#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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#38 Fragrant Chicken Tagini

imageA packet of chicken fillets in the fridge and a tin and another in the pantry. Additionally an unopened jar of Ras El Hanout spice that I had never used before. This was the start for this new concoction, a fragrant chicken pot with Moroccan inspiration.
For four portions you will need
Olive oil, 500 g chicken, 1 onion, 2 garlic cloves, 2 cm of fresh ginger, 10 pitted dried dates, 3 dl water, 2 tbsp ras el hanout, 2 canned grilled sweet peppers, and a handful of chopped mint and parsley, salt.
Chop the onion and sauté it in olive oil in a tagine pot. Add the chicken and fry until golden brown. Add the spices and pour in the water. Add the dates and diced sweet pepper. Simmer under lock for 20 minutes. Add the herbs before serving.

Taste and add salt if needed. Serve with couscous and baby spinach.

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#37 Plate with Roasted Autumn Vegetables

A plateful of roasted vegetables for dinner.

For two you will need:  a pumpkin, a sweet potato and a persimmon fruit. A handful of baby spinach, a table-spoon of olive oil and a handful of hazelnuts.

Turn the oven on to 175 C and place the pumpkin on an oven plate. Roast for 40 min and then add the sliced sweet potato. Bake for 20 minutes. Add the sliced fruit and bake for 10 min. Place a handful of baby spinach on a plate and then the vegetables. Sprinkle on some olive oil and chopped hazelnuts.
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#36 No-fat Apple Pancake

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This is another dessert or breakfast dish with apples.

The French call this cafoultis and we call it oven pancake, pannukakku in Finnish. The recipe is very similar, we don’t use vanilla in Finland.

for a small pancake you will need

an oven form, the size of a bread loaf

2 eggs, 2 dl milk, 1.5 dl flour, 1 tbsp sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp vanilla, 2 apples

Pre-heat the oven to 175 C. Beat the eggs, add the milk and flour. Line the oven pan with baking paper and put apple slices on the bottom. Sprinkle with sugar, vanilla and cinnamon. Pour in the pancake batter. Bake for 25-30 min. Serve with sugar and apple jam.

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#35 Pancake Breakfast with Dried Apple

img_20161002_091429First morning frost and it is only the 2nd of October! We were working hard in the garden yesterday. I was wondering how low the temperature would sink during the night. All the plants that I decided not just yet carry inside look all right. I’ll have to find place for them today.

Yesterday was a wonderful sunny autumn day. The leaves and acorns from the oaks in the park next to us are all over the pavement and the wind blows them into our garden. It’s truly a never-ending story. We raked,  picked apples, potted plants, put furniture in the shelter, mowed the lawn with leaves to give the lawn extra strength and finally planted tulip bulbs I bought in Amsterdam a month ago. Let’s see if the rabbits get best of them!

Sunday has been a pancake morning for us but it’s been a while. It is not too much of an effort and still extra special since you don’t have to rush anywhere. Today I made traditional Finnish pancakes and served them with dried apples. They were not actually totally yet since I cut them and set to dry only yesterday.

Finnish pancakes for two: 2 eggs, 2 dl milk, 4 tbsp flour, pinch of salt and sugar. Blend well and set aside for 30 min. Fry in butter or coconut oil.

Apple-carrot-ginger juice: 10 small apples, 2 carrots and a thumb-sized chunk of ginger. Put all the ingredients into a juice maker. The juice will keep 2-3 days in the fridge.
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#34 Apple Cake with Almond Flour

imageApples, apples and apples everywhere. This year the harvest is so abundant.

Friends have come over to pick them and we’ve made juice, cakes and pies, jam and puréed  them, put them into pots with pork and baked with vegetables. This is a new recipe I tried, the almond and the easiness attracted me. This originates @lantlivet, a Swedish lifestyle magazine.

for a cake you need

75 g butter, 1 dl sugar, 1 dl brown sugar, 1 dl flour, 1 dl almond flour, 1 tsp baking powder, 2 eggs, 2 apples and cinnamon

Peel and cut the apples into wedges. Sprinkle  with 2 tsp cinnamon and 2 tbsp brown sugar. Pre-heat the oven to 200 C. Grease a cake tin. Melt the butter. Mix together all the dry ingredients. Mix the butter, dry ingredients and the eggs.

Pour the batter in the cake tin and place the apples wedges on the top. Press them into the batter. Bake for 20 minutes.

Serve with ice cream. This is so yummy! Even the batter is delish and I’d be happy to eat a bowlful .

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