Saturday, 31 December 2011


It is really hard to realise that 2011 is over.
Sounds rather like repeating a cliche to say "where did the time go", but honestly - where DID it go?
To sum it up in few words - 2011 was good, bad, happy and sad.
Here is a glimpse of some of the things we got up to in 2011:
I had almost forgotten it is a year since we did up Our Boy's room in January! This is a BEFORE picture... :-) A glimpse of the more finished product can be found here.
In February Our Boy and I went up to see the Professor in Edinburgh. I really like this town. Just never have enough time up there!
In March we celebrated Persian New Year.
Back in April there was 'that wedding' and we went with good friends to Bath.
A real treat!
In May I attended a photo class. It was great fun, but I haven't found time for another one. Perhaps that should go on the list of things I want to do in 2012?!
In June my lovely warm and caring mother passed away. Even if she had been seriously ill for over 7 years, it was a blow to us all. I still have conversations with her in my mind and often catch myself thinking I should remember to tell her 'this and that' next time we speak...
But life does go on and in the middle of July Our Boy went on a great walking trip along the West Highland Walkway in Scotland.
And July was the month that changed a lot in Norway. We are all affected in one way of another after the horrible events on 22 July in Oslo and Utoya.
This year's family holiday in August went to Juan-les-Pins in the South of France. A lovely relaxing time!
My in-laws arrived in September and we spent two lovely months with them, taking them on the weekends to our favourite places.
In October Our Boy and I mixed business and pleasure in London. Should do that again soon...
Our Boy treaded the boards in the theatre play Boy Solider in November. Despite the rehearsals taking a lot of time, I think he enjoyed this experience!
December has been a month filled with cooking, baking and preparing for Christmas. A bit strange it is almost over, I do enjoy it so.
But next year we will do it ALLLL again!


So, what may 2012 bring... ??
a lot of things are on the horizon and hopefully mainly positive and uplifting things.
Perhaps on the national scale the Olympics in London will be the most memorable and one that brings some glimpse of hope for the future for a country and world in recession?!
Or is that asking too much...?

A new year and new plans (I do love 'plans').
On my very personal and private list I would add
Try to exercise more (that is compulsory on such a list)
Find more quiet time
Read more
Explore more
Travel more
Spend more time with family and friends
Laugh more ...
In any case - I wish you all a very
Happy, Prosperous, Energetic and Inspirational New Year!

Thursday, 29 December 2011

Not Too Bad After All...

It isn't too bad beeing stuck in bed with a cold even though it is Christmas...

I am not really doing anything else than I had already planned...
Like reading, watching films and sleeping...


The Professor thinks I am in competition with The Cat to see who can sleep more...

Trust me, The Cat is winning!

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Tried and Tested: Roasted Potatoes

In time for New Year Eve's dinner I thought I would share with you how we make traditional Roasted Potatoes. These are among the British culinary traditions we have adopted for our Christmas meal. The perfect roast potatoes are lovely and crisp on the outside whilst fluffy and soft on the inside. I normally use either Maris Piper or King Edward potatoes - both types are excellent for roasting.

Peel the potatoes and take care to ensure that larger potatoes are cut so that they are all approximately equal in size. You don't want too large potatoes as you want as much surface as possible to soak up the fat. Parboil for approx 10 mins

Discard the water and let the steam evaporate. Add 4-5 generous tablespoons of semolina to the potatoes and shake the pan with the potatoes so that they get a good coating. This will help soak up the fat and crisp up the potatoes.

Pre-heat 4-5 generous tablespoons of fat (I use goose fat) in the pan you will be roasting the potatoes in on high heat (250 degrees)

Add the potatoes to the melted/heated fat. I find it is easier to take the pan with the fat out of the oven first as the fat will be very hot - so hot that the potatoes sizzle in the pan when you add them. Turn down the heat of the oven to about 180 degrees and leave them in for about 1 hr or until done. You may wish to turn them around a couple of times to ensure the they get browned equally on all sides.
Add some nice salt to season them before serving.

