Wednesday, 29 June 2016

5 Tasty Food Recipes for Summer Menu

1. Finnish style shrimp pie

For a crust:
 1 1/2 dl instant mashed potatoes
1 1/2 dl wheat flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 water
1 1/2 melted butter

First mix dry ingredients and then add the water and melted butter. Take a pie mould and press the pastry by fingers to cover the bottom.


2 dl shrimps
1/2 red paprika
1 spring onion
1dl feta cheese
 1dl edam cheese

Egg milk:

2 dl milk or cream
2 eggs
black pepper

Place the fillings evenly on the pastry, putting both cheeses last. Mix milk and eggs and pepper together and pour on top of.  Bake in the oven in 200 Celsius degrees for 20 minutes.

2. Veggie and mushroom filo pastry rolls

You will need:

1/2 a package of filo pastry and melted butter

Veggies like,
Chinese cabbage
spring onion
ginger (use just a pinch)

Mushroom mix, I used Finnish forest mushrooms but you can use for example champignons. 

To spice the veggie mix you will need soy sauce, black pepper, vinegar, pinch of sugar and salt if needed.

Mince all the veggies and sweat on the pan in vegetarian oil. Sweat also Chinese cabbage and mushrooms.

Put all to one bowl and spice with soy sauce, sugar, vinegar and black pepper. Cut filo pastry to smaller squares. Put a little bit of filling on the pastry, roll and fold the ends and roll. Butter the rolls and bake in the oven in 225 Celsius degrees till the rolls have gotten nice golden color.

 3. Quinoa salad

You will need:

cooked quinoa
cherry tomatoes
spring onion
fresh ginger (a pinch)
vegetarian oil, lemon juice
salt and black pepper

Chop the veggies. Mix all the ingredients together.

4. Finnish Hölsky (shaked) salad

This salad is easy to mix. You just chop and mince all ingredients, collect them to a cup with a cover and shake. In this salad I have mixed cherry tomatoes and spring onion with a 1/2 teaspoon of vinegar and just a pinch of salt, sugar and black pepper.

5. Veggie burger beef recipe

For the vegetarian beef:

2 eggs
a slice of white bread
2 red onions
1/2 red paprika
2 tsp cumin
4 garlic cloves
fresh ginger
6 carrots
4 small potatoes
salt and black pepper

Break the eggs and add a slice of crumbled white bread, let the bread swallow in the eggs. Cook the carrots and potatoes al dente. Sweat minced red onions, paprika and cumin in a pan. Put carrots, potatoes, onions and paprika in a bowl and blend with a mixer. Spice with fresh garlic, ginger and basil + salt and black pepper. 

Put some vegetarian oil to a frying pan and heat. Lift small amounts of beef pastry to the pan and form these lumps to beefs with a spatula while frying.

Serve with hamburger buns, coleslaw, smoked cheese and lettuce. 

What kind of food do you like to cook in the summer time? Do you prefer fresh salads or are you after grilled goods?


ps. I will begin to work with my categories. I have noticed that I have quite a lot of recipes now and it would be nice that you could find all of them in one place...

Friday, 24 June 2016

Sleeping Spaces Vol.1: A Bedroom Makeover

I was asked to help with a bedroom makeover. A bit worn off looking bedroom needed new color and some sparkle. I am not one of those ´cast everything away` kind of persons what comes to decorating so that is why I chose simple things to make the bedroom new. 

White is a nice and clean color so the creamy white walls were given a white wash with brighter shade of white and paired with lavender blue. In the window wall there are nice decorative frames that gave an idea to paint middle panels with blue and other ones with white. 

Old white bedspread from the storage got a new look when washing machine dyed with pink. One of the most simple ways of doing batik is to make knots as shown in the picture: just dye in a machine and remove the knots. Remember to round the yarn a few times and make the knot tight or otherwise the color will get under the knot and you won´t get any patterns.

With decorative cushions it is allowed to be creative. Long cyclamen red cushion was made of 3€ cotton skirt that was found from the local flea market.  Plain green fabric and golden faux leather are bought from the fabric shop as new.

Small table was found from the garbage so it didn´t cost anything. Green paint made wooden table match better to the colors. Curtains and carpets are old from the storage.

