I’ll be back before the summer ends….

mon5Soon I will be riding on big red London busses
Catching up with dear friends
Seeing Big Ben
Eating Beef Ale pie and having afternoon tea…
Strawberries, scones and clotted cream..mmm
but for now I leave you with a glimpse of what I leave behind….mon2

mon1A little cottage we visited last year
No, not the island we stayed on in Sweden…
Darling Danish friends hired this for a week
and invited us around….mon8

møn14We ate bread and salads
cooked and laughed….
waited for the sun to set… which took a very long time….mon7
cycled to Møn and saw the most breathtaking white cliffs…mon6

mon12Soon I’ll see the white cliffs of Dover
Beautiful friends I cannot wait to hug again….
I’ll drink Earl Grey tea and eat Victoria Spongesmon9

mon10but don’t be sad Denmark…
I’ll be back before the summer ends
because your summers are simply too beautiful to miss….mon4

© Danish Exchange 2014

Besotted with biscotti…..

DSC_0522.1 dusk

As my regular readers know, I’m not much of a morning person.  It is that first latte in the morning that gets me going and I have to shamefully admit that most of the time it is my beloved who brings me my first cuppa.  However, I make the biscotti and what a match made in heaven that is…..  I made this batch last week, and it disappeared at a rate of knots.  I initially thought of making this a winter post as it seems so snug above with my first cuppa, but I am dreading that I might be allergic to almonds…. so thought it best to post this now, before I end up never making them again.  Well, I will just have to make another version of biscotti but let’s hope for the best.  Yes, I have been scratching and itching on and off for a couple of months now, and I’m not sure if it’s nuts or tomatoes.  I love both and I’m not sure how I will give up either.  I eat almonds just about daily, from my morning mueslimuesli slices to grabbing a few from the jar for a mid-afternoon snack.  I even made a cauliflower and almond flour based pizza, recipe from the ‘Green Kitchen Stories’, but it seems I was the only one who enjoyed it and really tucked in.  The eldest worryingly asked if we will have our usual homemade pizza on Friday.  I’ve even been contemplating making my own almond milk.  Oh well, I’ll keep you posted, but in the meantime I thought I would share this gem with you.

from above...

I’ve had this recipe for 6 years now, and it is from a ‘Waitrose Seasons’ magazine.  I have made it so often that I could likely do it from memory now. It has made lovely Christmas gifts and my friends who come over for a visit know there is usually a tin they can help themselves to for morning coffee.   I have varied the recipe at times with less sugar, added other ingredients like pistachio nuts and berries and even added cranberries to make them festive for Christmas.  I know it is summer here and believe me no one is happier about that than me.

Almond and Vanilla biscotti  [Copy, Paste, Print and Bake]

You will need: [I have doubled the recipe for you]

  • 500 g flour [I like to use 00 Italian flour but normal white flour is fine]
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 100g vanilla sugar [you can add 2 teaspoons vanilla extract instead or scrape a vanilla pod and add to your sugar]
  • 100 golden caster sugar [ I use 'brun farin', a Danish brown sugar]
  • 200g roughly chopped almonds
  • 4 organic or free range eggs
  • 100g slightly salted butter melted and cooled

Method:

Mix the flour, nuts and sugars in a bowl.  In a separate bowl beat the eggs and butter together and if using vanilla extract add this to the mixture too. Now combine the two and mix until you have a dough.  Divide the dough into 4 and shape each one into a log [sausage]. Press each log flat until you have ‘flat loaves’.  Place each loaf on a greased baking tray and space well apart to ensure they do not touch when baking.  Bake at 190 degrees Celsius for 20 minutes.  Take out of the oven and cool for approximately 10 minutes.  In the meantime turn the oven down to 100 degrees.  Slice each loaf diagonally in slices using a serrated knife.  Place all the slices onto a baking tray and place in the oven for approximately 40 to 60 minutes until crisp.  You can turn them over half way through.  Let them cool and place in an airtight jar or tin. 

Enjoy with coffee or tea.

DSC_0509 tranquil

P.S. I have joined Instagram and you can follow my day to day here in Denmark there too.

 

© Danish Exchange 2014

 

 

 

An afternoon at the harbour….

Getting ready....

The eldest of my little people is growing up fast, in fact he isn’t really a little person any more, but to me he will always be one of my little people.  He has taken up sailing this year and to say that I am proud is an understatement.  I love Monday afternoons when I get to see him prepare his craft and then watch him sail into the distance….. I love how brave and independent he is. Far more than I ever was at 9. Recently Daddy has also become Dad, in a very loving way of course. Daddy, I assume, must be for small boys because he and Dad’s conversations have become very serious and manly. The fact that time seems to pass so swiftly is a little scary, before long he’ll be making decisions on what he would like to study or where he wants to travel. He keeps enquiring about when we plan to travel to China.

And he is off....

On Tuesday the littlest of the little people woke up saying he wasn’t going to Kindergarten. Apparently he had a sore throat, was sick and needed to stay at home. I said that was fine. Needless to say I didn’t get any work done, but when we were lying in the hammock swinging and playing row the boat, I felt so happy that he chose to stay at home with me. He wasn’t at all ill, he just wanted a day at home with mommy. It made me realise how fortunate I am working part time from home, that I could just be here with him, jumping on the trampoline, swing in the hammock, playing and cuddling, on our own. It was also just a sweet reminder of how I should treasure every single moment, because before long he too will be sailing off into the distance ……

sailing 2.1

sailing 3.1

the pier....

