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Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

Good Friday Fried Haddock

I am breaking up my Malta Posts to bring you Good Friday dinner 🙂 We are now in the Easter weekend and most of you should have the weekend off now. We are leaving tomorrow for Renny’s home town Porsgrunn for our annual Easter Bunny Egg Hunt, read about it here at RennyBA’s Terella. I spent half the day combing the stores for alternative Easter goodies and food to meet the needs of our 3 family vegetarians. Renny’s niece is a vegetarian, his son is a semi vegetarian and very health concious, and my darling boy Justin is Vegan – which means he don’t eat eggs, milk, honey, or any product coming from animals. So I had to fax the Easter bunny a list of acceptable foods. The Easter bunny is very understanding about this, being a vegetarian himself….

For the traditional Easter eggs we had to avoid milk and gelatin which is used in most of those gummy candies. So this year the Easter bunny will have to find milk free dark chocolate, bannana chips, nuts, lollipops (not containing bees wax) and hard candy (same). For the kids eating regular candy we have some of the usual fare as well. I think everyone will be pleased.

Then for the traditional Easter cookout on the fire. Since the veggi group aren’t big on hotdogs I made grilled vegetables. These are finished here in my oven and will be packed in foil and layed in the fire until they are rewarmed. This actually works out well because the seasonings I added have a day to mix into the potatoes and vegetables.
Here is the recipe. Non vegetarians like it too!

grilledveggies

Vegan Althernative, Grilled Vegetable Medley

Grilled Vegetable Medley
Ingredients:

1 red pepper, chopped
1/2 pound whole button mushrooms sliced
1 lb potato weges
12 whole cherry tomatoes
1 small zucchini, sliced
1 large Spanish onion
2 pieces corn on the cob cut into pieces
1 garlic clove chopped
salt and ground black pepper, to taste
parsley, to taste
oregano, to taste
basil, to taste
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 cup Italian dressing

Mix together and grill in thoe oven for about an hour.

friedhaddock

Southern Fried Haddock

Then I had the urge to make fried fish just like my mommy used to fix, of course she bought it on her way home from work freshly fried and didn’t actually involve herself in the frying of it but since I don’t have that option I learned to make it myself. And share the recipe with you too!

Southern Fried Fish

Marinated in creamy buttermilk, coated with a crispy cornmeal batter, and then deep friend to a golden brown, flaky fish prepared Southern-style is divine.

Ingredients:
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup water
salt and pepper, to taste
1 pound haddock fillets
1 1/2 cups fine cornmeal
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
seafood seasoning, salt, pepper, paprika to taste
vegetable oil for frying

Directions: In a small bowl, mix buttermilk, water, salt, and pepper. Pour mixture into a flat pan large enough to hold the fillets. Spread fish in one layer over bottom of pan, turning to coat each side, and set aside to marinate.
In a resealable plastic bag, combine the cornmeal, flour, and seasoning. Add fish to mixture, a few fillets at a time, and tumble gently to coat evenly. Heat oil in deep fryer to 365 degrees F (185 degrees C). Fry fillets until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Avoid overcrowding so fillets have room to brown properly. Fish should be slightly crisp outside, and moist and flaky inside. Drain on paper towels.

homemadecoleslaw

Homemade coleslaw

Then to add to the American flair of my Good Friday dinner I had the urge for coleslaw. Haven’t eaten that in ages and it really feels like a summery dish, and since the weather has been so good and the skys so blue…I wanted coleslaw with my dinner. The photo isn’t as good as the dish but it does show off my antique english china set hehehe. The red on top is paprika I sprinkled over to decorate it. Tasted wonderful! And again I will give you my recipe!

Diane’s Coleslaw

I head finely shredded cabbage
1 large shreaded carrot
2 tablespoons minced onion
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 tablespoons white vinegar
2 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice

Directions:

Finely shredd cabbage and carrots. Place cabbage and carrot mixture into large bowl and add minced onions.Mix dressing until smooth. Pour over vegetable mixture and mix thoroughly. Cover bowl and refrigerate several hours before serving.

Honestly I don’t think I’ve ever waited more then 15 min before taste testing this hehehe…but I do make it first so it gets chilled before eating.

Hope you all have a Happy Easter Holiday. Drop in and tell me what you are doing this weekend!!

November Sunset Beauty

Fall is moving on to winter now in Scandinavia. This weekend was All Saints Day in the Scandinavian countries which in many places marks the beginning of winter the way Midsummer night marks the beginning of summer. Some hardy plants and flowers still have their bloom, like our lovely large geraniums which are helped to survive by the warmth and shelter of living on our balcony. Most of the leaves have fallen now and frankly I had planned on putting my camera away until we travel again. I think of Novermber as a dark and ugly month with little leaves on the trees and the snow not yet covering the ground and making it sparkle.

