9. lokakuuta 2013

A week without meat

We are already in the 9th day of the meatless month. So far so good! Yes, I have had my cravings but I have come over them. On the Monday evening I was visiting a friend and got a task to help fixing the food by laying out all the meat products in a lovely way. Oh, the smell of airdried ham and salami.... But, I kept myself in leash, just smelled the thing but did not taste. And I ate salad only while the others were feasting on the lovely meat products.

I have learned during the first week that cooking vegetarian is more timeconsuming than cooking "normally". First you have to really think about what to make and then you have to rinse and chop like everything you want to use, while normally you just throw the meat into a pan and fry it (quite a simplistic view, but still). Or maybe it just feels like that because I have not gotten used to it yet. The good thing is that this way I have to find new ways of eating and trying new foods. Soy beans for example, for the first time in my whole life I have tried those. And chick peas, I have bought those previously but never used them (right now they are actually boiling...).

Another (down?)side in this vegetarian food is the calories. I even normally eat quite little, and now without meat at all I get even less energy. I have counted for a couple weeks everything I have been eating, and it has been a crushing news. Everyday I get minuscalories, everything from 1300 to 1900 (and this is not just on the lowcaloriedays of the 5:2-diet). Yeah I know, that is almost a whole day's consumption for a woman who is doing no physical work. Someone here might think that well that's good, I could do with some weightloss, but it does not seem to go there. A body needs energy to keep it going and it turns to "safetymode" if for too long not getting energy, instead it starts to spare everything it gets and the best way to store it is in form of fat. So, this is not getting me thinner. I have GOT to start adding cream, cheese and fats into my diet. And i really do not know if this vegetarian thing goes to combine with the 5:2.... gotta find a balance!

Many people in the facebookgroup said that they are feeling a difference, they are much more perky and energetic and can do with less sleep. I am feeling the opposite. My colleagues have been saying that I look very tired, and I feel that way too. It must be the fact that I am not getting enough energy and still I am trying to exercise as usual. So, fats are now on the top of my menu!

Finally, some pictures of what I have been eating.

Soup with soybeans, mushroom and cauliflower (31kcal/dl)

A saturday night treat, tried to get all the calories during the week in this.. this was so good!!! The crust could have been a bit thinner, but I had too much dough which I noticed when I had rolled it into a size of the pan and didn't want to start from the beginning.
Pizza vegetale quattro formaggi (look, I know Italian!)
red pepper
feta cheese
mozzarella cheese
two different grated cheeses
tomato pure

I met some friends in Liseberg amusement park on Sunday, and we went to have a hamburger. I was positively surprised, this was not bad at all.
Burger King's Veggie Burger

I was exercising yesterday and even though (or because) I had beansoup for dinner I was hungry in the evening. So I made this, a frittata with cottage cheese and cucumber.
Frittata with mushroom, leek and red pepper

6. lokakuuta 2013


I have been in a certain noninspirational period. Probably due to summer and having other things (=motorcycling) to do. So I have been knitting the simplest of all but always so needed garments, socks. The funniest thing was that I was not in any way trying to match the pattern in the two first socks, but it just happened by itself!

Basic socks, size 32
Yarn: Novita Nalle Kukkaketo orvokki, Novita Nalle Solid grey, did not weigh the final product so do not know the yardage
Needles: 3,0mm

Basic socks, size 30
Yarn: Novita 7 Veljestä Polkka candy, 75 g
Needles: 3,5 mm

Basic socks, size 36
Yarn: Old leftover yarns
Needles: 3,5 mm

3. lokakuuta 2013

Third day without meat

The meatless month started quite nicely. Even though I got awful cravings when on the first day I saw McDonald's advertisement about BigMac's birthday party and sooooo wanted to have one... But didn't! I have also been counting my calories even though I was supposed to do it only for my 5:2-days, and it seems that I am staying way under my daily need with this food...

On the first day I made lentilballs. It is a bit of a trial and error now trying to cope with vegetarian dishes. I could not get the dough to stay together, finally I put an egg into the dough to help it a bit. Even though they do not look like balls, more like patties or some clogs from outer space. I was so hungry when they were ready that I attacked the food and did not even think of taking a picture of it. The portion looked pretty ok, when the "balls" here (after being frozen) look a bit weird. Some of them are a bit well done, but it just made them taste better! :D I served these with rice, cucumber and coleslaw (it was ready in the fridge from last weekend's BBQ).

