Oct 24, 2009

timber & pizza

there was the storm couple of weeks ago, one huge birch was broken and time hasn't been good to some of huge old ones, several birches were getting old and dangerous. lumber jack came today and cut down 6 birches, four of which were rotten inside... so much nicer to have someone who knows their business cutting down the trees, than them falling on their own in a storm (on the house, my car..)

hey, be cafefull, make sure it won't hit my car!

this was the second biggest, my "tiny" hand in comparison

trunk of the birch covered with moss (and saw dust)

stub of the one storm broke off

even bigger, that's my graceful size 41 wellington to compare with

it took just 45 mins for the guy to cut all six, including prep time, great to watch




he even managed to save a little struggling oak tree that was shaded by a pine and a spruce

certain some won't be having problems figuring out what do in his spare time... (what? me too??)

had a caving for pizza the other day and today seemed like a good day to make some (did have time before work, evening shift today). adapted pizza dough recipe from anna olson's cook at home. used fresh yeast instead of instant (25gr to 3dl of water) and whole wheat flour (6dl), 2 tbsp of olive oil and some salt. let the dough rise for approx 30mins

after rising, divided the dough roughly to 6 pieces in the oiled bowl. this isn't too pretty to look at but i wanted to show off my martha bowl scraper...

egg cutter is handy when slicing mozzarella

had some home made tomato sauce in the freezer (hope i won't be getting any hate-mail from italy!), fresh basil, mozzarella, cherry tomatoes, spianata and diavolo salami

tomato, mozzarella, fresh basil

spianata, diavolo salami, mozzarella, fresh basil

spianata, mozzarella, tomatoes. certain someone mentioned, quite casually, that this was the best pizza he's ever eaten... thank you very much (but he's never been to italy!) i was happy about how this turned out, however, a pizza stone would have made it even better and is something i will need to get, one of these days...

Oct 23, 2009

2 casseroles & plum tart part II

since i'm going to be working the weekend and the canteen at work doesn't offer any gastronomical deligths on weekends, decided to make 2 casseroles, some for me to take to work, some for certain someone to feed on.

decided on jansson's temptation and chicken & pasta. they say that jansson's temptation in a swedish invention, but they also can't decide which version of it's birth is the correct one... anyway, for this dish you need potatoes, anchovies and cooking cream. do have several electric gadgets but decided to use the mandolin as it was the easiest to take out and easiest to clean (no cuts this time!). started with about 1kg of washed potatoes, didn't peel them (since this seems to be all about easy... and little fiber never hurt you). the potatoes need to be in cold water until ready to put to an oven dish (they'll get brown otherwise, not harmful, just a bit unsightly)

both of these casseroles are very easy to make and adapt to your taste. if you're not into anchovies, use fresh salmon (sliced), not into fish, use minced meat, not into meat, use tofu. get the idea?

for jansson's you'll need approx 1kg of potatoes, 1 can of anchovies, 1 big onion and 3dl of cooking cream (i used 2% cream because this is everyday food, for sunday version i'd use cream with more fat in it) and white pepper to taste. this bakes in 200C oven for approx 50mins (depends on what kind of potatoes you use)

for chicken & pasta you'll need 400gr chicken breast, 8dl pasta (a bit more if the size of pasta is very small), 1 big onion, cooking cream and curry paste. i chopped 2 onions, sauteed them quickly and divided in half when it was time to start mixing the ingredients. this one bakes in 200C oven for just 30 mins since everything is basically cooked.

