January 28, 2013

Spinach Pancakes

These spinach pancakes are yet another all-time favourite of mine. Smothered with lingonberry jam, these pancakes make a perfect dinner for one (or two if you must share)!

Spinach Pancakes

2 eggs (organic, free-range)
500ml milk (full cream, organic)
about 150g plain flour
a pinch of salt
1 tablespoon olive oil (or melted butter)
150-200g baby spinach, blanched under hot water, chopped finely

butter (organic), for frying
lingonberry jam, for serving

1. Whisk eggs in a bowl and stir in half the milk, flour, salt and oil. Whisk until smooth, then add the rest of the milk and spinach and stir well to combine. Leave to rest for about half an hour. 

2. Fry small pancakes on hot frying pan (greased with butter) for a couple of minutes on each side. Serve with lingonberry jam.

January 24, 2013

Hilloviipaleet - Jam Slice Cookies

One of my favourite treats as a kid (and there were quite a few!) used to be "hilloviipaleet" or jam slices, as it would translate in English. Mum wouldn't make them very often, in fact not nearly often enough, and that made them even more special and tasty. Last weekend I baked a batch of these cookies and had a taste for the first time in about 15 years. They were as good as I remembered, if not better, flavoured with a touch of nostalgia.

I packed two boxes to bring with me to my 88 year old swimming buddy, whom I meet every morning at the local pool. The cookies were a small gift for all the little tokens he has given me and he seemed very happy indeed to receive them.
(makes 30-40 cookies)

200g butter (organic)
85g (raw) sugar
1 egg (free-range, organic)
1 teaspoon baking powder
250g plain flour
1/4 teaspoon pure ground vanilla

raspberry jam

60g icing sugar
about 1 1/2 tablespoons hot water

1. Beat soft butter and sugar with electric beaters until fluffy and pale. Add egg and use electric beaters to combine. Mix dry ingredients in a separate bowl and stir quickly to form a smooth dough. Cover the bowl with cling wrap and refrigerate for half an hour.

2. Line two baking trays with baking paper. Preheat the oven to 175C. 

3. Divide the chilled dough in four pieces and shape the pieces to long (30cm) bars. Flatten the bars slightly and make a "well" in middle, running lengthwise along the whole bar. Fill the well with jam.

4. Bake the cookies for 15-20 minutes (depending on your oven) until golden. Leave to cool.

5. Combine icing sugar and hot water in a bowl and stir well to form a smooth, glossy paste. Spoon the paste into a piping bag and pipe along the jam edges on cool cookies. Cut the bars into about 2 1/2 cm pieces. These can be stored in the fridge or freezer in an airtight container.

January 20, 2013

French Toast


Weekends call for a little indulgence and there is no better time for that than summer, when berries and other fruit are abundant. I made us a special lunch of French toast (well, my version of it anyway) served with fresh fruit and cinnamon yoghurt. I soaked the bread well but didn't over do it so it was soft on the inside and crisp on the outside. Berries are perfect as they are not too sweet and using yoghurt instead of cream keeps everything light and fresh. This was a perfect lunch on a stinking hot day!

French Toast*
(serves 2)

2-4 thick slices of day-old sourdough bread
1 egg
200ml full cream milk
1/4 teaspoon pure ground vanilla
a knob of butter

fresh berries or fruit
unsweetened yoghurt
ground cinnamon

* all ingredients are organic, eggs are organic and free-range

1. Whisk egg and milk in a dish, whisk in vanilla.

2. Soak the bread slices (on both sides) in the milk mixture. Heat a knob of butter in a pan until slightly browned. Fry the bread slices on each side until golden.

3. Top with berries and other fruit and dollop with cinnamon spiced yoghurt.

January 17, 2013

Busy Bee

I've been busy as a bee lately, experimenting with new materials like beeswax, as well sewing, knitting and crocheting. I started crocheting a blanket using soft bamboo yarn. This project will take a while to finish, but I love creating something with such simple tools as a hook and yarn. 
I finished a soft case with two large pockets for all the little things I bring with me while travelling. I used soft flannelette for the case and attached a decorative ribbon along the edges. The case also has a simple snap for closing.  I can't wait to bring this along for my next trip!

The little white purse in the last photo is made out of faux leather. I made it to use as a kind of gift wrap, but it could just as well hold business cards or even a small mirror.

I hope you are all feeling creative and inspired! I would love to know what your favourite materials are to work with!


January 13, 2013

Keeping it Cool with Summer Drinks

Happy Sunday!

It's been very warm couple of weeks here in Sydney, so I've been keeping my food and drinks very cool. Salads, fruit and yoghurt have sufficed for meals and these filling smoothies  make a great breakfast or an afternoon snack. I can't pick my favourite, they are all equally delicious!

Hope you have a great new week ahead!



 Peach Matcha Latte
(serves 1)

2 shots of powered green tea (about 125ml)
a few ice cubes
a dash of milk
1 peach, stoned

Add all ingredients in a blender and churn away!

Banana-Vanilla Smoothie
(serves 1)

1 ripe banana
1/4 teaspoon ground vanilla
a dash of milk
a few ice cubes

Do as above and enjoy whilst cool.

Ice Coffee
(serves 1)

strong filtered coffee (about 125ml)
a few ice cubes
a dash of milk
sweetener of your choice, optional

Add all ingredients in a blender and churn. Enjoy cool.

January 10, 2013

Recent Snapshots

A few recent snapshots from home. Thank you for all your well wishes, I am feeling much better!

Kitchen corner with something modern, something old.

The other corner of our kitchen
Morning coffee
Neutral colours
Our bathroom
Rain drop mobile I made with clay and driftwood
Linen basket with a tiny snowflake button I made for mum.
I made this linen bag for pegs

January 08, 2013

A Day Out on the Boat

Hello and sorry for the silence!

Summer has really hit Sydney and we've spent a lot of time outdoors. Last weekend we enjoyed a day out on the boat with my husband's parents and it was as lovely as ever. The sun was out and it is always so relaxing to be on the water. 

Unfortunately I got sick on Sunday and woke up on Monday feeling no better. After seeing a doctor I had to be taken to the emergency room where I spent a few hours on the drip because I was getting very dehydrated. I was diagnosed with sinusitis so it'll take a few days to feel better. Today's forecast of 43C will be a challenge, but I'm planning to stay indoors and drink plenty of water to stay hydrated!

I hope your week has started on a bit more positive note and if you are in Sydney today, stay cool!


January 01, 2013

Cherry and Camembert Salad

Happy New Year!

I'm starting the New Year with this summery salad that combines some of my favourite flavours: sweet cherries and dried cranberries with creamy Camembert, toasted nuts, peppery greens and tangy balsamic vinegar. I love salads like this on a summer's day - light, but perfectly filling to get you going until the next meal.

There are no exact measurements as I like to throw in ingredients as I please. Just follow your taste buds to adjust the flavours accordingly.

Cherry and Camembert Salad

a couple of big handfuls of mixed salad leaves
a handful of fresh cherries, halved and stoned
a few sliced of Camembert or Brie (in room temperature)
a small handful of mixed nuts, toasted until fragrant
a couple of tablespoons of dried cranberries
2 tablespoons of good balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons of good extra virgin olive oil

Mix all and enjoy!