Cooking through a Jamie Oliver cookbook:
5 dinners

Remember a long time ago, when I was cooking through Jamie’s 15 minute meals? I still am. But now I don’t post each recipe on a separate post, I gather five recipes at a time and tell you all about them. I’ve actually cooked many more recipes and I’m 75% done with the cookbook at this point. It’s becoming increasingly difficult, as the recipes that I’m left with I’m not that drawn to. But back to these five recipes. Today, I’m cooking through Jamie’s cookbook for you with the ease of my computer screen…

Jamie’s smoked salmon

Some of Jamie’s recipes are fast and delicious. Perfect for a quick summer lunch.

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Bacon, potatoes and salmon. I never thought this would be a good combo, but it’s a great Scandi-inspired dish. Feels like home.

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I especially loved the yogurt, mustard and dill spread. I goes so well with my favorite Danish bread and topped with some smoked salmon.

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Apart from a fast weekend lunch, this is great for when you have friends over. You can have everything in your fridge and serve something that looks elaborate, but it really isn’t. Will I make this again? YES!

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Jamie’s sticky kicking chicken

I love all sorts of salads, but there’s one type I really can’t eat and find disgusting, salads with strawberries or watermelon. Bleh.

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This recipe wasn’t a complete failure. The salad went to the garbage, because I just couldn’t eat it, but the chicken was absolutely delicious.

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Sticky chicken with sesame is so delicious. My only wish was a better salad to go with it.

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However, if you like fruits in salads, then you may like it. Apparently, I’m picky.

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Jamie’s winter squash penne

There’s this vegetable pasta in my local supermarket in Trondheim that is made out of beetroot and it’s so yummy. So when Jamie said penne, I said beetroot pasta.

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This pasta is a fall/winter recipe, because of the winter squash. It’s full of nutrients, as it also includes chickpeas.

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Unlike the previous recipe, this comes with an avocado salad. If you know me, you know that avocados are on the top of the list of my favorite foods. I can survive on it.

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This recipe quickly became one of my favorites and I definitely suggest you try it too.

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Jamie’s prawn linguine

Another favorite recipe is Jamie’s prawn linguine.

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Bonus? It looks like you spent half a day in the kitchen, while it probably takes 20 minutes to make. I used another type of vegetable pasta on this dish.

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I especially loved the garlicky breadcrumbs and the smell of saffron in the prawns. This combination, while I would have never imagine it work, was unbelievably good.

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Jamie’s Korean fried rice

Or fried bulgur, because that’s what I had in the house.

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Whatever has an egg on top of it, has my name on it. Pancakes? Sure. Toast? Of course. Fried rice bulgur? Definitely.

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Add to eat some meat, mushrooms, a basic spinach salad and pickles and it’s a delicious dinner.

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While this recipe was not in my top 10 recipes from Jamie’s 15 minute meals, it was a good one, especially when it comes to learning how to make a nutritious meal with many different components in it fast and easy.

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And that’s it for today: 5 recipes. Have you ever tried cooking through a cookbook? It has been an awesome learning experience for me. It opened my mind to a new world of nurturing my body.

Birthday wishlist 2017

Next week is my 29th birthday and just like I do every year, I made a list of the things I would enjoy as gifts. It all began few years ago, when my friends and I thought that a wishlist would make it much easier to pick gifts for each other that we would actually enjoy. If any of us wanted to get a gift outside the list, it was of course very welcome. That is if we wanted to get a gift, because there’s always an option to skip it altogether. Afterall, we don’t need gifts to validate our friendship. Without further ado, here’s what I’ve been wanting for my 29th birthday.

Birthday wishlist 2017

A red backpack

Image source

I’ve had a black backpack for the past 2.5 years that I carry with me every day. It’s holding up quite well, but I’ve repaired the zippers once and I want to ease up on the usage. I also want to add some color in my life and I hope this red backpack is the one. It’s doesn’t have to be Louis Vuitton though. This Guess one is super pretty.

Swimming lessons

My parents gave me a pool membership last month as an early birthday gift and I love it. I never imagined it, but it’s my favorite time of the week. However, my stroke is not the best one and I have a lot to improve. Swimming lessons will be a very useful gift.

Nike tights

Specifically, this high-rise pair in XS. I have an addiction to Nike leggings and running shoes. So a new pair of tights will be very loved.

