La vie en…

Update: this needed a song. This one song, obviously. Ok, the setting and the start of the video is a little awkward and kitschy, but the camera work is actually quite good. To quote Irene Adler in Sherlock/A Scandal in Belgravia: “Look at those cheekbones. I could cut myself slapping that face. Would you like me to try?”

Grace Jones: La Vie en Rose

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Monday Motorway Music™, July 18 – On Roads Far, Far Away

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You’re absolutely right, the above is not a road. It’s a waterway😉 More precisely Øresund (the sound between Denmark and Sweden) with the Island of Hven in the middle-ish, the mainland of Sweden under the wing, Denmark curving out to the top left and, a little hard to see on the picture, the city of Helsinore way out in the background.

But it’s the only travel picture I have with some status of being current – even if, as this posts, the family’s done a runner and are high-lifing on the roads in Europe. Friends have taken over the looking after house and garden – it’s vacation time!

In other words: do not expect much here until sometime early August.

Far, Far Away – Slade
Gangsta’s Paradise – Coolio
Stairway to Heaven – Heart
Don’t Stand So Close To Me – Police

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Monday Airport Music™ July 11 – Treating Customers Alright

This was thought as a resume post for the Copenhagen Jazz Festival. But the little “gem” above sort of changed that.

Dear easyJet – apart from the odd capitalisation of your name, stating that boarding gate opening and closing times are unaffected by a delay only serves to have your customers hanging around at an empty gate.

At the very least, you should act accordingly – that is, have the gate manned to the original schedule of which you say that nothing’s changed.

Oh, but that keeps your people busy? Well, they could be busy answering questions or generally being helpful. But maybe we didn’t pay for that…

Love Me Two Times – Joan Jett
Det er ikke det du siger – Anne Linnet Band
I Love The Nightlife – Alicia Bridges
A Whiter Shade of Pale – Annie Lennox

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Monday Motorway Music™, July 4 – Jazz Time Again

Not the best of shots, but we did have front seats in comfortable chairs!

Not the best of shots, but we did have front seats in comfortable chairs! Yes, that’s my foot:)

We got started on this year’s Copenhagen Jazz Festival yesterday – with what you probably could call a Sunday matinee.  Started at 3pm – or “A quarter past breakfast, jazz time” as it says on the sleeve notes of one of the Diana Krall albums. On was Danish singer Sidsel Storm with an accompanying quartet (making it, actually, a quintet…), musicians that she has played with a lot. And you can surely hear that!

I wrote last year about the quality of musicians typically found on jazz stages – and actually had to look that post up and check the photo. Yep, same drummer. Snorre Kirk, he’s called – and man, he’s sharp. Absolutely a guy who plays rather than hits the drums. And now I will of course have to make up my mind whether I find Snorre Kirk or my usual favourite drummer, Morten Lund, to be top of the heap. I haven’t actually got Morten Lund on my shortlist for concerts this year – may have to look into that!

Also, Magnus Hjorth (p), Jesper Thorn (b) and Tobias Wiklund (flgn) all absolutely deserved praise and were a joy to listen to. I don’t know what it is with flugelhorns – they just suit me better than trumpets:)

But an absolutely agreeable afternoon in central Copenhagen, luckily moved indoor – the showers that came down while we were there were just about violent and even included pelting hail at some points.

So, in the kitchen this morning while doing breakfast, I was listening to Sidsel Storm on Spotify (yay, Premium subscription on the Sonos!). That didn’t go in the car, though –

Comfortably Numb (live) – Pink Floyd
I Can Hear Your Heart Beat – Chris Rea
Get Out Of Your Lazy Bed – Matt Bianco
Dark Eyes – Donny Monro
Abracadabra – Steve Miller Band

Photo by me.
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Monday Motorway Music™, June 27 – Kiss From A Rose

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It is summer – and typical Danish summer weather after a very warm period earlier: 20ish degrees C, some sun, some clouds, some rain now and then.

But the roses are full at it – and their perfume fills the garden. And the bedroom – as one of the big roses climb up the end of the house and more or less covers the bedroom windows in greenery and orange roses. Lovely when the sun shines on them in the morning.

