Tuesday, September 24, 2013


  I´m a newbie to sushi. It has never been appealing to me for two reasons: nori seaweed and fish. But these mouthfuls I just tried don´t have either, and are really uplifting and energizing, not to mention tasty:

Thin slices of zucchini wrapped around veggies and a thick, creamy dill sauce! Dip them in soy sauce and you´re in heaven...

  The recipe (for two):

dill cream:
5 dl soaked sunflower seeds (soak 4-8 hours)
a handful of fresh dill (adjust the amount to your liking)
a little water

1 zucchini
2 carrots
50 g alfalfa sprouts
1 fermented cucumber

to serve:
soy sauce

+ Place the sunflower seeds in a food processor and run until finely ground. Add the dill and enough water to make a paste-like sauce.
  Slice the zucchini with a cheese slicer and cut the carrots and fermented cucumber into matchsticks.
  On a slice of zucchini, spread some dill sauce, add some carrots, sprouts, and cucumber. Roll up and dip in soy sauce when eating.

  I had no idea that raw food could be this versatile!

Monday, September 23, 2013


  It is time for bumblebees to give it in for winter, but I still managed to catch these on camera:

This is probably the last one I will see this fall. It was already moving quite slowly, so I took advantage of the situation by snapping a good close up.

After a while it got company! Aren´t they just beautiful?

  Fall is taking over, it is enevitable. After all, it is past autumn equinox already. It just feels difficult to understand, because due to my raw food experiment I still have a lot of energy to buzz around. That energy usually fades as days grow shorter, but apparently this Mabon it is different. I can but consider it a good thing, since I still have quite a bit of yard work to do before frost is allowed in our premises... =)

Thursday, September 19, 2013


  Dessert is the most important meal of the day for me, the highlight.
  I know I can not give up sweet delights, so I´m learning to make raw desserts now. With all natural and unprocessed ingredients, to replace my usual sugar-loaded ones. Sounds impossible, but definitely worth a try. And I must say that this pie, although it is totally healthy and good for me, is a real treat!

Sweet raspberry filling in a soft and creamy cashew crust... Heavenly.

This is my own variation of the peppermint pie I had the other day. Both are soo delicious, and very satisfying.

The recipe (for one):

the crust:
1 dl cashews
1 Tbsp shredded coconut
1 dl dried cranberries, soaked to reconstitute
a pinch of salt
(a few drops of honey)

the filling:
1 1/2 bananas
1 dl raspberries
1 Tbsp shredded coconut

+ Run the cashews in a food processer until turned into a fine powder. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well. Add a little soaking water from the cranberries if otherwise too crumbly. Place in a serving dish ( like a small pie tin) and press to form the crust.
  Process all the filling ingredients in the food processor until nice and smooth. Pour over the crust.

  I love to eat my pies with a 1/2 liter jug of warm green tea. Many health gurus advice not to drink while you eat, but my stomach likes a big cup of tea or water along with my meal. We´re all different and need to listen to our own bodies, our temples.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013


  Breakfast "porridge" made entirely of fruit and veggies makes me feel good and energetic. Unlike I imagined, it is not too light a meal. The key is to add something more heavy in it too, like banana or avocado, besides the usual apple and celery.
  This porridge does the trick for me:

Mild and yummy green porridge. Eating my greens as a porridge, instead of the usual smoothie, feels more satisfying. I do have green tea on the side too, to rehydrate me after the night´s sleep.

So smooth... Spinach breaks down very well in a blender, but other greens are just as good. Actually it is important to use different types of greens for variety, not stick with just one or two.

The recipe (for one):

1 pear
70 grams spinach
half an avocado

+ First blend the spinach and some water in a blender until the spinach dissolves. Then add the pear and avocado. Give it a whizz, adding water if desired.
  So simple, so soft and healthy.

  Have an energetic super-day!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013


  It is now 10.15pm and I´m still stuffed from the raw peppermint pie I had for dessert five hours ago! This pie is soooo filling and satisfying, not to mention yummy. My new favorite!

100% healthy!

