Sunday, December 7, 2014

A Nordic Wedding

Well, I am just letting you know that I wrote an article for Nordiske Bryllup about our wedding. It is basically a summary of our ideas and plans for the wedding, and a few tips for other wedding planners. The text is in Norwegian, but I am sure google can help you out if you need translation. Read the article here.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Coconut lentil soup

I hosted an Advent craft workshop this weekend and served lentil soup for all the girls (and that one guy that stopped by). Everyone brought their own craft, or not, and we hung out, talked, ate and had a good time.

This soup has a very surprising mix of spices, and it gives the house a great Christmas scent, so it is perfect for this season.

I found the recipe on the blog The Traveler´s Lunchbox, and the author had adapted it from the cook book Once Upon a Tart by Frank Mentesana and Jerome Audureau.


Servings: 3-4

275 g green lentils
1,5 L vegetable or chicken stock
1 sprig fresh thyme
1,5 tsp teaspoons turmeric
3 Tbsp butter or oil
1 large onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
a pinch of freshly-ground nutmeg
1 can (400 ml) coconut milk
salt and pepper to taste

Cook the lentils in vegetable stock with thyme and turmeric for 20 minutes, or until tender. I forgot to add the turmeric here, and that might explain the slightly sick green color it had. Cook the onion on medium heat for 12-15 minutes, until soft and slightly caramelized. Add the spices and garlic and fry for another minute. Add the coconut milk and onion to the rest of the soup and heat it all up.

Serve hot with warm naan bread.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Nyblin Art Exhibition

If you are in or around Skien the next month I have an art recommendation for you. Telemark Kunstsenter has a photography exhibition with works by R. Nyblin, one of three photographer brothers from Skien. The pictures are mainly from Skien and the region taken between 1898 and 1938.

It was great to see the old photos from my own neighborhood, some things have changed a lot, others look exactly the same. Details from a hardware store and large shoe factory was very fascinating, and there were portraits of both rich families and blue collar workers in their overalls. Some of the pictures were so good I would love to have them on display in my home, and if you have 2500 kr to spare, you can buy any one of them for yourself. I hope I have convinced you to go, both Mike and I loved it!

Where: Gamle Norske Bank, Liegata 8, Skien
Opening hours 12-16.00 Tuesday-Sunday

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Fall Vegetable Soup

This post is dedicated to my friend Jae, who has asked for this recipe for a very long time. Really, it isnt a recipe at all, but here is one version of my vegetable soup, featuring everything I found in the fridge that day. If you only have potatoes, onion, and carrots, you can still make this soup, but I would suggest adding parsley root, parsnip, cabbage or other fall/root vegetables. It is the first time I have added chili to this kind of soup, and I am not quite sure it fits. If you like chili, you can try it, if not, skip it.

Makes 3-4 servings

- 1/2 leek
- 1/3 rutebege
- 1 sweet potato
- 2 carrots
- 3 small potatoes
- 1/2 red onion
- Chili
- Bay leaf
- Vegetable stock

How to:
Cut all the vegetables in small pieces.
Boil about 1,5 liters of water, add the stock and bay leaf.
Let all the (except leek and chili) vegetables simmer for 15 minutes, or until tender.
Add leek and chili the last 5 minutes.

Serve hot with bread or flatbread.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Thanksgiving Dinner

Thanksgiving is not a holiday here in Norway, but I have celebrated it almost every year since I joined Youth With A Mission in 2006. Now that I am married to an American it would only be fitting to host Thanksgiving dinner at our house. With a manageable sized turkey of 6,2 kg (not a giant 13 kg one like last year!), and guests bringing sides, it was a joy to host the party for six other Americans here in Skien. We picked a Sunday for our celebration and enjoyed plenty of food and pie. I only knew half of our guests, but it was really fun to be in an American crowd and enjoy laughs and good stories together.

The Menu:

- Starter: Deviled eggs

- Turkey (of course)

- Mashed potatoes

- Scalloped potatoes (this was supposed to be a green bean casserole, but the expats could not find cream of mushroom here...)

- Sweet potato casserole with pecans and marshmallows

- Raw broccoli and carrot salad

- Gravy


- Pecan Pie (we made it from a family recipe from Mikes grandma!)

- Pumpkin pie

- Peach and pineapple cobbler

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Our wedding on a real wedding blog!

Our wedding is featured on the Norwegian wedding blog Nordiske Bryllup! It is really fun that some of the photos by the amazing Michaela Nichole have found their way there. In addition, there will be a post where I share more about the wedding in a little while, so stay tuned for more.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Before and After: Bedroom for two

A bedroom for two is quite different from a bedroom for one. You need at least a bigger bed, a larger closet, and one more spot where the glasses can rest at night. The only thing we had when Mike moved in was a big enough bed. Everything else was thrown together, using what I already had. 

Here is a look at the before: 

The bedroom was messy, lacking functional nightstands and wardrobe. We had no pictures on the walls, and the room was generally a little sad and messy. 

Enter the new and much tidier bedroom. A DIY closet was the solution for our lack of storage for clothes. The curtains and curtain rods are from Kid Interiør. The curtains hide the same dressers we already had, but now they are out of sight! 

These pretty pictures titled "Heart Connection" are made by our friend Hanne Aarthun.

More pictures have been hung: A collection of greeting cards, flea market finds and a picture of a ferris wheel from Etsy. 

We love our new "nightstands". For a small room like ours, it is perfect to hang shelves instead of bedside tables. Since the bed has to touch the wall on two sides, there would only be room for one of those anyways. This way we can both store our glasses and books out of reach at night. The shelves Enudden are from IKEA.

All in all we made very small investments, but managed to make the bedroom a much more inviting and tidy place!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Wedding dresses under 2000 kr

A few people have asked me where I got my wedding dress, and I have to disappoint future brides when I tell them the dress is not from a known bridal designer, and actually a fake Dolce and Gabbana gown found in a small shop in Tallinn. However, if you are interested in the style I wore, or have a small dress budget, I have a few tips for you.

1. Skip the bridal salons and go to every other store that sells dresses. You will not get the same kind of service, but that is part of what you pay for with a wedding gown. The downside: This might be easier in the spring/summer when white dresses are more weather appropriate than the rest of the year. 
2. Go to the bridal salons (yes...) to try on dresses and get an idea of what you like and what you don't like. While trying on many gorgeous dresses I realized I felt very uncomfortable in the heavy and structured gowns, and the ones I liked were way way out of my budget.
3. Try vintage for a unique dress at a good price. But beware of alteration costs, unless you or your mom likes to sew. Try finding a seller that will let you try it on and return it if it doesn't fit. 
4. Bridesmaid dresses can often be found in white/cream for the fraction of the cost of a wedding gown. They will probably be less elaborate than wedding gowns, but that might be what you are after!
5. Consider a non-white dress! Gold sequins anyone? 

Here are a few picks from around the web that I would have considered for myself a year ago. All under 2000 kr, with just one exception...

1. ModCloth Wed and Where, 758 kr
No lace, but with the same silhouette as my own wedding dress.

2. ASOS Floral Embellished Maxi Dress, 875 kr
A smilar, flowy dress. 


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