sunnuntai 7. joulukuuta 2014

Flea market series part 1: Vallila, Helsinki

As I'm a passionate flea market goer myself, I thought that maybe some of you would want to hear of my experiences and recommendations on flea markets! So I decided to start a series of flea market posts and introduce you the flea markets I go to and what there is to know about them. Starting off with my favourite flea market neighborhood, Vallila!

For the past 4 years I've more or less lived really close to the neighborhood of Vallila. It's been seen as one of the "up and coming"-neighborhoods of Helsinki and I'm not surprised! It has a lot of young people and an awesome, slightly rugged vibe. It also has quite a variety of flea markets.These are the ones I've visited the most as I used to live in this neighbourhood. I think this is one of the the best parts of Helsinki for some serious second hand shopping.

Hesyn perintöpuoti 

Mäkelänkatu 34

Small place with a good variety of books and especially good quality china. So if you're planning to buy a full set of some china by Arabia, check this place out. It's not overpriced but not the cheapest option. The money they make will go to take care of homeless animals. They also have another shop with more lower quality items and clothes at the headquarters at Itä-Pakila (Yhdyskunnantie 11). For more info, visit: where you an also find other ways to help homeless animals.

Emmaus Vallila 

Mäkelänkatu 54

A volunteer operated shop with no-profit agenda. All the money goes to support volunteering and for different projects in development aid. It has a christian agenda behind it. Well kept place with relatively good quality stuff and low prices. Wide range of items from clothes to light fixtures but no bigger home appliences. One of my "regulars" and the service has always been good. My best find has been gorgeous cream Max Mara two piece for 15 euros. More info:


Mäkelänkatu 54 or 56

A flea market with self-service. Pretty messy place to be honest. A lot of stuff though and here you get the real excitement of finding something really nice with a low price. You just have to look past all the clutter first. A real "dig-and-find" flea market. And the owners keep their dog here from time to time so if you're totally scared of them, don't go. Only cash accepted.


Sturenkatu 37-41

Cheap homeware. Not really much to say about this place, quite a "normal" middle-sized second hand shop with some kind of christian charity behind it. Again, quite a range of items, pretty cheap as well. Not very pleasant service from the staff though. I think there are several ones in Helsinki, at least one other on Runerginkatu in Töölö. More information:

Vallilan Stoori 

Sturenkatu  36

This is a newcomer and oh boy what a newcomer it is! It's a combination between a cafe and a fleamarket, with superb quality on the stuff! Basically it's a normal self-service flea market where people leave their clothes to be sold but the staff here organises it in a really nice and slightly hipsterish way. It seems to be popular among young moms as well. It has had some awesome stuff every time I've been there and it's really easy to get to. You can check out their website on:

keskiviikko 29. lokakuuta 2014

Veggies food series: Surprisinly good vegetarian lasagna

I accidentaly came up with quite a good recipe for making vegetable lasagna with some mediterranian inspiration.

Feta-veggie lasagna

White sauce

2tbs butter or margarine
½dl regular wheat flour
5dl milk
100g feta cheese (the real deal, not the cheap alternative!)
sprinkle of white pepper

Veggie sauce

1 can (400g) crushed tomatos
1 can pre-cooked gazbanzo beans
1 can unpitted black olives
1 can precooked mushrooms (fresh ones could work as well if you prefer them)
prinkle of black pepper

Lasagna sheets, depending on how many layers you want to make
Some nicely browning cheese like mozzarella to top it up

Start off bu preheating the over to 200 degrees. Then to the white sauce. First melt the butter in a pan. Put in the flour and let simmer for a while. Warm up the milk in the microwave and add it little by little to the butter-flour mixture, whisking while you go. Whisk until the sauce is of even texture. Let simmer on low for a few minutes. Then turn off the heat and add the crumbled feta cheese. Seasong with white pepper.

For the veggie sauce just pit the black olives and then mix all the ingredients in a bowl. Season with black pepper.

Assemble the lasagna by starting with a layer of the veggies sauce on the bottom of the pan/oven pot/any oven-roof dish you want to use for baking it. After layer of veggies sauce put a layer of the white sauce. Then put a layer of lasagna sheets. Do the next layers the same way until you reach the top layer. The top layer should be just a layer of the white sauce, topped of with some of the cheese like mozzarella. Bake in 200 degree over for approx. 50 mins until the top has got some nice browning going on.

sunnuntai 17. maaliskuuta 2013

Veggie food series: How to make seitan

I realized I've never posted this even though I already wrote in in October, so here you go:

Anyhow, I just wanted to share my love for SEITAN. What an incredible thing it is.

