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Summer Vacation

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Hummingbird

 

Hello everyone. It’s time for a little summer vacations here on my Danish Kitchen. I have a couple of home projects I’m working on and we’ll be making a trip up to Chicago very soon. I hope you have all been enjoying your summer so far and I’ll see you back here soon. 🌻

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Summer Vacation

Summer Vacation

Summer Vacation

Hello everyone! I’ll be taking a little time off to enjoy the summer as well as traveling home to visit my family, friends and to soak up the beauty of Denmark. I can’t believe that it has actually been 4 1/2 years since I was home last, so this vacation is long overdue 😀 I’ll see you back here soon.

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Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

The sweltering Virginia summer heat is finally over (for the most part) and Fall has officially arrived. This is my favorite time of year, when the air become crisp, instead of moist, and the temperature cools into the 70s and 80s. This time of year, Virginia displays some of the most brilliant blue skies and if your lucky enough to take a trip into the mountains, the Autumn colors are simply amazing. And lets not forget about Pumpkin…pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin cookies and I could go on and on. This is pumpkin season! So I couldn’t wait any longer, I just had to make something with pumpkin and so here are some delicious pumpkin muffins. They have chocolate chips in them, which my husband is happy as a clam about. Me on the other hand, think the chocolate chips take away from the wonderful pumpkin flavor. So if you are a pumpkin lover, like myself, you may want to consider substituting the chocolate chips for some chopped walnuts or pecans. Or if your loved one is a chocolate-chippaholic then the chocolate chips will be perfect 😉

On another note, I wanted to share these videos with you. A couple of weeks ago, Joe and I went on a weekend getaway to Ocean City, Maryland to visit with family. On one evening, we had seen a fox in the dunes below the fourth floor condo we were staying at and when I got up at dawn to capture the sunrise with my camera, I was able to film a family of three foxes playing with one another. It was a magical moment to watch them play while the sun was rising. I never imagined that foxes would be living by the beach.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins (makes 12 muffins)

Ingredients:

195 grams all-purpose flour (1 1/2 cups)

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon salt

113 grams unsalted butter (1/2 cup) (at room temperature)

200 grams sugar (1 cup)

2 large eggs (at room temperature)

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

180 milliliter solid packed canned pumpkin puree (3/4 cup)

175 grams semisweet chocolate chips (1 cup)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 177 degrees C (350 degrees F). Place baking rack in the middle of oven. Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners and set aside.

In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, spices and salt, set dry ingredients aside.

Using your stand-mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or using a hand mixer, cream the butter and sugar until smooth and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, making sure to beat well after each addition. Beat in vanilla extract. Make sure to scrape down sides of bowl as you go along. With the mixer on low speed, alternately add sifted dry ingredients and pumpkin puree. Fold in chocolate chips.

Fill muffin cups evenly with batter. Place in the middle of oven and bake for 18 – 22 minutes, or until firm to the touch and a toothpick inserted in the center of muffin comes out clean. Place on wire rack to cool.

Source: Joy of Baking

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Davidson Hall at Campbell Folk School, Kitchen, Music and "Wet Studios

Davidson Hall at J. C. Campbell Folk School where the Kitchen, Music and “Wet” Studios are located.

Back in 2005 Joe and I attended a week long seminar at J. C. Campbell Folk School which is located in the beautiful Appalachian mountains in Brasstown NC. The campus is set in the most secluded environment and it is easily navigated with numerous trails for an early morning walk. Each day begins with the tradition of Morningsong which is a combination of music and folklore, a great way to start your morning. Meals are served family style in the Dinning Hall which is a great opportunity to meet new people from all walks of life. The campus also has a charming History center and a wonderful Craft Shop which features pottery, handwoven items, jewelry, wood crafts and ironwork. Back in 2005 Joe took a Viking Blacksmithing class and I took a Scandinavian baking class and it turned out to be one of those fantastic experiences that stays with you forever. So you can imagine my surprise and excitement when I was approached by Campbell Folk School to come down and teach the Scandinavian baking/cooking class during their Scandinavian Heritage week during March 2013.

Director of J. C. Campbell Folk School Jan Davidson performing Morningsong. It's a wonderful beginning to your morning, each day Morningsong is led by someone different.

Director of J. C. Campbell Folk School Jan Davidson performing Morningsong. It’s a wonderful beginning to your morning and each day Morningsong is led by someone different.

Evening entertainment

I didn’t catch their names but they were great. If anyone knows who they are please let me know.

David Baker taught the Kaleidoscope class and he was a riot, a real viking :)

David Baker taught the Kaleidoscope class and he was a riot, a real viking 🙂

Local Fireman doing Morningsong and smartly incorporating fire prevention into his routing.

Local Fireman J. D. Robinson doing Morningsong and smartly incorporating fire prevention into his routine.

The class turned out to be a really good group which meshed together very nicely. There were five wonderful ladies, all with fantastic personalities: Lucrecia, Paula B, Paula C, Roberta and Lynn Ann and then we had one gentleman named Mark which turned out to be a really funny and pleasant feller.

