Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter!













We hope you are having a great time this Easter weekend. In Berlin, London and Copenhagen, we baked quite a lot in the past few days, as you can see on the pictures, and none of it resembles typical Easter bread. Instead, in Berlin we made delicious whole grain chocolate carrot cupcakes (as always, thank you, inspiring Texanerin Baking), in London - coconut pyramids (with gratitude to the lovely Cute Carbs), and in Copenhagen - scrumptious apple muffins by the earlier tested (and loved) recipe from Smitten Kitchen. We have also been so lucky to celebrate Easter with a delicious and beautifully decorated lunch here in Denmark (thank you Nada!), and enjoy the melt-in-your-mouth layer cake (lagkage in Danish). 
And what was your favourite dessert this Easter? Have a good one!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Meet Moshi Monsters, by our guest blogger Marianka



Have you adopted a Moshi Monster yet? If you do not live in the UK, chances are you haven't even heard of these fun and cute Monsters yet, or have you? Our guest blogger Marianka here in London says that she loves Moshi Monsters 'because they have their cute little village and it is like a real world'. If you and your children are curious and want to find out more, go to moshimonsters.com to have a world of fun all to yourself! And let us know who is your favourite Moshi Monster...

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Coconut Blueberry Muffins

With all the business trips in the past few weeks, there hasn't been much baking lately in BLCK. So this weekend, when one of us, in Berlin, was searching for the best muffin recipes, we remembered how much we loved these Coconut Blueberry muffins from The Enterprising Epicure (thank you Corrie). We made them last summer, and they were probably the most delicious, mega moist, coconutty muffins we've ever tried. Highly recommend for your muffin collection. Have a great week ahead!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead

You are probably also following the current debate surrounding the recent release of Sheryl Sandberg's book Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead? It is impressive how polarizing this manifesto turned out to be: just read, for instance, these views in the Guardian and Time magazine. Where do you personally stand on this issue, and do you think women who want to build a successful career and go all the way to the top, CAN in fact have it all, and it's primarily a matter of our own behaviours, attitude and priorities? Or, is it a question of whether women WANT to have that much of it all, when it comes to juggling a career of an executive with raising the children and building a family? We will be buying the book right away and will share our thoughts shortly after. In the meantime, have an amazing, fun weekend before the Easter break next week!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

'& Other Stories' opened in Copenhagen









If you have not made it to the grand opening of & Other Stories in London on March 8 or in Copenhagen yesterday, don't despair: there is still plenty of beautifully cut clothes, stylish accessories (check out the cat eye sunglasses on Christina - very chic!) and a vast collection of beauty products (even found the top favourite, cult Eyeko London skinny liquid eyeliner there, at a very reasonable price of DKK 95). 
Check it out soonest, it might well end up on your must-shop-places list, especially if you are, just like us, a fan of another H&M family member, COS.
Happy weekend!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Danish Drømmekage: Dream Cake





Earlier this week I baked my very first drømmekage (dream cake): a quintessentially Danish cake, loved by kids and grown-ups. Of course i tasted it before since every self-respecting bakery in Denmark would have it on the menu, but i have never actually tried a home-baked one. The recipe i followed this time is from the delightful Cute Carbs, and as you can see on the photos, my first drømmekage did not look as perfect (far from it). It did turn out delicious, though i must admit i much prefer the taste of the topping: a mixture of coconut, dark farin, milk and butter, rather than a more dense, heavier bottom of the cake. I asked all my friends and colleagues to provide some candid feedback once they tasted it: everyone was sold on the topping (no surprise), yet it was mostly Danes, with a rare exception, who actually appreciated the cake itself. Happy baking, and do let us know what you think once you try baking your own!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Netflix favourites

If you are not yet on Netflix, you might want to sign up (or come back) soonest possible: with the recent addition of such TV hits as House of Cards, The Kennedys, new season of Modern Family and our top favourite - dark, funny, dramatic Breaking Bad, not to mention dozens of great movies, Netflix undoubtedly provides the best entertainment, and you'll very soon forget how to operate a dvd-player (so last decade..). Remember, the first month on Netflix is free of charge, and thereafter you pay DKK 79 per month here in Denmark. So worth it. Hurry up, before the winter is over!

Monday, March 11, 2013

My Roots: natural beauty

On the look out for the best natural skin and hair products? Just a few months ago I came across a small and very pretty organic beauty store in the heart of Frederiksberg, on Gammel Kongevej 179: it's called My Roots, and it has one of the most impressive collections in its webshop, and a broad range of organic, rarely found in Denmark cult  beauty products on the shelves. For years, I've been a fan of Lucas Papaw's remedy, a genius natural product from Australia that has magic powers against burns, insect bites, dry skin patches, cuts, you name it. I used to stock up on this and other products, such as non-toxic nail polishes Priti NYC, via my favourite British cultbeauty webstore. I was therefore delighted to find above and many other 'green' beauty products in Denmark at My Roots (jeps, no more shipping expenses and waiting time). By the way, they've also got a vast selection of the natural hair products for afro/dry/frizzy hair. Check it out and let us know what has become your favourite beauty find.
Have a fantastic week !

