uuni riisipuuro/ oven baked rice pudding

rice pudding

 

my family adores rice pudding. during the christmas holidays it’s a treat that we gobble up a lot of. it’s easy to make and for me always reminds of my childhood christmases back home in finland.

 

rice pudding 2

 

i got this recipe from a finnish blogger, hellapoliisi. it’s super easy, simple and delicious!

since the recipe and blog are in finnish i will translate… you need sticky rice, milk, salt and a titch of butter. preheat your oven to 350F. butter your oven safe dish, add 2 cups rice, 1 cup milk and a pinch of salt. let it bake for about 1.5 hrs. serve while hot with sugar and cinnamon sprinkled on top and a splash of milk. YUM!

i’ve also made yummy rice pudding in my crock pot. you can find that recipe HERE.

happy puddin’ eatin’!

xo, mama lola

christmas is all about love and family.

i realize this is a little late, but we’ve been on the go this past week with birthday celebrations and an adventure up north at the cottage for new years! we had a wonderful christmas. there were some unexpected twists and turns, forcing us to be flexible, testing our patience, but after all was said and done, it was  a wonderful christmas in the end. it was one that reminded all of us of what really matter in life, and how fortunate we all really are just because we live in canada. the 24th of december is traditionally when finnish families celebrate christmas. so, typically the boys, dear hubby and i head to my parent’s house for a beautiful christmas meal and evening. my mum decorates the house so nicely and she works hard to prepare traditional finnish foods for us to enjoy. it is very special. but, this year toronto and much of southern ontario was hit by a terrible ice storm. lots of people were without power for many days, my folks included. so, on christmas eve my parents drove about an hour to join us at out house. but, i didn’t have time to prepare much, because honestly we were all expecting the power to be restored more quickly than it was. this is where that flexibility and patience came into play; dear hubby baked some yummy treats and i made some quick appetizers with smoked salmon, baked a yummy gnocchi (recipe coming soon here) and we bought several delicious cheese; it wasn’t the kind of christmas meal my mum would make.

DSC_0222b DSC_0226b we started the evening with a glöggi toast cheering our family and health. we ate, while my parents shared stories of christmases from their childhood, which the kids were fascinated by. then, it was time to open gifts. oh, the kids had fun, fun, FUN! at the end of our evening it was clear that christmas is really all about love, family and being together.  even though our plans were quite different, unexpected and even stressful leading up to christmas eve, we all still had lots to be thankful for. we had each other, we were safe, we had resources to get food, to drive and shelter (even if it was cold for some). eventually my parents layered up and headed back to their freezing house, deciding not to stay with us, as they had stayed with friends the night previous. they were worried about the house as a city owned tree was dropping branches right on their property. but, even though christmas wasn’t what we had wanted or planned, we were all grateful to be together and share in a warm, loving evening together.

DSC_0234b the 25th we spent together as a family of four. we went tobogganing with neighbourhood friends to test out the fancy snow runner the kids received from joulupukki (santa claus). it was a quiet day of fun, games and love. again, reminding me of the meaning of chistmas for our family. spending time together as foursome, without any distractions or obligations, was truly special. then, on the evening of the 25th my mum phoned to say their power had been restored and we all hooted and cheered! it was a small, belated, christmas miracle!

on the 26th we headed to see dear hubby’s family. first we had a small tea party with his folks. we used dear hubby’s grandmother’s fancy tea cups, which was fun and special. we opened gifts and had a chance to play before heading to visit with extended family.

DSC_0285b i’m not sure why, but i didn’t really take many pictures this christmas. i was more focused on being involved in all the special moments, i suppose. sometimes i feel like an outsider when i end up taking pictures from the periphery.

i hope you had a wonderful holiday with your family, celebrating whatever traditions matter to you.

i will share some wonderful pictures from our time up north soon!

xo, mama lola

december, the christmas month.

december

in finnish december is joulukuu, which when translated means christmas month.

and, at our house it sure is.

TERVETULOA JOULUKUU. WELCOME DECEMBER.

the advent calender has been hung up in our living room with great anticipation to see whether or not joulutonttu, the christmas elf, will leave any little surprises for the boys. joulutonttu is very discreet and the kids have never seen him. but, joulutonttu peeks in through the windows and from around corners to see how we’re all behaving, reporting back to his boss, joulupukki. speaking of him, the kids wrote letters to joulupukki with random wishes; bear asked for a hamster (as if) and 3 surprises (that’s easy). and, lion asked for a doll (again, easy).

dear hubby loves to bake during the holidays and after scouring pinterest he has bookmarked several yummy cookie recipes. this weekend he has been busy in the kitchen making lists, checking ingredients and just being darn cute.

we have been enjoying christmas music, as well. thanks to sirius radio, with it’s variety of different channels of holiday music.

and, then today joulu radio started in finland. i have been sitting, listening, feeling incredibly nostalgic for a finnish christmas.

