Glædelig Jul!

Wishing all of our wonderful members, friends and family a Glædelig Jul!   

On this most special of nights for Danes, Christmas Eve, we hope all of you have a most wonderful holiday.
And to get us all in the spirit, here’s a great story that ran on MPR with our friends Erik Bruun, Dorte Sondergaard, Birgitte Christianson and Gitte Mohr giving a little lesson in hygge.
 Click here for the MPR story:

Mazarin Kage Opskrift (Almond Cake Recipe)

Danish American Fellowship Cookbook

Danish American Fellowship Cookbook (1996)

Are you looking for a showstopping dessert for the holiday season that’s deceptively easy? Or were you missing the recipe for the cake Grethe Petersen served Mo Rocca at the top of the episode of “My Grandmother’s Ravioli” (and at the encore of the meal she shared with our Onsdag Frokost group last month)? It’s not one of the recipes the Cooking Channel shared. But, as it turns out, Grethe is no stranger to being generous with her recipes. She first shared this one in a cookbook put out by the Danish American Fellowship in 1996. The original tester’s notes for this recipe call it ‘good and easy.’ We couldn’t agree more.

Going forward, we will be mining this little gem of a cookbook quite a bit for recipes. Is there one you’d especially like us to include here? Let us know in the comments.

Mazarin Kage (Almond Cake)

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

A slice of Mazarin Kage (photo credit: Susan Skovbo Loschenkohl)

  • 1 cup almond paste (8 oz)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 2/3 cup flour


  1. Preheat oven to 325° F
  2. Butter & flour a 9″ pie plate well
  3. Grate almond paste, then mix with sugar at slow speed, then add butter/margarine, and mix until incorporated.
  4. Add eggs one at the time, mixing well in between, then add the flour and mix well
  5. Bake for 45 minutes (top should be golden brown)
  6. Optional: Frost with melted chocolate and decorate with slivered almonds

source: Danish American Fellowship Cookbook, 1996 [Contributor: Grethe Petersen]

2014 Holiday Events at the Danish American Center

Looking to infuse your holiday season with a little Danish hygge? Want to sample one of our events to see if membership is for you? We have a couple upcoming Christmas events that are open to all.

JULESANGAFTEN (CHRISTMAS SONG EVENING)  (Sunday, December 7: 7pm) – Join us for our annual Christmas Song Evening in the Atrium. We will sing all the old familiar carols accompanied by Rita Juhl on the piano. It is always a joyous evening where, by singing, you get into the mood of the season. Refreshments will be served.

CHILDREN’S CHRISTMAS PARTY  (Sunday, December 14: 3-6pm) – An annual favorite for the kids! Come and enjoy story time, making decorations, baking cookies, and dancing around the tree. A light supper will be offered. Please bring a gift addressed to your child for Santa’s bag.  (Cost is $7/adult and $4/child. No reservations needed)

Looking for inspiration to attend? Check out these photos from last year’s Children’s Christmas Party:

Fun times at the 2013 Children's Christmas Party at the Danish American Center in Minneapolis

Fun times at the 2013 Children’s Christmas Party at the Danish American Center in Minneapolis (photo credit: Tina Paulsen)

Mormor’s Melboller

FIRST IN AN ONGOING SERIES  – We’re taking a page from Grethe’s (cook)book, so look to “Mormor’s Melboller” as the place to find our Danish recipe posts. Next up will be the mediesterpølse recipe from our recent sausage-making class. Let us know in the comments if there are any recipes in particular you’d like us to research and share.


Grethe Petersen

Grethe Petersen

Grethe Petersen delighted our Onsdag Frokost crowd this month by recreating the meal she prepared and shared with Mo Rocca for her recent episode on the Cooking Channel’s show “My Grandmother’s Ravioli.”

The menu was the same as featured the show: clear chicken soup with dumplings and meatballs, curry pickled herring, mustard pickled herring, and mazarin cake. A record breaking 96 people enjoyed this traditional Danish fare. Scroll on to see highlights from one of the DAC’s most popular events, “Onsdag Frokost.”

Klar suppe med boller

Klar suppe med boller

Master of Ceremonies Erik Bruun and Accordion Master Svend Petersen

Master of Ceremonies Erik Bruun and Accordion Master Svend Petersen liven up this lunch with anecdotes and music






Grethe’s recipes can be found on the Cooking Channel website:

Grethe, hard at work in the newly remodeled DAC kitchen

Grethe, hard at work in the newly remodeled DAC kitchen

A look inside the Danish Christmas room at ASI

The 2014 Christmas Rooms at the American Swedish Institute celebrate “Christmas By Design” with a look at how design plays a role in creating holiday traditions, and how these traditions influence modern design.

