Winter smoothie

Today is the darkest day of the year and it feels only natural to start the day with a vitamin filled smoothie. I try to pack in the fruit and vegetable through liquid form to ensure I get enough nutrients throughout the day, now that my time is limited with a little baby. Thus, smoothies are great additives to a diet that are quick and easy to make. Since we will be enjoying a delicious but heavy Christmas meal in just three days, a refreshing smoothie is the best way to start the day. My husband and I both love this combination of ingredients and the rich purple colour is appropriate for this festive season.

Winter smoothie

  • 1 cup milk of choice
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1 orange
  • about 5-7 walnuts
  • pinch of cardamum

Blend everything together and drink immidiatly 

 

Christmas coffee & Pine wreath

I usually prefer a simple good quality cappuccino in the morning without any sweetness but during the Christmas season it is nice to spruce up the coffee once in a while. This maple latte also makes a great afternoon pick-me-up if you have a little sweet tooth craving and elevates your cappuccino in a matter of minutes. While hubby has looking after our little one, I quickly made a little wreath and enjoyed it over Christmas music and this smoothing coffee, which is super delicious. Cardamom is one of my favourite spices during this time of year, which I would say the entire Scandinavia agrees on.

I actually found the twigs for the base of wreath on my morning walk with Siena who happen to be chewing on them. I noticed how durable and bendy they were that I snatched a few to take home with me. You basically bend them into a circle and attach the ends together with floral wire. I took some pine twigs and little white berries from the forest and simply attached them to the base with more floral wire. It is really as simple as that. This little wreaths make great decorations on top of gifts or simple around the house to bring a little of nature inside. I think, wreaths are perhaps the finest Christmas decorations. A little evergreen in Christmas time is a must. 

Maple Cardamom latte (serves 2)

  • 1 1/2 cups cashew milk (or any milk of choice)
  • pinch of ground cardamom
  • 1 Tablespoon almond butter
  • pinch of vanilla paste (or extract)
  • 1 tablespoon of pure maple syrup
  • 2 good quality espresso
  • toasted almond flakes
  • pinch of cinnamon for topping

Directions

In a saucepan combine the milk, cardamom, almond butter, vanilla and maple syrup. Bring to a high simmer over medium heat. Transfer the milk to a blender and blitz until smooth and frothy. Top the milk on top of your espresso. Garnish with toasted almond flakes and a sprinkling of cinnamon.

Lilac Water

 

 

Lilac water

Water infused with lilac blossoms calms the souls and restores the spirit. Not only does it look beautiful, but it adds a gorgeous delicate flavor to your water. All you need to do is snap some lilac blossoms (that are clean of any chemicals), wash them and let it soak in your water until it begins to flavor it. It is like drinking summer in a glass. These special little drinks are perfect for garden party gatherings, showers or just at home in a pitcher in the fridge to hydrate you throughout the day. The last of lilacs are just about to dry out on trees as the season ends and the weather is so warm. It only takes a few minutes to make and instantly elevates that ordinary water into something more darling.

 

fun fact: felt the baby kick for the first time at week 18 + 5 days, on June 16th as I was resting in bed

 

 

Rose Petal Ice cubes & Baby’s Breath wreath

 

‘rose petal ice cubes & delicate baby’s breath flower crown´

June has really stepped up its game in terms of constant sunshine, and the heat brings all kinds of beautiful drinks to the palm of our hands. Hydration is so important for your skin and body during the summer, and I love playing around with the idea of incorporating florals into the scene. Not that this hasn’t been done before, however I have never tried making eatable flower ice cubes. I have made gorgeous herb ice cubes from thyme and mint and used them for summer cocktails made of lemon or rosé wine that always add a visual touch. Since I had freshly picked a few rose buds from my mother in laws garden, I wanted to take advantage of them as I know, they are chemical free and completely organic. I washed and ripped the pale pink petals and dropped them into my icetray and shaped them into form. This morning, I tested my rose petal ice cubes with a glass of cold water while making a baby’s breath flower crown. Not only did the ice cubes look delicately beautiful, but it instantly elevates the drink to the next level. To be honest, it did not infuse the water with flavor, this is probably because the cubes are so big in size and take really long to melt but, the visual aspect was enough for me. If you are planning any get togethers, try this for your next drink. It also works beautifully in coolers for your bottle, with petal ice cubes all around.

On another note, since I have so many beautiful flowers from my birthday, I wanted to take full advantage of all of them, hence I decided to make a delicate little baby’s breath crown to celebrate the beautiful days of June. Baby’s breath is a durable flower which makes it perfect for making wreaths. It is so light from 4am till 11pm at this time of year and it really gives an uplifting sense and strength of energy that we will carry with us when fall takes over.

