15 Dec 2017

Salmon Appetizers

 I love Christmas and its preparations, the festivity and the feel of waiting. How early do you start to preparing for your Christmas? This post is a part of my annual Christmas series on the blog! Check my Christmas Calendar, too!

Just a bit over a week to make Christmas preparations! I'm equally thrilled and petrified of getting everything done. This year we'll be celebrating the holidays at the cottage in the archipelago and it feels so thrilling! If there's one thing I want to eat during Christmas, it's salmon: gravadlax is the way to go, but cold-smoked salmon is a good substitute, too. These Salmon Appetizers bring together two ingredients from the seaside: salmon and "archipelago bread". "The archipelago bread" is sweet, made partly with malted rye, which gives it a special flavour. It goes well with fish. In addition to Christmas, these would be perfect for your New Year Eve Cocktail Party!

Other cocktail party suggestions:
Cognac Summit, a cold cognac cocktail
Eggs with Salmon Roe

If you're a Christmas addict as I, please remember to subscribe to my Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest or via RSS to not miss any posts! 

Salmon Appetizers

makes 16 small pieces

8 slices of dark bread, each about 5x5 cm

150g+50 g smoked salmon
150 g crème fraîche
a small red onion, diced
1 Tbsp lemon juice
a few twigs of fresh dill, chopped (save the prettiest parts for decoration)
black pepper

Chop 150 g salmon finely (save the rest for decorating). Mix with crème fraîche, red onion, lemon juice and dill. Season with black pepper. Place in fridge to let the flavours get even (at least 15-30 minutes) and then check the salt after awhile (salmon is quite salty by itself). Cut the bread slices in half to make them into triangles. Top the slices with salmon topping. Decorate with the rest of the salmon and with a little twig of dill.


16 palaa

8 viipaletta tummaa leipää (saaristolaislimppu tms), leikattuna 5x5 cm paloiksi

150g+50 g kylmäsavustettua lohta
150 g ranskankermaa
pieni punasipuli, hienoksi kuutioituna
1 rkl sitruunamehua
muutama oksa tuoretta tilliä, silputtuna (säästä kauneimmat osat koristeluun)


Hienonna 150 g kylmäsavulohta ja sekoita se ranskankermaan punasipulin, sitruunamehun ja tillin kanssa. Mausta pippurilla. Anna makujen tasaantua jääkaapissa hetki (n. 15-30 min) ja tarkista suola. Leikkaa leipäpalat kolmioiksi ja lusikoi täyte keoiksi niiden päälle. Koristele lopulla lohella ja tillillä.

13 Dec 2017

Tips on Gingerbread House Baking

Crucial in making gingerbread houses is to bake the parts so that they keep their form. I've given a recipe for a very good gingerbread dough earlier. It works really well for gingerbread houses.

Here are my tips to help you through the house making:

-Prepare the dough at least one day before you plan to roll the parts.
-Cut the parts from cardboard or baking paper and use them as a guide to cut the parts
from the dough. Be very precise with the measurements.
-If you haven't done any houses before, use readymade patterns.
-Roll the cold dough directly on the baking paper. You can put a couple drops of water
under the paper to help it cling to the table. Use some flour to prevent the dough from
-Cut the parts, move the baking paper on a baking tray. Brush off extra flour. Straighten
the edges, if they got distorted during the moving process.
-Bake the parts just until they start to get colour on the edges.
-The dough will be soft when you take the parts from the oven. If they haven't kept their
original form, you can use a knife to remodel them, but be quick as they'll get soon hard
and then crack easily.
-Try the parts together once they have hardened: if they don't fit, you can use a grater to
even their edges. But be careful to not break them.
-Decorate the parts as you wish (royal icing, streusels, candy,... the sky is the limit). Let
the decorations dry completely before the assembly.
-Use melted sugar to glue the pieces together. It's the best glue there is in my opinion.
It's a bit dangerous as the sugar gets so hot, so be careful! You have to be very quick also.
-Once the house is assembled, you can pipe more royal icing on the edges to hide cracks
or melted sugar strikes or sieve some powder sugar on top to mimic snow.

Actually I'm not sure, if I should be giving any tips. My latest gingerbread house building was full of problems from start to finish: The royal icing was too thin and I didn't like most of the pipings. I designed the house quite big and the assembling part was difficult. Some of the walls were bent from the start despite my best efforts. I broke the porch while assembling it. The roof parts didn't somehow fit properly and after assembly they started bending the walls even more. Despite the ugly appearance I got comments that I should finish it. So I had to make more dough in order to continue and make the porch parts again. I had also lost the patterns meanwhile so I had make them again too. I managed to straighten the roof and walls but the other roof part cracked a bit... I still got the house assembled and managed to hide some of the holes. Then when I was taking photos, I noticed that I had misspelled the name of the house (it's actually a real building quite near from where I live) LOL. That was the last seal to my misery haha.