The 2014 Danish Christmas room in ASI's Turnblad Mansion

The 2014 Danish Christmas room in ASI’s Turnblad Mansion

Danish designers emphasize the qualities of the materials they use. They do not use overly ornament nor do they disguise the materials. Wood warms a room. Natural materials, like rush woven seats, are homey. These evoke hyggelig (coziness), which is associated with holiday traditions in Denmark.


In many homes the tree is  decorated with traditional Danish flags and woven heart baskets, and on Christmas Eve is pulled out to the middle of the room so everyone could dance around it singing songs.

On the tabletop: "Ole" porcelain designed by Ole Jensen, Royal Copenhagen (1997),  Arne Jacobsen flatware (1957), "Kubus" Candleholder designed by Mogens Lassen (1962) By Lassen, Copenhagen  "Cylinda-line" salad bowl by Arne Jacobsen (1972)

On the tabletop:
“Ole” porcelain designed by Ole Jensen, Royal Copenhagen (1997), Arne Jacobsen flatware (1957), “Kubus” Candleholder designed by Mogens Lassen (1962) By Lassen, Copenhagen “Cylinda-line” salad bowl by Arne Jacobsen (1972)

Arne Jacobsen Chairs

Arne Jacobsen Chairs on Display in the Danish Room at ASI. Front row, from right: Black “Swan Chair™ ” (1958), Wood “Series 7 Chair™” with swivel base (1955), Black 3 leg “Ant Chair™ (1952)

Arne Jacobsen's Purple "Pot Chair™ (1959)

Arne Jacobsen Chair: Purple “Pot Chair™ (1959)

The Danish American Center selected Arne Jacobsen as the featured designer for this year’s ASI Christmas room exhibit.

Arne Jacobsen (1902-1971) was an architect and designer. He was educated at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts and, in addition to his private practice, was a professor at the Academy from 1956-65. He had great influence over the generation that followed him.

As a designer, Jacobsen made prototypes for furniture, textiles, wallpaper, and silverware among other things. Among his most famous designs are The Ant™ (designed for Novo Nordisk canteen) (1952), Series 7™ (1955), The Egg™ and The Swan™ (1958), and the tableware Cylinda-Line (1967).

The Swan™ as well as the Egg™ were designed for the lobby and lounge areas at the SAS Royal Hotel in Copenhagen. The commission to design every element of the hotel building as well as the furniture was Jacobsen’s grand opportunity to put his theories of integrated design and architecture into practice. In 1958 the Swan was a technologically innovative chair: No straight lines – only curves.

"Cylinda-line" tray & coffee pot by Stelton, designed by Arne Jacobsen (1967)

“Cylinda-line” tray & coffee pot by Stelton, designed by Arne Jacobsen (1967)

Jacobsen personifies Danish Modern style. His work is classic and has stood the test of time still looking elegant 60 years later. He employed innovative construction techniques like steamed bent wood in his series 7 chair, and seamless stainless steel cylinders in his Cylinda line of tableware for Stelton. Stanley Kubrick chose his flatware to use in his futuristic film 2001, A Space Odyssey.

The Christmas Rooms Exhibit at ASI runs through January 11, 2015.

ASI is located at 2600 Park Avenue in Minneapolis. Call 612-871-4907 for hours and admission. 

2 rocking chairs designed by Hans J. Wegner, 1944

2 rocking chairs designed by Hans J. Wegner, 1944


Imagine all the stories all these people have.

Imagine all the stories all these people have to tell

The Danish American Center’s printed newsletter, DANews, does a wonderful job of keeping us up to date on events and activities but it does not have room to present longer articles and we have many more stories to tell. To address this need, DAC is adding to our ways of communicating with you by launching this blog. The blog allows us to tell stories in more depth and illustrate them with color photos. It will be linked from our website homepage or you can bookmark this page to come directly here. Find links on the right sidebar for our first stories: an insider’s view of the Danish Room at the American Swedish Institute decorated for the holidays, and the premier of “Mormor’s Melboller.” Check back next month for some jul-goodies. And coming in January will be an in depth article by the DAC Heritage Committee on Crown Prince Frederik’s visit to Minnesota 76 years ago.