Monday, 6 June 2011

So, Why Are We in Scotland Anyway?

I get a lot of questions asking why we are in Scotland. So, let me tell you the story.

Luis' parents are from Portugal. They moved to Venezuela when they got married at the age of 19.  They lived there for 50 years and had two sons. 7 years ago they went back to Portugal to visit family, and called their sons in Venezuela and told them they weren't coming back. Luis was 32 and his brother was 43. They took the next year and packed up their belongings, and tried to sell their homes, get their paperwork, and moved to Portugal.

The reason they left Venezuela was because of all the political uncertainty there. Venezuela is a socialist country.  I don't know what it is like to live in a Dictatorship. But he does.  It is a scary place to be right now.  They wanted a better life. So they moved back to their homeland of Portugal.

Luis spent about 6 months looking for a job in Portugal with NO luck.  He is the only member of his family to have a college degree and had supported the whole family financially prior to moving.  He wasn't having any luck.  So he broadened his horizons and found work in Scotland.  He packed himself up in just ONE bag, and moved to Scotland.

Luis and I began to chat online about this time. He hadn't been  living in Scotland very long. His English was a hoot! We did the online dating thing, traveling back and forth as much as we could afford, for about a year when Luis asked me to marry him.

He had a good job here in Scotland and I had a good job in Utah. Where would we live? We looked at VISA options.  Getting a VISA to come to the USA was a lot of work.  We'd be lucky if we were married in the next year or two, and the cost was HUGE.  Something we just didn't have at the time.  So, it was a lot cheaper and easier to get a Residence Visa for me here in Scotland.  I was excited for the new adventure.  I moved to Scotland 3 days after we were married. I brought only two bags with me.

When we first moved here I honestly thought that we'd only be here for a year or two max. Then we'd go to America. Live a life there. I never in a million years thought we'd make this home. But we have. Luis has a different job now and we live in a different city too. We have a baby now! We have a life here. Are there times when I think about living in the USA? Sure. Though with every passing year I think of it less. Scotland is home for now.

Saturday, 4 June 2011

Recipe:: Potato Salad

 This Potato Salad might just be LD's most favorite thing that I make.  It is my mom's recipe, that she got from her grandmother.  It has been passed down to all of us girl, and I'm going to pass it on to you.  It is amazing!!  To say the least.

I make this with steak or bbq Chicken on the grill, and some fresh corn on the cob. YUM!!  LD makes me make a HUGE pot of it so he can eat on it all weekend, or at least for a few days! It is the perfect item to bring to a picnic with family or friends! ENJOY!!

Photo courtesy of my sister Katie and her self made cookbook: Everyday Gourmet

 Serves: 6-8
Prep Time: 30 Min
Total Time: 1 hour


6 Potatoes
6 Eggs
3 Slices of Bacon
1/2 Large Onion, Diced

3 TBSP Mayonnaise
1 TBSP Dijon Mustard
1 1/2 TSP Dill Mix
Paprika (for garnish)

1. Peel and cube potatoes. Boil until tender, drain, and put in large bowl with sliced boiled eggs.
2. Fry Bacon and set aside on paper towel.
3. Saute onion in bacon grease.
4. Mix mayonnaise, mustard and dill together. Stir into potatoes and eggs. May need more mayonnaise while warm.
5. Sprinkle with bacon bits and paprika.

Recipe:: Sausage Balls

Sausage Balls are a family favorite around here. We make them every holiday season. But more than that, they are THE easiest little appetizer out there! You can also bake these ahead of time, and just warm them up on the day.  Helps make party prep  a bit easier the more you can do the day before.  I love me some sausage, and Scotland makes some FANTASTIC sausage! Enjoy!

Photo courtesy of my sister Katie Drake

Serves: 6-8
Prep time: 10 min
Bake: 20 min
Oven: 350 F


1 LB Sausage
1/2 Cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese
2 Cups Bisquick


1. Mix all ingredients together in large bowl with hands. Add water if more moisture is needed.
2. Form into 2-inch balls and place on cookie sheet (I use wax paper)
3. Bake at 350F for 20 minutes.

