Archive for mars, 2010

mar 29 2010

I miss Sam

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Tears are rolling down my cheeks as I write this. It’s Mr.T’s fault. He started looking at pictures of Sam, my first rattie love, who died from a brain tumor in June a year ago. I had to look at the pictures too of course, and before I knew it my eyes were watering up. How can a tiny animal that I knew a mere year and a half take such a big part of my heart ? The short life expectancy of pets in general and rats in particular is a part of all things that are bad in life. I wish they’d live as long as we do. But I guess their short life span helps us humans understand that we need to enjoy them as much as we can while we have them among us. Excuse me while I go kiss four furry little heads.

Sam in his bed that initially was meant to be his toilet but that was never used for anything else but sleeping : Sam being a shenanigan in the pantry:  Sam learns to sit for a treat:

RIP Sam, my first pet of my own and first rat, I’ll never forget you.

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mar 28 2010

Series : The Best Sandwich EVER! Take I

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I bought a kilo/two pound rack of smoked «Easter ham» that I had no clue how to incorporate into a meal since it was already cooked and «ready for consumption». Do I heat it up, but won’t it get dry ? Do I eat it cold ? But I want a hot meal…all these thoughts were running and screaming through my mind when I realized that I needed to make a hot sandwich with a warm mustard honey sauce to slather the sandwich with…and then I did just that. I love sandwiches but I don’t make them that often. But for the sake of you, dear readers, I will commence a sandwich-series, trying out and presenting different kinds of sandwiches that make my skirt fly up. Here goes :

I used wholewheat baguettes, sliced them in two, smeared butter on one half, sweet Bergbys mustard on the other, layered it on thick with cheese on one half, thick cut ham on the other and roasted it in the oven until the cheese started to brown. Meanwhile I made a quick sauce starting with a butter-onion-garlic-flour roux, added beef stock, and loads of Dijon mustard and flower honey. I can’t even tell how much honey and mustard I added, but it was a lot. I also added a tablespoon of Norwegian grained sweet mustard (Idun grov sennep),  the brown spots you can see on the picture are mustard seeds. Then I slathered the sandwich halves in the sauce and added some salty capers to balance the sweet sauce a bit, and added another glob of sauce to the plate so that I could dunk each piece of sandwich into the sauce before blessing my mouth with it. Yes, you have guessed right, this is a knife and fork sandwich. And it’s DE-LISH!
I’m gonna go ahead and give you guys the recipe in Norwegian too, since I recently posted it on a Norwegian food forum and I was so pleased with my witty and snappy writing that I wanted to share it with those of you who can read Norwegian (how many are you btw ?).
Dette er bare copy pasta’ fra en tråd jeg skriver på som heter Billige og ganske sunne (student)middager:

Jeg tar en billig og snadderfantastisk studentoppskrift til jeg ! Hvor billig og studentvennlig denne retten er kommer litt an på hva du får tak i av rimelige ingredienser. Jeg bor rett ved en diger Ica Maxi og der har de tilbud på kokt Påskeskinke til 60 KRONER KILOEN! Det er superbillig, i hvertfall hvis du sammenligner med kiloprisen på pålegg, der må du starte med å doble den kiloprisen og gjerne legge på en hundrings til. Så det du gjør som fornuftig og vakker student er at du kjøper et par kilo med påskeskinke, investerer i en knivsliper, sliper kniven snille slektninger har gitt deg i julegave, og leker kirurg med skinka di. Nei, ikke rumpa di, jeg mener seff Påskeskinka. Skjær i så tynne skiver som mulig, pakk i porsjonspakninger og frys ned. Ta ut etterhvert og bruk på studentmatpakka di. Jeg lover deg at du kommer til å være sååå fornøyd med deg selv der du sitter og gomler Påskeskinkesmørbrød på lesesalen mens de andre trøkker i seg svett gulost. Men siden dette er hovedsakelig en middagsrettråd, skal jeg gi deg en middagsrett, jeg. En som er inspirert av den fantastiske amerikanske kreasjonen «Dip Sandwiches». Enkelt forklart er dette en sandwich med kjøtt – roastbeef, langtidskokt svin, etc – som du spiser ved å først dyppe kjøttsandwichen i en slags saus eller suppe av et eller annet slags før du fører det myknede og smaksintensiviserte smørbrødet til dine lengtende lepper. Nå ble jeg litt matpornografisk her, vennligst les videre, det skal ikke skje igjen. Tilbake til skinka, som du har kjøpt billig; denne kan du skjære i tynne skiver, og ta en hel haug av dem, og legge mellom to baguette halvdeler og spise eller så kan du gjøre som meg og lage Christianes HONEY MUSTARD HEAVEN :

