Monday, September 30, 2013

An apple a day

I like seasons, and I can definitely say that fall is one of my top 5. There is something about the crisp smell of drying leaves and warmer glow of the sun that is synonymous to new beginnings and fresh starts. Fruits are ripening, the colors are changing, and I’m starting my 6 month long cold. There are many things I adore about fall, but if I had to highlight one, it would be all the comfort eating this season seems to welcome. Creating that perfect, snuggable sweater body is challenging, but eating is one of my main hobbies so I know I’ll enjoy all that hard work.

Baking is also I hobby I enjoy, so I thought I would share the best apple pie recipe I know. For those of you generally interested in dough making, I’m revealing my revolutionary method of cutting cold butter into the flour, so prepare to be blown away.

This pie is best enjoyed on a stormy evening with a scoop of ice cream to the pleasure.

To the pleasure!

Apple Pie

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. sugar
3/4 tsp. kosher salt
1 cup unsalted butter, cubed 
6-8 tbsp. ice water

Mix flour, sugar, and salt.
Freeze the butter and grate it. Crumble with the flour mixture using your fingertips.
Gradually add water, tossing with a fork until dough stays together when pressed.
Divide in two portions, one bigger than the other. Wrap in plastic wrap and leave in the fridge for 1 hr.

5 Braeburn apples
4 Granny Smith apples
1/2 cup sugar
3 tbsp. lemon juice
2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
dash ground nutmeg
3 tbsp. unsalted butter, cubed
1 egg
2 tbsp. sugar

Peel and dice the apples.
Mix in a large bowl with sugar, lemon juice, flour, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

Roll out the biggest dough on a lightly floured surface and transfer to 9 in pie plate, brush edge with egg.
Fill with apple filling.
Dot with butter.
Roll out remaining dough to fit top of pie.
Cover pie with crust; trim, seal, and flute edges.
Cut slits in crust and decorate with hearts or leaves made from the dough scraps.
Brush with egg and sprinkle with sugar.
Bake at 425 F/ 220 C for 20 min, reduce heat to 375 F/ 190 C and bake for 50-60 min.
Cool on wire rack for 1 hr before serving.

The pictures were taken for my sister's blog and you should check it out if you like DIY.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Friday Facts: If boys are from Mars, I'm probably from Pluto

Friday fact: I don't trust cats and I don't really like them.

After just a couple of weeks of blogging, I realize that I can never show this blog to anyone I might potentially be interested in dating. The few things you know about me so far is that I like to eat (<3 Nutella), I physically abuse my boyfriends, and I tell strangers about my vagina. I also anticipate a lot more oversharing and all this is not something you want people to know before a first date. A good friend of mine's, who shall remain anonymous, reaction to my blog was that it was turning "graphic". Thanks Ty? This means that I probably should start adapting to the idea of becoming a crazy cat lady, which in turn means that I have to learn to like cats. It's not like I have anything against them in particular, but they are not to be trusted. One second they're all "rub my belly, silly human slave", but just a microsecond later they'll decide they are done. Dogs would at this point just walk away, cats impale your hand with their claws and teeth.

However, after some reflection I realize that it wouldn’t really make a difference anyways (It being if a guy I wanted to date saw my blog, in case you forgot after that tangent).

I'm a sucker for bad puns, add that to the list.

Here are a few highlights of my history with guys:

Why I'll end up a crazy cat lady.

1.   I never realize when I’m on a date. The amount of dates I’ve been on where I was unaware of the fact that it was a date is lower than the number where I knew I was on a date. (In case that sentence was confusing: I know it's a date < I don't know it's a date.) One time, I spent four hours at a café talking to a guy without realizing it was a first date. Another time, I was complaining about the shitty food at the dorms during lent and a guy asked if I wanted to go to a fish restaurant the following Friday, because he was going anyways. When I got here: BOOM, double date sneak attack. But really, is it a date when both parties are not aware of the fact? I think not.

