Thursday, September 25, 2014

Blueberry and zucchini muffins -FODMAPs friendly

Being the mother of a three year old, I'm always keen to get said three year old to eat vegetables. She is actually pretty good with it, but you can never have too many veggies and she has become rather enamoured of the muffins found at the supermarket nearby. They are not fabulously healthy items, so I thought I'd try and make some at home to ensure that if she was eating a muffin, it was also benefiting her health.

I googled and found a blueberry and zucchini muffin recipe that I then adapted to make it low FODMAPs. 

I present said recipe here for your enjoyment. Photos to come when there are some left. I didn't get a chance to photograph any before TWO (the wee one) decided to eat them all.


1 1/2 cups gluten free flour mix

1/2 cup white sugar

1/4 cup brown sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder (if you make this with regular flour, use only 1 teaspoon)

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 cup olive oil

1/4 cup lactose free milk

1 egg

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup grated zucchini

3/4 cup frozen blueberries


Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.

Mix all the ingredients together with help from the small person until well mixed. The mixture will probably appear quite runny. It works anyway and they are incredibly moist.

Cook in the oven until a skewer comes out clean. About 15-20 mins. I didn't really time it just went back and tested them. 

I made these in a small muffin tin that fit 24 mini muffins in a tray and I got a tray and a half out of it. Next batch will be large muffins and photos will be forthcoming. 

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Moist vanilla cupcakes with cream cheese icing - FODMAPs friendly


Last night we had friends over for a late summer/early autumn BBQ. The weather has been unseasonably warm. The whole summer has been the hottest and longest one since we moved here 5 years ago. We thought it best to take our possibly last opportunity to enjoy eating outdoors.

I adapted a Sue Shepherd cake recipe to make vanilla cupcakes instead of a big chocolate cake and I can definitely call it a success. I changed out the cocoa for soy flour. I know that some people still react to soy flour and I have plans to try a different flour combination next time I make these to see if it still works. But personally I have no problem with small quantities of soy flour in baking. 

In any case, these cupcakes were indeed moist. The icing/frosting was pink at the request of TWO and incredibly tasty. The recipe ended up making about 30 cupcakes. I have a whole bunch still left in my fridge and they are very very tempting. 

I bring you : moist vanilla cupcakes with cream cheese icing!


130g rice flour
75g corn flour
90g potato flour
70g soy flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp xanthan gum
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
50g unsalted butter, melted
200g lactose free vanilla yoghurt 
2/3 cup lactose free milk
1 tsp vanilla essence


Preheat oven to 170 degrees C.

Whisk the eggs and sugar until well combined. Add melted butter, yoghurt, vanilla and milk and stir. 

Sift dry ingredients together in a large bowl.

Add the wet to the dry and mix well with electric beaters. 

Fill cupcake moulds two thirds full and bake for 10-15 mins. They are ready when they are firm to the touch and slightly golden. The standard skewer inserted into the middle of the cake coming out clean is a good test. 

Cool and while they are doing that, make the icing/frosting.

Icing instructions

200g icing sugar
1 packet lactose free cream cheese
food dye of choice

Get the ingredients together in a bowl and mix with electric beaters until they are a lovely mix of sugary goodness. 

Ice as you like and add sprinkles if it floats your boat. The only thing left after this step is to enjoy. I sure did. 


Tuesday, September 16, 2014


No racists on this street

Sweden held their elections on Sunday. 13% of the country voted for sverigedemokraterna, or the Sweden Democrats, otherwise known as the ultra right wing scary racist party. 

There is a bit of the old outrage on the go around town. This was on the street near our house. The translation is "No racists on this street!". Made me feel better about the part of Sweden I live in. 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

When we were in 'Flance'

I have a few memories from our trip to what TWO refers to as "Flance" to get out here. It comes with pretty pictures, so it won't be entirely boring for people to read/look at.  Or so goes the hope. Most of my experiences in France seem to relate back to food or knitting. I was most pleased that my belly coped so well with being away from the comforts of home and that I was able to enjoy some of the delights that southern France had to offer. 

Here is a pictorial representation of what I got up to, when it comes to food, while there. 

First day we were there we went to a giant supermarket to grab supplies and for a bit of a stickybeak. I think going to a supermarket in a new country is a great way to really get a sense of what the culture is like. What sort of things are commonplace? 

