Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Sweets to the Sweet

My top-pick tea-time treats from my favourite bakery in Copenhagen....

Saturday, 27 March 2010

Realism and the Old painting techniques

Refraction Study

A scientific term for the way a ray of light changes direction as it crosses the boundary between two substances with different properties, for example glass and air or water and air. Think of the way a stick appears to 'bend' when put in water; this is caused by the direction of the light being refracted at the water/air surface.

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Lamb Passanda

Lamb Passanda

2 oz blanched almonds
2 oz cashew nuts
2 tbsp sesame seeds
1" fresh ginger, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 onions, thinly sliced
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
2 cardamom pods
4 pcs cloves
700g lean boneless lamb, cubed
2 tbsp double cream
2 tbsp lemon juice

Put the nut in a frying pan and dry-fry over gentle heat until golden brown. Toast the sesame seeds in the same way; cool.
Process the nuts in a food processor. Add the sesame seeds, ginger, garlic and 1 tbsp water and work to a puree.

Heat oil in a large saucepan, add onions and cook until tinged with brown. Add the nut mixture and cook over moderately high heat for about 2 minutes.
Add the ground spices and cook, stirring for 2 minutes.
Add the meat and cook over a high heat, until browned and sealed on all sides.
Add water. Bring it to boil and season with salt. Simmer gently for about 45 minutes.

Remove from the heat and stir in lemon juice and double cream.

Sunday, 21 March 2010

Christiania - Freedom State of Mind

The "Free State of Christiania" has been in existence since 13th November 1971, when a group of squatters took over some deserted military barracks to the east of Christianhavn and established a commune.

Vernal Equinox

For winter's rains and ruins are over,
And all the season of snows and sins;
The days dividing lover and lover,
The light that loses, the night that wins;
And time remembered is grief forgotten,
And frosts are slain and flowers begotten,
And in green underwood and cover
Blossom by blossom the spring begins.

Algernon Charles Swinburne (1837–1909)

Saturday, 20 March 2010

Out and About - Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek

Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek

A world-class art museum with a huge collections of Danish paintings and sculptures and antiquities from all over the world.

Winter Garden
The gallery's incomparable green oasis of palm trees, planted under a glass dome greeted the visitors as you enter the building.

Friday, 19 March 2010

Tree Huggers Nightmare

They came unannounced.....

My quiet morning was rudely interrupted by the noise of heavy machinery in my drive-way. Our neighbour had failed to informed us of their coming which we felt was a tad inconsiderate on their part since the Tree Removal Service company had to use our private drive-way to get to their trees.

The majestic European Beech that sits on the border between our driveway and the neighbours' with its beautiful cascading leaves received a massive haircut.

Two White Birch trees were also not spared during this major makeover.

The deed is done.....

The changing skyline.....
View from the balcony atop the porch

Autumn October, 2009

Winter December, 2009

Early Spring March, 2010

So sad......

Thursday, 18 March 2010

Chocolate and Pear Cake

Chocolate and Pear Cake
1 cup flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 eggs
4 oz butter
3/4 cup sugar
3 pears, peeled, in a small dice
3/4 cup bittersweet chocolate chunks (70 %)

Preheat the oven to 170C. Butter a 9-inch springform pan and dust with flour.
Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together, set aside.
Using a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the eggs on high speed until pale and very thick. While the eggs are whipping, brown the butter and keep in a warm spot.
Add the sugar to the eggs and whip a few minutes more.
Just as the egg-sugar mixture is starting to loose volume, turn the mixture down to stir, and add the flour mixture and brown butter.
Add one third of the flour mixture, then half of the butter, a third of the flour, the remaining butter, and the rest of flour. Whisk until just barely combined — no more than a minute from when the flour is first added — and then use a spatula to gently fold the batter until the ingredients are combined.
Pour into prepared pan. Sprinkle the pear and chocolate chunks over the top, and bake until the cake is golden brown and springs back to the touch, about 40 to 50 minutes.

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Realism and the Old painting techniques

An upside-down sketching technique..... literally an eye opening experience.
This puts the left brain in a state of confusion so that it can't easily decipher shapes, assign a top and bottom, attach labels and categorize them to match stored memories.
When presented with a confusing image, your more logical left-side of the brain gives up thus giving the intuitive, subjective, holistic right side has a chance to sneak in.
It's exciting to think that there are ways to outsmart our brains. By intentionally putting ourselves in a state of mental conflict, we can enhance our creativity.

Trompe-l'œil ~ trick the eye
Sometimes called illusionism, it's a style of painting which gives the appearance of three-dimensional, or photographic realism.... not quite achieved the desired effect here just yet....

Monday, 15 March 2010

Smoked Haddock Kedgeree

I decided to omit the cream and milk and used fish stock instead...

Smoked Haddock Kedgeree

½ onion, finely chopped
2 oz butter
3 cups basmati rice
2 tsp curry powder
3 1/2 cups fish stock
freshly grated nutmeg
300g smoked haddock
1 cup peas
salt and black pepper
small bunch parsley, chopped
3 hard-boiled eggs, shelled and halved
wedges of lemon

Cook the onion gently in the butter for a few minutes, then add the rice.
Continue cooking gently and stirring, adding the curry powder and nutmeg. After a few minutes, add fish stock.
When the stock begin to simmer, add the fish and continue simmering, stirring occasionally until the rice is cooked.
Season, add the parsley and peas and stir. Serve topped with hard-boiled eggs and a knob of butter and wedges of lemon.

Sunday, 14 March 2010

Out and About - Nyhavn

Copenhagen Inner City (Indre By)

Nyhavn (New Harbour)
Dug by soldiers between 1671 - 1673.
A former red-lights district turned into one of the most trendiest places in the city with its long rows of cafes and restaurants set in the brightly coloured garbled homes.