Monthly Archives: November 2012


Ben was sad after I sold the Heirloom Toffee Bars, he only tasted a couple, plus it was a challenge, Ben has never Ben a fan of peanut butter cookies. I have tried to convince him that these are a tasty alternative to his preferred oatmeal raisin cookies.

I think this version with white chocolate chunks might have turned him. The above picture is evidence.

More baking to come later this week. 


Remember on Friday- I mentioned Ben and I were going to celebrate this weekend.

After nine Thanksgivings abroad, you begin to forget the fan fair, the traditions and the food. 

Time for new holiday customs…

Brunch is my favourite meal for entertaining. It is more casual than dinner parties, usually lighter fare and no alcohol. Mimosas are only for very special occasions! So with that in mind and a quest for a new tradition we hosted our first annual Reverse Thanksgiving Brunch, complete with pumpkin pancakes, turkey sausages and loads of coffee.

(Trout salt and pepper shakers- whose were these? We lifted them from my mom’s)

(Stacked persimmons- a festive autumnal centrepiece)

(The festive table)

(Light and fluffy- packed with pumpkin deliciousness)

This weekend it will be a feast of Thanksgiving sides! 


Last week, we had a bake sale at work to raise money for Kids in Need. I whipped up a batch of an oldie but goodie- Toffee Bars (renamed Heirloom Toffee Bars for marketing purposes). These were a Christmas staple growing-up-Gorrilla and they are always a hit.

I am sorry, but I cannot share the recipe, my mom has strict instructions about providing recipes to strangers.

It does go something like this- cookie base + chocolate + sprinkled nuts = easy and delicious 

We then portioned four bars into a rustic-light package ready for sale. Ben whipped up a label- (note- labels do not stick to greaseproof paper).

My treats were the first to sell out- a small victory in the at work bake sale landscape. 

WBFP… Have wanted one for so long!


Greetings on Black Friday! 

Without Thanksgiving as a calendar marker, Christmas comes very early in the U.K., to get into the Tis the Season mood, here are some baubles from the gift shop at Modern II. 

We are looking forward to our Christmas celebrations. We are hosting Ben’s mom and dad. It is going to be fantastic. I will be a bit sad knowing my family will be reuniting in Ohio and Ben and I will not be there, but we will have some serious memory-making with Sue and Dave. 

But this weekend, Ben and I will be celebrating Thanksgiving. Stay tuned for posts next week- a new tradition in the making. Perhaps!

Have a great weekend!

MY MOM… Sent an awesome card again this year (remember these I and II). Perfectly timed (waiting for us this evening) and full of love.

Mom, I am thankful for you.

To all my fantastic family and friends, have a great Thanksgiving. Hugs from Scotland.

Other posts about my mom being cool- (here, here and here).

Blast from the past- Gorrilla/Smyth Thanksgiving 2003


Edinburgh in the fall is fabulous. This is the first weekend Ben and I have had nothing on our agendas. We cycled to Modern II to check out the S.J. Peploe exhibit and enjoy the sunshine. 

We walked down to the Water of Leith to watch the leaves. Ben was fascinated. 


Ben and I are attempting to mix-it-up and trying to be a bit more adventurous with our cooking. Ben has been perfecting his pulled pork recipe. It started with a tasty hunk from Peelham Farms, a local producer of high-quality meat products. You can even adopt a pig, then the team from Peelham slaughters it for you and you have piles of the other white meat. 

I digress… 

Starting with the pork, Ben followed David Chang of Momofuku’s recipe for Pork-Belly Buns, but replace the pork belly with pork shoulder and used some of the elements of the Bo Ssam recipe that is so popular at his New York restaurant. 

To cook the buns we picked up a steamer at our local Chinese supermarket. I have always wanted a steamer. With Ben, all my dreams do come true.

Perfectly puffed and brushed with oil so they do not stick together. They cook in 5-7 minutes.

The final product- with a taste explosion of ginger and scallion sauce and ssamjang, a fiery soybean paste. Momofuk-me they were good!

We had left-over pork, so the next night we had some traditional Chinese Char Siu Bao or pork buns. 


FINAL PHOTOS… After, going through my photos this weekend, I had to post these final shots of my fall travels. 

I am starting to organise my spring travel schedule- it is going to be a busy one. Look forward to more adventures starting in January with Thailand.

SO SAD… Leaving Modern II is always a drag. Time to head home and do the ironing.

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