2.   I think people hold my hand because they’re cold. When I was saying goodbye to the 4-hr-café-guy, he took my hand. In hindsight, I realize that he probably was leading up to kissing me goodbye. My reaction? "Wow, your hands are cold! And you have a really long walk home. Do you want to borrow my mittens?"

3.   I can’t understand the difference between a compliment and flirting. My friends tell me that if guys you don’t know compliment you on your clothes, they are flirting. This is apparently some sort of rule that all girls know but me. How am I supposed to know that when a guy compliments me on my awesome shoes, he is not really interested in the shoes. 
The only pic I could find, but you're intelligent people. You get the picture. Also, thses shoes are waterproof, pink with glitter, and everyone had them in 4th grade.
4.   I’m generally really bad at understanding when guys are interested. A US friend once asked me about the best way to ask out Norwegian girls. Even omitting the fact that I was the only Norwegian girl on campus, I probably should have understood that something was up. But he had to resort to a love letter and chocolate.

5.   Some people have a filter about what they share with strangers, I don’t. Two weeks ago, I was at a club for my friend’s bachelorette party. When a guy compliments my dress, I manage to reply: O"h thanks, I’m only wearing it because it’s long and I haven’t shaved my legs in weeks. It’s really bad, almost like its own ecosystem down there."

6.   It takes me way too long to realize I like someone. It took me about two months to realize that I had a major crush on a guy I was acquainted with. In that time, I had managed to go on a date (unaware of the fact that it was a date, I might add) with his best friend. This resulted in a lot of annoying drama, the highlight of which was the night they both tried to attack me with kisses and I refused because I’m a prude and don’t kiss people I haven’t consciously dated.

Tell me about your most embarrasing moments with the opposite gender so I don't feel like such a loser,


Thursday, September 26, 2013

It's Wednesday, trust me. Your calendar is lying.

If there is one thing I think we all can agree on, it’s that I’m an above average intelligent, likable, and generally awesome person with mad Oxford comma skills. We can also agree that the world is a place filled with wonders and mysteries. The thing is though, that because of this well above average intelligence, most of the mysteries are not that mysterious to me. If you ask me to explain the theory of relativity, I could easily do it. Or if you say "Merete, you wonderful human being, I don’t understand why one of these two equally large particles settle slower than the other!", I would use Stoke’s law to explain it . But if you asked me about quantum theory, I would gently sit you down and kindly say: “Hush hush, little puppy, don’t’ you worry your little brain about that. Here, take this coconut. His name is Quark and that’s all the quantum theory we’ll do today. Now, why don’t you and Quark go and play in the sandbox?” Not because I wouldn’t be able explain it, but because I would not want to explode your little brain. I’m nice like that.

Anyways, despite all of this, there is one thing I simply cannot understand. It’s one of the biggest mysteries of our time, and I would greatly appreciate it if any one of you could help me shed some light on tit: How do the Scots repopulate their country? In my lifetime, I’ve seen a substantial number of Scots: with and without bagpipes, with and without kilts, with and without underwear. I once even saw a Scottish pirate, complete with kilt and eye patch. But neither me, nor my friend Monica dared to touch him so no points for either of us. Which meant that Monica is still in the lead. Despite all the Scots I’ve met, I have never, as in never ever ever met a female Scott Like; I’ve almost been to Scotland, and still no females. (Almost as in close to the border.) And  if there are no females, how do they keep the Scottish uniqueness intact? How is the accent not watered down by the import-females they obviously have? So many questions!

Speaking of Scotland, I think that if I were to admit to my biggest weakness when it comes to the opposite sex, it would have to be accents. I had a huge crush on a guy in my class just because of his Boston accent. An Aussie can make me swoon no matter how refurnished his face is. An Frenchman speaking English to me? I’ll make him all the croissants he wants and croissants are a ton of work. But what really makes my underwear disappear like Nutella from my cupboard is a good ol’ fashioned Scottish accent.

I don’t really know where I’m going with this post, but if I had to conclude with anything, it would be this: I’m thankful that there are no females in Scotland, more Scots for me.