Dynamic Sunset dock

Dynamic Sunset over the dock

What is good about November? It’s the season when you can start lighting your fireplace and setting candles about the room. I went and bought new candles in cranberry colors to warm up and light up our home. It’s the season when you can take out your fuzzy wool socks and sweaters and enjoy the warm snuggly feeling of wool – something I learned to appreciate in Norway. Now when fall comes I actually look forward to breaking out my favorite hand made wool socks, mittens, hats and sweaters.

mittens and socks

Wool mittens and socks

And yes here in Scandinavia there is still an appreciation for hand knitted clothes. I remember my Grandmother produced large amounts of socks and mittens and some very creative hats in the 70s but it seems to me that in the US clothes are only valued if they are bought and brand new. There are many who have lost appreciation for that favorite old piece of clothing that looks feels and even smells like home…or the handmade socks and mittens that I have found a new love for today. I hope I am wrong here, I do hope that it was only the people around me who forgot how to love hand knitted accessories.

Novembertrip 033

Fall Sunset

My sweet and loving husband RennyBA showed me the beauty of nature again today. Just when I thought it was dark and depressing out there he invited me to a sunset picnic on the beach. We have a strong appreciation for sunsets and nature, and as you may have noticed from our photo archives we love the light you get when the sun has just gone down. I took up his invitation and prepared a little coffee and some cookies for us to nibble on and we went to the beach just as the sun was setting. The yellow, orange, and pink colors in the sky and reflected in the water were truly an amazing sight. I am so glad that my sweet hubby RennyBA is here to remind me that the world is indeed also beautiful in November. All photographs were taken with my fantastic NokiaX6 mobile phone! Good camera for a phone, huh!!

sunset silloutte

Sunset Sillouette

We will be traveling a bit in November as well. In 10 days we are going to Brussels and will be able to take some lovely photos there, then in about 2 weeks we are traveling to Portugal on a mini vacation and will be catching up with Perola de Cultura and her husband Luis to reminisce about the blog gathering and be shown around the fair city of Lisbon.

Fall foilage highlights from Norway

We are having a cold fall this year in the Oslo area, and it seems we are rapidly moving toward the winter season. The days are now getting noticeably shorter and the temperatures at night are below freezing just about every day now.

Beautiful fall colors on Sandvika shoreline

Beautiful fall colors on Sandvika shoreline

Still we have had some nice color and RennyBA and I have taken several weekend trips to capture the fall colors on our respective mobile phone cameras and digital cameras, so here are some highlights from this year’s fall color show in Norway!

Yellow birch lined path

Yellow birch lined path

I love the smell of fall and the crunching of leaves reminds me of my childhood. Walking home from school in the afternoon I loved to romp along in the crunchy new fallen leaves and kick them up into the air.

Crunch of fallen leaves under my feet

Crunch of fallen leaves under my feet

And on a sunny Sunday afternoon a fall picnic is every bit as enjoyable as a summer picnic, and without the wet bathing suits!

Fall lake side picnic with famous blogger husband RennyBA

Fall lake side picnic with famous blogger husband RennyBA

When planning this picnic photo hunt RennyBA said “I want fall colors and I want water!” Fortunately we found both, and traveling around with another avid photograph and blogger I am never lacking for someone interesting to photograph!

RennyBA took some very tempting photograpghs of my homemade lunch

RennyBA took some very tempting photograpghs of my homemade lunch

Water and changing leaves do make a truly magical combination, don’t you think!!

Color on the water, color on the trees

Color on the water, color on the trees

I know I have not been blogging as much lately, and not commenting much either. I apologize for that, if you are looking for me I usually check in on facebook but I have been spending less time online lately. I always feel more tired in the fall and my job is taking up a lot of my energy. I also have a few personal projects going on in my private life. But never fear I am still around and I am sure my blogging and visits will increase again when I adjust to the darker season!!

Cruising to the Islands in Oslo fjord

When you look at my blog you see lots and lots of lovely blue skies and nordic nature. It may then surprise you to know that if I am being truly honest the weather this summer has really sucked! It is statistically the 4th rainiest summer in the recorded database and the Oslo area didn’t have a single day over 30 C (85 F) this year. That said you can understand why we run out and make the most of summer anytime the sun shines.

