Thursday, 30 October 2014

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J Summary (5Y7M25D) - Chinese Spelling


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App to Teach Chinese Writing

Here is a link to an article about an app to teach Chinese writing:

http://www.scmp.com/lifestyle/family-education/article/1625887/app-teach-chinese-writing-hit-local-and-expatriate-kids
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J Summary (5Y7M25D) - J Singing Bible Verse Songs


During the darkest moments in my life, the Word of God that came to mind had been a source of strength, comfort and hope. The Word of God guides us through life, in times when courage is needed, in times of ethical dilemma, in time of confusion, in times of joy, in time of discouragement when wisdom is needed.

But how do we do it? We do it by hiding God's Word in our heart, so that it will bring to mind and we can draw upon it, when we need it. We hide it in our heart by memorizing it. And one of the most effective ways is memorizing it through songs.

I wish for J to hide God's Word in his heart, and we have been learning to sing some of the Bible Verse Songs. You can find a list of the songs and the melody here:

http://momlearnings.blogspot.dk/2014/09/bible-memory-verse-songs-for-children.html

J singing Deuteronomy 6:5 - Love the LORD your God
 
J singing John 1:1-2 - In the Beginning was the Word
 
J singing 1 Timothy 4:12 - Don't Let Anyone Look Down On You

Monday, 27 October 2014

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White Bean & Sausage Soup Stew in Pumpkin

A simpler recipe adapted from Martha Stewart's White Bean and Sausage Stew in Pumpkin Bowl
Serves 4

Preparation & Cooking Time: 2.5 hours

Ingredients:
1. 1 Hokkaido pumpkin
2. 1/2 TBS olive oil
3. 1/4 cup white beans
4. 1 large onion chopped
5. 1 bay leave
6. 1 cup water or chicken stock
7. 3-4 sausages
8. 2 TBS cooking oil
9. 1 clove garlic minced
10. 1 leek - white portion sliced thinly crosswise
11. 1 large carrots chopped crosswise and halfed
12. 1 celery chopped crosswise
13. 1 large potato cut into bite-sized cubes
14. 1 handful of oyster mushrooms sliced
15. 1/4 cup frozen peas
16. 1 cup fresh milk (3.5% fat)
17. 1/8 cup flour
18. 1 TBS cream (9% fat - kaffefløde) (optional)
19. Salt & pepper to taste

Directions:
1. Cook white beans with water or chicken stock, bay leave and onion. I cook using the pressure-cooker for 15 minutes when it reaches steam.

2. Pre-heat oven to 170 degree celsius.

3. Cut out top of pumpkin with a hole big enough to ladle soup into it. Remove pulp.

4. Rub inside of the pumpkin with olive oil, salt and pepper.

5. Place the pumpkin and its top on an oven-proof dish and bake for 25 minutes. Remove top and set aside.

6. Turn the pumpkin bowl up-side-down and bake for another 25 minutes. Set aside to cool down.

7. Heat wok with 1/2 TBS cooking oil and fry sausages 3-4 minutes on each side on moderate heat. Cut into bite-size and set aside.

8. Heat wok with 11/2 TBS cooking oil and fry garlic until golden on high heat.

9. Add carrots and celery fry until golden.

10. Add leeks and saute under moderate heat (no. 7.5 on my stove).

11. Add in mushroom and fry until fragrant.

12. Add potatoes, sausages and white beans including the liquid from cooking the white beans and simmer until moderate heat until the potatoes are cooked.

13. Add flour, stir and mix well.

14. Reduce heat to medium (no. 4.5 on my stove), add milk and simmer for 15 minutes until the stew is thick.

15. Add frozen green peas and stir for 1 minute.

16. Ladle stew into pumpkin bowl and bake for 10 minutes until stew is absorbed into the pumpkin bowl. (You will still have half of the portion remaining in the pot, which can be refilled into the púmpkin bowl).

17. Garnish with pumpkin top and serve.

Tips:
Serve with stone age bread cut into bite-size and toasted in the oven.

