Curly haired and multi-ethnic, I like food with a kick and learning how other people like their food.

  • Location: Finland
  • Favorite foods: Farofa, black eyed beans, salmon and real chinese food!
  • Last bite on earth: French fries dipped in a sundae, rice with dal and yogurt plus pickle or a vat of Ben and Jerry's.

Latest Comments

How do you avoid overspending?

This is a serious prob fer me, especially since I live in Finland where food is unholy expensive. Being a vegetarian doesn't even help, a bag of kale is 4.00€ here, and my luxuries like nuts, fancy cheeses and Italian olives oil and reduced balsamic and my terrible terrible jam hoarding habit ( currently - Finnish cloudberry, French pomegranate and fig, Bonne Maman fig and from a holiday somewhere- papaya) makes not overspending difficult. But I segment my grocery shopping best I can- buying fresh fruits and veg on particular days, stocking up on dried beans and pulses on others, and I make my own soy and nut milks. On payday I hit the fancy places for cheese, imported oils, nuts on special and so on. It's the impulse driven snacking I need to curb (Ben and jerry, French cheese and cherry jam plus grapes and Prosecco. Seriously.) doesn't help that I am married to Pacman who can power his way through a box of grapes and nuts for a week in an evening.

Please. Being Costco to Finland. Pretty please..

Let's vent, shall we?

Opening packet A adding it to packed B opening a jar of sauce dumping it on top. Heat through and serve. Offer to give me the recipe. Nyeaaaa.....

using almost no oils, fats but cooking spray (!!!) or some low fat crap and little to no salt (!!!) and then wondering why it doesn't taste 'like it should..' I'll tell you why. Soup without enough salt is warm dishwater. Dal without enough oil through it is blaaaghh and low fat crap is crap.

Vegan Stovetop-Style Macaroni and Cheese

this one wasn't quite the winner in our house but I think with some tinkering and bickering we'll get there ;)

How to Make Great Vegan Ice Cream

Max: I did both- blended the ingredients and then churned it (after breaking up the harder more frozen bits with a spoon) with the immersion blender. I imagine it might get bit creamier with a proper blender or..?

How to Make Great Vegan Ice Cream

made this with maple syrup and just an immersion blender to churn it up every couple of hours. The verdict? I have the guard the freezer ;)

it does melt pretty quick though and is a touch icy but still a million times better than any commercial vegan-ice I've had!

What to make / bring for my friend in Finland

Personally I'd appreciate if someone brought me something 'local' like American candy, little culinary delights from Eataly or Wholefoods or something, and fresh fruit! No problems with customs. Last time I brought in mangoes, paw paws and greens. Very happy friends to get those goodies too..

24 Essential Kitchen Tricks and Tips

I often use a pair of scissors to snip habaneros, I just hold the stem and snip it straight into the pot. Works! My momma also taught me to half freeze meat before slicing it finely for stir fries, it's easier. Now that I'm a veggo, I do it with tofu. Freezing it also change the texture, making it 'meatier'.

Fruit ripens faster when stuck together in a bowl - apples and bananas + your unriped fruit / avoes = ready to eat in no time. The stems of most veg and leafy tops of celery, beetroot, carrots have a lovely flavor and shouldn't ever been thrown away! Saute the chopped up and trimmed stems of broccoli, kale, cauliflower with onions and garlic, crunchy and delish. Baking powder can be used to clean, whiten and de-stink plastic chopping boards and as a mild abrasive for Le Crueset pots. If you make your own soy milk, the ground up soy grounds can be used as vegetarian mince, and veggie juice grounds can be a base for veggie burgers. You can use tamarind paste to clean and shine copper pots, and adding a pinch of sugar to extra hot dishes seem to add a depth of flavor and softens / adds complexity to the dish.

Boy I love cooking. I wish I had a huge family to cook for..

Finland and Estonia in September - Food Ideas?

Lingonberry is readily available most of the year around, its really really tart though and usually enjoyed with gamey meats as a jam / relish. What you really should try is cloudberry. Now that is something else! have it with kotijuusto in cream. Oh. My. Goodness.

as for foods you can take back, there's lots of tinned meats like elk and bear but I'm not sure as to quaratine laws in the States- since Finland is part of the EU though that should make things better right? The airport has a pretty rad deli and surprisingly prices are pretty much the same as in the city so you could pick up some last minute food gifts from there. Hope this helps!

Finland and Estonia in September - Food Ideas?

And in Estonia eating out and food in general is much much cheaper so check out the old city in Talinn, there's tons of good eats and cheaper prices. The food is pretty different though, more old Soviet in vibe :)

Finland and Estonia in September - Food Ideas?

