Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Cranberry Pistachio Shortbread

I'm terribly behind with the recipes I've been 'decluttering' for my Little Red File blog.  But I'm going to do as the Flylady says - and just jump in where I am. So be prepared for a deluge of cookery posts! :D

This recipe came via my sweetie online Flybaby friend Pam. She got the recipe from JoyofBaking.com but I've - of course - made my own shortcut version.  Because I always 'springe over hvor gærdet er lavest' (jump over the fence where it's lowest) as they so neatly say in Danish! ;D

You'll need:
  • 225g or 2 sticks butter
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • 135g or 2/3 cup granulated white sugar
  • 300g or 2 1/3 cups plain flour
  • one teaspoon of vanilla extract (I used vanilla sugar)
  • 130g or 1 cup unsalted pistachios, chopped
  • 150g or 1 cup dried cranberries, chopped
Put the butter, salt and sugar in your kitchen mixer and let her rip.  Stop the motor when it's combined, add the flour and let her rip again.


Once the flour is mixed in, add the pistachios and cranberries and let her rip.  Again!


Roll the mixture into 'squarish' logs - I used greaseproof paper and made four logs.


I put one log in the fridge to harden and froze the others to use over Christmas.  And lookie here, I even remembered to write on the date and baking instructions - woop, woop! :)


The really pretty part comes when you cut the logs into thin slices, ready for baking.  Aren't these adorable?!


Bake at 160c or 325f for about 10-15mins.  The original recipe said 15-20mins, but I find they cook pretty fast and you do NOT want these to be brown around the edges...just pale yellow and cooked through.  Leave to cool and then...attack!


And the verdict?  DH said, "Wow, these are really good."  We're on to a winner, methinks.  Thank you, Pam!

Bon appétit!

I'm off right now to get the very last log out of the freezer because my bff is coming over for coffee later.  Have a terrific Tuesday! :)

Monday, 30 January 2012

The Super Fling Boogie continues! Again! (Again, again...)

Four weeks into the Flylady's Super Fling Boogie, and the clutter continues to leave the house - yay! :D

In my last Super Fling Boogie post I was recycling, donating and giving things away - which is my usual way to get rid of clutter.  But last week I decided to try something different as I had a few special items that I thought I just might be able to sell.  (I'm a member of an international ladies club in Copenhagen, and get mails on a daily basis from people buying and selling kids toys etc.)


I prepared an e-mail with a list of what I was selling (electric coolbox, air purifier, box set of DVDs, books, etc) and grouped the items in a corner in the basement.  I made a strict deal with myself.  If they didn't sell within two weeks, off to the charity shop they would go!  Cos the last thing I need to is have more junk hiding in a dark corner...

My e-mail went out on Thursday afternoon and by Saturday afternoon I had sold everything off the list apart from a few books...which gave a grand total of kr. 500! (£56 or $88) :D

Would I do it again?  Well, to be honest, it's not something I'd want to do on a regular basis.  Because there is, of course, the hassle of answering all the e-mails and arranging for the items to be collected.  Though I did send out a second e-mail with a few new 'treasures' that we're ready to part with - like boardgames that we've never played and a Playstation 2, complete with games and controllers.  So, really, I'd only try and sell 'large' things.  The ordinary clutter will just go to the charity shop as before.

And what's next for the proverbial chop, now that the major visible clutter in the house has been conquered?  My achilles heel...paper clutter!  Ha!  Stay tuned!

Have a marvelous Monday! :)

Friday, 27 January 2012

Feel Good Friday

Three things I loved this week:

That even when life puts little obstacles in your way - like no power in the winterbathing changing room meaning undressing by candlelight in minus 2 degrees - that it's not a roadblock but only a speedbump.  And that afterwards you feel that you can survive anything! :)


Opening the post to find that I had won a prize...and it wasn't a scam! I had filled in an on-line questionnaire for Ford (after our car had been for a service) and - lo and behold - a couple of months later my name was one of the European winners.  A voucher for £80 (yes, £80, I couldn't believe it either!) to use on Amazon.co.uk.   They must have heard that I'm a regular customer... ;D  Oh, and by the way - I've already started spending it...


