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April, 2012

  1. Eat Scandi!

    April 29, 2012 by admin

    Seems the interest in Scandinavian is just growing and growing, gone are the days of thinking it is all IKEA meatballs and pickled herring (but not to forget those too are some cornerstones of the scandi kitchen after all!) and now newspapers are raving on about the deliciousness of it all. Seems the world best restaurant is a Danish one and it is coming to London. Warburtons are making bread that looks suspiciously like tunnbrod and small honokakor. Castello cheese have brought over prast and herrgard cheese, as well with the ever popular Danish blue  So surely not since the Vikings have there been so much of Scandinavia in the UK.

    If you want a piece of the action I suggest a trip into London and visit Scandinavian Kitchen and have some fika  or well if you want fika why not go straight to Fika in Brick Lane. Ok let me stop here and explain fika before you think it is a rude word

    Fika is both a Swedish verb and noun (pronounced “fee-ka”) that roughly means “to drink coffee/tea/squash,” usually accompanied by something sweet

    There is also a shop in west London called Totally Swedish, which used to be where I got my Swedish kicks from when I used to live in London. So if you want to eat scandi, why not visit those places armed with the cookbook from Scandilicious  or read her blog  pick out some recipes and try it yourself. She is now working on a book on baking.

    I try to do my part; so I shall share another very easy recipe that is brilliant to make with your kids as there is no oven involved and a lot of mess

    Chocolate coconut balls
    75 gr butter
    1 ½ cups sugar
    1 tablespoon vanilla sugar
    4 cups rolled oats
    2 tablespoons cocoa
    3 tablespoons strong cold coffee
    Mix everything except the coffee that you stir in the end, roll them in desiccated coconut. Or if you have indeed been to a scandishop roll them in parlsocker. Then put them in the fridge for a few hours or if you are greedy in the freezer for 20 mins

  2. In a twitterverse far far away

    April 28, 2012 by admin

    Twitter is amazing. Really I love it, I’ve met several great people through it both in person and online. Someone said that the difference between facebook and twitter is that on Twitter you follow people you want to get to know, on facebook you befriend people you already know. But in this MTV generation world, the short message style communication Twitter has just seems to fit in so brilliantly. I remember during the London riots the updates on there were more timely than on the news. Traditional media really is behind social media.

    Through Twitter I decided to set up my hat shop. Through twitter I established a little local hub of mums (follow me on letchworthmums). Through twitter I got to know lovely people such as Helenfrench and Emfrid .  But through twitter I got to meet a lot of other people with MS, both through the work I do at the MS Trust, but also through my personal account when I spotted people that I started following. I read their blogs and have a bit of a chat, and I admire how involved in the twittervese some of themt are. And how close many of them are, even without meeting each other in person. When I went to MS Life I had the pleasure of meeting some of them and it was lovely.

    This evening something really caught my eye, it was some people tweeting about this page  Pay-It-Forward Spoonie Style. Ok before I continue, maybe and explanation of the word Spoonie? It comes from Christine Miserandino’s Spoon Theory.

    “Spoonies are people that live with chronic illness; theoretically measuring personal daily abilities much as one would measure the proper amount of spoons needed for an event or occasion… sometimes having an abundance, other times coming up short.”

    Anyway…back to my story. I  ame across the page Pay-It-Forward Spoonie Style. A girl called Vanessa  is pledging to get money for a new second hand wheelchair for fellow spoonie Margo, as her wheelchair has broken and would cost lots to repair  I have followed Margo on twitter for a good while now, and I read her blog, she even guest blogged for us at the MS Trust blog. And in the same way as I would sponsor a friend running a race for chairty I felt like I wanted to contribute also.  She has raised over £500 so far. So twitter really does create a twitterverse a little universe of likeminded people who find each other whatever locations they may live at. I love it, but then again I would. I met my husband on an IRC channel when I was living in Sweden and him in the UK back in the 90’s…but that is a different story!

    My Twitter necklace from twitter entrepreneur @AlyssaJewellery

  3. Hyperism Ememy #1…the buggy storage room

    April 25, 2012 by admin

    Every weekday there are a few stress elements I always go through, those moments when my heart-rate starts ticking away faster and I grind my teeth. Yes I didn’t even knew I did that, but my husband has pointed it out a few times.  Stress moment number 1 actually is around him. He likes sleeping, and is very hard to get out of bed in the morning. So I feel like I have two children to get up in the morning. Once when my alarmed failed to ring, we both were delayed because he just turned his off and continued sleeping. My son is pretty much the same. Apart from on weekends of course…then he wants to get up.

    Stress moment #2 is getting out of the office on time and get to nursery before 1, as if you pick up late you might get fined. This stress is my own fault as I often loose track of time and suddenly see that I have 3 mins to finish up  what I am working on and dash out the door.

