Thursday, 30 September 2010

Svensk Pølsegryde

Hello folks! I've just prepped Svensk Pølsegryde (Swedish Sausage Stew) for dinner tonight and posted the recipe over at the Danish Foreign Ministry blog site. Just click here if you want a look!

Happy Little Friday! :)

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Menu plan - Wednesday 29 September 2010

Brrrr, it sure is ch-chilly around these parts. We've already got the gloves out and hot choc season is upon us. Marshmallows and squirty cream optional! ;D


I've come up with a really nice menu plan this week...a couple of old favourites and a few new things to try. Nice, comforting, comfort food! :)


 *  Pasta med kødsovs/Spaghetti Bolognese/Pasta with Meat Sauce

 * Swedish Sausage Stew (my recipe) with rice/pearl barley or bulghur made in my ricecooker

* Chicken Nacho Grills (thanks to Rhian for pointing out this one!) with salad

 * Stegt Flæsk med Persillesovs - a true Danish classic - grilled pork belly with parsley sauce. Will serve with carrots and boiled baby potatoes

 * Biksemad - aother Danish classic - cubed, fried potatoes, onions, meat topped with a fried egg and cubed beetroot. And ketchup, bien sûr...

* Glazed Pork Chops (recipe via Krista) with potato wedges and green beans

 * (Minced) pork and peanut noodles - from the little BBC 'More One-Pot Dishes' cookery book.



Bon appétit! :)

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Ho, ho, ho! Christmas planning? 28 September 2010

Do you remember that four Tuesdays ago I wrote a post about planning for Christmas....where does the time go?!

I thought I had better bring you up-to-date with my plans. At first I thought, "Jings, crivens, I haven't done anything!". But - after checking my trusty Flylady Holiday Control Journal (which you can download for free here) - I'm actually doing rather well :)

First of all, I've been through last year's gift list. There were a few people to delete and a few to add. Looked at what I bought last year and most will be getting similar gifts this year. For example, we always give my Dad and my brother a beer 'advent calendar'. Skål! (Cheers!)


Close family get a recent photo of the kids, so as soon as the school photos are ready (within the next couple of weeks), I'll put them into (cheap) Ikea frames and get the kids to wrap them. If the school photos are good, I might scan them and use them for our Christmas cards. So I've started looking for the best deals online. I often order from the UK because, even with shipping, they still work out cheaper than getting them printed in Denmark.

I try (as the Flylady suggests) to think in terms of 'clutter free' gifts. So we give quite a few biscuits/chocolates/homemade gift baskets. The teenagers in the family always get gift vouchers for a department store or for music/books. And I've even started a 'wish list' for myself - because I'm the hardest person to buy for.. ;D

On the home front, I've been adding a few jars/tins/small boxes of chocolates/bottles of booze to our online grocery order each week. So the pantry is filling up!

Flylady will be starting the official run-up to Christmas on 18 October. Are you going to join us? Sign up with the Linky below! :)

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

We've got (Danish) lunch all wrapped up!

I've just written another post for 'those crazy Danes' over at http://www.denmark.dk/ Today it's all about packing a Danish lunch :)

You can read it here http://blogs.denmark.dk/diane/2010/09/21/weve-got-danish-lunch-all-wrapped-up/


Bon appétit! Velbekomme! :)

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Set Your (Flylady) Timer Muffins!

You all loved the 'Set Your (Flylady) Timer Cake' demonstration so much that I decided to bake again today. Did you miss the first cake? Don't worry, it's here.

So today we're baking All Bran Muffins. A great - fairly healthy - muffin recipe which I heard of through my Belgian 'twister' Kim :) Great for a guest breakfast, served with orange juice, coffee and some chunks of cheese and/or fruit and veg. Great for an autumn picnic. Or an afternoon snack. I added cinammon to the recipe, put on white icing and a single red and green M+M and we had them for breakfast on Christmas Day with a glass of Buck's Fizz...you can see them here. And they're just right as a treat in DD8 and DS10 packed lunch box tomorrow because it's Sports Day..

Just exactly how long did they take to bake, from setting out the ingredients til the muffins were sunning themselves in the oven? Read on and find out! (Note: you might want to hold on to those hats.)