Our class left to right: Paula, Roberta, Lucrecia, Lynn Ann, Gitte, Mark and Paula

Our class left to right: Paula, Roberta, Lucrecia, Lynn Ann, Gitte, Mark and Paula

For the class I had prepared recipes which were Danish, Norwegian, Swedish and Finnish in origin and the class was set up to be predominantly baking with one full day of cooking savory foods.

Mark making Pebernødder

Mark making Pebernødder

Roberta and Paula making Norwegian Julekake

Roberta and Paula carefully following a recipe

Lynn Ann making Æbleskiver, they were delicious!

Lynn Ann making Æbleskiver, they were delicious!

Lucrecia and Paula made the classic Othellolagkage. They did an outstanding job.

Lucrecia and Paula made the classic Othellolagkage. They did an outstanding job.

Here are a few pictures of some of the baked goods the class made. We made a lot more than this but I didn’t get pictures of everything.

Othellolagkage

Othellolagkage, a true masterpiece!

Campbell 2 (42)

Making HindbĂŚr Roulade

Campbell 2 (52)

Swedish Lussekatter, before baking.

Campbell 2 (60)

Birkes with Remonce.

Campbell 5 (5)

Kringle pastry

Campbell 5 (6)

Æbleskiver, the only thing missing is a warm glass of Gløgg.

Campbell 5 (8)

Finnish Christmas Stars.

Campbell 6 (3)

Norwegian Krumkake, they were served with vanilla and chocolate filling. Very popular!

Campbell 6 (4)

Scandinavian Toscakake.

Campbell 6 (6)

Kiksekage, very decadent.

The Fiddle class stopped in and serenaded us. They were well fed.

The Fiddle class stopped in and serenaded us. They were well fed.

Midweek is when we cooked the savory foods leading up to our dinner party on Wednesday evening. I wanted them to experience small samples of typical Danish foods and there were some hesitation and a lot of joking 🙂 about eating Marinated Herring and Liver Pate in particular, but I think all in all, they really did like those foods. Our dinner that evening turned out to be a lot of fun and it was a real pleasure meeting everyone’s significant others and family members.

Our dinner party.

Our dinner party.

The menu consisted of a mixture of different food:

Smørrebrød with Danish Rye Bread (Rugbrød), Marinated Herring (Sild) and homemade Curry Salad (Karrysalat)

Smørrebrød with Rye Bread, Liver pate (Leverpostej), fried mushrooms and bacon

Meatballs (Frikadeller) with Red Sweet and Sour Cabbage (Rødkül) and Caramelized Potatoes (Brunede Kartofler)

Ris a La Mande with warm Cherry Sauce (Ris a La Mande with KrisebĂŚr Sovs)

Lucrecia stirred and stirred the Risengrød so it wouldn't burn. I think we should have given her some sort of "best stirring" award :)

Lucrecia stirred and stirred the Risengrød so it wouldn’t burn. She deserved some sort of “stirring” award 🙂

Campbell 3 (5)

Making “oh so wonderful” Liver Pate.

Campbell 3 (10)

Danish Smørrebrød with Marinated Herring and homemade Curry Salad (Karrysalat).

Friday afternoon was the closing ceremony and all the different classes put on a display of what they had been making during the week. As for our class, we spent the morning baking so we could provide samples of some delicious special treats to all the other students and instructors. All of the samples were gone within fifteen minutes and we got great reviews on our baked goods. Great job Guys! 🙂

Scandinavian Baking Class, Closing Ceremomy

Scandinavian Baking Class at the Closing Ceremony

The Fiddle class provided entertainment at the Closing Ceremony.

The Fiddle class provided entertainment at the Closing Ceremony.

Viking Style Ironwork

Viking Style Ironwork

Thread Art

Thread Art

Norwegian Rosemaling

Norwegian Rosemaling

Birch Bark Basketry

Birch Bark Basketry

Nordic Knitting

Nordic Knitting

Woodturning

Woodturning

Kaleidoscopes

Kaleidoscopes

Figure Carving

Figure Carving

Weaving

Weaving

Norwegian Bentwood Boxes

Norwegian Bentwood Boxes

Needle Felting

Needle Felting

I wanted to say thank you to all of my students for being so pleasant and I hope you enjoyed tasting all the delicious treats we made. I also wanted to say thank you to Carla Owen who initially approached me to teach at the Folk School and to Nanette Davidson for all of your help and the generous offer you extended to me. I thank all of you!

The Easter Bunny also made an appearance at the Folk School.

The Easter Bunny also made an appearance at the Folk School. (David Baker in disguise)

Source: My Danish Kitchen

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With the end of the year quickly approaching I thought it would be fun to do a review of the most popular posts for 2012 (starting with the most popular). The outcome does not surprise me at all since the majority of my readers are Danes living outside Denmark or Americans with Danish heritage. The top posts are the classic Danish dishes, the ones that we miss, the ones that are etched into our memories and the ones that we grew up with.

