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Hello again! Well, I’m still working along on changing my blog. Today I finished designing the header, and I switched over to the new wordpress “theme” I’ll be using for a while until I can figure out how to design my own. It looks boring and white for now, but tomorrow I’m going to see if I cant design a nice background image for it. I’ve never tried learning CSS, but I figure it can’t be that hard- I’m pretty sure that if I can teach myself to knit, sew and cook I can teach myself freakin CSS and design my own damn blog theme so I’m not stuck with the cookie cutter wordpress ones. Not that there’s anything wrong with those, I just want this place to fit me a little more.

Yngve said my new header was a little “busy.” I rolled my eyes and said “uh, dude… I am busy. I’ve got my little fingers in a dozen different pots all the time. If I had to condense my personality down to to a 960×260 pixel banner, it would pretty much look like that. ” He nodded and said “yeah, I guess you’re right.” Of COURSE I’m right…

On another note, I will not be getting kicked out of Norway this year. Earlier in the fall I received a letter from Skatteetaten, which is sort of the Norwegian tax office- AKA the bureau for hellish bureaucracy – telling me that they were removing me from the central population registry (essentially making me an illegal immigrant and a non-entity here in Norway- I’d be unable to look for work or even go to the friggin doctor) because I renewed my residence permit five days late. I hadn’t even received a letter from the immigration office approving or rejecting my renewal, but because skatteetaten works way faster than UDI, the immigration office- AKA the “we work slower than molasses in February (in Svalbard)” office of bureaucracy- they were just going to go ahead and register me as if I had a rejected residence permit, or hadn’t reapplied at all and move along with making me miserable. Actually, the letter informed me that I should send them a letter explaining why I applied late or a copy of my renewed residence permit otherwise they would commence with the misery making. So, I penned them a letter explaining quite clearly that it was merely a case of misunderstanding and a mis-read expiry date on my residence permit. I happily mailed this letter fully expecting it to solve the problem.

WRONG.

About a week later, I received a second letter from Skatteetaten.

A THREE PAGE letter, to be exact.

It went something like this: “Dear Jessica: blah blah according to section 4, paragraph 82, sentence 3 of immigration law number 18347634309482962947346.2634363- F blah blah blah because also in section 22 paragraph 9 of…. and so forth and so on…. the law is clear that you must reapply exactly 30 days before your residence permit expires, you should have read and made yourself familiar with all twenty bazillion pages of Norwegian immigration law, because ignorance of the law is no excuse, neener neener. Love, Skatteetaten.”

Yeah ok, it wasn’t exactly like that, but it was pretty darn close. Of course, my reaction was a big ol’ W…T…F. Sooooo, several phone calls later I come to discover that the only thing I can do is mail them a “complaint” which will effectively put my case in limbo while my “complaint” is filed first with the regional office and then to the main office. The hope was that in that time, I will get my residence permit back. So, I penned an extremely snarky and grouchy complaint and stuck it in the mailbox with an accompanying one fingered salute. I also called the slow-ass immigration office and begged them to put review of my residence permit up in priority. It seems they felt some amount of pity on the fact that I reapplied in MAY and in OCTOBER I still hadn’t heard anything from them, so they sent it along. Yesterday, however, I received yet another letter from Skattetaten, this time saying that my snarky complaint has been processed, and the bureaucrat gods have ruled in favor of me. I get to stay in Norway. yay.

So anyway! On to the real purpose of today’s post: What I Ate!

BREAKFAST

This morning I had a weird breakfast. The other day I was reading this article from the NY Times on rethinking breakfast. Food writer Mark Bittman challenges us to step outside of what we consider the norm for breakfast to try something new, healthier, and possibly, more fulfilling. I’m pretty sure I stumbled on this article looking for things to do with the multitude of cooked wheat berries I’ve still got hanging out in my fridge- and Bittman had an idea for what looked (to me) to be a tasty breakfast: Wheat berries tossed with some soy sauce, sesame oil and scallions. I took a non-stick pan, sprayed it lightly with non-stick spray, then tossed in 1/2 cup of cooked wheat berries and fried them to heat them through (like stir fried rice!) I added two thinly sliced scallions, cooked those for like two minutes and one teaspoon of sesame oil and soy sauce. I put this in a bowl, then I cracked two eggs, beat them lightly and cooked them in the same pan. Took two minutes, max. Then I put the eggs in the same bowl with the wheat berries and bam! Breakfast. I thought this was pretty awesome. It was a bit like eating fried rice for breakfast. I’m pretty sold on this “different” breakfast thing. I think I’m going to have something else “different” tomorrow.

Breakfast Calorie totals:

1/2 c cooked wheat berries: 151 calories

2 eggs: 142 calories

1 tsp sesame oil: 16 calories

1 tsp soy sauce: 3 calories

scallions: 8 calories

TOTAL: 320 Calories

LUNCH

Unfortunately, I didn’t get a photo of lunch today I had a friend over around lunch time and forgot to snap a pic- but don’t despair, it wasn’t much different from yesterday. Well, except that I just had another open-faced roast beef sandwich.

Only this time, I added some freaking amazing homemade pickles that I canned earlier in the fall. Amazing doesn’t quite properly describe how good they are. More like don’t-leave-me-alone-with-the-jar good. I’ll eat the whole damn thing good. Gah, now I want to raid the pickle jar.

My Roast Beef Sandwich- once slice of whole wheat bread (we ran out of bread and I had to buy grocery store bread. sad day.) 1 tablespoon of dijon mustard, about 1/4 c of arugula, 1 oz of roast beef, and about 7 or so slices of homemade bread and butter pickle (counting the pieces I stole from the jar):

176 calories

DINNER

Dinner tonight was kind of boring. I wanted to make a kick-ass lower cal mac and cheese to serve with a chicken breast. I did make lower cal mac and cheese, but it wasn’t really all that kick ass, though it wasn’t really the recipes fault. I bought an extra mature english cheddar at the grocery store for use in the recipe- but I think it was a little too strong for me, even though I quite like strong cheddar. So for me the mac and cheese was sort of “meh.” I added a little more broccoli than the recipe called for, and I added it a little too early so it got a little over cooked for me, also contributing to the blah-ness of the recipe. Whoops. Otherwise, it would have been pretty good. I liked the additions of garlic powder and dijon to the cheese sauce.

The chicken breast I simply sprinkled with my favorite spice mix (just called “allround krydder” på norsk) and cooked it in a non stick pan sprayed with a little cooking spray.

Also, I’m really hating the lighting in my kitchen at night. Food pictures look pretty crappy around dinner time. I need to read up on some tips to make that better.

Dinner totals:

Despite being low cal, the mac and cheese comes in at a hefty 412 calories 1 1/4 cup serving, so it isn’t something I’ll be making very often

1 4 oz chicken breast: 130 calories

TOTAL: 542

OTHER THINGS

One of my friends came over today and together we made eating well’s Apple-Cinnamon Fruit Bars.

Except for adding a little cardamom in addition to the cinnamon in the apples, I pretty much followed the recipe exactly. These are pretty darn good. The recipe says to let them cool completely before cutting, but my friend and I determined that  they would have been just as good warm, if not better. Yngve complained they weren’t warm, but also said it was good.

I had one after they cooled, then another after dinner. At 192 each, that brings my entire daily total to:

1425 calories

Close enough.

See you tomorrow!

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