October 30, 2012
… and I am back!! (Well, sort of)
Yes. My writings on this blog are a bit random. Maybe I can get into the rhythm again? Perhaps not (my moods to blame!). Yea! Someday.
I am weird.
For now, let´s see what brings me here this time ;)
My daughter´s school is having a Halloween party this week and I committed myself to make something for the bake sale. To be sincere, this is our first Halloween party while living in Finland and I had no clue of what people eat there. The only thing I was sure is that there would be tons of cupcakes and tray bakes (bringing more’d be definitely boring!).
I decided for size-wise mini cheesecakes. No fuzz for cutting slices and just perfect to carry easily to the party.
BUT IT IS HALLOWEEN! Hello?
hmm… the decoration! Oh gosh, cupcakes are so much nicer to decorate with spooky touches! After brainstorming (uh, you certainly don’t want to see me doing that. Hubs says I have lightning clouds on top of my head. Every time) I came to an idea when I thought about the bilberry sauce that goes with the cheesecakes. Hmmm… yummy blood clots (eeeek)… topped with eyeballs. Just enough creepy!
Mini Baked Cheesecakes for Halloween
adapted from a recipe posted already here
Makes 24 individual cheesecakes
For the crust:
- 300 g Digestive biscuits, finely crumbled
- 140 g butter, melted (I used HYLA, low lactose)
For the cheese filling:
- 400 g cream cheese, full fat, softened
- 200 ml cream (I used HYLA, low lactose)
- 100 g caster sugar
- 2 eggs
- 3 tbsp lemon juice
- bilberry jam (I used organic)
- round shaped white candies. I used sugar coated snowballs Toffee bonbons (toffee pallot / lumipallot)
- food decorating pens (edible markers): red, blue and green
- black marzipan
Line 24 holes of two muffin pans with muffin cases.
Finely crush the biscuits in a strong freezer plastic bag. Add the melted butter to the biscuit crumbs and “knead” until well combined. Note that you can use the plastic as a mixing vessel (no dirty dishes yet!). Alternatively, use a food processor to crush the biscuits and mix the butter.
Divide the crust mixture evenly among cases pressing firmly down with your finger or the back of a spoon. Set the pans aside while making the filling.
Beat the cream cheese and sugar in an electric mixer until it gets smooth and creamy. Don´t overdo it otherwise you will incorporate too much air into the mixture and it will “puff” in the oven. Add the eggs and beat until combined. Add lemon juice and cream and mix again.
Pour the filling evenly among cases.
Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool before storing in the fridge.
Cheesecakes are ready to serve when they are completely set and cold.
Making the “eyes”:
Simply draw/paint the white candy balls with the edible pens to depict eyes (green/blue for the iris and red for the arteries/veins) . For the pupil I used a tiny ball made with black marzipan, mostly because my black edible pen ended (*lol*)
Horrific? Eye popping! (yuck)
Before taking the cheesecakes to the school I added about one teaspoon of bilberry jam to each cheesecake and decorated with one toffee “eye”.
May 24, 2012
Coming back and cleaning up the dust (*cough cough* look out for the allergies!) from the blog! I disappeared for a while, yes I know… too much of everything happening at the same time.
But hey! I am here and with a new bento! Wow!!!!
My 6yo had a “Spring celebration” at her pre-school today, lots of outside activities for the kids and parents. Mr Mies joined her and I stayed home to take care of little daughter who was still sick from flu she caught earlier this week from her big sister (ha! complicated stuff! Well hmm, we´ve been sick…). I prepared these bentos for us to eat when they´d get back home. You can notice the portions are quite big, to be shared properly among four not-so-hungry people :).
And… the theme: Pokémon! As for normal children, my girls keep changing what they like every now and then. They had seasons of adoring Anpanman, Kirby, My Little Pony and lately it is Pokémon… partly my fault this time… I allowed them to play my DS game “Pokémon Diamond Version” and they were introduced to the world of the pocket monsters… (blame me blame me). Their favorite ones at this moment are Pikachu, Jigglypuff and Squirtle.
So Pikachu bento, that is!
Contents of the boxes: Round onigiris (rice balls), tamagoyaki, raw carrot sticks, steamed broccoli on a lettuce bed. Nectarine slices, cucumber, green grapes, strawberries and raspberries. Pikachu made with cheese, nori details, carrot cheeks and pepperoni mouth. I also crafted a pokéball sticker to decorate the onigiri wrap ^_^, nice isn’t it?
* Gotta Catch ‘Em All!!!*
Oops, no ketchup this time! ;)
April 4, 2012
Trying to enjoy the wonders of Spring, we decided to grow our own Easter grass this year. There´s no sign of green outside yet (we just had snow this week!) so I thought girls would be delighted to get their own piece of green for Easter.
We usually travel to my in-laws on Easter holidays, main reason I didn’t encourage my daughters to have their own baskets at home before (they often get pretty ones from their grandmother!).
You see… it was really exciting for them to watch the grass grow from seeds to “bush”. Too bad our lack of experience resulted in irregular surfaces :P. Next time I figured we need to use more seeds (even if the package says the opposite!).