I wish to extend a sincere Thank You to all of my readers as you help me keep in touch with Danes, Denmark and all the wonderful Danish foods. Godt NytĂĽr til jer alle, Happy New Year to all of you and here’s to you…SkĂĽl and Cheers!

Ris a la mande

Ris a la mande

IMG_5335 ew

Remoulade

Danish KoldskĂĽl

KoldskĂĽl

Risengrød ew

Risengrød

Wienerbrød ew

Wienerbrød

Leverpostej ew

Leverpostej

Pebbernødder ew

Pebernødder

Easy Cheese Danish ew

Easy Cheese Danish

Florentine ew

Florentine

img_3425e1

Rundstykker

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Gone On Vacation…again :)

My family is visiting me from Denmark for the next couple of weeks so I’m off having fun in this beautiful Fall weather. Be back soon 🙂

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Happy Labor Day

Summer has finally come to an end and I must say that it has been one of the hottest summers I have ever experienced. Personally I am longing for Fall. I love the cooler temperatures, crisp air, magnificent Fall colors, pumpkins and a promise of the inevitable Christmas and Winter. But all of that is still a while off yet. So in the meantime lets cook one last hot dog or hamburger on the grill and enjoy it with an ice-cold beer. SkĂĽl and Cheers! Happy Labor Day!

Sincerely, MyDanishKitchen

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Summer Vacation

Summer

Summer has arrived in full force with daily temperatures in the upper 90s and so it’s time to put down my oven mitts and give my stove a well deserved rest.

Early morning at the beach

So My Danish Kitchen will be taking a small vacation for the next four weeks. I plan on dipping my toes in the ocean, perhaps reading a good book and also do some minor rearranging of my house to prepare for my family’s visit in the Fall.

Happy 4th of July!

I wish you all a fun-filled 4th of July and I’ll see you back here at the end of the month.

Summer Evening

My Danish Kitchen

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Gamle Ole aka Stinky Cheese

Let me introduce you to my little friend, my childhood friend, Gamle Ole aka Stinky Cheese. This is a Danish cheese which is aged 40+ weeks and it taste AMAZING and I absolutely LOVE it. It’s a very sharp cheese and as the name indicates it’s very aromatic. When I bring it out my son makes sure windows and doors are flung wide open…I guess that means it needs air to breath…no? 

Gamle Ole Danish Cheese

My parents mailed me this cheese for my birthday. It was what I had wished for and I was so happy when it arrived in the mail. I posted about it on Facebook and my cousin Anita told me a story about how her In-laws kept their Gamle Ole outside in the mailbox so not to stink up the refrigerator, besides the mailman always delivered the mail directly to their door. One day there was a substitute mailman and you can imagine his surprise to find the cheese sitting in the mailbox. 🙂

I don’t keep my Gamle Ole outside in the mailbox as I am sure the Virginia heat would melt it away, but instead its securely wrapped in two layers and stored in a Tupperware container so it wont contaminate the entire fridge. I only eat Gamle Ole on weekends because I am sure my coworkes would not appreciate the aroma of, what my son calls “smelly feet”. But despite all the talk of how badly it smells, the taste is incredible. Denmark has long had a reputation of producing award winning cheeses and Gamle Ole is no exception. It won the Best Scandinavian Cheese award in 2010. It remains a controversial cheese meaning in short that you either love or hate it…as for me, I simply just LOVE it.

Beauty and the Beast

 Source: My Danish Kitchen

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Happy Blogaversary to me! 🙂 May 1st marked the One Year Anniversary for My Danish Kitchen and it’s hard to believe how fast it went by. 84 posts and 778 comments later I can honestly say that this has been an incredible ride. The biggest surprise has without a doubt been, that I did not expect to be making so many new friends, not to mention, all the very kind comments that people has left on the various posts. Thank you for your kindness.

I was looking at my Stats to see which posts got the most views. They all pleased me, but one surprised me. My Danish Agurkesalat – Cucumber Salad came in as #2, really ? It’s wonderfully refreshing, crunchy and delicious, don’t get me wrong, but it surprised me that it was a salad that was the second most viewed food on My Danish Kitchen. If I would have guessed on which food got the most views I would have guessed KoldskĂĽl since it seemed to get a lot of Buzz at the time and it is such a unique dish. Now that I see it was the Cake Balls that came in as #1, I am not surprised because they were indeed super-duper delicious and I was also so pleased to see the Danish Kiksekage being high on the list, since it is one of my favorites. Actually, they are all my favorites! In any case, here are the Top 10 posts from My Danish Kitchen from my first year of blogging.

#1 Red Velvet Cake Ball

#2 Agurkesalat – Cucumber Salad

#3 KoldskĂĽl

#4 Kiksekage – Chocolate Bisquit Cake

#5 Ris a la mande

#6 Florentine Cookies

#7 Napoleon Hats

#8 Pebernødder

#9 Risengrød

#10 Fruit Tart

My Danish Kitchen

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