The Farmers’ Market at Dubai

UAE farmers want you to find their produce. The Farmers’ Market at Dubai on The Terrace is wonderful place to start Friday. Buy cup of coffee from one of the market stalls and fresh bakes from stall of Baker & Spice Dubai. Arrange an instant picnic for yourself and enjoy.
Another secret of Dubaian foodlovers is revealed. It’s the only farmers’ market in Dubai where farmers are every Friday selling their locally grown organic vegetables directly to us. Prices are less than in many other markets in Dubai and atmosphere is down to earth. Excellent value for your money and health.
The Farmers’ Market is located on gardens of Emirates Towers. Scroll down for map at the end of the post. Hey don’t go…

Take tour with me at my blog. Pictures are speaking more than thousand words.

Farmers' Market Dubai

Farmers’ Market Dubai

Seasons local organic veggies

Seasons local organic veggies

Farmers' Market Dubai Emirates Towers

Single origin coffee Boon Coffee from Ethiopia

Single origin coffee Boon Coffee from Ethiopia

Farmers' Market 6th Season

Organic Oasis Farm

Organic Oasis Farm

Farmers' Market sales

Astraea olives and oils, organic dates and handmade soaps

Astraea olives and oils, organic dates and handmade soaps

Yael Mejia, food consultant to Baker & Spice Dubai and the Farmers’ Market champion, says: “When I came to Dubai to set up Baker & Spice as 2008 was drawing to a close, one of my first tasks was sourcing local and regional fresh produce.
Yael Mejia pioneered the farmers’ market revolution

Yael Mejia pioneered the farmers’ market revolution

“This is one of the guiding principles of our kitchen and I had no intention of changing course. I knew there was farming here and I just had to find it and connect.

“It took a year of investigations, phoning, cajoling, travelling in the desert, begging, and we ended up working with three farms. They delivered fantastic produce to our kitchens, mainly vegetables.

“The knowledge that the produce is organic, local, of such amazing quality and so cheap, has resonated with people who are concerned about what they put in their mouths and how they feed their children.

“Being able to connect directly with the people who grow the food we eat is something most people think is important. Many global food scandals have contributed to this global concern.

Here’s capture of message from Yael at opening of 6th season of Farmers’ Market. We’re sharing same stance on food with her, key to success in kitchen is good, clean and fresh ingredients, there’s so less you have to add to create wonderful meal if you use the best you can get products and ingredients.

Baker & Spice invited me and other bloggers to Seasons opening breakfast, for me the invite was win-win, I literally could eat anything from their restaurant, all food is whole, real and simple like myself. I am happy to promote my favorite market.

Chef Gabriele Kurz from Jumeirah Group Talise Wellness at Baker&Spice breakfast

Chef Gabriele Kurz from Jumeirah Group Talise Wellness at Baker&Spice breakfast

Tree Entrepreneurs: Farmers' Market pioneer, Organic Oasis farmer and Astraea olive farmer

Tree Entrepreneurs: Farmers’ Market pioneer, Organic Oasis farmer and Astraea olive farmer

Last season I wrote about field trip to Kitby farm, they are selling at The Farmers’ Market On The Terrace their produce. Check photos from the farm here LINK
Kitby Farm from Al Ain

Kitby Farm from Al Ain

Hey, if you reach here, don’t go quite yet, you might like to read what other food lovers found at Farmers’ market, lots of clicking ahead…
Memoires Of A taste Bud
Kitchen In The Sand
Ishita Unblogged
My Custard Pie
Cinnamon Weekends
Noni’s Place
The Farmers’ Market on the Terrace

Farmersmarketme at Instagram

Emirates Towers Jumeirah Group at Instagram

Organic Oasis Farm

Olives and oils from Astraea olive grove


How to find Farmers Market:


Drive Along – the way around to Dubai’s Farmers Market at Emirates Towers Terrace

Thank You for reading!

Helsinki Food Foto and Mari’s Lemon Cake

Look at my re-creation of Helsinki’s top cake model! I have NOT fancied any citrusy cakes so far, but this beauty turned my head. I call it Mari’s Lemon Cake because she baked one gorgeous juicy cake to our picnic at Helsinki Food Foto workshop on June. It was the most photographed target at the picnic. Scroll down and read further to get the recipe and look at the pictures of #HelsinkiFoto2014.

