Me Gusta Valencia, Town Hall Square


Now, should you visit Valencia at one of the many, many feasts and holidays they celebrate here, then la Plaza del Ayuntamiento (Town Hall Square) is the place to be. During Fiestas and Fallas, the entire place is bursting with energy and spectacular mascletas (pyrotech).

Also, should you be here and there being NOT a fiesta, rest assured that the plaza is a popular meeting point for Valencians and is often filled with stalls selling flowers. A local tradition that dates back to 1924.

Our hotel was at la Plaza del Ayuntamiento, and was a great starting point for us exploring the lively, narrow lanes of Valencia’s Old Town.

As the name reveals, Plaza del Ayuntamiento is home to some of the most representative administrative buildings in Valencia, and features an outstanding mix of Spanish architectural styles. Dominating the square are the stunning neoclassical Town Hall (Ayuntamiento) and the magnificent Central Post Office (Edificio de Correos), designed by architect Miguel Angel Navarro in a beautiful eclectic style that combines striking Modernista features with lavish baroque-inspired interiors.

Check back later for more posts from this magnificent city! Also, check the previous posts:

Spanish Smiles

Me Gusta Valencia, Mercado Central

Me Gusta Valencia – The Silk Exchange

Flamenco is not just a bird!



Flamenco is not just a bird!

On our trip to Valencia, we took the opportunity to take in a Flamenco show at a restaurant, Mon, downtown Valencia. The restaurant was good, however not spectacular. The Flamenco, on the other hand, was. Spectacular, that is. I had never seen it live before, so this was a real treat for Old Mamasan.

What the heck am I on about now? Well, Flamenco is an art form native to the Spanish region of Andalusia and the two neighboring regions of Extremadura and Murcia. It does strike me as a tad ironic that we left the region of Murcia and drove two hours into Valencia – to experience the Flamenco. But when opportunity knocks, it is best to answer, right? Anyways, the oldest record of Flamenco dates to 1774. Although Flamenco has become associated with the Romani people in Spain, and somewhat influenced by them, its origin and style is distinctively Andalusian.

Anyways, as you can see in the vid below, the Flamenco includes singing (cante), guitar playing (toque), dance (baile), vocalizations (jaleo), handclapping (palmas) and finger snapping (pitos). Besides me falling in love with the guitar player – because he was just super-duper good – what I want to talk about is the dancing:

El baile flamenco is emotionally intensive, very expressive and proud and very rhythmic. The stamping of the feet in Flamenco is often confused with tap dance, but it is a completely different technique. As with any dance form, many styles of flamenco have developed. I am not sure what style we witnessed, but it was a lot more authentic than the “tourist-flamenco”; not a spotted dress in sight, and a total lack of castanets.

Here’s a little fun fact for ya: In traditional Flamenco, young people are not considered to have the emotional maturity to adequately convey the soul (duende) of the genre. Therefore, many Flamenco dancers do not hit their peak until their thirties, and will continue to perform well into their fifties and beyond.

And, here is one for you Quiz Masters: On Nov 16th 2010, UNESCO declared Flamenco one of the “Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.”



Me Gusta Flamenco!


Haunt much?

Welcome to this week’s #WeekendCoffeeShare! I have missed two Saturdays, because I have been on vaccy! Yup, ten lovely days on the Costa Calida in Spain. Man, was it nice! So, this week I hope you come for coffee and tapas and stay for a while, I do have things to tell you!

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you all about how the in-laws surprised us with a trip to Valencia, the third largest city in Spain, I have written a couple posts already, with pictures – and more is coming!

Spanish Smiles

Me Gusta Valencia, Mercado Central

Me Gusta Valencia – The Silk Exchange

If we were having coffee, I’d also tell you something terrible that has happened! Brace yourself – this is scary stuff!

While in Spain, I noticed that the in-laws had also invited a rude, old hag to stay with them. This wrinkly, grey haired old witch weren’t very sociable either – she only unfurled herself when I used the mirror. This hag did not play well with others! She hogged the mirror and when I asked her to please move – she just looked at me all eerie and grumpily and didn’t budge!

