Saturday, December 31, 2011

A New Year–New Hopes and Plans

I wish all my readers a Happy New Year.

May it be a blessed one for you.

Every year I start out with new hopes and new plans for my life, most of the time they disappear in becoming good intentions that fall flat. I was reflecting on why this happens and I think I know why.

I have never written my hopes and goals down ever so this year I will break my life down into bits and pieces and build goals on the different aspects of my life.

I will make one post per aspect and list my resolutions there with some inspiration to get it done found on pintrest.

Tips, tricks and encouragement is greatly appreciated as this will be a year of great changes for me and my family.

  • We will be loosing our home soon and will have to find a temporary place to live.
  • We will be moving to Norway this spring/summer with no jobs in sight as of now.
  • We will be starting in new jobs this summer/fall in Norway and the kids will start in a new school/daycare.

Mor Monsen cake









This is a very rich cake that keeps well in a tight box or in the freezer. It is made at Christmas time as that was the time of the year when you would want to splurge on the good stuff.

You will need a metric scale for this and I do recommend the one at the bottom of this post.

  • 300 grams Butter or Margarine
  • 300 grams Sugar
  • 8 eggs
  • 300 grams All Purpose Flour
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • Zest of 1 Lemon
  • 100 grams Currants
  • 50 grams Pearl Sugar (Swedish décor Sugar)

Cream butter and sugar together. Divide the yokes and egg whites and mix the yokes into the butter cream. Mix in the flour, baking powder and zest.


Whip the egg whites till stiff peaks form and gently cut it into the rest of the batter.


Put Parchment paper into a pan about 10 by 20 inches big and pour the batter in.

Sprinkle with currants and pearl sugar. IMG_9672

Bake sat 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 30 minutes till it’s golden brown on top.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Norwegian “Kransekake” Almond Cookies

This recipe can in its variations be used for four things. Marzipan (almond paste), almond stick cookies, Kransekake and Sarah Bernard.

All you need is

  • 250 grams Grated Almonds (some might have to be shelled)
  • 250 grams of Powder Sugar
  • 2 Egg Whites


Shell all the almonds by boiling them for a few minutes and then draining them. This should make the brown skin on them swell up so that you can just pop the almond right out of its shell. Let the almonds dry for a few days before grating them. Grate the almonds as fine as possible. Mix well with the Powder Sugar and add two egg whites. The end result should be an almond paste that is coarser than normal, but with lots of texture and flavor. Form into shapes, dip in Chocolate or enjoy as is.

Almond stick cookies and Kransekake

Shell half of the almonds and let dry for a couple of days. Grate them all together and mix just like the marzipan. Roll out to long thumb thick snakes and cut 1 inch long sticks. Bake till they are a nice light brown color all over at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 10 minutes. When cool dip in Dark Chocolate.

For the Kransekake please follow the directions on the Forms that you have.

Sarah Bernard

Make the Almond stick, but form the paste to little balls that you press to flat little disks. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 10 minutes till they are evenly brown. Put on a cooling rack and let cool.

Make a butter cream of

  • 200 grams Butter
  • 3 deciliter Powder Sugar
  • 3 Egg Yokes
  • 100 grams grated Dark Chocolate
  • 1 Tbsp Dark Semi Sweet Chocolate Powder

Mix well till it is nice and creamy. Put a dollop on every disk, making sure they stick well.


  • 200 grams of Dark Chocolate
  • 2 Tbsp Shortening

Melted together.

Dip the cookie into the glaze with the dollop first.

Let sit till it hardens. Keep cool and enjoy.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Norwegian Christmas Oatmeal Cookies


These cookies are a must at my house for Christmas. I usually make two or three batches of them and are always giving these away as gifts.

They have a mildly spiced and nutty flavor to their crunch and they somewhat melts in your mouth. With them being bite size they are the perfect little treat for big and small.