Lemoncake with Summer Berries

Food Styling and Photography Workshop

I have this desire to take photos of food and I am always keen to learn something new on shooting edible things. When I heard that Meeta from What’s For Lunch, Honey?, Simone from Simone’s Kitchen and Mari from Something Tasty came up with food photography and styling workshop in Finland, in my hometown Helsinki, I did not think twice. I enrolled in at once. I have experience from couple of Meeta’s workshops in Dubai and wanted to see what Helsinki will offer, after all Helsinki is wonderful at summer time when we have nightless nights and nature and people shows their best.

Compared to some other photography courses Meeta’s workshops are excellent combo of learning how to style the food and take the best food photos, cooking, eating, tasting different kind of cuisines (specially in Dubai) and best of all meet and get to know like minded people from all over the world. We had so much fun with Sari, Marja-Riitta, Denisa, Alanna, Bente, Kaisa, Nancy and Marisa. I learned a lot not only from Mari, Meeta and Simone but from all of my learning buddies.

If I have to pick up one single take away from Helsinki photography workshop, it would be Artificial light hands on exercise with simple led light Ikea lamps (look for model Jansjö). I can’t believe how easy it was to create home studio with simple led light and couple of reflectors.
BerryGranola_IkeaLights_dark mood


Food and Helsinki

On first evening we had enjoyable delicious dinner at Toca restaurant. Finnish, Italian and global tastes on the plate by serving fresh and high-quality ingredients precisely cooked so you can savor their distinguished and classical flavors in a “kick back and enjoy” atmosphere as they correctly claim.

On second day we had typical summer picnic on rainy…no, sunny…actually rainy sunny day at Sinebrychoff Park at Punavuori mid of Helsinki. Passersby were so jealous of our setting and food. Carrot cake, lemon cake, zucchini noodle salad, quinoa tomato salad, salmon sandwiches, bubbly drinks to name few. Look at yourself…

HelsinkiFoto2014-Fiskars groupie

Our slogan for workshop project was “The Heat is on in Helsinki”. Coming from Dubai it was not that hot in Helsinki, but certainly heat was on for styling, shooting and eating the food. Here’s my location shots at Toca restaurant in Helsinki taken with iPhone 5 except the gazpacho soup pic in left corner.


Memories aijaijai….


Mari’s Lemon Cake Recipe

I have changed ingredients just tiny bit for my liking. Namely I halved the spelt flour and added potato flours. I used two 15 cm cake tins and had left over patter for the third tiny cake. I had also less of cream cheese compared to original recipe. You might wonder those measures, in Finland we use 100 ml (=1 dl) measuring cups hence desiliters in recipe. Link to Mari’s original Lemon Cake recipe at Something Tasty

My versions ingredients:
200 g butter
4.5 dl sugar
4 eggs (medium size)
Pinch of salt
3 dl spelt flour
3 dl potato flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla powder
2.5 dl cream
3 tbsp lemon curd
2 tbsp lemon juice

Filling and frosting
600 g plain cream cheese (e.g. Philadelphia)
2 tbsp lemon juice
4 tbsp lemon curd
1 tsp vanilla extract
1.5 dl icing sugar
Optional: yellow food coloring

Baking method is well described in Mari’s recipe (hahaa there’s some trick…in case you’ll notice and wonder, add lemon juice with lemon curd)
Lemoncake with Summer Berries

Thank You for staying this long, do not exit without visiting these blogposts of Helsinki Foto 2014. They are packed with wonderful photos from the entire event. Do you spot Minna from Naked Plate?


WORKSHOP: HELSINKI 2014 – The Heat Is On by Meeta

KAMERAT KAULASSA by Mari’s Jotain Maukasta blog in Finnish. Look at the pictures, no language barriers.

The cherry on the top of each workshop is generous goodie bags from sponsors. In Helsinki we had nice sponsors from Cocovi, Sunspelt, Winestate, Fiskars, Uudenmaan Herkku Oy, Illy Coffee, Rauch, Toca Restaurant and beautiful Scandic Paasi hotel. Thank You, your contribution was recognized and appreciated!

