next level delicious : sweet potato pizza

 

This week has been my first holiday week of this summer. And when I look out the window, all I see is cloudiness, rain and wind. It’s literally gone from sunshine and 25°c to this and 12°c. Clearly I’m not going to be having picnics and walking on the beach. But what this weather has offered, is time to work inside, to cook and bake. I’m quite enjoying it!

 

A sweet potato pizza is something that has been on my list of things I want to try sometime and I’m not exactly sure why it’s taken me so long. I’ve been eating quite a lot of sweet potatoes lately, always having at least one in the fridge. Usually it’s been oven baked wedges with other vegetables and/or tomato sauce. But now I felt like trying something different and then it clicked. A sweet potato pizza. Now is it’s time.

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a day in my life

Hi! I wanted to do something different and take you with me for a day. I hope you enjoy! I had such a lovely time yesterday.

Sunday 6th, May

6.00 am Hello sunshine!

My always so nice body clock woke me up at 6 am on a Sunday. Funnily the first thing I noticed was that it was really bright inside. Yes, please and thank you to the sun shining this early! But I really hadn’t had enough sleep, so I about forced the sleep to come back. This has been a bit of a problem lately and yeah, maybe it’s the spring and all the daylight it brings with it, but I haven’t been getting enough sleeping hours. At least not those much-needed deep sleep ones. The result is waking up nearly always tired. So happy though to look at the weather forecast and see that it should be warm and sunny for at least the next ten days. That always gives some extra energy for the days.

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pea pesto pasta

This is a recipe I’m really excited to share with you all. I’ve become absolutely obsessed with it and I think I’ve finally perfected it. (At least for my taste buds.) The thing I love the most about this is that it’s so versatile. This pasta would be perfect for a more fancy dinner. Just crab a wine glass, put on some music and enjoy a tasty pasta dish in the evening. Perfection!  But this recipe is so simple and easy to make that it’s also a perfect dinner option to make on weekdays if you’re looking for something different to stand out of the ordinary meals you might usually have.

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a spring catch up

 

Hello everyone!

Time has gone by so quickly, I can’t even quite comprehend. It’s already April! Spring is catching up to us and the anticipation is huge. It’s the best feeling to realize and truly enjoy the growing amount of daylight that we have at the moment. To have moments in the evening when you’re looking outside on a sunny day and it’s still so damn bright at eight o’clock that it almost feels like summer.

 

So there’s some catching up to do, as in a little life update.

I can’t even remember how many times I’ve gone to a doctor in the past two months. Not to mention the hours I’ve spent in the hospital. About three weeks ago, I had a surgery on my ovaries. It went well and I’m all fine now. But it still was a surgery and the recovery, alongside with about ten things, are something I’ve never experienced before. It’s been a rollercoaster, to say the least.

After being on a sick leave for five weeks in December-January, because of a broken wrist, I thought, taking a break from work and having some time to reflect on your life, is kind of a good thing. Even though the time didn’t come from the best of circumstances. At least it ended up having a great timing, so that I had the possibility to start a new year with a renewed view of strength I had on myself.

This time around thought, I’ve had this time off with a mixture of feelings. I was at work only for a month and a half between these sick leaves and it didn’t really feel like I needed any time to take away from the life I was living. But on the other hand, this has been such a different time compared to the broken wrist situation, because it’s been a slow process (even though it’s gone much quicker than I had thought it would) to be able to move and do normal every day things again. I guess it’s a bit different having one hand off the game than recovering from having your stomach cut open.. I have to say I’ve never quite enjoyed walking outside and watching the nature changing as much I do right now.

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February inspired baking

February is a month when days really start to become noticeably longer in Finland. Instead of four hours of daylight, we now have eight and counting. This is a month that makes me want to go outside and have a little picnic/trip in the snow-covered and freezing cold nature, with hot chocolate and sandwiches to keep me warm.

