Ha ha! For those of us not quite fluent in Finnish, korvapuusti are Finnish pastries. The translation is “slapped ears”. Don’t ask…all I know that I absolutely love these beauties. I have them every time I am in Finland and on occasion I actually bake them! (oooooooohh, aaaaaaahhh)
These are similar in taste (to me) to a cinnamon bun, if a cinnamon bun sprayed itself with with cardamom perfume 🙂 Cardamom is not an ingredient I had used previously, or even heard of if I am truthful. But, when getting recipes (and eating treats) from my aunt in-law, this seems to be an ingredient used in a lot of Finnish baking. It is a spice that has an almost licorice taste to me. Google says that it has a complex aroma with a piney, fruity and almost menthol-like flavor. Just a little is needed as it can overpower if used in large quantities.
Recipe from the Spruce Eats is a really good one. This one is in English as the aunt’s is in Finnish 🙂
Now, mind you the korvapuusti traditionally does NOT have the above cinnamon bun shape. They have a more triangular shape. Mine look more like cinnamon rolls. But they sure did taste good, no matter the shape. I baked one good choice here let me tell you 🙂
I started this blog (and my other one) as a way to just put my random thoughts down. Not believing that anyone will read them or comment on them. Much less “like” them. As of today I am up to 31 followers and some “likes”. This got me to thinking…..why do I check the stats every day, sometimes more than once a day? I check my emails to see if anyone else has followed me or has liked what I had to say. I wonder if this has now become my focus, more than what I had originally had planned for this adventure to be.
Let’s be honest, how many blogs and articles do you actually read? Actually like? I know for a fact, sad but true, I like some articles simply because I liked the thumbnail or the picture that came up on my feed. I sometimes don’t even open the article, I just hit that “like” button and away I go to the next one, liking all the way. More or less hoping that the authors of those liked articles will now reciprocate and like mine right back.
Is this what I have been reduced to? Likes and comments? I really think about what I am writing and put my heart and soul into my blogs, and I am quite sure every other author and blogger does the same. So, isn’t it highly disrespectful of me to just like your article and not even give you the courtesy of reading it?
From this moment on I hereby make a promise to myself that I will not “like” any article or blog or even a picture, unless I take the actual time to appreciate the effort and hard work, sweat and love that a person puts into it. To show true appreciation and liking by clicking that little button, which will let the author know that I really appreciate their thoughts and work. I will not be just another statistic, another “like”. I will be what I started out to be, a true human being that aims to be positive and contribute something of worth, even if it is a little “like” 🙂
Today I was sending a message to my friend who I had not heard from in a super long time and I was getting her up to speed on what I had been doing since last we met. Funny thing is, as I mentioned when I started baking it took me back to the exact date and how this love affair with baking all started.
I had taken temporary leave from my job and I was (as expected and predicted) pretty bored. I had begun researching and cooking recipes I found online, on cooking shows, in books…you name it I tried to cook it. Then one day I was in the grocery store and I saw these cookie cutters. There were hanging near to the flours and chocolate chips in the baking aisle and my mom thought they were cute and bought them for me. Maybe I could do some sugar cookies, she thought. I bought icing in a tube and thought no more of it.
That night, I looked at the recipe on Google and went with that. Baked and decorated my first batch of Christmas cookies. Let me tell you…..I was SOOOOOO proud of my cookies! Nobody had better, they were simply too cute to eat. I could not believe that I had created edible art. It was a masterpiece you could eat! Mind you, they looked incredibly amateurish and for sure this was someone’s first time every touching a baking sheet and dough. But man! I was intensely proud. I immediately took a picture and sent it to my sister.
This was at the end of November 2016. By Christmas, thanks to my sister and her amazing social media and people skills, I had a full on cookie operation going. Orders that kept me up till the wee hours of the morning. To ‘relax’ I used to bake cakes 🙂 I used to scoff when I heard people use that tired, over-used phrase “passionate about baking”. But I am telling you after that wake up, eye opening, ahhhhhhhh moment, I was hooked. I cannot get enough of baking. I would wake up and immediately think of what I was going to bake today. My family obviously are my guinea pigs, and most times my harshest critics.
