Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Veggie Pizza with Warm Side Salad

This Wednesday is a pizza day. This Lacto- Vegetarian Pizza goes for all and is perfect as a meal or snack in a get together. This serves four as a meal. I have collected different ideas for topping, to use alternatively. I would not recommend to use all in a same time :) I just wanted to show you how many options you got when you are making a veggie pizza! When combining 2-3 fresh veggies with 1-2 spicy ingredients like jalapeno or olives you get tasty and filling pizza. Warm side salad makes a piece of pizza a good everyday meal.

I used cherry tomatoes, onion, pineapple, paprika, sundried tomatoes, jalapeno and grated edam cheese in my pizza today.

Bake Pizza for 15-20 minutes in 225 Celsius Degrees. Bake first without cheese and add cheese when the pizza begins to be almost ready and bake 3-5 minutes. This way the cheese won´t get dry and brown in case you don´t like it that way. This tip goes with grated cheese that usually covers the top. If you are using for example feta cheese bake it normally the whole time. 

Warm Side Salad

You will need

fresh spinach
fresh basil
(spring) onion
pumpkin seeds
salt vegetarian oil
Finnish squeaky cheese

Put some vegetarian oil in a frying pan and toast the pumpkin seeds, spice the seeds with salt.
Now sweat spinach, basil and onion in vegetarian oil.
Chop the cheese.
Now serve the spinach salad with cheese and pumpkin seeds.

What are your favorite pizza toppings?


Tuesday, 30 August 2016

How being a vegetarian has become easier

I just want to share good news. In the past ten years and especially in the past 6 months being a vegetarian has become so much easier. I am currently on a pesco(lacto-ovo)-vegetarian diet, eating mostly lacto-ovo-vegetarian food and fish or seafood maybe once a month. I have also been fully vegetarian and everything in between. Life without meat comes naturally as I have always preferred vegetarian food. But finding recipes and products to fit the diet has not always been so easy.

About ten years ago when I decided to go vegetarian it had already been a quite common way of life for some decades. Yet it was still challenging to get nutritionally good and tasty vegetarian food. Magazines didn´t have that many vegetarian recipe ideas and in my case it was mostly leaving the meat out of the recipe and maybe replacing it with lentils or some soy "meat". What came to vegetarian meal products, there were few.

A lot has changed. Even more than I could have ever even wished for. Sometimes it is still difficult to find the basic vege-sausages or vege-balls from a smaller market but mainly these products are found in every market and usually in many different brands. There are also many yogurt like products and milks. When I reduced the use of milk products a couple of months ago  I found it easy to start choosing the vegetarian options. Also now that I look back in time there were no such a multitude of different beans, lentils, soy products etc. witch are excellent when I cook something from beginning. And mostly I have cooked from the beginning as I like to cook and try new recipes and also because there has not been so many ready meal solutions until recently. 

The latest turn is actually the reason for this post. Here in Finland one market chain has begun to place vegetarian products all in a same shelf so that they are easy to find. Just some weeks ago when I went to make the ordinary shopping I crossed the new shelf and found out that they had ordered lots of new vegetarian products! Fillets, sausages, bread toppings, falafel... It is now so much easier to cook a quick meal for a more hectic day :)

Mainly this all is about attitude. Diet demands that were considered difficult have now become a welcomed challenge for creative product developers and conscious businesses. Also campaigns for one vegetarian day per week and increasing vegetables in every meal might have influenced for the majority of people and that is why there is bigger demand for new appealing vegetarian products. Of course vegetables have been a part of diet back in times but the meat eating trend about ten or five years ago influenced on what was considered healthy. The current vegetarian eating trend has its roots in the environmentally and climate change conscious discussions that recommend more vegetarian based diet. 

Even though I wanted to share good news I have to tell you that sometimes I still take part in an occasion where there is a buffet with many dishes that include meat and maybe one or two that I can eat but which are not necessarily nutritionally complete. Since I learned to cook vegetarian food and found the vege-products I begun to take a lunchbox with me just in case the food offered doesn´t actually keep hunger away. Taking a lunch box has stuck hard on me and quite often it has become in need. But the direction has been right what comes to the attitudes towards the vegetarian eating, so I am not complaining. At the moment I am very pleased :)

In the pictures: Vegetarian pavlova from chickpea can´s juice and vegetarian salad both made from a local Lapin Kansa newspaper´s recipe. Excellent Professor Grunschnabel coconut chocolate ice bought from local super market. New Finnish vegetarian product Gold and Green´s pulled oat.


