Cheer-Me-Up Cinnamon Wreaths (eli Lohduttavat kaneliseppeleet)

Cinnamon Wreath and coffee!

Cinnamon Wreath and coffee!

I must admit I’ve been feeling a little bit down in the dumps lately – and the worst part is, I can’t seem to figure out why. Days have just merged together, one day blurring into the next and all I want to do is sleep it all away. I guess if I had to try to explain what it feels like, the only thing that comes to mind is that it’s as though my life is on a diet. And let me preface my explanation by saying that I think dieting is absolute torture. I love food and I love sweets and the thought of limiting the intake of all these glorious tastes horrify me. Which is not to say I haven’t tried eating my feelings as per usual (that’s usually how I work myself out of these mini-depressions). It feels as though my life is currently lacking the excitement and the thrill. I guess it can be thought of as making a batch of cinnamon buns in the oven and being ready to pull them out, and there’s no sweet smell wafting out of the oven 😦 and sure, you can eat them and they may even taste nice – but there’s just something lacking.

Minun täytyy myöntää, että tunnen itseni aika masentuneeksi askeittain – ja pahinta on se, että en itsekään tiedä miksi. Haluan vain nukkua koko ajan, kunnes paha olo menisi pois. On vaikea selittää, mitä tämä ilmapiiri oikeasti on. Ehkä voin sanoa tuntevani, että minun elämä on kuin ”dieetillä”. Olen aina uskonut, että dieetti on kamala. Pidän ruoasta tosi paljon, erityisesti makeita leivonnaisia, ja minua pelottaa niiden rajoittuminen.  En voi väittää, että en ole yrittänyt syödä herkkuja, kunnes ilo tulee (tämä prosessi yleensä minun mielestäni toimii hyvin!). Tällä hetkellä tunnen, että elämässäni ikävä kiihdyttävää kokemusta. Tunne on kuin kauniit pullat uunissa ilman sen lehahtava huumaava tuoksu. 😦 Vaikka pullia ovat vielä syöttäviä (jopa herkullisia), jotakin vielä puuttuu. 

So to combat this blaaahhness (throughout which I’ve only been baking little no-brainer boring mini loafs that I will eventually blog about), I’ve decided to make Cinnamon Wreaths that make the entire room smell like heaven. They look dainty and delicate but are absolutely easy to make! Perfectly paired with a hot mocha (I literally just added unsweetened cocoa powder to my brewed coffee.) I completely forgot to take photos of the making process, but there is a blog called Totally Love It (http://totallyloveit.com/braided-cinnamon-rolls/) with amazing detailed illustrated instructions. The only difference is that I chose to make little individual wreaths instead of a giant one.

Tässä pitkästyttävässä ajassa olen leiponut vain tylsiä superhelppoja limppukakkuja (joista kirjoittaisin tässä blogissa myöhemminkin), joten päätin tehdä nämä kaneliseppeleet, jotka tuoda taivallista tuoksua koko huoneeseen.  Nämä aistikkaidennäköiset herkut ovat yksinkertaisia ja viehättäviä. Sopii täydellisesti kahvin kanssa (olen itse laittanut 1 tl kaakaojauhetta kahviin – pikamokka!) Leipomisprosessista kuvien ottaminen on täysin unohdettu, mutta Totally Love It –blogissa (http://totallyloveit.com/braided-cinnamon-rolls/) löytyy kuvalliset yksityiskohtaiset ohjeet! Ainoa ero on se, että tein pieniä erillisiä seppeleet ison pullan sijaan. 

I won’t claim that this delicious treat got me back to my usual perky self, but it sure did make me feel better. 🙂 Perhaps the solution is to keep baking. I’ve been wanting to make these little cheeseburger-looking (not flavored!) cupcakes. Hope I can get to that soon.

En oikeasti totea, että tämä herkku vie masennukseni pois, mutta parempi olo (ja iloinen masu) tulee. 🙂 Ehkä pitäisi leipoa enemmän. Olen halunnut jo jonkin aika tehdä juustohampurilaistennäköisiä (ei hampurilaismakuisia!) kuppikakkuja. Toivottavasti tekisin lähitulevaisuudessa.

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The recipe for these easy cinnamon wreaths is found after the jump.

Kaneliseppeleiden resepti löydätte alla oleva linkistä. 

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Summer in Snow

Yesterday, I was asked a very big question: Why do I bake? I was so stupefied in the moment that I wasn’t able to answer beyond the usual “because it’s fun and I enjoy it” mumbo jumbo. I woke up this morning with an epiphany of sorts – an AHA! moment. I know why I bake, and that is because baking to me is like creating edible art, which is, in my own humble opinion, the best kind. So if somebody out there owns something like that remote control from that Adam Sandler movie “Click”, I could really use it right now.

