29 May, 2012

I've been drifting away from this blog lately. I apologize for neglecting to respond to comments. Getting ready for exams is draining me. Simply put - I'm burnt out, exhausted and demotivated. Sigurd says that the feeling of being burnt out doesn't come from being overworked. It comes when you start to doubt whether all the work you are doing is worth it. 

Spinach and Olive Quiche

26 May, 2012

Sometimes I need to accept that I can't work miracles. I have to take a deep breath and remember that I am the only person who expects things from me. Procrastinating can result in a clean kitchen and a perfect spinach and olive quiche for dinner. And that's after all something.

This one is a classic that me and Sigurd make constantly.


Crust dough
150g chilled butter
3dl flour
2 tbs water

3 beaten eggs
200 g steamed spinach
3 dl sour cream
150 g Parmesan cheese
6 cloves chopped garlic
1/2 ts salt
1 glass of black olives

Mix butter, flour and water into the dough. Refrigerate it for at least an hour and then roll it out into a tart pan. Bake for 5 minutes at 220C. Combine the eggs, steamed spinach and the rest of the ingredients for the filling. Pour it into the pie crust and bake it for another 15-20 minutes.

Signs of Summer

25 May, 2012

1. Old buildings in Oslo that are completely covered in leaves. 
2. The abundance of lilacs in bloom. And the smell of it which reminds me of the last days of school. 
3. The pink sunset over the fjords. People staying there until ten. Still in their shorts, dresses and bikinis.

I'm living in a continuous shuttle between Oslo and Bergen these days. After the my exam today I'm going back to Oslo, then back again to Bergen next week. Luckily I have a couple of sweet friends in Bergen with rooms to spare and a lots of nerve to handle my stressed out mood these day. What would we do without them?

Evening Biking

22 May, 2012

I have a wonderful guy, the one person who can help me turn things around completely when I have my darkest moments. He drags me out of our tiny apartment out to the warm summer breeze for city adventures by bike.


20 May, 2012

I used to think that there were no remedies for exam nerves, but after five years of studying I realized that the solution is quite simple. Let yourself do more of the things you love to do. Don't forget that you do deserve good things even though exams aren't done.

A couple of weeks ago I insisted on getting a city bike card for me and Sigurd, which lets us to pick up a bike at any of the over 100 bike racks in town, and leave it at one of them within three hours.  I've always liked the thought of exploring Oslo by bike, and today we discovered parts of town that I never would have guessed were within our reach.  

We've been blessed with so much nice weather lately. It's absolutely not possible to be inside all day, when you know that a bike ride can give you that badly sought after summer glow. 

Red, white & blue

17 May, 2012

Each year, on Norwegian Constitution Day, I wonder why I haven't bothered to take the time to find a traditional folk costume. I love how people take to the streets proudly wearing local version of the bunad, the Norwegian folk dress. Today has been all about eating huge ice-creams, watching the parade with friends and enjoying our day off in the sun. Oh, how I wish we could have at least one more national holiday like May 17th.

Happy Birthday, Mama!

16 May, 2012

Seeing so many sweet posts on Mother's Day made me wish we could celebrate it all over again in Norway. I'm happy that it's my Mom's birthday today, so that I also get a chance to express how much she means to me.

I love how we share your absurd sense of humor. I love how there is never a bad time to dance for you. And how your smile seems to smitten everyone. I love how you'r never afraid of being different, and always work towards being better. It's one of the most important lessons you could give me. You are exquisite!

Hot Blondies

15 May, 2012

I'm talking about the ones you can eat, of course.

The Norwegian Constitution Day is coming up on Thursday and I wanted to make something sweet in addition to all the smoked salmon, eggs and champagne for the 17th of May breakfast (which is bigger than the lunch and dinner that day. Don't ask me why.) If you decide to try them,  I assure you that you won't regret it. Recipe can be found here. 

200g/7oz butter
 300g/10½oz quality white chocolate, chopped
3 medium eggs
150g/5oz caster sugar
½ tsp pure vanilla extract
200g/7oz plain flour, sifted
pinch of salt

For the chillies
1 large fresh red chilli, de-seeded
1 large fresh green chilli, de-seeded
100g/3½oz caster sugar
150ml/5fl oz water

Preparation. Heat the oven to 180C/355F/Gas 4. Lightly butter a 20cm x 30cm/8in x 12in straight-sided baking tin and line the base with greaseproof paper. Slice the chillies diagonally. Combine the sugar, water and chillies and bring to the boil, stirring. Simmer for five minutes. In a heatproof bowl set over a pot of barely simmering water, melt the butter with 150g/5oz of the white chocolate, whisking well until smooth. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs, sugar and vanilla together until pale. Beat in the melted white chocolate mixture. Fold in the sifted flour and salt, then the remaining chopped white chocolate. Drain the chillies and add most of them to the batter. 9.h Pour into the baking pan, strew the remaining chillies on top, and bake for 25 minutes or until the top is firm and lightly golden. Remove and cool in the pan.

