Category Archives: food

Cold weather calls for hot soup

Yesterday, I made a really good chicken curry soup. It’s basically a tweak on the famous Tom Kha Gai soup, and it was pretty tasty!

Here’s what you need:

16 ounces chicken broth (homemade is great, if not, use an organic kind)

1 can coconut milk

2 tablespoons red chili paste (or less if you don’t want it too spicy)

3 tablespoons curry powder

1 chopped red onion

1 chopped red bell pepper

2 garlic cloves

2 celery sticks

1 cup mushrooms

Juice from one lime

Fresh cilantro

4 chicken breasts (if you want vegetarian or vegan, you can use veggie stock and double up on vegetables instead.. or experiment with tofu)

You can also grate some fresh ginger, if you like the taste

Cut the chicken up in pieces, sauté in frying pan with olive oil.

Chop up onion, garlic, bell pepper, shrooms, celery and let it simmer with the chicken.

Meantime, pour the broth and coconut milk in another pan, heat to a boil, then simmer. Add lime juice, curry, chili paste and salt and pepper to taste. Add the chicken and veggies, and let simmer for about 40 minutes. Add cooked noodles, or boiled rice on the side. Garnish with cilantro and lime wedges.

Bon Appétit!

Oh, and I added some carrots as well... :)

Oh, and I added some carrots as well… 🙂

2013 – A look back

This year has gone by so fast! But I can’t say I’ve been a very active blogger. I aim to change that come next year. But first – let’s take a look back. A very random month-by-month recap.

JANUARY

Still living in Oakridge, capital of nowhere Oregon. Going through the final steps of my application to once again become a permanent resident of these glorious states.

Callie - a pure delight!

Callie – a pure delight!

We were still fostering Callie from Greenhill. That included lots of training, walks (I think I became known as the crazy dog lady around town.. who knows. It was a weird place). I love and miss her. Last I heard she got adopted in Portland. Yay!

FEBRUARY

I was anxiously checking the mail every day because I needed a document to travel aboard while my I-405 application was pending. It’s called advance parole. Yep. Felt like a criminal. I’m not gonna bore you with government stuff (trust me, you don’t want to know) – but there IS a federal website you can knock yourself out with if you want to read.. say.. about all the different kinds of immigration applications. But I digress. I finally got my permission to leave the US and take a trip back to Norway. Oh joy! I celebrated my mom’s birthday, ate tons of food, hung out with friends and had a grand ole time.

We visited Kristiansund and ate ball!

We visited Kristiansund and ate ball!

My lovely view

My lovely view

Hung out with my bestie!

Hung out with my bestie!

And had a grand old time!

And had a grand old time!

MARCH

Got back to the States and the job hunt began. ‘Twas time to get back into the carousel! Because, ta da, my PAROLE also doubled as a work permit. Wohoo!

So I spent some days at Starbucks updating my resume, sending out e-mails and even joined Linked In. I also became a PERMANENT RESIDENT (meaning I got a Green Card!) Victory! Justice!

Yes, it's green. No, this is not me.

Yes, it’s green. No, this is not me.

APRIL

Got a job! Woot! And we packed up our belongings and hauled it all the 150 miles to Portland. And I’ve been great at keeping it weird. During my first week, I got a spider bite on my eye. Yep. So I was “the new girl with the eye”.

It became a LOT worse. But I am saving your eyes. No pun intended.

It became a LOT worse. But I am saving your eyes. No pun intended.

Where I work!

Where I work!

MAY

Worked a lot.. slept… worked. Tried to find my way around the city. I was completely turned around the first few weeks, even though I literally live 10 blocks away from work. Made new friends, kept keeping Portland weird (you know it) and tried not to melt away during the heat wave.

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA

The hood. There's a market every Saturday.

The hood. There’s a market every Saturday.

JUNE

Worked more.. tried to stay cool. It was really hot, you guys. Realllllllly hot. Good thing we have a roof top with a pretty nice view!

Rooftop view!

