Sunday, January 29, 2012

At home. With Heston Blumenthal. Cooking shrimp cocktails.

It snowed last night and although most of if was gone within a second, there was a little left on the rooftops when I looked out the window this morning. Snow makes me ridiculously happy, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed we'll get more of it soon.

Also in weekend news: Johan (of London) gave me a gorgeous cookbook for Christmas. It's by Heston Blumenthal (of Fat Duck fame), and tonight we're cooking two of his lamb recipes. I've had a gigantic leg of lamb lying in the freezer for months now after buying half a lamb from a guy at work who raises them in his spare time - how's that for local? Speaking of which, have you seen the Portlandia "Is it local" skit? Funny stuff.

On a somewhat related note, I felt I had to show you an image of Heston Blumenthal's shrimp cocktail, prepared with the precision of a watchmaker, of course. Johan (of this house) found it kind of hilarious that it's the chef's secret, guilty pleasure. But it's often like that, isn't it? Fancy chefs digging simple things like duck liver on toast or something, and then they have the rest of us break our necks cooking consommés and rillettes and the like.


Thursday, January 26, 2012

so, you think you know 'cute'?

This just in from the woman of London Clay, whose beautiful tumblr you should definitely check out if you're into over-the-top veggie porn (now, who isn't?) and awesome combos like beans and cats.


I've started taking yoga classes and making fruit smoothies in the morning with things like mint in them. I'll keep you posted on when my new found California lifestyle has fizzled out of my Copenhagen reality. I'm guessing March at the very latest.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

I'm sorry if I creeped you out

Just now I realize I posted the wrong video of the baby owl being petted. There was some kind of nasty voice over dude who sounded like the nastiest of pervy breathers. Anyway, I didn't mean to. Just wanted to show you the cute owl. All should be better now.

Could I have some more weekend, please?

Those little pastries are called Napoleon's Hats and I really think you should give 'em a go. Here's a simple recipe in Danish and here's one in Anglais. Good luck:O)

I need a baby owl. pronto.

Update: I put up a new video as I didn't realize the sound to the other one was so creepy! My apologies folks.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

We're going to Tokyo for Easter! Johan will stand out for being tall, me for being a redhead with a funny voice! Perhaps we'll eat toxic fish and live squid! We'll get into Japanese bondage! It will be so much fun!

Can you believe it?! We bought tickets while we were in NY (which felt very decadent somehow - you know, buying tickets while already on vacation), but we simply had to, because they were real cheap, for a direct flight and everything. I'm insanely excited and am planning on making a detailed day-to-day travel plan just because. So, dear readers, if you have some tips to share, it will be greatly appreciated by yours truly:O)

Monday, January 16, 2012

Guilty: We ate a mighty serving of arty junk food. And we kind of enjoyed it.

Johan, Matteo and I went to see the Carsten Höller exhibition at The New Museum. It was aptly called Experience, and by George did we get up close and personal with the art work. Among other things we got to ride a mirror carrousel, slide down a three story slide (which looks quite amazing installed at the Tate), wear upside-down goggles, and - had we only been patient enough to wait in line - get stark naked and into a swimming pool.

It was good fun, but was it good art? I'm not quite sure, and at the same time I'm too lazy to find out what I really think. Instead I'll leave the thinking bit to Jerry Saltz who wrote a commentary on "Museums as Playgrounds" in New York Magazine, accusing a show like Höller's for serving up a non-nutritive dish of watered down Relational Aesthetics:

"J’accuse museums of bullshit! Of ­bogusly turning themselves into smash-hit consumer circuses, box-office sensations of voyeurism and hipster showbiz. This year, the institution-­critiquing art known as Relational Aesthetics—essentially audience-participation art, often work that moves, lights up, or involves living nude beings—entered its decadent phase....Right now in New York, there’s the New Museum’s Carsten Höller fun-fair of rides, slides, and flotation tank, most of it restagings of past amusements. The show packs the house; viewers feel pleased with themselves for “getting it”; nothing provides much in terms of form, social commentary, or the willful transformation of materials. It’s arty junk food".

tv dinner

I made Johan a cook book for Christmas and filled it with a bunch of yummy dishes I think he should cook me in 2012. (Each recipe was ruthlessly stolen from mouthwatering food blogs around the web, by the by, in case you feel like snitching my idea:O). Anyway, tonight he broke it in and cooked a basil tomato soup with grilled Gruyère sandwiches on the side.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

