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On stormy and gray autumn days I need a dash of vitamin C!

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Illustrator needed!
I miss this guy so much while visiting my home country of Norway! Our daily wanders, conversations and snuggles. Mr Whiskey is quite the character. A cheeky monkey for sure but a true English gentleman at heart. I used to tell stories about him here on Instagram under #mrwhiskeystories and even if our conversations haven’t stopped, somehow life took over and his stories got filed elsewhere. However now as the bump grows, and our little girl is beginning to kick and make it known she’s here and ready to become a part of our little family, I find myself wanting to write his stories down. His mischievous adventures and deep thoughts. My father always told me bedtime stories of a boy with a dog with eagle wings that would carry him off into the mountain kingdom of the trolls. I want to pass on the tradition of telling stories to my little daughter, perhaps under the name of “The Adventures of Mr Whiskey” So I’ve began writing these stories down already over the past years, even before I’d even began thinking of one day giving birth to a little girl. I’ve spoken to Mr Whiskey about allowing me to tell his stories and to perhaps gather them all in a beautiful little book for children. He’s so far agreed to play the leading part, however we’re looking for the perfect illustrator to work with us in bringing his story to life! So we’re reaching out to you to see if you have any suggestions of wonderful illustrators with a magic pen. Please tag them in a comment below if you know of any that could be willing to work with us. And thank you again everyone for your incredibly generous support in the launch of my first cookbook! I’m over the moon! #mrwhiskeystories #thecottagekitchencookbook #whiskeyandmoi
Today is the day, and I couldn’t be more excited as I celebrate the launch of my cookbook “The Cottage Kitchen” in Norway with my family. If you’ve pre ordered my book it should come in the mail today or in the next few days. I wish I could send a thank you note to every single one of you that has so generously supported me through this journey, because without you I may not have made this book.
A friend popped by as I made the orange clove chicken with pears and butternut squash to go in the oven for the launch party dinner. While I chopped colorful vegetables and pierced the chicken with cloves she turned and said; It’s bold that you’ve shared such a personal journey in your book, it’s quite raw. I gave her comment a thought and replied that I’m not sure I could’ve done anything else. At the end of the day the only one we can be is ourselves, and in the book I wanted to share both my food journey and my personal journey with you. Standing raw and perhaps alone at crossroads, re-discovering who we are and finding our way home, even if that home may be within and not s destination. I wanted the best ok to be human, to share something real and honest through stories, recipes and images, and I can’t wait to hear what you think. Please tag me in both text and image if you post about it here on Instagram so I can pop over and read your thoughts. I have quite a few pop up events planned the next few months in regards to the launch of my book, and I’ll soon reveal the first location so stay tuned. But before I let you go, can I just say thank you again and leave you all with a grateful hug as I return to my launch party to blow out the candles on my ginger spiced pear tarte tatin. #thecottagekitchencookbook #launchparty #cantwaittohearwhatyouthink
Almost two years ago I made a decision to change the way I work and conduct my life. I wanted to spend more time with my closest family and friends. I wanted to spend more time with my dog, in my garden, go for walks, read books and in general nurture meaningful relationships with people I love and admire. To be more selective of how I spent my time, and with whom I spent it. One step in that direction was rearranging my workshops, adding more warmth, authenticity, and a sense of home amidst all the teaching, learning and sharing. As soon as the thoughts above had entered my mind, my mother came to mind. She has always been home, representing what's authentic, warm, strong and beautiful in this world, and anyone that comes in contact with her cannot help but feel her generous warmth as she hugs them welcome. Without any hesitation I called and told her my plan to include her in my workshops both at home here in England and abroad. She smiled and asked with a light laughter in her voice, "Are you sure Marte?" Yes, I replied without any hesitation. Like any relationship it takes time to work out how to best collaborate, how to bring out the best in each other, and how to read each other's signs when we simply need to be alone to rest. It has been one of the very best decisions I've ever made, and I'm so glad the thought entered my mind of making these changes to the way I work and live. Not only do we get to spend wonderfully rewarding time together as mother and daughter, but I have a sneaking suspicion our workshop participants love her presence and beautiful contributions as much as I do... #makinglifechanges #motheranddaughter #mmforsbergworkshop
