28 Jul 2015

Salmon Spinach Rolled Omelette

I've been meaning to post this for a long time and now finally found the time. Last time I served it on Easter 2014 when I took this quick shot (time flies!). I remember it was a very warm spring day (warmer than now despite it's summer (so-called)).

Salmon Spinach Rolled Omelette

appr. 12 pieces

100 g all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
(black pepper)
350 ml milk
2 eggs
100 g (frozen) spinach, thawed

300 g warm-smoked salmon
200 g crème fraîche
a small red onion, diced
1-2 tsp mustard, preferably Dijon 
fresh dill, chopped (save the prettiest twigs for decoration)
lemon juice
black pepper

To decorate, optional:
crème fraîche
black pepper, freshly ground
lemon wedges or sectors

Warm up the oven to 200 C. Measure flour, salt (and pepper) to a mixing bowl. Mix with the milk. Add eggs and thawed spinach. Bake on a baking paper covered baking tray (20x30 cm) for appr. 30 minutes. You can brush the paper with some oil to help remove the paper later (the proteins in eggs can coagulate quite stickily to it!). If the surface browns too quickly, you can cover the omelette with a baking paper. Once it's ready, remove from the oven and flip over to a new baking paper. Remove the old baking paper carefully. Leave to cool completely.

Meanwhile, prepare the filling: flake the salmon and remove any remaining bones. Mix with other ingredients, add salt if needed. 

Spread the filling on the omelette and roll it to a tight scroll with the help of the baking paper underneath. Let the roll rest in fridge until served (preferably 3-4 hours at least). You can decorate either the whole roll (cut the ends) or cut it to equal-sized pieces and decorate the pieces with a dollop of crème fraîche (or you could pipe it too), and garnish them with ground black pepper and a lemon wedge/sector.

Adapted from: http://umami.fi/ruoka-juoma/paatoimittaja/paasiaisen-ruokia/

26 Jul 2015

Foxtail Link Love

Oh boy, oh boy, it's so lovely being on holiday (despite the un-summer-y weather)! I visited Stockholm last weekend and after that I spent some days around the coastal area in southern Finland. Finally I have time to do stuff that has been on my to-do list for ages (like paint my chairs, organize my closets and trash my camera, oops!!! well, the latter one wasn't on my to-do list: I fell, mainly because of Foxtail, and got bruises, scrapes and even a laceration on my jaw AND I broke my 50 mm lens), finish some blog posts, read books, see films and meet friends and browse some more internet...

Foxtail recommends:


I just love her blog! You should check these awesome views. One day I want to go there...


OMG! It seems that porridges are the new trend also here in Helsinki. My mom seemed quite sceptical a year ago when I told her of my business idea of opening a small porridge joint. Now there seems to be opening up new places (like mushrooms after a rain = Finnish proverb, not sure if English has any similar, but I hope you'll get the idea^^)
You should check this if coming to Helsinki (the locations vary! Follow them on social media to find where they are)

I want to try this, this and this (actually I want to try everything, her blog is awesome and her taste in food seems similar to mine :D )

Something I should have investigated ages ago... As I make it probably 400 times/year...


The article is in Finnish (it's about how everyone are looking for a perfect (looking) significant other, and the headline is (of course) how "grade" 7 women are looking for "grade" 10 men.. how chauvinistic as the same applies for men too... even according to the article, just not according to the headlines)

And how interesting it is to read about the Japanese society and gender related stuff. The same goes for Western countries too, but I'd guess it's more pronounced in Japan, which makes me realize it happening here too. We are always telling that gender equality is so developed here in Finland but always after reading this kind of things it makes me so sad.

"Some girls are praised constantly, others never. Many jump to the conclusion that the former are happy, the latter unhappy. However, it may be that those girls and women who are always complimented become obsessed with their own market value as females and in fact end up hindered in their ability to live free, autonomous lives."

And then again... it's so lovely... the solitude I mean:

Enjoy the summer while it still lasts!

heart, Yukiko & Foxtail

25 Jul 2015

My trip to Japan, part one: wagashi

I spent three weeks in Japan in November (gosh, I've been so unproductive, my trip was ages ago). I had wonderful time meeting friends, exploring places and well... just being in Japan. I've probably mentioned wagashi before... but to those who don't now, wagashi are Japanese-style sweets or "pastry" and often involves rice (flour) and azuki beans. If I wasn't a doctor I'd definitely be a wagashi patissier. During my trip I wanted to try as much wagashi as I could (and to eat the old favourites too) so that I could get some inspiration for future wagashi projects.