Start med å skru på studentovnen din. Skjær baguetten i to deler (First Price har en helt akseptabel og billig baguette), smør smør på den ene og sennep på den andre. Jeg alternerer mellom Iduns grovkornede og Bergbys søte pølsesennep. Legg masse Påskeskinke på den ene halvdelen og ost, hvis du har det, på den andre. Stek i ovn til osten smelter. Hold den varm for du skal lage dyppesausen:

Stek finhakket løk og hvitløk i et par spiseskjeer smør, når løken blir gyllen har du i et par spiseskjeer med hvetemel og rører til du har en løkmelsmørklump. Spe med litt vann, rør, spe, rør, spe. FERDIG! Neida, men du kjenner igjen teknikken ? Du skal lage en hvit saus, bare at du sper med vann eller kraft. Jeg sper med vann også hiver jeg oppi en buljongterning etterpå, så simpel er jeg. Når du har laget en passe tynn saus (den skal nesten være suppetynn) kan du begynne å smake til med sennep og honning. Det skal overraskende mye til, jeg tror jeg brukte minst et par spiseskjeer med grov sennep, en spiseskje Dijon og et par teskjeer med honning og Bergbys søte. Du må bare smake deg frem, det skal bli salt-søtt-godt. Når du er ferdig kan du helle litt av sausen over den ene baguettehalvdelen før du legger delen sammen, og så heller du resten av sausen på tallerkenen og spise smørbrødet med kniv og gaffel slik at du kan sveipe hver bit nedi sausen. Jeg fant ut at det er den greieste spisemetoden, hvis du skjærer baguetten i sånne fancy skrå skiver og prøver å dyppe hver bit i en liten suppeskål med saus ender du bare opp med saus nedover haka og den nye fine blusa di og kvelden ender med tårer. Det vil jeg ikke unne deg så for gids skyld, bruk kniv og gaffel!

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mar 26 2010

BBQ chicken pizza w/ thin italian crust..

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..will be on my table yet again tonight! I made a double batch of BBQ sauce last weekend, and stored it in a clean jar in my fridge, that must be okay to use, don’t you think ? I got the pizza recipe (the sauce I made from scratch) from PioneerWoman, and it was deeeliiiciosoo!

It was easy peasy to make too. One of the very few things I hate to do in the kitchen (well, except doing the dishes) is to roll out pizza dough with a rolling pin. Until I read Ree’s recipe I didn’t know you were allowed to use your hands to stretch and pull the dough out to desired shape and thiness (is that a word ?). I thought it had to be perfectly round or square shape. I was raised that way, and being a neat freak obsessing over her pizza dough was a part of me. Until I watched the photos at PioneerWomans cooking blog and realized my days of hounding over a springy pizza dough that refuses to be rolled thin were over. You can just pull and tear and squeeze that sucker into shape! Halleluja. I hope reading about my revelation was as entertaining to you as it was to me, dear readers. You’ll still need a rolling pin, though. It’s really good for pounding left over chicken breasts thinly for easy freezing-and defreezing and for making of breaded chicken cutlets. More about that later. Here’s my nemesis, the homemade piece of crap pizza dough I feared for so long. I made him first, gave him an hour to raise, or else. PioneerWomans recipe is a nice one. Whilst Doug, as I like to call him, was doubling in size, I made the BBQ chicken. No wait, I made the BBQ sauce first. I had lots of time on my hands, you see. But do you think I remember what I put into the sauce ? I know the ingredients, but the measurements were very peu un peu. Some brown sugar, tomato purè, ketchup, mustard, cayenne pepper, cumin, salt, Worchestershire sauce, red wine vinegar…go google a recipe or buy a ready made sauce, it’s safer than venturing out on the homemade BBQ sauce from scratch path (let’s just say it turned out a tad to sweet). But boy did it have a magnificient colour. I wanted to paint a painting with it. The Rivers Are Running Red With The Blood Of Our Enemies, I’d call it. The painting, not the sauce. But then I forgot about it and slapped half of it on the chicken, the second half on the pizza and the rest half in a jar. Fractions was never my strongest subject in school. Here are the chicken breasts fresh from the oven, where they’d spent a good 25 minutes frolicking in their BBQ bath. I think they look hawt. They were so juicy, succulent, lovely…then I tried inhaling them straight from the pan and burned my mouth and decided it was best to let them rest until manageable. You do that too, please. For the sake of the skin on the inside of your mouth. Meanwhile, slice a red onion in quite thin half-rings. And slice a knob of garlic into reeaaallyyy thin slices. You’re gonna need a turquois Ikea cutting board for that. Na, just a cutting board – but the turquois one sure is nice. It’s bendy too! When you’ve done your slicing and cutting you can just fold it up which makes pouring your chopped veggies into a pot a blast. Now your chicken breasts (I love to type that word) should be cool enough for school, I mean cutting. Did I mention they were perfectly cooked and juicy and delicious  ? They almost didn’t make it on to the pizza. Let’s just say more than my fair share of cubes went «missing» during the process of chopping up the breasts into nice cubes. 