Now, what is even worse, is that this ancient Crypt Keeper, has followed me home to Denmark! I didn’t invite her! I don’t even like her! She’s rude, and ugly, and messy, and grumpy!


She is smart enough to lay low and stay out of sight most of the day, but without warning, she pops her ugly head up every time I look in the mirror – and will not move so I can see my own beautiful, young face! Argh! She annoys me so bad!

Although I have not caught her in the act, I suspect that she moves my stuff around too, just to piss me off! My immaculately organized home is a real mess! Nothing is where I put it! This is very provocative, as I am a very neat and tidy person. She is a very good seamstress, because she keeps sowing in my clothes, but it is professionally done, there is no way you can see the alterations. See? That is how sneaky she is!

Yanno, she is not paying any rent, and I think she even steals from me! My money disappears way faster than I can possibly spend them! She even drinks all my wine!

This is horrid! Horrid, I tell you! I better get rid of her before Halloween or she’ll scar the minds of innocent little trick or treaters lusting for sweets, if she opens the door and reveals her ugly face! This face is so horrid, you can never unsee it! It will haunt you forever!

Thought it was fair to warn you, who knows where she’ll move in once I get her evicted!

Care to join us at the #WeekendCoffeeShare ? Then go to  Parttime Monster Blog and join the link up!

Want to see my previous contributions to the #WeekendCoffeeShare? They are funny, I promise:

Most of the time

… So Tired!

Handegg (and why Sir Nerdalot is in the dog house)

The Doc’s in!

Fall Folly


An Irishman goes into a bar…

Once in a lifetime

Sausage much?

Brexit explained

The Nerve!

Brexit Tea


Trouble is my middle name

We should not sleep away the summer night

Diet much?

Wolf Whistle much?

An eggy conundrum

Happy Mother’s Day!


Nice to meet you

Coffee and taxes

read my blog

Me Gusta Valencia – The Silk Exchange

When visiting Valencia, you’d be well advised to visit the Lonja de la Seda – the Silk Exchange. This main monument of the city, and masterpiece of civil Gothic architecture, is located close to the Central Market, which I wrote about yesterday, see this link: Me Gusta Valencia, Mercado Central

Where the Silk Exchange stands, there was a previous Exchange from the 14th century, the Oil Exchange, or in Spanish: Lonja del Aceite. The Oil Exchange was not only used for trading with agricultural oils, but for all kind of business.

Valencia’s commercial prosperity reached its peak during the 15th century, and led to the construction of a new building. The City Council purchased 25 houses for demolition, and construction of the Silk Exchange commenced a year later, in 1482. Pere Compte was the man behind the project, but he unfortunately did not live to see his building completed. Several master builders continued to work on the building, and it was finished in 1548.

“The site is of outstanding universal value as it is a wholly exceptional example of a secular building in late Gothic style, which dramatically illustrates the power and wealth of one of the great Mediterranean mercantile cities.” – is why the UNESCO considered it as a World Heritage Site in 1996.

The building resembles old Medieval Castles with its rigid appearance of a stone walled fortress. It comprises three distinct buildings and a garden – the Courtyard of the Orange Trees: In the Contract Hall with the beautiful columns is where the deals were struck, the Chapel of the Immaculate Conception, and the Consulado del Mar (Consulate of the Sea) in Renaissance style – where maritime and trade affairs were taken care of. There are a lot of decorative features, including 28 Gothic gargoyles on the top of the building, whose practical purpose is to collect rainwater from the roof. There are allegorical figures, fantastic, monstrous or satirical, and their enigmatic symbolism has been widely debated throughout the years – and still are.

Check up the opening hours before you visit this magnificent building, as they do close for siesta.


Me Gusta Valencia, Mercado Central

Oh, wonderful Valencia! If you want to treat yourself to a beautiful, interesting and historic place – try Valencia!

