As I’m planning my…..

….. summer holiday, I find myself missing Paris more and more (the weather forecast promises rain well into the future).

So right now we’re leaning towards visiting a place where the sun shines (and summer always remind me of my time in Paris and Italy). Looking at old photos and recalling the vivid colors and sounds of the cities brighten my feelings of nostalgia. Sometimes I forget what I saw or breathed in, until I browse through my pictures. The major sites stick out to me, but it’s the little things, like this creme brulee, that makes my memory gloss over.

I’m sure many of us travel and store thousands of digital photos tucked away in our computers, most never making it to the print world. Like the saying of the tree falling in the forest, what happens to a photo or a memory that is never looked at again? In addition to sharing this storie, I want to use this post as a visual space to showcase and bring life to one of my “lost” captured travel moments……

….. perhaps it will feel like visiting Paris all over again.

Have a great weekend.

Crème Brûlée a classic French recipe

All you need:
500ml double cream
1 vanilla pod
100g caster sugar (plus extra for the topping)
4 egg yolks
1 whole egg

Do this:
Preheat the oven to 125 degrees Celsius

Pour the cream into a saucepan. Split the vanilla pod lengthways and scrape the seeds into the cream. Chop the empty pod into bits, and add these too. Bring to boiling point, then turn off the heat and put a lid on. Leave to infuse for five to ten minutes.

Beat the sugar and all the eggs together in a large heat-proof bowl until pale and creamy. Bring the cream back to boiling point, then pour over the egg mixture, whisking all the time until thickened - this indicates that the eggs have begun to cook slightly (you should have a smooth custard the consistency of double cream - a grainy texture means it’s been overcooked and you’ll have to start all over again).

Strain through a fine sieve into a large jug, then use this to fill 6 ramekins about two thirds full.

Place the ramekins in a large roasting tray and pour in enough hot water to come halfway up their sides. Place on the centre shelf and bake for about 35-40 minutes, or until the custards are just set and still a bit wobbly in the middle.

Remove from the water and allow to cool (to room temperature).

When you’re ready to serve, evenly sprinkle one teaspoon caster sugar over the surface of each Crème, then caramelise with a blowtorch. Leave to cool for a couple of minutes…..

….. and then enjoy one of France’s greatest contributions to eating pleasure!

Kategorien Culture, Kitchen & food, Personally, Recipes, Weekend . Skrevet af LE 6. July, 2012 kl 10:57

Paris- oh la la

The past couple of weeks have been a little empty in the way of blog posts, because I have been busy and away on business to Paris, but now I’m back!

First up, here is a little information on what I did on my last day away.

I visited Brasserie Julien….. a relic from the glorious age of Art Nouveau.

It’s always a toss-up, on a brief visit to Paris, as to which brasserie to go to - either Julien’s or Flo’s - as both jewels are in the same area of rue de Fauborg St-Denis. For sheer aesthetics, Julien’s wins hands down.

I have often visited the restaurant and ate there, whenever I have been to Paris visiting the shows and exhibitions.

The food and atmosphere are still wonderful today, but the fresh flowers and the lady who used to take my coat are gone, and sadly it isn’t as busy as it once was - maybe a sign of the times we are in. The surrounding streets are still the same - filled with eastern smells, smoke and prostitutes - which makes it all the more sublime when you go inside, taste the aperitif of the day and try to decide which exquisitely traditional Parisian dish to have.

Julien’s was first opened in 1787, though it that time it was known as Le Cheval Blanc, and was converted into a brasserie in 1903. Aside from the paintings, Julien’s also has a floral stained glass roof made by the Guenne company in 1925, which highlights the famous Gismonda, depicting Sarah Bernhardt, as well as Arnaud Jean-Baptiste Segaud’s peacocks.

If you’re looking for a spot of history and a delightful place to eat next time you’re in Paris, I can recommend Julien’s as the place to go!

Kategorien Culture, Delightful art, Interior & design, Restaurant, Travel . Skrevet af LE 5. July, 2012 kl 13:04

I am very, very…..

….. busy right now….. but Sunday, I took time out of my schedule to go to a place which I really love: the art museum Louisiana. It is an incredibly beautiful and wonderful place.

I’m trying to find time to visit Louisiana minimum twice pr. year (but I wish I stopped by more often).

Fortunately, my friend asked if I would go with her and see the exhibition: Picasso Peace & Freedom…… it’s nice when others pushes you a little in the right direction.

Well anyway, off we went with my mother, to see Picasso….. and yes, it’s an exhibition worth seeing. The exhibition “paints a good picture” of the socially conscious, politically active and peace-loving artist.

Me: I like thematic exhibitions such as this, where selected works appear to illustrate a certain angle.

I: can only recommend that you pass by Louisiana to see the show and that you also take time to enjoy a stroll in the wonderful park.

Extra bonus: you also have the opportunity to see an amazing Japanese lighting installation. This unique and wonderful work of art is really fascinating. Had the queue not been so long (only two where allowed in the light-room at the same time) I would have stayed in there long.

But judge for yourself!

Kategorien Culture . Skrevet af LE 16. May, 2011 kl 7:11

Hey it’s Friday

This weekend, I was originally planning on just hanging out at home……

….. but suddenly it seems as though my weekend has become very busy.

Friday: golf (with the girls) followed by dinner.

Saturday: enjoy a cozy babacue with good friends.

Sunday: a trip with my friend and mother to Louisiana (they have Picasso on the program right now).

After that? I’m not too sure what we have planned. Actually, I don’t think we’re doing anything at all. I foresee lots of television watching Sunday evening….. or, perhaps I finish reading my book, “Water for Elephants”. I’m trying to finish it before I see the movie!

The book: It’s one of those good ones that I haven’t been able to put down!

The author: this lady can write the socks off most of the authors I’ve been reading lately.

The movie: It’s not very often that I anticipate the movie over the book - but with a cast that includes Reese Witherspoon, Robert Pattinson and the formidable Christoph Waltz (If there’s a better August out there, I’ve not seen him), who can ask for more?

….. so perhaps Director Francis Lawrence is gonna be hard pressed not to make the adaptation better than the book itself. Well judge for yourself!

Whatever your plans are, I hope you have a good one!

Kategorien Culture, Weekend . Skrevet af LE 13. May, 2011 kl 9:51

There are people you wish…..

….. you had never met….. and your dreams can become your worst nightmare.

….. because some contracts cannot be broken….. not even by your own death.

“Paganini kontrakten” is Alexandra and Alexander Coelho Ahndorils second crime written under the pseudonym: Lars Kepler….. and it looks like one more bestseller is in the box for this amazing duro.

Once again we get acquainted with the competent criminal commissioner Joona Linna from the homicide commission.

The story: A young woman is found dead on a beautiful summer day. She is drowned in brackish water, on board a sailing boat drifting in the Stockholm archipelago. Later that day, a man is found hanged in his noble residences on Östermalm…… it looks like suicide…..

To see how this suicide is linked to the murder of the young girl is not easy, but Joona Linna is determined to solve the mystery, and before he knows it, he is deeply involved in a case of arms trafficking, genocide and African civil war.

As a parallel, we follow the dead girl’s sister and her boyfriend who is on the run through the archipelago with a ruthless killer on their heels. Neither the fleeing couple or Linna can find out what it’s all about, but with the murder rate still rising with alarming speed, the professional assassin pursued his goal blindly, and everybody who happen to get in his way are quickly killed.

Paganini kontraktener is a solid, professionally written crime novel, and there are plenty of fast action scenes in this thriller, while the actual solving of the crime is running at a more slove pace.

History: Nicolo Paganini was a legendary violinist and composer. He was born in 1782 in Genoa, Italy, where he throughout his life was composing and playing the most gorgeous, classic music….. music, which today, still only very few are able to master….. and It was because of these extraordinary skills, that rumor said, that he had signed a pact with the devil to be able to achieve these great and almost divine powers.

The book: Paganini kontrakten is an exciting crime story, which - unlike many other of today’s crime fiction - is not about the hunt for a mentally disturbed serial killer (or at least not the kind of psychotic serial killer who we normally read about), but maybe I was expecting a little more, after reading their first book “Hypnotisøren“….. but it’s properly not an easy task to write a sequel to a book that has gotten so much publicity and is so popular.

My recommendation: unfortunately it did not meet my - probably too high - expectations for a resounding successor….. but it is an action-packed and well-constructed story about the struggle between good and evil….. a gripping crime story…. perfect in the company of a good glass of red and a cozy crackling fire in the fireplace, after a long day in the slopes (for those of us who have not held all our ski holiday yet), or as something cold and chillingly exciting in the summer heat - a real holiday thriller!

Kategorien Culture . Skrevet af LE 24. March, 2011 kl 15:06

PS! I almost forgot…..

….. to report back about yesterday.

Finally, I got a proper dose of glitter, platform shoes and lots of 1970s pleats - in short: “Mamma Mia!”.

And I rocked, hummed and stomp along to all the catchy tunes from the happy 1970s. The six men in the orchestra pit filled the hall with full-fat ABBA melodies….. and I was so happy!

Maybe the story is somewhat trite, but I was in such a damn good mood of all the great music….. so for me, it was a much needed warm and optimistic summer-injection, here in a dark and cold winter.

Kategorien Culture . Skrevet af LE 20. February, 2011 kl 17:08

Hi and good lovely Saturday morning

What are your plans for the weekend?

This afternoon, I will pick up my mom, and then we are off to Copenhagen

First we will enjoy a fabulous 3-course dinner at Herman…..

and then we have tickets to se Mamma Mia.

But before that, I’m of to the beach with my dogs…. and to the market; grocery shopping for tomorrows super-easy goat cheese recipe…..

….. yes it seemed too good to be true. ….. no backyard goats or help from an older, wiser chef is require!

Nope. It’s almost as easy as making a pot of tea. Except you also need a suitable frying pan (and-maybe-you-don’t-have-this-lying-around). But that’s really it. In less than 35 minutes, you’ll have this wonderful course finished and ready to eat.

Almond-rolled goats’ cheese

(Watercress comes into season in April, when its peppery flavors will work in contrast to the rich goat cheese).

All you need:

For the beetroot
250g fresh beetroot
salt and freshly ground black pepper
75ml olive oil
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

For the goats cheese
vegetable oil, for deep frying
200g soft goats’ cheese
75g plain flour
200g flaked almonds

For the dressing
200g fresh basil leaves
75g smoked almonds
1 garlic clove
100g parmesan cheese
100ml olive oil

A small handful watercress, to serve

Do this:
Preheat the oven to 200C.

Cut the beetroot into cubes and place into a bowl. Season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper and drizzle with the olive oil.

Place onto a baking tray and transfer to the oven to roast for 30-40 minutes, or until soft.

Remove from the oven and place into a bowl. Drizzle with the balsamic vinegar and stir to coat.

Goats’ cheese:
Half-fill a deep, heavy-bottomed pan with the oil and heat until a breadcrumb sizzles and turns brown when dropped into it. (CAUTION: hot oil can be dangerous. Do not leave unattended.)

Cut the goats’ cheese into eight equal pieces and roll up into balls. Dredge the balls in the flour.

Spread the flaked almonds out on a plate and roll the cheese balls in the flaked almonds, pressing them into the cheese, to completely coat (don’t worry if the almond flakes break up a bit).

Carefully add the cheese balls to the hot oil and deep-fry for about 30 seconds - one minute, or until golden-brown all over. Carefully remove with a slotted spoon and drain onto kitchen paper.

Place the basil, smoked almonds, garlic, parmesan and olive oil into a food processor and blend until smooth.

To serve:
Place a small amount of watercress onto each plate and place a piece of deep fried goats’ cheese on top. Place a few cubes of beetroot around the cheese and spoon over a little of the dressing.

Enjoy and have a lovely Saturday

Kategorien Culture, Recipes, Restaurant . Skrevet af LE 19. February, 2011 kl 9:28

Have you seen…..

….. Black Swan? If yes, what do you think?

I saw it last night with a friend and I walked away with frayed nerves and a tense stomach…..

Ushhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh so scary….. but what a great drama - fantastic in all its insanity and paranoia….. and despite that I was shaken to my foundation after seeing it, it’s one of the best movies I’ve seen in a long time….. and although I must admit that I repeatedly had to look away, it was difficult to escape, because it was so powerful!

And Black Swan is beautiful….. repulsive and exhilarating creepy.

The film is about the artist’s quest for perfection - at any cost! and Natalie Portman is excellent as the fragile and unstable perfectionist ballerina who, with her gentle voice and ruthless willpower manages to portray a complex role and mesmerize the audience…

Me:I was convinced that the danger was constantly lurking just below the surface.

My recommendation: The film is not for the faint hearted - BUT: Natalie Portman’s performance (which is Oscar worthy), the way the film is clipped and the beautiful scenes are fascinating…..

….. so watch it….. if you dare!

Kategorien Culture . Skrevet af LE 3. February, 2011 kl 10:21

What’s up this Sunday?

I have planned to read the rest of secrets to happiness by Sarah Dunn.

This novel is a kind of chick lit….. and it is hilarious. I read most of it over the ski holiday, and I’d recommend it to anyone in the mood for a light and refreshingly honest story.

Kategorien Culture . Skrevet af LE 23. January, 2011 kl 12:10

Yesterday I…..

….. (and the sisterhood) visited Louisiana, the Museum of Modern Art, which is located in northern Zealand with a panoramic view across Øresund.

The museum frames the sculpture park facing the sea and the interaction between art, nature and the museum architecture is quite unique.

Louisiana is an international museum with a considerable collection of modern art. The museum’s permanent collection includes more than 3000 works and is one of the largest in Scandinavia. It takes its point of departure in the period after 1945 including artists like Picasso, Giacometti, Dubuffet, Yves Klein, Andy Warhol, Rauschenberg, Henry Moore, Louise Bourgeois, Philip Guston, Morris Louis, Jorn, Baselitz, Polke, Kiefer, and Per Kirkeby.

Yesterday, we also had the pleasure of experiencing the first presentation in Scandinavia of American artist Walton Ford.

Walton Ford is a brilliant artist in the classical sense and at the same time an impressive and truly contemporary storyteller.

The majority of the sisters (translated into; all except me) was not particularly impressed, but I was gripped by his large, masterful watercolors of animals, - they are seducing and alarming….. and so full of vivid colors, bizarre clues and surreal symbolism.

This artist’s pictures have literary, historical and scientific sources, and Ford’s pictures are accompanied by quotations that form a textual counterpart to the narrative of the picture.

I just loved this one:

I wish to leave the world
By its natural door;
In my tomb of green leaves
They are to carry me to die.
Do not put me in the dark
To die like a traitor;
I am good, and like a good thing
I will die with my face to the sun
(A Morir, 1894)

By José Marti (1853-1895)

Cuban poet, essayist and journalist, who became the symbol of Cuba’s struggle for independence from Spain.

Kategorien Culture, Delightful art . Skrevet af LE 22. January, 2011 kl 19:21

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