31 Dec 2014

Cognac Summit


This is the perfect cocktail for celebrating on New Year's Eve. It's warming but cold and refreshing with a taste of ginger. I've been taken by flu for the last few days and now it's turning into a cough, which makes me crave for cognac (otherwise I detest it...)
 

Cognac Summit Cocktail (makes one)

a spiral of lime zest (or just some shavings like I did)
a few thin slices of fresh ginger
2 cl cognac (VSOP)
6 cl lemonade (e.g. Sprite)
a long shaving of cucumber peel
ice
 
Place the lime zest and ginger slices in the glass. Pour in 2 cl cognac. Lightly press the lime and ginger with a pestle to extract aromatic juices. Add a couple ice cubes, 6 cl lemonade and the cucumber peel. Sip while admiring the fireworks.
 
☆☆☆Happy New Year! ☆☆☆


30 Dec 2014

Ketunhäntä tutkii: Vispipuuro


Edit: postaus jäi tekemättä syksyllä Japanin matkan aiheuttamien kiireiden vuoksi, joten postaan sen nyt (blogin uudenvuoden siivous), vaikkei aivan sesonki olekaan. Puolukoita saa onneksi myös pakkasesta.

Syksyisin on saatava ihanan pinkkiä, pilvenpehmeää vispipuuroa. Mieltäni on jo useamman vuoden ajan vaivannut (siis silloin kun mietin vispipuuron tekemistä, en sentään ympäri vuoden ole sitä miettinyt), kumpaa koulukuntaa uskoa: kuumana vai vasta kylmänä puuronsa vatkaavia. Valmistin erän vispipuuroa, jaoin sen kahtia ja vatkasin puolet heti. Toinen puolisko jäähtyi sillä välin vesihauteessa ja sitten vatkasin senkin.

Huomioita:

-kylmä puuro vispautuu vaaleaksi nopeammin
-kuumana vatkattu puuro jähmettyy kovemmaksi, lohkeilevaksi, missä kylmänä vatkattu pysyy juoksevampana

Kuumana vatkatun puuron tymäkämpi koostumus ei ole ehkä yhtä pilvenpehmeä, mutta mielestäni ilmavampi (se sisältää pieniä ilmakuplia, jotka vapautuvat suussa :D ) ja kevyempi.

Eli mielestäni kysymykseen kumpi tapa on "oikea" ei ole oikeaa vastausta, vaan kyseessä mahtanee olla makuasia. Äitini on tainnut tehdä kuumana vatkattua puuroa, ainakin muistan lapuudestani puuron olleen lohkeilevaa. Joten itse ehkä kallistun jatkossakin kuumana vatkattuun.

Tässä vielä havainnollistava kuva (pahoittelut kuvan laadusta, Suomen syksy ei todellakaan helli harrastelijaruokakuvaajaa, aina valkotasapaino ihan pielessä, kun pitää kuvata keinovalaistuksessa. Toisekseen kuva ei ole edes tarkka).

29 Dec 2014

The year of Cooking (Corging)


It's again time to reflect upon the past year (you can check out here for year 2013). I haven't been as productive as I would have wanted because of all "distractions" (mainly my busy summer, even busier autumn with moving apartment and my trip to Japan and my whole situation now). But the main thing is, my blog is still up and running.


January

I bought some chestnuts and made chestnut paste for Mont Blanc (pastry) (this time I managed to peel chestnuts a lot easier than last time: the trick is to boil them, though I don't remember if I roasted them then at all or at what stage). I was awfully sick during my whole New Year's holiday so didn't have time to make anything from the paste, so I freezed it and used later (see below).

Red cabbage salad I was planning for Christmas, but made it later and still haven't gotten time to post it. It's really delicious anyway!

Foxtail is blogging too ;)

Purple sweet potato chiffon cake, though it doesn't look like it.

 

 

 

 

 

 February

Finally the snow came and Foxtail was having fun.

Make something nice from leftover gingerbread: "millefeuille gingerbread" with cinnamon spiced quark and blueberries


Mushipan - steamed cake with some sweet black beans


 March


At a nice tea shop called Théhuone (above)

Awesome Japanese koshihikari rice (right upper corner)

On a stroll by the sea with Foxtail->


April















The chestnut paste I made (upper picture) and trying to master the pipings for the Most Blanc pastry...



<- A brunch on the balcony on Easter Monday (it was so warm we could eat outside!)

