I am Neuroscience PhD, a humanist, skeptic, feminist, avid reader, science enthusiast, woolly-liberal über-nerd, and, as of October 2015, father to the Lykketroll.

I moved from England to Norway in January 2012 and live in Lørenskog with my wife, the Lykketroll, and our two aging rescue cats, Socrates and Schrödinger. 

I am on paternity leave from the 4th of July to the 18th of November. 

The job I am on leave from is as an  Associate Professor and Head of Studies at the Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences. My background is in child neurodevelopment (my PhD looked into the relationship between fatty acids like omega-3 and cognitive development in young children) but I now work on a hodge-podge of things roughly within the field of Universal Design of ICT 50% of the time, the other 50% of my time I am Head of the 'General' Studies (Allmenn in Norwegian) Unit, which is comprised of around 24 academics within a range of fields, including mathematics, physics, Norwegian, and technology and leadership.

In between working and doing the usual dad things,  I like hiking and running in the beautiful Norwegian outdoors, cooking and playing video games. 

If I believed in souls I would say that mine was born in Norway. 

I plan to sleep when I'm dead.

Recipe: Rocket salad pizza with a yellow pepper sauce

Norwegian winters are made of up long nights and short days, and without much snow so far this year, the days feel even darker. This pizza is a little slice of summer, that'll brighten up dinner time as we fast approach the winter soltice. 


Ingredients

Pizza base

  • 300g bread flour
  • 200ml lukewarm water
  • 1 teaspoon of dried yeast
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh rosemary, finely chopped

 Pepper sauce

  •  4 yellow peppers
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large garlic clove (skin on)
  • 1 small shallot, peeled, chopped in half
  • 1 tablespoon tomato puree
  • Handful of basil leaves, roughly torn (optional)
  • 100 ml vegetable stock

 Topping

  •  Bag of rocket leaves
  • Handful of cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 150g mozerella, cut into slices
  • 100g cheddar cheese, finely grated
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 3 or 4 large slices of sundried tomatoes, chopped into strips
  • Drop peppers, halved (These are totally, optional, but they’re my new favourite thing and I use them on anything I can.)

 Instructions

Make the pizza dough first.

  1. Mix the flour, yeast and salt and a large bowl.
  2. Make a small well in the middle and pour in the lukewarm water and the olive oil.
  3. Mix thoroughly until you have a soft, fairly moist ball of dough.
  4. If you’ve got time, you can knead the dough for a few minutes on a lightly floured surface. It makes for a nicer dough, but sometimes I can’t be bothered, and it turns out just fine anyway.
  5. Leave the dough to rise in a bowl covered by a tea towel for about 45 minutes. Skip this step if you like a thinner, Italian-style base.

For the pepper sauce:

  1.  Preheat the oven to 225C
  2. Slice the yellow papers in half lengthways, chop off the stalk, and scoop out the seeds and membrane.
  3. Place the peppers skin side up on a lined baking tray, along with the garlic and two shallot halves, and drizzle over the oil.
  4. Bake in oven for about 30 minutes, or until the skin on the peppers have blackened.
  5. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
  6. Once the peppers are cool enough to handle, peel off the skin and roughly chop.
  7. Squeeze out the flesh of the roasted garlic.
  8. Whizz the basil leaves, garlic, chopped peppers, shallots and tomato puree together in a blender until completely smooth.
  9. Transfer the pepper sauce to a saucepan, add 100 mls of vegetable stock and simmer for on a low heat for 10 minutes.

 To make up the pizza:

  1. Roll out the dough on a lined baking tray or pizza stone. We recently bought a pizza stone, and whilst it’s a pain in the ass to clean if you haven’t floured the surface properly before rolling out the dough, it results in a pizza base which is both crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside. I’d recommend getting one of you’re a fan of making pizzas at home.
  2. Spoon over the pepper sauce.
  3. Scatter over the halved cherry tomatoes, cheddar and mozzeralla slices.
  4. Bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes until the dough is crisp and the cheese is golden.
  5. Scatter over the rocket, chopped sundried tomatoes, sliced avocados and drop peppers, drizzle with a little more olive oil, and serve. 

Although I've given up eating meat (not 100%; I'm getting there), my wife hasn't. The last time I made this pizza, I made it a 'half-and-half, with her half covered in pepperoni, and mine with some pimento olives that needed eating up.

 

An idiot-proof knitted skinny tie

Recipe: Spinach and ricotta lumaconi bake