Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Ho, ho, ho! Christmas planning?

There was chat amongst my twisters (twitter sisters) this weekend about Christmas planning (or, indeed, whatever holidays you celebrate). If you google "Christmas planning" there are tons of resources out there - the knack is to find a plan that suits you and actually USE it! :) 
I myself have been using the Flylady method - or Cruising for the Holidays as it's known - for the past three years. With great success and no (or, at least, very little...) stress! The Flylady formula for an easy-peasy Christmas is basically made up of three elements:
  • Following the usual Flylady routines for keeping your house and your head in order. No change there, no major cleaning involved, just business as usual to keep you on top of things.
  • The Holiday Control Journal - a planner, all ready to print out and fill in, just adapt it to your own family's needs/wants
  • Holiday Cruising Missions - a daily task or reminder to give you a kick up the backside and make you actually do what you set out to do (i.e. wrap a few gifts, start buying a few extra groceries, write five Christmas cards, check towels/bedding if you have family coming to stay, etc).
The Flylady usually starts sending out information towards the end of October but you can, obviously, just jump in anytime you like. Believe me, even getting your thoughts down on paper the week before Christmas will set you on your merry way.

But I loooooove Christmas. See what I found in my blog archive...a post from 19 August last year - entitled Christmas in July (or even August) - with a recipe for Christmas cake (which I bake in October and spoon 'feed' with brandy every week up to the Big Day. So when I spotted jars of mincemeat (a rather hard to find item here in Denmark) when out shopping this morning, I just had to buy them! (I should also admit that I already have my first Christmas present bought...go moi!)



Would you like to come plan with me? Or join me in the kitchen for a spot of Christmas baking?

Then add your blog with the McLinky and let's have some seasonal fun!

Ho, ho, ho! :D


Menu plan - Tuesday 31 August 2010

I've really been struggling to plan my menus these last weeks - my inspiration seems to have gone AWOL! Halp!
But this morning I had a bit of an 'Aha!' moment. You see, I have over 40 weeks worth of menu plans right here on the blog!  Duh!  I can go back and have a look at what we were eating last autumn and either copy the menu lock, stock and (beer) barrel or I can do a pick n' mix.

Anyway, this is the menu I've already planned for this week. Once I get it typed up here on the blog, I'm off to look through my dusty archives!

In no particular order...
  • Minced beef tacos with salsa, creme fraîche and a green salad
  • Toad in the Hole - click here for my blogpost on that strange, British delicacy - with lots of veggie sticks (on the day DH isn't home for dinner)
  • Crockpot goulash with ricecooker rice (on the day we have swimming in the afternoon)
  • Oven egg and chips (which DS10 0didn't make last week as planned)
  • Madder, which is Danish smørrebrød or open sandwiches, which the kids can make themselves (on the day I'm off at a parents meeting at school from 5 to 8pm)
  • A real treat for Saturday's dessert, chocolate fondue with fruit and marshmallows!
  • And last, but not least, there will no doubt be a pasta night using up any leftovers or veggies that I have hanging around in the fridge...
Have a terrific Tuesday! :)

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Menu plan - Tuesday 24 August 2010

What happens when you take a blog holiday and you stop planning/posting your menus? I'll tell you what happens. You very quickly fall (back) into a Black Pit of Despair. Otherwise known as Diane's Pre-Flylady days. Darkness begone! Here's what we'll be eating - and enjoying - at Casa Copenhagen this week:

    If you meal plan, then you'll Live Long and Prosper. The flamenco dress is optional.
  • Cheesey sweetcorn pancakes (duh, a basic pancake batter with sweetcorn and cheddar added)
  • Madder (Danish smørrebrød, open sandwiches) - we're going to the school summer fair and will need a snack to keep us going until the food is served
  • Crockpot Chicken Merlot with mushrooms, will serve with tagliatelle pasta - thanks to Candace for recommending this one from the "Taste of Home" website, recipe is right here
  • Oven Egg and Chips - DS10 is cooking this :)
  • Forloren Hare (Danish 'mock hare' or meatloaf) - my recipe is here, one of my most searched blogposts!!
  • Healthy homemade chicken 'dippers' with brown rice made in my ricecooker
  • Cauli macaroni cheese - yep, lots of cheddar this week!
Have a terrific Tuesday! :)

Monday, 23 August 2010

Giggle time!

What's this, you cry? Another blogpost today? Well, I did tell you that this time round the blog would be a bit different. I'm posting as I see fit. So there! :P

Here's a little joke for Krista and Lesley!

* * * * *

A lady got on the bus with her baby and asked for a ticket to Nørreport (centre of Copenhagen).

"Certainly", said the busdriver. "But, my word, that's the ugliest baby I've ever seen!"

The lady was shocked and didn't know what to reply, so headed straight for the back of the bus and sat down next to a kindly-looking old man.

"Well, I've never been so insulted in all my life!", she said. "That bus driver should be sacked!"

"That's terrible!", the old man replied. "I tell you what, why don't you go and give him a piece of your mind while I hold your monkey?"

* * * * *
Boom boom!

Monkeys courtesy of DD8, bedding by Ikea ;D

Have a great Monday! [she said, eating her second banana of the day] :D

Scaredy Cat Challenge...we're baaaack!

How are you all getting on with your Scaredy Cat Challenges? What - you don't know what a Scaredy Cat Challenge is? Sit back, relax, think of a warm, tropical beach and let me walk you through it...

You've got a lovely (read: painfully expensive) sewing machine. But the thought of a sewing pattern (and following instructions on said pattern) makes you hyperventilate. You'd really like to get out on your bike more (read: set a good example for your kids) but you're scared you'll lose steam before you get to your destination and end up having to getting the bus home. Your toes are in dire need of a pedicure but you'd rather walk through flaming coals than let a stranger (okay, if we're being totally honest, even a trusted friend) touch your feet...