Monday, 26 December 2011

Merry Christmas!

We have enjoyed a quiet and peaceful Christmas.

Key words for these days are traditions, good food, plenty of time, sleep, walks, films and books.
There is something so comforting and nice about the predictable traditions.

This year it has been rather warm here - about +13 degrees, so a big change from last year.

Another thing we all noticed different this year was the lack of people in the shops before Christmas. Ok, I admit it was a bit MAD in the food store on the 23rd when I unfortunately had to pop out to get something I had forgotten..., but generally I would say it is a worrying sign for the economy when you see that the shops are just not selling. I guess it might mean that the sales starting today Boxing Day and in January will be huge in order for the retailers to get hold of some more money.

And still, our town does not seem to be hard hit by the economy - we all feel like we live in a bubble compared to reports from other parts of the country.

Food for thought for the year ahead...

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Lucky Me!

A couple of days ago these lovely pot holders arrived in the mail!
Lady Luck (or was it Santa...?) was with me when I won them in Åshild's advent calendar giveaway on her blog "Bestemors Hage" (Grandmother's Garden) .

I love hearts!
These will forever be part of my Christmas kitchen.
I think they are too nice to be used, but will look lovely hanging next to the oven

I always enjoy reading her blog. She has lots of handy tips for traditional Norwegian cooking and is a very creative lady! I recommend that you check out her blog.

Tusen, tusen, tusen takk!!!


Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Tried and Tested: Berlinerkranser OR What Do You Do...

when you wake up at 5 am on the darkest day of the year and can't sleep...?
You bake! Well, at least I do.

Isn't it typical that when I had the day off and could have slept muuuuch longer, I was 'bright eyed and bushy tailed' at 5 am...!!!

So, this year's 'Berlinerkranser' are now safely in the tin (at least those that have not been given away or eaten by the men in my house...)

I used a traditional recipe (makes about 75):

Mash the yoke of 2 hard boiled eggs with
2 raw egg yokes
Add 125 gram sugar and mix well
Add 300 grams flour
and 250 gram soft butter
(alternative times)
and mix all well

Let the dough rest in the fridge for at least 1 hour.

Roll out pencil thick lengths (10 cm) and fold into a wreath or just simply as I have done above.
Give them a wash with the egg whites and drizzle some sugar over

Bake in the oven on 175-180 degrees for 10 mins.
Beware - keep an eye on them so they don't burn.

Let them cool on the tray before moving them.

I think I will be going to bed early tonight...

Monday, 19 December 2011

Carols by Candlelight and Weekend Activities

True to tradition, some of the Ladies Who Dine attended the annual Carols by Candlelight last night.
The church was packed, it was suitably cold and frosty outside (no snow yet!) and the atmosphere with the church only lit by candles gave us all the right Christmas feeling.

The rest of the weekend has been spent cleaning and preparing.
Not that I think you necessarily HAVE to clean extra for Christmas, but as I was home during the day this weekend I noticed when the sun was shining the state of windows and simply could not ignore them.
Besides, new curtains for the living room 'demanded' clean windows...


While I was at it I noticed that the kitchen cabinet doors could do with a clean,
and some of the cabinets could benefit from a tidy up,
the living room needed decluttering in preparation for the Christmas decorations coming up next week,
and that the wooden floor in the living room could do with an extra polish,
and so on...!

Think I will make myself busy outside the house during the day the rest of the week
- you don't notice so much what needs doing in the dusk...!

Oh, and best of luck to my friend who is moving house these days!
I must say - they are a brave family moving a week before Christmas!


Thursday, 15 December 2011

Jamie Oliver - Christmas Lunch Treat

Every year my boss takes his closest colleagues out for Christmas lunch to show his appreciation for our work.

This year he took us to Jamie Oliver's restaurant.
I have been there before and very much looked forward to going again.
In preparation for this event I had only had a banana for breakfast so I was literally starving...
We all shared various lovely antipasti for starters
Then I had a lovely seabass for mains
Cheese board for dessert
Plus Jamie's gorgeous unusual mince pies made with filo pastry.
I am generally not a fan of mince pies, but these I wanna try to make myself!

