Tag Archives: spring

A Big Change

It has been a bit quiet here. No, we have not abandoned this blog or gotten bored with baking, cooking or going out. If you’re following my Instagram you might have noticed that there are lots of delicious recipes that are still waiting to be published.  But there is a major factor in our lives that has occupied our minds and our time in the last weeks: we’re going to move to Germany in the middle of June.

As you can imagine moving countries is a bit more stressful than your usual move. All the paperwork needs to be done in time. In our case Tiia needs to get a lot of her Finnish papers in English or even German, so we won’t have a problem with translating them later. Apart from that we had to sort out how to actually transport our stuff to Germany without spending thousands of Euros. We’re not taking a lot with us but we have been together for over 4 years now and I am not willing to throw everything out we have bought together.

Most of that is thankfully already sorted, although it was quite stressful to coordinate so many things. My dad will come with a rental car by ferry and transport our stuff to our new home. Tiia, me and the cats will then take the plane to Germany. I am having my fingers crossed that everything will work out.

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At the moment I am kind of sad to leave this country, especially since spring is in proper bloom now! It is getting warmer, the trees are getting their leaves and the blueberry and lingonberry bushes are blooming. Okay, I still have to wear a scarf but not a thick one! The days are getting longer and longer until they reach their peak on Midsummer which is next month.

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I will definitely miss the Finnish summer and living at the sea side. Blueberry picking in the forest, although I guess I can live without those horrible mosquitoes which I am slightly allergic to.

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And of course I will miss Tiia’s family a lot. Her parents now live only 5 kilometers from us and I love visiting them.

I am scared and nervous about moving to Germany. What if I won’t like it anymore? What if I won’t like it in my old hometown? Will Tiia like it and how will it be for her with a new language?

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I am sure everything will find its way but sometimes it is a bit more scary than exciting.

Stef

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Spring in Helsinki

“Spring?” you might ask. Right now it’s a proper summer even here in the north, but since I’ve been too busy to update the blog, I thought now would be the time to post these pictures. They’re actually from the end of April, so they indeed are late.

2 women 2 cats - Spring in Helsinki

The church in the background is the German Church in Kaartinkaupunki, where we went for a German flea market and some Kuchen.

2 women 2 cats - Spring in Helsinki

2 women 2 cats - Spring in Helsinki

The flowers had just started to bloom in Tähtitorninmäki/Observatory hill.

2 women 2 cats - Spring in Helsinki

2 women 2 cats - Spring in Helsinki

In Finland, as soon as the snow has melted and the sun is up, it’s the perfect weather for sitting in the park (possibly with alcoholic beverages).

2 women 2 cats - Spring in Helsinki

The houses in Kaivopuisto are some of the most beautiful in Helsinki.

2 women 2 cats - Spring in Helsinki

Some Art Nouveau buildings in Ullanlinna. Helsinki is one of the finest Art Nouveau cities in Europe, and I personally love the style.

2 women 2 cats - Spring in Helsinki

We were walking past the St. John’s Church, when we noticed a couple were having their wedding pictures taken at the entrance. The church itself is of the Gothic Revival style.

2 women 2 cats - Spring in Helsinki

So hopefully the next pictures of Helsinki will be summery ones and we can all forget that winter ever happened. The next post I’m writing will nevertheless be of these beauties: Gentle Folk’s Bread.

Tiia

2 women 2 cats - Gentle Folk's Bread

A Spring Walk To The Beach

I hope everybody is enjoying the long Easter weekend. The weather is so nice and warm this year that we decided to take a long walk in the sun. We live really close to the seaside and it was the perfect opportunity to have a look at spring plants. The trees are not green yet but I think the leaf buds will open really soon.

2women2cats: Helsinki, Finland

Since spring came so early this year, there are already a few nice species to discover.

2women2cats: Helsinki, Finland
Wood anemone

Wood anemone (finn. valkovuokko, germ. Buschwindröschen) is known as the Mother’s Day flower in Finland and usually starts growing in early to mid May, depending if there is still snow. On the morning of Mother’s Day you can see lots of people picking them as a gift for their mother.

2women2cats: Helsinki, Finland

Last time I went to the sea there was still ice on it!

2women2cats: Helsinki, Finland

I really like the small beach in Munkkiniemi because the forest almost goes all the way up to the water.

2women2cats: Helsinki, Finland
Common hepatica (finn. sinivuokko, germ. Leberblümchen)

2women2cats: Helsinki, Finland

The common hepatica is also one the flowers to grow first in spring. You can often find it in the forest where their bright blue covers the brown ground.

2women2cats: Helsinki, Finland

2women2cats: Helsinki, Finland
Really daring people might already go for a swim. Not for me I have to say and rather enjoyed a little sun on the warm stones.

