Archive for August, 2011

A Most Memorable Scotland Trip

Hi everyone! How are you all doing? Hope you’re enjoying your summer (or winter, depending on whichever part of the world you’re in). So the last time I left you, I told you I was taking a mini vacation. I got back a while ago but have been experiencing troubles with my internet so wasn’t able to blog. The problem just got fixed yesterday so now I can fully enjoy visiting your blogs again….yippee!

I was off in Scotland visiting and meeting two dear friends whom also happen to be bloggers. If you haven’t already visited their blogs, then please let me introduce you to the lovely Mary of Keep Learning Keep Smiling and her lovely daughter Sharon of Fun and Life. Mary is as friendly and sincere in real life as she is on her blog. If you’ve visited her blog before, you’ll also know what an amazing cook she is. If you haven’t visited her blog then please do drop by and say hi, you won’t be disappointed. Just look at some of the delicious dishes she made for me while I was there.

Seafood Risotto

Recipe found here.

Paris Brest Puff Ring

Recipe found here.

Delicious noodles!

Beef Dumpling in Turkey Soup

I love all kinds of soup and this was one of the best dumpling soups I’ve had. I’ll definitely be trying this delicious and healthy recipe.

Aside from making me all sorts of delicious dishes, Mary and Sharon were wonderful tour guides; taking me to the many beautiful places that Scotland has to offer so that I could get some lovely shots on my camera. Of course I’m not going to share them all here or we might be here all day, so these are some of my favorite shots. By the way, the first photo was taken by Sharon. Girl sure knows how to use a camera properly (unlike me…haha)!

Dunnottar Castle

Shot taken from inside Dunnottar Castle

See my very slanted horizon? LOL! To my defense though, I WAS half way leaning out of the castle to get this shot. Plus, the world is round isn’t it? Teehee.

The Scottish Thistle - the national emblem of Scotland

These were actually smaller in real life than I thought they’d be.

The streets of Edinburgh

Love their buildings!

The Palace of Holyroodhouse

This is the official residence in Scotland of Her Majesty The Queen. Unfortunately we weren’t permitted to take photos inside. It was way too quiet in there for me. Drove me a bit crazy. Once outside, I had to release some of that energy…see?

So then they took me to a beach to try to calm me down. Haha. (It didn’t work. ;)) I’m just kidding. We went to the beach on my last day there.

Aberdeen Beach

Stonehaven

We also visited Stonehaven. I was told that “it’s a place where you go and see lots of stones”. Lol.

Stonehaven

I’d have to agree though.

The Glenfiddich Distillery

My trip also involved going to the Glenfiddich Distillery where I got to taste their 12, 15, and 18 year old whiskey. WOOT! :P

Inside the Glenfiddich Distillery

I’d have to say, the best part of my trip was getting to know Mary and Sharon better. Honestly, I would’ve been perfectly happy sitting at home eating and just chatting up a storm with them. We definitely shared many many laughs together. May (from Mary’s ladies lunch group) if you’re reading this, you have GOT TO play Taboo with Mary – HILARIOUS I tell ya! I also got to play some badminton with Mary, and boy oh boy can this woman own the badminton court. Trust me, you sure don’t want to be playing against her. As tough as she is on the court though, she’s as sweet as can be and a total joy to be with off the court.

The apple definitely doesn’t fall far from the tree because Sharon is also an absolute joy and pleasure to be around as well. Taking amazing photographs is just one of the many great attributes of this lovely girl. If you know her in real life, you’ll agree that she is absolutely one of the nicest and most sincere people you’ll ever meet. She shines with true beauty, both inside and out. Not to mention, she’s one heck of a Taboo player as well!

Thank you so very much Mary and Sharon for welcoming me into your home, introducing me to the rest of your lovely family (and friends), and taking me around to see the many fascinating sights of Scotland. Most of all, thank you both for your beautiful friendship. Yes, Scotland has some beautiful views, but it was the people who made this trip so memorable and special. These memories will forever be engraved in my head. I truly really hope that I will be able to return the favour to you and your family here in Canada some day. Until we meet again my dear friends.

Before I leave, I’d also like to wish a very happy belated birthday to one of my dear blogger friends, Veronica of Quay Po Cooks. Ever since I first started following her blog, Veronica has been nothing but a sweet, kind friend and one of the most supportive bloggers around. She truly has a heart of gold and it definitely shows in this post here. Veronica, happy belated birthday to you and I hope you have many many more blessed ones to come.

K is starting kindergarten soon so between packing her snacks and lunches, taking her to and from school, and taking care of my two year old little monkey at the same time, I’m not sure how much time I’ll have for blogging. I will try to blog and visit your blogs when time allows me to, but just a heads up before you start wondering if I’ve given up on blogging. Wishing you all a great rest of the summer. Thank you again for dropping by and visiting. Until next time, friends and family. :D

Helloooooo……?

Helllloooooooooo………anybody still there? Yes, I know it’s been almost two months since I’ve last posted. I must apologise for my disappearance. Sorry for leaving for so long. With the short two months of summer that we get here in Canada, I’ve been trying to take full advantage of the summer-like weather. The kiddies and I have been enjoying the outdoors as much as possible.

Going for walks.

Man-made lake by our house.

Going to playgrounds.

No that doesn't move, it's just for climbing.

Wheeee......!!!!!!

Getting unexpectedly splashed at the spray park.

SPLASH!

Cooking outdoors.

Moms are some of the best multitaskers ;)

We even enjoyed some baking together.

The kiddies always have so much fun helping.

More about this baking adventure in another post though. So basically we’ve been trying to soak up as much sun as possible and enjoy being kids. Amongst that, I’ve also been busy battling a prisoner, a panda, and even a doughnut. Don’t ask, just don’t ask. I’m just happy that I’m surviving and am still alive sitting here blogging about it. With all that battling though, a girl needs good food to help keep her energy up. If you’re a long time reader, you’ll know that I love seafood. Prawns are one of my favorite seafood to cook because they’re so quick and easy, not to mention delicious also.

This one is one of my favorite prawn dishes. I call it Stir Fried Tamarind Prawns.

Stir Fried Tamarind Prawns

Stir Fried Tamarind Prawns

Ingredients:

450 g package of tamarind (made into tamarind paste)
2 TBS white sugar
1 TBS fish sauce
1 and 1/2 lb prawns deveined (shell or no shell is up to you, but if leaving shell on, devein, butterfly, and leave tail on)
garlic minced (I use a lot, sometimes a whole bulb. Amount is up to you)
2 stalks green onions cut into thirds
2 red chili peppers chopped (optional)

Instructions:

Soak tamarind in hot water (just enough to cover all the tamarind) for about an hour and a half. When time is up, take the tamarind out (with as little water as possible) and push it all through a strainer into a new bowl. This will remove all the seeds and threads. Measure out about 6 tablespoons tamarind paste and mix that with sugar and fish sauce in a bowl and set aside. Heat up oil in a wok and stir fry garlic till just about to brown. Add in shrimp and stir fry till just starting to turn pink.. Add in green onions and red chili peppers (I left out chili peppers because of my kiddies.) and stir fry for about another minute or two. Add in bowl of tamarind sauce and mix around until all prawns have been coated.

Note: If the tamarind sauce is too sour, adjust by adding more sugar or fish sauce or both to taste. It should have a sour and sweet taste to it.

I’ll be off on a mini vacation soon to visit some dear, dear friends. I’ll try to visit you all when I get back. Thanks for dropping by again! To one of the dear friends whom I’m visiting, I look much forward to our battle(s). ;)

BRING IT!

Take care everyone, and enjoy the rest of your summer! Until next time, friends and family! :)



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