If there’s one thing Gillian and I like to do, it’s try new places to eat. Especially meals that I wouldn’t normally cook at home or that are really hard to recreate. Umamido is one like that, as it’s a Japanese noodle (ramen) restaurant. I’d driven past here a couple of times on my way to work and last week we finally got to try it. My favourite bits were the edamame and the gyoza! There’s plenty of locations too, if you’re interested in your own bowl of asian goodness. You can find their menu here.
One of my ultimate favourites, I’d have to say, is a classic apple pie. I love that there are so many different types and that it’s one for all seasons. You can have it hot with ice cream or cooled with a nice glass of iced tea in summer. Yum!
375 g or 2 ½ cups of flour
4 teaspoons of baking powder
225g or 1 ½ cups of melted butter
200 g or 1 cup of caster sugar
20 g of sugar
1 bag of vanilla sugar
3 spoons of soy milk
6 big apples
3 teaspoons of cinammon
60g of raisins
1 pie tin
1 rolling pin
Making the dough
Mix the caster sugar, baking powder and flour
Add the butter and soy milk
Blend until a smooth dough that doesn’t stick
Put a towel over the dough and put it in the fridge
Making the filling
Peel the apples and cut them into little pieces
Regularly add lemon juice and stir
Add in the sugar, cinnamon and raisins
Put the filling in the fridge
Making the pie
Preheat the oven to 180°C or 350°F
Put some baking paper to fit the pie tin
Roll out ¾ of the dough and spread it across the pie tin to fit
A week ago, we came back from the cold north that is Norway and were blown away by the astonishing landscapes and dreamy, wintery views. We will definitely be going back in summertime someday to see the great contrast. Because I’m all about spreading the joy, I thought I’d share my favourite bits and pieces, including photos, of our trip. We stayed in Oslo for four days and took the Oslo-Bergen railway to, you guessed it, Bergen, where we spent another 3 days before heading home.
Things you shouldn’t miss
Oslo Operahus. It’s undeniably one of the city’s architectural masterpieces. Impressive in winter, with the frozen harbour, I can only imagine the grandiosity it must radiate in summer, when the roof is the best place to catch some of that sparse soleil.
Korketrekkeren. This translates to the English equivalent of “The Corkscrew”. It used to be a winter sport practice course, but is now open to everyone for… sledding! And it’s one of the most fun things I’ve done in the snow for sure. You simply take Metro line 1 up till Frognerseterveien, where you rent a sledge and helmet and off you go! And what’s even better is that you can take the metro back up at Midstuen and go again. Easy peasy.
Norsk Folkemuseum. Although a bit chilly and slippery in winter, the peace and quiet of the outdoor museum and the colourful old houses make up for it. If you plan to go, try going on the weekends, when they have lots of activities going on, even in winter. We did some banana and chocolate grilling on the campfire.
Det Kongelige Slottet. The royal palace is located on a bit of a hill and offers a fantastic view over the main shopping streets and a beautiful park.
Things you can skip
Vikingskipmuseet. Although the viking ships are impressive, you’ve pretty much seen everything the museum has to offer on their website. 100 NOK felt a little bit much for the size of the museum. A tourist trap, if you ask me.
Nasjonalmuseet. The museum itself is relatively big and provided me with an okay indoor visit, but you won’t be missing out much if you skip it.
Places to eat
Gryn. A concept restaurant that specialises in porridge with typically Norwegian ingredients like brunost (brown cheese) as well as waffles (savoury and sweet). Great place for a quick lunch!
Munchies. With two places in Oslo, they are the best burger places. Quick, easy, delicious. Try the sweet potato fries.
Rent Mel. Although expensive, this pizza place next to a hotel, had a-ma-zing pizza’s. The best.
Taco Republica. This place has delicious taco options. You can mix and match to your liking. Make sure to book a table, though.
