Teasing all our Senses (OWPC: Food)

It’s more than simply just the food when eating out. This was very much the case when we were visiting Tallinn, Estonia. The ambiance in the 300 year-old restaurant complete with a true bread-basket together with the food was simply divine.

It’s said we eat with our eyes but on this particular night all five of our senses were tingling with delight. Food is the One Word Photo Challenge from Jennifer Nichole-Wells this week.

A Molecular Gastronome Treat! (WPC)

On our last cruise we treated ourselves to seats at the Chef’s Table. It was everything we imagined and then some. 10 courses with matching wines. It was hard to pick a favourite as each meal placed in front of us was so tasty yet each was so different.

The one that really did stand out on its own was the Amuse Bouche ‘Molecular Gastronome’ – spherical mango, vodka and jalapeño ravioli.  Oh. My. Goodness. What a TREAT – this week’s Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge

Delicious Treat!

As I look at this dish now, it still baffles me as to why what looks like a salsa was called a ravioli but when it tasted as good as it did, names really didn’t matter, lol!




New Orleans to Kitimat…

Today as we make our way back to Kitimat, Canada from New Orleans, one can only reflect on the incredible day we had yesterday exploring New Orleans.

Waking up in New Orleans

Breakfast was a great start. Oh. My. Gosh. It was dee-lish! Eggs Benedict with a  cajun-like hollandaise sauce over the poached egg on a crab cake on grits with colored potato hash. Fabulous!

Breakfast New Orleans Style

Then it was onto Bourbon Street which was and wasn’t what I expected with all it’s souvenir shops and restaurants.

Bourbon Street Sign

At least the boys looked good on it whilst cruising it!

The boys on Bourbon Street

Evidence of Mardi Gras past were here, there and everywhere. Our favorite where the array of beads hanging across Bourbon Street. From afar it might not look that impressive.

Bourbon Street Beads

But underneath it, WOW! Sure beats the Australian habit of tying a pair of shoes together by its laces then throwing them over power lines. Sad but true.

Bourbon Street Beads Up Close and Personal

The boys and girls had separated after breakfast, with each group doing their own thing before we met up again for some hydration at, where-else, but Hard Rock. So whilst I enjoyed a Groupie Grind (yes tragic name but fabulous cocktail)…

Hard Rock Groupie Grind

The children played cards. Don’t you just love a pack a cards, it really is the game that can go anywhere!

Card sharks at Hard Rock

From here we took a stroll around the French Quarter, with Royal Street quickly becoming very much a favorite for various reasons.

Royal Street - we loved it!

For the children it was the window displays that they favored. There’s nothing like a live pussy-cat lying in a window to draw attention.

Artistic Pussy Cat

For us it was the street performers. This group of five were so versatile, swapping instruments and playing different genres.

Talented Street Performers

This seed pod I came across on the foot-path was like nothing I’ve ever seen before, having no idea what tree it may have come from.

Extraordinary Seed Pod

Dinner had to be eaten on Bourbon Street so naturally we went to Bourbon House. We weren’t disappointed.

Bourbon House Sign

Who knew seafood and bourbon could be combined in one meal, and a salad at that. The bourbon dressing on the salad was okay but the fried oysters… outstanding!

Deep fried oysters

These Louisiana oysters that Hubby ordered were HUGE but remarkably tasty!

Oysters New Orleans Style

One couldn’t be in New Orleans and not have ‘gator. These balls were made of alligator meat and very, very tasty with the three different sauces!

Alligator balls

New Orleans, if only we could have had more time to visit with you…

Happy 12th Birthday!

My Darling Boy is now twelve, yes twelve, WOW!

His sleep-over party last night is being deemed a total success as one lad didn’t close his eyes at all whilst there was a close second with another saying he closed his eyes twice but for only 30 minutes at a time and he genuinely believes he wasn’t sleeping… simply resting his eyes, lol! (Isn’t he going to make a wonderful Grandpa one day as that’s what my father would always say much to the delight of my two little cherubs 🙂 )

After breakfast it was outside for some Silly String entertainment where “he who did not sleep” was more than happy to be the target of everyone’s frivolity!

No matter the age, Silly String is always fun!

And the same again with the colored hair spray, “he who did not sleep” was more than happy to comply with being the recipient of everyone’s attention. Mind you, he wore it well!

Not everyone can wear color this well!

Then it was time to blow out the candles – Miss Ten kept a close eye on things!

12th Birthday Cake candle time

Master Twelve was very clear on what cake he wanted. To the point he even did the green icing himself!

Birthday Cake as decorated by Master Twelve!

For whatever reason, I’m finding cake baking in Canada extraordinarily difficult. It’s just not happening for me although I did begin to wonder after the first attempt on Sunday if perhaps Butter Cake wasn’t the best choice. So yesterday I changed to Sponge Cakes, the first time I’ve ever made one mind you. Two days and EIGHT cakes later we had these final three…

What shade of green do you prefer

We were meant to be going out to dinner tonight to celebrate Young Sir turning twelve but as it was he was snoring by 6pm and had to be woken to open his presents from the family when Darling Hubby arrived home from work, we’ve postponed dinner for tomorrow night!

Which is more than fine by me as it’s now only 8pm and I’m staring at the clock, barely able to keep my eyes open wondering… “mum, how much longer?”

Party time…

Tomorrow Master Eleven becomes twelve… TWELVE!

I cannot believe as of tomorrow I will be the mother of a twelve-year-old. A twelve-year-old that is an inch away from being as tall as me thank you very much. Good grief!