My husband, bless him, puts on at least 2 kilos when we are on vacation. It is his duty and responsibility to consume full-sized cakes, numerous pastries and countless cookies. I really have to learn how to halve recipes if for nothing else but his waistline! Good thing he loves to go to the gym:) Baking Good Choices has evolved over time, I actually started as Yummy Crumbles and have changed over the years. I long to be back in the kitchen baking away. It is totally my Zen place and where I find peace and utter joy. I wish you all a bakealicious day and continue to bake good choices!
Sort of a joy, sort of a chore (for some, definitely NOT me)! I love, love, love shopping for baking supplies. I could look at cookie cutters, spatulas, baking sheets and measuring spoons all day long. Looking up reviews, what is the best cookie cutter? Metal or plastic? Baking pans? Measuring cups? The list literally goes on and on. As with most everyone, the first place I turn to is Amazon. Amazon is one of my happy places. Bored? Amazon, Happy? Amazon. Sad? Amazon. Stuck in traffic? Amazon. Waiting in a line? YUP….Amazon!
*Focus* Anyway, I am also part of lots of cake and cookie decorating groups and somebody always has some awesome piece of equipment or a technique that requires an awesome piece of equipment. I am always looking for ways to better my cookies and cakes and also to keep up with trends while still trying to make my own mark. My own brand. Baking supplies tend to be expensive if you go for the good stuff. But you spend and it lasts you. That is the philosophy I try to follow, but sometimes (most times) I am all about quantity and not necessarily quality. Sometimes you can get away with it, but sometimes you wish that you had listened to the voice in your head and splurged the extra $5 and gotten the better pans. Oh well, live and learn.
The world of baking is one lots and lots and LOTS of people find extreme peace and joy in. It is hard work, but oh is it rewarding! When you mix the ingredients and follow a recipe or experiment and see what comes out of the oven….almost nothing like that feeling of pride. You almost have to be a baker to understand what I am talking about. And by baker I don’t necessarily mean baking by profession. I mean if you bake anything, for money or love or both, you, in my opinion, are a baker. What are the best baking supplies though? Depending on what you are baking, there are tons of advice and information out there. There are sites I follow, one is Handle the Heat. Tessa Arias gives such great tips and advices on cookies, brownies, cakes, you name it. But also what I love is that she gives the science behind the baking. To me that is important to know to some degree. To know what more flour would do, or why to use butter and not oil.
On my ultimate wish list is a professional KitchenAid mixer. I think everyone should have one. I am pretty sure there are other amazing brands out there as well, but I grew up knowing about KitchenAid and that my goal. To have one of my very own one day. Oh, the treats that would come from that wonderful machine…….I would prefer in a baby pink colour, but any colour would do to be honest. As long as it is a professional 7 quart 🙂
There is such a wide wonderous world of baking and cooking supplies out there. So many mixer attachments, so little time 🙂 Have a great day everyone and bake good choices today.
Yes! Finally, let’s talk about some baking 🙂 A good if not excellent choice always when it comes to baking is cookies! From sugar cookies to chocolate chip. Chocolate or peanut butter crunch. Complex or simple, cookies are simply always a good choice when it comes to baking. Whether you have them with milk, coffee, water or wine, a cookie always seems to hit the spot.
In some countries cookies tend to be known as biscuits, I use both terminologies, but I guess, a chocolate chip biscuit just does not have the same “ring” you know? But anyway, I tend to scour the internet for the recipe. The one, that will yield the magical OMG moment when you take the first bite. Depending on what you are looking for in a cookie could determine what type of recipe and method you would prefer. For example, when it comes to chocolate chip cookies, there is a plethora of opinions on that topic. Chewy, soft, crunchy, gooey? Loads of chips or just a hint? Large or mini? With a sprinkling of salt or none? Chocolate chunks or just chips? Personally, it depends on my mood I suppose. I generally like, crunchy on the outside with kind of soft, chewy, gooey goodness at the centre.
