Apricot Bites

Sugar free Saturday treat with only a bit of agave syrup to sweeten up the candy. I’m trying to cut down sweets and chocolate, and some says are ok some not that OK. I hope these will settle my sweet tooth this weekend. Again, I have MAt ELLE to thank for the recipe – changed almonds to cashews, and lime to lemon plus poured in more water.

200 g dried apricot, 1 dl cashew nuts, half a lemon (juice and rind), 1 tbsp agave syrup, 2 dl shredded coconut, 0,5 dl boiling water

Mix well in a mixer and roll into small balls ( a teaspoon each). Roll in coconut and refrigerate. Enjoy!

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Chicken Soup TLC

Chicken soup is a cure for cold and any other illness. True that in many novels and films. Grandmas and mas are the best cooks but husbands can certainly cook it up too. I spent most of last week in bed and was indulged in tender lovin care. This soup among other things – certainly cheered me up and helped recovery. The only minus being I could not smell it at all but felt the hot spices.

These ingredients went to the soup: chicken breast, garlic, oregano, bay leaf, carrot, onion and celery, chicken stock, juice of one lemon, cocnut milk, ginger, sambal olek, parsley and egg noodles. Make the soup and cook the noodles separately. Combine as you eat in the plate.

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My Favourite Russian: Borscht Soup 

As winter continues warming dishes are welcomed and lovely borscht soup was on my lunch menu for several days this week. This is indeed my favourite Russian dish along with blinis with fish roe.

This recipe is a lighter version, and I use fresh, not pickles beetroots. For a panful (ca. 4 litres) you need

1/2 large cabbage, 3 medium beets, 1 large onion, 4 carrots, 1 tbsp oil, water, white pepper, thyme, salt, bay leaves, vinegar and yogurt. 

Shred the cabbage, chop the onion, beets and carrots. Sautéed the vegetables, add the spices and herbs. Add water to cover the vegetables and pour in 1 dl vinegar. Cook on slow heat for an hour or two. Serve with yogurt and rye bread.

Change the yoghurt to smetana and add some pickled cucumber, if you like a fuller version. 

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Moroccan-inspired Chicken Tagine

Easy and delicious meal is what I had in mind today when getting a kilo of chicken clubs at the grocery. Turned to my tagine pot and ras el hanout spice and lemon. Added some herbs and onion and voila. Tried the newest household appliance when preparing couscous with tomato and garlic. My husband is an appliance geek and the cupboards are filling up with all sorts of gadgets. The mini-chopper and cream whipper  being one of the latest ones.

Back to the dinner.

The tagine pot – a kilo of chicken clubs,  1 tbsp olive oil, 1 onions, 2 garlic cloves, 2 dl water, 2 tsp ras-el-hanout, 2 tsp coriander, salt and white pepper, 1 lemon and four dried figs

Chop the onion and garlic and sauté in oil. Add the spices and pour in the water. Add the chicken, lemon and figs. Cook on slow heat under lock for 40 min.

Couscous and Brussels sprouts: 2 dl Brussels sprouts. Rinse and cut in two the sprouts. Roast in oven. Chop 2 tomatoes and one garlic clove in a mixer. Add 2 dl of couscous prepared according to the instructions on the package. Place the couscous and the Brussels sprouts on a platter. Sprinkle with olive oil.

Enjoy! Have a wonderful weekend!

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Warming Orange Soup

imageAnything better than a hot soup after a long walk out on a bright winter day?

This is yet another variation of a vegetable purée soup. Orange things, orange, sweet potato and carrot, for brightness and strength and some chilli to spice it up. Add some cottage cheese for protein and extra nutrition.

For a big bowl you will need

500 g carrots, 500 sweet potato, 1 onion, all peeled and chopped

2 cloves of garlic, 1 red chilli, juice of 1/2 an orange, 1 l water, salt and pepper

Cook the carrots, onion and sweet potato. Add the garlic and chilli towards the end of cooking. You can also use dried chilli but beware, it is usally much stronger. Purée the soup in a mixer. Add the orange juice and salt and pepper.



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#43 apple’n blue cheese bites with mulled wine

image1st advent is here and time for warming mulled wine and goodies that taste like Christmas.

The apple bites are a quick savoury snack that I served along with gingerbread and gingerbread bites.

For a portion for four you need

2 small apples, 50 g blue cheese, 10 hazelnuts and agave syrup.

Pre-heat the oven to 175 C. Slice the apple thinly and place a baking sheet (as many as fit in). Add a little blue cheese on each slice. Chop the nuts coarsely and put some chunks on the apples. Lastly sprinkle on some syrup. Bake in 175 C for 10-15 min.