The things I found that I enjoyed, apart from the entire row of alcohol that seemed to never end were the following:

Rainbow pasta: Rainbow pasta

I'm sure that this exists elsewhere in the world. But I've yet to see it in Sweden and it was really really pretty. Shame I couldn't eat any of it, what with the whole wheat is the fructan containing devil that wants to destroy me from the inside out. 

And the wall of sausage: 

For the Love of Sausage

So much dried sausage. We took home a giant dried duck sausage that was enthusiastically enjoyed by all members of the family. It is a big shame that it is all gone now. It was ever so good. 

The first southern French meal we enjoyed was confit duck with cubed potatoes cooked in duck fat and a salad. Can I just say now *drool*? It was amazing. Crispy duck, crispy spuds and some lovely salad. All washed down with a local red wine. I was in heaven. 
Confit duck. NOM!

Our adventures continued at the local market on Sunday. The boy, Kristin and I went to get some ribs and vegetables for our evening meal. We found both without difficulty. We also found a ginormous piece of beef that we just had to buy. We cooked it up as it came, on a giant bone. Sealed both sides in the pan and then into the oven to finish up. It was perfection in steak form. You can see just how enormous this steak was. I think it must have been close to 10cm thick. It took up the entire pan!

Enormo steak is enormous

While at the market, Kristin and I got ourselves an espresso from the only coffee van at the market. The sugar packets were very cute.

Toulouse Market sugar

And we were given a complimentary biscuit. I ate it, even though it was a wheat laden treat. I survived this small test of the fructan group. It was worth testing too. Delicate and light biscuity goodness. 

French market coffee

I did thoroughly enjoy my long weekend in Toulouse. I think I might find my way back there sometime to visit again and get some more duck! We brought home two tins of confit duck. They are sitting in our pantry now. We are thinking they might make an excellent Christmas dinner this year. Most years we have a roast chicken and watch Kalle Anka. But maybe this year we will eat duck and watch the duck? Could be good. 

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Tex-Mex low carb mince -FODMAPs friendly


Our household has always been enthusiastic about Tex-Mex food. For my 23rd birthday the boy got me a Mexican cookbook. It was really good but was really written for a US audience who have ready access to Hispanic grocery stores. However, we took a fair bit out of the book in terms of flavour combinations. 

I made up this recipe for mince when adapting one of the recipes from my book. I use very approximate measures for the spices and taste as I go along. It is actually a very quick meal to prepare. We serve it with a salad and TWO gets corn chips with hers. I occasionally have corn chips with mine too, depending on how high my FODMAPs load has been that day. Corn is moderate when it comes to FODMAPs and should be limited. 


500g minced beef
garlic oil
2-3 tablespoons cumin
2-3 tablespoons dried oregano
3 bay leaves
1/2 - 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2-1 teaspoon dried paprika
1 large dessert/tablespoon tomato paste
a little bit of water (yay for accurate measures)
a splash of balsamic vinegar
salt to taste

To serve: 
Baby spinach leaves
Red capsicum/bell pepper chopped
coriander leaves
cucumber slices
lactose free sour cream (if available)
grated cheddar cheese
lime wedge, if you so desire
corn chips, optional


Fry the herbs in garlic oil on a medium/high heat in a frying pan or saucepan until aromatic. This takes a few minutes. 

Add the beef and brown it up. 

Splash in the vinegar and add the tomato paste. Stir through and if it looks like it could do with some moisture add a bit of water. I usually just add a little bit at this stage, usually from my kettle.

Reduce heat way down and let it simmer with the lid on for 20-30 minutes or until you are ready to eat.

Always before serving I check to make sure that the taste is right. I usually end up adding a bit of salt at the end and maybe a little more vinegar. I'm a bit of a fan of sour food. 

Serve in a bowl with your salad items underneath and mince piled on top with sour cream and cheese. 

You can even serve this with some of my FODMAPs friendly salsa but it won't be quite so low carb as it currently is. But it will no doubt be tasty. The salsa has a pretty similar herb profile and I love it. 

Enjoy! I know I did. 

Friday, August 15, 2014

Broken seed stitch socks

Socks are my go to knitting project when I don't want to think about anything complicated. I recently saw this cool pattern on a facebook group I'm in for knitting. Broken seed stitch is both easy and pretty. 

So I made a pair for my friend Anni for her birthday. It's a while before she'll have a chance to wear them, but they should be nice and warm for the upcoming winter. 