You'll need:
  • Plain flour - 1 and a quarter cups
  • Sugar - recipe calls for half a cup, I only use about half of that
  • Baking powder - 1 tablespoon
  • Salt - half a teaspoon
  • All Bran cereal - 2 cups
  • Milk - 1 and a quarter cups
  • Egg - just one
  • Vegetable oil - a quarter of a cup



Heat your oven to 400f/200c and start that timer! Measure the All Bran, milk, oil and egg into a bowl. Leave the wet ingredients to soak while you measure out the next lot.




I use the same pyrex jug I used to measure the wet ingredients for the next lot of dry ingredients (saves on the washing up). Here I've got flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. 4:56 on the timer!




Mix the whole shebang together and use an icecream scoop to spoon the mixture into muffin cases. Using the icecream scoop means you get even portions - easy for the kids to use too. Okay, we're ready for the oven. Time taken? 9 minutes and 10 seconds!




Here they are in my giant) a hot oven (400f/200c). Don't forget to reset your timer! Bake for approximately 20 mins until they're golden brown.




Time taken to eat them with a glass of milk? 2 minutes and 30 seconds!




If you wanted to make them extra fancy (but less healthy) you could, as I said, add some icing on the top. [Did you hear that, Elisa?!] Today we topped a few of them with a sheet of chocolate and popped them back into the warm oven for a few minutes...

 
Mmmm! Enjoy! :)
 


Have a thoroughly thrilling Thursday!

Menu plan - Thursday 16 September 2010

Mesdames et messieurs, meine Damen und Herren, Ladies and Gentlemen...I proudly present to you - the menu this week at Casa Copenhagen! :D

Last Saturday we had chocolate fondue for dessert...say 'Ah'!
 * Oven roasted chicken pieces with wholemeal pasta (with oven roasted vegetables added to the pasta)

* The old standby...spaghetti med kødsovs a.k.a. spaghetti bolognese a.k.a. pasta with meatsauce

* Puff pastry pie - you put ready-made puff pastry into a quiche tin and add eggs mixed with crème fraîche (and a wee bit of mustard for some zing). Top with lots of grated cheese and chopped bacon and bake in the oven.

* Wholemeal tortilla triangles with veggie sticks, rice pudding for dessert

* Homemade pepperoni pizza

* Suppe (Danish meatball, dumpling and carrot soup) which is sometimes served as a main course in Denmark and Eve's Pudding for dessert - one of the desserts Mum and I made on Sunday afternoons when I was small. I'll post the recipe for that when I make it.

Bon appétit! :)

No - we're not eating this! These are rocks that DD8 collected from the school playground.
(The fork is just to give an idea of size.)
Can you believe she was walking around the playground with these rocks...in her coat pockets?!
The rocks have now been returned to their rightful owner  ;D

Monday, 13 September 2010

The Copenhagen Bomber...and his Leg.

Just in case you hadn't noticed yet...I'm now writing all my Danish and "Those Crazy Danes" types of post at my new blog desk over at http://www.denmark.dk/  :)

Today's post was about the Copenhagen Bomber...and his leg.  ;D

It's here http://blogs.denmark.dk/diane/2010/09/13/paging-dr-richard-kimble/

Have a marvelous Monday! :)

Set Your (Flylady) Timer Cake!

Apples are now falling from the two trees in our back garden faster than we can pick them up (eek!) and what better way to mark the occasion than a spot of baking? Apple crumble, apple puffs, apple cake? Which sounds all very homely and seasonal and warming and romantic. Except it was Friday afternoon and I was e-x-h-a-u-s-t-e-d after a long week. But, as usually happens (though not always when you most want to hear it...), Flylady's voice came out of nowhere and said "Set your timer! You can do ANYTHING for 15 minutes!".

So that's what I did. Instead of counting down from 15 minutes, I counted up. To see how long it would take to get the darn cake into the oven... (If you want to play along, the apple cake recipe is on my blog here. After a little story about Emilie cracking the reading code...) Back to the recipe, which is now on my kitchen counter. Three seconds already on the clock, let's move!




Here I am mixing the first ingredients together (sugar, oil, vanilla, eggs, lemon juice, salt). Three minutes on the clock.

