June 25, 2012
Yet another month almost to its end… Summer is going so fast!!
I usually make pancakes every Sunday for brunch but last weekend I was feeling a bit bored about the regular ones and decided for something more “sophisticated” : waffles! (HA! Not that chic but hey, they are more troublesome to make.. right?)
And for the toppings… I generously covered them with fresh juicy strawberries and syrup, just in time for June´s #twitterfoodparty ! This month´s theme is our beloved all-time-favorite-summer-fruit: strawberry ^_^ (Finnish strawberries are delicious!)
adapted from Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook, similar to this recipe
Yield 8-12 servings, according to your waffle iron
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tbsp sugar (the recipe calls for two tbsp but I put less)
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 eggs, yolks separated
- 1 3/4 cups milk (I used without lactose)
- 1/2 cup melted butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture.
In another bowl or jug, mix the milk, egg yolks, butter and vanilla.
Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form.
Combine the milk mixture all at once to the flour mixture. Stir until just moistened (the batter should still be slightly lumpy). Fold the egg whites to the batter gently.
Pour 1 cup of batter onto grids of a preheated, lightly greased waffle iron machine. Bake according to manufacturers directions.
When done (golden and crispy), lift waffle off grid (I use chopsticks ^_^)
Repeat with remaining batter. Serve warm with your favorite jam, fresh fruits and syrup
Check my friends´ contribution for this virtual potluck by looking for the hashtags #twitterfoodparty #twitterstrawberryparty on twitter and visiting the Flickr pool dedicated to this happening. Join us too, it is fun!
April 15, 2011
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 ^_^!
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:
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”
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 ;).
March 22, 2011
… keeping in mind everyone (including myself) needs something to make us smile and uplifted.
Last year I was complaining (as usually) on twitter about how difficult is to find cute patterned cellophane bags here in Finland. Well, correct me if I am wrong (any Finnish friends reading there?), but it is difficult to find normal cellophane bags too, so think about the patterned ones…
A very kind friend of mine offered me to send me some ^_^! I got her adorable package in the beginning of the year and she not only sent me cello bags, she also included her oh-so-famous honey chocolate bread among other things. They are a-ma-zing!
(Hey… and I must say, she is so amazing she is responsible for the cute sweets of the First Hello Kitty Cafe in the Americas. How cool is that? Aaw)
I decided to send a little something back, to thank for her kindness of sending me all these wonderful stuff.
As I can´t beat her on chocolate making I crafted mini sweet felt food to her :). I assembled two little mobile charms (using beads etc) with the mini food. All are handmade by me with my own patterns :).
(Snack time! ^_^ )
Si! Obrigada pela sua gentileza! Um beijo grande da Mame ^__^!
The Bento4Japan eBay auctions and the European Raffle are still on. Check it out when you have an opportunity! Remembering that all the proceeds go to Japan Disaster Relief. We appreciate your support.
September 19, 2010
Sunday afternoon, cold and rainy outside. Strawberries in the fridge, hungry little girls. Afternoon tea… pancakes!
From Fine Cooking mag #102
Yields about 17
- 3 tbs. unsalted melted butter (plus more to serve )
- 2 cups ( 9 oz ) all purpose flour ( you can substitute 1/2 cup for whole wheat or wheat germ )
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 cups buttermilk ( I used Finnish “piimä”)
- 2 large eggs
Vegetable oil for frying, maple syrup and fresh fruits for serving.
In a large bowl , mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a medium bowl , whisk the buttermilk and eggs. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk gently, until the batter is evenly moistened. Mix the cooled melted butter in the end. There should still be lumps . Let the batter rest while you heat up your skillet.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat. The right temperature would be when drops of water “dance” on surface before evaporating. Lightly oil the skillet and working in batches, pour about 1/4 cup of batter onto the skillet for each pancake. Let cook until bubbles rise to surface and edges look a bit “dry” (1-2 minutes ). Check the bottom, if golden enough, flip. Cook until the other side gets nicely browned and transfer to a plate , keeping it warm till you are done with all the batter.