    Event #3 is by far the worst one, and one where often brings me into a swearing mode; the buggy storage cupboard at Mr T’s nursery.

    This little room is never empty, it has Christmas decorations and all sorts of randomness, and when I show up just before lunch time it is stacked full with buggies, and as I have been one of the first people to put mine in, our buggy is almost always at the bottom of an evil pile-up. Every morning I fold the buggy up and try to tuck it away, hoping others will be doing that too, but no, several people just seem to roll it in, or throw their on top of the others, so I have to dig dig dig. It is not even the biggest buggies that are a problem, far from it, mostly it is an unfolded buggy that ends up blocking the door that ends up falling down so no-one can even get in. Quite a few times I have had to go get staff to help me get into the room, as the door has been totally blocked. So combining moment number 2 of rushing and number 3 of chaos in the buggy room, quite often gets me into swearing mode. To be standing outside a nursery swearing is not so good, I know. So I try to only do it in Swedish. But still…grrrrrrr

  4. Cookie Monster Law Implementation

    April 24, 2012 by admin

    Oh my head, I’ve been in London today to listen to a seminar about implementing the new cookie law. Sadly not a law referring to baking of any kind, but to web cookies. Those pesky little containers of data storage that pretty much are on every website you visit. Most of the time they will go un-noticed. Such as in the case of Google analytics who uses cookies to show website owners how many users are visiting the site, and how they are using their site. But then there are those scary 3rd part cookies that mess with your head. You know cases like when you have been on a clothes site drooling over some dress you can’t afford, then when you a few hours later go online and read the news on a news site you suddenly see THAT dress appear in the advertising banner on the news site. First time that happened to me a few years ago I took it as a sign and went and bought that dress, like a little sucker!

    Anyway…cookies are everywhere, unless you are on a very simple website there will be some cookies in action. Even this blog has got google analytics on it. So what is this new law that is being put into place on the 26th of May? Well first of all it isn’t a new law at all, it was in fact put in place in May last year, but with everyone being so confused about it and not understanding what to do, it was decided that us poor web workers out there would get some more time to implement this and make more sense of it. So we got a year….however a year later and I think we are no closer to making sense of it.

    Because really what should happen on the 26th of may is that when you visit any website that uses cookies (so that will be most sites then) on that day, you’ll be covered in new cookie and privacy statements as well as popups asking for your consent to use these cookies. I doubt that this will happen. In fact if it does I shall grind my hat into flour and make a cookie out of it and eat it. This however is the new law, (as stated by ICO);

    Cookies or similar devices must not be used unless the subscriber or user of the relevant terminal equipment:
    (a) is provided with clear and comprehensive information about the purposes of the storage of, or access to, that information; and
    (b) has given his or her consent.

    To state on your website that you are using cookies is of course not very hard, it might take you a while to write the statement so clearly that all can understand. For example if you are using cookies in a webshop, not excepting the cookies won’t take you to the next step in the shop. ICO tells us that we have to state this clearly, not hide it away in some obscure place.

    The second part however is where it gets tricky, how do you get consent? On the ICO website they have got a banner on all pages asking for your consent to use cookies, and unless you click it they can’t use it. Which will mean any analytics data they try to collect won’t be collected until the user tick the box. Great for the user perhaps if you have had enough of big brother watching. BUT with the amount of people being confused about cookies and not understanding how they work, how will you ever get these people to tick the box? They will just be scared and ignore it. Then when they come to order items in your webshop, they will be angry and annoyed as the shop won’t work properly, because cookies are disabled.

    But the most annoying thing about this implementation is that the ICO really don’t seen to know how to implement it and what to do in certain cases. Like for example E-mailing of newsletters via things like mailchimp or dotmailer. They also track the user, see what they click on in the email, if they forward it, all very useful data for companies and organisations. But there seem to be no clear “this is what you need to do” list. Same goes with Google analytics, they say it might be ok, it might not. So it is all very confusing to know what to do as a plan of action for now. And from what I hear most companies are going to “wait and see” what will happen come May 26th .

    So really…the cookie law is as clear as mud (cake)

  5. Gooey Cake

    April 23, 2012 by admin

    It was Mr T’s third birthday yesterday, he had demanded chocolaty cake of some sort so I thought I would bake something known as Kladdkaka which translates to gooey cake. It is related to the brownie, but I would say it is tastier. A friend of mine hinted that Scandinavian Kitchen had just published one in their blog that was good, so I decided to try it out. They also suggested to have it with whipped cream with Daim pieces. So that is what we had, and it was very yum indeed. Mr T got his cake and I got a new recipe for my collection.