11 Dec 2017

Oven-roasted "Rosolli" Root Vegetables - Uunirosolli

I love oven-roasted beetroots! Here they are combined with mainly other rosolli ingredients benefiting from roasting too: carrots, parsnips, onions and apples!

Rosolli is a traditional Finnish Christmas salad: it consists mainly of cooked beetroots, beetroots in vinegar, carrots, potatoes, pickled gherkins and apples and you can top it with herring and cooked eggs. I find the original one offers nice contrast to the Christmas casseroles as it's served cold, tastes acidic and is not a puree. Rosolli is sometimes served with the "pink sauce" which is whipped cream seasoned with horseradish and coloured pink with the beetroot liquid. I remember how I wanted to taste it as a child (because pink foods!!!) and then when I got to it, it tasted so bad :D (Pink food, but tasting acidic and root-y... too much contrast to a seven-year-old). Though this "rosolli" is served warm and the taste is not acidic, it suits the Christmas table well. You could actually serve it instead of the casseroles.

I love Christmas and its preparations, the festivity and the feel of waiting. How early do you start to preparing for your Christmas? This post is a part of my annual Christmas series on the blog! Check my Christmas Calendar, too! If you're a Christmas addict as I, please remember to subscribe to my Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest or via RSS to not miss any posts!  

Oven-roasted Root Vegetables, or a warm "rosolli"

serves 4 as a side

4 beets
2 carrots
2 small (red) onions
1 parsnip
1 apple
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp dried thyme
black pepper
100 ml creme fraiche + 50 ml light cream/milk

Preheat the oven to 225 C. Peel and cut the vegetables. Toss them in oil on a baking tray/dish, and season with salt and thyme (and pepper). Dot the dish with a mixture of creme fraiche and cream or milk. Roast in the oven for about 50-60 min. If the vegetables start getting colour too soon, lower the heat to 200 C and cover them with a foil.

(The beets take the longest to cook, so cut them small enough to cook with the rest of the vegetables or roast them for 10 minutes before adding the rest of the vegetables.)


4 punajuurta
2 porkkanaa
2 pientä punasipulia
1 palsternakka
1 omena
1 rkl rypsiöljyä
1/2 tl suolaa
1 tl kuivattua timjamia
1 dl ranskankermaa + 0,5 dl maitoa/kevytkermaa

Esilämmitä uuni 225 asteeseen. Kuori ja paloittele kasvikset. Laita ne uunivuokaan ja pyörittele öljyssä ja mausta suolalla, timjamilla (ja halutessasi pippurilla). Lusikoi maidolla/kermalla ohennettu ranskankerma sinne tänne. Paahda uunissa n. 50-60 min. Alenna uuninlämpöä tarvittaessa ja peitä kasvikset foliolla tai leivinpaperilla.

(Punajuuret kypsyvät hitaammin kuin muut ainekset, joten leikkaa ne riittävän pieniksi tai kypsennä niitä n. 10 minuuttia ennen muiden juuresten lisäämistä.)

Adapted from Hyvää joulua by Teresa Välimäki et al.

9 Dec 2017

Winter's Carrot & Cabbage Salad - Talven porkkana-kaalisalaatti


I love this simple winter salad, which is tasty and crunchy! It compliments the season's vegetables, too: cabbage and carrot, which both keep well over the long winter months and contain lots of vitamins and colour to help us through the long and dark winter. (Did you know that cabbage has a high vitamin C content and that white and red cabbage especially have lots of flavonoids?)

If you love red cabbage, check these ones too:
La Croquante -salaatti (in Finnish only)

Carrot and Red Cabbage Salad

400 g red cabbage
4 Tbsp cold-pressed olive oil or rapeseed oil
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
4 big carrots, peeled
salt, pepper
a bunch of fresh cilantro
toasted sesame seeds, for garnish

Slice cabbage as thinly as you can (I prefer doing it with a peeling knife or with the slicing tool of my food processor). Toss the cabbage slices with lemon juice, vinegar, salt, pepper and oil. If your cabbage slices are not very thin, give them a good squeeze as it will make them softer. Leave to macerate for about 15 minutes.

Slice carrots thinly and mix them with the cabbage. Add the cilantro leaves and garnish with toasted sesame seeds. 


