Look what the boot dragged in

Ever since I found out I should try and use woolly socks in boots that have the tendency to destroy my feet, I’ve been looking forward to cold enough a weather to start breaking in my brand-new jungle boots and older-but-hardly-used combat boots.

It is slowly getting there but I couldn’t wait anymore. Hello, darlings:

Combat boot

Steel capped boots, for combatting... people who try to cut me in line?

(It’s the same pair of socks as in the photo of my jungle boots. I have a ton — or at least a couple of kilos — of woolly socks and I don’t even like blue, but those seem a good thickness. I will have to experiment.)

The boots are lovely but man, the amount of stuff they accumulate! Gravel, leaves, plums… When I got home today I noticed a twig roughly the size of a pinkie sticking out.


Loot of the day

What’s next? Dead squirrels?

Green goodness

What did you eat this weekend?

Apparently, all I ate was a bowl of appetizer soup…

Pea soup

Pea soup and a blob of wrong ingredient

I didn’t know it was filed under appetizers! I ate it with good appetite, though, and a slice of bread.

Here are the ingredients:

  • 0.7 litres of water (about 3 cups (US))
  • Something to make vegetable stock out of that scant 3 cups of water. The original recipe calls for 1 portion of vegetable Fond “du Chef” from Knorr — I used that since we have those in the store but I’m sure anything to season the water would work. The product itself suggests using one portion for 0.5 dl liquid so this needed to be slightly more diluted than usual.
  • 600 grams of frozen peas (I bet fresh would do, but you’d have to cook for less time I think)
  • 2.5 decilitre of Crème fraiche (garlic and herb flavour)
  • 1-2 teaspoons wasabi paste

Boil water and the vegetable stock ingredient of your choice. Add peas and cook for 5-8 minutes until soft. Purée with a stick mixer.
Mix in fraiche and wasabi paste. Bring to boil and you’re done! If you’re feeling fancy, you could add croutons. I had some bread instead.

Actually, I didn’t use fraiche since I didn’t know what I was looking for. I looked for the stuff (“Creme Bonjour Cuisine”) in the cheese section because I’ve used their cream cheese in cooking before. And since I didn’t find the “Cuisine” part nor the “garlic and herb” part, I picked up a package of plain garlic cream cheese. I didn’t realise I was supposed to look in the cream/milk section… Anyway, I’m sure there are puréed soup recipes with cream cheese, so I don’t think it was such a bad mistake. (Once again I reminded myself to check the unknown ingredients before heading for the store. I could live without another spinach macaroni casserole fiasco.) It didn’t ruin the soup and I’m happy with that.

Next time — which there will be, I’m sure — I’ll use the correct ingredient. And probably add a bit more wasabi. Don’t know if the cream cheese made it milder but 2 teaspoons wasn’t strong enough in my opinion. Fresh peas are so sweet.

(The original recipe, in Finnish. There’s a comment, “this can’t be good.” I personally think it was…)



First proper snow this winter

Not saying it’s still looking like that…

(It snowed in the middle of October but that was nothing more than a little powder on the grass.)

Experimental kitchen

Mum often makes this chicken dish with blue cheese and peaches (and then something on the side, e.g. French fries). I thought, what would it taste like if I “lunchified” it. One of my favourite types of lunch is casserole (easy oven dish and makes many portions), and I’d just found a good recipe for macaroni casserole. Now I thought I could try it with the chicken dish ingredients. My sister looked at me funny when I told her that idea.

It doesn’t hurt to try, does it? What’s the worst thing that could happen? I go one day without lunch, no biggie. :D

The ingredients in this experiment:
300 grams chicken (cut into strips)
200 grams pasta (I had yummy oat pasta)
about 70 grams blue cheese, crumbled
canned peaches, drained and cubed (I used three halves which was about 150 grams. I could’ve used all four but I wanted one to eat plain…)

3-4 dl milk
2 eggs

Cook pasta according to instructions (maybe more on the al dente side since it’ll cook further in the oven). While it’s cooking, heat some oil in a pan and cook the chicken. I put some marjoram in the oil first; just wanted to see what that does.
Once the chicken is cooked, add some spices (I put white pepper and salt – I don’t know what would be “correct”).
Mix chicken and cooked pasta in a deep oven pan. Add crumbled cheese and peach cubes. Mix.

Whisk 2 eggs in 3 dl of milk, and pour into the pan. It should almost cover the top of the mixture. I found 3 dl to be too little so I poured more milk in, but the 2 eggs may not be able to solidify all that liquid. We’ll see! (I don’t like the taste of eggs so I didn’t want to use too many of them.)

Some people like to put cheese on top but I didn’t put any because there already was blue cheese.

Cook in 200°C. After 30 minutes, check if the bottom of the mixture has browned at all. If not, switch oven to heat from below only, and cook until the bottom of the mixture has got some nice colour (which isn’t white) — about 15-25 minutes.

Macaroni casserole

Chicken, blue cheese, and peach dish a la Minna

The blue cheese didn’t taste very strong but other than that, it wasn’t too bad. :) The 2 eggs were enough, but I’d be tempted to season the egg-milk mixture somehow. The first time I tried the original recipe (in Finnish), I used melty cheese and dry onion soup mix in addition to the original ingredients (suggested in the comments), and I really liked the strong seasoning. This time the eggs were a bit too obvious.

The combination of chicken and peach was quite nice. I suppose pineapple would be a more common fruit with chicken but I’ve never liked it much.