Design: Normann Copenhagen in Homesense

On Monday evening, perusing around Homesense with Tom, I came across this treasure trove of Scandinavian design. They had boxes and boxes of Normann Copenhagen design. I couldn’t believe my luck!

Agnes Vases in all different shapes & sizes from the mini up to the 32cm one & the fat  ‘plant pot ‘ looking one, all priced from £3.99 up to £7.99, (Which is an absolute bargain considering they usually start at £10 and can go up to as much as Seventy quid!)

The Agnes Vase, designed by Agnes Fries uses Handmade Chinese porcelain from Jingdezhen and combines & contrasts it with a top of black hand-painted brush strokes. Its subtle yet striking, graphic and perfect for a monochrome/ Scandinavian styled interior.

I decided to go for the 20cm vase, a Goldilocks among the rest in my opinion. Being ‘Not too big, not too small’ it doesn’t get swallowed up by a room, but it isn’t also too large to be a centrepiece on my small dining table, and at £6.99 instead of £39.99 I just had to get it!

They also had the Floe tealight holder there in so many shades & hues. I picked up two considering they were £3.99 each in coral and dark green, perfect for both my Spring/Summer  & my Autumn/Winter looks! Designed by the Spanish designer Ramírez i Carrillo to echo a traditional antique oil lamp, it gives a small but impacting atmosphere when styled into your interior.

When I got home I immediately had to take them out of the boxes and incorporate into my Winter décor.

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the Agnes Vase looked perfect on my Normann Copenhagen Block Table, rubbing shoulders with some succulents & my Yule candle from Flying Tiger Copenhagen & Menu X Stokke Austad candle holder. I used a branch, that we had lying around from last christmas and adorned it with some of our homemade baubles & himmeli.

I followed this tutorial by Nalle’s House to make the ornaments. It all fits so well together, with the vase completing the look. Not too ‘out there’ & Kitschy Christmassy. Monochrome, just festive enough & classy!

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The Floe fits perfectly on my IKEA side table keeping my little Tomte company. It looks great with the Sanna Annukka illustrated ‘The Fir Tree’ by Hans Christian Andersen underneath, strengthening the green and it also works well with the Iittala Aalto pieces, all creating a nice harmonious look.

Let’s hope some Normann design is at your local Homesense store, but get it quick as it will vanish fast!

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Food: Chorizo & Bean Stew

Seeing as Uni is starting back soon, here’s a recipe that is cheap, uses up leftovers and it’s easy to knock up.

You’ll need:

  • 180g Chorizo- chopped into half moons
  • 2 tins of chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tins of beans ( I used 1 tin of butterbeans and 1 tin of kidney beans)
  • 3 cloves of garlic- minced
  • 1 large red onion – diced
  • 1 small glass of a nice deep red wine
  • 25-30g pimentón
  • 2 roasted brined peppers- chopped
  • 1tbs of dried rosemary
  • 1tbs of tomato puree
  • Splash of sherry vinegar
  • 2 generous tsp of chipotle chilli powder

First heat up a pan – a Le Creuset Dutch oven in my case – and pour in a little oil, I used cold-pressed Rapeseed, but feel free to use your preferred oil. Fry off the Chorizo until they render down in their paprika ladened oil. Now, add the onions and garlic- cook until translucent. Add in the the tomato puree until it’s cooked out a bit and melded with the rest of the pan. It should look like this:

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Now deglaze the pan with the red wine until cooked out. Add the tomatoes, chopped peppers and rosemary into the pan. Now, with the beans I drained the kidney beans, but I decided to use the liquid- or ‘aquafaba’ from the butterbeans, pouring the whole lot in. It not only adds more liquid to the pot, but it thickens the sauce, too. Add in your paprika and chilli powder and turn the heat to a low simmer, lid on – leave for at least 1-2 hours, if not more, lifting lid to stir occasionally.

It now should have turned into a rich marroon red stew like this:

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Season with a little salt, lots of black pepper and sherry vinegar, to taste. And serve!

It makes a nice winter warmer- and seeing as its always like winter here in Wales 😉

I served mine with a sprinkle of freshly chopped spring onions, a bit of grated cheddar and a nice big dollop of sour cream, along side some crusty rolls and a nice big glass of a deep and rich Rioja – decanted in my new Menu winebreather carafe.

As a student, this is a lush dish you can leave cooking whilst you study, or spend time with friends, it can be done very cheapily, it can be cooked into batches, and frozen and is so easy to make.