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.

French Style Cinnamon Wreath

Cinnamon wreath,

I love this time between Christmas and New years, it’s a time when you can just take it easy, eat leftovers, go on long walks and enjoy the remaining of the year. This cinnamon wreath is a great little treat to bring your family together or make a marvelous holiday gift! The smell in the house while baking is divine, even though the ingredients are common, yet everything about this is tempting and delicious. The original recipe does not call for jam, but I like that it adds a bit of moistness to the dough. You could melt some chocolate in between as well for a slightly Pain au Chocolat feel. This recipe makes two wreaths, but I actually decided to make one giant one instead to imitate that french style rustic brioche/bun atyle. This version looks less of a wreath as it expands to a much larger state and is a bit more dry than when you make two. However this is compensated with the extra chream cheese frosting and vanilla sauce!  If you wish to make perfect wreath shapes, the key is to knead the dough well and roll it out very thinly with no air bubbled in between. As mentioned, the cinnamon wreath is best served with vanilla cream and jam for excess moist and one it becomes more stale, you could fry a slice in butter on the pan and eat it with whipped cream.

ingredients

  • 100g butter
  • 2 ½ dl whole milk
  • 25 g yeast
  • 1 dl sugar
  • ½ tbsp vanilla sugar
  • 1 tbsp cardamom
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ egg
  • 8-9 dl plain flour

Filling

  • 75 g softened butter
  • ¾ dl brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp vanilla sugar
  • 1 cup strawberry jam

Garnish

(cream cheese frosting)

  • 100g cream cheese
  • 1-2 cups icing sugar
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened

Add on top

  • toasted almonds with a pinch of salt
  • crushed hazel nuts
  • Serve: vanilla cream & jam, icing sugar

Directions

Begin by making the dough: Melt the butter. Heat the milk to room temperature and break the yeast into the milk. Mix until the yeast has dissolved. Into the milk, mix in the sugar, cardamom, salt and egg. Add in about half of the flour continuously mixing the dough. Add the rest of the flour and mix it well with your hands. Lastly, add the melted butter. Knead the dough until its firm and comes off from the side of the bowl and hands with ease.Cover the bowl with the dough in it in a warm place for about 45 minutes until its doubled in size.

1) Half the dough to get two wreaths: this version is probably more prettier

2) or make one giant french style wreath as I did that gives a more “french style” rustic brioche/wreath

Roll the dough out into a thin surface, the thinner the dough will be, the prettier the wreath will remain. Make the filling by mixing all the ingredients together (minus the jam). Spread the filling onto the dough surface (if you are making 2 wreaths, use half of the filling). Lastly spread the jam of choice on top. Then tightly roll the dough into a long cylinder and cut in half lengthwise from the middle. Twist the dough around each other and form them into a circle. Place onto a baking sheet and let it rest under a cloth for 20 minutes before baking. If you are making two wreaths, repeat the process with the remaining dough. Brush the surface with the rest of the egg. Bake in a 200 Celsius degrees oven for about 20 minutes.

Time to make the garnish:

While the cinnamon wreath is cooling, make the cream cheese frosting. Mix together the butter, lemon juice, sugar and cream cheese until it forms into a velvety frosting. Toast some almond flakes on a dry pan with a pinch of salt. Once ready, leave to cool to the side.

Once the wreath is cool, spread the cream cheese frosting on top. Add the toasted almonds, hassle nut flakes and lastly dust the top with icing sugar. Serve each piece with a generous amount of vanilla cream and jam

Dreamy Christmas Inspo

December 15th,

Let’s start the weekend with a little christmas inspiration… These images are full of rustic charm, layers of feeling, Scandinavian subtilty, dreamy treats and festive drinks to get you in the holiday spirit!

Original source of all images is found via my pinterest ” Dreaming of a white Christmas” board

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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Christmas Tree Hunt ♥

December 4th

This weekend my hubby and I went to pick up a Christmas tree from my parents place and we were lucky enough with the snow and sunshine! The sun shined beautifully through the trees and glistened on the snow before it dropped to the horizon. We found a perfect symmetrical tree that is now standing in our living room waiting to be decorated! Dressed in cozy all white knits, uggs and red lips, we listened to christmas music all the way there and saw a cute deer just as we drove into my parents place. They say the deer like to hang out in their backyard and drink water from the little pond that is in the woods (see picture below). I also gathered some wreath material from the forest and we had a little picnic after cutting the tree. I made some homemade Christmas cake/bread and drank warm cups of glögi (mulled wine) before heading back home!

Spicy Christmas Cake

Preheat oven to 180 C. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.