The recipe (5 portions):

5 dl almonds
1 dl shredded coconut
10 dates
pinch of salt

6 bananas
1 dl shredded coconut
1/2 tsp ground vanilla
5 drops essential peppermint oil

+ Process the almonds in a food processor until turned into a fine powder. Add the coconut, dates, and salt and process until well mixed. (I added a little water to make it more dough-like.) Press into a pie tin.
  Process the ingredients of the filling until creamy. Spread over the crust.
  (The original recipe from Erica Palmcrantz Aziz´s book called for frozen bananas, which would make it ice-cream like. But I prefer room temperature and made it with ordinary bananas.)

  I ate a quarter of the pie, and it was more than enough, even for me.  =)
  Apparently my sweet tooth can be quenched with something other than pure sugar. What a lovely surprise!

Monday, September 16, 2013


  Past weekend I went swimming for the last time this year. The sea water is getting so cold that I have no business in it anymore. No doubt my husband and son will continue for who knows how long, but this is it for me.

Yes, I know... What a wuss, wearing a wetsuit! But I swear, without it I would not have been able to swim much at all this summer. I can´t force myself into the water if the temperature is below 20 Celsius (68 Fahrenheit). Thank goodness for technology these days!

Never before have I gone swimming this late in the fall (nore have I owned this wetsuit either...). So this is a big deal for me, honestly.

Freezing, freezing...

But I did it! Yey! Well done me!

  Now the summer is officially over. It will take another long, cold, and dark winter before I can even start dream about swimming again. Some people go and keep swimming in natural waters throughout the winter, even cut holes to the ice to get in it, but that´s not for me baby. I´m more about comfort and relaxing. Let that start right now!

Thursday, September 12, 2013


  I like to think that raw equals fresh. Who wouldn´t prefer fresh? It is always the best. And fresh this lunch is!

Inspired by Erica Palmcranz Aziz, I eat a big salad for lunch every day. The base is always a pile of green leaves, which I like to strip thinly. Another staple of mine is fermented cucumbers, which is a newcomer in my diet. Up until now the only fermented product I ever tried was sauerkraut, many different kinds, and for some reason it is so repulsive to me that I gag. But these cucumbers are from another planet. I´ve grown a little addiction to them actually. Having a varied salad for lunch every day is totally handy. I can throw in any veggies, or even some fruit, I have in the house, and therefore hardly anything is wasted! Like today I baked scones to my kids and their friends. I added peeled and grated zucchini into the dough to make the scones more juicy, and was left with a pile of zucchini peels. Well, into my salad they all went without trouble!  How cool is that?

Today´s salad was made of lettuce, tomato, cucumber, zucchini peels, papaya, fermented cucumber, and arame seaweed. On top I always add a rich dressing to combine the flavours. The dressings vary from day to day.

  The recipe for the salad dressing:

3/4 dl sunflower seeds
1-2 dl water
1/2 - 1 dl fresh herb(s)
a pinch of salt
1/2 avocado

+ Run the sunflower seeds in a food processor until finely ground. Add water, herbs, and salt. Process until smooth and the consistency as thick or runny as you like. Add the avocado. Process one last time.
  Pour over the salad, give it a mix, and eat it all!

The original recipe for this dressing (called the coriander dressing) is from Erica´s book. It called for lemon juice and coriander, neither of which I used. I did not have coriander ( I used basil ), and I´ve decided to omit lemon and lime juice. They make my teeth erode more, which according to my dentist, they have done quite a bit already. (Maybe I´ve eaten too much in my life  =).

  So far this dive into raw foods has been a pleasant experience. Non-cooking is easy and quick, and very little dirty dishes producing. I feel lighter, and even after a meal (when I still stuff myself!) I can run the stairs up without trouble. Although avocado and nuts/seeds are eaten a lot in raw foodism, I have not yet gained any weight. Even my stomach has stayed happy. So far so good!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013


  I´m on my six-week journey to raw foods, to see how my body likes it. Here´s my latest dinner:

This picture reveals just how much I eat... I always use this big bowl when making salad. Eating small amounts just makes me angry!
Along with the salad I ate a home-made whole wheat bun. Obviously that is not raw, but I promised myself before beginning this experiment, that I could eat one portion of cooked grain per day to prevent possible unpleasant cleansing side-effects (like headache or nausea).
  The recipe:

1/2 a small cauliflower
1 tomato
5cm piece of cucumber
fresh mint
fresh parsley
fresh chives
5 black olives
a handful of lettuce
1/2 Tbsp olive oil
a pinch of salt

+ Mince the cauliflower into small crumble-like texture in a food processor. Chop and slice the other veggies and herbs. Combine and toss all ingredients in a bowl.

