Quick and tasty weeknight dinner: Risotto with baked salmon and sautéed green asparagus

It’s been a while since I posted a savory recipe, and this is one of my favorites, so there we go! It’s quick (takes about 30mins to make), it’s easy, it requires no more than 8 ingredients, and you don’t need to feel bad after enjoying it, because it has healthy salmon and fresh green asparagus. I’ve also made this for guests before, who have really enjoyed it.


Risotto with baked salmon and sautéed green asparagus

(for 2 persons)

2 salmon filets (100g each)

250g fresh green asparagus

150g risotto rice

600ml vegetable broth

100ml dry white wine (I usually use Sauvignon Blanc, but a Pinot Gris works well, too)

1 shallot or small onion

50g grated parmesan cheese

1 lemon


This is my “basic” risotto. It’s great on its own, but easily expanded, for example mushrooms (I like using dried cèpes that I soak in some water for about an hour before cooking - the water can then also be used to add more taste to the risotto), peas (just throw in two handfuls of frozen peas in when the risotto is done - not before, as it will interrupt the cooking process! - and let simmer until the peas are done), or pumpkin in the fall. The possibilities are endless! But rest assured that this basic recipe is great on its own, too!

To make the risotto, chop the onion into small cubes. In the meantime, warm up the vegetable broth - it needs to be hot (not boiling) when you add it to the risotto, so the cooking process of the rice is not interrupted. Add some olive oil or butter to a large pan and add the onion cubes. After cooking them for a bit (turn down the heat a bit so they don’t turn brown), add the dry risotto rice and sear for a couple of seconds - this is to “pop open” the grains. Deglaze with the white wine and let simmer for a bit. Gradually keep adding the hot vegetable broth with a ladle, waiting until the rice has almost soaked up the fluid before adding more. Keep stirring slowly all the time. The risotto will need about 20mins until it’s cooked. Add the grated parmesan at the end to achieve a sticky texture.


If there is an easier way to make salmon, I haven’t found it yet! Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees (Celsius). Grease a small baking dish and put the salmon filets in. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Squeeze the juice of half the lemon over the filets and bake for 20-25mins (if the salmon was frozen, it might need a couple more minutes). Done!

Sautéed green asparagus

Wash the asparagus and break off the hard ends. The easiest way to do this is to take each end of the asparagus stick in one hand and softly bend it, this way it will break exactly to remove the hard bottom part. In a frying pan, heat about a tablespoon of olive oil. When the oil is warm, add the asparagus. Season with salt and squeeze the juice of the other half of the lemon over. Sautée in the pan for 2-3mins, while moving constantly. Don’t cook the asparagus for too long, you want it to have a nice bite to give a different texture to the soft risotto and tender salmon. Done!

Et voilá, in about half an hour, you have a great, satisfying meal that wasn’t too complicated to make. And since you already broke open that bottle of white wine, why not have a glass on the side? Enjoy!

Blog Pics

PS: I apologize for the not-so-perfect pictures. I will be learning how to style food for pictures when I’m attending The Hive - European Blogging Conference in May here in Copenhagen! Click on the picture to learn more. Looking forward to meeting a lot of great bloggers there, and learn a ton of useful stuff to make my blog more awesome!

Interior trend: Spring pastels

Slowly I can begin to feel that spring is in the air - and boy have I been waiting for it! There’s a warmer breeze every now and then, and it bears the promising scent of spring, some shy rays of sunshine break through the clouds and warm the skin, and all in all, the cold just feels less cold with every day that passes.

With spring come some fresh new colors, mainly pastels. Soft blue, mint and rosé tones dominate around our Scandinavian favorites, and doesn’t it sound like a great idea to break the monochromity with some colorful accents?


I love that they take the metallic trend (especially copper) to the next season with them, and the combination of copper with the soft pastels is just brilliant. I’m also crazy about the cups with the gradient colors in the third picture.


Probably most widely know for their colorful pillows, HAY brings out its classic “Mosaic” tray in spring-y pastels, and they too have amazing glassware with color gradients.

Normann Copenhagen

Everybody knows their trademark “Krenit” bowls that are black on the outside and some bright color on the inside, and right for spring, some fresh new colors have been added to the palette. I also love the two sets of bed linens below (“Plus”, “Cube” and “Sprinkle”), they just look so fresh and pretty!


Ah, ferm. I just love almost everything they do. I especially adore their unusual, geometric bathroom cabinet, which now comes with a sweet minty pastel color for spring. And let’s not forget their vases and cute colorful “Winebottle” candle holders!

H&M Home

The fashion chain has been bumping up their interior game, and they are not doing too bad! Their new spring collection also has some really nice pastels in it, e.g. pillow cases, romantic vases and candles.

Almost healthy Sunday cake

It’s been a good weekend, with a quick trip to IKEA so I can get my picture wall project going, and then a very chill Sunday. And what does a Sunday need, apart from a nice clear blue sky and some actual sunshine? Cake! I have been craving cake and itching to get baking again, so what better thing to do on a Sunday afternoon?

