Best ways to use rhubarb

There are two ways to use rhubarb at least. The first way is to eat it but also when you want to give a useful bouquet.

We were going to visit out dear friend and I had nothing to bring her. I knew she would be pleased to receive something that she could use so I decided to go for this unique bouquet. A kale and rhubarb bouquet straight from our garden.

Underneath are the supplies I used to create this oh so very simple bouquet. Not much as you can see.

What you need
To make the kraft paper have more age to it, which I myself prefer, is to crumble it into a ball and open it up. This way you get that nice texture to the paper.

Rhubarb and kale

Then just open up the kraft paper and wrap it around the rhubarb and kale and add some string.

Rhubarb and kale bouquet

I also attached a rhubarb pie recipe to the string. At least according to me I think it is the best rhubarb pie I’ve eaten and therefore I thought it was a fun little thing to add to the bouquet and share.

Rhubarb and kale bouquet



This is from the summer when I first made this rhubarb pie and fell in love with it. You can use the same pie ingredients with other e.g. berry.

rhubarb pie

The best rhubarb recipe

28 cm large dish
2 eggs
2 dl sugar
1 dl milk
1 dl cream
150g butter
1 1/2 dl baking powder
3 1/2 dl flour

Filling:
1/2 liters peeled and chopped rhubarb
50g soft butter
1 dl sugar
1 dl flour

Preheat the oven to 200 celcius. Grease the round dish. Mix the eggs and sugar well. Add the milk, cream and melted butter. Mix the flour with the baking flour and add the mixture to the egg and sugar mixture. Mix so that the dough is smooth.
Pour the mixture into the dish. Spread the chopped rhubarb pieces onto the mixture. Pick the butter, sugar and flour into a crumble like mixture and sprinkle on top of the rhubarbs. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes.

You can serve the pie with ice cream, whipped cream or vanilla sauce.

Rhubarb pie

Enjoy as I always say.

– Alina

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Sold at the fair

Here some pictures of the jewelry that I sold last week Sunday at the fair. I had all sorts of jewelry but these ones that you’ll see here are the multi strand or one strand stone bracelets.

Braclelet

4mm red coral bracelet

Braclelet

4mm red coral bracelet

Braclelet

Amazonite with swarovski bracelet

Braclelet

Amazonite with swarovski bracelet

Braclelet

Labradorite stone necklace

Braclelet

Labradorite stone bracelet

Braclelet

Different jades and wood bead bracelet

Braclelet

Different jades and wood bead bracelet

Braclelet

Different jades and wood bead bracelet

Braclelet

Wooden bead bracelet

Braclelet

Wooden bead bracelet

Braclelet

Agate, amazonite, crystal quartz and turqoise bracelet

Braclelet

Crystal quartz and jade bracelet

Braclelet

Carnelian and crystal quartz bracelet

Braclelet

Fire agate stone bracelet

Braclelet

Fire agate stone bracelet

Braclelet

Freshwater pearl bracelet

Braclelet

Freshwater pearl bracelet

Braclelet

Agate and swarovski bracelet

Braclelet

Agate and swarovski bracelet

Braclelet

Fire agate stone bracelet

Braclelet

Fire agate stone bracelet

Braclelet

Jade, agate, wood and citrine bracelet

Braclelet

Jade, agate, wood and citrine bracelet

Braclelet

4mm pink dyed jade bracelet

Braclelet

4mm pink dyed jade bracelet

That’s it. I’ve got loads more but this would have just turn into a too long post. I’ll get the rest posted soon for you. I hope you have a lovey day!.

-Alina

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Tutorial: Make your own business cards

I attended a small fair last weekend in the country side to sell some of my jewelry. I tend to think a lot about how I display them and what else do I need then just a table, exchange money and the jewelry. Before I have ordered some business cards from Thailand but this year I noticed I was out of these cards.

Of course, I had no time to order any from anywhere and I wasn’t even sure I wanted to pay the price they ask here in Finland for them so I decided why not make them myself.

I gave my daughter some water color paper and told her to just go crazy with colors. First we wet the paper pieces and then colored them with watercolors. If you do this make sure that the paper is thick enough and don’t worry about the paper going all wavy. After the papers had dried I put them under a pile of books for a few days to straighten them out.

Make your own business card

After the papers had straightened out I cut the papers into business card size. I used these parameters:  86 mm x 54 mm.

Make your own business cardMake your own business card

The edges of the cards were a bit rough which did not matter to me. This was due to my cutter being a bit old but I actually did want some edge to the cards. It made them more interesting. Make your own business cardMake your own business card

After the cards were all cut out I went through my stamps to see if I had anything I could us. I ended picking out a rough circle that I thought went quite well with my logo here in the blog. I did a few tests first to see what I exactly wanted and I just ended up writing my name in the middle of the card. Note, I had to test several black pens that I had to see what worked best with the watercolor paper.

Make your own business card

Then the cards were ready. I also wrote in the back my blog’s address as well as my email if somebody wanted to contact me. Then the cards were ready to be slipped into the organza bags I had for the jewelry.