as neither of these were sunday lunches i didn't use bread crumbs and butter, or grated cheese on top, but you could. didn't add salt to anything at any time, but that's just me, there are very few dishes that i actually used salt when cooking

these went in with chicken & pasta

these with potatoes

buttering the pans (any mild tasting oil can be used instead)

potatoes with quickly sauteed onion and white pepper

anchovies cut up, you could also place the filees on potatoes as they come

first half the potatoes, then anchovies, then rest of potatoes

cooking cream going in, i used the liquid from the anchovy can as well, if you do, don't add any salt at any point as the liquid is very salty

chicken&pasta version, before cream, browned chicken, cooked pasta (use any kind, i used whole wheat), onion mixed and placed in pan

seasoned the cream with store bought curry paste (mine was mild but go as hot as you like, or not)

pans are perfect size to fit both in the oven at the same time

tasters of the chicken & pasta

same of jansson's, with pickled beets, naturally

really liked the rustic plum tart from a couple fo days ago, therefore wanted to test if i could double the success. was baking this at the shack and had all necessary ingredients, but decided to cut down on butter, not a good idea...

you do remember to spoon and level your measures?

used this kind of plums (you could use quite hard ones as well as they will cook and soften in oven)

rolled the dough between parchment and plastic

used the parchment to turn the edges

ready for oven

all done

tried this version with mascarpone and not all in favor of it. tastes great, for sure (added sugar and vanilla extract) but somethings off, will definitely try with vanilla icecream, but my bet is that vanilla flavored whipped cream is best accompaniment

Oct 22, 2009

nyc, days 6 & 7, final episode, oct 8th & 9th

there is still a lot to see in nyc, especially for certain someone but even for me, with umphteen visits under by belt. if i got my way, i'd go for a couple of months, but who has that kind of money.. i did leave in the lotto, there's cool 5 million to be won!

thursday was a fine day for walking, which we did all the way down to 15th str and chelsea market. there were several shops that i wanted to visit, amy's bread being one of them. i wished i'd been hungrier, they had all sorts of goodies

these were displayed at the lobster place. see the price on these? nothing! aah, to be able to go shopping there, they had whatever from the sea. i'd cook fish forever

since it was kinda already lunch time, we got this wrap from the lobster place

this mini pizza from amy's bread, excellent combo of black olives, tomatoes, goat cheese and parmesan

dessert was obligatory, vanilla cupcake with milk chocolate frosting from amy's bread. i do like some frosting on a cupcake but this much just might be near overkill

just spent 20 mins trying to find the name of the artist that made this crawling creature, no luck. it was put on the hallway wall for earth day (april 22nd)

not going to tell where this hall leads to but interesting mirrors...

in a resturant, on the corner of greenwich and gansewoort, we saw mickey rourke eating lunch. you don't believe? i'm sure it was him, 2 goons watching over so i wasn't going to go and take a pic. anyway, these were on a building on the corner of w 13th and 9th ave

suddenly back home in finland with all the birch trees? no, this is at high line which was known also as the west side railway tracks. originally built on street-level but moved above it in the 1930's due to a large number of accidents with big wreight trains that used the tracks. the high line was neglected for decades, it's now a park and so far runs from gansewoort to 20th str as section 1. section 2 will run further to 34th str and will open sometime in 2010

another view from the high line

walked deeper into village, the famous magnolia bakery (no cupcakes this time)

in the city, anything goes

certain someone had a rest in late afternoon, again. i went for another spree, again... cute facade of a hardware store

certain someone wanted to find a fancy restaurant for our last dinner in the city, he found this, tello ristorante on 8th ave at 19th str. and a fine one did he find

i even had a drink

fresh lobster with linguine, we both had the same entree

i really didn't have room for dessert but i'm glad i had this, panna cotta with raspberry and vanilla sauce, he had blackberry sorbet

we had to leave the hotel by noon but there was still time for a walk in the morning, no shopping involved. on the way back to hotel i wanted get some dumplings from rickshaw but they weren't open yet, what a disappointment.

this pic was taken in midtow from the cab on our way to JFK

wonder if he wants to go back...

art at JFK terminal 8

the food court at terminal 8 has variety, from mcdonald's to pizza, pretzels and chinese. we had the latter, i must confess i did go to mcdonald's for a fudge sunday later... the flight was amazingly short, only 7hrs 15 mins, we got to take off on our slot, on time (!) and arrived home 45 mins ahead of schedule. now, when can i go back?