Friday, August 28, 2015

INSTAGRAM FOOD PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP BY PHONE

THAT'S DELICIOUS!

iPhone pic collage by Kreetta Järvenpää www.gretchengretchen.com

First time ever I will be teaching with talented cook Meri-Tuuli Lindström a food photography workshop by phone. Yes, you heard right - we are photographing food by phone. 

This workshop is part of Helsinki Design Week 2015. It will happen on Saturday 12.9. On the same day we have open studios and exhibition in our workspace Työhuone ovi 10. You can find us from HDW programme here.

This year's Helsinki Design Week theme is Time Machine. In our food photography workshop we are going back in history for quite a few decades to 1950's and 1920's. We annouced the workshop some days ago and it's already full. We decided to have 10 people in maximum.

But if you think it would be nice experience, please write me an e-mail to kreetta.jarvenpaa@gmail.com and let's see if we have a chance to arrange another one in near future. You can find my Instagram feed here.


Have a lovely weekend!

xoxo
Kreetta

Sunday, August 16, 2015

SWEET PERFECT BLUEBERRY

GLUTEN AND DAIRY FREE BLUEBERRY CAKE

gluten and dairy free blueberry cake photo by Kreetta Järvenpää www.gretchengretchen.com

In my dreams we live in such climate that there are fresh berries and fruits all year round. Well we don't. But at least we have few weeks berry season and for example we can go to forest and pick some blueberries. This year there are a lot of them. They are very healthy and the taste is perfect. We want to save a lot of blueberries in freezer to enjoy their taste during  dark winter mornings.

gluten and dairy free blueberry cake photo by Kreetta Järvenpää www.gretchengretchen.com

This cake is totally gluten and dairy free. The izing on the cake is made of coconut cream and icing sugar. I wrote recipes for you but if you have read any of my recipes, you know I make things a bit more about than exact. Of course baking is much more precise combared to cooking.


SPONGE CAKE BASE

3 eggs
1 dl sugar (plentiful) 
1 dl potato starch
almost 1 tsp baking powder


Whip the eggs and sugar until the dough is fluffy and light. Add carefully dry ingredients. Bake in oven in 225 C degreees about 12-18 min. You can use baking sheet paper that it is very easy to remove the ready cake base from the baking dish.

MERINGUE

2 egg white
1 dl sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp plain vinegar
1 tsp potato starch

Whip egg whites and sugar until they are stiff and glossy. Mix other ingredients carefully. Spread meringue dough on the baking sheet paper in shape you want. Bake in 120-100 C degrees about 1 hour. Baking time depends on how thick the meringue is. I had very thin so the time was about 1 hour. If you want to leave your meringue soft inside it means less baking time. Why I use potato starch and vinegar is because the meringue will not be too hard and it will split nicely with spoon.

SUGAR IZING

Ingredients are coconut cream and izing sugar. It depends on how much you need it but I begun with 1/2 dl coconut cream and started adding the izing sugar until the mix was nicely firm.

SOYA CREAM

I used almost ready soya cream from the shop. It takes only few minutes to whip the cream. I added some sugar and vanilla extract to achieve nicer taste.


gluten and dairy free blueberry cake photo by Kreetta Järvenpää www.gretchengretchen.com

BUILDING A CAKE

I moist the cake base with water. Cake will be too sweet if you use juice etc. But maybe a drop or two of rosewater won't do any harm. 

I used soya cream and fresh blueberries inside the cake. I decorated the cake with coconut izing sugar mix. If you want to have really sweet cake you can use the mix more inside the cake. I put the meringue top on the cake. Finally I decorated the cake with fresh blueberries and lemon balm leaves. I put the cake to fridge expecially because of the sugar izing. Give a bit time to the cake that it will have more balanced taste. 