And Finally if you like to travel, meet people, take photos, learn to shoot food, food styling, eating and experience Dubai. Enroll to Meeta’s next workshop here in Arab Emirates and we’ll meet there. Hey I am regular already…read more click Link

Naked Plate | Karelian Pasty – traditional Finnish food with Emirati twist

The perfect arranged marriage of three ingredients rye flour, rice and milk makes very traditional pastry from Eastern-Finland called Karelian Pasty or Karjalanpiirakka in Finnish. I am certain Asians and Arabians will approve the marriage as well. Keep on reading… Surely I always find the link of my culture to the culture of Emirians or any other culture we can experience here in Dubai. The taste of these crumpy looking little Finn pasties is like freshly baked crepes yet so different of any other pastry you can get here in Dubai. And hey I made these first time in my life thanks to my sister in law Tuula, who shared top tips to succeed. Tuula is from Nothern Karelia, eastern part of Finland, from the land of Karjalanpiirakka. She is our family chef for Karelian pasties, and that title is difficult to take from her. She has made thousands of these little savoury buttery rice pies.
NakedPlate Carelian Pasties from Finland

Karelian Pasty – Karjalanpiirakka Recipe

Makes ax 30 small pies
200 g rye flour
60 g wheat flour
200 ml cold water
1 ts salt
1 tbs sunflower or other cooking oil

Mix all ingredients together to make dough and leave it rest for a while. Dough can be frozen for later use and it lasts well in fridge few days.

200 g Egyptian rice (or any sticky rice like Calrose), for EMIRATI version use Harees
1 litre milk, for EMIRATI version use Camel milk
1 ts salt
1 tbs oil

Melted butter for brushing ready baked pasties

Cook rice (or harees or barley if you use) together with milk to texture and consistency of porridge. In heavy bottom pot combine milk, oil and salt bring to boil and add rice (harees or barley). Stir constantly to prevent sticking and burning. Continue cooking and stirring at low heat for 30-45 minutes or until rice (harees or barley) is done.

Now assemble the Karelian (Emirian) pasties like this:
1. Preheat oven to very hot 250-300°C.
2. Roll rye pasty crust dough into 4 equal size, 10 cm long rolls.
3. Cut ax 1,5 cm button like pieces dip each in flour (half rye and half wheat).
4. With rolling pin roll each piece into a thin oval.

I used pasta machine to make thin crusts. First use your fingers to flatten the dough button, then pass it through the machine to make it thinner, the knob on the machine on mark 3.
Repeat once again dusting the dough with flour if needed on both sides before passing it through the machine, the knob on the machine on mark 7.

5. Spoon 2 to 3 tablespoons of the rice (harees or barley) porridge on the middle of each pasty crust.
6. Pull the sides of the pastries up and crimp them up to close the sides around the filling (watch one minute how to video clip).
7. Bake the pastries on parchment lined baking sheet in the very hot oven for 10 minutes. Until slightly golden brownish.
8. Brush with melted butter straight after taking them from the oven.

***And now eat at least one when still hot ***

8. Cover with parchment paper and tea towel to allow pasties to soften

Karelian pasty dough rolls cut in small buttons or squares

Karelian pasty dough rolls cut in small buttons or squares

Filling Karelian pasties with rice porridge

Filling Karelian pasties with rice porridge

Traditionally we eat Karelian pasties with egg-butter spread (just mash together soft butter and boiled eggs with fifty-fifty ratio, can substitute part of the butter with cottage cheese to lighten up the eggy-spread.

Pasties keep days in fridge and are so good and crispy when toasted. Eat as open sandwich topped with all your favorite sandwich fillings. Mine is warm smoked salmon with the sprinkle of dill and spoon of cottage cheese.

TIPS from novice first time Karelian pasty baker:
* Traditionally Finns used barley to make porridge for filling
* or Talkkuna which is cooked and roasted barley flour or a mixture of roasted barley, rye, oat and pea flour.
* Dip the spoon to cold water to get porridge sliding off easily.
* When folding the dough use tips of your index fingers to fold finely edges of pasties over the filling.
* Gently push crust even to avoid burning, any pointy edge of delicate crust dough will easily burn in oven.
* Make sure rice (harees or barley) porridge is evenly layered on top of the crust (again to avoid burning, see I’ve learned my lesson).

Traditional Finnish Karelian Pasty ready to be brushed with butter

Traditional Finnish Karelian Pasty with butter

Budding steak master – Organic Fillet Mignon

Whaaat! A carnivore and cannot pullout decent juicy steak for a meal! Yes that’s me. It’s only my second try to cook perfect steak, I have been cooking meat in any other forms but not steaks, for reason. It just have been too scary to waste nice meat by my amateur hand, so I have left steaks to be an occasional treat done by real chef de rôtisseurs.
Obe Organic Fillet Mignon

This time I took the challenge when I was offered to try OBE Organic meat. Lucky me I got to take home from Carrefour (local Dubai distributor of OBE Organic meats) nice big piece of organic fillet mignon.