I always ask him if he could picture himself living in whatever place we travel to. Paris was no exception. He gazed upwards towards the rooftop apartments with big windows overlooking the city and beyond. I followed his gaze, wanting to read his face before he delivered his thoughtful reply. If we lived up there, he said raising his arm pointing towards the sky and the elegant apartments at the top. I nodded and smiled. Arm in arm we strolled content and happy through the city’s many boulevards and narrow side streets. I pictured our life in the city as we walked, placing in my mind my cookbook in the window of every bookshop we passed. According to a quote I recently read, Albert Einstein once said: "Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution." I quoted it to my Englishman as we passed the pictured bookshop and he smiled. The rest of the day as we visited museums, galleries, favorite shops and cafes, we imagined our life together, and envisioned our dreams and goals, taking the very first step towards making them a reality... #dreamingupourfuture #imagintioniseverything #paris Disclaimer: We’re not moving to Paris anytime soon;)
This is all I need on a Monday morning. Misty green landscape, and this little guy slurping away from a wee muddy puddle. It's all as it should be this morning, and I couldn't think of any other place I'd rather be...
#backhomeinthecounyryside #visitwiltshire
Right before the evening sky descended on Paris like thick black smoke on our first evening, we strolled around the neighborhood that would serve as our home for the next few days. Majestic Sacre coeur winked at us from nearly every crossing street we passed, and before we knew it we were back at the very same view we marveled at last year. Sacre coeur wedged in between two classic Parisian apartment buildings. With little to no agenda for the next few days, we just strolled and ate our way through Paris many charming neighborhoods. We brunches and lunched at the ever charming @buvetteparis , however our favorite area, and the part of this city where we feel most at home, is Marais. It feels alive and vibrant, full of history, quaint bars, cafes and bistros, and filled to the brim with alluring boutiques that tempts at every turn. Like the Bermuda Triangle we seem to get stuck between bar 'Au petit fer a cheval', 'Hortance' and 'Les Philosophes' We're a total cliche as we order onions soup, a carafe of red wine with sides of snails, cheese, and foie gras. And then when our bellies yearn for that rustic-cooked-over-open-fire dinner in the quaintest of quaint Parisian eateries, we walk two streets down and duck in to 'Robert et Loise' where we emerge hours later with full bellies and happy smiles. Paris is whatever you want it to be, and we usually want it to be, old school... you won't find me searching out the newest trendiest eateries, I'm a simple girl with an appetite for a good steak cooked over open fire, a lovely vintage of red wine with darker notes, a well made and traditional onion soup, and plentiful of thin toasts with foie gras and a gentle sprinkle of salt. In Paris I'm ever so predictable, and thank heavens @theo_maxfield is the same... #paris #anniversarytrip
Before we could say 'Bonjour France' we'd unpacked our wee train picnic. It didn't look as elegant as this scene I style for the workshop I did with the lovely @thecooksatelier last autumn, but it definitely hit the spot. It's a total cliche, but I'm already dreaming about my first crepes with Nutella, and steaming hot French onion soup served in a small Parisian hole in the wall. We have our favorite jaunts to return to and a few new ones to explore. We don't like to plan too much. Meandering along the river and weaving and in and out of narrow streets, Cafes and galleries is our thing. I'd like to think that this is our first family trip of sorts, and that our little girl, (yes it's a girl!) is joining us, although she can't take in much of the vista yet. I can't wait to introduce her to the world! I recently listened to an interview with the brilliant late @oscardelarenta who spoke of his work as a fashion designer. Towards the end he mentioned his son, saying; 'The only aspiration I have for him is that he will become a good hearted man, which he is.' In this world of cheering our boys, and perhaps even more so our little girls on, I hear encouraging words of helping them build their strength, their independence, helping them understand and believe that they can do anything, achieve anything, to dream big and reach for the stars. I hope that with the help of our friends and family we'll be able to raise our little girl to believe all the above, but most of all, I hope she'll be a good hearted girl full of empathy. And that instead of breaking it, she blows kisses to the glass ceiling, as she passes it on her way reaching for her dreams.... #mamatobe
