Spider Woman

I love my Flylady purple feather dusters for getting rid of cobwebs (especially the feather duster with the long handle – which I sometimes attach to a longer pole with hair elastics, in order to reach those [s–t–r–e–t–c–h] hard-to-reach high hall ceilings).  However, I’m less fond of the spiders the accompany said cobwebs.  And it seems that at this particular time of the year those pesky spiders all want to be inside my house!  Bah!  Eek!

A friend back home in Bonnie Scotland told me to use chestnuts.  A friend of hers – by the name of Mrs MacSporran (now isn’t that a name you can trust?) – swears that, if you put piles of them around the house, it will ward off arachnids…

I was out for a run in the Deerpark yesterday morning and there were chestnuts everywhere – hooray!  So I started collecting.  (Though next time I’ll remember to take a plastic bag, as the pockets of my running jacket don’t hold more than about three handfuls.)

You can see a bit of the world’s oldest amusement park “Bakken”

which is part of the Deerpark, in the background.

Workmen were busy yesterday taking the rides apart

as it’s now closed for the winter.

So the plan is to put a few chestnuts on the windowsills of DD9’s room, in the corners and at the entrance to her door.  And in the corners of my office, which is down in the basement.

Will it work?  Who knows – but we’re willing to give it a go in the interests of science… ;D

Happy a fabulous Friday and a wonderful weekend! 🙂

Menu plan – Thursday 29 September 2011

I went to a cupcake decorating course this week which was so much fun (well, who wouldn’t want to play with vats of buttercream icing and fondant?!) and made these little babies…

Which were pretty to look at but, boy, did I need a lie down on the sofa after I had eaten one! ;D  Anyway, the rest of food around here is normally pretty healthy…so, without further ado, here’s this week’s menu plan:

*  Homemade fish ‘fingers’ (fillets of white fish, cut up into chunks, dunked in milk then breadcrumbs/herbs and baked in the oven) with oven-baked vegetable ‘chips’ (carrot, parsnip and cauliflower florets) and a green salad

*  Wholemeal pita pockets with fresh spinach and warm, shredded leftover chicken, raw veggie sticks on the side

*  Breakfast for dinner (at the request of the kids): Danish sausages and bacon, scrambled eggs (made in my ricecooker), porridge pancakes and fresh fruit smoothies (as we have bananas and pears that need to be used up!)

DS11 making scrambled eggs – easy peasy! 🙂

*  Chicken Parmesan (chicken fillets dipped in eggs then breadcrumbs, fried, then place on a bed of tomato sauce and baked in the oven, top with cheese at the end) and tagliatelle noodles.

*  Oven egg n’ chips – made by DS11 (cut up potatoes into wedges or ‘chips’, cover them with a bit of olive oil, bake on a large, greased baking tray and – 5 minutes before they’re ready – break the eggs into the baking tray)

Suppe (Danish meatball, dumpling and carrot soup) with homemade wholemeal rolls…

I always add sunflower/flax/sesame seeds to my rolls and right now I’m also adding some grated cooking apple…

straight from the tree in the back garden 🙂

*  Pasta with any leftover meat and vegetables (= clean out the fridge day)

Bon appétit!

Happy ‘Little Friday’! 🙂

The Super Fling Boogie continues!

I’ve just done another one of this week’s Super Fling Boogie missions – going through the CDs, DVDs, etc in the livingroom and letting that clutter go, go, go! 🙂

The kids DVDs have been relocated (back) to their bedrooms and I’ve managed to condense my DVDs – the ones I absolutely must hang on to – to this little lot…

And what a rag bag collection it is!  Three box sets: Marx Bros films, the complete series of Wonder Woman and Inspector Montalbano [swoon].  A very worn out copy of my most favourite film ever: Thoroughly Modern Millie [bien sûr].  And various comedies: Hot Fuzz, Curse of the Jade Scorpion, Blades of Glory, Mickey Blue Eyes, Les Visiteurs etc, etc.  Because one of my fave ways to pamper on a cold autumn evening is to get my pjs on, light a few candles, pour a glass of wine and watch half an hour of something that puts a smile on my face.