Danish pastries.  After I had been to the recycling depot and charity shop after another Super Fling Boogie decluttering session, I decided to reward myself with this lovely raspberry Fastelavns bolle (carnival bun) and a cuppa.  Yummy!



Hope you have a fabulous Friday and a wonderful weekend! :)




Thursday, 26 January 2012

Menu plan - Thursday 26 January 2012

As you saw last week, I'm focusing 120% on the Flylady's Super Fling Boogie and am trying to use up all the items that are taking up space in my freezer and storecupboards.  Saving myself money and space! :)

I do my shopping 'on-line' once a week and buy everything we eat for breakfast and dinner, the kids packed lunches for school, and things like wine/washing up liquid/'bog roll'...  My grocery bill this week came to kr. 717 (about £80 or $125) - which is about 2/3 of my usual spend. Three cheers for that! :)

So here - in Super Fling Boogie style - is what's on the menu at Casa Copenhagen this week:

*  Leftover roast chicken (we had roast chicken at the weekend) in wholemeal pita pockets, with fresh 'peapod top' salad (my current fave type of salad) and veggie sticks.  DH's Danish Xmas donuts (there are a couple of bags left in the freezer) for dessert :)



*   Pork Chops Yum-Yum - a very easy and tasty recipe I found on food.com, will serve with broccoli and baby potatoes

*   Homemade (wholemeal) lasagne with a fresh, green salad (I'm making one lasagne to eat and one to put into the freezer for next month, how about that for being organised?!)

*  Danish meatball, dumpling and carrot soup with homemade bread (made in my breadmachine) - poor DD9 is home sick and this is her favourite comfort food :)

*   Homemade wholemeal pizza (will make the dough in my bread machine) with homemade raw carrot/red cabbage slaw

*  Some kind of beef + vegetable curry in my crockpot and will make coconut rice (in my beloved ricecooker) to go with it

Did you know you can, amongst other things, make scrambled eggs and omelets
in your ricecooker? See our instructions here!
*   And, as usual, one of the nights will be the (in)famous Leftover Night = will dive into the fridge and root out some veggies/leftover meat and make them into a pasta or fried rice dish ;D

Bon appétit!

Hope you have a thoroughly thrilling Thursday! :)

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

We ♥ Danish Drama!

[This post is also published over at www.blogs.denmark.dk - the official website of Denmark run by the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs]

Whenever I phone my Mum in Dad in Edinburgh (Bonnie Scotland), the conversation invariably turns to the same subject.  Danish drama.  And I don't mean the group Denmark have drawn for Euro 2012 in Poland this summer... ;)

No, I'm talking about Danish Radio's hugely popular drama series "Forbrydelsen" which has taken the UK by storm.  The Americans made their own (apparently very tame) remake of "The Killing", but the Brits are thoroughly lapping up the gloomy atmosphere of gritty Copenhagen.  Fashionistas are desperate to get their hands on the Faroe-knit jumper worn by the female detective, Sarah Lund.  The original jumper from Gudrun + Gudrun - which features in all episodes - will set you back Euro. 280.  But even H+M are cashing in on the series' success - here's a copycat version I spotted this morning...
Want to dress up as Sarah Lund for Fastelavn/carnival? Kr. 100 or Euro 13.45
Yep, it's hip to be Danish.  And even the Danish language has achieved cult status.  In the Christmas TV special of Absolutely Fabulous, Sarah Lund (the actress Sofie Gråbøl) makes a cameo appearance - yes, in that jumper - and Edina attempts to talk to her.  På dansk. :)

But back to my Mum and Dad.  Who (given that their daughter is married to a Dane and permanently settled in Copenhagen) are naturally seen by their cronies as the Oracle on all matters Danish.  At the church coffee morning last week there was a very lively discussion about the latest Danish drama series to hit the UK - a fictional drama about the first woman to become Prime Minister of Denmark.  (With life reflecting art just months later, when Helle Thorning-Schmidt did it for real.)  Mum and Dad's friends thought it was funny that Mikael Birkkjær a.k.a. 'the baddie' in "The Killing II" turns up as the Prime Minister's husband in the new drama series.  Not, of course, that any of the women were complaining... [Swoons.]

