Sunday, September 29, 2013

Healthier Cinnamon Rolls

I have been craving cinnamon rolls for a long time now, and my first assumption is that it must have something to do with the cold weather we’ve been having here in Oslo. When it’s cold outside – get warm inside, and what is warmer and more “cozy” than fresh, fluffy cinnamon rolls?

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Cinnamon Rolls

1 cup milk (LETT or low fat milk 1%)

6 tbs margarine

6 tbs sugar

8g dry yeast

3 3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1 large egg (or two small)

1/4 tsp salt

2/3 cup brown sugar

Cinnamon


1. In a small saucepan, heat up milk, 3 tbs margarine and 1 tbs of the sugar on low temperature until the margarine has melted and the sugar has dissolved. Once the mixture is luke-warm, add the dry yeast and stir until it dissolves.

2. In a seperate large mixing bowl, put the remaining 5 tbs of sugar in with the 3 3/4 cup of flour and add the salt. Crack in the egg(s) but don’t mix it yet.

3. Pour the milk-mixture into the bowl of flour and mix with a wooden spoon. The trick now is finding the right amount of flour. For my sake the dough was too sticky at this point, so I kneaded a little more and more flour into the dough until it didn’t stick to the counter but DON’T PUT TOO MUCH FLOUR IN! It should stick just barely, but not to the point where you have to peel pieces off the counter.

4. Put the dough back into the bowl, cover with plastic wrap and a towel and let rise for approx. 35min or until doubled in size.

5. Roll out the dough to the shape of a square, about 1 cm thick (0.4"inches). Melt the leftover 3 tbs of butter and pour it over the dough, spreading it evenly all over. Then spread the brown sugar and desired amount of cinnamon evenly across the dough.

6. Roll the dough tightly into a sausage, then cut into desired slices (about 4-5 cm or 1.5-2inches). Place them on a baking sheet and cover. Let rise for 35 minutes in a warm place. Preheat oven at 175*C (350*F).

7. Uncover and bake rolls for approx. 20 minutes or until golden. Remember to let them cool before digging in!

8. Now to the healthy part; take one and put the rest in the freezer!

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This recipe is inspired by THIS recipe on Cooking Light, however I ended up doing some of my own twists (which is the recipe I wrote above). If my recipe is anything like the one on Cooking Light these cinnamon rolls are only 234cal, and their recipe included frosting so they might even be less without the frosting (I didn’t make frosting)!

Enjoy!

Friday, September 20, 2013

A Riverwalk by Candlelight

Yesterday was the 13th annual riverwalk by candelight, hosted by the city of Oslo. This riverwalk started as a celebration of the new millenium in 2000, and has become one of the most popular events in Oslo. They estimated approx. 50 000 people went on the riverwalk last night. Candles, entertainment and great weather made this an experience I’ll never forget.

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Oslo, 19/09/2013

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Buffalo Chicken Eggrolls with Ranch Dip

Time for a seriously simple, yet damned delicious recipe. I used certain ingredients th41605f57-c133-41f5-bf7d-90d1f0739ccd___sutdiyari_piknik_ciftlik_peyniri_60at might be hard for one or the other person to get hold of. First of all, a type of cheese that we were recommended by one of the shopowners of a foreign store here in Oslo. It’s called piknik ciftlik peyniri and it’s so yummy. I’m a cheese-a-holic, always have been and always will be. Second, I had these with ranch dip. Ranch is not a hard ingredient for Americans to find, but much harder for Norwegians. My best advice would be to find a recipe for ranch at foodgawker.com.

 

 

 


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Buffalo Chicken Eggrolls

2-3 medium sized chicken breast

3-4tbsp hot sauce (more if you like it spicy)

1 tsp liquid smoke

1 cup piknik cheese (or similar crumbly cheese)

2-3 scallions

Wonton wrappers

1. Cut the chicken into preferably small cubes. Put in a frying pan with a little vegetable oil and fry until the chicken is cooked through. Add the hot sauce and the liquid smoke and stir so you coat all of the chicken.

2. Chop scallions into thin slices and crumb the cheese so these are prepared to be placed on the wonton wrappers. Then place a little chicken, a little cheese and a few slices of scallions on the wrappers and roll into an eggroll. I made an absolutely fantastic description in paint as to how I wrapped mine.

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Wow I hope that helped. I had to try out a few wrapping methods before I figured this one out. Worked though, just remember to tuck it tightly.

3. Place the eggrolls on a baking sheet, brush each with some vegetable oil and stick the platter in a preheated oven at 200C (392F). Bake for approx. 10-15min or until lightly golden brown.

