Thursday, 30 January 2014

Menu plan - Thursday 30 January 2014

I seem to be all over the place with posting my menu plans.  But - on the bright side - at least I'm making them, writing them in my diary, buying my groceries once a week and (basically...) sticking to the plan.  Hooray for small victories! :D

We haven't seen the sun much in Denmark this month.  Only 17 hours this whole month (compared to an average of 45 hours)!  So we need lots of comfort food and healthy veggies to keep our spirits up.  Here's one of DS14's lovebirds, tucking into some fresh spinach... :D

Here's what's on the menu for the rest of us at Casa Copenhagen this week:

*  Oven roasted chicken, oven roasted beetroot and couscous

*  Takeaway (DH is away on business and we are having a cosy DVD evening)

Medister (Danish 'round' sausage) with baby potatoes, sovs (creamy gravy) and red cabbage

*  Lasagne

*  Steaks with béarnaise sauce, pomme frîtes and a spinach and tomato salad

*  Chicken cordon bleu (ready made from the supermarket freezer section) with stir-fried veggies (using up what I have in the fridge)

*  Breaded pork chops with a mash of potatoes/sweetcorn/fresh spinach/butter

Bon appétit!

Diane :)

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Come on in...the (iced) water is lovely!

A quick check-in from the beach, where I’ve just been down for my morning swim! :)

Now, as you can probably see from all the white in the above picture, the snow is still with us here in Copenhagen. The roads are pretty bad today. And the pavements aren’t so easy to navigate either… ;)

In some places – despite the heroic efforts of the local council gritters - the cycle paths have completely disappeared.

It’s always best to go and check out the terrain before you start undressing for your swim because it’s a long, breezy, icy walk out to the pier in your bathrobe!

And today there was – selvfølgelig – plenty of ice on the pier and on the steps down to the sea…

The steps to the right of the pier were looking a tad slippy…

But as they say, “hvor der er vilje, er der vej” (where there’s a will, there’s a way)! And we found that the steps to the left were our best choice today… ;)

And you know what? It felt so good today that we decided that one swim just wasn’t enough. So we swam twice…

Have a wonderful (watery) Wednesday!

Diane :)

The Danish Prime Minister (almost) got a nose. A small one!

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Update to my original post from Thursday 23 January:

Helle didn’t get “a nose” in the end. Today, 24 January, it was announced that, yes, the opposition parties wanted to give her “a nose”. But that they couldn’t agree on the size of it. ;)

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Helle Thorning-Schmidt, our current (first ever female) Prime Minister, was the top story in the Danish news on Friday. Again. Yep, you’ll remember (or should I say, how can you forget?!) that last month ”the flirty Dane” or “leggy blonde” got more than her 15 minutes of fame for her infamous “selfie” with Obama! ;) Now, personally, I thought the incident was overdramatised. After all, the Memorial was a joyous celebration of Mandela’s life, complete with music and dancing. For pete’s sake, she didn’t take it at Mandela’s funeral…

But, as usual, I digress! Yes, on Friday Helle appeared before Folketingets Restudvalg (the parliamentary council) to answer questions about a sticky case, a real hot potato. I won’t bore you with the details here but, if you are interested, you can see the background in English here.

Helle is often in the tv magazines...

At the end of the four and a half hour session, she was given en næse – or “a nose” – by the Committee. A small one. Don’t worry - her face looks just the same. Though the look on her face may selvfølgelig be a little different… Helle’s “næse” didn’t involve any surgery. It’s just the Danish expression for giving a Minister of Parliament a reprimand or a telling off. A political clip behind the ear. But I have to say that it always sounds very strange to hear the tv and radio pundits discussing it at length. “Hey, Jesper, just how big a nose is she likely to get?” “Well, at this stage, Casper, it looks like a pretty big nose.” :P

This is Helle Thorning-Schmidt’s first ‘nose’. The record holder is Uffe Ellemann-Jensen (the former Minister for Foreign Affairs). With no less than 80! A pretty pompous chap, he certainly likes to hit the headlines himself. How about his one liner from 1992 – when Denmark had just voted ‘No’ to the Maastricht Treaty and won the European Championship in football? “If you can’t join them, beat them!”

Happy Thursday! Let’s keep our noses clean!