Welcome to my neighborhood Traveller! So you're visiting in late September? Thats fall here in Helsinki so expect to find winter chanterelles and apples at the local markets - for more exotic meats like moose/elk and bear you will have to head to speciality markets like Hakaniemi Market Hall (a short walk or tram ride from the city centre) or you could hit up Stockmann Deli for tinned bear meat. The fresh stuff is really pricey though so be prepared for a serious hit to the wallet. Things that are worth eating - koti juusto (home cheese) with cloudberry jam, karjalanpirrakka with egg butter (this you can find at most supermarkets in the bread section) and of course Finnish ruisleipää, rye bread - with lashings of butter. Yum! There's tons of interesting milk products too like villi (a kind of yogurt) which has this interesting gelatin like texture and of course piimä, (a soured milk) which lots of people drink with their meals, including adults! Don't forget to try pickled herring which you have with potatoes and sliced spring onion, and all kinds of smoked fish (salmon, eel, lamprey, sprats) and fresh which are to die for. The freshest are from the aforementioned market halls, though Stockmann deli is pretty good. the normal shops like Sokos and S markets might be cheaper but the quality is a bit meh. I used to work at a fish counter so yeah, I wouldn't necessarily buy from those ones! Finnish sausage is apparently really good too, and so is kyläsavustettu harkan liha, cold smoked beef, sliced thin, and reindeer slices which you can find at most good delis in the deli meat section. All the foods are labelled in Finnish though so you will need help wandering through the stores!

Restaurants to check out -
Muru is highly rated and really good but book way in advance, -

I also liked Saga though a bit cheesy

and Restaurant Sipuli (literally the Onion) which has pretty good Russian food - bear is on the menu!

Zetor is cheap and an experience so check it out -

Drinking is very popular in Helsinki and some interesting local drink are the Salmiakki shots, and Terva shots - worth checking out - and the local beers are also pretty decent. Shame you'll miss the berry season, the blueberries in Finland are the best in the world, in my humble opinion. Maybe you could ask your friend to stick some in the freezer for you so you can try Mustikka maito - the simplest but yummiest finnish dessert - blueberries in milk with a pinch of sugar. Mmmmmm! Hope this helps and feel free to ask me anything. Welcome and dress warm!

Baby eats - ideas and recipes please!

These are excellent ideas - thanks so much guys! And its true, Ben hates being fed pureed jarred baby food but the banana pancakes I made him today was a hit! I'm definitely going to check out those links and try out fish next! Any ideas whether kidney beans are good for kids?

Cooking for seven. Big family Meals. What Is Yours?

We always had lentils and rice, with yogurt and chutneys. Nowadays I do a big pot of stew with beans to have with red rice, or couscous salad with cashews, celery, peas, peppers, corn and red onion plus feta cheese and quite often left over veg as topping on pizza. I do love me some pasta with brown butter and fresh herbs though..

A Brazilian manioc question

You can also find it under the name 'gari' in African food shops. It comes in white and cream / yellow colors though I don't think the flavor profiles are different. I've made farofa with grated carrot, caramelized onion, salt and bacon bits and its absolutely delish over rice and stew :)

Weekend Cook and Tell: Love For Legumes

Black eyed beans cooked in coconut milk with curry, curry leaves and scotch bonnet chillies served on a bed of rice and farofa sprinkled over the top. Heaven!

I am having an Indian dinner for around 25 and need some help m

or you could go the whole hog and make lamb organ josh, watermelon tossed in mint and rosewater for dessert.

I am having an Indian dinner for around 25 and need some help m

grated carrots marinated with lemon juice pinch of sugar and two pinches of salt with yogurt as a side - roasted chicken with tandoori masala (available from any good indian stores), serve with store bought naan bread, lemon wedges and rice cooked in ghee and sprinkled with mustard seeds popped in hot oil or nigella seeds. Dessert - mango sorbet with chopped pistachios on top.


Tamarind is great for cleaning copper pots and utensils. In cooking I use it for fish curries and adding a sour element to sauces. Its not as tart as lemon and has a more earthy flavor..

What Non-Perishables to Bring Back From Malaysia?

sarawak laksa paste! It keeps pretty well, and its fabulous :)

Here's 50 bucks....

A whole roasted chicken. Pasta with browned butter and fresh breadcrumbs and parsley and pepperoncino. Tablecloth tucked into my shirt as a napkin, bottle of fancy Italian fizzy water with lemon - and Mr Nick's company FTW!



you had me at bernaise

Favorite Indian food cookbook (or blog)?

holy cow vegan - its really good, healthy and pretty authentic

Settling for less...?

i spent almost ten bucks on dried porcini mushrooms this week... a teeny amount.. ouch! And i love my expensive as anything coffee beans and rooibos teas and best quality chocolate...

Thank goodness I don't drink booze.. i can justify all this wanton luxury ;)

Weekend Cook and Tell: Waste Not, Want Not

I always have rice left over so that in all its incarnations, with whatevers on hand - leftover chicken or make tea eggs to go with a simple rice and garlic veg dish. Tofu simmered with reconstituted dried mushrooms are my easy anytime dish, and there's always cheap frozen fish in the freezer that I cook by dipping in an egg wash and then flour and pan frying and then with ginger and shallots and soy, a pinch of sugar.

If I can't be arsed, then its mango lassi and toasted rye bread with smoked cheese.

Which cocoas do you prefer?

van houten - its the best I can get but I am tempted by green and blacks sometimes..

These Beans are Killin Me!

Lots of recipes also recommend to skim the foam that rises to the top when cooking beans. Also, use asafetida - it stinks but it does cut gas. So Indian people do.. Here's a link about it:

It has a lovely subtle aroma once cooked into lentils.


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