Archive for oktober, 2008

okt 31 2008

Rodent pedicure

Published by under Meg og mitt liv

Rodent pedicure
The cutest thing was when he started to nibble at my fingernails afterwards.
I forgot to publish the post-artichoke picture; all the clean-eaten leaves and the husky stem looked so nice that I had to shoot a picture of it:
The remains of an artichoke
Lastly, I had another urge for salmon a week ago and made this; Salmon with Pasta and Lemon-Dill sauce . I don’t have diabetes but I like to cook healthy as often as possible, and this dish wasn’t just healthy, it was really good! I think I’ll precook the pasta a few minutes first the next time I make this, since I thought the pasta took too long time to cook in the broth with the vegetables. I also added some extra soy sauce and lemon juice.
Salmon and noodles
The first snow came falling down from the sky yesterday, but as most snow in Oslo does, this one melted the very next day too. But it was nice as long as it lasted, it made me start thinking about how to feed the wild birds during the cold season. There’s a small pear tree outside my window, maybe I could just put up some bird food in the tree. During my childhood my mother always took care of the small birds that stay in Norway during winter, and I remember the fun of learning the species names of all of them…I guess that’s one of the reasons for my biology interest!
Here are some house sparrows in the botanical zoological garden Wilhelma, in Stuttgart, Germany.
Wilhelma - botanical and zoological garden of Stuttgart.
According to my text book in Animal Behaviour the little guy with the biggest black patch on his chest is the dominant male in the group.

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okt 28 2008

The best salmon dish ever! + some other food-related triumphs

Published by under Meg og mitt liv

I’ve discovered a thrilling new, incredibly tasty recipe for salmon baked in the oven on a bed of baby spinach and leek. I will not take all the credits for this, since I was inspired by a dish Gillian McKeith made during one of her programmes, I think it was «You are what you eat». I watched the show one day, got totally inspired, and made this dish the following day – it turned out perfectly, was super-tasty and very satisfying. I prepared the salmon pretty much the same way as Gillian does in this recipe but I didn’t sauté the leeks before I added them to the pan, nor did I brush the salmon during the cooking prosess. I used fairly small (cheap!) fillets of salmon that cooked so quick that I didn’t have to do anything with them during their time in the oven. They came out perfectly cooked, juicy and flavourful, not dry at all.

The best salmon dish ever

The ginger and garlic gave the fish a remarkable fresh and delicious taste, and I’ll definitely pair those together in another fish dish. I wanted some starch in addition to the vegetables, so I cooked up some  diced sweet potato together with one regular potato, mashed them up with some butter and seasoned the mash with salt, pepper, nutmeg, garlic and fresh ginger. Do you see a pattern? Indeed, the mash complemented the fish very well. 

Sweet potato purée..the best mash I've hadSweet potato purée..I adore thee!

On an impulse I drizzled a new spice mix over the lot (from the brand Santa Maria ; Wasabi and Sesame), which worked out very nice!  The next time I will even try to put some real wasabi onto the fish during the baking..mmmmhh!

Santa Marias new Wasabi Sesame spice mix

The finished master piece (I’m getting a hang at arranging my food, don’t you think? (Just say yes, please)) :

The best salmon dish ever

I seriously had to retain myself from gobbling it all up before I took the picture..actually, just looking at the pictures now makes me crave this exact dish. Jeez, me and my cravings.

The best salmon dish ever <- Heaven on a fork

Time to talk about the other triumphs. First, I’ve made sun…uh, oven dried tomatoes! My local vegetable marked had these glorious red cherry tomatoes and I just couldn’t leave them there in the shop, so I adopted them, took them home and roasted them! Slice in half, drizzle with sea salt, fresh pepper and olive oil, in the oven at 100 degrees celcius, about 4 hours, done. Mini-photo series below (click on the pics to make them bigger):