But – nevertheless, the music list does not feature Seal…

Daft Punk – Get Lucky
Call Me – Blondie
Call Me Maybe – Carly Rae Jepsen
I Wanna Rock – Twisted Sister
Miss America – Styx
Dreams – Fleetwood Mac

Photos by me.
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Cobblestone Cooking Music XXVII – Uh oh, Beef Wellington

This is dappling right into the classic repertoire, so it is with a bit of trepidation that I start this one. Inspiration comes from Gordon Ramsey’s video (without the Christmas variations) and recipe via one of the chefs at work.


The result. Yummy!

2016-06-25 11.08.43_800x600At 11am on a sunshiny Saturday – first step: get some stock going as I am planning a redwine sauce towards the end of this. A meaty ox bone along with leek, carrot, black pepper and a bouquet garni. Water – and gently boil away for quite some time.

At some point, it’ll be filtered a bit and then reduced and adjusted with salt and stuff.

  • Kelly Clarkson, Behind These Hazel Eyes
  • One Two, Midt i en drøm

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But it actually isn’t true that this is where it started. That was yesterday evening when I took the beef fillet out of the fridge (where it had been thawing quietly), trimmed it and wrapped it tightly in cling film. The idea with that exercise is to force it into a cylindrical form as much as possible.

(the stuff next to it is the trimmings that’ll go into the sauce prep at a later stage)

  • Go Home Prod., Rock In Black (Mashup)
  • TV-2, Popmusikerens vise

2016-06-25 14.21.43_800x600 2016-06-25 14.31.22_800x600Next, a duxelle. Which, it turns out, is nothing near a four-legged graciously running and jumping animal on the savannas of Africa – but a mushroom concoction. Rinse a bunch of mushrooms – I used regular ones as well as a mix of chantarelle and one or two others (I’m largely an idiot and naming these things). Throw them in the blender along with garlic and fresh thyme (without stems), some salt and pepper. Blend.

Throw the paste on a warm dry pan and cook it for some 10-12 minutes on relatively high heat – the objective is to get rid of all the water, just about. And there is a lot of it! So bubble away, stir it frequently to avoid anything burning (it shouldn’t while it boils, but still). And you end up with a paste that you set aside to cool.

  • CV Jørgensen (w/Sanne Salomonsen), Lidt til og meget mere
  • Stray Cats, Rock This Town

Ok, back to sauce. Sear the trimmings from the meat – I added a wee bit of minced veal as I didn’t have so much. Add cubed onion, thyme, bay leaf and pepper corn. Brown well, then add and reduce a splash of suitable vinegar (Ramsey uses red wine vinegar, not having that I used a mix of apple and balsamic vinegars). Pour in red wine, let simmer until almost gone. Add the stock from above, simmer for an hour or so until the volume seems right. Filter and set aside.

  • Led Zeppelin, Stairway to Heaven
  • TV-2, Sån’t er livet

2016-06-25 16.41.25_800x600Now for the first stage of rolling the Wellington. Put slices of parma ham on cling film so that it forms a rectangle that seems suitable for the circumference of the fillet. Spread the duxelle on top, evenly, and then put the fillet in the middle.

Tightly roll it up, seal with the cling film also in the ends, set in the fridge for half an hour to – hopefully – set.

  • Pat Benetar, Shadows Of The Night
  • Ramones, Sheena Is A Punk Rocker

It sat pretty well. Again, on cling film, put a “sheet” of puff pastry out on the table and paint the edges with egg wash (egg yolk, whisked with a bit of water and a pinch of salt) and put the “sausage” on top. Gently but firmly roll it up, sealing the edges well with the eggwash. Again, roll tightly into the cling film and leave in the cold to set for another half hour.

  • Suede, Beautiful Ones
  • Al Jarreau, Boogie Down
  • DJ Ötzi, Anton aus Tirol

Sides? I chose classic mashed potatoes – should go fine with the sauce. And to add some freshness, a salad of tomato, finely cubed red onion, thinly sliced garlic, and watermelon with a simple oil & condimento bianco dressing with just a touch of thyme to tie it in with the rest.

