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Monday, 22 July 2013

LINN'S SWEET POTATO SALAD


I think if it was up to me (and I lived somewhere a bit warmer), I’d BBQ and eat outside every day and never wear any shoes. Unfortunately I live nearer to the arctic circle than the equator though, which means I get a somewhat limited amount of hot and sunny days (and I have a suspicion that not wearing shoes in the office might get frowned upon). However, now that it’s summer we’ve been taking full advantage of the sunshine and the long light days. This weekend in particular was fantastic, and as Graeme and I recently got a BBQ and
are now totally in BBQ mode and aim to eat as many meals as possible outside in the garden. Is there anything more summery?

This sweet potato salad is, as the title suggests, based on a recipe I got from my friend Linn. She served it at her BBQ last weekend, and it was so delicious I had seconds, and then thirds. I love the soft sweet potato mixed with the crunchy peppers and almonds. Lots of textures, lots of flavours, lots of deliciousness. It’s a perfect side for a BBQ and has been my go to dish since I got the recipe. I have changed the recipe slightly since I got it, so here’s my version of Linn’s sweet potato salad.


Linn's Sweet Potato Salad recipe:
750 g sweet potatoes, cubed
100 g almonds, chopped
1 red pepper, sliced
½ red onion, thinly sliced
zest and juice of half a lemon
1 tblsp olive oil
handful of rosemary
handful of parsley


Directions: Start by cubing your sweet potatoes. Spread them on a baking sheet with some oil and season with salt and pepper, and let them roast for about 20-25 minutes. While your potatoes are roasting chop the almonds, and then throw them in with the potatoes for the last 5 minutes to toast them. Combine pepper, onion, parsley and lemon zest in a bowl, and add the roasted sweet potatoes. To make the dressing, combine lemon juice, chopped rosemary and olive oil in a small bowl, and whisk together. Pour it over the potato mixture and toss gently to coat. Sprinkle the toast almonds on top and serve with whatever you decided to throw on your BBQ today.



Thursday, 18 July 2013

30 DAY SELF PORTRAIT CHALLENGE

I hate having my picture taken. Pretty much as soon as someone points a camera in my face, I feel myself entering a state of extreme awkwardness, and I never know what to do with myself. As a result, I’m never really happy with pictures taken of myself, and I try to avoid being in them all together. For example, I've been meaning to get a bio photo on this blog for months, but I just keep putting it off. And even though we haven’t even set a date for the wedding, the thought of a wedding photo book filled with my awkward smiles and unnatural poses has already been something I've already worried about. So when the girls from A Beautiful Mess wrote about the 30 day self portrait challenge, I decided to give it a go, starting today. I’m hoping that through this challenge, not only will I feel more comfortable in front of a camera, but I’ll also learn a bit more in terms of lighting and angles and posing, and generally how to take better portraits. Here goes nothing, right?

(Lesson no.1: Make sure Graeme's pile of laundry isn't in the background.)

Saturday, 13 July 2013

CIDER FONDUE






It was about 6 years ago, when me and my then flatmate Eb were standing in Urban Outfitters and saw a fondue pot on sale. I forget if we paid a total of 5 pounds for it or if it was 5 pounds each, but I remember wondering when we were buying it if this was going to be one of those things you buy and then it just sits in your cupboard and never gets used. There was no need for me to worry though. Plenty of cheese fondues (and one chocolate!) have since been had, so the pot has seen its fair share of action. I particularly remember Eb and I having a couple of romantic flatmate dates complete with a bottle of wine and the fondue pot, enjoyed on a blanket on the floor in some candle light.

These days though, as the pot lives with Graeme and I. Graeme doesn’t like wine (not even in a fondue!), so I’ve been trying out a few cider fondue recipes. This one with Guyere and Emmental, from BBCGoodFood is my favorite. The recipe calls for a dry cider, but if you use a relatively sweet cider, it works really well as well.



Cider fondue recipe:
1 garlic clove
250 ml dry apple cider
Juice from half a lemon
250 g Gruyere cheese, grated
250 g Emmental cheese, grated
2 tsp corn flour
Cubed Ciabatta bread, apple wedges and mushroom wedges (washed, uncooked) to serve

Directions: Halve the garlic clove, rub the inside of the pot and discard the garlic. Add cider and lemon juice, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and add the cheese, bit by bit, and whisk until melted. Add the corn flour and allow it to grow thick. Serve immediately, with the bread, apples and mushrooms ready for dipping. Blanket and candles optional.


Wednesday, 10 July 2013

WHAT I'M WORKING ON: CHARCOAL CACTI


We are living in chaos! The interiors of the house are getting painted/plastered/wallpapered and everything's a mess. We were expecting the painters on the 7th of August, but then they showed up on the 8th of July and surprised everyone. Turns out there was a little mix up about how to interpret the date 07/08! As a result, Graeme and I have spent the two past days moving furniture and taking down curtains and pictures. Our living room feels like it’s shrunk in size, as all the furniture has been moved to the middle of the room. Bo is very confused and probably thinks we’re moving again.

I’ve found a box of charcoal and have set up camp in the middle of our mini living room, where I’ve been doodling some cacti.

Sunday, 7 July 2013

JUNE ON INSTAGRAM

My instagram in June was somewhat dominated by Bo. As we drove from Glasgow to Stavanger, I used the hashtags #botravels and #boview to document the journey from Bo's perspective, and ended up with a series of pictures from all over Europe with Bo's ears in them. Oh, how I love those attentive ears, they don't miss a thing. And now that both Bo and Graeme are here with me in Norway, don't expect all the Bo pictures to be stopping any time soon!

Thursday, 4 July 2013

A WEEKEND TRIP TO HAUSVIK


Graeme and I had two of my old flatmates visit us in Norway for the first time last weekend, so we all traveled down to the south coast to my parent’s cabin. I love the landscape there; the cabin is right on the coast but it's situated a bit higher up so it has this panoramic view of the sea, the fjord and all these little islands scattered everywhere, as well as the mountains surrounding it all. I love sitting there with a pair of binoculars and looking at the sailboats sailing past.





The weather was lovely and we spent the weekend investigating old abandoned Nazi bunkers, fishing and drinking home made cocktails. We got a boat for our fishing trip as well, and got to explore all the little islands and cruise about in the sunshine. I even caught a cod, which resulted in much screaming, a rather violent death by beer bottle and eventually a tasty dinner. We all took lots of pictures of course, and so I thought I’d share a few of mine here. Unfortunately I completely forgot to bring my SLR along, so these are all the pictures from my iPhone. I did however bring my Diana mini, so hopefully I have some nice shots to look forward to there once I get the film developed. Hope you had a good weekend too!