My mulled wine is not actually wine but alcohol free apple cider spiced with cinnamon, ginger, cardamom pods and aniseed. I heat the, all in a pot and serve with raisins and almonds. If you want to spice it up with alcohol you can add some Limoncello or vodka.

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#42 raw gingerbread cake bites

imageIt’ll be 1st advent this Sunday and tonight half of Finns are out in Christmas parties. We had the company party last Friday, an 80’s one and it’s a cozy evening at home tonight.

I strolled home through the old town after work admiring the lights and decorations. The shopping streets getting ready for the parade tomorrow. Not many customers yet and a handful of tourists with their cameras.

Then it is time for some Christmassy bites. Lovely no-bake cake bites is what I made, the recipe directly from the THursday’s paper made in less than a half and hour.

For a portion you will need

200 g pitted dates, 1 dl oatmeal, 1 dl almond flour, 1.5 tsp gingerbread spice mix

Mix all the ingredients in a food processor and roll small balls usinfpg about half a tablespoon each. I rolled them then in cinnamon and placed in jar.

The bites taste like gingerbread dough that I can never get enough of but it is many times healtheir – sugar, fat and gluten free.


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#41 Winter Dinner of Roasted Pumpkin

imageThis lovely recipe is a modification of one shared on one of the blogs I follow on Instagram.
It is the Crushing Cancer Kitchen who shares delicious and  healthy recipes. My dish is based on the  recipe on the Roasted Garlic and Miso Butter. 

I skipped the miso simply because I did not have it in the pantry. I had never thought of garlic and butter but only olive oil and balsamic vinegar when roasting pumpkin. The butter and crushed garlic worked wonders and brought a lovely smell in the kitchen.

The day I baked this was the day of the first blizzard of the year – this dish was quick and easy, and oh so tasty! The dish is also a pleasure for the eye, look at the colours!

For four portions you will need

1 medium-sized pumpkin (butternut, Hokkaido or any other sort)
2 garlic cloves, 2 – 4 tbsp melted butter

Pre-heat the oven to 175 C. Line a baking sheet and chop the pumpkin into largish chunks. Leave the seeds on. Melt the butter and put the garlic in. Brush the pumpkin with half of the butter and roast for about 20 minutes (until done). Place the pieces in a serving dish and pour over the remaining butter.
Serve immediately.

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#40 Cheese and Avocado Tortillas with Papas de Padron

imageAnother Mexican inspired dish and one inspired by Pinterst. I truly believe that Pinterest is for inspiration and hopefully one day for inspiring. Thanks xx for this recipe.

My version has two alternatives for the tortillas:
gluten-free maize tortillas and soft wheat tortillas. I also made two  fillings
Filling 1: hummus, Cheddar cheese, sliced avocado
Filling 2: Philadelphia cream cheese, Cheddar cheese, rocket

Prepare the fillings: slice the avocado, make the hummus and shred a bit of rocket.
Halve the tortillas. Spread hummus or cream cheese on the tortilla, add a slice of Cheddar and put on some avocado or rocket.  Turn the tortilla halves into two making it the size of one-quarter.
Heat a frying pan and add some olive oil. Fry the tortillas on medium heat until golden brown.

Use another pan to make Papas de Padron – sweet peppers.
For two people you will need two handfuls of small green peppers and some salt.
Heat a frying pan and place the peppers and salt on it. Fry until the peppers start to pop and before they burn.
The beauty of this dish and the peppers are that you never know which ones are really hot. Some, perhaps one in eight, are hot the others sweet.

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#39 Hot Nacho Platter

imageI’m in for easy recipes and that require minimal preparation and about 30 minutes of time. Some of the recipes are oldies – ones I’ve eaten ages ago and ones being recommend to me a while ago. Interestingly some of the dishes, like this one, seem to be popular at the moment.

This nacho recipe is one inspired by many ideas – I usually make enchiladas with vegetables or with minced meat. The other week I also prepared some avocado hummus tortillas after browsing on Pinterest. The recipe will appear here in a few days.

For a platter for two you will need
2 cups of nachos, 200 g minced meat, ½ packet of  bean salsa (kidney beans, tomato, spices), 100 g grated Cheddar and 8 cherry tomatoes, 2 tbsp chopped coriander, 1 cup baby spinach.
Pre-heat the oven to 200 C. Heat a frying pan and brown the minced meat. Add the mean salsa and heat it up. Line a baking sheet with paper and place the nachos on first.  Sprinkle half of the cheese on and add the meat-bean mixture.  Then put on the rest of the cheese. Bake for 10 minutes.
Chop the tomatoes, coriander and spinach while the nachos are baking, and place on the platter after taking the baking sheet out of the oven. Serve immediately as a shared dish. Place it on a tray or a large plate.

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