Peaceful Midsummer

We took our little wooden boat ’Wilhelmina’ out on the day of midsummers eve. The day was hot and humid and people had anchored their boats in the middle of the waters to swim in the sea and soak in the beautiful summer weather. The waters were peaceful and quiet, a few dressed up boats passed us by, with celebratory flags on the sails and flowers or birch trees on row boats to show appreciation for summer solstice. Most people have migrated to the countryside but we will only be going there next week as my hubby’s holiday starts then. We keep the boat on our new property, where building will take in a few years’ time. It took a good year for us to design the house and apparently receiving the permit from the city can take up to a year in this specific area. However, it still feels rather dreamy that we will have our own beach and waterfront views and boating will become that much easier.

Today is midsummers day, and we started the day with breakfast on the balcony surrounded by all the growing flowers that have really appreciated all the daily warmth. I received these peonies from my hubby yesterday and I just cannot get over how beautiful and many there are. Their aromatic perfume takes over any space they are in, giving the air that wonderful summer fragrance. Today is another peaceful day, time spent outdoors in the midst of nature.

Happy Midsummer everyone!

Peaceful Midsummer’s Day

‘Surrounded with greenery on Midsummer’s day’

Breathe in the scent of summer as the short season is so precious. When you have all day picnic in the woods, you get to observe nature’s life all around you. Listen to the leaves brushing against each other in the wind and let the waves of the lake hypnotise you. Baby birds are chirping in the nests and the forest is about to pop with blueberries any day now.

Midsummer’s day was all about a picnic by the lake in the middle of the lush woods. My friend and I put some summer dresses on and drove out of the city to feel the essence of Midsummer’s day. We picked some wildflowers, listened to the sounds of the nature and enjoyed some little treats as we sipped on delicious oat milk coffee. Escaping from the city almost feels like an escape from reality, as you get to enjoy the moment with more purpose, as there is no distraction around you. We nibbled on macarons, let our hair blow in the wind and indulged in some leftover rhubarb pie and salty zucchini canapes. As midsummer is all about fresh berries, we also had the most delicious flavored berry and basil water. You feel at peace when you are surrounded with trees and greenery. The sun occasionally creating flares as it catches your eye, allowing the subtle warmth to sun kiss our skin.

Find the recipe for the rhubarb pie from here.

To make the filling for the canape. Basically chop 1 zucchini and sauté it in some butter. Add a chopped onion and garlic to it as well. Season with salt, pepper and chili flakes. Add about a tablespoon of water so all the juices from the bottom of the pan evaporate. When the zucchini is cooked. Remove the vegetables into a smaller bowl and blitz into a paste with a handheld blender. Allow to cool. Scoop a spoonful on top of the mini pancake and garnish with herbs and nuts of choice.

How to make mini pancakes

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • About 1 cup milk

Mix everything together until it forms a thick batter. Cook “tablespoons” of batter on a non-stick pan over medium heat until the surface starts to bubble. Flip over and voilá, little blinis are formed! Let them cool before adding the toppings. If the batter looks too thin, add more milk and if it looks too thin, add more flour.

Wildflower Midsummer & Rhubarb Pie

‘Summer solstice is a time of magic and fairytale so it’s only natural to start the day by picking wildflowers and making sweet pies’

Rhubarb season is amongst us and what better way than to celebrate midsummer morning is with freshly baked pie and an array of wild flowers. Midsummer has been wonderfully relaxing, seeing friends, taking in the amazing weather and having slow ‘coffee in bed’ type of mornings. This rhubarb pie is extremely easy to make, if you are looking for a quick, no fuss tasty recipe. This batter should be a staple in everyone’s kitchen, as you can use the base for making other pies such as; blueberry, strawberry or whatever you like. Wishing everyone a peaceful midsummer’s day.

Easy Rhubarb Pie

Pie Batter

  • 2 eggs
  • 3dl sugar
  • 5 dl melted butter
  • 4 dl oat milk
  • 2 teaspoons cardamom
  • 5 dl flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla sugar

On top

  • About 3-4 rhubarbs
  • ½ dl sugar sprinkled on top

Directions

Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Prepare the rhubarb be slightly peeling (if needed) and chopping.

Prepare the batter: Break the eggs into a bowl. Whisk in the sugar so that it becomes slightly frothy. Mix in the butter and oat milk.

In another bowl, mix together all the dry ingredients. Add this to the wet ingredients and mix together until everything is combined. Pour the batter into a baking tray that is lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle the rhubarb on top and sprinkle sugar on top. Place into the oven for about 45 minutes or until the batter is cooked.