I undersign OBE Organic’s words about their meat, it’s amazingly good flavor organic beef and is something that has to be tasted to be believed. I have shifted my cooking as much as possible to organic produce and near grown foods. Knowing there’s a clean, certified 100% organic and natural, free of chemicals and growth promotants and Halal certified meat option in Dubai ticks all boxes in every ones requirement list, doesn’t it?
Obe Organic Beef Fillet
Making the perfect steak is two fold challenge. First you must have good quality of correctly cut meat and secondly you must know how to cook it. First one is easy part, just locate the best butcher in your neighborhood and you are all done. The real challenge is to win yourself to give it a try. Follow simple steps and you cannot fail. The sear-roasting technique seems the most easiest to follow, kind of fool-proof way to prepare steaks.

Sear-Roasting Steaks:

1. Take the meat to room temperature at least 1 hour before you cook it.

2. Rub the steaks with oil and mill couple of rounds salt and pepper on both sides and set steaks aside.

3. Preheat oven to very hot (ax. 250°C).

4. Use cast iron skillet it is the best in terms of heat and taste it gives to meat (any ovenproof pan works as well) and place it on stove,  let it heat until drops of water sizzle on it. Brush with cooking oil.

5.  Set steaks on hot pan and cook 1 to 2 minutes without moving. Turn with tongs and cook another 1 to 2 minutes.

6. Remove skillet from hot stove and put it with the steaks into the preheated hot oven. Cook an additional 3 to 5 minutes, depending on thickness of steaks and desired doneness. (see on video on 4.20 sec how to make simple finger test, seriously and I don’t mean to burn your fingers… )

If you have thermometer it will be quite useful now. Stick the thermometer into the meat from side to test right doneness for you:

Extra-rare or Blue very red and cold 46–49 °C 115–120 °F
Rare cold red center; soft 52–55 °C 125–130 °F
Medium rare warm red center; firmer 55–60 °C 130–140 °F
Medium pink and firm 60–65 °C 140–150 °F
Medium well small amount of pink in the center 65–69 °C 150–155 °F
Well done gray-brown throughout; firm 71–100 °C 160–212 °F

7. When the steaks are done to your liking, remove from the hot pan, cover loosely with aluminum foil and let rest another 5 minutes before serving.

To be perfect serve on heated warm plates. I served mine with boiled new potatoes sauteed with fresh rosemary, some air fried sweet potatoes and parsley butter.

Here’s the best easygoing video clip I found to get the idea of sear-roasting method. I guarantee it’s really easy when done in oven.


Where to buy OBE products

Note from editor, I got 100 AED Carrefour voucher to spend to OBE Organics meat to try and cook. I chose 370 g beef fillet which cost 190 AED per kilo. I bought also ribeye steak of 200 g and it was darn good as well. I will definitely return for fillet again, now that I mastered the fillet mignon!!! It’s so bliss to know that meat does not contain any residue of medicines or chemicals, just clean, healthy and nutritious safe meat.

OBE Organic Meat
Obe Organic

Naked Plate | Traditional Finnish Christmas and Santa

For a Finn 40 something plus degrees and sandstorm does not make Christmas Festive. It’s the food which brings the seasons of joy to heart in Dubais’s hot desert. It’s really difficult to get into the mood without minus 25 degrees and snow, real spruce tree and candles. But I did made some small revelation of traditional Finnish Christmas spread, watch the video tour to my kitchen with My Dubai My City.
Seasons Greetings NakedPlate
Hyvää Joulua! Tervetuloa keittiööni. Literally Good Christmas welcome to my kitchen.

Watch the video via link here
The focal point of the festive table is huge (10 kg) quarter of ham, baked overnight in oven. There is families having a “ham watch” traditions while waiting the meat bake. Traditionally in many families there is must have Karelian meat stew made from beef on the table. Modern latest addition to feast is turkey, but it is not really Finnish food tradition.

Other must haves are Gravlax or cold smoked salmon and herrings with baked potatos, Rosolli-salad, carrot-, potato- and swede-casserole, rye bread, malt bread, homemade mustard, homemade beer to name the few basics.

We start or end the meal with spiced berry drink called Glögi or Glögg with gingerbread cookies and mixed nuts and raisin and Finnish Chocolate from Fazer.

