I'm going to fly back to England later today, so sadly my holiday at home is soon ending. It was good to be here for a few days anyway.
I made this slightly different pasta salad with chickpeas, apples and a three cheese cream sauce. The three cheese cream is a Finnish product that can be purchased in the shops, but it could also be made by combining cream with finely grated cheeses. This combination might sound weird, but I really liked it, especially the apple addition.
Here is the recipe.
250 g fusilli tricolore pasta
250 ml three cheese cream
1 small onion
200 g chickpeas
Ground black pepper
Cook the pasta and cool it.
Peel the apples and cut them into small cubes.
Chop the onion finely.
Combine the ingredients in a bowl and enjoy!
I don't use beetroot enough in cooking even though it's a brilliant colouring agent. At least it coloured these fritters nice and red. I found these Fritters made of sweet potato, carrot and beetroot quite tasty and a nice colour addition to a plate. They are pretty basic grated vegetable fritters and my recipe is below.
1 sweet potato
6-8 tbsp wheat flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
Vegetable oil for frying
Grate the sweet potato, beetroot and carrot and chop the onion finely. Combine them in a bowl.
Add the eggs and flour and stir into an even mix.
Season the mix and heat vegetable oil in a frying pan.
Shape fritters on the pan and fry them on both sides for a few minutes until done.
Remove any excess oil with a kitchen roll.
Then the fritters are ready to be served.
I guess everyone has a certain landscape or scenery that they associate as a strength giving, safe place. For me that special place is a Finnish forest. Well, a forest in another country will also do, but I prefer a Finnish one, probably because I grew up here and am most familiar with it. It's a place where I can find peace, think undisturbed and just relax. Finnish forests are predominantly tall needle forests (birches are also very common trees) often with large boulders or rocky outcrops. Moss, lichen, mushrooms and berries grow in the Unterholz. Now of course it's way too early for berries or mushrooms, but they can be picked in late summer and autumn - a popular family activity. I was lucky enough to grow up in the quiet countryside and my parents and grandparents always taught me many things about the forest, as we were frequently there.
At the moment there are warnings in this area of bears and elks on the move, so I wasn't too keen on going into a deep remote forest risking bumping into a bear cub with an angry parent. So me and my mum chose a forest walk in a nearby smaller forest, where there is also a wooden observation tower for seeing the surrounding scenery. It's a lovely walk and it was good to be back there, as I hadn't been for a while.
Here are some of the photos I took on our sunny stroll. Maybe you'll get an idea what it looks like around here (there is something else as well apart from the forest, but not depicted here). By the way, there was still little snow in places!
I have been enjoying my time back home in Finland just relaxing and visiting family. I asked my mum, if she would teach me how to make this dish called Kaalilaatikko. So we had serene cooking moments making it and at the same time observing a red squirrel on the yard. Kaalilaatikko is a traditional Finnish dish made of cabbage, mince meat and rice. We of course made a vegetarian version with soya mince. I was never too fond of cabbage dishes as a child, but my taste has developed and become much more versatile, and I was curious to have this casserole again after a long break. I really liked it and will surely sometimes make it in the future.
Here's the recipe.
1 kg white cabbage
1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 dl soya mince
Salt, pepper and thyme to taste
1,5 dl rice
4-6 tbsp dark syrup
2 dl cream
Chop the cabbage and put the pieces into boiling water. Boil them for a few minutes until they become translucent and then leave in the pot while you make the other preparations. Save the cabbage cooking water for later when draining the cabbage.
Chop the onion finely and fry in oil. Add the soya mince (my mince was dried and needed to be boiled first) to the pan and cook for a few minutes. Season with salt, pepper and thyme. Boil the rice until it's done or little al dente. Instead of rice also pearled spelt or barley can be used.
Mix the ingredients together in a large bowl. Add the cream and syrup and and put the mix into an oven dish. You can pour a little syrup on the top as well.
Bake at 175C for about one hour. Add some of the cabbage boiling water onto the surface during the baking so that it doesn't dry out.