Serve hot with butter, a generous drizzle of maple syrup and fresh fruits. Luonnonvoima likes it with jam and syrup, I don’t blame her ^_^.
Notes for those who don’t have buttermilk:
You could substitute it for a mixture of yoghurt and milk ( 1 cup plain yoghurt and 1 cup of milk ) or make your own “sour milk” ( add 2 tbs lemon juice to 2 cups of whole milk and let stand for 10 minutes till it gets thick ) .
September 18, 2010
When it comes for asking help , good friends in the social media can be amazing. The other day I couldn’t decide if I should buy tartlet molds/pans with loose bottoms and I asked in twitter what friends would suggest. Lovely Patricia ( who also helped me with a question concerning the pie weights, thank you dear! Check out her blog , it is mouthwatering! ) and old friend VH-san came to my rescue =).
So now I present you the first baking in my brand new (or not so new anymore ^_^ ) loose bottoms tartlet pans!
I decided for something simple.. and cheering up as chocolate ( not to get depressed… XD) . The original idea was to use raspberries but Summer is gone from this cold land and the only local berry I found was strawberry.
Chocolate ganache tartelette with strawberries
Pastry or Pâte Sucrée adapted from this book
Ganache filling adapted from here
Yield 6 ∅10 cm tartelettes
- 110 g of cold unsalted butter chopped
- 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour, sifted
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp sugar ( I used my own vanilla sugar )
- 1 egg, beaten
Sift the flour, sugar and salt through a sieve into a large bowl. Rub together the butter and the flour mixture with your fingertips until it resembles breadcrumbs. Pour the beaten egg and work the dough till it starts holding together. Add cold water if necessary ( I didn’t need ). Wrap in cling film and refrigerate for 30 min.
Preheat the oven to 180 °C.
Roll out the dough and line 6 ∅10 cm tartlet molds. You will need to bake the pastry without the filling ( “blind-baking” ). Prick the bottom of tartlets with a fork, line with parchment paper and fill it with pie weights ( I used dried green peas ). Take to oven and bake for about 10 minutes till the crust is set ( rim is golden). Remove the paper and weights and bake for further 5 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack.
1 basket fresh strawberries (250 g ) , rinsed, stem end cut flat
- 200 ml double cream ( kuohukerma )
- 180 g dark chocolate ( I used 100g Valrhona Manjari 64% and 80g of “normal” 70% dark chocolate)
- 20 g unsalted butter
Melt the chocolate, heat the cream in a small pan and pour over the chocolate. Stir the ingredients together using a spatula till they are evenly combined, beating to get a smooth and glossy mixture. Add the butter.
To assemble the tartlets:
Pour the chocolate ganache into the baked shells and chill in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes (or until almost firm) . Place the strawberries on top of each tart and serve. If you want to keep the ready tartelettes in the fridge for a while , I suggest to glaze the strawberries with melted jam to keep them fresh and moist.
My notes about the recipe:
The tartelettes became very good but I think they had too strong chocolate taste. I believe it would work better if making very tiny bite-size tartelettes. Anyways, I could definitely make these again , substituting half the amount of dark chocolate for milk chocolate to smooth the taste a bit :).
If using fresh raspberries instead of strawberries, try mixing a bit of raspberry jam in the ganache to give a flavor boost to the chocolate mix.
September 16, 2010
My girls haven´t been so hungry lately and the reason might be they are still recovering from being sick this week. Pikkusiili ( that means “little hedgehog”, our 3 yo ) didn’t sleep well last night and today I am very tired too.
I wanted to make something easy and light with vegetables. Luonnonvoima (that means “nature force”, our oldest daughter ) asked me to have strawberries and I thought it wouldn’t be a bad idea to carry out her wishes.
Contents of the boxes: bow-tie pasta with vegetables (zucchini, carrot, tomatoes, onion and sun-dried tomatoes) , basil and parmesan cheese, carrot sticks, grapes and strawberries. HK head made with bocconcini mozzarella , nori and a cheddar flower.
Hello Kitty is always a good option to uplift little girls isn’t she?