It was delicious! And I was surprised how well it kept me satisfied (nearly four hours).
  Mabon is a great time to try raw foods. Now the markets are full of fresh produce, and the selection of locally farmed veggies and fruit is at it´s best.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013


  Eating breakfast outside, while it is still warm enough, is my luxury moment of the day. I get to be alone, in peace and quiet, breathing fresh county air (there´s no livestock or any animals nearby =).

  Here´s the view I witnessed the other morning, with my mouth full of fruit puré and a cup of herbal infusion steaming in my mug:

  I got at least as much energy from seeing this scenery, as I did from the breakfast itself!   =)

Monday, September 9, 2013


  It is about time I make an outfit with pants for home wear! I have strolled through the summer in basically dresses only. Now pants feel good again.

A bat-sleeved shirt combined with rather basic pants. Both made of jersey fabric. I like the bat-sleeves because they add volume to my upper body, and balances out my overall shape.
What is more suitable for Mabon than plaids? It somehow brings out the essence of the season.

This set is criminally comfortable to wear! The colors are rather dark, but after the summer it is a nice change. Mabon, after all, marks the point of darkness taking over light.

To lighten up the impression I added buttons all over the outfit. Here can be seen the most obvious ones. I assembled the buttons so that they resemble a necklace, although I sew them onto the shirt directly. The colors of the buttons were carefully selected to add interest but still remain earthy and subtle.

Although not usually seen, I added decorative buttons on the waist too. It makes me feel good to know that the outfit is nicely finished. (It still doesn´t cease to amaze me how my belly was able to shrink back to it´s original size after two pregnancies. Even after the second one, which made my stomach expand beyond the midwife´s charts in the end!)

The look is plain, also in the back. Since this is an outfit made to be worn at home, there is no need for much decoration. Just enough to make it appear well thought through.
I often like to add a little something in the back. These little buttons are quite enough here.

  I love to get up in the morning and have no trouble of choosing what to wear! Even on those days when I know I´m going to stay home the whole day, I still want to wear something neat. Now I can.

Thursday, September 5, 2013


  Hello raw food!
  After cooking quite a bit during Lughnasadh, I´m happy to give all it up and try some non-cooking for a change.

  I have always been fascinated by the idea of eating completely raw, uncooked, food. It just sounds so natural, and I wonder why we ever wandered off that path anyway...

  I´ll give it a try for the next six weeks. Like this:

7-9am Breakfast: Fruity porridge (fruit/berries blended with some greens into a thick smoothie, then sprinkled with a seasoning like ginger or cinnamon)

Apple, pear, and celery porridge with cinnamon.

11.30am -12.30pm Lunch: A large salad consisting of greens and veggies, tossed with a dressing that includes good oils, nuts, seeds, and/or avocado.

Random mixed greens and veggies, fermented cucumber, and seaweed tossed with a rich pinenut based dressing. Amazing!

3-4pm Dinner: An actual meal that requires some uncooking, like soup, zucchini "pasta" with a sauce, paté, couscous, etc. (Experimenting with recipes from books and online.)

Parsnip and rucola couscous with pear and pumpkin seeds for dinner.

6-8pm Supper: A raw dessert, like chocolate pudding, apple pie, citrus mousse, etc.

Chocolate cake for supper. I have a strong sweet tooth, and I eat a dessert every evening.
  Three years ago I attended a raw living foods hands-on course. I hated it. The foods we made there were terrible, and I sealed my hatred towards sauerkraut. Never, ever, again! But the course taught me that living foods were not my path. I can´t do fermenting, dehydrating, or sprouting all the time. Too hard core for me. I´m a simple gal, and I want my food to be that way too. Eating is important, we are made of the stuff we eat, but there are other things in life too. Food should not take up too much of our attention or time.

  Two years ago, when pregnant with my second child, I craved raw food like nothing else. I went for two weeks on raw food only. After the third month of expecting, the crazy craving subsided, but I still ate raw foods occasionally.