  • 4 cups Old Fashioned Oats
  • 2 cups All Purpose Flour
  • 2 cups Sugar
  • 1 3/4 cup Melted Margarine
  • 6 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon

Mix it all together with a spoon and put balls the size of a teaspoon or half a tablespoon on a Parchment Paper.


Bake at 400 degree Fahrenheit for about 10 minutes till they are browned at the edges.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Scones after a Norwegian recipe


These are so good and so easy to make, I love them.

  • 3 1/2 cup (8-9 dl) all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 7 Tbsp margarine
  • 1 3/4 cup (4 dl) milk or buttermilk

Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl.

Cut in the margarine till it is incorporated in the flour.

Add the milk and quickly work the dough till it all comes together. Do not overwork the dough as it will make the scones chewy.

Divide the dough in four equal potions. Make a round cake about 3/4 inch thick. Put it on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper.

Cut the cakes in four and prick them with a fork.

Bake in the middle of the oven for circa 12 minutes at 450 degrees Fahrenheit.

The ones on the pictures were made with 1 1/4 cup whole wheat flour and 1 1/4 cup all purpose flour.


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Thanksgiving Decor

These are a few of the ideas I have found on Pinterest

A craft to do with my 7 year old.
Combined décor and Christmas gift for my sister in law.
This would look so lovely as a centerpiece either on the dining table or on the kitchen island.
So easy and so pretty. And not to forget safe from toddlers who like to blow on candles.
Would look so pretty on a little note to every guest.
I would love to make these to decorate outside the front doors of both my sister in law and
my mother in law as these does not take up that much space.
A collection of printables. Easy and fun décor.

More of the same as the one above but with nuts and lentils.

These are some of the ideas I have for our big family gathering which will be the week of Thanksgiving. Since we are moving back to Norway next year the whole family will be coming from California and the East coast to Seattle to celebrate Thanksgiving with us. Many of them I have never met. My sister in law is hosting, she and my mother in law are cooking and I have asked to please be allowed to decorate. Maybe I will even cook or bake something too.

Monday, October 17, 2011

One thing at the time

Sometimes things happen that makes other things fade in the background and last week things happened.

This year I am Co Coordinator (Coco for short) for my church’s MOPS group. Leaving for Norway this summer I knew I was going to be the Assistant coordinator, but when I came home I learned that the coordinator was moving to Colorado and that me and the other assistant had to take over. Then there were an unnoticeable communication failure in the system that got set up and last week it surfaced and roared it’s ugly head.

Women were crying, angry, confused, stressed, feeling guilty without reason, anxieties soared and things seemed to be falling apart.

I had to start somewhere. My Coco and I had agreed upon me taking care of the Newsletter, Hospitality and Moppets so I started there. Newsletter was running smoothly, the Newsletter Coordinator was on top of it and I were done with my article and edits within a few hours. Hospitality was running smoothly as well and communication was good between me and the Hospitality Coordinator. Then there were Moppets.

One of my friends had taken upon herself to learn how to write a database for our MOPS group and she was getting frustrated trying to communicate with everyone involved. The Database involves Finance, Registration, Discussion group leaders, Mentors and Moppets and while communicating with Finance and Registration was going well she still got nothing done because the others were not communicating their needs to her.

For a whole week I had meetings with everyone involved and after changing the Leadership of Moppets I now have communication in place there as well. After later finding that Discussion group Coordinator and Mentor Coordinator was not communicating well, I had had enough and told everyone involved that from now on we will just have to have one meeting a month for a while where we can discuss everyone’s needs and expectations to this database. So now there is peace again.

What I have learned from this is

  • When you don’t hear anything from somebody that is not necessarily good.
  • When no one else can I can, if someone else can I can’t.
  • Always take one thing at the time and solve it before taking care of the next problem.
  • I have strengths I didn’t even know I had and I am more organized than I thought I am and if not I can always wing it.
  • Tomorrow is always a new day with new sheets of paper and brand new crayons.
  • Whatever mistakes you have made there is no shame in admitting it, ask for forgiveness and then fixing it.
  • Working with friends are hard, but as long as you are open and speak truth about your shortcomings, your hopes and expectations you will still keep them.
  • Communication is key.
  • Pray and God listens.