400 g punakaalia
4 rkl kylmäpuristettua oliivi- tai rypsiöljyä
1 rkl sitruunamehua
1 rkl punaviinietikkaa
4 isoa porkkanaa, kuorittuna
suolaa, pippuria
nippu korianteria
paahdettuja seesaminsiemeniä

Siivuta kaali mahdollisimman ohuesti (kuorimaveitsi, juustohöylä tai monitoimikoneen siivutusterä toimivat hyvin). Marinoi kaalisuikaleet sitruunamehulla, viinietikalla, suolalla, pippurilla ja öljyllä. Jos kaalisuikaleesi jäivät hieman paksuiksi, puristele ainekset hyvin kaalin joukkoon, jotta suikaleet pehmenevät. Jätä marinoitumaan noin 15 minuutiksi.

Siivuta porkkanat pitkiksi nauhoiksi ja sekoita korianterinlehtien kanssa kaalin joukkoon. Koristele paahdetuilla seesaminsiemenillä.

7 Dec 2017

Old Xmas Favorites: Chocolate semifreddo - Suklaajäädyke


I love Christmas and its preparations, the festivity and the feel of waiting. How early do you start to preparing for your Christmas? This post is a part of my annual Christmas series on the blog! Check my Christmas Calendar, too!

This dessert has been a steady Christmas favorite in my family for many many years. It's like very chocolate-y ice cream, yummy! When you serve it, remember to take it to room temperature about 15-30 minutes beforehand, otherwise it's too hard to cut.

 If you're a Christmas addict as I, please remember to subscribe to my Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest or via RSS to not miss any posts!


Chocolate Semifreddo

for 6

100 g dark chocolate
50 g white chocolate
300 ml heavy cream
3 egg yolks
45 g (~100 ml) powdered sugar
1 Tbsp espresso powder
1 Tbsp cognac or whiskey
50 g dark chocolate, cut to small bits

chocolate shavings* and gingerbread, for garnishing

Melt 100 g dark chocolate and 50 g white chocolate separately. Whisk egg yolks with sugar into light and airy mass. Combine with whipped cream. Move 1/3 to another bowl (I'm reusing the bowl I whipped the cream, as the amount of dishes is gigantic already) and stir in the melted white chocolate. Add themelted dark chocolate, espresso powder and alcohol to another bowl and pour half of themixture to a dish. Pour the white chocolate mixture on top and then half the chocolate bits (mix the remaining chocolatebits to the dark chocolate mixture and pour it on top of the white layer. Freeze at least 4 hours. Let it thaw for 15-30 minutes before serving. Garnish with chocolate shavings and gingerbread.

*How to make beautiful chocolate shavings: Use a long, sturdy knife: hold it from both ends horisontally and press the edge against a block of chocolate. Then pull the edge towards yourself while pressing the edge on the chocolate.



100 g tummaa suklaata
50 g valkoista suklaata
3 dl kuohukermaa
3 keltuaista
45 g (n. 1 dl) tomusokeria
1 rkl espressojauhetta
1 rkl konjakkia tai viskiä
50 g rouhittua tummaa suklaata

suklaalastuja* ja piparkakkuja viimeistelyyn

Sulata 100 g tummaa suklaata ja 50 g valkoista suklaata erikseen. Vispaa keltuaiset ja sokeri sekä toisessa kulhossa kerma. Yhdistä vaahdot ja siirrä 1/3 siitä toiseen kulhoon (hyödynnän tässä yleensä kerman vaahdottamiseen käytettyä kulhoa, koska tiskin määrä on jo muutenkin giganttinen)ja sekoita siihen sulatettu valkoinen suklaa. Sekoita isompaan vaahtomäärään sulatettu tumma suklaa, kahvijauhe ja konjakki. Kaada puolet tummasta seoksesta vuokaan, kaada päälle valkoinen seos ja ripottele puolet rouhitusta suklaasta päälle. Sekoita loput rouhitusta suklaasta jäljellä olevaan tummaan seokseen ja kaada se vielä vuokaan. Peitä foliolla ja laita pakastimeen vähintään 4 tunniksi. Ota n. 15 minuuttia ennen tarjoamista huoneenlämpöön pehmenemään. Koristele esim. suklaalastuilla ja piparkakuilla.

*Kuinka tehdä kauniita suklaalastuja: Avaa suklaalevy, mutta jätä käärettä sen alle ja ainakin toiseen päähän, jotta voit tukea levyä vatsaasi vasten. Käytä pitkäteräistä, tukevaa veistä pitäen sitä kiinni niin, että terä on poikittain suklaalevyyn nähden: toisella kädellä terästä ja toisella kahvasta. Paina terää kevyesti suklaata vasten ja vedä sitä itseäsi kohti. Suklaa rullautuu kauniisti, kunhan se ei ole liian kylmää (tai myöskään liian lämmintä).