Countryside Midsummer

‘Midsummer’s eve was believed to have been a time of magic’

The early fog rose off the fields as the morning moist evaporated into the air and the birds began their morning routines by feeding their babies. The countryside is calm and quite, only the birds are chirping and the wind is gently gushing through the leaves of the birches. I have my rubber boots on and the hem of my dress is dragging through the damp ground that is soon dry as the sun begins to warm up. Today is midsummer, the most celebrated holiday in Scandinavia. Most people leave the city to the countryside this time in the summer, spend the day connected to nature at their cabins. The sauna is on and we are ready to relax…

There is a special feeling only a summer solstice can bring. The sun was a bright orange colour at night-time that barely set into the horizon as I was taking my evening swim. Traditionally, I made a flower crown from blueberry and lingonberry branches and we ate dinner by the lake. We picked lots of wild flowers for the table and got a beautiful bouquet of peonies from our neighbour’s garden. Dinner was a traditional seaside style menu of shrimp toasts and char grilled fish on the campfire and summer style vegetables. The air is full of summer magic today and nature is at it’s most blooming state.

Seaside Skagen

  • 1 cup peeled shrimps
  • 1 spring onion finely chopped
  • Juice of lemon/white pepper
  • ½ cup cold smoked salmon finely chopped
  • 2 boiled eggs chopped
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1cup sour cream
  • ½ cup chilled dill

Mix all the ingredients together and place on top of toast. Garnish with seasonal radishes, black pepper, dill and shrimps.

Grilled whole fish

  • Whole fish
  • 1 lemon (cut into slices)
  • Herbs of choice
  • Marinade (mix together olive oil, chopped garlic, chilli and parsley)
  • Salt/pepper/oil

Place the marinade all over the fish and the lemon wedges and herbs into the cavities of the fish. Place onto a iron grid and let it cook over a charcoal fire turning it once around for about 15minutes on both sides. Add salt and pepper to taste and more lemon.

Peonie Flower Crown

‘Endless summer nights & traditional flower crowns’

It’s midsummer’s eve tomorrow and there is a heat wave over Finland. I’m writing this post from the countryside, laying in bed and the sun is still shinning brightly up in the sky through my bedroom window even though it’s close to 10pm. I’m sipping on camomile tea and ready to write this flower crown tutorial. My husband and I came here with my parents last Saturday and yesterday my hubby had to go back into town, while I decided to stay here until next week. They promised +30 degrees celsius for tomorrow & I’ll be start my day with a swim in the calming lake, just how I also like to end my days.

Meanwhile, I usually love to use wildflowers for a flower crown, but because I had so many leftover flowers from my birthday, I wanted to utilize them before leaving town. My lemon thyme is also blooming like crazy on the balcony, so I used it’s little purple flower twigs in the wreath as well. I used eucalyptus as a base and used mini lily’s, a few peonies and other delicate blooms that I actually don’t know the name of. Now, make yourself a fresh mint tea with lemon slices and get creative…

Step 1.

Use a think florist wire to measure around the circumference of your head.  (see image above) Once you get the desired circle, twist the wire ends together to seal the circle. Repeat the process to get an extra layer of wire, this creates a bit of strength.

Using some thinner wire, attach the stems of the eucalyptus to the headband by twisting the thinner wire around the thickers one. Repeat the process until the headband wire is filled with eucalyptus stems. I think I used about 3 long stems in total, as you can see in the images below.

Step 2.

At this stage you have an eucalyptus wreath. Now, take a little bouquet of flowers together. (see pic below) and seal the stems together with the same thinner florist wire. Leave some excess wire hanging off the bouquet so you can easily attach this to the headband by twisting it tightly around it.This creates filling for the wreath/flower crown.

Take another flower bouquet and repeat the process and eventually you will get a full wreath. Voilá you have a beautiful summer flower crown!

Midsummer nights dream

‘midsummer nights dream’

Arriving back from Italy Mr. N and I came straight to the summer cottage to spend mid summers with my family. This holiday is all about endless nights, where the sun never sets and the nature is at its most beautiful green. The day revolves around good food, swimming in the lake after long saunas and making traditional flower wreaths from wild flowers. The sun shines through the white birch trees, the birds sing intensely throughout the day and the lake glitters where its raining or shining. We made some seasonal vegetable salads, lamb ribs, a strawberry cherry cake that we make every year and started the meal with a fish plate appetizer.  Gotta love finnish summer, it’s raw, clean and unpretentious.

