Autumnal Pumpkin Pie

 

‘The end of October calls for an outdoor picnic with some pumpkin pie and piping hot tea.’

Last weekend while doing some wood work in our future plot, I set up a modest little picnic for us. We had some hot tea that beautifully warmed us up and made some pumpkin pie back home. I also made a little wreath from materials nearby. I used some fall hydrangeas, lingonberry/pine branches and some sage colored moss that is found on pine. Finding moss like this on pine indicates that the nature around is very clean and it is often found in the woods of Lapland. I love the color of it, interior wise as well. As I was taking some pictures, a swan and its baby swam in the backdrop making the atmosphere even more beautiful. A lot of leaves have started to fall on the ground and it is interesting to see how this property changes with the transitioning seasons.

 

Pumpkin Pie Ingredients

Pumpkin puree

  • ½ cups sliced pumpkin
  • 1-2 teaspoon honey or syrup
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt

Filling

  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon Baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons cranberries

Base

  • Ready-made puff pastry

Directions

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius

Slice a piece of pumpkin (around 1 1/2 cups roughly diced pumpkin) into rough pieces and place into a saucepan. Cook over medium sized heat in a bit of butter for about 5 minutes. Add in a couple of tablespoons of water and place the lid on and let it gently steam throughout for about 10 minutes. Once the pumpkin is soft, add in a generous teaspoon of honey, cinnamon and a pinch of salt. Mush it up with a fork until somewhat smooth.

With an electric whisk, beat the eggs and sugar until frothy. Sieve in the flour and baking powder. Fold in with a spatula. Next fold in the pumpkin puree.

Take a cake tin and line the edges with butter. Roll out some puff pastry and mold it on top of the cake tin. This amount of filling is enough for 2 little cake tins. Pour the filling inside the cake tin and press some cranberries into the middle.

Bake in the oven for about 30-40minutes. Allow to cool and garnish with coconut shreds, cranberry and oregano flowers.

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.

Rosemary Wreath & Fall Golden Milk

‘Rosemary wreaths & warm drinks for the upcoming

dark November days’

We are quickly reaching the end of October and with a flash, all the vibrant coloured leaves from the trees are slowly falling onto the ground. It’s Friday today and it’s raining outside and on Sunday our clocks are officially turned into winter time. I have switched most of my summer flowers into a more autumn and winter style, which meant I had to chop down my rosemary tree. I literally got so many rosemary branches from the tree, that I froze some, gave branches to my parents and made a few wreaths out of the remaining. I believe the wreaths will be quite cute during Christmas season and will bring a festive smell to the kitchen once I take them inside.

Since I was preparing for November, I wanted to accompany my autumnal spirit with some golden milk. I know there is nothing new about golden milk recipes, but the key is to add black pepper and bay leaves to add a little punch to the sweet drink. If you are interested in making a rosemary wreath, it is very simple. I have lots of wreath tutorials in my blog if you need more assistance, but basically you just wrap (with floral wire) long rosemary branches around your base (that is also thicker florist wire). Rosemary is extremely flexible so you can bend it and tie it with no difficulties. Stores are slowly but steady putting up Christmas decorations and soon it’s time to jump into the festive spirit.

Autumnal Golden milk

  • 1 cup oat milk
  • 1 pinch cinnamon
  • 1 pinch black pepper
  • 1-2 bay leaves
  • A few slices of fresh ginger
  • 1 pinch cardamom
  • 1 pinch turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon honey for sweetening (optional)

Mix all ingredients together in a small saucepan and gently heat over a stove for a good 15-20 minutes.

Hello Autumn.

10 hours of sleep, slow breakfasts & countryside fresh air’

Last weekend was all about cozy knits, warm cups of tea, fresh autumn air and peaceful countryside surroundings. We spent a wonderful few days at the countryside with my nephew and sister in law, letting nature do it’s magic. We spent time outdoors, went picking for mushrooms in the forest, warmed up in the sauna and made delicious food. I slept for 10 hours straight and in the morning, we cooked some pumpkin cinnamon toast, letting the kitchen linger of autumn sweetness.

