I always had an interest in taking up a hobby and am actually finding the time to do it. Lets face it, we all have stuff we want to do but when you are working whether you have a family or not who has the time. Between my job and the travels it required, when I wasn’t working, with the little free time I had, I chose to spend it with my family and friends. Then came the day that I quit my job, moved to Denmark and had all the time in the world. All I could do is think what am I going to do with myself? So my husband said “Do something you feel passionate about. Try different things. This is your opportunity.” So friends and followers what have I been doing over the past few years? As you know from visiting my blog I have been traveling, cooking and eating of course. Recently I’ve added to that list and started making jewelry. Years ago a friend and I signed up for a jewelry making class that I never made it to. If you’re reading Anne I am sure you remember this. Well now I’ve decided to teach myself, starting small, and with pieces that cater to my personal style, because of course, I will be wearing it. What category does this fall into on the blog? Love. Jewelry has always been something I have been passionate about. I love my accessories. So I introduce to you the the ‘Love’ category of the blog, which is simply set aside for things I Love. Jewelry being one of them.
Non-Danes reaction to Danish stuff
I came across this post on my Facebook feed, from Buzzfeed, and had to share. Non-Danes reaction to Danish stuff. I have to admit when I moved here I had a lot of the same reactions. What is a hygge anyway? Aren’t sandwiches suppose to be two pieces of bread filled with delicious deli meats and mustard? And more importantly and frightening why is that baby left alone outside, in a stroller in below zero weather? I was horrified at first. Soon I came to embrace these things, with the exception of the “smørrebrød”, the open face sandwich with one piece of bread. A funny side story regarding my love for American sandwiches, non-Danes and how foods from different countries are identified. I met one of my dearest friends in Denmark due to my whole wheat sandwich with ham, cheese and mustard. Standing at the vending machine at my language school, I was eating my sandwich. Suddenly I hear someone behind me say in a typical loud American fashion, “Are you American?!” I turn to look at who is yelling in my ear and respond with, “Yes, how did you know?” and she says, “You’re sandwich! You are eating an American sandwich!” We’ve been dear friends since! All thanks to those two pieces of bread wrapped in foil. So my followers, I digress in a way, but I always find that story interesting and funny due to a simple American food that we bring for lunch as children to school, not realizing that something so little can identify you to your culture and where you come from. In this case, as a non-Dane. I hope you find this Buzzfeed post as funny as I did.
On vacation…In my hometown
Have you ever been a tourist in your hometown? Not a ‘tourist for the day’ as in lets go ride a cable car, but an actual tourist on vacation? It’s a strange but an exciting and proud feeling. I had the chance to be a tourist in San Francisco this summer. We were there from Denmark for our wedding and had family and friends visiting from around the world. So we had a few days of play and the chance to show people around.
Being a tourist, while also playing tour guide, in San Francisco gave me a sense of pride. It was my chance to show my city off. It also gave me an opportunity to visit landmarks that I have never visited, for example Alcatraz. I know, everyone goes to Alcatraz on field trips growing up in the Bay Area but not me! I found every excuse not to get on that boat when I was a child and the rest of the class was going on their way. One bad experience in the Bay and I never went back out. It took many years and even then I was nervous about it. Back to the topic, Alcatraz was probably one of the coolest landmarks I have seen in San Francisco. Should you visit, you must do the self-guided tour. It’s worth every penny. The history is just fascinating and the views are breathtaking.
The saying is, “When In Rome do as the Romans do”. Well the same goes for any city right? So we decided to take on that motto, “When in Dublin…”. In our minds that meant hit the pubs, listen to live music – modern and folk, have a Sunday roast, brunch with beans on toast, all while exploring the beautiful city of Dublin. And that is what we did, very well I might add. Dublin did not let us down, through rain and shine. This was our second visit and each time I become more and more fond of this city and the people.
We arrived on a rainy Friday evening rushing to our hotel, The Westin at College Green, and off to the O2 Arena to see Lady Gaga! My husband being the good sport he is, bought me tickets to the show, which he secretly enjoyed. This venue is a great place to see a show. We had standing tickets so we could experience all of the fun with the “Little Monsters”, which is how Lady Gaga refer to her fans. So Little Monster 1 (me) and Little Monster 2 (my husband :)) enjoyed the music, but this was only Part 1 of the music series that weekend.
