The other morning we got busy in the kitchen again, as we so often do, Elliot observing from his high chair sampling the goods, whilst mummy gets baking. This bake was a bit of an improvised one, I had noticed that we had a few bananas in the fruit bowl that would soon be too ripe for eating, now I could have made this Banana cake. However I fancied some breakfast at the time, so I opted for the healthy and super quick option of making these tasty Banana pancakes. They are great for breakfast or brunch, and very much approved by the little guy. They are tasty enjoyed plain, but if you’re not too fussed about the healthy part, they do go lovely with chopped Hazelnuts and honey or Nutella!
approx 12 small
2 ripe bananas
1 dl plain flour
1 dl Porridge oats
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cardamom (optional)
mash the bananas or blend them, the mix needs to be “lump” free. Add remaining ingredients, mix together. Melt a bit of butter on a frying pan, add 2 tbs of batter pr pancake (I could fit 2 pancakes on our pan at the time). When bubbles start to appear on the top of pancake, flip it and fry until golden brown. Repeat until all the Pancake batter is used.
TIP as an alternative to Cardamom you could also add a bit of lemon zest or cinnamon to the batter.
This year we traveled to Denmark to spend Christmas with my half of the family. I love Christmas! so naturally I was very excited about spending it with all the family and following all the traditions I know and love. Even a 4am start to the day plus a poorly baby (Elliot had a flu) wasn’t going to put a damper on things. Besides as long as Elliot can have plenty of sling cuddles all is well. Now the flight to Denmark is a manageable 1,5 hour, It’s the journey on the other side that’s the long haul. Not because we have that far to go, but because there is only one ferry going to the isle where my parents live – and it only sails twice a day. This means that We’ve had a good 6 hours to kill on either side of our Holiday, and what better way to do so than go exploring Copenhagen.
Previously when we’ve found ourselves with time to spare in the Capital we’ve just found a nice cafe and sat there enjoying coffee, cake and a good book. Those days are over! Elliot will not tolerate just being stationary for that long let alone for us to open a book that’s not full of colour and made of cardboard! So this time around we needed to find entertainment suitable for all of us. Despite the little guy being under the weather he was surprisingly energetic! Now on the return journey I already knew what to do, we would spend half the time in Copenhagen and then go out to the Airport early enough to allow Elliot to play in their family Area, I’ve praised it before in this post about travelling with a baby, where it came as an absolute God send!
Tivoli Gardens Copenhagen
Now back to our day of adventures in the Capital! If you only have time to do one thing when you’re in Copenhagen, visiting the Tivoli Gardens should be it! It’s absolutely magical, especially during the holidays, they know how to take Christmas Decorations to the next level!
And I’ve heard that their Halloween Decorations are even better! We just bought the entry to the park, and then J bought one of those single ride tickets to try one of the oldest Rollercoasters still running! It’s a proper oldie made of wood! I’m not a big fan of rollercoasters I just really wanted to walk around in the park and enjoy all the decorations, sit down at one of the many cafes and enjoy a cup of hot Chocolate whilst having a Hygge time! Plus there is not much point buying a tour pass with a baby in tow, however I should add there is a lovely playground inside the park, free of charge, Elliot really enjoyed being let loose and exploring. When Elliot is older, we are definitely going to have to come back and go all out on tour passes to get the full experience! Even if mummy is too scared to try half of the Amusements there!
A stroll around Copenhagen!
There is so much to see and do in Copenhagen, you simply can’t fit it all in one day. There are lots of parks and playgrounds in and around the centre of Copenhagen (and there is always the Metro if you don’t fancy the walking) the parks are a lovely break from the busyness of the City, and on a summer day I imagine it would be a lovely spot to enjoy a packed lunch and let the kids loose. As its winter, I googled accessible indoor playgrounds before going, there are quite a few and most of them free. We didn’t end up going this time, but will definitely pay them a visit next time we go, I found the guides on minicph.com very helpful – coincidentally written by a British mum who emigrated to Copenhagen with her Danish Hubby. The website/blog focuses on things to do in the city with kids, definitely worth a look if you’re planning a trip over the pond. After the Tivoli experience we decided to just have a nice walk around the centre as well, with Elliot in the wrap he was happy napping as we walked around. Nyhavn is so picture-worthy!