We caramelized carrots with honey and pistachios and made an endive, qvinoa and fig salad to accompany them.

Pumpkin toast

Preheat the oven to 190 c. degrees.

In a saucepan, add some butter and cook little chunks of pumpkin. Add some cinnamon, black pepper and a pinch of salt. Add a bit of water if the butter sticks to the bottom. Cook for about 10minutes.

Place the pumpkins onto a baking tray and in the oven for about 20minutes until the pumpkins are lovely and golden and slightly mushy and crispy on the sides. It will make your kitchen smell beautiful, it certainly got the attention of my nephew as he kept asking what good smell was in the kitchen.

Once ready, “mush” the pumpkin pieces (with a fork) on some toasted rustic bread, add some toasted pecan nuts on top, along with a few blueberries and herbs of choice.

‘Savory Pumpkin Bread’

‘Hot cappuccino, a slice of moist pumpkin bread in the middle of beautiful nature’

Ready to kick start your autumn baking? It’s that wonderful time of year when everyone is putting together pumpkin related recipes so I wanted to share this easy bread recipe before the pumpkin season fades out and we begin to enter all things cardamom. This moist bread is a fall favourite packed with autumnal spices and freshly roasted pumpkin. I make a somewhat savory version with a mild sweetness from the honey & this way, it is healthy too. For a touch of extra sweetness, you could add some brown sugar or maple syrup if you please. I love how the roasted pumpkin pushes through the bread making it a autumnal orange. There is a thyme flavour in the background, (which is very essential) a crunch from the toasted flax seeds and a warmness from all the combined spices. The bread is moist and what is so great is that you can alter it according to your liking. You can add any sort of nut or seed to this loaf, coco nibs, dried fruits like cranberries or raisins or even something like cream cheese. My hubby and I took a little picnic to the forest just to enjoy nature at its most beautiful time. We drank piping hot cappuccino from the thermos and ate slices of the pumpkin bread with generous amounts of butter. During the end of the week the weather has promised a drop in temperature, so let’s see if its time to pull out the big scarfs and gloves for Halloween!

Pumpkin bread

  • 1 3/4 cups flour (about 220g)
  • 1/2 cups pumpkin puree (freshly made)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • Autumn Spices: 2 teaspoons (ground nutmeg, cinnamon, chopped fresh thyme, toasted flax seeds, ground cloves)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons runny honey
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 1/2 cup oat milk or juice

On top: a bit of melted butter for brushing, pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, Maldon salt flakes

Directions

Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius

Begin by roasting the pumpkin. Roughly chop the peeled small-sized pumpkin into pieces and place onto an oven dish. Drizzle with olive oil, salt/pepper/rosemary and place into a 200 celsius degrees oven for about 45 minutes until cooked.

Once the pumpkin is cooked and cooled, place into a blender with a bit of water and blitz until a smooth puree.

Make the bread batter. Basically mix the dry and wet ingredients in 2 separate bowls: In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, thyme, salt until combined. In another bowl, whisk the eggs, vanilla, honey, oat milk, oil and pumpkin puree.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients by folding them together with a wooden spoon. Place into a butter-lined baking tray. Pour the pumpkin bread into the tin. Add some pumpkin and hemp seeds on top that you brush with a bit of melted butter. Sprinkle a bit of salt flakes on top. Place into an oven for about 45 min-1 hour until cooked throughout. Let the bread cool a little before serving. I love to eat the bread with a bit of butter.