  Now it´s been a while since I last got a kick from raw food.  I´m optimistic now, because I have found an amazing instructional book, which keeps food prep easy and quick. No gimmicks, nasty sauerkraut making, running the food-dehydrator for days, or sprouting my brain out. Peel, chop, and eat is more like it.
  Usually I don´t like to advertise anything, but this Raw Food book by Erica Palmcrantz Aziz is great. This Mabon I will consider it my Bible. There are listed different cleanses, from 1 day to three weeks of duration, of which I go for the longest one. I´m not looking for a quick fix, I like to do sustainable changes. And I hate dieting!

  To find raw recipes you can try this, this, or this. But the web is full of other places too.

P.S. I do not expect to make it through without some cooked grain, like rice or whole grain bread. I allow myself to have some in the evenings if I really crave it. But the goal is as listed above, and I´m hopeful that the cravings will subside gradually as time goes on... I need to remember to be gentle with myself, and keep enjoying life. It is not about restriction, it´s about loving myself!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013


  My Ragdoll-look needed jewelry, but nothing suitable was available in the stores. So, naturally, my next step was a craft store. Ragdolls don´t wear bling-bling, or anything too fancy, and I wanted rather to add to the ragdoll feeling than steer away from it. Here´s what I came up with:

It is amazing how jewelry, even as modest and casual as this, complements and completes an outfit. A big difference.

Plain wooden buttons make a crafty necklace for the ragdoll in me.
Small but important, the earrings. The pale light yellow brightens up my face and repeats the color of the tunic. I like repetition, to a point.

Buttons here too, of course. I sew a few rounds of matching blue thread through the holes, first, to give an even more finished look, and second, to make it look as if it was sewn right through my ear. You know, like they would do to ragdolls. =)

    The recipe:

a package of buttons 
yarn and thread
(a lock to the necklace if you make a short one)
a pair of plain earring-studs for crafting
a needle

+ First the necklace. Cut two about 70 cm pieces of the yarn. String a button to the yarns, one yarn from one side through, the other from the other side. Then make a simple basic knot (it won´t be tight or hold the button in place yet, but it is enough), and string on another button. Then knot again. Keep doing this until you´ve reached the desired length. The necklace begins and ends on a knot, then attach the lock pieces.

Then the earrings. Twirl a few rounds of thread/yarn through the holes in the buttons. Glue them on the earrings and let dry leveled and well.

Voilá! Be gorgeous!

Monday, September 2, 2013


  Even though summer is turning to it´s end, it is still possible to enjoy some warm, golden rays of sunlight. To embrace those moments, I made this Ragdoll-Look:

Ragdoll meets Sarah Kay in this design.
 Nelland Living is the place to find more about this project. PaganPages.org has kindly published the fourth article in my column!

  Let´s enjoy the last summery days of the year, while they still last! Mabon is just around the corner already...

Sunday, September 1, 2013


  Friday rules! It starts the weekend, and therefore feels lighter and more fun than the rest of the weekdays. Forget casual Friday. In Nelland Friday is a cause of celebration, and a celebration calls for a dress to go with it. A dress that is fancy, yet down-to-earth. Here is the one I made for my sweetie pie:

Pale light yellow and medium grey couple in this outfit. The dress fabric is delicate and quite thin, even a little see-through. I bought it already six months ago, when I saw it in a shop. I knew then, that I would need it for Lughnasadh for my daughter. There is a zipper in the back to help slip it on. The leggings are grey, so the outfit doesn´t resemble the Saturday Outfit too much. =)
Sarah Kay´s art was the main inspiration for me when I designed the outfit. Her world is totally pretty, cute, and happy. Just like a little (and every aged) girl´s world should be!

Tiny little bumble-bees buzz around the whole dress, and a  few have found their way onto the leggings as well...

Along with the bee appliques, I used light yellow thread in top stitching to make these two pieces a matching pair.

  The premiere of this outfit took place on Saturday, not Friday, when we went to a five-year-old girl´s birthday party. This dress, with it´s airy and cool material, was just perfect for the occasion. The house got a bit too hot from all the people in it, but my girl staid all cool and comfy.
  I´m no fan of disposable consumerism, so I love the fact that this outfit doubled as party wear!

P.S. The leggings are made with a pattern from Ottobre Design´s 4/2013 issue.Very simple and easy (why else would I be making them?    =).