[Recipe.] Banana Bread with Raspberries

This banana bread is awesomely moist and the raspberries add a pinch of tartness to the overall sweet taste 🙂 Technically, I’ve made a version of this banana bread with and without the raspberries and one time I made it with pumpkin puree and nuts instead. So if you wish, you can leave out the raspberries or substitute them with whatever suits your fancy 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 235 g flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • Half a tsp cinnamon
  • A pinch of salt
  • 150 g sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 200 ml of olive oil
  • 3 big ripe bananas
  • 200 g of raspberries

Directions:

Shift the flour into a bowl through a sieve, add baking soda, cinnamon and salt.

Whisk the eggs and the sugar into a thick foam with a mixer. It will take about 10 minutes in a medium setting to get the proper result. Add the oil and stir it in.

Mash the bananas with a fork and add them to the egg mixture. Then, add in the flour bit by bit while mixing gently. Finally, tenderly stir in the raspberries without breaking them too much.

Set the oven to 175°C and bake for 1 hour. Keep an eye on the bread during the last 15 minutes and if you think it’s starting to brown too much, you can cover it with aluminium foil to stop it from happening. Poke the cake with a toothpick and when it comes out clean it’s ready 🙂

Let it cool before serving. Enjoy!

[Recipe.] Lemony Zucchini Soup with Rice

This soup is amazingly creamy in texture with a hint of lemony sour taste and it goes might fine with some steamed rice.

Ingredients:

  • 1 kg of zucchini
  • Lemon zest from one lemon
  • 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 l chicken or vegetable bouillon (I used chicken, but I imagine veggie bouillon will do great too)
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • Dill and parsley for seasoning
  • Oil for frying
  • Boiled or steamed rice for serving

How to:

  1. Cut the zucchini into smaller cubes and fry them in a bit of oil until they start emitting liquid.
  2. Transfer the zucchini with the liquid to your soup pot, add the lemon zest and lemon juice and stir it all together. Then add the stock and bring it to boil. Boil until the zucchini is nice and soft.
  3. Add in thinly sliced garlic, chopped dill and parsley, turmeric and boil for another minute. Then switch of the heat and blend the soup until no zucchini chunks remain.
  4. You may also add some salt or pepper to taste, but I personally found it unnecessary.
  5. Serve together with boiled or steamed rice.

 Enjoy!

[recipe.] Potato Curry

Liia and Agu brought us some curry powder from Vietnam a few months ago and I thought it was about time I did something with it. I decided to try and whip up some potato curry with it and since the end result was pretty awesome, I decided to share the recipe 😀

Incredients:

  • 1,2 kg potatoes
  • A small piece of ginger (around 5cm)
  • 1 jalapeno pepper
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp of curry powder
  • Salt to taste
  • Juice from half a lemon
  • Some oil for cooking
  • 5dl of water (or more if you feel it’s needed)
  • Plain yoghurt and Indian bread for serving (optional)

Directions:
Boil the potatoes and peel them once they have cooled down enough. Cut half of the potatoes into bite-sized pieces and set aside. Mash the other half of the potatoes thoroughly with a masher.

Next chop the chili and the ginger into almost a paste. I used a mezzaluna to do this, but you may probably use a food processor or any other method for this as well.

Heat some oil in a bigger pan and add the cumin seeds when the pan is hot. Saute the seeds until they start to brown. Some of the seeds may pop and jump out of the pan, so be careful not to burn yourself!

Next add in the chili and the ginger. Saute for a minute.

After that add the cut up potatoes with 5dl of water, mix well, bring it to boil and let it simmer for 2-3 minutes.

Then add in the potato mash and simmer for another minute. If the curry feels too thick to your taste, add in more water.

Add in the curry powder, teaspoon of sugar, some salt to taste and squeeze in the lemon juice. Let it simmer again for a minute or so. And it’s done!

