Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Norwegian Bread Recipe

Ever since I moved by myself I have been making my own breads. Then when I moved here I got lost in the flour ails at every grocery market I would visit. I just couldn't figure out what was what of the flours. Two years later my mom came to visit. She doesn't know a single word English, but she is a amazing at baking and she can look at a flour and smell it and tell exactly what they are. So now I can finally bake my own breads again.
This is my supply. Yes I am being a little thrifty reusing my oat containers to hold my bran.
My recipe makes a little over 5 breads.
I start by boiling 1 1/4 cup of hard wheat berries in 4 cups of water for about one hour. If they are soft enough for me to eat one, then they are done and I can add more water till I have about 12 cups of water at the right temperature for the selected yeast. It will say on the yeast package what temperature to heat the water too.
2 cup old fashioned oats or quick oats
2 cup mix of wheat and oat bran
1 cup flax seeds which you can choose to grind, but I don't.
2 cups of 7 grain mix, I get mine at my local health store.
3 cups of whole wheat flour
2 packages of dry yeast
5 lbs of all purpose flour
This all gets mixed together in a big baking bowl before I add the water and berries mixture.
Stir it together, it will be very thick and sticky. Add more all purpose flour till it is firmer, but still sticky. I tried to take a picture to show what I mean, but it is a little hard to describe. To avoid getting to much of the dough sticking to my hands I rub my hands in oil every now and then and I always coat my dough in oil when I am done kneading it.
Then I cover it loosely with plastic and kitchen towels and set it to rise for a few hours. Every now and then I will check on it to push it down a little if it is looking like it is going to escape the bowl.
The next picture shows it after it has been pushed down twice and I am ready to work with it again.
On a flour coated surface I take the whole dough and kneed it for about 5 minutes. Then I divide it into five loafs that I put into my oil coated bread pans. I got the two red ones at IKEA and I love them.
I let them rise again for about 20 minutes. Right now I use a convection oven and I put the breads into the oven while it is cold and I set it to 410 degree Fahrenheit.
When the breads are starting to get brown on top I will take them out of their pans and put them back in the oven again. That makes them nice, brown and crisp all around.
They are done when they have a nice brown color and a hollow sound to them when you knock on their crust. I love to serve them fresh out of the oven with butter and raw honey. So yummy.
Please tell me how they turn out if you try them and please enjoy.

I am linking up to the following parties
Show and Tell Green
Blue Cricket Design is also hosting a giveaway for Button of Hope.

Monday, June 28, 2010

And here we are again.

And here we are again. I am beat. It seems like any obstacle that can be put in my way has been put there.

Sofie has now had an ear infection for three weeks. We have been to the doctor five times. At first I though she was just teething as Isabel would get a high fever and a runny nose when she was teething. Then her fever reached 104 and I went to the doctor. Upper respiratory infection was the verdict and she was set on an antibiotics cure. She kept getting worse and I took her in again. The ear infection was obvious at that point and she was set on a new antibiotic, the doctor also took a blood sample and a x-ray to rule out pneumonia and urine infection. For a day she was good and then all of a sudden her fever spiked again and she had a full body rash. Back to the doctor again, this time a virus. At least it didn't last long and after two days she seemed to get better. Then puss started to drain from her ears and I knew it was bad though at least she was no longer in pain. I took her in again to the doctor and he took a sample of the puss and gave me antibiotic drops to put in her ears. The result came back, the bacteria causing the infection is resistant to almost all antibiotics but the ear drops and one antibiotics that has to be administered by injection. Today we got the first of three injections. I sure hope this will help. It is important that we get this taken care of soon so her eardrums can heal and we can save her hearing.

Isabel is acting out because the baby is taking so much out of my time. With Sofie being sick and clingy, Isabel is now acting up throwing tantrums and not listening at all. Actually I am thinking she has problems with her hearing and will ask her doctor to refer us to a hearing specialist on Friday when I take the girls in for their yearly physical. She actually complained to her grandma the other day that she has trouble hearing out of her left ear. I am trying to make more time for her and do special things for her, but it is hard when the baby either screams or I am too exhausted. Today we went outside to play, while Sofie spent time with pappa. I think it is getting better, we'll see.

