Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Meet Jello from Jello's Kitchen

i'm Jello
and i'm soo happy to share Selina's world for a quick bit
because she's such a sweet heart
i totally love this blog of hers.
and now you're wondering
who the freak are you???
well, let me tell you this
i’m awkward, a total clums, sometimes crazy and all over the place. i hate capitals but love google and absolutely couldn’t live without spell check. i love chocolate chip cookies, wine, colors, bow ties, butterflies, pizza and i’m a total sucker for buttons. i own an etsy shop which has a lil’ bit of all that in it. my blog is my lil' corner in this giangantic world.
(ya ya, i copied this whole paragraph from my blog's intro...
because i'm lazy that way)
but you can also read this
wanna step into my world?
right this way ---> Jello's Kitchen
but wait!!!!
before you do, here's an awesome and easy
Slow-Cooker Banana Bread
 serves 6-8 servings
preparation time: 10min
ready in: 3hours
1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted, plus more for preparing pan
 3 overripe bananas, mashed
 3/4 cup brown sugar (honey works wonder too!)
1 large egg
 1 tps pure vanilla extract
 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
 1 tps ginger
1 tps cinnamon
 1 tps nutmeg
3 tbsp grounded flax seeds (when grounded the seeds are easier to digest)
 1 tsp baking soda
 1/2 tsp salt
 1/2 cup chocolate chips 

1. butter the slow-cooker dish 
2. in a large bowl, mix butter, banana, sugar and egg. stir well 
3. in a separate bowl, mix all remaining ingredients but the chocolate chips. 
4. mix dry ingredients into wet ingredient and mix gently until flour diappear. stir in the chocolate chips.
5. pour batter into the slow-cooker dish. cover top wit paper towel (to absorb moisture) and put the lid on 6. set slow-cooker to low temperature and cook for about 2h30 (or until the knife you insert comes out clean) 
7. let it cook down. slice it and eat it!
now, come say hi!
= )

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Marrakech Part 1- The Hotel

Before i start this post i have to confess a deep dark secret of mine, i am hoping it won't change your opinion of me but it needs to be said.... up untill the age of 20 (3 years ago) i had never stayed in a hotel!!! nope never, not even a shitty b&b style one. as my family were more the hippy festival camping type i have stayed in far more tents than i would like but hotels not so much. However since my hotel cherry was broken in Paris a few years ago (i am completely aware of how wrong that sounds) I have managed to stay in a grand total of 5! and enjoyed most of them.

The hotel in Morocco was by far the best, in fact i am not sure i can definitely call it a hotel as it is actually a riad
  "riad (Arabicرياض‎) is a traditional Moroccan house or palace with an interior garden or courtyard"
It has apparently become very popular for tourists to stay in riads while in morocco because you get a better sense of the hospitality, which is so true! for the best part of the holiday the only people who were staying at our riad (Riad Villa Wenge) were the people in the wedding party, so we had the run of the place.

When we first arrived at the riad, we were all pretty hot and bothered as the taxi was unable to drive us too close to the riad itself so we had to cross the big open squared market Jeema el faa, and then navigate our way (with the help of a guide) through the small alleys of the souks narrowly avoiding being hit by speeding scooters every 5 seconds , honestly when we reached the door of the riad i did not have high hopes. But once we were inside and the door closed the noise just melted away.

We were shown to our rooms, Tor Petter and I got Chambre Alu which i assumed would be all silver and metal but much to my delight was very pink!

we were on the second floor of the riad so when we stepped out of our doors in the morning if we looked up we could see the beautiful clear blue skies and feel the warm sun (it was around 27C at 6am most days)

and when we looked down we could see the courtyard and usually breakfast being served up

Obvs this wasn't taken in the morning and the quality is a bit crappy but i like all the lit up candles!

Upstairs on the roof was probably my favourite part of the hotel and i spent many hours relaxing up there, it was crazy how peaceful and quiet it was when it was situated in such a noisy and busy area.

I was quite sad to leave this little slice of heaven, although i can't say i miss being almost run down by maniacs on scooters every time i left the front door- but more about that another time.

When you go on holiday where do you like to stay?

