News

Why would you choose a cast iron pot or pan?

Cast iron is a durable material that, if cared for properly, will only get better with age! It is quite heavy as a material and the weight is increased by the fact that the walls of the pots and pans are also quite thick.

So why choose a cast iron pot or pan?

Cast iron conducts and absorbs heat slowly and evenly. Because of its high mass, it has a high heat storage capacity. A cast iron pot or pan surrounds the food with an even layer of heat, allowing it to cook at a low temperature. Cast iron is therefore ideal for cooking braised foods, for example. When placed on the table, stylish cast iron pots and pans keep food warm for a long time.

Almost all Maku Kitchen Life cast iron products have a matt enamelling.

Cast iron pans should not be used to store food for long periods of time as this can rust the surface. The matt enamelling on the inside protects the surface from rusting and the treatment makes the pan easy to clean. A matt enamelled pan can be washed with mild soapy water, then carefully dried and preferably oiled.

After matting, the product has a porous surface. Due to the porous structure, it is recommended to oil matt-finished products from time to time. However, matt enamelled cast iron does not require the same level of fat burning as untreated cast iron.

 

Maku pots and pans are suitable for all types of cookers. Cast iron should not be overheated, as too rapid a heat cycle may damage it. However, cast iron products are a very durable choice, as they are almost eternal when properly maintained.

 

       

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White set of dishes for everyday and festive occasions

With timelessly beautiful and elegant porcelain dishes, it is easy to build a wide variety of table setting and therefore they are well suited for both everyday and festive occasions. The dishes are decorated with a delicate and elegant stripe and their design language is well suited to the Nordic taste. The dishes are oven, microwave and machine washable and have a maximum temperature of 180 degrees.

 

 

Click on the product image to open more information about the product.

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Vacuum sealer

Vacuum sealer is an easy-to-use device for cooking and minimizing food waste. Vacuum packing will extend the shelf life of food products. The device can be used to vacuum pack food products that need to be preserved or frozen and cook foods that need to be marinated or prepared Sous Vide. The compact vacuum sealer is easy to use, clean and store. You can create a vacuum at the push of a button. Two nozzles included. Suitable for use with vacuum containers and bags, e.g., the Maku Vacuum food container 614530 and the Maku Vacuum bags S–L 614531, 614532, 614533. Uses 2 x AA batteries (not included) or a USB cable (1 m). Signal lights indicate when the vacuum process is complete. Voltage: DC 3–5 V. Power: 2–6 W

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Spiralizer Mini

Using spiralizer to turn many vegetables into a very appealing side, and the mouth-watering and colourful dishes always make people’s mood and appetite become good! Suitable for multiple hard vegetables: courgettes, beetroot, butternut squash, cucumber, pumpkin, carrot, onion etc. Spiralizer Mini is easy and comfortable to use and for it’s compact size, it’s convenient to store.

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Oven-baked potato blini pancake on the table.

Easy Finnish-style blini party

I love blinis, but they are slow to fry, so in recent years, I have switched to making oven-baked blini pancakes. This way, you will get the same flavors without the sizzling fat and you can step away from the stove. The blini party becomes even easier with Maku trays that can be used not only for serving, but also for prepping and baking. Get your pancake straight from the oven to the table with a beautiful tray!

 

Flavors from Finland

As we celebrated the Finnish Culture Day at the end of February, I pondered how I could add a Finnish twist to blinis. Finnish flavors are not as acidic as in Slavic cuisine, from where blinis originated. I softened the sour buckwheat dough with potatoes, the foundation of our cuisine. I whipped the egg whites into a foam, which makes the pancake extra light.

I also associate Finnish cuisine to root vegetables. Swedes, turnips and other offerings of the cold cellar kept people alive when there were no fridges or freezers. Root vegetables are incredibly delicious when you season and cook them well.

Traditionally, honey is poured on top of the blinis, but I served them in a new way. I used a Maku tray to roast root vegetables, which I seasoned with heaps of honey and herbs. I spread the cooled pancake first with smetana and then with decorative strips of honey-roasted root vegetables and pickles. This brought a sweet, salty and rich flavor to every bite.

 

Blini buffet with trays

I did not put onions and fish on the pancake because there was a vegetarian in our party and our child is hesitant to eat uncooked onions. Instead, I arranged gravlax, roe, onions and more pickles on smaller Maku trays. Those who eat fish could then add anything they wanted from the trays to their piece of pancake, and the table setting was harmonious as all the dishes were matching.