I'm looking forward to handing them over soon. I think it might be time for a rice paper roll dinner at ours again. 

anni's socks
ravelled here

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Making playdough

Saturday morning playdough cake
TWO has had some form of bought playdough in the house now for a year or so. But as is the way with all the playdough in the world, it was getting dry and sad recently.

We were getting towards the end of the holidays from dagis and I was still pretty immobile, so playing in the park and adventures outside were out of the question. 

So we made some of our own and as is my wont, it was dyed with bright colours. 

I used a recipe I found on the playgroups Australia website and it worked really well. I added a few drops of peppermint essence to the dough too. 

Here's the recipe if you don't fancy following the link:

1 cup salt
2 cups plain flour
1 tablespoon of oil
1 tablespoon cream of tartar
2 cups water
food colouring

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan. Heat, stirring continuously until the dough becomes thick and pulls away from the side of the saucepan. Take out and knead. Split into small balls for dying and mix through dye in each. I made 6 because I had six pots leftover from the store bought stuff. Store in airtight container.

Playdough morning

We had a great time making different cakes and shapes. So my objective was achieved, entertain madam in a manner that allowed me to sit down and rest my knee. The colours got all mixed up and it's not necessarily the prettiest looking dough anymore. But It's still good for making things and when it's done its job I can just make some more. Cheap and cheerful. Huzzah.

Cherry on top

Monday, August 11, 2014

My cousin is having a baby, so I got to sew and knit

TWO is very specific about the clothes she likes to wear now. She is particularly enamoured with stripes, blue and black. Which is great in one way because it means that our shopping trip yesterday to pick her up a few things for this autumn went well. There are a lot of stripes at the moment and she found some new bright blue pants that will see her through most of the autumn. 

The downside is that all my patterned fabric that I love is not considered worthy and she outright rejects so much of the cute stuff I have to offer her. 

Here comes the benefit, my cousin is about to have her second baby in a few weeks and I was able to use some of my new favourite elephant print fabric to make a pair of big butt baby pants. But I decided to change things up a bit and added a waistband and cuffs in ribbing. I'm really happy with how they turned out and hopefully they will look fantastic on the small person in the upcoming Australian summer. 

altered bbb

And due to my somewhat immobile status of late I've had a lot of time to knit. I bought some cotton/lyocell mix yarn in France and thought it would be perfect to make a facewasher. I found a gorgeous fish pattern on ravelry and sat and watched some Stephen Fry documentaries on youtube while knitting it up. It took almost no time at all and I'm really happy with how it came out. 


Friday, August 08, 2014

FODMAPs friendly dessert - goat's cheese, pine nut and golden syrup parcels

Goat's cheese pine nuts and golden syrup- yum!

I recently bought some gluten free puff pastry at the supermarket and it has been sitting in my freezer, waiting for me to find a use for it. It's also lactose free, perfect for FODMAPs. 

I also had some goat's cheese in the fridge that had to be eaten. I double checked the Monash app to see if it was safe and was ever so pleased to see that it was indeed safe on FODMAPs and I could go nuts.

This recipe I'm about to share is one that a friend used at a dinner we had years ago that I remembered fondly. But it included puff pastry and honey, so I wasn't sure I'd ever be able to use it again. But with the gluten free pastry and my new homemade golden syrup I figured it couldn't hurt to try. And I was rewarded. I ate this last night and I can report that today my belly is still happy with me.


1 sheet of gluten free pastry
goat's cheese
pine nuts, toasted
golden syrup 
milk for brushing


Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C 

Toast the pine nuts in a frying pan

Spread out the pastry on some baking paper on the oven tray

Cut into rectangles and place a piece of goat's cheese at one end

Take 1-2 tablespoons of the toasted pine nuts and sprinkle them over the cheese

Take 1-2 tablespoons of golden syrup and drizzle over the cheese/nut combo

See the lovely drizzle action there? YUM!

Fold the pastry over and seal using milk and brush the tops of the parcels with a little more milk

Into the oven for between 20-30 mins. I based my decision on when to remove them by a browned top and golden syrup leaking out the sides. 

Allow to cool for a few mins before serving. Remember the cheese inside is hot. Tasty, but hot. 

And here is a crappy photo of what it looked like on my knee last night as I ate it in front of the TV. 


