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Archive for January, 2013

Just a wee plug!

I’m doing a shamlesss ole plug for my other blog that I’ve just started.

It’s called: Canuck N’ Make Up and deals mostly with lifestyle/beauty/skincare related things since I’m slowly trying to get myself using skincare products now that I’m getting older (yikes!).

The first post is up and reviews Skin Food’s Gold Apple Hand Balm. I’ve been getting more and more obsessed with this brand so I figured I might as well! And this way, I can keep this travel and food related and the other for the more material things!

Thanks for reading guys!

~JGM

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So, coming back to Aberdeen in January, the weather is definitely not holding up like it has been in the December month. I have been sick with the cold and outside, the weather is being decidedly schizophrenic.

Rain, then snow, then hail, then sun, then snow, then sun, then hail, then rain, then hail and all with a nice blast of stormy winds. Make up your mind already.

Aside from running to the supermarket in the afternoon when it was still safe from the weather, I have been shut inside the apartment trying to recover from a nasty cough. So what’s better for a cold day than making some nice spicy hot soup??

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SAM_0944 (800x600)[This recipe is based on Chef John’s recipe for Spicy Thai Chicken Soup at FoodWishes]

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Thai Red Coconut Soup 

Ingredients:
STOCK:
1 clove of garlic (or more depending on your taste)
2 stalks of lemongrass (according to taste, I use 2 because I only have access to small ones)
3 or 4 slices of fresh ginger
2 cups of chicken stock

OTHER STUFF:
4 chicken thighs (deboned and cubed) / or chicken breasts if you don’t have any thighs lying around
1 can coconut milk
3 tbsp of fish stock
1 lime (or more if you want to add a more citric taste) – Squeezed
Bunch of coriander
Shrimp (optional)
Red thai curry paste
Mushrooms
Onions
Other veg you might want to add
Some oil (I use olive oil)
Chopped up pieces of red chilli (optional)

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1. Boil all the stock ingredients together to make the stock. If you’d like it to have a bit more kick, be a bit generous with the ginger. Set aside
2. In another pot, add the oil and the cubed chicken thighs. Stir until semi-cooked then add in the onions and the mushrooms.
3. Add the lime juice from the lime, fish stock, and 2 tbsp of the curry paste (depending on the brand of the paste, the spicyness will vary so vary the amount according to your taste). Stir well
4. Strain the stock and pour it in. Make sure everything is mixed well.
5. Throw in shrimp (again, up to you how much you want to add)
6. Add the coconut milk and stir well.
7. Add in chopped coriander for taste (I also add the chopped pieces of chilli at this point because I like my soup spicy)
8. Let it boil and simmer for a bit (note: the longer you boil it with pieces of chilli, the spicier it’ll become… it’ll also shrink the pieces of shrimp if you boil it for too long so timing is everything!)

And voila! SOUP.

I usually have it with a bowl of rice and garnish it with some coriander. It’s a really hearty version of the soup and it’s good for cold days in.

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~JGM

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I haven’t updated in a while and this time, I have a good excuse!

The holiday season was pretty hectic. In between rushing to get assessments done and getting presents for a surprise Christmas visit to Waterford, I hardly had time to scratch my nose. The schedule went a bit like this, hand in assignment, work on other assignment, hand in assignment, pack, fly 2 days before Christmas, wait for boyfriend to show up, got a ride down to Waterford in Ireland to surprise his family, GIANT CRAZY AMAZING FOODIE CHRISTMAS CELEBRATION THINGUMMY (of which I’m- er, I mean my stomach, is not used to), drink, drink, drink, say hello again to all the people I met last year for Christmas, New Years!, two days with boyfriend, get insanely ill, say goodbye, fly home, work on last two assignments, and then BREATHE. I’ve only recently recovered from the cold/flu/whatever it is that I caught and seeing as how I haven’t updated, I thought now is a prime time before semester two rolls around and decide to kick my ass.

First things first, I thought I’d post up the fun stuff and maybe update about the not so great stuff later.

In the short two weeks together, my significant other and I went on a short two day trip away from everything just to spend some time together before we were separated again for another 6 months. Last year, we headed to Kinsale and this year, we decided to hit the road and head to Killarney according to the recommendation of his mam.
It was a good recommendation.

We arrived at the hotel (the Killarney Fairview) and after a bit of confusion as to who we were supposed to talk to, we were greeted by a man who I assume was the manager. To our surprise and immense good luck, he offered us the Penthouse suite for the night for an extra 30 euro because of a late checkout. I am a bit fuzzy on the details but to that kind of offer, we couldn’t say no! The place was amazing. The decor was simple but classy and the service couldn’t be any better.
As for the Penthouse suite? Talk about amazing! Giant two person jacuzzi, quite possibly the biggest shower I’ve ever seen with four alternative nozzles to make sure you’re clean everywhere.

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And the bed? AMAZINGLY comfortable memory foam mattress. I haven’t slept so well in a really long time!

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After moving to a smaller suite for the second night there, it was a big hard to appreciate it considering how amazing the Penthouse was. But it was, all in all, still a very very pleasant stay.

As for Killarney itself, we were lucky to arrive when the weather was amazing. We had clear blue skies for the two days we were there before I got sick with the flu. When we woke up the next day, we decided to take it easy and take a drive out to see Ross Castle. The castle itself was closed in the winter season which was a shame because we’d both have liked to see what the inside was like. It reminded me of a smaller, nicer version of the Blarney castle. The castle itself sits on the side of a giant lake that is inhabited by swans and seagulls. We spent most of the day sitting by the side of it, watching as the swans (tried to) take off and land on the water. It would’ve been better if we had thought of bringing out sandwiches for a picnic since it was such a nice day.

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We spent a good while there… and it was really mostly because of a seagull. Yes, that’s right. I said seagull. As we sat, there was a group of them out on the pier. There were a few who landed on the boat landing and one in particular had fashioned himself king of the boat landing. Every time one of the other seagulls came near, he would hunch down and run to them squawking his head off. It was quite possibly the most hilarious thing I have ever seen a bird do in the wild.

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Perhaps this is the start of a birdwatching career?

 

~JGM

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