  • Gossip, Perfect World
  • Cher, The Shoop Shoop Song

Finally, bake The Thing – after having brushed it with the eggwash and sprinkled with salt. I’d planned a Brunello along with it – but we had quite an amount of red wine leftovers from an event yesterday, so red wine leftovers, it was.

Happy cooking!

Photos by me.
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Monday Motorway Music™, June 13 – Street Art From Recent Archives

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Nothing that interesting in any of the camera rolls these last few days – spent the end of last week conferencing in Amsterdam, which is a very nice and also photogenic city. But most of the time was inside a convention center, so not really anything interesting there.

DSC_5462Which is why I cobbled the small collage above together – three parts of street art from our recent trip to Firenze. Would have liked to find more of the diving notabilities – but those two were the only ones I saw. The simple cartoon/doodle drawing on the left also had cousins here and there. As did the “no entry” art – sardines, ice skaters, men in stocks and more. Creative:)

In the Midnight Hour – Bryan Ferry & Roxy Music
Stand by Me – Seal
The Rain – Melody Gardot
Secret – Heart
Clair de Lune, Ballerina – Styx
Better Off – Haim
Shout Now – Melissa Etheridge

Photos by me. Artists unknown.
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Monday Motorway Music™, June 6 – Me as a Copenhagen Tourist



Last week was a good one. I was part of hosting a conference with 170 participants in Copenhagen – all went as well as we’d hoped and on top of everything else, Copenhagen threw on its finest summer clothes.

The picture above is from the Tuesday evening social event, a boat trip on Copenhagen’s canals and harbour. The statue is “The Genetically Modified Mermaid” (part of a set of three sculptures named “The Genetically Modified Paradise”) by artist Bjørn Nørgaard, originally done for the Expo 2000 exhibition in Hannover. But now she resides in Copenhagen Harbour, rather close to the original Little Mermaid.

2016-05-30 18.05.06-2Tourist in my own city – always a lovely thing to do. And I’ll share with you another picture from the week – sort of “the ultimate summer and Copenhagen picture combined” (not bragging, me…) with the Copenhagen Town Hall clock tower, a clear blue sky and a row of Danish flags all captured in one go. Beautiful evening, that too!

Back at my desk – and no travellling ahead … until Wednesday evening, that is.

Blurred Lines – Robin Thicke
Don’t Speak – No Doubt
The Real Thing – Lisa Stansfield
Going Home – Leonard Cohen
Touch Me – Electric Lady Lab
Girl of a 100 Lists – The Go-Go’s

Photos: Top (c) Nicolai Harning; bottom by me.
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Cobblestone Cooking Music XXVI – Rice Timbale a la Provence

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Confession right off the bat: I am not sure if timbale is the right word here. Things thrown together, in layers, in an oven-proof dish, with an egg/milk mixture poured over,  done for 40 min in the oven. Timbale? Works for me.

Also, this one actually comes from a recipe book – “Oven Dishes” from the Danish publisher “Komma” (credits where credit’s due).

Anyway. Early on (well before dinner), get some rice cooking. And, while you’re doing things in the kitchen on a Friday afternoon why not whisk up a bowl of guacamole, mix two caipirinhas and go and talk to your better half, armed with nibblies and drinks, while the rice cooks?:)

  • Rick Astley, Never Gonna Give You Up
  • Veronica Maggio, Jeg kommar

Slice and dice garlic and onion, get ’em to simmer, add cubed carrots. On a separate pan, quickly fry some minced meat (today: beef – could be pork or lamb as well). Add the meat to the vegetables, add tomato paste, some (not too much) stock, a wee bit of capers, some fresh thyme (I don’t take the leaves off the stems -too lazy for that – but do fish them out before the whole thing’s done). Leave to cook for a while.