Valencia is the capital of the autonomous community of Valencia and the third largest city of Spain. Valencia was founded as a Roman colony in 138 BC, by the consul Decimus Junius Brutus Callaicus, it was then called Valentia Edetanorum. In 711 the Muslims introduced their language, religion and customs when they occupied the city. And in 1238 the Christian King James I of Aragon reconquered the city and it became a part of the Kingdom of Valencia. For two short periods, Valencia has been capital of Spain. There is a lot of interesting history to this city as it has been politically and culturally rearranged several tmes, and we will get into bits and piece of it in the posts to follow.

Valencia’s historic center is one of the largest in Spain, and it holds a vast heritage of ancient monuments, views and cultural attractions, and this is why it is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Spain.

The traditional Spanish dish, Paella, is said to originate in Valencia. Whoever it was that first thought of making Paella, I am forever grateful – because it is mm-mm-good! Talking about food, why don’t we start at the Central Market:


Mercado Central is inside this Art Nouveau building

Mercado Central is a public market and a popular location for tourists and locals alike. Most vendors sell food items, although souvenirs are also found. You can spend hours in here just looking at the fantastic displays of foods – fresh, smoked, cured – some weird and interesting, others just plain yummy. The vendors are often giving you samples so you get the chance of trying something new. I might be weird, but I could spend all day at this great market, then again – eating and preparing food is one of my passions.


See anything you like?

The Mercado Central is situated on a spot that was inaugurated in 1839 as an open-air marketplace called Mercat Nou. The city of Valencia sponsored a contest for the construction of a new roofed market in 1910. The present Art Nouveau design was chosen, a design by Alejandro Sole March and Francisco Guardia Vial, who trained at the School of Architecture of Barcelona. Construction began in 1914 and was fully completed in 1928.


Just pick a place and enjoy your lunch!

The area around the Mercado Central is jam-packed with restaurants, perfect for lunching on some super good Tapas and perhaps some vino tinto? I bet you are craving some yummy foods after spending some time surrounded by all these goodies in the market.


Froot Loops does not qualify as food, but you can get it here anyways.


See all the weird fruits!


Bob Esponga!


If you can’t look your food in the eye…


These would be perfect for Halloween! Witches-fingers!


This is my department! I love the ham!


Yup, you can get your Asian food here also!


These are dried chillies and peppers, super good!


Anyone for baked Ox Muzzle?


There certainly is some bite to this dinner…


This is right outside the market, isn’t it pretty?


Headin’ towards the Mercado Central

Spanish Smiles

Last week we went on vacation to Spain. We are talking 10 days of constant touristy smiles here, so it is almost impossible to choose just one… To spend time with loved ones is a definite big smile, to learn that I do remember some Spanish also made me smile. Enjoying the fab tapas and paella/arrozes – also grounds for huge smiles. The list goes on and on, and I will be bugging you with posts and pictures in the days to come.

I have decided to interpret this week’s smile literally – with smiles I have managed to capture on my cam during the vaccy in Spain:


Ox Muzzle? I am very curious as to how they prepare this.


Here’s a great smile for ya!


This would be a dentist’s retirement plan…


Sheeps heads, these I know from Norway


Another charmer 🙂


Dried sharks jaws?

I am joining the #WeeklySmile bunch, as I wholeheartedly agree with the host, Trent, that we need some positive posts in between all the serious stuff in the news and on the web. Give someone a smile today, and see what happens!

Care to join us at the #WeeklySmile ? Then go to Trent’s World  and join the LINK UP!

Danish Oatmeal Buns – Kajeboller

(Norsk oppskrift finner du ved å klikke på linken: Kajeboller)

Normally it is the parents that makes and packs the lunch for their schoolkids… In our house, it is not only the other way around, but we take it as far as the Kid buys lunch at school and brings it home to his mom!

I guess this requires a lil explanation… We are Expats, living in Demark and the Kid attends Danish school. He can bring his lunch from home, or he can buy food in the school cafeteria where he has several choices to choose from – one of them being what is called “Kajebolle”. The Kid has praised the Kajebolle for so long that I finally asked him to buy one and bring me so I could try it. I have never seen these in the store, and I wanted to try them. Of course, Expat’ing includes sampling the local foods, and OMG does the Danes have lots of great food!

