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What you will need for the dough:

  • 1 kg all purpose flour (you can mix flour types if you want)
  • 6 dl lukewarm water
  • 2 dl olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 bag of dry yeast (Or use active yeast if you have that)

For ‘toppings’:

  • Some olive oil to drizzle on top
  • Sea salt flakes
  • Rosemary if you’re into that, I’m not.

Bake at 200 degrees Celsius for 30-45 minutes.

How to do it:

Combine the water and oil at first. It will likely not mix but try to do it anyways. Then combine the dry ingredients, make sure that the yeast gets distributed evenly into the flour. Slowly pour the dry ingredients into the water and oil mixture, don’t mix it too hard because you want it to be a loose dough, not a tightly kneaded one. Once they’re mixed, I’d recommend rubbing some oil between your hands before gently kneading the dough. The recipe I used said to pull the dough out and tuck it into the middle until it becomes smooth-ish. After that, leave it to rise for an hour, or until it has doubled in size. I left mine for two and a half hours, partially because I forgot about it. The bowl I used was covered by plastic and a kitchen towel, it’s just bare for the picture.

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After it has finished rising, dump it onto a baking tray, either one that is oiled up or use a baking sheet beneath it to avoid it from sticking to the tray. Gently press it down to spread it out and shape it into however you want it to look and then leave it to rise again for another half hour. I’d recommend starting to pre-heat your oven to 200 degrees Celsius at this point. After that, gently press your finger into the dough here and there, drizzle some oil, salt and whatever else you want on it and put it in the oven.

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Let it bake for 30-45 minutes, depending on how thick it is then take it out and let it rest and cool down for a while. Cut it into pieces and serve. If you don’t eat or use it all at once, you can definitely freeze it and reheat it in the oven whenever you want. It has worked really well for me, at least, because I can’t possibly finish all of this on my own.

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Have you tried making focaccia before? How did it go? 

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A day of self reflection

November 23, 2017 — 5 Comments

This was an interesting day. We woke up to a lot of snow here in little old Norway, as you can see in the picture below. It made me dread going out for the day because no matter how prepared the snowplow people seem to be, they can never stay on top of keeping the roads driveable. Today was no different.

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I really wanted to just stay at home and not deal with the snow but I had to go do some Self management coursework. The course is in ten parts, each focusing on different things you can improve in your work place. This includes things like time management, finding your strengths and weaknesses, figuring out what gives you the best “flow” at work (through challenging yourself and making sure you do things at your required level of difficulty) and other things that can be relevant for you. I think it’s really interesting to put things in perspective, figure out just what it is that I do and figuring how to do it better. The course is all about finding your strengths and making them better instead of focusing on what you’re not good at.

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Half way through I was treated to lunch by my work consultant and I opted for a vegan meal. I just put together an easy salad at the salad bar, and the chefs had made focaccia bread and it was so juicy and good. I definitely won’t mind having that next time I have to attend more coursework stuff.

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I feel like I learned a lot, although I’m only halfway through the course, but I’m also looking forward to doing the rest and learning more skills I can put to use in a future work situation. It is of course helpful during my work experience program too since I am in an actual workplace, I’m just paid by the state while I’m there instead of the actual employer. Either way, any chance of self reflection is a good one, don’t you think?

Have you learned anything new lately? 

A very (n)ice cream.

November 8, 2017 — 12 Comments

Nice cream? What?

One of my favorite discoveries this year is Nice cream. Nice cream is basically the vegan version of ice cream and it can be made with as little as just one ingredient. All you need is some frozen banana and that’s pretty much it! You can add in any kind of extra ingredients that you want. Some popular varieties include peanut butter, pineapple or chocolate chips.

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I prefer to eat mine plain, simply because I love the taste of bananas, or now and then I add in some peanuts. Something to remember though is that you should use very ripe bananas to make the mashing process easier, and cutting it up in smaller pieces before freezing them. I use a hand mixer to make it but using a blender or a nutribullet kind of thing could work well too. Just blend it into your preferred consistency and transfer it to portion sized boxes or whatever kind of container you want to keep them in. You can put it in the freezer for about an hour after making it for a better consistency or just leave it in there and thaw it later on when you want to eat it.

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I love Nice cream because it has so many options for customization, its totally dairy free and pretty much anyone could eat it, unless you’re allergic to bananas of course. It’s also very easy to make, and it takes just a few minutes to use the hand mixer or blender. The most time consuming part is waiting for the bananas to become frozen. Have you tried Nice cream before? What did you think of it? 

Preparing for the holidays?

November 6, 2017 — 1 Comment

Holiday

For many, me included, Christmas is the most stressful time of the year. It feels like no matter what you do to prepare, it is never enough, or you always end up forgetting something vital. I try my best to write lists, to plan what I need to do down to every detail, but even then I still end up forgetting something I shouldn’t.  Anyways, I wanted to share some of the type of lists I make and pretty much reuse year after year, just changing some minor details to make it work.