I haven't substituted painting with cooking entirely yet. I have actually five fresh canvases waiting for me to paint on, but I'm not quite sure how to approach them. One is already in the making since end of April. Every painting seems to become another long term project for me these days, so cooking seems to be a comforting way to get immediate results. I think what I need is some kind of deadline that forces me to get things done. Maybe a painting challenge?


14 May, 2012

There wasn't much time to spend with Mom in the garden when I was at home yesterday. I had to spend nearly all day unpacking and organizing my things. But I'll be back after my exams when the tulips and cherry trees are in bloom, and when the weather hopefully is better than it has been the last couple of days. Just wandering around in Mom's garden fills me up with anticipation. I love the way it gets bigger and bolder for each year.

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Bye, bye Bergen.

12 May, 2012

After four hours of driving quietly over the mountains, a lot of bewildered driving in Bergen's town center and ten minutes of packing we were all set. We took a well deserved break at Vågen Cafe with a friend and a former roommate. Although all of us know that I no longer officially live in Bergen, none of us felt the goodbye blues when saying goodbye. We know that we will see each other again in no time. 

(That being said, I'm going to miss the perfect brownies that my sweet roommate Mari so frequently bakes, and not to mention our almost daily discussions about cultural anthropology.)

As Days Rush By

10 May, 2012

Sometimes I wonder where my thoughts have been, when I realize that another week has passed, and I've barely noticed it. In my effort to make time stand still, I try to document the littlest of moments, even those seemingly mundane. A house bathing in sunshine. A bunch of peonies, that are way beyond my price range. A good friend contemplating. 

I adore beautiful days in Oslo, although it's mostly about studying for exams these day. Maybe it's because I'm having such a good time, that the days are just rushing by me. 

Lemon Tart

09 May, 2012

A couple of weeks ago I received a mail from Paul Lowe Einlyng telling me that I had won an issue of Sweet Paul Magazine. I'm thrilled about it and I was so happy to have won my first giveaway ever. The issue contains food photography of the kind that makes your mouth water, and not only over the food. The props, the decor, the everything. These magazines are small pieces of art.


07 May, 2012

I know that this blog is a place for appreciation of the nice things in life, but today I just need to get something off my mind to move on with my day. Just now I got this angry message on my voicemail from the owner of the apartment in Bergen that I've moved from. He accuses me of not having paid April's rent and another 1300 NOKs that he doesn't say what is for, and tells me that he will take legal action against me if I don't pay it.

I was startled. This was the first time I've heard his voice, because all communication has gone through the landlord, which happens to be his somewhat unorganized son-in-law. Of course I had paid April's rent and it was all a big misunderstanding on his part.

I hate when people raise their voice unnecessarily and when they think that just because they are a grown up man in their fifties they can say whatever they want to a girl in her twenties.

A totally unrelated photo of my mom sunbathing.  

A Perfect Sunday Dinner

06 May, 2012

Once in a while I get the honor of being a part of a big family and being served a delicious dinner in a really beautiful home. Dinners at Sigurd's auntie would make anyone euphoric. But I guess it is even more so for us, because we share our kitchen with four strangers, live on 12 square meters and make the simplest everyday meals. 

I can't deny that being in a beautiful home makes my thoughts spin about having my own. I constantly imagine myself making Crêpes Suzette for my own guests in my own little kitchen, having Valentine's day parties à la Julia Child, a dog and a little corner of the home that can resemble a little studio.

I know that all these things and more will come with time. Now I have to enjoy the fact that I'm embarking on an adventure in a two months time, and that I don't have any of these things to hold me back. 

Summerish Spring

03 May, 2012

Summer has always made me feel like a child. Although I've worked each and every summer since I started college, there is something about being away from school that makes me think that everything is possible (or allowed). Admittedly, when this summer weather comes around so early, studying on my own schedule is a little difficult. 

1. The blooming oleander tree outside of my favorite library in Oslo. 
2. & 3. Sigurd and I both love Basil, especially on delicious bruschettas (is there anything better?). This is Sigurd's effort to make it in season every day. 
4. We are also thinking dreaming about an apartment with a balcony. If we win the lottery, one of these will be on our list of choices. 
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