Finns get their Christmas gifts from Joulupukki aka Santa already on Christmas Eve after the dinner, that’s when we have Christmas. It’s because Santa is from Korvatunturi Finland and needs to deliver your gifts next morning. :-)

Tis the season of joy!

Read my post on Glögg LINK or Gingerbread cookies LINK
Cookie in my snapshot is decorated by Sarah from A Touch of Frosting and other things

Don’t leave this page without visiting the Santa’s House in Finland

Naked Plate | Project365 | Ice Cream from Cham

Ice Cream is food, right? I remember as kid at dinner table I would complain how full I am already and I’ve finished eating. But come to proposal of having dessert, I miraculously had a tiny mini bit of space in my belly. There’s always room for ice cream.

As part of my daily food posts I am sharing one minute of one of the tours I walked with Frying Pan Adventures in old Dubai.

Would You try this kind of ice cream?

Dubai is Foodie Wonderland, if you ever have chance to visit Dubai or UAE, you must experience almost limitless options of any food of the world. I have taken three food tours with Dubai based Frying Pan adventures and they never fail. Check the link below to discover more about walking food tours in Dubai.

Click link Frying Pan Food Tours

Naked Plate | From abattoir to table – Lamb Tagine on Feast of the Sacrifice in Dubai

Are you carnivore? Yes, yes, yes, if I have to choose between a steak and a fish, the steak will be the winner for me. My naked plate will be filled with juicy meat.

Today we made our annual trip to abattoir or slaughterhouse for choosing a lamb for sacrifice. Lamb because we shared it with other if you sacrifice for yourself you can take goat, some sacrifice cow or camel. The meat from the sacrifice of Eid al-Adha (Arabic: عيد الأضحى‎ ‘Īd al-’Aḍḥá) is mostly given away to others. One-third is eaten by immediate family and relatives, one-third is given away to friends, and one-third is donated to the poor.
I made short video clip for you to see what happens there at abattoirs. Normally one can sacrifice on any three days of Eid al Adha. We went today to Bur Dubai slaughterhouse in Al Shindagha (Arabic: الشندغة‎). It’s open all year around, but obviously it’s high season on these days.

At first we chose the lamb, there was more goats than lambs available, ballparked it’s condition (they are also pre-checked), haggled from 1200 AED to 1000 AED (last year 750 AED), paid the lamb, went to window to pay 15 AED for slaughter and 10 AED for cutting, lamb was marked and went for queue to meet it’s end…Al Adha and finally ended to yellow plastic bag.

* * *

Holidays become meaningless when their original purpose is forgotten. In such instances, the holiday becomes merely an occasion for festivity and indulgence, don’t you agree? By all means this is not religious post, but you need to know what is meaning of Eid Al Adha.

The story of `Eid Al-Adha is the story of testing Prophet Ibrahim’s (Abraham) faith in Allah. Both the Qur’an and the Torah record the high drama narratives of the story. The Qur’an has recorded what Prophet Ibrahim said to his son;

O my son! Surely I have seen in a dream that I should sacrifice you; consider then what you see. (As-Saffat 37:102)

Isma`il replied: O my father! Do what you are commanded; if Allah please, you will find me of the patient ones. (As-Saffat 37:102)

At the last split second, Allah interrupts the sacrificial process. He, the Exalted, intervenes saying,

We called unto him: O Abraham! “Thou hast already fulfilled the vision. (As-Saffat 37:104-105)

Moral of the story: Ibrahim passes the test and a ram was substituted for sacrifice in place of his son. Thus, the father and the son became role models for true Muslims; those who fullfil Allah’s will before their own. Ibrahim, after waiting for so long for an heir promised by Allah, is now required to sacrifice him. Isma`il, on the other hand, was asked to make the supreme sacrifice; his own life. “It is not their meat or their blood that reaches Allah; it is your piety that reaches Him.” (Qur’an 22:37)

The symbolism is in the attitude – a willingness to make sacrifices in our lives in order to stay on the Straight Path. Each of us makes small sacrifices, giving up things that are fun or important to us.

* * *

Butchery can be heartbreaking for some animal lovers, but some might forget the truth from where the meat comes and how it ends…well if you are carnivore, the meat eater, you should not :-)
To end the story with happy (=food) note, I am adding here a classic lamb recipe from Morocco with pretty pictures.

