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Archive for the ‘nature’ Category

Winter’s End

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Stunning skies of bright azure are Lady Winter’s farewell gift. The sun grows in its splendor, bright and brilliant with a hint of  warmth as it strengthens in the journey towards a new, softer season. Spring has not yet sprung, but it’s near-readiness is palpable.

It’s been a busy week. Little Emma turns 6 months today. This week she has started to roll over for the very first time. I am so incredibly proud, and so amazed at how quickly time is flying. She continues to be the most relaxed baby to  “roll” the earth:)

At the same time we are rediscovering the world through the eyes 4-year-old Isabel. Yesterday, she put on spectacles for the first time, following her first eye test a few weeks ago. I do believe that she has seen my face properly for the very first time this week. Imagine. It was a moving experience of loss and of joy.

As you see from the pictures, this week has also been a time for many beautiful winter walks. It’s still quite cool here; around three or four degrees, but the slight raise in temperature is noticeable. The mornings and evenings are lighter, the days are lengthening and the atmosphere is one of hope and new beginnings. We are also treated to beautiful sunsets over the sea.

in March and April we can see the Sun setting into the sea from our living-room window. This is my favourite time of the year to sit with a cup of tea in the evening and just gaze. I can sit there for hours. I promise to share some pictures in future blogs. The one below was just at the end of the sunset and so is a little dark.

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Here in Norway the 1st March is considered the first day of spring.  So: Happy Springtime!

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Tumbling tulips. I adore tulips. Aren’t they wonderful? A true harbinger of spring. I know that many have had tulips in their home since January, but I resist the temptation. I want the exquisite pleasure of seeing their bright beauty when I really am feeling that spring is in the air.

Isn’t it wonderful that we are on the precipice of the warmer, lighter half of the year? Do you feel your heart lightening, the spring in your step. the ever so slight relief of having made it through another winter? I am quite sure that survival instinct is ingrained in us all.

There has been little time for crafting this week, but I do have some projects on the go that I will share with you soon. I have some beautiful fabric which I am just itching to do something with….sneak peek….

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But I do have a recipe for you. This is an easy pasta recipe which pretty much uses store-cupboard ingredients. I put it together quickly when we spontaneously invited friends to dinner after ice-skating.

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Pasta with Bacon and Cheese Sauce

(Dedicated to Trond 🙂

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You will need:

500g pasta of your choice

2 tbsp. butter

2 heaped tablespoons flour

500ml milk

200g cheese of choice, grated

1 small tin sweetcorn

1 handful frozen peas

1 teaspoon of oregano

1 teaspoon paprika

fresh parsley to taste and for garnish (optional)

Salt and pepper to taste

1.  Boil water in a large pan and cook pasta according to instructions on packet

2.  Melt butter in a medium saucepan. Cut up bacon rashers into small pieces (I use scissors for ease) and fry until golden and almost crisp. Remove bacon from pan and set aside.

3. Turn down heat to medium. Stir flour into butter until combined. It’s supposed to be lumpy at this point. Heat for 1 minute.

4. Add milk; a little at a time, whisking the whole time to avoid lumps. Turn up the heat and bring to boil, whisking the whole time. When the sauce begins to boil; take off the heat. Add most of the cheese, reserving a little to sprinkle over the top of the dish when finished. Stir until the cheese melts and is combined into the sauce.

5. Place back on a low-medium heat. Add the bacon. Add sweetcorn and peas and warm through. Add oregano and paprika, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Simmer for 5 minutes. Add fresh parsley at the end, if using.

6. Drain off the pasta, leaving 2-3 tbsp cooking water in the pan with the pasta. The starch in the cooking liquid will give your finished sauce a smoother, silky consistency. Pour the bacon sauce onto the pasta and stir to combine. Serve in bowls for maximum comfort eating. Sprinkle cheese and fresh parsley on top. Garlic bread would be a perfect accompaniment to this dish!

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Enjoy!  ‘Til next time…..

Marilyn x

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