I decided to make one of my favorite cakes. It’s a white sponge cake bottom, with apple sauce and a whipped cream on top, sprinkled with cinnamon. And it is oh so good!!! Normally it’s intended for an entire baking sheet, but I used the baking form I normally use for brownies (approx. 30x20cm) for about half the normal recipe. And since I replaced the heavy crème fraiche in the recipe with low-fat “kvark” (there really is no English equivalent, although this site offers some replacement ideas) and replaced the oil in the dough with apple sauce, it totally counts as healthy. And it turned out perfectly! It tastes fresh, even with the whipped cream in the topping, and the combination of apple and cinnamon is just perfect. I’m sharing the recipe below.

apple sauce cake2

(Almost) Low-fat apple sauce layered cake

(for one ca. 30x20cm baking dish)

Sponge cake:

1,5 cups (ca. 180g) all-purpose flour

1 cup (ca. 200g) sugar

1/2 cup (ca. 120g) unsweetened apple sauce

1 egg

1 tsp. baking powder


2 cups (ca. 500g) unsweetened apple sauce

1 cup (250ml) whipping cream (or low-fat replacement like Cremefine)

2 cups (ca. 250g) kvark/ fromage frais (low-fat)

2 tsp. brown sugar

cinnamon and sugar to sprinkle

For the dough, mix flour, sugar, egg, apple sauce and baking powder and beat until smooth. Grease a 30x20cm baking dish and pour the dough in. Make sure it spreads evenly. Bake at 175°C for approx. 20min. Test with a toothpick that it is baked all the way through. Take out of the oven and let cool completely.

For the topping, add 2 tsp. brown sugar to the heavy cream and whip until stiff. Carefully mix with the kvark/ fromage frais until smooth. When the sponge cake has completely cooled, spread an even layer of apple sauce across. Top off with the cream mix and spread evenly. Sprinkle cinnamon and brown sugar on top. Cool in the fridge for about 2 hours before serving.

We finished about half the cake already on Sunday (ooops!), and I’ll finish the last piece today (sniff!). I’ll sure be making this again soon!! The great thing about it is that the sponge cake really soakes up the fluid from the apple sauce, and it tastes even better on days two and three (if it lasts that long).

apple sauce cake1

apple sauce cake3

Interior: Cuddly pillows for the weekend

Right in time for the weekend, the weather got a little bit “meh” here in Copenhagen. On the way to work this morning, I was walking through the rain, and it was that stupid amount of rain where you think it’s not quite raining heavy enough to open your umbrella, but you arrive with wet hair anyways. During the afternoon, the sun came out, but on my way home, a slight rain began again (talk about perfect timing!). But now, who cares, it’s the weekend, and I can cuddle up on my couch all day with a hot chocolate watching the last of the Olympics, if I feel like it! And to fit that mood, I’m sharing some really nice and cuddly pillows that I’d love to put on my couch!


IKEA pillows

IKEA Stockholm and HAY pillows

Broste Copenhagen

Batik cushions from Bolia

Black and white with a splash of color from FERM Living

“Simple” pillow, OYOY

Another one from FERM Living

Feather pillow, By Nord


Classic HAY pillows

These HAY pillows exist in all kinds of colors, and I love how they can add a splash of color to an otherwise relatively monochromatic, black and white room. Below are some ideas for that.


Happy weekend!

The crazy Danes and their flags

I always find it funny to observe the country I’m living in from an expat perspective. My experience with living in 4 different countries in the last 6 years or so is that not only do you learn a lot about the country and culture you’re living in, but you learn even more about yourself and your own culture. I’ve caught myself doing distinctly German things, like mixing fruit juice with sparkling water to make a delicious refreshing “Schorle” (pure juice is way too sweet, people!), that I never actually thought were something special. And of course, you notice odd or weird things in your host country that are quite different from what you’re used to.

One such thing I have noticed in Denmark is flags. It might just seem so strange to me because in Germany, we’ve had a difficult relationship with our flags and national pride in general after the Second World War - understandably so. The first time I remember waving a German flag was during the soccer world cup 2006 in Germany. We had those Aloha flower necklaces in black-red-and-gold, painted the flags on our cheeks, and waved flags when we won a game. But otherwise, you won’t find many people who actually display a flag, say in their garden, and if they do, you immediately think they might be weird and maybe a bit to the right end of the political spectrum. In Denmark, this is totally different. The flag is everywhere.

The Danish flag has a name: “dannebrog”, which means “Danish cloth”. Legend has it that the flag fell from the sky during a battle of the Danish army against Estonia, when they were praying to God to save them from defeat - which worked. I think it’s a quite pretty flag, and the red and white colors look great on the background of a clear blue sky.

Note that the queen’s royal yacht also carries the name “Dannebrog” (to be precise, the vessel is called “KDM Dannebrog”), but it was named after the flag. It usually anchors in Copenhagen harbour, but in the summer, the queen usually spends a couple of weeks in Greenland on the ship.


The Danish flag is a common sight in Copenhagen (and Denmark). It is found on public buildings, Amalienborg palace, of course (where flags on the four main buildings indicate which members of the royal family are home), and a lot of people even have a flagpole in their garden. This is a typical sight especially for summer houses.

But the Danes also use flags on special occasions. For example, when there’s a special holiday, all busses in Copenhagen will fly little flags. This is also the case when it’s the birthday of a member of the royal family, or another special event, like the royal wedding. If you see the flags on the busses but can’t remember what they are for, there’s a website called http://hvorforflagerbussen.dk/ (why do the busses fly flags) that will tell you exactly why - pretty neat! But I’ve also asked bus drivers before, who were happy to explain.

Another popular occasion to use flags for decoration is birthdays. Not only royal birthdays, but every single family birthday is celebrated by pulling out the flag decorations! Our neighbors even put two flags outside their door when there’s a birthday in their family! You can buy napkins, paper plates and cups, even small paper “strøflag” (sprinkle flags) to just throw on the table… the possibilities are endless! And of course, the miniature flagpole can’t be missing from any birthday table! Even high-end interior brands like Georg Jensen have those little flagpoles so you can celebrate in style.

And last but not least, flags of course also decorate the famous Danish “kransekage” (layered marzipan cake) traditionally served on New Year’s Eve and at weddings, but sometimes also as a birthday cake.



What do you think? What are your experiences with flags - the Danish and your own? And to the Danes: did I forget an important detail about the Dannebrog? An occasion where it is also used? Are there other traditions or trivia around the flag?