Wham bam, thank you m’am. Delicious, crispy eggrolls filled with spicy buffalo chicken. Serve with ranch dip and celery to balance out the spicy flavor of the hot sauce!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Healthy Fried (Rice) Quinoa

I’m a sucker for Asian cuisine. My last meal would be full-blown, deluxe edition asian dinner with sushi, pad thai, all kinds of stir fry. Sadly, all that rice ain’t good for me. So I try sometimes to find healthier replacements. Last night I thought I’d make fried rice, but decided to replace the rice with quinoa in order to make it a little healthier. Definitely worth trying, not a bad replacement at all!

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Healthier fried (rice) quinoa

1 cup quinoa

1 1/2 cup water

1 cube chicken broth (if you can get already made broth, use that instead of water)

3-4 carrots

1/2 – 1 cup frozen green peas (amount depends on preference)

2 large scallions

2 chicken breasts

2 eggs

Low-sodium soy sauce

Oystersauce

1. Put the quinoa and water (with the brothcube) in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Once it’s boiling, put a lid on and let it simmer on a low heat for approx. 20min. Technically you’re supposed to rinse the quinoa a few times before putting it in the saucepan. If you have a strainer that is fine enough, do that. I didn’t but it went ok!

2. Cut the chicken into bite-sized cubes and toss in a frying pan with about a tbs of vegetable oil. I seasoned it lightly with dried cilantro. Once the chicken is cooked through, put aside.

3. Cut the carrots into 1x1cm cubes and the scallions into slices about the same size as the carrot-cubes. In a wok pan (or a frying pan if it’s big enough), toss in the carrots and frozen peas with about a tbs of vegetable oil and fry on medium heat until they are cooked through and soft.

4. Turn the heat up and add the scallions. Fry the vegetables for about 2 min then make an opening in the center of them. Crack in one egg at a time, making sure to stir so it becomes scrambled. Once the eggs scrambled, add the chicken and the cooked quinoa.

5. This next part is a taste-as-you-go way of seasoning. I add about 1 tbs (?) of low-sodium soy sauce and maybe 2 tbs oystersauce, but this all depends on the amount of the other ingredients and your own personal taste. If desired, add more oystersauce. This is what gives most of the fried rice flavor.

Feel free leave a comment below if you try the recipe to let me know what you think!

Enjoy!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Wholemeal Bread

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So I had a whole bunch of flour in my house I needed to get rid of, and I decided to make bread so me and my honey could have sandwiches for dinner last night. The bread went so fast I decided to make another two loaves this morning. I used a Norwegian wholemeal, so anyone outside of Norway trying this recipe might have to find a substitute but I think you could use pretty much any type of flour for this recipe.

Norwegian Wholemeal Bread

1kg flour; wholemeal, wheat and rye

2 tbsp olive oil

2 tsp salt

2 tsp sugar

1pk (12g) dry yeast, or 50g fresh yeast

6dl luke-warm water

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1. Mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Add oil and water while mixing all this together with your hand (or a machine, but I prefer to work hands-on with dough). Once the dough starts to let go of the bowl, put it on the counter and knead it until it’s smooth.

2. After you’ve worked the dough into a nice, firm (but not too firm!) ball, put it back in the bowl and cover with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel. Place in a warm area and let rise for 30min.

3. Once the dough has risen, take it out on the counter again and knead it some more. While doing this, use the heel of your hand to push the dough away from you in order to release some of the air bubbles. Roll it back together and repeat 5-6 times. Then cut and roll the dough into two loaves. Cover with plastic and let rise in a warm place for 45-60min. In the bathroom while someone is taking a shower or the dryer is going is an excellent place.

4. Turn on the oven to 250 degrees celsius one hour before baking the bread. It’s important that the oven has a high temperature before baking the bread. Once the loaves are (hopefully) twice the size they were, turn the oven down to 200 degrees and make a few cuts on the top of the bread and put them in the oven. Another tip that is worth trying is tossing a few ice cubes on a tray below the bread as the steam will give a nice crisp and chewy crust.

5. Important note; try to have the oven door open as little as possible. Keep the warm air in so the bread will get as much heat as it can.

6. Let the bread stay in the oven approx. 25min, then for the following 5 minutes put a wooden spoon in your oven door to let out excess moisture. Total baking time; 30min.

Enjoy!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Welcome to a new beginning!

To those of you who are popping by for the first time; WELCOME! And to those of you who used to pop by; WELCOME BACK! Summer ended up being a long blog-break, and I seriously considered calling the whole thing quits. I spent 18 wonderful days in the US visiting family and friends.

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Then I spent the rest of the summer with friends, family and working at Lindex almost every day! We went for walks, ate BBQ and enjoyed the fantastic weather we had this summer. I even went for a swim for the first time in years!

