Jan 2, 2010

"cupcakes" & cupcakes

this winter wonderland is at the shack, taken yesterday afternoon on our way to walk the dog in the rather nippy -19 C weather

i guess we could have left a bit earlier to catch the sun still up (not that it was very high anyway...)

this happens a lot with the dog, he jumps into the snow and starts digging

deeper and deeper. there has to be something extraordinary for him to be digging that deep, right?

his "cupcakes", a.k.a frozen blobs of horse manure. you'd get a very angry growl if you even tried to get close, not to mention trying to take them away. now, imagine it not being this cold and the blobs start melting while he eats them... yes, disgusting... but i guess dogs know what's good for them and what's not!

now to treats for humans... i got this susan tee's cupcake book at xmas and wanted to try a recipe from it today (after another arctic walk with the dog, today it was only -16 C!)

originally i had chosen peanut-butter cupcakes, but since i only had one egg (shame on me!) left, so i had to choose a recipe that required just one egg. luckily there was one in the book, applesauce cupcakes.

since the recipe isn't on the web i won't publish it here. however, there are numerous other applesauce cupcake recipes available. there is a surprisingly small amount of butter in the recipe, which can't be anything but a good thing. the crumble topping does have butter in it...

...i'm thinking (now that i have "tasted" two of the cupcakes i just pulled out of the oven) that cream cheese with cinnamon and brown sugar might work as a topping as well

yes, will definitely try one batch with cream cheese topping

wonder if i could eat another, certain someone won't know how many i made...

Jan 1, 2010

hot dog -soup

it's been such a long time since my last soup... bear with me, there is a reason(s) for this soup. since i was working, certain someone went grocery shopping, he got hot dogs and potato salad ('cause you ain't finnish if you don't eat hot dogs and potato salad at new year's). it also happened that yesterday i fell asleep well before midnight, and we did have those tarts, etc, so we didn't eat the hot dogs yesterday. anyways, we had hot dogs, it's very cold outside, therefore nice hot bowl of soup was in order.

oh, the other reason was that i joined poineer woman's tasty kitchen and i wanted to submit my first recipe on that site. so there.

here's my hot dogs sliced to 1 cm slices

celery sliced to ½ cm slices

rutabaga that i dug out of the freezer, chopped to 1 cm cubes

carrots chopped to 1½ cm cubes

small white onion minced fine

i usually use this nonstick pot to make my soups, it works best for browning sausages / hot dgos, sauteeing veggies before adding stock to it. this time i started by browning the hot dogs on high heat, just a minute or two to get some color on them, removed them onto a plate to wait.

then i sauteed the onion on it's own to soften it, then added the above mentioned veggies, kept sauteeing the mixture for a couple of minutes before adding ½ liter (or enough to barely cover the veggies) of home made stock from the freezer, a bayleaf and ½ tsp of chilli oil (you won't get the heat but it does give substance) and cooked this for 10 mins.

as a rule i don't use any salt in my cooking (there is some in the hot dogs and the stock), but feel free to use some to taste.

now, i used these veggies because they were what i had in the fridge. if i'd been shopping with an intention to make a soup, i would have gotten parsnips, celeriac and leeks, maybe some cabbage, too.

after 10 mins i added potatoes and cooked for another 15 mins

after the 15 mins i turned off the heat and added the hot dogs and let the pot sit on the stove for 5 mins before adding some parsley.

here's the soup plated. i have rye bread with my soups, with some cheese on top, but i would imagine a grilled cheese sandwich might be nice accompaniment as well

the recipe? well, hopefully it will be at tasty kitchen

Dec 31, 2009

happy new year!

i've been checking the pioneer woman's blog a lot lately and at her suggestion i decided to try leannen's little egg & bacon tarts. stopped at the store on my way to the shack from work but forgot, naturally, to buy mushrooms and didn't have that many eggs at the shack, but i went ahead anyway.

did remember to buy some puff pastry, it's sold in perfect amount to yield 12 tarts that i could bake in my muffin tin. this is one of those recipes that you could easily not follow to a tee, i had most of the ingredients but went about in my way. started by crisping 4 slices of bacon, then grated some gruyere and julienned (or something to that effect) one spanish pepper

then halved some cherry tomatoes and diced one ball of mozzarella

leannen's recipe calls for cutting out circles of the puff pastry, i decided that mine would look "rustic" and cut my pastry into squares. as i didn't have too many eggs, i used only four, added 1 dl of cooking cream, mixed all that and divided the mixture equally between the cups

loaded half of the cups with pepper and bacon

topped with the gruyere and black pepper

finished with 1 tsp of cream cheese

the other half got the cherry tomatoes, mozzarella and dried basil (fresh basil won't survive home from the shop, it's way too cold for that, -15C)

and the blob of cream cheese

they looked like this after 25 mins in 200 C oven

couldn't decide which one i liked better, ended up eating 2 of each... one of each and a nice green salad would make a great lunch

i've been thinking of making a new year's resolution. but, if i end up making one and tell you guys about it, i might actually have to keep it. on the other hand, and either way, you'd know what i've been cooking and baking, hence being able to know if i've kept my resolution or not. hmm, this matter requires a lot more thinking, will let you know what i decide. or not

oh, i know! i will renew my last year's resolution of not to buy any clothes in finland. it's quite reasonable and i really don't need that many clothes as i don't wear my own at work. also, i will finally take the heap of old clothes i've decided to donate to the salvation army.

it's only 9 pm but some of the neighbours (no that there are many at the shack) are already sending off their fireworks. the poor dog is trembling, shivering and panting with fear. he wouldn't even eat his dinner a bit earlier and that's saying a lot!

have a good one folks!

ps. certain someone has been in the studio recording, he would appreciate if you visited www.myspace/campkein.com (i'll make him pay me for this)

Dec 29, 2009


i have been eating so much... will post pics of our xmas dinner at the shack later. made a quick visit to the cottage over the weekend. here is how mom and dad fish in the wintertime, brr! my fingers were frozen for just taking some pics...

most of the time they get something for all their hard work, like a nice size trout that i prepared for luch today. browned the flesh side first on medium high heat with a tiny amount of butter on the pan (you don't really need it as trout is a fatty fish, but butter makes everything so much better). then lowered the temp and cooked the fish skin side down for another 10 mins. took the fish out, added grated peel of ½ lemon, black pepper (to taste) and 1 generous tbsp of creme fraiche to pan to make some sauce to go with the fish, you might need to thin out the sauce with some water (or lemon juice)

cooked some rice and added 3 tbsp of minced parsley, juice of ½ lemon, 1 tbsp of sesame oil and 1 cup of broccoli

since i was running a bit late, i had to take my lunch to work... the sauce was great, i could have eaten more of it, however, the fish would have been equally tasty with no sauce at all. the rice dish would have been nice on its own, broccoli and sesame oil are so good together. fortunately i have some more for tomorrow