Ooh, Shiny!

I shared some of these photos before but here’s a story behind them. Sea view is something that always caughts my eyes. Commuting to work I see the sunrise over the sea every morning and I never get bored to that. I have taken hundreds of similar photos of the sea from the same bus stop. I get excited about the sea and the sunrise, take photos and then realize that I have taken the same photos over and over again. ūüėÄ

Jotkut näistä kuvista jaoinkin jo aiemmin mutta nyt tulee myös stoori niiden takaa. Tykkään merestä. Jään aina tuijottamaan merinäköalaa, jos sellaisen huomaan. Työmatkallani ihailen merta ja vuodenajasta riippuen myös auringonnousua joka aamu enkä kyllästy siihen koskaan. Mulla on varmasti satoja samanlaisia kuvia siitä auringonnoususta siltä samalta bussipysäkiltä. Ensin mä innostun siitä, napsin kuvia ja hetken päästä tajuan, että mulla on jo niitä samoja kuvia vaikka kuinka paljon.

When I get to decide a place for a date night or a hangout with friends I always choose a place by the seaside.

Sillon kun on mun vuoro päättää paikka treffeille tai voin vaikuttaa ystävien illanviettopaikkaan, valitsen aina merenrantapaikan.

Little while back we had a date with my husband and I chose this place called Nokkalan Majakka in Espoo. First we had dinner and while we were finishing our drinks we saw a small ferry come to the pier. We asked if we could get to some island with the ferry but they said we would sure get to some island but he was going for his last circle around the islands so if we went to some island we wouldn’t get back.

Vähän aikaa sitten me oltiin miehen kanssa treffeillä Nokkalan Majakassa Espoossa. Ensin syötiin ja just kun oltiin lopettelemassa juomia, huomattiin että laituriin tuli sellainen pieni saaristovene. Me kysyttiin, että pääseekö sillä vielä jonnekin saareen ja saatiin vastaus, että pääsee toki mutta enää ei pääse pois, koska hän oli tekemässä viimeisen lenkkinsä.

Since it was a date, we were not busy and we had already had our dinner, so we hopped on to the ferry and got a sightseeing island tour for free. (Though that might have been an error)

Me oltiin treffeillä, joten kiirettä ei ollut, oltiin jo syöty, joten hyppäsimme lauttaan ja lähdimme saarikierrokselle. Se ei edes maksanut mitään. (Joskin siinä saattoi myös tapahtua virhe)

I love (and miss) that kind of small ex tempore things we used to do before kids. Here are some photos from our sightseen tour!

Mä niin tykkään (ja samalla ikävöin) tän tyyppisiä pieniä ex tempore juttuja, joita me tehtiin ennen lapsia usein. Tässä hieman kuvia meidän turistikierrokselta.

This is my take on to the weekly photo challenge.

Greetings! Terkuin

Mannamaria


Summer parties

This summer has been great. We have enjoyed it every day to the fullest. The weather has not been great every day but somehow we’ve managed to keep the atmosphere warm and happy. And luckily it hasn’t rained much. Maybe it’s the kids. They are always happy to play outside. No matter how the weather is.

Last week end we went to a birthday party. Little girl turned two years old. My son got to choose a present for her. We bought a firefighter’s helmet and a story book about rescue vehicles. ūüėÄ She loved them.

The party was beautiful. They had done well with decorations and catering. Our kids enjoyed it. And the birthday girl enjoyed it. The kids played well together.

No we are at the countryside but I’ll write you more about that later.

Have a lovely week!

Mannamaria

Rhubarb – opportunity or challenge?

This year the spring was so cold that the rhubarb stalks were ready for picking only last week. I made a big rhubarb pie with my favorite recipe and invited people for a coffee.


I love rhubarb pie. Rhubarb is the first thing to harvest from the garden in the spring and in a way it symbols the beginning of the summer, and garden work, for me. Reminds me that “hey, we’re growing here in the garden. Please remember to take care of us!”


This is only our second summer living in a house so gardening doesn’t come naturally to me. I really don’t have a green thumb. I’m trying but with twins I don’t have enough time to look after the garden. Maybe next year it will be better.

The only problem I have with rhubarb is that rhubarb pie is the only thing I can make of it. And I can’t make that many pies ’cause somebody has to eat them too.


We don’t use juices and rhubarb jam sounds peculiar. My mother-in-law recommended making a kissel but I’m not too excited about that either.


For one or two weeks I’m really excited about rhubarb but then I leave it to the corner of the garden to wait for the next summer. Poor little thing. It deserves better but I don’t know what to do with it.

Do you like rhubarb? What do you make of it?