There are some very good recipes out there and I think I still stop scrolling whenever I see yet another recipe pop up on my feed, but there are some go-to ones that I depend on as they are tried and true and come from bakers I admire and trust. There is Tessa Arias from Handle the Heat. Her Bakery Style Chocolate Chip cookies are out of this world and I love that she pairs simply great recipes with the science of baking. So I know WHY I am adding baking powder and not baking soda. Why you should chill your dough overnight, even though I want cookies RIGHT NOW!
Another type of cookie I love is the simple roll out cookie. These are what plays a major part of my life. I love to decorate cookies and for a while I made and sold decorated cookies (that’s another story for another day). But another well known cookier that do not spread is Georganne Bell or Lilaloa.com. To me, it is very important especially when doing cookie shapes that they remain the shape I cut them, so it is recognizable as well as gives an amazing decorated cookie. She has two recipes that are also keepers for me. The one linked below is a vanilla and there is another is chocolate….OBVS!
Amber Spiegel from SweetAmbs.com has an amazing royal icing recipe as well as her vanilla cookie. There are sooo many recipes out there and obviously you can’t try all. I mean it would be a lovely experiment but not very practical I think 🙂 Let’s not even get started on cakes and pastries. The world of baking is just so infinitely large that even if you just sample a small bite, it will make your day that much sweeter. Find your recipe and bake good choices today and always!
Funny that the title of this blog is called Baking Good Choices and looking at my posts, not very much so far is about actual baking. One very simple reason is that I am not doing any baking right now, but trust me, I am researching lots and loads of recipes and techniques for baking and cooking. Sooo looking forward to being in the kitchen again, making a mess and maybe what would turn out to be some good choices 🙂
Today I was chatting with someone and, while I am certainly not an expert in the field or on the topic, it seems to be me that mental health and well being is becoming a more and more prevalent topic in these times. Maybe it is due to the pandemic and the various effects that it is having on us. Some of us are handling it beautifully, like just another day and carrying on with our lives, while others are having a really hard time getting a handle on what is happening.
I like to think I am handling the changes and turmoil relatively well. I am worried about almost everything. My job, my bills, getting home, seeing my loved ones, travel. On and on the list goes, but it is not debilitating. I worry about these things to what I deem to be a normal degree. Like I would have worried back in the beginning of 2019. I am one of the “lucky” ones, I think. I count my multiple blessings daily, hourly, by the minute, because I know I am one of the exceptions.
There are people out there, close to me, that are having a real struggle just going about their daily lives and I am not sure quite how to help. I don’t want to be one those that think ” aww, just shake it off” is the solution. I am aware that this is real. The struggle is real and we can no longer just sweep it away and wish the person would just get up and shake it off. But how do we help? What is the correct thing to say? To advise? Every case is unique and all need different approaches I believe.
But when it is someone close to you, it gets that much more personal doesn’t it? You want to do something, anything to make things better, but when you don’t quite know how what do you do? I am trying to be as supportive as I can, but how do I even know that this is the type of support that is needed? I truly believe that now more than ever, if we need help we should definitely reach out and get that help. Don’t sit and hope that the issues will go away, we must all be in this together, we must be each other’s keeper and look out for one another. Mental health and well being is so important, especially now. Be there for one another. Bake some good choices 🙂
Or at sea, or across lots and lots of miles of land and ocean. Happy Valentine’s day to you. Today is a day all about love, hearts, chocolates and flowers. I am not able to be with my loved ones except via social media at this time, and I am guessing some if not most of people are in the same boat. This has been a strange year, continuing from the last one, but it gives us all a chance to reflect on many things. And today I choose to reflect on one of the greatest loves of my life.
I miss my mother. It’s been almost a year since last I was at home and a lot has changed in that year. But the one constant has been my mummy. I do miss her so very much. It’s amazing how much our relationship has changed over the years. I remember being a rebellious teenager and I don’t know when the dynamic changed to her being my best friend. When I am at home, we do everything together. One of our favorite pastimes is going to the grocery. May sound very weird to most people, but we love it. We even have the groceries mapped out and what we get in each. She is the most amazing and genuine woman I have ever known and everyday I try to be just a little more like her. Her love and kindness. Her belief that there is good in everyone, even if you have to dig a little deeper to find it in some more than others. Her deepest wish for her family is that we all find peace with each other.