A donation to Greek cancer society

Let’s be honest, I can buy whatever I need and want for myself. For the first time this year, I decided to include in my list a cause  you can donate to, instead of a material gift to me. I’ve been working in cancer research for the past 5 years and I want to support the Greek cancer society and cancer research in Greece. So feel free to support this cause as a gift for my 29th birthday.

Keeping it short and concise this year. It’s becoming  increasingly hard the more I support myself. How to you ask for something that if you want a lot, you can buy for yourself? What do you have on your wishlists?

ps. Birthday wishlists from 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012 and 2011. Didn’t I make a birthday wishlist last year? Go figure…

10 things that make me happy: 05│2017

Another month has passed and here I am wondering where the first half of 2017 went. I’m very happy it’s finally spring (or is it summer?) in Trondheim. May in Norway is a good month in the sense that most weeks have just four working days. So far this year I had a feeling of being constantly tired, but I’m back to feeling rested after taking time completely off in May. I’m ready to get back to normal rhythm now. Few weekends ago I flew to Stavanger to visit friends and see what Norway has to offer (apart from Trondheim and Oslo). It was a lovely quick trip.

When it comes to training, this month wasn’t a good one. I had an injury in one of my knees, nothing too serious, but one that resulted in a pool membership, as an early birthday gift from my parents. While my knee is back to normal now and I resume running, I still have a very expensive pool membership to make use of. At first I wasn’t very happy swimming, but the pool in Trondheim is AMAZING. Swimming is now my favorite part of the week. I’m looking forward to my time in the water.

I’m also looking forward to June and all the things I’ve planned for summer. Here’s what made me happy this month.

– Two podcasts: S-town and Hidden brain

– The pool in Trondheim (Pirbadet)

– Pink blossoming trees

– Escape rooms that I succeed escaping

My long weekend in Stavanger

– Have a proper manicure at home that looks good (I use Seche vite)

– Make waffles at home and my new waffle iron

– My 30-day lipstick challenge*

Twin peaks

– That I am so close to finish the Project Pan I started last year and begin a new one.

What was in your list in May?

* These days I upload far more often on Instagram than the blog. Follow me on Instagram and watch my Insta stories for more day-to-day unique content.

Instagram loves

There is no denying I like Instagram. From all the social media, Instagram is the one that gets most of my attention. There’s something very artistic and minimal about the design that makes me enjoy the content shared there more than anywhere else. I browse Instagram daily to get me inspired, find new recipes, see what’s new in my favorite stores and just see beautiful photos. I recently got addicted to Instagram stories, but that’s a whole other story. In this post, I’m going to share some of my favorite (small) Instagram accounts, that you probably don’t know about. If you, like me, enjoy pretty pictures of things, places and people, scroll down to find some accounts you’ll want to follow.

@myrthestyling

Myrthe Slootjes is a lifestyle photographer, whose photos are going to get you seriously inspired. There’s a mix of food, fashion and traveling in her posts. You can see her personality from her photos and the captions below them. #instafollow

@tasjavanrymenant

Tasja Van Rymenant is photographer and illustrator from Belgium. Apart from the beautiful tattoos, she features all white interiors and shots from everyday life, that looks nothing like the chaos in my house. #housegoals

@the.athenian.couple

A couple from Athens, living in London, is the duo behind this account. I followed them because in their photos I saw Athens (my city) through their eyes and it looked pretty, clean and colorful. If there’s a theme in their photos, that’s #architecture.

@barefoot_duchess

If you love dreamy shoes, skirts and dresses, then the Barefoot Dutchess is the one you should follow. She showcases all the clothes and accessories I have nowhere to wear to, but still dream of wearing. #dreamstyle

@dressingleeloo

On the other hand, Leeloo, who lives in Paris and recently became a mom, has a more wearable, but interesting style. This Parisian chic style I would actually want to wear everyday and I could, if I didn’t live in Norway. I’ve found so many nice brands through her. #stylegoals

@_andreanicolaou

Last but not least, Andrea Nicolaou shares beautiful photos of places I dream of going to. She adds places to my travel list with every new post. #takemethere

These are some of my favorite Instagram accounts out there. I chose some you propably don’t know about, since they have a relatively small following and I hope you find them just as interesting as I do.

What’s your Instagram account? Who do you follow? Feel free to share your suggestions in the comments!