Sunday, 28 August 2016

DIY: A Wind Chime and a Bohemian Autumn Update for Kitchen

At the end of the season it is a nice idea to bring some bits of Summer inside: little pieces from nature, green plants and herbs. Home gets an Autumn update by changing just few elements and rearranging things.  In this post I will show how to make an easy wind chime that you can use in or outside decoration or for example as a welcoming ornament in a front door. I also tell how I styled my little kitchen for the Autumn.

For a Wind Chime you will need:

some thicker branches from the ground
sea shells (bought mine from a shop)
strong cotton yarn


a drill machine
Japanese saw

How to:

1. Take one longer branch as the frame for the work from which you can hang smaller branches. Take about 9 smaller branches and 40 sea shells. 

2. If you like a more finished look use a Japanese saw to take off the uneven branch ends. Drill 13 holes in a row to the frame branch. Drill one hole to the one end in every small branch. Stab a small hole in every shell with a knife.

3.  Make a hanger by attaching a string from end to end to the frame branch (use same holes to put corner sea shell rows). Attach the other branches with yarn to the frame (leave the yarn a bit long so that the wood pieces have space to move with the wind) by making a big knot. String about 10 shells to one row with cotton yarn (to keep shells separate make a knot when attaching a shell) and attach to the frame. 

I didn´t go buying all new for the season, mostly I just used the things I already had. Old Asparagus plant moved from living room to kitchen and got a new basket. I decorated the basket with pom poms as I don´t seem to have reached the limit with them. I also changed the tablets from light flower tablets to these darker ones that are new.  I took a candle plate and red decorative lights from storage. I have also had herbs in the balcony but now I took new ones that I try to grow inside. Most my plants are in plastic easy to water pots but in the kitchen I wanted to use terracotta pots and a cover basket for the Asparagus that has a plastic pot. Oatmilk cartons have such a fun texts and designs that I made a planter using one carton.  Because of the big plant and decorative lights I took the curtains off to get more airy look. As days begin to go shorter I do not mind getting all the light in. 

By the way, crafting always pays itself off as I have made the zig zag pot as a kid and I am still using it :) Maybe I am not using carton planter after 15 years but things that I have really put time in have been used for several years. Sometimes I don´t even notice how time has gone when I recycle same old things round the house and via storage over and over again. But maybe that is the way; being creative with the things you got and mixing them with something new every now and then. Not everything stays after season or two but some are made for a lifetime.


Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Sunday Meal from Leftovers

Quite many of us are guilty of throwing away food that could still be used. At least I have done that and felt bad afterwards. Main reason causing this problem is that I am going after new and new cravings and when I bring home a new bag full of food old articles are left spoiling. Also I am not always using my imagination to cook from scraps before I go to shop to buy new ingredients. Sometimes best before dates make me wonder if the product is spoiled and leathery vegetables (that are actually still good to use) do not inspire. 

With careful planning and using freezer I could reduce food waste significantly and save a lot of money. My tip would be to plan all the weeks meals in advance so that when you buy things that can get spoiled (like vegetables, dairy and meat products) you only buy as much as you need.With herbs, tomato puree, olives, mushroom etc. put the extra ingredients to freezer for next use. 

If you are forced to buy bigger amounts cook ready meals to freezer or plan to use the same product in another recipe in that week. For instance if you only need half courgette for Monday´s vegetarian burgers make a soup on Tuesday using the other half. Once when I had a guest that stayed for a week I wanted to serve a bit better food and I used this kind of planning and I have to say that I was amazed how little I spent to that week´s food and how well we ate! 

Well then, in practice this does not always work and that is why I got the problem with leftovers. Usually on weekends I like to eat a bit better and I go to market to buy a bag of food. Last weekend I didn´t. I didn´t have a plan what to cook but I knew I already had enough ingredients spoiling in the fridge. And I got a good Sunday meal with a dessert and all that didn´t require anything else. Note that you can apply the recipes according to what you got in your fridge.

Veggie Casserole
(Use what ever veggies you got spoiling. Instead of using bulgur wheat and potatoes you can use just one of these.)