Saturday, August 02, 2014

Islands, knees and pushing it too hard

My visit to the rheumatologist just over a week ago was fantastic. She was attentive, took a proper history, drained over 50ml of fluid from my knee and added in some cortisone to help with the swelling. She set me up with a plan to keep my knee functional and I felt good about the plan.

I perhaps pushed the newly "recovered" knee a bit hard in the last two days and paid for it yesterday with some swelling, which if I'm entirely honest, set me to panicking. I have no desire to have a hugely swollen and non functional joint for any longer than necessary. And I need to remember that just because it looks normal, or a close approximation thereof, it is not currently normal and needs to be treated with some care. 

The first mistake I made was to go and visit Brännö on Thursday, an island in the archipelago off the coast of Gothenburg. We walked quite a bit and climbed on rocks and paddled in the water at the little cove we found ourselves at. It might have been a bit much.  But check out the overcast, but still lovely view we had. 


I sat and watched a group of five geese eat their way across the shoreline while TWO and the boy went and climbed the rocks at the side of the cove. It was all rather lovely to be outside, enjoying the breeze and the warm weather. 

The day was exactly what I needed mentally. We were unhurried, relaxed, well fed and TWO behaved brilliantly throughout the whole day. She collected shells and threw them in the water, searched for crabs, paddled in the water with me and had a brief snooze in the pram as we walked through the unexpected rain shower back to the ferry. She was entirely convinced that the ferry was actually a pirate ship and was very excited about that fact. We even got to pick some wild blackberries that were growing at the tram stop. I collected them in my hat and we have just a few left in the fridge. 

Tram stop haul

Yesterday was possibly a step too far after my island adventure, when I walked with a friend to visit a cafe. We ended up walking about 4km and I'm guessing that wasn't the best idea because I felt the knee start to swell as we walked. Fortunately, rest and ice seem to have done the trick and brought it back down. 

My lesson has been learned. I need to exercise, but not that much. It is so difficult to go from running between five and eight km semi regularly to not being able to walk even half that distance without setting off the knee into a swollen rage. 

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Newest knitting project -Alberni cowl and a challenge

photo source
We spent last weekend in southern France. We went to visit a friend of mine, Kristin,  and her family who had just moved to France recently and with two small kids for TWO to play with, it seemed like a silly idea not to spend a long weekend enjoying all things French.

Kristin has just started a photography business specialising in maternity and newborn photography, that link goes to her site, check it out. So we also had a bit of a photo shoot with TWO and her elder son who is just a month older than TWO. If you happen to find yourself around Toulouse, I can highly recommend her skills. 

We had a wonderful time eating lots of duck, drinking lots of beer and wine and Kristin and I got our knit on while the kids rested in the middle of the day. 

Saturday saw us take a day out without the kids, on the metro into the centre of Toulouse. We ate crepes, wandered around, bought some yarn for a joint remembrance cowl knitting experience (pattern here), drank coffee on the central square and watched the police chase a Palestinian protest. We got home just in time for dinner. 

We plan on having a knit a long of the Alberni cowl using the same yarn in different colours. I've got the raspberry and she has the purple. An easy way to remember our lovely afternoon wandering around the streets of Toulouse and the whole weekend of visiting fun. 

I cast on today and set myself a challenge. I have wanted to learn to knit like a Swede (ie continental knitting) for a while now. It is supposed to be faster than English knitting and better for colour work, which I have intentions of getting into. But every time I have started a new project, I have been too impatient to slow down my knitting speed to learn it properly. But as I'm knitting along with Kristin, and I know she won't have a chance to cast on for a while, it seems appropriate now to attempt to learn. Wish me luck and patience, I think I will need them both. If you fancy following my progress it will be over at ravelry : here
photo source

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Making my own golden syrup, a tale of laziness combined with too much time on my hands -FODMAPS friendly

golden syrup number the two
Last winter I was trying to make something that I could eat for my Swedish class's Xmas party. I thought I would make the Australian classic biscuit,  ANZACs. Great idea, I thought. The only problem was I didn't have any golden syrup. I also didn't have the desire to go out in the December weather, I think it was snowing at the time, to go and buy some syrup. 

So that's what led me to google how to make my own. How hard could it be, I reasoned? 

It turned out to be not so difficult once I learned a few more things that the youtube video I was looking at failed to mention, like not stirring while the sugar is caramelising. I managed to repeatedly crystallise the sugar again until I discovered the solution. 