it’ hard to sing along with this big ol’ lump in my throat.

logo_jouluradio

christmas is a very special time in finland. it is not as commercial or based in consumerism, the way it is here in north america. there are traditions that are deep rooted in many families and i will write more about those later this month.

are you excited for december?

what are some of your holiday traditions this time of year?

xo, mama lola

korvapuusti or finnish cinnamon bun recipe!

korvapuusti, finnish baking
mmm…
korvapuusti, finnish baking recipe, cinnamon buns

i’ve shared our korvapuusti recipe before. the name korvapuusti is finnish for “slapped ear” based on the appearance of the bun. they are a common treat in finnish cafe’s and homes. they are simple to make, with most of the time spent waiting for the dough to rise.

this summer these treats became a camping tip hit in our family. DH would bake them before a camping getaway, and then we would enjoy them during our cool summer mornings at camp.

INGREDIENTS:

DOUGH:
1 package active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water
2 cups scalded whole milk
3/4 cup sugar
11/2 tsp salt
6-7 cups flour
1/2 cup butter

INSIDE FILLING:
1/2 cup cinnamon sugar

GLAZE:
1 egg *since we are an egg free family, we use coffee or a milk/ butter combo

INSTRUCTIONS:
– dissolve the yeast in the water and add the milk, sugar, salt, and half of the flour. mix vigorously for one minute.
– stir in butter and enough of the remaining flour to make a stiff dough.
– knead until smooth, about 10 minutes
– place dough in greased bowl and let rise in a warm location until size has doubled. may take up to 2-3 hours depending on current temperature.
– pre-heat oven to 375 F
– roll out half the dough into a 12 by 18 inch rectangle. spread with butter (DH melts butter and brushes it on) and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.
– roll rectangle firmly into a log roll. cut roll diagonally to make triangular:ish pieces and press down on centre of each korvapuusti spreading out the cut ends.
– glaze each korvapuusti. place rolls onto greased baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes or until golden.
– do the same with the other half of the dough.

korvapuusti, finnish baked goods, baking recipe
korvapuusti, finnish baked treats, cinnamon buns

 

korvapuusti resepti, finnish recipe

my mouth is watering just looking at these pictures!
these are perfect school lunches too!
YUM!

xo, mama lola

finnish pulla recipe!

today i am sharing a recipe from my motherland, finland. pulla is a traditional, popular coffee bread enjoyed by everyone. it’s the kind of food my mummo always had on hand to offer people when they came for a visit. 

we make pulla for all the major holidays. it’s a special treat and something yummy we love to enjoy!

the original recipe is from “the finnish cookbook” by beatrice a. ojakangas, but we make a few modifications to suit our own taste and fit our allergy needs.

INGREDIENTS:

1 package active yeast
1/2 cup warm water
2 cups milk
1 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
7-8 cardamom pods or 1 tsp ground cardamom
4 eggs (or egg substitute)
8 cups flour
1/2 cup melted butter

glaze:
1 egg beaten
1/2 sliced almonds
1/2 cup coarse granulated sugar

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. dissolve the yeast in warm water. stir in milk, sugar, salt, cardamom eggs and 2 cups of flour to make a batter. beat until the batter is smooth and elastic. then add 3 more cups of flour, ensuring the dough remains smooth and glossy.

2. add melted butter and the remaining flour stir until a stiff dough forms.

3. place the dough on a lightly floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes.  once the dough is smooth, place it into a greased mixing bowl, turning it over once to grease the top. let the dough rise in a warm place for about 1 hour (doubled in bulk). then, punch the dough down and let sit for another 30 minutes.

4. preheat the oven to 400F. lightly flour a board or your flat work surface and divide the dough into three even sections. roll out each section until about 16 inches long, and then braid the three sections together. pinch both ends and tuck under. let sit and rise a little longer, approx. 20 minutes.

5. glaze the braids with your beaten egg mixture. add almonds and sugar as desired. bake for about 25-30 minutes on a lightly greased baking sheet. ensure they don’t get overcooked as they will dry out. remove from oven when braids are golden brown.

6. serves 3 braids. slice and serve with a fresh cuppa coffee!


enjoy!

xo, mama lola

joulu!

wishing everyone a happy holidays!
we are in the midst of our christmas celebrations. last night with my folks, tonight at home, tomorrow with dear hubby’s family. so far santa has been very impressed with the kids and they have received lots of wonderful new toys and books and things!

here are a few pictures from our jouluaatto with my parents. it is tradition in finland to celebrate x-mas on the 24th, so we always enjoy a beautiful meal prepared by my mom. after dinner santa comes and while i was growing up he actually came into our living room and i would sing or dance for him. he then passed out our gifts. for our boys, we always seem to just miss joulupukki, he knocks on the door or window, but by the time we get there he’s gone. luckily however, he has left gifts under the tree for us!

tonight we are all heading to bed early, so that we can celebrate lots tomorrow!
g’night!

xo, mama lola
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