My husband on the other hand is sick too. He has been sick almost two weeks, but just really bad the last week. He has a bad infection in his mouth and is on antibiotics too now. This means that all the work around the house is on me and all the work with the kids is on me. Also all the work with the animals. I just hope he gets better soon because I need his support with the kids right now.

Me, I feel like I am getting sick. Still I am trying to take care of everything and get to at least some of my projects. My body is hurting, I am having constant headaches, I am constantly tired and I am just feeling stressed.

Still I have managed to get a lot done. Since I am doing the 10 tasks in 10 days at the Shabby Chic Cottage I wrote about what I have accomplished the last week here. Five tasks done so far and a couple half done. I will try to reach my goal of at least finish nine of these. I just have to continue to pray for help and strength to keep going, for the health of my family.

Tomorrow is yet another day to get things done, but first of all I am meeting some of my best friends at a park and then I am taking Sofie in for her second antibiotic shot. To me that is more important than any of my long lists.

I hope I get to visit with some of you other A-P's, but I am a little behind on my blog visiting. It takes all I have to write every day or so, but it sure makes me feel better.

Thank you all for listening this far. I truly appreciate it.

Grateful Monday

Several (no one mentioned, no one missed) of the blogs I follow have joined Ann Voskamp at Holy Experience in her Gratitude Community. Here she encourages us to quietly sit down with God and count the blessings he grants upon us. This is something I have long thought of doing, but with everything going on I have just been putting it off. This is giving me the kickstart to finally doing it. So from now on, on the next 100 Mondays I will list 10 things I am grateful for.

holy experience

I am grateful for...

1. my little family consisting of my hubby, Isabel the ballerina and Sofie minime.
2. all my good friends.
3. the serenity I feel when I sit outside on my back deck on a sunny day.
4. the doctors and nurses at our medical center who are doing their best in treating Sofies earinfection.
5. the sunny day today.
6. having my own car to get to all the doctors appointments right now.
7. the beautiful weather we got on Saturday for my girls birthday party.
8. peoples generosity towards my girls.
9. Gods grace in giving me the strenght and patience in dealing with my hubby and baby being sick.
10. Isabel being such a good helper taking care of some of my chores for me.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

The 10 Day Challenge

I have managed to get a lot done. Well at least 5 and a half thing...
First the stroller tires got filled up. Still I didn't really get to use the stroller this week as I just had to much to get done, but I did take a little walk today. Next Sunday how ever I am planning on taking a long walk over to my mother in laws house. This is a walk that normally takes me about 65 minutes fast walking, but since Isabel is mostly walking now, it will probably take about 2 hours.

I also managed to bake 5 breads on Thursday. Isabel made a little one too. I am planning on blogging about it at a later time. It is my moms recipe and it is delicious. Very different from American breads. I really love my new oven. It can really fit a lot of food. My old one would only take 3 bread at a time. As you can see this one takes 5 and one little one.
Wednesday I made the decor for the kids party this Saturday. As you can see, we had a lot of fun. The decor was a disaster in my eyes, but Isabel loved it as her theme this year was rainbow unicorn. I will very likely blog about this too at a later time. I just don't have time to sit down with my computer now that I am trying to get through all my tasks.
Then on Friday I made the cake and the treats for the party. The cake was fun. Isabels first comment on it was "Mamma you got the rainbow wrong"... Well how am I supposed to know in what order the colors of the rainbow are when she's not there to tell me. Not my fault that it was so much more fun to go and hang out with grandma than to help mamma with the cake. No matter what, the cake was a hit. Sofie sure enjoyed her piece.
Then I am done with Isabels back pack. I think we have got it all now. Snacks, suntan spray, toys, books, swim wear, towel and water. Just so that we don't forget anything and so I don't have to carry everything always.
I am also almost done with the car. It is almost empty. There is a few more things that need to be taken out of it, but then only the stuff necessary for the summer will go back in again. Probably finish that tomorrow.
I hope I will find time to go by and visit some or all of you, but I better step it up if I am ever to get done with my tasks.
Good luck to you all and thank you for stopping by.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The 10 Days Challenge

I found the blog The Shabby Chic Cottage through a couple of other blogs that I found through New Nostalgias linkup Anti-Procrastionation Tuesday.

