Monday, June 17, 2013

favourites: June 2013

Long, long way to go.

As this post is published, I am up in the air flying to the US for a two-and-a-half-week vacation. We're flying to Boston, where we are going spend four days wondering around the city and reminiscing (can't believe it's been two years since I moved back to Finland from Boston). Then we are driving to Fire Island, New York for a few days before we fly down to Florida. In Florida, we are going to be four days in Orlando, then drive down to Miami and go on a 3-day Bahamas Cruise (what!). Then we'll enjoy a couple beach days somewhere near Miami before flying back to Boston and from there back to Finland.

It has been rather a busy spring so though we have the 'where', we don't quite have the 'what' decided. Given that usually we spend time thinking about what we want to do and see on our vacations, this will be very different as we'll decide 'on the go'. Honestly, I am rather excited about this!

But for now, some favourites.

  • I just bought the first fresh strawberries of the season and honestly, I am so excited about getting to eat fresh berries once again. This Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta with Roasted Berries looks like a great way to use berries.
  • What to Talk about When Sharing the Gospel with Your Kids. "Sharing the Gospel with our children is more of a journey than anything else. It’s not a one-time conversation, or an event we can plan or send them to. It is about pointing them to Jesus again and again and allowing the Holy Spirit to do the work in their hearts that only He can."

Monday, June 3, 2013

simple vanilla rhubarb compote

Silence on this blog carried for longer than I thought, or wished for. There were weeks of working and studying, then doing exams and finally closing in the last few busy weeks at work. And now, I find myself in a place where I can only wonder what my future will hold. Will I be studying? Working? Doing something completely different? I feel as if all is possible, and I find that can be a rather scary thing.

Blooming apple tree

These past few days, we have been enjoying extremely warm weather here in Finland. I feel as if we really waited for spring, for a long time and suddenly, it is summer. It has been amazing to look at the nature, to see the swift changes in the nature and how those blooming flowers and trees are now adorning the scenery all around.

In these days of, well, waiting for my future to shape up, I have found it easier to focus on the small things of the everyday life. Because really, when you are in a place where you can only trust God to have control over your life. It is better to concentrate on the things that are in the here and now, instead of dwelling on and worrying over things that are out of your hands. So I have been focusing on those moments that can easily slip by unnoticed; the simple blessings of the everyday life. A warm breeze on my face, wonderfully fragrant flowers (lilacs and lilies of the valley right now), those quiet and still moments with a cup of coffee in my hands in the morning, a word of encouragement, an unexpected act of kindness and love. The list is endless, really, which makes it all the more better.

Vanilla Rhubarb Compote

The recipe I have for you today is a very simple one. Partly because I feel like it fits this season through and through. Partly because it allows me to ease back into blogging rather nicely. Mostly because many good things in life are very simple, as is with this compote.

For this compote, rhubarb is stewed with some vanilla and brown sugar to hit both the sweet and tart notes. This compote isn't much of a looker but it sure is delicious. The tartness of the rhubarb pops in at first, then gives way to the sweetness enhanced by the vanilla and that hint of caramel from the brown sugar. I have been adding spoonfuls of this rhubarb compote to bowls of plain yoghurt and honestly, I can't get enough. It is also great with vanilla ice cream. (Just sayin'.)

Vanilla Rhubarb Compote

Simple Vanilla Rhubarb Compote
makes about 1 cup

This makes a somewhat small batch but that is a good thing, as this compote stays well for about a week or so. I find I go through the batch rather quickly, adding spoonfuls to plain yoghurt and ice cream. 

250g rhubarb, peeled and diced
80g granulated sugar
40g brown sugar
1 tbsp water
1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste

In a saucepan, combine the diced rhubarb, sugars, water, and vanilla bean paste. Over medium-high heat, bring the mixture to a boil, then turn the heat to low. Cook until the rhubarb is soft, about 15 to 20 minutes. Refrigerate in an air-tight conditioner.