Before the sun rises tomorrow, we'll make our way down the hill from our cottage and board the Paris bound train, with a picnic basket filled to the brim with local cheeses, homemade bread, chutneys, pates and perhaps a bit of charcuterie. For a few days we'll swap old castle ruins, thick green forests and rolling hills for beautifully chic Paris. 'Don't they have food on the train', he suggested, 'but of course', I replied! But I know he'll be beyond excited when we begin unpacking our home made picnic bundle, creating a little spread of local delights as we make our way to Paris. Last year we went in November, and even if we were all bundled up in scarfs, coats and tall boots, the bone chilling winds off the river Seine was hard to fend off, as we spend days exploring our favorite spots around town. So this year we're cheekily celebrating our anniversary one month early with a long weekend in "our" Paris, hoping milder October winds will blow kisses rather than pinch our cheeks pink, as we dart in and out of our favorite museums, cocktail bars and bistros... #wanderlust #welovelurpicnics #parisherewecome
Curried parsnip soup, homemade by my local butcher, is slowly heating on the stove. Every now and then I just want to come home to a home cooked meal without having to lift a finger, and luckily my butcher had just the soup ready to be ladled up. So I'm sitting at my desk with Mr Whiskey by my feet organizing two more retreats for next year. Italy is now sold out, but we might add a couple more spots, and then I want to whisk you away to the Norwegian mountains for next summer cooking over open fire and foraging in the woods. In autumn, just as the leaves are about to turn I want to take you to a sleepy cottage with big old fireplaces, to cook, write and photograph, with creative sessions in the green sitting room depicted above. So many wonderful things to come that I'll tell you more about shortly. Have the loveliest weekend! Ps: Email us at workshop@mmforsberg.com to be put on our workshop/retreat news list! #mmforsbergworkshop #wonkyoldcottage #visitengland
These green rolling hills have been my home for the last four years now. I arrived by train one cold November afternoon and turned the key to a cottage I'd spotted on the internet just a week earlier. My suitcase was filled with winter jumpers, wellies, my parents old French copper pots and pans, and a brown leather-bound journal. Shortly after my arrival, I stopped writing my daily thoughts and feelings down. There were simply too many changes, too many thoughts, and too much to write, so I stopped, and instead began listening. It was a game changer, and four years later my very first cookbook is mere days away from its official launch. I'm lucky to have a publisher that let me tell my story of change through both recipes and words. Like it was my very own journal, my cookbook carries in it the story of that fateful night I discovered my wonky old cottage online, and how that first train ride to a small English village in the countryside changed my life forever... Follow the link in my profile to purchase your U.K. version, however for all of you living in USA, it's also available on Amazon.com. I can't wait to share my story and recipes with you, and to hear what you think! #thecottagekitchencookbook #justdaystogo
Thick fog, a gentle drizzle and green turning orange and brown. My favorite season has finally officially arrived, and I'm lighting every fireplace and candle in the cottage to celebrate. Tonight, a gloriously aromatic vegetable stew is on the menu, and for dessert, perhaps skillet roast lightly salted chestnuts with whipped brandy cream and baked pears? #autumnisfinallyhere #thecottagekitchencookbook #simplecomfortfood
We try to savour these fleeting days of warmth, Mr Whiskey and I. Time simply passes by too quickly not to stop, so we do often. It doesn't take much time of effort, just a blanket, a few nibbles and a cooling drink like @volvic.uk and off we go down to the river or to our favourite tree. While he runs around chasing rabbits and pheasants, I take a seat by a tree and read a book till he returns beautifully tired and ready to go home to the cottage. He may need to be walked twice a day, but who says he can't get his daily dose of exercise while I slumber under a tree? #findyourvolcano #ad