Additional Information:
Our love affair with pumpkin continues... Just love pumpkins - they are so cute and so tasty. I made this dish together with J for dinner this evening. J was very excited and he helped me to peel the potato. J and Daddy liked this soup stew. I will make it again. You can do completely away with the cream, and it will still taste good.

References:
http://www.marthastewart.com/338277/white-bean-and-sausage-stew-in-pumpkin-b







The top is now eaten, tasted caramel and very sweet.

Left-over, all combined with pumpkin and the stew gets and orange color
 
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J Summary (5Y7M22D) - Sense of Humour

 
J showed us a picture of a forest that he had taken. We look at it and thought that it was a very nice tree. Then we said that it looked familiar. Then we realised that it was the picture on our staircase. At this point, J was giggling and laughing all the way. He has played a joke on us and tricked us - well almost.
 

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Reflection: Why Does God Allow Evil and Suffering in the World (Part 2)

Jesus told them another parable: "The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared.
 
"The owner's servants came to him and said, 'Sir, didn't you sow good seed in your field? Where then did hte weeds come from?'
 
"'An enemy did this,' he replied.
 
"The servants asked him, 'Do you want us to go and pull them up?'
 
"'No,' he answered, 'because while you are pulling the weeds, you may root up the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.'"
- Matthew 13:24-29

As I mentioned in my previous post, I wanted to be able to explain to J why I believe in God. I wanted to be able to explain to him why there is evil and suffering in this world. I may not have all the right answers, but I want to have thought through and have my own opinion, that would encourage him to search out the answers. I don't want to say, "I don't know, and I don't have an opinion. It doesn't matter. Don't worry about such things," and dismiss it. I wanted to be ready to give an answer that speaks firmly of my conviction (1 Peter 3:15), especially to my own child, the conviction of why I believe in God and why I chose to be a Christian, and why I want to learn to love God. Thus, the search continues and this question has been on my mind. I cried out to God, "Why does He allow evil and suffering in this world?" Last night, there was anguish in my soul as I long to understand and find an answer.

Our God is high above, and we are down on earth. God's thoughts are higher than our thoughts and His Ways are higher than our ways (Isaiah 55:9). Yet, in His compassion and loving-kindness, He answered me directly and clearly this morning, as I opened my Bible to continue my weekly Bible reading from Matthew. There and there, God answered me with the passage from Matthew 13:24-29.

God explains in Matthew 13:24-29 the reason why evil and suffering exists in this world. God did not create evil, but the devil by sowing "weeds", sowing lies, first with Eve, then with Adam, and through Adam and Eve, us and the devil is still sowing weeds and deceit in this day. But if God removes evil (the weeds), He may pull up the good along with them (the wheats). As such, God is patient with us, not wanting anyone of us to perish, that He is putting up with evil in the world (2 Peter 3:9). God endures all these, so that more souls can be saved. To God whose time scale is limitless and infinite, a day is like a thousand year and a thousand year is like a day (2 Peter 3:8).

If God roots out all evil, there will be no one left, as we are all sinful and evil to various degree. Where should he draw the line? He is waiting until the harvest, because He is allowing us to grow and mature as seeds grow and matured into plants with fruits at harvest time. At harvest, which is in His time, He will then separate the good from the bad (the wheats from the weeds).

I should thank God for not pulling out the evil in the world yet, for so many of my loved ones are not saved yet. If He roots out evil now, none of them will have a chance. Thank you for answering me, dear God.

Whenever there is evil (weeds), there will be troubles. Whenever there are troubles, there will be sufferings. But the good news which gives us strength and hope is that God has overcome the world (John 16:33).

Though there are many innocents who suffered unjustly because of evil, God is concerned about saving souls for eternity. He lays down His life for sinners. God knows that the soul of those innocents, although to the extent of losing their lives on earth, are saved for eternity.