Workout at home for free: My favorite workout videos!

You know that I’m a training addict. Well, if you didn’t, you do now. I workout 5-6 days a week and when I don’t, I just don’t feel like myself. I run, I practice yoga, I do cardio classes at the gym and I swim. However, it’s not always possible to get out there, maybe the weather is bad, or maybe I don’t have time to go to the gym or to the pool, or I’m traveling, or maybe I have an injury that makes yoga feel like torture (which is what is going on now). What happens then?

Well, I have no excuse. For the days when I can’t get out or don’t have access to the gym, I have a list of my favorite YouTube workouts that will make you sweat for free. When it comes to cardio and you don’t have 45 minutes for a full body workout, I suggest this 10 minute workout. You can do it twice if you have more time, or better yet do what I do and choose another video from the list, that will target a specific part of the body. In this case, cardio will be your warm-up.

But if you’re more into a full workout, then you should check this 45 minute video below. You’ll feel it in your body.

Now onto more specific workouts. I have no arm strength and I loath weight training, but I have two 2 kg weights at home and I use them in these quick arm workouts. Admittedly, these feel easier now and I should increase the weight, but 2 kg are a good start. If you don’t have weights, then use water bottles instead.

I found the following arm workout, when I got a lower body injury, but I still do it when I don’t feel like training my arms while standing. Check it out.

Another favorite is this lazy girl’s workout. It goes so fast and it’s a good one, for you who wants to train your butt but don’t like squats.

If you want to train your legs on the other hand, this is the workout I go for. The squats go by so fast.

Can you tell I tend to like workouts targeted to lazy girls? Well, if I can’t take my butt to the gym, then I don’t want to be pushed to hard. This workout seems easy, but it’s effective.

Lastly, I have two abs workout that I do interchangeably. I noticed that in my gym classes, when we target abs, it’s never for more than 10 minutes. We engage our abs during all the workouts, but we never target them solely for too long. The following workouts are just hard enough and if you do them a few times, you’ll see difference. Now, I don’t mean a six-pack, because that’s mostly result of low body fat, which means diet and cardio. However, these workouts will get you stronger abs and you’ll feel it in your posture.

These are my favorites. They’re easy, they’re fast, they’re free, you can do them in your living room without equipment and they’re effective. You have no excuse! I know I left out the back, but that’s because I follow a specific routine given by my physiotherapist. This routine has changed my life, but that’s the topic for another post. I hope you find these videos useful. If you do, please leave me a comment below. It makes me so happy to motivate others to workout. Also, if you have workout videos you like, I’d love to try them out. Have a great day!

Bonus: My colleagues do the Insanity workouts every morning before work, but I find them too much for my taste. But you may find them interesting, so I suggest you take a look. You have to buy the DVDs, but you can share the cost with your friends and do them together to keep each other motivated, which is what my colleagues do.

ps. I also practice yoga at home, but I have no video for that, because I do the primary Asthanga series by heart. In my blog, you can find tips for yoga beginners, yoga inspiration and read about everything I’ve learned from yoga.

Spring in Stavanger

Or Stavanger in spring. Whatever you prefer.

I spent last weekend visiting friends in Stavanger. We got to do a quick boat trip in the fjord and were lucky to have the nicest weather. Today I’m going to show how pretty the old part of Stavanger is. Stavanger takes picturesque in a whole new level.

Small wooden white houses, very well-preserved, are full blooming this time of year. During my walk, I saw people talking care of the flowers and the houses. There’s a ton of work and laws, as far as I know, making sure that this part of the city looks that way.

If you ever find yourself in the old part of Stavanger, there’s not much more to do other that look around you and take the beauty in. Also, you’ll want to take as many photos as you can.

You may also find yourself daydreaming about that perfect Scandinavian white house with the pops of color. I did and now I desperately want a green door or a red one and as many colorful flowers as possible.

The other thing that I want? A small garden with a view. If only I didn’t kill any plant in my possession.

As I mentioned, there’s not much more to do in this part of the city. There’s a cute little coffee place and two or three shops selling overpriced ceramic art. But that shouldn’t deter you from visiting!

In case you’re wondering, it was pure chance I color matched my surroundings.

What do you think? Is Stavanger in your travel list yet?

More from Stavanger soon! Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram and watch the stories for some live updates from my trips.

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