Inspired by the "no-alcohol January" which is really popular in Finland, I have "no-meat October" every year. The main goal for myself is to shake up my dinner routine a bit and try to find some good veggie recipes I can then use throughout the year. This year I found it a bit hard to start with just basically because time just flies and October was here way too soon, haha. But now I've been rocking my new veggie diet and I am even trying to push it towards more of an vegan diet than a lacto-ovo-vegetarian which I normally do on Octobers (lacto-ovo-vegetarians are allowed to eat egg and dairy products).

So, every October I try to find some new veggie things to try out and this year I was really tempted to try making seitan. I tried it for the first time oevr the summer and I was pretty amazed how good it was. I've always had an impression it's really, well, labour-intensive to make (the economist inside of me couldn't come up with a better expression). But with some advice from my friend Krista and with a little googling, I found out it's incredibly easy. So here's a simple recipe for you:

Basic seitan

Makes about 12 patties


2 dl gluten flour
1dl soy flour or kikpea flour (gram), I prefer kikpea
1,5dl Water or other liquid
2 teaspoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons chilli or smoked paprika, ground
Pretty much any seasoning you wish, in the ones pictured below I used some tumaric

For cooking stock

1,5l of veggies stock or 2 stock cubes and 1,5l of water
Soy sauce
Balsamic vinegar

Start off by mixing all your dry ingredients (gluten flour, soy/kikpea flour, dry seasonings) in a large bowl. Mix the 1,5dl water with 2 teaspoons of soy sauce on a small bowl. 

Then mix the liquids and the flour together in a bowl and knead. Not a lot of kneading is required though as the gluten flour builds the elasticity up like really fast.

Knead the dough to a longish roll and then cut to pieces  and form to shapes to your own taste. I like making patties.

Next thing you have to do is to cook the patties. My cooking broth was a combination of vegetable stock, vinegar and soy. It's very much recommended to season the broth well as it will give the most of the taste to the patties. So get your stock to a slight boil and drop the patties in one by one. Then let them simmer for about 20 minutes.

The finished product

After cooking, you can also cut some of the "steaks" to smaller pieces: they can be used in multiple ways to substitute meat in sauces and stews! You can freeze seitan and then just thaw it when needed. Freezing should make the consistancy slightly softer.

First time at a flea market as a seller!

Looks like this is turning out to be a very flea market oriented blog, but hey, I guess it's no problem!

Today I had my first experience in actually be a seller at a flea market. Kallio-liike, a neighborhood movement from the Helsinki neighbour Kallio, organized outdoor flea markets in parks during summer. They have broadened the concept and today we saw the first indoor winter flea market. I have to say it was great!  The idea is that the flea market doesn't cost anything for the seller as it normally does but the people can just come and sell whatever they happen to have on. Everything happens either on blnaket on the floor or if someone (a myself) had racks/tables their own, one could use them.

Anyhow, for me, it was a success and I had a blast! I sold almost all the stuff I brough. I basically was only left with my graduation dress but I guess it was too fancy for the flea market after all.

torstai 23. elokuuta 2012

The summer cottage

This wardrobe at our family's summer cottage has just the perfect color! I love it! Too bad my mom happens to share my taste so she has a "reservation" for it since it originally used to belong to her god parents. Well it's gorgeous anyhow!

maanantai 16. heinäkuuta 2012

Great Italian coffee in Helsinki

My favourite place to have a cup of espresso or cappucino has to be this: Cafe Gran Delicato on Kalevankatu in Kamppi. Unfortunately it's not really on my hood but I try to pay it a visit every time I'm nearby and have a craving for great cuppa. Definitely an authentic atmosphere: the staff speaks Finnish with an accent and you pay when you leave which is really not the common practice around here. And of course most importantly, the coffee is superb as well as the baguettes and paninis you can have if feeling a bit hungry. A def. recommendation from me! Just keep one thing in mind: if you happen to be one of those who prefer their coffee "the Finnish way", lightly roasted and tasting like the rainwater, you better order tea or latte here.

perjantai 13. heinäkuuta 2012

I just wanted  to share some random  stuff you might come across while visiting drift stores and antique shops. I did end up buying something as well but more about that later.