Classic: Spagbol


Spagetti bolognese must be one of the most common meals in the Western world. It is definitely a staple in this house.

A favourite among the boys. I make it lean, with whole grain pasta. And I hide in some ekstra veg. But when I say hide, I mean add flavour. I've managed to convince Big Brother that onion and green herbs in his food makes it taste better. He accepts this argument. Still.

This recipe goes on to being lasagna, but then I usually double it for the leftovers sake.

For a family of four:


400-600 grams lean ground beef (5% fat)
A couple of carrots depending on size
1 onion
3 cloves of garlic
A handful of whatever herbs you have in the garden. I used flatleaf parsley, oregano, basil and thyme.
2 tins of tomatos
1 cube of boullion (organic without MSG)

Brown off the mince. I just put it in a dry pan. Once brown, add finely chopped onion, and grated carrot. While you have the grater out just grate those garlic cloves on the fine side. I add a little freshly ground pepper too at this stage.


While the beef and veg hang out, go on your steps (or wherever else you keep your fresh herbs) and just decide on using a mix of all your herbs. Add the herbs and buillion to the mix. Stir around and open the two tins of tomato.


I make a well in the center of my sautee pan and pour in the tomatos. Then I mash them with my potato masher. I don't like big bits of tomato in my spagbol.

Mix it in and add a huge dollop of ketchup, a little squeeze of chilli sauce (I use the kind with the green top from all Asian supermarkets). Add sugar to taste to round it all off. This combo really makes everything come together and not just taste of watery tomatos.


Serve with your favourite pasta. I like whole grain. Heating up your home made babyfood in with the pasta is optional.

Babyfood and Pasta


Meat and Two Veg

There's no croud pleaser like meat, potatoes and a creamy sauce of some kind. And if I want to please Big Man, this is what I make (even though I wanted that beef salad).

As for greens, asparagus just does it for me. The texture, the colour the crunch. Coupled with some honey and butter. Ahhh.

There. Both happy.

Superduper potatoes

Amandine potatoes or other small yummy ones
Olive oil
Herb of choice (I used thyme, Big Man hates rosemary)
S and P

Hot (250 degrees) oven on fan. 10 to 15 minutes depending on size.

Saucy Beef

Then brown some mushies and beef strips (as I had only really bought enough for salad) and as much creme frache as you like. Salt and pepper. My "secret" is to add a good glug of sweet chili sauce and ketchap manis (sweet soy sauce) at the end.

Crunchy Asparagus

Clean up a bunch of asparagus. Break off the end where it snaps. Lay out in a sauté pan and add boiling water halfway up the stems. Let boil up briskly and add a knob of buter and a squeeze of honey.

Now try to put it all on a plate in an appetizing way. Looks a little like this.

Now put away the camera and eat while it's hot.


Recycled Recipie: Spring Rolls

Fold one side

Make your own healthy spring rolls with this step by step recipe.

We started making these in our family more than 15 years ago. I've developed, redeveloped and morfed them into a variation of the recipe posted.

I've never deep fried them as I hate how it stinks up the house. Instead I brush them with a little oil and bake them in a hot oven. Healthier that way too.

And I always just add whatever I have in the fridge of vegies, prawns or chicken. It all tastes good rolled up. I might just make these tonight.



Quickie: Grain Salad

Bulgur Mix

I call this a salad, but technically it's hot. I make it all the time, usually with quinoa. Sometimes bulgur or barley. Whatever I have at hand really.

While the grains cook (usually two parts water to one part grain) I fry up some mushrooms in a dry pan. When they are brown I season with salt and pepper and add whatever else I like in it.

Some kind of nut. Walnuts or pistachios. Cranberries are always nice. Whatever herb I have at hand (rocket salad is good too). Sugar snaps (if I havn't eaten them all before they hit the pan). Spring onions.

Then I add the freshly cooked grains, olive oil and lemon juice. Extra salt and pepper.

That's it. And it's totally yummy.


The Perfect Vinaigrette

Season Salad

For a long time in Norway the standard dressing given to you is Thousand Island. A pink goup that tastes of nothing. Usually over a salad made of chinese cabbage, cucumber, red capsicum and sweetcorn. You'll still get it in certain establishments. And both Brother and Dad are partial to it.

But the dressing that I always turn to is the vinaigrette. It's variable, it's quick, it's fresh, and so easy.

The basics are simple. You need sour, spicy, sweet and oil. Sour can be a citrus juice or any kind of vinegar. The spicy can be mustard, wasabi or pepper root. Sweet can be in the vinegar (like balsamic) or honey, sugar, maple syrup or any other sweetness you prefer. Salt, pepper, herbs, garlic, shallots -you name it- can be added for flavour.

If I'm dressing the whole salad I usually just make this in the bottom of my bowl before I add the salad. If I'm not sure that everyone wants dressing I just shake it together in an old jam jar.