Wonderful cherry tomatoes
Cherry tomatoes, ready for roasting
Oven dried tomatoes <- Look at that glorious, ruby red colour! Just beautiful! I planned to use them in some pasta dish, but I have to hurry, since I’ve already snacked up half the jar…yum!
So, are you curious about my third triumph ? A few nights ago I ate something I’ve never had before, but which I’ve been wanting to try out ever since I read about it in Andy’s great blog (you have to scroll down the page a bit) - ARTICHOKES! Artichokeartichokeartichoke. I heart artichoke. Just a week ago I knew nothing, now I know that I love their subtle flavour, that they are fun to eat, and that artichokes actually are flowers of the thistle family! How often do you eat a flower for dinner? If you’re somewhat like me, you have no idea how to prepare and eat an artichoke; this site  explains it all wonderfully.
My first artichoke!
I made a dip of good balsamic vingar and some mayonaise, which was absolutely terrific, but regular softened butter was very nice too. I can’t quite get over how much fun I had eating this thing with Tore (and Sam, nibbling away like crazy), it must be my inner child that loves the idea of eating a big flower. Just look here, it IS a flower!
Image:Artichokeflower.jpg
Lastly, I want to share a norwegian twist on pancakes with you guys. In Norway, we normally eat pancakes at dinnertime, not for breakfast. They are made without baking powder, just milk, flour, sugar, salt and eggs, and the batter is generally thinner than the american version. To make it even crazier, many norwegians like to have soup with their pancakes. I have to admit, I hadn’t tried this until I met Tore, but I really like it, since pancakes on their own are too sweet on my palate, I like something salty for dinner. Pancakes are one of those dishes that I just can’t bother to make, since they’re time consuming and Tore is more than willing to make them. Instead, I made the soup; a quick soup of little, green peas, fresh from the freezer, I think they’re called petit pois. When Tore visited the Netherlands a long time ago, he had pancakes with cheese on them, and ever since we’ve had cheese on our pancakes too. With sugar and lemonjuice. And my addition today; poppy seeds. Sound crazy, right? But verr d’lish, you should try it.
Pancakes and green pea soup 

Pancakes and green pea soup
Oh, I forgot, we added some bacon to the batter too! Yuuumm….You eat them like this; put sugar, a lemon squize, some poppy seeds and grated parmesan cheese (or any other, sharp cheese) along the center of the pancake, roll it up, and cut into pieces with the help of a fork and a spoon. Yes, a spoon, knives are prohibited. Take one bite of pancake, follow up with a spoonful of pea soup. Mmh-mmh-mmmmhhh!!! I’ll post the recipe when I get around to it or if you send me an mail and ask, right away.
Although this blog is turning more and more into a food blog, I just have to add some pictures of my beloved little chunk of hairy loveliness; my pet rat Sam. Here he is snoozing away on my fake fur blanket, on the couch. Isn’t that little nose just adorable? He didn’t even flinch when I kissed his little head, the sleepy little man.
The sweetest nose there is
And one more (look at that little hand under his cheek! So cute!) :
The sweetest nose there is
All together now: «Aaaaaaawwwwwwhhh!!!»

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okt 20 2008

Ramen noodle frenzy

Published by under Meg og mitt liv

Tore and I have had an almost weeklong simultanous ramen noodle hang-up. We bought about 1 million different kinds of ramen noodles the last time we were shopping in one of the chinese grocery shops downtown Oslo, and suddenly we both couldn’t go through a day without eating at least one pack of crazy flavoured noodles. They were all sooo fascinating, and if not incredible tasty, it was very satisfying to slurp hot broth after spending a day in the rainy autumn weather. The craziest ramen I tried must be the kimchi-flavoured ones I had yesterday – the broth was pink! And the flavour..indescribable. Kinda like salty, slightly synthetic strawberry-beef broth. But not bad, not bad at all!

