Spring at the cottage

After posting some random pictures on twitter during my staying at the countryside I decided to show something here too.

Weekend was very fun, sun appeared every day… so warm and cozy. The lake was still frozen but snow melted away from the most of the fields. My girls could enjoy the good weather and went outside to play with grandpa´s cat Moona. It is so nice to see them running around free :).

Did you spot a kitty cat?

It is quite often that we still play with snow on Easter holidays and I need to pack winter clothes for the girls. This year was different… Easter was late and we could all experience the Spring awakening in the cottage. I enjoyed it, reloading the energy and seeing beauty after cold months made me good.

Easter decorations and first spring flowers

The small yellow flowers are the very first ones to bloom in Finland on Spring. They are called “leskenlehti” (Tussilago farfara). The purple flower surprised us on Sunday morning… there wasn’t anything on its spot when we arrived … A beautiful purple Crocus woke up to say hello :).

Making pulla with grandma

Luonnonvoima showing her baking skills helping grandma to make pulla (Finnish sweet cardamon bread). Grandma was making “korvapuusti” (Finnish cinnamon rolls).

Whooper swans - Laulujoutsen

A swan couple. They are pretty… but man… they make such ugly sound! *lol* One day LV was playing outside alone and those birds started “singing” it scared her to death…. poor little one, she never listened to that before, she ran insides telling she got afraid :P.

Those swans are called “laulujoutsen” (Cygnus cygnus)… “laulu” refers to singing/song in Finnish… Can’t understand the name, they sing really bad.  >___<

*sigh*

After good company, good food, good resting and clean weather… back to the routine…

Hope you’ve all enjoyed your Easter weekend!

Happy Spring!

 

This post was written by karaimame exclusively for Acquiring Taste. All writing, images and other materials in this blog remain the property of Acquiring Taste and cannot be used without permission.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cookie sandwich chocolate lollipop

Hello friends!

After a long Easter weekend (Monday was also holiday here in Finland) I am back to the city. “Back to the city”? Ehehe, we stayed some days in the countryside at my girls´ grandparents place. It was very relaxing and nice to see nature changing… Spring is definitely coming to this cold land.

I should have posted this before Easter but I was so busy I couldn’t. I also saved this subject for the #twitterchocolateparty (which happened yesterday) but in the end, I couldn’t make it on time. BAD ME. (#fail)

Anyways… you can use this idea for other occasions, the lollipops are very easy to make if you have all the ingredients on hand.

I made a big batch as a little Easter treat to everyone where we stayed. Since my mother-in-law has gluten intolerance, I made separate lollipops to her, using a different gluten-free cookie.

Easter lollipops

Chocolate covered sandwich cookies lollipops

adapted from here

yields 8 gluten-free lollipops and 25 normal ones

  • 1 can of dulce de leche (I used cooked condensed milk until thick consistency)
  • 1 pack of Maria biscuits (Marie biscuits). I used Kulta Marie from Kantolan
  • 400 g dark chocolate. I used Fazer dark- 47% (Fazer tumma suklaalevy)
  • hundreds and thousands sprinkles
  • sugar bunnies and sugar flowers
  • lollipop sticks or ice pop sticks
  • cellophane bags for wrapping

for the gluten-free lollies I used gluten-free round digestive cookies (Semper)

Prepare a cookie sheet with parchment paper, cellophane or foil.

Make sandwiches with two biscuits: spread the dulce de leche filling on one side, place the lollipop stick in the center and top with another biscuit. Proceed the same way with the other biscuits.

I started the process with the gluten-free ones to avoid cross-contamination but you don’t need if you are making one-kind only.

Melt and temper the chocolate. The type of chocolate I used required tempering but if you find it easier, use a confectionery chocolate (which doesn’t require tempering).

Dip each cookie sandwich and allow the excess to drip away. Place on the prepared cookie sheet and decorate with sprinkles if you like. I marked the gluten-free ones with a yellow sugar flower and the rest with a cute sugar bunny face.

Take to the fridge until firm, remove and let it “dry” outside the fridge.

