Menu plan – Thursday 31 May 2012

My goodness, where does the time go?  Here we are, on the doorstep of 1 June – and this is my last menu plan before my summer blog break!

*  Chicken fillets with sweetcorn and rice (on a night that DH is away travelling), homemade Danish koldskål icecream

Heatwave in Copenhagen = time to unearth the icecream maker!

*  Danish meatball, dumpling and carrot soup – or suppe as it’s called here

*  Salad of leftover sliced chicken fillet, cubed mango, crispy bacon, garlic mushrooms, baby tomato and raw spinach leaves

Chicken, bacon and mango spinach salad

*  Stir-fried lamb with a gratin of potato/courgette/leek (just chop everything up, pour over stock and cream or crème fraîche, and bake in the oven for about 45 mins)

*  Meat and spinach lasagne (to use up the leftover spinach)

*  Out to dinner with visitors on 2 nights – hooray! 😀

Not sure where we’ll be eating yet,

but traditional Danish food will definitely be on the menu…

Bon appétit!

Hope you have a thoroughly thrilling Thursday! 🙂

Join the Garden Party (29 May 2012)

Oh ye, oh ye, oh ye!  Time for a final update on gardening the Flylady way before the blog closes for the summer!   And – yes, yes – I know I normally write my gardening posts on Mondays, but – again, again – Denmark has had a long holiday weekend.  This time for Whit Monday.:)

Last week (I hope) you saw how flamingly well I was doing attacking the dandelions on our lawn.   It all went swimmingly over the weekend and then, of course, I crashed and burned.   Now, in my head I knew that this is a major job and – like painting the Forth Road Bridge – one that never ends.   But I spent the first couple of days doing nothing.   Nada.   Gah!   So the only way forward (like with the house) is babysteps.   I decided to cut myself some slack and start small.   To make a commitment to take out 10 dandelions a day.   Every day.   Ten dandelions isn’t exactly many.   But, let’s face it, anything is better than zero.   And Flybabies will understand that, once you get started, it’s never that bad and you want to keep going!  ;o)   So I’m back on track and enjoying chipping away at the project.

I’m also proud to announce that I’m finished weeding all the paths/patio areas in the garden – woo hoo!  So now I just need to keep them looking that way…  How about a Before and After pic to celebrate?  Here’s how our barbecue area looked on Saturday morning…

Weeds galore – eek!

And here it is again, spruced up and ready to grrrrrrrill!

Fighting weeds the Flylady way…15 minutes at a time!

As the weather is so fabulous right now, I’ve resolved to do the ‘lawnmothering’ every 5 days (or as near as…) and have written it in my diary, just to make sure I get it done.   If it’s in the diary, it will happen, right?!

The rain finally arrived this morning –

which is just as well, really, because the grass is parched!

So all in all the garden is looking blooming lovely (go me!) and given the blooms on the cherry tree, it looks like we’re set for a bumper crop…

As I said, this is my last garden post before the summer holidays.  But don’t think I won’t be out in the garden every day (or at least every other day) with my essential tools – ‘Flylady purple’ gardening gloves, dandelion remover, brush, weedkiller and trusty folding headphones! 🙂

Hope you had a marvelous Monday and wishing you a terrific Tuesday! 🙂

Feel Good Friday (25 May 2012)

Three things that have put a big smile on my face this week…

Going to see one of my absolute favourite bands “Kent” – giants of Swedish rock – with friends.

Kent at Vega, Copenhagen – 24 May 2012

DD10 was at her swimming lesson yesterday and – because of the fantastic weather – her swimming teacher surprised them all by diving into the water and playing with them.  Swimming through each others’ legs (five sets of legs in a row!), teaching them to do underwater sommersaults, playing ring o’ roses, water fights and more.  They had such a good time – hooray for inspirational teachers! *o/*

DD10 when she was just a babe in arms

My sweetie Danish friend H. taking her first ever skinny dip with us!   Current water temperature is about 10c/50f.  We celebrated afterwards with hot tea, strawberries and chocolate…

Have a fabulous Friday and a wonderful weekend! 🙂

Menu plan – Thursday 24 May 2012

Summer has come to Denmark – hooray!  So instead of being the only people on the beach in the morning (you’ll remember that I’m a winterbather/year round bather), there were lots of daycare kids down there this morning.  Covered from head to toe in suncream, armed with buckets and spades and ready to get their toes in the sand…

Anyway, let’s get on with the menu, because we all want to go outside and enjoy the sunshine!