I already miss the summer and all the fresh fruits, vegetables, berries you can have then. That's why I've been planning to make some preservation in old-fashioned way. I'll get back to it later this autumn.

xoxo
Kreetta

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

COOLING WATERMELON CAKES

TINY CAKES FOR SUMMER PARTY


We love cakes! Today we celebrate Lab Noon's birthday party with having a link party. Congrats Lab Noon! There might be best cake ever! You can find all the other great celebrating food blogs in the end of this post. There is also a giveaway in Lab Noon's blog.

But now I want to tell you about my cake! I love summer and I love to enjoy summer days as much as possible in the garden. Summer is so short here in Scandinavia that you really have to try enjoy every bit of it. So it is a very good idea to have a nice garden party. Parties are always something that you need to work a little bit. If you have garden party then you really have to decide what works there for example on a very warm summer day. 

And yes, I have the coolest - the coolest ever - cake for you. Cute tiny watermelon cake. It is fresh and delicious and very simple to make. It's almost only a watermelon you need.


TINY WATERMELON CAKES

watermelon

fresh berries

mint or lemon balm

cream (i used coconut cream but you can choose your favorite cream)
 
other things like vanilla extract, rose water, candy, chocolate, fruits you want to use in decorating the tiny cakes.

HOW-TO

Find a glass that has straight edges or other enough sharp cylinder shaped item. You can also use professional cutters, then cutting is really easy. I had a bit decorated glass but it worked just fine. You just have to be a bit careful.

Cut the watermelon. Cut it for the height you want your tiny cake to be. After that you can push the glass to the watermelon. After you have made a circle there, you can also use knife to cut the watermelon. But with glass you get nice round shaped ones that are pretty as they are. You can do it quite slowly that the piece of watermelon doesn't stuck in the glass. I have to admit it was quite fun :) You really should not use design glass like this but you get nice pic though, haha! The glass is by Iittala and the designer is Oiva Toikka. He is now 84 years old. Very famous designer in Finland.


Why I used the glass because it was just right size with my tiny ceramic cake holders. I have made them from paper clay. I've been waiting a chance to use them as a photo prop and now I could. When I was making them in ceramic course people were a bit amused by them. "Where do you use them?" they asked me. They said they liked them but couldn't imagine the purpose. Can you? You can use them with small cakes, pastries like macarones and muffins. You can also have your ring and earrings there on your nightstand ;) As you see very useful.

As we are talking about watermelon we know how wet it is, so when you are cutting the cakes, you can dry them a bit with paper towel. Save them in cool place before serving. 

Don't they look adorable? There are possibilites to take this idea even more further. You can also have a DIY cake garden party. Everybody can decorate their own cakes or maybe even make the whole thing. That would be great fun! 

So let's have a party! This post is one of Lab Noon's virtual birthday party. There are several nice recipes for you to enjoy. So please go through the links below and find your favorite cake!

LAB NOON'S VIRTUAL BIRTHDAY PARTY LINK LOVE

Twigg Studios 
Hortus Cuisine
Foodistan 
Cocinayletras 
Celeste Cucina 
Foolproof Living 
mykitchenkiosk 
Gourmet Project 
La Panificatrice Folle
Vermilion Roots 
Persian Foodie
 
You can also win very nice giveaway by leaving a comment on Lab Noon's post. Shipping is only available in Europe.

What do you think - are you going to make some watermelon cakes? You can always make a one big if you aren't a friend of tiny little things...

xoxo
Kreetta


Thursday, June 25, 2015

DESSERT HEAVEN

GLUTEN AND DAIRY FREE CRÈME BRÛLÉE AND MERINGUE  

dairy free crème brûlée photo by Kreetta Järvenpää www.gretchengretchen.com
Desserts are always the issue when you have certain food diet. Expecially gluten and dairy free makes it a bit more difficult and if you don't eat chocolate. Like me. I tell you about two desserts I truly can eat. A lot. These two are good choises if you want to have some delicious sweet after a good dinner if you need to have gluten and dairy free desserts. Actually you can resolve two days dessert with these recipes. The best thing is that you can use the whole egg - egg yolk to crème brûlée and egg white to meringue. Because we all know how easily one of those stays in fridge and only way they can go after some time is compost. 

