Savoury Christmas Treat & Cardamom Cocktail

‘ Shrimp toast and a cardamom gin cocktail as a Christmas movie snack’

Christmas is the time when you eat savoury and sweet, one after the other to satisfy all your taste buds. Even though I love to bake and cook sweet things, I much prefer eating savoury over any given day. This very typical sweet rye bread combined with some form of shrimp paste and/or cured salmon is something us nordics love to eat. I added the runny egg on top as I personally just love the combination together. My husband and I had these toasts yesterday when we watched a Christmas movie. I love that he has been home so much now as he is on daddy leave combined with some holidays, so we are trying to make the most of enjoying this time together with our baby. We also enjoyed a light cocktail each made from cardamom, grapefruit and gin. I cannot believe it is only two more nights until Christmas Eve. I just made some gingerbread cookie dough into the fridge that I will be baking in the morning as we will have a little picnic in the forest tomorrow. Let’s start with making the cocktail-

Cardamom gin cocktail

  • 2 oz Heindrick’s Gin
  • 1 oz grapefruit juice ( I used fresh juice)
  • 1 oz lemon juice
  • 1/2 oz syrup
  • 1 cardamom pod
  • Rosemary/ Seabuck thorn/dried apple to garnish

Toast a cardamom pod on a dry pan to intensify it’s flavour. Put the pod in a cocktail shaker and gently crush it. Give it just enough pressure to crack the pod and a few of the inner seeds. Add the rest of the ingredients and shake well with ice. Strain into a glass and garnish with sea buck thorn and a twig of rosemary.

 

Shrimp Paste 

  • 1 cup chopped shrimp
  • 1/2 cup creme fraiche
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon lemon
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • pinch of salt
  • ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chopped dill
  • 1 tablespoon chopped capers
  • 1 tablespoon chopped red onion
  • thyme twigs

Mix everything together in a bowl to make a delicious shrimp paste

Remaining ingredients for the toast

  •  few slices of Cold smoked salmon
  • 2 slices rye bread
  • 7 minute cooked egg (runny yolk)
  • ground green pepper
  • toasted walnuts

 

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.