Rye Gingerbread ‒ Ruispiparit

I made a small batch of gingerbread cookies this year as well. I used half of my last year's
gingerbread recipe but replaced the wheat flour with sifted rye flour. There wasn't much difference in outlooks or taste really. Perhaps the structure seemed a bit crunchier or maybe I just hoped so. I think regular, unsifted rye flour would make even a better option.

Remember kids, anything with rye in it is health food!


Return of the Weird Glögis ‒ Outojen glögien paluu

Exceptionally, this Yule I don't plan to travel around the country but stay home and be lazy. I started it early on 21. with a friend of mine (since he didn't remember Winter Solstice was 22. this year) by raising a pint of Hyvä Tuomas for the rising Sun on the ice of the lake Näsijärvi. We didn't actually see the star of the 5-hour day at all since it was so cloudy but seeing that neverending white horizon I felt sorry I didn't bring my camera. Well, my fingers were all frozen already so maybe it was for the better.

Since I'm defintely not going to do anything useful during these few days the Sun rests on the shoulders of the Great Oak (in Finnish mythology they're called Pesäpäivät, "nest days") I could finally do things I've wanted to do quite a long time: read some novels, install Ubuntu and update this blog for a change. These hot drinks are from the pikkujoulu party me and my friends had. As you may remember, we did the same last year. (If the word "glögi" is all Creek to you, read this post first.) Everyone got to bring one recipe (I did the sea buckthorn version). I've made some minor alterations to them, for example by removing extra sugar if it seemed way too sweet. But feel free to adjust them according to your own taste.

Apple Tea Glögi

- 1 l water
- 2 dl apple juice
- 6 teaspoons of your favourite tea
- 4 tablespoons fariinisokeri or muscovado
- 2 tablespoons glögi spices (cinnamon, clove and ginger)
(- mint liqueur)

Prepare the tea. Remove the tea leaves. Add the other ingredients and let the mixture simmer for another ten minutes. Pour in cups and let everyone add mint liqueur as much as they please.

Black Currant Glögi with Mandarine

- 1 l apple juice
- 2 dl black currant juice (without added water)
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 5 cloves
- 0.5 dl sugar
- 1 dl raisins
- 200 g preserved mandarine slices
(- vodka)

Put the juices, the sugar and the spices into a pot and let them simmer for five minutes. Pour the liquid part into cups. Finish off with the raisins, the mandarines and the vodka.

Pirate Glögi

- 8 dl pineapple juice
- 4 dl orange juice
- 2 dl water
- 2 dl dark rum
- 2 tablespoons fresh ginger, chopped

Cook the ginger in the water for about ten minutes. Add both the juices. Heat the whole thing up but don't boil. Portion the rum into four glasses and pour the mixture on it. Decorate with small Pirate Party flags.

Sea Buckthorn Glögi

- 1 l unfiltered apple juice
- 2 dl sea buckthorn juice
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 star anises
- 1 piece of ginger
(- sugar)

Let the apple juice simmer together with spices for about an hour. Mix with the sea buckthorn juice only a moment before serving. Add sugar if you wish. I don't recommend alcohol with this since we noticed a surprising effect: half the taste seemed to disappear somewhere after adding only a sip of vodka.


Red Cabbage Salad ‒ Punakaalisalaatti

Tonight we'll be having our own traditional pikkujoulu party with a group of friends, just like we did last year. The idea of trying weird glögis turned out so well last time we thought we'd repeat it with some fresh recipes. I've also baked a chocolate cake for the occasion but I haven't tasted yet in which way is it to die for.

While waiting for the dessert, here's an extremely simple sidekick salad. It takes practically no time to prepare so it's just what you need when noticing your Joulu table is still missing something fresh. Cabbage and lingonberry are quite a regular combination in Finnish kitchen but somehow the nuts give it that special festive feeling.

- 500 g red cabbage
- 3 dl walnuts
- 2 dl lingonberry cram (with only a hint of sugar)

Shred the cabbage. Combine everything. Say: "Hyvää ruokahalua!"

For hi-fi version, toast the nuts. Depending on what else you're having on the plate you could also add couple of tablespoons of (nut) oil and some fennel seeds.

Nutritional values / 815 g:
energy 1401 kcal
fat 119 g
protein 35 g
carbohydrates 47 g
fiber 41 g


Pea and Beetroot Sauce ‒ Herne-punajuurikastike

Continuing with simple and humble comfort foods. Peas and beetroot make a really nice combination. I was making pea soup anyway, so I put some of the cooked peas aside for a fast dinner couple of day later. If you happen to have some canned pea soup in the closet it would also work as the basis. I think the cook book Härkäpapua sarvista (Irina Somersalo & al., Multikustannus 2007) has a similar pasta sauce but I didn't even look at the recipe while cooking so don't blame them.

- 5 beetroots (mine were rather small)
- 2 dl dry peas
- 1 tablespoon rape oil
- 1 tablespoon vinegar (or a dollop of the sour broth used for preserving beetroots)
- 1 chili pepper
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1 dose of stock
- fennel seeds
- basil
- salt
- water

Soak the peas overnight. Cook them in plenty of water. Peel and slice the beetroots. Fry them on a hot pan with oil, chili and garlic. When they have softened up but still feel firm, add them to the pea pot, as well as the rest of the ingredients. Let the sauce simmer for a few minutes more.

Enjoy the sauce for example with pasta. If you add some dark syrup, it gets a rather christmassy clang to it.

Nutritional values / 772 g:
energy 744 kcal
fat 16 g
protein 35 g
carbohydrates 111 g
fiber 27 g


Chocolate Waffles with Talkkuna and Berry Sauce ‒ Suklaavohlut talkkuna-marjakastikkeella

This isn't really a recipe but just a quick post about my evening snack on the other day. Funny how you get this squirrel mode on when it gets all dark and cold (I think -21°C on Monday was the record so far). I'm currently addicted into all things hot and filling, even overly sweet things which I don't care so much during summer.

The waffles in the photo are made with my basic rye waffle recipe, except that this time I added a few spoonfuls of cocoa powder and extra sugar. The real star was the sauce however. It consists of berries, sugar, some runny yogurt and about 1 dl of talkkuna, all blended together. As always, the berries are what ever I happened to grab from the freezer: sea buckthorn berries, lingonberries, bilberries and strawberries.

These paired rather nicely with the Swedish policeman Kurt Wallander (who has by the way taught me such wonderful expressions as "Finnish suicide").
Osta neljä tuotetta ja maksat vain kolmesta - Luomutallin kampanjatuotteet näet täältä

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