Because God is victorious and triumphant, God is able to use the evil that resulted from the devil and from our sinful nature, and turn it for the greater good and purpose, which with our temporal and limited eye-sight and understanding, we may not be able to understand.

In Matthew 13:37-43, God explains the Parable of the Weeds:

Man who sowed good seed = Son of Man
Field = The World
Wheat (good seed) = sons of the kingdom
Weeds (bad seed) = sons of the evil one
Enemy = The devil
Harvest = The end of the age
Harvesters = Angels

Being a human, I don't have 100% full understanding yet, but God's answer in Matthew 13:24-29 has so far provided a sufficient satisfactory answer the reason for evil and suffering to exist in this world, that enable me once more to trust in Him, in His ultimate goodness and triumphant over evil, in His wisdom and in His love. My heart is at ease, thanks be to God.
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Reflection: Learnings from Sarah Edwards (Part 2)


As I read the story of Sarah Edwards, the amazing wife of Jonathan Edwards... I began to understand this verse from the Bible:

"Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop - a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown." - Matthew 13:8

Her legacy can be traced throughout many generations of descendents after her in the USA:

1 Vice-President of the US
1 controller of the US treasury
3 US senators
3 state governors
3 mayors of large cities 11 college presidents
30 judges
65 professors
66 doctors
80 holders of public office
100 lawyers
100 missionaries
many authors and editors

How did Sarah Edwards "fall" onto the soil?

She did so by dying to herself, by devoting her life and sacrifcing her time (thereby foregoing a public career for a private career) for the good of her family.

How does it translate to the modern life?

When we are given the privilege of putting aside our hard-earned degree and career, and wake up everyday to do what seem to be mundane, boring and unglamorous in the eyes of the world... cooking, cleaning, doing laundry, making lunchboxes, driving our kids to their various activities, nursing our children, correcting, disciplining, playing with our children, doing homework with our children, we are dying and sacrificing our lives each day, to give our family and children the best soil to thrive and grow up.

Therefore, dear mommies, do not look down on your work. It has generational impact.

References:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jonathan_Edwards_(theologian) http://www.unlockingthebible.org/jonathan-edwards-leaving-a-godly-legacy/

Sunday, 26 October 2014

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J's Lunchbox


J's lunchbox at 5 years old (5Y7M22D)

It is getting mundane, and J's lunchbox is sliding down-hill again... so time again for me to make and post them to motivate myself to buck up :-)

Clockwise: dumplings, pizza with home-made pumpkin sauce, sausage, carrot, home-made apple sauce with grape, roasted cashew nuts and goji berries, blanched broccoli and spelt grains.
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J Summary (5Y7M21D) - Correcting Mommy

It is morning, mommy sprang out of bed and checked her iPad.

Joshie: Mommy, it is wrong to look at iPad the first thing in the morning.

Mommy: :-} feeling embarrassed.
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Super Easy Pumpkin Puree (for Babies from 6 Months Old)

 

Ingredients:
- 1 Hokaido pumpkin

Directions:
1. Pre-heat oven to 170°C (or 340°F).

2. Wash and cut pumpkin into half. Remove seeds and pulp.

3. Place in an oven-proof flat dish face down and bake for 30 - 45 minutes until tender.

4. Mash with fork or blend with blender. Add water to adjust for desired consistency and add 1 TBS olive oil for babies.

Additional Information:
Can't believe that J is 5 years old already, and I am still making baby food!!! But pumpkin puree is so useful for pumpkin sauce for pasta, pizza, soup, bread, muffins and desserts...
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Super Easy Pumpkin Soup


Serves 4

Preparation & Cooking Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:
1. Pumpkin sauce (See directions here)
2. 1 litre water
3. Salt & pepper to taste
4. A handful of pumpkin seeds as garnish (optional)
5. A handful of chives as garnish (optional)
6. 1 slice of "stone-age" bread cut to cubes bite-size

Directions:
1. Heat pot, add pumpkin sauce and water.
2. Reduce to low heat, once it begins to boil.
3. Add salt and pepper to taste.
4. Ladle into bowl and garnish with pumpkin seeds and chives.
5. Serve with "stone-age" bread as crontons.