Anyways, girls acquired a new skill and had fun at same time :D.
A beautiful package right? This was made by Luonnonvoima in her pre-school. It has barley grass in. Yep, I admit, it is prettier than ours >_<!
Girls trying different styling: LV has the orange basket and little PS the purple :) *the chick is flying mommy!*
We are off for the holidays and as you might have guessed already, we are spending the long weekend with my girls´ grandparents.
Wish you all a very Happy Easter! Hyvää Pääsiäistä! Feliz Páscoa!
February 7, 2012
February has arrived! And inspired by a sweet Valentine´s card my girls received today from their great-grandparents, I made a bento with the love theme ^_^.
Contents: Iri-dofu (tofu scramble), mini plum tomato, steamed broccoli, nectarine slices, mandarine orange and a cute cup (ありがとう M!) with carrot sticks and red grapes. The brown puppy is made with rice mixed with shoyu and the white one is a plain onigiri with nori details. *SMOOOOOCH*
Pikkusiili said I should have put more ketchup on the puppy´s cheek, because it was too “pale”. Did she mean no blushing enough? XD
Ah yes… some friends have been asking how are we doing with all the news about the severe winter in Europe. We are doing fine :), there is indeed plenty of snow and some very cold days… I guess we are used, it doesn’t bother us so much.
When the girls can’t go outside to play we try to do some activities at home. They got mini baking equipment toys on Christmas from my in-laws and grandmother taught them to make salt play dough to use with the stuff.
I made the dough again, it is a very easy no-cook recipe. So simple but surely delivered a few hours of entertainment to my daughters! Our “fake bakery” was a success then ^_^.
Taikataikina / no cook salt play dough
adapted from here . Taikataikina means “magic dough” also called suolataikina in Finnish (suola=salt, taikina=dough)
- 6 dl wheat flour (about 3 cups)
- 3 dl salt (11/2 cup)
- 3 dl warm water (300ml , warm enough to dissolve the salt)
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil (I used canola)
- food coloring if desired
Combine the salt and flour in a mixing bowl. The coarser the salt, the more the granulous effect.
Make a well in the dry mixture and gradually add the water, kneading until the dough becomes smooth and elastic. Add the vegetable oil and combine everything again.
For the colored dough, I divided the neutral dough into 4 pieces and added food coloring (red, blue and yellow) to each, kneading until getting an even color. For the other colors, I just let the girls mix the basic balls and have fun with the discoveries.
While playing I recommend covering the unused dough with plastic because it tends to dry very fast.
The salt dough can be stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator for a couple of days.
Happy week friends!
January 23, 2012
After a long break I am back :).
I hope you all had a great beginning of new year ^_^. As for myself, I was sick again… it feels much better this week, I am done with the flu for now. YAY!
Today for the first time during winter, LV went to pre school with her pulk (sled). We usually don’t allow her to because the most of the time, the snowy sidewalks are covered with a layer of sand, which damages pretty much the bottom of her sled. It has been snowing constantly lately in Helsinki and for some reason, the snowplow didn’t clear up the sidewalks this morning.
In the afternoon, big sister was so enthusiastic about playing with the sled, she convinced Pikkusiili to go out to play too. The result was having two hungry little girls coming home :). I prepared two bentos, my attempt to celebrate the Lunar New Year (Chinese New Year). It is the Year of the Dragon!!
(Lau! Feliz Ano do Dragao ;)
Contents: Farfalle pasta with spinach, feta cheese, sun dried tomatoes, red onions, walnuts and pecans, mini plum tomato, lettuce, red grapes, cucumber and a tiny mandarin orange. The dragon girl is a dessert-sandwich made with whole grain bread, nutella, green soy wrap, details made with cucumber, cheese, nori, wakame seaweed and jam for the cheeks :).
Ok… it is embarrassing, the girl should have looked like this (my earlier sketch-fooling around):
Hmm.. does the bento-girl look like a dragon at all?
Hmm.. ok… maybe a frog… Ahahahahah!
Happy Lunar New Year for my friends who celebrate it!
December 1, 2011
A bento to celebrate the Christmas season!
It was so good to return making bentos again… but it is weird to get back to the habit :/. I am totally needing some practice… not only on making the meals, but also… taking pictures of them! Gosh… I was so used to my previous settings in the old apartment I found challenging to take photos in my new kitchen. I will get better, I hope :P!
And yes, I confess I stole the idea of using the star picks for the Christmas trees from Sheri, the lovely owner of Happy Little Bento Blog. Her use of picks is brilliant, she will always be my bento-heroine inspiration of all times :).
AH! And before I forget!!! New bento boxes in this post! I got them before our moving from a sweet bento friend of mine. Thank you ^^, my girls loved the HK ♥!
Contents: rice with furikake, grilled chicken breast pieces, steamed broccoli, cucumber slices, pearl tomatoes, purple carrots, orange wedges, red grapes and Christmas shaped pasta. The tree is a mini onigiri wrapped with wilted spinach decorated with carrots “balls”.
Must say they enjoy eating spinach nowadays! Wohoo!!!