What they were really puzzled about was the title.  Which is Danish.  And which, for some strange reason, hasn't been given a catchy - or, at the least, explanatory - title in English.  "Can't you phone your daughter in Copenhagen and ask her what "Borgen" actually means?"  So that's exactly what Mum did...  [She typed - in true cliffhanger style.]
Have a wonderful Wednesday! :)

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Judging a book by its (swell, just swell) cover


I was at our local Danish library on Sunday afternoon, browsing through the English crime novels (British English before American English, according to Danish cataloging systems...).  I like to read before I go to bed and I love crime novels.  But not ones filled with death and despair.  A bit of death is fine - it's the bleak, cruel, sordid ones that I try to avoid.  That's why I love the Montalbano series so much. Set in Sicily, the sexy swarthy detective swims daily in the nude (winterbathing anyone?!) and often escapes from work (or unplugs the phone at home) in order to enjoy his food. And there's lots of food.  Plus he manages to [boom, boom!] devour a few signorinas along the way... ;D

Anyway, back to the library.  I spotted this book - which stood out like a sore thumb (or 'exquisitely painted fingernail') amongst the dimly lit streets, pouring rain and hooded figures that have infiltrated the display shelf.  Look at that hair and that dress!  What a swell looking female detective - just like something out of Thoroughly Modern Millie... :D

Two pages in, and she's already mentioned gin, a country house, a stolen diamond necklace, a retired Indian Colonel, a Duke, a ballroom, a gardener's boy and a cricket ball.  Raaaaaaspberries!  I'm off for a cuppa and 15 minutes of my new book.

Hope you have a terrific Tuesday! :)


Monday, 23 January 2012

The Super Fling Boogie continues! Again! (Again!)

What a fantastic week!  Three cheers for the Flylady's "Super Fling Boogie"!  Clutter is going out the door like there's no tomorrow!  If you saw last Monday's declutter post, you'll see that I've been flinging like mad since the beginning of the year.  Here are a few of this week's 'highlights'...

See these 8 garden chairs and table?


They were in the garden when we bought our house over 10 years ago. Since then we've bought our own wooden garden furniture.  But we held on to this lot.  Just in case... ;D  Well, we never use them and no-one we know wanted them.  And they were too bulky for the charity shop.  So Thursday lunchtime I put them out on the pavement, ready for the recycling pickup early Friday morning.  Lo and behold, two hours later they were gone.  Hooray!  Just goes to show that one person's junk is definitely somebody else's treasure! :)

The kids also went through their English and Danish books and managed to donate a huge Ikea bag full of them to the After School Club.  And the family across the road who have small kids were very pleased to get this Ikea puppet theatre/shop/playhouse/let-your-imagination-run-riot thingymyjig :)


I've also been to the recycling centre.  Again.  Again.  With papers, bottles, electrical cords and old paint/oil/chemicals from the workshop in our basement.  Little by little, I can see that the laundry room and workshop (both former dungeons..) are beginning to look quite decent!  Ha!

So, all in all, a very productive week.  And I'm still ready for more... ;D

Hope you have a marvelous Monday - let's keep flinging out there! :)

Friday, 20 January 2012

Feel Good Friday - 20 January 2012

Three things I love right here, right now:

1.  Eggs.  Fantastic!  For such little fellas, they have to be one of the world's most versatile foodstuffs, non?  My current addiction is omelet tortilla wraps for lunch...



2.  That lovely cosy feeling that swallows me up when I start a fire in our woodburning oven in the living room, snuggle myself up on the sofa with a rug and a crime novel.  Two pages later I'm relaaaaaaaaaxed :)



3.  That music can change my mood from low to high in a nanosecond.  Or give me a kick in the pants when I need it.  I'm turning this one up to 11 and am off to declutter!