Serve the curry with a couple of spoonsful of plain yoghurt over it and with some Indian style bread. I tried making my own naan bread this time and it didn’t turn out very naan-ish, but it was still pretty nice with the curry 🙂

I hope you’ll enjoy!

[Recipe.] Chicken gizzard sauce

I’ve always loved chicken gizzards, ever since I was a little child, but I haven’t really eaten many of them over the years. I remember my grandmother sometimes making sauces out of chicken giblets and I’ve eaten some deep fried gizzards at the rare bar that serves them as a beer snack, but you don’t usually spot them in the menu very often. One of my fondest memory of this giblet is grandmother once frying me a whole chicken gizzard, sprinkling it with salt and pepper and I could eat the entire thing myself 😀 Delicious memories!

I finally decided to try and prepare gizzards myself. My first attempt was a rich gizzard sauce of which I am now sharing the recipe with you.

Ingredients:

  • 500g of chicken gizzards
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 onion
  • 5 big cloves of garlic
  • 3 table spoons of flour
  • 200g of tomato paste
  • 0,75l vegetable stock
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Some chopped dill and parsley
  • Oil for cooking

+ Buckwheat of your choice for serving. If you like then this sauce can also be served with rice, boiled, mashed or fried potatoes, steamed vegetables etc. I was simply in a buckwheat mood 😛

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Directions:

First of all, clean the chicken gizzards and chop them into bite sized pieces. Make sure you remove all the yellow gizzard lining inside and wash the reminder of the meat thoroughly to remove any potential dirt or stone pieces. I used frozen gizzards that had already been cleaned, so I only removed small bits of the yellowish skin that was left on them and gave them a quick wash.

Next, peel and chop the carrots, onion and garlic. I opted for thin slices of carrot, but you can chop them into chunks if you please.

Heat up your sauce pan or pot with oil and cook the carrots, onions and garlic for a few minutes. Stir occasionally. Add in the gizzard pieces and let the meat brown.

Sprinkle the flour into the pot and mix well with the ingredients. After that stir in the tomato paste and add the bay leaves. Let it come to boil while stirring the mixture.

Now add in the vegetable stock and let it stew on medium heat and under the lid for about 40 minutes. Stir occasionally.

While the sauce is stewing, boil or steam the buckwheat. I usually boil mine in a multi cooker… or prepare which ever food you’ve decided to serve the sauce with :p

When the gizzards are tender and cooked (note that there will always be some crunch to the gizzards… at least as far as I know), turn off the heat, remove the bay leaves from the sauce; add salt and pepper to taste and stir in the parsley and dill.

Serve over buckwheat with an (optional) dollop of sour cream. I opted out of that possibility, whilst my boyfriend literally smothered his portion in sour cream xD

Enjoy!

[recipe.] Kokamikaze Cocktail

It was a while ago when my mom gave me a bottle of Curaçao Blue, because she couldn’t drink it due to her allergies. The liqueur bottle sat in my cupboard for over a year as I didn’t really know what to do with it… so when we moved and invited some friends over for a housewarming party, I decided to finally find a use for that bottle of blue booze.

I found online a recipe for a cocktail called Kamikaze (1 part vodka, 1 part triple sec, 1 part lime juice) and tested it out the night before of the party so I wouldn’t serve something completely undrinkable to my guests. Now I don’t really have any cocktail mixing skills or equipment, but the drink turned out tasting pretty great. However, it felt like a shot not a cocktail to enjoy for a while as its amount was tiny and it was super strong. Thus I decided to weaken it with some tonic water and voila- Kokamikaze was born!

Forgive me for butchering the Japanese language, but it felt fitting in my tipsy brain to add the prefix KO (expresses that something is small) to the cocktail name as it was a diluted, weaker version of the actual Kamikaze cocktail.