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Pizza with Pumpkin Sauce



Serves 6

Preparation & Cooking Time: 20 minutes (Excluding pre-made pumpkin sauce)

Ingredients:
1. Pizza dough (Store-bought from Netto)
2. Pumpkin Sauce
3. 3-4 slices of ham (optional)
4. A handful of grated mozzarella cheese

Directions:
1. Pre-heat oven to 200 degree celsius.
2. Roll out pizza and spread with a layer of pumpkin sauce
3. Add ham.
4. Sprinkle grated cheese on top.
5. Place balls of pumpkin sauce on top.
6. Sprinkle pumpkin seeds on top.
7. Bake for 10 minutes and serve.

Additional Information:
Made this for lunch today, and it tasted good.


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Wholesome & Tasty Spelt Dessert


Ingredients:
1. 1 bowl of cooked spelt grains (Cook according to instructions here)
2. Half cup fresh milk
3. 1 TBS apple sauce
4. A handful of chopped nuts
5. A dash of cinamon powder

Directions:
1. Cook cooked grains in a pot of milk for 20 minutes or until the liquid and flavour is absorbed.
2. Drain and serve with apple sauce and chopped nuts.

Additional Information:
My Significant Other tried this from his work canteen and we made this for snack dinner yesterday. We love the chewy texture of cooked spelt grains
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Spelt

Serves 4

Preparation & Cooking Time: 1-1-5 hour

Ingredients:
1. 1 cup spelt whole grains
2. 3 cups water
3. 1 tsp salt

Directions:
1. Rinse and drain spelt grains.
2. Bring to boil and pot of water.
3. Add spelt grains.
4. Cover and cook under medium-low heat for 60-80 minutes until the grains are chewy.
5. Drain off excess water.

Tips:
1. If you soak the grains overnight, you can reduce the cooking time to 40-60 minutes.

Serving Tips:
1. Add cooked grains to salad.
2. Add cooked grains to soup.
3. Toss cooked grains in olive oil and salt.
4. Toss cooked grains in butter and salt.
5. Add milk, cinamon powder, apple sauce, chopped nuts and serve. (See here for more details.)

Additional Information:
Spelt is similar to oats and very nutritious and high in fiber.

Friday, 24 October 2014

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Why Does God Allow Evil and Suffering in the World (Part 1)


Seeing so much evil and sufferings in this world from the news on TV and in the newspapers, I could not help, but cry out to God, "God, why do you allow evil and suffering?"

How can I explain to J, when he gets older?

Here are some answers that I have found that I am archiving here:

http://www.gotquestions.org/God-allow-evil.html

http://www.josh.org/resources/study-research/answers-to-skeptics-questions/why-does-a-good-god-allow-evil-to-exist/

http://carm.org/why-does-god-allow-evil-and-suffering-world

http://www.christianpost.com/news/how-to-answer-why-would-god-allow-evil-68390/

http://rickwarren.org/devotional/english/why-does-god-allow-evil

http://www.christianbiblereference.org/faq_evil.htm

http://www.rationalchristianity.net/evil.html

http://www.allaboutgod.com/faq/why-did-god-create-evil.htm

http://www.compellingtruth.org/God-allow-evil.html

http://www.alwaysbeready.com/evil-and-suffering

http://www.focusonthefamily.com/faith/becoming_a_christian/is_christ_the_only_way/how_can_god_allow_so_much_evil_and_suffering.aspx

http://www.gci.org/spiritual/trials/evil

https://www.biblegateway.com/blog/2012/07/why-does-god-allow-tragedy-and-suffering/

http://www.faithfacts.org/search-for-truth/questions-of-christians/how-can-god-allow-evil-and-suffering

http://www.strangenotions.com/why-does-god-allow-sin-and-suffering/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/deepak-chopra/why-does-god-allow-evil_1_b_3132370.html