Have a fabulous Friday and a wonderful weekend! :)


Thursday, 19 January 2012

Menu plan - Thursday 19 January 2012

As you saw last week, I'm focusing 120% on the Flylady's Super Fling Boogie and am using up what's in my freezer/storecupboards :)

My grocery bill this week came to kr. 624 (about £70 or $108) - which is almost half of what is usually is - hooray!  :)    I do my shopping on-line once a week and that includes everything we eat for breakfast and dinner, the kids packed lunches for school, and things like wine/washing up liquid/'bog roll'...

So here - in Super Fling Boogie style - is what's on the menu at Casa Copenhagen this week:

*  Blender Quiche - the recipe is here (I just mix by hand in a bowl) - served with salad and pickled beetroot (I always have to have beetroot when I eat quiche)

I love quiche...hot or cold! :)

*  out to dinner at an Indian restaurant for DH's birthday (yay, no cooking!)

*  'Breakfast for Dinner' - always a huge hit with the kids - orange juice and hot tea, sausages, scrambled eggs and waffles or my Granny's frugal pancakes ;D

Krebinetter (Danish pork patties) with baby potatoes and stuvede gulerødder (carrots cooked in a white sauce)

Krebinetter - a Danish classic!

*  Roast chicken with raw broccoli/bacon/nut salad and crashed potatoes (using the leftover baby potatoes)



* Wholemeal pitabread pockets with the leftover chicken, salad and veggie sticks

*  Leftover night = will dive into the fridge and root out some veggies/leftover meat and make them into a pasta or fried rice dish ;D

Bon appétit!

Hope you have a thoroughly thrilling Thursday! :)

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Danish Libraries (Part Three) - You say tomato, I say tomahto...

[This post is also published over at www.blogs.denmark.dk - the official website of Denmark run by the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs]

It's no secret that I think Danish libraries are fab.  I mean, really, what's not to love about our local library where children are allowed - nay, encouraged - to crawl along on top of the book shelves? ;D
('Where are we?' Wednesday? - Climbing the Walls)  Or perhaps you'd prefer a free cuppa, in a setting that looks like your granny's front parlour? (Tea with your Tolstoy?)

Danish libraries are overflowing with things you can borrow.  For free, selvfølgelig.  DVDs, Blu-Ray, CDs, Wii games, wooden jigsaws, kids' boardgames, books on tape, international magazines.  And even books (and e-books).  And not just Danish books!  German, Arabic, Spanish, Swedish, Italian, Norwegian, French, Turkish.  Even in the children's section.

But if, dear reader, you're looking for a novel in English, prepare yourself for an extra hunt.  Let's say, for the sake of argument, that you're looking for Dan Brown's "The Da Vinci Code".  You'd walk past 82.7 (Spanish Literature), 82.8 (Portuguese Literature) and expect to find it here in section 83 (English Literature).  Right?


Wrong!  You need to pass ten to fifteen bookshelves, filled with authors from A to Z.  And go round the corner...  To section 83.8.  "American Literature".

Yep, those crazy Danish librarians split English books into British English and American English.  So you need to know in advance if the book you're interested in is written in American or British English.  Isn't that overcomplicating things?  Can't they just put them all together?

"Aha!", I said, to the librarian, sensing a tiny chink in the armour of the Danish cataloging system. "What if the author is Canadian.  Is that classed as British or American English?  Surely that's a grey (or should that be gray...) area?  Books by Indian authors?  South Africa?  New Zealand?  Or books translated from Japanese into English?"

"Well," said the librarian - playing the proverbial trumph card - "if you can't find what you're looking for on the shelves, we can always look it up on the computer." ;)

Hope you have a wonderful Wednesday! :)

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

If the (winterbathing) shoe fits...

What gear do you need to go winter bathing?