Autumnal Wreath & Pumpkin latte

‘October hues’

Autumn is a beautiful season when part of nature turns into a kaleidoscope of colours, while the other half strips down into pure muted hues. I love the pale birch colour of hay fields and certain wild flowers that make the most calming unsaturated backdrop. This October has been unreal in turns of weather, it has been warm and sunny, where as the colder season is being introduced with the softest kiss. The warmth seems to be lingering for as long as possible, which is simply amazing! The mature sun is lower and more golden, mornings are crisp and full of life & you can smell autumn dancing in the breeze. Forests are lush and full of mushrooms, while wild flowers stand crisp soaking up the warmth & slowly, the bright trees are dropping their leaves. Nature is at its most beautiful at the moment.

As pumpkin season is right in the midst of us, I wanted to join in on the spirit and make some pumpkin latte while I was making a little autumn wreath. I like to purchase my spices in small amounts to ensure freshness, and buy them whole and grind them myself wherever I can. Trust me, this makes all the difference! Also, we don’t have pumpkin purée in a can from where I come from, so I make the puree from scratch, which of course is always a better idea. It is very simple, as you just roast the pumpkin. Basically, add rough pieces of pumpkin on an oven dish. Coat them with olive oil and a bit of salt ( I also used a bit of thyme twigs) and bake in 200 celsius degrees until cooked for about 30 minutes. I then blended the pumpkin with a bit of water into a smooth velvety paste. This sweet (but not too sweet) pumpkin latte is a wonderful weekend treat or a soothing evening drink if you are craving for autumnal cozy flavours.

Pumpkin Latte

  • 1 cup coffee or espresso shot
  • 1-2 cups oat milk
  • 2 tablespoon pumpkin purée
  • 1/2-1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon Ground whole Nutmeg
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1/2 star anise
  • A few cloves

In a small sauce pan, gently heat all the ingredients into a warm autumnal drink.

 

Autumanal Flower Crown

Last weekend, I went off to my parents country house and picked some wild flowers and forest goods to make a seasonal wreath/flower crown. I found the most beautiful camomile flowers from their garden and these lovely white ones that almost look like cotton blooms. I also found some blueberry twigs that had turned a lovely reddish colour and these purple flowers that grow on the side of their house. We spent the day there with Bella as my hubby was at work and came back home for the evening. The next morning, the house smelled of my delicious pumpkin latte concoction, I had candles on and made this beautiful autumnal wreath. I’m happy with the end result, now it sits on our balcony along with all the other autumn flowers!

How to make the flower crown/ autumnal wreath?  Find instructions here & here

My hubby and I had a cozy picnic in these surroundings yesterday with some pumpkin bread, coffee and endless hayfields

 

 

Autumn Porcini

‘I can smell fall dancing in the breeze’

Finland is slowly transitioning into a beautiful autumn setting, all the leaves are changing colour and the forests are filled with amazing mushrooms and lingonberry. The air is crisp in the mornings, although lately during the day, the weather has been almost 20 degrees celsius. It has been an exceptionally warm fall and in a way, it feels like it is only starting! Today I went for some forest therapy with my mother and came home with a basket filled with porcini and yellowfoot chanterelles so I thought I would make a comforting soup for supper with sautéed porcini on top. The soup takes about 20minutes to make with a lovely sweet flavour to it topped with the perfect fresh porcini.

Soup ingredients

  • 1/2 broccoli (including stems)
  • about 5-7 brussel sprouts
  • 1/2 sweet potato
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 shallot
  • 1 cup cream
  • 1 large dollop of butter for cooking
  • 1-2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese
  • black pepper/salt/ chili flakes

Directions

Heat a sauce pan with a generous amount of butter. Add to this the roughly chopped the garlic, shallot, brussel sprouts broccoli and sweet potato. Let it cook in the butter with the lid on for about 7 minutes before adding the chicken stock. Let it simmer gently for about 10 minutes. Remove from heat;with a handheld blender pulse the soup into a smooth texture. Place back on heat and add the cream, parmesan and seasoning. Let it gently intensify in flavour for about 10-15 minutes before serving.