 
I tried making poached eggs by "cheat method", didn't work though, the eggwhites stuck to the clingfilm (below)


Yummy cocoa nib granola with golden raisins and blueberries served with thick Turkish yoghurt (unfortunately I don't remember where I got the recipe. I remember using roasting rye and coconut flakes mixed with some canola oil and maple syrup, adding some roasted cashew nuts and cocoa nibs and lastly raisins and blueberries)

 

May



I don't remember what they did call it (oban-yaki?) but it's a sort of an imagawayaki sold on Hanami fest in Roihuvuori. I chose the anko filled one <3

This photo is to remind me to post one recipe using lilac flowers <3

June


I had used jars for drinking ice coffee from last summer at the latest, as t's convenient to take with you and you can put some ice in it too. Nowadays it's too hip...
I made some syrup from these, I'll try to remember to post the recipe later when it's the season.


A picnic at Suomenlinna fortress: sandwiches and potato omelette



Blueberry marbled cheesecake (I've never succeeded in marbling: this time the topping was too thick and before it was too thin...)




















In July I traveled to London and made a day trip to Oxford, too. I'll TRY to post later about my adventures there.

August


Busy with my friend's bachelorette party and wedding preparations, though had time to enjoy my favorite Dutch syrup waffles with coffee.

September was busy with the moving and a conference trip to Gothenburg.

October




We went to explore an old castle ruins some 100 kilometres from my home.

In November I was in Japan. I'm going to post later about that trip too.

December

I bought yamatoimo from Japan to make some wagashi, though this didn't quite work out... (I don't know if it was the rice flour I used. I didn't have jouyou-ko, so I had to use joushin-ko).

28 Dec 2014

How to toast your bread



This isn't actually a recipe. It's just a tip: butter your toast before toasting it (I used my oven's grilling option for toasting the bread, because my proper toaster toasts the bread in vertical direction). You'll get the taste of browned butter and a toast that is crispy around the edges and soft in the middle. So yummy!

See the butter bubbling on the toast?

27 Dec 2014

Japanilaista: Misokeitto


Ajattelin, että on aika laittaa tänne omia vakiintuneita japanilaisia ruokia - siis niitä, joita kokkaan ilman reseptiä, kun pitää saada nopeasti ruokaa. Ne eivät välttämättä siis ole täysin sellaisia, joita japanilainen tekisi. Ohjeet ovat muokkautuneet lähinnä Japani-vuoteni aikana, enkä välttämättä muista ohjeiden alkuperää. Aloitan misokeitosta, joka on japanilaisen aterian peruspilareita. Ja se sopiikin hyvin näin joulun jälkeen, sillä se on kevyttä ja terveellistä (tosin tämä keittohan syödään muun aterian osana). Alkujaan taisin käyttää misoa n. 1/2 tl keittokippoa kohden, nykyään käytän kukkurallisen teelusikallisen.

Tulen aina todella täyteen misokeitosta. En tiedä, johtuuko se suolaisuudesta, umamista vai mistä, mutta jotenkin koen, että keitto on täydellinen pari makuaistilleni, ja siksi niin täyttävää. Sinänsähän siinä ei ole paljon energiaa, mutta se onkin niin täydellisen makuista, että mahakin tulee täyteen.

Misokeitto (1 annos)

Helppo tapa:

noin 1 tl vaaleaa misotahnaa (shiromiso) (tai maun mukaan)
hyppysellinen dashi-tiivistettä
n. 1.5-2 dl kiehuvaa vettä

ruohosipulia muutama varsi
1 kukkurallinen tl wakame-levää

Laita miso pikkukulhoon. Kaada tilkka kiehuvaa vettä mison päälle ja sekoita tasaiseksi (misoa ei saa keittää!). Lisää loput vedestä, dashi, silputtu ruohosipuli ja wakame. Anna wakamen pehmetä hetki. Nauti japanilaisen aterian ohessa.

Hieman parempi, mutta edelleen kuitenkin pikainen versio:

Kiehauta 2 dl vettä, lisää siihen dashi ja esimerkiksi muutama viipale porkkanaa, retikkaa, perunaa tai sipulia. Keitä kasvikset kypsiksi. Sillä välin laita pikkukulhoon misoa makusi mukaan. Kun kasvikset ovat kypsiä, kaada mison päälle hieman keitinlientä kattilasta ja sekoita tasaiseksi. Lisää sitten keitetyt kasvikset ja loput liemestä. Halutessasi voit lisätä vielä esim. wakamea tai ryöpättyä pinaattia, muutaman tofukuution jne...