Batter: 1 1/2 cup flour, 2 ripe bananas, 2 eggs, 1 1/2 cup carrots, 1 cup oat milk, 2 tablespoons olive oil, , 2 tablespoon syrup, 1 cup lingonberry, apple juice (optional)

Mush the bananas with a fork until soft, add in the  grated carrots. Mix the rest of the ingredients together in a large bowl until it forms a thick paste. If the consistency looks too dry, add a bit of apple juice
Spices: 1 teaspoon salt, 1 tablespoon cinnamon, 1 tablespoon gingerbread spice, 1 tablespoon cardamom, 2 teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 cup walnuts (slightly crushed)
Add the spices to the batter and pour the batter into the cake tin.
Top surface: shaved almonds, lingonberry, melted butter
On top of the surface, add some more lingonberry and shaved almonds. Brush the surface with melted butter to prevent from burning
Garnish: Icing sugar
Place the cake into the oven for about 45 minutes. Once cooled, dust with icing sugar

 

 

 

December 1st

As if the world knows it is the first of December today as it has been snowing gentle flakes all day. The ground is a beautiful white carpet that instantly creates a little bit of christmas feeling! Today I’ve listened to Kenny G and decorated the house with hyacinths and little trees and made some gingerbread turmeric milk. My hubby and I have even started our traditional movie marathon, so it is starting to feel a little Christmasy! Hyacinths are my favourite Christmas flower as they blend so well with other ornaments/ plants and look beautiful scattered all over the house. I’ve typically chosen white ones, but I think the deep blue colour is amazing as well. I like to use different styles of vases (old and new)  for the hyacinths, may it be glass, terracotta or silver pots, they all look good together. You can style the pot edges with hay (as I did) or with gentle pieces of moss to make it look more full and give it some texture. I placed the little tree into a silver champagne cooler and tomorrow we are going to go cut down the actual tree for the living room. Now its time for some more golden milk that is infused with my favourite christmas spices and relax by the fire! Tomorrow it’s time for another christmas party, so hope you all have a wonderful weekend! Follow my updates more closely via instagram stories (xoamysnordic)

Golden Gingerbread Milk

  • 3 cups oatmilk
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 3 cloves
  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 2 teaspoon cardamom
  • 2 teaspoon gingerbread spice
  • 1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 star annice
  • 1 tablespoon sugar/syrup *optional
  • Garnish: Honey, sugar, ground cinnamon, frothy milk (optional: milk frother needed)

Directions

In a small saucepan, heat the oatmilk with the cinnamon sticks, vanilla extract and cloves until it reaches a boil and then reduce to a gentle simmer. Add in the gingerbread spice, cardamom and ground turmeric and let it simmer for about 30 minutes. (Add sugar/syrup if you wish for a more sweeter taste) 10 minutes before serving add in the star annice so the milk only gets a gently flavour from them. If you leave in too long, I personally think the flavour is too powerful.

Ready to serve: Press some honey on the edges of your serving glass. On a small plate, add a bit of sugar and cinnamon and press the edges of the glass into the mixture. This way the honey sucks in all the cinnamon sugar and creates a lovely rim. Pour some warm golden milk into the glass and add some extra frothy milk on top. (As a bonus, I heated some more oat milk in our frother). Sprinkle some gingerbread spice on the surface and enjoy a delicious comforting christmas drink!

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Crispy Clove Butternut Squash

These butternut squash chips are great for the holidays as they are sweet, super crunchy infused with a hint of christmas flavours. I ended up eating all the chips by myself, that really gives an indication of their deliciousness! The key is to crisp them up in the oven and cook them until golden brown in colour. It’s important to have an incredibly sharp knife as the hardest part about this recipe is cutting the butternut into thin slices as it is so dense in texture. If it’s too difficult, try to half the squash first and cut 1/2 circles instead. These chips contain the skin and seeds as they add great flavour. I particularly love the seeds, they are perfect once a little burnt and dry!  The chips have a hint of christmas spices, where the ground clove, nutmeg, honey and garlic make them just right for the end of November. Additionally, they make a great base for a salad or a side dish and taste divine with some salty feta, chives and purple carrot shavings with toasted earthy walnuts.

Crispy Butternut Squash Chips

1 medium-sized butternut squash
Wash the butternut and remove ends. With a shard knife, cut thin slices and leave the seeds in.
Preheat oven to 150°C (air circulation mode)
Line a baking tray with parchment paper and place each butternut squash slice in rows so they do not overlap. Leave them to dry at room temperature for half an hour. Place them into the oven for 45 minutes without any oil and turn them over halfway.
Marinade: 3 tablespoons olive oil, 3 cloves grated garlic, 1 teaspoon lemon juice, 2 teaspoons runny honey
1 teaspoon ground clove, 1 teaspoon ground fresh nutmeg, pinch salt/pepper
Take the butternut out of the oven. In a bowl, mix together the olive oil, garlic, honey, lemon juice and the spices. Brush the marinade over each slice and place back into the oven for about 30 min. Take the butternut squash out and turn over and brush more marinade on top. Place back into the oven for 30 min.