What a treat!
No need for dinner tonight...


Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Tried and Tested: Burned Almonds

Another of our culinary Christmas traditions are burned almonds.
They also make a nice tasty edible gift.

I never forget the first year I made them:
I had prepared 1/2 kg one evening and went to bed only to wake up the next morning and the entire jar was empty...
The Professor had been working late and found a taste snack on the counter...

1 kilo almonds (keep the peel on)
375 gram sugar
3 deciltre water
1-2 teaspoons of cinnnamon (optional)
3 tablespoons of butter

Toast the almonds in the oven on 200 degrees for about 10 mins.

Bring the water, sugar and cinnamon to the boil and add the almonds once all the sugars has dissolved.
Stirr carefully till all the almonds are coated. You might find that the almonds turn grey with the sugar, but just keep stirring till the sugar melts and caramelises again. Be sure to mind the temperature so you don't burn the sugar.
Once the sugar has caramelised around the almonds take it off the heat and add the butter (it helps to part the almonds from eachother)
 Pour the almonds onto baking parchment and divinde them up
- be careful it is VERY hot!
Once cooled, store them in a nice airtight box
(you might have to and hide them if they are to last till Christmas!)

Monday, 12 December 2011

Tried and Tested: Norwegian Sylterull (Pork Roll)

picture borrowed from
To me, Christmas is in particular about culinary traditions. 
We all eat food and prepare elaborate dishes with spices that we NEVER eat the rest of the year. Recipes and traditions handed down through the generations. But THAT is all part of what makes Christmas special, at least to me.
Being in a foreign land with other traditions means that you either adopt new traditions,
make some new ones yourself or try to adapt the old ones.

Our Christmas is celebrated in rather traditionally Norwegian style.
Being married to somebody without childhood Christmas traditions means I get it all MY way!
Actually, that is the ONLY way he knows how to celebrate Christmas.
No need for compromise here - I rule!
A couple of weeks ago I made traditional Norwegian sylterull or Norwegian pork roll (I think sylte sounds nicer than the English name...). Sylte is traditional lunchmeat normally only made and eaten at Christmas. I have seen many bloggers using different techniques and recipes, but the description below became my way. I first made it out of a 2 kg slice of pork belly, but as I didn't hide it in the freezer quick enough, I had to make another one this weekend which is now safely in the freezer. Sylte is originally  made of the meat in the pig's head, but THAT is such a sloppy and messy business, so I made it the easy way (besides, I had no pig's head handy):
This is what you need:
1.8 kg pork belly (no bones) with the rind
4 tblsp. salt to 3 liters of water (you might need more water)
Mix in a bowl:
2 tblsp salt
2 teasp pepper
2 teasp clove (nellik)
2 teasp ginger (ingefær)
2 teasp all-spice (allehånde)
3 teasp gelatin powder
Open the slab of pork belly with the rind side down and slice it into two or three slices that hang together so you end up with one long piece of meat. Ensure the rind side is at one end of this piece.
Smear the spice mixture all over the meat and
start rolling the slab together ensuring the rind side is the last bit on the outside enclosing the roll.
Wrap it in a tea towel and fasten well using a good cotton string so it makes a nice tight roll.

Put the roll in boiling water and let it simmer for 1.5-2 hrs.
Let it rest out of the water for about 20 mins before you
Take it out and let it cool for 20 mins
before putting it under pressure (about 6 kg) until it is cold.
If you don't have a special press for this purpose you can balance some books on top of a tray on the sylte.

Some store it in brine, but I prefer to pop it in the freezer.
Serve thinly sliced on bread with a good mustard, pickles or pickled beetroots.
The smell of those lovely spices, the meat and the condiments
- now THAT is Christmas!

to me

Friday, 9 December 2011

Secret Santa!