I promised myself to make something beautiful every week from here on out…unless something comes up. My edible art for this week is a layered berry meringue, which brings to mind the wonderful flavors of summer embraced in snow.

Ps. As you may have noticed below, I am attempting to write this blog also in (poor) Finnish. Please forgive any spelling and grammatical errors, my Finnish language skills are truly a work in progress.

Eilen minulta kysyttiin: miksi minä leivon? Olin niin mykistynyt, että mutisin vain tavallista hölynpölyä (”koska se on hauskaa ja nautin leipomisesta”).  Olin aivan vaivautunut koko päivän aikana, ja heräsin tänä aamuna kysymys edelleen mielessäni – sitten, yhtäkkiä tajusin miksi minä oikeasti leivon! Leipominen on minulle kuin taiteen luomista, ja tämä on jopa erityisempi taide, koska se on syötävää! Siis jos joku omistaa jonkinlaisen tv-kaukosäätimen Adam Sandlerin ”Click” –elokuvasta, voisinko lainata sitä sinulta?

Joka tapauksessa, minun tämän viikon syötävä taideteos (lupasin itselleni, että leivon viikoittaisin tästä lähtien) on tämä kuningatar marenki kerrokset, josta tulee mieleen kesä ja luminen halaus. 

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It is only fitting because it’s kind of a winter wonderland here in Rovaniemi at the moment. See: view from my balcony

Tämä pikkuherkku sopii erittäin hyvin tämänhetkiseen säähän, koska Rovaniemi on tällä hetkellä täydellisesti lumen peitossa. Ks. Parvekkeeltani otettu kuva. 

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Recipe (using only 5 ingredients!) is found after the jump.

Reseptin löydätte alla oleva linkistä. 

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Parlez vous soufflé?

I have decided to take a break from unpacking my boxed-up life as we move into our new home back here in Rovaniemi by getting back on the blogging horse. I’ve been meaning to update more, but haven’t found the writing mojo– it’s buried deep deep down. But! It’s a new year (once again!) and my mom has oh-so-kindly gifted me with a hand-me-down in the form of a MacBook and hey, I’m not too proud to beg. : )

Anyway… we are back in Rovaniemi (funnily enough, in an apartment that is right across our old place) after 4 months in wonderful Helsinki and a month vacationing in Manila. In addition to celebrating my mom’s 55th birthday and Chinese New Year, the best part… okay, the second best part (nothing beats shopping) is having tasters around the house! Trust me, I took advantage… Thankfully, the tasters were willing participants and I had the chance to experiment on soufflés in various flavors. And much like most of my trial and error adventures, it was definitely a learning experience. Some soufflés ended up rather dense, others overcooked, one even heavy (how that is even possible is beyond me and can only be chalked up to my clumsy kitchen ways). However, I am quite happy and proud to present 5 different soufflés.

Soufflés after the jump, I promise!

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Gingerbread Christmas trees!

BABY PIZZAS : D

So easy to make and yet so satisfying! Homemade pizza is becoming more and more appealing to me… Still trying to come up with a few to change this up. Will figure it out and blog again when that happens.

MINI SOUFFLE CHEESECAKES – 1st attempt.

This was my first attempt at making souffle cheesecakes (or Japanese cheesecakes). They turned out a little creamier / fluffier than I had wanted. I was hoping they’d be a little more cakey (as they are supposed to be), so maybe I will cook them for a little longer next time I try to make these.

It was a little bit of an effort to put the paper collars on them, but it paid off because the cheesecakes were so easy to remove from the tin. I put them in the refrigerator now to harden a little bit *fingers crossed*. I was initially going to top them with strawberry sauce, but they seem to taste fine on their own.

The flavor is there, and I will only have to work on the consistency now.

Recipe adapted from here.

While sitting at work today, I suddenly felt the urge need to make a food blog. It just isn’t enough to share food posts on my Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. I need to forage my way into this big internet world and share my foodie-thoughts on this blog as well. 

Living in a 2-person household often constricts my ability to experiment and practice cooking & baking due to the lack of taste testers. Fortunately for me, my husband is expecting two friends over for a study session and they are now (involuntarily) Baby Bites taste-testers! The current plan is to make mini pizzas and tiny Japanese cheesecakes. The mini pizzas are tried & tested, but I figured I needed something reliable to fall back on in case of cheesecake failure.

For now, I will end this post and leave you to ogle a few photos of previous mouth-watering Baby Bites creations above! 🙂

(PS. All these photos were taken from my Instagram account, so I apologize for the lack of quality / consistency. )