Lamb and Aubergine Tagine recipe
Serves 4

This is the authentic Moroccan recipe for Lamb & Aubergine (eggplant) Tagine as it is traditionally prepared at home. I got the recipe from Food Artisan Dima Sharif at Food Photography and Styling Workshop at Dubai on October. Dima suggests for the healthier version of this tagine, to grill the eggplants instead of frying. Brush sliced eggplants with oil and grill them until golden brown. Also trim visible fat from meat.

625 g aubergine (eggplant) , sliced into 1,5 cm thick rounds
500 g lamb shoulder or leg with bone, cut into 4-8 equally sized pieces
1 kg tomato, peeled seeded and roughly chopped
150 ml water (or little more for cooking the meat)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp paprika
½ tsp turmeric
½ tsp sugar
1 tbsp coriander finely chopped
Salt to taste
2 garlic cloves, finely crushed
A pinch of saffron threads
¾ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp parsley, finely chopped
1 tbsp lemon juice

Slice aubergines and salt them all over. Leave to drain for 1-2 hours in sieve. This will reduce bitterness of aubergines.

Meanwhile rub the lamb with ½ tsp of salt and place in a medium pan, leave for 5 minutes. Add 1 tbsp of olive oil to the meat, and place the pan over medium heat and stir about minute. Add saffron, ginger and ground coriander, stir to coat. Add 50 ml of water and stir scraping the bottom. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 1 hour, or until meat is very tender (check the water level frequently, you may have to add 3-4 tbsp hot water throughout)

While meat is cooking, put ½ tbsp olive oil in a frying pan together with crushed garlic, cook stirring over medium heat until translucent, but not browned. Add chopped tomatos, stir to mix with olive oil and garlic. Simmer, stirring for 2 minutes. Add paprika, continue simmering and stirring occasionally until almost all the liquid has evaporated. Stir in turmeric, cumin, ½ tsp olive oil, chopped parsley, chopped coriander and sugar, mix well. Leave to simmer until the mixture reaches a thick consistency.

Back to aubergines. Thoroughly rinse the salted aubergines, gently squeeze out the excess water and dry slices between kitchen towels. Heat some oil in shallow frying pan until hot but not smoking. Fry aubergines on both sides until golden brown. Remove from oil and drain over several folds of kitchen paper towels. Leave to cool to room temperature. Drizzle the fried aubergines with lemon juice, and mash slightly with fork to incorporate juice.
Place slightly mashed aubergines on to the meat top with tomato mixture, cover and simmer for 1o minutes for all flavors to marry. Shake the pan often, but do not stir.

Serve immediately with couscous or crusty bread.


Eid Al Adha Mubarak

Naked Plate | Food Photography & Styling workshop Dubai

I am lousy writer, therefore I rather cook and take photos than write posts. Most of the time I struggle to produce decent fluent text to my blog. For that reason this post is about photos which I took at Food Styling and Photography workshop with amazing photographer Meeta K. Wolff in Dubai just few days ago. The workshop was organized by blogger from My Custard Pie Sally Prosser. I am going to add links to the blog posts from other participants, for sure you will find good reads there.

If you love snapping photos like me, or are more advanced photographer and like to know about styling food, then this workshop is for you. Definitely you like to eat, right? :-) Don’t miss this workshop next time.

I left out the part of Atlantis The Palm visit, it’s worth of own post. We ate in three restaurants and visited Nobu Garden. Sally and Meeta, they set the bar high for them self for the next workshop, because we had extra bonus surprise at Ronda Locatelli, Giorgio Locatelli join our table and brought Italian white truffles and lovely stories with him. Auw, auw, auw this girl was sold!

It was really fun packed two days hands on food photography and styling course, including loads of food tasting, cooking, styling practises, serious photographing, less serious photo snapping, social media and Lightroom tips. And hey wait, the bonus, its the goodie bags, they were great value, like those film festival goodie bags :-) very generous. One more reason to look forward Meeta’s and Sally’s Food Photo workshop on 2013.

Photo collage 1: Brunch by Gourmet Culinary Director Russell Impiazzi from Galeries Lafayette Gourmet. Scandinavian Brunch was just wonderful, visit them at Dubai Mall, amazing selection of anything foodie can imagine. We made tasting tour there last April on Meeta’s and Sally’s first workshop.

Photo Collage 2: Assignment was to take location, ingredients, cooking and magazine cover photos. Food Artisan Dima Sharif taught us how to make perfect tagine. We had her pumpkin soup and tagine for lunch and after we finished our soup we did the classic food blogger act, stooop, no eating before we take photos. Tagine was our main food model in the photo shoot. All groups had different style and mood for assignment.