Diane :)

Friday, 24 January 2014

Menu plan - Friday 24 January 2014

Temperatures are - unfortunately - now normal for this time of year in Denmark so we are down to freezing both day and night.  Boo!  Luckily, we have lots of candles, good music and warm food to keep us going!

Though if, like me, you are a winterbather, you'll need to watch your step.  Lots of ice on the bathing bridge...  Here's what we had to navigate this morning, in order to take our skinny dip in the North Sea - icy steps and horizontal icicles on the handrail! ;)

Brrrrrrrrrr.  And, to warm up again, here's what we're eating this week at Casa Copenhagen:

*  Crockpot pork red curry (a cheap joint of pork with a can of thai red curry soup, coconut milk and vegetables added) with rice made in my beloved rice cooker

*  Smoked salmon and chive tart (I've got some ready-made quiche pastry/scraps of leftover salmon in the freezer).  Served with a raw coleslaw of red cabbage/carrot/honey/vinegar

*  Special occasion dinner: Roast lamb, roast veg, potato wedges - all done in the oven at the same time! :)

*  Chicken in pastry parcels (readymade, straight from the freezer) with potatoes and peas

*  Spag bog (spaghetti bolognese/pasta with meatsauce/pasta med kødsovs), veggie sticks on the side

*  Slices of duck in creamy, horseradish sauce, boiled potatoes and steamed broccoli

*  Danish meatball, dumpling and carrot soup with homemade rolls - again, again, again - it's a family fave!

Bon appétit!

Diane :)

Monday Morning (School) Blues

As if Monday mornings (= returning to school after a full weekend glued to the computer and/or his bed) aren’t tough enough on my DS14 (dear son, aged 14), there is now even more for him to dread…

Up until last week, he had idræt (gym) once a week. But now they’ve rejigged the timetable and, starting today, he now has gym twice! Poor wee lamb! ;)

Oh, and please, please, please don’t anyone remind him about the Danish school reform (negotiated after that infamous five-week-long-Lockout of Danish teachers), which is set to come into place in August this year and will include:

(Mindst) Én times bevægelse om dagen.

(At least) One hour’s exercise per day…


Have a marvelous Monday!

Diane :)

What a piece of (Danish) junk! May the force be with you!

My DD11 (dear daughter, aged 11) was at a classmate’s birthday party at the ice rink yesterday afternoon. Now, the rink is right next to our local recycling centre so, when the time came to pick her up, I decided to load up the car with junk and kill two birds with one stone. Or should I say,”kill two flies with one swat”? Slå to fluer med et smæk? ;)

Our genbrugsstation (recycling centre) reopened a few weeks ago after an extensive makeover. It’s scarily efficient in its layout. There are even ‘pit stop’ areas where you can clean your hands and vacuum your car! I was ooooohing and aaaaahing over the streamlined, high-tech look of the place when one of the recycling crew told me a funny story. The design contract was apparently won by a French architect. A Star Wars fan. Yep, if you take a closer look at the layout of the recycling plant, you’ll see that it’s shaped like…the Millennium Falcon! The only thing missing, said my new-best-friend-the-recycling-worker, was Chewbacca… ;)

What a piece of junk!” Said Luke, the first time he set eyes on the Millennium Falcon. Hmm, you can just hear the French architect: “She may not look like much, but she’s got it where it counts, kid. I’ve made a lot of special modifications myself!” :P

“Now let’s blow this thing and go home!” Have a (junk free) wookieweekend!

Diane :)

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Menu plan - Tuesday 14 January 20134

Here's what's on the menu at (slightly snowy) Casa Copenhagen this week:

*  Pulled pork made in my crockpot (cheap joint of pork, tomato ketchup/honey/barbecue sauce/any other sauce I can find in the fridge to throw in...) served with pearl barley (made in my ricecooker) and a spinach salad

*  Old fashioned beef burgers on wholewheat buns, veggie sticks on the side

*  Leftover pulled pork with 'broccoli bake' (straight from the freezer section at the supermarket)

*  Beef carpaccio as a starter, then stir-fried rice and veggies with jumbo prawns

*  Steamed mussels (fry one chopped onion and carrot, add a glass of white wine and steam the mussels on top of the mix) with oven fries, mayo and a mixed salad

*  Pasta with chunky smoked bacon, savoy cabbage and a bit of cream

Suppe (Danish meatball, dumpling and carrot soup) with ryebread

Bon appétit!

Diane :)