Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year

Tonight I am going to celebrate New Years with some old friends - in a city north of here, where I spend most of my childhood. It is not going to be a wild party, but one filled with laughter, talk about old days and updates as some of the participants now lives 7800+ km (that's 4800+ miles) from the rest of us.

Those who knows me, are aware that I usually do not show up at an event like that without something for the hostess, so up a litle bit early today to do that extra thing to the box of chocolate, that I will bring to her.

A bit of cardboard, blue vellum, some gift ribon and silver New Year's serpentines - using the Fröbel star idea to create the stary look to make it look and feel like New Year - and I came up with this box sleeve/cover:

Happy New Year

Sunday, December 29, 2013


Travelling during Christmas time - well know that most would not like to do it, but I get to do two of my favourite things: travel and have a peak how they celebrate, decorate etc. for Christmas in other countries .... and this year Sao Paolo, Brazil was added to that list.
Above photos are merely samples of the many that I shot of the shopping mall Iguatemi's Christmas display and despite hot temperatures outside (summer in that part of the world), the Frank Sinatra Christmas songs in the speakers at the display connected with the spirit of Christmas.
Panna Cotta - apparently the big Christmas cake as everywhere I went, I was offered sample of the cake, and watched a lot of locals carrying a premade cake home to their families.
As they say in Brazil: Felix Natal!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Christmas Cards 2013

A front page of the Danish magazine, Femina, caught my attention in mid November with the Fröbel stars - had a feeling that this would be the inspiration to this year's batch of Christmas cards.

It took two weeks until the idea finally appeared in my head - not the complete star but the base could be made in white and then added to the card .... only to reach an obstacle that took me 2 days to solve: wanted to fold the starts of gift ribbon in the 0,5 cm width only to find out that the size (which has pretty much been available all my life) now only comes in the with of 1 cm = way to big for my purpose. Solution - using my paper cutter to cut out 0,5 cm paper strips of regular white A4 paper = lots of cutting... 37 cards with each 6 stars requiring 4 paper strips = 888 paper strips

In hindsight might not have chosen to pursue that idea, as each card including folding 6 star bases, punching etc took more than one hour.... but then again once my mind is fixed on an idea :o)

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

November Tea Swap 2013 - Part 1

Merry Christmas!!
Had originally planned to post this a couple of days ago, but apparently it was "odd" that I wanted to access to blogger, facebook and email accounts from Brazil - how can that be odd as that is where I was for a couple of days??!! Yeah yeah .....security etc... so bear with me when the next couple of posts has to do with Christmas, but blame it on above mentioned providers.

November's theme - Christmas and anything but a Card. Wanted to create something, that could both hold the 2 tea samples, but at the same time be a sort of ornament/decorative piece. Nordic Christmas screamed at me, hence the red and white colors only and this time not using the usual snowflake punch but two others, that I have neglected way too long.

Buttom and sides: red paper used here is giftwrapping paper, that I have had in stock since 2005 but almost at the very last of that stock *sigh* I know that there are plenty of nice wrapping paper out there, but this type I have used for soo many purposes: giftwrapping, wrapping/covering of pots before placing poinsettias in them, paper on cards, paperbags etc. Punch is from Martha Stewart.

Inside and top: papers are from Panduro Hobby and again the punch is from Martha Stewart

Tea samples places just before closing the star: Mary requested non-caffeine tea, so I sent her some South African rooibos tea and some PUKKA Night Time tea.

Adding just few extra stars - those are the "base only" of the Fröbel star, as the complete stars would not have survived a voyage in a cardboard envelope, but that is the good thing about that kind of stars: even "just" the base only is soo decorative. A lot of people actually call it the Danish Star, but as the name might hint it is a German envention that we Danes have embraced and some people/sources claim that a larger percentage of Danes can fold this star compared to the Germans. Wonder if that is true? Anyway it is very popular here and we learn how to fold it at a very early age.

Mary, I hope you enjoyed the swap.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Chocolate.... 24 Little Men Went To Work

My colleagues love any excuse to get cake, so here is my latest contribution to their everlasting cake-hunger/-craving..... it was supposed to have been a vacation cake, but that collided with a company party, so instead it became an after-vacation cake.

Anne Au Chocolat had the recipe featured in a freebie magazine - real chocolate instead of cocaopowder making this a bomb of a cake. Her Danish name for the cake is "chocolade ballade" which means chocolate trouble - and it is scrumptious!! Decided to add just a little extra - so opted for these pepernut men (pebbernut is a cookies mostly made at Christmas time) and found the recipe here - use google translate to get the recipes on those two websites in English etc.
24 little men went to work - and did their job :o)

Friday, December 6, 2013

Bodil Came...... And She Roared

In fact, she is for the second day still roaring. Bodil is the name of the hurricane, that hit us yesterday - in Sweden his name is Svend and in Germany, Xaver. En lieu of the hurricane, Allan, that hit us October 28th, people had now learned their lesson and left work early as everything got suspended yesterday afternoon/night.

She is still causing havoc and water is now flooding several areas, where people have been evacuated from their homes. A lot of places the tide is unusual high - below pictures are captured with my phone's camera in Copenhagen Harbour during my lunchbreak - some places the tide has broken records. Water is less than one foot from the harbour berth and the photos will give you an idea just how unusual this waterlevel is.


Thursday, December 5, 2013

Black Friday?

Almost every day, I read the local version of MetroExpress

What the....??!! Black Friday sale?

Yes, I know what a Black Friday sale is - as have encountered at first hand in the US a couple of times - crazy shopping if you ask me, and way too many people everywhere. But Thanksgiving is an American holiday/"thing" and yet it seems that Black Friday is adapted locally as an excuse to boost sales. What is the next tradition that will be adapted here?


Wednesday, December 4, 2013


Imagine my surprise when I a while ago discovered an old Swedish tradition, that I had never encountered before: julmust.

It is a non-alcoholic beverage, that in Sweden outnumber the sale of CocaCola in the month of December. I have now tasted it, and my verdict: vile!! Way too sweet to my liking and have now discussed same with the only two Danes that I know have tasted the beverage - they agree with me. Now I get, why this tradition has never crossed the Sund from Sweden to Denmark.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013


We do not have any snow *sigh* does not quite feel like December yet, so have to use alternative means to get a dose of snowman.

I agee, this does not look like snow....

This could have been a snowball - you know one of those kinds with a lot of dirt in them as snow is hardly covering the ground, but you just had to make that snowball.... but this is rice crispies.

Now it starting to look like something - after vast use of white fondant, no wonder Buddy and Co. in Cake Boss have a sheeter to do all the fondant rolling instead of doing it by hand. Call him (or is it a her judging from the hat and scarf??) Melding Snowman. The body - pound cake - cracked when covering it with fondant, so he looks deform - the rice crispy ball is his head.

Here is my result - my first attemt of making the snowman. We discussed with the instructor and we all agreed, as this is actually meant as a cake eye catcher and not the cake itself - body should also be made of rice crispy as it would otherwise get to heave.

These are both the creations of the course (4 hours) instructor at Specialkøbmanden - red one is her original one and light blue version was her snowman of the day when showing us how to make the various details.
My question is now: will I ever have the guts to eat my snowman? Since there is cake inside, it will not last very long before it starts getting bad.