To me, the most immediate advantage of cycling here in Ålesund is the view. You can stop whenever you like and make your day with a landscape that surprises you on the ordinary to the supermarket, like this one
It’s very hard to find statistics about cycling that entails different countries, data is vague, old, with big variation and no sources. But apparently the number of bikes is about double the cars here in Norway! Data about São Paulo (BR) is even more confuse, mainly now with all the bike paths so being talked about and the number of cyclists and bikes going up. But I still imagine that, under a very optimistic hypothesis, there must be something around 1 bike for every 4 cars in the city. Does anybody have reliable data?
A typical Paulista (from São Paulo), my cycling experience was simply shameful: from annual to biennial, by renting a bike for an hour at Ibirapuera Park. With the increased use of the bike here, of course I have already suffered my first accident! That’s why, and before too late, we have all gone to buy helmets!
Norwegians are known outsiders and cycling is on the top of the list. Norway is always on the highest bicycles per capita rankings with China, Japan and the cyclists country: Netherlands.
A lot of bikes are bought here all the time because the probability that your bike is ruined before the next summer is big: the weather is humid and some winter days left on the outside can be fatal. We found mine second handed for a great price and conditions in one of the Facebook second handed sales groups of Ålesund (closed group) (one of the wonders only a small city could maintain!). At the lady’s house there were still some other three bikes or so!
Cycling in the neighborhood, it is almost as likely to run across another cyclist as to a pedestrian – an all wear helmets! The city geography is in our favor: the streets are generally flat and have few and short steps. On crosswalks, cars also stop for cyclists! – there are traffic lights for pedestrians only in the center. You see all kinds of people cycling: from elderly couples (really!) to professional cyclists, passing though ladies wearing skirts. There are no bike paths in town, but the relationship between both drivers and pedestrians with cyclists seems to be very friendly and respectful, be it cycling on the street itself or on the sidewalk. Sometimes we even spot some electric bikes!
The accident ended up delaying the celebration of our 3rd wedding monthiverssary! (in Brazil, we have a tradition for every month of the 1st year and then every wedding anniversary that follows, and the 3rd month is represented by cotton candy!). 3 days later we went – cycling – to the circus and bought two (oh, so expensive) cotton candies! – each was about 5 USD. Ouch.
But it’s not only us who are celebrating! Today it’s been 5 years I’ve bakes my first cookie! And here I share the little catastrophe they turned out back in 2010, and make them again, of course, this time the way it should.
Cookies have always been my favorite treats, and the chosen to be the first was a two flavored: orange and chocolate. I’ll tell they didn’t taste bad, but looked awful! I remember I used Nesquik instead of powdered chocolate (I didn’t know the difference, but don’t do that) and it makes a great difference in the flavor. I had made bigger cookies, but for preferring smaller ones, I chose to make now only 4 squares of checkerboard instead of 9, but the method is the same.
I used the same camera for both photos!, but you can see that the little I know about photography now I ignored 5 years ago. And now here they are, in their best shape! 🙂
– 190g butter, room temperature
– 3/4 cup sugar
– grated rind of 1 orange
– 1 egg (yolk and white separate)
– 2 tsp vanilla extract
– 1 1/2 tbsp orange juice
– 2 1/2 cup flour
– pinch of salt
– 2 1/2 tbsp powdered chocolate
1. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix butter, sugar and orange rind until creamy. Add the egg yolk, vanilla and juice and mix just until incorporate. Add all the flour and salt and mix until the dough comes together like a ball that does not stick to the fingers. If necessary, add some more orange juice drops or a tbsp of flour to reach this consistency. The orange dough is ready!
2. Set aside half the dough. To the other half, sift in the powdered chocolate and mix until well incorporated. Here you can also add some more orange juice to balance the dough.
4. After very firm, with a thin bladed knife cut the blocks in 4 lengthwise strips, brush the sides with the egg white and “glue” the strips making a checkerboard with the colors. Refrigerate again for at least 30 min
This cookie nice because it can be kept refrigerated for several days, until the ingredients are best before. A little before serving, just line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper, preheat the oven to 375 F, slice and bake 😉
5. (You can see my orange dough was a little longer than the other. No problem as long as they are equal in height and width) Now it’s time to slice: discard the irregular extremities and cut the log into slices of aprox 1/4 in
6. Space the cookies of about 1 in and bake at 375 F for aprox 15 min, or until the edges start to golden brown
I love icebox cookies for they are so practical and can be prepared in advance – not to mention they can look as fancy as you like! You can even slice the logs without making the checkerboard. And the longer the log, the more little cookies you will have.
Today’s lesson is: if you make one cookie recipe in life and it turns out… well… weird: don’t give up! It’s just a matter of practice 😉