24 Dec 2014

Matcha Cookies




I found this lovely recipe ages ago and have been waiting for Christmas to bake them. This morning I was waiting for the sun to rise to be able to shoot them and what I got was this lovely blue light of the shy December sun. Soon after that it started snowing for real and my drive to Tampere was so scary, but arrived safely. Happy Xmas everyone!





23 Dec 2014

Everyday Cooking: Christmas inspired salad


Even a plain salad transforms for Christmas if you choose the ingredients colourwise and serve it on a festive plate. I am emptying the fridge for holidays, so this was all I had for a salad: iceberg lettuce, rucola, cherry tomatoes, broccoli stalk (I actually prefer the stalk to florets) and some ham. Christmas ham is eaten usually with mustard, so I spiced my salad up with Dijon mustard. I used toasted sesame oil as dressing, yum!

Happy holidays!

22 Dec 2014

Gingerbread Cookies


I almost never bake cookies, except on Christmas. (But actually, for me gingerbread cookies don't count as cookies, they are their own "species". Maybe that's because of my mother tongue). This dough is perfect for making gingerbread houses, too. This year I didn't make a gingerbread house and actually I've broken my tradition of baking a gingerbread house for two years in a row now. It seems I don't have time for that anymore and maybe I'm discouraged by my skills not meeting up with my dreams.

This dough is perfect for building houses as it doesn't rise much while baking so the parts stay in their measurements quite well. And what is most important if you're making only cookies: it tastes good too ;) Btw, do you like eating gingerbread houses? I think they ALWAYS taste bad :D (I guess it has something to do with the fact that they are not eaten straight away).

If you're planning to make only cookies, I'd suggest to scale the recipe down and make only half of it. And if you get tired of rolling the cookies, you can always freeze the rest of the dough for later.


Btw, never trust anyone who prefers gingerbread to gingerbread dough (I should have trusted my instincts haha). I really really like the dough, cookies not so much LOL. I usually leave some dough unbaked and eat it later just like that. And while cutting the cookies I really have to order myself to NOT eat the dough as otherwise there would maybe be two ready cookies and me feeling not so great (have you ever eaten too much gingerbread dough, yuck...).



Gingerbread Cookies

enough dough for a big gingerbread house

adapted from the book Piparkakkutalot by Norman&Grane.

200 ml dark syrup
350 g (400 ml) sugar
200 ml water
2 Tbsp ground cinnamon
1 Tbsp ground cardamom
2 tsp ground ginger
0,5-1 Tbsp ground bitter orange peel
250 g margarin (or butter), cubed
600-700 g (~1 litre) wheat flour
1 Tbsp baking soda (if you're making houses, use only 2 tsp)

Measure syrup, sugar and water in a pot. Bring to boil. Take from heat and pour on top of margarin and spices and stir until the butter melts. Let the mixture cool until room-temperature. Mix baking soda with some flour and stir that to the cooled spice/syrup-mixture. Add more flour until it becomes dough-like. At this stage it should be too soft for rolling, but it will definitely harden while it rests. If you put too much flour, the dough will tear very easily and the cookies will taste dry. Cover the dough with plastic wrap (or wrap in it completely) and let rest in fridge for 1-2 days. 

Take a piece of dough and soften it a bit by rolling it in your palms. I always roll my gingerbread on top of a baking paper and then cut the figures straight onto that. That way the figures stay as they should (which is crucial if you're building a gingerbread house). You can then just slide the paper and cookies on a baking tray and bake them in 175-200 C oven for anything from 5 to 20 minutes (it depends how big your cookies / house parts are). They burn very easily!!! Bake only same sized parts at a time. 

The cookies will still be slightly soft when taking them from oven: if the parts have swollen or gotten otherwise distorted you still have some time to cut them into correct shapes or straighten them. 

 Foxtail loves gingerbread cookies, and dough, too.
 

 "Can I finally eat it?"

21 Dec 2014

Omuraisu - Omelette with rice filling




One Sunday I cooked myself some omuraisu, which is a Japanese dish: an omelette with rice filling. I'd guess it's something especially for children, but my (childlike?) tastebuds love it <3 It's garnished with ketchup on top. Mine is not so pretty, the omelette got torn a bit and I tried to hide it with ketchup... Anyway, you can find the recipe at Runny's channel on Youtube. I used chicken thigh meat (the only downside to that is you have to de-bone it, but it's much yummier than with breast meat) and added some sauteed mushroom. I made only 2/3 of the recipe as it seemed like a man-size portion :D

 

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