Quiescent – Baked Pumpkin Soup

Last whole month I was totally on move, up and down between Belgium, Spain, Switzerland and Paris. It was exciting and wonderful trips but…..not that I’m going to complain about travelling, I thought I should have schedule at least 3 week breaks between each trip. Well, after the storm, I curled up into my den for couple of weeks recovering (much needed I say!).
During the days of recovery only thing I was eyeing, on the way to work through fields, was pumpkins. Belgium autumn so far has been bit nice, moist, humid and foggy. Every day the density of fog amazes me, wish there were some lakes here it would have been picturesque…..anyhow last weekend I walked to Saturday market, my most favourite activity during weekend to hunt for some fresh treasure. I did come back with last few honey melon, in season corn, pumpkin, peanut and fresh fresh walnut (This is delicious!) and lots more. Nothing makes my happier when my see my refrigerator filled with happy looking fruits and vegetable saying “eat me”. Very obediently pumpkin was transformed in to this delicious pumpkin soup. It did get some good grade from fellow colleagues. I’m totally in love with pumpkin soups, if you have any other version do drop a note would love to try!
Happy spooky autumn!

A surprise dessert – Apple oats crumb

I made this dessert for Somjai as surprise, who is pregnant and is undergoing stages of pregnancy cravings. She was eagerly calling me every week asking me to check at department cafe (they are very good with this dessert) if apple crumb was available as she wanted to eat them no matter what. But unfortunately for all three weeks, apple crumb was not in menu. One Saturday we planned to have dinner at Somjai house, I promised to cook capsicum chicken, Vinoo made chocolate raspberry cupcakes  and Somjai made spicy Thai noodle, all what going to be mama wanted to eat! So I planned to bake apple oat for Somjai as surprise, not big one though but I love to watch her million dollar expression. when I gave her big bowl, she asked “oh you cooked so much chicken for me” myself and Vinoo kept quite, until she opens to find the one she wanted…all she said was “Ahhhhhhhiiiiiiiii, one 32 teeth smile and thank you Ananda”. I melted! She is very expressive lady and can make anyone on this earth to laugh heart out with her timely jokes, if I find no reason to smile or talk I call Somjai, she will make me laugh in less than a minute and make quick plan for dinner to cheer up, wish I could make many more goodies for her, but 24 hrs seems to be less for a day! :)
 This is ultra simple but healthy dessert can be had just like that or with one scoop of vanilla ice-cream.  It was even great for breakfast.

Heaven on earth! Finnish summer cottage Part1 – Mint garlic chicken for BBQ

These days am dealing with mixed feeling – happiness and sadness, for the reason that I will be winding up my thesis early next year (fingers crossed) and equally sad that I will moving out of Finland after 5 years. Finland is my 2nd home now and I have been so much into. God know where my next destination will be? So I will miss Finland, as its the best place on earth, when it comes to nature and there are few location in this beautiful country, the  moment I land in those locality I forget myself and the rest of the world. One those types are Summer cottage. For two years I have stayed in summer cottages. Last year it was more fun as many of  my friends were there, and it was very primitive cottage without  electricity, felt like living in middle of forest. We just had cottage to sleep and little kitchen. So it was something like going to stone age staying with nature beside lake side, men did fairly good fishing and we BBQ food and lived like prince and princess of forest. Not forget to mention about almost 24 hrs day light and wonderful smoke sauna.
This year it was few of us, just myself Somjai her husband Tero and Somjai’s Russian friend. So it was more or less a peaceful time, everyone had there own time, basically being yourself. Again our cottage was on lake side but…..Sorry guy am flying to Vienna tonight so will write more in detail in my next post till then enjoy the preview and the BBQ chicken I made for the trip :)
                                                                          The sauna house

Baked – Shredded Chicken Gravy

Am sure many of us miss mum’s food, especially when we are far from home. No wonder why mum’s food is delicious, because they cook with total devotion and love for their  children. During last Christmas holidays, when I was in India, I was busy with my new camera taking pictures in and around my home. Mum was making many varieties of food for me, particularly with the veggies and  country chicken  that I don’t get in Finland.  I still remember the taste of country chicken gravy! Ohhh yum!
To expect something similar from modern broilers is out of question. But to be happy with what we get is considered wise. So I came up with baked chicken gravy. This gravy tasted best with Finnish dry bread. It goes very well with any bread or rice.
                                                          Full moon hidden between the clouds