Frost.

When Helsinki falls into a deep frost… The full moon from last night was still visible as sunrise casted an illumines pink sky to the new day. Despite the cooling -20 celsius degrees sending shivers down my spine, with this intense coldness comes absolute beauty. You could hear the sea freezing and the pale sky set pastel shades all across the crackling ice. All I could think of was a hot coffee to warm my hands, but my eyes wanted to capture the saturated horizon for a moment longer.

Christmas Market

100 years of Independence

Yesterday, December 6th was an important day for us Finns as our country celebrated it’s 100 years of Independence. It was a beautiful day all in all, the town was filled with festivities, buildings were lite up blue and the sky exploded of fireworks in the evening. I’m proud to call Finland my home, a country that is safe, clean and full of purity! Thank you to all our veterans who fought for our freedom during the wars! During the day, my darling friend and I decided to celebrate by strolling through the Christmas market in town. We window shopped at the little booths, sampled foods, ate some roasted chesnuts, had a glass of bubbly and glögi and went christmas ornament shopping in the end before I headed over for my parents to have dinner. The sun was shining and there was little frost on the ground and our day felt really festive and full of Christmas feeling ♥ Ps. I got the most beautiful decorations for our tree that I will share with you later!

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October colours.

Hey October and your bright coloured leaves!

We are back home from an amazing trip to Italy and the last days of our holiday we spent at the summer place catching the beauty of finnish autumn. It was so nice to see little Bella again who we missed every single day! Unfortunately, I got a nasty flu a few days after we arrived to the countryside, but before that we managed to go mushroom picking, spend time outdoors, make a fig cake and infuse our skins with the warmth of the sauna. The trees are so beautiful this time of year, all the bright colours light up the forest. The birch trees almost look unreal with their incredibly white trunks and bright yellow tops.

 

 

 

 

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Nordic style Grilled Fish & Evening Swims

‘Nordic Countryside- Punkaharju’

Cooking outdoors by the lake on the char of an open fire is something I love doing at the summer place. Sitting so close to the water is a calming element as you watch the gentle waves push to the shore and feel united with the nature. We were blessed with great weather with little wind and full sunshine so we grilled some fish, the scandi way. The evening sunset also called for a magical swim that was so refreshing before going to bed. The sunsets are so saturated with a deep yellow colour that casts a glow on the entire property.

I like the simplicity of this dish, where the flavours speak for themselves. Fresh fish, new potatoes and a baby arugula salad with a dijon vinaigrette was on our menu. There is nothing fancy about the dish, it should we presented in a rustic manner, eating partially with your fingers and sucking the best pieces of the bones. We prepared the 2 style of fish in different ways to get a mixture of flavours, where you can find the recipe below. Don’t let the fishing picture fool you, the fish we made was actually store bought but of course if we would have caught enough perch, we would have used them too!

 

Sitting on the edge of the lake with my feet almost dipped into the water is calming to the mind. Watching the buoy swing with the waves and the occasional boat pass by while the seagulls screech in the horizon is what scandi summers build from.

Scandi style Fish 2 ways

1.Grilled Whole fish

  • 2 whole fish ( perch/ kulta-otsa ahven in Finnish)
  • 1 large lemon
  • salt/pepper/olive oil
  • chives

Scale the fish and add gentle scores to each side not pressing all the way to the bone. Fill each score with salt, pepper, lemon juice including the stomach of the fish. I also added lemon slices in the stomach. Oil the fish completely and place them into a gridiron that you can place over the coal on an a fire stove. Cook for about 20 minutes until the skin is lovely and crispy and the flesh falls nicely off the bone. Before serving, garnish with fresh chives, black pepper, a pinch of salt and a slice of lemon.

2. Steamed Pike-perch

  • 1 pike-perch
  • A bunch of herbs of choice ( I used sage, parsley, dill)
  • 1 lemon
  • salt/pepper/ Olive oil

Basically, repeat the process as with the fish above, except add all the herbs/lemon slices into the stomach of the fish. Also add lemon slices in the score of the fish. Place the fish into a thick piece of foil (you can use 2 pieces as on top of each other) and wrap the sides together. Oil the fish generously so it can steam gently on the coal open fire. Add more lemon juice as well. Cook for about 35 minutes so the flesh falls off the bone.  Sprinkle fresh parsley on top , perhaps more salt and pepper on top and enjoy!

 

 

As the sun slowly went down, it was time to end the day with an evening swim that is the most refreshing feeling in the world.

 

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Caviar, Oysters & Pink walls

A day spent in the fortress of Suomenlinna

A morning that starts with caviar toast with a soft-boiled egg infused with truffle oil is one that works for me. My friend and I decided to take advantage of the sunshine and start the day in the city centre harbour by having breakfast in Finlandia caviar. We sampled on french fin de claire oysters and Siberian sturgeon caviar with a glass of bubbly to celebrate the spontaneous summer friday.

After we took the ferry over to the fortress of Suomenlinna that was built in the second half of the 18th century that is at the entrance of Helsinki’s harbour. With its idyllic atmosphere, old buildings, hobbit like hills, cobbled stone pathways and little cafes/restaurants, the island has a lot to offer for a peaceful day. We stopped at my favourite courtyard restaurant that is in the right side of the harbour as you step off the boat that draws me in with its light pink walls. The building looks very southern france, where the muted pink hues make the perfect backdrop for any possible outfit photo. We again nibbled on more food, this time though a toast skagen and a shared cheese platter and sat in the sunshine talking about this and that.

Our day was consumed of walking around the island admiring the calming atmosphere and beautiful old architecture. We stopped at a few places for coffee and bubbly,  picked a few wildflowers, sat by the sea and watched the old wooden sailboats sail by. We had the perfect day and my floral blue blouse and ruffle maxi was the perfect choice for this day!