Next time we’re in Copenhagen I definitely want to visit the National Museum. Entrance to the main part is free and I’ve been told they have a kids section, that you pay for, but in there the kids are allowed to touch, explore and play with everything! Which sounds pretty great and definitely something I think Elliot will enjoy when he is older. I’ve also heard great things about the “Paper Island” which is an area filled with street food vendors and packed with atmosphere. J and I definitely want to take an actual Holiday in Copenhagen, one day when Elliot is older so that we can fully enjoy all the fun the city has to offer!
La Glacé – Best Cake in Copenhagen
Before heading out to the Airport to catch our flight home we spent some time at the patisserie La Glace, famous for their delicious layered cakes. Anyone that knows me well, knows that I can’t possibly pass on the chance to have cake. It didn’t let us down! Delicious cakes in a really Hygge atmosphere, I can definitely recommend a visit. Just be aware that the prices are quite steep, we made it our lunch though. as there wouldn’t be room for anything else after a slice of their cakes. Just check out their mouthwatering window displays!
All in all I’d say we had a lovely half day in Copenhagen, even if Elliot wasn’t on his A game, bless him he was battling the flu all through Christmas. Now that we are back on UK soil I’m already planning our next trip over the pond! Plus J and I are dreaming of just taking 6 months off and travelling the world, with the little guy of course, who knows maybe one day it’ll be more than just a dream!
This weekend has been spent in Bridport visiting Elliots Grandma on J’s side of the family. It’s been several months since Elliot last saw his Grandma so it was a lovely to see how he just instantly warmed to her and his Bobbin (that’s what we call Elliots Bonus Grandpa) happily playing peekaboo and showing off his newest skill: crawling! We spent the Sunday enjoying the beautiful coast of Bridport.
It really is incredible to experience the difference in landscape and weather travelling from the north to the south. We have been so lucky with the weather, and when you look at the pictures it’s hard to believe they where snapped in December!
We walked around Bridport Harbour, walking along the promenade and along the Jurrasic coast. The Coast line was filled with perfectly rounded rocks, like little eggs – something to do with the tide and how the rocks are transported up and down the coast, or so J told me, he is quite the knower of nature, geography and random trivia! J is excellent company on walks and all this trivia is hopefully something Elliot will enjoy too when older, as well as rock collecting! (Albeit I remember my mom swearing at me and my rock collection…probably because she was the one having her pockets full of rocks at the end of the day!)
It was a beautiful day, and to finish the outing, we found a lovely playground situated along the old railline in easy walking distance from the coast. It was great and I can imagine Elliot enjoying it even more when he is older, it’ll definitely get revisited!
After a day outside, we spent the afternoon at Grandmas having a little early Christmas celebration, as we will be in Denmark come the 24th/25th! Getting a preview into the excitement that will fill Elliots day come Christmas was wonderful, he is just such a happy baby.
How have you spent your weekend? Any outdoor adventures? xx
Every Christmas I love sending out Christmas cards to family and friends, to me the Christmas Card is more than just the generic “Merry Christmas”, in my family we’ve always had a tradition of the Christmas card being a way to sum up the year past and talk about hopes, dreams and plans for the year comming. I feel it’s even more important now that we live so far away from our families, even J’s parents are a good 6 hour drive away, his aunt is in NZ and I even have one sister living in Sweden! For us it’s a way to keep them up to date, the old fashioned way, slow mail! No “.coms” or snappy post, just a handwritten letter. This year I wanted to make it even more personal, and what better way than to get my little smiler dressed in his Christmas jumper for a little bit of “modelling”
Once I had the pictures I used the app “canva” to edit and add text to the pictures and then I just went to the nearest shop that offered self-service photo print. It was super easy I just plugged in my phone and it opened my picture folder to pick and choose what I wanted. I probably could have just written a letter on the back of the pictures, but it didn’t feel finished. Off to the craft section!
Bought a packet of readycut cardboard, a glue stick and envelopes. To decorate the cards I just used what Christmassy bits I already had – you could use gift-wrap, glitter, gifttags just as long as its festive! I used these cute stocking shaped gift tags and cut hearts out from giftwrap and Christmas trees out from leftover cardboard.
What you need:
printed pictures with a Christmas theme
gift wrap, gift tags or similar
it was quite budget friendly. To print the photos was £2.70, the cardboard was £1.50, glue £1 and envelopes £1. The rest I already had in the house. Now we just need to get them posted so they can arrive before Christmas Day.
What crafty projects have you been working on for December? I’d love to see pictures of it all! Feel free to tag me on Instagram and I’ll send some Christmas cheer your way!
One of my favourite Christmas treats have to be Honey cakes! Now if I was in Denmark I’d probably just go to the local bakery and pick some up, but that wasn’t really an option. So what do you do when you’re just craving Honey cakes! Well you bake them yourself!
Now the traditional Honey cake, also known as Lebkuchen if your German, is a lengthy process – you have to make part of the dough 8 weeks before you need it! Now with a baby that kind of foresight and planning is just unrealistic. One day I’d love to try and make them the traditional way though, as it does make for an extra yummy Honey cake! The very best of them, in my opinion, are made in the southern parts of Denmark in a little town called Christiansfeld, famous for its Honey cakes like Grasmere is famous for its Ginger Bread. If you ever find yourself in that part of the world do yourself a favour and take a detour, I promise they are worth it!
But seeing as I’m neither 2 months in advance nor situated in the southern parts of Denmark, I’ve Thankfully got a recipe that can be made in one day, it’s not as good, but it’s still pretty darn good! (I’ve had it tried and tested by J and he vouches for it 100%)
Honey Cakes (Danish Lebkuchen)
450g of Honey
450g Plain Flour
1 tsp Ground Cloves
1 tsp Ground Cardamom
2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
2 Egg yolks
10g of fresh yeast
2 tsp Bicarbonate Soda
200g of dark chocolate
150g white chocolate (alternatively use white icing pens)
Melt the honey in a spacious pot. Mix the flour with spices and baking soda. Stir in the honey. Stir the yeast into the egg yolk. Add the yolk/yeast mix to the dough and allow it to rest 1-2 hours at room temperature.
Roll out the dough, roughly 1 cm thick. Use a heart shaped cookie cutter (or any other shape for that matter) continue till all the dough is used up.
Bake them at 180 degrees C. for about 10 min. Leave them to cool. Once cooled, Brush the cakes with melted chocolate and decorate with melted white chocolate or white icing, I used white chocolate. The Honey Cakes can be split and merged with apricot or orange marmalade to add a little extra to it. Store in a well sealed box.
I wrapped some of the Honey Cakes in cellophane to give as little Christmas hostess gifts. I always find that homemade pressies (especially the edible kind) are well received! Now if you’re in the mood for more Christmassy bakes you should check out my recipe for Danish Rice Porridge and Christmas Pancakes!
Now as some of you might have caught on to from my previous posts, I love Christmas and I love Hygge! This weekend it was finally time to go full on Christmas Hygge in our house. Now I promised J I would wait till December started however today, Sunday the 27th Of November, is the 1st Sunday of Advent! Meaning it is Christmas and definitely time to get the Christmas Stockings up! Some of you might be thinking ‘what is she on about?!’ But as a Dane it’s a much loved Christmas tradition to celebrate the 4 Sundays of Advent as a little extra count down to Christmas.
Traditionally you make a Christmas Decoration with 4 Block candles and each Sunday you light one, until on the 4th Sunday they’ll all be lit until they are no more. Another tradition is that each Sunday the house elf will bring a present if you have indeed got your Christmas Stocking hanging. I remember loving this tradition as a kid! Eagerly anticipating the next Sunday, waking in the morning and running to my stocking to see what the elf had brought! I can’t wait for Elliot to be old enough to start enjoying Christmas too, to be that kid waking in the morning full of excitement! Alas maybe next year, until then I’ll just have to ‘settle’ for him enjoying my Christmas cooking and bakes. As December approaches I always get a hunger for Rice Porridge with Cinnamon-sugar and a dollop of Butter. It’s a dish traditionally only enjoyed in December and some say the favourite meal of Santa Claus and his little helpers! It’s also a very Baby friendly meal, and Elliot loved it. Now according to old folklore, back in the old days, the Danish families would put a bowl of Rice Porridge in the barn or on the loft as an offering to the house Elves (or ‘Nisser’ as they are known in Denmark) in return the Elves would be good and not cause any trouble, no Porridge and you would be in dire trouble and a angry Nisse could even affect next years harvest!
Back to present time! I love Rice Porridge and as an added bonus any leftover Rice Porridge can be used to either make the Danish version of Rice Pudding, or as we chose this Sunday morning, to make delicious Rice Pancakes!
Again the little guy was a fan. Definitely won’t be the last time we make these.
Now for the Recipes! Let’s start with the Rice Porridge. Now you’ll need to use shortgrained rice (like with Rice Pudding), as regular Rice won’t make for a good Porridge, but other than that it’s very straight forward.
Scandinavian Rice Porridge (Risengrød)
1 litre of Whole milk
A pinch of salt
4tbs Caster Sugar
Butter (as you see fit!)
Add water to large Pot, bring to the boil. Add rice and boil for 3 min. Then add the whole milk, bring to the boil while stirring. Once boiling let it simmer on low heat for approx 30min. Remember to stir the pot regularly, if you don’t it’ll get burnt on the bottom. For the topping mix together the cinnamon and sugar. Serve the porridge with cinnamon-sugar and a dollop of Butter. Enjoy!
Now if you fancy having leftovers (the above recipe is for approx 2 portions) make a big portion and use those leftovers to make these very tasty Rice Pancakes.
500g Rice Porridge
4tbs Plain flour
1 tsp Vanilla powder (or 1 pod of vanilla)
2 tsp caster sugar
1/2 tsp ground Cardamom (optional)
strawberry jam (topping)
icing sugar (topping)
butter for frying
Mix rice porridge with eggs, flour, vanilla, sugar and Cardamom. Once the mix is even, cover with cling film and leave to rest in fridge for 30min. To make the pancakes, melt butter on Pan add 1tbs of the mix to the pan, you might need to flatten it out a bit, then fry until golden brown, flip over (be careful with this as they are a bit brittle when only one side is fried) and repeat. Enjoy the Pancakes with jam and icing sugar. They can also be enjoyed cold!
Tip: add lemon zest to batter for a little more zing!
As much as I love Autumn, my relationship to Winter is a tad more ambivalent. You see I love Christmas, but apart from that I don’t do well with the shorter days, too much darkness for me. That is why I like to look back to warmer, sunnier times. Back in June, when the days where still long and the leaves still green, we threw Elliot a naming party for friends and family, with lots of delicious homemade goodies, amongst those Carrot Cupcakes.
Seeing as we live in England and all of my family is in Denmark, I really wanted to bring all the family together, Brits and Danes, and celebrate the newest addition to the clans. Neither me or J are especially religious, so a christening was quickly ruled out. A naming party seemed more in tune with what we envisioned. I wanted the party to be relaxed, like a garden party, no sitting at a long table having to hear one speech after the other. Just a get together, where our familes had a chance to get to know each other.
My vision was to create a Buffet inspired by the classical British Afternoon Tea. We ended up with 3 different sandwiches, fruit sticks and veggie finger foods. On the sweet side there was brownies, mini Carrot Cupcakes and Chocolate Chip cookies.
All easily managed without needing knife and fork. I thought I’d share the recipe for the Carrot Cupcakes as they where quite the hit with big and small.
2 dl Oil (taste Neutral – so NOT Olive Oil)
200g of Sugar
50g Brown Sugar
1,5 tsp of Vanilla powder
250g Plain White Flour
2 tsp Bicarbonate Soda
2 tsp Baking Powder
0,5 tsp Salt
2 tsp Cinnamon
250g grated carrots
100g finely chopped Walnuts
225g Neutral Cream Cheese
300g Icing Sugar
seeds of 1 Vanilla Pod
Preheat the oven to a 185 Degrees C Fan. Whisk together eggs, Sugar, brown Sugar. Slowly add the oil. Add the dry ingredients, mix together. Finally add the Carrot and Walnut. Fill the mix 3/4 the way up in a cupcake baking tray. Bake for approx 20min or until surface is golden brown. While the cupcakes cool, whisk together frosting ingredients. Pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes and Voila. If you’re feeling extra creative decorate the cupcakes with little Fondant Carrots.
If you’re feeling time deprived, but in desperate need of a homebaked treat this Caramel Hazelnut Tart is super easy, but so delicious. Enjoy the Baking!
Today was supposed to have been a typical Sunday in our house. Late out from under the covers (well late the second time around, as Elliot likes to start his days around 5am) then on with chores, groceries, tidying and what not, all done swiftly thus leaving the rest of the day to have a nice family outing.
Today was NOT a typical Sunday. I blame sleep deprivation (courtesy of one little man). You see what was supposed to have come out of my mouth was something along the lines of “love would you please sort the bikes and bits for later and help figure out what we need on the grocery list…” instead it went something along the lines of “ffs why can you never plan ahead!?!?” Escalation much?! I know not my finest hour. But you see I am a planner, a list maker and lately I’ve found it difficult to joggle it all, I simply am too tired to keep the big grand overview! My mind feels scrambled. Now in an ideal world J would have replied gently and understood that this fire spewing monstrosity was in fact his partner, the mother of his child, and that she was obviously just a bit frazzled this morning. He didn’t though, and we therefore ended up wasting a good two hours shouting over who does what and when. The classic blame game. Sometimes I wish there was a pause and rewind button, as some arguments are just too silly, but easier said than done when you’re a sleep deprived hormonal mum(ster).
However, enough of the negative, we came to our senses and made up in the end. We got out of the house and the little man enjoyed his very first bike ride in our brand new Bike Trailer!
J had the honor of chauffeuring whilst I acted the role of Paparazzi. Elliot was absolutely beaming with joy! I think he has the biking bug just like his Daddy. It also happend to be my first time back on the bike since going off on maternity, my gosh I feel like I’ve got some catching up to do, fitness wise. Hopefully with the trailer it’ll be easier to get out on the bike, no more excuses!
So that was our day, I think the fresh air did us all good! There is nothing like a bit of outdoor time to clear the head. No more dwelling on the negative, despite a rough start we had a lovely little outing, and hopefully Elliot will forgive his silly parents for the minor delay.
Travelling with a child solo can seem like a Mammoth task. We spent all day yesterday travelling, the little man and I. It’s a long journey travelling from the eastern parts of Jutland, all the way to Copenhagen and then to the north of England. We started our day by train. I’d planned for having to entertain, but Elliot decided to start the trip with a nap! Good thinking I say, if only I could’ve joined in!
Elliot is already quite the experienced traveller, sure the travels has thus far only brought us from UK to DK and back, but for a little baby, only 9 weeks old on his first trip, I think that is plenty of travel adventure in it self.
It’s remarkable how quickly their needs change! On the first two trips the main focus was timing things with Elliots need for feeds and sleep. First time over he slept all the way in the flight (attached to a boob that is) those days are over! Elliot is 9 months old now, not yet mobile, but very much in need of entertainment and activities tailored to him. It’s no longer just enough to keep him comfy during the travels, my baby is now capable of being bored! That is why it came like a God send when I spotted the family Area at Copenhagen Airport. Such a brilliant concept, it is raised above the rest of the waiting area, away from the hustle and bustle of busy travellers and expensive shopping. Elliot lit up when I got him out of the sling and placed him on the floor surrounded by colourful toys and tall cardboard castles and figurines inspired by H.C Andersens fairytales. This little safe haven, free of noise, with areas to play and for parents to relax knowing their child is safely playing. I’m a fan!
This little break from travelling gave us both the break in the day needed to manage the last leg of the journey. If only we hadn’t then gotten stuck in traffic on the M6, I would say this day of travelling was well executed!
When the evenings get longer and the winds are howling outside, there is nothing I like more than to Hygge!
Hygge is a Danish word, well more than just a word really, it’s a feeling. It describes moments when you are having a real lovely time. To me Hygge would be an evening spent with family or friends, candles lit, brews at the ready and just having a lovely time, no stress, perhaps time to play a board game. Hygge to me could also be something as simple as cozying up on the sofa, snug under a blanket with J able to just forget about the everyday stress.
Having a Hygge time is Alpha omega for many Danes, I think J is becoming quite the fan too. Now a real Hygge evening requires a freshly baked treat! But with a baby time to bake can sometime be short lived, that is why I love this Caramel Hazelnut Tart it is so easy to make, and so very delicious!
Caramel Hazelnut Tart
180g Plain white flour
1/2 a tsp of baking powder
100g melted butter
1 can of sweet condensed milk (I use Nestle)
50g brown sugar
2 tbs Sirup
2 tbs of Whiskey (optional)
1 tsp of vanilla sugar (or vanilla essence)
Turn the oven to 150 degrees c. Grease the tin. Mix Flour, Sugar and baking powder, add the melted butter. Mix together, until the dough has come together, but crumbly. Press your pastry it into the tin. Now to the filling, whisk together condensed milk, brown sugar, sirup, whiskey and vanilla. Pour the mix on top of the pastry. Sprinkle the whole Hazelnuts on top. Bake in the oven for aprrox 60 min.
Serve with a nice vanilla ice cream and a fresh brew! Enjoy!