Mixing in the flour and baking soda. Five minutes and eight seconds.




Now for the job which I think is going to take f-o-r-e-v-e-r. And, if I'm perfectly honest, the reason why I didn't really want to make the cake. Peeling and chopping the apples. Ugh.




...which didn't take nearly as long as I thought. Of course. Three apples peeled and chopped and I'm still only at nine and a half minutes :)




One minute later and they are mixed into the cake and we're ready to bake this baby!




I've prepped the funnel cake tin with a bit of butter/oil, so it doesn't take me another 15 minutes to get the cake OUT of the tin... ;D




Job's done - ready for the oven - fourteen minutes and six seconds! :D




Maybe I should do the kitchen clean up NOW and THEN sit down with a cuppa while the cake bakes? Time taken 3 minutes and 40 seconds. Shiny sinks of the world unite! :D


 

Oh, you want to see the finished product, do you? Voilà - here it is! (Recipe is here, remember.) I love lots of white icing on the top of things (yep, it's a Scottish thing) but you could just leave the cake as it is...




On Saturday we got a phone call from (good) friends asking if they could (hint, hint) pop in and see us. Which basically translates as: we're inviting ourselves round for dinner. To which we could reply: Yes, because we have cake! Yes, because dinner is already planned and we've got extra food in the cupboards! Yes, because the house is shipshape!

Thank you, Flylady... :D

PS: If you're wondering where my official Flylady timer is...it got pinched and is currently on DD8's desk.

Saturday, 11 September 2010

Updates!

I know Mrs Meers would say that "everybody should be in bed by now", but I wanted to give you the links to a couple of posts I wrote at my other blog desk chez the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs:

Parents' Night or Parents Fight..? which is about the Danish school system

and

Mind your language! which is about the Danish use of the word 'fart'... (Go on, call me childish!)

Goodnight, sleeptight!
0.55 am
dark and chilly Copenhagen

Thursday, 9 September 2010

I've moved in with Those Crazy Danes!

Woo hoo, I've got news!

You may have seen a post (or two, or ten...) about Those Crazy Danes here on the blog. Well, Those Crazy Danes finally caught up with me! ;D

I'm very proud to be the latest member of the blog team at http://www.denmark.dk/ - a site run by the Danish Foreign Ministry. You can find little ole me by clicking on Diane's Daily Denmark.  I'm not getting paid for it. And I'm allowed to write whatever I want. (Tee hee, little do they know what they're letting themselves in for...) So basically, it'll be business as usual. Just from a different office! :)

I'm still unpacking and getting used to all the new equipment (e.g. wordpress instead of blogger) but - with the words of Flylady in my head - I jumped in today and got started...

I'd love you to come and visit! Click here and I'll beam you up, Scotty! Maybe you'd like to subscribe or leave me a comment? [nudge, nudge, wink, wink!]

Have a thoroughly thrilling Thursday! :)

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Menu planning - Wednesday 7 September 2010

Okay, I completely forgot to go back and check my own blog archive for inspiration on menu planning - duh! ;D

But this week's menu sort of wrote itself because one evening we're going out, one evening I'm (yet again...) off to a meeting at school (kids are fending for themselves) and DH is away on business a couple of nights (more 'prepared-by-kids-friendly' food). Did I mention that the weather here in Copenhagen is now decidedly chilly? Last time we ate breakfast on the deck was over a month ago...eek!


Anyway, here's what's on the table at Casa Copenhagen the next seven (autumnal) days...

  *  Minced pork and peanut noodles (new recipe we're trying from my little BBC 'One Pot' book

  *  madder (Danish open sandwhiches...liverpâté, homemade egg mayonnaise, dried fig), the kids can safely prepare these on their own while I'm out

   
  *  Chicken fillets, will cut a pocket on top, put in a blob of goats cheese and top with sliced tomatoes and bake in oven. Baked potatoes or potato wedges on the side.

  *  Chef's Surprise...wholemeal pasta with any meaty leftovers and 'clean out the fridge' veggies ;D

  *  Glazed pork chops (trying Krista's recipe) with bulgurwheat/rice cooked in my ricecooker and carrots(steamed on top of the rice)

  *  Ham and red pepper tortilla wraps, heated in the oven, veggie sticks on the side (DS10 doing this one)

Bon appétit! Hope you have a wonderful Wednesday :)

*

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

What's up, Scaredy Cats?