For a traditional vinaigrette for four:

1 teaspoon mustard (I use Dijon)
The juice of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon honey
Good oil (I use extra virgin olive) to taste
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Pop all the ingredients in a jar and shake. The mustard acts as an emulsifier and thickens it. If you make it on the bottom of the bowl whisk the oil into the other ingredients in a thin stream.

I like my dressing on the tarter side, and so I don't use that much oil. You can also replace some of the oil with water.


Rhubarb Cake


I think you can make this anytime with whatever fruit or berry is in season. It's basically just a sponge with fruit. I bet it's great with plums, or blueberries.

You'll need:

500 g rhubarb
3 eggs
2,5 dl sugar
175 g butter
2,5 dl hvetemel
0,5 ts baking powder


Clean and cut the rhubarb and suger them a little letting them hang out and juice.

Whisk up the eggs and sugar into soft peaks. Add the butter melted and fold in sifted dry ingredients.

Pour into a greased cake tin and pile the cut up rhubarb on top, spreading it out and pushing them into the dough. Sprinkle cinnamon on top, and bake for 40 to 50 minutes in a 175 degrees celcius oven.

Rhubarb Cake

Serve warm with ice cream or vanilla kesam.


Cinnamon and Chocolate Knots


I decided to make these for the first time last week. And look how they turned out. Looks like any idiot can make gorgeous baked goods (and by idiot I mean me :-)).

I was no good at, and scared of, baking with yeast untill I got my Kitchen Aid for Christmas. When Big Man presented me with such an expensive gift I decided that it was not going to go to waste. It hasn't.

I found myself explaining some of the principles of baking to the Baby Girls while they were peeling off layers of chocolately-cinnamonly-yumminess. The last six months I've got it. I understand yeast, dry and fresh. I understand gluten. I understand kneading (or not). I understand proofing and raising.

Now. This recipe is by no means mine. As I always do when I want to bake I've turned to Trine. And I've followed hers almost to the dot. Original recipe here.

Tasty Turns

900-1000 grams flour
5 dl tepid milk
50 grams yeast
150 grams sugar
1 teaspoon cardamom
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg
150 grams butter, diced

200 grams finely chopped dark chocolate
5 tablespoons brown sugar
100 grams soft butter
2-3 teaspoons cinnamon

Mix all the ingredients for the dough together. Hold off a little flour, and the butter. Let the dough work in your kitchen machine for ten minutes adding the rest of the flour as needed. When the dough lets go of the sides of the bowl add the butter cubes one by one (fairly quickly). The dough is ready when all the butter is incorporated.

Let it rise for at least an hour. The dough should be at least double in size.

Drop on a floured surface and divide in two. Roll out the first ball into a rectangle about 1 cm thick and spread half your chocolate mix on half of the rectangle. Fold the other half over (the chocolate is now in the middle. Cut the dough in strips of about 3 cm wide, stretch them a little, twist and tie in a knot. (Trine has great pictures of this over here). These make approximately 27 knots.

Lay the knots out on a baking tray with greese proof paper. Repeat with the other half of the dough and filling. Brush with eggwash and let them all rise again to double size. Bake for 15 minutes (pluss/minus depending on your oven) at 225 degrees celcius.

If you have any left they freeze well as soon as they are cool. I reaheated mine (thawed out) for five minutes at 150 dregrees.

Take Away

Eat (and try not to repeat).


Fish Friday


When I was younger Dad would always make us eat fish on Good Friday. He's not Catholic, but it's just his Aussie thing.


I spent my late teens and early twenties as a vegeterian. During that period I would stray to eating fish if it was self caught. Being a vegie was a sustainability thing for me, and I reckoned self caught was as sustainable as it gets.


This is a Dad fish too. A trout. He is a specialist fisherman see. He knows where to get the good ones. He gave me a cod too.


I like to stuff my trout. Herbs and lemon, and just salt, pepper and a little butter. Wrap it up in some tin foil and bake it in the oven for about 20 to 30 minutes (depending on the size of the fish) at about 220 degrees.


And eat steaming hot. Forgetting to take a picture.


Recycled Recipie: Chook

Sunday Roast

Roasted chicken is an Aussie staple and something I really don't make enough. Splurge on a corn fed or organic happy chook. Tastes better, and also feels a little better.


No Need to Knead Bread


Yup, it's the famous no knead bread. I think it started in the New York Times in 2006, and today it's all over the blogosphere. Don't even know if I should post a recipe, or just share my experiences. It really was my introduction into baking bread. And what bread! This is the way to make impressive and yummy loafs with super crust in a very easy way.

The principle of the bread is to cook a cold prooved dough with very little yeast in a hot cast iron pot. The combination is magical structured bread. I've made it with spelt and normal flour. Wholegrain, but never white (not so keen). But my fave was the one above. Full of seeds. We love seeds in this house.

For you Norwegians Trine is the holy grail of no knead bread goodness. She's posted loads of recipies, and I just suggest that you find the one that suits you.

Mine has evolved into a whole grain bread full of seeds.

