Chocolate Snowballs Recipe

Today I had a huge craving for something sweet, so I made some Chocolate Snowballs – an easy treat that you can freeze, is a favourite with kids and a no bake. In Finland, this recipe is a very traditional sweet and often the first thing that a child learns how to make in the kitchen, since they’re super easy, hardly any ingredients, no knives involved and no stoves or ovens! I remember learning how to make this at about five years old and I still make them – over 20 years later. We often have Chocolate Snowballs at children’s parties or on Saturdays – that are the Swedish and Finnish day when children can have sweets after dinner.

The Snowballs are also very easy to make vegan or gluten free. For vegan – use vegan or milk free butter. For gluten free – use gluten free oats. I always use the darkest cocoa powder that I can find, since it brings a deeper flavour and makes it a bit less sweet and sugary.

 

Ingredients;

300gr butter

3dcl sugar

6 tablespoons of cocoa powder

8dcl oats

4 tablespoons of water

2.5dcl (1 cup) shredded coconut

 

How to make them;

  1. Combine the sugar and the butter to a dough. The sugar and butter should be well combined and smooth. Use your hands for this.
  2. Add the cocoa powder, oats and the water and combine with your hands. Make sure that everything is an even dough and that there aren’t any specks of sugary butter left.
  3. Grab 2 flat plates. On one of them, add the shredded coconut and put the other one on the right hand side of the coconut plate.
  4. Roll little balls of the mix to smooth balls and the roll them in the coconut. Place the Snowballs on the empty plate.
  5. Once you’re done, put the Chocolate Snowballs in the fridge for a couple of hours to firm up and set.
  6. Enjoy!

11 ways to flavour your water

Drinking water is not only very healthy, it’s often the only drink a person with limited means can afford to drink at mealtime. But, at least how I see it, simply drinking tap water can become boring after a while. Adding some natural flavour, that are cheap and without added sugar, can really help you get enough fluid and make the water taste nice.

  1. Lemon and cucumber – a few thin slices each in a jug of water adds a really light and tasty flavour. Plus, lemon aids your digestive system!
  2. Cucumber – adding just some slices of cucumber makes the water taste fresh and makes you feel refreshed.
  3. Strawberries – if you’re looking for a sweet and hint of tart, then strawberries are the way to go. No sugar, just the natural sweetness of the berries. Tip! Freeze the berries before putting them in the jug – that cools the water and releases the flavour over a longer period of time.
  4. Watermelon – buy a whole melon when it’s on sale and add a few chunks of the melon in to the jug.
  5. Green apples – gives a sour and refreshing taste to water. Combine with lemon and it’s twice as nice!
  6. Watermelon and lemon – gives a sweet yet sour flavour to your table water.
  7. Ice tea – all you need is cold tea with a bit of sugar and some extra flavouring. Add a couple of slices of lemon and a teaspoon of sugar while you warm the water and boil for a few minutes before adding the tea. Let it soak until it’s strong and cool it. It’s a lot cheaper to make your own ice tea than buying it.
  8. Ginger and cucumber – if you’re in for something strong, feel a bit under the weather or just enjoy a strong taste to your water, then ginger is for you. Plus, ginger is full of antioxidants and aids metabolism.
  9. Red berries – strawberries, blueberries (technically a blue one, but eh) and raspberries. The easiest way to combine these are to buy them frozen in a premix – it’s also better for your wallet. Fresh fruits are expensive, I’m afraid, unless you’ve got a supply of your own.
  10. Oranges – Sweet and a bit sour, depending on what kind you’ve got and how ripe they are.
  11. Pears – can be anything from sweet to sour depending on what kind it is and how ripe they are. This one’s worth pairing up with something like green apples or watermelon.

 

Enjoy these tips and be sure to try out your own combinations to find your favvourites! Please, share your combinations for a chance to be added to the list.

Bread / Baguette recipe

This is literally one of the easiest ways to make baguettes at home, that won’t cost a small fortune (and is superhard to make). You only need a few basic ingredients to make this tasty bread.

