Monday, June 28, 2010

Homemade Italian

For some reason, some of the best food I know how to make is Italian Food. I'm not Italian and neither is my husband. But he loves it! It's dinners like this that make him glad he married me. (there better be other reasons too ;-) )

Since it was a weekend night and no one had to work. I made homemade potato gnocchi with a low fat pesto (promise you can't taste the difference), sauteed shrimp, roasted zucchini and garlic bread. What a spread! Oh and David helped with the making of the gnocchi. I get bored rolling and shaping.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Current Project

Here's one of my current projects that I am working on. It's a tapestry needlepoint cushion kit. The pattern is based on a design in the Victoria and Albert Museum. The kit I purchased comes with a patterned canvas and the wool necessary to complete the piece. I can't wait to see the finished product. But needlepoint takes a lot of time, then I have to have it made into a cushion. (b/c believe it or not, despite all my crafting, I cannot sew)

Here's the whole pattern.

And a close up.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Farmer's Market Breakfast

So we've been back for a week now. Things are slowly returning to normal. (but I do miss Scotland). I've started my volunteer work at various institutions to get some work experience this summer. And I've also started a needlepoint class which has proven to be very informative. Since it was May when we left for the UK, there wasn't much out at the Farmer's Market. Oh how that has changed. I stocked up on all kinds of fruits and veg. Once of my favorite vendors this past year is a group of ladies who bake artisan breads. I always ask for Challah (ever since they made it for Easter) and this weekend they delivered! Thanks to America's Test Kitchen, I made Challah Bread French Toast. Amazing! Top it off with some locally grown raspberries. Oh my!

Friday, June 11, 2010

One more thing....

I almost forgot. On our way out of town we say Castle Stalker. Or to Monty Python fans, Castle Aaaarrrrrggghhh. Just plain cool.

Isle of Mull & Iona

Our "last day" before taking our time heading back to Edinburgh for our flight on Friday was spent staying in Oban and visiting Mull & Iona. The two islands are accessible by ferry and Iona is passengers only, no cars. It was absolutely gorgeous!

Okay this one is for cute factor and actually was taken at Ben Nevis, I just forgot to put it in that post. How cute is the little guy!

This is the fishing village of Oban. We stayed in an old Victorian house turned B&B up on that hill.

Here is the huge ferry that runs out the Isle of Mull.

Taken from our ferry crossing.

Once on Mull we drove to the tip to take the ferry to Iona. Very secluded and small village on the island with an abbey.

Although this abbey has been "touched" up recently (19th cen), Iona is one of the oldest centers for Christianity in Great Britain.

Beautiful drive along Loch na Keal.

Me standing on the pebbled shore.

And that's it folks! The next day we had a leisurely day in Oban before driving back to Edinburgh for our flight. Hope you enjoyed the photos. We had a fantastic time and we loved sharing our favorite moments.

Ft. William and Ben Nevis

On this day we left the Isle of Skye for our stay in the town of Ft. William. The town is near the highest peak in the British Isles, Ben Nevis. And finally in the "state park" sort of thing for Ben Nevis I saw up close the Highland Coos. Soooo cute! Unlike the sheep, they were very curious as to what we were doing.

This is the ferry ride from Armadale on the Isle of Skye to Mallaig on the mainland.

Beautiful scenery along the "Road to the Isles", although we were leaving the Isles.

The great Ben Nevis, still small amounts of snow up top.

Coo in a stream.

This one stared at me for a while, just wondering why this girl was standing in his/her field. (yes the females have horns too). the hair.

Baby coos!!!! Like our Truman when he needs hair cut but as big as a lab.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Isle of Skye: Day 2

Yesterday we took the whole day to drive around and see as much of Skye as possible. We started from our village and went over to Broadford. From there we drove past the Cullin Hills and into Portree. After Portree, we made our way around the Trotternish Peninsula. Cutting back through Portree we headed out to Dunvegan. What a day! But honestly, some of the most beautiful scenery. The pictures don't do it half justice.

Let's start with this picture. This is what most of the road I was driving looked like. Single track, curvy and hilly.

Not to mention the sheep. At least this was 2 lane but it wasn't always the case. You know have we have warning signs for deer "zones" they have them for sheep and cows. And they mean it!

View from our drive on Skye. Gorgeous huh!

Village of Uig. This place is neat b/c you can still find examples of crofting.

The Isle of Skye Museum has preserved some old thatched cottages from the 19th century.

This ram would bounce around to keep the little ones in check. We apparently disturbed them while walking in their grass to get to some castle ruins.

Great view of what's called Kilt Rock.

And this looks back towards a formation called Old Man Storr.

Lovely rainbow waiting for us when we arrived back in Kyleakin that evening.

Isle of Skye: Day 1

After Inverness we drove along the lochs (saw Loch Ness, but no Nessie) and headed north towards the Isle of Skye. After making a few little stops along the way, we arrived in the village of Kyleakin. We had a great B&B, all the way down at the bottomw of the village on the edge of the loch, aptly named Cliffe House. We could see otters in the water playing, but not close enough for photos.

Here's the very picturesque castles of Eilean Donan.

This is the village of Kyleakin.

View from one of our 3 windows. There was also one on the wall to the right and one on the wall to the left.

Neat castle ruins, Castle Moil.

Gorgeous sunset from our window at 11 pm.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Up to the Highlands

Yesterday we left Edinburgh, rented a car and made our way to Inverness. Along the way we stopped at Cawdor Castle and Clava Cairns. Once in Inverness we explored the town and had an amazing meal at a Turkish restaurant.

On the road again this morning....Driving through the mountains up to the Isle of Skye. We stopped to see the picturesque Eilean Donan Castle and a small fishing village Plockton.

Tomorrow we'll be touring the Isle of Skye by car.

Here's our car for the week. It was supposed to be a Ford but they gave us this.

Here's me driving, it's not too bad. Does take some getting used to. And the single track roads can be tricky.

This is Cawdor Castle (of Macbeth fame)

Pretty garden at the castle.

This is on part of a nature trail that goes through the castle woods.

Lovely hillside of Blue Bells.

The Clava Cairns are ancient burial mounds.

Here's the River Ness and Inverness.

Inverness Castle.

Part of our excellent meal in Inverness.

David's full Scottish breakfast. And yes that's black pudding up in the corner. Not sure what that is, I stick with poached eggs.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Edinburgh - The Royal Mile

Today we explored the Old Town. Starting off with the Castle, we made our way down the Royal Mile stopping off at St. Giles and the National Museum of Scotland. And not to mention a little shopping a long the way. And some libation for David.

Walking up to the entrance of the Castle. They are erecting seats for an upcoming big show in August.

Monument to William Wallace outside the castle gate.

The gate from the inside.

Inside the castle is St. Margaret's Chapel built in 1130. It's the oldest building in Edinburgh.

This arch is an original Norman design. (Cool to me at least)

No inside pictures of St. Giles (you had to pay). But John Knox, the founder of Presbyterian church spent a lot of time in St. Giles. His burial spot is in the parking lot: space 23. Sad really.

Looking down the Royal Mile towards Holyrood Palace.

Cadenhead Whiskey. They blend their own varieties from the small distilleries around the country.

A wee dram for David.

And another....He had to try them all right?