1/2 dl dried red lentils
1/2 dl bulgur wheat
2 onions
1 paprika
2 carrots
2 potatoes
1/2 parsnip
125 g cherry tomatoes
1 tl fresh ginger
1 dl tomato mash with garlic
2 dl water
salt, black pepper
vegetarian bouillon cube
parsley and chive
vegetarian oil

1. Take a kettle. Sweat minced onions in vegetarian oil, add chopped cherry tomatoes and paprika to juice. Add tomato mash, water and vegetarian bouillon. Let boil.
2. Add peeled and chopped carrots and parsnips, rinsed red lentils and bulgur wheat. 
3. When lentils and carrots are al dente add peeled and chopped potatoes plus minced ginger. Let stew.
4. Spice with salt and black pepper. Serve with lots of parsley and chive.

Tortilla chips
(When making filled tortillas some wheat tortillas might be left over. I usually put them to freezer for later use)

2 wheat tortillas
vegetarian oil

Cut tortillas to eight pieces. Fry the tortilla pieces on a heated pan with vegetarian oil. Serve with cheese and chive and eat with Veggie casserole or soup.

Dessert Pancakes 
(Pancakes are a classic way to use eggs and cream that have met their best before date but are still good to use. You can also use a bit older cream that has turned into sour cream. In Finland pancakes are a dessert/coffee time treat.)

3 eggs
1 1/2 dl wheat flour
2 dl cream (or sour cream)
1 tsp vanilla
marzipan (or sugar)
vegetarian oil
chocolate for serving

1. Break and beat the eggs in a bowl.
2. Add the cream. 
3. Add flour and vanilla mixing properly. Put the mix into a fridge for 30 mins - 1 hour.
4. Add grated marzipan.
5. Cook the pancakes on a frying pan.
6. Serve with chocolate. 

Have you tried to reduce food waste? Or do you even have this problem?


Monday, 22 August 2016

10 Things to do for Rainy Autumn Days

Autumn is really making it´s way as it has been raining more or less for several days. Here are some ideas what to do and make during those rainy days and dark afternoons/ evenings.

1. Watch movies that allow you to travel far away from place and time. I would recommend some older movies like Out of Africa, A Passage To India, The Man from Snowy River and Dances with Wolves which all have a good story and beautiful scenery. 

2. Get to know one Russian classic as a book. BBC´s new TV adaption of War and Peace is starting tomorrow (here in Finland). If the series is nearly as beautiful as the trailers I have seen it is definitely worth watching. Last time I had a mission to read a Russian classic it was 2012 when the latest movie version of Anna Karenina came. 

Now I am reading Doctor Zhivago at the 117th page and it has kept me hooked. I don´t actually know why I haven´t read Zhivago, Anna Karenina or War and peace before, these are all excellent books. Maybe it is just a time issue. These books need time so that the reader can get into the book´s world. One page every now and then is not enough..

3. Organize a closet, table or a room that has annoyed you for a long time. Last weekend I heard about KonMari method in which you just keep things that bring you joy and cast everything else away. It sounded interesting and I tried this method to organize my fabric closet that has been a mess for a year now. As a result I got two bags of fabric to charity shop. 

I have actually had a constant re-organizing process for one year now as I just always end up with too much stuff in my closets (second hand shop/ flea market syndrome??). Simple rules in KonMari might make the tidying process easier. 

4. Keep indoor plants. Now when the weather and dark afternoons keep us more inside it is good to take care of the indoor air. Plants make the air better and green reminds of the miracle of growth when there is nothing but snow outside. Indoor jungles are also a super trendy element in interior decoration :) Take good care of your old plants and try some new ones.

5. Listen to radio or audio books. I have noticed that listening to low paced radio program or well read audio book does good for concentrating.  Sometimes TV just flashes bits of program and advertisements in a fast tempo so that listening to radio can be a good alternative for relaxing. 

6. Go for a walk. When you are prepared for the stormy weather with wellies and rain coat being outdoors is enjoyable: air is fresh and plants look greener. It is also nice to come inside after a walk like this and prepare a warm soup or a cup of coffee.

7. Take a pause. We often forget to take a pause in the middle of everything. Then when going to sleep things are wandering into the mind. To avoid this go for a nap or listen to the rain on a sofa. Use this time for dreaming and planning.