Of course, you can also serve the blini pancake as it is without any toppings. You can brush the freshly baked pancake with melted butter, and the diners can select the toppings to their own taste.

A pancake with toppings, on the other hand, is an easy yet visually impressive dish. You can also cut pickles lengthwise to create patterns, make gravlax roses or freely sprinkle roe on top of the pancake.

 

Machine wash and stack

It was easy to clean up after the blini party as the stainless steel trays can be washed in the dishwasher. Then, all that there was left to do was to stack and set them aside to await the next blini party.

My 8-year-old says it must be held soon, as the potato pancake and sweet vegetables became a hit. Yet another educative culinary experience for the young! Maybe next time we will dare to try the onion?

 

Janica Brander / @Savusuolaa

Savusuolaa blogger, author and freelance journalist specializing in restaurants and food.

Janica made us an oven-baked potato blini pancake recipe with a Finnish twist. Check the recipe here.

 

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Porcini mushroom pizza on the table.

Finnish pizza

Finnish pizza culture is very young, as the first pizza places in Finland were opened in the 1970s. All Finns are probably familiar with the pizzas grandma used to make; ketchup instead of San Marzano tomatoes and ground beef instead of air-dried salami. In recent years, however, Finland, too, has seen a pizza-making revolution. This has been brought on by passionate restauranteurs and enthusiastic home pizza chefs who have brought pizza ovens to their backyards. A pizza chef group on Facebook has more than 26,000 members discussing the purposes of different types of flour and the best pizza base recipes.

Due to the long winters, preserves and seasonal products have been characteristic of Finnish cuisine. Today, supermarket shelves are full of food items from all over the world, and being able to find high-quality pizza flour in your local grocery store is the norm.

The pizza that we now eat originated in Naples in the south of Italy in the 18th century. Pizza used to be a cheap option for commoners, until it became one of the world’s most popular dishes in the 20th century. Finnish cuisine and Italian pizza have simplicity and the purity of the ingredients in common. Pure Finnish nature and the concept of Everyman’s Rights, including the right to pick wild berries and mushrooms and fish, ensure that you can pick your pizza toppings in the local forest, if you wish. Penny buns, freshwater fish and game, for example, are excellent and special ingredients to top your pizza. Combined with high-quality cheese and dough, Finnish pizza must have some of the best flavors in the world. Now you can make it at home!

 

Jukka Salminen / @Slicemonger

Jukka “Slicemonger” Salminen is a Tampere-based photographer, musician and pizza maker who has been working on pizza for years. The sociability is also important to Jukka – cooking and eating together is the best thing a person can do.

Jukka developed a porcini mushroom pizza recipe for us, inspired by Finnish food culture. You’ll find the recipe here.

 

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Valualumiiniset paistinpannut, kattila ja kasari, cast aluminum cookware or frying pans.

Why choose cast aluminum cookware or frying pans?

Cast aluminum conducts and retains heat extremely well. The efficient heat conduction and retention guarantee excellent results in frying and searing food. These characteristics also make cast aluminum ideal for stews that involve slow cooking for long periods of time.

It is often said that cast aluminum is equipped with the heat distribution and retention properties of cast iron, while being considerably more convenient to handle. Ease of handling compared to cast iron is due to the light weight of the material and the ceramic nonstick coating. This type of coating withstands high temperatures well, but requires only a small amount of grease for frying and is easy to clean.

Glass lids that fit frying pans, pots and saucepans have silicone brims with steam venting holes. The stylish imitation wood non-slip handle ensures a good grip. The handle is made from bakelite. You can also use the products in the oven at temperatures of up to 150 degrees, which is the maximum thermal resistance of the handles. Products in the cast aluminum range can be used on all hobs.

 

Click on the product image to read more about the products.

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USING A STEAMER BASKET IS EASY

 

Steaming has many benefits. You’ll avoid carcinogens that are often generated when frying and grilling, and you don’t have to use any fats or oils for cooking. When steamed, food retains nutrients that can easily dissolve into the water when boiled. Cooking with steam is also fast, saving time and energy.

If you’re not yet familiar with using a steamer basket, see how easy it is.

  1. Bring water to a boil in a pot or frying pan.
  2. Place a sheet of parchment paper with holes in it onto the bottom of the steamer basket and load the food to be cooked into the basket. Place the lid onto the basket.
  3. Place the steamer basket into the water. The water level should be so low that it does not touch the food in the steamer basket. Steam the food on the boiling water in accordance with your recipe. Keep an eye on things to make sure that the water does not evaporate completely.
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Maku-laseja kattauksessa, Maku glasses in a table setting.

