Advent calendar: Fighting chance

I read this yesterday. A fighting chance by Elizabeth Warren. It is her memoir.

I am recommending it because I found it an interesting read, albeit not a very objective one (since it is a memoir.) I particularly liked when she pointed out the difference in growing up in the US when college cost the student $50 a semester vs. now. How she countered expectations of being just a wife and a mother. How she got her education and the difficulties for academic spouses when two jobs don’t open up in the same town at the same time.

Her political career is a minor part of the book – the ending of it, in fact.

Incidentally, I had just finished reading it, when a friend of mine in Massachusetts posted a picture of her quilted bedspread on Instagram. The motif? Logos of the campaigns she has worked on, or followed. Elizabeth Warren’s campaign was smack in the middle.

Advent calendar: Year of Yes

For my Advent calendar this year, I thought I would do recommendations – one recommendation a day. (Off-line, I have a multitude of advent calendars as well.)

For December 1, my first recommendation is The Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person, from Grey’s Anatomy creator Shonda Rhimes.

I finished reading this a couple of days ago (bought and paid for my own copy) and immediately upon finishing it, I could think of several friends who just “have” to read this book. It is funny, and poignant and for everyone who has had stage fright, depression, anxiety, love their jobs, hate their jobs, love their siblings, hate their siblings, and for everyone who feel guilt about whatever they feel guilt about.

I bookmarked the following quote from it:

I’m miserable? I’m still a little ashamed to be telling you that right now. I’m miserable. Who in the hell do I think I am? A whiner. That’s who. A great big old whiner person. You know who gets to be miserable? Malala. Because someone shot her in the face. You know who else? The Chibok schoolgirls. Because the terrorist group Boko Haram kidnapped them from school for forced marriage (which is just like regular marriage except exactly the opposite and full of rape) and no one cares anymore. You know who else? Anne Frank. Because she and about six million other Jewish people were murdered by Nazis. And? Mother Teresa. Because everyone else was too lazy to treat the lepers and so she had to do it. It’s pretty shameful of me to sit around saying I’m miserable when there are no bullets in my face and no one’s kidnapped me or killed me or left me alone to treat all the lepers.

Previous years’ Christmas recipes

I’m baking this year as well, but here is a look back to previous Decembers.


French Christmas Sablés (I admit I had my concerns of the flavour, but they grew on me as I ate. When I had guests, these biscuits disappeared very quickly.)

Jewish cakes (Always a big hit)

Norwegian kakemenn

Peppermint creams


Serina cookies

Norwegian Royal Family’s annual Christmas pictures

The annual Christmas photo shoot pictures of the Norwegian royal family were released today: Dagbladet / VG /  NRK

The Queen and the Crown Princess wore their national costumes for the photo shoot.

The King and Queen will celebrate Christmas with Princess Märtha Louise and her family. They will spend it at Kongssetern in Oslo.

The Crown Princely family will spend Christmas at their cabin in the mountains in Nore og Uvdal. Haakon and Märtha Louise has tended to have alternate Christmases with their parents since marriage.


20131208-212858.jpgIt’s December 13, or Saint Lucia’s day today. What better day to make Lucia buns? The recipe has been translated and adapted from this one.


50 g yeast
500 ml milk
150 g butter
250 g quark cheese
2 dl sugar
0.5 g saffron
0.5 tsp turmeric
1.6 liter all purpose flour, plus extra for rolling
1 egg
1 tbsp milk for brushing before baking

Continue reading “Lussekatter”

My advent calendar

In November, I got the bright idea that I would make my own advent calendar this year. Instead of being sensible about it, and looking for 24 useful things, as some would, I bought 24 different candies that I either remembered from my childhood or that I never had tried – and wrapped those up.

After I wrapped them in gift paper, I mixed them well before I wrote numbers from 1-24 on the packages.

I have 24 packages that I don’t remember the content of – but presumably I must have thought well enough of it to select it in the first place.

It will be interesting to open the packages at least.