Yesterday we arranged Secret Santa at work for the first time ever!
We had a lovely little lunch gathering where everybody brought in something special from their country to eat and we all got a Secret Santa gift.

I brought Norwegian pork roll (sylterull - made for the first time ever) served with mustard on crackers, and gingerbread crackers with blue cheese, plus a bottle of Gløgg (bought at Ikea!).
You don't know what Secret Santa is?
Well, every on puts their name in a jar. You have to pick a name (not your own, of course) and buy a present for that person for a maximum amount (we chose £5) - all done in secret. You then wrap the gift and it is opened to much sillyness and fun.

Great fun with little effort and I think people had been rather inventive with the limited budget!

Tonight is the Christmas party for the school (theme is Casino!) and Monday we have a Christmas dinner for our group.

What do you get up to at work before Christmas?

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Oooooh! So Tempting...

You know how you see on TV all these auctions for antique furniture?
I love those shows!

Despite having lived here for maaaany years I was not aware of any local auction houses.
Well, my colleague changed all that when she introduced me to a local auction house. The great thing is that they have their catalogue online and you can go an browse the items live for a week before the auction. For some items you can bid online, for others you can leave a bid if you can't be there in person on the day.

The auction takes place today and last night we went over to have a look at things as she was looking for a particular item. The item she had seen online didn't turn out so nice 'in real life', but she found some other nice items she put in a bid on.
So exciting! 

I decided not to put in any bids, but rather take some time looking and learning.
According to The (minimalist) Professor, I would need a larger house as well to accommodate any more furniture...

Imagine if this top hat (and leather box) could talk...
I would love to attend an auction, but WORK gets in the way... At least I can see online what the various items went for and learn from that!

... or the tales these three friends could tell!

Monday, 5 December 2011

Tried and Tested: Marvellously More-ish Creamy Mushroom Soup!

A few weeks ago my Danish friend (who is an amazing cook!) invited me for supper with 4 other ladies.
A real fun evening with lots of laughter, intens chatting, amazing food and plenty of drink.
It was so nice getting to know some new lovely people!
For starters we had this amazingly tasty mushroom soup and the hostess has kindly shared the recipe. She got it from "McCartney’s Meatfree Monday" (serves 4)

75g butter
4 shallots, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
500g field mushrooms, (she used Portobello and brown button)
1l vegetable stock
1 tbls plain flour

Soy sauce
Thick cream

Heat 50g of the butter,
sauté onion until soft;
add garlic,
cook for 1 minute more,
add mushrooms (sliced),
add stock,
bring to boil,
season and cover to simmer for 10-15 mins,
remove from heat.

In separate pan heat remaining butter, stir in flour, cook for 2 mins, remove and add to soup in a liquidiser, mix.  Return to the pan, bring to boil, add soy sauce to taste, salt/pepper and stir in  dollop or 2 of cream.

It was sooo jummy - I couldn't hold back...
I had TWO bowls of soup

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Tried and Tested: Chocolate Caramels

The Christmas baking has started!

My good 'old' friend back 'home' asked me a question about a recipe for caramels that I had given her maaaany years ago. I couldn't remember the recipe nor how I made them, but she sent it to me and I amended it a bit and thought I would put it on the blog so I won't forget it again.


The taste brought back memories and turned out really nice!
They are a bit on the chewy side, but not so bad that you have to worry about your fillings.
An idea for an edible gift...?
They are really so easy to make.

Melt in a pan:

25 gram of butter
2.5 decilitre of sugar

3 decilitre of cream (I used double cream)
1.5 decilitre of golden syrup
50 grams of cooking chocolate (omit if you don't want chocolate caramels)
Finely chopped or grated almonds (optional)

Let the mixture cook for about 1 hr on low heat, stirring occasionally.
I put some greaseproof paper in a square tin and poured the cooked mixture in to let it cool.
I found using a pizza wheel was the easiest way to cut it up once the caramel had cooled down.

Our Boy and my trusted tester next door agreed
- naughty, but very nice!

