Dinner Party

it was a beautiful much needed evening, I had a few of my girls over for dinner when Lucas was away with daddy at his summer place. Eventhough it was hard to say bye to Lucas when they left, I can say it did good for me to just focus on something else other than the baby and allow my mind and body to fully rest. I decided to have a good old fashioned dinner party of four courses. We enjoyed some cocktails, miraval rose and bubbly while chatting away as they evening descended. What a lovely evening.

Find the recipe for the starter from here.

First Mother’s Day

My first Mother’s Day was something I have been looking forward to a long time. Motherhood feels so natural to me, I feel blessed that I get to take care of little Lucas for the rest of his life. It so happened that our anniversary also fell onto the same day, so we also celebrated 13 years together. I received some beautiful peonies for the start of the day and then we went for a lovely picnic to the outskirts of Helsinki, sat by the water and ate sandwiches, strawberries and coffee. On our way back home I got a lovely handbag surprise from my husband (let’s just say he outdid himself with this gift) and in the evening we made a lovely dinner together as a family. My own parents where at the summer place so it was quite special to celebrate our first mothers day, just as our own little family. This time of year wood anemones (valkovuokkoja in Finnish) begin to bloom and it is tradition to pick them up for your mother on this day. I cannot wait of the day, my little boy will pick them up for me as he gets a little older.

I particularly understand how difficult mother’s day can be to many individuals. Some who have lost their mothers and others whom are yearning to become one, I have a lot of understanding for you all in a position like that. I remember when I was feeling sad, I tried finding positivity from places elsewhere. Social media did not help. Try to remember what is good in your life at that moment, may it be health, your relationship, your friends, anything really to direct you into the right direction. For anyone who is struggling, wishing you all strength.

 

Cherry Blossoms & Tea Parties

As Spring falls to end, the cherry blossoms welcome summer with open arms

It is that time of season again, when the pink oxygen of the sky is in full bloom. Cherry blossom season is in full bloom in Helsinki and traditionally, I could not miss the chance to photograph them at sunrise. I enjoyed a cup of tea there and played around with lens flares. It makes me breathless everytime. Yesterday, I had some friends over for a tea party, we celebrated the upcoming birthday of my friends baby girl. It feels so good to make others happy, I notice that I thrive when I take a nurturing role in the lives of others and I love dressing the table.  I love a good tea party too, setting the table with porcelain cups, crystal and antique finds that I have collected throughout the years. Now, if only I had a garden where I could have tea setups surrounded with daliahs and peonies with French cast iron tables and chairs.

Persian Fritata

Kuku or Kookoo is a traditional egg based Persian dish that is healthy and delicious packed with a variety of herbs. The dish compares to a frittata, not an omelette as the ratio to filling is more than eggs itself. You can play around with the herbs you like, the taste is light and airy and once you make it, you will do it again! 

Ingredients for Kuku Sabzi

  • 2 bunches fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 1bunch dill, finely chopped
  • ½bunch mint, finely chopped
  • 1spring onion, chopped
  • Small handful (about 2 oz) fresh spinach, finely chopped
  • 2garlic clove finely chopped
  • 3-4eggs, beaten
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • Zest of 1 lime
  • 1 tbsp flour (generous tbsp)
  • Pinch of baking powder
  • Pinch of salt &Ground black pepper
  • 4tablespoonsolive oil

Yogurt sauce

  • ½ cup yogurt
  • 2 garlic cloves grated

Toppings

  • Crushed walnuts
  • pomegranate
  • Barberries (or dried cranberries)
  • Serve with flat bread (optional)

 

Directions

 

In a bowl, mix in all the ingredients and beat well. Add in the salt and pepper. In about a 20cm nonstick pan (about 8 inches) add the olive oil over medium heat. Pour in the mixture and cook on medium-low heat for about 10 minutes.

With the help of a knife, gently cut the kuku into 4 wedges. Then gently turn each slices over to brown on the other side. If necessary, add a little butter or oil in the pan.

Meanwhile, mix the yogurt and grated garlic together and serve it on the side. Top the kuku sabzi with crushed walnuts, pomegranate and barberries on top.

With Easter on its way, kuku sabzi is an intriguing traditional dish to bring people together. Its vibrant green color will spruce up a brunch table bringing a set of culture together.  With symbolizing rebirth and fresh starts in a way, it is fragrantly delicious and appropriate as spring sets into bloom.

Easter Treat & Porvoo

Easter has been relaxing and beautifully sunny here in Helsinki. We took a day trip to Porvoo, strolled around the old town, had lunch and coffee at a cute little restaurant. We have spent a lot of time outdoors basking in the sunshine. I wanted to share this 10 minute asparagus pie recipe with you all, that we have been making almost every morning this easter.