I need this dog

home cooked

Except for new years eve, we didn't cook one single meal while we were in New York. It just felt silly to stock up on basics when we were only there for one and a half week, plus we had like a gazillion restaurants that we wanted to go to. (Good and affordable restaurants is really what I miss the most about living in NY, I think. Right after Matteo, of course.) Anyway, the point of this post was really to say that having home cooked meals every single night this week has been quite an appreciated and splendid affair.

pine cone up for adoption

Am I the only one who fails to wash my cutting board properly after having chopped onions? I'm guessing not;O) By the way, see that pine cone in the last photo? My mom gave it to me ages ago, and the whole idea was that you keep it some place warm for a couple of weeks after which the pine nuts are supposedly going to start "popping". I had kind of given up on it after waiting for more than two months, but now, my mom says, hers have started popping big time. And apparently it's quite a boisterous affair, the nuts just cracklin', snapplin' and poppin' when you least expect it. I'm kind of hoping that I wont be home when the cone cracks open - I fear my poor old nerves wont be able to deal!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

poached me own pears and all!

I'm telling you it turned out scrumptious! I based it on this recipe, except rather than a tart crust, I made a simpler kind of short bread crust, and rather than putting ground almonds in the filling, I put in some marzipan (not to be a contrarian, or anything, but simply because I had no nuts).

Sunday, January 8, 2012

I won't be operating any heavy machinery today

I came back on Saturday night and sweet lord am I tired! I thought I had kind of beat my jet lag by spending all day Saturday sleeping in airplanes and airports (my itinerary: NY > Paris > Frankfurt > Copenhagen = stupid). But whaddayaknow, when I went to bed last night at 10.30, I wound up sleeping for only one hour and then lying wide awake till 5 in the morning. In other words, I is tired.

Guess it's days like this that I should be happy that I work as a writer and not as a surgeon or pilot. Worse thing that can happen is that I make a bunch of spelling errors. I hope.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Yoda and the C-span junkie

Johan is so into watching the primaries on C-Span, I'm beginning to fear I won't be able to lure him back to Copenhagen with me.
By the way, just to confirm (or mock?) gender stereotypes, we tend to joke around our house that Johan is the one who gets politics, while I'm the one who gets anything pop cultural. Also, because Johan is so tall, and I'm so short, we joke that whenever he tries to explain politics to me, I look like a confused (but friendly) Yoda, looking up at him from below.
Of course, whenever we discuss something cultural, my demeanor is completely different simply because I'm on home turf. For example I'll become greatly agitated when I set out to explain some joke about, say Bruce Willis being the dad of Ashton Kutcher, which Johan doesn't get because he knows nothing about celebrities.


The WTC memorial pools were so much more great and massive than I thought. They're a beautiful and impressive sight, yet at the same time I felt weird visiting them, not least because the unguided tour led you straight from the memorial site and into the gift shop.

Don't you know that feeling? When you find yourself participating in some kind of "collective human behavior" and suddenly feel really bad about it? I had a similar experience the other day when we ventured up to Harlem to have lunch at Marcus Samuelson's comfort food restaurant, The Red Rooster. The place was completely filled with white tourists enjoying "authentic southern food" and admiring all the "African-American paraphernalia" decorating the interior. And suddenly I felt like such an ass for buying into that Harlem-as-fun-park experience that was so far removed from "the real" Harlem outside, where few people are able to spend $15 on a lunch of biscuits and gravy or whatever. Anyway, I made myself (and Johan) feel so depressed about the place that I left again without lunching.

(I should be careful not to sound too self-righteous, though, because right afterwards I took the subway straight downtown to eat comfort food in some West Village joint decorated like a 19th century New England cottage (???!))


blue sky but freezing

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


Johan, Matteo and I went to see the Maurizio Cattelan retrospective at The Guggenheim the other day. It was a pretty spectacular sight, and yet I couldn't help but feel that each piece was divested of its cleverness from being exhibited like that, hanging from the rotunda in a cluster of art works. From the little I know about Cattelan, his pieces are so site specific, each one telling its own story. And when shown together like that, it seemed to me they kind of just became visual gags.

(But hey, for chrissakes, go if you can. It's not every day you get to see hundreds of art works suspended in the air:O)

Photo by David Heald via New York Magazine.


wedding bow

That crêpe, whipped cream and crème brûlée cake

I figure it should be relatively manageable to recreate, no? Perhaps with a little lemon or Grand Marnier in the whipped cream?


It's difficult to shake the habit of living here, and so we wing up pretending that we do just that and spend our days doing a bunch of everyday things.

good stuff

This photo, from The Selby, puts me in a genuinely good mood:O)