And the box set of the Transporter?  Pure, gratuitious…Jason Statham! 😛

Have a wonderful Wednesday! 🙂

Those Crazy (Lego building) Danes

I took the kids to Legoland at the weekend.  Did you play with legos as a child?  I did.  My Mum and Dad in Scotland still have the box and it’s the first thing that’s dragged out when there are any kids visiting.  My own two have a huge box of the stuff.  Not to mention a large box of Duplos, in the basement, which we keep for any young kids who are visiting us.  Oh my word, I’m turning into my parents! ;D

And though I don’t do much building these days, I’m always amazed what you can build out of it.  As you’d expect from Legoland, there are plenty of ‘classic’ pieces to look at: pirates, miniature towns from around the globe, airports complete with moving planes, windmills, farms, wild animals, Mount Rushmore, sea creatures, NASA, rockets, Egyptian pyramids, pirates, soldiers, etc, etc, etc.

Famous for his fairytales – Hans Christian Andersen

But this year, there is a new addition to the park.  Scenes from Star Wars.  I ♥ Star Wars!  And I especially ♥ Han Solo [swoons].  DS11 was most interested by the scenes from Star Wars episodes 1-3 (the films he grew up with).

I’m guessing this is a scene from Star Wars “The Phantom Menace”,

but will need to check with DS11

Whereas I’m old-school and prefer episodes 4-6.  Here’s my own favourite scene…the bar at Mos Eisley!

If you press a button, the Cantina Band starts playing.  Yeargh! ;D

DD9 enjoyed her lunch which – naturally – included Lego-shaped chips.

But the prize for the most unusual Lego construction of the day must surely go to this.  A bare bottom!  Trust those crazy Danes to slip that one in there ;D

I’m off to hunt down a load of yellow bricks…  Have a terrific Tuesday! 🙂

I had a really great shave!

Last Wednesday I had a really great shave and here’s what I ended up with…

I shaved with this – my new gadget – which I can already feel is going to be a firm friend…

You see, this lovely woollen coat has been hanging in our basement for the last couple of (eternal Danish) winters because, even though it fits me really well, it had become all ‘fnuggly’.  So there it hung.  Alone and forlorn.  Never shorn! ;D

But last Anti-Procrastination Wednesday (go look at the Flylady website if you aren’t familiar with the term), I took my husband’s suit in for drycleaning and there was that little fabric comb.  Staring right up at me from the counter.  A comb which I’ve seen countless times before.  (Though always thought, ‘what a waste of money’.)  Well, with it being A-P Day, I coughed up, came home and got started.  And lo and behold – my coat is now shaved and ready for a stroll around the block!

Years of procrastinating.  Five minutes to rectify the situation.  Will I ever learn?! ;D

Hope you have a marvelous Monday! 🙂

Menu plan – Thursday 22 September 2011

Do you menu plan?  It may be a pesky task but, honestly, I love not having that stressed out feeling at 4.30pm every day. I also love being able to order my groceries online.  We order once a week – for the whole week – and have saved tons of money because I only order what is on the menu plan (plus breakfast and lunch items).  No more impulse buys… ;D

*  Frozen pizza and veggie sticks. Not something you’ll usually see on my menu but DD9 and I were both ill at the weekend.  Hooray for well stocked freezers! ;D

*  Pork chops with sweet and sour sauce, carrots, beansprouts and noodles (a recipe I was ‘decluttering’ for my little red file blog)

*  Danish open sandwiches, i.e. ryebread topped with liver pâté, mackrel in tomato sauce, hard-boiled egg etc (I have a parents’ meeting at school from 5-7pm, so the kids are fending for themselves)

frikadeller (Danish meatballs) with hot red cabbage and bulgur wheat cooked in my (beloved) ricecooker

*  Sonja’s Leek Tart (another recipe I’ve been ‘decluttering’ for my little red file blog) with a green salad and pickled beetroot

I just finished off the last slice this morning with a cup of tea – yum!

chicken nacho grills (a very easy dish from the BBC food website which the kids can make all by themselves) with all the trimmings…guacamole, salsa and crème fraîche

*  5-course dinner in a restaurant…woo hoo! 😀

Bon appétit!  Hope you have a thoroughly thrilling Thursday! 🙂

Bikes and bathrobes!