 

Ingredients:

5dl water

2tbsp olive oil

13dl flour

2tsp salt

1 pack dry yeast

(1 egg) optional

 

Instructions:

  1. Heat the olive oil and water to 37 degrees Celsius on the stove
  2. Mix the hot water with the yeast to start up the yeast. Mix it in a large bowl or a kitchen aid.
  3. Mix in the rest of the ingredients well for at least 5 minutes in the kitchen aid. It shouldn’t stick to your fingers when you handle it.
  4. Take it out of the kitchen aid and put the dough on a table, sprinkled with a little flour.
  5. Knead the dough for a few minutes more and add some more flour if needed.
  6. Put it back in the bowl, cover it with a baking towel and set it to rise for 60min. Don’t leave it too cold, or the yeast will die. The same thing applies if the opposite happens!
  7. Heave the dough back on a floured table and cut it into 4 equally big pieces and form them into breads/baguettes. Do NOT knead the dough at this stage!
  8. Put them on two baking trays, layered with oven paper. Sprinkle some flour on the bread and put baking towels over. Let rise for 30min
  9. Preheat the oven to 275 degrees Celsius while the bread is rising.
  10. If you want you can brush the bread with the whisked egg, and then grind over some sea salt. It’s optional but adds some flavour.
  11. Bake the bread in the middle of the oven, one tray at the time, for 15 minutes.
  12. Let them cool on a cutting board, or something else – but not the baking tray.
  13. Eat fresh and freeze the bread that won’t be used right away.

Lasagna

A lot of people think that lasagna is a fancy, difficult and most of all: expensive dish to make. With proper planning it doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive at all, it will, however, be a bit time consuming – but it will be well worth it in the end! If you buy the ingredients while they’re on sale and/or with coupons, and adjust the vegetables in in to what’s cheap and in season, it will be a cheap but fancy meal.

 

Ingredients:

Minced meat sauce:

 

500gr minced meat

2-3tbsp flour/thickening

2 cubes of meat stock

2 cans of diced tomatoes or tomato sauce

2 tsp black pepper

0.5dcl tomato paste

1-2tbsp soy sauce

1 can of water (use the tomato can)

2 onions

1tbsp paprika powder

1tbsp oregano

4 cloves of garlic

 

Cheese sauce:

1 litre of milk or cream

3tbsps butter

3tbsps flour/thickening

300gr shredded cheese

Salt, pepper

 

1-2 packs of lasagna noodles

150gr shredded cheese (to go on top of the lasagna)

 

Recipe:

  1. Start preheating the oven to about 200C
  2. Peel and chop the onions finely
  3. Heat a frying pan until very hot and put in the butter.
  4. When the butter has stopped sizzling, put in the chopped onions and cook them until they’ve got a golden colour.
  5. Put in the minced meat and brown it with the onions. Separate and chop up the meat until its fine and make sure it’s not pink.
  6. Coat it with the thickening and stir it in
  7. Add the rest of the ingredients for the Bolognese sauce and stir well!
  8. Let it simmer for at least 15 minutes to get the flavours out and then put it aside to cool while you make the cheese sauce.
  9. Melt the butter for the cheese sauce, on a hot stove, and put in the flour or thickening. Stir well, there shouldn’t be any lumps. I always use a whisker when I make the cheese sauce.
  10. Gradually add the milk or cream and mix until it has thickened and then add more until it’s all in there.
  11. Pull the sauce pan from the heat and carefully fold the grated cheese in to the sauce, until it has melted completely.
  12. DO NOT put the cheese sauce back on the stove after you’ve put the cheese in, it’ll make it chewy and stringy.
  13. Put out lasagna noodles at the bottom of the lasagna dish. Then put a layer of the minced meat sauce & a layer of the cheese sauce in there.
  14. Putin another layer of lasagna noodles and repeat until there’s no more sauce
  15. There should be cheese sauce on top.
  16. Spread the shredded cheese on top.
  17. Cover the dish in tin foil and make sure it’s wrapped tight over the top.
  18. Bake it in the oven for 45 minutes on 200 Celsius.
  19. Turn the heat down to 175 Celsius and let it be in there for another 20 – 30 minutes.

 

Serve on its own or with a light, fresh salad. Enjoy!