Me in the water last Monday morning :)
Hmm, very little.  A nice, long, warm bathrobe.  And shoes.  Flipflops, of course, are great.  Easy to kick on and off.  Until, that is, the air temperature drops to around 4 degrees and the sand starts 'crunching' underfoot! ;D  So I've been using these surf shoes for a while.  Not because you can wear them in the sea - which of course is great on the days when there are sharp stones around - but because they keep my feet warm while I'm crossing the beach (attired only in my birthday suit and aforementioned bathrobe).   Not exactly elegant footwear, but they do the job.


Well, the only problem with these shoes is that they have started to pong.  I've tried everything.  Hand washing them with soap, given them a run for their money in the washing machine, tried bicarb of soda, sewed some tiny lavender scent bags to put inside them...  And still they pong!  So much so, that it's now become a running joke with my winterbathing friend V.  "Who brought the roquefort with them?!"

This morning I decided that Enough was Enough.  So I've just ordered a new pair.  Though I've decided to try a new type.  Just as ugly.  Not neoprene but plastic/rubber.  And with holes all over for good [ahem] 'ventilation'.  I await with baited breath (and close-pegged nose) to see if they fair any better...

Have a terrific Tuesday and don't forget to smell the flowers! :)

Monday, 16 January 2012

The Super Fling Boogie continues! Again!

Decluttering is a work in progress.  I used to tend to do it in fits and starts. But, with the help of the Flylady, I've learned to keep at it.  Fling, fling, flung.  And if not every day, then at least every week. But when there's a Super Fling Boogie (a sort of 'get-rid-of-your-clutter-and-your-cares' jamboree for flybabies around the world), I get into competitive mode, and fling like crazy! ;D

If you saw my very first post of 2012, you'll know that I kick-started the new year with some purges in the basement.  Decluttering works best if you take one little area at a time, in order not to get overwhelmed.  So on Saturday morning I set my timer for 15 minutes and decided to concentrate on the toy shelves in the basement.


And after 20 minutes, plus another 5 mins checking with the kids, I had filled two large Ikea bags with jigsaw, games and toys (plus other bric-a-brac).  Here they are, ready for the charity shop! :)


And - well, you all know what's coming here, don't you? - we spent the rest of the weekend playing some of the games that we had forgotten all about... ;D

This morning, Monday, I drove straight to the charity shop to drop off the bags.  Plus two bags of junk to the recycling centre.  One of the hardest parts of decluttering for me is actually to get things out of the door.  I have to do it immediately.  If I don't get it into the car, it will sit in the basement for weeks, eek! Anyway, my heart always beats a little faster when I drive to this particular charity shop - because the area is also home to Denmark's (officially) sexiest man, the (international) actor Mads Mikkelsen.  And, as I've been lucky enough to see him - in the flesh - not once but twice (be still, my beating heart!), there's always that chance that it might happen again! :D  For those poor souls not lucky enough to live near Mads Mikkelsen, here's a nice little advert he made for a holiday company.  Sales went up by 30% the week that this advert was shown.  Ha!  (Link to the video here, if you're reading this post as an e-mail.)



[Swoon]  Enough daydreaming :)  I have to finish this post because there's a courier coming to pick up an old (and very large) painting that we're finally getting rid of giving to a friend.  Hooray!  More junk heading out of the door!

Oh, and last, but not least!  Don't forget to post those purged pounds (1 kilo = 2.2 lbs) on the Flylady's clutter meter which you can find right here.

Happy flinging and have a marvelous Monday! :)

Friday, 13 January 2012

Feel Good Friday

I decided today that, as there are so many things that I love (love, love!), it might be a good idea to write them down on paper once a week.  Kind of like a happiness journal.  But, hey, that's what I use this whole blog for anyway... ;D

So here's the 'menu of the day'!

For starters:

Reading the Danish word for 'motion' or 'speed'...never fails to make me giggle!