However, before those celebrations can commence we must first endure the sleep-over tonight, consisting of 8 young gents and 130 balloons. Why 130 balloons? Well, the green balloons we wanted only came in packets of 100 so of course they ALL had to be blown up. Mama insisted!

Honestly, one can never have too many balloons!

And as there was a sea of green balloons I quickly ordered 30 black helium balloons this morning to break up the colors a bit. I was trying to get the balloons to be on and above the mattresses but my darling children kept lying on the beds and moving them whilst I decorated. Grrrr…

Hmmm... doesn't look like 130 balloons does it?

Not to worry though, I did manage to get a few back towards the center of the room before the guests arrived (after Miss Ten had taken a photo though), which judging by the oooo’s, aahhhh and the what the? coming up the stair-case as each lad arrived, my work there was complete. Phew, lol!

I wish I had taken a photo of dinner as Master Eleven was very determined on the menu. It was to be a BBQ but a grown up BBQ, one that we would have, thank you very much! After a little prodding it came to light that here some are happy to put hot-dogs on the grill and call that a BBQ whereas when we have a BBQ it’s steak, sausages and kebabs. Plus he also wanted burgers (which became sliders when the reality of how much meat was out became apparent…).

The table looked great in the black and green theme with all this food running down the center. The males were in meat heaven I’d say. Note: I did have potatoes, corn on the cob and caesar salad also on the table but as these are technically classified as vegetables I needn’t have bothered!

With so much consumed for dinner I’ve saved the birthday cake for tomorrow since that’s his actual birthday so instead herded the lads outside for some piñata fun! The birthday boy quickly wiped the smile of the sun’s face!

Talk about wiping the grin off the sun!

But it was the next lad who really sent the candy flying, with the children following VERY closely behind!

Candy from heaven!

And now after a game of rugby on the lawn the boys have retired back to the basement for a Paranormal Activity trilogy whilst playing pool. Darling Hubby, Miss Ten and I have said our good-nights and have retreated to the bedroom on the opposite side of the house on the next level. I wouldn’t say we are being cowards, just practical!

Besides, I allowed Master Eleven to talk me into a 1pm finish to the party so I need to conserve my energy for tomorrow as there’s still breakfast, birthday cake and lunch to be had. Oh my gosh… “mum, how much longer?”

Cooking up a Storm!

Right here, right now I have to say I have the best children EVER! And no I haven’t been drinking but sometimes you have a day when nothing is really planned but the stars quietly align for the most brilliant day!

We began the day with breakfast out followed by a grocery shop which is seldom a favorite of any child’s but my two little darlings understand I require assistance as my back isn’t what it used to be.

Before we began the grocery shop though we needed to do quite an important shop. Supplies were required for a fundraiser that is being held tomorrow for the Women’s Shelter here in town. Unfortunately prior commitments have me unable to attend the actual fundraiser but the children nevertheless were only to happy to help me put together 10 packs for donation. Even at their young age they understand sometimes life doesn’t always go as planned. The end result had us feeling good.

Everyone deserves a helping hand

Then Miss Ten had an urge to cook! She was in the mood for a chocolate cupcake but as she wanted them then and there we reached for the “back-up” cake mix. Although I do prefer to make my own cakes, I’m not that big a purest that I can’t appreciate something quick and simple. Particularly when a ten-year-old wants something and she wants it NOW, lol! It was just a shame no one thought of frosting earlier but the girl did well considering.

MM Mini Cupcakes

The strangest thing happened whilst looking for cupcake papers – I stumbled upon our cooking horns. We’d been looking for those for months and there they were hiding in the corner of the kitchen cupboard having fallen from their shelf. Without realizing it I’d also found some Vanilla Pudding mix which was now sitting on the bench.

Master Eleven wasted no time – he was making Cream Horns! This was our first attempt of the pastry horns. Not bad for amateurs.

Horns in the Making

My little man went automatically into Pastry Chef mode – he was fabulous to watch. Who says television is bad for children? Master Eleven was quoting Master Chef like a veteran and rightly so don’t you think!

Cream Horn Delights by HLR

For almost two months now I’ve been gluten-free but for these I was more than happy to “pay the piper” you might say – they were glorious!

Cream Horn Delights

This batch of two dozen were completed just as Darling Hubby walked in the door – within 30 minutes there was only icing sugar left. Unfortunately these were made to an Australian recipe for which we only had the one packet of the secret ingredient, now we have to find a Canadian equivalent.

The fun didn’t finish there though. After dinner the children went playing up the road, making the most of the wonderful weather by making up games with their friends. Listening to them outside from our bedroom window made us both grin like fools. Sometimes its the small things that make you feel proudest.

As a consequence the friends ended up sleeping over – make-overs, videos, you name it they did it. They had such fun but as it nears midnight, their curfew, and the giggles are still coming loud and clear down the hallway I have to admit… “mum, how much longer?”

Book Club Time!!!

Tonight was my once a year turn to host Book Club here. The weather couldn’t have been more splendid, the food more delicious (or perhaps I’m a tad biased?), or the company more stimulating.

Then again, when you begin the night with a mixture of these…

The Makings of a GREAT Book Club!

Ah yes, in celebration of this beautiful summer weather we treated everyone to a fresh lime Mojito or two, oh yes, dee-lish!

It’s amazing how doing a quick wash-up between courses truly minimizes the “after effect“. And although the last ladies didn’t depart until well after 11pm, whilst I stacked glasses in the kitchen to wash in the morning, Darling Hubby and Master Eleven kindly bagged books for me. Who knew the winter log-rack would become useful in summer as a book-rack?!

Book Club Time

It was a great night with some interesting stories, told not only from the books being read mind you, and with book club once a month there’s no questioning as to… “mum, how much longer?”