Cheeribye, (genuine Scottish greeting!)

Monday, September 23, 2013

Lazy Monday

I'm having a really bad case of the Mondays today. So I figured I would share some links that I like. I'm lazy and I like to embrace what makes me me. Link copy pasting = zero effort = more time to netflix. (It's a verb, don't worry.)

This is another gem form the creators of "The Fox", the Ylvis Brothers.

Been there, done that.

If I ever feel down, I go and re-read this post by the Bloggess.

These out of context Harry Potter quotes are truly giggle worthy.

Tumblr cracks me up. But in all seriousness, I'm so excited for series three, can't wait to find out what's the deal with the mustache.

Every time I helped the former boyfriend cleaning, I helped him get rid of his crocs. Sadly, he dug them out of the trash each time.

Please take my money, I live in a household where people steal their sister's break-up-ice-cream. Thanks, Cecilie.

And that's all for now folks. I'll be back with a real post Wednesday.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Friday facts: I think I might be the next David Attenborough, furr real. Part 1

Friday fact: I like things with fur, which is probably why I hardly ever shave my legs. It's not because I'm lazy, promise!
So, today I've compiled a list of some of the cool, furry animals I've seen.

The most exciting wild animals I’ve seen. Part 1

1.      Monkeys. In Kathmandu, monkeys were about as common as squirrels in Central Park. Monkeys are fun, because sometimes they look like people and other times people look like them. The one on the picture is called Herbert and he can be a little bitey. One of the things I’m really good at is imitating monekys, because I have a lot of experience. I practiced once a week for years and if you don’t believe me, check out my resume.

2.      Wild turkeys. When I first started dating the former boyfriend, we would see exciting wildlife every time we went for a longer drive. I was convinced it was one of the benefits of being in a relationship. I was pretty upset no one had told me about this, because then I could have found someone much earlier and seen way more cool shit. Just imagine, if I had been in a relationship in Nepal, I would probably have seen Bigfoot while trekking the Himalayas! It’s like there is this whole world that is excluded from the singles. A would full of foot rubs and exotic animals. Anyways, wild turkeys are funny because they’re ugly and that’s a fact.

3.     European mink. In the golden days of my childhood, minkswould sneak around our cabin on the west coast, looking for the fish heads we hadn’t eaten. I should probably clarify this a little: The fish heads my grandfather had not eaten. My grandfather had a much more frugal upbringing than me, because before we found oil, most people in Norway lived in houses with dirt floors. Although I'm a pretty tough viking myself, I'm nothing compared to thet generation. I would probably not have survived my early twenties and college without coffee. My grand father survived the war on coffee substitute made from roasted peas. He

      He claims that the head is the best part of the fish, but I know this is a lie, because his favorite part is the eye, the lens in particular. He sucks on it like it some delishious hard candy, before he after a while spits it out on his plate with a loud ping.

      My mother used to catch the fish head eating minks when she was young, drown them and sell the pelt. This might sound disturbing, but the fact that her father considers fish eyes candy makes her somewhat gruesome way of getting her hands on some cash very understandable. If clubbing baby seals was the only way for me to get chocolate, I would and enjoy it too.

4.      Reindeer. I included these mostly for the American audience, because they are quite common here and therefore not as exciting to spot. But more exciting than moose and deer, sothere’s that. Reindeer makes for scrumptious meals and their fur is excellent for boots and sitting. All in all a pretty decent animal
These are all over Norway.

5.       Musk oxes. I have a musk ox poo in my room, no shit y’all! I suspect that sounded way more impressive in my head. I’m glad I don’t have any readers, because I really don’t want to be “that crazy chick that brags about her musk ox poo” again. That period is a closed chapter of my life and I don’t want to talk about it.

That’s all for tonight, folks!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Tell the ones that need to know, I am heading north

Greetings from 170 degrees north! Today, I’m crossing the arctic circle, heading to the wild north for work. If all goes well, I’ll probably have some exciting stories to tell. If I survive, that is.