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Christmas Preparation Success!

I am so happy 
- our Christmas dinner has been secured!
And it isn't even December yet....!


I normally go to Norway at some point before Christmas, but this year I won't be going and this would mean that we wold be in 'trouble' regarding our Christmas dinner as I normally bring over the distinctly Norwegian dish of 'pinnekjøtt' (steamed, dried, cured and sometimes smoked ribs of mutton or lamb).

So, we were consoling ourselves to perhaps having (for us) the second best - 'ribbe' (pork belly with the bones) instead...

But in London you find 'everything' under the sun!

I came across the Scandinavian kitchen and they have pinnekjøtt!
And all sorts of Scandinavian foodstuff!
And they sell online and deliver for free (!) which is a blessing since I was planning a trip to London either!

So, we are 'safe'!
Ok, it is even more expensive than in Norway, but as a one off it is acceptable.

I suddenly feel I am so on top of the preparations for Christmas even though little else is in place...!

Better get on with it!


Monday, 28 November 2011

And We Are Off....!

The best part of the season, in my opinion.
Correct me if I am wrong, but I believe this year advent is super long since Christmas Eve is on a Saturday.
I am a huge advent fan!
I love the anticipation, the preparations, the gatherings, the feeling of working towards a goal
- and new beginnings.

This year I wanted a new twist on our advent decoration. I took 4 silver candlesticks in various heights, (one I have bought, one I have been given and a couple I have inherited), put them on a silver tray, added a few pine cones along with some cinnamon sticks for nice Christmassy smell and added purple candles with silver number stickers on.

As for the colour of the candles - I am old fashioned this way.
I normally prefer white candles, but purple is the colour of advent and the only 'right' colour in this connection
- for me.

What colour do YOU prefer for your advent candles?

Friday, 25 November 2011

A Noble Cause - Free Cook Book

Two Swedish guys have collected some mouthwatering recipes from some of Swedens most active food blogs with the view of raising money for Doctors without Borders.

They let you download the book as a PDF for free here in the hope that you will donate some money by sending a text to a special number in Sweden dedicated to Doctors without Borders.
Not sure how this works from abroad, but you can read more about it here.

Oh, and yes, the book is in Swedish!

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Happiness On a Boring Midweek Day

Happiness is...

pre-advent dinner with girl friends
at a lovely country gastro pub!

I can't wait!


Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Tried and Tested: Breakfast Mix

In this wonderful world of blogs I find so much inspiration for all sorts of projects and suggestions.
The latest was from Fru Hermez (and possibly others that I have forgotten to mention - sorry!) for making my own breakfast mix. I normally have Oatibix, but I was getting bored with it.
So, I roamed the cupboards and filled up a one liter container with a random mix of
chopped almonds
sunflower seeds and other various seeds
some puffed wheat
a couple of crumbled oatibix
a couple of teaspoons of cinnamon
and stirred well
I then added 
3 teaspoons of honey to 2 decilitre of warm water and poured over the mixture
The mixture was baked in the oven for 20 mins on 180 degrees.


Monday, 21 November 2011

My Day!

This weekend we celebrated 

Yes, it was my birthday and I think I must have been good this last year as the sun shone and I got lots of attention from my men as well as friends and family.

My boys woke me in true traditional style with coffee, cake and presents in bed and then took me out to a Christmas Fair at Wimpole Hall where we also enjoyed a simple lunch.

The afternoon was spent relaxing at home and talking with friends. No big celebration this year, just nice to be together as we don't get too much of that these days.

I have to show these:
Above are pictures of the fabulous glasses I got from The Ladies Who Dine.
The series is just so MAD - I simply love them!


While we are on this drinking theme - some other lovely friends took me out for lunch on Friday and we celebrated with the most lovely Prosecco called La Delfina.
It was such a surprise!
I wasn't planning on having any (had to work in the afternoon), but I threw caution to the wind and I did not regret it. I don't know if it was the occassion, the ambiance or the fact that this was simply a really great Prosecco!
I looked it up and it is available from various wine merchants. 