8. Knit woolen socks or mittens. Or crochet a blanket. Now is the time to take all woolen yarns from the storage and start planning knitting and crocheting crafts.

9. Gather inspiration from internet. When it is a good weather it feels wrong to be inside and surf in the internet. Now it is allowed and a good pastime. Find new blogs (so little time so many excellent blogs!) and Twitter accounts or gather a new inspiration wall in Pinterest. Make a list of projects you want to make this autumn and winter season.

10. Light candles and decorative lights in and outdoors. Wash all tealight plates from dust and place into nice arrangements. Clean the balcony or terrace from flowers that do not bloom anymore and replace with autumn plants. Place lanterns in hooks and light the first outdoor candles on a dark and rainy evening. 


Friday, 19 August 2016

Quilted Blanket +Books about Textile Work and Quilting

It is Friday which means Crafts and DIY themed post. I am sharing my finished quilting project plus some book recommendations for you to get inspired for quilting and working with fabrics in general.

Now that I got my new blanket ready I also got the sleeping area finished. You might wonder what a carnival of color it is. I love to use color and my point with this space was to make all things super colorful and otherwise keep more simple style approach in my home. I have tried to put some things aside so that the items on display will stand out. But in this limited corner I let myself fully express my colorful side. In the detail pictures you can see one way of making decorative quilt stitches.

Today I also wanted to share some book tips especially for quilters and quilters to be. These books have been both helpful and inspiring when trying to learn more about the technique. 

About technique:

The Quilt: Encyclopedia Illustrated.  Carter Houck. 1991. Harry N. Abrams, Inc.
Good book that helps you to learn the terms and technique types. By browsing this book you might find more interesting ways to quilt and study more from other sources. Excellent and informative pictures to get you hooked on the world of quilting!

The Quilter´s and Patchworker´s Stitch Bible. Nikki Tinkler. 2006. Search Press Ltd.
The must have book about stitches and how to add the finishing touches to your work. Enormous ways to sew decorative stitches and knots. Includes decorating techniques from all over the world (for example sisa embroidering).

The Pattern Library. Patchwork and applique. Amy Carroll, Michele Walker. 1981. Dorling Kindersley.
Pattern library indeed this book introduces plenty of traditional quilting models. Despite the small size this book has a lot of information about the history of patchwork and what kind of origins and symbols different patterns hold.

About design and use of color:

Simple Shapes Spectacular Quilts. 23 Original Quilting Designs. Kaffe Fasset, Liza Prior Lucy. 2010. ABRAMS.
Kaffe Fasset is the ultimate master of color. I think almost every quilter knows his work. This book contains wonderful designs that you can make though the models are quite challenging. I think this more of an art book and I use this as a source of inspiration. I love the way how design processes have been opened with lots of pictures from urban environments etc.

A Colorful Journey. Over twenty designs from ROWAN for Patchwork and Quilting. Kaffe Fasset. 2003. Rowan Yarns. 
Quilting patterns from top designers with a combining theme: color. Bold designs from easier to more challenging ones. Also a good book for studying techniques. It is nice to notice how simple the main technique might be but when you plan the use of colorful fabrics with care you can get outstanding results!

Quilting from little things... Sarah Fielke. 2011. Murdoch Books Pty Limited.
I love designs that have a more organic approach to quilting. Even though a certain amount of symmetry is good for balanced quilt work I think it is interesting to use creativity when cutting the fabric. Of course when you use peculiar shapes you have to be ready to sew by hand. This book´s quilted items have also very neat and beautiful hand sewn stitches as part of the design.

Pure inspiration:

These two books are not particularly quilting books but you can use these as a source of inspiration when making crafts in general. Also excellent books for designing the use of color and pattern. Lots of good quality pictures.

Textiles. A World Tour. Discovering traditional fabrics and patterns. Catherine Legrand. 2008. Thames and Hudson.

World Textiles. A Visual Guide to Traditional Techniques.  Johgn Gillow and Bryan Sentance. 1999. Thames and Hudson.

Hope this list of sources will help you. Have an inspiring and relaxing weekend!

Would you like to ad something to this list? Which books have you found helpful when quilting?


Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Harvest Food Recipes

It is great time to start planning what to make of all harvest goods that are coming to the markets. New carrots and beetroots are wonderful ingredients for everyday food as you can cook/ bake and put ready meals to freezer. Ready meals save those days when you don´t have so much time to use for cooking but need fulfilling and good food. 