Ramen noodles with Kimchi flavour
Luckily we came off the ramen wagon today, and I made a spicy carrot soup to compensate for the unhealthy week long noodle-overdose. To give us something to chew on I made a side of pizza rolls from store-bought freshpizza dough – we were both so hungry that we just couldn’t wait for a home made dough to rise. They were so delicious! I filled them with tomato paste, chopped olives, garlic, sundried tomatoes, strips of lowfat ham, dried oregano, basil and marjoram, cheese and basil pesto.. Neither of us were really excited about the taste of the carrot soup, but with the help of the rolls we finished it off, which means we ate about 8 carrots for dinner! That must count for something !
Spicy carrot soup w/pizza buns
The beautiful yellow and red maple leafs from the last weeks of bright beautiful autumn weather have turned to a blackish-brown glistening..mass, covering nearly all the sidewalks on my route to University. With poor street lightning, rain and heavy winds, riding a bike was quite an adventure today. I like that it takes less time to bike than to go by bus and the tube, and especially that it doesn’t harm the environment, but boy, do I have to do some serious self-convincing to get on that bike every morning..Oh well, I’m done whining now. Biking through the rainy darkness makes me appreciate the dry warm inside so much more. I’ve even begun to think about cookies to bake in December! But I will not mention any of them yet, as it’s ONLY OCTOBER, a fact that the supermarkets seem to disregard completely, since they’ve already put the christmas chocolate and – marzipan on the shelves…
I’ve bought the plane tickets for Svalbard, made all the arrangements that need to be done and I can hardly wait to get up there! The course is going to be really hectic (they call it an intensive course, after all) but I’ll make sure to make time to visit some of these guys :
Visiting the dogpen IMG_2327 - Copy
Me and a 5 week old husky puppy + Fram and Tundra (from left); a 3 year old male husky, and a 7 month old husky-greenland dog mix female.
I love dogs, and the sled dogs that I met on Svalbard, Spitzbergen are some of the most amazing dogs I’ve ever met. They live outside in the cold all year round, pull more than their own weight through often deep snow, they compete which each other for food, being chained to small huts when not running – but still so incredible friendly! I helped a friend to feed them last winter and all of the dogs waited politely until I had placed the food bowl on the ground before they tried to inhale their food (at least that’s what it looked like). Huge shaggy greenland dogs that look like teddy bears, sleek beautiful huskys, all super-happy to meet you, jumping up whilst trying to give you puppy kisses, shaking their entire body in anticipation, howling of excitement, ready to run..my kind of dogs.

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okt 15 2008

Picture marathon

Published by under Meg og mitt liv

Although I haven’t posted anything on this blog for a while, I have been cooking. I just haven’t had the spunk to write about it. But now as the two exams are behind me, I finally have some mental energy to spare. I don’t want to bore you with a super-long essay about what I’ve done since the last post (except for passing my exams with flying colours,no need to mention), so I’ll just give you the photo-evidence. 

First, I’ve gotten a taste..eh, bad choice of words, I’ve gotten an insight of how the work with my master thesis is going to be. Two weeks ago I helped some under-graduates out with their project that is a mini-version of my master. I helped them out with training the chicken. – The one – day old, yellow, fluffy baby-chicken. Sooo cute! I just had to kiss them on their downy little heads, completely forgetting about the possibility of salmonella, which luckily is quite rare in Norway (and I didn’t get sick, so no harm’s done). 

 

Chicken behaviour experiment
At the end of the week-long experiment they’d become so imprintet on us that they came running over, trying to jump into our hands when we were handling them. No wonder, being picked up meant getting yummy worms, so who can blame them. 
On the nigh before my animal behaviour mid-term I was so sick of studying that I followed the old advise to not study the day before an exam (I normally do). Instead I spent 3 hours to cook a pig’s knuckle! I’ve always wanted to try this smoky, super tender (not to mention super-fatty) meat, and tonight I felt like disregarding any counter-arguments like «It takes too long time», «It’s unhealthy», «Bla bla bla». I’m glad I endured the three hour cookin time with the mouthwatering smell almost driving me mad of hunger: It was sooo delicious, cheap and very satisfying. And the cooking made me  relaxed; like I’ve never been the day before an exam, with the result that I did great on the test (I think).
Porks knuckle, sauerkraut and potatoes
As an extra bonus it gave me the opportunity to make pig’s knuckle sandwich the next day. If you’ve read Terry Pratchetts books you’ll understand why pig’s knuckle sandwich has a special attraction to me. 
With the exams behind me and Tore back home from his weekend-trip to the small town where he comes from, I was in the mood for some experimenting. Inspired by Rachael Ray , who makes all kinds of delicious hamburgers (wihout stealing any recipe of her), I made my own chicken burgers with home-made coleslaw and spicy oven fries. I used ciabatta-buns instead of standard hamburger-rolls, since I’m not a too big a fan of those store-bought, über-sweet, fiber-less air-buns. 
Chicken burger, coleslaw and oven chips
They were juicy, tasty and way more filling than any big hamburger chain-meal..
The next meal I bothered to capture on film digital camera was a standard tomato soup. To rid myself of the excessive amounts of vegetables in my fridge I added celery, potatoes, onions and red peppers to the tomatoes in the soup, blended it, and mellowed the taste a tad with a spoonful of low-fat creme fraiche. Yum ! I love tomatoes, I have a craving for them on a regular basis. I read somewhere that craving tomatoes means that you have an iron-deficiency, but maybe it just means that I really love tomatoes (I do). I like this picure, despite it’s blurriness, since it shows off one of the beautiful cutlery Tore inherited from his late grand-parents. I think it’s silver, and we use it everyday. I think it’s nice to use pretty things instead of stowing them away at a «safe place». 
Chunky tomato soup
Over to something not food related. The other day Tore and I took Sam with us outside to enjoy the autumn sun, that doesn’t really warm you up, but makes the beautiful fall colours glow. We let Sam explore the branch of a small tree, but he was so nervous that the only thing he cared about was to jump over to safety, in other words his mum and dad. As long he could sit on the inside of our sweaters his curious little whiskery nose was constantly moving, drawing in the fresh air. 
Tree rat Sam  Sam in the park  Tree rat Sam