http://www.ncregister.com/blog/jimmy-akin/why-does-god-allow-sin-and-suffering

http://mercyonline.net/2013/08/26/from-his-side-blood-and-water-flowed/

http://www.exploregod.com/why-does-god-allow-pain-and-suffering?gclid=Cj0KEQjw8aeiBRCknPXk-u_V_4gBEiQAD2-mgS1zOV8N8i4X6QBmkLCK6j-ipkvl49A4t6Oh8oYYDtsaApZ78P8HAQ
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J Summary (5Y7M19D) - At the Monkey Bar


When I picked J up at the kindergarten today, he wanted to show me his "stunts" at the monkey bar. Our baby has grown into a boy able to do things that I could no longer do.... It brought back my childhood memories. Come to think of it, I used to do that at my primary school's monkey bar too... some donkey years ago.
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Potato Leek Soup


Serves 4

Preparation & Cook Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients:
1. 4 medium sized potatoes cut bite-sized
2. 2 leeks sliced thin including the green parts
3. 1 medium onion chopped
4. A handful of 200g chicken slices marinated with salt and 1 tsp corn starch
5. 1.5 litre water
6. 250ml 9% cream (kaffefloede) (optional)
7. Cornstarch solution (1 tsp corn starch mixed with 1/2 cup water) (optional, for thickening soup)
8. Chives for garnish (optional)

Directions:
1. Bring to boil a pot of water and add potatoes, simmer under medium-low heat for 20-30 minutes until potatoes are tender (no. 4 on my stove).
2. In the mean time, heat oil in a pan, fry chicken until cooked and add into soup pot containing potatoes.
3. Heat oil in a pan again, saute leeks and onions under medium heat until soften (no. 7 on my stove).
4. Add salt, stir well and then transfer to soup pot.
5. Lightly mash potatoes in the pot with fork, retaining some chunks.
6. Add salt and pepper to taste.
7. Add cream and corn starch to reach desired consistency.
8. Garnish with chives and serve.

Additional Information:
J (5Y7M19D) harvested leeks from the kindergarten and took it home. He wanted me to make a dish of it. So we made the potato soup.

References:
http://www.marthastewart.com/334339/potato-leek-soup



Thursday, 23 October 2014

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J Summary (5Y7M18D) - I Believe in God



This morning, J was clicking on the National Geographic app. from the iPad and saw many photos of magnificent nature. He asked, "Mommy, are these painting or photos?"

I said they are photos.

J then asked, "Did the people take these photos because they want others to "tro paa Gud" (believe in God in English)?

I said maybe if they believe in God, but I think people took the pictures of scenery, because they are so awesome and beautiful. These photos showed the glory of the creation of God. Nature is not God. Nature speaks of the glory of God."

J accepted Christ on 6 April 2012 on Good Friday at a tender age of 3 years old, and I wondered if he really understood the meaning. So every now and then, I will ask him if he believes in God and Jesus.

So I asked him this morning, "Do you believe in God? (Tror du paa Gud?)"

He said, "Yes, I believe in God."

Curious and wanting to hear why and what made him believe in God, I asked, "Why do you believe in God?"

J replied, "I just believe in God."

What confidence! What simple, firm, blind faith - I believe in God. Full-stop.

There is so much unbelief in the world today, and as we grow older, it seems it is harder for us to believe. There are many doubts.

I have questions, I have doubts. But God is there to help our unbelief. God does not despise our doubts. He is loving and understanding. He made us thinking and intelligent beings. We can take our doubts to Him in faith (ok, I know this is an oxymoron - taking our doubts to him in faith!)

Blindly believe, blindly trust - this will inevitably invite the ridicule from the world and make us a laughing stock.

But yet, I have to humble myself to learn from J - the simple faith of a little child.

The Bible says that childlike faith is crucial to entering the kingdom of God:

"Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” - Luke 8:17


God made this verse comes alive and helped me to understand it by seeing the simple blind faith of a little child, of our own child.