Photo Collage 3: Working with Meeta and learning from others, I worked with Tavola’s photographer Antone, not bad hah? The cover picture is Antone’s, our cover style was Jamie Oliver with feminine mood. By the way in food styling, I don’t like flowers on food photos as props, and this time I got lost and chose red rose as one feminine prop…..erm.

Photo Collage 4: Miele Gallery is really dream place to have cooking demos and food tasting, you get to try all their kitchen appliances and for coffee addict like me, open Miele coffee bar was just hit on head of the nail. Thank You Miele and Gynthia for hospitality. Look at those antique Miele “machines” from their museum. Aren’t we just happy that we have advanced ever since?

Photo Collage 5: Spanish dinner by Tapeo (Galeries Lafayette) and Chef Russell, Oh that paella, it’s the best paella I have eaten in Dubai.

Watch clip of Spanish Fiesta at Miele Gallery

Thank you Shy, Moya, Sandy, Catherine, Lionel and Antone
Moya’s Food and Tools
Catherine’s SandCat
Shy’s Cooking With Shy
Sandy’s Ginger and Scotch
Lionel and Antone were the real photographers, We learned a lot from them as well. If they have photo gallery I will add link later, I have seen their work, they are good. Very good.

Thank You for sponsors:
Miele Gallery and Lafayette Gourmet for the place and food. San Pellegrino and Acqua Panna supplied all the water for the two days, and we all left with goodies from them. Artisan made Scottish tablet in some irresistible flavours from Toffee Princess. Luxury chocolates from Lindt, and a card loaded with 50 AED for a Lime & Tonic experience as well as Dima’s generous gifts with Breast Cancer awareness and support gifts. My favorite kitchen shop in Dubai Tavola provided props to our workshop.
Atlantis The Palm, Dubai hosted our first dinner and we got to test couple of restaurants.
Dima’s blog Dima Sharif
Meeta’s blog What’s for Lunch Honey
Sally’s blog My Custard Pie

Count me in for the next workshop, it’s worth of that investment, money and time wise and best of all it’s FUN.

Read other posts about workshop
Meeta’s blog post at What’s For Lunch Honey?
Moya’s take on Food and Tools
SandyCat’s take on Photography and styling workshop

Welcome to my kitchen – Mama’s Redcurrant Berry Pie

I am going to reveal my best kept secret, my moms recipe, but you have to come to visit my kitchen to get it. Check videolink below.

We Finns drink lots of coffee, traditionally friends are welcome to pop in anytime for coffee. The moment you step in a Finnish home coffee will be brewing and soon you have freshly baked goodies beside your cup.

My favorite berry pie recipe is really current. Red currants are right now ready to be picked in Finland. Most of the households who have red and black currant bushes in garden, steam juice concentrate out of them to keep it for winter. If you are not into juice there’s one recipe which is stable in any Finnish kitchen, berry pie. In Dubai all sort of berries are available whole year around. Red currants are bit tart, but this Finnish berry pie recipe never fails.

Welcome to my kitchen – Tervetuloa Keittiööni
This is my kitchen by My Dubai My City

Mama’s redcurrant berry pie

150 gr butter
100 gr sugar
1 egg
180 g flour
1 ts baking powder

200 ml creme fraiche
1 egg
3 tbs sugar (or more if you like sweet)
1 ts vanilla

1 1/2 – 2 cups red currants and blueberries (any berries for your liking, comes lovely with mango or canned peaches and pears as well)

Mix together soft butter and sugar until creamy
Add one egg and few spoon of flour
Add rest of the flour mixed with 1 teaspoon of baking powder
mix and lay on 20 cm (9 inch) creased pie pan

Mix the filling: creme fraiche, vanilla, sugar and egg. Pour over the pie batter.

Sprinkle last the berries over the pie covered with creme fraiche mixture.

Bake in 180-200 °C about 30-40 minutes. It will be little wobbly in the middle, but it settles after cooling.
Best served when still warm or room temperature. Freezes well for the next surprise visitors.


Hyvää ruokahalua! bon appétit!

You may like Kitchen Parade’s Finnish Fruit Tart and other Finnish recipes CLICK HERE

P.S In background of the video you hear one of my favorite Finnish singer, actor, comic Vesa-Matti Loiri’s Lapin Kesä. Lyrics from famous Finnish Poet Eino Leino (who has huge impact to Finnish language development). Lapin Kesä- Finnish poem Summer in Lapland at Youtube.