Does the shape of the glass affect the taste of the drink?

We all have our own taste preferences – much like how beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Cognac, whisky and wine aficionados are, however, convinced that the quality of glassware, and especially the shape of the glass, affects the enjoyment of the drink.

The ideal shape of a glass for each drink is the result of hundreds of years of experience, and the matter has probably been the subject of numerous studies, too. A university in Tokyo conducted an experiment* by using a special camera and determined that different glasses and serving temperatures had a significant impact on the special camera images of wines. When drinking wine chilled to 13 degrees from a glass of a certain shape, the center of the drink held less alcohol than around the rim. There was no similar spherical phenomenon when warm wine was served from different glasses.

“This ring phenomenon allows us to enjoy the wine aroma without the interference of gaseous ethanol. Accordingly, the wine glass shape has a very sophisticated functional design for tasting and enjoying wine,” says  Kohji Mitsubayashi, who was involved in the study.

Whether the enjoyable taste is down to a scientifically proven phenomenon or not, you should not undervalue the fact that most people will find drinks more enjoyable when served in a beautiful, appropriate glass. Would you like to drink champagne from a plastic cup, for example?

 

    Maku-laseja kattauksessa.

   

Check all the Maku glasses here.

 

*Source: Scientificamerican.com

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The secret to crispy tofu

I cooked up some tofu stir fry with teriyaki sauce. People often ask me for tips on how to make tofu crispy. The secret is to press the tofu and then fry it in a dry pan. If you fry the tofu in oil while it’s wet, you won’t get that crispy finish. Because of this, I always fry the tofu in advance and then fry the rest of the stir fry ingredients in a separate batch. I also always wait until the end to add the sauce.

We ate these delicious treats off of a stoneware dish in line with the Asian theme, which, by the way, is machine-washable. The finishing touch to the presentation was provided by gold-colored chopsticks, which are actually made from durable stainless steel that will serve you for many years. I recommend washing the chopsticks by hand to preserve the gilding, however.

 

Savusuolaa-blogger Janica Brander

@janicabee

You’ll find Janica´s tofu wok recipe in here.

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Aasialaisia dumplingeja dumpling-höyryttimessä.

Quick and easy dumplings with Maku products

I fell in love with Chinese dumplings while studying abroad in Shanghai. The grandmother of a local family taught me the recipe for a classic dumpling filling consisting of pork, cabbage, ginger and garlic. These kinds of dumplings are traditionally enjoyed with dark vinegar and soy sauce.

I’ve also made dumplings at home a few times, but wrapping them by hand is a slow process, and some of the dumplings inevitably end up opening while boiling. But now that I got to test some Maku Kitchen Life products designed for cooking Asian dishes, I was able to cook up some dumplings for the first time without any problems!

A convenient mold and a quick steamer

The set included a convenient dumpling mold. First, you shape a piece of dough into a small, round disc and press it into the mold. Next, you add a teaspoon of filling in the middle of the disc, close the mold and voilà: you’re done! Beautiful and evenly sized dumplings, every time. While I’m sure that they will end up looking even better with some more experience, I am very happy with the results of this first try.

The mold can also be used to make ravioli, the Italian cousin of dumplings, which you can fill with cheese, spinach and ham, and Slavic pelmeni, which are traditionally filled with mushrooms and served with smetana and meat broth.

The steamer made from bamboo is awesome, too. Simply place it on top of a pot of boiling water, close the lid, wait ten minutes and the dumplings are done. You can even stack several steamers in order to steam larger batches at once. I lined the steamers with baking paper to prevent the dough from sticking to them, and, afterwards, all you have to do to clean the steamers is to dry them.

I absolutely loved the steamer! Using it was the first time that none of my dumplings opened up or stuck together during cooking. Next time, I’m going to try steaming some fish, and, in the summer, the steamer will be perfect for cooking broccoli.

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Taupen ja terrakottan väriset Simple-astiat.

The Simple tableware set is simple and down to earth

Now that it’s becoming clear that winter has come once again, one just wants to build a nest, fortify in there and line it with everything beautiful, delicious and warm.

Winter trends include e.g. earthy colors, round shapes, and ceramic materials. Simple tableware are all that, so they are just like made for a cozy kitchen. The set is so beautiful in its simplicity and practicality that it can very well be used in a table setting or displayed on an open shelf. But unlike a plate purchased from a souvenir booth, these dishes endure a microwave, oven, freezer as well as a dishwasher.