I found great recipe for coconut crème brûlée from Fvonf blog and the recipe is by Sabine Hueck. I changed the recipe a bit with changing the normal cream to oat cream and voila, there you go - dairy free dessert. You can find the Sabine's recipe here. I made my version just changing the cream to oat cream. It's not so difficult as I remebered. Not at all. You can also make them day before and then just make the final preparation before serving. A good party tip.

meringue with berries photo by Kreetta Järvenpää www.gretchengretchen.com
What about meringue? I love Pavlova cake. I guess it is quite popular during the summer because then we have so many great fresh berries and fruits and Pavlova is just the right place for those beauties. Some lemon balm is always a good idea too or mint. In my dairy free version I don't have cream. But if I would - I would have coconut cream.

For this size cake you see in pic you need

1,5-2dl sugar
3 egg whites
1 tsp potato flour
1 tsp vinegar 
a bit rose water
some bourbon vanilla powder 
fresh berries like cherry and strawberry

How-to-bake

Beat room temp egg whites and sugar until they are firm foam. If you turn your bowl upside down it should stay there - not on the floor. Add other ingredients. Spread to baking paper in shapes you like. Bake in oven in temperature 100-120 C 1,5-2 hours. The time depends on how soft you want the inside to be.

In between two meringue you can put fresh berries like on top of it. My absolute favorite is cherry and then starwberries, blueberries, rasberries...the list is endless ;)

Delicious.

xoxo
Kreetta

Sunday, June 14, 2015

FLOWER CHANDELIER DIY

MAKE A BEAUTIFUL PARTY DECORATION

flower chandelier DIY of lilacs photo by Kreetta Järvenpää www.gretchengretchen.com
New summer is here. There are flowers everywhere. I truly have waited for this. Let's make something very beautiful! But before that I tell you a bit how I got this DIY idea. For sometime now I've been following in instagram one talented lady Juliane who makes #onebouquetperday - Fröken Skicklig. 

flower chandelier DIY photo by Kreetta Järvenpää www.gretchengretchen.com

Once again she makes her sweet and delicate bouquets. Everyday there is a new one and so many different kind of flowers. She made a challenge in IG to join her and I decided to take the challenge and begun my #oneflowerchandelierperday for one week. But I thought I want to make also a blog post for you to enjoy. So here comes my flower chandelier DIY.

flower chandelier DIY photo by Kreetta Järvenpää www.gretchengretchen.com




You need:

unadorned lampshade, size is up to you like amount of them
flowers
string/thread/thin iron wire
scissors
clear floral plastic water tubes for flowers/floral foam if you choose to use them

Thursday, June 4, 2015

WHEN I PAINT - I'M FREE

COLOR IS MY POWER

Neiti Hattara painting by Kreetta Järvenpää www.gretchengretchen.com
neiti Hattara 2015 (acrylic/145cm x 110cm)
Welcome to exhibition! These are my paintings from autumn 2014 to spring 2015. We made a group exhibition called VÄRIVOIMAA! with our painting class and the exhibition just ended in Herttoniemi sairaala. I decided to show you some of my work because I've been talking about it here in my blog quite a lot. So here we go! The first one is called neiti Hattara (ms Cotton candy, 2015) 

Korento painting by Kreetta Järvenpää www.gretchengretchen.com
Korento 2015 (acrylic/mixed media/65cm x 63cm)
I have found painting very relaxing and powerful source of strong positive impact. I started about three years ago and before that I thought I couldn't do it. I'm not talented enough. Well some might still think so but I don't. I can and I've noticed that my life is more fullfilled now than before painting.

Hanami painting by Kreetta Järvenpää www.gretchengretchen.com
Hanami 2015 (acrylic/87cm x 68cm)

Hanami is my favorite and it will be on our living room's wall. It took 2 years before it was  ready. It is the longest time I've painted one work. There are many different kind of layers. 

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