Time to team up with Doug again. Check out the fingerprints, the holes and unneven thickness! A true sign of a madman at work. I actually think that the holes and unneveness is what makes Italian pizza crusts so good. That and the fresh mozzarella, which I didn’t have, woe is me. Norwegian yellow cheese had to do. Jarlsberg, Norvegia, Synnøve Finden gulost, they all taste YELLOW. And for that I shall grieve a hundred years. Or until they make imported cheese that actually tastes like something, less pricey.  The assembly was a hoot: I dribbled on the BBQ sauce (the next time I’ll use regular pizza sauce under the cheese, it can get too much BBQ sauce, believe it or not), layered thin slices of fresh mozzarella I WISH yellow Norwegian cheese, sprinkled onion half-rings, garlic and canned corn kernels, and the luscious chicken cubes, of course. Ha, would’ve  been fun to forget to put the BBQ chicken on the BBQ chicken pizza, huh ? Lolz. I’m tired of blogging, here’s the finished product, it was delicious and I ate till I was full and then some. The End.

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mar 25 2010

Fredrik & the new duvet cover

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A week ago I went to Ikea with my aunt and went berserk, buying all very necessary, but not incredibly necessary stuff. – Like a dish drying rack (since I hate drying off plates). And this dark aubergine duvet cover. See how nicely it matches Fredriks pink ears, nose and tiny hands ? Aww, I just love redecorating my home and make it match my beloved ratties.

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mar 23 2010

Marzipan cupcakes

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I made these delicious babies cupcakes last Saturday for a family gathering at my aunts house. They were filled with a mix of vanilla custard and vanilla quark (a kind of fresh cheese), chocolate chips, strawberry jam and small pieces of banana. Can you tell from the picture that this was my first attempt at working with marzipan ? After sitting on my lap during the one hour drive and additional hours waiting in room temperature, the yellow marzipan took on an appearance of half melted cheese… Note to self; marzipan  melts! They tasted great though and I spent the rest of the day and evening on a sugar high. The end. I followed a recipe at the amazing everything-from-knitting-to-cupcakes-blog Pickles.  Most of the blog is in both Norwegian and English, just scroll down to the bottom for the english recipes.
I was struck with an instant urge to knit and bake and do artsy and craftsy stuff reading through the blog, just look at this beautiful lamp!
And I really want to knit this Oh handsome boyfriend sweater for my oh so handsome boyfriend Mr. T.
Too bad I don’t know how to follow knitting instructions and only know how to knit socks. Not that I have time to knit a sweater anyway.

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mar 22 2010

Curried carrot potato soup

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Empty the fridge supper : Some carrots, a potato, half an onion, a clove of garlic, a teaspoon of hot madras curry powder, some red split lentils, water, a chicken stock cube and a splash of milk. Thinly sliced champignon mushrooms fried till nearly crispy. Garden cress from my window sill. Time duration from start till finish : I don’t know. But less than 20 minutes! Healthy, filling, comforting, delicious.