Rooftop view!

My attempt to be a domestic goddess.

My attempt to be a domestic goddess.

JULY

Got a promotion! New hours at work, meaning I didn’t have to do the graveyard shift  anymore. I got to see daylight! Take walks! Be a normal (…) human being! I got to socialize! Yay!

Summer BBQ

Summer BBQ

Hawthorne residents got it right!

Hawthorne residents got it right!

Beer fest, baby!

Beer fest, baby!

AUGUST

Ally came for a visit! She says it was to see me, but I think her REAL mission was to promote her business, Wish Dogs.. hehehe. Still love you, though!

She found her twin!

She found her twin!

And we walked... A LOT!

And we walked… A LOT!

Sporting my immigrant pride!

Sporting my immigrant pride!

SEPTEMBER

Hmm.. what did we do in September? This year has just really flown by so fast. And if you’re wondering why there are so few pics of Jamie, it’s because he’s back and forth all the time. Still looking for a job in Portland, but he’s still got job down in Eugene and Oakridge. Spread the word, peeps! He’s a real handyman that does excellent work!

He's also a rocker!

He’s also a rocker!

OCTOBER

Halloween, picking apples, visiting Sauvie Island. Good times.

Meow!

Meow!

instaeple

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NOVEMBER

Supporting “Movember” of course!

movember

DECEMBER

Whoa! Already? This year has, like I previously stated, flown away. Been so busy with work that I’ve barely noticed the season change. I hope next year will be even better, and that I get to see my friends and my family more, and that we will all stay healthy and happy. Right now I’m so lucky to be in Norway for Christmas, and I will post some pictures later. It’s really stormy here, so not much snow (boo!) but nonetheless – it’s great that both Jamie and I get to be here. I get a much-anticipated visit from my BFF tomorrow! Bring on the wine and the snacks, and get ready for a LOUD time! Haha! 😀

A great find!

A great find!

Company Christmas party - this is one of the decent pics!

Company Christmas party – this is one of the decent pics!

The obligatory selfie

The obligatory selfie

Puppy snuggles at work! A definitive highlight!

Puppy snuggles at work! A definitive highlight!

Mmmmm….. Pho!

I’m totally on a soup binge these days. Can’t….get….enough. What’s better than broth? Not much… it’s pure delish. In honor of Meatless Monday, you can totally make a vegetarian version by using veggie-broth and tofu instead of chicken.

4 oz noodles, fresh ones
4 cups low sodium chicken broth or veggie broth
sliced carrot, celery and onion
pinch of five-spice powder or whatever you prefer
1 tbs soy sauce
2 cups shredded chicken/tofu
1/2 cup edamame
1 lime
Cilantro
1/2 cup broccoli

Heat the broth, bay leaf, five spice powder, and soy sauce together over medium heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the chicken and the veggies and simmer for another 5 minutes, until heated through. Add the fresh noodles and let it simmer on low 10 minutes.

Pour into 2 bowls. Top with whatever you want – cilantro, and serve with lime wedges, hoisin sauce, sriracha, and jalapeno (for the brave ones). Or bean sprouts! Yumm!

This is a modified version from this website. I just tweaked it since I didn’t have all the necessary ingredients. Hope you’ll enjoy! 🙂

Pho - perfect tweakable Vietnamese soup!

Pho – perfect tweakable Vietnamese soup!

 

 

Fab stuff

Fox painting by Ally Burguieres

Fox painting by Ally Burguieres

Unagi sushi (via)

Unagi sushi (via)

keep-calm-drink-wine

Nail polishes from Essie

Nail polishes from Essie

I hope you all had a great Easter! It was pretty mellow around here. Today Jamie and I went to the Willamette Fish Hatchery in Oakrdige (of all things), but it was pretty fun. Now we are enjoying a glass of red while waiting for the Easter dinner, which is in the crock pot. Yeah, we’re budgeting. In case you’re dying to know WHAT we’re cooking, you can find the recipe here. Nothing says Easter like sausage and cabbage… said no one ever. Ha!