The golden syrup was duly made and tasted a bit fantastic. So much so that I was forced to make some more again recently. It now lives in an old jam jar in my fridge and the most recent effort is a little thicker and has a richer, more toffee like flavour to it. 

If you fancy making it, here's what the video will show you, written out for your viewing pleasure. 

Things you will need to have ready:

100g sugar to start
with 2 tablespoons water to dissolve

500g sugar to add later
300ml boiling water. The boiling part is important

A slice of lemon, or lemon juice. 

Start with :

-100g sugar
-2 tablespoons of water

Dissolve the sugar in the water and cook over a medium heat. Unlike the video, don't keep stirring once it is dissolved, but just wait for it to caramelise.

When it is a good colour add the boiling water, but slowly.  It will be very hot and you could get burned. Add about a tablespoon at a time and stand well back.

Once the boiling water has been added, dump in your remaining 500g of sugar and stir until it is dissolved.

Simmer for about 45 mins with a slice of lemon in there or juice from about half a lemon. What you need is some acid to help prevent crystallisation of the syrup afterwards. So if you don't have a lemon handy, some vinegar would also work. 

Once it is finished simmering, allow to cool and then sieve out the bits while pouring the syrup into a clean jar. In my case it was an old blackberry jam jar. 

Store in the fridge and enjoy. I've been using the syrup for baking and also to sweeten chia seed puddings. I'm not entirely sold on chia seeds. I think they are bit a of gimmick. But the puddings I've made (recipes to come soon) have been tasty, fodmaps friendly, and, the best bit, easy.

golden syrup

Edit note: There is some debate as to whether invert syrups are entirely safe on the low FODMAPs diet. I've found this one not to be a problem for me personally. But I know that we are all different when it comes to intolerances. So if you are on the elimination phase of the diet, I would perhaps give golden syrup a miss until you are ready for some challenges. 

Grateful three : arthritis edition 1

This post comes to you from my armchair. We have become firm friends in the last month as my knee goes through various phases/stages of swelling. Currently it is sitting on big but not uncomfortable. I have an appointment to see a specialist tomorrow and have my fingers crossed for some kind of plan to deal with it. It is getting more than a bit tedious to be sat indoors, unable to enjoy the warmest summer we may ever see in Sweden. 

So I figured it was time to remind myself of the good stuff in life and not just the things I'm missing out on.

1. We got to visit friends in the south of France and I was able to eat without consequences for my gut and TWO had another kid her age to play with.
2. The boy has been working from home a lot to help me out while TWO is on holidays from dagis. 
3. I've got friends I can whinge to about the frustrations of having a dodgy knee.
(4. My plants on the balcony didn't die despite being left alone for 4 days at 30 degrees. This is especially impressive because the balcony is glassed in and warms up a treat on a mildly warm day, let alone a scorcher. And yes, 30 in Sweden is a scorcher.)

Friday, July 18, 2014

OWL hat

Owl with beads

If you know Kate, you know she loves an owl. I think it stems back to the time that I was pregnant with TWO and it was all the rage to have owls on everything. For me it appealed no end and I made good use of the trend. Lots of onsies and wall decals and things with an owl motif. I even sewed a swaddling cloth by hand in an owl print flanellette. This is a demonstration of my enthusiasm for owls, evidence of the boredom I felt at being told to rest from 30 weeks due to premature contractions and an indication that I should have bought a sewing machine in Sweden much earlier than I did.

In any case, owls, love em. 

A dancing friend of mine, who possibly gives the best hugs known to man, was diagnosed with breast cancer last year and was on the search for hats to keep her head warm during winter while undergoing chemotherapy. We both love the 20s in terms of style and I searched until I found this. It is almost cloche like (okay not really) and has owls on it! I started it almost immediately in a very soft DROPS 100% alpaca yarn. And would have finished it sooner were it not so difficult to find eyes that I liked. 

Here you can see it without eyes, and it really doesn't pop in quite the same way.

owl hat without eyes

And with a close up of the unworn hat, you can see just how lovely it is. My friend helped me pick the beads to make the eyes after a lovely sushi train lunch in town. After which I was able to hand over the hat, finally, at the beginning of spring. The colour ended up very closely matching her lawn and she sent me a photo of the two together. But I'm not sure if she wants me sharing that photo here. But she wasn't wrong, they matched almost perfectly. 