DianeCAonboard

On board with incedibly large sunglasses

This is why I was so disappointed in myself when I slept away my day on Saturday. Because days like that have been few and far between. It was a relief then when I woke up on Sunday and found the sunshine was still there. We had a bit more clouds on Sunday but all in all a good enough summer day to get out and enjoy living by the fjord.

IslandFerry

Oslo Island Ferry Boat

The Ferry system to the local islands is part of the total public transportation in Oslo. In a land divided by fjords it is only natural that the boats are a part of the local transportation scheme. And since I need to have a montly pass to get back and forth to work it means my little boat trip out to the islands cost me nothing – nada – zilch – because my card works on the boat too.

Opera_across_fjord

View of the Opera from the fjord

When sailing out from Oslo towards the islands I looked back and had a great view of the Oslo Opera House, which you can see is the white building right on the water. It looks like a glacier running out into the fjord. In the years to come all the traffic around it will be put into underground tunnels (the reason for the construction work you may see) and a renewed area of the city will appear.

FamilyBoats

Family fun on the fjord

Private family boating is a popular recreational activity here. I would love to have a boat myself, having grown up with one in upstate NY, but in this area the cost of docking your boat is incredible, so I am quite happy to use the ferry and thrilled when friends who have a boat invite us to visit!

LushGreenIsland

Inviting green paths of Hovedøya

Hovedøya is a lovely green national park where all the plants and animals are protected. In addition it has a rich cultural heratige with monastery ruins from the 1100’s, the remains of a shipyard from 1640,and a bathing area from the beginning of 1914.

ExploringClosterRemains

Monestary ruins from the 1100's

Above the remains of the Hovedøya Monestery. In 1532 the monastery burned down and was demolished. Stone remaining from the Monestary was used to build Akershus Fortress – Castle. Fourteenth century recycling! Cool!

ExpertKiteFlying

Chinese kite flying on the beach

After crossing the island I came to the beach I was looking for. You didn’t think I forgot the beach did you? It wasn’t nearly as crowded as it is mid summer but as you can see there were people out enjoying the day. Like this chinese family who were really experts in flying a special kind of kite!

KyakGroup

Lunch break for the Kyak group

Or a group of (totally hot) Kyakers who stopped on the island to eat their lunch and take a break, and even a little swim.

CoupleSwim

Romantic late summer swim

Not exacly the tropics, but romantic none the less!

LookingBackToOslo

View across the fjord to Oslo City Hall

On the way back I just had to take this photo with Oslo City in the background. The town hall is directly in the middle and I thought, this photo will make my sweetie proud hehehe. The weather on the way back was if possible even better then on the way to the island but one learns the hard way. If you wait too long to leave Hovedøya you might wind up waiting for a ferry or three before you get room on board. The island wasn’t SO crowded this Sunday afternoon but I wasn’t taking any chances. Besides RennyBA was home from his adventures and I wanted to hear about his trip!

Blogger friends exploring Oslo at OsloBG

The Oslo Blog Gathering is already half over!! Time goes by so quickly! We are really having a wonderful time meeting our blogger friends face to face, some for the first time, and others we have greeted before. It is truly an experience of a lifetime, and we feel like we are quickly becoming friends and we have so much in common. Even if we come from different cultures and struggle with the language from time to time everyone is so interesting, open and friendly. It really is a dream come true for Renny and I.

DianeCA

I don’t want to use very much time writing a post now so I will go into more detail later, but I know some friends who wish they could be here are following along around the world, so I want to give you an idea of what we have done so far! I am starting to realize that we really can’t manage everything in four days, so some of our friends will just have to come back and visit us again. But still we have managed to fit a lot into our schedule

TorRennyMaria_angryboy

First Oslo Guideservice provided us with an excellent guide who took us through Vigeland Sculpture Park, Holmonkollen ski jump, and Bygdøy. Many thanks to Margaret for her excellent information and sunny personality!

RoyalTreatment-mayor

Then of course we were received at the City Hall by the Mayor of Oslo and served champagne and wonderful party food. We were treated as Royalty, and again provided with an excellent guide who could give us a lot of information about this very special building and its history.

Visiting_the_opera

We started our second day, after a good nights sleep and a nice breakfast at First Millenium Hotel with a visit to the new Oslo Opera House, and Renny and Lawrence were able to arrange for an incredible guided tour there as well. Only the best for our guests you know! We were given an explaination of the thoughts behind the architecture, as well as a peek in the main stage, and a peek behind the scenes where dancers and musicians are practicing, scenes and costumes are being made and art is being created long before it reaches our eyes and ears!

VisitCastle

In the afternoon it was time to visit the Royal Castle and of course all the tourists want to see the changing of the guards!

boatingfjord

And in the evening we took a boat ride on the fjord out to a little island where we were served the most delicous dinner.