She possesses a kind of innocence that I love. It’s almost child-like. When I chat with her there is ALWAYS a smile on her face, it’s like just me talking to her makes her so happy. It makes my heart full. I truly, truly love that woman with a depth and breadth that I cannot describe. Although I will never have the joy of knowing what it is like to be a mother, I can only hope and pray that I may be as loving and as amazingly beautiful a person as my one and only. My mother.
Happy Valentine’s day Mummy, I love you more than you know.
Back when I can remember and people would ask me what is your favorite color, it was never, EVER what it is today. Blue, black, purple, never any bright colors. Until one day, and I must add rather recently, it became PINK. I don’t know how and I don’t know when, it just…was.
It may have started off with rose gold and then morphed into a mix of lilac, lavender and baby pink. I shop for stuff now and some of it I must admit is purely based on the deliciousness of the pinkness of the item. I would actually put in “pink …..” in the search bar. I would have never taken myself for a pink person. AT ALL!
I like to collect. Which in and of itself is not strange, but one of the many items I collect are mugs, but specific types of mugs, they must have something about them that draws them to me. Big, cozy comfort mugs, that you can wrap your hands around and blow on the steam as it rises from the hot drink inside. Cute, quirky ones, ones with meaningful or not so meaningful sayings written on them.
There’s also glasses, reading glasses. I don’t need a strong prescription, so I can pick up glasses anywhere, and I do. Then there are the pen collection and the watches and the back-packs. Then factor in that most of these have some shade of pink. Going through the security check in the airport one day a lady behind me actually commented that I must “like” pink as everything that I was putting through the scanner had some type of pink hue. We are talking iPad, Kindle, laptop case, hand carry, back pack, hoodie and even my sneakers were pink. Imagine the color of my cheeks after she mentioned that:)
Thing is, I still don’t think of myself in terms of pink, more of a neutral girl really. But it kind of reflects my personality I think. I don’t really like to stand out or shine above others, I don’t like to shout out or announce my presence. I am not a fuchsia person, more of a hint of pink. I like quiet time and hiding away in quiet nooks reading my pink Kindle.
Will the color change in time? Will I learn to love green? Probably not. But I have noticed that as I move along in life a lot of things have changed since I was younger. I never like oatmeal, now I look up oatmeal recipes for hot and cold oats, cookies, overnight oats, granola. Love, love oatmeal. Coffee and hot drinks in general…could not stand them, now? Cannot seem to start my day without a cup of hot liquid. Hence, the fascination with mugs. And pink….who woulda thunk it? But pink seems to be my happy place for now.
I love me some waffles. Sometimes onboard we do a show of appreciation for the crew members and we make waffles. There are different toppings of course. Ice creams, whipped cream, chocolate sauce, nuts, caramel.
I love mine plain. Hot, a little more brown than others like. Looks like it spent too much time on the beach under the noon sun. Juuust this side of crispy. Yummers!
I sometimes have a waffle and pancake morning when I am at home. Blueberries are the fave add in although, bananas come in a close second. And trust me, even cold pancakes and waffles make an excellent walking around snack.
Not a pro by any means, and I don’t really have a family held secret recipe (although I am working on one). I do love me some waffles. No waffling about on that one.
So, I am still not able to go home. Sounds strange? Well, due to the ongoing, everchanging nature of the pandemic my home country still has not opened the borders. Which mean I am still not able to go home.
In the beginning I didn’t look at this in a positive light as I was thinking of all the things that I could be doing if I was home. But now, I choose to look at it as all the things I am doing now that I would not do if I was home.
Gigabytes of pictures of sunsets. Trying to find an interesting angle on a coffee cup that will make an excellent picture. Reading books, learning to knit and bullet journaling.
But I have to say the one thing I do miss about being home, besides being home is baking. That, I can’t do where I am. So, instead I scour the internet for recipes and save videos and make promises to myself that that will be the first thing I create when I get home.
I am content to some degree as I have realised no amount of shaking my fists at the sky will change things. I continue to find recipes and cookie decorating techniques and videos and hopefully one day soon I will be home, baking good choices.