Mannamaria

Starting The Baby Food Factory

The twins are 4 months old and it’s time to start thinking about solid food. With the older boy I waited until he was 6 months old but this time we’re ready earlier.

Stage 1 baby food is soft cooked and thinly puréed. This food is also lowest on the allergy scale and should be those veggies that are easiest digested by tiny tummies. You should start by introducing single ingredient at a time and 4 days apart with introducing new ingredients. (1)

This time I have started by making sweet potato and carrot pur√©es. The babies will start tasting with such small amounts that I froze these self made pur√©es as ice cubes. This way it’s easy to take one cube at a time and later I can mix and match different flavors.

Our girl is definitely ready for the pur√©es. She seems excited to see the spoon and opens her mouth nicely. She doesn’t seem to get any stomach problems and is as happy as a baby can be.

Our boy on the other hand has always had problems with eating and he has had quite much stomach problems. I’m not sure if trying some solids has made it worse or not but with him I’ll take it slower. Trying even smaller amounts first and introducing new ingredients slower.

Next I think that I’ll try avocado (not frozen obviously!). Then maybe some fruit.. plum? I’m glad the summer is ahead and we have lots of fresh veggies available and even more to come. ūüôā

Please share your tips and thoughts. ūüôā

Have a nice week end!

Mannamaria

Salt in Children’s Food

On the other day our nanny had cooked us some meals while looking after the twins. On her way out she said “by the way, I didn’t add any salt hence the boy can eat this. It’s not good for him to have salt in his food”. 

And she really hadn’t added salt or any other spices. In my opinion the food lacked flavor.

I’m not sure if it’s good for the boy though.

On the positive side there is no risk of him getting too much salt. I know that eating lots of salt is not good for anyone. Especially not for children. And if I don’t add salt to the food I cook he won’t get used to using it later in his life. Right?

While cooking I try to keep the risks in mind. Salt is one of the main reasons why I don’t give the boy french fries for example. 

But I also want to make good food and I don’t want to make different versions for the kids and for the parents. Or different dishes for them and for us. And I would like to make our everyday dinners nice experiences for everyone. I do believe that salt and other spices are part of good food and therefore this experience.

So I added a pinch of salt and pepper to the food that the nanny had made before serving it to the family. I wasn’t sure I did the right thing though.

What do you think? Can a 2-year-old eat the same food as adults? Do you use less salt when cooking for the family?

Mannamaria

Our favorite everyday food

Our most often made everyday¬†food is macaroni casserole. I think it’s probably the most often made food in any Finnish family. The boy loves it, it’s easy and fast to make and it’s cheap. The only problem I have with this dish is that it’s not very nutritious. I usually make a side salad with it.

The only thing that can go wrong with this dish is that you don’t add enough salt. Just remember to add salt and other spices and you have a perfect everyday food here.

Writing this post I looked for some help from food.com though the recipe itself is mine.

Ingredients:

1 onion
400 g ground beef
1 tbs oil (for frying)
400 g macaroni (uncooked)
7 dl milk
3 eggs
Spices (salt, pepper, herbs, nutmeg, curry, paprika, whatever you like)

Instructions

  1. Cook the macaroni. (remember to add enough salt to the boiling water)

  2. Heat oil in skillet and brown the ground beef with the chopped onion. Add spices that you like. I usually go with salt, black pepper and some dried herbs.

  3. Preheat oven to 200 c and grease an oven proof casserole dish.

  4. Add the macaroni and meat/onion mixture.

  5. Whisk together milk and eggs. Add spices that you like. I usually use salt, black pepper and curry. Pour this mixture over the macaroni and meat in the casserole. Bake in the preheated oven for approximately 40 minutes, or until the casserole is heated throughout.

Tips!

  • You can add grated cheddar cheese in the casserole before baking it if you like.
  • Sometimes I add grated carrot or chopped zucchini to the meat/onion mixture in skillet but that’s not the traditional way of doing this dish. It’s just my way of adding vegetables.
  • If it lacks taste add more salt and spices next time.
  • My grand mother adds small pieces of butter on top of this dish before putting it in the oven. That adds for taste but makes it less healthy.
  • Serve with ketchup.
  • Traditionally there is grated carrot as a side salad.

 

What we ate at the party

The week before the party was busy. We had invited only 20 guests but with the nanny we made two salmon quiches, spinach and feta quiche, quiche Lorraine, cinnamon rolls, two different kind of cookies and a layer cake. At the table we also had a sandwich cake that my sister made, brownies that my husband (!!) made, a mousse cake from a bakery and carelian pies with spread made of butter and hard boiled eggs.
We actually made two layer cakes but the other one is still in the freezer since we had toooo much everything to eat.
Here are some photos from the party!

Mannamaria