2women2cats: Helsinki, Finland

Tomorrow the weather forecast predicts 18°C! I can’t really believe it, since it’s only April. Last year there was still a layer of snow. Time to get the summer clothes out of the closets I guess.

Back home I see that we haven’t been the only ones enjoying the sunshine.

2women2cats: Kookos

Have nice Easter Monday!

Stef

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Easter Cupcakes

Easter is close and I think it’s the right season for carrot cake. A while a ago I had bought some flower stencils and I haven’t had the chance to use them yet. So I decided to do some cupcakes and use the stencils for marzipan flowers.

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The original recipe is from this German page and I have used it for many years. The carrot cake always turns out really well, only difference this time is that I used my silicone muffin mould. The amounts are a bit unusual since I only made half the recipe which made 7 cupcakes. I exchanged the walnuts with hazelnuts and used a bit more carrot.

Carrot Cupcakes

62 g butter, softened (I used salted)
1 tbsp vanilla sugar
112 g brown sugar
2 small eggs
140 g grated carrots
25 g hazelnuts, chopped
50 g almond flour
25 g potato flour (or corn starch)
87 g flour
2 tsp baking powder
a bit less than 1/2 tsp of cinnamon, nutmeg and ground clove each

Preheat the oven to 175°C.

Beat the sugars, spices and the butter until everything is fluffy. Stir in the eggs. They don’t need to beaten long, just incoperate them properly into the mixture. Mix in the carrot and the hazelnuts.

2women2cats: Easter Cupcakes

Mix the flours together, add the baking powder and stir them slowly into the carrot mixture. Fill the muffin moulds a bit more than half way up and bake for around 30 minutes.

Frosting and Decoration

cream cheese
vanilla sugar
powder sugar
butter (I used salted again)
food colouring
marzipan

While the cupcakes are in the oven you can prepare the decoration. I took some marzipan and put a little food colouring in. Then I formed little carrots and carrot leaves. Same procedure for the flowers, except that I rolled the marzipan flat so I could use the stencil on them. The marzipan rests were formed into eggs.

2women2cats: Easter Cupcakes

2women2cats: Easter Cupcakes

When the carrot cake is done and cooling down you can make the frosting. I think I’ve said before that I am bad with weighing things. I made this frosting so often that I didn’t check the amounts I used. Naturally I made too much, so the rest will have to be frozen. I think I used around 90 g cream cheese, two tablespoons of salted butter and a bit of vanilla sugar. I then added some green food colouring and a little bit of brown so it wouldn’t be too bright.

2women2cats: Easter Cupcakes

Add powder sugar until the frosting gets firm enough to be piped. If you don’t have a piping bag you can just use a freezer bag  and a star shaped tip. Pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes and decorate with the marzipan decoration. Enjoy!

Stef

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Streat Helsinki Eats

Sometimes I just love this city. Spring has arrived and Helsinki is finally alive again. The people on the streets actually look happy!

Helsinki cathedral

There’s always something happening in here, and on the Saturday 22nd of March there was a brand new street food festival called Streat Helsinki.  Over 30 little street restaurants offered everything from oysters to tacos.

Streat Helsinki TacoBot

Taco socks

It was a fine spring day with a cloudless sky, so naturally the streets were packed with people. Over 10 000 attended the festival! For once we were smart enough to avoid the biggest rush hours and went there at 11 am. Apparently in the afternoon the queues to the food stands were ridiculous.

Streat Helsinki

The food there was well worth the queuing. There were tons of vegetarian options, which was really nice for me personally. At least two stands were selling seitan kebab, but instead I decided to get Tokyo Seitan Burger from Richard McCormicks Burger Joint. It was just delicious. It was with marinaded seitan strips, sprouts, mint and coriander leaves and wasabi mayo. I have a feeling we will be trying to recreate this in the kitchen some time soon…

Tokyo Seitan Burger
Easily the best burger I’ve ever had

We also shared a vegan hot dog from Social Food Street. It was also really good, but not as jaw dropping as the burger. Although it didn’t say on the menu, I’m pretty sure the sausage was made out of black beans. It was served with grilled zucchini and paprika, rucola and mustard seeds.

Vege Koira

For dessert we shared a Dutch sirup waffle from Flying Dutchman. Unfortunately they only had one waffle maker and although the queue seemed small, we had to wait quite a bit.

Flying Dutchman

Dutch Sirup Waffle

What a great gastronomic Saturday we had. I really hope Streat Helsinki happens next year as well!

Tiia

Streat Helsinki

Streat Helsinki

Streat Helsinki
A little girl was playing in one of the last snow piles

Streat Helsinki