Gina who is the gracious owner of the blog challenged all her readers to come up with a list of 10 things to finish in 10 days starting now. The Ten Days Challenge.

I have contemplated whether or not I should get on the band wagon too, seeing that I have a sick kid and two birthday parties coming up. My decission is to do it, but I will be adjusting my list to what I can actually accomplish with the extra challenges that life has thrown at me right now.

1. Make decorations for the kids party.
2. Bake bread.
3. Make the cake and foods for the parties.
4. Finish quilting the blanket for Isabel.
5. Edge the four placemats I made in March.
6. Make the outline for the new newsletter for my MOPS group.
7. Help Isabel pack her summer back pack.
8. Ready my car for the summer.
9. Clean the whole house.
10. Fill air in the tires of the big stroller for our long walks this summer.

This should all be doable and most of this I have to get done within the next 10 days anyways and the things that doesn't have to be done until September I will be inspired to do now which will be good.

Linking up to The Shabby Chic Cottage.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Anti Procrastination Tuesday

Yet again it is Tuesday. Guess what... I actually picked up my whole house on Saturday and blogged about it yesterday here.

One of the ways I fight my procrastinating tendicies is to do 10 minute challenges. Just like I did on Saturday. Of course sometimes I have to give myself a little bit longer time to do something, but generally it really helps to at least time myself.

I just found that I have something in common with actor Bradley Whitford (who played Josh Lyman in The West Wing). No, I'm not going to star in any new TV show or anything, but I just read an article in Good Housekeeping where he shares one of his best tips on how he downsizes. He, like me, has found a solution on the amounts of papers and artwork our children bring home from school. We take pictures of everything and when our children don't see it, we throw all of it in the garbage. Well except for a few pieces that we just have to keep.

I had planned on doing this for so long. Isabel were in pre-school last year and brought home so much artwork that I filled two bags with it. It is currently taking up room in my daughters closet and I still haven't done anything about it. Still I did manage to get all the kindergarden school work and artwork delt with the other day. I thought it was going to take days, but it only took an hour or so.

This is one of the first artworks she made in kindergarden. It is in the garbage now, but I will always keep this picture as a memory. Eventually I will do this with everything from pre-school as well, and then I will scrapbook these pictures and put them in a box with the artwork that I do save.

I have procrastinated long enough on this, but unfortunately the rest will have to wait another couple of weeks as we have a big birthday party to prepare for this Saturday.

Sofie is turning 1 on Saturday and Isable is turning 6 next Thursday and we will have a big party on Saturday. No more procrastination here for the rest of the week. I got to get ready for this party. Decorations, food and a pinata. Guess today will be spent running errands, unless I wait with that till tomorrow. Yes I know I am procrastinating here, but I always finish in time no matter what.

See you all next week for another Anti-Procrastionation Tuesday.

My 10 minute challenge and a lazy cat

Saturday while I was enjoying my morning coffee, reading the newspaper and just savoring that my baby was sleeping and Isabel was visiting with grandma, I looked down on the cat.

This is what I saw and this is exactly what I suddenly felt like doing.

Still I knew that I had other things that I should be doing. While Sofie has been sick, there has not been much time or energy to pick up around the house.

There in comes the 10 minute challenge. I figured that if I gave myself 10 minutes to do one room or area at the time I might not get it perfect, but it would at least make a difference. I also figured that it would take me about 90 minutes from start to finish if I got to work more or less uninterrupted.

To top it off I would document the whole challenge with before and after pictures.

Behold my living room. Not really that messy, just dusty and with a few things scattered in places where they do not belong.

After wards, nice and tidy. Well except for a couple of laptops laying around.
Not a speckle of dust left. All in 10 minutes.

Please do not look to hard at the baby toys on either side of the entertainment center. Sofie has more or less outgrown them and they will soon be gone.