I had a very exciting morning today. My childhood friend Ingrid and I had breakfast at McDonald's. To most, this might not seem very exciting at all, but this was not possible a month back because the lack of breakfast foods sold at the golden arches. Along with traditional items such as McMuffins and McHashbrowns, the breakfast here in Norway includes local delicacies such as whole wheat rolls with brown cheese.

Norwegian breakfast at McDonald's. Disappointingly little deep fried yummyness.
Our mission this morning was not to eat any of the aforementioned food, but the wonderful McToast. This fabulous McD version of grilled ham and cheese was a lunch item during our early teens and edible nostalgia is for sure one of my favorite things. Our breakfast adventure had been perfect, if it had not been for the fact that we were almost killed from a toxic gas. Or so we thought until we realized it was two 15 year olds that must have showered in Abercrombie and Fitch perfume minutes before. How else would they be able to overpower the smell of McDonalds and reach us sitting 5 m away?

I promise I’ll have more to tell Friday, but I really have to get to bed now.
Also, ten point to anyone who recognize the song in the title.


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

It was a dark and stormy night...

Imagine this:

It’s a dark and stormy autumn evening and two sisters and their friends have gathered to watch their latest VHS: Pippi Goes on Board. Only a large window pane separates them from the wet leaves and wind of the forest behind the house. A forest that come spring will provide creeks and puddles galore, during summer the perfect backdrop for wild adventures, and in the winter a great place to spot moose, deer, and other wildlife that wade thought the snow to munch the sheaf of grains put out for the birds. The girls’ attention is focused on the flickering lights of the television depicting the pranks of Pippi and not on the gloomy trees. Which is why they don’t notice the creeping shadow closing in on the house until it’s almost too late. A dim reflection disrupts the image of pirates on the tv set and catches a girl’s attention. The little yelp is all it takes for the groups’ focus to switch to the window. Moving towards them is something big and white. Something they’ve only heard of in fairytales and stories: It’s a charging ghost! The sound level and commotion is something that nowadays can only be seen when Justin Bieber arrives at a concert, but these screams are not screams of joy. Amidst the terror, two sisters remain calm and stoic, not due to bravery or stupidity, but the fact that they are the daughters of the woman under the sheet and more than used to her antics.
Happy birthday to the best mom I’ve ever had! It’s the memories that cause posttraumatic stress disorder that are also the best stories, and you sure have provided me with plenty.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Friday Facts: Go shawty, it is friday!

Friday fact: I’m vertically challenged.
Being short is not something I have a huge issue with, but it sure can be inconvenient. Like that time I showed up for my first day of classes in 11th grade at new school, and a teacher was sure I had gone to the wrong assembly and took me to the 8th grade class. Being mistaken for a 13 year old when you’re 16 does not happen to people with a normal altitude as frequently, I’m sure. Or dealing with the new game my brothers have invented, which involves putting all my stuff at places where I can’t reach them. Great fun for the whole family! I would be more upset, if it weren’t for the fact that every time we enter a plane, their eyes are full of envy.
The ups and downs of being short
1.    You can’t reach things.
Con: Few things are more awkward than having to jump to reach things in stores. Or forgetting that you are poor and your dress is therefore poorly made, so when you reach for things on high shelves you are simultaneously preforming a little strip tease.
Pro: Ever needed a reason to talk to that tall, handsome stranger in the canned goods isle? Short solution!
2.    You see everything from a different perspective
Con: Constantly looking up stranger’s noses. Not cleaning the dust that the rest of the world clearly sees before dinner parties.
Pro: You can find things other people can’t find
3.    People see you from a different perspective
Con: Baldness or dandruff is more apparent.
Pro: Your face looks skinnier when seen from above.
4.    Difficult to find clothes that fit
Con: Normal clothes never fit and they never have your size. I’ve yet to find a maxi dress I can wear without stilettoes.
Pro: You can find some great deal at sales and sometimes you can even find things in the children’s section. Money saved = money to spend on much needed stools
5.    People treat you like a child because you are fun sized
Con: Terrible in business-situations, especially combined with the voice of a mouse and a baby face.
Pro: None, because the insult of being allowed to pay children’s fares at 25 is greater than the economic benefit
6.    Being shorter than everyone around you
Con: You never see anything at concerts or parades and if you have even a slight tendency of claustrophobia, crowds are terrifying without heels. I would say that the main reason I ever wear heels out is so I don’t get trampled.
Pro: You fit where others won’t. And it’s easier to hide, which would be super convenient if you are ever chased or stalked.
7.    Awkward photos:
Con: A close up of a short and a tall person either looks really weird or one of the participants has to stand at a weird angle. It’s easy for your brothers to crop photos so it looks like your date went alone, which is not a great way to welcome someone into the family, Håkon.
Pro: It’s funny.
Here is the picture that I sent my brother for him to show the family:

Me with ridiculously tall shoes and ridiculously tall boyfriend

Here is what he showed the family:
Look at that looser, no date!

A few more hours of work, and then I'm off the the mountains!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Science, y'all.

Hey guys,
I sort of forgot that yesterday was Wednesday… Sorry! You see, I’m taking a family vacation this week and you know how easily days get mixed up when on a holiday. By family vacation I don’t mean that I’m on a holiday with the fam, rather, I’m taking a vacation from living with my family. Don’t get me wrong, I love my family more than Nutella (maybe), but after moving out six years ago, moving back home has been quite the challenge. Sharing a bathroom with two teenaged boys is one thing I would suggest being added to the list of punishments that can be court ordered for minor offences. So, when my sister gave me the opportunity to use her apartment for a week, I jumped on it like a bear on a trampoline.

Since Tuesday, I’ve been enjoying a sloth like relaxation like no other. You never really know how tense the threat of suddenly being picked up and moved to a different location can make you, until it’s no longer there. Ah, the joys of having gigantic sized, younger brothers.

Solitude leads to reflection, which leads to important scientific discoveries. Behold: the evolution of chocolate:

And that’s all for now,

Monday, September 9, 2013

With the blink of an eye, the term Fire Crotch got a whole new meaning

Hello all!

Since it’s Monday and all, I felt it appropriate to talk a little about regrets, especially post-week-end regrets. The most recent of my regrets is not putting on proper, padded biking pants before biking 40 km on dirt roads on a bike with no suspension and a seat adjusted for people with legs of a normal length. I don’t know quite how to explain the discomfort I’m feeling today, but let’s just say that if I wasn’t a virgin before, I sure am now… (Also, I hope you noticed the very sneaky way I dropped my extreme sportiness here; Merete, the Queen of Humblebrags. And while I’m at it, I also ran 7 km this week end. And ate McDonald’s, I’m not a robot.)

My point is that it is ok to do things you regret, as long as you learn from them. The lesson learned this week end: Don’t go on a short ride with your friend without clearly defining “short”. In addition to the great life lesson, I also got lingonberries and the experience of almost being attacked by a cow out of it, which is a decent deal for not being able to sit today.

And while I’m on this handing out life lessons roll, I want to add one that might save you a lot of pain. And with “a lot” I mean “all the pain you have”. Girls of the Internet:

If you ever cut fresh chili peppers, no matter how many times your hands have been washed and how many hours have passed that day, do not, and I repeat DO NOT attempt to insert one of those non-applicator tampons. As it turns out, it is very, very tricky to rinse out your vagina. According to the mighty Wikipedia, vaginal irrigation (oh yeah, that’s a thing) can be achieved by using a douche bag. Sadly, the only douche bag I know of is my ex... Wikipedia, you let me down and I'm very disappointed in you.
So, if you ever have to choose between a chili tampon or no tampon and white pants while meeting the president on live tv, chose the latter.

(Disclaimer: The ex mentioned here is not the one I talked about a few weeks ago. That one was and is an angel.)
You are welcome,

Friday, September 6, 2013

Friday Facts

Friday fact: America has made some really grand and important contributions to the world.