Monday, 17 October 2011

Meet Alyssa from Freeways to Fjords

Hi peeps,
 I am back from Morocco after a torturously long airport stay (in which i slept on a bench, more on that another time) and i am raring to get back on track with work, life and especially blogging unfortunately fate saw fit to strike me down with some horrible illness so i spent my first day back in Bergen sweating my face off at home and leaving my co workers to survive without me (which i am sure isn't hard) while i try to get my creative juices flowing and line up some posts for a few days i would like you to meet one of my co workers and fellow bloggers Alyssa who kindly wrote me a blog post for while i was away but i managed to forget to post woops....ah well better late than never

Hey readers! I blog at From Freeways to Fjords, mostly about my transition from being in a long distance relationship in California to being married in Norway. Selina asked me to do a guest post on her fabulous blog, and that sounded pretty great! So here it is...a debut guest blog post for me (this is my first time writing for another  blog...).

It's October. Normally, in California, I'd be preparing for one of the best holidays: Halloween. In Norway, however, that's a bit tricky. It seems like Norway has a growing enthusiasm for the fun, candy-and-costume themed day, but it just isn't as embraced as it is where I'm from. In Cali, I always know I have plans: either get dressed up and party, or get prepared to pass out candy on the front porch of my parents house. 

Lately, I've been preferring the candy option. It's delightful to watch the little kids get up enough courage to walk up to the house without their parents and say "trick or treat!" (which, of course, translates to "give me some candy!"). And some of the kids have the most adorable costumes. Halloween night in Southern California isn't likely to be rainy (as it is almost certain to be here in Bergen), so it's a perfect autumn night to be roaming the streets getting a months worth of goodies to rot your teeth and bounce off the walls. 

You usually see the kids with the pumpkin buckets:

I grew up using a pillowcase, which personally, I think is way better. You can fit way more candy in it, there's no plastic handle so it won't hurt your hand or break, and you can sling it over shoulder during your long walk from house to house. 

Year after year I would go out with my brothers, sister, cousin, and eventually, when my siblings grew too old for it, with my friends. When we returned home after getting to every house with a light on in the neighborhood, we would find a spot on the living room floor and dump out our candy. 

It was time to compare. My parents sort of made it into a math game I guess, so we each sorted our candy (snickers go with snickers, reese's peanut butter cups in a big pile - those were my favorite!, m&m's together, etc) and counted how many were in each pile. Of course, we wrote it down to see who got the most of anything and compared notes after. We traded for our favorite pieces. 

Such a fun night. But now, being "all grown up" in my own apartment in Bergen, I fear I will have to travel back to California for some real Halloween fun. I doubt we'll get even 1 trick-or-treater here. I don't know how children trick-or-treat in apartments anyway. 

I found a store called "-nille" that sells Halloween decorations. Seriously lacking in creativity and options, I picked the best that I could find and brought it home. I've got a few orange- and -black decorations and I'm on the hunt for more. 

It's about that time to carve pumpkins, as well. Those aren't easy to come by here, but I'm determined to find the perfect pumpkin in Norway, and bring it home to carve something wonderful. 

Slowly but surely, I'll bring this beloved tradition of Halloween trick-or-treating to Bergen!

Happy early Halloween!!!

Thanks for sharing that Alyssa, i totally miss halloween too, maybe we should get dressed up and go trick or treating ourselves ;)

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Meet Jenna from Shove it in your face

Bonjour mon amies (full extent of my french knowledge) I am currently in Morocco as you know and i thought it would be nice while i am gone, to introduce you to one of my sponsors and fellow expat bergenser Jenna, so here she is....

Hey guys!  I'm Jenna from Shove It In Your Face. I'm happy to be helping Selina out while she is off laying in the sun soaking it up in Morocco.  I'm jealous! I'm having some major surgery on Monday to fix my knee (and hopefully ankle). I guess I can pretend I'm in Morocco while I'm laying in my hospital bed, maybe if I turn the lights up bright enough I could even pretend it's sunshine!
Before I get to the goods, I just want to say that this week has not been kind to me when it comes to cooking.  I had big things planned for this post.  I wanted to make designer sugar cookies and deliver them to Selina myself (and I still plan to!), but as usual life gets in the way of big projects like that.  I made a beautiful Lemon Meringue pie, but after coming out of the oven it went from perfection to absolute disaster.  The meringue separated, the lemon base did not set whatsoever and it just fell apart.  The crust was perfect though, I'll give myself that much.  Yesterday I made delicious oatmeal cream pies a la Little Debbie, but don't you know given the weather and total lack of natural light I could not get a shot to save my life.  
I was freaking out at this point given my deadline was ya  So I cooled my head, gave myself a pep talk about how incredibly awesome I am and put a little thought into what I could do.  I wanted to make something for Selina that I thought she might enjoy, yet wouldn't do major damage to her shape up plans.  Making something healthy and delicious at the same time and having it come out successful is something every good cook should be able to do and god damn it I'm not good I'm stellar.  SO LET'S DO THIS!
Low Fat Whole Wheat Apple and Spice Scones

Scones are a British thing yea?  Awesome, cause so is Selina.  Well she isn't a thing, but yea.  