So due to this I did blog about some pins with ideas for Christmas gifts, but I have not made a list yet, maybe I will do it tonight when I am done with everything MOPS for tomorrows meeting. I have not made a Thanksgiving décor list, but I have pinned a lot. And the room by room list is not yet made unless you count the mental one in the back of my head. And that new system for meal planning is not started yet, but I have at least blogged about one of my favorite baked treats this past week.

I am so blessed that I get to be the Coco of such a great group of women (we got about 86 women counting mentors and all) and I love all and every one of them and feel ever so blessed that I get to serve for them before I move next year.

And lastly a picture of what happens when mamma gets to busy with MOPS… thank you Sofie for being so good at entertaining yourself…


Linking up with

Easy Change Season Wreath

A year ago I made a twine covered wreath and yes it took a long time to wind the twine all the way around, but it was so worth it.

I started out with some fall colored fabric flowers that I pinned to it and I had it hanging all through the fall till Christmas came and I hung my Christmas wreath up.

Then this spring I went to Joann and bought some sheet moss, twigs with leaves and pretty pink flowers, a nest, a few eggs and a little bird. I pinned those on using nails with big flat heads. That way when I am tired of the moss and all I can just take it off.


Then suddenly it was fall again and in five minutes I removed the summer décor except for the moss, added my fall flowers and voila fall is here.


I hope this might be an idea for you who have little space for seasonal décor.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Grateful Sunday 35


Yesterday was such a beautiful day and since we couldn’t be home due to our realtor showing our condo to some potential buyers the girls and I decided to go out for an early dinner and then head to a park to play. Yes it was just me and the girls, Jesse went to work at 4am and then headed to a soccer game after wards to see Kelsey Keller’s last home game for the Sounders, he didn’t get home until 11pm.

So lets see what I am grateful for this week.

341. God showing me personality traits I didn’t think I had.

342. God giving me strength and wisdom to solve conflicts of bad communication.

343. God teaching me humility to say I am sorry when I make mistakes.

344. God teaching me patience when working with adults.

345. Sunny days to spend time with my girls.

346. Little girl falling asleep on her potty.

347. An understanding husband when meetings and phone calls take up my time.

348. My body surprising me by being able to do more than I thought.

349. Safe bike rides with my little girl.

350. Prayers being answered for my friends.

Linking up to

The last pictures from Norway


Before leaving Norway Isabel got to go with her Godparents to their home where she got to ride on Godmothers horse and sing Abba as much as she wanted.


Sofie and I went with my parents to my hometown and on the way were naps in the car, beautiful landscapes, a ferry and ice cream.


While in my hometown there were some gray weather, bike rides and a walk with my dad down to the new small boat harbor where we got to watch a boat exit the big harbor. I also got to see things before hidden by old harbor walls by the old herring oil factory where my grandfather once worked and which is now part gallery and part concert hall.


The time of the Midnight sun is coming to an end. We finally arrived in Tromsø where I went to College and Jesse and I spent the first three years of our marriage. We came up for my cousins wedding and got to see all our family for a wonderful weekend of adventures and parties.


Paper cranes were hanging from the ceiling. The kids where dancing. Isabel actually kept going till 2am while the rest of the kids left around 10pm. She is a real dancing queen.


The tables were beautifully decorated with subtle colors.


The bride were beautiful, the groom hansom and the flower girl oh so cute. The happy couple is Godparents to both of these young ladies.


The wedding cake. All the animals ended up with my kids and are now all over my house. I believe that all together there were about 12 cakes. We love cakes for all occasions in Norway. The day after the wedding we all met at the place where the party were held to help with cleanup and eat some more cake.

We had such a wonderful time and are so grateful that we got to join them for their wedding. So this was the last week of our stay in Norway and I will not be going back until I move back next year. Till then I will cherish all the memories from this trip.