This is absolutely my new favourite 'bubbly'!

Will certainly get some bottles for the upcoming festive season!

Friday, 18 November 2011

Night Time Comfort...

picture borrowed from www
I love my bed.
What I love most about it is that it is 1.8 m wide
- plenty of space for two
(or even three when Our Boy was little).

Amazingly enough, it never seems large enough when I sleep alone in it with The Cat. It is incredible how much space such a small animal seems to 'need'...
Anyway, this isn't about The Cat.

I have for many years been honkering after a Tempur mattress. Admittedly, I have never tried a Tempur mattress, but somehow I believe it MUST be great. My plan was to get one if/when we move house. That is still some years away, so when I came across the offer for a mattress topper from Cloud's Memory Foam on a GroupOn offer (73% off!) I took the chance. The topper arrived yesterday and I put on new clean bedsheets.

Don't you just love the feeling of clean bedsheets?!
One of life's little luxeries

I wouldn't say I slept 'on a cloud', but it was veeery comfortable. Being rather generously endowed from nature's side (sounds better than saying I need to loose some pounds, doesn't it?), I often have aches and pains in my hips and back when I wake up in the morning. I was pleased to note that I had none of that this morning. This is just a mattress topper, so I believe that a real Tempur mattress MUST be even better.

The Professor did not share my enthusiasm.
I had snored.
To my defense - I have a cold.

On the bright side, it probably means he will use another bedroom tonight and I get ALL of this lovely comfort to myself
... unless The Cat decides to stay in and occupy it, too!

HE doesn't mind if I snore!


Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Passing Strangers...

I was walking in my own thoughts the other day.
It was a beautiful sunny day and I had just been to a meeting with a colleague and was on my way back to my office - which is in another building from 'the mother ship'. I was thinking about boring work issues and not really paying attention to anything or anyone around me.

As I neared my office building a man coming towards me suddenly lent over to me and
whispered seductively as we passed each other

'have you missed me'...?

And then he carried on walking in the opposite direction of me.
As I said, I was completely in my own world and it took a few seconds before I comprehended that he had spoken to me and what he had actually said. I stopped dead in my tracks and spun around to see who it was, but by then he had disappeared in the crowd of people walking in the sunshine.
There was no point trying to run after him to see who it was as I couldn't for the life of me remember what he looked like.

I started laughing.

I guess I would have had a very different reaction if it had been in the evening in a dark street, but in broad daylight on a busy street it just seemed funny.
It gave me the giggles like a teenage girl.
And no, I can't really say I have missed anyone except perhaps my own Professor who was not in town. 


I  am 100% sure it was neither him nor
picture borrowed from the internet

gorgeous George.

There is also the possibility that perhaps the man was talking on the phone...?


Sunday, 13 November 2011

Treading the Boards

Wole Soyinka
As I mentioned, this weekend Our Boy "treaded the boards" in the play Travel Club and Boy Soldier by Wole Soyinka (Nobel Prize Laureate 1986). The play is about a group of teenage school students on holiday somewhere among the South Sea Islands. It is a playground for some people but can be life and death for the people who live there.

The play shows the young people trapped in the airport after an insurrection has taken place. During their discussions we learn that one boy's father was killed by terrorists in Northern Ireland, another has an account of how a bus in India was ambushed and the Hindus savagely murdered and another tells of the massacre of the Igbo people in the Biafra war.

It is clear that extremism is not confined to any one place.

As they wait in the airport the young people are asked to make a moral choice, either to hand over their passports and be relatively safe or to refuse because handing them over is probably the start of segregation which could have fatal consequences. At this point one of them states, 'You don't argue with a man with a gun,' and three of the young people leave. The others are confronted by the commandante and an armed guard.

The commandante of the airport is a young person no older than the school students. In what might seem a despairing speech he describes the violence he has witnessed and claims that he has now replaced questions with orders.
But he finishes by hoping that perhaps the future may return to something like that of the school students.

