Sunday, October 28, 2012

Baking my way through the rain and cold

Fall is here and the chill is in the air.  We even got some snow this last week.  I can't think of a better way to cozy up and stay warm than to bake delicious treats.  I grew up with 3 sisters and a mom, all of whom love being in the kitchen.  I learned from a young age how to bake and cook.  There is something about baking a loaf of bread or a nice chocolate cake that calms you and puts a smile on your face.  I seem to think it's the smell of it baking in the oven, then the taste of it after its done:)  No matter what it is, it's always tastier when it's fresh!!!

I have a mini kitchen in Norway with minimal baking supplies (that means, no bread pans, no measuring cups and no thermometer). To add to that, as I have mentioned, groceries are expensive.  Therefore, it is a difficult hobby.  Or, I suppose you can call it a challenge and great experiment. Almost everything came out amazing.

What did I try???

Homemade yogurt (my new favorite)

This was really very simple.  Basically, you heat milk on a double boiler until it is nearly boiling (180 degrees), then cool it to 110 degrees.  Then you add some yogurt with live cultures, mix and let sit for 8 hours.  In the morning...yogurt!! And to make it more greek style, you can strain it (I used coffee filters) and all of the whey drains out.  It was the most delicious yogurt I've ever tasted.  Ok, thats a lie..but only because of Noosa at home, which is the most delightful thing ever.  But, my yogurt with a little honey did come in second!!

Milk cooling to 110 degrees before I added the starter

Getting ready to strain the yogurt into greek yogurt using coffee filters

Fresh, homemade yogurt. yum, yum!

Sea Salt and Rosemary Bread

I tasted this bread in North Carolina at a farm I visited.  It was so delicious that I just had to try and duplicate it.  I found a bread recipe online and manipulated it to have fresh rosemary topped with sea salt.  It was so delicious!!!

Letting the dough rise


Raisin bread with a cinnamon swirl

This was my one disappointment.  It was tasty with juicy raisins throughout and a yummy cinnamon swirl that was sweet and gooey.  But, the bread was just a little too dry.  I'll have to try that one again soon!

I forgot to take a picture when it was cooked, but this was before:)

Honey Whole Wheat bread

Ok, my new favorite.  There is a store in Colorado called Great Harvest and they have the best bread ever!! Fresh, warm bread they give samples of with some butter on ever!!  I wanted some of this.  So, I tried to make it.  I found some whole wheat at the grocery store and a basic recipe, spiced it up a bit and omg, delicious!!!!!  I had to bring it upstairs to the boys or I was afraid I'd eat it all!  And, forgot to take a picture.  No worries, I'll make it again:)


One thing I miss from Colorado is being able to stop for a fresh, warm bagel with cream cheese on your way to work.  The closest you get to this in Bergen is Bollers at 7/11 or Narvessen...sorry, but not the same.  The only bagels I have found in Norway are frozen ones to re heat and they just don't taste the same. These were also pretty easy.  You basically make a quick yeast bread dough, let it rise and then form it into balls, then bagel shapes. Then, boil them.  Then bake them.  I put cinnamon and sugar on some and sea salt on others.  MMMMMmmmmmm.

Fresh bagels.  topped with either sea salt or cinnamon and sugar.


I had to have my sea salt and rosemary bread sliced warm with some homemade mayonnaise and a nice ripe slice of tomato!! So, whipped some up.  It's just egg, egg yolk, lemon, and olive oil.  Simple, yet delicious!!!!

Rosemary and Sea Salt bread with homemade mayonnaise and fresh tomatoes

I have so many other things on my practice list...but I think I will have to visit IKEA before any of them can turn out perfect!!  Just some things to look forward to (especially if you live with me):

- Pumpkin muffins filled with sweet cream cheese and topped with walnut streusel.
- Another raisin and cinnamon swirl bread
- Jalepeno and cheddar bread
- Cheese, yes...cheese!
- Coffee cake
- Pie pasteries
- Oh, so much more...


  1. i am so going to have to try out your greek yogurt recipe :) i have no patience when it comes to making things at home if i can buy them at the store. i should probably change that one of these days when i have nothing to do. i might discover a new hobby. keep these fun recipes coming!

  2. I'm excited if you try it! I think it is so much better and I've learned that barely any Norwegian yogurt has the live cultures that are really good for you! So, if you do, here's a copy of the actual instructions for the yogurt:) Let me know how it goes!

    2 liters of milk
    2 tablespoons of plain yogurt with live cultures (at room temperature). Biola is one of the only brands I've found in Norway.

    How to:
    1. Make sure all supplies are sanitized (using the dishwasher or boiling water).
    2. Heat the 2 liters of milk in a double boiler until it reaches 180 degrees. I left mine at that temp for about 30 minutes to get even thicker yogurt.
    3. Cool the milk to about 100-110 degrees (I used an ice bath in my sink)
    4. Add the 2 tbsp of yogurt (at room temp), mix and pour into a large bowl.
    5. Cover the bowl with a lid and a kitchen towel and let sit still in a warm place (about 100 degrees) for 6-12 hours. I put mine in my oven on super low (30 degrees Celsius).
    6. After it sits, it should be firm. Put in the fridge to cool.
    7. Done!!
    8. If you want to make it even thicker, strain it using a cheese cloth or use coffee filters.


    1. but what i said was THANK you so much for giving this recipe!!! i have struggled w/ norwegian yogurt and it being too sugary among other things since moving here so it will be so nice to make it on my own! especially more of a greek fav :)

      i will let you know once i have some down time and can actually do it ;) hope all is well there and you're enjoying the last bits of fall!

  3. i just wrote a comment and i dont think it went through. blahhhh