I sometimes wonder what my eldest will get up to one day, if he will do all the things I did and more. Whether he will travel through Europe in a camper [as I once did in my hippie status] or go hiking on snow-top mountains and glaciers as I wish I had done. Some may be thinking ”you still can”. ”I have dependents now” is my excuse, perhaps I’m just not brave enough any more. Whatever he does, I know he’ll live a full life filled with adventure….. I look forward to seeing it, but for now, I am really content to still cover him with a blanket at night and watch him sail into the distance at day…..

165 dusk

© Danish Exchange 2014

 

 

 

Snaps of yellow….

from above....

On one of my morning runs this week I couldn’t help but notice these pretty little daisies on the sidewalk.  They were all alone in a concrete jungle waiting to be rescued.  So how could I not?  My garden is currently filled with all sorts of little flowers from shrubs and trees in pink and lilac and yet these humble yellow daisies are my pick this month.  I never used to be a huge fan of yellow, but ever since I fell in love with my yellow flea-market lamps, I simply cannot resist this happy colour.  I thought it the perfect match for the start of summer and teamed with green and pink it is romantic and pretty.  Wouldn’t these colours make a great combination for a girlie bedroom?

Snaps of yellow.2

Wishing you a wonderful start to the summer filled with sunshine, happiness and yellow……

and if you need more Summer inspiration, why not have a peek in the latest issue of Heart Home Magazine, Summer issue out today…..

 

© Danish Exchange 2014

 

 

 

Through someone else’s eyes….

DSC_1006 dusk

It has been quite some time since I’ve been here at one of my favourite spots. No, not the beach, well that too, but more here on this little blog of mine. Almost three weeks ago I attended my very first blog Conference, The Hive. It was held here in Copenhagen but more about that on another post. Today I just want to write about me and this little blog of mine….

Humblebæk beach

A view from afar

One of my followers, and a very good friend too, recently enquired if I was okay. Was I perhaps having a dry spell, as I had not been writing that much of late? Perhaps there was some truth in that, however I have enjoyed writing poems and telling stories through my lens. My lens inspires me to write just as these pictures of our little trip to the beach this weekend has energized me again. I need to edit my photos more often. I digress, coming back to my dry spell…. I have also been having a lot of thoughts about a new blog, a professional one. Attending the blog conference provided me with more tools and a few ideas however, it is still a work in progress….. doubts and thoughts of ‘selling my soul’ have plagued me… earning money by doing what I love best? Will I even be a success? These and many other thoughts have preoccupied my days. So I apologise for not writing as much of late. The time will come again, but for now I want to look at myself through someone else’s eyes. Someone who loves me dearly just as I am…

DSC_1025 cinerama

© Danish Exchange 2014

For every Mor, Mamma, Mommy…..

mothersday

To every mom I know and also those I’ve never met

To my very own mamma, my heroine ….

May this day be filled with love

May you ponder times of when you held your baby close

those precious moments you saved inside your heart

and may you know just how much you are loved

though near of far may you always be blessed

that  someone calls you mamma……..

© Danish Exchange 2014

Snail Trails……

Snail Trails......

Snail, snail,
where are you leaving a trail…
In my garden and on my path
through the leaves and over sticks
green green grass and spiky plants

Are you on your way to rescue a friend….
and when will this journey come to an end
Or are you traveling to far away places
where adventures are waiting to be found
and giant feet and monsters are in bound

How I love to watch you move
so slowly, accurately and determined with each glide
Leaving trails that make me smile….
That’s why I had to put your picture in my file….

© Danish Exchange 2014

Breakfast in the garden…..

Wildflower Posy

With Springtime here and Summer around the corner enjoying meals outside is simply the best.  For my clan and I anyway.  Nothing makes me happier than potting around the garden, foraging for wild flowers [remember I love weeds too], and just soaking up the fresh air and sun.  We have been blessed with a wonderful warm Spring.  So in celebration I just had to have breakfast in the garden this morning….

Through the leaves

A few rules to make a most enjoyable breakfast in the garden….

  • Go foraging for wild flowers, then place them every so elegantly in a jar, vase or milk jug.  Place on your table.
  • Make sure you have your ready-made best muesli to hand with a good dollop of Greek yogurt, fresh berries, your favourite latte and perhaps a good book.
  • Or if you prefer,  forget the book and  just enjoy listening to the birds singing and watch the squirrels hide their nuts.

If a loved one or friend unexpectedly arrives, pull up an extra chair and enjoy the moment together.  Even better, bring out the freshly baked banana loaf too and tuck in.

Breakfast for two...

Muesli Close Up

Here is my muesli recipe.  I’ve adapted it from the adorable Austin and Ashlyn’s recipe here.

Homemade Muesli: [Copy, Paste and Make]

400 g Jumbo Oats

200 g Nuts and Seeds [I use pumpkin, sunflower, roughly chopped almonds and sometimes add an extra 25 g of linseed]

150g Dried Fruit  [ I usually use cranberries, my favourite ]

1 tsp Cinnamon

1 Tablespoon Soft Dark Brown Sugar

7 Tablespoons Maple Syrup

100g Coconut Oil

Method:

Add all your dry ingredients in a large pot over a low heat and stir.  Melt the coconut oil on a low heat in a different saucepan and pour over the dry ingredients. Add the maple syrup and stir for about 5 minutes until everything is coated.  Allow to cool and store in clean airtight jar or container.   Enjoy with fresh fruit, yogurt and a dash of milk.

Breakfast in the garden with banana bread...

Wild flowers with breakfast..

© Danish Exchange 2014