Merry Christmas!

This year I was sure I was going to add a little color to the x-mas decorations, but as always, endend up with what I always do, the greys, the browns, the whites and the blacks. Everytime I walk into a colorful home I (everyone else but mine...), I get really cheerful and happy, but when I try to add some color at home, I am not comfortable at all. I guess I have to admit once and for all, that I am not a color person. Maybe it will grow on me, but for now, I´ll stick with the colors of nature...

Here´s my Christmas tree. Goes with the rest, doesn´t it?

Merry x-mas everyone!
Photography: Trine Thorsen

And the winner is...

The big day is here and the winner of the competion is about to be drawn. For those of you who participated (surprisingly few actually!), here are the correct answers:








The competition was also sent out with a newsletter to my clients, so there are a few more people that participated which has not left a comment on this blog.

So there will be no cheating, my mother will now perform the draw :-)
Tamtaratamtaratam... (drumroll)

The lucky winner of a one day workshop is: Lena Hovind Olsson!

This feature (with the recipes) is to be found in the current Christmas issue of BoligDrøm and Danish, BoligLiv.

Photography: Trine Thorsen
Food and styling: Tara Ballantyne


A Christmas gift for you?

In Norway we have an old tradition saying that you should bake at least seven different sorts of cakes for Christmas. This Christmas I would like to challenge my Norwegian or Norwegian speaking readers :-). The winner of the challenge can win a one day workshop in digital photography on Mars 3rd. 2012 for herself or a friend/girlfriend (Sorry, girls only...). Want to participate? This is what you have to do:

Name the seven different brands that are in this image. Hard to see? Visit my website/new work and look for larger images.

Send me and email with your answer and write a comment on this blog when you have sent it. Do not post an answer on this blog. You´ll just help others to win :-). 
Are there many participants with right answers, a winner will be drawn. 
The draw will take place on December 24th. and the winner will be announced on this blog.

Good luck and hurry, you have only ten days...

Photography: Trine Thorsen
Food and styling: Tara Ballantyne

Wood works

I don´t there should be any doubt that my boyfriend and I are into wood these days... Tall and wide shelves, tall and narrow shelves, small shelves, tables, benches and consoles, we make it all! Common are simple furnitures with clean lines, mostly painted in white. Our favourites are the things we make to keep our logs in. Neatly stacked logs are so decorative, and with a piece like this you don´t need much more... Soon we will try and make a blog or a website with bigger images, sizes and prices. Until then, you´ll have to visit this blog for regular updates.

Photography: Trine Thorsen


Edible gifts

Nothing is more thoughtful that giving away a homemade gift, and nothing greater than receving one. Especially when it´s edible! The "hours" you have spent making that special treat for that special person has to warm everyone´s hearts. Getting this edible gift will not only warm your heart, but the whole you.
Imagine a cold winter night, curled up under a blanket, reading a good book,  your favourite magazine (or blog?) AND a home made sweet and spicy Chai tea.

If you want to warm someone´s heart (and body) this Christmas you should give away this home- made Chai tea. Leave behind the recipe for a Chai Latte and you´ll be friends forever...

You need: 

1/2 orange
1/2 dl cardamom seeds
6 cinnamon sticks, crushed
1 tbsp cloves
1tbsp black peppercorns
1 tbsp coriander seeds
2 tbsp star anise
1/2 dl Darjeeling tea

You do:

Preheat the oven to 95 degrees Celsius. Cover a cooking tray with greaseproof paper. Slice the orange in 3 mm thin slices and put them on the tray. Dry them in the oven for approximately 2-3 hours, turning them once in a while. When finished, mix all the ingredients, except from the Darjeeling tea and store in an airtight container.

Chai Latte:

6 dl milk
2 tbsp Chai mix
1,8 dl water
1 tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tbsp Darjeeling tea.

Warm the Chai mixture with milk, water and sugar on medium heat for 20 minutes.
Add the Darjeeling tea and let it stand for 3 minutes.

This recipe and more we did for an edible gift feature for Bo Bedre´s Christmas issue which is out in Norwegian stores now.

Photography: Trine Thorsen
Styling: Tara Ballantyne


Concrete and colors

A few years ago I bought and apartment just like this- in the same building- just a few doors away. I had for years been dreaming about a "New York style" loft, with concrete floors and walls. The project didn´t end up the way we were predicted (the builders changed the look, took away the "rawness" and decided to go for a cheaper, mainstream look), and with a help from a experienced laywer in this field, I was able to withdraw from the contract I had signed. Helene was another one who fell in love with this cool to be project, but took the contractors to court, and ended up getting the apartment the way she was promised in the first place.

 I had decided that I didn´t want to set my foot in that place again, until one day someone tipped me about a cool apartment in the east side of Oslo. It was with mixed feelings I entered the building the day of the shoot, but it ended up being a fun day with inspirational things to shoot and a lovely, energetic  hostess it was fun being around.
Helene is a cool, sporty gal who loves skating, bicycling, surfing and travelling, and as you can see, her apartment reflects her very active lifestyle. Right now, she is having the time of her life surfing in beautiful Bali (lucky her!), while someone else is a lucky tenant of this ccol apartment.

Photography: Trine Thorsen
Styling: Tara Ballantyne


New addition!

New addition to our "furniture collection. Small kitchen table, desk or a side table. The choice is yours (or mine...) :-)

Photography: Trine Thorsen

Damn you, Nigella!

My boyfriend unfortunately discovered Nigella´s Guinness Gingerbread a few weeks ago, and has for the two past Sundays kept himself busy in the kitchen making this amazing cake.The result each Sunday has been two delicious cakes, which both has gone down faster than I never thought was possible. After the first one, I begged him not to bake it again (since I knew the outcome), but he wouldn´t listen. The Sunday after he was by the stove again, stirring together Guinness and lots of wonderful spices. If he continues in the same path, I will gain at least 5 kg before Christmas...For sure. So next weekend it is my turn! Sorry, Nigella, I have to try and make it my way- with palm sugar instead of muscovado (brown) sugar and soy flour and agave syrup instead of the real stuff. I need the spices but not the carbs...

For the real stuff you need:

150 g butter (plus some for greasing)
300 g golden syrup (light, not dark)
200 g dark muscovado sugar/dark brown sugar
250 ml Guinness
2 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
300 g plain flour
2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
300 ml sourcream
2 eggs
1x23 cm square baking tin or 1x foil tray approx. 30x20x5 cm
 (we used old fashion cake tins, which made two beautiful cakes)

PS! The first time he made it, my boyfriend took 2 tsp of ground cloves instead of 1/4 tsp by mistake. It actually tasted really good. More spicy and "Christmasy". With 1/4 tsp the you can taste the syrup more and it is a bit sweeter.

You do:

Preheat your oven to 170 degrees. Grease your cake tin or foil tray.

Put the butter, syrup, muscovado sugar, Guinness, ginger, cinnamon and ground cloves into a pan and melt gently over low heat.

Take of the heat and whisk in the flour and the bicarb. You will need to be patient and whisk thoroughly to get rid of any lumps.

Whisk the sour cream and eggs together in a measuring jug and then beat into the gingerbread mixture, whisking again to get a smooth batter.

Pour the mixture into your tin of choice and bake for about 40-45 minutes (you should check it after 30-35 minutes). When it is ready it should be gleamingly risen at the center and coming away from the tin at the sides.

Let the cake cool before cutting into slices or squares.

For American measures, see the recipe on www.foodnetwork.com