Lentil balls
red lentils
red onion
tomato pure
roasted sunflowerseeds
olive oil

Cooked lentils are stirred together with sautéed vegetables. Mix with a handblender into a pure. Crush the roasted seeds into a bit smaller pieces and add into the mixture together with seasoning and some olive oil to try to get the dough stay together. After frying a few balls I decided to add one egg to the mixture. Helped a bit the dough to stay together. Fry in a mixture of oil and butter.

Here is what I ate yesterday. A combo of things I could find in the fridge served with rice from yesterday and cucumber. This was so good, I couldn't believe it, I used only some soya to season it!
Janna's veggie wok
bamboo shoots
pineapple (canned, a bit of juice and a bit of fruit)

Chop all the ingredients into convenient pieces. Fry in a bit of oil. Finally add soya and a bit of pineapple juice to taste. Serve with rice and sweet chili sauce.

1. lokakuuta 2013

Meatless Month

I stumbled across an event on Facebook that was named Lihaton Lokakuu (Meatless October, in Finnish). Because I am a bit of an "yllytyshullu" (does not have an exact translation to English, I'm afraid..), I decided to go along. Me, alltime meatloving me. Well, my challenge is not to totally end eating animal products but to diminish the amount. I will not, for example, stop eating milk and eggs. Just because coffee with any other milk than cow milk tastes s**t (have tried when breastfeeding my youngest) and because egg is such a good source for protein (don't start with me here about soja!). But, the meat I eat or buy I will try to diminish. Starting today. This blog will probably turn into a dieting blog now! :D

There must be something foodwise going on. I decided last week to try the 5:2-diet, before I knew about this meatless challenge. These pair quite fine, I think, this fasting has made a good starting point for the no-meat-season. Here is my dinner last Thursday, containing bulgur, mushroom, carrot and salad. A few hundred calories and so full I was!

My dinner yesterday, also a fasting day meal. With meat, though... Salad, cauliflower, carrot, red paprika and minced meat. The portion was huge even though only around 350 calories.

14. syyskuuta 2013


I've been making soap. Yes, right from the scratch. I became addicted after the very first batch, it is so fun and easy and it is absolutely rewarding to see how the end product becomes. I made the first batch a month ago, so now it is about time to try out the first one. They will still need more time to become more gentle and better, but I cannot wait to try..

If someone else interested in trying out soapmaking, here are some links that I have found useful (not in English, I'm afraid). And of course, Google is our friend here as well. :)

In Finnish:
Good ideas and recipes
The best guide for beginners can be found here
In Swedish: Gorgeous pictures and lovely ideas

From upper left corner: hairsoap with birch and argan oil, olive oil soap with green tea, kiddie soap (the white stars and flowers), and coffee and chocolate soap

The first soap I did was the olive oil with green tea -soap. I made some minor changes to the recipe, that is that I used green tea instead of chamomile tea. And I sprinkled some green tea into the dough before pouring into the moulds. This soap was easybeasy to do, it contains so much liquid fats and water that it is easy to handle.

Kiddiesoap looks fantastic, so lovely white and the seeds make a nice touch. The original recipe can be found in Finnish under the name "muksusaippua". I made some changes and had lard instead of "munkinpaistorasva" and different seeds, because I did not have poppy seeds home. :) Here is my version.

300g Olive Oil
100g coconut fat
50g lard
50g Canola oil

-> all the fats are put into SoapCalc, which counts how much water/liquid and lye you need.

Finally adding to the dough:
1 tablespoon potato flour or corn starch
1 tbsp linseeds

In Finnish recipes you can very often find "munkinpaistorasva", which is a solid mixture of vegetable fat for frying doughnuts. There is no exact substitute for it in Sweden. We have here "frityrolja", which means oil for frying, but it is liquid and the contents are not the same (I suppose, am not sure because I could not find ingredients for munkinpaistorasva, even though rumours says it contains mainly palm oil and palm oil is used for it in SoapCalc). But, what we have here in Sweden in all regular grocery stores, is lard. I noticed (from SoapCalc) that the qualities for palm oil and lard are almost exactly the same, so I have been using lard instead of doughnutfat. The difference is of course that if you want 100%vegetable soap, this won't work, but I do not mind using animal products. I love animals so why not use them to the full and make soap out of them as well! ;)

I'm so excited about this and would love to buy loads of soaprelated stuff (in the net there are loads of lovely places you can shop in...), all exotic fats and lovely scents and colours. The postage is usually so huge that I have so far refused myself on making an order. Maybe someday...

20. elokuuta 2013

Peacock feathers

After finishing the previous project I had no idea of what to do so I decided to use leftover sockyarn and make an easy scarf. This will probably become a gift to someone.