Make your own business cardMake your own business cardI just love the outcome and I do feel the represent me and my jewelry. This was an easy and quick way to get cheap but nice looking business cards.

-Alina

 

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Summer holiday

This is the first time in five years that I’m on my summer holiday. Before that I was just home with the kids but this year is different and I’m so much aware of the kids and how much they need time off without tight schedules and routines.

On thing that I have been concentrating on is my garden at the cottage. I have peas salads, spinach, dill, parsley, thyme, turnips, black root, beans, zucchinis and cucumbers etc. growing. I’m actually quite proud of it this year since I’ve been able to keep it clean from weeds.

My husband also built be some garden boxes into the city so I could have some fresh salad on the table everyday.

Otherwise it has been just blueberry and strawberry picking, summer evenings and nights, rain, driving around Finland, swimming, boat trips and laughing with friends. It was a wonderful holiday without any schedules and just spending time with my family. I added some picture from the summer to give you a glimps.

Garden box

Garden boxGarden GardenGardenGardenGarden

GardenMy own saladStrawberry pickingStrawberriesEating outsideBlueberry pickingTurnipsNew potatoes with dill and onion sproutsSummer evenings

Looking at these picture I did notice that I think we mainly concentrated on food. But how can you not, since it is the time of the year we get fresh ingredients straight from the ground. When you live in a country where you are at the mercy of the cold weather you do start appreciating what you can get during the summer.

I’ve got some fun things coming up tomorrow. Have a great Friday everyone

-Alina

 

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Tipping the Swiss roll

So I took a break from the blog….I was on my summer holiday and I decided to concentrate on it more then the screen of my computer. Work started this week after four wonderful holiday weeks and now the computers open again.

Eating good things during the summer is the best. Of course I mostly did munch on all things green that I have been able to find from my garden but occasionally I got a bit carried away and concentrated on the sweet side.

This lovely cake was the under dog or how do you say it. I was so surpirsed how good it was and I was told multiple times that it was one of the best cakes that I had made. I love the idea of it since it is actually a Swiss role but turned upside down and the surpirse comes when you cut into it. The layers are all flipped.

Cake

I used blueberries and blackberries that I had bought from the store as well as rhubarb from my garden. I cut the rhubarb approx. into 1- 2 cm pieces and boiled them in sugar water just enough for them to get soft. The rhubarb stems were young stem which means that you do not need to peel them and this way I was able to keep the redish color on them. I love the color combo going on. It suited the party we wee at since it was a cake for adults and not children. The dark blues, yellows and reds and the deep dark chocolate color do remind me of sophistication.

cake

Here you can see the layers going vertically and horizontally. How fun is that!

Cake

Swiss Role tipped recipe

CRUST
8 eggs
2 dl sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla sugar
1 1/2 dl dark cacao powder
1 dl cornstarch
1 dl white flour
2 teaspoons baking powder

IN ADDITION
approx. 1/2 dl sugar

FILLING
300 g room warm butter
4,5 dl powdered sugar
6 room warm egg yolks
1,5 tablespoons vanilla sugar
1 tablespoon lemon zest
2 tablespoons lemon juice

FROSTING
0,5 dl whipped cream
3 tablespoons powdered sugar

DECORATION
anything you want e.g. berries, fruits, candy etc.

1. Whip the eggs and the sugar into a light and airy foam (approx. 5 mins with mixer). Mix the dry ingredients and add them to the foam through a sieve. Mix quickly with a wooden fork.
2. Spread the dough on to two baking trays which have been covered with baking paper. Bake each individually for approx. 7 minutes.
3. Sprinkle sugar on two clean baking sheets. Flip the baked crusts on the sugar sprinkled sheets and remove the baking sheets that were in the oven. Spread towels (preferable light cotton towels) on top of the crusts and roll the lightly to cool down.
4. Make the filling. Mix the butter and the powdered sugar into a flexible mixture. add the egg yolks and the vanilla sugar. Mix into a fluffy and light mixture. Flavor the mixture with the lemon zest and the juice.
5. Open the crusts and clean the edges. Cut the two crust into even sizes.
6. Spread the filling on top of the crusts. Put all the cut out crust in one long line and start rolling. Do not worry about the crust being uneven or if it cracks.
7. Wrap the cake first tighly with baking paper and then in foil. Turn the roll on it’s side so that it looks like a cake now. Put it into the fridge to settle for at least an hour beforing serving.
8. Whip the cream and flavor with powdered sugar. Spread the cream on top of the cake. Decorate just before serving.CakeEnjoy!

I’ve got another version coming up of this cake soon. I can’t wait to start decorating it and to see how it turns out. And trust me this isn’t the only treat I got coming.

– Alina

 

 

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Lilacs – delicate richness around the corner

One of the wonderful moments of summer is that there are flowers all around. If it was possible I’d have fresh flowers on my table everyday but in the end that can end up being quite expensive. Luckly during the summer you can use the wilderness around us.