I used cellophane treat bags with an Easter theme to wrap the ready lollipops and tied them with golden ribbon (for the normal ones) and purple ribbon (gluten-free ones)

Cookie sandwich chocolate lollipop

Easy peasy right? ^__^

Have a great week everyone :).

 

 

This post was written by karaimame exclusively for Acquiring Taste. All writing, images and other materials in this blog remain the property of Acquiring Taste and cannot be used without permission.


 

Little chicks bento

April 18, 2011

Little chicks bento

Wow! Another “monday bento” ! I said “wow” because my mondays are usually so busy I don’t even think about making any bento to the girls…

But this time was special. I promised myself I was going to make an Easter-theme bento this year and I had to hurry to make it today. We will be traveling for the Easter holidays and week will be short… not sure when I’ll be having time, I made an effort to post something today.

My girls went all “aaws” “ooohs” when they saw their meal ^__^! “Pääsiäistipu!!” (Easter chick in Finnish) … Luonnonvoima added also that the girls look like them :)

By the way, to make the chicks I used the same design from a felt magnet I crafted years ago, when my youngest daughter was born.

Little chick magnet

Inside the boxes: romaine lettuce, homemade chicken meatballs braised in yakisoba sauce, tofu with caramelized onions (under the meatballs), steamed asparagus spears (briefly fried with the meatballs), raw baby carrots, pearl tomato, grapes and clementines. Onigiri “chick” made with rice, soy wrap, nori, cooked carrot for the beak and a little ketchup for the cheeks.

That´s it! Have a great week friends!

 

PS: my Bento Box Toy set is still being auctioned! Please check the eBay page ;)! Happy bidding!

 

 

This post was written by karaimame exclusively for Acquiring Taste. All writing, images and other materials in this blog remain the property of Acquiring Taste and cannot be used without permission.


 

Update on 27.04.2011: The box has been sold for $107,50! I am so happy it reached such price :). Thank you very much for everyone who got interested about it and specially, to the auction winner! The set is already on its way to WA ^_^!

Bento box food play set

As I posted here before, a group of bento lovers across the globe got together to raise funds for Japan. My fabulous fellow bento bloggers have been working hard keeping the Bento4Japan alive and at full steam.

The charity auctions on eBay have been terrific! Lots of bento boxes and gear had found new owners and I can only thank to the beautiful people´s generosity.

Everyone knows that I wanted to offer something to be auctioned for the cause. The problem is that I really can’t find anything suitable for the theme where I live.  Bento gear is rare, most of my personal purchases were made online.

It is true I selected stuff from my own collection to offer in the Bento4Japan raffle (by the way! The winners had been picked already, just give us a little more time and we will announce them :). My contribution is already traveling to the lucky one!).

So I thought… would it be bad to offer something handmade? Inspired by my friends who always support and keep me going ahead, I decided to craft my offering for Bento4Japan ^__^.

Bento box food play set – eBay auction

I handcrafted this lovely take away style bento box meal, perfect for pretended play or for display. The items are about life-sized and hand stitched with love and care for details.

I really try my best to make things in a way they last but felt and yarn creations are not as plastic ones, they won´t probably last as much as they would have been made from another “long lasting” material.

This set will be a joy for your little one to serve you obento anytime! (And you can also sneak to the play and practice making your bento too ;))

Most of the items which belong to the box were featured in my previous post , with addition of these little ones:

Felt food edamame and cherry tomato

So… without further ado, what is inside the box!

  • 1 lettuce leaf
  • 2 onigiris (rice balls)
  • 1 shiozake piece (salted salmon)
  • 1 lotus root (renkon) slice
  • 1 kabocha (Japanese pumpkin) wedge
  • 1 broccoli floret
  • 1 shiitake mushroom
  • 2 tamagoyaki (omelet) slices: spinach and traditional
  • 1 carrot flower
  • 1 edamame pod
  • 1 cherry tomato with wooden pick
  • 1 usagi ringo (apple bunny)
  • 2 grapes
  • 1 strawberry
  • 1 orange slice
  • 2 food cups (paper and felt polka dot)
  • 1 pair of bamboo chopsticks – not disposable type
  • 1 origami chopstick “envelope”

Bento box food set

The full description of the materials and other important information can be read in the auction page for the bento box.

