A few days at the countryside in September

You could tell there was a difference in the air even though we were at the countryside about 3.5 weeks ago. The air is colder, most of the remaining wildflowers have been washed away with rain or heavy wind and evenings are darker. Some leaves have slowly changed into rusty tones and the sun sets already at 19.00. We picked some berries and mushrooms, made some pies and cuddled under the blanket with Siena. Autumn is a really cozy time to be at the countryside, to snuggle by the fire and after a day outdoors warm up in the heat of the sauna.

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.

Seabuck thorn turmeric pancakes

‘ Fluffy mini pancakes with turmeric, ginger & vanilla’

Seabuck thorn blooms in early fall, and we are lucky to be able to pick some from my brothers and his wife’s backyard to freeze over winter. The little pungent pearls are gods gift to earth, as they are packed with vitamins and are considered a super food of the north. This morning, before changing the flowers to autumn style, we decided to have turmeric pancakes on the balcony to solute to the changing season. It feels like such a shame to change all the flowers to a more winter style because they are still in perfect condition. However it’s good to do this in advance, in case of drastic weather changes. These mini pancakes are light and fluffy, with a hint of vanilla, ginger and turmeric making it a delicious autumn breakfast. We topped the pancakes with lots of berries and a bit of honey for some extra sweetness. You can officially say fall is here as the fresh summer flavours, like dill and mint are slowing turning into earthy cosier spices. When I pull out the turmeric from the spice cabinet, it means cosy knit candle season is here.

Fluffy autumn pancakes

  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • pinch of salt/pepper
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • about 1½ cups almond flour (sieved)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
  • about ½-1 cup oat milk

In a bowl, mix together all the dry ingredients, including the spices. Then add the egg and melted butter. Slowly pour in the milk so the consistency is left quite thick. Leave to rest to the side for about 20minutes. If you feel the consistency is too thick or thin after resting, add in a splash of milk or more flour.

Scoop some batter with a tablespoon onto a non-stick pan. Turn the pancake over when the side starts to bubble and cook the same on the other side.

Garnish with sea buckthorn, blueberries and runny honey.

‘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