200 grams flour
350 grams wholegrain rough flour
150 grams sunflower seeds
50 grams linseeds
1,5 teaspoon seasalt
5 dl water
1/2 teaspoon dry yeast

You just mix up all the ingredients the day before into a wet dough. I put my bowl on the scales and reset it for the different ingredients. You keep the liquid cold, and mix quicly with a wooden spoon. You don't need your mixer and it only takes a few minutes to mix up (the internet is full of videos how to do this). Cover it with some cling film, or a lid and leave it for 12 to 18 hours.

Next day empty the dough onto a sheet of baking paper. It can be foured, but I cover it with sunflower seeds. The dough will oooze out to the sides, but fold it over itself as many times till it tightens up and fits your pot. Proof for another 2 hours on your bench with clingfilm over.

Heat up yor oven to 250 degrees with your pot (and lid) in it. You want the pot scorching hot (use oven mittens). I use my Le Cruset, and I even have a special top that can deal with all the heat (the normal lids take only up to 190 degrees, learned this the hard way).

Hot Pot

Flop the bread into the pot and shake into place. Put the lid on and bake for half an hour. Take the lid off and bake for another 15 minutes (total 45 minutes). Empty the bread onto a cooling rack, and give it a little knock on the bottom. It should sound hollow.

.... and it's a cround pleaser.



Protein Pancakes

Saturday Morning Spread

This is a usual sight on a Saturday or sunday morning in our house. And a favourite with Big Brother. He joins in and does the mixing


These pancakes are made with something called kesam.

I don't know what the equivalent is in English, but it's a low fat soft cheeze. It can be very low fat (0,1%) or just low (8%). It tastes like a mix between yoghurt and sour cream and can be used in the same way for dips, dressings, pies you name it. It's high in protein, and so it fills you up, and keeps you keeps full longer than with normal pancakes.

It also reacts with bicarb and makes baked goods rize perfectly and is so good for these pancakes that can be breakfast or dessert.

For approx 12 pancakes you'll need:

1 box of kesam (300 g)
1/2 to 1 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
4 eggs
Approx 1 dl sugar
Approx 3 dl flour

Mix kesam and bicarb and let it bubble up a little. Add the eggs and sugar and mix well. Now add the flour. You want a thick batter that holds it own, and can be spooned onto the pan.


Fry on a medium to hot heat. If you have a non-stick pan you don't need any butter. Use a serving spoon to spoon on the mix, and have patience to wait till bubbles form in the batter, and the top has a layer of "film" on it. Flip, and cook untill golden on the other side.

IN the Pan

We just eat whatever we feel like on them. I like blueberries and vanilla kesam or butter and maple syrup, Big Brother likes them with butter. Big Man sometimes puts salami (?) on them.

Butter and Maple

And if you have some left over (we usually do) then you can reheat them in the toaster. Soooooo good.


Ode to Strawberries

Summer Colours

To all you red, juicy, plump, sweet, sunsoaked, nutricious, tender, gorgeous berries in Dad and Dad in Laws gardens: Ripen up already!

I'm waiting.




The breakfast staple in our house. After I started making these Big Brother refuses to eat store bought bread.

Again it's the trusty Trine that got me baking these. I can really thank her for my whole interest in baking bread and rolls. That and my trusty Kitchen Aid.


(Original recipe here)

Grainy Rolls

Step 1
100 grams oats
50 grams sunflower seeds
25 grams lin seeds
25 grams sesame seeds
2,5 dl hot water

Step 2
200 grams rough wheat flour
150 grams rough rye flour
Approx 500 grams flour
1 teaspoon seasalt
30 grams fresh yeast or 1 bag of dry yeast
3 dl tepid milk
3 dl tepid water
1 teaspoon honey

Step 1: Mix the grains and add the hot water in your mixing bowl. Let cool while you get together the dry ingredients.

Step 2: Add all the flour mix (hold some back for adjusting) to the mixture. If you are using fresh yeast mix it in with the milk/water/honey. I usually make the mix tepid by using hot water and cold milk. Dry yeast can go in with the dry ingredients. Add the liquids too.

Now here's the trick. Let your stand mixer do all the work, and let it work the dough for 10 minutes adjusting the rest of the flour so that the dough is sticky, but still lets go of the sides of your bowl.


Put some cling film over your bowl and forget about the dough for an hour or so (untill it grows over the sides).


Divide the dough into two and add to your worktop dusted with flour. This is where I mamke it easy easy. I just roll it out like a thick pizza dough (approx 1-2 cm depending on how high you like your rolls) and cut it with my pizza cutter. Half the dough makes 12 squares. Then I use a spatula to transfer them onto trays.

Then just paint over whisked egg and add the seeds you like. I use sunflower, sesame, poppy and pumpkin seeds.

Let them rest for another hour or so, or untill they double in size, and bake at 220 degrees for 13-15 minutes. We underbake them a little so that we can freeze them and reheat them for fresh goodnes every day.