This makeover was very low cost. Green furniture paint and white wall paint were leftovers and lavender blue paint was 10€ bargain from sales. Dyeing color was 8€. Fabrics about 25€. Of course it takes time to find all items with a lower budget but hunting in flee markets and sales is the kind of sports we are into, right? :)

Vol. 2. of Sleeping Spaces is coming soon with more low budget ideas.


Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Finnish Cuisine: Summer Soup Recipe

Serve the soup with dill and parsley and you are ready. This lacto-vegetarian soup is one of my favorites from the Finnish cuisine. Super easy to make using frozen vegetables and tastes good with rye bread or dried bread. 

Traditional Finnish food is often some sort of meat or fish with potatoes in form or other. Some exceptions come from root vegetables, cabbage, mushrooms and berries. Most Finnish dishes are simple to make, just chop or mince and cook/ stew/ bake. The more challenging dishes are usually just time consuming, not particularly difficult (well there are of course an exception, Karelian pies require lots of practice to look right). Because I don´t eat meat I mostly make my own variations from Finnish recipes and I am very eager to try new recipes from abroad to get more change to my diet. Finnish way of eating vegetables, berries, grain and lots of different milk products is still a good basis for healthy eating and when in hurry simple dishes with just a few ingredients are excellent. And of course the cuisine you are familiar with is always the easiest because you have seen how your family has been making same dishes from time to time and you have learned the recipes by heart.


Sunday, 12 June 2016

Furniture makeover ideas and new style for living room

 The snowball effect 

Story begins with a pink chair. I have told you before how I wanted to try chalk paint and I decided to paint one of my chairs pink, you can read all about that project from here. As I fell in love with the chalk paint I was unable to stop and wanted to paint more. I begun eyeing my collection of wooden furniture.  As these are 40´s - 60´s furniture and very popular in original condition I do not want to ruin pieces that are in excellent shape. Table and larger cabinet were a bit worn off and I thought that it would be okay to paint them. My idea was also that wooden pieces would stand out better when some of them are painted.

Just too much wooden surface in one house. This table has a beautiful and uncommon form but it had some marks of sun and water damage. Best option was to fill in the holes, sand and paint with light grey chalk paint.

Then was this nice cabinet I bought some weeks ago from the flea market with 40€. I would have used chalk paint but I I was unable to find the right color so I decided to mix white and magenta colored acrylic paint to get the right shade. I made an eye catching detail by painting a lime green stripe between the doors. Simple to make but makes a big difference.

Well, then I had two beautiful and neat furniture. And as you might have experienced, when you get something new  you want to change the organization of all pieces at your home. And maybe put something away.

And it was the three part book shelf that got to go. It was a good shelf that I had bought from a flea market and I hope it´s saga will continue in somebody else´s home.

And so the story continues. Old wooden bed got it´s new place at the wall with the red cabinet. This bed´s makeover has been in my to do list for the last 5 years. This old piece is from my grandmother´s childhood home and at least 100 years old. About 10 years ago all the surfaces of old paint had been removed and it was painted white (according to the current trend). I have dreamed of taking the paint off and restoring the original grain style painting. Taking the paint off is actually a lot bigger job than painting and took one week! Now I am going to admire the beautiful bare surface for a while before I do anything to this furniture (I am not sure if I am going to actually make anything, as this looks so nice just the way it is).

After all this I thought I would like to do some more and painted the wall to dark grey and hanged my Egyptian posters to the living room wall.

The room makeover project got it´s finishing touches just this morning. The weekend had some nice surprises. On Friday I went to a furniture and interior decoration shop, a thing that I never do because I usually buy everything from the flea markets. But I went and it happened to be sale and I bought two grey carpets with 70% discount (99€ per one). And yesterday when I spent my time at the flea market round I found this 30´s or 40´s cabinet/ drawing board with 47€! So my storing problems after the bookshelf have been solved. 


And now the after photos. I am so satisfied how my living room looks right now. Now it has some modern touch that lets all the beautiful old furniture and handicrafts stand out.


I have to mention that the decorative cushions are made of an old jacket that had a very peculiar shape. The jacket was hand embroidered with cross stitches and cost 4,5€ at the local flea market so it  was good material for luxurious cushions.

Hope my makeover and before after ideas gave you some inspiration and encourage you to make all kinds of projects at your home. If you got some questions don´t hesitate to ask, I will be happy to hear from you :)