Here are wagashi and other Japanese style desserts I ate during my latest trip to Japan (and some other related pictures). I'll try posting some more pictures about my travels later.

Matcha soft ice at Nara

It was delicious but I was actually sorry to have eaten it. On our way back to Kyoto from Nara we stopped at Uji which is famous for its green tea. There were lots of tea shops selling superb matcha (I brought some too) and matcha sofuto made from that superb matcha and sprinkled with it too! (but I had already eaten one that day in Nara, so I bought just some matcha instead. Not exactly a bad option either :D). In any case, if you're travelling from Nara to Kyoto, I recommend stopping at Uji and making a stroll from the station to the river and the famous temple. You'll be prone to pass the famous tea shops on your way to the temple.



Kashiwa mochi: a rice cake filled with sweet bean paste and wrapped in oak leaf (don't eat the leaf the ladies told me, but being a wagashi addict I already knew not to eat it haha)

Koi carps at the garden pond of the temple near Arashiyama Bamboo Grove (forgot the name of the temple *^^*)

The famous Arashiyama Bamboo Grove in Kyoto- it's so MAJICAL (I recently encountered the term maGestical, but don't know if the spelling was made so in purpose or not... )

So Miyazaki-ish...

Mitarashi dango: rice dumplings with a salty sweet glaze

Kuromame daifuku, from Gion, Kyoto (from the same ladies who sold kashiwa mochi)

Matchamatchamatcha!!!  抹茶パフェ Matcha Parfait (Buffet lol as one Australian girl heard a Taiwanese girl say (acquaintances from the hostel))

Mitarashi dango, with kinako, bought from Gion, Kyoto. They sold them only late at night. The rice dumplings were so fresh, warm and yummy <3

We went to Harbs (in Lumine Department Store in Ikebukuro). Gosh their cakes are so big. We both wanted to taste seasonal food: so chestnut paste it is... Ok, these are not wagashi exactly but chestnut paste is such a Japanese pastry ingredient anyway...

Taiyaki: a fish-shaped pancake (the traditional filling is anko, sweet bean paste, see upper photo). I tasted a matcha flavoured taiyaki in Seibu depachika. The taiyaki was a bit too soft on the outside to be perfect in my opinion. There was also a piece of mochi in addition to the anko filling (the white stuff in the lower photo).

This taiyaki is the tastiest I've tried this far. So crispy on the outside and soft and fluffy inside. The filling was murasaki-imo (purple sweet potato, yummy!!!). The shop is located in Kagurazaka: Exit Iidabashi station (exit B2b for instance) and cross the Sotobori doori, and start climbing up on Waseda doori. The shop is on the left quite near the crossing, almost opposite the famous dorayaki place.

Purple sweet potato filling ^^

Yukimi daifuku: Snow-viewing daifuku. This time I tested matcha+anko -version, but I really prefer the "real" one with vanilla ice-cream (SNOW!!!)

Sweets in Harajuku

"Kureepu" display in Harajuku. Remembering one late autums night in Harajuku with other exchange students... Happy times, miss you all :')

It's all plastic.

ABC Cooking studio: a free lesson with my friend <3

Coffee Jelly: it's a bit summer-ish dessert but I wanted to have it anyway

And then a fancier coffee jelly from Seibu depachika (it was so yummy ^^)

They even packed it with a cold gel pack to keep it cool (despite the almost cool weather).

Treats from depachika:

Matcha cake with anko filling

Some kind of a mochi (I've forgot already...)
Oyatsu at my favorite cafe. It was the last whole day of my last year trip and I went for a walk in Yanaka and to visit this cafe with my friend. We went there during my exchange year too (you can read about it here (in Finnish)) and I ordered the same as last time. This time we sat upstairs on tatami mats, so if you want to experience it the Japanese way, I really recommend going upstairs. You can admire the wooden staircase too. And if it rains, you should try the toilet: the sound of rain dropping on the roof <3 The weather was rainy and soon after we left the cafe it started to rain again... I was some 10 km or so from my accommodation, with a bicycle I needed to return that day, so there was no option but to cycle in rain... I was soaked when I got back... But what a story to remember... Yanaka :)

16 Jul 2015

食パン - Soft & Fluffy Japanese-style Bread

I'd like to make small loaves but unless I want to eat odd-shaped bread, I just have to make bigger loaves or bake the bread in smaller pans. I wonder if I could still use the bread machine for baking and just bake the dough in a different pan inside the bread machine.
Edit: I actually can! I bought a Pullman pan from Japan and I've been baking shokupan in it!