These were just some of my own personal challenges earlier this year. My very first Scaredy Cat Challenge post is here.

A Scaredy Cat Challenge is any project you'd like to start (and hopefully finish?!) but keep putting off. I started them in January and friends, blogfriends and twisters have been joining me ever since. Tempted? But nervous? Then join our merry little band and sign up with the McLinky below... ;D

Let's hold hands and be scared together. Bring on the Challenges! :D

A rare sight - a belt.

PS: A word of thanks to MissusSmartyPants for the very nice mention in her blog! She's issued her own Scaredy Cat (Style) Challenge - go look! I couldn't, of course, resist her throwing down the fashion gauntlet, so here I am wearing a belt - belts are my least used accessories. (My love affair with my scarves is, of course, a completely different matter...)


Saturday, 21 August 2010

Coconut Rice (in the ricecooker)

Before I start, I just have to show what DD8 made for me at woodwork... Cute, huh?! ;D You can see a photo of DD8's 'real' Doggy right here.





Anyway, it's Saturday and I want to give you another recipe for your ricecooker. You all know how I l.o.v.e my ricecooker, don't you?! If you look over at the list of lables on the right of the blog, you'll find lots of other ideas for your ricecooker (scrambled eggs, ricepudding, etc). Today I give you...Yummy Coconut Rice! Great for serving with spicy meat or Caribean/Thai/Asian style dishes.

You'll need:
  • any type of white rice (not brown), I used jasmine
  • coconut milk (full fat is best, bien sûr)
  • water
  • salt
  • dessicated coconut (the stuff you use for making cakes/muffins etc)




I'm going to give you the basic quantities for the rice because it will all depend on how many people you want to serve. For our family of four, I use two of the measuring cups that came with my machine. Wash the rice (2 measures) in hot water and let it drip off.




Put the washed rice into your ricecooker and add two measures of water, two measures of canned coconut milk, a half teaspoon of salt and three good tablespoons of dessicated coconut...




Give it a good stir (using the wooden spoon your sweetie wee DS10 made for you at woodwork?) and start your machine. Regular cycle - which on my machine takes about 20 minutes.




Give it a poke now and then if you want, or a good stir at the end. You'll probably want to add more salt at the end and maybe sprinkle more dessicated coconut on the top. Bon appétit! [Ahem, yes, you've noticed? There is no picture of the final product because, after my long summer blog vacation, I forgot to take a pic...oopsie!]

Have a simply super Saturday! :)

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Positive Vibes

I wasn't planning to do a blogpost today but I woke up with a case of the blahs. There's no getting around it - the kids have been back at school for over a week, summer is over and autumn is well and truly on its way. Rain, rain and more rain. Autumn is my least favourite season (yes, yes, I know Emma and Candace will disagree). For me it's a case of just gritting my teeth and getting through it, until - hooray - the Christmas preparations can begin in earnest. In October! :)

So in order to keep my head up, I've made a list of five things which have made me happy/smile today. I've been thinking for a while that I ought to do this 'positive vibes' thing on a daily basis. Well, as the Flylady says, you're never behind, just jump in where you are... Here are my five for today:

  • I met several SDDs at the schoolgates at 8am this morning. SDD stands for Sexy Domesticated Dad... ;D
  • All this rain and dark grey skies means that it's perfectly acceptable to light lots of candles at 9.30 in the morning.
  • I made some mini meatballs/tomato sauce and put it in the crockpot for our dinner tonight. Smells yum. We'll have it with tagliatelle and lashings of grated cheese. Comfort Food Rools! :)
  • The builders who are remodelling our bathroom told me I can use the skip outside for general rubbish. I've been doing a major Flylady declutter/furniture move in my office...DH took a carload to the dump on Sunday but now I can fling, fling, fling!
  • I bought a pair of black suede ankle boots on Friday. A teeny bit scared - not worn ankle boots since the 1980s - but am taking them out for a test drive right now for the school pickup :D

Hope you have a terrific Tuesday!

Monday, 16 August 2010

Copenhagen Calling...Open for business!

Here we are again. After a six week absence, I'm back. And ready to rock n' write! :D

The last six weeks have been fun and eventful. Kids out of school for six weeks, our two-week family holiday to France, Scottish family visiting for three weeks, our six week bathroom remodel now well underway (complete with the discovery of asbestos and the need to demolish an extra wall). And, as usual, I've been hanging on to the merry-go-round with the help of the Flylady :)

But I've also had time to think about what I want to do with the blog 'this time round'. I started it on 1 August 2009 because I wanted to get some things down on paper, have a safe place for all my best ideas and recipes - and all the other random thoughts that pop into my head. My own little world. I managed 333 posts in a row, had a whale of a time and suddenly found myself with some (faithful) followers!

I had an interesting chat recently on twitter with my lovely 'twister' Krista. (She has a great blog, I link to her often, go look!) It was about where and who we wanted to be next month, next year etc. I told her that I was constantly striving to be - just like the adverts claim - the "New, improved Diane. Concentrated." As in 'not diluted'! ;D

So that's exactly what I'm aiming to do with the blog this year. Fewer posts. More content. More Me.

And to put my money where my mouth is, let's start with the name of the blog, shall we? In Flylady fashion, let's get rid of the clutter! From now on you can call me...  www.DianeDenmark.com  :)

I've missed writing the blog and humbled that you seem to have missed me too. Thank you all for your lovely blog/facebook comments and tweets... You've made me shed a Mum tear or two!


Hope you have a marvelous Monday!
xoxo