Sunday, February 27, 2011

And to those of you who can't be bothered with baking...

...spend your afternoon over at Cute Overload!

Rosemary Shortbread

If you're looking for things to do this Sunday, may I suggest you try your hand at baking rosemary shortbread? I just did, and found that it was a most manageable and rewarding affair.

I used this recipe from The New York Times, which, as you can see, offers alternatives in terms of flavorings in case rosemary isn't your thing or if you want to pair it with something else. In fact, had I had organic lemons at home, I think I would have done a rosemary-lemon zest shortbread combo....

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Baby's Day Out

My friend Anne and I went to Malmö, Sweden, the other day, which turned out to be her 8-month-old baby Alma's first trip abroad:O)

Whenever I get to spend time with a baby out there in public space, I'm always (or often at least) so pleasantly surprised by the extent to which people around you communicate their good will towards that bright new specimen of the human species that you're either wheeling or carrying around town. Everyone so attentive and smiling. I think I choose to believe that when those of us who have been around for a while smile and wave hello to a baby, we're actually saying "welcome." And "how lovely that you've joined us."
Photo via here.
I guess it's exactly the same that happens when you see a puppy in the street, and it just feels like a sin if you don't stop to say hello and speak to it for a little bit? Only difference is, of course, that it's a tad transgressive to stop and pet a stranger's baby. So a smile has to do.

P.S. Those big, gorgeous prints or photographs (or whatever they were) are by Walead Beshty in view at Malmö Konstall till May 1st.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

late night cravings

Evan Sung for The New York Times.
I'm not really a sucker for doughnuts, but seeing this photo on the New York Times made me want to sink my pearly whites into that pink one on the left. Apparently the black sprinkled on top is hibiscus. I love when people mix sophistication with junk food!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

for green is good for the eye

I was just sorting through some pictures and came across this close-up of parsley and was pleasantly reminded of the saying that green is good for the eyes. You know that one?

If not, I can tell you it's from Hans Christian Andersen's The Ugly Duckling and it goes like this:

At last, one egg-shell after another burst open. "Pip! pip!" each cried, and in all the eggs there were little things that stuck out their heads.

"Quack! quack!" said the Duck, and they all came quacking out as fast as they could, looking all around them under the green leaves; and the mother let them look as much as they liked, for green is good for the eye.

cut flowers

I find it insanely difficult to take pictures of flowers. Lately we've received quite a bit of cut flowers as gifts, and they look gorgeous when they stand there in the living room all abloom. So beautiful, in fact, that I keep trying to shoot them thinking it'll be perfect to spruce up my blogspace with a little botany. But darn it, every time I try, it just winds up looking a little bland.


I'm telling you it smells good at our house right now! Usually I fill these with a sugar, cinnamon and butter blend, but today I tried something different. I made what the Danes call a 'remonce cream' - it sounds French, I know, but apparently it was 'invented' by a Danish baker, and for all I know, this is what makes so many Danish pastries all gooey and rich and sometimes a bit caramelized. Interestingly, I don't think it's in our Danishes, though. I think? But be that as it may.

Anyway, I made mine of equal measures butter, sugar and ground almonds. Yumdidum!

Monday, February 21, 2011

So what are your thoughts on...Timberlands?

Now, before you judge me, let me just inform you that I have counted these boots among my belongings since the tender age of 13. That was when my mother brought them home for me from the States, you see. For my birthday, if I remember correctly. In either event, the point is that no matter if they're in vogue or not, they hold a very special place in my closet and won't be going anywhere anytime soon. So there.

That said, I have to admit I felt a bit dubious when I pulled them out of the closet the other day and put them on. Because you know, I too have come to associate Timberland boots with hip hop. And as you may have noticed, I'm not exactly hip hop.
This photo has nothing to do with Timberlands.
On the other hand, it didn't feel entirely wrong to wear them either. In fact, paired with blue jeans, I felt kind of resuscitated 90s cool...At least I think I did?

When I informed both of "my" Johans that I had worn my old boots out and about, they each responded with a brief 'hah!'

Johan the libertine evens went as far to inform me that his friend Mags often uses Timberland boots as derogatory subject matter whenever she cracks one of her signature 'your mama' jokes. Apparently she alternates between "Yo' mama wears Timberlands" and "Yo' mama's got a PC".


But if you think that's gonna make me give up on my boots, you can think again. In fact, I googled to find proof that it's not just me that suddenly thinks Timberlands have a little bit of hip to them. Now, I didn't find much, but it seems Opening Ceremony has done a collaboration with Timberland. And I mean, Opening Ceremony doesn't just strike up deals with anyone do they?