Pre Christmas Honey Pear Cocktail

 

 

 

‘December 23rd– Time to wind down with a festive pear cocktail made from roasted honey pears’

Many of you are getting ready to roast the pig overnight while others may be wrapping gifts has households wind down. It is officially one day before Christmas Eve and I think a well-deserved cocktail is in order. The past two days have gone in a whirlwind of cooking, baking, running last minute errands, finalizing gifts and cleaning. It is late evening already and there are still a few remaining things to do, but slowly the winding down process has begun. This festive honey pear cocktail is the perfect way to begin the Christmas celebrations. I have my Christmas playlist in the background, candles on and I’m testing out tomorrows outfit. I’m planning on wearing a long glitter dress that has an open back or a champagne-colored silk gown that is simple but elegant. There is a lot of uncertainly in the air at the moment around the world- many people are facing lockdown and can’t spend it with family and others are terribly lonely over the holidays. Take the time to make those distant phone calls this year and give a helping hand to those who need it. My parents are spending Christmas just the two of them at the countryside to be on the safe side and us kids are spending the eve tomorrow together. It’s sad, but the responsible thing to do. I hope everyone stays safe this year and thinks twice about the people they choose to see. Thankfully we are all in this together and this year has shown what uncertainly can look like. Whether you have decided to skip Christmas totally this year or are spending it with your loved ones, let’s try to be grateful for the small things in life. Currently, I’m grateful for the cosines in our house, the flickering of our stunning tree and the fact that most of the Christmas cooking is done. Despite the fact that Siena has a puppy flue and I spilled coffee all over our linen curtains, I’m ready to sip on this honey roasted pear cocktail that I scouted from Pinterest. I made some dried clementine slices last night, as they slowly cook in the oven for 4 hours.

For this recipe you need honey roasted pears that you will turn into a purée. In terms of alcohol, you can use sparkling wine as a base or something stronger like whiskey or vodka. For a mocktail version, use grapefruit juice. The recipe calls for all kinds of winter spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, sugar rims and rosemary for garnishing.

Ingredients

  • 5 pears sliced in half
  • 3-5 tablespoons Honey
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • Pinch of cinnamon
  • Pinch of ground nutmeg & ground clove
  • 2 tbsp apple juice or water
  • 1 tsp vanilla paste
  • Sparkling wine

Garnish: dried clementine slices & rosemary, Brown sugar to coat the glass rims

Directions

Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Line a baking tray with a greased sheet. Add the halved pears (remove stems) on the tray. In a small bow whisk together 2 tbsp honey, 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar, cinnamon, and ground nutmeg. Brush this over the pears and place into the oven for about 25 minutes until browned and soft. Remove from oven and once cooled, remove the seeds with a spoon. Next, place into a blender with the vanilla paste and apple juice or water and blitz into a puree. Scoop into a maison jar and refrigerate until served.

Once ready to serve:  in a pitcher, add some of the pear puree, a pinch of ground clove, 3 tablespoons of runny honey, and your alcohol of choice. Mix together.

Meanwhile coat the cocktail glasses rims with brown sugar. (Do this by adding lemon to the sides and placing the rims into some brown sugar). Pour some cocktail into them and garnish with a twig of rosemary and a dried clementine slice.

 

 

Velvety Hot Chocolate

‘Decadent hot Chocolate for those cozy Christmas movie nights’

This rich and thick chocolate is not your everyday hot drink but it is the kind of treat that you have once a year, as Christmas eve is just around the corner. This warm cup is meant to be sipped on slowly and luxuriously feeling the velvety sweetness hit the back of your palette. Each sip is like drinking a bar of heavenly chocolate as the recipe calls for heavy cream and good quality chocolate.

Basically, snap a piece of your favorite dark chocolate bar and add it into a saucepan with heating heavy cream. I added about 1/3 of a standard size bar (so maybe about 9 pieces) and 2 cups of cream. 1 cup of cream per person. While the chocolate slowly melts into the cream, add a pinch of cinnamon and stir in a little bit of vanilla paste for flavor. Add the smallest pinch of salt to elevate the sweetness and create depth into the flavor. Add sugar if necessary, but I did not need any more as the chocolate was rather sweet. Now, put on your pj’s and pour the hot chocolate into your favorite mug and cuddle up for an evening of Christmas classics. If you have not decorated your tree yet, this hot chocolate is the perfect company for that.

Autumnal Sunday

 

‘ A Sunday made of a little bit of warm coffee filled with autumn spices and delicate hayfields´

Sunday was a cozy day filled with a day of being in nature, in the outskirts of the city. While our men were doing some wood work outside, my sister in law and I decided to roam the hay fields, an opportunity to get some beautiful autumnal images. My nephew was running back and forth with Siena and we tried to capture some images in the midst of all the movement. My nephew is just the cutest, he almost reminds me of Kevin from Home Alone with this adorable knitted sweater.