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Monday, 20 October 2014

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J Summary (5Y7M15D) - Fun with Chinese Class Back in Action

Our Chinese class back in action after stopping for a year and now J is 5 years old - thanks to E - Snack to fill the stomach before class :-) But J is still attending the formal Chinese class since last year

Yummy dumpling soup - thanks to E

After recognizing Chinese characters with character cards, we began practising Chinese characters before the test - 听写

听写 began

An easy start for the first class

Teaching reading time with Thomas the Train...

My friend, E, the Merlion Mom from Singapore

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J Summary (5Y7M15D) - Mushroom Picking with A

20 October 2014 - Piano class was cancelled, so we went to pick mushroom with A instead.

Shaggy mane... slowly turning black... the black part can't be eaten and should be cut off

Ahhh.... this is good, all white and perfect... can't wait to eat it 








The end result - Egg and onions with Shaggy mane mushroom 

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Pasta with Pumpkin Sauce


Serves 3

Ingredients:
1. Pumpkin puree made from half a Hokkaido pumpkin baked and mashed (See instructions here)
2. A handful of chicken pieces - 250g chicken slices marinated with salt and 2 tsp corn starch
3. 1 onion diced
4. 1 clove garlic chopped
5. 600g pasta cooked to packet's instructions
6. 1 cup water
7. 1 TBS Greek yogurt 2% fat (optional)
8. Sprinkle of chives
9. Sprinkle of grated mozzarella cheese (optional)
10. Salt & pepper to taste
11. 1 TBS cooking oil

Directions:

To make pumpkin Sauce:
1. Heat pan with oil and fry garlic until golden.
2. Add chicken and fry until cooked.
3. Add onions and fry for a minute until almost cooked.
4. Add pumpkin puree, salt and pepper.
5. Add water and stir well until lightly bubbling. (If making pumpkin sauce for pizza, do not add water)

To make pasta wíth pumpkin sauce:
6. Reduce heat, add Greek yogurt and mix well.
7. Dish onto cooked pasta, sprinkle grated cheese and chives and serve :-)

Additional Information:
J asked for pasta this evening and I made this from the pumpkin puree baked this morning. J and Daddy liked this dish.
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Super Easy & Delicious Danish Flourless Bread (Stenalder brød)




Makes 1 loaf

Ingredients:
1. 500g mixed nuts and seeds (20% sunflowers seeds, 20% flaxsseds, 20% pumpkin seeds, 20% sesame seeds, 10% whole almonds and 10% whole hazelnuts)
2. 5 eggs
3. 100ml olive oil
4. 2 tsp salt

Directions:
1. Pre-heat oven to 160 degree celsius
2. Beat eggs and mix them with the rest of the ingredients.
3. Pour into bread form and bake for 1 hour.
4. Let it cool down first, before slicing it.

Serving Suggestions:
1. Cut into cubes and serve as "crontons" for pumpkin soup

Additional Information:
Also known as "stoneage bread," this is one of my significant's favorite "bread." We first tried it from Lagekagehuset. It is called Paleo or something, if I remember correctly. I got to know this recipe from my coming sister-in-law, who got it from Fakta supermarket.

For convenience, the nuts and seeds blending can be purchased from Fakta for 29 DKK. Thereafter just add the eggs and the olive oil and dump it in the oven. It is really easy.

References;
I found something similar here, but more complicated.:

http://albanyacupuncturecenter.com/tag/flourless-bread-recipe/

Nuts and Seeds blending from Fakta - 29 DKK

5 eggs, 500g nuts and seeds and 100ml olive oil

5 eggs

2 flatten tsp salt

100ml olive oil

Beat eggs

Add eggs, olive oil, salt to seeds and nuts

Transfer to a bread form

Bake for 1 hr at 160 degree celsius

Let it cool down before slicing
Seves as crotons for pumpkin soup - healthier than crotons :-)

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