3 Dec 2017

Gingerbread Syrup - Piparisiirappi

With this gingerbread syrup you can spice up your porridge, ice cream and drinks! I started immediately craving for a gingerbread latte... The syrup keeps well in a glass bottle and also serves as a nice little Christmas present if you decorate the bottle with a beautiful ribbon.

I love Christmas and its preparations, the festivity and the feel of waiting. How early do you start to preparing for your Christmas? This post is a part of my annual Christmas series on the blog! If you're a Christmas addict as I, please remember to subscribe to my Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest or via RSS to not miss any posts!


Gingerbread syrup

Preparation time: 10 minutes 
Yield: ~150 ml syrup

100 g brown sugar
1 Tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground bitter orange peel
½ tsp ground cardamom
100 ml water

Boil all ingredients in a pot and let the mixture bubble for 5 minutes on low heat. Pour into a sterilized bottle. Decorate with a beautiful ribbon and a cinnamon stick.

Piparisiirapilla saat niin puuron, jäätelön kuin juomatkin joulunmakuisiksi. Lisäksi siirappi säilyy hyvin suljetussa lasipullossa ja toimii myös ihanana ruokalahjana kauniilla nauhalla koristettuun lasipulloon laitettuna.


Valmistusaika: 10 min
~150 ml siirappia

100 g tummaa sokeria
1 rkl kanelia
1 tl inkivääriä
1 tl pomeranssinkuorta
½ tl kardemummaa
1 dl vettä

Kiehauta kaikki ainekset kattilassa ja anna kuplia hiljalleen noin 5 minuuttia. Kaada steriloituun pulloon ja koristele pullo esim. kauniilla nauhalla ja kanelitangolla.

1 Dec 2017

Gingerbread bites - Piparpallot

If you love eating raw gingerbread dough (I'd say not to trust anyone who prefers baked gingerbread to dough), you'll love these gingerbread bites too. It tastes exactly like raw gingerbread dough, but is much easier for your stomach! These are also a perfect treat to give as a present: they are vegan, gluten-free (if you choose gluten-free oats), have no added sugar [and did I already mention: extremely addictive (like real gingerbread dough, but healthier)].

I love Christmas and its preparations, the festivity and the feel of waiting. How early do you start to preparing for your Christmas? This post starts my annual Christmas series on the blog! If you're a Christmas addict as I, please remember to subscribe to my Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest or via RSS to not miss any posts!

P.S. Have you noticed that I finally published an About page ^_^

Gingerbread Bites

~20 pieces

200 g (=18-20) fresh, soft dates
100 ml rolled oats (can be instant type, too)
50 ml toasted and de-skinned hazelnuts
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cardamom

Measure everything except the dates to a food processor. Grind the ingredients into fine powder (it doesn't matter if some hazelnut pieces remain). Remove the stones from the dates. Add half of the dates and process until they have broken to small pieces (at this point it's quite dry still). Add the rest of the dates and process until a ball forms. Roll the dough into bitesize pieces in your palms. You can serve them as is, or roll them in crushed hazelnuts or decorate them with a whole hazelnut. They can be eaten straight away, but I find the texture becomes better and the flavours enhance after 1 day in fridge. They keep at least a week in fridge (that is, if not eaten before...)

Adapted from Helsingin Sanomat.


~20 kpl

200 g tuoreita, pehmeitä taateleita (18-20 kpl)
1 dl kaurahiutaleita
1/2 dl paahdettuja ja kuorittuja hasselpähkinöitä
1 tl kanelia
1 mmt (1/4 tl) inkivääriä
1 mmt (1/4 tl) kardemummaa

Mittaa taateleita lukuunottamatta kaikki ainekset monitoimikoneeseen. Jauha ainekset hienoksi (ei haittaa vaikka osa hasselpähkinöistä jäisikin vähän karkeaksi). Poista kivet taateleista. Lisää puolet taateleista monitoimikoneeseen ja anna koneen käydä, kunnes taatelit ovat hajonneet (tässä vaiheessa massa on vielä melko kuivaa). Lisää loput taatelit ja anna koneen käydä, kunnes massasta muodostuu pallo. Pyörittele taikinasta suupalan kokoisia palloja. Voit tarjota ne sellaisenaan tai pyöritellä ne esim. pähkinärouheessa tai koristella kokonaisella kasselpähkinällä. Maku ja koostumus paranevat, jos annat niiden levätä jääkaapissa yhden päivän, mutta voi ne nauttia hetikin. Säilyvät ainakin viikon jääkaapissa (elleivät tule syödyksi ennen...).

Mukailtu HS:n ohjeesta.

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