Incrediblefood
Many of us chose the fresh seafood of course, but if you are not a seafood lover there were very good choices of chicken or meats available as well.

I feel it is safe to say that everyone is well satisfied and enjoying the trip here in Oslo. And we are having fun playing host, getting to know people and acting like tourists in our own home town. We are even living at the hotel you know so we don’t miss any of the action!! Now it is really time for bed hahaha! Good night and see you all again soon!

Taking care of business before Oslo Blog Gathering

We are really excited / nervous now!! People will start arriving tomorrow and we will be moving to our hotel too. This evening we were at The First Hotel Millennium to prepare some surprises for our guests and make sure everything was in order. We met up with some of our trusty helpers to plan the last minute details, so now we are as ready as we will ever be to receive our honoured guests. Stop in to RennyBA’s Terella and see how he has been preparing!

Before taking off and giving all my energy to OsloBG I had to take care of a bit of personal business as well. My oldest son just turned 22 and having moved to a new student apartment Renny and I promised him a much needed new bed for his birthday gift. So Justin and I took off for Ikea yesterday morning and ordered a new ‘little’ double bed for his room. He chose a simple but nice eik frame and good matresses which were delivered this afternoon, and three happy boys have sat on the floor assembling it all evening 🙂

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Vega vegetarian restaurant taken with Nokia X6

As thanks for his birthday gift my son took me out to his favorite Vegetarian restaurant, Vega in Oslo. For 100 norwegian krone, about 12.5 Euro you can get an all you can eat buffet of very good vegetarian and vegan food. The atmosphere is also quite charming. It is located in an old bathing house and retains a lot of its earlier charm. We were seated out in the back courtyard in an enchanting green environment.

Today was spent on my other son, Kyle. He starts school tomorrow and was sorely in need of a haircut. Something which has been neglected in all the business of the past few weeks. So I had no choice but to ring every salon I knew of to try and find an available stylist for him, and Eureaka I finally found one at my favorite salon in Oslo, Frisør M. He wasn’t entirely thrilled with me when I took this picture but then again its a parents job to embarass their children, builds character don’t you think!! And besides folks doesn’t he look cute!

Kyle_frisor2

Kyle gets a new 'do'

His lunch choice was much more simple then his brothers was yesterday. A simple guy with regular guy tastes his choice, Subway! Although Subway is an American restaurant we do have a few of them in Oslo and thier popularity seems to be growing. After the little reminder of what good subs they make, I can really understand why!

Subway_sub

Yummy Subway Club Sub

Well folks this is my last post before meeting the first of our guests tomorrow evening. Cross your fingers for us and follow along on both our blogs and on Facebook and Twitter as well!!

Meeting friends in Vigeland Park in Oslo

Well we are now back in Oslo. We have a lot of plans the next few days, not the least of which is getting ready for OsloBG! I am getting really nervous now!! In one week we will be welcoming lots of visitors to our home town of Oslo. All of which we know from our contact online, but few of which we have actually met in person. So we are in a great deal of suspence thinking about how all of this will go. We have the details well planned out now, but there is always a little touch of nervousness before one has guests, and when you have invited guests from all over the world to a four day long get together, well those butterflies are clearly extra large this time. Then again we have had an exciting summer so far with lots of visitors and arrangements and it has all gone well so far, so I just have to have faith!!

Video of Vigeland Sculpture Park in Oslo

We had another chance to practice a bit which went wonderfully. We went to Vigeland Sculpture Park in the heart of Oslo to meet a family from the UK who we have met through Facebook. Another great example of how social media is bringing people closer together. Anne-Marie started reading our blogs because they were interested in Norway. They have been here many times and were planning a trip this summer as well. After being in touch with us online they took a chance and asked if we could meet up while they were in the area. We were glad to have the opportunity to get to know new people and show them around our home.

I tossed some sandwiches and drinks in my bag and off we went to meet these nice strangers! And nice they were. A talkative group who were touring with three of their four children (their fourth was at home caring for the familes animals). We wandered around admiring the statues, the park, talking about Norway, Oslo, vacation and everything else under the sun. They had really great kids too, intellegent and easy to talk to. Within a short time we were all like all friends and the day just flew.

In fact time flew so quickly that I didn’t even take out my phone or camera to take any photos. I mean imagine that – me not taking any photos. Well I was busy talking all the time, guess that’s my excuse. So when I wanted to write about this post and share my day with you all I went on the net and found quite a good video on YouTube. It gives a really nice impression of Vigeland Park, which all our guest will be enjoying next week! Take a peek!