You need ready rectangle sheets of puff pastry, some cream cheese, spring asparagus and egg wash. Basically, cut the puff pastries into squares, scar a smaller square in the centre of your pastry, as seen in the image below. Do not cut all the way through however. Spread some cream cheese (that is mixed with herbs) into the square. Add asparagus on top. Wash the sides with egg and place into a hot oven of 200 degrees Celsius for 10 minutes. Once they come from the oven, add a sprinkling of Malden salt and eat warm.

The asparagus tarts come out golden tasting lovely and gooey in the middle with beautiful spring flavours from the herbs and asparagus.

Nordic twist White Fish Tartar

 

White fish Spring Appetiser 

Last Friday it was the first time my hubby and I went for dinner just the two of us while little L was taken care of, back home. One of the dishes at the restaurant was cured white fish dish that had a mix of different components from passionfruit to ponzu and a tarragon oil around it all. It was sweet and fresh, the shiso leaves added a new dimension and together the flavours were heavenly. The dish was so good, we tried to re-create it back home and it turned out amazing. I wanted to share this recipe with you all, so you can enjoy it too. We purchased the “siika” (white fish in Finnish) already cured, but of course, this process can be done at home too if you prepare in advance. For my international followers, if you do not find cured white fish and do not wish to do it yourself, this would work with fresh salmon too, sashimi style. The cured process cooks the fish with salt and sugar and adds a lovely salty flavour to it.

Ingredients 

  • cured white fish (graavattu siika in Finnish) slices
  • shiso leaves
  • tiny bit of cucumber
  • tiny bit of paprika
  • fresh tarragon
  • olive oil
  • green/rosé pepper
  • passionfruit
  • ponzu sauce ( we used a lemon flavoured ponzu sauce)

Directions

Begin by making the tarragon oil. In a blender mix together fresh tarragon leaves, lime juice and olive oil. For my international followers, cured fish is a nordic concept- where raw fish is cooked with sugar and salt overnight in the fridge. In Scandinavia, you can buy ready slices of cured fish in all super markets, but these are best bought from fish stores, for the freshest of flavours. If you cannot find this white fish called siika, cured salmon will also do. The cured white fish we used was flavoured with dill and rosé pepper bought from the market hall.

This dish is really easy to make, it looks beautiful and the components work great together. This dish is inspired from a restaurant we went to last Friday and tried testing it at home. My husband and I were both impressed how amazing it turned out and it honestly has become one of our favourite appetizers. So the only thing you need to do for this dish, is to make the oil and sugar the cucumber, the rest is all about plating.

At this point, cut tiny little slithers of (about 1.5cm long) green paprika (only using the skin part) that is used for garnishing. The skin has a tangy flavour to it and works well with the fish. Also cut similar pieces of cucumber flesh and place into a little bowl of water with a pinch sugar. Leave the cucumber to marinate for about 15 min or some.

Ready to plate: Place the cured fish slices into a little wreath shape in the centre of your plate. Add the paprika and cucumber in little nooks of the fish so it looks pretty. Pour some ponzu sauce in the middle of the wreath. Add the tarragon oil on the outer part of the wreath. Scoop some passionfruit into the centre and on top of the fish. Add shiso leaves on top of the fish and sprinkle with any desired pepper.

Spring time with Gallerix wall art.

in collaboration with Gallerix 

You know that spring is slowly making its way back into the horizon, when you hear the sound of screeching seagulls. It is one of my favourite sounds in the entire world as it reminds me of the sea, summer, seaside and it symbolises the end of winter. Ever spring, I get an urge to spruce things up in the interior front and this time, I ordered a new linen sofa in front of the kitchen to create a new coffee spot. I sold my old computer table as I do not need a specific workspace and created this soft ambiance area instead. I love the way it adds another space to the house and visually looks more appealing this way.

I also got the chance to have a new collaboration with the poster brand gallerix which came during the right time with my spring clear-out.  I thought it was quite special to order a poster of a map with the coordinates for our future house. I thought it would be unique and meaningful and was thinking of giving it my husband as an anniversary gift. I love the idea of a coordinated map, as we all have places that are important to us. At first, I was thinking of placing the coordinates for the place in Italy, where we got engaged as this also holds a special place in our hearts. However, I think our house coordinates can look great in our new home, so I went with that instead. If you are thinking of ordering some prints yourself, find inspiration from this collage of prints on the wall that have been made by interior specialists to see what prints suit each other. For the next twenty one days, I will be sharing a discount code xoamys30, where you can get 30 % of your discount.

Maybe it was the sound of the seagulls this morning or that we are heading towards spring, I wanted to also order these cute little sailboats in size 50 x 70 cm in a white wooden frame, to place into Lucas’ room. Since Suvisaaristo is very much a seaside area to live, I thought the sailboats would be a cute addition to his future room. I also love the muted colour palette it has, very elegant and pleasant to my eye. Maybe my son will take up sailing as a hobby when he grows a bit older.