 

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Frosty Magic

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Uunisaari, Helsinki

When its -20 celsius degrees outside and the sea is at freezing point. This moment is a photographers dream, frosty magic that lasts for a few days before the water is covered with ice. The moment looks like out of a fairytale, the surface is covered in steam from the change in drastic temperature and the intense sunshine in the horizon almost looks unreal. I can tell you I wasn’t the only one with a camera on this island today…

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Precious Moments ♥

SEASIDE

Nordic summer evenings

I have finally had some time to slow down and enjoy the finnish summer, take a moment to breathe in the beautiful life around us. Finnish summer is beautiful this time of year, my body yearns to leave to the countryside, which we will be doing in a couple of days. It seems to be light all day and night as midsummer is coming up and the weather is back to a beautiful sunshine.  Lately, life has been all about golden sunset walks by the sea, reflecting on life and nibbling on spicy prawns.  The last days have been all about realizing precious moments of life, some better, some worse. My cutest nephew was born recently and Mr. N and I were granted as his god parents (feeling honored and a sensation of wanting to spoil the little one) and you could say it was love at first sight. Watching their little family grow is the most touching thing to experience and you can feel the love pushing through. They make incredible parents. It really is true that when a new baby is born within the family, you have so much more love for him/her because it is so much more personal. I cannot wait to watch him grow & make memories together.

Meanwhile this joyous occasion, a shadow was casted over us as Mr N has had to experience a tragic loss of a friend & coworker which has been heartbreaking to watch from the side. It makes you stop and think for a while creating a feeling of blankness. When something hits so close to home, it is almost feels like shock theraphy. Sadly, it makes you realize the fragility of life, what is important and the fact that it can be taken away in an instant, at any time. Life is a precious gift and a short one at that so it really is important to stop for a moment, prioritize its importance and take in everything to the fullest. There is no need to complain about petty issues when you look at the bigger picture. I’m so fortunate to share my life with this incredible man I can soon call husband. When he hurts, I hurt, but together we can make it through. The events of this week have made me think about the values of life and it all really comes down to the little things. Sometimes is good to reflect and take notice of what is important to you…

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Nordic Toast

smoked salmon country (1 of 1) Good morning from our countryside!

… 4 hours from the city into the beautiful scenic nature. These past couple of days have been extremely relaxing and blissful in the heart of the finnish countryside.  There is nothing more calming than waking up to the sound of chirping birds and watching the absolute still lake in front of us. The view is beautiful and definitely therapeutic. The sun has been shining, we have been swimming and gone to the sauna every day. We have eaten way too much good food, gone mushroom picking and fishing and taken long walks with Bella. This morning began with a Scandinavian breakfast that is lovely and salty, perfect in this setting! To make this scandi delight, you need some robust country rye bread that is smeared with cream cheese. It is then topped with a couple of slices of local smoked salmon and a good sprinkle of fresh dill, a squeeze of lemon juice and ground black pepper.  Mr. N and some dark roast coffee and I had some green tea and we sat eating in the fresh morning air.

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Nordic Style Salad

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This Nordic style salad reflects the archipelago lifestyle and really should be eaten with your feet dipped into the sea in a calm island in the midst of nature. It is salty and comforting with a bit of heat from the chili and freshness from the lemon and vinegar. Yesterday we took a morning walk to the market square and couldn’t resist in buying some freshly smoked salmon and new potatoes from a lovely old lady that sells her produce from the cutest little wooden boat. These fresh ingredients make the base of the salad. I only wish you could have tasted the flakey salmon, it was so soft with a slight smokey and sweet flavour to it! The potatoes and salmon are combined with spicy grilled zucchini ribbons, salty capers and of course a bunch of fresh dill. The all important dill is an essential ingredient in as it adds that summer flavour and freshness no other herb can create! It also has a creamy yet light and tangy shallot dressing to it that wonderfully rounds up all the flavours together. I guess you could call this dish a twist to a potato salad that has a Scandinavian touch to it! Lastly, the salad is topped with a perfectly boiled egg that has a delicious soft yolk. Yum yum, hope you all enjoy it!

Salad ingredients

  • about 5-7 new potatoes depending on the size
  • 1 tsp of finely chopped chili
  • 2 tsp capers
  • A rough handful of chopped dill
  • 1/2 Zucchini
  • 1 boiled egg ( 6 min for refrigerated egg)
  • 200 g smoked salmon
  • Olive oil
  • Squeeze of lemon juice
  • Salt/ ground black pepper

Marinade the zucchini ribbons in some olive oil, chili, black pepper and salt for about half an hour. Meanwhile, gently wash the new potatoes and then boiling them. Once ready, leave to cool to the side. Grill the zucchini ribbons ( about 1 minute on both sides) until they get a bit of colour. In a large bowl, add the capers, dill, salmon flakes, halved new potatoes and zucchini ribbons and mix around with the shallot dressing. Boil a refrigerated egg for 6 minutes so the yolk is soft but the white is hard. Ready to plate: Plate the salad and add the halved egg on top. Grind some fresh black pepper on top, a squeeze of lemon juice and perhaps a little more dill. Check to see if it needs salt.

Shallot Dressing

  • 3 tbs white wine vinegar
  • 3 tbs mayonnaise (or sour cream)
  • 1 tsp dijon honey mustard
  • 1 shallot roughly chopped
  • Ground black pepper & salt
  • 13 cup good quality olive oil

Add all the dressing ingredients ( except shallot) into a blender and blend until for about half a minute. Taste to see if it needs more vinegar. Add the shallot and blend until it has minced into the dressing. Taste for flavour and adjust the seasoning if needed.

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