Have you seen all the fantastic Scaredy Cat Challenges we have going on? There's something for everyone!

Asfora, Lesley, Sheryl, JoAnna are all working on improving their bodies - losing weight, exercising, drinking more water, running. You name it, they're doing it! Sheila is exercising and meal planning. Sara is using the Flylady system, Sam is decluttering the Flylady way and Liz is 'not procrastinating' the Flylady way! :) Candace started off with a sewing challenge but is now in full swing with Rage Against The Wardrobe. Animals can find shelter at Teri 's home while Ms Caboo is trying to find a place in her home for her books! And Lee is flexing her muscles and taking on both the house and garden... :)

I've come up with my own new personal Scaredy Cat Challenge to take me through autumn and into winter. Anything which speeds us the passing of autumn is a definite plus in my book - I don't like autumn - wah! ;D

I'm giving my creative vibe free rein and have signed up for - not one - but TWO, classes!

My sweetie blog friend and twister Candace suggested "The Art of Silliness 2". And, as Candace has impeccably good taste and a fantastic sense of humour, how could I resist?  ;D  It's an online course in drawing, puzzles and...general silliness And couldn't we all do with a bit more of that in our daily lives? If you're interested, you can take a look and sign up at Carla Sonheim's blog which is right here.

I've also signed up for the rather more genteel pursuit of piano classes. So if you happen to live anywhere in my vicinity...run for your lives! I think my desire to learn piano comes from reading too many novels where the heroine sits (wistfully) at the piano and tinkles away, to the obvious delight of all gathered.  [Note to self: buy suitable 19th century frock for musical soirées during the festive season... ;D]  Or maybe it's because I've always wanted to sit down, kick off my shoes and play this? (Complete with a glass of chilled bubbly perched on top of the old joanna for me to swig on between solos.) The pianist really gets started at 2mins and 42 seconds...



Would you like to join us? Want to try something but haven't got the courage to start?

What are you waiting for? Let's hold hands and be scared together! Just link up with the Linky below and let's get started... :D

POSTSCRIPT: I just read that the christian name of my new piano teacher is...'Odd'!  :D


Thursday, 2 September 2010

Watching the Detectives!

The other night I was rebelling and staying up late. Waaaay past my normal 10pm midweek bedtime! ;D

I zapped around a few channels and found a detective series. Now, you have to realise that I love anything to do with detectives. I wanted to be a detective when I was a child. Loved secret codes etc. Used to dress up in disguise as an OAP and walk around the block, hiding messages between the cracks in walls.

Here I am around the age of 12 (I think). I'm the one on the left. Tee hee, now that I look at this again, I can see my friend L. (a girl) has bits of paper stuffed into my Dad's sandals, so that they wouldn't fall off!


I read all of Agatha Christie's books as a child. And, naturally, the Enid Blyton mystery books for kids... Loved "The Five Finder Outers" series, didn't like "The Famous Five". But, as usual, I digress!

I zapped on to a detective series called "McBride". Now, I've seen a lot of bad tv detective series but I have to say that this has to be one of the worst! Crummy acting, bad plot, slapstick humour...which, of course, meant that I was glued to the screen until the very end!  ;D

Anyway, as they say in Danish, "Der er ikke noget så skidt, at det ikke er godt for noget". Which more or less means "There isn't something so bad, that is isn't good for something." And this terrible detective series made me want to sit down and write a list of all my very favourite ones! So here you have it...

MY FAVOURITE TV DETECTIVE SERIES

Charlies Angels
Father Dowling
Diagnosis Murder
Hercule Poirot
Kojak
Miss Marple
Montalbano
Murder City
Murder She Wrote
The Rockford Files
Scooby Doo (ok, a cartoon, but nevertheless...)
Shoestring
Starsky + Hutch
Taggart
Vincent Gallagher
Wonderwoman

As you can see, I like a bit of comedy along with my crime. If I've missed out a good series, let me know?

Have a thoroughly thrilling Thursday! :D