A poster that came with DD9's magazine "Phineas og Ferb" :D
For main course:

I love the Danish band "Whomadewho".  And today I got tickets for their concert in the spring.  Woop woop! :D


For dessert:

Myseost - a very strange Scandinavian cheese that is dark brown in colour, cloying in your mouth and tastes of cooked caramel...  The first time I tasted it, I hated it.  And then the very next week, when I spotted it in the supermarket, I just had to buy it, take it home and eat it as soon as I got in the door.  And I've been addicted to it ever since.  I can't get enough of it, and the rest of the family leave it well alone :)



Have a fabulous Friday and a wonderful weekend! :)

Thursday, 12 January 2012

40 things you've always wanted to know about the Danish Queen (but were afraid to ask)

You might want to nip down to your
local supermarket and get stocked up!
[This post is also published over at www.blogs.denmark.dk - the official website of Denmark run by the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs]


The Danish Queen is about to celebrate her 40th Jubilee and the Danes are excited.  Not to mention the Danish media who are having an absolute field day...  We're in for a weekend of wall-to-wall coverage.  Live action from the palace, non-stop commentary from the 'experts', historial documentaries, the opinions of Hr. and Fr. Danmark and more fascinating facts about the Danish royal family than you can wave a Danish flag at...  (And, selvfølgelig, Danish buses will be patriotically decked out in flags over the weekend too.)

But how much have I actually learned about the Danish Queen in my 12 years here?  Well, just to test myself, I thought I'd write a list of 40 facts for the Queen's 40th Jubilee.  Off the top of my head.  Written down as they popped up in my head.  And - cross my heart - I haven't cross-checked them on 'google'. After all, where would be the fun in that?

(Glaring) errors (that make me look like a right fool) and omissions are excepted... ;D
 