Do play with your food – Look-see into Molecular Gastronomy

Did your mom forbid you to play with your food like mine?  If I could have played with food, I’d probably be food scientist or maybe chef. At least chemistry and science projects would have been definitely much more fun and hence my grades higher if only molecular gastronomy tricks were taught at my school.

Tomato Mousse Spheres by Chef Soufiane

Some time ago I was browsing internet to find new soup recipes and found mushroom cappuccino made with siphon spray gun. From there I end up reading about molecular gastronomy and stumbled upon interesting recipe of making spaghetti from basil and arugula. I was sold and wanted to learn more.

When I heard about Culinary Forum at Marta’s Kitchen revealing some Molecular Gastronomy secrets, I did not need to think twice, I signed in at once. My objective was to learn easy tricks for my own home cooking, but I could see benefits for pro cooks and chefs. There’s so many new ways to prepare your food presentation with helping hand from food science.

Chef Soufiane Raji with his colleague Chef Rajesh Balan from Emirates Snack Foods LLC were our molecular gastronomy gurus.

My favorite recipes, which I will definitely revisit in my kitchen, are the meringue, mango spheres, mozzarella mousse & tomato spheres, caviar and lemon curd…oh and powdered chocolate and and…

Mango Golden Sphere Recipe
Ingredients: Mango Puree 500g, Water 400g, Simple Syrup 100g, vegetable Gelatin Powder 30g, Gold powder q.s.
Method: Freeze the mango puree in semi sphere moulds.(Silicone moulds works best) Mix water, syrup, vegetable gelatin powder and gold powder and heat to a boil. Remove from the heat and leave to cool until 85°C. Take a thin needle to pick up spheres and dip them in the gelatin mix. Leave until defrosted.

Ready spheres looks huge golden pearls, take a bite, your are surprised by that mango burst in your mouth. Fresh pure mango with very elegant presentation. I am a fan.

Mango Spheres on 30 seconds

Making of tomato mozzarella spheres and coffee caviar. I had lots of fun on just watching how to make them. Flavors, textures and tastes were just perfect. Playing with food is not boring.

New way to compose Insalata Caprese.

Mozzarella Tomato Mousse Spheres Recipe

Ingredients: Fresh Mozzarella 200g, Milk 200g, Mozarella Powder 40g, SOSA Tomato Powder 35g, Gelatin Leaves 6 units, Salt and Pepper q.s, Soft Whipped Cream 600g.
Method: Hydrate the gelatin leaves with cold water and melt with a little milk. Mix the milk with mozzarella powder, tomato powder, salt and pepper with a hand mixer. When well mixes add in fresh mozzarella and blend again. Strain the mix. Add whipped cream. Put in semi-sphere molds and leave to cool. To get wonderful red cover, dip in tomato gelatin.

Tomato Gel Recipe

Ingredients: Water 400g, vegetable Gelatin Powder 30g, red powder q.s.
Method: Mix tomato juice or water, vegetable gelatin powder and red powder and heat to a boil. Remove from the heat and leave to cool until 85°C. Take a thin needle to pick up tomato spheres and dip them in the gelatin mix. Decorate with tomato stems.

Balsamic Modena Vinegar Jelly Recipe

Ingredients: Modena Vinegar 100g, Water 150g, SOSA vegetable gelatin powder 14g
Method: Mix ingredients and heat until boiling. Remove from the heat and put in a tray 1cm thick. Sets naturally.

Wonderful for decorating and for adding taste for any food where balsamic vinegar is used. I will try this with strawberry salad.


What about serving traditionally prepared Caprese Salad with Balsamic Vinegar Jelly and Basil Air. Here’s the recipe.

Basil Air Recipe
Ingredients: Water 500ml, SOSA Soy Lecithin 4g, SOSA Basil Essential Oil 1g.
Method: Mix the ingredients and emulsify with a hand mixer until you get a foam.


Every girl needs some chocolate therapy, this chocolate is with a twist. Golden Chocolate Dust is in my to do list for next time. In these images Golden Chocolate Crumble Beans

Chocolate crumble beans made with melted chocolate and SOSA Maltodextrin, dusted with golden food color powder.
Easy and special.


Link to  ClickCuisineUAE where all ingredients can be purchased.
Link to Marta’s Kitchen

Read more about the event by epicurUAEn and Life in The Food Lane. Check out amazing photos.

Links about Molecular Gastronomy which might interest you: