Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Gift Exchange Potluck Party 1

Setting the scene.

the prep work and the set-up...

The main table centrepiece...

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

On with the dance!

Come every Tuesday evening for the past few months, MrD and I will be off for a couple of hours session of Ceilidh with some hardcore Ceilidh enthusiasts. Such fun!!

Since tonight would be our last session for this year,  our dance instructors Peter and his wife Lynn decided to throw a small potluck party for the group.

MrD in action; doing the Domino Five

Until next year.....

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Baby, Its Cold Outside

Most unusual....

We're experiencing gale-force wind with speed topping 70 mph but the temperature were around 7C higher than the average for this time of the year.

The sky may be deceivingly clear and sunny but we were warned whenever possible to stay indoor to avoid being blown away by the wind... really Muna, you need a lot more than a gale-force wind to blow you away.

Anyhoo, here's how the family decided to spent the weekend....

Lolita found the flickering lights most amusing...
Elsa found the flickering lights almost amusing...
Muna found flicking the ditdoters (that's what the tv remotes are known as in our household) most frustrating...
and MrD found that doing nothing is great!!

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Crème Brûlée

Marco Pierre White's Crème Brûlée


175g caster sugar
9 egg yolks
vanilla pods
100ml milk
900ml double cream
Demerara sugar

Pre-heat the oven to 120°C.

Mix the sugar and egg yolks together in a bowl.

Split the vanilla pods in half and scrape the seeds out. Add the seeds and pods to the milk and cream in a pan. Gently bring the milk to the boil.

Pour the boiling cream and milk on to the sugar and egg yolk mixture, mix well and pass through a fine strainer. 

Fill ramekins with the mixture and cook them in a bain-marie in the pre-heated oven for 30-40 minutes until just set. Allow the ramekins to cool, then chill them in the fridge. 

Sprinkle the top of each ramekin with demerara sugar, then glaze them using a small blowtorch until the sugar melts and turns golden brown. Allow the sugar to set hard then serve.

Beautiful Day

A bright start for the weekend

Aberdeen on an unusually warm and sunny 15C !!

Photos taken from the wee window in my bathroom.

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Duck Breasts with Spicy Sweet and Sour Sauce







Duck Breasts with Spicy Sweet and Sour Sauce

recipe adapted from

2 duck breast fillets
cayenne pepper
freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup chicken stock
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
1 tablespoon grated fresh root ginger
1 teaspoon tomato puree
1 teaspoon chilli powder
lime juice from 1/2 lime

Preheat oven to 200 C.

Use a sharp knife to score across the duck breasts through the skin and fat but just barely to the meat. Rub the skin with salt, cayenne and black pepper.

Preheat an ovenproof frying pan over medium-high heat. 
Lay the breasts in the pan skin-side down and fry until the skin is brown and crisp, about 5 minutes. Use a spoon to carefully discard any excess fat from the bottom of the pan. Turn the breasts over and cook for 1 minute. 

Place the pan into the preheated oven and roast until the breasts reach desired doneness.

Remove the duck breasts from the frying pan and cover with aluminium foil. Set aside to rest. 
Pour off excess fat from the frying pan. 
Place the stock, soy sauce, ginger, tomato puree, chilli powder and lime juice in the frying pan. Whisk the sauce over high heat, bring to the boil and cook until the sauce thickens, about 2 minutes. Slice the duck breasts thinly, arrange on serving plates, and pour the sauce over the top.




Sunday, 20 November 2011

On Lights!

Christmas Lights Switch On

It's the annual switch on of the city's Christmas lights on Union Street. 

Thousands of people gathered on Union Street to watch the parade as it travelled from Albyn Place  to Castlegate  just after half past five in the afternoon.

The Lord Provost, Peter Stephen, led the parade along the main thoroughfare, switching on each light as it passes underneath.
The theme for this year's parade is Victorian or Ye Oldie times, along with music from pipe bands, drumming groups, children's carol singers, local steel band, elves and Santa.

The parade began with the pipe band, carol singer, elves and Santa allsorts...

This year's theme, Ye Olde Christmas, saw Fagin and the Artful Dodger take to the street in a  Dickensian walkabout, performing songs from the musical Oliver!