Back to the Kajebolle – you must try them; they are super good. And they are not even all that unhealthy. The oats and honey gives them a subtle sweetness and the cold rising gives a fab texture. No kneading required, just stir with a poon – and stick the dough in the fridge overnight.

They are extremely good with just butter, and that’s how they are served in the school cafeteria. (I have of course tested with cheese and jam too – which is lovely!)


Danish Oatmeal Buns

  • Servings: 10-12
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Yummy Buns with a crisp crust and soft and tasty crumb.


  • 10 g yeast (or approx. 2 g dry yeast)
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 150 g oatmeal
  • 650 g plain flour
  • 700 ml cold water


Stir the yeast with the honey and salt, and add the cold water, oatmeal and flour. Give it a stir, the dough is loose so you can stir it with a spoon. Put on a lid or cling film and place the bowl with the dough in the fridge overnight.

Preheat the oven to 250 C.

Dip a tablespoon in cold water and scoop out pieces of dough and place on your baking tray. Dip the spoon in cold water before scooping out a new piece of dough to prevent it from sticking. The dough feels weird, but have no fear – it is supposed to be like this.

Sprits cold water on the buns right before you stick them in the oven, this makes the delicious crispy crust.

Bakes at 250 degrees for 15-20 minutes depending on size of the buns. Do not use the fan in the oven, and make sure the oven is holds the temperature before putting the buns in.

Pumpkin Pie

(Norsk oppskrift på Gresskarpai, klikk linken: GresskarPai )

14666091_10154293550271622_7596888715048940258_n26 years ago I had Pumpkin Pie while living with a host family in the booming metropolis of Sparks, NV. It was Thanksgiving, it was turkey with all the trimmings, and of course Pumpkin Pie.

Pumpkins have not been a big thing in Norway, and Pumpkin Pie is not anything I have seen back home. We also do not celebrate Thanksgiving nor Halloween (although kids have started dressing up to go trick or treat in the latter years, much to the irritation of the older generation).

Old Mamasan will take any opportunity to cook and serve good food, and that is the reason I have invited friends over for Thanksgiving dinner the last couple years. This year is no exception.

Enough talk, let us get down to business here: I present to you an easy-peasy, super-duper yummy Pumpkin Pie (I am using homemade pumpkin puree, see this link for method):


  • 2 eggs plus the yolk of a third egg
  • 110 g packed dark brown sugar
  • 60 g white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 teaspoons pumpkin spice, see recipe here: Make your own Pumpkin Spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 400 g pumpkin pulp purée from a sugar/Hokkaido pumpkin (You can also use Butternut Squash or a can of pumpkin puree)
  • 3,3 dl evaporated milk
  • 1 good crust, see recipe here: No Fail Flaky Pie Crust



Preheat oven 220°C.

Whisk eggs in a large bowl. Add in brown sugar, white sugar, salt, pumpkin spice mix, and lemon zest. Mix well.

Add in the pumpkin purée, and stir in the cream. Whisk until everything is well mixed. (Don’t panic, it will be very runny)

Pour the filling into the uncooked pie shell and bake in the oven at 220°C for 15 minutes. Then lower the temperature to 175°C and continue to bake for 45 to 55 minutes more. Try inserting a knife in the center of the pie and if it comes out clean, it’s cooked.

Please note that you may want to cover the edges of the pie with tin foil about half-way through to prevent the crust from getting too browned.

The pie will come out of the oven all raised and puffed up, and will deflate as it cools. Let it cool on a wire rack.

Serve with whipped cream, and if the hole from the knife you inserted to check if the pie was all cooked is bothering you, then just cover it with a dollop of whipped cream. Also nice to cover any imperfections of the crust with whipped cream along the edge of the pie. A little bit of whipped cream has saved my clumsy-looking cakes and pies on many occations…

Far be it from me to teach you folks from Pumpkin Pie Land how to make Pumpkin Pie. But if you are interested in a good recipe with the weirdo measurements like oz. and cups, then see Simply Recipes, Old Fashioned Pumpkin Pie

Relevant recipes:

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin puré

No Fail Flaky Pie Crust

Make your own Pumpkin Spice

Pumpkin and sweet potato soup


Pumpkin purée

(Norsk oppskrift finner du her: Gresskar puré)

I know a lot of Americans use the canned pumpkin purée, and save themselves for some work with making it from scratch. But here in Denmark, such things as pumpkin purée is imported in only a small scale, as it is only the American expats who buys it. Meaning – it is extremely expensive for a measly can of pumpkin.