Continuous warm weather has made fruits and berries on all trees and hedges surrounding our quaint village in the countryside ripen at once! It´s all too much, and my cottage kitchen has turned into a busy production line of jams and cordials, quantities in such abundance we can hardly keep up! The warm sun and my stove are competing with heating up the kitchen to unbearable temperatures so I´m staying cool with @volvic.uk Touch of Fruit. Little sips here and there, then back to stirring simmering pots. It takes time and patience to make jams, but once you get in the rhythm of this kind of slow cooking it feels rather meditative. At the end of the day with jars upon jars filled with natural summer sweets, it feels ever so rewarding. The sweet busy mess left behind feels more like a beautiful seasonal tribute, and I find myself returning again and again to this very slow business of preserving the flavours of each season. #findyourvolcano #ad
Possibly the last pink roses from the garden before autumn and winter slumber sets in. Last night we prolonged the weekend with one more day by booking us in at our favorite local pub for the night. It was the perfect end to our holidays and the greatest way to wake up to a new week, in a whitewashed room with a view in a 650 year old pub @thecompasses There's always something about coming home from travels and being thrust into everyday life that makes me want to take it slow, and nest up a bit longer, so we did. Upon returning home later today, I picked roses, and dove in head first hoping to find lunch in our meager fridge. I got lucky. A mature Camembert had hidden itself in the back, and with a few sprigs of rosemary, a bit of garlic and a few sliced of pears, it was all alive again and in the oven it went. Out it came minutes later all melted and delicious. Happiness truly lies in the little things...like cheese...and freshly baked bread...and perhaps a glass of red wine (I have to wait till after the baby to enjoy the latter) Next week a few more workshops for next year will slowly emerge on my website, and one small one just in time for Christmas. Email me at workshop@mmforsberg.com if you want to be put on our emailing list for upcoming events, retreats and workshops. #bakedcamembertgalore #thatholidayfeeling
(First off, we're so excited that almost all the spots for our Italy workshop in May is now sold! There's a couple more available, so if you want to reserve your spot, pop over to my website and click on retreats, or click on the link in my profile.)
Our garden greeted us with its jungle like appearance when we arrived home last night. The bay leaf tree had grown what looked like a meter in all directions, and the grass on the lawn was like a sea of green as we waded through to get to the front door. I made a mental note to call my gardner, and to finally order old bricks for the front yard. Mr Whiskey couldn't contain his excitement and neither could we, finally our little team was united again. I adore exploring this fascinating and beautiful world of ours, but there's nothing like returning home happy and tired, tucking ourselves in at night in clean fresh linens, in our own bed. We fell asleep like rocks. Today it's all about errands, walking down to the local butcher and stock up on fruits, vegetables and a bit of meat for supper. The warm wind has moved on and the cooler temperatures from the north has made its arrival, autumn is finally here...and we are finally home...at least for a little while... #goldhill #visitdorset #finallyhome
So excited to hit the launch button for our next workshop in Italy May 2018! With mild Spring temperatures the fireplaces will be lit in each room @sextantio of Santo Stefano di Sessanio, a medieval village on a hilltop in the heart of Abruzzo, that will be our base for this five day workshop. We'll go truffle hunting in the nearby woods, and cook up a feast inside the old village walls. We'll focus of visual storytelling, cooking, styling and photographing, with session on post production and how to build your brand and the use of social media. For those of you who want to join us but are less interested in the branding and social media we've added a cooking session for you. You can mix and match sessions as you please. In the evening as we rest our weary feet, mixologist @theo_maxfield will make us cocktails infused with local botanicals and filled with that ever charming Italian aperitivo tradition. The workshop is now open for registration through the link in my profile. It's on a first come first serve basis. Should you have any questions, feel free to email us at workshop@mmforsberg.com Can't wait to see you there! #mmforsbergworkshop #foodstylingandphotography