If you’re one of the 400 million people who are following the World Cycling Championships right now, you’ll already know lots about Copenhagen.  And if you don’t, the organisers have put together a fantastic online guide packed with fascinating info (yes, even I learned lots of new things!) about landmarks and points on interest along the race routes.

On Wednesday the time trials are taking place on our street.  How cool is that?!  The local council have been in full swing for the past week: putting out road blocks, burning weeds on pavements, sweeping up leaves and generally making the place shine for the tv cameras.  My kids’ school are also getting in on the act and taking the pupils to watch the cycling – complete with banners they’ve made themselves at the after-school club 🙂

If you’re watching the action on tv tomorrow, they’ll no doubt point out the local attractions.  Like this – a petrol station designed by Arne Jacobsen, the “godfather” of Danish design:

Is it just me…or does it look like the Starship Enterprise?

Or this – a theatre designed by Arne Jacobsen:

And maybe this – right next door to the theatre – the Jacobsen restaurant where you can (yep, you guessed it…) eat Nordic cuisine using Arne Jacobsen cutlery while sitting in Arne Jacobsen chairs:

Though – if I were you – I’d be looking out for Danes.  Dressed in bathrobes.  Who will be crossing the road to get to this – the bathing bridge at Bellevue beach:

Where (and this is where you’ll need your binoculars) they will throw off their bathrobes (or towels) and take their daily skinny dip in the sea.  Whatever the weather and whatever the sea temperature…

8.45 am – three on the bridge and one in the sea 🙂

Which – if my sweetie friend V’s thermometer is to be trusted – was 14c this morning (or 58f):

 So enjoy the Time Trials.  And keep your eyes peeled…  I’m the one in the green bathrobe! 😀

Autumn flinging cheer!

Just as I was beginning to despair about autumn (my least favourite season) being fully upon us, an e-mail arrived from the Flylady

Hooray – the Zone Super Fling Boogie starts today, Monday 19 September 2011!  Which means that we are decluttering the house (in babysteps, bien sûr, zone by zone) over the next few weeks in order to get ready for Christmas.  Christmas?  Yay!  My favourite time of the year.  Which, thanks to the Flylady, is not only my favourite time of the year but is now my favourite-time-of-the-year-and-I’m-not-even-stressed-about-the-whole-shebang.

Flylady timer at the ready – 7 minutes on the clock

So even though I was sick and poorly during the weekend, I awoke this morning with a song in my heart (and a cup of coffee in my hand), ready to start flinging.  (Though I didn’t allow myself to start until my Morning Routine was done, the laundry was done and I had taken out chops to defrost for tonight’s dinner.)

My bedside cabinet was mission number two…

yes, there are always magazines to throw out!

I managed all of this week’s five missions in the Master Bedroom within 30 minutes (you see, I am winning the war on clutter!).  And was feeling so good about the whole thing that I decided to dust the ceilings/top of the bedroom door (two minutes).  And then cleaned all the bedroom windows – inside and out – and the glass balcony door.  I didn’t procrastinate…I just grabbed the windex and my purple royal rag and was finished after two songs on the radio.  Only two songs and I was done!

And what will I concentrate on tomorrow?  Probably our guest bedroom.  Because we’re expecting a visit from family this week…the World Cycling Championships are taking place in Denmark and they just happen to be cycling through our street!  So keep your eyes out if you see the cycling on the telly.  Our house is the one with the shining windows… ;D

Happy Monday! 🙂

Menu plan – Thursday 15 September 2011

Happy Danish Election Day!  But more on that later… Jings, it’s chilly these mornings – especially when my friend and I are out for our skinny dip in the Danish sea…water temp 14c or 58f!

