I’m sitting at my desk today, with a warm cup of coffee, a doughnut, and a cozy shawl around my shoulders. Outside, everything is grey and rainy, with yellow leaves littering the ground. There is no doubt fall has arrived.
I like seasons and transitions, and fall has become one of my favorite seasons over the last years. I like its warm colorful tones, its seasonal ingredients, its lovely perfume of nature and woods…
Let’s take a break and celebrate fall together, talking about some of my recent trips, foodie experiences, and recent updates on the blog.
Fika in Stockholm
Fall started in early September for me, with a trip to Stockholm. While summer was still going strong in Chicago, it was already long gone in Sweden. Temperatures had considerably cooled down and mornings were chilly and refreshing with a beautiful sunlight entering through the windows. It was my very first time back in Sweden since I’d moved over a year ago. We had rented out a little apartment in the middle of Gamla Stan (old town), where we felt like tourists. Or “local tourists”.
Check my Swedish baking treats here.
Stockholm is beautiful and I was happy to be back. Of course I celebrated with fika (i.e. tea time – actually my favorite Swedish word). Fika is an institution in Sweden, a small break with coffee and sometimes a little baked treat on the side (the most famous example being Swedish cinnamon rolls “kanelbullar”), usually in a cozy coffee place. This ritual warms you from the inside and is the perfect occasion to socialize with friends.
In case you are planning a trip to Stockholm, be sure to try Fabrique Bakery. They have several spots in the city and serve my favorite cinnamon or cardamom bun. Good to know: you can buy several buns, bring them home and freeze them. I did just that on my way back to Chicago: the pastries survived an eight-hour flight. You could even smell the rich fragrant cinnamon throughout the cabin. Even a few months later, their texture and flavor are just perfect. Take them out of the freezer, leave them about 15 minutes at room temperature and warm them for 5 minutes in the oven. You’ll be ready to enjoy a little bit of Sweden wherever you are in the world!
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Stockholm was also for me the occasion to meet up with my exclusive partner Best Of You, a well-being website I highly recommend you read; it’s full of great tips to keep you happy and healthy under any circumstances. Last but not least, I met up with my video producer and shot several video tutorials for the blog. I have shared two of so far: check out the Healthy Extra Moist Chocolate Cake and the Veggie Sweet Potato Crust Pizza (my new seasonal favorite!) I will share a new video tomorrow for my Red Lentil Patties; stay tuned!
A quick getaway to Door County (Wisconsin)
Once I returned to the US, David and I planned a quick getaway to Door County (Wisconsin), a few hours’ drive North of Chicago. The whole idea of the trip was to take time to relax, go hiking, and enjoy the exceptionally warm days of this never-ending summer. We also spotted lovely brightly hued pumpkins everywhere, a sign fall was on its way. We sampled the local lavender cider (an interesting beverage that has nothing to do with what I am used to, French hard cider). I even had my first ever drive-in experience: David and I watched a movie from within our car!
Pumpkins in Door County, Wisconsin
Foodie life in Chicago
Back in Chicago, the foodie in me had 2 great experiences. First of all, I got to meet the famous Chef Magnus Nilsson in person. He is the head chef at the two Michelin stars restaurant Fäviken in Sweden. I had heard about him before and became totally fascinated by his personality and concept when I watched the first season of the Netflix show ‘Chef’s Table’ a few years ago. With only 16 seats and located in the middle of Sweden far from any significant city, Fäviken has now become a world-renowned venue. Diners are typically served 14 courses in addition to appetizers. The fare is naturally influenced by Nordic cuisine, and uses local ingredients that come from either the estate or nearby. Magnus has been running the place since 2008: at the time he was only 24 years old. He’s still young, very approachable, and modest too!
My other recent foodie experience I want to share with you today is Clever Rabbit, a vegetable forward restaurant located in the heart of Wicker Park, Chicago’s hipster neighborhood. They feature a creative seasonal menu with small shareable dishes that enable you to taste different options at once. I picked carrot dumplings (with roasted carrots and ginger), Brussels sprouts (with a subtle seasoning of preserved lemon, horseradish and yogurt), and a delicious and original lactose-free pumpkin parfait for dessert.
Swedish Chef Magnus Nilsson… and I!
Oh, and there is another great piece of news: the Impossible Burger has landed in Chicago at Umami Burger! I had first tried it in NYC back in May and had immediately loved this plant-based burger! I’m happy to reveal its magic ingredient: a compound called heme. Never heard of heme before? Then let’s talk science for just a minute. Heme is basically a protein which is exceptionally abundant in animal muscle – and it’s a basic building block of life in all organisms, including plants. Scientists discovered how to take heme from plants and produce it using fermentation. The result? You obtain a 100% plant-based burger that looks and tastes like meat!
“Mens sana in corpore sano” (a healthy mind in a healthy body)… and this is why, a few months ago, we created the Chicago Breakfast & Yoga Club. You might have heard of it before or seen a few photos of the previous sessions in my Insta story. We had two more events lately: one rooftop edition when weather was still warm enough, and one private event. Steph B. Yoga is a very talented yoga instructor and I am fortunate to be partnering with her on this lovely project. Plus it’s always so much fun for me to prepare a healthy, colorful, plant-based and seasonal breakfast. Namaste!
Pumpkin Bowling in Door County, Wisconsin
What’s in season?
Fall is also the season for testing new recipes with seasonal ingredients: pumpkins, apples, pears, mushrooms, and nuts are among my favorite foods at the moment. I just can’t get enough of them. Do you have any favorite fall ingredient or maybe recipe to share? I would be happy to know it.
Last but not least, Halloween is right around the corner, and I’m working on a new recipe for you! In the meantime, (re)-discover 2 of my favorite Halloweeny recipes from the blog!
Don’t forget to subscribe to the newsletter to receive my latest recipes right to your mailbox, and remember to join our Facebook group to share with us your beautiful creations from the blog. Each day you are more and more to follow me and I feel truly blessed to have such a great community of foodies around me!
Happy fall, and stay tuned for more exciting news:
- Our Honeymoon is approaching (finally!)
- A 3 Michelin Star restaurant I will soon try for you
- An impossible encounter between a fellow French food blogger friend, who will visit me in Chicago very soon (don’t miss it; check my Insta story!)
Gamla Stan, Stockholm
Grapes in Door County, Wisconsin
Door County, Wisconsin
Barn in Door County, Wisconsin