Even better news than the matching grass to hat situation was that the chemo and radiation have finished. She has an excellent prognosis and her hair is growing back. But I hope that the owl hat gets another go next winter anyway. 

Raveled here

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Lotta Lotties. Well, two.


One of my oldest friends is the mother to two gorgeous girls and lives in Tasmania. She's always been really good at remembering birthdays and occasions and tells amazing stories. I am less good at the remembering birthdays and sometimes get far behind in the gift giving. So early last Autumn as it started to cool down here in Gothenburg, I thought of her girls and what I might be able to make for them for their upcoming winter, some eight months away. 

A friend put me onto the Lottie set and I was immediately delighted. I used a DROPS yarn called Nepal which was so soft  to work with at 65% wool and 35% alpaca. Perfect for kids clothes and extra warm for those freezing Tasmania winters. I have a bit of a thing for DROPS actually. I'm not a fan of their patterns, but their yarns are delightful.

In any case, I finished them up in what felt like record time and sent them off to the girls. They were well received and worn almost immediately on arrival. 

For the smaller of the two, a redhead, I picked a natural colour and used purple buttons as an accent. 


And for the bigger of the two, a blondie, I picked a red with wooden buttons.


Apologies for the lighting in these photos, didn't end up taking them on a particularly light day. And I was under time pressure to try and get them done and sent to Australia before it got too warm. 

Such a fun knit with a chunky yarn. I so often work with sports weight and sock yarn that it's nice to get something that knits up quickly. 

Monday, July 14, 2014

Chicken soup -FODMAPS friendly

I used to make a chicken soup back at uni that was quick and tasty. I got the recipe from my friend Steph (link to her website there), and have subsequently forgotten the specific details of it. But there were a few things that stuck out, coriander, ginger and so very much flavour. 

So in an attempt to recreate the soup she taught me to make, and to make sure it was low FODMAPs, I made up my own version of her recipe using the chicken stock that we make regularly at home now. 


Some chicken stock, we usually end up with about a litre
Chicken thigh fillets 
1 bunch of fresh coriander/cilantro
1-2 tablespoons of fresh grated ginger
salt/pepper to taste
juice of one lemon
garlic oil
1/2 tsp chilli paste (optional)
small packet of rice vermicelli noodles (optional) 


If you are using the noodles, set them into a heatproof bowl and cover with boiling water while you prepare the rest of the soup. Drain after 10 or so minutes and set aside.
Fry the ginger in garlic oil on a medium high heat until fragrant and add the chicken pieces.

Fry the chicken fillets on the higher heat for a few minutes, until they start to brown/seal. Then add the lemon juice and reduce the heat. Cover.

(I use an electric cooktop because it is almost impossible to get gas in Sweden. By medium high I mean a 5 out of 6 on the stove top. I find when I cook the chicken at a high heat to start and then reduce it I get a better result. When reduced, I take the temperature down to 2)

I then use this time while the chicken is cooking further to take the coriander stems, chop them off and crush them with the back end of a large knife. 

Put the coriander stems into the stock and start bringing the stock to a simmer.

When the stock is simmering, add in the cooked chicken and chopped coriander leaves. 

Cook further for another 5-10 minutes, tasting as you go and adjusting the seasoning. 

To serve:

Put a small amount of noodles in the bottom of the bowl, sprinkle some extra coriander over the noodles and spoon out some soup. If you want to make it a bit spicy, add some chilli paste now. I'm a big fan of adjusting seasoning, including chilli to taste as you go. 

Photos to come. I made this soup a few weeks ago when the boy was unwell with a nasty cold. He's currently on a low carbohydrate kick and so I excluded the noodles for him, but added them to my meal. It was tasty and easy to make. 

Bedtime giggles


My girl is rather enamoured of what she refers to as the fish museum. It is actually the seafarer's museum and has become a go to venue for after dagis excursions. The only problem is that she often wants to go on a Monday and museums are shut on Mondays. It has all too often been my sad duty to inform her that alas the fish museum is shut.

This evening I was putting her to bed and we were chatting about what we enjoyed most today. We went for an adventure with a friend and her two kids to the beach. TWO rather enjoyed seeing crabs in the water, climbing on the high rocks and swinging on the swings. She then asked me very seriously "Is the fish museum open tomorrow?". When I informed her that it would indeed be open tomorrow she bunched up her fists towards her face and did a Muttley-esque laugh (see video below).