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Then I started a new degree at the University College in Oslo, a business and administrations study which I hope will help me reach my dream job in marketing. A lot has happened, and a lot has and is still changing. I’m 20 years old, and life is just beginning in so many ways. I’m learning so much more about myself and developing into the person I’m meant to be. During one of these deepthought moments this summer I realized, after years of not being able to tell people because I didn’t know myself, what my passions and interests are. I also realized, I want to blog about it!

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Decorating. Interior decorating, holiday decorating. Doesn’t matter. I love decorating. It’s also a large part of my job and I find such joy in making things look nice, unique and fun. So one of the things I will be blogging about in the coming months (maybe even years?) is decorating of all sorts.

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Food. I love good food, and so does my honey. We share this passion, and I spam my instagram followers almost daily with pictures of food that I make, my honey makes, or that I’ve eaten elsewhere. I love trying new recipes and for my sake food has to be quality. I don’t live to eat, but since I need to eat to live I might as well enjoy keeping myself alive!

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Last but not least; Photography. I’m an amateur, and fine with that. I love taking pictures, I love catching a detail, I love macro. Anyone who will follow along will notice that I love taking close-up photos to catch the detail in something. It’s just a preference, my taste if you will.

So! If you’re interested in reading about food, decorating or simply enjoy looking at a simple Oslo-girl’s photography, I hope you come back again soon. You can follow me on bloglovin, facebook or if you don’t want all the talking (I promise I won’t write this much in my posts normally) and just want pictures I’m sarkip on instagram! Ciao!

Butternut squash soup with chili & crème fraîche

So fall is synonymous with soups for me, and I know I’m not the only one who loves a warm bowl of soup when the crisp fall air nips at the skin. So I’ve been looking at soups on pinterest and found one that me and my honey tried a little over a week ago. The recipe is from BBC Good Food, so all credit to them. You can find the recipe here, or just keep reading below the picture.

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Butternut squash soup with chili & crème fraîche

1 butternut squash (approx. 1 kg)

2 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp butter

2 onions, diced

1 garlic clove (I used 2), thinly sliced

1 mild red chilies, deseeded and finely chopped

8,5dl hot vegetable stock

4 tbsp crème fraîche

Cut the butternut squash into large cubes and let them roast in the oven with half of the olive oil. Roast for approx. 30 minutes or until they are golden and soft. We had to leave them in almost 45min in order to get them soft enough. Remember to turn them at least once while they’re roasting.

Melt the butter and remaining olive oil in a large saucepan and add the garlic, onion and 3/4 of the chilies. Be careful, the chilies can make you cry when they’re cooking.. Put a lid on and let this cook on low heat until the onions are soft (approx. 15-20min).

Once the squash is soft enough, put it in the pan along with the crème fraîche and veggie stock. At this point, try as much as possible to use a stick blender and mix everything together into a soup. There is a lot of liquid, so in order to get a silky smooth soup you can pour the soup through a strainer and then try to purée the leftover chunky parts. Put everything back together and then the soup is ready!

Serve with a swirve of crème fraîche, a dash of pepper and the leftover chili! A spicy soup that’ll warm your tummy as well as your tastebuds!

Final days of summer

Oslo 25/08/2013

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Monday, May 20, 2013

IMPROVEMENTS

I am very pleased to announce that May is going FANTASTIC, except for exams of course.. But I’m not here to write about exams! I’m here to tell you about my “trying new things” and announce wonderful news in my weight-loss journey.

First of all I mentioned that one of my goals for May was trying new things. Now some weeks I have been better than others at remembering this goal, but I still feel I’ve tried new things or familiar things in new ways. In the first week of May, my boyfriend wanted to celebrate Cinco de Mayo by trying to make Ceviche. He succeeded; it was so fresh and so good!

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Then in the second week of May, I got to try Curry chicken (which I’ve tried before) with squash (which I have tried once and hated). To my surprise, I loved it! My wonderful partner in crime, ehem sorry, meant boyfriend… made this with veggies I rarely eat and yet it tasted so yummy I just had to go back for seconds…

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My memory fails me a bit, and I can’t remember if I tried anything specifically new last week. However Paul has been really good about making sure I have lots of veggies, some of which I’m not always so fond of. So that counts a little. Otherwise I could list up drinking my TWO first cups of coffee with no sugar – EVER. I always have sugar and milk in my coffee, though I’ve been better about using less and less sugar. But no sugar was unthinkable. Even so, this past Saturday I had not one, but two cups of coffee with a little milk and NO sugar. Proud to say the least!

Then on to some great news. Last week I was able to announce that I had lost my first 5 kg (11lbs) since I started trying to get healthier. I celebrated by treating myself to a new piece of jewelry that I fell madly in love with.

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Then, as if that great news didn’t make me happy enough, I finally got into the 85’s today!

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So to sum it up, May is going great! I’m losing weight, reaching goals, and best of all; once this month is over, I’m going to Texas!

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Sarah.

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