Lasagna boats

Lasagna boats is a recipe that I’ve developed on my own, since I wanted an easier way to eat lasagna and combine it with another food I really enjoy: tacos. Basically you can go either way with this: the usual lasagna or a taco lasagna. The only difference is the seasoning, they’re both cooked and served in stuff n’ stands. This recipe is with meat, but you can easily change the meat for Quorn or any other meat substitute of your choice. Also, I’ve made the cheese sauce from scratch, but you can use canned béchamel sauce or cheese sauce too. If meat is expensive where you live it’s very easy to use a smaller amount and instead use more beans and shredded carrots as a filler. The boats can easily be frozen in containers until you need them and can be frozen at least three months. I can get about 15 lasagna boats from the recipe, depending on how thin I make the Bolognese and cheese sauces.

This recipe is perfect for kids and kids parties too.

Ingredients:

 

Bolognese sauce:

450 grams minced meat

2 onions

3 cloves of garlic

1-2 cans of baked beans

2 packs of taco seasoning

Thickening

1-2 can(s) of water (use the baked beans can)

1 cube of meat stock

1 tablespoon of soy sauce

Salt, pepper

Butter or oil to fry in

 

Cheese sauce:

1 litre of milk or cream

Thickening

Butter

300 grams of grated cheese

 

2 packs of stuff n’ stand

1 pack of lasagna noodles

Grated cheese for decoration

 

Recipe:

  1. Start preheating the oven to about 200C
  2. Peel and chop the onions finely
  3. Heat a frying pan until very hot and put in the butter.
  4. When the butter has stopped sizzling, put in the chopped onions and cook them until they’ve got a golden colour.
  5. Put in the minced meat and brown it with the onions. Separate and chop up the meat until it’s fine and make sure it’s not pink.
  6. Coat it with the thickening and stir it in
  7. Add the rest of the ingredients for the Bolognese sauce and stir well!
  8. Let it simmer for at least 15 minutes to get the flavours out and then put it aside to cool while you make the cheese sauce.
  9. Melt the butter for the cheese sauce, on a hot stove, and put in the flour or thickening. Stir well, there shouldn’t be any lumps. I always use a whisker when I make the cheese sauce.
  10. Gradually add the milk or cream and mix until it has thickened and then add more until it’s all in there.
  11. Pull the sauce pan from the heat and carefully fold the grated cheese in to the sauce, until it has melted completely.
  12. DO NOT put the cheese sauce back on the stove after you’ve put the cheese in, it’ll make it chewy and stringy.
  13. Put out the stand n’ stuffs on a baking tray and assemble the boats just like you would with regular lasagna
    1. Break up the lasagna noodles and put a few pieces at the bottom, just so it covers it fairly evenly
    2. Put in a thin layer of the Bolognese sauce and then some cheese sauce.
    3. Repeat step A & B until it’s full.
    4. There should be cheese sauce on the top
    5. Add some grated cheese of your choice on top (I recommend parmesan, but whatever you have available is fine).
    6. Repeat this with the rest of the boats
  14. Bake them in the oven for about 30-40 minutes in the lower part of the oven.

 

Serve on its own or with a light, fresh salad. Enjoy!

 

Rice patties recipe

This is one of my absolute favorite recipes and my best friend always makes me cook this when we meet! It’s a vegetarian rice beef that works well on its own, as a hamburger patty, with meat or with a hearty salad. This recipe make at least six beefs/patties, depending on how big you make them. 

To make them fancier and as a buffet dish – use a round gingerbread mold and make round discs and then bread them with panko crumbs before frying them in butter.
Ingredients:

3 dl uncooked Jasmine rice

7 dl water or vegetable stock

1-2 cubes of vegetable stock

300 gr grated cheese

1.5 dl bread crumbs 

1 egg

Butter or oil to fry in


Instructions:

1. Bring the water to a boil with the vegetable stock cube(s) in and stir to mix it.

2. Put the rice and and boil on low, with a lid on, until it’s done.

3. While the rice is boiling: combine the cheese and bread crumbs in a large bowl and mix them together lightly.

4. When the rice is cooked – add it to the bowl of cheese and bread crumbs along with the egg. Add some more salt if necessary and combine well while it’s hot. It should be smooth and evenly mixed.

5. Let it rest for 5-10 minutes just to let it combine and the bread crumbs expand.

6. Form patties in whatever size you want.

7. Heat up the pan until hot and fry the patties until they’re golden brown.
Serve and enjoy!