Retrolykke Kaffebar. The best place to try waffles with jelly and cream. The entire interior reminds of the 50s and 60s. I love the mismatched cutlery, cups and plates.
Liebling. A good place for lunch or coffee. Cozy and homey with plenty of space. Great pie. They also have a variety of colourful lattes.
Norway Design. The best place for design. Also a stationary lover’s dream.
Ting. Cute little gadgets that you don’t need but desperately want anyways.
Glasmagasinet. Basically, you could’ve just left me here to live and I would’ve been perfectly happy. It’s like a dream for any design lover. They also have a fabulous Kicks department which is perfect for any make-up or skincare lover.
Oslo – Bergen railway
A highlight of our trip was definitely the Oslo-Bergen railway. We had booked tickets 2 months in advance, which was the perfect time because that’s when you get the “minipris”, which is cheap tickets. You get to choose your seats and there is no hassle of checking in, just hop on. Bring plenty of snacks and reading or listening material because you are settling in for a 6 hour train ride. Things never get boring because after every tunnel, a new and magical scenery appears. Sit back, relax and enjoy (it’s easy).
Things you shouldn’t miss
Bryggen. The row of old Hanse houses is one colourful sight to say the least. If you’re lucky the sun will come out and the harbour view will be one to never forget. (Or very lucky, because apparently there’s 320 days of rain in Bergen!)
Fjord tour. You can simply not leave Bergen without exploring the fjords a bit more. Even in winter, there’s tours running. Although I’m pretty sure the Norway in a Nutshell tour is better (but our budget didn’t allow for it), we did the Mostraumen fjord tour. Nonetheless spectacular! We booked ours through Fjord Tours.
Fløibanen. Take up the funicular (with a 26 degree slope!) to Fløyen and you will be rewarded with an amazing view over the city and the harbour as well as the surrounding mountains. It’s when you realise why Bergen is called Bergen! If possible, go for a hike or a ski. We got stuck knee-deep in the snow, but had an enjoyable walk nonetheless. And the hot chocolate afterwards with that view is just the best.
Audhild Viken. An all-year-round Christmas shop. I didn’t know it was a thing, but I am so glad that it is! You’ll come out cheery, singing “Jingle Bells” in no time.
Places to eat
Pingvinen. The best restaurant we went to for the entirety of the trip! Also very popular with the locals, which says a lot. They have daily specials, of which we tried the Plukkfisk and the Raspeballer. Typical Norwegian flavours assured.
Blom. If you’re looking for a strong, specialty coffee, Blom is the place to be. Clean, crisp, cozy.
Alléhjørnet Thai. Also very popular with the locals, we had some delicious pad thai at this place. Can’t go wrong.
Where to sleep
Citybox Oslo. A very easy and new concept hotel. You do everything yourself: from check-in, payment to luggage storage and check-out. If you really need help or more towels, you can go to the management office, but we loved this hassle-free and easy stay. Also very close to the train station and the city centre!
I’m always looking for EASY, healthy recipes that are hassle-free and taste good. I’m especially into finding easy breakfast options, so when I stumbled across this one, I had to try it. Seriously, it’s the easiest cookie baking I’ve ever gone through. And whereas the basics are easy, you can mix it up a little by adding in different spices or toppings (raisins, nuts, chocolate, peanut butter, jam, etc). If you like them to be sweeter, you can perfectly add some honey too. It’s all up to you!
On the weekends, I love a sweet lunch or snack idea, and when I have the time for it, baking pancakes is my favourite thing to do in autumn and winter. Because I try to avoid lactose, a vegan alternative is always great. Here’s how I make vegan pancakes.
1 liter soy milk
325g or 2.3 cups of flour
1 tea spoon baking powder
1 bag of vanilla sugar
A sniff of salt
Mix the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, vanilla sugar, salt)
Gradually add the milk and stir until there are no more lumps (you can also use a mixer)
Use the olive oil to grease the pan
Et voilà, perfect pancakes to top with whatever fancies your liking! :)