Saturday, December 13, 2014

Girls' Trip To Edinburgh Christmas Markets

Last week some of my friends and I drove to Edinburgh for some girl time and Christmas market fun.
Oh, and for my 30th birthday! First stop, of course, The Horn Milk Bar for some super bacon rolls!

Next, we stopped at Rosslyn Chapel, where they filmed part of the DaVinci Code. Photos were not allowed inside the chape.

We stayed at The Knight Residence in a 2 bedroom 2 bathroom apartment. It was lovely, and they have parking! The rooms were cozy. They provided nice toiletries and a welcome basket with breakfast goodies including milk for the cereal!

Now for some Christmas Market fun! Edinburgh apparently spent a nice bit of money this year, and I think it was worth it! I really enjoyed it.
Edinburgh was decorated with lots of lights.

Isn't it lovely!?

Julia and Jessica eating the chocolate kisses (they are stuffed with marshmallow!)

Me, Tanya, and Kate enjoying our sweeties!

mmmm... crepes!

 Kate and I HAD to get some potatoes with garlic sauce. It was delicious!
 And no European Christmas market is complete without a giant pretzel!
 Or a bratwurst...

The Scottish Christmas market was much smaller.

 So we headed back to the European market... along with the rest of Edinburgh!

Getting something warm to drink!

I had such a great time! If you can't make it to Germany for the Christmas markets, and you live in the UK, I'd definitely recommend going to Edinburgh!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

AWA Christmas Luncheon at the Ardoe House

Today we had our annual AWA Christmas luncheon at the Mercure Aberdeen Ardoe House Hotel and Spa. What a lovely place! The dining room had floor to ceiling windows. The hotel entrance was so inviting with its crackling fires, the plush, tartan furniture, wooden decor, and carpets decorated with thistles and stags. The food was really good. We had 3 courses that included rosemary and parsnip soup, chicken stuffed with skirlie and wrapped in bacon, and cheesecake with chocolate ice cream for desert.

 Here is the ornament I got in the gift exchange! Isn't he cute?

Saturday, November 29, 2014

"You ain't never caught a rabbit, and you ain't no friend of mine."

Well, my first time hosting Thanksgiving went well. The turkey came out really nice. Kidd Kraddick's Brown Bag turkey recipe was easy and good. My homemade turkey sausage was yummy. The cornmeal worked out well for my dressing, and I think everybody had a good time. It felt just like being with family. :o)

It's been really grey and rainy for the last week (or more?).

Steve and I have been taking our Vitamin D, and I've been going out with Angel in the rain, which leads to her getting VERY muddy. After her run in the park, I needed to give Frog some exercise. Remember I said he doesn't walk correctly, and so he drags his claws on the pavement until they are filed to the quick and bleeding? Well, because of that, my friend, Jeri, suggested I put him in the bathtub with some water and make him walk back and forth. Like water aerobics for dogs! I started that, and he was doing really well... until.. Remember I said that Frog has been waking me up super early to poop, and sometimes doesn't make it outside, like he's started having trouble holding it? Ugh, I'm sure you can guess what happened next. Yep, he pooped in the bathtub.

This dog is is really frustrating me. I guess I need to try ANOTHER brand of food. I also ordered one of Cesar Millan's videos about socializing dogs. I hope that it helps me deal with his crazy barking at other dogs. He has improved, but I'm thinking I could do better to help him. The story from one of the cases on the DVD was almost exactly like my story with Frog. We'll see what happens.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Where is the dang cornmeal??

Living in a new country means that occasionally you look for substitutes in recipes or have to figure out how to make things yourself that you would normally find in a jar or package at home. For example, once I couldn't find cream of mushroom soup, so I made it myself. By the way, if you are an American looking for cornmeal, don't get it confused with "corn flour," which is what Americans label as "corn starch."

For Thanksgiving, Americans make many traditional foods that require ingredients that are difficult to find in Aberdeen. I hear many women complain about not finding canned pumpkin. If you're looking, they have it in the American section at TESCO. I've spent the last two days looking for turkey sausage and cornmeal. I went to 4-5 different stores! We use it in the stuffing for the turkey. Cornbread stuffing.

I finally gave up looking on my own at TESCO and asked for help. The woman I asked couldn't find it where she had found it previously. She asked me to wait in the aisle. She came back with the store manager and who I'm guessing may have just been a floor manager. I was thinking, "Whoa! Now I feel silly. hehe." The store manager was out there in his nice suit and tie, iPhone in one hand scanning the inventory, other mobile in other hand taking calls. The other guy looked at me and said, "I've been looking for polenta (essentially cornmeal I've learned) off and on for the last week!" I was standing there embarrassed. All of this to help me find cornmeal! People are so nice here! We finally found it! It was in the Indian food section. I found this very strange. I have only scratched the surface with cooking Indian food. Do many recipes require cornmeal? At any rate, now you know where to find it here!

I never did find the turkey sausage, so I found a recipe for turkey breakfast sausage. I hope it's good. I mixed it up tonight, and I'll try some for breakfast tomorrow. Hopefully, problem solved. :)

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Wow! This is behind your office, Steve?

Steve had to walk to his office for his laptop on Sunday. I told him that I'd walk with him and take Angel. When we got to the office, he pointed and told me that there are some trails through the forest I could take Angel through while he's getting his stuff. At first I thought, "Man! This is really muddy and thick!" Angel didn't mind. She was excited to run.

After a few minutes of trekking through the mud and brush, we came to a lovely stream with a nice walking trail and wooden bridge!
I know it looks really muddy and not so great in this picture, but the bridge and stream are so nice! Imagine it with the water flowing. :)

Steve texted me to let me know he was finished. I texted back, "Okay. It's so cool back here!" That's such a nice place he and his coworkers have to de-stress during the day (if it's not muddy!).