I believe there will be a visit in the not too distant future. Who wouldn't want to go and visit the gorgeous starfish and coral? 

sjöfartsmuseet starfish

Thursday, July 03, 2014

Apologies and an explanation

I have been an absent blogger for nigh on a few months now. I'd like to apologise to the three of you that read my blog. Life has been exceptionally busy, my health has been interesting and I've lost my blogging mojo.

But I am determined to get it back. I have been busy with lots of craft projects that I desperately want to show off. I have been cooking a bit of low FODMAPs food that has been tasty. I've even made my own golden syrup because I was both bored and lazy. 

The most recent "interesting" health adventure in my life has been the return of my reactive arthritis. 14 years ago I had what was the first of 2 and a bit years of swelling in my left knee. It took six months to diagnose and meant I was predominantly sedentary for a good section of those two years. Two weeks ago the other knee kicked off with unexplained swelling and the left one joined in for shits and giggles. 
I can tell you that there is a distinct difference between being 20 years old and immobile and being 34 with a 3 year old at home and immobile. I now also live two storeys up with no lift. Negotiating stairs has been an entertaining experience. So long as you define entertaining as long, awkward and uncomfortable. 
The good news in this recent flare up is the following: it didn't take six months to diagnose. It took about a week. I saw a less than fabulously engaged Dr initially who sent me off for an x-ray and gave me some drugs without indicating how long to take them for or asking if I was on any other medication which may interfere. I then returned to see a much more engaged Dr who not only looked at the joint(s) for more than 10 seconds but checked all my ligaments and did a proper history. He even sent me off for blood tests to rule out rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory conditions. Bloody amazing. 
Since then I've had a failed aspiration of fluid and an injection of steroids into the larger of the two joints and a new prescription for a different anti inflammatory. I have already seen improvement in the last two days. I may even walk down my stairs today like a normal person and save my obliques from a hard few minutes work of lifting my hips up to help clear each step. 

I have a new word of the week coming tomorrow and a recipe for the weekend. I hope that my three followers will look forward to seeing them.

I'll leave you with a picture of one of my recent crafty pursuits. Another puerperium cardi for a newborn. This time I dyed the yarn for the stripes from the same lot as the grey and had a lot of ends to sew in to finish it. But the final result was super sweet and will now be keeping a brand new baby girl warm and snug in a Melbourne winter. So worth all the extra sewing in ends time, methinks.

M's jumper

Thursday, May 08, 2014

I have a bike!

I got on a bike yesterday for the first time in seven years. Wheeeeee!

TWO was rather excited to be picked up from dagis yesterday and ride home on the back of Mama's new bike. She insisted that we keep riding through the drizzle, past home and onward to the bike path for a bit of a spin.

I already have plans to embellish Belle with some knitted items. Her name is Belle because her former owner (my wonderful neighbour) named her that. 

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Apt Swedish phrase/word of the week - the drinking edition


Literal translation : back full/drunk
Actual translation : hungover

This was me on Sunday morning. Saturday night consisted of a party to honour my friend Elma who passed away at the end of January this year. It was a wonderful night with music, dance, joy and tears. I may have been drinking whiskey with friends while I was DJing. I may also have not got much sleep after slipping into bed at 2am and being woken at 6am by TWO. 

I felt entirely bakfull with a horrible headache and tiredness. 

Monday, April 21, 2014

Street art in the Swedens

hair bow

On our walk to dagis every day TWO and I take one of two different routes. One involves a shared walking/riding pathway. Recently, the path has had extra markings, one of which I think is a nod to Easter. 

rabbit cyclist

It makes the trip just that little bit nicer, knowing I will be seeing a pink bow and an orange rabbit on my walk. Especially considering they are at points of the trip that are uphill. I am a lazy bastard, and hills are my nemeses. Evil inclines making me work hard! *shakes fist*

In other news, we are attempting to toilet train TWO this Easter long weekend. We have discovered that as long as she is without anything on her lower half, she is more than capable to get herself to the toilet. The second that fabric of any kind is in contact however, we have accidents galore. Not sure how that is going to fly at dagis tomorrow. 

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Crayon rolling

crayon roll inside

My newest go to gift for the toddler set has to be crayon/pencil rolls. I enjoy the process of choosing which of my scraps of fabric are going to be used. It's a bit like the principle I apply with the burp cloths I make for newborn babies. You don't need much fabric and end up with something functional and pretty. 