Feta Carrot Pastries

32 pastries

550 g carrots
60 g parsnip
2 onions
3 garlic cloves
200 g feta cheese
1 kg savory buff pastry dough
salt and pepper
1 egg
poppy seed

1.  Peel and mince onions. Peel and grate carrots and parsnips. 
2. Sweat onions in vegetarian oil. Put the onions aside and sweat grated carrots and parsnips.
3. Put together onions, carrot & parsnip grate, minced garlic cloves and 200 g feta cheese. Mix properly and spice with salt and black pepper.
4. Take the buff pastry plates from a freezer and defrost. Cut to 32 squares. Put some filling in the middle and fold the pastry. Use some water to the seams and press the edges with fork. 
5. Egg the pastries and sprinkle with poppy seed. 
6. Bake in the oven in 225 Celsius degrees for about 10 minutes or until the pastries have gotten a nice golden surface.

Beetroot Beefs and Spinach Sauce

15 beefs

600 g beetroot
180 g potatoes
40 g bread crumble
3 eggs
2 onions
2 garlic cloves
2 tbsp parsley
1 tsp wild juniper berries
salt, black pepper and sugar
vegetarian oil

1. Put bread crumbles and eggs to a bowl and let the crumbles to swallow. 
2. Cook and smash potatoes. Cook beetroots al dente, peel and grate. Mince and sweat onions. 
3. Add minced parsley, juniper berries and garlic to egg and bread crumbles, mix properly. 
4. Add potatoes and  grated beetroots. Spice with black pepper, salt and sugar. 
5. Fry the beefs on a frying pan with vegetarian oil.

Spinach Sauce

2 tbsp butter
1,5 tbsp flour
1 dl cream
1 dl water
200 g spinach
salt and white pepper

Melt butter in a frying pan and mix with flour. Add 1 dl cream and heat. Add spinach from freezer and heat. Add water if needed ( if the sauce is too thick). Let the sauce cook together in low temperature and spice with salt and white pepper.

Serve beetroot beefs with spinach sauce and potatoes. Feta-carrot pastries are a good savory snack or make a great lunch with salad or berry soup.

Have a nice Food and Recipe Wednesday!


Monday, 15 August 2016

Autumn Start: Trying a New Routine

The beginning of autumn is like New Year´s Day with all the possibilities to get a fresh start. I think lots of people make same kind of resolutions for the season as they make for the coming year. I have always felt that autumn is a kind season. When spring pressures to be more active and make longer days autumn evenings offer time for rest.  Nature´s pace slows down and it is wonderful to take long walks in the brisk air observing how greens turn into reds and yellows. This peaceful season has inspired me to simplify my life: to accomplish more by making less and focusing better.

Everyday routine is a universe far away from me. I am usually doing this and that at the same time and planning for the third turn. Then I stress all the things I haven´t done. I do plan and I like making lists about to dos´. I also get things done long before deadline. But the main problem is that I am making too much and as a creative person ideas keep coming all the time before I get former projects done. Then I hurry my projects to get doing the next ones. Sort of hyper activity that is.. In this rush decent eating and resting times are difficult to keep.

A few weeks ago I took the wires off from my TV and this simple act has slowed my speed a little bit. Now I am watching TV every now and then but smaller amounts. I used to have TV on as a background noise always when I was at home . Now after a TV pause I find it difficult to focus on making if the TV is on so in this case I have learned to make one thing at the time: to watch telly or craft/ write/ cook.

With this principle in mind I listed things I want to do daily or weekly to feel that I have accomplished something during the week. For example I would like to post three times per week a good quality post with beautiful pictures. As I have been making tons of projects at the same time it has been difficult to get finished material when everything is in progress. Sure, what comes to bigger projects like quilt blankets, it is nice to show project pictures. But I would also like to have smaller one night/ weekend projects, well written thoughts, recipes and beautiful pictures to inspire you. If keeping a blog would only be writing and editing pictures it wouldn´t be such a challenge. But as I am blogging and producing all the things in this blog by myself it is also a lot of planning, designing projects, making the actual products (meaning that I have to craft the crafts and cook the food), organizing and styling and taking photos. It is all a lot of fun but needs to be  organized properly to function well.