Once the chips are looking ready, place the oven into grill mode for last 5 minutes to give them an extra crisp. Make sure they don’t burn though!

Garnish: Purple carrot shavings, toasted walnuts, ground green pepper, feta, chives
Remove the butternut squash from the oven. Ready to plate: add a few chips on the bottom. Grate some purple carrot shavings on top. Add some toasted walnuts and ground green pepper on top. Sprinkle some feta and chives on top.

Homemade glögi & wreaths

December 20th

Since Sunday, there has been a basket full of forest goodies standing on our kitchen table waiting to be used for decorating the house. Early morning today I woke up to the sound of ships honking their horns trying to navigate their way through the heavy fog, the weather was damp and unclear barely visible. So, as I couldn’t sleep anymore I decided to finally brew some home-made glögi that is a favourite tradition of mine that I do a few days before christmas. My hubby and dog are still fast asleep, it is really dark in the house but really quite cozy in the candle light. The apple clementine glögi makes the kitchen smell divine spreading the house with christmas spirit. I love the smell of star anise and cloves. While the glögi was brewing I started making a wreath from lingonberry, blueberry and juniper branches that will be used for decorating the table setting on Christmas eve. I love the way juniper branches look paired with large roses or tulips, the blue and geen pearls suit beautifully a festive bouquet. This evening I’m going to a Christmas concert with a friend that my lovely hubby got us some tickets to. This morning brought a little joy home, in comparision to what is happening in this crazy world outside. Count your blessings and make the most of little things. Let’s have a safe Christmas

Apple Clementine Glögi

This makes great substitute for tea gives you that instant winter feeling from all the glorious spices.  You need good quality apple juice that you gentle simmer in a saucepan. To this, add a cinnamon stick, dried ginger, a couple of cloves and star anise. Then add some clementine slices (remember to wash them well) and their leaves into the juice. I didn’t add any sugar, but you can add some at this point if you prefer it sweeter. Place a lid onto the saucepan and turn the heat off and let it intensify in flavour from a half an hour to an hour. Re-heat the glögi when served. You can add some apple cider/vodka/white wine/rum to the juice if you want a more festive drink for the evening!

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In bed with a turmeric latte.

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Soothing and calming, this turmeric latte is made for lazy Sundays that naturally nourishes your body with amazing anti-inflammatory properties and excessive goodness. Fresh turmeric gives the latte a warm yellow colour and is an excellent antioxidant that boosts your immunity system and is known to have numerous healing properties. There are many recipes out there, but I decided upon an easy one that requires no blender and rather just a bit of gentle heating in a saucepan with lovely seasonal spices. I must say, I love the kick this latte has, each velvety sip warms the back of my throat sweetly. I will be enjoying this cup of comfort during the winter season, in bed of course… tucked in between a mountain of pillows with my woolen socks, a good coffee-table book and flowers from my love. Have a wonderful sunday darlings!

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ingredients

  • Fresh Ginger ( 1 tbsp)
  • Fresh Turmeric ( 1 tbsp)
  • Oat milk ( 1 cup)
  • Cinnamon ( tsp)
  • Cardamom (1 tsp)
  • Pinch of salt
  • Honey ( 1 tsp)

Grate some fresh ginger and turmeric into a small saucepan. Add some oat milk, ground cardamom, cinnamon, a pinch of sea salt. Heat the saucepan over medium heat until just simmering. Sweeten with a teaspoon of honey. Remove from heat and strain the latte into mugs. For a frothy effect in the end, I frothed a bit of skimmed milk in our espresso machine.

Tip

I have also read that this recipe is great with a splash of coconut cream or puree. Also instead of honey, many recipes use coconut sugar or juicy dates. However if you use dates, I would blitz everything in a blender until smooth and frothy.

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Merry Christmas

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Merry Christmas

The smell of fresh tulips from our neighbourhood flower shop, a lovely walk in the sunny fresh air and the taste of a frothy vanilla & cardamom milk is the way our Christmas began this morning. I want to wish everyone a safe and joyous holiday, share this day with your loved ones and family. It doesn’t matter about the gifts or the materialistic aspect of things, what matters is the feeling and atmosphere of today. Our day will be surrounded with delicious cooking. Merry Christmas Everyone!

xo

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