One: Christmas gift list

I write down all of the people I give gifts or other things to, whether it’s the full on Christmas gifts or acquaintances that I send Christmas cards to. I have columns for names, if its gifts or cards, what I did or will buy for them and the estimated price. I sum everything up at the bottom to make sure it’s still affordable and so that I can put aside the right amount of money for it. I always try not to go overboard, and I keep previous lists to make sure I dont end up giving them something I already have. Some things are convenient to receive again, but most gifts are like a one-time-thing.

Two: Gift supplies

I always need to have cute wrapping paper, cute ribbons to make bows with, tape, a good pair of scissors, small greeting cards to put on the wrapped gifts and glitter if needed. I always want gifts to look really neat, but also cozy and hand wrapped at the same time, if you get what I mean. I don’t think it would be as nice if it looked as if a machine had wrapped it for you, it kinda needs to show that you did it yourself. I have a list with everything I need that I keep in my wallet during the holidays so I can always remember to purchase what I need if I run out of it.

Three: Food stuff

Preparing for a Christmas feast is never easy. Everyone wants different things to drink, not everyone wants the same food. Some people are vegetarian, some have food allergies, some are just picky and the list goes on. Reaching out to those who will join you for your Christmas dinner to get to know their dietary needs is very important! I have experienced before that I have been invited to a dinner, and when the day comes, they haven’t taken into count that I can’t have soy or dairy even if I have told them. It’s not fun for them, and not fun for me so I try to lead with a good example when I am the host. After food and drinks comes dessert, what would be appropriate to serve after such a heavy dinner? I tend to serve some sort of fruit cocktail and a whipped cream of sorts, it’s light enough that people will want to eat it. I also have a lot of different types of Christmas cookies that they can help themselves to whenever.
I have a basic list of items I will generally need that I reuse from year to year. New people aren’t often added to the dinner parties so the content of the list rarely changes. It’s more likely for someone to pass away than to be added in.

And that’s basically the three most important categories for me during the holidays. The fourth would probably be clothing, since I always want to look my best. I’m not too big of a fan of flashy clothing but it should look neat at least.

How do you deal with holiday preparations? Do you wait until last minute or are you planning ahead? 

I think banana is my favorite flavor..

It has always been so ever since my youth. Sadly I haven’t found a lot of genuinely good (or healthy) banana flavored things, mostly sweets or gummies. I’m not too keen on sweet foods all the time, and I love making those kind of breakfast muffin things, where you add in veggies or pizza filling, so when I saw this recipe advertised as a ‘breakfast muffin’ I was really happy. The original recipe wasn’t vegan because it had milk in it, but I can’t have dairy so for me it is now vegan by replacing the milk with an oat based cream that pretty much has the same properties as regular dairy cream. You could probably just use any other milk replacement too like almond milk, soy milk or rice milk. I just prefer the oats because it doesn’t really add any flavor.

The best thing about these is that they’re so simple to make! The only thing that takes time is mashing the bananas, and the baking itself, honestly.

Here’s what you need:

This recipe should make at least 12 fairly large muffins. Bake at 200° Celsius for 16-19 minutes.

  • 210 grams of flour
  • 160 grams of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • Half a teaspoon of salt
  • 50 ml vegetable oil ( I used rapeseed oil, or canola oil as it’s also known as.)
  • 50 ml of cream or a milk replacement (milk if you don’t care if it’s vegan or not)
  • 3 medium bananas ( I used four because mine were on the smaller side)
  • (optional) Vanilla extract

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Here’s how to do it:

Start off by using a blender, hand mixer or stick mixer to turn your bananas into a puree of sorts. I cut mine into pieces and used a stick mixer to make it a smooth, lump-less mixture. Make sure to make it completely smooth as the lumps could make your muffin be all doughy after it finished baking.

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Add inn the 50 ml of oil and the 50 ml of cream, stir it all together. It might seem like a lot of oil but you won’t notice it at all after mixing in the dry ingredients.

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Add in the sugar, the baking powder, baking soda, salt and lastly the flour. Make sure to add it a little bit at a time to avoid having any lumps forming. I just used a spatula to gently stir it all together.

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Your batter should look something like this. It’s not too thick but not too thin. You can adjust it however you wish it to be by either adding more flour or more of the cream. I wouldn’t recommend adding water to it since we have used so much oil.

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Use either a muffin tin or paper muffin holder things like these. I’m not really sure what they are called in English.. Fill them up a little bit over half way, the batter should be enough for at least 12 muffins. I ended up with 17, so I guess my muffin paper thingies were a bit smaller than normal. Once you’re done, pop them in the oven and let them bake for around 16 to 19 minutes. Mine were in for 20 and was a bit burnt near the edges.

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Once they’re done, they should look somewhat like these. Leave them on a cooling rack, and then you can add toppings to it or just eat it clean like I did, it tastes so good and so savory!

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Have you baked anything lately? 

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