Here’s a song that I’m enjoying tonight:

 

What Christmas means to me

uten navn

First of all, if you haven’t already figured it out, I’m Norwegian, so (duh) my traditions vary enormously from what you Americans call Christmas. No offense. I love me some fat jolly Santa just as the next person. OK, here it goes. We open our presents on Christmas Eve! That’s right! We’re all dressed in our gayest gear and eat dinner precisely at 5 pm, because that’s when the church bells declare it is at last the holy hour of Christmas.

But before then it’s a tradition to sit in your PJs eating candy watching:

 

OMG. This is the ULTIMATE Christmas flick, just ask any girl born in the 80’s or later. It’s a Czech movie originally titled ” Tri orísky pro Popelku“, which is dubbed in Norwegian by an old man so all the kids can understand it. It’s basically a “modern” (how modern is 1973, anyways?) take on Cinderella, where the protagonist finds three nuts, which each will fulfill her wishes. Needless to say, it has a happy ending where her prince whisks her away on a horse. Awwwww.

And so, after too much candy and TV, we clean up and don our festive clothes. No jeans or crocs allowed, shame on you.
In my family, this is what we eat:

Oh, it's glorious. Lamb ribs, mashed rutabaga, potatoes, sausage, sauerkraut and red cabbae. Image

Oh, it’s glorious. Lamb ribs, mashed rutabaga, potatoes, sausage, sauerkraut and red cabbage. Image

When we enter the house and face this smell, we all shed a tear, because it is, after all, Christmas once again. Yumm!

After about three hours of eating, drinking, discussing, shouting, taking pictures and making sure the cats don’t tear down the trees, the “grown-ups” do the dishes while the children impatiently wait for the big event – to open the presents! After we serve coffee and cake (and some brandy, cough, cough) we open the gifts, one by one, to endless “aaaws” and “oohs”. This usually lasts way into the a.m, but it’s so worth it and I love it. I wish I could be home this Christmas because I have been away for too many, but next year, my dear family, I will be there. With bells on!

Home sweet home!

Home sweet home!

So Over It: Food porn!!!

Warning: rant ahead. If you are overtly sensitive to critique, you might consider skipping this one. 🙂

OK, so by “food porn” I mean all these Instagram, Hipstagram, Twitter pics and Facebook photos of… FOOD! Yes, I too, like to eat and cook, and I have been guilty of committing this sin also. I’m not perfect! Shocker, I know. But seriously guys, what is the social world coming to when every day my feed is cluttered by more or less successful pictures of what people ate for lunch, dinner or their newest culinary creation. So, you can cook! Alright! Good for you! I don’t know what people expect – praise? Yes, yes. All social media are essentially made for pure narcissistic self-promotion, but come on . …most of us cook every day if we want to eat. Unless you’re showing off an extremely extravagant and extraordinary meal that took weeks of preparation and/or required safety gear for the making – I don’t really care! What’s funny is that most of the time the pics are just of ordinary stuff, such as a salad, a noodle mix or meat and veggies. So you can chop and sauté…. mazel tov!

Plate-of-food

A quick snack for the hungry and grumpy

Last night I was too busy doing paperwork to make dinner, and my dear hubby didn’t take my grunts as hints for “get your ass in the kitchen and make your woman a steak”, so I succumbed and peeked into the fridge. Not much to choose from, but that’s the time to get creative.

I sliced up some bacon that I fried in oil. Then I added minced garlic and some onion, which I let simmer. Then I tossed in some sliced mushrooms, baby corn, bean sprouts, broccoli and cauliflower. Give it all a good dash of salt, pepper, crushed red pepper and paprika, and voila! A perfect seemingly healthy snack. Even Jamie agreed it was perfection. I mean, it’s so easy I don’t need to add a recipe here, you can figure it out. If you don’t want bacon, use something else, like fauxbacon or that Morning Star stuff, which is really yummy! 😀

Bob apetit!