Day 2 consisted of an early start so we could take full advantage of the beautiful sunny day. We started with a breakfast at Elephant & Castle. It might sound familiar as there is also one in New York City. Unfortunately we didn’t document our delicious breakfast but we chowed down on Huevos Rancheros, a creme brulee oatmeal with berries and an omelet. I’d highly recommend this place if you are looking for a good solid breakfast or brunch. Following our delicious meal our day continued on with exploring Dublin. We made our way through Grafton and Liffey Street, for some shopping and then off to the Dublin Castle.
On the way we found the non touristy areas and wandered through the narrow, cobblestone streets to find some great thrift and music shops, little cafes and restaurants off the beaten path. After all of this walking we of course worked up another appetite so we stopped in at “Taste of Emila”. This great little spot served up boards of salumi and cheese. HEAVEN! What more do I need than salumi and cheese paired with a glass of vino, at an authentic Italian restaurant.
That evening we had Part 2 of the Music Series at Academy 2, to see a Pearl Jam cover band, Pearl Jem. Academy 2 was a small, intimate venue, with enough seating for us to sit back and listen to this cover band who sounded just like the real life Eddie Vedder. I went back in time for a moment, to my sophomore year in high school, as I listened to Even Flow, Jeremy and Alive. Then I opened my eyes and thought, “No this time I am in Dublin”. While I have fond memories of high school this moment was much better. So we had a great time at the show with no real plans for the rest of the evening. On our walk back through the Temple Bar area, bar being the key word, we stumbled across what we both thought to be one of the best parts of our trip, the Merchant Temple Bar. We saw a sign that read “Live Music” and thought lets check it out, more music, why not. That seemed to be the theme of the weekend anyway…
It was a little crowded so we made our way to the back of the bar and found a cozy spot which lead to a great little table offered to us by two Irishmen. Now I’m not sure what the best part about this bar was because there were so many things to choose from – the friendly locals, the pints of Guinness flowing or the awesome live music – Irish folk, hairbands, Pop; or all the people dancing and singing along having a fun time.
Needless to say we woke up on day 3 a little slow and in need of a good breakfast. We made our way to The Bakehouse for some Beans on Toast. What better way to start your morning after a night filled with Guinness. A cute place alongside Ha’penny Bridge. Their motto is to serve the traditional foods that their parents and grandparents were raised on. I feasted on Beans on Toast with mushrooms and a freshly squeezed orange juice. We enjoyed it so much that we went back the next day before our flight back to Copenhagen because we didn’t have enough the first time around.
This time I had the Potato Farls with a side of baked beans and an orange juice. Delicious. Of course they have lighter and healthier options if that’s what you are looking for.
After breakfast we were in dire need of a walk so it was time to do some more shopping before we headed to our final night of the Music Series Part 3, back at the O2 Arena to see One Republic. I didn’t have high expectation for this concert but surprisingly it ended up being my favorite. Sorry Little Monsters but this band sounds better live than they do on their album.
Needless to say our trip to Dublin was a fantastic one. Filled with good food, Guinness, music and shopping but most of all a beautiful city with wonderful people. Make your way to Dublin someday friends. You won’t be disappointed. I can promise you that.
Because this is where I want to be
First things first. I took a little hiatus. Life got in the way. All good things of course and plenty of blogging material so now that I am back I am here to share.
Today I woke up thinking about the first part of my honeymoon in Crete this August. I was thinking about what the warm air and the glistening warm blue waters felt like. Longing for this feeling I decided today was the day to come back to my blog and share it with you.