 Model: Ruffle My Feathers (RavLink)
Yarn: Novita tico tico, 71 grams
Needles: 4,0 mm

Baby sweater

I knitted a sweater for a friend's baby girl. It has been ready already a couple of months but still not delivered. Hope it fits the child when it gets home... The mother bought the yarn and the sheep-button. Crocheted flowers of purple and white Muskat.

Yarn: Drops Muskat, 290 grams
Needles: 4,0 mm

Summer garments

Updates to the blog have been scarce (=none) during the summer, but I have still done something. Here is a collection of some of my summer handiwork.

Model: Ruffled Summer Top (RavLink pink, RavLink variegated)
Yarn: the left one Novita Puro Batik, pink 180 grams, the right one Zettl Nina Cotton/Wool Sock (yarn held double), yellow-green-red 250 grams
Needles: 3,5 mm and 4,0 mm

Model: Dune hat (RavLink)
Yarn: Anttila Sofie, colour beige, 100 grams
Hook: 4,0 mm 

Yarn: Drops Paris, 6 skeins
Hook: 6,0 mm

Yarn: Drops Fabel, colour Blue Sea, 2,5 skeins
Hook: 3,0 mm

17. toukokuuta 2013

Five hour sweater

I have a great-aunt living in Germany, and she has a granddaughter (my second cousin, right?) who has two sons, one of them born in the beginning of this year. My great-aunt was talking to my mother and asked if I am as good a knitter as my grandmother (great-aunt's sister, that is) was. My mother had answered without a doubt "Yes, and maybe even better". Well, I don't know about that, my granny was ossom in knitting in a way that I would probably never be. She had such a patience to do wonderful patterned knits in thin yarn which would take me ages to knit. But anyway, the point is that great-aunt wanted a knitted sweater for the newborn boy.

Her wish was to have it ready as soon as possible. Yeah, always a good beginning for a project... So I chose the five hour sweater for the pattern (it will take just 5 hours to make it, right? fast enough?), the one withouth the "girlish holes" in it. I just happened to have a skein of Finnish wool yarn in brown and green which I thought would make a nice cardigan for a little boy. I also made a hat in the same yarn (had to buy another skein) but right now cannot find a picture of it. I was little wondersome about the size whether it would suit him, I made it according to measurements for a 6mth old, but babies are always unique in sizing. I do not even know if they have gotten this, since my mom was supposed to send it over.

Model: Five hour baby boy sweater
Yarn: Novita 7 Veljestä Nostalgia, colour green-brown, 1 skein
Needles: 5,5 mm

14. helmikuuta 2013

Warm cardigan for ME!

A longtime dream has been to make myself a nice, warm cardigan. It came off the needles a few weeks ago, and has been actively used ever since. The sleeves came out a bit too long, but better to turn them than to have too short sleeves. I made an I-cord for belt instead of the ribbed belt in the pattern. Very warm, very soft, lovely cardigan!

Yarn: Novita Puro, usva, yardage 1000m
Needles: 5,0mm and 6,0mm

Baby knits

Some baby knits have come from my needles. First a hat for friends' newborn baby girl, ordered by a common friend of ours. 

Model: Aviatrix
Yarn: Novita Wool Sävy, pink
Needles: 3,5mm, 4,0mm

Then a cardigan for my second cousin's baby boy. My mom's aunt ordered this, she said she wants it quickly, but is probably not going to pay any more than the yarn used for this + postage. It might be that the yarn cost quite a lot... ;) I modified the pattern a bit, made garter stitch edging to the bottom and to sleeves, which I knit in the round and made three button holes.
Yarn: Novita 7Veljestä Nostalgia, 200m
Needles: 5,5mm, 6,0mm for the sleeves

And something for my little princess! I started this last summer and it was meant to be ready before summer holiday, but not quite... Finalized it until her birthday last September. This is one of the few patterns I have bought at Ravelry, and must say that the pattern is very good. It has several different sizes for different yarns. Versatile, that is!
Model: Zippy
Yarn: Sandnes Garn Mandarin Petit

Snowwhite mittens

I have again been a bit lazy about updating the blog. Here we go, again...

I knitted mittens for my boyfriend's niece. She chose the colour herself, which is white. I did not have any white yarn at home, so when I came across a bag of white fluffylooking yarn at Lidl at almost no price, I went for it. Stupid me! The yarn was too chunky to be knitted in the first place, and it was half acrylic (well that one could be read from the package, and it was actually ok for an acrylicyarn. Anyhow, I needed so big needles that it was difficult to knit and the result was not so beautiful.

Yarn: Zettl Scarf Yarn, 64m
Needles: 8,0 mm