Yesterday we counted five jellyfish…makes you extra careful getting in and out of the water ;D

But – on the other hand – it’s now perfectly legit to have candles burning morning, afternoon and evening!  And eat lots of warming, comfort food…  Here’s this week’s menu at Casa Copenhagen:

*  wholemeal pita pockets with spinach and ham, baked potato wedges on the side

*  crockpot lasagne (I’ll layer in any leftover fresh spinach from yesterday) – I make a variation of Krista’s recipe

*  Pasta Beef Satay (which has become a regular here) from Leanne Ely’s “Saving Dinner” book

*  Today – on Danish Election Day – we’re having “Valgflæsk” (Loft promises to voters…).  The recipe is here

Eek! You wouldn’t want to meet these election poster mugshots

on a dark and stormy night! ;D

my Mum’s Minestrone soup (which I make in the crockpot) with homemade wholemeal bread

*  crockpot chicken curry (put chicken pieces in the crock together with a can of coconut milk, curry paste and veggies – add a squirt of lime juice at the end) and jasmine rice (made in my beloved ricecooker)

*  leftover crock lasagne, salad and a slice of cake for dessert (which will no doubt be a recipe from my new blog…my little red file

Bon appétit!

And Happy Danish Election Day! Who knows…maybe Denmark is going to get it’s first ever female Prime Minister? 🙂

I vote for Smørrebrød and Pork!

I had a Belgian friend visiting yesterday who, never before having set foot in the fine Danish Kingdom, was very keen to try smørrebrød.  And with the Danish General Election taking place tomorrow, I figured – hey, what better place to have lunch than “Slotskælderen hos Gitte Kik”?  You see, it’s a very famous Danish lunch restaurant which overlooks Christiansborg – the Danish Parliament.  At least in theory it overlooks the parliament because a) it’s in the basement and b) there are thick lace curtains… ;D  Given that it’s so close to Christiansborg –  or “Borgen” (“The Castle”) as it’s nicknamed – many of its clientele are politicians.  Indeed, Thorvald Stauning, who was Prime Minister in the 1920s and 30s, ate his lunch there.  Every single day.  Herring and a snaps…or two or three.  (He had a drink problem and was once sent to rehab by his party.)

The great thing about this place for smørrebrød virgins is that, instead of battling with a menu, you simply go up to the serving counter to see what’s on offer.

I was so busy talking to my friend that I forgot to take a picture of the counter,

so you’ll just have to make do with this free postcard – but it was the same waiter who served us! ;D

My friend chose a piece of salmon and I went for a kartoffelmad (sliced potato with mayo, chives, red onion) and stegte sild (herring which is first fried, then pickled in a sweet brine).  Washed down with a lovely bottle of Tuborg 🙂

We were pressed for time so only managed the one course.  And, to be honest, the portions here – like many Danish lunch restaurants – are king size.  But we couldn’t resist finishing off with a piece of kransekage (baked marcipan) and some strong coffee.  Which was served in this very dinky Royal Copenhagen coffee set – which could easily belong in a dolls-house…

So that was pre-Election lunch.

And what are we having for dinner tomorrow, Thursday, the day the Danes go to the polls?  Yes, you guessed it, those crazy Danes even have a tradition for that…ValgflæskValgflæsk means lofty promises (which undoubtedly won’t be kept…) to voters.  But flæsk is in fact the Danish word for pork.  So, like many Danes, we will be dining on stegt flæsk (fried belly pork) on Election Night.  Need the recipe?  Mine is right here.

Skål!  And may the best man – or woman – win! 🙂

Oh, Jeeves!

