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! 😀

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! 🙂


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! 😀

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) 😀

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! 🙂


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! 🙂


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! 🙂


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! 🙂


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 toread 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 seriesso 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… 😀

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! 🙂


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! 🙂


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!

“Days of Thunder” by Spleen United 

Have a fabulous Friday and a wonderful weekend! 🙂


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! 🙂


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! 🙂