These are light, airy, subtly sweet, healthy, low fat, low sugar and high taste.  Grab one of these bad boys in the morning and you're good to go without having to worry about putting a little more jiggle in your thighs and trust me I know all about that jiggle.  Allll about it.

These are highly customizable, you can add in or change up whatever you like as the base recipe can stay the same for any combination.  You can up the nutrition value by adding groud flax, various seeds, fruits or even sharp cheeses and ham.  Apple, ham and cheddar scones?  Yes, please and thank you.

Low Fat Whole Wheat Apple and Spice Scones  recipe adapted from Once Upon a Recipe 
1 Cup Plain Flour
1 Cup Whole Wheat Flour
1/4 Cup Sugar
2 teaspoons Baking Powder
 1/4 teaspoon Cinnamon
1 teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice
1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1/4 Cup/56 grams Butter, cold and cut into small pieces 
1 Apple, peeled and grated 
1/2 cup skim milk
1/2 Tablespoon Vinegar 
2 teaspoons Vanilla 
  Line a baking sheet with parchment and preheat oven to 425F/220C  Combine skim milk and vinegar, let sit while you prepare the other ingredients.  Combine flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice. Cut in the butter with a pastry cutter, a fork, or two knives until it looks like wet crumbly sand.  It's okay if there are small lumps of butter, that's good.  Stir in grated apples, then add the milk/vinegar mixture and vanilla. Combine until just moistened, it will be sticky and somewhat crumbly. Don't overmix! Turn out on to a floured surface and gently press together into a flattened circle roughly 1 - 2 inches thick.  Slice into 8 triangles and transfer to the baking sheet.  Brush with skim milk and sprinkle a little cinnamon and sugar over each. Bake 15 - 17 minutes until golden brown.  Cool on a rack for a few minutes before eating.  
So get cooking you guys, then come on over to Shove It In Your Face and let me know what you think!

Thanks for that awesome recipe Jenna, i will for sure be trying these when i get home orrr maybe you could just hand deliver them to me weekly ;) thats a good deal right!??

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Love and Toast

I Love Toast! I love it dripping in butter with a smearing of marmite and i love it with peanut butter or honey, but seeing as i don't eat bread anymore toast is not often on the menu....*sob*

However that is not what today's post is about, today i wanted to introduce you to one of my new favourite brands.


Love & Toast is the brainchild of Margot Elena

I recently stumbled across the brand while browsing in the shopping center by my work, they caught my immediately because of the bright and fun packaging.

Vanilla Chai Lipbalm

This was the first thing i bought, Vanilla is my favourite scent and this does not fail me. What i loved most about this lip balm is that  is it made of all natural ingredients which meant there is no horrible artificial vanilla smell instead it is a beautiful sweet and subtle scent.

Coming from a country which has already fully embraced autumn, another important aspect of any lip balm i buy is how well it keeps my lips from getting chapped. and i have to say so far this has been amazing, my lips are super soft and kissable (ask my boyfriend he can confirm it!)

The second thing i bought was something i have been needing for agges as my skin has been getting so dry.
Paper Flower Handcreme
I had originally planned to get the gin blossom one but my local store didn't have it so i chose paper flower and boy am i glad, it smells fantastic, the smell is wonderfully floral but not overwhelmingly so, and it has a nice crisp clean scent without leaving your hands smelling too chemically. The best part is the cream is so thich but absorbs so quickly that it is perfect for really dry hands without leaving them feeling greasy.

also look how cute the packaging is (sorry about the bad phone quality)



Next on my shopping list are..

Cherry Lemonade Lip Balm

Lemon Mint Lip Balm

Gin and Lime Lip Balm

Yes i want three more lipbalms! i am completely obsessed! 

 Check out the rest of the Love and Toast range here