Sunday, February 20, 2011

a teen with a message

I feel a bit like an annoying, artsy teenager for posting these light- and shadow-filled photos, including that very thought-provoking romantic message encircled by Jesus Christs and Virgin Marys, which I came across walking home from the bakery.

But hey, be that as it may:O)

Saturday, February 19, 2011

party of two

This evening I sat down to dine with Johan in London, and I highly recommend you do that too if you find yourself far away from some of your loved ones! 
We agreed upon meeting a 8 pm Central European Time with dinner served. If you're curious to know what we had, I can tell you that Johan had a spinach and tomato pasta while I had a salad with celeriac fries and roasted red pepper sauce.
I'm telling you it was cozy and beat the hell out of dining alone! This we must most definitely do again:O)

Name the car?

This car quiz is intended and designed for Johan the car afficionado, who purports to know everything there is to know about the kind of cars he believes to be worth having (i.e. expensive European cars).

The deal? I post a photo of a detail of a car, and then Johan guesses which one it is. If possible, he provides some details on it too. Stuff about cylinders and fenders and things like that.

That's not to say you can't comment too in case you know which car it is! Because if you're car savvy, please join in on the game:O)

EDIT. Ok, so apparently the detail from this 1954 Kaiser Darrin was a bit too tricky for Johan to recognize, but then again how could I not choose a rare American car after he had just informed me it wasn't exactly his strong point? 
Photo via here.
Anyway, how about this one?

Sunny and Overexposed

Happy Saturday folks!

It's a sunny morning here in Copenhagen city. Freezing cold, but sunny! Blue skies abound, trees abloom (if you count the ones you have inside sitting in a vase) and people lining up to get coffee in the shop downstairs. The whole taste-of-spring shabang!
This entire week I've been jabbering on about the NY weather forecast, as it was in the low 60s/16 C there yesterday!!! I think three exclamation are in place here, cos if there's one thing I'm missing these days, then it's knowing that spring is just around the corner. Because, let's face it, it ain't coming to Northern Europe anytime soon, whereas in New York, come March, I know from experience I'd be dining out. As in outside. And not even bundled up, mind you!
But hey there Miss Carlson, let's keep our eyes on the bright side, and enjoy the fact that the sun is streaming through the windows this morning, turning your old Swatch on the windowsill beautifully translucent and everything else look overexposed.
Yours truly was actually supposed to go on an overnight trip today to visit Johan's gran, but alas, I'm staying home as I have a really exciting work assignment due on Monday! Speaking of which, if I should be so lucky that one of my readers knows loads on cloud computing, do you think you could drop me a line?

Friday, February 18, 2011

he's the highest paid lover in Beverly Hills

I watched American Gigolo last night, which I hadn't done in a good long while, and boy am I happy that I did, because I was reminded how breathtaking the cinematography of that film is - every single image and framing just razor sharp!

But goodness is it toe-cringingly cheesy too! All its beauty aside, I couldn't help but sit there and snicker and occasionally cover my eyes because Richard Gere in the character of Julian Kaye says such awkward things and moves and walks with a swagger you simply can't take seriously.
On another note, it struck me how much it oozes and revolves around sex and erotica despite the fact that you see very little, erm, 'action' of that nature. Sure, there's that scene where you see Gere's willy, and sure you see two handfuls of tits every now and then, but by the end of the movie, you realize it has mostly been talk about that dirty deed and not much doin' it. Yet still, you feel so dirty for having watched it! 
And Lauren Hutton. Heavy sigh. How dare thee be that gorgeous? I think she's just the right blend of a classic and a quirky beauty.
And that sweater. Can I please have that sweater?
And those legs that go on forever? And that red Bottega Veneta clutch? Actually, I also want a shoulder length bob now.   
All images borrowed from I Love Hot Dogs

dinner with dishes

The other night when I spoke to my grandmother, she asked me what we were having for dinner (my gran and I speak a lot about food and recipes, you see) and when I told her that Johan was in the midst of cooking up a Pasta Carbonara and raddichio salad, she said: "Take a picture will you? So I can look at in the morning?"
In the dark of the evening, the pic admittedly didn't turn out all that nice, and so I thought I'd complement it with a photo of our dishes and add to that these are the dishes left for that ONE SINGLE meal. I don't know how we always manage to use so much cookware when cooking such simple things, yet every evening this is pretty much the mountain of bowls and frying pans left over to deal with after having filled up our tummies.
And seeing that we, as so many other households, have as our general yet unwritten rule, that whoever cooks dinner gets to kick back and relax while the other one does the dishes, I bet you can see why cooking is the job we fight each other to take.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Twister with Two Tiny Tots!