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Ingredients:

  • 30ml vodka of your choice (I used Belcohka vodka this time) 
  • 30ml Curaçao Blue
  • Juice from half a medium sized lime
  • 4-5 cubes of ice
  • Tonic water

How to:

I picked a 250ml glass for the cocktail. First add in the vodka, the Curaçao Blue and lime juice, then stir it all together. Add in the ice cubes and fill the glass up with tonic water. Decorate the glass with a slice of lime and/or any cocktail decoration of your choice 😀

Oh! And prepare yourself for blue lips and tongue 😉 If you’d rather not experience that, I am sure you can exchange the Curaçao Blue for a colourless triple sec 🙂 It just won’t be looking as fun then.

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This may seem silly to have me post a cocktail recipe that is far from original and is, let’s face it, very amateurishly made, but it’s the first time I tried making an actual cocktail and since I ended up improvising with it, I just wanted to share my glee of succeeding to make a delicious cocktail at home.

Hope you will enjoy!

Thank you, my friends, for coming to our housewarming party and thank you for all the delicious and otherwise sweet gifts 🙂

[Recipe] Chicken and leek soup

I wanted something simple for dinner the other night and this hearty chicken and leek soup caught my eye in the “Kööginurk” magazine (2015/5). What I especially liked about it was that it didn’t require me to use any stock cubes or pre-made stock of any kind. Sure the cooking time was a bit more than I am used to thanks to that, but I say it was worth it as it tasted really delicious.

Preparation time: about 1,5 hours.

Ingredients:
4-6 skinless chicken thighs (depending on how meaty you want your soup)
400g of leek
3 thick slices of pork ham chopped into small cubes (or any ham of your choice)
1 bay leaf
2 liters of water
Some olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Chopped parsley and sour cream for serving

Directions: Chop the green and the white parts of the leek separately into tiny shreds. I left the green shreds to be too long, so don’t make the same mistake as I did and try to chop them smaller so they wouldn’t dangle awkwardly off your spoon afterwards and get stuck to your chin when you eat.

Take the white part of the leek and stew it in a pan with a couple of spoonfuls of olive oil for about 10 minutes. Add in the ham bits and fry for another 5 minutes.


While the leek is stewing quickly brown the chicken on a hot pan with some more olive oil. When the leeks and ham have been cooked for the appropriate time, add the chicken into the pot with them. Also add in 2 liters of water and the bay leaf, cover the pot with a lid and bring it to boil.

Once the water is boiling, reduce the heat and scoop out all the foam that may appear on top of the soup. Boil for 30 minutes, then add in the green part of the leek and boil for another 30 minutes on low heat.

Remove the chicken from the soup, cut it into smaller pieces and add it back into the pot again. Add some salt and pepper to taste and remove the bay leaf from the pot.

Serve the soup with some sour cream and parsley. Yum!

[Recipe] Cabbage soup with pork and pearl barley

I’ve been looking around for more recipes to do with pearl barely lately and I found this cool compilation of old Finno-Ugric recipes (page in Estonian) that I want to try out several of. The one I used and adapted is an old Votian recipe apparently.

Ingredients:
800g pork
500g cabbage
2dl pearl parley (washed and soaked overnight)
Water (add as much depending on how thick/thin you want the soup)
2 bay leaves
Salt and pepper to taste
Optional: 1 chicken stock cube (the original recipe only used salt and pepper, but I felt it was a bit too bland for my tastes like that)

*

Wash the meat and put it in the soup pot with cold water. Bring the water to boil and remove any foam that arises from the meat. When no more foam is appearing, add in the pearl barley, the stock cube and bay leaves. Boil altogether for an hour on low heat.*

When the meat is cooked, remove it from the pot. Add cabbage to the stock and pearl barley and boil until the cabbage is as tender as you prefer it in your soup.

While the cabbage is boiling, cut up the pork into pieces and add it back into the soup once the cabbage is ready. Add salt and pepper to taste.

* Now I messed up the meat boiling myself, as I didn’t lower the heat, so it was full on boiling the entire time which left the meat a bit tough. Or perhaps I was boiling for too long? I later looked up online how to boil pork properly and there were different ways to do it, so if you know a better way to boil pork so it would be tender afterwards, feel free to use your own method.