I don’t often write book reviews.  Unlike Ms. Caboo.  Who has set herself the herculean task of reading and reviewing 100 books this year!  And shares her experiences good and bad – for your reading pleasure – on her blog,Bookalicious Babe Book Reviews 🙂

But I have – alas – now run out of Montalbano (my swarthy, Italian detective – swoon!) books to read (penned by Andrea Camilleri).  So I had to look elsewhere for my before-bed entertainment and – by golly – I came up trumps! ;D

P.G. Wodehouse and, in particular, his “Jeeves” series, has had me in stitches.  Literally.  I have the whole ‘shoulders-hopping-up-and-down’ thing going on.  And there are more one-liners than a stand-up comedian can shake a (diamond-tipped) walking stick at.

I read a chapter in bed every night.  Nothing better than going to sleep with a smile on your face 🙂

Have a wonderful weekend!

P.S. If cookery is more your thing, I’ve just posted some more recipes to my new blog – my little red file !

Don’t quote me on that… (wellies)

“I’d never be seen dead walking around town in a pair of wellies.”

But today I was forced to eat my words (whilst drying my shoes, which got soaked on the schoolrun this morning…the ‘turn-them-upside-down-and-water-runs-out’ kind of soaked) and cave in to Danish peer pressure and buy a pair of ‘high top’ wellington boots.

You see, wellingtons are High Fashion in Copenhagen. Not for working in your garden.  Or down on the farm.  But for parading around Strøget (the pedestrian ‘High Street’).  Indeed, no self-respecting pram-pushing 30-something mother would wear anything else.  Even on those rare days when it isn’t raining. 

Oh well.  At least I managed to avoid the ‘Hunter’ brand (which 8 out of 10 girls in my daughter’s class prefer…) and found a name which is more ‘pseudo-me’… ;D

And rest assured, dear readers, I won’t be wearing them like the girl I saw not 10 minutes ago. She was wearing them as the current Danish ‘trend’ dictates (and I use that word in the loosest possible sense) – with bare legs, long socks and…shorts! 😛

Apologies for the grainy photo, but I didn’t want to get

too hot on her (wellie) heels – boom boom!

 Hope you have a marvelous Monday! And hooray for dry tootsies! 🙂

Menu plan – Thursday 1 September 2011

Welcome back to menu planning and happy 1st September – the first day of autumn!

There’s a real chill in the air these mornings (I was wishing I had gloves with me this morning on my bike ride along the coast…) but, of course, this afternoon it’s been sunny and I’m having to peel off layers.  Gah – make up your mind?  This is why autumn is my least favourite season…roll on winter! ;D

Apples are beginning to litter our lawn –

we have two trees: one with eating apples, one with cookers…

But, hey, the season of mists and mellow (apple) fruitfulness means I can go gung-ho with the crockpot…  Just lookie here are this week’s menu:

*  spaghetti bolognese/pasta med kødsovs/spaghetti with meatsauce (whatever you call it in your corner of the world) – the meat sauce will be made in the crock, pasta cooked while one of the kids set the table

*  I’ll add red kidney beans to yesterday’s leftover meat sauce, cook some rice in my (beloved) rice cooker and – hey presto – it will then miraculously appear on the table as…chili con carne! ;D

* biksemad (Danish ‘hash’: chopped onions, cubed potatoes and cubed meat, fried up and topped with a fried egg and cubed beetroot. And ketchup.)

*  crockpot chicken goulash (the easy way…chicken legs and veggies dumped in the crock with a packet of Knorr sauce) with a green salad and tagliatelle

* German potato soup – made in the crockpot – with frankfurters and homemade bread (the recipe for the soup will be posted soon on my new blog, the little red file)

Nothing beats homemade rolls…

apart from homemade rolls with lashings of butter!

 layered summer salad (because it’ll no doubt be quite hot one of the days this week) which I saw on food.com and the picture looked yummy (yes, yes, you guessed right – it was topped with bacon)

*  hooray, hooray – I’ve got not one but two nights out this week!  So on those nights the kids will be getting Danish open sandwiches or pizza…I couldn’t give a hoot! (Just kidding, bien sûr…)

Bon appétit and have a thoroughly thrilling Thursday!  🙂