And because the Maku range also has its softer side, it includes kitchen textiles that match the colors of the Simple tableware, with patterns that continue the same natural and simple line.

Lovely oven roots are very suitable for the uncomplicated and down-to-earth theme, and you can find a recipe here.

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A woman moving tortilla from a pan to tortilla warmer.

Mexican style cooking together with friends and family

Mexican food has become very popular in the Nordic countries and especially in Finland. It has become a favorite food especially for young people and families with children, because it can be prepared together using fresh ingredients. In the fillings of tacos, enchiladas and burritos, only the imagination is the limit, so they can easily be made for example vegan or be stuffed with loss food.

We have now introduced new inspiring products to make it easier for people to make fresh, homemade Mexican delicacies. With the new Maku Kitchen Life tortilla press and pan, you can make tasteful tortillas yourself and with a tortilla warmer you can keep them warm. Small salsa and guacamole bowls are well suited for Mexican-inspired table setting.

Maku Kitchen Life products go perfectly with a beautiful kitchen, delicious food and good company. They are durable, easy-to-use and functionally designed in order to make your cooking more pleasurable. Their great price-quality value is just the cherry on top!

The kitchen is a place where you enjoy spending time and a Maku Kitchen is a place where you enjoy staying a long time.

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Food Waste Week 13–19 September

“Is that a moldy piece of cheese in the depths of the fridge? Oh, and here are some cold cuts too, but I wonder how old they are … do we dare eat them?”

Fleeting, everyday thoughts that lead to over a million kilos of food waste each year in Finland alone. Finns throw away an average of 20–25 kg of food each a year – worth around €100.

There are lots of reasons to reduce the amount of food waste we produce – from saving money to saving the planet. And the latter is no joke. If food waste were a country, its carbon footprint would be the third largest in the world, after those of China and the USA.

There are plenty of ways to reduce food waste. By changing attitudes and through small, everyday choices, we can influence the amount of food waste our own household produces significantly. If you can manage to stop for a moment to think about and plan how to buy your food, where to buy it from, and how much to get, as well as how any leftover food can be used up, and how it can be used further in general, then sure enough, you should see a fall in the amount of waste you produce and money you spend on food.

For example, how and where left-over or close-to-expiry food is stored is one key factor. If it is kept in the fridge in a transparent box that you see right away when you open the door, you will be less likely to forget about it and leave it to go off. If you keep a roll of masking tape and a pen nearby, you can mark the date on the side of the container, giving you more confidence in deciding whether those cold cuts can still be eaten. A removable mesh basket inside the container prevents moisture from seeping into the food, ensuring fruit and vegetables remain fresh for longer. Small, but surprisingly significant things.

 

 

 

Do you know how long various foods can be left in the fridge on average (+2–5 °C)?
Milk 7 days

Meat 3–5 days

Minced meat 1–2 days

Fish 1 day

Cold cuts 5–7 days

Pre-prepared foods 3–4 days

Sauces, porridges 1–2 days

 

Here are a few ideas of things to make from food that might otherwise go to waste:

Quesadillas

Quesadillas are a great option even for tortilla wraps that have dried out a little. Toast all kinds of fillings that you might otherwise throw away between two wraps with cheese. Pieces of cheese that are getting old can be grated and frozen, allowing you to add a little sprinkling of grated cheese to all kinds of different foods.

Croutons

Cut old, dried out bread into pieces and fry it in a frying pan with butter, salt and garlic. This also works excellently with rye bread.

Pyttipannu hash

Let’s not forget the old favorite, pyttipannu hash, which you make with potatoes, root vegetables, sausages, cold cuts, meat balls, and all kinds of other things. Have you tried making pyttipannu hash from raw potato? It may take longer to make, but the end result is oh so delicious. A splash of cream in your pyttipannu hash makes for a great addition.

Banana

If a banana starts to look past its best before you manage to eat it, cut it into cubes, freeze it, and use it gradually in smoothies.

 

Food is wonderful and it deserves our respect. Hopefully more and more people will make a bit of healthy scrimping part of their everyday life and think about what they can do to reduce their food waste.

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Wine and Food 2016 Fair

Maku Kitchen Life will be prominently featured at the Wine and Food 2016 Fair on 27–30 October 2016 at Messukeskus Helsinki, Expo and Convention Centre. Come to meet us, taste new food and do some inexpensive shopping! Continue reading…

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