Phew! I have many recipes left to post and I still got some pictures that I want to comment on here, but that got to wait. I know a furry little guy that needs some TLC, and I’m not talking about Tore :p


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okt 04 2008

Exam blues and chubby pet

Published by under Sam

After a week of tedious studying for my exams next monday and tuesday, my attention span is coming to a stand-still. Tha fact that my nose feels like it’s stuffed with a giant wad of cotton, numbing almost all my tastebuds, doesn’t help much either. So after a long day of studying yesterday, I spontanously decided to go to a party – a cheese and wine gathering at my friends N, K and B’s apartment. Ten minutes after returning home from University I just grabbed a couple of beers from the fridge, stuffed Sam in his travelling cage and went. I’m so happy that I did, I really needed a couple of hours of fun and relaxation. I took Sam with me since he’d been alone all day – Tore is visiting some friends in the town where he grew up (and giving me peace to study). I thought the little guy (Sam, that is) would be anxious and nervous with so many strangers around, loud music, etc., but I was totally wrong! He wasn’t afraid at all,he was quite relaxed and made a lot of new friends. He just climbed around from shoulder to shoulder, sniffing peoples hair and trying to steal food. At the end of the evening he snuggled up against my friend L’s chest and fell asleep. I almost felt jealous!  Oh well, I should be happy to have such a social little guy who handles being the centre of attention without any problems. I guess he would’ve been welcomed differently in another crowd than at this party – they were all biology students, and I think only one person felt a bit nervous with Sam around (which I of course respected and kept Sam away from him).

Before Tore went to down south, he and I tought Sam to sit in a very cute manner, with his hind legs pointing forwards. It didn’t take much time, but a lot of treats; he refused to stay seated after he’d finished his «bribe». He looks so amazingly cute and adorable, and the fact that he’s gotten a bit on the chubby side just adds to the cuteness. He looks a lot fatter than he is, it’s just the seating position that makes him look fat…:D

Sam learns to sit

«Nom. nom, dry bread!» – Funny opportunistic Sam refused to eat dry bread after he discovered that we were eating bread with butter on.

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okt 02 2008

Llama terror

Published by under Meg og mitt liv

Click the picture in order to get to the original article.

Llamaterror on graveyeard in Østerdalen! Yesterday norwegian newspaper VG could report about a herd of escaped llamas that were harrassing people in a small village in Østerdalen . The llamas were eating the grass and the flowers on the graveyeard,  scaring hikers and keeping them from picking berries in the forest and on one occasion a pack of lamas had crowded around a baby in a stroller, staring at it. Staring at it! The renegade llamas have escpaped from the farmer on several occasions, but now the minister in the community has had enough (the guy on the picture). He will summon a meeting as soon as he comes home from the moosehunting trip he’s attending. The farmer is very sorry for his llamas behaviour and the problems they’ve caused. Apart from all the negativity surrounding the furry escapees, they’ve become a popular touristattraction for people passing through the village.

Lovely. This kind of article makes me still want to read the newspapers everyday (Aftenposten, Dagbladet, VG and Svalbardposten), despite the overload of news regarding what horrible things people do to each other.

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