Once the soup is ready, sauté the porcini in butter and season with salt and pepper. Place the porcini on top of the soup and drizzle a bit of olive oil, lemon zest, black pepper, basil and finely chopped brussel sprouts on top.

Also, try some porcini toast, see recipe here.

Little Christmas season!

Hello Party season!

This weekend was the kick-off to little christmas season, as I had a party on both thursday and friday! It felt like I was 20 again, as we danced the night away on both days till 4am! I was so much fun, lots of dancing, seeing friends, dinners and too much laughter! On thursday I was at an event in town and friday I hosted a traditional little xmas party, that do every year. One of the hits of the party was a layered gingerbread mousse-pannacotta, where you can find the recipe below.  This easy-going maroon outfit was from thursday, a little leather, a long tassel nigh-neck shirt topped off with metallic heels and a long mink coat. These dark dramatic shades are perfect for the start of little-christmas season!

Recipe for a layered Christmas style pannacotta- gingerbread mouse (10 servings)

250ml cream, 250 ml milk, 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, 2 tablespoons castor sugar
Place 2 gelatin leaves in a bowl with cold water for about 10 minutes. In a sauce pan heat the sugar, milk and cream until the sugar is dissolved. Remove gelatin leaves from water and squeeze excess water out. Stir into saucepan until dissolved.
refrigerate over night Pour the liquid from the sauce pan into each glass and cover with foil.  Refrigerate over night so they solidify and continue the following day. 
500g flavoured quark (gingerbread flavour), 1 tablespoon lemon zest, 1 tablespoon cinnamon sugar, 1 teaspoon fresh nutmeg, 1 cup whipped cream
Make the mousse: In a large bowl, add the quark (I used gingerbread flavoured ones), grate in lemon zest & nutmeg, add the cinnamon sugar and fold in the whipped cream until everything is mixed.
Layer the pannacotta; garnish with fresh lingonberry, pomegranate juice and seeds
Once the pannacotta has solidified in the refrigerator add some fresh lingonberry on top of each one. Then add a few tablespoons of gingerbread mousse on top. Garnish with a bit of pomegranate juice and its seeds.

This recipe is really easy to make, especially as you can make the first half the night before. If you do not have quark in your country, you could substitute it for flavoured pudding or even thick yogurt that you spice up with your favourite christmas spices.

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Autumn Porvoo

We decided to fulfill our sweet tooth cravings in Porvoo, over espresso-chocolate cheesecake and some cafe au lait. It was super cozy sitting inside in the warmth in an old wooden cafe, relaxing with my hubby and Bella. Porvoo in the autumn is beautiful with its crimson colours that reflect off the still river. It’s a quite mesmerizing effect watching all the shapes as we walk along on the shoreline. All the colours of the wooden houses in the old district mirror the fall trees and I blend in with this ruffle blouse that has rusty pink floral detailing. There is no sign of snow yet, but I prefer it this way until we are close to Christmas!

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Smokey Greens

This weekend was dedicated to spending as much time outdoors as possible from mushroom picking to road trips along the beautiful country roads. There is nothing better than dressing comfortably in an oversized smokey green knit, a cute beanie, leather pants and holding a warm takeaway coffee as we drive off early morning feeling fresh. November is the pearl grey month, the change between crimson october to a winter white when the leaves gently fall down striping the trees to their barest.

Mr. N and I decided to take a road trip towards Hanko and drove through Inkoo and Tammisaari. Instead of taking the main highway we decided to drive the smaller countryside roads and enjoy the beautiful scenery. We saw some moose, a deer and a rabbit in the wild along with cute farm animals like sheep, chicken and horses. We wanted to have lunch at this farm cafe but as it was a public holiday, it was unfortunately closed. Instead we picked up treats from a local bakery and filled ourselves with sweet pastries, savory toasts and more cappuccino. I had such a delicious apple cinnamon pastry that tasted like the essence of fall.  Finland is so beautiful this time of year when autumn shows us how beautiful it is to let things go.

 

 

 

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