søndag 30. januar 2011

Having fun with the English language, not a bilingual blogg anymore

When I started this blog, it was ment to be used as a channel for my adventures when cooking and experimenting with low fat/fat free recipes and a little of things a meet in my life. The first recipes I posted on this blogg was both in English and Norwegian, but it is so much work to translate the recipes into English so from now on I will fully consentrate on writting in English. All the mesurements will be both cups and liters, but the rest will be in English. Since many of my readers are from other Contries than Norway I will now write all the postings in English so you all can have use of the my whole blog.
I am not just doing this for all the non-Norwegians out there, but mostly for myself as I love to use and play with the English language. This is also a challenge I have given myself.
Please give me feedback both negative and positive things if it is about the content or grammar, thanks.

News in my kitchen

Yesterday I went to see a friend of mine who lives in Oslo (the capital of Norway) it is a 30 minutes drive from my house. Before I went to see her I had to stop by Traktøren a store with kitchen utensils  where she had bought me this beautiful and practical oil and vinegar bottle with a drip free spout, you can read more about it here. After only a couple of weeks use the spout fell into the bottle which is not suppoe to happen and when I had to pull it out with some force it broke apart. My teory is that the mct-oil I use have ruined the rubber/plastic material the spout is made of. Of course I did not tell the store clerk that when I went to complain and return it, so now they have sent the bottle back to the distributor to see if I can get a new one. I am hoping that it was not the oil that made the product weak, and that I will get a new bottle which is just an amazing kitchen helper.
The point and thought of this post is that I really fooled myself when I thought I could go into just one store when there are many interesting stores just down the street and not buying anything else than the planned spagetti mesurer. After returning my much loved bottle, I bought the spagetti messurer so I can cook the right amount of spagetti for dinner, I always cook way to much. After looking some more around in the store and actually being a good girl and putting back several cool stuff that I wanted, we went to another store. My friend was looking for a thermos cup so she can bring the rest of her morning coffee on the tram to work in the mornings. In this store I found some cool turquoise cooking spoons. This was a sentimental buy since my Grandmother had cooking spoons like these ones. Not turquoise, but I just love the color.

 I also found myself a thermos cup from Bodum, for more products look here. Many of my colleagues have one of these and I have though that I don't need one since I am not much of a hot beverage drinker, but this one was on sale and I love the color!!. After buying the cup I of course had to buy som fresh tea, so we went to the nearest tea and coffee shop where I bought the most delicious Rooibush Mango tea. It is so good that I don't have to add sugar or honey to it. Since I had made a couple of non planned buys I had to find some good reasons justify my purshases: so here they are : number one now I can bring along both hot AND cold beverages and number two since it followed an extra lid without the strainer I can bring a hot toddy (with no alcohol) along also.

The Nutcracker, a magical adventure

At an age of 31 years old I finally got to see the The Nutcracker at Boston Opera House performed by The Boston Ballet. My niece who is turning 8 in March went with her Grandmother to see the Nutcracker in the new Opera House in Oslo  (look here) last December to, I think its great that she got to see it at that age because the play is so magical. The Nutcracker has all the components thats just draws you away into the magical word of childhood fantasy and the Kingdom of Sweets ruled by the exquisite Suger Plum Fairy. What hit me while enjoying the play was that all of the audience both children and adults was so in to the play that when the Gingerbread man got his arm torned off everyone gasped. .With all the fun characters, costumes and magical music and dance I enjoyd the play a lot and I have no trouble seeing how this has become a Christmas tradition for many families to see every year
The music is composed by Pytor Tchaikovsky also known as the father of classical ballet music. He has captured the beautiful differences in each type of dance numbers in the play, the luminous falling snow, the sweetness of the Sugar Plum Fairy, the vigor ofthe Russian Treapak and the exotic qualities for the Arabic dance. With his music he makes it easier for the audience to get captured by the music combined with the dance.

Some of my favorite characters is the Gingerbread man, the little lambs that are played so beautifully by the childen ballet dancers, especially the black one that does not quite fit in with the other lambs and of course the Suger Plum Fairy. What a name for a fairy, I can taste the sweetness on my tounge and just dream myself far far away. If I had a large house I would love to have brought the sled home with me, it appeals to all my fairytale senses.

søndag 9. januar 2011

My "new" living room

Last Easter I redecorated my living room. I tore down the old wall paper and put up a new one. On three of the walls I have a simple wall paper in a nice cream colour and one of the short walls I have a wall paper with a pattern of magnolia flower in a matching cream colour. The finish of the magnolia wall paper is a little shiny without becomin cheap or vulgar. Last week I finally put the final touch on the living room with some new furniture. For years I have been looking for the perfect arm chair that I curl up in with a nice cup of tea with a good book in front of the fire place. Right before Christmas I found the perfect arm chair and a a nice coffee table, both at a reasonably price. The new furniture was delivered last week and I am so pleased with them.

lørdag 8. januar 2011

Delicious pumpkin soup

I have always loved how the Americans have decorated for Thanksgivings with bright orange pumpkins in all shapes and sizes, dried corn cobs in delicious warm reds and flowers in in different shades of yellow, orange and red. Even though I  have spend a lot of time in the States since I was 10 years old I have never tastet any food made with pumpkin until a couple of years ago. That was a  pumpkin pie, I liked it a lot and got more curious on the vegetable. So this fall I have tried out a lot of different recipes with pumpkin in them. I tried to make the filling of a fat free pumpkin pie which did not work out quite as I wanted, I made pumpkin mash, pumpkin cake, I tried baking it and I made a lot of pumpkin soup. I would like to share my pumpkin soup recipe with you today.

5 cups/600 g pumpin meat
1 1/2 cups/250g peeled potatoes
2-3 garlic cloves
1 choped onion or leak
2 tbsp oil
2 tsp curry
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh ginger
1 large tomate, chopped
2 cups/1/2 l vegetabel broth
a squeeze of lemon juice
salt and pepper

Cut the pumpkin and the potatos in smal cubes. Chop the garlic and onion. Then saute the garlic and onion with oil and the curry for a couple of minuttes. Add the potatoes, pumpkin, ginger and tomato and saute some more.
Add the broth and let it simmer for 30 minuttes. When its done simmering and the pumpkin and potatoes are tender then mash it to a velvet like soup.
Season it with salt, pepper and lemon juice.

Serve it with fresh bread.

A spicy chili con carne

Here is a recipe for a spicy and a fully flavored chili con carne. To make it more children friendly you can just  add the amount of chili your taste buds acquires.
The recipe calls for both beer and chocolate, since chocolate is a big no no for me I make it without and it tastes as good as with.

2 onions
2 garlic cloves
14 ounces/400g minced beef 
1 tbsp oil of your choice
1 cup/2 dl kidney beans
1 cup/2 dl cannellini (white beans)
1 large chili
1 green paprika
1 tsp cumin
1 tbsp honey
1 box of tomatoes
1 ounce/20 g chocolate with high amount of cocoa
1 cup/2 dl good beer
1 can of sweet corn

Soure cream sauce
2 tbsp fat free soure cream
2tbsp buttermilk
mix it together

Chop the onion and garlic before lightly coock it with oil until it is shiny. Add the minced meat and fry it brown. Then add beans, chili, peppers, cuming, honey and tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper and let it simmer for 15 minuttes before adding the chocolate (can be omitted) and beer until it is heated. In the end add the sweet corn and make the final seasoning.

Serve it with rice, a green salad and the soure cream sauce.