The winters in Finland are dark but on the days the sun comes out it turns into a winter wonderland. Today the sun came out and when I noticed how everything was glistening I was in a hurry to make it outside before the sun would sink behind the trees. But with the little ones, going outside takes time. As we are getting ready, someone informs that they are hungry. A Quick snack and then back to dressing. Dressing properly is key to surviving here in the cold months. School children spend a fair amount of time outside during recess and when we shop for snow pants and jackets they always make sure to ask me if they are water resistant/ or water proof. I know, it gets a bit high tech but they use them everydat from late fall until the end of April.
But we made it out in time to capture the light! Even though I’m more of a summer person I really do like the snow. I love shoveling snow while the kids play. Since we have a fairly long driveway, I get a free workout while the kids play. When Mom’s happy and the kids are happy!
I promised the kids that after we come inside and organize the house we could do few Christmas things. During the holidays there is often a situation where a small present would nice to give. Nothing to break the bank but something personal and possibly handmade. Below are the recipes for an easy and delicious caramel sauce, a chocolate ganache and a strawberry and lingonberry or red currant melba. A Perfect gift for a teacher or a neighbor.
3 dl/1.3 c heavy cream
250 g/8.8 oz dark chocolate, chopped into pieces
Microwave the cream until it is boiling. Remove from the microwave and mix in the chocolate. Stir until smooth. Pour into a clean glass jar. Store in the refrigerator. This will stay fresh for about a week. When serving, heat up the ganache for just a few seconds in the microwave.
5 dl/generous 2 cups of heavy cream
4 dl/1.7 c brown sugar
1 vanilla bean partially slit open
2 tbsp butter
dash of salt
Place the cream, brown sugar and vanilla bean into a heavy bottomed pot. Allow to simmer for 20 minutes. Remove the vanilla bean. Rinse the vanilla bean and allow to dry. It can be reused the next time you make this recipe. Mix the butter and salt into the caramel sauce and stir until smooth. Pour into a clean glass jar. The caramel will stay fresh in the fridge for about two weeks. Before using, heat up the amount desired in the microwave for a few seconds.
Strawberry and lingonberry (or red currant) melba
This recipe is a bit different from the ones above. This is best eaten either on the same day or the next day. The lingonberries or alternately the red currants complement the sweet strawberries nicely with their touch of tartness.
250 g/8.8 oz strawberries (may be frozen)
1 dl/0.4 c lingonberries of red currants (may be frozen)
4 tbsp lemon juice
sugar or a light syrup according to taste
Using a food processor or wand mixer, combine all the ingredients until a smooth melba is formed. Enjoy with your holiday treats.
I’m participating in the online adventure travel magazine LetsBeWild.com’s Wild Weekly Photo Challenge for bloggersThis week’s Challenge is: Texture in Nature!
Beautiful pictures! 🙂
Thank you so much!
So lovely! it’s very cold here now as well. No sun, unfortunately…
Yes, the real winter finally arrived! We’ve have plenty of sunless days as well…that’s why I was in such a hurry to run outside!
Love that snowflake princess…and the sauces look lovely and will have to try out the carmel one:)
I love the little snowflake princess too ❤ and the caramel is so versatile.
All three of these look delicious! Would make perfect gifts — or to just keep for ourselves! 🙂
Thank you! We often have a jar of the chocolate ganache or caramel on hand. They are perfect lifesavers for surprise guests! A little drizzle of caramel over a latte or ice cream with berries…
that strawberry one looks like it would become my new best friend on ice cream – or toast – or straight out of the jar!
Its one of my favorites too! It has all the vitamins and is not too sweet (of course depends on how much sugar you put in it 🙂 It tastes wonderful with a grilled piece of goat cheese as dessert as well.
now THAT’S a new concept for me – goat cheese. I’ve never had that before. Time to try something new, I do believe. 🙂
What a happy post. I love the picture of the snow crystal and the snowflake princess, and I’m going to try some of your recipes.
Thank you, nice of you to stop by and comment! Let me know how the recipes turn out if you have a chance to try them 🙂
Congratulations on winning an award for the snow crystal photo. You really deserved it 🙂
Amazing captures!! Really enjoyed the first and third picture!
Thank you, we had such beautiful weather today that it would have been a shame to not run outside and capture it!
Every image is stunning! The judges have their work cut out for them on this one! Z
Thank you! I agree, there are so many great photos to choose from! Good luck to you!
Winning/placing is a grand honor, but I also enjoy the fellowship of Let’s Be Wild.
I love your outdoor photos. They are quite dramatic. 🙂 The light is beautiful. And yes, your kid’s portrait is gorgeous and so is she.
Congratulations! Your dramatic photo of snow is a winner. 🙂
Congratulations…an award too! I second the comment from Maddie C, wonderful…hugs to you
Thank you Gramma ❤
Thank you! You had many beautiful and harmonius photos!
What lovely colourful gifts. Delicious too, I am sure. For me today the gifts were your photos. The Snowflake Princess is a treasure.
Thank you so much, glad I could brighten your day a bit 🙂
As I slowly scrolled down, the first picture was lovely, and I was reading, and then there was a bit of white … and then there were the most beautiful rosy cheeks and big eyes. Absolutely adorable capture. Thank you for the recipes, too. This was a joyful post. 🙂
Thank you so much for the kind comment! She is precious!
amazing, adorable, breathtaking, delicious. all the beautiful things in one post.
Thank you, so nice of you to comment!
I love your blog so much- just beautiful photography and thoughts!
Thank you, I appreciate it!
Great pictures! I also like how luxurious the caramel sauce sounds. Mmmm.
Love your snowflake princess; adorable! Your pictures are amazing.
Beautiful, elegant yet simple, and delicious gifts. You are incredible!!
The little princess even had snowflakes covering her eyelashes…but by the time I had my camera out, most of them had melted! 🙂 Thank you for your kind comment!
what a gorgeous post… in so many ways! 🙂
Beautiful picures (as usual) and what a great gift idea:)
Absolutely amazing pictures! I miss Finnish winters, although Swedish ones are pretty winter-wonderlandy too 🙂
Swedish winters are just as winterwonderlandy I’m sure! 🙂
Fabulous pictures and what a beautiful, precious child!
Thank you, she is our precious little sweetheart…a busy one that keeps us all on our toes!
I love the winter & the snow. I wish I could jump into your pictures, like Harry Potter. Lovely shots. Have a Happy Holiday Season, to you & yours.
Thank you! 🙂 Hope you Holidays are peaceful and relaxing!