40 THINGS YOU'VE ALWAYS WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT THE DANISH QUEEN (BUT WERE AFRAID TO ASK)
  1. Her name is Magrethe.  Or is it Margrethe? Can never remember the exact spelling, but in Danish it's pronounced 'Ma-gray-te'
  2. Her nickname is Daisy (apparently from the French word Marguerite = Daisy = which is also the Danish name for the flower Daisy = coincidentally the national flower of Denmark)
  3. She smokes like a chimney
  4. Her French husband's name is Henri (de Montpessat?) but the Danes renamed him 'Henrik' and make fun of the way he speaks Danish
  5. The Queen lives at Amalienborg Palace in the centre of Copenhagen, and can moor a boat right outside. Her summer residence is in Gråsten, the south of Jutland.
  6. In the summer she goes off on her boat and makes official visit to towns around Denmark
  7. Henri(k)'s family are from Caïx (south of France or perhaps mid?) and Daisy and Henrik spend their private summer holidays there
  8. Just remembered the name of the royal yacht - it's "Dannebrog" (which is the name of the Danish flag)
  9. She refuses to have her front teeth cleaned up
  10. She's very artistic and designs ballet costumes (I also seem to remember something about wall hangings in churches), does découpage and paints pictures
  11. She thinks being Queen is a 'job for life', meaning she wants to reign until she dies
  12. The names of her sons are Frederik and Joachim
  13. Frederik (the crown prince) is married to Mary (né Donaldson) who's from Oz/Tasmania but has Scottish heritage [said the fellow Scot ;D]
  14. Frederik, nickname 'Frede', and Mary have 4 kids: Christian, Isabella, Vincent and Josephine
  15. Joachim was married to Alexandra (né Manley) from Hong Kong, got divorced and is now married to Marie (can't remember her maiden name) who is French. But I can tell you that Marie has a little dog who is the type that can fit into a handbag (don't quote me on the name of the breed...bichon frisée?)
  16. Joachim and Alex had 2 kids together: Felix and Nicolaj
  17. Joachim and Marie have 1 child, Henrik, and another one about to pop out at any moment
  18. The Queen starts off her Christmas Dinner with a plate of ricepudding (don't know why that fact suddenly popped in to my head) accompanied, as far as I recall, by beer
  19. The Queen's husband, Henri(k) has his own vinyard at Château de Caïx and the Danes affectionately call his wine Château de 'Rævepis' (which translates as 'fox piss'). I've seen it for sale in the department store Magasin
  20. When the Queen and Prince Henrik are on summer holiday at Caïx, she wanders around the local market buying produce, basket in hand, lady-in-waiting in tow (and, of course, the paparazzi)
  21. She's very tall
  22. She has long hair, which is always worn up
  23. Though there is one very famous photo of her, leaning out of a castle window, no make-up, flowing locks, on the occasion of her (I think) Silver Wedding, when it's tradition for family and friends to surprise the 'bride and groom' by waking them up at an ungodly hour by singing and playing horn music (gotta love those Crazy Danes and their crazy Danish traditions)
  24. The Queen likes to dress in strong colours and wears a lot of shawls and hats
  25. She was partly educated in England - might have been Oxford or Cambridge
  26. She has a really good British accent when she speaks English, and is also fluent in French
  27. She has two sisters: Benedikte and (it's on the tip of my tongue...) Marie ??
  28. Benedikte is (methinks) married to a German and lives there, Marie (??) is married to the exiled Greek king and they live in the UK
  29. The Queen likes to ski but I think the recent problems with her knees have put a stop to that
  30. Prince Henrik has pet dogs but I don't think the Queen has her own special dog - or, at least, I haven't heard one mentioned in the gossip magazines
  31. There's a magician/comedian she likes called Rune Klan, whose trick at a gala dinner involved the Queen choosing a piece of sliced ham (as opposed to a playing card)
  32. She also loves the entertainer Søren Østergaard, especially when he plays the baker who has 'dancing' Danish pastries
  33. I can't remember the Queen's exact age, but it's around 73.  (I'm pretty sure of this because I let the kids skive off school a couple of years back, so we could go to Amalienborg, wave Danish flags, and see her wave from the balcony on her 70th birthday)
  34. She spends Christmas with her family
  35. New Year's Eve is spent with old friends and they have a masked ball and fireworks
  36. On New Year's Day she invites the 'high heid yins' (as we say in Scotland) like cabinet ministers, diplomats, etc for a gala dinner at Amalienborg Palace.  And the diplomats are expected to turn up in their national costume (which, naturally, provides plenty of cheap entertainment for the media)
  37. The Queen makes a televised speech on 31 December at 6pm - which is the official kickoff for Danish New Year celebrations.  So if you're going out for dinner/to a party that evening, you mustn't arrive later than 5.50pm - you have been warned!
  38. Okay, so I'm beginning to run out of ideas now...  Um, it's also tradition at New Year parties to stand up during the Queen's speech, glass of champagne in hand
  39. And the Danes get their cue that the speech is nearing its end when the Queen gives a special mention to the Danish armed forces and the Greenlanders
  40. This New Year past (31 December 2011) was the 40th time the Queen has made the speech.  And - true to form - she ended it as she always ends it with "Gud Bevare Danmark!" ('God Save Denmark!)
Here is 'Daisy' in action on New Year's Eve 2009
I was, of course, standing up when I took this photo! ;D
Whew - there you have it, folks...

Gud Bevare Danmark!  (God Save Denmark!)  Længe leve Dronningen!  (Long live the Queen!)

:)

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Menu plan - Wednesday 11 January 2012

As I mentioned on Monday, I'm really trying to get on board with the Flylady's Super Fling Boogie, so for the next few weeks I'll be using up what's in my freezer/storecupboards.  My grocery bill this week came to kr. 870.15 (about £97 or $149) - which is slightly less than usual.  I shop once a week (online) and the groceries include everything we eat for breakfast and dinner, the kids packed lunches for school, and things like wine, washing up liquid and 'bog roll'... ;D

Without further ado, here's what's on the menu at Casa Copenhagen this week:

*  Enchiladas (I have a gigantic stock of tortillas in the pantry and lots of minced beef in the freezer) with spinach salad and veggie sticks