I made a whole bunch of them as gifts for three year olds on our trip back to Australia. But the one I wanted to show you today was for a friend's daughter, living in Seattle.

I bought the fabric initially as a remnant to make a wheat bag for my running buddy. I used what was left from that to make a knitting roll as part of a craft swap with my friend. There was just enough to make the matching crayon roll for her daughter. 

crayon roll rolled

I really enjoyed this one because I added a layer of fleece in the middle and quilted it together with some turquoise thread. 

crayon roll back

I am reliably informed that it gets a lot of use, especially when they are travelling. 

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Grateful three

When I was in the midst of post natal depression after the birth of the wee one, I used to try and get a list of three things I was grateful for together every day. It was a way to help remind myself that there were positive things in the world and that everything wasn't as bad as I imagined.

I'm not depressed anymore, huzzah!, but I am currently suffering from a cold that includes much snot and a sore throat. So I've decided to bring back the grateful three here.

1. The boy is back from four days away in Korea for work and I am no longer solo parenting.

2. My strawberry plants have flowers.

3. I finished a pair of socks that are made from leftover sock yarn that wasn't enough to make a whole pair of socks on their own. They are the kind of socks that just make you happy to look at. 

leftover socksleftover socks

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Swedish word/phrase of the week



Translation : sea squirts
Literal translation: sea pouches or sea scrotums

The wee one and I like to head to the seafarers museum after dagis sometimes. She calls it the fish museum because the ground floor contains an aquarium. I noticed this sign there a few weeks ago and was immediately struck by both the image and my understanding of the word "pung". 

I present to you another example of why my brain is a bit like that of a 14 year old. I see smut and silly jokes everywhere. 

Monday, April 14, 2014

When clearing out your crap from your parents, you find the darndest things

When we left Australia in 2009, it was only intended to be a 2 year trip. Some five years later, we are still in Sweden. We have even been granted permanent residency and are allowed to stay indefinitely. 

So what do you do when you are only going to be away for two years? You leave some useful stuff behind that doesn't fit in a suitcase. Right? 


So amongst the pots, pans, crockery, cutlery and linen left in boxes in the shed, I found a lot of my old sewn items and sewing supplies. Including a little pin book I made and the pinking shears I used to make it. Score! Both items fit in my luggage on the way back and will get some good use in the coming months I'm sure. 

Here is the pin book:

pin book

It features an applique dog made from fabric I used to make a 1939 dress. And inside it uses the same fabric I used to make PJ pants from and then subsequently dribble cloths for TWO when the PJs got a huge hole in them. That fabric has done some amazing things in the last 9 years.


It even had needles and pins still inside and they were still sharp and useful. Winner, winner, chicken dinner! 

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Running headband for running buddy - SQUIRREL!


I mentioned a while ago in my running post that I started running again with a friend last year. Said friend wanted a headband to wear while she was running to keep her ears warm. 

I happened to have a bit of knit fabric scraps from a pair of ottobre pants that I made for TWO and thought I could whip up a headband quickly. 

I was correct in my assumption and the headband came together really quickly. Just a tube sewn together really, a little bit smaller than her head measurement. To ensure that it was worn with enthusiasm, I added buttons with squirrels on them because she loves them as much as I do. 
squirrel buttons

Here I am, modelling the headband, back when my hair was pink. 

headband on Kate

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Knitted cushion cover

I have a bit of a cushion obsession. Our couch has far too many of them. But I like to have a vast number to choose from for various different scenarios. The different coverings give a different feel to each one. So last summer i bought some ridiculously chunky yarn in a lovely purple and went about making a cover for one of our cushions. 

I used a simple 2X2 rib and picked some large brown buttons to finish it off. 

I'm very happy with how it turned out. 

knitted cushion cover

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Green dream puerperium

undyed cardi


green dream

I have made what could be considered far too many of these cardigans. But I think that a go to newborn knit is something worth having. I love knitting this pattern. As you may have seen here, here and here.

This ended up being for a small girl born in early January. 

I love the buttons I chose. It took me the best part of twenty minutes in the fancy button shop in town to pick them. I had a very clear idea of what I wanted to have and finding that exact gleam in the buttons was hard work. Worth it though.

close up green dream