinki I made pizza, and pesto for it, for me and the girls. I knew that once I'd made my own pesto there'd be no going back, and I picked a very good recipe for a first one. I don't think I'm changing.


half a clove garlic
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
3 good handfuls basil leaves
a handful walnuts (Jamie uses pine nuts)
a good handful freshly grated parmesan
extra virgin olive oil
(a small squeeze lemon juice)

Pound the garlic with a little pinch of salt and the basil leaves in a pestle and mortar or pulse in a food processor. Add the pine nuts/walnuts to the mixture and pound again. Turn out into a bowl and add half the parmesan. Stir gently and add olive oil – you need just enough to bind the sauce and get it to an oozy consistency. Season to taste, then add most of the remaining cheese. Pour in some more oil and taste again. Keep adding a bit more cheese or oil until you are happy with the taste and consistency. (You may like to add a squeeze of lemon juice at the end to give it a little twang, but it's not essential.)

(I've made my pesto so far with a food processor because I've only had a tiny pestle and mortar, but today I bought myself a proper big one!)

Happy independence day America!

July 1, 2013

I made rhubarb juice the other day and took some to Jessika yesterday. She inspires me so much with all her plants and herbs!


(makes about 3 liters, adapted from Leila Lindholm)

1kg rhubarb
1500ml water
200-300ml sugar
(a squeeze of lemon juice)

Wash the rhubarbs and cut them into small pieces. Cook in water for 15 minutes without stirring (to keep the juice clear). Sift the rhubarbs from the liquid, add sugar and bring to boil. Let cool and bottle. Mix with water to taste (about half and half).

It's rhubarb season but I used last summers rhubarbs from the freezer. And made one batch with 100ml of coconut sugar and 200ml of organic cane sugar and one with just organic cane sugar and without the squeeze of lemon. Go for the sugar you like!