We stayed at the Blue Palace Resort and Spa in Elounda for a week. Now when I say the Blue Palace Resort I should just say heaven, because this is what heaven must feel like. Its a honeymooners dream. Correction, its anyones dream. While there were plenty of couples at this hotel there were also families, mothers and daughters, friends, but if you are looking for a relaxing vacation this is your spot. First of all, you don’t need to leave the grounds. Of course you will want to because you are in Crete and there is plenty to explore but you really do have everything you need here. The hotel has indoor and outdoor bars facing the Mediterranean sea, three pools, a private beach, a super luxurious spa, and five restaurants, from elegant to casual dining. Our favorite was breakfast and the Blue Door. Let me break it down. I decided in Crete that breakfast was my favorite part of the day. While I noshed on everything from fresh fruit, omelettes, Greek salad and tzatziki while sipping my iced coffee and mimosas (all inclusive I might add), I realized not only was I overstimulating my taste buds and eating which I love but as I sat there all I could think of is, “this is just the beginning. We still have the entire day ahead of us”. Now while in Crete this consists of laying on the beach, swimming in the Mediterranean, enjoying more delicious food throughout the day and repeat for the next 7 days. So I ask this question … how can this not be a favorite part of the day? Aside from breakfast The Blue Door was absolutely fabulous, serving authentic Greek food where we feasted on more Greek salad, tzatzik, grilled pita bread, moussaka and freshly grilled meats just to name a few. Oh and how could I forget the local red wine. All of this while starring out into the blue Mediterranean waters. It just doesn’t get much better than that for a foodie who loves her sun and beach.
Thank you for visiting!
Wait your turn!
Lately I have been seeing a lot of banter about Fall not getting enough attention and Christmas taking over with the decorations and music starting earlier every year. Well my husband is the culprit to the Christmas take over. Now I like to celebrate one holiday at a time. We kick off those holidays with the unofficial holiday, Halloween. Why? Because it kicks off the fall celebrations, I get to decorate using my favorite fall decorations and my favorite holiday is approching, Thanksgiving! How could you not love it, with PSLs – pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkins, crackling fall leaves, crisp cool sunny days… you get my point. Most of the fall decorations have always stayed put in my home through my favorite holiday. Until now. I’ve had to compromise. My husband, a Scandinavian, likes to start listening to Christmas music in early October. He’d listen to it year around if he could. In fact, last year, on Halloween, he had Christmas music playing. It just doesn’t go. At least for us Americans it doesn’t. So I’ve banned Christmas music until Thanksgiving Day, for all of our sake. But I am giving in and will start adding some light Christmas decor but not to take away from my Fall/Thanksgiving decor that will surround our Thanksgiving dinner table. So as I write this I realize what I originally came here to share and I took a bit of a detour, kind of.
Tivoli Gardens, the second oldest theme park in the world, highlights my favorite time of year (aside from summer), and decorates the park with my favorite decorations of the year. I am a little late in posting this as the park is now closed and getting ready for their Christmas season, which is also absolutely beautiful. However, should you find yourself in Denmark next October it is definitely worth a visit. And if you are reading this you should probably go visit during the Christmas holiday as well. Tivoli reopens November 15, a little more than a week before Thanksgiving, so we will let the early Christmas decorations slide.
Tower of London Remembers
The Tower of London is one of my favorite places to visit in the city. For those who haven’t been it is a historic castle located on the north bank of the River Thames in central London. It’s history dates back to 1080s and it has served as a fortress, palace and prison. Today it is known as the home of the “Crown Jewels”, as well as one of Londons most popular tourist attractions.
During my most recent trip to London I decided this was probably one of the more meaningful visits to the Tower, as Britain was remembering the First World War and the British military. From August 5 – November 11 there have been 888,246 ceramic poppies planted in the Tower’s moat, each poppy representing a British military fatality during the war. The installation titled ‘Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red’. It was a beautiful, impactful, yet sad sight to see.
Beautiful with or without the poppies but you can see what an impact they make
Santorini: A Real Life Postcard
On this cold, rainy fall day my mind is wandering. It has wandered off on to the island of Santorini where I spent a week honeymooning with my husband. The island of Santorini makes you feel like you’re walking into a postcard. The white buildings beaming, the blue skies and waters that blend together can be seen for miles. There is nothing quite like it, giving you a sense of serenity while taking it all in.
We stayed at the Petit Palace, the perfect honeymoon hotel. Located just a few kilometers outside of Thira and away from the 100s of tourists in July it is the perfect spot if you are looking for some quiet and beautiful scenery. It’s nearly impossible to get tired of the view. In fact, the hotel is located at the top of a hill where tourists stop throughout the day to take it all in, snap some photos and then go along their way, not bothering anyone at all.
The Petit Palace
The trek to get to the pool, reception and hotel entrance from our room. There was an elevator but I chose not to use it every time. It’s too bad our hotel didn’t have their own private Santorinian donkey.
The pool where we spent most of our days.
