Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Hopefully you've left room after your haggis for this delicious cranachan! A perfect Scottish dessert to end your Robbie Burns supper.

3 tbsp oatmeal
1 cup of raspberries
1 tbsp sugar
1 1/4 cups of heavy cream
2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp whiskey
1 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp sliced almonds

First, spread the oatmeal on a tray and toast until golden brown. Mash the raspberries and sugar together. Whip the cream and fold in whiskey, honey, vanilla, almonds and cooled oatmeal. Spoon in alternating layers of raspberry puree and cream into a serving bowl. Chill slightly and serve. Makes enough for 4.

Robbie Burns Day Scone Recipe

Saturday, January 17, 2015

I've always had a love of all things Scottish and Robbie Burns Day is the perfect time to dust off all of my many wonderful items adorned with tartan. Scotland's most famous poet's birthday is celebrated on January 25th with a Burns Supper. I was lucky enough to attend a few Robbie Burns celebrations when I was younger and it is a vivid memory that I won't forget. I remember the haggis being piped in and enjoying a truly Scottish dinner whilst listening to many poems and toasts.

At our own Robbie Burns supper we have always enjoyed a meal of oatcakes, mashed neeps (turnips), cock-a-leekie soup and scones topped with clotted cream and jam. Here is a easy recipe for scones to whip up for your Burns Night Celebrations.

Quick Drop Biscuits inspired by the Joy of Cooking
2 cups all-purpose flour
2.5 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
6 tbsp of cold unsalted butter
1 cup milk
1/4 raisins 

Bake at 450 degrees F.
Mix dry ingredients together and cut in cold butter until it resembles breadcrumbs. Pour in milk and raisins and mix just until moistened. Spoon on ping-pong sized scoops of batter and drop on greased tray. Place 1.5 inches apart. Sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 12 minutes until bottoms are golden brown. 

robbie burns day scones

Post-Christmas Hikes

Sunday, January 4, 2015

After the bustle of Christmas I always find it refreshing to escape to nature and enjoy the tranquility that it offers. Although the sun was shining, it was rather crisp and cold out for much of the week. Many layers of fleece ensued. 

Day 1 - Our first hike was at Campbell Valley Park in south Langley and offers 29km of trails.  This park also has wonderful sweeping vistas of the mountain ranges. We managed to hike for 3 hours before our toes started to feel a touch too chilly. This must've been the coldest of our hikes this week! Thankfully we brought along a thermos of tea to warm up. 

campbell vally park
campbell vally park
campbell vally park

Day 2 - Another beautiful sunny, but cold day dawned and we headed out to the Serpentine Fen in Surrey. This is a hike that we often do as it's just minutes away from our house. A great 4km flat walk that winds it's way around the protected habitats of 150 different species of birds. 
serpentine fen

Day 3 - For our New Year's Day hike we visited the Aldergrove Regional Park. I had only been here once before to watch a meteor shower. Unlike Campbell Valley and the Serpentine Fen, this hike was more hilly. It was even cold enough that the small lake has frozen over and few people had strapped on their skates. Another enjoyable hike to ring in the new year with! 
aldergrove regional park
aldergrove regional park
aldergrove regional park
aldergrove regional park
aldergrove regional park

Tea Of The Month: Hot Cinnamon Spice

Thursday, January 1, 2015

As a new year dawns so too does my ever-growing lust to add to my tea collection. I have found a wonderful addition in Harney & Sons Hot Cinnamon Spice tea. It is a mixture of China black tea with strong notes of cinnamon, orange peel, and sweet cloves. All three flavours are staples of the holiday and winter seasons!
John Harney started his production of tea blending in 1983 in Salisbury, Connecticut out of his basement. His discerning taste for tea flavours kept his friends and family coming back for more and soon grew into the business known as Harney & Sons, Master Tea Blenders. This tea proved to be one of Harney & Sons most popular blends and one of the first John developed. This spicy tea will be sure to keep winter’s damp away and fill you with a warm aroma of this festive season!
The vast array of teas that are featured in the Harney & Sons store in SoHo is almost enticing enough to hop on a plane and visit this store myself. Maybe.

For now at least I will sip away on this robust tea and ponder my New Year's resolutions.  

Photo 1: Danielle Pigeon
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