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mar 21 2010

Sprout!

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If you, like me, neither have a garden nor a balcony where you can grow your own vegetables, sprouting might be the answer to your hopes and dreams (okay, at least it is to me) : Sprouting is basically soaking, draining then rinsing seeds at regular intervals until they sprout or germinate. I tried my green fingers at sprouting chickpeas for the first time a couple of days ago and «harvested» my little sproutlings today. It was really quite easy : I soaked a handful of dried chickpeas for 24 hours, then I rinsed them, put them in a colander inside a plastic bag and let them hang out in the cupboard beneath my kitchen sink for a couple of days. I rinsed them twice a day and that was that, not labour intensive at all. They tasted great, I ate some of them raw and lightly fried the rest of them in some olive oil and hot madras curry powder for breakfast. Yummy! Not to mention healthy.

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mar 21 2010

Shopping : Lacy cream H&M blouse

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I went on a quick shopping trip on Friday, and this was one of the things I got. I love the thin viscose fabric and the beautiful lace center piece. I used it as a blouse with the lower part tucked into a denim skirt yesterday, but in the summer time I’ll wear it as a dress, maybe with a belt.

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mar 18 2010

Crisp bread, revised

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My first batch of crisp bread dissappeared like dew in the morning sun, both me and Mr. T loved them and ate more than our regular fill of them for breakfast. Tonight I made them again and made an effort to make a more educational how-to post on the creation of these crisp little wonders…

Set your oven to 175 degrees Celcius or 347 degrees Fahrenheit. Mix the following ingredients :

  • 200 ml whole wheat or whole rye flour
  • 200 ml bran
  • 200 ml rolled oats
  • 200 ml sesame seeds
  • 200 ml sunflower seeds
  • 100 ml flax seeds
  • 1 ts salt
  • 700 ml water
  • 1 tb honey
  • 200 ml toasted almonds (bake in 200 degrees Celcius oven for 12 minutes)

The mix should be gloopy, slightly wet, looking something like this:

It should be easy to spread out to  a thin layer on a baking parchment paper clad tray with the help of a wet spatula:

Chop your toasted almonds!

Spread them evenly over the crisp bread, slightly press into the mixture to make the nuts a part of the bread. I’ve found that this ensures a more even distribution of nuts in the bread than adding the nuts to mix from the beginning.  If you wanna go crazy, sprinkle some poppy seeds on the bread too! But beware, if you eat too many of those little suckers you might test positive in  a opiate drug test. Mythbusters said so!

This recipe makes enough dough to be spread out on three baking trays, approximately 40 small squares of crisp bread. After 10 minutes of baking, take out the trays and use a pizza wheel to cut a grid into the bread. Then let the crisp bread have another 20-30 minutes in the oven. It should be completely dry when it comes out, and will get hard when it cools. If you forget to cut the bread into squares after the 10 minutes (like me) you have a short time window right after you took the bread out of the oven to cut the hot (wear oven mitts!), still slightly pliable bread into squares with one of my favorite kitchen tools – a  pair of sharp scissors :

The end result !

I’m never buying crisp bread again! Have I said that before ? It’s a crispy yummy party in my mouth (and eventually my tummy) with every bite..ANNNDD! They’re healthy! The nuts and seeds are chock full of good-for-you Omega 3 fatty acids, vitamins and minerals, the bran and whole meal flour account for important dietary fibre (keeps your system going, if you know what I mean, wink wink) and the high protein content in combo with the fibre keeps you full and satisfied a long time and prevent snack attacks a few hours after breakfast. Unless you have a stack of these crisp bread sitting in your pantry, then you’ll want to snack all the time. Not because you’re hungry but because..they’re irresistible! (I had to google the spelling of that word, I admit it).

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mar 18 2010

Series : Animals I’d like to meet

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A baby tapir ( I think Malayan).  I don’t think a baby something can get any more precious than this! Look at that oversized head, the ears, eyes, the beautiful markings and the tiny trunk,…I’m in love. Too bad all the four tapir species are endangered :(

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