Johan's mom and sister and little nephews came for a visit yesterday and we played Twister! Well, only for about five minutes, because after that their attention span had run out or shifted focus and they ran up the stairs again and started balancing on the wooden beams and standing so close to the gap in the floor/ceiling that my heart began to race and my palms began to sweat!

It's funny with little kids, cos they seem to be attracted to everything that involves peril. And then again, because they're not scared, they're amazing at keeping their balance and moving their little limbs with uttermost control.

Me, myself, I'm always afraid of falling down the stairs, tripping in the street or crashing on my bike, and hence my motor functions are shite;O)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Dog that goes: "Really?"

Image from the Best in Breed at the Westminster Dog Show, shot by Fred Conrad for The New York Times.

Dog that is either drunk or just rolled out of bed.

Image from the Best in Breed at the Westminster Dog Show, shot by Fred Conrad for The New York Times.

Dog as Footstool.

Image from the Best in Breed at the Westminster Dog Show, shot by Fred Conrad for The New York Times.

Dogs That Don't Make Sense

Images from the Best in Breed at the Westminster Dog Show, shot by Fred Conrad for The New York Times.

Peppermint Patty. (And patties on the sly. And questions I don't get.)

Just now I was digging around in our candy drawer - we have one such exciting drawer in the kitchen, you see! - and in lack of more tasteful things to satiate my thirst for something sweet with, I went for a peppermint-flavored candy cane left there since way before Christmas.

Anyway, as I was standing there, gracefully using my teeth to tear it out of its cellophane wrapping, I started chanting (albeit silently, as in inside my mind):

"Peppermint....peppermint pattie....peppermint patty? Now wait a minute, Peppermint Patty?! That's a great name for a children's book character! Why hasn't anyone thought of this before?!"

Well, someone has, and he goes by the name of Charles M. Schulz and is the author of a little known comic strip called Peanuts.


Speaking of peppermint-flavored things, I so miss being able to buy and more specifically eat York Peppermint Patties. It used to my secret little indulgence. You know, the one I'd get if I had to quickly pop out to the store to get, I dunno, milk, and then I'd finish the whole king-sized thing on my two-block walk home and thus erase every trace of its existence as well as my gluttony before I walked through the front door.

Now, if I were a proper lady blogger, this would be when I would ask all my lurrrvely readers what their secret indulgence is. But I won't (but hey, feel free to tell!).

I will tell you this though: When proper lady bloggers who have thousands upon thousands of readers ask, say, what their readers are up to this weekend or what their best recipe is, do they really want to know and do their readers actually tell? I mean, I get why the bloggers ask, cos hey, blogging is all about dialogue and reciprocity, etcetera etcetera, but sometimes I can't help but find those questions kind of condescending. Cos I'm like: Of course you don't want to know what I'm doing this weekend. So can you please not pretend that you do?.

Am I being cynical you think?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Beaver Pelts for Wool? Really?

When I first moved to New York and started catching on to the addresses of the city's better second hand shops (as opposed to the pricey 'vintage' ones), I discovered that quite a few of those carrying used military apparel also sold big white woolen blankets with big ol' multicolored stripes on them. And for those of you who are few steps ahead of yours truly, then yes, I'm talking about the Hudson's Bay Point Blanket.
Image via Apartment Therapy.

Actually it wasn't until yesterday that I realized the blanket is named such, as well as the fact that it has quite an 'interesting' story. Apparently the blankets were traded to First Nations and Native Americans back in the 18th Century in exchange of beaver pelts. It's still in production today and retails for between 275 and 475 Canadian dollars. And as you've probably already predicted, that means that the 'vintage' ones are now considered collectors' items.

I don't wanna jump to any conclusions here, but at the same time that I find the blanket deeply desirable from an aesthetic point of view, it also seems to represent the classic tale of the colonizer's exploitation of the perfectly self-sufficient indigenous people. I mean, am I the only one who thinks there's something wrong with this barter? Obviously the exchange value of a couple of animal pelts is higher than a wool blanket with stripes on it, right?
Image via here.

But what do I know, maybe I'm missing something here. All I'm saying is that unlike a certain Miss Bilson, you wont be catching me around town wearing anything Hudson Bay! Not until I get to the bottom of this, no sir!

let's just call them urinal ducts

Sorry for going all lowbrow and despicable on you, and considering the fact that my grandmother reads this blog, perhaps I ought to think twice before publishing such indecent material. (But then again, I received these pictures from my sister, who was kind enough to send them not only to me but my parents too...and well, then you may have a general idea of the filth that constitutes my genealogy and thus also why I sometimes lack a certain degree of netiquette...