* Breaded pork chops (I do them in beaten egg and seasoned breadcrumbs) with raw red cabbage/carrot/coriander salad
Breaded chops with raw red cabbage/carrot/coriander salad :)
 * Pasta med kødsovs/spaghetti bolognese/pasta with meatsauce - because poor DS12 is having several teeth removed at the dentist (to make space for a brace), so he'll probably want something soft to eat... ;D
* Chicken Paprikash made in the crockpot, served with tagliatelle
Chicken Paprikash going in the crock (chicken/pearl onions/red pepper/tomato sauce)
will add soured cream at the end :)
*   Leftover chicken made into Chicken and Sweetcorn soup with homemade wholewheat rolls

*  Big chunky sausages with tomato/chili sauce, broccoli and mashed potato

*   Leftover night - which is basically any leftover meat and veggies from the fridge, with pasta or fried rice

Bon appétit!

Have a wonderful Wednesday! :)


Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Banana Oat Muffins

My sweetie friend V were down at the beach for our daily skinny dip in the Danish sea this morning and I brought these banana muffins for us to munch on.  'Cos it's nice to have a shivery bite and a cup of hot tea after splashing around in water which is 3c/37f... ;D  V asked me if the muffin recipe was going to appear on the blog...  Well, værsgo', here you go, V!


You'll need:
  • 3 very ripe bananas (bananer)
  • 1 egg (æg)
  • a third of a cup of oil or butter (flydende fedtstof
  • a quarter cup of sugar (sukker)
  • half a cup of flour (mel)
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder (bagepulver)
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda (natron)
  • about 1 cup of porridge oats (havregryn)
  • about ½ a teaspoon of salt (salt)


Put the bananas, egg, oil and sugar in a bowl.  Mash the bananas into the other ingredients and give it a good mix.


Add the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.

Then start to mix in the porridge oats.  I worked out that it's roughly 1 cupful, but just keep adding them til the mixture starts to come together.  Make sure it doesn't get too 'dry' and don't overmix.

Spoon into your muffin pan (I like to put papercases in the pan).  I also use an icecream scoop, as it makes it much easier to get equal amounts and avoid spillage.  You should get around 12 muffins.  Bake at 175c (or 350f) for about 15 minutes.

I decided to do 9 large ones and 12 teeny tiny ones using the mixture. The wee ones only took about 10 minutes to bake.

Velbekomme!

Hope you have a terrific Tuesday! :)

Monday, 9 January 2012

Happy New 2012!

Happy New Year, dear readers!  I'm back from Edinburgh (where we spent Christmas with my Scottish family) and the kids are back in school (where they're hopefully learning something).  Which means that I'm ready for some loveblog action!
First signs of spring life...snowdrops are coming through! :)
And doesn't the New Year herald a new start?  A fresh start.  So - bien sûr - on the second day of January, I went into my usual mode of 'have-to-rearrange-all-the-furniture' and 'toss-toss-toss-my-cares-and-clutter-away'! In my pre-Flylady days, I would have gone completely gung ho and ended up in tears by the end of the day.  (Not to mention having competely forgotten to run a load of washing or even thinking that, yes, we might actually need some food in our bellies by teatime.)  But - ha - thanks to brainFLYwashing I have learned to do it 'slow and steady', focus on small areas and, of course, hold on to my Flylady Morning and Evening Routines as if my very life depended upon it! ;D

So, by the end of last week, I had filled the car three times with junk for the recycling centre.  And filled it up again twice with items to pass on to friends, school and the charity shop.  Plus I've been using up all the extra foodstuffs from the freezer/cupboards that we're bought in the run-up to Christmas.  And, woo hoo, I'm still finding clutter to toss...

Car boot containing secondhand furniture which I bought for
ca. £5 in Luxembourg in 1990...time to finally let it go! ;D

Which, all in all, has put me in a rather excellent mood to start off 2012!  And what's in store here on the blog?  Much more decluttering, recipes, Scaredy Cat Challenges, winterbathing and basically anything and everything that gets me excited and puts a smile on my face :)

To paraphrase Robert Burns:  Here's to us.  Who's like us?  Damn few and they're all dead!

Happy New 2012!

Love
Diane