Last night all sun kiss and tired from a day at the beach, we put our weary feet up and turned in to our hotel early. Rome has an abundance of fantastic places to eat, but we simply wanted an evening to ourselves. The main train station Termini in Rome has a great, albeit touristy indoor food court/market perfect for buying really tasty warm food, that we later arranged on top of our bed back at the hotel and made an impromptu dinner picnic with. It was perfect. All we did was talk, dream up future adventures and decided to get a cool looking Vespa sooner rather than later... #thebestevening #diningin #rome
We dove straight into a postcard on our first evening in Rome. Slowly walking along Tiber to the sound of street performers to the backdrop of ancient monuments, and stunning history filled architecture. St Peter's was silently yet ever so majestically glowing in the distance. We were headed towards the old Jewish quarter for supper, and as the sun set we turned onto Via Giulia with it's ever tempting fine antiques shops that had us in its embrace so long we forgot all about the Jewish quarter and deep fried artichokes, they're not in season anyway, and found the most charming old trattoria called "Da Sergio alle Grotte". While we nibbled on plate after plate with cheese and charcuterie as our antipasti, we read all of your heartwarming comments on my previous post announcing the bump. Thank you all ever so much! It's all so very moving that you took the time to congratulate us. This morning we took it slow. Enjoyed a late breakfast and hopped on the slow train headed to the beach outside Rome all smiles and ready to swim all day, hopefully working up an appetite for yet another evening feast on traditional Roman food this evening. #mmforsbergrome #holidaygalore #rome
As we climbed into the bus that would take us from Salerno to Matera, a couple of days before my workshop began, I thought about the bump. I'd emailed the participants in advance letting them know, but I still felt so shy about it all. I found it increasingly challenging to let people know that my loved one and I were expecting a little person. At home and with friends and family we were so excited and talked about it with great anticipation, but sharing the news outside of my little bubble felt daunting, as if I was crossing a line between what I consider private vs personal. I strive to keep them separate, no matter how open I am and enjoy being here on social media or in public, I reserve the private moments to myself. I love sharing with you, taking you with me on travels and on daily adventures, and I treasure the feeling of us all being friends here on Instagram (can I call us that?). So, as we found our seat front row on the bus, giving us panoramic view of the passing landscape on our journey, I knew I wanted to tell you, to share this wonderful, and for me very private news, that we are expecting a little one first week of February! It caught us by surprise, but it is such joyous news! We had planned to wait a while longer before becoming a family, but perhaps sometimes things happen for a reason and we both couldn't be happier. I want to tell you more about my experience of becoming a mother, as I've heard and seen so many beautiful stories on and off line, but these first 4 1/2 months have been a journey of finding myself again and not at all as beautiful and glamorous as perhaps I thought it would be, but that's for another day. Today, my love @theo_maxfield and I will wander the streets hand in hand wrapped in a bubble of bliss, celebrating life, love, and gloriously beautiful Rome. #becomingamother ( 📷 by @theo_maxfield )
Last night we dressed for dinner and guided by the full moon we made our way to the cave where we were having our last supper. Candles were lit and we all licked our plates of local pasta clean. Prosecco bottles were popped and course after course of local dishes were happily devoured. At the end of the evening, before hugs and teary goodbyes, we enjoyed a dessert called "Nuns tits" looking exactly like their name and filled with vanilla cream. We all blushed a bit as we nibbled away on this slightly vulgar dessert. It's always hard to say goodby, but we exchanged emails and addresses hoping to see each other soon again. This morning all our bags were packed in the dim light of the cave candles and props were wrapped in every summer dress and nightgown I owned to keep them safe on the journey back up to Rome. As I blew out the last candle I whispered to these ancient cave wallls...we'll be back... @sextantio #mmforsbergworkshop