Saturday, March 09, 2013

What we we reading

What interesting books have you been reading lately? On my recent trip to the US, i finally purchased The Dinner, a novel by Herman Koch, translated from Dutch. I earlier read the review in The Economist, which was excellent, yet setting the right expectations with their 'read The Dinner and taste the shock'. It was indeed shocking and chilling, and an absolutely can't-put-it-down read. 

A very different kind of book I am reading right now is called Waiting for Birdy, by Catherine Newman. Anyone with small children could probably relate to the journey so wittingly described by the author. It's laugh-out-loud funny, smart and moving. 

And what's on your book shelf this month? Enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, March 07, 2013

Baby showers

Image found via Pinterest here
Image found via Pinterest here
Images found via Pinterest here
Baby shower is not exactly a common thing in any of the countries the four of us live  at the moment (Ukraine, the UK, Germany and Denmark). Yet with each year this american tradition is becoming more popular among the Moms-to-be and their friends and families. Speaking from my experience here in Copenhagen, baby shower can be a memorable and fun event, especially if organised by a pro (my friend Christina does it best), kept in a relatively small group, relaxed and not over-done on the games side. It is an excellent excuse to throw a little surprise party for the future Mom, pamper and shower her with gifts, get together with your friends (no men are allowed, by the way) and brainstorm on the most original and beautiful names for the baby.
If you are in charge of organising one and looking for inspiration, Christina recommends these two, her top favourite baby-shower websites: BumpSmitten and Chic & Cheap Nursery. Ideas for the menu, gifts, decorations and games, you can find all sorts of things in there. Enjoy and remember to keep it a surprise!

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Home-made burgers




Once in a while, when you got sick and have to stay home for a few days, nothing can make you feel better than some good old comfort food, whether it's the fries that your Dad used to make when you were little, mashed potatoes by your Grandma's recipe, chicken soup from your Mom or a home-made burger made by your boyfriend. 
Key ingredients of the perfect burger (in my world at least):
- good quality minced beef
- whole wheat burger buns (remember to brown it a little in the oven)
- lots of fresh greens/salad and sweet italian tomatoes
- avocado
- danish bacon (crispy, juicy, yet not overfried)
- melty cheese
- ketchup and tabasco

After this burger, you will be as good as new, promise.
And what is your favourite comfort food? Have a great Tuesday !

Monday, March 04, 2013

On chocolate





If you are a chocoholic like us, you will be delighted to discover (or revisit) the Danish  Frederikbserg Chokolade boutique on Frederiksberg Alle 64, in one of the most beautiful parts of the city, right next to the Frederiksberg park. Even the building itself looks like a giant chocolate bar, and once you get inside, there is no way back: you will want to try absolutely everything, from their delicious, fresh truffles, to a variety of the chocolate Easter eggs, the largest weighing almost 2 kg. Don't miss their special Easter 2013 collection: we sampled quite a few of these rich, decadent, delicious creamy eggs, and now can't wait to go back and stock up for the rest of this Easter month.
Have a lovely week!

Saturday, March 02, 2013

The perfect apple crumble







This crumbly, crunchy, crispy (insert your own C's here) apple magic is our new hands down favourite dessert. I tried it once before at my friend Nata's in Kyiv while visiting earlier in february, and was immediately sold. Nata's is a super baker: you might remember (and love) her pumpkin apple bake and of course world famous syrnyk. Today, finally, we made our own apple crumble by Nata's recipe, and can confirm that even without Nata's magical baking skills, it turned out f-a-n-t-a-s-t-i-c. 

Ingredients:
1 cup of flour
1 cup of sugar
150 g of cold butter
1 kg (or large 4-5) apples
Handful of raisins
2 tea spoons of cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 180C. 
Chop the butter, combine it with flour and sugar. Mix well with a fork, ensure it's all moist and has a crumbly texture. Put the mixture in the fridge.
Cut the apples (i did not peel them) into small cubes and then place them into a medium baking (or casserole) dish. Add the cinnamon and raisins to apples. Spread crumble mix on top and bake for 30-45 min, or until the top is slightly browned.
Serve warm with vanilla ice-cream.

Try it, enjoy and let us know what you think!

Friday, March 01, 2013

Planning your Easter break










What are your plans for the Easter Break later in March? If you are still looking for inspiration, you might find these ideas from the 101 Holidays website quite helpful. Or, perhaps you are looking for something more arty? Then the ArtInfo Culture & Travel section is just what you need. As for our plans, some of us are just returning home to Kyiv from a business trip to Doha, Qatar (see the pictures: tons of sunshine, very colourful birds at the local bazar, beaches, skyscrapers. But not quite our cup of tea, if we are absolutely honest), others are planning to reunite in London for the Easter holiday (yay). Have a beautiful, sunny, loved up weekend! The spring has finally arrived - at least here, in Copenhagen.