What's YOUR favorite Appetizer?

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Recipe:: Butterscotch Cornflake Cookies

Growing up we called these Paul's Easiest Cookies. I don't know who Paul is, but these ARE the easiest cookies I have EVER made. 3 ingredients only. For some reason we make these every Christmas. Add some colored sprinkles and they make a nice addition to any cookie tray.


Make in: 9x13 inch pan
Total Time: 10 minutes


1/2 Cup Peanut Butter
1 (12 oz) pkg. Butterscotch Chips
6 Cups Cornflakes


1. Mix peanut butter and butterscotch chips in microwave at low temperature until creamy.

2. Slowly pour in cornflakes, mixing as you go.

3. Press into a 9x13 inch greased baking dish.

4. Let cool. Sometimes I put them in the fridge for a few minutes because I want to be able to eat them immediately.

You'll cut them like a bar cookie. They are yum all around. I can eat a whole pan. We don't have butterscotch chips here in Scotland, so a couple of times per year I'll have family send me a box of goodies and butterscotch chips are always there. If you make them let me know!

Recipe:: To Roll or Not To Roll Sugar Cookies

This is another recipe from my sisters cookbook. I didn't even really notice this recipe until around Christmas time this past year. I wanted to make sugar cookies but I didn't want ALL that work. You know what I mean. You have to make the dough, then it has to sit in the fridge forever, then you have to roll them out, cut them, bake them, ice them, blah blah blah. I wanted me some sugar cookies, and I wanted them NOW. I was 8 months pregnant afterall!

These are SO quick and yummy! I was really surprised HOW fast they were to make. I don't even own a rolling pin. Hello! Fast and easy is what I'm looking for. These cookies are perfect. They are ready in just minutes. You can ice them up and send them fresh to friends or be ready for a birthday party.  Enjoy!

What's your favorite dessert recipe?

Friday, 20 May 2011

Recipe:: Summer Sauce For Pasta

As a Wedding present, my sister Katie made me a book of her best recipes. She made all the dishes, took the pictures herself and compiled them into a book.  I use it all the time. We have eaten some of our very best meals from her book. This recipe comes from the book she made me:

Everyday Gourmet by Katherine Drake

I love this recipe because it is SO easy! I am ALL about easy folks. By the time dinner rolls around I'm just so tired and I want to make anything that is easy to throw together. You just dump all the ingredients into a bowl and let it set for at least an hour to let all the flavors to mingle. Then when ever you are ready you just boil up some angel hair pasta! Voila! You're done! Can't get any easier that this guys! You serve the sauce cool, with warm pasta. It is really nice on those hot summer days when all you want is something cool and healthy.

I like to serve it with Asparagus! My sisters way is THE ONLY way I'll eat it now! Super yummy!

If I'm feeling like dessert I will serve it with some sorbet and fresh fruit. Makes for a super healthy and filling summer meal! Enjoy!

What is your favorite dinner recipe?

Recipe:: Black Bean Enchiladas

As a Wedding present, my sister Katie made me a book of her best recipes. She made all the dishes, took the pictures herself and compiled them into a book.  I use it all the time. We have eaten some of our very best meals from her book. This recipe comes from the book she made me:

Here is one of our favorites: Black Bean Enchiladas with Gooey Jack Cheese. We eat this probably once per week, we LOVE it! It is SO yummy and it really fills you up. We have changed the recipe around a few times to make it vegetarian! Just add more vegi's and no chicken!! We had made different types of rice for it too. Just have fun. See what all you can fit into a tortilla!

We serve it with a side of fresh corn on the cob! YUM!!

What is your favorite dinner recipe?

I'm participating in Show Us Your Life: Favorite Main Course Recipes at Kelly's Korner