When I was musing earlier this week about the wonders of American junk food it made me remember a list I made while living in Michigan. I know it’s sort of short and all, but honestly, that is not my fault.
America’s greatest contributions to mankind

1.  Barbecue sauce.  This one is pretty self-explanatory. If I could, I would barbecue sauce every meal and my life would be glorious.

2.  Turing right at a red light. The fact that the rest of the world has not embraced this is very baffling. So is the fact that you guys hardly have any roundabouts, but that is besides the point.

3.  Baseball. Sure sure, baseball is a great sport and America’s past time activity and all that, but I’ve yet to completely understand it. The reason it made this list is simple: baseball pants. Not to give you the wrong impression of me or anything, but a baseball player wearing good fitting pants could pitch from my mound any day. (Did this even make sense? Baseball is the game where they pitch right?) I mean, this is a completely legitimate action, and those guys aren’t even wearing the super pants.

4.  Sliced bread. Disclaimer: I’m not 100% sure that America made this, nor do I think it really deserves a place on this list, but I felt the list was a little too short, and the world seems to think that sliced bread is the greatest thing there is. If it was up to me, the expression would read: “The greatest thing since baseball pants”

Do you have any additions to the list? It does need some padding.


Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Candy Crush

Clearly, my promise was worth nil and yet another week goes by where I fail at this blogging thing. I can only try and justify it by saying that my life nowadays is pretty unexciting. I had to make attend a conference in Bergen, and as I sat through presentation after presentation, the one drier than the next, I started getting really bad cravings. Cravings for crunchy Cheetos and white cheddar popcorn, neither of which we have here in Norway. If there is one thing that I believe you Americans don’t appreciate enough, it’s your vast assortment of junk food. It’s probably one of those things it’s really hard to appreciate when you’ve never known anything else. Like how kids nowadays can never truly appreciate being on the phone and the internet at the same time.

When I grew up, we only got candy and sweets on Saturdays and birthdays. Like any kid, I hungered for all things sweet and I remember occasionally stealing spoonfuls of brown sugar from the cupboard with some of my braver friends, because the weekly ration of five gummy bears and three squares of chocolate would not suffice. (If you’re reading this mum: I’m just making this up so my new friends will think I’m cool, promise!) Come to think of it, I’m pretty sure my parents scammed us kids out of basically all the good things in life. When my sister was 9 and I was 7, we went a year without eating any candy at all. The prize we got: An electric toothbrush that we had to share with our younger brothers. I’m pretty sure kids aren’t supposed to work for the right to brush their teeth effectively. (We didn’t have to share the brush, only the thing that made them move. I felt I had to clarify that, they might have been cheapos, but my parents did have some sense of basic hygiene.)

With this history of sugar denial, it might not come as a surprise that the smallest amount will send me into a sugar high that I imagine can only be compared to a squirrel on crack. And with the wide assortments of sugary products available in the US, I’m surprised I even survived. For those of you unaware, in America they have something called toaster pastries: flat, pie-like foodstuffs, filled with sugar camouflaged with an artificial flavor and frosted with sugar that you can heat in your toaster (Yum!). These are categorized as breakfast food, together with treats such as donuts, waffles, and pancakes! In America, most desserts can be camouflaged as breakfast some way or another. (Cupcake= dessert. Cupcake - frosting = muffin = breakfast!)

Being used to fruit salads being served with a splash of orange juice as a dressing if you were lucky, imagine my surprise when I all the fruit I was served was covered in syrup, marshmallows fluff, or caramel. It was heaven! I’m pretty sure I spent the majority of my first semester wandering around the junk food section of the local grocery store (all of it, minus the produce section). Crayola colored cheese in cans (unintentional alliteration, high-five me!) and puddings with flavorings varying from the basic chocolate to cake batter, so many were the wonders of Wal-Mart.

I would love to go on about all the other deliciousness I now have to live without, but that will have to wait. I'm feeling peckish for some reason, if you need me, I'll be by the fridge.

Bon appétit!