6 December 2016

Finnish rye and potato pies

Happy Finland's Independence Day!

Finland has now been an independent country for 99 years. This year the celebrations are a bit low key for me as an ex-pat. I'll have just a bit of Finnish food and that's it, but I can't wait for next year and the 100th anniversary. Then I should really make a proper party.

I made once again these Finnish rye and potato pies that I really love. They are very simply buttery potato mash in a crispy rye crust, and they make really nice snacks or breakfast pies. I have posted the recipe before, so have a look here. I didn't follow that recipe this time, I just made the dough from memory and it was perfectly fine.

Have a good week!

Your VegHog

5 December 2016

In My Kitchen in December

December is always a busy time in the kitchen, there's a lot of cooking and baking going on, and don't forget the eating! I'm trying to think what to cook on actual Christmas, but also cooking loads of seasonal food just because it's nice to eat in this season. I have collected some of my recent purchases here, some of which can also be good Christmas present options. There is quite a strong hedgehog theme going on in this post as well. I'm very excited to see what's going on in your kitchens as well.

Of course we had to have Advent Calendars to have this lovely ritual of opening a door every day. I got a nice animal picture one and also a Mikkeller beer advent calendar for my partner.

I recently spotted these wonderful hedgehog tea towels, candles and tray, which I bought for myself for the kitchen. I have the feeling that they will be seen a lot on the blog, one of the tea towels was already in yesterday's post.

Books are always brilliant Christmas presents, I think, so I've collected here some of my current favourites. I absolutely love Matt Sewell's artwork and his new book A Charm of Goldfinches & Other Collective Nouns. Just look at those beautiful hedgehog depictations!

I'm also a fan of Erin Gleeson. Her cookbooks have simple, but good looking and tasty recipes and her illustrations are a joy to look at. Her new book The Forest Feast Gatherings concentrates on dinner parties for every season with very useful hints and tips.

James Morton's Brew book could be a good present idea for aspiring brewers and beer friends.

On the food side there's also a lot happening. I ordered a proud box full of Hodmedod's beans, peas and quinoa. These products are really excellent and I can't wait to cook more with them. This also reminds me of My Legume Love Affair, a vegan and vegetarian legume-themed cooking challenge that I'm hosting this month. Have a look here and take part with your recipe! 

Now 'tis the season for eating loads of nuts, and indeed I have spotted some lovely Christmas nuts in the shops, some of which will be presents and others will be eaten straight away.

This Brittany butter with sea salt crystals has been my favourite cooking butter for a while now, and I think that it's very suitable to use in some Christmas creations.

Christmas is always a good time to donate to charities. Sometimes even by drinking beer you can contribute to a good cause. I bought this tasty Warbler beer supporting Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust.

Vecon concentrated vegetable stock has very quickly become one of my cooking favourites. It makes a tasty vegetable stock and adds good savouriness to many dishes. I think that it will be extra handy for some vegetarian Christmas cooking.

I'm sharing this post with the December edition of In My Kitchen hosted by Lizzy from Good Things.

Your VegHog

4 December 2016

Parsnip and carrot soup

It's time to start planning the dishes for a vegetarian Christmas dinner. Time is going so quickly and I have not prepared much for Christmas yet, so the next couple of weeks will be busy. I will probably go with mostly old favourites for the dinner this year, but want to share different recipe ideas throughout the month.

This vegan parsnip and carrot soup is a perfect Christmas time soup due to the ingredients and simplicity. The soup is very easy to make, economical, and you can also prepare it beforehand to avoid last minute cooking panic in the kitchen.

Parsnip and carrot soup


2 parsnips
4 carrots
1 onion
2 garlic cloves
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 l vegetable stock
1 bay leaf
Salt and ground black pepper to taste


Chop the ingredients and start cooking the onion in oil.

Once the onion is soft and slightly browned, add the carrots and parsnips.

Stir for a while and then also add the garlic soon followed by the vegetable stock, bay leaf and seasoning.

Let simmer until the vegetables are cooked, purée and enjoy!

Your VegHog

3 December 2016

Snacks, mulled wine and Christmas lights

We had our yearly tradition, the Christmas light switch on in or flat, last Saturday. Then we always have mulled wine and some nice snacks, and go outside to look at our lights. We kept the lights quite simple this year, but I find that better anyway. The photos aren't great, but I hope you'll get the idea.

So we had some lovely warming mulled wine, and the weather was actually suitably a little bit chilly. We also enjoyed some tasty Port wine with Edam cheese, Winter berries & Prosecco potato crisps (these are just fabulous!), Rose harissa spiced nut mix with a hint of chilli (these are also brilliant) and some grapes.

It was a great night and nicely opened the season for us. Have you already made some seasonal decorations in your homes?

1 December 2016

My Legume Love Affair #102 welcoming entries

I'm not just hosting Eat Your Greens this month, but also My Legume Love Affair edition #102! I'm so honoured to guest host this great legumecentric vegetarian and vegan cooking challenge. I really hope that you will all be sharing some wonderful recipes with us in December, maybe some of them will even be festively themed!

My Legume Love Affair was started by Susan from The Well Seasoned Cook and is now hosted by Lisa from Lisa's Kitchen.

This is how you can participate:

  1. Legumes (for example lentils, beans, peas, soybeans or peanuts) have to have a central role in the recipe.
  2. Only vegetarian and vegan recipes will be accepted, so please make sure that your recipe is free from meat and seafood. The recipes can contain eggs.
  3. Only one recipe submission per month per blogger is accepted.
  4. You can use the logo in your post, and please link back to Susan, Lisa and this announcement in your post.  
  5. You can also use an old recipe, but please repost it on your blog.
  6. Submit your recipe through the Linky Tool at the bottom of this page including the URL, name of the dish, photo and your details.
  7. This event ends on 30.12. at midnight and the round up of all recipes should be up on 31.12.

Get creative, I'm very excited to see your recipes!

Your VegHog

Eat Your Greens welcoming December entries

It's time to call out for recipes for the last 2016 edition of Eat Your Greens vegetarian and vegan cooking challenge that I have been taking turns hosting this year with Shaheen from Allotment 2 Kitchen.

The rules of the challenge are quite simple. Each blogger can enter one recipe per month, which should be either vegan or vegetarian and feature one or more green vegetables. Post the recipe on your blog and add a link to it into the comments box below to take part. If you tweet your recipe, please use #EatYourGreens and include @SeasonalShaheen @TheVegHog. More detailed instructions for taking part can be found here.

Should you need any inspiration, please check out Shaheen's November Eat Your Greens Round Up, there are very delicious recipes in that collection!

Keep sharing the green goodness!

Your VegHog

30 November 2016


Here is another one of my lunchboxes for a change. I take a lunchbox to work daily and am keen keeping it variable. I normally just have the previous day's leftovers, but also keep adding different snacking things and veg to the box. The lunchbox is something that can definitely lift my spirits in the middle of a hectic work day.

This box included:
  • apple slices
  • giant corn
  • tomato and mozzarella arancini
  • pasta with tomato sauce, soft cheese and rocket

Simple, yet good! Have further a nice week!

Your VegHog