We took a walk to a sweet nearby bakery, got some buns and croissants that we later enjoyed with a pot of autumn spiced coffee. Just as we set up a little table on the porch to admire the lake view, we felt the air get chillier and chiller. After a first bite of the almond bun, there was hale storm! We quickly snapped a few images and enjoyed the afternoon treat indoors.

The autumn coffee is super simple to make. While warming up the milk in a pot, add a bay leaf, star anise, cinnamon, cardamom and a little bit of nutmeg as it warms up. Once warm, pour over some coffee. As we sipped on our deliciously fragrant coffee, my nephew played with playdough and Siena was out like a light as we stepped inside. We had a cozy autumn Sunday to say the least.

 

Autumn coffee (makes 2 servings)

  • 2 cup coffee
  • 4 cups milk
  • 1star anise
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Ground nutmeg
  • Ground cardamom

Pumpkin Espresso Latte

‘Mornings are crispy & sunsets are more golden’

They say, a fallen leaf is nothing more than a summer’s wave goodbye. Without even noticing, soon the trees have turned into a beautiful saturated colour palette and light summer nights start turning into dark evenings. As each day goes by, leaves turn brighter and slowly drop from trees which signifies the beginning of Autumn. As I’m writing this post, we are in the midst of one of the largest storms of the year. It feels like the gushing wind is pushing through the windows and the rain keeps progressing as the evening falls upon us. Currently, the candles are burning and I slowly sip on my homemade pumpkin latte. We roasted some pumpkin yesterday so I took advantage of the leftovers and made some into sweet puree with delicious autumn spices. This evening is all about being cozy indoors and sitting out the storm with my woolen socks on, under the blanket with this comforting warm coffee.

 

Pumpkin Puree Espresso Latte

  • Homemade Pumpkin Puree (pumpkin, cinnamon vanilla essence, honey)
  • Espresso shot
  • Milk of Choice
  • Freshly ground nutmeg
  • 3 cloves

Directions

I had some roasted pumpkin leftover from last night’s dinner that was cooked in an oven for about an hour. In your food processor, add a ½ cup of the pumpkin flesh. Add in a few drop of vanilla essence, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and 2 teaspoons of honey for some extra sweetness. If you don’t like honey, you can also use maple syrup or even brown sugar. Blitz so the consistency becomes a puree. Scoop the puree into a bowl and use this in the next few remaining days. Leave a little bit (a tablespoon or so) into the bottom of the food processor.

Meanwhile, prepare your espresso and simultaneously heat some milk in a saucepan. For this recipe I used regular milk but oat, almond or any milk of choice will do. While the milk is warming up add in a few cloves to it.

Once the milk is warm, take the cloves out. Add a splash of the milk into the food processor and blitz so that the pumpkin puree and the milk merge. Pour the liquid into your coffee mug. Add in the espresso shot. With the help of a milk frother, froth the remaining of the hot milk and pour into the mug. Grind some fresh nutmeg on top and garnish with some cloves.

Iced Coffee August style

Hot summer mornings are best started with iced coffee & a quiet moment on the balcony. The past few weeks have been amazing, we have been away at the countryside and now that we are back, the heatwave continues. Make sure to freeze your leftover espresso from the pot to make ice cubes out of them and pour over some ice cold almond milk to get a lovely chilled coffee.

Green Baubles & Pear Cocktails

‘December 23rd, the night before Christmas’

Today has been all about finalizing foods, gifts and preparations for tomorrow’s festivities. We went for a family dinner at a restaurant yesterday and we made some pear pre cocktails at home with my hubby. We also decorated the tree with more green toned baubles made from all kinds of textures. The tones range anywhere from olive greens to icy matte mint hues. I love how the greens look incorporated with the gold and silver that exists on the tree already. I can’t believe it’s Christmas eve tomorrow, now it’s finally time to sit down and enjoy the moment over some Christmas movies.

To assemble the cocktail

  • Gin
  • Pear nectar
  • Sage and ginger syrup
  • Ice
  • Rim: brown sugar & butter
  • Garnish: fresh sage leaves and star anise

Sage ginger syrup

  • ¾ cup tablespoons white granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup water
  • 5 sage leaves
  • 1 chuck ginger, peeled and diced

Combine the water and sugar in a small saucepan. Heat until the sugar has dissolved. Add the ginger and fresh sage leaves and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and allow the ginger and sage to steep for 20minutes before discarding. Set aside.

Rim the cocktail glasses with brown sugar: press a bit of butter in between your fingers and spread it on the rim of the glass. Dip the edges in some brown sugar to create a coating around the sides.

To assemble a cocktail, fill the shaker with ice 1 egg white, 1 ounce of the sage ginger syrup, 2 ounces of gin and 5 ounces of pear nectar. Shake vigorously for15 seconds. Strain out the ice and dry shake for 30 seconds. Add the liquid onto a glass with ice cubes in it and garnish with fresh sage leaves and a star anise. Repeat the process for another cocktail.