Monday, September 29, 2014

Lamb Stew

Effortless yet delicious.

This recipe is for those weekends when you want something warm and delicious but cannot be bothered to spend hours in the kitchen. A stew. A nice warm thick stew is what you want.

Here I have:

2 kg lamb
1 dl beans (pinto beans)
1 Onion
Chile Ancho
Chile Guajillo
Plenty of salt
Some pepper
Some oregano


Throw everything in a pot with enough water to barely cover everything and let it simmer with a lid on for at least 2.5 hours. Remove the lid towards the end to reduce the stew a bit.

You can remove some of the fat that comes to the surface as it is cooking. I didn't include measurements for the spices like the chilies and the garlic because it is really up to preference. I added half a head of garlic....but that might be too much for some.

The ingredients can be anything really. The point of a stew is to cook your choice of meat for a long time with any left overs you have in the fridge. For example, if you have some pork, you can simmer it with carrots, onions, garlic, maybe a little rice, or potatoes...

I like to let a stew like this cook in the background while I am watching a good movie. Yum.


Saturday, September 13, 2014

A Finished Infinity Scarf

I have at last finished the scarf. It is actually really nice and warm. I had worn it out for the first time at a company party that was located in a cabin in the wilderness. You'd be amazed how much heat escapes from your head and neck! This scarf was a real savior that night.

Now that I've finished this project, I am looking for inspiration for the next. My goal is to learn how to knit the heel of a sock, but I feel like I need someone to sit with me and teach me. I can't read knitting instructions partly because I knit differently and because I don't have the patience.

I recently did go to the shop to get this bag handle. I am not sure if I will buy actual fabric or if I will knit something amazing or maybe use a combination of both.

On a totally unrelated note. I got the chance to look at my Raimugido rye bread starter under the microscope. Wow.

What you see here is a dilution of the rye starter (1:20) that has been stained with methylene blue to assess the viability of the cells. Dead cells or cells that have a compromised metabolism turn blue.
The large round blobs are rye granules and the smaller round ones are yeast cells. This was seen under x40 magnification. Other cells I have seen (mainly ale yeast cells) are little bit larger than this. I think we can conclude that this starter is well, quite resilient.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Infinity Scarf + Fail

I have slowly been working on this infinity scarf. My goal is to make it really really thick and long. I want something chunky that can cover my head and neck.

I was actually really proud of this and looking forward to the finished product until I noticed my major fuck up this morning.

I have been knitting on the wrong side there and didn't notice since I did this the night before. Technically I can undo it but it's a bit time consuming and I am impatient. : D So I have decided to continue with my mistake and continue purling...I'll just pretend it's part of the design, right???right???

But anyway, this summer I also tried to grow some strawberries in a pot (yeah, you read right!). Check out the massive product...

More like a wild strawberry if you ask me. I already devoured it. It was everything I hoped it to be. I have another on the way. This has been my summer harvest.

And talking about food, I got a funny new kitchen tool:

Awwww yeah!

- Adriana

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Here I am.

Excuse my unannounced absence. To make long story short, back in February I basically got my dream job. I am now working for a certain brewery and have had the opportunity to learn a lot of new things. This includes brewing sake! The new job, however, required me to move to another city. The transition has been slow but things are now settling down and I have more time to keep this updated.

My new apartment is quite bigger than my previous one and now I have lots of empty walls that need a little personality. I got this painting from a work colleague. I am not quite sure if it is worth anything since I got it for free. BUT! I did google it and found that the painter (Burnett) apparently made many other similar paintings that have been sold for small fortunes. Question is, do I have a hidden treasure here?

 And here is a picture of my homebrew sake still fermenting. The process took about 45 days to complete but it was totally worth it. I mainly decided to learn how to brew sake since I've never had good sake until recently and because anything Japanese is quite interesting to me. I am quite fortunate that my workplace has a line of homebrew beer kits so I was able to get a lot of the equipment from there. Now that I have tested my recipe and it has been successful, I think there may be possibility to create a line of sake homebrew kits for anyone having the patience to brew it.

And, did I mention that undiluted sake can be about 18-20% alcohol?

If you guys are interested, perhaps I can make a picture tutorial.

Anyway, be patient with me. I will try to write more at least once a week.

- Adriana

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Knitted Sweater + Tips on how to knit a sweater that fits you

At last I have finished my first sweater. I started it sometime in the fall and finished it recently and I have to say I am pretty proud of it!

I didn't follow a specific pattern, I just altered it as I went a long and towards the end made my own design.

I started with the bottom part of the body. I spent quite a lot of time trying to figure out how big (wide) I should make it so that it would fit me. At first I considered buying an actual sweater pattern, but I gave up because I have a hard time understanding other people's knitting notation.

So I basically reverse engineered it - in a way:

1. I measured my waist (940 mm).
2. I measured the thickness of the string I wanted to use (2mm).
3. I measured the thickness of my needles (3 mm)

With those measurements, you can determine how wide one stitch is and from there you can determine how many stitches you need so that it fits your own body. Here is an illustration that might help:

So here I figured out that 134 stitches would properly go around my waist with the string and needles I was using. I obviously added a few more stitches so that I would have extra room (15 stitches more -- I would actually add more next time).

I then tried on the sweater at different stages to make sure I was liking the size. When I reached the bust area, I begun adding 1 stitch every 10 stitches just to give me extra room. So I continued knitting the body until I reached the armpit and then I followed the same logic to start the arms.

Here is what it looked like:

I also stopped knitting the arms when they reached my armpit. Once I finished what you see above, I put about 1/4 of the live arm stitches on a stitch holder (this is for the armpit). I put the same number of stitches aside on the body and then begun knitting the rest of the stitches into the body. You obviously need to equally space both arms.

I worked myself upwards and begun drastically decreasing stitches when I reached my shoulders. At this point you need to decide how high you want your neck to be and you need to leave a hole big enough for your head to fit in.

Lastly, you need to knit together the stitches you put aside for your armpit. Since you put the same amount of stitches on the arms and body aside, you should be able to easily knit those together.

And that is all. :D


Monday, January 13, 2014

Mulled Wine: What's in the Santa Maria Gløgg Spice Mix?

The best mulled wine I've ever had has been German. And that's probably because the German ones I've tried have been fruity but not too sweet. If I can't get a hold of German mulled wine and if I can be bothered to get all the spices, I prefer making my own. 

I saw this Santa Maria mulled wine spice mix at the Helsinki-Vantaa airport during the Christmas holiday (about 2 euros) and I was curious, so I got it! As shown in the picture, I was surprised to see the amount of ginger in the packet. The instructions say to use 1 l wine per bag plus some sugar, but I actually think this is good enough for only 1/2 a liter.

I used half of its contents to make two small cups and added a bit of cane sugar. It was excellent. I will definitely be reproducing the contents of this bag in the future.


Saturday, January 11, 2014

Making Näkkileipä with Rye Sourdough

I tried making the Finnish näkkileipä from my normal rye sour dough. I would say that they turned out great.

First I thinly spread the dough on a baking mat (you can do this with baking paper). Then using a spatula, I sliced everything into rectangles to make it easier to separate once it's baked.

Here is what they look like out of the oven. I baked these at 200 C for 30 minutes. Then I took them out, separated them and flipped them (so that their bottom is facing you) and placed them back in the oven for another 15 minutes.

Here is the end result along with some extra rye sour dough bread. Delicious!

- Adriana