*  Rucola salad with (leftover) sliced roast chicken, tomato, cucumber, slices of orange and sesame seeds

*  Bacon and leek quiche

*  Chicken fillets on wholemeal buns and a spinach salad

Madder (Danish ryebread with various toppings) and veggie sticks – on a night when I’m at a school meeting and the kids are making their own dinner

*  Good ol’ spag bog/pasta med kødsovs/spaghetti with meat sauce

*  Overnight salad (see instructions here) and grilled hamburgers

*  Roastbeef with pommes frîtes and cauliflower salad

Fresh pea, radish and cauliflower salad

Bon appétit!

Have a thoroughly thrilling Thursday! 🙂

Salted potatoes

I can’t really call this a recipe…  But I wanted to share the idea with you because it’s a great way to serve plain old spuds when the weather turns warm.  Which is EXACTLY what has happened in Denmark during the last week! :o)

They’re best served lukewarm or cold – perfect for outside eating – and go really well with cold slices of roast beef or lamb.  Or with smoked salmon.  Or with some red pepper relish.  Or as an addition to a buffet or picnic basket.

To make these salty babies, just put the potatoes (tiny, small ones work best) in a pan and cover them with water.  Add about 100 ml of salt.  Yes, yikes, that IS a lot of salt.  Trust me on this!  Bring to the boil and cook until the potatoes are soft (approximately 20 minutes).

As soon as they are cooked drain off the water (or pour it onto any weeds you may have on the garden path…) and let the tatties cool on a dish.  You want the water to evaporate as soon as possible, leaving a slight white sheen on the potatoes.

Not terribly politically correct to be eating such salty food but, hey, everything in moderation…

Bon appétit and have a terrific Tuesday! 🙂

Join the Garden Party (21 May 2012)

It’s Monday! Which means it’s time for an update on
the Flylady way =
gardening in babysteps and using a timer.  We’ve just had a lovely long
holiday weekend with lots of time spent in the garden.  ======   Um, isn’t that what I wrote two weeks ago?!  Yes, Denmark was closed yet again on Thursday for Asencion.  And the schools and some workplaces were also shut on Friday.  So we’ve been spending rather a lot of time in the garden.  And finally enjoying dinner out on the deck…

A glass of white wine and some tomato and basil bruschetta – yum! 🙂

Thanks to my Flylady routines (‘lawnmothering’ at least once a week, weeding the flower beds every other week, sweeping the paths regularly etc), our garden is looking pretty good.  Hooray!  But now that we’ve got sun + a bit of heat, a bitter enemy has reared its ugly head…dandelions!  Gah!!!

Not too many dandelions in this particular patch…

Well, they didn’t get here in a day.  (If I’m truthful, we haven’t done anything about the ones in the lawn since DD10 was born…)  And they’re not going to disappear after a weekend’s hard graft.  I started off by doing a Flylady ’27 Dandelion Fling Boogie’ but kept losing count and the will to live.  So now I’m concentrating on one area at a time and attacking them 15 minutes at a time.  Going only after the obvious ones where there are yellow heads, because I like to see them disappearing – and I need a sense of achievement! ;o)

I can’t remember how many bucketfulls of dandelions I’ve squashed down into the garden refuse containers this weekend.  But if I say 20 bucketfulls, I wouldn’t be far wrong…

I had a bit of a perfectionist moment this morning when I went out to do the ‘lawnmothering’.  “I can’t possibly mow the lawn because there are still yellow heads peeking up!  I need to remove the dandelions first…”  Then I slapped myself on the head and said “No, lawnmowing is a weekly routine.  Do that as usual.  And then – and only then – can you go ahead and declutter the dandelions.”  So that’s what I did.  Didn’t hyperfocus.  Got my routine work done.  Because the dandelions aren’t going anywhere fast are they?

(Most of the) Dandelions are gone and the ‘lawnnothering’ is done – hooray! 🙂

The lawn looks fairly good again and I feel a sense of achievement.  Time to get my purple gardening gloves on and keep chipping away at the dandelions.  Check back next week to find out if I’m winning the war…

The rhododendrons are popping open before our very eyes 🙂

Have a marvelous Monday! 🙂

Menu plan – Thursday 10 May 2012

The good weather has been dragging it’s heels, so we’ve only eaten dinner outside in the garden three times this spring – boo, hiss!