View from the pool, reception area
This hotel offers a breakfast package which is well worth it. You order the evening before and breakfast is brought to your room the next morning and set up on your patio. Lets just say I had my share of pasties and Greek yogurt and cheeses, the breakfast of champs.
Black pebble beach, known to be volcanic pebbles.
The Red Beach is one of the most famous and beautiful beaches in Santorini. It is quite small and crowded so we decided to admire the red and black volcanic rocks and crystal clear waters from above.
Oia, the most famous village in Santorini, is known for their world famous sunsets. This is why I had previously dedicated an entire post to sunsets only. It deserved that. This picturesque village is filled with charming houses in narrow streets, blue domed churches and sun filled verandas. Oia is known to be the quieter of the villages, however, that is not the case before sunset. The narrow streets are jam packed with tourists making their way to the verandas overlooking the cliffs, getting a spot to see the beautiful sunsets.
A Santornini donkey
Thira is the capital of Santorini. This is the busier of the villages, with an abundance of restaurants offering verndas to dine at, bars, cafes, shops, discos, and hotels with views of the Caldera and sea. If you are interested in being in the center of it all this is the place to stay.
Thank you for visiting!
Baked Tomato Keftedes
On our recent trip to Santorini this summer we took a cooking class. While Tomato Keftedes wasn’t on the menu our dear host, Sofi, had them prepared for us as we arrived, paired with Vinsanto, a traditional Santorinian wine. They were so good that I had to ask her for the recipe. The original Keftedes are fried. While I was on my honeymoon I could justify eating fried foods. I mean this was my reward after all that hard work to get into that white dress, right? Well now that I am back home I have no way to justify dropping these little bites of heaven into a pot of oil, so I decided to bake them instead. I must say they are super tasty. A couple of things to note, the original recipe calls for feta rather than parmesan and parsley and mint. Since I decided to make this last minute I used what I had in my fridge. And as Sofi says, “You put whatever you want in it”. So I listen to the chef made my version of it. Enjoy!
10 cherry tomatoes
2 – 3 green onions
1/2 red onion
1/4 Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup of flour
Cilantro (Add as much as you like or replace with parsley or mint)
A pinch of salt
A pinch of black pepper
Chili pepper flakes (This is not part of the original recipe but because we love spice, I had to add it.)
Preheat oven to 400 F (200C) and mist a 12 cup muffin pan with nonstick spray.
Chop all ingredients (green onions, red onion, cherry tomatoes, cilantro).
In a bowl stir together all ingredients until mixed well. If you don’t mind getting dirty, use your hands smashing the tomatoes and mixing the ingredients together thoroughly.
Spoon the mixture evenly in each cup of the muffin tin and pat down with the back of the spoon to make sure mixture is compact.
Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the tops are golden. Enjoy warm.
Thai Chicken Noodle Soup
Since my blog is titled “Live. Love. Eats. & Travel”, it only makes sense that I share recipes with you. It’s fall weather here in Denmark so I was craving a hearty soup. Yes it’s only August but I live in Scandinavia. A dear friend of mine sent this to me and it turned out to be a recipe that I will make again and again this fall and winter. I slightly altered mine, but should you want to see the original recipe you can find it here at Nigella.com. Either way it is an easy, hearty, delicious soup with a kick to it. The recipe calls for leftover shredded chicken but you can substitute that with veggies, beef or keep it simple and just use noodles. Enjoy and Buon Appetito!
- 1 quart chicken broth
- 6 oz thin rice noodles (or mung bean thread vermicelli)
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 1 ½ inches piece of fresh gingerroot (peeled and sliced thinly then cut into skinny strips)
- 1 fresh red chile cut into strips (the recipe says to deseed it but we wanted spicy so I kept them)
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon soft brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 2 cups cooked shredded chicken
- 8 oz stir fry vegetables or bean sprouts (I opted for a handful of veggies and a handful of bean sprouts
- 2 – 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro (to serve)
- Shred left over chicken
- Put the chicken broth in a good-sized pan and bring to a boil.
- Cook the noodles as instructed on the packet.
- Add the remaining ingredients, except the vegetables and bean sprouts, to the pan and bring to a boil.
- When the chicken broth is piping hot, add the vegetables and when they are tender – a minute or two should be plenty – add the drained noodles and chicken. Or simply divide the them between bowls and pour the soup over them.
- Serve sprinkled with chopped cilantro.
Original recipe at Nigella.com.