A play with real food for thought
- and very well acted by all
(and that is NOT maternal pride speaking!)


Thursday, 10 November 2011

Making the Right Choice...?

picture borrowed from the world wide web
We are in the midst of making the rounds to the various 6th form schools with Our Boy.
Next year he will be starting 6th form and only be two years away from going to University!
What happened to the years...?

He spent primary school at a state school,
while he has been receiving his secondary education at a private school.
Now comes the third 'phase' called '6th form' and this is the last two years before going into higher education. Fortunately, he knows which subjects he wants to focus on at 6th Form, so at least the direction of future studies is clear.

Our dilemma is that although he could stay at his current private school there is also an excellent state funded school in our town.

So, what to do?

Do we stay with the school and teachers we know and 'not rock the boat', but pay school fees
take a chance on a school that has a very good reputation, but also higher number of students in each class and less pastoral care?

Not easy when we can't apply our own experiences since none of us were brought up in this school system.

Ah, the worries we have over the choices we make for our kids.

Next week is the last meeting and we will have to reach some conclusion.

In the meantime, he is taking to the stage this weekend in a theatre production of "Travel Club and Boy Soldier" by Wole Soyinka.
Poor thing - he might feel a little apprehensive as several family members will be in the audience - in addition to us, his grandparents and his great aunt from Sweden will be watching...

Break a leg!


Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Confused...? No more!

A friend sent me this link.
I thought it might be useful for those confused about the difference between

The United Kingdom
Great Britain
England/Scotland/Wales/Northern Ireland/Republic of Ireland
British Isles
The Commonwealth Realm
The Crown Dependencies
The British Overseas Territories
etc. etc.

Any wiser...??

I agree, it isn't easy...


Monday, 7 November 2011

Tried and Tested: Apple Cake Success

I wanted to use up some apples and was experimenting with making a new apple cake recipe on the weekend. It was successfull enough to need being made twice on the same weekend!

I think using the ground almonds makes it very moist.
I served it as it was, but I can see a nice vanilla custard, whipped cream or icecream could go down well with it.

Mix well
60 grams of ground almond
190 grams of flour
250 grams of sugar
2 teaspoons of baking powder
4 tablespoons of brown sugar
250 grams of butter
to a 'sandy' consistency

Whisk 4 eggs separately and add to the dry mixture.
Pour the batter into a large cake tin.
Peel, core and chop finely 6 apples and press these well into the batter
Chop roughly 3-4 handfuls of almonds and spread over the apples
Drizzle on top cinnamon and a few spoons of brown sugar
Chop into small squares 25 grams of butter which you scatter on top.
Bake for about 40-45 mins on 190 degrees in the bottom of the oven.
You might need to cover the top half way through to avoid it burning.

PS: This is also my contribution to Sota Saker's November challenge.

Friday, 4 November 2011


Simply to make it easier for those who read my blog and are Facebook users I have created a Facebook page for the blog. Many thanks to Elisabeth from Innerst i veien for help with some of the technical bits!

If you click on the 'Like' button on the right here on the blog, you should in theory get a notification on your Facebook page when I post a new item.

Any thing to make life easier...

Full house here this weekend.
The Professor came home last night, so we are full up with the in-laws still with us. They are planning to return home in a couple of weeks after more than two months with us. It will be strange and empty when they go. I am dreading it already.

But first there is Guy Fawkes Night on the agenda this weekend!

Thursday, 3 November 2011


picture borrowed from the web

The days are for sure shorter.
I enjoy it still being light when I wake up in the morning, but not so much biking home in the dusk - soon to be really dark...
Time to get the bike lights out!

Talk about security - we live in a city full of bikers - the terrain is flat as a pancake so it really is the way to move about.
I am utterly amazed by the sheer stupidity of all the bikers texting on their mobiles whilst riding along...
I see several of them doing it - every day!!!
Talk about wanting an accident to happen!

Or should I just join the Grumpy Old Women?
(I am actually amazed the producers have not called!)

also borrowed from the web