Since this is still a full on winter month, it’s nice to keep things warm and cosy inside. I’ve loved baking quite much lately and since Valentine’s Day is coming this week, I thought I’d share some vegan baking ideas for this time of the year. I think all of these can be used in the theme of Valentine’s Day or just to lighten up the winter-y days of February. Or really just to have an excuse to bake and eat delicious sweet treats.

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Vegan Shortbread

200 g dairy-free butter

1 tbsp vanilla extract

100 g sugar

300 g flour

  1. Cream the butter, vanilla and sugar together. Stir in the flour and mix into a dough. Chill in the fridge for about 30 minutes to firm up.
  2. Roll out the dough to 1/2 cm thickness and cut into shapes.
  3. Place on the baking sheet and bake for about 12-15 minutes in 175°c, until golden brown at the edges.
  4. Leave to cool before filling/decorating.

(original recipe)

I decided to cut them into heart shapes to make them look cuter and more fitting to the season. And since it was the World Nutella Day at the beginning of this month, I made a vegan nutella filling that I used in the cookies as well as in the filling of the Shrove buns coming later on in this post.

Vegan Nutella

1,5 cups (225g) raw hazelnuts

1/3 cup (80ml) unsweetened plant milk (soy, almond, oat..)

1 tbsp coconut oil

2 tbsp maple/agave syrup

6 soft pitted dates

1/3 cup (35g) cocoa powder

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 tsp salt

  1. Bake the hazelnuts for 10-12 minutes in 180°c
  2. Peel the skin of the nuts after they’re cooled down by rubbing them between your palms and letting the skin fall off from between your fingers. Place the clean nuts in a high-speed blender or food processor.
  3. Blend until a thin nut butter consistency is formed, scrapping down the sides occasionally.
  4. Add the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth and well incorporated.
  5. Check the taste and consistency to your liking. (Add more milk to make it thinner or add more dates or syrup for a sweeter taste.)
  6. Store in an airtight jar in the fridge for up to one week.

(original recipe)

I also made a chiaseed and berry jam that I used as a filling with the nutella. This is honestly the easiest, healthiest and the tastiest jam! No added sugar, just the impeccable taste of some amazing berries.

Chiaseed Berry Jam

2 cups  frozen berries of your choice (I used blueberries and raspberries)

3 tbsp chiaseeds

1 tbsp water or juice (if the berries don’t give enough liquid when defrosted)

  1. Defrost the berries.
  2. Crush them with a fork to release more juice.
  3. Add the chiaseed and the additional water or juice if needed. Stir to combine.
  4. Let sit in room temperature for 30 minutes for the chiaseeds to gel, stirring once halfway.
  5. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to five days.

In Finland, Sweden and Estonia there’s a delicacy called Shrove bun, also known as Samla, which is a bun with whipped cream and jam or almond paste as a filling. I can’t remember baking vegan buns before, but definitely will be making them again after this try out. I don’t think I’ve ever eaten anything as cloud like soft as these. Yum!

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Vegan Sweet Buns

5 dl plant milk (soy, almond, oat..)

11g dried yeast

1 1/2 dl sugar

2 tsp cardamom

1 tsp salt

14 dl flour

150 g dairy-free butter

  1. Mix the yeast, sugar, cardamom, salt and a little bit of flour with the warmed up milk.
  2. Continue adding flour until a dough is formed. Add in the room temp. butter and the rest of the flour and keep kneading until the dough is firm, elastic and starts coming off your fingers and the sides of the bowl.
  3. Let rise in the bowl in a warm place, covered with a cloth, until double the size.
  4. Divide the dough into 16 pieces and shape into firm balls.
  5. Let rise for about 20-30 minutes.
  6. Make a mixture of 1/2 dl water and 1 tbsp fair syrup and brush the dough balls with it and put a little bit of nib sugar on the top.
  7. Bake for about 12-15 minutes in 225°c, until lightly golden brown.
  8. Let cool down before cutting open and filling with cream, jam and nutella. Or a combination of your liking.

 

Bake with love and enjoy!

Nora