I hope this can raise some money. Remember, 100% of the proceeds will go to to GlobalGiving’s Japan Relief fund. If you win, be sure you are getting something made from the heart.

Please take a look, this is the auction page! Check out the other Bento4Japan auctions too ;).

 

This post was written by karaimame exclusively for Acquiring Taste. All writing, images and other materials in this blog remain the property of Acquiring Taste and cannot be used without permission.


 

 

Amigurumi onigiris

Yes… I know, I haven’t posted in this blog for about a week. It hasn’t been intentional, but I have been lacking time to do so…

But hey! I am still here ;)

Aside from the normal chores… Today I  show you what I’ve been doing lately, on late nights, children´s nap times and squeezed times of freedom:  crafting… and creating. It is just madness, ideas keep popping in my mind all the time and I can’t keep on with them in normal levels.

Crafting what? Toy food! I must admit there´s a reason behind these … and I’ve been working on the items for about 2 weeks already.

Many alpha versions got kidnapped by my girls (also some beta ones…). I needed to repeat doing same stuff many times until I got a result that I found acceptable (HAHAHA, am I this weird).

Just to mention… my girls really adore when I make toy food. They kept asking me every second “is it ready?” ” can we take it now” “are you going to end the onigiri today”. To the extreme they arranged a little box and left it by my side, demanding “here mama, you can put the ready ones”.

….wondering if they are spoiled little ladies… >_<

You will notice that most of the foods have a Japanese-style tendency (*hint* *hint*)…

Japanese nimono anyone?

Felt food lotus root, shiitake and carrotsFelt food Japanese nimono

 

Lotus root, carrots, shiitake, broccoli…



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 




 

 

Steamed kabocha

Felt kabocha

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pan fried shiozake (salted salmon)

Felt food salmon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Traditional tamagoyaki and spinach filled one

Felt food tamagoyaki

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Little fruit cup

Felt food assortment of fruits

 

Apple bunny (usagi ringo), grapes, strawberry and an orange wedge

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These were really fun to craft ( ok.. ok.. I had some nervous breakdowns during the process :P ).  I liked the results… there´s room for improvement but I am very happy anyways :).

(Hope you like them too!)

 

 

This post was written by karaimame exclusively for Acquiring Taste. All writing, images and other materials in this blog remain the property of Acquiring Taste and cannot be used without permission.


Pizza bento

Can you guys believe is April already? Wow, time goes fast…

I had a busy week and I hope this one is going to be calmer….

Anyways… remember that every month a group of friends on twitter pick a food item/theme and agree to show a picture of the meal we are having? The #twitterfoodparty happens every last monday of each month… (hah? It went already!). Yes… but it was postponed for today! YAY!

The theme this time is… Apples!

I must admit I wasn’t that prepared to make anything… so I came up with these while preparing my daughter´s bentos.

Husband and I had Brie toasts with apple for dinner together with soup. Hors d’œuvre?? well… I don’t know, should I call this an appetizer or dessert? :P

Brie, apple & honey toast

Apple, brie & honey toast

Not a recipe actually but I will write how I did: toast gently two slices of bread, rub butter on tops. Slice thinly half green apple and cut 4 slices of brie cheese. Arrange the cheese and apple slices on the toasted bread, drizzle a bit of honey and sprinkle cracked nuts on top (pecan the best but I used almond praline). Grill until bubbling and serve.

Alternatively, make it “savory” seasoning with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

See? Simple… but it was very good!!

Pizza bento

The bentos for the girls today consists of last night´s leftovers. Pikkusiili wanted pizza for dinner and I usually make a bigger batch enough for snacks later. ^__^

The contents of the boxes: homemade pizza “bolognese”, baby carrots, cherry tomatoes, clementines, apple slices and lettuce. Little bees made with cheddar and white cheese slices and nori details.

I so love leftovers :P

Have a great week friends!

 

 

This post was written by karaimame exclusively for Acquiring Taste. All writing, images and other materials in this blog remain the property of Acquiring Taste and cannot be used without permission.


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