And, there are other good news too! Some 10 or so not-quite-perfect shokupans later I finally succeeded, at least a bit. It's still not quite as fluffy and soft and white as the ones I've tried in Japan (oh, what's the name of that bakery opposite Oyama station... Maruju (I had to check that from a photo from last autumn)) but still quite a good substitute (I wish someone would start up a Japanese bakery here in Helsinki). I promise to post later photos of extremely fluffy Japanese toast ^^

The recipe is based on the first ever recipe I tried, but wasn't successful then (maybe because of the wrong flour). The one from Lidl does the trick: the bread will be so different to the one made with Finnish flour. The amounts for the recipe are slightly too much for my perfect cube-shaped pan: if the bread rises well, it'll start to leak over despite the lid. On one occasion of my roughly dozen (or so) experiments, I forgot to close the lid completely (I like to keep watch of the rising dough and close the lid when the proper baking phase starts) until it was too late and the bread had risen over the pan and I had overly browned bread bits on the bottom of the bread machine lol

ふわふわ☆食パン ・ Soft (and almost Fluffy) Shokupan

240-250 g bread (strong) flour
140 g milk
40 ml water
45 g butter
20 g sugar
3/4 tsp salt
1,5-2 tsp dry yeast

Read the instructions from here (just ignore the parts about tangzhong... or you could also try the recipe with tangzhong: 12-25 g flour + 60-125 ml liquid (remember to substract the amounts of flour and liquid accordingly from the recipe above. And please tell me how it went :)

adapted from Cookpad.

Another recipe to try later: http://cookpad.com/recipe/3281124

As much as I love adding stuff to my photos (not!) I just couldn't resist the temptation... meet Kitty Pan!!!

6 Jul 2015

Raparperisima - Rhubarb Mead

The Finnish type mead, sima, is a non-alcoholic drink spiced with lemons and brown sugar. Traditionally it's served around 1 May (Vappu). The drink is sweet and slightly "fermented" in taste and bubbly. This time I wanted to make, not the traditional lemon-and-brown-sugar version, but rhubarb mead instead, as this time I wasn't making it for Vappu but for Midsummer. I had been wanting to try the recipe for ages and was curious if the rhubarb would give a nice colour to the drink (and it did!). Usually I like the brown sugar taste in mead, but this time I didn't want to risk losing the possible pink colour. I imagine brown sugar would also overpower the taste of rhubarb, so I opted for white sugar this time. 

The best season for rhubarb is almost past. The spring stalks are usually more more pink. So if you are making the mead from rhubarb picked now, probably it will not colour the drink as pink as those of the early summer but on the other hand the high sugar content of the drink will likely compliment the oxalic taste of the rhubarbs.


Rhubarb Mead (makes appr. 2,5 l mead)

500 g rhubarb stalks
250 g white sugar
2 cm piece fresh ginger, peeled and cut in thin (~ 2-3 mm) slices
n. 2,5 L water
0,5 mL fresh yeast (=about the size of a pea) (1 ml equals roughly a Finnish "maustemitta"
(~a dozen raisins)
Cut the rhubarb stalks to 2-4 cm pieces (don't peel them, as the skin will give the mead a nice pink colour). Put them with ginger in a big pot (at least 3 liters). Pour the sugar on top. Boil the water and pour it on the rhubarbs and leave to cool under a lid.
Once the mixture has cooled to room-temperature (or under 37 C), take some mead to a cup and dissolve the yeast to it. Mix it with the rest of the liquid. Cover with a lid and leave to rest in room-temperature for 1-2 days. 
Sieve the drink and put it in sterilized bottles. Put a couple of raisins in each bottle (they will float to the surface once the mead is done). Close the bottles with rubber caps (or you could use ordinary screwcaps, but don't close them too tightly or you'll risk getting too much pressure inside the bottles...) Let the mead brew for about one week in a cool place (I put mine in fridge). If the raisins haven't risen in one week, you could try keeping the bottles in a slightly warmer place than fridge (the cellar etc would be optimal I'd guess) for a day or two to see, if it starts happening then. Once the raisins have risen on the surface, it's ready! Serve chilled. Enjoy within one week.
If you are afraid of the bottles to explode, you can keep them in closed plastic bags. If they do explode, then the mess will be at least smaller... Or just let the pressure out every once and then by opening the caps a bit (but then the drink won't get as fizzy :( i'd imagine...)

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