Up until Halloween the stores are overflowing with all kinds of fresh pumpkins, and they are dirt cheap. So I bought 4 Hokkaido pumpkins, stuck ‘em in the oven and made my own puré to freeze. Now I have a small frozen stockpile of goodies to put in my soups, baked goods and pies. AND, the work is already done!


Now, this is dead simple:

Cut a medium sugar pumpkin or Hokkaido I half. Scrape out the insides (the treads and the seeds and the stuff holding it together). You might want to keeps the seeds to roast, if not – discard.

On a lined baking sheet, place the halves cut side down and bake at 175°C for an hour to an hour and a half. Check if you can easily pierce them with a fork – that is when they are done.

Let them cool and scoop out the pulp.


As before mentioned, I bought 4 pumpkins, and they yielded 8 bags of 400 g puree for my freezer. Now that is a lot of pie!

Just thaw the bag of puree up in the fridge overnight and you are good to go!


Relevant recipes:

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

No Fail Flaky Pie Crust

Make your own Pumpkin Spice

Pumpkin and sweet potato soup

Pumpkin Pie


No Fail Flaky Pie Crust

(Link til norsk versjon: Paiskall med rømme )

It is no secret that Old Mamasan and pie crust do not have an amicable relationship. Have to say that all that changed now that I found this recipe for a no fail, sour cream pastry crust from Simply Recipes. My pie-making world has made a turn for the better! This recipe for a pie crust that actually behaves the way you’d want it to is super tasty and flaky and buttery and easy-peasy!

Now, just three pieces of info before we get started:

  1. This recipe is for a double crust, but if you are only using half, then you can freeze the other half! How genius is that!
  2. This crust will not pre-bake well, so if you are making a pie that needs to be pre-baked – then go for another recipe!
  3. This recipe can be used for both sweet and savory pies. Simply omit the sugar for savory pies.

No Fail Flaky Pie Crust

  • Servings: 2 crusts
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Super tasty and flaky and buttery and easy-peasy Pie Crust.


  • 260 g flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt (skip if using salted butter)
  • 2 teaspoons sugar (for sweet recipes, otherwise skip)
  • 225 g butter
  • 115 ml sour cream or crème fraiche (full fat, NOT light products! You don’t want to diet on pie-day anyways! Seriously, you need the fat to get the flakyness.)


Cut the butter into cubes and leave out on the counter for a couple of minutes.

Whisk the flour, salt and sugar together in a large bowl.

Sprinkle the cubed butter over the flour and work it in with your hands. Work it til you have a coarse meal with some chunks of butter.

Add the sour cream / crème fraiche into the mixture and work it in with a fork.

Gather the pastry dough into a large ball, cut it in half and form two discs. Sprinkle the discs well with flour and wrap them tightly with plastic wrap. Chill the dough in the refridgerator for at least an hour. (If you ant to freeze half, wrap it again with aluminum foil and freeze. To thaw, just let it sit in the fridge overnight.)

Take the dough out of the fridge a couple minutes before you are ready to roll it out, and it becomes a lil more malleable. Roll it out and place in your pie tin. Add whatever filling you like and bake.

The crust will be prettier if you give the exposed crust a light egg wash.

    Recipe notes:

  • This recipe is for a double crust, but if you are only using half, then you can freeze the other half! How genius is that!
  • This crust will not pre-bake well, so if you are making a pie that needs to be pre-baked – then go for another recipe!
  • This recipe can be used for both sweet and savory pies. Simply omit the sugar for savory pies.


Yummy Pumpkin Pie with a flaky, delish crust

Relevant recipes:

Pumpkin puré

Make your own Pumpkin Spice

Pumpkin and sweet potato soup

Pumpkin Pie