This Sans Couture print is lovely with a neutral colour palate, that works well with the prints I ordered last time, such as the Matisse print. I love the petals as it feels timeless, spring-like and visually it is something I will not get bored of easily. Moreover, the coordinate map in size 50 x 70cm in a white wooden frame is also visually appealing as you can change the colour of the landscape and roads from black and white to a neutral light sand colour with white roads. Many may think that this does not show the details clear enough, but I personally love that the contrast is left to a minimal and does not bounce out too much from the wall. This will eventually look great in our house. It even shows the little sauna on our plot at the moment and our neighbouring houses which is a great little detail. I love the little spruce up or house got this spring, now I am only waiting for the weather to get warm enough so I can begin planting flowers on our balcony.

Lucas

Time seems to be passing by really quickly with little Lucas, whom has just turned 4 months. We had a small and intimate christening for him a few weeks ago with family and his godparents that was a lovely gathering. His name is Lucas Lionel Noah. Thus far, everything has been running really smoothly with this little one, he seems to be a clam and easy baby at the moment at least. He has just learned to roll over from the side to his belly, all on his own and has discovered his own toes and loves to put everything in his mouth. He loves to suck on his own thumb, the pacifier, not so much. He follows very well with his eyes and gives you the cheekiest little grin if you smile at him. We just had a doctors appointment today and he is growing at a normal rate, he is 65cm tall and weighs about 6kg already. Bedtime as gone really well for us too, he sleeps 6 hours (in one go) at the longest, then eats and goes back to sleep for another couple or three hours. In the mornings, if we still want to sleep, he is perfectly happy in his own crib cooing and wiggling around, which makes me happy. Don’t know if every parent feels like this, but we surely got lucky with this little cutie. He is such a dream and puts us a good mood with his little smiles.

Here are a few images from the christening- we had a beautiful church ceremony and a little party back at our place. Lucas was wearing our family christening gown that runs from our side of the family. We served some champagne and canapés and ended with party with some cake. It was a beautiful day and Lucas behaved like such a good boy all day. He did not cry once, just took it easy on everyones lap.

post bath is one of our favourite times. Siena is protective over Lucas, she loves to lick his little fingers and lays next to him watching his moves. She has also become more protective over the pram as we walk and is in clear guard move to protect the pack when we are on the move.

Lemon Gingerbread cookies

 

‘Lemon gingerbread cookies on the night before Christmas’

Since we still have our Christmas tree up, is it ok to bake gingerbread cookies? For the first time this year ( I have no idea why I have not before) made my own gingerbread cookie dough. It literally was the easiest thing ever and I added some lemon zest to add a bit of zing, and it was an addition I will be adding every year. I also like that when you make your own dough, you can make just a small batch as I prefer baking only 1 baking tray full of cookies. I also dipped the finished cookies into melted daim- chocolate, which added that special taste to them. I baked these cookies the day before Christmas Eve and I loved how it made the kitchen smell of sweet festive spices. That day we took a forrest walk with our little family and had some hot glögi and cookies with us to get into the spirit of the following day. I wanted to write this recipe down more for myself, as I will be making this every year as a little new tradition of ours. I can’t wait to bake these cookies with our little boy once he is old enough.

Ingredients ( 1 baking tray)

  • 1/2 dl syrup
  • 1/2 dl sugar
  • 75g butter
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground Cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon gingerbread spice
  • 1 egg
  • 2-3 dl flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

Directions

Boil the butter, sugar, lemon zest, syrup and spices in a saucepan. Cool the mixture. Add in the egg. Add the flour and baking soda. Mix into an even batter. However, do not over mix the batter as this keeps the cookies crisp. If the batter seems too dry, you can add a little bit more melted butter. Place the batter into the fridge for overnight.

The following day, roll the batter out and use your cookie cutters to create shapes. Make sure to use plenty of flour so it does not stick to your surface. Place the raw cookies onto a parchment paper lined baking tray and bake in 200 Celsius degrees for about 5-8 minutes. Leave to cool on a rack and dip a corner of the cookie into some melted chocolate. I used daim-flavoured chocolate that I melted in a bowl over boiling water. Lastly I dusted the cookies with a coating of icing sugar.

 

Christmas Eve

Even though it is the beginning of January already, I want to go back to Christmas Eve and share some photos from the evening. We spent the eve at my brother’s and sister in laws house, which is magical in the outskirts of town. We were lucky and got a white Christmas this year, the air was crisp and chilly, cosy for Christmas time. We spent a sweet morning with hubby and the baby and the evening was spent with my side of the family. We ate the most delicious food, had a visit from Santa Claus & sent a lovely evening together. The following day we went to my hubby’s side of the family and spent a lovely evening there as well. After a few hectic late nights with the lack of sleep, the following days were spent taking it easy at home with our little family. Christmas was extra special for my husband and I this year, the greatest gift we could ever ask for, was our little boy.

A snowy road to our future property- love the beautiful trees that the road surrounds. 

the train is one of baby’s first ornaments

A set table and delicious winter cocktails