Friday, 30 April 2010

Spring Concert

The Copenhagen International School presented an evening of classical and contemporary music performed entirely by the students.

Thursday, 29 April 2010

It's Coming Up.... Daffodils


The Greek woodland nymph Echo, unable to verbalize her love for Narcissus, waited longingly for her beloved to recognize and embrace her devotion.
As Narcissus admired his beauty in the water, Echo waited, wasting away until she became nothing but an echo in the distant mountains. The other woodland nymphs demanded retribution for her unrequited love and sought the counsel of Zeus who agreed with their plight and reduced Narcissus to a spring-blooming ephemeral white flower.
The flower would be his namesake, Narcissus, also known as the daffodil or jonquil. It is said that the flower, in its downward tilt, is reminiscent of Narcissus as he sat gazing into the pond.

The name Narcissus derives from the Greek word narke, meaning to benumb, for its narcotic properties.

While all parts of the plant are poisonous, the bulb is the most toxic. It contains lycorine, an alkaloid known for its ability to induce vomiting and gastrointestinal cramping.

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) includes it among its list of plants toxic to cats and dogs. Symptoms of poisoning in animals include diarrhea, vomiting, salivation and, in extreme cases, convulsions and cardiac arrhythmias.

Toxicity is not limited to animals, however. In the majority of documented cases, narcissus bulbs were mistaken for onions. In May 2009, a group of children from Gorseland Primary School in Suffolk, England, harvested onions from their school garden that were to be added to a recipe for a cooking class. A narcissus bulb found its way into the soup and wasn’t discovered until several of the children began vomiting while others complained of stomach cramps. Twelve children were taken to hospital and released later that day.
One of the most common dermatitis problems for florists, "daffodil itch" involves dryness, fissures, scaling, and erythema in the hands, often accompanied by subungual hyperkeratosis (thickening of the skin beneath the nails). It is blamed on exposure to calcium oxalate in the sap.

Wednesday, 28 April 2010


Beef and Macaroni Pie

taken from Rick Stein’s Mediterranean Escape

4 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 sticks celery, finely chopped
1kg lean minced beef
200ml stock
400g can chopped tomatoes
2 tbsp tomato purée
10 cm cinnamon sticks
¼ tsp ground cloves
1 tbsp dried oregano
2 tbsp fresh chopped oregano
3 fresh bay leaves

For the pasta
500g tubular pasta, such as rigatoni, tubetti or tortiglioni
2 eggs, lightly beaten
50g parmesan, finely grated
2 tbsp butter, melted, for greasing
10g fresh white breadcrumbs

For the white sauce
115g butter
115g plain flour
1.2 litres milk, plus a little extra
¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg

For the meat sauce:
Heat the olive oil in a medium-sized pan. Add the onion, garlic and celery and fry until just beginning to brown. Add the minced beef and fry over a high heat for 3-4 minutes, breaking up any lumps with the wooden spoon.
Add stock, tomatoes, tomato purée, cinnamon stick, ground cloves, dried and fresh oregano, bay leaves, 100ml water, salt and some black pepper. Simmer for 30-40 minutes, stirring now and then, until the sauce has thickened but is still nicely moist. Discard the cinnamon stick and bay leaves.

For the pasta:
Bring water to the boil in a large saucepan with salt. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, taking care not to overcook as the pasta will cook a little further in the oven. Drain well, transfer to a large bowl and leave to cool slightly.

For the white sauce:
Melt the butter in a medium-sized non-stick saucepan. Add the flour and cook, stirring, over a medium heat for 1 minute. Gradually beat in the milk, bring it to boil, stirring. Lower the heat and leave to simmer for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with nutmeg and some salt and pepper to taste.

Preheat the oven to 180C. Stir about 1/5 of the white sauce into the warm pasta with the beaten eggs and half the grated cheese. Keep the remaining sauce warm over a low heat, stirring now and then and adding more milk if it begins to get a little thick.

Use the melted butter to grease a large, shallow ovenproof dish. Spread one-third of the pasta over the base of the dish and cover with half the meat sauce. Add another third of the pasta, then the rest of the meat sauce, then a final layer of pasta.

Spoon over the remaining white sauce. Mix the last of the grated cheese with the breadcrumbs and sprinkle over the top. Bake for 40 minutes, or until bubbling hot and golden brown.

Sunday, 25 April 2010

Earthday 2010

The Copenhagen International School celebrated Earthday with songs, music and trashion show.

Friday, 23 April 2010

Blueberry and Cheese Cake

Blueberry and Cheese Cake

1 1/2 cup flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
4 oz butter
1 cup light brown sugar
2 eggs
2/3 cup buttermilk
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

The topping:
8 oz cream cheese
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp flour
1 egg
2 teaspoons lemon zest
2 cups blueberries
1/2 cup sliced almonds

Preheat the oven to 175C.
Oil a 9-inch round cake or spring form pan and lightly dust it with flour.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar until creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Alternately, add the flour mixture and the buttermilk, beating briefly after each addition. Stir in the lemon juice and vanilla extract. Pour the cake batter into the prepared baking pan.

In a mixing bowl, beat together the cream cheese, sugar, flour, 1 egg, and lemon zest for approximately two minutes until very smooth and creamy. Spoon this cheese mixture over the cake batter and spread, leaving a one-inch margin of cake batter exposed around the perimeter of the cake. Sprinkle the blueberries over the cheese mixture and the sliced almonds around the cake.

Bake for approximately 40 minutes.

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Makaroni Bakar

Makaroni Bakar
Baked Macaroni

300g elbow macaroni
300g minced meat
8 eggs
chopped spring onions
1 cup store-bought fried shallots
chopped cilantro (optional)
3 red chillies, finely chopped
Fresh black pepper

Preheat oven to 180C.
In a large pot of boiling, salted water cook the pasta to al dente.
In a large bowl, gently whisk eggs with some salt and pepper.
Add in minced meat and the rest of the ingredients.
Adjust the seasoning, if necessary.
Fold the macaroni, along with some of the pasta water into the mix and pour into a casserole dish.
Bake for 45 minutes. Remove from oven and rest for five minutes before serving.

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Thank you

Thank you to
Sue Joshua, Yati-M, CikMat Gebu, Adie,Cik Att, Aidah, MamaFaMi, Ica, LeeLin, An, Mida, Sue Jaffry, K Ede, Min, Shaz, Afzan, Mamasya and Wiz
for taking your time to write. We truly appreciate them and we will treasure them always.

And, Thank you, too,
to those who took their time to visit my own little speck of dust in the entirety of cyber space.....

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Planes, Trains and Automobiles and a couple of Ferries thrown in

What would have been a one and a half hours flight from Aberdeen to Copenhagen turned out be a 3-days cross-country trek across Europe.

He was one of the hundreds of thousands of people stranded because of the Eyjafjallajoekull volcano eruption.

The story unfold on Thursday when I made an early morning call to notify him of the disruption of flights in Scotland. Thus began the long journey back home and frantic planning and checking of available logistics.....

It started with a 4-hours train ride from Aberdeen to Newcastle. Since there was no more seats available he had to stand all the way through.
In Newcastle, he had to catch the 18-hours ferry ride to Amsterdam. Upon arriving in Amsterdam, he found out that Schipol was not operational and his flight was also canceled.
He then had to queue up for 6 hours to buy a train ticket to Copenhagen which was only available the next morning as all the tickets were sold out for that day.

After an overnight stay in Amsterdam, he took the morning train to Duisburg, Germany.
From Duisburg he had to catch the train to Hamburg, which came to a halt half-way through due to an accident on the line.
A frantic change of schedule lead to a local train network that took him to Puttgarten ferry port in Germany after 8 hours.

After a 45 minutes ferry ride, he finally step foot on Danish soil but he was still over 200km away from home.
Finally, he managed to squeezed himself into a 2-hours standing-room only train to Copenhagen.

All in all the journey took him over 60 hours to get home......and to think it was only suppose to be a one half hours plane ride back home.

Still he made it in time for our wedding anniversary tomorrow which he said was his motivating factor.

Saturday, 17 April 2010

Roasted Chicken Rice

Roasted Chicken Rice

1 whole chicken (about 1 1/2 kg
1 tbsp grated ginger
1 tsp finely chopped garlic
1 tbsp thick soy sauce
1 tbsp oyster sauce
2 tsp honey
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground white pepper

1 cucumbers, sliced, to garnish
2 spring onions, to garnish

Chillie Sauce:
4 red chillies
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 cm young ginger, minced
1 1/2 tsp fresh lime juice
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
5 tbsp chicken stock or water

2 cups Basmathi rice
1 1/2 tbsp oil
2 pcs star anise
1 cinnamon stick
1 1/2 cm ginger, peeled and sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp salt
3 cups chicken stock

Trim the fat from the chicken, then rinse and pat dry. Combine the ginger , garlic, oyster sauce,soy sauce, honey, salt, pepper and five spice powder, then rub this mixture all over the chicken.

To make Chillie Sauce, grind all the ingredients in a blender.

Preheat oven to 200 C. Place the chicken in a roasting pan and roast in the oven for 20 minutes. Then reduce the heat to 170 C and roast for 30 - 40 minutes until the skin is browned and crisp. The chicken is cooked if the juices run clear when the thigh is pierced with a fork. Remove the chicken from the oven and set aside for 15 minutes. Then cut into serving portions.

While the chicken is roasting, rinse and drain the rice.
Heat the oil in a pan over medium heat and stir fry the ginger,garlic, star anise and cinnamon until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the rice and stir fry for 3 - 4 minutes. Add the salt and chicken stock and bring to a boil. Then lower the heat and simmer covered for 15 - 20 minutes, until rice is cooked.

Friday, 16 April 2010

Nature Walk

It was such a beautiful day that I just had to take advantage of the clear weather and took a walk in the wooded hamlet surrounding the golf course.

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Tea for Two - Custard Teacake

Custard Teacake
Recipe from The Australian Women's Weekly

125 g butter
1/3 cup caster sugar
1 egg
3/4 cup self-raising flour
1/4 cup custard powder

For custard:
1 tablespoon custard powder
1 tablespoon caster sugar
2/3 cup milk
1 rounded teaspoon butter
2 teaspoons vanilla essence

Grease and line a deep 9 cm round cake pan. Preheat oven to 175 C.

Make the custard first so it has time to cool. Blend the custard powder and sugar with the milk in a saucepan. Stir constantly over heat until the mixture boils and thickens, then stir in the butter and vanilla. Let it cool down to room temperature.

To make the cake, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then add the egg and beat until combined. Sift the flour and custard powder and stir into the creamed mixture. Spread half of the cake batter into the prepared pan, then pour in the custard, pushing it out towards the sides, leaving about 2 centimetres or so at the edge. Spread the remaining cake batter over the top.

Bake in the oven for about 35-40 minutes.

Monday, 12 April 2010

A Walk in the Park

Botanisk Have

Palmehus, the Palm House, a steamy conservatory with varieties of tropical plants.