Cooking inspiration

I’ve loved cooking and baking ever since I was a child. When I was still living with my parents baking was more my thing even though I occasionally made dinner for the whole family. These days baking has taken more of a backseat, mainly because me and hubby are not big fans of desserts of baked goods so I only bake when we have guests of for special occasions. I also love cookbooks and would call myself a collector. I have an entire bookshelf dedicated to cookbooks. I have tried to cut down on buying cookbooks lately as I tend to use the Internet to find recipes and inspiration instead of actual books.

I love looking for new recipes to try out, especially during the weekends but also have certain favorites that are repeated in my repertoire. Weekdays tend to be a bit of a different story even though I do try to mix it up every now and then but there are times when I find no inspiration and resort to convenience food like frozen pizza or frozen fries. As hubby doesn’t cook I am responsible for all food-prep in our home. This is not a problem as I do love cooking but sometimes it does feel like a chore, especially when I lack inspiration. However, as we are a two adult household I am lucky in that if I don’t feel like cooking we can have, for example, potato chips or ice cream for dinner.

In addition to my cookbook collection and a couple of food magazines I subscribe to, my biggest source for inspiration is the Internet. As I mentioned in a previous post I am an avid Pinterest user and my biggest boards definitely concern food. Here are some weekday favorites I have found on Pinterest. Pictures from Pinterest.

Honey Sriracha Chicken
BLT Pasta
Chickpea Greek Salad

There are some recipe sites I use regularly: valio.fi, soppa365.fi, tasteline.com, allrecipes.com and foodnetwork.com. I also use Google a lot when I have an idea of what I want to make but need a recipe to give me a more precise idea. I tend not to follow a recipe literally but use it more as a basis for developing my own version, except when I am baking. Also when I try something for the first time I tend to follow the recipe more closely and then when I’ve eaten it for the first time I get ideas of how I could develop it. But one thing I always do, especially with Finnish recipes, is add spices as many recipes tend to be quite bland.

Seafood weekend

Just like so many other that work during the week and have the weekends off I tend to try out new recipes and spend more time cooking on weekends. One great source of recipes is Pinterest which I use almost daily. This weekend we had nice warm and sunny weather in Finland so I decided to opt for something relatively light for dinner. On Saturday I tried something new and made Cilantro-lime grilled tuna with avocado cucumber salsa and on Sunday I opted for a perpetual favorite, Caesar salad with crayfish.
On Saturday we kicked off dinner with our current favorite aperitif ¬ a short G&T made with Tanqueray Rangpur and Fever Tree Elderflower tonic water. For one drink we mix 2 cl of gin with half a bottle (100 ml) of the tonic, add a strip of lime peel and a couple of ice cubes. Very refreshing.


The recipe for the tuna came from here. I followed the recipe to the T except that as we do not have a grill I fried the tuna steaks in a griddle pan which worked out fine. I also made a double serving of the salsa as it sounded so delicious and it certainly was.

Salsa in the making
Tuna steak with avocado cucumber salsa

For the Caesar salad on Sunday I simply placed some romaine salad on a large plate, added crayfish, homemade croutons and parmesan shavings. I always make the dressing myself as it is infinitely better than the store-bought variates available here.

This is the recipe I use for the dressing:

2 small or 1 large egg yolk
1-2 tbsp lemon juice
3-4 anchovy fillets
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 garlic clove minced
around 1 dl olive oil
black pepper to taste

Put the egg yolks, lemon juice, cut up anchovy fillets, mustard and minced garlic clove in a blender (you can also use a mixer or similar), mix until even and then add the oil in small batches until the dressing emulsifies (thickens). Add black pepper.

I also felt a craving for strawberries this weekend, so on Sunday we had strawberries with chocolate and vanilla pudding for dessert.