That is why I am trying a routine, a good plan what to make and when. If it is going to work I will have certain times for certain activities and unplanned time to use as I like. Now I have made a posting schedule that includes all the time needed from preparing to publishing. When I got my three hours for crafting I will do that and nothing else. If the craft is unfinished after that, I will continue the work next time scheduled for that activity.  I try to avoid 24/7 crafting marathons and plan times for taking a walk in the nearby forests or a simple 30 minute morning walk. Walking, biking and jogging are quite essential for me as being physically active and observing the nature are a great boost of creativity. Also muscles can get very tensed (try 8 hours of sewing by hand) when crafting and for example walking is an excellent way to get rid of the tensions.

In this plan of mine I have decided three main themes for this blog. Now that I have written about an year it has become clearer what are the themes in the Creative Night Shift.  It is gonna be crafts and DIY, recipes and lifestyle. So nothing is changed by this far, I am just trying to make things clear to myself. 

Mondays are going to be lifestyle themed days. Posts can handle outdoorsy life, currents issues /trends, literature, or what ever interests at the time. I used to have enjoy 2016 challenge, but I felt it was time to remodel this. Lots of things go under the category enjoy your life with less material and more activities that make you happy. That is why lifestyle theme will cover issues that do not go under Food and Recipes or Crafts and DIY.

Wednesdays are about food and recipes. As a pesco-vegetarian my recipes are usually lacto-vegetarian, but may sometimes include fish or seafood. I avoid making posts about desserts as I know how difficult it is to maintain healthy diet in this modern world with so many temptations. So if I will publish sweet recipes it will be mainly on festive seasons or days. There are lots of wonderful blogs about desserts and sweet baking that offer inspiration for us everyday :P.

DIY/ Crafting Fridays are the foundation of this blog as DIYing was the main reason I started blogging. I will write about my own crafts and DIYs, how to apply the latest decoration trends to your home by making yourself and how to use second hand material in crafting. 

As I know myself, this is trying a new routine. If it won´t work as it is I will make an another one. But it is a good start for the season!

What do you think of routines? What kind of routines do you have and how have they helped you in your everyday life? 

With the best Autumn greetings,


Friday, 12 August 2016

Decorate with Trendy Baskets

You might have noticed that baskets are everywhere. Trendy decorative baskets that are matched with cacti and worn off flower pots. But how to apply the trend for one´s home with a stylish manner without spending lots of money to latest trend pieces? Because you know, when something gets the IT factor the product will gain extra zero to its price.

Good way is to look after your own stuff in the storage and then move to flea markets. Baskets do not have to be in a perfect shape as you are going to hang them to a wall for a decorative purpose only. Also look for the potential, you can do some DIYing to make the piece work according to the current trend. I know that materials for crafting are pricey in the shops so be creative when you circle through the flea markets and second hand shops because you might find lots of material with a low price. And when you buy craft supplies from a shop or as second hand, store left overs properly so you can use them in the future projects.

Bag full of woolen embroidering yarn 3€, from Kontti second hand shop.

How to:

Step 1: Choose 3-5 baskets to hang on your wall. If some of the baskets already have decoration let them be. For the plain ones use some creativity. 

Step 2: I decorated two baskets. One with blue and terracotta paint following the weaving of the basket ( I painted just the looms going to vertical direction). The other one I decorated with white paint and woolen yarn. The cross stitch design is a modification from a traditional Finnish folk pattern used in national costumes. You can find lots of books about cross stitching in a library, just variate with the color to get a design that fits your home decoration style.

Step 3: Choose space for the baskets so that you can style them with other elements. Place baskets to your wall in an organic shape starting with one and collecting others around the first one. Alternatively you can place baskets to a narrow space by arranging them to a line.

Step 4: Other elements. I would style baskets with interesting flower vases (mine are 1-3€ W. Germany vases from flea markets) arranged in a group with bright colored flowers in one or two. Also other bohemian elements like salt stone lamp, old wooden artifacts, plants, simple modern tealight plates and book piles would support the 2016 style.

Step 5: Do not feel pressure to style your home according to current trends. Learning about whats new in home decoration right now should be fun and inspiring.  Remember that you are the one  living in your home. Most important thing is what you think looks nice. You do not have to care about the right way of styling. There are as many right ways as there are stylists. 

Enjoy the weekend!


Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Whisked Berry Porridge - Vegetarian option for Yogurt

Finnish style whisked porridge is tasty, healthy, low with sugar and easy to make vegetarian option for yogurt. This kind of porridge is a traditional dessert but there is no reason why not to make this for everyday breakfast or snack. This is a delicacy for all so if you got both vegetarians/ vegans and omnivorous in your table you can serve this to all.  Porridge can be made using semolina, rye flour or oatmeal and different kinds of berries, fruits and dried fruits (like blueberries, lingonberries, blackcurrants, apples, dried plums or dried apricots just for example). 

How to: Basic technique is to cook berries/ fruits in water, add semolina/ rye flour/ oatmeal to the boiling water and stir properly and cook with medium heat. When the consistence is "porridge like" and well cooked move the kettle to a sink that has some cold water and start whisking. Whisk until the porridge is foamy. Sweeten the porridge according to taste. In Finland whisked porridge is usually served with milk but this is optional. I sometimes use oatmilk (Oatly i Kaffe) that tastes creamy. Porridge keeps fresh in the fridge for couple of days. 

Now keeping these basic instructions in mind I will show three combinations for how to make whisked berry porridge. To get more alternative you can experiment with berries /fruits and grains.

Whisked lingonberry semolina porridge

3 dl lingonberries
6 dl water
1 dl semolina
sugar according to taste
pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla

Boil lingonberries in water and add semolina stirring constantly. Let boil in medium heat until the semolina is soft. Put the kettle in cold water and whisk until the porridge is foamy. Add sugar, vanilla and salt.

Whisked blueberry rye flour porridge

4 dl blueberries
5 dl water
1 dl rye flour
1 tsp vanilla
sugar according to taste

Prepare the porridge as in previous instruction but using blueberries and rye flour. In the picture above porridge is served with oatmilk. 

Whisked apple oatmeal porridge

2 apples
6 dl water
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1-2 tbsp lemon juice
pinch of salt

Prepare as in previous instruction but using apples and oatmeal. Spice with salt, cinnamon and lemon juice after whisking.

Now are the best days to be outdoors as the air is fresh after the rain and the temperature is warm yet brisker than some weeks ago when it was too hot. Forests are full of different berries so what could be better way to spend an hour or two. 

What kind of outdoor activities do you have now when we are heading towards the autumn?


Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Step by step guide on How to Quilt a Block

Today I will show one way to make a quilt block. There are countless patterns and designs for quilting. Most of them are variations from a traditional basic patterns. When you handle a few simple quilting techniques you are able to study the more advanced quilt works and develop your skills. Quite many quilt works have to be sewn by hand as for example hexagons are quite impossible to sew by machine. This easy to sew quilt block is done by machine. Even though you would not have any quilting experience this is simple to learn. Just remember to be precise and iron the seams properly. And enjoy the making because quilting takes time! 

After you have chosen the colors for your work count how many squares do you need from each fabric. Cut 10 * 10 cm squares using scissors and a square pattern or a quilter´s rule and a mat. 

Step 1. Place two squares right sides against each other.

Step 2. Draw a straight line from corner to corner using basic ruler. 

Step 3. Sew a straight line to both sides of the mid line drawn. Usually seams are 0.75 cm because a press foot is used as a measure. So sew following the mid line with the one side of the press foot.

Step 4. Cut two triangles apart following the mid line.

Step 5. Open the triangle and iron the seams.

Step 6. Cut off the extras from the corners. Now you got one two colored square.  

Step 7. With two colored squares you can form many different designs, this is just a one. Place the squares as you have designed and join together row by row.

Step 8. Remember to iron the seams. Quilt work is 50% sewing and 50% ironing. Taking a short cut by forgetting the ironing part you are most likely to ruin your hard work. 

Step 9. Now join the rows together. Before sewing match the squares precisely otherwise the design will broke.

Step 10. Iron the seams. 

Congratulations you are ready! Now you can make some more blocks to sew a decorative pillow, handbag, blanket...

I am making a blanket. I got all my blocks ready yesterday. Today I will join the blocks together piece by piece and row by row. I went to library to get some inspiration for how to stitch the layers together. More of that later. Maybe I could also give some book recommendations on the field of quilting if you are interested.

Have you been quilting lately? Or do you have a dream to learn this craft technique and create projects by yourself?