My cat was still sleeping comfortably and though it looked absolutely tempting, I was now psyched about getting my house picked up before anyone could disturb me.

Next was the staircase. Since this is where we come in the front door it has become a catch all. The baby gate is used as a drying rack now for our rain gear and we are all too lazy to walk upstairs with our things when we are done with them. Got to work on that.

Cleaning up the stairs only took a quick 5 minutes. The other 5 minutes was used to help my neighbor find an extra paint tray as they are getting their nursery ready for their firstborn.

My cat had a least moved a little for the first time in over 20 minutes. Amazing how they can sleep these cats.

Trevor the cat is so lazy that when Sofie cuddles him (read pull him with both hands and shakes him violently) he will just wait till she is done and move two feet away. She follows and cuddles him again, he moves another two feet and on they go.

My kitchen was next in line for cleanup. It really was not so dirty or messy. I just enjoy having nothing on my counters.

Hubby washed the dishes the night before, which usually means that he did not put anything away or wipe off the counters.

There is always so many little things that just get thrown onto the counters and not put away too. Stuff that really does not belong there.

After 10 minutes the counters were clean, but the dishes from breakfast were not done. Still I felt pretty good about the work done in there.

Obviously I will sometime in the close future have to really clean my oven and my microwave, but that will be in the future.

If you notice under the table in the hole where the dishwasher is supposed to be, there still is no real flooring. I have decided that I will just keep it like it is since I will be getting a new dishwasher some time (I'm too lazy to fix it).

We got Trevor from a shelter almost two years ago. He and Isabel bonded right away which is why they would even consider giving him to us. He was considered too young at only 5 months of age for a family with a young child. They were also afraid that he would be lonely here, but him and our dog Laika are best buddies.
So good friends that he refuses to use his own bed, but will instead occupy Laikas bed making her sleep on the floor.

Our dining room is where everything happens. It is where we eat all our meals. It is an office, a craft room, a meeting room for the homeowners association, a playroom and a TV room.
I don't think I forgot to mention anything now.

At this point Sofie had woken up and we had to change a diaper and eat something before we could get started.

Look how nice and summery it became after I was done. Now if we could just keep it like this for more than a few hours...
Note I have been able to keep it up for three days. Hurray.

Trevor still had no plans for the day and were still sleeping, stretching and sleeping some more.

At this point it started to look somewhat tempting to do the same thing, but I kept going.

Sofie tried to help me, but I must say that she does have a long way to go before she will be able to do more than stack pacifiers in a cup.

Still she was being a very good girl, very supportive of my challenge, letting me carry on with my project of the day.

Although she did create some extra work for me by not picking up the toys she was playing with, and by going through two outfits and several bedsheets. I just can't wait till she is done teething.

The bag in front of her is my carry all. Whatever does not belong in a room goes into this bag while I am picking up. So instead of running to the right place with it I save time by putting it in here and just bringing it with me and putting it in the right place when I get to the right room.

My craft area. Do I need to say more.

For some reason (I don't know why) my husband thinks that this is where everything that he is supposed to put away, but doesn't know where goes, belong.

Hence the buildup. No wonder I can never find time to do crafts when I have to spend so much time putting away everything that he puts there.

Now I can get back to business again.

Trevor was finally waking up. Partly due to Sofie cuddling him. Still not moving much, but after a few more cuddles and hearing his dish being filled with food, he did finally leave his soft bed.
After some food and water, he ventured out and didn't come inside for a few hours. I guess he needed a break from the camera.

Finally I had to do the hallway upstairs. Yes you are right. Some of the things you see here was also in a couple of before pictures from downstairs. What can I say, at least it did get upstairs.
And as you know I do like to have my carry all bag and some of the things just didn't fit inside it.

The clothes in the hamper were clean and just needed to be put away.

Most of the stuff in the hallway upstairs were from downstairs and just had to be put away in our two bedrooms. It was an easy 5 minute cleanup.

I must say it felt good when I was done and it really is amazing how little time you actually need to finish a project like this.

It was so nice after wards to sit down with a coffee again and know that my house was all nice and I still had half the day left to do whatever I wanted to do.