Here’s what we’re eating at Casa Copenhagen this week:

*   Breaded pork chops with baby potatoes, sweetcorn and rucola salad

*   Ikea meatballs (yum yum) cooked in the oven on a bed of jarred tomato sauce, served with jasmine rice cooked in my ricecooker. This is one of my ‘go to’ meals when I need to get food on the table with only 5 minutes prep and 20 mins cooking time.

*   Leftover night: wholemeal pasta with chopped leftover pork chop and lots of veggies

*   Barbecue spare ribs (put the ribs in the crockpot all day on low, transfer to the oven, cover with barbecue sauce and bake for about 45 minutes) with spidskål (Danish spring ‘pointy’ cabbage) coleslaw and baked potatoes

The ribs have been cooked in the crock and are ready for the oven…

*   Stir fried lamb (cubed shoulder, tossed in lots of indian spices) served with a salad: green beans/rucola/cranberry/goat cheese/mustard+honey dressing

*   Roast beef (I flash fry it on all sides, then wrap it tightly in foil, cover it with a cloth and leave it to sit for about 30 minutes) with salted potatoes and a salad: radish/blanched cauliflower/fresh pea salad

*   Burgers: wholemeal buns with crispy chicken fillets, cherry tomatoes, red pepper and cucumber sticks

Bon appétit!

Hope you have a thoroughly thrilling Thursday! 🙂

Join the Garden Party (7 May 2012)

It’s Monday!  Which means it’s time for an update on gardening the Flylady way = gardening in babysteps and using a timer.

We’ve just had a lovely long weekend with lots of time spent in the garden.  If you saw my post on DailyDenmark (where I blog about ‘those crazy Danes’ every Wednesday), you’ll know Denmark was closed on Friday because of ‘Big Prayer Day’.

DD10 was desperate to try her hand at ‘lawnmothering’.  I was all ready to tell her that she was too young/not strong enough/it was too dangerous.  But I didn’t want to quash her enthusiasm – so bit my tongue and let her have a shot…

She got off to a great start!  But found it pretty tough.  And gave up after about two minutes! ;o)  But I praised her for her efforts and she’s going to try again soon…


Aside from the ‘lawnmothering’, this week I’ve also worked on the following -15 minutes at a time:

  • trimmed all the lawn edges
  • weeded the flower and stone borders (this was just upkeep, as I weeded them ‘thoroughly’ a couple of weeks back)
  • cut down some very large tree branches that were beginning to get out of hand
  • did more weeding of the garden paths – a looooong job
  • deadheaded some plants

And – most important of all – generally enjoyed looking at the fruits of my efforts!  Whenever I finish a task I like to ‘reward’ myself.  Usually by cutting a small posy of flowers to display in the hall or living room –  a constant reminder that life sure is good 🙂

The white plant has a lovely honeysuckle scent.

And my nailvarnish needed redoing after all that hard work ;o)

And my plans for next week?  To keep going, not get overwhelmed and hopefully, if the temperatures heat up, have another chance to eat dinner on the deck.

Hope you have a marvelous Monday! 🙂

Impossible (Coconut) Pie

Here’s a recipe which I found in the unlikeliest of places…a crime novel!  (The one I mentioned in last week’s Feel Good Friday post.)

I’m loving Kerry Greenwood’s novels

and am racing through them at a speed of knots…

You’ll need:

  • ½ cup plain flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup dessicated coconut
  • 4 eggs
  • vanilla (I used vanilla sugar)
  • 125g melted butter (I used the stuff that comes in a squeezy bottle)
  • ½ cup flaked almonds (I didn’t use them – ‘cos I didn’t have any on hand!)
  • 1 cup milk

Heat the oven to 180 c (350f) and grease a deep pie dish.  Then hold on to your hats, because this is going to be super speedy!

Put everything – except the almonds – into a bowl and mix well.  Mix in half the almonds, if you’re using them.  Pour into the pie dish and sprinkle over the rest of the almonds.

Bake for about 35 minutes.  It will puff up and go golden brown.  Remove from the oven to cool. 

It’ll slowly deflate while it cools, ready for slicing (into very generous slices) and eating…

Bon appétit!

Hope you have a terrific Tuesday! 🙂