  • ZZ Top, Sharp Dressed Man
  • Scatman John, Scatman (Ski-Ba-Bop-Ba-Dop-Bop)

Thinly slice celery and cube some bell pepper –  the list said red and green, I used yellow. Not an exact science, this… Mix ’em with the rice and put the mixture in the bottom of an ovenproof dish of suitable size and shape.

  • Sheryl Crow, All I Wanna Do
  • Stars on 45, Beatles

Take the meat-tomato-sugo-thingy and put it as a layer on top of the rice. The recipe calls for the 2nd half of the rice to go on top – as I mentioned lately, we’re not that big eaters, so this is where I cut the volumes back some and omitted the extra layer of rice mix.

Slice aubergine and courgette (zucchini/squash – all according to your language preference) and tomatoes if you happen to have them. I lost any idea of buying tomatoes while searching in the store for aubergine. “Life is What Happens To You While You’re Busy Making Other Plans” as John Lennon sings somewhere.

  • Pointer Sisters, Neutron Dance
  • Spice Girls, Wannabe

Mix some eggs with milk or cream (or a mix if your milk, like mine, is 0.5% fat which is fine for daily healthy intake but altogether not really what you need for cooking) and a little salt and pepper. Pour over. Grate some cheese and put on top – I used a mix of a Danish Danbo and some Parmegiano Reggiano. Worked better than each apart, I like to think.

  • KC & The Sunshine Band, That’s The Way
  • Sister Sledge, We Are Family

2016-05-27 22.17.09Into the oven it goes for something like 40-45 min at somewhere in the vicinity of 200°C.

Full meal on its own. Or serve with a green salad. Note: The recipe did specifically mention to drink it along with a “full bodied red”. And, of course, what could we do but that?

This one, even if it’s Spanish and not French worked well. After all, it’s not too far from Provence to Spain.


Happy cooking!

Photos by me.
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Monday Motorway Music™, May 23 – Mondays You Also Need Food. And Music.

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Just before the egg stuff goes in and the lid comes on…

In a bit of a space saving / efficiency exercise / bout of laziness, here’s a two-in-one: Monday Music and Monday Food…:)

The food bit was a spinach / feta pie. Vegetarian – not out of any principle, just because we like this one. In many households, it’d likely only qualify as a lunch dish or starter – but as we’re rather light eaters, it does us fine for dinner.

This works fine with frozen, albeit whole-leaf spinach – just have it thawn and squeeze as much water out of it as you can. Chop up an onion and let it simmer over medium heat for a couple of minutes. Add the spinach, season with salt, pepper & nutmeg. When that has simmered for a couple minutes more, throw in the feta.

Now, as to feta – I don’t live in Greece but I do live in a country that has a big dairy company that has a very big production of this “white brine cheese in small cubes” that they cannot call feta since the Greek owns that name (and, probably, rightly so). So I used “salad cubes”. And yes, it’ll by all the signs probably be even lovelier with a real feta. But maybe not too strong a goat cheese taste – I reckon.

Butter up a suitable oven-proof dish. Roll out a couple of plates of puff pastry (yes, I know it’s theoretically possible to make your own … In Narnia😉 ) and cover the bottom and sides. Drop in the spinach / feta mix-

Mix eggs and milk (whole milk – maybe not quite, but certainly more that skim), give that a bit of the pepper and salt, too. Pour over the spinach and then cover with more puff pastry and fold the edges in to close it up. Make a few holes with a fork or a sharp knife to let steam out and bake for a good half hour. Yummy!

Some of this is from the drive to work this morning – some is from the kitchen while cooking dinner. Enjoy – or so I hope.

Real Wild Child – Iggy Pop
From Now On – Supertramp
We Will Rock You – Queen
Rock Me Baby – Jomfru Ane Band
Twisting By The Pool – Dire Straits
Joanna – Johnny Deluxe
That’s The Way (I Like It) – KC & The Sunshine Band
Teo Toriate (Let Us Cling Together) – Queen
Stayin’ Alive In The Wall – Bee Gees vs Pink Floyd Mashup
Only Over You – Fleetwood Mac
The Raven – Gregorian
Smooth Operator – Sade

Photo by me.
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