Birthday strata

Birthday strataShared meals at our house usually revolve around a large pot of soup, some form of veggie-forward tangle and serving dishes for friends to bring along something to share. Guests’ offerings have varied widely – locally made colas, loaves of bread, the kind of salads that always taste great because someone else made them, fixings for an ‘Egyptian breakfast’, chocolate cakes and fruit tarts from the shop down the road – but we’ve only received a set of farm fresh eggs once.

These six beauties were brought all the way from Oban and were guaranteed to be the deepest orange we’d seen. They were, and the color of this strata is here to prove it. Continue reading “Birthday strata”

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Hot Cross Buns

Broken up sideEaster crept up on me a bit this year. Usually, we would have been off work for at least a four day weekend. We would have planned to get out of the city, gather with family for a big meal and enjoy plenty of chocolate treats. With our new work patterns this year, neither of us took the typical long weekend. We’re counting down the weeks (less than three!) until we head to Japan, so this Easter really caught me by surprise. Continue reading “Hot Cross Buns”

Happy New Year

Gyoza 1

I realize that we’re well into 2016 already, but I hope you’ll afford me the space to wish you a Happy New Year all the same. I spent early January snuggled up with a new niece and racing after a not-so-new-but-very-fast nephew. Mid-January, I was back in Scotland and wondering how we would ever cope with the pervasive grey. And the past two weeks, I have been noticing the lengthening daylight hours and trying to start this new year with the oomph it deserves.

The Chinese New Year is coming up this week, though, so I’m going to sneak this post in under the wire. When a friend invited us over to make dumplings and celebrate the Chinese New Year, I said yes immediately. I have vague, school-aged memories of paper dragons and festivals on television, but I I have never made dumplings before. It’s something I’ve always wanted to learn, and communal dumpling making with an expert and her friends sounded like the perfect way to spend a mid-winter evening. Continue reading “Happy New Year”