Strolling down Rue Cler

Paris, France

As the buckles from my ankle boots jingle from every step, my silky turquoise floral robe flaps behind as a gush of wind hits my face as we stroll down the street of Rue Cler. One morning we decided to head here for breakfast as I scouted a little cute cafe (L’ Eclair) for us back from home. The terrace was filled with locals having their morning cigarette, black coffee and jammed toast and along the street workers were setting up their stalls for the market. After sipping on a pot of tea and eating some creamy scrambled eggs, baguette and croissants, for dessert we treated ourselves to some just-baked caramel eclairs that flaked from the crust and melted beautifully in the middle. It was so good, a little salty and creamy in the vanilla fudge and airy and light on the outside. We walked along the morning market visited all the little shops from cheese and delicacy shops to little boutiques. My friend bought a pair of sunglasses and I couldn’t walk past the flower shops. If you are looking for some picnic goodies, I would say come here for a good selection of fresh berries, cheeses, meats, baguette, pastries and wine. We walked past a peonie-filled flower shop and typically I couldn’t resist myself from buying a pink bouquet that not only matched quite nicely with my red lips but made my cliché Parisan moment just perfect.

 

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Caramelized Peaches & Blueberry cream

 

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This uncomplicated dessert makes the most of fresh peaches (even if they are not ripe) as roasting fresh fruits brings out even more of the fruit’s natural sweetness. So I wanted to share this dessert recipe as it is great for midsummer as it requires little effort and is quick and tasty to whip up for last-minute unexpected guests.

Caramelizing the peaches with a sprinkle of brown sugar and cinnamon creates that lovely glaze on top, while the blueberry cream almost tastes like cheese cake and is fulfilling with the fruit. The texture is dense and comforting, spot on with the peaches. The salty juices from the skillet round up the sweet flavours as each bite melts in your mouth. I’ve garnished the top with some shaved brazilian nuts, as I love their oily texture and earthy taste along with some coconut flakes and fresh mint. This dish looks quite beautiful and colourful for midsummer, you could even serve many peaches on a large platter with lots of fresh mint/lemon balm and other seasonal berries as well.

Ingredients

  • Peaches (halved seed removed)
  • About 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • dollop Butter/ olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon Cinnamon

Blueberry cream

  • 150g cream cheese
  • 150g quark
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • squeeze of lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla sugar

Garnish: Blueberries, mint leaves, ground brazilian nut, coconut flakes

Directions

 

Halve the peaches and sprinkle with salt. Heat a skillet over medium-low heat and add a generous dollop of butter  and olive oil. Once melted, add in the peaches and cook until they gain some colour for about 10 minutes. Then stir in the brown sugar & cinnamon in the skillet making sure it goes all over the peaches. Cook for another 10 minutes so the peaches become caramely.

Meanwhile the peaches cook, you can make the blueberry cream.  In a blender, add the blueberries and quark, vanilla sugar and lemon juice and blend until smooth. Then place the mixture in a bowl and fold in the cream cheese. Taste the flavour and add more frosting sugar for sweetness or more acidity from the lemon juice. Leave to rest in the fridge until the peaches are cooked.

Ready to plate: place the hot peaches in the bowl  along with some of the juices from the pan. Add a scoop of blueberry cream on top along with fresh blueberries. Shave some brazilian nuts on top, sprinkle coconut flakes and add a couple of fresh mint leaves for a touch of green.

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Midsummer Wreath

The meaning of midsummer

Nights are white throughout the country & the beginning of summer is officially here! Midsummer is a celebration at the countryside, everybody leaves the city and the streets are suddenly spookily deserted. An idyllic midsummer builds from a picturesque setting with lots of handpicked flowers, an entire day spent outdoors around good food, drinks, grilled fish, new potatoes, dill, seafood, herring and a fresh desert with lots of berries. It is spent with your loved, family & friends enjoying the sun that never seems to set. You often go to a birch decorated sauna and swim in the lake and intake the beauty of the nature around you. It is peaceful & vibrant, full of life! Your wardrobe choice is a beautiful flowy maxi dress with a delicate flower wreath placed over curled hair. The sun only sets around 23.00 and the day is set around chic country living. During this celebration, your studded valentinos are switched to colourful espadrilles and fitted blazers into easy-going linen dresses.

How to make a bohemian style flower wreath?

Collect all your favourite delicate flowers, such as baby’s breath, blueberry branches (as the hold well) and some lovely greens. Then you need some thin wire that you bend into a headband. You also need some thinner wire to attach the flowers. Basically you take an assortment of flowers that you wire from the stalks and attach it to the headband. You repeat this process so it forms a delicate wreath. Head wreaths are a must in Scandinavian midsummer. I think they are so beautiful and feminine, all I want to do is run through an open hay meadow with a white dress on! Hopefully everyone is having a wonderful and safe midsummer spent with your loved ones. I’m just having a green smoothing and closing my suitcase, as I’m heading to the airport in a couple of hours.

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This picture says it all how beautiful a Scandinavian summer can be. This picture is from last weekend from the summer place, the sky was a strong magical purple that mirrored of the calm lake. A beautiful way to end an evening with a view like this.

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