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.

Slowing down over Gingerbread Cookies

December 21st,

When the house smells of gingerbread cookies, it’s a sign that Christmas is only a few sleeps away! Baking gingerbread cookies is a tradition in many households as it brings the family together and creates a sensation of calmness. It’s a moment to de-stress from the holiday planning and make the excuse to eat cookies in the middle of the night. This time around, I baked in the morning with my pj’s on, sipping on an oversized cappuccino. The tree was sparkling in the background and after the second batch was out of the oven, my hubby was woken up from the sweet smell in the air.

I’ve loved the Christmas season ever since I was a little girl and it’s something to look forward to during the dark autumn days. I have the fondest childhood memories, decorating the tree, my parents cooking up an amazing feast, getting dressed up in our finest and my brother and I waiting for Santa from his bay window from his bedroom.  As for kids it’s all about the presents, but as we get older, it becomes a whole lot more. I absolutely love the feeling in the air that lingers over December, people feeling festive because of the decorations and sparkly lights everywhere. The weather gets cooler, the food gets better and the music and movies get sweeter. Christmas is a to feel blessed and hopeful and come together with people you love.

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Christmas Masala Chai & Tiny Wreath

December 14th,

As it gets so dark early these days, I thought I would cozy up under the blanket with a holiday masala chai made from black tea, fresh ginger, cardamom pods and cinnamon. This warm drink is the perfect after dinner date as it’s soothing and sweet allowing you to feel relaxed and comforted right after the first sip. Before inserting myself under the blanket to watch a christmas movie, I nibbled on some macarons and made a little wreath to bring some green to the table! Oh and Ps. my hyacinths are finally beginning to smell gorgeous!

I love the way the wreath looks around a traditional candle holder during the holidays or they can be hung from door nobs or made into small napkin holders for a dinner party. These are fairy simple to make (see more here), you can use some wire or blueberry twigs as a base that you shape into a circle. Around this circle you attach twigs of lingonberry branches put together with the help of a wire. Lingonberry is great to use as it lasts a long time, but pine and juniper is pretty as well!

With these images, I wanted to capture the dark and moody feeling of the pitch black evenings here in Scandinavia that can be extremely cozy if you put your mind to it.

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Masala Chai

  • 2 tablespoons fresh ginger grated
  • 5 tablespoons loose leaf black tea (or 5 bags and remove tea from inside)
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tablespoon cardamom pods
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups oat milk (+ extra for frothing)
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup

In a saucepan add the grated ginger, crunched cinnamon stick, water and let it boil for 5 minutes. Then add the loose leaf black tea, cardamom pods, oat milk and let it gently simmer for 5-10 minutes. Sieve the liquid into cups. For a little extra, froth some milk in a frother for garnishing and sprinkle some gingerbread spice on top. Enjoy with macarons! 

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Parisan Decadent Hot Chocolate

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Snuggle up by the fire with a cup of decadent homemade hot chocolate, just like you would find in cafe Angelina in Paris. The flavour is rich and intense topped with a sprinkle of nutmeg for some Christmas flavour, just perfect with biscotti.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons icing sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon espresso powder
  • 250g chopped bittersweet chocolate
  • Cinnamon stick/ grated nutmeg

Place a sauce pan over medium heat, whisk together the milk, cream, cinnamon stick, sugar and espresso powder. Let it simmer until small bubbles appear around the edges, but make sure it does not boil. Remove from heat and stir in the chopped chocolate. You may need to place back on low heat just to make sure all the chocolate melts. Garnish with a sprinkle of nutmeg and serve with biscotti.

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