In the beginning of the summer the lilacs are in bloom. These beautiful flowers are one of my favorites and they can easily be found here. They are so popular that it can be found usually even growing wild.

Lilac Lilac

I picked up a whole branch of the lilacs on my way home from a bush that was growing wild next to our house.

LilacLilac

Oh I could so see these being used in a wedding as well. What and easy, cheap way to get fantastic looking flowers for a wedding. The color range is also great ranging from white to dark purple and pink. I used mostly wild flowers in my wedding and combined them with flowers that I bought from wholesale. Saved money by this way.

Lilac LilacBrighten up your weekend by taking a walk outside and finding beautiful flowers. No need for flower shops always.

– Alina

 

 

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Products products

So I’ve decided to take part in Sepänmäen museum market again this year in Hirvihaara, Mäntsälä. It was a fun market last year and the surroundings are lovely. Last year we had over 1300 people visit the market so it seems to be popular. So this of course means that I have to come up with something to sell once again.

I do have some ready already but I also want something new on the table. This year I will at least add these to the product list.

Leather braceletLeather bracelet Leather bracelet Leather bracelet Leather bracelet Leather bracelet Leather braceletLeather braceletLeather bracelet

These bracelets I have made using 3mm and 2mm leather cord and natural color. I prefer this leather the most since I love the natural feel of it. The cords that have been dyed are slippery and have a wax like feeling and look to them.

Leather bracelet

I will still make more of these. I’ll try to create some white and black ones as well.

– Alina

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Rich tomato soup

How can you brings some richness into soup without using cream? Easy, with dried bread.

We eat a lot of bread at home and sometimes breads just dry out and I really don’t want to throw them away. It hasn’t gone bad, just really dry. You could make bread crumbs from them but this time I decided to go for a soup.

Tomato soup

I let the bread soak in the tomato mash over night and in the morning it was all very easy to mash. I wanted to puree the soup so I also put it through a sieve to make it silky smooth. This takes a bit of time but I think it is worth it. I also added some herbs from the garden, salt, sugar and black pepper. I also cut up some chorizio and fried them on the pan until they were crispy. I loved the combo of the sweet tomato soup and the very salty chorizo.

Tomato soup

We had eaten some asparagus the day before and luckly we hadn’t been able eat them all. Asparagus time has now passed but with a bit of luck you might be able to still find some good ones.  Asparagus

 

Have great week everyone! Let’s see what’s next on the menu.

– Alina

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All it needs are stones

I won’t go into a speech about these necklaces since in all you need are the pictures really. I guess in this case you could say it is all about the stones. There are no special little details. Most stones by themselves are beautiful. No words needed.

So first we have is a faceted agate stone necklace with sterling silver.

Agate stone necklace Agate stone necklaceAgate stone necklace

 

This necklace consists of agate stone, carnelia and different colored jades.

Jade, carnelian and agate neckalceJade, carnelian and agate neckalce

This piece is created using faceted  14 mm dyed jade. The lock has also been handmade from 2 mm sterling silver wire.

Large faceted jade necklaceLarge faceted jade necklaceLarge faceted jade necklace

This necklace is made using ametrine stones which shift colors from dark purple to yellow. The charms are sterling silver.

Ametrine necklaceAmetrine necklaceAmetrine necklace

This necklace had been made from dark purple/red dyed jade. The stones are 10 mm and faceted. The findings are sterling silver.

Dyed jadeDyed jadeDyed jade

In this piece I used sterling silver and 10 mm crystal quartz. The large jump rings are handmade using 2 mm sterling silver.

Crystal quartz necklace Crystal quartz necklace Crystal quartz necklaceThat’s it for today. I actually got a lot done this weekend but this post would have just been too long . I’ll get them for you soon here. Have a great week.

– Alina

 

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Summer is close

Summer is around the corner. Some would probably say it is already here but I would say it isn’t warm enough yet. I did some gardening during the weekend and I planted some zucchinis, cucumbers, beans, salads etc. I don’t’ actually seem to remember what I put in the ground.

gardeningThe first plants that do delight us is my ultimate favorite is the rhubarb. Of course I could not keep my hands of it as the first stems started growing and I made a lovely pie from these. The pie consist of a cardamom  pastry cream like filling that was held together with gelatine. Oh so good!

Rhubarb pie

The great thing about making this sort of pie was that the only thing that you had to bake was the pie dough. I used a ready made dough so it was real quick and easy. After that I made the filling and put the rhubarb (that I had lightly cooked in sugar)
Rhubarb pie

Grilling also is a mandatory must when it comes to summer. It has been quite chilly as I said before but we decided to grill anyway. The chicken legs were grilled on a open fire which gave a lovely charcoal color to them and made then absolutely delicious. After taking them off the grill we addedWe also grilled some mushrooms that had a pesto and cream cheese filling and were wrapped in bacon stripes.

GrillingBut I’m off to the cottage again. Hope I can write soon. This is the busy season with all things ending before the holidays.

– Alina

 

 

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